- 7 Less-than-Romantic Valentine's Day Promotions
- Artist Paints with Human Ashes
- 8 Great Valentine's Day Gifts for Your Favorite Geek
- Leprechaun Bottle Cover
- DSLR Paparazzi Lamp
- Funny Science T-Shirts
- Smart Floor
- <i>Star Wars</i> Toilet
- Cops Chase Doughnut Truck
- Puritan Valentine's Day Cards
- Cool Jewels Ice Tray
- Death by Coca Cola
- A Good Day to Die Hard in Claymation
- Square Egg
- Julia Pastrana Buried 153 Years After Her Death
- One-Man Bank
- Explaining Steroids to an Alien
- Robotic Harassment Causes Depression in Rats
- LEGO Head Drinking Bottle
- An Honest Trailer for The Notebook
- Sea Slugs Have Disposable Penis
- Ol' Jay's Brainteasers
- The Appendix Evolved More Than 30 Times
- Vietnam - Looking Into the Past
- Hand-Knitted Sweater for a Giraffe
- The Actors Who've Portrayed Lincoln
- Bunny Cupcake Decorating Kit
- <i>Breaking Bad</i> Teddy Bear Cake
- Script an Astronomer, <i>Then</i> Reach for the Stars
Posted: 14 Feb 2013 05:00 AM PST
Hey, we should be used to businesses capitalizing on holidays even if the link is less than obvious. Or discernible at all. But how romantic can having a cockroach named in your honor possibly be? Maybe just a little more romantic than a coupon for liposuction or a sewer plant tour. Mental_floss has rounded up seven promotional events that completely suck all the romantic feelings out of Valentine's Day. That doesn't mean you won't want to participate! Link
Posted: 14 Feb 2013 04:00 AM PST
Sergio Portillo, an artist in Florence, Alabama, first began composing memorial paintings using the ashes of deceased pets. Then people approached him with cremated human remains:
Posted: 14 Feb 2013 03:00 AM PST
A Valentine's Day gift means more when it's not only romantic, but acknowledges your sweetheart's interests or passions. There are plenty of geeky gifts for fans in this list, including these Red Supreme Valentine's Dalek Dangle Earrings from the HokeyDonut Etsy shop for a Doctor Who fan. There are also gift ideas for gamers, sci-fi geeks, and even Bronies! Link
Posted: 14 Feb 2013 02:00 AM PST
St. Patrick's Day is coming. Are you looking for a fun way to dress up your lackluster bottle of wine? Get your spirit into the holiday spirit with the Leprechaun Bottle Cover from the NeatoShop. This adorable set includes a hat and a faux fur trimmed coat. Little four leaf clover details adorn both the hat and the coat.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Barware & Cocktail items.
Posted: 14 Feb 2013 02:00 AM PST
Posted: 14 Feb 2013 01:00 AM PST
Need to find love by Valentine's Day? If Nano-Cupid can't help, well, don't blame him - he's really teeny tiny! The cupid above was made from nanotubes by researchers at Brigham Young University: Link
Posted: 14 Feb 2013 12:00 AM PST
Profess your love of science with Science T-Shirts from the NeatoShop. It's scientifically proven that these shirts will make you sexier to the opposite sex (yeah, we made that up, but still ... wearing cool science tees can't hurt!)
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 11:00 PM PST
What if screens are all around us, sensing our every move? Hasso Platner Institute and Microsoft Research answered that question with this cool yet creepy "smart floor" called GravitySpace:
Mark Wilson of Co.DESIGN has the post: Link
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 10:00 PM PST
You've never heard of the Porcelain Falcon? It's the ship that made the sewer run in less than twelve gallons!
-via Technabob | Photo: unknown
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 09:00 PM PST
A Krispy Kreme delivery truck stopped at the Quick Shop on Dacula Road in Gwinnet County, Georgia. While the driver was inside unloading doughnuts, security camera footage shows how another man, later identified as James Freddy Major, jumped into the truck and drove off!
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 08:00 PM PST
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 07:00 PM PST
Valentine's Day is almost here. Has your Valentine hinted that they would really love some ice? Surprise them the Cool Jewels Ice Tray from the NeatoShop. This delciously fun ice tray makes 6 dazzling jewel-shaped ice cubes per tray.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Ice Trays.
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 07:00 PM PST
Drinking too much soda is bad for you, but can cola actually kill you? Apparently so. A 31-year-old New Zealand woman died following a cardiac arrhythmia which the coroner blamed on her 2.2 gallon-a-day Coca Cola habit:
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 06:00 PM PST
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 05:00 PM PST
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 04:00 PM PST
Julia Pastrana, once known as "the ugliest woman in the world," was born in 1834 with hypertrichosis terminalis, meaning her entire body was covered with hair several inches long. She also had a deformed mouth with huge teeth, leading one doctor of the day to declare that she was "a hybrid between human and orangutan." However, Pastrana sang with a beautiful voice and could speak several languages. She was exhibited by Theodor Lent, who eventually married her. In 1860, Pastrana gave birth in Moscow to a son who was also covered with hair, and who died within two days. Pastrana herself died five days later. Her body was preserved and exhibited by various owners for the next few decades, eventually ending up in storage in Oslo. Now, thanks to the efforts of Mexican artist Laura Anderson Barbata, Pastrana's body was returned to her native Mexico, where she was buried today.
