The Last Jedi: Singular or Plural?

When the name of the new Star Wars film was announced in January as The Last Jedi, we all wondered what that meant. As the story stands, Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi. But will he remain the last Jedi? Will he be killed off? Will someone else become the last Jedi? Then we realized that the word "Jedi" is both singular and plural. Which does the title mean? We were resigned to wait until the movie is released in December to find out. But the title is more complicated in other languages, where a definite article indicates a singular or plural. As the movie gets it title translated around the world, we have the answer, courtesy of Star Wars France. It's plural, as in more than one Jedi. Other European countries with languages that indicate plurality have announced the movie title using the plural form, as you can see at Slate.


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A Wonderful Short Documentary About The Art Of Clowning

Clowning is a comedic artform that dates back centuries, and although clowning has become less circus and more cirque over the years clowns are still doing classic bits and carrying on an ancient tradition.

Those who embrace the role of the clown have many skills to master, such as makeup, slapstick and miming, but most importantly they must develop a character the audience connects with and make 'em laugh.

(YouTube Link)

This wonderful episode of the American Theatre Wing series Working In The Theatre focuses on the art of clowning and reveals the true power of the clown- universal appeal.

-Via Nerdist


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Abandoned Helicopters: 22 Derelict Choppers & Rotorcraft Graveyards

What happens to a helicopter when it crashes, wears out, or becomes obsolete? Many times, it just sits there. Oh yeah, it might be taken to a junkyard, and of course, some are stripped and recycled, but the world is full of abandoned choppers of all kinds that are still awaiting their final disposition years, even decades after their last flight.

(Image credit: Flickr user Alan Wilson)

You can take a tour of the world's abandoned helicopters in their aviation graveyards from Russia to Japan to the U.S. (among other places) in a post with 70 pictures at Urban Ghosts.


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Lord Bagel Vs. The Donut King

For me the donut will always be king, but some strange people prefer to bow down to lord bagel in the morning rather than praising the hole-y king of all baked goods.

And now this infiltrator is trying to pass itself off as a sweet breakfast treat, the bagel bringing his best friend the cream cheese schmear along for the ride.

Whether you're a fan of the classic donut monarchy or you're one of those savory sweet upstarts you'll appreciate this Buttersafe comic because both sides lose to the mighty god Java!

-Via Geeks Are Sexy

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Ridiculous Rat Removal

Jodie, Logan, Briana, and Meg share an apartment in Pittsburgh. A rat got into their apartment earlier this week, so they put their heads together to figure out how to evict it. They cornered the rat in the shower, then set up a complicated course to shoo it downstairs and out the door. What are the odds of this working? The four women and Logan's boyfriend Bo were all ready when Logan forced the rat out of the tub, and surprise! Their scheme worked like a charm, and even better, they got video evidence. Read more about the adventure at Buzzfeed.


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Rebellion - Yes We Can Fight For Hope


Rebellion by zerobriant

When we're threatened by an evil Empire who puts its welfare above that of the people we must rise up together and fight, or else the world will be left to the mercy of the Sith. Thankfully, there are plenty of skilled, smart and tough Rebels out there willing to fight for what they believe in, warriors for good willing to meet the Imperial forces head on. Because one rogue Rebel may not be able to stand up to the darkness rising, but a squad of Rebels have the power to eliminate the darkness and bring the light back into the lives of the people.

Add some sci-fi star power to your geeky wardrobe with this Rebellion t-shirt by Zerobriant, it's the epic way to take your favorite squad of Rebels with you wherever you go!

Visit Zerobriant's Facebook fan page, official website, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more mighty geeky designs:

Ctrl+Alt+Facts Chirrut Ink Bernard Appetite for Rebellion

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The Adventures of Fish and Chips

Lindsay Richards decided she wanted a cat. Lain Roby agreed after seeing cats on the site Adventure Cats. So the couple adopted Fish, and took him on many outdoor adventures. A few months later, they adopted Chips, who become Fish's little brother and constant companion. Both cats were leashed trained from an early age, and are used to riding in cars, boats, and backpacks.

