- The Goldilocks Door
- Breakfast Bacon Burger
- Super Mario Bros. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper
- Desk Egg
- Playing with the Cats
- A Detailed Legal Analysis of Bilbo's Contract in <i>The Hobbit</i>
- 5 Audacious Sports Cheats (And How They Got Caught)
- Beaming Mona Lisa to the Moon with Laser
- Dollhouse with a Fallout Shelter
- Berlin Bank Robbery Tunnel
- Meeting 9,000 Penguins
- Googly Eye Suckers
- The Mick Jagger Flower
- Fletcher's First Snow
- The Piano and Violin House
- Great Scott! DeLorean Hovercraft in San Francisco
- Edible Horror
- New Look and Logo for American Airlines: Hot or Not?
- How the Knife and Fork Gave Us an Overbite
- Foot in the Door Doorstop
- Motorist Arrests Policeman for Driving Drunk
- Felix Salazar's Amazing Coral Reef Photographs
- 10 U.S. Vice Presidents: A Celebration of Almost-Great Men
Posted: 19 Jan 2013 04:00 AM PST
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 11:00 PM PST
In his laboratory, Nick of DudeFoods has been experimenting with BacoBurger, a combination of ground beef and ground bacon. He's used it to make this: the Breakfast BacoBurger. To make you're own, you'll need a waffle iron and a frying pan. Nick writes:
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 10:00 PM PST
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 09:00 PM PST
Has this rotten economy eaten up your precious nest egg? Don't let a messy desk fowl-up your dream of an early retirement. Get organized and stay focused with the Desk Egg from the NeatoShop. This eggscellent paperclip organizer includes a magnetic egg and 50 paper clips.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more Great Office & Desk items.
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 09:00 PM PST
YouTube member BONKx4 has lots of videos of his cats, Sgt. Grumbles and SoySauce. This one was picked up by GoPro, as it shows the kitties playing from a variety of camera POVs, including what I believe is sequence from a camera strapped to his head. Warning: Skrillex soundtrack. -via b3ta
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 08:00 PM PST
In one of the more comical scenes in The Hobbit, the dwarves present Bilbo with an employment contract. Like Neatorama employment contacts, Bilbo's alarmingly waives the dwarves of liability for lacerations, eviscerations and incinerations incurred during employment. Bilbo nonetheless signs it.
Did he get a good deal? Attorney James Daily studied the contract and thinks that it was well-crafted--at least from the dwarves' point of view. For example, Thorin has substantial leeway to alter the terms:
You can read the rest of his analysis at the link. You may already be familiar with Daily's comedy. He's a contributor to Law and the Multiverse, a blog which examines the legal ramifications of actions taken by superheroes.
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 07:00 PM PST
By now, you've probably heard about Lance Armstrong admitting to doping on The Oprah Winfrey Show that aired yesterday. But Armstrong's is hardly the most entertaining of sports cheating stories. A few from history stand out because of the stupidity, the cleverness, or the sheer audacity of the schemes -until they were caught. Did you know about the brothers who ran a marathon as a tag team?
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 06:00 PM PST
Why is the Mona Lisa smiling? You would too if your image is beamed to the moon with laser!
NASA scientists digitized the famous painting and sent it almost 240,000 miles away to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using laser pulses from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland:
300 bits per second? That's a 300 baud modem! Definitely not broadband.
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 05:00 PM PST
Eartha Kitsch found a dollhouse for sale at eBay that was manufactured in 1962. That was the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis and shortly after the construction of the Berlin Wall. Americans were naturally concerned with the possibility of nuclear attack, and many people built fallout shelters. While most real shelters were underground, that was impractical in a dollhouse, so this one is just off the kitchen. No wonder the model didn't sell well, and is now considered rare! See more pictures at the blog Ranch Dressing. Link -via b3ta
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 04:00 PM PST
It's straight out of the movies! Earlier this week, police discovered that robbers had dug a 100-foot long tunnel into the safe deposit room of a Berlin bank. They looted the safety boxes within, which some reports have said to be worth up to €10 million. Afterwards, they set fire as they left to cover up their tracks.
