The Velvet Underground Meets Lawrence Welk

The worlds of the Velvet Underground and Lawrence Welk are pretty far apart. On the one side, you have a gritty New York band city writing lyrics about shooting up heroin. On the other, a bandleader whose "champagne music" charmed TV viewers across Middle America for 27 straight years. And yet. And yet.

In this 2007 YouTube classic, director/producer Darren Hacker found a way to cross the chasm, mashing up VU's 1968 song "Sister Ray" with footage from the Lawrence Welk Show. As he explained to Dangerous Minds, “I rigged up 2 ancient VCRs and a CD player across my living room floor, layed down on my stomach, cued everything up and then manually activated all 3 devices at precise intervals, live…in real time. One take, no edits…” Everything lined up, just like that.

Enjoy "Lawrence Welk Meets Velvet Underground" and imagine a moment when, circa 1968, VU went mainstream on the milquetoast Lawrence Welk Show.

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54 Cats Riding Out Hurricane Irma in Ernest Hemingway’s Key West Home

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum provides a sanctuary to 54 polydactyl (six-toed) cats.  According to the museum, a ship captain once gave Ernest a white six-toed cat, and now some of its descendents live in the Hemingway Home and Museum located in Key West--precisely where Hurricane Irma is now making landfall.

As curator David Gonzales explains above, he and the 54 Hemingway cats have no plans to evacuate. They're going to ride out the storm and protect the novelist's historic home. We wish them all the best. The same goes to all of our friends in Florida. We'll see you when the storm passes.

You can see some of the Hemingway polydactyl cats here.

via Metafilter

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The Addams Family Dance to The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop”

In the spirit of Andrew Sullivan's Mental Health Break, we give you this: The Addams Family Dancing to The Ramones' 1976 track, "Blitzkrieg Bop." For a brief moment, forget the hurricanes, the threat of nuclear war, the fires burning in LA, Montana, Washington, DC and the hearts of white supremacists. Breathe in. Breathe out. And repeat after me. "Hey Ho......Let's go!"

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Watch “The Woodswimmer,” a Stop Motion Film Made Entirely with Wood, and “Brutally Tedious” Techniques

Above you can watch "The Woodswimmer," a new stop-motion music video shot by Brett Foxwell. As Foxwell describes it, the film was shot with "a straightforward technique but one which is brutally tedious to complete."  Elaborating, he told the website This is Colossal, "Fascinated with the shapes and textures found in both newly-cut and long-dead pieces of wood, I envisioned a world composed entirely of these forms.”  “As I began to engage with the material, I conceived a method using a milling machine and an animation camera setup to scan through a wood sample photographically and capture its entire structure. Although a difficult and tedious technique to refine, it yielded gorgeous imagery at once abstract and very real. Between the twisting growth rings, swirling rays, knot holes, termites and rot, I found there is a lot going on inside of wood."

Finally, Foxwell notes on his personal website: "As a short film began to build from [the filmed sequences], I collaborated with bedtimes, an animator and musician of special talents to write a song and help edit a tight visual and sonic journey through this wondrous and fascinating material. WoodSwimmer is the result."

Watch it, in all of its glory, above.

via This is Colossal

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Siri Can Sing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”

It's true. And you can try it yourself, at home. Just sing "I see a little silhouetto of a man." Then let Siri do the rest.

Have fun!

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Attempting to Set the World Record for Most Frida Kahlo Lookalikes in One Place: It Happened in Dallas

Fun fact: The Dallas Museum of Art and the Latino Center for Leadership Development celebrated Frida Kahlo's 110th birthday last week. And the festivities were capped off with an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Frida Kahlo in one space.

According to the rules of Frida Fest, to participate in the record attempt, individuals had to provide their own costume, and make sure their costumes included the following elements:

  • A unibrow drawn onto the face joining the eyebrows. This can be done with make-up or by sticking hair.
  • Artificial flowers worn in the hair, a minimum of three artificial flowers must be worn.
  • A red or pink shawl.
  • A flower-printed dress that extends to below the knees on all sides; the dress must not have any slits up the side.

Notes NPR, there's "no official word yet on whether a record was set, but prior to Thursday, there didn't appear to be another record-holder listed in the Guinness World Records."

You can see a gallery of 44 photos on the museum's Facebook page. Enjoy.

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Gongora and Kathy Tran — at Dallas Museum of Art.

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Gongora and Kathy Tran — at Dallas Museum of Art.

via Neatorama

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When a Cat Co-Authored a Paper in a Leading Physics Journal (1975)

Back in 1975, Jack H. Hetherington, a physics professor at Michigan State University, wrote a research paper on low–temperature physics for the respected scientific journal Physical Review Letters. Before sending it off, Hetherington asked a colleague to review the paper, just to make sure it covered the right bases. What happened next Hetherington explained in the 1982 book, More Random Walks in Science:

Before I submitted [the article], I asked a colleague to read it over and he said, 'It’s a fine paper, but they’ll send it right back.' He explained that that is because of the Editor's rule that the word "we" should not be used in a paper with only a single author. Changing the paper to the impersonal seemed too difficult now, and it was all written and typed; therefore, after an evening’s thought, I simply asked the secretary to change the title page to include the name of the family cat, a Siamese called Chester, sired one summer by Willard (one of the few unfixed male Siamese cats in Aspen, Colorado). I added the initials F D in front of the name to stand for Felix Domesticus and thus created F D C Willard.

The editors eventually accepted the paper, "Two-, Three-, and Four-Atom Exchange Effects in bcc 3 He." And the ruse lasted until, remembers Hetherington, “a visitor [came to the university and] asked to talk to me, and since I was unavailable asked to talk with Willard. Everyone laughed and soon the cat was out of the bag.” (Pun surely intended.) Apparently only the journal editors didn't find humor in the joke.

Above, you can see F.D.C. Willard's signature (a paw print) on the front page of the article. The website, TodayIFoundOut, has much more on this enchanting little story.

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