Just when you think the awkward family portraits bar has been set, someone goes and sets it a little bit higher (or, rather, lower). One has to wonder if these thirteen misguided pet owners regret their portrait concept in retrospect (or whether they were serious in the first place). Only one thing is certain: the animals are trapped in a shame spiral. -Via Distractify
Meri-Pori, Finland, 2014
Finnish photographer Mikko Lagerstedt is more proof that "self taught" photographers can reach the same level of excellence as those with formal training. Lagerstedt's fabulous landscapes are a mixture of techniques; he sometimes uses compositing of differently timed exposures. He describes his process in detail, as well as giving tutorials, on his website.
See more of Lagerstedt's work both at his site and on Instagram. I highly recommend his blog for photography enthusiasts as well. -Via Colossal
The Whole Universe Surrenders
Tuusula, Finland, 2014
This funny commercial for Snickers set to air during the Super Bowl adds Steve Buscemi and Danny Trejo to the classic Brady Bunch episode in which Marcia gets smacked in the nose with a football thrown by Peter. "Making of" footage is featured in the video below. I don't know about you, but I think Buscemi makes a lovely Jan!
Mental Floss put together this interesting list of facts about life as an employee in the warehouses of Amazon. One aspect addressed is the metal detectors by which warehouse workers must be scanned prior to leaving the premises for lunch or at the end of the work day.
Charlee Mided, who worked in an Amazon warehouse in Phoenix, Arizona, said there was a huge rush among the workers to get in line for the security scan, particularly at lunchtime. He elaborated,
“If you’re way over on one side of the warehouse and lunch is called, you have 30 minutes from that point to clock out, eat, and come back. You’re spending half your time waiting to be scanned out so you can be sure you’re not stealing anything. It leaves you with about 10 minutes for food.”
When it's time to clock out, there is the same hurry to get in line for the metal detectors. The minutes spent in line is time for which the employees aren't paid, according to a Supreme Court decision on the matter issued in late 2014.
Read 12 other facts about work in Amazon warehouses here.
Image Source: Reddit
Grammar Girl and Quick and Dirty Tips author Mignon Fogarty writes this list of top ten grammar myths, which has points that might fool even the most contentious of internet grammar hawks. But there's one thing we all know: irregardless is not a word. Right? That loud buzzing sound says wrong (and so does Fogarty). She explains,
“Irregardless” is a bad word and a word you shouldn't use, but it is a word. “Floogetyflop” isn't a word—I just made it up and you have no idea what it means. “Irregardless,” on the other hand, is in almost every dictionary labeled as nonstandard. You shouldn't use it if you want to be taken seriously, but it has gained wide enough use to qualify as a word.
Read the rest of Fogarty's top ten grammar myths here.
According to the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, an exceedingly rare megamouth shark washed ashore in Marigondon, Pioduran, Albay yesterday morning. The specimen, which was no longer alive, was thought to be only the 60th sighting of the species ever (though experts are still debating the number).
Cause of death of the 15-foot long shark is still unknown. The specimen has been stored on ice until specialists arrive to examine it.
The common name of this docile, deep-dwelling species refers to the disproportionate size of its massive head and the large capacity of its mouth, which the shark keeps open as it swims in order to catch plankton and jellyfish.
See a video about a scientist's fascinating encounter with a megamouth in the wild below. Read more about the Philippines specimen here, and see the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines' Facebook post about the event here.
Images: Rhaydz Barcia
"Lost Dog" is another in the grand tradition of Super Bowl commercials by Budweiser, which often feature the company's iconic Clydesdale horses. In this tearjerker, a follow-up to last year's ad "Puppy Love," a yellow Labrador retriever puppy is accidentally taken a long distance from his home and farm friends, and he must find a way to make it back. See the video below for "making of" footage.
In related Super Bowl puppy ad news, GoDaddy made a Super Bowl advertisement that was intended to be a parody of this Budweiser ad, yet they pulled it after backlash from groups such as the SPCA and change.org, who argued that it encouraged puppy mills and inhumane breeding. This article in Variety goes so far as to suggest that GoDaddy planned the whole thing as a publicity stunt, which makes sense given how many media outlets are covering the story. What do you think, readers? -Via Tastefully Offensive
Cubitat is a 10 x 10 x 10 cube that features a kitchen, bathroom, bed, laundry and storage. Presented at Toronto’s Interior Design Show recently, the Cubitat is the concept of Urban Capital developers David Wex and Mark Reeve and designer Luca Nichetto. Once the cube makes it past the prototype phase, the developers plan to make it available for customization and purchase online.
