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Human Organs Made with Vegetation

Camila Carlow, an artist based in Bristol, UK, shapes plants into the forms of human organs. Her series “Eye Heart Spleen” has remarkably life-like results. She scours the countryside for the right plants—and occasionally animal parts—to replicate organs with vibrant, verdant colors and textures. Acorns can become heart valves and ferns turn into intestines.

-via 22 Words


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Cool Car Ad Filled with Optical Illusions


(Video Link)

This clever ad for the Honda CR-V shows a wide array of clever optical illusions. As the viewer’s perspective shifts, objects change size, arrangement and dimension. The ad uses these impossible images as metaphors for the car’s fuel efficiency. Chris Palmer directed it for the Mcgarrybowen agency in London.

-via David Thompson


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Pug "Wrecking Ball" Costume

Tottie the pug is more of a hip hop fan. But this year, her owner, McKenna, dressed her as the wrecking ball from Miley Cyrus’s controversial music video “Wrecking Ball.” Yes, Barbie is nude. But, then, so was Miley Cyrus.

This costume secured Tottie the $25,000 grand prize from Petco’s annual Halloween costume contest.

-via Blame It on the Voices

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

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The Most Popular Girls' Names, State by State, from 1960 to the Present

It’s like those animated maps showing the rise and fall of empires. A swarm of Jennifers consume the country, only for their star to fall and that of Jessica to rise. Jessicas rule the land until the forces of Emily rise up and overthrow them. Look upon my works, ye mighty, and become Sophia.

With data from the Social Security Administration, Reuben Fischer-Baum of Jezebel created maps showing, state by state and year by year, the most popular baby names for girls from 1960 to last year. So far, none have been bizarre, invented spellings, for which I and the English language thank you.

-via Daily of the Day


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Every Nation Is Number 1 at Something

And my own sweet land of liberty? We Americans lead the world in Nobel laureates and getting killed by lawnmowers. Yeehaw!

USA! USA! USA!

Doghouse Diaries created this map showing what every country excels at. You can see a larger version here.

Do you need personal space? Head to Greenland. The most women per man? Estonia. Do you like velociraptor bones? Get thee to Mongolia.

I could go on, but I need to go mow the lawn. Here, hold my beer.


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Waves vs. Stone

The Kannesteinen Rock is an unusual rock formation on the Norwegian island of Vågsøy. The slab of eclogite has been weathered by the waves for thousands of years. From the sea side, it’s about 3 meters tall. At its widest, it’s about 10.4 meters in circumference.

Some people say that it looks like a goblet, but local people refer to it as a chair. Perhaps that’s why tourists often climb on top and sit on it. It’s a hard climb, but so some even more daring people prefer to jump to the summit from an adjoining rock.


(Video Link)

-via Yababoon


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College Women + Drinking = Rape?

When I saw the original headline late last night, I predicted waking up to an internet storm this morning.

Slate published an article by Emily Yoffe entitled College Women: Stop Getting Drunk. It references several studies that link sexual assault on college campuses with alcohol consumption. Well, duh. While it's good to have such studies with hard numbers, the real problem is what to do about it. College students are, by and large, adults who are on their own for the first time. And some are more naive than others. An excerpt:

And who is it purveying alcohol? In some cases it’s a type of serial predator who encourages his victim to keep pouring the means of her incapacitation down her own throat. Researchers such as Abbey and David Lisak have explored how these men use alcohol, instead of violence, to commit their crimes. Lake observes that these offenders can be campus leaders, charming and well liked—something that comes in handy if they are accused of anything. “They work our mythology against us,” says Lake. “We would like to see our daughters hang out with nice boys in navy blue blazers.”

The three young women I spoke to who were victims of such men attended different colleges, but their stories are so distressingly similar that it sounds as if they were attacked by the same young man. In each case the woman lost track of how much she’d had to drink. Then a male classmate she knew took her by the hand and offered her an escort. Then she was raped by this “friend.” Only one, Laura Dunn, reported to authorities what happened, more than a year after the fact. In her case she was set upon by two classmates, and the university declined to take action against either one.

