The Art of Darkness

Great Party Activity Idea

September 3rd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Celtic CrossBoingBoing recently featured an article about the creation and marketing of a new card game called Slash, the object of which involves pairing up fictional characters. That game sounds fun, but what caught my eye was something in the comments: The thread included several complaints about the game Cards Against Humanity and its playability seeming stale after a while. Commenter snowmentality offered this solution:

You know what also works amazingly well? CAH tarot readings. A simple Celtic Cross tarot spread, laid out with CAH cards: hours of party entertainment.

Well that’s just brilliant.

For those not familiar with the game, Cards Against Humanity is an irreverent card game in which players select their “answer” cards which best fit a “question” card. (So, for the question “What are my parents hiding from me?” answers might include “Harry Potter erotica,” “Italians,” and “Grandma.”)

So yes, I can definitely see the potential hilarity in having one’s “future” card in the tarot spread wind up as something like “Tentacle porn,” “Grave robbing,” or “Raptor attacks.”

CAH is a great party game anyway, and once you feel that you’ve exhausted its potential in its intended use, you can start all over again with this variation. Good stuff.

Posted in Paint It Black | 3 Comments »

Trivia Tuesday

September 2nd, 2014 by Cobwebs

  1. In ancient Egyptian mythology, after death your heart is weighed against a feather. If it’s lighter than the feather, you may continue your journey. If not, it’s devoured by this demon.
    A) Tawaret
    B) Ammit
    C) Sekhmet
    D) Bes
    E) Ma’at
  2. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are Pestilence, War, Famine, and this entity, who rides a pale horse.
  3. In Norse mythology, people who don’t die in battle generally wind up in the murky realm of Hel. Warriors who die in combat are sorted by the Valkyrie: Half go to Valhalla to hang with Odin and the other half go to the field of F√≥lkvangr, ruled over by this goddess of love and beauty:
    A) Frigg
    B) Sif
    C) Freyja
    D) Angrboda
    E) Gefjon
  4. Who is the House ghost for Hufflepuff?
  5. “Catrinas” have become closely associated with Day of the Dead celebrations. What are they?
    A) Glass ornaments
    B) Bread decorated with bone-shaped cutouts
    C) Drawings of the deceased
    D) Little tin altars
    E) Skeletons dressed in fancy clothing
  6. In Greek mythology the god of death, Thanatos, is the twin brother of this god of sleep.
  7. The ghost of a dog named Kabar is rumored to haunt the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery. Who was Kabar’s famous owner?
    A) John Wayne
    B) Rudolph Valentino
    C) Marlene Dietrich
    D) Errol Flynn
    E) Bette Davis
  8. The events of this Shakespeare play are all set in motion by the appearance of a ghost.
  9. One of the most famous ghost photographs is the 1936 picture of the “Brown Lady” descending a staircase. What building does the Brown Lady allegedly haunt?
    A) Peoria State Hospital, Bartonville, Illinois
    B) Princess Theatre, Melbourne, Australia
    C) Napier Prison, Napier, New Zealand
    D) Empress Hotel, Victoria, British Columbia
    E) Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England
  10. The supernatural Wild Hunt has various leaders in different folklore; Odin is most popular in Germany and Scandinavia. In France and England the Hunt is most often led by this legendary king when he isn’t snoozing in Avalon.

(Answers below the fold)

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September 1st, 2014 by Cobwebs

This short film featuring Alan Rickman stalking a young girl has an awesomely creepy twist ending.

(Hat tip to WitchArachne)

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Another Darn Week of Link Dumps: Day 5

August 29th, 2014 by Cobwebs

This concludes the latest Link-Dump-a-Go-Go. Regular posting (and once-a-week link dumps) will return on Monday.

27 Places Straight Out of Nightmares – a.k.a. “Goth Vacation Suggestions.”

Human Skull Lyre – This is pretty metal.

Thrift Store Finds: Halloween Makeover – Some great suggestions for giving thrifted metal candlesticks, trays, and other items a spooky makeover. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

50 Scooby Doo Background Paintings – I want a bunch of these blown up and framed.

The Great Big Book of Horrible Things – A “definitive chronicle” of history’s 100 worst atrocities.

Werewolf – This sounds like a fun party game.

