The Story of Rocky

When Sylvester Stallone was told there were no parts for him, he wrote his own.

Sylvester Stallone wasn’t born a leading man. Complications at birth left the son of a hairdresser with nerve damage that slurred his speech and curled his lips into a permanent snarl. His childhood wasn’t easy. His parents fought constantly, and he and his brother slipped in and out of foster care. By high school, they’d moved back in with their mother in Philadelphia, but Stallone’s emotional problems followed him. He struggled academically and was expelled from multiple schools. The arts became his refuge. He spent his free time painting and writing poetry, but his real dream was the silver screen. By the time he was 18, he knew he wanted to act.

Stallone studied drama at the American College of Switzerland and then at the University of Miami, but then abandoned school to pursue a career in New York City. By his mid-twenties, he was getting by on odd jobs like cleaning lion cages and ushering at movie theaters. The bit parts he did manage to land were few and far between. Once, when funds were short, he took a role in an adult film to keep from living in a bus station. When Stallone landed bigger parts, it was because his drooping, stone-chiseled face made him the perfect heavy (Subway Thug No. 1 wasn’t an uncommon credit). By 1975, the 29-year-old actor was desperate for something bigger, so his agent sent him to the L.A. offices of Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, two producers who had a standing deal with United Artists.

The meeting didn’t go as planned. When Winkler and Chartoff met Stallone, they didn’t see a movie star. Dejected, Stallone had his hand on the doorknob when he turned and made one last pitch. “You know,” he said, “I also write.”

The script Stallone turned in was an underdog tale, the story of Rocky, a streetwise palooka who gets an unlikely opportunity to fight the heavyweight champion of the world. But the story of how the film itself got made is even more improbable.

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Birds of Prey May Be Deliberately Spreading Fires

(Photo: Ed Dunens)

Witnesses in Australia have seen black kites and brown falcons carrying burning twigs to dry areas, then dropping them, spreading wildfires in the Australian bush.

Why? Because fire drives small food animals, such as mice and lizards, out of hiding to escape the fire. Then they are visible and vulnerable to the birds. One witness named Bob Gosford explained:

Mr Gosford told the IFL Science website: 'Reptiles, frogs and insects rush out from the fire, and there are birds that wait in front, right at the foot of the fire, waiting to catch them.

'Small fires often attract so many birds that there is insufficient fleeing prey for all, so a bird that was being beaten to its food might benefit from starting a new fire with less competition.'

The researchers found numerous accounts from Aborigines, several firefighters as well as 14 Bush rangers who reported birds carrying burning sticks.

Scientists are a bit more skeptical:

Steve Debus, from the University of New England, an expert in predatory birds said he believed it would be difficult for researchers to distinguish between birds incidentally grasping burning twigs with prey and those deliberately picking them up.

'However, I think black kites and brown falcons are sufficiently intelligent to intentionally spread fires by dropping burning embers, because black kites have been seen to drop bread scraps from picnic areas into nearby waterholes to bait fish within striking range.' Dr Debus said.

-via India Knight


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People Obey Silly Walk Sign

It’s been a couple of years since the art collective Kreativiteket put up a street sign in  Ørje, Norway, referencing Monty Python’s “silly walks” sketch. I’ve just been made aware of a video that shows how people obey the sign.

(YouTube link)

The video was made some time ago, so we don’t know whether the sign is still there. However, there was another installed in Ottawa a few months later. -via Metafilter
 


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Heroic Dog Throws Himself in Front of a Bus to Save His Human

(Photo: Lou Young/CBS 2)

Audrey Stone, 62, is legally blind. Figo, her Golden Retriever, is her guide dog. In June, they tried to cross a street. A bus almost rammed into them. Figo blocked her, then leaped at the bus in a desperate attempt to knock it out of the way. CBS New York reports:

As Stone lay injured on the ground, Brewster Police Chief John Del Gardo said despite having a severe leg injury, Figo would not leave Stone’s side.

Amazingly, Figo didn’t yelp in pain but calmly struggled to stay with Stone.

Stone avoided the full force of the impact and survived with only a broken elbow, ankle, and 3 ribs. Figo broke his right front leg. After Stone spent a few months in a rehabilitation home, they reunited in October.

-via Ace of Spades HQ

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

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Rey’s Stunt Double

The requirements are pretty stiff to make it in Hollywood as a stunt double. You have to be strong, athletic, and graceful. You have to train with different weapons, dance artfully, and hit your mark consistently. You have to know what you're doing and show no fear. And it helps if you have a body type that’s a bit different from the average strong guy looking for those jobs.

