Learning to Love Death: New Museum Takes a Walk on the Shadow Side

You may be familiar with the blog Morbid Anatomy, but now it’s much more than a blog. It has expanded into a library and a museum with a lecture hall. The Morbid Anatomy Museum is set to open in Brooklyn in May. Collectors Weekly talked to founder Joanna Ebenstein about the new museum.

Morbid Anatomy started out about death, but now it’s expanded now to be about a lot of things that fall through the cracks, things that we don’t talk about in a dignified discourse. So the fact that the history of paranormal research has been swept under the carpet interests me, in the same way we choose not to think about how Sir Isaac Newton was as interested in alchemy as he was in mathematics. I’m interested, too, in the fact that humans are essentially non-rational beings, but we want to be rational. We try, right? Death, the paranormal, alchemy, belief, faith, saints, and relics—these things all speak to something else that we need to have answered.

Ebenstein talks about how her interest in death and its incarnations began and how it grew into a career, and she tells us about some of the unique exhibits we can see when Morbid Anatomy Museum opens

(Image credit: Joanna Ebenstein)


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New Items from the NeatoShop:



IKEA-Style Guillotine

(Photo: Paddle8)

Sure, we'd all like to have a sturdy, permanent guillotine in the home. We'd all like to have a high-qualty piece of craftsmanship that we can pass on to our children. But if you're just getting started--such as moving in to your first apartment--then you also need to save money. That's where the Søkkømb comes in. It's a flat pack, ready-to-assemble execution engine that makes a tasteful contribution to any home decor. Here's how the manufacturer describes it:

Are you full of energy? Have you lots of things to do and too little time to do them? Are you increasingly annoyed by all those criminals, immigrants and petty people who should just be got rid of? Your dynamic, active rhythm demands quick, summary justice and you are the person to do it. Too bad you just don’t have the time.

You are the person we thought aboutwhen we designed Søkkømb, an easily-assembled guillotine for the whole family. A practical solution, quick and clean, ideal for all your security needs. By assembling Søkkømb in the comfort of your own living room, you can relax safe in the knowledge that the punishment will fit the crime. So you can finally be your own boss in your own house.

Søkkømb is made from the best solid pine and comes equipped with a sturdy blade in stainless steel. It is light and versatile and is guaranteed effective for up to 100 executions a day.

Several will be available in European IKEA stores in the future. But if you really want one now, you can bid on one that's up for auction with Paddle8 (warning: flashing images).

-via Nerdcore


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Les Pyramides d'Égypte

(vimeo link)

There are more ancient Egyptian secrets than we can imagine waiting to be discovered underneath the sands of time. If only we could find the remote control! This video from Kheops Pyramides lets us in on one story that no one ever believed because there was no hard evidence to be found. -via Kuriositas


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The Magical Miniature World Of Snails

Snails are generally seen as garden pests, crunchy sidewalk debris and potential escargot, but if we could see the world from a snail's point of view we would discover a miniature world full of natural wonder, beautiful color and life that moves at a snail's pace.

Photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko went way down low to capture the amazing miniature world of the snail, and his photo series reveals the magical world snails live in, a tiny world which can only be properly viewed with the help of a macro lens.

-Via Bored Panda

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

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The Vietnam War Draft Lottery

During the Vietnam War, the prospect of being drafted was an overwhelming part of being a young man. From 1969 to 1972, drafts were determined by lottery. Birth dates were drawn to see who would be called up first. The lower your draft number, the more likely you were on your way to Vietnam. Vietnam War Draft Lottery collects stories of what it was like to have your fate resting on a piece of paper drawn from a glass bowl. It was one lottery you did not want to win. Here’s one of the stories.

On the day of the lottery, I was in Biochemistry laboratory at university.  When I finished my lab I ran back to the dorm to watch the lottery with all my buddies.  We were all freaked out.  During the three years since I graduated from high school in 1966, I had gone to the funerals of 16 close and not-so close friends who had died in Viet Nam.  They had joined right after high school in the “Buddy System”.  I remember the ads: “Who better to watch your back than your buddy.”  
 
