Delightfully Schlocky Trailer For 80s Throwback Film Night Run

I'll admit that I'm a sucker for throwback flicks, especially if they're made to capture that 80s movie vibe, and while I'm partial to the style I still recognize very few throwback films are worthy of more than one viewing.

So will the upcoming 80s throwback revenge film Night Run blow us away with its totally radical retro awesomeness?

Well it's no Kung Fury, Turbo Kid or Stranger Things, but it looks like a fun retro ride!

(YouTube Link)

Night Run is directed by Erik Solis, who had this to say about the film:

Night Run is an action film set in 1985, filled with explosions, synth music, and a man who will stop at nothing to get his revenge. It's my love letter to the 80's, it's Death Wish meets The Wraith as directed by John Carpenter and scored by Jan Hammer. It's the ultimate 80's movie that never was.

-Via GeekTyrant


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R.I.P. Gregg Allman

An early pioneer of the Southern Rock movement has passed away. Gregg Allman died peacefully today at his home in Savannah, Georgia. The musician had suffered from health problems; he contracted hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant in 2010. No cause of death has been released.   

Allman fronted his band for 45 years, first alongside Duane and then as its sole namesake, after his older brother -- regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in rock history -- was killed in a motorcycle accident in November 1971, just as their trailblazing Southern rock tracks were taking hold on the charts.

Soldiering on through grief and then the eerily similar death of bassist Berry Oakley just one year and 10 days after Duane died, Allman and the band became as well known for their stoic survival as they were for their freewheeling concerts.

The Allman Brothers Band first reached the Billboard 200 albums chart with its self-titled debut in 1970. Over the next 34 years, the group charted 24 more albums, including four top 10 sets. It topped the list once, with Brothers and Sisters, which reached No. 1 for five weeks in 1973.

As a soloist, Allman notched seven charting albums on the Billboard 200, including one top 10 set: the No. 5-peaking Low Country Blues in 2001. On the Hot 100, he claimed a pair of entries with “Midnight Rider” (No. 19 in 1974) and “I’m No Angel” (No. 49 in 1987). The latter also topped the Mainstream Rock Songs chart that same year.

Gregg Allmän was 69.

-via Metafilter


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50 Years Worth Of Televised Pro Putt-Putt Golf Championships

When you think of miniature golf you probably picture castles and windmills, teenagers out on a date and tiny pencils, but over 50 years ago the Professional Putters Association turned mini golf into a pro sport.

Founded in 1959 by Don Clayton the PPA was “Founded with the purpose of finding the world’s greatest putter, to promote Putt-Putt Golf Courses of America and its franchised locations.”, and in 1961 they started televising their Parade Of Champions.

1961 PPA Parade of Champions from Professional Putters Association on Vimeo.

Back in 2011 the Professional Putters Association uploaded 50 years worth of broadcasts to Vimeo so we can study how the masters putt and totally crush it when we go out mini golfing!

1982 PPA Television Series from Professional Putters Association on Vimeo.

-Via Laughing Squid


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I Choose Blue - Hey, No Fair!


I Choose Blue by Taylor Rose

Ash learned long ago that you should always take your pocket monsters with you when you visit the county fair, because they're really good at all the games so they can help you win lots of prizes. Some people will complain that using pocket monsters to win midway games is totally unfair, but all you have to do is pull a Pikachu out of your poke ball and blast those whiners into submission!

Share your cheat code for carnival games with the world by wearing this I Choose Blue t-shirt by Taylor Rose, and watch how many of your fellow fans start inviting you to the county fair!

Visit Taylor Rose's Facebook fan page, official website and Instagram, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

Out There Log Lady Kubo's Legend Never Say Die

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

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His New Collar

Every picture tells a story, and this one is a tale of overconfidence -or maybe just cluelessness. That's the cat door around his neck. This puppy thought he was small enough to go through, just like the cat he lives with. It doesn't work that way. His head went through, but getting it back out was a different story. The uploader doesn't say whether the dog broke the door off or the human had to disconnect it, but the result is a sorry dog with a self-made collar of shame who may our may not have learned his lesson. -via reddit

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

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Preserved Baby Found In Glass Coffin In San Francisco Backyard Identified

In May 2016 workers made a creepy and mysterious discovery while renovating a backyard at a home in San Francisco- the body of a baby girl perfectly preserved in a glass coffin:

According to KTVU, the girl was found in an ornate coffin with glass paneling. Through the glass, workers could see a perfectly preserved girl with long hair and a long white dress with a cross made of flowers lying on her chest.

