Studying Dog Brains

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Research into how dogs think is yielding some amazing results, although a lot of it just confirms what we already thought from behavior observation, but did not know for sure. What’s amazing is how its done. Imagine putting a dog in an MRI machine.

The most direct brain-based evidence that dogs are hopelessly devoted to humans comes from a recent neuroimaging study about odor processing in the dog brain. Animal cognition scientists at Emory University trained dogs to lie still in an MRI machine and used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to measure their neural responses to the smell of people and dogs, both familiar and unknown. Because dogs navigate the world through their noses, the way they process smell offers a lot of potential insight into social behavior.

The scientists found that dog owners' aroma actually sparked activation in the "reward center" of their brains, called the caudate nucleus. Of all the wafting smells to take in, dogs actually prioritized the hint of humans over anything or anyone else.

Other studies show that dogs process information a lot like people do -and quite differently from what we know of cats and other animals. Read more about canine brain research at at Brain Mic, and do not miss the picture of the good dog waiting for his MRI. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Borbala Ferenczy)

TAUNTERS - Sons Of Silly People

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TAUNTERS by Geekchic Tees

They weren't trained to be warriors, marauders, soldiers or raiders- they were born, bred and built up to be taunters. They shook their stuff in general directions like nobody else could, and when they pull out the big guns and accuse you of having a hamster for a mother their taunt topples even the mighties kings from their silly thrones! They may not be the winning team, but they sure do know how to cause a mental injury with some rough wordplay.

Looking for the holy grail of clever comedy shirts? Look no further than this TAUNTERS t-shirt by Geekchic Tees, it's tastier than elderberries and more fashionable than a French knight!

Visit Geekchic Tees's Facebook fan page, official website, Instagram and Twitter, then head on over to their NeatoShop for more fun-tastic designs:

SCUM A Show About Nothing 8-BIT BETRAYAL Timey-Wimey Xmas

View more designs by Geekchic Tees | More Video Games | 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!

Melted Cars, Ruined Art, and Other Troubles With Solar Convergence

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A building in London wasn’t even finished when it started melting cars around it. The culprit was solar convergence, which happens when too many glass windows reflect solar heat onto the same spot. Fix the spot? That’s not feasible, since the angle of the sun changes both daily and yearly. Fix the building? That’s an expensive proposition.

Surely the building's designer was mortified by the results of his creation, right? Well, no. When architect Rafael Viñoly was questioned about his flawed design, he heartily deflected, blaming consultants, global warming, cost-cutting developers, and the sun's elevation. This was an especially galling disavowal of responsibility because the science of solar reflectivity analysis has been gaining traction for several years. There are many tools, firms, and even apps available to architects and developers to help avoid just this problem. Especially damning for Viñoly is that the "death ray" issue was not actually unprecedented. And the last time a high-profile building had had problems of this nature, it was also one he'd designed.

Solar convergence from modern architecture is not a new problem. The phenomenon is so well-known that there’s even a generator that harnesses the phenomenon on the French-Spanish border. Read about how solar convergence problems happen again and again at Atlas Obscura.  

(Image credit: Flickr user Luc Mercelis)

Photos of a Young Audrey Hepburn Before She Was Famous

Lisa Marcus 0

Audrey Hepburn, 1939. Photograph by Manon van Suchtelen.

Audrey Hepburn, 1938

Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels, Belgium on May 4, 1929, and spent some of her younger years at boarding school in England. During most of World War II, she studied in the Netherlands. Post war, Audrey studied dance, as that was her main interest at the time. She got her first break when cast as a member of the chorus line in a 1948 London production of High Button Shoes.

These rare snapshots of Audrey as a child and young adult were taken between 1929 and 1949. See the rest of the collection here.  

Ella Van Heemstra photographed with her daughter Audrey Hepburn, 1929.

Audrey Hepburn's first passport, 1936

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Whodunit: The Three Stoogles

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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 Shannon)

When the police arrived at Hubert Stoogle's house, the motif seemed to be water. The sprinkler system was going full force, and the owner of the premises was lying dead in his own bathtub.

