Newly-Observed Atmospheric Phenomenon Named "Steve"

The Alberta Aurora Chasers Facebook group shares pictures its members take of the Northern Lights. Last year, they noticed a phenomenon showing up in some pictures: a purplish ribbon in the sky.

Giving off a glow in mostly purple and green colors, the phenomenon was observed by members of a Facebook group called the “Alberta Aurora Chasers” who named the display “Steve.” Why Steve? Well, this is a reference to the popular children’s movie Over the Hedge where one of the characters isn’t sure what he is looking at and randomly names it Steve. Steve was formerly called by aurora chasers and photographers a “proton arc” (also known as a proton aurora). Proton aurora, or aurora caused by the raining down of protons from the magnetosphere is broad, diffuse, and dim visually unlike the structure of Steve that is narrow and has motion. So we know it is not a proton arc although we do not yet fully know what it is.

You can read more about what "Steve" may or may not be at Aurorasaurus and Gizmodo. -via Smithsonian

(Image credit: Dave Markel Photography)


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Ridiculous Myths About The Middle Ages That Need To Die

Thanks to pop culture people assume everyone but the royals smelled like crap in the Middle Ages, knights were heroic figures who kept the kingdom safe for common folk, and scientific progress went boink thanks to the church.

But historical evidence shows these notions are pure myth, and the Middle Ages were both cleaner and dirtier than we've been told.

(Image Link)

Heard the one about the stinky serfs?

Working in the fields all day does make you grimy, but people in the Middle Ages continued the Roman tradition of taking communal baths, and there were even baths made just for workers and craftsmen.

They washed up before and after eating, offered to bathe with guests to be polite, and went through nearly as much soap as we do today:

Medieval demand for soap (usually made from animal fats, with a variety of oils and salts added) was so great that by the 13th century, soap was being made on an almost industrial scale in Britain, Italy, Spain, and France.

Folks kept clean until the Black Plague made them afraid to bathe, believing that bathing opened the pores and thereby made it easier to become infected by the Plague.

Now if you want to see dirty you need look no further than the knights, who were less chivalrous heroes and more ruthless gangs of greedy mercenaries who cured their between war boredom with bloodshed:

Toward the 11th century, many of the local lords started bickering over who would get a slice of the Holy Roman pie that Charlemagne baked, and the knights were at the forefront of these petty wars. These "wars" were less Braveheart-style epic battles and more knights rolling up into villages and slaughtering everybody.

The chivalric code was introduced in the 13th century in order to keep these angry young warriors in line, but the code said nothing about defending peasants so the slaughter continued.

(Image Link)

And lastly we discuss science in the Middle Ages- since the Evangelicals and other religious groups are anti-science these days we assume Medieval monks were anti-science too.

But the Catholic church actually saved science, and much of the scientific knowledge recorded by the Romans, from being destroyed by invading barbarians:

The church went about setting up monasteries across Europe, and along with the monks came the monks' massive libraries. Monks were just about the only educated people in the early Middle Ages, and pretty much everything we know about this entire time period was written by them.

As time went on, the church stepped it up a notch and started establishing universities to foster the preservation of knowledge. You may have heard of a few of them: Oxford, Cambridge, and the University of Paris (not to mention pretty much every other top school in Europe).

Medicine also made massive advances thanks to the university system. Contrary to popular belief, dissection of corpses was actually fine and dandy with the church, and medieval universities often did it in the basement (OK, so maybe it wasn't totally fine and dandy). By the 14th century, there were functional hospitals, and doctors had learned how to use antiseptic when lopping off people's body parts.

Read 6 Ridiculous Myths About The Middle Ages Everyone Believes here (NSFW language)


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Tip or Gift?

Here's an idea that probably deserves some study. Tips are taxable income, but cash gifts are not (unless the gift is over $13,000 in one year). Does this money add to the waitresses taxable income? Does it contribute to her total for the week in making up the difference between her pay from the restaurant and minimum wage? Does it go into the pot to share with the cooks and bussers? Don't bother asking the IRS.

An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spokesperson conceded that he'd never heard of such a situation and declined to speculate about possible legal implications. He directed ATTN: to the agency's "Tips on Tips" guide, which emphasizes that "income received in the form of tips is taxable."

