A Tiny Violin Shop inside a Violin

(Photo: Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniature)

During her lifetime, Tucson, Arizona philanthropist Pat Arnell has collected a wide array of ornate, high-quality miniatures. Five years ago, Arnell opened a museum to exhibit her collection to the public: the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniature. There, visitors can find this beautiful work by the American miniaturist W. Foster Tracy. It is a 1:8 scale representation of an Eighteenth Century violin maker’s workshop set inside a full-size violin. This is 1 of 6 copies that Tracy made in 1979.

-via Messy Nessy Chic

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New T-Shirts from the NeatoShop:

Pocahontas Ballerina

RYC-Behind the Lens snapped this photo of a great cosplay at Stan Lee's Comikaze 2014, a fan convention in Los Angeles. The Disney princess Pocahontas from the movie of the same name finds ballet calling her just around the riverbend.

-via Uproxx

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The Most Canadian Dress Ever

(Photo: AP/J. Pat Carter)

Chanel Beckenlehner of Caledon, Ontario represented Canada at the Miss Universe pageant in Miami yesterday. She wore a fantastic costume that displays her homeland’s love for hockey. In the place of a tiara, Beckenlehner wore a model of the Stanley Cup and a hockey goal net. Her boots resemble lace-up skates and her wings consist of fans of hockey sticks. And, yes, that scoreboard is part of her dress.

-via Anne Thériault

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Amazing Photo: Snake Escaping from the Belly of a Larger Snake

(Photo: Dick Mulder)

In 2011, a 4-foot long four-lined snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata) swallowed a smaller whip snake (Platyceps najadum) on the Greek island of Corfu. A pet cat then killed the four-lined snake.

Dick Mulder, a Dutchman who lives on the island, snapped photos of the incredible scene that followed. He described it to National Geographic:

"My wife, who didn't like the idea of a dead snake on her veranda, screeched that the snake wasn't dead—she saw it moving," he said in an email. "I reassured her that it was really dead," Mulder recalled—until he took a closer look.

"I went to grab my camera, and by the time I came back I saw the head of a small snake," he said.

The whip snake then fled into the wild. That's one tough little snake!

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The Stock Photobomber

The Stock Photobomber (he doesn’t use his name) is an advertising art director with twenty years experience. His hobby is Photoshopping himself into stock images to give them a totally different meaning. Whereas a model was initially triumphant in her ascent to the top of the mountain, after she gets the Stock Photobomber treatment, she’s guilty of murder. A romantic moment gets creepy when a third person is watching. And some are just too strange to describe. See the rest of the images, both before and other the photobombing, at The Stock Photobomber. -via Uproxx

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This cat has the strangest, humanlike face with eyes that look as if they can see right through you. We don’t know whose cat this is, and the earliest appearances of the photograph are in various languages I cannot read. Using a machine translation, none appear to identify him. Some compared him to the Middle-Earth wizard Radagast from the movie The Hobbit, probably for his drooping whiskers and bulbous nose. But perhaps another movie would have a more appropriate role for him. -via reddit

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Faster, Must Go Faster: The Volcano Version

In 1914, the Sakurajima volcano in Kyushu, Japan, erupted and its lava flowed for months until it filled the narrow straits and connected the volcano island and the mainland, turning it into a peninsula.

That volcano eruption was captured on film in the above photograph by the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun. The photo showed a group of men on a boat expedition to the island frantically trying to sail away as fast as they could from the billowing column of ash, smoke, and probably lava.

The photo is the first of many fascinating photos of volcano eruptions as curated by National Geographic.

If you like that one, here's a more modern one in the "escape from volcano" genre. This time, it's the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo in the northern Philippines. It's taken by photographer Alberto Garcia from the back of his van. "All of us survived, thank God," he said.

Take a look at the complete photo series over at National Geographic.

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No Vacancy: Abandoned Hotels Photo Series by Dietmar Eckell

Photo: Dietmar Eckell

In his photo series "No Vacancy," German photographer Dietmar Eckell traveled around the world to document abandoned hotels in the middle of nowhere. Once, these hotels were luxury retreats, pleasure domes or wellness sanctuaries - but for one reason or another, they have all been abandoned for nature to reclaim.

The photo above is of the "Hotel Royal," an infamous love hotel in Kanagawa, Japan. The hotel boasted seven stories and 35 rooms with a view of Lake Sagami. At first, the remote place seemed ideal for wayward married men and women to conduct illicit love affairs, but at the end it was just too far away (either that or love birds just really didn't care for the view).

