Monday, October 31, 2022
In the 1950s and '60s, Halloween was a holiday totally built around kids. That was mainly because there were so many of us! That's why we were called the Baby Boom generation, and those kids were concentrated in suburban neighborhoods. Parents didn't go trick-or-treating with us, because everyone had older siblings or close neighbor kids to group together. If Halloween makes you long for the carefree days of homemade costumes (which were often awful but we were proud of them anyway) and homemade treats that no one was afraid of), this video will let you relive those memories. It also explains how Halloween became scarier in the 1970s, when families became smaller and adults started to take over the holiday.
The Spiritualist movement lasted into the motion picture age, which is why we have this rare footage of a medium, Meurig Morris, calling forth the spirits. She channeled a spirit she called the Power. In this video, she is joined on stage by Lady Jean Conan Doyle, whose husband, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was an avid follower of the paranormal. Read more at Mental Floss.
10 Terrifying Haunted Trees and Forests.
Vintage Halloween Snapshots To Haunt Your Dreams. (Thanks, WTM!)
What Happens to Babies Born on Planes. (via Metafilter)
A Modern Trial by Ordeal, for Ye Accused Abortionists. The latest from Tom the Dancing Bug.
The Only Known Mammal to Communicate by Stridulation.
Why Horror Is So Damned Fun. We go inside Denmark’s Recreational Fear Lab to learn why our brains crave a good scare.
There's a Fascinating Reason These Astronauts' Eyes Look So Strange. (via Damn Interesting)
The 7 Deadly Sins of Taking Your Kid Trick-or-Treating.
This year could be a cherished memory for your children and neighbors!
Lenore Skenazy gives some facts about trick-or-treat night. My town sets trick-or-treat hours, but this is mostly a benefit to homeowners and the police more than for the safety of kids. At the end of the trick-or-treat window, I can go inside and relax (if the candy lasts that long). Then it's time for Halloween parties! Also, the curfew is a real help as far as traffic danger goes. Drive extra carefully tonight! (via Boing Boing)
Sunday, October 30, 2022
Tom Hanks showed up on the Halloween episode of Saturday Night Live to reprise his character David S. Pumpkins. This time the attraction is a haunted prison, and each cell had a different scary inmate. But they had a limited budget, so Pumpkins is featured prominently.
The Hallmark channel has carved a niche for itself by producing tons of Christmas romances every year. But why should we limit those romances to Christmas? Those same plots can be recycled for other holidays, like Halloween! Kim and Penn Holderness imagine how a Hallmark Halloween romance would go, as Candy Corn meets Gray Vestone for a Halloween romance. Her trouble with object permanence provides a gentle point of conflict that is resolved just in time for Halloween!
A little more than a week from the midterm elections, people are going nuts studying the polls, as if that means anything. I the opening skit from last night's Saturday Night Live, three republican candidates are interviewed at a time: Herschel Walker, running for Georgia senator, Dr. Mehmet Oz, senatorial candidate in Pennsylvania, and Kari Lake, who is running for governor of Arizona.
Wouldn’t it be great if a haunted house tour was like a Choose Your Own Adventure book? That’s possible, with the technology of YouTube. YouTube Nation assembled some of the biggest video stars for the project: Glozell, Tay Zonday, Felicia Day, and others. Each time you start the video, the story might be different, depending on your choices. I don’t yet know which choices are best. (via The Daily Dot)
Saturday, October 29, 2022
Carnival of Souls wasn't a hit when it was first released in1962, but became a cult classic. A young woman is traumatized by a car accident and sets out to start a new life in a new city. But she is haunted by strange people and strange events. Are they out to get her, or is she losing her mind?
