A Game About Squares is exactly what it says on the tin, and despite the lack of instructions, it’s not that hard to figure out how to play. However, each level gets a little bit more difficult, with level 15 a particularly sticky spot. Don’t try it unless you are the kind of person who can stop when you need to do something else. You can always bookmark it for later. -via Metafilter
He is more machine than man now. Twisted, welded, and evil. This is Darth Vader, an outdoor wood stove built by Instructables member doddieszoomer. He made it from an old gas steel bottle. He used an angle grinder to shape the helmet accents. Doddieszoomer then finished the project with spray paint for the rich black Vader look.
An American woman suffering from paralysis volunteered for experimental surgery at Hospital de Egas Moniz in Lisbon, Portugal. Doctors took stem cells from the woman’s nose and implanted them in her spine, hoping that the cells would help her spinal cord regenerate nerve tissue. Other clinical trials involve growing these cells in the lab and classifying and separating desirable cells before transplant. The procedure on this woman, which took place nine years ago, omitted this step. The cells were transplanted directly to her spine, but they failed to regenerate her spinal tissue. Then last year, she was treated in the U.S. for a painful growth in her back.
The surgeons removed a 3-centimetre-long growth, which was found to be mainly nasal tissue, as well as bits of bone and tiny nerve branches that had not connected with the spinal nerves.
The growth wasn't cancerous, but it was secreting a "thick copious mucus-like material", which is probably why it was pressing painfully on her spine, says Brian Dlouhy at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, the neurosurgeon who removed the growth. The results of the surgery have now been published.
The team in Lisbon reports that about 140 patients have received the same therapeutic procedure, and that most showed signs of improvement. Still, it’s a cautionary tale that reminds us that stem cell research is still in its infancy. Read the story at NewScientist, with more thoughts from a stem cell researcher here. -via Science Chamber of Horrors
(Unrelated image from Wikimedia Commons)
As a kid, I looked forward to going with my family once a week to eat at a Chinese restaurant in our town. Because (Americanized) Chinese food was my father's favorite, I grew up eating potstickers, egg rolls, crab rangoon, garlic chicken and similar popular fare.
My family was invited to the Chinese restaurant manager's wedding. My sister and I were thrilled; in addition to experiencing a traditional Chinese wedding, we looked forward to the delicious foods at the reception. We were quietly stunned when dishes the likes of which we had never conceived appeared one after the other. Fish with their eyes and faces still attached. Strange cuts of meat. Food that quivered like Jell-O. Because we were just dumb kids as well as picky eaters, we left hungry. Our faces must have looked like those of the people in this video as Asian delicacies are set in front of them. I wonder if they went out to dinner after their taste tests? Via Unique Daily.
You are probably aware that the term “banana republic” came from the practices of the United Fruit Company, a U.S. firm that bought up large portions of several South American countries and wielded inordinate political power in the region, in order to supply the U.S. with bananas. The company’s power was such that government troops were made available to put down workers’ strikes. In Colombia, this led to a massacre.
In November 1928, grumbling among the more than 25,000 workers on the banana plantations of the United Fruit Company turned into a united effort with a well-organized strike against the massive American corporation.
The workers’ demands from United Fruit were far from unreasonable — a direct contract with the company, six-day work weeks, eight-hour days, medical care and the elimination of scripts (only good at company stores) that were paid to the workers instead of cash. Ten years earlier, the company’s workers had gone on strike with similar demands, but had failed to achieve their goals.
The Colombian government was afraid of a worker’s revolution, and also afraid the U.S. military would step in. Tensions led to a standoff between 1,400 workers and family members and 300 troops with machine guns on December 6. When the troops opened fire, the death toll was somewhere between 47 and 2,000 people. We will probably never know the exact number. Read about the massacre at Modern Farmer.
Attendees of Comic Con are the first to lay eyes on sneak peeks at some highly anticipated movies, games and other fun. A shining example is the new film in the Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road. The film, once again directed by George Miller and starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, will be released in the United States on May 15, 2015. Via Geeks Are Sexy.
