Where Our Food Crops Come From

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) conducted a vast study of global agriculture and how foods that originated in one region ended up sustaining different regions, both by exported agriculture and by exported food. Part of that study is a map that shows where those foods were once native plants. At the site, the map is interactive and at the top of the page you’ll find links to information specific regions and links to broader articles about the findings. You could end up spending the rest of the week learning about global food systems. -via Digg   

(Image credit: Colin K. Khoury, Harold A. Achicanoy, Carlos Navarro-Racines, Steven Sotelo, and Andy Jarvis)


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New T-Shirts from the NeatoShop:



A Supercut Tribute To The Greatest T-Shirts In Film History

Filmmakers use the production's wardrobe and costumes to help tell their story, which is why they adore slogan t-shirts- because nothing gives a character instant attitude like a tee.

From rude to radical, totally hilarious to merely setting the scene, t-shirts are now used as a cheap and easy way to add visual appeal to a film.

(YouTube Link)

Robert Jones and Brett Roberts clipped together the first supercut of The Greatest T-Shirts In Film, then Travis Greenwood teamed up with the duo to create the far more complete Part 2, now with over 100 entries!

And as you know the NeatoShop has thousands of incredibly cool t-shirts in stock, including many slogan tees from your favorite movies, so check out the NeatoShop for tees that'll make you look like a million bucks!

-Via mental_floss


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The Stretch Batmobile and Other Crazy Limousines

The definition of a limousine is a hired car with a driver, but in practical usage the word means a luxury ride for showing off. Nothing says “Look at me!” like a car that’s so long it has trouble making a turn, or looks like a Brinks truck with a fully-stocked bar. And some limousines incorporate the look of fictional vehicles, like the Batmobile limousine:

Few people don’t know what the Batmobile from Tim Burton’s Batman movie series looks like, whether they’re a DC Comics fan or not. The iconic ride has become an important part of the Batman franchise, and a super fan decided to build a limo version of it in 2012. It looks every bit the part on the outside, and inside the Batmobile limousine has a V8 Corvette jet engine. Creating such an amazing recreation of one of the most recognized cars in the world wasn’t cheap, and the project cost over $4 million.

But it’s far from the most expensive car in the list. You’ll also see a limousine that resemble an airplanes, a gold-covered car, armored security limousines, a ridiculously long stretch, and more in a list of the 10 Most Over the Top Limousines in the World at Money Inc.


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Conan Patrols Comic-Con In His Superhero Suit

A true #American hero. #SDCC #ConanCon

A photo posted by CONAN (@teamcoco) on Jul 22, 2016 at 4:43pm PDT

Conan O'Brien has made it his mission to conquer Comic-Con ever since his show moved to L.A., so now we have show tapings and exclusive figures to look forward to at the event each year.

And when Conan hits the Con he hits it hard, bringing some of his patently unpredictable Coco magic with him, this time in the form of a super suit custom made for his bod by Ironhead Studio.

(YouTube Link)

Conan claims the suit is anatomically correct, but I think he stuffed his codpiece.

-Via Laughing Squid


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Cats' Reactions to Owners

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!

Cat-centric research
compiled by Dirk Manley, Improbable Research staff

Cats Recognize (But Don’t Always Respond to) Owners’ Voices
“Vocal Recognition of Owners by Domestic Cats (Felis catus),” Atsuko Saito and Kazutaka Shinozuka, Animal Cognition, vol. 16, no. 4, July 2013, pp. 685-690. The authors, at the University of Tokyo, report:

We studied 20 domestic cats to investigate whether they could recognize their owners by using voices that called out the subjects’ names, with a habituation–dishabituation method. While the owner was out of the cat’s sight, we played three different strangers’ voices serially, followed by the owner’s voice. We recorded the cat’s reactions to the voices and categorized them into six behavioral categories. In addition, ten naive raters rated the cats’ response magnitudes. The cats responded to human voices not by communicative behavior (vocalization and tail movement), but by orienting behavior (ear movement and head movement). This tendency did not change even when they were called by their owners. Of the 20 cats, 15 demonstrated a lower response magnitude to the third voice than to the first voice. These habituated cats showed a significant rebound in response to the subsequent presentation of their owners’ voices. This result indicates that cats are able to use vocal cues alone to distinguish between humans.

