Unlocking the Truth – Heavy metal band comprised of 12-year-olds who have played together since they were 5. They will melt your face off.
Pirate Pancake Griddle – This cast iron skull-and-crossbones pancake mold is lovely. It’s a Kickstarter project that was only recently funded so the product isn’t available yet; I assume they’ll sell it at Captain Crepe, since the creator is the same guy.
Those of us of a particular age (and, I discovered, particular nationalities) will fondly remember growing up with Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and the rest of the Cereal Monsters. Two of them, Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, were discontinued years ago, and the others have only been available seasonally around Halloween since 2010 (Fruit Brute, incidentally, is considered by many collectors to be the most sought-after vintage cereal box, possibly because it was used by Quentin Tarantino in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction).
General Mills just announced that the entire line of cereals will be re-released nationwide this September, the first time the entire line has been available at once. They’ve also got an exclusive deal with Target stores to offer all five cereals in their retro packaging (although I notice that they’ve updated “Fruit Brute” to “Frute Brute,” which annoys me vaguely).
For non-US folks, I’m somewhat startled to report that even though General Mills seems to have an enormous global presence, these cereals appear to be limited to the states. They may be available from online retailers like Amazon if you’re willing to pay what is likely to be usurious shipping. Otherwise, you may need to pester your US friends to ship you a couple of boxes.*
For US folks, I would assume that if the whole line sells well they’ll all be released again next year, but if you’ve been craving Fruit Brute since 1982 it may be worthwhile to buy a few extra boxes and freeze them. I may get a couple of the retro packages and frame them; they’ve got a fun vintage pop-art vibe that amuses me.
*Somebody needs to start a business matching up people in various countries so they can send each other local delicacies. I know Shadaughter would kill for Jaffa Cakes.
Quite a number of authors blog and/or use Twitter, and long ago I put together a list of SF authors’ blogs and Twitter feeds. Because I am rather slow on the uptake, it only recently occurred to me that it might be a good idea to do the same for the fantasy/horror genre. Duh.
Anyway, for your following enjoyment, here are some blogs and feeds to, um, follow. (Note that lots more authors have an “official site” or some other minimal web presence; this list only includes those with actual blogs.)
It’s a pretty long list, so I’ve put it below the fold. If I’ve missed any of your favorites, let me know in the comments!
London After Midnight was a famous 1927 silent film staring Lon Chaney. Based on the short story “The Hypnotist” by Tod Browning, who also directed the film (and also directed the 1931 version of Dracula and the horrifying 1932 cult classic Freaks), the last known copy of the film was destroyed in an MGM fire in 1967.
The film is one of the most sought-after “lost movies.” In 2002, Turner Classic Movies aired a reconstructed version using the original script and film stills. Barring an unexpected discovery in somebody’s aunt’s attic, this is probably the closest we’ll get to the experience moviegoers in 1927 enjoyed.
I recall reading about Chaney’s self-applied makeup for the film. He used wires to give him pop eyes, and they caused him injuries which plagued him the rest of his life. He was definitely a “suffering for his craft” kind of guy.
The other day I was telling Shadow Jack about some of the accounts I follow on Twitter. I mentioned that one of them was Warren Ellis, and he asked why I followed him. Because here is an example of a typical Ellis tweet:
Good morning, fluorescent sex weasels of the internet. It’s a new day, and fresh victims are everywhere.
How could you not follow that?
It appears that I am not alone in my appreciation of his turn of phrase, in that Six-Sided Space Ninja has created a site that will randomly generate phrases based on his Twitter greetings.
Netflix has recently branched out from its video rental/streaming services into creating original content. One of its new offerings is Hemlock Grove, a supernatural thriller based on the novel by Brian McGreevy. The 13-episode first season recently finished up and it’s been renewed for a second season. Reviews for both the book and series have been somewhat mixed, but if you like lycanthropic goings-on in a small town setting then this might be worth a look.
Quirk Books recently posted a collection of humorous ice cream flavors inspired by books: Things like “Clockwork Orange Creamsicle” and “War and Peach.” Each flavor includes advertising copy describing its ingredients, and a few of them sound pretty darn good. These could be replicated at home, either as regular mixed ice cream or as individual sundaes.
In particular, “Berry Potter and the Container of Secrets” is described as “a magical blend of butter beer, Bertie Bott’s Strawberry Flavour Beans and chocolate frogs.” That sounds like butterscotch ice cream, strawberry jellybeans (Jelly Belly has two varieites: Strawberry Jam and Strawberry Cheesecake), and chocolate frogs: If you’re making a batch of ice cream with mix-ins, it’d be easiest to just use chocolate chips or chocolate chunks; for individual desserts, you could use a frog-shaped candy mold to make real chocolate frogs and perch a few atop each sundae.
“Whirled War Z” is another flavor that sounds yummy: “Gummy worms crawl through a swirl of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. Beware of the random splattering of cherries.” To make a large batch–which would work particularly well as an ice cream cake–soften equal amounts of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate ice cream. Line a cake pan with plastic wrap and spread the ice creams in layers, scattering gummy worms and cherries (fresh, frozen, dried, or candied, according to your whim) between the layers. Freeze until firm, then unmold on a serving platter and slice. For sundaes, sprinkle scoops of neapolitan ice cream with the worms and cherries.
I’m sure there are plenty of other literary combinations possible: Dracula-inspired “Vein-illa:” Vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate hearts and a coil of pureed raspberry “blood;” Poe’s “Night in the Toothsome October:” Pumpkin ice cream swirled with sherry-caramel sauce and pecan shortbread bits; and Oscar Wilde’s “Pleasure of Dorian Gray:” Bourbon ice cream with candied orange peel and a licorice ripple.
Have suggestions for other combinations? Leave ’em in the comments!
This is old, but Shadowboy recently discovered it and has been playing incessantly at me, so I’m going to share it with you. It’s somewhat more geeky than gothy, but it does have Neil Gaiman.
Olga Nunes and Elaine Doyle were so inspired by this xkcd comic that they set it to music, and they managed to talk a bunch of famous geeks into singing along. Neil Gaiman, Wil Wheaton, Cory Doctorow (in cape and goggles), Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden, and loads of others are featured.
(And to get even more meta, the reason Cory Doctorow is wearing a cape and goggles is because of this cartoon. It is an immutable law of the universe that whatever the subject, there is an xkcd cartoon that’s relevant.)