The man's three nephews lined up on the sun-drenched front porch, each one eager to tell his story.
"Once a week Uncle Hubert had us over for lunch," Stanley Stoogle said. "I parked in the front drive. Uncle wasn't around, so I assumed he was taking his usual soak. As I went into the library, a summer shower passed over. Five minutes later, the sun was out again. It was a few minutes after that when I heard Uncle shouting. Then all the lights sputtered and went out. I went upstairs and found him. Someone had thrown an electric hair dryer into his tub."

"I got here during the shower," volunteered Dick Stoogle. His hair and clothes were still wet. "I parked behind Stanley. Just running up to the porch I got drenched. I was in a downstairs bathroom drying off when I heard the shout and saw the lights go off. When I got up to Uncle's bathroom, Stanley was standing over the tub. A wet hair dyer was in his hand."

Eugene said he arrived last. "The shower was long over. The driveway was full of cars, so I parked by the rear garden. Once inside, I noticed the place was dark. I wandered around, looking for my brothers. Then Stanley came down and told me the news."

The boys all agreed about what happened next. Eugene ran out to move his car. "The darn sprinklers had gone on and the inside of my convertible was soaked." Meanwhile, Stanley went downstairs to replace the blown fuse, and Dick used his cellular phone to call the police.

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Comic Brick Show at Designer Con Presents Comic Book Covers in LEGO

Lisa Marcus 0

Designer Con 2014 in Los Angeles just wrapped up, but before it did, the "Comic Brick" show was held, in which a number of LEGO lovers recreated popular comic book covers in bricks. The results, some of which are shown here, were way cool. The covers included Star Wars, The Hulk, Superman, Batman and The Walking Dead.

You can see more of the brick art from the Comic Brick show here.

Via Lost at E Minor | Images: Flickr 

Seadevil Anglerfish Caught on Video

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(YouTube link)

We know quite a bit about the anglerfish because it’s so weird that bloggers love to talk about it. But it’s rare to catch footage of one in its natural habitat because they live deep down where there is little sunlight. An ROV from the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) recorded this anglerfish at a depth of 600 meters in Monterrey Canyon. Although scientists at MBARI have recorded anglerfish before, they believe this is first time the species Melanocetus, or the Black Seadevil, has been filmed. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

Some Of The Worst SkyMall Travel Accessories

Zeon Santos 1

(Image Link)

Even though SkyMall was created so people can go shopping for stuff while they travel by airplane they sure do make a lot of stuff that’s not very useful when traveling!

Their strange, and often utterly useless, merchandise has made them a source of amusement for many travelers, who look forward to thumbing through the latest catalog while flying the friendly skies.

Diply put together a list of the 20 Absolute Worst SkyMall Travel Accessories which includes this Releaf Neck Rester, also known as a neck brace:

(Image Link)

This Looq System Adjustable Tablet Tripod , aka a selfie stick, which should never be used inside an airplane because you might put a fellow traveler’s eye out:

(Image Link)

And this ridiculously useless DVD Shield, which isn't very useful whether you're at home or traveling the world because it only seems to work with specific DVD players. Thanks SkyMall!

(Image Link)

See the rest of these silly SkyMall products here

The Pilgrims in America

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The following is an article from Uncle John's Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader

Historical fact: The Pilgrims never called themselves “Pilgrims.” In fact, they weren’t known by that name until the 1840s. Here’s the second part of their story that began last week with Why the Pilgrims Came to America.


The Pilgrims finally set off from Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620, more than a month behind schedule. Historians can only guess as to the Mayflower’s exact exact size and shape (no pictures of her were ever painted), although most agree that she had two decks and three masts. “Considering the proportions of a number of known merchant vessels of the era,” writes William Baker in Colonial Vessels, “the Mayflower might have had a keel length ranging from 52 tp 73 feet, a breadth of 24 to 27 feet and a depth of 10 to 13 feet.” Other historians say she may have been as a long as 90 feet. Even so, that’s roughly the size of a two story, three bedroom house. And that’s what 102 passengers, 25 crew members, two dogs, many cats, and even more rats squeezed into for 66 days on rough and often stormy seas.

The Mayflower was designed to carry cargo, not people, so there were few cots or hammocks to sleep on. Some of the wealthier families paid the ship’s carpenter to build cots, but most of the passengers slept on hard wooden floors on a constantly rocking boat. Seasickness was common. Because people were heading to a new life in an unknown land, they brought along as many of their possessions and rations as they could pack in… which made the living quarters below decks extremely cramped. A few of the passengers even slept in the shallop, a surveying boat that was stowed on the gun deck.


