In case you haven't found time to watch all the cat videos coming out of Russia, Ignoramusky has compiled the best into one for you. He titled it That's Why I Love Cats (volume 2). You can find volume one here. It's just the best parts of videos showing cats doing funny, confounding, and adorable things. -via Tastefully Offensive
What pearls of wisdom or profundity have you heard very young children say? Redditor keeril asks this question. Here are some of the best responses:
Pinkpickuptruck learned that the feeling of being a child lasts forever:
My little sister handed me a juice box as I was packing to move out and said "No one is really a grown up. They just act old because they have to"
Altruitis writes about a 4-year old's encounter with death:
At a funeral and overheard my aunt explaining to my four-year-old cousin "Grandma is sleeping now." My cousin looks in the casket and back at her and says, "I don't know mom, she looks pretty dead to me."
Here's a similar tale from everthepessimist:
When my uncle was dying, my nephew said something that totally blew me away. His parents had just told him that my uncle only had a little time left to live and he looked up from playing with a toy and asked, "does everyone die?" "Eventually, yes," his parents responded. He looked down and said nonchalantly, "well if we're all going to die why are we so afraid of it?"
The daughter of theonlyotheruser is very postmodern:
After learning the difference between living things and non-living things, my daughter was following me around asking whether things were alive or not, and telling me her opinion on them. Cars arent alive cause they can move but they dont grow, stuff like that.
Then she asked "What about words? Words change and grow when we use them. Words are alive."
Blew my mind.
A child known by theonlyguyonreddit knows how to terrify me:
No dad you don't get it, shes not my imaginary friend i'm her imaginary friend
The son of Loveisourpurpose is a budding theologian ready to read Anselm and Aquinas:
When my youngest son was 3 years old he looked up from playing with a toy and asked me "Mommy how did God make himself ?"
I have no idea how to answer this question by SmaSteg's daughter:
My half sister at the ripe age of 4: "What if the colors I see aren't the same as the colors you see? And how would you know"
It's an interesting thought that I remember having at some point during childhood as well. Obviously there are some cases where it would be easy (someone who's color-blind is fairly easy to spot), but what if the green I see is slightly different from the green you see but is still "green" enough for us to both assume we're seeing the same color?
How would you answer any of these questions?
(Image: Nietzsche Watch now on sale at the NeatoShop)
-via Marginal Revolution
Artist Nickolay Lamm (previously at Neatoarma) took the information we have about cats' vision and reproduced it through photography to give us a glimpse of what they see, compared with how we see the world. Some of the differences are related to a cat's ability to see in low light (they cannot see in total darkness) and their ability to detect the quick movement of prey. When the eye specializes in these things, other visual gifts are sacrificed. For example, great night vision means the bright colors of daylight are muted. Read more about a cat's vision and see many more pictures at Lamm's site. -via Popular Science
(Photo: Andy Kovac/KDKA)
At some point, this deer’s layup drill went terribly wrong. Andy Kovac spotted this wild deer in his backyard in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Deer frequent his yard and Mr. Kovac has seen as many as twenty-five at a time. He suspects that this one was nudging the ball with his head when it got stuck.
Don’t worry about our cervine basketball player! Mr. Kovac says that the ball looks like it is deflating, so it should fall out soon. Also, it doesn’t appear to interfere with his feeding ability.
-via Dave Barry
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.
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie
- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
We are utterly impressed with this: Shanghai-based artist Jian Guo (breathing2004 on deviantART) masterfully illustrates passages from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series of books in the style of stained glass.
You Cannot Pass
"I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass." - The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Welcome From Lothorien
On two chairs beneath the bole of the tree and canopied by a living bough there sat, side by side, Celeborn and Galadriel. Very tall they were, and the Lady no less tall than the Lord; and they were grave and beautiful. They were clad wholly in white; and the hair of the Lady was of deep gold, and the hair of the Lord Celeborn was of silver long and bright; but no sign of age was upon them, unless it were in the depths of their eyes; for these were keen as lances in the starlight, and yet profound, the wells of deep memory. - The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
In Soviet Russia, Tetris plays YOU.
