Miss Cellania's Blog Posts

Bee Orchid

The trick of attracting insects by resembling insects is a genius move by a many species of orchids. But there can be danger in such specialization. This is not the first time that Randall Munroe of xkcd made me go all verklempt over something that has no feelings. Link -via Ed Yong

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Featured Designs from the NeatoShop:

Exploding Flowers

Photographer Martin Klimas (previously at Neatorama) has a new art series called Rapid Bloom in which he shows beautiful blossoms mid-explosion!

…he drops flowers into liquid nitrogen and then shoots them with an air gun from behind. Klimas wanted to show the flower, in its entirety, in one single shot, a flower in full bloom turned into a fascinating piece of abstract art.

See more of the flowers at My Modern Met. Link | Artist's site  -via mental_floss

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Jack-in-the-Box Cat

(YouTube link)

How much fun can one kitten have with a cardboard box? All of it! This kitten is also available in gif form. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

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

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Halloween Costumes of Children's Book Characters

Alanna George made this Very Hungry Caterpillar costume for just a couple of dollars, and it looks just like the caterpillar in the book! It's just one of many literary costumes that put kids in their favorite books. See twenty more at Buzzfeed. Link

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Embarrassed in the E.R.

What's worse than a trip to the emergency room? A trip to the E.R. for something really humiliating. These are real-life E.R. reports.

"Forehead pain: Patient shot self in nose with BB gun."

"Head injury: Rolled off couch and hit telephone."

"40-year-old female using toothbrush to make herself gag, accidentally swallowed toothbrush."

"Abdominal pain. Diagnosis: tight pants and belt."

"Patient stuffed ear with toilet paper so roach wouldn't crawl in, now unable to remove."

"Patient missed punching bag, hit metal safe."

Concussion, severe headache: Patient being pulled on a sled behind golf cart, struck a bump, launched in air."

"Pulled groin while riding a mechanical bull."

"Bruised shoulder: Husband was throwing cell phone at cat, missed cat."

"Patient, 23, used a sword to cut a piece of paper. Laceration left arm."

"Accidentally swallowed guitar pick."

"Patient, 31, was playing sex games with wife, had belt around neck, jumped over something and got hung up. Also fell down stairs."

"Ankle injury from falling off stage doing karaoke."

"Fell off monkey bars at police academy."

"Patient playing with pillow case, buddy put a rock in it."

"Insect bites on lips while riding a go-kart."

"Generalized body rash after being in pool and hot tub at hotel."

"Pain, swelling, blister on palm: Patient, 15, was playing video games, woke next day with swollen hand. Pain and swelling getting worse."

"Patient has wrist pain after sex and bowling."

(Image credit: Flickr user zoomar)

This list was reprinted with permission from the Bathroom Institute's book Uncle John's Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader. Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute has published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts.

If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

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The Strange Life Cycle of the Maleo Bird

The Maleo is not like other birds. It lays its eggs in the warm sand of Sulawesi island in Indonesia and then takes off -never to return until its lays more eggs. The eggs hatch, and the emerging birds are on their own. Their survival depends on the skills they are born with, which includes flying! But these birds are endangered because of geographic isolation and the fact that people dig up the eggs to eat. Read all about the Maleo at Ark in Space. Link -via the Presurfer

(Image credit: Flickr user massmatt)

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Sheep Teaches Young Bull to Head-butt

(YouTube link)

The sheep is handling his student with patience and gentleness. The bull, being a bovine and therefore pretty stupid, doesn't seem to be learning much.  -via Tastefully Offensive

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

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Paris: City of Fright

The following is an article from Uncle John's 24-Karat Bathroom Reader.

(Image credit: Flickr user Luke Ma)

If you think the streets of Paris are enchanting, wait till you discover what lurks below.


