World Record for the Rubik's Cube Now Stands at 5.25 Seconds

That's all the time that 17-year old Collin Burns needed to solve a 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube. He did so at a competition at Central Bucks West High School in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. This broke a previous world record of 5.55 seconds.

It's a very casual scene. People are playfully milling about, unaware that someone is about to perform an astonishing feat. Burns checks out the cube for a few seconds and places it on the table. When he picks it up, the clock starts.


(Video Link)

-via Gizmodo


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Smell-O-Vision: That Movie Really Did Stink!

The following is an article from the book Uncle John’s Perpetually Pleasing Bathroom Reader.

Hollywood has produced a lot of bad movies over the years, but most of the time when we say we saw a real “stinker,” we don’t mean it literally. Most of the time. Behold the wonder of Smell-O-Vison.

DOCTOR NO(SE)

Dr. Hans Laube was a Swiss inventor who designed machinery that removed stale, bad-smelling air from theaters and auditoriums in the late 1930s. Or at least that’s what he did until it dawned on him that it should also be possible to reverse the process and inject pleasing odors into large enclosed spaces. Not long after that, he developed a system that piped artificial scents through a network of tubes to the back of every individual seat in a movie theater, releasing them into the air just a few feet away from the nose of every person in the audience.

Laube called his invention “Scentovision.” To demonstrate it, he produced a 35-minute film that he called Mein Traum, or “My Dream,” and presented it at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Mein Traum’s scenes were timed to Scentovision’s smells: When roses appeared on-screen, the projectionist manually released the scent of rose oil into the theater; in other scenes, viewers were treated to snootfuls of peaches, burning incense, frying bacon, fresh-cut hay, and hot tar.

FATHER AND SON

Laube hoped to interest theater owners in outfitting their movie houses with Scentovision, but there were no takers. A decade after the stock market crash of 1929, the United States was still mired in the Great Depression, and theater owners had their hands full just keeping their doors open. Scentovision faded away and remained forgotten for nearly 20 years.

That it re-emerged at all was thanks to Broadway producer Mike Todd Sr. and his son, Mike Jr. The two of them had attended a screening of Mein Traum at the World’s Fair in 1939. When the elder Todd branched out into motion pictures in the 1950s, he remembered Scentovision and was intrigued by the idea of making Hollywood’s first “smellies.” But he died in a plane crash in 1958 before he could bring his plans to fruition. (Does his name sound familiar? Todd was Elizabeth Taylor’s third husband.)

BY ANY OTHER NAME

 

Mike Jr. took over the reins after his father’s death and hired Hans Laube to come up with an improved version of Scentovision.

Laube’s original system had relied on projectionists to release the smells in the proper order at the proper times. To eliminate human error, he came up with something he called a “Smell Brain” to release the odors automatically: Bottles containing the scents were loaded into a rotating drum in the order that they were to be released into the theater. A “smell track” similar to a soundtrack used electromagnetic cues to tell the Smell Brain when to release each scent. As soon as one was discharged, the drum advanced the next bottle into position to await the next electromagnetic cue. Puffs of fresh air and even chemical deodorants could be released into the theater between smells to act as nasal palate cleansers.

Todd insisted on one more improvement: Laube’s invention had to be renamed. Convinced that the nickname “smell-o-vision” was inevitable, he wanted “to get the jump on those who will call it that anyway,” and Scentovision became Smell-O-Vision. The new name wasn’t nearly as classy as the old one, but so what? “I don’t understand how you can be ‘dignified’ about a process that injects smells into a theater,” Todd said.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, AROMA!

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"Finally--A Question about Something Important": Stephen Hawking on the Boy Band One Direction


(Photos: Lwp Kommunikáció/Hot Gossip Italia)

On Saturday night, Professor Stephen Hawking took questions from an audience in the Sydney Opera House. The acclaimed physicist addressed an important issue: the abrupt and wrenching depature of singer Zayn Malik from the boy band One Direction. BuzzFeed quotes the questioner:

What do you think is the cosmological effect of Zayn leaving One Direction and consequently breaking the hearts of millions of teenage girls across the world?


(Video Link)

Prof. Hawking responded perfectly:

“Finally, a question about something important,” he said.

“My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics. Because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes.”

“It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another different universe.”

“And in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction.”

It got better still for the questioner. “This girl may like to know that in another possible universe, she and Zayn are happily married,” Hawking added.