KGO reports she had purple flowers woven through her long, blonde hair.

“She was right here,” homeowner Ericka Karner told KGO, pointing to the spot on her patio where construction workers found the girl.

The girl was nicknamed “Miranda Eve” until researchers could find out more.

The find sent shivers down the spines of the workers but gave local historians goosebumps because the coffin dates back to the 1800s and therefore represented a mystery related to SF history.

(Image Link)

Now thanks to the efforts of the Southern California Garden Of Innocence Project the little girl's identity has been discovered and her sad story revealed:

After 11 months of research and testing, experts have finally identified the girl as Edith Howard Cook. They identified Peter Cook as Edith’s grand-nephew.

Peter Cook told KTVU in a statement that he was “beaming” when he found out that he was related to the girl.

Funeral records indicate Edith died of “maramus,” which in the 1800s meant severe undernourishment, which can be caused by a number of reasons. Experts speculate that the girl likely became sick from a bacterial infection and stopped eating, leading to undernourishment.

Edith died on Oct. 13, 1876. She was buried in a family plot on Oct. 15, 1876 in Odd Fellows Cemetery. SF Gate reports she was about a month and a half shy of her third birthday when she died.

(YouTube Link)

Read more about Baby From 1800s Found Preserved In Glass Coffin Identified here


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The Scandalous Life of Nurse and Adventurer Kate Marsden

Kate Marsden was a medical adventurer and advocate. While nursing wounded soldiers in the Russo-Turkish War in 1877, she first encountered the horrors of leprosy and became obsessed with finding a treatment. A doctor in Constantinople told her of an herb that grew in Siberia that was supposed to alleviate the disease, so Marsden became determined to go to Siberia. The problem was that Siberia was a wild and desolate area used for exile (which included leprosy sufferers). There was not yet a Transiberian Railway, so in 1891, she went on horseback and sled.

In many ways, Marsden fits the profile of a daring female explorer of the Victorian age. She went to Siberia to find a particular medicinal herb that she thought could cure leprosy, and to meet sufferers of the disease living in the Russian forest. Her advocacy for leprosy patients has since made her a local hero—there’s even a very large diamond named after her—but in her own time, her adventurousness, coupled with gossip about her personal life and sexual preference, brought her only infamy. After she returned from Siberia, she was vilified as a fabulist and an embezzler who had betrayed people who trusted her. Her critics questioned her motives for going to Sosnovka at all: What was she really after? Or was she just running away from something?

Read about Marsden's 11-month Siberian expedition, and the scandals that followed her afterward, at Atlas Obscura.


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Alien Recut as a Comedy

How do you make the horror film Alien into a comedy? Well, first you get rid of that darned xenomorph altogether, and you make it about the cat Jones.  

(YouTube link)

In this parody trailer, which is honestly pretty short, Mashable proves that you don't need jokes to make a comedy trailer. You don't even need laughs, although there is a giggle or two here. All you need is the music. -via Tastefully Offensive


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A Preview of Some of the Craziest Foods at the San Diego Fair

The San DiegoFair doesn't start until June 2, but journalists already got a sneak peak of some of the amazingly strange snacks that will be offered this year at a media preview last week. Naturally, the legendary Chicken Charlie's was there in full force, this year offering a Krispy Kreme ice cream chicken sandwich that features fried chicken, ice cream inside a Krispy Kreme donut all topped with syrup and Fruity Pebbles.

But while we expect strange things from Chicken Charlies, some of the more outrageous treats were far more surprising -like the ninja pizza cupcakes that feature tomato spice cake, caramel marscapone buttercream and candied pepperoni.

And while fried octopus might not be that outrageous, the decoration for this display advertising the seafood snack is all too entertaining.

You can check out more of the bizarro foods at the fair over at KPBS

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Sun Rant

No matter what she says, we all know the real reason that Ash doesn't want to go to the beach is because she'd rather stay inside and play video games. That doesn't make for a convincing argument, though, so the sun gets the blame. At least that way, it's not all about her. This is the latest comic from Megacynics. For the rest of us, Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to get outside and play, but don't forget your sunscreen.


