Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tusks and Trotters

2011 is over and good riddance. Sure, it was funny in parts and sometimes exciting, but it dragged in the third act and the ending was something of a let down. The low-budget was painfully obvious at times, and the performances were pretty bad. That said, we'll probably stick around for the sequel. It's already looking like a marked improvement.

But! That isn't why you're here. You're here because you're looking for another edition of our internationally famous Monster of the Month series. For the final freak of the 2011, we return to the world of cinema to bring you...the Razorback.

The eponymous beast of a 1984 Australian film directed by Russell Mulcahy, the Razorback owes its name to an old-fashioned term for feral pigs. These wild hogs were known for their sharp bristly fur, although this overgrown specimen sports a particularly shaggy mane. The Razorback is depicted as a nearly unstoppable force of nature, charging through doors like a hurricane and brutally mauling any who are unlucky enough to be in its way. It's a snarling, snaggle-toothed engine of destruction, shrugging off gunshots like mere bee-stings. In the end, it takes the whirling blades of an industrial fan to stop the Razorback; shredding the rampaging beast into hunks of furry flesh. A fitting end for such a mindless monster.

Razorback is one of many unique exploitation films that Australia has produced and is highly recommended. You'll never think of pigs the same way.

Would you like to know more?
 -Watch the trailer here

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This post uses protected content

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Would you like to know more?
-Visit American Censorship.Org

Monday, December 12, 2011

Special Projects for the State of Eternity

In Washington D.C., December, 1964, Meyer Wertlieb decided that it was finally time to take a look in his garage. For the past fourteen years, Wertlieb had been renting the small garage to a man named James Hampton, who worked as a night janitor for the General Services Administration. It had been a month since Hampton last paid rent and Wertlieb had reached the end of his patience. When he went to investigate, he found that Hampton had died one month earlier at a VA hospital, stricken with stomach cancer. When Wertlieb opened up the garage, this is what he saw:

The massive, glorious sculpture was referred to as The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' General Assembly on a hand-written title card. It was an intensely personal religious expression. Over the course of fourteen years, Hampton had built it out of cardboard, burnt-out lightbulbs,tin-foil, broken furniture, and miscellaneous junk. He would dutifully work on the throne every midnight after returning from his janitorial job. All in all, the throne was comprised of one hundred eighty different pieces, most of which were labelled with quotes of the book of Revelations.

Accompanying the Throne was a one hundred twelve page journal, along with loose pieces of cardboard, on which Hampton had written St James: The Book of the 7 Dispensation. In the journal, Hampton referred to himself as "St. James" and "Director, Special Projects for the State of Eternity" and recorded various religious visions, along with his anticipation of the return of Christ and a desire to form a church. Some portions of the journal were written in a code of his own design, which has still yet to be deciphered.

The Throne of the Third Heaven was made public a few weeks later in an issue of the Washington Post. Hampton's relatives were especially stunned, never realizing that he was capable of such things. The Throne was donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum six years later, where is it can still be seen today.

Would you like to know more?
-Check out this picture of the Throne
-Read this biography from the Smithsonian
-Read this article from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Saturday, December 03, 2011

"No Real Than You Are"

 It's rare that we do follow-up stories at the Hyper Kitchen. In fact, I don't think it's ever happened before. But, when the ocean waves deposited a giant Lego man onto the Siesta Key Beach in Florida, we knew that we had to act. On October 26th, the Lego man was discovered and promptly "taken into protective custody" by the local police. Perhaps they feared that the Lego man would go on some sort of rampage. Nevertheless, as with the previous giant lego man incidents, this anomalous event appears to be the work of Dutch artist Ego Leonard. Like the others, the words "No Real Than You Are" were emblazoned on its t-shirt. This is the first Lego man to travel beyond Europe, and may hint at a more international Lego presence.

Would you like to know more?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

One Foot in the Grave

Henry Paget, Lord of Uxbridge, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, and Knight of the Order of Saint George, the Order of Maria Theresa, the Royal Guelphic Order, and the Order of the Garter (but known to his friends as "Hank") was a commander in the Battle of Waterloo. On June 18th, 1815, Paget was on the battlefield when he had the terrible luck of being hit by a canon blast of grape-shot.  Paget wasn't killed, but the attack did severely injure his right leg, which prompted Paget to declare to the nearby Duke of Wellington "By god, sir! I've lost my leg!"

The Duke answered: "By god, sir! So you have!

This exchange was presumably followed by some uncomfortable silence, and then the Duke eventually helped his fallen comrade to a nearby house. Paget's leg could not be salvaged by the medical science of the time, and it was amputated without any anesthetic. During the operation, Paget displayed superhuman stoicism, his moustache scarcely flickering as they sawed through his shin.

The owner of the house, one M. Hyacinthe Joseph-Marie Paris, asked if he could keep the leg and bury it in his garden. Paget had no problem with this, and the leg received a "good Christian burial," along with a proper gravestone that bore the following description:

 Here lies the Leg of the illustrious and valiant Earl Uxbridge, Lieutenant-General of His Britannic Majesty, Commander in Chief of the English, Belgian and Dutch cavalry, wounded on the 18 June 1815 at the memorable battle of Waterloo, who, by his heroism, assisted in the triumph of the cause of mankind, gloriously decided by the resounding victory of the said day.

Word of the grave-site spread quickly, and soon villagers started showing up to take a look for themselves. Paris was only too happy to allow them in, provided that they pay a modest fee. Soon, countless travelers journeyed to Waterloo to see the grave of the heroic appendage. The leg became so prominent that the King of Prussia even arranged a visit. Paris' descendants continued to profit from the grave and it remained an attraction until the bones were disinterred in 1878. Fifty-six years later in1934, a newly widowed Mrs. Paris discovered the leg bones in her husband's study along with documents linking them to the Henry Paget. Fearing an international incident, she threw the bones into the furnace and burned them to ashes. One hopes that she was then haunted by an angry spectral leg, but sadly those details are lost in history.

