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The Neatest Stuff Around

Published: Sat, 18 Nov 2017 06:58:06 -0800

Copyright: 2017

The Secret Protocol for When the Queen Dies

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 06:00:11 -0800


We don't like to speculate on someone's future death, especially someone who isn't even sick, but Queen Elizabeth II is 91 years old. The British monarchy is mostly ceremonial these days, yet Elizabeth's subjects take it very seriously -or at least the ones in the UK do. There is a set procedure in place to handle getting out the news when the time comes, to be followed by a funeral and the coronation of Prince Charles.   

(image) (YouTube link)

A monarch's death sets up a whole slew of changes we hadn't thought of, like reprinting all the money to reflect a new monarch's face. What? American cash, for all its drawbacks, never goes out of style because everyone on the bills is already dead. -via Mental Floss

Money Can't Buy Everything

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 04:01:47 -0800


I have a feeling this guy is a bit fuzzy on the concept of money, or else that cluelessness is covering up the beginnings of a lifetime of crime. Maybe subconsciously, he is alluding to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, because the best things in life (time with loved ones) really can't be enjoyed until you have that other stuff (food, shelter) covered. This is the latest from Alex Culang and Raynato Castro at Buttersafe

Flamin' Hot Cheetos Turkey

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:58:01 -0800


On the off chance that you are looking for something different to do to your Thanksgiving turkey, we've found a completely millennial way to spice it up. Reynolds Kitchen brings us several ways to combine Thanksgiving dinner with your favorite junk food- and turn your turkey Technicolor! While the aluminum foil company did not mention brand-name ingredients, we can figure out what they mean. They have recipes that call for coating your turkey in "hot puffed cheese sticks" (Flamin' Hot Cheetos), "ranch-flavored corn chips" (Doritos), and "onion-flavored rings" (Funyuns). This is the perfect way to feed your circle of friends and declare independence from family and tradition. It should cure the munchies, too. Get all three recipes here. -via Cracked

(Image credit: Reynolds Kitchens)

Why the Nazi Party Loved Decaf Coffee

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:58:01 -0800


People love coffee, but some folks don't want the feeling caffeine leaves behind. In previous centuries, drinking coffee and other sources of caffeine was considered indulgent and sometimes downright sinful. Decaf offered a guilt-free way to drink coffee. German coffee roaster Ludwig Roselius developed a method of removing the caffeine from coffee in 1905 and sold his decaf under the name Kaffee HAG. It was marketed as a healthy alternative to coffee, and was adopted by the health and fitness craze sweeping Germany in the 1920s and '30s. The Nazis got into the act, too.   

Under the Nazi Party, the appeal of decaf (a way to avoid stimulants) became state policy meant to safeguard the idolized Aryan race. Geoffrey Cocks, author of The State of Health: Illness in Nazi Germany, says that Nazis “earnestly believed that it was their duty and their responsibility not only to protect health of individual Germans, but the health of the entire German people as a biological, racial entity.” This of course excluded Jews and other non-Aryans, as well as homosexuals and the sick.

Similarly, the Party took measures to warn the Aryan population of caffeine’s dangers. A 1941 Hitler Youth Handbook, writes Stanford science historian Robert Proctor, states that “for young people at least, caffeine was a poison ‘in every form and in every strength.’” By the end of the 1930s, he adds, decaffeinated coffee was “widely available—and strictly regulated.”

There's a punch line to the era of Nazis drinking Kaffee HAG for their health. You can read the entire story at Atlas Obscura.

Ex-Cons Share The Craziest Things They've Witnessed In Jail

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:58:02 -0800


Nobody ever said going to prison would be a walk in the park, but prison-themed movies and TV shows never really prepare you for the true horrors of life behind bars because they focus on the fighting, the raping and the shanking.

But those prison shows never mention inmates licking the wounds of a freshly imprisoned meth addict so they can get a taste of his last fix, nor do they mention how often the guards will just let an inmate die by ignoring his pleas for medical attention.


Don't get me wrong- prison is a dark and scary place for both prisoners and guards alike, especially because many prisoners are constantly waging war against their jailers.


