Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallows Even

It's Halloween!
Halloween has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain loosely referred to as the pagan new years, however, the name comes from the Christian holiday All Saint’s Day that was placed on the same day.  Samhain is Gaelic for “summer’s end, the end of the “lighter half” of the year and the beginning of the “darker half.”

In Old English All Hallows in Old English means “the feast of the saints.”  In the 16th century, the Scottish variant "All Hallows Even" started to be commonly used and later the word was abbreviated to “Hallowe’en”. The current variation was adopted in the early 20th century.

Here's Stephen Lynch with his Halloween song. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Zombie Alert Meter

This groundbreaking Zombie Alert Meter from OMFGzombies is designed to give you accurate information about current worldwide zombie infection levels.

Stay alert with the OMFGZOMBIES Zombie Alert Meter (ZAM). Currently it updates every 1/2 an hour, ensuring you can take appropriate precautions when leaving the safety of your home.

Lacking the sensual enthral of the vampire or the animal sex-appeal of the werewolf, zombies are very much the unwanted aged pensioners of the supernatural world.  The true zombie tradition originated in the Congo and was brought to Haiti by slaves.

Creating a zombie follows a process where a voodoo houngan creates a special powdery toxin that contains large amounts of tetrodotoxin from puffer fish.  The toxin in this powder is absorbed through touch contact.  After the victim is declared dead and buried, the houngan unearths the victim a few days later in ritual involving a second powder of hallucinogens. Between the brain damage from the first drug, being buried alive, then ritualistically dragged from the grave and the effects of the second drug, the victim was more or less stripped of their intellect and self-will.  Doomed to more or less behave like an undesirable aged pensioner.

The first ever zombie movie was White Zombie in 1932 staring Bela Lugosi and was a film interpretation of a stage play.  But it was George Romero's 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead that spawned the zombie film genre.  A genre which has lead to such great titles as: Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town, Nudist Colony of the Dead, Space Zombie Bingo, Zombie Ninja Gangbangers, Zombie vs. Mardi Gras, Psycho Zombie Love Butcher and not forgetting The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.

A complete list of every zombie movie ever made (and some upcoming ones) is at The Zombie Reporting Centre.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Harpo Marx Cornflake

A few years ago I found a cornflake that looked exactly like Harpo Marx of The Marx Brothers fame. Recently while clearing up some things I found a small jar containing the flake still intact!

I'm quite pleases I still have the Harpo-flake, I'm hoping it will make me very rich some day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nude Croquet

Continuing with theme a few weeks ago on books I haven’t read.  Here’s another book I haven’t read, Nude Croquet by Leslie A. Fiedler.

All you have to do is look around and you’ll agree that there is no doubt about the statement everything is more fun when done naked and croquet is no exception.

All you have to do is look around, or try for yourself, and you’ll agree that there is no doubt about the old saying "Everything is more fun when done naked". 

Sky diving, running through cricket matches, pilates, ironing, using power tools and showering are all more fun naked, croquet is no exception.

When you think about it, it’s the only way to play.

In other book news, I’m glad to see that Brian Lumley has a new book out for his Necroscope series.  Necroscope: The Plague Bearer is the most recent addition to the now fifteen novels and two short story collections. 

The books present release is only as a special edition leather-bound hardback (very old school like the author).  I’m hanging out for the Australian paperback release next year some time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shark Brains

As I discovered on a blog about sharks, there is a remarkable similarity between a sharks brain and a female human uterus.  These similarities obviously transcend the coincidental and go a long way towards explaining a few things.

With a sharks brain for a uterus there should be no surprise that when the biological clock is ticking at it’s fullest, women often turn into savage man-hunters whose eyes role back into their head whey they engulf their prey.  But I didn't need to tell you that. 

Having a womb for a brain it's no wonder sharks are periodically moody and prefer to see a gynaecologist rather than a psychologist for their emotional upset.

The uterus like brains of sharks have allowed them to figure out parthenogenetic reproduction. This type of reproduction occurs when an egg cell is triggered to develop as an embryo without the addition of any genetic material from a male sperm cell.  Read more about that here: Captive shark virgin birth, BBC News.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Domestic Uses of Urine

In addition to marking your territory, the uses of urine are far to many to cover in just one post. So I'm going to split the topic into domestic and medical.

On a domestic level the highly alkaline properties of urine give it chemically similar properties to detergent, soap and bleach. In the first century, the Roman's valued the use of urine that they imposed a tax upon it. This tax, if nothing else, was a good way to piss off the populous.