The two cats love spending time in the woods, hills, and beaches of Vancouver Island and anywhere their humans want to go. Read about Fish and Chips at Adventure Cats, and see more of these photogenic kitties at Instagram.

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

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Vintage Photos Of Depression Era Gangsters And The Lawmen Who Gave Chase

People who chose to live the gangster life during the early 20th century were cut from a rougher yet more refined cloth than the gangsters of today, and they always looked dapper no matter what they were doing.

The rackets were numerous, the risks immeasurable, but these outlaws chose to make a buck bruising, smuggling, shooting, stealing and strongarming knowing full well it might cost them their lives.

Looking back on these photos of Depression era mobsters you can see a sort of haunted look in their eyes, the only clue to their remaining humanity revealed in the one place they can't rebuild in stone.

See Striking Black And White Photos Show The Brutal Lives Of Gun-Toting Depression Era Mobs In America here


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Why is a Lazy Person Called a Couch Potato?

We all know what a couch potato is- a person who sits on the couch (or a recliner) and watches TV, moving about as often as a potato. But where did the phrase come from? The story is a lot more complicated than you knew.

(YouTube link)

The term was actually trademarked. Imagine that. Simon Whistler of Today I Found Out tells us the story. -via Laughing Squid


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Oh, Professor

The professor's got her own robot, but she doesn't quite understand how advanced it is. He really does understand beauty, at least as it affects his heart. If he had one. But he won't tell her how he feels. This is the latest from Elizabeth and Jonathan at War and Peas


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Cat Profiles by Obvious Plant

A picture is worth a thousand words, but you also want to learn a little about a cat's personality. Knowing their likes and dislikes will help.



These profiles are from a series of cat labels from Obvious Plant. See all ten of them here. The cats are all real, and available for adoption through the Santé D’Or Foundation in Los Angeles. -via Metafilter

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

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Anime Artist Turns His Sons' Drawings Into Amazing Characters

Artistically inclined parents love to bring their kid's artwork to life in some way, either by translating it to a different medium or creating a more polished version.

It's a charming activity that gives parent and child the chance to work on an art project together, which kids really appreciate when their parent has a really a cool job in the animation industry.

French artist Thomas Romain works as an anime creator in Tokyo, and after having worked on shows like Space Dandy and Basquash! he has learned how to translate doodles into awesome anime characters.

So he started working with his kids on what he calls his "Father and Sons Design Workshop", turning their simple and extremely loose sketches into tight, ready to use character designs.

Someone needs to give this talented dad and his sons their own cartoon show!

-Via Nerd Approved


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How The Toilet Changed History

If you've ever had to do without a toilet, whether long-term or temporarily, you can appreciate what a difference flush toilets make. Even outhouses are a big step up from what came before. The YouTube channel It's Okay To Be Smart leads us through the history of the toilet.

(YouTube link)

Our poop customs go way back. I was surprised about ten years ago when I read the instructions for dealing with "that which comes from your body" in the Bible. After watching this video, you'll know more about the history of toilets than you ever thought you would. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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The 23-Year-Old College Student Who Ran Away To Fight ISIS

It's hard for the average civilian to imagine having killed one person in combat, let alone over 100, but imagine having that record as a 23-years-old college student.

That's Joanna Palani's strange but true story- the student from Copenhagen, who is of Iranian-Kurdish descent, dropped out of college in 2014 to "fight for human rights for all people."

She fought the Assad regime and ISIS in Syria as part of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and Peshmerga, and claims to have killed over 100 ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria.

She also helped liberate enslaved Yazidi girls in northern Iraq, a cause close to her heart as a Kurdish woman:

Palani gushes with pride about her role as a trainer for mainly younger, Kurdish fighters. "The young girls are amazing—they are exhilarated after coming back from the front lines. They are very brave, more brave than I could ever have been at their age."

But the Danish government wasn't impressed, and when Joanna returned home from the fighting  in 2015 they revoked her passport via email:

"The Peshmerga gave me 15 days off, " she explains. "After arriving in Denmark the police sent me an email after only three days. It said my passport was no longer valid, and would be revoked if I was to attempt to leave the country. If I was to go back I could go to jail for six years."

