Firefighters are professional athletes, though they're often not thought of that way. Want proof of their physical abilities? Watch these two firefighters grab a ladder from the roof of a truck, then run with it to a wall, then scamper up it. The ladder is still unfolding while the climber sprints up it!
If you could make one scene to show what your state is best known for, what would it be? As a Californian, I certainly wouldn't depict my state as filled with hippies, but I know it really is known for that. So I won't be too hard on Canadian photographer Jeff Freisen for depicting my state as a land of hippies.
In fact, considering he's not even from this country, he did a pretty decent job summing up each state in only one image. I'm sure most of you can guess that the one up top is New Mexico and this one is Pennsylvania (specifically Philadelphia). How do you think he did on your state?
Loki the red fox was found abandoned at about six weeks of age. He now lives at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, California. Since that song came out, park staff thought it would be educational to show kids what a fox really sounds like, so they decided to train Loki to vocalize. This is his first training session, in which we see he'd rather jump for treats than ask for them! By the time this was uploaded, he could display 28 different vocalizations. -via Arbroath
I love these child-adult collaborations. We’ve previously seen Mica Angela Hendricks’s work with her 4-year old. Now we can see more from redditor Tatsputin.
For 10 days out of a typical month, Tatsputin flies away from home on business trips. His kids make drawings and Tatsputin colors them in and adds a few accents while riding on the plane. You can see more samples of their work here.
Let's be honest, those of us who were youngsters when Home Alone came out thought it was pretty awesome, but once you see it as an adult, you realize it isn't just cheesy, but pretty terrible all around. Of course, if you haven't seen it recently, you might not realize just how terrible it is until this Honest Trailer reminds you that it's about a little sociopath with a horrible family who decides he needs to torture to non-violent criminals who are inexplicably obsessed with breaking in to one specific home -all of which makes for one delightfully bad movie and a great Honest Trailer
As the European tradition of Krampus enters the American consciousness, folks start to wonder why the Krampus depicted on Victorian ephemera resembles the classic description of the devil, while the people who dress up as Krampus every December look more like yetis or some other monster animal. In fact, Krampus looks different in every European region!
So, what should Krampus look like? Al Ridenour, the director of the upcoming Krampusfest in Los Angeles, explains the different looks by giving us the history of the Krampus tradition.
Long before the circulation of any postcards standardizing the image, the isolating Alpine terrain of Krampus’ native habitat encouraged strong regional variations. And without any grounding source text to nail down his appearance, the original Krampus would have been a shapeless bogeyman defined only by oral tradition, a freeform figure variously described by parents and other storytellers. Like the Tooth Fairy, he had a definitive function, but no definitive form.
Whenever the first adults — through whatever combination of playfulness and cruelty — decided to dress up as the first Krampus, they would have created a monster defined by whatever easily available materials could be used for a startling effect. In some cases those materials were the horns and pelts of mountain goats, and in others, straw or hay set aside as winter fodder. Today, though some costumes may be produced by mass production, they still imitate the look established by materials regionally available in Alpine valleys.
The earliest written descriptions of Krampus surfaced in the 17th century, although the custom, under various names, pre-dates Christianity. Learn about those early versions of Krampus and decide for yourself what The Krampus should look like, after you read about them at Atlas Obscura.
Did you buy a little more pumpkin than you needed this Thanksgiving? Then try using it for something else -like this delicious pumpkin tres leches cake from Willow Bird Baking. For those unfamiliar with tres leches cake, it's translated into "three milks cake," meaning it's soaked in condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream, making it rich, gooey and delicious. Now, just imagine adding pumpkin and a whipped icing into the mix and you can imagine just how heavenly this cake just might be -sort of like a pumpkin pie a la mode.
A little over a year ago, we told you about a very bright comet on its way that we'd see in late 2013. It turns out that Comet ISON is not quite the light show we expected; in fact, it may be a goner. As the comet slung around the sun over the last few days, its brightness waxed and waned until astronomers were scratching their heads. What happened? Phil Plait put together a video showing the comet's swing around the sun from the vantage of the NASA/ESA spacecraft SOHO.
