Red Red Riding Hood

Fairy tale characters were way too calm and composed considering the morbid situations they dealt with during their stories, and they acted like these dark moments were no big deal.

Pushing an old hag who eats kids into an oven and leaving "the ungodly creature to be burned to ashes" should have scarred Hansel for life, and Jack narrowly escaped the clutches of a hungry giant, which would have left him with PTSD.

And, as this Electric Bunny comic shows, Little Red should have totally lost it when her grandma emerged from the wolf's stomach alive and unharmed, leaving them both in need of therapy and a long shower!

-Via Geeks Are Sexy


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The True Story of Brainwashing and How It Shaped America

The word "brainwashing" came about because of the Cold War. In the 1950s, Americans were shocked when thousands of soldiers captured by North Korea eventually confessed to war crimes they hadn't committed, and some even refused to return to the US when the war was  over. That was unthinkable.

Suddenly the threat of brainwashing was very real, and it was everywhere. The U.S. military denied the charges made in the soldiers’ “confessions,” but couldn’t explain how they’d been coerced to make them. What could explain the behavior of the soldiers besides brainwashing? The idea of mind control flourished in pop culture, with movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Manchurian Candidate showing people whose minds were wiped and controlled by outside forces. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover referred to thought-control repeatedly in his book Masters of Deceit: The Story of Communism in America and How to Fight It. By 1980 even the American Psychiatric Association had given it credence, including brainwashing under “dissociative disorders” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-III. Had Chinese and Soviet Communists really uncovered a machine or method to rewrite men’s minds and supplant their free will?

The short answer is no—but that didn’t stop the U.S. from pouring resources into combatting it.

“The basic problem that brainwashing is designed to address is the question ‘why would anybody become a Communist?’” says Timothy Melley, professor of English at Miami University and author of The Covert Sphere: Secrecy, Fiction, and the National Security State. “[Brainwashing] is a story that we tell to explain something we can’t otherwise explain.”

Brainwashing seemed like mystical mind-control magic to the American public, although psychological change can be readily explained by simpler concepts, from persuasion to indoctrination to torture. The US government went into overdrive to research brainwashing in the 1950s, which you can read about at Smithsonian.


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Rock Bands Named After Classic Literature

Somewhere along the way it was decided that people who play in bands aren't very bright, then rock stars were further stigmatized as being drunk, dumb and on drugs because some big names glamorized this lushy lifestyle.

In actuality many of the most famous musicians in rock'n'roll history were extremely intelligent people, who showed off their brainy side with their brilliant lyrics and the very name of their band.

The Doors were named after Aldous Huxley's The Doors Of Perception, which is a line taken from William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell:

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”

Stuart Murdoch got the name for his band Belle and Sebastian from French children's book Belle et Sébastien by Cécile Aubry, which was adapted into an awesome anime series in the 80s.

(YouTube Link)

Modest Mouse's lead singer Isaac Brock named the band after a passage from Virginia Woolf's The Mark on the Wall:

"I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises."

And last but not least we have Moby, the guy who was clearly named after Moby Dick, right?

Well, sorta- Moby was born Richard Melville Hall, and his parents started calling him "Moby" at a young age after telling young Richard Herman Melville is his "great-great-great-granduncle".

See 20 Bands Named After Classic Literature at Mental Floss


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How the Beatles Wrote "A Day in the Life"

This coming Friday, May 26, will be the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Atlantic takes a close look at one of its most memorable songs, "A Day in the Life." It's no sing-along, but more of an anthem that reflects the many changes the Beatles had gone through since finding fame in the early '60s. For example, John Lennon makes himself into an observer of life from inside a bubble instead of a participant.  

That’s how he was writing, beachcombing inspiration from headlines and news briefs in the January 17 Daily Mail, which he had open at his piano (for this song); from a circus poster hanging in his home (“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”); from a cereal advertisement (“Good Morning Good Morning”); from his child’s drawing (“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”). In the song, the young man whose death gets noticed in the newspaper references an acquaintance of the Beatles, a Guinness beer company heir named Tara Browne, who crashed his Lotus sports car at high speed. Lennon reimagines Browne into the half-recognizable, presumably upper-class man who has it made and then throws it all away. What does it say that one crowd is transfixed by a privileged stranger’s grisly demise, but another crowd rejects a film about the achievement of a generation, the world war won? Only the singer of the song is willing to go back there, and only because he’s read the book.

