Archive for the ‘strange’ category

Spider-Goats!

January 31, 2018


(PhysOrg.com) — Researchers from the University of Wyoming have developed a way to incorporate spiders’ silk-spinning genes into goats, allowing the researchers to harvest the silk protein from the goats’ milk for a variety of applications. For instance, due to its strength and elasticity, spider silk fiber could have several medical uses, such as for making artificial ligaments and tendons, for eye sutures, and for jaw repair. The silk could also have applications in bulletproof vests and improved car airbags.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2010-05-scientists-goats-spider-silk.html#jCp

I, for one, am both entertained and concerned with the prospect of Spider-Goats.  I mean, imagine entering one of your rooms and finding one of the buggers hanging on your wall or ceiling!  I doubt that the usual spritz of Raid spray would be enough to deter one of them.  It might, however, lead to the development of a new generation of pest controllers, Goat-Busters. — I’m claiming royalty rights on that film franchise now!  The theme song’s already playing in my head…you got goats, got yer freakin’ goats?

And we have other thorny issues to sort out, too, like cross-over problems.  Would Spider-Goat be a superhero or super villain?  Would a special issue of Spider-Man be called for featuring a knock-down, drag-out fight?  And who plays Spider-Goat in that film treatment?  Even if computer-generated, voice work is required…I’m available!

Now because the spider silk is found in the goats’ milk, could you acquire spider powers yourself if you drank it, assuming of course that you could get it down?-  – Would that be a baaad idea?  Would you then be a Spider-Goat-Person? The line is forming to the left, folks, but remember that with great power comes great responsibility…

…remember the Spider-Pig episode of The Simpsons?  We’ve all got plenty to think about now, and I think that 2018 is off to a roaring (or perhaps a bleating) start.  As Dr. Seuss might have expressed it, From there to here / From here to there / Hybrid animals are everywhere!  

At least I’ll better fit in now, someday, maybe…


The Nightmare Before Xmas?

December 4, 2017

As one might expect, decoration of the White House by the Trumps has proven…controversial.  While most of the rooms show traditional Xmas decor, one long hallway in particular has been termed eerie, spooky, and right out of a horror movie.  It’s presented here for your perusal…you decide!

“Darkness falls upon the land.  The midnight hour is close at hand.”* With enormous white skeletal branches clawing at you and emitting a preternatural light reflected by the cold, ice-like floor as you traverse the enormous length of the darkened hallway, you can almost feel the warmth being sucked out of your body.  It’s an “abandon all hope, ye who enter here” moment.  And wait…do you hear something?  Is the wind rattling those towering branches against one another like dried bones?  Or is something unspeakable about to rush up at you from behind?!  Could it be Jack Torrance wielding a knife, a dire wolf, or perhaps an especially nasty witch?  Has the Dark Side awakened? Wanna go for a slay ride along this dark road?  You can enter these woods, but you can’t check out, so “…stand and face the Hounds of Hell, or rot inside a corpse’s shell.”*  Little Red Riding Hood, you sure are lookin’ good…*

At any rate, there’s no escaping…how strangely appropriate!  Alright, cue the Vincent Price Thriller* narration…

* (With thanks to Michael Jackson and Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs…)

Seen This “Cheeky Monkey?”

September 12, 2017

Better known for voicing Shrek and creating Austin Powers, comedian Mike Myers creates another Brit Tommy Maitland in the ABC network revival of The Gong Show.  Shown here with a furry act, Myers/Maitland is the flamboyant host of the series, strutting on stage each episode wearing a matador’s hat to the punchy notes of a killer band.  

While non-existent, Tommy Maitland is reportedly a beloved 72-year-old British comedian with a long history of career successes.  A small British flag and a picture of a younger Queen Elizabeth adorn a table on the set.  Performing in deep makeup, Myers as Maitland presents and champions each act before sending them off for a “nice cup of tea” and another reward which varies.  The “presenter” frequently mimics or mocks each act with props and exaggerated expressions during their performance.

This inner joke within a spoof can be quite a hoot, or Snax the Rabbit as the case may be.  And by the way, the proper reply to the question of “Who’s a cheeky monkey?” is a resounding response of, “YOU ARE!”  

And in closing, we pose the questions:

…Isn’t Snax a great name for a rabbit?

…Aren’t we all Cheeky Monkeys, at least some of the time?  

 

“Irritabelle,” the Viberzi Woman…

July 10, 2017


I find people with their internal organs visible disquieting, unless of course they are zombies, in which case you expect that kind of thing, and it’s part of the desired effect.  When said people with visible internal organs jabber and cling, they can be downright annoying, however.  Zombies at least just growl and make noises while they’re trying to eat you.

Submitted for your approval is Irritabelle, the Viberzi commercial woman. Now Irritabelle wears a flesh-colored body suit that’s non-descript except for the imprint of her lower gastrointestinal tract.  Yes, I know, pretty soon all of the young and fashion-conscious will be wearing them.  Irritabelle hangs around her greater self at such places as the market, the office, the bedroom, the beach,  the store, and the doctor’s office, promising the woman she’s part of such sought-after things as abdominal pain and diarrhea, and almost gleefully dragging the woman she dogs off to the bathroom.  She’s a bit of a cut-up too, even wearing an improvised cape at the doctor’s office like a demented superhero…colon girl, perhaps.  Irritabelle and the Lactaide cow whose milk messes with you would probably get along famously.  A show starring the Cow and the Colon would probably beat most reality television.