See 23 Ex-Cons Share The Craziest Things They've Witnessed In Jail here (NSFW)

Black Girl ln a Big Dress

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:58:02 -0800


Aydrea Walden created a video series "about an African American Anglophile cosplayer in love with the Victorian Era who's trying to bring a fantasy courtship from her re-enactment events into the real world." It's a historical comedy of manners, so to speak, except that it doesn't hide its 21st-century setting. So "Lady Kate" must deal with anachronisms like a ringing cell phone during tea and maneuvering a hoop skirt into a sedan. This is the first episode.

(image) (YouTube link)

You can see all the episodes (so far) of Black Girl in a Big Dress on one page at the show's website, or at YouTube. -via Metafilter

Brilliant Ways To Actually Use Your Vacation Photos

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:58:02 -0800


I love to take photos while traveling as a way to document my trip, but after reviewing and editing the pics I never know what else to do with them all short of showing them to friends who couldn't care less.

Vacation pics seem even more useless when you shoot them all on your smartphone, since it takes a bit of work to get the photos printed, all of which leaves you wondering why you took the pics at all.

But fear not, brave travelers!


There are lots of fun things you can do with your vacation photos that both you and your friends will appreciate, like turning them into a bound book via or hanging them on the wall with this cute clothespin photo display.

And if they're all on your smartphone you can pick up an awesome Prynt Classic instant photo printer and print them directly from your iPhone. Now go forth and document thy trip with impunity!


See 33 Brilliant Ways To Actually Use Your Travel Photos here

Norway’s Medieval Wooden Churches Look Plucked From a Fairy Tale

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:58:02 -0800


When we marvel at a sight and say it "looks like it came from a fairy tale," we have to remember that those fairy tales and their illustrations are based on real places that existed once upon a time. We are just lucky that some of those places survive today. Stone castles? Sure, they can survive war, famine, pestilence, and urban renewal, but the wooden “stave” churches of Norway are a marvel. Build when Christianity was new to the region 900 years ago, some still stand tall today, a testament to how many were erected. They share unique architectural features of the time, and many incorporate Viking symbols along with Christian symbols. See the ten oldest stave churches, plus the largest, at Smithsonian.

(Image credit: Bosc d'Anjou)

Cockatiel Performs Medley of Queen Songs

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 13:58:03 -0800


Something gives me the idea that whoever owns this cockatiel is a Queen fan. MAY-cyan perches on the arm of a Freddie Mercury figurine while whistling "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Radio Gaga."

(image) (YouTube link)

YouTuber MrsStr1 has a couple of other videos of MAY-cyan singing Queen songs in his channel. We'll have to check in again to see if he learns to whistle "Bohemian Rhapsody." -via Laughing Squid

Traffic Sign - Fumbles Ahead - Fate Determined By A Die Roll

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:58:04 -0800

Traffic Sign - Fumbles ahead by Bad GoblinWhen you're roaming through dungeons fighting creatures and making the fantasy world safe again the fate of your fictional character comes down to a die roll, and rolling a 1 spells disaster. It takes a really long time to live down a critical fail, especially if it costs the group a much needed victory over a big boss monster, but the best way to live down your die-related failure is to keep on rollin'. Because when you get that critical hit and singlehandedly decapitate the dragon and save a party member's life with a single roll you'll go from being a total failure to a huge hit!Celebrate the highs and lows of tabletop gaming wherever you go with this Traffic Sign - Fumbles Ahead t-shirt by Bad Goblin, it's sure to be a critical hit with your gaming group!Visit Bad Goblin's NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs: Game Must Go On - black Rubik's d20 cube d20 Atom - yellow, black, red Traffic Light - Run For You Lives! View more designs by Bad Goblin | More Funny T-shirts | New T-ShirtsAre 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![...]

Police Bust Police

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:58:03 -0800


Detroit had a scene right out of a police TV show last week, but it wasn't Law & Order. It was more like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Police Squad! or Reno 911. Officers from both the 11th precinct and the 12th precinct were in a neighborhood known for heavy drug traffic, ready to bust perpetrators. However, neither squad knew about the other squad's plans. What could possibly go wrong? 

Sources say it started when two special ops officers from the 12th Precinct were operating a "push off" on Andover near Seven Mile. That is when two undercover officers pretend to be dope dealers, waiting for eager customers to approach, and then arrest potential buyers and seize their vehicles.

But this time, instead of customers, special ops officers from the 11th Precinct showed up. Not realizing they were fellow officers, they ordered the other undercover officers to the ground.

