Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

The Beach Girls and the Monster: 1965

Sea, Sand And Slaughter!

A group of young people are hanging out at Malibu Beach, California, dancing and surfing, when one girl plays a trick on her boyfriend by putting sand on his hot dog. She runs away, and he chases her, but she hides behind a rock; looking around, she spies a cave and approaches it when suddenly a seaweed-covered fish-man emerges from the darkness and claws her to death. Her body is discovered by one of her friends, who screams and alerts the police, who notice a track of large footprints in the sand - could they have belonged to the monster? The cops call on oceanographer Dr Otto Lindsay (Jon Hall) to examine the prints, and he deduces a sea creature is responsible - and it could strike again...

This sun-drenched horror in underwhelming black and white was written by Joan Gardner, and it apparently worked on the premise that what the craze for Beach Party movies really needed was a visit from the Creature from the Black Lagoon. The monster is a man in a bug-eyed rubber suit, but possibly gives the best performance in the film considering the modest amount he is required to do - the rest of the cast make Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello look like Sir Laurence Olivier and Katharine Hepburn. As the director and star, Jon Hall seems to be making a doomed attempt to break back into the matinee idol position he once held, but he is hampered by the ridiculous script.

If you're on the look out for fun in the sun, then you'd be advised to look elsewhere, because too much of the short running time is caught up, not with tracking the sea beast, but with Dr Lindsay's domestic problems. He is married to his second wife, Vicky (Sue Casey), a bitchy woman who is unsatisfied by her husband's advances and even flirts with her stepson, Richard (Arnold Lessing). Richard is causing Otto trouble too, being reluctant to join the family business in oceanography and preferring to enjoy himself on the beach. Overreacting Otto tells the police that he despises the beach kids, who are capable of anything, including murder!

Living with Otto and his family is Mark (Walker Edmiston), an intense sculptor crippled previously in a car crash who is obsessed with Vicky, and is making a bust of her. What isn't clear at the start is that the film is a whodunnit, and someone is responsible for sending out the monster to cause mayhem - could it be Mark, who made a small mermaid statue of the first victim? Judging by the tone of kids just wanting to frolic and adults (one in particular) wanting them to take life more seriously, maybe we should be looking elsewhere for the culprit. However, the soap opera antics of the main characters make you wonder whether the kids might have the right idea.

Although just over an hour long, there's quite a bit of padding, and of course, surf music. The producers like the main title theme so much that they use it at every opportunity, and whenever the beach bunnies are seen dancing, it's that same piece of music jangling away on the tape recorder. There are other songs, including bongo-heavy one which the cast mime to while fooling around with the contents of the local joke shop, and the lighthearted (considering their friend has been murdered) "Monster in the Surf", complete with join-in clapping and whooping. There's also some actual surfing footage crowbarred in, obviously not performed by any of the actors. The Beach Girls and the Monster just about gets by on campy appeal, but not much else, and it's a pity they couldn't afford to shoot it in colour to brighten it up. Music by Frank Sinatra Jr.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What's Behind Halloween?

Halloween costume at a deaf social club, photo by Stephanie A. Hall

Where Our Weird Rituals Originated

Halloween, perhaps our weirdest annual celebration, is even stranger than it seems. Unlike the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, it is neither patriotic nor historical, yet it is celebrated nationally. Unlike Christmas, Easter or Passover, Halloween is not associated with a particular religion. Yet it weaves spirituality, death and religious beliefs into our present and historical imaginations.

Halloween is hugely popular, infused with its own set of immediately recognizable symbols, rituals and stories. Yet most Americans have little, if any, sense of the hidden meanings and motives of the event in which they so enthusiastically participate.

Even its origin is complex and uncertain. Many Americans have heard rumblings that Halloween is a "pagan" or pre-European-Christian holiday with roots in Celtic traditions. A common and slightly elaborated version of this notion holds that Halloween is a descendent of the Celtic Samhain festival, which, on November 1, marked both the Celtic New Year and the day during which dead souls were believed to revisit Earth.

But the name "Halloween" has distinctly Christian origins. In efforts to stop seemingly non-Christian celebrations, the Roman Catholic Church incorporated Samhain festivities into the Christian calendar.

