The Cauliflower Of Morbius

February 26, 2011

So, I was tidying around the website – polishing the fonts, putting doilies on the html code, that sort of thing – and I found this image in the comments that you may have missed the first time around. Either enjoy the sheer inconguity of it, or if you’d like to know why this exists read our review of The Doctor Who Cookbook and the follow-up article.

No, you’re welcome.

Thank you to David AA for his photshopping expertise, and why not buy a copy of The Brain Of Morbius from amazon.co.uk? Part proceeds go toward buying John coffee. Or buy the Doctor Who double pack of Kinda and Snakedance just because they’re both grouse and have giant snakes in them.

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Great Literature Of The 20th Century: The Pop-Up Karma Sutra

December 6, 2008

Special guest Anne-Marie Peard pops up to talk dirty in this week’s Great Literature review… Beware, this article may not be suitable for minors, viewing at work, or people who don’t like Are You Being Served?

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Sting does it, Annie Sprinkle won’t do it any other way, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood summarised it in one word – relax. It’s tantric sex week at the Institute. Sit cross-legged, breath deeply and feel the energy of the universe flowing through your chakras.

There are many long and complicated books based on the ancient Sanskrit text known as the Karma Sutra. Indian scholar Vatsyayana wrote the original, but the Institute considers this 1984 version by Bob Robinson and Jonathan Biggs to be the definitive version.

Even a quick glance though the yoni shaped window on the cover reveals the essence of tantric sexuality, as within the all-embracing yoni lies a lingam shaped window. Why Play School never adopted these window shapes, I’ll never know. It also seems to reveal a polygamist, and there’s another little lingam within the lingam window. Look at the little lingam…

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Great Literature Of The 20th Century: The Frankie Goes To Hollywood Annual 1985

November 18, 2008

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Frankie Say Merchandise! Hide Yourself!

Before we start today’s entry, I need to get something off my chest – I quite like Frankie Goes To Hollywood. I quite liked them then, and I quite like them now. Oh, it feels good to finally say it…

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Great Literature Of The 20th Century: Sweet Valley High – Kiss Of A Killer

October 19, 2008

Jessica wants to be with Jonathan… forever. But is Elizabeth strong enough to stop a creature of the night?

Today’s Great Literature entry looks at the 128th instalment in the Sweet Valley High series, Kiss of a Killer by Kate William. It’s the one with a vampire in it. The concept of “jumping the shark” is now well known, but I think “adding a vampire” should be added to the artistic lexicon.

I first heard about this book at the Paranormal Fiction and Romance Forum at Dymocks, and was very keen to read it. I hadn’t expected it to be so hard to find a copy – I’m sure there’s a mathematical formula that explains why you can find any Sweet Valley High book in any op-shop, but a specific Sweet Valley High book can only be found in a single library in a small town near Ballarat.

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Great Literature Of The 20th Century: Spotlight On Australia

September 18, 2008

Today we explore a classic tome from the The Outland Institute library – Spotlight On Australia, by that acclaimed and impartial author “the Australian Publicity Council”. This handsome coffee-table book is an exciting snapshot of an emerging nation, and is lavishly illustrated through-out.

Oddly, there’s no copyright date printed anywhere in this book, but through careful deduction we can determine the year of publication. The book starts with a message from Prime Minster Robert Menzies, placing it somewhere between 1949 and 1966. The Melbourne Olympic Games have already occurred, so we know it’s post-1956. There’s no talk of decimal currency so we know it’s pre-1963. Searching the text, we find this: “In 1788 British colonisation was begun. The whole of the current civilisation of Australia has been created in 174 years”. So mathematically we can determine that the book was published in 1962.

Also, “Xmas 1962” is written in biro on the first page.

Although this would appear to be an addition to the book, and not part of the original printing. (Additionally, the original volume was probably not bound with silver gaffer tape, as shown above).

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Great Literature Of The 20th Century: The Doctor Who Cookbook

September 3, 2008

When Doctor Who returned in 2005, it brought with it a flood of merchandise. The BBC had shaken off it’s public servant past and now embraced the market place with moist abandon. It appeared there wasn’t anything you couldn’t stick a logo on, or shape like a TARDIS.

There were books and toys, obviously, but how about a TARDIS ice bucket? Or soft wardrobe? A trolley wheely bag like Nan used to have? How about an air-freshener shaped like K9? Dalek cufflinks, a bamboo curtain or a cereal bowl in which the face of David Tennant appears – like a holy redeemer – as you eat your wheaties?

Old-school Doctor Who fans could remember that back when we were young… the merchandise was rubbish. The cool toys were always for the American shows, while Doctor Who tended toward children’s books that felt like they were written by people who’d never seen the television show. Or any television show. Or even a book.

In the early 1980s Doctor Who was enjoying a particularly popular phase in Australia. Peter Davison (“The Bloke From That Show About The Vets“) was the Doctor, there was an Aussie in the TARDIS, and Myer even brought Davison out to do a tour of shopping centres and champagne breakfasts. Though things would sour in the mid-80s, leading the the show’s cancellation at the end of the decade, there was a sense in 1984/85 that you could brighten any book with a Doctor Who logo.

Which brings us to today’s book – The Doctor Who Cookbook.

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Great Literature Of The 20th Century: Passport To Survival

August 27, 2008

Imagine if society came crashing to a halt, if everything we knew and relied on was torn away. As you stood among the rubble of the modern world, surely only one question would come to mind – “what’s for dinner?”

Thankfully you have a copy of Esther Dickey‘s Passport To Survival. This book contains over 100 recipes you can make using only four basic ingredients. You heard me, only four ingredients that will survive a year’s storage in your bunker/biodome/orbiting satellite/mountain cave. Those four ingredients are wheat, salt, honey and powdered milk. There’s even a jazzy illustration to help entertain you while the corpses of the dead pile up outside your air-tight doors.

Actually, for a book predicated on the downfall of the civilization, Passport To Survival is surprisingly perky. The dust-jacket claims that “filled with creative, cheerful thinking, it reflects the author’s faith in the power of the human heart and will”. That’s not the only thing the author has faith in, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

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