When I was a youngster, I lived in the most crowded suburb in my small town -in fact, everyone bussed in their kids into my neighborhood. We had so many houses that one trip to all the houses in town would result in a pillowcase over halfway full of candy. Of course, the kids from the neighborhood knew which houses had the best candy and we went there first before their candy bar stashes were wiped out.
That being said, I think if I lived in a smaller neighborhood, I might have been tempted to try putting on a few masks and switching up costumes like these cute pooches to ensure I got my fix by the end of the night. What hijinx we could all get into.
How does the average American male body compare to the average male from other countries? Artist Nickolay Lamm (previously at Neatorama) used the statistics from various government sources in the U.S., France, Japan, and the Netherlands to illustrate the average male body from each country. For each comparison, he quotes different sources for a bit of explanation for the differences.
The Dutch have some of the world's best healthcare, particularly at the stages of life that really make a difference for how tall we end up -- prenatal and the early years of childhood.
Second, they spread the health around. The most well-off Americans are tall, but less-privileged groups across all races bring down the average.
Ella and Pitr, two French street artists, created optical illusions in at a site in the city of Saint-Étienne. They selected worn-out or abandoned buildings in their city to promote awareness of and interest in blighted parts of Saint-Étienne.
People of that city volunteered to pose in these photographs which show color and vibrant energy in the midst of dust and decay. When viewed from the right angles, the models appear to be inside framed pictures.
Over at Fanboy, Michael Pinto has a photos of dozens of creative cosplayers at this year’s New York Comic Con. I especially like this gender-swapped Wonder Woman. DC should either create a pocket universe story about Wonder WoMan or retcon the original Wonder Woman into this hirsute fellow. But for the comic series, please give him a cigar and a few more pounds of insulation.
You can also see photos of Freakazoid (remember him?), Teenage Mutant Ninja Ballerinas, Captain Canada, steampunk Batman, Lady Rainicorn and more.
Sweep the leg! They may be in training as warriors, but it's hard to be fierce when you have to stop and smile for the audience every minute or so. These twins are having altogether a lot of fun! Someone who understands Mandarin might be able to glean information from us out of this TV report. I'd like to know how old they were when this video was taken. -via Daily Picks and Flicks
Last week, we introduced an all new series: Great Pics of the Week. This time we're focusing on seriously strange, stupid and silly pictures that make you ask, "Ok, WTF?" Time for some wildly weird wonders:
Pimping Ain't Beep-y
Perhaps the weirdest con exclusive from the NYCC, was created by Manly Art. Say hello to Pimp2-D2 who has the driod babes you're looking for.
Somewhere over at the NeatoShop, way up high there is a pair of socks that I heard of once in a lullaby. Over at the NeatoShop the socks are blue (and red) and these dreams socks that you dreamed of really can be shipped directly to you.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Footwear.
The Walking Dead is starting up again this Sunday and if that's still not enough reason to get you excited about these zombie-ear necklaces made by Semi-Sweet Designs, remember that Halloween is only a few weeks away. The necklace looks just like the one Daryl Dixon wears on the show, only instead of smelling like rotten zobie flesh, it smells like sweet sugar cookies and tastes even better.
The basic shape comes from a skull cookie cutter with a hole in the middle and one jaw bone cut off. Clever frosting makes up the great detailing that really sells the shape. The only other things you need are a splash of food coloring and a necklace to tie it all together.
During the golden age of the long-play vinyl record, or what we called LPs, you could put just about anything on one and sell it to someone. You are probably familiar with the tune "Music to Watch Girls By" which became a hit for several artists. It was just one of what seemed to be a million songs designed for particular activities, from growing plants to painting a room, as this collection of weird record album covers at Dark Roasted Blend will illustrate. It was hard for me to select just three to show you, because there are so many odd titles!
Edvard Munch (1863-1944), a Norwegian Expressionist painter, is perhaps most widely known for his 1893 painting “The Scream.” This painting sold last year for a record $120 million.
SugarWinzy’s scream cheese version is filled with chocolatey horror. First, she poured the brownie batter into her baking pan. She placed cream cheese into a squeeze bottle, then squirted small amounts on the surface of the brownie batter. Then she used a toothpick to paint the surface with the cream cheese. The image remained impressively consistent after baking.
Jensen Karp of Gallery 1988 (previously on Neatorama) commissioned this artwork above, titled Robocabbie, by Jason Edmiston for the gallery's Crazy 4 Cult show last year. Karp asked for an artwork with pop culture references, and it's safe to say that Edmiston delivered. Epicly.
Gallery 1988 is releasing the second collection of featured artwork in its book Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art 2 next week, and to mark that occassion Angela Watercutter of WIRED asked Karp to pick some of his favorites from the collection. See what he picked over at WIRED's Underwire Blog.
