Electric Catfish

If you're like me you think catfish are fucking scary. Well guess what: there is an electric catfish.

Like the electric eel and other electric fish it uses electricity to hunt. It uses electricity to defend itself. It uses electricity to "see." It uses electricity to communicate with other electric catfish.

Smile, and the world will smile with you

It started when I noticed that my steering wheel looked eerily like Stitch from the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch:

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(depicted here as a stitching pattern because some people just are that clever)

I soon started noticing more and more of these faces everywhere around me. I found some more in the car, and when I didn't have the car, on the commute; I found them in the park, at work, at home; and at some point, I went from finding them to searching for them.

What a splendid idea!

I knelt under benches, struggled to peer into hatches and photographed seemingly random bits of machinery and ground. I'm pretty sure that some of the people watching me must have thought I was scooping out sites for a terrorist attack or something equally sinister, for I received some strange, strange looks. Here they are, the lot of them.

Of Mascots and Men

Following the principle that the only thing more terrifying than a hand puppet is a life-sized puppet that an entire person fits inside, I bring a tale of mascots. Mascots like Crazy Crab--- the short-lived crustacean who represented the 1984 San Francisco Giants.

Boys Beware Of The Girls Who Swear

Those of us who grew up in the era of afterschool specials and PC proselytizing for the most part don't have a clue about how blunt and ludicrous the classroom and educational (I use this word loosely) films of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s were.

You might realistically have wanted to know how effective that old standby contraception method 'withdrawal' was. Instead you'd find out that the girl you dig who smokes has probably been around the block. You might realistically have wanted to know about how many beers the average high school male could drink in a night and still be okay to drive. Instead you'd be confronted with endless footage of unrecognizable mounds of steel, glass and melted rubber. The message was clear: THIS COULD BE YOU.

high speed photography kwakking

A couple weeks ago, I was sitting on a couch at Goooogle around 3 in the morning and noticed a huge flash outside. It was literally landscape illuminating and I thought to myself, "lightning?" Of course, the sky was completely clear of clouds and there was no ensuing thunderclap. This got me to thinking about some stuff I read about inventor extraordinaire and Nebraska native Harold Edgerton ages ago.

See, Edgerton was a pioneer in flash photography and built a flash bulb so powerful that it could be used for nighttime aerial reconnaissance photography from altitudes greater than 30,000', well out of enemy missile range. I recall seeing a video of Edgerton holding up a newspaper in front of this flash bulb at a distance of 10 feet and setting the paper ablaze when the flash triggered.

So what does this have to do with anything? Well, today is the 60th Anniversary of the Hiroshima A-bomb. Edgerton developed a camera that could take pictures of nuclear tests from 10 miles away, with submicrosecond exposure times.

Here are some complete mind fucks that resulted from the experiments:

The Bellamy Salute

Once upon a time, children across the United States recited the Pledge of Allegiance while giving this salute:

They look like cute little Nazis, don't they? This salute is known as the Bellamy Salute, named for the original author of the Pledge of Allegiance, who was a socialist. Before it was associated with the Nazis, this salute was known as the Roman salute, with purely miltary, non-fascist, non-socialist connotations. This doesn't stop the conspiracy nuts from going to town with it, though.

random terror

holy fuck it's arlen specter (R-Penn)!!! and he's coming for YOU!!

and who's this? renowned NPR commentator sarah vowell!

mother of god! maybe people would be more receptive to your wry brand of commentary if you didn't look like bride of chucky crossed with a garbage pail kid! holy shitting fuck. fucking mutant.

Glamour Horror Picture Show

Recently, oman posted this in #trax. Finding myself unable to look away from this collection of portraits retouched to the point of uniformity, I decided to try my hand at making some "Truely Beautiful" versions of some #trax irregulars.


World's Largest Collection of World's Smallest Versions of World's Largest Things

What the..

Seen at the World's Largest Catsup Bottle Summerfest in Collinsville, IL (unfortunately I didn't make it), it is "an interactive mobile environment devoted to the exploration and celebration of World's Largest Things" - which translates to me as somebody's strange and bizarre hobby.

Not as strange as the Museum of Menstruation, however.

Vapour Portraits - Presidential Daguerreotypy

For years, I've wondered how far back the collection of past U.S. presidential photography must go. 

If you were to ask a random person on the street who the first president was to be photographed, off the top of their head some might say Abraham Lincoln.  He is probably the earliest that most have seen, depending on the ghetto quotient of their high school history textbook.  Some who blurt out a response before checking with their brain first might say George Washington, thinking of the spectacularly photograph-free $1 bill.  The more historically-inclined moles among them may recall Martin Van Buren, he of the fish-gill-chops and our 8th president, who lived into the 1860s and was handsomely photographed late into his 79-year life.

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