Alex Santoso's Blog Posts

Grow-a-brain Grew to 5 Million Hits!

Hanan of the irrisistibly addictive grow-a-brain blog is celebrating his 5 million hits (congrats!), and I just found out!

Anyhow, he will give $100 to a random person who comments on his blog - but if he gets 500 or more comments in 30 days. Time's running out, so go say hello: Link

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New T-Shirts from the NeatoShop:

Milky Way Galaxy Over Utah.

Wally Pacholka of AstroPics took this breathtaking photo of the Milky Way Galaxy over Capitol Reef National Park in Utah - something us city folks just don't get to see...

Link [Astronomy Picture of the Day]

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Neatorama Got a Baby!

A lot of things happened this past weekend: Mel Gibson got in trouble, wars raged on in the Middle East, Neatorama had a server meltdown (again) ... and baby Madeline arrived early!

If you were wondering why there weren't any post on Neatorama for the past couple of days, you're looking at the answer: my lovely wife gave me the best present ever - a bawling, beautiful little poop machine baby girl. Mom and baby, understandably, were very tired from the experience and had to rest. Alex, who did nothing, was similarly exhausted ...

Updates to Neatorama will most likely slow down for the next few days - so, now would be a good time to ask you what you like/dislike about the blog, how it can be improved, and what you'd like to see more/less in the blog.

Being first time parents - Tiffany and I welcome any suggestion and advice on raising a girl. Funniest and best comment will win a Neatorama t-shirt. In the meantime, we'd like to thank everyone who called and visited, and all of you for visiting Neatorama regularly!

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Pennylicious: New Blog from Neatorama.

Pennylicious: Finally, a Funny Money Blog! I'd like to introduce Pennylicious, our new blog on money, finance, and the economy.

Similar to Neatorama, Pennylicious will have lots of fun, neat, and regularly updated articles on weird money, collectible currency, strange economic news and and so on - but it will also have articles on practical matters like personal finance, money-saving tips, and more.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the new blog - I hope you'll like it!

Did you know that since 1938 the Westin St. Francis in San Franciso has been running a money laundering operation?

Read about Arnold Batliner, who for 31 years ran the money laundering operation, and why it's perfectly legal (and even desirable!): Laundering Money at the St. Francis.

The new credit card offer seems excellent: low interest rate, cashback rewards, free airline miles - what can go wrong? Plenty, it turns out - and it's all spelled out in the small prints.

Read how credit card companies have different rates for different transactions, how they "unfix" a low teaser rate and jack them up to the maximum even if you haven't missed a payment, and shorten the grace period so you have even less time to pay.

Catch the credit card "gotchas" before they catch you: Credit Card "Gotchas."

Hell may hath no fury like a woman scorned, but it certainly has got one heckuva currency (and with $8 billion denominations, inflation in hell must be crazy!)

Find out the who have been using it, what it is for, and why it's called Hell Money.


So, what are you waiting for? Go to Pennylicious, already (and thanks for visiting!)

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Obscure Sports.

YesButNoButYes blog has a neat list of Top 10 Obscure Sports in the World. Unicycle Hockey is No. 2: Link - Thanks Jellio!

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Fishing Chimp.

Meet Charlie, the fishing chimp, who last year learned to fish to kick off the Wildlife Festival in Lesitin, New York (he ended up catching two fish!)


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Disembodied Cuisine: Meat-in-a-Vat Art.

From the website:

In the “Disembodied Cuisine” we will attempt to grow frog skeletal muscle over biopolymer for potential food consumption. A biopsy will be taken from an animal which will continue to live and be displayed in the gallery along side the growing “steak”. This installation will culminate in a “feast”. The idea and research into this project began in Harvard in 2000. The first steak we have grown was made out of pre-natal sheep cells (skeletal muscle). We used cells harvested as part of research into tissue engineering techniques in utero. The steak was grown from an animal that was not yet born.

This piece deals with one of the most common zones of interaction between humans and other living systems and will probe the apparent uneasiness people feel when someone ‘messes’ with their food. Here the relationships with the Semi-Living are that of consumption and exploitation however, it is important to note that it is about “victimless” meat consumption. As the cells from the biopsy proliferate the ‘steak’ in vitro continues to grow and expand, while the source, the animal from which the cells were taken, is healing. Potentially this work presents a future in which there will be meat (or protein rich food) for vegetarians and the killing and suffering of animals destined for food consumption will be reduced. Furthermore, ecological and economical problems associated with the food industry (hence, growing grains to feed the animals and keeping them in basic conditions) can be reduced dramatically. However, by making our food a new class of object/being – a Semi-Living – we are risking of making the Semi-Living the new class for exploitation.

