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Lyle Zapato

Black Helicopter Swarm Caught On Video!

Lyle Zapato | 2009-09-24.7270 LMT | Black Helicopters | NWO

Swiss artist Roman Signer stumbled upon 56 Juvenile Black Helicopters in a room, lined up on the floor in military formation.

Dormant black helicopter formation?

He set up his video camera to document the scene, thinking the helicopters either dormant or as yet unactivated -- that is until they all came to life at once!

Read more...

Lyle Zapato

La Pieuvre Des Arbres

Lyle Zapato | 2009-07-22.9780 LMT | Cephalopods | Nature | Entertainment

Below is some rare footage of a tree octopus from 1928:

The scenes were shot by the French experimental filmmaker Jean Painlevé and originally appeared in his surrealist nature film about octopuses, La Pieuvre (The Octopus). The silent short with the scenes in their original context can be found in the recently released Criterion Collection of Painlevé's work, "Science Is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé".

(Thanks to Joshua for bringing this to my attention.)

Lyle Zapato

Font: Halloween Roller

Lyle Zapato | 2009-02-10.5910 LMT | Fonts | Retro

Halloween Roller

Halloween Roller is based on the title text of a WPA poster for a roller-skating carnival held in NYC's Central Park on Halloween, 1936 (mimicked above). Most characters are very angular with only slight curves on the normally rounded parts, except for the "O" and related characters which are incongruently perfect circles. Includes lowercase and Cyrillic.

Lyle Zapato

An Octopus In A Saw-Mill

Lyle Zapato | 2008-12-28.7770 LMT | Cephalopods | Nature | Cascadia | Politics | Retro

Here's an interesting political cartoon by Ryan Walker from the July, 1904 issue of The Comrade:

'Will it hurt the octopus?' by Ryan Walker

Of interest isn't the political message of the cartoon -- a condemnation of the Republican-controlled US congress' refusal to prohibit government contracts with trusts -- but rather the metaphor being used: an octopus in a saw-mill. Although this trope is all but forgotten in the modern political cartoonists' lexicon, the ecological horror of its origin haunts the forests of Cascadia to this day.

As mentioned previously, the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus will instinctively hide deep inside the branches of its tree if the tree is violently disturbed -- as when being felled by loggers. This often resulted in octopuses going undetected until the trees got to a saw-mill, where the octopuses usually met an unfortunate demise in the mill works. Besides killing the innocent cephalopods, these accidents cost timber companies thousands of dollars every year during the 19th and early 20th centuries due to valuable timber and pulp becoming stained with octopus ink and mills being forced to shut down for the better part of a day for deoctopussing.

Needless to say, this did not please the timber companies, nor the workers who had to clean the mangled, inky octopuses out of the works. To the timber industry, tree octopuses were nothing but costly nuisances -- a view that led to anti-octopus eradication campaigns being promoted in logging camps. Sadly, these profit-motivated cephalopodicidal outbursts were one of the major contributing factors to the tree octopus' current endangered status.

But during the time when tree octopuses were still abundant in the forests of the Northwest, "an octopus in a saw-mill" became a common idiom for an annoyingly messy accident waiting to happen. This makes the joke of the cartoon clearer: Not only will the buzz-saw hurt the trusts octopus, it'll also gum up the blade of legislation and splatter ink on Uncle Sam's patriotic finery, tarnishing his image. Presumably the Socialist editors of The Comrade found this prospect darkly amusing.

UPDATE 2009-10-02: Google Books has a collection of full issues of The Comrade, including the one with the above cartoon. Also, if you are interested in political cartoons or propaganda featuring octopuses, do visit Vulgar Army, a blog devoted almost exclusively to just that.

Lyle Zapato

Zaidi's Sabotoss

Lyle Zapato | 2008-12-17.3248 LMT | Politics | Anarchy | Fashion

J'Acshoes!

We here at ZPi approve of all shoe-based protest. Clog the machine!

Lyle Zapato

Y.R. Tap Comic #7

Lyle Zapato | 2008-10-24.6160 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | Politics
Lyle Zapato

Font: Clean Your Neighborhood

Lyle Zapato | 2008-05-14.1120 LMT | Fonts | Retro

Mayor LaGuardia sez: 'Clean Your Neighborhood!' Detritus in unswept alleyways promote juvenile delinquency & mobsterism. If you see an unattended tin-can or penny-candy wrapper... PICK IT UP. Together we can fight the scourge of GLOBAL UNKEMPTNESS.

Introducing my newest font, Clean Your Neighborhood. It comes from a WPA poster issued by the NYC Tenement House Dept. under Mayor LaGuardia. Apparently, during the 1930s people were just throwing cans, barrels, wooden boards, crumpled garbage bins, and shirts willy-nilly throughout the city alleyways, making a real mess. No wonder everyone was so depressed! LaGuardia put a stop to it by enlisting the unemployed to tidy the place up a bit. Depression solved!

(Of course, a side-effect of LaGuardia's clean-up effort was the removal of all the psychotronically shielding bits of tin from Tin Pan Alley, thus exposing New York's previously sheltered paranoid culture to the ravages of mind control, replacing depressive realism with psychotronically programmed "happiness".)

Also, for those who never read my "What's New" box on the front page, I noticed that I neglected to mention my last font on the blog, so, here it is: Slow Down Girls!

Slow Down Girls!

Lyle Zapato

Tree Octopus Comic

Lyle Zapato | 2007-10-22.6050 LMT | Cephalopods | Random Found Thing
Tree octopus comic, first panel

Above is the first panel of a one-page comic titled "Strange Tales of the Pacific Northwest. Episode 34: 20,000 Legs Under the Trees", drawn by Lukas Ketner and written by Ryan Brown. The rest of the comic is an exciting, action-packed tale of peaceful tree octopuses forced to roll up their tentacles to defend themselves from a hungry cougar.

It was published inside the cover of an Oregonian magazine or some sort of periodical. I'm still trying to track down the details. The email address I have for Ketner returned a "no such user" error, so if you know him or Brown, please let them know I'm looking for them. In the meantime, if someone knows more about exactly where and when this was published (or would like to get me a physical copy), please email me. I'll update this post if I learn more.

Update 2007-10-30: The publication is The Bear Deluxe Magazine, issue #25, published by Orlo, a "nonprofit organization using the creative arts to explore environmental issues" based in Oregon.

Lyle Zapato

Yeti-Sasquatch Transpacific Brotherhood

Lyle Zapato | 2007-06-12.1330 LMT | Sasquatch Issues | Cascadia | Crass Commercialism | Fonts

Yeti-Sasquatch Transpacific Brotherhood emblem

Next year will mark the octocentennial of the Yeti-Sasquatch Transpacific Brotherhood accord, which was inaugurated with vigorous hand throttling by the Yeti and Sasquatch representatives at the 1208 Global Hominoid Congress held in Sakteng, Bhutan. The accord ended ninety-three years of hostility that started after a disagreement at a stomper tournament (the details of which were wisely forgotten).

Shipping containers
Yeti arrive in Cascadia.

For 799 years since, Yeti and Sasquatch have enjoyed good barter relations and an open border policy that has led to close cultural ties between the two hominoids -- ties that are stronger now than ever. Yeti wishing to reach Cascadia for barter or to emigrate have long had to cross the Bering Strait on ice drifts during the winter months. This constriction in cross-cultural flow changed in the twentieth century when Yeti discovered and took advantage of human trade routes, and now Yeti can travel year-round by hiding in shipping containers bound from China and India to major Cascadian ports.

The next time you're down by the docks in Little Yetitown, do your meager human part to support the Yeti-Sasquatch Transpacific Brotherhood by visiting a Yeti bartering-post container, where you can browse the yak-dung sculptures of Yeti artisans or try a traditional Teh-Lma delicacy of live Himalayan sucker frogs.

Serious historians of international hominoid agreements, as well as hipsters who enjoy being <finger-quote>ironic</finger-quote>, can also buy Cafepress shirts (human sizes only, sorry) emblazoned with the official commemorative emblem -- which, by the way, uses my newly released font: Greensboro.

Lyle Zapato

Nerd Nite's Alrite For Feit-Thompsoning

Lyle Zapato | 2007-03-28.9650 LMT | Entertainment | Nature

In Inkling Magazine's "Nerds Just Wanna Have Fun," Kurt Wong tells us about Nerd Nites, informal scientific symposia held in bars and clubs in Boston and New York where scientists hook up with vibrating tadpoles over lectures on synchrotron-based X-ray scattering, Z/W sex chromosomes, and worm poop.

If you don't know your fusiform gyrus from your fuel-efficient Prius, you might be out of your league at first, but put on your beer goggles (held together with single malt scotch tape) and you'll quickly become a vocal expert on every topic discussed. And if not, you can at least hope a fight breaks out when some drunk catastrophic limnogeologist pulls a Michael Richards and starts hurling untoward comments at uniformitarians in the audience. Now that's edutainment.

As you'll note, I did the illustration for the Inkling article, which gave me an excuse to draw this happy little camel spider:

camel spider

I think he makes for an apt exemplifying topic illustration since, like potential Nerd Nite attendees, Solifugae are active at night, seek dark recesses, and get their nourishment from drink (Guinness and liquefied beetles, respectively... or, possibly, irrespectively).

Oh, and my finite apologies for the awkward and way, way, way too obscure (yet, oddly solvable) nerd pun in the title. There's just no excuse for that sort of thing.