We were the war babies. Since we were kids we played war in our back yards.  We were given BB guns for Christmas and wore Army helmets we bought at Army Surplus stores.  We were raised on the stories, films and television shows of the heroics in the Second World War.  It’s almost like we were preparing for our own war.  Well, we got our war.  But, it wasn't a world war; it was a small war, against a small country that was having a civil war.  I think if it had been a world war…we would have all enlisted.  But it wasn't, and now it was our war nevertheless.

I arrived at the dorm and went to my friend’s room where 12 of us were watching the lottery.  I remember we had cases of beers to help us through.  We knew this day could forever change our lives.  When I came into the room I could feel the tension and see that the lottery had already started.  It wasn't a big show on TV; it was just a series of numbers scrolling across the bottom of the screen while “I Love Lucy” played above. I arrived at the drawing of the 21st number.  I had missed the first 20 numbers. Was my number one of the first 20? Of course I asked everyone if they saw my birth date come up, but everyone was concentrated on their own numbers and no one remembered the other dates.  I had no way to find out what numbers had already been drawn, so I had to watch the whole process and hope that I wasn't already chosen. By the time number 300 was drawn I was convinced I was going to war.  By number 350 I had accepted my fate; I had to be one of the first 20 numbers I had missed.

It wasn't that I didn't love my country, I did, but after so many of my friends dying, I wasn't sure that fighting a war over political ideals--communism vs. democracy--was as important as the government was saying.  Let them be communists if they want to be.  Who are we to force a political system on another country?

I was freaked out to say the least.  By number 360 I had decided that I would join the Marines.  If I was going to go, I wanted to go as the best. My birthday, February 26, was finally drawn at number 365.  I had won the lottery.  After three years of constant stress always hanging over my head, I relaxed.  I believe I stayed drunk for the next 2 weeks.  Three of my friends in the room that day died in the next two years in Viet Nam. It was a day I will never forget.  "

There are many submitted personal stories about the draft lottery. Read about how the first lottery was aired, and see a video here.  -via Metafilter

(Image credit: National Archives)


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First Instagram From Space is a Selfie (with this NeatoShop Artist's Shirt)

If you're sending the very first Instagram selfie from space, it better be epic! NASA astronaut Steve Swanson did just that ... with a neat T-shirt design to boot!

Swanson posed in front of the space station's cupola and wrote "Back on ISS, life is good." He wore the Everything's Shiny - Shipping and Logistics design by NeatoShop artist Bomdesignz (Bora Markovic). The design shows the Serenity spaceship, and is inspired by the popular TV series Firefly.

Markovic, the Cypriot designer, said to Philenews "When I first saw the photo online, I felt that I had seen it somewhere. Looking at it again, I realized that it's my shirt. I didn't believe it at first!" Markovic noted that the design is available on several T-shirt sites (one of which is his NeatoShop).


Everything's Shiny - Shipping & Logistics by Bomdesignz

You may not be able to visit the ISS in person, but you can be as stylish as Swanson with Markovic's shirt.


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The Trio Fantastique - A Robot Band From The 1950s

Once upon the 1950s there was a robot band who rocked the rivets off the competition for only a nickel a song, a band called the Trio Fantastique who were created and managed by a mad scientist engineer named Zenon Specht (no relation).

The Trio Fantastique consisted of Wink on guitar, Blink on drums, and Nod who rocked the saxophone, and they were the house band for Antwerp’s Robot Club, also making appearances in various fairs and departments stores around France between 1954 and 1959.

They were made of shiny metal, they played songs via piano roll technology, and they could Bebop with the best of 'em because they actually played their instruments! (Here's a short clip of these marvels of retro technology gettin' their groove on.)

-Via io9


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Does a Bear Fall in the Woods?

(YouTube link)

Animal welfare officials were called when a bear was spotted 30 feet up in a tree in Panama City, Florida. The 250-pound bear was shot with a tranquilizer gun. To catch the falling bear, the crew erected a tarp as a sort of net a few feet off the ground. But a tarp is not as strong as a 250-pound bear falling from a 30-foot height, as anyone should have figured out. The bear tore right through and hit the ground with a splat. The bear was uninjured, and fortunately, slept right through the ordeal. -via Arbroath

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

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My Web Slinging Neighbor


My Friendly Neighbor by Ruwah

Why, hello neighbor! I'm just swingin' by to tell you about this amazing My Friendly Neighbor t-shirt by Ruwah! You'd have to be a webhead not to appreciate this colorful crossover, and it's the perfect way to spark a nerdy conversation at your next geek-stravaganza. Won't you be my friendly neighborhood neighbor?

