Some Of The Most Beautiful Homes On TV

Most television shows are shot on a set built to replicate the appearance of an interior space, but they almost always start with an exterior shot to set the mood of the show and tell the audience where it takes place.

This exterior shot is used to set the location and mood of the show, so we know The Munsters is going to be comedic horror while Full House is going to be family oriented and inoffensive.

(Image Link)

House Beautiful put together a collection of Beautiful Television Homes, including interiors such as Frasier's Seattle apartment and Will & Grace's well-designed space, as well as TV homes that looked amazing inside and out.

I'm glad the Addams Family house made the list, because it has always been my idea of an ideal and awesome home. 

See 30 Beautiful Television Homes We Wish We Could Call Our Own here

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14 Facts About Monty Python's Flying Circus

Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam joined forces to create a comedy troupe. In October of 1969 they debuted the TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus on British TV, and the world hasn’t been the same since. Even if you were a devoted fan from the beginning and can recite their funniest sketches by heart, you probably don’t know what went on behind the scenes.    


A BBC executive originally wanted to name the series Baron von Took's Flying Circus as a nod to Barry Took, the network's comedy adviser, who was credited with bringing the Pythons and BBC together. He was also the warm-up comic for the studio audience before the first night of filming. But there were plenty of other considerations for the title, including Owl Stretching Time; Bunn, Wackett, Buzzard, Stubble and Boot; Whither Canada?; Ow! It's Colin Plint; A Horse, a Spoon, and a Bucket; The Toad Elevating Moment; and The Algy Banging Hour. The BBC, in a state of agitation, was keen on "Flying Circus," and the troupe added "Monty Python."


According to some unearthed internal memos, BBC1 controller Paul Fox said the troupe went "over the edge of what was acceptable." Head of arts features Stephen Heast said they "wallowed in the sadism of their humor." Entertainment chief Bill Cotton thought Monty Python "seemed to have some sort of death wish." Despite those thoughts, and low audience ratings, the show managed to hang on for three and a half seasons—for 45 total episodes—through 1974.

We loved Monty Python for exactly the reasons that they were almost canceled. You can read a lot more, including how Monty Python's Flying Circus almost didn't make it to the United States, at mental_floss.

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Why Americans Don't Use Bidets

Ask anyone who has used a bidet and they'll tell you it's an experience that will change the way you think about going to the bathroom, especially in terms of toilet paper usage.

And yet bidets never caught on here in the United States, even though American inventor Arnold Cohen created one of the most popular bidet seat in the 1960s and has been trying to put them in our homes ever since.

Everyone's concerned about going green these days, which means cutting down on our usage of paper goods, so why don't Americans use bidets?

(YouTube Link)

Today I Found Out created this video to answer the question so many Americans ask themselves after using a bidet- why don't I have one of those in my home? The answers are all a bit crappy...

-Via Laughing Squid

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The Eye of a Hurricane Illustrated in Data

These readings were recorded by NOAA’s data buoy 42058 in the Caribbean as hurricane Matthew passed directly over it. The dramatic drop in wind speed and air pressure shows exactly when the eye of the hurricane was recorded. You can understand how dangerous this sudden calm can be for people who don’t realize the other half is right behind it. -via Metafilter

Hurricane Matthew passed through Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba on Tuesday, causing massive damage, flooding, power outages, and killing at least six people. South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida have declared states of emergency as the hurricane is expected to affect those areas Thursday night and Friday. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has ordered the evacuation of a million people who live within 100 miles of the coast.   

(Image credit: NOAA/NWS/NOBC)

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Why We Play Difficult Video Games

Most gamers start out playing video games purely for the fun of it, wanting nothing more than to experience a new form of interactive entertainment that amazes us when we're kids.

But there comes a time when we start using games as an escape from reality and a way to deflect our problems, and the bigger the problem the more difficult the video game we choose to play.

This comic by Julia Lepetit may help you figure out why your friend keeps playing that impossibly hard game even though it infuriates them, or maybe you're the one who keeps banging their head against the wall...

-Via Dorkly

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44 Fun Facts about Birds

(YouTube link)

There are about 10,000 species of birds, ranging from delicious chicken to towering ostriches, from flightless penguins to regal eagles. They include raptors, scavengers, poultry, songbirds, and talkative parrots. There’s always something new to learn about most of them, and right here you have 44 facts about birds in this week’s episode of the mental_floss List Show.