From The Telegraph (Image: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters):
The tunnel originated in a nearby underground parking garage and must have taken the robbers weeks if not months to dig through. As this illustration from Die Welt showed, the robbers probably used their cars to haul away dirt from the dig:
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 03:00 PM PST
Satellite images can tell researchers where penguins nest even when the birds are hard to see, because they leave a lot of penguin poop. One such image pointed to a huge, previously unknown colony of thousands of Emperor penguins. So Antarctic scientist Alain Hubert took a team out to find them.
The penguin colony had selected a nesting ground on an area of ice that is less likely to melt than many spots they could have chosen, which is good news for future generations of Emperor penguins. Link
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 02:00 PM PST
Are you a sucker for a wacky lollipop? Set your eyes on the fabulous Googly Eye Suckers from the NeatoShop. This great set is perfect for the person who always dreamed of being eye candy.
Googly Eye Suckers come as a set of two and are cola flavored. Yum!
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more deliciously fun Mints & Candies.
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 02:00 PM PST
Now this is a plant that blooms like Jagger! You're looking at Psychotria elata or "hot lips," though there's definitely an uncanny resemblance to Mick Jagger's kisser.
More details from Facebook:
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 01:00 PM PST
Fletcher had never seen snow before. He is surprised and puzzled, but immediately takes full advantage of the fun things you can do with snow. Taste it! Dig it! Throw it! Run in it! Jump in it! Find joy in it! -via reddit
P.S. The reddit thread makes it clear this was recorded in the UK, where they believe a couple of inches is a lot of snow and businesses shut down. Scandinavians puzzle over that, while Americans tell stories of how different states handle snow.
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 12:00 PM PST
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 11:00 AM PST
- via Ubergizmo
It's 2013 and the Hoverboard from Back to the Future we've been promised is nowhere to be seen. But at least we can console ourselves with this bit of awesomeness: the DeLorean Hovercraft, as captured by YouTuber Terry Barentsen while filming near the Golden Gate Bridge. (Y'know, John actually told us about it back in August last year - but it's too cool not to refeature it here)
It's made by San Francisco grad student Matthew Riese, who raised $5,500 on Kickstarter to make his dream of the DeLorean Hovercraft a reality. Sadly, Matthew's creation cannot reach 88 mph - the top speed of the hovercraft (which is made with fiberglass - not with an actual DeLoran car chassis) is about 45 mph. No words whether he's managed to install the Flux Capacitor.
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 10:00 AM PST
Emmylou Cakehead organized an all-cake promotion for the DVD release of the movie The Helpers. The pictures you are about to see recreate a grisly murder scene -all done in edible cake (well, a few items are cookies). The fairly innocuous photo above may look like Chinese takeout, but it's all cake, made by Nevie Pie.
Nevie Pie also made the pizza, which is a cookie. The rest are on the next page, if you care to delve into the more explicit parts of the murder scene. The details of the cakes are incredible, but be warned that the effect is pretty gory. Look at your own risk.
Really, it's a cake. A decapitated head of lemon drizzle flavoured cake from Sarah Hardy Cakes.
The remote control is a cookie from Nevie Pie.
Even the coffee in the cups is cake!
Nevie Pie made the car battery of gingerbread, and the blood in the bathtub is a cocktail made by James Dance.
More edible car batteries.
Everything on this night stand is edible cake, baked and fashioned by Miss Insomnia Tulip.
This cake is "a chunk of flesh" made by Conjurer's Kitchen.
The severed hand is cake with marzipan made by Conjurer's Kitchen. The rope is chocolate.
The murder weapons are chocolate, created by Cake for Breakfast.
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 09:00 AM PST
So. The perennially beleaguered American Airlines, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since late 2011, has shown a glimmer of profit in the last quarter of last year. And you know what this means: they're going to spend that money on ch-ch-changes!
That's right: American Airlines is getting a new logo and new looks for its aircrafts. CEO Tom Horton issued this remark below - see if you can decipher what it means:
More than a change of symbol, but a symbol of change. You've got to admit, the man has got ways with words: Link
Hot or Not?
