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This Clock Automatically Writes the Time on an Etch A Sketch

This ingenious clock by Instructables member dodgey99 turns the knobs on an Etch A Sketch to write the time, then flips over to erase the markings and update.

First, he adapted a pre-existing body of code that used stepper motors to write random lines on an Etch A Sketch. He carefully rewrote this code so that it would not only compose specific lines, but reset the stylus on an analog device. Then he used pulleys to connect the knobs to a pair of overpowered stepper motors mounted a frame of acrylic sheets. An Arduino electronic controller directs the motors. Check out the impressive result in action:


(Video Link)


Graph TV

How is your favorite TV show doing? The application Graph TV will show you in just a few seconds. See every episode, separated by season, graphed by its IMDb ratings. You can see here how the show Breaking Bad struggled at the beginning, then found its footing with fans. At the site, you can click on a dot and go to the IMDb page for that episode. The very highest-rated Breaking Bad episode is "Ozymandias," as fans would have guessed, with "Felina" in second place. I tried to stump the graphs, putting in older and older shows. Below is the graph for The Andy Griffith Show.



You can see how the show just ran out of stream when Don Knotts left and color was added, even though the Neilsen ratings remained high. The oldest TV show I could think of was The Amos ’n Andy Show -and it graphed, too! I guess IMDb fans take every show, as well as every movie, seriously. Check it out and see what your favorite series looks like. -via Laughing Squid


Helpful Charts for Game of Thrones

Despite George R.R. Martin’s bloodthirsty desire to depopulate Westeros, it can be hard to keep track of all of the characters in Game of Thrones. Who is related to whom? What are they trying to accomplish? You need charts to keep everything straight. Thankfully, Tom Phillips and Robin Edds of BuzzFeed are here to help. They made 12 charts that keep characters sorted and track the development of the story. You can view the rest here.

-via Blame It on the Voices


A Cheetah Visits a Safari Vehicle

Australian photographer Bobby-Jo Clow went on a photo safari in the Serengeti National Park and had an up close and personal visit from a cheetah. He may be an apex predator, but he’s as curious as a house cat when confronted by something new and different, like a vehicle in his territory.

The young male then started to relax and made himself quite at home. He rested his front paws through the car roof, they were actually dangling in front of my face. At one point he put his whole head into the car and smelt my head. The cheetah stayed there for another five minutes before his mother started to call to him. He then jumped off our car and headed back to his family.  

The experience inspired Clow to start running her own photo safaris. See the sequence of eight pictures at Africa Geographic. -via Laughing Squid

(Image credit: Bobby-Jo Clow Photography)


The Oddest Book Title of the Year

The annual Diagram Prize for the oddest book title has been awarded to How to Poo on a Date: The Lovers' Guide to Toilet Etiquette. The winner was decided by votes, and the book by Mats & Enzo barely defeated Are Trout South African? by Duncan Brown and The Origin of Feces by David Waltner-Toews.

The rest of the shortlist was made up of early frontrunner Working Class Cats: The Bodega Cats of New York City by Chris Balsiger ands Erin Canning (One Peace Books), with 14%; Pie-ography: Where Pie Meets Biography by Jo Packham (Quarry) with 6%; and How to Pray When You're Pissed at God by Ian Punnett (Harmony Books), with 4% of the votes.

Horace Bent, The Bookseller’s diarist and the custodian of the prize, said: “The public have chosen wisely. Not only have they picked a title that truly captures the spirit of the prize, they have selected a manual that can help one through life’s more challenging and delicate moments.”

The winning authors have been nominated for the Diagram Prize twice before, for books with a similar theme. This year, they are number one for a book about number two. Although there is no actual prize, the honor does bring a bit of publicity. -via Time Newsfeed


Seattleā€™s Mystery Coke Machine

Seattle has its share of mysteries, but one that everyone seems to enjoy is the Coke machine at the corner of John Street and 11th Avenue East. This vending machine is far from new; in fact it looks like a soda machine from the 1970s. And the price is anachronistic, too, just 55 cents a can, while most other machines charge a dollar. No one knows who installed the machine, or who stocks it. However, the locksmith shop it stands in front of may have something to do with it, but they aren't saying anything.    

The modern antique offers a comparatively limited selection of drinks with yellowed plastic buttons offering Coke, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, and Barq's, but the intriguing button marked "Mystery" generally produces none of these. According to one report, after spending five dollars in change on the mystery button, the machine produced six different brand of soda, none of which had their own button on the machine.