In 731 A.D., November 1 was declared All Saints' Day (All Hallows Day). October 31 thus became All Hallows Eve, in time shortened to "Halloween." Even with the encouragement of activities such as masquerading pageants of saints and the further, complicating step of adding Nov. 2 as All Souls Day to the church calendar after the year 1000, some "non-Christian" elements survive in Halloween.

Some elements, however, have a distinctively Native American heritage. One key symbol-the pumpkin-was unknown to Europeans before Columbus. But it was part of the sacred trinity of native American foods: squash, beans and maize, which appears in the form of candy corn and the corn shocks that decorate front porches. The original European version of the jack-o'-lantern was a turnip.

Some students of the holiday maintain that trick-or-treating is linked to Irish Samhain traditions and thus became popular about the time that the Irish began immigrating to the United States in large numbers. Presumably during Samhain, people opened their doors and provided food to the wandering dead, so people eventually started dressing like wandering dead souls and demanding food.

Others suspect that the custom was introduced to replace, or at least mitigate, the pranks or even destruction that typically accompanied the holiday even in the most conservative rural communities.

In Hoxie, a town of 1,500 in northwest Kansas, senior community members recall that, in the old days, "a certain number of outhouses became horizontal," when loose items such as garden hoses, trash cans and lawn furniture were dragged onto Main Street to block traffic the next morning.

However, trick-or-treating may be a relatively recent phenomenon coinciding with population shifts from rural to urban and suburban environments. It is, after all, difficult to go door to door when the doors are miles apart. Despite popular laments that Halloween is no longer the holiday "it always has been," folklorist Tad Tuleja argues that trick-or-treating may have developed during the 1930s as a means to control young people's Halloween night pranks.

The words "trick or treat" apparently were not in use until 1941, when they first appear in files of Merriam-Webster, Inc., after being used as the title of a poem in The Saturday Evening Post. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrase "trick-or-treating" first appeared in The Sun in Baltimore in 1950. But the practice may be considerably older.

Finally, many students of folklore see in Halloween a connection to England's Guy Fawkes Day, the Nov. 5 commemoration of a foiled attempt to blow up the king and Parliament in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Guy Fawkes Day features bonfires, children soliciting "a penny for the guy" and pranking.

Halloween also may be related to early American harvest festivals, with apple bobbing, hayrides, and many local variations of games to divine the identity of a future mate. Those games probably derive from traditional beliefs in Britain and Ireland that spirits loosed on Halloween made the day particularly good for augury.

Connections to death, disorder, endings and to what Western traditions take to be the separate and set-apart world of the spirits all are consistent elements in tales about Halloween's origin.

Cultural anthropologists, who study the forms and meanings of human culture, have found that among the most intriguing meanings of Halloween are those listed below, each of them a window into the cultural and social dynamics of the country.

Dark Harvest

The quintessential symbols of Halloween fall into three major categories. Symbols of death include graveyards, ghosts, skeletons, haunted houses. Symbols of evil and misfortune are witches, goblins, black cats. Symbols of harvest are pumpkins, scarecrows, corn shocks and candy corn.
The first two categories tap deep, irresolvable, pan-human dilemmas. Ways of dealing with and symbolizing death and evil are represented in some of the earliest archaeological remains of human ritual activity. One traditional means of facing the reality of death is to view it as a transition and to continue a relationship with the dead

Hence the various rituals for keeping the departed involved in the present world through seances, graveside visits, prayer or other communication. Ideas about an afterlife or notions of ghosts and vampires also can be understood as attempts to challenge the finality and fear surrounding human mortality.

Ritual Reversals

Cultures have ways to challenge death but have a hard time beating it. Likewise, no culture has eliminated misfortune and evil, though humans keep trying. Typical American methods are control and avoidance-locking up, shutting out, buckling up, watching out, staying away.
Yet on Halloween, scary things suddenly are embraced wholeheartedly, brought to front porches and displayed. And children, those innocents whom we most want to protect from death and danger, are an integral part of the annual ritual.

