Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Chester: legend of the haunted automaton

Say hello to Chester.

Chester is a handmade antique automaton which some believe to be possessed by Satan. The automaton is known to be so damaged that it is practically in pieces, yet it has been secretly filmed by a hidden camera, standing, talking and brandishing a sword. 

Linguists have yet to decipher the unknown dialect he speaks. The fact that three murders have taken place in the house in which he is stored (in a trunk in the attic which is kept nailed shut) is purely coincidental.

"The horror!" Antique automatons

Monday, October 30, 2017

ASTOUNDING: black cat speaks!

I first saw this wonderful piece of animation on a gif, but did not know the origin of it. Now I find it here, and still don't know! As with much of what is on YouTube, information is scant, but I love this cat. No doubt he speaks only at this time of year.

Turning Halloween


TURNING JAPANESE  (The Vapors, 1980)

I've got your picture of me and you
I sit there staring and there's nothing else to do
Oh it's in color
Your hair is brown
Your eyes are hazel and soft as clouds
I often kiss you when there's no one else around

I've got your picture
I've got your picture
I'd like a million of you all round my cell
You've got me turning up and turning down
And turning in and turning 'round

I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

I've got your picture
I've got your picture
I'd like a million of them all round my cell
I want the doctor to take a picture
So I can look at you from inside as well
You've got me turning up
And turning down and turning in and turning 'round

I'm turning Japanese

I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women
No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it's dark
Everyone around me is a total stranger

That's why I'm turning Japanese

I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
(think so think so think so)
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

NOTE. I have no idea what this song means. In actuality it has about two verses, though it seems to go on forever. I first heard it on SCTV on the Jerry Todd Show, with Rick Moranis crooning those strange lyrics (pronouncing it "Japa-NEESE"). I thought it was racist and stupid, but since it was on SCTV I more or less forgave it. Then I forgot it. More or less.

THEN, a billion years later I see this Value Village ad for used Halloween costumes, with a song and dance number called Turning Halloween! I recognized it from somewhere. Turning, what, something else? Ah! Of course. Turning Japa-NEESE!

So now I find out that the original was by a British group called The Vapors, and as far as I am concerned it iS sort of racist, or at least damn stupid, so I don't know why I'm posting it except that no one else seems to think so. And the Value Village ad is way cool.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

What happened to YouTube??

Nothing good. Or - too much of a good thing. Or - much too much?

The rise and fall of Betty Crocker

An animation of kitchen goddess Betty Crocker, rising up like Venus in a grey poplin suit. In the background is her magnificent Coronation cake, the recipe torn from the pages of one of those magazine-type-of-things. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

How is prangent formed?

I never knew misspellings could be this gorgeous. It's amazing how inventive people can be in NOT spelling things correctly. It must take a lot of energy and creativity. Either that, or they're just plain dumb.

Jack and the pile of oatmeal

This is my first 40-second-long gif, and if it posts successfully it will be a miracle. Most people hate gifs because they are just one or two seconds of endlessly-repeating jerks. I say that the gif is an art form, or should be treated as such. I have made thousands of them over the years. This came from a one-minute animated ad for some kind of oat cereal, likely made in the 1950s.

Uncanny Valley of the Dolls: the movie

I am not sure how it happened, but one night, those two reborn dolls I bought began to move.

I should have seen it coming. I began to regret my purchase the moment I unswathed the too-realistic infants from their layers and layers of bubblewrap.

I should have known, when little Alex's eyes began to follow me around the room.

I was taken aback to discover Alyssa and Alex floating around the room in a state of total weightlessness.

I wish I could tell you that then, I woke up.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hilarious Freak Out on Live TV

Live television is a strange thing, or it can be. In my project to make a playlist of bizarre old YouTube videos (mostly pre-2010), I encountered this one, late at night, trying not to laugh so hard I'd wake up my mate. I have never seen a freakout like this one! I still don't understand it, but then, I don't speak Turkish. The man literally hurls his body across the room like a projectile. This is better than those Parliamentary fist-fights and chair-throws you see in Korea and Russia and other volatile parts of the world. I didn't even know about this one, though it's considered a classic, so I will have to keep digging for more YouTube gold. 

