Look through the window at your car -now look back at me...No wait, look at this car in this post. It is cooler than your car and it always will be. That's because this car wasn't just painted to look like an Agents of SHEILD car, it actually was really used on the show. Only ten of them were made and it just sold on eBay for $42,900.
Want something even cooler, though admittedly a little less speedy and not legal on most streets? Then you really missed out on this sweet Batman Tumbler golf cart. It may not have actually been used in the films, but it's pretty much the coolest thing you could ever hope to drive around a retirement community and it was a steal compared to the SHEILD car at only $17,500.
We used to complain about the amount of time people spent in front of the TV. Then we complained about how our kids spend too much time playing video games. Then when the internet came along, we complained about everyone spending way too much time on the computer. So with the rise of smartphones, we, of course, complain about how dependent everyone is on their phone.
However, there is a difference with phones. They are so portable that you can use them anywhere, so people do. Rhett & Link wrote a little song about how much that annoys them. Then they want you to watch the video, and share it with your friends. Feel free to use your phone to do that. -Thanks, Rhett & Link!
The holidays are here! Have you been racking your brain for the perfect gift for your favorite skull loving friend? Get them the Skull Stein from the NeatoShop. This frightfully fun glass mug is shaped like a skull with a bone shaped handle.
Joshua David Stein of Wired made a fascinating observation: the letter E, long the most common letter in the English language, has lost its prominence in the internet age. Many internet brands, such as Flickr and Tumblr, dropped that letter from their names:
But in 2004, Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake founded Flickr, a photograph-sharing application, without the standard penultimate E. “The most compelling reason to remove the E,” explained Ms. Fake, “was that we were unable to acquire the domain Flicker.com … The rest of the team were more in favor of other options, such as ‘FlickerIt’ or ‘FlickerUp’ but somehow, through persuasion or arm-twisting, I prevailed.” It was good news for the company but bad news for the letter. A year later, the company was acquired by Yahoo for $35 million.
Soon many startups began jettisoning their Es like toxic assets. In 2009, Grindr, a geosocial network application for gay men, chose to make do without the letter E. Membership quickly swelled. Myriad other brands followed suit, including Blendr, Gathr, Pixlr, Readr, Timr, Viewr, Pushr. [...]
The decline in E-ness was also hastened by the realities of venture capitalists. “You take out the E from your company name, and you increase the valuation by millions,” said Lockhart Steele, the founder of Curbed, a lifestyle publishing empire. “Being E-free,” agrees Esther Dyson, a venture capitalist and an early investor in Flickr, “distinguishes you from the run-of-the-mill vowel-infested world.”
According to some linguists, the writing has been on the wall for years. “What you are seeing is a very natural process – the omission of the letter in final unstressed syllables before /r/, is something that has been a feature of written English since Anglo-Saxon times,” said Professor David Crystal, OBE, a linguist and author of Internet Linguistics. “‘Gather’ in Old English was spelled both ‘gaderian’ and ‘gadrian,’ for example.” In other words, the law of lex parsimonae doomed the E’s of Flicker, Tumbler, and Gather a long time ago.
Mr. Stein's obituary ends with this clever bit:
The letter E was born in the late 8th century BC in Athens, Greece. His father, the Phoenician letter He, died between 323 BC and 31 BC. E travelled widely throughout the Western world.
E is survived by his brothers, A, I, O and U; three daughters, é, ẻ, ě; and a son, ẹ.
Paintings of Elvis or other cultural icons on black velvet are now considered the epitome of tackiness, even a metaphor for tackiness -but it wasn't always so. Early artists who used the medium were serious and meticulous, painting each fiber individually. But as those paintings became popular, an industry of cheap knockoffs rose to fill the demand, particularly in Mexican border towns, where American tourists would snap them up.
To make the process go faster, the artist would lay a wet painting on a blank piece of velvet and press them together to create an outline for the next painting. That’s why so many velvet paintings have reverse images. Another technique for getting the outline on the canvas included punching small holes along the lines of a drawing, placing the drawing on the velvet, and then dusting it with chalk or light-colored powder, so that the chalk left a dotted outline on the velvet. (Sometimes you can still see part of the chalk outline on a velvet painting.) Images were also projected onto the velvet, or the painters would use techniques like airbrushing or screenprinting.
Because of this, some border painters had no artistic skills, but the velvet painters who have stuck with it usually have a real gift, such as Najera, Tony Maya, Roberto Sanchez, and Nacho Amaro, perceived to be among Tijuana’s best, according to “Los Angeles Times” reporter Sam Quinones. And Baldwin points to Daniel Guerrero in Nogales, Mexico, as a master of creating light in the blackness of the velvet.
No matter how much talent they did or didn’t possess, early Mexican velvet painters didn’t have the resources to concern themselves with artistry; they had to make a living. That’s why images that sold well—Jesus, Elvis, panthers, cowboys, clowns, bullfighters, dead celebrities, naked women—were copied over and over again. It didn’t matter if the paintings were done well or poorly, they sold the same.
