Monday, September 15, 2008

Arrrrr: talk like a Pirate


This Friday, September 19th, is "International talk like a Pirate" day. This historic holiday was invented by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers  (Cap'n Slappy), and popularized by humor columnist Dave Barry.

Celebrate by wearing an eyepatch, donning a peg leg, or teaching your parrot to say "Keelhaul! Keelhaul!". I don't recommend taking a hook, sword, pistol, or cat o' nine tails to school, though. The establishment frowns on this sort of thing and if it gets out that Mr Spanky planted this thought in your Phun-filled mind then I'll never hear the end of it.

If you're having trouble with your "Arrr!", "Ye scurvy bilge rat!", or "Swab the poopdeck, me hearty!" I recommend that you get professional help. The folks over at Wikihow have an extensive tutorial that is mandatory if you want to avoid embarrassment. 

If you're a fan of Instant Messaging, the folks over at Meebo will make things easy for you. Simply log in to your IM account through Meebo and then type "pirateon" to start. It will handily translate your banal messages into fearsome Pirate Speak. 

Remember to growl and scowl often!

P.S. Post-it note cartoon by Doug Savage's brilliant Savage Chickens.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Squirrel Melts

Here's a great piece on how to live off the land. Are those pesky squirrels harassing you day and night? Is their chittering driving you insane? Here's how you can have your peace and a snack for the big game.

I love it when she says "let's put his cute little butt in there" as she tosses the squirrel into the pot.

You should also know that squirrels are good for putting out forest fires and protecting your beer. Don't pull the trigger too soon.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Stop Motion Animation: Spaghetti Western

My loyal readers know that as small things amuse small minds so does the wacky and crazy amuse Mr Spanky. 

This is whimsical piece of stop motion animation. It's a very laborious art where each frame of a film has to be set up, photographed, and then the next frame set up, etc. You may have seen this technique in movies like Wallace and Gromit where clay is used for the actors. 

In this 1 minute 41 second film, this means that at roughly 20 frames per second, we're looking at 20 x 101 = 2,020 different scenes. Ouch! Let's assume that each frame shot takes 20 seconds (or more) to set up, that is, move things into the scene, re-arrange them, take a practice photo, and then a final shot. If that's the case, then this movie took approximately 11-12 hours just to shoot. That most likely doesn't include the time to think up this gem, try out some ideas, and final finishing. One word here: dedication.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Simulation is the cure for all fears! This is for MA. A virtual spider to help eradicate her arachnophobic hysteria. I enjoyed setting the slides all the way to the right or left to see what happened to the tarantula. Also check out the "Something for Cats?" link on the left-hand side.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Evolution Meets Global Warming


I'm always ready to leap on the most interesting scientific and natural news and make them know to my loyal readers.

In a bizarre twist of fate, evolution meets global warming in a rush to preserve the noble hunter of the north, the polar bear. Polar bears are increasingly affected by the loss of ice and are now literally changing their coats to compensate. By rolling in tundra lichen and algae pools, the bears better blend in with the melting landscape. Lately, scientists have been seeing births of cubs where the fur is already stained green, and they speculate that the plant dyes are being transfered directly in utero. It's really edifying and slightly humbling to see evolution at work.

Um, okay, I totally made this story up. It's important that we treat everything we see and read on the Internet with skepticism. Any story that you see like this should put you immediately on alert. Are there other sources (e.g. news sites, Wikipedia, etc) that are carrying this story? Does the story make sense from what you've learned in school or heard others say? Do you know a subject matter expert that you could talk to that could confirm the facts? I also always check out to see if it has been registered as an urban legend. No sense in forwarding stuff to folks and ending up propagating falsehoods. It makes you seem unreliable and, well, stupid or at least naive. 

Even worse are those idiots that make stuff up like this in the first place. Wait! Oh, I think I just dissed myself.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Picture of the Summer

Hi Phunkidz, 

It's been a long while and I have to admit that I didn't let you know that I was going to be on a summer break. It's back to school (boo!) and back to blogging for Mr Spanky (yeah!).

As an apology, I'm giving you a picture of the latest in farm machinery that will delight the carnivore in all of us: the cow sharpener. Tired of blunt-headed bovines? Just attach the cow sharpener and let the gears grind your callous cow into hearty hamburger over night!