You can see the comet head was so bright at the beginning it was saturating the SOHO detector, but then faded fast (I wrote a brief explanation of what you see in SOHO images in an earlier post). The other thing to note is that now, days later, the comet has faded substantially; there is no nucleus to be seen, and we can even see stars right through the comet (the image at the top of this post was taken on Nov. 30 at 20:42 UTC, and makes that clear; ISON is on the upper right and is now pretty well dispersed).
It appears that the comet underwent "disruptive event," or what we laymen would call a crash, but the data is far from conclusive right now. The comet sure seems to be dying, but as Dr. Plait says,
But who knows? When the comet started fading before perihelion I thought it might be dying, and I was more sure when it really smeared out. Then it came back, and we thought it survived, but now it’s looking more like that was a last gasp. This comet (and our estimation of what it’s doing) changes its story on an hourly basis, it seems.
James Silvani is an artist in Hawaii. He works mostly with Disney product lines and is most famous for his Darkwing Duck comics. His Tumblr blog is filled with sketches of mashup art, usually mixing Disney characters with Star Wars, Star Trek and Warner Bros. characters. You can watch a brief interview with him here.
To mark World AIDS Day (December 1st), LIFE magazine looks at the story behind the iconic 1990 photograph of David Kirby and his family that put a human face on the AIDS epidemic, and showed the world how it affected families as well as its victims. Photographer Therese Frare shares how it came about.
“Early on,” Frare says of her time at Pater Noster House, “I asked David if he minded me taking pictures, and he said, ‘That’s fine, as long as it’s not for personal profit.’ To this day I don’t take any money for the picture. But David was an activist, and he wanted to get the word out there about how devastating AIDS was to families and communities. Honestly, I think he was a lot more in tune with how important these photos might become.”
Frare pauses, and laughs. “At the time, I was like, Besides, who’s going to see these pictures, anyway?“
Over the past 20 years, by some estimates, as many as one billion people have seen the now-iconic Frare photograph that appeared in LIFE, as it was reproduced in hundreds of newspaper, magazine and TV stories — all over the world — focusing on the photo itself and (increasingly) on the controversies that surrounded it.
Those controversies included the use of the photo in a Benetton ad, which drew the ire of activists and others. But you might not know what else happened after Kirby's death. His parents went through it all again, as they became caregivers to the hospice worker who cared for David, when he also succumbed to AIDS. Frare documented his story in pictures as well, which you can see in the article at LIFE. -via Digg
Neatoramanaut Joy Taney of kineticnovels sent us this awesome rendition of Batman fighting twin dragons of Harley and Ivy in the style of Viking-era art.
The Batman, Harley and Ivy illustration was inspired by a number of historical pieces of Viking jewelry, carvings and adornment. The Harley-Dragon design, Taney told Neatorama, is mostly designed based on Viking artifacts found in England. "A Viking rune stone from St. Paul's Churchyard gave me the idea for the basic shape of her dragon," Taney added, "while a shoulder clasp found in Sutton Hoo provide dmost of the patterns ... The double headed boar featured on the Sutton Hoo shoulder clasp was also the inspiration for the boar carving found on a cairn stone."
The Ivy-Dragon, on the other hand, is inspired by a Viking artwork from Norway. "The body of Ivy-Dragon was loosely based on the creatures ornamenting an eleventh century Vking ship's weathervane from Heggen, Norway. Ivy-Dragon's head was inspired by a dragon fighting scene carved into the ornate door jams of Hyllestad Church and sticks out her tongue like the dragon-headed tent frame supports from Gokstad. Her flowery patterns come from the carved doorway of Opdal Church."
"The pose of Batman holding both dragons by their throats comes from a pose of a man sitting and holding snakes in a similar manner that can be found on an ornament from Thorleif's stone in Kirk Braddan, Isle of Man, England." Taney further explained, "Human figures tend to be shown in Viking folk art with a little less geometric stylization than the animals. Interlocking legs, such as the one I chose for Batman, were usually the domain of animal figures, not human. However, since one of the running themes of the Batman stories is how thin the line separating the hero from the rogues' gallery really is, it seemed appropriate to render him in a way that was not so different from the villains."