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A Tribute to John Williams at Graduation

Mark Zuckerberg gave the commencement address at Harvard University's graduation ceremonies on Thursday -and grabbed most of the headlines. But he wasn't the only celebrity on hand. Ten honorary degrees were bestowed, including a doctor of music to composer John Williams. The Harvard Din and Tonics, an a cappella group, performed a tribute to Williams during the ceremonies.

(YouTube link)

The medley of movie themes included music from Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, Superman, Jaws, and more. -via Laughing Squid


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One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

(Image Link)

There was a segment on the old Sesame Street show with a particularly catchy song that will stick with me for the rest of my life- One of these things is not like the others.

(Image Link)

This segment taught kids to compare and contrast stuff so they can tell which things are alike and which ones are different and avoid cracking open an ice cold eggplant when they really want a soda.

But who knew "one of these things is not like the others" would still be so much fun to play as an adult?

(Image Link)

See One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others here


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Instant Karma

(YouTube link)

A motorist with a dash cam pulled up to an intersection and stopped with plenty of room for pedestrians to cross. The guy crossing the street didn't not seem happy about it at all. But he got his. Then, for bonus points, he gets angry again! -via Boing Boing


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Only The Lonely Go To Disneyland Alone

This is Jonny Dow, and Jonny has lots of friends who look forward to spending his birthday with him each year because he throws one hell of a house party.

But this year Jonny wanted to do something a bit different for his birthday, so he decided to go to Disneyland for some theme park fun.

Unfortunately, only a handful of Jonny's friends have year passes, and after weeks of planning a trip all of his Disneyland buddies bailed on him, leaving Jonny to go it alone.

Planned to go to Disneyland 2 weeks in a row for my b-day. Had a friend bail each week, so I went by myself. I'm gunna have so much fun! — at Disney California Adventure Park.


Jonny tried not to let his loneliness get him down, but after posing for a few sad and lonely pics it became clear Jonny was feeling pretty bummed about being at The Happiest Place On Earth all by himself.

So he put on a pouty face and tried to make his friends who'd bailed feel bad by sharing some radically sad photos on Facebook.

Now Jonny has a bunch of great pics to commemorate the day he spent at Disneyland with his best friend- himself!


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Extra Extra Terrestrial - It's Hard To Say Which Head Is Scarier


Extra Extra Terrestrial by Vincent Trinidad

The xenomorph DNA has been missing one key component which would have ensured they became the dominant species in the universe- a few E.T. chromosomes to add some horrifying effect. With a dash of E.T. blood coursing through their veins the xenomorphs could have grown a little spud head in their mouths which could have done all the talking for them. And once it had lured those soft-hearted humans in close enough to smell the Reese's pieces on its breath the xeno could have chomped down on that meatbag without alarming the others. Plus they would be able to sprout a glowing "finger" so the queen can dine by fingerlight...

Creep out your fellow Aliens fans with this Extra Extra Terrestrial t-shirt by Vincent Trinidad, and show them all that two heads are not always better than one!

Visit Vincent Trinidad's Facebook fan page, official website and Instagram, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more ridiculously cool designs:

80's Sound Galaxy Rocket Savior Huggin' Since '79 Jurassic Hero

View more designs by Vincent Trinidad | 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 Dramatic Courtroom Demo Designed to Expose Arsenic Murders

Arsenic has been the go-to poison for people wanting to get rid of family members for centuries. It's odorless, tasteless, produces symptoms of illness that can be attributed to natural causes, and for most of history, hard to detect after the fact. When divorce was difficult, arsenic was easy. Tests were eventually developed to detect arsenic in a human body, but they weren't reliable enough to persuade juries in cases without additional evidence. That is, until British chemist James Marsh developed the Marsh test in 1836, which made its dramatic courtroom debut a few years later.    

Perhaps the most famous use of Marsh’s test was in the trial of Marie Lafarge in 1840, in which the defendant stood accused of poisoning her husband. Young Marie had entered an arranged marriage with Charles Lafarge believing him to be a wealthy, cultured businessman, and when she found out he was in fact a boorish clod with a run-down chateau, rough sexual habits and substantial debt, she got to putting arsenic in his food. (Friends mentioned that they’d heard her asking casually about mourning fashions: How long did you have to wear black, again?) By the time Charles came to realize his wife’s devotion to home cooking was not a loving gesture, it was too late.

