Miss Cellania's Blog Posts

How to Sneak a Cobra Past Customs

It's time to unlock your body's full potential.

1. Friends in High Places

In 2003, a 28-year-old Swedish man named Johan Adolfsson took a nine-hour flight from Thailand to Australia with eight extremely lethal snakes -four king cobras and four emerald tree boas- strapped to his inner thighs. His plan to cash in on the $3,500 booty for black market serpents was dashed when Australian officers captured him as he passed through customs at Sydney airport. Sadly, it too late for some of the snakes; all four king cobras died midflight.

2. Live by the Seat of Your Pants

The business of trafficking exotic animals is a multibillion dollar industry -and it's more than just shoving reptiles into pairs of Dockers. In 2010, agents at Mexico City International Airport noticed a bulge moving under a nervous passenger's t-shirt: Roberta Cabrera, 38, had 16 rare, 6-inch titi monkeys in pouches fastened to his chest with a special girdle. Two were dead. In separate incidents, airline passengers have also been caught with two pigeons, six lobsters, 14 songbirds, and 44 lizards crammed into their slacks.

3. Skirt the Issue

Mammals aren't the only creatures customs officials have to watch for. In 2005, a 45-year-old woman was detained by customs in Melbourne International Airport after she'd arrived from Singapore. "During the search, officers became suspicious after hearing 'flipping' noises coming from the vicinity of her waist," the Australian Customs Service later told the press. They found she had 51 exotic fish -all alive, hallelujah!- swimming in water-filled baggies hidden inside specially made pockets, which were concealed under her skirt.

4. Love Your Curves

In November 2010, two women were caught leaving a T.J. Maxx in Oklahoma with four pairs of boots, three pairs of jeans, a wallet, and one pair of gloves hidden in rolls of fat around their boons and bellies. All told, they'd squeezed $2,600 worth of loot under their excess body fat. The police officer on the scene later struggled to explain the situation to reporters from a local television crew: "These two were actually concealing them in areas of their body where excess skin was, underneath their, um, and their armpits, and things of that nature."

5. The Cast System

People have been hiding objects inside of fake casts for centuries. In March 2009, a 66-year-old Chilean man one-upped his predecessors by wearing a real, functional cast that was entirely made of pure cocaine. A little more than two pounds of pressed blow, to be precise. What's more, the cast was covering an actual injury; the Chilean had broken his own shinbone in a failed attempt to make his ruse seem believable. After the police in Barcelona caught him entering Spain, they rushed him to the hospital to treat his broken leg.


The article above, written by Haley Sweetland Edwards, is reprinted with permission from the Scatterbrained section of the September-October 2011 issue of mental_floss magazine. Get a subscription to mental_floss and never miss an issue!

Be sure to visit mental_floss' website and blog for more fun stuff!

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New T-Shirts from the NeatoShop:



Designer Ben Douglas illustrated a dozen pop culture vampires into one art print. Can you name them all? Of course you can! It's for sale as a poster print or on canvas. Link to print. Link to artist's site. -via Buzzfeed

(Image credit: Flickr user Ben Douglas)

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TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY. THE OFFICIAL CAPS LOCK DAY SITE LISTS OCTOBER 22 AND JUNE 28 BOTH AS CAPS LOCK DAYS. OTHERS CELEBRATE ON AUGUST 22. I DON'T KNOW WHO IS RIGHT. Agh, that is exhausting, especially since my caps lock key does not work. Link to official site. Link to Wikipedia. -via Metafilter

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This Week at Neatorama

This past week, we've had some scary spooky-type posts, to get you ready for Halloween. You can only look forward to more of those coming up next week! Meanwhile, here's what's been going on, in case you need to catch up on everything at Neatorama.

Jill Harness took us on a tour of 9 Creepy Places to Visit For a Good Scare.

Eddie Deezen gave us a rundown of Celebrity Tattoos.

Read about Roger Corman and what he did for cinema in Attack of the Killer B-Movies! from mental_floss magazine.

Uncle John's Bathroom Reader told us about The Origin of Frankenstein.

The Pathology of Classical Sculpture came to us from the Annals of Improbable Research.

Adrienne Crezo's discussion topics this week included the decline of marriage, allowing celibate gay men to donate blood, privately owned exotic animals, and whether men or women are funnier. You can still add your opinion to any of these.

We welcomed a new gallery at the Neatorama Art Blog. Illustrator Randy Bishop sent us a great collection of monsters and other figures from comic books, literature, and film. Check them all out here.

In the What is It? game this week, the pictured item is a “beer growler.” It’s a container used to carry draft beer home before the use of bottles. See a picture of them being filled at the What Is It? blog. Red Neptune was the first commenter who knew the answer, but did not select a shirt. The funniest answer? Oscar the Grouch’s starter home, you know, when he was little. Cristal was the first of several to suggest this one, so she wins a t-shirt from the NeatoShop!

Want more? Be sure to check our Facebook page every day for extra content, contests, discussions, videos, and links you won't find here. Also, our Twitter feed will keep you updated on what's going around the web in real time. Thanks for spending time with us at Neatorama!

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Pot Heads

Artist Miquette Breitenbach makes miniature "pot heads" set in tiny clay pots! They are a combination of clay, metal, and glass, and no two are alike. See a selection of existing pot heads at her Etsy store, Strawberry Anarchy. Link

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Venn Diagram Cake

Vivi Rrr was asked to bring a "sciency" dessert to a lab party, and so made a cake in the shape of a Venn diagram. This cake illustrates Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by using angel food cake, devil's food cake, and a combination of the two where they intersect. What's even better, she posted the process of making it, so you can make one, too! Link

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Halloween Cuisine: Sweet or Savory Specimen Jars

These specimens in jars look pretty nasty, and the labels make them seem even worse. But believe it or not, they are all not only edible, but tasty! They contain unfamiliar fruits, or foods cut into odd shapes. Your Halloween guests will be delighted, if they can get over the willies and try them out. Get the recipes at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. Link -via Buzzfeed

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Zombie/Steven Spielberg

Draw2D2 has a collection of art mashups called "Zombie/Steven Spielberg" that place zombies in Spielberg movies, or otherwise combine the two ideas. The example shown is by Alex Ryan. Go see the rest! Link -Thanks, Jason Welborn!

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Six Seriously Spooky Cemetery Stories

It’s that time of year, when we look to graveyards for tales that scare the Dickens out of us. You've read about 9 Creepy Places to Visit for a Good Scare and you've seen lists of haunted houses. Now how about cemeteries? These six stories don't all contain ghosts -some are about vampires, poltergeists, and unidentified flying objects! Shown here is Chesnut Hill Cemetery in Rhode Island, the site of a vampire exhumation in 1892.

Chesnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in Exeter, Rhode Island is reported to be haunted by a vampire named Mercy Lena Brown. She was preceded in death by her mother and sister, victims of tuberculosis, and Mercy would often visit their graves. In January 1892, 19-year-old Mercy herself fell to tuberculosis and was interred with her family members. Mercy’s father George claimed she haunted him every night, complaining of hunger. His son Edwin fell sick, also with tuberculosis, but as he experienced visits from Mercy, the family and townspeople considered the cause of his illness to be the restless dead. George Brown, with the help of others, dug up the graves of his wife and two daughters on March 17, 1892. Only Mercy, who died in January, was free of decomposition. This led George to believe she was a vampire.

Read what happened then, and other tales, at mental_floss. Link

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Buried Alive

Atlas Obscura continues with their 31 Days of Halloween, featuring a new and gruesome post every day about the world's ghosts, goblins, legends, and death rituals. This post deals with the widespread fear of being buried alive, whether by mistake or by evil intent. That fear has a long history.

Being buried alive is a fear that has been with humanity for a long, long time. As early as the Greeks one can find stories of people being prematurely pronounced dead and accidentally burned alive on their funeral pyres. At various moments throughout history, this fear, this Taphephobia, has actively gripped the Western mind. The terror wasn't without it's basis in reality. One circumstance in which live burials are thought to have often taken place were during outbreaks of disease such as the black plague. Due to the rapid spread of the disease victims were buried almost immediately after death, and sometimes beforehand. These circumstances would repeat themselves again with the cholera outbreaks throughout Europe. Throughout the enlightenment, doctors were learning more about the human body and death. As they learned to revive people who were previously considered dead (such as drowning victims via the recently invented mouth to mouth resuscitation) doctors began to question if all the people they were burying had truly been dead. With increasing reports of premature burial, by the late 1700s the fear of being buried alive had fully taken hold of the Western mind.

And then folks dreamed up many ways to avoid this horrific fate, which you can read about. Link (Image credit: Illustrator Harry Clarke)

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The Amazing Race

(YouTube link)

You go, girl! This 600 meter sprint was part of the 2008 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships. Heather Dorniden of Minnesota went into the race as the favorite, but the odds changed along the way. -via TYWKIWDBI

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Building a World

Afniel has an intriguing but simple method of drawing fantasy maps starting with absolutely nothing. She presents it as a way to get children interested in cartography, because the results look quite like real maps. Well, it might get an adult interested in world-building as well! The map shown looks a bit like western Europe, don't you  think? Link -Thanks, Charis Michelsen!

