How Cutlery Affects Our Sense of Taste


(Photo: Sarah Lee/The Guardian)

Zoe Laughlin, the director of the Institute of Making, says that, "my ambition is to make the best spoon in the world." Oliver Wainwright of The Guardian met her to learn about how important it is to choose the right eating utensils in order to taste particular foods. He writes:

I reach for a spoon and plunge it into some yoghurt. The resulting mouthful tastes a bit fizzy, as if the yoghurt’s gone off – the trademark tangy tingle of zinc. A second spoon gives a salty metallic kick – the steel – while chrome makes no difference at all. Sadly, there is no magnesium spoon; if you ever put an old school pencil sharpener on your tongue, during an idle moment in maths class, you’ll know that it gives even more of a thrill than popping candy. (Or was that just me?)

In a blind tasting, Laughlin’s guinea pigs found that copper and zinc were the sourest, while the spoon to end all spoons was, of course, made of gold. “Mango sorbet with a gold spoon is just heaven,” she sighs. “Mango never tasted so mangoey.” But too bad if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth: in the blind tasting, it came out near the bottom.

It all has to do with the “reduction potential” of the different metals – the ease with which they oxidise – which affects how many atoms come off in your mouth. The relatively inert gold is best suited to subtle, creamy foods, Laughlin found when she put on a seven-course banquet with a Michelin-starred chef, because it has the least metallic taste. Cod on a zinc spoon, on the other hand, was revolting. Time for Heston to appoint a spoon sommelier, perhaps?

Like, gag me with a spoon! But make sure that it's the correct spoon. To know for sure, consult designer Andreas Fabian, who wrote his doctoral dissertation on spoons. He's working to optimize the tactile experience of eating:

He unravels a black pouch, containing a collection of oddly fetishistic implements, like the toolkit of an aesthete-torturer. There is a pair of golden tongs – half knife, half chopstick – and a silver-plated tuning fork, for pronging chunks of food with a twang, along with several glass wands with rounded, pendulous ends.

“This one is to replicate the pleasure of licking your finger,” he says, inviting me to dip a gold-leafed wand in a jar of warmed Nutella. Then there is a glass bowl covered in rabbit fur, designed to encourage a more tactile experience with your soup.

-via Marginal Revolution


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15 Great Spock Quotes as Inspirational Posters



Since the passing of Leonard Nimoy on Friday at the age of 83, many fans have been reflecting on his contributions and what he's meant to them over the years. In that vein, BuzzFeed compiled a list of wonderful quotes from Mr. Spock and arranged them into graphcis that resemble motivational posters. There's some great stuff included; check out all 15 quotes here. Even if one is not a Spock or Star Trek fan, these quotes may inspire some to take a closer look. 

Images: Tanner Ringerud 


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A Fan Art Tribute To Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy's passing has been especially hard to handle, because it not only means a talented musician, artist, writer, photographer and actor is gone, but also that he'll never be in one of my favorite shows or movies ever again.

From Star Trek to the strange mysteries found on In Search Of..., voice over work in Transformers: the Movie and more recently starring as William Bell in the mind blowing sci-fi series Fringe, Nimoy was everywhere I wanted to be.

Here's a collection of fan art created as a tribute to the legendary icon Leonard Nimoy, some created before his passing but most after. May his legacy serve as influence and inspiration ad infinitum.

Cool blue digital illustration of Spock phasing into a new stage of existence, created by MyPseudonym7

(Image Link)

A mixed media tribute to Leonard Nimoy created by contemporary artist Jeffrey Vallance

(Image Link)

Leonard Nimoy- Photographer, captured in Oil on Canvas by Mark Tavares

(Image Link)

Caricature of Kirk and Spock created by famed caricaturist Al Hirschfeld back in 1999

(Image Link)

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The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

The following article is from the book Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Tunes Into TV.

In 1967 CBS hired the Smothers Brothers to host a variety show that would attract a young, hip audience. The show did that …but CBS didn’t like it. Here’s a look at the controversy behind The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

FAMILY BAND

In the 1960s, musical comedy duo Tom and Dick Smothers, professionally known as the Smothers Brothers, were already veterans of the folk scene. They’d recorded several hit albums of their unique act: singing and playing folk songs before shifting into scripted sibling arguments and topical standup comedy bits.

After the brothers appeared on a string of talk and variety shows, CBS signed them to a contract in 1965 and created The Smothers Brothers Show. It was a forgettable sitcom -Dick’s character was a playboy, Tom was the ghost of his dead brother- and the brothers felt it didn’t play to their strengths. There was none of their usual bantering, and they got to perform music in only one episode. The show was canceled due to low ratings in 1966.