Fairies – Amazingly detailed “fairies” made of taxidermy insect parts. (Hat tip to Bruno)

Louis Armstrong Sings Death Metal – An amusing mashup.

Baby Bat Playing with Toys – This li’l rescue bat playing with a mobile will melt your heart.

Fencing Language in The Princess Bride – Westley and Inigo weren’t just making stuff up.

Posted in Link Dump | 6 Comments »

Another Darn Week of Link Dumps: Day 4

August 28th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Supermanatee (and Friends) – Artist Joel Harris has a whole series of superhero-costumed manatees, and they are all blorpily marvelous. They’re available as prints and T-shirts.

Know Your Double – A field guide to doppelgangers.

Tattoos Inspired by Books from Childhood – I particularly like the Gorey ones.

Harry Potter Wedding Cake – This is just astonishingly detailed.

Hardback Reading Lamp – DIY project for turning a hardback book into a bedside reading lamp. If you’ve loved a book to death until its pages are falling out, this is a neat way to breathe new life into the cover.

Andreas Scheiger – Sculptor whose series Evolution of Type includes several “dissected” letters (plus a few more that look like fossils).

Unlock Some Inspiration – Decorating ideas using antique keys.

The Perfect Cake for Your Last Day of Work – The next time there’s a going-away party I may have to try this.

Make Your Own Hippogriff – Sadly, this tutorial uses fabric rather than alchemy.

DrFaustusAU – This artist’s faux-Seussian renderings of movies like Silence of the Lambs and The Evil Dead are splendid.

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Another Darn Week of Link Dumps: Day 3

August 27th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Spotter’s Guide to Rare and Unusual Patronuses – They can’t all be stags and otters.

The Pleasure’s All Mine – A history of “perverse” sex.

Smelling Death – Interesting article about “crime scene cleaners.”

Bosch’s 600-Year-Old Butt Music – One of the tortured sinners in Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights” has musical notes inscribed on his ass. Somebody transcribed them.

AlexanderJansson – Artist who creates weird, whimsical illustrations. (Hat tip to Cat)

Cthulhu Lulu – Knit your own tentacled beanie.

Life Before Death – Intriguing photo series featuring people before and after they die.

Leather Bat Bow – Neat hair bow/bowtie.

The Game Over Tinies – Series of cartoons in the style of The Gashleycrumb Tinies, only celebrating the deaths of various video game characters.

Nightmare Before Christmas/Haunted Mansion Tarot – Hey, neat. In 2001 Disneyland did a promotional event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of NMBC’s release, and each guest who attended received a deck of tarot-ish cards. They’re occasionally available on Amazon or eBay for astoundingly high prices. There are some better images of the individual cards here.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Another Darn Week of Link Dumps: Day 2

August 26th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Owl Door – I have no idea where this is from but I love the carved door.

Light-up Wand Tutorial – Great instructions for making a Harry Potter-esque wand that lights up.

Game of Phones – tumblr1 made a mini Iron Throne for her iPhone to rest on. It is sort of wonderful.

Dragon Drink Dispenser Stand – This metal dragon is pricey, but it’d be an awesome investment for future Halloween parties. (via Poopisan)

Charlie the Flying Fox – This injured flying fox being fed grapes is adorkable. (The skins have been peeled off the grapes, so he probably thinks he’s bat royalty.)

Schadenfreude Mints – “As delicious as other people’s misery.”

Ghost Friend – Heh.

Coffin Hill – This horror graphic novel sounds intriguing.

Disenchanted – Humorous fantasy about an undead king trying to get rid of a cursed sword.

Eerie Reaper – Fabric with a subtle skull-and-black-cat design. I like the Eerie Encyclopedia too. (via Old Fashion Halloween)

25 Disney Villain Tattoos to Die For – I…I don’t know if I could sleep with a guy who had a giant Ursula chest tattoo.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Another Darn Week of Link Dumps

August 25th, 2014 by Cobwebs

You guys. I have so many links my my Link Dump folder. So. Many. So guess what you get all week?

Flying Foxes Are Real And They Are Terrifying – If by “terrifying” you mean “utterly snorgle-able.”

Witchlings Tarot – Deck full of whimsical, pastel-colored witches by Paulina Cassidy. You can see the full deck here.

Necrometrics – “Death tolls across history.”

