20 Things You Might Not Know About E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

The first time I ever saw Reece’s Pieces was in a theater lobby that was showing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. I bought some, and was eating them when they appeared in the film. What a genius product placement: I thought the candy was developed for the movie. There aren’t many who saw that movie in theaters who weren’t emotionally affected by it. You may have seen it many times since then, but did you know that the script was originally supposed to be a sequel to Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Steven Spielberg was approached about a sequel, and considered what would happen if one of the aliens stayed behind and terrorized a family. That idea was later split into two films: the nice story of the alien left behind (which was combined with Spielberg’s autobiographical story of a child dealing with divorce), and another movie about a terrorized family called Poltergeist. What else do you want to know about E.T?

4. Henry Thomas’ improvised audition won him the part of Elliott.

The most difficult role for Spielberg to cast was that of Elliott, the boy who discovers and befriends E.T. Spielberg’s friend Jack Fisk (Sissy Spacek’s husband and the production designer of such films as Badlands and Eraserhead) suggested a young actor by the name of Henry Thomas, whom he directed in his 1981 film Raggedy Man. Spielberg brought Thomas in for a meeting to audition at Universal Studios, but instead of giving Henry the script to read, the director opted to have the young actor improv a scene with a government agent (played by casting director Mike Fenton) who is trying to take his alien best friend away from him. Spielberg’s only direction to Thomas was to do whatever it takes to stop the government agent from taking the alien away. In the heartbreaking audition (seen above), Thomas broke down in tears while pleading with Fenton not to take his friend, prompting Spielberg to conclude the session with “OK kid, you got the job."

12. E.T.’s favorite candy was supposed to be M&Ms.

Spielberg brought his idea to Mars Incorporated, the company that owns M&Ms, to ask if they could use their little candies in a scene where Elliott attracts the inquisitive alien back to his house. Universal Studios legally barred the company from seeing the final script, so Mars passed on the cross-promotional opportunity. Spielberg and company then brought the idea to the Hershey Company to see if they could use Hershey Kisses, but the company was looking to get more exposure for their newest creation, Reese’s Pieces, and suggested the peanut butter filled treats instead. Hershey agreed to spend $1 million for the rights to promote the use of their product in E.T., and Reese’s Pieces became the little alien's candy of choice. The agreement certainly paid off for Hershey, as the company reported a 65 percent increase in profits on Reese's Pieces just two weeks after the film premiere.

I know I became addicted to those candies and bought more than my share. You can see the Henry Thomas audition and read the rest of the 20 Things You Might Not Know About E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at mental_floss.


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The Wonut Is a Waffle Donut

(Photos: Waffle Cafe)

Mad culinary scientists are feverishly at work, advancing the dark and dangerous frontiers of dessert science. First, they devised the cronut--a cross between the donut and the croissant. Next came the crookie--a croissant with a Double Stuf Oreo inside.

Now, thanks to the Waffle Cafe in Chicago, we have the wonut. Or the doffle. The chefs haven't decided on a name yet. But it is as it sounds: a combination waffle and donut. They make it by preparing a small waffle, then frying it like it is a donut. Behold the results!

-via Foodbeast

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Will the Private Market for Dinosaur Bones Destroy Us All?

Are dinosaur fossils a national resource for research and education, or do they belong to those who own the land they are found on -or who buy them from the owners? Part of the problem is the desirability of dinosaur fossils, which fuels a black market in stolen or smuggled fossils. There are those who believe that fossils should be treated as sacred relics, for scientific reasons: after all, the connection between a fossil and the place its found in is an important scientific tool. Others, like commercial paleontologist Japheth Boyce, say it doesn’t matter because there are plenty of fossils, and there will always be more found.

