Awesome office Halloween party or a spectacular family gathering. Either way, this group loves Legos.
Awesome office Halloween party or a spectacular family gathering. Either way, this group loves Legos.
Halloween’s over but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end just yet. Slingshot maker extraordinaire, Jorg Sprave, has made a special slingshot to help you live out your lifelong dream, i.e. pranging zombies on the arm and getting off spectacular hip shots. It’s so beautiful in its simplicity while being surprisingly accurate and powerful. See for yourself why you would want to leave the “trick” out of trick-or-treat at his house.
It’s that time of the year; when everyone’s creative juices are flowing and so are the pumpkins’. I always see something new every year and just when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s a giant hamburger. No matter if scary, funny, or scrupulous detail is your fancy, feel free to take some inspiration from these designs and plenty more here. Now get started!
Inspired by the common cheat code for video games in which the characters all have oversized heads, computer whiz Eric Testroete created a large copy of his own head for a Halloween costume. If I was any good at using any software, I’d give it a go. To see how he did it step-by-step, check it out on his site.
Also doubles as a Halloween costume if your kid wants to be Billy Mays, Al from Home Improvement, Zach Galifianakis, Zac Brown, or Justin Theroux nowadays. Comes in white if your kid wants to be Michael McDonald, Kenny Rogers, or Sir Anthony Hopkins.
via: I Love Bacon
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
What can you say about zombies that hasn’t been said already? There are zombie comics, zombie movies, books about zombies, books that used to be classic pieces of literature that had zombies put into them, and there are real zombies that re made when a boko takes a person’s soul and puts it in a jar and then lets the person’s body walk around and run errands and stuff like fetching the drycleaning, detailing the car, and doing the grocery shopping. Good luck getting them to use coupons, though, because, whew!
So with this onslaught of zombie stuff, why (oh why indeed?) would I choose to write a post about zombies? Well, because it’s close to Halloween, because I still love zombie movies, and because I know a few things about zombies that you don’t know. And I think you should. Keep in mind that the zombies that I know about are not the ones that are created by boko – they are the ones created by a disastrous chemical event, or a deadly zombie-making virus. Just so we’re clear.
I know what you’re thinking. OF COURSE zombies are hungry. They chase after people to try to eat their flesh and brains. What I’m telling you is that zombies are REALLY hungry. Think of the hungriest you’ve ever been, and then multiply that by, like, fifteen gazillion. THAT’S how hungry zombies are. So, if you were that hungry, wouldn’t you consider, even for a second, eating brains? You say no now, but you’ve never been as hungry as a zombie, have you? Didn’t think so. So don’t go judging, OK?
Didn’t you ever see Cemetery Man, My Boyfriend’s Back, Zombie Strippers, and Fido? There you go. Zombies aren’t always all apocalypsey and angsty. Sometimes they’re just a little misunderstood. Johnny Dingle loved Missy McCloud so much that he came back from the dead as a zombie to be with her. That’s devotion, people. And if he had to eat some human flesh to do it? Well, in the immortal words of Meatloaf, he “would do anything for love.” And Fido, all he wanted was a family to accept him and love him. And that’s certainly the most realistic zombie movie ever, because if a zombie is around, the Republicans will find a way to make money off of it.
Emotional pain, that is. Like when you run away from them. Why are you doing that? Don’t you know that they just want to eat your brains? And they’re so hungry; why wouldn’t you let them eat your brains? They also feel pain every time they hear Thriller, and every time Andy Dick gets a movie role.
As for physical pain…it’s no thing. No pain receptors, no working nerve endings. Remember that when you’re hacking away at them for your very life.
This list could, honestly, go on and on. Not to mention all the OTHER types of zombies out there – zombie pets, zombie ninjas, zombie bugs, and zombie monkeys ala Pirates of the Caribbean – but I think we’ve given you enough here that you can develop a little bit of tolerance for these misunderstood, albeit bloodthirsty creatures. After all, they didn’t ask to be zombies any more than you asked to be the type of person who would read this post to the very end.
