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## The Avengers Do Black Friday

Now that our long weekend nightmare is over, we can look back and see how The Avengers dealt with getting their Christmas shopping done during Black Friday. Do you think they harnessed that power to score that 72" TV? Or maybe it was such a disaster that next year they'll remember not to include a superhero whose powers are activated by anger! From artist sairobee. -voa Geeks Are Sexy

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New T-Shirts from the NeatoShop:

## It's Bedtime

I know that I've got to get up at 5:30 AM. But I don't want to go to sleep yet! Surely there must be some meaning that I can extract from this day. Chris Hallbeck's Maximumble takes us through the typical adult bedtime routine.

-via Pleated Jeans

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## How To Toothpaste

The delightful math artist Vi Hart gives us a simple tip about efficiently using toothpaste. But that only takes a minute; about 45 seconds, actually. She still had a lot of time left for a standard internet video -and a lot of toothpaste, we can assume. So the video veers into art, then even into existential weirdness that no one was expecting. Some of the thinking behind it is explained at her site. Bonus: unlike most of her videos, we get to see Hart in this one. But we don't get to see her cleaning it all up. -via Metafilter

See lots more videos from Vi Hart at Neatorama.

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## Chain Sudoku

W00t! Our weekly collaboration with Conceptis Puzzles is back with the neat game of Chain Sudoku, where you get to fill empty circles so each number appears exactly once in a row, column and chain.

Each puzzle consists of a group of circles arranged in a square grid and containing given clues in various places. The object is to fill all empty circles so that the numbers 1 to 5 for 5x5 puzzles and 1 to 6 for 6x6 puzzles appear exactly once in each row, column and chain. There is only one unique solution for each puzzle.

Game Instructions: Click mouse on the desired circle to open dial pad and then click on the desired number. To remove a number, repeat the above using X at the bottom of the dial pad. Numbers can also be placed by pointing mouse on the desired circle and then typing with the keyboard.

So go ahead and check it out! Then visit Conceptis Puzzles for more neat puzzles.

Love games and puzzles? Visit NeatoPuzzles for more!

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## The Swimming Pigs of the Bahamas

Big Major Cay is an uninhabited island in the Bahamas that is home to a colony of feral pigs. No one knows for sure how they came to be on the island, but there are several possible theories. The pigs may be feral, but they aren't exactly wild. They love tourists, because tourists bring good things to eat!

Yet these pigs are clever. They have calculated which time the boats are most likely to arrive at the island and await them patiently on the beach each day.  After all, they can always catch a few rays while they are waiting.

Read more about the Bahamian pigs and see plenty of pictures at Ark in Space. -via the Presurfer

(Image credit: Flickr user Christopher Dorobek)

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

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## Pug Puppy Version Of Home Alone

When a poor little pug named Kevin is left home alone while his posh puggy parents take a trip to Paris, he’s forced to deal with some nefarious teddy bear bandits on his own, and an adorable movie reboot is born.

Home Alone (Pug Puppy Version) is just what you’d expect from a short film starring pugs- it’s adorable, with very little actual animal acting but lots of squee worthy moments as little Kevin tries to figure out what the heck is going on. No pugs were harmed during the making of this silly short, but the teddy bears may have ended up a bit frayed in the end.

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

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Let's cook. No, not meth. Just gingerbread, but then let's go ahead and frost it and cover it with blue rock candy so it looks like it has two drug dealers and their product.

Walt and Jesse look pretty adorable in this ginerbread house by Sugar Plum Cake Shop, but I love the DEA snowman the most (and the cotton candy fumes from the motorhome). He's so adorably unthreatening. While this cake was almost certainly made to be a promotion for the company, there's nothing wrong with that when it's this delightfully sweet.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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## Eagles Steals Camera

Hello hello! Is this thing on?

