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Strange Case Histories

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.

An Author's Query
by Harold P. Dowdl, Expectorant Author2
Centerville, USA

I'm plannning to write a book about strange case histories called Strange Case Histories. If possible, I hope to compile six strange case histories, in which case the book will be renamed, Six Strange Case Histories.

Left: Master portrait of rock star Jon Bon Jovi, including hair, nose, mouth, two eyes, one ear, and a well-trimmed beard, seen in full-face view from a vantage point directly in front of him. Possibly from the collection of H.P. Dowd. (Image credit: David Shankbone)

This book could make an important contribution to human unconsciousness given that case histories, to paraphrase an infamous analysis!' are "skylights to the attic's sole." They provide razor·sharp insights into the human mind- i.e., "what makes him tick?" or, to site another well·trod example, "kids do the darndest [sic?] things." In this era of neo·Victorian restraint, it is no longer fashionable to bore into the human skull as a means of fathoming the mysterious interplay between dozens (hundreds?) of neurons, as they go through their familiar, yet not-so- familiar, mating rituals. Fortunately, there is another route to the unconscionable- those rare individuals who speak so clearly, and indeed shamelessly, as to leave nothing concealed, no "skeletons in the closet," so to speak.

I already have one such case history that meets these adjectives. [lt was recovered by my friend Joe Martin who works every third Saturday at the Centerville Recycling Center.] I need at least five others to reach my penultimate target of six. Does anyone else know of any strange case histories they'd like to share -particularely those involving obsessions with rock stars from New Jersey (i.e. Bruce Stingspreen would do in a pitch).

A Better Idea
To give you a better idea of what I'm looking for, I shall briefly summarize the first case history, "Bon Jovi and Me," in its entirety. Other uninspired case histories would be sorely appreciated, preferably concocted to Bon Jovi in some way, shade or form.

Spirited evocation of a sculpture of rock star Jon Bon Jovi. Possibly from the collection of H.P. Dowd. (Image credit: Flickr user Fernanda Stéphanie R Carvalho)

Summary by Harold P. Dowd3
Summary [by Harold P. Dowd3 again]: The author of this article, clearly delusional, claims to have had several "close encounters" with Bon Jovi in his gym and grocery store, while infantasizing about future meetings in Atlantic City, an "airplane," and other locales besides the Wisconsin Dells.

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Mathematical Model Explains Why All Hipsters Look Alike

There’s a strange phenomenon that occurs when a guy decides to give his soul over to the lame side and become a hipster- he starts to look just like every other hipster in the world.

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From the beard to the super skinny jeans to the cheesy hat, there’s a definite similarity found in the style of all hipsters, even though they claim to eschew trends and societal norms.

If Hipster congruity has been keeping you up at night then worry no longer, because thanks to the hard work of neuroscientist Jonathan Touboul we now have a mathematical model to explain why all hipsters look alike. 

He calls it the "hipster loop", a model based on neurons that "fire when every neuron around them is quiet, or fall silent when every neuron around them is chattering", because they were busy firing before it was cool. -via io9

Read more about the hipster effect here


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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Weekend TV Guide

The TV marathon has become a holiday custom in America, whatever the holiday. For the four (or five) day Thanksgiving weekend, there are plenty, whether you want to binge on Law & Order: SVU episodes, Pawn Stars, Indiana Jones movies, or Thanksgiving episodes of Friends. That’s just the beginning: 13th Annual National Dog Show follows the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, as it always does. A TV guide at The Daily Beast lists Christmas movies and specials as well as marathons.


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DeLorean 2.0 - Time For A McFly Makeover


DeLorean 2.0 by Donnie

Doc and Marty came across an old, and seemingly abandoned, police box behind the movie theater, and they liked the look of it so much they decided it would make the perfect replacement for that rusty old DeLorean. They towed the box to Doc's warehouse and drew up plans for a time machine 2.0, complete with flashing lights on top and whirring sound effect. The only problem with the scenario was that they couldn't open the door of the box, but then they discovered a strange handheld sonic device that resembled a screwdriver...

