The Museum Pick-Up

Yes, as a matter of fact, that is the reason why I went to art school.

from Picking Up Girls Made Easy, an LP which was sold through advertisements in 1970's adult magazines. Listen to the rest here.


Music from The Aether

Of the thousands of theremin videos, this is my favorite. It's a beautiful composition, masterfully played (on what many consider to be the world's most difficult instrument), on a futuristic soundstage with the musician in a Star Trek getup. This is Lydia Kavina, the grand-niece of Leon Theremin. He began training her on the instrument when she was nine years old. She continues to tour and give lessons around the world, and has recorded original music and film soundtracks. Visit her website.

If interested, the Moog Etherwave Pro is considered the finest Theremin currently manufactured. If you're on a budget, go with the Paia Theremax. I actually prefer its warmer tone over the Moog models. It's available only as a kit, so you'll need soldering skills. I paid $120 for the components and built my own antennae and case. Pictures and video here.

As mentioned, it can take a while to learn. Mastery depends on absolute pitch (which is most likely a genetic predisposition) and tons of practice. I can barely do anything with it myself, but it's a fun gizmo nonetheless.


Futurechimp History: Der Fuhrer's Ball

It's official: Hitler really did have monorchism. A long-lost testimony from the surgeon who treated his WW1 groin injury has surfaced, and it confirms his sorry situation. Read the details here, and a more entertaining tabloid slant on the story here. Both of the articles mention the popular song about the subject, based on the melody from the "Colonel Bogey March". I was taught a variation on the tune way back when I was a lad, and it's still my favorite for bringing "il duce" into the formula:

Hitler has only got one ball
Goerring has two but they are small
Himmler has something similar
but Mussolini has no balls at all

I also have a couple different ideas for screenplays:

- you've probably heard this urban legend. Move the setting to WW1. Show Hitler taking a bullet through the scrotum, which then impregnates a battlefield nurse. The kid is born, discovers his lineage, and follows in his father's footsteps and succeeds in taking over the world. Since he'd have to be born in 1916, it would be "alternative history" set in the 50's or 60's. Still making casting decisions, so email your headshot (jpeg or pdf only) to schutzstaffel-scrote@stexeweb.com.

-"They Saved Hitler's Nut". The surgeon kept the testicle alive, and it survives into the present day. It gets transplanted into Lance Armstrong (so he can have a full set once again), but it takes over his mind. He gets all Hitlered out, then goes and invades Poland. A friend suggested an alternate title: "Neo-Nazi Nutsack".


Futurechimp Kiddie Klassik: The Devil's Ball

(made in 1933 by Ladislas Starevich)

Eyes Without A Face

No, this isn't the trailer for a remake of Les Yeux San Visage. It's an edited informercial for a fountain of youth. They used a Joe Cocker tune as the soundtrack, which I've always found to be very depressing. Turn down the volume on the youtube viewer and play this instead:

(via everything is terrible)


Nightmare in Wax

I googled "worst wax museum" and this was the top hit: Louis Tussaud's House of Wax in Great Yarmouth, an English seaside resort. For 53 years it's thrilled visitors with uncannily dissimilar resemblances of celebrities. last February, 75 heads went on sale to be replaced with more up-to-date doppelgangers. Owner Peter Hayes explained, "Some of them are too old and they do not resemble their subjects any more. And obviously some visitors are far too young to remember them. We do sell them off from time to time and there are some very nice ones. I would say Diana, Princess of Wales, is the prize of the collection. We have not been able to trace an identity for some of them because the makers did not put names on them, presumably because at the time it would have been obvious to all."

For £50 to £80, you could have taken home one of the severed paraffin skulls seen below. A shame they're no longer on display, but at least we have these pictures to remember them by.

And I thought The Hollywood Wax Museum was bad.

Super-Extreme Elimination Challenge! Match up the waxwork to the name: Prince Charles, Lady Diana, John Travolta, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Richard Burton, Bob Hope, Diana Dors, and Starsky+Hutch. Answers will be revealed in exactly six months. Or possibly never.


The 1835 Moon Hoax

Lifted from historybuff.com:

Every History of American journalistic hoaxing properly begins with the celebrated moon hoax which "made" the New York Sun of Benjamin Day. It consisted of a series of articles, allegedly reprinted from the nonexistent Edinburgh Journal of Science, relating to the discovery of life on the moon by Sir John Herschel, eminent British astronomer, who some time before had gone to the Cape of Good Hope to try out a new type of powerful telescope.

On August 25, the Sun ran four columns describing what Sir John had been able to see, looking at the moon through his telescope. So fascinating were the descriptions of trees and vegetation, oceans and beaches, bison and goats, cranes and pelicans that the whole town was talking even before the fourth installment appeared on August 28, 1835, with the master revelation of all: the discovery of furry, winged men resembling bats. The narration was printed as follows:

We counted three parties of these creatures, of twelve, nine and fifteen in each, walking erect towards a small wood... Certainly they were like human beings, for their wings had now disappeared and their attitude in walking was both erect and dignified... About half of the first party had passed beyond our canvas; but of all the others we had perfectly distinct and deliberate view. They averaged four feet in height, were covered, except on the face, with short and glossy copper-colored hair, and had wings composed of a thin membrane, without hair, lying snugly upon their backs from the top of the shoulders to the calves of their legs. The face, which was of a yellowish color, was an improvement upon that of the large orangutan... so much so that but for their long wings they would look as well on a parade ground as some of the old cockney militia.

The hair of the head was a darker color than that of the body, closely curled but apparently not woolly, and arranged in two circles over the temples of the forehead. Their feet could only be seen as they were alternately lifted in walking; but from what we could see of them in so transient a view they appeared thin and very protuberant at the heel...We could perceive that their wings possessed great expansion and were similar in structure of those of the bat, being a semitransparent membrane expanded in curvilinear divisions by means of straight radii, united at the back by dorsal integuments. But what astonished us most was the circumstance of this membrane being continued from the shoulders to the legs, united all the way down, though gradually decreasing in width. The wings seemed completely under the command of volition, for those of the creatures whom we saw bathing in the water spread them instantly to their full width, waved them as ducks do theirs to shake off the water, and then as instantly closed them again in a compact form.

Later stories told of the Temple of the Moon, constructed of sapphire, with a roof of yellow resembling gold. There were pillars seventy feet high and six feet thick supporting the roof of the temple. More man-bats were discovered and readers were awaiting more astounding details, but the Sun told them the telescope had, unfortunately, been left facing the east and the Sun's rays, concentrated through the lenses, burned a hole "15 feet in circumference" entirely through the reflecting chamber, putting the observatory out of commission.

After the hoax was exposed, people were generally amused. It did not seem to lessen interest in the Sun, which never lost its increased circulation.


The Schmidt Pain Index

Developed by Justin O. Schmidt in the 80's, the intent of this scale was to classify the degrees of torture inflicted by the stings of the insect class Hymenoptera, which includes ants, bees and wasps. For research purposes, Schmidt was personally stung many times over by most Hymenoptera species. In addition to his 1-to-4 point scale, he employed colorful language to describe the sensations (word of the day: Synesthesia - stimulation of a sense or cognitive pathway, leading to an involuntary experience in a second sense). All descriptions are direct quotes. Click on the names to learn more about each insect.

Fire ant: (1.2)
"Like walking across a shag carpet & reaching for the light switch."

Honey bee: (2.0)
"Like a matchhead that flips off and burns on your skin."

Red harvester ant: (3.0)
"Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail."

Tarantula hawk: (4.0)
"A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath."

Bullet ant: (4.0+)
"Walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel."