Fun facts from America's foremost birder.
Robot, Santa, Martians, Elves

Hello. I am still not here for another week or so. But look what was on TV Christmas Day: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

Run, Chaka. Run!

Land of the Lost: autographed Chaka photo
Twenty-eight bucks seems a little steep. Then again, it looks like Chaka inscribes a message on it in the Pakuni language, so maybe it's worth it.

Another fun thing on the Land of the Lost site: this lunchbox write-up.

[Thanks, John.]
possum fur nipple warmers
"For luxury in nipple warmers you shouldn't go past possum fur."

Maybe don't look at this from work.

The nipple warmers are made of "Eco-fur."

"Eco-Fur™... applies to fur products from New Zealand using fur of the trichosurus vulpecula (commonly known as the brushtail possum). Eco-fur is about the protection of New Zealand Native Forests."

Possums are destroying the forests; the obvious recourse is to turn those ecologically destructive animals into nipple warmers. And fashionable Davy Crockett caps. And possum puppets.

[Thanks, Lucy!]

Doppler 7000
You guys know that when I make fun of ABC-7's Doppler 7000 Radar Weather Information Tracking Tool, that it's because I love it right? I might make light of it and it's big high-falutin' name, but when I need weather information, who do I turn to? Dallas Raines and the Doppler 7K. Damn straight.
Draw tippy. Draw the pirate.
Congratulations, Aaron. You passed the Art Test. You definitely have quite a lot of something in your stomach. And that something is called talent.

New character: Tissue-san

"It's not just a tissue you always use. Ultra cute character Tissue san arrived!!"

Tissue-san is great. You can tell already, right? And wait until you meet his friends.

[Thanks, Chisato.]
From the same site as above.

Very strange Flash movie about a pacifier-headed baby hatched from a heart. (Or perhaps it could be interpreted as boob-headed baby?) Baby wants milk. Bears, get the baby some milk.

As soon as that's settled, there are three more milk-hungry pacifier-headed babies.

And then there are so many pacifier-headed babies hatching from hearts that the bears can't possibly keep up.

Sounds like a nightmare, but it's too cute to be a nightmare. Still, man, odd.

[Thanks, Chisato.]
A few neat Japanese illustrations. Very 70s. Movies Depicting Fauntleroy Suits: Ricky Schroeder
Google, just for future reference, I'm pretty much never ever looking for Little Lord Fauntleroy suits, so you can just always leave that search result out.
Los Angeles has a very slim margin of very nice weather. And whenever the weather actually has the audacity to step outside that comfortable range, like say go below 60 degrees or precipitate, alarms go off all over "the Southland" and everyone screams, "OH MY GOD OH MY GOD WHATAREWEGONNADO HOLYCRAP HOLYCRAP HOLYCRAP IT IS RAINING!!!!"

And people who normally only valet park to spare themselves the burden of walking 50 feet, will indulge in the luxury of valet parking in order to avoid walking 5 feet, complaining bitterly at each wet step they must endure from their too-expensive car to the too-expensive restaurant. Everyone worries; will they be able to dry off enough to relax and enjoy some this fantastic fusion cuisine?

And on the news, they'll spend 10 of their 20 allotted minutes gravely discussing the weather situation. Channel 7 staff meteorologist, Dallas Raines, will bust out the Doppler 7000 to show where the rain is actually coming down, or in the event that the rain has already stopped, where the rain was earlier today; you should be careful there because the ground may still be wet.

By the way, how awesome is it that channel 7 has a weatherman named Dallas Raines? They have another veteran weather guy named Johnny Mountain. So ABC-7 boasts probably the 2 best awesome fake-sounding weatherman names in the entire country.

Oh, and the weekend replacement for Dallas Raines, Garth Kemp, looks like a steroidally-enhanced version of Dallas himself. Like Dallas maybe built Garth from a kit, using his own DNA. And then raised him in a gym.

By the way, you can see on his bio that Dallas Raines was voted "Best Weather Presenter" at the "World Competition Level" in Paris, France in 1995. That's bigtime, the big weather-off in Paris. And that week, Dallas was in the zone. He saw weather coming that nobody but NOBODY knew about. He forecasted things that they're still talking about to this day--types of weather no one had ever even heard of before. And his presentation--one word: gorgeous. He presented that weather beautifully.

Anyway, what was I saying before I got all caught up on Dallas Raines and the Doppler 7000 and his clone and his awards? Oh yeah, it's raining.
Henry the Hand

Henry the Hand
Let's give a big hand to the biggest hand in the land, Henry the Hand, spokeshand for National Hand Washing Awareness Week.

Look at all the places he's been:

Cincinnati, where he played soccer and proclaimed that, "To be a Champion Hand Washer, like a Champion soccer player, requires dedication"; Washington DC, our nation's capitol; San Francisco, which he apparently visited as a tourist; and Dallas, where he ran with bulls. (Why, Henry? Why did you do that?)

Also, this poster shows you many types of hand-dwelling germs personified, each one explaining what sort of ailment it intends to give you.

By the way, National Hand Washing Awareness Week ended on December 14. So now we have 51 weeks of dirty hands until it rolls around again.