An abandoned resort on the Tagaytay ridge in the Philippines. It was once billed as a weekend escape from Manila, but has been abandoned for decades.

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How Morgan Freeman Got the Voice of God

... and I say Morgan Freeman got the best gift of them all! Wes of The Gentleman's Armchair explains to us how the famous actor got to play God (or at least his voice) in the movies.

But seriously - do you want to know the secret to Morgan Freeman's amazing voice? Freeman himself gave the surprising answer in this interview with The Showbiz 411:

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Dancing with Powder

Photos: Jeffrey Vanhoutte

Is your coffee creamer so good it makes you wanna dance? Belgian photographer Jeffrey Vanhoutte shot these wonderful photos of an acrobat dancing in a cloud of milk powder in this ad campaign for FrieslandCampina Kievit's new creamer.

Vanhoutte said:

I made this campaign for Norvell Jefferson whose client is Dutch company Campina Friesland Kievit, makers of powdered milk. Based upon the agency’s concept, I formed the shoot together with the Creative Director. We used lighting from Broncolor -- “really fast flash duration so it could freeze the particles of the powder.” The model was a professional acrobatic dancer, and “the movement that she did and the powder together, we were all amazed that it was perfect from the start! First she had some powder in her hands and she put it in the air . . . every time the same movement, five or six or ten times, and then she was completely full of powder and had to start again. It was a messy process for the camera. We had to put plastic around the camera to protect it. It was one whole day from early morning until the evening to do this job and to clean up it took longer.

View the original photos over at Vanhoutte's website - via My Modern Met

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Map of Japan Made with Orange Peels

Oona McGee of Rocket News 24 explains that eating oranges is a popular New Year’s tradition in Japan. This is often done over a kotatsu, which is a low table with heater underneath it. People sit under them during the winter to stay warm. This photo was taken by a person who cut and arranged his orange peels into a map of the prefectures of Japan.

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What People Say and What They REALLY Mean

Lies girlfriends tell each other and what they really mean

Read my lips: what people say and what they really mean are usually two different things. Thankfully, writer Mikael Wulff and artist Anders Morgenthaler who teamed up to publish a series of "Truth Facts" cartoons under the name Wumo (previously on Neatorama), has got the translations:

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Souls of the Damned Found in McDonald's Ice Cream Sundae

Twitter user @bonerman_inc (I know, I know) ordered an ice cream sundae from a local McDonald's restaurant but got something extra: souls of the damned, right there in the strawberry rivulets (or demon core, your pick) of his soft serve ice cream.

Naturally, he tweeted the ordeal to warn humankind of the impending apocalypse that the "souls of the damned ice cream" heralded. Either that or diabetes so repent, people, repent.

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Grilling on Top of a Moving Submarine

Redditor shanbuscus offers this photo of his dad on top of HMAS Onslow, a diesel submarine operated by Australia's navy from 1968 to 1999. It's now on display and open to visitors at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

In the comments, other redditors who were submariners describe at great length what submarine air smells like after a lengthy cruise.

-via Twisted Sifter

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Worst Job Title Ever

Chelsea Krost is a millennial, which means a 20-something who is often derided by grumpy members of older generations, including mine. She bills herself as a millennial lifestyle expert and she appeared in that capacity as a guest on ABC's Good Morning America.

In this segment, which you can watch here, Krost responds to the question, "It it okay to stalk your ex on Facebook?"

-via David Burge, who quips, "What would we do without experts?"

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Every Year, These Brothers Build a Giant Snow Sculpture on Their Front Lawn

(Photo: Bartz Snow Sculptures)

Every winter for the past few years, Austin, Trevor, and Connor Bartz of New Brighton, Minnesota have built a huge snow sculpture of a sea creature on their front lawn. Last year, we saw their huge snow shark. This year, the Bartz boys made a 12 foot tall turtle. You can see a time-lapse video of its construction here.

-via Twisted Sifter

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This Is a Triangular Elevator

Redditor felibb writes, "I took a ride in a triangular elevator today." That's fascinating! I've never seen one before. Wherever this elevator is, it's not the only one. Here's a video of another triangular elevator in an airport in Amsterdam.

-via BuzzFeed

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M.C. Escher-Inspired Artwork Made From Home Decor

Los Angeles-based artist Samara Golden channeled her inner M.C. Escher for this topsy-turvey art installation titled The Flat Side of the Knife, as displayed at MoMA/PS1. For the display, Golden converted a two-story space with common household things like couches, beds, staircases, tables and lamps. The mirrored floor finishes the optical illusion reminiscent of Escher's mind-bending 1953 artwork Relativity.

