One day, Mica Angela Hendricks, a professional illustrator, bought a new sketchbook. Her 4-year old daughter liked it and added her own contributions. Soon the two were working together, each, Ms. Hendricks insists, adding essential elements:
Sometimes I would give her suggestions, like “maybe she could have a dragon body!” but usually she would ignore theses suggestions if it didn’t fit in with what she already had in mind. But since I am a grownup and a little bit (okay a lot) of a perfectionist, I sometimes would have a specific idea in mind as I doodled my heads. Maybe she could make this into a bug! I’d think happily to myself as I sketched, imagining the possibilities of what it could look like. So later, when she’d doodle some crazy shape that seemed to go in some surrealistic direction, or put a large circle around the creature and filled the WHOLE THING in with marker, part of my brain would think, What is she DOING?!? She’s just scribbling it all up! But I should know that in most instances, kids’ imaginations way outweigh a grownup’s, and it always ALWAYS looked better that what I had imagined. ALWAYS.
2-year old Alejandro had Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Medical insurance wouldn't cover a powered wheelchair until he was 5 years old. That was unacceptable to Shea, his father, who bought a wheelchair on eBay and modified it so that Alejandro could control it with his feet:
After unsuccessfully trying to repair a broken digital kitchen scale [Shea] was inspired to reuse the sensors as pedal inputs. [Alejandro] has limited foot strength and the sensitive strain gauges are perfect for picking it up. Above you can see the sandal-based interface he built. The two feet working together affect steering as well as forward and reverse. The pedal system is connected to the wheelchair using a Digital to Analog converter chip to stand-in for the original analog joystick.
At the link, you can watch a video of Alejandro maneuvering the wheelchair.
Here's a beauty tip from Uncle John: If your great-great-great-grandma is still living, don't ask her for beauty tips. If what we found in these old books is any guide, you'll probably get some pretty odd advice.
To lose weight: "New York society women usually go upon the milk diet during Lent, as being the most convenient time, and for a week they will take nothing into the system but milk. The dose for the milk diet is: Take a glass of milk upon rising, then follow it with a glass every hour all day. Add a pinch of salt if you prefer. The milk will wash all impurities out of the system, and milk taken thusly is not fattening."
-The Household Physician (1905)
Another way to lose weight: "Keep on bearing children as long and often as possible."
-Creative and Sexual Science (1876)
For wrinkles: "A wrinkle is like a crinkle in a piece of tissue paper. It is there, but is easily smoothed out. The plaster treatment has been tried with good results: The wrinkle is stretched flat, and slender strips of plaster are applied. When taken off, the wrinkle will be much lighter."
-The Household Physician (1905)
Bathing: "The vigorous and strong may bathe early in the morning on an empty stomach. The young and weak had better bathe three hours after a meal."
-Cassell's Household Guide (1880)
"Bags under the eyes destroy the beauty of the face. To get rid of these bags, massage persistently, and also reform the diet. It is good to eat apples, cooked and raw; correct the liver and the eye sacs will disappear."
-The Household Physician (1905)
"Every intelligent dentist knows that the whiter the teeth are, the sooner and more certainly they will decay. He also knows that those teeth last the longest and are the most useful, which have a yellowish tint."
-Fun Better Than Physic (1877)
"To enlarge the bust: An efficacious, yet safe method to enlarge the bust is a persistent massage with some bland oil, of which coconut or olive are good examples."
-The Household Physician (1905)
"To cure pimples: Take a fairly full breath and hold it momentarily while contracting the abdominal muscles and straining lightly. This brings a flush to the cheeks and fills the capillaries of the skin, insuring a better skin circulation. Standing on the head will have the same effect as the exercise given, and is worth a try."
-Home Health Manual (1930)
"Freckled hands in the summer are caused by letting the sun touch the hands immediately after they have been washed. The freckles can be removed with lemon juice followed by cold cream."
-The Household Physician (1905)
"The very best way of making the hair grow is to rub paraffin into the roots, but of course you must be very careful afterwards not to go near a fire or light of any kind."
-The Girl's Own Annual (1903)
"Fat faced women always have small eyes. As the fat increases, the cheeks puff up and the eyes dwindle. Eyes can be made larger if one massages the cheeks until the fat is less noticeable."
