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Brilliant Invention: Suit Doubles as a Bed

(Photos: Japan Trend Shop)

Do you ever say to yourself, "I wish that I could just stay at work all of the time and never go home"? Surely you can use your time more productively than commuting or spending time with your family. To make that dream a reality, the Japanese company King Jim invented the Wearable Futon Air Mat Set.

You don't have to waste time by changing clothes or making your bed. Ever. You're always wearing the only clothing and bedding that you'll need. The suit (which really needs a tie for professional office settings) weighs about 1.5 pounds and inflates for a comfortable evening.

-via Joe Carter

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Beautiful Doors from Around the World

Jaipur, India
Image: payal.jhaveri

Doors obviously have a utilitarian purpose, but additionally they often hint at the aesthetic that lies within. Or they impress the observer with an air of mystery about what could be beyond such an exotic barrier. Featured here are examples from "30 Beautiful Doors that Seem to Lead to Other Worlds." Check them out and see which portals capture your imagination. 

Garden Door, Japan
Image: Anya Langmead

Valloria, Italy
Image: Socket974 

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7 Awesome Beards by James Myrick

James Myrick is a master beard artist. He's rather secretive about his methods, but my guess is that, by precise mental concentration, he can grow his beard into different shapes. The results are amazing, such as this hypnotic spiral.

Myrick, like all of us, needs money to live. But he lives in order to beard.

You can find him on Twitter at @hospitalcup.

Myrick once tried to shave with a kryptonite razor. The blade broke.

In the X-Men universe, Myrick would be considered an alpha level mutant. He would teach bearding at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Wolverine would seek out his advice on how to manage his mutton chops.

As a serious Breaking Bad fan, Myrick suggests that we look upon his beard and despair.

But he's also a romantic and sentimental person at heart.

-Thanks, James!

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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I Made This My Little Pony Cabinet

It took me several months, off and on, but my latest carpentry project is finally complete! It's a hanging cupboard that looks like Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

The door is made of 0.25 inch birch plywood. The body is made of 0.5 inch birch plywood. The box has exterior measurements of 12.5 inches high, 10.5 inches wide, and 4.5 inches deep. The door is, at its furthest extent, 20 inches across and 19 inches tall.

The box is held together with 16 0-gauge wood biscuits. The door is attached to the box by hinges to a 1x1 inch strip of pine which is glued to the door. The door is held in place with a magnetic clasp.

I used this image by DeviantART member Vexorb as a template for Pinkie Pie’s head. I painted it on with acrylic craft paint, then applied a clear matte spray paint as a protective coating. I used a latex house paint for the back of the door and the box.

Overall, I am pleased with the results. But there were some difficulties. For one, the box fitting is imprecise. Although I've used my plate joiner on 3 other projects, this is the first time that I've used it on anything other than 0.75 inch wood. It's built to slice evenly into this thickness, so I had to improvise to cut into 0.5 inch wood.

I select my carpentry projects in order to teach myself new skills. This is the most demanding painting job that I've had and the only artistic work that I've done since high school.

The door turned out well. A bandsaw would have been ideal, but I have only a jigsaw. It was surprisingly adequate. The hardest sawing task was the eyelashes. I managed to smooth out the spaces between the eyelashes (where the jigsaw couldn't reach) by slicing narrow strips of sandpaper (about 0.25 inches across) and flossing them back and forth until the eyelashes were shaped properly. I was worried that the eyelashes would break off, but they're actually quite sturdy.

This and my other carpentry projects are a part of an ongoing, deliberate effort to teach myself practical building and repair skills. I live in an apartment, so there is a limit to what I can do. I've mostly built wood furniture. As a result, I've learned a lot about carpentry that is applicable beyond cabinetmaking.

(Image: Ninja High School/Ben Dunn)

Now it's time for me to tackle an electrical project. I have almost no experience with electrical work, so it's a skill void that I should fill. I haven't settled on a firm idea, but I'm thinking about building from scratch an 8-way variable lamp. Since I'm a fanboy, I may design it to reflect the art of my favorite comic book series, Ninja High School.

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Grammar Nazi's Rock - Twaggies Pilot

We've teamed up with Dailymotion and will be bringing you a new, animated Twaggies short cartoon each month. Some will feature a few tweets by one hilarious Tweeter, others will use tweets by different folks, unified around a theme.

Check out this month's premiere episode, cooked up special for all you Grammar Nazis! It features a couple tweets, one by Steve Martin! 

