I have had a terribly, horribly busy day converting oxygen to carbon dioxide.
I have had a terribly, horribly busy day converting oxygen to carbon dioxide.
One of the hallmarks of being human is the desire—and some may say the need—to try and fool ourselves and each other. We’ve even set aside a special day—April 1st—to celebrate this aberration in human nature, making the quest to offer fiction as fact a never ending roller coaster ride. Of course, sometimes these innocent attempts to fool the general public can cause some real problems, though usually they prove to be ultimately harmless (except for the occasional bruised ego.) So here, without further ado, is my top ten list of the all time greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated upon an unsuspecting public.
One of the earliest hoaxes of modern times, in 1869 workers digging a well near Cardiff, New York unearthed a massive 10-foot tall statue of a giant that many believed at the time was a “petrified man” and evidence that the biblical passage concerning the existence of giants once living on the earth (Genesis 6:4) was true. However, the “petrified man” actually turned out to be the brainchild of one George Hull, an atheist and tobacconist from New York City who was intent on besting a Christian fundamentalist with whom he had argued over the biblical passage. Hiring a stonemason to carve the image of a man out of a massive piece of gypsum and burying it on the farm if his cousin, William Newell, it was “discovered” there a year later and served as a source of income for mister Newell—who charged people a quarter to see it—for the next few years. Hull turned out to come out ahead in the affair, however, by selling his interest in the statue to a syndicate of five men headed up by Newell for $23,000—ten times the amount he had spent on the hoax. In the end, however, the scammers were scammed themselves when none other than the famous showman, P.T. Barnum, made his own copy of the Cardiff Giant and declared Newell’s a fake. The case ended up in court, with Hull admitting to the fake and both statues being declared a hoax by the courts.
It’s not so difficult to accept that the most famous photo of the Loch Ness Monster ever taken turned out to be a fake; what’s hard to understand is how it took sixty years to figure that out. Supposedly taken by a London surgeon named Robert Wilson—a man known as something of a practical joker himself, it turns out—the photo was the brainchild of a fellow named Marmaduke (yes, I said Marmaduke) Wetherell as payback for being humiliated years earlier when the supposed monster’s footprints he found were nothing but dried hippo’s footsteps. In collusion with Wilson and an apprentice named Christian Spurling (who was to confess the hoax on his deathbed in 1994, thus solving the mystery) Wetherall attached a head and neck shape to a toy submarine and set it adrift, capturing the famous—if fuzzy—photo and immortalizing Nessie for ever more. The admission that the photo was a hoax didn’t hurt the beastie’s reputation however, and she (or he?) remains as popular, and illusive, as ever.
In one of the more brazen—and relatively successful—hoaxes ever, in 1995 London-based film producer Ray Santilli presented a few minutes of grainy black and white film footage that purported to show a dead alien (supposedly from the Roswell crash—but that’s another story) undergoing an autopsy. Though the footage was at first hailed by many in the UFO community as authentic, a number of discrepancies regarding the footage soon came to light (some of them pointed out by modern forensic experts knowledgeable about autopsy procedures) which, along with Santini’s hesitancy to have the film tested and other evasions, made it appear increasingly dubious. Since then the film has been thoroughly debunked, though Santilli came out of it well when he made a spoof of the hoax himself in a 2006 British comedy. Playing both sides off the middle, it sounds like to me.
Orson Welles (no relation to H.G. Wells) was a virtually unknown 23-year old radio producer working out of New York City in 1938 when he directed the radio adaptation of H.G. Well’s famous novel War of the Worlds on Halloween eve, 1938. Unfortunately, and despite the fact that he inserted two disclaimers that the broadcast was fictional, thousands missed them and believed the story of Martian invasion was real. While reports of the extent of the ensuing panic has been traditionally overstated, what can’t be overstated is that it made the young man an overnight celebrity and skyrocketed him to fame. He was to become an acclaimed producer, director and actor until his death in 1985, but in all that time he never repeated the broadcast again (although recordings of it have been rebroadcast for years since). What’s different about this hoax when compared to others is that Well’s was unintentional, making it the most successful inadvertent hoax of all time.
