Sometimes wealthy people build monuments to their success that are so ostentatious they border on obscenity. This collection of ten such homes lists some contenders for most over-the-top architectural displays of wealth. Number five is described below. 5) Fairfield, The Hamptons
Billionaire Ira Rennert's house, built on 68 acres of property facing the Atlantic Ocean, is worth $198 million. The buildings that make up the complex equal approximately 110,000 square feet; the main house alone is 66,000 square feet, has 29 bedrooms and 39 bathrooms. Amenities include a basketball court, a bowling alley, two tennis courts, two squash courts, a hot tub worth $150,000 and its own power station.
See this article for descriptions of nine more ridiculously decadent homes here.
Who doesn't remember and love the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark in which the ark is opened and the Nazis are confronted with the face-melting truth about their coveted, sacred piece? This item from UK company Firebox captures the homeliest of the Nazi visages as a candle that melts into a satisfying pile of waxy goo. This fun bit of movie memorabilia is available here for 30 bucks plus shipping.
Approximated figure proportions of Barbie (l), and Lammily, (r)
Traditional Barbie dolls have been under attack for years regarding what people deem their unrealistically tiny waistline and figure. Digital artist and designer Nickolay Lamm took advantage of the public criticism and created a “normal" Barbie alternative that he named "Lammily." His doll, according to him, has realistic body proportions for a 19-year-old girl. For $6.00 above the $25.00 price of the doll, a sticker kit called "Lammily marks" is available, which makes it possible for the user to apply cellulite, tattoos, warts, acne, stretchmarks, freckles, scars, bruises and other skin variances.
I guess I haven't made up my mind about Lammily's sticker kit. Is it wrong for me to hope for a 19-year-old doll sans cellulite and stretch marks? (Well, I suppose the stickers don't have to be ordered/all applied.) Also, if your goal is to model the doll after an "average" 19-year-old, how about giving her an average name, instead of naming her after yourself, the entrepreneur? Am I being too picky here? Let me know what you think in the comments.
This simple yet remarkable animation by Andreas Hykade quite accurately captures the arc of addiction, via a bird character who, in his travels on foot, encounters golden nuggets along the way. When he ingests a nugget out of curiosity, he experiences feelings of elation; feelings that soon change, as does his perception and quality of life in the interim between nuggets. -Via Dangerous Minds
Casu Marzu, found mostly in Sardinia and Corsica, is a cheese infested with maggots, which are capable of jumping up to half a foot when disturbed
This grouping of foods from countries all over the globe is not only unusual, but in quite a few instances, I daresay it's downright disgusting. Fried spiders, rotten eggs, larvae-infested cheese, roasted guinea pigs... these are things I can't conceive of getting close to, much less eating. Of course, one woman's disgust is another's delicacy. If such treats have an enthusiastic market in some parts of the world, I shouldn't be one to judge. In fact, there's a epicurean adventurer and writer right here at Neatorama who just might have an open mind enough to sample some of these treats. *cough* Farrier *cough*
This collection of engagement photos includes some unbelievably awkward moments. It's hard to imagine the conversations or ideas that could have led to such photo fiascos. Were some of these the photographers' ideas? If so, what would make the couple go along with such a notion? And vice versa — what photographer worth their salt would agree to pose suggestions that would make their watermark a target of ridicule? Only the people in these pictures (and those who captured them) know for sure.
When snow fell on November 17 at Toronto Zoo, the staff captured giant panda Da Mao's joyous mood at the sight of it. He belly-sledded down a hill, what the zoo called "bear-bogganing," with some rolls and tumbles thrown in for good measure. This same panda was featured on Neatorama in February of this year when he romped in the snow then as well. Evidently he's a big fan of the white stuff. -Via Distractify
Hong Kong-based freelance designer David Lo illustrated this graphic series of Batmobiles past and future. Its inception was as a red sedan, only referred to as "his car," in Detective Comics #39 in 1939. From that unceremonious origin to its future in the 2016 film Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Batmobile has undergone many transformations to more resemble its superhero driver, while always remaining sleek and stylish.
See all the Batmobiles in Lo's series here, and visit hiswebsite to see more of his work.
