Sep 27, 2009

Were YOUR Parents Awesome?

My Parents Were Awesome is without a doubt the most awesome website to find awesome pictures of parents who were awesome! Submitted by other awesome people, there is just so much awesomeness on My Parents Were Awesome that you may have no choice but to agree that Yes! These parents were awesome!

You can even submit awesome pictures of your own awesome parents to increase the awesomeness factor of this awesome site to levels that everyone will most certainly consider awesome!


This guy is most definitely awesome!

Sep 21, 2009

The Incredible Coral Castle!

Egypt has the pyramids, China the Great Wall, Cambodia the Angkor Wat. But here in America is to be found perhaps the strangest and most mysterious of constructs: The Coral Castle. Though nowhere near as famous, it is perhaps the most amazing of them all.

Edward Leedskalnin was a Latvian immigrant who single-handedly built the entire castle over a 28 year period, beginning in 1923. In 1936 he decided to relocate his then still-under-construction castle from Florida City, Florida to Homestead, Florida, once again without any apparent outside help, which is stunning considering many of the coral blocks used in it's construction weighed several tons each! The moving process alone took three years...

Old Ed never revealed how he was able to cut, lift and place these large blocks of coral by himself, stating only that he had discovered the means by which the Egyptians had constructed the pyramids. He also worked only when no other people were around, and mostly at night.

Construction continued until his death from malnutrition in 1951.

The castle remains a popular tourist attraction to this day, and no official consensus has ever been reached as to how this small, unassuming man was able to achieve such an amazing feat of engineering on his own.

Sep 17, 2009

The Sherman Brothers

Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman are responsible for some of the most memorable music from anyone's childhood. The "official" composers for many of Disney's most successful films, such as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the brothers also composed the music for some of his theme park's most popular attractions, such as It's A Small World and The Enchanted Tiki Room. Working outside the Disney company, they also provided scores for many popular musicals such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Charlotte's Web and An American Tale.

Recently, a documentary about them was released, called "The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story." The trailer for it is above, and it will give you some idea of the breadth and scope of their extraordinary work.

There are probably better known composers, but I doubt that there are any better loved composers than Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman!

Sep 14, 2009

Bunny Suicides

The Cap'n's sense of humor sometimes runs a little on the morbid side, which is why I found these cartoons detailing the many ways in which a cute lil' bunny can off himself to be too good not to share.

The cartoons featured on the link come from the book "The Book of Bunny Suicides: Little Fluffy Rabbits Who Just Don't Want To Live Any More" by Andy Riley.

Sep 9, 2009

Woody the Cat

Found this one on MetaFilter:

Woody the cat takes a few minutes to freshen up and have a drink while listening to some jazz...

Sep 8, 2009

Brutus or Bluto?

Good Ol' Bluto

Ah, the age old question: Was Popeye's nemesis named Brutus or Bluto? Actually, he went by both, but the explanation is rather convoluted and, of course, involves lawyers. Only a lawyer could scare Bluto into changing his name.

Good Ol' E.C. Segar

E.C. Segar began drawing the Thimble Theater comic strip for King Features Syndicate in 1919. In 1929 he introduced Popey into the strip, and then, in 1932, he introduced Bluto.

So Bluto came first, for those of you keeping score.

Then, in 1933, the first Popeye cartoon was released by Fleischer Studios, featuring Bluto as the villain. Everything was smooth sailing for Bluto until 1956, when production of the Popeye cartoons was discontinued because Fleischer felt they had played out the formula, and the syndication rights were sold to another company, namely Associated Artists.

Much to everyone's surprise the T.V. ratings went straight through the roof.

King Features Syndicate, who only owned the print rights to the Popeye strip, decided to milk the Popeye animation cow for all it was worth by producing their own animated cartoons. Only in these cartoons the villain's name became Brutus.


Bad research on King Feature's part. They thought that the Bluto character was created for the Fleischer cartoons, and that Paramount (who owned Fleischer) had legal rights to the name. They issued a hastily assembled press release saying they were "going back to the the first newspaper comics the villain was Brutus" which, as you can read above, was definitely not true!

It was quickly decided that Brutus was an entirely new character, and his looks and behavior were subtly altered, even though it wasn't really enough for anyone to notice. Brutus stuck around for only a couple of years...when Hanna-Barbera introduced "The All-New Popeye Show" Brutus went back to being called Bluto, and it stayed Bluto, including for the Robin Williams Popeye film in 1980.

Good Ol' Paul L. Smith as Good Ol' Bluto

So that's the scuttlebutt on the whole Brutus or Bluto debate. If you'd like to read a slightly more in-depth article about it (which is where I culled most all of the information for this post) I suggest you click right on over to The Straight Dope for the straight dope on this subject and many other fascinating subjects as well!

Good Ol' Bluto NOT from Popeye, but I include him anyway!

Saturday Morning Memories

Hey kids! It's time for another exciting installment of Saturday Morning Memories, the post where I share with you yet another Saturday morning cartoon from that time long ago when Saturday mornings were all about cartoons!

Today we feature Shazzan, the story of Chuck and Nancy, a brother and sister who travel through an ancient Arabian land on a flying camel named Kaboobie (of course, the people who came up with this premise never imbibed in any illicit substances!) and who were always helped in times of peril by the friendly genie Shazzan.

Dig the cool intro for Shazzan right here:

Sep 7, 2009

Fantastic Crayon Art!

It is probably safe to say that everyone grew up using Crayola crayons at some point in their childhood. I remember spending time laying on the floor in front of a coloring book, an open box of crayons next to me, being very careful to color within the lines. No improvising for little Quasi...had to follow the rules if I wanted to grow up and become a proper Cap'n!
It was all good clean fun of course, and sometimes I did manage to try drawing my own creations on a blank piece of paper, but the end results never looked as good as I wanted them to. Eventually I grew out of my artistic period, but I never forgot the almost zen-like feeling of coloring.

Of course, some people manage to grow up, but not out, and as you will see the world is a more colorful place because of them!

This is a painting ...well, not really a painting, since no paint was used. I guess it would be better referred to as a "Crayon Rendering" of a tropical beach scene created by Jeffrey Robert, a talented artist who uses crayons to produce beautiful works of art.

Don Marco is another extremely gifted artist who uses crayons to produce works of art worthy of hanging proudly in any home. Or museum, for that matter. The piece above is called "End of the Hunt."

Tiona Marco is another great artist. Though no relation to Don Marco, she was mentored by him, and the results are fantastic as shown by her piece entitled "Adoration."

I encourage you to click on the artists name to visit their sites to see more of their incredible artwork!

Sep 6, 2009

Doyle on the Boil!

There are so many great guitarists in the world it would be impossible to find any agreement on who is the best. Now, of course there is a general consensus of which are among the best, and Doyle Dykes is most certainly on that list.

Doyle is usually considered a country acoustic guitarist, since he began by performing with The Stamps Quartet and then later on touring with Grand Ole Opry star Grandpa Jones before turning solo, but his style is influenced by all types of music, especially the finger picking style of the great Chet Atkins. He also serves as an endorser and clinician for Taylor Guitars, for whom he has designed a very successful Signature model guitar.

Here is a video of Doyle performing two songs that showcase his unique virtuosity: