This is probably some kind of enrichment activity for red pandas in the Maruyama Zoo in Sapporo, Japan, but it ends up as pure entertaining cuteness. They slap slices of apple onto the glass windows of Eita’s enclosure and he has to get them himself. The apples taste so good after all that effort! -via Daily Picks and Flicks
Looks like Wile E. Coyote has been up to his old tricks again! Who else would drop a vintage safe from some height right onto a parked car? You’d be forgiven if you thought this must be an art installation, and you’d be right, too. It’s a promotional gimmick on the streets of Limerick, Ireland, for Grandmother’s Giant Journey, a performance that is part of the Giant Saga by the French art company Royal de Luxe (previously at Neatorama). Grandmother will arrive in Limerick September 5th to stay through the 7th. Well, according to the legend, she will actually fall from the sky, but I wouldn't worry about any cars being crushed -at least none accidentally. -via reddit
Voldemort, the bad guy from the Harry Potter series, is out with his version of “Uptown Funk.” Elijah Thomas is Voldemort, and the cast includes musicians, dancers, and a group of cosplayers from Brigham Young University. The lyrics are at the YouTube page. -via The Daily Dot
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.
Ig Nobel Achievements distilled into limerick form by Martin Eiger, Improbable Research Limerick Laureate
The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think. For details of all the Ig Nobel Prize–winning achievements, see each year’s special Ig Nobel issue of the magazine, and also see the winners page.
2006 Ig Nobel Biology Prize Awarded to Bart Knols (of Wageningen Agricultural University, in Wageningen, the Netherlands; and of the National Institute for Medical Research, in Ifakara Centre, Tanzania, and of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna Austria) and Ruurd de Jong (of Wageningen Agricultural University and of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Italy) for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet.
[REFERENCE: “Limburger Cheese as an Attractant for the Malaria Mosquito Anopheles gambiae s.s.,” B.G.J. Knols and R. De Jong, Parasitology Today, vol. 12, no. 4, 1996, pp. 159-61; and other papers.]
Here’s a quiz that will pay off for those who have been following Neatorama for a few years. You’ll be shown a picture of a cat, and you determine what species it is. We’ve posted some of these exact photographs. I expected to ace this one, but got tripped up on an easy one, and found one cat I wasn’t familiar with. Oh well, maybe I should write up a post on that cat!
You’ve seen women in movies undergoing beauty treatments at spas. You may have remarked that they look like a salad, slathered with some food-based mask and sporting cool cucumber slices on their eyes. Now that look really is food! Anna Hezel and Gabriella Paiella at Lucky Peach made this cheese ball in that likeness using various cheeses covered in mashed avocados. Her towel head wrap is mozzarella cheese, and her lips are a big red bell pepper. But they make it clear that they did not come up with the original idea.
Anna initially found Spa Lady when she was browsing around for Halloween-themed crafts. A few clicks down the rabbit hole, a tutorial on Hungry Happenings revealed her in all her glory. We read the comments, which we’re told never to do, and found throngs of home cooks bickering about her true origin. While many lauded Spa Lady as a breakthrough in cheese-ball artistry, one commenter claimed that the recipe was not revolutionary whatsoever, and had been around since she was “in school.”
Sam Dekker of Wisconsin dunks the ball so hard that the net swings around and it goes through the hoop a second time! The Badgers went on to eliminate the Oregon Ducks from the NCAA tournament 72-65 yesterday, but it wasn’t because of this weird goal. It didn’t count, because 1. the opposing coach called a timeout before the dunk, and 2. even if it were a legitimate 2-point basket, the opposing team gets the ball after a goal, so you can’t score two goals in a row without surrendering the ball between them. It’s still a neat little stunt to catch on video. It’s not the first time Dekker has astonished the crowd with a weird throw. This one happened last fall.
Being a citizen of the internet makes it very likely that you enjoy cats and occasionally enjoy a pizza. The problem is that cats enjoy pizza, too, and cats have no concept of resisting temptation, neither do they have respect for stupid human “rules.” My husband watched this and said, “Why don’t they push the cat away from the pizza?” Duh, these people are too busy recording a video for that! -via Tastefully Offensive
As part of their Color for All campaign, Valspar Paint invited a few colorblind people to try the glasses out and got their reactions to seeing vivid colors for the first time. It was quite emotional for them, and yes, they got to keep the glasses. Valspar also offered them to some commenters at YouTube who shared their stories. -via Viral Viral Videos
The final half-season, seven episodes, of Mad Men will begin in two weeks. To get you in the mood for the last go-round, here are some tidbits from the series creator Matt Weiner and the cast from reminiscences they shared during a Film Society event at Lincoln Center in New York City over the weekend. For example:
