Jack English lives in a cabin he built himself deep in the Ventana Wilderness in California. Now 93 years old, he lives exactly the way he wants to: self-sufficient and close to nature.
It's not that I don't like people; I do. But I don't like swarms of them.
English bought the property he lives on back in the 1970s. He and his wife built the cabin from nearby rocks and timber, and any other materials were hauled by by mule or on Jack's back. Since his wife Mary died in 2001, he's lived there full time, chopping his own firewood and hand-crafting violin bows for a living. This beautiful video by Grace Jackson lets English tell you the story in his own words. -via the Presurfer
Beth Evans is a cartoonist in Chicago. I discovered her work a couple months ago and have been following it ever since. She draws piercingly insightful cartoons that I can immediately relate to, such as this one that I posted in September. Beth graciously agreed to an interview about her work.
Luigi Prina is an 83-year-old Italian architect who has been building model airplanes since he was a child. He won his first national model airplane competition at age 16. In the years since then, his hand-crafted flying machines have evolved into exquisite works of art, made of delicate paper and balsa wood. Prina makes sailing ships, bicycles, and ancient designs into ultra-light flying ships powered by rubber bands. See more of Prina's flying ships and watch one fly around inside his home at Blinking City. -via Metafilter
One of the worst things about having a pet is having to let go of it when it gets old or sick. These creatures are our best friends and some of the only creatures in this world who truly do love us unconditionally and saying goodbye is never easy. But the memories we are left with make it worth coping with the painful end.
Photographer Sarah Ernhart has captured a variety of images of dpgs spending their final days with their loving humans and while heart-breaking, the series is simply beautiful. It really captures the friendship and love between people and their pets.
Having just put down my best friend earlier this month, I found it particularly touching to see this lovely photo series. So if viewing the images makes you cry, know that you're not alone. And on a final note, rest in peace my wonderful Percy.
This hapless little llama is the star of an experimental animated video series called Caminandes from the Blender Foundation, inspired by legendary animator Chuck Jones. From the creators:
The first episode – Caminandes: Llama Drama – was produced by Pablo Vazquez, Beorn Leonard and Francesco Siddi at the Blender Institute as a fun challenge, and turned into a polished piece within a few weeks. The great soundtrack is from Jan Morgenstern. Caminandes: Llama Drama has received great appreciation online and it has been selected for screening by many animation festivals.
You can read all about the project onthe series' blog. Meanwhile, continue reading for episode two, Gran Dilemma.
If you love the TV show Bob's Burgers than you know that the Burger of the Day sign is one of the best running gags on the show. Aside from delightfully terrible puns, they also often have bizarre ingredient combinations, that often sound outrightly awful. Of course, on occassion they actually sound pretty amazing -save for the terrible puns.
That's why it's so great to see The Bob's Burger Experiment, a site dedicated to replicating all of the burgers on the show. While they only have a few pages of burgers so far, they started with some of the best, like the Pepper Don't Preach above, featuring black pepper and garlic topped with a creamy raspberry chevre and diced cherry peppers, and the So Much Thyme, So Little Parsley Burger below that has a mixture of garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, gruyere cheese, and parsley and is served with a time salad.
Christmas is coming and it's time to wreck the halls. Start by hanging your Angry Birds Plush Head Christmas Stocking from the NeatoShop. This fantastic stocking features a plush red angry bird wearing a Santa hat. A green pig in Santa hat and beard adorns the bottom.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Christmas stuff.
Neuroscientist James Fallon knows what a psychopathic brain scan looks like, because he's studied the differences in brain activity between normal brains and those of people with various anomalies and impairments. While studying scans of his own family members in a study of Alzheiner's disease, he recognized one that had all the hallmarks of a psychopath. His curiosity got the best of him, and he looked up who it was. It was his own brain scan.
Fallon is a stable and successful scientist and is happily married. But he still recognized his own difficulties with feeling empathy for others. Does his own life mean that psychopaths can go unnoticed and lead successful lives?
