Merry Cthulhumas! - Have You Been Naughty Or Nice?


Merry Cthulhumas! by Captain RibMan

That Great Old One with the squid for a face used to be a real sourpuss, hell bent on subjugating and eliminating mankind, but then he met a man named Santa who changed his entire outlook on human life. Now Cthulhu is the biggest Christmas fan of them all, and when he arises from his slumber he's not coming to eat you, or drive you insane, he just wants to sing you Christmas carols and give you a present. But be aware that Cthulhu is pretty new to the whole giving a gift without taking the mortal's soul thing, so his presents might be a tad on the gory side...

Bring some wickedly fun style to your Christmas with this Merry Cthulhumas! t-shirt by Captain RibMan, and you'll end up on the Naughty list right where you belong!

Visit Captain RibMan's Facebook fan page, official website and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more festively geeky designs:

Teenage Mutant Modern Masters My Little C-3POny The Wookman Iron Skull

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Best Films of 2014

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Flavorwire has assembled their end-of-year selections for the best films of 2014. They list 25 titles, one of which is the fascinating documentary Finding Vivian Meier, about a nanny who secretly was a prolific photographer. Her staggering body of work was found by a stranger, only by chance, after her death.  For those like me who love documentaries, this is certainly a compelling one that I recommend.

See the other 24 titles selected as best films of 2014, with descriptions and trailers for each, in this article.


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Husky and Puppies

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Parenting can be a lot of fun when you’re not stressed out about daycare and bills and what Timmy just ate. Here, a husky mom discovers that when herpuppies learn to get around, she suddenly has a whole slew of playmates! “Look, kids, I can jump on the couch and you can’t!” She’ll be surprised in a few more days when they do it themselves. -via reddit

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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College Offers a Minor in Comedy


(Photo: Matt)

Are you funny? Your jokes on open mike night at the local comedy club may not make the audience laugh, but an official college degree in comedy probably will. Emerson College, a private college in Boston and Jay Leno's alma mater, now offers a minor program of study in the field of comedy.

Specifically, it's called "Comedy: Writing and Performance." To complete the program, students take 5 classes in performance and writing. Two of the classes are called "Writing for Television" and "The Evolution of Comedy." Andrew Desiderio writes for The College Fix:

“There are no guarantees that someone will be funny,” Martie Cook, associate chair of Emerson’s visual and media arts department, told The College Fix. “But that’s true of most programs in the arts.”

Cook added that students can study film and television writing, but that does not mean they will go on to write Emmy- or Oscar-winning scripts.

“What we can guarantee is that students who take the minor will come out better versed in the comedic arts,” Cook said.

Emerson College argues that a versatility in comedy can help people in all career fields:

“Whether on a stage, in a board room, a writers’ room, or simply talking one-on-one, being empowered with the grace and confidence to artfully apply humor in your daily life gives you an invaluable edge,” said Adam Greenfield, also a member of the committee that helped shape and develop the comedy minor.

-via College Insurrection


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18 Animals Whose Lives Were Improved by Prosthetics

Chris P. Bacon 


When injuries cause the loss of a functioning body part, the results are the same in animals as well as people. There is a sense of profound loss and a period of grief and depression as a result of such a loss. Then comes a time of adjustment, in which the being strives to live as normal a life as is possible in their new circumstances. At that time, a prosthetic can make all the difference. The importance of being mobile and autonomous can never fully be comprehended until such time as it is lost. 

Two cases of animals who have benefited from prosthetics are pictured here. The adorable Chris P. Bacon, above, never suffered a loss of his limbs, as he was born without rear legs. His owner, a veterinarian named Len Lucero, outfitted the pig with a set of rear wheels. Ever since, Chris has been inspiring children in hospitals who are confined to wheelchairs, showing them that it's not a condition that can keep them from leading fulfilling lives. 

In a terrible accident, Motala the elephant stepped on a landmine, necessitating an amputation in her front left leg. Motala was fitted with a prosthetic leg, which changed the fifty-year-old elephant's outlook and her life. 

Read about sixteen more cases of prosthetics improving the lives of animals in this article. 


Motala 

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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A Pictorial History of Santa Claus

We often think that the image of Santa Claus as we know him came from Thomas Nast’s illustrations or the description in Clement Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Some people will tell you that Santa achieved his modern form thanks to the Coca Cola ads of the 1930s. Those theories are all partially right, but the vision we have of Santa started long before that. A book illustration had Father Christmas wearing a coat and hat trimmed with white fur as far back as 1686! Of course, he’s gone through many incarnations on the way to his modern look. Public Domain Review has a slew of pictures of Kris Kringle through his history, along with explanations of the evolution of the jolly old elf’s look. The magazine cover above is from 1902. -via Digg


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Busking at NYC Subway Turns into an Impromptu Ballet Performance

A string quartet plays inside a subway station in New York City. That's awesome. But then, at the 2:07 mark in the video below, it gets awesomer. A group of ballet dancers pass by. They join in the fun, adding to the beautiful music with beautiful dancing.


