Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fez-wearing squirrel and Paul Bunyan




The fez-wearing squirrel and Paul Bunyan sculptures will be part of the show featuring Amanda Visell, Michelle Valigura, Anna Chambers and Joe Ledbetter at the Grass Hut in Portland this Friday. You can see a few more pieces from the show here.

Relatedly, I don't think I ever got around to posting Amanda's new Birthday Dragon:



You can see more pictures here.

*Previously: Plush Paul Bunyan with tree stump pincushion.

*Buy Amanda Visell toys at eBay.

If Dead Space and Gears of War had been on the original NES




There's a large gallery of modern video games with classic NES-style cover art here. Via.

Relatedly, you can watch someone play through Dead Space at YouTube.

*Previously Dead Space paper toy.

*Buy Gears of War toys at eBay.

Qualcomm unveils a buzzworthy project

Qualcomm has unveiled a revolutionary new technology to improve digital networks:



That's right, implanting tiny base stations in pigeons. And since pigeons are a little vulnerable, Qualcomm spliced pigeon and wolf DNA to create wolfpigeons:



The wolfpigeons breed like crazy, but Qualcomm has solved that problem with sharkfalcons, which prey on the wolfpigeons:



And coming soon, the top of the chain - - crocodeagles:



You can see some concept art here. Thanks for the excellent tip Jaime Chen.

*Previously: Genpets - - genetically modified pets.

*Buy home DNA kits at Amazon.

Video of some truly impressive trompe l'oeil (link roundup)



This video shows the creation of some really incredible trompe l'oeil pavement art by Edgar Muller - - it's supposed to depict a new ice age in Ireland, and the illusion makes it look like the artists are suspended in midair as they work. There's more street art here.

And a few more links:

1. Andy Suriano throws in a sketch with every purchase of a t-shirt or book.

2. I'm not crazy about the site design, but wow, brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman have used model railroad miniatures to create an incredible depiction of the undead conquering the Third Reich. Well worth your time. Via.

3. Win a Monsters vs. Aliens prize pack.

4. Uncle Sam-bot.

*Previously: Another Uncle Sam robot.

*Buy Civil War relics at eBay.

Fake names that made it on TV (link roundup)



A roundup of fake names that made it on TV. Via.

And a few more links:

1. Clever art tip - - the frame and mat can easily be the most expensive part of the project, so try to find a well-priced one before you start your project. For example, this frame screams Sith Lord sketch.

2. A vintage speech by Bill Gates as a commando in Doom - - it's promoting Windows 95 as a game platform. (I'm not clear on why he's wearing a trench coat.) By the way, the video is at Rene Walter's Nerdcore. I consider Rene to be my blogging doppelganger because most days I could happily repost everything he finds.

3. Supposedly, Joseph Biden's daughter was caught on film snorting cocaine and she was set up by a friend who is shopping the video. I've never done drugs and I hardly drink, but come on, it's time to legalize the stuff.

4. 1Up is hosting a Brutal Legend minisite.

*Previously: Bono's real name is...

*Buy the Doom board game at eBay.

Wow, what a month for Billy Mays



Billy Mays is quite possibly my favorite television personality. So, first of all, I'm thrilled that he has a new show starting April 15tth on Discovery called Pitchmen:



But wait, there's more!

My little brother (who I grew up watching infomercials with) has been talking up Vince Shlomi, who you may recognize from ShamWow:



Yeah, he's been arrested for allegedly beating up a hooker:



More information at The Smoking Gun. Via.

*Previously: Billy Mays' Magical Beard t-shirt; Billy Mays downloadable mask.

*Buy the excellently-titled "Become a Magnet to Money Through the Sea of Unlimited Consciousness" at Amazon.

Punch-Out collector's kit does not include the game?



This is certainly an interesting strategy. Amazon is taking preorders for the "Punch-Out!! Amazon.com Exclusive Heavyweight Contender Kit." It includes:

* King Hippo Crown Replica
* King Hippo Desktop Punching Bag
* King Hippo Boxer Shorts (Size: Large)
* Doc Louis Remedy Chocolate Bar
But it does NOT include the game. What a bizarre selection of items. At $35, I have a hard time accepting that many people are going to buy it, unless they think the game's inside. Amazon link.

Relatedly, you can now buy the Fallout 3 collector's kit, which includes the game, a Vault Boy bobblehead, lunch box, and hardcover art book for $50 at Amazon.

*Previously: Prints featuring the villains of Punch-Out.

*Buy Nintendo toys at eBay.

A horror-esque riff on the Little Red Riding Hood myth



Tom Chick describes the game The Path by Tale of Tales as a "horror-esque riff on the Little Red Riding Hood myth" and gives it a rave review.

At the official site, you can download desktop wallpapers like the one you see above, as well as other items like this tear off ad, if you'd like to help advertise the game around town:



And here's the trailer:



They really have their act together - - there's even a store where you can buy "physical souvenirs" including polaroids of the characters. Cosplay, too.