Halloween is the favorite holiday of scores of people. We love to dress up, hand out candy, and watch scary movies. How did these traditions get started? What is Halloween all about, anyway? Lucky for you, I’m here to clear these things up for you.
The Romans had an annual feast called the feast of Pomona. Pomona was the goddess of plenty. She was straight-up a Roman goddess, rather than being the Roman bastardization of a goddess borrowed from the Greeks. Associated with the flowering of trees, Pomona’s feast was celebrated November 1st – the time of the apple harvest in Rome.
The Romans had another festival, called Parentalia, where they’d honor their dead ancestors. Only thing is, it took place in February. The festival itself, however…It started on February 13th (the Ides, y’all) and a Vestal Virgin would sort of emcee the opening rites. The people would present offerings to the tomb of this dippy virgin from Roman Mythology who betrayed her city for accessories and got crushed to death. This represented a communal place for everybody to give props for their own ancestors. The rest of the festival would basically be all tame and family-like, until February 22 when they’d engage in the rites of Feralia, which happened at midnight (of course). The head of the family would directly address any bad spirits that were present. Ovid recorded a complicated ritual that was designed to purge or placate the evil spirits. The next day, they’d have a party the next day to celebrate that the family that was still alive was still alive, and that the dead family members weren’t out to hurt anyone.
So, the Celts had Samhain, which was the harvest festival. Probably the beginning of the year on the Celtic calendar, the Gaels considered this time to be a mystical time when the veil between worlds (our world and the otherworld) was the thinnest. That’s where the costumes started – the custom was to wear costumes and masks in order to trick the spirits into thinking they were one of them. People would also walk between bonfires to cleanse themselves of evil spirits. That’s also where the first Jack-O-Lanterns happened – the Gaels would hallow out turnips and carve faces into them to scare away the evil spirits.
Like many Pagan holidays, the Christians have a holiday around about the same time as Samhain. In Catholicism and some Anglican faiths, All Soul’s Day comes after All Saint’s Day. All Saint’s Day is celebrated November 1, while the morning and evening Lauds and Vespers of All Soul’s Day is observed November 2 (but the evening bits happen on November 3 if November 2 happens on a Sunday). The custom is actually borrowed from the Jewish faith – where praying for the dead has been in practice since Biblical times. In 837 Pope Gregory IV standardized the date of All Saint’s Day, which sort of stepped on Samhain, but that’s how it went back then.
The Feast of Samhain came over from Ireland along with Irish immigrants who were fleeing the horrible potato famine. All Saints and All Soul’s Day had Hallowmas, which happened right around the same time as Samhain. Eventually the secular fun of the celebration won out over the religious connotations, and people started celebrating Halloween as a family fun time with costumes, pumpkin carving, and scary stories and movies. For some, Halloween is still a religious holiday – some people still practice the older Celtic religions, and Halloween is a Sabbat in some Wiccan sects.
As for the celebration, it’s observed in Ireland (as a cultural event for those who aren’t practitioners of the pre-Christian Celtic religions), in Scotland (much like Ireland does it), England (as All Soul’s Eve), in Wales (as Nos Calan Gaeaf), in the Scandinavian Countries (as part of St. Martin’s Day), in Romania (as Halloween, but centered around the story of Dracula), in Switzerland (but not as much anymore – they see it as a US import and a pagan holiday), in Italy (though amidst controversy), in Denmark (as another excuse to go trick-or-treating), and in the US and Canada.
apple harvest bastardization candy celtic calendar dead ancestors dippy dracula evil spirits excuse feralia fun gaels goddess of plenty halloween halloween around the world halloween customs harvest festival head of the family history of halloween otherworld parentalia roman goddess roman mythology samhain scary movies the history of halloween thinnes tin to give props vestal virgin