(Video Link)

Can anyone identify the music being performed? I've heard it before, but I can't find the title.

-via Jalopnik


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Easy Chocolate "Star Bread" Recipe

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Here's a recipe that is so easy it's a perfect activity to do with the kids. If you count bread mix as one ingredient, it's a three-ingredient recipe, made with egg whites, Nutella and bread dough. It not only looks tasty, but its star shape is festive as well. -Via 22 Words

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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A Fresh Look at Princess Leia’s Slave Outfit

(YouTube link)

British television personality Adam Buxton had a conversation with his 5-year-old daughter about Leia Organa’s slave costume in the movie Return of the Jedi. It’s both refreshing and enlightening to hear the fashion opinion of a child who has no understanding of sexism, or even sexiness, much less objectification and bondage. But this little girl is not quite a blank slate. She’s very well spoken and open to learning new things. It was animated is by The Brother McLeod for the TV special Adam Buxton's Shed Of Christmas. -via reddit

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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200 Calories of Christmas Food and Drink, In Pictures







The ol' visualizing 200 calories treatment is applied to typical Christmas food and drink here. To those familiar with counting calories, this shouldn't be much of a surprise. It does do well to illustrate how many calories can be ingested by partaking in alcoholic drinks, particularly rich drinks like eggnog. But with all that extended family interaction, I wouldn't dream of suggesting people stick to water. We all tend to cut back once January hits, anyway. 

See more of these 200-calorie Christmas fare photos at The Atlantic.  

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Light Show Projects a Ghost Ship onto Water

(Photos: Janus Van Den Eijnden)

This spectral image was a display at the Amsterdam Light Show by VisualSKIN, a Romanian art collective. Hoses sprayed water at angles, creating planes that that could be used as projection screens. Lights created the mysterious image of a Seventeenth Century sailing vessel. You can see more photos at Design Boom.

-via Colossal


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Mr. Night Owl - One Heroic Hooter


Mr. Night Owl by Dann Matthews

How many licks does it take to get to the bottom of a superheroic murder case? That depends on whether anybody is watching you eat that sweet mystery layer by layer, or if you can get tough and chomp down on the clues all at once, getting straight to the bubblegum center of the problem in one bite. Mr. Night Owl knows you can't just watch the action- real men, and male owls, go in and take their lickings with a smiley face, like a roadhouse comedian. What does the murder of a superhero taste like? It's soft like silk, blue like the sky over Manhattan, and as mysterious as a Rorschach test, but much like a spectre it has no taste...

Who will watch you when you wear this Mr. Night Owl t-shirt by Dann Matthews? Only the coolest folks on the planet, namely those who enjoy amazing graphic novels and animated owls, that's who!

Visit Dann Matthews's Facebook fan page, official website, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more ridiculously cool designs:

Peanut Butter Minion Time I Ain't 'Fraid Of No Xeno Maneki Nekobasu White Christmas

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How NORAD Began Tracking Santa

Remember when you were growing up, on Christmas Eve you could hear radio reports of how U.S. military radar picked up a mysterious object flying away from the North Pole? Those reports, called NORAD Tracks Santa, began in 1955, when a Sears store in Colorado Springs invited kids to call Santa Claus, and a typo in the phone number led children to a high-security line at the Continental Air Defense Command. Colonel Harry Shoup was the man who answered the hotline. StoryCorps recently talked to Shoup’s three children about how that first phone call.

His children remember Shoup as straight-laced and disciplined, and he was annoyed and upset by the call and thought it was a joke — but then, Terri says, the little voice started crying.

"And Dad realized that it wasn't a joke," her sister says. "So he talked to him, ho-ho-ho'd and asked if he had been a good boy and, 'May I talk to your mother?' And the mother got on and said, 'You haven't seen the paper yet? There's a phone number to call Santa. It's in the Sears ad.' Dad looked it up, and there it was, his red phone number. And they had children calling one after another, so he put a couple of airmen on the phones to act like Santa Claus."

The phone calls were only the beginning. Read (or listen) to the story of what Shoup did on Christmas Eve that same year that started the tradition and led him to be called “Santa Colonel” for the rest of his life, at NPR. -Thanks, Daniel Kim!

