Nine Mysterious Death Cases Solved More Than a Century Later

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If ghosts existed, particularly angry spirits embittered about the unfair ways their lives ended, I imagine they'd be huge fans of forensic science. It's easy to picture ghostly victims of murder and injustice cheering for such scientists in the process of obtaining revelatory findings as if watching a playoff game on which they had bet a large sum. 

One such historical mysterious death surrounds 17 skeletons at the bottom of an old well. The remains were discovered in 2004, when an area in Norwich, England was excavated in preparation for building a shopping center.

The skeletons were initially thought to be plague victims, yet carbon dating of the remains placed them between the 12th and 13th centuries, before the time of the plague in England.

Analysis by DNA expert Dr. Ian Barnes revealed a DNA sequence in five of the skeletons that traced them to a single family of Jewish descent. While exact circumstances surrounding the deaths are impossible to learn so long after the fact, experts who worked the case believe the deaths were linked to religious persecution. They are thought to be the result of either mass execution or mass suicide, as the possibilities of natural deaths were scientifically discounted. The remains were eventually laid to rest in a Jewish cemetery.

Read about eight other cases of mysterious deaths of old that have been clarified thanks to modern forensic testing here. 


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Gorgeous Images from The Art of Home


The new Dreamworks animated feature film Home will hit theaters on March 27. Based on the acclaimed children’s book The True Meaning of Smedkay by Adam Rex, it involves the collision of two worlds: the everyday life of a young girl named Tip (voiced by Rihanna) and the fish-out-of-water extraterrestrial called Oh (Jim Parsons). In their adventures together they travel the Earth and beyond.

The book The Art of Home by Ramin Zahed gives us a glimpse into the process of creating the beautiful scenes, characters, and action we’ll see in the film.

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See more featured images over at Spotlight

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In Japan, Robot Dogs Get Funerals

(Photo: AFP)

AIBOs are robotic dogs with artificial intelligence. They're capable of developing unique personalities. So some owners in Japan think of them as pets, just like dogs. Sony manufactured them from 1999 through 2006 and offered service assistance through 2014. Then, the company decided to discontinue technical support. When an AIBO broke down, the owner would be on his own.

Some AIBOs, sadly, are beyond repair by independent technicians. Their bodies are stripped for parts, then given a proper funeral at a Buddhist temple east of Tokyo. The AFP reports:

The only source of genuine parts are "dead" robots, who become donors for organ transplantation, but only once the proper respects have been paid.

Bungen Oi, a priest at the 450-year-old Kofukuji temple in Isumi, east of Tokyo, says the AIBO service last month was an occasion on which the robots' souls could pass from their bodies.

"I was thrilled over the interesting mismatch of giving cutting-edge technology a memorial service in a very conventional manner," he said.

It is a mismatch that humans will probably become more used to over the coming years and decades, as robots with "personalities" become ever more part of our lives.

-via Marginal Revolution


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That's One Adorably Scary Cake

Freddy Cuteger is equal parts scary and adorable in this amazing cake by the Black Cherry Cake Company. This creepy cutie was created as the company's submission in a movie-themed cake competition. I don't know if he won or not, but he certainly should have and if he didn't, those judges better drink a little coffee because I hear Freddy has been known to visit people in their dreams and mark his territory all over their dream destination.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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This Is How You Eat a Cheeseburger in Space

In 1985, Rodolfo Neri Vela, a Mexican scientist, served on a mission of the space shuttle Discovery. He brought tortillas. These proved to be an incredibly practical food in zero gravity. NASA astronauts have been using them ever since when attempting to make sandwiches.

That doesn't mean the results are always pretty. Pictured above is a cheeseburger made by astronaut Terry W. Virts, who is currently on board the International Space Station. The burger consists of broken up beef patty, cheese paste, tomato paste, and Russian mustard on a tortilla. He describes it as "VERY TASTY!"

-via First We Feast

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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43 Words Invented by Authors

(YouTube link)

Sometimes when you’re reading a book, you run across a word you’ve never heard before, but you can usually figure out what it means by its context. I learned many words that way, and I was sometimes wrong. I should have looked them up, but who wants to break the spell of a good book? Some of those words were just made up by the writer. John Green runs down a whole bunch of examples in this latest video from mental_floss.


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KFC's Next Culinary Stunt: Edible Coffee Cups



KFC (and much of its fast food competition) is no stranger to gimmicks. Before the publicity on the infamous Double Down is even dead, it seems their team in charge of special promotions has revealed the latest odd offering designed to reel them in: edible coffee cups. The product, which they've dubbed the "Scoffee Cup," is designed to coincide with the launch of Seattle's Best coffee in KFC's stores across the United Kingdom. 