Chris Lincé directed and produced this YouTube video clip, titled "A Complete History of The Soviet Union Through The Eyes Of A Humble Worker, Arranged To The Melody of Tetris." (The music is by Donald Newholm and Dan Woods of Pig With The Face Of A Boy)
It sums up the rise and fall of communism to a catchy tune. Well done! Via Kuriositas
Some three-year-olds don't talk much at all, while others talk all the time, regardless of whether anyone is listening or not. This little boy is of the latter variety. He's going to the potty by himself, but he keeps up a running commentary, scolding himself for eating so much yesterday. He even goes over in his mind all the things he ate!
Meanwhile, his parents are outside the door, recording the monologue -and trying their best not to roll in the floor laughing. This one not only made me laugh, but I had to drag my husband in to hear it. -via Viral Viral Videos
Emily Helck was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and started a blog, The Real Tumors of New Jersey, to chronicle her story. She also took pictures every week, which she combined into one video to show how her appearance changed over that time.
I'm still not completely sure why I took these photos. At first it had to do with documenting the hair saga. But it wound up becoming about something else, too. The photos became hash marks scratched on the wall, marking time spent inhabiting the world of this disease. Every time I set up the tripod was another week down. Or was it another week lost?
Becoming aware of what one patient goes through, even just a little bit, seems an appropriate way to enter Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. -via Buzzfeed
On Saturday, I wrote about Cristina Vanko's project to send text messages via handwritten notes composed with a calligraphy pen. She observed that some of her friends felt touched by the process, as though Vanko's notes made them feel special to her:
11) It was indicated multiple times that people feel more "special" when they received handwritten messages.
I understand that. In my early twenties, I used to send out written letters instead of email to friends. They were typed, rather than handwritten. Almost always I received verbal or emailed rather than written responses. But one friend mentioned once that every letter was like getting a wrapped present. My practice wasn't reciprocated, but it was appreciated.
In Verily Mag, Julia Hogan writes that we all should occasionally write and send letters by hand:
But now that communication is exponentially faster—thanks in great part to email and smartphones—the handwritten note isn’t just rarer, it has taken on a new kind of meaning. Receiving a handwritten note is that much more significant today precisely because the writer chose to take the time to pen a note, rather than an abbreviated message. [...]
You don’t have to be Shakespeare. No need to compose poetry or write pages upon pages. Just say what’s on your heart. Tell your reader how much you value their friendship, or simply thank them for a gift you’ve received.
Dress up your note. Stationery can make any note seem extra special. You can easily find unique stationery to fit your budget no matter how large or small. Check out handcrafted cards on Etsy. Paper Source, Papyrus, and Target also have a good selection.
Be creative. If you’re feeling crafty, make your own stationery! Take a trip to your local craft store and pick up a package of blank cards and envelopes, a rubber stamp, and colored ink.
And remember, you don’t need the finest stationery, the most eloquent language, or even a special occasion to send a note! A simple, “thinking of you” is enough to make someone’s week.
-via Marilyn Terrell
Frances Henshaw was a 14-year-old schoolgirl when she drew a series of maps in 1828. There were only 24 states at that time; she reproduced 19 of them. Henshaw preserved her work in a book with information about each state in beautiful handwriting.
Besides these maps, Henshaw’s book also contains carefully transcribed information about astronomy (likewise a socially-sanctioned area of study for young women), American history, and climatic patterns of the world.
While this personal atlas was produced as a school project, Henshaw clearly relished and took pride in her work. An inscription on the title page indicates that she saved the book and gave it to her son in 1872.
Earlier this month, John posted an image showing how 98% of Australia's population is clustered in a few coastal regions. While that was fascinating, it turns out that America is pretty highly clustered as well. In fact, 50% of our population is located solely in the 146 counties marked in blue on this map.
The BBC filmed a POV train ride from London to Brighton in 1953. Thirty years later, they did it again, and now, another thirty years later they took the same trip. Those three films have been placed together and synched up (the film goes much faster than the actual trip). The result is hypnotic. Not much has changed: the trees have grown, and the world is much more colorful now. -via Jason Kottke
These are 100% real, honest-to-goodness headlines. can you figure out what they were trying to say?
Doctor Testifies in Horse Suit
Complaints About NBA Referees Growing Ugly
Diet of Premature Babies Affects IQ
Oprah, Madonna Talk Marriage
Groom Sues Bride of 4 Mouths
General Eisenhower Flies Back to Front
Airline Travel Safer Despite More Accidents
God Gets a Parking Caution: "No Execeptions" Say Police
Dumped Fish Remains Upset
American Ships Head to Libya
Woman Not Injured By Cookie
Lack of Water Hurts Ice Fishing
L.A. Voters Approve Urban Renewal by Landslide
Lawyer Calls Soul as Witness
Thanks to President Clinton, Staff Sgt. Fruer Now Has a Son
Tortoise Held Hostage as Lobster War Turns Nasty
Diaper Market Bottoms Out
Snow Storms May be Precursor of Winter
Blind Bishop Appointed to See
Ancient Blond Corpses Raise Questions
Lawyers Give Poor Free Legal Advice
California Governor Makes Stand on Dirty Toilets
Reason for More Bear Sightings: More Bears
Cuts Could Hurt Animals
Ban on Soliciting Dead in Trotwood
Nude Scene Done Tastefully in Radio Play
The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Slightly Irregular Bathroom Reader, a fantastic book by the Bathroom Readers' Institute. The 17th book in this the Bathroom Reader series is filled to the brim with facts, fun, and fascination, including articles about the Origin of Kung Fu, How to Kill a Zombie, Women in Space and more!
Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!
Before you watch this, if you don't live in a big city, you should know that subway commuters are used to panhandlers who take advantage of a captive audience to tell a tale of woe and collect donations. It happens all the time. So these people were not expecting what they got in this incident from College Humor. -via Viral Viral Videos
Move over, Ian McKellen! Country legend Willie Nelson is aiming to play Gandalf in The Hobbit 2. Here's his audition tape, courtesy of Team Coco - I dare say he's a shoo-in for the role, dontcha think? Link - Thanks Diana Chang!
Travis Jonker and his team work at an elementary school library. They had some old auditorium seats left over from renovations. They were functional as seating, but Jonker and his co-workers turned them into advertisements for works of children's literature. Click on Continue reading to view more.
Photos: Mark Lorch
Here's a nifty weekend science project that you can do with your kids: make a DNA from jelly babies and licorice. Mark Lorch of The Guardian's Notes & Theories tells us how:
Two long, flexible sweets, such as liquorice ribbons.
A few handfuls of soft, highly coloured sweets, such as jelly babies or marshmallows.
And the best part? Eating 'em at the end!
Peter Nonacs, professor of biology at UCLA, teaches Game Theory in his Behavioral Ecology course. He told his students that for an upcoming exam, they could do anything that would normally be considered cheating:
A week before the test, I told my class that the Game Theory exam would be insanely hard—far harder than any that had established my rep as a hard prof. But as recompense, for this one time only, students could cheat. They could bring and use anything or anyone they liked, including animal behavior experts. (Richard Dawkins in town? Bring him!) They could surf the Web. They could talk to each other or call friends who’d taken the course before. They could offer me bribes. (I wouldn’t take them, but neither would I report it to the dean.) Only violations of state or federal criminal law such as kidnapping my dog, blackmail, or threats of violence were out of bounds. [...]
Once the shock wore off, they got sophisticated. In discussion section, they speculated, organized, and plotted. What would be the test’s payoff matrix? Would cooperation be rewarded or counter-productive? Would a large group work better, or smaller subgroups with specified tasks? What about “scroungers” who didn’t study but were planning to parasitize everyone else’s hard work? How much reciprocity would be demanded in order to share benefits? Was the test going to play out like a dog-eat-dog Hunger Games? In short, the students spent the entire week living Game Theory. It transformed a class where many did not even speak to each other into a coherent whole focused on a single task—beating their crazy professor’s nefarious scheme.
On the day of the hour-long test they faced a single question: “If evolution through natural selection is a game, what are the players, teams, rules, objectives, and outcomes?”
Most students responded by working together:
One student immediately ran to the chalkboard, and she began to organize the outputs for each question section. The class divided tasks. They debated. They worked on hypotheses. Weak ones were rejected, promising ones were developed. Supportive evidence was added. A schedule was established for writing the consensus answers. (I remained in the room, hoping someone would ask me for my answers, because I had several enigmatic clues to divulge. But nobody thought that far afield!) As the test progressed, the majority (whom I shall call the “Mob”) decided to share one set of answers. Individuals within the Mob took turns writing paragraphs, and they all signed an author sheet to share the common grade. Three out of the 27 students opted out (I’ll call them the “Lone Wolves”). Although the Wolves listened and contributed to discussions, they preferred their individual variants over the Mob’s joint answer.
