After 72 Years, Snubbed US Navy Captain Gets Credit for Sinking a U-Boat

(Photo of the U-166 by the Ocean Exploration Trust)

On August 1, 1942, the US Navy subchaser PC-566 was escorting the passenger vessel Robert E. Lee out of the mouth of the Mississippi River. 25 miles off the coast, the German submarine U-166 attacked the Lee, sinking it.

The PC-566, then led by Lt. Comm. Herbert G. Claudius, counterattacked. It dropped depth charges on the u-boat. An oil slick formed on the surface of the water, which was evidence that the Americans had at least damaged the German sub and possibly destroyed it.

Claudius's senior officers did not credit him with sinking the sub. To the contrary, they criticized his actions, relieved him of command, and sent him to anti-submarine warfare school for retraining.

Now, 72 years later, Captain Claudius's record is finally clear. The famous undersea explorer Robert Ballard located the wreck of the U-166, right where Claudius said it would be. The US Navy has responded by amending Claudius's record. Brian Clark Howard writes for National Geographic:

But on Tuesday, Claudius was posthumously vindicated at the Pentagon, as the U.S. Secretary of the Navy announced that his ship had indeed fired the depth charges that sank German U-boat U-166.

"Seventy years later, we now know that [Claudius's] report after the action was absolutely correct," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a small ceremony attended by members of Claudius's family.

"[Claudius's ship] did sink that U-boat, and it's never too late to set the record straight," Mabus said, as he presented the late captain with a posthumous Legion of Merit with a Combat "V" device, which recognizes heroism in battle.

Claudius's son, Gordon Claudius, accepted the medal and said that he wished his father could have known about the correction to a largely forgotten chapter in American history.

"He would have felt vindicated," Gordon Claudius said.


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The Deviant History of the Snowman

Documented snowmen go back at least as far as the Middle Ages, but we can assume that the art of building a human figure of snow goes back before recorded history. After all, snow is free and easily-manipulated, and human figures are our natural go-to art icon. The snowman in particular was often used as stress-relief, a structure we can abuse to our delight. They were often created as political statements, sinister beings, or ephemeral art illustrating taboo subjects. Or targets, as suggested in the painting above.  

In the Middle Ages, building snowmen was a way for a community to find the silver lining in a horribly oppressive winter rife with starvation, poverty, and other life-threatening conditions. In 1511, the townspeople of Brussels banded together to construct over 100 snowmen in a public art installation known as the Miracle of 1511.

Their snowmen embodied a dissatisfaction with the political climate, not to mention the six weeks of below-freezing weather. The Belgians rendered their anxieties into tangible, life-like models: a defecating demon, a humiliated king, and womenfolk getting buggered six ways to Sunday. Besides your typical sexually graphic and politically riled caricatures, the Belgian snowmen were often parodies of folklore figures, such as mermaids, unicorns, and village idiots.

Even in modern times, we get a kick out of putting snowmen in situations we would not abide for real humans, such as the famous snowmen in the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes and several traditional snowman-destroying rituals to summon spring weather. Read about the horrible ways we’ve used snowmen throughout history at Atlas Obscura.    


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A Collection Of Juggalo Themed Paintings By Lucy Owen

In the future Juggalogians will surely tell the tale of the art show that brought their clowny subculture into the fine art limelight, and the paintings which would shape the very landscape of what it means to be a Juggalo.

Future generations of Juggalos will have artist Lucy Owen to thank for shedding a humanistic light on their clown white crews and tearing down their painted walls, exposing the disenfranchised youth lurking within.

Lucy fully immersed herself in Juggalo culture when a conversation with a young Juggalo, who spoke of being ridiculed on a daily basis, inspired her to explore their fringe fan culture and see what makes them tick.

The result is a series of rather remarkable paintings called Where The Juggalos Roam, which not only capture the visual essence of the subculture but also succeeds in conveying the emotional state of the people wearing the face paint.

Will the first ever Juggalo themed art show at the Start Gallery in Detroit change the way people treat the Juggalos? Probably not, but now they can find work as art models!

-Via Dangerous Minds


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Where Are They Now? The Cast of Arthur

The hit children's television program Arthur debuted on PBS in 1996. The child actors on it have grown up. What are they doing now? Loryn Brantz of BuzzFeed tracked down 8 of them.

Francine Frensky is doing reasonably well. She starred in the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes. Other cast members, though, have struggled. D.W. Read, the brother of star Arthur Read, had a brief but tumultuous affair with Justin Bieber. She's now slated to star in an upcoming episode of Celebrity Rehab.

Read the rest of the updates at BuzzFeed.