Since this image has gone viral, we might expect a statement from the agency sometime soon.  
 


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Money Laundering at the St. Francis Hotel

(YouTube link)

In 1938, the hotel St. Francis in San Francisco began washing all its coins as a courtesy to guests -particularly women who wore white gloves. Back then, it was a full-time job, since coins could pay for about anything. Now Rob Holsen continues the custom, but almost 80 years later, it only takes about ten hours a week, because people don't use coins as much. Still, the hotel has the cleanest coins anywhere.

The process begins when the general cashier sends racks of rolled coins to Holsen, who empties the change into a repurposed silver burnisher.

Along with the coins, the burnisher is filled with water, bird shot to knock the dirt off, and a healthy pour of 20 Mule Team Borax soap. After three hours of swishing the coins around, Holsen uses a metal ice scoop to pour the loot into a perforated roast pan that sifts out the bird shot.

The wet coins are then spread out on a table beneath heat lamps.

This is where once-rusted copper pennies turn into shimmering bronze coins.

Read about the history and process of the charming coin-washing tradition at SF Gate. -via Nag on the Lake


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Photos From The Set Of The Original Twin Peaks

Part of me never left David Lynch's eerie town of Twin Peaks after watching the series in the early 90s, and now that the series is coming back for eighteen more episodes that Twin Peaks feeling is coming back strong too.

But simply rewatching the series and Fire Walk With Me just isn't enough to satisfy my appetite for small town Lynchian strangeness, I needed these damn fine photos from the set to silence my inner Bob.

Seeing all my old friends from Twin Peaks again has caused quite a few memories to resurface, including those "they won't be on the new episodes because they're dead!" moments that make me wanna smile-cry.

See Intimate Photos Taken On The Set Of The Original 'Twin Peaks' here


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Aquaman Tried

Poor Aquaman. When DC tried to give their lineup a little diversity in super powers and setting, he got the short end of the stick and has been stuck with them for decades. The only thing they could have possibly done to help the character is have Jason Momoa play him in the movies. But in the comics, he was the epitome of lame.

Kerry Callen (previously at Neatorama) is back with another comic we wish had appeared in the regular DC Comics series. This is the latest in his Super Antics series. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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Tubespotting - I'm Starting To Think That Isn't Really A Warp Zone At All!


Tubespotting by Donovan Alex

Begbie thought it would be a good idea to give up trainspotting for a while, so he started eating these really far out mushrooms he found growing along the railroad tracks. They had red caps with white polka dots and they made him feel like life might be liveable without a needle in his arm, but every time he ate them he wanted a little more. Soon he was munching on those super strong mushrooms all day long, which made life feel like a video game where he was the bros in charge who could break all the bricks and rescue all the lovely princesses before that evil bastard Sickboy could get his paws on them. But a steady diet of psychedelics had begun to take a toll on his mental health, and a man can only crawl out of so many toilets before he starts to wonder where his life had gone wrong...

People will totally trip out when they see you wearing this Tubespotting t-shirt by Donovan Alex, and it's the perfect tee to wear to the premiere of Trainspotting 2!

Visit Donovan Alex's Facebook fan page, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more dark and geeky designs:

Glam N' Gunz Californiweirdo The Blink Panther Slimevana

View more designs by Donovan Alex | 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 Invisible Art Of Visual Effects

Visual effects in films are composed and constructed just like any other work of art, but there's one big difference- in order for the VFX in movies to be effective they must be so subtle you think the effects are real.

And if you think you're an expert at spotting viz fx consider this- nearly every movie made these days features some sort of digital fx compositing, from sets to weather effects to the vehicles driving by in the background.

VFX Games - The Art of Compositing from Roy Peker on Vimeo.

This eye opening video by Roy Peker gently tears back the layers of digital deception to show us what often lies beneath each frame of film, namely an actor on a green screen set.

-Via PremiumBeat


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Edward Gorey, Pack Rat

Edward Gorey was a masterful storyteller and artist, and he was also a collector. Not of anything in particular that he could become an expert on, but everything. The extent of his collecting didn't become well known until after his death in 2000, when his possessions -artworks, books, personal items, and everything else, were sorted and catalogued for the museum that his home became.

