<![CDATA[Neatorama]]>https://www.neatorama.com/vosa/theme/neato2/media/logo.gifNeatoramahttps://www.neatorama.com/<![CDATA[An Honest Trailer for <i>Starship Troopers</i>]]>

The problem with making a satirical movie is that if you are at all subtle, the satire can be completely missed. And so it was with the 1997 film Starship Troopers. It was supposed to be a sendup of overly militaristic speculative fiction, but ended up way too close to what it was supposed to satirize. It fulfilled the audience's desire for space aliens, sex, and carnage so well that they didn't care what the aim was. Or was it a case that the movie was just so bad that director Paul Verhoeven came up with the excuse that it was a satire after the fact? In any case, you can see from this Honest Trailer how the audience might have been confused. Sure, the plot, characters, and themes were over-the-top, but so were many other steroid-laden movies of the time. The lesson to take from Starship Troopers is that if you are going to make a satire of a movie genre, do like Mel Brooks or the Zucker brothers and put some laughs into it.

]]>


The problem with making a satirical movie is that if you are at all subtle, the satire can be completely missed. And so it was with the 1997 film Starship Troopers. It was supposed to be a sendup of overly militaristic speculative fiction, but ended up way too close to what it was supposed to satirize. It fulfilled the audience's desire for space aliens, sex, and carnage so well that they didn't care what the aim was. Or was it a case that the movie was just so bad that director Paul Verhoeven came up with the excuse that it was a satire after the fact? In any case, you can see from this Honest Trailer how the audience might have been confused. Sure, the plot, characters, and themes were over-the-top, but so were many other steroid-laden movies of the time. The lesson to take from Starship Troopers is that if you are going to make a satire of a movie genre, do like Mel Brooks or the Zucker brothers and put some laughs into it.

]]>
<![CDATA[Fungus Controls Behavior of Zombie Cicadas]]>

We've read plenty of horror stories from nature about animal parasites infecting other animals and causing them to behave in ways that benefit the parasite. Funguses can do that, too. The parasitic fungus Massospora will infect a male cicada and then cause it to flirt like a female cicada. When a male cicada approaches, the fungus spreads to a new, healthy host.

“Essentially, the cicadas are luring others into becoming infected because their healthy counterparts are interested in mating,” said Brian Lovett, study co-author and post-doctoral researcher with the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. “The bioactive compounds may manipulate the insect to stay awake and continue to transmit the pathogen for longer.”

These actions persist amid a disturbing display of B-horror movie proportions: Massospora spores gnaw away at a cicada’s genitals, butt and abdomen, replacing them with fungal spores. Then they “wear away like an eraser on a pencil,” Lovett said.

That's some pretty sophisticated chicanery for a fungus. You might think the fungus couldn't be too smart, or they would infect a species that didn't lay dormant for 17 years, but Massospora has adapted to that, too, which you can read about at WVU Today. -via Boing Boing

(Image credit: Angie Macias/WVU)

]]>

We've read plenty of horror stories from nature about animal parasites infecting other animals and causing them to behave in ways that benefit the parasite. Funguses can do that, too. The parasitic fungus Massospora will infect a male cicada and then cause it to flirt like a female cicada. When a male cicada approaches, the fungus spreads to a new, healthy host.

“Essentially, the cicadas are luring others into becoming infected because their healthy counterparts are interested in mating,” said Brian Lovett, study co-author and post-doctoral researcher with the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. “The bioactive compounds may manipulate the insect to stay awake and continue to transmit the pathogen for longer.”

These actions persist amid a disturbing display of B-horror movie proportions: Massospora spores gnaw away at a cicada’s genitals, butt and abdomen, replacing them with fungal spores. Then they “wear away like an eraser on a pencil,” Lovett said.