Genki Sudo's techno musical group World Order is noted for its videos of Japanese men in business suits moving in lockstep, often out of sync with the world around them. The visual impact of the precision movement is stunning.
World Order brings their skills and looks to this odd commercial for Toyota. The suited men drive into a jungle and experience a series of unexpected adventures. How buying a Toyota is a logical consequence of them is unclear, but the effect gets eyeballs on the screen, which is sufficient.
-via American Digest
Bug Girl has an article about spider sex, dressed up in a comparison with the movie version of Spider-Man (the original comic book hero has a different story). It’s full of PG-13 terms and may be disturbing to die-hard fans (but funny to the rest of us). The upshot is that male spiders have a very weird and complicated procedure for impregnating female spiders. You’ll never look at Peter Parker the same way again. You’ve been warned. -via Metafilter
A mini domino is so small that it weighs only a hundredth of the weight of a regular domino. Setting them up for an orderly fall requires great concentration and precise movements. Sinners Domino Entertainment proved up for the challenge when it set up and knocked down a record-breaking 2,000 piece domino arrangement. The teenagers in this video performed this feat at the Wilhelm-Lückert-Gymnasium in Büdingen, Germany, on July 12, 2013.
The most beautiful cat in the world? I don’t know, but he sure is fetching. And even more interesting when he’s asleep.
These pictures were rearranged by redditor shayne9512 from a series posted by BitterRaven, but we don’t know who the original photographer is. This cat introduced me to a subreddit called Animals Being Derps, which I will have to visit again.
My little pony, my little pony
What does the future hold?
My little pony, my little pony
Isn’t the world a lovely place?
My little pony, my little pony
Everywhere you go is a smiling face.
Running and skipping
Watching the morning unfold
My little pony, my little pony
What does the future hold?
Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox presents this slow jam version of the theme song to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. We've previously seen them rework "Royals," "Sweet Child O' Mine," and the theme songs of Game of Thrones and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Now Bradlee's band shows the Elements of (musical) Harmony from Equestria. Welcome to the herd, Mr. Bradlee. *brohoof*
-Thanks, Lisa Marcus!
In order to secure a three-year purchasing contract with the state of New York, office supplier Staples agreed to sell 291 common items for a penny. They hoped to make up the difference in sales of higher-priced items, but the company neglected to put any limits on the penny purchases. You can imagine what happened. Schools, prisons, charities, and other agencies ordered “staples” such as tissue, paper towels, tape, and batteries by the truckload.
The Monroe-Woodbury school district, about 50 miles north of Manhattan, was the top bargain hunter, taking delivery of $677,000 of penny items at list prices during the contract's first few months, paying $299.15. The numbers come from spreadsheets provided by the state in response to a Freedom of Information Law request.
Sheri Patterson, finance officer at Monroe Woodbury High School, said boxes were "stacked in hallways…we didn't have any place to keep" them.
There were surprises. Ms. Patterson thought a penny paid for a roll of paper towels—instead, it was for a 24-roll pack. The school received 53 packs, records show. "We were just wondering whose idea this was," said Ms. Patterson, "and if they still had their job."
Staples declined to comment on personnel matters.
Many of the penny items ordered have not been delivered, and the state is negotiating with Staples to fulfill the terms of the contract.
A coveted penny item was a 64GB SanDisk flash drive, a large "thumb drive" to store or transfer data. It listed for $249.99 but recently was priced at $54.99 on Staples.com.
Customers ordered 128,978 of them in the contract's first few months, documents show, compared with anticipated annual demand for 33. Staples delivered 1,080 in that period. Had it delivered all those ordered, it would have sold drives with a current retail value of $7.1 million for $1,290.