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LEGO Lost At Sea

Four-year-old River holding a LEGO octopus that she and her father Robin found at Castle Beach, Cornwall, England.

In 1997, a huge rogue wave hit the container ship Tokio Express, knocking 62 containers overboard just 20 miles off Britain's southwest coast. One of those containers contained 4,756,940 pieces of LEGO (ironically, many of those pieces are for toy kits with nautical theme, including LEGO Pirates, 418,000 swimming flippers, 97,500 scuba tanks, 26,600 life preservers, 13,000 spear guns, and 4,200 octopuses.)

Shortly after, some of those pieces of LEGO toys started washing up on the beaches of Cornwall - and today, eighteen years later, they still kept on coming.

Discovering these LEGO pieces have become a hobby for British writer and beachcomber Tracey Williams, and she has created the Lego Lost At Sea Facebook page to chronicle the all the wonderful things that people have found:

"Whoop whoop, I found a Christmas Dragon!" writes Suki Honey, who sent in this picture an hour or so ago of a Lego dragon she has just discovered on the south coast of Cornwall. Suki is an experienced dragon whisperer having lured a fair few out of their nests in recent years and now has six living with her. She has also given a few away.

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Oh This? Just a Woman and Her Mini Me Marionette Feeding a Squirrel

Image: Nathalie Kalbach

You may have seen this photo of 85-year-old civic activist Doris Diether of West Village, New York City, feeding a squirrel with a marionette that looks like herself.

The story behind the old lady and her "mini me" marionette is actually an interesting one. It all started one day at the park, where puppeteer Ricky Syers was performing with his handmade marionette, according to Nina Golgowski of NY Daily News:

"One day she comes up to me and whispers, 'I have something for you,'" he recalled.

Opening a scrap book she revealed old newspaper clippings and articles she had written on marionettes back in 1974. Articles more recently added to her collection were ones she had seen on Syers' work, which she cut out and saved for him.

The gesture floored him.

Syers proceeded to build Diether her own marionette, made to look just like her "featuring Diether's short, white hair and rosy cheeks ... complete with handbag, cane and floral blouse and skirt."

"She's ... known as the woman who feeds the squirrels," Syers said to NY Daily News, "Now, her little marionette feeds the squirrels."

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This is What a $974 Million Personal Check Looks Like

Image: Reuters

What's the largest check you've ever received? We betcha it wasn't $974,790,317.77 - yep, nine hundred seventy four million seven hundred ninety thousand three hundred seventeen and, don't forget, 77 cents. It took two lines to write out the sum - as you can see above.

That's the check that Oklahoma oil magnate Harold Hamm wrote to his ex-wife Sue Ann Arnall, who promptly rejected her $1 billion dollar divorce settlement because it was "not fair." Arnall claimed that Hamm is worth an estimated $18 billion; Hamm countered that his net worth had taken significant beatings in the recent sharp fall in oil prices.

Well, while the rich people duke it out in divorce court, feast your eyes on what is probably the largest hand-written personal check you'll ever see in your lifetime.

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Amazing Snow and Ice Sculptures from China

(Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

Every year, the chilly Chinese city of Harbin hosts the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. And every year, they just keep getting bigger and better. I'm especially impressed with this train made of solid blocks of ice. I wonder how the artists made the smoke.

The Atlantic has a roundup of 26 photos of these spectacular sculptures. They include impressive pictures showing the sculptures lit up at night.

-via VA Viper

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7 Amazing Photos of Fire Rainbows

(Photo: Phillip Clapper)

It's a rainbow-colored cloud! Or perhaps a fire rainbow. Or to put it more scientifically, it's a circumhorizontal arc. Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell of NASA describe the unusual conditions that are necessary for one of these natural wonders to appear in the sky:

For a circumhorizontal arc to be visible, the Sun must be at least 58 degrees high in a sky where cirrus clouds are present. Furthermore, the numerous, flat, hexagonal ice-crystals that compose the cirrus cloud must be aligned horizontally to properly refract sunlight in a collectively similar manner. Therefore, circumhorizontal arcs are quite unusual to see.

Continue reading to view more photos of fire rainbows.

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Christine McConnell Poses as Her Foremothers

Mildred, McConnell's grandmother, born 1928 (l), Christine is at right in every comparison shown 

Remember the lovely and talented Christine McConnell, who baked these superb scary sweets? Aside from crafting elaborately monstrous baked goods, back then I wrote that she also delivers them in a beautifully restored classic car, is an artist and photographer who does oil paintings, house painting and interior design, and makes most of her clothes by hand. What remains for superwomen such as McConnell to do? How about reflecting on their ancestors, from whom they may have inherited some of their talents? That's what Christine did here.

