Colin Furze Built a Thermite Launcher

April 4th, 2016

Well of course he did.

Here he is showing off the thermite launcher:

Here he is making the thermite:

And here he is building the the launcher:

Just think, if YouTube didn’t exist, Colin Furze would probably be off somewhere designing industrial flanges rather than enthusiastically garage-engineering amazingly cool and exceptionally dangerous devices for our amusement and edification.

I’m not going to post a “Do not attempt this at home” warning, because every Colin Furze video comes with an implicit “do not attempt this at home.” It’s also possible that Furze’s thermite thrower may qualify as a destructive device under BATF laws, depending on whether it would fall under the pyrotechnic exemption.

But if you do build a thermite launcher, at least wear eye and hand protection…

Berkeley Breathed Wins April Fools

April 1st, 2016

With Calvin and Hobbes 2016:

Luna Covers “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on a Gayageum

March 24th, 2016

Looks like it’s shaping up to be World Music Week here at Futuramen, so here’s Luna Lee covering “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the traditional Korean Gayageum:

“Crazy Horse”: A Song That Kicks Ass

March 22nd, 2016

If you’re a fan of the film Genghis Blues (which you should be; it’s a swell film), then you might very well like this performance of “Crazy Horse” by Mathias Duplessy and the Violins of the World.

That weird instrument on the left is evidently the Nyckelharpa, or key fiddle.

Unfortunately, the album this is from doesn’t appear to be available in the U.S. yet…

Shoegazer Sunday: Darker My Love’s “Two Ways Out”

March 20th, 2016

Darker My love shows up on the Every Noise at Once Shoegaze map. And even though “Two Ways Out” sounds pretty close to straight pop, there’s just enough reverb and treatment on the guitar line for me to include it here.

H. P. Lovecraft Auction Watch

March 17th, 2016

Multiple items of interest to the fanatical H.P. Lovecraft collector are coming up for auction soon:

  • A 31-page collaborative manuscript between Lovecraft and celebrated magician/escape artist Harry Houdini will come up for auction at Chicago’s Potter & Potter on April 9. It will start at an opening bid of $13,000, though the estimate is in the $25,000—$40,000 range. And it could go for a lot more, given that Houdini has his own fanatical collectors.
  • There are also numerous Lovecraft items, most from Stu Schiff’s collection, coming up at Heritage Auctions on April 6. Including:

  • Ten autographed letters from Lovecraft, totaling 46 pages, most of which remain unpublished. Bidding starts at $10,000.

  • An original typescript for Lovecraft’s story “The Festival”, with Lovecraft’s handwritten title page and hand-corrections. Bidding starts at $2,000.

  • A copy of the Visionary Publishing Shadow Over Innsmouth, with an errata sheet containing further hand-corrections by Lovecraft laid in. Current bid is $1000.

  • Donald Wandrei’s copy of The Outsider and Others, and probably the finest copy I’ve ever seen to boot. Current bid is $5,000.

  • They even have the passport of Sonia Haft Greene Lovecraft (to which he had a brief, unsuccessful marriage) which L. W. Currey offered up a while back. Current bid is $550.

  • If you’re a serious Lovecraft collector, April looks like it’s going to be quite expensive…

    Library Additions: Three Signed Ray Bradbury Items

    March 15th, 2016

    Picked up a few more items signed by Ray Bradbury:

  • Bradbury, Ray. A Christmas Wish 1988 (If Only We Had Taller Been). Privately printed, 1988. First edition Christmas broadsheet, a Fine copy. Inscribed by Bradbury: “For Rev. Gerald Watt, C.R./With fond good wishes/for/1989/Ray Bradbury.” Bought for $28 off eBay.

    Bradbury Christmas 88

  • Bradbury, Ray. A Christmas Wish 1989 (The Bread of Beggars, The Wine of Christ). Privately printed, 1989. First edition Christmas broadsheet, a Fine copy. Inscribed by Bradbury: “For Rev. Watt. Thanks for Asking!/Love!/Ray/Bradbury/ 5/6/90.” Bought for $29 off eBay.

    Bradbury Christmas 89

  • (Bradbury, Ray) Weist, Jerry. Bradbury: An Illustrated Life. William Morrow, 2002. First edition hardback (precedes the Donald M. Grant limited edition by two years), a Fine-/Fine- copy with very slight bumping at head and heel. Inscribed by Bradbury: “To all the/Grand Tubers;Ray Bradbury.” Oversized illustrated history of Bradbury’s work. Bought for $27.10 off eBay.
  • I now have three of the Bradbury Christmas broadsheets (which he sent to friends as Christmas gifts/cards), all signed.

    Keith Emerson, RIP

    March 11th, 2016

    Keith Emerson, the keyboardist for Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died at age 71.

    Along with Rick Wakeman and Tony Banks, Emerson was one of the great progressive rock keyboardists, and was one of the first players brave (or foolhardy) enough to take the massive, temperamental modular Moog synthesizer on the road.

    (Note the shout-out to everyone’s favorite rock documentary…)

    Here’s more on Emerson’s modular Moog for the analog hardcore:

    Their song “Lucky Man” ends with Emerson’s classic Moog solo:

    Here he is doing “America” from West Side Story on David Letterman:

    In 2011, Emerson actually let keyboardist Rachel Flowers borrow his modular Moog to play a cover of ELP’s “Trilogy”:

    Shoegazer Sunday: Orange’s “Against Nature”

    March 6th, 2016

    And here’s Orange, another “classic” shoegaze band I never heard of before St. Marie Records started planning a re-release of their work.

    Either you’ll love Sonya Waters’ vocals (a beautiful high warble somewhere between The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan and Dead Can Dance’s Lisa Gerrard), or they’ll drive you to distraction. I’m in the love camp, so here’s “Against Nature.”

    Library Additions: Two Jack Vance Books

    March 3rd, 2016

    I bought a lot of Jack Vance books from an Australian book auction. I’ll be selling the rest of the books from the lot in the next Lame Excuse Books catalog, but here are the two books from the lot that are going in my own library:

  • Vance, Jack. Cugal’s Saga. Timescape, 1983. First edition, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Third book in the Dying Earth series (or fourth, if you count Michael Shea’s A Quest for Simbilis). Hewett, A71. Preceded the Underwood/Miller limited edition by six months.
  • Vance, Jack. The Houses of Iszm Underwood/Miller, 1983. First hardback edition, one of 482 trade copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Hewett, A12h.