On Halloween a few years back, I posted an early Disney cartoon with the title The Skeleton Dance (see below). This 1937 short, although not in Disney’s Silly Symphonies canon (it was released as part of Columbia Studios A Color Rhapsody series of cartoons instead), appears to be very close to a remake in colour, with a number of sequences which are almost identical to the earlier cartoon.
I found these images whilst rummaging through a huge number of official and public domain archivephotos taken during both World Wars, and they immediately stood out in a flash of weirdness. There is something very creepy about old black and white photos of people wearing gas masks, and these examples are distinctly odd…
The picture above was taken in 1917 and shows a group of (probably) Dutch children during a gas mask drill. This is easily the creepiest of the photos I found, mainly because there’s something so alien about these kids in their protective gear.
Below, you’ll see a 1942 shot of a group of ATS women in the Middle East wearing their gas masks and respirators, posed and staring almost dead-eyed at the camera. I don’t know if it’s just me, but they look like they’re about to gatecrash a very tense scene in a vintage episode of Dr Who (or some other very British sci-fi show) and send me scuttling behind the sofa…
Until Sunday, there will be lots more spooky stuff as we come to the end of Halloween Week, plus a few men with odd-shaped balls and interesting moustaches will drop (goal) by in celebration of England reaching the Rugby World Cup final.
The Another Kind Of Mind Christmas is at the planning stage, but there will hopefully be an in-depth and no holds barred analysis of Santa, some unlikely festive music, vintage Christmas shopping, 17th century mince pies, a bit of wassailing, yet more pud, and a return to the small town of Christmas, Florida…
If you’re a music fan, there is still plenty of time to get your suggestions in for the new Recommended Reading book list. Just leave a comment with your titles, or drop me a tweet to be included on the list – I’m really looking forward to seeing what you all suggest.
Do you know someone who needs a seasonal scare? Want to terrify your friends and family? In that case, these may be the products for you. And at $1.75 for the two, they’re a bargain worth screaming, groaning and moaning about…
Make Halloween a night your friends, neighbors (and enemies) will never forget. Use the ghost and the record together for parties, psychedelic, & supernatural effects and horrifying Halloween stunts.
This ad is from the September 1973 issue of Co-Ed Magazine, which suggests that the target market was students – and this would further explain a lot (I was a student once…). I am, however, curious to know how they figured out what creatures from outer space sound like since even Hollywood b-movies, those truthful documentaries of multiple alien invasions, can’t agree on that!
For more Halloween reading (and watching), click here…
Fifteen years ago today, the world of music lost a legend. Yep, it’s really fifteen years since John Peel died (surely not – where has the time gone?) and, as always, Another Kind Of Mind is still #KeepingItPeel with a choice Peel Session from the archives.
This year’s selection comes from Goth pioneers and perennial lipstick-botherers The Cure, with an excellently twitchy version of their live favourite ‘A Forest’ from their third Peel Session in 1980.
As always, I recommend turning the volume up loud and Keeping It Peel…
These beaky little balls of annoyed monochrome fluff could very well be the 1930s ancestors of our very ownToon Magpies – they may not look much like the sleek black and white adult birds we are used to seeing, but the resemblance is certainly there!
I have to say that I love this picture. If there was a magpie equivalent to the school photo, it would be this. Annoyed, uncomfortable, almost defiantly unfashionable, and with really bad hair (the chick on the left is certainly rockin’ a seriously punk-style hairdo, forty years too early); this is the kind of image your mum would proudly display at home and which would embarrass you in front of your mates in your teens.
How many of you can bird watch while you’re doing the washing up? I can, and it’s fascinating! It was while scrubbing away at a particularly recalcitrant baking tray one afternoon that I looked up and saw a magpie with a beakful of twigs flying into the tree on the embankment across the railway tracks.
Then a second twig-laden magpie came in, and I realised they were building a nest – so I kept watching them. And I’ve been watching them ever since. In this post, I’d like to introduce you to some more of my local wildlife (and update you on the Toon Magpies, of course!). It’s time to meet the neighbours…
All photos from the wonder that is Wikimedia Commons. Click through on any pic for more info and licensing details.
The Pidge Family
The Pidge Family are Wood Pigeons. Pidge himself has become a regular visitor to my kitchen tree over the last year or so, especially on rainy days when he will come and snuggle up in the crook of a branch with his feathers all fluffed up in an attempt to keep dry.
This is a poster advertising the only game of Olympic cricket that has ever been played. It happened over two days between France and Great Britain (referred to in this contemporary advert as England) at the 1900 Games in Paris.
It was a slightly odd match in the context of an Olympics which was a bit of a bizarre event in its own right. Held over five months as part of the World’s Fair, the Games almost seemed like an afterthought. So little effort had been put into promoting them that many of the athletes involved genuinely didn’t know they’d competed in them!
The cricket competition was one such. It was also somewhat ramshackle in other ways. For a start, despite being an Olympic match, it was not considered to be an official first class international since both teams fielded twelve players each instead of the regulation eleven, and it only lasted two days.
Then there was the fact that the two sides were not France and Great Britain as we would know them in the modern era – Great Britain were represented by a public school-dominated touring club from the West Country, and the French team were mostly British expats living in Paris.
Whatever happened over those two days, it was always going to be a British victory on French soil it seems…
And it was – Great Britain, who are still technically Olympic champions 119 years later, won by 158 runs with a mere five minutes to spare. Mostly ignored by both the French and British national media, this was in many ways an anonymous triumph.
Four years later, the Olympic cricket competition at the Games in St Louis was cancelled at short notice due to a lack of competitors and facilities. It has never been an Olympic sport since.