-The Household Physician (1905)
To freshen the breath: "A lump of charcoal held in the mouth two or three times a week and slowly chewed, has a power to preserve the teeth and purify the breath. Those who are troubled with an offensive breath might chew it very often and swallow it but seldom."
The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader, a fantastic book by the Bathroom Readers' Institute. The 19th book in this fan-favorite series contain such gems like The Greatest Plane that Never Was, Forgotten Robot Milestones, Ancient Beauty Secrets, and more.
Around 13.7 billion years ago, not a single element of the entire known universe existed. There was no space, no matter, no time, no wonderful magazine for knowledge junkies. Then, for an unknown reason, an infinitesimally small point called a singularity started to expand. Boom! That’s the Big Bang. Both blazing hot and unimaginably dense, this tiny point started expanding and cooling, and to this day the universe is still doing both.
The Big Bang theory was first proposed by Belgian physicist Georges Lemaître in 1927. Realizing that objects in space were moving farther apart, Lemaître hypothesized that if everything in the universe is now expanding, it originally must have been smaller. His idea: that it all originated from one intensely hot “primeval atom.” While the notion is generally accepted today, not everyone bought into Lemaître’s theory; the Big Bang gets its name from a sarcastic remark made by Fred Hoyle, an astronomer, science fiction novelist, and Big Bang skeptic.
IN THE KITCHEN
Imagine a muffin tin with one cup half-full of blueberry batter (the singularity). Inside this batter are all the building blocks of a blueberry muffin. As the batter’s temperature changes, it begins expanding, just like the universe started expanding with the temperature change of the Big Bang. The blueberries in the batter are analogous to the planets, stars, and other matter, moving right along with the rest of the muffinverse. But they’re not floating at random inside the batter—they’re moving with it, getting farther apart as the muffin bakes. And that muffin? It represents the entirety of the universe. Beyond the edge of the muffin lies a vast abyss of nothingness. All that exists are blueberries, sugar crystals, and, if the baker got a little creative, a hint of nutmeg.
2. Stirring the Pot with KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS
(Image credit: Flickr user Paul 李加乂 Li)
IN THE CLASSROOM
When the impressively mustachioed economist John Maynard Keynes published The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money in 1936, it was a watershed moment for modern macro-economic thought. The book launched the revolutionary idea that government spending is the best way to stimulate the economy. In Keynes’s now commonly accepted view, money flows in a circle, meaning one person’s spending provides income for another. In a recession, people slow their spending, thereby slowing someone else’s earning. To grease the cycle, Keynes proposed something radically different from other free market economists—he called on the government to inject money into the economy and kickstart the cycle by “priming the pump.” His argument was that the government should solve economic problems rather than waiting for markets to self correct in the long run because, “In the long run, we’re all dead.”
Over the past few years, we've posted Freddie Wong videos nearly two dozen times. It's safe to say he's our favorite filmmaker on YouTube, hands down. His love of video games, action sequences, special effects and good story telling set him in a league of his own on the video platform - definately not the usual YouTube rat-a-tat.
So when Alex asked me to venture with over with him to Freddie's production studio in Burbank to create this "Day in the Life of" video, I jumped at the chance. As you might expect, Freddie is down-to-earth, humble, affable, witty and has a lot to say. You'll hear in the interview below that he's been living on soda the past few weeks, pulling late nights to keep the latest season (#2) of his Video Game High School (VGHS) series on schedule. If you haven't been watching the show, I'll post a few of the 1st season episodes after the jump, but it's a new, really fun action comedy set in the near future where video gaming elevates its best players to stardom by its position as the world's most popular competitive sport. VGHS is an elite and prestigious facility almost impossible to gain entry to, which teaches a curriculum of video games of all genres. The episodes, which, in some cases are as long as traditional TV comedy shows, have racked up tens of millions of views and there are already plans for a season 3 next year.
So watch our interview, get a tour of the Rocket Jump facilities, meet some of the creators and listen to Freddie talk about this unique moment in history where content creators have (more or less) complete control over what they produce, where they publish it, and how it gets distributed.
Oh, and if you haven't already, make sure you join the more than 6 million other cool cats who've subscribed to FreddieW. Although, I guess even if you don't we'll continue to post his vids right here at neatorama.