There are many layers to the song, deconstructed in an article at the Atlantic. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Maclen Music)


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Woman Uses Ancient Swedish Herding Call To Bring Her Cows Home

Back before there was barbed wire to contain them, microchips to track them and trucks to transport them across continents there was the shepherd, who would tend to their herd as if they were their own offspring.

The shepherd would let their bovine children play in the fields all day and eat their fill, but when it came time to return to the safety of the stable the cows would heed the shepherd's call and run home.

(YouTube Link)

Thanks to keepers of history like photographer Joanna Jinton we get to hear what the ancient Swedish herding call known as kulning sounds like, and now I see why cows respond to kulning- because it sounds beautiful!

(YouTube Link)

-Via Laughing Squid

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

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The Top 5 Better Call Saul Fan Theories

The Breaking Bad prequel series Better Call Saul is now in its third season. Fans are trying to put clues together to figure out where the story is going, and how it will all tie together. Since Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould are behind both shows, it only makes sense that all the elements of Better Call Saul will come together to lead into the Breaking Bad series, and elements that appear to have no significance at first will eventually be meaningful. This leads us to fan theories about how the story will play out. Some are pretty bizarre, but so is the world in which these shows exist. Read the bare bones of five widespread fan theories about Better Call Saul that may or may not pan out at TVOM.


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Some Of The Funniest Stuff Spotted In Textbooks

(Image Link)

Going back to school in the fall means getting a fresh batch of textbooks, which are always better used than new because other students have had the chance to doodle snicker-worthy stuff in the book.

These secret acts of vandalism used to be the funniest pictures in textbooks (unless you had a book from the 50s or 60s which was full of outdated information), but nowadays LOL-worthy stuff is included on purpose.

(Image Link)

Okay, that one was obviously a mistake they missed during editing, but this picture must have been included on purpose, right?

Maybe it's for "Geometric Racial Stereotypes: a journey in racist maths"? They're teaching some strange stuff in schools these days...

(Image Link)

See The Funniest Things Ever Found In Textbooks here


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Putting Daddy into the Picture

Brandon and Veronica Phillips are expecting a baby soon. The problem is that Brandon is deployed far away, so Veronica took one of his Air Force shirts to her maternity photoshoot to wear in order to incorporate him into the pictures. Photographer Jennifer McMahon of Jennifer Ariel Photography was touched, and found a way to get Brandon into this picture -with Photoshop! McMahon said,  

This mommy was so sweet, and her story touched my heart. Her husband is thousands of miles away serving our country. He is missing his beautiful wife's pregnancy, and will be missing the birth of his baby. Thank you to our military for sacrificing for our country.

See more pictures from the photoshoot at Buzzfeed.

(Image credit: Jennifer Ariel Photography)


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The Perfect Accessory for a Fancy Picnic

Love a good picnic with a lot of class? Then you won't want to miss out on this wine and cheese table that easily sits right in the ground and provides support for a bottle, two glasses and a plate -ideally for your cheese or chocolate pairing. Sure it's easy enough to throw down a blanket and put your bottle and plate of snacks on the ground, but those wine glasses are always problematic at picnics and at the beach. This clever table solves that problem by hanging them off of the ground where they won't tumble over. 

They are available for sale on Faircraft USA's Etsy page.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Weapons Of Math Instruction - The Power Of The Protractor


Weapons of Math Instruction by Cafe Pretzel

Many people believe using weapons of mass destruction are the most powerful and effective way to get people to do what they want, but there's a better way. You see, by using weapons of math instruction such as calculators, compasses and protractors people can be taught to do what you want in a much more effective way- because they'll be able to build cool stuff instead of tearing it all down with destructive force. So let's start building up our brains with math and science rather than making people live in fear of our arsenals, and we're sure to see some positive changes occur in the world!

Share your love of mathematics by wearing this Weapons Of Math Instruction t-shirt by Cafe Pretzel, it's the fun way to show the world you're a builder and teacher, not a destroyer.

Visit Cafe Pretzel's Facebook fan page, Twitter and official website, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more smart and funny designs:

Math Head Scientists Think Outside the Klein Bottle 2 Happy Dinosaur Clap Your Hands

Cinco de Meow Cinco de Mayo

View more designs by Cafe Pretzel | More Science T-shirts | New T-Shirts

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The Lady of the Lines

The following is an article from Uncle John's Unstoppable Bathroom Reader.

