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Monday October 10 / 2005

Is this site going down the toilet? At least for this month -- it is!

That image up there is a Veggiform™. These snazzy little things allow you to mold growing vegetables in all kinds of strange shapes. Aren't you glad I'm mentioning it just as the growing season is ending for most of the northern hemisphere?

It all began with some Soviet toilet paper. It was beet-coloured, felt much like crepe paper, and was completely without perforations. Fascinating and uncomfortable. I had always been curious as to what they were thinking when they made it. Was it designed to double as decorations? Who thought that making it red (and consequently the nether regions of an entire people as well) was a good idea?

Now, years after my experiences with this strange material I thought: "hey -- that's just the kind of thing that you'd find on the internet!"

Before the advent of the world wide web, people had to share stories about toilet paper with only close friends, or possibly not at all. Now we can find other people around the world who share interest in such strange things, and learn more. Sure enough I found a fairly in - depth essay on Soviet toilet paper.

That's not all. I came up with a rash of pages dealing with related topics, which fascinated and amused in equal measure (Did you know that Johnny Carson once created a toilet paper shortage in the United States?). One site called "plumbingworld" has a great page on the history of toilets around the world, while another deals merely with the history of toilet paper, yet another claims to cover "everything about toilet paper."

Now you can have a more educated washroom experience. Unless of course you don't know how to use the three sea shells.

U.S. Army Rations -- just add urine!

Are you looking to destroy the planet Earth? I mean really destroy it. Not just maim it, or threaten it, but actually dead-as-a-fucking-really-dead-thing-which-may-or-may-not-be-crispy-and-smoking-as-well? Now there's a site that will show you the Top Ten Ways To Destroy Earth.

Here's a really cool gadget that would make you the envy of all your really nerdy friends. It's a rotary dial cell phone. You know you want it. Now if it could only be built into a shoe...

Keepin' it real for the lord -- it's the gospel mimes, yo... Feel the power.


October's Viewing Room:

He-Man, we always kinda knew it.

Twisted Movie Trailers

Once upon a time there was a contest. A contest to make movie trailers which showed the movies in a new light. While I am not entirely certain of the details, some of the more amusing ones were...

First Place: The Shining
The_Happy_Shining.mpg (2.6M)

Honorable Mention: Titanic
Scary Titanic.mpg (1.3M)

Honorable Mention: West Side Story
West Side Story.mpg (1.6M)

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Wednesday July 13 / 2005

Weirdness ... Ja? Weirdness ... Ja? Upadataatadingdingdang.

If you're Swedish you may already be familiar with those two handsome gentlemen pictured above. I have recently been listening to a lot of Trazan and Banarne and I'm really digging it. There is nothing quite like hearing "Yes, We Have No Bananas" in Swedish. I highly recommend their music.

I don't know if you've been following "Song of the Day" at all, but there are a number of songs which are references to recent headlines (in direct violation of my "no current events" rule). Well today I'd like to reveal the inspiration behind two them (I'll let you figure out which songs)...

Just outside of Hamburg. Frogs have been exploding.

Despondent sheep stage mass "eweicide" -- Price of wool futures skyrockets.

In other foreign news, an old article from one of the worlds greatest newspapers -- "The Aftenposten," which describes what may well be the best music contract ever.

There's an article over at CNN about a 1072lb man, which while it may not be all that amusing contains what may well be one of the more unusual things I've ever heard in a news article: "A group known as the League of Human Dignity helped arrange for Deuel to be driven to a local livestock scale, where he could be weighed."

I believe it was Matt Paradise who pointed out this competitor at the 2004 Athens Olympics; Kim Yoo Suck. I'm not sure whether or not I'd want to cheer for her. People get kicked out of stadiums for less.

"...i referred to my "male implement" as a "wand of fucking +2," and proceeded to request that she make a saving throw against orgasm."

If that Role-Playing joke sounds funny to you here's the whole article which describes Dungeons and Dragons themed sex.

Apparently since his death, John Lennon has discovered religion and is channelling songs through some crazy lady who can't sing. He recently wrote a song for Michael Jackson called "We Love You Michael." Frightening and disgusting in equal measure. What can the estate of John Lennon do? Absolutely nothing. Try proving in court that she isn't receiving these songs from beyond the grave. Not worth the time and trouble. In fact I may just be contributing to the problem by advertising this with a link on my site, but I believe that since it is done in a spirit of ridicule it may have some beneficial effect in the long term.

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Monday June 13 / 2005

Silence is Golden.

A woman paid to have invisible mermaids flown in from London to help her recover a stolen car and money. How do you top an opening like that?

