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Teach your kids how to use the phone with terrifying puppets
10.15.2014
10:59 am

Topics:
Amusing
History

Tags:
puppets
educational films
phones


 
Anyone who’s ever observed the rate at which a four-year-old figures out an iPhone is well aware of how quickly kids pick up on new technology. It’s a curious phenomenon (especially when it’s taken years to teach my grandmother how to text), but I suspect that it has something to do with openness—kids don’t have to “unlearn” old tech that may be counterintuitive to a new gadget, nor are they as easily intimidated by learning, since the whole world is new to them anyway.

However, not everyone trusts the potential of our youth! Take Adventure In Telezonia, a 1949 instructional video from the Bell Telephone System (now AT&T)—this is a generation of people who believe children are morons best taught by terrifying puppets. Our protagonist Bobby is whisked away (basically kidnapped) to the land of Telezonia by Handy (the murderous marionette), who teaches him phone etiquette and… how to dial. The only real benefit I see to the film is to remind kids that machines are expensive and breakable—something they never really seem to grasp until they drop something and destroy it.

Got that, kids? If you abuse your iPhone, Handy will come for you.
 

 
Via Network Awesome

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Rare Peter Cook sketch starring Kenneth Williams: ‘Hands up your sticks!’
10.15.2014
09:17 am

Topics:
Amusing
Heroes

Tags:
Peter Cook
Kenneth Williams

kenwillpeteck.jpg
 
Peter Cook was still a student at Cambridge University when he first wrote sketches for the legendary comic actor Kenneth Williams. His earliest contributions were included in the “intimate review” Pieces of Eight starring Williams and Fenella Fiedling that had a long and successful West End run. Cook wrote more than half the show and premiered some classic sketches including “Gnomes and Gardens” and “Not An Asp” an early outing for his famous E. L. Wisty character.

The success of the show led Cook to be commissioned to write a brand new revue for Williams this time called One Over the Eight. Among the sketches Cook submitted were some he had written as teenager, including “One Leg Too Few” the classic one-legged man (Mr. Spiggot) auditioning for the role of Tarzan and “Interesting Facts” a more rounded appearance of E. L Wisty. Cook would later reuse both sketches in other shows and films over the years.

Cook also wrote a sketch called “Hands Up Your Sticks” which Williams later released (together with “Not An Asp”) on an EP single. It’s a great Cook sketch that plays around with language and class attitudes and there is certainly the essence of the routine Woody Allen developed a decade later in the bank hold-up with a “gub” in Take the Money and Run. The voice of the bank clerk is played by popular Sixties entertainer Lance Percival (one of the principal voice actors in Yellow Submarine as “Young/Old” Fred) and the new animation is by Mark Hindle.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sugar skulls of the dead: Dia de los Muertos portraits of Blondie, the Ramones, Lemmy and more
10.15.2014
08:51 am

Topics:
Art
Punk

Tags:
Blondie
Joey Ramone

Blondie Parallel Lines Sugar Skull art by Ganbatte
Blondie Parallel Lines sugar skull album cover
 
Leisha Ganbatte is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Barcelona, Spain who enjoys creating sugar skull versions of punks like Blondie and the Ramones. Ganbatte’s designs appear on everything from posters to pillows and she’s even got a line of cat inspired stickers that feature images of Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie as Aladdin Sane. Ganbatte’s latest subject is the one and only Morrissey whose image she has emblazoned on a line of stickers along with lyrics from the Moz’s solo catalog. Swoon! Prices vary from item to item. Examples of the ridiculously cool stuff that is available in Ganbatte’s Etsy store follow.
 
Ramones by Ganbatte
Ramones
Joey Ramone sugar skull by Ganbatte
Joey Ramone
 
Dee Dee Ramone sugar skull by Ganbatte
Dee Dee Ramone
 
Buddy Holly sugar skull by Ganbatte
Buddy Holly
 
Lemmy cat sticker by Ganbatte
Lemmy cat sticker
 
Aladdin Sane cat sticker by Ganbatte
Aladdin Sane cat sticker
 
Morrissey stickers by Ganbatte
Morrissey stickers
 
Joey Ramone pillow
Joey Ramone pillow
 
Dee Dee Ramone pillow by Ganbatte
Dee Dee Ramone pillow

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Finally, a Millennium Falcon made entirely of hash oil!
10.15.2014
08:38 am

Topics:
Drugs
Movies

Tags:
marijuana
Star Wars


 
The Instagram feed of invader_dab is a veritable gold mine for sculptures made purely of “dabs,” a.k.a. butane hash oil and “shatter,” a sort of crystalized sheet of same (thank you, urban dictionary). For reasons unknown to me, “dabbing” is also snonymous with errl.