That's some pretty sophisticated chicanery for a fungus. You might think the fungus couldn't be too smart, or they would infect a species that didn't lay dormant for 17 years, but Massospora has adapted to that, too, which you can read about at WVU Today. -via Boing Boing

(Image credit: Angie Macias/WVU)

]]>
<![CDATA[The Upside of Herpes]]>

When I hear the word "herpes," I automatically think "the gift that keeps on giving." But maybe I should switch that to "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." People with latent herpes hiding in their cells may have some advantages in their immune system. In our world of modern medicine, it's most certainly not worth contracting a case, but research into how our bodies harness the virus might someday lead to replicating the good effects without the bad. -Thanks, SnowMan!

]]>


When I hear the word "herpes," I automatically think "the gift that keeps on giving." But maybe I should switch that to "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." People with latent herpes hiding in their cells may have some advantages in their immune system. In our world of modern medicine, it's most certainly not worth contracting a case, but research into how our bodies harness the virus might someday lead to replicating the good effects without the bad. -Thanks, SnowMan!

]]>
<![CDATA[Your Hair Can Record Your Diet]]>

If you want to know if a person prefers to eat veggies or meat, then you might consider analyzing his hair. This study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show that chemical traces of proteins from food can be found in hair strands.

"This information can be used to quantify dietary trends in ways that surveys cannot capture," says distinguished professor Jim Ehleringer, of the U's School of Biological Sciences. "We would like to see the health community begin to assess dietary patterns using hair isotope surveys, especially across different economic groups within the US."

More details about this hair-splitting study over at PHYS.org.

(Image Credit: RyanMcGuire/ Pixabay)

]]>

If you want to know if a person prefers to eat veggies or meat, then you might consider analyzing his hair. This study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show that chemical traces of proteins from food can be found in hair strands.

"This information can be used to quantify dietary trends in ways that surveys cannot capture," says distinguished professor Jim Ehleringer, of the U's School of Biological Sciences. "We would like to see the health community begin to assess dietary patterns using hair isotope surveys, especially across different economic groups within the US."

More details about this hair-splitting study over at PHYS.org.

(Image Credit: RyanMcGuire/ Pixabay)

]]>
<![CDATA[Virgin Galactic Releases Supersonic Jet Designs]]>

Traveling great distances while not spending much time has been man’s dream ever since the distant past. As time goes by, transportation vehicles evolve and become much faster than before, allowing us to spend less time on travel and more time on things that matter more. And it would seem that we will go much much faster in the near future. How fast? Faster than sound itself.

The private spaceflight company Virgin Galactic and Rolls-Royce have teamed up to create a supersonic jet for high-speed passenger flights.  
The Spaceship Company (TSC), Virgin Galactic's aerospace-system manufacturing arm that builds the company's SpaceShipTwo space planes, is now working to develop a high-speed commercial aircraft capable of flying at Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound.
[On Aug. 3], TSC announced the completion of a mission concept review and unveiled the initial design concept for a high-speed aircraft. They also announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with Rolls-Royce to collaborate in design and development for the craft. 

More details about this exciting news over at Space.com.

(Image Credit: Virgin Galactic/ Space.com)

]]>

Traveling great distances while not spending much time has been man’s dream ever since the distant past. As time goes by, transportation vehicles evolve and become much faster than before, allowing us to spend less time on travel and more time on things that matter more. And it would seem that we will go much much faster in the near future. How fast? Faster than sound itself.

The private spaceflight company Virgin Galactic and Rolls-Royce have teamed up to create a supersonic jet for high-speed passenger flights.  
The Spaceship Company (TSC), Virgin Galactic's aerospace-system manufacturing arm that builds the company's SpaceShipTwo space planes, is now working to develop a high-speed commercial aircraft capable of flying at Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound.
[On Aug. 3], TSC announced the completion of a mission concept review and unveiled the initial design concept for a high-speed aircraft. They also announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with Rolls-Royce to collaborate in design and development for the craft. 

More details about this exciting news over at Space.com.