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

Saturday, November 26, 2011


November, we hardly knew ye. It seems like only yesterday that you were brought in to replace October, and now you're on your way out too. Is it too much to ask for a month with some real staying power? Regardless, in keeping with tradition, it has come time to roll out another Monster of the Month. Today's bizarre horror hails from picturesque Cornwall, England and much of what we know comes from the accounts of several children. No doubt the Owlman, as the thing has been referred to, has haunted their nightmares ever since.

 Back in April, 1976, two young girls were strolling through the woods in the town of Mawnan, when they caught sight of the fearsome Owlman swooping around a nearby church steeple. Later in July, two more girls saw the Owlman perched in a tall pine tree by the same church. In both instances the parties involved did their best to draw what they had seen. The illustrations varied, but each girl described the beast as having gray feathers and fiery orange-red eyes, clawed feet, and being between five and four feet tall. There were only a handful of further sightings. The Owlman had apparently flown to parts unknown.

So...what the hell did they see? Some paranormal enthusiasts have drawn comparisons between the Cornish Owlman and the famous Mothman of West Virginia. Others speculate that the Owlman was demonic in nature, and perhaps intended to attack the Mawnan church. There are also the obligatory theories involving UFOs. Skeptics insist that the girls were terrified by an ordinary owl, but they just like to rain on the parade. Whatever the explanation, we suspect that the Owlman was ultimately benign. It seems reasonable that it was only hunting for the church-mice.

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

Hate reading?
Here's a ridiculous video

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And you call yourself a scientist!

Jerry Warren was a hack, but that title just grabs you by the neck and says "For god's sake, watch me now!" We have no choice but to obey.

Monday, November 14, 2011


In Japan, there are 12 million men and women who are known as the Happies. They are adherents to a growing movement called Happy Science, first conceived by a former finance student named Ryuho Okawa in 1981. As America's airwaves radiated with Journey's Don't Stop Believin', Okawa experienced a cosmic awakening at the City University of New York.  Happy Science was the result; a new age organization that preaches the "Fourfold Path" of Love, Wisdom, Self-Reflection, and Progress. Okawa claims to be the Buddha of the 21st century, and (thanks in no small part to a savvy marketing plan provided by the monolithic Japanese advertising corporation Dentsu) his more than 500 holy books have been best sellers.

The principle tenant of Happy Science is that the universe was created by a deity called Lord El Cantare, who dwells in ill-defined realm called the Ninth Dimension. In the past, El Cantare has lent his great wisdom to such luminaries as Jesus, Confucius, Mohamed, and Socrates, but this celestial being isn't afraid to take a hands on approach. Cantare manifests on Earth every so often, having previously hung around in ancient Atlantis, Greece, and India. Okawa, so the Happies believe, is the current incarnation of El Cantare. Under his guidance, the Happies make regular visits to the 300 various temples across Japan to meditate and commune with the greater truth and what-not.  They even recently opened a branch in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Happy Science was formally recognized as a religious movement in 1991, along the same time that the notorious terrorist cult Aum Shinrikyo rose to prominence. While that organization later self-destructed after flooding the Tokyo subways with poison gas, Happy Science has gone on to form its own political party. Called the Happiness Realization Party, the political wing of the Happy Science movement focuses on self-actualization and staunch neoliberal capitalism. The Happiness Realization Party also plays the fear card, with warnings of an imminent nuclear attack from China and North Korea. Okawa, who serves as party president, claims to have great insight into the mind of the famously eccentric North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il after telepathically communing with Jong-il's "guardian spirit." While the Happiness Realization Party failed to win any seats in the recent 2009 Japanese elections, they remain confident that they can be a viable alternative to the both conservative Liberal Democratic Party and the left-wing Democratic Party.

Happiness prevails.

Would you like to know more?
-Read this article from the Japan Times
-Visit the official Happy Science website

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Bones of the Drowned

In 1726, Swiss scientist Johann Scheuchzer published the Lithographia Helvetica, in which he analyzed several fossils. Alongside the ancient remains of various primordial shellfish was the vertebrate pictured to the right. Scheuchzer dubbed the thing Homo Diluvii Testis; Latin for Evidence of a Diluvian Human. Scheuchzer believed the fossil to be the crushed and distorted remains of a man, drowned in the biblical flood. Homo Diluvii was scientific evidence of god's wrath, frozen forever in stone.

Eighty-six years later, a French zoologist with a prodigious name (Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier...known to his friends and academic colleagues as Georges) studied the Homo Diluvii fossil in the Netherlands and concluded that the bones were not those of a human being. It was not long afterwards that the fossil was identified as belonging to a prehistoric species of giant salamander, and Homo Diluvii was renamed Andrias Scheuchzeri. Despite being the one to disprove Scheuchzer's theory, Cuvier himself did not believe in early notions of evolution and contended that extinction was an impossibility. When faced with the remains of animals that clearly no longer existed, Cuvier proposed the existence of multiple previous worlds, each destroyed by cataclysms to make way for our own.

In 1936, Czech satirical author Karel Čapek (the man responsible for coining the term "robot") read about the Andrias Scheuchzeri and it inspired his dystopian novel War with the Newts. The novel was intended to comment upon racism and fascism, depicting the intelligent descendents of the salamanders enslaved by humanity only to revolt and conquer most of civilization.

The Andrias Scheuchzeri fossil is hardly remarkable when compared to the other fossils that scientists have recovered. It stands around three feet high, is far from complete, and the giant salamander lacks the impressive, iconic status of, say, a tyrannosaurus or a mammoth. And yet, the Scheuchzeri is unique among all others. It has been shown to have a certain quality that leads men to consider doomsday.

Perhaps it's in the eyes.

But don't take my word for it!
-You can read about it in a book.
-Or, alternately, you can read about in this book.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Washington Comes Clean About the Little Green Men

In a recent public relations initiative, the White House made a promise to issue official responses to any formal petition to garner more than five thousands signatures in one month. They were probably not expecting a letter requesting the President to "disclose to the American people the long-withheld knowledge of government interactions with extraterrestrial beings." Who can say whether the signatories of this petition earnestly believed that the U.S. government had secret dealings with creatures from outer space or whether it was only for the lulz* (as the cool kids are wont to say), but the White House kept its part of the bargain and issued a statement saying that there has been no "credible evidence" of alien life visiting Earth or making contact from government representatives. For the majority of Americans, the question of whether or not the government had various Saucer Men secreted away in New Mexico bunkers was probably a non-issue. The tiny portion of the population who were concerned about such matters are doubtlessly skeptical. Conspiracy theorists are notoriously unreasonable. 

Would you like to know more?
-Read this article from The Hill

*This will be the only time that you will see Internet Slang on the Hyper Kitchen

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Hyper Kitchen: Worthless Statistics.

In the interests of full disclosure between the Kitchen and you readers, here are some important facts:

-We have had 175 visitors from India.
--We procrastinate often.
-7% of all planned Hyper Kitchen articles are never completed due to funding issues.
-Many people arrive at the Hyper Kitchen through this image.
-The current top search keywords that results in a visit to the Kitchen are Vampire Squid, Samurai Crab, and Men in Leopard Print Speedos.
-Vampire Squid vs. Samurai Crab would be a really cool song title.
-The all-time, number one search keyword is "gustave."
-We often misspell the word "ostensibly."
-21 people visited the Hyper Kitchen using their Playstation 3, when they really should been outdoors getting some fresh air and making new friends.
-We refuse to place advertisements on the Hyper Kitchen because we are wonderful people.
-We used to have twenty followers and now we only have 19. That's unacceptable.
-We usually eat sandwiches on Canadian White Bread.

Would you like to know more?
-Visit this site.

How Things Work Part X: Robotic Body Edition

Hastily constructed from available parts.

Not turtle-proof.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Six Minutes to Midnight at the Greenbriar Hotel

The Greenbrier Resort of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, was built in 1913 and has hosted 26 presidents and countless VIPs from nearby Washington. However, the hotel is available for ordinary citizens as well. For a mere $295.00, you too can relax for two nights in their "standard room." Sadly, this deal does not include access to the casino, golf course, tennis courts, and shooting ranges offered to the more important clients, but perhaps your mere proximity will allow for a luxury contact-high.

Until fairly recently, the Greenbrier had other exclusive amenities to offer its clients. In fact, it had an entire wing on call for the members of congress. Constructed in 1959, this section came with two-foot thick, steel-reinforced doors with three mechanical locks each.

It was also built underground. All the better to avoid the fallout.

Known as "Project Greek Island" or "the Bunker," this section was an enormous bomb-shelter intended to keep congress safe during a nuclear war to ensure "continuity of leadership." As New York and Washington burned with atomic fire, these men would be whisked away to the Greenbrier "relocation center" and there they would stay until the radiation had subsided. The facility was equipped with two distinct chambers for the House and Senate, and a connection to a nearby radio-tower so they could broadcast their legislative progress to whatever remnants of American society remained alive above ground. Thanks to gargantuan stores of food (and the alcoholic beverages so crucial in the political process), congress could stay in Bunker for years. The place even had a "pathological waste incinerator" to dispose of the dead.

While the Bunker is known to have been on high-readiness during the Cuban Missile Crisis (and conceivably on several other occasions during the Cold War), its existence was kept secret until its exposure by the Washington Post in 1992. Throughout its operational life, the Bunker was overseen by a group that operated out of the resort under the cover story that they were contractors belonging to the "Forsythe Associates."  Nevertheless, despite this secrecy and the cooperation of the Greenbrier employees, it was impossible to completely conceal the Bunker and its true purpose, and unconfirmed reports of a government base spread through the White Sulphur Springs area like the flu.

When the bombs started to fall, security guards were ordered to refuse admission to anyone but congressional members and the corresponding personnel. If hotel employees or other guests tried to get in, they were to be shot. This may seem severe, but order had to be maintained. Perhaps as a consolation effort, all of the White Sulphur Springs areas was eventually designated to receive some 45,000 nuclear refugees in the event of war. No shelter was provided for them though. They were expected to pack their own camping tents and weather the fallout in the great can-do tradition of patriots everywhere. The Bunker was exclusive until the end.

Would you like to know more?

-Read the Washington Post article that started it all
-Visit the Greenbrier Hotel's official website
-Check out the PBS documentary

Friday, November 04, 2011

Build a Better God

Universalist minister John Murray Spear was a man of uncommon moral courage. In the 1840's, he organized the first Universalist convention on the abolition of slavery and helped to assemble a portion of the Underground Railroad in Boston. He also championed women's rights, fought for better conditions for workers, and effectively served as America's first parole officer. Still, Spear was also deeply frustrated. He had been with the church for several decades, and it was growing increasingly difficult to reconcile his faith with the often harsh and arbitrary world that he lived in.

Eventually Spear became disillusioned and turned to spiritualism at the behest of his daughter. In the following years he claimed to have contacted ghosts while in a trance state, writing about his experiences in pamphlets. Just as the high-science jargon of quantum mechanics is often appropriated by today's New Age gurus, Spear was fascinated by the then-mysterious world of electromagnetism and sought to harness its power in healing the sick. His unusual activities alienated his friends in the church and many worried that Spear had succumbed to madness. When he announced that he had become the chosen medium of a "Congress of Spirits" whose ranks included Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, their fears seemed to be confirmed. His membership in the church was dissolved, but at this point Spear had little interest and (possibly due to the influence of Benjamin Franklin) had started designing fantastic mechanisms such as an "electric thinking machine" and a device that could facilitate telepathic communication across all of America.

As is typical in these situations, former church members and various spiritualists flocked to hear Spear's trance sermons and he soon had a healthy cult following. His preachings were fairly radical for the time and placed an emphasis on free love and liberation for women. Perhaps emboldened by his new prominence, Spear selected an inner circle of followers and began work on his most audacious plan of all. Christ was taking too long to make his return and usher in paradise, so Spear decided to bring about utopia himself.

