Miss Cellania's Blog Posts

Dead Man's Bones

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Every Halloween needs a dancing skeleton (or more than one). Comedian Nathan Barnatt (previously at Neatorama) dances all over dressed as the bones of a dead man, accompanied by the 2009 song "Dead Man's Bones" by the group Dead Man's Bones. His lanky, creepy moves are just as you'd imagine a skeleton would dance -if that skeleton were a decent dancer! -via Buzzfeed

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Bras in Space: The Incredible True Story Behind Upcoming Film Spacesuit

The NASA spacesuit is a marvel of engineering. A spacesuit must protect the person inside from a variety of conditions that are incompatible with life, yet allow the astronaut to move and work. During preparation for the Apollo missions to the moon, NASA held competitions to decide how the spacesuits would be made, and who would make them. The surprising winner was Playtex. Yes, the folks who made bras and girdles. But is it really so surprising? Who knew more about latex and engineering than the former International Latex Corporation? Who knew more about making garments that worked than the company that made the Living Bra? Well, it was surprising at the time. The Credits spoke to Nicholas de Monchaux, author of the book Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo, about the suit Playtex made and the upcoming movie based on his book. Here's a sample:  

It’s so incredible to think that Playtex entered this competition to design the Apollo spacesuit against all these military firms and won.

Yes. And of course all of the competing suits were designed much more like the missiles and the weapons that the rest of the NASA equipment was adapted from, which is to say designed from their first principles in a very structured way, which works very well when you’re designing that kind of thing, but it turns out it works terribly when you’re designing for the body. The charm of the story is that Playtex, and in particular this kind of obsessive self-taught engineer who was originally a television repair man and Playtex’s founder (Abram Nathaniel Spanel), entered a suit made by his team into the first call that NASA had for Apollo suits. The fact that he thought they could make a suit better than any of these military contractors who’d been making flight suits for years is amazing. But the power of the story is that once that suit was submitted to NASA it was so much better than any of the others that they had to take the firm seriously.

So how did they have any idea how to begin if they designed girdles and bras?

It wasn’t totally unheard of. The Army and Navy had involved corset makers in World War II when they were making the kind of suits that put pressure on the body that helped pilots survive maneuvers, so it wasn’t totally outlandish. But on the other hand, the solution and the actual technology that this guy Len Shepard invented was completely novel, and it was based on a Frankenstein reassembly of all of the ingredients of underwear and bras, the same fabrics and straps and Latex, into this thing called a convolute, which was a special joint material that Playtex invented that allowed its suit to work better than anybody else’s.

There's plenty more in the article at The Credits. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: ILC Dover, LP)


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Unfortunate Vintage Candy Wrappers

You might think some of the candy offerings for children available now are unappetizing (cough*Nerds*cough), but imagine finding a Whiz and a Plopp in your trick-or-treat bag! These are just two of the unfortunately-named candies from the past in a gallery at Collectors Weekly. Some are unappetizing, some are racist, and some were packaged to resemble dangerous stuff, like the candy you might mistake for a kitchen-cleaning pad. What were they thinking?

(Image credit: The Candy Wrapper Museum)

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Emotional Baby

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Adorable ten-month-old Mary Lynne Leroux listens to her mother Amanda sing a sad song. First she smiles, then the tears come. It's ridiculous to think that the child is reacting to the lyrics, but the effect is both eerie and cute.

I know the feeling, My kids always cried when I sang to them. It didn't matter what kind of song it was, either. Now they just leave the room or beg me to stop. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board

In the time of Halloween, the serious and not-so-serious often turn to parlor games that verge on the occult, in trying to contact ghosts and spirits that we don't think about during the rest of the year. The common Ouija board is one way to either pass the time, have a few laughs, or scare yourself silly. But where did it come from? Ouija historian Robert Murch found out over twenty years ago that no one had completely documented the history of the Ouija board, outside of the reason for its popularity.  