The Extinction Parade – Short story by Max Brooks (author of World War Z) about the vampires’ response to zombies. (via xJane)

40 Creepiest Photos Ever – Some of these seem to be modern, staged photos. Some are weird old vintage stuff.

Anatomical Lingerie – Underwear with the appropriate innards printed on the front. (via Beans)

Candy Corn Vases – Easy DIY for Halloweening up glass bottles.

Carousel Dogs – This isn’t goth, but the artistry is just stunning.

Lego Princess Bride – Scenes from the movie recreated in Lego.

Goth Gardening – Blog devoted to…just what you’d expect it to be devoted to.

Posted in Link Dump | 4 Comments »

28 Link Dumps Later

August 22nd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Paranormal Ghost Prank – Since these guys apparently “prank” each other like this regularly it’s questionable how much of the guy’s fear is genuine. Still, given the relative simplicity of the setup it’d be fairly effective.

USB Squirming Tentacle – I want to get a USB hub and have a dozen of these all writhing at once.

Hand-painted Raven Scarf – This is just gorgeous. Given the detail, it’s not a bad price, either. (via Burning Prairie)

Bat Napkin Rings – Attractive, understated design. They’re pleasingly inexpensive, but could also be DIY’d by gluing bat-shaped buttons to plain napkin rings. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Wake the Dead – Cute kids’ book about a little boy who makes so much noise he…y’know.

Let’s Mummify Barbie! – This is a great, hilariously creepy, educational activity for kids.

Concrete Skull Lamp – xJane sent me this link with the comment, “expensive, but likely DIYable.” A definite yes to both.

Full Mash – Beer company with labels like, “Apparition,” “Seance,” “Nevermore,” and “Illuminati.” Handy for Halloween parties.

A Woman’s Work is Never Done – Project by textile artist Eliza Bennett, in which she embroiders her own hands. I realize that slipping a needle under the top layer of skin doesn’t really hurt, but these photos just squick me right the hell out.

Hanging Bats Salt and Pepper Shakers – These seem to be exclusive to Jo-Ann Fabric, so I don’t know if they’re available outside of the U.S. They’re pretty cute, though.

Posted in Link Dump | 6 Comments »

Giant Isopod Phone Case

August 21st, 2014 by Cobwebs

Isopod Phone CaseThe Japanese really like giant isopods. Like, really.* Recently there was a lot of buzz around an iPhone case shaped like a super-realistic giant isopod; from what I can gather it was released to commemorate the death of “No. 1,” a giant isopod residing at the Toba Aquarium which gained notoriety by refusing to eat for over five years. The Rhubarb Gusokumushi** case was available in gold or silver. Unfortunately, it was also a limited-edition production run of only 500 units and also had the drawback of only being available in Japan.

Fortunately, all is not lost! There’s at least one other giant isopod iPhone case, manufactured by Strapya (also available here). While not quite so detailed as the limited-edition model, it has the advantage of being, y’know, not limited-edition. And also being available outside of Japan. It doesn’t clutch your phone in little spiky legs–a vast disappointment, to be sure–but would probably be a little easier to fit in a purse or pocket.

I suppose if you were feeling particularly resourceful it might be possible to find a cast-plastic model of an isopod (or another interesting creepy-crawly like a lobster, centipede, or spider) and fit a more conventional phone case into its underside. That would largely depend on whether the amusement value of saying, “Excuse me, my spider is ringing” would offset the inconvenience of lugging around an unwieldy, oversize phone. You have to admit that it’d be fairly entertaining to stroll down the street talking into the abdomen of a giant rubber cockroach and acting like you have no idea why anyone’s staring.

Anyway, giant isopods. Neat.

*It’s a little unclear why they’ve so caught the Japanese imagination; asking Google mainly brought back giant isopod hot dogs, giant isopod plush toys (through which I discovered that there are a bunch of stuffed toys based on Burgess Shale creatures, including Anomalocaris, Hallucigenia, and Opabinia, so that’s neat), and giant isopods sharing a snack. But I also found this list of 18 awesome facts about giant isopods, so let’s just assume that the Japanese simply recognize their intrinsic awesomeness and leave it at that.

**This is what Google Translate insists the name of the phone case is. Searching on that term turns up a lot of hits, but it’s entirely possible that everybody else just ran the same page through Google Translate. If anybody reads Japanese and would care to enlighten us, that’d be swell.

Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

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