To illustrate the overabundance of fossils in our midst, Boyce points to the bounty of Hadrosaur and Triceratops dinosaur fossils that remain unexcavated at just two sites in the western United States. “Duck-billed dinosaurs,” Boyce says of one type of Hadrosaur, “were basically the deer or buffalo of the Late Cretaceous—they were prey animals for just about everything. There’s a mass-mortality site at a privately owned quarry near Faith, South Dakota, about 100 miles north of Rapid City. The duck-bills there were probably migrating and got caught in a flooding river or plains-delta area. There are perhaps 3,000 Hadrosaurs in that one quarry. In central Montana, along the Missouri River, there’s a quarry of Triceratops, the dinosaur with three horns on its face. That one Triceratops quarry contains about 300 specimens. There aren’t 300 museums in the world that want a Triceratops.”

On the other side of the argument is Kenshu Shimada, a professor of paleobiology at DePaul University in Chicago, and the co-author of a recent screed describing fossils as “nonrenewable natural resources” that should be “conserved in perpetuity.” For Shimada and his co-authors, “the battle against heightened commercialization of fossils” is “the greatest challenge to paleontology of the 21st century.”

“It’s a very unfortunate situation,” Shimada elaborates when I ask him over the phone about all those unwanted fossilized Triceratops skeletons. “The reason why there are so few museums that can take the specimens,” he says, “is because the job market for paleontologists is shrinking, as is the funding to collect and house fossils in museums. It’s not that they don’t want to take them—they don’t have the resources.”

The controversy was heightened when Nicolas Cage won an auction for a Tarbosaurus bataar skull that had been illegally smuggled out of Mongolia. Read more about the controversy and the fossil trade in general at Collectors Weekly.

(Image credit: Heritage Auctions)


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Preview The Masaaki Yuasa Directed Episode Of Adventure Time

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Adventure Time is a brilliant cartoon show in so many ways- it introduces new audiences to old school animation style, it features a world full of adventure that provides a nearly limitless source of episode material, and it stars colorful and funky characters that have just enough depth to make them interesting and plenty of strange.

Masaaki Yuasa is a dynamic director with many titles under his belt, such as Mind Game, Kaiba and Ping Pong, and he was recently given free reign to storyboard and direct a self-contained episode without any oversight by the Adventure Time staff.

Please enjoy this preview of Massaki's upcoming episode "Food Chain", fresh from the Adventure Time panel at Wondercon.

-Via Cartoon Brew


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Dogs Annoying Cats with Their Friendship

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Dogs want so bad to be friends, but you know how standoffish cats can be. Underneath it all, cats want to be friends, too. They just want to be cool about it. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

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

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Wouldn't You Like To Be Tawookie Too?


Tawookie Suit by Baardei

What's Mario's favorite weapon against the dark side? A Tawookie Suit, of course, with snap on fangs and signature crossbow type weapon sure to turn make those clones go from stormtroopers to shy guys in no time!

Mashups are totally classic, and two classic flavors that taste great together meet on this Tawookie Suit t-shirt by Baardei, bring one home and you'll achieve a high score in geeky fashion sense!

Visit Baardei's official website and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

You Wookieeeediot Skelletör Fightin' English Another Castle

View more designs by Baardei | 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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Adopting a Child Is Like Breast Augmentation


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Jesse Butterworth is the lead pastor of Rain City Church in Bellevue, Washington. He has 3 children. 2 of them are biologically his and 1 is adopted. Sometimes people ask incredibly rude questions about his adopted child, who is of a different race. Butterworth says, "Now we have to assume that people aren't meaning to actually be mean. They just don't know what kind of language to use when they're talking to an adoptive family."

So Butterworth offers this rule: treat adoption like breast augmentation. He says, "If you wouldn't say it about a boob job, don't say it about an adoptive family."

If you meet a woman whom you suspect has breast implants, you wouldn't say 'Hey, are those real?'or 'Where did you get those?'* Similarly, don't ask a parent 'Is that your real daughter?' or 'Where did you get her from?'

-via Popehat

*Well, hopefully you wouldn't.

P.S. Be sure to read Miss Cellania's insightful comments on the topic.