One of the most well known uses of urine is in the leather tanning process. Once soaked in urine, the flesh and fatty tissues semi-dissolve and can be scraped off much more easily. In a later phase of the tanning process, urine is rubbed onto the outside of the skin to remove any unwanted hair.

Being so effective at removing rotting meat and fat, urine was often used to clean cooking and eating cutlery. In places where water is scarce this is still sometimes practiced. In East Africa where clean water is almost non existent, people are realised from birth having their cooking pots and drinking cups washed in cow urine. Some have developed a taste for the flavour of cow urine, and members of some tribes will add cow pee to their milk. Keep that in mind the next time you into a glass of banana milk.

Blacksmiths often used urine in the final stage of the smithing process, many believing that urine created a higher grade metal over simple water when used to temper swords and gave it a nice wee sheen.

But where would the fabric dying industry be without the miracle golden stream? As a cleansing agent before dyeing it removes oils and dirt. As a colour extracting agent, certain plants soaked in urine will yield a rich useable pigmentation. A bucket of wee is also an effective dying medium and fixative to set colours. It's said in the old days fabric makers would leave a large tub at the local pub for donors to freely contribute. Behaving like a reverse milkman, the dangerous bit was lifting it up overhead onto the collecting cart.

High in ammonia urine has been used as a bleaching agent for thousands of years. While modern advertising of cleaning products frequently refer to the ability to remove urine a little wee can actually help remove suborn stains. Next time you need to go while doing the laundry, just a tinkle into the washer and you can whiten those whites.

Although not a common practice, the addition of urine in the cheese-making process is known to make a richer, stronger tasting cheese. For some reason this is highly sought after by those who've tasted it. One wonders what flavour would be printed on the supermarket label?

If you take a heavily urine soaked lump of dirt, place it in a bucket wire mesh in the bottom, and then repeatedly run hot water through it, you'll get little crystals of potassium nitrate. Mix these crystals with sulphur and powdered charcoal and you'll have gunpowder. See I wasn’t lying about the explosive power in my (damp) underpants.

In ye old times a little wee was used to dissolve away ink from parchment. It was like a personal delete button for scribes and friars, and a god reason to get out of the habit of licking your fingertips to turn book pages.

A medieval concoction that allegedly repaired cracks in gold objects called chrysocollon, had a traditional recipe as such: An innocent young boy must urinate into a mortar of red copper, while a pestle (also made of red copper) is in motion. Next, the mortar of urine must be exposed in the sun until it has become as thick as honey. Perfect for mending that favourite drinking goblet you broke.

 Strangely, hanging coral in the urea rich fumes of an outhouse causes it to regain it's vivid colour. More strange is that hanging musk, among the fumes will revive its potency. Check the ingredients in most perfumes you’ll find urea, I always said the French label read as toilet water.

As a shampoo the alkaline properties of urine can cut through greasy build-up and leave your hair softer and more manageable. Look at the ingredients of your store purchased bottle and you may find out what you're rubbing into your head. However, don't expect showering under the source to have the same fragrance as your favourite brand.

Similarly as a face and body wash, a little pee will easily clean away dirt and oils from your skin. Many believe it gives their skin a softer, more radiant appearance. Feel free to use your imagination as to how this was discovered. Today distilled urea from urine is in almost every beauty product you can think of. One wonders where the beauty industry sources it's urine from. Is there some elaborate mechanism to collect the urine of animals? Or do the third world factory workers get payed a bonus for donating?

So throw out all your detergents, washing powders, soaps, face creams, shampoo and perfumes and switch to the bedpan for all your domestic needs. For there's a lady who knows, all that glitters is gold… and in a couple of weeks I’ll post part two: The medical uses of urine.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nimble Fingers

After the book review of a book I haven't read last week, I thought I might post a LP cover of a record I haven't listened to.

The Nimble Fingers of Jean Pierre Jumez.
It's classical guitar and he's not wearing any pants.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hurra Torpedo

I remember watching this many years ago and just re-discovered it on youtube. This live performance of Total Eclipse of the Heart is probably my favorite of all the Hurra Torpedos performances I've seen.  They do a good rendition of All the Thing’s She Said too.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Johann Bach

Bach's style of music is often referred to as "musical science", his contributions to music are frequently bracketed with those by William Shakespeare in English literature and Isaac Newton in physics.

