Archive for December 14th, 2011

December 14, 2011

Mello Yello

cole trickle

Mello Yello is a caffeinated, citrus-flavored soft drink produced and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company. It was introduced in 1979 to compete with PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew. There have been three flavored variants: Mello Yello Cherry was released in response to Mountain Dew Code Red, and the other two variants were Mello Yello Afterglow (peach-flavored) and Mello Yello Melon.

Mello Yello was featured in the 1990 NASCAR-based movie ‘Days Of Thunder,’ in which Tom Cruise’s character, Cole Trickle, drove a Mello Yello-sponsored car to victory in the Daytona 500, although the product name itself is never verbally mentioned in the movie. That livery went on to become a real NASCAR paint scheme the following year, when driver Kyle Petty drove with Mello Yello sponsorship in the Winston Cup Series.

December 14, 2011


bananadine by slug signorino

mellow yellow

Bananadine is a fictional psychoactive substance which is supposedly extracted from banana peels. A hoax recipe for its ‘extraction’ from banana peel was originally published in 1967 in the ‘Berkeley Barb,’ an underground newspaper. It became more widely known when William Powell, believing it to be true, reproduced the method in ‘The Anarchist Cookbook’ in 1970 under the name ‘Musa sapientum Bananadine’ (referring to the banana’s old binomial nomenclature). The original hoax was designed to raise questions about the ethics of making psychoactive drugs illegal and prosecuting those who took them: ‘what if the common banana contained psychoactive properties, how would the government react?’

Researchers at New York University have found that banana peel contains no intoxicating chemicals, and that smoking it produces only a placebo effect. Over the years, there has been considerable speculation regarding the psychoactive properties of banana skins. Donovan’s hit single ‘Mellow Yellow’ was released a few months prior to the ‘Berkeley Barb’ article, and in the popular culture of the era, the song was assumed to be about smoking banana peels.

December 14, 2011

Strawberry Quik Meth


Strawberry Quik meth is a drug scare from 2007. Drug dealers were allegedly using coloring and flavoring to disguise methamphetamines as Strawberry Quik, thus making them more appealing to children. The story was widely reported in the media, but no cases of children using flavored meth have been verified.

Sometimes meth labs will try to brand their crystal meth product by coloring it in order to make it seem unique and to give it more market appeal. Police and drug enforcement officials have conjectured that the idea for ‘strawberry meth’ may have come from such a process.

December 14, 2011

Train Surfing

train surfing

Train surfing is riding or climbing on the outside of a moving train. This activity is illegal in many countries, but is a common and usual way to ride trains in India, Indonesia, and South Africa. Individuals may train surf to avoid the cost of a ticket or as a recreational activity. With the creation of the internet, the practice of filming the act and posting online videos of it is on the increase worldwide.

The London Underground is now running an advertising campaign against ‘tube surfing.’ The advertisements now at most underground stations show a female figure with one arm and the caption ‘she was lucky’ next to it. In Germany, the practice was made popular on TV in the 1990s. There it was called ‘S-Bahn Surfing.’ Slowly, the former train surfing culture changed and integrated into the German graffiti culture. The phenomenon was forgotten until the millennium, but in 2005 it was rediscovered by a group from Frankfurt. The leader of the crew who calls himself ‘the trainrider’ famously surfed the InterCityExpress, the fastest train in Germany.

December 14, 2011

Elevator Surfing

elevator surfing by Leonardo Da Brick

Elevator surfing is an activity involving moving around on top of elevators, or jumping between moving elevators where possible. The activity is illegal in most locations and several people have died or been injured attempting it. Surfers can be crushed between the elevator and the top, sides, or bottom of the shaft, be struck by the counterweight, or simply slip or be knocked off and fall to their deaths. Elevator surfing typically occurs in skyscrapers or on college campuses, especially those with tall buildings. Most large buildings have groups of elevators close together, which are most commonly used.

To begin, participants will usually go into such a building early in the morning, before too many people arrive to use the elevators. Once in an elevator, they hold the elevator between floors and open the safety hatch. They then climb on top, release the emergency switch, and pull the last person out. Another method of entry involves opening the exterior doors on the floor above the elevator, and jumping on from there. Doors are either forced or opened with an elevator key. While easier to execute, this is uncommon unless no others are nearby. Accomplices will sometimes press buttons on the inside of the elevators to provide the movement. Movement can also be provided by means of service controls located on top of the elevator car.

December 14, 2011

Illegal Sports



An illegal sport are activities banned because they are violent or dangerous. Some illegal sports, such as BASE jumping or elevator surfing, is argued to be purely adventurous. A counterargument is that the possibility of loss of life, rescues, and medical care that may be required for participants of these sports can end up costing the general public.

