Tye Lombardi (previously at Neatorama) went to great lengths for a special effect Halloween recipe. These Alien Facehugger Pudding Cups have edible Alien eggs and facehuggers, they fizz, they glow in the dark, and they taste good! The instructions are pretty involved, because it's an art project as well as a food recipe. These eggs are made to impress. At least she uses instant pudding and pre-made pie crust. You can use cooked pudding and make your own crust from scratch if you want. If you make these, be sure to take plenty of photographs before you let anyone eat them!
If this recipe is too complex for your lifestyle, you can just enjoy the images of the finished product. However, the components of the recipe will be handy to learn, like how to make pastry glue, the techniques for sculpting pie crust, and the magic of B-2 tablets. Check out the entire process at the Necro Nom-nom-nomicon.
Margaretha Zelle was a Dutch woman who became the exotic dancer Mata Hari after she lived in the Dutch East Indies with her first husband. She became a sensation in Europe, grew fabulously wealthy, and charmed many lovers in the early 20th century.
As Mata Hari aged and her dancing career began to wind down, she was still in demand as a courtesan and enjoyed the company of rich and powerful men. The outbreak of World War I in 1914 did not alter her extravagance. She seemed not to grasp that ordinary people resented her ostentatious lifestyle while French families were doing without basics: coal, clothing, and foodstuffs. They were sending their fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons to be killed in the war while she continued to live in comfort and plenty.
Mata Hari continued to travel, which brought her to the attention of the counterespionage world. The fall of 1915 found her in The Hague, where the exotic dancer was paid a visit by Karl Kroemer, the honorary German consul of Amsterdam. He offered her 20,000 francs—equivalent to $61,000 in today’s currency—to spy for Germany. She accepted the funds, which she viewed as repayment for her furs, jewels, and money the Germans had seized when war broke out. Even so, she did not accept the job.
So Mata Hari was paid to be a German spy, but never spied for them. Later, she was recruited to spy for the French, but was never paid, nor was her efforts taken seriously. It was the French military that arrested and convicted her for spying for the Germans. An article at National Geographic explains how Mata Hari's trial was more about her immoral lifestyle than her actual crimes. -via Digg
Usually when you mistype something on Google, you either get results that have nothing to do with what you're looking for or Google will auto-correct your search. But sometimes a mistaken search can give you results better than what you were hoping to find -for example, when you look for Baroque Obama.
Or a corgo ship. Over on Bored Panda, you can see some truly wonderful accidental Google searches that will make you smile and laugh.
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!
Research About Fear compiled by Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Improbable Research staff
Here are three studies about particular causes of fear, and one study about a mechanical method of treating fear.
Dilemmas in Treating Fear in Self-Identifying Vampires “Do We Always Practice What We Preach? Real Vampires’ Fears of Coming out of the Coffin to Social Workers and Helping Professionals,” D.J. Williams and Emily E. Prior, Critical Social Work, vol. 16, no. 1, 2015, pp. 79-92. (Thanks to Ivan Oransky for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Idaho State University, the College of the Canyons, and the Center for Positive Sexuality, explain:
Nobody knows an exact number, but there are many people worldwide who self-identify as vampires. Despite the use of the word “vampire,” people with such alternative identities do not seem to be psychologically and socially unstable. Even still, it is not surprising that vampires prefer to keep these alternative identities private (i.e., stay “in the coffin”) due to fears of being misunderstood and discriminated against....
Some zombies are so passably human that we don't even realize they're undead until we get close enough to smell them, so if you're the type who likes to pick up hitchhikers beware the zombies thumbing rides. They have retained a bit of their human intelligence and therefore may be holding up a sign to aid in their efforts, but if you let those zombies into your car that'll be the last road trip you ever make!
Warn people about the dangers of picking up hitchhikers with this Needz A Ride (Red) t-shirt by Demonigote, featuring a wicked funny design that's sure to knock your fellow zombie fans down dead with laughter!