Some composers have paid tribute to Bach by setting his name in musical notes: B-flat, A, C, B-natural (B-natural is notated as "H" in German musical texts) or using contrapuntal derivatives. Liszt, for example, wrote a prelude and fugue on this BACH motif in versions for organ and piano, and Sir Mixalot repeatedly referenced him in his hit song about womens behinds.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Rake

Because of all the heavy rain lately I had to do some emergency paving on the driveway to stop the car getting bogged. I thought in addition to a shovel and wheelbarrow, a rake might be of use. I opened the shed and the rake was there in his 16th century clothing as expected. I asked him if he could help me with the paving.

He said "Kind sir do I take your meaning to be, that you wish me to pick up a spade and engage in common labour as though I were a gentleman of Nigerian heritage?"

I said "Easy on the metaphors there."

So he said "Nay, I contend this fad of political correctness poxing our society is the enemy of expressions of wit. So too does such a fad hound the scientific truths of Physiognomy. I will have none of such conceptual musings."

I said "Hmm, I see your point."

He said "My expectations were that you would sir."

I said "So you're not going to help."

He said "I believe I made that intention clear. Now good day, I have some fornication to attend to."

So I did the paving myself. No, it's not crooked, it's called heritage, rustic charm.

Physiognomy (judging a personas character on their facial features) dates back as far as the 2nd century. Aristotle makes frequent references to the theory and Pythagoras is recorded as having rejected a prospective student (named Cylon like in Battlestar Galactica!) because of his appearance, which Pythagoras deemed indicative of bad character. In the Middle Ages it fell into disrepute due to it being used as a tool by vagabonds and swindlers.
With the renascence, physiognomy experienced a widespread acceptance throughout the educated world (and quite rightly too!) which escalated into the early 20th century. From 1936 to 1945 a physiognomist named Yoshito Mizuno was employed by the Imperial Japanese Naval Aeronautics Department, examining candidates for the Naval Air Corps, after it was discovered that he could predict with over 80% accuracy the qualifications of candidates to become successful pilots.

The growing trend of political correctness and avoidance of stereotyping people based on their ethnicity in the later decades of the 20th century, ironically, stereotyped all physiognomy believers as racists.

Recently however, new research has emerged revealing the effects of hormone levels, not only on behaviour, but also on facial feature development. Chemicals that alter the brain also leave a mark on our features.

A February 2009 article in the New Scientist reported that: "...the field is undergoing something of a revival. Researchers around the world are re-evaluating what we see in a face, investigating whether it can give us a glimpse of someone's personality or even help to shape their destiny."

So remember if someone has weaselly looks they probably act that way, and if you look like a pig it's because you have distinctly hoglike traits.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Smashing Kung Fu Photos

Here's a collection of photos from a photographic artist named Martin Klimas that I'm quite impressed with. My initial impression was that the photographed image was Photoshopped to improve the original result, however, it turns out there's no computer enhancement at all.

Interview Quote:
"I drop the figurine from the same height in complete darkness while the lens of the camera is open. When the figurine hits the ground, the sound triggers the lights to go off for a fraction of a second. I do this procedure many times or until I find the one frame that is just right. I keep just one such picture for every figurine. Every attempt yields a unique outcome, so I need to look for the one that best expresses a transformation of the figurine into a new form."

He has various other smashing subject matter, along with some other works, but I like the Chinese kung fu statues the best. His web page is here:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Midnight Snack

My wife made a batch of sago in coconut milk earlier today, or rather yesterday, so now its midnight snack time for the sleepless.

Mmmm… Sweet milky balls….

She got the recipe from here:
There’s all sorts of recipes to be had there. I thoroughly endorse the coconut sago. Tastes as good as a bought one.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Music with a banana

A friend once pointed out to me: You can add the phrase "with a banana" into the lyrics of almost any song and it will make complete sense.  To illustrate here's a selection of lyrics by well known artists.

Bob Dylan: The answer my friend is blowing in the wind with a banana
The Beatles: It's been a hard days night with a banana
Elvis Presley: Love me tender with a banana
Michael Jackson: Billy Jean is not my lover with a banana
The Rolling Stones: I can't get no satisfaction with a banana
Madonna: Music makes the people come together with a banana
AC/DC: Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap with a banana 
Nirvana: I've been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks with a banana
Led Zeppelin: And she's buying a stairway to heaven with a banana
Britney Spears: Oops, I did it again with a banana
U2: I still haven't found what I'm looking for with a banana

Oddly the one song that it appears not to work with is the theme song to The Banana Splits TV show.  One banana, two banana, three banana, four, with a banana...  It doesn't quite work.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read

If you don't read many books and if you only read one book this year this is the book it should be. I know people always say that about books but seriously this is the book to read if you don't read much it's How to Talk about Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard.