What if, instead of zombies, the world was taken over by hordes of murderous kittens? That's exactly what happens in the horror movie parody Night of the Living Kittens by the Seattle Humane Society. They launched four horror film parodies starring kittens for this Halloween, which they call "purrodies." They also include The Fly: Remewstered, Scream: The Kitty Collection, and Psycho: The Caterion Collection. They are all short, silly, and star cute kittens. They are not that scary. (via Metafilter)
Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani is only five years old, but he can play pretty well! You have to wonder how much time he puts in to practice, knowing what five-year-olds are usually like. (via TYWKIWDBI)
My daughter did her first piano recital at five. It was a pretty simple piece, not familiar to the audience, which went through the same sequence twice. I told her that if she made a mistake, just act like it was not a mistake, and nobody would know the difference. When the time came, I was the only one who recognized a mistake, and she went on like it was nothing. Then the second time she played through the sequence, she made the exact same mistake! The effect was that it sounded perfect. I was so proud, but the only ones who realized what happened were me and the piano teacher. Twenty years later, she and that teacher are still close.
Following a complete lack of anyone asking me to, I added the theme from Match of the Day.— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) October 15, 2022
For those followers outside of the UK who may not be aware of it, it's the theme from Match of the Day.
Friday, October 28, 2022
This is not just a LEGO Ferris wheel, which would be impressive by itself. This one loads and unloads sports balls ("passengers") by machine into the 64 carriages as it goes along. Designing this and keeping it going in sync is quite an accomplishment! Berthil van Beek built this contraption for the Eurobricks TC23 competition. Just watching this machine do its thing is soothing and satisfying. We also get an idea of the work involved. When van Beek loads 64 balls and finds that two fell along the way, he redesigns the mechanism to make sure that doesn't happen again. I would be surprised if I got one to load properly! (via Geeks Are Sexy)
The difference between fruits and vegetables depends on whether you are talking to a botanist or a cook, but Daven at Today I Found Out gives us a decent short course in telling the difference. He also explains the difference between jelly and jam, kosher salt and table salt, and the different colors of pepper. What blew my mind was the difference between green olives and black olives. I thought they were different kinds of olives! Personally, I much prefer the taste of green olives. (Thanks, Daven!)
Thursday, October 27, 2022
This is a longer video than I would normally consider posting, but it's well worth it. Gavin Free and Dan Gruchy, the Slow-Mo Guys, have always wanted to record electricity in slow motion, but thought it might be a bit dangerous. They are no strangers to danger, at least Dan isn't. He usually get to do the dangerous stuff. But this time, they are teaming up with Mehdi Sadaghdar from ElectroBOOM, who we know isn't afraid of being shocked. So they set up a way to photograph electrical arcs at 1,750,000 frames per second so we can really see what's happening. And as you can guess, we'll have plenty of hijinks along the way as Medhi and Dan get their share of jolts and Gav stays safely out of the way. Their pain is our gain. (via Digg)
Cat has the most dramatic reaction to every smell — except for one! pic.twitter.com/SOGTg9MZkc— The Dodo (@dodo) October 24, 2022
Melon the cat gets to smell something new everyday, and 99% of the time, she gags at the scent. Yeah, she's a picky cat, and foods that her human parents eat just don't appeal to her for the most part. That means a treat for her brother Finn, who eats anything. You might be surprised to find that there are a few things Melon really likes to smell (and eat), but they are not what you'd expect. Melon Be Smellin' is a TikTok series featuring Melon and Finn and their family. (via Fark)
The first season of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime has wrapped. Should you binge watch it? Screen Junkies seems to like it, but warn that it's complicated with so many characters to keep up with. If you like this kind of thing, you'll want to catch up on the first season because there are four more to come, and this isn't the kind of series you can jump in later and figure out who's who.