Now Joanna is facing years in jail after admitting traveling to Qatar in June of 2016, and instead of being treated like a hero she is being prosecuted like a terrorist.

Read The Girl Who Ran Away To Fight ISIS here and Danish Woman Who Fought Against ISIS Faces Jail Sentence here


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Library Hand, the Fastidiously Neat Penmanship Style Made for Card Catalogs

In the 1880s, libraries were growing fast. Each new book acquired needed an entry in the card catalog. While librarians are liable to be educated and use good penmanship, the cards were still hard to read because the nice script had "too much flourishing.” A library summit meeting was held in Late George, New York in September 1885. One of the attendees was Melvil Dewey, who had developed the Dewey Decimal System. The problem of catalog cards was discussed, and a highly legible new style of writing was proposed. It was eventually called "library hand."

Influenced by Edison and honed via experimenting on patient, hand-sore librarians, library hand focused on uniformity rather than beauty. ”The handwriting of the old-fashioned writing master is quite as illegible as that of the most illiterate boor,” read a New York State Library School handbook. “Take great pains to have all writing uniform in size, blackness of lines, slant, spacing and forms of letters,” wrote Dewey in 1887. And if librarians thought they could get away with just any black ink, they could think again real fast. ”Inks called black vary much in color,” scoffed the New York State Library School handwriting guide.

Dewey and his crew of “a dozen catalogers and librarians” spent, in his estimation, “an hour daily for nearly an entire week” hashing out the rules of library hand. They started by examining hundreds of card catalogs, looking for penmanship problems and coming up with ways to solve them. They concluded that the “simpler and fewer the lines the better,” and decided that, while a slant was best avoided, a slight backward slant was acceptable. Then they got to the more nitty-gritty stuff, such as whether to opt for a “square-topped 3” or a “rounded-top 3.” (The rounded-top 3 won out, as it is less likely to be mistaken for a 5 during hasty reading.)

You might argue that it would have been easier for librarians to learn to type. Read about the history and usage of library hand at Atlas Obscura. 

(Image credit: Ella Morton)


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The Ultimate Bagel Troll

This bagel seems created only to infuriate those who lay eyes on it. Creator Mike Bibgy's caption further proves that it is designed solely to troll people: "Ahh the classic baggel! RT if u love 2 eat bangles!"

Via That's Nerdalicious

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Insert Coin - A Crappy Way To Collect Coins

Insert Coin by Vó Maria

Nobody uses piggy banks anymore, which is a shame since it put a whole lot of piggy bank makers out of business, but those who still collect their change prefer to stash it inside a real pig. However, the place you should stash it isn't very pleasant, because it's not inside their cute snout or in their hungry mouth- it's in their butt. Now that may sound crazy, but ask yourself this- who in their right mind is going to reach inside a pig's butt to steal your change?

Give people a good laugh with this Insert Coin t-shirt by Vó Maria, it's a hilarious way to spread smiles wherever you go for less coin!

Visit Vó Maria's Facebook fan page, official website, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

TGIF Just Did it. Uni-Files Mandrillus sphinx

View more designs by Vó Maria | 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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Robert Irwin on The Tonight Show

On The Tonight Show, Robert Irwin presents Jimmy Fallon with a variety of creatures to gush about. Have you ever heard an armadillo scream? You're about to.

(YouTube link)

Robert Irwin is the 13-year-old son of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. He is the spitting image of his dad, in his looks, his enthusiasm, and his knowledge of animals. -via reddit


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What's The Difference Between Tylenol, Advil, Aspirin And Aleve?

Non-prescription pain relievers are a bit like cola in that they're often referred to by one name, and where I live people usually ask for either aspirin or Tylenol even if they want Bayer, Aleve or Advil.

Others have reported a similar lack of brand name usage, with aspirin being the most universally used name for pain relievers, but is there really much of a difference between the brands?

Turns out there really is quite a difference- Tylenol is acetaminophen, which is best for headaches and not so good for joint pain.

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) can help with light pain but also helps lower the risk of heart attack and stroke when a small dose is taken every day. It's also murder on your guts, liver and kidneys.

(Image Link)

For heavy pain you want either Advil, Motrin or Aleve- Advil and Motrin are ibuprofen, which is good for hangovers, menstrual cramps, earaches, toothaches and sore or injured muscles but not so good for a headache.

Aleve is naproxen, which takes a while to kick in but works great for people with moderate to severe chronic pain, such as a lasting headache or pain associated with arthritis.

Read more about What's The Difference Between Tylenol, Aspirin, Advil and Aleve at mental_floss


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The Man Who Played with Absolute Power

 

You are probably familiar with the Stanford Prison Experiment, in which paid volunteer students assumed the roles of prison guards and inmates. The subjects became so submerged in their roles that the "guards" began exhibiting sadistic behavior and the "inmates" approached mental breakdown. The experiment was scheduled to last two weeks, but was halted after six days. Philip Zimbardo, the professor who conducted the 1971 experiment, gives us some of the details.

Did subjects try to resist their roles as prisoners or guards?

They did. We did things that made it very realistic: parole board hearings, parents visiting. But students in 1971 were anti-war activists. Many students on many campuses protested against the war, were beaten up or suffered abuse by their local police. So nobody wanted to be a prison guard. Initially, it was very difficult for the boys playing prison guards to get into their role. But, the second day of the study, the prisoners rebelled. They did not want to be dehumanized, because one way to take away power is to take away your name, your style, the way you wear your hair and so forth.

How did the guards react to the rebellion?

All 12 guards came in, and they crushed the rebellion. At that point, the guards said, “These are dangerous prisoners. We have to show who is in charge, who is the boss.” That changed everything. That’s when it became a prison. No one used the word “experiment” again. The guards used physical force—stripped the prisoners  naked, put them in chains, put them in solitary confinement. There was actually fighting. The guards used psychological force to make prisoners feel helpless and hopeless. That’s when I should have intervened and did not.

Zimbardo also talks about the intoxication of absolute power and how Abu Ghraib compared with his experiment in an interview at Nautilus. -via Digg

Read how the Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted here


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Animals With the Strangest Hearts

Biology, in general, is an amazingly strange and complicated thing, but it's certainly more bizarre in some animals than others. And while the science that keeps our hearts beating is already pretty impressive, the science behind the animal hearts in this Atlas Obscura article is truly odd.

For example, did you know cuttlefish have three hearts and blue blood? Or that while diving, the hearts of emperor penguins slows down and blood flow cuts off to all but the most important organs so they can dive without getting the bends? Perhaps most shockingly, the wood frog can stop its heart from beating entirely during the winter when almost all of the water in their bodies freezes solid?

Learn more about these fascinating animals and their hearts over on Atlas Obscura.

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

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The Messy History of the Pie Fight

The second-best use for baked goods is the cinematic pie fight. Getting a whipped cream-topped pie to the face is a great visual, certainly more pleasant than other thrown foods, and doesn't leave major injuries. A timeline of pie fights in movies gives us stories of notorious pie fights. The earliest existing example of the pie in the face is from 1909, followed by a full-blown fight in 1913. Even Dr. Strangelove was supposed to end with a pie fight, but that didn't work out.

So as Kubrick later said, ‘It was a disaster of Homeric proportions.’” Because the scene was so expensive to shoot and clean up from, the studio only gave them one chance to film it. But since the actors were clearly smiling throughout filming, the footage was unusable. The scene has since become one of the most famous unseen pieces of celluloid in cinematic history. Apparently, pie fights make up a majority of that list.

Read the history of pie fights in the movies, with plenty of videos, at Hopes and Fears. -Thanks, Walter Mosley!


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The Dangers Of Stealth In Video Games

Video games that involve a lot of stealth are the bane of my existence, because I want to play the badass game I've been hearing about but can't get past that one part because the guy KEEPS HEARING ME FOR SOME REASON!