(YouTube link)

Meet Chloe Bruce, who is all of those things. She was the stunt double for Daisy Ridley in The Force Awakens. Let’s hope that Rey gets to put a lot more of that power to work in Star Wars: Episode VIII. -via Geeks Are Sexy  


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This Year’s Oscars Gift Bag Includes $275 Toilet Paper and a Vampire Breast Lift


(Photo: National Cancer Institute--original is NSFW)

Everyone is a winner at this year’s Academy Awards! Every person who is nominated will walk away with a “swag bag” of goodies worth over $200,000. The party favors include a 15-day walking tour of Japan, a roll of luxury toilet paper worth $275, a year’s worth of Audi car rentals, and a vampire breast lift.

What’s a vampire breast lift? That’s when doctors extract blood from you, process it in a centrifuge, then inject it into your breasts to make them look plumper.

So even if Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't get an Oscar, but he does has a vampire breast lift going for him, which is nice.

-via Sarah Hoyt


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Ghibli Elemental Charms - Protection From Poor Production Values


Ghibli Elemental Charms by IdeasConPatatas

The studio known as Ghibli has spent decades producing eye candy in the form of animated features, and now the studio has decided to work its magic in another way- by making elemental charms that fans can carry around for protection. These elemental charms channel the power of Ghibli's brightest stars, from that fuzzy wind guardian Totoro to those knock headed Kodama, protectors of the wild lands, and they pack more than enough magic to keep your bod safe from any bad mojo. They're fit for a princess, look nice on any neighbor, and are guaranteed to keep you safe from those who howl and cackle with evil delight.

Slip on this Ghibli Elemental Charms t-shirt by IdeasConPatatas and people will find you, and your taste in clothing, utterly charming and irresistible!

Visit IdeasConPatatas's Facebook fan page, Twitter and Instagram, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

MM8 Indiana Potter Robot Detector Dark God Rises

View more designs by IdeasConPatatas | More Anime T-shirts | New T-Shirts

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Two Drunk Irishmen Moving a Couch is Strangely Entertaining


YouTube Link

When these two obviously inebriated Irishmen decide to move a couch in their impaired state, it might not be the most intelligent decision. It does bring smiles to the faces of observers, however. Don't give up, guys! (Maybe another beer would boost morale.)

Contains NSFW language, which most of us will not be able to decipher anyway.


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Pig Escapes from Farm in New Hampshire, Tries to Vote


(Photo: @matthewr1960)

On Tuesday, voters in New Hampshire lined up to cast their votes for candidates in the primary election. Among the eager citizens was this 600-pound pig, which escaped from a farm and hung out around a polling station in the town of Pelham. Police contacted the owner, who retrieved the pig before it had a chance to cast a ballot. You can see more videos of it at Boston.com.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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How The Force Awakens Should Have Ended

The folks at How It Should Have Ended have turned their eyes upon Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And it’s about time. They’ve had a month and a half to second guess screenwriters JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. Need I say it? This contains massive spoilers.

(YouTube link)

But this is more than just how it should have ended. They go through various scenes throughout the movie and improve the logic and dialogue as they go. As far as the ending goes, this makes more sense, but would have prevented us from enjoying endless sequels. Oh yeah, when you think this video is over, there’s more. Several times. -via Gamma Squad


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Art Museum Offers a Replica of a Van Gogh Painting on Airbnb

It's like stepping inside the actual painting!

The Art Institute of Chicago is conducting an exhibit of Vincent Van Gogh paintings that depict bedrooms. They include The Bedroom, an 1899 painting of Van Gogh's own room in Arles, France.

To promote the event, the museum has created a nearly perfect replica of the room that Van Gogh rented--or how Van Gogh saw it in his mind and painted it on his canvas. You can rent it on Airbnb for $10.

What historical painting would you like to spend a day in if it was recreated like this?

On a side note, I learned something interesting about this painting while writing this post. It was owned by Japan, but ceded to France as a war reparation under the Treaty of San Francisco, which formally ended the Pacific War.

-via Colossal


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An Aerial View of Curaçao

Jürgen Horn and Mike Powell took their very first helicopter ride to see a bit more of their temporary home in Curaçao. While the cities are beautiful, there are still plenty of beaches and uninhabited areas to explore. And for some of those places, the only way to do it is from the air.  

