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Lyle Zapato

Octopus Wristlet Fad Of 1915

Lyle Zapato | 2012-02-18.6599 LMT | Cephalopods | Fashion | Cascadia

I've mentioned the use of taxidermied tree octopuses as hat decorations and octopus-inspired hair-styles, now here's another example of octopuses as objects of fashion. From the April 23, 1915 edition of the Tacoma Times:

Beach Belle Uses Octopus As Wristlet In Weird Sand Dance

Los Angeles, April 23. — Probably the strangest pet ever adopted by the shrinking sex is the little octopus carried by Miss Diana Rico, a belle of the beaches here. Whenever she goes bathing or strolling along the sands Miss Rico carries the tentacled mascot wrapped about her wrist.

This weird creature of the deep gave Miss Rico an inspiration for a new tango step, "The Dance of the Octopus," which created a sensation when she first stepped its sinuous figures on the beach.

When not clinging to the arm of its mistress, the baby octopus creeps about a little tank built especially for it.

Diana Rico
Miss Diana Rico and Her Weird Pet.

While we're there, let's see what else was on the front page of the Tacoma Times that day...

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Lyle Zapato

Beating Sprayed-Vesicant-Protection-Bags Into Rain-Covers

Lyle Zapato | 2012-01-03.7880 LMT | Random Found Thing | Defensive Techniques | Fashion

Back in 2005 I posted a version of this image from a WWII pin-up calendar/poster:

Protection against SPRAY ATTACK
Miss November, 1944

Perhaps you wondered, "What did the Army do with all those Japanese-microplane-spray-attack-protection covers after the war?" Well, it turns out they sold the surplus to civilians as "Amazing All-Over Rain-Covers". Here's a 1948 ad extolling their (apparently 106) uses:


Click to see the full ad at the Digital Comic Museum...

Biggest variety of uses of anything you ever owned! Impress your date by picnicking and canoeing in the rain! Awkwardly shuffle through the rain-drenched masses like cocooned vermin! Never again suffer the embarrassment to your male ego of having your gal use a newspaper to keep her party dress unruined! Any rain-avoidance-based thing is possible with the Amazing All-Over Rain-Cover!

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Lyle Zapato

"In The Lair Of The Space Monsters"

Lyle Zapato | 2011-03-28.7910 LMT | Cephalopods | Sasquatch Issues | Hollow Earth | Entertainment

What do you get if you cross a Sasquatch with a Tree Octopus? Perhaps something like this:

'Octopus-man' holding human aloft by the top of his head using a tentacle
"Agonizingly he was jerked in the air."
(Click for larger.)

This illustration is from the short story "In The Lair Of The Space Monsters" by Frank Belknap Long, published in the pulp magazine Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror #6 (Dec. 1932). (The first three pages of the story, including the illustration, are missing from the linked Google Books preview.)

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Lyle Zapato

Coiffure Octopus

Lyle Zapato | 2011-01-26.7860 LMT | Cephalopods | Fashion

Mr. Punch's Designs After Nature. Great sensation for the aquarium -- Coiffure Octopus.

From the April 19, 1873 issue of Punch.

As innocent this may seem, the fashion of wearing one's hair in the form of an octopus -- popular among the London elite of the 1870s -- would later develop into the wide-spread use of taxidermied octopuses as decoration for hats, that would in turn lead to excessive poaching of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, helping to bring about that species' endangerment.

Lyle Zapato

The Trail Of The Octopus

Lyle Zapato | 2011-01-20.5300 LMT | Cephalopods | Entertainment

The Trail of the Octopus (1919)

Here's the first reel of The Trail of the Octopus, a pulpy serial photoplay from 1919. Watch as Carter Holmes (Ben Wilson), master criminologist, and Ruth Stanhope (Neva Gerber), niece of Dr. Reid Stanhope, the discover of the Sacred Talisman of Set (a.k.a. the Devil's Trademark), are drawn inexorably into the clutches of a sinister land octopus (who sadly is only symbolic of the plot and makes no appearance outside of the intro and an advert where he grabs the whole cast):

The 15-part serial follows Holmes and Ruth as they must track down nine daggers that will unlock a rock vault in which Dr. Stanhope hid the Sacred Talisman, which they want to destroy to stop a shadowy conspiracy of cultists and racist stereotypes from attempting to kill Ruth. From a review:

The producers [at first can't] seem to decide on whom they wanted the main villain to be. First it's a group of devil worshipers and their female leader, then we find out she works for this other guy, then we find out he is an agent for this other Arabic bad guy who lives in "the orient." Well that guy in the orient actually works for yet another guy over in the orient, who is a Fu Manchu knockoff. Perhaps he really is the final leader of all the bad guys? There is also a mysterious masked man known as Monsieur X who pops up in the story every so often, but he's someone else completely. Whew!