The Ouija board, in fact, came straight out of the American 19th century obsession with spiritualism, the belief that the dead are able to communicate with the living. Spiritualism, which had been around for years in Europe, hit America hard in 1848 with the sudden prominence of the Fox sisters of upstate New York; the Foxes claimed to receive messages from spirits who rapped on the walls in answer to questions, recreating this feat of channeling in parlors across the state. Aided by the stories about the celebrity sisters and other spiritualists in the new national press, spiritualism reached millions of adherents at its peak in the second half of the 19th century. Spiritualism worked for Americans: it was compatible with Christian dogma, meaning one could hold a séance on Saturday night and have no qualms about going to church the next day. It was an acceptable, even wholesome activity to contact spirits at séances, through automatic writing, or table turning parties, in which participants would place their hands on a small table and watch it begin shake and rattle, while they all declared that they weren’t moving it. The movement also offered solace in an era when the average lifespan was less than 50: Women died in childbirth; children died of disease; and men died in war. Even Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the venerable president, conducted séances in the White House after their 11-year-old son died of a fever in 1862; during the Civil War, spiritualism gained adherents in droves, people desperate to connect with loved ones who’d gone away to war and never come home.

Which explains why it became so popular, but the story of how the game came to market is even more fascinating. There were homemade boards to tell fortunes before the Ouija board was patented. The businessmen who rushed to patent the game knew they had to prove that it worked before they could secure a patent. And they did just that. Read that story, plus how the Ouija board really works, at Smithsonian.  

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Allie Brosh's Dinosaur Costume

Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half has a story for us about Halloween in her latest post. At age 4, she attended a preschool Halloween party dressed as a dinosaur. The dinosaur costume gave her power, and she became the dinosaur, which of course, leads to a strange and completely believable story that unfolds with delightful illustrations.

And Brosh is now a published author! Her book, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, is now on store shelves. Wired got an interview with Brosh about the book. Now that it's out, let's hope that Allie has more time to post more wonderful stories on her blog! -via Boing Boing

Previously: More from Allie Brosh.

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Spell Block Tango

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Oh, you haven't lived until you've seen this group of Disney villains in a Broadway-style production number! Cruella de Vil, the Evil Queen from Snow White, Ursula, the Queen of Hearts, Scar, and Malificent sing about their nefarious deeds that weren't addressed in the animated movies.

The song is a reworking of "Cell Block Tango (he had it coming)" from the Broadway musical Chicago. Watch closely and you'll see Adam Lambert appearing as Captain Hook. Created by Todrick Hall (previously at Neatorama), who also played Scar. Hall also has a hilarious cameo at the end as Tinkerbell!  -via Viral Viral Videos


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Your Most Memorable Halloween Costumes

Over a month ago, we asked you to send us a picture of a memorable Halloween costume from your past to share with everyone on the Halloween blog. Quite a few Neatoramanauts did just that, and we got some great pictures, and some great stories about them!

We also awarded t-shirts from the NeatoShop to five of these folks. In case you missed the costume parade on the Halloween blog, here they are all together! They are presented here in no particular order, except that the five winners are first. Clicking on the name will take you to the original post with the story behind the costume. 

Jen Cornwell led her class back in elementary school dressed as an order of McDonalds french fries! Her mother always made great costumes. Now she can dress in a t-shirt from the NeatoShop. See her California Raisin costume, too!

Mindy sent in pictures of costumes she made for her children -and they are awesome! When her daughter wanted to be a house, they made her Alice in Wonderland, in the scene where she grows as big as a house! The Link and robot costumes are great, too.

Another year, Mindy's son asked to be a squid. That had to have been a lot of work! For being such a creative Mom, Mindy gets a new t-shirt.

Jamie C and her husband Lucas made this couple's costume on a tiny budget, but it turned out to be a real hoot -they are contestants on the TV game show The Price is Right! Note that she outbid him by a dollar. This costume won Jamie a shirt; be sure to check out their Lego costumes as well.