HOW TO BEAT A BONANZA

Meanwhile the network was trying -and failing- to compete with NBC’s hit Bonanza, the #1 show on television. Nothing could touch it in its Sunday night time slot, and it had even killed off former hits Perry Mason and The Garry Moore Show. When Moore was canceled at the end of 1966, CBS decided that the best way to compete with Bonanza was counter-programming. Bonanza attracted mostly viewers over 40. What if CBS put something on that appealed to people in their 20s and 30s? At some point the network realized it already had the ideal stars of this new show under contract: the Smothers Brothers.

Before agreeing to a new show, executive producer and star Tom Smothers insisted on full control. His reason: The Smothers Brothers Show had been so stressful for him that he’d developed an ulcer and gotten divorced. CBS agreed and the brothers got to work hiring writers and performers from the burgeoning Los Angeles comedy scene. Some of those unknowns: Steve Martin, Rob Reiner, Pay Paulsen, and Albert Brooks.

FOR WHAT ITS WORTH

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour debuted on Sunday, February 5, 1967, at 9PM.

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Pi Day Giveaway: Win a Hoodie and Shirt from the NeatoShop

This year's Pi Day is nothing short of epic: 3/14/15 (and at 9:26 am and 53 second, it's even more epic! We'll get pi to the 9th decimal places).

Celebrate Pi Day with the NeatoShop's wide selection of Pi Day-related T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and more. Best of all, you can win a Pi Day hoodie and other NeatoShop T-shirt of your choice.

The Fighting Pirish Pi Day Symbol Apple Pi Pi Joe A Real Science Hero Mmm ... Pi

Here's how to enter:

Visit the NeatoShop and checkout our selection of Pi Day designs and other shirts (may we recommend Funny T-Shirts, Science T-Shirts, Sci-Fi T-Shirts, and Cartoons & Comics?)

In the comment section below, write 1) your selection of Pi Day design and the artist who made it and 2) any other T-shirt you'd like and the artist who made it

We'll pick two random winners. The first will win his or her selection of Pi Day design as a hoodie, and another will win the T-shirt of their choice. One comment per person, please. Multiple comments will disqualify you.


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A Journal of Dracula Studies Exists

The Journal of Dracula Studies is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal published annually by the English Department of Kutztown University, a college in Pennsylvania. It contains studies of vampiric images in folklore, literature, and popular culture.


(Image: Universal Pictures)

It is unclear if this publication is still active. The last call for papers that I can find was approximately one year ago. Perhaps it is simply slumbering, waiting for the right moment to rise out of its crypt.

-via Slate Star Codex | Image: Kutztown University

P.S. A bonus item:


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Kidnap Victim Reunited With Family 17 Years Later After Chance Meeting With Sister



A 17-year-old South African girl named Zephany who was kidnapped from the hospital at birth was located after she unknowingly befriended her sister at school. Zephany's biological parents told the press that they celebrated their missing daughter's birthday every year and prayed for her return. According to ioL News,  

"Zephany grew up with a different name, and a different family, never knowing she was not their real daughter. But last month her biological sister, Cassidy Nurse, started Grade 8 at the same school that Zephany attended, and fellow pupils noticed a startling resemblance [between the girls].

When Cassidy told her parents about the...girl, hope began to strengthen in their hearts after 17 long years.

The Nurses invited the girl for a cup of coffee, under the pretence that they wanted to meet Cassidy’s friend. When they too saw the striking similarities between the girls, Morné Nurse contacted the police."

Read more on this story at the New York Times.

Via Slate | Image: Wikipedia


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Animal Yogis - They'll Transform You Into A Beast!


Animal Yogis White by Kellabell9

Humans think they're the only species on the planet concerned with physical fitness and exercise, but any fitness enthusiast worth their low BMI knows that you can learn a lot about fitness from animals. The little critters who live all around us are masters of martial arts, titans of track and field, and the greatest yogis in the world. So the next time you're looking to get the most out of your workout don't go looking for a pumped up trainer, look to the animals and see how they stay so fit!

Share yoga's roots with the world, wear this Animal Yogis t-shirt by Kellabell9 around town and spread some animalistic enlightenment!