It all began back in 1917 when two English girls, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, decided to have some fun by cutting pictures of faeries out of a popular children’s book of the era and mounting them in pins, after which they took photos of them. Not surprisingly, they looked pretty flat, but they were apparently convincing enough that the photos—there were five in all—became quite a sensation in England at the time (which was probably looking for a distraction from all the depressing war news at the time). The pictures eventually came to the attention of famous writer Arthur Conan Doyle—and ardent spiritualist—who promptly proclaimed them authentic, setting off a firestorm of debate and, in the end, badly tarnishing the brilliant man’s postmortem reputation. The hoax was finally and utterly exposed in 1983 when in a magazine article the woman admitted to faking the photos, though curiously one of them insisted that at least one of the five photos was authentic. What’s even more curious is how they managed to fool so many people for so many years, especially when a copy of the book the figures were cut from (Claude Arthur Shepperson’s Princess Mary’s Gift Book) was readily available for a comparison.
The never ending quest to locate the famous “missing link” that is supposed to conclusively tie man to the ape bit science in the butt back in 1912 when fragments of a skull and a jaw bone were discovered in a gravel pit near Piltdown, England. Claimed to be the missing link by many otherwise quite knowledgeable scientists, in 1953 it was determined to be a cleverly aged human skull that had been attached to the jaw of a Sarawak orangutan and embedded with the teeth of a chimpanzee. Who produced the forgery and why remains a mystery to this day, but that they managed to keep scientists on the run for over forty years has to be considered one of the great feats of the century—and possibly the reason scientists don’t talk so much about finding missing links nowadays.
This one was truly a work of art. It seems that in 1983 a personal diary kept by Adolf Hitler himself came to light, only to be snatched up by the big German magazine Der Stern for a cool six million bucks and serialized in future editions. The only problem was they were quickly proven to be the work of a notorious Stuttgart forger known for his ability to mimic der Fuehrer’s handwriting and for being most prolific (the diaries comprised no fewer than 60 small books that purportedly covered the years 1932 to 1945). The giveaway may have been the fact that the Fuehrer wannabe wrote it all on modern paper using modern ink, and included a number of historical inaccuracies as well. For that he got 42 months in the slammer and I’m sure some executive at Der Stern lost his much anticipated Christmas bonus.
While there is evidence that at least a few crop circles—those mysterious little swirls of stomped wheat that appears with some regularity in English fields each summer—that do exhibit some true physiological anomalies, the fact is that most of them are hoaxes. This wasn’t entirely clear until 1991, however, when British farmers Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, two men with obviously way too much time on their hands, came forward to not only admit that they had been making many of the circles themselves, but even demonstrated how they did it using ropes and wooden planks. Of course, there were far too many circles for too many years for them to have been responsible for more than a fraction of them, but to the science community that was proof enough it was all a hoax. Since then, there are even clubs that have formed dedicated to besting other crop circle clubs in producing the most sophisticated and complex circles imaginable. It’s become quite the art form, I’m told, though even the best of them pale in comparison to “true” circles. And who says extraterrestrials don’t have a sense of humor?
Ever wonder where Hitler and those Nazi’s got their silly ideas about the Jews from? It might be in part due to a document that surfaced in Russia in 1905 entitled the Protocols of the Elders of Zion that outlined the “super secret” Jewish plan for world domination. Of course, it was a complete fake—as demonstrated in 1921 by a London Times reporter who demonstrated it to have been largely plagiarized from a 1864 satirical novel—but that matters little to those who enjoy hating. In fact, it became a major fuel for anti-Semitism throughout the twentieth century and was even used as justification by Hitler for his gas chambers. Despite that, it remains a popular book in much of the Middle East and can even be found on Amazon.com. The lesson to be learned here is that one must be careful about writing satirical literature for one never knows what morons will do with it in the future.
Who says hoaxing can’t be useful, especially in wartime? Not the British, who decided to confuse the Germans by taking the body of a deceased pneumonia victim, dressing him in a Royal Marine Uniform, handcuffing him to a briefcase full of “top secret” invasion plans, and setting him adrift off the coast of Sicily. The payoff? The Italians found the body and turned the briefcase over to their German allies, who learned from it that the allies planned to invade Greece and Sardinia rather than Sicily. The only problem was the allies had no such intention, making the landings in southern Sicily in July, 1943 a piece of cake thanks to the Germans thoughtfully leaving the coastline largely undefended—all because of a nameless hero and a bit of simple but clever hoaxing.