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Raw Tuna and Other Wild Parfaits from Japan

(Photo: Tokimeki Rukuki)

Japan is hardcore about its frozen desserts. We've previously seen a parfait that is topped with not a cherry, but an entire slice of cake. Other Japanese parfaits are even more extreme, such as this parfaitzilla.

But if you really want to know about pop culture in Japan, then consult the experts at Rocket News 24. They've rounded up photos of the most inventive parfaits available, including the one pictured above which has raw tuna.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Ellen's Appearance on Game of Thrones

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Ellen Degeneres returns to her standup roots for a guest appearance on the HBO show Game of Thrones. She plays -what else- the court jester. Despite what she tells you, I see hardly any spoilers here. There might be if it made any sense, but we don’t watch standup comedians for their logic. -via Tastefully Offensive


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Fun Custom Furniture Pieces By Straight Line Designs

Whimsical home furnishings abound these days, but furniture design is still generally kept on the straight and narrow, functional without being too outlandish looking.

Straight Line Designs creates one-of-a-kind furniture pieces and installations, and they aim to change the way we see furniture design with their unique and lighthearted creations.

There’s a coffee table that appears to be taking a tinkle on the carpet, a bench/coffee table combination that looks like it's being opened like a can of sardines, and many other fantastic designs that are totally functional and totally fun!

-Via Juxtapoz


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Becoming Sumo

(vimeo link)

Abdelrahman Shalan is the first professional sumo wrestler from Africa, or the Middle East. Born in Egypt, he left his family at age 16 to live and train in Japan. He is now known as ƌsunaarashi, which translates to The Great Sandstorm. It’s not the kind of dream most of us could relate to, but he is putting his all into making it happen. -via Laughing Squid


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Creative Packaging Designs That Practically Sell Themselves

(Image Via Lo Siento Studio)

(Image Via Cecilia Uhr)

Sometimes all it takes to sell a product is a clever name, a likeable mascot or an eye-catching package design.

Consumers often decide to purchase products they don't normally buy based on how good the packaging looks, and when every little bit counts towards making your product a success in a highly competitive market the packaging is a good place to start.

Please enjoy an eye pleasing selection of 25 Creative Packaging Designs That Practically Sell Themselves, it's like shopping with your eyeballs and it won't cost you a dime!


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Firefighter Having a Bit of Trouble

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The original title on this video is “Firefighter on a ladder having a bad day on a slippery truck…” But honestly, he’s a firefighter. Any day you fight a fire and make it home is a good day. But the trouble he’s having in this short clip will remind you of some ridiculous predicament you got yourself into once or twice in the past -maybe even on a ladder. It’s okay to laugh, because we’ve all been there. -via Arbroath


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Dog Testifies in French Murder Case


(Cell Phone Reception t-shirt now on sale at the NeatoShop)

Be good to your pets. They may finger your killer someday. At least, that's what one attorney in a French murder case hoped. He called to the courtroom witness stand the dog owned by a murder victim. The lawyer hoped that the dog would recognize and identify the killer:

During a recent preliminary hearing the judge called a nine-year-old Labrador named Tango to the witness stand in an attempt to confirm the allegations against his master’s presumed killer, RTL radio reported.

The judge ordered the suspect to threaten the canine with a bat, with the idea being that Tango’s reactions could be used to identify or rule out the suspect. And in a nod to the scientific method of keeping tests fair, a second dog named Norman, of the same age and breed as Tango, was brought in to serve as the 'control group'.

Perhaps not surprisingly the suspect’s lawyer, Gregoire Lafarge, said the whole thing was totally absurd.

“So if Tango lifted his right paw, moved his mouth or his tail, is he recognizing my client or not?’ Lafarge told RTL. “I find it very troubling for the French legal system. If a judge ignores the demands of reason and surrounds himself with experts who are unreasonable, well the system becomes very dangerous.”

The experiment ended up being a total failure and Tango and Norman were allowed to return to their dogs’ lives.