When he wasn’t writing, drawing, illustrating, and designing—and even when he was—Edward Gorey was collecting. Over the course of his life, the artist gathered, and kept, everything from tarot cards to trilobites to particularly interesting cheese graters. “We ask the docents not to use the word ‘hoarder,’” says Hischak, grinning as he surveys the House’s newest exhibit, which focuses on Gorey’s pack rat tendencies. “But he really did hoard interesting things.”

And Gorey often made his collections into eccentric artworks. You can see some of them at Atlas Obscura.
 
(Image credit: Atlas Obscura)


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Dog Eats Banana- The Shocking Video Footage

Some dogs will do backflips for bacon, others will sit and shake paws all day long for tasty bits of human food, but those dogs are missing the boat because you get a whole lot more treat if you go gaga for bananas.

And since the little pooch in this video looks so darn cute while eating a banana he probably gets a treat any time he wants, which hopefully means we'll get to see him in more utterly adorable videos in the future!

(YouTube Link)

-Via Boing Boing

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

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Tasteless

Aristocrats of the 18th century were always on the lookout for something new and impressive to spend money on. For some, that meant hiring their own hermit, to entertain guests and to, let's say, outsource their interest in philosophy. Finding and keeping your own personal estate hermit could be accomplished in several different ways. Maki Naro created a graphic story explaining the custom, which you'll find exceedingly weird. Read the rest of it at The Nib. -via Metafilter


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How Much Would Superheroes' NYC Apartments Cost?

Being a superhero typically isn't a paid gig, which is why even famous superheroes like Superman and Spider-Man have to keep their day jobs as journalists.

Clark Kent lives in the fictional city of Metropolis, so there's no telling how much rent he pays, but could Spider-Man actually afford to live in New York City on his salary from the Daily Bugle?

And what about our new favorite friends from Harlem and Hell's Kitchen Matt Murdock (Daredevil), Luke Cage and Jessica Jones?

ForRent.com created this slick infographic that reveals how much Marvel superheroes would pay for their apartments around NYC, as well as some trivia related to the real life equivalent of each location.

See full sized infographic here

-Via Geeks Are Sexy


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First Mass Produced Flying Car goes on Sale

While other innovative transportation companies are working on private space travel or self-driving vehicles, AeroMobil is focused on bringing us the flying car- finally! The Jetsons must have really had a profound effect on the founders, who've been working on a flying car since 1990. But it's not cheap.

The AeroMobile flying car unveiled its first version for pre-sale in Monaco over the weekend.  By unfolding the wings, you can go from road to air and all you need is a pilot’s license and around $1.6 million to spend. The Slavakian company hopes to pre-sell about 500 units that will not be delivered until 2020.

See photos from the unveiling event at TVOM.


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Why Are So Many Popular Cartoon Characters Yellow?

Think about the most popular cartoon characters you know. Right, The Simpsons. Or Pikachu, or Spongebob, or Jake. A strangely large percentage of the top animated characters are yellow. They each have their own reasons, but even so, they ended up in the same place. Even LEGO minifigs.

(YouTube link)

But why did so many successful cartoon end up yellow? To determine the answer, first we learn about color theory, then some animation history. So this video ended up being about a lot more than yellow cartoon colors, but it's all fascinating. Turns out that yellow is an altogether good color. -via Digg


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Declare Your Allegiance To Rock 'N' Roll With These NeatoShop T-Shirts

The Final Countdown! by Raffiti

If you have rock 'n' roll pumping through your veins and through your speakers all day long then you've declared allegiance to rock, but what if you have geeky interests besides music?

And those who like to rock out and nerd out at the same time will find your new favorite tees at the NeatoShop, where the spirit of rock lives on forever!

They said rock 'n' roll was dead

Alice Of The Dead by Vic Neko

Claiming the kids would lose interest in that heavy rock sound after a while

Rock n' Rawr by Boggs Nicolas

But as every sci-fi fan knows rock 'n' roll is here to stay from now until infinity!

