1. Will you be here tomorrow? Terrifying Work Safety Instructional Video

    It could be a Skinny Puppy video but no this little terrifying gem comes from ERI Safety. You can even purchase videos like this for the low low price of just $495.00.

    Still, not as amusing as this dark humor industrial film on safety hailing from Germany. At least I think its humor. Slow in the beginning but moments like 4:46 and 6:05 ooze blood colored Teutonic gory goodness.


  2. Mark Twain Proposes a Siberian Republic

    “There’s Siberia with just the very finest and choicest material on the globe for a republic, and more coming — more coming all the time, don’t you see! It is being daily, weekly, monthly recruited by the most perfectly devised system that has ever been invented, perhaps. By this system the whole of the hundred millions of Russia are being constantly and patiently sifted, sifted, sifted, by myriads of trained experts, spies appointed by the Emperor personally; and whenever they catch a man, woman or child that has got any brains or education or character, they ship that person straight to Siberia. It is admirable, it is wonderful. It is so searching and so effective that it keeps the general level of Russian intellect and education down to that of the Czar” – from Mark Twain’s The American Claimant

    Insightful commentary from Mr. Clemmons, especially welcome as I’ve been lately thinking about the products of gatherings coerced by power (imprisonment, compulsory education, conscription, concentration camps, involuntary commitment), incited by a cause (mobs, riots, audiences, classes), and organically formed (crowds, lines, migrations).

    This quote comes from an exhaustively researched page of Mark Twain’s public denunciations of Czarist Russia. It gives glimpse of how Russia appeared in the public consciousness at the time (late 1800s-early 1900s) and some good background on Twain’s political leanings. (Spoiler: He liked freedom, hated indiscriminate corpse-making.)

    Hat tip to Brendan Koerner for the link, via Twitter.


  3. The Beautiful Hell Sound of a Tickled Penguin

    I admit the shame of having no immunity to Cute Animal Doing Cute Thing videos. It’s my burden to live with and it keeps me out of the death metal bars. But yet, that can’t be the entire explanation of why I can’t stop watching this clip. That sound! It’s like the skin of the plane peeling back midflight and Steve Vai’s up there playing arpeggios through an amp he made out of chrome plated dolphin skulls.

    If you’re the remixing type, nab that beautiful/awful sound below and send me your creation. MAKE ALL MUSIC SOUND LIKE THIS FROM NOW ON!

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


    Download


  4. I Speak Tonight of Mighty Taco

    While normally this ain’t that kind of blog and Mr. Veer with certainly give me shit about turning this into some sort of Hey I Ate a Thing and Here’s a Photo blog like he swears every girl in Brooklyn is obligated to have… we gotta talk about Mighty Taco. While it is, yes, a fast food chain, it is also something of a regional oddity, maybe even a mass hallucination. So just fit in in with the kappa, the green flash and every rural Floridian’s tale of their Skunk Ape encounter and listen to me.

    Mighty Taco serves the sort of food that would result if someone had been told of a food called ‘taco’ without knowing what ‘Mexico’ was. Picture this information passing from some half-stoned stranger who had seen a bit of the world who was  giving a ride to a young man in the middle of the night. That man, dimly remembering something about the sleeping bag-like arrangement of a tortilla around cheese, meat and salad then decides to go into business.

    For Buffalo residents, Mighty Taco is the sort of cultural touchstone that’s worth launching a parking lot beating over. Friends from the area assure me that dissing Mighty Taco anywhere in Western New York is kind of on par with heading down to Georgia and showing off your pen and ink portraits of General Sherman at a gun show. All in all, a rather hyperbolic devotion to what is at the end of the day, a kind of quasi-Mexican version of White Castle.

    Seriously. There’s a kind of entertainment to be had by browsing through Mighty Taco’s Yelp page and reading the alternate praise from locals and snooty dismissal by folks who were just passing through. Like the musician from Pittsburgh who said “The vibes were harsh in there as well, with a heavy methed-out Juggalo presence which can strike fear into the heart of anyone who’s seen a book that wasn’t about Ozzy Osbourne in the last three years.” Most of the slagging focuses on the difference between the tortilla wrapped treats they dish out and anything that would be served within the borders of Ciudad Juarez. It kind of baffles me that anyone entering an establishment named ‘Mighty Taco’ would have an expectation of authenticity, especially as that they’re eating in a town with about 8 months of winter. One does not go to Kamkatcha for the hummus, dear sir.

    What most intrigues me is how ingrained this mutant breed of ersatz Mexican food is in Buffalo life. For a city that has been marketed to the world as the home of the chicken wing and the first great failure of the rust-belt, this taco is something that is uniquely Buffalo, opaque to outsiders and absolutely vital to those who keep true to their Buffalo roots. It’s this sort of devotion that spurred the creation of something as mad as Project Chow Down: a mail-order service that ships out Mighty Taco Burritos via FedEx 2 Day on dry ice, complete with their legendary sauce packets.

