Scientists Figure out How to Unboil an Egg


(Photo: Craig Hatfield)

You can't unring a bell, but you can unboil an egg. Gregory Weiss, a professor of biochemistry at the University of California at Irvine, and his colleagues untangled the proteins of cooked egg whites to return a key protein to its previous uncooked state. A press release quotes Weiss:

“Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg,” said Gregory Weiss, UCI professor of chemistry and molecular biology & biochemistry. “In our paper, we describe a device for pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold. We start with egg whites boiled for 20 minutes at 90 degrees Celsius and return a key protein in the egg to working order.”

What's the point of this research? The ability to untangle proteins could lead to much cheaper cancer drugs:

“This method … could transform industrial and research production of proteins,” the researchers write in ChemBioChem.

For example, pharmaceutical companies currently create cancer antibodies in expensive hamster ovary cells that do not often misfold proteins. The ability to quickly and cheaply re-form common proteins from yeast or E. coli bacteria could potentially streamline protein manufacturing and make cancer treatments more affordable.

-via Jonah Goldberg


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Whodunit: Super Bowl Madness

The following is a Whodunit by Hy ConradThese mysteries are from The Little Giant® Book of Whodunits by Hy Conrad and Matt LaFleur. Can you solve the mystery before you read the solution?

(Image credit: Flickr user Jaroslaw Kulik)

Vince McCormick was a big, angry slug of a man just a month shy of retirement. On Super Bowl Sunday, his two sons, Vince Junior and Sonny, came over as usual to watch the game.

As kick-off time approached, the boys were in the kitchen, helping their mother prepare the snacks. Junior heated up nachos in the microwave while Sonny poured the bags of potato chips and pretzels into bowls. Marie McCormick was mixing the ice and ginger ale and rye together in tall glasses.

"Make sure mine is strong enough," came her husband's growl from the living room.

Junior saw the bruise on his mother's arm. "Did he do that to you?" he asked. Marie didn't answer.

"What'll you do when he retires and hangs around all day?" Sonny asked. "It'll only get worse."

"No one in our family gets divorced," Marie said firmly.

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Verdant Canopy

Molyvos, Lesvos, Greece | Image: Jay 21310

This collection of photographs consists of streets that are glorious with natural adornment. Flowers and trees so lush and mature in their state of growth that they form colorful canopies which frame the streets.

This is a user-submitted list that invites readers to post other photographs matching the theme. I can think of of such a walkway that fits the bill but is not represented: The Mall, a row of gorgeous Elm trees lining a wide street in Central Park. Have you encountered any such streets in your travels that are missing from the list? See all the photos here.

Stockholm, Sweden | Image: Hector Melo

Tunnel of Love Romania, Caras-Severin | Image: Sue Hsu

Wisteria Tunnel, Japan | Image: Andreea Vintila Kostova

Bamboo Forest, Sagano Japan | Image: Andreea Vintila Kostova

 Grafton, New South Wales, Australia | Image: Jo Hitchin
 
Valencia, Spain | Image: Visittheworld.tumblr.com

Orton Plantation Driveway, Smithville, NC | Image: Mia of Sky People


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Cheshire Express - Your Neighbor Is Mad!


Cheshire Express by Emilie Boisvert

When you decide to catch a cat bus for a trip across the moonlit forest make sure you hop on board the right cat! The nekobus you're looking for is orange and striped, with bright yellow headlight eyes and an idiot grin, but if you see a purple catbus come up all covered in green stripes and sporting a mischievous grin don't take that ride! Take it from Alice, the Cheshire Express's last passenger- there's no such thing as a free ride in Wonderland...

Take the world on a grand adventure, wear this Cheshire Express t-shirt by Emilie Boisvert and show your fellow geeks the way to Wonderland!

