At Cannibal Cafe, It’s The People You Meat

by Nick Glossop on August 10, 2015

Junior Gone Wild serve up an SNFU chili bowl at the Cannibal Cafe. Fortunately, Paltry shutterbug Marc Chalifoux was on hand to record the event.

Innocent diners eat a strange form of meat that transforms them, while music lures them to an isolated barn where they face an unknown fate. Edmonton legends Jr.Gone Wild put their own spin on S.N.F.U.’s quirky 1985 classic Cannibal Café.

Enjoy the video, and then, please, cast a vote for it at Storyhive.

Junior Gone Wild ~ Cannibal Cafe

Spoiler alter: Contrary to local legend, she is, in fact, on the menu.

SNFU ~ She’s Not On The Menu

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Slab of Fruitcake?

by Nick Glossop on December 14, 2014

Do the words to Walking in a Winter Wonderland make you feel like our species deserves a long, dark, ice age extinction? Me too. But don’t despair, this holiday season relief is at hand. I’m on my way out gift shopping, but rather than expose myself to the festive tunes on the store PA’s, I’ve got my earphones in and I’m going to listen to this song on repeat, over and over. So if you see me in the aisles, and I’m moving kind of funny, don’t worry, it’s not a seizure, it’s Fruitcake.

The Superions are a side project of Fred Schneider of the B52s.

Now if only I had a Mr. Microphone so I could share these lyrics with pedestrians as I drive around town…

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The True Meaning Of Zappadan

by Craig Elliott on December 4, 2014

It’s December 4! Blessed be your Zappadan!

For the uninitiated, Frank Zappa’s birthday is December 21, but he shuffled off this mortal coil on December 4, leaving a seventeen day period of transition between the two for his disciples to bridge in any way that they could. Zealots to the last, they opted to use this period  to celebrate Frank Zappa’s life, work and persnickety genius. This is sort of funny given that, being Zappa fans, it’s exactly what they do for the other 348 days of the year and it would hardly matter whether he was alive or dead, but hey – what else do you do when you’ve got a discrete and conveniently manageable block of time, a topic, and a great name?

But Zappadan doesn’t have to be for fanatics only. In his lifetime, Frank Zappa was best known for his guitar playing and provocative songwriting, which is maybe something you care about but it’s okay if you don’t because the freaks’ll easily have that end covered. Besides – FZ was a musician and an artist, and a mighty prolific and accomplished one at that, but even as far as that went, his art was still just a means through which he could be the best Frank Zappa he could be. He gave his kids weird names, worked constantly at whatever he wanted to work on, didn’t drink or take drugs, acted smart, poked all the fun he wanted at stuff he thought was stupid, stood up for freedom of expression and along the way, grew one heckuva ‘stache.

In short, while he was alive, Frank Zappa endeavoured to live his life exactly the way he wanted to, and while it may not have been his intention to do so, he set an example for the rest of us in the process. This year and every year, this is the true meaning of Zappadan.

Originally published Dec 3, 2012


Merry Christmas (On Acid)

by Nick Glossop on December 24, 2013

If you are dreaming of a brown Christmas, this post is for you. First, a Christmas card from Cyriak, none of his usual fractal madness, just a fairly standard-issue nightmare Noel. Nevertheless, we bid you view with caution.

Second, a seasonal song originally from Radio Free Vestibule, a loon trio from Montreal now going by the more wield-friendly the Vestibules.

Christmas on Acid

And now that things are kicking in nicely, we return to Cyriak. Please, sir, we need a nativity scene with these critters.


¡Feliz Navidad, Compañeros
And, finally, some Catalonian spice for your nog.

Tió de Nadal

The Tió de Nadal, meaning in English “Christmas Log”), also known simply as Tió (“trunk” or “log”, a big piece of cut wood) or Tronca (“log”) and popularly called Caga tió (“shitting log”), is a character in Catalan mythology relating to a Christmas tradition widespread in Catalonia. A similar tradition exists in other places such as the Cachafuòc or Soc de Nadal in Occitania, or the Tizón de Nadal or Tronca de Nabidá in Aragon, regions with a common history.

The form of the Tió de Nadal found in many Catalan homes during the holiday season is a hollow log of about thirty centimetres length. Recently, the tió has come to stand up on two or four little stick legs with a broad smiling face painted on the higher of the two ends, enhanced by a little red sock hat (a miniature of the traditional Catalan barretina) and often a three-dimensional nose. Those accessories have been added only in recent times, altering the more traditional and rough natural appearance of a dead piece of wood.

Beginning with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), one gives the tió a little bit to “eat” every night and usually covers him with a little blanket so that he will not be cold at night.

On Christmas day or, depending on the particular household, on Christmas Eve, one puts the tió partly into the fireplace and orders it to “shit” (the fire part of this tradition is no longer as widespread as it once was, since many modern homes do not have a fireplace). To make him “shit”, one beats him with sticks, while singing various songs of Tió de Nadal.

