Thursday, April 30, 2009

Grand Theft Auto: Spider-Man

Grand Theft Auto: Spider-Man and GTA: Dark Knight. See also GTA: Tarzan.

"Spider 'Resurrections' Take Scientists by Surprise"


Scientists at the University of Rennes in France collected three species of wolf spider—two from salt marshes, one from a forest. The team immersed 120 females of each species in seawater, jostling the spiders with brushes every two hours to see if they responded.

As expected, all the forest wolf spiders (Pardosa lugubris) apparently died after 24 hours. The two salt marsh-dwelling species took longer—28 hours for Pardosa purbeckensis and 36 hours for Arctosa fulvolineata.

After the "drownings," the researchers, hoping to weigh the spiders later, left them out to dry. That's when things began to get weird.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Criterion Collection-Style Video Game Box Art

Many more on display here and here.

Blanka sculpture

Blanka sculpture by Duzty.

"H.G. Wells' 'War of the Worlds' was an allegory about the injustice of European imperial rule of Africa, China and India."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Book about vintage mascots

Ad Boy: Vintage Advertising with Character features images of roughly 500 largely-obscure, abandoned, and forgotten mascots from 20th Century ads, including:

Monday, April 27, 2009

"The Girl and the Robot" by Royksopp and Robyn

Here's a live performance:

Inspector Gadget toy

More photos here.

Satyr Stilt Legs

By Kim Graham.

More at her site, including this treeman:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Woman sends stripper to her 10 year high school reunion

Andrea Wachner decided to send a stripper to her 10-year high school reunion and had a film crew follow her around.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hand in space

How the villains in Planetary received their powers:

A photo taken by of a "young pulsar":

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Unnatural zoological specimens by Justin Gibbens

By Justin Gibbens.

Pikachu papercraft (link roundup)

Download the Pikachu paper toy here.

And a few more links:

1. Roundup of cool real-life pirates.

2. Handy chart breaks down number of pirates killed by each president.

3. Supposedly, Obama took 17 briefings regarding the Somali pirates hostage drama.

4. The Vatican said no thanks to Obama's idea of appointing Caroline Kennedy as US ambassador.

*Previously: Vatican to admit it wrongfully burned the Knights Templar at the stake.

*Buy Pikachu toys at eBay.

Even more Twitter icons (link roundup)

Go here for four different Twitter icons designed by Scott Thigpen.

And a few more links:

1. Detailed description of how the Time poll I previously mentioned was hacked.

2. Jerky boss sends out email criticizing workers for taking Good Friday off, someone responds by creating parody Twitter feed.

3. The Orange County District Attorney apparently dismisses felony drug possession charges whenever defendants agree to give DNA samples.

4. Some cheerleaders were kicked off the squad due to absences. Their parents took revenge on the coach by revealing that she had posed for Playboy.

*Previously: 14 fresh Twitter icons.

*Buy vintage Playboy collectibles at eBay.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rodenator Pro let's you blow up squirrels and other rodents (Google Trends roundup)

Spokane, Washington Parks and Recreation officials are under fire for their plan to use the Rodenator Pro to blow up squirrels. Above is the ad for the device. You really don't need a flashy campaign when your product is that awesome. There's a forum at the official site, which could really use more participants.

And I'm experimenting with something new. Here's a roundup of four more items I saw on Google Trends that seemed interesting:

1. 47-year old Susan Boyle appeared on Britain's Got Talent and blew everyone away with her incredible voice.

2. This is the dazzle rifle:

It emits super bright light to blind adversaries. Here's a list and photo gallery of more nonlethal weapons that could be used against pirates.

3. 18-year-old high school student Samuel Valdivia was caught having an affair with his 48-year-old math teacher, Tamara Hoffman, by Hoffman's 20-year-old boyfriend, Sixto Balbuena, who was also one of her former students. Balbuena stabbed Validivia to death (accidentally). Story and photo of Balbuena here. The only site I saw with (what was alleged to be) a photo of Hoffman was so sleazy, I won't link to it.

4. Supposedly some study indicates there's a cure for kleptomania. True or not, this sentence is priceless: "Reuters India reporting out of New York states that there is a drug, naltrexone that can help people who have kleptomania."

*Previously: What it's like to pilot a drone and have to decide in a moment whether to blow up a suspect.