Lifting off was strange at first — this is a totally different experience to flying in an airplane, but we adjusted quickly. The tour was perfect. The entire southeastern section of Curaçao, a huge swath of land known as Oostpunt, is private property — the owner has steadfastly resisted selling it off, and has prohibited access to practically everyone. The result is a pristine, untouched natural environment, and one of the few ways to see it is from the air. We flew high above the region, and then came down low to inspect some of the highlights. Once, hovering just a few meters above a large lagoon, we saw a turtle swimming along, undisturbed by the giant machine whirring above its head.

See a video of Curaçao from above, and lots of pictures, at For 91 Days.


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When This Developmentally Disabled Basketball Player Landed a Basket, Everyone Reacted Perfectly

Robert Lewis, who has Down Syndrome, is the team manager for the basketball team of Franklin Road Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. In the final minutes of a game against the University School of Nashville, he stepped onto the court to play.

Guarding him on the opposing team was Matthew, his own brother. In the final few seconds of the game, Robert landed a perfect 3-point shot. Both teams and the spectators charged the court, surrounded Robert, lifted him on their shoulders, and carried him around in celebration.


(Video Link)

Who won the game? Yes.

-via Huffington Post


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America's Oldest Shopping Mall Is Now An Apartment Building

When the economy goes bust retail stores are often hit the hardest, because people who don't have a lot of extra money to spend tend to stay away from malls.

Couple that with the fact that online shopping is cheaper, easier and faster to deliver than ever and you've got the makings of a mall massacre.

But what is a town supposed to do with their giant, and often quite nice looking, mall carcasses?

Do like the Arcade Providence, America's oldest shopping mall, and turn a shopping center that would otherwise be abandoned into an apartment building.

The Arcade Providence in Rhode Island was in danger of being closed down for good when the Northeast Collaborative Architects decided to let some new life into the building by converting the top two floors into low cost apartments.

Each of the 48 one bedroom units in the Arcade Providence start at $550/month, and the seventeen stores on the ground floor get to stay open for business proving that, for some, shopping really is a lifestyle. 

-Via My Modern Met


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Cadbury Creme Eggs Restaurant Opens

(Images: Cadbury Creme Egg)

What animal lays the Cadbury creme egg? I don't want to know. I am satisfied that it is a wonderful animal.

You can do anything with a Cadbury creme egg, including deep frying it, making a Scotch egg, a toad-in-a-hole, or eggs Benedict. It's Nature's perfect food, so I'm glad that Cadbury has chosen to open a restaurant in London that serves it in everything.

The Evening Standard described the project in January:

The ground floor is designed for those busy egg-ophiles who are short on time, and will serve Creme Egg toasties to go. Yes, you read right, that’s: Creme. Egg. Toasties. They’ll sell for just £2 a pop.

Up on the first floor there’ll be more of a restaurant vibe, with four Creme Egg dishes on offer to eat in. As well as the toasties, these will include: egg and soldiers, Creme Egg tray bake, and strawberries and creme (egg).

All dishes on the first floor will cost £4, which we'd say is well worth shelling out for the novelty alone. Tea, coffee and water will be available — no Creme Egg cocktails, alas.

On the second floor there will be an interactive ball pool — which, as far as we’re aware, won’t contain any actual Creme Eggs. It's a good opportunity for adults to splash around in a ball pool without scaring little kids and alarming their parents, though.

-via NotCot

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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A Tiny Safari

A bunny rabbit goes on an African safari to see the wildlife. But since he’s a bunny, what he sees (with his hilarious fake arm and binoculars) are guinea pigs dressed as various wild animals.

(YouTube link)

This is the latest from HelloDenizen, the folks behind the Tiny Hamster series. Their greatest accomplishment is figuring out how to make a living by dressing up little fluffy pets. -Thanks, Joe and Elijah!

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

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If More Internet Companies Built Physical Shops

(The Very Near Future)

Amazon.com, a company which was founded as an online retailer, recently built its first brick-and-mortar store. The company sees a market for traditional in-person experiences. What if other online companies made similar choices? The Very Near Future makes proposals for Netflix, Dropbox, Spotify, and Imgur.

And what would we do at the world-famous Neatorama? The good news is that we have some institutional memory. Back in 1887, when Alex's great-great-grandfather founded Neatorama, we delivered cat .gifs by telegram. And except for that brief experiment with carrier pigeons in 1915, we kept that model running through 1953, when we made the switch to radio--a move that was far more successful than that costly 1978 foray into mail-order View-Master slides.

In short: we could do it. Should we is a different question.

