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Showing posts from 2014

Earth Vs. Space: Losing Gravity!?

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Is NASA warning us to be ready on January 4th at 9:47 AM (PST) for a long-awaited alignment of key planets that will cause a cosmic reverbration resulting in partial weightless on Earth for up to 5 minutes? No. The expertly spoofed tweet that has been circulating the web for a couple weeks is a hoax according to Snopes . So those stories suggesting that if you jump up in the air precisely at 9:47 AM (PST), it will take 3 seconds to land as opposed to the 0.2 seconds it usually takes. Sounds utterly crazy, right? Well, not so fast. According to the European Space Agency Earth's gravity IS being thrown off by Antartica's rapidly melting ice. Fluctuations in the gravity field have been detected as far as Canada. Researchers now fear the collapse and dissolution of the Southern polar ice cap has become irreversible and the effects (other than a 16-ft rise in sea level) are unknown. So what could happen if gravity is weakened? Could things not rooted to the Earth could fly off?  

Have Yourself a Scary Christmas!

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What is KRAMPUS?

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In some European countries Christmas is celebrated as either Saint Nicholas Day (December 6th) or The Feast of Saint Nicholas (December 19th) and Saint Nicholas comes to town to reward all the good children. However, all the bad children have to contend with the Krampus – a horned creature, covered in black hair, with cloven hooves and a pointed tongue. He travels alongside Saint Nicholas and misbehaved children get whipped with birch branch, while bad children get hauled off to be drowned, eaten, or taken to the underworld. The Krampus origin is unclear, but festivals often include Krampages (runs) with wandering Krampus figures lingering about the festivities who are encouraged to terrify children. In the aftermath of the Austrian Civil War, the Krampus tradition was prohibited and in the 1950s, even the government got involved and sparked debate of whether the imagery was appropriate for children. Needless to say the Krampus tradition never took off in America where St. Nicholas w

The Babadook: Review

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What The Shining did for fatherhood, The Babadook will do for motherhood. This Australian import is the first feature film from director Jennifer Kent and it examines both childhood terrors and the terror of parenting. Anguished and weary, Amelia (in a tour de force performance by Essie Davis) is struggling to cope after the death of her husband and the birth of her precocious child who is seemingly afraid of everything and yet increasingly aggressive. Then one night, a mysterious book arrives on a bookshelf and sets into motion a tug of war between mother and son, reality and nightmares, love and murder. The deliberate pace keeps the chilling atmosphere grounded as the supernatural incidents begin to mount – and then Mr. Babadook shows up in wisps of shadows and silhouettes, appearing like German Expressionist demon straight from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. This is a beautiful film with stylish transitions, an aural soundscape (again echoing The Shining ) that send primal s

Horror Movies for the Thanksgiving Weekend

After the family is done celebrating turkey slaughter day and heads off to the mall, unbutton the pants, grab the pumpkin pie, and queue up a heap of horror movies available now OnDemand. The Babadook from Australia looks like it's this year's Insidious and has received tons of love on the festival circuit. Jessabelle was initially a wide-release film but is now in limited release (with a concurrent VOD release). Also on the radar are sequels to some great films: V/H/S: Viral follows up with some more freaky home videos,   The Pact 2 and Dead Snow 2 look like straight continuations of the original stories – which were both awesome ( The Pact ) and hilarious ( Dead Snow ). See the trailers for our top picks below. Happy Thanksgiving!! The Babadook  A troubled widow (Essie Davis) discovers that her son is telling the truth about a monster that entered their home through the pages of a children's book. Jessabelle A young woman (Sarah Snook) returns to her child

The History of the Pumpkin Spice Latte

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the last few days to enjoy the sweet Pumpkin Spice Latte is upon us. Which may not be a bad thing since these sugary drinks are quite the nutritional nightmare .  Food Network Magazine  recently illustrated the history of the PSL and showed us how you can make them at home. It's been just over a decade since the dessert-drink debuted and it single-handedly led the charge of pumpkin-flavored products.

Man Eaten Alive By Anaconda

Discovery Channel will air a special where a human will be eaten by a giant anaconda. Author and naturist Paul Rosolie is the man being swallowed alive in a special protective suit smeared with pig's blood. Whyyyyy? Who knows, but it doesn't seem like a science experiment and more like a stupid human trick. I'm rooting for the snake and hope it isn't harmed like PETA believes it will be . According to Entertainment Weekly, this is not the first time someone has tried this! A special last year titled Manaconda never made it to air presumably because someone or something was harmed. Tune in this Sunday, December 7th and see who wins.

