Junior Mad Scientist – Lab Notes

On A Bike In Amsterdam

May 21st, 2008 by Weber


From his “Things You Find When Looking For Something Else” file, comics great Eddie Campbell shares a link he tripped over while searching for bicycle references.

San Franciscan Brian Wilson (no, not that one) stopped in Amsterdam on his way home from a motorcycle road trip.

“During a 73 minute period on 9/12/06 at one corner of Nieuw Markt (a nice open square in Amsterdam), I took the following 82 pictures of bicycles. Why? Because sitting there I noticed how remarkably different the whole Amsterdam bicycle scene was from my home . . . . “

Posted in Travel, Weridness | Comments Off on On A Bike In Amsterdam


May 1st, 2008 by Weber

(Tried embedding both of these for your viewing pleasure, but their sizing messed with our site format, so you’ll have to click-to-view. Bibbity-bobbity-boo-hoo-hoo.)

Click here, watch the fun, then — BRUSH YOUR TEETH!

Black20.com‘s hilarious ‘300 PG’ trailer has been getting quite a bit of play here at the Lab, and in the many homes and offices of the people we’ve infected shared it with. It takes a couple of viewings to catch everything, but it’s worth the time.

Same for their spot-on, reductum ad absurdum product placement remix of the Spider-Man 3 trailer.

Easily the best two minutes and twenty-nine seconds of your workday.

Click here for more mouth-watering fun


(Eat Twix)

Posted in Movies, Weridness | 2 Comments »

Carlos V — some (more) follow-up

April 30th, 2008 by Weber


Two-Face (flipping coin in the air): “Heads — I shoot you. Tails — You have to eat this candy bar.”

Me: “C’mon HEADS!”

Below is a copy of my initial info request via the Nestle site and the same-day reply from Liz Rocklin, the nice lady from Nestle’s Corporate & Brand Affairs. Thank you, Liz!


Nestlé USA Media Inquiry

FirstName: Bradley
LastName: Weber
Organization: JMS Labs
City: Chicago
State: Illinois
Email: bweber@juniormadscientist.com
Deadline: May 1, 2008

Good morning,

I’m writing a short article on the Carlos V candy bar. The latest packaging bears the legend “DARK KNIGHT.” Nothing in my research indicates Carlos V was known, in his time or after, as “El Caballero Oscuro” or had any related sobriquet.

Can you please clarify the connection between Carlos V and “Dark Knight?”

Many Thanks.

Bradley Weber

From: Rocklin,Liz,GLENDALE,Corporate & Brand Affairs
To: bweber@juniormadscientist.com
Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 3:21 PM
Subject: RE: Nestlé USA Media Inquiry

The name “Dark Knight” was developed to correlate with the Dark Chocolate version of Carlos V. The name Dark Knight also references Knights, which has to do with the kingdom that Carlos V oversaw.


So, there’s the answer. I don’t buy it, but there’s the answer. Enjoy!


Posted in Food, Weridness | Comments Off on Carlos V — some (more) follow-up

Carlos V — some follow-up

April 29th, 2008 by Weber


Why so crunchy?

This whole thing about the Carlos V/Dark Knight candy bar is making me nuts.

Why is Nestle using DARK KNIGHT on the box? What’s the connection?

On Tuesday, I emailed them a request for clarification. I’ll post their reply as soon as I get it.

Posted in Food, Weridness | Comments Off on Carlos V — some follow-up

The Dark Knight no es sabroso

April 20th, 2008 by Weber


What’s a 16C Spanish Monarch have to do with Batman? Uhhhhh . . . .

Another new candy bar at my grocery store today: Nestle’s CARLOS V. Why every Holy Roman Emperor doesn’t have a candy bar named after him, I don’t know. Maybe they lack the same marketing engines employed by baseball players, NASCAR drivers, and other religious icons.

According to the fine people over at Candy Snob, the CARLOS V seems to be a re-release of an older confection. Why? Something to do with the packaging, perhaps????


and the zoom-shot


What’s the connection? Is there one?

Nothing I’ve read indicates Charles V was known as “El Caballero Oscuro”; his parents didn’t die in a robbery-gone-bad; nor did young Charlie develop a predilection for high-tech gadgetry and vigilante justice; all of which leaves me flummoxed how Nestle might justify tagging this candy with the ‘Dark Knight’ moniker.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. How’s the candy?


Unlike my encounter with the Big Mo’, I bought this particular ticket and took the ride. The first bite of the CARLOS V is dry and overly sweet, like Eucharist crumbles stirred in a package of Swiss Miss, but not as tasty. The second’s even worse.

