The History Of The Jack O' Lantern

Image: Uncredited

Well, we made it to another Halloween. But the real question as the night itself approaches is, how much do you really know about it? I, being a super nerd, can tell you I know quite a bit. Not because I am some history major or anything that is actually beneficial to me, but because I was a weird and creepy kid who wanted to know weird and creepy things. One of those things was learning the history behind the Jack O' Lantern. It intrigued me that they used to be carved out of turnips and used as actual lamps. Think about THAT the next time you think carving a giant pumpkin is difficult. At least it's not a turnip anymore.

I won't ruin any more for you, as this The History of the Jack O' Lantern put together by the History Channel, can do a much better job of informing you than I can. I will tell you this, though. It is a cool (albeit strange) bit of wisdom to carry with you, and this is coming from someone who has carried it with them for years (for no good reason other than it may have all built up to this exact moment).


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Photog Mom's Daughter Loves Cosplay, Together They Create Iconic Characters

Joan of Arc

Photographer Kelly Lewis' nine-year-old daughter Alice is no shrinking violet. She's an aspiring actress and model who enjoys cosplaying. So frequent shoots dressed as beloved (and not-so-beloved) cultural icons from Marie Antoinette to Little Miss Muffet are likely bright spot(light)s in Alice's day. 

Alice has the way cool distinction of being the only girl for miles who picked her own name. When adopted into the Lewis family at age seven, the little girl was enamored with the story and character of Alice in Wonderland. So Alice she became. 

Visit Kelly's Tumblr site Malice of Alice to keep up with the photographer and her ambitious daughter.

Images: Kelly Lewis | Via Bored Panda
 

Little Miss Muffet

 Edward Scissorhands

 Carrie

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Burglar Forgets to Flush Toilet, Leaves DNA Evidence

(Photo: Matthew Jording)

Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico say that they’ve caught the culprit of a $250,000 house burglary in part because he left a DNA sample in a toilet. While robbing the home, the police say that the man drank a Coke from the refrigerator, leaving one DNA sample. Then he used the toilet. Because he didn’t flush, he left another DNA sample for forensic technicians to retrieve.

So the lesson for today is that if you don’t flush, you might go to jail.


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Dead Man’s Party

(YouTube link)

The League of S.T.E.A.M. does Dia de los Muertos! The League of S.T.E.A.M. (previously) is a group of steampunk ghostbusters (“Serving all your supernatural elimination needs since 1884”). In this adventure, they investigate a horde of skeletons who won’t return to their graves after the Day of the Dead festivities. Yes, it’s corny, but the skeletons are funny, and it has the perfect punch line at the very end. -via the Presurfer


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How Marvel Can Plan Movies So Far in Advance

As we’ve previously noted, if Marvel makes a movie, it will be a smashing success. So the company is starting to get a bit cocky about their abilities. On Tuesday, Marvel announced it movie release scheduleplanned all the way through 2019.

2019! That’s, like, in the far future. What with flying cars and such.

How does Marvel do it? As this cartoon by Julia Lepetit and Andrew Bridgman of Dorkly reveals, the company possesses truly otherworldly powers of prediction.

Note the poster in the background. At some point prior to 2016, Marvel will acquire DC.




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What Countries Have Nuclear Weapons?

YouTube Link

This video is made by TestTube, a video series by the Discovery Network. It discusses countries known to have nuclear weapons, whether or not they have signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation on Nuclear Weapons, and briefly explores the likelihood of conflict escalation to the point of their use. -Via Science Dump


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Woman Calls 911, Pretends to Order Pizza in Order to Summon the Police

(Photo: H. Michael Karshis)

5 months ago, a reddit thread asked “911 Operators, what is that 1 call that you could never forget?” Crux1836 responded with this fascinating story:

I had a call that started out pretty dumb, but was actually pretty serious: I had a call that started out pretty dumb, but was actually pretty serious:

"911, where is you emergency?"

"123 Main St."

"Ok, what's going on there?"

"I'd like to order a pizza for delivery." (oh great, another prank call).