Weird! Link - via Artifacting

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Don't Click It. is a thesis project of Alex Frank - behind its fancy flash interface is the basic question of the value/urge of clicking a mouse button as a mean to navigate the web.

Link | Alex Frank's website - via UbiKann

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Weird Signs.

This strange sign is one of many from Darren Barefoot's Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness. Check 'em out: Link - via Darren Barefoot.

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Culture of Repair.

Jan Chipchase posted a nice article on the culture of repairing broken things (rather than just tossing them as garbage) in various Asian cities like Chengdu, Delhi, Ho Chi Minh and African ones like Kampala and Soweto:

What sets these locations apart from cities in more 'emerged' markets? Aside from the scale of what's on sale there is a thriving market for device repair services ranging from swapping out components to re-soldering circuit boards to reflashing phones in a language of your choice , naturally. Repairs are often carried out with little more than a screwdriver, a toothbrush (for cleaning contact points) the right knowledge and a flat surface to work on.

Repair manuals (which appear to be reverse engineered) are available, written in Hindi, English and Chinese and can even be subscribed to, but there is little evidence of them being actively used. Instead many of the repairers rely on informal social networks to share knowledge on common faults, and repair techniques. It's often easier to peer over the shoulder of a neighbour than open the manual itself. Delhi has the distinction of also offering a wide variety of mobile phone repair courses at training institutes such as Britco and Bridco turning out a steady flow of mobile phone repair engineers.

To round off the ecosystem wholesalers' offer all the tools required to set up and run a repair business from individual components and circuit board schematics to screwdrivers and software installers.

Link - via cityofsound

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Scare an Owl.

See what happens when you freak out an owl: Link - via AQFL

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Google Maps + Wikipedia = Wikimapia.

Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Savaliev wants to describe the whole world and you can help! Add new links on the map to describe an interesting place.

Link - via Peter Vasilyev

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Vintage Drug Ads.

See many more awesome vintage pharmaceutical drug ads: Link - via Spooky Librarian's Folderol

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Taking in the Skyline.

Collin of Visual Breakdown has the step-by-step howto on making this Photoshop illustration called "Taking in the Skyline": Link - via Fizzle & Pop

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The Simpsons Live Opening Sequence.

This has been around for a few months now, but obviously I missed it until now: Link - via Daily Rhino

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Vintage Spiegel Catalog: Land of the Fembots.

From the website:

All color. All wild. If you are of the Austin Powers age you will likely think these images are "Groovey baby!" Others of you will gasp and try to turn away. But you can't. The horror won't let you go!

Consider this your only warning. The pages before you are frightening stuff.

See for yourself: Spiegel Catalog 1969 - via ValleyDaze

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Stephen Colbert: How to be an Expert in Anything.

Stephen Colbert spells out the secret of being an expert on anything in this Wired article. For example:

PICK A FIELD THAT CAN'T BE VERIFIED. Try something like string theory or God’s will: “I speak to God. I’m sorry that you can’t also.” Security experts are in this category: They have security clearances, we don’t. We can’t question the expertise of the NSA because we are not in the NSA.

USE THE WORD ZEITGEIST AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE. Ideally, you want to find words that sound familiar but people don’t really know their definitions: zeitgeist, bildungsroman, doppelgänger – better yet, anything Latin. But avoid paradigm. It’s so 1994. If you say the word paradigm, everybody knows you’re a poser.

Link - via Kewpie

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It's a Slam Dunk!

No, not George Tenet's slam dunk - these are two video clips of actual, awesome basketball slam dunks:

Top 10 Slam Dunks of All Time: Link [YouTube] - via Bank Locater

A 720 dunk by "Air Up There": Hit play or go to Link [YouTube]

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Scale Model of Mountain Range in China's Military Installation.

The Register wrote about a strange military installation in the remote village of Huangyangtan in China, found by the Google Earth community:

Zooming in for a closer look, we have what appears to be a 900x700m scale model of a mountainous landscape......complete with lakes, valleys and snow-capped peaks.

