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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

Panna Cotta Brain

on January 20, 2009 - 3:58pm


My first experiment with a brain mould: a classic panna cotta dessert.

Ingredients for the brain:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 teaspoons unflavored gelatin *
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons of jam
  • Approx. 1 cup pomegranate or blueberry juice

Self-Indulgent Mutterings: Updating the Website

on January 20, 2009 - 2:47pm

ghoulfriday
You know that feeling of accomplishment that follows the completion of a menial task? I'm talking about mundane things like cleaning out a closet or sorting out the overflowing junk drawer. No one else really cares that you've done it, but man, are you ever chuffed. And if it was up to you, you'd get some sort of reward like a gold star.

For me, it was finally getting around to fixing some small details on the website. For instance, I replaced the bullets in the menu. I'd always hated the ones originally there, but hadn't come up with a new image to replace them with.

Captain Company

on January 19, 2009 - 2:47pm

magazine ad of child with projector, creating a skull image
Look at that image. I feel like a budding paleontologist spying a treasured dinosaur fossil for the first time. It's like documenting the history of haunting.

That is a classic example of the Captain Company collection. This one is courtesy of toyranch's flickr account where he has kindly shared a tremendous collection of these vintage ads.

So what is (or sadly, was) this Captain Company? Here's a very simple history from someone who just missed this cultural gemstone.

Horror movies really hit their stride in the livingrooms of the late 1950's, and UHF stations entertained audiences with classic films. Riding the monster popularity wave into the 1960's and 1970's was Famous Monster's of Filmland Magazine, in the back of which you would find Captain Company ads.

Captain company was a Philadelphia-based mail order business, and the merchandising arm of Warren Publishing. It specialized in horror movie related products including masks, model kits, rings, posters, Super 8mm films...you name it.

Skulls, Bacon, and USB Keys

on January 18, 2009 - 8:57am

skull rings
There's a blog I've been meaning to talk to you about called Skulls and Bacon. The author is a big fan of - as you may have guessed - skulls and bacon (and muppets, but I suppose 'Skulls, Bacon and Muppets' is just too wordy a title for a blog). You can find some interesting blog posts covering items like a Skull Sensory Deprivation Chamber or the Skull Ring USB Keys pictured here.

The skulls offer 2GB of portable memory for ghoulish geekory. While the price tag is high ($204.60 on geekstuff4u.com), the idea is great. Perhaps someone will come along with a more reasonably priced version.

If you're not scared off by the price, you'll find an assortment of colours - from pink to pewter - to suit your personal taste.

Excuse Me While I Geek Out: Battlestar Galactica

on January 15, 2009 - 6:54pm

No, you're not on the wrong website. I've just changed gears for today. Forgive my lapse into nerd-dom, but I am a huge fan of Battlestar Galactica, which means it's an exciting time for me.

Starting tomorrow (Friday) morning, the Space channel (Canadian version of the Sci-Fi Channel) will be starting a BSG marathon, playing Season 4 episodes back to back, leading up to the new episode tomorrow night at 10 pm.

To celebrate this, I've started throwing together an impromptu Battlestar Galactica themed mini party for Yetch and I (Yetch, you need to stop reading this post now. Spoilers ahead).

Cereal for a Frosty Morning

on January 14, 2009 - 12:28pm


Brrrrrrrrrr!

I don't know what the weather is like where you live, but here with the windchill it's -30 C (that's -22 F for my American friends). Too cold for a creeper like me to leave the cozy confines of her home (I've been out there once already. That's enough thanks).

As a tribute to the ghastly weather, I've chosen some bone chilling (ha ha, punny) art for your enjoyment.

Headed by Doktor Viktor Von Kreep of Kreepsville Industries (the man responsible for such great things as Headless Spectre Records), a group of talented cartoonists came together and created "Cereal Killers":

Kreepsville Industries presents Cereal Killers. A spooky, kooky coffin table cartoon art book that has been in the works since 2006. This creepy, crawly treat features over 70 terrorfying takes on some of your favorite breakfast cereal's, and some original ones by some of the top animation artists and illustrators from today!

Shag and Disney's Haunted Mansion

on January 12, 2009 - 4:16pm

wolfman drinking martini
I've been a stressed out little spirit recently, dreaming of running away from it all. Usually I am prone to travelling to distant places that can be rather challenging - physically or mentally - and exciting to a Westerner; places like India and Japan. I'm a backpacker, not a suitcase toter. I've never done all-inclusive packages nor am I usually interested in paying a lot of money to sit on a beach while ignoring the rest of an unexplored country beyond the resort compound. I don't think talking to the waiter who brings you another margarita counts as 'getting to know the locals'.

But recently the idea of a classic vacation has appealed to me. Instead of looking into Vietnam or Cambodia (which I thought would be my next destination of choice), I've been drawn to Disneyland (oops..have been corrected. Disneyworld in Florida, not Disneyland) - the ultimate in indulgent, mind-numbing relaxation. And in pursuit of my new obsession, I came across an artist who goes by the name of Shag.

Crystal Head Vodka

on January 11, 2009 - 7:31am


A hex on Dan Aykroyd. A hex, I say!

In October 2008, the Internet was flooded with buzz about Crystal Head Vodka, a quadruple-distilled, additive-free vodka packaged in an anatomically correct skull bottle created by American landscape painter and portrait artist John Alexander.

Alexander explains the story behind the skull:

I have painted skulls for years in my work. I've been to the Mexican Day of The Dead festivals many times and have always been intrigued by the 13 Crystal Skulls. These artifacts discovered all over the planet, so the legend goes, were each carved from a single quartz crystal. There are seven in man's possession and several bear no discernible tools marks. Technicians at Hewlett Packard concluded most should not exist as they were cut totally against the grain of the original crystal. The Aztec, Mayan and Navajo cultures record evidence that there are enlightening and healing powers associated with these skulls. We thought it would be worthwhile and fun to develop a pure spirit to commemorate the legend and its positive meaning."

Report Sightings of the Undead

on January 7, 2009 - 2:02pm


The dead are among us! Or so lostzombies.com would have us believe. Or, more specifically, what lostzombies.com wants you to make others believe.

Lostzombies.com is a "community generated zombie documentary" where zombie trackers and fans report sightings from around the world. The website encourages people to warn others with tales of their encounter with the undead - through written works, videos (it can be a re-enactment of a zombie sighting), audio recordings, photographs, you name it (though please make sure all content is original and not copyrighted). From these submissions, a grand documentary will be created.

Their goal? To collect 10,000 photos and 1,000 videos from zombie fans worldwide.

Childrin R Scary

on January 5, 2009 - 4:12pm

If you aren't already acquainted with her, let me introduce you to Katy Towell, author and animator extraordinaire. She is the genius behind the stories and short films on skary.net.

Katy used to be a preschool teacher. I imagine this is where she draws most of her inspiration from. Her protagonists are small children facing life's miseries, usually under macabre circumstances.

My personal favourite, The Little Girl Who Was Forgotten By Absolutely Everyone (Even The Postman), is about a young girl who just wants someone to notice her. She wishes for a companion. While her plea does not go unheard, the results are unexpected.

Visit her website and be sure to watch the collection of short animations in the theatre and browse the images in the gallery.

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