Alex Santoso's Blog Posts

Night of the Deadly Lights

Photo: Ary Bassous/Wildlife Photographer of the Year - Natural History Museum

That mound looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie, but it's actually real. Photographer Ary Bassous took a photo of an old termite mound in the savannah of Emas National Park, central Brazil, that is inhabited by click beetle larvae. The beetles shine their bioluminescent glow in order to attract prey.

Previously on Neatorama: Predatory Glow Worms Found in Peruvian Amazon

To catch the bioluminescent beetle, Bassous spent the night at the wildlife preserve. Despite "bouts of crippling fear" at the thought of jaguars and other animals that hunt in the night, Bassous told Natural History Museum, he was glad that he was able to get the perfect photo of the eerie, glowing mound against the dark's sky.

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Can You Find The Woman in This Body Painting Pic?

We've posted about Craig Tracy's wonderful bodypainting a while ago on Neatorama, but the artist has created many more awesome artwork that we just want to showcase him again.

Can you find the human in the bodypainting of a white tiger above? No?

How about this one below:

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View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Would You Eat This Pulsating "Frankenstein Meat"?

CCTV News reported that a woman in Shandong Province, China, was shocked to discover that a slab of beef she had just purchased from a local market appeared to be pulsating like a beating heart.

Instead of eating it, the woman (wisely, I'm sure) chose to record the moving, pulsating meat that the Internet has dubbed "Frankenstein meat". Here's the video (WARNING: Not for the faint of heart - the video is probably not suitable if you don't have the stomach for gross stuff)

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Hollywood Street Characters, The Dead End of the American Dream

Photo: Ken Hermann

When he was in Los Angeles on assignment, photographer Ken Hermann stayed at a hotel close to Hollywood Boulevard. Walking down the street, he became fascinated by the street artists who dress up as various characters from Hollywood movies - from superheroes to villains to cartoon characters.

Hermann became curious about these impersonators and decided to talk to a few of them to find out what made them do what they do day in, day out. That led to a project called Hollywood Street Characters: The Dead-End of the American Dream, where Hermann took portraits of these impersonators, unmasked to reveal their true faces.

In an interview with The Phoblographer, Hermann explained further:

After talking to several of the impersonators it became clear to me that many of them are, or once were, pursuing the American dream of becoming someone special and famous. I found this struggle and pursuit of the ambition meshed with the innocent fantasy world of dressing up intriguing.

Some of the street characters does a really good job acting as look-alikes and they actually look a lot like some of the big Hollywood stars while others just look like silly grownups in poor and dirty costumes. I was fascinated by this big contrast between the good look-alikes and the poor ones. And I also noticed that the success of the street characters was-n’t about being the most perfect look alike – it also depended upon acting as the most hyped or popular characters or maybe just having a funny or crazy attitude.

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Mad Max and Adventure Time Mash Up is Shiny and Chrome!

Like Nux the War Boy said in Mad Max: Fury Road, "I live. I die. I LIVE AGAIN ... in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo." Or something like that.

In any case, the mash up of Mad Max Fury Road and Adventure Time is just the sort of things that belong together. Ryan May of City of Pyramids drew our favorite characters from Adventure Time like we've never seen them before: Ice King as Immortan Joe, Marceline the Vampire Queen does Come-Doof Warrior proud, Princess Bubblegum becomes Imperator Furiosa, and Finn the Human channels his inner Max Rockatansky.

Take a look:

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Chuck Norris Plush Doll Giveaway

Background Image: Stefano Venturi/Shutterstock

Here's a fact for you: When the Bald Eagle looks up "Freedom" in the dictionary, it'll find the entry for Chuck Norris.

Here's another fact for you: Chuck Norris is too awesome to stay hidden in our warehouse for long. His awesomeness drew us in like a beacon, shining with the intensity of one thousand suns. That awesomeness led us to find a stash of Chuck Norrises in plush doll form in a far corner of the NeatoShop warehouse.

Actually, no. Chuck Norris wasn't hiding. He was just biding his time until he can reward loyal Neatoramanauts with this exclusive giveaway: We have 10 warehouse-find Chuck Norris plush dolls that are calling YOUR name.