How many movie references can you identify from the Robocabbie above? (And Robocabbie better get goin' - it's not wise to keep a Xenomorph waiting ...)
An eight-foot-long giant squid pillow, that is! DIY has a pattern you can print, but you'll have to enlarge it to the specified dimensions. Complete instructions help you put it together, and you have plenty of time before Halloween to make it. Sit it on your porch to greet trick-or-treaters! Pose it to greet your party guests! And after Halloween, it makes a nice snuggle pillow for the couch -just roll it up. It can be made in any color to suit your decor. The only problem is that as soon as your friends see it, they'll want you to make them one, too. -via Laughing Squid
My son and I have been consumed this weekend by a fun new iOS game called NumBurst. If you like brain teasers and card games, this one’s for you! With two free levels and two paid levels, there’s plenty to keep you going as you try to solve these fun math problems. The basic idea goes like this:
You’ve got a goal, which is a number, let’s say the number 3. Then you’ve got a bunch of cards, say 2, 4 and 1 and you’ve got to add them, divide them, subtract them, etc, until you hit your goal. The problems start out real simple, which is great for the kids and helping them learn math, but quickly get pretty darn challenging.
Plus, you’re playing against the clock! Once you’ve completed a puzzle, you get the option to post that time on Facebook and try to have friends do the same problem and see if they can beat your time. Excellent for the competitive neatoramanaut, eh?
After I recently put up a post about animals that aren't cats dressing up for Halloween, reader Michelle sent a link to her seamstress friend's Facebook post showing her cats, Egg and Pancake, in their Halloween costumes. Pancake, the orange kitty, isn't just a cheerleader, she's actually Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Egg is the Devil, which means they are sort of at odds with one another even if they look utterly adorable together.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, Pancake is a boy and Egg is a girl, so there's also a bit of gender swapping going on in this cute costume set.
(Photo: Myles Standish re-enactor at the Plimouth Plantation, via Thanksgivukkah)
In 167 B.C., Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the ruler of the Seleucid Empire, tried to compel the Jews in Judah to give up their religious customs and values. They rose up in rebellion for seven years in what became known as the Maccabean Revolt. Once they liberated Jerusalem, they set about purifying the Temple. This eight day event is marked by the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.
This year, Hanukkah lasts from November 27 to December 5. The American Christian (albeit secularized) holiday of Thanksgiving marks a 1621 feast celebrated by the colonists at Plymouth, Massachusetts. It falls on November 28 this year. For the first time since 1888, the two holidays overlap. Some Americans have taken to calling November 28 “Thanksgivukkah.” The event is inspiring creative responses among celebrants:
Not to be outdone is Asher Weintraub, a 9-year-old New Yorker who has created what he dubs the Menurkey—a menorah, the candelabrum that is the centerpiece of the holiday, in the shape of a turkey. With help from his filmmaker parents, Asher funded his project with a successful $25,000 campaign on Kickstarter, a fundraising website, over the summer (it netted $48,345). The family is now hoping to sell as many as 2,500 of his creation in versions both ceramic (for $150) and plaster ($50).
The Weintraubs are also expanding on the concept in other ways, from a Menurkey iPhone app to a Menurkey theme song. Sample lyric: "Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, come light the Menurkey. Once in a lifetime, the candles meet the turkey."
Part of what's driving the Thanksgivukkah fervor is that Hanukkah is a holiday "with room for creativity," says Jennie Rivlin Roberts, founder of ModernTribe.com, an online store that specializes in contemporary Jewish items. Ms. Roberts own contribution? A game called No Limit Texas Dreidel that she started marketing in 2007—it is a modern take on the holiday pastime of spinning the dreidel, a kind of Hanukkah-themed top. […]
Synagogues and Jewish organizations are also joining in the Thanksgivukkah chorus. In Boston, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, a local fundraising group, has created a website, ThanksgivukkahBoston.com, to promote the holiday and suggest ways to celebrate it (one example: making Hanukkah-themed corn-husk dolls). As project director Jeff Levy explains, the occasion is too significant to go unheeded. "This is like the new millennium," he says.
At Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, Calif., synagogue member Hollis O'Brien, a caterer, is leading a Thanksgivukkah cooking class at the end of October, replete with recipe tips for such hybridized holiday dishes as sweet-potato latkes and a Jewish-style brisket with a cranberry glaze. And since doughnuts are also popular at Hanukkah as part of the holiday's emphasis on oil and fried foods, Ms. O'Brien has plans to showcase them as well. "Usually, I fill them with strawberry jelly, but this year, I'm going to use pumpkin cream," she says.