Most visitors to Paris have no idea that beneath the City of Light is a dark labyrinth of branching tunnels and abandoned quarries. Paris sits atop massive limestone and gypsum formations that have been quarried for more than a thousand years. The Romans chiseled the fine-grained limestone into bathhouses and sculptures. The French used it to build thousands of buildings, everything from Notre Dame cathedral and the Louvre Museum to Paris Police Headquarters. As for the gypsum, ever heard of plaster of Paris? That's where it comes from.

When the mining started, the quarries were outside of town, but over the centuries the city spread and so did the quarries. Eventually Paris ended up with a 1,900-acre underground maze that starts about 15 feet below the streets and ends 120 feet underground. Parisians call the multi-level maze gruyère (Swiss cheese), and that's exactly what a cross-section of the ground beneath their feet looks like.

(Image credit: Flickr user Hugo Clément)


When an entire city ends up on holey ground, things get shaky. Residents got their first glimpse of how unstable their city had become in 1774, when one of the tunnels collapsed, gulping down houses and people along Rue d'Enfer (Hell Street). Parisians panicked, so Louis XVI created the Inspection Generale des Carrieres (quarry inspectors) and appointed architect Charles-Axel Guillaumot as its first chief. He instructed Guillaumot to do three things: 1) find all the empty spaces under Paris, 2) make a map of them, and 3) reinforce any spaces below public streets or below buildings belonging to the king. Personally inspecting the sinkholes to a depth of more than 75 feet, Guillaumot was horrified by what he found and told Louis the truth: "The temples, palaces, houses, and public streets of several parts of Paris and its surroundings are about to sink into giant pits."


That wasn't the only problem in Paris. Thanks to war, famine, and plague, the city's cemeteries were full to overflowing. One frosty February morning in 1788, a homeowner started down to his cellar but was immediately driven back upward by a terrible stench. Egged on by his neighbors (and wearing a vinegar-soaked handkerchief over his nose), he crept back down and found 20 decaying bodies, covered in graveyard mold, bursting through the wall. The graveyards had finally gone beyond their limits.

Continue reading

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Game of Thrones NFL Sigils

Just when you thought Game of Thrones symbolism had been mashed up with everything else possible, along comes football season. DJroomba has designed Game of Thrones-style sigils for every NFL team. Many of them have variations in the slogan, so you can pick your favorites. Link -via Uproxx

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Chestburster Mechanism Test

(YouTube link)

Before Stephen Norrington became a film director, he did special effects for movies like Alien, where he developed the little guy we now call a Chestburster. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how they did it. Isn't he just the cutest little thing? See more at the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. Link -via Geeks Are Sexy

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Teacher Wades River to Get to Class

Abdul Mallik teaches 5th grade in a village school in the Malappuram district of Kerala, India. Every day for twenty years, he gets to the school by wading through a river, with water coming up to his neck. He holds his bag above him, and changes into dry clothes once he reaches the other side.

"If I go by bus, it takes me three hours to cover the 12-kilometre distance, but swimming through the river is easier, faster and I reach school on time," he says, after he emerges from the river 15 minutes later.  

Students are inspired by Mallik's dedication. The experience has made the teacher a staunch environmentalist, and he impresses upon his students the importance of saving the river and the polluted waterways of India. Link -via Arbroath

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LEGO Thriller

(vimeo link)

Annette Jung took the werewolf scene from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video and animated it completely in LEGO bricks. That's a lot of brick moving! -via Laughing Squid

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Three Kittens in two Hamster Balls

(YouTube link)

Muffin, Bun Bun, and Ducky have fun in hamster balls, sometimes getting two kittens in one ball. The mother cat is named Tiger, and she's not quite sure if this is a good idea, but she takes it in stride eventually. -via Metafilter

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

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Stylish Pilots of the Early 20th Century

The men and women who became pilots in the earliest days of airplane flight all had something in common -they were brave, adventurous go-getters. Many of them became quite famous, too, which means we have pictures of them to admire. Pictured here is British World War I flying ace Albert Ball. Check out more of those daring pilots from the early 20th century at Flavorwire. Link

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Jewel-encrusted Skeletons

They died 400 years ago, and were never dressed this fancy in life. They remain dressed and bejeweled, hidden away in catacombs and storage lockers. These skeletons were revered as martyrs of the Catholic Church in their time. Some were even considered saints, even though they weren't canonized.