The developers call Cubitat a a “plug and play” living space, in that it's fully functioning when hooked up to plumbing and power.
See additional photos and learn more about Cubitat's features and limitations here.
Those who keep dogs and cats as pets know that they have an affinity for the laundry basket. Dirty laundry? sure. Clean? You bet. Either way, it smells like their human and it's piled high with layers of fabric comfort. Lying on it works... chewing on it is always good too. Unravel a string to see where it all leads? Fantastic idea. Another day, another basket. Surely you didn't want to keep that fresh-smeliing, clean pile seconds out of the dryer to yourself, did you? If so, these animals raise a paw to object.
See more dogs and cats luxuriating in laundry here.
The San Francisco Zoo is running what they call a Valentine's Day special: the adoption of a Madagascar hissing cockroach or a giant hairy scorpion. Why? To honor your ex, of course.
A zoo donation of $25 will not only aid conservation efforts for the species you select, but it also pays for an adoption certificate with the name of your ex on it, along with a small plush scorpion or several plastic cockroaches in "a cute little red box." Just the thing for sending to your former love interest cum creepy crawler! The zoo's website describes the scorpion adoption as follows,
"So the latest affair didn't work out and given your ex's record-breaking ability to move on, you suspect foul play. Well, nothing soothes the sting like the adoption of a giant hairy scorpion in honor of your former beloved. It's no surprise, these invertebrates are aggressive, active, and alarmingly nocturnal. Much like your low-life ex, they are usually found in and around low-elevation valleys where they dig elaborate burrows or "caves." Also just like you-know-who, when a suitable victim wanders by, the scorpion grabs the doomed creature with its pinchers and stings the prey. After the prey is immobilized, the scorpion tears the carcass apart with its pinchers and begins feeding. Charming... We can't make any promises, but urban legend says that the gift of a scorpion adoption serves as permanent protection against future romantic stings. Let the healing begin."
The cockroach copy is scarily similar. Adopt-a-roach, see additional pictures and more at the San Francisco Zoo website.
Image: San Francisco Zoo
As snowstorm Juno fell upon the streets of Boston, another entity appeared to further whiten the streets: a creature by the name of The Boston Yeti. Armed with a furry suit and a Twitter account (@BostonYeti2015), the Yeti, which until now was only the stuff of legend, is creating documented snow prints all over town. Defying curfews and braving snowdrifts, this urban snowman isn't so abominable: he even expresses on Twitter his wish for the Boston populace to stay safe.
Read more and see additional pictures of the Yeti at the Boston Globe.
Image: @BostonYeti2015 on Twitter
For the past three years, Teddy Bear the Porcupine, "prognosticator of prognosticators," has correctly predicted the winning team of the Super Bowl. Teddy does it using the only acceptable method: corn on the cob. Then, in Teddy's usual way, he has a word with his adoring fans. Gamblers and sports fans, take heed! -Via Tastefully Offensive
See also: More videos from Teddy Bear.
Lost in Your Eyes, Debbie Gibson
Little Sam Burnett first heard Devo's song "Whip It" when he was about two years old, and he couldn't get enough. The experience had a huge effect on him, and he began to obsess over 1980s music after that.
The next song that Sam's mom (also an 80s music enthusiast) intoduced him to was "Hold Me Now" by the Thompson Twins. Sam became hooked on the genre. He even created a drawing that illustrated the song, and has been doing it ever since. Take a look at Sam's illustrations over the years. His charming visual interpretations of the music are classics.
See a bigger collection of Sam's 80s music artwork here.
Crazy for You, Madonna
Sharp Dressed Man, ZZ Top
BuzzFeed put together this video of various coffee concoctions from countries all across the globe. Some are iced, some are hot, all are decidedly different than anything you'll get in most American coffee shops. Have you tried any of the recipes included here? If so, weigh in with your review in the comments. (I'll be over in the corner with my tea.) -Via Viral Viral Videos
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has detailed the dangerous items it seized at U.S. airport security checkpoints in 2014. The number of passengers screened in 2014 — 653 million — has increased by nearly 15 million since the previous year. A whopping 2,212 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags in 2014, which marks a 22-percent increase from the year prior. The top ten airports at which the most offenders were caught are as follows:
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): 120
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 109
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): 78
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): 77
Denver International Airport (DEN): 70
William P. Hobby Airport (HOU): 50
Tampa International Airport (TPA): 49
Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): 49
Nashville International Airport (BNA): 48
Orlando International Airport (MCO): 47
See the TSA's interesting year-end review of the dangerous items seized on their blog. Look at photographs of the (often completely bizarre) items confiscated at the TSA Instagram account.
