Pickled Basilisk Eggs with Wasabi and Avocado

You've probably been using the same deviled egg recipe your entire life; now its time to try something different! Tye Lombardi at the Necro Nom-nom-nomicon has a spicy, colorful recipe for pickled basilisk eggs. You will need:

6-8 basilisk eggs.
1 fireproof suit and gloves.
Large mirror
Blindfold

Oh, wait, that's the recipe for immortals. For the rest of us, it's a matter of pickling your eggs for a few days with brine colored with beet juice, then deviling the yolks with with wasabi and avocado filling. That's where the fuchsia and chartreuse color scheme comes from. Bone appetit!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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How Did Restaurants Get So Loud?

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and immediately wanted to leave because it was so loud? Or you had a problem hearing the waiter? It's not your imagination- restaurants have been getting demonstrably louder over the past couple of decades. Changes in architecture, decor, and management have contributed to noise levels reaching the range that can damage your hearing. Some of the increase is on purpose, as proprietors want to create an ambiance of "buzz" and "energy," so they crank the music up. That only forces people to talk louder. Vox gives us five reasons restaurants are so noisy, and tips on what we can do it about it.

(Image credit: Flickr user Kyle Mahan)


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The Differences Between the U.S. and New Zealand

(YouTube link)

Jordan Watson gave us two lessons on the difference between Australia and New Zealand, because he is from New Zealand and people thought he was from Australia. He must have gotten some feedback from Americans -probably confused Americans. So now he brings us a lesson on the differences between the States and New Zealand, as if we needed that. But he is, as always, entertaining. I honestly saw "Howdy" coming a mile away, and then expected him to go from "chilly bin" to the "chili bun," which is a Southern US thing.  -via Tastefully Offensive


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Ancient Humans Performed Brain Surgery on a Cow

There are variety of possible reasons for the ancient practice of trepanation, or drilling holes in a person's skull, but whatever you call it, it was brain surgery. What is surprising is how good ancient practitioners were at it, and how similar trepanations were around the world. A new science paper may have a clue as to how that happened. In 1999, a 5,000-year old cow skull was unearthed at an archaeological dig in France. It had a hole in it. Researchers assumed the hole was a gore from another cow's horn, and put it away. A more recent examination shows that it was surgery.   

Physical analysis of the hole, which measures 64.5 mm long and 46.5 mm wide, shows no trace of fracturing or splintering, which means it wasn’t caused by a powerful blow, such as goring from another cow or a puncture inflicted by a stone tool. At the same time, the hole shows the characteristic signs of trepanation, namely a square-like shape and cut marks made around the gap. No marks exist on the skull to indicate that pressure was applied by an external force. This hole, the researchers argue, was cut—quite literally—with surgical precision.

The hole exhibits no sign of healing, which means the procedure was performed on a dead cow, or the cow did not survive the surgery.

This is the earliest concrete example we have of veterinary surgery, but we don't know the reason. It's possible, but unlikely, that they were trying to save the cow. Or, whether the cow was dead or alive going into the procedure, it could have been surgeons practicing for human trepanation. Read about the ancient cow surgery at Gizmodo.

(Image credit:  Fernando Ramirez Rozzi)


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Musical World Map

(YouTube link)

We've seen before how people turned art into music by playing it through a midi program. John Keats did that with a map of the world, and the results are surprisingly pleasant. Well, maybe it shouldn't be too surprising, since a talented programmer/musician would adjust those pixels to avoid the most dissonant notes. But it's nice to see our world sounding this good!   

Keats' musical map of Europe is way more discordant, his musical map of Africa is more dramatic, and his musical map of France is experimental, since he used the sounds of different musical instruments. You can see more of Keats' musical midi maps at YouTube. -via b3ta


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Assassin Bug Lives Up to Its Name, Has Not One But TWO Distinct Venoms


Image: Jiayi Jin

With a name like the "assassin bug," this little insect better has something really awesome to live up to the badass moniker.

And it does: in a research paper recently published in Nature Communications, entomologist Andrew Walker and colleagues at the University of Queensland, Australia, discovered that the assassin bug Pristhesancus plagipennis has not only one venom, but two distinct ones stored in separate glands.

“We wanted to see if assassin bugs had venom that was similar in composition to other venomous animals due to convergent evolution, or if the different feeding physiology would result in a different composition,” [Walker] said. And when their research began, essentially no one has looked at their venoms—”almost nothing was known about them.”

But what they found was much more surprising: the animals are equipped with two different venoms, which are made and stored in distinct compartments—a first for any venomous animal.

Christine Wilcox of Science Sushi has the intriguing story of the dual-venomed assassin bug.


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Which Way is the Windmill Rotating?

According to Michael Pickard and Gurpreet Singh, the creators of "The Windmills of Your Mind" illusion, the dots of the windmill are always at constant speed and direction throughout the video clip.

So why did your mind see both clockwise and counter-clockwise movement? The answer, the two researchers at the University of Sunderland, United Kingdom, said, is that perceived direction is changed when the dot pitch is changed (by removing alternate dots or using alternate light and dark colors).


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This Urinal Shows You Ads While You Pee

No place is safe from advertisement anymore - not even the restroom.

Mr.Friendly, a Dutch toilet company, has created a high-tech urinal with neat features like waterless/flushless function and anti-bacterial surface. But the unique feature here is the built-in display with an automatic sensor that'll play advertisement while you pee.


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This Algae Species is Like a Living Opal


Image: Martin Lopez-Garcia, et al./Science Advances

All that glitters is not gold ... sometimes, they're opal.

Researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom have discovered an iridescent algae species called Cystoseira tamariscifolia that got its dazzling colors from its light-controlling crystals inside its cells.

"We have living jewels in the environment," study author Heather Whitney said to Gizmodo, "It’s a Fabergé seaweed":

Looking at it under a microscope reveals a shimmering iridescence. An even closer analysis reveals two to three fat-filled vesicles in each of its cells, according to the paper published last week in Science Advances.

Inside these sacs, lots of spherical fat globules arrange themselves into a three-dimensional lattice, similar to the lattice structure that silicon dioxide takes in opals, to give the alga its special iridescent property. Not only that, but it appears that the algae can choose to order and disorder the spheres to control how light is scattered (or not) inside cells.


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Girl Brought Cardboard Cutout of Michael B. Jordan to the Prom

No date for the prom? No problem!

When a teenager named Dee found herself without a date to the prom, she decided to bring the man of her dreams - Black Panther actor Michael B. Jordan - albeit in cardboard cutout form.

"After not being able to get a prom date from procrastinating and waiting til the last minute, i spent 3 hours making my sexy prom date," Dee tweeted.

Now, the crafty teen is campaigning to meet the real Michael B. Jordan.


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A Real-life Lord of the Flies: the Troubling Legacy of the Robbers Cave Experiment

Harvard psychologist Muzafer Sherif was fascinated by group dynamics, and wanted to experiment with social psychology. In 1953, a year before William Golding's Lord of the Flies was published, he set up a summer camp called Middle Grove for 11-year-old boys and manipulated them into forming two opposing groups. He set them up to hate each other, and then planned a fake emergency to see if they would cooperate to overcome it.

Despite his pretence of leaving the 11-year-olds to their own devices, Sherif and his research staff, posing as camp counsellors and caretakers, interfered to engineer the result they wanted. He believed he could make the two groups, called the Pythons and the Panthers, sworn enemies via a series of well-timed “frustration exercises”. These included his assistants stealing items of clothing from the boys’ tents and cutting the rope that held up the Panthers’ homemade flag, in the hope they would blame the Pythons. One of the researchers crushed the Panthers’ tent, flung their suitcases into the bushes and broke a boy’s beloved ukulele. To Sherif’s dismay, however, the children just couldn’t be persuaded to hate each other.

After losing a tug-of-war, the Pythons declared that the Panthers were in fact the better team and deserved to win. The boys concluded that the missing clothes were the result of a mix-up at the laundry. And, after each of the Pythons swore on a Bible that they didn’t cut down the Panthers’ flag, any conflict “fizzled”. By the time of the incident with the suitcases and the ukulele, the boys had worked out that they were being manipulated. Instead of turning on each other, they helped put the tent back up and eyed their “camp counsellors” with suspicion. “Maybe you just wanted to see what our reactions would be,” one of them said.

When the first experiment didn't turn out they way Sherif expected, he held a second summer camp the next year at Robber's Cave where the experimenters manipulated the boys in a different way, and voilà! achieved the expected results. Gina Perry's new book The Lost Boys looks at the process and the ethics of the Robber's Cave experiment, and its lasting legacy. 

You can read an excerpt from the book The Lost Boys here. -Thanks, WTM!


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How Dog Poop Led to Me Cleaning Out a Meth House

Erin Burr tells a story about how she went home and found her dog had pooped in the floor because she was late taking him out. But there was a footprint in the poop, and no one had been home all day. That can give you the willies, and rightly so. But that was just the initial feeling of unease about the neighbors that sets up the better parts of the story.

Fast forward to today. I’ve been locking my doors and closing windows because the neighbors are creepy. I lock up, and head out to my car so I can pick up the kids I babysit from school. I’m parked in the alley out back, which is super convenient.

Usually.

Today, however, the end of the alley is blocked off by at least four unmarked police cars. There are a dozen cops. I can kind of see someone handcuffed on the ground. Lots of plainclothes cops. Shit is going down.

It’s a dead-end alley. I’m blocked in. I figure I need to ask them if they can move the arrest over a few feet. Nbd. I set my car keys, phone, and wallet down on the seat of the car. And then, distracted af, I hit the lock button.

And close the door.

You guys.

Have you ever locked your whole life in a car in the middle of a police raid.

I do not recommend it.  

I do, however, recommend that read the entire story, which gets much crazier from that point, either at Twitter, or to make it easier, you can read it at Thread Reader.

And if you liked that story, read about the time Burr's refrigerator was stolen, and how it was later returned. -via Metafilter


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The Rise and Fall of the Hormel Girls, Who Sold America on SPAM

At the end of World War II, thousands of women lost their jobs to make room for returning soldiers. Jay C. Hormel of Hormel Foods, like many manufacturers, had promised those men they could return to their jobs when the war ended. But what about the women who had served in the military? There was also the problem of the company losing the wartime military as its biggest SPAM customer. The solution was to form a drum and bugle corps consisting of 48 women who had been GI musicians during the war: the Hormel Girls.

On August 29 [1946], the Hormel Girls completed their first month of training. Their test was the 29th American Legion National Drum and Bugle Corps Championship, held in New York. In neat uniforms, they played hits such as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “Give My Regards to Broadway.” As the competition’s first female team, they finished 13th. There was avid media interest, both positive and negative. The New York Times reported on an injunction brought by noise-sensitive neighbors near the Corps’s Connecticut training grounds, but that was outweighed by the spectacle of the musicians performing and on parade. Hormel soon realized that the group was an advertising powerhouse.

The Hormel Girls' mission was to make people feel patriotic when they bought SPAM. Their duties expanded to include travel, radio programs, stage shows, and direct SPAM sales. Read about the Hormel Girls at Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: Hormel Foods)


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Homemade Drivable TIE Fighter

(YouTube link)

If you are in Hubbards, Nova Scotia, and see Darth Vader coming toward you, you aren't necessarily hallucinating. Allan Carver built his own TIE fighter that he can drive around the neighborhood! He says it's roughly a third of the size of Vader's vehicle, and doesn't fly, but it tools around at a maximum of six miles per hour. He still wears a helmet while driving -you can guess what kind. The TIE fighter is powered by several wheelchair motors (hence the speed) controlled by a Sabertooth dual-motor driver and a DX8 remote control receiver, so it can go whether he's in it or not. Read more about the TIE fighter at the YouTube link and at Carver's website. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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19 Secrets of Public Librarians

Being a librarian is a great job for someone who loves books, but a career in the library requires more than that. Librarians must be dedicated to curating and protecting the library's collection, and at the same time, be an advocate for the public's access to those materials. And it's more than books, as public libraries lend out many other types of materials. They also work to promote public participation and literacy. Then there are all the smaller things you don't know about a librarian's work. Here's a sample. 

5. THEY LOVE HELPING TO SETTLE A BET.

There’s a mundane occurrence to delight every librarian. “Especially if there are language barriers, I love when someone musters the courage to ask me a question and we can go back and forth to make sure I connect them to the right resources,” Krakowski says. For Paolini, it’s when “someone comes in nervous, expecting us to be mean, then they tell me, ‘You guys are so nice … and I didn’t know you had e-books!”

But Paolini's favorite thing of all is getting a call at the phone reference desk from a sports bar where two buddies are arguing over player stats: “I’m like, ‘This is great that you’re calling the library to settle a bet!'”

9. THEY WISH YOU WOULDN'T USE BACON AS A BOOKMARK ...

Librarians find all kinds of objects wedged between the pages of books—$100 bills, Broadway tickets, condoms, paychecks, love letters, drugs, hatchets, knives, and even a vial labeled “smallpox sample.” Messiest of all, though, might be the food left in books, like crumbled Cheetos, slices of pickles, and whole strips of bacon (both cooked and raw).

Read the rest of the 19 secrets of public librarians at Mental Floss.


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O Moldy Night: A Celebration of Molded Food

Three old friends in Durham, North Carolina, staged a pop-up museum project at the Durham Hotel called "O Moldy Night," featuring premiere dishes of molded food from 40 experienced chefs, home cooks, and artists. The idea of molded food was dominated by tributes to old family recipes involving Jell-O, agar, or aspic, but it was not limited to those ingredients. Some were molded of chocolate or cooked beans. The dish pictured is “Jell-O by the Sea” by Kate Fulbright.

Medium: Agar agar, Jell-O, coconut milk, Swedish Fish, graham crackers, sprinkles

Inspired by an episode of “Rugrats,” I set out to make a grand, wiggly-jiggly mold of the ocean. Using Swedish fish to represent ocean life, and a combination of tapioca balls and zigzags representing bubbles and kelp, I suspended this all in layers of agar agar (a gelatin derived from algae). Crushed graham crackers and sprinkles adorning the edge as sand and seashells completed the tableau.

The dishes ranged from the nostalgic (“Nothing Says I Love You Like Green Jell-O”) to the exotic (“Big in Japan”) to the alcoholic (“Jiggle Gin Fizz”) to the disgusting (“I Would Heart for You to Trotter on Over and Vent Your Spleen”). The best-named dish was certainly "Congealed Item." You can see the most notable of the molded foods at Bitter Southerner. -via Metafilter

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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The Future of Fake News

(YouTube link)

This video contains NSFW language. An address from President Obama, in which he says things that he would never say in public, is revealed to be a collaboration between filmmaker Jordan Peele and his brother-in-law Jonah Peretti, the CEO of Buzzfeed (who knew?).

For the project, Peretti enlisted BuzzFeed video producer Jared Sosa, who was able to manipulate and digitally alter the footage of Obama to a script written and performed by Peele.

The fakery was built using Adobe After Effects, a readily available piece of video software, and FakeApp, an artificial intelligence program that made headlines in January when it was used to transplant actor Nicolas Cage’s face into several movies in which he hadn’t appeared.

Sosa first pasted Peele’s mouth over Obama’s, then replaced the former president’s jawline with one that moved with Peele’s mouth movements. He then used FakeApp to smooth over and refine the footage — a rendering that took more than 56 hours of automatic processing.

If you watched this in high-definition, you probably found it to be an obvious fake from the beginning. But you are on Neatorama, so you are a discerning internet user already. Now imagine someone who is not so internet savvy watching this on a smartphone or in a more compressed format. Then imagine that person is already inclined to believe the contents of what they are seeing. It would be easy to fool a lot of people. On the other hand, imagine a lot of people watching a real video and not believing their eyes because they know how easy it is to fake a video. Read more about the project at Buzzfeed.


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Medieval Man Had Sword Attached to His Amputated Arm


Image: Ileana Micarelli et al./Journal of Anthropological Sciences

Even Captain Hook would be so jealous of this medieval man!

Archaeologist Ileana Micarelli from the University of Rome discovered a tomb at the Longobard necropolis of Povegliano Veronese in Veneto, Italy, which contained the remains of a medieval man who had attached a sword to his amputated right arm.

He had his right arm bent at the elbow, the arm laid across his torso. Next to it was a knife blade, the butt aligned with his amputated wrist. Also at the amputation site, archaeologists found a D-shaped buckle, and decomposed organic material - most likely leather.

This suggests a leather cap over the amputated limb, a buckle used for fastening - and a knife attached to the cap, although the purpose is unclear. However, given the advanced healing of the bone, it is clear the man lived for a long time after his hand had been amputated.

Read the full story over at Science Alert.


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Golf Carts Are More Expensive Than Teslas and Porsches in This Corner of Hong Kong


There's a million bucks worth of golf carts in the picture above (image: Justin Chin/Bloomberg)

Forget Teslas and Porsches! There's a new hot ride in Hong Kong that's more expensive than luxury cars: golf carts!

Want one? It'll cost you more than a quarter million dollars.

Anjali Cordeiro of Bloomberg has the story:

On the two-lane streets of Discovery Bay — a residential development about a 30-minute ferry ride from downtown Hong Kong — the golf carts are both the transportation of choice and an investment play for the wealthy. The buggies can sell for more than HK$2 million ($255,000) in the upscale neighborhood that’s home to airline pilots, bankers and lawyers.

Business executives drive them, expatriates love them and nannies ferry kids to school in them. Private passenger cars aren’t allowed in this neighborhood, and the Transport Department has capped golf-cart licenses at about 500. The supply crunch has transformed these slow gas-guzzlers into luxury transportation. Some buyers view them as investments — renting them out or reselling to make money.


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Heating Up by Cooling Down, Just Another Craziness That Is Quantum Physics

Let's face it: nothing makes sense in the topsy turvy world of quantum physics. Light can be both wave and particle. Schrödinger's cat is both dead and alive. Things can simultaneously sync up, even when they're separated by a large distance.

Why, it's enough to make Einstein throw up his hands and despair!

Well, add this to the weirdness that is quantum physics: quantum systems can heat up by cooling down.

Nemoto and her team examined a double sub-domain system coupled to a single constant temperature reservoir. Each sub-domain contained multiple spins -- a form of angular momentum carried by elementary particles such as electrons and nuclei. The researchers considered the situation where the spins within each sub-domain are aligned with respect to each other but the sub-domains themselves are oppositely aligned (for instance all up in one and all down in the second). This creates a certain symmetry in the system.

As time progresses, the components of the subdomain decay in a process called relaxation.

"Usually, we expect both domains to decay to the reservoir temperature; however, when the two domains coupled with a reservoir maintain a certain symmetry, the decay process can apparently heat the smaller domain up, even beyond the high temperature limit," Nemoto said.

See if you can understand what's going on in this article over at Science Daily, then tell the rest of the class, mkay? (Image: Future Quantum Physicist by Mike Jacobsen)


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KFC Hot & Spicy Chicken Pieces Look Like Flames in These Ads

KFC Hong Kong's new ad campaign for their "Hot & Spicy" fried chicken is ON FIRE!

Designed by art director John Koay of Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong, the print campaign uses fried chicken instead of fiery explosions. Clever (and yummy!)

via Campaign Brief Asia and Design Taxi


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NeatoShop April 2018 T-Shirt Giveaway

Psst! Want two FREE T-shirts? Click here to enter our April 2018 T-shirt giveaway, in celebration of NeatoShop's Sci-Fi & Fantasy sale (hurry - sale ends April 18, 2018).


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Probably the World's Largest Sedan

Back in the 1950s, airports had to find more powerful tractors to tow larger airliners around. The Soviet Union came up with a car for that purpose, a truly remarkable car called the MAZ-541. It was 25.6 feet long and 11.2 feet wide, and was powered by a diesel V12 tank engine. The look of a sedan may have been ramped up to impress international travelers.    

The familiar three-box sedan body style of the 541 was likely more a matter of form following function, as it meant the vehicle could attach a tow line much closer to the aircraft than the large tractors it replaced, which helped maneuverability. The sedan body style was also so the second driver could operate the car in reverse. This way, they didn’t have to worry about turning it around. That’s right, there were two drivers, or at least two driving positions.

But, as mentioned in this article on the MAZ-541 featured on Russian Power, the amount of styling that went into the sedan is surprising considering its utilitarian roots and industrial manufacturer. There’s clearly some effort put into the flared body, chrome features and stylish grille.

There were only three such cars put into use. Read more about the MAZ-541, and see more pictures, at Jalopnik. 


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A Japanese Take on American Sushi

(YouTube link)

Jun Yoshizuki of Jun's Kitchen makes American-style sushi with what seems like the entire contents of a grocery store to the beat of a fast, bouncy soundtrack. You don't even need to like sushi to enjoy the efficient moves of his practiced technique. His "studio audience" consists of his curious and appreciative cats Haku and Nagi, who are both well-fed and well-trained. We can assume that Poki is in another room with the door shut. -via Laughing Squid

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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How a Country Bumpkin Turned Into the King of Hollywood

Clark Gable always seemed bigger than life in his most popular movies. He was the suave, masculine leading man who knew what was he wanted and knew how to get it. Women melted when they saw him. But that image didn't come easily. When he started his career, he had little going for him other than dreams and ambition.    

In 1924, a 23-year-old ruffian from small-town Ohio named Billy Gable moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a studio extra and as a garage mechanic while he pursued his dreams of acting. The deck was stacked against Billy’s Hollywood dreams: He was lanky and somewhat effeminate, with big ears and unattractive teeth. His acting résumé consisted mostly of a handful of theatrical productions in Portland, Oregon, where he had also worked as a logger and necktie salesman.

Ten years later, Billy — now the über-masculine Clark Gable — won an Oscar for best actor and was anointed the “King of Hollywood,” a title he would hold for more than three decades. Gable starred in some of Hollywood’s best films, including It Happened One Night, Mutiny on the Bounty and, of course, Gone With the Wind. But stardom itself did not happen one night. It was the result of a lengthy personal and physical transformation, one that took years — and many attempts — to perfect.

Gable didn't do it alone. His image was a project for his first two wives and at team at MGM studios. Read how they molded Clark Gable into a star at Ozy.


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The Shady Gray Diamond Optical Illusion


(YouTube clip by MasikBon Origami Paper Crafts)

So. What color is that diamond-shaped piece of paper?

Give up? The secret is revealed below:

Continue reading

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Math is Beautiful

Go on, whip out that calculator and confirm the mathemagical equation above. From @Pickover.


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Surreal Photography of Erik Johansson


Image: Erik Johansson

We've featured some of Erik Johansson's surreal photography before on Neatorama, but I just came across this 2010 interview of the Swedish photographer by Matilda Battersby of The Independent, so it's a great excuse to show you another one of his masterpieces.

Find out many, many more excellent surreal photographs over at Erik's website and Instagram.

This one above is called "Full Moon Service" and you can find the Behind the Scenes video clip below:

Continue reading

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Water Bags Glass Sculptures by Dylan Martinez


Image: Dylan Martinez

A bunch of plastic bags filled with water? Tricked ya! Those are actually hollow and solid glass sculptures by Dylan Martinez titled "H20/SiO2." Gorgeous!


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Should You Tip Before The Meal?


(Image: Monkey Business Image/Shutterstock)

You've experience this before: after you place your order, the cashier smiles at you and turn the touchscreen to face you to reveal a tip option. How much do you tip? Fifteen percent? Twenty? Or - gasp - none at all?

Now, I understand tipping at restaurants after the meal service. In this case, you can decide how much to tip based on how good of a service you received. I also understand putting a buck or two in a tip jar by the cash register.

But there's no mistaking the new trend of tipping ten, fifteen, or even twenty percent of the bill at the register - before you receive any service.

Eun Kyung Kim wrote in this intriguing article over at TODAY:

Today, it’s nearly impossible to avoid deciding whether to add an extra dollar or two onto a bill for products or in businesses people never previously associated with gratuities.

“I don’t call it a guilt trip, but a guilt tip,” said Thomas Farley, an etiquette expert and modern manners coach.

“With that big ‘no tip’ button staring us in the face, and you know two seconds later that screen is going to be spun back around to the person who just waited on you, suddenly we feel we’re being cheap if we don’t give any kind of a tip.”

What do you think of this premature tipping (or "guilt tip" as Farley in the above quote called it)?


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