A while back, I referred to quicktime movies of water balloons being popped in freefall as “The greatest footage since the LOX barbecue and the exploding whale.” I promptly got mail asking what LOX barbecue? And what exploding whale?
Well, okay. Feels weird, but I can do that. Won’t take but a minute. I’ll throw in some other golden oldies while I’m at it.
1. The famous exploding whale video, at this site and that site, both of which feel they’re definitive. If you have trouble running videos on your computer, here’s a filmstrip version of it. And this site has the original footage, plus an additional Swedish whale explosion!
2. The equally famous LOX barbecue video, wherein George Goble uses liquid oxygen to light the charcoal in two barbecue grills.
3. An unlikely interaction between a flooding river, a low bridge, and a tugboat.
5. The sparkler bomb, with instructions on making your own; in which Daniel Rutter shows how you can overcome the limitations of “safe and sane” fireworks if only you use enough of them at once.
7. Dogs in Elk. A famous thread from Salon’s “Table Talk”, memorialized as Dogs in Elk in Vegetables: A Halloween Tribute. It’s now illustrated with pictures of an appropriately carved pumpkin splattered with tomato sauce. And here’s Anne Verchick, main storyteller and the owner of the dogs in question, confirming that it really did happen, and giving a little more background. She adds that the all-vegetable illustrations are “ on a smaller, more vegetative scale, really pretty faithful to what was one of the messier experiences of my recent life.”
8. The Rice University Twinkie Project.
10. Apocamon: The Final Judgement. The Apocalypse — that is, the Revelation of St. John the Divine — enacted by cute pastel pokemon-critters.
11. I’d point you at Hampsterdance, but alas, it’s not there anymore. There’s a replacement site, Hampsterdance 2, but its animated art is cruder (if more elaborate), and it lacks the mystery and simplicity that made the original so hypnotically funny.
Update: Fran Wolber sends me links to sites cloned off the original Hampsterdance, though neither is an exact copy. You get your choice of an ensmalled version in Dutch, or a somewhat jumbled version in German. The raptly spinning Sufi-hamsters continue to be sublime.