The paintings sold by the thousands in the 1960s and '70s, and they are seeing a sort of revival today, as people buy them ironically, for the nostalgia, or just because they like them. Several authors, historians, and collectors lend their expertise to a history of black velvet paintings posted at Collectors Weekly.
As we take several more steps into the future nobody saw coming, we bid adieu to the brave men and women, and horses, that delivered our mail to our boxes and handed over our packages with a smile.
The age of the drone delivery bot is here, and until proper drone hunting licenses are issued we’re going to have to get used to seeing those little buggers flying around our neighborhoods.
But what happens if you’re not home to receive your package when the Amazon bot comes a knockin’? Why, they’ll leave a slip, of course, much like the one pictured here, only without the hint of robotic revolution.
In the natural order of things, birds are supposed to be afraid of cats, because cats eat birds. But these bully birds have their bluff in, and the cats seem to range from tolerant to truly terrified. Maybe the birds are giving a payback for all their outdoor relatives. Ya think? -via Tastefully Offensive
A fashion mannequin has an implicit message: this form is beautiful. If your own body doesn’t look like that form—not even remotely—then you may not feel that way about yourself.
The Swiss charity Pro Infirmis helps people with disabilities. To remind them that they are beautiful, too, they commissioned mannequins modeled on the bodies of four people with disabilities. The video below shows the process. Craftsmen measured the bodies of the models, then reshaped mannequins to fit those specifications.
After finishing construction, Pro Infirmis placed those mannequins, now dressed in fashionable clothing, in a storefront in Zurich. Watch the responses of the models and passersby.
Nelson Mandela was a South African revolutionary who spent 27 years imprisoned by the government. He became a symbol of the anti-apartheid struggle. Mandela was released from prison in 1990 after international pressure, and was elected president of South Africa in 1994. He served in that office until 1999. Nelson Mandela passed away today, according to an announcement by current South African President Jacob Zuma.
"He is now resting. He is now at peace," Zuma said. "Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father."
"What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human," the president said in his late-night address. "We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."
Mandela will have a state funeral. Zuma ordered all flags in the nation to be flown at half-staff from Friday through that funeral.
Mandela, a former president, battled health issues in recent months, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations.
With advancing age and bouts of illness, Mandela retreated to a quiet life at his boyhood home in the nation's Eastern Cape Province, where he said he was most at peace. He was later moved to his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, where he died.
Roy Doty designed this Rube Goldberg Christmas card in which Santa wishes you a Merry Christmas in the most inefficient way possible. It's today's treat from the Science Geek Extravaganza Advent Calendar at Science Creative Quarterly, now in its fifth day.
Day four looks into the possibility that the G protein-coupled receptor agtrl1b is responsible for the Grinch's heart being three sizes too small.
Day three proposes the theory that Rudolph's red nose was due to a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.
Day two presents vintage biodiversity images with a Christmas twist.
Day one shows us the Christmas Tree Cluster near the Cone Nebula, or NGC 2264. That's a picture from space.
Many of you will undoubtedly see this cake and wonder why the heck Death is suddenly dressed like Santa Claus and what all this "Hogfather" nonsense is. But, if you're familiar with Terry Pratchett's Discworld, then you'll not only recognize this cake, but also immediately recognize how amazing it is.
The cake was made by Ciccio Cakes for the Bake A Christmas Wish fundraiser to help raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. You ought to check out more of the fundraiser's great cakes, which includes a fantastic Frozen one as well.
The holidays are here. Are you looking for the purr-fect gift for the hostess with the mostess? Give them the Black Satin Veronica Half Apron from the NeatoShop. This sassy little apron is made with ultra sheen satin and features French lace details and a white cat applique done in rhinestones and pearls. This chic apron is the cat's meow.
A mashup of Star Wars and "Bohemian Rhapsody"? That's right up our alley! Now, if they'd only thrown a cute cat in there… This video was produced by the Digital Video Program at University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona, starring the Arizona Star Wars cosplay community. One guy, Adam Newton, sings the whole thing! -via Geeks Are Sexy
David Peterson put together NASA footage from several ISS missions (much of it recorded by Don Petit) to bring you a breathtaking time-lapse video of Earth seen from space. A list of the locations is available at the YouTube page. Watch it in full screen mode if you possibly can, and look out for comet Lovejoy seen over Australia at 2:03.
Normally blowing a car up involves explosives and fire, but photographer Fabian Oefner has taken the time to blow up a bunch of classic cars very carefully, so as not to damage the merchandise.
The photographs in his series Disintegration look amazing, and really show you every bit of classic cars like the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupéand the Ferrari 250 GTO, but the real craziness can be found in Fabian’s photographic process.
He carefully takes each car apart by hand, labels the proper position of every piece then suspends them on a string. Once he has painstakingly photographed every suspended bit of the car he puts all of the pics together in Photoshop, resulting in mind boggling portraits of what really lies under the hood.
