How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain

(YouTube link)

Playing a musical instrument involves more areas of the brain than other activities. It only makes sense. You have to use your fine motor skills to play, understand the tune, read the music, remember how it’s done, co-ordinate with other players, and watch your timing. All at the same time. And that’s after you’ve learned how to do it! Learn more in this TED-Ed lesson from Anita Collins. -via Laughing Squid


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Featured Designs from the NeatoShop:



Mint on Card

(Bizarro Comics/Dan Piraro)

See this rubber mouse? It's autographed by the artist. And the toy parakeet is a limited edition with a variant beak. They made only 100 of them.

Sometimes my human servant ties to take them, but a good scratch usually deters him.


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Why Do Birds Have White and Dark Meat?


YouTube Link

This video from Sci Show presents a clear explanation of why birds have light and dark meat (and whether humans share those bodily features). Interesting information... that made me momentarily wish I was a vegetarian.


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Game of Thrones Deaths, Illustrated

Fishfinger has completed their trilogy of art posts about the HBO series Game of Thrones. This one illustrates the various deaths on the show through the first four seasons. Actually, just the most important character deaths, because all of them would take up too much space! Since that concept contains massive spoilers, you’ll have to continue reading to see it. 

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Brilliant Excavator Driver Loads onto a Truck without a Ramp


(Video Link)

A top excavator driver is a surgeon with his equipment. A complex machine like a digger becomes an extension of his own body. With it, he can push a truck, paddle a boat, or light a cigarette.

In this video, a driver in Omalloor, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India loads his excavator into the back of a truck. A ramp? No, only amateurs use ramps. Experts do this.

-via Jalopnik

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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The Handfish Walks on Its Fins

(Image: CSIRO)

Pictured above is the Spotted Handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus). It's one of several related species which have fins that look like hands or feet. The Spotted Handfish lives in the estuary of the River Derwent, which flows from the interior of Tasmania into the Pacific Ocean. These fish live on the sea floor, gently pushing themselves around with their foot-like fins.


(Video Link)

The Spotted Handfish is an endangered species. Unfortunately for them, Spotted Handfish prefer to lay their eggs on Sea Tulips. The Northern Pacific Sea Star hunts these Sea Tulips, which gives the Spotted Handfish fewer places to lay their eggs.

To help them breed more prolifically, conservationists have stuck plastic tubes into the sea floor. The Spotted Handfish have responded by laying their eggs on these tubes as acceptable substitutes for Sea Tulips.

-via It's Okay to Be Smart


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Lord of Rings - One Up To Rule Them All


Lord of Rings by JohnLucke

There is a tale told about a golden ring that would rule them all, and serve as the grand prize in a massive war in the middle of the earth, but Sonic doesn't see the value in such a trinket. This lord of rings picks up hundreds per level, and unless he takes a wrong turn on the way to his little hedgehog home he gets to keep every ring he collected. Who has time to waste on just one ring?!

Show the world that the legends are true with this Lord of Rings t-shirt by JohnLucke, which celebrates the original ring-bearer in iconic style and is sure to earn you a fashion high score.

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

Pizza is Coming Hello Tribute Caprica Coffee No Way Out

View more designs by JohnLucke | 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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Curiosity Watches an Eclipse

(YouTube link)

On Aug. 20, 2013, the Curiosity rover looked up from the Martian surface and saw an eclipse like you’ve never seen on Earth. The tiny moon Phobos passed in front of the sun, although the 14-mile wide moon is too small to cover it completely. And since Phobos is only 3,700 miles up (compared to our moon, which is 239,000 miles from Earth), the irregular shape of the satellite is visible. Phobos is on a trajectory that will eventually result in its death spiral, which you can read about at NPR. -via Digg


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Unusual Landscapes Across the Globe

     The Wave,
          Arizona


It is easy for us to get so caught up in our lives and focused on our immediate surroundings that we forget what an amazing world we inhabit. The complex stuctures formed from a multitude of environmental factors such as erosion and volcanic activity make the Earth rich with exquisite exceptions to commonly seen landscapes. Agricultural and other manmade innovations and features, such as Bali's rice terraces, can be equally pretty. Pictured here are some unusual and beautiful landscapes in the world. See more examples in this Science Dump article. 