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Real Men Wear Pink

Move over, Jesse, it looks like Walter White is the real PINKman here! Is the lung cancer patient showing support for Breast Cancer Awareness month? That's probably not the reason for the getup, as you can tell from the non-hairstyle that these pictures of actor Bryan Cranston were taken some time ago. Aaron Paul (who played Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad) posted these pictures today to his Instagram account, with the caption "I miss this man."  -via reddit


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Eels in the Heart

Deep Sea News tells the story of that time when shark parasite expert Janine Caira found out about a mako shark that had been hauled up dead, a victim of longline fishing. Caira and her co-author Nancy Kohler went to investigate.

To make the most of the unfortunate death of this mako, they raced across the sound from Connecticut to collect parasites from the beast.  It was a huge animal, nearly 900lbs, and during necropsy, as they say in the paper, they “were astonished to find two anguilliform fish in the lumen of the heart”.  Thats right, eels; this shark had two eels living in the chambers of the heart!  These particular eels, called pugnose eels, Simonchelys parasitica, have been recorded before burrowing into the flesh of halibut and other large North Atlantic fishes (hence their species name), but never completely internal and certainly not in the lumen of the heart, so this was a truly remarkable find.

Janine and her colleagues were unable to determine the path of entry, but they showed good evidence that the eels were alive in the heart prior to the shark being killed and put in the fridge, because their guts were full of blood and there were pathologic changes to the heart.

The story goes on the speculate about the somewhat grisly details of eels living in a shark's heart, and there's a picture of it, too. -via Digg

(Image credit: Mark Conlin)


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Iivari the Otter

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A man in Finland made friends with a wild otter, using the one thing the otter really wants -food! The otter will even come into the house long enough to grab a fish, although he prefers to eat it outside, alone. The guy's lovely deep voice summons the otter from the water even when it's covered with ice. By the end of the video, Iiveri is even talking back to him!  -via Tastefully Offensive

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

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The Dawn of DIY: When it Was Hip to Stitch

When I was a kid in the 1960s, I embroidered a tea towel to give to my grandmother every year for Christmas. By the time I got to high school, I found I could make decent money embroidering designs and scenes on other people's clothing, because few of my peers knew how to do it. Not many crafters practice the art anymore, although at one time it was almost required for young ladies.  

In today’s Etsy Era, in which everyone aspires to be an artisan (or at least shop like one), embroidery is an exotic handicraft, as incomprehensible to most consumers as blowing glass or brewing beer. But from the 16th century on, girls were schooled in the mysteries of needles and thread by creating samplers, which taught them simple stitches as well as their ABCs.

By the end of the 19th century, the ways of embroidery were virtually encoded in every woman’s DNA. Coincidental to embroidery’s ubiquity were improvements in printing technologies, which spawned a proliferation of women’s magazines and catalogs published by thread companies, each packed with embroidery patterns for throw pillows, table runners, and decorative panels. Through embroidery, the first modern do-it-yourself movement was born.

Laura Euler, the author of Arts and Crafts Embroidery, explains the rise and fall of the craft of embroidery, and what to look for in collecting antique examples of the art, at Collectors Weekly.

(Image credit: Laura Euler)


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Star Wars Blooper Reel

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You thought Storm Troopers were clumsy, inept, and altogether incompetent? Take a look at them before the worst was edited out! A long-lost collection of outtakes from the original Star Wars film resurfaced after 36 years and was shown at Comic Con this past summer. Now the rest of us get to see it!

Some clips have no sound, so there is no need to adjust your volume. Watch as Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing flub lines, sets fall apart, and Harrison Ford eat a microphone. Did Mark Hamill pronounce supernova correctly? We'll never know, because the line did not make the final cut. -via Metafilter


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The Chemistry of Fear

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We know what fear is and what is feels like. The excited rush that fear brings is what attracts us to horror films, roller coasters, and spooky haunted house -things we know won't really hurt us. But how much do you know about the way fear works in your body? The American Chemical Society knows, and doesn't mind telling us about it in this new video.

