16mm Theater is my new series here on Weird Universe, in which I will share some of the stranger films in my 16mm collection. Today's feature: The Rainbow Bear, 1970
The only way I can describe this film is "acid trip," and if you watch it I'm sure you will agree. Weirder still is the fact that this was apparently made for children, as it was produced by American Educational Films. And the weirdest fact about this short is that it was directed by Bill Meléndez, perhaps best known for A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Sorry about the poor quality, my projector doesn't have a telecine mode and I don't have a proper video camera.
When I think of the Olympics, I rarely consider that each event has both a mens and a womens division. I tend to focus more on the sport itself regardless of who is competing. After all, the Olympics is supposed to encourage the spirit of friendly competition, and not highlight major flaws, such as gender bias. Unfortunately this year's winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, is doing just that. Women ski jumpers have petitioned to join every Winter Olympics since Nagano in 1998, and each time they have been denied by the International Olympics Committee (IOC). So what's the deal? Well, the IOC is sidestepping the issue. They've issued a written statement that reads "Women's Ski Jumping does not reach the necessary technical criteria and as such does not yet warrant a place alongside other Olympic events." Yet female ski jumpers argue the point (read about it here). Lindsey Van, current world record holder for the longest jump, is quick to point out that they meet the necessary criteria. But it may be a long time before we see women flying off the end of a ski jump in front of Olympic judges. IOC member Dick Pound is quoted as saying "If in the meantime you're making all kinds of allegations about the IOC and how it's discriminating on the basis of gender," he warned, "the IOC may say, 'Oh yeah, I remember them. They're the ones that embarrassed us and caused us a lot of trouble in Vancouver, maybe they should wait another four years or eight years.'" Yes, you read that right. He is publicly threatening female ski jumpers to keep them out of the Olympics for years if they persist. So much for the spirit of friendly competition.
When I was in the first, second and third grade, Valentine's Day was a big deal. We brought old shoe boxes to school and decorated them with red construction paper and pink and white hearts. Then we went around the room and stuffed cheaply made, store bought Valentines featuring silly cartoon characters into all the boxes. We had to bring enough for every child in the class so that no one would feel left out. Then we'd have a party, with cupcakes and punch, and got to read all our Valentines. That was over twenty years ago and I remember those days with fondness. But apparently those days are over for future generations, at least in Somerset, England. Peter Turner, the headmaster at Ashcombe Primary School (students aged four to eleven), has banned Valentine's exchanges on campus and any cards found in school will be taken away. Why? As Mr. Turner explains, "We believe that such ideas should wait until children are mature enough emotionally and socially to understand the commitment involved in having or being a boyfriend or girlfriend." Of course opinions from the parents differ, from approval, to outrage. You can read more about the ban here.
Men generally know very little about their significant other. In a survey of 2,000 men 6 out of 10 thought they knew everything about their lover, but the results showed something a little different. Of the men surveyed 10% did not know her birthday, 12% did not know her eye color, 8% didn't even know her natural hair color. As a woman, I have to say, I'm not surprised. Check out what else the guys don't know at the link.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.