2017/01/05

Neatorama

Neatorama


Why It Would Suck To Date An Anime Girl

Posted: 05 Jan 2017 03:59 AM PST

Many Otakus think anime girls would make great girlfriends, because they're powerful and beautiful, with plenty of magical charm and cute little voices that can make a raging bull stop and smile.

But if these anime girls existed in the real world they would be virtually undateable, and any Otaku who made a play for them would instantly regret their decision.

Jealous boyfriends would rage when they're forced to watch as their anime GF falls on top of their male "friends" in suggestive ways over and over again, because that's how clumsiness is portrayed in anime.

The new BF would also have to deal with the brooding and sinister ex, who still somehow has a hold on that seemingly innocent little anime girl despite having tried to once tried to kill her.

But, as this comic by JHALL shows, the worst part about dating an anime girl would be the quest to find something to talk about, because they might be kick-ass warriors but they definitely aren't known for their conversational skills.

-Via Dorkly

A Cromulent Exercise in Language

Posted: 05 Jan 2017 01:59 AM PST

Neatorama is proud to bring you a guest post from Ernie Smith, the editor of Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail. In another life, he ran ShortFormBlog.

Popular culture and life experiences have a crazy way of influencing the way that we talk and use words. Perfectly cromulent, if you ask us.

Language is constantly expanding in numerous ways—and in tends to make us uncomfortable to see a new bastardization of the language, even a good one. A recent study noted that the evolution of language has lots in common with the shifts in DNA throughout history, though with one major difference: As a society becomes more insular, the genetic makeup becomes more same-y, but the language becomes more interesting. Which seems like a pretty great explanation of why 4chan is a petri dish of memes. Seriously though, today we’re gonna talk about the nature of how new words are created. YOLO.

The Simpsons, language, and evolution

The year was 1996, and the pop-culture role of The Simpsons was perhaps at its all-time peak. The show was in the middle of its seventh season, months after it had gotten America talking about its Dallas-parodying episodes “Who Shot Mr. Burns.”

The show was still pulling in more than 10 million viewers every week, and it was in prime culture-influencing position. And, on February 18, 1996, it did just that—by inventing a couple of words.

It wasn’t the first time that—d’oh—the show had created new words, but the words the show launched in that episode, “cromulent” and “embiggen,” hold special prominence in Simpsons lore.

The phrases first came to light when Mrs. Krabappel was complaining about the town’s motto: “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” She claimed she had never heard the word “embiggens” before coming to Springfield.

“I don’t know why; it’s a perfectly cromulent word,” Miss Hoover says in response.

What makes the words so effective is that they’re designed to look like real words, obscure words that showed up in the forgettable parts of the dictionary that surround the memorable words, but instead, Simpsons writers created them both to sort of screw with the audience. Since then, both words have only grown in stature, with the latter actually showing up in the dictionary.

Many invented words came up after that—who could forget “steamed hams”?—but the show’s influence on language embiggens each year, and I for one think that’s pretty cromulent.

Scrabble

The highest possible theoretical score one can receive from a game of Scrabble is 1,778. The 15-letter word, an anti-inflammatory drug called Oxyphenbutazone, is an extremely difficult word to achieve in the game, according to Scrabble expert Sam Chenoweth. “Great care must be taken in the order that the words are played due to the high degree of ‘interlocking,’” Chenoweth explained in The Wall Street Journal. “Sometimes playing a word (or part of a word) too soon will prevent another word being played.” (It’s worth noting, by the way, that Chenoweth has only scored 1,722 points with this word; another player, Dan Stock, beat him.)

Five made-up literary phrases that became real words in the dictionary

Irregardless: Despite being something of an ugly second cousin of the grammatically correct word “regardless,” this common target for grammar Nazis actually has a long history in the English language, first showing up in 1795 in a terrible poem called “The Old Woman and her Tabby.” Regardless of how it happened, it should stop.