At Halloween, Americans are doing something that all human beings do—confronting the unknown with special symbols and rituals.

For a while, we pull these fearful and painful realities into a relatively contained and public context. We share them with our children. We create a special and safe moment during which danger and death, skeletons and strangers can safely be part of our experience. Then we lock our doors again and return to our everyday, safe American lives. Halloween reverses the usual order of many things in many ways.

Anthropologists have analyzed rituals of reversal in settings around the world. Days when the living walk around as if dead, and the dead are thought to walk around as if living, are not that unusual. In fact, Halloween can be seen as the American inversion ritual par excellence.

During rituals of inversion, people can violate otherwise solid social codes. Less powerful people can break the rules, reverse the order of expected actions, flaunt otherwise unacceptable ways of dress or behavior or reverse the usual roles of parent-child, boss-worker, male-female.

Thus, it is common to see groups of children "threatening" adults for candy. Everyday people don masks of the famous. Adults dress like children and children like adults. Pranks and mockery ordinarily not allowed become commonplace.

In the past, many anthropologists focused on the conservative functions of rituals, considering the reversals a sort of social pressure-release valve. In this view, the Halloween ritual means something like:

"Let the children eat as much candy as they want, let the poor be rich, let the dead walk the Earth, let us get scared out of our wits and let us make fun of those we usually must respect. Afterward, we'll be better able to cope with, and settle for, our usual lives."

Celebrating youngsters create their own pumpkin patch. (The Post)
But that doesn't get at the power of ritual to make everyday life different.

More recently, anthropologists have shown that maintaining the status quo is not the only result of rituals of reversal. The rituals can actually reshape the usual order of things.

For instance, the gay community has actively used the holiday to assert a new and more visible social presence and power. The fantasy elements of masquerade, which temporarily permit one to be virtually whomever he or she wants to be, can foster true personal liberation and change. Playing a Halloween prank on a too-serious boss may change the tone of the office after the holiday.

The ritual reversals of Halloween also have potential power for children, serving as an opportunity to go to the door of the spooky house, visit a graveyard or visit the otherwise not-too-friendly neighbor.

Nevertheless, Halloween is still profoundly about sociability and norms. Reversals must fall within socially prescribed boundaries. Pranks and jokes are not supposed to cause permanent harm. Children are expected to say thank you at the door. Halloween can reinforce neighborliness and pro-social behavior.

Horror Stories

The symbols and rituals of Halloween link disorder and danger with cultural ideas about order and safety. But chaos still lurks, in reality or, much more often, in durable legends.
Virtually everyone has heard at least one story about poison or razor blades in apples, hypodermics in candy or dangerous items in grab bags. Each year, these stories are revived, and precautions are taken. Some call for an end to trick-or-treating, many parents allow children to visit only homes of people they know and many hospitals provide free candy X-ray service. Every year, new horror stories emerge, and old ones are retold.

Many social analysts have reasoned that these stories, while often thought true, are really examples of "urban legends" in the making, much the same as accounts of giant alligators in city sewers or rodents in soft-drink bottles. Horrible Halloween incidents occur occasionally. But how many people have firsthand evidence of someone hurt by Halloween candy? Seen in context, our fears about dangerous treats often seem more like ritual retellings than strictly rational worries.

Shopping malls and many schools now offer a "safe" alternative to neighborhood trick-or-treating so children will not be exposed to presumed danger. Local customs have changed accordingly. A resident of Severn, Md., says that "no one hands out any homemade items or home-filled treat bags, knowing that, when the children get home, their parents will" trash those items.

Strictly speaking, however, one should have no more reason to trust mall shopkeepers, whom the family does not know personally, than to mistrust people a few blocks away in another neighborhood. But the warnings and annual repetition of horror stories are expressions of society's profound belief that the world is a scary place for children, who need protection, especially from individual, unaffiliated strangers.

The Market for Fright

As a result, tension often is genuine between the trick-or-treat tradition and increasingly mobile, unstable neighborhoods with perceived "stranger danger." The marketplace has jumped to deal with such fears by minimizing the unknown.
For example, every Burger King restaurant looks alike and every "treat" dispensed there is exactly what parents expect. So a Burger King executive told a food-industry trade magazine last year that "increasingly, it is more of a challenge for parents to provide a controlled, safe, fun experience. And taking kids to Burger King to get a Halloween-themed toy is . . . a safe alternative for kids."