A fifth grade class is studying World War II. One homework assignment was to define some of the terms they learned in class. This student, a cousin of redditor LeBronJameson, used Google Search to come up with the answers. Sometimes that helps; sometimes you get busted, especially if you didn't pay attention at all in the classroom. I hope he/she learned to double check and maybe get a second source. -via reddit
In 1972, you'd think that any music festival organizer would try to learn from the lessons of Woodstock. But Tom Duncan and Bob Alexander deliberately set out to stage an event bigger than Woodstock in southern Indiana on Labor Day weekend. The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, the Allman Brothers, and Black Sabbath were booked. They expected 55,000 people.
But the people of Chandler, a tiny town in southern Indiana, were galled at the prospect of tens of thousands of unwashed ne’er-do-wells descending upon their bucolic utopia. Less than a week before the event, Mayor Russell Lloyd officially barred the festival from taking place within city limits. With flower children from all over the Midwest already arriving, the Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival seemed doomed before it had even begun.
The courts, according to Marley Brant in Join Together: Forty Years of the Rock Music Festival, told Duncan and Alexander they couldn’t hold the festival in Indiana. So the men rushed to find a new venue, while acts like Rod Stewart and Black Sabbath began to cancel. The venue they found — a day before doors were scheduled to open — was Bull Island, a peninsula of swampy fields situated on either side of a changing bend in the Wabash River about 50 miles away. Although technically part of Illinois, it was only accessible through Indiana, making Bull Island a lawless wasteland.
We had a video last year about New Mexico's musical road that plays "America the Beautiful." It sounds really nice. California tried the same stunt with "The William Tell Overture," but it didn't quite turn as as well. Tom Scott took a road trip to Lancaster to explain why.
Astronomers announced today that they have detected a spark that was produced when two neutron stars collided. The spark plus the gravitational waves produced by the collision are evidence of a massive explosion. The gravitational wave evidence of such collisions (possibly by black holes colliding) has been observed before, but the event detected on August 17th of this year was the first time such an event was accompanied by a flash, which indicates it was caused by neutron stars instead of black holes. The event is called GW170817 after the date, but is described as "a Rosetta stone for astronomy."
Scientists announced Monday they have observed gravitational waves for the fifth time—and they’ve seen the light from the cosmic crash that produced them. The waves came from the collision of two neutron stars in a galaxy called NGC 4993, located about 130 million light-years from Earth.
Neutron stars are strange, mysterious objects, the collapsed cores of stars that exploded in spectacular fashion—supernovae—and died. These stars measure about the size of a metropolitan city, but have about the same mass as our sun. Astronomers had long predicted that when two neutron stars collide, the resulting explosion would produce electromagnetic radiation, in the form of optical light. The afterglow would shine bright enough to be seen through powerful telescopes, the first visible proof of a source of gravitational waves, provided the latter could also be detected.
The resulting explosion is called a "kilonova," which is 1,000 times brighter than a supernova. Physicists believe such collisions are what produced some of the heavier elements of the universe, like gold. Read more about the kilonova at the Atlantic.
When you have a day in which everything seems to go wrong, remember that one day Cliff Judkins had in 1963. As a member of the Marine All Weather Fighter Squadron 323, Lt. Judkins was piloting his F-8 Crusader jet across the Pacific en route from California to Hawaii on the first leg of his assignment to Atsugi, Japan. He refueled mid-flight, and then everything fell apart. There was an explosion. Fuel spilled all over the plane, which caught fire. Ordered to eject, he found the ejection seat release did not work. The alternate release procedure did not work, either. We knew he had to exit the plane on his own. Then things got worse.
Then I stood up in the seat and put both arms in front of my face. I was sucked out harshly from the airplane. I cringed as I tumbled outside the bird, expecting the tail to cut me in half, but thank goodness, that never happened! In an instant I knew I was out of there and uninjured.
I waited . . . and waited . . . until my body, hurtling through space, with the 225 knots of momentum started to decelerate. I pulled the D-ring on my parachute, which is the manual way to open the chute if the ejection seat does not work automatically. I braced myself for the opening shock. I heard a loud pop above me, but I was still falling very fast. As I looked up I saw that the small pilot chute had deployed. (This small chute is designed to keep the pilot from tumbling until the main chute opens.) But, I also noticed a sight that made me shiver with disbelief and horror! The main, 24-foot parachute was just flapping in the breeze and was tangled in its own shroud lines. It hadn’t opened! I could see the white folds neatly arranged, fluttering feebly in the air.