Other more well-known illegal sports, such as cockfighting and dogfighting, are barred on the basis of animal abuse. Some of these sports are often a gateway to other crimes, such as illegal gambling, illegal gun trading, and crimes against people such as assault and murder. Illegal sports are controversial due to the dangerous aspects attributed to them and the pain they can inflict on humans and/or animals. They also are controversial due to the perceived nature of some of them, notably of cockfighting and dogfighting, as being savage sports.

read more »

December 14, 2011

Blood Sport

bullfight by pablo picasso


Blood sport is any sport or entertainment that involves violence against animals, such as coursing or beagling (the pursuit of game by dogs), and combat sports such as cockfighting and dogfighting. The earliest use of the term is in reference to mounted hunting, where the quarry would be actively chased, as in fox hunting or hare coursing. Before firearms a hunter using arrows or a spear might also wound an animal, which would then be chased and perhaps killed at close range, as in medieval boar hunting. Later, the term seems to have been applied to various kinds of baiting and forced combat: bull-baiting, bear-baiting, cockfighting and later developments such as rat-baiting. The animals were specially bred, confined and forced to fight.

In the Victorian era, social reformers began a vocal opposition to such activities, claiming grounds of ethics, morality and animal welfare. Limitations on blood sports have been enacted in much of the world, through sports remain legal under varying degrees of control in certain locations (e.g., bullfighting and cockfighting) but have declined in popularity almost everywhere else. Proponents of blood sports are widely cited to believe that they are traditional within the culture. Bullfighting aficionados, for example, do not regard bullfighting as a sport but as a cultural activity. It is sometimes called a tragic spectacle, because in many forms of the sport the bull is invariably killed, and the bullfighter is always at risk of death.

December 14, 2011

Insect Fighting

insect fighting

Insect fighting is an activity involving insects (and sometimes, arachnids, centipedes, millipedes and mollusks). It is practiced in areas in China, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand. Cricket fighting is a traditional Chinese pastime that dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Originally nurtured by emperors, it was later popularized by commoners. It is also a casual activity for youth in western countries and is known colloquially as ‘bugfighting.’

Some of the most popular species used are the Stag Beetle, Rhinoceros Beetle, Kabutomushi, Jerusalem Cricket, and Goliath Beetle, as their sheer size and jumping ability make them formidable opponents. They are trained by their owners to become stronger and more aggressive. With beetles, a small noisemaker is used that duplicates the female’s mating call (fighting beetles are male). Getting beetles to fight requires patience and is much different than other types of animal fighting. The loser is pushed onto its back by the winner, pushed off of a tree limb, or a predetermined area, or is killed.

December 14, 2011

Quartz Crisis

Seiko Astron

The Quartz Crisis is a term used in the watchmaking industry to refer to the economic upheavals caused by the advent of quartz watches in the 1970s and early 1980s, which largely replaced mechanical watches. It caused a decline of the Swiss watchmaking industry, which chose to remain focused on traditional mechanical watches, while the majority of world watch production shifted to Asian companies who embraced the new technology.

During World War II, Swiss neutrality permitted the watch industry to continue making consumer time keeping apparatus while the major nations of the world shifted timing apparatus production to timing devices for military ordnance. As a result, the Swiss watch Industry enjoyed a well-protected monopoly. The industry prospered in the absence of any real competition. Thus, prior to the 1970s, the Swiss watch industry had 50% of the world watch market.

read more »

December 14, 2011



Swatch is a brand name for a line of wrist watches from the Swatch Group, a Swiss conglomerate with vertical control of the production of Swiss watches and related products. Swatch Group is the world’s largest watch company, and the Group has accelerated its acquisition of Swiss luxury brands in recent years, and currently owns: Breguet, Blancpain, Glashütte Original, Omega, Tiffany & Co., Rado, Longines, Tissot, and Hamilton. In 1984,

Swatch was conceived and it was introduced to the market in Switzerland the following year. This concept was realize with a small team of enthusiastic watch engineers led by Elmar Mock and Jacques Müller, who had had the idea to use the case back as a movement main plate (platine), as it had been done to design the thinnest watch in the world, the Delirium which made it to market in 1979. It was also designed for easy assembling.

read more »

December 14, 2011

Spy vs. Spy

Antonio Prohías

Spy vs. Spy is a black and white comic strip that debuted in ‘Mad Magazine’ #60, in 1961, and was originally published by EC Comics. The strip always features two spies, who are completely identical save for the fact that one is dressed in white and the other black.

The pair are constantly warring with each other, using a variety of booby-traps to inflict harm on the other. The spies usually alternate between victory and defeat with each new strip. They were created by Antonio Prohías, a prolific cartoonist in Cuba known for political satire.

read more »

December 14, 2011

Stratolaunch Systems


Scaled Composites

Stratolaunch Systems is a space transportation venture specializing in air launch to orbit, with its corporate headquarters located in Huntsville, Alabama. It was founded in 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan, who had previously collaborated on the creation of SpaceShipOne (which won the Ansari X-Prize by reaching 100 kilometers in altitude). The newly envisioned launch system will use similar components to that of Virgin Galactic though it will be made for orbital launch instead of suborbital.

The startup will build a mobile launch system with three primary components; a carrier aircraft to be build by Scaled Composites, A multi-stage launch vehicle built by Space Exploration Technologies, and a mating and integration system to be built by Dynetics. Allen and Rutan stated that the carrier craft would have a wingspan of 385 feet (117 m), making it the largest aircraft ever to fly, and will weigh in at over 1,200,000 pounds (540,000 kg). The aircraft will be powered by six turbine engines, sourced from a Boeing 747. It will use a 12,000 feet (3,700 m) long runway and is expected to test fly in 2016.

Tags: ,