But what happens when the normal chemical response that we call fear doesn't happen? It can cause problems in that one doesn't avoid truly dangerous situations. Watch the followup video, about a woman who has no fear response, at Bytesize Science.


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Oscar's Wreck It Ralph Halloween Cart

Our friend C Merry once again dressed her dog in over-the-top style for Halloween! Oscar Madison is a paraplegia puppy who gets around with help of wheels. Last year he was dressed as Max, the Grinch's poor dog. This year, Oscar's Halloween costume pays tribute to Wreck It Ralph and Sugar Rush. Oscar and his sister Tiki proudly strutted their stuff Saturday at the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade in New York City. See more pictures of Oscar and Tiki in their Halloween garb at Buzzfeed, plus a video showing all the components that went into the project.

(Image credit: C Merry via Facebook)

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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The Scariest Jack-o-Lantern of Them All

Everybody panic! Megan MacKay carved the scariest Jack-o-Lantern you've ever seen! Be cautious when you share this image; it might induce nightmares and melancholy in certain sensitive people. I know I may have to take a breather, or at least I would if this weren't a scenario I confront just about every day. -via Nerdcore

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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The Cost of Living (just a little longer)

New York magazine has an extensive article of the cost of new cancer drugs. The example they use is Zaltrap, which the FDA approved for treatment of advanced colon cancer, for patients in whom more standard treatments have failed. Studies show that several months of treatment with Zaltrap can extend a patient's survival for an average of 42 days. The cost is $11,000 a month. That is only for the drug itself; it does not include the cost of administering it intravenously, the cost of hospitalization, or the cost of drugs to combat side effects. The effectiveness of Zaltrap is equivalent to Avastin, another drug of last resort, which costs half as much.

The FDA cannot take cost into consideration when it approves new drugs -only safety and effectiveness. When doctors take cost into consideration when prescribing treatment for their patients, they are lambasted for being cold-hearted. And it is extremely difficult for families to weigh cost-effectiveness when confronted with a dying loved one. But is extending the life of a terminal patient for six weeks of bedridden illness worth bankrupting the family -or our health care system? Gastrointestinal oncologist Leonard Saltz of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center says the time has come in which we have to consider such questions.    

“There is a number in people’s minds,” he says. “If you say to people, ‘I have a drug that extends life by one day at a billion dollars; shouldn’t we as a society pay for it?,’ I’m pretty confident most people would say no. If I say, ‘I have a drug that extends life by three years at a cost of $1.50,’ I’m pretty confident everybody would say, ‘Of course!’ Somewhere in there is a number, a tipping point, where we say, ‘No, we can’t.’ Right now, we’re unwilling as a society to explore where that point is. And I would argue that we have to. Wherever it may be, we have to find it.”  

The pharmaceutical industry defends its pricing by citing the enormous cost of bringing a new drug to the market. But if the newest drugs for cancer provide so little benefit, wouldn't that research money be better spent to develop new vaccines or antibiotics or drugs that benefit a larger number of patients? Maybe, but terminal cancer patients are more willing to agree to extremely expensive treatments. There's a lot of food for thought in the article by Stephen S. Hall. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Remie Geoffroi)


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Kim Jong Un Costume

Redditor joowee used the opportunity of Halloween to impersonate Glorious Leader Kim Jong-un. Pretty good likeness, wouldn't you say? This simple getup won a costume contest.

We had a costume contest at work earlier in the week. I took first place. Of course, I had to win anyway. Bwuahahaha...

There may have been "consequences" for any judge that selected another costume, if you know what I mean. But you don't know how good this really is until you see what joowee looked like before the transformation. Continue reading for that.