THE RACCOON ROCKS by ADAM LAWLESS

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Bowler Gets 300 in a Hurry

Ben Ketola had the bowling alley to himself, and rolled twelve strikes in a row for a perfect game …in only 86.9 seconds! That's a world record.

(YouTube link)

Ketola, of Cortland, New York, bowls about 50 games a week. He's been practicing this stunt to get his time down.

"It was fun to do. I honestly wasn't expecting to do it," said Ketola, a 225-average bowler who works and bowls at 281 Bowl. "I just wanted to see how quickly I could get across the house and get strikes."

While there is no official speed category in the official United States Bowling Congress' record books, Ketola wanted to attempt the unusual feat after watching a 2015 YouTube video posted by pro bowler Tom Dougherty. In the video, Dougherty fired 12 strikes over 12 lanes for what was billed at the time the world's fastest 300 game in 1 minute, 50.99 seconds.

In case you're wondering, he used eight of his own balls and two alley balls. -via SB Nation 

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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37 Local Food Specialties That You Can Get Delivered Anywhere in the US

No matter where you live, chances are you have at least one favorite place that makes something you could never get anywhere else. Except nowadays, many of these local specialtlies can be shipped anywhere in the US.

Buzzfeed has even taken the time to track down 37 of the most delicious regional specialties from all over the country that you can get delivered to you no matter where you live -like these Duck Fat Caramels by Olive and Sinclair in Tennessee.

While it's not on the list, I might also add Cincinnati's Graeter's Ice Cream, which my wonderful step sister delivers to my dad once a year.

So check out the rest of the delicious local treats over on Buzzfeed

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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AKU Has A POSSE (Japanese Variant) - Demonic Street Art Is Scary!


AKU has a POSSE (Japanese variant) by Jango Snow

The lone samurai known as Jack had always assumed that demonic despot Aku was working alone, since he seemed too power hungry to share his throne and too despicable for anyone to hang around, but Jack soon found out Aku has a posse. And these evil miscreants have been ravaging the planet for millennia, which is why Jack has found it so hard to wipe the stain of darkness and corruption from the face of the Earth. But now that he knows the truth Jack has put together a posse of good people who are ready to wipe this planet clean of Aku's evil filth and restore it to its former beauty once again, even if they have to use the blood of the corrupt as their medium...

Throw on this AKU has a POSSE (Japanese variant) t-shirt by Jango Snow and people will give you mad props wherever you go, just don't let all that power go to your head!

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

McContra Stranger 2 Cowabunga Step Bros

View more designs by Jango Snow | 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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The Real Zorro?

The following article is from the book Uncle John's True Crime: A Classic Collection of Crooks, Cops, and Capers.

Every cultural legend has to start someplace, even if it’s from just a kernel of truth, expanded and embellished until it bears no resemblance to the original. Here’s the possible origin of Zorro, the “bold renegade” who “carved a Z with his blade.”

BACKGROUND

Pulp fiction writer Johnston McCulley created the swashbuckling character Zorro for a tale called “The Curse of Capistrano” that appeared in All-Story Weekly magazine in 1919. Literary historians believe McCulley based him on a number of characters, most of them fictional... and at least one real human being. It turns out that the story of the real man’s life was just as unusual—and probably every bit as embellished—as Zorro’s.

THE MAN

Not long after gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California in 1848, a young Mexican man named Joaquin Murrieta came to California with his wife, Rosa Feliz, and her brothers Claudio, Reyes, and Jesus. They hoped to strike it rich in the gold fields, but none of them did; the closest any of them got was when Claudio was arrested for stealing another miner’s gold.

In 1850 Claudio escaped from jail and led his brothers and Murrieta in what became one of the most violent bandit gangs ever to terrorize the California gold country. The group was known to raid isolated ranches, but they preferred to rob lone travelers and Chinese miners (they thought the Chinese were less likely to be armed than whites or Mexicans). The gang murdered most of its victims after robbing them, to ensure that there were no witnesses.