The motion-sensor camera trap was set up in May to catch freshwater crocodiles in Western Australia's Kimberley National Parks. It disappeared soon afterward. Was it stolen or eaten? Months later, someone found it seventy miles away from its original location! The camera was returned to the park rangers with its memory intact. The recorded images tell the story of what happened.

The sea eagle was probably disappointed that he couldn't crack open his found treasure and eat it, so he did what most people would do -he took a selfie.

Rangers say that after this incident, they will bolt their camera traps down. -via Tastefully Offensive

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

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## Elf on the Shelf Musical Elf Village

Elf on the Shelf Musical Elf Village

Celebrate the holidays and your love for the little elf sent from the North Pole to keep watch over your children's behavior with the Elf on the Shelf Musical Elf Village from the NeatoShop. This beautiful music box features a tiny village full of creepy adorable little elves moving to and fro through a picturesque snow covered street. The box plays the Elf on the Shelf theme song.

Naughty children beware. There are lots of little elves watching you from over there.

Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Christmas items.

## 11 Great Pieces of Exosquad Fan Art

Exosquad was an American cartoon that aired from 1993-1995. It was a magnificent story of war, suffering, courage, treachery, love and loss. It was a very toyetic show made in a traditionally children's medium, yet it was an adult story.

Exosquad was a serial (a novel storytelling format at the time) that told the tale of a second-class species oppressed by humans that rose up in rebellion and then conquest. It was not always clear who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. There were often complex moral ambiguities that were not easy to unravel. Sometimes there was justice. Usually there was pain.

The show lasted only 52 episodes before being cancelled. Sadly, some things are too beautiful to survive in this fallen world and Exosquad was among them. But fans remember the show and have created impressive works of art inspired by it.

Former teen actor Robby Benson voiced Lt. J.T. Marsh, one of the human officers and major characters on the show. Mike Henry sketched this image of the great soldier who really just wanted to be a pilot.

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## Star Wars on Instagram

Star Wars now has an Instagram account. It just launched Monday and already has 50,000 followers -but only three pictures! The first is a selfie, of course, by the most popular character in the franchise, despite the fact that he has no redeeming qualities. Or maybe it's because he has no redeeming qualities. There will no doubt be many pictures to come at the Star Wars Instagram. -via Laughing Squid

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## A Spray On Fabric In A Can

Imagine you head out into the world only to discover, to your horror and everyone else’s amusement, that you aren’t wearing any clothes. You could turn beet red and hide in a closet somewhere until you can fashion a makeshift wardrobe out of rags and paper clips, or you can bust out a can of Fabrican and spray on some self respect.

Created by Spanish fashion designer Manel Torres, Fabrican is a sprayable wearable fabric inspired by Silly String, but instead of destroying your clothing it creates a layer of fibers that winds up looking like a less racy form of body painting. Here’s how it works:

The science of the process involves the creation of a liquid suspension which is then applied using a spray gun or aerosol canister. The resulting sprayed fabric has natural, synthetic and recycled fiber options, and when applied typically feels like a breathable suede.

The fabric can be embedded with a variety of supplements and additives which make separate colors, patterns and   (which also opens up the possibilities of quick-creating medical applications such as casts, bandages and even antiseptic-wound cleansing).

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## All I Want For Christmas

Metafilter has a roundup of hockey players doing videos of Christmas songs, most of them lip-synched to someone else's music, performed by quite a few players who'd obviously rather be doing something else. Then in the comments we learn about the Chicago Gay Hockey Association's Christmas greeting, featuring hockey players actually singing a cover of Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas is You." Some of the players sing pretty well, while others don't, but that's not the point. They all have a great time showing you how much fun a Christmas song can be. The message is:

We want you to put aside your differences.

And to spend some time getting closer to your family and friends.

If you take a step back and look, you may surprise yourself with how much you have in common with people.

The person next to you on the train could become your best friend.

After all, aren’t we all just looking for love?

Don’t forget to laugh a little.

And sing a little.

And remember to have fun!

Happy Holidays y’all!