At two-for-a-dollar, the CARLOS V is still a rip-off — that is unless you plan to give them to lousy neighbors or hated co-workers in the hope that bad candy will drive them the hell away from you. Then it’s a bargain.

But if you like candy and dig the chocolate/wafer combo, stick to Kit-Kats.

Posted in Editorials, Food, Weridness | Comments Off on The Dark Knight no es sabroso

Kirk vs. Cthulhu?

April 13th, 2008 by Weber


I’ve just finished reading Tales Of H.P. Lovecraft, a collection of the master’s shorter works selected and introduced by Joyce Carol Oates. (With some nice cover art by Mike Mignola, creator of the steampunk-tastic, Amazing Screw-On Head!)

Tales is a nice intro to Lovecraft’s mad and lonely world. The ten stories showcase what I imagine are some of the man’s best (and most accessible?) efforts, but also provide a Whitman’s Sampler of what has become known as The Cthulhu Mythos.

The central tenant of Lovecraft’s ‘pseudomythology’ is that Earth has been repeatedly invaded and populated over the eons by a series of alien races. In fact, “At The Mountains Of Madness,” hints that everything living here — plants, animals, humans — evolved from some ancient Elder Things’ experiments that were left to run wild.

So, if they (the Old Ones/Elder Things, Outer Gods, etc., etc.), are of outer space, and for as far and wide as the Enterprise ranged over the years, you’d think sometime, somewhere, Kirk & Co. would have come across these star-spawn, or at the very least, the degenerate remains of their home worlds.

I went looking for Star Trek/Cthulhu Mythos stories — authorized or fan fic — but my Interwebbular searches availed naught.

Has anyone written or found anything in this vein? If so, I humbly request your links. Please add them to the Comments section.

Many thanks.

( Kirk image courtesy of these nice people, Cthulhu image courtesy of this guy.)

Posted in Book Reviews, Editorials, Stories, Weridness | 3 Comments »

The Big Mo’: Will Gay Community Embrace NASCAR Candy Bar?

February 25th, 2008 by Weber

The Big Mo’ — A misplaced apostrophe?

Yes, these candy bars are for real. I almost tripped over a big display of them at my local grocery store.

Here’s some info from NASCAR‘s official Web site

After months of anticipation by NASCAR and chocolate fans alike, “Dale Jr.’s Big Mo’ ” chocolate bar is now on shelves at most major food retailers nationwide.

The Big Mo’ was created specifically for NASCAR’s mega star driver through the R.M. Palmer Company. The name Big Mo’ is a play off Earnhardt Jr.’s hometown of Mooresville, N.C., and the longtime moniker used for he and his closest friends, the Dirty Mo’ Posse.

Weighing in at an impressive 2.5 ounces for only 99 cents, the king-size, quality milk chocolate bar is available with either creamy caramel or peanut butter filling. Creating the exclusive recipe of the Big Mo’ bar included numerous taste-tests by Earnhardt Jr., and was tailored to please his palate

The King Size Mo’ is made by R.M. Palmer, the company responsible for a fat lot of the chocolate goodies you’ll be shoveling into your gaping maw this Easter — right on the heels of the fat lot of chocolate goodies you shoveled in during Valentine’s day.

As one business site puts it: R.M. Palmer probably produces more chocolate bunnies than anyone in the United States.

Good to know.

But what’s really going on here?
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Editorials, Food, Weridness | 9 Comments »

Zombie or not Zombie? That is the question.

October 11th, 2007 by Weber


(Are you Zombie Chow™? Click above to find out.)

Found this great Zombie Survival quiz on one of Christopher Moonlight’s many Web sites.

That score is significantly lower than expected, attributable to either an inadequate weapons cache or a foolish inclination to help living strangers.

(But, as The Wife says, those strangers will make a tasty barrier between us and The Undead. Isn’t she great?)

Take the quiz and post your scores in comments. Be honest, too. I need to know who to call when World War Z breaks out.

BTW: The World War Z site has its own Risk Calculator. Based on their math, I’ve got a measly 36% chance of survival.

Know what that means?

“I’ll be eating you
In all the old familiar places
It’s your brain that my mouth taste-es
All the Day through . . . .”

Bone Appetite!

Posted in Weridness, Zombies | 4 Comments »

Ugly Money

September 13th, 2007 by Weber

A few weeks ago, I found this mutant 1963 Jefferson head nickel.


The back looks even worse.


Anybody have an idea what could have done this?

Posted in Weridness | 2 Comments »

Good Humor: photoshopped street signs

August 3rd, 2007 by Weber

Caught these today via BoingBoing. Most are humorous, some are meh, others downright funny. Like this one:


Click here for the full show.

Posted in Art, Random Art, Weridness | 1 Comment »

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