-via Dave Barry


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How Sloths Breathe Upside-down

Sloths spend a lot of time hanging from tree branches, often upside-down. In other animals, this would cause the liver and intestines to press down on the lungs and make breathing difficult. But sloths have developed their own solution. Rebecca Cliffe from Swansea University studies sloths at Costa Rica’s Sloth Sanctuary, and has done many dissections on dead sloths. She found the internal organs were held in place by a strange fibrous adhesions she at first thought was scar tissue. But all sloths have it, and the natural “adhesive tape” eases their breathing between 7 and 13%.

“For many mammals, an energy saving of 7 to 13 percent wouldn’t be particularly game-changing,” says Cliffe. In fact, some mammals like howler monkeys do regularly hang inverted without any organ-anchors. The difference is that “sloths have virtually no flexibility in their energy budget. They generate just about enough energy from their diet to move when and where required, but there is not much left in the tank afterwards. To a sloth, an energy saving of 7 to 13 percent is quite a big deal.”

They also take a very long time to digest their food, and they only urinate and defecate once a week. Most of the time, a sloth is carrying a third of their body weight in waste matter, which means that its stomach and bowels are very heavy. “It would be energetically very expensive, if not completely impossible, for a sloth to lift this extra weight with each breath were it not for the adhesions,” says Cliffe.

Ed Yong has more about the recently-released study of sloth anatomy, which is different from all other animals because sloths are weird.

(Image credit: Flickr user Cliff)


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A Time-Lapse Stop Motion Trip Around The City Of Light

(Video Link)

The City of Light is full of so much beauty that it has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated, but this time lapse stop motion short by Mayeul Akpovi called Paris In Motion Part 4 does a great job of showing off the finer points of Parisian beauty.

Mayeul compiled thousands of still photographs to create a visually compelling portrait of Paris, taking the viewer on a virtual tour that's a bit jerky, a bit brief, but way cheaper than heading there in person! And if you like what you see make sure you check out parts one two and three in the series.

-Via Laughing Squid


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A Magical Kingdom For Mutants


Mutant Academy by Warbucks Design

When the gates of this magical kingdom of learning open for you it's time to channel your powers and embrace your mutant heritage, or you can X it all out of your mind and go rogue.

The lands of fantasy and tomorrow are calling, will you accept their offer of admission and don this Mutant Academy t-shirt by Warbucks Design?

Visit Warbucks Design's official Facebook page , then head on over to his NeatoShop: for more magical designs:

Moe's Cantina Galaxy Headphones Soldier of Winter - Rogers Doh! Zombies!

View more designs by Warbucks Design | 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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Nip Vann: Outlaw on the Big Screen

Napoleon Blackstone “Nip” Vann had a dramatic life both on and off screen. He worked in traveling Wild West shows and early Western silent films, along with Tom Mix and other notables. But something went wrong during a night of drinking in 1913 and Marshal John McInroy of Caney, Kansas, was shot dead. Vann fled the scene, and McInroy’s cousin and fellow law enforcement officer Bert Ziegenfuss vowed to catch Vann and bring him to justice. It took 24 years for him to do so.

During the course of Vann being a fugitive from justice, he changed his name almost a dozen times. His confirmed whereabouts included Naples, Italy; Athens, Greece; Richmond, Virginia; Helena, Montana; and even Hollywood, California.

Then, one day in 1935, Ziegenfuss was sitting in a movie theater in Coffeyville, Kansas. He stared up at the screen while Nip Vann stared down at him. Vann had found his way back into the movie business, surrounded by the very men—like Tom Mix—who had ushered his career some two decades earlier.

Read about Vann’s adventures on the lam, and what ultimately happened to him, at This Land. -via Digg


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The Fifth Element - 8-Bit Cinema Edition

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Cult classic sci-fi flick The Fifth Element is beloved by fans for its original sense of humor, vibrant characters, and truly unique twist on the sci-fi genre, but when TFE gets an 8-bit makeover the whole thing becomes even more far out!