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 03:00 PM PST
Hate big and impersonal banks? Residents of Gammesfeld, Germany, don't have that problem. They have the polar opposite of Big Banks: the town's Raiffeisen Gammesfeld eG is run by one man, CEO Peter Breiter, who records daily business by hand, often on paper.
The Guardian has more pics: Link
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 02:00 PM PST
When you explain complicated concepts to an extraterrestrial, or a time-traveler, or a child with no frame of reference, you must boil the idea down to its simplest elements. But sometimes doing that reveals that the concept itself makes no sense! Maybe we should do this sort of thing more often. Link
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 01:00 PM PST
Well, you'd be depressed too if you have a robot chasing after you. To create depression in rodents, scientists at the Waseda University in Tokyo enlised the help of a robot rat to terrorize lab rats:
Shaunacy Ferro of PopSci has the post: Link
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 12:00 PM PST
LEGO Head Drinking Bottle (sold individually)
Are you looking for a fun way to encourage your kids to drink more water? Get your favorite LEGO fanatic the LEGO Head Drinking Bottle from the NeatoShop. This adorable reusable bottle with minifig style head is BPA free. It is the perfect piece to add to any LEGO loving household.
The LEGO Head Drinking Bottle is available in Blue and Red. Buy both and make it LEGO-riffic set.
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 12:00 PM PST
If you're thinking of watching a romantic film for Valentine's Day, tell your significant other that The Notebook was completely rented out and the only thing available was Inglourious Basterds or District Nine. Seriously, you'll thank me for this advice. Screen Junkies explains why in the latest of the Honest Trailer series.
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 11:00 AM PST
Add this to the huge list of strangest animal mating habits we've posted on Neatorama a while back: the hermaphrodite Chromodoris reticulata sea slug has a disposable penis that snaps off every time it finishes mating. (But don't fret, Neatoramanauts, it has got spare penises)
Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science has the story: Link
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 10:00 AM PST
BRI members enjoy trying to stump us with brainteasers and riddles. Now we try to stump you back.
The answer is neither one of these guys.
1. The cup was filled with dry, ground coffee.
2. Sam's father was 50 when he married. His bride was 25; her father was 45. When Sam was born a year later, his father was 51 and his grandfather on his mother's side was 46.
3. A goose.
4. David ("D" is the Roman numeral for 500, "V" is the Roman numeral for 5, "a" is the first letter of the alphabet, and "I" is the first person).
6. A relationship.
7. A mirror.
8. To cover cows.
9. He's a barber.
10. An egg.
11. A snake.
12. They're all abbreviations of U.S. states. HI -Hawaii, MA -Massachusetts, PA -Pennsylvania, ME -Maine, ID -Idaho, IN -Indiana, OR -Oregon.
13. They're kings in a deck of cards.
14. The moon.
The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Slightly Irregular Bathroom Reader, a fantastic book by the Bathroom Readers' Institute. The 17th book in this the Bathroom Reader series is filled to the brim with facts, fun, and fascination, including articles about the Origin of Kung Fu, How to Kill a Zombie, Women in Space and more!
Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 09:30 AM PST
The appendix, the worm-shaped tube attached to the colon, has long been thought of as useless (joke is that the function of the appendix is to get appendicitis, which ensures the continual employment of surgeons).
Recently, it has been suggested that the appendix actually has a real function: to <a href="http://www.neatorama.com/2012/07/02/not-so-useless-after-all-the-appendixs-function-is-to-re-boot-the-digestive-system/">reboot the digestive system</a> after a bout of gastrointestinal diseases. Now, another study has added weight to the usefulness of the appendix. In fact, it is so usefull that it evolved some 32 times throughout history:
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 09:00 AM PST
Photographer Khánh Hmoong took historical pictures of Vietnam in the 20th-century and matched themup with the same locations in the 21st century. In many photos, the landscape remains the same, although the world is quite different. In others, the landscape itself has changed. The picture shown here is the former Presidential Palace, with a photo of the fall of Saigon (known as the Liberation of Saigon in Vietnam) on April 30, 1975, on top. Very few of the pictures in the set have anything to do with the American involvement. Link -via Laughing Squid
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 08:00 AM PST
Knitting a sweater and giving it to a friend or family member is a traditional expression of affection. Mai Yamashita and Naoto Kobayashi knitted this enormous one to fit a full grown giraffe in a zoo. Still, "they knew that the giraffe would never accept the sweater or wear it." How sad.
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 07:00 AM PST
President Abraham Lincoln will always be a popular character in movies: historically significant, larger than life, and the kind of man others aspire to be. He rose from poverty to become president, and his life story has a dreadfully dramatic ending. And Hollywood knows a good story when it sees one.