Do you dress up your little angel up during the holidays? Even if you don't, you can still almost certainly appreciate the fantastic seasonal fashion of these felines and pooches. For kitties, I highly recommend checking out the hats and headbands for sale at scooterKnits. This Buddy the Elf hat is a great modern Christmas accessory, but there is also mistletoe and reindeer antlers if you prefer things to be a little more traditional.
If you have no intention of buying feline holiday fashion accessories, you can always enjoy this fun selection of dogs and cats in costume over at 4WMN instead. Whichever you prefer, I hope you have a great furball-filled holiday.
Artists Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi used a CT scanner and an X-ray machine to take portraits of couples in close proximity.
“X-ray images usually show the finite nature of our bodies composed only of matter,” say the duo. “But these couples portraits reveal a pulse that isn’t normally seen.” Romantic? No. Intimate? Absolutely.
Writing birthday card messages can be extremely stressful and really hard work, and are hand written greetings really worth the risk of contracting carpal tunnel syndrome?
We need a card that says it all so we don’t have to, a card we can just sign our name to and be done with it. If you’ve ever found yourself having these kinds of thoughts then this kooky card from Bald Guy Greetings is for you. There’s almost no room for you to write your name on it, and the bold text really says it all so you can have more time to live your life.
This is Lake Superior. It's the largest lake in North America.
This is Isle Royale. It's the largest island in Lake Superior. Native Americans once mined it for copper. Benjamin Franklin, one of the American negotiators of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, knew this, so he pressed the British to let it fall within American territory.
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.
The holidays are here. Are you looking for the perfect gift for someone who is wild for Pepe Le Pew? Gift them the Pepe Le Pew & Penelope on a Motorcycle Salt & Pepper Shakers from the NeatoShop. This daring set is made of glazed ceramic and features their favorite lovestruck skunk.
The classic image of an arsonist is a person who sets fires for financial gain, for attention, or out of anger. The classic image of a firefighter is a hero -the most visible occupation in which people put themselves in danger to save lives with no expectation of a reward. So why are so many fires started by firefighters? One theory is that pyromaniacs are drawn to the occupation, but that doesn't hold up. Firefighter arsonists who have been caught say they never considered starting fires before they joined the department.
The average firefighter-arsonist is a young white male of above-average intelligence, no criminal record, and "poor occupational adjustment." It is unclear how significantly this profile differs from, say, the average firefighter who does not commit arson. He works for a fire service that doesn’t get many calls, which may be why he’s eager to prove himself. He tends to start with small grass or Dumpster fires, and then progress to abandoned houses or garages. It’s rare that a firefighter-arsonist will opt for inhabited buildings, or locations where people are likely to be hurt.
Firefighter-arsonists often work in teams, egging each other on. "Before the fire, we were just sitting around bored," said Robert Vasquez, who admitted to committing arson in Prince George’s County, near D.C., in 1990. "We were talking about how the Chief yells at us for the things we do wrong and everybody was saying ‘Let’s wait for the next fire to come out and maybe we can do good on it’… And then the words, ‘Set a fire’ came up."
An article at The Awl looks at the life of a firefighter and how the occupation itself -and the way the public views the job- contributes to the decision to start a fire. -via Digg
Ugly sweaters have become so predictably ugly, so textile and lifeless, that the whole gag concept is in need of an update. The digital age of ugly sweaters is here, and the animated graphics are sure to become the latest trend in the world of ironic seasonal clothing.
The world-famous, beloved, and OMG sooo delicious Oreo cookie celebrated its 100th birthday last year -on my birthday, March 6th! Coincidence? No food in the universe has given me the amount of joy and pleasure during my lifetime as Oreos and milk.
Oreos are the best-selling cookies in the world. They were the best-selling cookies of the 20th century, and this honor has carried on strong into the 21st century.
In 1912, consumers wanted an English-style biscuit (cookies are called "biscuits" in England) and the Oreo cookie was created to meet this demand. The "Oreo Biscuit" was first developed by the National Biscuit Company, today known as Nabisco. The Oreo was originally created and launched as an imitation of the Hydrox cookie manufactured by the Sunshine company in 1908.
The first Oreos were manufactured at the company's Chelsea factory in New York City, located on 9th Avenue, between 15th and 16th Street. Today, this 9th Avenue block is known as "Oreo Way."
In the early years, Oreo buyers had the choice of vanilla cream filling and lemon cream. The lemon cream centers were soon abandoned and the vanilla cream center has remained the Oreo trademark.
An Oreo is 29% cream and 71% cookie. The Oreo design features 12 flowers encircling the Oreo name. It takes 90 minutes to make a single Oreo and each cookie has 90 ridges.
Who coined the word "Oreo" is unknown; in fact, the name itself is shrouded in mystery.
Felix Colgrave animated a strange group of unearthly yet oddly familiar beasts in The Elephant's Garden. It was his third year film at RMIT University Melbourne. Totally cosmic, man. -via Everlasting Blort