The law began to catch up with the gang in September 1851, when Claudio was killed in a shootout following a robbery in Monterey County. Murrieta happened to be in Los Angeles at the time, and when Claudio died he assumed control of the gang. Not long afterward the bandits made the mistake of killing Joshua Bean, a major general in the militia. Murrieta then compounded the error by abandoning Reyes to his fate—Reyes was arrested for Bean’s murder and hanged.

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DoggoLingo, the Language of Dogs

When people got together on the internet, they shared enough cat pictures that LOLcat, the language, was born. It took a while longer, but there's also a language for dogs: DoggoLingo. Even if you've never heard of the language, you recognize it when you read it. Maybe you already speak this language!

DoggoLingo, sometimes referred to as doggo-speak, "seems to be quite lexical, there are a lot of distinctive words that are used," says Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch. "It's cutesier than others, too. Doggo, woofer, pupper, pupperino, fluffer — those have all got an extra suffix on the end to make them cuter."

McCulloch also notes DoggoLingo is uniquely heavy on onomatopoeias like bork, blep, mlem and blop.

Many of the terms come from popular places like the Facebook group Dogspotting and the Twitter feed WeRateDogs.

One thing is for sure- they're all good dogs. Read about the rise of DoggoLingo at NPR. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Chelsea Beck/NPR)

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

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Apology Cakes

(Image credit: moistbuddha)

You can say anything you want to in icing on a cake, so it's a great way to say you're sorry and give a gift at the same time. However, there's always the danger that the message will be photographed and go viral on the 'net, without context. Especially if you are apologizing for something truly weird.

(Image source: reddit)

What do you even do about this one? A clothes dryer is an electrical appliance full of air vents and things. Maybe the perpetrator should have sent a Home Depot gift card instead. See more such cakes in a list called 23 Apology Cakes That Are Almost Too Hilarious To Eat at Buzzfeed.  


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Therapy Donkey Helps A Special Needs Girl Speak Again

Some people believe the whole therapy animal thing is out of control, but if you think about it the "therapy" most of these animals provide involves calming and comforting a person, so just about any animal can provide therapy.

Just ask little Amber Austwick and she'll tell you- a donkey makes a fine therapy animal, and her hoofed friend Shock from The Donkey Sanctuary in Birmingham, England actually helped her speak again.

In 2011 Amber was born prematurely and couldn't breathe, so doctors gave her a tracheotomy that left her mute due to vocal chord scarring. Amber was also born with cerebral palsy, making the first few years of her life a struggle for the poor little girl.

But then she met Shocks the donkey, who changed her life with his gentle charm:

"She struggled to sit up and showed no signs of crawling 'til very late on," Julian Austwick, Amber's father, told The Dodo. "A friend mentioned The Donkey Sanctuary to Tracy [Amber's mother] and told her the donkeys can give therapy to additional needs children, so we decided to try it."

It was Amber's first time meeting a therapy animal — and, as it happened, Amber was Shocks's first patient. And when he met Amber, the connection was instantaneous.

"It was fairly immediate to see they had a bond together, as they were both so gentle with each other," Austwick said. "Shocks would lower his head to her and would allow her to hold him around his neck. It was scary for us, as parents, as he was so big compared to little Amber, but they really seemed smitten!"

Finally, when Amber turned 3, she was old enough for another surgery to make it possible for her to talk — but it would take practice.

She still hadn't said a word when she went to visit Shocks one day in November 2013. After taking a ride with him and getting ready to leave the sanctuary to go home, she hugged the donkey and said, "I love you, Shocky."

So there you have it- donkeys actually make pretty great therapy animals, and unlike a dogs or cats you get to ride them too!

-Via The Dodo

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

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Alternate Me

Better not think about it too deeply. If there is a multiverse, there is probably an alternate you who is much better than the you that you turned out to be. If that's too depressing, remember that there may be worse versions of you. Of course, that's pretty depressing, too. This is the latest comic from Stephen Beals at StBeals. Check out more of his work; I think this one may be my favorite so far. -via reddit


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Wolverine's Wildest Offspring

Wolverine's offspring have proven to be an entertaining cast of characters who give their dad a run for his money in terms of ferocity and bloodthirst only most of 'em ain't as nice as Logan, bub.

Daken is a lot like his dad only without the warmth or human compassion, and the first time he met Wolverine he slashed his old man's stomach open and left him to die.

