- Medieval Cat Paw Prints
- The Mao Mango Cult of 1968
- Clever Students Use Game Theory to Get Perfect Scores on an Exam
- Blue Man Now a Language Guru?
- Police Fired Hundreds of Bullets at Each Other
- Harry Potter Book Covers
- American Gothic Magnetic Dress-Up
- A Truck Carrying a Truck Carrying a Truck Carrying a Car
- The Dalek Commute
- What Makes Hair Curly?
- Bad Dog!
- For Die Hard Chocolate Fans
- Mississippi Finally Ratified the 13th Amendment Abolishing Slavery
- Cute Animals Compilation
- Hello Kitty Shoulder Buddies
- Gayke: Teen Comes Out with a Gay Cake
- The Laundromat That Looks Like a Nightclub
- Cabin in the Woods
- A Visit to Scarfolk
- Driving While Stoned
- A Hotel That Lets You Sleep Like a Homeless Person
- Blue Willow Video Game Dinnerware
- Scream Wallet With Sound Effects
- Mandala Bookcase
- The Backside of Mt. Rushmore
- Blind Hockey
- The White House: Keeping Up Appearances
Posted: 19 Feb 2013 04:00 AM PST
Does your cat walk all over your desk? It's' nothing new, cats have been walking all over humans since, like, forever as this photo from Emir O. Filipovic of the University of Sarajevo's History Department shows. Emir was working on a 15th century manuscript when he ran across this medieval cat paw prints: Link - via The Weasel King
Posted: 19 Feb 2013 03:00 AM PST
A shift in the political focus in China coincided with a box of mangoes in 1968, which led to a year-long fad that equated mangos with China's leader Mao Zedong. The rejection of the overzealousness of the Red Guards gave way to the promotion of the working class as the vanguard of communist idealism. And the mangos just happened to be in the right place at that time.
So mangos became a powerful symbol of Mao worship. The fruit was added to posters, dishes, and textiles. The original mangoes were preserved in reliquaries for proper veneration. There are even cases of people who were arrested for not showing the proper reverence for mangos! Some of those mango items are now part of an exhibit in Zurich about the era. See some of them and read the whole story of the Mao Mango Cult at Collector's Weekly. Link
Posted: 19 Feb 2013 02:00 AM PST
Dr. Peter Fröhlich of Johns Hopkins University grades exams so that the highest scoring exam receives a 100% grade and all others fall below on a curve. It wasn't a Kobayashi Maru scenario, but his exams are hard. Fröhlich's students devised a cunning plan to all get A grades. It involved boycotting the exam:
Dr. Fröhlich abided by his grading policy and gave all students A grades, as well as congratulating them on their cooperative spirit:
Posted: 19 Feb 2013 01:00 AM PST
You've seen plenty of those ads that start "_____ hate him! ______reveals the secret to _____" that are accompanied by a picture of the so-called expert you can buy information from. But sometimes the picture is of someone you recognize, like Isaac Asimov, or the gentleman here, who is Paul Karason. Karason was in the news a few years ago for having blue skin due to the ingestion of colloidal silver. Who selects the random pictures for these ads? I would not be surprised at all if it were a bot. Link
Posted: 19 Feb 2013 12:00 AM PST
A car chase in Cleveland, Ohio, ended up in a deadly firefight where more than a dozen of Cleveland police officers exchanged fire. In total, they fired nearly 140 bullets in less than 30 seconds. But after the gunsmoke dissipated, it was clear they had a problem. A big problem:
Link - via Schneier on Security
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 11:00 PM PST
Scholastic books is giving Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone a new cover. Artists and fans have been designing their own new covers for quite some time, some of which are quite remarkable. Flavorwire has ten minimalist makeovers for various Harry Potter books, and some of them cover the entire series. The cover shown here is from Kathie Bayne. Link
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 10:00 PM PST
Are you a huge fan of Grant Wood's American Gothic painting? Now you can immerse yourself in the American Gothic experience without having to travel to the Art Institute of Chicago. The American Gothic Magnetic Dress-Up from the NeatoShop includes 32 fantastic printed magnets for dressing and undressing your favorite 1930's characters.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Magnets.
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 10:00 PM PST
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 09:00 PM PST
No power in the universe can stop the Daleks, but even the powerful extraterrestrial race has got a commute. David Dewhurst snapped some photos of the filming of Doctor Who's "An Adventure in Space and Time," featuring a quadruplet of Daleks crossing the Westminster Bridge in London.
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 08:00 PM PST
I spent an hour curling one daughter's hair for an occasion this past weekend, while the other daughter woke up from a nap with a full head of wavy curls. What's the difference?
But there's more. Popsci described the microscopic differences in naturally curly hair and hair from the rest of us. But they offer no easy solution for wanting the kind of hair you don't have. Link -via the Presurfer
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 07:00 PM PST
We're going to need a giant roll of newspaper to discipline that dog! As part of his exhibit "Ain't Painting a Pain," artist Richard Jackson created a giant 28-foot-high puppy that squirts yellow paint onto the side of the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, California:
Deepa Bharath of the OC Register has the story. Check it out: Link
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 06:00 PM PST
The new movie A Good Day to Die Hard opened last week to harsh reviews, but was still the top movie of the weekend. One good thing to come of it is this life-size replica of hero John McClane (Bruce Willis) sculpted of chocolate! This is apparently a promotion for the film in Japan. Link
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 05:00 PM PST
Well, it's about time! The state of Mississippi has finally ratified the 13th Amendment, some 150 years later.