Recently, retailers have offered worried parents free bagels in Pittsburgh, 99-cent "monster eyes" with purchase of a Taco Bell meal and glow-in-the-dark treat buckets from Jack in the Box. All are part of what makes Halloween a $2.5 billion bonanza for retailers.

Moreover, this is part of a larger message. Through Halloween safety reminders and sponsored activities, children are taught that schools, hospitals, organizations and retail establishments have their interests at heart while individuals in homes do not.

What effect such beliefs might have on American culture remain to be seen. But they accord nicely with one of the two major contemporary shifts in American Halloween celebration. One is a transformation of the homemade neighborhood character of the event to one framed by institutions, corporations and consumer culture.

Because both adults and children participate and because the event involves decorations, candy, costumes and many other consumer products, Halloween is a marketer's dream, reported to be the fastest-growing retail season. Market researchers say 78 percent of households distributed treats in 1996. Halloween ranks as the leading holiday for U.S. candy sales, ahead of Christmas for the $20 billion annual U.S. confection industry.

Tita Rutledge, owner of a Baltimore costume shop, says the two weeks surrounding Halloween generate one-third of her store's total annual income. House and party decorations sell briskly nationwide. Holiday packaging, on cereal, for instance, and product tie-ins from costumes to coupons increase every year. "Slasher" movies light up the marquees; mock haunted houses for neighborhood fun or organizational profit pop up from coast to coast.


The second major trend in U.S. Halloween customs is an increasing tendency to regard the holiday as one also for adults. Halloween has joined New Year's Eve and Super Bowl Sunday as the most popular party dates for American adults. As one shop owner summed up the situation: "Halloween is becoming more of an adult holiday. Parents don't want their kids out trick-or-treating, so they have more time for themselves."
Anthropologists expect customs and cultural traditions to change over time. Baltimore provides an interesting nearby example of the way Halloween seems to be melding with other, primarily adult, events.

One is the Maryland Renaissance Festival, now in its 22nd consecutive year. The festival, which occurs on weekends for two months preceding Halloween, encourages costuming, and some buying and renting by adults is done for the festival. Another such event is a local novelty, the Halloween wedding.

Rutledge describes outfits she made for a Halloween wedding last year. The bride wore a red velvet dress a la Queen Isabella of Spain, and the groom wore matching doublet and tights. The father of the bride was festooned in a blue velvet tunic, tights and boots. The bride's mother appeared in a yellow underdress with blue brocade top. The noble nature of the costume choices made a good fit for a wedding, where high style and ceremonial dress are already the rule.

A manager at Baltimore's A&M Costume Gallery also cites increased Halloween wedding business, though she describes the typical mode as bride and groom dressed in conventional white while guests are costumed for Halloween.

Rutledge also describes a Cinderella Halloween wedding featuring glass slippers and gold painted pumpkins.

Over time, will such intermingling and merging of celebrations result in new Halloween stories? Will researchers soon examine evidence and imagine that Halloween was the Celtic time for marriages? Will we see a direct connection between "who-will-I-marry?" divination games once popular as a Halloween activity and Halloween wedding parties?

New forms of Halloween seem to be burgeoning, particularly in urban areas where anthropologists often seek rapid cultural change.

Halloween is a continually fascinating aspect of the constantly changing social world and of human's seemingly boundless capacity to invent traditions, confront danger and death in novel ways and remake symbols to fit new realities.

Special to The Washington Post: Wednesday, October 14, 1998

Thanks to Ken C. Erickson, an anthropologist, is director of the Center for Ethnographic Research at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. And Patricia Sunderland is an anthropologist with B/R/S Group, Inc., a consumer research firm.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

What The Devil?

Ok kids, two more days till Halloween. A Helluva time to visit Deviled Ham. A blog dedicated to depictions of Satan in pop culture.


Friday, October 28, 2005

All iWant For Christmas!