"Ma'am, you've reached 911"

"Yeah, I know. Can I have a large with half pepperoni, half mushroom and peppers?"

"Ummm…. I'm sorry, you know you've called 911 right?"

"Yeah, do you know how long it will be?"

"Ok, Ma'am, is everything ok over there? do you have an emergency?"

"Yes, I do."

"..And you can't talk about it because there's someone in the room with you?" (moment of realization)

"Yes, that's correct. Do you know how long it will be?"

"I have an officer about a mile from your location. Are there any weapons in your house?"

"Nope."

"Can you stay on the phone with me?"

"Nope. See you soon, thanks"

As we dispatch the call, I check the history at the address, and see there are multiple previous domestic violence calls. The officer arrives and finds a couple, female was kind of banged up, and boyfriend was drunk. Officer arrests him after she explains that the boyfriend had been beating her for a while. I thought she was pretty clever to use that trick. Definitely one of the most memorable calls.

Rossalyn Warren of BuzzFeed contacted the redditor for more information. His name is Keith Weisinger. From 2004-2006, he worked as a police dispatcher. Warren writes:

Weisinger stressed that although he helped in this situation, the credit needed to be given to the caller.

He praised the woman for her bravery and smart thinking. “Whether she had thought of this trick before, or it just came to her,” he said, “she indicated the urgency of her situation without giving away the true purpose of her call.”


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Ghosts in the Machines: The Devices and Daring Mediums That Spoke for the Dead

You’ve read about mediums, seances, and Ouija boards here at Neatorama. What do all these things have in common? The Spiritualist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And in the wake of the new movie Ouija, people are interested in the devices, gimmicks, and gadgets Spiritualists used to contact the dead. Collectors Weekly takes a look at Spiritualism and the devices used in a talk with Brandon Hodge of Mysterious Planchette.  

Hodge says that most spirit-communication concepts started out with serious religious intentions, but eventually got co-opted by popular culture as playthings or curiosities. “The Spiritualists come up with these devices and use them to communicate with the dead. Then, pop culture comes along and goes, ‘Oh, look what they’re doing over here.’ And entrepreneurs with vision and foresight take these devices, market them, and suddenly, they become a huge parlor hit.”

As laypeople experimented with these devices at home, others turned to Spiritualist mediums, a job that eventually gave young women—who were thought to be so receptive to the divine they would come to embody the spirits themselves—power they couldn’t have dreamed of before. These mediums were able to flagrantly violate strict Victorian social taboos and speak unpopular or radical opinions.

They also talked to Jill Tracy, who has a show called The Musical Seance which recreates Victorian seances for modern audiences. In addition to a history of Spiritualism, you’ll learn about automatic writing, spirit guides, spirit photos, spirit trumpets, ectoplasm, planchettes, and other spirit communication devices at Collectors Weekly.

(Image credit: Mysterious Planchette)


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Zangief's Gym - Training For Fighting In The Street


Zangief's Gym by Coinbox Tees

If you want to get ripped up like a Russian street fighter, with so many muscles that your skin begins to tear in places, then you need to head to Zangief's Gym, home of the perfect pump! When you hit the weights at Zangief's place the weights hit back, can you survive two rounds with pure steel getting all aiyouken in your face? Zangief's Gym specializes in two things- buffness and off the wall wrestling moves, so you'll be bulked up and dropping piledrivers on dudes in no time!

Advertise your favorite video game gym with this Zangief's Gym t-shirt by Coinbox Tees, it's the perfect attire whether you're jumping off the top rope or playing your favorite video game.

Visit Coinbox Tees's Facebook fan page, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to their NeatoShop for more mighty cool designs:

A LINK BETWEEN PRINCESSES Aran Moga's Famous BBQ C Is For Counseling

View more designs by Coinbox Tees | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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This Man Has the Guinness World Record for the Loudest Burp

This is Paul Hunn. His superpower is the ability to burp. In fact, at 109.9 decibels, he can burp louder than a lawn mower engine.