Share the sci-fi crossover sequel that will never be with this DeLorean 2.0 t-shirt by Donnie, and ask yourself- who is the coolest time traveler ever?

Visit Donnie's Facebook fan page and official website, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

Mini Dark Lord Pacturtle Migeta

Say My Name

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History Teacher Explores Historical Accuracy Of Skyrim

Video game developers typically have some sort of time period in mind when they’re creating the look and feel of their world, a historical reference point which is easy to spot in the fantasy genre.

Fantasy is all about swords and sorcery, castles and dungeons, and kingdoms at war, so there has to be some historical truths behind our favorite fantasy games, right?

Destructoid community member and History Teacher RedHeadPeak asked himself this question with regards to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,  and decided to explore the reality behind in-game elements such as wolves, weapons and armor, and the abundance of books you see everywhere.

It’s a fascinating read that may make you see things differently when you play your next fantasy RPG. Read RedHeadPeak's Skyrim analysis here


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How the World’s First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, and the machine that bore the name is often considered the first true electronic computer, although that depends on how one defines “computer.” It weighed 27 tons, contained 17,468 vacuum tubes, and consisted of 40 huge interconnected metal panels. When ENIAC was deemed obsolete in 1955, it was dismantled, separated, and parts went to various locations, where the machine’s historical value was sometimes considered, sometimes not. Then in 2006, Ross Perot wanted a piece of computer history for his Plano, Texas, headquarters. Libby Craft was in charge of the project, for which her team decided to track down what was left of ENIAC. It was not an easy task.  

Craft was on the verge of ending her search when an Army functionary dug up documents indicating that some panels had once been shipped from the Aberdeen (MD) Proving Ground to Oklahoma’s Fort Sill, home to the Army’s field artillery museum. When Craft contacted Fort Sill to inquire, the museum’s curator was stunned to discover that he did, indeed, possess the world’s largest trove of ENIAC hardware—nine panels in total, all stored in anonymous wooden crates that hadn’t been pried open in years. Fort Sill officials are unclear as to how they ended up with nearly a quarter of ENIAC, pieces of which also came to Oklahoma from the Anniston (AL) Army Depot.
An ENIAC technician changes a tube.

Craft struck a deal to borrow eight of Fort Sill’s panels in exchange for a promise to restore the hardware to some semblance of its former glory.

Read the story of just how they did that, and what happened to the remains of ENIAC (hint: you can go see it) at Wired. -via Digg


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Jack Nicholson's Prep Before Shooting the Ax Scene in The Shining

YouTube Link

This clip shows Jack Nicholson preparing for a scene in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. In the scene, Nicholson's character Jack Torrance chops into a locked bathroom door to get to his wife, for whom he has a violent plan. To prepare for filming the scene, Jack gets amped up by jumping up and down in place like a boxer would, grabbing the ax and vocalizing. 

The clip is from The Making of the Shining, which is a short documentary film made during production by Stanley Kubrick's then 17-year-old daughter Vivian. The documentary is packaged with The Shining Two-Disc Special Edition as a special feature. Another documentary about the making of the movie is Staircases to Nowhere: Making Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' by Howard Berry, which is a fantastic series of interviews of people involved with the film. The aforementioned Kubrick-endorsed documentaries, as well as the (previously featured at Neatorama) Room 237, make interesting viewing for any fan of Kubrick's horror masterpiece.


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Bill Cosby And The Ultimate Crowdsourced Memes Fail

Bill Cosby recently learned a hard lesson about crowdsourcing when his social media people decided to invite the 'Net to take images of Bill and turn them into memes.

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Their site showed silly, and very gentle, examples of what they were looking for, but what they actually received was a torrent of rape accusations and bitter sarcasm in meme form.

