Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Yokai


Bored Of The Rings

Signet paperback, 1969. Cover by Michael K. Frith

They asked each other countless riddles, such as who played the Cisco Kid and what was Krypton. In the end Dildo won the game. Stumped at last for a riddle to ask, he cried out, as his hand fell on his snub-nosed .38, "what have I got in my pocket?" This Goddam failed to answer, and growing impatient, he paddled up to Frito, whining, "Let me see, let me see." Frito obliged by pulling out the pistol and emptying it in Goddam's direction. The dark spoiled his aim, and he managed only to deflate the rubber float, leaving Goddam to flounder...

(via Skiffy)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Truque-Ing Along!

Some of you know my wonderful brother through his fantastic Ride the Machine blog ... as well as his posts to Meine Kleine Fabrik here.

Well, my bro just began not just a cool new blog - dedicated to trucks - but he's also now The Man With The Unmarked Van: an experienced, dependable, reliable, steadfast, consistent, trustworthy fellow ... for everything from hauling and transport, light electrical, small appliance repair; painting, staining, patinas, finishes, textures; home, garage, and small business organization; automotive and industrial cleaning; automotive detailing; light gardening; and much, much more... other words if you need it done (and if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area) then The Man With The Unmarked Van is the man for the job!

(via truque


(via raku-japanese-designed)
Nurikabe is a yokai that manifests as a wall that impedes or misdirects walking travelers at night. Trying to go around is futile as it extends itself forever. Knocking on the lower part of the wall makes it disappear. It has been suggested that the legend was created to explain travelers losing their bearings on long journeys.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nothing Funny About Organs...

Here's a silly little piece that originally ran on Dark Roasted Blend - and is not part of my fun book, Welcome to Weirdsville:

The jokes pretty much write themselves: ‘organ,’ ‘blowing pipes,’ ‘wind,’ etc., etc., so on, so forth …. But the giggling stops when you start to investigate the history, science, and simple magnificence that has gone into the creation of some of the world’s most incredible pipe organs.

As with a lot of important technological – as well as artistic – achievements, trying to determine who made the first one of these things is a bit fuzzy. Some experts give the ancient Greeks most of the credit – specifically the genius Ctesibius of Alexandria. Those early Greek organs were simplistic compared to the height of organ science … stop giggling … but the basic principle is still the same: force air through a pipe and you get sound. Make the pipe smaller, tighter, and the note that comes out is higher. Make the pipe larger, wider, and the note that comes out is lower.

What’s interesting is that portable organs were not just created but common in certain parts of Europe during the Middle Ages. They were probably about as mechanically simple as Ctesibius’s early invention, but it’s still remarkable that the technology was there and transportable by horse and wagon.

But when you want to talk about big organs … I asked you to stop giggling … you have to talk about the permanently installed ones.

As with astronomical clocks, large organs quickly became the blockbusters of their time. If yours was a town of any notoriety then you pretty much had to have one – the bigger the better. The fact that they were used by churches, like the aforementioned fancy clocks, couldn’t hurt either, as they had the deep pockets to afford them.

Here’s another bunch of interesting organ facts … what are you? 12? … the organ created for Halberstadt, Germany was a monster for its time. Its bellows had to be worked ceaselessly by ten men – who were, no doubt, music fans. The technology is impressive today, and was simply astounding when it was created in (ready for this?) 1361.

Because the technology of a pipe organ is relatively simple, making them bigger was pretty much a matter of just scaling them up: bigger pipes, bigger air supplies, etc. While there were a lot of monster organs … now you’re just embarrassing yourselves … there are some that took the musical instrument from noteworthy to astounding.

One of the largest is still played today: created in 1911, the Kotzschmar Memorial Organ in Portland, Maine, is a beautiful piece of engineering as well as musical artistry. Although much of its technology is hidden – which is often the case with organs – what is visible is simultaneously elegant and powerful, which also perfectly defines the music of its haunting notes.

Another great organ … are you finished? … can also still be heard. Created in 1904 for the St Louis World’s Fair, the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ in Philadelphia is a monster among monsters. Everything about the instrument looks like it was designed not just to make sound but a LOT of VERY BIG sounds: it has not one, not two … but, to get to the point, 28,482 pipes set in 461 rows. Its keyboard looks more like something used to launch a space shuttle rather than create music. But the organ definitely creates music – on a scale commensurate with its standing as the second largest pipe organ in the world.

Okay, get your giggles, guffaws and chortles out of the way. You ready to hear about the world’s largest organ? Unfortunately – as with a lot of big organ claims -- you’re likely to be disappointed.