The Mayflower II, a replica of the Pilgrims' ship. (Image credit: OldPine)

The first few weeks of the voyage saw relatively calm weather, and the mood among the Pilgrims was good. It is commonly believed that the Pilgrims were a bunch of staid old men who wore black clothes and black hats with buckles. That’s a myth. In reality, there was only one man over 60; the average age was 32; and there were 30 children on board. The Pilgrims even wore colorful clothes; William Bradford, for example, owned a “green gown, violet cloak, lead colored suit with silver buttons, and a red waistcoat.” And unlike the stricter Puritans, the Pilgrims liked to sing and play games.


But after those first couple of weeks, the fun came to a stormy end.

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Meddling Kids' Meal - One Delicious Mystery Solved!

Zeon Santos 1

Meddling Kids' Meal by PlasticBlast

Scooby and the gang really shouldn't have been hanging around with that guy Hannibal, but he promised to help them solve the case of the haunted sanitarium and seemed like a nice guy. Once the case had been solved, and Agent Starling was uncovered as the Masked Headshrinker, the mystery gang was invited back to Hannibal's house for a gourmet meal he'd prepared. Scooby had become worried about his little buddy Scrappy, but the rest of the gang were too busy listening to Will's stories about actual monsters to notice the little guy was gone. They sat down to eat, excited for a home cooked meal, but when Hannibal came walking out of the kitchen with the meal he'd prepared the group discovered what had become of poor little Scrappy...

Add a delicious new design to your geeky wardrobe, bring home this Meddling Kids' Meal t-shirt by Plastic Blast and show the world you have really good taste!

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

Special Agent In Secret Room Busting Makes Me Feel Good No One Will Ever Believe You Chaos Theory

View more designs by PlasticBlast | 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!

This Is the Beak of a Colossal Squid

John Farrier 1

(Photo: Museum of New Zealand)

In 2013, the crew of a fishing boat in the Ross Sea off the coast of Antarctica found a rare creature in their nets: a colossal squid. The female squid weighed 770 pounds and was the second entire colossal squid ever caught. The crew put the squid into cold storage.

The Museum of New Zealand acquired the squid. On Sept. 15, scientists dissected it live on camera. It was a great opportunity for study. They measured the squid's 2 eyes, which were 14 inches across. The scientists also found that the squid was pregnant, giving them a chance to examine squid reproduction.

You can view more photos and read more information about the squid on the museum's blog.

-via Super Punch

NeatoShop Free Shipping Sale - Get Free Worldwide Shipping!

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Beat the holiday shopping rush by getting your loved ones geeky T-shirts designed by the web's most talented indie designers from the NeatoShop.

This winter, celebrate the holidays with NeatoShop's awesome Ugly Christmas Sweater-style tees. Or check out our wide selection of Funny T-shirts, Science T-shirts, Sci-Fi T-shirts, Video Games-inspired T-shirts, and more.

Get FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING (yes, worldwide - whether you're in Canada or Brazil, or the Good ol' US of A, all shirt orders get free shipping) from Nov 24 to 27 (Hurry! The sale will be over before you know it!)

Black Friday: The Movie

Miss Cellania 1

(YouTube link)

If they made a movie about Black Friday shopping, of course it would be a horror film. By this point, I’m starting to believe that Black Friday sales are a tradition people only participate in to create news stories and viral videos. Why would anyone want to be anywhere near the carnage? My Christmas shopping philosophy has evolved over the years -I never buy any Christmas gift because it’s on sale anymore. I’d personally rather buy something that the receiver needs or wants. That’s completely opposite my philosophy for buying groceries. This movie parody trailer is from Nacho Punch. -via Tastefully Offensive

Photo Series "Power Hungry" Aims to Keep World Hunger in World's Awareness

Lisa Marcus 1

North Korea, "Power"

Henry Hargreaves and Caitlin Levin, featured previously at Neatorama for food maps of the world and candy and gingerbread galleries, among other things, present their latest series "Power Hungry." Hargreaves described the series in an interview with BuzzFeed,

"This project began with a look at the foods historical dictators have eaten. Quickly, though, our endeavor evolved as we saw stark similarities between past and present. It became abundantly clear how authoritarian regimes throughout history have used food as a weapon, systematically oppressing, silencing, and killing people through starvatiion."