Please take a moment to follow us over on Dailymotion, too! They're like YouTube, only East! :-) (reference anyone? anyone?)

View more neat Twags or illustrated tweets over at Twaggies

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The Kindergarten Tribes

I kiss my son goodbye and I stand at the fence watching him as he enters into the kindergarten school yard. I hope for another wave, but he pays no more attention to me. He drops his backpack near the place he is supposed to line up. Almost instantly he is greeted by a bevy of girls who chat with him for just a moment. Then he is off running wildly through the grass with another little boy. He is a citizen of his class and school. I am but a privileged outsider. I remain his confidant at home, but at school he is one of them.  He must navigate his way through the Kindergarten Tribes on his own.

From eight in the morning, until two in the afternoon, five days a week, he is part of Room 3. They march together, break bread together, and learn together. Their life is regimented. Each moment inside the classroom is accounted for. Structure is imperative. Without structure the class would break out into chaos. Even with structure there is sometimes chaos.  

Twice a day, during recess and lunch, however, the children of Room 3 are permitted free play time. Of course they have some play time in the classroom, but for safety and sanity that must be limited and more structured. I don’t think you can really call it true free play time. The true free play time comes when the children are released from the confines of their tiny classroom and marched to the wide open space of the kindergarten playground and set free.

I think it is only fair to note that my understanding of the playground tribes comes purely from my son’s accounts and perceptions. In the quiet of our kitchen he sits and tells me about his other life. He animatedly describes his adventures as a citizen of Room 3. He especially likes to talk about the playground tribes, but he swears me to secrecy.  The information he relays to me is classified. The tribes pride themselves on protecting their secrets.

The story he weaves is about two tiny neighboring kingdoms known as Room 2 and Room 3. Each kingdom houses about 25 citizens. Twice a day these kingdoms merge on the playground. From this melding 5 main tribes with 5 distinct leaders have arisen:  The Diggers, The Minecrafters, The Ballers, and The Superheroes and The Girls.

The Diggers

The Diggers are comprised of students who like to dig. They spend all or most of their free time in the sand area digging and building sand structures. There about 7 members of The Digger tribe.

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See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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The Happy Trombone Loop

(YouTube link)

Christopher Bill, a 21-year-old student at the Purchase Conservatory of Music, not only performs Pharrell William’s “Happy,” but also demonstrates the magic of looping by computer. He goes from a simple beat to sounding like a full orchestra in no time at all! If you enjoy this, there’s a ton of other Christopher Bill videos, including trombone lessons. -via reddit

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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The Confederate Navy's Crazy Plan to Raid the Great Lakes

(Image via the US Navy Art Collection)

During the American Civil War, Confederate commandos and agents launched small attacks and engaged in clandestine activities from British Canada. Most famously, they robbed three banks in St. Albans, Vermont in 1864.

The Confederacy wanted to strike deep into the enemy heartland whenever possible. The industrial and economic centers along the Great Lakes were appealing targets. But reaching them was very difficult.

There was, however, an opportunity. In order to avoid an arms race on the Great Lakes, in 1817, the United States and Britain agreed to demilitarize them. In the Rush-Bagot Agreement, both nations agreed to maintain only a handful of small armed vessels on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. By 1863, there was only one American warship on the Great Lakes: the 14-gun steamboat USS Michigan, which is pictured above.

If the Confederate Navy could hijack the Michigan and crew it with skilled sailors, it could ravage Union infrastructure on the Great Lakes unopposed by the United States Navy.

That is precisely what Lieutenant William H. Murdaugh of the Confederate Navy proposed to do. Below is the letter that he sent to Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. Mallory detailing his scheme. I’ve added numbers to it and on an 1858 railroad map to illustrate his plan. 

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A Calendar Of Sexy Monsters

The art of seduction is generally lost on the classic monsters of filmdom, but when they’re asked to get in touch with their tender side and let it all hang out these sexy beasts don’t disappoint.

Luckily artist Erika Deoude was there to capture these baddies striking a seductive pose, pin-up style, and she put all of her illustrations together in The Calendar of Sexy Monsters- a set if 12 giclee prints featuring Godzilla, Zuul, the Predator, King Kong and more like you’ve never seen them before. They’re perfect for brightening up a dank cave, haunted house or swampside cemetery.