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

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Meat Controlled Carldroid - Watch Out For The Food Monsters Living Next Door


Meat Controlled Carldroid by pigboom

My name is...wait, what's my name again? I can't seem to think of it, on account of the mind control thingamajigie that fry man used on my noggin'. Wasn't it something like Marl or Garl? Is that even a name? There was some kind of aqua monster with the fry man too, a giant shake man with flipper arms who called himself master and claimed to be part of a hunger squad. It's starting to come back to me, those food monsters were my neighbors, this pile of meat using me like a robot is named Meatwad, and he just finished watching those old teen turtles cartoons...Aaaack! There's a food monster riding around inside of me, and not the good kind!

Dress nice and neighborly with this Meat Controlled Carldroid t-shirt by pigboom, it'll help you make the money g...or make you feel better about being broke! Comes in adult sizes, take it off before you swim.

Visit Pigboom's Facebook fan page, official website, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more old school cool designs:

Steven and Buckhead Rise Great Old One - 2 Savage Beast Gym Studio Ripley

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

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The First Political Conventions on Live TV

The Democratic National Convention is going on this week in Philadelphia, which brings to mind the conventions of 1948. Three major parties held their conventions in Philadelphia that year, and there was something new and special happening that year: the presence of TV cameras. It was the first year that the Republican and Democratic conventions were televised. There was a relatively small audience, since few people had TV sets, but the spectacle of the broadcast made the entire convention ritual different.   

So, what, exactly, did viewers see? A lot of sweat, for one thing. The Philadelphia conventions that year were the last time political conventions were held in a venue that didn't have air-conditioning. And in video of Truman's speech at the convention, convention-goers are seen getting creative in how they fanned themselves, many using what appeared to be programs, mostly in vain.

On stage, things were considerably worse, mostly because of the lights. If the convention was to be televised, networks told convention organizers, the dais would need to be lit up. And, because of the primitive camera technology of 1948, that meant highly lit up. As a consequence, convention speakers, many of whom could be seen with visible sweat stains, probably had it the worst of anyone. (Their wives, sitting behind them, didn't have it much better.)

Of course, that changed everything forever. Not only did air conditioning debut at the next political conventions, there was also makeup, staging, and meticulous planning to make the television broadcast acceptable to viewers. Read about the clash of the old ways and the how television change politics at Atlas Obscura.


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The Smithsonian Is Hiring a Beer Historian


(Photo: @joefoodie)

And you should apply! It requires not just an appreciation for beer, but a rich understanding of its roles and development in American history. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC wants a beer scholar on staff to explore and explain beer in American life. The Washington City Paper quotes curator Paula Johnson:

"We have collected food history for many years, so when we were doing the research for the exhibition, which is all about big changes in the post WW II era in how and what we eat, one thing we were curious about is the craft beer movement," Johnson says. "We were looking at wine, coffee, cheese, artisanal bread, and farmers markets. Well, this movement with small-scale, local regional beer is part of the ethos."

You can read the official job posting here.

-via Stephen Green


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An Orthotic Boot for Purps the Penguin

Yellow Purple the penguin (Purps for short) lives at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. She injured her foot and needed help with her mobility, so the aquarium staff enlisted the help of the ACT Group/3D Systems and a local middle school. They all worked together to design and 3D print a boot to help Purps get around while she heals.

(YouTube link)

See the video about how the boot was made at Laughing Squid.