(Images credit: NORAD)


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Ninja Cat's Sneak Attack

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You have to hand it to this cat. He's devised the perfect plan for a sneak attack on his dog housemate. Sure, the dog couldn't care less, but that's no reflection on your smooth moves, kitty. Keep trying. -Via Tastefully Offensive

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Amazing Video: Parasite Leaving Its Host

A horsehair worm leaves its home, the body of a mantis. It's an astonishingly long creature. How did it all fit up inside its host?


(Video Link)

It's entirely possible that you have a horsehair worm in you, too. Do you feel a slight itching sensation? That could be the worm twisting and churning inside of you.

-via Gizmodo, which also provided the .gif


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Gingerbread Enterprise

Look at the detail on this model USS Enterprise made of gingerbread! It’s mounted on a tractor beam made of candy canes hovering over a rocky terrain of cookies and mints. The starship was made by, and on display at, Blackmarket Bakery in California. See it from all angles in an imgur gallery of enlargeable pictures. Set phasers to yum! -via Boing Boing

If this meets up with the gingerbread Borg cube, things could get interesting.


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Don't Eat That, John! -- Pickled Pigs' Feet Cupcakes

I want to leave my mark on the world--to do something significant that will leave an impact on others for generations to come. And, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever made cupcakes flavored with pickled pigs' feet.

Last year, I told you about 10 wonderful ways to eat pigs' feet. Among them are pickled pigs' feet. These are a Southern delicacy. To my great fortune, my parents are from the Deep South, so I was raised on this marvel of pork flesh and vinegar.

When I grew up, we ate them straight out of the jar with a knife and fork. They are fine this way, but they can also be a dessert. These cupcakes have pickled pigs' feet inside, both in the cake and the frosting. They're my latest contribution to our Don't Eat That, John! gourmet dining series.

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The Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2014

This year a stunning breakthrough in reproductive health occurred: a woman was able to give birth with a transplanted uterus. The 36-year-old Swedish woman was born without a uterus, a condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome. She was one of nine Swedish women who had uterine transplants from 2012-2013. The uterus was donated by a 61-year-old family friend of the patient. The birth gives hope to mothers without uteruses or those with damaged uteruses who desire to carry children.

Read more about the birth here. This story is only one of numerous astounding scientific breakthroughs in 2014. Read about others here. 

Image: The Lancet


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The Most Radioactive Places on Earth

(YouTube link)

We hear plenty about the remaining radioactivity near the failed Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine, but what about other places? Dereck Muller of Veritasium takes us on a tour of other historically radioactive sites such as Fukushima, Hiroshima, Marie Curie’s office, the Trinity test site, a uranium mine, and the basement of Pripyat’s hospital. The amount of radiation is presented in bananas as a visualization device to keep track of which place is more dangerous. -via Viral Viral Videos


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Batman Hobo Nickel

A "hobo nickel" is a nickel that has been inscribed with appealing images. During the Great Depression, poor people sometimes made them to sell, which is how the folk art form got its name.

Shaun Hughes is an artist who makes hobo nickels professionally. We've previously featured some of his pop culture nickels, which include Spider-Man and stormtroopers. For this nickel, Hughes changed the Indian head on a Buffalo nickel to Batman.


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McVitie’s Victoria

(YouTube link)

This is a silly yet strangely charming Christmas ad for cookies, which are called biscuits in the UK. It features cute and somewhat uncanny baby animals singing a song I like but can’t place my finger on. There’s a surprise baby animal you would never expect to see… you’ll have to watch for that one yourself. -via Metafilter


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Ice Formations on a Slovenian Mountain Top



Photographer Marko Korosec climbed Mount Javornik in eastern Slovenia after a storm and found this icy, wind-swept wonderland at the site of a ski center. Korosec estimated the ice spikes seen here to be over 3 feet in length. View all photos from this shoot at Korosec's 500px page. 

Images: Marko Korosec | Via Colossal





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The Heroes Of Ooo - Two Awesome Bros, One Big Adventure


The Heroes Of Ooo by Tom Trager

When the sun sets on the Land of Ooo the citizens, whether candy, critter or mutant, feel a bit safer knowing that Finn and Jake are out there spanking bad guy buns and making everything totally awesome again. They're the Heroes of Ooo, but they weren't always the totally mathematical bros you see before you. Once upon a time they were nothing but a pair of dweebs who got picked on by the local toughies, usually guys with really big muscles and equally big moustaches, but with a little training, some luck and a lot of heart they're becoming the big time heroes they've always wanted to be.