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Bill has been accused of multiple counts of rape, for which he has yet to have been found guilty, so why would his social media camp open him up to so much online heat?

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My guess is they were trying to bring back that Cosby Show love and prove there's an audience for a new show, a gamble that backfired spectacularly, in other words in typical internet fashion.

So what's the lesson to be learned by Cosby's epic meme fail? Don't go fishing for compliments online, especially when you've got some (alleged) skeletons in your closet!

-Via New York Post


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The Dinosaurs of Jurassic World

(YouTube link)

Now that the trailer for the movie Jurassic World is out, let’s all find problems with the dinosaurs in it. It happened with the first Jurassic Park movies, I think there were three of them. Movies, that is, not problems. Since the first Jurassic Park movie came out, we found out that dinosaurs often had feathers and probably quite a bit of color. And scientists have already weighed in with their criticisms of Jurassic World.

But see, the filmmakers expected this, and did an end-run around such quibbles by giving us a “hybrid,” genetically-modified, improved dinosaur. That could be anything, not necessarily tied to any real dinosaurs that ever lived.  



In today’s xkcd comic, Randall Munroe references Jurassic World and its “improved” dinosaur, which looks strangely like the T.rex from Dinosaur Comics. Hey, it could be worse.


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The L.A. Locations Where Famous Horror Films Were Shot

Horror movies are rarely set in Los Angeles, preferring to use fake city names like Springwood and Cuesta Verde, and yet the vast majority of them are filmed within a hundred miles of Hollywood.

Making viewers believe that they’re seeing a location from Anywhere, U.S.A. is all part of movie magic, but when you discover the real life locations scattered around the City of Angels Google maps replaces magic.

Take a snapshot tour with LA Weekly as they reveal The L.A. Spots Where Your Favorite Horror Movies Were Filmed, including this famous bridge from the 80s classic The Lost Boys. 

With a little storytelling, and an audience's willingness to believe, these everyday locales across Los Angeles transport the viewers to another place and time, but isn't it surprising how mundane most of these locations are in real life?!


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Batman vs. Darth Vader

(YouTube link)

It’s the ultimate showdown of badass fictional characters in black! Never mind the odd crossover of the Disney and DC universes -at least there’s no problem with the style of music for these two. Who will win when the Caped Crusader goes against the Sith Lord with light sabers? Enjoy this Super Power Beat Down video from MachinimaPrime. -via Gamma Squad


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Classic Authors' American Houses on Google Maps

Mark Twain
351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut 

It's often said that writers' desks are important, in that they reflect their approach and routine. Thus, the homes of famous writers have always been of interest to people, particularly those immersed in the literary world, because they are an extension of that space. Short List assembled a collection of famous writers' former abodes, visible on Google maps. First they put together a list of Classic Authors' British Houses On Google Maps, and in a follow-up, they have a list of houses in the U.S., some of which are pictured here. 

Check out the rest of these former homes of classic writers here.  

 
Jack Kerouac
1478 Clouser Avenue, Orlando, Florida

Edgar Allan Poe
203 N. Amity Street, Baltimore 


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Is Your Flight Delayed? Siberians Laugh at Your Misery

This sounds like a setup for an “In Mother Russia…” joke, but it happened at the Igarka airport above the Arctic Circle. The flight to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk was in danger of being cancelled because the plane was frozen to the ground! Technicians said that the plane’s landing gear was greased with a lubricant that was not suitable for Arctic temperatures- and at 52 degrees below zero, that’s important. The airport’s tractor didn’t work, either, because its brake pads were frozen. What to do? The 70 or so passengers waiting for the flight were mostly oil field workers who wanted to go home, so they did what they had to do: they pushed the plane.  

(YouTube link)

Ivan Ivanov caught this footage of the procedure. They managed to free the plane from the frozen tarmac, and the flight to Krasnoyarsk was completed without further problems. Read the story and see more pictures at The Siberian Times. -via Digg


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Ten Facts About R.E.M.