The Fox Sisters
(faked paranormal activity, thus jump starting the spiritist movement of the nineteenth century)
The Beatles “Paul is Dead” Hoax
(the belief that the Beatles hid secret messages regarding the death of Paul McCartney that can only be heard if certain records are played backwards.)
(the first man to make a living successfully hoaxing pictures of “ghosts”);
(an American pilot who claims he got lost over New York City and “accidently” flew to Ireland, making him the second man to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic and earning him the lifetime moniker of “Wrong Way Corrigan”)
and, of course, Balloon Boy
(the Colorado dad who falsely reported his son was trapped in a flying-saucer shaped helium balloon in an effort to get his own reality TV show.) _____________________________________________________________________________________
Jeff Danelek is a Denver, Colorado author who writes on many subjects having to do with history, politics, the paranormal, spirituality and religion. To see more of his stuff, visit his website at www.ourcuriousworld.com.
Adolf Hitler Alien armless art bert biblical passage bizarre brain brainchild cardiff giant cardiff new york cho christian fundamentalist circles cousin william crop circle Dave digging a well Earth five men giants girls halloween humor image of a man living on the earth massive piece monster novel Oni p t barnum petrified man photos records road showman sky stonemason tin tobacconist top ten list unsuspecting public War of the Worlds wetherell william newell youtube
Quentin Tarantino once said, “I steal from every movie ever made.” With this weekend’s Quentin vs. Coen art show at Bold Hype Gallery in New York, it would seem the tables have turned on the homage-generating director. His films, coupled with the equally stirring works of the Coen Brothers, serve as the inspiration for over 100 artists from around the country. Curator Eric Althin explained the idea originated via Ken Harman, online media manager at Hi-Fructose Magazine and Spoke Art, out of San Francisco. Althin says, “Being movie buffs and fans of the directors, it was easy to see the great potential for artists to interpret and work with all the imagery available in their films. It sounded like a great idea and we were all in.”
With over 100 artists participating, there are obviously many mediums and variations on Tarantino or Coen Brothers characters for the artists to sift through. Althin shouted out to a few Bold Hype’s worked with in the past, including Johannah O’Donnell, Scott Scheidly, Rafael Santiago, Andrew Spear, and Ewelina Ferruso.
I found out about the show from artist Cassie Podish of Williamsburg, VA, a graphic designer I worked with on an event poster last year. That poster (which was also turned into a t-shirt due to its awesomeness) prompted me to start paying more attention to the (relatively) up and coming artist. The Bold Hype show is her NYC debut and she took the time out to do a Q&A with Bizarre Bytes.
How did you get involved with this show? Had you worked with the gallery before, or was it a call to artists?
This is my first time working with Bold Hype Gallery and Spoke Art; actually this will be my first gallery show! My work has never been displayed in any gallery so this is pretty exciting for me! Before I did this I was looking into doing some gallery shows, then I saw Spoke Art was doing this show and thought it would be a perfect way for me to break into the whole gallery thing. So, I asked Ken (from Spoke Art) and he said yes.
How familiar were you with Tarantino and the Coen Brothers before this? Did you rent/watch more of their films upon getting involved?
Tarantino is one of my favorite directors so I’m very familiar with his films. As for the Coen Brothers I’ve seen quite a few of their films but not all of them. I’ve got some Coen films sitting in my Netflix queue right now because I’m trying to check out the ones I haven’t seen yet. Before I began my piece I watched Inglorious Basterds for inspiration, then after I finished I watched it again. When I was working I had the soundtrack on nonstop, which helped inspire me too. The soundtracks for Tarantino movies are just as great as the films
Every Tarantino movie is awesome but I guess I would say Kill Bill is my favorite of the bunch, I’ve seen it about a million times. It’s just an all around awesome movie. It’s like a mash up of the forgotten genres kung fu; spaghetti westerns, exploitation and the overall plot it very similar to another favorite movie of mine Lady Snowblood. That’s the thing about Tarantino that I like, he pays homage to all of these genres that otherwise would be forgotten. Like I said before I haven’t seen all of the Coen Brothers films but I really enjoyed No Country for Old Men. Also of course The Big Lebowski was a pretty cool movie.