Visit Emilie Boisvert's Facebook fan page, official website, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

GOOFIS- The King Of Rock N' Roll Daisy Monroe Vamping Beauty PROJECT M- Da Vinci Edition

View more designs by Emilie Boisvert | 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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New York During the Great Blizzard of 1888

While the northeast U.S. brace for a snowstorm today that is expected to leave two to three feet of snow, there are already comparisons with the record-setting storm of 1888.

The Great Blizzard of 1888 paralyzed the northeast U.S. Up to 60 inches of snow fell on New England, with snowdrifts up to 50 feet! The trains couldn’t run, and many people were stuck in their homes for a week. The effects of the storm in the cities of New York and Boston spurred urban planners to start work on underground communication lines and subways.

Check out a roundup of photographs from that blizzard at mental_floss.


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70 Years Ago Today: Lt. Audie Murphy Holds the Line

Born in poverty and orphaned as a teenager in Hunt County, Texas, Audie Murphy lied about his age in order to try to get into the US Marine Corps. The Marines rejected him, saying that he was too small. Murphy went into the Army instead as an infantryman. He would prove to be an extraordinarily effective soldier and leader.

Time and time again, Murphy would distinguish himself in combat, eventually earning a field commission as a second lieutenant at the age of 19. Before the end of the war, Murphy would earn every combat award offered by the United States Army at the time.


(Photo: Smithsonian Institution)

Among those awards is the Medal of Honor. The Army bestowed that highest of laurels upon 2nd. Lt. Audie Murphy for the actions that he performed on January 26, 1945--70 years ago to this day. Though wounded and badly outnumbered, Murphy personally covered the retreat of his company from repeated German attacks outside of Holtzwihr, France. He did so for an hour with a machine gun on a disabled tank destroyer that was on fire at the time. From his Medal of Honor citation:

Lieutenant Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to a prepared position in a woods while he remained forward at his command post and continued to give fire directions to the artillery by telephone. Behind him to his right one of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. It's crew withdrew to the woods. Lieutenant Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, Lieutenant Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer which was in danger of blowing up any instant and employed its .50 caliber machine gun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to the German fire from three sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver. the enemy tanks, losing infantry support, began to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminated Lieutenant Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad which was trying to creep up unnoticed on his right flank. Germans reached as close as 10 yards only to be mowed down by his fire. He received a leg wound but ignored it and continued the single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way to his company, refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack which forced the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many of the enemy; he personally killed or wounded about 50. Lieutenant Murphy's indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction and enabled it to hold the woods which had been the enemy's objective.


(Video Link)

By the time Germany surrendered later that May, Murphy was a First Lieutenant and not yet 21 years old. He was also tremendously famous (warning: auto-play). When he mustered out and returned home to the United States, he became an actor. He would also write To Hell and Back, his autobiography. When it was turned into a film in 1955, he played himself. You can watch several scenes from it in the video above.

-via American Digest


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The A to Z of Australia Day

January 26 is Australia Day, and the Aussies get to celebrate it earlier than most of the world. In honor of the occasion, Sydney Morning Herald cartoonist Cathy Wilcox gives us an illustrated alphabet of what the holiday means to Australians. From the misheard lyrics of their national anthem to chilling out after a good time, each letter will make you smile -or think. Especially if you are Australian, know an Australian, or have been to Australia.  

The newspaper also has a profile of the “average” Australian, who they say does not even exist. Aussies come in an enormous variety. -via Metafilter


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Some Like It Dark

Spanish artist Marta de Andrés offers this contribution from an art show in Valencia. She writes, "The subject of this festival was Women, the strength of women and equality between men and women." Her response was to imagine the desired Marilyn Monroe as the feared Darth Vader.

-via Geek Art Gallery


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Dolphins: The Humans of the Sea

The following article is republished from Uncle John's Ahh-Inspiring Bathroom Reader.

Ever since he first saw Flipper in the 1960s, Uncle John has been fascinated by dolphins. He’s not alone- some scientists think dolphins are humans’ closest relatives. Whether they are or not, we’ve still got a lot in common.

