Charlie Chaplin Illustrates Social Distancing

Charlie Chaplin was the consummate artist of his time. His ability to communicate emotion through pure gesture was timeless, as are the films he made, and indeed the people in them (now long dead). Projected on the screen of post-modernity, they seem more wonderful than ever!

Our attention span and recognition of memes has changed over the past hundred years. Timeless is a re-editing of Chaplin silent footage from 1921 or earlier, with new royalty-free music which complements the comic scenes, but also adds a sense of poignancy to the more tender ones. (Credits/captions are also new.) Plot elements have been obscured, leaving the characters and actions to speak for themselves (which they do admirably). When Chaplin and Edna Purviance meet, something magical happens — something timeless. It requires no explanation. The expressions and gestures of the characters say all that is needed. Continue reading

Fun craft project for kids: Make an origami Gaos

The Mystery Science Theater gang shows kids how!

Origami is the ancient art of paper folding, so popular in Japan. What with the coronavirus pandemic, your kids may be in lockdown mode and can’t go to a playing field for contact sports. But they can enjoy hours of fun around the house once they’ve discovered the joys of paper-folding. Joel and the bots (Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo) will get you started!

First spotted in 1967, Gaos (or Gyaosu in Japanese) is a creature which most resembles the Flatiron Building in New York City. Its triangular head (which emits a deadly yellow death-ray) may spell trouble for the city of Nagoya, but it spells fun, fun, fun for paper-folding aficionados.

After a brief introduction to Gaos (who eats a hapless reporter and scares the sushi out of child co-star Eiichi (a.k.a. “Itchy”), we proceed to the tutorial: Continue reading