This video shows what a number of typical human activities — including a couple making out — looks like as viewed by a thermal camera. While the sex scene looked about how I thought it would, I found the working out scene a bit more surprising. Contains a graphic sexual situation; definitely NSFW. -Via Viral Viral Videos
Ivan Kislov works as a mining engineer in Russia's Chukotka region, the environment of which is arctic tundra. To relax in his spare time during long shifts at work, Kislov says he likes to observe the wildlife, often capturing it with a camera.
Kislov tells Bored Panda that he photographs a lot of foxes, due to their curious nature, as they are willing to come close to him. He also shoots with wide angle and telephoto lenses to get a more intimate feel.
Poor Luke Skywalker the Great Dane. He's scared to death of his human's Halloween costume. He's not letting that Stay Puft thing near him, running up and down stairs to avoid its gaze. What else is a pup to do when presented with a Puft? Just keep running, Luke. You have the force on your side. -Via Laughing Squid
Mental Floss put together a list of commonly used English words that initially were errors. One example is the word "tornado." It originated from the Spanish word "tronada," meaning "thunderstorm." The second and third letters being reversed is an example of metathesis. Metathesis means "transposition of two phonemes in a word (as in the development of crud from curd or the pronunciation \ˈpər-tē\ for pretty)" according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Mental Floss provides other examples of words formed by metathesis: "bridd" turned into "bird," "beorht" into "bright," and "luchorpan" into "leprechaun."
Learn nine other words that initially were errors here.
Alice Smeets describes herself via her website as a "Photographer. Journalist. Filmmaker. Artist. Wedding photojournalist. Project Manager. Teacher. Traveler." She studied under a photojournalist as his assistant, and her specialty is documentary photography.
These images are from a series Smeets did on the practitioners of modern witchcraft in Europe and the United States. They are striking shots, vivid in their depiction of the involved individuals. Here is Smeets' take on the project:
“Modern Witchcraft is practiced across Europe, the USA and the rest of the Western World. It is extremely diverse; with beliefs that range widely from polytheism to animism, to pantheism and other paradigms. The largest movements of this self-termed Neo-Paganism are Wicca and Druidism; the followers of which call themselves Witches or Druids, sharing beliefs of Magic, Witchcraft and Nature’s Power. They respect their environment and celebrate eight Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year where they praise the divinities of nature. They often hold rituals – called Esbats – on the Full Moon. In part, they return to some of the old Celtic traditions.
While Wicca is a very young religion, formed by Gerald Gardner not more than 50 years ago, its roots are much older than Christianity. It has no relationship to Satanism, which is one of many misconceptions held by the public. Ancient pagan beliefs have begun to make their way into the Neo-Pagan community in many ways, making our spiritual path a very deep one, rooted and grounded in the very earth that supports us. From its origins in England it is now widely spread across Europe, America and the rest of the world. At the present time, Neo-Paganism is a large network of small communities with its own organizations, festivals, magazines, shops, workshops, gatherings and ceremonies. Witches can be found everywhere: in the supermarket, in the streets, as well as in our own neighborhood. And you would not know these Witches unless you were told who they were or were one yourself.”
I encourage anyone interested in this series to visit Smeets' websiteto see more photos. They are compelling shots. (Two images contain nudity and are NSFW.)
I would have thought these gorgeous acrylic paintings by artist Jason De Graaf were photographs if I hadn't read the text that accompanied these images. He says via his website,
"My paintings are about staging an alternate reality, the illusion of verisimilitude on the painted surface, filtered so that it expresses my unique vision. Though my paintings may appear photoreal, my goal is not to reproduce or document faithfully what I see one hundred percent, but also to create the illusion of depth and sense of presence not found in photographs. I try to use objects as a vehicle to express myself, to tell a story, or hint at something beyond what is actually painted. Therefore I try to choose subjects that have meaning to me or are artifacts from my life.."