-via Jeremy Barker

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Megatron Speaks the Truth

(YouTube link)

Alexandra Trew toured Universal Studios Hollywood, and took a minute to grab a selfie with Megatron. Megatron did not like the idea. Trew was lucky she escaped with her head. What she got was a lecture on social media vs. real life. As if Megatron knew anything about real life! -via Daily Picks and Flicks


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Technology Ads Then and Now



Today our lives are more hectic than ever; it seems many people are in a constant race against time to get things done. Holiday time exacerbates the problem. Being so caught up, it's not often that people stop and ponder the overall picture. How has our world changed in our lifetimes? One way to reflect on such changes is to look at vintage magazines and newspapers. Every news item and advertisement serves as a time capsule. These ads for video cameras and mobile phones are perfect examples.

Some critics claim that technology has left us more isolated due to less face-to-face and voice interaction. Yet would they choose to eschew today's technology in favor of that offered 20 years ago? 

See a collection advertisements that hammer home technological progress here. 




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The Sweater That Lived - Keep Warm And Carry On Being Magical


The Sweater That Lived by Mandrie

The halls of that old school of wizardry and witchcraft were starting to get mighty drafty, and many of the students were complaining about how hard it was to study in the cold, but one guy kept a cool head and warm bod at all times. His name is Harry and he is the boy who lived...in a finely knit wool sweater. The other students were mighty jealous of Mr. Potter and his fancy sweater, but they knew better than to upset the bespectacled spellcaster, for he had friends in high places...

Add the magical look of a sweater to your t-shirt collection with this The Sweater That Lived t-shirt by Mandrie, and expectorum complimentum!

Visit Mandrie's Facebook fan page, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

Kirbicron Chemical X-Girls Labyrinth Damask A Nice Cup of Tea

View more designs by Mandrie | 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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Photographer Brings out the Beauty in Junk Food with Renaissance-Themed Images

The holy pizza, which is both fully divine and fully baked, inspires marvel and wonder from anyone who beholds it. Rebecca Rütten, a photographer from Cologne, Germany, reveals to us the beauty of fast food of otherwise dubious nutritional value. Working under the pseudonym Becky Fuchs, she composed a series of photographs which show people posing with fast food in forms reminiscent of Renaissance-style religious painting.

-via Junkculture


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Indiana Bones and the Raiders of the Lost Bark

(YouTube link)

He’s just a puppy, but intrepid explorer Indiana Bones must save the Ark of the Covenant from the evil Catzis! You’ll enjoy this delightful sequence produced by FinalCutKing.

This video was created with 3 rolls of duct tape, 108 glue sticks, 18 large boxes of cardboard, a few all nighters with an adorable puppy.

And to think that the entire adventure took place while his human was out on a coffee run! No animals were harmed, even the Catzis, in the making of this film. -Thanks, Zach King!

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

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24 Hour Sale: 20% Off All NeatoShop T-Shirts

We'll be caught up with the printing run for NeatoShop T-shirts one day early, so let's celebrate by having a 24-hour sale: all NeatoShop T-shirts are 20% off until Dec 19, 2014.

Celebrate the holidays with NeatoShop's awesome Ugly Christmas Sweater-style tees. Or check out our wide selection of Funny T-shirts, Science T-shirts, Sci-Fi T-shirts, Video Games-inspired T-shirts, and more.

If you're in no hurry, get worldwide free shipping on orders $75 and above. No coupon codes required - the savings will be shown during the checkout. Need it for Christmas? Expedited shipping option for USA destinations is still available.

Check out the NeatoShop's Quality Prints

Why buy your T-shirts from the NeatoShop? We've got the the best digital print quality of artwork by the Web's most talented indie artists AND the best overall prices (especially if you factor in shipping cost). Check out the side-by-side comparison of our quality versus our competitor's:

See also: NeatoShop T-Shirts Sizes Up to 6XL | Artist Reviews of NeatoShop Quality


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An Age Analysis For Disney's Beast

Most animated features are created with the assumption that the young viewers watching the film won’t actually look for truths, check the math, or otherwise deconstruct the facts presented in the movie looking for absolutes. The creators know there will be incongruities in every film but don’t bother fixing it when the viewers don’t really seem to care.

But an artist named Xibira proved she cares enough to do the math behind a little Disney film called Beauty and the Beast, and the results are shocking.

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Magic With Weird Al

YouTube Link

For those who thought Weird Al Yankovic was just a singer/songwriter of parodies, take note: this man is multitalented. He happens to be able to perform magic tricks while simultaneously cooking up something wholesome. Another Festivus miracle! -Via Tastefully Offensive


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Ice Pancakes

It gets very cold in Scotland in December. Cold enough for ice pancakes! These strange discs of ice were seen on the River Dee at Lummels Pool in Aberdeenshire.

River Dee Team biologist Jamie Urquhart said it was thought foam floating about on the water started to freeze and bump together, forming the discs.

The phenomenon can be found in rivers and in the open sea.

Mr Urquhart, who found and photographed the "pancakes", said: "What we think happened is this - foam floating about on the water started to freeze, probably at night.

"Bits of frozen foam got pushed around in the eddy, and in the ensuing collisions became roughly circular."

There is more to the story of how the discs got their peculiar shape over several days. We could observe the process to make sure, but who wants to stay up all night outside when it’s cold enough for running water to freeze? See more pictures at BBC News.

(Image credit: Jamie Urquhart/River Dee Trust)


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Holiday Feast

YouTube Link

Thirteen dogs and a cat gather 'round a holiday table and do what everyone does these days while gathered at a table. There are friendly exchanges, drinking of spirits, eating off their own plates and eating off of others' plates. A diva touches up her makeup and tech-dependent souls check their email. One sticky-fingered guest even nabs some silverware! 

The video stars animals from the Humane Society of Utah; some are available for adoption. A video on the making of this one is available here.

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

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25 Facts About The Simpsons Celebrating Their 25th Anniversary

(Image Link)

If you’ve been watching The Simpsons from the very beginning then you know they’ve come a long way from their early days, when they were fresh from The Tracey Ullman Show and lookin’ strange, but can you believe they just celebrated their 25th anniversary?

December 17, 1989 was the day an animated TV legend was born- The Simpsons are now officially the longest running scripted prime time series on television, and creator Matt Groening's life is hell no longer.

(Image Link)

The Simpsons are named after Matt's family members, namely his father Homer, his mother Margaret (who was a Wiggum before she became a Groening), and sisters Lisa and Margaret (Maggie), but decided the character based on young Matt should be named Bart. Matt probably didn't want to be associated with Bart's bad deeds, especially if his family tuned in to the show!

Read 25 random facts about The Simpsons


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CGP Grey Explains The Lord of the Rings Mythology

(YouTube link)

You bet I snagged this video for you as soon as I saw who did it. CGP Grey takes an entire library of Tolkien writings about Middle-Earth and explains that universe in four minutes, or at least where the different types of characters come from. All this happened in that universe long before the rings appeared, which also happened before the events of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings trilogy, so Grey plans to tackle that part in an upcoming video. There’s a discussion thread about the video here. -via Viral Viral Videos


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10 Cartoon Characters Drawn in the Styles of 10 Different Cartoonists

Finnish artist Jaakko Seppälä demonstrates remarkable skill and versatility with this chart. You can see a much larger version here. 

Jesus Diaz of Gizmodo helpfully lists the components. From top to bottom are the characters of Asterix, Calvin, Donald Duck, Captain Haddock, Batman, Heimo Vesa, Corto Maltese, Moomintroll, Garfield, and Lucy. From left to right, you see the styles of Albert Uderzo, Bill Watterson, Walt Disney, Hergé, Neal Adams, Perrti Jarla, Hugo Pratt, Lars Jansson, Jim Davis, and Charles Schulz.


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Pac To The Future - An Old School Gaming Adventure


Pac To The Future by Retro Review

He's a pie headed man with a mission, an old school guy with lots of game who travelled back in time to save the video game world from the ultimate kill screen. When Doctor Arcade introduced him to the pacmobile he thought the Doc was a bit of a kook, but when he discovered that round yellow car could use power pellets to travel back in time his pie slice mouth split into a wide smile. He started grabbing up as many pellets as he could, but then Pinky caught on to his plan and gathered her ghostly gang for an old fashioned pac attack...

Add some old school game to your geeky wardrobe with this Pac To The Future t-shirt by Retro Review, and send your fellow pac-fans on a fun trip back in time!

Visit Retro Review's Facebook fan page, official website and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more gamer-iffic designs:

Christmas Man A Wild CTHULHU Appeared! Bubble Bauble The Missing Link

View more designs by Retro Review | 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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18 Facts You May Not Know about Steven Spielberg

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

[Ed. note: this post is in honor of Spielberg's 68th birthday today.]

You know him as the director who brought us Jaws,  E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, and Saving Private Ryan, among many other films. But there’s probably a lot that you didn’t know about Steven Spielberg. In honor of the filmmaker's 68th birthday today, let's learn some more about him.

* The first movie Steven Spielberg ever saw was The Greatest Show on Earth (1953).

* He has never had a cup of coffee in his entire life. Steven has never liked the smell of coffee and has never had the desire to try it.

* Steven has one of the largest gun collections on the East Coast. He shoots, but only privately.

* His all-time favorite cartoon character is Daffy Duck.