The pair hopes that the series raises awareness of world hunger. Hargreaves continued,

"We want people to literally and figuratively sit down and look across a table to see the glaring disparities between the ‘haves and have nots’. The world has clearly changed tremendously in just a few short decades. Swathes of the world’s people, once routinely afflicted by sweeping hunger, have more regular access to food than before. Indeed, even some poor populations now face a greater threat from obesity than from starvation. 

Yet tremendous imbalances exist in places both far away and closer to home. Many throughout the world are still forced to survive on the most meager of meals, or nothing at all, while a powerful few lavish in absurd culinary luxuries.” 

See Hargreaves and Levin's full series here at their website.

Via Design Taxi | Images: Henry Hargreaves and Caitlin Levin

North Korea, "Hungry"

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The Anatomy of TV Shows

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(Wrong Hands/John Atkinson)

Your cunning plan will fail. Yes, your pillow is trying to kill you. The 8-month hiatus will make you forget what happened during the previous season. It's almost like these shows operate on formulas. John Atkinson, who has previously charted the anatomy of movies and popular songs, now shows us how television shows flow.

Vegetable Gelatin Pie Salad

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Tell your Thanksgiving dinner guests you are thinking of serving Veg-All Pie Plate Salad, and you’ll either trim down your guest list or get someone to volunteer to bring a salad -or pie. It’s made of lemon gelatin and a can of Veg-All chopped vegetables, molded in a pie plate and cut in wedges, like a pie. Yum! Pie Plate Salad one of the many recipes that the makers of convenience foods like Miracle Whip, Jell-O, and Campbell’s Soup filled women’s magazines with in the ‘50s and ‘60s. There are a few recipes that survive from those dark days, but Pie Plate Salad is not one of them, for obvious reasons. This is from a list of 21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Food Advertisements at Buzzfeed.

(Image source: Flickr user Jamie)

The Story Of The Mexican Pobladores Who Founded Los Angeles

Zeon Santos 1

Every city has a backstory, a tale about its creation and the people responsible for putting it on the map. This is a tale about the people who helped found the City of Angels way back in 1781- The Los Angeles Pobladores.

Forty four settlers and four soldiers were brought from Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico to Las Californias to help build the future home of Hollywood, from 11 families personally selected by the Governor of Las Californias, Felipe de Neve.

California historian William Mason shared the story of Los Angeles' founding families with the Los Angeles Times way back in 1975, and yet this tale of how the large and influential city of L.A. began with forty four souls is little known to this day.

The city’s Hispanic origins are common knowledge, but the fact that over half of the settlers were of African descent, and only a few were actually Spanish, is quite surprising.

The racial diversity found in the group reveals the progressive nature of the Spanish regarding citizens of African descent, in a time when the United States had yet to outlaw slavery.

You can read more of William Mason's research in this PDF entitled Los Angeles Under The Spanish Flag, with research and findings which were reiterated in Mason's obituary posted by the Los Angeles Times after his passing in 2000.

2014 Supreme Cat Show

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More than 800 cats were paraded and judged at The Supreme Cat Show in Birmingham, England, yesterday. The event, held for thirty years now, is one of the largest cat competitions in Europe. Exhibitors brought longhairs, shorthairs, Persians, Sphinxes, and more with fancy names like Sugartump Supremo Disaronno, Adzwosh Darling Doris Day, Bleugems Believe-in-me, and Leadpruuf Pruby Doo. The overall winner was a British Lilac Tortie named Premier Pinemarten Tina Sparkle, owned by Penny Hopgood.


Continue reading to see more pictures.

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Why Elephants Never Forget

Lisa Marcus 1

YouTube Link

I love animals, but elephants are some of my favorites. They are soulful, smart and sweet to their species and others. This video provides facts about the intelligence of elephants and lists some common behaviors in the context of their brain capacity and function. I continue to hope for a world in which these noble animals are free of captivity, habitat destruction, cruelty and poaching.