This giveaway is exclusive to NeatoMail subscribers, so if you haven't subscribed, well, you won't get a chance to win one. We'll announce the giveaway in our next NeatoMail, so subscribe today! (Don't worry - we won't share your email with anyone).

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Blind Date with a Book

Photo via reddit

Don't judge a book by its cover ... judge them by these cryptic keywords, instead! A bookstore in Amsterdam wrapped a number of books in plain brown paper and taped hints like "Science-Fiction," "Ambiguous Utopia," "World Without Government," and "Brilliant Physicist" to help you guess the books inside.

"Try a blind date with a book!" The sign above the bin said, "With only the keywords as hints you can't judge these books by their cover. Purchase the book at the counter and unwrap. A great way to discover new books."

See if you can guess the titles of the books in the photo above.

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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World's Laziest Sign Spinner

Have you ever seen a skilled sign spinner on the side of the road performing near-acrobatic stunt with enthusiasm and zeal? Well, this guy is the opposite of that!

My wife and I ran into a sign guy sitting comfortably on a lawn chair reading a book while holding a giant sign to advertise a local business nearby. But he's probably just as effective as the guy who twirls his sign, while expending a fraction of the energy. After all, you can't beat a giant red arrow with the word "Tacos." Those things practically sell themselves!

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Ben & Jerry Celebrates Marriage Equality with "I Dough, I Dough" Ice Cream

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal throughout the United States. To celebrate marriage equality, Vermont-based ice cream company Ben & Jerry has renamed their Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream "I Dough, I Dough".

"Ben & Jerry’s is proud of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision against discrimination as it boldly stands up for equality for same sex couples everywhere," said Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim, "And at Ben & Jerry’s, there’s only one way to celebrate: with a scoop of I Dough, I Dough, Marriage equality never tasted so good!”

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Stealth Bike

Drivers, think that bicyclists are hard to spot at night? Well, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

BME Design has created the B9-NH "stealth bike," inspired by the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk AKA the "Stealth Fighter" aircraft. The bike features a carbon fiber frame and fork, one-piece carbon stem-handlebar, CNC-machined alloy cranks and even a carbon composite saddle and post.

"The bicycle would be Black, almost radar absorbent. Any eye that caught it would be captured in its dark gravity. With flat paneling it would look like a veiled threat," BME Design's website stated.

But, like the expensive Stealth Fighter aircraft it was modeled after, the stealth bike ain't cheap. It'll cost you €7,800 ($8,700) if you want one.

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Python Realized That Eating a Whole Porcupine Is Actually a Very, Very Bad Idea

Just because you can eat it, it doesn't mean that you should eat it. This 12-foot-long python sure learned that lesson the hard way.

Earlier this month, a cyclist named Jean-Claude Chanu was riding along a mountain bike trail at the Lake Eland Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, when he found an engorged African Rock python that obviously ate something huge. Chanu snapped a few photos that went viral on social media.

"We’ve been keeping an eye on the snake since we got word from the rider; it’s moved about a metre from where the rider found it," Shona Lawson of the Lake Eland Game Reserve told eHowzit. "These snakes move away from trails as soon as it hears cyclists or cars approaching. In this case, it essentially couldn’t move due to the weight of the animal in its stomach."

Park rangers were speculating what the snake had swallowed for dinner, with guesses including a small warthog to baby impala. Meanwhile, the snake had become somewhat of a celebrity for the wildlife sanctuary - people were visiting in hope of catching a glimpse of the swollen snake.

Days later, park rangers found the python dead near the bike trail and decided to cut it open to see what it ate. They found a whopper of a snack inside the belly of the snake: a 30-lb (13.8 kg) porcupine, quills and all!

General manager Jennifer Fuller told LiveScience that pythons actually eat porcupines all the time in the wild. They also ate much larger animals, including a 50-lb adult oribi antelope. She suspected that the python was killed when it fell off a rocky ledge, and the porcupine's quills pierced the snake's digestive tract and killed it.

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Spoiler Movie Posters

Art director Dawid Frątczak of Warsaw, Poland, took movie spoilers and turned them into wonderful pieces of art. In his graphic design series, aptly titled Spoiler Poster Collection, Frątczak created a set of colorful, minimalist movie posters that upon closer inspection actually gave away the ending for those who haven't seen the movies.