Thousands of skeletons were dug up from Roman catacombs in the 16th century and installed in towns around Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the orders of the Vatican.

They were sent to Catholic churches and religious houses to replace the relics destroyed in the wake of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s.

That's when the bones were dressed in finery, decorated with jewels, and put on display for local church members to venerate. In the 19th century, many of them were discarded or hidden away in storage. Art historian Paul Koudounaris, author of the book Heavenly Bodies, found and photographed dozens of jeweled human relics. Read about them at the Mail Online. Link

See a lot more at Koudounaris' website, Empire de la Mort. Link

-via Metafilter

(Image credit: Paul Koudounaris via Facebook)

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Unipiper Aflame

(YouTube link)

When people get used to seeing a bagpipe-playing, kilt-wearing, unicycle-riding Darth Vader, you've got to step up your game. Brian Kidd, the Unipiper, did just that by adding flame to his pipes! He's doing his part to keep Portland weird. -via Tastefully Offensive

See also: previous stunts from the Unipiper.

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Panda Garden is a rather common name for a restaurant. I don't know where this one is, but I bet it's not in China or Australia. -via Bad Menu

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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This Week at Neatorama

Today is September 7th, so why is the Neatobot dressed as a witch? Because it's time to get serious about Halloween!

The Neatorama Halloween blog is now over a year old, and we've been adding to it constantly over that year: new items, Halloween posts from our archives, feature articles, and some posts exclusive to the Halloween blog. It now has almost 1200 posts! That will only get more intense as we get closer to the holiday. You should bookmark it now, or you can use the button at the top of the page here. The Halloween Shop inside the NeatoShop has such a huge selection that it's been subdivided into 16 categories -which will make it easier to find something in particular. Or you can browse the whole shop, starting with items that are new for this year. It will help with your plans to be the best-dressed at the costume contest, or have the best-decorated house on the block, or throw the best party for Halloween! And in case you've been busy, let's go over the highlights of the past week at Neatorama.  

Eddie Deezen told us the story of Baseball's Only Double No-Hitter.

Alex looked into The Curious Origin of Sarin Nerve Gas.

How to Make a Monster: The Story of Godzilla came from Uncle John's Bathroom Reader.

The Annals of Improbable Research contributed Deconstructing Astronomy’s Holy Grail.

Le Grand K: The Perfect Kilogram was from mental_floss magazine.

Hy Conrad's latest Whodunit was titled The Lost Etruscan Find. Did you figure it out?

We had two BRI lists: Amazing Anagrams and Flubbed Headlines.

David Israel's Question In Need of Answers this week was What Discontinued Product Do You Miss Most?  In the comments, some folks actually found what others were missing!  

In the What Is It? game this week, several people contacted the What Is It? blog to say this was used to sharpen cutters for a sheep shearing handpiece. That didn't matter to us, as we were looking for the funniest answers. One that made everyone laugh was from pismonque, who said it was an early working model of the farmship Enterprise. That's worth a t-shirt! Dennis 4 had a funny one, too: "It's a heavy metal record player. It works best playing Iron Maiden." That's good enough to win a t-shirt from the NeatoShop, too! Thanks to everyone who played along this week -all of the guesses were worth reading, so you should do that. Check out the answers to all this week's mystery objects at the What Is It? blog.

We also had the NeatoShop New T-Shirts Giveaway. Alex will announce the winners soon!

In other news, John Farrier published his 10,000th post here at Neatorama this week. That's a real milestone (and a lot of posts)!

The posts with the most comments were the giveaway posts and, of course, the Question in Need of Answers. Other than those, the most commented-on posts were Le Grand K: The Perfect Kilogram and More NYC Etiquette Tips.

