March 1, 2002

Rube Goldberg
Remember the elaborate inventions from ACME that Wiley Coyote put together just to catch the Roadrunner? Well if you were impressed by Wiley, you're going to truly appreciate Rube Goldberg. This inventor and cartoonist created some of the most intricate (and humorous) inventions to accomplish the simplest tasks, like remember to mail a letter or to peel an apple. On this site, read about Goldberg's life and check out the illustration gallery of some of his more interesting inventions. Perhaps Goldberg will inspire you to enter the 2002 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest National Challenge. This time you need to create a machine that selects, raises, and waves a national flag in twenty or more steps!

Mice on Ice
There's something very disturbing about this site. Just when I thought I'd be going to a site about little mice that can ice skate like the pros, I discovered this is more like an ice cream treat for your pet snake. Apparently snakes prefer these frozen rodent treats to live, scared mice running all over the cage. Touted as the "other, other white meat," this site has ordering info and customer profiles.

Barbie might be cute, but some dolls are downright creepy. My friend and fab artist Amy Shriber has a knack for photographing vintage dolls in what I can only describe as a "Southern Gothic nightmare." She gave me a painting she did once of a freaky-looking sock monkey that still gives me delightful shivers when I see it hanging in my bedroom. Do yourself a big favor and take a look at her six-year archive of bizarre photos and art.

Thom Holbrook's Crossovers Spinoff Master List
For anyone who loves to watch TV, this is quite the find. Thom Holbrook has organized info about every TV show spin-off you can imagine and made it accessible for TV fans like you and me. Read about the 17 spin-off shows from the original Star Trek, or try your hand at guessing how many spin-offs were created from shows like "Happy Days" and "All in the Family."

Waiting for Star Wars
Star Wars fanatics everywhere are drooling about the next movie in the latest trilogy by George Lucas. But how obsessive are you? Would you start waiting a line now outside your local theater (many months before the film is to be released)? Well two guys have already beaten you to the punch. Meet John and Jeff. This site chronicles their wait outside the movie theater just so they can be first in line to get good seats.. I wonder which one of them will have to sit outside the concession stand just to get a $20 bucket of popcorn?

Attack of the 50 Ft. Monster Posters
Add a little spookiness to your apartment with vintage monster movie posters. Wouldn't the "Attack of the Crab Monster" look great in the kitchen? Or maybe "The Children of the Damned" poster would give your nursery that added sense of style. The options are truly endless. Some of the posters even come in billboard size in case you want to cover your entire house with "Teenagers From Outer Space."

Reverend Howard Finster
With the recent popularity of outsider and folk artists, it still amazes me that many people don't know the work of Reverend Howard Finster. After dabbling as a run-of-the-mill fire-and brimstone preacher, Reverend Howard Finster realized that his church-going audience wasn't paying his words a lick of attention. So he began to paint visual representations of his sermons and religious lesson on anything he could find. He's use enamel tractor paint to transform rusty muffin tins, bed frames and discarded wood. He eventually created Paradise Gardens - a two-and-a-half-acre sculpture yard at his home in Penville, Georgia. One of the most memorable sculptures includes a 30-foot tower made from bicycle frames. Read about this amazing man's life and work, and get info on how you can visit Paradise Gardens for a true folk art pilgrimage.

US Army Cool Stuff
Who says soldiers don't like to color inside the lines? This "kids" section on the Army site a little wired. But maybe the rugrats out there love to play a game of concentration with images of missiles and foot soldiers. Who am I to say?

Zaac Organ
Press the keys like a regular piano and listen to Zaac sing. I'm very scared.

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