Visit Ruwah's Facebook and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more friendly designs:

Powerpuff Goddesses Turks Fiction Succession of Witches Nightmare

View more designs by Ruwah | 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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Add Some Burliness to Your Office Work with This Wheelbarrow Chair

Two German designers, Sascha Urban and Dorothea Wirwall, developed this chair. They call it the “Loungebarrow.” It’s a wheelbarrow with a plywood cover. A comfortable padded chair and laptop computer desk fold out. I can imagine it serving as portable seating in a creative agency’s meeting space.

Now if only we had a proper wheelbarrow, that would be something!

-via Dornob


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28 Birthday Traditions From Around the World

(YouTube link)

Since the mental_floss YouTube series a year old now, John Green is celebrating by examining birthday traditions around the world in this week’s mental_floss video. We make a wish and blow out candles on a cake, but while cakes are common, that’s not a universal custom. Some countries have other tasty treats, and a lot of places have customs involving smearing food on the honoree.  


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Garfield Invades Calvin & Hobbes and Dilbert

In a 3-part series, cartoonist Andy Pandy imagines Garfield crossing the funny pages in the newspaper to visit other comic strips. I guess that he's getting a little bored with life in Jon's home.

Maybe he and Dilbert could swap places for a few weeks.


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Orbital Mechanics

 

Who says video games aren’t educational? This low-key endorsement from Randall Munroe at xkcd (who is a former NASA roboticist) will probably do more for the game Kerbal Space Program than all the splashy ads they could buy.  

If you have no clue what orbital mechanics are, another word for the term is astrodynamics, meaning the science of how spacecraft move.


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Cheap Wine Reviewed By An Irish Brewmaster

(Video Link)

People who choose to drink cheap wines like Boone's Farm and Franzia typically do so for one reason- the price. They’re not picky about the flavor notes, or the aftertaste, or the aroma- cheap wine drinkers want to get their buzz on without spending too much money, and they don't really care about reviews good or bad.

However, maybe the companies that make these cheap wines will appreciate some input from an Irish brewmaster named Damian McConn, a guy who enjoys flavor notes and aromas and such.

Damian share his reviews of some of the most popular cheap wines in this BuzzFeed presents video, and needless to say he is not impressed!

-Via Stuff I Stole From The Internet

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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It’s Not Nice to Mock Dear Leader

Mo Nabbach manages the M&M Hair Academy in London, England. After the story circulated about Kim Jong-un mandating that male North Korean students wear his haircut, Nabbach posted a sign outside his salon featuring a picture of the North Korean leader. The caption said, “Bad hair day? 15 per cent off all gent cuts through the month of April. Tuesday – Thursday." It was all fun and games until two men claiming to be from the North Korean Embassy visited the salon and ordered the sign removed.

Mr Nabbach's son Karim, 26, said: "We put up a poster offering a discount on men's haircuts.

"Then North Korean officials came in and asked for it to be taken down.

"My father told them: 'This is England and not North Korea' and he told them to get their lawyers."

His father removed the poster, but quickly put it back up after some of his clients urged him to demonstrate that Britain is a democracy.

Mr Nabbach said: "The two men were wearing suits and they were very serious. My father said it was very threatening."

Nabbach reported the incident to the police, who cannot do anything until a law is broken. The North Korean Embassy, which is only a few minutes’ walk from the salon, refused to comment on the incident. -via Uproxx


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The Most Frustrating Moments In Video Games

(Video Link)

Video games can be downright frustrating at times, especially old school games that rely on precision button mashing and level pattern memorization.

A gamer’s rage cannot easily be suppressed when the game they’re playing makes them want to throw the controller against the nearest wall, which is why most gamers will relate to this video entitled The 50 Most Frustrating Moments In Video Game History.

Now these aren't official rankings or anything, and there were definitely some NES and SNES moments they missed in their collection, but overall you’ll find yourself nodding in agreement at video game moments that once made you want to smash things in a frustrated fit! GAAAAHHH!

-Via Nerd Approved


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Steve Talkowski’s Cute Robots

Steve Talkowski made these robot images for an art challenge called March of Robots. They sure look like toys or models, don’t they? You feel as if you could reach out and touch them! But the robots are images, well rendered in 3D, with photographed backgrounds. See more of them at Talkowski’s Behance page. -via Laughing Squid


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Photos Of Famous Landmarks Tell A Different Story When Zoomed Out

Have you ever noticed that famous landmarks always seem to look good in photographs?

You’d think the Taj Mahal was in the middle of a fantasy kingdom when you see it in photos, but zoom out a bit and show the surrounding area and you’ll discover that the Taj Mahal is sitting right next to a barren landscape littered with trash.

Zoom out on the pyramids at Giza and you’ve got a bustling metropolis all around, zoom out on Niagara Falls and it looks like part of a Las Vegas water park, but crop out the parts you don't want to see and those famous landmark photos will always look good! See more at PolicyMic.


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Playing Jenga with Heavy Equipment

(YouTube link)

One surefire way to get the internet’s attention is to take something that was already fun and make it so big that someone could get hurt. In this case, it’s a super sized game of Jenga, although for copyright reasons, they call the game “Stack.” The playing pieces are 600-pound blocks of wood. The players are operating five different pieces of heavy equipment (excavators and telehandlers, etc.) in this promotional video from Cat® Products (Caterpillar). When the stack finally tips over, you’d better get out of the way fast! There's a behind-the-scenes video, too. -via Viral Viral Videos

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Titan Pilots Training...Complete!


Titan Pilot Training by adho1982

You've completed your training, you're ready to hit the battlefield in your Titan armor and blow away the competition, so celebrate your first steps onto a brave new world with this commemorative Titan Pilot Training Academy t-shirt by adho1982. Will you side with the IMC or the Militia? The choice is up to you!

Visit adho1982's Facebook page then head over to his NeatoShop for more awesome designs:

Animatronics Turtle Recall Hardboiled Professor Swordfish Service and Repair Manual

View more designs by adho1982 | 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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The Saunalautta Can Make Your Summer Vacation Epic

When you think summer, you probably think about sun, surf, relaxation and good grilling weather, but you might not think about throwing saunas into the mix -unless you're Finnish that is. That's because the Fins have a brilliant creation known as a SaunaLauta that is basically a sauna boat.

While there are plenty of them online, this fantastic creation not only has a sauna, but also three decks so you have extra space to relax, enjoy a nap in a hammock, grill up some snacks or take an epic dive into the chilly waters after a nice sauna session. 

Best of all, you can even rent this crazy (but genius) contraption for yourself -assuming you're in the area.

Check out more pictures of the wonderful floating sauna at Homes and Hues: Sun, Wind, Surf and Sauna All At Once


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15 Facts You Might Not Know about Murder, She Wrote

Jessica Fletcher, a widow in a small town in Maine, writes murder mystery novels. Everywhere she goes, people are murdered. When she visits friends and relatives, people are murdered. But the quick-minded Mrs. Fletcher always solves the case and finds the culprit. This is the premise of Murder, She Wrote, a television show that ran from 1984 through 1997. Here are some bits of trivia the series.

1. At the beginning of the series, Jessica Fletcher lives at 698 Candlewood Lane, Cabot Cove, Maine 03041. Where is this fictional town? That’s unclear, but here’s a webpage that meticulously pieces together the geographic clues mentioned in the series.

2. Over its 12-year run, the series listed by title 25 mystery novels that Jessica has written, starting with The Corpse Danced at Midnight--her first book.

3. By the early 1980s, Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple character had thrived on British television for a decade. CBS wanted to create a similar series to exploit its popularity. The network created and aired a Miss Marple television movie called A Caribbean Mystery.This movie was a hit, so CBS continued to work in this direction.


4. CBS decided to create a dramatic series about a mystery novel writer who solved mysteries. They offered the lead role for Murder, She Wrote to Jean Stapleton, who played Edith Bunker on All in the Family. She declined.