*Previously: Little Red Riding Hood retold with technical drawings and product placement.

*Buy Little Red Riding Hood toys at eBay.

Wine labels from Some Young Punks Wine





Asaf Hanuka created wine labels for Some Young Punks wine, which has an absolutely horrendous website, complete with irritating flash interface and dead links. You can buy prints by Asaf at his personal site.

*Previously: Studies show expensive wine is a waste of money.

*Buy octopus toys at eBay.

Sewing Tattoo Group at Flickr



There's a sewing-themed tattoo Flickr group. Sew or Die belongs to Katy. Here's two more good ones. Via.

*Previously: Science Tattoos.

*Buy books about tattoos at Amazon.

Beefeater Gin mascot run amok



A giant Beefeater Gin mascot terrorizes London. Poster by Max Ellis on sale here.

*Previously: Unfortunate headline - - "Scottish woman becomes world's first Beefeater."

*Buy British propaganda posters at eBay.

Dharma Initiative advertising (link roundup)



An entire gallery of vintage Dharma Initiative advertising. The ads seem to be by Adam Campbell, and here's his official site. Via these sites.

And a few more links:

1. Someone finds new meaning in Watchmen everyday (the comic book). Does Laurie Juspeczyk's last line indicate she's going to become the new Comedian?

2. Gallery of April Fool's Day food.

3. I have no opinion on the topic, but this is certainly an intriguing headline: Did Socialized Medicine Kill Natasha Richardson? Via.

4. Here's something they don't teach you in school - - breast feeding can be a nightmare. And maybe it's just not worth the stress. Via.

*Previously: Dharma Initiative party invitation.

*Buy Dharma Initiative merchandise at eBay.

Footage of the monster under your bed



Very creepy footage of a raccoon reaching through a hole, searching for food. Via.

*Previously: Video of a Golden Eagle throwing goats off a mountain.

*Buy raccoon toys at eBay.

The Fist of Oblivion




Roman Coppola plus WhittmanHart Interactive plus Scion plus a strong 70's vibe equals The Fist of Oblivion, a gritty tale featuring kung fu and a puppet that looks suspiciously like Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle. You can watch all of the episodes at the official site.

*Previously: Francis Ford Coppola calls De Niro lazy.

*Buy puppets at eBay.

French King Kong (link roundup)



It's King Kong vs. a shark, snake, and cruise liner, all at the same time, in this French movie poster. Via.

And a few more links:

1. A rather sad link - - tax rules for how to claim a kidnapped child as your dependent.

2. Some day, I'd like my yard to look like this. The same artist creates beautiful terrariums.

3. Top Ten Deadbeat Dad Athletes. Number one has eleven kids with ten women.

4. On that last link, I was going to tack on a joke about turning into a swan or a bull, but then I found this from The Onion: "Today's Women Don't Like It When You Come To Them As A Bull Or Swan."

*Previously: McSweeney's list of The Twelve Labors of Gay Hercules.

*Buy King Kong movie posters at eBay.

Monday, March 30, 2009

If Hellboy had starred in Raiders of the Lost Ark (link roundup)



Lee Sargent mashes up Hellboy and Raiders of the Lost Ark. See also, What if Boba Fett was in Jaws.

And speaking of Hellboy, check out this new work by M.S. Corley featuring Helbboy, BPRD, and their famous enemies.

And a few more links:

1. The glow in the dark Creature from the Black Lagoon/Army Man figure I previously mentioned is now on sale for $30.

2. Unlike the Army Man, I don't think this humanoid spider toy was intended to be so delightfully atrocious.

3. Long interview with Alan Moore unfortunately at a website with white letters on a black background. He's already working on the next volume of League (set in 2009) and it sounds like he intends to write many more after.

4. Funny pie chart.

*Previously: Lego Hellboy bust.

*Find Hellboy toys at eBay.

Steam Crow propaganda posters (and more)

I've mentioned before how much I like the devil and robot who star in Daniel Davis' webcomic Monster Commute:



Right now, you can download a bunch of Monster Commute posters:



You can also hang them and send in a photo to try to win a contest.

Also, here's two interpretations of the Monster Commute stars:




"Chadworth Machine" and "Beastio Wand" by Matt Scheuerman.

Here's the Monster Commute store. And over at Matt's site, you can find links to the personal sites of many of the artists working on James Cameron's Avatar.

*Previously: James Cameron's unmade Spider-Man script.

*Buy Ghost Rider toys at eBay.

Obey MODOK



Obey MODOK by Adam "Ape Lad" Koford for March MODOK Madness. Adam has various items on sale here.

You know it really was mysterious in the 90's to see Shepard Fairey's Obey logo around Los Angeles. I didn't know anyone who knew what they were, and it's not like you could just go onto the internet to find out.

*Previously: Obey Van Buren.

*Buy MODOK toys at eBay.