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The 20 Cutest Baby Meerkat Pictures On The Entire Internet

Well, who am I to argue with a claim like that? It's better to spend your time just looking at them! Link

(Image credit: Flickr user tom hartley)

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The Macramé Owl Rescue & Sanctuary Organization

In case you are too young to remember, macramé owls were all the rage about 40 years ago. Now rarely spotted and near the brink of extinction, there is an organization dedicated to saving this cultural landmark.
This organisation is dedicated to saving, rehabilitating and reviving the Macramé Owl.

The Macramé Owl is a rare species that is dreadfully declining in numbers worldwide. This heartbreaking situation is partly due to the difficulty in finding jute at local craft shops. It is further exacerbated by a lack of a sense of humour in humans for the sake of Seriousity.

Learn about owl watching, macrame owl hoots, the different variety of owls, and what you can do to save them. Link -via Laughing Squid

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Final Frontier

(YouTube link)

Three astronauts touch down after being cryogenically frozen for years during their space flight. This is a choose-your-own-adventure type video, where you select what happens next. Of course, if you are like me, the premise will immediately remind you of a certain Charleton Heston film from the early '70s. -via the Presurfer

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CSI: Legoland

(YouTube link)

The Lego version of CSI is a lot like the real thing, bad puns and all, but the gore is plastic. -via Laughing Squid

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The 8 Most Wildly Irresponsible Vintage Toys

We've posted about some extremely unsafe toys here. the one that came to mind immediately when I saw the title of this Cracked post was the Atomic Energy Lab, and it's included. But the others are just as shockingly dangerous! However, I remember some of them from my own childhood, the childhood with no seat belts or bicycle helmets or minimum age for babysitting. Shown here is a kit for children to learn how to melt and mold their own lead, which could not only burn a hole through flesh, but poison your brain as well. NSFW text. Link

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Animals Reflected in Water

Reflection of desire

I wouldn't exactly call it narcissism, but animals like to look at their reflections just like people do. And when a photographer is there to capture the moment, you get double the subjects! See 16 photographs of animals and their reflections in water in a gallery at Environmental Graffiti. Link

(Image credit: Flickr user ucumari)

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The Proof is in the Pudding

(YouTube link)

Flula Borg is German buts lives in Los Angeles and finds that English idioms make no sense. If you are at work, be warned that the audio has the word "bastard." Continue to see more of Flula's videos. -via The Daily What

Continue reading

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Hot Momma

Leslie Hall is the Quality Assurance Industrial Specialist for Tabasco Sauce. That means she tastes the hot Tabasco brand sauce all day, every day. It's her job.
“I like it hot! I’m a Louisiana girl,” she smiled. She better like it — as a food scientist, Leslie tests every batch of Tabasco Sauce four times, checking for all the key Tabasco qualities and searching for any flavor irregularities. She keeps a box of Saltine crackers on hand to cleanse her palate and a nearby freezer is stocked with boxes of miniature ice cream sandwiches to help combat the warm burn on the lips and tongue.

But even after eating hot sauce all day long, Leslie still goes home and cooks with it, “We have young children, so my husband and I season our food after we serve it.”

Andrew Evans talked to Hall and toured the Tabasco plant in Avery Island, Louisiana. Learn some of the company's history and how they make the sauce at National Geographic Traveler. Link (with video) -Thanks, Marilyn!

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Pixar Lamp Halloween Costume

(YouTube link)

YouTube member cmtification wore this Luxo Jr. costume for Halloween last year. The only information I can find out about him/her is that cmtification is 16 years old, that he/she made the costume him/herself. -via The Frogman

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Sea Turtles' First Journey

MLC Productions was on Nikoi Island in Indonesia last month to shoot a commercial. While they were on the beach, a nest of sea turtle eggs hatched! So they recorded the babies on their all-important trip from the sand to the ocean. The video is both cute and moving. Link -Thanks, Martin Yeoh!

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How to Pronounce Banana

What's up with the thesaurus? Redditor Shanethe13 looked up banana, for what reason I do not know, and found the pronunciation given by Thesaurus.com to be a little strange. Other redditors found more intriguing pronunciations (click the speaker to hear them).

band aid

Some anomalies found were close synonyms of the word, but these are a stretch. Link

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The Jaguar Freeway

Jaguars are the largest native cat in the Western Hemisphere. They once flourished, but now are endangered thanks to centuries of hunting and habitat loss. The only protected jaguar reservation is in Belize, where they are thriving and drawing tourists, but those cats are separated from other jaguar populations that live (and are declining) in other countries. Jaguar expert Alan Rabinowitz, the CEO of conservation organization Panthera, has a plan to open up pathways to connect various jaguar populations.
Panthera’s Jaguar Corridor Initiative aims to connect 90 distinct jaguar populations across the Americas. It stems from an unexpected discovery. For 60 years, biologists had thought there were eight distinct subspecies of jaguar, including the Peruvian jaguar, Central American jaguar and Goldman’s jaguar. But when the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity in Frederick, Maryland, part of the National Institutes of Health, analyzed jaguar DNA from blood and tissue samples collected throughout the Americas, researchers determined that no jaguar group had split off into a true subspecies. From Mexico’s deserts to the dry Pampas of northern Argentina, jaguars had been breeding with each other, wandering great distances to do so, even swimming across the Panama Canal. “The results were so shocking that we thought it was a mistake,” Rabinowitz says.