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Cat Ash is Still Groovy

Well, at least this guy has an excuse when he messes up the "Klaatu Verata Necto" neccessary to pick up the Necronomicon -after all, he doesn't even speak English. This amazing Ash Vs. Evil Dead catplay was brought to you by the skilled cat costume creators over at Cat Cosplay.

Via Fashionably Geek

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

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Rare Salvador Dali Surrealist Cookbook Republished for the First Time in over 40 Years

Did you know Salvador Dali authored a cookbook? Les Diners de Gala was published one time in 1973, and has been out of print since then. The book is full of Dali’s surrealist illustrations. It has unusual recipes from some of the top chefs in France, although Dali warns us they are “uniquely devoted to the pleasures of Taste.” That means they aren’t geared toward healthy eating or calorie-counting. And now Dali’s cookbook has been resurrected and will be available November 20, just in time for Christmas shopping. But you can see some of Dali’s illustrations from Les Diners de Gala right now at Unreality.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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See The Process Of Creating Black Panther's CGI Costume

Fans were mighty impressed with Black Panther's first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and now they're hoping to see more of the King of Wakanda in future movies and maybe in his own TV show.

But many viewers had no idea that Black Panther's costume was 100% CGI in the movie, a feat which took many layers of hard work for digital artists to achieve.

(YouTube Link)

CineSite shared this revealing breakdown video to show us all the hard work that goes into creating a CGI effect so effective audiences believed the Black Panther's costume was real.

-Via GeekTyrant

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Homiechu - Gotta Catch That Duff Stealing Rat!

Homiechu by C. "Bees" M.

There's one elusive species of pocket monster you're never going to find while you're out catching 'em all, that is, unless you live near the nuclear power plant in Springfield. It's called the Homiechu, and it's the result of a reactor core mishap involving a rat and a bald headed ape. The Homiechu doesn't say its name like the other chus do, instead he goes around yelling "d'oh!" and "oooh!", and it doesn't seem smart enough to avoid capture. But it is one heck of a scavenger, and in the wild its diet consists of melted Smooshies, stale Krusty-O's, and the occasional day old Lard Lad donut. If you should spot a Homiechu and want to capture it in your pokeball you should probably set out a can of Duff beer, let the creature get nice and drunk, then simply scoop it up and place it in the ball, or prepare to face its idiotic rage...

Show the world you've caught the rarest pocket monster of them all with this Homiechu t-shirt by C. "Bees" M., it's the fresh way to catch something besides GO fever!

Visit C. "Bees" M.'s Facebook fan page, official website, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more hilariously geeky designs:

Bartzard The Rainbow Coonection Maggipi Mouth Breather

View more designs by C. "Bees" M. | 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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Ancient Cannabis 'Burial Shroud' Discovered

An ancient burial site in northwest Chin ahas yielded some surprising discoveries. A team led by archaeologist Hongen Jiang are analyzing a grave that contained a 35-year-old man with Caucasian features who was buried over 2,000 years ago. One of the treasures buried with him was a stash of marijuana plants.  

Thirteen cannabis plants, each up to almost three feet long, were placed diagonally across the man's chest, with the roots oriented beneath his pelvis and the tops of the plants extending from just under his chin, up and alongside the left side of his face. (Read how Eurasian gold artifacts tell the tale of drug-fueled rituals.)

Radiocarbon dating of the tomb's contents indicates that the burial occurred approximately 2,400 to 2,800 years ago.

This discovery adds to a growing collection of archaeological evidence showing that cannabis consumption was "very popular" across the Eurasian steppe thousands of years ago, says Jiang.

The burial site is at the Turpan oasis, which was an important stop on the ancient Silk Road trade route. Cannabis seeds have been found at burial sites before, but this is the first from the period that contained whole plants. Read more about the discovery at National Geographic. -via reddit, where the author from National Geographic is taking part in the discussion.
(Image credit: Hongen Jiang)

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100 Years Of Fashion Revolutions

Many innovations in style, textiles and clothing manufacturing happened during the 20th century, perhaps more than any other century before, making clothes more than just a necessity.

People began buying clothes "just because", fashion trends filling their closets one decade and refilling them with the new trends the next, and lower clothing costs made these styles accessible to all.