-via Daily Telegraph


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Disabled Student Piggybacked to School For Three Years by Friend

Friend helping a friend

For the past three years, 18-year old Chinese student Xie Xu has been voluntarily carrying his 19-year-old classmate Zhang Chi to school and back. Zhang Chi's muscles are weakened by muscular dystrophy which makes it difficult for him to get around by himself. Xie made the decision to help his friend after watching him struggle to get to class.

The two have never missed a day of school and are top students. 

Read more of story over at The Telegraph.

photo via Tencent News


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Priceless Headlines

Layout editors have an important job to do, but rarely have the time to do it properly, since deadlines get stretched to the last second. Even worse, many newspapers just do without a qualified layout editor these days. This can lead to unexpected consequences when no one checks for headline juxtaposition. In this case, the run-un headlines are more interesting than the actual stories. Found at Bad Newspaper.


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Mickeal Delalande’s Delicate Wire Sculptures

Mickael Delalande is an artist and graphic designer in France. He makes wire sculptures that look like animals and household objects. They often create the impressions of wire frames around more solid objects—like we’re living inside a 3d modeling program.

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You Can Now Rent Goats On Amazon

No one likes yardwork and chemical weed killers tend to be terrible for the environment. That's why goat rental has become a popular alternative for clearing large swatches of land. While we previously covered this trend, it was still sort of a fringe service that wasn't available commercially in many areas. 

But all that's changing thanks to Amazon's new service section which was recently launched. The company offers all the usual local services like plumbing, home cleaning, computer repair, but they also offer two unusual options in their "other" category, namely goat grazing and silk aerialists

So next time you're planning a big party in the middle of an unkempt field, just head to Amazon and rent a goat to clear out the space and a silk performer to entertain your guests. If you time things just right maybe your guests will get to enjoy a goats-only petting zoo too.

Via Hello Giggles

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

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Sleeping In

(Chris Hallbeck/Minimumble)

Having more to do doesn't encourage me to get up earlier. In fact, if you have a lot to do, then you'll need plenty of energy for the work. That means getting enough sleep to do the job. So this part of the day is really just preparing for the work that happens later.


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The Empire Loves Balloons - A Force For Fun


The Empire Loves Balloons by Jeremy Hawkins

When the Empire decides to throw a party they stock plenty of Sith coolers, some tasty Darth chocolate cakes and, of course, plenty of colorful balloons! You can't see his reaction because he's got a helmet on, but Lord Vader absolutely adores balloons- he likes to suck the helium out of them and talk with a funny voice, he loves to rub them on wookiees and watch the static cling make their fur stand up straight, and he absolute adores popping them behind unwitting clone troopers, making them scream with surprise!

Become the life of the geeky party wherever you go with this The Empire Loves Balloons t-shirt by Jeremy Hawkins, it's a colorful way to get geared up for movie night!

Visit Jeremy Hawkins's Facebook fan page, official website, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more mighty geeky designs:

Return Of The Phantom Hey Kid, Get Your Headphones On! Mouth Of Ghouls LOL vs WTF

View more designs by Jeremy Hawkins | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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Beautiful Jewelry Inspired by the Houses and Characters Of Game of Thrones



Rana Levy is not only a student majoring in physics and mathematics, she's also the owner of Daedra Jewelry. Under that name she creates these lovely, crystal adorned rings, lockets and necklaces inspired by Game of Thrones, Lord of the RingsElder Scrolls and The Hobbit. The metals have an antique look and are embellished with ornate detail.

Visit Levy's online store to check out her selection of beautiful baubles. 

Via Design Taxi | Images: Rana Levy / Daedra Jewelry



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Best Astronaut Portrait Ever

Leland Devon Melvin posed for his official NASA portrait with his dogs Jake and Scout! You can see they were excited about it. More pictures were taken after the dogs calmed down. Melvin was an NFL player until injuries ended his career, then an astronaut, flying on two shuttle missions to the ISS, until hearing failure grounded him. Melvin still works with NASA, and with several organizations to promote STEM education. Besides all that, he’s a photographer, snowboarder, and dog lover. -via Daily of the Day

(Image credit: NASA)


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Uncover The Mysteries Of Gravity Falls

If you’re a cartoon fan who hasn't watched the newish animated series Gravity Falls it’s probably because you either haven’t heard of it, or you decided to pass because it airs on Disney XD.

Either way, all you toonheads out there owe it to yourselves to check out Gravity Falls, because it’s amazing on so many levels!

If you’re a fan of the show then you know awesome stuff happens in Gravity Falls, like Neil DeGrasse Tyson lending his voice to Waddles The Pig for one very special episode, not to mention Summerween.