Did your favorite movies inspire the works you ended up presenting? Or were you looking at it from a different angle?
Going into this I knew I would do a Tarantino piece and I kind of surprised myself when I choose to do a piece that wasn’t Kill Bill related. When I build any piece of art I brainstorm first, for this show I originally had ideas for Kill Bill, Jackie Brown, and Inglourious Basterds. I love Jackie Brown and Kill Bill but when it came down to it I really liked the idea I had for Inglourious Basterds and just went for that. My piece is based on Shosanna Dreyfus. The basterds were cool and all but Shosanna was the real hero of the film.
Have you shown in NYC before?
This will be the first time that I have shown art in NYC.
If no, how do you feel getting that city under your belt?
I’ve been excited and nervous at the same time about the show because New York is such a big city and it’s the first gallery show I’ve ever been involved in. Now that my piece is completed I feel a lot better though because it turned out really cool. I’m confident it will do well up there in the big city and hopefully it will get my name out there so I can work in more gallery shows! I feel like if I can tackle New York than I can handle any city.
Are you a full-time artist or still dayjobbing it?
Right now I’m a full- time freelance artist.
Judging from your portfolio, your biggest client looks like its bands. This show provides you with so many visuals to start with (iconic images from these films). I’d think bands are giving you more of a sonic landscape. Which do you find more challenging? Why?
Well I think in a way each has its own challenges. Gallery shows are a lot less limiting; you can pretty much go off in your own direction. That can be fun if you aren’t stressed out about building something epic to be shown in your first gallery show in New York City. When you’re working with bands it’s good to have some sort direction from them. Typically if you don’t have some sort of direction than the project can be a huge challenge. The challenge depends on each individual project really. It’s not always easy being involved in a creative job. There will be times where you just roll through a project with no problems, and sometimes you get stuck it’s just what happens.
If you happen to be in NYC please check out the show. It’s at the Bold Hype Gallery 547 W 27th Street New York, NY. The show runs from April 7th 6pm to April 9th. The show is free and you can check out my piece and a ton of other artist will be there as well!
Can’t make it to NYC this weekend? No problem! Spoke Art will be selling prints of the show here.
This is some of the most fun furniture we’ve ever seen. It is refreshing to see furniture that is designed well, but different, and executed so beautifully. So, without further ado, we give you Straight Line Designs, a company that can create any piece of furniture your mind can imagine.
Based in British Columbia, Straight Line Designs has been around for twenty-five years and is going strong. The brainchild of Judson Beaumont, Straight Line Designs has a staff of eight full-time furniture artists, and they not only sell the stock pieces featured in this post, but they also do custom pieces for children’s exhibitions and public institutions all over the world.
Judson Beaumont was born in Saskatchewan and studied art at Capilano College, finishing his education at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. He founded Straight Line Designs the year he graduated – 1985, and values original design and creativity a great deal, something that is reflected in the unique and wonderful creations featured on his website. His style blends functionality and fun, workmanship with whimsy. He proves over and over again with his designs that nothing is impossible when you understand the limits of 3-D sculpture and possess a fantastic imagination.
Take a look at some of his (and his staff’s) work. We like to call them Knick Knack Shelves. Be sure to comment on which pieces are your favorites. Our personal favorites? The ones with arms, of course!
In addition to creating amazing, delightful, and inspired furniture, Straight Line Designs is very involved in charitable work. They donate some of their wild and fun pieces to organizations like Arts Umbrella, AIDS Vancouver, BC Children’s Hospital, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and BC Dog Guide Services. Jud also does lectures and presentations at schools, including design schools and design firms.
Some of Straight Line Design’s prestigious clients include Disney Cruise Lines, ING, Princeton University, Newark Beth Israel Children’s Hosptial, Vancouver International Airport, and more. Jud and his team have the ability to create custom furniture for anyone, and they work with their clients from sketch to finished product to make sure that the piece is all that the client dreamed it could be.
Judson published a book called What’s Next? It is a collection of photos of Straight Line Designs from 1990 – 2007. The book features an introduction by Douglas Coupland, a Canadian novelist and expert in design and visual art. The book also has sketches of the pieces featured, and a biography of Judson. You can email the company for a copy of the book.
