The Art of Darkness

A Link Dump for Ecclesiastes

September 16th, 2011 by Cobwebs

How to Release an Ancient Evil – As someone in the comments points out, there’s an entire genre of bad horror fiction that essentially starts out with panels 1-3. Heh.

Monsteretsy – Flickr pool of monstery Etsy offerings.

Nosh 404 – Funny “not found” page at Nosh.

Historical Disney Princesses – Artist Clare Hummel dresses various princesses in historically-appropriate (more or less) attire.

Gothic Garden – Lots of great photos.

Heavy Metal BBQ Fork – I expect the etching would soon be lost under grime if it got used regularly, but it’s funny nonetheless.

Arty Bollocks Generator – If you don’t feel up to writing your own pretentious artist’s statement, this site can instantly provide you with such gems as, “My work explores the relationship between emerging sexualities and recycling culture. With influences as diverse as Nietzsche and Miles Davis, new combinations are created from both orderly and random dialogues.”

17 Real-Life Mysteries – Interesting roundup, although it’s kind of all over the map in terms of what qualifies as a “mystery.”

Neil Gaiman Presents – Gaiman is starting his own audiobook label.

Collectible Cemetery Postcards – Photographer John Thomas Grant is making some of his lovely cemetery photos available as limited-edition postcards.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Misunderstood Spider

September 15th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Since about two-thirds of the internet by volume are memes, you’re probably already familiar with user-captioned memetic images like Success Kid, Insanity Wolf, Advice God, or Philosoraptor.

Now there’s Misunderstood Spider, and I sort of want to give him a hug. It’s as if Charlie Brown were reincarnated as an arachnid.

Misunderstood Spider

There are a couple of pages of the poor little guy over at quickmeme. The site also allows you to add your own captions; if you decide to play along, leave your link in the comments so we can all go admire your handiwork.

(Hat tip to pdq)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

Play a Game, Help Decipher Ancient Papyrus

September 14th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Papyrus FragmentInterested in Egyptology? You can now become a “citizen scientist” and help do fieldwork without even leaving your house.

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri are a vast collection of fragmentary documents recovered from an ancient Egyptian trash heap. They’re mostly written in Greek, they’re mostly in pieces, and there are a heck of a lot of them. They’re a massive trove of information about everyday life in the 1st to 6th Century CE, but researchers face the very daunting task of both piecing them together and translating their contents.

That’s where you come in. The Ancient Lives project has turned this task into a sort of puzzle game, where you can examine digitized fragments of the collection. You can measure the fragments–which will eventually aid in reconstructing the documents they’re from–and you can also transcribe their text by clicking on individual letters and then choosing their match from a floating keyboard of Greek symbols. No knowledge of the language is required; all you have to do is match the shape.

Incidentally, I have a strong suspicion that this kind of decentralized “crowd computing” is the next big thing in scientific research. Although artificial intelligence has come a long way, the human brain is still superior for many important kinds of reasoning. Casting tedious-but-important tasks in the form of a game is the pefect way to get a lot of laypeople to happily help out.

Anyway, as the papyri in the Ancient Lives project are reconstructed and translated, they’ll be published in the Egypt Exploration Society’s Graeco-Roman Memoirs. I’m hoping that any venture which relies so heavily on computers will also eventually be available online.

(via io9)

Posted in Whatever | 2 Comments »

Over Time

September 13th, 2011 by Cobwebs

In this haunting short by Oury Atlan, puppets come to terms with their creator’s death.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Snake Wreath

September 12th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Snake WreathThe intrepid pdq recently pointed me to this splendid wreath of snakes from Grandin Road, made especially fabulous by being motion-sensitive.

If you don’t care about the motion aspect, you can make a similar wreath at a fraction of the cost. Grapevine wreaths are widely available at craft stores or online, and if you have access to grapevines you can also make your own. Rubber snakes are common novelties, especially around Halloween, so you should be able to find them at party or craft suppliers or at online retailers like Oriental Trading. Put the two together, and you’ve got yourself a wreath.

The wreath at the Grandin Road site appears to be black, so you can spray-paint the wreath or leave it natural as desired. If the snakes are particularly lurid colors, you can spray-paint them black or various shades of tan and brown (make sure you use paint that won’t deteriorate the rubber). You can also get artsy and add detailing with metallic paint, hot-glue rhinestones into their eyes (or down their backs), or twine them with ribbon.

The snakes can be attached with hot glue, but a good way to fasten them more securely is to impale them on a bit of floral wire: Run a couple inches of wire inside the snake, secure the entry point with a dot of hot glue, then bend out the rest of the wire and wrap it around the vines in the wreath. Finish with a big ribbon bow or a few black silk roses.

You could also expand beyond snakes and use rubber insects, fake eyeballs, or any other weird novelty item that strikes your fancy. Putting it up at Halloween is entirely optional; I see no reason why it couldn’t be left up year ’round.

Posted in Bad Things | 1 Comment »

All the World’s a Link Dump

September 9th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Honk for Grandma – I don’t know who the driver is, but I want to shake his or her hand.

Infinity Mushroom – “Bioartist” Jae Rhim Lee is culturing fungi to rapidly decompose human tissue. She intends to be the first test subject once she dies.

72 Demons – A crowdsourcing project is looking for graphic artists to illustrate all the demons in the Ars Goetia.

Beetlejuice 2 in the Works – Noooooooooooooo….