The comment of the week has to go to the entire thread under Facebook-Flavored Ice Cream. I've never seen a comment get 20 ♥s, which is worth a mention even if it was mine. Many people had suggestions as to what Facebook tastes like. Believe it or not, the same kind of contributions came in at the Neatoramanauts Facebook page, too.

The most popular posts of the week were How to Make a Monster: The Story of Godzilla, followed by The Most Surprising Things about America According to an Indian Living There, and A Close Call in a Rock Slide.

The post that received the most ♥s was A Close Call in a Rock Slide. Coming in second was Diana Nyad Completes Cuba Swim, and Pirate-Themed CT Scanner in a Children's Hospital was third.

The most emailed posts were Guinness Ad Features Wheelchair Basketball and Goat Anatomy.

Now remember to check out the Neatoramanauts Facebook page for extra neat stuff you won't see here. That's where I found this funny street sign! You are also invited to follow Neatorama on Twitter and Pinterest, too! And mobile users: Flipboard makes it easy to keep up with Neatorama.

Have a great week, everyone!

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Pumpkin S'mores Cake

This luscious cake has layers of pumpkin cake made with ground graham crackers instead of flour, homemade marshmallow meringue filling (toasted with a blowtorch), and dark chocolate ganache to cover it all. A totally decadent treat when you really want to impress someone! The recipe from Desserts for Breakfast does not look simple, but I would bet the results are worth the effort. Link -via Buzzfeed

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Why Can't We Just Host the Olympics in the Same Place Every Year?

Saturday, the International Olympic Committee will announce where the 2020 Summer Games will be held: Istanbul, Madrid, and Tokyo are the contenders. Whichever city wins the games will face enormous costs for a couple weeks of showcasing their country to the world. Hosting the Olympics can almost bankrupt a nation, while corporate sponsors and the IOC reap the profits.

University of Maryland public policy professor John Rennie Short thinks he has a solution. It's on an island.

Instead of investing billions of dollars in new Olympic host cities every four years, Short suggests it would be cheaper and easier to create a sort of Olympics island that can play host to the more expensive Summer Games, at a minimum, year after year. The IOC could essentially take over an island – maybe a Greek island, Short suggests – and turn it into a permanent venue. It would function more or less like an international city-state, overseen by the United Nations, dedicated to hosting the Olympics and its training in perpetuity.

"There would be maybe big infrastructure costs, but there's huge infrastructure costs being borne every year. How much did the Chinese pay? We'll never know. How much did London pay?" says Short, who's written extensively on the Olympics, globalization and urban affairs. "We know the real costs are always underestimated. It's billions upon billions."

It's an intriguing idea, but at the same time, part of the draw of the Olympics is to focus on a different part of the world every few years. Then again, the day may come when no city wants the hassle and expense of hosting the games. What do you think? Link -via Digg

(Image credit: Mark Byrnes)

Should the Summer Games move to a permanent location?

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Dog Sentenced to Life In Prison

The dog in the mug shot is Pep, also known as Inmate C2559. He lived at Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania beginning in 1924.

Prison folklore says that Governor Gifford Pinchot sentenced Pep to Life Without Parole for killing his wife’s cherished cat. Governor Pinchor said Pep was a mascot for the prisoners. Pep lived among the inmates for about a decade.

Eastern State was in operation from 1829 until 1971, and is now a historic landmark, which many consider haunted. See pictures of Eastern State at Curious History. Link -via Nag on the Lake

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

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The Seven Sutherland Sisters and Their 37 Feet of Hair

Some stars of 19th-century freak shows were born, others were made. The Seven Sutherland Sisters: Sarah, Victoria, Isabella, Grace, Naomi, Dora, and Mary Sutherland, sang and played musical instruments on stage, but it was mainly something to do while everyone gawked at their hair -a combined 37 feet of hair between them!