Coming soon is a second book that looks at Jud’s design process, his ideology, and his production methods, along with pictures of works created since 2007.
Straight Line Designs has been featured on HGTV and in many other print and web-based publications.
While the company is happy to recreate pieces that are featured in their online gallery, they thrive on creating new and original pieces. The furniture starts at $1500 (that does not include shipping and handling) and you can get a fast and accurate estimate. All you have to do is ask.
aids vancouver art artists arts umbrella bc children bizarre brain cho craftsmanship custom furniture custom pieces disney cruise lines emily carr institute emily carr institute of art emily carr institute of art and design fun furniture artists Judson Beaumont newark beth israel novel Pan photos prestigious clients princeton university public institutions sculpture stock pieces straight line design straight line designs straight line furniture tin twenty five years vancouver art gallery visual art
Trolling through the news, some gems that might amuse…
This was an advertizing mistake for a furniture store which fortunately had no connections with the Godfather or the mafia. Still, it shows just what can happen when a writer is focused on his creative object and forgets to see the wood for the trees.
Before you are made an offer you can’t refuse – say, no money down and interest free for 5 years on a concrete overcoat – take a look at some more headlines and ad men bloopers which must have created red faces and smirks galore.
The Falkland Islands are a wind swept British colony off the coast of Argentina in the South Atlantic. In 1982, Argentina invaded the islands they called “Las Malvinas”, sparking Britain’s last colonial war. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dispatched a heavily armed task force to retake the Falkland Islands, to the consternation of the left wing political parties in the UK.
In this instance, a “waffle” is not some Belgian breakfast food served up at IHOP by one-legged waitresses, but instead is Britspeak for procrastination. It will take more than maple syrup to deal with what the Argentineans left behind after being thrown off the islands by the waffling Brits – thousands of unexploded mines without any maps showing where they are.
Obviously someone wasn’t thinking straight when they were trying to find Fido, but this just underscores the fun you can have with the English language. On the other hand, perhaps this is entirely accurate – neutering a pet produces similar results for men upon marriage – they tend to sleep a lot, get fat and become submissive.
When is a third world dictator not looking for arms?
Then again, this newspaper headline would be equally at home in the lonely hearts columns for single limbs.
The Ides of March may be arriving a lot later in the year than initially expected, or maybe there has been another change in the calendar? The change in calendars from the Julian (or Roman calendar) to the Gregorian or Christian calendar was brought about to deal with the drifting seasons – because the earth doesn’t revolve around the sun in exactly 365 days, all the seasons started arriving earlier.
This headline ought to have “March Planned for Last August” to be 100% accurate.
An unfortunate turn of phrase, however with America’s population expanding in more ways than one, the researchers behind this headline should not have to look too far.
A warning note for anyone concerned about doctors and their hands in your life. Of course, the big medical issue of the moment is Obamacare and the compulsory purchase of medical insurance across the board. Still, returning full circle to our original waffle headline, you could find yourself in the same position as this patient who “Had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.”
apricot poodle art bizarre breakfast food british left waffles Chang colonial war consternation Earth falkland islands fido Food fun funny ads funny headlines furniture store gems grou ihop italian leather left behind Lonely lonely hearts maple syrup margaret thatcher money neutered newspaper headline Oni overcoat Pan political parties in the uk tin unexploded mines waitresses world dictator
Exocannibals only eat his or her enemies, while an indocannibal only eats his friends. Lesson? Keep your enemies close, and stay the heck away from your friends.
The “most prolific cannibal,” a dude named Ratu Udre Udre, ate up to 999 people in his lifetime. He’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for “most people eaten” or something like that. No word on whether he ate his friends or enemies. Is there any such thing as an “Omnicannibal?”
St. Patrick’s Day – in the U.S. it is an excuse to drink green beer and pinch people who aren’t wearing green. It’s an excuse to wear green top hats, speak in a shoddy fake Irish accent, and generally act a fool. But what is the holiday really about? Who is the man we honor on March 17th every year?