Visit Kellabell9's Facebook fan page, official website, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more delightful designs:

A Peanut Galaxy Skull Slayer Too Much Bubblegum Adventure Alphabet

View more designs by Kellabell9 | 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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Sweet Cocoon

(YouTube link)

A well-fed caterpillar tries to squeeze into a small cocoon to start her metamorphosis. You and I know that’s not how it’s done in nature, but this is a cartoon. Two insects decide to give her a helping hand, which leads to all kinds of shenanigans. This animation was created by Matéo Bernard, Matthias Bruget, Jonathan Duret, Manon Marco, and Quentin Puiraveau of the French art school ESMA. -via the Presurfer


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NeatoShop Sale: Save up to 20% on All T-Shirts!

w00t! We're having a huge sale over at the NeatoShop. Save up to 20% off all T-shirts, plus get free worldwide shipping (yes, worldwide) on orders $75 and above. That's just 5 shirts!

Check out NeatoShop's Quality | Artist Reviews | New Shirts | Bestsellers | Featured

Getting ready for Pi Day and St. Patrick's Day? We've got the perfect shirts for you! USA orders placed during the sale period are guaranteed to arrive in time for those two events.


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A Baby, A Prosthetic Leg, And Other Strange Things Left in Taxis


(Photo: Z22)

The taxi cab company Boro Taxis handles 70,000-80,000 rides every week. Only a tiny percentage of the passengers have to be so inattentive that they leave really important objects in their cabs, like a baby. Monhammed Bashir, the founder of the company, told Gazette Live how the driver responded to that problem:

One forgetful customer managed to leave a baby behind after a trip. The youngster, believed to be less than a year old was taken to a police station after the fare failed to return.

Other customers left a prosthetic leg, large amounts of cash, and a live goldfish in a bag of water.

-via Jonah Goldberg


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The Latest Model Phone Stand

YouTube Link

Having a stand for a phone or iPad is handy in certain situations. Selecting a good one, however, can be a challenge due to the sheer number of them on the market. This model is an interesting addition to the available stand options. While sometimes expensive, it can also be free to a good home. It's attractive, comes in different colors and is not likely to be a water-immersion risk. You may want to add a scratch protector to the screen, though. Bubble wrap might be a good add-on, too, should the stand climb up to a phone-stand stand and push the phone off the highest step. -Via Tastefully Offensive

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

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This Breakfast Buffet Has Fresh Honey from a Beehive Frame

This photo of unknown origin shows what appears to be a breakfast buffet table. There's a honeycomb frame offering the freshest possible honey to diners!

I don't know where this one is, but various redditors report having seen set ups like this at high-end hotels around the world.

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Undersea Brawl: Moray Eel vs. White Tip Reef Shark

YouTube Link

They don't call it the "Wild Kingdom" for nothing. Case in point is the voracity with which this hungry moray eel goes after this white tip reef shark that crosses his path and, to him, looks like dinner. Naturally, the shark has other ideas. Via Uproxx


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The Crooked Houses of Lavenham

Lavenham is a town in Suffolk, UK, which has a whole slew of houses that lean this way or that, with the exposed beams showing off their tipsy attitudes. It’s not because of an architectural fad or tradition; these houses were straight at one time. It’s because of economic boom and bust. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Lavenham was a booming and prosperous community due to the local wool fabric production.

The town grew so fast that many of the houses were built in haste with green timber. As the wood dried, the timbers warped causing the houses to bend at unexpected angles. Unfortunately, Lavenham’s good times didn’t last long. When Dutch refugees settled in Colchester began producing cloth that was cheaper, lighter and more fashionable than Lavenham's, the town’s cloth industry went bust. By the time the dried timber started twisting, Lavenham’s families had lost its wealth and with no money to rebuild their homes, Lavenham’s crooked houses were left as they were.

The remaining crooked homes are charming in their own way, and you can see plenty of them at Amusing Planet. -via Everlasting Blort

(Image credit: Flickr user Andrew Hill)


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Terrifying Ad for an English Language School


(Video Link)

How do you know that your child is doing well learning English? When an English-speaking face appears in the mouth of your child, as though a demon has possessed him.

But--I should note--that demon is a native English speaker! That's what's important.

-via WTF Japan Seriously


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Orb-x

The object of the game Orb-x is to roll your orb into the black hole. You’ve got objects to change the trajectory of your ball, but you have to plan your moves ahead of time. As you get through each level, there are more objects that act differently. I was fine until I got to level 14, then decided it would take too much time to figure it out. Eventually, I will finish the whole thing. Try it yourself -I found it enjoyable. -via Look At This


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Mister Rogers's Last Message to the Children He Helped Raise

Fred Rogers helped generations of children grow up into healthy adults. He told us all that he loved us just the way we were and he made the world a better place by being just the person that he was.

Shortly before he died 12 years ago, he recorded a brief video message to the adults whom he nurtured through his television work. It was only a few days ago that the Fred Rogers Company released the video to the public.

The video settings do not permit me to embed it at Neatorama. But you can watch it here. And you should.