(Video Link)

Hunn isn’t sure why he’s able to burp louder than anyone else. But he does have a couple tips on how you can improve your burps. Surprisingly, you should not eat before you need to burp. But you should breathe in and swallow as much air as you can.

So start practicing. You could be the next Burper King.

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Pictures Of Cats Putting Dogs In Their Place

(Image Link)

Cats have a way of punking dogs that is unbelievable given their difference in size, and the fact that dogs often intimidate humans yet don’t deter cats from coming at them fang and claw.

The battle between the most popular pet species is clearly out of whack, and yet cats don’t look like they’ll be letting up on their canine cohabitants anytime soon.  

(Image Link)

So what can dogs do to get the upper hand? They can start by not allowing cats to steal all of their stuff:

(Image Link)

And if dogs want to prove they're tough it should take more than a cold stare to put them in their place!:

(Image Link)

See more pictures of Cats Who Put Dogs In Their Place over at BuzzFeed

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

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Kid Rock Attends the Birthday Party of His Biggest Fan, A Man with Down Syndrome

Dan McGurk is a big fan of rock star Kid Rock. In fact, he claims to be his biggest fan. He really wanted to meet him someday. McGurk got his chance on Monday, when he was celebrating his 30th birthday with his friends and family.


(Video Link)

At the 2:52 mark, Kid Rock shows up with the cake, singing Happy Birthday. The expression on McGurk’s face is wonderful!

Kid Rock gave the birthday boy a few presents, including an electric guitar inscribed with the title of Kid Rock’s song “American Bad Ass.”

-via Popehat


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A Deadly Halloween Choose Your Own Adventure!

(YouTube link)

Wouldn’t it be great if a haunted house tour was like a Choose Your Own Adventure book? In the 3D world, that would make haunted house attractions unbelievably big and expensive, but it’s possible, with the technology of YouTube. YouTube Nation assembled some of the biggest video stars for the project: Glozell, Tay Zonday, Felicia Day, and others. Each time you start the video, the story might be different, depending on your choices. I don’t yet know which choices are best. -via The Daily Dot

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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The Morbid Practice Of Post Mortem Photography

Everyone has their own way of grieving over the death of a loved one, and their own traditions when it comes to ushering the dead off into the afterlife.

Wakes and vigils have become far less common practices, and while sitting around with the body until burial may seem odd to some people there's something even more bizarre that people used to do with their loved one's body- post-mortem photography.

In the nineteenth century it was common practice for families to prop up the body of the deceased and take pictures, in part because photography had become far more accessible, and as a memento of the dearly departed.

Now, it may not seem that strange to want a photograph of your loved one to remember them by, but propping them up right next to their living siblings, or using a metal stand to support them so they look more "natural" in the photo- now that’s just plain weird!

-Via Little Things


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Strawberry and Lemon-Flavored Hot Dogs

(Photo: suzunone)

A few minutes ago, I didn't know these things existed. It had never occurred to me to combine sweet, fruity flavors with the meat-like flavor of hot dogs. But now I want to eat them all!

Rocket News 24 reports that at what I gather is a gas station in central Honshu, it is possible to buy packaged hot dogs that come as Nature intended: with strawberry or lemon flavors.

Who's up for a road trip?

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Bearfight!

YouTube Link

Earlier this week I posted a video showing a New Jersey black bear on his best behavior. These two New Jersey black bears are in an all-out brawl, knocking things over in a front yard of a home in a residential area. Occasionally stopping to rest and stare each other down while breathing heavily from the exertion, they eventually take the fight out into the street, as drivers pull their cars over to catch the action.

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

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A Game Of Bones

In the canine quest to become the alpha dog only one will be able to sit on the Throne of Bones, and that ruler is destined to be Daenerys Targaryen, the mother of dragons. 

With her cute mug, flowing blonde hair and three dragon children at her side there’s no stopping this adorable little one from becoming queen of Woofsteros. 

Will the other canine kingdoms be able to stop her from assuming, and then chewing on, the iron bone throne? I don’t think they stand a cat’s chance in doggie heaven!