Daken's one scary dude but he looks like a choir boy compared to Raze Darkholme- offspring of Wolverine and Mystique.

Raze can shapeshift, has bone claws, an incredible healing factor and heightened senses, and since his power level rivals that of his parents he keeps them both looking over their shoulders Did I mention Raze is also a time traveler?

Poor Wolverine can't seem to win with his angsty mutant offsprings, but there's one kid who actually loved and cared for Wolvie during the post-apocalyptic Old Man Logan storyline- Hulk Jr.:

After Old Man Logan wipes out the Hulk Gang, he rides off into the sunset with the last surviving member of Bruce Banner’s family, his grandson Hulk Jr., who also happened to be Banner’s favorite. Logan forsakes his former identity as the Wolverine and becomes the Hooded Man, raising Hulk Jr. to be a force for good. Together, they retake the United States, joining with the Fantastic Four and other heroes to form the New Defenders.

Read Lone Wolf And Cubs: Wolverine's 15 Wildest Kids here


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Star Wars Crawl Wedding Cake

Cakeguy555 made this awesome 5-tier Star Wars wedding cake for a couple who were renewing their wedding vows. It features Han, Leia, R2-D2, and text that looks like one of the opening crawls from the movies, but the actual words are about their love for each other (good luck reading them). The cake was not easy to make, as we can assume from another picture he posted about it. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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Guy Demonstrates The Method He Used To Train His Cat To Walk On A Leash

I once semi-successfully trained my cat to walk around my backyard on a leash- he would walk around okay for a while, and even climb trees here and there while tethered to me below. But you could tell he was holding back, and it only made him want to run away more when the leash was off.

My mission to leash my cat would have been more successful had I watched these videos by Doug Meyers of Berkeley, California, and then I could have taken my cat everywhere just like he does.

(YouTube Link)

Doug's videos reveal how he trained his Ragdoll cat Eduardo to walk on a leash by taking him out of his comfort zone:

Using a knapsack was my key discovery in getting Eduardo to go for long walks. He was reluctant to walk away from his home territory. He was uncomfortable doing that it was a hard direction for him to walk in. The easy direction is toward home. By using the knapsack I carry Eduardo away from his home territory and when I put him down he has a natural goal or purpose for his walk, which is to get home. Once I began using the knapsack to carry him, he started to walk almost like a well-trained dog, moving right along

(YouTube Link)

Man, strolling around Berkeley in the spring with a cat on a leash, life does not get much more chill than that!

-Via Laughing Squid

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

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The Creators of Spinal Tap Still Haven't Been Paid

Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer began working on an idea in 1978 that would eventually become the movie This Is Spinal Tap in 1984. They performed music gigs and made a 20-minute demo, but were rejected by studio after studio until the movie was finally made on a budget of $2 million, and released in 1984. This Is Spinal Tap performed modestly in theaters, but found success on home video, and is now a classic. As the 30th anniversary of the movie approached, Harry Shearer realized that neither he nor the other three principles had been paid any residuals, despite conceiving, writing, performing music, and acting in the film.

Sometimes it takes a malcontent to disturb something as intractable as Hollywood accounting practices. By the terms of the contract they signed in 1982 with Embassy Pictures, the four creators of Spinal Tap are entitled to a portion of income from the film, including merchandise and music, provided certain benchmarks are hit. Given the wild afterlife of This Is Spinal Tap, it seems impossible that anyone with a piece of the movie hasn’t made money. And yet this is Hollywood, where studios have claimed that some of the highest-grossing films—hits such as Return of the Jedi, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy—somehow haven’t turned a profit. As David Zucker, one of the creators of Airplane!, once said of his own sleeper hit, “It made so much money that the studio couldn’t hide it fast enough.”