He decided to make his own messiah.

With who knows how many spirits guiding his thoughts, Spear designed a machine in Lynn, Massachusetts. Called "New Motive Power," Spear's messiah was a decidedly non-human construct assembled on top of a large dining room table. Comprised of zinc and copper, along with the all-important magnets, New Motive Power was intended to be a sentient conduit of spiritual force. After construction was completed, Spear and his colleagues attempted to bring life into New Motive Power through various rituals. Despite their best efforts, their messiah proved inoperative.

Spear was crushed by his failure and was apparently ordered to retire by his ghostly guides. He continued to support progressive and spiritualist causes until his death 1887. New Motive Power, the stillborn god, was dismantled; its parts sold for scrap.

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

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Friday, October 07, 2011

These are the Facts

Yes. It's all true. I am the Gorilla Man from your dreams.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Ghost and the Guts

While struggling with our daily lives in these economically depressed times, we at the Hyper Kitchen barely noticed a September-shaped blur race past us. This can only mean two things:

1). Our rent is due.
2). It is once again time again for another entry in our celebrated Monster of the Month series.

Most of our monsters have been of the male persuasion and we wanted a lady monster for this month. Trouble was, many of them were fairly dull. Fortunately, we stumbled upon the world of Thai folklore and were ensnared in the dangling viscera of the dreaded...Krasue.

The unbelievable Krasue is an evil spirit that takes the form of a beautiful woman. According to legend, the head of the Krasue detaches from of its neck, dragging its internal organs along for the ride. It then flies off into the night in search of an evening meal of flesh and blood. The Krasue is especially fond of messily devouring human fetuses with its prehensile tongue.


Perhaps due to its sheer gruesomeness, the legend of the Krasue spread into nearby Cambodia, Laos, and Indonesia, with each culture adding their own unique twist on the ghost.  The Krasue may have even influenced the development of a similar Japanese monster, the Nukekubi. This super-star status has made it a prime choice for horror movies, and since the late seventies there has been a smattering of Thai, Indonesian, and Hong Kong fright flicks featuring this flying freak (Stan Lee would be proud). We at the Hyper Kitchen think that it's high time that Hollywood took notice of Krasue. Somebody green-light this blood-sucker! We got a winner on our hands!

Would you like to know more?
-Watch a movie and get educated

Monday, September 26, 2011

Nothing in the Dark

 In 1938, Halifax, England, was in the grip of terror. The frightened townspeople locked themselves in during the night and shops and taverns were closed down. The local police, together with Scotland Yard, prowled the alleyways and streets along with gangs of hard-edged vigilantes. 

A maniac was on the loose and no one could rest until he was caught.

In November 16th, two women, Mary Gledhill and Gertrude Watts, went to the police and described a narrow escape from a crazed man wielding a hammer. Their descriptions were vague, save that he wore shiny buckled shoes. News of the attack spread quickly and the town grew anxious. Five days later, police received a visit from one Mary Sutcliffe who tearfully told them that she had been attacked by a man armed with a razor. Other reports came in afterwards and Halifax exploded. The local newspapers shrieked warnings of the "Halifax Slasher" and more witnesses and near-victims came forward every day. Some accounts described a man armed with a hammer and others said he held a knife or straight razor. As their search turned up nothing, police offered a sizable reward for information leading the Slasher.  The drunken men of Halifax formed gangs to patrol the streets, and several innocent men were beaten after being mistaken for the elusive boogeyman. News of similar attacks came from nearby Bradford and Manchester. The town was at the boiling point. And then one of the victims came forward with a startling announcement:

His wounds were self-inflicted.

The manhunt had been unsuccessful, not due to some incredible cunning on behalf of the Slasher, but rather because there was never any Slasher in the first place. The whole story was a lie that was embellished upon by each subsequent "victim" until all of Halifax was in a frenzy. The newspapers that had capitalized on the Slasher scare made a quick about-face and happily informed their readers that there was no killer after all. Still, even after police had closed the case, reports of lunatics with razors and hammers were surfacing in towns as far away as London.

Tall-tales die hard, it seems.

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

Give My Creation Life

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another Shaggy Saint Story

Alongside the obligatory strongmen, midgets, and limbless wonders, the bearded lady has been a staple of sideshows and carnivals for more than a hundred years; the image of a demure yet hirsute women adorning countless posters. That said, you'd scarcely expect to see one in Westminster Abbey, but in the Henry VII Chapel stands a rather peculiar stone statue.

The statue depicts Wilgefortis, a medieval saint of dubious origins that is said to answer the prayers of women looking to escape abusive relationships. Why the whiskers? The story goes that Wilgefortis was a Portuguese princess who chose to convert to Christianity shortly before her arranged marriage to a Sicilian king. Refusing to compromise her new-found piety, Wilgefortis prayed that god make her ugly so her suitor would lose all interest. Within moments she had sprouted facial hair. The Sicilian king, doubtlessly aghast at the prospect of having a wife with a manlier beard than his own, called off the wedding. Wilgefortis was then put to death by her enraged father, who had her crucified.

Saint Wilgefortis briefly had her own sect of worshipers in Flanders, France, during the 1300's and her image can be seen in many examples of medieval Christian art. However, the Catholic Church is surprisingly skeptical about Wilgefortis and many religious scholars speculate that she's a folklore figure. Images of a robed Christ may have been mistaken by new converts for a bearded woman. Alternately, Wilgefortis may have been a real woman with a hormone imbalance. Regardless, she boasts one of the best beards in all of Saintdom.

Would you like to know more?
-Read this entry from Catholic Online
-Read this excerpt from the Oxford Dictionary of Saints

A Great Price for a Great Product

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Christ of California

The army had a profound effect on Francis Pencovic's life. Formerly a petty criminal, Pencovic had joined the service after working on a chain gang and the experience left him a changed man.