China girls: animation

China girls were professional models who appeared on the screen for only a split-second. They were meant as a comparison for adjusting flesh tones on film to the rest of the spectrum. I am not sure how they did this in one frame (though it could be as many as four).  I worked on some animations a while ago, fascinated by the whole thing, then put a few of them on YouTube. I do remember seeing them just for a blink, and often wondered if they were really there. They were. But it must have been frustrating for them to have so little exposure (so to speak). 

Though every article I found about them said they were invisible to the public, I saw them. I know I did. Do I have a quick eye, or can I slow down time, being as how I am a time-traveller (revealed here for the first time)?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

David Hasselhoff - Hooked on a Feeling

I got thinking about the Golden Age of YouTube, and how fun things were then, when bizarre old videos popped up out of nowhere. I have fifty-odd assembled in a playlist:


These include such standards as Gay Boyfriend, the Diet Coke and Mentos rocket, putting a cell phone in the microwave, Jan Terri, Mr. Trololo, John Daker, and (of course) the Double Rainbow guy (who actually got a playlist of his own).

YouTube has changed, and not for the better. It has gotten very slick, and very crowded. It's full of noise, noise, noise, noise. Everyone is hustling and trying to make a living and begging us to subscribe, like, thumbs-up, click, click, click. There is still nice stuff in there, but you really have to comb. My own stuff gets hardly any views at all, no matter how many hours I put into them, but appalling half-minute wobbly out-of-focus pieces of junk get hundreds of thousands.

Not that I care! But it would be nice to think someone, some day, might want to look at them.

It was nice and reassuring to be able to find most of the ones I remembered, though there are a few stragglers. I remember a band consisting of three incredibly old women, a singer, a pianist and someone on a drum kit. Their music was astounding, Lawrence Welk played on the wrong speed, and the audience was even more surprising in that it looked as if most of them were dead. If this video is still up there, I can't find it because I don't have the right search terms. It may have been a cable access program, which many of these are (including the Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson videos, which are beyond my powers to describe). I don't know if I included the Screaming Preacher or not. Maybe he should have his own playlist. Maybe his own planet.

Bible Teaching Gone Wrong

This is one of those YouTube Gold/cable access programs from the early 2000s. I hear he has revived the show, but the new ones are pretty much the same. Indescribable. I'd say it was the weirdest thing on YouTube, but YouTube just keeps on surpassing itself, or hitting new lows. There are a few dozen of these videos up there, if you dare. The confusion just grows.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I've got something to say that might cause you pain

I keep thinking of the first line of a John Lennon song called, aptly, You Can't Do That: "I've got something to say that might cause you pain." Funny, though, how no one else seems to preface their own statements that way. 

Like everyone else, I've had Harvey Weinstein shoved in my face lately, and I cannot think of anyone more repulsive to take up space in my brain. I guess I'm just supposed to NOT think about it, not react too much, react only partially, feel good that "now it's all out in the open", and/or just get on with my own happy life because everything really is still great.

It is?

People are going around saying, "Ah! Now, at last, a man like this will be brought to justice."

Just like Jian Ghomeshi. Just like Stephen Galloway. Just like Bill Cosby. It seems that in every case, the man accused of sexual assault drew sympathy, cosseting, and strenuous denial they had done anything wrong. With Cosby, the attitude is "how could you even think such a thing?" This is the Jell-o Pudding man! The next step (which has already happened with the first two, and is just about to happen with the third) is that the whole thing "blows over" and is reburied.

"Oh, no, not THIS time," is the chorus. Oh yes? It will blow over. Just wait. Weinstein will find a role in Hollywood somewhere, the old boys' network (fellow abusers all) will forgive and forget, and he will serve no jail time, while the women he assaulted are haunted for the rest of their lives. (Though really, shouldn't they just forgive him? It's the only way to get over their anger, isn't it? And it's crucial they get over their anger. Anger in a woman is most unattractive.)

I saw a Facebook post or re-post by a young woman I sort-of know, the daughter of someone I used to know actually, just a rant rant rant about Weinstein, with every other word being FUCK! FUCK! FUCK-FUCK-FUCK!!!! This got lots and lots of likes and supportive comments and shares (or, no, sorry! Copy and paste! That's MUCH more noble and spiritual than share), but I doubt if too many will be interested in what I just wrote here. I'm ranting, see. I'm bitter. I'm angry, and that's a no-no. I'm past the threshhold of anger, which ends around age 50 when you are past your female expiry date.