FOX 2 is told the rest of the special ops team from the 12th Precinct showed up, and officers began raiding a house in the 19300 block of Andover. But instead of fighting crime, officers from both precincts began fighting with each other.

Sources say guns were drawn and punches were thrown while the homeowner stood and watched.

Two police officers were injured. Detroit Police Chief James Craig held a press conference Monday to address the incident.

“This is probably one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen in this department,”

-via Metafilter

(Image credit: Flickr user Don Harder)

Nigerian Bobsled Team Heading to the Olympics

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:58:03 -0800


The Nigerian women's bobsled team has qualified to compete at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, this coming February. The team is the first from Nigeria to ever compete in the Winter Games. The Bobsled & Skeleton Federation of Nigeria, established only last year, raised over $75,000 for expenses through crowdfunding. The team trains in Texas.

Driver Seun Adigun and brakemen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga completed the fifth of their required five qualifying races on Wednesday, becoming the first African team, men or women, to qualify in the Bobsled category.

In women's bobsled, teams are required to complete five races to qualify. The Nigeria team, led by driver Adigun - a former African 100m hurdles champion and 2012 summer Olympian - completed races in Utah, one in Whistler, and their final two races in Calgary on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"This is a huge milestone for sports in Nigeria," driver Adigun told KweséESPN. "Nothing makes me prouder than to know that I can play a small role in creating opportunities for winter sports to take place in Nigeria.

Nigeria could qualify for the skeleton competition, too, as qualifying races are in progress. Read more about the team at ESPN. -via reddit 

(Image credit: Bobsled & Skeleton Sports Federation of Nigeria)

Great Moments In Weather Broadcast History

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:58:03 -0800


If it weren't for the hard working weather reporters who deliver the forecast with a little flair the weather segment of the nightly news would be dry and boring with a chance of who gives a crap.


But because of their efforts, and the fact that they're not afraid to make themselves look ridiculous on live TV for our amusement, we can hear the weekly forecast without feeling like we're watching paint dry.

So here's to all the weather guys and gals out there who make us care about things like precipitation and cloud cover, the hard working weatherheads who give boring people something to talk about at work!


See 11 Great Moments In Weather Broadcast History here

Justice League B-Team

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:58:03 -0800


Justice League is in theaters nationwide, and bound to be a blockbuster whether it's any good or not. But what happens if Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, or Cyborg aren't available to save the world? Batman must call up the benchwarmers. The heroes that didn't quite make the cut. Second string. The B-team superheroes, as it were.

(image) (YouTube link)

In other words, superheroes whose movies didn't achieve blockbuster status. There are plenty of them in this video from Funny or Die. -via Tastefully Offensive

Oddly Delicious Looking Optical Illusion Food Makeup Series

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 07:58:03 -0800


When you tell someone they have food on their face you're usually just trying to be polite and help them from feeling foolish, but when you tell Canadian makeup artist Mimi Choi she has food on her face she says "yah, I know".

That's because Mimi carefully applied that food to her face and body in order to create an optical illusion effect so delicious you'll want a second helping.


Mimi is an incredibly talented artist with a knack for realism, and while it may seem odd for a makeup artist to focus on food the choice makes sense when you consider the body parts Mimi paints look good enough to eat.


See more from Mimi's Optical Illusion Food Makeup Series here

10 Things You Didn’t Know about Schindler’s List

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 06:58:03 -0800


The 1993 film Schindler's List was a very personal project for Steven Spielberg. He did not take a salary for directing the movie, and did not expect it to be a hit, but took great pains to tell the story accurately, intelligently, and emotionally. It worked: the film was a critical and box office smash and won seven Academy Awards. Actors Liam Neeson (as Oskar Schindler), Ralph Fiennes, and Ben Kingsley starred in the film that told the story of a German factory owner who sheltered more than a thousand Jewish refugees in Poland by employing them in defiance of Nazi authorities -which he accomplished by spending his fortune in bribes. You might want to learn some of the behind-the-scenes facts about Schindler's List.   

10. Clothing had to be found for 20,000 extras.

The costume designer had to take out advertisements to find enough clothing to suit all the extras, and as a result they found people willing to sell clothing that was from the 30’s and 40’s.