POLL: What do you think of the new American Airlines logo and looks?
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 08:00 AM PST
Bee Wilson wrote Consider the Fork, a history of the technology of cooking and eating. The way we prepare and consume food has greatly changed over time and those changes have had an impact on the human body. For example, one anthropologist thinks that using the knife and fork to eat food leads to an overbite:
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 07:00 AM PST
The economy is tough right now. We know it's a dog eat dog world out there. Now is the time to open the door to new opportunities and get your Foot in the Door Doorstop from the NeatoShop. This foot shaped doorstop is a great way to keep your path open and unobstructed so that you can march on through to a better and brighter future.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Home & Garden items.
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 07:00 AM PST
Russell George was driving in Prestbury, South Africa, when he noticed a police van swerving. The officer would come to a stop and start off again, leading George to believe the driver was drunk.
The inebriated police officer was arrested and his firearm was taken away. There had been a report earlier that same evening of the cop pulling a gun on his girlfriend at a nightclub, and a motor vehicle collision in which witnesses reported a police van that had left the scene. The unnamed officer did not deny being drunk. Link -via Arbroath
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 06:00 AM PST
Posted: 18 Jan 2013 05:00 AM PST
In the words of Vice President John Nace Garner, the vice presidency "isn't worth a pitcher of warm piss." That may be true, buit the characters who've held the job are definitely worth a few good pages of trivia. Join Neatorama and mental_floss in toasting 10 backup plans that made this country great.
1. Chester Arthur: Garfield's VP
Chester Arthur took office under the thickest cloud of suspicion. As a lieutenant in Senator Roscoe Conkling's political machine, Arthur held one of the most lucrative positions in government—collector for the port of New York. For seven years, Arthur raked in approximately $40,000 annually (about $700,000 today), running a corrupt spoils system for thousands of payroll employees. With so much money and power, Arthur developed an affinity for fancy clothes and earned the nickname "the Gentleman Boss." But his luck didn't last. President Rutherford Hayes eventually stepped in and fired him from the post.
Even with the kickback scandal and claims that he'd been born in Canada (which should've disqualified him for the vice presidency), Arthur still managed to get elected on James Garfield's 1880 ticket. After Garfield passed away 199 days into his presidency, Arthur didn't hesitate to sign the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act. Much to the chagrin of Conkling, the Act revamped civil service by effectively killing the same patronage system that made Arthur very, very rich. In cleaning up civil service, Arthur also cleaned up his reputation, and he exited the White House a hero.
2. William Rufus de Vane King: Franklin Pierce's VP
William R. King was sworn into office in Cuba, becoming the only executive officer to take the oath on foreign soil. King had gone to Cuba to recuperate from tuberculosis and severe alcoholism, but it didn't work. He died in 1853 after being vice president for just 25 days.
That might not be the most memorable thing about King, though. It's widely rumored that the former VP was homosexual. Further still, he's suspected of being James Buchanan's lover. Neither King nor Buchanan ever married, and they lived together in Washington for 15 years before Buchanan became president. Of course, King's predilection for wearing scarves and wigs only fanned the rumors. President Andrew Jackson used to call him "Miss Nancy," and Aaron Brown, a fellow Southern Democrat, dubbed him "Aunt Fancy."
3. Henry Wallace: FDR's 2nd VP
Henry Wallace was a dedicated devotee of Eastern mysticism. While serving as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in the 1930s, he allegedly sent his guru to Mongolia under the pretense of collecting grasses that could withstand drought. In reality, Wallace was diverting funds to help his guru hunt for evidence that Christ had visited Asia.
But it wasn't Wallace's spiritual beliefs that landed him America's No. 2 job. Wallace was a big Franklin Roosevelt fan and supported his entire platform, which is why Roosevelt handpicked him as his third-term running mate in 1940. Wallace wasn't popular with the Democratic Party, but when Roosevelt made it clear he wouldn't run without him, the party acquiesced.
