Sunday, June 28, 2009


The chefs of the Hyper Kitchen are doing a yeoman's job of making this blog the very best of the internet. We have quite a few things simmering away, and the management thought it'd be a good idea to offer a taste of things to come. So, harnessing the power of Science, we have sundered the fourth-dimensional veil and reveal the shadowy specter of Things to Come.

Expect these special features:

-The History of TV Creature Feature Hosts!

-The world's smartest man, and why we're all doomed!

-The full story behind the missing 7,600lb nuclear bomb!

-Stan Ridgway: how David Lynch and Yogi Bear inspired this famous musician!

-Radio doctor John Brinkley and his promise of extended life and vitality through xenotransplantation!

-The man with three ears!

-Maila Nurmi: the life of a Hollywood vampire!

-The imminent technological singularity (or "Robopocalypse Now")!

-How Superman ended World War II!

-The cinematic car-accident that is Blood of Ghastly Horror!

-What is the mystery of...KLEE?!

And so much more! Tell your friends and neighbors!

Be prepared.

And now, that old classic...

Fish can be easily procured from the ocean by lowering a steel bucket into the water and pulling it back up again. It will usually be full to the brim with wide-eyed, gasping fish.

Friday, June 26, 2009

This I Command!

Bowling will make you wealthy and successful. We are your friends. Obey us.

Verminus Rex

Despite our strict no-rats policy in the Hyper Kitchen (we live or die by the health code), this particular creature from European folklore is too grotesque to ignore.

Behold the ghastly Rat King, originating from medieval Europe. During that age, cities were astonishingly filthy places. No street was left uncovered with sewage and garbage. Naturally, rats thrived in such an environment. According to Dutch, Germanic, and Scandinavian folklore, rats occasionally got their tails inextricably tangled and mangled together. The collective rat tails fused to each other as they healed, creating a pack of rats that were physically joined and operated like a single organism. They were called Rat Kings. It seems highly unlikely that anyone had to flee from some frenzied glob of rabid rats, as the phenomena was never officially documented. Various mummified Rat Kings remain on display in museums, but the consensus is that they're just the product of some"creative taxidermy."

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-Lees dit artikel over rattenkoning.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"The Man Who Created Himself" or "I Have No Legs, but I Must Dream."

Burlington: a city of eight million stories. But who's responsible for this mecca of hemp-based products? As it's been four hundred years since the discovery of Lake Champlain by the French, the Hyper Kitchen thought it was high time someone solved this mystery. And, brother, this one has to be our strangest case yet. One for the file marked X, to be sure.

Eavesdropping in smoke-filled lowlife bars and viewing reel upon reel of microfiche down at the station, we made the explosive discovery that Burlington has its own creator deity. According to Abenaki mythology, shortly after the creation of the universe, a figure named Odzihozo (or "The Man Who Created Himself") roamed Vermont. As this was well before the invention of legs, he dragged his body around with his powerful arms, digging out the valley that eventually became Lake Champlain and the area that would go on to become Burlington. Odzihozo was so taken by his accidental creation that he transformed himself into an island rock so he could watch the valley for all of eternity. This landmark...or lake-mark, if you prefer, currently goes by the decidedly Anglo name of "Dunder Rock."

The are eight millions stories in this naked city, and this has been one of them. The only one, I'll wager, with a legless god.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

From Hell it Came

First described in J.W. Buel's Land and Sea (1887), the Ya-Te-Yeo or "I See You" was said to be a man-eating tree that preyed upon the people of Central America. Normally it would ensnare birds and small mammals in its tendrils, but the monstrous plant would not hesitate to devour a human being if the unfortunate subject drew too close.

This is yet another reason for people to responsibly manage their woodlots. If everyone would consult their friendly forester, then abominations such as the Ya-Te-Yeo could be kept away from populated areas.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Chief Designer

On January 6th, 1966, in the USSR, a patient was brought in for surgery. The patient had been diagnosed with intestinal bleeding. A cancerous tumor was found and removed, but the patient's heart was weak. He never awoke.

