Lisa Marcus's Blog Posts

Man With Cerebral Palsy Uses Typewriter to Make Beautiful Artworks

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Paul Smith has suffered from cerebral palsy since birth. Simple things that most folks take for granted, such as holding a brush or a writing utensil, aren't within the realm of possibility for him. Yet Mr. Smith did not let a disability stifle his spirit and desire to create art. As a young man, Smith began to "paint" with a typewriter. Using only ten symbol keys, Smith creates the impressive works of art shown in this video. Paul Smith may be confined to a nursing home in Oregon, but he has the power to inspire people all over the world with his talents, gracious demeanor and perseverance in the face of hardship. Via Lost at E Minor.


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Man Films Huge Wasp Nest on His Window

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YouTube user Vang Tsal filmed this large wasp nest outside his window. His footage makes for an interesting video. See Tsal's YouTube channel for two more videos of the nest, one with microphone added for sound and another timelapse version. (I'll be sitting in the corner, rocking back and forth while holding a can of pesticide.)


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Chinese City Creates Pedestrian Lane for Smart Phone Users



The Chinese city of Chongqing created what is thought to be the world's first pedestrian lane specifically for those using smart phones. In an effort to make a point that pedestrians who aren't paying attention to their surroundings are a danger to others, the city divided a length of approximately 170 feet to separate the phone hawks from the rest of the public who is interested in getting from point A to B expeditiously. 

While any results from this social experiment have yet to be published, I imagine such a system to be similarly effective as the side-by-side bicycle and pedestrian lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge. While the bicyclists respect the boundary, countless pedestrians get so caught up in taking pictures of themselves or their companions that they regularly cross the line into the cycle lane, where they risk being knocked down by a bike. It seems to me that those in the phone lane would so frequently veer into the pedestrian lane as to render it ineffective. What do you think? Via Geek.com. 

Images: News.cn.


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PGA Tour Golf Shot Lands in Spectator's Pocket

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Irish pro golfer Rory McIlroy's tee off shot on the 14th hole veers toward the trees and ends up in the pocket of an audience member. During the second round of the Tour Championship, McIlroy's ball hit a tree and made a straight drop into the right pocket of a man's shorts. The game rules called for the ball to be played from a spot as near as possible to where it landed, but McIlroy joked that he had no plans to retrieve the ball himself. "I wasn't going in there. I know how sweaty my pockets are. I'm not going into anyone else’s," he said. Via Viral Viral Videos.


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Chocolate Teapot



In the realm of British insults, calling someone a "chocolate teapot" is equivalent to telling them they're useless. Yet with the advent of the U.K. Nestle Product Technology Centre's victory in creating a chocolate teapot that can withstand several minutes of hot tea brewing, the phrase may not be such an insult after all. A group of scientists and engineers got together to make this crucial milestone in chocolate technology.

The design ingredients necessitated dark chocolate with 65 percent chocolate solids, which created a base that wouldn't melt quickly. Molding the base ingredients into a teapot with thick walls gave the end result more delicious stamina. The final product melts just enough per brew to give your cup of tea a light chocolate flavoring. I have a coconut tea that would work nicely. Bring it on!

Read more about the chocolate teapot and see a video of its construction here.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Spa Day for Elephants

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These adorably relaxed elephants are enjoying full spa services at Punnathoor Cotta Elephant Yard, located  in Guruvayuron, Kerala in southern India. The elephants are honored in an annual event each July, as they are central to a ritual temple procession that month. July is considered a month of rejuvenation for both animals and humans. The center shown here can pamper up to 59 elephants at once. Via Viral Nova.

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Amazing Water Trick and the Science Behind It

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The arrow seen here appears to reverse due to refracted light. The light must travel through the air, glass, water, back of the glass and again through the air before landing on the arrow. When light passes from one material into another, it is refracted. The arrow appears to reverse itself because the glass of water acts as a magnifying glass. When light shines through a magnifying glass, it bends toward the center. The point in which the light appears to join together is the focal point. Past the focal point, the image appears to reverse, because the bent light rays pass each other. The light on the right side is now on the left and vice versa, thus the arrow appears reversed. Via Science Dump.


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Mari the Shiba Inu Doesn't Suffer Fools Gladly

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Mari the Shiba Inu has a silly man repeatedly in her face, talking nonsense. After all, she's not fluent in Japanese, she just knows select words here and there. So why bother her with meaningless dialogue? Anyone who does will be put in their place by Mari in whatever way is most convenient. Via Tastefully Offensive.