A back-and-forth festival of forensic testing ensued: local scientists first analyzed the dead man’s beverages, stomach tissue and vomit; and while they claimed to have found arsenic, their glassware broke during testing. Moreover, defense counsel was upset at use of outdated techniques, and called in Mateu Orfila, dean of the Paris Faculty of Medicine and the era’s premier toxicologist, who confirmed that only the Marsh test would be credible in court.

At the time, people were skeptical of forensic scientists, particularly when a defendant's life was at stake. Testimony about test results wasn't enough; they wanted to see the test performed. So what was left of the victim's body was brought into the court for the Marsh test, resulting in trial spectators buying 500 bottles of smelling salts. Read what happened at that trial, and how the results influenced forensic science, at Atlas Obscura.


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This Dapper Little Dog Wants To Sell You A Used Car

There are some seriously shady individuals out there selling used cars and the law, and some of them are so sleazy they look like characters from a TV show, with cheap suits, fake tans and even faker smiles.

But if dogs could walk and talk they'd make sales left and right without deceiving buyers, because customers wouldn't be able to resist their powers of cuteness.

Still don't believe dogs would make the ultimate salescritters?

Just try and say no to Mr. Griff the Brussels Griffon when he tries to sell you his services as a lawyer or a used car, he would've had you at herro!

Here's Mr. Griff in a commercial for Brus Griffin's Motor World, where all used cars have their tires peed on thoroughly inspected and all windows cracked for maximum wind-to-face ratio.

(YouTube Link)

-Via Laughing Squid

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

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Jupiter's South Pole

NASA's Juno probe entered orbit around Jupiter a year ago, and has been gathering data ever since. Now the space agency is releasing spectacular images, such as this one showing Juptier's south pole. It is a composite of several images, and shows multiple cyclones up to 600 miles in diameter raging around the pole.  

“We knew, going in, that Jupiter would throw us some curves,” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “But now that we are here we are finding that Jupiter can throw the heat, as well as knuckleballs and sliders. There is so much going on here that we didn’t expect that we have had to take a step back and begin to rethink of this as a whole new Jupiter.”

Among the findings that challenge assumptions are those provided by Juno’s imager, JunoCam. The images show both of Jupiter's poles are covered in Earth-sized swirling storms that are densely clustered and rubbing together.

“We're puzzled as to how they could be formed, how stable the configuration is, and why Jupiter’s north pole doesn't look like the south pole,” said Bolton. “We're questioning whether this is a dynamic system, and are we seeing just one stage, and over the next year, we're going to watch it disappear, or is this a stable configuration and these storms are circulating around one another?”

As more of the data is analyzed, we are liable to find out more amazing things about the largest planet in our solar system. Read more about the Juno mission and what it's learning about Jupiter at NASA.

(Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles)


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Cracking Michael Jackson's P.Y.T. Code

Back in 1982 Michael Jackson introduced us to the acronym P.Y.T. with his song P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) on the album Thriller, a fun, lighthearted and dancy jam about a girl who makes Michael go "woo-hoo!".

(YouTube Link)

But if you think the title says it all you're wrong, because this seemingly simple pop song has been hiding a mystery all these years- hidden lyrics in the high pitched, chipmunky part at the end of the song.

Music copyright expert Drew Seventeen used audio software Audacity to pitch shift the outro of P.Y.T. and discovered some hidden messages sung by Michael himself:

“‘Good Life’ by Kanye West featuring T-Pain (heavily sampling that section) is actually my iPhone morning alarm song. So after hearing the voice hundreds of times in the dream-wakefulness transition, I became obsessed with knowing what the actual lyric was. I assumed the ‘tee’ and ‘see’ were chopped off in the final mix due to timing limits on early sampling technology, but the exposed stem also makes it clear that he just hits a lower note there which becomes unclear in the master recording.”

-Via Dangerous Minds


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The Top Five Current TV Vampires

You may not be aware of how many first run TV shows feature vampires -I certainly didn't. Fans of vampire, monster, and supernatural fiction (redundant terms, I know) have a wealth of entertainment selections. One of the newest is Cassidy from the series Preacher.   

As one of the characters in his own series put it, Proinsias Cassiday is not an evil man, but he is a weak man who brings those beside him to ruin through the events that he sets into motion. With that said, Preacher sees his transformation from this to something more, meaning that viewers of the TV show based on the comic books are in for a treat.

That kind of undersells how completely bonkers the character and the series is. The second season of Preacher starts June 25th. Read about other vampires on TV at TVOM.