(YouTube Link)

But even the most diehard fan can learn plenty of stuff about their favorite cryptozoic conspiracy themed cartoon show in a mental_floss article entitled 14 Fun Facts About Gravity Falls.

Want to discover the origin story of main characters Mabel (based on creator Alex Hirsch’s twin sister) and the grumbly Grunkle Stan (based on Alex’s grandpa Stan)? Don't be afraid to learn the truth, read on and discover what lurks behind the scenes of Gravity Falls!

Read 14 Fun Facts About Gravity Falls here


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New Classes Help Toddlers Prepare for That All-Important Nursery School Interview

(Photo: BBC)

Yoyo Chan is one and a half years old. She has a big task ahead of her: nailing the nursery school interview. Doing so can get her into the best nursery school, which can lead to the best kindergarten, then elmentary school, and, eventually, the best medical school.

It all comes down to now. Focus, Yoyo. Focus.

In Hong Kong, many parents want their kids to offer their best at the competitive nursery school interview process. A dozen openings at a top school can lead to a thousand applications. So some companies now offer to train toddlers to perform better than their competitors during the interviews. Helier Cheung reports for the BBC:

At interview class, Yoyo is asked to greet the tutor and introduce herself. The tutor then asks her to complete a number of tasks, including building a house with bricks, drawing a picture, sticking two felt eyes in the right position on a felt face, and identifying pieces of fruit.

A little shy to begin with, Yoyo quickly warms up and appears to enjoy the tasks and playing with the toys.

"These classes and interviews can be hard work," says her mother, Emma. "But I do want her to be prepared. Most parents want their child to have a good start."

One nursery Emma is keen on had more than 100 interviewees for just nine places, so she'll do whatever she can to increase her daughter's chances of success.

Yoyo's younger brother, still a baby, will begin interview classes in a few months, she says - when he's about eight months old.

-via Dave Barry

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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The Running Testicle

Over 38,000 runners participated in the London Marathon today, including celebrities, a couple who got married during the race, and quite a few who were raising money or awareness for various causes. There were also plenty of people in costume, whether they represented a charity, advertised a sponsor, or were just trying to draw attention. Jack Woodward, shown here, ran for the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign. See a collection of 17 costumed runners in the London Marathon at Buzzfeed.


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Guinea Pigs Who Are Part of a Dog Pack

There's something downright delightful about interspecies friendships and these guinea pigs who have befriended puppies are practically the definition of cuteness. From odd couples like the ones above to the perfectly-matched pair below, animal lovers are sure to get a kick out of these cute friendships.

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

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John Denver's "Country Roads" Sung in Japanese is Completely Charming


(Video Link)

And I'm not entirely sure why. But I couldn't help but grin through this entire performance. It's by the band Goose House, which added a banjo to its normal repertoire. This version of the song is just a bit different from this performance of it by John Denver while touring in Japan. No matter who sings it or where, everyone wants to go back home to West Virginia.

-via American Digest


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Magical Facts About Harry Potter

(Video Link)

We love trivia about our favorite books and movies and this great TopTenz article has fun facts about both books and movies. For example, did you know Dame Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall) went through chemotherapy to fight breast cancer while she was acting in the two final films? Or that Daniel Radcliffe's stunt double was paralyzed while filming a flying scene?


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Pair Tea And Cheese To Discover Unique Third Flavor

People have launched culinary careers based on their knowledge of which wine pairs well with a particular cheese, because people love cheese and wine and anybody who doesn’t care for either simply cannot be trusted.

But there’s one combo that has yet to make it to the mainstream, a combo that the cutting edge culinarians have only recently started to explore- cheese and tea.

Pairing a particular type of tea with the proper cheese is supposed to unlock a third flavor, and you won't have to worry about having a hangover the next day!

Here’s the theory behind this new idea in culinary pairing:

The flavor profiles of both beverages run a similar thread—think tannins, age, astringency, and sweetness. For example, a cheese that pairs with a wine high in tannins, would also match a tea high in tannins. Same applies for astringent wine and teas. Salty cheeses go with sweet wines the same way they work with a sweeter tea like Dong Ding or Dong Pian (a late winter harvest of oolong that is especially sweet). People often link tea and coffee, but tea is, in fact, more closely related to wine with regard to tasting profiles.