Others who've played Lincoln include Gregory Peck, Jason Robards, Sam Waterson, Walter Huston, Kris Kristofferson, and Daniel Day-Lewis. Read about them and see more pictures at Pajiba. Link -via Unreality
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 06:00 AM PST
Do you long to make fanciful baked creations in your kitchen, but fear you lack the skill or talent? Cheat with the Bunny Cupcake Decorating Kit from the NeatoShop. This delciously easy decorating set includes ears, jelly bean eyes and nose, and green shoestring licorice whiskers. All you need is to make or buy the cupcake and put the bunny together. It makes a delightfully simple Easter project.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Baking Supplies.
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 06:00 AM PST
While nursing a hangover, redditor hollyicing made this cake resembling the burned teddy bear that fell into Walter White's swimming pool:
Posted: 13 Feb 2013 05:00 AM PST
Why do so many Hollywood movies fail? The fault lies not in their stars, but in the professions of the characters. In its search for success, the movie industry has under-utilized a proven winner: a movie is most likely to succeed when it has astronomer characters.
The holy grail (Nadis 1996) of Hollywood is a formula to predict the popularity of a movie before it's made. Here we present just such an algorithm, which predicts a linear relationship between the perceived quality of a movie and the number of characters who are astronomers or astrophysicists. That this correlation hasn't been discovered before is not surprising because of the small number of astronomers in "the industry."
We used the Internet Movie Database (IMDb; Bernhardt et al. 1997) to search for movies with astronomer or astrophysicist characters that had been evaluated by at least ten IMDb users. Seventeen such movies were found by searching for "astronomer" and "astrophysicist" in the character name and plot summary fields and for "astronomy" in the genre field.
The number of astronomer (or astrophysicist; the terms will be used interchangeably hereafter) characters was estimated from the IMDb character lists, IMDb plot summaries, and the memory of the senior author for films (or movies; the terms will be used interchangeably hereafter) that had been previously viewed by this researcher.
The referee suggested that we view each of the movies in our sample to more precisely determine the number of astronomer characters, but we decided that this would strain our research budget.
The number of astronomer characters and the IMDb rating [on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being worst and 10 being best; the lowest-rated movie we could find was Manos, the Hands of Fate (1966), with a rating of 2.3, and the top film we found was Star Wars (1977), with a rating of 8.9 (the referee pointed out that one of the films listed in Table 1 below has a rating of 9.2, but this film only had ten votes and we restricted the search we just described to films with at least fifty votes, on the grounds that this information was easily found in the IMDb)] are plotted in Figure 1 for each of the seventeen movies.
Linear regression analysis revealed a slight correlation between the number of astronomers and the IMDb rating. Since this slight correlation didn't agree with our preconceived ideas (uh...we mean with our preliminary hypothesis), we needed to decide whether to discard the hypothesis or to discard some of the data (up to half; Schulman 1996; Schulman and Cox 1997; Schulman, Cox, and Schulman 1999).
Since the eight movies having one astronomer character and IMDb ratings greater than 7.0 were obvious outliers, we discarded these and then re-ran the linear regression analysis, which resulted in a fit that supported our preliminary hypothesis (Figure 1). The reasons for discarding each outlying data point are summarized in Table 1.
Table 1: Obvious Outliers
Title (Year) IMDb Reason for DiscardingColpo di luna (1995) 9.2 This film is set in Italy.
The fact that there is a correlation between the number of astronomers and the quality of a movie shouldn't be surprising. Contact (1997) was very highly regarded and it has a large number of astronomer characters. On the other hand, everyone can think of many very bad films that don't have any astronomer characters [for example, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!? (1964), with an IMDb rating of 3.1].
Despite the lack of astronomers in the movie industry (Cox and Schulman 1998), astronomers are still over-represented in films compared to their numbers in society. More than 0.1% of movies with IMDb ratings have astronomer characters even though only about 0.001% of the population are astronomers. This factor of 100 over-representation is due to the unconscious realization on the part of movie producers that astronomer characters increase film sales.
Note also that the seventeen films with astronomer characters have an average IMDb rating of 7.1, significantly higher than the average of 5.5 that would have been expected by chance [the referee pointed out that we had discarded eight of these movies in a previous section, but we suspect that this referee is none other than Dr. Earle E. Spamer, who has been known to publish results that are incorrect by five orders of magnitude (Spamer 1997)].
We have shown that there is a relationship between the number of astronomer characters and the perceived quality of a film. The average film with no astronomer characters is only in the 50th percentile for quality, while the average film with at least one astronomer character is in the top 10% of movies; the average film with more than five astronomer characters is in the top 0.3% of movies.
It is obvious that there are currently too few astronomers in the film industry, and yet it's also true that only about 25% of Ph.D. astronomers are able to stay in astronomy due to a shortage of permanent jobs in the field. Clearly, it's time for the smart studios to start hiring as many astronomers as they possibly can before their competition realizes what a gold mine they have been overlooking.
This article is republished with permission from the May-June 1999 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can download or purchase back issues of the magazine, or subscribe to receive future issues. Or get a subscription for someone as a gift! Visit their website for more research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK.
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