Keep your closet full of animated adventures with this The Heroes Of Ooo t-shirt by Tom Trager, isn't it about time you brought some heroic fantasy to your geeky wardrobe?

Visit Tom Trager's Facebook fan page, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more mighty cool designs:

Kill Them All Slayer of Vampyres The Game Is On Breaking Xmas Sweater-Style

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39 Dishes from the First Christmas Menu, Published in 1660

If you want to try something new for Christmas dinner, you might try something very old. However, you’ll need to have a particularly carnivorous guest list.

The first known suggested menu for Christmas dinner was from 1660 book The Accomplisht Cook by Robert May. May was a chef to the nobility, so let’s assume this menu is supposed to feed a lot of people. It’s a list of 39 dishes, in which 35 or so of them are meat. Then there’s salad, quince pie, and custard. There's also something called “Made dish in puff paste,” whatever that is (probably meat). Otherwise it’s a flock of geese, chickens, swans, ducks, turkeys, pheasants, and other birds, plus venison, mutton, rabbit, pork, beef, and fish -and a few other animals. Read the list, with some information about some of the more obscure recipes, at mental_floss. In case you were wondering, there are partridges on the menu, and pears, although not in the same dish.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Geeky Vinyl Record Clocks

The Hobbit

Greg Durt makes clocks inspired by pop culture. His source material consists of old vinyl records, which he has cut precisely to reveal scenes from Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, and other franchises. I've seen vinyl record sculptures before, but none cut so perfectly!

Bob's Burgers

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Virgil the Poodle vs. the Electric Toothbrush

YouTube Link

Virgil the standard poodle must be a major fan of oral hygiene via the electric toothbrush. Every time the brush is switched on, Virgil shows his teeth. Surely he's baring his teeth because he's ready for a good brushing, and not because he wants to attack the brush. We'll give you the benefit of the doubt, Virgil!

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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The Best Literal LOLS in Cake Wrecks History

A “literal LOL” happens when a bake shop clerk writes down instructions for a custom cake, and then the decorator takes them a bit too literally -as in writing the instructions on the cake in icing. Jenn Yates at Cake Wrecks went through her archives and has posted a two-part list of the best instances that have appeared at Cake Wrecks. See them in part one and part two.



And if you’re a 12-year-old boy at heart, you might also want to check out Cake Wrecks' Top 12 Unintentionally Erotic Cakes.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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A Complete Ranking of Every Adaptation of A Christmas Carol

(Image: BBC)

Charles Dickens's novella A Christmas Carol has captivated audiences for over 170 years. It has inspired many film adaptations and special episodes of television shows. Leah Schnelbach of Tor has ranked 11 of them, which probably does not constitute "every," but I'm going with her headline. They include a Muppet version, a Beavis and Butthead version, and a Quantum Leap version.

I had forgotten about Blackadder's Christmas Carol. It taught an important moral lesson often neglected by Christmas films: if you are kind and generous, people will take advantage of you. Keep it up and eventually you will look like the gentleman on the left.


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The Mundane and the Weird: British News Headlines

We are always looking for weird news stories to pass along to you. It’s an easy shortcut to check British news sites for that sort of thing -yet you have to sift through the many local stories that leave you with a feeling of “That’s it?” because no matter how small a British paper or it’s accompanying website is, they go with stories that would be passed over as "not news" in the U.S. The website UsVsTh3m looked at extremely mundane stories that make the papers, with a few truly bizarre stories thrown in to keep us looking -just like it happens when I surf the net. I still have to wonder if these headlines are really posted on sidewalk signs, or if there’s a British news sign generator somewhere. -via b3ta


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Crappy Winter Wonderland Forced To Close After Just One Day

(Image Link)

When families go out looking for a place that evokes that old time Christmas feeling, chances are they’re looking for something far better than the so-called Magical Winterland in Harrogate, UK, the attraction that was so bad it was forced to close after just one day.

(Image Link)

The Magical Winterland suckered people into buying presale tickets with promises of holiday fun for the whole family, including a Frozen singalong and photo-op with Olaf, but when guests arrived at the showground they found the saddest displays ever, all leading to the saddest live reindeer ever.

(Image Link)

And what about a meet-and-greet with Olaf? It seems Olaf would rather melt than be associated with the crappy winter wonderland!

(Image Link)

The company responsible for this Christmastime blunder of Grinchian proportions has since gone bankrupt, and they're currently under investigation by the North Yorkshire Trading Standards pending the forced closure.

I dunno- seems like a pretty accurate depiction of the holiday season to me!

-Via Dangerous Minds  (Images via Ross Parry)


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