Purr - The Legendary Feline Foursome

Zeon Santos 2

Purr by Paula Garcia

The kittehs were looking to put the band back together, but they needed a style makeover because folk was out and metal was in. They decided to go with a classic face painting motif to give them the purrfect amount of fright, and kitty friendly instruments to keep Purr playing their pawsitively awesome brand of rock and roll all night. They landed a gig in Rock City's seediest underground club The Tomcat and proceeded to blow the audience's mind with their fantastically furry-ous basslines, mewsically melodious choruses and derp inducing drumming. Purr was off to a good start, that is until the Starchild and Catman came looking for them after the gig...

Add some kittie metal mania to your geeky wardrobe with this Purr t-shirt by Paula Garcia, it's the rockinest cat shirt in town!

Visit Paula Garcia's Facebook fan page, official website, Instagram and Twitter, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more purr-fectly geeky designs:

Fire And Blood Don Vito Maneki Metal This Is Halloween

View more designs by Paula Garcia | 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!

Cargo Bikes That Quickly Turn into Power Generators

John Farrier 3

Portal Bikes is a not-for-profit organization that wants to help people rise out of poverty by giving them a machine with multiple purposes. That machine is a bike. The founders of Portal Bikes believe that bikes "are the most incredible invention the world has ever known." They provide transportation of people and cargo, as well as a power source.

Ordinary bikes can do this, but Portal Bikes designed a low-cost bicycle specifically to enhance the lives of the poor.

It's a bicycle, so it can transport people on the front or the back. Owners can also add panniers to provide for additional cargo-hauling capacity.

Some bicycle owners have adapted their bikes to power stationary machines. The Portal Bike has that feature built-in with no loss to the use of the bike for transportation. Whenever the back wheel is turning, so is the power take off device in the rear, which can be used to crank anything which turns, such as a grinder or a mechanical washing machine.

-via NotCot

Clearing the Driveway

Miss Cellania 2

(YouTube link)

Be careful! A guy in Corbett, Oregon, was going to remove the snow from his driveway. Turns out he didn’t need to worry about snow at all. He needs to worry about the ice! The driveway is on a hill, and from the looks of it, no vehicles should attempt to drive down. Or walk down, for that matter. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

Spider Man Gloves are Real, and They're Spectacular

Lisa Marcus 2

Researchers at Stanford have developed gloves inspired by the climbing movement of geckos that give users under 200 pounds the ability to climb a smooth, vertical surface. Their research is published in this week's issue of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface

Popular Mechanics' William Herkewitz discussed the project, 

"Hawkes and his colleagues developed a dry-adhesive called PDMS microwedges. Unlike duct tape or super glue, this reptile-inspired adhesive works via clingy hair-like nanofibers. These nanofibers flatten out when pulled downward against a surface and grip via electromagnetic attraction (called the van der Waals force) but can be pulled off easily with a perpendicular tug.

Using springs, they anchored 24 microwedge patches to a flat plate that a person could grab with their hand, the idea being that the 24 patches distribute the force of a climber. However, this is actually a well-tested recipe for failure. Normal springs won't distribute weight as evenly as you'd need. Worse, when a single patch is pulled past its breaking point, the failure can avalanche across the entire plate.

Here's the key to Hawkes' system: Instead of using ordinary springs to anchor the adhesive patches, they used springs made of a shape-memory alloy. While normal springs become tenser as you pull them like a rubber band, the scientist's shape-memory alloy springs actually become softer and less tense, like stretching bubblegum.

Anchored by these weird springs, each of Hawkes' microwedges distributed the weight of a clinging climber across the plate with near perfection. Hawkes could easily scale a glass wall, and the scientists have calculated that the gloves could be used by anyone up to around 200 lbs. And if one wedge ever fails, the plate simply self-corrects."

Read more in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Popular Mechanics and Science News.

Via i09 | Image: Elliot Hawkes

Behold the Power of Telekinesis Cat

John Farrier 2

(Video Link)

Fluffy was an ordinary cat. Then, late one night while roaming through the neighborhood, he encountered a crashed alien spaceship. Now he can . . . do things . . . with his mind.

His power is growing every day. Soon the house cat lifestyle will not be enough for him.

From YouTube user Super Epic Cats comes the first episode of "Telekinesis Cat." Other videos in the series include "Mad Scientist Cat" and "Hover Cat."

-via David Thompson

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