ANIMAL MAGNETISM

Few other animals evoke such mystery and curiosity as the dolphin. The more we study them, the more we want to know about them. We know that dolphins live 30 to 40 years. They have a distinct social structure, traveling in flexible groups of between 6 and 12 called pods. Young dolphins stay with their mothers for three years or longer before moving on to a new pod. Yet, remarkably, a daughter will often return to her mother’s group to have her first calf.

A dolphin’s cerebral cortex -the portion of the brain that plans, thinks, and imagines- is larger than a human’s and, indeed, dolphins are adept at planning, thinking, and imagining. According to professional trainers, there is no limit to what a dolphin can learn.

(Image credit: Flickr user Michael S)

Here are some amazing examples of dolphin intelligence:

* Dolphins learn quickly. Two dolphins at Sea Life Park in Hawaii knew entirely different routines. One day the trainer accidentally switched the two dolphins and didn’t know why they seemed so nervous about performing the stunts. One dolphin, trained to jump through a hoop 12 feet in the air, refused to jump at all until she lowered it to 6 feet. The other seemed shaky about navigating through an underwater maze while blindfolded. Not until the show was over did the trainer discover the error. The dolphin who had jumped through the 6-foot-high hoop had not been trained to go through a hoop at all. The other dolphin was familiar with the blindfold but had never navigated the underwater maze. Yet, somehow, each had figured out how to perform the other’s tricks before the end of the routine.

* Dolphins can learn sign language. They can understand syntax and sentence structure, knowing the difference between “Pipe fetch surfboard” (“Fetch the pipe and take it to the surfboard”) and “Surfboard fetch pipe” (“Fetch the surfboard and take it to the pipe”). When asked, “Is there a ball in the pool?” the dolphin is able to indicate yes or no -meaning it has understood the language, formed a mental image of the object referred to, and deduced whether the object is or is not there. This is called referential reporting and is otherwise only documented in apes and humans.

(Image credit: Flickr user César Astudillo)

* Dolphins consistently demonstrate imagination and creativity. At the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Lab in Hawaii, two young trainers were working with a pair of bottle nose dolphins named Akeakemai and Phoenix. The trainers got the dolphin’s attentions and then, together, they tapped two fingers of each hand together, making the symbol for “in tandem.” They both threw their arms in the air, the sign language gesture that means “creative.”

The instruction was “do something creative together.”

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Play Me, I'm Yours: Colorful Pianos Left in Public Spaces

We've long enjoyed the works of British artist Luke Jerram and are especially impressed with his interactive public works, such as this enormous slip-and-slide down the middle of a city street and his singing metal sculpture. So it should come as no surprise that he's the mind behind Play Me, It's Yours, an ongoing project to place beautifully decorated pianos in public spaces. Anyone can sit down and play at one.

It's become a movement far beyond Jerram's work alone. There have been 1,300 pianos in 45 cities on 5 continents. You can find a map of them here and photographs of the more colorful ones at My Modern Met.


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Water-loving Cats

This cat is named Nico "El guapo," and he has his own Instagram account. Not only does he have wonderfully expressive eyes, he loves a good bath. That is a little odd for a housecat, as most cat owners will tell you. But while Nico is in the minority, he’s not alone. Buzzfeed rounded up pictures of 17 Cats Who Actually Love Being In The Water. You’ll enjoy seeing the rest of them, too.

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

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This Japanese Festival Tosses Newly-Married Men into Snow for Good Luck


(Photo: Hatena Jobmate)

Mukonage is an annual event held on January 15 at the Matsunoyama Onsen hot spring resort in Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. The first son-in-law to marry a girl from town the previous year is picked up by the men of the town, then tossed down a snowy hill. This is followed by Suri Nuri, during which people rub snow and ash on each other's faces to promote health and prosperity.


(Video Link)

-via Dave Barry


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DIY: Electric Fireplace

The space before

Redditor griind posted about his electric fireplace DIY project. What he did with a relatively small wall space looks pretty impressive. He made other posts to the thread while answering questions that showed his work on the master bathroom as well, which also looks beautiful. He's quite forthcoming with information, right down to model numbers of various fixtures. I love the dark hardwood floor. What do you think?

