Deconstructing Technology

Surreal Stop-Motion

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Very early in the days of film, certain highly creative, perhaps you could even say weird, filmmakers, saw an opportunity to show the world just what sort of oddities had bouncing around in their brains. Welcome to the world of the surreal, a new reality that expanded the bounds of what you could believe. Call it surreality, brought to life through the magic of film.

Without a doubt, the brains behind the film you can watch just beyond the jump, was one of the pioneers of surreality. Charley Bowers was a filmmaker and film actor during that transition time between silent film and talkies, after getting his start as a tightrope walker in the circus at the age of 6. He started as a cartoonist around 1912, making mostly Mutt and Jeff toons, but by the late 1920s he had perfected his self-proclaimed “Bowers Process”, his way of combining live action and stop-motion animation. There seems to be little detail on how exactly this process worked, but the stop-motion it’s impressive, even in today’s CGI world, perhaps even more so, and his films have a certain feel, a style of a dream come to life.

““It’s a Bird” is a strange little stop-motion animated short directed by film pioneer Harold L. Muller in 1930 that features a shoe-wearing, metal-eating bird (that actually looks a fair bit like a pterodactyl) that devours a car, piece by piece. Slapstick comedian Charles R. Bowers plays an explorer who encounters both the bird and a gruff-voiced talking worm on his travels to Africa.” (laughingsquid) As a note, Bowers and Muller collaborated on several films, but the stop-motion effects that really set this apart were created by Bowers.

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Airborne Awesomosity

Cessna’s Weird Little Bird

Sometime in the late 1950s, Cessna’s engineers and executives went crazy. That’s the only plausible reason for the design and production of the Cessna 336 and 337 Skymaster aircraft.

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AtomicToasters Scavenger Hunt, User Input

Scavenger Hunt IX: Unclassified Miscellaneous

This is an image that came up when searching for "US Navy Unclassified". I classify it as "Food for Food".

In the United States Navy, all warships and support craft are labelled with an identification code that neatly categorizes them according to size, type, function, colour and how good they look in a ball-gown. By a lovely coincidence, the Roman Numeral IX, or nine, correlates to their classification of “Unclassified Miscellaneous”. If there were ever a term that accurately describes our Scavenger Hunt, this is likely it.

Of course, we are the acknowledged pioneers of the Scavenger Hunt, here at AtomicToasters, but it does seem that some other site has pilfered our idea like the lazy group of hacks they are. And, because they’re bigger, they’ve also got a prize at the end. A prize we wanted to hand out to our worthy winners, but they kept it for themselves, they did! They stole it from us, precious! Still, it would absolutely behoove you to take a little jaunt back across the garden wall and enter the Hooniverse Scavenger Hunt… but not until after you’ve entered ours!

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