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

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Guardians of the Galaxy Characters Will Appear on NASA Mission Patch

(Image: CASIS/Marvel Custom Solutions)

Yes, that's Groot and Rocket Raccoon in this official NASA patch. It will represent all of the science missions of the US National Laboratory on board the International Space Station during 2016. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) worked with Marvel artist Juan Doe to develop the design. Space.com reports:

"A major mission for us here at CASIS is to find unique and innovative ways to bring notoriety to the International Space Station National Laboratory and the research that is being conducted," stated Ken Shields, CASIS's operations and educational opportunities director. "There are very few brands in the world who have as large an impact as Marvel and we are thrilled to partner with them on this project."

-via Stephen Green


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Golf Cart Jetpack


(Video Link)

Why drive around obstacles when you can fly over them? Golf master Bubba Watson hopes that jetpacks will replace old fashioned 4-wheeled golf carts. Recently, he learned how to fly at Martin P12 jetpack and used it to fly from hole to hole on a golf course. With a 3,000-foot high ceiling and a maximum speed of 46 MPH, he was able to move quickly.

Aside from being a quick form of transportation, Watson says that it offers golfers a tactical advantage over their competitors. They can see the lay of a course from high above, making the game a more 3-dimensional experience. 

-via Telegraph


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R.I.P. Marni Nixon

You might not know the name Marni Nixon, but you know her voice. Nixon was a singer, actress, author, and music professor, with an extensive filmography. The strange part of her film career is that she was often uncredited. Nixon sang the songs that made other actresses famous

Classically trained, Ms. Nixon was throughout the 1950s and ’60s the unseen — and usually uncredited — singing voice of the stars in a spate of celebrated Hollywood films. She dubbed Deborah Kerr in “The King and I,” Natalie Wood in “West Side Story” and Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady,” among many others.

Her other covert outings included singing for Jeanne Crain in “Cheaper by the Dozen,” Janet Leigh in “Pepe” and Ida Lupino in “Jennifer.” “The ghostess with the mostest,” the newspapers called her, a description that eventually began to rankle.

While these musicals went on to win multiple Academy Awards, Nixon was under contract to keep her involvement a secret, which bothered her more and more as time went on. She eventually vowed to never sing in secret again. It’s Nixon’s voice you hear in these songs, courtesy of Metafilter:

Ms. Nixon died of breast cancer in Manhattan on Sunday. She was 86.

(Image credit: Flickr user John Morton)


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Baby Horse Demands Butt Scratches


(Video Link)

This little filly knows what's good: butt scratches. And if you don't deliver them, she'll take them from you. She's got attitude.

-via Tastefully Offensive

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

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Organic

To be honest, this scenario could apply to anyone with a diet designed to make them appear superior to the rest of us common folk. You might know someone who is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free by choice, grain-free, sugar-free, paleo, or all-natural, and won’t hesitate to make you feel awful about your inferior food choices.

The attitude makes all the difference. A relative offered me a soda pop once, and I replied that I don’t drink soda. She asked why not, and I said my teeth are too sensitive for cold drinks. That put her right at ease, because it let her know I wasn’t going to lecture her about her soda habit. To each his own. This is the latest from Sarah Andersen.


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Surreal And Mesmerizing GIFs By Sam Cannon

 photo skullbubblegum_zpszxfywabi.gif

GIFs are a visual gift to the Users of the Internet, a mini cinematic present for our eyeballs to unwrap in a few seconds flat, but I can't decide if the GIFs created by Sam Cannon are given out of joy or spite.

 photo tumblr_nbv7oere6j1qc66bjo1_500_zpsoh0mehxq.gif

Sam's mesmerizing and disturbing GIFs can be subtly creepy, extremely whimsical or both, and viewers may find it hard to tear their eyes away from these GIFs even when the subject keeps sending chills down their spine with a stare.

 photo tumblr_mukzl1OSBn1qc66bjo1_500_zpsqznjzj1z.gif

-Via Laughing Squid


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Dead pool vs. Comic Con

Get ready for mischief when Deadpool is around! D-Piddy attended Comic Con again this year as Deadpool, in order to stir up trouble!

