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The remarkable rabbits of Sigmund Freud’s niece
10:50 am



These remarkable dreamlike images come from a 1924 book that came out in Germany called Buch der Hasengeschichten (“Book of Rabbit Stories”). The author published under the name Tom Seidmann-Freud, but her given name was Martha Gertrud Freud—her mother, Maria Freud, who went by “Mitzi,” was one of Sigmund Freud’s five sisters. Martha was born in Vienna in 1892 but her family moved to Berlin in 1898. As a teenager she adopted the name “Tom.” In 1920 she met a writer named Jakob Seidmann, whom she married two years later.

Tom Seidmann-Freud
In 1924 Seidmann-Freud published Buch der Hasengeschichten through the Peregrin Verlag (Peregrin Publishing Company). Over the next few years, she published a number of incredibly distinctive children’s books, the most famous of which is Die Fischreise (The Fish’s Journey) of 1923. As Marjorie Ingall writes in Tablet, “She hung out with Berlin’s avant-garde crowd, as well as with her family’s academic and Zionist friends. … Her style involved outlining folk-art-y, simple illustrations precisely in ink, then filling them in with watercolors. She frequently used stencils and paint together in a bright, lively technique called pochoir.”

In the space of few months, both Tom and Jakob committed suicide for reasons stemming from financial troubles. Sources differ on the exact reason—German Wikipedia says blandly that they had founded Peregrin Verlag, which ran into difficulties when the global financial crisis that started in 1929 arrived. Ingall isolates the problem with a separate venture called Ophir Verlag, which was to be a publishing company specializing in Hebrew books for children. That story involves a third party named Chaim Nachman Bialik, whose failure to live up to his obligations led to their suicides. Ingall cites a letter from 1925, suggesting that the money problems had been going on for a while, although the culpability of Bialik is simply not established in her account. Whatever the reason, it was clearly financial in nature; Jakob hanged himself in October 1929 and, now suffering from depression, Tom died of an overdose of sleeping pills in February 1930.

According to Ingall, during the Nazi regime her children’s books became destroyed in great numbers as part of the purge of Jewish authors—we’re lucky that her works survived the Third Reich, thanks for Seidmann-Freud’s family members as well as art lovers. 

Will Schofield calls the book “whimsically apocalyptic,” which seems entirely apropos—I’m a little puzzled for his use of the term “rabbit dreams,” which seems a little misleading. Seidmann-Freud was trained as a Jugendstil artist, and her vibrant, imaginative, purposefully “flat” images definitely have a powerful, untethered, dreamlike quality all their own. 









via 50 Watts

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Queen of Shock Rock Wendy O. Williams’ mega-healthy salad dressing recipe
06:55 am

A girl's best friend is her guitar


Despite the sledgehammers, chainsaws and occasional police-instigated violence that became heavily associated with Plasmatics’ shows, the late, great Wendy O. Williams was first and foremost a gentle soul, with more than a touch of hippie influence. As a teenage runaway she bounced around the Rocky Mountains and sold crafts, moved to Florida to be a lifeguard and even cooked at a health food restaurant in London before making the stage her home.

Wendy was also an advocate for animal welfare and a vocal vegetarian. One might understandably assume that her dietary choices were entirely ethically motivated, but this 1984 interview from Vegetarian Times (see her as the adorable cover girl above) shows she was also incredibly health-conscious—a serious urban gardener who avoided drugs and alcohol, exercised regularly and sprouted her own macrobiotic diet from a Tribeca loft. Williams actually taught a macrobiotic cooking class at the Learning Annex!

The best part? The article includes Williams’ own super-hippie recipe for salad dressing—it actually sounds like a pretty intriguing flavor profile too. Save it for your next Plasmatics themed dinner party!

Wendy’s diet is very heavy on live foods and sprouts. The salad dressing is the result of experimentation in the blender and it’s rather unique in that it includes fresh greens chopped up into the dressing. She advises that its [sic] best to use two different types of greens; one for the dressing, one for the salad.