The Scoffee Cup is a cup-shaped cookie coated in white chocolate and sugar. In a corporate explanation that makes my mind scream "What Could Go Wrong!?" the cups are designed to "slowly" soften after the coffee is poured inside them. But perhaps the strangest thing about this new offering is the fact that it's scented with various fragrances, including coconut suntan lotion, freshly cut grass and wild flowers, scents that a representative of the designer told Grub Street,

"[The smells] have a natural ability to evoke the positive memories we associate with warm weather, sunshine and summer holidays. Things that make everyone smile."

Read more about KFC's Scoffee Cups here. 

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Helpful Dog Shovels Snow

Elsa, a yellow Labrador Retriever, is ready for hockey! She walked to the rink in her backyard in Guelph, Ontario, picked up a snow shovel in her mouth, and went to work.


(Video Link)

-via Huffington Post

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

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15 Designs for a New London Bridge Look Straight Out of a Sci-Fi Movie!

London needs a new bridge to span the River Thames, so the call is out to architecture and design firms from around the world to submit their greatest (and most outlandish) ideas for the bridge.

And submit they did to the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge Competition! So far, 74 design firms have submitted their designs, which you can view over at the NEP Bridge Competition's website.

The designs range from sublime arch bridges to outrageous curved bridges that look straight out of sci-fi movies! Here are some of our favorites:

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I'll Be Back - You Can't Keep A Good Boss Monster Down


I'll Be Back by Adam Works

Bowser is used to being defeated and meeting a grisly end at the hand of one of those meddling Mushroom Kingdom defenders, but theres one thing you can count on when it comes to Bowser- he'll be back. He's a lot like a terminator android that way, although he's seemingly easier to kill, and when Bowser sinks below the surface of the lava he knows that his pixels will soon reform into his brutish shell-backed shape and the whole boss battle scenario will begin all over again...

Become the big boss of geek fashion with this I'll Be Back t-shirt by Adam Works, it's red hot and totally cool!

Visit Adam Works's Facebook fan page, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

Hoenn Map The Amazing Smuggler #129 The Legend VII Awake

View more designs by Adam Works | More Video Game 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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Richard Pryor's Short Lived Saturday Morning TV Show

Richard Pryor seems like an unlikely candidate to head a kid’s TV show, but back in the mid-80s Pryor actually made a brief appearance on CBS’s epic Saturday Morning lineup.

Pryor's Place was created by Sid and Marty Krofft and ran for thirteen episodes back in 1984, at a time when Pryor was busy becoming more kid friendly with lead roles in Superman III and The Toy.

Pryor’s Place featured puppets, singing, dancing and comedy sketches, with appearances by classic Pryor characters like the wise wino Mudbone, toned down for younger viewers.

(YouTube Link)

It's not as entertaining as The Richard Pryor Show, but fans of classic children's TV and all things 80s will definitely get a kick out of this vintage oddity.

-Via Dangerous Minds


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Student Says He Won't Go to Class Unless the College President Shovels His Driveway. Guess Who Showed up?

(Photo: Michael Benson)

Devan Dannelly is a student at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. It's cold. There's snow everywhere. So he was in no mood to struggle through the rough winter conditions to get to class. He tweeted accordingly:

Dr. Michael Benson, the president of the university, accepted the challenge:

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If Ken Burns Tackled Boston’s Snowpocalypse

(YouTube link)

Ken Burns’ documentary series The Civil War (as well as his other documentaries) had a certain style that brought out the despair and melancholy of the people who lived through it, emphasized by the sad fiddle music. YouTube member SafetyWhales took the same approach to documenting Boston’s current winter, using Facebook posts by real people who live there. Harry Apinwall, the one who described the apocalypse, provided the perfect finale. -Thanks, Linda Shaw!


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The Great Geeky Rings of Paul Michael Design

It takes a special kind of lady to want a Stargate, Star Wars, World of Warcraft or Doctor Who engagement or wedding ring, but when you find that girl, you'd better hurry up and put a ring on it. As for where to get a ring featuring such symbolism, that's easy -just head over to Paul Michael's Etsy shop where you can buy all kinds of great geek jewelry or even commission the skilled jewelry artist to make you a special geek design for your sweetie.

We've featured plenty of Paul's designs before, but with so many great designs available from the artist, I thought it might just be time to revisit some of his work.

Via Geek Girls


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Customer Service Complaint, 1750 B.C.

(Photo: unknown)

Please remain on the line. You clay tablet is very important to us. Tablets will be answered in the order in which they were received.

The British Museum owns a baked clay tablet from the Mesopotamian city of Ur. It is a complaint about a delivery of copper. The response time may be a bit long.