     Red Beach,
       Panjin, China

        Rice terraces
       Bali,  Indonesia

        Salar de Uyuni
        Bolivia

        
        Giant Buddha
            Leshan, China
 


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Mary Poppins Quits

(Funny or Die link)

Mary Poppins sings, dances, performs magical feats, and keeps a smile on her face while raising a banker’s kids -for $7.25 an hour. Minimum wage means he’d mostly likely pay her even less if it weren’t illegal. That can get to you over time, but Mary still keeps a smile on her face as she explains why she is quitting her job. Kristen Bell stars in the latest video from Funny or Die.  


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Neckties Are Stupid


I could not agree with Doghouse Diaries more emphatically. Neckties serve no productive purpose whatsoever and are uncomfortable. They're like corsets for your throat.

I do, occasionally, wear a necktie at work. It's a My Little Pony tie with a Rainbow Dash theme. Does it give the best impression? Well, let's just say that it gives an accurate impression.


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Squirrel Obstacle Course Videos, Complete With British Commentary

(Video Link)

Steve Barley is a man who appreciates a good squirrel show, and he knows that we internetterly types enjoy fine squirrel footage as well, so he creates exhilarating squirrel assault course videos for the connoisseur:

(Video Link)

Steve builds the squirrel assault courses in his backyard then records footage of squirrels running through the course on video, adding the kind of real-time commentary that makes Steve Barley’s squirrel videos some of the finest the internet has to offer.

Hopefully Steve will continue to have plenty of free time on his hands in the future so he can keep building squirrel obstacle courses, and we can continue to watch him talk about squirrels on obstacle courses.

-Via 22 Words

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

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Mayfly Swarm Shows Up on Weather Radar

The forecast for La Crosse, Wisconsin, is for continuing mayflies. According to the National Weather Service, conditions are perfect for the emergence of mayflies along the upper Mississippi River, and the area teems with them every year. The swarm this year is thick enough to be caught on weather radar. What does it look like on the ground? Like this:


 

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The Purge: Canadian Edition

The movie The Purge is a dystopia set in 2022. In this alternate future, all laws are suspended in the United States for a 12-hour period every year. During this time, people can commit any crime without fear of legal repercussions.

In this Vine film by Julien Sigouin, Canada has adopted this legal change, too. For those 12 hours, the innate barbarism and bloodthirstiness of the Canadian soul breaks free in an orgy of violence. So, you know: viewer advisory.

-via Huffington Post


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15 Stunning Doors We Wish We Could Open

Beautiful doors are more than just home decor -they are also an inviting icon that promises adventures to come. Over at Homes and Hues, we compiled a collection of 15 absolutely amazing and beautiful doors.

From contemporary to classic, these doors are sure to make a statement wherever they're installed -and guaranteed to intrigue visitors to your home.

There's even a great door specially created for kids of all sizes to feel like they better fit into their home space.

Don't miss the full list: 15 Beautiful Doors That Are Entirely Inviting


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The Woman at the Wheel

Polite society told Alice Huyler Ramsey that women shouldn't drive. So she motored across the country to prove them wrong.

In 1909, driving was a man’s work. As one doctor wrote, “A speed of 15 or 20 miles an hour in a motor causes [women] acute mental suffering, nervous excitement, and circulatory disturbances.” Some worried that riding in open-air cars would lead to “automobile face,” an unfortunate—and hypothetical—condition in which the wind would blow women’s mouths into permanent gapes.

These notions were terrible for women. They were also terrible for the auto business. Sexism was cutting the potential market in half! The car company Maxwell realized that getting women in the driver’s seat would boost sales, so it put PR man Carl Kelsey on the case. But Kelsey knew he needed more than a few newspaper ads to change public opinion; he needed a spectacle. He began looking for a woman he could challenge to drive from coast to coast.

Kelsey found the perfect adventurer in 22-year-old Alice Huyler Ramsey. The Vassar grad had been out for a horseback ride the previous year when a car’s horn had spooked her mount. After the incident, her husband reasoned that cars were probably safer than horses and persuaded his wife to buck social norms by driving a Maxwell. She even competed in motoring competitions, where she jockeyed around hay bales and other obstacles.

When Kelsey pitched his idea to Ramsey over dinner, she jumped at the opportunity. Ramsey would later say, “I did it because it was a challenge and because I knew it would be fun.” She roped two sisters-in-law and a friend into joining her—strictly for company, of course; only Ramsey knew how to drive. Maxwell would provide them with a set of wheels, any supplies they needed, and a PR man to travel ahead of them to drum up coverage. On June 9, 1909, the quartet set out from a Maxwell showroom in Manhattan.