At any rate, as the personification for Irritable Bowel Sydrome in a commercial for a remedial medication, Irritabelle seems to have plenty of get-up-and-go.  Never has a “gut leotard” looked this good!

 

Dentists Where Not Expected…

June 7, 2017

It’s said that the most terrifying thing that you could find on your doorstep after midnight is a clown, simply because they don’t belong there. Wouldn’t you find it equally creepy to be broken down on a desert road, and have a dentist approach to render aid, clad in a crisp professional white jacket? How about being lost on a wooded trail, and have a dentist appear to lead you to safety, again wearing his white clinical coat? How about being stuck in an elevator, to have a dentist appear prying the doors open?

These are the scenarios in three recent commercials for Aspen Dental, featuring dentists as the proverbial fish out of water, appearing unexpectedly in all kinds of atypical places to render help. Supposedly this is because Aspen is a different kind of dental clinic with different kinds of dentists. But for me, this is all strangely unnatural, someone terribly out of place who we aren’t happy to see even in their proper domain. Steven King could have dreamed these scenarios up for one of his horror stories.

“Open wide,” says the dentist as he pries apart the elevator doors. Conditioned from times in the dental chair, two of three elevator occupants gape their mouths open: how quickly we are trained!  In yet another commercial of the series, a dentist foils a bank robbery, only to have bank patrons throw their wallets at his feet as if he were in on the heist.  Come to think of it, I’ve surrendered more than a little of my money at dental offices, although voluntarily and under legal circumstances.

I’m more accustomed to see dentists portrayed as villains: the ex-Nazi dentist of Marathon Man, for example, or the sadistic dental practitioner of Little Shop of Horrors. If dentists continue to crop up portrayed as unlikely heroes, perhaps “Molar Man” will eventually join the Marvel or DC universes.  I shudder at the thought…

 


Kraft’s “Assume Nothing” Lobster Commercial

September 11, 2016

 

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In a brief surreal commercial for Kraft Foods, we are introduced to Bill, who assumed that an event was a costume party, attending it in a full lobster suit. – – Don’t you hate it when that happens?!  Hapless Bill even inadvertently clouts a woman with a claw when he turns; wouldn’t that make for an interesting lawsuit?  Like Bill, I can relate to social embarrassments, being a fox out of the woodlands myself; the faux pas is my life.

Bill also assumed that his mayo was the best, when Kraft olive oil mayo delivers the taste with half the calories of the competition.  “Assume Nothing!,” we are counseled by the advertiser.  While these are words to live by, this is not to advocate unconditional buying into conspiracy theories despite the fact that it’s an election year…

“Mystery Lights” on Monsters & Mysteries Unsolved

July 31, 2016

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Unexplained lights of unknown origin, mystery lights appear without warning or explanation, and were featured in a recent episode of Monsters and Mysteries:  Unsolved.

…Marfa, Texas, for example, is considered a mystery light “hotspot.” While the glowing orbs usually appear bouncing around on the horizon, in a 1994 incident the Marfa lights appeared to chase a moving vehicle, leading some to speculate that there was an intelligence behind them. Dr. James Bunnell, a former NASA engineer and Marfa lights researcher, has constructed autonomous viewing stations, and feels that the lights represent a chemical process going on.

On Brown Mountain, North Carolina, lights have been seen for hundreds of years, and have been considered spiritual, a kind of residual haunting. A more scientific perspective is that granite deposits in the mountain create electromagnetic fields that power the phenomena in a piezoelectric fashion. Dr. Dan Caton, an astronomer at the Dark Sky Observatory, considers the lights to be related to ball lightning. Footage captured by paranormal researcher Joshua Warren on Brown Mountain was examined by Dr. Onad of Princeton University, who thought the light source high energy, and possibly related to gamma or x-rays.

Lights have also been associated with earthquake activity in places like Japan. Dr. Freund in studying the phenomena there found that rocks produce electric current when deformed and pressured.

Mystery Lights in the sky have been studied by Project Hessdaler in Norway for over two decades. The lights are found to interact with the landscape in strange ways, and to move like anything known on Earth. This leads us to a UFO connection, with author Nick Redfern noting that WWII fighters saw luminous “foo fighters” felt to exhibit intelligence. Many pilots since have witnessed mystery lights. In an example cited, Dr. Torres in Manston, England in 1957 engaged a target at 32,000 feet; although himself traveling at almost Mach 1, the target eluded him, and was estimated to be moving at Mach 10. The pilot was told not to talk about his mission, which was finally declassified in 2006.

So whether you believe that mystery lights in the skies are a natural process, spiritual, or of extraterrestrial origin, heed the advice of 1950’s sci fi movies, and watch the skies! Doing so has got to be better than watching reality TV, right?