Oh, and don't miss the kick line at 3:30. -via Metafilter

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## The Best 6-Second Vine Cartoons

When you use the Vine app, you've got only 6 seconds to get your message across. But you can do a lot in six seconds. If you've watched a lot of Bugs Bunny cartoons, this one made by HunterVine is immediately recognizable.

It's one of 8 submitted to Mashable as part of a challenge to show a cartoon in 6 seconds. You can see the rest here.

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## Santa the Hutt

The Betabrand store in San Francisco put this display of a morbidly obese Santa Claus in the store as a photo opportunity for shoppers. It was designed by sculptor Cianna Valley.

Fun facts about Santa The Hutt:

--Now requires 24 reindeer to pull his sleigh.

--Sweats eggnog.

--Crushed three elves to death yesterday.

--Doesn't care if you're naughty or nice; just wants to know if you'll run across the street and get him cigarettes and a sack of chimichangas.

That's what happens when you sample cookies and milk (and other treats) from the homes of millions f loyal children. I'm sure that spiked egg nog didn't help, either. So far, a thousand people have taken a picture with Santa the Hutt during his first week on display.

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## An Engineer's Emergency Business Card

It’s more than a clever business card—it’s a survival kit! The beef jerky business card may feed you, but it won’t solve basic electronic problems. Saar Drimer’s hand-soldered card has essential electronic components built right in: two resistors, an LED, an NPN MOSFET and a capacitor.

They form a complete circuit, so when you add some juice, Mr. Drimer’s portrait lights up. You can find design specs here if you want to make your own. Just be careful about giving them out—each one is hand-made.

-via Hack A Day

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## Dog in a Snow Maze

I've trained rats to find their way through a maze to get to food, but can you train a dog to negotiate a maze to find his beloved master? Andrew Himelson and his family plowed a maze through the deep snow in their yard to find out. Geno is a clever dog and promptly achieved his goal by cheating. In later sessions, he's learned the maze, and seems to understand the game, but is still not above cheating when the situation calls for it. That's a good dog. -via Viral Viral Videos

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

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## The Empress Jasmine and Her Attendants

Be sure to check out a larger version of this excellent piece of Disney princess fan art here or detailed images here.

Laetitia, an artist in Paris (bien sûr), re-imagined this image of the French Empress Eugénie painted by the great academic painter Franz Xaver Winterhalter. Here, the appropriately royal Jasmine from Aladdin plays the role of the last imperial consort of France.

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## Han Solo's DL-44 Blaster For Sale

The handgun used by Harrison Ford in the films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi is up for auction online. From the auction page:

This non-firing blaster was created for The Empire Strikes Back and was also used in Return of the Jedi. It would have been used in the majority of scenes that feature Han, with the heavier, live-fire weapon being used for close-up shots. Particularly noteworthy scenes requiring this lighter version are when Darth Vader uses the Force to lasso the blaster out of Han’s hand in Empire, and in Jedi when Han wrestles with a Stormtrooper to regain possession of his blaster during the Rebels’ encounter with Imperial forces on Endor. Based on the German issue Mauser C96 pistol, this piece, measuring 11 in. long, was custom made for the film from resin by casting the original hero prop from the first Star Wars: A New Hope, it therefore exhibits the same serial number as the hero prop, which is thought to no longer exist. The blaster is exactly in its original filming condition and therefore exhibits wear from use, but retains all of the original details, including the flash suppressor and scope (the eye-piece of which is detailed with reflective scotch-lite tape). The added distinction of this particular piece is that it was also likely used by Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, as both characters shared the same style of weapon in Empire.

The starting bid is set at \$200,000 and there are no bidders so far, but the auction will be open until December 21st.  -via mental_floss

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## Reindeer Knit Baby Hat

Reindeer Knit Baby Hat

The Reindeer Knit Baby Hat from the NeatoShop is sure to make friends and family shout with glee. This little hat will go down in adorable holiday dressing history.

Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Baby & Tot items.

## Rice Krispie Treat Burgers and Watermelon

The food and coupon blog My Kansas City Mommy made these sweet-looking summer treats back in 2011 in order to promote a giveaway contest. There’s not much information about the burgers, but you can find a full recipe for the watermelon here.

It’s a lot more than just Rice Krispie treats with food coloring. To make your own, you’ll need strawberry-flavored marshmallows, watermelon/cherry drink mix and lime drink mix. The seeds can be either chocolate chips or raisins.

-via Cutest Food

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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## A Tale of Two Martys

When you travel backwards in time, there is always the danger of creating a paradox, in which two different timelines are created. They would run parralel, but might not be at all alike. One Minute Galactica looks at one of the possibilities, using the plotline from the movie Back To The Future. What happens next could even be catastrophic! NSFW language.

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## Knit Pie Crust

Ravelry member KnitsForLife made this unique crust for her Thanksgiving apple pie. She took a semi-frozen Trader Joe’s pie crust, sliced it into strips and then knitted a lattice structure for the pie top. If this becomes a popular dish, then craft supply stores should start stocking pie crusts!

-via Makin’ology

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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## 20 Surprising Facts About Home Alone

'Tis the season for Christmas movies, and the most successful of them all is 1990's Home Alone. The movie was the #1 box office draw for twelve weeks straight, a feat hard to imagine ever happening again. While you watch it on TV again with the kids this year, here are some trivial tidbits you can throw at them:

2. Daniel Stern isn’t actually screaming with that tarantula on his face. The scream would have scared the spider, so he only mimed the scream and his actual shriek was dubbed in later. And being the thespian that he is, Daniel Stern would only allow the spider on his face for exactly one take.

3. One of my favorite trivia gems is that Joe Pesci would forget he was in a family comedy and keep dropping F-bombs during his character’s angry outbursts. The director gave him the advice of saying “fridge” as a G-rated substitute.

Even in a family Christmas movie, a little bit of Tommy DeVito from Goodfellas shines through.

That last one doesn't surprise me a bit, but I never considered that the tarantula was real! That's some attention to detail. You'll learn a lot more about Home Alone from the list of 20 Surprising Facts You Might Not Know About Home Alone at Uproxx.

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## Say Hello to Bun Bun

Try turning on this video and listening to the sound before you actually look at the screen. You'll be amazed at what cute little critter is making this noise.

Little Bun Bun is simply the cutest thing on four legs, whether he's meowing like a weirdo, crawling around on his side or just mugging at the camera. It's hard to look away from this squishy faced little cutie pie.

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

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## Cold War Nuclear Launch Code: 00000000

In the aftermath of World War II, the US and the USSR armed themselves to the teeth with nuclear weapons and ICBMs to deliver them. Baby Boomers grew up expecting World War III to begin any minute, and of course it would be nuclear. And the more weapons at the ready, the more the possibility is that something unexpected could go wrong. What if some other country had a revolution and the new government took over the American missiles staged there? What if some power-hungry general wanted to launch his own war? What if there were a false report of a strike against the US? In 1962, President Kennedy signed an order that would put a numeric code on every nuclear missile to ensure that only authorized launches could be carried out.

However, though the devices were supposed to be fitted on every nuclear missile after JFK issued his memorandum, the military continually dragged its heels on the matter.  In fact, it was noted that a full 20 years after JFK had order PALs be fitted to every nuclear device, half of the missiles in Europe were still protected by simple mechanical locks. Most that did have the new system in place weren’t even activated until 1977.

Those in the U.S. that had been fitted with the devices, such as ones in the Minuteman Silos, were installed under the close scrutiny of Robert McNamara, JFK’s Secretary of Defence. However, The Strategic Air Command greatly resented McNamara’s presence and almost as soon as he left, the code to launch the missile’s, all 50 of them, was set to 00000000.