Garfi, "The World's Angriest Cat" | Image: Hulya Ozkok
Lately, there's been a lot of talk about "breaking the Internet." Apparently it's going to take a lot more than a large posterior to do it. Is there anything that could break the Internet? If I had to submit one guess in the way of an answer, it would be the removal of every cat image and video, and no others being allowed. The broken links alone would be "CATastrophic," as it were. Could net life as we know it continue? Who's to say but these characters, the most famous cats on the Internet? Each adds nine to the circle of Internet life, and things wouldn't be the same without them.
Bored Panda asked readers to submit and vote to rate the most famous cats on the Internet. Here are some of the highest ranked kitties. Visit this link to see the rest.
CineFix has guest Adam West answer questions, some about the Batman TV series and a few personal, in this video. True or false: does West have a Batman tooth? Hit play for the answer. -Via Laughing Squid
Mental Floss takes on some common misconceptions about technology here. Topics include video games and violence, Macs and viruses, cell phones and cancer and video games with regard to gender of the players.
Alibaba.com is China's biggest e-commerce site, dominating 80 percent of China's online shopping sales, according to the Wall Street Journal. Also according to the WSJ, sales on its online sites were $248 billion in 2013, more than eBay and Amazon.com combined.
Yet some of the items for sale on the site are quite unusual, and not the average fare of Amazon or Ebay. Below are some examples. See more exampleshere.
Recently, a Neatorama article featured terrible album cover art collected by Boing Boing. Dangerous Minds has assembled a collection of bad cover art from countries all over the world. The grouping was pulled from the Sh*t Record Covers Facebook page. Bad taste knows absolutely no bounds. (Some covers are borderline NSFW.)
See more examples of hilariously bad record covers here or at the abovementioned Facebook page.
As part of the celebration of their 60th anniversary, on November 13th, the Guinness Book of World Records organization arranged a meeting in London of the tallest and shortest men on Earth. The World’s Tallest Living Man, who is 8'3" tall, is 31-year-old Sultan Kosen, from Ankara, Turkey. The World’s Shortest Living Man, standing at 21.5", is 74-year-old Chandra Bahadur Dangiof Purandhara, Nepal.
The video below shows footage of the two seemingly fast friends side-by-side. At one point in the video, the men shake hands, and the contrast between the size of their hands is stunning. At the same time, it seemed somehow uplifting, as if it represented the unity of all people in the world who are "different," and honored them as people.
Guinness Book Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday said of the event,
"It’s a special milestone for us and we thought we’d do something very special. We’ve united for the very first time, the World’s Tallest Living Man and the World’s Shortest Living Man. …It’s something that resonates very deeply for everyone. It crosses all cultures, creeds and races and to have them both together gives us a snapshot of the extremes of the world today."
Ah, Japan. Often, Western countries are amused by what we see as the odd quirks of Japanese culture. Thus, first-time visitors of Japan may be surprised by a number of Japanese customs. One example would be their Christmas traditions.
While Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, that doesn't mean they don't celebrate the holiday. It's just that they choose to celebrate with breasts and thighs. That would be similar to the way a ton of others in the world like to party, only I'm talking chicken breasts and thighs. The Colonel's chicken, to be precise. Yes, Kentucky Fried Chicken is a Japanese Christmas staple. KFC Japan enjoys their highest sales on that day of the year. "Merry Christmas! Original Recipe or Extra Krispy?"
Read about nine other ways Japan keeps first-time tourists on their toes here.
In this heartbreaker of a story, Ashley Elizabeth Wood loved helping people. She created a life for herself in the service of others. In the wake of 9/11, Ashley traveled to New York City from her home state of California to volunteer at Ladder 10 Fire Station at Ground Zero, known for its bronze memorial wall in honor of their fallen heroes. There she met another volunteer, Chris Picco. The two fell in love and married.
Eventually, Ashley became pregnant, and the couple were joyous about starting a family. Chris, who plays guitar and sings beautifully, would sing to his child in utero. When she was 24 weeks pregnant, Ashley unexpectedly died at age 30. At that time, an emergency C-section was performed, which resulted in the premature birth of Lennon James Picco.
The baby was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit. Just as he had done before little Lennon was born, Chris played and sang the Beatles' "Blackbird" to his son. This video is footage of Chris playing for Lennon. Tragically, the infant also passed away after clinging to life for three days.
