The Museum of Hoaxes has scans of a dinosaur hunting license that was issued in Vernal, Utah in the 1950s. Vernal is rich in dinosaur fossils, and the Vernal Chamber of Commerce handed out the licenses to drum up tourist interest. They’re apparently still available (the site that MoH links to is down, but here’s an updated license), although I notice that the name of the Deputy Lizard Warden has been changed; apparently Kids These Days haven’t heard of Alley Oop.
Something similar to this would be easy to create on a home computer, and you can change the license to the monster or cryptid of your choice. Just be sure to specify bag limits and other restrictions; you wouldn’t want to wipe out the local vampire population by over-hunting. They’d be a cute party favor, and would also look nice framed on a wall.
I mentioned the Dead Fairy Hoax a while back, opining that something similar might be made using a miniature skeleton as a base. I finally decided to take a crack at making one, and I have to say that I’m rather pleased at how it turned out.
The project was much less difficult than I’d feared; there are a fair number of steps, but each individual one is pretty easy. (Also, it’s supposed to be a half-rotted corpse; if you mess something up, how would anybody know?)
If you’d like to try your hand at something similar, I’ve posted a tutorial here.
(This post was first published in October 2009; earning me a spot on BoingBoing and allowing me to sport a Been Boinged Nerd Merit Badge. To date, it is my most popular post by a margin almost too wide to measure.)
Jen and John from EPBOT are DIY-ing fools, creating amazing props and costumes from “dirt cheap” materials. When they learned that this year’s DragonCon was going to feature a Labyrinth-themed ball, they immediately started work on an appropriate cosplay costume. Rather than choosing one of the main characters, they decided to focus on the rarely-portrayed Junk Lady.
The costume isn’t done yet, but they shared a “first look” and it is awesome.
They’re striving for total screen accuracy with her junk pile, and are going all-in:
Me: “John, that toy desk-organizer with a built-in abacus on the back of her pile is barely visible even with the TV brightness set to max. Do you REALLY need to build one from scratch?
John: “…. ” [already in the garage building one from scratch]
The post has loads of build notes and some great ideas for building the costume frame, just in case you’re looking for some Halloween inspiration. This is a brilliant project and I can’t wait to see the final result.
Update: – They just did another build post, detailing some of the junk. It is awesome.
I’ve mentioned the web-based game Kingdom of Loathing previously. The team responsible for that game just released a teaser video for their new venture, West of Loathing:
You can sign up for newsletter updates here. If you play Kingdom of Loathing, one of their ascension challenge paths is Avatar of West of Loathing, which allows you to play as one of the character classes (Cow Puncher, Beanslinger, or Snake Oiler), providing a taste of WoL content.
What a Way to Go – A list of unusual causes of death. I’m surprised the list doesn’t include Jim Fixx, but maybe that’s less “unusual” and more “really, really ironic.”
I Hate Fairyland – Series of graphic novels following the adventures of Gert, a forty-year-old woman trapped in a six-year-old’s body who’s been stuck in the magical world of Fairyland for nearly 30 years. NPR reviews it here.
In 1867 a biology professor was sent to investigate a mysterious fire at the Liddell household. This kit is full of samples and documentation from the final known trip down the rabbit hole.
Included in the kit:
-Card Guard specimen, mounted
-fetal Mome Rath
-rose painted red
-raven’s feather (like a writing desk?)
-Cheshire Cat teeth
-Cheshire Cat fur samples
-framed photo of Lewis Carroll
-various photos of Wonderland inhabitants
-Eat Me and Drink Me bottles
-vial of water from Pool of Tears
-bottled mushroom bits, one from each side
-map of nonsense occurrences in England, leading to rabbit hole
-map of Wonderland
-typed copy of “You Are Old, Father William”
-typed letter from Professor Lake, detailing his journey to England
-half-burned print of the courtroom scene (removed from the scorched remains of the Liddell house)
That’s some true devotion right there.
The entire kit is simply wonderful; I love all the thoughtful little details.
(This post was first published in August 2008; I’ll be doing a few days of “blast from the past” archive posts in a probably-vain effort to catch up with real life.)
If you found a laminator to make yourself an Artistic License, here’s another amusing card you can put in your wallet.
Writer and performance artist Stewart Home decided to explore the relationship between sex and death by creating donor cards enabling the bearers to leave their body for sexual experimentation. His description of public reaction to the cards is interesting, and it brings up the deeper philosophical question: Is necrophilia still wrong if you’ve got the corpse’s specific consent?
Stewart copied the design of the NHS donor card to create his version. The design isn’t particularly attractive, so if you’re going to make your own you might want to experiment with the color and style.
I may make up a bunch of these as favors for my next Halloween party.
(This post was first published in June 2008; I’ll be doing a few days of “blast from the past” archive posts in a probably-vain effort to catch up with real life.)