Whoever made the estimates of how many items would be purchased forgot one basic rule of retail: people will do without expensive items, but will buy if the price is right. Staples’ estimate of their loss has to be taken with a grain of salt, however. Who pays $2 for a single pad of Post-it notes? Or a thousand dollars for a shredder? I have a shredder and a bag of Post-it notes for an investment of about $6, although they’re not the same brands. Read more about the fiasco at the Wall Street Journal. -via Metafilter
Nine smart pups are shown here performing a number of impressive tricks, some more useful to humans than others (that breakfast is only fit for a dog, if you ask me). Check out these talented canines in this BuzzFeed video.
The lizard named Uroplatus phantasticus is more commonly known as the Satanic leaf-tailed gecko. You can see why in this photograph, only because the background is gone. There’s a picture at Wired that challenges you to figure out what is gecko and what is real leaf. It’s an amazing camouflage adaptation for these creatures found only in Madagascar. Good luck finding one.
Reinforcing this camouflage for the satanic leaf-tailed geckos is their behavior: They’ll spend the day hanging motionless off of branches or snuggling among dead leaves, often twisting their leafy tails around their bodies. Other larger species in the satanic’s genus have still another strategy for sleeping safely during the day, flattening their bodies against tree trunks and limbs, making good use of those famously grippy feet (a magic power derived, by the way, from countless hair-like structures that allow some geckos to even stick to inverted glass panes, not that nature would ever ask them to). Fringes and flaps along the edges of their bodies help erase their outlines and shadows, dissolving the geckos into the bark.
We can see why they are called leafy-tailed, but what’s satanic about them? If you confront one, they’ll stare and scream at you, and local folks are afraid of them. They come in all colors, too, just as the leaves they hide among vary. You’ll see quite a few more pictures of this gecko and his camouflaged relatives at Wired. -via Not Exactly Rocket Science
Could you really eat a horse? If you could actually eat a horse portion of spaghetti, here's a tool that will measure it for you. Stefán Pétur Sólveigarson, a designer in Iceland, made it for a variety of appetites, ranging from horse to child. The horse is the equivalent of 4 adult portions.
This Abyssinian cat is named Tommy, but it seems that Romeo would be a better name for such a kissing enthusiast. So much for cats supposedly being standoffish. Even my dogs wouldn't demand that much affection. Via Tastefully Offensive.
Pictured above is Daniel Bryan, a former WWE Heavyweight Champion. He was the winner of Wrestlemania XXX this past April. So he's a big, strong guy who knows how to throw his weight around--and someone else's too.
Bryan lives with his wife in Pheonix, Arizona. On Friday, for the second time, someone broke into his home. This time, he was present to deal with the culprit. He chased the suspect 400 feet before taking him down with his special skills:
He said he chased Sosa about 400 feet before grabbing him and shouting some “bad words.” And he said he used a rear naked choke hold to subdue him, rather than his trademark “Yes!” lock.
“He was very, very tired and it literally took zero effort to take him down,” Bryan told a news conference at police headquarters, seated next to his wife with the dog in her lap.
Have you ever had an unexpected change in your own eye or hair color? Have you ever wished your hair or eye color would change? Do you have a preference for particular colors in your mate? (If so, hopefully that's not a dealbreaker.)
My eyes are so dark they are almost black, and I like it that way. But I've always been fascinated by people with those electric blue or green eyes. In this video, DNews explains the science behind hair and eye color changes. Via Unique Daily.
(Photo: John Halsam)
It's not easy to hit a golf ball several hundred yards and have it land neatly in a cup 4.25 inches in diameter. But, sadly, some golfers do experience this problem.
Yes, that's right: hitting a hole-in-one can be a bad thing.
That's because in some golfing cultures, particularly Japan the the UK, golfers who sink a ball in one shot are expected to throw a party. They should, at minimum, treat everyone in their group to drinks back at the clubhouse. In more extreme cases, social standards compel successful golfers to host lavish celebrations costing thousands of dollars.