Chortled: If you just chuckle and snorted at the same time when reading that first entry, you can credit Charles Dodgson for giving what you just did a name. Don’t know who that is? You might know him better by his pen name, Lewis Carroll—he invented the term in his 1871 book, Through the Looking Glass—specifically the nonsense poem that gave the world another amazing word, “Jabberwocky.”

(Image credit: The NeatoShop)

Robot: The machines have long taken over popular culture, but we can credit the Czech for giving us the nomenclature. It all started with the 1920 play R.U.R. (which stands for “Rosumovi Univerzální Roboti,” and translates to “Rossum’s Universal Robots”). Karel ńĆapek’s early work of science fiction became so popular in its day—being translated into 30 different languages in just three years—that “robot” became a common term. This may in fact be the most famous invented word of the past 100 years.

Eyeball: You can credit your boy Willie Shakespeare for this one. he invented numerous words over the years—including “uncomfortable,” “manager,” and “swagger”—but his most surprising gift to the English language may be the word he came up with to describe the lump of flesh that helps you see stuff. You can find it in Act 1, Scene 2 of The Tempest. Our spirit animal Mental Floss highlights a bunch of other similar verbal gifts invented by the playwright himself.

Nerd: If you think about it, Revenge of the Nerds wasn’t really about David Carradine’s brother and that manager dude from the movie Ray. It was basically a 90-minute love letter to a word that had taken over the English language in relatively short order. You’d never guess who came up with it unless I told you, so let me tell you: The first use of that word was by Dr. Seuss, in his 1950 book If I Ran the Zoo. Here’s how it showed up in the English language for the first time: “And then, just to show them, I’ll sail to Ka-Troo And Bring Back an It-Kutch, a Preep, and a Proo, A Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker too!” How it got associated with pocket protectors, we’ll never know.

The day electronics learned how to talk

We take Siri for granted these days, but the roots of her conversational skills date back to March 21, 1939. That was the day that Bell Labs researcher Homer Dudley received a patent for a device called the Voder.

(YouTube link)

Later that year, during the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, Dudley and the company showed off the product to the world, which was a bizarre sight at the time. The Voder, the first vocoder, essentially worked like a typewriter for speech. A person using the device could touch the keys in a very specific way, and build consonants, vowels and full phrases. The way the voice modulated—its personality, effectively—could be controlled by pressing the keys in the right way. Here’s a clip of the Voder in action.

So, why’d the phone company make it? Simple: They thought it’d be a great tool for making long-distance phone calls cheaper, because you could have an operator typing your phrasing instead of actually transmitting your voice.

Back then, it was not an easy task to create speech with machines. But, with wars breaking out in Europe and Japan, it quickly proved an immensely useful tool for the U.S. government, which used the vocoder to share coded messages between politicians and military leaders.

Not that it didn’t have its problems.

“They didn’t mind world leaders sounding like robots, just as long as they didn’t sound like chipmunks,” music journalist Dave Tompkins told NPR in 2010. “Eisenhower did not want to sound like a chipmunk.”

After the war, the tool found one of its true lasting sources of usage—as musical instrument. When Wendy Carlos used it in A Clockwork Orange, it blew minds and eardrums. Then it caught on with rappers like Grandmaster Flash, electronic musicians like Kraftwerk and Dan Deacon, and … uh, Styx.

And then Siri got involved.

Experience Affects Language

The thing with language is that when people use it a way we’d never imagine using it, it drives us crazy. It’s why people from the Midwest will roll your eyes if you say “soda” and people from Atlanta will be weirded out if you say “pop.”

But it’s worth remembering that life experiences affect the way we talk or write. Earlier this month, Stanford professor and linguistics expert Daniel Jurafsky shared the results of his research on the way that bad restaurant experiences affect language—specifically, the language in restaurant reviews.

“These are exactly the same characteristics we see in people’s writing after they’ve been traumatised,” Jurafsky told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in San Jose. “These people have suffered minor traumas from bad service, rudeness, or being cheated.”

If failing to get your order of mozzarella sticks is enough to affect your language, just think about what living your life must’ve done.


