As Canada slowly burns away, May quietly exits the building. Clearly it's time for another Monster of the Month. Many of our previous entries have been fished out of the murky pool of b-movie cinema, so we thought that it was high time that we enriched the pulsating young minds of our readers by visiting the world of art. We at the Hyper Kitchen are connoisseurs of high culture, and believe us when we say that all truly great art has monsters in it. Case in point: the Torment of Saint Anthony by Michelangelo.
Originally thought to have been painted by Domenico Ghirlandaio (Michelangelo's mentor and fellow Italian), it was eventually determined to be a Michelangelo piece in 2009. Drawing upon medieval Christian folklore, the painting depicts Saint Anthony swept into the air by a horde of shrieking demons. While a few of these devils are of the more generic variety, most are surreal beasts with animal features. Of particular merit is what appears to be a melancholy hybrid of fish, porcupine, and elephant, ready to bash in Saint Anthony's head with a large club.
Monday, May 31, 2010
As the need for new sources of energy becomes ever more painfully obvious, enormous quantities of money are being invested in the development of bio-diesel fuels. While the sustainability of these fuels is questionable, that hasn't stopped scientists from analyzing countless different plants in search of viable sources of bio-diesel. One such member of the vegetable kingdom is the Pong-Pong Tree, known by the scientific name Cerbera Odollam. The Pong-Pong Tree makes its home in India and Southeast Asia, and produces green mango-sized pods. However: fruit fans take caution! The seeds that these pods carry contain a poison, cerberin, that causes a deadly disruption of the heart-beat. The poison seeds have been used for centuries by the inhabitants of India and Madascar for various sinister pursuits. The easy to conceal seeds, combined with the difficulty of detecting cerberin in autopsies, makes the Pong-Pong fruit ideal for murderers everywhere. People have also commonly used it to kill themselves, leading to the ghoulish nickname of "The Suicide Tree."
Would you like to know more?
Monday, May 24, 2010
The Novgorod was built in 1874 by the Imperial Russian Navy. Its designer, Admiral Andrei Popov, believed that the unique circular shape of the vessel would give it the capacity to carry much heavier guns that other ships of its size, due to the greater displacement of water. It was also intended to have uncommon stability while fighting coastal battles.
As it happened, the ship was an astounding failure of design. Thanks to its odd shape, manuveribility was difficult and smooth-sailing was impossible, as the Novgorod was tossed about by even mild waves. The force of its own cannons was sufficient to spend the ship spinning in the water, and even the addition of special rudders couldn't fully correct the problem.
The ship proved to be wildly impractical in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877. In the end, the Novgorod was used infrequently as a coast patrol-boat, before finally being scrapped in 1912.
But don't take my word for it!