Didga the skateboarding cat (previously at Neatorama) shows off her latest moves at the skatepark in this video, including the difficult-to-master move the "drop in." She certainly blows away my nonexistent skateboard skills! -Via Tastefully Offensive
Memphis-based photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero's series "Wait Watchers," ongoing since 2013, comprises photographs of herself in public places, capturing others' expressions in reaction to looking at her as they pass. She sets up her shots with a visible, self-timed camera, usually on a tripod, and proceeds to do normal activities. Apparent looks of disgust from people while looking at her are frequently seen in the results.
One such example happened in Times Square, New York City. A man standing behind Morris-Cafiero made a face at her from behind her, as a friend of his grabbed a picture of him. That was part of her inspiration for the project.
"I do not know what the strangers are thinking when they look at me. But there is a Henri Cartier-Bresson moment when my action aligns with the composition, the shutter and their gaze that has a critical or questioning element. Even though they are in front of a camera, they feel they have anonymity because they are crossing behind me.
And I don’t get hurt when I look at the images. I feel like I am reversing the gaze back on to them to reveal their gaze. I’m fine with who I am and don’t need anyone’s approval to live my life. I only get angry when I hear someone comment about my weight and the image does not reflect the criticism. That’s frustrating: when I didn’t get the shot.
But since the project started getting media attention, I’ve received hundreds of emails from people thanking me. There are so many people in the world who feel they have the right – no, the obligation — to criticize someone for the way they look, and to be that recipient of those insults can feel so lonely. I got an email from a 15-year-old girl in Belgium who said my images made her “feel better and not care about what others think and live my life.” That made me proud. As for what the images mean, viewers may interpret the images as they see fit. I’m just trying to start a conversation."
The way in which a book begins is important, in that it's indicative of the author's style as well as setting the tone for the entire piece of writing. It's like a walking in a front door; the way it is crafted can lend insight as to the treasures (or lack thereof) within.
Here are a few opening sentences of beloved science fiction books. See if you recognize any of them. Then visit this i09 articleto see the books from which they came, as well as to read more examples. If your favorite sci-fi book opening sentences are not included in the article, tell us what they are in comments.
1) "Physicist Leonardo Vetra smelled burning flesh, and he knew it was his own."
2) "The five small craft passed from shadow, emerging with the suddenness of coins thrown into sunlight."
German photographer Julia Christe's series "Freestyle" captures dogs in mid-air while jumping. The result is these adorable photographs of the various canines, agog, legs jumbled and hair flying. If only my dogs had been included in the series; my inability to get them to stop jumping on people could have finally paid off.
See all the photos in Christe's series, as well as the rest of her portfolio, at her website.
Have you ever been in IKEA so long that you thought about setting up camp there, sleeping on their beds and living on meatballs? If so, you're not alone. A twelve-year-old Chinese boy who ran away from home was found nearly a week later, having spent much of his time living in an IKEA store.
Peng Yijian was in hot water with his mom for not completing his math homework, so he left home and moved around, spending a good deal of time in IKEA. The boy lived off of free food samples from Shanghai supermarkets, and it has been speculated that he slept on an IKEA display bed.
Before he was found, police asked his mother where Peng liked to go in town. She told them IKEA, among other places. The boy was eventually found roaming the ground floor of the Swedish retailer.
Now this little guy has been adopted by his former foster parents and has become the self-assured, adorable young adult dog of six months shown here. With his sporty set of 3-D printed wheels, TurboRoo has no problem keeping up, as evidenced in the photo below, in which he confidently greets other dogs. TurboRoo appropriately lives in Speedway, Indiana with his two brothers, Braxton the Puggle and Navin the kitten.
The first two facts in this list of fifteen bits of trivia about The Little Mermaid have to do with the color palette of the film:
1) "The color is intentionally muted and overcast in the opening scene on Eric's ship. The directors wanted to save the bright colors for the sea." It's a trick that's been used in variation since The Wizard of Oz, and it never fails.
2) "The blue-green hue of Ariel's tail was specifically mixed for the movie by the Disney paint lab. They named it 'Ariel.'" Naturally.
Read the remaining thirteen facts about The Little Mermaid here.