Miss Cellania's Liked Blog Posts

What Questions the 50 States Ask Google

If the most misspelled words by state wasn’t funny enough for you, here’s another chance to be embarrassed to admit which state you’re from. Estately crunched the data and came up with what questions states disproportionately ask in Google searches. See a larger map at the site

To be clear, the list below does not represent what each state Googles the most, it simply shows the searches each state Googles more frequently than the other 49 states and the District of Columbia.

While people in paradise (Hawaii) have the leisure to pose philosophical questions, those in Alaska are worried about stocking up for the winter, lest they starve. Arkansas needs a history lesson. People in Montana are apparently reacting to people in Idaho. You have to wonder what is going on in Delaware. And sadly, people in Kentucky learn how to use the internet before they learn the important things in life. -via the A.V. Club


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Finals Week

About half the students reading this will cringe because they can relate to it, while the other half will laugh because finals are over. Finals week is the one thing about school you won’t miss at all when you graduate. This is the latest from Buttersafe.


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Dr. Heimlich Finally Uses His Maneuver

Dr. Henry Heimlich, the inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver that has saved countless choking victims, is 96 years old and lives at a senior living facility in Cincinnati. The staff are all trained in the Heimlich Maneuver, but on Monday, when 87-year-old Patty Ris got a piece of hamburger stuck in her airway, they deferred to Heimlich. The doctor immediately performed as he had practiced for decades, and the obstruction was dislodged. Ris was okay! The real kicker is that this is the first time Heimlich had ever used his maneuver to save someone's life.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Heimlich recounted what happened. He said Ris had been sitting next to him at his table.

“When I used it, and she recovered quickly,” he said, “it made me appreciate how wonderful it has been to be able to save all those lives.”

His son, Phil Heimlich, said his father regularly meets people who were either saved or saved somebody else.

“Just the fact that a 96-year-old man could perform that, is impressive,” he said.

Heimlich has lived at the facility for six years, but still stays active and in shape. -via Metafilter


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The Junk Lady Lives!

Remember the Junk Lady from the film Labyrinth? Jen Yates of Cake Wrecks and Epbot and her husband John built this Junk Lady costume. The whole thing is 37 pounds, and can either be worn or carted around. It was designed for the Labyrinth Ball at Dragoncon, but alas, the tickets to the ball sold out immediately.  

(YouTube link)

See more pictures and a description of the build process with all the little details at Epbot here and here. Look for the Junk Lady at Megacon this weekend, and also at Dragoncon in Atlanta this fall. -via Metafilter

Update: They won Best in Show! -Thanks, Dani 4!


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When Carmakers Taunted Horses

A hundred years ago, automobiles were a new and fairly untested idea, so why would someone buy a car when they had a perfectly good horse, which was safer? Enter the marketing department.

(YouTube link)

While the poor horses got slandered, there were definite advantages to driving cars, especially in cities. Car manufacturers didn’t have to be so nasty about it, but even when they’re right, business trumps the common good. The campaign against the horse wasn’t nearly as bad as the battle against pedestrians or the campaign to design American infrastructure around the automobile. -Thanks, Phil Edwards!


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Next-Level Finger Puppet

Barnaby Dixon shows off his new puppet design, and it’s quite clever. It combines the articulation of a marionette with the direct action of a hand puppet. Of course, the skill of the operator is key to making it move realistically, and he’s pretty good at that, too.

(YouTube link)

The only drawback I see is that necessarily long loincloth, which could create design problems in making a specific puppet, but I’m sure that can be worked around.

Continue reading

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All-Night French Fries with T-Rex: Seattle's Trippiest Rock-Poster Artist Tells All

While the artists who make rock concert posters for venues in San Francisco in the 60s became famous, John Moehring was doing the same thing in Seattle with little fanfare. Fifty years later, he is famous among poster collectors, those who really appreciate the psychedelic art of the era. Moehring produced posters for appearances by The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, and other monsters of rock. Collectors Weekly has an exclusive interview with Moehring about those days.

“Lots of bands playing at Eagles came to the house to partake of the Alice B. Toklas-inspired chewies and hang out before or after concerts,” Moehring says. “It was a safe environment for rock ’n’ roll road warriors often quite a distance from home.”