  1 1/2 cups rejuvelac (soak a cup of wheat berries in 3–4 cups of water for 3 days or until berries settle; then strain)
  1 clove garlic
  1 Tbs. miso or soy sauce
  2 Tbs. lecithin
  1 Tbs. cumin
  1 tsp. basil
  1 tsp. oregano
  Fresh herbs of your choice
  Mixed greens (parsley, celery, sorrel, lettuce, spinach, or green    
  beans, sprouts)

Add seasonings to rejuvelac and whir in blender. Add, little by little, 1 pound of mixed greens, Until greens or chopped and mix well. Best when used fresh.

Below, Wendy and her fellow Plasmatics go on a safari with John Candy on SCT.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Dentist’s creepy ‘pet’ project: A concrete block of human teeth
03:24 pm



Tooth rock
Sometime in the 1940s or ‘50s, a dentist named Dr. Joseph Stamp started forming a tooth-filled concrete block at the corner of Riverside Drive and Lexington Avenue in Elkhart, Indiana.

Legend has it that Stamp created it as a memorial to his childhood German Shepherd, Prince, though none of his descendants know why he filled it with human teeth he pulled from his patients. They guess that it “probably saved him on concrete.”

Stamp’s granddaughter, Susan Howard, states, “He pulled thousands of teeth as a dentist” and preserved them in a barrel of chemicals in his practice’s basement, which “kept the teeth from smelling.”

Tooth Rock
photos by Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth

Stamp, who passed away in 1978 at the age of 88, is described as “eccentric as all get out” by local history museum curator, Paul Thomas. The creepy tooth-filled rock can still be viewed today.

via Weird Universe

Posted by Rusty Blazenhoff | Leave a comment
Zenned-out dragon lizard plays leaf guitar
11:29 am



Just a dragon lizard chillaxin’ while gently strumming his leaf guitar.

According to Indonesian photographer Aditya Permana, he didn’t manipulate the lizard in order to capture this shot. It was a once-in-a-lifetime photograph and he captured the lizard doing its thing just at the right moment.

“I did not directly photograph the lizard at first, until the lizard felt calm and comfortable around me. I noticed it looked like it was playing a guitar – and it didn’t move at all,“ said Permana.

Now all this lizard needs is a tiny hat set out for donations and tips for his leaf strummin’ capabilities.

via Daily Mail

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Squeal like a pig!: The world champion pig squealer is a really STRANGE dude
06:14 am



France: a nation that has given the world such eminent artists, writers, scientists and philosophers as Henri Matisse, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Françoise Sagan, Jean-Paul Sartre, Coco Chanel, Marcel Duchamp, Isabelle Adjani, Luc Besson, Juliette Binoche and Edith Piaf, now brings us Noël “Nono” Jamet, the six times world champion pig squealer.

If ever there is a remake of Deliverance, then 48-year-old truck driver Nono would be the perfect choice for the Ned Beatty role…as he can certainly squeal like a pig.
Nono takes his porcine impressions very seriously—dressing up in a pink outfit, with piggy ears and snout—and who knows maybe he even gives himself a wee splash of eau du bacon?

This year, when Nono entered the Agricultural Fair (Salon de l’Agriculture) at the Porte de Versailles in Paris,  he won the pig squealing cup with his incredible performance of the life of a piggy—from birth and breastfeeding to death. This performance is something that has to be seen to be believed, and I’m sure you will be as impressed by Nono’s amazing talent as much as the judges.

And if you can’t get enough of Nono’s delightful squeals and grunts—he can be hired to share his gift of joy as an entertainer at birthday parties. Look at the video, who’d let this guy near kids?