Although the facts are not in dispute, the tone of the article verges on blaming the victim. If the fastest way to stop campus rape is for women to stop drinking, then doesn't that put the responsibility for crime prevention solely on women's shoulders? So a young woman has one too many and wakes up to realize she's been sexually assaulted. Is it all her fault? That's not the message we want to send to young people.

Slate also posted a response from Amanda Hess, To Prevent Rape on College Campuses, Focus on the Rapists, Not the Victims, which articulated what many of the 3,000+ Slate commenters said.

Rape is a societal problem, not a self-help issue. Parents can tell their own daughters not to get drunk, but even if those women follow instructions, it won’t keep other people’s daughters safe. It will just force campus rapists who rely on alcohol to execute their crimes to find other targets. As Yoffe notes, the research of David Lisak suggests that most rapes are committed by a small group of predators who claim a large number of victims. We can prevent the most rapes on campus by putting our efforts toward finding and punishing those perpetrators, not by warning their huge number of potential victims to skip out on parties.

Similar responses came from HuffPo, The Atlantic, The Frisky, Jezebel, and other sites.

The controversy pits what is best for one person against what is best for society as a whole. Our culture would be better off placing the blame squarely on those who commit rape, but we have little control over other people before they act. Until men are specifically trained in how to properly seek consensual sex, starting at a fairly young age, we will have to deal with the "misunderstandings" and peer pressure that lead to rape, in addition to serial predators. Of course, we warn our daughters against putting themselves in situations where they may be raped. But if and when they do, they often feel responsible and might never seek justice. After all, they know they will be blamed for putting themselves in that situation, meaning they failed to protect themselves the way we told them to. Young men internalize this idea, too.

Treating our daughters as potential victims is only a short-term solution. Making nonconsensual sex as recognizable and shameful as say, burglary, and raising our sons as if they are going to date our daughters is the longterm solution. So I will continue to shares stories of cases like those in Steubenville, Ohio, and Maryville, Kansas, with my teenage daughters both as a warning and as a talking point about my anxieties regarding the difference between the way things are and the way they should be.   


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Featured Costume: The Legend of Zorro

Today's featured costume comes from T.J. Griffin. It's a real groaner!

I usually try to have a Halloween costume that is topical, current and funny.

In 2005, the movie Legend of Zorro came out, starring Antonio Banderas.

I already had a cape and hat and mask, but it didn't seen funny.
Living in Buffalo NY, we are a five minute drive from the Peace Bridge to the province of Ontario in Canada.
Canadian flags and license plates are a common sight in town.
I kept running the movie title through my head, then inspiration struck.

I went to the duty free shop, bought a small patch featuring the Canadian flag,sewed it to a black handkerchief and added it to my costume.

I had business cards printed  up and when people would ask me what I was, I would hand them a card which read:

Zorro, featuring Ontario Bandanas

Ha! I love a good costume pun. Thanks, T.J!


Have you been keeping up with the featured coatume every day at the Halloween blog? Neatoramanauts have some great pictures of memorable Halloweens of the past! You can be a part of it, too -go find a picture of Halloween costume you've worn or made for your kids and send it to us tips@neatorama,com and then look for it on the Halloween blog! Whether it's awesome, funny, embarrassing, or just has a good story behind it, we want to see it. When it gets close to Halloween, we will award Neatorama t-shirts to the best pictures -you can't beat a deal like that!

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Know Your Chekovs

A few days ago, Alice Munro, the Canadian short story author, won the Nobel Prize for Literature. She is the first Canadian to receive that prestigious honor.

Marilyn Bellamy of Ontario, the internet’s Nag on the Lake, is filled with patriotic pride. But she’s also confused by her husband’s odd reference to something other than Star Trek.

Ensign (later Commander) Pavel Chekov was the Russian-born navigator on board the USS Enterprise on Star Trek. Anton Chekhov (note the different spelling in the Latin alphabet) was a Nineteenth Century Russian playwright and short story author. Both Mr. Chekhov and Ms. Munro are credited by critics landmark accomplishments in the craft of short story writing.