An ordinary craftsman can take an old object and make it into a lamp, but it takes inspiration to make one as amusing as Rodger Thomas does. This Atlanta-based artist finds new uses for antiques, and not uses that you'd expect.
93 miles north of Chengdu, China lies Huanglong--a large array of stunningly beautiful hot springs, streams and waterfalls. You can see why it's a popular tourist destination. View more photos at the link.
Every year, residents of Caltagirone, Italy honor the patron saint of the city with the Scala Flower Festival. They arrange potted plants on a grand staircase in that city to form composite images, such as these flowers made of flowers. You can see more photos at the link.
You know, Margot is a real smart aleck sometimes. She likes to say "Polly want a cracker" as a racially-charged joke. You say she has bird seed in her bowl and she pretends to grow out of it. Well, at least she's cute.
Signs for the Homeless is a lovely project by Kenji Nakayama and Christopher Hope. They interview homeless people begging on the streets and create glossy, visually striking versions of the signs that their interviewees have already written.
Did you know August is National Picnic Month? In order to help you celebrate in style, we've put together an all new Pin to Win contest that can help you win all you need to put together a dream picnic with up to $100 in NeatoShop goodies. Here's what you need to do to win:
Create a Pinterest board called "NeatoShop's Dream Picnic Contest"
Add the image above to your board with the tag #neatoshopdreampicnic
Pin any clothing item in the NeatoShop that you would want to wear to your dream picnic
Pin any item from the NeatoShop the you would want to eat on a picnic
Pin any item in the NeatoShop that you would want to carry your picnic food in (lunch bags, backpack, sandwich bags -any form of bag is fine)
Select and pin one thing from the NeatoShop that you'd like to give to someone special while on your picnic
Post a link to your board in the comments section below (We need you to do this so we can email you if you win)
The winner will receive all the items they pinned for their dream picnic up to $100 in value. If you've pinned a collection of items that add up to more than $100, we'll email you to let you pick out which items you'd like to win out of all those you put on your board up to a $100 value.
The contest will run from today all the way until August 25, 2013, but if you can't wait to get a start on your dream picnic, the NeatoShop has all sorts of goodies to choose from.
There are plenty of TV dramas based on real people or real events, but comedy is largely more imaginative and therefore, more often fiction. Even so, you’d be surprised how many of your favorite characters and plots in sitcoms are actually based on real life people and events. Here are five such examples.
Obviously the setting of M*A*S*H is the very real Korean war, but the TV sitcom was based on a film that was, in turn based on a book by Dr. H. Richard Hornberger, a military surgeon who served in Korea. Corporal “Radar” O’Reilly was based on company clerk Don Shafer, who served beside the doctor in the war and also had the nickname “Radar.” Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan was based on two different nurses that served in Korea, Hotlips Hammerly and Janie Hall. Hammerly had a similar disposition and look as the fictional version, but Hall played a direct role in the character’s development, regularly contributing to the show with her real-life stories.
Not only were a few of the characters inspired by real people, but many of the plots used in the early seasons are based on stories the production team got from interviews with real MASH surgeons.
Greendale may seem pretty over-the-top, but it is based on Dan Harmon’s real experiences at Glendale Community College, where he got involved in a study group and began a friendship with a group of people he otherwise had nothing in common with. Harmon based Jeff on himself, acknowledging that he was self-centered and excessively independent before the group made him recognize the value of connecting with other people.
As for the delightfully bizarre Abed, he wasn’t based on a member of Harmon’s study group, but a friend of his who is simply obsessed with pop culture. Of course, Abed Gheith, the real life version of the character is quick to point out that he’s not quite as odd as the highly exaggerated Abed, “I think I’m a bit more aware socially. I can tell when people are uncomfortable… It seems like the one on the show has no idea that he’s around other people. Like he's watching them on TV. So he's kind of a kid-like version of me.”
I teach a first year experience course to college students--a semester-long orientation to college life. When I do lesson planning for a class, I often begin with a search of Neatorama's archives. I look for neat videos, images or events that will grab the attention of my students.
For example, when my students begin exploring potential careers, I start the class by showing this terrifying video of a man cleaning--by hand--a cobra pit:
If they weren't awake already, this video solves that problem quickly. It easily leads to a discussion about the importance of choosing a career thoughtfully.
