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Bloody hell: Disney made an animated ‘period’ short about menstruation
05:57 pm



Walt Disney The Story of Menstruation
Beginning in 1946 and continuing into the 1960s, Disney gave young women the “talk” about their periods with an educational animated short titled The Story of Menstruation. The 10-minute stylized animation, produced by Walt Disney Productions, was backed by the company behind tampon brand Kotex (then it was the International Cello-Cotton Company, now it’s Kimberly-Clark). Kotex boasts that it taught 105 million girls, in health education classes across the United States, about puberty and good ol’ Aunt Flo.
Fallopian Tubes
All these millions of girls were also given Very Personally Yours, a propagandic booklet that expands on the film’s knowledge.
Bathing on your period
The female narrator explains that this booklet “explodes that old taboo against bathing during your period.”

Not only can you bathe, you should bathe. Because during menstruation, your perspiration glands are working overtime.

Suck it up
These young women were also given pointers on how to suck it up when they are feeling irritable:

Don’t let it get you down. After all, you have to live with people. You have to live with yourself too. And once you stop feeling sorry for yourself and take those days in your stride, you’ll find it’s easier to keep smiling and even tempered.

Bicycle riding on your period

And as for the old taboo against exercise, that’s nonsense. Exercise is good for you during menstruation. Just use common sense.


Watch it for yourself and see if you learn anything new about that time of the month.

via Mental Floss

Posted by Rusty Blazenhoff | Leave a comment
‘Saturday Morning Freakout’: A Forbidden Transmission from TV’s Graveyard
12:20 pm



“Saturday Morning Freakout” is an episode of the Forbidden Transmission public access cable show, which aired on Albuquerque Comcast Channel 27 from April 2007 to December 2007. The producer, Skeleton Farm Productions, uploaded a bunch of the shows to Cinemageddon recently, describing his handiwork thusly:

Each episode is a collage of rare movie trailers, b-movie clips, old toy commercials, obscure music videos, strange kids shows, bad foreign television and much more. It’s thirty minutes of pure brain-melting video weirdness.

It is. These zany video collages can be a dime-a-dozen, but when you find a good one, they can be full of pure gold. In just this one episode, “Saturday Morning Freakout” packs in clips of Richard Pryor’s kids’ show; Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, the Ramones doing the theme from the Spider-Man cartoon, the Bugaloos, Groovie Ghoulies, MC Hammer’s Hammerman cartoon, commercials for Star Wars toys, KISS dolls and the extremely curious Starsky and Hutch “action alley” play set. And plenty more. (Anyone remember the diabolical Dr. Shrinker and his dwarf sidekick Hugo?)

Spark one up and let Forbidden Transmission take over your mind for a little while. If you like what you see, there are more of these—plenty more—for sale on DVD on their website.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Yes, there’s footage of Prince Charles skateboarding in a double-breasted suit, 1970s
10:50 am


Prince Charles

According to the YouTube uploader, this is very rare footage of a young Prince Charles skating in a double-breasted suit and dress shoes. Now since it’s on the Internet, it ain’t that rare anymore. I’ve never seen Prince Charles showing off his stellar skate moves before, but that doesn’t mean diddly-squat. (It’s an excerpt from a short doc about Charles visiting an inner city youth organization.)

But here he is in all of his future-King-of-England glory at a skatepark showing all the kiddies how it’s done. (Not really.) His feeble attempts at conversation are amusing (“So you’re an expert on that? Ah, yes. What about looping the loop?”) He claims that had he known in advance that there would be skateboarding, he’d have brought along a helmet and “the other protective paraphernalia.” Because all royals are big on safety. At least he might’ve left the wing tips at home.

via The World’s Best Ever

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Dumbland,’ David Lynch’s remarkable animated series, lives up to its name
10:24 am


David Lynch

In 2002 David Lynch unveiled on his website eight short animated movies, each one an episode of a series called Dumbland. Featuring a blistering cowpunk score and a stark animated style that is vaguely reminiscent of Dr. Katz on mescaline, Dumbland may represent Lynch at his most unvarnished, revolving around a mouth-breathing troglodyte named Randy. It was released on DVD in 2006 and also appears on Lynch’s jaw-dropping multi-disc release The Lime Green Set from 2008.

Lynch said of it: “Dumbland is a crude, stupid, violent and absurd series. If it is funny, it is funny because we see the absurdity of it all.” It’s true, everything about this tossed-off show is violent and absurd; perhaps it is the detritus that lodges in one’s brain if one has been busy dreaming up crazed, animalistic characters like Frank Booth in Blue Velvet, Leland Palmer in Twin Peaks, and Bobby Peru in Wild at Heart.


Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Kooky Kindle cover disasters
10:09 am


Kindle covers
bad art

You certainly can’t judge a Kindle by its cover as some of these badly illustrated titles are certified Amazon bestsellers—which either means they’re good reads or the author comes from a very large family.

The best thing about Kindle is the opportunity it gives wannabe writers to publish their work, but conversely, the worst thing about Kindle is the opportunity it gives to wannabe writers who want to publish their work… because some of them will.

Then of course there are the Kindle covers which vary from the tacky to the plain bizarre to the truly fucking ugly. So popular are these bad covers there is even a Tumblr site celebrating their awfulness, from which this small selection of abominations is culled.
More kooky Kindle covers after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Edward Gorey’s ‘anxious, irritable’ tarot card set is predictably perfect
10:04 am


Edward Gorey

Since he supplied us with a visual vocabulary for cutesy dread over many decades, perhaps it comes as no surprise that Edward Gorey designed a set of whimsical tarot cards. The set is called the “Fantod Pack,” the word fantod signifying “a state of worry or nervous anxiety, irritability” and thus possibly the most Edward Gorey word ever. (David Foster Wallace was fond of the word as well, using the phrase “howling fantods” multiple times in Infinite Jest; the main clearinghouse website for DFW information is called The Howling Fantods.) 

Not surprisingly, Gorey’s tarot set is (a) not precisely a tarot set, (b) reflexively downbeat, (c) more like a parody of a tarot set, and (d) utterly hilarious. Seriously, and I know that he is known for this style of humor, but looking over the Fantod Pack will give you a whole new appreciation for the possibilities of the deadpan mode of humor. Why is the “Stones” card so funny, when it’s just a little drawing of three plinths of varying size? Somehow the silly self-seriousness of the project is communicated. The backs of the cards feature a typically Goreyish creature called a “Figbash.” Here’s one now:

Authorship of the Fantod Deck is attributed to a “Madame Groeda Wyrde,” which might engage the minds of those of you who enjoy anagrams. The instructions are as hilarious as the other elements of the set, as for instance:

Interpretation must always depend on the character and circumstances of the person consulting the pack. What might portend a wipe-out for a teenage hotdogger from Yokohama, might warn an octogenarian spinster in Minot, North Dakota, of a fall in the bathtub, though, of course, the results might come to much the same thing.

Ahem: “To read your fortune, first shuffle the pack and take it in your left hand. Stand in the centre of a sparsely furnished room and close your eyes. Fling the pack into the air. Keep your eyes closed. Pick up five cards and place them face up in the form of a cross.” Then you’re supposed to read the cards in the following fashion. The center card shows your current situation, the top card depicts “something from the past that continues to affect your future,” on the left is your “inner self,” the card on the right shows “the outer world,” and the bottom card displays “something about to come into being in the near future.”

Every card comes with an evocative list of associated words, and these too are simply brilliant. Unfailingly austere and morbid—nobody’s meeting a dark & handsome stranger in this set—the peculiar word choices only enhance the grim comedy, with bizarre words like chagrin, bêtise, megrims, impetigo, catarrh, inanition, cafard, barratry, and champerty lending everything a flushed air of erudite and anemic horror.