This program knows what you are thinking, and it will tell you in 20 questions. It's pretty amazing and it's available as a toy. I just wasted way too much time playing with that one.

Have you ever wondered about farts? I mean really wondered? If you have, there is a page which will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about farts and then some. This is the internet at its best. Really strange information of questionable value that many people probably want to know but never really want to have to ask.

There have been some very funny music technology parodies recently. Last month it was the modelling cowbell, this month it's some new audio plugins including a silence modeller. Very clever.

Followers of Song of the Day might have noticed my lame attempt to write a song in Hawaiian. While I was looking for some phrases I came across a great page with some funny phrases in Hawaiian. Now you can learn how to say the ever useful; "Waiter, my papaya has been previously fondled."

Apparently in Vancouver the police have started putting out "bait cars" to catch car thieves. It sounds like a great idea, and it's working. They videotape the thieves and put the movies up on the web. I haven't watched any of the movies yet as they're .wmv files and I really don't like the windows media player very much. Far too much of a hassle, but the bait car is a great idea.

When I first saw this next site I thought is was the work of Shane Bugbee ( "Satan's Three Ring Circus of Hell" certainly sounds related), but it's not. I'm betting he'd find it pretty funny though. It's a magazine featuring pinups of all-american girls with corpses. Pretty twisted, definitely strange weirdness.

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Monday May 9 / 2005

Images, Stories, and Thrills Aplenty.

I've got to say that I've actually been looking forward to this month's update quite a bit. While I don't thinking it's going to break any records for quantity of links it's pretty high on quality.

There are many ways to look at the world, but Jim Gasperini has come up with a pretty interesting way of giving a sense of depth to images with a technique he calls "wiggle-time." The idea is simple, and while it has been thought of before, he came up with the idea independently, and presents it quite well. It involves simultaneously taking two photographs and then displaying the two in an alternating manner, courtesy of shockwave or GIFmation. Persistence of vision does the rest, and the result is an image which gives a sense of depth (and for some people a sense of motion sickness).

You may remember those great stickers which have all the plastic ridges so they seem to change when you look at them from different angles (the cover of Prozzak's CD "Saturday People" is one) , well a rather creative entrepreneur has created a business where he makes vintage photographs which appear to change in creepy ways depending on the angle from which they are viewed. Very nice work.

... and the winner for most unbelievably brilliant graphic trick goes to the web site where people show off their magic transparent computer monitors (take a picture of the room behind your monitor and then make it into your desktop image -- Shazam! Transparent screen).

More dark hilarity brought to my attention by Matt Paradise. It's clever, it's evil, it's Darth Vader's Blog.

I like airline food. I really do. The portions could be bigger, but there's something about being trapped in a really small seat for hours on end surrounded by strangers, which makes just about anything seem super tasty. Well someone finally created a web site where you can go to read critiques of airline food. Yummy.

Are you a zombie looking to buy some brains?

I have no idea what to say about this page. It's a list of the Top Ten Useless Limbs (And Other Vestigial Organs) -- Nuff said.

Here's a strange one which reminds me of a story...

My friend Jeramy is a very smart guy, scary smart sometimes, and he's always trying to find new ways to look at the world around him. So for a while he started looking at people's shoes. I mean really LOOKING at shoes.

He told me that he was on the bus and he saw a fascinating pair of shoes. He didn't look up to see who happened to be in them at the time, oh no. He wanted to see what story the shoes told about their person. After he had studied them in detail he said that he finally looked up, and was disappointed. How do you tell someone that they don't live up to their shoes? That their shoes belong to someone who clearly lives a life of intrigue, and that perhaps when they weren't around their shoes went out on secret missions with someone else. Those were world-saving shoes. Those were pretending-to-be-a-russian-diplomat-to-gain-the-trust-of-foreign-arms-dealers-but-making-a-mistake-which-leads-to-a-chase-across-the-rooftops-of-prague-while-dodging-a-hail-of-gunfire-and-explosions shoes.

...and so I present to you a photo gallery which focuses on the shoes of famous musicians.

Speaking of music. The big trend right now seems to be software modeling of analog gear, and finally someone has addressed the needs of those of us who want to have access to some of the most highly sought after boutique cowbells, without the steep price tag.

Hey kids, its...

EXTREME IRONING!

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Tuesday April 12 / 2005

Gloves, Music, and Madness.

Something that would have been perfect for porn vs porn: Zombie Pinups. Maybe it's funny, or maybe it's really the kind of site of which necrophiliacs have been dreaming. Do necrophiliacs dream of dead sheep?