Panthera has identified 182 potential jaguar corridors covering nearly a million square miles, spanning 18 nations and two continents. So far, Mexico, Central America and Colombia have signed on to the initiative. Negotiating agreements with the rest of South America is next. Creating this jaguar genetic highway will be easier in some places than others. From the Amazon north, the continent is an emerald matrix of jaguar habitats that can be easily linked. But parts of Central America are utterly deforested. And a link in Colombia crosses one of Latin America’s most dangerous drug routes.

An extensive article at Smithsonian tells of the jaguar's life in the wild, how this plan came about, and how it might just work -if the many obstacles can be overcome. Link

(Image credit: Steve Winter/Panthera)

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10 Best 2011 Meme Halloween Costumes

If you wear a costume that illustrates an internet meme, you might find yourself explaining it over and over, but when someone "in the know" sees you and gives a thumbs up, it's all worth it! Still, this Old Spice Guy shown here will probably be recognized by everyone. Our own Jill Harness put together a list of the hottest meme Halloween costumes for this year in a list at Oddee. Link

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Midnight Sun

(vimeo link)

A beautiful and trippy time-lapse video of the midnight sun in Iceland, filmed in June of 2011. From the vimeo description:

Iceland is a landscape photographers paradise and playground, and should be number 1 on every photographers must visit list. Iceland during the Midnight Sun is in sort of a permanent state of sunset. The sun never full sets and travels horizontally across the horizon throughout the night, as can be seen in the opening shot and at the :51 second mark in the video.

During the Arctic summer, sunset was at midnight and sunrise was at 3am. The Arctic summer sun provided 24 hours a day of light, with as much as 6 hours daily of "Golden light". Once the sun had set it wouldn't even get dark enough for the stars to come out, and they don't start to reappear until August.

-via Metafilter

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Bricks of War

(YouTube link)

The video game Gears of War meets Lego stop-motion animation in this video by Kooberz Studios. There's also a "making of" video if you're interested. Link -via I Am Bored

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The Gawper

(vimeo link)

This animation from A Large Evil Corporation packs about as much horror as you can get into 83 seconds. -via Laughing Squid

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Attack of the Killer B-Movies!

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, big-budget movies were classy affairs, full of artful scripts and classically trained actors. And boy, were they dull. Then came Roger Corman, the King of the B-Movies. With Corman behind the camera, motorcycle gangs and mutant sea creatures filled the silver screen. And just like that, movies became a lot more fun.

Escape from Detroit

For someone who devoted his entire life to creating lurid films, you'd expect Roger Corman's biography to be the stuff of tabloid legend. But in reality, he was a straight-laced workaholic. Having produced more than 300 films and directed more than 50, Corman's mantra was simple: Make it fast, and make it cheap.  And certainly, his dizzying pace and eye for the bottom line paid off. Today, Corman is hailed as one of the world's most prolific and successful filmmakers.

But Roger Corman didn't always want to be a director. Growing up in Detroit in the 1920s, he aspired to become an engineer like his father. Then, at age 14, his ambitions took a turn when his family moved to Los Angeles. Corman began attending Beverly Hills High, where Hollywood gossip was a natural part of the lunchroom chatter. Although the film world piqued his interest, Corman stuck to his plan. He dutifully went to Stanford and received a degree in engineering, which he didn't particularly want. Then he dutifully entered the Navy for three years, which he didn't particularly enjoy. Finally, in 1948, he set his sights on something he did want -to make his mark in Hollywood.

Rising from the Ocean Floor

Corman's career began at the bottom. He started in the film business as an entry-level reader for 20th Century Fox, wading through the worst scripts at the studio. The job was thankless, but the incompetent writing inspired Corman to give screenwriting a try. He moved to Paris to focus on his craft and eventually sold a script to Allied Artists Pictures. However, the resulting film was so awful that Corman vowed never to let a studio meddle with his work again. From that point on, Roger Corman was determined to make his own movies.
Continue reading

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Famous Capsules

This artwork by Grégoire Guillemin contains lots of pop culture icons. How many do you recognize? I didn't count, but most of them are familiar enough. Some are for sale. See larger images at Guillemin's gallery (which contains just a couple of spoilers). Link -via Buzzfeed

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