So to answer Marilyn’s question: none of consequence.


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Aquaman The Movie

(YouTube link)

Of course, it's a fake trailer. No movie studio thinks Aquaman would be worth the trouble of a feature film! Aquaman gets no respect, even though he puts up with more difficulty than other super heroes. And that's the entire gist of this trailer that traces the origin story of the super hero plus his first big adventure helping a sea creature we all know and love. But then again, this video by Ryan Higa may give Hollywood an idea or two! -via Viral Viral Videos


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Great Pics of The Week: WTF Edition

Last week, we introduced an all new series: Great Pics of the Week. This time we're focusing on seriously strange, stupid and silly pictures that make you ask, "Ok, WTF?" Time for some wildly weird wonders:

Pimping Ain't Beep-y

Perhaps the weirdest con exclusive from the NYCC, was created by Manly Art. Say hello to Pimp2-D2 who has the driod babes you're looking for.

Via io9

What Big, Bulging Eyes You Have

Mental Floss knows that many vintage Halloween costumes are pretty creepy, but these two are more weird than they are terrifying.

Baby Back Bacon

Here's another great old school costume that just screams "why?" But hey, at least this bacon costume won its creator a first place prize in a costume contest.

Cat Toy Story

Speaking of weird costumes, George the Cat is well known for his costume prowess, but his take on Toy Story looks just a little strange. Of course, it's still cute.

He's Certainly Not Licking Himself At Least

But at least George the Cat is better off than this cat pictured on Reddit.

These Are Some Hep Cats

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World’s Cutest Taekwondo Battle

(YouTube link)

Sweep the leg! They may be in training as warriors, but it's hard to be fierce when you have to stop and smile for the audience every minute or so. These twins are having altogether a lot of fun! Someone who understands Mandarin might be able to glean information from us out of this TV report. I'd like to know how old they were when this video was taken.  -via Daily Picks and Flicks

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Inside Miss Cellania's House/Bunker/Blogging Factory

(Image: Kirby Stephens Design)

Our own Miss C runs the day-to-day operations of Neatorama, contributes a massive amount of its content, runs her own blog and contributes to Mental Floss. How does she do it? Automation and the efficiency of modern scientific management!

Also: caffeine. Massive doses of caffeine.

This diagram shows the facilities of the Miss Cellania Publishing Empire that are publicly known. Note her prudent backup coffee maker. Why? Because you should never have only one of anything essential.

In the comments, list features that you think are missing from this diagram.

-via Nag on the Lake


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Potty Talk

(YouTube link)

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

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Marion Bataille's Ingenious Pop-Up Numbers Book

Numéro is a clever new pop-up book by French artist Marion Bataille. You may remember her previously featured work: a pop-up alphabet book. Her most recent work has similarly basic content: the numbers one through ten.

The design of the book, however, is anything but simple. Watch as the pages elegantly unfold, revealing each numeral. It's like a ballet on paper. But in an interview, Ms. Bataille describes the process of designing and making a pop-up book as something more like fashion design:

What are the steps and people involved in a pop up? We understand it would take more than a writer and an illustrator and of course, a publisher.

It depends on how the author works, some work in collaboration with a paper engineer. But personally, I like to do engineering, it is part of the pleasure.

Please tell us a bit more on the manufacture of pop ups. Is each copy handcrafted or machine made? Is the glue a special kind? Any other interesting trivia?

It is very much like dress making, you build a construction in paper, and put it flat, draw a pattern and adjust several times until it moves smoothly. The glue is the one one uses in bookbinding. You need few more tools : one to mark the folds, for this one can use a used ball-pen. A cutter, a ruler, sellotape for adjustments.


(Video Link)

-via Colossal


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13 Geek Characters Reimagined As Classic Pinups

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve always had a soft spot for cheesecake art from the forties and fifties and I’m certainly not alone. In fact, many modern artists take inspiration from this style and some even incorporate their favorite fictional characters into these classic poses. Here are a few examples of pinup art with a decidedly geeky twist.