It's clear that a huge amount of time and resources has been invested in this perplexing scale model, which incidentally represents an area of around 450 by 350 kilometers. The big question is: why?

The only sensible explanation we can come up with is that it's a training aid for pilots - possibly helicopter jockeys - designed to familiarise them with the landscape should military action ever be required.

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Teenager Learned to Escape Alligator by Watching TV.

Sixteen year-old teenager Corey Workman is alive today because he learned to fight off an alligator attack from watching the Discovery Channel on TV:

"At first it was just a reaction. I just kept punching, and I pulled myself together. I kept on thinking, 'I'm not going to die this way,'" Workman said.

Workman and some friends were on the water's edge near Astor in Lake County Saturday night when he felt something grab his left ankle. He said he instinctively started throwing punches, and then when he realized it was an alligator, he remembered what he had seen many times on the Discovery Channel.

"I grabbed its jaw, and I put all my weight back so it would roll over, and I could get closer to it. I put my right thumb in its eye, and as I did that, it let go," Workman said.

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Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon Synchronized with The Wizard of Oz.

Did Pink Floyd synchronize their song to The Wizard of Oz? See for yourself - long video though (43 mins).

A comment on the video pointed out the similarities:

Man, that effect is just freaky. If you don't want to watch the whole thing, I say the best effects are at:
1:27 (10 seconds)
4:02 (45 seconds)
8:05 (2 minutes)
14:40 (2 minutes 40 seconds)
19:29 (30 seconds)
21:10 (1 minute 30 seconds)
27:41 (25 seconds)
29:10 (1 minute 30 seconds)
32:20 (10 seconds)
37:26 (20 seconds)
Add it up, it's still fairly long, but not as long. [Google Video] - thanks Ajit!

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Ford's Coolest Car Yet.

Ford unveiled its coolest car yet: a 6.5 ton ice sculpture of Ford Focus convertible.

Amidst the hot and bothered masses assembled at the British International Motor Show’s sweltering Excel Center, Ford celebrated the success of the best-selling Focus with a six-and-a-half-ton ice sculpture of the company’s new Coupé-Cabriolet. To offset the cool, UK supermodel and noted driver Jodie Kidd was on hand (and knee) for the introduction. - Thanks Gigz!

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Surfing a Monster Wave.

Hit play to see someone surfing a REALLY big wave or go to Link [YouTube] | Extreme: Surfing - via

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Eric Staller's Conference Bike.

The famous ConferenceBike is a tricycle pedaled by 7 riders sitting in a circle. One person steers, while the others pedal - it's kind of like what a bike would look like if it were designed by a committee...


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Richard Sarson's Circle Project Artwork.

Neatorama reader Richard Sarson wrote to us about his artwork:

The Circle Project is a series of drawings created using a compass and coloured felt-tip (marker) pens. Produced between February and June 2006 by recent graduate of the Royal College of Art: Richard Sarson the works explore pattern, symmetry and composition, also a desire to create something complex using simple tools and a mathematical approach. There are over 1000 circles drawn for each piece with the colours chosen completely at random.

Link - Thanks Richard!

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Famous TV Houses.

Ever wonder how much the houses that were used in exterior shots of famous TV shows are worth? Zillow's got the answer: Link - Fosfor

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Kebab Lamps.

These whimsical Kebab Lamps are made by the design group Committee (Clare Page and Harry Richardson).

Link - via Treehugger

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Good to the Last Drop.

Did Teddy Roosevelt Coin Maxwell House Coffee slogan "Good to the Last Drop"? When he visited The Hermitage in Nashville, Theodore Roosevelt (supposedly) was given Maxwell House coffee, which he then promptly drank and said "Good to the last drop", which became the coffee's motto.

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Isolation Chamber Chair.

When you just need to shut out the world, sit in Stefan Borselius' Peekaboo chair and pull down the isolation chamber ... | Stefan's website

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Sergei Isupov's Ceramic Sculptures.

This one's called "Seduction" - take a look at Sergei's other ceramic artworks:

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Profile for Alex Santoso

  • Member Since 2012/07/17


Blog Posts

  • Posts Written 21,826
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  • Unique Visitors 36,061,100
  • Likes Received 13,701


  • Threads Started 8,378
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