(Image Credit: Virgin Galactic/ Space.com)

]]>
<![CDATA[Why Save Parasites?]]>

When we hear the word “parasite”, what comes into our minds are organisms that take advantage of their hosts and make them suffer. But while some of these parasites do cause harm to other organisms and creatures, this fact is only true for 4% of known parasites. The other parasites, meanwhile, play major ecological roles. And so, in reality, while there are some parasites that are known to be dangerous and should be eradicated, there are also some parasites which are to be protected.

About a dozen leading parasite ecologists, including University of Washington's Chelsea Wood, published a paper Aug. 1 in the journal Biological Conservation, which lays out an ambitious global conservation plan for parasites.
"Parasites are an incredibly diverse group of species, but as a society, we do not recognize this biological diversity as valuable," said Wood, an assistant professor in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. "The point of this paper is to emphasize that we are losing parasites and the functions they serve without even recognizing it."

More details about this over at EurekAlert.

(Image Credit: CDC/ Wikimedia Commons)

]]>

When we hear the word “parasite”, what comes into our minds are organisms that take advantage of their hosts and make them suffer. But while some of these parasites do cause harm to other organisms and creatures, this fact is only true for 4% of known parasites. The other parasites, meanwhile, play major ecological roles. And so, in reality, while there are some parasites that are known to be dangerous and should be eradicated, there are also some parasites which are to be protected.

About a dozen leading parasite ecologists, including University of Washington's Chelsea Wood, published a paper Aug. 1 in the journal Biological Conservation, which lays out an ambitious global conservation plan for parasites.
"Parasites are an incredibly diverse group of species, but as a society, we do not recognize this biological diversity as valuable," said Wood, an assistant professor in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. "The point of this paper is to emphasize that we are losing parasites and the functions they serve without even recognizing it."

More details about this over at EurekAlert.

(Image Credit: CDC/ Wikimedia Commons)

]]>
<![CDATA[Theories Of How The Universe Will End]]>

Everything has an ending. Even our grand universe, despite looking majestic and eternal, will end some day. But how will our universe end? That’s what theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack writes about in her book titled The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking). In the book, Mack enumerates some possibilities of how our universe will end. 

But far from being depressing, Mack’s account mixes a sense of reverence for the wonders of physics with an irreverent sense of humor and a disarming dose of candor.
Some potential finales are violent: If the universe’s expansion were to reverse, the cosmos collapsing inward in a Big Crunch, extremely energetic swells of radiation would ignite the surfaces of stars, exploding them. Another version of the end is quieter but no less terrifying: The universe’s expansion could continue forever. That end, Mack writes, “like immortality, only sounds good until you really think about it.” Endless expansion would beget a state known as “heat death”...
Perhaps more merciful than the purgatory of heat death is the possibility of a Big Rip, in which the universe’s expansion accelerates faster and faster, until stars and planets are torn apart, molecules are shredded and the very fabric of space is ripped apart.

Learn more about this over at ScienceNews.

(Image Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI/ Wikimedia Commons)

]]>

Everything has an ending. Even our grand universe, despite looking majestic and eternal, will end some day. But how will our universe end? That’s what theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack writes about in her book titled The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking). In the book, Mack enumerates some possibilities of how our universe will end. 

But far from being depressing, Mack’s account mixes a sense of reverence for the wonders of physics with an irreverent sense of humor and a disarming dose of candor.
Some potential finales are violent: If the universe’s expansion were to reverse, the cosmos collapsing inward in a Big Crunch, extremely energetic swells of radiation would ignite the surfaces of stars, exploding them. Another version of the end is quieter but no less terrifying: The universe’s expansion could continue forever. That end, Mack writes, “like immortality, only sounds good until you really think about it.” Endless expansion would beget a state known as “heat death”...
Perhaps more merciful than the purgatory of heat death is the possibility of a Big Rip, in which the universe’s expansion accelerates faster and faster, until stars and planets are torn apart, molecules are shredded and the very fabric of space is ripped apart.

Learn more about this over at ScienceNews.