Mark Graham (@geoplace) and Stefano De Sabbata (@maps4thought) of Information Geographies have released a map of featuring the websites most frequently visited by people from all countries in the world.
The map, titled Age of Internet Empires, uses data from web analytics company Alexa. It is visualized in the style of an old colonial map and named after the popular computer game Age of Empire.
Meet computer H14, a Jim Henson creation from 1963. The film was commissioned by AT&T to be shown at a corporate get-together, to spread the word that the company's new computer systems that actually communicated with each other were the wave of the future, and nothing to be frightened about.
The Muppet was funny in that unmistakably Henson way — equipped with exhaust pipes and a flashing red light and some sort of rotating mechanical arm reminiscent of a railroad crossing — and it had already worked the seminar circuit, appearing at shows in Germany for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Information Agency, the government organization that once spread U.S. propaganda overseas. Plus, Jim Henson understood the task at hand.
Henson and his partner Jerry Juhl “were certainly intrigued by technology and the development of computers,” says Falk. “But they also felt very strongly about the difference between man and machines. There was a celebration of technology, but also a recognition about its lack of human qualities, like understanding and creativity.” Henson gives H14 the superhuman ability to digest “vast oceans of information,” but it still needs humans to wind him up — and repair him when he explodes into tiny pieces.
Halloween time is here. Don't have the guts to dress up as your favorite Muppets character anymore? Not to worry. Go ahead and live vicariously through your children with the Gonzo EZ-On Romper from the NeatoShop. This super baby costume features and a romper and headpiece. It will have your tot looking like that handsome, wild eyed, hook nosed daredevil in no time.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Baby & Tot items.
Remember Eenmall? That’s the Dutch restaurant where customers have to sit at one-person tables. Eat, a restaurant in New York City, is a bit different. You may sit in groups, but no one is allowed to talk.
Nicholas Nauman, the lead chef and owner, came up with the idea after spending time in a Buddhist monastery in India. No one there was permitted to talk during breakfast. He opened Eat to share that experience with busy New Yorkers.
The rule is strictly enforced, but generally there’s no need to be heavy-handed with diners. They turn off their cell phones when they come in and step outside of they need to blow their noses. Hand gestures and facial expressions replace speech, but most people are focused on doing what the name of the restaurant indicates: eating.
You can provoke someone into choking you for free, but it’s just not the same as being choked to death by Darth Vader himself. Thankfully, there’s now an artist who’s willing to recreate that experience. Tessa Meier, an artist in Philadelphia, will paint you into that famous scene from Star Wars, depicting you as Captain Raymus Antilles.
It’s one of several painting services that she offers, including the chance to be shown as an imprisoned Princess Leia, an elf princess, a sea captain and a swamp monster. All of these are nice, but not as cool as being choked by Lord Vader.
We love victorbeard's T-shirt design and are happy to announce that he has now joined the NeatoShop! Check out Victor's Facebook page then visit his NeatoShop catalog for more nifty T-shirts. Your purchase helps support indie artists as well as this blog!
Big Clive shares the unboxing and instructions for playing with the doll called Fannie Flambeaux from the Smokin' Pussies Gang. She comes with her own flamethrower! This video may contain NSFW language, depending on your culture. Best to not take a chance in front of your boss.
I'd never heard of the Flamin' Pussies Gang, but after the butt pudding, I was ready to believe anything that comes from the pop culture world of Japan. Big Clive reacts about the way you'd expect, but I was cackling out loud. At the YouTube link, Clive explains how you can have a Fannie Flambeaux of your own. -via Arbroath
When a dead man is found alive and well (and ahem, not a zombie), does he remain dead? He does, according to Ohio.
Here's the strange story of Donald Miller, who was declared dead, then found alive, then told by a judge that he has to stay legally dead. Confused? Read on.
The story, according to ABC News, began when Donald Miller of Ohio disappeared in 1986 after losing his job. He left behind his wife and two children. Years later, his wife sought to have him declared legally dead so she could collect his Social Security benefits for their two minors. In 1994, Miller was declared dead.
Fast forward to today, when Miller came back to Ohio and tried to re-establish his social security number. He went up to the judge, who said that according to Ohio legal statute, there could be no changes to death rulings after three years have passed.
So, according to the State of Ohio, Donald Miller is (legally) dead and must remain so, despite that the man is still walking around amongst the living.
How about some diet tips from the early 20th century? The Week has some excerpts from various books on the subject of dieting and nutrition. Most of them basically tell you to exercise, go outside, and don't eat so much. But then there's some weird advice from Helen Follett Jameson in her 1899 book The Woman Beautiful.
Do not drink much water. A little lemon juice added to it will make it less fattening.