As vice president, Wallace made many international goodwill trips. Most famously, he traveled to the Soviet Union, where he experienced a political transformation that resulted in him becoming an avowed Soviet apologist. His communist leanings did nothing for his image, especially once he became secretary of commerce under President Truman. In 1948, Wallace unsuccessfully ran for president on the Progressive Party ticket, espousing views that sounded shockingly Marxist. He even described corporations as "midget Hitlers" attempting to crush the labor class.
But nobody can say Wallace didn't know how to own up to his mistakes. In 1952, he recanted his support of the Soviet Union in a magazine article called "Where I was Wrong." By then, however, his political career was over. Wallace spent the rest of his life conducting agricultural experiments on his farm in New York.
4. Richard M. Johnson: Van Buren's VP
Despite his credentials as a war hero and a Kentucky senator, Vice President Richard M. Johnson was never accepted in Washington. Perhaps that's because he dressed like a farmhand, cursed like a sailor, and made no secret of his three black mistresses, who were also his slaves. The first mistress bore him two daughters before she passed away; the second tried to run off with a Native American chief, but Johnson captured and resold her; and the third was the second one's sister. Johnson attempted to introduce this third mistress into polite society, but the couple wasn't well-received. With the support of Andrew Jackson, Johnson landed the vice presidency under Martin Van Buren in 1836. After four years of public relations disasters, Jackson withdrew his support. Nonetheless, Van Buren kept Johnson on his ticket, and the two lost their re-election bid in 1840.
5. Aaron Burr: Jefferson's VP
No story on vice presidents would be complete without Aaron Burr—best known for shooting and killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804. After the incident, Burr went back to presiding over the Senate. From there, he plotted a treasonous conspiracy to become emperor of the western United States and Mexico.
The plan could have worked, but one of Burr's co-conspirators ratted him out. He was tried in 1807 before the Supreme Court, which found him not guilty, mainly because he hadn't actually committed the treason yet. A free man, Burr turned his sights on Florida. He went to France and tried to convince Napoleon Bonaparte to help him conquer the swampland, but that plan foundered, too.
Although his political high jinks often failed, Burr consistently found success with the ladies. After his wife died in 1794, Burr remained a bachelor for 40 years, making the acquaintance of several eligible socialites. He enjoyed flirtations with Philadelphia debutantes, as well as a widow named Dolley Payne Todd—later known as Dolley Madison, wife of James Madison. At age 76, Burr married a wealthy widow of ill-repute and plundered her fortune. Citing numerous infidelities on his part, she filed for divorce and was actually granted it. Unfortunately for her, it came through on the day Burr died.
6. John Tyler: Harrison's VP
When President Harrison succumbed to pneumonia in 1841 after only a month in office, John Tyler became the first vice president to take the Oval Office as the result of a president's death. Understandably, he was totally unprepared for the job. Like previous VPs, Tyler had expected to carry the title without responsibilities. He'd actually taken such a lax approach to the position that he was enjoying life on his Virginia farm when a messenger brought news of Harrison's demise. Tyler had to borrow money from a neighbor to catch the riverboat back to Washington.
As president, Tyler's administration was largely unremarkable, except that he annexed the Republic of Texas and became the first president to have Congress override his veto. Tyler was also the first president to receive no official state recognition of his death. Why? By the time of his passing in 1862, he was an official in the Confederacy.
7. Andrew Johnson: Lincoln's VP
Andrew Johnson took his 1865 vice-presidential oath drunk as a skunk and belligerent as hell. Having grown up dirt poor, Johnson felt the aristocracy in Washington had abused his kinfolk. Glassy-eyed and smelling of whiskey, he reminded Congress, the Supreme Court, the Cabinet, and pretty much everyone within hearing distance that they owed their positions to "plebeians" such as himself, then kissed the Bible and staggered away.
Needless to say, his address was poorly received. The New York World opined, "To think that one frail life stands between this insolent, clownish creature and the presidency! May God bless and spare Abraham Lincoln!" Unfortunately, God didn't. The South surrendered six days before Lincoln's assassination, leaving Johnson to handle Reconstruction—a job he bungled so completely that Congress moved to impeach him. Johnson avoided being booted out of office by just one vote.