In Simi Valley, California, 1946, Pencovic announced that he was actually Jesus and (departing from the conventional Biblical texts) explained the Son of God was a being from the distant planet Neophrates and had journeyed to Earth many thousands of years ago in a spaceship piloted by Adam and Eve. Shortly after this astonishing anouncement, Pencovic changed his name to "Krishna Venta" and adopted a suitably messianic haircut along with some Jedi robes.

It wasn't long before Pencovic had amassed a small but fervent group of (largely female) followers who donated all of their possessions to his new church, referred to as WKFL ( for Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, and Love) or The Fountain of the World. Pencovic used at least some these donations to make bets on dog races, at which he was apparently quite successful.  As his reputation grew, so did the numbers of his cult and eventually they opened up a second branch in Homer, Alaska.

Pencovic's preachings resonated among those who felt fearful in the new Cold War. He told his followers of an imminent doomsday (which would take the form of a Soviet-instigated black vs. white race war) that would claim the lives of all humanity, save for 144,000 "Elect" that would go on to Paradise under his leadership. Until Judgment Day, the parishioners of the Fountain of the World cult were to assist the homeless and spread the world.

After a few run-ins with the police for refusing to pay child support Pencovic was killed in 1958; in a double suicide-bombing carried out by two of his own followers. One man was fiercely jealous of Pencovic's power and influence, and the other believed Pencovic had been sleeping with his wife.

After the death of their prophet, the Fountain of the World limped along for about a decade, teaching Pencovic's apocalyptic visions to all who would listen. Before their ultimate dissolution, the group provided a home for an itinerant would-be musician.

His name was Charlie Manson.

It appears that the cult left quite an impression.

Would you like to know more?
-Read this article from the International Cultic Studies Association
-Watch this newsreel from the British Pathe Film Archive.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brand X

Like cans of soda on the grocery shelves, the giant monsters of Japan are colorful, overwhelmingly numerous, and (despite being largely interchangeable) dominated by two forces. On one side stands Godzilla, the Kaiju world's Coca-Cola. Ubiquitous and influential, Godzilla was the one that really got the ball rolling. On the other side stands Gamera, the Pepsi-esqe rival that quickly evolved from mere imitator into an enduring pop-culture presence in its own right. In between the two are scores and scores of lesser known creatures, equally adept at smashing skyscrapers and crunching tanks beneath their giant feet, but unable to reach the fame that the aforementioned reptiles have achieved. These are the Shastas and the RC Colas and the Faygos; basically as fun but often overlooked.

With that said, meet the newest Monster of the Month: Guilala, the X from Outer Space.

First appearing in the 1968 film Uchū Daikaijū Girara (which translates to "Big Space Monster Guilala") the X from Outer Space was originally a spore that attached itself to the underside of a rocket vessel returning to Earth. The spore promptly grows into a monster and heads off to Tokyo in order to swat at some jets and smash buildings. As you probably guessed, Guilala is eventually defeated but not before causing millions of dollars in property damage.

We at the Hyper Kitchen could not help but fall in love Guilala thanks to its bizarre design. Its head, resembling a UFO with a chicken beak, sports two marshmallow-topped antennae and red compound eyes. Its reptilian tail terminates in a big red lobster claw that is sadly never used in the movie.

Released by Shochiku Co. Ltd., a film studio hoping to create a monster to compete the big names, Uchū Daikaijū Girara was only a modest success and never launched the endless sequels and spin-offs that Godzilla did. However, Guilala was did have something of a rebirth more than forty years down the road. The beast first appeared in a series of American TV ads (although never fully identified) and its renewed popularity led to a new film called Girara no Gyakushū: Tōya-ko Samitto Kiki Ippatsu, in which it attacks the 2008 G8 summit. The reviews were decidedly mixed, but there is a rumored sequel in the works that would pit the X from Outer Space against the Gappa the Triphibian.  We urge you to review your giant monster spending habits, and perhaps consider Guilala for your next city-crushing flick.

Guilala deserves your dollars.

Would you like to know more?
-You can buy a VHS copy on the Internet!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Asteron Transmission

If you're like me, than you love stories of strange broadcasts. You also think that rayon is the ideal summer fabric and speaking to people on the phone "creeps you out," but that's irrelevant. This particular account of signal hijacking comes the UK.

On Saturday, November 26th, 1977, at 5:10 PM, Southhampton viewers of the early evening news were alarmed to find that the audio that ought to have accompanied the broadcast had been replaced by an entirely different transmission:

"This is the voice of Asteron. I am an authorized representative of the Intergalactic Mission and I have a message for Earth. We are beginning to enter a period of Aquarius and there are many corrections which have to be made by Earth people. All your Weapons of Evil must be destroyed. You only have a short time to learn to live together in peace. You must live together in peace or leave the galaxy."
The local station, Southern Television, was inundated with calls about the incident and police had to be dispatched to calm at least one panicked television viewer. The exact method through which the signal was interrupted remains unknown to this day, although the design of the UHF station's transmitters made it particularly vulnerable to hijacking and the act would have been a straightforward task for anyone with enough technical know-how.

The event was publicly acknowledged by the Independent Broadcasting Authority the next day and the novelty of the story ensured its wide dissemination across the news organizations of the world. Several tabloids, whether through sloppy reporting or a deliberate attempt to sensationalize the story, elaborated upon the transcript with various b-movie threats of annihilation from the stars.

Despite the sheer implausibility of an alien trying to convey a message to the people of Earth via a UHF television station based in Hannington, England, many people decided that the transmission was truly of extraterrestrial origin. The event probably would have faded into obscurity if not for these dedicated delusionals, who continue to discus the implications of Asteron's message on various internet message forums. Meanwhile, the "period of Aquarius" has never felt more distant.