    Edit: The spirit moved me this morning to finish the original illustration for this post.

    Know of anything in your region that resembles this sort of local following? The closest approximation I can think of is Manhattan’s Papaya Dog/Papaya King hot dog stands that sell papaya drinks. Let us know about your local fast good cult in the comments.


  5. 90s Media Archaeology: Encino Man

    Imagine everything else we know about the period between the LA Riots and Woodstock 99 was deleted in some tragic system backup meltdown. All that is left is a VHS copy of Encino Man that some forward-thinking patriot had in his rumpus room protected in a lead-lined suitcase. Is there any better artifact for recreating the hokey shallow goofiness that is the 90s popular culture aesthetic?

    Even this, a three and a half minute “behind the scenes” vignette–a quick cut mash of scenes from the movie, 20 seconds worth of cast and crew soundbites and at best, 30 seconds of actual behind the scenes material–is a great example of the sort of pointless bonus of media trash that was pioneered in this era. They usually stuck these on the end of the tape, right after you saw the actual movie. Now it’d be hidden in a Extras submenu on the DVD. I could never quite wrap my mind around what this sort of extra was supposed to accomplish. If you’ve just watched the actual movie, why would you want to watch three minutes of it again, cut to looping riffs from the soundtrack, especially if you hustled into sitting through it with the promise of some real insider view of the making of such an epic as Encino Man. I imagine there’s a film studies major out there writing a paper on this subject right now, thereby creating an overly self-serious low-content media artifact in discussion of another.

    Cheap promo hustles aside, we could do worse than recreating a decade from a Pauly Shore vehicle that paired a future Hobbit with the readymade Cro-Magnon good looks of Brendan Fraser. Perhaps the all-screaming spray-tanned whoreapalooza of contemporary pop culture will one day give way to a simpler, goofier, oblivious resurrected 90s that will rise from its suspended animation like a frozen caveman found in an LA backyard. Hell, why not. Let one hologram swallow another.


  6. 1980s Surreality Summed up in One Video

    Somehow I was able to ignore the fact the one guy could cling to the landing gear while perplexed how any person could swim from south Manhattan (after jumping from a plane) to either LaGuardia or JFK airport. From Shakedown staring Robocop and Buckaru Banzai’s Peter Weller.


  7. “Canada: Good Neighbor to the World” – A Sinister Tale!

    Amazon is great. The reviews are sometimes awesome, like this for Canada: Good Neighbor to the World.

     

    What School Library Journal has to say on Canada: Good Neighbor to the World:

    Grade 3-6 A broad overview of multicultural Canada, focusing primarily on the present, but supported by excursions into the cultural history of Canada’s European settlers. The native population gets relatively short shrift. The book includes chapters on ethnic composition, legends, holidays, foods, education, and sports. While it touches on such standard school-report topics, these are presented from the perspective of their basis in or impact on cultural or ethnic consideration in insufficient depth to serve as a single source. The index, which sometimes supplies incorrect page numbers, does not lead to some subjects found in the text (free-trade, for instance).

    Okay, so a not so glowing review. However the real genius insane review comes from “A Customer”:

    In the guise of our “good neighbor” to the North, Canada continues its secret and meticulous plans to subjugate innocent noncombatants through telepathy and endoplasmic alteration. Adam Bryant is either a liar or a fool. Judging from his flatulent prose and chaotic organization, one is tempted to assume the latter. Yet his rough edges seem so deliberate that it is fair to ask: Mr. Bryant, What is YOUR frequency? By carefully reading between the lines, one’s worst fears are amply confirmed.

    You tell them, A Customer. Flautent prose and meticulous plans to subjugate innocent noncombatants through telepathy and endoplasmic alteration. We can only assume washrooms, hosers, and Wayne Gretzky are also involved.

    Apropos of almost nothing, here’s a classic clip from Michael Moore’s Canadian Bacon:


  8. Play Katamari On Any Webpage

    Here’s me, making a dung ball of Wikipedia.

    Yes friends, the future we’ve been wanting is trickling in. Can’t guild the lily on this one so I’m just going to tell you how to get to the awesome.

    Using any HTML5-ready browser (I used the latest Safari but I imagine Chrome would work too, maybe Firefox 4) navigate to a page you want to roll up into a giant ball and then open a separate tab and navigate to here for instructions:

    http://ec2-50-17-2-177.compute-1.amazonaws.com/

    When they say Address Bar, they mean the part where you put in the URL.

    Right mouse clicks guide the ever increasing ball and you need to click a lot. Be warned, though, that eventually the music kicks in.