Today I read a Facebook post which was, in essence, one of those gratitude lists Oprah said we should make about everything wonderful in our lives. This was a long one, introduced with, "I know things are horrible in the world, countless people are suffering, and I see all sorts of negative things on Facebook, BUT. . . " It was a list, a long list of a lot of nice things in her life, really nice things, one after another, wonderful and enjoyable and satisfying things, which should have I guess made me feel better.

Instead, it clanged. To me it just reeked of upper-middle-class white privilege. Yes, homelessness is rampant, people's houses have burned down or flooded out, children have vanished, women have been raped. . . and it's really too bad. . . but I baked a lovely pumpkin pie today, and everyone just loved it!

I'm not saying it's "bad" to count your blessings instead of sheep. We all have our Julie Andrews moments - and why not? But this had a definite flavour of "I have all this wonderful stuff in my life, and you don't". It's nice if you can go out for a brisk gallop on your thoroughbred mare at dawn, but hey. . . those beasts cost money. A lot of money. It's nice to have a wonderful six-week holiday in Greece coming up before Christmas, but. . . 

All those things she listed were attached to having the means to afford/enjoy them (not that that's an issue to those who have it: they become conveniently oblivious). The blatant smugness I see all over Facebook, with people oblivious to how their words will actually affect others, is disturbing. Of course this person's friends provided the usual Greek chorus of cheers, ooohs and ahhhs that SOMEBODY was (at last) being "positive" about something. How refreshing!

"Hey, YOU had to deal with a fire in your home, YOU lost everything in a flood, YOU got sick, YOU got a divorce or lost your child or your business or your mind, but there's still something positive in the world:  I won a literary prize and I lost ten pounds and I went for a charming walk and I. . .", etc. etc. Spawning a hundred likes, a hundred happy-faced comments, a hundred copy-and-pastes.

I don't know what the answer is, and like everyone else I have to live in the present and enjoy it as much as I can (and though it sometimes surprises me, I do: I lived through enough nightmares of chaos and alcoholism and psych wards to appreciate the bliss of an ordinary, sober day). My husband and I have so little money that we have to write down every expenditure to the nearest dollar, and I don't care because going for a walk in the woods is free. 

I feel most powerless when I look at Trump, feel most alarmed when people still make jokes about him, as if that helps people and doesn't just temporarily numb them. He might just destroy the world, perhaps believes that is his ultimate mission. Weinstein and his ilk are legion, I am sure, but with anything this traumatic, it comes out explosively at first, then tends to get reburied. It's a cycle, which means, ultimately, that nothing happens.

Trump crudely bragged about grabbing women's pussies and STILL got elected. Probably he got a lot of votes because he bragged about it. God knows Harvey did, and for how long we don't know.

My hope is in my grandkids, not so scarred or twisted just yet, and the hope-against-hope that those three beautiful, accomplished, bravehearted girls WON'T be mauled or molested or nastily propositioned, as women and girls have been for countless centuries. I see no signs of it yet, but puberty looms, and I know what comes next. They become fair game.

Weinstein will buy his way out of jail, Cosby will go doddering into an institution somewhere, Trump will serve his four years, and all the rest will keep on being sleazeballs until a small percentage of them actually have to take responsibility for what they have done. What they have done is leave a mark on someone's soul forever, take their joy and never give it back. No jail sentence, not even the death penalty, could cause that kind of pain.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

Amish vs. Everybody

End times: when clergy turn atheist

New movie about atheist pastors: “Losing Our Religion”

Losing Our Religion is a feature length documentary about preachers who are not believers, and what atheists do when they miss church. Allowed access to the 600 members of The Clergy Project – a safe haven for preachers from all faiths who no longer believe – the documentary follows ex-members and clergy who are still undercover.

They are not just losing their religion, for many they are losing their friends, community and even family. As well as their job.

As events unfold that change lives forever, their stories also connect with secular communities that are growing in surprising places. New groups are experimenting in ways to have church without god, and asking the same question as unbelieving clergy – “what’s next?”

Losing Our Religion is a documentary about community, acceptance, and a view inside the complicated lives of clergy who are stranded in the rising tide of non-believers.

