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Thanksgivukkah-Stuffed Donuts

A sufganiyah is a traditional Jewish pastry of North African origin eaten at Hanukkah. It’s similar to a stuffed donut.

This year, American Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap on November 28. It’s a rare event that hasn’t happened since 1888. So some Americans are celebrating “Thanksgivukkah”—a blending of the two holidays.

To mark the occasion, the Zucker Bakery in New York City is selling sufganiyot that are stuffed with Thanksgiving foods, such as turkey gravy and cranberry sauce.

-via That’s Nerdalicious!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Opalized Pine Cone

(Photo: Opal Auctions)

This beautiful fossil is a pine cone infused with opal. It was found in the Ken's Retreat opal mining area of Finch County, New South Wales, Australia. Many plant and animal fossils can be found here including--on rare occasions--opalized pineapples.


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Proposal: Give the United States 19 Time Zones

Last Saturday, I posted about Allison Schrager's proposal to reduce the 48 contiguous states of US from 4 time zones to 2. In a poll, Neatorama readers agreed that this was a dandy idea.

Kevin Depew of The Awl, however, wants us to go in the opposite direction: expand the 4 time zones into 19, each of which are 9 minutes apart:

Before you immediately agree to this obvious plan and begin changing your clocks, let me explain how it would work. Our map illustrates the new nineteen U.S. time zones. They are separated by nine minutes each, more or less. Under my plan, after you get past Chicago (Angry Time), the time zones start to become more intuitive because they subdivide horizontally rather than vertically. Driving from Montana to Arizona is like metaphorically going back in time, only literally. Because you will actually be going back in time. By nine minutes for every time zone. Also, as you can see, the new time zones will have really cool names.

Do you live in the New York City megapolis? You're still in just one time zone. But you're also separated from the hillbillies in Philadelphia and New Haven:

The New York City tri-state area pretty much has its own time zone because the people there are very, very selfish. City Time will lose a minute every day because the pace is just… whatever. People hurry around all the time, push each other to get on the subway and yell stuff at each other and there is another train right behind this one. One minute away. Look, you can actually see it! The next train is right there. It’s right there! And it’s not even crowded. Why do you have to push yourself onto this one? Wait one minute.

Do you live in Indiana? Bad news: you don't get a time zone. At all.

The zones seem kind of irregularly drawn. But there's a good reason why:

Some might point out: I'm confused. This map seems completely random, almost as if the time zones were drawn by a five year old. This confusion is understandable because the time zones were, in fact, drawn by my five-year-old daughter, so I think we can all agree that these are actually pretty good time zones for someone who is five and that the Twilight Sparkle time zone (Louisiana, of course!) is the prettiest.

I'm not complaining. In fact, now I want to move to Louisiana--at least until my native Texas adopts Fluttershy Time.

How did your area earn its time zone name? Read Mr. Depew's post to find out. It's hilarious.

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Disney Imagineers Tested the Haunted Mansion Special Effects on the Unsuspecting Night Time Cleaning Crew

Note: We're happy to introduce a new experimental feature on Neatorama! Our NeatoFacto blog features self-contained "neat fact" graphics that's easily shareable on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

We hope you like it! And remember, please share it along!

It took twenty years for Walt Disney to create the Haunted Mansion. The whole thing actually began well before Disneyland came into being. Disney had always wanted a spooky haunted house attraction for the theme park (he even commissioned Disney Legend Harper Goff to draw some sketches), but Disneyland opened in 1955 without it.

Three years later, Disney decided to expand Disneyland and the effort to create the Haunted Mansion began in earnest. The first plan for the mansion called for an old New Orleans-style antebellum manor with boarded doors and windows and overgrown with weeds and dead trees. Disney, however, didn't like the idea of a run-down building in his park and said, "We'll take care of the outside and let the ghosts take care of the inside."

Neatorama Facts: Haunted Mansion

Disney put Imagineers Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey in charge of building the Haunted Mansion special effects. The two had plenty of ideas and apparently often left the special effects running all night long. The night cleaning crew were spooked and complained to the management, who in turn, asked Crump and Gracey not to scare them off.