(Image credit: Bybbisch94, Christian Gebhardt)

If you've ever heard of the Nazca lines, you have this woman to thank for preserving them for posterity. And if you've ever doubted that one person can make a difference, think again…

HELP WANTED

In 1932, a 20-year-old German woman named Maria Reiche answered a newspaper ad and landed a job in Peru, tutoring the sons of the German consul. After that, she bounced from job to job and eventually found work translating documents for an archaeologist named Julio Tello.

One day she happened to overhear a conversation between Tello and another archaeologist, Toribio Mejia. Mejia described some mysterious lines he'd seen in a patch of desert about 250 miles south of the capital of Lima, near the small town of Nazca. He tried to interest Tello in the lines, but Tello dismissed them as unimportant. Reiche wasn't so sure. She decided to go to Nazca and have a look for herself.

MYSTERIOUS LINES

(Image credit: PIERRE ANDRE LECLERCQ)

Gazing across the desert floor, Reiche was amazed at what she saw: More than 1,000 lines crisscrossing 200 square miles of desert, some as narrow as footpaths, others more than 15 feet wide. Many ran almost perfectly straight for miles across the desert, deviating as little as four yards in a mile.

Continue reading

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How TV Logos Were Made Before Computers

In the 21st century, we are so used to computers being able to create an image of anything that we forget what a hassle that used to be. For 2D logos, that meant drawing, paste-ups, and photography. For film, it was more complicated because you wanted a 3D effect, or at least some hint or possibility of movement. Co.Design put together several videos and discussions of how TV logos were made of actual physical objects created to brand the channel, then filmed to give them an identity that everyone would recognize. See how the logos of RTF, BBC, and HBO were created.


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Justin Trudeau Photobombs Promgoers

It's prom season, and a group of students from the Catholic boy's school Vancouver College were taking photographs by the Stanley Park seawall in Vancouver with their dates before the dance Friday. A jogger went by, providing quite a contrast with the group in formal dress. But this jogger was Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau! When the teenagers yelled at him to stop for a minute, he posed for a picture with the group.

It's not every day you get a prom picture with the leader of your country. -via Uproxx


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What’s Kept the Society Against Quackery Going for 137 Years

Neatorama has featured many articles about patent medicine, snake oil, quackery, and dangerous cure-alls from the past. Those stories make us feel thankful to be living in the present, where modern medicine is working miracles. In 1881, the Dutch society Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij (VtdK), translated as The Society Against Quackery, formed to fight the unscientific hucksterism that promised cures for a small fee. All these years later, the society is still doing that work!

The VtdK formed around the same time that modern medicine began to be professionalized in the late 1800s. According to a history on the Society’s website, the Dutch Society for the Advancement of Medicine, which was founded in 1849, was having trouble policing the unlicensed and unqualified medical practitioners of the day. In an effort to raise awareness of the growing number of quacks operating in the Netherlands, they published a pamphlet in 1878 detailing how to identify a quack, and what to do about them. From this initial bit of literature, the Society Against Quackery was born.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same. The society its still in business, still fighting bad medicine! Read about their history, their work, and what they are doing today, at Atlas Obscura.   

(Image credit: Flickr user Arallyn!)


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What Adults Say Vs What Adults Do

Kids realize their parents are full of crap at an early age, and one of the ways they discover adults have been lying to them is by catching us doing something we told them absolutely, positively not to do.

This double standard drives kids crazy, because they want to look up to their parents and respect their authority but can't bring themselves to obey a lying, conformist worrywart with poor math skills.

Jacob Andrews and Willie Muse have cited five examples of What Adults Say Vs What Adults Do in this strip, but I'm sure you can think of at least a dozen more things that make adults totally full of baloney man! Adulthood is a lie!

-Via CollegeHumor


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The Romantic Engineer

Dane Christianson (ChraneD) posted this gif to reddit's shitty robots forum with the title How to properly ask out the Queen of Shitty Robots. Of course, he's referring to Simone Giertz, whose ridiculous robots we've posted a few times. Gertz was rendered speechless for a nanosecond, then said,

Which everyone considers a win among engineers.


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Bilious Facts About The Liver

Our liver is more than just a booze and drug filter or something that goes great with "fava beans and a nice chianti"- it's the second largest organ in the human body, weighs as much as a chihuahua, and every vertebrate has one.

The liver works hard for the human body- it regulates plasma glucose and ammonia levels, produces proteins vital for body function and serves as both an organ and a gland, since it filters toxins and pushes them out of the body.