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Pumpkin Killing

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Tennessee YouTube member hickok45 showed us how to carve a jack-o-lantern with a handgun (twice), and how to chop down a Christmas tree with a shotgun. This year, he presents the many different ways you can destroy a pumpkin after you're done with it. The chosen methods tend toward the violent, which is no surprise. Some men really do love their their power tools and weapons! But somehow I doubt if he expects you to emulate his skills with a light saber. His favorites are shown a second time in slow motion.

This is actually hickok45's fourth video in the Pumpkin Killing series. You can see more pumpkin mayhem in parts one, two, and three.  -via Viral Viral Videos

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Kidney Transplant Patient Marries His Organ Donor

You hear about people donating a kidney to their spouse, but this story has that backward. Kyle Froelich lived with a fatal kidney disorder since he was twelve years old. By the time he was 19, he desperately needed a kidney transplant, but the willing donors among his family and friends were never a match. Then he met Chelsea Clair, and within a few hours of knowing each other, she offered her own kidney. She proved to be a perfect match, and the transplant was carried out six months later.

On Oct. 12, signs with cut-out hearts led about 50 guests to the Danville Conservation Club. There, nearly four years after Clair first met Froelich at that car show, and three years after she gave him the kidney that would save his life, they were married.

Instead of the traditional promise to love “in sickness and in health,” the couple pledged to each other, “I offer you my hand, my heart and my soul, as I know they will be safe with you.”

The couple will celebrate the anniversary of their marriage, but they also celebrate the anniversary of the life-saving surgery every year with a party they call Sparkypalooza -because Sparky is what they call the donated kidney. You can read their story at the Indianapolis Star.  -via Time Newsfeed

(Image credit: Robert Scheer/The Star)


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The Legend of Lincoln's Ghost

The following article is republished from Uncle John's Ahh-Inspiring Bathroom Reader.

Here's a trivia question you can use to win a bet: Who was the first president to claim he saw Lincoln's ghost? Answer: Lincoln himself.

BACKGROUND

Take America's "royal residence," the White House; examine tales of hauntings that have surrounded it for nearly two centuries; and add Abraham Lincoln, an odd president who believed in the occult and was murdered while in office, and you have the recipe for America's most famous ghost story.

* According to legend, shortly after Lincoln was elected to his first term in 1860, he saw a double image of himself while gazing in a mirror at his Illinois home. One was his normal reflection, the other a pale double. Mrs. Lincoln didn't see the second image, but was convinced that it was a sign. The sharper image, she said, represented Lincoln completing his first term; the other was a sign that he would be reelected, but would die before completing his second term.

* As Lincoln began his first term, the nation was on the verge of the Civil War. In the midst of trying to reunify the divided country, Lincoln faced a terrible personal tragedy -his 11-year-old son, Willie, died from a fever in 1862. A grief-stricken Mrs. Lincoln conducted seances in the hope of contacting the boy. Although the skeptical president never participated in the seances, historians say his wife's belief in the supernatural may have eventually rubbed off on him.

* Lincoln suffered restless nights filled with nightmares and premonitions of his own death. He once told his wife about a dream where he was asleep, then was woken by the sound of someone crying. He went to the East Room and found the source of the sobs: mourners and a casket. He asked a woman, "Who died?" "The assassinated president," she told him. Lincoln walked over to the casket and saw himself inside.

* Several months later, on the morning of April 14, 1865, Lincoln called an emergency meeting of the Cabinet and delivered a cryptic message: "Expect important news soon. I have had a dream," he told them. "I am on a boat, alone in the ocean. I have no oars, no rudder. I am helpless." That evening, while attending a play at Ford's Theater, Lincoln was shot from behind by John Wilkes Booth; he died the next morning at 7:22 AM.

RESTLESS SOUL?

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Behind the Scenes of City Slickers

Billy Crystal has new book out called Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? In an excerpt at The Week, he tells some stories from the 1991 movie City Slickers. They really wanted Jack Palance to play Curly, but he had a scheduling conflict. So they approached Charles Bronson about the role. Bronson's refusal is a classic! But luckily, Palance preferred to do City Slickers over whatever else he had going at the time. Crystal also talks about what Palance was like to work with, what is was like roping Norman the calf, and his experience of déjà vu years before he made the film.   