Via the Local.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
This Valentine’s Day get your sweetie a New York City cockroach!
02:17 pm



A very witty woman once said, “There is no hive vagina,” meaning that my own femaleness does not make me qualified to tell you how to flatter your particular sweetheart . Romance is many things to many people, but for a certain kind of girl—perhaps one that abhors clichés?—a genuine New York City cockroach might just be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, and the Bronx Zoo has you covered!

What has six legs, a surprisingly high tolerance for radiation, and is bound to crawl into your loved one’s heart?

Back by popular demand, this Valentine’s Day we’re again offering you the opportunity to name one of the Bronx Zoo’s Madagascar hissing cockroaches for your special someone. Don’t miss out. Though this holiday tradition began in 2011, tens of thousands of these hissing cockroaches remain nameless.

With a $10 donation, your Valentine will get a unique certificate of honor featuring the name of your roach.

You’ll also be helping us conserve species big and small, beautiful and damned. With your support, we’ll continue to work for wildlife in the forests of Madagascar and throughout the world’s most majestic wild places.

Sure, you could just make a donation in your darling’s name. Wildlife conservation is certainly honorable on its own merits, but I’m of the opinion that the roach dedication is what makes it romantic. Of course, being Madagascar hissing cockroaches, these lovely insects are imported—and since most New Yorkers are transplants, that only makes them all the more authentically NYC. And the hissing! Have you ever heard such a euphonious bug? These are truly the songbirds of the roach realm!

Thanks Chelsea G. Summers

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Forget rats, pigeons & bedbugs: Bunnies are New York’s hottest new vermin!
05:55 am



The wildlife of NYC is much maligned, and yet every honest-to-God New Yorker knows these scrappy, hard-bitten creatures are an integral part of experiencing the city. Maybe you saw a rat as big as Corgi attack a Corgi the size of a slightly smaller Corgi!? Perhaps you encountered a roach trying to sell you a Rolex? I was mugged at knifepoint by a Central Park squirrel–-we all have our stories! But is this delicate ecosystem ready for a new player?

Meet the Gowanus Bunnies—the roughest rabbits you’ll ever meet and the latest addition to the brutal fauna of the five boroughs. In a Brooklyn neighborhood best known for the opaquely polluted waters of the Gowanus Canal, these flinty Leporidae found a home in a dirt alley next to a tire shop, and while their fuzzy-wuzzy cuteness hasn’t gone completely unappreciated by the neighborhood, the urban bunnies may be becoming a problem.

For one, they reproduce in accordance with stereotype, and their famed fecundity has bolstered the colony’s ranks into a verging swarm. That may not sound very threatening, but rabbits burrow, and a lot of important and delicate stuff goes on underground in New York, including electrical work and the foundations of some very old rotting buildings. Others fear a more Night of the Lepus situation, noting the rabbits seem to have developed a taste for chicken wings (could human flesh be much further down the road?!?).

Local Joel Bukiewicz, who owns a knife shop across the street from the rabbits, has seen the bunnies fighting viciously:

“I think of rabbits as friendly, innocent and sweet,” Bukiewicz said. “These are angry, hardened city rabbits and possibly carnivorous. These are Gowanus rabbits. I wouldn’t want to bring one home.”

Of course attached to all of this is a “New York person”—30-something piano teacher Dorota Trec, who calls her pets “erotic,” and maintains that there’s nothing unsavory, dangerous or unethical about her rapidly multiplying herd. Animal welfare advocates disagree, and Trec is currently facing potential action from the health department who are probably rightly concerned about an animal hoarder who appears to be ground zero for a new pest epidemic. I hope they get them all spayed, but I don’t hold out too much hope for adoption—I’m not sure these rabbits can be rehabilitated back into society.

Via DNAinfo

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
A fate worse than death: Your dead pet sings from beyond the grave!
07:26 am



As astonishing awfulness goes, pet memorial videos from have a TON of poor-taste bases covered, all crammed in to an uncomfortable interstice between bathos, death, and cute animal pics. Pet Photo Fun specializes in animating pet photos, so your adorable furry companion appears to be speaking or singing. They’ll do this with customized messages, so for example you can send your best pal a birthday e-card featuring his or her favorite quadruped companion singing a birthday tribute.