First off, he was BRITISH. What? Born to wealthy folks who weren’t particularly religious, Patrick (born Magonus Sucatus or Maewyn Succat) was kidnapped at sixteen by Irish raiders who came to, well, raid his family’s estate. They spirited him off to Ireland, where he lived six years as a prisoner, herding sheep and pretty lonely and scared. He turned to God, and since his Dad had been a deacon in a Christian church, the Christian God was the one he was most familiar with. He escaped Ireland, but his spiritual intuition told him to go back to spread Christianity among a polytheistic Ireland.
He did his religious studies in Gaul (France/Luxembourg/Belgium now) and got himself ordained, and then went back to Ireland to be a leader to the people who were already Christians, and to covert those who were not. So, he didn’t really BRING Christianity to Ireland, he just spread it around.
One way he did that was to incorporate traditional symbols and rituals of the Irish religion into his teachings. He used bonfires at Easter since the Irish used fire to worship, and he incorporated their religious symbol, the sun, into the Christian symbol of the Cross, creating the Celtic cross.
There have never been snakes in Ireland, so St. Patrick couldn’t have very well driven them out. Snakes are, in some religions, a symbol of evil, so in bringing Christianity to a pagan country, it’s likely the snake story is an analogy, rather than fact.
art bizarre bonfires celtic cross christian god excuse fun facts about gaul green beer irish accent irish raiders irish religion liar Lonely maewyn succat polytheistic religions religious symbol rituals sheep snake story snakes in ireland spiritual intuition st patrick st patricks day top hats traditional symbols wealth wealthy folks
That monster with the bolts in his neck? The one who was brought to life by lightning in Mary Shelley’s famous novel? His name wasn’t Frankenstein. In the novel he was called “monster,” “wretch,” “vile insect,” “abhorred monster,” fiend,” “daemon,” “it,” “wretched devil,” “abhorred devil,” among other things. In a telling of the story, he was simply called “Adam.”
In the three month period of time between May and July in Honduras, a dark cloud will appear in the sky. Rain, lightning, and thunder will occur for a few hours, and when everyone goes outside there are hundreds of live fish all over the ground. They pick ‘em up, take ‘em home, and eat ‘em. There is no rational scientific explanation for this phenomenon. It has happened since the year 1864!
**Note: there are possible explanations for this event – that fish get sucked up into weather currents, that the fish are from underground rivers and get swept out onto land, or that Father Subirana, a Spanish missionary, prayed for three days and three nights asking God to provide food for the village. After this, the fish came down, and it’s been happening ever since. Nobody knows for sure. National Geographic sent some researchers to check it out, but all they have are theories – nothing proven.
Steampunk – you may have heard the term before and you may not have, but you’ve likely seen things that fall into the category without even knowing it. While not officially of the Steampunk realm – think about the visual imagery of Hellboy II: The Golden Army or The Golden Compass and you’ll start to get an idea of the aesthetic principles. Inspired by the Victoria era, where spring and steam-propelled items were all the rage, steampunk combines elements of Victorian, Edwardian, and the Industrial Revolution eras.
We have also written a list of the best steampunk websites.
H.G. Wells is largely credited as being the original inspiration, and the subgenre was well established by 1990, with the Gibson and Sterling novel The Difference Engine. Steampunk is, in a nutshell, a form of science fiction, but also a way of life for many people. It is not only an idea – it is a visual aesthetic principle that results in some wonderfully bizarre and beautiful objects, outfits, and art.
Take for instance this working piece of artwork by Tim Wetherell. Created for The National Science and Technology center in Australia, Wetherell’s piece represents Isaac Newton’s theory of a Clockwork Universe – one where the universe is a perfect clock, geared by physics, where God winds the clock to set it in motion. The elements of the artistic representation combine many elements of steampunk aesthetic – working gears, burnished metal, and working clocks.
Not only is steampunk an aesthetic, but as we mentioned before it is a way of life. People dress in what can be termed as “Proto-Victorian” clothing, complete with waistcoats, bustles, corsets, buttoned boots, and more. Added to these Victorian or Edwardian pieces are often things like goggles, metal headpieces, armpieces, and more. People often decorate their homes with clockwork-type gadgets, Victorian style furniture.
Sometimes they decorate their food that way – like the wedding cake you see above.
This is an example of a laptop that someone modified using the steampunk trademarks. A similar laptop was modified by a man named Richard Nagy, who was mentioned in a 2007 article in Newsweek as someone who was trying to make a living out of turning run-of-the mill items into steampunk treasures.
