Digital Mike: Costumes, clowns and pumpkins are ripe on the web for Halloween
I'm a fan of Halloween, but don't get too caught up in the hoopla. I'm a jack-o-lantern carver and costume wearer, but I mostly enjoy checking out the costumed characters that arrive at my doorstep while I'm watching the World Series. But I've dug up some sites to help get you in that haunted house happiness for Halloween.
I chortled over this array of selfies of a woman, Nina Katchadourian , who has a fantastically creative site where she improvises and has fun. The one that caught my eye was from her "Seat Assignment" series, which she describes this way: Improvising with materials close at hand, Seat Assignment consists of photographs, video, and digital images all made while in flight using only a camera phone. The project began spontaneously on a flight in March 2010 and is ongoing. At present, over 2,500 photographs and video, made on more than 157 different flights to date, constitute the raw material of the project. The site listed below is a series ojf Flemish-style portraits made with towels and other assorted items from the jet's lavatory. Hilarious. Who hasn't done some posing and costuming in the mirror? I just haven't in a jet miles above the blue marble. May your next flight be as enjoyable as Nina's.
Nearly a decade ago I found and featured a site called "Bad Clown." I even ran into a guy who said he and his son just loved it. It's the evil clown central site, but I'm not sure it still exists. At least the current URL of that name doesn't resemble what I recall way back when this column was a bouncing baby. But I did find a site that helps capture some of the fun of the evil clown. I love how clowns scare the crap out of some folks. I like them and I like the genre of the not so pleasant jester with a red nose. So check out the Guardian's listing of 10 of the most terrifying clowns in movies and TV. It's a good list. Can you add to it? Send in the clowns.
Have you picked your pumpkins? Are you a masterful jack-o-lantern carver or perhaps handy with a sharp tool to whittle the orange gourd into a masterpiece? I do love the Internet's abundance of options for finding good tutorials to become a master carver. I like Scott Cummins' site that shows how to do some handiwork with a knife and other tools. It's got good ideas and videos from the Texas commercial artist, who has a delightful sense of humor. He's got a gallery that dates back more than a decade. Check it out and get carving. Halloween is on Saturday!
Tutorials for the carving challenged
I'm always looking for ideas. I'm a traditional jack-o-lantern carver. Give me some triangle-shaped eyes, perhaps a square nose and some fang-like teeth, and I'm ready to post my creation at the doorway. If you like more, here's a good stop. There is some guiding text, but others are just a look at it. But I found some sharp ideas and tips that will guide this year's creations.
Now for some learning. I liked this site, which helps understand where our country is experiencing drought and where it's not. Scroll down and find the spot to plug in your zip code to find out conditions in your neck of the woods. It's good information that will make you smarter and, perhaps, a better steward of this precious liquid that we often take for granted in its abundance and purity. Give it a look.