But instead of leaving the lights on and the special effects off, Crump and Gracey decided to connect their "spectral effects" to a motion-detector switch. When the duo came in the morning, they found a broom hastily left in the middle of their studios. The Imagineers had to clean their studios by themselves from that point on, as management told them that the night cleaning crew were never coming back.

Bonus Fact: The Real Ghost that Visited Haunted Mansion Creator Yale Gracey

When they were working on the Haunted Mansion special effects, Crump asked Gracey whether he had any experience with the supernatural. "Oh yeah, I had a ghost read to me when I was 10 years old," Yale replied without hesitation, as reported by Disney History Institute.

Crump told the story, which went like this: When Gracey was a child, he and his mother went to visit relatives on the East Coast for the summer. They lived in a big old house, and Gracey and his cousins would sleep together in a large bedroom, with an old lady who lived in the closet. The lady would come out and read stories to the kids, under the condition that the children do not talk about the lady to the grownups or she'd disappear forever.

At the end of the summer, Gracey's mother asked him what he liked best about the vacation and the small boy replied, "The little lady that lives in the closet that reads to us every night." Gracey's mom was surprised and the children were mad at him, saying "No, no, Yale, she'll never come back."

Crump said that Gracey's mother was so concerned that she went to the local history society and found a photo of the woman who lived there. When she showed it to the kids, they said that she was the lady that lived in the closet.

Did Gracey make the whole thing up? Disney History Institute reported that Crump swore that this was exactly as Gracey had told him. "Yale would never make anything up. He was about as straight as they come," Crump added, "As far as I'm concerned it's true. It can't be any truer than that."

Love trivia? Find more neat trivia over at NeatoFacto

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5 Fun Facts about Mole Day

The Scientific Mole T-Shirt by Nathan Mazur from the NeatoShop

Today, October 23 (or 10/23, as it's written the American way), from 6:02 am to 6:02 pm, is Mole Day. No, it's not a day for freckles, spies, Mexican sauce, or cute little burrowing mammals. Rather it's the day to celebrate the chemical unit the "mole."

What is a mole, you ask, having forgotten high school chemistry. A mole of something is 6.02 x 10^23 of it (kind of like a dozen of eggs is 12 eggs, a mole of eggs is 602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 eggs*.)

*okay, technically, it's 602,214,129,270,000,000,000,000 eggs (give or take a few quintillion - scientists can't agree on the exact number).

So, with that out of the way, here are 5 fun facts about the mole and Mole Day:

1. The mole is attributed to 18th century Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro, whose full name is Lorenzo Romano Amedeo Carlo Avogadro di Queregna e di Cerreto.

Man, that's a long name, but it somehow fits the long number that now bears his name (6.02 x 10^23 is called Avogadro's Constant). His parents called him Amedeo Carlo Avogadro.

We won't get into the technical aspects, but in 1811 Avogadro proposed a law (now known as Avogadro's Law) stating that equal volume of all gasses, at the same temperature and presssure, have the same number of molecules.

As with many scientific accomplishments of that age, Avogadro's findings were promptly ignored. It took about a hundred years for the scientific community to get around to appreciating what he's done. In 1909, French chemist and Nobel laureate Jean Baptiste Perrin proposed that quantity of molecules be called "Avogadro's Constant."

2. Mole Day was proposed in an article in The Science Teacher in early 1980s. Inspired by the article, Maurice Oehler, a chemistry teacher (now retired) in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, created the National Mole Day Foundation in 1991.

3. Did you know that the Mole Day has annual themes? Here they are:

1991 The Mole The Merrier
1992 Go For The Mole
1993 Mole Out The Barrel
1994 An Ace in The Mole
1995 Moledi Gras
1996 Molemorial Day
1997 We Dig Chemistry
1998 Ride the Molercoaster
1999 It's A MOLE World
2000 Celebrate the Molennium
2001 Molar Odyssey
2002 Molar Reflections
2003 Rock 'n Mole
2004 Pi a la MOLE
2005 Moles-Go-Round
2006 Mole Madness
2007 Secret Agent Double Mole Seven in Moles are Forever
2008 Remember the Alamole
2009 Molar Express
2010 Moles of the Round Table
2011 Molar Eclipse
2012 Animole Kingdom

4. To help you celebrate, here's the Molemorial Day song by Michael Offutt (that's the theme of the Mole Day in 1996, when Offutt recorded the song). Actually Offutt created a whole album, titled "Molennium," filled with songs about the mole.