When my students are learning how to study for and take tests effectively, I tell them about college students who used game theory to get perfect scores or the professor who surprised his students by telling them to write their own exams. We then have a discussion about how tests are structured and how to use those structures to their own advantage.
I found all of these content-relevant posts--and many more--by searching Neatorama's archives while preparing lessons. After 8 years and more than 60,000 posts, Neatorama's archives contain attention-grabbing bites of neatness on just about every topic you can think of.
Teachers, think of Neatorama as a vast archive of items that you can use to get and keep your students' interest during class.
Here are a few examples:
Are you a middle school science teacher addressing volcanoes in class? You could show your students this video of a man running over an active lava flow.
Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.
1994's Pulp Fiction is one of the best and most original films in recent movie history. It has always been my favorite Quentin Tarantino movie. It's one of those films that when you first see it, it bowls you over, with both its originality and its interesting, engrossing storyline.
Now, because the film has been widely imitated and "borrowed from" (after Pulp Fiction came out, it seems like there were dozens of mystery/thriller/crime capers with a host of quirky characters), a bit of its originality may seem to have worn off. Nonetheless, Pulp Fiction remains a classic, an extremely watchable, enjoyable film.
Pulp Fiction also has another interesting distinction: it was John Travolta's comeback film. Because John is known the world over as a hugely successful movie star (incredibly, Travolta has been making movies longer now than Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, or Clark Gable ever did), many movie fans forget that before Pulp Fiction, John's career had sunk to a fairly low degree. Before Pulp Fiction came out, John was mainly looked upon as a bit of a washed up "former" superstar.
But with his Oscar-nominated comeback performance in Pulp Fiction, John was back again, reclaiming his well-deserved superstar status. John's comeback is one of the greatest in show business history.
In the plot of Pulp Fiction, there's a briefcase filled with an orange light. Apparently, many movie fans have theories about what exactly is contained in the briefcase and what is the meaning of the orange light.
A new meme compares the awful things that happen in the Star Wars saga and the HBO series Games of Thrones. Continue reading to see a lot more, but be warned they contain spoilers, if you're not current on both series. However, if you don't know what happens in Star Wars, you are too young to confront these issues anyway.
How do you kill time in the Soekarno-Hatta International Aiport in Jakarta, Indonesia? I suggest browsing the overpriced handi-crafts, mulling over the $75 USD civet coffee, and than sitting down to a cold and refreshing Dark Mocha Frappuccino with White Chocolate Pudding from Starbucks.
Peanut butter and jelly...pshhh, that's so cliche. If you really want a satisfying snack, try a peanut butter sandwich 2.0 that will provide you with 9 different flavor combinations in only one delicious sandwich.
Every year we bring you a great collection of costumes from the SD Comic Con (see 2012, 2011, 2010), and it seems every year I have a harder and harder time slimming my selections down. Aside from the fact that it seems better and better cosplayers turn out every year, I keep taking more and more pictures. In fact, I took almost 1000 this year, mostly of cosplayers, which is why I couldn't cut down my final selections more than I have here. Of course, if even this massive collection of costumes isn't enough for you, I have even more over at my site, Rue The Day, and for those of you who really only appreciate beautiful females in costumes, I even have a seperate collection of beautiful cosplayers.
So, without further ado, I bring you the best costumes from SDCC 2013 -or at least the best ones Zeon Santos or I got a picture of).
There are always tons of Star Wars costumes at the convention, but for some reason few people dare to take on the Emperor's ensemble. Of course, few people would ever be able to do it as well as this guy. The only thing he was missing was some lightning bolts coming out of his fingers.
Darth tends to be over done to a large extent, which is why it's always so refreshing to see someone sporting a Darth Vader costume with a little more unique flair to it.
Even just seeing Darth covered in scars with his helmet removed is refreshing...and discovering he and Darth Maul are both female, now that is an amazing discovery.
Boba Fett is similarly overly done, but it's always nice to see someone portray the character in a drastically different style.
While there were plenty of the obligatory Slave Leias hanging around, I was happy to see more women cosplaying as the more classic Leia -especially little girls like this one.
I even had the pleasure of stumbling across two tiny Princess Leias with fabric buns in their hair.