Invader_dab has also posted pics of LEGO men, a rubber ducky, and a video game controller—all made out of cannabis concentrates. The life span of the sculptures is expected to be limited—if indeed they are still in existence—as eventually someone will want to get totally hooted on part of Han Solo’s rickety space freighter.
 

 

 

 
via Animal

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘New’ theory: Roswell UFO incident may have been ‘Nazi saucer rocket’
10.15.2014
07:48 am

Topics:
History

Tags:
Adolf Hitler
UFOs
Roswell

XXAHUFORSWL.jpg
 
The alleged crash landing of a UFO back in 1947 was probably the best thing that ever have happened to Roswell, New Mexico, as it’s kept the Chaves County city on the world stage for over sixty years, bringing with it considerable business from UFOlogists, conspiracy theorists and a regular number of film & TV production companies.

Almost every week there’s a (supposedly) new story about the “Roswell Incident” usually relating to sighting of UFOs, or genuine info on government cover-ups, or tales of contact with little grey men or scary men in black. The latest “expose” comes from a new documentary UFOs in the Third Reich to be screened tonight on German television channel N24, which claims that the spacecraft that crashed at Roswell in July 1947 was in fact “a Nazi UFO.”

The suggestion that the Nazis were developing “flying saucers” has long been documented—in fact the US space program would not have been as successful without the import of many former German rocket scientists—and the subject matter of Nazi UFOs has also long been a staple trope of cable TV producers who know that having “Nazi,” “Hitler” or “UFO” in the title is a way to surefire success. Indeed, this piece of trivia was probably first discovered by the late journalist and humorist Alan Coren in the 1980s, when he decided he wanted a bestselling book. After skimming through the bestseller lists, Mr. Coren noticed the biggest sellers (in the UK) were books on cats, golf and Nazis. He therefore had a selection of his collected journalism published under the title Golfing for Cats with a Nazi flag on the cover. It was, of course, an immense bestseller.
 

Stories of Nazi made UFOs have long made the news like this story from German paper Bild in 2004
 
UFOs in the Third Reich claims the spacecraft that crashed at Roswell was a forerunner to today’s Stealth fighter, and was designed by the scientists behind the development of the Nazi V-2 rocket. According to the program these scientists were covertly taken to America at the end of the war to help the USA have an edge over Soviet Russia in the space race.

Amongst these scientist was allegedly the mass killer Nazi SS General Hans Kammler, who had been head of the Third Reich’s construction and defense projects, responsible for organizing forced labor factories at Auschwitz concentration camp and at Germany’s secret V-2 rocket plants.

The documentary interviews a wealth of expert historians, scientists and archivists including Igor Witkowski, a Polish ex-journalist and historian of military and aerospace technology, who wrote a book Prawda O Wunderwaffe (The Truth About The Wunderwaffe) that detailed Adolf Hitler’s plans for a Nazi flying saucer airforce or “Wunderwaffe” and wrote at length of Nazis producing a “bell-shaped” spacecraft” which they tested over Prague and Germany.

This claim is backed up by German engineer George Klein, who confirms such spacecraft were developed by the Nazis during the Second World War. In the Daily Express, Klein is quoted as saying:

“I don’t consider myself a crackpot or eccentric or someone given to fantasies.

“This is what I saw, with my own eyes; a Nazi UFO.”

Sightings of this “Nazi UFO” were made by British and American bomber crews, who reported strange flying objects over enemy territory. It is now thought that these sightings were of the “Bell” spacecraft test flights.
 
ufrosowllspanz111.jpg
The ‘bell shaped’ spacecraft as imagined in the documentary.
 
UFOs in the Third Reich goes on to explore the possibility that another Nazi-era flying saucer, known as the “Schriever-Habermohl model” may have crashed at Roswell in 1947

The “Schriever-Habermohl model” was designed by engineers Rudolf Schriever and Otto Habermohl in Prague between 1941-1943. It is claimed that the plans for the craft were taken to America in 1945

There are many eyewitness reports that the “Schriever-Habermohl model” did fly over Prague on several occasions.