For the Love of Harley Quinn

When it comes to Harley Quinn pinups, it’s hard to beat this great piece by Steven Donegani that not only shows the artist’s adoration for classic pinup art, but also for Harley herself. Poison Ivy fans will be happy to know that Steven also made a similar piece featuring our favorite plant-loving villain.

DC Supercuties

Why settle for a Jack-In-The-Box when you can instead have an adorable little Harley-On-The Box? Last year, artist Lora Zombie released a six-part series of sweet and sexy DC comic book girls posed as classic pinup girls. She put 150 of each print up for sale on Eyes on Walls and now only Harley, Supergirl and Batgirl are still available.

The Sweetest Supergirl

At the end of a hard day, nothing feels better than stripping off your crime fighting boots and relaxing on the couch with your super kitty. At least, that’s the vibe I get from this adorable pinup art by Elizabeth Torque.

It Would Be Hard Not to Touch Her

DeviantArt user Lovely Zitalee specializes in drawing pinups of classic characters. Among the many franchises she’s worked on are the Flintstones, the X-Men, the Addams Family, the Nightmare Before Christmas and Alice in Wonderland. In fact, if you like what you see here, you really should make a trip to her page to enjoy all the great pinups she has to offer.

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The Heart Cherished by Frankenstein's Maker

Neatorama presents a guest post from J. Tithonus Pednaud of The Human Marvels. This story is condensed from his forthcoming book After Life: True Tales of the Wandering Dead.

Most famous for his poems Prometheus Unbound, Cenci and Adonis, Percy Bysshe Shelley is widely regarded as a pioneer of the English Romantic movement. It is a place in literary history he shares with his friends and colleagues Lord Byron, John Keats and George Gordon. All four poets died young, within only a few years of one another, but it's the circumstances surrounding the earthly remains of Percy Shelley that are most intriguing.

The fact that his wife, Mary Shelley, kept his withered heart wrapped in silk and pressed in her leather bound copy of Adonis for over 30 years does seem odd - even for the author of Frankenstein. But the truth is that the preservation of her morbid memento is actually the least remarkable part of this true tale especially when one considers the serendipity and obsession involved in securing the heart of Percy after life.

On July 8, 1822 Percy set sail from Leghorn to Lerci in his refurbished boat, The Ariel. It was actually a trip home as the Shelleys had been living in Lerci, Italy for several years. The voyage was only fifty miles across the Gulf of Spezia. However, Percy and his two crewmen were never seen alive again.

At some point, The Ariel was forced under by a squall and all aboard her were drowned. For several days no bodies were found and the story would have ended there if Percy had not met an adventurous seaman by the name of Captain Edward John Trelawny six months earlier.

Percy and Captian Trelawny had become very fast friends in a very short period of time. Trelawny's affection for Percy was so rich that he personally trolled the coast for 10 days until he heard of three bodies that washed ashore.

The bodies had washed ashore in the jurisdiction of three different governments, as Italy was not unified at this time, and so Trelawny had to negotiate with the Lucca, Florence and Pisa governments to access and identify the bodies. Paying bribes out of pocket to circumvent quarantines Trelawny discovered that, in all three locations, law dictated that all bodies washed in from the sea were to be buried immediately. Further, the bodies were to be covered in quicklime to hasten their decomposition for fear of disease.

This meant that the bodies could not be exhumed or transported for a 'proper' English burial.

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Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Should You Take Your Lottery Winnings in a Lump Sum or Annual Payments?

Playing the lottery, at least on a national scale, is often called "a tax on people who are bad at math." The odds of winning the top prize in the Powerball lottery are a constant 1 in 175 million. The number of people who buy lottery tickets does not affect the odds of winning, but it does affect the odds that more than one winner will have to split the jackpot.

That said, there can be benefits from buying a ticket even when you don't win, up to a point. If you buy a raffle ticket that will benefit a charity, you've made a donation. If you get as much pleasure out of hoping to win on your $2 ticket as you would have gotten out of the $2 candy bar you otherwise would have bought, then it's worth the $2. But if you buy more tickets, the net worth goes down as it cuts into the family's grocery budget. And if you will be sorely disappointed when you don't win, the value of the initial pleasure is wiped out.