4. Everyone makes fun of the way Aaron Staton (Ken Cosgrove) smokes.
“I had a rule that no one could fake-smoke on the set if they’d never smoked,” Weiner said, fearing their naiveté would show on screen. “I made the horrible mistake with Aaron Staton, where I was like, you have never smoked before. You look terrible at it. And he was like, actually I did smoke for, like, 10 years. And I was like, like that? Like a douchebag? He’s the sweetest person in the world and he still brings it up. He goes, ‘Remember that time you told me I smoked like a douchebag?’” Staton still smokes “like a douchebag” for consistency purposes. “You can see them sort of giving him a hard time in the scene … you can actually see it,” Weiner said of the rest of the cast when filming a smoking scene with Staton.
5. Roger was almost killed off in Season 1.
“The only thing that’s ever been reversed is that I did think that Roger Sterling was going to die in the first season,” Weiner said. “John had another job, and I didn’t know if he wanted to stay with the show.”
There’s plenty more, strictly for Mad Men fans, because a lot of it won’t make any sense unless you’ve followed the series these past few years, in a list at Buzzfeed.
In a civilization ruled by men for thousands of years, only one woman ever made it to the top in imperial China -Empress Wu.
China hasn’t had a monarchy since the Communist Revolution of 1949. But for more than 4,000 years before that, it was ruled by 308 different emperors spanning 14 dynastic periods. Of those 308, only one was a woman.
It happened during the T’ang dynasty, which ruled China from AD 618-907, an era commonly considered the height of Chinese art, literature, philosophy, trade, and technology. The capital city, Chang’an (modern day Xi’an), was the largest and most culturally advanced city in the world, with a population of more than a million. This was also a rare era of freedom for women in China; women had long been treated as inferior, but now enjoyed such freedoms as the right to be educated, to divorce, to own land, and to take part -to a degree- in politics. But no one could have expected a woman to take as large a role as the girl known as Wu Zhao.
Wu Zhao was born in 624 into a noble and wealthy family, and was educated from an early age in music, art, literature, and philosophy. That education would help her immensely. When she was 13 years old, her family’s connections allowed her the great privilege of becoming a Cairen, one of nine “fifth-tier” concubines of the Emperor Tai-tsung. Her education, her musical talent, her beauty, and her wit made her stand out from the other girls, and she soon became one of the emperor’s favorites. He gave her the title Meinang, or “Charming Lady,” and assigned her to work in the imperial study. There she would add to her knowledge the workings of government- knowledge that she would put to great use in the coming years.
In 649, when Wu Zhao was 25, Emperor Tai-tsung died -not a good thing for a concubine: in keeping with tradition, all the concubines were sent to a Buddhist convent, where they were to spend the rest of their lives. But Tai-tsung’s son, Kao-tsung, became emperor and soon began visiting Wu at the convent. Many historians believe that Wu Zhao had been having an affair with the prince for a number of years, possibly because she knew he could get her out of the convent when his father died. True or not, two years later the new emperor broke tradition and had Wu Zhao returned to the palace, where she became Wu Zhaoyi, Zhaoyi signifying the highest rank of the second-tier concubines. There were now only two women above her in what became her quest for the throne: Kao-tsung’s wife, Empress Wang, and his first consort, Xiaoshu.
Within a few years, Wu Zhaoyi had two sons by the emperor -two possible heirs to the emperor’s throne if she got rid of the two women in her way. And she soon did.
You may have been tempted to put your cat in a copy machine at one time or another, but this is taking that urge to a whole new level! The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Germany has a Toshiba Aquilon CX CT-scanner that can accommodate patients up to around 300 kilograms. That’s necessary when you want to scan an unconscious zoo animal like a lion or a bear. IZW has scanned around 80 different species so far, from the tiny naked mole-rat to a two-meter-long fish. You can see the scans of many of those animals at EZW’s website. See how big a leopard’s fangs really are inside its face. The elephant skull appears to revolve around teeth, instead of the trunk. And somehow, the chameleon looks the same inside as it does outside. -via Metafilter
Jeff Minetti of Philadelphia is getting married, but first, there’s the bachelor party. All of Jeff’s friends were invited, even Joey DiJulio in Seattle. But Joey DiJulio has never met Jeff or any of his friends -he just got put into the email loop by mistake. DiJulio just read the emails for a while, but got up the courage to respond when final RSVPs were requested. DiJulio sent his regrets.