Naturally, Moehring had his favorites. “I have special memories of Pink Floyd’s visits,” he says. “They were fun people to spend some time with. And Alice Cooper, in spite of his appearance, was just a down-to-earth guy who liked to play golf. Go figure. People weren’t really stuck-up about their fame back then,” Moehring adds. “Everybody was interested in meeting new people and hearing what they thought and had to say.”

One of Moehring’s fondest memories is of an evening spent with English rocker Marc Bolan of Tyrannosaurus Rex—his second band, T-Rex, and its big hit, “Bang a Gong (Get It On),” were still a few years away. Accompanying Bolan on this particular evening was his then-girlfriend and future wife, June Child.

“Marc wanted to go out and have some real American French fries,” Moehring recalls, “so we piled into whatever ramshackle vehicle I had at the time and drove to a restaurant, where we ate French fries and just talked and talked. Eventually Marc got tired, so I drove him back to where they were staying, but June was still raring to go. We stayed up the entire night driving all over Seattle. I showed her all my favorite little places.” For example, one stop on this after-midnight tour was an old water tower way out on the Magnolia Bluffs overlooking Puget Sound. “The tower had these real cool cross braces all around it,” Moehring says, “and if you shook one of the braces that was down close to the ground, the whole thing would start to vibrate and reverberate. It was just a lovely, lovely evening.”

Read the rest, and see a nice collection of posters, at Collectors Weekly.


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The Biodôme

In a wonderful example of how to reuse Olympic venues, the city of Montreal converted the velodrome from the 1976 Olympics into an indoor zoo, with five distinct ecosystems, plenty of sunlight and vegetation, and animals from all over. Juergen Horn and Mike Powell visited recently to enjoy the environment and take pictures.

Dwarfed by the Olympic Stadium to which it’s adjacent, the Biodôme doesn’t look like much from the outside. But inside, an illusion of immense space has been created, and each of the five ecosystems are surprisingly spacious. After leaving the Biodôme, I looked back on the building in confusion. How did they manage to fit everything into that cycling dome?

The five zones are Tropical Rainforests, Laurentian Maple Forests, Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Labrador Cliffs, and the Antarctic. See more of the Biodôme at For 91 Days.


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Calvin & Hobbes: Art Before Commerce

Everyone loved Calvin and Hobbes, and they still do, even though the comic ceased over twenty years ago. What is it that made the strip so special? Bill Watterson never phoned it in. He held his comic to the highest standard until he ran out of things to say …and then he quit. The strips never had a chance to become repetitive or cliched. But that’s not all there was to it.

(YouTube link)

Even all these years later, seeing a Calvin and Hobbes strip is a delight. Little boys with vivid imaginations will always be with us, as well as the philosophical questions they have about our confusing world.    


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15 Things You May Not Know About The Andy Griffith Show

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

The Andy Griffith Show ran for 8 seasons on CBS (1960-1968). It remains with us, not only in our hearts, but in reruns, the world over. Perhaps more so than in any other familiar "classic" television show, Sheriff Andy, Deputy Barney Fife, Opie, Aunt Bee, Goober, Gomer, Floyd the barber et. al. seem more like friends to us than fictional characters. And although Mayberry may be a fictional town, I think, in times of stress, angst, and overwhelm in our own world, we all like to close our eyes and wish it were a real place.

Let's take a look at a few facts behind the beloved classic The Andy Griffith Show.

1. The characters were introduce on another show.

Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) and his son Opie (Ronnie Howard) were first seen in a February 1960 episode of Make Room for Daddy. Aunt Bee (Francis Bavier) was also featured in this episode, but was introduced as Harriet Perkins.

2. The opening theme song was called  "The Fishin' Hole."

It was composed by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer. That's Earle you hear whistling the song himself on the show's opening and closing credits. Everett Sloane composed the lyrics to the song, which were never used on the series. Andy Griffith actually made a record of the words to the song. You can hear it on YouTube.

