Sunday, January 24, 2016

Alien abduction: out there


This is an excerpt from one of the very first web sites I ever went on, Stop Alien Abductions. It's a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a helmet to keep aliens from invading your thoughts. As far as I can see, it is completely serious. The site hasn't changed since 1991 or whenever-it-was that I began to fumble around and try to figure out what an Internet was.  I had a Tandy 101 computer (which I fondly called Jessica) which used those rolls of paper with holes on the edges that you tore off along the perforations. Oh, and - I had a fax machine. Remember that thin, shiny, curly fax paper, and the way the ink faded away after a while so you couldn't read it?  And just faxing in general? That noise that it made? Screeeeeech! And dial-up, remember that? And having to wait for someone to get off the phone before you went on the computer. Makes my face want to fall off. Anyway, this is just Step A, and a link to the whole gorgeous mess.

Leather helmet before construction

150 foot roll of Velostat from 3M company, part number 1706

3M label on Velostat sheet

Pattern made from newspaper used for cutting Velostat
Make a pattern to cut the Velostat sheets

  1. Hold the hat open and push the paper into the hat. Push the paper against the inside and top of the hat. A newspaper will do.
  2. Take the hat with the paper in it and put it over your head. The paper should be just above your ears and flush with the front and the back of the helmet. Pull the hat and the paper down over your head. Make sure the paper and the hat are secure against your head.
  3. Remove the hat and the paper, taking care to keep the paper with the hat.
  4. Use a marking pen or grease pencil and draw a line on the paper where it meets the hat.
  5. Remove the paper from the hat and cut along the line you just made.
The paper shape is the pattern from which you will cut the 8 pieces of Velostat. (12 pieces if you use 4 mils thick Velostat.)

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