How American Gothic Became an Icon

Grant Wood's American Gothic is more than a famous painting. Sure, it's a great piece of art, but there's more to it than that. When it was first unveiled, the painting wasn't recognized as anything special. But the subject matter made it something worth talking about.   

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In this video from Vox, we see that it was the people who saw the painting that made it special. They saw what they wanted to see in American Gothic. -via Digg

See also: The Story Behind American Gothic.


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5 Amazing Things Invented by Donald Duck

Disney's Donald Duck has been around for more than 80 years, and has appeared in more movies than any other Disney character. Donald and his extensive family have always been ahead of their time. How else would we have so many great things that were first seen in cartoons and comics featuring Donald, his Uncle Scrooge, or his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie? For example, you might recall the 2010 movie Inception. It was considered groundbreaking, but we'd already seen it in the comics.    

In a 2002 comic book, eight years before Christopher Nolan's little dream exploration film, Scrooge got his mind hijacked by the Beagle Boys. The Boys were trying out new careers as dream-thieves and went into Scrooge's mind to steal the secret combination of his vault. If this sounds vaguely familiar, it's because that's exactly how Inception opens up, except you have to replace DiCaprio with talking dogs. Which, incidentally, would probably improve every single one of his movies.

After they're inside Scrooge's mind, the Beagle Boys have trouble differentiating dreams from reality -- again, exactly like the characters from Inception, who need special items, or "totems" in order to tell dream from reality.

When Donald Duck enters Scrooge's dream to help, he has to figure out a way to pry the Beagle Boys out of there. In Inception they use "kicks" to make controlled exits, like how the feeling of falling usually snaps you out of the dream. In McDuck's head, they do, well, the exact same thing.

There's more to the story about Inception, plus several other ways that the Ducks were either prescient or else they inspired something that came after. Read about five of them at Cracked. -Thanks, Tim!


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DIY Projects That Will Change Your Cat's Life

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Cats tend to get really bored hanging around the house all day, so unless we want shredded couches and torn curtains we have to provide sources of entertainment for our feline family members.

And when our cats get bored of their trees, toy mice and little feathered things on strings we have to give them a new amusing thing to swat at, pounce on or rub themselves against, like this self petting station made from toilet brushes.

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The best stuff you can give your cat is the stuff you make yourself, because you know your cat well enough to know whether hanging (or swinging) around in a cool kitty trapeze all day will be a lifestyle upgrade.

You'll also be able to make toys both you and the cat can enjoy, like this treat dispenser puzzle that makes your lazy kitty work for their vittles while you laugh at their futile attempts. There ain't no treats in there, ya dumb cat!

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See 25 DIY Projects That Will Change Your Cat's Life here

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

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Why 3 Man-Sized Cages Hang From a Medieval German Church Steeple

The Catholic Church ruled both the spiritual and physical lives of Europeans during the period of the Holy Roman Empire. Then Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation, leading to formation of the Lutheran Church. Other breakaway groups founded other denominations with theologies that wandered further from Catholic doctrine. In some places, that led to war, because one's salvation was not to be trusted to free will, and neither was political power. In the city of Münster, a gruesome artifact reminds citizens of those dark days.

Visitors to St. Lambert’s church in Münster, Germany may notice something odd about the building’s facade. Three gleaming iron cages, 7 feet tall and a yard wide and deep, hang empty from the church spire. Once home to the mutilated bodies of three revolutionaries who shaped one of the strangest chapters in the Protestant Reformation, the cages have hung there for nearly 500 years. They remain on the spire as a testament to their former occupants’ experiment in religious utopia—and the tremors they sent through German religious and political life for years after their occupants' deaths.

The citizens of Münster held relatively liberal religious views in 1530. To the local bishop, their tolerance of Protestants was radical and even heretical and, worst of all, threatened his power. The Lutherans moved in, and then the Anabaptists, and neither takeover was peaceful. Over the next six years, the city was a battleground between the sects. The war took odd turns with forced baptisms, polygamy, famine, torture, prophesy, and violent battles. Read an account of the bizarre war in Münster that ended with the public cages that still hang there, at Mental Floss.

(Image credit: Flixckr user ptwo)


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Walt Disney's Personal Tragedy Is Reflected In His Movies

Many of Walt Disney's early movies feature a common theme of the main character losing, or having already lost, their mother- Bambi's mother was shot, Dumbo's mom was locked up and Cinderella's mom died before the film's storyline began.