-via Tastefully Offensive


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METROID: OTHER Y - She's Way More Super Than Mario


METROID: OTHER Y by OhHeyDJ

Samus was tired of running, tired of having to jump and spin her way across every planet she visited, so she decided to look into buying some transportation. But mechanical transports were doomed to encounter failure, and horses were too easily spooked by the strange creatures she was constantly battling, so she looked to the Mushroom Kingdom for an alternative. There she found Mario's secret weapon of a steed, the creature known as a Yoshi that was not only brave and fast but also fond of gobbling up metroids with one flick of its tongue!

Grab a gaming mashup like no other on this METROID: OTHER Y t-shirt by OhHeyDJ, it's the super way to keep your fashion game tight and show some love for those console classics.

VisitOhHeyDJ's Facebook fan page, official website and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more gamer-iffic designs:

SHORT GUYS NEED LOVE TOO! SUPER SWOLE BROTHERS BLONDES AND BLADES SUPER SMASH SHINOBI

View more designs by OhHeyDJ | 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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The Worst TV Neighbors

American family sitcoms always have a wacky neighbor, since he is so useful in bringing in zaniness when the family starts to seem almost normal. They’re also really handy when a character wants to talk about wheat’s going on in the family. While some of these neighbors end up being best friends, others are the type you’ve never want near your home. Read about five TV neighbors who would be total nightmares in real life, from the last 30 years of TV sitcoms, at TVOM.


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Ripley The Toucan Thinks She's A Lap Dog

I will be the first to admit that my knowledge of toucans is largely based on Toucan Sam from the Fruit Loops commercials and that little plaque in front of their cage at the zoo that tells you where they're from and what they eat.

But despite my ignorance on the subject I don't think I've ever heard of toucans being particularly cuddly birds before I saw this video starring Ripley the toucan, who seems to think he's a lap dog rather than a long billed bird.

(YouTube Link)

Ripley's proud owners love sharing their silly bird with the world via the official Ripley the Toucan Facebook page and of course by sharing videos of Ripley's odd behavior on her YouTube channel.

-Via Cheezburger

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

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Matt the Radar Technician Tattoo

First there was the skit, then the t-shirt, then the action figure. Now tattoo artist Bill DeNovio unveils his artwork of Adam Driver’s SNL character Matt the Radar Technician. This character is giving Kylo Ren a run for his money! You have to think that Driver will be invited back to Saturday Night Live to reprise the character soon. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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Florida Man Arrested For Hurling Live Alligator into Drive-Thru Window

A Palm Beach, Florida man hurled a live alligator through a Wendy's drive-through window in October of last year, and after eluding the authorities since then, is now being arrested for his stunt. Local news station WPTV is reporting that 23-year-old Joshua James, after a Wendy's employee handed him a beverage through the drive-through window and turned her back to him, threw the 3.5 foot gator inside the window. James had been hiding the gator in the back of his truck.

After a search for James, U.S. Marshall used video camera footage to catch up with him, finally taking the creative criminal into custody yesterday.

Learn more on this story at WPTV. Via Uproxx


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Mexican Sayings That Sound Ridiculous When Literally Translated Into English

(Que Pedo= What The Fart?, actually translates to "What's happening?")

Most idioms can't be easily, or coherently, translated into another language because they're meant to be said in the original language and may not even make sense to people who speak another language.

(Sepa La Bola = The Ball Knows, actually means "I have no idea")

Even people who speak the same language but are from different regions of the world can't understand each others idioms, so it makes sense that a Mexican idiom translated into English would come out sounding all sorts of strange.

(Estoy Encabronada = I have become a goat, actually means "I'm pissed off")

See 13 Mexican Sayings That Sound Really Weird When They're Translated Literally here


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Acrobatic Goat Can Balance All 4 Feet on a Tiny Platform


(Video Link)

Rani the goat from Karachi, Pakistan seems to defy gravity as he climbs up on one platform stacked upon another. When you think that he's done, his handler, Osman Ali, adds another. Now, let's see them trade places. That would be a great act.

-via Huffington Post

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

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Awesome Alternate History Artwork By Jakub Rozalski

Alternate history stories are compelling to read or watch, and they also make for really fun video games, but creating alternate history art seems hard for an artist to do well.

For one thing the viewer would have to know which historical period or event the artist is referencing, and then the whole thing would have to be rendered realistically enough to visually tell the tale for you.

Jakub Rozalski's paintings have all of the elements of a perfect alt history art piece in place,  visually transporting us to another time that never truly existed, at least not in our dimension.

For instance- what would Poland's January Uprising of 1863 against Russian rule have looked like if the Polish insurgents used mechs to help them fight for freedom?