“I’m obnoxiously competitive. I won’t let my grandchildren win games. I’m kind of an asshole, and I do jerky things that piss people off,” he says. “But while I’m aggressive, but my aggression is sublimated. I’d rather beat someone in an argument than beat them up.”
Why has Fallon been able to temper his behavior, while other people with similar genetics and brain turn violent and end up in prison? Fallon was once a self-proclaimed genetic determinist, but his views on the influence of genes on behavior have evolved. He now believes that his childhood helped prevent him from heading down a scarier path.
“I was loved, and that protected me,” he says. Partly as a result of a series of miscarriages that preceded his birth, he was given an especially heavy amount of attention from his parents, and he thinks that played a key role.
Just yesterday we had a post about Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world, and now we have a video from there! A Honda SUV that had ventured out on the frozen lake crashed through the ice. According to commenters, Lake Bailkal has no bridges, but there are ferries in the summer, and people drive across on the ice in winter all the time. But this happened in late spring, when the ice was melting.
Now what to do? They can't bring heavy equipment out on the ice, considering what's already happened. So... these guys built their own human-powered winch to haul the car back up! The car survived, and is still in use. The music is Декабрь - Дубинушка. -via Daily Picks and Flicks
A friend of Tumblr blogger Buff Dolls knitted a set of Avengers dolls. My favorite is this ingenious Hulk doll. In the comic book, the monster lies within Bruce Banner. But in this doll, Dr. Banner is inside the Hulk. He can wear torn pants like the Hulk, but eventually, he dresses up properly.
"I'M STRONG AND ELASTIC ENOUGH FOR YOUR THIGHS, JUST NOT FOR YOUR CALVES" -The Hulk's pants
The almost-2000 stone towers of Kaiping County in China are not exactly ancient -the oldest are barely over 100 years old. But the Diaolou, as they are called, are beautiful and impressive.
During the Qing Dynasty of late 19th and early 20th centuries, these buildings were used as temporary refuge by several families or residential towers by individual rich families and as fortified residences, and watch towers. During the 1920s and 1930s, there were more than three thousand of these structures. Today, approximately 1,833 Diaolou remain standing in Kaiping, and approximately 500 in Taishan. 20 of the most symbolic ones are inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Your bacon isn't just a meal. It's a musical instrument! In this video, Mary and her bacon Einstein show you how to perform the "pig hit," the "pig roll," and the "pig squeak." They perform a nifty duet.
Cornelius had set his camera up at the back of the family store in Philadelphia. He took the image by removing the lens cap and then running in to frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again. On the back he wrote “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.”
Advances in photography that led to shorter exposure times made this simple method of taking a selfie pretty much impossible until the development of the timer. -via Open Culture
There's nothing quite so perfectly comforting on cool winter days as a thick, chunky stew. But sometimes you just want a snack, not a whole meal -especially if you're munching on the go. The good news is Cheetos has you covered with their new creamy stew flavor. Also, they probably won't send you to the hospital by erroding the lining of your stomach. The bad news, as you might have guessed based on the writing in the picture, is that they are only available in Japan like so many other heavenly snack flavors.
The organization Support A Cappella held a music education seminar at which the Florida State University AcaBelles performed "Royals" in their sweet angelic voices -and that includes the sweet angelic beatboxers. The harmonies are awesome, and the lead just gets better as the song progresses. -via Viral Viral Videos
What's the greatest thing since sliced bread? How about butter that doesn't ruin your toasted sliced bread when you try to spread it? Behold, shredded butter!
Japan company Metex created this amazing gizmo called "Easy Butter Former": a grater for a butter. All you have to do is put a regular stick of butter in the contraption and twist to dispense a stringy, easy to spread butter.
Attention Hello Kitty fans. London is calling. Your beloved Hello Kitty is spending time across the pond in the Hello Kitty British Backpack from the NeatoShop. This great bag is made of sturdy canvas and features a Hello Kitty with Union Jack bow design.