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Guy Sucks At Photoshop, So He Spends 10 Years Illustrating His Book With MS Paint

Working hard until you achieve your goal requires tons of time, effort, luck, discipline and perseverance to follow through no matter what obstacles stand in your way, in other words way too much.

But a few dedicated folks have managed to live up to the adage "if you want something bad enough you have to work for it; If you don't get it, work harder", and they're making the rest of us look bad!

Author and now illustrator Pat Hines wrote a book called Camp Redblood and the Essential Revenge which he felt needed illustrations, but he sucked at Photoshop and other digital art programs.

So Pat spent 10 years mastering the "classic" PC art program MS Paint so he could create his own artwork, and his perseverance paid off.

Now Pat's book has snazzy artwork and he has the satisfaction of knowing it'll only take him another twelve years or so to master Photoshop!

-Via design you trust


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There's No Time to Explain!

In action movies, we hear "No time to explain!" a lot, because the audience already knows the story, and there's no reason to waste time explaining it all again to a character who was out of the loop. But what if the audience were also out of the loop? This poor guy is suddenly caught up in an adventure he doesn't understand, involving tinfoil hats, a time machine, aliens, and murder. We don't understand it, either. The two protagonists immediately encounter a paradox when they travel backward in time and encounter themselves. But there's no time to explain!

(YouTube link)

The operative idea here is when they go back in time ten minutes, and the clueless partner says, "Why didn't you set it to 15 minutes back so we's have five minutes to talk?" Yeah, that would have required an explanation that made sense, so no. Oh, there may be more of the story to come, or maybe not. -via Digg


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Keep Your Summer Days Nice And Punny With These Hilarious NeatoShop T-Shirts

Suntasstic by Vó Maria

T-shirts are the perfect summer attire, because they look cool, keep you cool with their short sleeves and breathable cotton fabric, and the graphics allow you to express yourself without saying a word.

If you're looking for a tee that makes people smile you've gotta head over to the NeatoShop and grab a tee that will spread warm smiles wherever you go!

The clothes and accessories we wear during the summer can make us look cool

Motherfalcon by Hillary White

Or they can make us look like a total fool

Mr. Trap Jaw by Wolf Krusemark

But as long as Mr. Avocado approves

Bravo-Cado! by (W)right Design

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Truck plows into AnalTech, Releasing Foul Odor

It's a headline for your inner 12-year-old. Monday, two pickup trucks collided in Newark, Delaware, and one of the trucks smashed into the laboratory of the AnalTech company, leaving a large hole behind. A bad odor began emanating from the building, leading first responders to contact the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, leading to a HazMat team coming out to clean up the area. Three hours later, the site was declared safe. But you might still be wondering about AnalTech.  

In an email sent to the Houston Chronicle, a spokesperson revealed, "In 1964, the company paid a marketing firm to come up with a different name. They said, 'Well, you guys do Analytical Technology – why don’t you put the two words together and call it ‘AnalTech!' ”

However, the spokesperson admitted that "AnalTech faces certain challenges because of the 'juvenile' humor that has developed in the past few decades and current web filters that may block the company name" and has considered rebranding as a result.

The drivers of the two trucks sustained non-life threatening injuries. State Police are investigating the incident.  -Thanks, John Farrier!

(Image credit: Google Maps)


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7 Signs That Cats Are Scientists

We recently posted a video about cats attacking things and knocking objects off tables. I mentioned that they were trying to cause chaos and destruction, but Chris Poole has an alternate theory. These cats are conducting experiments!

(YouTube link)

It makes perfect sense: cats are naturally curious, and are masters of observation, exploration, and manipulation. Plus this theory gives us a reason to watch Cole and Marmalade being their everyday charming selves. -via Laughing Squid

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

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Time Warp - Are You Outta Time?


Time warp by Everdream

So you wanna take a trip through time, do ya? Well, in order to travel through the time streams you'll have to choose a vehicle capable of conveying you from this era to the next, which is a surprisingly hard choice. There's the Tardis, which seems like a pain to steer and doesn't seem to have many amenities, or the classic Delorean time machine built by Doc Brown, which seats two comfortably but tends to break down at inopportune times. Maybe a time tunnel is more your speed, since you don't have to steer, or perhaps a hot tub that transports you back to the days of your youth?

Make people space out wherever you go with this Time Warp t-shirt by Everdream, it's the bold and geeky way to show the world how you travel in style.