The “mystery” button often serves obscure and even rare soda flavors. The popularity of the Coke machine is such that it has its own Facebook fan page. -via Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader

(Image credit: Flickr user ario_)


Man Gets Revenge on Deadbeat Internet Seller by Texting Him the Complete Works of William Shakespeare

(Shakespeare Insult Wallet now on sale at the NeatoShop)

'Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat's tongue, you bull's pizzle, you stock-fish! O for breath to utter what is like thee! you tailor's-yard, you sheath, you bowcase; you vile standing-tuck!

Eventually, a modern rogue shall encounter that line, which is from William Shakespeare's play Henry IV, Part 1.

Edd Joseph of Bristol, UK attempted to purchase a PlayStation 3 game console online. The seller took his money, but never delivered the console. At first, Joseph thought that he was helpless. But now he's found a way to strike back at the villain. He has the seller's phone number, so Joseph is texting him the complete works of Shakespeare.

Joseph has an unlimited texting plan, so it doesn't cost him anything. He simply copies an entire play, then pastes it into a text message window. The texting program automatically breaks down the message into 160-character chunks, then sends them out. So the deadbeat's phone is probably buzzing constantly as it receives an estimated 29,305 text messages.

So far, Joseph has already sent 22 plays, including Othello, Hamlet and the Scottish play. The longest play, Hamlet, required 1,143 texts. How has the seller responded? The Bristol Post reports Edd has received abusive replies from the seller:

He said: "I got the first reply after an hour, and then a few more abusive messages after that. His phone must have been going off pretty constantly for hours.

"But recently he has taken to calling me and giving me abuse on the phone. I tried to ask him if he was enjoying the plays, but he was very confused. [...]

"I'm not a literary student, and I'm not an avid fan of Shakespeare but I've got a new appreciation you could say - especially for the long ones."

-via Marko Kloos


Christopher Walken Dancing

(YouTube link)

Christopher Walken may play creepy roles most of the time, but he loves to dance. In fact, before he was an movie star, he trained as a dancer for musical theater. This video has clips of 57 different Christopher Walken movies going back as far as 1977, and he dances in most of them. That’s a lot of movies! See a list of the films at HuffPo.  -via Tastefully Offensive


Marshmallow Escapes

(YouTube link)

The cat is named Chamallow, which is French for marshmallow, but his name should be Houdini. He managed to find his way out of two different cages at the veterinary clinic in Marseilles! I have a cat named Marshmallow who looks just like this one, except mine is female. She is just as devious. -via Daily Picks and Flicks


Fan-made LEGO Simpsons Couch Gag

(YouTube link)

There will be an official LEGO Simpsons episode in May, but this is not it. This is a video from the gang at BrickFun, who built it all for laughs. They used the new Simpsons LEGO construction set along with tons of other bricks and minifigs. Get the specs on the project at BrickFun. -via Warming Glow


When the Owner is Gone

(YouTube link)

It's a house rule: the dog is not allowed on the bed. Apparently, the cat is, which is not fair at all. But that’s the man of the house’s rules. He set up a camera to see what happens when he is gone, and found that a man’s rules only apply when a man is around. Ignoramusky provides the perfect soundtrack. When the cat's away, the mice will play!


Finally! Cup Holders for Umbrellas

(Photo: Morella)

British designers Andrew Tan, Ross Malcolm and Jordan Schlipf invented the Morella, a cup holder for umbrellas. It pivots, so that as you turn the umbrella up or down, the drinks stay stable and won't spill. They've designed two models, one to carry just one drink and the other to carry two drinks.

Malcolm came up for the idea while standing in the rain outside of a pub. He held a drink in one hand and an umbrella in the other. There had to be a better way to manage the task. So he got together with other designers and made cardboard models.

They hope to eventually sell the single model for $8-17 and the double from $13-20.

-via Inventor Spot


If the Grocery Were Like the Cable Company

(YouTube link)

Your TV cable company has a business model that’s quite peculiar. Imagine if other businesses worked the same way. In this skit by Check Out ABC, the cable company is Foxtel in Australia, but the principle is the same here in the U.S. -via Viral Viral Videos


The Delightful Haunted Mansion Guest Room

We've featured some fantastic dream homes on Homes and Hues, but this is the first time we've covered a single room that has been done in one amazing theme. This delightful Haunted Mansion room features many of the great details we love from the Disney attraction. 

From the door hanger to the throw pillows to the curtain hanger, this room is loaded with Haunted Mansion goodies we simply adore. In fact, I kind of wish this room was available for rent on Airbnb because I would totally stay there before traveling to the real Haunted Mansion.

Check out more great pictures over on Homes and Hues: A Disney Haunted Mansion Bedroom


Video Game Medley on Bottles

(YouTube link)

The Bottle Boys are back with a geeky compilation of video game themes played on bottles. Their instrument of choice lends itself well to 8-bit music! -via Viral Viral Videos

Previously by The Bottle Boys: Call Me Maybe


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