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Japanese Chef Has a Way With Slicing Cucumber

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This Japanese chef's slicing skills are impressive. He cuts an already thin cucumber into several shapes, and shaves off the skin so precisely it ends up paper thin. It's lucky I have an excellent sushi place around here, because this video made me crave sushi rolls with those delicate cuts of cucumber inside. My dinner for this evening is is allll planned. Via Viral Viral Videos.

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Cat and Owl are Best Buddies

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Andre Costa is a biologist from São Caetano do Sul, Brazil who has experience as an animal handler and works for an environmental education company. Andrew shot this footage of his cat and owl, Cleo and Forbi, who he says have been lifelong friends. He posted the video to his Facebook page and it received a huge response, with over 13,000 shares. It's interesting to see the cat touch the owl so gently. What a sweet pair! Via Twenty-two Words.

Images Credit: Andre Costa

Cleo with Forbi as an owlet

 Cleo and Forbi today

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Eleven Successful Products Originally Invented for Something Else



Mental Floss presents this priceless list of products that are popular today yet had dubious beginnings as products of a different type. Some of these are hilarious  including the abovementioned  use of Lysol as an agent of feminine hygiene. It's "a concentrated germ killer" dontcha know? Why not slap it all over the place? After all, it's "non-caustic and will not harm delicate tissue." So go crazy, ladies!

Read original usage suggestions for other products including bubble wrap, Kleenex and Listerine at Mental Floss. 

Image Credit: mrbill, Flickr


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Incredible Historical Coincidences

Robert Lincoln


Robert Lincoln was the oldest of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln's four sons. Edwin Booth was the brother of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. The Booths were a family of actors; father Junius was considered to be one of the top Shakespearean actors of the day. Although John Wilkes was a decent actor, his brother Edwin was far more well known and highly acclaimed. Edwin was famous for playing Hamlet, a role he played in more performances than any other actor since. 

Edwin (with his daughter in the photo at left) and John Wilkes were estranged, as they did not see eye-to-eye, especially on political matters. Edwin was a Unionist who supported president Lincoln, and John was an extremist in favor of secession.

In 1864, Edwin Booth and Robert Lincoln were both at a train station in Jersey City, New Jersey. Robert, on break from Harvard University, was traveling to Washington, D.C. The following is Lincoln's account of an incident that occurred at the train station:  

"A group of passengers were late at night purchasing their sleeping car places from the conductor who stood on the station platform at the entrance of the car. The platform was about the height of the car floor, and there was of course a narrow space between the platform and the car body.

There was some crowding, and I happened to be pressed by it against the car body while waiting my turn. In this situation the train began to move, and by the motion I was twisted off my feet, and had dropped somewhat, with feet downward, into the open space, and was personally helpless, when my coat collar was vigorously seized and I was quickly pulled up and out to a secure footing on the platform. Upon turning to thank my rescuer I saw it was Edwin Booth, whose face was of course well known to me, and I expressed my gratitude to him, and in doing so, called him by name."

Thus, that day at the train station, Edwin Booth saved Robert Lincoln from bodily harm or possibly death. A year later, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre. 

Read about eight additional incredible historical coincidences here. 

Images: Wikipedia


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The History of Censorship in Film

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CineFix Film School'D series takes viewers back to the cinematic days of old to trace the history of film censorship from its inception. From an overview of the X rating to first amendment protection, the video briefly touches on man's attempts to preserve "human decency" in the realm of cinema. (NSFW due to frank discussion of sexual situations.)


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Honeybee the Blind Calico Cat Goes on a Hike

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A beautiful calico cat named Honeybee has lost her vision but not her sense of adventure and wonder. Honeybee's owner adopted her from Animals Fiji, who rescued her, saving her life. Now Honeybee has human companions who help her to lead a full life by taking her on excursions such as this hike near Mason Lake, a lovely, heavily wooded area in the mountains outside of Seattle, Washington.

Follow the adventures of Honeybee and her caretakers at her YouTube channel or Facebook page. Via Laughing Squid.

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Seven Mildly Convenient Mutant Powers

Andy Kluthe and Andrew Bridgman from Dorkly illustrate what they label as "mildly convenient mutant powers." The only argument I'd have with this is that the powers are merely mildly convenient. Selective social network invisibility is downright essential, if you ask me. Streaming video availability manipulation can be a life-changer as well. The comment-ignoring power would be wonderful too, particularly on political articles (but of course, *never* on Neatorama)! Via Laughing Squid.


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Husky Puppy Afraid to Descend Stairs, Despite Treat Temptation

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In this video, Paul Mather films his attempts to get his adorable husky pup Dakota over her fear of going down the stairs. He uses treats to persuade Dakota, but while she is interested in those that are easily reached, she's not willing to try for any treat that necessitates descending past her comfort zone.