Kids shows are by default supposed to be free of adult content, and if scary moments arise they should be immediately followed with lighthearted fun to keep the kiddies from getting scared of the show.
But as soon as a show starts targeting a somewhat older audience they begin to introduce mature themes they couldn't include before, which leads to the creation of some absolutely horrifying episodes.
Captain Planet generally kept the quest to fight polluters around the world as lighthearted as possible, but when the Planeteers faced a drug dealing scumbag named Verminous Skumm in the episode Mind Pollution things got really dark.
Verminous sells a drug called "Bliss" to a kid named Boris, a drug that turns kids into crazy zombies. Boris gets high and jumps through a window, causing him to bleeding profusely from the arms, and later after taking more Bliss he falls down dead of an overdose.
I thought Captain Planet was rated Y7, who would want their seven-year-old to see such things?
Ah, life inside the bubble, where the world is divided into two distinct groups: those with agree with us, and those who don't. The internet was supposed to open up the world to global communication, a sharing of ideas. But it also allowed us to limit our communications to like-minded individuals and organizations, because no matter how obscure those beliefs are, you'll find someone on the internet to validate them. So how can we handle those with opposing views?
1. Ignore them. That's what the bubble is for, so you can stay safe inside it and have your beliefs reinforced instead of challenged. 2. Convince yourself your opponents are mentally or psychologically impaired, like this guy. 3. Argue with them. It's not going to change minds, but that's what a lot of folks do. 4. Tell yourself that all viewpoints are equally valid. They are not. 5. Remember the Serenity Prayer.
These days children are being introduced to tech gadgets like tablets and smartphones at an earlier age than ever before, and I constantly see parents appeasing their toddlers by allowing them to stare at their smartphones.
So it's only a matter of time before toddlers figure out how to create their own Facebook accounts on mommy's smartphone, and according to this hilarious Toddler Facebook mockup from mommyshorts their posts will be hilarious to read.
Even though they'll have to pretend to be at least 13 years old we'll know the truth, especially when they talk about naps, forgetting people's names and pooping in the bathtub...on second thought it'll be just like when really old people post on Facebook!
Sure, it's a cheesy idea you'd expect from a high school choreographer, but these kids display some seriously fancy footwork to some truly clever song selections. This may put a smile in your Monday. -via Boing Boing
With the sorry state of American politics today we need people in office who we actually like, someone who will unite America instead of making America hate again, and that somebody is fictional cartoon dog Mr. Peanutbutter. His name says it all- he's sweet and salty but not too salty, he can be smooth when he needs to be and chunky when it's time to get down, plus he's a great source of protein and has a flavor everyone loves! So let's elect someone who we can actually stomach for once and vote Mr. Peanutbutter for Governor...of the world!
Show your support for a fictional candidate who unfortunately has no chance of winning with this Mr. Peanutbutter for Governor t-shirt by Retro Freak, it's a tasty tee that everyone will love!
Visit Retro Freak's NeatoShop for more deliciously geeky designs:
Fast food companies have figured out that posting funny videos online and creating crazy products are far more effective forms of brand advertising than television commercials or radio spots.
So while things get pretty wacky on TV they get downright ridiculous online, like high top sneakers that order pizza or a parka made out of the same stuff as a pizza delivery pouch ridiculous.
Pizza Hut is delivering their Pizza Parka to random customers who orders online, and I must admit I didn't really want one until I saw the pizza pocket inside. There just aren't enough jackets out there with pizza pockets!
'Tis the season …that everyone is re-watching the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens to brush up on the narrative before Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits movie theaters. I used that as an excuse to watch it last night. But if you are a serious Star Wars fan, you'll easily recognize this pumpkin as a Rathtar, the large carnivorous creatures Han Solo was smuggling when he first encountered Ray and Finn.
Now these aliens can be part of your Halloween! Put this Rathtar-O’-Lantern on your porch and you'll be able to distinguish dedicated Star Wars fans from the casually-costumed by their reaction. However, if they think it's Audrey 2 from Little Shop of Horrors, that's okay, too. You'll find complete instructions for making this jack-o-lantern at Star Wars.