Would you like to know more?
-Read this article from the Rome News-Tribune
-Read this article form the Ellensburg Daily Record

A Reminder

According to Harold Camping, Christian radio host, the rapture will occur on Saturday, May 21st, 2011. Whether the End Times will happen in the morning, afternoon, or evening has not yet been specified, but it would seem a sensible idea to have a Rapture Preparedness Kit containing first aid, bottled water, and a flashlight. Also, make sure to stock up on canned food, as Camping asserts that god will destroy the entire universe once October roles around. The rapture has previously been scheduled to fall in 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, and 2005. Apparently budgetary reasons have consistently lead to its postponement.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Electromagic Youth For All

While studying my face in the mirror this morning (as I often do while brushing my teeth), something caught my eye. I paused to wipe the rabies-esqe toothpaste foam from my mouth, went in for a closer look and, much to my horror, noticed a few gray hairs. It appears that my extreme, fast-paced lifestyle of reckless street-racing, base-jumping, and freestyle parkour (sometimes all at once) had finally caught up with me and my body is beginning to show the inevitable signs of aging. Through the quick application of a black Sharpie, the gray hairs were concealed from view and my youthful good-looks returned.

Many people, however, would never be satisfied with my permanent-marker method and instead rely on more esoteric attempts to thwart the inevitable effects of time. Take, for example, the Integratron: the new age cure for old age.

Built near the aptly named Giant Rock boulder in Landers, California, the Integratron is a dome constructed from plywood and fiberglass. Its resemblance to a UFO is probably no coincidence as its designer, George Van Tassel, claimed to have been given instructions by creatures from the planet Venus. Van Tassel devoted his life to working on the Integratron. He funded the project through annual Giant Rock Spacecraft Conventions, in which UFO enthusiasts from all over the United States came to share their stories of encounters with otherworldly intelligences. One such visitor was two-time presidential candidate Gabriel Green, who wrote about the convention in his book Let's Face the Facts About Flying Saucers.

The Integraton was intended to be a "high-voltage electrostatic generator" that would "recharge" one's cells and rejuvenate the mind and body. Van Tassel was convinced that the unique dome shape of the Integratron would draw upon naturally occurring electromagnetic phenomena that he believed to exist near Giant Rock.  The Integratron served as the base of operations for his "Ashtar Command" new age concepts until his death in 1978. Apparently the Integratron's rejuvenating effects were never enjoyed by its creator.

Afterward, the building was briefly considered for renovation into a disco, but fortunately the idea never materialized. Currently the Integratron is operated by a group that rents it out for restorative "sound baths", metaphysical gatherings, art installations, and musical events.

Would you like to know more?
-Visit to Integratron's official website.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Maniac Ape Strikes Again

Listen Shoughnessy, there's a gorilla on the loose and he may be our murderer!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm Not Afraid of Flying Saucers

According to the most recent radio reports, it appears that Vermont is in for the final snowstorm of the season and it's going to be a big one. The chefs of the Hyper Kitchen are understandably concerned that they will be snowed-in, and that uncontrollable madness and potential axe-murders will be the result of this isolation from civilized society. As such, we thought it prudent to get the Monster of the Month segment done as quickly as possible before the inevitable slide into barbarism occurs.

If asked to draw an alien, it's a safe bet that you would produce an illustration of some macrocephalic, bug-eyed dwarf with gray-green skin and a smug expression. This image has become the archetype of extraterrestrials after being popularized by the X-Files, the Weekly World News, and various sci-fi flicks. These so-called "Grays" were based on descriptions of the otherworldly entities supposedly witnessed in actual alien abduction cases. In fact, the majority of these accounts include variations on the Little Gray Man. However, that isn't to say there aren't some exceptions and now and again a spectacular oddball will come along. The Flatwoods Monster springs immediately to mind, as do today's Monster of the Month: the Pascagoula Abductors.

On the night of October 11th, 1973 shipyard workers Calvin Parker and Charlie Hickson were fishing on the Pascagoula River when a UFO descended from the skies and deposited three truly unnatural humanoids. Standing at around five feet tall, they were described as having pale gray skin that was wrinkled like a rhino's hide. Their hands were fleshy "mittens" or "claws," and their stumpy legs remained motionless as they hovered through the air. Their faces consisted of little else than dour, slit-like mouths and several carrot-like shapes erupted from each side of the head. Moving in a clumsy, robotic fashion, these three strangers from beyond proceeded to levitate Parker and Hickson into their spaceship, whereupon the terrified humans were monitored by a baseball-shaped camera.

Do the Pascagoula Abductors represent the genuine face of alien life; having come from some unknowable world to float around and study us with silver spheres? According to those involved, both Parker and Hickson were genuinely hysterical and did not behave like a couple of hoaxers. After world of the abduction spread like wildfire across the Mississippi media, others came forward to saw that they had noticed some unusual activity in the sky around the vicinity of the purported abduction. Despite this, workers at two 24-hour toll-booths that were in the full view of the river never saw any UFO and security cameras at a nearby shipyard showed nothing out of the ordinary. Additionally, twenty years down the road Parker has significantly elaborated upon his original story and also claims to have had subsequent alien encounters with a tiny alien woman who apparently reads the Bible.

But don't take my word for it!

Or, if you don't have fifty bucks to burn,
listen to this interview of Charlie Hickson.

The kids love gorillas.

It's complicated.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Nowhere Pit

In 1997, the notoriously reliable Coast-to-Coast AM radio program featured an interview with a man named Mel Waters from Ellensburg, Washington. Mel announced that he had discovered a hole on his property said have been once used by rural townsfolk as a dump for broken appliances and garbage. This was no cellar hole though. No matter how much trash was thrown down into the darkness, the hole was never filled. It appeared to be a genuine abyss. Waters claimed to have lowered reel upon reel of fishing line down into the hole in hopes of measuring its depths, but gave up after exceeding fifteen miles in line length. Apart from its anomalous size, the hole had other mysterious properties. Mel related local stories about dead animals being thrown into the hole, only to return alive and well a few days later. However, these resurrected creatures behaved strangely and avoided humans. Waters always declined to describe the hole's exact location.