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Deep Fried Tarantula

(Photo: The Bug Chef)

Get that roach out of your mouth! It hasn't been properly cooked yet. For that, you need to go to The Bug Chef. That's David George Gordon, a professional chef who specializes in preparing insects.

Gordon thinks that humanity's culinary future lies with the insect world. If your goal is to produce a large quantity of meat, then livestock insects, such as crickets, are much cheaper than pigs or cattle. They require less food, water, and land. They're also nutritious. KPLU explains:

Crickets are high in calcium, said Gordon. Termites? Rich in iron. Grasshoppers? About as much protein (by weight, dried) as beef. Bugs are really pretty good for you. The U.N. report notes that bugs have high proportions of omega-3 fatty acids, comparable to those in fish (and much better than beef or pork).

And most bugs are good protein sources. Scorpions, for instance, have lots of edible muscle tissue. “I like their tails and claws,” said Gordon. “There’s the equivalent of crabmeat in there.” Just take out the stinger first, folks.

Best of all, Gordon argues, bugs are delicious. He's published a cookbook of 40 recipes that you can use to make your insect preparation tasty. For example, you can deep fry tarantulas. Here's Gordon's recipe. It's coated in a tempura batter and accented with smoked paprika. Yummy! 

-via Super Punch

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Talking Monkey - Once Upon A Meatball Cloud


Talking Monkey by Eren

Creating a device that allows the translation of animal screeches is a good idea on paper, but when the monkey you test the device out on won't shut up about being Steve there's a chance you'll want to scrap the whole project. In addition to screaming his name, Steve is partial to meatballs and clouds, but he can't stand it when his food gets up and walks away with its own two legs!

Celebrate the power of crazy science with this Talking Monkey t-shirt by Eren, it's loud in color instead of volume and is sure to add some delicious flair to your geeky wardrobe.

Visit Eren's Facebook fan page, official website and Tumblr, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more crazy cool designs:

Take Me Back to Barsoom On Duty! The Hanging Tree My Champion

View more designs by Eren | 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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Supercats!: A Supercut of Cats in Movies

(vimeo link)

Ariel Belzit put together clips of cats from movies of all kinds: movies about cats and movies not about cats, going back over a century, featuring cats, kittens, animated cats, monster cats, people in cat costumes, and lots of villains stoking cats. All accompanied by “The Lovecats” by The Cure. -via Time

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

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Saturday Morning with Kids vs. Saturday Morning without Kids

"You hear laughter, which is almost more terrifying than crying." Yes. Or you hear nothing. You know that your kids are (probably) still in the house, but you don't hear them. That's when you should really worry.

Rob Fee of Mandatory describes life after you become a parent. Perhaps you used to sleep in on Saturday. But those days are over.

In my home, Saturday morning is my turn to get up with my kids. I'm always exhausted, they always wake up early, and I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

-via Pleated Jeans


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Lightning Fast Reponse

YouTube Link

A British man is filming a storm with his phone when lighting strikes in close proximity to him. His (NSFW, language) reaction is amusing, and his video capture of the lightning is spectacular. As one of the commenters on YouTube remarked, "The ONLY time vertical filming should ever be used. Good job, thumbs up." Via 22 Words.


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There's A New Squid-Faced Cryptocurrency In Town

Cryptocurrency “brands” are trying their darndest to become as likeable as greenbacks, using characters like Doge that appeal to the target audience, and since the whole thing is bordering on becoming fantasy funny money anyway it’s rather appropriate to use fictional characters as the spokesthings.

The latest cryptocurrency incarnation bears the horrifying, squid-faced visage of the Great Old One Cthulhu, and this crypto currency is guaranteed to drive those foolish enough to accept it mad with greed!

Here’s some of the strange rhetoric Cthulhu Offerings is using to get people to join their monetary "ritual"-

As the equinox approaches we begin the ritual; four weeks and five days long it builds until Cthulhu awakens and one worshipper is rewarded greatly!
The time draws near, the return of The Great Old One is upon us. Join us in our ritual.

Will you join in this monetary ritual, or let your dead presidents, and your sanity, stay safe and sound right where they are?