This is a Nerf gun modified to fit into the steampunk world – notice the leather on the handle, the color of the gun, and the extra bits and pieces that make it so very unique.
An example of steampunk fashion.
And, a little steampunk humor.
aesthetic principle aesthetic principles all the rage art artistic representation bustles clockwork universe difference engine eras golden compass h g wells Hellboy industrial revolution isaac newton national science proto victorian science and technology center steampunk steampunk clothing style furniture victorian clothing victorian style visual imagery wedding cake wetherell
Pop sensation Lady gaga took her name from a Queen song called “Radio Ga Ga.” Ironically, the song had a similar theme to the song “Video Killed the Radio Star” – a theme that talked about how radio and music took a backseat to television. Lady Gaga, Billboard’s Artist of the Year for 2010, is definitely tilting the scales.
Castroville, California has a genus Cynara claim to fame – the artichoke. Every year in mid-May, Castroville celebrates by throwing an Artichoke Festival Parade. How do we know about this? It so happens that in 1947, one Marilyn Monroe was crowned “Miss California Artichoke Queen.” And a legend was born.
Studies show that the scent of licorice, combined with the scent of cucumber, increases blood flow to a woman’s genitals. Conversely, the scent of lavender combined with pumpkin has the same effect on men. Other olfactory research has shown that a woman’s reaction to a man’s pheromones changes when she goes off the pill.
Contrary to popular belief, Captain Kirk never said the words, “Beam me up, Scott” on Star Trek. He may have said, “Beam me up,” Beam us up,” or “Beam them out of there, Scotty,” but never uttered the catchphrase people have come to associate with the show.
Additionally, Dr. McCoy (aka Bones) never said, “Damn it Jim, I’m a doctor” on the show itself. He was known to utter an expletive or two in the Star Trek movies, but the networks would have never let a “Damn it” fly.
The kings from a pack of playing cards are more than just pretty faces. The King of Spades is modeled after King David. The King of Diamonds? Julius Caesar. The King of Clubs stands for Alexander the Great, and the King of Hearts stands for Charlemagne. Funny, since they all look the same, but this might change the way you play.
A man committed a robbery, and hired a very wily lawyer. The lawyer said to the judge, “My client merely inserted his arm into the window and removed a few trifling articles. His arm is not himself, and I fail to see how you can punish the whole individual for an offense committed by his limb.” The judge agreed with the lawyer, and sentenced the defendant’s arm to one year in prison. The judge remarked that the man could accompany his arm into prison or no – his choice. The defendant smiled, removed his artificial arm, and walked out.
Ever heard of a Kopi Luwak? It’s a drink made of coffee beans that have been partially digested and excreted out of a civet cat’s anus. Ew, right? Reportedly, the cats are choosy about the beans they eat, making for a great cup of coffee.
How ironic is it that as of 2005, the country with the highest rise in Satanic conversions and occult practices would be Italy – home of The Vatican? There, in the very epicenter of Catholicism, Italian teenagers started following Satanic and occult religions. Take the example of the Milan-based band The Beasts of Satan, who murdered three people and inspired The Vatican to start some month and two-month programs teaching priests about exorcism and possession.
That quite reminds us of the new film The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins. In the film, priests take classes in exorcism and have to perform the complicated rituals in some harrowing and chilling situations. We’re looking forward to it.
A flash mob is (aside from being the coolest thing ever, probably) when a group of people show up in a public place and do something coordinated for a bit, and then disperse. Instead of trying to explain more, let’s just show you some of the best ones ever achieved.
On a balmy day in September of 2006 in the lovely town of Orlando, Florida, Kenneth Ray Brooks had a pants-exploding experience. He boldly walked into a Centura Bank branch, robbed it, and stuck the money in his trousers. He walked nonchalantly down the street, unidentifiable save for the billows of smoke pouring out of the crotch of his pants. This obviously caught the attention of police, who arrested him immediately.
Lucky for Brooks, the police had also called an ambulance. The reason for the smoke? A dye pack exploded inside Brooks’ pants, catching them on fire. When asked why his pants were on fire, Brooks responded he didn’t know, giving new meaning to the phrase, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”