-via Joe Stump

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Your Favorite Superheroes Have Ridiculous Super Powers

Fans of superhero comics know that a suspension of disbelief is required for an enjoyable read, and if you can’t suspend your disbelief then you probably shouldn't be reading comics in the first place.

However, there are some superheroes out there who make suspension of disbelief mighty hard to manage, because their super powers are utterly ridiculous!

Dorkly drawer JHALL is calling out our favorite super folks for having ridiculously overblown super powers, saying what we've been thinking all along- that's a mighty convenient power you have there!

Read the rest of The Ridiculous Super Powers Of Your Favorite Comic Book Heroes here


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YouTube 10th Anniversary Supercut

(YouTube link)

If you liked the 16-minute tribute to YouTube on its 10th anniversary, you’ll like this one better. If you didn’t like the earlier video, you’ll probably like this one. It’s got clips from 198 different viral videos crammed into only three minutes! And best of all, it was edited by Luc Bergeron, known as Zapatou (previously), a master at sorting, categorizing, and editing clips into a work of art. -via Tastefully Offensive


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Pecan Pie Egg Rolls Sound Like Heaven

Pecan pie is always a great treat, but those who truly adore the treat know that the best filling in the world still needs a light, flaky filling to really make the most of the dessert. If you've been having issues nailing the right crust, then maybe you should start thinking outside the pie -that is, consider trying an egg roll wrapper instead. It might sound crazy if you're used to traditional egg rolls that are filled with soy sauce, meat and cabbage, but if you've ever had sweet cream cheese won tons then you know the light dough can be a perfect balance of flaky and crunchy.

Want to try it yourself? Then head over to Capturing Joy for the recipe.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Lucky Fisherman Catches Monster Catfish

(Photo: Sportex Italia)

Dino and Dario Ferrari caught this 9-foot long, 280 pound catfish in the Po River in northern Italy. It’s a Wels catfish (Silurus glanis). After a fierce, 40-minute battle, the twin brothers reeled in a creature that is being called the “monster of the Po.”

It’s time for a huge serving of fried catfish!

Or perhaps not. After measuring and photographing the fish, which is probably about 30 years old, they let it back into the water. You can see more of those pictures at the Daily Telegraph.


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Freeze-Fall: A Collection of Frozen Waterfall Photographs

Eidfjord, Norway | Source: christianpondella.com

These breathtaking photographs of frozen waterfalls from all over the world make up a collection that is worth the short time it takes for readers to peruse it. When such powerful forces of nature — flowing water and freezing temperatures — meet, it makes for some awesome sights (and treacherous exploring). 

See the entire collection, as well as brief descriptions of each location, in this article.


Starved Rock State Park, La Salle, Illinois | Image: Todd Rybaum / flickr.com

Louise Falls, Alberta, Canada | Source: flickr.com


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Funky Flights- The Barrel Roll Experts


Funky Flights by Coinbox Tees

If you're looking for a swingin' vacation that's more fun than a barrel of monkeys then head over to Funky Flights, your ticket to jungle adventure. With Funky piloting his unique Jumbo Barrel flying machine you'll arrive at your destination quickly and relatively unscathed, provided you cough up enough bananas to pay for the trip, and if you pay with a golden banana your round trip flight is free! Whether you're heading deep into Kong country, or looking to spend some time on a nearby island, Funky will launch you there in style. So don't try to get there by donkey- hire Funky Flight and fly there in style.

Gamers are sure to go ape for this Funky Flights t-shirt by Coinbox Tees, it's Cranky tested and Diddy approved!

Visit Coinbox Tees's Facebook fan page, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to their NeatoShop for more high flying designs:

Ridley Busters Skyward Infinite Robotnik's Electronics Majora's Door

View more designs b Coinbox Tees | 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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Harry Potter Chapter 1 Prom Dress

Etsy seller RoobyLane calls it a prom dress, but it would be perfect for everyday wear, too! Just expect that when you wear it, people will be able to read you like a book. It contains the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which is the first book in the Harry Potter series.

With a sufficiently elaborate dress—say, one with a massive hoopskirt—she could reproduce the entire novel.

-via Fashionably Geek


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Hard-hitting Drinks

(YouTube link)

What kind of drinking game requires putting on a helmet? You’ll quickly find out. From the video description:

In a bar in Russia, one man chose to drink a special cocktail, shot the soldier. Before starting this challenge, it must put a military helmet on his head. The servers will launch the starting signal with a whistle, and then hit the glasses of alcohol on the customer's helmet, he must then drink dry-ass. Meanwhile, another server will give him a shovel or fire extinguisher on the helmet to each end of sips. The customer will then drinking alcohol 4 shooters before the big final, a good shot of beer barrel on the helmet. An effective technique!