An Englewood, Colorado, student named Payton built a volcano as a school project. It was made of chocolate candy pinned to a foam base. Her dog Reggie couldn't resist, and ate the whole thing. Reggie was taken to a veterinary hospital, where x-rays showed 50 pins in the dog's gut! Many were retrieved endoscopically, but Reggie underwent surgery to remove the last few pins. Reggie has since recovered completely. Payton showed her teacher the x-ray to explain why her assignment wasn't done on time.
The science assignment has been redone and handed in for credit.
“I completely redid the project with glue the second time.”
Reggie and Payton received high praise for their first scientific endeavor.
It was 1917. Miss Ruth Worden, a librarian at the Missoula Public Library in Missoula, Montana, wanted to bring a world of knowledge and literature to lumberjacks at logging camps in her area. So she carted a few books into a camp operated by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company.
The camp boss, Kenneth Ross, was annoyed. His men were fighters, drinkers and gamblers--not readers. But he let Miss Worden distribute the books to his lumberjacks. To Mr. Ross's surprise, they hungrily embraced the idea. They checked out the library books and asked for more. So he built a library for his camp in a railroad boxcar:
Ross saw the results – 4,000 checked out in the first year and, to his “great surprise,” a good number in the camps.
“The next thing I heard was that one of the men at the bunkhouse had been reading up on industry and economics, and got out of one of the books an argument that shut up one of these fellows that always seems to think it is a crime to give a day’s work for a day’s pay,” Ross told another reporter in 1922.
He was a convert, and when Worden came around again with the idea of a library car to circulate among the lumber camps, Ross was sold. He had one built – 14 feet wide, 40 feet long – and it was put into action in 1921 in the Ninemile camps, rotating to the next one usually on a weekly basis.
(Photo: Missoula Public Library)
The boxcar library had about 1,400 books, newspapers, magazines and a victrola. It was a huge hit and regularly circulated among the logging camps, generally spending a week at each camp. During one 7-month period in 1926, it had 5,010 visitors.
Where the library went, so did the librarian. One end of the boxcar consisted of an office and bunkroom where the librarian worked and slept.
The boxcar library was actively used until the late 1950s, when the logging company turned it over to the University of Montana's forestry department. Then, for many years, it served as a storage shed and bunkhouse for art students.
Amazingly, the boxcar library is still in good condition, as you can see from the above photo. It's been partially restored and is now on display at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. The skylight roof and exterior steps reflect the original style. It has wheels and is back on tracks intead of wooden timbers.
But that's only the beginning. Don Spritzer, the librarian pictured above, hopes to equip it with furniture, a woodstove and books appropriate for the 1920s. He and his colleagues hope to complete the restoration by July 4 of next year.
If you recall, we brought you the story of how Adam's great-grandfather Aloysius Koford created the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats in 1912, which became the inspiration for what we today call LOLcats.
The new book is self-published, which not only gave Koford more control over the project, but also means it doesn't cost as much as it would otherwise. The 144-page paperback has over 200 comics, including a few new renderings of some of John Hodgman's 700 Hoboes.
We all know that YouTube comments are the cesspool of the Interweb. Google decided to try to clean it up by requiring Google+ accounts in order to comment on the world's largest video clip site, a move that proven to be quite unpopular with the unwashed masses, but think what would happened if Google succeeded in taming its comment problems.
We would all miss out on something like this: a dramatic reconstruction by comedy group Dead Parrot of an argument between two YouTubers, "Sophie Danze" and "Jilianlovesthebeibs" on One Direction's music video What Makes You Beautiful.
Watch British actors Grahame Edwards and Eryl Lloyd Parry spar with each other in this clip produced by Adrian Bliss. Warning: NSFW language.
Well, obviously, if you love your wife, you’re more likely to find her beautiful. But the study results published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology was more sophisticated than that. First, the researchers had outside people objectively rate the attractiveness of the couples in the study group. I don’t know how you can rate beauty objectively, but the study attempted to do so.
Over 4 years of marriage, the men with hotter wives (like mine) reported higher levels of satisfaction with their marriages than the men with wives that the researchers had rated as less attractive.
The women in the study, however, seemed unaffected by the attractiveness—or lack thereof—of their husbands.