Spoiler alert - view the rest at your own risk:

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Meet Quasi Modo, The New World's Ugliest Dog

After a ruff competition for the World's Ugliest Dog title, a 10-year-old so-strange-looking-he's-actually-cute mutt named Quasi Modo has won.

Quasi Modo has a spinal birth defect that made him hunchbacked (just like his namesake Quasimodo, the protagonist in Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). The dog's owners, veterinarian Virginia Sayre and her husband Mike Carroll in Loxahatchee, Florida, adopted him after he was abandoned at an animal shelter.

"My appearance can be a little unsettling to some (I have had grown men jump on top of their cars to get away from me because they thought I was a hyena or Tasmanian devil) but once they get to know me I win them over with my bubbly personality," Quasi Modo's biography stated.

According to Chief Judge Brian Sobel, Quasi Modo was selected because he "epitomized excellence in ugliness."

Last year, Quasi Modo came in second place in the same competition, which is held annually at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. Here's a video clip showing Quasi Modo at his home at the G & M Ranch in Loxahatchee Groves, Florida:

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

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Giant Whirlpool on Lake Texoma Can Suck in a Full-Size Boat

When boating on Lake Texoma, which like its name suggests, is on the border of Texas and Oklahoma, you better heed the warning buoys and stay away from certain parts of the lake. Why, you ask? So you don't get sucked into this giant 8-foot wide whirpool that can swallow a full-size boat!

The whirlpool is an intake vortex that drains the lake, which is one of the largest reserviors in the United States and formed by the buildup of water at Denison Dam on the Red River. When the water level on the lake rises to a certain level, the US Army Corps of Engineers open the floodgates that drain the lake, just like a big bathtub.

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#PrattKeeping with REAL Dinosaurs

Remember when all those zookeepers imitated Chris Pratt's velociraptor training pose from the movie Jurassic World? Well, museum curators want in on the fun, too!

Here's one tweeted by The Smithsonian:

#PrattKeeping is a key component of the exhibition process. Our Dinosaur Curator, Matthew Carrano, has a tough job!

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Scientists Found New Species of Hairy-Chested Yeti Crab

Image: National Environmental Research Council

Its land dwelling namesake is still at large, but scientists have discovered a third species of the yeti crab. Meet Kiwa tyleri, a deep-sea crustacean that belongs to the yeti crab family.

Previously on Neatorama: Hair Crab Dubbed "The Hoff"

Ecologist and study leader Sven Thatje explored the hydrothermal vents in East Scotia Ridge, Antarctica, using remotely-piloted submersible and discovered a thriving community of yeti crab living more than 8,500 feet under water.

"We knew immediately that we'd found something tremendously novel and unique in hydrothermal vent research," Thatje said as reported by National Geographic.

Thatje noted that the Antarctic waters where the crabs live are so cold that they're just above freezing. The liquid that spews out of the hydrothermal vents, however, can reach 700 °F (400 °C). That means the yeti crab has only a tiny space where the water temperature is just right: too close to the vents and they'll fry. Too far and they'll freeze.

That's why the crabs pile on top of each other, Thatje said, "like beans in a jar, filling every available space." Some 700 crabs are found in just one square meter.

View more over at National Geographic - Thanks Beth!

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Aurora From Space

Image: NASA

Astronaut Scott Kelly took this amazing photo of an aurora from on board the International Space Station. As you can see in this photo above, taken on June 23, 2015, the glowing aurora looks as awesome from space as it does from the ground.

More spectacular photo of the red aurora from Kelly's Twitter account:

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Can You Tell This CGI Skin Apart From Real Human Skin?

You know what gives away CGI every time? It's the skin.

Computer-generated human skin is almost always too smooth and too plastic-y. Even the best CGI look like they're wax models. That close-but-no-cigar skin puts CGI faces right smack in the uncanny valley.

But not for long: Researchers at the University of Southern California Institute of Creative Technologies have released a new technique that can create amazingly realistic artificial skin.