Halloween Wrap-Up

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This was the soggiest Halloween EVER! California has been in a record-setting drought all year and our first rain day came to Northern California yesterday! Fate can be such a w itch. Thankfully the heavy rain stopped around 4pm and stayed away for most of the evening allowing kids everywhere to celebrate Halloween! We're very fortunate to live in a family dense neighborhood and welcomed 293 trick 'r treaters to our haunted porch! I thought Halloween was ruined but The Great Pumpkin saved the night! Here's our totals using one of our favorite Halloween apps: GoblinCount . You simply tap or swipe the screen to keep count of the trick 'r treaters – but you need someone who has a good attention to detail to maintain accurate records. 

Toxic Spider Attack 2014

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My theme for my Halloween porch haunt this year is Toxic Spider Attack, inspired by Stephen King's IT (there's a big spider thing behind Pennywise the clown), the 1950's monster movies like THEM!, and because I've been a fan of  The Cure's  Lullaby  since 1989. I've been wanting to improve upon my previous spider display from 2007 , and thanks to Britta Webmistress of the Dark  and Ghoulish Glen I have a new interest in prop building with years of experience and ideas on call. I built the big spider with chicken wire, paper mache, and pool noodles (that was Britta's brilliant idea), with webs made from beef netting (thanks to the tips and resources from the amazing Lynne and Shawn Mitchell of How To Haunt Your House )! Thankfully spiders are one of the few insects that don't completely terrify me, although I didn't like looking in my spider's eyes (I literally had it face the corner of the garage). Here's a few pics with a full gallery coming

Terrifying Old-Timey Halloween Photos

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Happy Halloween!!! Celebrate the darkest day of the year with something really scary. The IFC FIX blog posted these old-timey Halloween photos a while ago that have terrified me ever since my eyeballs befell on them. Years of horror movies have trained to be suspicious of anything that looks antiquated. Sure, it's supposed to be a gentler, more innocent time, but these depictions are clearly sinister. Take a look and try not to pee your pants. Head over to the FIX to see the entire collection (and sources).

How America Trick-Or-Treats

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In the October issue of Food Network Magazine , readers were asked to share their opinions on Halloween candy. The results were somewhat surprising as I always let trick-r-treaters pick their own candy from the bowl, candy corn is 100% amazing, and 26% of Americans are liars because we ALL steal candy from our kids.

Trick-Or-Treat Time Line

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Here's a history of Trick-or-Treating as featured in the October issue of the always perky and fun  Rachel Ray Magazine . This magazine always reminds me of being at your cool aunt's house – you know the one that cooks fantastic un-gourmet food you  want to eat, has a great sense of humor, and always talks about something interesting? Pick up the issue to see a great pin-up photo of Rachel Ray as a witch flying her broomstick!

Spooky Prop Crafting

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Scary prop building (also called crafting by some people) is a sure sign of Halloween addiction. Once you leave the seasonal and discount stores behind, you can really use your imagination and repurpose other's people's trash into cherished decor. And it typically looks way better, costs less, and you can customize it to your blood heart's delight. As a newbie prop crafter (?) the finesse is something that I hope to develop over time, so I'm starting with smaller projects. Make sure you have a good tool kit, well-stocked supply closet, a crate of spray paints, and time to give attention to all those details. And follow directions! Talented prop crafters have forums and blogs to display their fiendish work and share their techniques – and many will be happy to answer questions. Here are some of the projects I'm attempting: Spooky Crystal Ball Candlesticks I love how creepy and classy this particular decoration looks and who doesn't love a crystal ball? Flam

Toxic Cupcakes

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Three years in a row I've won a Creepy Cuisine award at the amazing Eerie Elegance Halloween Party. It was held this past Saturday and you must take a look at the eerie trailer  created for the party. Very fun! Below is my winning entry: Toxic Cupcakes! It's one of my favorite recipes for a Lemon Blueberry cake. I separated the batter adding fewer smashed blueberries and green gel dye to one batch and left the other plain. The green batter went into the cup first then I topped it with regular batter. I pulled up some of the green batter from the bottom with a fork. After baking some of the green batter stained the tops and looked like mold. I then cored and filled each cupcake with lemon curd, and topped it with a dollop of lemony cream cheese frosting. (Citrus is so unexpected in the Autumn, right?) When you peeled the wrapper, you see all the spoiled green cake – gross! (Recipe will be on  MyScaryHalloween.com  site soon.)

The Great Halloween Fright Fight

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ABC loves to set neighborhoods ablaze with ridiculous holiday light displays and now they are also taking on Halloween with The Great Halloween Fright Fight. The one-hour special airs Tuesday, October 28 at 8/7C and features families fighting to the bloody death  for a $50,000 prize for the best Halloween display. The first person to put up one of those blow-up inflatables should be immediately disqualified. For more info, head over to the ABC site  and watch the preview below.

