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July 9, 2012

"God of Carnage" Effect: All it takes is oatmeal and ingenuity


Long story short from Jessica Goldstein's June 13 Washington Post article: Washington D.C.'s Signature Theatre production of "God of Carnage" had to produce a reasonable facsimile of upchucking every night.

Fair warning: Here's your chance to stop reading before it gets more explicit.

Everyone else, here's how they do it, as described by excerpts from the piece.

You should probably know before reading this column that we are about to go into a serious discussion about the logistics of vomit.

This is not just your regular, run-of-the-mill, somebody-hold-my-hair-back-so-I-can-boot-and-rally kind of throwing-up experience. This is purging projectile-style. Long-distance retching. Perhaps the right verb is "spewing."

In Signature Theatre's production of "God of Carnage" by Yasmina Reza, actress Vanessa Lock's character, with husband in tow, is trying to apologize to another couple whose child her son punched on the playground. About 15 minutes into the performance at the Arlington theater, Lock throws up all over the victim’s parents' living room.

At ease, front-row ticketholders: It is not real puke! It is a concoction created by Aly Geisler, prop master. Geisler reveals her secret cocktail: two baby food containers of peas, four cups of water and a half-serving of oatmeal.

In case you are wondering how such a feat is accomplished, one garden-hose-type tube runs from a pressurized tank behind the scenery up the back of a skintight bodysuit Lock wears beneath her costume. The tube ends right at Lock's wrist and comes pre-loaded with oatmeal.

"We started with cream of wheat, but it was too viscous," explained Geisler. "Our electric valve didn't have enough power to turn it off. It was like a waterfall of never-ending vomit."

Why don't you work on that visual for a second while Lock describes the purpose this serves in the plot? "I think what that does is it frees up all four of us. It pushes us into another relationship, because I’ve exposed so much of myself," she said. "I sort of vomit all that out and, okay, now we're going to show who we really are."

Back to the engineering: Lock, all juiced up with the oatmeal tube, sits on the couch and plugs herself into a hidden tube in the sofa. This tube is connected to the tank at one end and the couch cushion at the other. When Lock flips a switch, Geisler said, "the air and peas go rushing through. The peas come forward, and the force of that pushes the oatmeal and the peas out."

Lock insists that "the 'ick' factor" is more on her castmates than on her; she gets to run offstage and wash her face while they’re left to mop up the mess. Though this is not to suggest she emerged from the experience unscathed: "I like pea soup," she said. "But I don’t know that I'll eat pea soup again anytime soon."

Caption for Scott Suchman's photo up top: "Vanessa Lock gets violently sick on cue in 'God of Carnage,' with the help of Aly Geisler's special recipe."

July 9, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Balance Ball Cover


"Hand crafted from 100% cotton canvas and terrycloth; fits standard 26" balls." 

$299 (balance ball not included).

[via The Green Head]

July 9, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Reflections on the world premiere of bookofjoeTV


Constant readers will recall it took place 10 days ago, on June 28, 2012.

It was an hour-long live-streamed event in which I spoke for about 15 minutes up front, then took questions from participants via a moderator.

I enjoyed it a lot, broadcasting from atop my moving treadmill here at boj World Headquarters®™© in Charlottesville, Virginia.

I kept the treadmill speed down at its lowest setting (0.5 mph) so as to keep noise and motion artifact to a minimum, though I did give a short demo of my usual 2.0 mph setting.

Gray Cat also made an appearance, which seemed to be the high point of the broadcast for a large proportion of viewers.

Hey, I don't care what floats your boat as long as it enters my waters.

But I digress.

One of the best things about the show was actually speaking to and seeing people who up to then were just legends to me, among them Richard Kashdan and Clif Marsiglio, affectionately known as clifyt.

I was stoked for an encore and in fact had already set it for this coming Thursday at the same time, only to run into some issues with the banner ad for the event that was to appear on bookofjoe to advertise the event.

Long story short: the banner didn't fit in the right hand column as configured, and those in control of its appearance couldn't or wouldn't slim it down to fit.

I was told to just cut 15 pixels off the right side, which looked terrible.

I did that before the first show because my hand was forced but I wasn't willing to repeat it and I told the folks running things that was the case from the get-go.

Alas, they wouldn't bend nor would I so the show's not gonna happen.

But stay tuned: There are many other fish in the sea and it won't be long before bookofjoeTV appears on another network.

July 9, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Cat-Man-Doo Dried Bonito Flakes


Ordering this treat was a no-brainer after my ill-starred attempt to capture POV video with the Eyenimal CatCam.

In what can only be described as poetic feline justice, when I removed the CatCam from the thoroughly disgusted (with me) and dispirited Gray Cat's collar to finally view the promised 2.5 hours of video, the device struck back by being empty of any footage.


From websites:


Reward your cat with this natural treat!

Cat-Man-Doo Dried Bonito Flakes offer the only "Stay-Fresh" sealed container on the market. It allows the flakes to maintain the natural color and luscious tenderness that cats crave. Cat-Man-Doo sifts the flakes, which dramatically reduces powder so that the flakes remaining are two to three times the size of other bonito flakes.

Cat-Man-Doo Bonito Flakes contain no additives, preservatives, or by-products, and are an excellent source of protein and taurine. They are an all-natural treat for your cat. The natural oils in the fish promote good digestion and a silky coat. They also aid in the prevention of urinary tract disease. Cat-Man-Doo's "Stay Fresh" packaging employs a patented process which removes oxygen from the container and seals it tightly, virtually eliminating settling of the flakes.

What is bonito?

Bonito is a fish which swims in the waters of the western Pacific Ocean. Bonito is a schooling fish which hails from the tuna family. Since bonito is a bony fish, it is rarely eaten for its meat. Instead, the dark, oily fish is carefully dried and shaved into very fine, intensely-flavored flakes. The Japanese use these flakes to make a savory broth, while cats and dogs love the flakes just the way they are — right out of the container.

Guaranteed analysis: Protein: 76% min.; Moisture: 12% max.; Fat: 3% min.; Fiber: 1% max.;, Taurine: 35% min.


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0.5 oz.: $5.95.

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1 oz.: $8.42.

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[via one of my crack Los Angeles correspondents]


July 9, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Forgive him, for he knows not what he does


Caption for this photo, tweeted Friday: "Gray Cat is not a happy camper with her newly-added Eyenimal point-of-view camera. Bear with me, kitty: It's the first and last time."

July 9, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Smart Milk Jug


From The Green Head: "Sure, you could simply give your milk a quick sniff — but the Milkmaid Smart Milk Jug is a state-of-the-art way to monitor your milk. This innovative quart-sized glass milk jug features:


• pH sensors to detect how long the milk has left until it spoils — or if it already has.

• A smart base with a weight sensor that tells how many cups are left.

• A temperature sensor that alerts you when milk has been left out of the fridge for too long.

• A free iPhone app that lets you access this data remotely so you'll know when to pick up more at the store.


It's a cool idea still in development at Quirky.com, so if you think this handy invention needs to exist, click on over and show your support.

July 9, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The fashion video Bosch doesn't want you to see

Via reader Alan Fick who wrote, "This is funny — I guess Bosch is trying to snuff this out."

I can see why, as it doesn't do a whole lot for the company's long-established image as a top-of-the-line, no-nonsense maker of tools and components.

Prolly best from Bosch's point of view that I don't forward it to my homies at Boing Boing.


July 9, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Self-Inflating Sumo Suit

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"One size fits all."

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Apply within.

July 9, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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