But what happens when you win the jackpot? Business Insider take a look at the option you have of taking the winnings in a lump sum vs. an annual payout plan. They crunch the numbers as far as taxes and investments go. Taxes are going to take a lot of the money either way, but when the jackpot is $400 million, does that really matter? The real difference is in whether you invest your winnings. A decent investment plan will make a lump sum pay off big over time.

What the article does not cover are real-life headaches for a lottery winner. Here are your estimated payouts, which will vary depending on your state taxes:

You can take the cash up front. This is a $223.6 million check. After paying federal taxes on it, we calculated that you'd have $135.1 million left. Not bad.

You could also take the annuity, which pays $400 million over 30 years with an increasing annuity — $7.1 M the first year, $7.4M the next, increasing up to $22.2M in the 30th year — and pay the top rate every year for the next thirty. That makes the $400 million jackpot worth, assuming the tax rates don't change from here to 2043, $242.9 million after federal taxes.

Now factor in all your relatives, who know you've won a $400 million lottery. If you don't make each and every one of them a millionaire, they will be very disappointed. And you can't do that on $7 million. You have more relatives than you realize. You can set up large trusts for your children, but what about your grandchildren, nephews, siblings, and cousins? None of them will understand why you have to draw a line somewhere. You can hand out $10,000 at a time, but there will be at least one of your grandchildren and quite a few cousins who will spend it within weeks and come back for more. For years. Until they hate you, and vice versa. Of course, not all of your relatives are like that, but you don't know until you are confronted with vast wealth.

Here's another scenario: Say you have four children, and you want to treat them all equally. You set them each up with, say, a $10 million trust that pays out when they are adults. Maybe even as an annuity. Then those children grow up. Child one uses the money to buy a house (or two or three), set money aside for retirement, put their kids through college, invest for their heirs, and doesn't brag about how much money they have. Child two gives the entire amount to their church, and lives a marginal existence while working a low-wage job. Child three never works, becomes a drug addict, and refuses to have anything to do with the rest of the family. Child four enjoys the money, becomes a real ass, abuses his household servants, and invests in third-world sweatshops. Are you now regretting your promise to treat them all the same and give them money you no longer control?    

Those of a certain age will also need to factor in how long you expect to live to enjoy that money.

Oh sure, it's fun to dream. The question "What would you buy if you won $400 million?" is kind of silly, because you could buy whatever strikes your fancy. A more thoughtful question is "What would you do if you won $100,000?" That takes some real decision-making skills, because it's a large but limited amount that will not allow you to quit your job forever. The idea forces you to choose the most important things to do with your money. I once had some great ideas for this $100K, but now it would be a simple case of paying off my debts and using what little is left over to help pay my kids' college tuition. My life would not change much at all, except I'd have less stress.

What would you do with $100,000? What would you do with $400 million: would you take the lump sum or the annuity? How would you handle distributing that money? The question is moot for today; the $400 million winner has emerged, and the Powerball jackpot sits at $60 million. Which isn't bad, either.    


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Friendly Sea Sponge

(Photo: Mauricio Handler/National Geographic)

Mauricio Handler photographed this sponge off the coast of Curaçao in the Caribbean. Some people think that it looks like Cookie Monster, but I agree with Joe Hanson, a Ph.D.-holding biologist: it's one of the Martians from Sesame Street.


(Video Link)

Link -via It's Okay to Be Smart


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Expecting Delicious Weather? Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs Facts

As I’m sure any of you with children already know, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 is coming out in theaters this Friday. In celebration, we’ve decided to compile a bit of info on the book and the movies. Whether you’re a fan of the book or a fan of the movie, you’ll almost certainly find something here of interest.

