This Week at Neatorama

One of the weird things about working on the internet is that, while I know what's going on with the weather in Europe, I can be oblivious about what's happening outside my door. Thursday night I got an email from the school that classes were cancelled Friday. What? Friday morning, my town was covered in a sheet of ice. Outside of not having to pack lunches, it didn't affect me at all. Just another perk of stepping through a door from the bedroom to the office. I love this job. Let's recap what's happened this past week at Neatorama.

The Big Top's Top Ten was a list of the most popular circus acts ever, courtesy of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader.

The Annals of Improbable Research gave us Postal Experiments. How far can you go mailing "out of the box"?

10 Jobs You Didn't Hear About On Career Day came from mental_floss magazine.

We've been experimenting with a few new things; one idea is to give you more exclusive Bathroom Reader articles in bite-size form. Last week, we had Survey Says and Musicians' Occupational Hazards, which didn't take but a minute to read. Look for more of those next week.

The Tokyoflash Treasure Hunt #23 is still open for your entry -give it a shot to win a Tokyoflash watch or gifts from the NeatoShop!

In the What Is It? game, the picture is of a a lantern shield, it was in use during the Italian Renaissance (15th and 16th century Italy). Its defining feature is a small circular shield with a hook on the back from which to hang a lantern, its light shining through the hole was intended to blind the opponent at night or in duels fought at dawn. The first one with the correct answer was Berhard, who wins a t-shirt for his efforts! The funniest answer of the week came from Blow and Dry LLC, who said, "It is a blame deflector, used by both houses of Congress, and by both political parties. The example shown is for a leftie." That's certainly worth a t-shirt! You really should go to the contest page and read all the funny guesses. See the answers to all the mystery items of the week at the What Is It? blog.

The liveliest comment thread of the week was Should We Stop Using the Singular "They"? That was followed by Subway's 11-inch Footlong®, The Citadel: Doomsday Prepper Paradise, and Can a Library be Bookless? You can still contribute to those conversations, or if you're in a hurry, just leave ♥s on the comments you like or agree with.

The most-viewed posts of the past week were Brooklyn Toile by Beastie Boys' Mike D, followed by Postal Experiments and How a Key Works. And though it's hard to gauge from week to week, I love how people keep coming back to some of our old classics years later, like the 30 Strangest Animal Mating Habits and the 10 Most Magnificent Trees in the World.

Over at Neatorama's Facebook page, it's like a parallel world, with extra stuff you won't find here and plenty of input from Neatoramanauts. This picture caught my attention, because I had considered writing an article about everyday objects my kids don't know at all, starting with a percolator. Plenty of people still use these …for camping trips. I recall my dad going over and over the necessary steps in the fine art of coffee making when I was young, neither of us having any clue that the knowledge would be obsolete by the time I grew up. Be sure to check out Facebook every day so you don't miss anything!  

We have a bunch of interesting stuff at Pinterest, too. Of 14 boards, it's weird to look around and see how many times I've pinned something on the wrong board… it's a good thing I'm not the only one contributing!  

We're entering February next week, the shortest month with the most holidays. Next weekend we have Groundhog Day and Super Bowl Sunday, then Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, and Valentines Day all happen in the same week, and then there's Presidents Day, because celebrating Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's birthday separately just put too much strain on an already-overwhelmed calendar. Still, it's nice to have lots of rituals and celebrations to get us through that last winter month. The only real gift-giving occasion is Valentine's Day, and you can make that easy on yourself by ordering your sweetheart something unique from the NeatoShop!

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I still have and use a percolator. Sometimes it's not worth it, but occasionally our electricity goes out and who can still make coffee on the gas range? This gal.

Also, as a bonus, sometimes they'll show a coffee pot on Mad Men and it's the same one that I have. ;-)
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