See his post, which includes a complete set of before and after pictures including one of the furnished room, here.  

Via Viral Nova | Images: Imgur/griind 

The finished area, complete with dark hardwood floors for contrast


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The Evolution of Video Games

(YouTube link)

A guy walks through the history of video games, from Pong to Grand Theft Auto. I almost didn't recognize Pong because the original graphic display wouldn't work here at all; it's been somewhat modernized. Sometimes the guy has to win a round before he can proceed. Of course, since this is a three-minute video, you won’t see all of your favorite video games, just several insanely popular games as a representative sample of the past five decades. -via Geeks Are Sexy


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Moods Of Stormtrooper - Filter Face And Helmet Hair


Moods Of Stormtroopers by Eltronco

Just because those stormtroopers are clones doesn't mean they don't have emotions just like any other living organism. They get a great big ol' grin on after surviving battles against masters of the Force, scratch their helmets in frustration when they can't find the droids they're looking for, and let out a great big ol' sigh when it's finally time to kick up their white boots and relax. Still having trouble figuring out their moods? Don't take off their helmet, or the only expression you're going to see is anger!

Put on a happy helmet face, sport this Moods Of Stormtroopers t-shirt by Eltronco, and you'll be spreading Imperial smiles wherever you go!

Visit Eltronco's Facebook fan page, official website and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

Triki Pacman The Truth About Bears True Gamers Don't Die

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

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This Otter House Has a Roundabout

The otter aquarium at the Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park in Miura City, Japan, is designed for optimal traffic flow. The otters don't have to spend a long time on their daily commutes because their tank includes a roundabout. You can see more photos of their transportation network at Kohan Studio (translation).

-via NotCot

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

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19th Century Japanese LOLcats

Enjoy a collection of Japanese prints from the 1800s that depict cats in human situations, mostly having a grand old time. The picture above is a pun, as the title Roku kesen (猫の六毛撰) can mean either Six Immortal Poets or Six Cats with Fur of Different Colors.

Other images have cats at festivals or at tea ceremonies, playing games, dancing, lounging, acting out classic plays, flirting with each other, and generally being LOLcats. -via Everlasting Blort


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Woman Orders Chicken at Burger King Drive Through, is Handed a Bag Full of Cash



A Rochester, New Hampshire woman ordered a sweet tea and a junior spicy chicken sandwich at a Burger King drive through, but she was handed quite a surprise instead of her order. Once Janelle Jones was on her way home, she realized that the employee at the restaurant had handed her a bag containing $2,631. All but a $100 bill was stuffed into two bank deposit bags. After contacting her husband, the couple decided to return the money. Read the full story, including what drove the two to return the cash and the response of the restaurant at Nothing to Do With Arbroath. 


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Monkey Patiently Teaches Human How to Crush Leaves


(Video Link)

The big, ugly, hairless ape isn't going to get through life on his looks or charm. He needs valuable career skills. So the little monkey sets about preparing him to be a productive member of monkey society.

He signals the human to extend his hand, then places leaves in that hand. Next, the monkey closes the human's hand, crushing the leaves. He repeats the process until he is convinced that the human has learned it. The human is now ready to add leaf crushing to his résumé.

Neatorama readers, test your own knowledge on nearby leaves. Can you learn this skill by simply watching this video? Report on the results of your efforts in the comments.

-via Chris Hallbeck

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Australian Mailman Films the Dogs on His Route

YouTube Link

An Australian mailman (or as they're referred to there, "Postie") films the dogs he sees on his regular route. He zips around on his motorbike to get from place to place and, presumably, to make a fast escape from a few dogs. Also, as he notes on his YouTube video description, "In Australia, The grass/lawn from the letterbox to the road that you see me riding on is owned by the Council/Government, It is NOT owned by the home owner and that is why we are allowed to ride there." (Lest anyone think he's destroying the resident's property.) NSFW, language.  -Via Tastefully Offensive

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

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The Star Wars Relativity Realization

The most predictable thing in the universe is still clouded by human perception. The biggest days of the year for a child become mundane occurrences when you are an adult. How many years did you wonder if you’d still be alive when the 21st century arrived?   

My kids consider all the Star Wars movies to be ancient. They had seen the earlier movies by the time Revenge of the Sith came out in 2005, but I thought they were still too young to see that one in a theater. When they finally watched it, it was already an “old movie” in their eyes. This Star Wars tipping point is brought to you by Randall Munroe of xkcd.


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Argentinian Town Underwater for 30 Years Resurfaces

Vimeo Link

This fascinating video follows 83-year-old Argentinian Pablo walking through what is now the ruins of a once thriving, prosperous town  a resort to which tourists flocked — that was underwater for 30 years once a dam and dike gave way to the lake beyond them. The high salt content of the lake made the area a tourist attraction; it also ensured maximum corrosion and destruction once the buildings and streets were submerged.

The town, called Villa Epecuen (previously at Neatorama) is located near Buenos Aires, and once had a population of 5,000. Pablo is the only resident left, and he remains amazingly resourceful and self sufficient for his age. He wistfully yet lovingly recounts his personal history and former home, explaining the details of its tragic loss to the forces of nature.

For additional stills, visit this link.  

 The submerged resort town of Epecuen


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Mysterious Man Rides the Train with a Watermelon on His Head

It's not who he is underneath, but what he does that defines him. For Watermelon Brother, as the people of Beijing have come to call him, that's wearing a watermelon on his head. He's the hero that China's capital city deserves. The Daily Telegraph reports:

One commuter told the Beijing Morning Post he was freaked out by the man who loves to put on the hollowed-out fruit helmet and reported him to police.

"It was so scary last night when I was on the metro,” he said.

“This guy was just hanging around on the train wearing a watermelon mask with a beer bottle … apparently he was totally drunk.”

"I was scared by this watermelon brother too," said another passenger. "I posted some pictures of him on Weibo.”

Beijing Metro Police questioned the man after being alerted to his location by passengers and subway staff.

-via Dave Barry


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A House for Cats

(YouTube link)

Peter Cohen is a home builder, so he can fix his house any way he wants to. What he wanted was to make his cats safe, healthy, and happy. One thing led to another, and now he has 15 cats and a house custom-designed for their pleasure. There are catwalks, tunnels, staircases, beds, a koi pond, ventilated litter box closets, and Roombas. So far, he’s spent almost $40,000. These cats have it made! -via Tastefully Offensive

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

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18 Massive Creatures of the Sea

Giant Squid | Image: Tsunemi Kubodera of the National Science Museum of Japan/AP

The article linked below features the largest creatures in the ocean as well as some of the most massive creatures of their type. The giant squid, shown above, is the second largest cephalopod in existence, growing to a size of 33-43 feet long. The giant squid was once thought to be the largest cephalopod, until the colossal squid, with a length of 46 feet and a larger mass, was discovered. Both are deep-sea dwellers that exhibit deep-sea gigantism, which is the predisposition of deep-sea species to grow much larger than those inhabiting shallower waters.

Colossal Squid | Image: www.fish.govt.nz

 Each of the eight arms and two tentacles of the giant squid is lined with two-inch in diameter suction cups. The surfaces of the suction cups have rings of serrated teeth, which attach to the squid's prey. It is not uncommon to see circular puncture scars from these teeth on the skin of sperm whales that have attacked the squid in vain.

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Wild Red Haired Girl Appeared! - 8-Bit Gaming, Now With Thrones!


Wild Red Haired Girl Appeared! by Samtronika

John Snow was just playing the game the best way he knew how, making all the right choices and staying healed up during encounters, but then like a bolt out of the blue she appeared. Her fiery red hair was striking, but her arrows were even more striking, and before he knew it John was being hunted like game by a wild red haired girl!