3. Andy's homage to his dad.

At the beginning of the show, where you see Andy and Opie walking down the road together, you will see Opie throwing a rock and Andy nodding or shaking his head in acknowledgement. This was Andy's personal tribute to his own father, who he said would shake his head in the same manner to tell him "nice work" or "good job."

Continue reading

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Raising Men Lawn Care Service

Alabama A&M student Rodney Smith Jr. didn’t own a lawnmower himself when he started volunteering to mow lawns for elderly people last year. He ended up mowing 100 lawns in 2015 and, with Terrence Stroy, launched an organization called Raising Men Lawn Care Service. The group of volunteers mow lawns for the elderly, disabled, single parents, or anyone in need. They have become quite popular in Huntsville, Alabama.

His service receives recommendations through Facebook of people in the Huntsville area who need their lawn mowed. He and Stroy often post photos on the organization's Facebook page of boys in their program, smiling with the person whose lawn they just mowed.

"A lot of people, they can't afford it," he said. "They're on social security, barely making it, and they're happy we can do this every two weeks for them."

That's another thing. The lawn-mowing isn't just a one-time thing. The lawncare service visits its clients every two weeks to make sure their lawns stay tidy.

Smith said he's seen clients cry tears of joy when they see their lawns. "One lady had bone cancer and couldn't afford to pay someone to cut her grass. So many people have fallen on hard times and it feels good to be able to help them."

About 20 boys, ages 7 to 17 participate in the program. Their parents or friends contact the service through Facebook, and Smith sends them the sign-up forms.  

(YouTube link)

The group has received support from law mower companies, hardware stores, and donors. Smith hopes the concept will catch on another communities. -via reddit


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Syncopated Ladies Salute Prince

Today is National Tap Dance Day! You might think tap is an obsolete form of dance, but the troupe Syncopated Ladies puts a modern twist to their routines.

(YouTube link)

Here they dance to Prince’s song “When Doves Cry.” They dance in perfect rhythm with very little repetition in the routine. This had to take some real work to learn.

Want to see more tap? Check out these 12 famous tap dance routines.

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Ten of the Most Famous Tilted Buildings in the World

When constructing a building that is expected to last a long time, getting it to stand straight up and down is pretty important. But apparently it’s not always crucial to making the building last. The most famous example is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but it’s not the only one. And even if the building was originally straight, things happen.

Built in 1765, the Crooked House was first a farmhouse. The area was used for mining in the 1800s, and eventually, it caused one end of the structure to gradually sink. There is a four foot difference from side to side on the building now.

Eventually, it became a public house called Siden House. The word “siden” means crooked in the Black Country local dialect. At one time it was also named the Glynne Arms in honor of the area landowner. In the 1940s it was condemned as being unsafe. It was scheduled to be demolished, but the Dudley and Wolverhampton Breweries rebuilt it with girders and buttresses to retain its crooked angles, while making it safe for use. It is currently a pub and restaurant which contributes to optical illusions due to the tilted walls. It is possible to see marbles looking as if they are rolling uphill, and glasses appearing to slide across tables.

There are also buildings that were intentionally designed to be crooked. Read the stories of ten crooked buildings at Housely.


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Get in the Boat!

When the captain tells you to get in the boat, you better not waste any time! A playground at Munson Park in Monroe, Michigan, is the setting for an epic high seas adventure.

(YouTube link)

When you’re James Hashimoto, the Action Movie Kid (previously at Neatorama), you can go with the flow, because you know that sooner or later, the stories in your adventures will come to life on video. But even if you aren’t, your parents can learn to do this from the tutorials his dad shares. You can see how this particular video was made here. -via Metafilter 

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Pride and Gratitude

No greater feeling than that of accomplishment! #DutyHonorCountry (@usarmy photo by: Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant)

A photo posted by U.S. Military Academy (@westpoint_usma) on May 23, 2016 at 11:03am PDT

Alix Schœlcher Idrache was one of the more than 950 cadets who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point on Saturday. Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant captured this photo at the moment his emotions spilled over. Idrache responded to the picture with a comment on Instagram:

I want to thank everyone for your kind and thoughtful comments on this picture. SSG Bryant captured a moment that I will never forget. At this moment, I was overwhelmed with emotions. Three things came to mind and led to those tears.