Via JazJaz

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Chicken Helmet

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City owns this embossed steel helmet. It dates back to about 1530 and probably originated in the German city of Augsburg. A rooster protrudes from the visor, ready to peck and squawk at any foe who dares to approach. The helmet is six pounds and six ounces of pure meanness.

It’s perfect for brave Sir Robin from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

(Video Link)

-via Retronaut

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Illustrations of Utterly Strange Google Searches

Remember the days before Google instant search, where you still had to speculate about what strange searches people performed? These days, we all have experience typing in the beginning of a Google search only to get a suggestion popping up that makes us wonder "what the heck?"

And that is precisely what makes these hilarious illustrations of odd auto-searches so darned hilarious. They not only feature some seriously strange searches, but also help visualize how hilarious the ideas behind these searches are.

Via Geeks Are Sexy

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Watch the World's Fastest Dishwasher Wash 50 Plates in 10 Seconds

(Video Link)

Very impressive. Yes, very impressive. This man has mastered the craft of moving plates over the sink quickly. Within seconds, an entire stack of plates has briefly passed through water.

So...should we eat here or go someplace else?

-via Rocket News 24

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Adam Koford's Down with the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats

We are excited to see that Adam Koford (Ape Lad), one of Neatorama's favorite artists, has a new book out! Down with the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats is the third book featuring the characters Kitteh and Pip from Hobotopia.

If you recall, we brought you the story of how Adam's great-grandfather Aloysius Koford created the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats in 1912, which became the inspiration for what we today call LOLcats.

The new book is self-published, which not only gave Koford more control over the project, but also means it doesn't cost as much as it would otherwise. The 144-page paperback has over 200 comics, including a few new renderings of some of John Hodgman's 700 Hoboes.

We are proud to bring you a preview of the artwork in Down with the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats.

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These Animals Are All Just A Bunch of Turkeys

What's the turkey say? Apparently, meowbble and goof according to this fun Foodbeast article filled with all kinds of cats and dogs all decked out in their best turkey costumes. If you still haven't started feeling the vibe of Thanksgiving happiness permeating the air, this list will certainly help get you in the Turkey Day spirit. 

Of course, this article might not get you ready for the physical demands of the food consumption required or even peak your appetite towards that purpose, but don't worry, we'll keep posting delicious food posts up until Thanksgiving so we have you covered there too.

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

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The Boxcar Library: A Bookmobile for a Logging Camp

(Photo: Kurt Wilson/The Missoulan)

It was 1917. Miss Ruth Worden, a librarian at the Missoula Public Library in Missoula, Montana, wanted to bring a world of knowledge and literature to lumberjacks at logging camps in her area. So she carted a few books into a camp operated by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company.

The camp boss, Kenneth Ross, was annoyed. His men were fighters, drinkers and gamblers--not readers. But he let Miss Worden distribute the books to his lumberjacks. To Mr. Ross's surprise, they hungrily embraced the idea. They checked out the library books and asked for more. So he built a library for his camp in a railroad boxcar:

Ross saw the results – 4,000 checked out in the first year and, to his “great surprise,” a good number in the camps.

“The next thing I heard was that one of the men at the bunkhouse had been reading up on industry and economics, and got out of one of the books an argument that shut up one of these fellows that always seems to think it is a crime to give a day’s work for a day’s pay,” Ross told another reporter in 1922.

He was a convert, and when Worden came around again with the idea of a library car to circulate among the lumber camps, Ross was sold. He had one built – 14 feet wide, 40 feet long – and it was put into action in 1921 in the Ninemile camps, rotating to the next one usually on a weekly basis.

(Photo: Missoula Public Library)

The boxcar library had about 1,400 books, newspapers, magazines and a victrola. It was a huge hit and regularly circulated among the logging camps, generally spending a week at each camp. During one 7-month period in 1926, it had 5,010 visitors.

(Photo: Missoula Public Library)

(Photo: Benjamin J. Clark)

(Photo: Benjamin J. Clark)

Where the library went, so did the librarian. One end of the boxcar consisted of an office and bunkroom where the librarian worked and slept.

The boxcar library was actively used until the late 1950s, when the logging company turned it over to the University of Montana's forestry department. Then, for many years, it served as a storage shed and bunkhouse for art students.

(Photo: Kurt Wilson/The Missoulian)

Amazingly, the boxcar library is still in good condition, as you can see from the above photo. It's been partially restored and is now on display at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. The skylight roof and exterior steps reflect the original style. It has wheels and is back on tracks intead of wooden timbers.