(YouTube clip - via Metafilter)

5. As you can probably guess, a mole (6.02 x 10^23) is a VERY large number. But, what does a mole of moles look like? What if we release a mole of moles onto our planet? xkcd explains:

An eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus) weighs about 75 grams, which means a mole of moles weighs (6.022×10^23)×75g≈4.52×10^22kg.

That’s a little over half the mass of our moon.

Mammals are largely water. A kilogram of water takes up a liter of volume, so if the moles weigh 4.52×10^22 kilograms, they take up about 4.52×10^22 liters of volume. You might notice that we’re ignoring the pockets of space between the moles. In a moment, you’ll see why.

The cube root of 4.52×10^22 liters is 3,562 kilometers, which means we’re talking about a sphere with a radius of 2,210 kilometers, or a cube 2,213 miles on each edge. (That’s a neat coincidence I’ve never noticed before—a cubic mile happens to be almost exactly 4/3pi cubic kilometers, so a sphere with a radius of X kilometers has the same volume as a cube that’s X miles on each side.)

If these moles were released onto the Earth’s surface, they’d fill it up to 80 kilometers deep—just about to the (former) edge of space:

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Fake Banksy Sells Out

After last week's stealth Banksy art sale in New York City, you knew this would happen. In fact, I figured entrepreneurs selling fake Banksy prints would be popping up all over the city. But this experimental prank didn't even try to cover the fact that the artworks were fake! Dave Cicirelli, Lance Pilgrim, and George Gross set up a kiosk on the street to sell Banksy art.

Same price. Same images. Same location. Everything was the same--we even got Lance's father Michael to be the salesman. Everything was identical...except for two things:

    The public consciousness had changed.
    Our work was completely worthless.

We were open about this. Our sign said "Fake Banksy." Mike assured every customer that it was fake. Each canvas even came with a legally notarized "Certificate of Inauthenticity," claiming that what they bought was not an original Banksy.

So, how did they do? They sold out. Yeah, people bought every artwork they had, and someone even bought the price sign. It took less than an hour… which just goes to show that savvy New Yorkers have a sense of humor and love to be part of a meme. See a set of pictures from the stunt at Fakebook. You have to wonder how many vendors were trying the same thing without labeling their wares as fake. -via Digg

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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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Wonder Leia

(Photo: Savannah)

Wonder Woman is now ready to save the entire galaxy in this cosplay display by Hakuchan that mixes the DC character with Leia in her iconic slave costume. Leia strangled Jabba the Hutt with a chain in Return of the Jedi, but this time she'll use the Lasso of Truth to interrogate him, then kill him.

-via Fashionably Geek

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Sparrow Face Is the New Duck Face

(Photos: hahahatutu, Girls' Channel)

Are you still pursing your lips together like a duck when taking selfies and uploading them to Facebook? Well, stop! Duck face is old and out of style. The newest trend in selfie photo facial scrambling is called “chirp face.”

It’s a trend emerging from Japan. Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft, who speaks Japanese, thinks that a better translation would be “sparrow face,” because that’s the animal it imitates.

To do it, open your eyes wide and your lips slightly, like you’re about to chirp with appreciation at a fresh worm spotted on the ground. Take a picture and upload it into the comments of this post. Be sure to include your real name so that the photo can be forever tied to you.

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Bear Attacks Man, Man Grabs Bear's Tongue and Yanks on It

(Photo of a different bear by Marie Hale)

“It’s like…an extreme sport.” That’s how Gilles Cyr of Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada describes his fight against a wild brown bear.

Mr. Cyr had no warning. Suddenly, while tending to his woodlot, a bear attacked him from behind. The bear struck at him with his claws. Mr. Cyr saw the bear’s tongue lolling out of his mouth. He grabbed it and wouldn’t let go. He says that his reasoning was, “If you hurt me, I’m going to hurt you, too.”

Mr. Cyr fled behind a tree. The bear struck at him again, then lost interest the fight and left. Mr. Cyr was treated for minor injuries.

