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