Some sources falsely attribute the deck to the 1995, which is when Gorey made the first set available. Its origins actually trace back to an issue of Esquire in the 1960s. An unauthorized deck was printed in 1969, after which an authorized limited edition of 776 copies was created (750 numbered, and 26 lettered) in 1995. Since 2007 it is available as an unlimited deck; you can get it from Amazon for about ten bucks. Copies of the 1995 limited edition set run much, much higher, though—there are three of them available on Amazon for $450 each.   

“The Sea”
January / wasting / loss of ears / an accident in an elevator / lurching sickness / cracks / false affection / vapors / a secret enemy / misdirection / demons / estrangement / chagrin


“The Limb”
February / miscarriage of justice / gapes / a forged snapshot / morbid sensations / a useless sacrifice / alopecia / a generalized calamity / broken promises / ignominy / an accident in a theatre / fugues / poverty


“The Stones”
March / a forged letter / paralysis / false arrest / falling sickness / evil communications / estrangement / a sudden affliction / anemia / strife / a distasteful duty / misconstruction

The rest of this great tarot deck is after the jump…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau
08:37 am

Pop Culture

Richard Stanley

Richard Stanley’s one of the most fascinating human beings I’ve ever met. He’s a divinely demented film maker, necromancer, and pop culture provocateur with a rock & roll heart that beats time to a cosmic rhythm machine redeemed from some post-apocalyptic pawn shop located at the outer edges of absolute reality. He’s got the widescreen stare of a gunslinger in a spaghetti western and more than a few metaphorical bullet holes in his serape. Stanley’s been through some tribulation, the kind that can pulverize a man’s soul into a million little shards of crystallized dogshit. In the mid-90s, while still only in his twenties, this precocious and audacious filmmaker was given the opportunity to make a movie based on his visionary adaption of H. G. Well’s The Island of Dr. Moreau. What followed was a classic example of a young director’s rebel spirit bumping up against old school Hollywood politics and power games. Stanley was not only fucked over by the heads of New Line Cinema, he was also mentally brutalized by the epically malevolent ego of Val Kilmer who he had cast, along with Marlon Brando, in a leading role. Only days after the start of filming, Stanley was fired and banished from the set of his ambitious and potentially ground-breaking movie.

The whole sordid saga of Richard Stanley’s cinematic trial by fire has been documented in the riveting Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau. Directed by David Gregory and released by Severin Films, Lost Soul shares much of the same dark humor, heartbreak and intrigue of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ill-fated Dune project, as seen in that recent documentary. Stanley, like Jodorowsky, saw his concept appropriated by Hollywood and twisted into something that was to his original vision what rape is to love.

Lost Soul is as entertaining as it is sad and infuriating. Watching studio heads blathering idiotically about a film they didn’t understand and hearing the crew and cast’s disgusted take on Kilmer’s ego-driven subversion of Stanley’s efforts to make the movie his way is a far more dramatic and engaging experience than the Hollywood bomb that was ultimately released.

Eventually, Stanley’s project was handed over to the long past-his-prime director, John Frankenheimer, a hired gun with a dictatorial attitude and almost zero interest in Stanley’s vision for the film. With nothing at stake, Frankenheimer essentially took the money and ran. The film he delivered to the studio was cinematic road kill, dead on arrival.  The Island of Dr. Moreau debuted in 1996 to critical jeers and promptly crashed and burned at the box office. I actually went to see it the day it opened in New York City, mostly because of the presence of Brando and David Thewlis in the film. Overall, I hated the movie but loved Brando’s over-the-top, don’t-give-a-fuck performance. You could tell he was intent on enjoying himself despite appearing in what he clearly thought was a steaming pile of shit. I think Brando was also slyly editorializing about the way Stanley’s ideas had been altered and corrupted. He liked Stanley and in my opinion was demonstrating solidarity with the young director who had been exiled from his own film. As far as Kilmer goes, that motherfucker had blown his cred ever since appearing as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s hate letter to rock and roll The Doors. Frankenheimer made no attempt to reel in Kilmer’s narcissism and the end result ain’t pretty. Kilmer spends most of his screen time doing a silly imitation of Brando which is both unfunny and insulting. I’m sure Brando didn’t even notice. 