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The Halloween Party Weekend

I checked the front page of reddit and was impressed by how many Halloween costumes there were. Of course, it's because Halloween is Thursday, so many folks had costume parties and costume contests this weekend. By the time you wake up Monday morning, they will be replaced on the front page of reddit, so I'll list them here so you can see what everyone "went as." Click on the redditor's handle to go to the original post and see what others are saying about these costumes.

Redditor randomroll thought his costume might be too subtle, but you recognize Edward Snowden, don't you?

Redrock1188 was the Terror that Flaps in the Night: Darkwing Duck.

Number one in the pun costume category, zacch dressed as Edgar Allen Hoe.

Tubbsie was Flanders from The Simpsons.

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Marching Band Illustrates Hollywood Blockbusters

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After doing the Michael Jackson tribute last weekend, the Ohio State University marching band put together an entirely different show in a week's time, and it's a beauty! In this show, they show you formations that recreate scenes from Superman, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and Pirates of the Caribbean. The formations are great, especially the walking, chomping T. rex, but there's beauty in the details, such as the flying owl (or is it the golden snitch?) in the Harry Potter sequence. And they do all this while playing the music wonderfully! Siskel and Ebert would have given it a thumbs up. -via Metafilter


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Halloween Conference Call

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Freddy Krueger, Jason, Leatherface, Michael Myers, and Jigsaw plan what they are going to do this Halloween. Those plans are pretty gruesome, as you can imagine. But as in any conference of peers, personality conflicts and one-upmanship creeps in to complicate matters. They even manage to get a dig at Buzzfeed in. Anyone who has seen the modern horror movies, namely Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, and Saw -and their many, many sequels- can imagine the mayhem that would be unleashed if these characters actually could agree on anything.  -via Tastefully Offensive

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Highly Efficient and Effective Removal of Fat from Fried Chicken via Centrifugation

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.

(Image credit: Flickr user avlxyz)

by Lucas B. Carey, Michael Dinitz, and Desiree Tillo
Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

Approximately 20 percent of Israelis and more than 30 percent of Americans are obese [1,2]. Deep-fried foods contribute a significant fraction of their daily fat intake[3]. Fried chicken is a popular high-fat food in both Israel and the U.S. and contributes to a significant fraction of daily fat consumption [3]. Indeed, an increase in fried chicken consumption has been blamed for contributing to the increase in obesity in both China [4] and the Arabian Peninsula[5].

Most current research on reducing the fat in fried chicken has focused on reducing fat uptake during the frying process. [6] However, these methods have not been adopted by restaurants or consumers. Here we present centrifugation of the already cooked fried chicken as an alternative method for fat reduction. We show that centrifugation of fried chicken reduces the fat content. This method, in contrast to all existing methods that target food preparation and cooking, can be applied to already fried chicken, thus providing the first method that can be used directly by consumers with access to a centrifuge.


Results and Discussion

In order to determine if centrifugation is an effective post-purchase method for removing fat from fried chicken we placed equally sized pieces of chicken schnitzel on paper towels and spun them in a centrifuge. We find that spinning at 3000g (4000 rpm) results in an edible, yet visually unappealing piece of fried chicken (Figure 1). In contrast, spinning at 200g (1000 rpm) resulted in a piece of fried chicken that is visually indistinguishable from the un-spun negative control (Figure 2).

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We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Plucked From Obscurity: Love and Reincarnation

The following article is from the Annals of Improbable Research.

by Marina Tsipis, Improbable Research staff

In one productive year, George Knauer III filed these two patent applications. (Thanks to Martin Meder for bringing Mr. Knaur's work this to our attention.) So far as we have determined, they are the only patent applications Mr. Knauer ever filed:

"Process of Love," U.S. patent application 10/073093, filed February 12, 2002.