Flaunting all that awesome hair onstage wasn’t quite enough to launch the Sutherlands from abject poverty to riches, so the sisters’ father, the Rev. Fletcher Sutherland, concocted a patent hair-growing tonic. Because Victorian women coveted the sister’s luscious locks, the cash came flooding in. The family grew rich beyond its wildest imaginations, as the sisters knocked serious political issues off the newspapers’ front page with their outrageous celebrity antics. By the mid-1880s, none of the sisters could walk down the street, their flowing tresses dragging behind them like dress trains, without being mobbed by starstruck fans.

But the sisters grew up poor on a turkey farm in upstate New York. And they each have an individual story. Read about how they became world famous, and what happened to them afterward, at Collectors Weekly. Link

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Mystery Bug Builds Fence Around Eggs

Have you ever seen anything like this? Chemical ecologist Troy Alexander, doing research in the Peruvian Amazon, found what appears to be an insect egg case with a structure around it that looking surprisingly like a fence. Or it could be a fungus. No one knows yet. Alexander later found more of them, in various locations.

Entomologists, mycologists, University professors and museum directors have all seen the images but nobody has been able to provide definite confirmation of what created this. It’s possible that Troy has discovered a new species!

See more pictures of it at Twisted Sifter. Link -via the Presurfer

(Image credit: Troy Alexander)

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Trying to Catch the Wind

(YouTube link)

The guy blows a stream of air in front of the kitten. The kitten knows something is there even if he can't see it, so why can't he catch it? There, there, baby, you don't have to be smart to be adorable. -via Arbroath

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

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Masters of Deception: 5 Two-Faced Species

Look at that cute face -looks kind of like Zoidberg, doesn't it? But that's not this insect's face. In fact, it doesn't even have a face quite yet, because this is the pupa form of the skipper butterfly. The eye spots are supposed to scare birds away while the butterfly forms. This is just one of five deceptively-detailed species you can see and read about at National Geographic News. Link -Thanks, Marilyn Terrell!

(Image credit: Daniel Janzen)

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Ghost Burger Prologue

(YouTube link)

Claymation animator Lee Hardcastle is working on a video for Halloween that will eventually be a half-hour long. This is the opening sequence, which he offers to us as a teaser. I'm looking forward to the whole story! -via b3ta

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Crapper Mapper

This week's quiz from b3ta's quiz site, UsvsTh3m, challenges you to identify where in the world a toilet is located by its photograph. This quiz isn't timed, so there's no pressure. And in some of these toilets, I'm sure there's no water pressure, either. It's not as easy as you think, but you'll do okay if you use the knowledge of toilets you've learned here at Neatorama. I scored seven out of ten. Link

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Mom's Not Here Right Now

Enjoy 20 really clever notes parents left for their offspring at The Chive. It's a shame that such subtlety flies right over kids' heads. That is, if they even bother to read them. It's much harder to get youngsters to clean up after themselves than to just do it yourself, but part of parenting is to go that extra frustrating mile, no matter how much they resist -whether you are there at the time or not. Link

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The New Yahoo! Logo Can Be Yours, Too

Yahoo! unveiled a new logo, their first in 18 years, to the public this week. CEO Marissa Mayer tells how she and the designers at Yahoo! turned it out over a weekend. That sparked discussion all over the internet about CEOs who design logos while employing top graphic designers with years of experience …and having them work weekends while she does it. People apparently hate the new look. The Atlantic reacted to the controversy by wondering why anyone cares. But the fun part of all this is that Bertrand Fan quickly made a website that transforms anything you type into a logo just like Yahoo's new one. Notice the different sized letters and the exclamation point whimsically tilted 9 degrees. Link -via Laughing Squid

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Clumsy Cats Compilation

(YouTube link)

Back before the internet, we had to watch our own cats for non-stop comedy. If any cats were harmed in the making of this video, it was their own fault. (via Tastefully Offensive)

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

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Profile for Miss Cellania

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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