A version of this post by Ernie Smith originally appeared in the Tedium newsletter, which tries in vain to make dull topics slightly more interesting. You can follow along on Twitter or Facebook.

Bad Kitty

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 11:59 PM PST

Cats know exactly what your weakness is. After all, you adopted them, so you must be a cat lover. They manipulate your sense of "awww" and give you that adorable look, and they can get away with the most atrocious behavior. They know. Cats are diabolical that way. This is the latest from Sarah Andersen at Sarah's Scribbles.

Mom Locks Herself in the Pantry

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 09:59 PM PST

They don't ever go away. They want everything you have.

Yes, that's exactly what parenting is. The good news is that as they get older, you just grow accustomed to giving them everything you have. Ashley Gardner has four two-year-olds to hide from!

(YouTube link)

Ashley and her husband Tyson battled infertility for years and then produced quadruplets: two sets of identical twins. While they are a blessing, it's a struggle for any mother of toddlers to get a few minutes of peace and quiet. And even harder to get a piece of candy to yourself. You can see more of the family at their website. -via Tastefully Offensive

Did Inadequate Women’s Healthcare Destroy <i>Star Wars’</i> Old Republic?

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 07:59 PM PST

Face it, there are plenty of things in the Star Wars prequels that make no sense at all. Some can be attributed to the temptations of modern CGI, while others are clearly due to the difficulty of retrofitting a plot to link to the story in the original trilogy. The prequels were there to set up the character of Darth Vader, his motivations, and the characters that surround him. It all leads to Anakin Skywalker turning to the dark side in Revenge of the Sith because he was afraid his pregnant wife would die. It should not have been so.  

Prenatal visits never happen in Episode III, not even offscreen. Despite Anakin’s spiraling paranoia about Padme’s health, doctors or hospitals are bizarrely never mentioned. And the evidence says that Padme never got an ultrasound.

When she confronts Anakin towards the end of the movie—shortly before giving birth—she refers to “our child,” rather than “our children.” It doesn’t make sense for her to be hiding the ball here, she’s making one last emotional appeal to the father of her children, to try to bring him back to the light side. Rather, Padme simply doesn’t know that she’s about to give birth to twins.

Later, when she actually gives birth, everyone is taken aback by the revelation that she’s having babies in the plural.

All of this points to one thing: Padme’s never had an ultrasound. In fact, Padme’s never had a prenatal check-up.

Padme is a privileged character who should have had access to the best medical care in the galaxy, but medical technology in Star Wars leans more toward bionic body parts to replace those sheared off by a light saber. Yeah, it's a feminist issue, one that the entire plot of the Star Wars saga pivots on. Read more about the nonsensical twists that led to Darth Vader at Motherboard.

Strange Food Products From The 90s You May Have Forgotten About

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 05:59 PM PST

(YouTube Link)

We took all those strange food products on the store shelves for granted back in the 80s and 90s, never knowing those neon colored decades would be seen as the heyday for funny foods.

But now that Holiday Spice Pepsi, Hidden Valley Pizza Ranch dressing, Pop-Tarts Crunch cereal, Chicken Tonight and Nestle Bug Pops are no longer sold in stores people are starting to wonder if they were just a figment of their imagination.

It's arguable whether life is a little more bland without these funny food products, or if we're better off without these freaky foods dancing in our bellies.

But there's no denying the world is better off without that Chicken Tonight theme song dancing through our heads!

(YouTube Link)

See 21 90s Foods That You Probably, Definitely Forgot Existed here

10 Really Strange Things We Noticed About Pokémon Sun and Moon

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 03:59 PM PST

Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are new role-playing games in the Pokémon family released to coincide with the franchise's 20th anniversary. If you haven't tried them out, be warned that they take a bit of a left turn in relation to the rest of the games. If you have, be assured that you're not the only one surprised. Learn a bit of what makes these games so different.  