(Image Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI/ Wikimedia Commons)

]]>
<![CDATA[In The Philippines: Ostrich Runs Free On Street]]>

Quezon City, Philippines — A man named Dino Rivera went outside of his house to buy something from the nearby store. On his way, however, he saw something that doesn’t seem to belong in the area. That something was an ostrich, and it was running fast towards the other side of the street.

Not much is known about the said flightless bird, but it is assumed that somehow, it broke free from the place where it was kept.

That, or someone played Jumanji.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: Dino Rivera/ GMA News/ Facebook)

]]>

Quezon City, Philippines — A man named Dino Rivera went outside of his house to buy something from the nearby store. On his way, however, he saw something that doesn’t seem to belong in the area. That something was an ostrich, and it was running fast towards the other side of the street.

Not much is known about the said flightless bird, but it is assumed that somehow, it broke free from the place where it was kept.

That, or someone played Jumanji.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: Dino Rivera/ GMA News/ Facebook)

]]>
<![CDATA[Can't Touch This, COVID-19 Version]]>

Dr. Quentin J. Lee is principal of Childersburg High School in Alabama, and is doing his best to promote and enforce new safety rules as school opens for the fall to the tune of "Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer. If it takes a catchy song to explain social distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing, he's game to do it. He pulled it off well! -via reddit

Dr. Lee's previous video about COVID-19 is pretty good, too.

]]>


Dr. Quentin J. Lee is principal of Childersburg High School in Alabama, and is doing his best to promote and enforce new safety rules as school opens for the fall to the tune of "Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer. If it takes a catchy song to explain social distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing, he's game to do it. He pulled it off well! -via reddit

Dr. Lee's previous video about COVID-19 is pretty good, too.

]]>
<![CDATA[These Strange Rock Formations Have Been a Filmmaking Hotspot for Over a Century]]>

The area known as Alabama Hills is not in Alabama, and there aren't many hills, either. There you'll find a crop of rounded rock formations that proved to be quite useful. It's where you can place antagonists on different levels, hide them from each other, stage an ambush, shoot from safety, and convince whoever sees it that these rocks exist where you say they do.

These strange rock formations are versatile actors, having played Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Mexico, Spain, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and China—not to mention distant planets, alternate dimensions, and fantasy realms. It would be impossible to list all the screen legends that have shared scenes with these majestic bowed rock arches and potato-shaped stones, but they include Spencer Tracy, Errol Flynn, Clint Eastwood, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, Cesar Romero, Natalie Wood, and Russell Crowe.

As of 2019, it’s been 100 years since the earliest confirmed filming in the area.

With a history like that, it's no wonder there's a film festival nearby, with tours to the rocks themselves. Read about Alabama Hills and its cinematic history at Atlas Obscura. And then keep your eye out for them during your next movie night.

(Image credit: Tyler Malone)

]]>

The area known as Alabama Hills is not in Alabama, and there aren't many hills, either. There you'll find a crop of rounded rock formations that proved to be quite useful. It's where you can place antagonists on different levels, hide them from each other, stage an ambush, shoot from safety, and convince whoever sees it that these rocks exist where you say they do.

These strange rock formations are versatile actors, having played Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Mexico, Spain, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and China—not to mention distant planets, alternate dimensions, and fantasy realms. It would be impossible to list all the screen legends that have shared scenes with these majestic bowed rock arches and potato-shaped stones, but they include Spencer Tracy, Errol Flynn, Clint Eastwood, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, Cesar Romero, Natalie Wood, and Russell Crowe.

As of 2019, it’s been 100 years since the earliest confirmed filming in the area.

With a history like that, it's no wonder there's a film festival nearby, with tours to the rocks themselves. Read about Alabama Hills and its cinematic history at Atlas Obscura. And then keep your eye out for them during your next movie night.

(Image credit: Tyler Malone)

]]>
<![CDATA[These Cats Sit In A Weird Way]]>

Some cats look cute. Others look like royalty. Some look shy, and others look creepy. And then there are these cats, who behave like tired old men, with big bellies, and a grumpy look on their faces.

Check out the photos over at Sad and Useless.