Visit Everdream's Facebook fan page, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more timeless designs:

What are you in for? V.A.T.S. - Gear The Doctors Strange Mystic Arts

View more designs by Everdream | More Sci-Fi 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 Craziest Post Offices in the World

An underwater post office seems like something from science fiction, but it's actually a real place in the small island nation of Vanuatu -and that's only one of ten crazy post offices located across the globe. Also strange is the world's only floating post office, that only serves freighters traversing the Detroit River. If you like things a little more old school, you might enjoy the post office in Peach Springs, Arizona that delivers mail with a mule team to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Believe it or not though, those three examples aren't even the most out of this world post offices around. 

So check out the full list of ten crazy post offices on TopTenz.


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All Hail the Emperor of San Francisco

The following article is from the book Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges into California.

San Francisco is known for being accepting of nonconformists, but few people better exemplify the city’s love of eccentricity than Joshua Abraham Norton, the self-proclaimed “Emperor of these United States.”

HOW RICE MADE ROYALTY

Few monarchs have ruled as kindly or been as revered by their subjects as Joshua Abraham Norton—aka his Imperial Majesty Norton I. Calling himself the “Emperor of these United States” (he later added “Protector of Mexico”), Norton “ruled” from 1859 to 1880 from his home in San Francisco. True, Norton was out of his mind at the time, and by “ruled,” we mean “made a lot of laws that no one ever followed.” But in San Francisco he was so popular that he’s still celebrated to this day.

Norton was born around 1819 to a Jewish family in London, England, and grew up in South Africa, where he served in the military and worked in his father’s retail business. After his parents died, he moved to San Francisco in 1849 with an inheritance of $40,000. But instead of hunting for gold like most 49ers, he opened an office to seek his fortune in commodities and real estate. Norton soon became well known and successful around the city. By 1852 he’d managed to acquire a fortune of more than $200,000 (about $5 million today). But then came the bad investment.

Continue reading

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When the Patient Is a Gold Mine

For most of the 20th century, drug companies ignored rare diseases, because it wasn't prudent to sink millions of dollars into research to develop drugs for rare patients. If less than 200,000 people in America had the disease, no one wanted to take the financial risk when drug companies could make much more money developing a new arthritis drug. But there were many rare diseases, and many lives lost due to the expense of research -or lack of profit, if you look at it another way. However, fixing the problem led to unintended consequences, as the latest cover article at Bloomberg Businessweek explains.  

To address neglected research areas, Congress in 1983 passed the Orphan Drug Act, which gave drugmakers federal grants, tax incentives, and seven years of marketing exclusivity for new rare-disease treatments (vs. three to five years of exclusivity for a more common new drug). In the ensuing 34 years, more than 600 orphan drugs have been approved in the U.S., compared with 10 in the decade before the law was passed.

But government-protected monopolies, combined with desperate patients, led to today’s prices. Genzyme Corp. started the trend in 1991 by charging $150,000 for a year’s supply of a drug for treating Gaucher disease, an ailment that weakens bones and internal organs. In 2016, Biogen Inc. began charging $750,000 for the first year of treatment with a drug called Spinraza, which targets a deadly muscle disease. “Many of these manufacturers have perceived it as essentially a blank check to price the drug where they think it’s reasonable,” says Rena Conti, associate professor of health policy and economics at the University of Chicago.

The pharmaceutical company Alexion developed a drug called Soliris for two rare conditions and initially priced the therapy at $389,000 per year. Now, each of the 11,000 sufferers of a condition called aHUS can mean more than a half million dollars a year for the company. So was it any wonder that the sales force, using nurses as well as sales representatives, pressured doctors and patients to stay on the drug? Or funded lawsuits to get the drug paid for? Or sponsored support groups for patients? Read about the unnerving way that orphan drugs are sold at Bloomberg. -via Digg


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Behind the Scenes of Beauty and the Beast

They say that if you love sausage or law, you shouldn't watch either being made. Maybe they should say the same for CGI filmmaking. Disney gives us a look at how Dan Stevens acted out the part of the Beast in the recent live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. Yeah, he's a handsome man, but wearing a motion capture suit with beast prosthetics while Emma Watson was perfectly dressed in a ball gown -well, it just looks ridiculous.  

(YouTube link)

Sure, it's interesting to see how it's done, but it would be even more interesting to find out how the cast and crew managed to keep a straight face during the filming. -via The Daily Dot


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