Mel Waters' story proved to be a popular one and he was invited back on the show on five subsequent occasions. Word of the hole spread, and Washington-area paranormal enthusiasts became quite excited. UFO followers, New Agers, and bigfoot trackers headed to Ellensburg in hopes of finding Waters' arcane hole. Several old wells were found, many of considerable depth, but nothing arcane was ever discovered.

In his later interviews, Waters mentioned that he had been threatened by soldiers dressed in yellow uniforms and that these men demand that he cease his examinations of the hole or they would frame him for crimes he did not commit. Perhaps these yellow soldiers eventually did away with the troublesome Mr. Waters for good or maybe he tripped and fell into the abyss, as he never again called in to Coast to Coast AM and later investigations revealed that no one by that name owned any land in Ellensburg. Despite this apparent disappearance, the story of the hole is sustained by a small but dedicated group of believers in the supernatural.
Would you like to know more?

Monday, February 28, 2011

260 Miles to...the Thing.

This morning, the letters of my Alpha-Bits breakfast cereal re-arranged themselves to spell out "D O O M." While I'm hardly the superstitious type, it did remind me that February had departed and it was time for another exciting Monster of the Month installment.

Between El Paso, Texas and Dragoon, Arizona, there are hundreds of billboards alongside Route I-10; advertising 24 hour gas stations, restaurants, music clubs, and tourist destinations. Among these are more than two hundred billboards, painted a distinctive yellow, that alert drivers to a particular attraction off of Exit 322. The attraction in question rests at a local gas station.

They call it...the Thing.

Referred to by various signs as the "What-is-it" or "The Mystery of the Desert," the Thing can viewed at the cost of only a single dollar (75 cents for those under eighteen). After paying at the register, visitors are lead to three shacks made of corrugated steel, connected by a path marked out with bright yellow monster footprints. The first shack contains various tableaus depicting scenes of torture. Carved wooden figures menace caged prisoners with hooks, branding irons, and lashes. Shack number two contains an odd assortment of dust-covered antiques on display, along with some peculiar folk-art and a 1937 Rolls Royce said to have been owned by Adolf Hitler.

The third shack is dominated by the final "What is it?" sign. Beneath it is a white coffin-like box with a large glass lid. Therein lies...the Thing: a shriveled, freakish figure that may or may not have once been human. Pictures can be found on the Internet, but we decided it was best to preserve the mystery of the Thing and not completely reveal its appearance.

The history of the Thing has some gaps, but it is commonly accepted that it was created in 1950 by Homer Tate, a lifelong builder of sideshow exhibits like shrunken heads, Fiji Mermaids, and alligator men. At some point, the Thing came into possession of attorney Thomas Prince, who established the exhibit in 1965. Since then,legions of tourists have been compelled to see the Thing for themselves; beckoned by hundreds of billboards.

And within its glass sarcophagus, the Thing silently waits for them.

Would you like to know more?
-Visit this Homer Tate tribute
-Read this article from Roadside America

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Secret of the Space Tyrant!

Kalmykia is a small Buddhist republic in the greater Russian Federation. For 17 years, the nation was ruled by President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a multi-millionaire who made his fortune in the privatization of the Russian auto industry after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Ilyumzhinov is also the head of the World Chess Federation and introduced compulsory chess-education in Kalmykian schools. His time as president was marked by ostentatious displays and charges of corruption. The people of Kalmykia remain the poorest in all of Russia, despite numerous expensive construction projects; most notably a still yet-to-be-completed "Chess City" which was intended to house and celebrate chess champions and facilitate competitions. In 1998, opposition journalist Larisa Yudina was found stabbed and bludgeoned to death after publishing articles critical of Ilyumzhinov. Her murderers were two former government aides to Ilyumzhinov, who promptly banned the publication of Yudina's newspaper. The organization Reporters without Borders currently rate Kalmykia as being "among the most repressive towards the media in the entire Russian Federation." If this wasn't enough, Ilyumzhinov also described having a friendly relationship with Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi and former Iraqi-dictator Saddam Hussien.

Despite these little controversies, Vladimir Putin, then president of Russia, seemed to think well of Ilyumzhinov. In 2002, after Putin abolished the direct election of regional leaders (with this power being relocated to the Russian presidency), he selected Ilyumshinov for another seven-year term. Ilyumzhinov's political future was assured, until 2010 when the Kalmykian president made a very serious gaffe on a televised interview.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announced that on September 17th, 1997, during a trip to Moscow, he was visited by aliens.

The abduction was a simple affair, really. As described by Ilyumzhinov, the aliens descended from the skies, took him from his apartment and brought him to "some star." Ilyumzhinov, fearing that he would be late for a meeting in Ukraine, asked the aliens if they could bring him back to Earth and they complied. During the voyage, Ilyumzhinov had the opportunity to talk at length with his newfound extraterrestrial friends and they implied that chess originated in outer space.

Shortly after the interview, Putin's successor President Dmitry Medvedev received a letter from an alarmed Russian MP Andre Lebedev, who asserted that Ilyumzhinov was unfit to rule Kalmykia. Rather than decrying Ilyumzhinov as delusional, Lebedev was primarily concerned that the Kalmykian president may have disclosed official secrets to the aliens and created a security risk for the Russian Federation. Lebedev went on to suggest that alien abduction protocol be drafted for government leaders to prevent breaches of sensitive information.

It was probably not a coincidence that after controlling Kalmykia since 1993, Ilyumzhinov announced that he would not run for another term. Medvedev's new appointed president of Kalmykia, Alexei Orlov, was installed into power on October 24th, 2010. Although he has lost his political power, Ilymzhinov continues to act as the president of the World Chess Federation. Chessplayers, it appears, are more familiar with insanity.