This amazing act of canine cosplay was created by Cynthia Martin, Samantha Watt and Dorothy Bernard, and it took the team two months to assemble the throne and construct the costumes. 

The trio put so much detail into every bit of this cosplay, and the amazing set pieces, that it's a shame these doggy pals can't play Game of Bones every day!

-Via Fashionably Geek

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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The Japanese Navy's Crazy Plan to Bomb Texas


(Photo: Max Smith)

Other than a handful of submarine-mounted artillery bombings, a brief air raid by a single submarine-launched seaplane, and a few balloon-floated bombs, Japan was unable to directly attack the 48 contiguous United States during World War II. The Japanese did, however, have larger ambitions against the US heartland.

Pictured above is a surviving Kawanishi H8K, a seaplane operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. 30 of these planes would have been the strike force of an extraordinary plan to bomb Texas.


(Map: NOAA)

Note that Texas does not have a Pacific coastline.

That did not dissuade the Japanese. They wanted to damage the oil fields then active in Texas. So they planned to fly 30 H8K seaplane bombers across the Pacific, refueling them with carefully-staged submarines. After refueling a final time off the coast of Baja California, the bombers would fly across northern Mexico and strike Texas.

Fortunately, the Japanese developed this plan too late in the war to make it feasible. They cancelled it and similar plans to bomb the Panama Canal.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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It's Tyson Versus Tyson On The Tonight Show

Mike Tyson is one of the greatest boxers of all time, and his short but sweet career will forever be remembered as being controversial, powerful and the inspiration for a classic video game…sort of.

You see, Mike never fought sluggers like King Hippo and Don Flamenco in real life, so his career did nothing for his video game skills, and Mike probably had better things to do than fight himself on the NES.

(YouTube Link)

Jimmy Fallon challenged the former champ to a game of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! On The Tonight Show, to see if Tyson could beat Tyson on national television.

As anyone who has played Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! knows beating the big boss is no easy task, and the pixelated version proved to be more than a match for the real life version. Somebody get that man a Game Genie!

-Via BJ Penn


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The Wrong Mouse - Food For Thought


The Wrong Mouse by Alberto Arni

Mickey was out wandering around the studio backlot and enjoying the sunshine when he wandered a bit too far. Suddenly set lots and trailers were replaced by shrubs and trees, and he heard menacing sounds coming from the greenery all around him. His years of acting hadn't prepared him to play the role he was born to play- a real life mouse. It's too bad they don't teach you stuff like that in acting school, or else he might have escaped becoming a snake's lunch!

Add a touch of dark cartoon comedy to your geeky wardrobe with this The Wrong Mouse t-shirt by Alberto Arni, and watch where you're walking!

Visit Alberto Arni's Facebook fan page, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

Always Angry Powerpuff to the Future Bran Needs Cookies Shaun Vs. Zombies

View more designs by Alberto Arni | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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The Martian Invasion of 1938

On October 30, 1938, Orson’s Welles presented an episode of the radio drama anthology The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The offering was an adaptation of H. G. Wells's 1898 novel The War of the Worlds. The broadcast went down in history, as there were some people who mistook the staged alien invasion for a news report. Neatoramanaut Ron Geraci’s mother remembers that broadcast from her childhood.

“I was little. If it was on Halloween in 1938, then I was four years old. I was little but I have some vivid memories from that night. We were in my grandparent’s farmhouse in Ferrell, New Jersey, and my grandmother and grandfather were listening to the radio as usual. Their names were Mary and George. They were my father’s parents. All of a sudden there was a lot of confusion in the house and the next thing I know we were down in the cellar. But it wasn’t a normal cellar, it was just a dug-out hole. It was all dirt. Not just the floor, everything was dirt. I don’t know what it was used for. I had never been down there before. I left that house in the fourth grade and I never went down there again. The house is still there.