Batman's logo, batarangs and utility belts feature the geometric knotwork that is universal in Viking folk art. "Viking knotwork has a characteristic, woven pattern where each strand moves over one piece it crosses, and then under the next, and continues this way throughout. I desigend the logo and utility belt separately so they would contain the number of twists, turns, and overlaps to emulate that over/under pattern."
Check out more of Taney's artwork over at her Tumblr and deviantART page. Thanks for sharing with us, Joy!
Do you know someone Whoo could use a little help finding their keys? Give them a wise place to store them with the Awesome Owl Tray from the NeatoShop. This adorable glazed ceramic tray is shaped like a cute little owl. It is perfect for holding keys, coins, and other little priceless possessions. The Awesome Owl Tray makes an awesome gift for an awesome friend.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Home & Garden items.
Now that Thanksgivukkah is over, it's time to enjoy Hanukkah on its own. While not everyone celebrate the holiday due to their religious beliefs, pretty much everyone can appreciate these adorable pooches in complete celebratory spirits.
By the way, if you want to help your pooch celebrate the holiday, we offer great Hanukkah dog toys in the NeatoShop. We also offer quite a few great Hanukkah goodies for humans as well.
It’s in Chicago at a place called Eataly Chicago. That’s a newly opened 63,000-square foot food theme park. You can get all sorts of food there, especially Italian food. There are eight restaurants, a butcher shop and a grocery store. The prize jewel is a stand-up bar where you can purchase pastries with Nutella on them. The business will open to the public on December 10.
Cracked runs down some holiday traditions that aren't worth the effort that some folks put into them. I went there hoping to find something I can actually shed from my busy holiday schedule, but I found that I don't pretend to like any of them. In fact, the only one I actually participate in is the Thanksgiving leftovers -and I honestly LOVE having a refrigerator full of prepared foods that at least someone in the family likes and will eat. That means I won't be cooking again for quite some time. And the secret to making a good turkey sandwich is the generous use use of Miracle Whip. Anyway, the other traditions are kind of annoying, like the office Secret Santa gift exchange.
It's an innocent enough idea, but if you deny the fact that it also turns any office into a melting pot of paranoia, resentment, and frustration, you probably invented the concept and aren't willing to acknowledge the hell you've unleashed upon the rest of the world.
The problem is, your workplace is filled with a wide range of personalities, a lot of them of the awful variety. Inevitably, those personalities start to shine through in the gifts people give.
As Movember draws to a close, the heroes of the movement take center stage. One of them, Jonathon Burnside, joins in the fun every Movember to grow a mustache and raise money for men's health programs. In his fourth year with the event, he grew an epic mustache that joined his chest hair to create the illusion of a cat! He said,
‘I just did a handlebar moustache and then cut half of it off,’ he explained.
‘I made a template to get the basic shape. Then I shaved negative space lines for the details, which did not show up on camera.
‘Then my wife did an outline in eye liner, which also did not show up on camera. Then I just went ahead and outlined it in Sharpie.’
I'll be honest, I was a little hesitant to write about these Lord of the Rings cake pops at first because I'm a little over the whole cake pop thing. That is, until I saw that the bakers, Let Them Eat Cake Pops, made this amazing Bormir meme of their own pop. It is hard not to laugh at something this delightfully silly, even if you want to eat it at the same time.
All of these fantastic cake pops do look super realistic though, as do their wonderful Walking Dead pops that feature not only the living characters but also a few walkers.
At family gatherings I am the undisputed head chef and I typically steer away from what is considered traditional for the occasion and let my culinary imagination run wild. I'm not always successful but my mom, brother, and sister are always happy to help/eat.
And then grandma moved in.
I love grandma and as the matriarch grandma gets what grandma wants. Even if it means a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
To satisfy my need to be different and in charge I made pink mashed potatoes and invited a pack of pandas to join the party. Here is our Panda Thanksgiving in pictures.
You don’t have to get older. There’s a traditional alternative, but it’s unpleasant.
Aging may appear to be inevitable, but Dr. João Pedro de Magalhães, a biologist at the University of Liverpool, disputes that. He’s devoted his scholarly life to studying the process of aging.
