10 Things You Didn’t Know about The Conjuring

The 2013 horror film The Conjuring scared audiences enough to make back twice its production budget in its first weekend. It went on to be very profitable as well as frightening. If you enjoyed the movie, you'll want to read trivia from behind the scenes.

8. It was a work in progress for 20 years.

There was actually a bidding war for the movie that was between six different studios. Before and after that the fate of the film was stuck in limbo.

7. It had a different title to begin with.

Originally the title was The Warren Files before producers finally settled on the more well-known name.

There's a lot more to learn about The Conjuring in a list at TVOM.


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The United States of Movies

How do you select the most iconic movie for each state in the US? Some are pretty easy, because there aren't that many movies set in Rhode Island, Delaware, or West Virginia, so you go with what you have. Other movies were chosen because the locale is very much a part of the story, like how A River Runs Through It says a lot about Montana. That said, someone should really make a new movie about Georgia to replace Deliverance. Still, you could argue all day over what movie should represent California, New York, and Washington, DC, since there are so many to choose from. Entertainment Weekly did their best with this new map of the United States with an iconic movie representing each state. How did they do with your state?


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Dog Cries with Baby

This is the story of two who are so clueless that you have to laugh. Dog takes baby's cracker. Baby realizes cracker is gone. Baby cries. Dog cries in sympathy. The world makes no sense.

(YouTube link)

You have to admit, it's both cute and funny. -via Digg

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Keep It Cool

(Image credit: Leszek Kozlowski)

A brief history of humans trying to chill out by any means necessary.

Life in the past was all about blood, sweat, and tears. But mostly sweat. Before the invention of air conditioning, summers felt like one big Bikram yoga studio: hot, sticky, and uncomfortable.

Consider the summer of 1896. It was too infernal for New Yorkers to sleep in their apartments, so many spent their nights snoozing on rooftops and fire escapes- with restless sleepers rolling off the roofs and falling to their deaths (the heat wave’s death toll in New York: 1,500). In an attempt to keep people cool -and alive- an obscure police commissioner named Teddy Roosevelt organized police stations to give out free blocks of ice.

Until the 1920s, much of America shut down entirely when things got too hot, including government: The capital would close its doors. Broadway theaters also went dark, giving birth to summer stock productions held outdoors. Across the pond, to keep babies cool, London moms bought the “baby cage,” a little box they’d attach outside the window of their apartment, dangling babies stories above the pavement.

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Saviors Of The Galaxy - Tree Plus Raccoon Equals True Heroes


Saviors of the galaxy by rustenico 

Rocket and Groot are the two best friends the galaxy ever had, and they don't just battle baddies and make the universe a safer place to live- they look good while they beat down the bad guys! The only complaint Rocket has is this- he'd like people to stop calling him "cute". Handsome is fine, super tough and really cool is preferred, and he wouldn't mind if female raccoons called him sexy, but this cute thing has got to stop! Rocket is a furry ball of fiery destruction, a genius when it comes to creating weaponry, and he's never lost his head in a battle even when faced with impossible odds, does that all sound cute to you? The answer is NO people!

Show some love for the wildest guardians in the universe with this Saviors Of The Galaxy t-shirt by Rustenico, it's so cool looking people will think you're cool just for wearing it!

Visit rustenico's Facebook fan page, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more mighty awesome designs:

The Legend is back! I'm pickle rick! Don't Push This Button! Bad Memories

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Say "No" To Being A Bridesmaid

Sarah has been a bridesmaid five times, which is more than anyone should ever have to endure. This time, she's a guest! It's a liberating experience, as you can see in this video from comedy troupe Above Average. It contains NSFW language.

(YouTube link)

The things bridesmaids are expected to do these days is just plain crazy. The expenses are outrageous, the events are too numerous, the duties are onerous, and doing it more than once in a lifetime is just too much. The website for the wedding Sarah didn't attend (except for the reception) would easily be confused with real ones. -via Tastefully Offensive  


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The Atomic Bomb That Was Too Big To Use

On October 30, 1961, the Soviet Union tested the largest nuclear bomb ever made, the Tsar Bomba. It was deployed 13,000 feet above the Barents Sea north of the USSR. The energy it released was estimated to be equivalent to 57 megatons of TNT, and sent a shockwave around the world three times.      