(YouTube Link)

This new installment of 100 Years of... by Mode reveals ten of the Fashion Revolutions that happened in the 20th century, starting with artificial silk and ending with the 3D printed fashions of the future.


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Burn After Reading

Neatorama is proud to bring you a guest post from Ernie Smith, the editor of Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail. In another life, he ran ShortFormBlog.

Controversial literature that lives at the very edge of the First Amendment plays an important societal role: It tests exactly what we can say.

In the age of the internet, it’s easier than ever to get one’s hand on information that touches the very edge of the First Amendment’s limits. (We are by no means recommending you do that. Stick to But before that, if you wanted to tell someone how to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom—as an al-Qaeda magazine once infamously put it—it came down to literature. And sometimes this literature has pushed the edges of good taste and societal norms, but still these documents remain out there in the world, inspiring more book-burnings than a Harry Potter convention. Today, we talk about controversial literature.

Editor’s note: This issue tackles a bunch of controversial literature from a sociological point of view. In case you need us to spell this out: we don’t condone the views being discussed in some of these works; rather, we’re discussing their cultural and political impact.

Complaints about books

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom was informed 5,000 times of challenges to books in schools and libraries between 2000 and 2009. Books of all kinds—from popular modern authors such as John Green and Stephen Chbosky, to classics written by J.D. Salinger and Harper Lee—have been challenged over the years for reasons related to their content and whether the works are suitable for students. The most popular banned book of 2015 was John Green's Looking for Alaska.

The obscure publisher that lives on the edge of decency

Continue reading

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How Ed Gein Inspired Classic Horror Movies

You remember Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Silence of the Lambs: all classic horror movies from different decades. All terrifying in their own way. Another thing they all have in common is that they were all inspired by Ed Gein, a real killer from Wisconsin. The diverse plots of those films each centered on a different aspect of Gein’s crimes. He had an obsession with his mother, like Norman Bates in Psycho. He made clothing out of the skin he took from corpses, like Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. And he stored body parts in his home just like Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Read about the man who did all those things at Den of Geek.

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Pies Are Awesome

An artist who goes by just Jessica (or @ThePieous) creates art with pies at Pies Are Awesome. You know they are tasty, but they are also works of art with crusts, fillings, and garnishes as the medium.

Picard regrets the faith he placed in Commander Data when he promoted him to Chief Food Stylist. "It's all about context Mr. Data! What the deuce do flowers have to do with the Enterprise or its epic battle with the crystalline entity?" Poor Data. To be fair, learning food styling is hard. Also, "drawing" with sugar crystals was easier in my head. Also also, this was my first time baking with black berries. I thought they would turn black but they turned red. Now the sky colour clashes. Oh wells! It'll taste good. Learning! :D #startrek #enterprise #crystallineentity #data #picard #foodstyling #rockcandy #learning #piesareawesome #thepieous #pie #eatmorepie #piecrust #nom #geekfood #piesofinstagram #foodgram #pielover #bakinggeek #geek #piecraft #feedfeed

A photo posted by Pies Are Awesome (@thepieous) on Apr 23, 2016 at 4:18pm PDT

The site has recipes and tutorials on the artwork, and even tutorials from other bakers. Check out her Instagram account to see the range of her ideas. -via Geeks Are Sexy

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Easy Dollar Store Halloween Decoration DIY Projects

Halloween is a great time to show off your artsy side, and crafty folks know the place to go when they want some cheap stuff to upcycle/repurpose- the Dollar Store.

Stuff that costs around a buck can be made to look like a million bucks with a little paint, some embellishment and crafty vision, like these Dollar Store pumpkins Hip2Save's Collin Morgan turned into eye-catching centerpieces.

Dollar Stores are full of crappy looking Halloween decorations dying for a makeover and your crafty hands can give them a second life, a better life as a colorful Day Of The Dead inspired sugar skull.

Or you could simply spray paint a Dollar Store skull white and cut the top off, turning it into a bare bones but cool looking skull vase.

And if you're lucky enough to have a fancy Dollar Store near you that carries those cute little Christmas houses they can be quite craftily turned into a spooky Halloween village you'll want to leave out all year long!