[via rjwhite] Dr. Foxglove's Polaroid Triptych Project
Dr. Foxglove has organized his collection of photographs taken with the Polaroid SX-70 into delightfully-themed triptychs. We get to watch each set develop. (The miracle of Flash speeds us through the Polaroid development process in mere seconds).

Also definitely check out "the Machine," an analog random Polaroid triptych generator. Someday every home will have one. Cityscape
Build your own cityscape to liven up your window. Or maybe you want to film your own bootleg version of the Letterman show in your living room. Or maybe you just have 5 months to kill.

[Thanks, John]

ebay: bubblegum-scented teeth-shaped homemade soap
sorry, this item has ended. so if you want to scrub your person with homemade teeth soap that smells like bubblegum (who doesn't?), then you will need to pull your own dental molds out of the box in the garage and make it yourself.

Muppet Magazine: 1983 to 1989

Muppet Magazine covers Celebrities appearing on these covers: Robin Williams, Ricky Schroder, Olivia Newton-John, The Cosby Kids, Pee-Wee Herman, Steve Martin, Jennifer Connelly, Kirk Cameron, Henry Winkler, Bronson Pinchot, Mr. T, Brooke Shields, Don Johnson, and Soleil Moon Frye.


Imagine if you lived in an apartment where you had to share a bathroom with all those celebrities.

"Bronson Pinchot, aren't you done yet? You've been in there for almost 20 minutes and Mr. T really needs to go! If Olivia Newton-John can take quick showers, you can too."

bonus: Muppets on the covers of other magazines. awesome Muppet fan site write-up of the Muppets' week on the Family Feud
from a year ago. some meaty bits:

"Louie Anderson... Even by game show host standards, he's just utterly repellent. It's baffling...."

"Mo tries to act up a little. 'How ya doin', Louie?' he snaps. 'You seem to enjoy your work.' Louie doesn't pause to chat. Louie wants to know what cats eat on their pizza...."

"I've started fantasizing that the host of Family Feud isn't Louie Anderson -- it's elfin performance art diva Laurie Anderson. Laurie comes out on stage playing the theme song on her electric violin. Behind her, huge screens show repeating film clips of telephone poles and deserted mesas. Laurie welcomes us to the show: 'There was this man. And there was this woman. And they were playing...' Plink, plink, plink. '... Family Feud.'"
google image search: ziggy
y'know, i was surprised because i had thought that the comic strip would dominate that page. The sacrificial lamb
pretty funny first-person account of Iranian Americans in Los Angeles catching and then sacrificing a lamb in order to protect a new Mercedes from evil eyes.

[Thank you very much, José.]
fascinating Bobby Fischer article from The Atlantic Monthly
Subtitle sums it up perfectly: "Paranoia, hubris, and hatred--the unraveling of the greatest chess player ever"

[Thank you, John.]
interesting stack of books
Check out what "This stack contains..." at the top.

[Thanks, Chisato.]

sleep deprivation
if you get like 4 hours of sleep a night for a couple weeks straight, you might look at your website one morning and realize that in the middle of the night, your dumb, tired brain posted some long crazy-ass entry about 80s musicians named billy.
Today's entry takes up two columns because there is a lot to say about Billys.

Billy Rock
I've been thinking a bit about Billys in the music industry. I hope you don't mind if I share my thoughts on the matter with you.

For a while in the 80s, there were lots of popular musicians named Billy: Billy Squier, Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Billy Ocean.

There aren't as many musical Billys nowadays.

By the way, speaking of those musical Billys, most particularly the one Billy mentioned above who is the most rocking Billy of the group, check out the jammin' Flash on the front page of billysquier.com.

I wish it looped because I could watch that all day.

Oh, also, I just thought of some bonus Billys for you, in the category of 80s rock Billys: Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top. And Billy Zoom from X.

Billy Zoom might be my favorite musical Billy. (No offense to the other Billys, all of whom I like okay. Except Billy Ocean. I hate Billy Ocean.)

And here's a brain teaser that you could give your friends: "what do these words have in common? Zoom idol ocean joel gibbons squier."

Honestly, you should really know the answer by now. But maybe your friends won't. I just don't know how knowledgable the general public is of 80s music Billys. I feel like I know mine pretty well.

Anyway, if you give someone that quiz, afterwards, you can tell them their Billy Quotient.

"Excellent, you have a Billy Quotient of almost a thousand. It says if you score above 800, then you're highly intelligent, intuitive and kind."

You can hold Cosmopolitan or some other magazine when you give them the Billy Quiz and pretend it's one of those quizzes they have in magazines.

Or you could wear a lab coat and carry a clip board. And after they answer or say they don't know the answer, you can write on the clip board and say to yourself, "Hmmm, interesting. Very interesting." And then turn and walk away briskly.

Also, if you have a meeting (especially if you work at one of those places that has a morning meeting every morning), maybe try to start that meeting today with my musical Billy brain teaser.

"Hey, does anyone here like brain teasers? Because I have a terrific one." That's how you can introduce it.

(I just thought of a couple more 80s music Billys but I'm done talking about them now. Well, Billy Bragg was one of them. But now I'm really done.)