Serial Squadron, who are in the process of transferring the films to DVD from the only known prints, have a project overview. You'll have to wait until Spring to buy the DVD set if you want to see the semi-complete serial (episode 9 is lost). Here are some posters for the episodes:

The Trail of the Octopus, episode 9 The Trail of the Octopus, episode 10 The Trail of the Octopus, episode 15

Lyle Zapato

"The Octopus Cycle"

Lyle Zapato | 2010-10-22.2795 LMT | Cephalopods | Entertainment
Lyle Zapato

How To Defend Against A Charging Octopus

Lyle Zapato | 2009-10-03.5440 LMT | Cephalopods | Defensive Techniques

An octopus running

The vulnerable portion of the octopus is the neck, and fishermen and others, who know their habits when attacked, always strive if possible to seize them by the throttle-valve, when they are easily killed. This is comparatively easy on land, but nearly impossible in the water. The locomotion of the devil-fish is as easy on land as in the water. They have been known frequently to run up perpendicular cliffs, two hundred feet high, as easily as the fly runs up a wall, the machinery of attachment being very similar. They are said to move on land as fast as a man can run, and frequently pursue their prey out of the sea, though on the land they are far more timid than in their marine haunts. [From World of Wonders (1881).]

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Lyle Zapato

Book Review: Drome

Lyle Zapato | 2009-09-19.0440 LMT | Cephalopods | Cascadia | Hollow Earth | Lost Worlds | Entertainment
Cover: 'Drome' by John Martin Leahy
But why had they set out on a journey so strange and so hazardous -- through the land of the tree-octopi and the snake-cats, through that horrible, unearthly fungoid forest, and up and up, up into the caves of utter blackness, across that frightful chasm, up to the Tamahnowis Rocks, into the blaze of the sunshine, out onto the snow and ice on Mount Rainier?

Drome, written and illustrated by John Martin Leahy, is a pulp story about a strange underground world, home to a lost civilization that may be the progenitors of ancient Greek culture. It was originally serialized in the Jan.-May, 1927 issues of Weird Tales, and republished as a book in 1952. I'm reviewing the book, which I believe has some differences from the pulp original (a preface, footnotes, and some casual references in the main text to atom-bombs and television that don't seem particularly 1920s-ish.)

The story has two elements of interest to me: 1) it starts in Cascadia (the entrance to the underworld is on Mt. Rainier) with references to regional history and culture and 2) it mentions Cascadian tree octopuses, albeit of an unusual and deadly subterranean variety. So naturally I had to acquire an original copy for the ZPi library and review it.

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Lyle Zapato

Self-Defence With A Walking-Stick

Lyle Zapato | 2009-05-20.5540 LMT | Defensive Techniques

Here is a selection of illustrated defensive techniques employing a walking-stick, taken from the article "Self-defence With A Walking-stick: The Different Methods of Defending Oneself with a Walking-stick or Umbrella when Attacked under Unequal Conditions" by E. W. Barton-Wright, published in the Jan., 1901 issue of Pearson's Magazine:

No. 1.—The Guard by Distance—How to Avoid any Risk of being Hit on the Fingers, Arm, or Body by Retiring out of the Hitting Range of your Adversary, but at the same time Keeping Him within the Hitting Range of your Own Stick.

No. 1.

Your opponent, encouraged by the apparently exposed position of your left arm, naturally strikes at it, but you, anticipating the attack, withdraw it very quickly, and swing it upwards behind you. This upward sweep of the arm automatically causes you to swing your left foot well behind your right, and to draw in the lower part of your body out of your opponent's reach: at the same time it imparts the initial momentum to your right arm, and assists in bringing your stick down very quickly and heavily upon your adversary's head before he has time to recover his balance after over-reaching himself in trying to hit you.

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Lyle Zapato

19th Century British Military ALDH Technology

Lyle Zapato | 2009-03-29.6230 LMT | Aluminum | Mind Control | NWO | Fashion | Technology

As readers of my AFDB book are aware, use of foil-based deflector beanie technology among unaffiliated paranoids dates back only to the 1920s due to the NWO's previously tight control over the availability of aluminum. However, the forces of mind control have been incorporating aluminum psychotronic deflection into their field equipment since the Atlantean era. Here's an example from the 19th century:

Fig. 2.
Cross-section of an Aluminium Leaf Deflector Helmet (ALDH) used
by the British military during their psychotronic wars in India.

This was taken from "On Improvements in Helmets and Other Head-Dress for British Troops in the Tropics, More Especially in India" by Julius Jeffreys, F.R.S., published in 1862 in the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies. In the article, Jeffreys explains how he incorporated an aluminum lining into helmet designs:

Desirous of trying the repellent virtues of the new metal -- aluminium, and having heard that Mr. Marshall, a manufacturer of leaf metal of much ingenuity and spirit, had produced specimens of aluminium beaten into leaf, I applied to him, and found him much interested in my proposal that it should be introduced as a coating for the surfaces of hats. At no little trouble -- the manufacture being new -- he prepared for me some books of aluminium leaf. The present is, I believe, the first employment of this metal in the form of leaf, and it promises to be of much utility. I find it to possess great reflecting power, though the experiments have not been continued long enough to decide its virtues as compared with gold leaf. It has apparently little liability to become tarnished. The interior of this pattern helmet is lined with leaf aluminium. I find it to form an excellent article also in the form of aluminium paper. Both aluminium and tin, in the form of leaf or bronze, could, I am satisfied from trial, be united to a smooth calico or linen surface, by means of a flexible cement, prepared from gutta-percha, india-rubber, or other hydro-carbons. I find on trial both india-rubber and gutta-percha promise to answer the purpose, and to have the great advantage of giving much flexibility to a metallic cloth.

For his hollow-shelled design (fig. 2), the aluminum lining would go on the inner shell, or crown (E -- not the beanie-like structure, h, which is only for cranial support):

Reverting again to the body of the hat, if it have two crowns ... the inner crown ought, under all circumstances, to have both its surfaces coated with metal; not only the inner one, facing the head, but the outer surface also, which faces the interior of the outer shell...

As you'll note, this bi-directional shielding agrees with my own stated best practices for AFDB construction, where the foil's shiny side is facing both outward and inward. The outer shell of Jeffreys' design provides protection for the aluminum leaf and utilitarian camouflage (according to Jefferys, utility is "the true standard of taste in every manly business").

The holes in the "coronet ventilator" (B, b) and the inner shell opening (e) are so troops can receive orders from their commanders via encoded psychotronic signals that interact with a specially cut ruby diffracting-crystal (not pictured for security reasons) centrally mounted under the coronet. Ruby, a crystal primarily composed of aluminum, is an important component in psychotronic generators and other mind-control equipment. The British Empire's interest in India was primarily to control her ruby mines, thus gaining an upper hand in the Global Psychotronic War.

Since this was published where orthonoids could read it, not only was any mention of classified diffracting-crystal technology omitted, but the aluminum shielding itself was couched in terms of its thermal protection so as not to expose the British Empire's wide-spread use of mind control in the subjugation of local populations. But the following illustration of Jefferys' other much-less-camouflaged design clearly shows the true psychotronic-deflective nature of helmet aluminization:

Fig. 4 and 5.
ALDH configuration designed to limit psychotronic friendly fire.

Here we have what Jeffreys describes as "a hat, or shako, which, for the wearer's sake, rejoices in a metallic exterior." This aluminum-clad design features only vertical and horizontal surfaces so that "it may not throw any rays into the eyes of persons standing either near or far off." While he again couches it in terms of solar rays, in reality the purpose was to protect troops from accidentally shooting their comrades in the head with their psychotoons and having the rays bounce back into their own faces, causing themselves befuddlement or possible mind-erasure. Such brazenly uncamouflaged helmets would have been worn by British Imperial mindshock troops during frantic exchanges with Mahratta freebooters, whose own alum-soaked turbans, while relatively primitive, would still have required more aggressive psychotronic fire to overcome.