Tivoli Audio’s iSongBook ($329) may well wind up becoming the premium iPod speaker buyer’s pick of choice.

iSong Book

I swear, that's all I want!


That's Right,


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Let's Go To The Zoo!

Bembo's Zoo, an animation for the children's book by Roberto deVicq de Cumptich. (Thanks to The Design Observer for the link.)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Awesome Is This Think You'll Believe I

Backward messages in music (commonly known as Backward Masking) have been a controversy ever since the late 60s, when messages were found backwards on some Beatles' albums that hinted Paul McCartney had died. The controversy raged extensively in the late 70s and early 80s when religious fundamentalists claimed that Satan possessed the minds of singers, causing them to insert messages backwards into albums. As we now know, many of these backward messages were in fact examples of Reverse Speech in music. Speech reversals occur naturally in all forms of speech, sung or spoken. This site lists some examples of Reverse Speech in music.

Site The To Go!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Lights Out, Everybody!

Just in time for Halloween! The freindly folks over at Old Time Radio are sharing some wild and weird radio featuring programs like Witch's Tale, Lights Out, Innersanctum, Quiet Please, The Haunted Hour and others that directly inspired Horror Comics and shows like Twilight Zone and Thriller.

Although the first radio stations began broadcasting in 1920, it wasn't till the golden age of radio that horror shows were broadcast. Radio was a perfect arena for horror due to the endless possibilities for sound effects. Often, a spooky voice would tell a story while sound effects conjured up the images of thunder and lightening and other atmospheric surroundings.

With the advent of television, radio slowly evaporated, although "Lights Out" made the transition to television in 1949, featuring Frank Gallop as host and Jack La Rue as narrator. The old time radio horror show, "Witch's Tale" is reported to have served as inspiration for EC Comics, which virtually, visually presented old time radio style story telling.

In 1992 Mystery Playhouse honored the golden age of horror radio with a set of trading cards, "Tune in for Terror", featuring art that depicted scenes from famous horror radio broadcasts. OTR continues to be enjoyed by people around the world thanks to the magic of the Internet.

So, get yourself into the Halloween mode and downlaod, tune in and check out The Monster Club while you're digging the awesome collection of Monster Mag Covers!

Lights Out, Everybody!

That's Right,


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Dine & Dash!

You can tell Halloween is just around the corner. We spotted this guy running down Broadway the other night after skipping his tab at Liberty Bar. Weird night.

Check out some more Trippy Weird Things happening on the third planet from the sun...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Only 15 Days To Halloween!

If you think this poster is cheesey, stay tuned - I've got some nice audio treats coming just in time for Halloween...

"Halloween was the time when the invisible world of the spirits was closer than at any other point in the year. Since spirits supposedly could help one predict the future, various methods of divining the future were used on Halloween and the results were accepted in all seriousness.They concerned such questions as the identity of future spouses, the chances for wealth or good fortune, and the identity of those who would die during the coming months."
-- "An American Book of Days"

For many months, now, your friend and mine, The Laughing Skeleton, has scoured the shelves of several libraries, poring over antiquated volumes of forgotten lore to bring you as many of the old divination techniques as can be found. They are all easy to do and require no exotic equipment or special knowledge. They do, however, demand a certain amount of curiosity and respect, they just might work!

Mirrors Can Be A Window To A Shadowy Realm That Mortals Hardly Ever See.
You can use a mirror to see the face of your Soul Mate. First, you must light a single candle. Just before midnight all others must leave the room and you must darken the room except for your candle. Facing the mirror and holding the candle in front of you with both hands, you must close your eyes and count to twelve. When you get to twelve you can open your eyes. In the mirror, just over your shoulder, you may see the reflection of the face of your Soul Mate. The image may disappear quickly, but, whatever you do, don't turn around until its gone.

Another way to see more in your mirror is to take it outside on Halloween night. Set it up so that it is filled with moonlight. A face will appear in the glass that will have a role in your future. The catch, is that it cannot be known whether that person will do you harm or benefit you.

