The Bad Piper, “We Will Rock You”

As we all know, bagpipes are the most beautiful and romantic musical instrument in the world. But, can bagpipes do hard rock? The Australian bagpiper known simply as the Bad Piper seems to think so. In fact, here he is performing the Queen classic “We Will Rock You” during the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The crowd eventually gets in to the performance, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too.

James Earl Jones’ ABCs

During last night’s Academy Awards telecast, cinema legend James Earl Jones was honored  with an honorary Oscar. So, in tribute to one of Hollywood’s most famous voices, we’ve pulled out this clip of Jones reciting the alphabet on an early episode of Sesame Street. Enjoy as a young Darth Vader carefully enunciates each letter.

And here’s a bonus clip of Jones counting to ten.

Conor Knighton, “99 Restaurants, I Been to Every One”

For the last couple of years, L. A. Weekly (and future L. A. Times) food critic Jonathan Gold has released a list of what he considers to be the “99 Essential L. A. Restaurants.” Like many Angelenos, CBS Sunday Morning contributor Conor Knighton is a devotee of the only Pulitzer Prize winning food critic and decided to dine at every restaurant on Gold’s list. About a year and 99 meals later, Knighton has completed his culinary expedition and has released a Jay-Z inspired tribute to the 99 Essentials. This fusion of Jay-Z and J. Gold features clever shout outs to all of L. A.’s best eats. Check out the track, and then get eating.

Forever In Blue Genes, Babe

So, there I was minding my own business, looking for something interesting to blog about when I encountered an old friend: Methemoglobinemia. You see, in 9th grade biology I was part of a group report on this weird little hereditary disease which literally causes a person to be born with blue skin.

So, ladies and gentlemen, meet the Fugates of Kentucky. In the 1800s, Martin Fugate married a woman named Mary. A few of their children married members of the Smith family, and some of the children of this union were born blue. Now, I hear you saying “What?” Well, both Mary Fugate and someone in the Smith family were both carriers of methemoglobinemia. Now the tricky thing is that methemoglobinemia is a recessive gene, so when you combine two recessive genes…ta-dah, blue babies. So, suffice to say a few generations of inbreeding led to lots of people with a hue similar to that of the Smurfs. As, the blog “Now I Know” says:  

A few children were born with met-H, a disease which causes blood to have a higher than normal level of methemoglobin, and therefore, a reduced ability to carry oxygen. In turn, those afflicted with met-H have darker looking blood and many Caucasian ones therefore also have off-colored skin, typically with a blue hue to it. And the gene pool, undisturbed, yielded generation after generation of blue-tinted people.

Surprisingly, this medical condition went undiscovered until 1958. For further information on the blue Fugates and the unusual cure for methemoglobinemia, head over to the “Now I Know” blog.

Blindfolded Boxing

There are some sports that I wish we as a civilization could bring back. Today, I’d like to submit that we revive blindfolded boxing. The hot sport of 1949 is like regular boxing, except there are four combatants, and none of them can see! I can honestly say that I would be highly entertained watching four guys blindly trying to punch each other, wouldn’t you? You don’t think it would be fun? Well, check out this classic Pathé newsreel and then tell me you wouldn’t want to watch blindfolded boxing.

David Bowie Movies

Here’s a shocking fact for you: David Bowie, the Thin White Duke himself, turned 65 this year. In tribute to the anniversary of Ziggy Stardust’s birth, Empire Magazine asked its readers to imagine what certain movies would look like if they starred David Bowie. Empire‘s readers acted quickly and created several wonderful photoshopped movie posters including this Labyrinth inspired poster seen here. Some of the other great creations include such imagined films as the graphic novel adaptation Frank Miller’s Suffragette City, Brian De Palma’s classic glam crime film Starface, and Pixar’s animated masterpiece Bow-E.

Check all of the Bowie inspired titles over at the Empire forums.

More Mushroom Kingdom Propaganda

Last year, we introduced you to the Mushroom Kingdom propaganda posters designed by Fernando Reza and the Fro Design Co:

For countless years, Bowser and his minions have been fighting against Mario as he seeks to liberate the Mushroom Kingdom from the Koopa King’s grip. Now, when you consider the massive troop loss that Bowser’s forces experience every time they invade the Mushroom Kingdom, you might wonder how Bowser recruits new creatures to his army.

Well, artist Fernando Reza has created four Koopa propaganda posters inspired by World War II and the NES that will rally more Goombas and Koopas to Bowser’s cause. The posters depict a threatening Mario and warnings to keep power ups out of the hands of “the enemy.”

Since we last checked in, Reza has created five more wonderful posters including tributes to Piranha Plant victory gardens, brave Lakitu and Bullet Bill air forces, and the overall cause of smashing the “Red Menace.”

Check out all five of the second wave of Koopa Troopa posters, plus the original four, over at the Fro Design Co Store website. Each limited edition poster is available for purchase for $30, and all nine are available for $150.