Formed in 1980, R.E.M. enjoyed a lot of critical acclaim and success — particularly for a band whose roots were firmly in the alternative genre  before they disbanded in 2011. The referring article is a collection of ten facts about the band, the original members of which included frontman Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. 

One fact that, in my mind, is completely understandable is the detestability of Shiny Happiness. The band's 1991 album Out of Time featured the song "Shiny, Happy People," which featured vocals by the B-52s' Kate Pierson. The single was released the same year. Yet how long can one reasonably remain shiny and happy, particularly when proclaiming they are such is a regular part of employment? For Michael Stipe and the band, the answer was several years or less. By 1995, Stipe publicly pronounced that he hated the song, as did the rest of the band. 

Read more facts about R.E.M., including the origins of the album names Out of Time and Automatic for the People and an unfortunate tantrum of Peter Buck's on an airplane, here.

Image: Wikipedia 


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Black Friday: Then and Now

(YouTube link)

When did people start losing their minds over Christmas shopping? Maybe it was a gradual process. Thirty years ago, shopping centers promoted Black Friday as a good day to get your Christmas shopping done, and a lot of folks listened. Here are a couple of news reports from WLOX, on Thanksgiving Day and then on Black Friday in 1983. The money quote: “It  gets a little crowded.” People were happily enduring the crowds, and indeed, at least one shopper just wanted to join the crowds for holiday cheer.

Compare that with what we’ve seen in the past few years, as shopping has become a competition to see who can score one of those “limited supply” electronic gadgets at half price. Here’s a supercut uploaded last year.

(YouTube link)

The money saved on items we really don’t need does not justify the time, hassle, and danger of injury to oneself or others involved in the modern version of Black Friday. There’s still a month left to shop, smaller stores to visit, online sales that involve no hassle at all, and one’s sanity to consider. -via Uproxx


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Neverball - The Lightning Rat Guide To Grunge


Neverball by Wirdou

There were all sorts of fun games going on when Ash and his friends showed up at the Poke Master Mega Block Party, like pin the tail on the snorlax and bobbing for Poke balls, but Ash knew Pika would only want to do one thing- take a dip in the pool! Ash uttered the phrase "I choose you!" and tossed Pika and the Poke ball right into the deep end, and when Pika emerged underwater it felt like nirvana. However, the rest of the pocket monsters and trainers who were swimming in the pool didn't appreciate Pika's electric feel...

When your friends say "here we are, now entertain us" you can show them this clever Neverball t-shirt by Wirdou and watch them roar with laughter!

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

Daddy's Home Veggie Hot Dog Red Panda Thorium - Chemical Avengers

View more designs by Wirdou | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

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Optical Illusions Accidentally Created By Animals

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It’s only natural to see optical illusions in the world around us, and nature likes to unintentionally serve up some real mind-benders that force you to take a second look in order to wrap your mind around what your eyes are seeing.

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Some animals incorporate optical illusions into their body markings on purpose, but most animal based optical illusions are simply a matter of seeing things from the right angle at exactly the right moment.

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Little Things has put together a fun collection of 22 Optical Illusions Created Accidentally By Animals, an assortment of odd animal pics sure to make you think your mind is playing tricks on you!

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

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Seth Rogen’s Jewish-Canadian-American Thanksgiving

(Funny or Die Link)

Canadian filmmaker Seth Rogan grew up in a family that didn't observe Thanksgiving. They managed to explain that away to him in a manner that he didn't question -but sooner or later, children will find out the truth.


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Ten TV Episodes People Pretend Never Happened

When TV show creators get multiple seasons of a linear storyline under their belt the issues of continuity and retaining world integrity arise.

It's part of the creator’s job to keep track of everything that happened during the previous seasons in order to keep the storyline on track for future seasons.

This continuity is especially important in extremely linear genres like sci-fi, fantasy and drama, so what is a show creator to do when an episode goes against the show’s established storyline?