There's this from Countess C, in the 1901 book Beauty's Aids: Or, How to Be Beautiful.
First and most important, drink very little, as little as possible, and only red or white wine, preferably Burgundy, or tea or coffee slightly alcoholized.
And from the 1892 book Beauty, Its Attainment and Preservation:
In America the number of fat people is growing larger every year and the suffering endured by this usually good-natured class of people is tremendous. As a matter of fact, a great deal of this discomfort might be avoided if people would not drink such an inordinate quantity of ice water and could be made to understand that thirst does not lie in the stomach and that it is not satisfied by pouring down water by the glassful.
The theory of water being fattening makes you wonder how much of what we "know" today will be laughed at in another 100 years. Read lots more at The Week.
BS in the Kitchen named this creation baked potato grilled cheese sandwiches, but they're really more like potato skin grilled cheese sandwiches (though they aren't made with only the skins) because the potatoes are sliced nice and thin and then fried before being added to the sandwich. The delicious treats are then topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon and green onions before they are fried up into crispy, fatty snacks.
While the site doesn't mention this, I feel like ranch or blue cheese dressing would be a killer dipping sauce on these sandwiches, the same way you dunk potato skins in those great sauces.
Let's see what happened in this day 521 years ago… Christopher Columbus landed on the shores of the New World, which gave us American history textbooks. Many of us were taught that Columbus "discovered" America, despite the fact that there were plenty of people already here, and he wasn't even the first European to come. What Columbus did was to open the floodgates for immigrants who came here and established new nations, including the United States. Meanwhile, those who were already here suffered enormously. Five hundred years later, Columbus Day is a federal holiday in the US, but you won't notice it as the federal government is undergoing a shutdown. It's not even observed on the 12th anymore, but the nearest Monday. We "observe" Columbus Day more than we "celebrate" it, mostly using it as a time to examine the legacy of Columbus' journey and what came after. But it gives the Neatobot another opportunity to dress up. In case you've been busy, here's some of the highlights from the past week here at Neatorama.
Our riddle from Pzzlr this week was Family Reunion. Did you figure out out? I was hoping someone would also guess who the family in the accompanying picture was.
In the What is It? game this week, the pictured item is a fusible plug for a boiler. If the temperature gets too hot, the tin plug in the middle will melt and release pressure. There's a more detailed explanation at the What is It? blog, but we were looking for humorous answers this week. Ladybugsgot ♥s for her answer: "It's the loose screw of the U.S. Congress in dealing with the budget crises." Makes perfect sense! And Chris Stevens had good one, too: "The holidays are coming, and Iron Man has been known to spend a little too much time at the buffet. Sometimes the suit needs to be 'let out' a little, and these babies are just the hardware to do it!" Those both win a t-shirt from the NeatoShop!
Our readers' costume parade continues on the Halloween blog, with a new costume featured every day! You can join in, too: send us a picture of a memorable Halloween costume from your past, whether it's awesome, clever, embarrassing, or just plain fun. Tell us the story behind it, and we'll post it on the Halloween blog, just like these folks! The best pictures t-shirts from the NeatoShop. Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org and then look for it on the Halloween blog! Even if you don't send one, you'll want to see all the featured costumes so far, and check back every day on the Halloween blog for more.
There was so much more here this past week. If you are looking for a particular post and can recall any relevant words, you can enter them in the search field at the top right of each page and pull it up. If you are browsing Halloween decorating ideas or costumes or scary stories, you'll see them all together on the Halloween blog. The recipes and food posts go into the blog Neatolicious, unless it was specifically for Halloween. If the post you're looking for involved parenting or children, look through NeatoBambino. And if you are jonesin' for something adorable to look at, the easy way to find plenty of that is to check out the blog Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly.
The NeatoShop has a huge selection of Halloween costumes, accessories, decorations, and party supplies! You can order until October 23rd for delivery in time in the US, but don't wait until what you want is sold out. Visit the Halloween store today!
Scientists love to to study the brain functions of people while they are performing various tasks, such as playing a musical instrument. Considering the configurations of fMRI scanners, this is not so easy to do. But a team from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal have designed a special cello that can be played inside a scanner! It's small, without the wide body of traditional cellos, and it has no metal parts, which are forbidden in a highly-magnetic scanner.
“An opto-acoustic cello has been designed to investigate the neural correlates of cello performance using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Through the design of specialized optical sensors, for the first time, we are able to synchronously capture a cellist’s acoustic performance and musical gestures within the MRI scanner.”
The designers released a paper on the project. No, they haven't done any scanning of cello players yet; the paper is about designing the instrument. But those studies are possible now. Read more about the instrument at Improbable Rsearch.