In order to give the two planes a chance to survive – and this was calculated as no more than a 50% chance – Tsar Bomba was deployed by a giant parachute weighing nearly a tonne. The bomb would slowly drift down to a predetermined height – 13,000ft (3,940m) – and then detonate. By then, the two bombers would be nearly 50km (30 miles) away. It should be far enough away for them to survive.

Tsar Bomba detonated at 11:32, Moscow time. In a flash, the bomb created a fireball five miles wide. The fireball pulsed upwards from the force of its own shockwave. The flash could be seen from 1,000km (630 miles) away.

The bomb’s mushroom cloud soared to 64km (40 miles) high, with its cap spreading outwards until it stretched nearly 100km (63 miles) from end to end. It must have been, from a very far distance perhaps, an awe-inspiring sight.

But what was equally astonishing was that the original design was even bigger. The Tsar Bomba was scaled back from having a 100-megaton blast. That design was unworkable because it couldn't have been delivered to any target. As it was, Tsar Bomba turned its creator, Soviet physicist Andrei Sakharov, completely against nuclear weapons research and into an activist for peace and freedom. Read about Tsar Bomba and its effects at BBC Future.

(Image credit: User:Croquant with modifications by User:Hex)


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How Netflix's Daredevil Intro Was Filmed

The intro to the Marvel/Netflix series Daredevil is so bloody cool looking it's the perfect intro for such a great show, but the origin of the intro remains hidden due to licensing restrictions.

What the fine folks at Netflix don't want you to know, as pointed out by comic artist Dragonarte, is that DD was hangin' around with Batman and Spider-Man when the paint came pouring down.

They also don't want you to know that the trio moonlight as painters because their superhero gigs ain't payin' the bills...

-Via Geeks Are Sexy


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Five Tips from NASA for Photographing the Total Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21

Whether you are able to even see the total solar eclipse next week will be a matter of preparedness. Where are you going to go? How will you get there? Do you have your eclipse goggles yet? If you want to take pictures of the event, you'll need to prepare ahead of time for that, too. You won't have more than a couple of minutes to shoot during the totality. 

To take images as the Sun is being eclipsed, you’ll need to use a special solar filter to protect your camera, just as you’ll need a pair of eclipse glasses to protect your own eyes. However, at totality, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun, make sure to remove the filter so you can see the Sun’s outer atmosphere — the corona.

Having a few other pieces of equipment can also come in handy during the eclipse. Using a tripod can help you stabilize the camera and avoid taking blurry images during the low lighting. Additionally, using a delayed shutter release timer will allow you to snap shots without jiggling the camera.

Mara Johnson-Groh of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has some instructions for getting the best solar eclipse photos, but don't wait until the last minute to read them. -Thanks, WTM!


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Carrot Steals Diamond Ring

Okay, to be technical, the carrot found a lost diamond engagement ring in the garden, and decided to wear it. Mary Grams of Camrose, Alberta, lost it while working in her garden in 2004.

"We looked high and low on our hands and knees," she said. "We couldn't find it. I thought for sure either they rototilled it or something happened to it."

She has had the ring since 1951, a year before she married her husband, Norman. After it was lost she quickly replaced it.

"I didn't tell him, even, because I thought for sure he'd give me heck or something," she said.

In 2017, her daughter-in-law pulled up a carrot that was wearing the ring.



Read the story of the carrot and the ring at CBC News. -via Peter Lindelauf

PS: It's not the first time this has happened.


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Suspicious Minds: The Bizarre, 40-Year History of Elvis Presley Sightings

It was 40 years ago today that Elvis Presley passed away at the age of 42. At the time, people found the news hard to believe. Even after the funeral and all the tributes, some people still found it hard to believe that the superstar was gone. The number of disbelievers grew when reports started coming in from folks who swore that they'd seen Elvis alive and well. The first one was supposedly on the day he died.