Generally they pretend that episode never happened and move on, and we’re left wondering what the creators were thinking when they came up with such a game changing episode!

io9 put together a collection of 10 TV Episodes That Everybody Pretends Never Happened, which includes the episode where Buffy is actually a mental patient and not a vampire slayer after all, my pick from the list for ultimate WTF TV moment.


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Tombstone: The Greatest Western Ever

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

Western movies, of course, start and end with John Wayne. Whether it is Rio Bravo (my favorite John Wayne Western), Red River, The Shootist, True Grit, Stagecoach, or any one of the dozens of other Western classics he made in his long and illustrious career, John Wayne remains the Michael Jordan of the Western film.

Films about Wyatt Earp, the most famous Old West lawman, also abound in film history, whether it be Gunfight at the OK Corral, My Darling Clementine or the scores of lesser cinematic tributes, Earp remains "the" Old West icon of icons. With all this said, in my own humble opinion, 1993's masterpiece Tombstone is the finest western ever made.

Filmed on a budget of $25,000,000, Tombstone was the first-ever Wyatt Earp film to deeply research and pay actual attention to the Wyatt Earp period in Tombstone. Ironically, when the film was released, a few critics panned the film's straying from the truth and indulging in "revisionism.” This statement couldn't be further from the truth.

Tombstone has unparalleled accuracy in detail not only with dialogue, but mustaches, clothes, guns (including long-barreled and nickel-plated weapons), and, especially, hats (which had a clearly southwestern flavor, particularly in the cavalier-style sombreros worn by Wyatt and Doc Holliday.) It is also the first and only Wyatt Earp film to be shot in the country where the actual events took place, the first movie to use young, vigorous actors as the principals, and the first to make the town of Tombstone itself look exciting.

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Ten Of The Most Outrageous Things Benjamin Franklin Ever Did

Benjamin Franklin has gone from sainted Founding Father to controversial figure, ladies man and America's original superstar thanks in part to the Isaacson biography Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, but how much of this information is overblown?

Apparently not by much, and if you think the book made him seem totally outrageous wait until you read the 10 Most Outrageous Things Benjamin Franklin Ever Did.

Ben was a thinker, a drinker and a real stinker if you got on his bad side, but there’s no denying that he is one of America’s most fascinating historical figures, someone who really knew how to live life to the fullest.


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Teddy Bear on a Treadmill

(YouTube link)

Munchkin is an adorable Shih Tzu puppy who dresses like a teddy bear. He was a hit at Halloween with his costume, but watch him walk on a treadmill! It honestly looks like we’re being chased by an Ewok. This is one of those videos you keep around for a pick-me-up when you're stressed out. It bet it would work like a charm! -via Laughing Squid

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

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The Internet Has No Love For Grandpa Joe From Willie Wonka

The internet is full of cute cat pics, hilarious memes, and hate. How can these seemingly incongruous elements exist in one place? With a little help from trending, post sharing and social media-izing.

In 2004 lucky old Grandpa Joe, who got to visit Wonka’s chocolate factory and discovered candy can cure crippling afflictions, became the target of internetter rage when his villainous nature was exposed.

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The blog Say No To Grandpa Joe started it all, created "To reveal once and for all the truth about the only real villain in the movie"- Grandpa Joe.

They cite his attitude towards women, his tobacco money stash and the fact that he stayed in bed and let someone else do all the work, until the chance to have fun arrived, as reasons to hate old man Joe.

In 2010 a Facebook community called The I Hate Grandpa Joe From Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory was created to keep the hate alive, and a few months ago they posted this vile mashup pic, proving Grandpa Joe is the villain after all:

(Image Link)

-Via BuzzFeed


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Don’t Assume Anything

Sometimes you think you know what’s going on when you really have no clue. People with children can babysit as well as anyone, even if you define that as caring for a baby that’s not yours. When I’m watching my grandkids, is that “babysitting” or “grandparenting”? And does it really matter? This comic is from Chris at Lunarbaboon.


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Hauntingly Beautiful Paintings By Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen

If we could actually capture the appearance of a spirit on film, like those ghost show guys claim to be able to do, we might end up with a result that resembles the hauntingly beautiful paintings of Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen.

Henrik’s subjects look like they're materializing out of wisps of smoke, or breaking down into an incorporeal and foggy form, the beauty of soft human contours emerging from the insubstantial.

His paintings are meditative, deconstructive and strikingly humanistic, sparking conversations about the fleeting nature of human life and the way elements converge to create the human form. -Via Beautiful/Decay


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Babysitting Monkey

Inexperienced babysitters really do need a little supervision the first time they interact with infants. That holds true even if you're a monkey. In this clip from the BBC One series Life Story, a juvenile langur monkey tries out her parenting skills for the first time -with less-than-stellar results. It's a good thing mama monkey wasn't too far away! Maybe she'll do better next time, but you can be sure that mama monkey will stay close by to make sure there are no shenanigans. -Thanks, Caragh Salisbury!

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

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Walker Grimes - Collect Them All, If You Dare...


Walker Grimes by StationJack

Kids will be kids, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, so when kids started looking for fun stuff to collect local living artists were happy to comply. They started drawing up trading cards featuring illustrations of what the survivors would look like as the walking dead, and although these gross cards turned the adults stomachs the kids just couldn't get enough of seeing how they'd look as a rotten walker!

Trading cards aren't just for the garbage pail any more, check out this Walker Grimes t-shirt by StationJack and see the ultimate fate awaiting the trading card industry after the zombie apocalypse...

Visit StationJack's Facebook fan page, official website, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more horrifyingly good designs:

Beast Power Griswold Christmas Egg Nog Say Doh Mr. Terminator

View more designs by StationJack | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

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Plush Toys Inspired by Childrens' Imaginations



The smiles and lights in the eyes of the kids shown here are the result of their youthful imaginings materializing into soft, huggable form. A company called "Budsies" takes childrens' drawings of their fantasy friends and transforms them into charming, nice sized (16-inch-tall) plush toys. This looks like something I would have coveted for Christmas when I was a kid. The cost is $69 and lead time is eight weeks. 

See more Budsies examples at their website and Facebook page. 



See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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“YMCA” by The Bottle Boys

(YouTube link)

The Copenhagen musical group The Bottle Boys play us a tune we all know and love, and let us in on one of their secrets to making bottle music look so easy -when we all know it’s not. From the YouTube page:

Sometimes people say, that it’s impossible to play that fast on bottles when they see our videos, because they are looking at just one persons head movements. But if you look closer you will see, that we share all the melodies by two persons. So if Philipp plays one part of the lead melody, Kaspar plays the other half, which combined gives you the complete melodic part that you all recognize:-)

We decided to shoot this video in our own studio, since it’s too cold outside here in Denmark and since we wanted it to have a more cosy look, without too much else going on in the frame. In that way you can really focus on what’s being played. We chose to play Y.M.C.A because it has some fast melodic parts and some really cool secondary melody lines.

-via Tastefully Offensive


See more videos from The Bottle Boys.

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Here's What Non-Human Cartoon Characters Would Look Like As Humans

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Animation fans often wonder what their favorite non-human cartoon characters would look like as humans, and artists who grew up loving cartoons can't help but give the transformation a try, just to see what happens.

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People present them in all kinds of styles, from realistic human to totally toonified, and yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen a collection as large, or diverse, as this list of 25 Non-Human Cartoon Characters As Humans, presented by the staff at Dorkly.

You get to see classic toons like Bugs Bunny, new school toons like Mordecai and Rigby from Regular Show, and this extremely strange envisioning of a handsome human Squidward. Okay, maybe we should leave these toons alone after all!

(Image Link)


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Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Om Nom - Twaggies by Twaggies
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