See 12 Easy Dollar Store Halloween Decorations here and Halloween Dollar Store Craft - Halloween Pumpkin Centerpiece here

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Strummin' on the Old Banjo: How an African Instrument Got a Racist Reinvention

You might not know it, but the banjo came from Africa. Several African nations have a traditional stringed instrument with resonance provided by a stretched animal skin. Slaves captured in those nations remembered those instruments and recreated them in America. But that history was deliberately covered up, according to Laurent Dubois, author of the book The Banjo: America’s African Instrument. The development of the instrument was attributed to white luthiers and musicians, in order to sell banjos to white people.

The lies perpetrated about the banjo varied, but they all reinforced the proposition that the instrument’s connection with enslaved people was tenuous. In his history of the instrument, banjo maker George Dobson admitted that the banjo had African antecedents, but he also imagined that “Negro slaves, seeing and hearing their mistresses playing on the guitar, were seized by that emulative and imitative spirit characteristic of the race, and proceeded to make a guitar of their own out of a hollow gourd, with a coon-skin stretched across for a head.” Stewart, after first claiming that the banjo “was not of negro origin,” relented a few years later, explaining somewhat apologetically that “Truth has often come into the world through lowly channels.”

“You can actually track the history of how the idea of the banjo has evolved,” Dubois says of the instrument’s whitewashing. “These ideas weren’t just ‘in the air.’ Nineteenth-century boosters like Stewart worked really hard to make the banjo not African, to unhinge it from its history. We’re still living with that.”

Harris and Converse were even more full-throated in their racism. Citing the banjo’s use in blackface minstrel shows, Harris suggested that “The whole idea of its origins on the plantations was a theatrical fantasy,” as Dubois puts it in The Banjo. Converse, who made his living publishing manuals for white audiences to teach them how to play the banjo, flattered his readers by assuring them that “There were no players among the slaves capable of arousing its slumbering powers,” insisting that only “white admirers in the North” could awaken the instrument’s “inherent beauties.” Never mind that the techniques in his book were as stolen from enslaved people as the banjo itself. The banjo’s destiny, Converse wrote, need not be as “an accompaniment to the darkey song that told of the cotton fields, cane brakes, ‘possum hunts, sweet tobacco posies, or ‘Gwine to Alabama wid banjo on my knee,’ etc.”

Dubois tells us about the history of the banjo, which is entwined with the history of slavery in the US, from the instrument’s African roots to the suppression of its story, at Collectors Weekly.

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The Fastest Man Alive

The Flash is the fastest man alive, and even though Superman tries to compete Flash is still faster than the Man of Steel will ever be, which is fine with Supes because it gives him more time to work on his pranks!

This comic by Kerry Callen shows why humans never should have introduced Superman to the concept of pranking, and why it doesn't pay to compete with a Super-Jerk who's super jealous of Flash's fleet feet.

-Via Geeks Are Sexy

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Brainstorming Session

(video link)

How do you construct a strong female character? You get a roomful of guys to collaborate. @ILLCapitano94 is all of those men in this sketch. You can keep them straight by the shirt color, but it’s not really necessary. This goes fast, and it’s funny. But the language may be NSFW, depending on your workplace. -via Digg

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Sketchy Video Game Kickstarters That Made People Lose Faith In Crowdfunding

Kickstarter has proven to be a great resource for inventors and creators, helping them establish a presence online and bring their vision to life through crowdfunding.

But I've never backed a video game campaign because of all the horror stories, and the whole concept of chipping in on a game still in development has proven to be fraught with failure.

Yogventures was an unlikely game from the start- it was based on the Yogscast YouTube broadcasters network, and the people behind the Yogs claimed to be capable video game developers despite the lack of proof.

Their Yogventures campaign raised enough money anyway and the game went into production, but the backers soon found out Yogscast was full of ball-oney.

 photo f0f6fac9dd01a5a97de3be5ce233d5aa_zpsf655ncko.gif

Yogscast founder Lewis Brindley notified backers the project had failed, and the backers who had donated $567,000 in total got to see nothing but another epic failure from a first time developer.

Shadow Of The Eternals was supposed to be a successor to the Nintendo GameCube game Eternal Darkness, but creator Denis Dyack went about his campaign in such a shady way he failed to raise enough money- twice.

(Image Link)

Denis created the campaign under the name Precursor Games so backers wouldn't realize he was actually the head of Silicon Knights, the company catching hell for their crappy game X-Men: Destiny.