-via Subtraction


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L'arlequin - Classic Criminal Clowning


L'arlequin by Adria.Wells

She has a classic look, a costume reminiscent of a classic circus clown, and enough class not to harm a hair on a lady's head during a kidnapping. She's Harley- the cutest, most vivacious (and definitely most vicious) sidekick in town, and if you're thinking about messing around with Mister J she'll make you think twice! There's nothing Miss Quinn loves more than bopping bats on their head with a giant mallet, sharing a few laughs with her clown prince lover, and of course killing crowds...with laughter!

Add some delightfully geeky style to your wardrobe with this L'arlequin t-shirt by Adria.Wells, it's the perfect way to show your love for fine art and the fine art of supervillainy!

Visit Adria.Wells's Facebook fan page, official website, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

I'm No Hero Watercolor Wolf Hope Banner Of The Rebellion

View more designs by Adria.Wells | 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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Bars Hidden Behind Secret Entrances

The "loo" entrance (above) to PortSide Parlour (photos below)



Descending the right staircase leading to a certain unisex bathroom in Bethnal Green, London brings patrons to PortSide Parlour, a bar opened in 2013. Once they enter a stall and follow the instructions of the sign that reads "flush to enter," access to the cozy, nautical-themed space is granted. The draw? Some of the best rum in the city. 

PortSide Parlour is just one of the world's bars that have entrances which harken back to the days, whispers and better-kept secrets of the speakeasy. Read about more bars with hidden entrances here. 


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Car Thief Knocks Himself out with His Own Boomerang Brick


(Video Link)

Gerry Brady owns the Pheasant Pub in Drogheda, Ireland. One night, he found a man lying unconscious next to his car near the pub. Brady thought that the man had been mugged. But CCTV footage told a different story.

The full video shows the man struggling for a long time to break into Brady's car. He threw rocks at the windows trying to break them, but the glass was too sturdy. So the frustrated suspect eventually heaved a brick at a car window.

The brick bounced off the car and hit the would-be thief in the head, knocking him unconscious.

Brady showed the video to the police, who found it hilarious. The Independent reports:

“When the Gardaí picked him up, he started claiming that I attacked him. He was still telling them that in the station when I came in with the footage of him getting knocked out by his own brick.”

“You should have heard the garda laughing when they saw the video. They were in stitches. Credit to them, they were straight out when we called and found the guy within minutes.”

-via Dave Barry


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Optical Illusion Body Art by Natalie Fletcher

Color us impressed!

A few years ago, artist Natalie Fletcher moved to Bend, Oregon, and came across an ad for a body painter when she was looking to find a job. Despite having no experience at all, she applied ... and when they asked for examples of previous work, she thought, "Oh, crap! I better paint some bodies!"

That's how Natalie's journey as a body painter started. Since then, she's created many wonderful body paint artwork, including these trippy "Just an Illusion" optical illusion series below. There's no digital enhancement of these images - Natalie painted these freehand with an airbrush on the back of her boyfriend Todd's body:

View more of Natalie's fantastic body art over at her official website (contains artistic nudity) - Thanks Chris!

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Parrot Takes a Shower

(YouTube link)

Miss Iris the Hyacinth Macaw likes to be clean, so she takes a shower in the sink. She knows how to use the faucet, and she likes the pressure on high!
-via Daily Picks and Flicks

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

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These Motorized Skates from 1906 Have Tiny Gasoline Engines

A 1906 issue of Scientific American examines motorized roller skates exhibited at that year's Paris Automobile Show. There were several models in development by different inventors at the time, including these by French inventor M. Constantini. They're basically tiny cars that he wore on his feet:

In view of the fact that each skate contains a gasoline motor, carbureter, battery, and spark coil, it will be seen that the whole has been reduced to a comparatively small size. The use of the rubber-tired wheels is found to give a very smooth-running movement. On the back of each skate will be observed the small sheet-iron box which contains the battery and the spark coil. From the box a pair of wires protected by rubber tubing passes up to the leather belt which the person wears, 'and upon the belt is placed the switch by which he is able to make or break the ignition circuit when he wishes to start or stop the motor or to regulate its speed. On the back part of the belt is fixed a small gasoline tank in the form of a flat and slightly curved sheet-iron box.

You can see patent drawings of other motorized skates at The Old Motor, a fun website about strange antique cars.


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Hanging With JoeJoe the Capybara

When we last checked in with JoeJoe the Capybara, he was wolfing down popsicles and cavorting with puppies. Naturally. When you've got the capycharisma that JoeJoe has, the sky's the limit in terms of daily activities.

For instance, why not hop in a cart and browse through Pet Smart? Pups and kitties are a dime a dozen there. JoeJoe is an official Pet Smart Star!