The tió does not drop larger objects, as those are considered to be brought by the Three Wise Men. It does leave candies, nuts and torrons. Depending on the part of Catalonia, it may also give out dried figs. When nothing is left to “shit”, it drops a salt herring, a head of garlic, an onion or “urinates”. What comes out of the tió is a communal rather than individual gift, shared by everyone present.

In addition to the names listed in the opening paragraph, the additional nickname Caga tió, “shitting log”) derives from the many songs of Tió de Nadal that begin with this phrase, which was originally (in the context of the songs) an imperative (“shit log!”). The use of this expression as a name is not believed to be part of the ancient tradition.

Shit log,

shit nougats (turrón),
hazelnuts and cottage cheese,
if you don’t shit well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
shit log!

An alternate version goes something like this:

Shit log,

log of Christmas,
don’t shit herrings,
which are too salty,
shit nougats (turrón)
which are much better!

After hitting it softly with a stick during the song, it is hit harder on the words Caga tió!. Then somebody puts their hand under the blanket and takes a gift. The gift is opened and then the song begins again.


Santa’s coming and coming and coming to town

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Shopping By The Stars: New Year’s Edition

by Marty Schwartz on December 16, 2013

In this new installment in what future generations will one day refer to as ‘Paltry Wisdom,’ we provide helpful shopping tips for you, the consumer. Many of us will soon be awash in the drunken, regretful spectacle that is New Year’s Eve. Maybe you’ve been invited to attend a New Year’s party. Maybe you’re the kind of conscientious party guest who plans ahead and brings a gift for the host. Maybe you’ve got the fore-thought to buy an apology gift, knowing you will do something embarrassing, vulgar, and possibly even criminal to tarnish the host’s party.

Either way, most politeness experts would agree (politely) that the proper gift should always be determined by the astrological sign of the recipient. It shows you’ve put thought, effort, and a little touch of centuries-old superstition into your present. So here, courtesy of eBay, are a dozen quality gift suggestions that could be yours in time for New Year’s Eve… or New Year’s Day, accompanied by a promissory note to pay for damages.

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Thomas Pynchon’s Sofas

by Nick Glossop on October 17, 2013

Take A Load Off

(Brand name: Axn, Agency: 1861 United)

I seem to recall having had more than one testy tete-a-tete while perched on the edge of this very piece of furniture. The original prototype is owned by Dr. Hilarius who makes use of it in psycho-analytical practice (having obtained it in the hotly contested, but rarely mentioned crying of lot 48). Rest upon these eggs and tell me of your childhood…

For those suffering from martyr complexes or entertaining Christly ambitions – take your choice – we suggest the following design. Portraits of Saint Sebastian recommended but not included.

(Brand name: Axn, Agency: 1861 United)

See other, equally odd but less angstful sofa designs at Bored Panda.

Originally posted Feb 24, 2011

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Do Androids Need Buddhist Non-Attachment? (And A PowerWasher)

by Nick Glossop on August 9, 2013


The Blue Fairy from A.I. Artificial Intelligence

1. The robot who loved his ‘mom’ too much

2. The robot who loved whoever came into the room, too much

Robot Programmed to Fall in Love with a Girl Goes too Far

Kenji was part of an experiment involving several robots loaded with custom software designed to let them react emotionally to external stimuli. After some limited environmental conditioning, Kenji first demonstrated love by bonding with a a stuffed doll in his enclosure, which he would embrace for hours at a time. He would then make simple, but insistent, inquiries about the doll if it were out of sight. Researchers attributed this behavior to his programmed qualities of devotion and empathy and called the experiment a success.

What they didn’t count on were the effects of several months of self-iteration within the complex machine-learning code which gave Kenji his initial tenderness. As of last week, Kenji’s love for the doll, and indeed anybody he sets his ‘eyes’ on, is so intense that Dr. Takahashi and his team now fear to show him to outsiders.

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Eyes Of A Drone

by Nick Glossop on June 14, 2013

A new camera developed by the Pentagon’s research arm was highlighted in a recent special on PBS’ “Nova” in an episode called “Rise of the Drones.” It’s a camera system so detailed it can discern specific movements and even what a subject is wearing.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System (ARGUS) has 1.8 billion pixels (1.8 gigapixels), making it the world’ highest resolution camera. The sensors on the camera are so precise, PBS stated it is the equivalent to the capabilities of 100 Predator drones in a medium city.
In the clip from PBS, it is said this is the first time the government has allowed information to be shared about these capabilities.

“It is important for the public to know that some of these capabilities exist,” Yiannis Antonaides with contractor BAE Systems said in the clip, but noted the sensor itself cannot be revealed. “Because we are not allowed to expose some of the pieces that make up this sensor, so you get to look a pretty plastic curtains.”

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