Koki Nagano and colleagues scanned real human face to capture details at the 10 micron magnification level - close enough to capture details like tiny wrinkles and pores - and then created an algorithm to mimic the stretching and compression of the skin in regular human facial expressions.

The results are absolutely stunning:


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Engineer Disassembled Beats Headphones And Found This Surprise Inside

Nothing beats (ahem!) a good pair of headphones, especially those that feel solid and substantial in your hands. Like those iconic Beats By Dre headphones you see everywhere you go. Surely they're made with top shelf components that justify their sky-high price of $199, right?

Bolt's prototype engineer Avery Louie decided to see what the Beats headphones are made from and exacty how much they cost ... and he's found quite a few surprises, like this one:

One of the great things about the solo headphones is how substantial they feel. A little bit of weight makes the product feel solid, durable, and valuable. One way to do this cheaply is to make some components out of metal in order to add weight. In these headphones, 30% of the weight comes from four tiny metal parts that are there for the sole purpose of adding weight.

So, how much do the components in a $199 headphones actually cost? Find out at Louie's post over at Medium - via Core77

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"Genius Girl" Hoax: High School Student Tried to Impress Parents by Telling Them She Got Accepted into Both Harvard and Stanford

Got parents with high expectation? Impress them by telling them you got into Harvard.

Got parents with really high expectation? Impress them by telling them that you not only got accepted at Harvard and Stanford with full scholarships, but also that they both want you so bad that they're creating a special joint program so you can attend both schools.

And if that's not enough, tell them that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called you on the phone to give you advice on which college to attend.

That's what one high school senior, dubbed by the media as "Genius Girl," did. Too bad that none of it was true and when the story went viral. The Washington Post reports:

The senior’s tale of academic conquest of admission into what turned out to be a bogus program apparently was designed to impress her parents, peers and teachers as part of the annual cutthroat competition for the relatively tiny number of spots at the nation’s top schools. The faked admission story went much further than most teen fantasies: It made its way to the international media, where the student’s parents admitted the truth and publicly shamed themselves before the Korean community. ...

The question now at the school is what caused the student to concoct the elaborate college admissions scheme. The answer seems obvious to students and teachers there: overwhelming pressure to succeed from parents and unrealistic expectations from the teens themselves.

Creating a story that went viral and brought you internet notoriety? Now that's impressive!

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Microwave Chefs, Meet the Next-Gen Microwave That'll Turn You Into a Gourmet Chef!

If your idea of cooking is more pushing some buttons on the microwave oven, then with this new technology, you may well be on your way to become a gourmet chef.

Behold the next generation microwave, as developed by Freescale Semiconductor. This microwave uses solid-state radio frequency (RF) technology to heat meals and allows you to cook food at different intensities, prevent overcooking, and heat up multiple dishes at the same time. The microwave has a wide array of cooking techniques, including searing, browning, baking, and poaching. Plus, it looks boss!

"Consumers worldwide are strapped for time but still want nutrient-rich, high quality meals at home," said Paul Hart, senior vice president and general manager for Freescale’s RF business. "They will no longer need to choose between quality and convenience. Imagine not only having ready-to cook, gourmet meals delivered to your door, but achieving restaurant-quality results in mere minutes. This is an exciting new appliance concept based on a novel cooking paradigm."

That's a tall promise for a technology that's been around for almost 70 years (yes, the first microwave, built from radar technologies developed during World War II, was sold in 1946).

Via Mashable.

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Star Wars Spaceships Crash Landing on Earth

The Imperial insurance adjustor's not going to like this!

French artist Nicolas Amiard has created a set of composite photographs depicting what would happen if starships from the Star Wars universe crash landed on planet Earth.

As he imagined the Imperial Star Destroyer plopped down in Paris to the Millennium Falcon crash landed in the Hudson River, Amiard said to VICE's The Creators Project, "Star Wars is an imaginary universe and bringing elements from this universe in our real world seemed to be a very interesting contrast to work on."

We'll say that the Force (of Photoshopper) is strong with this one!

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Pop Song Shows the Formula of How to Write Your Own Pop Song

Psst, wanna million bucks? Just write the next pop hit! And you don't even have to worry about having some divine inspiration for writing the song because, as it turns out, there's a formula for writing catchy pop songs.