I met with Richard Stanley after a screening of Lost Soul during last year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin. A commanding figure with a delicate grace about him, Stanley was easy to talk to and extremely open about the passion and pain involved in creating a work of art that, had it been realized true to his vision, could have been a glorious thing.

Photo of Richard Stanley by Mirgun Akyavas.
I’m not easily impressed by most human beings these days. Few walk it like they talk it and fewer still are genuinely fearless in pursuit of their dreams, willing to take risks that could end disastrously or triumphantly or a little of both. Richard Stanley is truly an artist/warrior and he’s in the midst of a remarkable and well-deserved return to the public eye. Last week, he was the subject of an Entertainment Weekly cover story (good for you EW). The wheel of karma is spinning back in Stanley’s direction and it’s good.

In the few short hours that I spent talking with and videotaping Richard I felt like I was with a dear old friend. Before he left Austin, we met on the patio of the Alamo Drafthouse where I gave him a copy of Geoff Dyer’s book on Tarkovsky, Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room and a small bag of medicinal herb from Northern California. These were not rare or expensive gifts, they were very modest. But Richard responded as though I’d given him precious feathers of an ancient mythological bird. His reaction was so heartfelt, so sweet and unfettered, that I was somewhat taken aback as he tilted his head down and gave me a huge kiss on the cheek. This was a kiss I would have expected from my born again mother after telling her I had gotten engaged to Jesus. Richard clearly liked my gifts. “Shall we smoke it” he asked, referring to the packet of herb in his hand, all the while grinning hugely. In that moment, I saw the face of a man whose spirit is impossible to contain, who will live to his fullest no matter what gets in his way. And that’s the ultimate “fuck you” to the assholes who tried to take him down. I love it when the truly hep cat gets the last laugh.

Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau is currently streaming on Amazon and playing in selected theaters around the world. This coming weekend, February 28, he’ll be appearing onstage at Cinefamily in Los Angeles for a Q&A with the director David Gregory (and again on Tuesday, March 3). You can also catch the film at Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn this weekend, 2/27 and 2/28. For more goodness, you can visit Stanley’s website’s Tera Umbra- The Empire Of Shadows and this one here.

I started the camera rolling and let Richard do his thing. His life story is quite marvelous and he’s practically breathless in the telling of it. Among many things, he touches upon his early videos for Fields of the Nephilim, Public Image Limited, his feature-length cult classics Hardware and Dust Devil, Lemmy and Iggy, fighting with rebels in Afghanistan, his abiding love for Fairuza Balk and his home in southern France where he has a magical relationship to the mysterious Château de Montségur.

Watch the trailer:

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Japanese juice company invents wearable robot that feeds you tomatoes while you run
08:30 am



Japanese juice company Kagom have done the impossible; they’ve created a wearable 18 lbs. robot that fits comfortably on your shoulders and dispenses succulent tomatoes into your pie hole whilst you go about your morning jog. The robot, called Tomatan, holds up to six medium-sized tomatoes. When you feel the need for a snack or suffer from hunger pangs while on your run, just pull the lever and a lovely tomato plops into your mouth.

This is the solution we have all been waiting for.

“Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue,” says Shigenori Suzuki of Kagome.

If you feel the 18 lbs. Tomatan is just too heavy, never fear, there’s also the “Petit-Tomatan” (which is half the weight of the Tomatan). The Petit-Tomatan will be tested out at Tokyo Marathon on Sunday. Should be interesting.

Watch the Tomatan in action, below:

Via Death and Taxes and IB Times

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
At first you’ll think this is the SHITTIEST demo ever put on tape, but give it a little more time…
08:00 am


outsider music

Back in 2003, I temp-worked as a secretary in a recording studio. One day the boss comes by my desk and says “you have to hear this.” What he played then changed my life forever. You don’t come back from a song like “A Little More Time.”  It sinks its lamprey teeth into your mind.