On the afternoon of August 16, 1977, a man bearing a striking resemblance to Elvis is said to have purchased a one-way ticket from Memphis International Airport to Buenos Aires. He supposedly gave the name Jon Burrows, a pseudonym Elvis used when checking into hotels. Patrick Lacy, author of the book Elvis Decoded, claims to have debunked this popular and wholly unsubstantiated story by interviewing airport officials and determining that international flights weren’t available from Memphis in 1977. There’s also the question of why the most famous man on the planet would risk going into a public place in his hometown in order to book airfare for the purpose of faking his own death. Maybe Elvis figured his acting skills would help him avoid suspicion.

Even as the funeral proceeded, the medical examiner’s report was issued, and the stories of witnesses came out, fans preferred to think that Elvis faked his death, and looked for every possible clue that it was so. And for the next forty years, the stories and rumors proliferated. Read about Elvis sightings over the years at Mental Floss.


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The Origin Of Those Delicious, Gravity-Defying Piescrapers

Piescrapers are the perfect combination of food art and flavor fusion, and the recent wave of piescraper mania has been attributed to one woman- Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin, founder of Pies Are Awesome.

Jessica came up with the idea for her multi-layered pies after deciding to give up sugar for a year, her craving for desserts leading her to recipes for sugar free fruit pies and a dessert history lesson: 

"In Tudor times and Medieval times, pies used to be really complicated and tall. They were a central feature at all sorts of events," she explained excitedly. "I realized that now, pies just aren't treated the same way as other desserts in terms of pop culture representation and other interesting techniques. I wanted to see if I could do something about that."

The vertical element came into play when she began thinking about the wedding possibilities for these intricate pies.

"A lot of people really want pies at their weddings instead of cake, but they end up going with cakes anyway," she explained. "Because of the low profile of pies, they just don't look as great on the buffet table. So I started thinking, how can I build them up?"

But making a wedding cake-inspired tower of pies was easier said than done:

"It was pretty hilarious, actually," she admitted. "Finally, I hit upon a way to stabilize different tiers using techniques from paper sculpture, another hobby of mine. I realized how to double up certain layers of dough with egg in the middle, allowing me to push these experiments higher and higher."

(YouTube Link)

Read These Insane-Looking Vertical "Piescrapers" Might Be The New Wedding Cakes here

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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How to Peel a Banana

We got a lesson in how to peel a banana in the recent video on Victorian Banana Candy. But there are other methods you can try, as published in the Newton Record of Newton, Mississippi, on February 8, 1940. They might not work quite as well. This clipping was found at Yesterday's Print. -via Pallas Athena


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Animated Simulation Shows What The Eclipse Will Look Like In Your Zip Code

The total solar eclipse on August 21st is required viewing because there won't be another like it until 2024, but unless you live in a narrow strip of the United States it's only going to be visible as a partial eclipse.

The last time a total eclipse across the entire contiguous United States was back on June 8 1918, so it's not surprising that Americans are getting excited about seeing the eclipse in all its galactic glory.

If you're wondering what to expect then check out this animated simulation created by TIME, which allows you to enter your zip code and see how the eclipse will look in your neck of the woods.

-Via Boing Boing


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26 Wild West Facts

(YouTube link)

We love watching movies about the pioneers, gunslingers, and cowboys of the Wild West. The historical facts about the settlement of the American West was different from what the movies give us, but is just as interesting. John Green has a bunch of those details about the Wild West in the latest episode of the Mental Floss List Show.  


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The Menace - The Face Of Humanity's Dark Future


The menace by ddjvigo

In the past they were known as the destroyers, the devourers and the killers of hope, but now the Titans are simply known as "the menace" and like every other menace their reign of terror will soon be stopped in its tracks. Once it was discovered that the Corps had a boy who could transform into a Titan fighting on their side those giant goofy people eaters were no longer seen as an unstoppable force. And as the truth about the origin of the Titans comes to light it was discovered that there's hope for mankind after all...

Add some anime awesomeness to your geeky wardrobe with this The Menace t-shirt by Ddjvigo, it's the bold way to declare your love of Attack on Titan and it's sure to scare up smiles wherever you go!

Visit ddjvigo's NeatoShop for more mighty geeky designs:

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Illustrator Captures The Happiness Of Living Alone

I've lived with a roommate or significant other my entire adult life so I don't know what it's like to live alone, but according to these illustrations by L.A. based artist Yaoyao Ma Van As the single life can pretty sweet.