But, as this comic by Julia Lepetit shows, there's a hidden danger that is worse than wrecked nerves, a danger gamers don't consider while they're sneaking their way through an entire game- stealth knees. Keep the crouching to a minimum, people!

-Via Dorkly


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The Volunteer Sky Watchers of the Cold War

The following article is from the new book Uncle John’s Uncanny Bathroom Reader.

Here’s a piece of Atomic Age history you’ve probably never heard of: the civilian Ground Observer Corps, thousands of volunteers who scanned the skies for incoming Soviet bombers that would have marked the opening battle of World War III.

SHOCK WAVE

In September 1949, a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance plane flying over the North Pacific from Japan to Alaska detected levels of radioactivity in the atmosphere at least 20 times above normal. Other planes in the Pacific reported similar observations in the days that followed; elevated radiation levels were soon being detected over the British Isles half a world away. It quickly became clear that there could be only one explanation for the spreading cloud of radioactivity: the Soviet Union had secretly detonated its first atomic bomb. The United States had known since the end of World War II that the Soviets would try to build their own nuclear weapon, but the best estimates were that it would take them eight to ten years to do it. They  had managed it in less than four.

The Soviet bomb was estimated to be as powerful as the one dropped on Nagasaki in the closing days of World War II. That bomb had killed more than 70,000 people. Making matters worse, the Soviets were also building long-range bombers that could reach the United States. America’s entry into World War II had been precipitated by a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Now, as the Cold War heated up, it seemed possible that the next war might begin with an atomic sneak attack by the Russians. If their target was a major American city like Washington, D.C., or New York, the casualties would be in the millions.

Continue reading

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Will Arnett Prank Calls A Toy Store As LEGO Batman

Thanks to the LEGO Batman franchise Will Arnett gets to be Batman's voice, and he's enjoying the gig so much he'll start being the Bat at the drop of a hat.

Will was on BBC Radio 1's The Matt Edmondson Show promoting The LEGO Batman Movie when he decided to try his hand, err voice, at Matt's AlphabetiCall challenge by prank calling a toy store. 

Each sentence Will says during the call has to start with the next letter of the alphabet, so will he be up to the challenge?

And will the toy store clerk even get that he's doing a bit, or will they just say "...okay?" like a total space cadet? Tune in and find out!

(YouTube Link)

-Via Laughing Squid


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The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of FDR's Floating White House

While many U.S. presidents enjoyed the services of a yacht, the most famous of those boats is the USS Potomac, the yacht that provided a refuge for Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1936 to 1945. The Coast Guard cutter was built to intercept bootleggers during Prohibition, but then was determined to be a good fit for Roosevelt. And so it was refitted with features to accommodate the president, and the president's wheelchair.

The biggest change was to install a spacious, shaded aft deck, where Roosevelt could work or entertain while enjoying river or ocean breezes. “When the ship was a Coast Guard cutter, this deck did not exist,” Dropkin says, as we walk across its teak surface, “but it was a favorite area of the president.” That’s probably because the seating on the deck was designed with the wheelchair-bound Roosevelt in mind. Dropkin points to an upholstered settee that follows the curve of the ship’s stern. “It’s about 4 feet deep in the middle,” he says, “to support the president’s legs, something for him to stretch out on. You can almost imagine him sitting there, drink in hand.

“Roosevelt was a martini guy,” Dropkin continues. “A good cocktail was very important to him. He had started having cocktail hour when he was governor of New York, and brought the practice with him to the White House. His wife, Eleanor, wasn’t crazy about that, but they were different people."

Other changes to the Electra that were more particular to Roosevelt included the removal of the floor coamings designed to contain water that might be sloshing on deck. For example, the low barrier was removed between the main dining room and the presidential bedroom, so that Roosevelt could get himself between the two spaces in his wheelchair. Even more dramatic was the conversion of one of the ship’s two smokestacks into an elevator, allowing the president to move freely between to ship’s two main decks. “An elevator was built into what had been the rear smokestack,” Dropkin says. “It’s an electric elevator now, but when the president used it, it was literally just a platform roped to a pulley. He would pull himself up, or let himself down, arm over arm. Roosevelt was very strong, and always wanted to do things for himself.”