*Buy ray guns at eBay.

Gundam papercraft

Download this Gundam Exia paper toy here. Design by Brian Lie.

*Previously: Gundam Hoody.

*Buy Gundam toys and collectibles at eBay.

Citizen Kane 3D

Citizen Kane 3D is coming. Also, turns out Orson Welles actually filmed a chase sequence featuring Rosebud, but cut it due to time constraints. More stills and details here.

*Previously: Screenshots from Metroid Prime in 3D.

*Buy Citizen Kane movie posters at eBay.

Monster with two stomachs

Hungry, two-stomached monster by Rich Page, who accomplishes an awful lot with one or two colors. See also, his deadly pufferfish and flaming skeleton.

*Previously: Legendary Japanese baseball player Sadaharu Oh had his entire stomach removed due to cancer.

*Buy plush monsters at eBay.

20% off at Tenacious Toys (link roundup)

Now through April 20th, everything at Tenacious Toys is 20% off with the code HAPPYDAY20, plus free shipping in the USA with orders of $100 or more, plus a free Tokidoki Moofia figure with every order.

And a few more links:

1. Strange tale of a "hipster grifter" who burned a whole lot of people in Utah and New York.

2. Cruise ships are designed to make the middle class feel like they belong to the upper class.

3. Funny story of one subway car full of strangers in New York bonding together to screw over another subway car full of New Yorkers. Via.

4. FYI, websites have to pay to be nominated for a Webby award.

*Previously: Mecha-octopus takes on a cruise liner.

*Buy Doktor A. toys at eBay.

Hello Kitty Wizard of Oz toys

Hello Kitty Wizard of Oz plush toys. On sale for $16 and shipping at eBay.

*Previously: Hello Kitty as a Gloomy Bear.

*Buy Wizard of Oz posters at eBay.

Mermaid and Koala amigurumi

Depressed Mermaid and Koala amigurumi by Beth Doherty. Here's her Etsy shop.

*Previously: Albino koala.

*Buy koala toys at eBay.

Lego Hellboy (link roundup)

More photos of the Lego Hellboy here. Via.

And a few more links:

1. There's a bunch of Mass Effect 2 desktop wallpapers here.

2. File this under too good to verify since it's lacking in details such as proper names, but supposedly a nurse in Wisconsin was called out of surgery to be told she had been laid off. Via.

3. A Santa Monica library (that's a beachside community in Los Angeles) currently allows the public to borrow people. Honest. Choices include "a Mormon, an animal rights activist, a police detective, a fat activist, a feminist, a married Jewish lesbian mom, a little person and an ex-gang member," and more.

4. This is one of the saddest things I've ever read. (Warning, mature adult themes.)

*Previously: Custom Hellboy toys.

*Find Hellboy toys at eBay.

Papercraft Robot

Download this robot paper toy here. And here's the artist's webstore.

*Previously: Video of a pole-dancing robot.

*Buy robot posters at eBay.

Soviet Giant Robot (link roundup)

A "Big Red" soviet version of the Large Martin robot from Ashley Wood and Babmabaland Toys that's going on sale April 21. No mention of whether this version will go on sale or for how much.

And a few more links:

1. A tsunami of awesome animated gif.

2. Photo of Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station. Via.

3. Beautiful Batwoman Detective Comics cover by J.H. Williams III.

4. Apparently a tradition in Otago, New Zealand is the "Great Easter Bunny Hunt." This year, 14,799 rabbits were killed in 24 hours. Photo link.

*Previously: Harry Potter-themed mystery box.

*Buy Harry Potter posters at eBay.

Conserve energy the Sam Fisher way

Three ads by Marketforce, promoting energy conservation (60 Earth Hour) in Perth, Australia. (I'm not sure how using night vision goggles would help the environment, though.) Via.

*Previously: Low tech energy savers.

*Buy night vision goggles at Amazon.

Concert poster by Paul Gardner (link roundup)

Concert poster by Paul Gardner on sale for $25 here. Via.

And a few more links:

1. Horrifying story of a married couple from Canada who moved to Dubai when the husband got a good job there, and then went bankrupt. Via.

2. Supposedly, "thousands of dolphins" leaped out of the water to prevent Somali pirates from seizing a Chinese ship. Photo link.