There are so many cosplays out there that it can be hard to think of something no one else has done. At the New York Comic Con a few weeks ago, someone came up with a completely new an original cosplay costume -the convention center itself. It was spotted by DC comics writer Scott Snyder, who posted it on his Twitter and it quickly became viral.
It's hard to believe now, but the 1983 comedy Mr. Mom was a "fish out of water" movie that portrayed a man who stayed home with his young children while his wife went to work. Gasp! Placed in the context of its time, the movie was quite funny, and established Michael Keaton as a comedy star for the rest of the decade. That may also be hard to fathom for younger audiences who know him only from Batman or Birdman. For those of us who recall the funny and strangely groundbreaking movie Mr. Mom, here's some behind-the-scenes trivia.
10. Michael Keaton turned down a role in Splash for this film.
Which would you rather see him, a mermaid movie or a film in which he had to assume the role of mom for a while?
7. This movie came about after the director had to look after his own kids.
Your perspective on family life definitely changes when you have to take on a different role than you’re used to.
Do you believe in ghosts? Paris is loaded with them. Here are a few famous spots in the City of Light where believers claim you’re likely to encounter some spirited residents.
Every year, millions of people visit this museum to see the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and other masterpieces. The building dates to the 12th century, when it served as a fortress for Philip II. Since then, the grounds have borne witness to wars, plagues, and other calamities, which is one reason why the Louvre is considered by ghost hunters to be the most haunted place in France. Since it was converted into a museum in 1793, visitors and staff have reported spectral orbs, mysterious shadows, and human-looking figures lingering among the artworks.
French legend also tells of a gnomelike ghoul dressed in red that often appears near the Louvre as a harbinger of national tragedy. Often referred to as “the Little Red Man,” the spirit is supposedly capable of offsetting impending doom… for the right price. If the tales are true, he’s bargained with French rulers including Henry IV, Marie Antoinette, and Napoleon, who failed to heed the Little Red Man’s advice and suffered the consequences at the Battle of Waterloo. The museum’s other ghosts are said to include the spirits of French soldiers and prisoners who were once held captive in its dungeon.
A few years ago, Buzzfeed senior editor Erin Chack pulled an idea out of thin air and wrote a post about Malta. It went viral, and she explains how that can make your life really weird for a while. But she eventually visited the country and had an adventure she never anticipated. This post contains NSFW language.
I know what it's like to be desperate for a post idea. Now I think about all those times I wrote about chicken breeds or historical murders, when I should have been writing about a lovely nation that's underrepresented in US media. Lesson learned. -via Metafilter
Praying mantises are known for their strange alien appearance, their inspiration of a kung fu form, and the fact that females bite the male's head off and devour his body for nourishment after mating.
But did you know praying mantises also prey on birds?
Neither did I, but apparently the praying mantis has developed a taste for bird brains so they've added birds to the list of creatures they will prey upon when they're hungry.
A group of zoologists from the U.S. and Switzerland studied 147 cases hoping to find clues about this strange act of bug-on-bird predation:
The group's findings, which were recently published in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology, suggest that mantises all over the world are chowing down on unsuspecting avians. Praying mantises were observed eating 24 different bird species across 14 families. Nearly 70 percent of accounts happened in North America, where tiny hummingbirds were the most common prey. States with the highest incidents of this, according to the study, were New York, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, and California.
"In the older literature, there are all sorts of anecdotes of mantises eating bizarre prey, such as centipedes and poisonous spiders, but these were usually 'Gladiator' encounters where investigators would throw together a mantis and another fearsome invertebrate in a jar or cage," Michael Maxwell, the study's co-author and a behavioral ecologist at National University, told me in an email.
Interestingly, this behavior was observed on every continent except Antarctica, spanning twelve mantid species—something the study's lead author Martin Nyffeler, a senior lecturer at the University of Basel, called "a spectacular discovery" in a statement.
"For many of us, the most surprising thing about the new study is the range of non-hummingbirds recorded as mantis prey," Kaufman added. "The others are all very small songbirds, but still, some of them must weigh as much as one-third of an ounce, which seems like a lot for any insect to deal with."
