a cat helicopter

There’s a lot of strange stuff out there in the world and on teh internets.  That’s no surprise to you.  But this is one of the weirdest stories I’ve ever come across.

A Dutch artist named Bart Jansen had a cat named Orville (which is ironic, as you will see) who died after being hit by a car.  So he mourned for a while, then converted his dead cat into a helicopter.  This isn’t just art — it actually flies.  He calls it the Orvillecopter, and describes it as “half-cat, half-machine”.  (You could also call it the cat-mobile.)  It is literally a taxidermied cat with a propeller attached to each paw and an engine in his stomach, and it is controlled via a remote control.

The artist’s statement says he focuses on the meeting-point between technological progress and human error.  I suppose it’s better to wax philosophical about turning your dead cat into a helicopter rather than doing it just because you can.  Although I wonder if he came up with that saying before or after this art project.  Whatever…

The artist says about his cat “he received his wings posthumously” and “now he is flying with the birds — the greatest goal a cat could ever reach!”  (I’m sure there are more puns to be had at this, but that’s enough for this post.)

Of course this “art” has sparked outrage among some animal rights groups.  The owner clearly says no animals were harmed for this project, which technically is true.  Nonetheless, some people will get offended at anything.  At an art fair showcasing Orvillecopter, some anonymous animal rights activists wrote graffiti saying “Kill the animal killers”.  Apparently they don’t know the story.  That’s like those people (sometimes called trolls) who leave hateful comments without even reading the article.  Another activist said the artist should be thrown in a vat of manure when he dies.  So is the message that you should do something mean to someone if you disagree with them on ethical issues?  Isn’t that highly ironic (and hypocritical)?

Personally, I wouldn’t do this to a family pet.  But if he’s going to do it, he might as well go all out.  He should make the blades as transparent as possible and have the stand fold up underneath.  Then it would look like just a flying cat.  He could also consider mounting water pistols on it, to shoot people or animals while dive-bombing them.

If you want to see the Orvillecopter in action, flying around and terrorizing cows, here’s a video (which even features the theme song from Airwolf*):

* Some of you may not know about Airwolf.  It was a TV show in the ’80s that featured a secret high-tech military helicopter tricked-out for fighting criminals, who usually flew helicopters, too.  I don’t know if the show has aged well (I’ve never seen reruns of it), but as a kid, I thought it was cool.  There was cool music and sound effects, and there was usually real explosions.  There’s not enough TV sitcoms these days that feature explosions…  But I digress…  Here’s a brief introduction to Airwolf.

devastating explosions

Some friends recently told me about a website caused Devastating Explosions, at the touch of a button.  I have to say, this is one of the coolest websites I’ve ever seen.  All it is is explosions that you detonate, but what more do you need?  I recommend you make your web browser full-screen for this page.

The website is courtesy of Old Spice.  I’m not really sure what deodorant has to do with explosions, but it’s cool nonetheless.  (Yeah, I realize it’s a marketing ploy to get them recognition, and it’s a good one.)

Anyway, back to the explosions… One of them has two tanker trucks blowing up in an intersection, which seems odd.  But then an old car drives through the explosion area like nothing happened.  Another scene has a huge explosion and there’s somebody walking along casually.  I’m thinking if there’s a massive explosion that close to you and you aren’t either admiring it or running away, then you had something to do with it and are trying too hard to look innocent.

There needs to be more websites like this… and they should be made into TV commercials.

We need to figure out how to get paid for making video clips of explosions!  Surely there are many amateur / indie movie-makers who would like to add more explosions to their films (who wouldn’t?), but they don’t have the budget for it.  Plus it would be awesome to try to build the most complete library of explosions ever!  How many unique explosions could we think up?  I don’t know, but I’ve got quite a few ideas already…

teaching students with explosions

I had lunch the other day with the Buffet o’ Blog staff, and we always have some crazy conversations.  (If only more of them made it to the blog… perhaps we need an secretary to keep notes.)  Somehow we got on the topic of those secret messages in spy movies that at the end say:

“This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds.”

What if we applied that concept to learning in school?  Say once a student learning something, the message would explode, whether it was a paper, book, or chalkboard.  That would make learning fun!  Kids would be excited about learning new stuff then!

Obviously public school aren’t going to apply this technique because of “safety concerns” and cost.  So maybe we need to start our own private school where we teach with explosions and cool weapons.  It would be prohibitively expensive, and the disclaimer would be quite extensive (even more so than the disclaimer for this blog!).  But the students would be excited about going to school.

I’m convinced that people enjoy learning if you make it fun and interesting.  (I could’ve worded that “people enjoy learning if you make it enjoyable”.)  School should be more fun, I think.  I certainly learned more with the fun teachers . We would also use video games to teach students — some school is already doing that successfully.  If they can learn something while saving the world, everyone wins.

how to make any movie awesome

If you watch movies with any regularity, you have realized that some movies just aren’t that great.  Well, let’s be honest, some movies siphon (that’s a nicer way of saying they suck).  Perhaps it is inevitable.  As the great philosophers Beavis & Butt-head once said, “You have to have stuff that sucks so you can tell the stuff that’s cool.”  As crazy as it sounds, there’s some sense to that.  If everything was at the same quality level, nothing would stand out as exceptional.  But I think there are exceptions to that.  For example, there are some things that are just always cool when done right in a movie, like explosions, car chases, incredible wrecks, massive destruction, tanks, powerful weapons (like rocket launchers, grenade launchers, flamethrowers, etc), Chuck Norris, Mr. T, etc.

What got me to thinking about this was a discussion that restarted at one of our popular posts: I want a tank to drive around town.  A couple of movies were referenced that have tank chases in them.  I’ve seen the one in Goldeneye (a James Bond movie), and I could watch it over and over because it’s so awesome.  Thomas Wayne said this about tank chases:

Seems like more movie directors would find a way to work it in.  I know, it may not seem to fit in all movies, but when you have full access to the script, you can make it fit!  Well, perhaps not everyone has the creative prowess of yours truly, but the movie studios could submit it to Buffet o’ Blog and collectively we could make any movie awesome!  🙂

I have to agree — we could make any movie awesome.   Just look at our free-for-all stories.  So much creativity and humor and action — something for everyone.   So I started wondering if it would indeed be possible to make any movie awesome by making a few modifications to the script.  For instance, if a movie was getting too bogged down with depressing emotional scenes, just have someone pull out a flamethrower and add a few explosions, or have Mr. T come in and talk some sense to them, or have someone drive a tank through the room.  (Or even better, have some crazy amalgamation of all that — Mr. T driving a tank into the room, jumping out, yelling at some stupid people, punching a few folks, then taking a flamethrower to the place, resulting in massive explosions!)  Surely that would make the movie better!  And of course it would add value to the movie, therefore viewers wouldn’t think they were getting ripped off by high ticket prices.   So it becomes a win-win situation.

So the next time you’re watching a TV show or movie that starts getting boring and you can’t change the channel or leave, think about what could be done to make the movie better.  Just imagine how one of these scenarios would improve the movie.  And if you come up with some awesome ideas we haven’t mentioned yet, tell us about it in a comment to this post.  Or add it to our current free-for-all story (the first story at the link above).  Anyone can contribute to those, and the rules are simple.  (And you can subscribe to just that post, so you’ll automatically receive the next chapter via e-mail.  It’s a guaranteed good time!)