3. Yikes, the public elementary school closest to me has an after school course based on Kabbalah.

4. Former baseball player Eric Karros has possibly the worst combover ever.

*Previously: Foggy day in Dubai.

*Buy concert posters at eBay.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Weird animal costumes (link roundup)

Weird animal costumes spotted at Kid Acne's blog. which I was exploring because there's a set of blind box toys designed by Kid Acne going on sale at Kidrobot next month.

And a few more links:

1. Chinese citizen Shu Chun Teng studied fungus at Cornell in New York in 1923. He spent the next several years traveling through China collecting fungus specimens. When the Japanese invaded China in 1937, he arranged for the specimens to be smuggled to Cornell, where they've been kept ever since. Cornell is now giving them back. Via.

2. If you'd like someone to boo during the baseball season, you won't do much better than Gary Sheffield.

3. Japanese navy used a super powerful "bullhorn" to scare off Somali pirates.

4. During the 70's, America learned that the Soviets were using an underwater cable to send communications. The cable was in an area that was full of listening devices and that was frequently patrolled by Soviet ships. Nevertheless, the US sent a submarine into the area, which deposited a diver. The diver planted a device that wrapped around the cable and recorded the transmissions. It was even designed to fall off if the cable was raised. But the device could not transmit. So every so often, a diver had to return to retrieve it. The mission went great. And then the Soviets found about it... Via.

*Previously: Submarine, airship, and a giant tentacled monster.

*Buy submarine toys at eBay.

Many-eyed space monster paper toy

"Proxima Centauri" paper toy by Jerom. Download the template here, and go here to see how to add a white LED to make it glow from the inside.

*Previously: Jerom's Cthulhu paper toy.

*Buy spaceships at eBay.

Clever Spider-Man desktop wallpaper

Go here to learn how to use this Spider-Man comic book layout and a few programs to put useful information in the word bubbles. Or if you just want the image, download it here.

*Previously: Spider-Man suffers a broken leg to promote Play-Doh.

*Buy plush Spider-Men (Spider-Mans?) at eBay.

Lion mask and living armor

Lion mask and living armor by Dale Shepherd, who has lots of armor on sale here.

*Previously: Armor for dogs.

*Buy samurai helmets at eBay.

Beatnik skeleton (link roundup)

"Le Skeleton" sculpture by Jimmy Pickering. Lots more great sculptures and custom toys here - - just start scrolling down.

And a few more links:

1. Three chances to comment and win a copy of "Ad-Boy: Vintage Advertising With Character."

2. 4Chan users not only placed 4Chan founder Moot at the top of a Time 100 most influential people poll, but also manipulated the rest of the people on the list so that the first letter of each name, taken in order, spelled "marble cake, also the game." Via.

3. /Film is hiring a writer.

4. Concept art for a version of Little Red Riding Hood set in the Roman Empire.

*Previously: Killer robot and A Clockwork Orange homage by Pickering.

*Buy Little Red Riding Hood toys at eBay.

Thumbs up for "Welcome to Monster Isle" and "Julie Black Belt"

Book time is typically tough. It's the end of the day, so I'm tired, and I'm also eager to finally put the boys to sleep and get off the clock. Book time is doubly tough when the boys want me to read something I'm sick of. So it's been a good couple of weeks around here thanks to four new books. Last week I mentioned the Octonauts books - - and my review of the second book was clearly too harsh, since my son has insisted I read it every night this week.

But this post is about two books written by Oliver Chin, both of which my oldest son adores.

Welcome to Monster Isle tells a simple story of a family who gets shipwrecked on an island full of monsters (quetzalcoatls, griffins, and more), runs around a bit, and then goes home. The story's not really much to talk about, but Jeff Miracola's vibrant and dynamic art makes each page a pleasure:

At the book's companion site, you'll find desktop wallpapers and coloring pages for each monster, as well as a screensaver. Also, here's Jeff's blog.

The same combination of straightforward story and colorful art are on display in Julie Black Belt.

With art by Charlene Chua, Julie Black Belt features a girl who decides that with a little hard work, kung fu can be fun.

As with Monster Isle, there's a website for Julie Black Belt complete with downloads. And here's Charlene's blog and Etsy shop.

You can find both books for about $13 at Amazon.

*Previously: Kung Fu, the restaurant.

*Buy plush monsters at eBay.