“My grandpop didn’t tell us why he brought us down there, though I remember him saying something like ‘they were coming.’ It was dark except for one light, probably a gas lamp. I remember watching my grandparents talking while me and my little brother Billy sat there. Billy would have been about three. They couldn’t take the radio down there since there was no electricity, so it was quiet except for them talking. They were both telling us to be quiet, to not make any noise, though I don’t remember me or Billy saying anything.

But that’s only the beginning of the story. Her grandfather guarded the family with a shotgun, and they came up with an idea for protecting themselves from poison gas. Read the full story at The Minty Plum. -Thanks, Ron!


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Romanian Headmaster Is Still Hanging Around School Long After His Death

Private school headmasters often keep their jobs for a really long time, sometimes to the point where they feel like they’ve spent their whole life in school.

Alexandru Grigore Poescu spent fifty years as teacher and headmaster of the Puchenii Mosneni Elementary School in Romania, and when he passed away in the 1960s he left his skeleton to the school, so his kids could use it in their science classes.

(YouTube Link)

Health officials recently decided the skeleton was a risk to student health, so they took it away to have it specially treated, which caused a wave of outrage from students and teachers who felt like they were taking away a friend.

The skeleton was promptly replaced in a protective glass case, and the story of the skeletal headmaster was shared with the world, which proves that some educators make an impact on their students long after their death!

-Via RT


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College Soccer Player Not Bad at Basketball

(YouTube link)

Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, offered $10,000 in tuition for performing an amazing basketball stunt: sink a layup, free throw, three-pointer, and a half-court shot, all within 30 seconds. Gustavo Angel Tamayo, a soccer player for the Lions, won the opportunity to try it. Tamayo grew up in England, and never played on a basketball team. Watch him rush through all four shots, ending with a Hail Mary toss from half court -and the crowd goes wild!

"It's just football [soccer], that's all I do," he said. "And I had a broken finger on my left hand."

Tamayo is a senior and his tuition is already paid, so he will take the prize money in cash. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Prison Life Hacks That Would Make MacGyver Proud

If there’s one thing MacGyver proved again and again on his hit TV show it’s that he can't be tied up for long, especially if there’s a stick of gum and a battery laying around.

He made escaping captivity look like child’s play, but in real life very few prisoners ever make grand escapes, despite what movies and TV shows would have you believe.

Since they’re stuck in prison for the duration of their sentence prisoners have to become MacGyverish in their own right, to bring some of the comforts of home to their cell.

Got a battery, some tape and a bit of wire? You’ve got the makings of a lighter, and if you combine fire with a roll of TP you can make your own in-cell stove

The TP is rolled into a cylinder, folded in at the ends, and lit so it burns from the inside out. That slows it down and intensifies the heat. Inmates hold their undercooked meal above the flame, and voila, you can get it as hot and crispy as you like. 

Want to learn more tricks created by cons? Read 7+ MacGyver Tricks People Have Learned In Prison here


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15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About A Nightmare on Elm Street

Wes Craven’s 1984 horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street became an instant classic- not particularly because of the cerebral plot or the sublime acting, but because of the terrifying villain Freddy Krueger. Not only is he a killer, but we are all vulnerable to the monster because we all sleep -although after watching the movie, we tend to stay awake for as long as possible. Even if you’ve seen Elm Street quite a few times in the past thirty years, there are some behind-the-scenes trivia you might not know, like

2. The movie was inspired by real-life events.

Craven decided to make A Nightmare on Elm Street after reading a series of L.A. Times articles about a group of teenage Khmer immigrants who, after moving to the U.S. from refugee camps, died in their sleep after suffering from disturbing nightmares.

4. Freddy’s sweater is scientifically scary.

Craven designed Freddy’s striped sweater after reading in Scientific American that the human eye has difficulty recognizing those particular shades of red and green side by side. Therefore, looking at it is subliminally unsettling.

Relive the glorious memories of the first time you met Freddy Krueger while reading the rest of this trivia list at mental_floss.


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This Video Proves Street Harassment Is Alive And Well In NYC

There are always battles brewing about what is and isn’t considered racist, classist, or sexist, but those that argue for either side of the issue have a hard time presenting concrete evidence to prove their case.