Horvath's Turtle (link roundup)



Go here for a desktop wallpaper-sized version of this image of David Horvath's new Turtle toy. And there's a few of the turtles on sale at eBay.

And a few more links:

1. Description of a SXSW panel discussion on book publishing gone very wrong.

2. Website devoted to literary tattoos, especially quotations. Via.

3. Bookninja is hosting a book "remasculation" contest, where the idea is to make books more manly. For example:

Charlotte's Web becomes "Charlotte's Web of Death", by E. B. White.

"When Wilbur befriends his neighbour Charlotte he has no idea that he will be sucked in a web of intrigue, deceit and mayhem, leading him as far as Frankfurt and Milan before returning to his humble farm for the chilling conclusion that will leave you breathless."
See a few entries here.

4. You can download for free the movie 24 Hours of Le Mans at iTunes.

*Previously: Reimagined His Dark Materials book covers.

*Buy Uglydolls at eBay.

That's one stylish hyena



A well-dressed hyena stars in this image for the production of Glengarry Glenn Ross at the Soulpepper Theater. The image is by Sam Weber, who also created the most exciting depiction of croquet, ever:



Sam's fantastic portfolio is here. And it sounds like you can buy prints of any of his images.

Which reminds me, is there a GigPosters for theater posters? There should be.

*Previously: Alice plays croquet.

*Buy theater posters at eBay.

Bring me Chewbacca's head on a platter (link roundup)



Chewbacca's Head cake. One of several horrendous Chewbacca cakes on display here.

And a few more links:

1. Plush Left 4 Dead Smoker.

2. An accordion file turned into a whale of a creation.

3. Mighty Morphin Power Watchmen.

4. Here's what Sackboy's internal organs look like.

*Previously: Wookiee clock.

*Buy Power Rangers toys at eBay.

Meditating Aquaman



Meditating Aquaman by Maris Wicks. You can see her redesign of Batman here.

*Previously: Aquaman paper toy.

*Buy Aquaman toys at eBay.

Art by Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon






Airships and Victorian horrors abound at Teetering Bulb, the website of Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon. For some excellent storytelling, check out these panels depicting a lady on a train with a most unusual traveling companion. Their work is available as prints here.

*Previously: Bird-shaped plague doctor mask.

*Buy zeppelin toys at eBay.

Warmongering bookshelves




Golden AK-47-toting soldiers carry book shelves with bomb-shaped cutouts. They're by Daniel Loves Objects. Via.

*Previously: Possessed books.

*Buy army men at eBay.

Two of my favorite artists, brought low by Madoff

Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins are architects who create intentionally-challenging environments, with the idea being that immersing yourself in such a world keeps your mind sharp.

For example, they created The Site of Reversible Destiny - Yoro Park in Japan. It's a park built into an artificial crater, full of confusing paths and oddly placed furniture. Visiting it was one of the highlights of a trip to Japan I made several years ago.



This video will give you an idea of what it's like:



They also created the Reversible Destiny lofts, which are full of strangely placed windows, sloping floors, ladders, and poles.




Here's video of the interior and exterior of the lofts:



And there's lots of photos of their creations at Flickr.

Unfortunately, Arakawa and Gins invested their money with Madoff. They've already had to close their Manhattan office and layoff staff, and expect to have to sell some of their creations. Their plan to create a Reversible Destiny village now seems to be out of reach.

*Previously: Japanese theme park with ramen hot tub.

*Buy architecture posters at eBay.

The secret to a happy life (and a good blog)

Earlier this month, I explained that my secret to blogging success is giving more than I hope to receive.

I know my general rule is to not cut and paste someone else's words. But I'm going to make an exception because Megan McCardle makes the point so much better than I did, but applies the sentiment to living life in general:

People with great networks aren't people who maniacally collect business cards while pumping every random acquaintance for possible signs of a career advantage. They're people who like other people, who talk to other people because they are interested in them, who seek to help other people because, well, that's just what a decent chap ought to do.

Other peoples' lives are interesting, even if they themselves aren't fabulous raconteurs. A good networker is someone who starts out on the presumption that you must be interesting, and looks for the things that make you so. Along the way, they naturally find out quite a bit about you--and because they genuinely care about other people, they will remember three months hence that you said you wanted to move into new media when their friend the new media consultant starts hiring. Maybe five years down the road, you'll help them out. And you will genuinely be glad to, because they were glad to help you.

In other words, it can't be faked, it can't be hurried, and you can't strip out the part where YOU are a person worth knowing. All the business-card warriors would do themselves a lot more good in the long run by focusing on getting good at their jobs, and helping other people when they can just because it's nice to be able to help.
Now, go buy something from Megan's list of best kitchen items.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Solid Snake toy by Mchael Lau now on sale





The good news is you can now buy the Michael Lau Solid Snake with Crocodile Cap toy ("Gardener Square Snake"). The bad news is it's $125.

*Previously: Plush Solid Snake.

*Buy Metal Gear Solid action figures at Amazon.