This Week at Neatorama

ComiCon in San Diego is happening this weekend, and our roving geeks reporters Jill and Zeon will be soaking up the atmosphere (eww) to pass along to Neatoramanauts who are interested. No word on what costumes they'll be sporting. Honestly, I'm afraid to ask. Meanwhile, the rest of us deal with things like garden produce (I'm up to my neck in beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes) and back to school (I have two kids starting high school in three weeks). But we will continue to provide you with the best stories, pictures, links, and videos from all over the internet. And then there's our exclusive feature stories, which you'll want to catch up on if you happened to miss any.

Despite making plans to attend ComiCon, Jill Harness was busy this week, and gave us a list of 11 Amazingly Geeky Aquariums.

She also wrote 6 Famous Misquotes & Where They Came From.

Uncle John's Bathroom Reader gave us the story of the Queen of the Jail.

Why I Will Never Have a Girlfriend came from the Annals of Improbable Research.

And mental_floss magazine gave us 10 Presidents Nobody Remembers.

Our Caption Contest this week involves a snoozing cat. The contest is still open -but not for long! Get your entry in, and don't forget to read the rules.

In the What Is It? game this week, there were a lot of good guesses, but so far no one was been able to determine exactly what the mystery object is, including the What Is It? blog -and the original manufacturer! Thanks for many good leads, but none have been verified. The funniest answer was from Jared, who surmised that this is a modified vacuum pump, with a hole added as “a rudimentary eyeball extraction device. It’s really the only possible explanation.” That’s worth a t-shirt! Find the answers to the other items of the week at the What Is It? blog.

John Farrier has given NeatoBambino a geeky streak this week, with posts on kids going to ComiCon, a Star Wars bassinet, and a video called Baby’s First Lightsaber Duel. There's some practical stuff, too, at NeatoBambino.

Some of the posts this week were quite provocative. The biggest discussion came in the comments after So, Do You Believe in Global Warming Now? The answer is apparently "no." In second place was Official Olympics Outfit of Team USA: Chic or Dud? and Medical Marijuana Without the High was in third place with enough comments to make it first any other week. Those comment threads are still open if you want to join in!

The NeatoShop is stocked and ready for Back To School season with all kinds of items that will make your kids the envy of his/her class (just the ego boost they'll need for a new school year). And they won't be able to lose them, because no one else will have anything like it!

Remember, you'll find extra content and discussions at our Facebook page, and make sure you are following Neatorama on Twitter, too -and now Neatorama is on Google+ and Pinterest!

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The What Is It device was used in flame emission spectroscopy. Natural gas was piped into the horizontal tube and lit on top. Air was drawn through the hole in the glass. The substance to be tested was either held in the bottom of the glass or sprayed through the hole. Missing is the spectrometer used to analyze the colored flame. To see a demonstration of emission spectroscopy, watch the first episode of Breaking Bad.
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