These themes, like many others present in Disney films, weren't included simply to cause an emotional reaction, they were included as a nod to Disney's own life.

Walt Disney was doing so well with his animation studio by the 1940s that he bought his parents a new house, allowing them to share in his success.

But when it was discovered that the home's furnace was in need of repair Walt sent one of his studio hands over to fix it rather than calling a professional, which would prove to be a fatal act of frugality.

The housekeeper arrived one day to find Disney's parents unconscious on the floor, poisoned by a gas leak. She pulled Walt's parents outside as quickly as she could, which saved Elias Disney's life, but sadly his mother Flora was already dead.

Disney never forgave himself for making such a terrible mistake, and the theme of a dead or missing mother became a common tragic thread that connects most Disney films.

-Via Shared


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Learn to Play Cat

In the newest episode of Simon's Cat Logic, Simon Tofield and Nicky Treverrow talks about how cats play, and the best ways for us to play with them. It starts with how to train kittens in recognizing the proper toys.

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Even after a lifetime of playing with cats, even I learned some new tips in this video. It has a Simon's Cat cartoon tagged onto the end, in which we see the cat having a ball with that elusive red dot.


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Now You Can Enjoy Wine In A 40 Oz. Bottle

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Wine was considered an everyman's drink for centuries, but somewhere along the way the elitists in the world decided wine was an upper class quaff and unsuitable for broke folks.

But, as the number of wine makers grew and the drinking of wine became a daily affair once again, the prices came down and good wine became affordable for all as it should be...and then things got weird.

Now from the makers of Forty Ounce Rosé comes Forty Ounce Red- 40 oz. bottles of red wine for people who want to drink like an OG but don't like malt liquor.

Each one holds about 1.5 regular bottles of wine and costs about sixteen bucks, but if someone asks you to play Edward Fortyhands with these 40s just say no!

-Via Thrillist

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Colin Furze's Driveable Hot Tub

Insane inventor Colin Furze (previously) has built such a reputation that now he's being paid to bring ridiculous tech to life. In his latest stunt, he covered a BMW with a lawn (artificial turf), sealed it up and filled it with water, and installed a barbecue grill on the back. Silly? Yes, and a lot of fun. The car is an ad for Google, so they provide Furze with the raw materials for the hot tub car.

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Watch Furze drive around, splashing his bathwater all over the road. Oh yeah, the interior also has water jets, to which he adds bubble bath soap! Now try to imagine what happens when they grill burgers behind a bubble bath. This is the "fun" video. In case you are wondering exactly how he sealed the car so well that it could be driven filled with water, this video shows the process, and this video covers the other accessories. -via Laughing Squid


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TotoroooOOOooo - Awww, He Looks Even Cuter In Costume!


TotoroooOOOooo by Vinny Palmer

Some people get geared up for Halloween earlier than others, but every day is Halloween for Totoro so this pic was taken on a Tuesday in April. Totoro does get really excited about the Thirteen Days of Halloween though, because it's a special time when he and the rest of the spooky critters who hang out in the forest can walk among humans as themselves. So if you see someone in a Totoro costume look for a zipper- because you might be looking at a real life forest guardian instead of a costume!

Get ready for Halloween the fun way- with this TotoroooOOOooo t-shirt by Vinny Palmer, featuring a spook-tacular design that will make people smile wherever you go!

Visit Vinny Palmer's Facebook fan page. official website, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more fiendishly good designs:

Min-Thulhu? Troopa Ricktions in Time and Space The "IT" Crowd

View more designs by Vinny Palmer | More Cartoon 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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How to Get the Instant Dad Bod -the Hairy Beer Belly Fanny Pack

These days the world expects men to have the perfect figure just as much as women -only six packs are out and dad bods are in. But the dad bod isn't obtainable by everyone. Some skinny men will never be able to put on those sexy curves.

But now there's an alternative for those who can't get their own hairy belly and it even provides you with storage space as well. Unfortunately, the Dadbag isn't available yet, but it soon will be and finally it will make your dreams of a DiCaprio-style belly a reality. 

In the meanwhile, you can get an eyefull of these brilliant accessories over on the Dadbag's Instagram.

Via Travel and Leisure


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The Top Five Homeless Characters in Movies

Chronic homelessness is terrifying, and temporary homelessness is something that more and more Americans experience at least once in their life. It's a humbling experience. The older you get, the more likely you are to know someone who had to sleep outside, in their car, in a shelter, or with friends or family members for a time. With the rise of homelessness in the 1980s, Hollywood recognized the phenomenon and set about making movies that show how normal or even extraordinary people are among the homeless. Check out clips from movies built around homeless people at TVOM. I haven't seen all the movies, but if I know anything about Hollywood, I would bet that they all have homes by the end of the film.