The whole thing started when Dr. Ranjan Batra of University of Mississippi Medical Center saw Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln and told his colleague Ken Sullivan that the state actually never ratified the Amendment abolishing slavery:
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 04:00 PM PST
This is the very definition of fluff snugglers: almost seven minutes of adorable animals of all kinds! Some of these you may have seen, but are worth another look, and some are new. My favorite had to be the poor turtle trying to eat the stickers on its aquarium. But the bunnies made my heart melt! (via Blame It On The Voices)
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 03:00 PM PST
Attention Hello Kitty fans. Are you looking to take your relationship with Hello Kitty to another level. You need one of the Hello Kitty Shoulder Buddies from the NeatoShop. This fantastic wearable figurine attaches to your clothes with magnets. Slide the magical coin under your shirt sleeve and place your should buddy on top of the coin on the outside of your shirtsleeve. Voila! Hello Kitty is your new codependent friend. You never have to leave home without her.
The Hello Kitty Shoulder Buddies comes in 8 different styles. Buy one or collect them all. Know someone who could use a buddy of their own, but Hello Kitty just isn't their style other Shoulder Buddies are also available.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more fantastic Hello Kitty items.
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 03:00 PM PST
15-year-old gay teen named Laurel came out of the closet with great taste. Literally. She baked a "gayke" cake and presented her parents with a touching note:
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 02:00 PM PST
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 01:00 PM PST
Lilah and Nick built this wonderful cabin in West Virginia out of reclaimed lumber and filled it with eccentric castoff vintage and antique furnishings. One wall is made completely of old windows. I particularly like this imaginative use of an old cast iron bed frame -not as a bed, but as a hanging rack over the bed!
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 12:00 PM PST
The town of Scarfolk, England is imaginary (I checked). It's the subject of graphic designer Richard Littler's ongoing project showing life in a horrifying town that never left the 70s:
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 11:00 AM PST
CNN affiliate KIRO tested drivers before and after they smoked marijuana to see how it affects their abilities. Something that had never occurred to me is how states with varying levels of legal marijuana use have to establish limits on how much would make you legally ineligible to drive a vehicle. They have, and if these test subjects are any indication, one would probably need to consume several times the legal limit before police will observe you driving erratically. That said, you should never operate a vehicle, or any heavy machinery, while impaired, legally or not. -via reddit
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 10:00 AM PST
In order to raise awareness of the problem of homelessness in Gothenburg, Sweden, the magazine Faktum lets you reserve a spot where a homeless person might sleep:
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 09:00 AM PST
Artist Olly Moss created his own version of the classic Blue Willow china pattern by incorporating video game imagery into the design. These would blend into my own china collection seamlessly, but would also get my grandson to eat all his vegetables just to see what was underneath! Link -via Laughing Squid
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 08:00 AM PST
Do the rising prices of gas, groceries, and daily necessities just make you want to scream? Let your frustration be known with the Scream Wallet from the NeatoShop. This frighteningly fabulous light-weight Tyvek wallet screams every time you open it. Don't worry, there is an on/off option for those times that screaming would be inappropriate.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more great Wallets, Purses & Coin Bags.
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 08:00 AM PST
Veronica's bookcase elegantly displays the beauty of the written word and the reading life. She writes:
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 07:00 AM PST
Aha! If you saw this headline in your RSS feed, you probably thought it would be this classic image. According to the reddit thread, this is the view of Mt. Rushmore you get if you don't want to pay for parking. Washington is keeping an eye on everything. If you've ever scoped out Mt. Rushmore on Google Image Search, you'll notice that Washington may be looking in a number of directions depending on your point of view. That's because his countenance is carved from the part of the cliff that juts out the furthest. Link
Continue reading for bonus silliness from Mount Rushmore.
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 06:00 AM PST
Over the weekend, Canada held its first national blind hockey tournament. How do visually impaired people play hockey? With a big, hollow puck 10 centimeters across and filled with metal nuts and bolts that rattle. Players follow the sound around the ice:
You can watch a video at the link.
Posted: 18 Feb 2013 05:00 AM PST
This Presidents Day article is from the book Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges Into the Presidency.
The White House changes with the times and the presidents.
The first photograph of the White House, 1846.
As the years went on White House residents continued to upgrade their home with modern conveniences and luxuries. In 1833, during Andrew Jackson's second term, pipes were installed to bring in water for bathing. Jackson spent more than $45,000 on elegant additions to the mansion, including china and crystal from France. He rebuilt the East Room to make it impressive and grand. But critics argued that Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson's cohorts were not suited to such finery. Many rugs were ruined by muddy boots and many curtains damaged by souvenir hunters who cut swatches from the window coverings. (Such rowdiness could have been predicted by the mob scene at Jackson's inaugural celebration, which forced the new president to jump out a White House window to escape).