And even though the solitary life gets to be a bit lonely at times it seems the freedom, peace and quiet and ability to do things your own way more than make up for an occasional bout of loneliness.

So if you find yourself feeling blue about living alone take a gander at Yaoyao's drawings and remind yourself of all the great things the solitary life has to offer, like reading a book while you eat dinner. Sounds a lot better than awkward small talk about your day while sitting around the dining room table!

See more from Illustrator Perfectly Captures The Happiness Of Living Alone in 10+ Illustrations here


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5 Really Weird Ways That Actors Got Into Character

Top actors have a way of becoming their characters that allows us to forget they are movie stars for a little while. How they inhabit someone else's skin can be a real wonder, at least to those of us who will never have that skill. Each actor has their own way of preparing for a role, and sometimes they end up preparing in a way you'd never guess in a million years. Take, for instance, Tom Cruise in the 2004 film Collateral.

You might not remember this film but that’s okay because it really kind of flew under the radar for the most part. To prepare for the part of the unknown assassin though Tom Cruise actually delivered for the UPS for a short while to get the feel of being able to get into and get out of a place without being recognized. That was the whole point of the movie to be quite honest, to go unnoticed until it was too late.

Read about how four other stars got into character for a movie role at TVOM. 


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Kayaking Through An Abandoned Cargo Ship

Adventurous travelers often end up in really strange and interesting places, and travellers who roam the world with an explorer's mindset discover a different side of their destination typical tourists don't get to see.

If you travel like an explorer do the internet a favor by wearing a GoPro camera so you can share the sights with us all, like this guy did when he went kayaking through the abandoned MV E Evangelia cargo ship near Costinesti, Romania.

(YouTube Link)

-Via Laughing Squid


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Found: One Lost Drummer

The Scottish band Belle and Sebastian had a concert scheduled in St. Paul, Minnesota, last night. It almost didn't happen. They had performed in Missoula, Montana, on Sunday, and were traveling by bus. They stopped at a Walmart in Dickinson, North Dakota, Monday night to get some water, and their drummer Richard Colburn took the opportunity to use the restroom. The bus left, everyone went to sleep, and Colburn was left behind, without his phone.

In an radio interview Tuesday morning, singer Stuart Murdoch told the story.  

STUART MURDOCH: It's been a morning. It feels like a whole day that we've had already.

MARY: Just give us the little synopsis version of what went down.

STUART: Well, when I woke up a few hours ago, we realized we left our drummer in North Dakota.

MARY: Yeah, that happens.

STUART: What happens, or what?

MARY: That's just one way to get rid of a drummer, I'm thinking.

A flurry of phone calls Tuesday resulted in a volunteer fetching Colburn and delivering him to the Bismarck airport, and he made it to St. Paul in time for the show. -via Metafilter  

(Image credit: Karl af Geijerstam)


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The Best Movies Where Nazis Get Beat Up

Ever since the US entered World War II, many average Americans have longed to beat up Nazis and that dream is stronger right now than it has been for years. If you love the idea of punching a Nazi in the face, but don't want to do it yourself, then you might want to live vicariously through the movies. Over on Collider, you can see a list of the best movies where Nazis get beat up, ranging from the obvious -like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or Inglorious Basterds, to lesser know films -like Dead Snow and Green Room.

So don't miss the full list here.


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Alan Hale Jr. "the Skipper"

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

Alan Hale MacKahan was born on March 8, 1921 in Los Angeles, California. He was the son of two actors. Alan's father, Alan Hale, had been a legendary journeyman supporting actor in over 200 films, both silent and talkies. His mother, Gretchen Hartman, was also a screen actress. Under the name Grace Barrett, she was a silent film actress in the 1920s. Alan thus grew up around show business personalities (he was a classmate of Mickey Rooney and the two remained lifelong close friends).

Alan caught "the bug" early and started acting at the age of 10. Alan made his Broadway debut in Caught Wet in 1931 (the show ran for less than two months). He was to appear in five or six more plays in his checkered career, before devoting himself full-time to films and later, television. His film debut came in 1933 in Wild Boys of the Road, where he was billed, but was edited out of the film's final release.