Last, but not least, walk backwards down a flight of stairs into a darkened room. Use a hand mirror so you can see behind you. When you reach your 13th step, you will see your true love's face in the mirror. Watch your step!

A Ball Of String May Be The Thing To Catch Your Own True Love.
Just before midnight, open a window that faces the Moon and throw a ball of string or blue yarn out the window. Be sure to hold on to one end of the string and begin to roll it back up through the window. Recite a poem or rhyme backwards while you roll up the string. If the string catches on a branch or twig, listen closely as you tug it and ask "Who holds?" The wind will whisper the name of your Soul Mate.

Apples & Nuts May Tell Of Love's Future Bounty.
One way to use an apple to determine the name of your True Love, is to peel the apple in one continuous peel, being careful not to leave any skin on the apple or break the peel. Then, you must eat the apple and keep the seeds and stem in your left hand. When you've managed that, sit in a chair and throw the peel over your left shoulder with your right hand. The peel will form the shape of a letter on the floor. That is the first initial of the one you will marry.

A way to use chestnuts to determine which suitor will remain true to you is to carve your initials on one. Also mark several others with the initials of your possible mates. Years ago, these would have been placed in a circle, the nut marked with your initials in the center, on a hot hearth stone. You may place them in a Halloween bonfire, or even on a tray in the oven. Any nut that explodes violently may not be a good mate for you. After the chestnuts have cooked, the one whose nut remains nearest yours is the person that the fates have chosen for you.

To Summon Your Soul Mate, Invite Them To A "Dumb Supper".
Silent or Mute is the meaning of "dumb" intended here. To summon the spirit of your Soul Mate, or any other agreed upon spirit, a Dumb Supper will often produce favorable results. You alone, or with two other helpers, must prepare a meal and set the table without uttering a single word. When setting the table, you must set a place for the "guest" that you are inviting. The meal must be eaten in silence and food must be served to the "guest's" plate. Sometime before the meal is over, the visitor will make his or her presence known. You may catch a glimpse, but, more than likely, you will hear their voice.

The Colcannon
A Colcannon is a cake or mashed vegetable pie with certain objects baked into it; a ring, a coin, a toy, and a thimble. The entire cake must be divided up amongst everyone present. The person whose slice contains the ring will marry soon, the one who gets the coin will receive riches, the one who receives the toy will have children, and the one whose slice contains the thimble will never marry. Of course, the cake's fortune-telling power is strongest when served on Halloween, just before midnight.

See Your True Love's Face In A Dream.
To dream of your true love, you must eat a salt cake (a soft pretzel or salt bagel will do) before going to bed. You must not drink any water with the salt cake, nor can you speak to anyone until the next morning. Be sure to get into bed backwards. While you sleep, you will dream that a person brings you a drink of water. That person is your true love. The kind of cup that carries the water may tell you how wealthy you will be; gold is most favorable, glass is good, plastic or paper is not a good sign. If you dream that you get a drink for yourself, you will never marry.

You May Get To Peek At The Future On Halloween.
In Wales it was believed that if you peeked through the keyhole of the door to the local church as the clock was striking midnight on Halloween, you would surely see visions of those who will die in the next year. Their spirits being almost loosed from their earthly bonds.

A Circle Of Stones May Tell Your Fate.
Before the wood for the Halloween bonfire has been set in place, you must each pick a palm-sized stone and mark it with your name. The stones should be placed in a tight circle and the bonfire built on top of them. The next morning, when the ashes have cooled, they should be gently swept away to reveal the circle of stones. Anyone whose stone has moved significantly out of the circle will not be there to place another stone next year.

A Candle's Light Will Mimic Your Life.
A shovel-full of earth from a churchyard must be formed into a circular mound. A candle should be placed into the mound by each person present. After the Sun has set, the candles should all be lit by a single match. As each candle burns down, so will the life of the person who placed it. The candle that goes out first belongs to the person who will die first. The candle that stays lit the longest, belongs to the person who has the most life yet to live.

Big gracias to The Laughing Skeleton

Stay tuned for lots of creepy cool Halloween Sounds...

That's Right!


Friday, October 14, 2005

Mmmm. Bit-O-Honey...