But that's only the beginning. Don Spritzer, the librarian pictured above, hopes to equip it with furniture, a woodstove and books appropriate for the 1920s. He and his colleagues hope to complete the restoration by July 4 of next year.

-via Library Journal

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11 Foods Inspired By The Hunger Games

If you’ve only seen the first movie, you probably know that the people in The Hunger Games are pretty hungry (unless they’re living in the Capitol), but you might not realize just how food is specifically mentioned in the books to illustrate the difference between the impoverished people living in the many districts and the wealthy urbanites in the Capitol. In fact, there are even a few cookbooks written about these foods.

If you’re ready to go check out The Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere this weekend, consider getting in the spirit before you hit the theater with these delicious recipes inspired by The Hunger Games. I’d like to give a special thank you to Fictional Food, which specializes in recreating recipes from popular fictional sources.

Burnt Nut Raisin Bread

Easily the most famous food mentioned in The Hunger Games is the burnt bread Peeta gives to Katniss –even the movie showed this scene. Fictional Food has a great recipe for recreating these loaves, but you might want to skip the burning step unless you really want your food to be accurate to a fault.

Fish Stew

The day before the reaping, Katniss goes out fishing, foraging and trading, returning home to a stew of fish and greens. She adds the strawberries and bread she collected while out to the meal, which makes Fictional Food's picture all the more authentic -and the recipe looks pretty accurate too.

Basil-Wrapped Goat Cheese

Only four pages into the first novel, Katniss’ sister, Prim, makes her a special treat for the reaping ceremony –basil wrapped goat cheese. Fictional Food’s recipe doesn’t just show you how to wrap basil around goat cheese (that would be way too easy), but also how to make your own goat cheese from scratch just like Prim.

Creamy Orange Chicken

Imagine living your whole life barely getting enough food to survive and then meeting with a stylist (Cinna) who pushes a button on a table to reveal this impressive spread. It’s no wonder Katniss immediately wonders “What it must be like, I wonder, to live in a world where food appears at the press of a button?”

While we might not be able to push a button and make our food appear, we can at least head to the store and buy all the ingredients for this luscious, creamy chicken and orange dish served with green peas and pearl onions and pudding the color of honey. In fact, the hardest thing for the chefs at Fictional Food to master was shaping the roll like a perfect flower.

Lamb Stew With Plums

In Katniss’ interview with Casear, he asks what impressed her the most since she arrived in the Capitol. When she answers “the lamb stew,” the host and audience laugh and Casear agrees that he too adores the stuff. This recipe by My Burning Kitchen adapted a Julia Child’s recipe to create this delicious-looking delight.

Roasted Rabbit

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We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Concept Car Has a Built-in Fish Tank

(Photos: Car News China)

The WitStar is a Chinese-built concept car that premiered at the Guangzhou Auto Show in Guangzhou, China this year. It’s a self-driving car. You don’t have to look at the road. Instead, you can look at pretty fish inside. There’s a functional aquarium built into the backseat armrest.

There would be some logistical issues with the fish, such as excessive heat and cold, as well as the need for fresh water. But if you can afford this car, you can probably afford to deal with those problems.

-via Jalopnik

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Carl Jara's Amazing Sand Sculptures



The Goddess

Time Machine

Fergus Mulvany

Carl Jara goes far beyond sandcastles. This Cleveland-based artist who also goes by the name Grain Damaged sculpts sand into astoundingly complex and surreal images.

The journey to the incredible creations that you see above began with a chance encounter in high school. Mr. Jara was working on a stage crew with Tom Morrison, a master sandcastle builder. While attending art school for illustration and graphic design, he became involved with a thriving community of sand sculptors. After receiving critical acclaim for a 15-foot sand sculpture that he erected in the student gallery, Mr. Jara switched crafts.

You can see many more works at his Flickr photostream.

Content warning: artistic nudity.

-via Twisted Sifter

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It was only the second time through this comic from Lunarbaboon that I saw the eyebrows and the time-shift, which makes it a lot more meaningful. Your outlook on everything is changed when, as someone once told me "your heart is now walking around outside of you." In some instances, it makes you braver than you ever thought you could be.

And don't think this sort of thing doesn't occasionally happen in real life.

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Do You Need Meat On Your Donuts?