Next time you’re in Atlantic City, swing on by and check it out in the Boardwalk Hall. Built in 1932, the organ makes that beast in Philadelphia look like a sickly kitten. While the Wannamaker Organ boasts those 28,482 pipes, the Boardwalk Hall organ has – ready for this? – about 33,000 pipes. I say ‘about’ because even the owner/operators of the machine aren’t sure. Even the engineering for the organ looks like something that might have been built to power the Muzak in the Tower of Babylon elevators.

The Boardwalk organ holds a total of three Guinness World Records: largest pipe organ in the world, largest musical instrument, and – it must have been a literal blast to have been there when this was set – the loudest musical instrument ever constructed. When asked how he felt about winning this last award, the keyboardist was heard, barely, to answer “what?”

Alas, the organ remains … you were waiting for me to make another joke, weren’t you? Well, I would if we weren’t talking about such a legendary musical instrument. The Boardwalk organ, alas, is largely silent: having been damaged by weather, water, budget cuts, and poor attempts at repair, it can still be heard but at only a fraction of its true potential and power.

And there’s nothing funny about an organ that isn't operating at full capacity.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Japanese Prints of the 18th and 19th Century

Japanese Prints from the 18th and 19th centuries: Katsushika Hokusai, Katsukawa Shunkō Ii, Utagawa Hirosige I, Utagawa Hirosige, Shosai Ikkei, Kikugawa Eiza, Kitagawa Utamaro
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow has placed online a catalog of their collection of Japanese Prints from the 18th and 19th centuries
You can browse through sections for landscapes, beauties, actors, warriors, sumo wrestlers, flowers and birds. 
You can also browse by artist or school, and there are additional reference materials.

(Images above: Katsushika Hokusai, Katsukawa Shunkō Ii, Utagawa Hirosige I, Utagawa Hirosige, Shosai Ikkei, Kikugawa Eiza, Kitagawa Utamaro) 
[Via MetaFilter]

Gue(ho)st house by Berdaguer & Péjus

Gue(ho)st house by Berdaguer & Péjus
Gue(ho)st house by Berdaguer & Péjus
Gue(ho)st house by Berdaguer & Péjus
From a ghost town to this: a Gue(ho)st house. The difference is that here we have a building that hasn’t been abandoned but has served a variety of functions: it’s been a prison, a school and even a funeral home. Now, the building, located in eastern France, is a gallery and visitors space that has been given a polystyrene makeover by artists Berdaguer and Péjus. The eeire and blobby addition to the building spills from the facades of the building onto the ground and only slightly resembles the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. The pair of artists also has a series of models named Pyschoarchitecture and another project, Architecture Fantome
(Gue(ho)st house by Berdaguer & Péjus via The Fox Is Black)
Thanks, bro!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Inner Them-

face trace 1 750x619 Deconstructed Anatomy Sculptures
Deconstructed Anatomy Sculptures
Korean artist hyungkoo lee is well known for his quirky art based on his research of physiognomy, and has again deconstructed anatomy as part of his ‘face trace’ exhibition at gallery skape in seoul.  
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The question of death selection may be the most important decision in your life

"Fear" noun, do not see Silence of the LambsTexas Chainsaw Massascre (any number), PsychoSaw (any number), Friday the 13th (any number), Hostel, etc.

"Fear" noun, see Seconds.

"Arthur Hamilton (played by John Randolph) is a middle-aged man, whose life has lost purpose. He is disengaged at work as a banker, and the love between him and his wife has dwindled. Through a friend whom Hamilton thought had died years earlier, Hamilton is approached by a secret organization that offers wealthy people a second chance at life. "The Company," in the person of Mr. Ruby (played by Jeff Corey), interviews Hamilton, and resorts to blackmail to convince Hamilton to sign on, foreshadowing the unfortunate consequences of accepting "The Company's" help.

"After extensive plastic surgery and psychoanalysis, Hamilton is transformed into Tony Wilson (played by Rock Hudson). As Wilson, he has life documents, friends, a home, and a devoted manservant. The detailed nature of this new existence suggests that there was once a real Tony Wilson, but what became of him remains a mystery ...."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jack Kirby


(via megatrip)

Female Furies double-splash!
—Mister Miracle #8 (1972) by Jack Kirby

Look At Them Bumpers!

(via drunkcle)

Arthur Ross’s 1945 vision of what women and cars would look like in the future. Pretty close. Art Ross was during his career the chief designer for Buick, then for Cadillac, then for Oldsmobile. Whenever you see a tail fin on a car, fall to your knees and thank God for Art Ross.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dante's Inferno by Michael Kaluta

(via Fantasy Ink by tom)
Christopher Enterprises released Michael Kaluta's Dante's Inferno portfolio in 1975. It featured 8 full color plates in an illustrated folder and was limited to 2000 signed and numbered copies. 

The Gate of Hell


Dis, Styx, and Dame Fortune

Paolo and Francesca

Furies and Tombs of the Heretics

Nessus on the Shore of Phlegethon


Roosting Demons