2. Mimikyu Can Kill with Terror

Mimikyu managed to win the hearts of Pokemon fans all around the world within a short time after its introduction. However, it is important to note that while it has good intentions, it is nonetheless a Ghost Pokemon, as shown by how its true form is so terrible that it has killed through sheer terror. This is rather appropriate, seeing as how the sighting of ghosts as a warning of imminent death is a common motif in folklore.

3. Gengar Wants a Friend

Speaking of Ghost Pokemon, Mimikyu is far from being the spookiest of them, as shown by Gengar’s latest mention in the Pokedex. Past entries revealed that it tends to be rather cruel towards its victims, but what is interesting is that the latest mention reveals that its cruel actions are not without purpose. In brief, Gengar is tormenting its victims in an attempt to create another Gengar as a companion, which it knows to be possible because it used to be human.

Read the rest of the list at Unreality.

Film Directors Pick Their Favorite Movies Of 2016

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 01:59 PM PST

The Other Side

There are a bunch of "best of" movie lists released at the end of every year, but the ones I always find most fascinating are the lists put together by film directors.

Their insight and exposure to many obscure movies makes their picks a cut above the rest, and since TV shows are becoming more like movies every day their lists are starting to include their TV show picks too.

Green Room

Creator of the edgy and compelling TV series Mr. RobotSam Esmail picked an even mix of movies and TV shows for his top 10 list:

"OJ: Made In America"

"Arrival"

"Horace and Pete"

"Black Mirror"

"Game Of Thrones"

"The Lobster"

"Atlanta"

"Manchester By The Sea"

"Green Room"

"Everybody Wants Some"

Julieta

Meanwhile Jonathan Demme (of The Silence of the Lambs fame) chose films with more personal storylines about people with complicated lives:

 “Moonlight”
“Julieta”
“La La Land”
“Loving”
“Krisha”
“Maggie’s Plan”
“13TH”
“Toni Erdmann”
“Christine”
“Gimme Danger”

Sausage Party

And comedian/film director Mike Birbiglia presented a list that seems to reflect his personality- part comedy, part touching drama, part documentary, all extremely enjoyable to watch:

11 faves (sorry, amazing year for movies, and there are a ton more I loved)

“Moonlight”
“Hell or High Water”
“Captain Fantastic”
“20th Century Women”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Tickled”
“Weiner”
“Sausage Party”
“Where To Invade Next” (2015/16)
“Pop Star”
“Black Mirror” (S. 3 episode 4 “San Junipero”— I will fight people on this.)

Want to see many more movie lists hand picked by directors? Read 35 Directors Pick Their Favorite Movies and TV Shows of 2016 at IndieWire

Kitty Kommercial

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 11:59 AM PST

Not only does this ad remind you of local cable access commercials, it's full of jokes, memes, bad puns, and the occasional breaking of the fourth wall. Oh, and it's full of cute cats, too.

(YouTube link)

Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelters in Georgia resorted to making a parody of bad local TV ads in order to draw attention to their many cats (and dogs) who needs homes. You can be assured that your local shelter is in the same fix. -via Uproxx  

The Show Of Rick And Negan - Co-Starring Coral And Lucille!

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 09:59 AM PST


The show of rick and negan by Legendary Phoenix

They fight, and bite, and hack and shoot and smack, but Negan's bat puts an end to all that and makes Rick cry as he watches some of his dear friends die. Somehow Negan's Saviors find the whole scene to be drop dead hilarious, but Rick's crew fails to see the humor in the situation so the two tribes are sworn to go to war. They'll fight like cats and mice, eviscerating their foes in a cartoonish manner that doesn't look as fun in living color, but in the end audiences will always toon in to see who will die next!

This The Show Of Rick And Negan t-shirt by Legendary Phoenix was made for walking, and fighting, and suriving, but mostly it was made to be comfy while you watch your favorite zombie apocalypse TV show!

Visit Legendary Phoenix's Facebook fan page, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more dark and geeky designs:

battle of the universeweapon Xlight side - dark sideSaviors Univeristy

View more designs by Legendary Phoenix | 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!