Four graffiti artists, a warehouse interior, and an unlimited amount of paint. The warehouse in Brisbane was scheduled to be demolished, so street artists Sofles, Fintan Magee, Treas, and Quench went nuts brightening it up. Filmmaker Selina Miles followed him every step, and created this killer time-lapse video of the project. -via reddit
What's the turkey say? Apparently, meowbble and goof according to this fun Foodbeast article filled with all kinds of cats and dogs all decked out in their best turkey costumes. If you still haven't started feeling the vibe of Thanksgiving happiness permeating the air, this list will certainly help get you in the Turkey Day spirit.
Of course, this article might not get you ready for the physical demands of the food consumption required or even peak your appetite towards that purpose, but don't worry, we'll keep posting delicious food posts up until Thanksgiving so we have you covered there too.
Ward Miles was born three and a half months premature. You'll first see him at four days old, the first time his mama Lyndsey got the chance to hold him. You can see her joy, fear, and sadness all at once as she cradles her super tiny son who is covered with tubes and monitors. But Ward was a fighter, and came home from the NICU a few months later, near his original due date (and on his mother's birthday). You can read more of his story at HuffPo.
Google Glass lets you stay connected to the internet continuously. You could also use it to stay connected to a personal assistant who sees what you see and feeds you information through your screen or earpiece. Writer A.J. Jacobs is thinking about using this capability to help a friend pick up women:
I'm married with three kids, and my wife has made it clear that Glass is not an aphrodisiac for her. So I figured I'd lend my device to a single twenty-six-year-old editor at Esquire. The plan: He'll wear it to a downtown New York bar, and I'll watch the live-stream video from home and tell him what to do. I'll be his Cyrano. I'll get a vicarious night on the town, all while eating my butternut-squash soup in the comfort of my home. I can't wait.
I could imagine Glass Concierge becoming a future job title, basically a personal assistant who looks in on your Google Glass video feed to make helpful suggestions and advice, basically a rally co-driver for your life.
We've got some week coming up! Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins at sunset on Wednesday, which is followed by Thanksgiving on Thursday, and Black Friday starts sometime Thursday and lasts all weekend. I'm avoiding that last one. The last time Hanukkah overlapped with American Thanksgiving was in 1888, and it won't happen again in any of our lifetimes. You can commemorate this auspicious occasion with a t-shirt from the NeatoShop. We hope you have a wonderful holiday, both of them! Meanwhile, let's catch up on the highlights of the past week at Netaorama.
Our Pzzlr asked you to sort out four men with Allergies.
In the What Is It? game this week, the mystery item is a dental tooth key for use by a dentist to remove a tooth. Just the thought of that makes my mouth hurt. But we were looking for funny answers!Arcadian Grace and Trish Schroeder had the best answers, which were kind of long, so go to the contest post to see them. Both won t-shirts from the NeatoShop! Thanks to everyone who played this week! See the answers to all the mystery objects at the What Is It? blog.
Hy Conrad's Whodunit this week was The Taunting Clue. Remember, anytime you want to stretch your brain power, you can find a puzzle or game to play at NeatoPuzzles.
It's easy to share our posts on social networking sites with just a click. There's a row of buttons that appears at the bottom of individual posts to help you share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, as well as email.
The holidays are almost here. Are you planning on celebrating with 25 days of festive feasts? Enlist the help of your favorite reindeer with the Santa's Reindeer Measuring Cups from the NeatoShop. This fantastic set features 3 hand painted ceramic cups in the shape of reindeer. Included are:
and 1 cup
The cups nestle inside one another for easy storage.
Moët & Chandon, a French champagne producer, is responsible for this vending machine at a Selfridge’s department store in London. For about $29 dollars, you can a 6.7 fluid ounce swig of the good stuff. Each little bottle is decorated with Swarovski crystals for extra high-falutin’ class.
It doesn’t take coins. You have to prepay for your bottle. But the good news is that it doesn’t just drop down door at the bottom. A golden robotic arm gently lifts it down to the dispensing door.
Your bottle doesn’t come with a glass. But really: were any of us considering using one anyway?