9. When one of the survivors met Ralph Fiennes she began to shake uncontrollably.

Mila Pfefferberg was a survivor from this horrible time and Fiennes resembled his character Amon Goth so much that she couldn’t control her reaction.

Read more trivia about Schindler's Listat TVOM.

A Guide to Pumpkin Pie

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 05:58:03 -0800


This video starts out showing you how to catch a wild pumpkin, so you know what direction it's going. You will also learn how to use recycled crust and mourn the existence of pre-combined "pumpkin pie spice." The entire video from You Suck at Cooking is a respite from the anxiety of planning and executing a Thanksgiving feast.   

(image) (YouTube link)

Some of the tips here are legit, while others are not. You must figure that out yourself. And stay for the little song at the end. Honestly, pumpkin pie may seem complicated, but it's as simple as following the instruction on the can of pumpkin. Don't even think about cooking a pumpkin yourself- I've done that, and it's not worth the effort. -via Mashable


Fri, 17 Nov 2017 04:58:04 -0800


Usually when people ask you "wanna know how I got these scars?" and you answer "YES!" they go in to a long and painful sounding story about an accident or fight they were in, or how they survived major surgery.

But, as this Awkward Yeti comic proves, the last thing the person who said "YES!" expects to hear is an actual explanation of how the scarred one's body turned damage to the dermis into scar tissue. Guess it beats hearing that "my ex stabbed me with a fork" story again!

-Via Geeks Are Sexy

Kitten Needs Constant Attention

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 03:58:03 -0800


Baby animals are just like human babies in that they need plenty of attention and affection, and if they don't get it they let the nearest adult know at the top of their lungs, but most babies aren't as needy as Daisy the kitten.

Daisy may look like an ordinary orange tabby kitten but she's actually an attention seeking pet-aholic, and every time her owners stop holding her, petting her or playing with her she meows loudly, acting like a dramapuss.


(YouTube Link)

-Via Tastefully Offensive

The Man with 400 Albums

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 02:00:00 -0800

(image) (Image credit: Flickr user UT Connewitz Photo Crew)

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

The tale of R. Stevie Moore, perhaps the most prolific musician that the world has ever seen. So why haven’t you heard of him?

Many great artists exist outside the mainstream. All it takes is a keen ear, an open mind and taste for variety to find a few unique artists or songs one would never hear on the radio or otherwise be exposed to. One of my favorite musicians of all time is Robert Steven Moore, whom I have had the great fortune to not only hear (and own) his wonderful music, but also to have spoken with him—albeit briefly—on several occasions. Some people may feel overwhelmed at the sheer quantity of his work and at a loss for a starting point. Fortunately, I’m here to help.

The First Album

100 vinyl copies of R. Stevie Moore’s first official album, Phonography, were originally distributed in 1976. One of those copies was rumored to have been owned by Frank Zappa, a noted champion of outsider artists who helped to bring The Shaggs, Wildman Fischer and other musicians to popular attention. This is, of course, apocryphal, but it’s a neat idea and—given Zappa’s musical interests—makes perfect sense. While Zappa’s own unique brand of composition spread over 60 albums during his lifetime and over 100 albums posthumously, that number is dwarfed by Moore’s catalog in sheer quantity. Moore has released more than 400 albums—either by himself or through a label—over the past 50 years.

Who is R. Stevie Moore (and Why Isn’t Anybody Talking About Him?)

“You know a lot about my career,” Moore told me during a conversation we had recently.

Space War Hostile Takeover - Mickey Ears Spread Fear Wherever They Go

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 23:58:05 -0800

Space War Hostile Takeover by Thompson Custom Art CreationsCorporate warfare is terrifying when it's waged in skyscrapers and board rooms, but when the corps take their conflicts into outer space the whole thing becomes a bit overblown- cue the dramatic music. But that entertainment empire built by a man and his mouse doesn't take no for an answer when it comes to a hostile takeover, and they're big fans of drama so expect the takeover to be extra showy with lots of fireworks and laser beams!Take the corporate conflict with you wherever you go by wearing this Space War Hostile Takeover t-shirt by Thompson Custom Art Creations, it's a killer design that's sure to blow minds wherever you go!Visit Thompson Custom Art Creations's Facebook fan page and official website, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more dark and geeky designs: One Ranger, different eras Morphing Robot Power No Nights at Freddy's The Nerdy Hallows View more designs by Thompson Custom Art Creations | More Funny T-shirts | New T-ShirtsAre 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 Long Journey to Make Pixar's Dia de los Muertos Movie Coco

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 23:58:04 -0800


Right after Toy Story 3 was released, director Lee Unkrich approached Disney about making a movie centered around Dia de los Muertos. They greenlit the project, although there was no story, no characters, and no plan. The years since then have seen the movie that became Coco develop and change, and change again.