(YouTube link)

All skits on the convention floor were set up with the other cosplayers, and there was no contact without consent. However, just like the Deadpool movie, some scenes are not for children. -via Tastefully Offensive


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The Adventures Of He-Man - Mystery Of The Gray Skull


The Adventures Of He-Man by markwelser

Prince Adam is a lazy lout who totally sponges off the kingdom and doesn't accomplish anything, but his heroic alter ego He-Man is a mighty force for good in the universe who can't wait to spring into action. He goes out in search of mystery, seeking danger and adventure like a boy master detective who has been hitting the gym eight hours a day, and boy does He ever find all the adventure he can handle and more! Luckily his sword is as sharp as his mind, and by solving the Skeletor cases he is freeing the people from that evil skull-faced creep.

It's no mystery why this The Adventures Of He-Man t-shirt by markwelser is so great- it's one mighty cool looking cartoon mashup!

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

In League With Saiyan The Nightman Cometh I Wanna Be An Avenger

Star Masters

View more designs by markwelser | More Cartoon T-shirts | New T-Shirts

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Pikachurro

The Loop is a churro bakery in Westminster, California. It's noted for its long, looped churros, often covered with toppings, such as Fruity Pebbles and chocolate, and served with ice cream.

To promote the Poké Stop at their restaurant, team member Ngoc made this churro concoction shaped like Pikachu.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Adam Savage Incognito at Comic-Con 2016

Every year, Adam Savage wears a costume to San Diego Comic Con in order to get around without being recognized. This year, he was a bear. No, he wasn’t trying to be a furry, although that’s what quite a few people assumed. He was supposed to be the bear from the movie The Revenant.  

[ (YouTube link)

The particulars of the suit construction are in another video to come; this one follows him as he wanders the halls of Comic Con. -via Digg


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Why Do Pigeons Poop on Cars?

(They Can Talk/Jimmy Craig)

As G.K. Chesterton put it:

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.

Your ancestors pooped on cars for generations for a reason. If you can explain why they thought that and why it is no longer necessary or appropriate, then you may stop. But until then, keep pooping on cars.


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This Spokeless Cyclotron Is The Smart Bike Of The Future

Apparently all bikes will be spokeless in the future, since that's how they often appear in sci-fi shows and such, so in an effort to speed us towards the future the Cyclotron has appeared.

 photo cyclotron-feature-gif_zps8wwp2uqb.gif

The Cyclotron looks like a bicycle straight out of TRON, with built-in lights powered by a self- charging battery, smartphone connectivity, vinyl decals for customization and a modular design.

Riders can attach baskets inside the spokeless rims to carry stuff, and the Wingman child seat system lets you take your little ones along for the ride.

(YouTube Link)

-Via Mashable


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Asphalt Lakes And The Secrets in Their Depths

Instead of water, some lakes are filled with the gooey petroleum substance known as asphalt, tar, or bitumen. It forms when crude oil thickens due to long contact with air. How thick is it? That varies, which is why animals can be trapped in it. At Pitch Lake in Trinidad, you can walk on the surface, but if you stand still, you’ll eventually begin to sink. That fate befell the ancient animals trapped in the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles.

In addition to geologists and oil barons, asphalt lakes are objects of interest for naturalists and paleontologists too as well, because hidden beneath the sticky, gooey layers are remains of unimaginable amount of prehistoric life. Over thousands of years these lakes have swallowed saber-toothed cat, dire wolves, bison, horses, turtles, snails, clams, millipedes, gophers, mammoths and hundreds of other species of vertebrates and invertebrates. These animals had wandered too far looking for food perhaps, and became trapped in the asphalt. The trapped animals attracted predators who became stuck as well as. Death came either by suffocation or hunger. It’s a terrible way to die, but a fantastic way to preserve fossils.

We use the tar itself for paving roads and sealing roofs. Read about the weird phenomenon of asphalt lakes at Amusing Planet. -via the Presurfer

(Image credit: Flickr user Betsy Weber)


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McDonald's Asked People To Invent Their Own Burgers, The Internet Complied

(Image Link)

Corporations have been looking to the internet for help since the very beginning...and it has never worked out well for them.