Spiced Pumpkin Chutney – Easy, yummy way to use up extra pumpkins. (Hat tip to Linda)

Artsi Bitsi – Etsy shop that sells messenger bags and backpacks decorated with things like spiders and Deaths Head moths.

Abbot & Hast – Publications and tchotchkes for funerary professionals. They sell cute little model hearses and lapel pins with legends like “Embalming Artistry Professional.”

Zombie Invitations – Astoundingly detailed zombie-themed bridal shower invitations by artist Emily Brawn. I had no idea chainsaws and severed limbs could look so refined and formal. (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

Anatomy Ensemble – I have no information about this outfit other than that the designer is apparently Jean Paul Gaultier, but it’s pretty amazing. I particularly like how the ruched bodice looks like striated muscle tissue.

Posted in Link Dump | 5 Comments »

Beef Stew in a Pumpkin Shell

September 8th, 2011 by Cobwebs

If you planted pumpkins (and you’re in the Northern Hemisphere) they should be ready to harvest pretty soon. If you’ve got more than you need for jack-o’-lanterns, a fun and tasty way to use the extras is to serve stew in a pumpkin shell.

Obviously, the best pumpkins to cook with are the kinds meant for cooking, such as Cinderella, cheese, or sugar varieties. A home-grown field pumpkin (which is the kind usually used for jack-o’-lanterns) would probably also have enough flavor to be worthwhile, but a commercially-grown one is going to be pretty bland. If that’s the only kind you can find, you may want to skip cooking the pumpkin and just use it as a serving container instead of part of the meal (put it on a baking sheet and warm it in a 200F oven for about 20 minutes before putting the stew in it).

For the Pumpkin:

10-lb (approx.) pumpkin with no soft spots
2 Tbsp melted butter
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375F.

Rinse any surface dirt off of pumpkin. Cut a lid in the top as you would for a jack-o’-lantern, angling the sides in a bit to keep it from falling in. Scrape out the seeds (save for toasting) and guts, making sure to get rid of any stringy bits.

If you want to get fancy, you can “carve” a face on the side by scraping features very shallowly into the skin. Make sure not to poke any deep holes. (You can also incise a pretty pattern if a jack-o’-lantern face isn’t your thing.)

Brush the insides of the pumpkin with the melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the lid back on and place it on a sturdy baking sheet. Bake about 45-60 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a fork (remove the lid and poke it on the inside to avoid marring the skin).

You can also use smaller pumpkins as individual bowls if you prefer; prepare as for the large pumpkin but reduce the baking time to 20-30 minutes.

You can bake the pumpkin(s) whilst the stew is cooking, or do it a few hours in advance and re-warm it in a 350F oven for 20 minutes.

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Posted in Doom It Yourself | 6 Comments »

They Might be Badass

September 7th, 2011 by Cobwebs

I’m a little fuzzy on who Count Tarakan (The Bad Ass Russian) is, but it’s clear that he likes to punch things. His cover of “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” is glorious in its sheer, unbridled weirdosity.

(via Topless Robot, from whence the title was also filched)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 10 Comments »

Trivia Tuesday

September 6th, 2011 by Cobwebs

(No prizes, but if you can answer them all without googling you get bragging rights.)

  1. The actress who provided the voice for Lilo Pelekai in Disney’s Lilo and Stitch also played “the monster” in what horror movie?
  2. In Jonathan Coulton’s song “Re: Your Brains,” what is the name of the zombie providing the monologue?
  3. In Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, the Martians first land in Grover’s Mill, NJ. Where do the Martians in the original book first land?
    A) Horsell Common
    B) Pyford
    C) Bushey Heath
    D) Shepperton
    E) Primrose Hill
  4. In the original Friday the 13th film, who was the killer?
  5. “There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep; a thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, and wisps of smoke, but his fires were low in slumber. Beneath him, under all his limbs and his huge coiled tail, and about him on all sides stretching away across the unseen floors, lay countless piles of precious things, gold wrought and un-wrought, gems and jewels, and silver red-stained in the ruddy light.” In which classic work of fantasy does this monster appear?
  6. The most powerful alien/demon in H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos is:
    A) Nyarlathotep
    B) Shub-Niggurath
    C) Azathoth
    D) Yog-Sothoth
    E) Cthulhu
  7. Cher’s son is a member of what goth band?
  8. What was the name of the demons summoned by the puzzle box in Hellraiser?
  9. Who wrote the story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” in which a captured Confederate soldier imagines an elaborate escape and return to his home in the brief seconds before he is hanged?
  10. Stephen King wrote seven books using the pen name Richard Bachman. Two of these books were made into movies. What were their titles?

(Answers below the fold)

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Posted in Trivia | 2 Comments »

Gothy French Manicure

September 5th, 2011 by Cobwebs

It would be difficult to overstate how much I love these. The tone-on-tone look of these black “French manicured” nails are immensely striking, and could hardly be easier to do.

Black Nail Polish

  1. Paint your nails with your favorite shiny black nail polish. Let dry.
  2. Overpaint the whole nail with a matte top coat (if your favorite polish brand doesn’t have one, Matte About You is fairly inexpensive). Let dry again.
  3. Apply French Manicure Guides (or, if you have a steady hand, bits of clear tape) over everything but the tips.
  4. Re-paint the tips with shiny black nail polish again.

Easy!

The image, incidentally, is from Chloe’s Nails, which has loads of other striking manicure ideas.

(via Haute Macabre)

Posted in Paint It Black | 2 Comments »

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