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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.

Lyle Zapato

Font: Halloween Roller

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

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 | Art | Politics

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

Jiu-Jitsu Lessons From Roosevelt's Instructor

Lyle Zapato | 2008-08-06.1890 LMT | Defensive Techniques | Random Found Thing

Lesson A.

Lesson A.

This lesson shows how a weak person could stop an opponent who is about to clinch, by putting the first and index fingers to the eyes.* This method was used by the Japanese at Port Authur in the hand-to-hand battle with the Russians.

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Lyle Zapato

Font: Clean Your Neighborhood

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

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

Jiu-Jitsu Move #4

Lyle Zapato | 2007-10-09.2710 LMT | Defensive Techniques | Random Found Thing

LA GARROTTE Á LE JUPONAISE.

If a man be sitting in a chair, you can approach him on the right side or slightly behind, reach over with your left hand hooked under his chin, or seize his forelock, pull his head backward forcibly, and reach around his neck with your right hand and grasp his collar under his left ear (see ill.1). Now he is sure to put up his left, to get your right away from his throat. Catch it with your left, twisting it around to the left and backward (see ill. 2), and as you take your fall with B in the same direction, kick the falling chair away with your right foot.

No. 1--'Oh--'

No. 2--'This is so--'

No. 3--'Sudden!'

CHAIR ARREST

Here is another way to arrest a man sitting in a chair, without throwing him.

Chair Arrest.

From Jiu-jitsu: A Comprehensive and Copiously Illustrated Treatise (1904), p. 58-61, by Harry Hall Skinner.

Lyle Zapato

Mr. Beale And The Poulpe

Lyle Zapato | 2007-10-08.1355 LMT | Cephalopods | Defensive Techniques | Random Found Thing

Today is International Cephalopod Awareness Day. Which poses the question: Why should we be aware of cephalopods?

In years past, lack of awareness of our cephalopodan cohabitants has only led to misunderstandings, and often times violence. Take for instance this sad tale of an encounter gone horribly wrong between an Englishman and a Japanese octopus:

Mr. Beale and the Poulpe

[Octopuses'] remarkable spirit, as well as their strength, is evinced by an adventure which Mr. Beale, an Englishman, had with one of them among the rocks of the Bonin Islands, where he had gone ashore to seek for shells. As he was moving about, he was suddenly arrested by seeing at his feet a most extraordinary looking animal, crawling toward the surf, which it had only just left. It was creeping on its eight legs, which, from their soft and flexible nature, bent considerably under the weight of its body, so that it was lifted by the efforts of its tentacula only a small distance from the rocks. It appeared much alarmed at seeing him, and made every effort to escape. Mr. Beale endeavored to stop it by pressing on one of its legs with his foot; but, although he used considerable force for that purpose, its strength was so great that it several times liberated its member in spite of all the efforts he could employ on the wet and slippery rocks. He then laid hold on one of the tentacles with his hands and held it firmly, so that it appeared as if the limb would be torn asunder by the united efforts of himself and the creature. He then gave it a powerful jerk, wishing to disengage it from the rocks to which it clung so forcibly by its suckers. This effort it effectually resisted; but the moment after, the apparently enraged animal lifted its head with its large projecting eyes, and loosing its hold of the rocks, suddenly sprang upon Mr. Beale's arm, and clung to it by means of its suckers with great power, endeavoring to get its beak, which could now be seen between the roots of its arms, in a position to bite. A sensation of horror pervaded his whole frame, when he found that this hideous animal had fixed itself so firmly on his arm. Its cold, slimy grasp was extremely sickening; and he loudly called to the captain, who was at some distance, to come and release him from his disgusting assailant. The captain quickly came, and taking him down to the boat, during which time Mr. Beale was employed in keeping the beak of the octopus away from his hands, soon released him, by destroying his tormentor with the boat-knife, which he accomplished by cutting away portions at a time.

(From Illustrated Natural History of the Animal Kingdom (1859), p. 498, by Samuel Griswold Goodrich.)

Raising cephalopod awareness will help end the ignorant, speciesist attitude that lets Englishmen think it's proper to step on the arms of innocent octopuses. He deserved to be bitten and was just lucky that the octopus totally screwed up the kusa zuribiki move.

UPDATE: Also see Celebrate International Cephalopod Awareness Day at Cephalopodcast for more cephalopod-awareness-related links.

Lyle Zapato

Jiu-Jitsu Move #3

Lyle Zapato | 2007-10-08.1330 LMT | Defensive Techniques | Random Found Thing

KUSA ZURIBIKI, Shaking Hands Act.

Or as the Japanese name cannot be properly translated into an English equivalent, we might as well call it the "Glad hand."

No. 1--'So Glad  to See You.'

In order to secure a sudden advantage over an opponent, it is often best to resort to strategy and take your man wholly by surprise.

As a mode of attack, this act is one of the neatest, completest surprises known to the Gentle Art.

(1) A approaches B, holding out his right hand as if he were going to shake hands, grasps B's right hand as in ill. 1, and stepping back quickly, gives B's hand a violent pull, causing B to lose his balance and start forward, while A rushes back in the opposite direction, past B's right side, still holding B;s right hand, and stoops, grasping B's right ankle with the left hand, whirls B about and tips him over; or letting go with the right hand, sends him headlong with the left ankle, see ill. 2.

No. 2--'Must You Go So Soon?'

This is very simple and effective when you get it right.

From Jiu-jitsu: A Comprehensive and Copiously Illustrated Treatise (1904), p. 111-112, by Harry Hall Skinner.