Cinefix's conversion of The Fifth Element into a pixel-tastic, video game inspired animated short may not replace the original movie in the hearts of fans, but once again they have done a great job of making me long for an old school style video game that will never come out. *sigh*

-Via GeekTyrant


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What Is It? game 324

It's once again time for our collaboration with the wonderfully entertaining What Is It? Blog. Do you know what the pictured item is? Can you make up something totally wacky? That's what we're looking for: the funniest and most creative guesses. We will award t-shirts from the NeatoShop to two commenters who post the cleverest, funniest, or most outlandish use for this thing!

Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, please, though you can enter as many guesses as you'd like in separate comments. You have until Friday evening to come up with great guesses.

Please write your T-shirt selection alongside your guess. If you don't include a selection, you forfeit the prize. May we suggest the Science T-Shirt, Funny T-Shirt and Artist-Designed T-Shirts?

See, you don't have to know the answer to win! And there's another picture of this thing, as well as other mystery items, at the What Is It? Blog. Good luck!

Love games and puzzles? Visit NeatoPuzzles for more!

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Hilarious Israeli Airline Safety Video

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When you take a flight your life is in the hands of the airline, the pilots and the onboard staff, and normally you trust that they are going to get you where you need to go safe and sound.

Safety videos are created so passengers feel better about flying and don't freak out every time the plane hits a bit of turbulence, but this strange video by Israeli airline El Al entitled "UP" will just plain make folks feel better about life! Have a nice trip!

-Via Topless Robot


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The Beautiful Bond University Architecture Building

Most colleges try to have some impressively beautiful buildings, but if there's one department that really needs a stunning home, it's the architecture department -and the new design at Bond University of Queensland, Australia is truly impressive.

From the wide open coridor to the tiny nooks made into meeting spaces, the the Abedian School of Architecture is a fantastic place for students to not only learn and meet, but also to find inspiration in their craft. 

Check out more cool pictures at Homes and Hues: The Architecture Building At Bond University Can Inspire Any Design Student


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11 Facts You May Not Know About George Clooney

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

George Clooney is considered "the last true movie star" by some. With classic good lucks and just gravelly-enough voice, the guy is the #1 chick magnet and fantasy guy of countless millions of women around the globe. Isn't his life the most picture perfect of any man on earth?

Millionaire, famous, good-looking, an Oscar-winning actor (he got his Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for Syriana in 1995), he owns an 18th century villa in Italy, and has cut a path through scores (no pun intended) of beautiful women. Not bad.

Okay, let's take a look at a few things you may not know about the most perfect guy any of us can ever imagine- George Clooney.

1. He suffered for a year with Bell's palsy as a teenager.

At the age of 14, George took a sip of milk one day and it started dribbling out of his mouth. It was the beginning of a year-long battle with Bell's palsy, a form of facial paralysis. With his face partially paralyzed for a year, his nickname as a high school freshman became “Cloon-dog" (his face took on a droopy, Basset hound look).

“You know how cruel kids can be", recalled Clooney, "i was mocked and taunted. but the experience made me stronger".

2. He worked a tobacco cutter.

His early jobs included selling men's suits and shoes and working in the stockrooms of department stores. He was also a tobacco cutter ("a miserable job") Clooney was a smoker himself from his late teens to his late twenties (something he regrets to this day) He finally kicked the habit when he saw his uncle joe die of lung cancer.

3. He used to sleep with a pig.

Okay, that is literally, not figuratively. George often shared his bed with Max, a 300-lb. black-bristled, Vietnamese pot-bellied pig that was given to George as a gift by actress Kelly Preston. George often shared his bed (obviously when he wasn't sharing it with a lady) with Max. He owned his beloved Max for 18 years (crippled with arthritis and partially blind, Max finally passed away in 2006).

Continue reading

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Star Wars - Bad Foley Edition

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Star Wars is one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises of all time, and both the special effects and the movie soundtracks still hold up decades later.