YouTube Link

There's nothing like taking time out to have a long, feline-chaperoned nap. Then waking up with a major case of capybedhead.


YouTube Link

..and when JoeJoe needs a back scratch, there's nothing like a puppy to assist.

.
YouTube Link

As good looking as JoeJoe is, it's no wonder that he gets all the chicks!


YouTube Link

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

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The US Navy's Toilet Bomb

(Photo: Midway Sailor)

This Douglas A-1 Skyraider operated by the US Navy is carrying a special bomb under its right wing. Do you see it?

That's a toilet.

In 1965, the aircraft carrier USS Midway was bombing Vietnam. VA-25, an attack aviation unit of the Navy, operated from the Midway. In October, one of the toilets on the ship cracked. The crew planned to dispose of it. Commander Bill Stoddard, the executive officer of VA-25, came up with a novel way to get rid of the toilet.

To celebrate the six millionth pound of ordnance dropped by his unit, Cdr. Stoddard had the toilet painted with the "Fist of the Fleet" emblem of his unit. It was then loaded onto his Skyraider. Cdr. Stoddard dropped it on a communist target in South Vietnam.

You can see more photos of the toilet bomb at Midway Sailor.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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The Case of the Missing Log Cabin

The Klamath County Sheriff’s office in Oregon received a report Tuesday of a stolen house. No, it wasn’t a mobile home, but a 1,500-square-foot log cabin that was completely missing from its foundation. Deputies began an investigation of this unusual crime, the likes of which none of them had ever seen before. Within 48 hours, the cabin was located, almost a mile away.

The property in question is originally purchased by Ronald Niederbrach.

He and a girlfriend, Paulette Kallo, live together for a time in a conventional house on the property. At some point, Miklos Kallo, Paulette's ex-husband, also moves onto the property and she provides care for him as he has health issues.

Miklos Kallo buys a log cabin kit, has it built and stays in the cabin.

Things don't work out between Niederbrach and Paulette, and Niederbrach moves to Sisters.

The Kallos reconcile and live in the house until a fire severely damages it, leaving it uninhabitable. At some point, the property is titled in the names of all three persons.

On July 8, 2014, Miklos Kallo sells the cabin to a fourth party. In September, the buyer moves it to where it was found this week.

Yes, it's a real soap opera. Niederbrach didn’t know the cabin was gone for some months. When he discovered it missing, he asked Paulette Kallo about it, and she said she didn’t know anything. The unnamed buyer of the cabin had no idea there was any dispute over the ownership until the police got involved. The investigation is continuing to determine who, if anyone, had the rights to the structure. You can read the entire story at Oregon Live.

(Image credit: George Rede | The Oregonian/OregonLive)


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Mouse Trap Pancakes

Ghoulia Childs is a horror movie fan who makes wonderfully terrifying meals. We've previously seen her Cadbury Creme Egg Chestburster.

Here's a great breakfast treat from her kitchen: mouse trap pancakes. This version comes with extra protein and an unusual but tasty syrup.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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DIY Electrical Wiring

(YouTube link)

He just wanted to install a new light in the bathroom, but it didn’t turn out exactly right. It looks like a case of two homeowners in a row who did their own wiring, and believe me, building on someone else’s weirdness only leads to more weirdness. At least this couple hasn’t been electrocuted, which is a real possibility when you get this many wires crossed.

I once had a bathroom/bedroom addition built. It didn’t take long to figure out things were wonky, because when you turned off the bathroom light, the alarm clock by the bed stopped. I could’ve called the contractor back to fix it, but he’d screwed up so many other things, he probably would have just made it worse. I got a master electrician to sort things out -after he stopped laughing. -via Viral Viral Videos


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Wicked Ways - They'll Break More Than Your Heart


Wicked Ways by Toxic Ice Cream

They're two peas in a rotten black pod, two gals with a dark side that is only unleashed when it comes time to kill a princess. They look pleasant enough, and they have a wicked sense of style, but their sinister alter egos are ugly enough to make a hobgoblin shriek with terror, and powerful enough to make them a match for any mortal. The Evil Queen and the Mistress of all Evil- their titles may be erroneous and a bit overstated, but their dark and deadly powers cannot be denied!

Bring twice the wicked fun to your geeky wardrobe with this Wicked Ways t-shirt by Toxic Ice Cream, and you'll look bad to the bone!

Visit Toxic Ice Cream's official website, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more dark and geeky designs:

2015 MVP: Left Shark The Snowflake Lounge Arkham Zoo Grudge Match

View more designs by Toxic Ice Cream | More Cartoon 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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