-via Dave Barry

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10 of the Most Epic Stoner Foods Around

You don't have to be a stoner to appreciate these dishes. What these recipes are is ultimate junk food, even when they are homemade. They are calorie-laden mashups with no respect for appearance or nutrition. They exist merely for hedonistic pleasure. May I present Deep Fried Deviled Eggs.

Deviled eggs are delicious, but they aren't nearly fatty enough for some people. That's why stoners should try deep frying the boiled egg whites in a light batter before adding the filling (seriously, do this before you get wasted people). Bam! Hot, crispy, sweet, egg-y goodness.

And you can add sausage and bread crumbs a la Scotch eggs -or even bacon. The quote does bring up a serious issue with calling these "stoner foods." Some items in this list can be bought ready-made, and some are simple to prepare, but a few of them should only be cooked while all your wits are about you, otherwise you risk both injury and a ruined snack. Then again, if you can get past the weirdness, you can enjoy them whatever state you are in. See all ten snack items at Oddee.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Edvard Munch's The Scream Cheese Brownies

Edvard Munch (1863-1944), a Norwegian Expressionist painter, is perhaps most widely known for his 1893 painting “The Scream.” This painting sold last year for a record $120 million.

SugarWinzy’s scream cheese version is filled with chocolatey horror. First, she poured the brownie batter into her baking pan.  She placed cream cheese into a squeeze bottle, then squirted small amounts on the surface of the brownie batter. Then she used a toothpick to paint the surface with the cream cheese. The image remained impressively consistent after baking.

-via Tasteologie

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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The Saddest US Government Shutdown Photo

Photo: superbonnie/imgur

"The Zoo is temporarily closed," said the sign.

Redditor superbonnie shared this photo of a young child all wearing a bear costume looking longingly at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., which was temporarily closed because of the US government shutdown. The gates to the zoo were locked and the kid was left outside looking in.

Since it was posted a day ago, the image has gone viral and has become the unofficial mascot of the frustration over the government shutdown. Some people were suggesting that the photo was staged (there was no background story attached to the photo, and media's requests to the Redditor who posted the photo haven't yielded any additional clues), but the sentiment that the image provided seems to have struck a nerve amongst many.

The National Zoo wrote on their website:

Due to the federal government shutdown, the Smithsonian's National Zoo is closed to the public. All programming and events are canceled. All vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle paths into the Zoo are closed. None of our live animal cams are being broadcast.

All the animals will continue to be fed and cared for. A shutdown does not affect our commitment to the safety of our staff and standard of excellence in animal care.

Meanwhile, the circus that is the US Government shutdown continues and the Shutdown photo meme has started.

Photo via @Daily Caller

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Write the Name of a Gas

I found this picture in an image collection at The Chive called It’s nearly impossible to argue with kid logic. I believe 7-year-old Elijah had a perfectly good answer on number ten, yet the teacher marked it wrong. Isn't a fart a gas? Yet, it is. According to Wikipedia, farts are composed mostly of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane.

It's possible that the test required answers that were part of class discussion, but one gets the feeling that the teacher objected to the vulgarity of the term fart. If that was the case, she could have suggested the terms "flatulence" or "methane" as a substitute. Telling a child that a word is inappropriate is very different from telling a kid that he's wrong on a science test. After all, families who don't use the term "fart" are very likely to say "gas." Any 7-year-old knows they mean the same thing. What do you think?   

(Image credit: Christine Lee)

Should the teacher have marked this answer as wrong?

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Strawberry-Flavored Cheetos

(Photos: Jeremy Hall)

In 2008, it was possible to acquire in Japan real, licensed Cheetos that had been dipped in a strawberry flavored coating. And what was that coating made of? Let’s not ask questions that we don’t want answers to.

I can readily imagine eating them with a bowl of strawberry ice cream. Jeremy Hall, who took the two photos above, renders this verdict: “I feared for the worst, and thus wasn't disappointed when these turned out to be awful.” That’s a commendable attitude to take for both eating and dating.