* He cast his cocker spaniel, Elmer, in several of his films, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1941, The Sugarland Express, and Jaws.
 
* During the filming of a 1969 episode of Night Gallery, Steven gave Joan Crawford the gift of a single red rose in a Pepsi bottle. During a conversation with a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, Joan pointed to Steven and said, “Go interview that kid because he's going to be the biggest director of all-time.” She and Steven remained good friends until her death in 1977.

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Cold Weather Myths

(YouTube link)

Your mother probably told you you’d catch your death of cold if you went outside without an adequate winter coat. She probably also said, “I told you so” when you caught a cold, whether it was soon after or the next month. I still find myself arguing that cold temperatures don’t cause the common cold or the flu, but those I argue with will never change their minds. Aaron Carroll of Healthcare Triage gives us the science behind these old myths about cold weather and your health. -via Laughing Squid


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Disney Researchers Develop Highly Realistic Eyeballs

(Image from Tangled)

Disney's animation studios stay on the technological cutting edge with the assistance of company-operated research laboratories. One team of Disney researchers developed a means to capture the individual shape of human eyes in rich detail, including the deformation that the eyes experience as the pupils dilate.

(Image of 9 human irises by Disney Research)

The research, which you can see summarized in the video below, has led to the development of precise eye deformation simulation programs. Animators can use these to automatically generate pupil dilation that results from changing light conditions in cartoon settings.


(Video Link)

-via Marginal Revolution


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Rudolph’s Revenge

They say that living well is the best revenge. However, when you suddenly have power over those who tormented you in your youth, it’s hard to resist the temptation for a little payback. Unfortunately, it turned out to be difficult to get all those toys delivered by Christmas morning that year. This is the latest comic from John McNamee at Pie Comic.  


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Masterfully Crafted Game of Thrones Chess Table

Joe Lovchik used a CarveWright CNC milling machine to build this beautifully rendered chess table out of maple and cherry wood. He designed each component carefully, but the side panels of the table are by far the most impressive pieces. They're designed to resemble the icons and sigils that appear in the opening sequence of the Game of Thrones.

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Robot Christmas Party

(YouTube link)

The actual name of this video is Autonomous Christmas Lab 2014, but that’s no fun. The folks at Autonomous Systems Lab, a part of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, programmed robots, drones, and maybe even a few Roombas to dance in their holiday finery for your entertainment. It’s weird but festive. -via The Daily Dot


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Santa Gets a Makeover



Designers at Joint London decided to offer Santa a new, hip wardrobe. Their series "Designer x Santaoutfits the big guy with designer-inspired clothing. While St. Nick is looking sharp, I hope he warns the public of any costume changes before he goes sliding down chimneys. Better safe than sorry, Santa!

Prints of stylin' Santa are available for download as Christmas cards here.  See the rest of Santa's new wardrobe here. 


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New Word Suggestions

I had a ploopsie just the other day, when I called in the guy who sold me a washing machine that didn’t work. It worked just fine as soon as he arrived. I joked that it must have missed his company. And I well remember a few instances of filmcholy when I was a kid. These are words we should have to convey those exact situations, conceived by the guys at Doghouse Diaries.


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Toolbox Drumming Is a Handyman's Song


(Video Link)

The toolbox in your closet is more than a way to injure yourself and make a household problem worse. It's also a great way to make music. The group Alpin Drums demonstrates this. While dressed in stereotypical Bavarian folk costumes, the members whack toolbox lids in a perfectly orchestrated and practiced performance.

-via The Presurfer


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Deck the Halls with Nobel Physicists

’Tis the season to fold and cut paper snowflakes- but they don’t have to look like just any old snowflakes. Thew physics magazine Symmetry has patterns for cutting out snowflakes in the images of Nobel Prize-winning physicists Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Erwin Schrödinger (with a cat). Just download their templates, along with handy instructions.

Practice makes perfect, but remember, no two snowflakes are supposed to be alike anyway.  

There’s even a video that shows you how it’s done. Find what you need here, besides paper and a knife. -via Boing Boing


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Needle Felted Benedict Cumberbatch

DeviantART member CatsFeltFeelings creates highly realistic dolls and figures using needle felting, such as this large head of actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role from the TV show Sherlock. She plans to build a body with it, including Holmes's trademark coat, scarf, and hat.

Her whole gallery is filled with impressive works. You'll want to check it out, especially if you're a fan of Adventure Time.


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People Are Awesome 2014

(YouTube link)

The latest in the People Are Awesome series has clips from videos uploaded in 2014. These people are doing awesome things, dangerous things, things that made me cringe. I’m a Mom, after all. Don’t try this at home. Well, try watching the video. No one gets hurt in it, although there were probably lots of injuries getting to point of perfection. -via Tastefully Offensive

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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