The artists behind Ph.D. Comics, a funny webcomic about the graduate school lifestyle, produced this video. They illustrate a talk by Dr. Magalhães on the subject of aging. What is the process of aging at the cellular level? We don’t know for sure, but Dr. Magalhães explains three major hypotheses. He also describes what we may be able to learn from age-resistant animals, such as the naked mole rat.
The Argentine photography collective M.A.F.I.A. (Movimiento Argentino de Fotógrafxs Independientes Autoconvocadxs) posted a gallery of Batman in his down-and-out period.
Bruce Wayne Do Santos. Ex-millonario. Ex-propietario de latifúndios subterráneos. Ex-superamigo. Removido, desalojado, desterrado, vagando por Rio City. Una cruda mezcla de performance, comics y arte callejero.
Bruce Wayne Do Santos. Ex-millionaire. Ex-owner of underground estates. Ex-superfriend. Dismissed, homeless, landless. Wandering the city of Rio. A raw mixture of performance, comics, and street art.
Have you ever wished you could eat a picture of your wife, kids, pets, family or even yourself? Well, now you can thanks to Boomf, the company that allows you to print any picture of your choice on marshmallows. Just upload your Instagram pics to the site and bam -you can put any picture inside your delicious hot chocolate. Right now you can only get things shipped to the UK, but you can sign up to have the company email you when they start shipping to other companies.
Happy Hanukkah! Man, we got holidays all over the place, don't we? Thanksgiving weekend traditionally opens the Christmas season -many put that point at the appearance of Santa Claus at the end of the Macy's parade. And many shoppers declared it as they fought their way through the Black Friday sales. Not me -after dinner, I crashed for a full eight hours. That's the longest I've slept in one night in years! Besides, the Black Friday craziness is something I don't want to participate in or contribute to. Shopping online is so much easier.
There's a neat new feature at Neatorama's Pinterest boards. We have lots of pin boards, so you can find what you like. One is called "Places and Spaces," about stories from all over the world. Now it has a map that plots where those stories come from! Click on one of the map locations, and the board will pull up the story that came from that place. Neat!
In our Whodunits by Hy Conrad, we have a new sleuth named Jonah Bixby. His first adventure here at Neatorama was After-School Homicide.
In the What Is It? game this week, the tool shown is an ice pick with a retainer for removing cubes that had been formed on a block of ice by a Coolerator ice cube cutter, patent number 2,070,773. The Coolerator ice cube cutter was another of the mystery items explained at the What Is It? blog. Of course, we wanted your wrong but funny answers -and we got them! One winner is Peawatt, who explained, "This appears to be a gentleman's lice removal tool. Properly positioned by placing his organ in the lower chamber with handle pointing away from body, hot coal was placed on the upper pan. A slight tilting of the handle up and toward the body sent the hot coal off the pan, over the spikes, setting the pubic hair aflame. When the lice ran into the clearing, they were quickly dispatched by repeated stabbing from the three prongs." Cool! The other winner is Tapisbis, who said it is the "Ultimate s'mores tool, you place the first graham cracker & a liberal serve of chocolate in the lower tray; roast not one, not two, but three marshmallows on the prongs; whilst the marshmallows cook the chocolate melts; finally slide the final cracker off the top tray and enjoy perfection." Both win t-shirts from the NeatoShop!
Here's a way to knock off a lot of the names on your Christmas gift list without dealing with the shopping, and you'll save money at the same time: Select a t-shirt from one of the internet's top independent artists, which are on sale right now at the NeatoShop! Those are gifts you won't see anywhere else, and you'll find one that's a perfect fit for someone you love.
Looking ahead, we've got December starting tomorrow, and next week we will gear back up and bring you more of the neatest stuff on the web and elsewhere, right here at Neatorama!
Using a recipe from The Post Punk Kitchen, Craftster member kala made this gingerbread version of Chewbacca. Run, run as fast as you can. You can catch the Gingerbread Wookiee--but what would you do then? They tend to pull people's arms out of their sockets when they're caught.
Bears doing human things in a circus because they are trained to: not funny. Bears doing human things in everyday settings because they just look like they are: funny! A whole lot of bears put together in one video: really cute. -via Viral Viral Videos