But the need for sufficient water, heat, and light had not abated. Martin Van Buren put in a basement reservoir for cooking and bathing needs. By 1853, there were bathtubs in the family quarters with hot and cold running water. In 1848, President James K. Polk installed gas lighting, to replace the oil lamps and candles. Millard Fillmore brought in a kitchen stove in the 1850s; before this the cooks had prepared elegant meals at an open fireplace. The first central furnace, a coal-fueled hot water and hot air system, was installed in 1853, after Franklin Pierce moved in. Benjamin Harrison brought in the first electrical lighting -but the Harrisons were afraid to turn the lights on and off for fear of getting shocked.
The White House in 1860.
Congress had been generous enough to allot $20,000 for new furnishings; the money had to last over the course of four years. This sum was more than four times President Lincoln's salary had been before he took office, and thus it seemed a fortune to Mrs. Lincoln. Nevertheless she managed to spend it -and then some. She traveled to New York and Philadelphia and bought the best and most expensive of everything. Mary concentrated on the family quarters, especially the guest bedroom, which she furnished with what is now known as "the Lincoln bed." (The president, in fact, probably never slept in it.)
The State Dining Room with Moose Heads under Theodore Roosevelt 1906. (Library of Congress)
The next major restructuring of the White House took place during Theodore Roosevelt's administration in 1902. Congress appropriated $540,641 to remodel the executive mansion, including $65,196 for a "temporary" office building to be known as the West Wing. Teddy Roosevelt was eager to make over the White House in his own testosterone-soaked image and happily declared "Smash the glass houses!" (the conservatories that had been up since James Buchanan's time). He threw out Chester Arthur's Tiffany screens and William McKinley's potted palms and added moose heads and bear rugs. He had the modern West Wing built on the foundation of Jefferson's office buildings, and he added offices for reporters for the first time.
Structural Renovation circa 1950.
Several years later in 1948, President Harry S. Truman noticed chandeliers swaying suspiciously in the White House and was alarmed when his daughter Margaret's grand piano leg punctured the floor of her room and some of the ceiling beneath. Truman ordered a study of the mansion structure at once. Horrified inspectors proclaimed that the White House was still standing "purely by habit." The First Family was moved immediately to Blair House, across the street on Pennsylvania Avenue. The interior of the White House was gutted and rebuilt, at a cost of $5,761,000; work was completed in 1952.
Thanks to Jackie Kennedy, incoming First Ladies may now furnish and decorate the second- and third-floor residence quarters as they see fit. But the ground floor corridor and main public rooms must be maintained in their museum-like state, according to a law passed by Congress in 1961 to protect and continue the historic restoration begun during the Kennedy administration. Any proposed changes or additions in these public rooms have to be approved by the Committee for Preservation of the White House.
The State Dining Room featuring the "Reagan Red" China.
Mrs. Kennedy's successors carried her torch and continue to work to make the White House a first-class representation of American style. Lady Bird Johnson appealed for donations of important paintings to the White House. Pat Nixon worked to bring back original American furniture pieces to replace the reproductions that were everywhere. Rosalynn Carter decided to follow in Jackie's footsteps by broadcasting White House concerts on national television so that the many Americans who wanted to visit the White House but could not could still enjoy the People's House. But Rosalynn's successor caused a minor scandal in her efforts to spruce up the place: Even though the Reagans raised more than one million dollars in private funds to redecorate the second- and third-floor family quarters, Nancy Reagan outraged her critics when she ordered new (and expensive!) state china in her favorite color, now known as Reagan Red. It seemed to be an extravagant indulgence given the state of the U.S. economy and the fact that the mansion owned dozens of sets of china by that time.
The Oval Office under the Clinton Administration.
From 1980 to 1992, about forty layers of paint and whitewash were stripped from the facade of the White House, which allowed the decorative trim and scrollwork to show through. Toward the end of this process the Clintons (with private donations) redecorated the Lincoln Sitting Room and the Treaty Room, and the Oval Office was made over in striking golds and reds. The Clinton administration oversaw the final phase of the restoration and redecoration of the Blue Room as well. Hillary Clinton said that in their first few years in the White House, they woke not to alarm clocks but to the sounds of hammers and power tools. President Bill Clinton brought in the internet, and his administration was the first to use online services and to communicate via email. Hillary was the first First Lady to put her foot down about smoking in her home: starting in 1992 the White House was designated a no-smoking building. (President Clinton was known to step outside on the Truman Balcony to enjoy an occasional lit cigar, however.)
Early in George W. Bush's presidency, First Lady Laura Bush redecorated the Oval Office in the subdued southwestern colors of her native Texas. But the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States put a halt to renovations. The biggest changes in the White House during this time have been for security purposes. For more than two years, the White House was closed to the public. In 2004, with added security in place, public tours were again offered -albeit to a restricted number of visitors. The style and creativity of the presidents and first families are again on display, and the White House remains the People's House.
The article above was reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges Into the Presidency.
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!
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