In the end, the students learned what social insects like ants and termites have known for hundreds of millions of years. To win at some games, cooperation is better than competition. Unity that arises through a diversity of opinion is stronger than any solitary competitor.
But that wasn't the end of of Prof. Nonacs's instruction:
But did the students themselves realize this? To see, I presented the class with one last evil wrinkle two days later, after the test was graded but not yet returned. They had a choice, I said. Option A: They could get the test back and have it count toward their final grade. Option B: I would—sight unseen—shred the entire test. Poof, the grade would disappear as if it had never happened. But Option B meant they would never see their results; they would never know if their answers were correct.
“Oh, my, can we think about this for a couple of days?” they begged. No, I answered. More heated discussion followed. It was soon apparent that everyone had felt good about the process and their overall answers. The students unanimously chose to keep the test. Once again, the unity that arose through a diversity of opinion was right. The shared grade for the Mob was 20 percent higher than the averages on my previous, more normal, midterms. Among the Lone Wolves, one scored higher than the Mob, one about the same, and one scored lower
It's a shame such grand homes are built and now no one lives in them. Most are abandoned because restoring them to safe living conditions simply costs too much. See nine such mansions and castles at io9. Shown here is Château Miranda in Belgium, built in 1866 and empty since 1991 due to a property dispute with the government. Link -via the Presurfer
(Image credit: Flickr user Paul-Henri S)
Boston native Hilary Sargent, also known as Chartgirl, made a chart about the various media and news outlets and how well they covered the Boston marathon bombing story. You'll have to click twice enlarge it at the link to read all the information. Which news outlet got the facts right? Which advertised pressure cookers on sale? Who identified the wrong people as the bombers? Who used Photoshop on the photographs? It's all here in the handy chart. Link -via Boing Boing
In Russia, Victory Day is May 9, a day to commemorate the surrender of Nazi Germany in World War II. Look closely at this billboard promoting the holiday. It has a Soviet flag, but the soldiers are taken from Joe Rosenthal's photograph "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima," which shows the U.S. victory over the Japanese in the 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima. Yes, it's been flipped horizontally, so maybe no one will notice. See more at English Russia. Link -via Buzzfeed
This is Harvard Square as you've never seen it before -and you'll probably never see it again without people. Boston was on lockdown earlier today, as police looked for the fugitive bomber (and they got him). Citizens were told to stay home and stay inside during the sweep. Some took advantage of the eerie situation to photograph the city with empty streets. See more of them in a collection at NBC. Link -via Fark
(Image credit: someaunty)
Wen Hsu of Jilin, China didn't want his water pipes to freeze. So, just as many people around the world, he turned on the tap. And left it on...all winter:
Wen Hsu, 58, had lived on the seventh floor of the property scheduled for demolition to make way for a new shopping centre for 35 years and when developers managed to buy all the other flats in the building - he was left as the only resident.
As winter approached and it got colder Hsu was worried that the uninsulated water pipes running up through the unused and unheated flats below him would freeze, leaving him without running water. So in order to keep the temperature of the pipes above freezing he simply switched on the tap – and then diverted the warm water to flow down the side of the building.
Link -Thanks, Wifey!
Image via Joey deVilla
I'm at a loss of what to say about today's tragedy in Boston, but perhaps this quote from Mr. Rogers is appropriate:
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world."
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Got toxins in your bloodstream? Soak 'em up with science!
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have created a nanosponge that can remove a broad class of dangerous toxins from the bloodstream:
These nanosponges, which thus far have been studied in mice, can neutralize "pore-forming toxins," which destroy cells by poking holes in their cell membranes. Unlike other anti-toxin platforms that need to be custom synthesized for individual toxin type, the nanosponges can absorb different pore-forming toxins regardless of their molecular structures. In a study against alpha-haemolysin toxin from MRSA, pre-innoculation with nanosponges enabled 89 percent of mice to survive lethal doses.
We don't need train stations the way we once did, but the buildings were built too nicely to not use them in some way or another. Those decommissioned stations have become homes, hotels, museums, libraries, and other facilities, and some of them are out of this world gorgeous. Shown here is the Grand Concourse restaurant in Pittsburgh. See a selection of the best at Flavorwire. Link
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