With Embassy out of business, the theatrical rights to Spinal Tap bounced around from Coca-Cola to De Laurentiis Entertainment Group to a L’Oréal property named Parafrance to, around 1990, Studiocanal, a subsidiary of the French company Vivendi SA. The home-video rights followed a separate path and landed with Sony Music Entertainment. None of those companies paid the four creators, and no one did anything about it until Shearer finally lost his patience. “We were approaching the 30th anniversary,” he says, “and this low-burning lightbulb begins to go off—‘Hey, wait a minute, what’s going on here?’ ”

An investigation into the film's accounting showed that the four were owed $81 in merchandizing income and $98 in album income. Smelling a rat, Shearer filed a $125 million lawsuit last year. In 2017, Reiner, McKean, and Guest joined the lawsuit and raised the amount to $400 million, plus reversion of the copyright to the name Spinal Tap.

Vivendi, in its response to the lawsuit, argued that the creators made the film as a work for hire, and were hence not entitled to the copyright. It seems crazy, given that there’s plenty of evidence the four of them invented the band years before making their deal with Embassy, but calling a contribution work-for-hire is fairly common in copyright cases. In Shearer’s latest filing, he calls Vivendi’s position on the copyright a threat to scare him away from pressing his profit case. He also says it’s hypocritical for the company to cling to a film’s copyright while suggesting, based on what it claims is the film’s poor performance, there’s no money to be made with it.

You can read the details of the story, and some background on Hollywood accounting, at Bloomberg. -via Digg


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Pastor Finds Massive 706-Carat Diamond In Sierra Leone Mine

There are people willing to enslave, exploit and kill other humans without a second thought for a fistful of diamonds, so imagine what they would do to get their hands on a 706-carat diamond worth millions.

That's the dilemma pastor Emmanuel Momoh faced when he discovered the monster diamond in an artisanal mine in Sierra Leone, and knowing the discovery put his life in danger he gave it to the government for safe keeping:

According to The Guardian, the government said that Emmanuel Momoh found the gem in an artisanal mine in the village of Koyadu within the diamond-rich Kono region. It weighs in at 706 carats. The stone was presented on Thursday and will be sold in a government-held transparent auction in the Sierra Leone to benefit the community.

"I have to help the government and my people, so all of us can benefit," presidential spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay quoted Momoh as saying.

The diamond still needs to be analyzed by experts, but it's probable that it's among the largest, behind the 3,106-carat Cullian diamond and a 1,111-carat diamond discovered in 2015. Diamond expert Paul Zimnisky told the AFP news agency that it could possibly rank "between the 10th and 15th largest dem-diamonds ever recovered."

-Via Esquire


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Scientist Forever - Let's Get This Dumb Universe Rollin'!


Scientist Forever by Olipop

Once you got science in dem dere bones you can't ever get away from it, no matter how high you fly! Okay, that sounded like it was written by Mr. Poopy Butthole, in other words crappy, so let's try this again. Remember, it's a pro-science design, super cool because it's Rick and Morty related, and there's a skull so it's super tough too. Okay, I've got it- Scientist Forever, Scientologist never! Nah, that one's bound to piss people off... how about "take this science and shove it!" Yeah, that sounds about right broh...*hic*

Throw your scientifical nature in people's faces with this Scientist Forever t-shirt by Olipop, it's the great way to show people you're a smartypants and a Rick and Morty fan!

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

Get Switchty Wookie Famous Quotes Steal the Plans Mouth Breather

View more designs by Olipop | 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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Bustles Were a Pain in the Behind

Women's fashions in the 19th century went through many changes, as different designers tried out the ways they could make a woman look the way she should. The crinolines of the Civil War era didn't really work in cities that were becoming more and more crowded, but heaven forbid that a lady could dispense with overly-engineered undergarments that sculpted her into the latest fashionable silhouette. The bustle was patented in 1857 and became all the rage until about 1888.

An 1888 anonymous writer to the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal voiced concerns about the fashion of the time in a letter headed simply “Bustles.”

The writer reels off the numerous health problems they see with everyday women’s fashion: corsets squeezing organs, shoes too small and pointed at the toe deforming the foot and particularly the bustle. “The woman with a bustle can never sit down in a natural position,” the letter records. “It is absolutely impossible for her to rest her back against the back of any seat of ordinary construction. I have no doubt some of the severe backaches in women whose duties keep them seated all day are due to, or at least aggravated by, this disability.”

Read about the rise and fall of the bustle and other 19th-century undergarments at Smithsonian.


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