All About Ouija

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This weekend's Ouija movie has been getting terrible reviews: uninspired, dull, bland, bloodless kiddie show, lazy, routine – and that's just from my mom. Just look at the bland, unfinished official U.S. teaser poster (on the left). It's like they aren't even trying. At least the U.K. got a much more interesting poster (on the right). So sad that this and the re-release of Saw are the best Hollywood could muster for a scary Halloween. Imagine if someone made a real movie about the ouija, the rise of spiritualism in America, and made it scary?! Every experience I've had with a ouija board has been terrifying. When I was in high school, a bunch of us played with a board that we found on the street. The board started moving quickly and, yes, on its own. Lights flashed, the wind suddenly blew crazily on a still summer night, and board kept saying it was tired of hearing all the pigs screaming. We ran home after WE heard a pig squeal directly behind us. 

Pumpkin Rugelach

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If you've never tried Rugelach it's kind of a mini crescent roll with a tart and creamy pie crust pastry. The filling is typically super sweet apricot jam, or cinnamon sugar and nuts. It's a very satisfying three-bite dessert. Imagine my wicked delight when Food 52 came up with savory pumpkin rugelach with sage, walnuts, and parmesan cheese. (You could easily take this recipe back to the sweet side by making the dough and substituting pumpkin butter for the filling, but this sophisticated savory version is delicious.) I will warn you that the cream cheese-based dough is notoriously difficult to work with so do not event think of skipping the required chilling time. Work quickly, and if possible, work on a cold marble surface. If it starts getting sticky, put it in the fridge for 20 minutes. Make sure to visit the Food 52 site , sign up for recipes, tips and how-tos, and access to their online store Provisions which sells one-of-a-kind gourmet kitchen supplies. While you

The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror MARATHON

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FXX will host a 12-hour marathon of The Simpson's Treehouse of Horror starting Sunday, Oct 26th at noon. Time to fill up those DVRs with unerasable content (say sayonara unwatched The Good Wife ). In case you miss it, they will also be airing themed mini-marathons all week. Here's the schedule: MONDAY, OCTOBER 27 (8pm – 11pm) Theme: “Twilight Zone” “Treehouse of Horror I” (Season 2) “Treehouse of Horror II” (Season 3) “Treehouse of Horror III” (Season 4) “Treehouse of Horror VI” (Season 7) “Treehouse of Horror VII” (Season 8) “Treehouse of Horror XV” (Season 16) TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28 (8pm – 11pm) Theme: “Movie Spoofs” “Treehouse of Horror V” (Season 6) “Treehouse of Horror X” (Season 11) “Treehouse of Horror XII” (Season 13) “Treehouse of Horror XIX” (Season 20) “Treehouse of Horror XX” (Season 21) “Treehouse of Horror XXII” (Season 23) WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29 (8pm – 10pm) Theme: “Classic Monsters” “Treehouse of Horror IV” (Season 5) “Treehouse o

Halloween Music 2014

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Many of us will be hosting (or attending) Halloween parties this weekend so it's time to consider the music for the spooky party. While you can rely on the old standards (Monster Mash, Time Warp, etc.) I recommend setting the atmosphere for different areas of the party. The entry way is a good place for sinister instrumentals as well as rooms like the kitchen and bathroom where guests spend quite a bit of time. Below are some of favorites for the 2014 season, plus our recommendation for a reliable, streaming radio station. Espectrostatic: "The Daemonum EP" This Austin-based group released a fantastic self-titled debut last year and will be coming out with their sophomore album in a few weeks. In the meantime, they have given fans a free five-song EP to tide them over this Halloween. Download the album on their Bandcamp page . Sam Haynes: "Ghost Stories" and "Spine Chillers" This UK artist has had a prolific year with two new albums this yea

Halloween Cakes

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Looking for an eerie dessert for your Halloween party? Below are two quick ideas for decorating a simple store bought cake. If you are a baker, of course you can make the cake yourself! These techniques are fairly straightforward and if your skills are like mine, sloppy cakes are perfectly acceptable on a trick or treat party table!  Say It With Cake posted a great tutorial on making their Bloody Halloween Cake using candy melts and food coloring. There's red velvet inside their cake. You can stick any number of accessories into these cakes includes a handy knife which you can later use to cut the cake! Since my theme this year involves toxic waste,  I'm adapting this design using white chocolate ganache tinted with green food coloring and green cake inside for a Slime Cake!  or  The Cake Blog posted this fantastic Cobweb Cake, which was incidentally featured on the cover of the October issue of Country Living. The secret to making the cobwebs? Melted marshmall