Losing Our Religion is produced by Zoot Pictures Inc. in association with documentary Channel, the financial assistance of the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the participation of the Canadian Media Fund, and the participation the Government of Manitoba - Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit and financial investment from the Manitoba Film and Music Feature Film Production Fund.

I recorded this film which aired on the Documentary Channel, left it on my PVR a while, then watched it last night, kind of reluctantly. And it did turn out to be sort of depressing. (These films are always disappointing somehow, so I don’t know why I watch them). This wasn't so much about The Clergy Project as individual pastors who had “lost their faith” (in essence, become atheists) after a long period of spiritual disillusionment.

Through a lot of very talky interviews and not much else, the film traced their need to get out of the church, or even (in the case of one man) to stay put in it and continue to lead, and preach something he absolutely did not believe in. To my shock, Gretta Vosper (the woman who was asked to step down as a United Church minister because she was an atheist) was interviewed, and presented as something of a martyr. Her hurt and sense of rejection by the mean old church was obvious, though I don't see it that way at all. 

If you are clergy in any mainstream Christian denomination, it makes no sense to me to preach Communism or Buddhism or Scientology – there HAS to be a basic belief system based on the Bible and the teachings of Christ. That is what makes the Christian church Christian, but when Vosper spoke, the filmmaker's sense was, “How dare they persecute such a brilliant, sensitive spiritual leader?" This is what comes of telling five or ten per cent of a complex story.

The rest of it was quite sad. One couple, somewhere in the States, just battled and battled and twisted and turned, and it was extremely painful to watch. The wife's bitterness and even bafflement at what was going on was disturbing. The soon-to-be-ex-pastor husband was offered a juicy plum of a job that he knew he could do well and love, but his wife made him turn it down because she would “lose her support system”. Support system? This was completely gone already because everyone in the church had turned against her (she said) and wasn’t even speaking to her. It was strange to see her try to hang on to the shreds of what she only half-heartedly believed in, mainly in a desperate attempt to hang on to her identity and status in her religious community.

From sort of liking her, I came to actively dislike her and the way she had put herself in a box and was angry and self-pitying, often spitting venom at people she once loved (and even, nonsensically, at God, whom she called an asshole). Watching her face contort with anger and internal conflict was unsettling. But why did she think her friends would continue to support her? What did she think they’d say? “Oh, it's OK if you hate God now and call him an asshole! We still respect and accept you as the minister’s wife.” It was completely unrealistic. 

Never once did she seem to think of the fact that THEY might have felt hurt, angry and abandoned by someone who used to support them. The congregation's belief in a personal, all-loving and all-powerful God was being threatened by someone at the very heart of the church. The minister's wife is often the most accessible person in the area of pastoral care. It's possible and even likely that in their minds, SHE dumped THEM instead of the other way around.

In fact, it never seemed to occur to any of the disillusioned clergy in the documentary that they may have hurt and abandoned their flock, as they spoke only of how lonely and hurt and persecuted they felt because no one understood or empathized with their agonizing plight. The filmmakers did nothing to emphasize or even acknowledge this pastoral black hole. Or perhaps it was just edited out because it was too complicated.

Much of the tone of the film was atheistic in an antiseptic way, and one scene showed the crowd in one of these "alternate" groups singing “What a Feeling” from Flashdance (!!), self-consciously jumping up and down and trying to look un-embarrassed. Pep rallies for non-belief. These were utility halls, all-purpose rooms that may have been practical, but I sure didn't see any beauty or grace, or hear music that wasn't lame and devoid of real passion.

Of course there were standup comics for atheism, too, and a sick song at the end about different denominations, concluding that instead of all that, "all I have is a brain”, implying that no one who believes in this stuff does. It was hateful, but they ran it as a whimsical, funny, lighthearted way to end the documentary. Apparently, we were supposed to laugh.

I am something of a refugee from organized religion myself, so I did get a large part of it, or some of it, but I felt the need to write about the part of the film and its approach that turned me off.  I think religious leaders need to handle their loss of faith in God with extreme care, and with great sensitivity toward the people they are walking away from. But according to this film they are mostly concerned with themselves, with whether they'd still have a job and how they would support their families, and how this sudden lack of a loving God in their lives made them feel sad, alone and misunderstood. 

They seemed to be asking their people: why are you so upset with me?, as if unaware they were jerking the rug out from under them. But I kept thinking their people were justified. What would it have said about them if they had been completely indifferent to their minister's loss of faith? Anger and hurt is a more honest response than the phony pseudo-acceptance I constantly saw in the United Church. If anyone was angry about anything, they swallowed it and tried to be okay with everything that was going on, no matter how outrageous. Hypocrisy on toast.

I have a theory as to why this is. I call it the Titanic Theory. The United Church of Canada, like all mainstream Christian denominations, is a sinking ship. It's crucial to put asses in seats so that they can continue to exist (and, most especially, to hold on to those drafty old buildings with their outrageous upkeep), so they now have to be very, very careful what they say.

During my 15 years in the church, I was constantly being squeezed for money. Once a year, someone would come to my house to talk to me about how much I was going to give, laying on a subtle guilt trip if it wasn't enough. The annual meeting was an exercise in misery and depression, even doom, as once again we were told the church was failing financially, and it was basically our fault. One minister even resigned over it, claiming from the pulpit that our church would be thriving if we weren't all so stingy and selfish. Obviously, our priorities were all wrong.

I didn't find out for years and years that practically every United Church in the country had this same problem, and that in fact our givings were higher than the national average. My own offering, which by the way my family could not spare, was well above average, but who knew? No one told me that until much later - in fact, I found out by accident. Secrecy about money is the norm, as is the chronic isolation of individual churches. There was a sense we were better than the others, didn't need them, or at least had to figure out our problems on our own.

My beliefs are very hard to contain within an institution of any kind. My experiences of mysticism were feared and disapproved of, so I learned to keep them to myself. Love Jesus, but for God's sake don't really love him or at least express any of it, except in wheezy old hymns by John Wesley. I was seen as crazy and unstable for weeping in church, while at the same time the lack of expression of emotion on Sunday mornings was criticized.

To stop believing in God, become an atheist, lose faith, or however you want to say it, is not the same - at all - as becoming disillusioned by all the human bullshit that goes on in churches. True, my spirituality no longer fit, and I was tired of using a shoehorn to try to make it fit. But it was the sickness of the institution that made me sick, the sense of constantly bailing out the ship, of everything turning on money, of frantic attempts to modernize and be cool and "inclusive" (my ass!) while our rituals couldn't have been more wheezy and out of date, even irrelevant.

I was done with it, and was only sad about missing all the years when it was still good. It's the same (I hear) when a marriage breaks up. You mourn for and feel nostalgic for the years when it still worked. But having it end doesn't mean that it all meant nothing. 

As for these atheist clergy, the fact is that many people in many different fields become disillusioned with what they do. But what exactly does "disillusioned" mean? It means you had illusions in the first place. Perhaps the whole structure was built on illusion. If so, leaving is a bold step towards reality, wholeness and health. Remember how you preached forgiveness for all those years? Then forgive all those people who depended on you for being hurt, angry and pissed off at you for changing. Atheism is not what you signed on for, it's not what they expected or what they need, and to expect sympathy and understanding from them is  ludicrous. If your head is where I suspect it is, the view must be dark indeed.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The world has been waiting for this to STOP!

The World Has Been Waiting… The Unveiling Of A King!

By Nakashen Valaitham & Kristi Hopp

Do you believe in love at first sight? Something so magical it takes your breath away, leaves you speechless and captivates your attention? The time to fall in love is now. The wait is over. He was born in the heartland of America, bred by Jack & Elizabeth Milam of Regency Cove Farms in Oklahoma.

El Rey Magnum RCF has arrived.

For breeders, it is love at first sight when newborn foals struggle to their feet and takes those first steps. It is quite overwhelming to watch the birth of an exquisite gift after waiting 11+ plus months.

His name means greatness in Spanish; El Rey translates to “The King.” He had not been around long before The King became the most talked about colt in the world. Having a keen eye for a unique look, and an urge for hidden treasure, when David Boggs first met The King he was captivated. David acquired the colt and eventually brought him to his Midwest Training Center in Scottsdale, AZ.

