This Christmas, don't just get presents for your loved ones that make them go "wow". Get them some things that make them say "Whaaaaa!!?" instead! Make it a Christmas to remember - anyone can get cute and pretty gifts, but you can stand out with these 50 Weirdest Christmas Gifts from the NeatoShop. Best of all, they're all under $15!
This weekend only: Save 25% on 800+ items from the NeatoShop in our Weekend Super Sale. Avoid the long lines at the mall and get your Christmas shopping done early!
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Here are some of our most favorite weirdest NeatoShop items that you can get your loved ones for Christmas:
Forget suspenders and pocket protectors! This Christmas, give your favorite geek (or yourself) something neat to wear: funny and geeky T-shirts from the NeatoShop. These shirts are designed by indie artists from around the world.
Here are our picks of the 50 Funniest and Geekiest T-Shirts Money Can Buy:
Neatoramanaut Joy Taney of kineticnovels sent us this awesome rendition of Batman fighting twin dragons of Harley and Ivy in the style of Viking-era art.
The Batman, Harley and Ivy illustration was inspired by a number of historical pieces of Viking jewelry, carvings and adornment. The Harley-Dragon design, Taney told Neatorama, is mostly designed based on Viking artifacts found in England. "A Viking rune stone from St. Paul's Churchyard gave me the idea for the basic shape of her dragon," Taney added, "while a shoulder clasp found in Sutton Hoo provide dmost of the patterns ... The double headed boar featured on the Sutton Hoo shoulder clasp was also the inspiration for the boar carving found on a cairn stone."
The Ivy-Dragon, on the other hand, is inspired by a Viking artwork from Norway. "The body of Ivy-Dragon was loosely based on the creatures ornamenting an eleventh century Vking ship's weathervane from Heggen, Norway. Ivy-Dragon's head was inspired by a dragon fighting scene carved into the ornate door jams of Hyllestad Church and sticks out her tongue like the dragon-headed tent frame supports from Gokstad. Her flowery patterns come from the carved doorway of Opdal Church."
"The pose of Batman holding both dragons by their throats comes from a pose of a man sitting and holding snakes in a similar manner that can be found on an ornament from Thorleif's stone in Kirk Braddan, Isle of Man, England." Taney further explained, "Human figures tend to be shown in Viking folk art with a little less geometric stylization than the animals. Interlocking legs, such as the one I chose for Batman, were usually the domain of animal figures, not human. However, since one of the running themes of the Batman stories is how thin the line separating the hero from the rogues' gallery really is, it seemed appropriate to render him in a way that was not so different from the villains."
Batman's logo, batarangs and utility belts feature the geometric knotwork that is universal in Viking folk art. "Viking knotwork has a characteristic, woven pattern where each strand moves over one piece it crosses, and then under the next, and continues this way throughout. I desigend the logo and utility belt separately so they would contain the number of twists, turns, and overlaps to emulate that over/under pattern."
Check out more of Taney's artwork over at her Tumblr and deviantART page. Thanks for sharing with us, Joy!
You've probably seen the photo of Pope Francis embracing a disfigured man, whose body has been scarred by neurofibromatosis. The photo (below), which went viral, provoked an outpouring of sympathy for the man ... and sparked the hunt to find who he is.
CNN's Rome correspondents spent weeks trying to find and talk to him, and they've finally succeeded. Meet Vinicio Riva, the disfigured man embraced by the Pope:
"When he came close to us," [Vinicio's aunt] said, "I thought he would give me his hand. Instead he went straight to Vinicio and embraced him tightly. I thought he wouldn't give him back to me he held him so tightly. We didn't speak. We said nothing but he looked at me as if he was digging deep inside, a beautiful look that I would never have expected."
Vinicio, accustomed to stares of shock and fear, was initially confused by the pontiff's lack of hesitation. "He didn't have any fear of my illness," he said. "He embraced me without speaking ... I quivered. I felt a great warmth."
Danish stand-up comedian Nikolaj Wulff (@nikowulff) shared this photo of his pet guinea pig getting REALLY excited about finding a piece of carrot. I have the same expression when I run across a slice of cake. Carrot cake, of course.
In 2008, Walter White was building his meth empire in the AMC hit series Breaking Bad. That same year, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama's most successful meth cook was also making the purest meth east of the Mississippi. His name? Walter White - and by then, he's been at it for ten years. He's so good that some say he should be called the "meth chef."
In this newly released documentary, Giana Toboni and VICE traveled to Alabama to interview the real life Walter White. The meth cook exposed the secret of his legendary operation - he explained how he got started, how he made - and spent - thousands of dollars every day, how he got arrested and why his partners are now serving life sentences behind bars.
Who doesn't want to get lucky? Maybe this shirt by Piercek25 will finally help you get instant crush and win the game of love. He's definitely doin' it right!
Please let me welcome Piercek25 to the NeatoShop! Visit his official Facebook page, then check out his NeatoShop catalog for more neat designs. Your purchase helps support indie artists as well as this blog, so buy something, mmkay?
