Thanks for having us!

Carrie McLaren and Jason Torchinsky are guest bloggers! Well, they were.

Incredible Thai Etan Trucks

I've been fascinated by these for quite a while, and I'm gathering information on them for a future book project: "These" and "them" are Thai Edan trucks-- possibly the only cottage-industry motor vehicles in the world.

Some Final Images of Mild Interest

My tour of blogging duty is wrapping up here, but I wanted to put up some photos I had set aside here for possible blogging use. Here we go:

Lysa Provencio's Custom Guitars

Fender has had a program where they're finding up-and-coming artists to paint guitars; my friend Lysa Provincio has done a few of these, and they look pretty great. In addition to this one, there's more on her site. Enjoy!

Ad Nauseam Reading Aug. 8 in Los Angeles!

For those of you in the greater Los Angeles area who are either interested in the book Carrie and I wrote/edited, or if anyone just wants to berate me for any of the posts I've put up here these past two weeks, then come on out to Book Soup in West Hollywood where I'll be doing a reading from the book, answering questions, and maybe some small appliance repair. Hope to see you there, internet!

Download Stay Free issue #21 (psychology)

Carrie McLaren is a guest blogger at Boing Boing and coauthor of Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture. She lives in Brooklyn, the former home of her now defunct Stay Free! magazine.

Before signing off from our stint as guest bloggers, I thought I'd post a back issue from Stay Free! The "psychology" issue has been unavailable for quite some time, so here it is in convenient pdf form.

Better Living Through Lobotomy: What can the history of psychosurgery tell us about medicine today? Interview with historian Elliot Valenstein Lawrence Kirmayer discusses cross-cultural mental health A brief history of employee personality testing by Ana Marie Cox Curious Mental Illnesses of the World The history of psychosomatic illness (interview with Edward Shorter) Enter the Wolfman: The syndrome that makes one howl at the moon More!

The Szondi personality test (above) started with the assumption that everyone is a little crazy and proceeded to unearth which disorder was the cause. Each test subject was shown photos of people and asked to pick out the one they'd most like to sit next to on a train trip. Little did subjects know that the people they were shown were all "thoroughly disordered"--a homosexual, a sadist, and an epileptic, among others. The "disorder" that subjects selected was presumed to indicate their own disposition. -- from "Test Mania!"

Link (pdf) Read the rest

The Amazing Unseen Hitler Films

It being a summer night in North Carolina, and Galen's basement being cool and relatively mosquito-free, we stayed to watch the films. I don't think any of us were really prepared for what we saw.

A Fortsas Hoax of 1840

Eat it, mid 19th-century noted rare book collectors!

It's Questionable Video Saturday!

Last Saturday, the day of no rules, I posted a video made by my old comedy group, the Van Gogh-Goghs that took the old Knight Rider conceit and added a colostomy bag. This week, we're taking the Spiderman story and replacing the spider with a pack of radioactive bears, who do something worse than biting.

How to avoid ads in Gmail (or not)

Carrie McLaren is a guest blogger at Boing Boing and coauthor of Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture. She lives in Brooklyn, the former home of her now defunct Stay Free! magazine.

Someone called Joester is purporting to show us how to block out gmail ads by using magic words in email messages, such as 9/11 or "suicide."  In other words, the ads that appear when your email is catastrophe-free:

...are gone when the email you receive contains trigger words: But it's not as easy as it sounds. Putting the key words in a signature file doesn't work; the ads return. Also, writes Joester:

If the message runs long google turns the ads back on. However, if you add another "sensitive" word they go off again. After extensive testing I've discovered you need 1 catastrophic event or tragedy for every 167 words in the rest of the email.
Questions remain. What are all the trigger words? How do you avoid scaring the people who receive your emails with your seemingly pointless references to incest and gang rape? More importantly, shouldn't this be more accurately described as a method for helping the people who you email who have gmail avoid ads?

Link (via Adlab) Read the rest

People Like Angry Car Faces. I Don't.

Recently, a study showed that people tended to prefer cars with "angry" faces. Auto designers have known this for a while, as the vast majority of cars available today have "faces" (you know, the front end arrangement of headlights, grille, and shapes that we tend to read like a face) that are at least aggressive, and at most absolutely freaking livid. This is across the board, too-- from entry-level cars to minivans to expensive sports sedans-- they all look like pissed-off turtle robots. There are exceptions, of course, but many of the most notable ones (New Beetle, Mini) are modern updates of vintage designs.

Electro-Mechanical Arcade Games

Before computers became small, cheap, and reliable enough for this purpose, people still had the desire to stand in front of armoire-sized cabinets, stare into a glass panel, and pretend to do things they normally didn't do, like kill aliens, drive like a madman, or work in a junkyard. The way they did these things was with wonderful, complicated electromechanical arcade games.

Blue Food Coloring Un-Paralyzes Rats

This article at National Geographic gives a good gist of what's going on: apparently, regular old blue food coloring, like the stuff you find in Gatorade or M&Ms, has been found to reduce spinal cord trauma and inflammation, leading to at least a partial reversal of paralysis, at least in some mice. And, unlike other treatments, there's no toxic effects.

A Few More Questions

1. If you were designing your own superhero costume, how would you accessorize?
a. Cape
b. Scarf
c. Sidekick
d. Gun
e. Stack of fliers saying you are a superhero


Awesome jump blues/swing duo doing "Nagasaki"

Carrie McLaren is a guest blogger at Boing Boing and coauthor of Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture. She lives in Brooklyn, the former home of her now defunct Stay Free! magazine.

I was all set to post the Philharmonicas doing Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" but just realized that Mark already did. Fie! Well, here's an equally swank soundie: the Don Redman Orchestra featuring a curious duo known as Red and Struggie, who = the bomb. Totally hilarious. (Both of these appeared on a 1994 MGM swing compilation.)

Read the rest

Here's an index for our book, Ad Nauseam

Carrie McLaren is a guest blogger at Boing Boing and coauthor of Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture. She lives in Brooklyn, the former home of her now defunct Stay Free! magazine.

It's a long (or, rather, uninteresting) story but our book, Ad Nauseam, doesn't have an index. I was hoping that Amazon's "search inside" feature could help fill that gap, but our publisher says it takes a while for Amazon to make it functional.

So I've gone ahead and made an index myself. I have no idea how to make an index, frankly, and there are no doubt a number of typos, but for those of you who have bought the book or are considering buying it, it's better than nothing. And if anyone wants to list typos in the comments, I'll update the index accordingly. Thanks.

Link (pdf) Read the rest

Some Mighty Fine Turbine Porn

If you're one of the most likely imaginary people that have been following my posts religiously, you might remember when I posted about the Black Widow turbine-powered Beetle a few days ago. Now, I have some scans from Turbonique's Hot Rotor magazine, which is jam-packed with great pictures of truly bonkers jet-powered vehicles, and jam-unpacked with words.

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