Soon after that Doug Leadley heard about The King and scheduled a visit. Once he laid eyes on El Rey Magnum RCF, he urged the new owners to acquire this special young colt. “I travel all around and see several impressive young horses but rarely do I see one that stops me in my tracks. I simply could not believe my eyes and what I saw in front of me. Horses like this come by once in a decade. We must preserve Arabian type or we will loose the majestic look the separates us from other breeds.” Doug Leadley

2018 will be an exciting year for El Rey Magnum and the team behind him - he will be ready for his coronation.


Yes. The world has been waiting, all right - waiting for this sort of genetic abuse to go away.

This is not a horse. It's Michael Jackson. It's My Little Pony (I almost wrote "Phony"). It's an Arabian horse so genetically manipulated  for certain traits that it has become virtually deformed. Yet it's touted as God's gift to horses, the next generation of custom-made equines (and never mind if they can breathe or not).

I write about horses quite a lot, because I love them so, and never get to ride or even come near a horse. But I do know something from my horsy girlhood. And what I know is that THIS AIN'T IT: this isn't the standard for the breed, at all.

The standard is more like this:

This is a great example of the classic Arabian head: broad forehead, big dusky glamorous eyes, slightly concave profile, tapered muzzle and small nose with large nostrils. What is called the throatlatch (where the horse's head attaches to its neck) is quite defined, and the crest (top of the neck) is high and arched. The Arabian head exudes exoticism and gasping loveliness, and for many a little girl an "Arab" is the ideal horse, the horse of their dreams.

Never mind that the actual breed is a little flaky and skittish, a status horse that's not always too dependable to ride. Maybe they've been told they're beautiful once too often.

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time mooning over "Arabs" in my horse books (some of which I still have). The Godolphin Arabian, whose story was fictionalized in Marguerite Henry's King of the Wind, looked something like this:

The Godolphin Arabian was quite literally a prototype, one of the foundational sires of the Thoroughbred horse breed. He was not just an Arab but a Super Arab. But there's no trace of My Little Pony here.

Of course we have no photos of what he really looked like, but since normal horses were being bred to normal horses back then, it's doubtful he looked freakish like poor El Ray Magnum. When his exotic looks were poured together with the war-horse strength and brawn of the horses of the day, magic happened: a sort of genetic explosion which is still echoing down the generations. Take any horse breed, add a dash of Arabian, and voila - you have a brawny or cobby or rangy creature who has the desert horse's beautiful sculpted head and neck, grace in its step and a spark of spirit. It's as if Arabian genes have a long memory.

               Cass Ole, horse actor and star of The Black Stallion

It interests me that of the many dozens of comments on this photo when it appeared on Facebook, probably 85% were negative. These are horse lovers speaking out, and hardly any of them think this look is appealing or even fair to the horse. He's close to having a mono-nostril, for one thing, since the breed's very large nostrils are stuck at the end of a teeny-tiny muzzle. To me, it looks like somebody squeezed his nose with pliers. I think this look is "in" now in the show ring, for some reason, and because human beings always take a good thing and ruin it with extremes, it has likely become a sort of competition to see who can breed the most exaggerated Arabian features.

More has to be better. Right? ( - ??)

Along with the horrid dressage practice of rollkur  - reining the horse's chin to its chest - and "soring" in Tennessee Walker competitions (a painful way of forcing the horse to step so high it looks ridiculous), this extreme inbreeding constitutes a form of abuse. The horse has lost his horseness. 

The fanfare around this Wonder Colt, as if they're unveiling a new Maserati or other fine piece of machinery, is chilling. Behold, a genetic freak! It makes me shudder because this is being promoted by some sort of international Arabian society, clearly more interested in money and status than the wellbeing of the horse (or the breed - you can't tell ME El Rey is the answer to preserving the "majestic look" of the Arabian "type").

So until the situation becomes so grotesque that one of these breeders looks at a newborn foal and keels over in horror, we'll end up with a line of Hapsburg horses which are  more bizarre than beautiful.

(OK, I have leftover pictures, too gorgeous NOT to share!)

World's first recorded sneeze!

An animation I made from frames of Fred Ott's Sneeze, a film made in 1894 by Thomas Edison. The original lasted two seconds and had no musical accompaniment. I've been experimenting with putting some of my animation experiments on YouTube so they will be easier to post here.

What a tortilla sounds like on a record player