Nowadays these corporations are just looking for the viral boost these epic online poll fails provide, and yet they're never really prepared for the trolling they receive.

(Image Link)

McDonald's New Zealand asked the internet community to use their app and invent their own burgers, and what they got was the Sad European, the Carbonator and something called Girth.

(Image Link)

As expected the app has been removed from the McDonald's New Zealand website, so no tasteless burger designing for you, but I'm sure another internet poll worthy of trolling to come along soon!

-Via FAILBlog

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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The History of Cosplay

Who knew? The first person to wear a costume to a science fiction convention dates back to the very first science fiction convention in 1939. The idea grew from there when people realized that it was fun, frivolous, and the better the costume, the more the fun. You got attention, made friends, and spread the news that fictional world fandom can bring the real world together.




(Facebook link)

While I have an extensive history in costumes, I only attended a science fiction convention in costume once. Conventions are a major hassle when you live in the middle of nowhere, while there are many opportunities to use a costume of one sort or another, at various jobs, parties, and when you have children. This video is from Timeline.  -via Digg


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Man Lassos Bear with Head Stuck in Cheese Puffs Container


(Photo: Sharill Hawkins/AP)

We've all been there at some point in our lives. A whole bucket of cheese puffs is just irresistible. You feel an overwhelming urge to accelerate the consumption process by sticking your entire head inside.

That's what this bear near Glenwood Springs, Colorado did. But he found that he couldn't get out again. When he staggered through the backyard of a local bed-and-breakfast, the owner, Jim Hawkins, came to the rescue. The Washington Post quotes him (Hawkins, not the bear):

“He essentially looked like he had a space helmet on,” Hawkins told The Post.

Hawkins lassoed the bear and tried to get the bucket off his head. That didn't work, so he waited until wildlife officers arrived. Once they tranquilized the bear, it was easy enough to remove the now-empty cheese puff container.

-via Christina H. Sommers


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20 Things You Didn’t Know about Amy Poehler

Comedian, actress, writer, producer, and all-around character Amy Poehler is best known for her work on Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation. But she’s got a lot more going on, both on and off screen. Get to know Poehler better with some facts about her life and work.   

8. It may sound surprising that she was anything but a hilariously funny comedian, but Amy Poehler was once a teenager. Like many teenagers, Amy Poehler had a summer job. She worked at Chadwicks, an ice cream parlor in the neighborhood she grew up in. In addition to serving up yummy ice cream, part of her job was to dress up in old-fashioned outfits. On customer’s birthdays, they would sing happy birthday, play a kazoo, and bang a drum in celebration.

9. We all know Amy Poehler starred in the movie Mean Girls. If not, then you need to go out and rent or buy the movie today. Amy Poehler played the part of Rachel McAdams’ self-obsessed mother. Seems normal enough. What you may not know is she was only seven years older than Rachel McAdams at the time.  Seems pretty crazy but it happens all the time in Hollywood.

There’s lots more about Amy Poehler at SheBudgets.


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Beauty Vlogger Slaps On 100 Coats Of Nearly Everything

One hundred coats of paint seems like overkill for most paintings, and you'd never need to apply 100 coats of paint to your house, so why on Earth would people apply 100 coats of various beauty products to themselves?

To take part in the 100 Coats Challenge, a new beauty vlogger craze that started with nail polish and has now jumped the shark thanks to one Jenna Marbles- who slapped on 100 coats of (nearly) everything. (NSFW due to language)

(YouTube Link)

Jenna applied 100 coats of lipstick, foundation, self tanner, hair spray, nail polish and stuck 50 false eyelashes on each lid...then she showed us the horrifying results for way too long. *shudder*

-Via Cosmopolitan


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Star Love Upgrade - Two Young Lovers With Nothing Better To Compute


Star Love Upgrade by Prime Premne

It was a match made in Robo-Heaven, a coppery plated Protocol droid named C and the Cyberman who swept him off his mechanical feet. But alas their love would not last, for the Doctor and the Darths were on the war path, actively hunting the pair down to ensure their destruction. Together C and the Cyberman ran, they made laughing noises come out of their speakers and they admired the way the rays of the twin suns glinted off each other's shiny head. Perhaps in another time or alternate dimension their love would be allowed to exist, but this version of the star crossed droid lovers was doomed to fail...