So, I have no idea who any of you guys are, but I have been enjoying being a fly on the wall hearing about the plans for this bachelor party over the last few months.
I’m assuming my E-Mail address was added to the list by mistake (perhaps a typo of someone else?).
I live out in Seattle, WA and although for a moment I thought it might be funny to just show up and be that guy nobody knows but everyone wonders “who is that guy?”, buying a plane ticket for a cross-country flight just to crash a bachelor’s party might be a bit over the top (although it would be epic!).
Nonetheless, I do hope you guys have a great time and I’d like to take a moment to wish the best of luck in life to the groom!
Joey DiJulio Seattle, WA
Then the rest of the guys -including the groom- insisted that DiJulio was welcome anyway. They noted that he resembled Jeff Minetti and wanted to meet him. One thing led to another, and the stranger from Seattle will be attending the bachelor party in Philadelphia this coming Friday. You can read the whole story so far at Q13Fox-TV and follow the story as it unfolds at DiJulio’s Facebook page. -via The Chive
Get ready to be thoroughly entertained while occupied on the throne. Uncle John has ruled the world of information and humor for 25 years, and the anniversary edition is the Fully Loaded Bathroom Reader.
Get ready to be thoroughly entertained while occupied on the throne. Uncle John has ruled the world of information and humor for 25 years, and the anniversary edition is the Fully Loaded Bathroom Reader.
I have never, ever worked anywhere where the boss decided it was a good idea to have an office pet. Some offices have aquariums, but that’s always just a decoration for clients or customers. However, over the past few years (while I’ve been working from home), many office managers are exploring ways to make the workday more pleasant for their staff. Whether this is to increase production or to make employees deal better with the fact that they haven’t had a raise in years is anyone’s guess. If you decide to try this, your best bets are aquarium fish or a cat. Don’t opt for an alligator snapping turtle. -via Tastefully Offensive
Marc Polet and his wife were out on their farm in Belgium when a wild boar approached at breakneck speed and attacked! But then their miniature ponies spring into action and chase the boar off. That’s a good pony. Those who speak French say the commentary is quite amusing, but outside of a couple of familiar epithets, I can’t understand a word. Therefore, this may contain NSFW language in French. -via Viral Viral Videos
You’d be a little peeved if someone interrupted you while making sweet love. It’s the same with the giant tortoises on Assumption Island. National Geographic expedition leader Paul Rose is in the Seychelles right now. When he goes to see what’s making that sound, it breaks the romance of the moment, so to speak. The angry tortoise leaps into action to chase the intruder away. I guess he told Rose what's what, and good riddance! When he’s finally driven the interloper out of his territory, he returns to his lovely lady. He should be there in, oh, about an hour. -via Daily Picks and Flicks
The gentle tale of Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger gets mashed up with Ridley Scott’s Alien in a new tale by Giant Hamburger. Pooh’s reaction to a face hugger latching onto his snout: “Oh, Bother.” Things progress from there in the manner you would imagine, with frequent stops for smaller stories wedged into intermissions. There’s even a cameo appearance by the Predator. Start here to read it all, and choose the largest size you can to see all the gory details. -via b3ta
The literal meaning of “dinosaur” is “terrible lizard.” And these dinosaurs in the latest video from Joel Veitch, Alex Mallinson, and David Shute of Rathergood are certainly terrible. The species are all dinosaurs that really existed, but if they are anything those portrayed in this video, they would never have survived as long as they did. The lizards might be terrible, but the animation is rather good. -via b3ta
This LEGO stop-motion video is an abridged version of Jurassic Park with all the major action scenes plus a few snarky bits of humor thrown in. The sets are huge and ingtricately-detailed, and the special effects are cool (note the skeleton in the electic fence scene). Paul Hollingsworth of Digital Wizards and his 8-year-old daughter Hailee started working on this project over Christmas vacation, and enlisted all their friends to contribute their talents. The story of how they did it is in the behind-the-scenes video. -via Metafilter
It’s a story told in notes taped to the office refrigerator. The turkey and swiss sandwich is missing, and the thief is holding it hostage. The notes become more ridiculous and desperate, and Human Resources even steps in to try and stop the carnage. It probably never would have escalated if Turkey and Swiss on Rye (the victim) hadn’t used Comic Sans for an office note. That can really grind your gears. This sequence was played out at the College Humor office. See the whole thing here, with a priceless punchline. -via mental_floss
Randall Munroe of xkcd fashioned a scatterplot graph to compare mysteries in both their overall weirdness and their explainability. However, people will still argue over what the explanation is. Most people look at the Loch Ness Monster mystery and say “pareidolia,” while a few folks just know there’s dinosaurs in the lake. The makeup of the graph will change over time. Some day, the case of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will swing from the upper right to the lower middle. The tale of how the graph came to be is in the hovertext at xkcd.