That's why some golfers purchase insurance to protect themselves from an unfortunate hole-in-one. Alex Mayyasi writes for Priceconomics:
After spending $650 buying the entire clubhouse champagne at England’s South Winchester Golf Club following a hole in one, Paul Neilson told Bloomberg, “I couldn't afford to go through all that again. I used to have a policy but never got around to renewing it.” Among the stories from Japan, the same article quotes Eiji Yoneda, who was one of 200 people invited on a dinner cruise by someone celebrating a hole in one.
A number of firms offer hole in one insurance, frequently bundled with other services that golfers commonly buy like insurance for golfing equipment or personal liability. (Apparently yelling “Fore!” can’t ward off lawsuits if you hit a ball right at someone.) Golfplan, a U.K. insurer, covers $340 to $510 worth of drinks for hole in one celebrations. (Clubs’ set of rules for validating a hole in one makes it easier to process claims.) When it is sold unbundled, hole in one insurance can be cheap; Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd offers Japanese golfers hole in one insurance for as little as a $3 premium. Outside of individual policies, golf tournaments also get hole in one insurance so that they can offer huge cash prizes for a hole in one as a marketing promotion -- it's the same type of "prize indemnity" insurance that covers teams when a fan sinks a half court shot or makes a field goal.
-via Marginal Revolution
In this little ditty from Adult Swim, a lonely geek contemplates Star Wars VII. What if it’s awful? So many things could go wrong! That’s what we call “managing expectations,” or “not getting our hopes up.” As with most of the big blockbuster movies these days, the anticipation is more enjoyable than the payoff. -via Geeks Are Sexy
Their owners always knew they were really smart dogs, and capable of coming up with some devious plans to get their hands on human food, but the pugs were too lazy to take action. Then came the one they called Cesar, the one who had met with a whisperer and discovered his true path in life- to be a great pack leader...
Support the cutest revolution to ever face mankind with this Dawn of the Planet of the Pugs t-shirt by Bleee, it's sure to put smiles on people's faces and it's a great way to show your allegiance to our soon-to-be pug overlords!
|Urban Spaceman||Nightmare||Calvock and Hobbson||Nostromo: Xenomorph|
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!
(Photo: David Ebner)
Terry Siebert of Hamilton, Ontario died last Monday at the age of 58. His family published an obituary in the Hamilton Spectator. It described at length his loving family and friends and how he impacted their lives. Then, in the final line, Siebert snarked at the Maple Leafs, which is a professional hockey team in Toronto:
It was Terry's last wish that his pallbearers be the Toronto Maple Leafs so they could let him down one last time.
-via Nag on the Lake
This three-week-old, precious piglet named Pigalina was rejected by her litter. Melissa Susko at Piedmont Farm Animal Rescue's PIGS Animal Sanctuary came to Pigalina's rescue. There she became fast friends with Levi the Pitbull Terrier. Pigalina now has a permanent home on Melissa's farm in West Virginia; a perfect ending to this piglet tale.
Jürgen Horn and Mike Powell have moved on from Tokyo and set up housekeeping in Skopje, Macedonia. If you received your geography education before 1991, Macedonia is just north of Greece and just south of Serbia. But back in 1903, a small Macedonian town on a mountain declared its own independence from the Ottoman Empire. The Republic of Kruševo lasted ten days.
The brave and hopelessly out-gunned army of Kruševo met the advancing Turks in the Battle of Mečkin Kamen, a couple kilometers outside the town. Led by Pitu Guli, the rebels fought bravely, but were simply no match for the Ottoman force. In the end, Kruševo’s defenders were annihilated, and the Ottomans marched into town where they inflicted a bloody retribution on the townspeople.
Today, Kruševo has recovered and become one of the jewels of Macedonia, the highest mountain town in the Balkans. We visited for a couple days. With just 5000 inhabitants, it’s the kind of place with which you can become familiar within no time. Kruševo feels like a mountain retreat, so small and peaceful that it’s hard to imagine it as the scene of such vicious fighting.