-Via io9


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Elephants Surround Baby So It Doesn't Get Swept away by the River


(Video Link)

A river runs through the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand. When it's time for this baby elephant to take a bath, all the nannies escort him into the river. They form a wall with their bodies so that he can wash and play without any worry of being swept away by the fast current.

As we've seen before, elephants take care of kids in their herd, even if the kids aren't their own children.

-via 22 Words

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

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Snake Facts

It looks like Randall Munroe of xkcd wants a job writing Ze Frank’s True Facts series. I think that second one is too subtle for a video. I had to read it twice to make sure it said what I thought it said.


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Cyclist Gets Hit by Car, Flies through the Air, But Somehow Lands on His Feet


(Video Link)

YouTube member CycleJack was pedaling through Romford, Essex, UK on a wet day. He was traveling about 22 MPH. A car cut across his path and he hit the fender. CycleJack flew over the car, head over heels, but landed neatly on his feet. It was an impressive bit of unintentional acrobatics caught on camera.

And it's a good thing that CycleJack was wearing a camera. The driver tried to dispute that she was at fault. The video footage took care of that problem:

Safe to say the video has saved me a lot of hassle and 3 weeks later the cheque has already arrived from the insurance company.

Content warning: CycleJack uses a bit of foul language when the car hits. But who can blame him?

-via Gawker


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The Amazing Tree Of 40 Fruits

An old New York state orchard was about to be left for dead in 2008, an orchard that grows varieties of stone fruit over 200 years old, when artist Sam Van Aiken stepped in and took over the lease, saving many fruit varieties no longer commercially available.

Sam now grows totally magical trees that he calls the Trees of 40 Fruit, applying artistic ideas and some serious grafting skills to create a tree that "grows over forty different types of stone fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds."

His fascinating take on tree hybridization as living sculpture has produced multiple hybrid trees, and Sam even gave a TED talk about his project, so why are we seeing a photoshopped image of the Tree of 40 Fruits?

Because it could take them decades to grow to that size, so at the moment his magic trees look more like this:

-Via Sploid

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Literally Everything Else From Your Childhood: The Movie

(YouTube link)

This parody movie trailer from The Wil Wheaton Project is a spoof of the many nostalgic toy-themed films we are suffering under. They certainly know the prime internet/movie buying demographic: Americans who grew up in the late ‘80s and the ‘90s. The only one of these things that means "childhood" to me is the Magic 8-ball, which has been around since the 1940s. -via Wil Wheaton


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Batman Jumping the General Lee over a Canyon

In this Dukes of Hazzard mashup by David Branstetter, the Dark Knight has found the ultimate Batmobile. It's sturdier than the Lincoln Futura and prettier than the Tumbler. The Gotham PD will never catch up with him and the Joker will never escape him now. But he should probably change the horn from  playing"Dixie" to something more daunting.

This image was Brandstetter's contribution to Comic Book Resources' celebration of Batman's 75th anniversary. You can see contributions from other artists here.

-via Geek Tyrant


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Sunnydale Slayers Club - Stake A Claim


Sunnydale Slayers Club by Stuff of Kings

Once upon a time there wasn't much trouble to be found in Sunnydale, and there certainly weren't any murders. That all changed when Buffy took up the mantle and became a vampire slayer, but she soon found herself in need of help. She established the Slayers Club, a group of like-minded individuals with serious fighting skills and a keen eye for spotting supernatural baddies.

Show the world you're part of the toughest club in school with this Sunnydale Slayers Club t-shirt by Stuff of Kings, it repels vampires better than a garlic necklace!

Visit Stuff of Kings's Facebook fan page and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more bloody good designs:

Bringers of Anarchy Captain Bearmerica Keep Calm and Adventure On Hogwarts Duelling Club

View more designs by Stuff of Kings | 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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Baby Monkey and Jack Russell Terrier Pups Become Fast Friends

YouTube Link

Mubi is a 2-month-old drill monkey who was first attacked, then abandoned by her mother. But her story sweetened significantly when Simon Jeffrey, a keeper at Port Lympne Reserve, near Canterbury, Kent, UK, took Mubi home to play with his Jack Russell Terrier puppies. Now Mubi is happy, thriving and the pups are schooling her in the ways of animal play. Via Laughing Squid.

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

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Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Give a Man a Fish - Twaggies by Twaggies
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