After being educated and graduating from Blacke-Fox Military Academy, Alan soon began a steady career as the classic "working actor" in motion pictures. Alan appeared in scores of other films before world war ii, including Dive Bomber (1941) with Errol Flynn, Time Out for Rhythm (1941) with Rudy Vallee and The Shores of Tripoli (1942) with Harry Morgan.

It was probably during this period that Alan, to supplement his income, also found work as a vacuum cleaner salesman. While it is known that Alan did sell vacuums, no specific dates for this alternate employment are given.

In 1943, Alan married Bettina Doerr, who was to have four children with him- Brian, Chris, Lana and Dorian. Alan and Bettina were to be married for 20 years, until 1963. During World War II, Alan enlisted and served in the U.S. Coast Guard. After the war, in 1946, Alan signed a contract with Monogram Studios, Hollywood's "bargain basement" studio, where he proceeded to churn out dozens of films.

Continue reading

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Couch Monster

Check out this couch monster! Someone's playing with their dog under a blanket. But wait -that's not a dog! What kind of critter is this?

(YouTube link)

It's Loki, the red fox! He loves playing games with his humans. -via Tastefully Offensive

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

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The Marshmallow Experiment

This lecturer must have a PhD in "completely missing the point." She assumes that the only reason a child could resist a marshmallow is because they don't like marshmallows. It's an even greater leap away from logic to assume that the dislike of marshmallows has any link to superior intelligence. Or she's just into conspiracy theories.

The Stanford marshmallow experiment tested children's ability to delay gratification in exchange for a larger reward. Those who were able to control their temptation later had better SAT scores, educational achievement, and were healthier than those who succumbed to the lure of immediate gratification.

This is the latest comic from Zach Weinersmith at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.


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Why You Should Carry A Tennis Ball With You When You Fly

Have you ever wondered why some people carry a tennis ball with them when they fly?

If you already know the answer then you're probably one of the few who include a tennis ball in their carry-on luggage, but for those of you who were like me and had no clue here's why:

Ali Gjoz, a surgeon from the London Orthopaedic Clinic shared a few tips with the Daily Star. "Taking a tennis ball or a massager on the plane will help increase circulation," he says. Roll it over your shoulders, lower back, legs, and the bottoms of your feet to help get your blood flowing again.

...Gjoz suggest massaging your legs, starting with the ankles and moving up, to help get the blood moving back toward your heart.

Christine from Goodfullness elaborated on Dr. Gjoz's advice with these tips:

Your ankles can benefit greatly from a few simple tennis ball based exercises. Place the tennis ball beneath your foot and flex the ankle while the ball is rolled back and forth. Once you held each position for a few moments, it is time to switch to the other foot. While you can perform this exercise with your shoes on, you can also ask your flight neighbors if it is all right for you to remove them to get the full effect.

Struggling with poor circulation in your wrists? To get the blood flowing through your fingers and hands, you can grip a tennis ball and apply light pressure. By bending the wrist outwards and inwards, you can ensure a greater level of comfort. While you are seated on the plane, using a tennis ball to increase the circulation in your thighs is also important.

All it takes are a few rolls of the ball in a vertical motion, from the knee and upwards to the thigh. For added relief, repeat the motion on the entirety of the thigh as you continue to apply added pressure. For your legs and calves? Use the same technique as you would for the thigh rolls and apply a gentle amount of pressure to any areas that are in need of some extra attention.

If you would like to remedy any aches and pains in your back and shoulders, find the pain points and knots and roll the tennis ball over them. For a more advanced level of assistance, the ball can be placed between the seat and your back. Just be careful not to hunch over during the process or you will end up exacerbating the problem even further.

-Via Travel + Leisure and Goodfullness


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An Honest Trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy 2

A movie that's barely off theater screens gets the Honest Trailer treatment. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 never quite lived up to the original, but we rarely expect a sequel to recreate the magic of the first movie. We keep hoping, though. Oh, yeah, this contains spoilers.

(YouTube link)

Oh yeah, there's plenty of action, and comedy, or at least an attempt at comedy. And plenty of hints at what will be in stores in the Christmas toy aisles, despite the fact that the movie was totally inappropriate for children. 


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Stranger Major League - Hawkins' Heaviest Hitters


Stranger Major League by Mr.Jungle

It helps to have a team behind you when you're battling those evil sluggers from the Upside Down, so Eleven gathered up her buddies and formed the Stranger Major League, home of the Hawkins High Rollers. But even with a team beside her young El had a hard time striking out the mighty Demogorgon because it swatted down every thing she threw at it- so she decided to try for a double play. El hit the Upside Down's biggest power hitter with a psychic blast right before she let the ball go, and as the ball went sailing by the Beast of Baseball the High Rollers realized they stood a chance against the interdimensional champs after all...

Add a fashion home run to your geeky wardrobe with this Stranger Major League t-shirt by Mr. Jungle, it's a real knockout!

Visit Mr.Jungle's NeatoShop for more mighty geeky designs:

Viva la Teletransportación Gas Wookiee Kung Fury Park Sound of Heroes

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The Bloody San Antonio Origins of Chili Con Carne

An article earlier this summer hinted that the defining factor in the development of Texas chili is chili powder, but the ingredient that makes chili a Tex-Mex dish is cumin, a spice imported from the Old World. Chili con carne is the crowning achievement of San Antonio cuisine. Most historians date its origin to 1880, with the rise of the "chili queens" that sold the dish to the public in outdoor stands. But that date is an function of the name chili con carne existing in published sources. A stew of meat and chili peppers had been around long before that. So how do you define chili con carne in order to find its origin? An article at Texas Monthly gives some of the conflicting origin stories, including one that goes back as far as an uprising in 1813. It was another in the long line of wars fought over Texas.

Most of that, save for the two post-San Jacinto Mexican incursions, is well known. Far fewer people remember the troubles of 1811 and 1813, even though the latter of those conflicts featured the bloodiest battle ever fought on Texas soil, and, according to San Antonio tradition, produced the first Chili Queen.  

Were it not for the fact that the (partially) American side lost in ignominious fashion, movies would have been made about the Gutierrez-Magee Expedition of 1812 to 1813.

Encouraged by the near-success of the 1811 Casas Revolt in San Antonio, and with covert support from Washington, D.C., Spanish Texan revolutionaries traveled to Louisiana and enlisted Anglo and Louisiana Creole soldiers of fortune in a joint “Republican Army of the North” to sever Texas from Madrid for good. (The Spanish and Anglo contingents had different plans—the former wanted Texas as part of a free Mexico, while the latter preferred annexation to the U.S., or perhaps an independent republic as envisioned by Aaron Burr. It seems both sides agreed to set that matter aside until they had seized Texas.)

And from there is born a love story, when a wealthy young Louisiana Creole fell for a teenager from a prominent San Antonio family. Read that story and how Jesusita de la Torre became the first of the "chili queens" at Texas Monthly. -Thanks, Tim!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Muscle Up

Take a trip through Muscle Beach at sunrise with the world's smallest drone. Robert McIntosh brings us an amazing continuous shot that draws you in as it zooms out.

(vimeo link)

While watching this, I bet you started to wonder how he did this. It becomes clear when you watch the raw video that was taken that morning.

(vimeo link)

That was before it was reversed and stabilized with ReelSteady for Adobe After Effects. But in some ways, the raw video is more impressive. I especially liked the part where the drone approached Jim Morrison. -via reddit


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Breathtaking Self Portraits By Croatian Photographer Isabella Bubola

Portaiture is an art form that seems like it would have its limitations- a limited number of poses and facial expressions, a finite number of filters that don't make the flesh look funky, and few original tales to tell with a portrait.

But Croatian photographer Isabella Bubola's self-portraits prove portraiture is forever, with an infinite number of ways for a photographer to tell a new tale, as she shares a unique view of her world so we can see her in her raw form.

Isabella's hauntingly beautiful self-portraits allow us to get close enough to see the sweat on her brow and the flakes on her dry lips, but the veil of mystery that surrounds her keeps us from hearing her scream.

See more self-portraits from Isabella Bubola at JazJaz


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