Sunday, May 11, 2008


Welcome to Uncle Eddie's Lunchtime Book Chat! It's a 6 minute video featuring a reading of H.P. Lovecraft's "Dunwich Horror."

Friday, May 09, 2008


Pinch me so I'll know I'm not dreaming! This is too good to be true!  ASIFA-Hollywood has just put up a whopping, large post on Fearless Fosdick, the best cartoon strip (actually a strip-within-a-strip) in the American newspapers of my time!

Many thanks to ace-cartoonist and Al Capp fan, Mike Fontanelli for putting this together! Mike knows what the good stuff is and he serves up only the best.  Many thanks also to ASIFA webmaster Steve Worth, for giving the drawings the star treatment.  Compare the way the drawings look here, with my layout, to the infinitely superior way they look on the ASIFA site. Steve is far and away the best web designer I know of.

Mike makes the point in his article that Fearless Fosdick was the major inspiration for Kurtzman's MAD.  Looking at the evidence, I don't doubt it for an instant.

Incidentally, did you know that the first 12 issues of Mad have been collected in two volumes of the set shown above?  I haven't seen them, so I don't know what they look like, but here's a link to a bookseller that stocks them:

Talking about Archie, what do you think of the new look the comic company is giving them? 

Here's (above) a page from the new Archie, borrowed from  When Cartoon Brew did a piece on this they were inundated with letters. 

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I thought I'd show off my treasured Wrinkle Jacket. The video is 3 1/2 minutes long.

BTW, I said "Moon Mullins" when I meant to say Jiggs, a character from an old newspaper strip called "Maggie and Jiggs."

Monday, May 05, 2008


Here's a tribute to my grandfather, one of the best men I've ever known. He certainly wasn't easy to get along with, and he had no time for me, but he was a stand-up guy who deserves to be remembered.

Thinking about my grandfather always brings to mind Dickens' "Great Expectations." In that story a poor kid had a mysterious benefactor whose help allowed him to go to good schools and become a gentlemen. Late in the story the kid, now grown up, discovers that his benefactor was no less than the coarse, grungy, escaped convict that he helped as a boy. It's a story that means a lot to me because my own life unfolded in a similar way, and I also had a coarse, grungy benefactor whose identity was hidden from me.

Just a couple of corrections to the video: The Peter Sellers song I excerpted this time was "Ukulele Lady," not "Hula Hands," and "Days of Wine and Roses" was not a horrible film, rather it was a good film about a horrifying subject. The video above lasts 8 1/2 minutes. Sorry about the length.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Steve Worth sent me links to a site that put up horrific playground sculptures from around the world. Holy Mackerel! These are really scary!

There's lots more that I can fit in here, so if you want to see it all go to:

These giant hornets (above) are positively evil. the bleak, un-inspired layout of the grounds heightens the effect.

The tree strangles a guy who'd stopped to rest. That'll teach him!

Yikes! A little bunny in the hands of an evil nurse!

Some of the nightmare sculptures impressed me as imaginative and stimulating, and possibly even good for kids. I wouldn't mind seeing sculptures like this one (above) in a park. It could have used more detail, though. It looks half-finished.

Or this one (above). Who wouldn't want have their pictures taken with the skeletons?

This one (above) is really thought-provoking. Your mind races ahead, thinking of stories to explain why the devil would be apprehensive about something in a green box.

Why is this idealistic girl tied to a tree? Boy, this park certainly prompts you to think. The problem is that I have a feeling that the park itself is unimaginatively landscaped. The physical layout of a park should be its greatest attraction. You need to get that right before putting in sculptures. Not only that but the sculptures need to be skillfully done, which this isn't. Even so, it's interesting.

Why is this guy sitting on the ground? Are his legs in stocks? Is he on a throne of some kind? Is he sitting on the shoulders of some underground troll? You can't help but weave stories about visuals like this.


While I was looking for Randi's video (the post below) I stumbled on this one (above) featuring two of my favorite magicians, Neil Foster and Dai Vernon. Both are what you call "manipulators." Manipulators don't levitate or saw anyone in half. They make things appear and disappear in their hands. In my opinion it's the highest form of magic, because everything takes place in a small area and is highly scrutinized. No curtains and no elaborate props. It's what you can do with your hands standing only a few feet from the audience.

The manipulation clips all occur within the first three minutes of the video.

Just for fun here's a clip (above) showing a couple of magic tricks that go horribly and painfully wrong.

BTW, I'm no fan of Uri Geller (refers to the post below) because he tried to pass himself off as a real psychic and not a magician, but I do admire the guy's skill. He may be one of the most skilled magicians of his generation. Think about it. He often did what he did in front of cameras, with people sitting all around him, often shoulder to shoulder. The scrutiny was infinitely more intense than usual, and sometimes he actually did use keys and spoons that he'd never seen before. The guy had talent, no doubt about it.

Friday, May 02, 2008


As most Theory Corner readers know, The Amazing Randi is a professional magician who's made a second career out of debunking charlatans. Randi's the reason you don't hear about the psychic key bender Uri Geller anymore. Now if you already know this, why am I bothering to talk about it?

The reason is that this video is the best debunking video I've ever seen. Uri actually bends the key -- I mean physically bends it, not mentally -- right in front of your eyes, and if you're like me you won't notice it until Randi runs the film back and shows it to you! When it's pointed out it'll seem obvious, but up until then you'll be puddy in Geller's hands, just like I was. It's proof that you can't always trust what you see.

The post is really about key bending, but I can't resist throwing in a couple of other 3 0r 4 minute videos. Here (above) Randi takes on Philippine psychic surgery. This was a very big deal a while back and it had a big following in this country. I'll bet some of the people reading this were taken in by it.

Here's (above) Randi exposing Peter Popoff (spelled right?), a popular faith healer on TV a while back. Randi exposed him and he vanished from TV for years, but he's back again, this time selling healing water. You'll hear Popoff's wife transmitting information to him at the very same moment that you'll see Popoff receiving the same information from heaven on the stage.