Read on to discover how to Pair Tea With Cheese To Unlock The Elusive "Third Flavor"

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Boba Fett Pizza

With a few bell peppers, olives, and the right shape, Wendi created a pizza that looks just like the helmet of Star Wars fans' favorite bounty hunter. Now it just needs to be slowly baked inside the oven for over a thousand years.

-via Between the Pages


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I'll Be Your Sith Lord - The Dark Side Of Swagger


I'll Be Your Sith Lord Part 2 by Joefixit2

No Sith Lord will ever be accused of being humble, and those Darths who decide to paint their face are even more vain than their helmeted brethren. So what are you missing if you've got the fierce warpaint and the Sith swagger? A sassy t-shirt, that's what! Imagine the looks on the faces of your fellow clubgoers when they see you saunter in with your Maul face on and this sick t-shirt covering your torso. Looks like you don't need force choke to shut those haters up!

Add a touch of dark humor to your geeky wardrobe with this I'll Be Your Sith Lord Part 2 t-shirt by Joefixit2, it's a great way to get all dressed up and ready to go see Episode VII!

Visit Joefixit2's official website, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more super cool designs:

Papa Smurf Is Coming Poe University Fightin' Ravens The Warriors Come Out And Play The Adventures Of Harry & Hedwig

View more designs by Joefixit2 | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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Eight Ways Shows Have Killed Off Unhappy Actors

Image: CBS / Comedy Central / USA

Actor Jay Thomas who played Eddie LeBec on Cheers apparently wasn't fond of his onscreen wife Carla, played by Rhea Perlman. Thomas made the mistake of making a disparaging remark about Perlman on his radio show, and that was "all she wrote" for Thomas on the series. The writers killed Thomas off in a violent yet humorous way: while performing as a penguin in an ice show, Eddie LeBec died in a freak Zamboni accident. That will teach anyone to mess with Carla.

Read other instances of unhappy actors having their characters killed in creative ways by the writers here.


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A Look at Disneyland's Squished Coin Presses

My daughter knows that the only trip souvenir I allow is a squished penny. They're fun to look at, inexpensive, and don't take up much space. She's cool with that rule, as we both take great pride in displaying our ever-growing collection in "penny passports."

We were happy to hear that, for Disneyland's 60th anniversary Diamond Celebration, the park's elongated coin machines will feature some all new pressings. In fact, there will be over 40 new designs.

For 25 years, Disneyland Electromechanical Shop worker Rob Johnson has been making and maintaining coin presses for the resort. In this video, he shares a look behind these collectibles:

That guy really loves his job!

via Disney Parks Blog


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Possums Are Surprisingly Cute While Eating

(Video Link)

There are a lot of people out there who don't like possums. It's not too surprising, given that when encountered in the wild, they aren't exactly friendly. But when they are raised as pets, they are actually surprisingly friendly and cuddly. These cute little snackers aren't in teddy bear mode, but they are still pretty darn precious as the munch down their sweet treats.

Via Incredible Things

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

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What Each State Has More of than Others

What does your state have more of than other states per capita? This map has some superlative for each of the 50 states, some of which are kind of surprising (Georgia, Texas), others not so much (Utah, Kentucky). Of course, every state is tops at something, but many states are tops at several things. In those cases, Estately selected the most provocative thing to label a state. They posted a list of source links for each superlative, in case you can’t believe them. See, Georgia is not overrun with pandas, but Zoo Atlanta has seven living there now, and no other state in the U.S. can match that.  -via Daily of the Day


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People Who Have Mastered The Art Of The Passive Aggressive Note

Communicating with your fellow humans can be hard work, and people who refuse to express the problems they’re having with you in any form other than a passive aggressive note are downright difficult to handle.

(Image Link)

But would the world be a better place without the passive aggressive and their notes?

We’d be robbed of the comedic potential found in these notes, we’d punch each other’s lights out every other day, and those who have trouble vocalizing their problems would probably go postal without an outlet for their angst.

(Image Link)

Luckily, the passive aggressive have found a way to share their unique voice with the world, as their hilarious notes are able to reach a much wider audience via the interwebs. Now both sides of the issue can freely share and discuss their feelings without fear of repercussion!

(Image Link)

See 39 People Doing Passive-Aggressive Way Better Than You here


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A Sky Full of Paratroopers

(Photo: US Air Force)

The sky over Fort Bragg, North Carolina rained freedom in early April. Then, in the largest exercise of its kind there in 20 years, the US Air Force, Marine Corps, Air National Guard, and Royal Air Force dropped a combined 2,100 troops to the ground. The purpose of this exercise was to demonstrate the interopability of these forces and make it easier for the US and UK to engage in joint operations in the future. The Army Times reports:

The long-term goal is to have the ability to integrate the 16 Air Assault Brigade into the 82nd Airborne Division, allowing the two units to operate quickly and seamlessly if they're ever called upon to respond together in an emergency. […]

The American and British soldiers have taken advantage of their time together to learn about each other's equipment, tactics and standard operating procedures, said Lt. Col. Mike Shervington, commander of 3 Para.

