Mark Frauenfelder at 12:01 pm Tue, Apr 27, 2010
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Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder.
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Texas, you say? What are the odds?
Yeah, I am an entertainer, and know the difference between “gimmicks” and the real thing. This woman is effing stupid to do this to her children. I am a professional, and know that there are days when you are “off”. Sometimes things don’t click like they should.
Costing your child an eye or even a DEATH is just plain stupid and bad parenting.
Check out the video that came up as related. “Shocking 1950s Commercial”. They used radioactive dirt to show how well a cold cream worked. Ahhhh, the good old days.
My husband would NOT be happy with me throwing knives at our kids, but I might have to consider this line of work if I don’t find another job soon.
Someone actually sent this video to me as a mother’s day card from rattlebox.com last year: http://www.rattlebox.com/ecard/cards/146
Looks like they use a lot of prelinger videos that I’ve seen posted here.
Oh good lord it’s a kids show
Change the channel…
If she makes a mistake she will at least be able to mount a scratch daughter.
Just wanted to point out…that based on the buildings in the background this was at the State Fairgrounds. Presumably during the state fair of Texas. Makes we wish I had a corn dog!
How is this even remotely legal? Even in Texas? Even in the 50s?
As part of the mother’s throwing stance, she takes a LARGE step forward, so the knives are thrown a whole 2? 3? feet. In the better quality video you can see the knives in SOME cases are being thrown, but those are going very wide of the kids. With a few days practice who here couldn’t get accurate enough to duplicate this trick? I KNOW I could.
I don’t know what everybody’s so shocked about, the kids barely flinch.
my first reaction: AAAAAAAAAAAAA.
my second reaction: I am full of thanks that my mom never did this to me.
Well, it’s a way to feed your family and, if you miss, you don’t even have to feed them.
What’s the person doing behind the board the girls are standing against? My guess is he’s pushing fake knives from behind while everyone in attendance is in on the stunt. I can’t figure out where the thrown knives are going though. It’s like watching Copperfield when I was a kid. I know they’re up to something, I just don’t know what exactly. Or maybe I’m crazy.
He’s holding the board up. You can tell it isn’t fake, because you can watch the knives leaving her hand.
That’s not a trick knife board. When you see one next to a legit knife board, you’ll see the difference is obvious. That lady is actually throwing those knives. Notice how some of the knives are crooked, loose, and one actually falls down when hitting the wood.
Much higher-quality, downloadable version at the Internet Archive, where we originally uploaded it: http://www.archive.org/details/KnifeThr1950
It’s nice to know that nature was already working on human population control mechanisms in the 1950s.
I can’t immagine in what universe this could have been considered a great idea for entertaining a crowd. Yet, there it is, USA via. TX cir. 1950.
Maybe a universe where people weren’t pumped full of fear every single day of their lives? I bet she didn’t even wash those knives with antibacterial soap!
That’s one heck of a time-out spot.
This reminds me of the My Name is Earl episode about the family with the tradition of mother-daughter knife throwing going back several generations. It featured that girl who played Nic Cage’s daughter in “Kick-Ass.”
So awesome to see these rare Sedaris-family home movies!
The first thing that popped into my mind was, “trust issues.” Those kids probably ended up with some.
People just used to be way more bad ass back in the day.
@pinhead: really? seems they trust her just fine, as long as they don’t get nicked, this would build trust fast..makes me think of those team work exercises where you fall backwards and have someone catch you.
The Church of the Subgenius used a bit of this in their Arise! movie back in the early ’90s.
Yeah — try double-clicking the “play” button at the :58 mark, going immediately from play to pause, from play to pause. It’s right after the girl holds up her two fingers — you can see the knife flying in and sticking.
They use the close up of the little girl in the in some of the intros to Wonder Showzen. Excellent.
Holy snappin’ asscrackers! I thought I had it rough as a kid.
In the standard way of doing a knife-throwing act, no knife is ever actually thrown once the assistant is up there. There are dummy knives hidden behind the board, in those slots you can see in it, which are snapped forward to “stick into” the board as the thrower palms the knife being thrown.
I was hugely disappointed when I first learned that.
In this one… I’m not sure on all of the shots, but I’m pretty sure. If you look at the way mom is standing in most of those shots, you can’t actually see the knife travel. She’s either too close to the board, or the camera is behind her, as the audience is, so you couldn’t possibly see it in motion. You actually see (or seem to see) a knife in the air in the first shot, but that is probably done before the kid gets up in front of the board. In most of the rest of them, you see a knife waved, you see a knife sticking in the board, and your mind is filling in the knife’s motion in between for you.
I was going to say there were some later shots which showed her actually throwing it and then it sticking into the board next to the kid… and then I realized they were from completely opposite angles and those shots couldn’t have been done at the same time. They were edited together later. I’m too used to taking movie and TV edits for granted.
then explain to me 0:44-0:46 where a knife bounces Down towards the kid.
I wonder what Freud would say.
At about :10, looks like she suddenly throws a knife far to screen right (directly at the smaller girl, apparently)
Mother Of The Year, 1950
I wonder how many kids she had BEFORE she started her new hobby?
I recently caught up with her again –
Does no one here throw darts? Ever see someone with a snootful of beer toss triple 20′s all night long?
There’s no way she’s palming 12″ knives. She’s really throwing them, and they’re really sticking. It’s not a gimmick, or an editing illusion. She’s not even aiming really close to the kid. She’s got easily 6″ of clearance, and if the kid doesn’t move, it won’t get stuck.
With diligent practice, you can come within an inch or two of what you’re aiming at when standing inside of 6 feet whether you’re tossing knives, darts or bowling balls. Just keep your target outside that margin of error!
Call the parental outrage report line! This woman deserves to be locked up, even if she’s dead!
Look how far she leans in. Those knives are travelling MAYBE 2 feet.
I bet she didn’t even wash them off with antibacterial wipes first!
showed this to the kids they immediately unloaded the dishwasher and hid all the knives, will have to practice on the dog instead
Ma used to do that all the time and we turned out fine. Well… all except for my brother Cletus. But no one ever mentions him.