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Hilarious Powerpoint Presentations People Will Never Forget

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It helps to add a bit of humor to your presentation if you want to make it more memorable, and adding funny slides and sayings will definitely make your speech go over better with your audience.

Just make sure the audience is laughing at your jokes and not cracking up at your dumb slide full of stupid work phrases spelled out in hideous fonts.

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Making sure the joke matches the subject matter is always a good way to get a laugh, and college professors truly excel at creating Powerpoint slides their students will never forget.

But Powerpoint presentations aren't just for high school and college students anymore, check out this howling good slide created by a third grader for a presentation on wolves:

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See 10+ Presentations That People Certainly Won't Forget here


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New Hermit Crab Does Not Switch Shells

Hermit crabs live inside armor built by other species, usually a seashell after the death of a mollusk, or in any found object it will fit into. As the crab grows, it needs to find a larger shell to accommodate its body. A newly-discovered species, though, has found a workaround. Diogenes heteropsammicola takes up residence inside a living coral. As the crab grows, the dome of coral grows, too, so they can stay together for life.

But although they may be new to us, these hermit crabs have been living symbiotically with coral for a very long time. The crab’s long, thin tail and spindly arms are well suited to fitting into the coral’s cavity, which is usually inhabited by a marine worm that also shares a symbiotic relationship with the coral. Hermit crab hind ends usually spiral to fit shells, but these crabs are more symmetrical, to fit well in the coral. There are advantages for the coral, too. In the journal article, published in PLOS ONE, researchers describe how the crab “carries the host coral and prevents the coral from being buried.”

This symbiotic relationship is called obligate mutualism, as both species benefit from the arrangement. Read the original research report at PLOS-One.

(Image credit: Momoko Igawa, Makoto Kato)


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Parrot Away

According to pop culture pirates love parrots, and even though real life pirates kept all kinds of birds as feathered status symbols the parrot will always be associated with pirates thanks to Long John Silver from Treasure Island.

So now that parrots are eternally connected to pirates it's about time someone opens up a parrot shop that caters to pirates, one which is on an island so they can sail right up, grab a bird and go.

Just make sure the shop appeals to gross and grimy pirates, because ugly parrots need love too!

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Parrot Away was created by third year animation students at The Animation Workshop in Denmark, but it seems like it was made by veteran animators- because it's entertaining from beginning to end!


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The Great Escape

(Image credit: Flickr user Sir Mildred Pierce)

How a video game broke all the rules and made art out of physics

In 2005, seven students at DigiPen Institute of Technology —a for-profit university that teaches video game design— dutifully showed up at their school’s annual career expo to show off their senior project. Their expectations were reasonably low.

Sure, they knew a few big-shot game designers would attend. DigiPen, after all, was located in Redmond, Washington, home to Microsoft and Nintendo, and representatives would likely be there. But the students certainly didn’t expect folks from Valve —the company behind Half-Life— to stop by their booth, play their game, Narbacular Drop, then leave business cards.

When the students called Valve hoping to get feedback from experts, they were shocked by the response. A few weeks later, they found themselves in a corporate meeting room. “We took the game there and we were thinking, ‘Oh, we’re going to show it to two or three people,’ ” Kim Swift, one of the DigiPen seven, told Forbes. But people kept piling into the room: 20 to 30 of Valve’s top programmers, artists, and executives— including Gabe Newell, Valve’s legendary co-founder. It was like having Steven Spielberg show up to a screening of your student film.

Less than 15 minutes into the Narbaeular Drop demonstration, Newell stopped the proceedings. He had a question for the twenty-somethings. “So, what're you doing after graduation?”

Continue reading

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Pack Your Lunch

Yeah, you can save money by bringing your lunch to work instead of buying it from a restaurant or fast food outlet. But after you buy the groceries, then you'll need something to carry your lunch in. You'll probably need some Tupperware containers, too, and some chill-packs to keep your food freshly cold. Or maybe a Thermos, if you don't have a microwave at the office. Or you could do like I did when I actually went to work: keep a box of crackers and a jar of peanut butter in your desk (because the kids were using my Thermos and all my Tupperware in their lunches). Better yet, get a job working from home! This is the latest comic from Dami Lee at As Per Usual. Now, if you'll excuse me, I suddenly feel the need for a midnight snack.