Aerobatic pilot Sebb Stratta takes full advantage of his job by sharing it with his friends. Want to go for a plane ride? Get ready for spins, loops, and strangely-moving horizons! Plus, he has a dash cam ready to catch their reactions. It’s a thrill they will remember fondly -after they are safely on the ground. -via Viral Viral Videos
A truck carrying 6,800 kilograms of live catfish spilled its load Tuesday when a door swung open in Guizhou province, China. Tons of fish covered the road in the Kaili Development Zone. But the incident did not end with a call to a hazmat crew, or people carrying fish home with them.
According to NetEase, firemen were dispatched to the scene and with local residents' help, the fish were eventually reloaded onto the truck.
The truck was ready to carry the fish to its destination after two hours of "rescue", which pretty much just involved spraying the road fish with water and plopping them into buckets.
He appealed to parents to not indulge in such practices but said reports of cheating in exams were common in all parts of the country, not just Bihar, adding that chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and police chief PK Thakur had been asked to further tighten arrangements.
Around 1.43 million students are appearing for the class 10 state board examinations this year at 1,217 centres, many of which are allotted a large number of students without commensurate infrastructure to accommodate them. The school-leaving examinations are marked by violence and wide-spread use of unfair means that include parents and friends writing answers for examinees, often guarded by armed men.
In addition to the expulsions, seven parents were arrested for helping their children cheat on the test.
On-the-spot news reporters are always close to the action, and therein lies danger. Every once in a while, a reporter slips or gets knocked down live on air. Once we find out they are not seriously injured, it’s funny because the embarrassment is so public, Then, we you put all those clips together, we see news reporters as an endangered species because of their clumsiness and proximity to calamity. -via Tastefully Offensive
In one of the world's biggest caves, a scientist gets in over her head.
(Image credit: Robbie Shone)
TONGZI, CHINA, 2011—Deep inside the mountain, we hear the sound of a river. The four of us—all researchers who study caves—are exploring Quankou Dong, or Big Spring Cave, in a remote, mountainous part of China, just south of Chengdu.
The “big spring” is a river that runs through a passageway from one end of the enormous cave to the other. Along the way, it churns into class 4 rapids. Hours earlier, we’d entered through a dry passage. Now, it’s full of water, rising fast.
The cave’s entrance is stunning: 100 feet wide, 300 feet high. Once inside, you pass through Cloud Ladder Hall, a 16-acre room so high it has its own weather system. One of the largest cave chambers in the world, it rises more than 1200 feet, though its roof is typically hidden by clouds.
We first went inside Quankou Dong in 2008, after it’d been discovered the year before, and we had been back several times. On one occasion, I slipped on a rock, fell in, and got tossed around in the rapids! It wasn’t funny at the time—class 4 rapids are very difficult to maneuver and can be incredibly dangerous—but my colleagues and I laugh about it now.
This year, we’re undertaking an epic 24-hour exploration. Since you can’t rent a car in Tongzi, we pay a driver 300 yuan to drop us off and then pick us up the following day. We’re wearing kneepads, wind-resistant PVC suits, and helmets equipped with powerful caving lights. Our packs are full of climbing equipment. Around 2 p.m., we arrive at the mouth of the cave.
Matt Stopera of Buzzfeed became an accidental internet celebrity in China. It all started when his iPhone was stolen, but was still connected to Stopera’s cloud storage. Odd photos of a man and his orange trees were showing up. Stopera found out about the cloud storage connection, and figured out the pictures were coming from the new phone owner, most likely in China. So he disconnected the phone from his account, and though nothing else of it. Except that he wrote a post about it.
That story became a hit on Weibo, China’s big social network. Users all over the country became determined to find the man with the orange trees. Meanwhile, Stopera became a huge Weibo celebrity. The story builds gradually, but the upshot is that Stopera is in China right now. As you can see, they put the "welcome matt" out for him. Read the whole account in this post. -via Metafilter
The character Indiana Jones was first introduced to us as he was looting a sacred cave and ends up having to run for his life. That told us the basics about the character in an almost-wordless sequence while we were being entertained at the same time. Cinefix gives us an inside look at the scene’s background and the reasons it works so well. The soundtrack, cinematography, production design, and special effects all had to mesh perfectly to create the scene we all know and love that opens the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. -Thanks, Daniel Portolan!