8. John Breckinridge: Buchanan's VP
By all accounts, John C. Breckinridge was a Kentucky gentleman in the grandest sense. He had an impressive career as a lawyer and a representative in the Kentucky House. More notably, at age 36, he became the youngest vice president in history. But, like Aaron Burr, things took a turn for Breckenridge when he was charged with treason. In September 1861, only a few months after his vice presidential term had ended, Union and Confederate forces invaded his home state of Kentucky. Breckinridge cast his lot with the Confederates, and the federal government promptly indicted him.
Breckinridge headed south and became Jefferson Davis' secretary of war. But when the Confederacy surrendered in 1865, Breckinridge was forced to go on the lam. He hid for the next two months in Georgia and Florida before escaping to Cuba. Breckinridge, his wife, and their children spent the next four years in exile, wandering through Canada, England, Europe, and the Middle East, until President Andrew Johnson issued a General Amnesty Proclamation on Christmas in 1868. The following March, Breckinridge returned to the country with his family, but his name wasn't officially cleared until 1958, when a Kentucky circuit court judge dismissed his indictment.
9. Nelson Rockefeller: Ford's VP
Nelson Rockefeller, as his name suggests, was really, really rich. After a brief stint managing his family's property and running oil companies, he turned to public service by taking a job in the State Department.
Rockefeller quickly gained a reputation as a rather strong-willed person. In 1933, he commissioned Mexican artist Diego Rivera to paint a large-scale mural in the lobby of the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center. The mural featured a likeness of Vladimir Lenin, and the overt reference to communism offended Rockefeller. He asked Rivera to change it to a face of an unknown man, and the artist refused. In response, Rockefeller had the whole mural torn down and carted out in pieces.
Rockefeller was equally dissatisfied with his gig as vice president. He refused to run with Ford on the Republican ticket in 1976.
10. Spiro Agnew: Nixon's VP
Spiro Agnew, who preferred to be called Ted, was a seemingly safe choice for Richard Nixon's running mate in 1968—mainly because he faded easily into the background. But once in office, Agnew thrust himself into the limelight. By delivering a series of divisive speeches defending the Vietnam War and attacking peaceniks, Agnew became the crotchety Archie Bunker of the White House. He lambasted his enemies, peppering his rants with phrases such as "supercilious sophisticates," "vicars of vacillation," and "pusillanimous pussyfooting."
Still, much of the country loved him, especially as he remained unsullied by the Watergate scandal. When word got out that the Justice Department was investigating him for extortion and bribery, Agnew vehemently denied the charges. In September of 1973, Agnew spoke at the National Federation of Republican Women in front of thousands of screaming fans, many bearing "Spiro is our Hero" signs. He swore to them, "I will not resign if indicted!"
Two weeks later, however, he did just that. Agnew agreed to a plea bargain that involved leaving his post as vice president and paying $150,000 in back taxes. A former lawyer, Agnew was disbarred and took up writing to pay off his debts. In 1976, he penned The Canfield Decision, a tale of a vice president who becomes involved with militant Zionists and is consumed by his own ambition. In 1980, he covered some of the same ground in his autobiography, Go Quietly ...Or Else.
But Wait! There's More!
* American statesman Daniel Webster was offered the vice presidency in 1848.He scoffed at the offer, declaring, "No, thank you. I do not propose to be buried until I am really dead and in my coffin."
* Elbridge Gerry, vice president for roughly a year and a half under James Madison, is the source for the term gerrymander -a term that refers to the dubious redistricting practices he invented.
* Charles G. Dawes, vice president under Calvin Coolodge, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925 for his plan to reduce German reparation payments after World War I. He was also an amateur composer. His 1911 composition "Melody in A Major" became a hit when it was set to lyrics and renamed "It's All in the Game."
This article by Linda Rodriguez is from the May-June 2008 issue of mental_floss magazine. It is reprinted here with permission.
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