Love donuts and barbecue? How about both at the same time? Thanks to Gourdough's Donuts in Texas you now can. While the image above might look like some sort of strange Buffalo chicken and blue cheese concoction, it's actually the Boss Hogg donut -a cake one covered in potato salad, pulled pork and BBQ sauce. 

If that doesn't suit your fancy, maybe the Mother Clucker will. This monstrosity is a cake donut topped with two fried chicken strips and honey butter. 

Of course, if you like boring old non-meaty donuts, maybe you'd enjoy the Funky Monkey that is topped with cream cheese icing, bananas and brown sugar -essentially a banana foster donut. Bourbon and Boots has descriptions and photos of these delights and more.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Barn Cat Visits Horse

A barn cat goes to see a horse. As adorable as this is, it's only one of a sequence of pictures. A little nuzzling ends with the cat realizing just how much bigger and more powerful a horse really is. See the rest of the photos at Livin' the Peanut Butter Life. -via Buzzfeed

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

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Batkid Saves Gotham City

Miles Scott is a 5-year-old boy who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, diagnosed when he was only 18 months old. The Make-A-Wish Foundation found out what Miles' dream was -he wanted to be Batman. So they made it happen!

With the help of thousands of volunteers, they transformed San Francisco into Gotham City, and asked Miles to save their city from various super villains and criminals. Today was the day. Accompanied by a full-size Batman, Miles saved a damsel in distress, rode in the Batmobile, rescued the San Francisco Giants mascot Lou Seal, foiled the Penguin and the Riddler, and even received the key to the city from the mayor. All accompanied by the cheers of thousands of fans, many who wore Batkid t-shirts that were sold with proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Miles received his last round of chemotherapy in June, and his cancer is in remission.

See more reports of the event at Warming Glow.

And even more pictures at the Make-A-Wish Bay Area's Twitter feed.

(Images credit: Make-A-Wish Bay Area)

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Mom & Dad Give Their Sons Beautiful Napkin Illustrations Every Day

Iron Man

Iron Bender


Bugs Bunny

Marge Simpson

If my kids ever learn that other parents prepare lunches like this, I'll be in trouble! We've seen a lot of lunch art prepared for kids by creative parents, including on bags and napkins. I'm not up to competing with any of them.

The two boys in the Kirby family are fortunate to have both parents as artists. Every day, they make entertaining cartoons on napkins for the boys' bagged lunches. You can see their complete gallery here.

-via Visual News

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Bathing Newborn Twins

(YouTube link)

Look at these adorable new babies! They are twins, but obviously not identical, as one has a full head of hair. Watch them snuggle with each other as they get a therapeutic bath called the Thalasso Baby Bath (Thalasso Bain Bébé), a technique developed by French pediatric nurse Sonia Rochel.  -via Daily Picks and Flicks

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Super Heroes and their Part Time Jobs

If super heroes had part-time jobs, what would they do? They might each go into something they are uniquely suited for.

Artist Chow Hon Lam (Flying Mouse 365) took that idea and ran with it in his series of illustrations called Part Time Job. Each job is perfect for the talents each comic book hero has to offer. Continue reading to see more of them.

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19th Century Marine Atlas

Peacay, the guy behind BibliOdyssey, also has a Tumblr blog, where he posts extra content with less in-depth research -because there are more great pictures from literature of the past than there is time to prepare them! Today, he posted some watercolors he's saved for ages from a Marine Atlas dated between 1820 and 1840, by by Mori Jiang Yuan Shou. See more of them at BibliPeacay.  

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15 Fantastically Fun Thor-Inspired Crafts

Thor is arguably one of the most manly Avengers, so it seemed all to appropriate to celebrate the release of the new Thor movie with a roundup of something decidedly less manly –crafts. Here are some of the best crafts dedicated to our favorite Norse-god-turned-comic-book-hero.

My Little Thory

These days, anyone who is anyone in the pop culture world has inspired a My Little Pony version of themselves and Thor is no exception. Here is DeviantArt user EatToast’s take on Thor as a resident of Equestria.


Prefer your heroes in cephalopod form? Then you’ll certainly enjoy Etsy seller Lizzabella1’s octopus Thor plushie. An octopus growing a goatee might seem strange to you humans, but in Asgard, it’s a pretty common occurance.

Thor Who?

There are actually a few owl-versions-of-Thor crafts out there, but I’m a particularly big fan of Jill Tow’s owl Christmas ornament, not only because she also did other Avengers, but because she used his feathered helmet in such a clever and cute way.