A big part of the original trilogy’s charm is the fun foley sound effects created specifically for the films- they're so iconic you can tell a lightsaber from a blaster rifle from a TIE fighter just by hearing the sound, but what would Star Wars be without those iconic foley sound effects?

YouTube user Hudson Hongo brings us Star Wars: Bad Foley Edition in an effort to prove just how important sound effects are to those wars in the stars.

-Via Gamma Squad


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The World's Fastest Elevator Will Shoot You Up and Down at 45 MPH


(Unrelated photo via ume-y)

The fastest elevator in the world is in Taipei. It moves at 38 miles per hour. But it looks like that record will be blown away in 2016. Hitachi plans to build an advanced passenger elevator in the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, a skyscraper in Guangzhou, China that is 580 yards tall. Hitachi, which has been building high-speed elevators since 1968, promises that this one will move 45 miles per hour.

-via DVICE


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Fingersnapping Super Mario

(YouTube link)

I can snap my fingers as well as the next person, but I never knew until today that you (or at least some talented people) can make snapping fingers play different notes. Emil Axelsson is pretty good at it. Watch closely and you’ll see that he’s not snapping the same fingers over and over, but different fingers to make different tones. Enjoy his version of the Super Mario Bros. theme. -via Viral Viral Videos 

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Playing Golf with 15-Inch Holes

(Photo: Rick Limpert)

It's not miniature golf. Far from it--you play on regular golf courses. But Big Hole Golf, as the sport is called, uses holes that are 15-inches across. That's much bigger than the 4 and 6-inch regulation hole diameters.

Hack Golf developed the game as part of an effort to lure more people into a sport that is declining in popularity in the United States. John Paul Newport of the Wall Street Journal explains that much of a round of golf is spent waiting on other players to finish their times on putting greens. By making putting easier, a game goes quicker, often shaving 30-45 minutes off an 18-hole round.

-via TYWKIWDBI


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To The Bar Princess!


To The Bar Princess by Retro Review

Getting kidnapped by a giant fire breathing turtle with a spiked shell can turn you into a bit of a lush, and when your moustachioed beau spends days leaping through the levels to save your royal behind you have a lot of time to drink peach wine and think about how your life is one big game.

You're not as think as you drunk you are unless you're wearing this To The Bar Princess t-shirt by Retro Review, perfect for late night gaming sessions or pub crawling until last call.

Visit Retro Review's official Facebook page, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more totally geeky designs:

To The Bar Toad To The Pub Bro To The Bar Bro Be Excellent To Each Other

View more designs by Retro Review | 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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Humans Are A Dog's Best Friend

(YouTube link)

Ze Frank takes on the persona of a Bassett hound to explain how dogs and humans relate to each other. It’s  dog food ad, but it’s not intrusively so. The story of the human’s date is lovely, sticking random things the man found in the garden into their mouth holes. -via Daily of the Day

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

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The World's Longest Conveyor Belt is 61 Miles Long


(Photo: jbdodane)

Western Sahara, a territory currently ruled by Morocco, looks like a desolate place. There's little vegetation, but there are substantial phosphate resources. Bou Craa, a mining town in the interior, extracts phosphate ore and ships it to the coast.

Phosphate is one of Morocco's largest exports and Bou Craa is the crown jewel of that country's phosphate industry. Spanish colonial officials discovered it in the late 1940s and began exploiting what geologists estimate is 146 million tons of extractable ore.

Rather than trucking the ore to the coast, the mining company found an inventive way to convey the ore a great distance. It built a conveyor belt to do the job. It caries the ore 61-62 miles across the desert to the port of El-Aaiun. This conveyor belt is the longest in the world. The wind blows some of the phosphate off of it, creating a white streak across the desert that is easily visible from space.


(Photo: jbdodane)

-via Amusing Planet


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Check out Twaggies' first animated clip:

Grammar Nazi's Rock? Twaggies by twaggies
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