I like to think of Michal Trpák's "Slight Uncertainty" as a new approach to urban transportation, but I don't have any evidence to support the idea. His installation at the EBC office center in Prague features dozens of people hanging from umbellas. You can view more photographs of it at the link.
Wait -- Mars is made out of candy? Let's go! This Curiosity Rover built by Caltech has given us all the motivation we need:
Crafted by Kevin Isacsson, head chef of the Athaneum, the Pasadena university's private dining club, the rover features pinwheel cookie wheels connected with black licorice, sugared Lego "gears" and gumdrop and M&M "buttons." [...]
Caltech manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which built the rover that is currently exploring the Red Planet. JPL lent Isacsson a model of Curiosity to help him craft the cake version, which took about 10 days. Isacsson has created a gingerbread structure each holiday season for the last eight years he's been at Caltech, but this was his first "scientific" mission.
Some burger joints already serve food that tastes like paper. But Bob's, a chain in Brazil, had to go a step further and wrap its burgers in completely edible paper. Just apply condiments to the package and bite in:
Playing on their tagline, “Não dá pra controlar,” which, loosely translated, suggests their sandwiches are so irresistible you can’t control yourself, Bob’s burger chain used an edible paper wrapper that allowed consumers to tuck straight into their sandwich and bypass the pesky added step of having to unwrap their meal.
The result? A curious sight that saw diners biting into paper-bundled burgers during the one-day event this month.
Added bonus? Little waste.
Les Gregor's map of common soils in the United States doesn't use pictures of dirt, but thin layers of real dirt. He wrote to the departments of agriculture in each state requesting a sample. Slate's Seth Stevenson described what happened next:
When I got in touch with Gregor, he explained that he asked each state for a "representative" soil. Many sent theirofficial state soils—which, wow, who knew that was a thing? Michigan sent two soils, so Gregor blended them together. Other soils came in clumps that he had to sift.
His favorite soils came from Colorado ("quite reddish"), Maine ("pale and sandy"), and Mississippi and Alabama ("deeply colored with iron oxide"). There are varying degrees of acidity. Every soil is a slightly different color. "It makes a nice quilt," says Gregor.
Link | Photo: Les Gregor
Richard Wiseman, whose work we've featured extensively at Neatorama, knows how perform slight of hand tricks and create optical illusions because, as a trained psychologist, he understands how the mind works. The room in this video changes as Wiseman strips away the assumptions that you've made.
It is understandable that the less bronified among you may think that My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is just a children's cartoon with a somewhat eccentric fan base. But this image has no more reality than a shadow projected on a wall. In truth, My Little Pony is a sophisticated exploration of human society and experience. Starswill the Goateed argues that the cartoon is an explanation of the philosopher Plato's seminal work The Republic.
In Kallipolis, Plato's ideal society depicted in The Republic, people are divided into different classes that provide for a specialization of labor. Starswill describes at length how the three major types of ponies (Earth ponies, unicorns and pegasi) exhibit these classes. The unicorns are, from a modern and especially Marxist reading, Plato's Guardians:
The greatest challenge with connecting the pony sub-species with Kallipolis’s three classes comes with the Unicorns. Twilight Sparkle, a Unicorn, is clearly undergoing training and education akin to that of one of Kallipolis’s Guardians in training; like a Guardian, she lives in a publically owned building that was temporarily given to her, the Ponyville Library. However, as far as has been revealed, she is alone in her training for future leadership. Equestria has two heads of state, and they are of the few living members of the mysterious Alicorn race. Other Unicorns, like Fancy Pants, occupy positions of importance in society, but they hold private property and receive no special treatment from Celestia.
While much of Republic is timeless, certain parts describe a social order that only existed in Classical Greece. There will always be under Plato’s system a producer class, a civil servant and military class, and a ruling class, but the specifics change with the times. On Earth, the industrial revolution allowed labor power to be collected into a small area; this made it far easier for businessmen to control the production of goods. A factory owning class, termed the bourgeoisie by Karl Marx, acquired much wealth and soon became the dominant social class. The limited presence of machines seen in the show, like the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy, suggests that Equestria is beginning a period of industrialization.
The Unicorns of My Little Pony hold most of their power through business, acting as the Equestrian bourgeoisie. Only Unicorns can run newly invented magical machinery. A few, like Flim and Flam, try to industrialize agriculture with their more efficient methods of production. The combined cultural and economic elite in Canterlot high society mirror the bourgeois elite of the 19th century. In this way, Unicorns are rulers, but in a more modern sense.
Redditor starsspinningdizzy explains:
For years, my dad put a pizza pan on his Christmas list, and I refused to get it because it was too boring of a gift. This year, I finally broke down and got him one. And I got it engraved.
Christmas dinner is best served with a sprinkling of spite.
Christmas is coming. Gird yourselves well for its struggles with two essential nutrients: sugar and alcohol. Jelly Shot Test Kitchen designed this recipe, which uses flavored vodka, gelatin, frosting and sprinkles. Don't forget the sprinkles. People have suffered terrible kitchen accidents simply because they thought that sprinkles weren't absolutely necessary.
The toilet, the toilet cleaner, the trash in the wastebasket, the wastebasket itself -- everything in this restroom is crocheted or knit. Liisa Hietanen assembled this installation in the Gallery Rajatila in Tampere, Finland last year. But is it functional? Let's put her needlecrafted plumbing to the test.
For his project "Everything I Wish I Could Be," Kent Rogowski arranged old self-help books into collages. He writes:
There is a self-help book for almost every moment and problem in life; from relationship advice to dealing with the inevitability of death. Each large format photograph, pictures an arrangement of title pages and spines, from up to 100 self-help books that are based around a central theme. Together, the titles create larger narratives, which become portraits of emotions, people and events in life.
You can see more images from the series at the link.
For many college students, this is a stressful time filled with exams and term paper deadlines. To help relieve stress and create an atmosphere conducive to studying, Cornell University laid sod inside two of its libraries. Gilad Meron, a recent graduate, conceived and executed the project:
This year lawns were placed in both the Mann and Olin libraries, as well as three other locations around campus, as part of the Cognitive Restoration initiative. The project is based on Attention Restoration Theory, which says that direct exposure to nature, viewing nature through windows, and even viewing images of nature are restorative.
To create the installation, Meron used a heavy duty tarp, fastened with duct tape, to protect the floor underneath. Sod, donated by Saratoga Sod Farm, was laid above the tarp, and the lawn only needs daily watering to last about two weeks. (Access to sunlight is the limiting factor.) Since the sod and work were donated, the lawn is very affordable: the only costs are for the tarp, tape, and transportation of the sod.
According to two library administrators, students thoroughly enjoyed the indoor/outdoor experience:
Ferretti and Tancheva agree, the lawns in both Mann and Olin libraries saw a lot of use, and got a lot of positive student comment. “We put up flip charts and invited patrons to comment. So far the response is overwhelmingly positive,” said Tancheva, and student comments indicate that they found the lawn useful, not just pleasant, with comments such as “Green relieves tension and eye strain,” “Keeps me sane,” and “The color and additional oxygen makes it more conducive to studying.”
Link | Photo: Library Journal
Here's a clever apporach to charity fundraising. A convention in Detroit next January is offering the chance to play Dungeons & Dragons with eight accomplished authors:
Join eight other fantasy authors in a classic game of D&D at Immortal ConFusion this coming January! The players include some of the best in the fantasy world: Pat Rothfuss, Peter V. Brett, Diana Rowland, Jim C. Hines, Mary Robinette Kowal and Sam Sykes. Authors Myke Cole and Saladin Ahmed will DM the game.
Proceeds from the event will go to Worldbuilders, which will then in turn donate funds to Heifer International.
At 85.3 years, French women enjoy the longest life expectancy in Europe. Why? Perhaps it's because of Roquefort cheese, which apparently has anti-inflammatory properties:
The properties of the blue cheese, which is aged in caves in the south of France, near Toulouse, were found to work best in acidic environments of the body, such as the lining of the stomach or the skin surface.
Acidification is also a common process accompanying inflammation such as in joints affected by arthritis or special plaque on an artery wall.
Researchers at a biotechnology company in Cambridge, UK, are now trying to extract those properties and recreate them in pharmaceuticals.
Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters is stuck in the 90s, but so am I. I mean, The Animaniacs, Exosquad, Johnny Bravo -- there's nothing like 90s cartoons airing today. Kyle Roberts gets it and recreated the introduction to the X-Men cartoon that ran from 1992 to 1997.
Saishi is a "rooftopper" -- an explorer of sky-high urban locations. He took this shot from inside the cockpit of a crane in Toronto. Why does he do it? Saishi explains:
Part of my mentality when going on these explorations is that I am reclaiming my bit of the city. The buildings I climb are going to be condos, all sold out long before construction even began. Each one costs anywhere from $400 grand to upwards of $3 million. I have trouble seeing that I'll ever have the money to buy one of these little boxes, nor will I ever work in one of those bank buildings that tower over the rest of the city. I may not own any of this, and perhaps never will, but at least I can see it. I can see the city from above, at 3 in the morning when I have the entire building to myself, and only seeing a few cars driving down the usually crowded streets, with no pedestrians in sight for miles. This is my way of taking a break from student life, where I am transformed and packaged into a cog for the machine. During the day, I'm a student; but at night, I am truly me, and I am in control of my actions. A retreatist social deviance.
Mad scientist Samantha Claridge combined two major forces of the 1980s, My Little Pony and the Care Bears, into these monstrously cute custom toys. They need just a touch of Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake.
Occasionally there are interpersonal disputes here at the Neatorama office. This is how we resolve them. It's also the Inuit sport of ear pulling:
Ear pulling is a traditional Inuit game in which competitors sit with their legs in front of their bodies and intertwined, facing each other. Competitor's left and right ears, respectively, are linked to their rival's via a two-foot-long loop of waxed string. From there, the game is more or less self explanatory: the two competitors pull. The idea is to endure as much pain as possible. The winner is the first man or woman to dislodge the string from the ear of their competition, withstanding the pain a little longer.
I want to see what the winner's trophy looks like.
Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is odorless and colorless. But it's now possible to detect it easily. There are materials that change color when they come into contact with GHB. If you make a glass out of it, the drinker can learn when his or her drink has been drugged and then escape sexual assault. The startup company DrinkSavvy is developing drinkware that does precisely that.
The food synthesizer is working perfectly today! That, or pancake artist Nathan Shields of Saipancakes has been busy. His Sulu and Checkov pancakes are especially good work.
There's also the sixth toe. The one that stays in the attic all of the time and never comes out. Andy Herald understands the darker subtexts of popular, classic nursery rhymes. You can view the rest of his chart on the subject at the link.
John Stewart makes detailed scale replicas of famous fictional settings including the Bates Motel, the home of the Munsters and the home of the Addams family. My favorite is his cutaway model of the Jupiter 2, the ship featured on the classic science fiction show Lost in Space.
By combining a Nintendo controller and a Logitech mouse, Instructables member champx made a retro-cool computer mouse. It's one of a few that he's made with different configurations. The two top mounted buttons replace the conventional mouse buttons. The directional pad, now mounted on the side, is a scroll wheel.
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