Would you like to know more?
-Read this article from the Guardian
-Read this article from the BBC
-Watch this interview with Illymzhinov

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The View from the Atom is Gorgeous This Time of Year

In 1958, Brussels was home to the first World's Fair Exposition to come after World War II. The event was super-saturated with post-war optimism and futurist ideas, and despite that more than fifty years has past since the Fair took place, those ideas can still be seen as embodied by the Atomium; a 335-foot tall structure inspired by the iron atom. Consisting of eight enormous steel spheres joined by sixteen tubes, the Atomium dominates the landscape like an alien spaceship. Each sphere is nearly sixty feet across and they house exhibit halls and (at one time) a restaurant. Sadly, due to safety concerns the three top-most spheres are off limits to the general public.

The building was intended to be demolished at the completion of the fair, but it proved to be such an iconic work of architecture that it was allowed to remain. Currently, it's the most popular destination in the city and a holdover to a unique period in history.

Would you like to know more?
-Visit the official Atomium site

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It Came From Craftsbury

Holy Saint Martha! As impossible as it may seem, January is gone forever and it's time once again for another long over-due installment of our world famous Monster of the Month series. Today, we thought that we'd keep it local and focus on a creature that's straight out of the Green Mountain State. Just as Florida has the Skunk Ape, just as Illinois has the Mad Gasser, just as Idaho has whatever monster Idaho presumably has (possibly potato based) too must Vermont have a monster to call its own. However, since most everyone is familar with the lake dwelling Champ, we decided to showcase another unnatural beast. Submitted for your approval: the bloodthirsty Goonyak!

While there are a couple variations on the story of Goonyak, they all date back to 1976, and seem to have originated from the Craftsbury region. The physical description remains consistant, though. Goonyak stands out in the crowd of shaggy Bigfoot-types thanks to his sheer size and predatory ferocity. It was said to be eight feet tall, strong enough to rip barn doors from their hinges, and posessed six inch claws which it used to skin its prey. In one version of the story, Goonyak is killed by a farmer, but only after taking ten shots to the chest. In another version, it's a game warden who manages to slay the monster. Afterwards, pathologists at UVM dissect the enormous corpse in some clandestine laboratory. No one can say what terrifying secrets spilled forth from Goonyak's innards.

In researching the beast, Vermont author Joe Citro found no evidence to support the tall tale. Both the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and UVM have denied Goonyak ever existed, but we like to think that UVM President Daniel Fogel keeps the remains inside a secret vault and (in between budget reviews and meetings with the alumni association) stares at the clawed hulk in mute horror.

But don't take my word for it!
You can read about it in a book.
Or you can read about it in this book.
Or, better still, read about it in both books. They're both excellent.

Wreck. Rebuild. Repeat.

Seventy thousand people come to Disaster City every year, but they never stay for long. The place is strewn with burnt and broken furniture, crushed cars, and scattered garbage. Ruined children's toys can be seen in particularly ghastly areas, and elsewhere you might catch a glimpse of a severed limb. Mercifully, Disaster City is not a proper city at all, but a massive emergency simulator that stretches across 120 acres. The brainchild of George Bennett, the dean of engineering at the colossal Texas A&M University, Disaster City is intended to train firefighters and rescue workers from around the world and therefore must be as convincing as possible.

Bennett first conceived the idea for the City in 1998, after the Oklahoma City federal building was bombed. The tragedy convinced Bennett of the importance of a training ground where people could learn to navigate rubble and rescue survivors as quickly as possible. Disaster City features mock-ups of collapsed malls, factories, office buildings, parking garages, and even a ship. Each day, volunteers are given realistic make-up "wounds" and head to the City to take part in the training exercises. Mannequins are used in the place of corpses. Visiting firefighters will scour the debris for the concealed volunteers and learn how to operate the equipment necessary to free them.

Humans aren't the only ones that receive training either. Various organizations, including the Department of Engineering at Texas A&M, have used Disaster City to test experimental robots intended to venture into areas too dangerous for rescue workers. Rescue dogs are also brought to the City to sniff out "survivors."

The entire site cost $7.7 million and it provides invaluable experience to people from all over the globe, so that when tragedy strikes, they will be well prepared to help save lives. Compare this cost to $237 million budget of Avatar and contemplate the bizarre priorities of America.

Would you like to know more?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

And now, a word from Commander Ace Hunter

Well? Are you?

Samurai of the Sea

The 1185 naval Battle of Dan-no-ura did not end well for the Heike of Japan. One of their generals had defected to the side of the rival Minamoto clan, and arrows were raining down on their ships. Soon, the Heike's child-emperor Antoku (only six years old at the time) was left defenseless as his guardian samurai hurled themselves into the sea, preferring death to defeat. Little Antoku was slain with his grandmother, and the Minamoto ultimately won the Genpei War and became the ruling shogunate of all of Japan, beginning a period of military rule that lasted several hundred years.

This historical battle produced some mighty interesting folklore. As the legends goes, for allowing their clan to be destroyed, the spirits of the Heike samurai were doomed to wander the ocean floor in the form of crabs. Even in their new crustacean forms, they still bore the furrowed brow and snarl that typifies any good samurai. Upon finding these many-legged warrior ghosts in their nets, fishermen would throw them back into the sea lest they interfered with the world of the supernatural.

Nowadays, the Heikegani are a fairly common variety of crab in the waters of Japan. They are immediately recognizable thanks to their distinctive bumpy carapace. Human beings are psychologically hardwired to recognize facial patterns (just try looking at an electrical outlet and avoid seeing a panicked expression) and it's easy to see a grimace on the backs of these crabs. It is thought that the Heikegani were given their unusual shells thanks to generations of artificial selection. The superstitious fishermen of antiquity, tossing back those crabs that appeared to have samurai faces while eating the crabs that appeared normal, unknowing bred a new species. Thanks to the enduring legend surrounding the Battle of Dan-no-ura, the Heikegani have had a lasting cultural influence; they have served as the inspiration for an acclaimed 1911 shin kabuki play and even appeared in a 1997 issue of the long-running Usagi Yojimbo comic series as enemies of the eponymous samurai rabbit.

Would you like to know more?
-Watch Carl Sagan talk about Heikegani in this educational video
-Read this article by Joel W. Martin