You'll be sharing some geeky love with the world every time you wear this Star Love Upgrade t-shirt by Prime Premne, a design that really computes!

Visit Prime Premne's Facebook fan page and Twitter, then head over to his NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

BvF Dawn of the Future The Tiger Khan Do It Avenging Side of the Earth Bedtime Punishment

View more designs by Prime Premne | More Cartoon T-shirts | New T-Shirts

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True Colors, and Where They Came From

The following article is from Uncle John’s Factastic Bathroom Reader.

Here’s something to think about next time you open a box of crayons. We take it for granted that the pigments used to color our clothes, dishes, and art supplies are clean and safe— but as these colors of the past reveal, that’s not necessarily so.

(Image credit: Zubro)

Color: Mummy Brown

Made From: Actual mummies

How Did That Become a Thing? Long before there were art stores, the most reliable source of powdered chemicals of all kinds was the apothecary. Europeans had gotten it into their heads that Egyptian mummies were powerful medicine, and from the 1300s to the early 20th century, ground mummies were prescribed for everything from headaches to gout to epilepsy. Adventurous artists discovered that when mixed with oil paint, powdered flesh from mummies made an excellent light brown color. It was used extensively from the 1700s into the mid-1920s.

True Colors: Despite the belief that mummies were indestructible, it turned out that flesh in paint tended to shrink and crack with time. But the thing that really doomed Mummy Brown was the dwindling supply of mummies. By 1964, it was officially as dead as a pharaoh; an article in Time magazine quoted a representative of a major art supply house as saying, “We may still have a few limbs lying around somewhere, but not enough to make any more paint.”

Color: Chrome Yellow

Made From: Lead chromate

How Did That Become a Thing?

Continue reading

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5 Terrifying Unsolved Murders

Fiction is full of spooky weird stories that will give you chills, but truth is stranger than fiction. There are plenty of cold cases from the past in which the murder was never determined, but some stand out for their complete weirdness. Some leave evidence that doesn’t make sense, some have several possible explanations, and some are the stuff horror films are made of, like the series of five murders and three near-murders in 1946 in Texarkana.

The first attack came on February 22, when the killer ambushed Jimmy Hollis, 25, and Mary Jeanne Larey, 19, in their car. Pointing a flashlight at the couple's faces, he ordered Hollis out of the car, told him to remove his pants, and proceeded to beat and stomp him so badly that he would spend days in a coma. In a way, Larey was even less fortunate: The attacker ordered her to run, and soon chased her down, beat her, and assaulted her with the barrel of a gun. She managed to escape this deadly game of cat and mouse, and in true horror movie style, ended up pleading for help at the door of a house half a mile away, sure to the last second that she was being followed.

A few weeks after the first attack, another young couple was attacked in their car. This time, after an unknown sequence of events, the Phantom shot both victims execution-style. Another couple of weeks later, yet another two kids were found dead. They had made it out of the car (or had been forced to leave it), attempted to struggle and perhaps escape the murderer, but were shot several times nevertheless. The final victims were farmer couple Virgil and Katie Starks, and for them, the killer significantly changed his modus operandi, straight-up gunning them down through their window. Despite taking two shots in the head, Mrs. Starks didn't die in the attack. After a terrifying chase with the killer inside the farmhouse, she managed to escape to the neighbors' house before collapsing. A trail of blood and pieces of teeth marked her trail.

While the case spawned a movie and an entire genre of slasher films, the case has never been quite solved, although there were a couple of suspects. Read about that case and four others at Cracked.


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