The military's reasoning was that a code just made waging war more difficult. Read the whole story behind the shenanigans at Today I Found Out. -Thanks, Daniel Kim!

(Image credit: Jeff Keyzer)

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## Paralyzed Surgeon Returns to the Operating Room

(Image: Make Medicine Better)

Dr. Ted Rummel is an orthopedic surgeon in O’Fallon, Missouri. A few years ago, a blood-filled cyst in his spinal cord ruptured, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. That tragedy may have slowed Dr. Rummel down, but it didn’t stop him. After a year of physical therapy, Dr. Rummel has returned to the operating room. He has resumed consulting with and operating on patients at a hospital in the St. Louis area.

To operate, Dr. Rummel uses a customized standing wheelchair while in the operating room. A nurse uses a control pad on the back to move Dr. Rummel into position at the operating table, thus keeping the room sterile. You can watch a video of him at work here.

-via Oddity Central

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## Ron Burgundy at Canada's Olympic Curling Trials

Will Ferrell has been busy promoting the movie Anchorman 2 by appearing here and there as Ron Burgundy. He showed up during the holiday weekend doing the local news at KXMB in Bismarck, North Dakota. Now he's in Canada.

Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings is the name of the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, going on now in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ron Burgundy is there, as a special celebrity commentator. This is a highlight reel; last night's full 30-minute broadcast is available at TSN. -via Uproxx

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(Photo: Rohit Gowaika)

Prabalgad Fort, also known as Kalavantin Durg, is an old and now unused fort in the Western Ghats mountain range in the Indian state of Maharashtra. As you can see in this photo, the summit is small. But if properly supplied and fortified, any encampment there would be almost impossible to capture.

The origins of Prabalgad Fort are unknown, but it was occupied by at least 1458 and was in active military use by as late as 1826. The only way to the top is through a long staircase carved into the mountain. Tourists sometimes brave the climb, which is risky because there are no guardrails.

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## Whodunit: The Haunted Tree House

The following is a Whodunit by Hy Conrad featuring Jonah Bixby, a twelve-year-old crime solver and son of a police detective. Can you solve the crime?

(Image credit: Flickr user

For Jonah and his friends, the one sure sign of spring was the opening of the tree house. It had been built in the fork of a huge oak in the Smiths' backyard. For the past four summers, Sally Smith, Bill Tollbar, Lisa Valdez, and Jonah had convened there almost daily to play games and talk and eat lunch. They used to call it the Oak Tree Club, but now that they were twelve, they were too cool for a club. Although Jonah didn't want to think of it, this would probably be their last summer before turning the tree house over to Sally's younger brother and his friends.

On a warm Saturday in late April, Sally got the key from her mother and, with Jonah and the others, climbed the ladder and unlocked the padlock that had kept the clubhouse secure through the long winter months.

The tree house was just one room, with the tree trunk and a large limb poking through the floor and dissecting the space. The structure was solid but far from weatherproof. As the kids unlatched and opened the shutters, they could feel the musty dampness. Anything made of metal, like the telescope stand, was a little rusty, and tiny pools of water near the trunk spoke of last week's torrential rains.

Jonah and Bill took the job of sweeping it out, while Sally and Lisa did general cleaning. "Oh, my gosh," said Sally. She was pointing to something on the other side of the room. "Look!"

The boys joined them and saw it, too. There, on the wall, were five words written in blood-red paint: "Welcome Back, Children. -- The Specter."

The Specter was their own creation, a bogeyman they invented last Halloween, right before closing the tree house. Jonah had started the story of an angry tree spirit who seeps through the walls and curses them all. Sally took up the story next, and by the end of the evening, they had managed to scare each other pretty thoroughly.

The four of them stared at the scrawled words, open-mouthed. And then Bill laughed. "Good job, Sal. You had us going there."

"It wasn't me," Sally protested. "I haven't been up here since we locked up. My mom's had the key ever since. Go ask her."

Love games and puzzles? Visit NeatoPuzzles for more!

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