The World’s Slowest Superhero

Apparently, people love seeing The Avengers imagined as different animals. As cute as Etsy seller Fallendesign’s amigurumi Thor snail is though, I have a hard time imagining him declaring war on anything other than a garden.

Miniature Amigurumi

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The Book of Black: Black Holes, Black Death, Black Forest Cake, and Other Dark Sides of Life

Black is such a powerful word because it conveys darkness, extremity, and the unknown. We've added the descriptive word to many subjects, sometimes to denote its color, but often to convey danger or mystery. It's time to shed some light onto those subjects.

Neatorama is proud to present excerpts from entries in The Book of Black: Black Holes, Black Death, Black Forest Cake, and Other Dark Sides of Life, the newest book by author and Renaissance man Clifford A. Pickover. Like his previous books The Math Book, The Physics Book, and The Medical Book, The Book of Black has a page on each topic, with a full-page illustration to accompany each one. Unlike those previous books, this one covers a wider range of topics, from history to philosophy to science and the arts, all with one thing in common -the word black. They are presented in chronological order from the Black Diamonds that formed millions of years ago to the distant future when the universe fades to Black. Let's look at a sampling of just a few of the 100 topics in The Book of Black. The images are much higher resolution in the book, which also contains the figure descriptions and credits.

Black Widow Spider (c. 250 million B.C.)

Spiders with spinnerets (silk-spinning organs) at the end of their abdomens came into existence more than 250 million years ago. When an insect is trapped in the black widow spider’s web, the spider wraps the prey and then injects its victim with venom from its chelicerae, or fangs, to paralyze the prey. Males are less venomous than females.

The phrase black widow spider often refers to the three North American species known for their dark bodies and red hourglass patterns on the females’ abdomens.  The male spiders are sometimes less than half the size of the female and have hourglass markings with a variety of colors. The brightly colored markings may have been evolutionarily advantageous because they warn predators to avoid the spider. For example, if a bird eats a black widow, the bird usually does not die but becomes sick and may begin to associate the sickness with the spider’s coloration.

Contrary to legend, the female only rarely eats the male after mating. “Husband cannibalism” was indeed observed in studies from the 1920s when females and males were kept together in small containers. However, in more natural settings, the male is usually able to safely leave the female’s web after mating.

Black Pepper (1213 BC)

Ramesses II  (reign 1279–1213 BC)

1213 BC is a special date in the history of black pepper because we have definitive proof that black peppercorns were jammed into the nose of Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II, immediately after he died during this year. The peppercorns may have helped the mummified nose retain its shape and also served as a preservative.

Pepper was used in India since prehistoric time, and virtually all of the black pepper found in Europe during the Middle Ages came from India. Through history, pepper was sometimes viewed as sufficiently valuable as to serve as a form of money.  We owe the discovery of America by Europeans to the value of pepper and other spices, and the desire to find a new route to India.

Spice expert and researcher P. N. Ravidran writes, “It is difficult for us now to appreciate the extent or influence that pepper and other spices had on nations and people during the chequered history of human civilization.  Wars were fought, kingdoms were built and demolished, cities grew, flourished and declined—the density of humankind was influenced so much—all for the sake of spices.”

Black Holes (1783)

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Cats Wearing Tights

You might remember the strange Chinese meme of dogs wearing pantyhose. Cats were jealous, and decided to get in on the act -but a cat wearing human clothing doesn't have quite the same effect. After all, the average cat is way too short to wear our tights. Which is actually a good thing, because most cats don't care for tight-fitting clothes. This may not be as sexy as the dogs, but still funny! See lots more pictures at the blog meowtfit of the day. Yeah, it's all the same cat. The other cats of the household are presumably not into this sort of thing. -via Joanne Casey

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

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"Old Man Tad Was Rather Miffed When He Noticed That Everybody Was Ignoring the Wonderful Potato Salad He Had Made for the Block Party."

Once I read that caption, I just had to post this image from Turning the Book Wheel, the tumblr blog of the Smithsonian Libraries. It’s an illustration by Theodor de Bry (1528-1598), a master engraver and illustrator from what is now Belgium.

In 1590, he published Wunderbarliche, doch warhafftige Erklärung von der Gelegenheit und Sitten der Wilden in Virginia, a collection of images showing life in America. As you can see, little has changed over the centuries.

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Profile for Alex Santoso

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