And what better form to write said formula than in an actual song?

Here's a pop song about pop songs, by Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench. And he should know what he's talking about - Josh wrote and produced Carly Rae Jepsen's 2011 earworm "Call Me Maybe."

Via Twisted Sifter.

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You've Been Opening Milk Cartons Wrong All Your Life. Here's How You Should Do It ...

That carton of milk you buy from the grocery store? Y'know, the one that's hard to open. If you've been having an infernal time prying open the gable top carton and squeezing the two sides to pop the spout out, then watch this clip below.

It'll change your life FOREVER!

Here's how a professional opens a milk carton, courtesy of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF):

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Opal Captures Fiery Sunset and Clouds Within

Photo: Jeff Schultz/Flickr - via Bored Panda

What magical stone is this?! Flickr user Jeff Schultz took a photograph of a Mexican opal that looks like it has a fiery sunset and clouds captured within. Gorgeous!

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Corgi in for a Big Surprise when Turtle It Thought was a Rock Suddenly Moved

Rocks shouldn't move, should they? YouTube user TurboMuffin filmed her corgi Turbo chillin' in the yard next to a rock ... which suddenly moved! Oh, that sneaky turtle!

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

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Forget Velociraptors! Chris Pratt Met the Challenge of His Life: Training Little Kids!

Remember that Chris Pratt raptor training pose? Turns out, wrangling velociraptors was just preparation for something much more challenging: training human children.

Chris Pratt's Jurassic World raptor training pose

Redditor chrysias posted this image of Jurassic World actor Chris Pratt at Our Lady of the Lake hospital in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, taming entertaining the kids and their families.

Just to underscore how dangerous little children could be, does anyone know where Chris Pratt is now? He hasn't been heard from since ...

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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World's Longest Pizza Looks Like a Red Carpet of Molten Cheesy Goodness!

Image: MarcoBrusa

If you think you have to wait for a long time for pizza, just be thankful that you didn't have to wait 18 hours like for this one. But result is worth it: a new Guinness World Record for world's longest pizza!

For the 2015 world fair in Milan, Italy, sixty pizza makers came together to cook a sizzling margherita 1,595.45-meter long (that's nearly a mile-long!) The pizza was made using over two tons of tomato sauce and half a ton of mozzarella cheese, and stretched over 800 tables.

Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP

After the pizza was declared as world's longest, it was fed to over 30,000 fair visitors, and donated to a local food bank.

So, just how does one cook a mile-long pizza? With moving ovens, of course:

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Cat Wins Hero Dog Award

Now this is different! For the first time in 33 years, a cat has been given the "Hero Dog" award by a Los Angeles animal shelter. And wait till you hear what she did to win the award: she attacked a dog.

Last year, Tara the cat saw her owner, 6-year-old autistic boy named Jeremy Triantafilo, got attacked by a neighbor's dog. Tara body-slammed the dog and chased it away. The incident was caught on Triantafilo's home security video, which Miss C posted on Neatorama.

"We were so impressed by Tara's bravery and fast action that the selection committee decided that a cat this spectacular should be the National Hero Dog," said Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Los Angeles, to WPVI.

As you'd expect, the word "Dog" on the trophy was scratched out and replaced with "Cat."

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

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Earth's Sixth Great Mass Extinction Event is Upon Us

Great Vocab Didn't Save The Thesaurus From Extinction

"We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event."

That line belongs in a sci-fi movie, but it was actually said by Gerardo Ceballos to the BBC, now a scientist at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. "If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on," he added.

Species extinction over the past centuries

Ceballos and colleagues from Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley, have just published a paper that showed the current extinction rate of vertebrates is more than 100 times greater than normal. Since 1900, there are more than 400 vertebrate species that went extinct.

The study laid the blame on modern human activities, including deforestation, introduction of invasive species, pollution, and, you guessed it, climate change.

"There are examples of species all over the world that are essentially the walking dead," added Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University. As species disappear, so goes their benefits to the ecosystem such as crop pollination by honeybees and water purifications in the wetlands. At the current rate of loss, we could lose biodiversity within just three generations. "We are sawing off the limb that we are sitting on," added Ehrlich.

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Profile for Alex Santoso

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