The first is where I started. I am from Haiti and never did I imagine that such honor would be one day bestowed on me.

The second is where I am. Men and women who have preserved the very essence of the human condition stood in that position and took the same oath. Men who preserved the Union is a dark period of this country's history. Men who scaled the face of adversity and liberated Europe from fascism and nazism. Women like CPT Griest, LT Haver, MAJ Jaster who rewrote the narrative and challenged the status quo to prove themselves worthy of being called Rangers.

The third is my future. Shortly after leave, I will report to FT. Rucker to start flight school. Knowing that one day I will be a pilot is humbling beyond words. I could not help but be flooded with emotions knowing that I will be leading these men and women who are willing to give their all to preserve what we value as the American way of life. To me, that is the greatest honor. Once again, thank you.

-via reddit

If that leaves you a bit verklempt, maybe this video of the senior cadets marching to the graduation ceremony will help. Note the choice of music.

Rise & shine with #USMA2016! This morning they will finish their 47-month cadet experience! #WithHonorWeLead

A video posted by U.S. Military Academy (@westpoint_usma) on May 21, 2016 at 3:59am PDT


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He Stole the Show

It’s the senior talent show at the high school. The entire student body has already sat through singers, musicians, and drama students with amazing talent that they’ve seen dozens of times before. Then this guy steps up. He has one talent, and he wrings all the drama he can out of it.

(YouTube link)

Well, to be honest, he probably has other talents. Like showmanship, and making a lot of friends. How else would you draw a standing ovation for tossing a water bottle? The other question is, how long did he train to master this maneuver? -via Viral Viral Videos


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The Coney Island Sideshow That Saved Babies

In the early 20th century, you could see exhibits at Coney Island featuring people with physical anomalies, cultural exhibits that were ”human zoos,” and premature babies in incubators. That may seem weird now, but people flocked to see the babies, because they were miracles. Prematurity often meant a short life back then, and hospitals rarely had the time or facilities to save them. Martin Couney's Infant Incubator exhibit went the extra mile to save their lives. If a parent had nowhere else to turn, it made sense to commit their struggling baby to a sideshow.  

Each incubator was more than 5ft (1.5m) tall, made of steel and glass, and stood on legs. A water boiler on the outside supplied hot water to a pipe running underneath a bed of fine mesh on which the baby slept, while a thermostat regulated the temperature. Another pipe carried fresh air from outside the building into the incubator, first passing through absorbent wool suspended in antiseptic or medicated water, then through dry wool, to filter out impurities. On top, a chimney-like device with a revolving fan blew the exhausted air upwards and out of the incubators.

Caring for premature babies was expensive. In 1903, it cost about $15 a day ($405 or £277 today) to care for each baby in Couney's facility.

But Couney did not charge the parents a penny for their medical care - the public paid. They came in such numbers that Couney easily covered his operating costs, paid his staff a good wage and had enough left over to begin planning more exhibits. In time, these made Couney a wealthy man.

Martin Couney had more than just the incubators going for him. He believed in the power of breast milk and cuddling when medical experts did not, although he was also a showman, and dressed the babies in oversize clothing to make them look even smaller. Read about Couney and his sideshow nursery at BBC Magazine.  -via Metafilter

(Image credit: New York Public Library)


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Rescued Baby Beavers

A group of hunters saw a female beaver in a trap in Saskatchewan, and knew her babies must be near. They found a litter of four beaver kits, only a couple of days old, and took them to Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Centre. Medical intervention saved the babies, and they will be raised at the center until they are two years old. See more pictures of the adorable baby beavers at Buzzfeed.

Check out Salthaven’s Facebook page for an amazing variety of animal babies that have been rescued.

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

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Sound Blaster: The Sound Card that Enabled Multimedia

Neatorama is proud to bring you a guest post from Ernie Smith, the editor of Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail. In another life, he ran ShortFormBlog.

Sound cards like the Creative Sound Blaster were the missing element that computers needed to take on multimedia. Then, they faded from view. Here’s why.