We can't find more info on the photo above (presumably Photoshopped), but we did find this neat-o clip of the Bus Stop Disco Surprise by SoulPancake. Now where are my bell bottom disco pants? Time to boogie!
In 2D or not 2D, Russian photographer Alexander Khokhlov and make-up artist Valeriya Kutsan collaborated to turn models' faces into two-dimensional images (with post production by Veronica Ershova). Kutsan used a variety of face painting techniques to mimic digital pixels, watercolors, oil paintings, and more.
As the name implies, it's quite unpleasant - fishermen hate sea snot because it clogs their fishing net - and boy, wait till a bunch of them land on the beach and make a mess of it (and to make matters worse, sea snot can release pathogens hazardous to human health).
Marine biologist Serena Fonda Umani swam next to a giant blob of sea snot in
the Adriatic Sea in 1991 (Photo: Nino Caressa) - via National Geographic News
Khan As A Service, or KHANAAS for those in the know, is a microsite that prides itself in providing a way to "express general disdain towards someone when they screw up." That, or a fun way to spend a few minutes on the web showing someone you love or respect that you're thinking about them.
The service is simple. All you have to do to get the pic above is write on your browser's URL bar:
To get William Shatner as Captain Kirk screaming the person's name (for example, this one below is www.khanaas.com/kirk/farrier, in honor of Neatorama's John Farrier) is to put that name after the kirk slash bit.
Danny Keefe, a 6-year-old boy at the Mitchell Elementary School in Bridgewater, Massachussetts, is disabled because of a brain hemorrhage at birth and has a speech impediment problem.
Regardless, Danny is a cheerful - and dapper - water boy for his Bridgewater Badgers peewee football team. We say "dapper" because Danny always wear a suit and tie, as well as a fedora, to school.
The football team's coach always remind the team that they're a "Band of Brothers," and that despite his disability, Danny is one of them and that they should treat him as an equal.
So, when the football team quarterback Tommy Cooney heard that Danny was getting bullied because of the way he speaks, he rallied the troop to do something: they arranged a "Danny Appreciation Day," where every boy in the team came to school dressed up like Danny.
Children can be mean, but these kids are awesome! Watch the video clip below by WCVB Channel 5 Boston that will reaffirm your faith in humanity:
First grade is tough. No more story circle. No more nap time.
Six-year-old Sophie Mullins, a first grade student at Gauley River Elementary in Craigsville, West Virginia, thought that she and her classmates were being overworked, so she did what any aggrieved constituent would do: she wrote a letter to her State Senator Joe Manchin.
Sophie got the idea from her father, who suggested that she wrote her State Senator with her grievances. "She'd say, 'Daddy, there's so much work to do, all we do is work,' and he said, 'Well, you need to write your congressman,' " Sophie's mother Sarah Mullins told WSAZ.
"Dear Sir," the young Ms. Mullins wrote, "All we do is work, work, work. I need a break. Can you please help?"
Manchin, ever concerned about his constitutents' well being, picked up the phone and called Sophie at school:
"You're working all the time, aren't you?" asked Manchin in the videotaped call that his office posted on YouTube. "So what I'm doing is, see, I'm giving you a break right now. I wanted you to take a little bit of time off since you worked so hard."
"If you work hard, it's going to pay off," Manchin said, urging her to "keep working hard on your studies so you get smarter so you can help us."
The call only lasted a few minutes, but Sophie's mother told WSAZ that it was important to Sophie, who said "Yes, I wrote a letter and talked to people, and the senator listened to me."
See? Calling your representative works! Though I hate to tell ya, kid, get used to it: work doesn't get any better when you're grown up.
We all know that YouTube comments are the cesspool of the Interweb. Google decided to try to clean it up by requiring Google+ accounts in order to comment on the world's largest video clip site, a move that proven to be quite unpopular with the unwashed masses, but think what would happened if Google succeeded in taming its comment problems.
We would all miss out on something like this: a dramatic reconstruction by comedy group Dead Parrot of an argument between two YouTubers, "Sophie Danze" and "Jilianlovesthebeibs" on One Direction's music video What Makes You Beautiful.
Watch British actors Grahame Edwards and Eryl Lloyd Parry spar with each other in this clip produced by Adrian Bliss. Warning: NSFW language.
What's the greatest thing since sliced bread? How about butter that doesn't ruin your toasted sliced bread when you try to spread it? Behold, shredded butter!
Japan company Metex created this amazing gizmo called "Easy Butter Former": a grater for a butter. All you have to do is put a regular stick of butter in the contraption and twist to dispense a stringy, easy to spread butter.
If you've ever looked up in the skies and wondered where that airplane is flying to, then these billboards are for you!
British Airways and Ogilvy 12th Floor unveiled a series of digital billboards that "interact" with BA aircrafts flying overhead to tell you where it's headed. The ads use custom technology to track the aircraft and play a video clip of a child pointing up to the plane just as it flies overhead.
Abigail Comber, British Airways' head of marketing, told marketing and media magazine The Drum, "This is a first, not just for British Airways but for UK advertising. We all know from conversations with friends and family that we wonder where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination. The clever technology allows this advert to engage people there and then and answer that question for them.
"We hope it will create a real ‘wow’ and people will be reminded how amazing flying is and how accessible the world can be."
The first interactive billboard is located at Chiswick and a second one is coming to London's Piccadilly Circus.
Marcos Carramao de Farias spotted a baby dolphin trapped in a plastic bag off the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil, while fishing one day. He and a fellow fisherman helped free the dolphin and return it to the ocean. The baby dolphin then did a little happy "thank you" dance in the water that will warm your heart!
Poor Harry Potter! Us muggles just don't get how hard it is to be a wizard!
In their latest installment of Movies in Real Life, Charlie Todd and the comedy collective Improv Everywhere showed us just how hard it is to find Platform 9 3/4 (especially when you're in the wrong train station) or to check in an owl.
Watch as 11-year-old Sebastian Thomas played the role of Harry Potter trying to get to Hogwartz from New York's Pennsylvania Station.
Oh, and here's Harry Potter trying to catch a cab to the airport and the behind-the-scenes takes:
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark commissioned the first royal family painting in almost 125 years, and chose Danish artist Thomas Kluge to paint it. Four years later, she got it: a very modern, and some say quite creepy, portrait of the Danish Royal Family.
Kluge, a largely self-taught artist, is famous for using the same painting technique as the old Flemish Masters like Caravaggio. Though he uses modern acrylic paints, Kluge applies layers upon painstaking layers of under painting using glazes and extremely thin brushes. He is a master in chiaroscuro - the artistic technique of using contrasting effects of light and dark.
Fredensborgbillege depicts King Christian IX and Queen Louise, and their extended royal family, the so-called "the in-laws of Europe" in their time. Via Danish Royal Collections
The Queen had wanted something more like the Fredensborgbillege above, a painting of King Christian IX and his royal family in the 1880s by Laurits Tuxen, but she got what some people had described as a poster for the sequel of the horror movie The Omen instead.
We begin with Queen Margrethe II, a matriarch who has been painted by Kluge with all of the graceful femininity of Tubbs from the BBC's League of Gentlemen. Next to her sits her swollen husband, Henrik, who has been captured with such close attention to detail that you can actually see the meat sweats diffusing through his skin-tight velvet suit. Note also the tumor or possible herpes sore disfiguring Henrik's upper lip, which Kluge has made sure to render with nearly Rembrandt-like fidelity.
In the lower left-hand corner, Princess Isabelle rocks back and forth on the floor, staring with milk-white eyes into the distance as she purses her black lips and slowly twists her dolly's head off. To the right, young princes Nikolai and Felix build the metaphorical tower of blood that they must eventually climb to take the Danish throne for their own. But they will not ascend to claim their crimson thrones unchallenged. To get there, they must first defeat Prince Christian, the second heir to the throne, whom Kluge depicts as the 1,000-year-old Satanic dwarf in the center of the painting. But the prince will not easily be killed: he has splintered his soul between seven horcruxes, each of which has been hidden as a sort of Easter egg within Kluge's masterpiece. Can you find them all?
We don't know what the Queen privately thinks about the piece, but the website for the Royal Danish Collections described it circumspectly as "a kind of magic realism." The portrait, in which Kluge balanced the official and private spheres of the Danish Royal Family, is a "precise depiction of humans and objects known from reality [which] form part of a universe which challenges the interpretations of the spectator, as they encompass something other and deeper than immediate, accurate likeness."
In other words, creepy, but what do YOU think?
Is the Danish Royal Family Portrait Cute or Creepy?
Do tears of grief look different under the microscope than tears of happiness?
That's the basis of photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher's new project, The Topography of Tears. Over the past several years, she collected human tears - her own and others - that accompany a wide range of feelings, including elation, sorrow, frustration, and rejection. (She's even got tears from chopping onions and those of a newborn.)
So Fisher caught one of her tears, dried it on a slide and peered through the microscope's eyepiece. "It was really interesting. It looked like an aerial view, almost as if I was looking down at a landscape from a plane. Eventually, I started wondering - would a tear of grief look any different than a tear of joy? And how would they compare to, say, an onion tear?"
Stromberg explained that scientifically speaking, there are three types of tears: basal tears that are released continuously in small quantities to keep the eye lubricated, reflex tears that are secreted when the eye is irritated by foreign particles like sand or onion vapors, and psychic tears from crying or weeping due to strong emotions, both positive and negative.
All tears are mainly composed of water and salts, with accompanying biological substances like antibodies and antibacterial enzymes. And according to studies, the composition of emotional or psychic tears are different than those caused by eye irritants. For example, emotional tears have more protein-based hormones.
Some of that may explain the differences in Fisher's photos of the various tears, but as any chemist would tell you, the crystallization of salt is highly dependent on a variety of factors. So keep in mind that the same emotional tears may crystallize into vastly different shapes and formations under slightly different circumstances. Regardless, that does not diminish our joy in viewing Fisher's remarkable micrographs.