One example is having U.S. soldiers jumping out of British aircraft and vice versa, he said.

"That sounds easy, but it's not," Shervington said.

For starters, the two armies use different parachutes – the T-11 for the Americans and the Low Level Parachute, or LLP.

The T-11 carries more weight, while the LLP opens at a lower level, Shervington said. The LLP also has a shorter count before the static line releases the parachute; three seconds instead of six for the T-11, he said.

-via Gizmodo

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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30 Days Without Sugar

(YouTube link)

Three people take the challenge to give up sugar for a month -which also includes giving up artificial sweeteners and honey. These are folks who drank soda all day, so it was not easy, but it was a life-changing experience. Do you think you could survive a month without sugar?

My daughter went on the Daniel fast a couple of years ago, which was three weeks of no sugar, meat, dairy, fried food, or processed grains. It was difficult shopping for such a diet, because when you read ingredients, everything in the store has added sugar! Even in the health food section, you see “dehydrated organic cane syrup,” which is a euphemism for sugar. I still don’t understand why a can of kidney beans has sugar in it. But she managed it, and learned to love a variety of fruits and vegetables along the way (she learned to cook, too). Two years later, she still eats healthily, and I keep a never-ending seasonal fruit bowl for the whole family to enjoy.

-via Buzzfeed

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Dry Dog, Wet Dog



Brisbane, Australia-based photographer Serenah Hodson captured her delightful series, aptly named "Dry Dog Wet Dog," in the most likely circumstance that a dog will throw anyone the Stink Eye. Not only are these normally fluffily coiffed pups all wet, but some of them appear to be a little miffed. And why not? To think that any human would interfere with their ripe doggy scent by giving them a bath, only then to make them sit still for a camera shoot? The incredible nerve! Hodson says of her series,

"Dry Dog Wet Dog came about with washing my own dogs. Their personalities change when they know it's bath time. So I decided to create a series of the different looks and not only personalities but the difference in look from groomed to wet. We get such great texture on the dog when the hair is wet. Some dogs look completely different when wet and this was the joy I wanted to capture."

See more of Serenah Hodson's adorable series here, and visit her website and Facebook page to follow her award-winning work. 

Images: Serenah Hodson


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

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"I Am Big Bird" -- Meet the Man Inside the Muppet


(Photo: Ben Zucker/The Guardian)

In 1969, puppeteer Caroll Spinney donned the enormous Big Bird costume for the first season of Sesame Street. He still does 45 years later. Spinney writes in The Guardian that it led to fascinating experiences:

I once got a letter from Nasa, asking if I would be willing to join a mission to orbit the Earth as Big Bird, to encourage kids to get interested in space. There wasn’t enough room for the puppet in the end, and I was replaced by a teacher. In 1986, we took a break from filming to watch takeoff, and we all saw the ship blow apart. The six astronauts and teacher all died, and we just stood there crying.

Big Bird is a complex mechanism that requires considerable skill. Spinney describes how it works:

Big Bird is actually a puppet; my right arm is his neck, and my right hand moves his head, with my little finger controlling his eyebrows, moving them up and down to show when he’s thinking. I can change his expression by tilting his head toward the camera at a different angle. My left hand is in the left wing, which is linked to the right wing with fishing wire. I can’t see anything outside the suit when I’m in it, so I wear a little monitor strapped to my chest, which shows me what the viewers see at home.

In the early days, each scene was very simple and I could memorise my lines on the spot, but the show evolved and the storylines became much more elaborate as the years passed, so now I keep my cues and my lines taped to the inside of the costume.

-via KP


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An Iron Man Glove With a Laser That Burns Through Wood

YouTube Link

Avengers fan and owner of Laser Gadgets Patrick Priebe has fashioned an Iron Man glove equipped with lasers, sound effects and other fun gizmos. The glove has two lasers and a launcher that ejects small “shells.” The blue laser packs a punch, with the ability to burn wood and pop balloons in an instant. The red laser also pops balloons and generally looks cool, red and lasery. Neatorama! See the video above for Priebe's demonstration. -Via Daily Dot


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