(Image Link)

And if that isn't enough to make you think of the liver as the mightiest of all organs consider this- the liver is the only organ that can completely regenerate, needing only 25 percent of the original tissue to do so:

“When a person donates more than half of their liver to someone who needs a transplant, the liver returns to its original size in nearly two weeks,” Reau tells Mental Floss. According to a 2009 study in the Journal of Cell Physiology, evolutionary safeguards are responsible for this regenerative effect due to the numerous functions performed by the liver. “This process allows liver to recover lost mass without jeopardizing viability of the entire organism,” the authors write.

Read 12 Bilious Facts About The Liver at Mental Floss


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Hugh Jackman Didn't Know Wolverines Were Real Animals

When Hugh Jackman was first cast as the X-Men character Wolverine, he went to work researching the animal. But he did that research on wolves.  

“I didn’t even know there was a wolverine. I literally, embarrassingly did about two weeks of research on wolves. I was rehearsing for three weeks and I was shooting, so I was kind of on my own. I remember going past an IMAX in Toronto, and there was an IMAX documentary about wolves, and so I thought, ‘I’ll go and see that,'” Jackman said Wednesday.

When they stared shooting 2000’s “X-Men,” director Bryan Singer noticed something wasn’t right with Jackman’s performance.

“He said, ‘Are you sort of walking funny, what’s going on?’ And I said, ‘I’ve been doing this thing with wolves,’ and he goes, ‘You know you’re not a wolf, right?'” Jackman recalled.

Singer found out that Jackman didn't know wolverines existed as their own species. A trip to a zoo was in order. To be fair, there are no wolverines in Australia. That was 17 years ago; we can assume that Jackman knows all about wolverines now. Read the entire story at Page Six. -via The A.V. Club


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Skateboarder Sean Greene Bombs Down The Steep Streets Of San Francisco

Skating the streets of San Francisco is something only the brave, experienced and/or balls out bananas should attempt, because those steep hills make it easy to munch it hard and stopping ain't easy.

But Sean Greene has lots of experience skating down those steep ass hills of San Francisco, so watch him skate SF for a vicarious thrill!

(YouTube Link)

Thrasher Magazine put together this montage video showing pro skateboarder Sean Greene bombing down the super streets of San Francisco like he's invincible. Maybe he is?

-Via Laughing Squid


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Toy Story 19

Toy Story 4 is planned for 2019. That's 24 years after the first movie. You have to wonder how long they can keep it up. This comic from Berkeley Mews gives us an idea of how the story might be ultimately wrapped up. Too bad it's an animated horror film. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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Wild By Nature - Hyrule's Original Cucco Tossing Gangsta


Wild By Nature by inkOne Art

Link was never down with OPP, nor is he the type of guy who likes to yoke the joker, but when a quest calls for him to unleash his savage side he's happy to go all hip hop hooray on his foes and show them he's wild by nature. That's because Link has been a badass since back in the day, so it's going to take more than a bout of amnesia and a 100-year slumber to slow his roll. But that bad boy Ganon better watch his back, because the more Link remembers about his life as the hero of Hyrule the more likely he is to hunt that Calamity creep down!

Celebrate the return of everyone's favorite pointy-eared hero with this Wild By Nature t-shirt by inkOne Art, it's the fun way to show the world you've seen Link as a legend since way back.

Visit inkOne Art's Facebook fan page, official website and Twitter, then head over to his NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

tacos Dragon/Tiger Power GG SNORTORIOUS

View more designs by inkOne Art | More Video Game 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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This Giant Lion Sculpture Is Carved From A Single Redwood Tree

Carving wood into smooth, organic shapes is an amazing skill in its own right, but sculptors who turn raw wood into fantastic looking figures while retaining the tree's natural grain and burls are a cut above the rest.

However, a lone sculptor could spend a decade or more carving a giant redwood into a sculpture so you need a team of artists to tackle a job that big and make it an impressive act of cooperative creativity.

Chinese architect Dengding Rui Yao hired over 20 sculptors to help him bring his massive Oriental Lion sculpture to life, and his team of artists spent 3 years carving out what would become the world's largest redwood sculpture.

The Oriental Lion measures 47.5 feet long, 13 feet wide and 16 and a half feet tall, and it survived a 3000 mile trip to Wuhan's Fortune Plaza Times Square in one piece, which was a feat in and of itself!

-Via design you trust


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Elderly Feral Tomcat and Foster Kittens

Mason the feral cat was ill, injured, and infected when he was taken in by Tinykittens feral TNR program (previously at Neatorama). Because of his condition, he was placed in a home instead of being returned to the feral colony. Mason is only semi-tamed; he still won't let anyone pet him.  