The Most Diabolical Looking Buildings In The World

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 09:59 AM PST

Reiyukai Shakaden Temple-Tokyo, Japan

In the comics a building owned by a supervillain has a suitably evil-looking exterior so there's no mistaking who the building belongs to, but in the real world buildings aren't built to look evil- or are they?

Polygone Riviera-Cagnes-sur-Mer, France

Perhaps architects who read comics when they're kids have their designs influenced by comic art, or maybe they simply decided dark and foreboding is the best way to make their building stand out.

The Max Planck Research Institute for Experimental Medicine-  Berlin, Germany

Take a tour of the world's most sinister looking structures via the subreddit /r/evilbuildings and see what people really mean when they say "chillin' like a villain".

MahaNakhon Tower- Bangkok, Thailand

See The Most Diabolically Evil-Looking Buildings In The World here

Lassoing a Calf from a Police Car

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 08:59 AM PST


(YouTube link)

David Bevil of Paris, Tennessee, volunteered to help local police when a call came in about an escaped calf on highway 79. Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew drove down the highway with Bevil sitting on the hood, ready to rope in the calf. Belew had his phone camera running when the calf was spotted.

Belew said the calf became loose when a man was driving through town and his cattle trailer door broke. “There were actually two that got loose, but Dr. Lyons at Mineral Wells Animal Clinic and his crew were able to get the other one,” Belew said.

“So everybody is happy—we roped one calf, Dr. Lyons got the other one and the guy who was hauling them through town is happy, too,” Belew said.

It's always handy to know a cowboy when you've got a job to do. -Thanks, John Farrier!

Geek Icons Unmasked

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 07:59 AM PST

Artist Alex Solis' Icons Unmasked series imagines famous geek icons (mostly cartoons) being unmasked as other characters. Each of the illustrations seems approriate though not always for the same reason.

He's made over 112 pieces in the series and who knows how many more he will add. You can see the rest of the series here.

Via Geek Girls

George Lucas Can’t Give His $1.5 Billion Museum Away

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 06:59 AM PST

When George Lucas sold Star Wars to Disney in 2013, it was his aim to retire, to scale back his imprint and live away from the public eye. Part of that plan is to give away most of his vast art and memorabilia collection. Lucas would like to put it all in a museum somewhere. He's offered to pay for the construction of such a museum, and even set up an endowment for running costs. You'd think that cities would be falling all over each other to land such a deal, but that's not what happened.    

But so far, Lucas hasn’t found a permanent home for his museum. The monumental project has brought him almost as much grief as Jar Jar Binks, the prequel creature from the planet Naboo with an oddly Jamaican accent that some found racially offensive. Lucas tried to build in San Francisco’s Presidio, which is a national park, and then on Chicago’s downtown waterfront, only to abandon both sites after being assailed by local forces. Some people derided his architecture. Others knocked the artwork. Lucas seemed to find most irritating those who said they didn’t mind his proposal but thought he needed to be more flexible about where he put his building. He had long suffered highfalutin critics as a nuisance when he was selling tickets to movies. Now they were thwarting his will when he was trying to give something away.

In Round 3, Lucas is pitting San Francisco and Los Angeles against each other as potential host sites. “Call it hedging your bets, call it beefing up your odds, call it the architectural equivalent of quite publicly asking two people to prom on the same day: Lucas’s dual-track proposal is an unconventional strategy by any measure,” wrote Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne.

Location is not the only problem. Proposed building designs have been rejected because of size or architectural style. Local response to the project hasn't always been welcoming. Some view the art offered as lowbrow. Read the particulars of the museum that Lucas can't give away at Bloomberg.  -via Digg

(Image credit: Simon Abranowicz)

Can You Tell the Difference Between These Commonly Mistaken Animals?

Posted: 04 Jan 2017 05:59 AM PST

Can you tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? How about a leopard and a cheetah? Do you know if the animal above is a llama or an alpaca? This Buzzfeed quiz tests your animal knowledge by asking you to do exactly those things. I'm a pretty big animal nerd and I only got 7 out of 10, so don't expect the test to be easy.

So test your animal identification skills here.

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