The Unbelievably Sweet Alpacas is a parody of My Little Pony which sweetly explains the modern American economy. It stars Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Sarah Silverman, Billy Eichner, and Andy Richter. (via Uproxx)
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Brian David Gilbert performs as the Bee Dee Gee's Hee Bee Bee Gees. Or something like that. Anyway, it's a Halloween anthem that puts a vampire into the song "Stayin' Alive" from the movie Saturday Night Fever. Music performed by Jonah Scott. If the idea of a disco vampire sounds like a horror to you, let it be known that I dressed as a disco vampire for Halloween in 1982. He also has a new Halloween song about a werewolf, set the the tune of the Bee Gees' song "Tragedy," which you can hear at Laughing Squid.
The road in front of my house just got a new layer of blacktop. I don't know why; we didn't have potholes or crumbling pavement. Then I realized there is an election coming up. Bingo! But roads elsewhere need to repaved often due to weather conditions and high traffic that wear out the asphalt. In New York City, it's often the case of gaining access to the underground utilities. While most places put some old asphalt back into the system to be recycled, New York uses 100% recycled asphalt and it works just fine. This video shows how they do it, and why other communities should, too. Upgrading the recycling process would involve upfront expenses, but it would pay off over time. And that's the problem- no governmental body wants to spend money now in order to save money for other people who will be in office by then. (via TYWKIWDBI)
How ADHD Makes Money More Complicated For Women.
How the Victorian Era Gave Birth to the Halloween We Know. (via Strange Company)
Star Wars actor Mark Hamill sends 500 drones to Ukraine. (via Fark)
The Terrifying Case of a Brazilian Poltergeist. One family suffered for years in the country's best-documented case of supernatural torment.
A Truly Unique, if Baffling, Home in Kansas City.
Claude Ambroise Seurat: The Living Skeleton.
20 Fun Halloween TV Episodes to Stream This Spooky Season.
Back to the Future Comes to Broadway in 2023.
Today is the 38th anniversary of the release of The Terminator. Here’s the rest of the movie you didn’t see. See also:
The Terminator: 30 Years Later
Never Forget O.J. Simpson Almost Played The Terminator & Other Facts About The Sci-Fi Classic
The Terminator at 30: An oral history
Why the Terminator Looks Like Arnold
How James Cameron’s Bad Dream Launched One Of Sci-fi’s Biggest Franchises.
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
The Headington Shark was erected on August 9, 1986, by homeowner Bill Heine and sculptor John Buckley. The local planning commission was not notified, and no building permit was issued. The council didn't want to forgive the violation of its authority, and didn't want to encourage other people to do that sort of thing. Heine battled bureaucrats for years to get permission to leave the shark up. Over time, it became clear that no one else was going to cut through their roofs to make a statement, so the shark was eventually reconsidered as a unique piece of art. The neighbors went from shock to amusement to pride in the shark. Tom Scott gets the whole story from Bill Heine's son and current owner of the house Magnus Hanson-Heine.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law was a seven-episode limited Marvel series on Disney+. Is it a superhero show? A legal procedural? A comedy? Or all of the above. The last episode has streamed, so now you can binge the whole thing at once. But do you want to? Maybe this Honest Trailer from Screen Junkies will help you decide.
Scared to Death from 1947 is Bela Lugosi’s only color film. From Wikipedia:
The film opens with the disclosure by morgue examiners that a beautiful woman has literally died of fright. The plot reveals how she reached the fatal stage of terror.There are Nazis involved, too. the movie was based on a one-act play, which was based on a 1933 murder case.
The woman is married to the son of a doctor, the proprietor of a private sanatorium, where she is under unwilling treatment. Both the son and the doctor indicate they want the marriage dissolved. Arriving at the scene is a mysterious personage identified as the doctor's cousin who formerly was a stage magician in Europe. He is accompanied by a threatening dwarf.
Monday, October 24, 2022
It's his opinion, nothing more. That's according to comedian Lewis Black in this rant he pulls out every Halloween in his standup routine. Your mileage may vary. In just a minute and a half, Black manages to shove all our candy corn jokes into one little story. Sure, it's old fashioned. Sure, it's always there for the holiday. Sure, it has little taste beyond that of corn syrup. But it will always be the symbol of our modern trick-or-treat customs. Of course, his scenario is fictional. We know that candy corn has been around since the 1880s, and it was advertised at one time. (via Digg)
Tiny and Terrifying: Ant Faces are Horror Shows. (via Digg)
Beware the Walking Poodle Skeleton!