Well, it turns out all you need to do to prove sexism is alive and well on New York City sidewalks is walk around as a woman for a full day and record all the ridiculous remarks that come your way with a hidden camera.

(YouTube Link)

That’s what actress Shoshana Roberts and filmmaker Rob Bliss did in an effort to raise awareness about street harassment in NYC, and the results of their social experiment are shocking to say the least.

Ever feel like you didn’t get those catcalling construction worker comedy sketches? That’s probably because you don’t live in New York City!

-Via Cheezburger


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Your Pumpkin Can Also Be A Disco Light

Ready to party this Halloween? Then head over to Homes and Hues, where you can learn how to make a fun disco ball with nothing more than a pumpkin, a flashlight, string and either a screwdriver or a drill. The effect is particularly cool if you happen to have access to a flashlight with a strobe effect on it.

Learn how to make your own cool light over at Homes and Hues: Ready Your Home For Halloween With This Cool Pumpkin Disco Ball

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Lemp Mansion: Tales of a Cursed Family and Their Haunted House

Funeral procession of William Lemp Jr. in front of the Lemp Mansion, 1922 | Source

Often, when a structure or area is rumored to be haunted, the explanation offered is a chapter from local folklore. A beautiful, Native American princess was said to be murdered by a warring tribe there. “Legend has it” that star-crossed lovers were killed on the spot. A cemetery may have occupied an area near the grounds. The reasons offered for the paranormal activity are as nebulous as the reported ghosts.

Yet the story of a mansion in St. Louis, Missouri, a property declared in a 1970 issue of Life magazine to be one of the nine most haunted places in America, is no undocumented tale. In fact, the Lemp family, one of nineteenth-century beer barons, was plagued with as many suicides and untimely deaths as they were blessed with wealth and power. So much so, that many Lemps believed their family was cursed.

A BREWING DYNASTY IS BORN
Johann Adam Lemp left Eschwege, Germany to try his luck in America. He settled in St. Louis in 1838, opening a grocery store in which he sold beer that he brewed himself from a family recipe. By 1840, demand for Lemp’s beer became so great that he closed the grocery store and established Western Brewery.

The beer of German immigrants such as Lemp was new to America, as it was lager. The term is derived from the German “lagern,” meaning “to rest” or “to store.” Lemp, like other German brewers who moved to St. Louis, did so primarily due to a large system of limestone caves that ran for miles underneath the city streets. Lemp bought a property near a natural cave, in which he stored his lager. In this time before refrigeration, the cave was a perfect, cool environment for the task, made cooler by ice blocks carved from the frozen Mississippi River. Adam was the first brewer in St. Louis to manufacture this light, effervescent beer called lager, and its appeal was not lost on the citizenry.

By 1860, Adam Lemp was a leader in St. Louis beer brewing. He brought his only son William into the business, who proved to be an even more astute businessman than his father. When Adam died in 1862, William was there to ensure the business would continue to prosper.

Continue reading

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This Simple Strip of Paper Can Detect the Ebola Virus


(Photo: Wyss Institute/Harvard University)

There is now a great need to test large numbers of people for the Ebola virus. James J. Collins and his colleagues at Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biological Inspired Engineering have developed a simple tool that can help do that. It's a strip of paper embedded with chemicals that change colors when exposed to Ebola. Douglas McCormick of IEEE Spectrum reports:

It took them less than a day to produce a slip of paper that can detect the Ebola virus. Armed only with that slip and smartphone camera, a healthcare worker in the field could know within two hours—and sometimes in as little as 20 minutes—whether a patient is infected or not. And the doctor, nurse, or volunteer could do this without advanced skills, extensive sample preparation, expensive reagents, laboratory instruments, or even refrigeration.

-via Ian Chant


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Millennial Horror Story

(YouTube link)

A thoroughly modern horror film shows us what really instills fear into the hearts of young adults. You know you’ve stepped into another dimension when there’s suddenly …no cell service! The spoof from Paul Gale Comedy contains NSFW language. -via Time 


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