"Process of Reincarnation," U.S. patent application 10/035947, filed July 8, 2002.

Here are both applications, reproduced in their entirety:

Enter the Rival, Reed

Five years later, a rival inventor, Larry Keith Reed, filed a patent for his own, different approach to the reincarnation problem. So far as we have determined, this is the only patent application Mr. Reed ever filed:

 "Sustaining and Prolonging Life Without Dying, Death, Torture, Reincarnation, or Being Reborn in the Flesh," U.S. patent application 20090105616, filed Oct 17, 2007.
 
Mr. Reed explains:

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Why is Snot Green?

We should be grateful for snot, the nasal mucous that works overtime to combat the nasty bugs we inhale when we breathe. What causes it to be green is an enzyme, myeloperoxidase, which actually makes bleach to kill microbial invaders. This tiny bleach factory is safely (for us) contained in a special kind of white blood cell called a neutrophil, which is a particularly active part of our immune system that hunts down and swallows up invasive cells.   

Researchers in Germany have captured some fantastic (and terrifying) videos of a neutrophil mercilessly stalking the bad guys, before engulfing them whole – these cells are truly voracious. You do not want to make an enemy of a neutrophil. It will find you, and it will kill you.

Once captured, the neutrophil proceeds to douse its captives with bleach manufactured by our recent acquaintance, myeloperoxidase. Doing this internally allows a degree of damage limitation, tantamount to a controlled explosion. Sadly though, much like Monty Python’s Mr Creosote, the neutrophils can’t keep consuming forever. Eventually they take a suicidal step, rupturing open and spewing their digested contents out into the warzone, ready for you to honk out of your nose and admire.

Even though green snot may be disgusting at times, it could be worse. The chemical explanation of snot at Infectious Enthusiasm links the operant molecule, haem, to the red in our red blood cells. Just imagine how horrible it would be to blow your nose and see red come out! -via Not Exactly Rocket Science

(Image credit: Flickr user tanjila ahmed)


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Pet Lamb in a Skate Park

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A guy in New Zealand took his pet lamb with him for a day of fun. Wherever he went, the little sheep named Jeff wanted to be right there with him, up and down the ramps of a skate park! The lamb was later rewarded with a refreshing romp on the beach. Actually, they were most likely trying to get him cleaned up a bit before the ride home. In the car, he rode in a box labeled with the brand name "Living Foods." -via Daily Picks and Flicks

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

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A Final Toast to Fallen Comrades

Of the 80 men involved with Doolittle's Raid, only four survive today. They were hailed as heroes for giving the U.S. its first victory against Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After many years of raising a glass of cognac to fallen comrades, on November 9th, three of the four will participate in the final Toast Ceremony, at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.  

On April 18, 1942, 80 men achieved the unimaginable when they took off from an aircraft carrier on a top secret mission to bomb Japan. Led by Lt. Col. James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, these men came to be known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders. Today, just four of the men survive: Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, co-pilot of Crew No. 1; Lt. Col. Robert L. Hite, co-pilot of Crew No. 16; Lt. Col. Edward J. Saylor, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 15; and Staff Sgt. David J. Thatcher, engineer-gunner of Crew No. 7. At this time, Cole, Saylor and Thatcher plan to participate on-site and Hite hopes to watch the ceremony from his residence due to health concerns.

In 1959 the city of Tucson, Ariz., presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of silver goblets, each bearing the name of one of the 80 men who flew on the mission. At each of their past reunions, the surviving Raiders would conduct their solemn "Goblet Ceremony." After toasting the Raiders who died since their last meeting, they would then turn the deceased men's goblets upside down. The Nov. 9 event will mark their final toast.

The Toast Ceremony itself is not open to the public, but everyone is invited to be there to greet the Raiders, and the museum will provide a live internet feed. There are other public ceremonial and educational events planned for the weekend. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Flodadolf)


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