The movie’s original story was vastly different than what happens in the final film. “[Originally,] we told a story about an American boy who had a Mexican mother and an American father. And his Mexican mother had passed away,” Unkrich explained. “It was a story about his father taking him down to Mexico to meet the Mexican side of his family, and he ended up being exposed to Dia de los Muertos and going on this fantastical adventure.”

This remained the story until the director suddenly realized something was very, very wrong. “It was ultimately a story about a kid dealing with his grief and learning to say goodbye to the memory of his mother,” Unkrich said. “And I realized we were telling a story that was thematically completely antithetical to what Dia de los Muertos is about. Die de los Muertos is about never letting go.”

Additionally, the original idea also presented the Mexican holiday through an American perspective, so it was scrapped. “We all held hands and said, ‘You know, we’re making a mistake here, this isn’t quite right,’ and we started fresh again,” Unkrich said.

After years of development, the movie evolved to focus on Miguel, a young Mexican boy who runs off to the Land of the Dead to solve the mystery of why his family hates music. And while the story was working and things were progressing, there were still challenges.

Read about more changes to the movie Coco over its six-year development at io9. Coco opens November 22 nationwide.

Atlas Robot Practices for the Olympics

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 21:58:04 -0800


Boston Dynamics has been working on their Atlas humanoid robot (previously at Neatorama), fine-tuning its balance, agility, and speed. The resulting improvements are approaching uncanny valley territory. Just watch Atlas show off the stuff he can do now!

(image) (YouTube link)

This would be terrifying if Boston Dynamics was still working for DARPA to develop military robots. Or even Google, which is determined to take over the world. But the company was sold to SoftBank, a Japanese corporation. No wonder they taught Atlas to dance. Next, the robot will be serving tea in restaurants and keeping grandma company in the nursing home. If he ever gets a real face, you know it will be cute. -via reddit

Why the Movies Are So Obsessed With Capes

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 19:58:05 -0800


When was the last time you saw anyone in the real world wear a cape (not counting trick-or-treaters)? In the Pixar movie The Incredibles, superhero costume designer Edna Mode declares capes forbidden. They are too dangerous. And she's right- in the real world, anyone flying around fighting evildoers risks being tangles or dragged down by a cape. But they live large in movies, because a cape is the most dramatic piece of fabric you can wear.

Pop a cape on a vampire, and you get an invocation of a bat’s wings. Capes can evoke a sense of history, real or imagined, as in the Lord of the Rings movies or any number of period dramas. (Cecil B. DeMille did love a good cape — no male actor has ever worked one better than Yul Brynner in The Ten Commandments.) Capes can signify otherworldliness or intimidation, as they often do with superheroes and witches.

But pop a fur cape on Crawford in The Women or a billowy number on seductress Stanwyck in The Lady Eve, and the message is clear: I am glamorous. I am gorgeous. I am everything you wish you could be. “A cape is the ultimate fashion accessory when you want to make a grand entrance,” explains Perez. “You are instantly regal in a cape.”

Read about the way Hollywood uses capes in both the past and the present at Racked. -via Kottke

Simon's Cat in DIY

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:58:05 -0800


In the latest Simon's Cat cartoon, the cat once again displays typical cat behavior that manages to ruin Simon's day. He's simply trying to install a new shelf on the wall. The cat knows that anything new is for sits. Especially elevated things.

(image) (YouTube link)

And as always, the cat gets his way in the end. -via Tastefully Offensive

True Kilts: Debunking the Myths About Highlanders and Clan Tartans

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:58:05 -0800


You might know that the tartan patterns of Scotland's kilts are very important to the clans who wear them. After all, each clan, or family, has a registered pattern. You might be surprised to find out how recent that custom really is. People criticize movies and TV shows that show Scottish characters further back in history for not wearing the proper tartan, but Scotland's historians will set you straight. The Scottish Tartans Authority has a database of around 8,000 tartan patterns -more than the official registry has- and they study the history of each one. Tartan historian Peter Eslea MacDonald is head of the STA's Research & Collections division, and talked with Collectors Weekly about the misconceptions we have about Scottish tartan and the kilts made from them.