The Haunting True Story of Bridget Cleary’s “Changeling” Murder.
A Cake That Started Out Funny and Ended Up Wholesome.
Behold the World’s Oldest Animation Made on a Vase in Iran 5,200 Years Ago. (via Nag on the Lake)
They All Got New Homes But Fern.
For the Halloween edition of the mental_floss List Show, John Green has a whole long list of facts about Halloween! The biggest pumpkin, the origin of Jack-o-Lanterns, why people used to eat chicken feed for Halloween, and a whole lot of superstitions about the holiday. He says he is wearing Halloween masks because he’s being punished, but I prefer to think it’s a fortunately seasonal workaround for some kind of facial blemish.
Sunday, October 23, 2022
Pirates Of The Caribbean was a huge hit in 2003. It had action, adventure, and was quite funny, too. It had big stars and a beautiful historical setting. So of course they had to crank out sequel after sequel, which could never live up to the first movie, which was pretty much perfect on its own. Nerdstalgic looks at the inevitable problems with trying to recreate lightning in a bottle, as each Pirates sequel took the franchise downhill. (via Digg)
Tito was abandoned at three weeks of age. It's not said, but it was more likely that he was dumped by his mother's human owners. But he was found, and Dalia took him home and bottle-fed him and nursed him back to health. Tito grew up to be a loving and playful cat, even though it took him a while to warm up to a little sister named Mona. But what really sets Tito apart is his obsession with tampons! However, once you think about it, they are the perfect cat toy: lightweight, small, has a crinkly cover and a string attached. Still, they are expensive compared to bread ties and milk rings. You can see more of Tito and Mona at Dalia's TikTok gallery.
Americans love to hear what the rest of the world thinks of us, whether it's true or not. We know that Hollywood crafts what other countries know about the US. Laurance Brown of Lost in the Pond tells us the things he thought were American that turned out to be just not so.
I never thought I would change my name when I got married— I was the first (medical) Dr. Newton in my family and I’m very proud of that. But, when presented with the opportunity to say “Hi, I’m Dr. Sleeper and I’ll be your anesthesiologist,” I just couldn’t pass it up!— Lindsay Sleeper (@LindsayPNewton) October 11, 2022
Saturday, October 22, 2022
Birdie the great Dane was suffering from a false pregnancy to the point of lactating. Froggy was a newborn Chihuahua puppy discarded on a roadside. These are dogs that really needed each other. Putting them together filled Birdie's longing for puppies and helped relieve her hormonal symptoms, and it saved Froggy's life. (via Fark)
My husband was a bass player, and when I saw "200 bassists," it struck me as the beginning of a joke. Yeah, I've heard all of them. But I also knew it must be Rockin' 1000, because that's the only way you'd get this many of them together outside of a joke. The bass guitar section of Rockin' 1000 played "Under Pressure," originally by Queen with David Bowie, with that ever-recognizable bass line and all the melodies and flourishes played only on bass guitar. They were led by Charles Berthoud, who played the vocals ...on bass. (via Laughing Squid)
Friday, October 21, 2022
The Gangs of New York to Become a Television Series. (via Boing Boing)
The 15 Scariest Cults You’ve Never Heard Of. After reading, you'll feel lucky to just fall in with a group that wants all your money.
The Absolute Worst “Sexy” Halloween Costumes of 2022. (via Metafilter)
The Finnish version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire opened with a question that would be NSFW in the US. It was really funny to the 70% of Finns who know English.
40 Examples Of Writers Leaving Fun And Unique Surprises “Dedicated To Those Who Read The Dedications.”