(Image credit: Brtkr)

Before we embraced MP3s as the official noise of the internet (taking the place of screechy modems), it took a while before the synthesized notes of our musical past could be modulated through the inner-workings of a computer. Some of our earliest computers, for example, could only make very basic bleeps and bloops. But in 1989, everything changed when a Singaporean company called Creative Technology hit upon the perfect approach for synthesizing sound. Here is an ode to the Sound Blaster, the PC peripheral that helped turn the modern computer into a multimedia powerhouse—as well as the company that busted through by breaking some major cultural rules in its home country.

The business oversight that created the market for sound cards

The IBM PC was created squarely for the business market, and while such machines were far more powerful than most video game consoles of the day, two places where they fell flat were video and audio.

The reason? At the time of the machine’s initial release—particularly before clones came about—there was no real business case for a computer to support a wide array of graphics and sound. The graphics-heavy GUI as we know it was still years from becoming commonplace, and it wasn’t like you needed robust sound capabilities when writing documents or crunching numbers.

While early IBM PCs had speakers, they effectively existed only to allow for error messages—and as a result were heavily crippled. As developers got their hands on these devices and moved beyond purely business programs, they eventually figured out ways to stretch this incredibly limited palette of sound using a hack called “pulse width modulation.”

This eventually allowed for the PCs to make 6-bit digitized sounds—not enough, say, to play a pop song through your speakers, but plenty to make music for your average King’s Quest game.

IBM, nor many early clone-makers, were really interested in improving the sound element much for the business computers, but they did try to make overtures to the home market. IBM’s PCjr, released in 1984, had better sound capabilities, thanks to its use of the Texas Instruments SN76489 chip. You may not have owned a PCjr, but you’ve probably come across a SN76489, as the chip was used in many video game systems—both of the arcade variety and in home consoles like Sega Master System and Genesis. But the PCjr’s lack of compatibility with PC software, along with its inability to play games very well, killed the machine on the market.

Continue reading

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The Happy Chewbacca on TV

Candace Payne, who went viral with her unboxing video featuring that Chewbacca mask, was on The Late Late Show with James Cordon last night. They did a skit in which Payne recreated her original reaction while she was supposed to be driving Cordon someplace. He was a bit annoyed at the delay. Then a surprise guest shows up to calm things down.

(YouTube link)

But even better was the short interview afterward. Payne shows that she is just as delightfully joyful in front of an audience without as script as she is elsewhere. 

(YouTube link)

If you’re going to the Dallas Fan Expo in June, keep an eye out for Payne. She’ll be the one laughing. -via Buzzfeed


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Combat Juggling

Humans have a tendency to turn any activity into a competition. Otherwise, we wouldn’t ever see an eating contest. This one looks like a lot more fun. Combat Juggling is not exactly new, but it still hasn’t gained a foothold in the U.S. The goal is to keep three pins in the air while at the same time trying to cause your opponent to drop his.

(YouTube link)

The A.V. Club tells us

The video documents what is said to be the “semi-final” of combat juggling at an event called NJF 2016 Fight Night. For the uninitiated (read: nearly everyone), that’s Nederlands Jongleer Festival, an annual juggling convention held on the Feast Of The Ascension in the Netherlands. So combat juggling, it turns out, is a Dutch diversion.

Oh, I believe Americans would flock to it, if we didn’t have to learn to juggle first.  


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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

This is just a picture of two people hugging. It has a nice beach background. But wait, something is a little off about their legs. The more you look, the stranger it gets. How did her legs end up on the other side of his body?  

They didn’t. And it hasn’t been Photoshopped. It’s an accidental optical illusion. Click here for an explanation.

If you can’t figure it out, this outline will clue you in. See, she’s not wearing capris at all! She’s probably wearing a dress.  -via reddit


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Why Snow and Confetti Ruin YouTube Video Quality

Have you ever noticed that the quality of a YouTube video drops immediately when snow falls or confetti is thrown? I honestly never did, but my eyesight is not that great. The HBO intro was given as an example of how noisy background affected video quality. And there are examples in this video.    