Similarities and Differences

Obviously a full-length movie couldn’t follow a short book like this one to a tee, so, there are some major differences. That being said, it seems like the writers did work to include as much as the original story as possible. Here are a few of the things that stayed the same:

  • The town name. While the movie village is originally called “Swallow Falls,” the mayor eventually renames the town to the name used in the book, “Chewandswallow.”
  • The Sanitation Department. Obviously any town that has food fall from the skies will have a serious problem if they just leave the mess all over the streets and sidewalk. Both the book and movie use specialized trucks to clean up the mess, though what they do with the leftovers differs. In the book, they feed the cats and dogs, then throw some in the ocean for the fishes and then put the rest in the ground so it will compost into good soil for flower gardens. In the movie, they make a mountain of food waste that eventually causes a dangerous landslide.
  • Specific foods. In the book, the sunset is replaced with a Jell-o mold setting in the west that looks just like the one Flint makes for Sam. Both also feature a giant pancake that lands on the local school. Also, while it’s not a food exactly, both feature an open-air restaurant where patrons can catch their dinner as it falls.
  • Danger. You can’t have a story without a climax, so in both tales, the food starts to become larger until it becomes truly problematic.

A few of the things that changed:

  • Requests. Imagine having a food allergy in a town like Chewandswallow. If you can’t choose what rains down, you could easily die. Aside from that, you’d likely almost never get your favorite food, whereas in the movie, Flint’s invention allows the residents to call the shots –though that’s precisely what causes the food to start mutating.
  • The people. In the book, the only people with actual identities are those in the family whose grandpa tells the tall tale of Chewandswallow. In the movie, the town is presented as a real location and the main characters are all residents of the town.
  • Science. The idea of a town raining food naturally is just outlandish, but in the movie, it’s actually happens because a man’s invention that was made to turn water into food flies into a raincloud –turning all the local precipitation into food.
  • The ending. In the book, the residents are forced to abandon Chewandswallow, but in the movie, the townspeople just rebuild their town using the giant food leftover on the street. There is one similarity though, the people in the book use a raft made from giant slices of bread and the movie shows the mayor ran away from the town on a boat made from bread –although the obese mayor eats most of his boat and sinks into the ocean.

Despite the differences, the original book's creators were pleased with the movie -though no word yet on how they feel about the sequel.

Cloudy Again?

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The Settlers of Catan Cookbook


Friend of the blog Chris-Rachael Oseland has published a new cookbook! You've probably already seen many of her geektastic foods, such as Transformers pull-apart bread, the Captain America shield breakfast and 1-up mushroom pizza rolls. When it comes to geeky food, Chris-Rachael is deservedly known as the Kitchen Overlord.

Chris-Rachael's newest book, Wood for Sheep: The Unauthorized Settlers Cookbook, is inspired by the game The Settlers of Catan. It's fun, but it's also practical. Chris-Rachael uses the game board layout to provide a variety of options for people with different dietary needs:

Whenever I game, two things invariably happen. First, a generous gamer who has somehow miraculously reached adulthood without any food allergies or dietary restrictions will offer to buy everyone pizza. Yay! Second, half the people in the room say, man, they wish they could eat pizza, but one has Celiac disease and another is lactose intolerant. For them, pizza might as well be poison. Then at least one other person quietly coughs that they're either a vegetarian or a paleo/primal dieter. By the time everyone with limited diet has bowed out, you realize the person who suggested pizza is the only person in the room who can safely eat it.I hate situations like that. Too often, the poor, generous gamer who just wanted to top off everyone's fuel tanks so the group could keep playing without interruption now feels like a jerk. That's not right. Feeding a mixed group of geeks is hard. [...]

Even if you don't play the game this book is based on, you recognize those red, green, and yellow hexes as an iconic part of geek culture. Lay out a hex shaped spread in those colors and you're automatically flying your geek flag. Plus, the edible hex maps look amazing. Each one is tailored to fit multiple dietary restrictions. As an extra bonus, most of them honestly aren't that hard to prepare.I hope this book is helpful for any geeks struggling to figure out how to feed a group of people whose digestive systems all seem to be at war. I promise, no matter how physically limited or just plain picky they are, it really is possible to invite almost all of your friends over for the same meal. Pick up some cheap, disposable hex shaped dishes and you can even do it with style.