The author contends that the truly cultivated person is not the one who has read a book, but the one who understands the book's place in our culture. Bayard examines the many kinds of 'non-reading' (forgotten books, unknown books, books discussed by others, books we've skimmed briefly) and the situations in which we are called upon to discuss our reading with others (in class, with our loved ones, with the book's author etc). He challenges everyone to consider what reading means, and how and why we spend so much time talking about what we have or haven't, read.

I contend that the author has in fact written one of the most useful books of the oncoming century. Never again will you need to actually read any books to convey how well read you obviously are. Merely skimming the back cover, or perhaps watching a DVD featuring the latest Hollywood sensation, will be all you need for others to see how expansive your literary knowledge is.

For the record, I myself have not read this book. But, considering the title, I felt it wasn't really necessary to do so.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Friday the 13th

In this Friday the 13th comic the writers have decided to include the well known soundtrack of the horror film series. But without the actual music playing the rhythm and instrument selection is left up to the readers imagination.

Add some 70’s funk guitar and the picture is set for one extremely disturbing porn scene.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Mimas is one of Saturns moons and named after one of the titans in Greek mythology. As can be seen by comparative photos, it may also be a Death Star. Having the correct size, shape, mass and features to exactly fit the profile of such a technological terror.

The low gravitational density of Mimas, indicates that it is composed mostly of water ice with only a small amount of rock. Or this may possibly be due to it being a Death Star constructed of light metals and having many rooms inside. Mimas' most distinctive feature is a colossal impact crater 130 km across, named Herschel after the moon's discoverer. Textbooks list Herschel's diameter as almost a third of the moon's own diameter, making him the largest astronomer in history. Most of the other craters on Mimas have been named after characters in Camelot, this is no doubt a hint towards Monty Pythons Quest for the Holy Grail and their popular Spanish Inquisition sketches. Clever satirists they were, the Python writers alluded to the connection between Mimas and who was to become the present day Pope.

Pope, Benedict XVI was previously Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the modern terminology for a position called Grand Inquisitor of the Inquisition. It is plainly obvious, to even the casual viewer, of both hierarchical and physical resemblance between Pope Benedict XVI and Emperor Palpatine of the Sith.

In 2010, NASA revealed a temperature map of Mimas revealing that in addition to being a Death Star it is also a cosmological tribute to Pac-Man. The warmest areas on one side of the moon create the shape of Pac-Man and the crater takes on the form of an edible dot. Interestingly Pac-Man is still the largest financially grossing computer game in history.

So there you have it, all evidence points towards Mimas being an interplanetary space station and superweapon, the Pope is in fact the dark lord of the Sith behind it's construction and who drew his funding for the project through the profits of the Pac-Man computer game craze he puppeteered.

Now you can play the game knowing what your money has been funding.

Waka waka waka waka.

Monday, October 04, 2010


Most people are familiar with some of the more famous Latin phrases such as Carpe diem (Seize the day), Veni vidi vici (I came, I saw, I conquered). Here's a handful of more useful phrases you can throw into your day to day conversations.

Carpe canis!
Sieze the dog!

Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur.
Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.

Apudne te vel me?
Your place or mine?

Age. Fac ut gaudeam!
Go ahead. Make my day!

What's up, Doc?
Quid agis, Medice?

Fac ut vivas.
Get a life.

Sit vis nobiscum.
May the force be with you.

Caterva carissima mea est Cimictus.
My favourite group is the Beatles.

Veni, veni, veni Locamowae cum me.
Come on, come on, do the Locomotion with me.

Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit.
To boldly go where no man has gone before.

Isso fede.
This stinks.

Illius me paenitet, dux.
Sorry about that, chief.

Machina improba! Vel mihi ede potum vel mihi redde nummos meos!
You infernal machine! Give me a beverage or give me my money back!

Obesa cantavit.
The fat lady has sung.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Mok Jong

Yesterday I got wood!

It's the kind of wood I've wanted for around ten years.

It didn't take long to erect at all and stands quite firm.

Having wood is good, especially when well polished.

This morning it was still there and I pounded it for quite a while until I was worn out.  If I'm in the mood, I may even let visitors have a turn beating my wood.  But not just anyone that comes to the door looking for it.  Only if they enjoy working their hands on wood and have strong wrists.

Here’s a video of Yip Man, the footage was taken about a week before he died of cancer.