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10 Bizarre Coloring Books for Adults

Psst! Got any crayons? You'll want a box when you see how much fun adults can have with coloring books designed just for those of a certain age. And please try to stay within the lines.

1. The Lowrider Coloring Book

The Lowrider Coloring Book contains illustrations of the most popular cars used in lowrider culture. Just by reading the blurb for the coloring book, I learned that hydraulic lifts for cars were developed to get around laws in California that banned lowriding cars -it enabled them to "get legal" in a hurry! Strangely, the coloring book is published in Sweden. See a promotional video for the book. Buy it on Amazon.

2. Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace

The entire title is Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace: a body-positive coloring book by Theo Nicole Lorenz. The coloring pages have 18 "fat scifi heroines" experiencing adventures in space and saving lives wherever they go. Buy it on Amazon.

3. Gangsta Rap Coloring Book

Your favorite rap artists from the beginning of the music genre are here in The Gangsta Rap Coloring Book by Aye Jay Moreno. If you bought the first edition in 2004, be aware that it has been expanded to 48 pages with the addition of newer rap stars. See more pictures from the book. Buy it on Amazon.

However, you can print out pages from a Tumblr blog featuring rap artists in a slightly different light at Bun B's Jumbo Coloring And Rap Activity blog. Each picture has suggested music to listen to while you color the pages in.

4. Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book

The Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book is more than a coloring book, although it has coloring pages in it featuring Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, Motörhead, Guns 'n' Roses, Iron Maiden, and others. Color in tattoos, connect the dots, match the band members, and other fun activities await metal fans of all ages! Buy it on Amazon.

5. Color of Dissent

Color of Dissent is a coloring book and a history lesson. It contains 28 line portraits of Americans who were persecuted for speaking out against injustice such as John Brown, Henry David Thoreau, Geronimo, Lucy Parsons, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, and others you may not be so familiar with. Half the proceeds from the sale of this coloring book go to Books To Prisoners. Buy it here.

6. The Romanti-Goth A to Z Coloring Book

Got plenty of black crayons? You'll need them for The Romanti-Goth A to Z Coloring Book, which is an alphabetized illustration of 26 goth terms, illustrated by Heather Stanley.

Here, honored in full glory, are twenty six specifically chosen images of a Lace and Corset wearing world which is populated by those who find a Graveyard to be the perfect place for a picnic, Thirteen cats to be the perfect pets, and everyday to be Halloween.

Buy it on Amazon.

7. Torture: A Ruthless Visual Survey

Probably the only coloring book ever to deal with the subject of torture, Torture: A Ruthless Visual Survey has 40 pages of gruesome black and white drawings of torture methods through the ages. Buy it on Amazon.

8. Coloring Book for Lawyers

The Coloring Book for Lawyers takes you through a typical workday in the life a typical lawyer. It is a free download if you want to start coloring now!

9. Unicorns Are Jerks

Another coloring book by Theo Nicole Lorenz, the full title is Unicorns Are Jerks: a coloring book exposing the cold, hard, sparkly truth. The description reads:

Unicorns think they're so great because they're all mysterious and magical, but they can be real jerks sometimes. This coloring book features eighteen examples of unicorns texting in theaters, farting in elevators, eating your leftovers, and generally acting like jerks.

Buy it on Amazon.

10. Thrill Murray

Thrill Murray is a coloring book based on the career of actor Bill Murray. As far as coloring books go, this has both variety and a high cool factor. Produced by Belly Kids, it is a compilation of drawings by 24 different artists. Buy it on Amazon.


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Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Qatar National Library's Panorama-Style Bookshelves Offer Guests Stunning Views
Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The newly opened Qatar National Library in the capital city of Doha contains more than 1 million books, some of which date back to the 15th century. Co.Design reports that the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) designed the building so that the texts under its roof are the star attraction.

When guests walk into the library, they're given an eyeful of its collections. The shelves are arranged stadium-style, making it easy to appreciate the sheer number of volumes in the institution's inventory from any spot in the room. Not only is the design photogenic, it's also practical: The shelves, which were built from the same white marble as the floors, are integrated into the building's infrastructure, providing artificial lighting, ventilation, and a book-return system to visitors. The multi-leveled arrangement also gives guests more space to read, browse, and socialize.

"With Qatar National Library, we wanted to express the vitality of the book by creating a design that brings study, research, collaboration, and interaction within the collection itself," OMA writes on its website. "The library is conceived as a single room which houses both people and books."

While most books are on full display, OMA chose a different route for the institution's Heritage Library, which contains many rare, centuries-old texts on Arab-Islamic history. This collection is housed in a sunken space 20 feet below ground level, with beige stone features that stand out from the white marble used elsewhere. Guests need to use a separate entrance to access it, but they can look down at the collection from the ground floor above.

If Qatar is too far of a trip, there are plenty of libraries in the U.S. that are worth a visit. Check out these panoramas of the most stunning examples.

Qatar library.

Qatar library.

Qatar library.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images: Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Reading Aloud to Your Kids Can Promote Good Behavior and Sharpen Their Attention
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Some benefits of reading aloud to children are easy to see. It allows parents to introduce kids to books that they're not quite ready to read on their own, thus improving their literacy skills. But a new study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that the simple act of reading to your kids can also influence their behavior in surprising ways.

As The New York Times reports, researchers looked at young children from 675 low-income families. Of that group, 225 families were enrolled in a parent-education program called the Video Interaction Project, or VIP, with the remaining families serving as the control.

Participants in VIP visited a pediatric clinic where they were videotaped playing and reading with their children, ranging in age from infants to toddlers, for about five minutes. Following the sessions, videos were played back for parents so they could see how their kids responded to the positive interactions.

They found that 3-year-olds taking part in the study had a much lower chance of being aggressive or hyperactive than children in the control group of the same age. The researchers wondered if these same effects would still be visible after the program ended, so they revisited the children 18 months later when the kids were approaching grade-school age. Sure enough, the study subjects showed fewer behavioral problems and better focus than their peers who didn't receive the same intervention.

Reading to kids isn't just a way to get them excited about books at a young age—it's also a positive form of social interaction, which is crucial at the early stages of social and emotional development. The study authors write, "Such programs [as VIP] can result in clinically important differences on long-term educational outcomes, given the central role of behavior for child learning."

Being read to is something that can benefit all kids, but for low-income parents working long hours and unable to afford childcare, finding the time for it is often a struggle. According to the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, only 34 percent of children under 5 in families below the poverty line were read to every day, compared with 60 percent of children from wealthier families. One way to narrow this divide is by teaching new parents about the benefits of reading to their children, possibly when they visit the pediatrician during the crucial first months of their child's life.

[h/t The New York Times]

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