Joseph Andreas Epp, an engineer who served as a consultant to the Schriever-Habermohl project, stated fifteen prototypes were built in total.

He described how a central cockpit surrounded by rotating adjustable wing-vanes formed a circle.

The vanes were held together by a band at the outer edge of the wheel-like device.

The pitch of the vanes could be adjusted so that during take off more lift was generated by increasing their angle from a more horizontal setting.

In level flight the angle would be adjusted to a smaller angle, similar to the way helicopter rotors operate.

The wing-vanes were to be set in rotation by small rockets placed around the rim like a pinwheel.

Once rotational speed was sufficient, lift-off was achieved.

After the craft had risen to some height the horizontal jets or rockets were ignited.

“After this the wing-blades would be allowed to rotate freely as the saucer moved forward as in an auto-gyrocopter.

“In all probability, the wing-blades speed, and so their lifting value, could also be increased by directing the adjustable horizontal jets slightly upwards to engage the blades, thus spinning them faster at the digression of the pilot,” he said.

UFOs in the Third Reich will be broadcast tonight in Germany Channel N24. Of course, if you can’t wait that long, here’s one (quite similar!) that was made earlier.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Shel Silverstein: A compendium of smut and depravity from the creator of ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’
10.15.2014
07:23 am

Topics:
Drugs
Literature
Music
Sex

Tags:


 
Shel Silverstein was more than just a quirky, kid-friendly poet with whom we youthfully chuckled while leafing through Where the Sidewalk Ends or A Light in the Attic. Indeed, as your perfectly sensible dad choked back tears while reading to you about the relentlessly cruel passage of time lovingly explored in The Giving Tree, he might well have been unaware of the epically debauched lifestyle of the bittersweet story’s wild-man author.

No doubt about it, Silverstein was an amazing guy. Case in point: he won two Grammys and was posthumously inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame on top of being a celebrated children’s author selling over 20 million book copies and counting.  But he also smoked a metric shit-ton of weed, sang obscenely, engaged in legendary partying (often on a houseboat), wrote a lot of fairly bent plays for grown-ups and obviously spent a lot of time thinking, writing and drawing about smut. In fact, some of our readers might remember that Shel Silverstein spent several years as a cartoonist for Playboy Magazine.  They might also recall that not only did Silverstein pen the lyrics to “A Boy Named Sue,” a tune made famous by Johnny Cash, and for which he won one of his Grammies, but that Uncle Shelby also wrote a sequel to “A Boy Named Sue” in which Sue’s dad turns him into kind of a live-in housekeeper/sex slave. The list goes on and on, really.
 
Shel Silverstein: Crouchin on the Outside
 
So allow me, as a primer for the uninitiated, or as a walk down a rather raunchy memory lane for those of you already in the know, to take you on a perhaps enlightening, but by no means comprehensive tour of some of the more explicit Shel Silverstein content available on the world wide web.  The stuff that follows is, of course, all pretty chuckle-worthy and, while fairly tame when judged by the standards of other smut, is in no way safe for work. 

Take for example this passage from Silverstein’s long-form poem “The Devil and Billy Markham,” a Faustian ode to the hustler that pits a down-on-his luck Nashville songwriter (Billy) against the Dark Lord himself. After the devil beats Billy in a dice match, he damns him to your standard eternity of painful hell roasting. After a while though, Lucifer realizes that unending damnation isn’t quite as shitty if people don’t get a reminder now and then about how awesome life used to be. So he sends Billy back to earth for 13 hours during which time he is allowed to lecherously fornicate with anything that walks, “man or woman or beast,” and no one will say no.  To sweeten the deal, if anyone does happen to put the kibosh on Billy’s inevitable sexcapade, Billy gets to return to earth.  Of course, all good things come to an end, and the Devil sends Billy a 30 second last call for banging as it were:

And Billy Markham, he stops. . .and he squints at the Devil. . .and says. . .“Sucker. . .I’ll take you.”

“Foul!” cries the Devil. “Foul, no fair! The rules don’t hold for me.”

“You said man or woman or beast,” says Bill, “and I guess you’re all of the three.”

And a roar goes up from the demons of Hell and it shakes the earth across,
 And the imps all squeal and the demons scream, “He’s gonna fuck the boss!”

“Why, you filthy scum,” the Devil snarls, blushing a fiery red,
“I give you a chance to live again and you bust me in front of my friends.”

