Category:
Science Fiction

Atragon

Recently I watched the 1963 Japanese SF flick ATRAGON. I knew I was in true weirdo territory when the undersea empire of Mu turned out to be ruled by Cyndi Lauper.

Not really, but check out the gal in the pink wig in this trailer for the film.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 16, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Boats, Explosives, Fashion, Hair Styling, Inventions, Movies, Science Fiction, 1960s

Eugênio Hirsch

Discovering traces of a forgotten surrealist/pop artist is always nice and weird. That's why I'm happy to present here some data on Eugênio Hirsch--a name I believe will be little-known to English-speaking art-lovers.

I took the liberty of having Google translate his Spanish Wikipedia entry, and then cleaned up the text a bit.

Eugênio Hirsch (Vienna, 1923 - Rio de Janeiro, September 23 2001) was a visual artist of Austrian origin, considered one of the pioneers of Brazilian graphic design.

Eugênio Hirsch was born in Vienna, Austria in 1923. Given the imminence of World War II his family emigrated in 1938 to Argentina, where Hirsch was highlighted as a graphic artist. During his stay in Argentina, he lived in Buenos Aires where he worked for the Encyclopedia Codex. In 1947 he met Monteiro Lobato, who illustrated texts mentioned in the editorial. He also lived in San Miguel de Tucuman where he worked with Lino Spilimbergo Enea.

In 1955 he emigrated to Brazil. Beginning in 1960 he was hired by the publisher "Civilização Brasileira" and in a short time revolutionized the concept and design of book covers, becoming one of the biggest names in this specialty. In 1960 he won the Jabuti Award (highest distinction in the field Brazilian literary and artistic). He was considered a pioneer of graphic design with decisive influence on subsequent generations. One of his favorite quote was "Uma feita layer is to attack, did not to please" ( "A cap is used to attack, not to please"). In 1965 he traveled to the United States where he collaborated with Playboy magazine and then to Europe, but then returned to his adoptive country, Brazil.

Among his most famous works include the illustration done for the novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. He was also recalled for his eccentric personality.

Eugênio Hirsch died in Rio de Janeiro on September 23, 2001.


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You can see some of his book covers on this Flickr page. But my favorite is this one he did for the novel Flesh by the great Philip Jose Farmer.




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How did I chance upon Hirsch's work? Through this pictorial in Playboy for December 1965. The mildly NSFW totality of the feature is to be found after the jump.





More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Sun Aug 10, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Pop Art, Surrealism, History, Historical Figure, Literature, Books, Science Fiction, Magazines, Sexuality, Sex Symbols, World, Europe, South America

Get Your Geek On

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Yes, the San Diego Comic Con--or "Nerd Prom" as it is sometimes called--might be over for another year. But it's never too late to fill your life with tchotchkes that uphold your geek credentials. And it's especially easy when you have a resource like The Budk Catalog. Imagine the envy of your nerdly pals--and the instant appearance of a SWAT team--when you parade through your hometown while wearing these Wolverine claws. Hospital coverage due to police sniper fire not included.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 01, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Products, Conventions, Geeks, Nerds and Pointdexters, Hospitals, Literature, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Pop Culture, Comics

Mystery Bug Invades Britain

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This sounds like something out of a horror novel. A mysterious red and black insect has been found in parts of London, baffling experts who have no idea what it is. Ominously, it is spreading rapidly. From BBC News:

The tiny red and black bug first appeared in the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Garden in March 2007. Since then it has become the most common insect in the garden and has also been spotted in Regent's Park and Gray's Inn. The bug appears to be harmless, but there is potential for it to spread throughout the UK, said experts...

Despite containing more than 28 million insect specimens, the museum failed to find an exact match for the new bug. Experts said it closely resembles the rare species Arocatus roeselii that is usually found in central Europe. But the roeselii bugs are brighter red than this new bug and they are usually associated with alder trees. The National Museum in Prague discovered an exact match to the mystery insect but experts there have also failed to determine exactly what it is. "It seems strange that so many of these bugs should suddenly appear," said Mr Barclay.

Sure, it appears to be harmless for now, but what are the odds it'll remain that way? Haven't they read The Day of the Triffids?

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 30, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Horror, Unsolved Mysteries, Science Fiction

Jetpack Dreams

That most silly and pointless and inutile, yet much desired of flight mechanisms, the jetpack, is back in the news. You can read a New York Times piece about the latest model here.



And a review copy of this book recently arrived in my mailbox, portending lots of fun.











Yet such mechanisms pale before the magnificently insane accomplishment of Yves Rossy, who, a couple of years ago, basically turned himself into Iron Man. Watch his jet-powered flight below.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 29, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Eccentrics, Flight, Inventions, Literature, Science Fiction, Movies, Obsessions, Pop Culture, Technology, Travel, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

Follies of the Mad Men #6

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[From The Saturday Evening Post for January 29, 1966.]



Of course, the very first thing you'll load aboard your interstellar ship is a new Frigidaire. What's that you say? These women are not astronauts, but rather futuristic housewives, and the Fridge remains earthbound? Then why are they wearing those bubble helmets? Future pollution? But what about the helmet that features a cutout? And the slit glasses? If only the geniuses who created this ad were still around, we could ask them to explain....

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 29, 2008 - Comments (13)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Domestic, Fashion, Food, Futurism, Literature, Science Fiction, Travel, Space Travel

Delia Derbyshire and Doctor Who

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Too often throughout history men have received the credit for great achievements, even though it was a woman who did most of the creative work. The discovery of the DNA double-helix comes to mind. Another case in point: the Doctor Who theme song.

Ron Grainer is credited as the author of the song, but it turns out that it was Delia Derbyshire, a young sound engineer working in the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop in 1963, who took Grainer's written score and turned it into the song people recognize today. Reportedly when Grainer first heard it, he loved it, but asked, "Did I really write this?" "Most of it," she replied.

Recently a hidden hoard of Derbyshire's recordings were uncovered. It includes a track that sounds like modern experimental dance. A woman ahead of her time!

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 24, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Music, Science Fiction, 1960s

Tardis Sheds

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If I had a backyard shed I would definitely consider turning it into a Tardis, as apparently many people in the UK have decided to do, based upon the numerous Tardis-shed submissions to readersheds.co.uk.

Unfortunately, I doubt any of my neighbors would understand the reference. They would just think it was a blue shed. Although BBC America now runs episodes of Dr. Who, most Americans still have no clue who he is. (via Red Ferret)

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 18, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Science Fiction

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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.

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