Friday, June 24, 2016

gizmos gadgets widgets and contraptions

"Rube Goldberg [1883-1970] lived through a time of rapid technological, social, and political change.  He survived the San Francisco earthquake, World War I, Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War.  He witnessed the introduction and widespread use of telephones, cameras, automobiles, airplanes, movies, radio, and television..."  The Art of Rube Goldberg is a fun book about the inventor and cartoonist's long and prolific career with essays by several authors chosen by his granddaughter Jennifer George.  "Simple Way to Get Fresh Orange Juice Upon Awakening" is the funny interactive cartoon on the cover.
Goldberg knew he was an artist from a young age, but it took him a few years to believe in his own talents enough to go against his fathers wishes.  After graduating from the College of Mining Engineering at the University of California and making maps of sewer and water systems for the city of San Francisco, he quit his job for a cartooning position at one third of the pay.  
Goldberg drew sports cartoons for the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Bulletin before his imagination was allowed to really blossom at the New York Evening Mail.  His cartoons soon guaranteed huge newspaper sales and within a decade he was famous nationwide and handsomely paid for such strips as Boob McNutt, Mike & Ike-They Look Alike, I Never Thought of That, Things Ain't What They Used to Be, The Weekly Meeting of the Tuesday's Ladies' Club, Lala Palooza, They All Come Back for More, and Give a Guy a Chance. In the strip Foolish Questions and the tiny fun gag in the corner of his daily strips, Benny Sent Me, Goldberg involved his readers by drawing ideas they sent in.  He drew serious political cartoons, wrote songs, screenplays, essays and fiction stories, made animated movies and did advertisements for companies like Berkeley Blades, Chevrolet, and Pepsi-Cola.  Most famous for his invention cartoons in which an ordinary task was achieved through extraordinary means, he created a new one every two weeks for twenty years!  While the game Mouse Trap was obviously inspired by his invention cartoons, it was not designed by or credited to Goldberg, and he eventually came out with his own more humorous 3d games.  His name, Rube Goldberg, became an adjective in 1966 when Random House added it to their dictionary with the meaning "having a fantastically complicated, improvised appearance; deviously complex and impractical." 


a mutant helicopter maple seed pod I found in the yard!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

history of the future

A Pictorial History of Science Fiction is a very entertaining book exploring the development of the genre in hundreds of exciting pictures from novels, magazines, comic strips, movies and more.  Author David Kyle talks about the early founders, H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, and Edgar Allen Poe, as well as later writer-editors John W. Campbell and Hugo Gernsback (who coined the term 'science fiction').  The book covers the inspiring and frightening works of a multitude of both famous and obscure writers and artists up to the mid-1970s when the book was published.
I love the story of the popularity of the genre being very evident when in 1944 John Campbell's office was investigated for a security leak involving the top-secret Manhattan Project.  Their Astounding Science-Fiction magazine had featured a story called Deadline about isotope separation and preparing a bomb.  Campbell managed to convince the FBI it was simply becoming a common theme, meanwhile he hid his circulation map showing a cluster of subscribers in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the heart of the production of the atomic bomb, from all the scientists and technicians there who read his magazine!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

flavor-full moon drops

For the full moon and summer solstice, fairies have made frozen moon drops from yogurt and fruit.  Tonight's treats include strawberry, cherry, and blueberry.

Monday, June 20, 2016

for good measure

When giving flowers it's nice to include an interesting vase!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Hey happy Poo Bah xxoo

Happy Father's Day to my cool creative dad who recently helped me make this sign for Brass Bell Bicycle Rentals on Big Tancook Island, Nova Scotia.  It rained all day on Memorial Day, and we had great fun tinkering in the workshop creating the bone rattler.  More pics to come as the sign is being delivered to Patrick at Brass Bell today!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lahti Pong Tourney 2016

Congrats to my brother, Nick Helgesen, who won Mike Lahti's annual ping pong tournament!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

holy harhar

Here's a funny picture from the day I was baptized at St. Andrew's by-the-Sea in Little Compton, RI.

mother of pearl