Something I came across a while back, some band called "nickleback" pretty much recycled the same guitar in two songs. Not really anything earth shattering, there are a lot of songs which are very similar, but it is kinda funny to hear it demonstrated in this manner. Of course there was the incident where Filter's "Hey man, Nice Shot" and Stabbing Westward's "Ungod" both have the exact same guitar riff in them, but they just happened to have the same guitar player at the time and he didn't realise that he had already used it on another recording.

Simple mistake. Guitar-playing is a disease, and anyone who spends too much time playing guitar is also likely to be the kind of person who has to make a conscious effort not to hump people's legs at parties.

If you've ever heard of the classic book "English as she is Spoke" there's a website which deals fairly well with the mighty tome, which is probably the worst language textbook ever written.

Pirate day has come and gone, and I've been saving a link for it. Rather than hoping it will still be around next year here is how to talk like a pirate, courtesy of talklikeapirate.com ... it even explains how to do it in German!

Steve, Don't eat it!

Occasionally I come across a web site which is completely crazy, and nothing stands as a greater testament to my own personal madness than the sites which qualify as such and yet I actually think are really good ideas. The site which brings this to mind is actually a blog where the guy collects pictures of lost gloves. Not just gloves though, but all kinds of clothing which people have lost.

For some reason I think that this is incredibly poignant and fascinating.

I've seen many lost articles of clothing, but I never really looked at them. I walked on by, never wondering to whom they belonged, or what circumstance led to them being misplaced.

As an aside... People who steal out of lost and founds should have their toes slowly cut off a with dull rusty mitre saw and then be forced to walk down the side of the highway in shoes 3 sizes too small, (which are soaked with lemon juice) until they die of blood loss.

I also came across a website created by a total idiot who believes that if you sit naked in a cold room wearing nothing but a wet sheet you can dry it using the POWERS OF YOUR MIND. Unless you have strong psychic powers that sheet will never get dry, nossir, it will somehow SUCK THE HEAT OUT OF YOUR BODY AND KILL YOUR ASS. He does this because some kind of monks somewhere do it, so it has to be proof of the paranormal. Some monks in one of those places where they probably don't have cotton, and are using sheets made of wool or comparable natural fibre blanket. The monks are smart, this guy is not.

Back to things which are probably kinda crazy, but I find them strangely clever. Maybe people in England are already familiar with it (as that's where it started), but letterboxing is more than just a good thing for a DVD. There is a "sport" called Letterboxing, it's part treasure hunt, part puzzle, and here's how it works...

You'll need a logbook, an ink pad and a personal stamp (at the very least). With these you follow clues (or use your compass) to locate the letterbox which can be hidden just about anywhere. In the box there will be a stamp and a book. You stamp your logbook with the stamp in the box, and you stamp the book in the box with your personal stamp. Some letterboxes are surprisingly old, and all contain a record of all who have visited.

Maybe it's just my Scouting backround as it is similar in some ways to orienteering, but it seems like a really fun day out to me. Unfortunately there are no letterboxes in my area yet, and it's a pretty big area, so it's not too likely that there will be many any time soon, but who knows... after all I am rather crazy and handy with a map.

While there haven't been any new films made around here recently, there's a pretty funny Star Wars Episode III parody to be found elsewhere. I have at least one video project in the works, and it promises to be really stupid (and fun ... always fun) hopefully I'll have the resources to get it together later in the year, but for now it's just in the scripting and design stages.

I came across a musician with a simple goal for his group -- to become the greatest musical group in the world. Approaching this in a highly realistic way, rather than becoming very good, Maris the Great has set out to destroy all bands that are better than him. Very clever.

I came across that while looking though the "Hall of Douchebags" at RockAndRollConfidential.com -- it's a really great collection of people being total doorknobs.

There's someone out there who actually tells people that they have bad taste in music. To their faces. Perhaps not all that bright... making fun of stupid people can be sorta like getting into a cage with a bunch of apes and then proceding to poke them with a stick. Smart people know better than to beat you to within an inch of your life on camera. Dumb people don't, so it's really only a matter of time before you find yourself picking your teeth up off the ground wondering what went wrong. All the litigation in the world ain't gonna be able to make up for your newfound lack of ability to pronounce the letter "S."

One of the coolest musical instruments across which I have ever come has to be the worm powered synth. I may have to build one.

Did you know that the original audio from the moon landing was edited? That's right, what we heard was not really what was said. Here's a video of the unedited moon landing.