(Image Credit: Sad and Useless)

]]>

Some cats look cute. Others look like royalty. Some look shy, and others look creepy. And then there are these cats, who behave like tired old men, with big bellies, and a grumpy look on their faces.

Check out the photos over at Sad and Useless.

(Image Credit: Sad and Useless)

]]>
<![CDATA[An Inspiring Message]]>

With all the negative stuff happening in the world and in our individual lives, it is understandable if a person falls into despair and sorrow. But amidst all of these things, this shirt reminds us to always have a positive outlook in life and not “give up hop”.

And so, let's stay hopful.

(Image via Engrish.com)

]]>

With all the negative stuff happening in the world and in our individual lives, it is understandable if a person falls into despair and sorrow. But amidst all of these things, this shirt reminds us to always have a positive outlook in life and not “give up hop”.

And so, let's stay hopful.

(Image via Engrish.com)

]]>
<![CDATA[Public Speaker Analyzes PewDiePie]]>

How did Felix Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, manage to get millions of subscribers? Public speaker and presentation coach David JP Phillips dives deeply into how PewDiePie captures the attention of his audience, as well as how he projects himself in front of the camera. What David finds is a natural public speaker — an expressive, persuasive, and creative man.

(Image Credit: David JP Phillips/ YouTube)

]]>

How did Felix Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, manage to get millions of subscribers? Public speaker and presentation coach David JP Phillips dives deeply into how PewDiePie captures the attention of his audience, as well as how he projects himself in front of the camera. What David finds is a natural public speaker — an expressive, persuasive, and creative man.

(Image Credit: David JP Phillips/ YouTube)

]]>
<![CDATA[Breaking The Guinness World Record For The Fastest Poker Chip Stacking]]>

Serial record-breaker David Rush has been practicing his poker chip stacking skills for about a year and a half. After that long time of training, Rush is now able to stack the poker chips at an amazing speed. Just a few days ago, he attempted to break the world record of the most number of poker chips stacked with one hand in a minute, which was 42.

The serial record-breaker said he managed to stack 49 chips, but the last was placed just after the time ran out, making his new record 48. The stack was able to remain standing on its own for at least 5 seconds, qualifying for the record.

David Rush currently has broken over 150 Guinness world records.

A truly amazing man.

(Image Credit: David Rush/ YouTube)

]]>

Serial record-breaker David Rush has been practicing his poker chip stacking skills for about a year and a half. After that long time of training, Rush is now able to stack the poker chips at an amazing speed. Just a few days ago, he attempted to break the world record of the most number of poker chips stacked with one hand in a minute, which was 42.

The serial record-breaker said he managed to stack 49 chips, but the last was placed just after the time ran out, making his new record 48. The stack was able to remain standing on its own for at least 5 seconds, qualifying for the record.

David Rush currently has broken over 150 Guinness world records.

A truly amazing man.

(Image Credit: David Rush/ YouTube)

]]>
<![CDATA[Man Plays “Flight of The Bumblebee” On A Watering Can]]>

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee is already a very difficult piece to play on normal instruments such as the piano, violin, and wind instruments such as the trombone. But this trombonist, named Martyn Stroud, decided to take things to an entirely new level by playing the piece on a watering can.

Blowing into a trombone mouthpiece attached to the end of a watering can’s neck, [he] manages to emulate the frantic sound of the buzzing musical bumblebee.
We’re very impressed.

Watch the video on Facebook.

(Image Credit: Martyn Stroud/ Facebook)

]]>

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee is already a very difficult piece to play on normal instruments such as the piano, violin, and wind instruments such as the trombone. But this trombonist, named Martyn Stroud, decided to take things to an entirely new level by playing the piece on a watering can.

Blowing into a trombone mouthpiece attached to the end of a watering can’s neck, [he] manages to emulate the frantic sound of the buzzing musical bumblebee.
We’re very impressed.

Watch the video on Facebook.

(Image Credit: Martyn Stroud/ Facebook)

]]>