World’s Strangest

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A Freelancer’s Christmas Greeting

(YouTube link) Floyd Hayes’ Christmas video greeting illustrates what the holiday is like for his company. ‘Tis the season for agencies to send out holiday videos in a thinly veiled attempt to get new business. Here’s my attempt. May your holidays be a break from the perpetual grind of quiet desperation. -Thanks, Floyd!

R.I.P. Muppeteer Jerry Nelson

Jerry Nelson, one of the original Muppeteers, died last night after a battle with cancer. Nelson was already a professional puppeteer when Jim Henson hired him to fill in while Frank Oz served in the military in the 1960s. Although his Muppet credits are numerous, Nelson was best known as The Count. With the exception of [...]

The Late Movies: “Paul’s Boutique” Turns 23

The Beastie Boys released their opus Paul’s Boutique today, July 25, way back in 1989. (To some of us that doesn’t seem so long ago.) It was their second record, and the band faced tremendous pressure to meet or exceed Licensed to Ill, known for anthemic party-rock/hip-hop hits like “(You Gotta) Fight for [...]

The Late Movies: The Secret Life of Machines

I love The Secret Life of Machines, a late-1980s series about how everyday machines work. Presented primarily by engineer/cartoonist/artist Tim Hunkin, it’s understated, funny, and deeply smart — a gently curious investigation of how things go. Hunkin wrote about the first series: The two sides of my life – researching stuff in books for [...]

Fascinating Illustrations By Anatoly Fomenko

Russian mathematician Anatoly Fomenko creates illustrations which are both expressions of mathematical concepts and visual  depictions of his innermost thoughts and emotions. With razor sharp use of perspective, abstract imagery and many shades of gray, Anatoly’s works are at once amazing and confounding, and would look right at home on the cover of a Pink Floyd [...]

When Did the FBI Start Using “Wanted” Posters?

On a December night in 1919, a 23-year-old soldier named William N. Bishop managed to slip out of the stockade at Virginia’s Camp A.A. Humphreys and escape into the surrounding woods. Unable to locate Bishop, the army requested the assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Division of Investigation, the precursor to the Federal Bureau of [...]

The Late Movies: Guess The Theme 54

Welcome back to the game that is sweeping the nation, GUESS THE THEME! All the clips below have something in common. Leave your best guesses in the comments. Pink Floyd – Money Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You Michael Jackson – Thriller Shania Twain – Man! I Feel Like A Woman! AC/DC – Back In Black Fleetwood [...]

The Stories Behind 11 Classic Album Covers

1. The Velvet Underground & Nico, aka “The Banana Album” (1967) The Velvet Underground & Nico Design by Andy Warhol With apologies to Carmen Miranda and Chiquita, the world’s most famous banana is the ripe, peelable print on the cover of the Velvets’ debut. Designed by pop artist Andy Warhol, the image was a silkscreen made from simple black-and-white [...]

8 Bands Named After People Not In The Band

Bands like Van Hallen, The Alan Parsons Project, Phish and Santana all are named after members in the band. But what about bands named after people NOT in the band? Here’s a look at eight of them: 1. Pink Floyd There’s a record executive in the song “Have A Cigar” that says, “Oh, by the way, which [...]

Schlock Jocks: TV’s Coolest Horror Hosts

In 1957, Universal Pictures leased a package of classic horror films and forgotten B-movies to television stations across the country. To promote the package, stations hired actors (and sometimes newscasters and weathermen) to play emcees in the guise of mad scientists, vampires and ghouls. By the mid-1960s, almost every major American city had their own [...]