Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Science experiments for stay-at-home types

Science! It's not just for scientists any more. Whether you're a preschool teacher fulfilling the academic portion of a toddler's day, or a bored hipster who can't get a hold of your dealer, at-home science experiments are entertainment and brain candy in one. Double your fun while adding powerful new wrinkles to your cranial lobes. Here's how:

Make a lava lamp with regular kitchen ingredients. This experiment has mesmerized my son to the point where he can't sit at the dining-room table without activating his homemade lava lamps. It's made our family gatherings a little more groovy. Science Bob and his super low-key assistant will show you how.

Perhaps you would like to try something even more explosive. Like this "elephant's toothpaste" foam experiment.

But you're asking yourself, how can I do this incredible experiment at home? Science Bob will teach you.

Steve Spangler, Internet Science King, and his screaming balloons.

Life is better with a bouncy egg.

It glows too.

Don't forget my favorite: Non-Newtonian fluid on a speaker cone.

Surely you've added Mentos to your Diet Coke by now?

Monday, August 29, 2011

A fountain of chocolate

I have family in Connecticut who are without power and running water due to Hurricane Irene's fury. They will be living in a hotel for the near future and the first week of school will be cancelled until further notice. But otherwise they and their homes are doing OK. Not everyone they know can say the same.

When confronted with huge natural phenomena, what can we do but run for our lives? We California natives know this for a fact. Of course, it's equally hard to run through flood water and shaking earth. These events awaken fears and abilities we don't realize we have. And we're forced to admit that sometimes we're simply lucky to survive.

The Weather Channel can show all the satellite feeds they want. Even they with their 24-hour coverage don't know the hurricane's true path or outcome. Those Weather-Channel journalists must be very tired from standing in the driving wind for the past three days. To them, and to everyone without power, all I have to give you is this brief glimpse of a chocolate fountain from Bristol Farms' Grocery at the Westfield Mall food court in San Francisco. It's not very inspiring, but when your power comes back, you'll know chocolate fountains throughout the region will be turned on again and dipping will once more commence.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Denis Leary Reviews His Mostly Shitty Films

Look, I'm sorry this site has become so video-heavy of late. I know it's slow to load. I know sometimes videos go missing in action. I know it's kind of lazy of me to just keep embedding stuff here for your to peruse. What is this? Facebook?

I know.

But this is really fucking funny. Trust me. I wish everyone in Hollywood would do this, honestly and succinctly, the Denis Leary way.

p.s. I worked for a company who worked on "Operation Dumbo Drop." They have to include it in their filmography and it's a damn shame.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Are you high on crack?

No? Are you SURE? Click "play" to find out.

Hehehe. The first taste is always free...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Going Commercial with David Bowie

I just finished reading Paul Trynka's Starman: David Bowie - The Definitive Biography and now my mind is chock-full of all things Bowie. Realizing that his career has almost spanned my entire lifetime, it's fitting that he subsists in my unconscious.

BOWIE - innovator, actor, emulator, iconoclast, and commercial entity. For while he is probably one of the most artistic of pop stars, his beautiful face and voice have accumulated millions in cash transactions. Straddling the artistic/commercial line for 40 years now. Hail!

Diamond Dogs ad - At once earnest and absurd, like the 70s.

Young Americans ad - Bowie swings. Fans will just have to understand.

Lodger ad - Is that a jumpsuit? Only he can pull that off.

Pepsi ad with Tina Turner - If you missed 80s pop culture, this pretty much sums it up.

"Changes Bowie" ad - Look at all the Bowies. There were more to come.

Bowie sells XM Radio but even he couldn't save it.

Through the Bowie ages for Vittel - One of the pleasant aspects of the man is his ability to poke fun at himself. He's such a charmer, in an other-worldly, reptilian way.

Bonus! "Boys Keep Swinging" blows 1979 minds sky high.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Conan The Barbarian Trailer Day

Happy Conan The Barbarian Trailer Day! As you all know, Conan has been remade into a 3D extravaganza. There will be (in no special order):

  • Darkly ominous CG matte-painted backgrounds

  • Lots of "Ssch-Liiiing!" sword sound-effects

  • Explosions (explosions?)

  • Unspeakable evil

  • A large tentacled creature

  • Line readings through gritted teeth

  • Screaming, horse-back riding

  • Long, grimy hair, in need of conditioner

  • Seething rage

  • A spooky witch lady with raisin-colored lipstick

  • Pounding orchestrated migraine-triggering soundtrack


Of course, for some, there can be only ONE Conan.

Monday, August 15, 2011

How to make popcorn (plus Alexander Skarsgård)

In my never-ending quest for Internet dominance, or at least Internet presence, I've decided the time has come to delve into the wide world of food blogging. But seeing how the most complicated thing I made recently was vegetable soup, I thought I'd start at the bottom rung and cover a subject EVERYONE can benefit from. I'm talking about popcorn.

Do you consider microwave popcorn your popcorn of choice? Well, sir or madame, I feel sorry for you. Because microwave popcorn, with all its artificial flavors and popping agents, is truly crap in bag. Do you still have one of those hot-air poppers in the basement? Just toss it into the landfill. Those are excellent machines for making Styrofoam-flavored packing peanuts, but not tasty whole-grain snacks. Jiffy Pop? Fun when you're ten years old but completely unnecessary!

You need to learn how to make some decent popcorn, son. And if there's one thing I know how to do, it's that. So gather 'round, wannabe chefs. Even if you can't boil water, you can still be the talk of your next anarchist book collective, who sneered at you last time you pulled out a box of corporate-funded Cheez-Its. Even your judgemental mother-in-law will be impressed when you start shaking a pot of corn over the stove on family movie night. And because celebrities always get the most hits when it comes to Internet search, "True Blood" star, Alexander Skarsgård will be making a very special appearance! [Please do not arrest me, Google search-engine police]

Here's what you'll need: a sauce pan with a lid, popcorn, cooking oil that can handle high heat (such as canola), sea salt and nutritional yeast (or whatever toppings you crave).

You're going to coat the bottom of the pan with the oil. Just pour some in there but don't make a big puddle. You want to cover the bottom of the pan, then float three kernels of popcorn in the oil. Turn your stove burner to medium-high, cover the pot and stand there, watching like a hawk for a few minutes.

When your test kernels pop--the oil is at optimum popping temperature. Yeah! Pour some popcorn into the pot, again just covering the bottom. Anything other than a single layer of kernels will blow the top right off of the popper (as Orville Redenbacher used to say). Not a bad thing, but it could get messy and then your houseguests will point and laugh at you.

Cover your pot and begin shaking the pot back and forth or in little circles, or up and down. You'll know when the rhythm is right. Everyone's got their own style so find your own.

Action shot of me shaking the pan a bit. Sometimes I just let it sit there on the burner and then give it a little "jounce" once in a while. If the burner is REALLY hot, I actually hold the pan over it without touching hardly at all, just shaking away like a popcorn maraca. It's an exciting snack food!

When the popcorn is barely popping anymore, it's time to take the pot off the heat, open her up, and pour everything into an attractive serving dish. Sprinkle some sea salt or celery salt or curry powder or whatever moves you on top. I always use nutritional yeast because it's buttery without the buttery grease or calories. I got this idea from the now defunct Red Vic Movie House in San Francisco--perhaps the greatest movie-theater collective in the Western Hemisphere. They always supplied patrons with a shaker of nutritional yeast and their popcorn was the best. People who have eaten my popcorn always ask: What's your secret? Well, now you know. Time to pig out.

And as promised, Alexander Skarsgård.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Soundtrack Frenzy

OK, maybe it's not a frenzy per se, but I've always appreciated a good movie soundtrack album. And often, when I'm stumped as to what to purchase in my good ol' fashioned record store (scarce and getting scarcer), I head over to the soundtrack section and see what's going on over there.

What's going on in the world of soundtrack selection? I've compiled a small list of favorites. Some of these I have yet to purchase. They're "on the list"!

The Big Lebowski is a cult favorite and with good reason. It's a genuinely weird movie about slackers and bowling with a great cast headed by Jeff Bridges. If you possess a Type "A" personality, you might find Lebowski a little too laid back, but clearly, the big lummox is not just a happy person. He's content. Of course the Coen brothers mess him up as much as possible (their trademark), but he is basically and unusually content with himself and his simple existence.

Kenny Rogers & the First Edition delve into psychedelia with "Just Dropped In." While this scene is not as elaborate as Busby Berkeley would have staged it, it's quite satisfying for a bowling musical number. Plus you get Bob Dylan, Captain Beefheart, Elvis Costello, Nina Simone, Townes Zandt and Yma Sumac, to name just a few of the fine artists on this, one of my favorite soundtracks.