“Hey, play or pay,” Billy Markham says. “So set me free at last,
Or raise your tail and hear all Hell wail when I bugger your devilish ass.”

The clippings below come from Playboy Magazine and were created as part of a series in which Silverstein traveled all over the place looking for scenes from the fringes of society. They’re hardly scandalous, but perhaps offer a slightly different take on Silverstein if you’re only familiar with “Falling Up”:
 
Silverstein Hooker
 
More Shel Silverstein after the jump…

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
Seven cover versions of ‘Ghostbusters’ from the Dream Syndicate’s 1984 tour
10.15.2014
06:57 am

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Ghostbusters
Dream Syndicate


The cover of the 1985 Ghost Busters bootleg, recorded in Frankfurt
 
In the storm of publicity attending the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters, a much more important occasion has been overlooked: the 30th anniversary of the Dream Syndicate covering the movie’s theme song. In the summer and fall of 1984, as Ray Parker, Jr.‘s damnably infectious hit saturated the airwaves of the US and UK, the Dream Syndicate worked out a simplified arrangement of the song based on the “Gloria” chords. If you listen to all seven extant versions, “Ghostbusters” might start to sound completely different; it might even start to sound like something off Dylan and the Band’s Basement Tapes.

On tour behind their second album Medicine Show in the US and Europe, the Dream Syndicate sometimes played “Ghostbusters” toward the end of the set. The earliest version—at Jimmy’s in New Orleans, with Tommy Zvoncheck of BÖC on keys—is fairly straightforward, aside from the homage to “Werewolves of London.” By the time they reach D.C., though, having ditched (or been ditched by) the keyboard player, and having reduced “Ghostbusters” to its simplest components, they can do anything with it.

At the 9:30 Club, guitarists Wynn and Precoda quote “Rock And Roll Part 2” before shredding in the style of Television—it’s a shame the tape runs out. In Stockholm, Wynn sees an opportunity to stir up the audience, and works himself into a lather setting up “Ghostbusters”:

Okay, listen, we’re doing a song that’s a big hit in the USA, but I don’t know about here. So the question is, uh, how many of you know a song called ‘Ghostbusters’? Gimme some lights. You know it? You know ‘Ghostbusters’? Get up here and sing it with us. You gotta sing it. C’mere, c’mere! Get up! Whoever can say the word ‘Ghostbusters,’ come on up. Is it a hit here? You’re shy. Alright, who can say ‘Ghostbusters’?

And in Bochum, Germany, “Ghostbusters” becomes the basis for a long jam that turns into “Suzie Q.,” “Sister Ray,” and “L.A. Woman.” Frankfurt gets a slow take on the song that is actually kind of spooky.

One of my favorite things about these performances is that, during the call-and-response section of the song, one band member—bassist Mark Walton?—screams “Ghostbusters” with a little too much spirit and freedom, as if he is belting out the chorus of Discharge’s “Why” rather than lending his assent to the innocuous refrain of a dance song for children’s parties. His commitment to the song is deserving of praise. Bustin’ made him feel bad!

The “Ghostbusters” covers commence after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Maybe now isn’t the best time to sell an Ebola plush toy?
10.14.2014
01:50 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
toys
Ebola

eboty3333.jpg
 
I’m not sure if this will make it on to my letter to Santa this year, it might kind of look out of place next to my requests for, you know, world peace, an end to famine and war and the Scooby-Doo DVD box set, but you never know.

The Ebola plush toy is made by GIANTmicrobes®, a company that makes… er… giant microbe toys “designed as a teaching tool to help small children learn about the importance of handwashing”

GIANTmicrobes® have been created for many other purposes. There are now over a hundred designs depicting everything from the cells of the body, to the probiotic creatures that improve health, to the philanthropic microbes that make bread and yogurt, to the aquatic amoebas and paramecium familiar to high school students, to a wide range of medical pathogens.

The Ebola plush toy (a million times the real size) costs $9.95, while a gigantic toy is $29.95 and petri dish $14.95. Ebola is described as the “T. Rex of microbes” and this toy is a “uniquely contagious gag gift” even if it does look like a giant joby.
 
ebotoy11111.jpg
 
Sadly, these are all currently out of stock, but there are 150 Originals to choose from including:
 
777blckdea777.jpg
 
The Black Death (Yersinia pestis).
 
888acid8888nbgdjs.jpg
 
Acidophilus (Lactobacillus acidophilus).
 
555amo555.jpg
 
Amoeba (Amoeba proteus).
 
9999badbre999x.jpg
 
Bad Breath (Porphyromonas gingivalis).
 
666brdfl666.jpg
 
Bird Flu (Influenza A virus H5N1)
 
4444diar444.jpg
 
Diarrhea (Campylobacter jejuni).
 
While GIANTmicrobes® have an educational point to their existence, I’m not sure what the point of the Ebola baby suit is (though it claims “to speak for itself”) other than reminding us of our privileged position in the Western world compared to all the thousands of babies, children, women and men dying from the disease in Africa. Or maybe it’s just supposed to be in bad taste?
 
ba45sgbshsuit.jpg
 
Now, wash your hands!
 
With thanks to Duke.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
David Lynch not being Lynchian enough according to New York Times
10.14.2014
01:25 pm

Topics:
Art

Tags:
David Lynch


I Burn Pinecone And Throw In Your House (2009)
 
New York Times art critic Ken Johnson does not like David Lynch’s new art exhibition, David Lynch: The Unified Field, and not because he doesn’t like David Lynch. No, Johnson seems to be under the impression that Lynch’s work isn’t Lynchian enough, saying:

Is Mr. Lynch as compelling a fine artist as he has been a filmmaker. The short answer is no. Images of sex, violence, trauma and black comedy abound, but many of the qualities that make his movies so singular—so “Lynchian”—are missing. The convoluted narratives, shifts from noirish realism to hallucinatory surrealism, erotic sensuality and creepy voyeurism, atmospheres of suspense and dread, mood swings from wonder to hysteria to bottomless grief, battles between innocence and evil: these dimensions aren’t fully realized in Mr. Lynch’s paintings.

First of all, I actually find Lynch’s art to fit very nicely within his larger canon, and I wonder why Johnson can’t see what appears so obvious to me (Eraserhead immediately came to mind). Mind you, Lynch actually started out as a visual artist, and since half of the work displayed was created before his film career (the other half being more current pieces), it’s ridiculous to say this isn’t a coherent body of work. More to the point, it’s surreal to hear a critic say an artist isn’t creating art within their own self-made idiom—I’m pretty sure whatever Lynch makes is going to be “Lynchian,” by definition.

A little more research into Ken Johnson’s previous criticism shows that he’s caught some flak for sexist musings on women artists, and once in a review of a black art show, argued black people aren’t suited to assemblage style sculpture because it doesn’t reflect their black suffering or some shit (I wonder what he’d do if he saw a black ballerina or black classical musician). I say enjoy Lynch’s paintings if they’re your thing—or don’t, if they’re not your cup of (hot!) coffee—but can we all agree that The Times’ art critic ain’t much of an authority on “authenticity?”
 

Boy Lights Fire (2010)
 

Pete Goes to His Girlfriend’s House (2009)
 

Bob Loves Sally Until She is Blue in the Face (2000)
 

Mister Redman (2000)
 

Hello (2012
 

Untitled, 1971
 

Sick Man with Elephantine Arm (1968)
 

Woman with Screaming Head (1968)
 

Flying Bird with Cigarette Butts (1968)
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Walter White goes Gonzo: ‘Breaking Bad’ illustrations by Ralph Steadman
10.14.2014
01:11 pm

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Television

Tags:
Breaking Bad
Ralph Steadman

Saul Goodman Ralph Steadman
Saul Goodman by Ralph Steadman
 
For the upcoming limited-edition Blu-ray release of Breaking Bad, show creator Vince Gilligan joined forces with Gonzo illustrator Ralph Steadman to create six different covers for each season of the show. Available in February, these spectacular collectibles will be sold exclusively by Zavvi.com ($30 bucks each). Pre-order is going on now but be forewarned, the Gus “The Chicken Man” Fring edition for season four (as well as Mike Ehrmantraut’s season five and Hank Schrader’s show finale edition) have already sold-out. Images from each of the six covers follow.
 
Gus Fring by Ralph Steadman
Gus Fring
 
Walter White by Ralph Steadman
Walter White
 
Hank Scrader by Ralph Steadman
Hank Schrader
 
Mike Ehrmantraut by Ralph Steadman
Mike Ehrmantraut
 
Jesse Pinkman by Ralph Steadman
Jesse Pinkman
 
Via Paste Magazine

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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