Tesla recently applied for a patent to use laser beams to clean a car's windshield. They justify the lasers by explaining that they're needed to make sure the driver-assistance system maintains a clear field of view.
It's a long, technical application, which I didn't bother to read completely. So I assume they must have considered how it might be a bad idea to have lasers suddenly blasting away at a windshield while someone is driving the car... or even just sitting in the front seat.
Artist Maurizio Cattelan’s latest piece, consisting of a banana duct-taped to a wall, sold recently for $120,000.
Gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin defended the work by saying, “It looks like a joke, but step back and look at it again, and it becomes so much more.”
The new owner will receive a certificate of authenticity. However, they’ll also be expected to periodically replace the banana (and presumably the duct tape also). Which begs the question: what did they actually buy? The idea of a banana duct-taped to a wall, apparently.
I'm curious to know how long the owner will actually bother to replace the banana. Twenty years from now, will they still be replacing it every few days?
An 'Ex-Lax Movie' doesn't sound like something I'd want to watch. Actually, it's something I'd actively avoid. And I can't imagine the phrase sounded much better back in 1939 and '40 when Ex-Lax ran these ads in magazines such as Life and Woman's Home Companion.
"The girl who punished herself"
Betty: I don't know which is worse... constipation or the remedy! Sally: You're silly to punish yourself that way. Why don't you try Ex-Lax?
Betty: Ex-Lax? You expect that to work for me... a little chocolate tablet? Sally: Don't let its pleasant taste deceive you. Ex-Lax is a dependable laxative—thorough and effective!
LATER Betty: No more strong, bad-tasting laxatives for me! That Ex-Lax was just the thing. It fixed me up fine! Sally: What did I tell you! We've used Ex-Lax in our family for over 30 years.
The Awakening of "Mr. A."
Mr. A: Whew! I hate the very thought of having to take a cathartic. Mr. B: You wouldn't if you'd try Ex-Lax. It tastes swell—just like chocolate.
Mr. A: Ex-Lax? That's what we give the youngsters. What I need is dynamite! Mr. B: Don't kid yourself! Ex-Lax is plenty effective, if that's what's worrying you!
LATER Mr. A: Boy, I feel like a million this morning! That Ex-Lax sure is great stuff! Mr. B: You said it, pal! We've been using Ex-Lax in our family for more than thirty years!
"Mr. Wright found out he was wrong!"
Mr. Wright: Gee, Honey, this stuff is awful! Why do all laxatives taste so bad? Mrs. Wright: All of them don't. Ex-Lax tastes like delicious chocolate.
Mr. Wright: Ex-Lax! That's all right for you and Junior, but I need something stronger! Mrs. Wright: No you don't! Ex-Lax is as effective as any bad-tasting cathartic.
LATER Mr. Wright: I sure am glad I took your advice. It's Ex-Lax for me from now on. Mrs. Wright: Yes, with Ex-Lax in the medicine chest we don't need any other laxative!
In the Parque del Retiro (Retiro’s Park) in Madrid, Ines Sastre runs to meet Javier Bardem who is waiting for her with his arms wide open and they embrace one another in a passionate kiss. This only one shot which lasts one minute twenty seconds is subjected to a hundred and thirteen changes for one hour and seventeen minutes. “I wanted to exhaust the possibilities of changing a shot by changing the music, the colours, by burning it, by making some holes…” remembers Aguirre; “sometimes, the heads are not visible, or we can only see her legs, or the image seems to be scrapped off”… /… the variations of this shot are preceded by the ones of another couple taken in the beach of La Concha in San Sebastian that maybe acts as a suggestion of a merely real support for this ideal meeting. The images are accompanied by not only Borges’ voice-over but also Fernando Fernan-Gomez and Francisco Rabal’s voices-over among some not so well-known other voices …/ … disparate prints, sometimes unpredictable, that Borges’ literature proposed to moviemakers of this period and from distant cultures. It is the disparity of Javier Aguirre’s experimentation along with the contradiction that seems us so provocative.
Alas, I cannot find this film online, or even any clips. But I felt WU-vies should know about it, in case any art-house showing appears in your neighborhood, or you find it on disc, or on streaming!
Alex and I never coordinate our posts, but sometimes they achieve thematic synchronicity. Yesterday, for instance, he posted about losing weight and I posted about obesity.
But his post from today, about Corporate Icon Peter Pain, happened magically to dovetail with my leisure-time reading of last evening, when I was enjoying THE THING FROM THE GRAVE, a collection of the work that artist Joe Orlando did for the fabled EC Comics. I read Orlando's Peter Pain Parody, and then this morning found Alex's post!
BTW: the whole line of EC reprints from Fantagraphics is worthy of your attention.
Some more info about him from The Austin American (Oct 13, 1965):
The arch villain with the jaunty black bowler and gnashing teeth made his debut 23 years ago  in a series of comic strips ads for Ben-Gay ointment. He delighted his readers by making life miserable for a succession of poor unsuspecting souls.
Peter Pain's behavior remained steadfast — he was rotten to the core. In his heyday, he threw a kleig light at a television quiz kid, pounded an umbrella into the back of a grandfather celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary, clouted a sweet little old lady with a hammer and spike and turned his pitchfork on the stomach of a nice young farmgirl.
Despite the mayhem, every adventure invariably ended happily. In each strip, someone would reach for the Ben-Gay and in no time the aches and pains of the harried souls would disappear.
"Drat, Ben-Gay," was Peter Pain's frequent lament as the episode came to an end.
Now, with the introduction of a new product (Ben-Gay Lotion), it has been announced, with regret, that the services of Peter Pain will no longer be used.
"We decided Peter Pain is not a fun guy," a Ben-Gay spokesman explained.
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.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.