Rest in Power, Allee Willis — Queen of Kitsch

Allee Willis with psychedelic Fluffernutters

It's never fun to report that someone in our tribe has passed. That's especially true when that person is also someone you know and love.

Allee Willis, Happy Mutant Extraordinaire, died just after 6 p.m. on December 24 of cardiac arrest. She was 72.

My friend Heather was in tears when she phoned me to tell me the news. It was 10:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve. She had just read about Allee's sudden and unexpected death in Variety. We were both shocked and deeply saddened. We pondered together on the call, "How is it possible that she's gone?"

I first met Allee back in the February of 2011. Friends of mine here in Alameda, Jessica and Mel, introduced me to her. "You HAVE to meet her!" they insisted. At that time, a TV show called Clean House was filming the decluttering and redecorating of their home. Their excess stuff was soon to be sold in a televised public sale. Since they are well known for their massive collection of pop culture kitsch and, being the Queen of Kitsch, Allee was compelled to drive up for the sale. And because their house was out of commission for the show's filming, I offered up mine to host a party in Allee's honor, not entirely sure what I was getting myself into or, honestly, grasping the full understanding of who she was. But I was game. I invited a group of local friends, all self-proclaimed kitsch lovers. Read the rest

Skull and crossbones hair-bun covers

Salt Lake City's Wyre Art, AKA Kyle Wyatt, makes these amazing, $30 skull and crossbones bun covers, which are so popular that they're on back-order, and which ship in three sizes: "5" x 2" for longer/thicker hair, 5" x 1.5" for longer/regular hair, 4.75" x 1.75" for mid length hair, and 4.5" x 1" for shorter hair." (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

Killer whale kills great white shark

Demitri Martin has observed that whale watching is often indistinguishable from watching people be disappointed. But not all the time. National Geographic has a short video about a 1997 whale watching excursion when the people got to watch a killer whale take down a great white shark. (Feel free to make heavy metal devil hands at your computer screen at any time while watching this video.)

The really cool thing? To pull off this kill, the whale had to learn a trick about shark anatomy and behavior. Treehugger's Jaymi Heimbuch explains:

According to National Geographic, "To prey upon the shark, the Orca has learned how to immobilize it by turning it on its back -- a state called 'tonic immobility.'" Sharks freeze when rolled onto their backs. And that's exactly the strategy the whale in this film seems to have taken, keeping the shark immobile until it suffocates, then and feeding on it.

If that's not worth a little air guitar in that whale's honor, I don't know what is.

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T-Rex with chainsaw arms tattoo

Nothing says "bad ass anachronism" like this tattoo, inked by Joshua Ross, depicting a chainsaw-armed raging T-Rex and the motto "VROOM!"

Joshua Ross

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

Shark Knife will terrify your enemies with macho impracticality

The shark knife isn't going to win any beauty contests, but that's OK, because shark knives aren't about looking good, they're about getting the job done. And the job here is looking insanely tough, but with a tender, whimsical side. The Klingons have a word for this, most often translated as "trying too hard."

Shark Knife

(via Making Light)

Giant Swiss Army Knife Now on Sale Gadgets Klingon knife scares the crap out of dumb British scandal-sheet ... Knife-brandishing yob in a hoodie openly menaces public just steps ... Britain on alert for deadly new knife with exploding tip that ... Read the rest