Mad Men was so sexist in its first season that it was actually gloriously surreal in making its feminist points. The early workings of Peggy Olsen's bright and struggling future as a talented copywriter is brilliantly and visually set to David Carbonara's "Lipstick" on the Mad Men: Vol. 1 soundtrack. Plus gems like Ella Fitzgerald doing "Manhattan" and Robert Maxwell's Shangri-La.

(actual Robert Maxwell tune, ignore the image)

The room full of dying circuits that electronic composers Louis and Bebe Barron built and recorded for the Forbidden Planet soundtrack might not be to everyone's taste, but it's still one of the best soundtracks ever. The Barrons were up to the challenge of creating not just Krell music, but also all the blips and bleeps and Id monster howls from another world.

O Brother Where Art Thou? - This is one I still have to get. The Coen Brothers' ode to American roots music. And George Clooney is fi-ii-ine.

John Hartford, "Indian War Whoop"

Friday, August 05, 2011

Images for Ultimate Search-Engine Optimization

Search-Engine Optimization (SEO) is what the Internet is ALL about. Ever wonder why your favorite pop-culture blog has so many posts on Lindsay Lohan, even though they're repetitive and depressing (potential jail-time, drunk and disorderly, back in rehab, looking pretty crack-y)? Well, it's because every time someone types in "Lindsay Lohan" into a search engine's "find" box, every pop-culture blog is hoping to be number one on that list. Or at least in the top ten. Otherwise: horrors! Web readers will NEVER find that blog. And then it's on to Justin Bieber.

There's enough idiots out there searching for Lindsay Lohan, to make every site make sure that she's well represented on a daily basis. Clogging up the pop-culture pipeline with her current uselessness is just one of many job descriptions Ms. Lohan can put on her resume.

But what about THIS blog? Captive Wild Woman is not immune to the problematic nature of search popularity. We at CWW headquarters have noted a distinct trend while studying our Web stats and analytic pie charts: images are fueling this blog's search popularity more than writing. And obscure films and satirical content are just not attracting the masses like they used to. If they ever did. So with that in mind, here's a grab-bag of jpg images for ultimate SEO.

Have at it, searchers. I think I can supply you what you're looking for from my extensive, years-in-the-making collection of ultimate graphic content.

Fluffernutter Sandwich - look no further. It's right here.
Fluffernutter Sandwich

Fuck This Guy - I really think this is a useful jpg image. Not just useful but beautiful. It's beautiful, man.
Fuck This Guy - Westboro Baptist Church

Rat Playing Saxophone - Why do you own a dog or a cat? Can they do this? I think not, at least not with any shred of dignity.
Rat playing a saxophone

Van Halen - they're rocking out with the cocks out. Or as close as they legally can to that. File this in your important archives for future reference because today's rockers are wimps who refuse to wear Spandex.
Van Halen in Spandex(tm)

Puppy - Look at this puppy! All puppyin' out and goddammit, it's a puppy. You need this puppy image in your life. You know you do.
Adorable puppy pic

Forget the puppy. Here's 80s pop genius Prince. If you look at only one Prince image today, make it this one.
Prince looks good in yellow

Forget Prince. Look at Roxy Music. They are so much cooler than anyone on the planet before or since. That's value-added.
Very cool Roxy Music photo

Sad Keanu with Bunnies - This will be generating millions of hits. I hope the Blogger servers can handle it!
Sad Keanu with bunnies

Can never get enough Gary Busey.
Lots of Gary Buseys

Sorry, but I gotta slip this one in, "Dawson Crying." It's just a formality due to its ongoing popularity as an image. Carry on.
Dawson crying

Lindsay Lohan and Paula Abdul - you're welcome.
Lindsay Lohan with pal Paula Abdul

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Belugas for Yougas

What is it about Beluga Whales? Ghostly, smiling, bulbous yet supple. The staple of any decent tourist-draw aquarium. Check out this Beluga from the Mystic Aquarium, enjoying a soft rendition of mariachi music from Mariachi Connecticut (that's right, Mariachi Connecticut--stranger things have happened.)

We visit the Mystic Aquarium most every year. I'm going to find this Beluga and introduce myself because I like mariachi music too.

This Beluga is catching bubbles in his mouth. Awwww. He must be bored shitless in that tank.

Hear the Belugas sing! This is another aural universe, for sure.