5. Jessica Fletcher doesn’t drive a car. Angela Lansbury liked this “because it precludes, in a sense, the need for car chases.”

6. Lansbury had demands for the show’s tone before she would accept the lead role. “I stipulated that there should be no scenes of gratuitous violence, with blood and gore and car smashes.”

Continue reading

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Make Your Own Marshmallow Peeps

Sure, it’s easier to buy marshmallow Peeps at the store, but you might not see them for a long time after Easter. The advantages of making your own are that you control the color and the flavor, and what time of year you can have them. Plus, you’ll know exactly how fresh they are. And just imagine how impressed your co-workers and mother-in-law will be (especially if you are artistically-inclined)! Molly Yeh has the complete recipe at Food 52.  -via The Week

(Image credit: Molly Yeh)

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Cue Cards To Help Start Or Stop Conversations With Hipsters

Poor hipsters, you get picked on by the interwebs for your “unique” fashion sense, famous folks like Spike Lee don’t want you moving into their neighborhoods, and now people aren’t even sure how to talk to you without cue cards.

Guess it's a good thing we now have these Conversation Stopper and Starter Cards from The Portlandia Activity Book so we can all just get along.

The cards are full of great starter lines like “I used to think gender was binary”, and this cue which is sure to stop a conversation with any hipster instantly- “Do you have time to hear about all my accomplishments?”

-Via 22 Words


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Scottish Batman Wears the Batsuit "Regimental Style"

(Image: Pandyland/Andy Pandy)

They say that no true Scotsman wears underwear beneath his kilt. To do so would be indecent. But the truth is that it is not the underwear (or lack thereof) that defines the Scotsman. It is what he does while wearing his kilt that makes him a Scotsman.


(Video Link)


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Super Mario Bros Theme Song on Wine Glasses

(YouTube link)

Dan Newbie uses 48 water glasses, two pencils, and a frying pan to play the Super Mario Bros Theme. You know the music, and this version is super-pleasant to listen to. -via Tastefully Offensive


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Dr. Seuss Peeps

Peeps are in season and there’s no bag limit, so eat as many as you can. 2 years ago, to mark the birthday of Dr. Seuss, Michelle Clausen of Sugar Swings made these Peeps decorated with characters from his books.

-via Between the Pages

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Cast Care Rap

(YouTube link)

A Staff Sergeant/Orthopedic Specialist at a military hospital teaches a little little girl how to deal with wearing a cast by delivering the instructions in rap form. The adults around her seem to be more impressed than the patient, but she’s young. For all she knows, singing medics could be common. Or maybe she's in pain, poor kid. But the rhymes, even when they don’t quite rhyme, are a great way to remember what he’s told you! -via reddit


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Incredible Photo: Snake Eats Centipede, Then Centipede Eats Snake

(Photo: Ecologia Montenegrina)

The snake saw the centipede as a large meal. The centipede returned the favor.

A herpetologist in Macedonia found this unusual scene on Golem Grad, an island in that nation also known as "Snake Island." A study published by Dragan Arsovski and his colleagues describes it. They suspect that a female nose-horned viper tried to eat a centipede. It got the centipede down its throat, but the centipede fought back, eventually killing the snake.

Then the centipede, sort of like Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption, began to eat its way out of the snake. The centipede almost succeeded, breaking free from the snake's body, when the snake's venom finally killed it.

Rest in peace, centipede. We admire your grit.

-via Popular Science


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Sillof Does The Awesomes

Master figure builder Sillof was commissioned by Mike Shoemaker and Seth Meyers to make figures of the characters in the Hulu series The Awesomes. They, along with Lorne Michaels, produce the show, which stars Seth Meyers, Bill Hader, Rashida Jones, Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, Rachel Dratch, Kenan Thompson, and Ike Barinholtz. The action figures were to be given to the cast as gifts. Sillof blended the animated likenesses with the real actors behind the characters in his design. See all of the individual character figures at his site, and you may be able to pick out who plays who, even if you haven’t seen The Awesomes. -Thanks, Sillof!  

See also: More pop culture action figures by Sillof.


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