Get your fantasy game on with this Wild Red Haired Girl Appeared! t-shirt by Samtronika, it's sure to inspire lots of fun encounters with your fellow GoT fans and geeky gamers!

Visit Samtronika's Facebook fan page, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more gamer-iffic designs:

Tonari No Totoro Khaleesi Time! Red Haired Girl P-Chan In A Pocket

View more designs by Samtronika | 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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Facebook Stalking Your More Successful Friends

(YouTube link)

While I check out Facebook links to bring you interesting posts, I try to stay away from my personal feed for just this reason. The people you know are always posting the best parts of their lives, which will only make you feel worse about yours. What’s more, your friends’ posts lead to you to notice other friends, and before you know it, your day is gone and you're still depressed. Yes, I’m all for posting pleasantness, but among friends it can become a game of one-upmanship or trying to keep up with the Joneses, even if it’s only in your head. This song is from comedian Pat Regan. I'd link to his Facebook page, but it's surprisingly inactive and the banner pic is NSFW. -via Viral Viral Videos


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You Light Up My Thighs / You Give Me Hope to Carry On



In what no one would be shocked to see as the next fashion trend in Japan, the Hikaru Skirt (which translates to "Shining Skirt") is a mini designed to illuminate the thighs of anyone c̶e̶r̶t̶i̶f̶i̶a̶b̶l̶y̶ ̶i̶n̶s̶a̶n̶e̶ brave enough to wear it.

The brainchild of Japanese designer Kiyoyuki Amano, the skirt is lit from underneath with LED lights equipped with gyro sensors, so that the light colors and patterns change with the movement of the model.       

Amano said that he was simply experimenting with lights on skirts when he discovered that they shone a spotlight on the wearer's thighs, which he found enlightening. Eureka! Talk about a light bulb moment! Amano is apparently so enthusiastic about the Hikaru  which has yet to be mass produced  that he's started a Tumblr with the skirt (and thighs) in a starring role. Don't miss the thighlights on said Tumblr.

Via Oddity Central | Images: Kiyoyuki Amano


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This Is Water--Illustrated

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how's the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”

Thus begins This Is Water, a famous commencement address that writer David Foster Wallace delivered at Kenyon College in 2005. He tells the graduates that a true education is the ability to have awareness--an awareness of the world around them and the people in it as individuals. The water is the continuing awareness of this while we live in the daily routines that push it into the background of our minds.

Filmmakers at The Glossary offer this excerpt of This Is Water, focusing on the illustration of the checkout line--a time of ordinary life that no one enjoys and is often frustrating.


(Video Link)

I wrote this post on Saturday morning on my computer in my living room. I was tired and just beginning to chip away at my to-do list. While searching for content, I played this video. My wife passed by and started watching it.

By the end, I had already decided to post the video at Neatorama. My wife was deeply moved by it and asked how I felt about what it had to say. This question took me by surprise. I responded, "I don't know. I guess I spent the time trying to figure out how to write this up for Neatorama."

I wasn't paying attention to the water.

-via American Digest


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Locally Laid Eggs

The Locally Laid Egg Company puts their name right their on cartons of their eggs, which are available only in northern Minnesota and parts of Iowa and Indiana. In December they received a letter from a man who was offended by the name. How do you respond to that? Lucie B. Amundsen, the company’s “marketing chick,” wrote, in part:

Here’s why we named our company, Locally Laid. First off, it’s completely demonstrative of what we are. We are the first pasture-raised egg company in the Upper Midwest providing you with eggs which are laid locally. More on the sassy part of the name in minute, but let’s look at local. It’s important.

She goes on to explain the importance of free-range, organically-raise chickens and how they differ from nationwide factory farms. She also explains how important mid-sized farms are to preserving local economies. It’s pretty interesting, in a post that's all due to a customer with a dirty mind. -Thanks Carol Anne!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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