Link


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How to Empty a Swimming Pool

(YouTube link)

They put a lot of thought into this. Which wasn't needed at all. And grandpa kept his hat on! -via Metafilter


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Boy Asks Santa to to Stop Kids from Bullying His Sister

Karen Suffern is the mother of 8-year old twins, Ryan and Amber. To plan her budget, she asked her kids to write letters to Santa Claus, describing what they want. Ryan had the right priorities:

Her son, Ryan's, letter to Santa started off normally:

"Dear Santa ... I wanted a (remote control) car and helicopter, but I don't want that anymor. Kid at school are still picking on Amber and its not fair," he wrote. "I prayed that they will stop but god is bisy and needs your help."

Suffern felt tears fill her eyes as she read her son's letter asking Santa to help stop the bullying his overweight sister was experiencing at school.

Reading the letter was tough for Suffern. "I try to build up my daughter's self-esteem and tell her she is beautiful, but people say hurtful things to me, because I also have a weight problem, and that hurts me," she said. "I can't imagine what she goes through."

She had a vague idea that Amber was teased on the bus, but she didn't know the extent of the bullying. Amber, who has attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder and other mental and mood disorders, never mentioned the teasing.

Link -via Letters of Note

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Breaking Bed

Aaron Paul, who plays Jesse Pinkman on the series, posted this picture from the set of Breaking Bad on Instagram. No "spoiler," as all the cast members have been very good at not revealing upcoming details during the entire series. That, and the fact that Skyler is smiling, is a dead giveaway that this is just three actors having fun between scenes. Link -via Uproxx


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Leonardo Da Vinci’s Incredible Mechanical Lion

(YouTube link)

In the year 1515, Giuliano de’ Medici presented the newly crowned King of France, Francois I, with a mechanical lion that walked on it own. The automata was designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, but all that is left of it is the diagrams. However, from those plans the lion was reconstructed in 2009. Watch it move, and imagine seeing this almost 500 years ago! Read more about the lion at Dangerous Minds. Link


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Cahoonas's Pop Culture Origami

Finn and Jake from Adventure Time

Sentry Turret from Portal

USS Enterprise from Star Trek

Mad Cat from BattleTech

Cahoonas has not only excellent skills, but great taste. He has works in his gallery that will please fans of just about every franchise. You can view them all at the link.

Link


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Just a Turtle Wearing a Raspberry, No Big Deal

This could be the worst evolutionary strategy ever -replacing a hard shell with a delicious, soft fruit. Of course, it's possible that this is secretly a brilliant strategy -make yourself too adorable to resist.

Link

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

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12 Weird Cheetos Variants

(Photo: James Lee)

Cheetos--they're nature's perfect food. Still, people try to improve nature's design and have succeeded, advancing the culinary wisdom of humanity. Here are 12 unconventional ways to cook and serve Cheetos.

1. Deep fried Cheetos! Tom Pizzica of the Park Slope Chip Shop in Brooklyn deep fries everything, including these Cheetos.

2. Marshmallow treats...flavored with Cheetos! Becky McKay made Rice Krispie treats, but replaced the Rice Krispies with Cheetos.

3. Cheetos donuts! To mark National Donut Day (an important religious holiday), Donut Prince in Burbank, California made donuts with dulce de leche and Flamin' Hot Cheetos. That Cheetos flavor, by the way, has sent people to the hospital.

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We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Mom's Not Here Right Now

Enjoy 20 really clever notes parents left for their offspring at The Chive. It's a shame that such subtlety flies right over kids' heads. That is, if they even bother to read them. It's much harder to get youngsters to clean up after themselves than to just do it yourself, but part of parenting is to go that extra frustrating mile, no matter how much they resist -whether you are there at the time or not. Link


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Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz

Artist Juan Ortiz designed a movie-style poster for every episode of the original Star Trek. They're in his new book Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz, but we get a sneak preview of seven of them at Flavorwire, along with Ortiz' comments on each. Link

(Image credit: Juan Ortiz)


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