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Star Trek Medley

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The Warp Zone performs a a cappella medley of the themes from all five Star Trek TV series, for serious Star Trek fans. They'll have to tag this with a theme song from the new series, Star Trek: Discovery, as soon as they learn it. -via Tastefully Offensive    


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Pugboat

One of the perks of owning a boat is getting to name it with the most ridiculous pun you can think of. In this case, a punny name is quite appropriate, considering the passengers. The top comment was quite clever, too:

They're all good buoys!

Of course they are.

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

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Things Scottish People Can't Say

Many Scottish people speak three different languages at home- Gaelic, English and Scots, a Germanic language spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster.

Since English is the newer of the three languages spoken by Scots they often have trouble pronouncing English words, a fact which the Brits love to tease them about incessantly.

YouTuber WeeScottishLass bravely submitted her mouth to the challenge to see if she could prove the sterotype wrong by perfectly pronouncing those English words that supposedly give Scots trouble, starting with the name "Carl". Is Rick Grimes Scottish?

(YouTube Link)


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Serene-ity - For Some Reason She Handles Like A Car Now...


Serene-ity by Truly Madly Geekly 

Captain Mal realized there was something wrong with Serenity the minute he got his ship back, and he didn't even have to look her over to realize she was not the same gal he'd been flying through the 'verse for the last twenty years. But that was to be expected, since the Reavers don't steal ships without modding them all to hell, and Mal had taken his sweet time getting her back so they had time to do some pretty deep mods. And yet hearing Serenity talk to him in her own sultry and smoky voice, and having her stare at him with big ol' cartoon eyes and smile at her with that newly installed cheesy grin of hers, well that was too much for Mal to handle! Wash, on the other hand, saw the mods as a dream come true...

Show your unique love for the greatest cancelled sci-fi show of all time with this Serene-ity t-shirt by Truly Madly Geeky, it's sure to make your fellow fans smile wherever you go!

Visit Truly Madly Geekly's Facebook fan page and official website, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

St Smasher I Am Pool Viper

Down Here

View more designs by Truly Madly Geekly  | More Cartoon 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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Lara Croft: Photoshop Disaster

There a remake of the Tomb Raider movie coming out in 2018, starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft. You can see the trailer here, and in it you can tell that Alicia Vikander is a real woman -unlike the image in the movie's poster, which was released this week. What's going on with her neck? Where does it connected to her skull? The over-editing of the picture is a consequence of trying to get her into that pose, the one where a woman who is the star of a movie must show face, boobs, and butt all in the same picture. This time they've gone too far. Bodies just don't work like that. -via The Daily Dot


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Relax and Pet Your Dog

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Paul Rugg, who writes and does voiceovers for cartoons (he worked on Animaniacs and Pinky and The Brain, among other shows) tells us how he relaxes at home with his beloved dog. Truly a man's best friend. -via reddit

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

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Having A Baby Is Just Like Playing A Video Game

Before Players one and two are handed a newborn baby and officially begin their first quest in the strange and wondrous game called Parenthood they have to go through the longest intro sequence ever.

This intro sequence isn't much fun for the mother carrying the child, but it does prepare her for the fact that nearly every quest in Parenthood will be an escort quest- and the wee one has a very small health bar.

And, as this comic by Andy Kluthe and Andrew Bridgman shows, Parenthood is full of stealth, danger and toxic fluids, but if you're lucky you'll survive to play Parenthood 2: The Next Batch.

-Via Dorkly


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The Autumnal Equinox

The Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere occurs on Friday, meaning summer is over and fall will begin. Since the internet is global, the date is now often called the September Equinox. The exact equinox point will be at 4:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time, your mileage may vary. We say that the equinox is the day the sun crosses the Earth's equator, but the sun doesn't really do anything. What happens is that the tilt of the earth, relative to its orbital plane, reaches the point at which the Southern Hemisphere receives more sunlight than the Northern Hemisphere. If you live at the equator, the noonday sun sways a bit north and south over the year, but is directly overhead at both equinoxes. Within the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, the sun is up all summer and gone all winter. Most of us live somewhere between those two extremes, and enjoy long summer days and long winter nights. If you want to get deeper in the details of the equinox, astronomer Guy Ottewell explains what is happening in the graphic above. 