Collectors Weekly: So the concept of the clan tartan was really embraced by both the weavers and the clans in the 19th century?

MacDonald: Correct. Sir Walter Scott, I think, deliberately set out to heal some of the internal Scottish wounds and hatred, to some degree, between the Highlands and the Lowlands. As I say, he developed this pan-Scottish identity. With Scott’s help, Robert Burns became the bard of Scotland, even though he’s got nothing to do with the Highlands, and the Highland dress became the Scottish national dress. Tartans became a Scottish family thing. Wilsons—and others later—just jumped on the bandwagon because it was a great marketing ploy, the company made lots and lots of money.

Not long after that, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria bought Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in 1848, and the whole love affair of Scottish schmaltz just went into overdrive.

MacDonald tells us about the kilts of much earlier times, how they were different, how they were worn, and how they evolved into the to tartans we know today.

Making a Mirror

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:58:05 -0800

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This guy starts off with a piece of glass. You can see the slats in the pallet below. Then he pours a bucket of liquid silver nitrate on it. You can immediately see the guy's reflection, but somewhere along the way, the slats underneath disappear and the glass is now a mirror! It will probably be a while before the mirror is dry enough to be picked up. If you want to try doing this yourself, the internet has instructions. -via Digg

Christmas Decorations Completed

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 11:58:06 -0800


When is the right time to switch from Halloween decorations to Christmas decorations? In a perfect world, the Halloween stuff would come down on November 1, and Christmas decorations would go up sometime during Thanksgiving weekend. Redditor savage_irony did the changeover in one fell swoop, and he acts like he's both exhausted and proud of himself. I like the finished product, though. -via reddit

Nasty Notes, Death Threats And Other Troubling Pieces Of "Art" Done By Kids

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:58:06 -0800


When kids let the strange and silly stuff knocking around in their head spill out onto the page it usually just makes us giggle and say "um, okaaayyyy" at the ridiculousness of it all.


But when kids write dark and creepy stuff on the page accompanied by creepy and often violent drawings we can't help but look at the kid differently from that day forward.


These terrifying little notes were written by kiddos who don't really know the ramifications of what they're writing, and yet they weren't afraid to let their parents or whoever know exactly how they feel, threats and all.


See more from The Kids Are Not Alright at Dangerous Minds

An Illustrated Look at the Terlingua Chili Cook-off

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:58:06 -0800


The town of Terlingua, Texas, has been hosting a chili cook-off for over 50 years now. In a state where chili cook-offs are thick as thieves, this one is the biggie, and it comes with a ton of history. The founders split into rival cook-offs (now held at the same time), the rules were established, and there were controversies along the way.

Terlingua, Texas. It’s the Super Bowl of chili cook-offs. You can’t compete unless you’ve gotten yourself qualified by winning smaller competitions, and you have to show picture ID on account of what happened in 2003. A fella by the name of Don Eastep, a Yankee no less, snuck into the proceedings posing as his brother, who’d qualified but couldn’t attend.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, take a listen to this. Picture a desert scene with pickup trucks and campers and about a hundred folks in straw hats and aprons cooking chili on camp stoves. Now, our friend here, he’d set up his cooking area, but he wasn’t cooking. He was strolling around sipping a koozie-clad cold one and chitchatting. He’d eventually ask folks for a taste of their chili in a Styrofoam cup, and most of the cooks obliged. He took those samples and dumped them into his own pot. He got enough to enter the contest. And he won. Yep. He won the whole dang deal.

That certainly wasn't the first, or the last spectacular controversy at the Terlingua Chili Cook-off. Matthew Diffee attended the 50th Terlingua Chili Cook-off in 2016 and brings us a condensed but lavishly illustrated explanation and history of Texas' premiere chili event at Texas Monthly. -Thanks, Walter!

(Image credit Matthew Diffee)

PS: If you want a deep dive into the founding and first split of the Terlingua Chili Cook-off, here is the story as it happened, from 1967, part one and part two.