See more of Jakub's alternate history artworks here


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Making a Simpsons Murderer

What if you took the popular Netflix series Making a Murderer and put Homer Simpson in suspect Steve Avery’s place? That’s what the latest Vulture remix is all about. It combines audio from the true crime series and video from the TV show The Simpsons.

(YouTube link)

They had a lot of footage to select from, as The Simpsons is now in its 27th season. Homer seems to have been arrested more than his share of times in all those years. -via reddit


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"Mobile Confession Unit" Rolls out after Receiving the Pope's Blessing

(Photo: Diocese of Salford)

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford, UK built the Mercy Bus--a vehicle capable of carrying the diocese's will across Britain's roads. After receiving an official blessing by Pope Francis during his visit to the UK, it's ready to roll out. It includes a built-in confession booth to offer the sacrament of reconciliation to those in need of it. Father Frankie Mulgrew (right), a priest and comedian, is taking it out on tour. The Irish Post reports:

A spokesperson for the Salford diocese said: “Father Frank presented images of the Mercy Bus to Pope Francis in Rome, much to the Holy Father’s interest and delight!”

Father Mulgrew said: “We were inspired by the Pope who, when he was as cardinal in Argentina, would celebrate open-air Masses in the poorest areas of his diocese.”

It's not entirely clear what other features the Mercy Bus contains or what it looks like after transforming into robot mode.

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath


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Inertia Makes the World Go Around

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!

A mini-opera in four acts
music by Georges Bizet
words by Marc Abrahams

This mini-opera had its premiere as part of the 16th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, on Thursday evening, October 5, 2006.

Original Cast
Narrator: Karen Hopkin
The Boy: Pierre Fontaine
Eb: Margot Button
Flo: Gina Beck
The Dog: Maggie McNeil.
Pianist: Scott Nicholas
Friends: The new Ig Nobel Prize winners, the Nobel Laureates, and all the other ignitaries who were on stage.

Characters
EB and FLO, who are sisters. EB is always at rest. FLO  is always in motion. Each girl has a cellular phone always held to her ear.
The BOY.
The boy’s DOG (a biting, but non-singing, part). The DOG appears in Acts 1, 3, and 4.
FRIENDS— the neighborhood children (this role is played by guest scientists). They appear in Act 4.

ACT 1: “A Natural Leader”

NARRATOR [spoken]:Tonight’s opera is about a boy, and his ego, and his inertia. This little boy thinks he’s the most popular boy EVER. Here in Act 1, he has JUST moved into town. Right next door live two sisters. The boy expects the two sisters to come over and play with him. But that may not happen. You see, one sister NEVER leaves the house — and the other sister is ALWAYS running  around. Let me clarify that: One sister is at rest, and she tends to stay at rest — and the other sister is in motion, and she tends to stay in motion.

Now let’s meet the little boy, and his little dog. The boy explains how he’s going to get the two sisters to come admire him. Inevitably, the boy comes to realize, as he always does, how very wonderful he is. Let’s listen.

Continue reading

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Solo's Stout - Best When Served Extra Cool


Solo's Stout by Barrett Biggers

If you're looking for a brew that will shoot first and leave you feeling a bit smarmy then you need to crack open a tasty bottle of Solo's Stout, made from the finest swamp water Dagobah has to offer. Solo's Stout has a bold flavor that will stick with you through all of your adventures, and the alcohol content is low enough that you can still pilot your ship after tossing back a few beers, not that Han is condoning drinking and piloting mind you. Oh, and if you happen to find any Wookiee hairs in your beer just consider them good luck charms courtesy of Chewie!

Add some bold flavor to your geeky wardrobe with this Solo's Stout t-shirt by Barrett Biggers, it's the classic way to show some love for your favorite smuggler and your favorite kind of beer.

Visit Barrett Biggers's Facebook fan page, official website, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more mighty smooth designs:

Gotham Rogues Gallery YOUR NEIGHBOR TOTORO Just A Hero For Fun Heroes Of Lylat

View more designs by Barrett Biggers | 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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Beautiful Pots Made by Blasting Music Below a 3D Printer

Think of it as a way to 3d print a song. 

Olivier Van Herpt, a Dutch ceramics artist, worked with Ricky van Broekhoven, a sound designer to develop this novel interpretation of music. They call their project Solid Vibrations.


(Video Link)

The build platform of the 3d printer rests over a speaker. As music plays, it shakes the build in progress so that the imperfections in the laying of material match the sounds. You can see and feel the music in the finished ceramic pots.

-via Fast Co Design


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