Weirdly, all of the mantises were identified as female. Females aren't necessarily more aggressive, but they do engage in sexual cannibalism if very hungry. Twice, female mantids were observed feeding on a bird while also mating with a male.
Rules, laws, and logic help us set up a science fiction universe so that we can understand the story we're about to hear. But following the rules isn't very exciting, and you need excitement for people to want to see your show. And logic can be the enemy of creative storytelling. You can see how this works in the Star Trek image. We take the breaking of the Prime Directive for granted, even though we joke about it, because Star Trek would be boring if the Enterprise crew just wandered the universe observing alien civilizations like they are supposed to. Other examples just show a lack of thought.
Halloweenies like to go big with their decorations, putting their love of the holiday on display for the entire neighborhood to see, and their hard work is either rewarded with cheers or jeers.
But there's one neighborhood in Salt Lake City, Utah that's about to go bananas thanks to the hard work of one Ammon Smith, a 33-year-old woodworker who has become known for his over-the-top Halloween displays.
Ammon used thin strips of wood and chicken wire to build King Kong's form, then he covered the form with black fabric and trash bags for its finished look.
The project took Ammon 80 to 100 hours to complete and cost him a mere $130 but the memories, and the advertising for his home design company Designs On 9th, are priceless.
When science is under attack by the ignorant and ill-informed we must embrace our scientific passions even more, and pay tribute to the minds who first got us interested in our scientific pursuits. So that's why we celebrate Carldays, in honor of the magnificent Carl Sagan and his contributions to the scientific community. On Carldays we look to the stars in hopes we will someday soon find ourselves on another world away from all the people who continue to ruin our planet with their ignorant and destructive ways. In our hearts we know Carl is up there watching over us all, his body turned in to the stuff stars are made of, and we can't wait to meet him some day!
Get in the scientifical spirit of the season with this Happy Carldays! t-shirt by Pacalin, it's a great way to show love for science and one of the greatest scientific minds of all time Carl Sagan.
The annual Quebec City Comic Con brought out thousands of French Canadian geeks this weekend. Some were there to show off their fandoms and amazing cosplay creations. Our friends from Geeks Are Sexy were there each day, too, to document most interesting costumes. Many of them, like the Gundam at the top, obviously took a lot of work and dedication to bring to life. Others, like the guy below, cleverly took advantage of a natural resemblance.
Overly competitive cooking shows seem so pointless to me because the last thing I want at a restaurant is some panicked cook making the food as fast as they can while the head chef curses loudly at them.
But American competition shows are always overly aggressive, with interpersonal drama and plenty of expletives to bleep out, which is why Gordon Ramsay couldn't wait to hop across the pond and bring hell to American TV! (Comic by The Pigeon Gazette)
In a collaboration between Les Chevaliers du Ciel (The Knights Of Heaven), the European Space Agency (ESA), and noveSpace (a company that operates a vomit comet), a group of disabled kids got to experience weightlessness, accompanied by ESA astronauts. Ten people with mobility issues were freed from the limits of gravity. It was an experience to remember.
The kids came from five ESA member states – UK, France, Germany, Belgium, and Italy – and boarded the converted Airbus A310 Zero G in Bordeaux, France on 24 August as part of this “Kid’s Weightless Dreams” flight. True weightlessness is produced in the large cabin area of this aircraft during repetitive parabolic maneuvers, as in the Air Zero G flights operated by Novespace.
The children also took part in education experiments including lighting a candle, mixing liquids of different densities, playing ping-pong with bubbles of water and working a fidget spinner to demonstrate the effects of weightlessness.
Joining the children were ESA astronauts from their corresponding member states: Tim Peake (UK), Frank De Winne (Belgium), Maurizio Cheli (Italy), Thomas Reiter (Germany), Claudie Haigneré and Jean-Francois Clervoy (France) mentored the children on board and answered their questions.
Two disabled adults, former athlete and German television personality Samuel Koch, a strong advocate for disabled causes, and Philippe Carette, a very active Rêve de Gosse volunteer and pilot, also took part in the flight.
Did you catch the girl who used the few minutes of zero-G to walk? That's at 2:35. The event was organized by Rêves de Gosse (Kids’ Dreams), which provides children with educational opportunities and adventures involving space flight. -via Geekologie