The patient's name was Sergei Korolyov, and he was known as the Chief Designer. Had he lived, the Soviet Union might have planted their flag on the moon.

Born in Ukraine in 1907, Korolyov's parents separated when he three years old. His mother was determined that he receive a superlative education, so young Korolyov spent his lonely childhood studying away at Kiev. It was there that he displayed an aptitude for mathematics. In 1913, he saw an air-show which fostered a lasting interest in aviation. Later his mother married an electrical engineer, and Korolyov's academic pursuits were further encouraged. He kept on studying right through the Russian Revolution, and spent the 1920's designing and flying gliders.

Korolyov launched into the thirties by marrying and having a daughter with Xenia Vincentini, the lady he'd been dating for six years. Upon graduation, Korolyov's engineering skills made him highly sought after by the government and he found employment designing aircraft. He co-created a government-funded rocket development organization called the Jet Propulsion Research Group and created several early liquid-fueled rockets. With their success, the government became interested in the military potential of the rockets and expanded the scope and funding of the research group. Korolyov was appointed chief engineer. Life could hardly be any better.

In 1938, Korolyov was accused by his primary scientific rival, Valentin Glushko, of deliberately hindering progress at the institute. He was tortured into signing a confession and then sentenced to ten years at a prison camp. Korolyov tried desperately to reduce his sentence, but his appeals for leniency fell upon deaf ears. For months he labored at a gold mine in Kolyma, working in the most grueling conditions. Ultimately, his intellectual background resulted in his re-location to a camp specializing in scientific slave-labor. There, he and other captive scientists designed bombers and explosive rockets for the USSR's war against Nazi Germany. By this point, he had lost nearly all of his teeth due to his time in Kolyma.

Korolyov and his prison colleagues were discharged in 1944 and he went straight to work creating ballistic missiles and rocket engines for the military. It wasn't until the 1950's, when he officially joined the Communist Party, that the charges against him were dropped and he was finally exonerated. His time in the labor camps had left him a quiet, brooding man. He and Xenia divorced after he had an affair with another woman, whom he subsequently married. His relationship with military grew increasingly ugly, but his knowledge of aviation and propulsion made him invaluable to their Cold War efforts. He proved his worth with the devastating success of Sputnik and its dog-laden sequel Sputnik 2. The space race had officially begun.

With both America and Russia determined to master space, each nation became more ambitious. In 1961, the Vostok Space Program launched Yuri Gagarin into orbit, making him the first man in space. For an encore, Vostok 6 carried Valentina Tereshkova into orbit, making her the first woman in space. In 1965, the Alexei Leonov made the first space-walk. Probes were successfully launched to the moon, and space became increasingly populated with new Soviet satellites. All of these accomplishments were made possible by Korolyov, who directed the program with a taciturn and resolute manner. For security purposes, his name was never officially used and he was referred to as "the Chief Designer" or (in Cyrillic) "SP." The program achieved so much without the sophisticated computer equipment and greater resources of its American counterpart, and this spoke volumes about Korolyov's leadership.

With each success, the Soviet government demanded greater results from the program and with each failure, they demanded the program work harder. Korolyov had earlier suffered from an heart attack, and his condition drove him to work at a frenzied pace. The stress was demolishing his body. He later developed a gall-bladder problem and then an irregular heartbeat. His hearing was also degrading, thanks to years of ear-shattering rocket launches. Finally he died in 1966, just as he was masterminding the USSR's moon launch plans. Two years later, their famed cosmonaut Gagarin perished in a training exercise and then America delivered a death-blow with Apollo 11. The Soviet space program was defeated.

Korolyov was posthumously awarded a Lenin Prize in 1971, and has since had several Moon craters and even a town in Moscow named after him. Ironically, those that worked with him recall his gloomy fondness for saying "we will all vanish without a trace."

But don't take my word for it. You can read all about it in a book!

-A BBC entry on Korolyov
-Another biography of Korolyov (with pictures!)

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