The artist, “McFlee,” with his backing singers, “Photosynthesis,” had just finished a demo session in which they created this visionary masterwork of…uh… let’s call it Vibratospiritual Casiohop.

According to my former boss, who remains nameless to protect his innocence:

I remember [McFlee]  came by and wanted to hear himself on the mic one day so we let him put on headphones and hear himself. He was super stoked. [The engineer] called me in the middle of the session absolutely stunned at the weirdness of the whole thing.

The engineer on “A Little More Time” recollects:

I remember he set up right in the middle of the room with his keyboard and he had about five or six different beats he would cycle through,  and he was running everything live, and didn’t want to pre-record anything. We had the girls set up in the hallway for backing vocals. I just remember when he started the song I was waiting for the ending around the four minute mark, and was looking for Candid Camera around the seven minute mark of the eighth or ninth(?) chorus. I knew this was a classic in the making, and regret not having a camera rolling! It seemed like watching him, every “yeaaaaaaaaa” would get a little more animated, and he was getting comfortable about halfway through the song, with more and more vibrato.

“A Little More Time” hits all the criteria for the truest of “Outsider Music.” It’s an earnest effort to create something real and meaningful that breaks every possible musical and lyrical convention with zero self-awareness. It’s challenging in every way, yet holds its own as an impossibly unforgettable earworm. The track was recorded in September of 2003 and I was luckily able to sneak a copy out of the studio. This is a chopped/screwed edit which excises approximately eight minutes of instrumental passages. If you think this is “difficult music” in its present form, imagine it with an extra eight minutes of keyboard preset instrumental breaks!

Some have noted a striking resemblance between McFlee’s vocal stylings and those of Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons). Um, sure, why not?

Only a handful of people who were gifted dubbed copies have heard “A Little More Time,” but it’s worth exposing to a greater audience. The video, unrelated to the song, approximates what one imagines a live McFlee performance might possibly entail, and is provided to give the listener a visual to enhance the experience. Follow along with the lyrics or don’t. It doesn’t matter. Soon “A Little More Time” will be jammed into your head like a mental tapeworm, sucking out IQ points while lifting your soul to the heavens. 

Ladies and gentleman, prepare yourselves for the vibrato stylings and astonishing language liberty-taking of the one-and-only McFlee and Photosynthesis.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Outsider Christian Music
Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘Smokey Sue Smokes for Two’ is the weirdest, creepiest, dumbest anti-smoking deterrent, ever
07:50 am



Keeping pace with our laughably inefficient abstinence-only sex “education” program, the drug education at my school was incredibly patronizing, to say the least. For chastity, we ripped pieces of Scotch tape off of one another; the metaphor became clear as the adhesive wore off—the more you sleep around, the less likely you will ever be able to romantically bond with another human being. For the drugs though, we had a more old-fashioned scare tactics—photos of black lungs, testimonials from former addicts and alcoholics (on video of course, can’t have the kids around anyone who has ever done drugs of any kind), statistics that were obviously skewed to make a joint appear as dangerous as black tar heroin and, etc.

Obviously it was disingenuous propaganda, but it wasn’t nearly as insulting to our intelligence as Smokey Sue Smokes for Two, the fetus in a jar with a doll head that smokes. It’s apparently supposed to teach you something about fetal distress? From a health teaching tools site that sells this abomination (for $163!):

Sue’s motherly instincts are questionable at best. There she sits passively smoking cigarette after cigarette, ignorant of how her vile habit is affecting her baby. Tragically Sue personifies many real-life mothers who don’t see that their choices influence the health of their babies. As Sue smokes each cigarette tar builds up around the gaunt fetal model and gradually tints the clear fetal environment a sickly shade of amber. Sue may not be able to think for herself but she prompts others to do plenty of thinking.

Seeing as even the youngest child understands the body is more complex—and pregnancy more involved—than a plastic fetus in a jar, I can safely say I don’t see this creepy fear-doll working. (And isn’t it kind of insulting to portray a woman as a literal baby-jar?)

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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