Videographer Maura Cunningham gives us an update on the Irish cat named Clara who is raising a nest of ducklings along with her own kittens. The ducklings grew faster than the kittens, and Clara did not like it one bit when one of them dared to leave the nest! For the rest of the video, she was all, "Come back here! I'm not finished lecturing you!" -via I Have Seen the Whole of the Internet
You’ll need more than a map and a shovel to find these cultural gems. But trust us, it will be worth the effort.
1. The Makings of a Very Pricy Omelet
From 1885 until the Russian Revolution in 1917, Saint Petersburg’s House of Fabergé created 50 Imperial Easter Eggs as special commissions for the Tsar’s family. These baubles weren’t just encrusted with the world’s most precious stones and metals; each shell opened to reveal a “surprise”—anything from a ruby pendant to a tiny bejeweled train with working mechanics.
When Communists seized control of Russia, they didn’t have much use for these decadent symbols. In 1927, Joseph Stalin’s young regime was dangerously low on cash, so the Soviets decided to hold what amounted to an extended high-end yard sale. Foreign collectors snapped up the Fabergé offerings, and today only 10 of the 50 original eggs still reside at the Kremlin. Of the remaining 40, 32 are in museums or private collections. But eight have vanished entirely. Estimates value the missing Imperial eggs at as much as $30 million apiece! Whether they’re lost or residing in private collections, these Easter eggs are definitely worth finding.
2. Hitchcock's Missing Ending
Just a few years into his career, 24-year-old Alfred Hitchcock was already wearing a lot of hats. On 1923’s hastily produced The White Shadow, Hitchcock served as writer, set designer, assistant director, and even editor. Unfortunately, he didn’t reap much reward for all that effort. The film about twin sisters, one of whom was good while the other was—brace yourself—evil, quietly bombed at the box office. Before long, all known copies had disappeared.
That is, until 2011. In a twist straight out of one of his own films, three of the movie’s six reels turned up in New Zealand. The reels had been nestled safely in the New Zealand Film Archive’s holdings since 1989.
How did the British film stock end up on the other side of the world? Blame nitrate. In movies’ early days, reels of nitrate film circled the globe as a picture played in one country after another. Because the reels were incredibly flammable, transporting them was risky and expensive. And because New Zealand was often the end of the theatrical line, studios usually destroyed a film’s reels there rather than shipping them home.
One projectionist, Jack Murtagh, couldn’t bear to trash the art, so he built up a formidable collection of terrible films—including half of The White Shadow—in his garden shed. When he passed away, his grandson donated most of the shed’s contents to the Film Archive, where the reels sat patiently for nearly 22 years.
Surprisingly, the first half of The White Shadow held up quite well during its stay in Murtagh’s shed, but the last three reels remain lost—as do several of Hitchcock’s other early projects. Today, any one of those films would fetch millions of dollars on the market.
3. Lincoln's Speech That Wasn't Fit to Print
Contrary to what your history teacher said, Abraham Lincoln’s finest speech didn’t begin with the phrase “four score.” Instead, it was a thunderous antislavery oration delivered to the first convention of the Illinois Republican Party on May 29, 1856. Schoolchildren don’t recite these words for a simple reason: Nobody wrote them down.
It’s not clear how the text of the speech became lost, but the traditional explanation is that the speech was too powerful. Instead of transcribing Lincoln’s fiery words, entranced journalists forgot to take notes. The Chicago Democrat reported, “Abraham Lincoln for an hour and a half held the assemblage spellbound by the power of his argument, the intense irony of his invective, the brilliancy of his eloquence. I shall not mar any of its fine proportions by attempting even a synopsis of it.”
Some modern scholars have a different theory; they speculate that the speech was suppressed, not lost. Lincoln’s words may have been such an intense rebuke of slavery that their publication had the potential to shake a fragile nation. The speech’s reputation only grew as Lincoln’s national stature skyrocketed. Several “firsthand accounts” of the speech have surfaced over the years, only to be debunked, leaving historians hungrier than ever for an accurate transcript.
The Glove and Boots puppet show is always good, but they've topped themselves with this grand production. See Logan's tale in song, using musical themes from Beauty and the Beast (I think) and Phantom of the Opera, among others.