These would have been a fine addition to our list of 12 Weird Cheetos Variants, particularly if made into Cheetos marshmallow treats.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Gentlemen Hognose Snakes

(YouTube link)

Shannon Hammer made a little top hat and handlebar mustache -for her snakes! First we see Sir Snowball, then Sir Sledge, both showing off their accoutrements. How did she get the hat and mustache to stay on? Peanut butter! -via Tastefully Offensive

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

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Drunk My Little Pony Thieves Get What's Coming to Them

(Video Link)

Danish brony Thomas Dambo built a huge wooden pony. He was rightfully proud of his craftsmanship. Then one night his neighbors got drunk and stole it. Thomas guessed who was responsible and went over to confront them. He recorded the entire encounter.

The confrontation gets physical at 2:20.

The worst part of this story is that the thief was a fellow brony who stole the pony to give to his girlfriend, who was also a brony (or a pegasister, depending on your preferred gendered nomenclature). Brony-on-brony crime does nothing but bring shame upon the community.

-via Yababoon

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The Power of Flight

I don't know..I kind of understand what the birds are thinking. You could go to all that effort to poop on cars in Paris and Tokyo. But that's a lot of work. I think that Abstruse Goose is just taking it personally that they've chosen his car as their getaway destination.

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Dinosaur in Space

It sure looks like someone Photoshopped their craft project onto a separate background, but this one is floating in space for real! The cute little dinosaur was made by hand by astronaut Karen Nyberg on the International Space Station. Nyberg has been living on the ISS for several months now, and unveiled her craft project on Pinterest. She took a sewing bag with fabric scraps up with her, but used found material for the toy. It is made from Russian food pouch liners with a discarded t-shirt for stuffing, Nyberg's three-year-old son Jack will have a truly distinctive souvenir of the time his mother stayed away so long.

The dino is most likely the first stuffed toy made in space, but it is not the only stuffed toy on the space station. Soyuz commander Fyodor Yurchikhin brought a white dog and cosmonaut Oleg Kotov arrived at the ISS on Wednesday with a small black cat. Russian crews traditionally hang toys from their control panel to indicate when they reach orbit -that's when the toys begin to float. Flight engineer Nyberg is expected to return to earth November 11th.   

-via Metafilter

(Image credit: Karen Nyberg/NASA)

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Agent P In Real Life

Five quickie facts about playtpus:

1. Yes, the platypus is weird. As any grade schooler can tell you, it's one of three mammals that lay eggs (the other two are two species of echidnas. See also: 5 Fascinating Facts About Echidna)

2. Platypus is venomous. The male platypus has a venom spur in its ankles.

3. It can sense electrical fields. The platypus has electroreceptors in its bill that let it sense electrical fields that is useful to detect electrical currents generated by the muscle contractions of its prey.

4. There's no agreed plural of platypus in the English language. Is it platypuses? Platypi? Platypodes? Or just plain platypus. There's also no collective noun for platypus, and there hasn't been a need for one because platypus is a solitary animal. However, should the need arise, the Australian Platypus Conservancy - an authority on all things platypus as far as we're concerned, suggests a "paddle" of platypus.

5. A baby platypus is called a puggle (like what we call a baby echidna). And it looks ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE in fedoras! Two junior Agent Ps reporting for duty! (Yes, I know it's photoshopped ... but did you know it's a reference to this popular cartoon character?)

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

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20 Things I Learned in North Korea

The blogger at Wait But Why went to North Korea as a tourist and gives his/her impressions. The post is full of black humor as it contrasts what is presented on the carefully orchestrated tour for foreigners with common knowledge of the way North Korea works.

If you merged the Soviet Union under Stalin with an ancient Chinese Empire, mixed in The Truman Show and then made the whole thing Holocaust-esque, you have modern day North Korea.

It's a dictatorship of the most extreme kind, a cult of personality beyond anything Stalin or Mao could have imagined, a country as closed off to the world and as secretive as they come, keeping both the outside world and its own people completely in the dark about one another—a true hermit kingdom.

The "twenty things" are accompanied by links to videos taken during the tour, and photos and comics illustrating the points made. The writer totally oversimplifies the Korean War, which somewhat undermines the logical argument that North Koreans have it wrong, but otherwise it's an edifying account of one person's impressions of the country. Link -via reddit

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R2-D2 Pick Up Line

(Photo: unknown)

I C3 geeks more attractive than you.