Surprisingly, the fake name game wasn't the reason Shadow didn't get funded- it was seemingly cursed from day one, although Denis claims he's still working on the game and hoping to release it soon. Good luck with that!

Read about 5 Sketchy Video Game Kickstarters here

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Necromancy - Even The Dead Find Her Enchanting

Necromancy by Madavaylia

As soon as the temperature starts to drop and the leaves start falling off the trees our minds turn to thoughts of the spookiest holiday of the year- All Hallow's Eve. But for some this is merely one night in a year full of spirits, skeletons and the undead, for the necromancer's work is never done. They may raise a body or two from the grave on Halloween night just for kicks, but their ambitions lie in realms far beyond human comprehension and their dark work emperils the planet. So you can laugh all you'd like at a sloppy mummy, make faces at a vampire and howl back at a baying werewolf, but if you encounter someone claiming to be a necromancer do the right thing- and run far, far away!

Cast a spell on people wherever you go with this Necromancy t-shirt by Madavaylia, it's the perfect shirt to get you into the spooky spirit of the season!

Visit Madavaylia's Instagram and Twitter, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more dark and geeky designs:

Tiger Intesity Blue Awe Hell Fire Colorful Surprise

View more designs by Madavaylia | More Horror 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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Home with a Bonus

Here’s a house for sale on Sutton Road in Terrington St. Clement in Norfolk, UK. It’s pretty nondescript for the area, although Americans would see it as “historic.” Looking through the pictures, it’s fairly nice inside. There’s the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and …what’s picture seven? Yes, this is a skate park, inside the house.

Rare opportunity to buy this converted village hall and former village youth club! This property has boundless potential for further development as one or to spilt into more than one dwelling. The current owner uses part of the property his home and the front half of the building which was the main hall has been converted into a skate bowl. The areas that are used as the residential dwelling have been stylishly finished.

The current asking price is £200,000. See more pictures at the real estate listing.  -via Nag on the Lake

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The Black Sabbath Born Again Demos That Totally Smoke The Album Versions

Heavy metal as we know it would not exist if not for Black Sabbath, because they set the standard for the horror movie theatrics, spooky hard rock sound and clothes worn by metal bands for decades to come.

Pretty much everyone agrees Sabbath was best when Ozzy was the lead singer, so when the band came back from the dead in 1983 with the album Born Again people didn't dig seeing former Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan at the helm.

But if they could have heard these unmixed demos shared on YouTube by THE SINISTER EXAGGERATOR they would have praised it like they should- because this blistering session of raw rock 'n' roll is so good it screams for itself!

(YouTube Link)

-Via Dangerous Minds

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11 Hidden Spots to Enter the Underworld

There are plenty of places you can visit that are named as portals to Hades for one reason or another. It could be that they are really scary, or have a legend behind them, or someone thought that title would be good for tourism. And they were right! “The Gates of Hell” are found all over the world: Greece, Iceland, China, Italy, the US, Turkey, Ireland, Japan, and in Belize, as pictured above. This location has a truly terrifying history.

There is a cave network located in modern-day Belize, which the Mayans believed was an entrance to their underworld: Xibalba.

The name Actun Tunichil Muknal translates as "Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre." Extensive research has linked the site, located in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, to ancient Mayan legends. These stories described rivers of blood and scorpions, and a vast subterranean labyrinth ruled over by the Mayan death gods, the demonic "Lords of Xibalba."

Since their rediscovery in 1989, the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal have become a popular destination for explorers. There are numerous landmarks that make this network particularly interesting, including a vast chamber of stalactites known as the "Cathedral."

Amongst scattered fragments of pottery and bone, one of the more notable discoveries is the skeleton of an 18-year-old girl. Believed to have been ritualistically murdered in the cave as a sacrifice to the Death Gods, she has been nicknamed the "Crystal Maiden"; over the 1,000 years since her death, her bones have calcified to create a shimmering, crystal effect.

She’s not the only human sacrifice still visible in Actun Tunichil Muknal. Read more about it, and ten other places known as the gates of hell (not all of them as scary), at Atlas Obscura. This article is part of their 31 Days of Halloween series they do every year.  

(Image credit: Peter Andersen)

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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When Your Pet Kangaroo Is Your Best Friend

Australians don't generally think of the kangaroo as a good pet, and many consider them to be pests and/or delicious when barbecued, depending on who you ask.