Via Laughing Squid | Image: TSA
Don't think for a minute that the costume you stuffed your loyal canine into last Halloween has been forgotten. No, the cat hasn't forgiven you for enforcing the new policy of feline-free keyboards and laundry baskets. Dry food? Duly noted. Pink sweaters? Still in the mind's eye. Your animals are simply biding their time until it's right to strike. Be afraid.
See more animals plotting their human's demise here.
Dan McPharlin, featured previously on Neatorama for his papercraft of miniature retro analog electronics, is back for the feature of his stunning collection of retro sci fi landscapes and album cover art. The Australian artist answered an interview question from Sci-fi-O-Rama about the visual style he most identified with the following:
"Surrealism has always been an influence and I suppose my work also draws heavily on what I consider the ‘golden age’ of sci-fi art. The artwork that is the most exciting to me was what I grew up with; lavish paperback covers, record sleeves and game boxes by Roger Dean, illustrated speculative fiction like the Terran Trade series, art books published by Dragon’s Dream, Paper Tiger (exactly the kind of thing you feature on Sci-fi-O-Rama in fact!) I remember a handful of tattered school library books that I would borrow over and over. I think there was one called Space Wars that I just kept re-borrowing for a whole year; my name was probably the only one on the library slip!
A lot of the newer genres I know very little about. While I find a lot of contemporary work technically impressive, I often have a hard time connecting to it emotionally. For me mood and atmosphere always trumps technical verisimilitude so thats what I try to bring to my work."
That retro surrealist quality is certainly evident in these striking artworks. Additionally, interviewer Kieran bonded with McPharlin over their heavy use of the Commodore Amiga back in the day. You can take the boy out of the retro...
See more pieces by McPharlin here as well as at his website.
A Rochester, New Hampshire woman ordered a sweet tea and a junior spicy chicken sandwich at a Burger King drive through, but she was handed quite a surprise instead of her order. Once Janelle Jones was on her way home, she realized that the employee at the restaurant had handed her a bag containing $2,631. All but a $100 bill was stuffed into two bank deposit bags. After contacting her husband, the couple decided to return the money. Read the full story, including what drove the two to return the cash and the response of the restaurant at Nothing to Do With Arbroath.
Molyvos, Lesvos, Greece | Image: Jay 21310
This collection of photographs consists of streets that are glorious with natural adornment. Flowers and trees so lush and mature in their state of growth that they form colorful canopies which frame the streets.
This is a user-submitted list that invites readers to post other photographs matching the theme. I can think of of such a walkway that fits the bill but is not represented: The Mall, a row of gorgeous Elm trees lining a wide street in Central Park. Have you encountered any such streets in your travels that are missing from the list? See all the photos here.
Stockholm, Sweden | Image: Hector Melo
Tunnel of Love Romania, Caras-Severin | Image: Sue Hsu
Wisteria Tunnel, Japan | Image: Andreea Vintila Kostova
Bamboo Forest, Sagano Japan | Image: Andreea Vintila Kostova
Grafton, New South Wales, Australia | Image: Jo Hitchin
Valencia, Spain | Image: Visittheworld.tumblr.com
Orton Plantation Driveway, Smithville, NC | Image: Mia of Sky People
An Australian mailman (or as they're referred to there, "Postie") films the dogs he sees on his regular route. He zips around on his motorbike to get from place to place and, presumably, to make a fast escape from a few dogs. Also, as he notes on his YouTube video description, "In Australia, The grass/lawn from the letterbox to the road that you see me riding on is owned by the Council/Government, It is NOT owned by the home owner and that is why we are allowed to ride there." (Lest anyone think he's destroying the resident's property.) NSFW, language. -Via Tastefully Offensive
This fascinating video follows 83-year-old Argentinian Pablo walking through what is now the ruins of a once thriving, prosperous town — a resort to which tourists flocked — that was underwater for 30 years once a dam and dike gave way to the lake beyond them. The high salt content of the lake made the area a tourist attraction; it also ensured maximum corrosion and destruction once the buildings and streets were submerged.
The town, called Villa Epecuen (previously at Neatorama) is located near Buenos Aires, and once had a population of 5,000. Pablo is the only resident left, and he remains amazingly resourceful and self sufficient for his age. He wistfully yet lovingly recounts his personal history and former home, explaining the details of its tragic loss to the forces of nature.
For additional stills, visit this link.
The submerged resort town of Epecuen
The space before
Redditor griind posted about his electric fireplace DIY project. What he did with a relatively small wall space looks pretty impressive. He made other posts to the thread while answering questions that showed his work on the master bathroom as well, which also looks beautiful. He's quite forthcoming with information, right down to model numbers of various fixtures. I love the dark hardwood floor. What do you think?