As they say, in Mother Russia, keg taps you! By the time it's all over, he doesn't feel a thing. Until the next morning, when he has to deal with both concussion and a hangover. -via reddit


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The Most Sinister Baby Laugh You'll Hear Today

Bwahahahahaha! This baby will make a great supervillain when he grows up. Just watch as he unleashes the most sinister laugh you'll hear today.

The video of the unnamed laughing (Russian?) baby, titled "The most sarcastic baby in the world!" by YouTube user moonez has gone viral and racked up over a million hits since it was uploaded just a couple of days ago.

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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The Worst Real Estate Photos of All Time

We've all heard the term "fixer upper," but this Oddee article with 13 horrible real estate photos really tests the limits of the phrase. I mean, it's one thing to have to remove popcorn ceilings and do a little roof work, but when you're actually growing a garden in your living room...you might be better off condeming the whole house.

Of course, sometimes you might be better off stripping down the house before selling it if the previous owners rennovated it to look absolutely horrible -say, by installing a swastica in the shower, for example.


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A Dream Come True

Yesterday, the New York Times published an article that reviewed the new and improved restrooms at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. That’s only interesting if you live in New York City, but toward the bottom of the article, we learn that someone has fulfilled her lifelong aspirations.

A second person who checked out the women’s restroom — and who asked not to be identified because she has always wanted to be an anonymous source — reported her findings by email: “Black shiny granite-y sink. Arched faucets by Sloan. Tasteful slate gray and powder gray tiles.”

If you know who she is, please don’t tell anyone. We don’t want to crush the dream.


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A Tiny Glimpse into Micro Living, Courtesy of Portlandia

YouTube Link

It's been a growing trend over the past five years or so: living "small." Clutter-free. Tiny houses in which everything is compact and/or capable of being folded and hidden away. It looks so cute and delightfully sparse in the design layouts, but what would day-to-day life in such a structure be like? Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein give us a sneak peek at micro living, from an upcoming Portlandia episode that airs on IFC this Thursday. -Via Gizmodo


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Tiny Pony Gets a Periscope to Help Him See out of His Stall

(Photos: Manchester Evening News)

Pedro is a Shetland Pony that lives at the Ebony Horse Club in London. He lives in a stall with a normal-sized stall door. He has to stretch high up to just barely look over the edge at the world outside. So members of the club commissioned a periscope that lets Pedro see at his own height. They call it the Pedroscope.

Print and Cut, a fabrication shop, designed and built the Pedroscope based on a sketch sent in by the club. The Manchester Evening News reports:

Andy Morris, owner of Print and Cut, said: “We got an email from the Ebony Horse Club who were asking for our help, it was so nice, and a little bit funny, that we decided to give it a go."

And being experts in 3D printing, workers at the Stockport company knew a small and relatively easy gesture would mean the world to Pedro.

Andy, 38, said: “The sketch was sent to us and then I turned it into a 3D sketch with some software, and then it was sent to be made. It was all quite easy, and we did it for free to help Pedro.

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Baby Born with Intact Amniotic Sac

First off, little Silas Philips is fine. He was delivered by Cesarian section three months early at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, still shrouded in his sac of amniotic fluid. Neonatologist William Binder snapped a picture of the unusual sight with his cellphone, then opened the sac so the baby could begin breathing.

The photograph shows the baby just seconds old. Until the bag was broken, the baby was still getting oxygen through the placenta.

“It felt like slow-motion but really realistically probably about 10 seconds that we had to sort of quickly pause and be able to do this, because at the same time, we want to get the baby out of that sac, start helping the baby to begin breathing,” the doctor said.

The photo is a rare opportunity to see what a six-month pregnancy really looks like. And from the baby’s point of view, the trauma of birth didn’t happen until he was outside his mother. Despite his prematurity, Silas is doing well at ten weeks old and is expected to go home within a month. See a video report at CBS Los Angeles. -via Buzzfeed

PS: I found out some other interesting things about Dr. Binder.

(Image credit: Dr. William Binder)

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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13 More Fantastic And Fun Star Wars Goodies For Your Home

It was over a year ago when Alex introduced us to 20 amazing pieces of Star Wars furniture over on Homes and Hues. It remains the most popular article of all time on the site. We thought it was time to revisit the topic and have rounded up 13 more fun Star Wars goodies you can add to your home. 

From lights to kitchen accessories (like the coffee maker above), there's enough Star Wars goodies out there to bring a little bit of a galaxy far away into every room of your home. Best of all, some of the items are even DIY projects, so you don't have to spend a fortune to make your home delightfully nerdy.

So if you love Star Wars and just can't get enough Darth, Han, Leia and the rest in your home, then head over to Homes and Hues today: 13 More Marvelous Star Wars Home Goods


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