Prepare yourself for a gainer into a bottomless well of impossible mawkishness.

Ain’t that somethin’? The digital pitch-shifting applied to the “animal” voice just ramps the discomfort factor up through the roof. So take that level of delirious, treacly maudlinism and apply it to a creepily animated photo of a deceased pet delivering its lifetime human companion a message from beyond the grave. For $30, the pet will sing Pet Photo Fun’s purpose-composed and heavy-handed original song “Think of Me and Smile.” For $60, the song will be delivered with an additional personalized message.

I realize that as tacky and ghoulish as this all is, there are folks out there who’d be genuinely moved to receive one, and I wouldn’t dream of invalidating their grief, but all things being equal, when her time comes, I’d be perfectly happy with my dog’s picture just in a frame.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Catnipped: Watch a jaguar tripping balls after eating ayahuasca vines
09:27 am



Apparently animals dig otherworldly experiences, too. Take this jaguar for instance, who seeks out and then happily munches on the Banisteriopsis caapi vine located in rainforests of South America.

Ayahuasca AKA yajé is a tea brewed by shamas known for its psychoactive effects. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the role of Banisteriopsis caapi in the making of ayahuasca.

It contains harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine, all of which are both beta-carboline harmala alkaloids and MAOIs. The MAOIs in B. caapi allow the primary psychoactive compound, DMT (which is introduced from the other primary ingredient in ayahuasca, the Psychotria viridis plant), to be orally active. The stems contain 0.11-0.83% beta-carbolines, with harmine and tetrahydroharmine as the major components

From what I understand, a human wouldn’t get this effect from eating the yajé vine alone. It would have to be mixed with other plant matter to reach its full, trippy effect. Perhaps a jaguar’s liver processes the plant differently? I don’t know.

What is known is that many animals “self medicate”—take for instance when your dog eats grass, it’s probably trying to bring on vomiting. Pregnant elephants in Kenya have been observed eating the leaves of certain trees to induce delivery. Some species of lizards are believed to eat a certain root to counter the venom of poisonous snake bites.

And as we’re reminded every holiday season (on websites just like this one) reindeer located in the Arctic Circle are known to eat the Amanita muscaria mushroom, an especially strong “magic” mushroom. Maybe that’s how Santa’s reindeer achieve lift off…

via Ultraculture

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
PETA inflicts ‘indecent’ billboard-sized facial on unprepared town
10:37 am



The cheeky introduction of sex into other subject matter has long been a staple of advertising that seeks to use word of mouth and/or media reverb to make its impact. Everyone enjoys a good chuckle at a banana positioned to resemble a willie, for instance, and why not? It’s all a lot of fun, the banana lobby is happy, and everybody wins. However, sex in advertising can also be a bit of a tightrope walk, as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently learned.

Only one day after it was put up, PETA was ordered to take down an “indecent” billboard poster in Nottingham after a request from the Notts County Football Club. The poster, which was appealing to consumers to stop using dairy products, had been placed just outside the club’s playing arena.

The billboard read, “Some bodily fluids are bad for you” and a photo of a woman having experienced the, ahem, “aftermath of a sex act,” as one report delicately phrased it.

PETA has defended the billboard by calling it “cheeky,” but some pedestrians disagreed. As a local resident named Richard Brown said, “It’s clear what they are doing but I think it’s a bit naughty. I’ve got a seven-year-old daughter and young people aren’t stupid, they can read and it’s not great that they can see things like this that are indecent.”

The billboard was the only one of its type in England;  PETA commented that it used the location because it was “suitable.” Damian Irvine, commercial director at Notts County, said: “Once the content of this advert was identified we informed advertising company Space Outdoors who agreed the content was not in keeping with our community and family-focused values.”

via Arbroath

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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