Bit O' Honey. Bar none, is at the top of my list of The Best Candy on the planet. Next is Big Hunk, Red Hots, Peanut M&M's (straight out of the freezer) and dude, you really can't watch anything on the Big Screen at The Tiki Bijou without Milk Duds, Raisinettes or Goobers.

Bit-O-Honey first appeared in 1924 and was made by the Schutter-Johnson Company of Chicago. Bit-O-Honey was a new kind of candy bar consisting of six pieces of candy wrapped in wax paper and then packaged in a wrapper. Almond bits embedded in a honey-flavored taffy made for a long-chewing candy. Today, Bit-O-Honey is made by the Nestle Company.

That's Right Bit O'Honey!

Bit O'Honey Nutritional lowdown


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Cool Fresh Geek Stuff

Picasso said that genius is the art of concealing your sources. We’ve all got our own set of personal antidotes and secret sources that enable us to simply get the job done. Although these links are not exactly secret, they do, in both direct and abstract ways, influence the way I approach both work and play. Think of these as short cuts to what’s hip and happening as we speak. But be careful. Most of these sites have links and archives directing and linking to even more galleries and recommended sites that will lead you further down rabbit holes and seemingly endless avenues that will not only waste your precious awake time but will eventually invade your sleep as well. With that said, here are a few of my favorite sites I’ve put under the heading of Trends at my HMK Link Vault. Enjoy and please, don't for get to eat.

So, what’s up with the kids? A good place to start is Ypulse. And when I’m looking for cool gear and technology stuff I can always get a quick fix at Cool Hunting, PSFK, Gizmo Cool, and Uber Gizmo.

And being the Mac guy that I is, a week doesn’t go by without checking out The Cult of Mac. Leander Kahney, the author of last years best selling Cult of Mac book has a new book coming out November 2005 called The Cult of iPod featuring a couple of my iPod speakers (see above). Check out The Cult Of Mac and see what the Mac freaks are geeking on this week.

And as usual, there’s always the ever expanding HMK Link Vault.

Can’t wait to hear what Steve Job’s is going to announce today. I hope it’s more than an 80GB iPod...

That’ Right,


Monday, October 10, 2005

John Dufilho

The John Dufilho (Deathray Davies, I Love Math, Bedwetter, Radsoles, 13) self-titled solo debut hits stores Oct. 18th. Check the Glurp Records MP3 page for a preview.

Listening party Monday the 17th from 10-2 at The Cavern Club. CP, from the Polyphonic Spree is gonna DJ. Don't miss it!

I'm selling bootleg mp3 copies for $50.00 but you're probably better off getting yourself a real copy for 10.50 at

Go Doof!


Friday, October 07, 2005

The NHL Is Looking Up

They're back... And they have a new logo. I always thought the orange and black combo in the original logo looked kind of agressive and mean, just like hockey itself. Oh well, what do I know?

Reminds me of when I worked in the Pro Shop of the Boston Gahden back in 1989. You could easily knock off a Boston Bruin fan the moment you met one - the faint smell of beer, the missing teeth. Spotting male fans was even easier.

Well, Sweet Caroline's playing at Fenway and the Sox are down 0-2 in the series and it's 4-3 - Chicago. Gotta go drink a beer and root for the Team.

That's Right,


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

As If...

As if I needed another short cut for getting things done at the studio. Thanks to the folks over at The Ad Concepter I can take all the 3 hour lunches I want and sometimes even sneak in a movie...

And then there's this.

So, Dell. What is up? I thought y'all had dropped the Stoner Dude and were going to be exclusively tageting the upscale market. The pitch for your new Ditty is pretty sweet (makes sencimelia to me anyway) even more, it's proof that you can take the Dude out of Dell but you can't take the Dell out of Dude... Dude, that makes no sense. Anyway, dig the Dell Ditty

If you're like me and you like a fresh screen saver every now and then, you'll really dig this selection of swanky Pin Ups. If you're in need of a weather graphic you'll thank me for this one: Rain? (this one takes a second or two to load but, like the rain, it's worth the wait.)

Speaking of drinking, say hello to The Bar Man!

Ok, have a great week,