The rebellion is memorialized with a monument called the Makedonium, this artfully-shaped building with a museum inside. Read more about Kruševo and the Makedonium, and see plenty of pictures, at For 91 Days.
It’s critical that we get this thing working properly. When the economy tanks, I need this flamethrower to defend myself and my own.
That's Nick from Doomsday Preppers, a reality show on the National Geographic television network. He wants to be prepared for the worst. Since he owns many rabbits, he wants to use their poop productively. With lots of nitrogen and phosphorus, rabbit poop is an excellent fertilizer. That may help feed Nick, but it won't protect him from predators.
To make his rabbit poop into a formidable flamethrower, Nick first used a kitchen blender to grind it into a fine powder. He explains:
In order to weaponize rabbit manure, you have to grind it into a fine powder that will allow more oxygen to mix very well with the hydrocarbons and nitrogens that are in rabbit manure.
He then used the rabbit poop to produce methane gas and a flammable powder. The results were, as you can see in this video, beautiful:
I have one question about this ad: Do the books come with that chair, or do you have to pay extra? Found at Bad Newspaper.
For today's feel good news story, we journey to the south side of Houston, Texas, where Mayura Dissanyake works as a clerk at a gas station and convenience store. He's also been a mixed martial arts fighter for a decade. In his native Sri Lanka, he was the national champion for five years. He still trains and competes in the United States.
On July 10, he saw one of his co-workers returning to the store after visiting a bank. Two men jumped out of an SUV and attacked him. Dissanyake sprang into action and expressed his displeasure at their behavior:
"The first guy I saw, I just kicked him in the face," he said. "Then I punched the other guy."
They were moves he learned from cage matches. Dissanyake has been involved with mixed martial arts for more than a decade. He says he was the national champion for five consecutive years in his native Sri Lanka.
"We learn how to punch, how to kick and all that stuff you can use in the streets," Dissanayake said.
In the video, you see the accused crooks begin their retreat and the get-away car getting further away. As they ran, Dissanayake threw a punch that knocked one of the guys to the ground. His friends and accomplices left him there.
"I just kicked him until he lays down on the floor," he said. "Until he stopped moving cause I wasn't sure if he had a knife or a gun so I wanted him to stop moving."
One of the two would-be robbers escaped. Police arrested the other one.
-via Dave Barry
The ad agency M+C Saatchi Malaysia designed these tea bags for the Boh tea brand. They're bags of chamomile tea with the tea shaped into symbols of stress. When you put the tea bag into hot water, the shape changes. An erupting volcano becomes a scenic mountain. An enraged wild bear becomes a happy teddy bear. A storm cloud becomes a puffy cloud.
The message of the new designs is that a nice cup of tea is just what you need to calm down from the stress that you face in your daily life.
The 1980s gave us some truly awesome movies, but you have to allow for their age. While the trope of hacking computers was quite useful to advance a plot, the depiction of how it’s done was woefully unrealistic. For those of us who actually used computers in the '80s, these scenes seemed ludicrous even when they were new. Yeah, the unrealistic speed was due to movie pacing, we got that, but other things made no sense. A security agency requires a login but no password. If you’re nerdy enough, you can draw a picture by typing. Transferring data means they have to show you that data onscreen as it loads. From our 21st-century vantage point, even the futuristic computers were lame: you have a 3D holographic display, but you can’t produce a decent human voice? This supercut is from the folks at Found Item Clothing, where you’ll find a list of the movies. -via Laughing Squid
About 1,000 deer live in the roughly 1,200 acres that constitute Nara Park in Nara, Japan. The deer are wild, but used to humans. In fact, they're known to bow respectfully to visitors and walk across crosswalks only when permitted.
But in a quiet show of force, many of them have left the park and begun camping out on a sidewalk and street in the town. Some are going so far as to lie down in the road and impede vehicular traffic.
The rising has begun. The Day of the Deer is at hand.