Tuesday, May 23, 2017

GIRL GANG (1954 Trailer): "Explodes on the screen!"

As is usually the case, the trailer is much better than the movie. I especially love those captions: Today's Major Problem: Girl Gangs That Flout the Law! Most Daring Film of the Year! And note at 2:50 - the "doctor" seems to be implying that he needs money to perform an abortion. But maybe it's just an ingrown toenail.

Squid sex: the whole sordid story


This is a set of diagrams that I found God-knows-where, God-knows-when, probably late at night. They look scientific, like something that would accompany a research paper, and have something to do with the reproductive cycle of squid. I have no idea if I have them in the right order. A couple of them don't work very well.

And that is all I have to say about them.

Milky Way: you are there

Monday, May 22, 2017

Melania hates Donald (TWICE!)

The slap seen around the world. . . 

. . . and the OTHER slap seen around the world. 
Respect for the First Lady is growing by leaps and bounds.

The force is within you

Why did it take me this long to post something about the death of Carrie Fisher? Actually, it took me half a bloody century, and I'm still not sure about it. But I have come to the conclusion after blogging for a while that people either read your stuff, or they don't. They watch your videos, or they don't. It's a capricious thing, so you might as well follow your heart and do what you feel like doing, what your conscience tells you to do at any given moment. And it is here that I find my satisfaction. Is there a "message" in all this? There probably is. It's something that each person will hear in a different way, according to their own prejudices. 



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Monster Movie Trailer Theatre

(Movie theme) "Oh there's a creature
From the haunted sea,
And he doesn't
Like you, and he doesn't like me
He bounces up and down in the water
(boing, boing, guitar riff)
And doesn't really do what he oughter"

Harold Lloyd in 12 takes


Harold Lloyd: ten seconds of genius

The experiment: cropping some of my thousand or so Harold Lloyd gifs (most of which I made myself over the thousand or so years I've been in love with him). It was an interesting experiment to remove all the extraneous material from these tiny little ten-second movies, and some worked out better than others. I didn't even think I could crop gifs, in fact I probably couldn't, until the apps or programs or whatever-they-are became more versatile/easier to use. Things that aren't dead-easy aren't in my internet vocabulary.

I ended up with gifs that are extremely tiny, 1/4 the size of most of them. If you blow them up very much, they're too blurry to bother with. In some cases the effect is startling: Harold's face is zoomed in a little too close for comfort. We're not used to seeing him on a screen the size of a postage stamp, but neither are we accustomed to looking so deeply into those expressive and slightly haunted eyes.

Harold's director Hal Roach famously said, "Harold Lloyd was not a comedian. But he was the best actor playing a comedian the world has ever seen." It's true that Harold's was the humour of humiliation, social awkwardness, rejection and pain. How he made humour out of that is anybody's guess. But the other "big two", Chaplin and Keaton, also used pathos and struggle to good effect, and turned it all into laughs. I think it was Jerry Lewis - whom I hate - who said, "Comedy is a man in trouble." About that, I think he had a point.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Bosley's great adventure!

Bosley is the name we gave to a very strange duck who lives with a flock of mallards in Como Lake. We kept wondering why a very large, piebald duck would hang around with wild birds like that. He looked more like a domestic duck than a wild one. Finally, unable to get any information about him, I sent a gif of him swimming to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, one of the world's foremost institutions of aviana/birdology.

They got back to me right away, to my surprise, telling me that their best guess is that he's a hybrid of a mallard and a magpie duck, a large-ish domestic duck raised for meat. (See example below). It made sense. These ducks are black-and-white, whereas Bosley's markings have the mottled brown tones of a mallard - in particular, a female.

So it shouldn't have surprised us to see a male mallard chasing after her. She was waddling around on land - the first time we've seen her (him? Still not sure) do that. We've been watching her for a couple of years now, and it's amazing how we see her almost every time we visit.  Once when all the mallards had flown away, we saw him (her?) in the very middle of the lake, dabbling and paddling around alone.

I can see why one of Bosley's parents would want to run away from home if he or she were about to become dinner. But it is obvious this is a true adoption. I mean, if the rest of the flock wants to mate with you. . .  The mallard drake might have been pursuing (her) romantically, or chasing (him) off as a rival. But now that I look at that mottled brown breast, I seriously wonder if Bosley is really a Boslette.

It's a funny video, and unique among all our Bosliana.

BLOGGER'S FOOTNOTE. I found a very strange group of pictures of ducks very similar to Bosley (see example, above) - only they were even more mallardy (or mallardly) than our Bos. I say more mallardly because some of them even had the iridescent green heads of the mallard drake. This was on a duck forum of some kind, and everyone took a guess at what kind of ducks these were. They came up with half a dozen names of very exotic-sounding purebred breeds. Fuck, guys! These are bastard pretenders, the love children of two duck species, and you cannot admit it because mallards are just too common. They're like pigeons, really. Only little kids like them.

And magpie ducks.

Are these magpie/mallard hybrids?