(YouTube link)

You’d think the explanation would be very technical, and it is. But Tom Scott (previously at Neatorama) explains what happens in a simple, concise way that left me feeling smarter about video in the digital age. -via reddit 


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A Look Back at Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

The fourth feature film of the Star Trek franchise, The Voyage Home, was released in 1988. It immediately stood apart from the first three films, and its magic has never been duplicated. Conceived and directed by Leonard Nimoy, it highlighted each main character from the Original Series and used plenty of humor to contrast the 23rd century with 1980s San Francisco. And what little violence it contained turned out to be counterproductive. Who was responsible for straying from the formula? Well, three writers got credit for the screenplay.

So it was a team effort, in front of the camera and behind the scenes. But it was a team effort with a leader. And the leader wanted to make a different kind of film. Nimoy later explained the core concept: “No dying, no fighting, no shooting, no photon torpedoes, no phaser blasts, no stereotypical bad guy.” His previous Star Trek film had all those things, and outer space, and aliens, and sets. Nimoy wanted to make a movie about Earth, right now, shot on location, with human people.

Now that the franchise is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the 13th film is coming, it’s nice to look back at the one film that even non-Trekkies can quote. Entertainment Weekly tells the story of how Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home came about, and gives us some great behind-the-scenes stories, too.  -via Metafilter


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Blind Cat Plays Fetch

Rey was born eight months ago with no eyes. Alexander Speweik adopted Rey and her sister Leia, and Rey now gets around the apartment just fine. She even plays fetch!

(YouTube link)

Wadded up aluminum makes a great ball to roll around on a wood floor, and Rey follows it almost perfectly just by the sound. She also plays with boxes, climbs her cat tower, and wrestles with her sister. She doesn’t chase a laser light, but likes to play with the chain attached to the laser pen! You can follow Rey at her Facebook page or at Instagram. -via Digg

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

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Dry Ice in a Swimming Pool

Frankly, considering how many videos we’ve seen under the topic of “fun with dry ice,” I’m surprised you can’t find it at more grocery stores.

(YouTube link)

The Crazy Russian Hacker bought thirty pounds of dry ice just to throw it in the pool. Which, of course, makes it wet ice. It looks pretty cool, but what is surprising is how long it lasted. -via Viral Viral Videos


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Disney Songs Mashup

Grant Woolard, who gave us that awesome Classical Music Mashup a few months ago, is back to give the same treatment to Disney songs. he mixed 49 different songs into a pleasing mashup that highlights how similar some of them are, illustrated by musical notes made from icons of the movie, to make it easy for you to follow along.  

(YouTube link)

Some tunes stand out above the others, while some stay in the background, and others just blend well. I think you’ll like this! -Thanks, Marissa Bush!

See more mashups from Grant Woolard.


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An Evolution Story

Without a word, John McNamee of Pie Comic manages to explain the evolution of cetaceans. The timeline may be a little off: cetaceans had returned to the sea by about 30 millions years ago, while humans developed agriculture about 12,000 years ago. But you get the idea. The little critter in panel 13 looks a lot like the Pakicetus pictured in the Wikipedia entry.


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She Can Finally Breath

Janeen recently attended her daughter's college graduation ceremonies (congratulations, Janeen's daughter!) and took many pictures. Another graduate at the school showed off her decorated mortarboard. She majored in respiratory therapy, not English. Still, you'd think that the one word a respiratory therapist would be expected to spell properly would be "breathe." 

Thanks, Janeen!

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars

The last of the Napoleonic Wars was fought in 1815. Napoleon died in 1821. The first photograph was taken in 1826, but portrait photography was developed in 1839. So photographs of the veterans of the Napoleonic Wars are a real treasure.

Each year on May 5, the anniversary of Napoléon's death, the veterans marched to Paris' Place Vendôme in full uniform to pay respects to their emperor.

These photographs were taken on one of these occasions, possibly in 1858. All the men — at this time in their 70s and 80s — are wearing the Saint Helena medals, issued in August 1857 to all veterans of the wars of the revolution and the empire.

See more photographs of the men of the Grande Armée and the Guard, still wearing their original uniforms, at Retronaut. -via reddit


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Profile for Miss Cellania

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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