(YouTube link)

But he has adopted a litter of kittens placed in the same foster home. They make him happy. There are several more videos of Grandpa Mason and his kittens at Tiny Tuxies.  -via reddit

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

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Women Describe the Worst Case of Mansplaining They Have Been Subject To

Some men still deny that mansplaining is a real thing or that even if it does exist, that it's a problem, but those men obviously have never had someone assume they were completely ignorant on a subject based solely on their gender.

For those still unconvinced that mansplaining is real, Twitter user @NicholeFroio asked other women to post the most obvious thing that was ever mansplained to them and the results are beyond depressing.

There's a great round up of the responses on Buzzfeed and things men felt they had to explain to women include a man telling a woman her name was spelled wrong, multiple men telling women they didn't know the basics of the thing the woman had an advanced degree in, and men telling women how female bodies work. 

So check out more of the responses here


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That Time a Basketball Player Saved a Dolphin

More than ten years ago, we posted a story about 7' 9" Bao Xishun saving the lives of dophins by sticking his long arm down their throats to retrieve plastic they'd swallowed. It turns out there's precedent for this type of heroism. In 1978, Marine World called in Clifford Ray of the Golden State Warriors, famous for his long arms, in to save a dolphin that had swallowed a bolt! Read about the incident, and see a video, at Weird Universe.


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The Chinese Government Just Shared The Summer Jam Of 2017

Do the words "Chinese government", "global economics" or "belt and road" make you think about having some hot fun in the summertime?

I didn't think so, but your opinion of these seemingly boring words is sure to change after you watch this video featuring the song "The Belt and Road", which is bound to become the jammy jam of Summer '17!

(YouTube Link)

So what is this video all about? It's about the Belt and the Road-

The belt is an actual physical road that will connect China and Europe, and the road is a trade route (think Silk Road) that includes maritime shipping lanes and freight. At the Belt and Road Forum (yes, BARF), Jinping laid out the plan to pump $150 billion a year into 68 countries to promote trade and strengthen the Chinese foothold.

China wants to underwrite huge infrastructure projects all over the world: a coal plant in Sri Lanka, exporting to Pakistan, and expanded electricity grids in Central Asia. This isn't exactly new—China has already funded public transport in Ethiopia, for example—but it's at an unprecedented scale that will shift global trade.

But while we wait for more plans to unfold it's probably just good to numb the anxiety of shifting global powers with a song, and why not the Belt and Road?

-Via Motherboard


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Stages of the Reader

The process of getting kids to read was addressed by Lunarbaboon the other day. Grant Snider takes it a bit further and plots out the way we relate to reading throughout our lives. This comic is from Snider's Incidental Comics. You can get this comic in print or poster form; it would be a great gift for a teacher or librarian.


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College Student Uses Broken Hanger To Eat Pasta, So People Share Their Own Utensil Hack Stories

Sometimes people share stories online thinking they'll be applauded for their ingenuity and creativity only to find the internet community pitying them for their ineptitude.

A college student named Samantha proudly tweeted about how she turned a broken coat hanger into a makeshift fork and people couldn't help but feel sorry for her...and make fun of her, of course.

But Samantha's post also inspired people to tweet about their own makeshift utensils, and some of them made her idea look downright brilliant.

Of course, some of them made her idea look dumb, because paper scooper beats jagged plastic hanger fork by a mile.

-Via BuzzFeed


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Watermelon Bread Recipe

It looks like a watermelon, but it's really raisin bread! This bread recipe combines kneading the dough with mixing in your colors. It even has stripes!

(YouTube link)

May Lynn shows us how it's done. She's done this before; your mileage may vary. The ingredients list can be copied from the YouTube page. -via Nag on the Lake

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Wacky Gardening Hacks That Actually Work

Gardening hack roundups are often full of untested tips that don't work at all or promise results that are impossible to measure, and yet we keep seraching because they're one of the most useful categories of household tips.

Rodale's Organic Life has gathered a collection of wacky gardening hacks that actually work, which is full of great ideas like using coffee filters inside pots when you plan on replanting and using old plastic milk jugs as an upcycled herb garden.

And what's going on at the top of the post? They're using pantyhose as slings for the melons they're growing on their trellis, so they don't break off prematurely. Gardening genius!

See 10 Wacky Gardening Hacks From The Internet That Actually Work here


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