In the information on his YouTube video, Mather asks viewers to comment with any advice they have to help train Dakota on the stairs. While I don't make YouTube comments, I like Cesar Milan and other noted dog trainers' advice of gently, confidently and without hesitance leading the dog down the stairs on a short lead. I've done that with both my dogs and Milan is correct: if the trainer slowly but steadily leads the dog down the stairs once or twice, giving him treats and praise at the bottom, he's generally overcome his fear enough to try the stairs on his own next time. 

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Engaged Couple Loses a Combined 133 Pounds Before the Wedding



Matt Bradley, 23, a chef from Warwickshire, England, asked his girlfriend Hannah to marry him. Hannah accepted, and the couple began to dream of their life together. When they visualized their future, Matt and Hannah realized that part of the picture included the two of them being fit and healthy. At the time, Matt weighed 258, and Hannah was overweight as well. 

Together, the couple began carefully planning their meals, incorporating more servings of vegetables. Matt, who had become inactive in recent years, took up running, eventually working up to a 10K. 
By the time their wedding date arrived, Matt had lost 92 pounds, and Hannah had dropped 41. Not only did they look stunning on their special day, but they worked together to achieve a goal that didn't come easily. It looks like Matt and Hannah have a great start on the teamwork required for a happy marriage. 

Via Elite Daily. Images Credit: Chris Fossey (except where watermarked).



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Woman in China Found to Have No Cerebellum



A 24-year-old woman from Shandong Province in China was recently admitted to a hospital after presenting with symptoms of dizziness and nausea. Once a brain scan was performed, it was discovered that she had no cerebellum, with the brain cavity that it normally fills instead replaced with cerebrospinal fluid. The patient is one of only nine people known to have lived with this condition. 

The cerebellum is the area of the brain associated with motor control, timing, coordination and fine movement. The patient described a lifelong difficulty with balance, and her mother said she couldn't stand on her own until age four nor walk unassisted until age seven. Yet the woman was determined overall to have only "mild to moderate" symptoms and "slightly irregular" movement.

The woman's case is an important data set with regard to the study of neuroplasticity, in which one or more regions of the brain adapt to compensate for brain damage in another area. Learn more about this fascinating case at io9. 


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Priscilla and Poppleton: Porcine Instagram Stars



Brother and sister duo Priscilla and Poppleton may be pigs, but they are also clothes horses. These Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida residents are the perfect mix of genteel southern folk and bold fashion plates. They enjoy "eating, sleeping, rooting, walks on the beach, belly rubs, Cheerio baths, and trips to grandma/grandpa's farm," according to their human. "Hamming it up for the camera" should probably be added to that list. Being mini-pigs certainly isn't stopping Prissy and Pop from being larger than life. Keep up with Priscilla and Poppleton on Instagram and Facebook. Via Elite Daily. 

 
 
 
 

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Star Wars Minus Williams Score

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The Auralnauts strip the great score by John Williams and add their own sound effects to the Throne Room scene in Star Wars. Chewbacca's mating call of a human homicidal maniac sound actually made one of my dogs race into the room from the next, perhaps checking on my welfare. Via Tastefully Offensive.


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Cats Getting Massages Compilation

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This compilation is so filled with cat content it's enough to put even a human at ease. The kitties become putty in the hands of their masseuses as they reach a level beyond bliss. Purrrr! 

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Man Backs Car Out of Garage Just As Tornado Hits

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A Russian man backs his Toyota out of his garage, dashcam running, just in time to see nearly everything around him be hit by a destructive tornado. Once the storm passes, his garage, his home and most structures in the surrounding area have been severely damaged or leveled by the twister. The man is lucky to be able to walk away unscathed. Via Laughing Squid.


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Stair Affair


Lace Staircase
Designed by: Dust

Sometimes a beautiful architectural feature in a home, such as an artisan crafted fireplace, ceiling, door or window, can make such an impact on its aesthetic that the rest of the decor can be extremely minimal and still work. In fact, a minimal decor complements and calls attention to such grand details.

The fabulous staircases pictured here are perfect examples. Place one of these designs in the home and it becomes the architectural star. Take a look and see if you think any of them might be your stairway to heaven. See more examples here. 

  Timber Stripe Staircase
  Designed by: Tetrarc

  La Maison Unique Stairs
  Designed by: Heatherwick studio 
 

Continue reading

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SciShow Guest Phil Plait Explains Measuring the Distance of Stars

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SciShow's Hank Green gets schooled by Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait (who, he tells Hank, has been advocating for science "Since you were a fetus") on measuring the distance of stars. Leave it to Plait to provide an engaging as well as informative offering.