Our sky scene above, for an hour after sunset on equinox day in mid-U.S.A., happens to be about three hours after the instant of the equinox. You can see that the anti-sun, as we can call the point 180 degrees from the sun, appears to be just on the opposite crossroads of ecliptic and equator. Actually it’s a little way past, the fraction of a degree that the sun moves in three hours. The anti-sun point is already a little way into the northern celestial hemisphere, as the sun is a little way into the southern.

Earth is hurtling away from the point we mark as antapex of Earth’s way, 90° to the right of the anti-sun point. As Earth curves on along its orbit, both of these points will shift to the left: the anti-sun point higher into the northern sky, the sun itself deeper into the southern, our hemisphere of Earth deeper into autumn.

Read more about the equinox at Guy Ottewell's Universal Workshop. -Thanks, Walter!

(Image credit: Guy Ottewell)


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Why A Lot Of White Supremacists Have An Asian Fetish

The white supremacists who are making America hate again seem to be a mighty confused bunch, because they claim other races are inferior yet they appropriate whatever they want from other cultures without a second thought.

They carry tiki torches to Neo-Nazi rallies, pledge allegiance to an old German regime and an even older Confederate state even if they're not from the South, and yet they claim to be the most tried and true patriots in the United States of 'Murica.

These hate groups also seem to have a fetish for Asian symbols which, as this VICE News video shows, can be traced back to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, the original racist appropriators of Asian symbology.

(YouTube Link)

-Via VICE


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Sets of Nearly Identical Movies that Came Out at the Same Time

Hollywood follows trends, and it shows when several movies with the same premise are released in the same year -sometime in the same weekend. Embarrassing? Maybe, but what really matters is which movie people go to see. Usually in such cases, one film rises to the top, another is regarded as an also-ran, and maybe a third goes quickly to home video. Rarely, two of them become hits, and will be confused with each other forever afterward. The three movies pictured here were all released in 1985, and all are teen comedies concerning intelligent young nerds whose science projects got out of hand. Read about eight sets of three nearly identical movies at TVOM.


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This Man Saved His Poor Little Pooch From A Pool Of Quicksand

When our furry family members are in trouble we come to their aid just as quickly as we would if one of our human kids needed help, proving how much we value our pet's lives.

51-year-old Paul Stott was out for a stroll on a Northumberland beach with his little Chihuahua mix Dave  when poor Dave was swallowed up by a pool of quicksand.

Paul wasn't sure how to rescue little Dave but didn't hesitate either- he reached right into the quicksand pool and yanked the poor little guy out.

Paul's quick thinking kept Dave from becoming quicksand food, and now Dave's story will serve as a warning to other dog owners about the dangerous quicksand pools on the beach.

Here's Paul demonstrating how deep the quicksand pool is, and how far in he had to reach to grab poor Dave:

(YouTube Link)

-Via Daily Mail

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

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Luring You to Your Doom

What's scarier than Pennywise, the clown from It? Ronald McDonald! See, you already recognize Pennywise as a dangerous entity, terrifying from the start. Ronald, on the other hand, is like the devil in blue jeans, attractive and tempting, until you realize how you've already fallen into his clutches. Resist the fries, Georgie! This is the latest comic from Übertool. 


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The Self-Taught Engineer Who Gave Us Cartridge Gaming Consoles

We're taught in school that the most important inventions created by Black people are peanut butter, blood banks and the sidewalk mailbox, but the history books continue to overlook a more recent yet equally important contributor- Jerry Lawson.

Jerry was a self-taught engineer who gave us one of the greatest, and most fun, technological leaps forward in human history- the video game console.

While working as head of engineering and marketing at Fairchild Semiconductor in the mid-70s Jerry created the Fairchild Channel F gaming console, the first cartridge-based console, which was released in 1976.

The Channel F had interchangeable cartridges so players could expand their library with new games, before that gaming "consoles" were stuck playing the one game programmed directly into the hardware.

Jerry Lawson's legacy was overshadowed by big names like Atari and Coleco, but Jerry truly deserves to be seen as one of the most important Black inventors of all time for his contribution to our entertainment lovin' lives.

-Via Endgadget


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Fun with Mudskippers

Mudskippers are some really strange animals. They are amphibious fish, which is not a new division of taxonomy; it just means they are fish that can spend time out of the water. Mudskippers can breathe through their skin, and they have some strange mating habits, too. This video from the BBC explains. It gets really good at about a minute in, so make sure you don't have any liquid in your mouth when they start to dance.   

(YouTube link)

They sometimes get into shouting matches with each other, too, as you can see here.  -via reddit


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