In the comments, give me your best Star Wars pick up lines. I'll put them to use tonight.

-via Knitqueer

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One Last Stitch to Make Sure That He's Dead

(Image: Bridgeman Art Library)

Before ships had refrigerated morgues, it was common to bury the dead at sea. A sailor's body and weights would be sewed up inside a hammock. His mates would finish the task by sewing the last stitch through the dead man's nose--to be certain that he was really dead.

Here's a description provided by one sailor from his experiences in the 1960s:

The mate sent me down to assist the bo'sun to prepare and stitch up the corpse, as he said I would be unlikely to witness such an occurrence again. The bo'sun, a North Sea Chinaman (ie, he hailed from the Orkney Isles), was in his sixties and had performed the task several times before. He was a deft hand with the palm [leather glove] and needle used to sew the heavy canvas into a shroud around the body, and when he came to the final stitches around the face he pushed the large triangular-shaped needle right through the nose. I winced, and he looked up at me and said, "That's the law of the sea, the last stitch through the nose, if that don't wake him up I know he's dead."

Apparently, it was not uncommon for sailors or passengers to be mistakenly pronounced dead. This was the final test.

Link -via The Oddment Emporium

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Weight Loss Camp for Dogs

(Photo: Morris Animal Inn)

Has your pup picked up a few pounds? Well, in his defense, he has been working too many hours at the office and eating fast food because he doesn't have time to cook.

But that doesn't mean that he can't slim down. The Morris Animal Inn in Morristown, New Jersey can help. The staff has a program and all of the equipment necessary for the task. Stacey Stowe writes for the New York Times:

At the Morris Animal Inn in Morristown, N.J., where Lolita works out, the pools and treadmills are part of a 25,000-square-foot building surrounded by nature trails. Staff members in khakis and polo shirts lead dogs through exercises and reward them with yogurt vegetable parfaits.

You can watch a video of their fitness facilities at the link.

Link -via Smart News

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

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Abandoned Treehouse Mansion

The former owner of this treehouse had to be the most popular kid in town! It appears to be built better than a lot of family homes. We don't know exactly where this abandoned, Victorian-style treehouse is, but urbex photographer Drew Perlmutter took pictures from several vantage points to share with us, including the interior. It's a shame that it's no longer maintained for a child's use. The Spanish moss gives it an otherworldly feeling. See more pictures at HuffPo Home. Link -via Messy Nessy

(Image credit: Drew Perlmutter via Flickr)

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Movie-inspired Engagement Photos

Can't decide on a theme for your internet-worthy engagement portraits? Then just do them all! Jeff Grubb and his fiancee Stephanie did their own set of engagement pictures, using whatever clothing and props they could come up with and filling in the rest with Photoshop. The results are a lot of fun, because they reference many of their favorite movies. In case you didn't see all these movies, they are (from the top) Back to the Future, Ghost, The Shining, E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Grubb posted 21 images in all, with a lot more films represented. Link -via The Daily Dot

(Images credit: Jeffrey Grubb)

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Cell Division of the Heart

Mr. Lovenstein understands: if you're an introvert, you can't win. You could create a friend just like yourself, but you'd never get along.


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All the James Bonds Combined

Six actors, Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig, have portrayed James Bond in feature films (David Niven also played Bond in Casino Royale in 1967, but many consider that film "unofficial").

Redditor g_noodle combined Bond portraits of the six actors into two "transition" Bonds, with the three "early" Bonds (Connery, Moore, Lazenby) on the left and the three "recent" Bonds (Dalton, Brosnan, and Craig) on the right. Then those two images were combined to achieve a final combination, which looks like an actor who would be considered perfect for the role.

Who does it look like to you? Clive Owen? George Clooney? Mel Gibson? I still see Sean Connery and Roger Moore in this picture. The various steps in the process are shown in a series at imgur. Link -via reddit

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Hogwarts Envelope Cookies Have Acceptance Letters Inside

Don't eat that envelope! Tina of Sugar Bean Bakers put something precious inside. She baked them for a friend who will feel very excited, then disappointed when she realizes that they're not real. So it's cute, but also a vicious prank.

Link -via That's Nerdalicious!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Profile for Jill Harness

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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