The video is for “School of YouTube Week,” in which YouTube teams with Comic Relief to ask popular YouTube channels to focus on education and asks viewers to donate to education funds for children in impoverished areas worldwide. Via Laughing Squid.


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The Fantastic Paper Art of Yulia Brodskaya



The exceptional paper art of Yulia Brodskaya, featured previously at Neatorama, continues to evolve and capture the imagination of art lovers everywhere. At only thirty-one years of age, and given the fact that she didn't start experimenting with papercraft until the late 2000s, one can only imagine the level to which she will continue to cultivate her artwork. 

Using only hand-manipulated strips of paper and glue, Brodskaya makes the masterpieces shown here, some at an impressively large scale, as seen in the photo below. Brodskaya's artworks have been in demand by collectors all over the world, including notable personalities such as Oprah Winfrey and organizations such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 

Learn more about Brodskaya and see additional artworks at her website. Via Bored Panda. 

 
 


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James Mollison's Compelling Portraits: Where Children Sleep

Alex, 9, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

James Mollison's book Where Children Sleep (previously) contains portraits of children from all across the globe, aside images, some positively heartbreaking, of the spaces where they sleep. In this way, readers have visual access to the often filthy, poverty stricken environments in which these children must rest their heads. 

Not all of the photographs feature dismal surroundings, but the photos shown here are some of the more unsettling. Mollison said in an interview, 

"I hope the book gives a glimpse into the lives some children are living in very diverse situations around the world; a chance to reflect on the inequality that exists, and realize just how lucky most of us in the developed world are."

It certainly puts into perspective any complaint I might have made this week. See more of Mollison's moving images at his website. Via Lost at E Minor.

Bilal, 6, Wadi Abu Hindi, The West Bank

 Netu, 11, Kathmandu, Nepal

Dong, 9, Yunnan, China 


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Robin Williams is Now a Genie in a Lamp in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

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As many of his fans are aware, Robin Williams was a video games enthusiast, even naming his daughter Zelda after he and his wife played the first Legend of Zelda game while she was pregnant. Williams also disclosed his enjoyment of Portal, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft, among other games. 

After Williams' tragic suicide, World of Warcraft fans started a petition to have the comedic actor memorialized in the game. As the petition gained momentum, a WOW game designer announced on Twitter that a Williams tribute would indeed be added to the game.

The homage to Williams was recently spotted in the Warlords of Draenor beta version. Once a lamp is rubbed, Williams appears as a genie and says a line from his movie Aladdin, "Infinite Cosmic Power!" Additional Williams references, including a cracked egg spaceship, a nod to Mork and Mindy, can be seen as well. 

Warlords of Draenor is available for pre-purchase here. The live launch is set for November 13 of this year. Via Geeks are Sexy.



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Fathers at a One Direction Concert

Photographer Angelina Castillo, taking photographs for the Nashville Scene, shot images of fathers who accompanied their daughters to a concert by boy band One Direction late last month.

The expressions that Castillo captured tell the angsty truth. The gut wrenching, existential pain that only the boy band du jour— onstage, armed with microphones and soundmixed with thousands of screaming tweens — can cause. The fathers' souls are bared; this is the extreme discomfort and musical revulsion that only the love a father feels for his daughter can balance. Someone give these men medals of honor!

See more of Castillo's series at the Nashville Scene. ViaTwisted Sifter. 


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How to Insult People Like a Brit

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Who among us isn't actively looking for new ways to insult people? The alternative would be absolutely unthinkable. Expand your insult repertoire with this handy video on words the British use to insult others. Via 22 Words.


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Fennec Fox Kit Keeps Busy at San Diego Zoo

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The San Diego Zoo is home to this playful, curious fennec fox kit, aged three months. This male kit weighs in at 1.5 pounds. The zoo staff gives him lots of toys and food puzzles to keep him occupied. For example, snacks of meal worms are buried in sand, which keeps the kit busy digging. Becky Kier, senior Neonatal Assisted Care Unit keeper at the San Diego Zoo explained,

"Fennec foxes are great hunters, and in order to foster those natural behaviors, we will give him some stuffed mice that he'll toss around and pounce on as if he's practicing hunting.

In the wild he would normally dig for insects in the sand, so we provide him with something to dig through to encourage that behavior as well."  

Via Tastefully Offensive.

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Profile for Lisa Marcus

  • Member Since 2012/12/13


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