The Los Angeles-based creative decided to re-create old photos of her relatives in the family albums. The project resulted in a series that breathes new life into photos spanning from the 1800s to the 1980s. Her side-by-side comparisons  not only reveal the resemblance between McConnell and her foremothers but showcase her aptitude for sewing costumes. What will McConnell's next project be? I can't imagine, but I look forward to seeing it. 

See more of her series here, and follow McConnell's work at her Imgur albums and Instagram account.

Via TrendHunter | Images: Christine McConnell

Attie Mae, McConnell's great-grandmother, born 1898

Martha, McConnell's great-great-great-grandmother, born 1821

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All the Frozen Yogurt You Can Fit into a Cup for $5. Challenge Accepted.

Redditor roselatte and his/her friends visited a Menchies frozen yogurt shop in Dublin, California. They're college students (hopefully engineering majors), so they don't have a lot of money. They decided to take full advantage of the shop's offer of all the frozen yogurt they could fit into a single cup for $5. Relying upon the tensile strength of waffle cones, they built, then ate this elaborate architectural marvel. Roselatte notes that "while building it, we never felt more American."

-via That's Nerdalicious!

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What the Nile Looks Like from Space

(Photo: NASA Astronauts)

The Nile is a ribbon of water--of life--through the desert. You can see this especially clearly from orbit. At night, the lights of human settlements shine through the darkness, like a crack in the universe.

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Junk Food Landscapes

Fruit Loops Landscape (2012) by Cirej and Lochman

Junk food has never looked so ... beautiful!

In "Processed Views: Surveying the Industrial Landscape," artists and photographers Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman collaborated to capture the beauty of junk food - or as the duo called it, "the frontier of industrial food production: the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and technology."

"As we move further away from the sources of our food, we head into uncharted territory replete with unintended consequences for the environment and for our health," wrote Ciurej and Lochman on their website.

The miniature landscapes in "Processed Views" are inspired by the works of 19th century photographer Carleton Watkins, whose photographs captured the majesty of the American West. Watkins' work of Yosemite, for instance, led to the valley's preservation as a National Park. At the same time, however, many of Watkins' photographs were commissioned by the corporate interests of the railroad, mining, lumber and milling companies. Ciurej and Lochman noted that "[Watkins'] commissions served as both documentation of and advertisement for the American West."

Ciurej and Lochman's Fruit Loops Landscape (L) Watkins Albion River (1863) (R)

In similar light, Ciurej and Lochman built their junk food landscapes as a commentary on what we can call as today's food-industrial complex.

Regardless of what you think highly processed junk food tastes like, we're sure that Ciurej and Lochman's "Processed Views" are highly enjoyable. Take a look:

Moonrise on Bologna (2014)

Cola Sea from the series Processed Views (2013)

Marshmallow Chasm from the series Processed Views (2013)

Flamin' Hot Monolith (2013)

Monoculture Plains from the series Processed Views (2013)

Saturated Fat Foothills from the series Processed Views (2013)

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2 Bananas in 1 Peel

Redditor nilla_waferz found this oddity: a banana peel with 2 whole bananas inside. You can see more photos here. He could make quite a banana split with them.

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If Great Artists Took Selfies instead of Self-Portraits

Vincent van Gogh

Self-portrait on canvas? That's a lot of work! What if the world's greatest painters discovered that taking selfies is much easier?

In this tongue in cheek ad campaign for Samsung NX Mini camera, photographer Fredrik Ödman and ad agency Leo Burnett teamed up to imagine what it would look like if Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, and Albrecht Dürer ditched their paintbrushes and opted to take selfies instead.

Now who said that selfies can't be high art?

Frida Kahlo

Albrecht Dürer

Via My Modern Met

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New Year's Resolution Posters

New Year's Resolution #10: Get offline

New Year's Resolutions. Everyone's got them* ... for the next few weeks at least. But what if you could remind yourself every day of the promise that you made to yourself to do something (or not do something) this year?

Swedish graphic designer Viktor Hertz (previously on Neatorama) took the 12 most popular New Year's Resolutions into wonderful retro-styled posters. Now, we don't know whether staring at these gorgeous posters every day would make you stick better to your New Year's resolutions this year, but it can't hurt now, can it?

New Year's Resolution #1 Lose Weight and #2 Quit Smoking

New Year's Resolution #3 Recycle More and #4 No More Junk Food

New Year's Resolution #5 Drink Less Alcohol and #6 Explore The World

New Year's Resolution #7 Save More Money

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