See his post, which includes a complete set of before and after pictures including one of the furnished room, here.
Via Viral Nova | Images: Imgur/griind
The finished area, complete with dark hardwood floors for contrast
According to a report in the South China Morning Post, a group of four individuals, including a girl estimated to be twelve to fourteen years old, made off with a 100-carat diamond necklace worth $4.6 million, with the teen being the one who physically took the jewels. The abovementioned news organization wrote of the incident,
"The heist – which detectives have described as “very well planned” – unfolded when two women, a man and a girl thought to be between 12 and 14 years old walked into the Emperor Jewellery shop in the 1881 Heritage shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui shortly after 3pm yesterday.
Well-dressed and speaking Putonghua, the trio of adults, managed to distract staff by asking to look at a series of items on display while the girl stole a key from a drawer, opened a display cabinet then slipped the necklace off a display bust and into her pocket."
It sounds as if the young woman is getting one hell of an education thanks to the adults in charge of her care. That certainly wasn't your average teenage girl's trip to the mall. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but they might become her worst nightmare should she be apprehended.
Giant Squid | Image: Tsunemi Kubodera of the National Science Museum of Japan/AP
The article linked below features the largest creatures in the ocean as well as some of the most massive creatures of their type. The giant squid, shown above, is the second largest cephalopod in existence, growing to a size of 33-43 feet long. The giant squid was once thought to be the largest cephalopod, until the colossal squid, with a length of 46 feet and a larger mass, was discovered. Both are deep-sea dwellers that exhibit deep-sea gigantism, which is the predisposition of deep-sea species to grow much larger than those inhabiting shallower waters.
Colossal Squid | Image: www.fish.govt.nz
Each of the eight arms and two tentacles of the giant squid is lined with two-inch in diameter suction cups. The surfaces of the suction cups have rings of serrated teeth, which attach to the squid's prey. It is not uncommon to see circular puncture scars from these teeth on the skin of sperm whales that have attacked the squid in vain.
In what no one would be shocked to see as the next fashion trend in Japan, the Hikaru Skirt (which translates to "Shining Skirt") is a mini designed to illuminate the thighs of anyone c̶e̶r̶t̶i̶f̶i̶a̶b̶l̶y̶ ̶i̶n̶s̶a̶n̶e̶ brave enough to wear it.
The brainchild of Japanese designer Kiyoyuki Amano, the skirt is lit from underneath with LED lights equipped with gyro sensors, so that the light colors and patterns change with the movement of the model.
Amano said that he was simply experimenting with lights on skirts when he discovered that they shone a spotlight on the wearer's thighs, which he found enlightening. Eureka! Talk about a light bulb moment! Amano is apparently so enthusiastic about the Hikaru — which has yet to be mass produced — that he's started a Tumblr with the skirt (and thighs) in a starring role. Don't miss the thighlights on said Tumblr.
Via Oddity Central | Images: Kiyoyuki Amano
As an article in The Independent explained about this video,
"Pandas generally don’t move too fast. Inclined to slothful activity, it’s unusual to see the animals do much more than look vaguely excited about the arrival of food.
But panda cubs in China’s Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, in Chengdu, got into a playful brawl earlier this week. The five cubs can be seen rolling and scrapping in their enclosure as they buffet one another after one cub attempts to climb a nearby tree.
Quickly returning to form, the cubs - after a mere 50 seconds of brawling - soon appear bored and each wanders off to separate corners of the enclosure."
Nothing like keeping the brawling in the family! Stay scrappy, cubs.
YouTube user The Fabulous Mr. Pug made this video about how he came to care for Coco, a stray kitten he found living in the building where he worked. At the start of the video, Coco is filmed at the power plant, filthy and obviously frightened by the loud machinery. Mr. Pug explains,
"She was born in the thermal power plant I work in and she was alone, hungry, cold and scared. She was trying to eat dry bread when I found her. I brought her some kitten food and we instantly became best friends. One week later, we adopted her and she became a new member of our family. Today, she is one beautiful and playful kitty and she brings so much happiness into our lives!"
What a sweet story. I can only imagine how happy Coco is to have a home instead of fending for herself at the scary power plant.
The video below is of Coco doing kitty-like things at her new home. In this instance, she's discovering carbonated water. That bubbly stuff tickles her nose, and she's not sure it's entirely safe. Best to take cover behind a curtain and stalk it for a bit, just in case. -Via Tastefully Offensive
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