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10 Crazy Cupcakes

The cupcake is an art form we can all get behind. It involves baking, an art form in itself, decorating, where the sky is the limit, and photography if the results are good. The best part is that even if the decorating isn't the greatest, you get to eat them! The decorations are excellent in these ten crazy cupcakes.

1. Spaghetti and Meatball Cupcakes

Lisa Smiley showcases many kinds of cupcakes on her site Smiley's Sweets and Creations. One that caught my eye was a cupcake with spaghetti and meatballs on top!

2. Knit Night Cupcakes

Lauren Ulm of Vegan Yum-Yum made these intricately knitted cupcakes for a Knit Night gathering that included a goodbye party for one member. The knitting on top of these cupcakes is made of marzipan yarn. They went over so well, the process of "knitting" them was featured on The Martha Stewart Show.

3. Sushi Cupcakes

Craftster member eggyolk put together Bento boxes of mini-cupcakes that look exactly like sushi. The rice you see is actually white sprinkles. Chopsticks and gummy fish added the finishing touch.

4. Murdered Cupcakes

Craftster member Lethargic made a special batch of cupcakes for a gathering to watch a season premiere of the TV show Dexter, which is about a serial killer. They feature bloody wounds made by knives fashioned from white chocolate. Inside the cupcakes: red velvet cake, of course!

5. Vegetables

Broccoli cupcakes? You heard right! Karen Tack and Alan Richardson of Hello, Cupcake! have produced a series of books on cupcakes. They find there is nothing that doesn't go on a cupcake, one way or another. The book What's New, Cupcake? will show you how to make Lo Mein Chinese cupcakes, which have broccoli on top. Yes, but this is no ordinary broccoli. Each floret is made from candy and sprinkles.

6. Robot Cupcakes

Hello Naomi makes individual cupcakes that are works of art, but are even more awesome in a set, like these robot cupcakes that can be mixed and matched to build cute robots. She also has sets of Pac-Man, Super Mario, and Space Invaders cupcakes in her extensive repertoire.

7. Pickle and Ice Cream Cupcakes

Unlike the other savory food cupcakes in this collection, these are made with real pickles, both in the cake and on top! Stefani Pollack of The Cupcake Project made a batch of pickle cupcakes to announce her pregnancy to blog readers last year. The recipe includes dill, onion, chopped pickles, and pickle juice in the cake itself.

8. Brain Slug Cupcakes

Alicia Traveria made these brain slug cupcakes featuring the critters seen on the TV show Futurama perched on little icing brains. Parasites have never been so cute!

9. Cheeseburger Cupcakes

KateDW's boyfriend surprised her on her birthday with these cupcakes that look just like mini cheeseburgers. She posted illustrated instructions for making them in this Flickr set. The sesame seeds are real!

10. The 100 Cupcakes Game

Robin Dahlberg and her roommates rang in the New Year with a party and 100 cupcakes. Each was decorated differently, to illustrate a game: board games, video games, even games you play in the back seat of a car on long trips. The cupcakes were photographed before being eaten and shared with the rest of us. How many of the 100 games can you identify from the cupcakes?

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History
The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

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holidays
Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)
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For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, UglyChristmasSweater.com sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.

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