But hunky Australian and social media entertainer Jackson O'Doherty has a great rapport with kangaroos, and his pet roo Damien follows him around everywhere like a bouncy little shadow.

(YouTube Link)

It's hard to imagine hating kangaroos after watching this video, but their jerk side apparently doesn't come out until they're full grown and ready to fight.

-Via Laughing Squid

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

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The Harbin Opera House

China has some amazing new buildings that are meant to serve a huge population and create a distinctive skyline at the same time. Oh yeah, every municipal government wants to be recognized as easily as Sydney. Just look at the new Harbin Opera House, sure to become an iconic symbol.  

The Harbin Opera House is a new addition to the Chinese collection of architectural wonders, completed in 2015. It is a 7,900 square meter structure that is designed to imitate the curves of the landscape in which it is located near the Songhua River. The surface is textured with glass pyramids for allowing more light to enter through the ceiling. Smooth waves of architectural structure give it a futuristic look. The building was designed by MAD architects.

Landscape? What I see is a wise old Jedi in a robe talking to his young Padawan. See more images of recent Chinese architecture, from traditional to stunningly modern, at Housely.

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Do Not Drill A Hole In Your New iPhone -This Should Be Obvious

A lot of people were upset when they heard the newest iPhone doesn't have a headphone jack and while that might be bothersome if you like plain old wired headphones, it should go without saying that you probably shouldn't use a drill to put in your own headphone jack. Sure there was a prank video showing people that there is actually a hidden jack in the phone, but who takes the word of a YouTube video as proof that it's totally ok to drill your brand new phone? Sadly, a lot of people.

Of course, this hasn't been the only prank designed solely to get people to destroy their expensive tech devices. Distractify has evidence that there are all too many evil tricksters out there.

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Ig® Nobel Limericks: Doll, Kansas, Wasabi

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!

Ig Nobel Achievements distilled into limerick form
by Martin Eiger, Improbable Research Limerick Laureate

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people LAUGH, then make them THINK. For details of all the Ig Nobel Prize-winning achievements, see each year’s special Ig Nobel issue of the magazine, and also see the winners page.

2011 Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize
The prize was awarded to Makoto Imai, Naoki Urushihata, Hideki Tanemura, Yukinobu Tajima, Hideaki Goto, Koichiro Mizoguchi, and Junichi Murakami for determining the ideal density of airborne wasabi (pungent horseradish) to awaken sleeping people in case of a fire or other emergency, and for applying this knowledge to invent the wasabi alarm.

It is airborne wasabi’s propensity,
Due to its pungent intensity,
To shield you from harm.
You won’t buy the farm
As long as it has the right density.

Continue reading

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Gut Feeling

We are aware of the ongoing struggle between the heart and the brain, but there are other organs that can throw a wrench into our perception of the world around us. Heart and Brain are discussing the morning news when Bowels has a gut feeling. And you know what happens when the gut feeling wins out over brains… that’s how you get killer clowns! Not to mention nasty political campaigns. This is the latest from Nick Seluk at The Awkward Yeti.

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The Literal Hell of McMansions

A couple of months ago, we introduced you to the blog McMansion Hell, which now goes by the name Worst of McMansions. The blogger is an architect who explains the various sins of McMansion design and how they offend our sense of proportion, balance, flow, and continuity. The descriptions of these houses reminded Colin Dickey of something much earlier: haunted houses. Long before the term “McMansion” was coined, we already had plenty of haunted houses described in literature. In book after book, the authors describe houses that seem eerie because they lack order or harmony.    

The archetypal American haunted house has always been one whose construction was aesthetically unbalanced. Take one of the most famous American haunted houses, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s house of the seven gables. Defined by its “seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst,” the house is the ill-gotten gains of Colonel Pyncheon, who accuses his neighbor Matthew Maule of witchcraft in order to acquire his land. There is no order or symmetry to the house; indeed, it’s not even clear where the front of the house is, since it lacks any kind of façade or welcoming front door. The titular, odd-numbered gables poke out in different directions, overwhelming the house with secondary masses and voids. A McMansion 150 years before the term was invented, Hawthorne’s creation set the template for a house that exemplifies wealth without class, ostentation without order.

That’s just the beginning of the comparisons of famous haunted houses and McMansions, and even includes a modern horror story built around a McMansion, that you can read about at Slate.  -via Digg

(Image credit: John Martz)

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