There are sometimes things that are just so funny you wish you came up with them. Since I started doing the Mysterious Unknown, I have come across more of them than ever before (as with the "psychic sheet drying demonstration" mentioned earlier), and this one takes the cake. Apparently, Jaques Cousteau's grandson has built a submarine that is shaped like a shark. That way he can explore the undersea world in disguise. It's like something out of a Far Side cartoon, but it's for real. That link is to a part of Apple's website!

Wow. I have a strong feeling that one will make it into a future episode of The Mysterious Unknown in some form.

Yet another reason to love Canada. A woman who was convicted of imbezzling money was fined $16,000 for unpaid income tax. Revenue Canada does not state that your income be from legal sources, only that you declare it and pay the required taxes. Let that be a lesson to all -- If crime ever does pay, you'd better give the government their cut.

It's titled "How to use a hand puppet to meet, attract, and date tons of single women.." and it has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever read. If you try this you deserve what you get.

Breaking News: David Spade appears on Saturday Night Live with penis-nose. No one cares.

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Thursday January 20 / 2005

Sex, Privacy, and Old Home Movies.

Is that a dog toy, or a marital aid? Find out by taking the quiz at dogtoyormaritalaid.com . A lot of them are pretty obvious. In fact I got them all right, but it's still pretty eerie just how similar they can be.

Behold the might and the majesty of Roger Moore's Eyebrows!

There is a site which offers some of the greatest plush toys ever made. Seriously. Where else can you find a stuffed ebola, or flesh eating bacterium (complete with knife and fork)? They're cute ... and deadly!

Speaking of plush toys, someone has made a picture book entitled "Tales of the Plush Cthulhu."

Pokethulhu!

You know, it just occurred to me that this whole "invasion of privacy" thing that's supposed to happen in the future would be great. Keeping tabs on every citizen would create tons of jobs as people try to keep up with the new demand for hidden cameras, microphones, and tracking devices. Not to mention all of the manpower needed to monitor and maintain them.

Big Brother will sound more like "Big Bucks" as software engineers have to design better ways to handle all of the data, and the hardware people have to come up with ways to store all of the software. How about the kind of ass-reaming bandwidth that would be neccessary to keep track of millions of people?

Ubiquitous high-speed communication, plenty of jobs, and all the free tracking implants you can eat! The future's so bright I have to wear peril-sensitive sunglasses!

Apparently Herring communicate during the night by making farting sounds.


January's Viewing Room:

Over December I converted a heap of video and 8mm film to DVD. Much of it is footage of my family, and so you're not going to see it here (not that you would want to, and if you do -- yer creepin me out!), but there was a bunch of stuff which is somewhat amusing and while I'm still in the process of editing it down before it will appear here (for an approximate time frame see: "how much I get paid to do this site") some of the silent 8mm films are ready for your entertainment...

ANIMATIONS: THE 80's AND BEYOND...

The earliest animation I have, this is done in 1986 using an 8mm camera (at 12 frames per second) and if that isn't a dead giveaway as to how old I am, notice that I have chosen GI Joe action figures and Optimus Prime in starring roles (Star Wars figures just weren't articulated enough to be worth animating). The lighting was really rotten in some of this, but I didn't realise it until after the film came back from developing. The high-tech "laser gun" effect (which looks more like really pissed of spaghetti) was done after the fact by scratching on the film.

gijoe1986_web.mp4 (492.6K)

This next film (shot in 1988) shows an increase in my patience levels as there are almost no appearences of my hand in any of the frames. It features chess pieces Scottish Country dancing. Yes, I used to do that. I was a strange kid, but when you figure a ratio of around 8 girls to 1 boy in the classes, maybe I was actually quite clever.

chess1988_web.mp4 (367.9K)

Also from 1988 this film was me screwing around with clay. A far more ambitious story line (improvised as usual) breaks down towards the end as my hand makes more and more appearences. This is the first film where I decided that using a cleaver was the best way to end it. For some reason it became a bit of a pattern with me when I was working with clay. Pity about the camera angle -- a cleaver looks like crap from above.

clay1988_web.mp4 (647.1K)

The final movie is from 1990 (I think), and it was just about that time that 8mm film was really becoming difficult to come by. Compound that with the need to send it to a facility in California for processing, and what I thought was going to be a simple school project turned into a long series of expenses and excuses "I still don't have the developed film, I'll get it sent by courier...".

Presented here without the musical score I wrote for it, is a clip from "Slow Joe." Again there is a cleaver in it. Go figure.

slowjoe_web.mp4 (779.2K)

Well, that's it for this month. Until next time, always remember -- where there's a clay there's a cleaver!


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