After Roosevelt's death, the Potomac went on many other adventures, such as the ill-fated trip to the World's Fair, a purchase by Elvis Presley, drug-running, and a sinking. But the Potomac is getting ready for a new life as a landmark. Read the entire story of the USS Potomac at Collectors Weekly.  

(Image credit: Christopher J. Wood)


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These Dogs Are Unimpressed By Zero Gravity Environments

People generally get a thrill out of floating around in a zero-g environment, but dogs clearly don't get the same thrill.

I guess digging zero-g is a human thing, because according to the dog in this video shared by Imgur user IAmtheDenmarkian the whole weightlessness thing sucks...especially when gravity returns.

(YouTube Link)

And, in case you were wondering, space dogs think zero gravity environments suck too, because they don't get why humans want to float around in a giant metal space tube when there aren't any snacks.

-Via Travel + Leisure

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

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Sarca Sampra - The Power Of Dark Humor Compels You!


Sarca Sampra by Boggs Nicolas

All the kids at Lawndale High took Daria for granted, except for her friends, of course, who saw her as a visionary and a genius, but Daria didn't let those other losers get her down. She was meant for bigger things than being on the cheer squad or making banners with the ASB, and while the boring student body was at home doing their homework Daria was studying the magical arts. She soon discovered that the key to unlocking her full magical potential lay in her wickedly sarcastic sense of humor, and the more sarcastic she became the more magical energy welled up inside her...

Cast a spell on your fellow fans with this Sarca Sampra t-shirt by Boggs Nicolas, it's a charming design that will make you look way cooler than you really are!

Visit Boggs Nicolas's Facebook fan page and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more spellbinding designs:

Rogue Maiden Autolove Rawr means Love E=mo

View more designs by Boggs Nicolas | 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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Winston Churchill's Essay on Aliens

 

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill led his nation through World War II, but also had varied interests we know little about. He once wrote an 11-page essay revealing that he believed in extraterrestrial life. Was this an old college assignment? No, it was written in 1939, only a year before he was elevated to prime minister. The long lost article was only recently discovered at the US National Churchill Museum at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

At the time Churchill penned the essay, astronomers favoured a theory that had planets form when stars ripped material off one another as they swept past. Because such encounters were bound to be rare, he reasoned that our sun might be alone in hosting planets. But Churchill proved a good sceptic. “I am not sufficiently conceited,” he writes,” to think that my sun is the only one with a family of planets.” His intuition was right. Astronomers have now spotted thousands of planets beyond the solar system.

Step by step, Churchill reaches a view and expresses it a final sentence that mixes despair with optimism. He writes: “I, for one, am not so immensely impressed by the success we are making of our civilisation here that I am prepared to think we are the only spot in this immense universe which contains living, thinking creatures, or that we are the highest type of mental and physical development which has ever appeared in the vast compass of space and time.”

Churchill had an education grounded in science, and went on to hire the first British government science advisor and helped to fund British laboratories. The article is thought to have been intended for a newspaper, but was never published. Read more about this discovery at the Guardian-Thanks, John Farrier!


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Shower Thoughts That Will Stay With You Long After You Towel Off

Why do the greatest thoughts, ideas and epiphanies pop into our heads while we're taking a shower?

It must be something about water flowing over our bodies and the rainlike sound of the flow that frees our minds to wander and lets us think more clearly, without distractions.

(Via PixelConnoisseur)

It has gotten to the point where I'm thinking about buying a waterproof headset so I can record my thoughts before I inevitably forget them all after I towel off.  

If you don't have enough shower thoughts of your own and you're looking to add more random sentences to your brain you should check out the Showerthoughts subreddit and feed your head!

(Via marchofmimes)

My shower thoughts are equal parts design ideas, snippets of fiction and strange observations about life ala Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts, what are your shower thoughts like?

See These Shower Thoughts Will Stay With You Long After The Suds Are Gone here and the bonus 20 Mind-Blowing Shower Thoughts That'll Make You Laugh here


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