Stupid Products

October 29, 2008

There’s a wonderful cornucopia of novelties to be found at Archie McPhee. It’s a pity I don’t live in Seattle. I could visit their retail store every day.

Where else would you expect to find –

underpants for squirrels


Mr Bacon v Monsieur Tofu bendable figure


or a Watermelon Flavoured Sigmund Freud Head Lollipops


They list their products in various categories – Action Figures, Pirate, Cowboy etc. There is even one called Stupid Products. They must be kidding. Surely the whole site consist of stupid products. That’s why I love them.

Here are a few more favourites

Pig acupuncture model


Inflatable fruitcake


Pickle bandaids


Remote control hopping yodelling lederhosen





Bug Artist, Steven Kutcher was inspired to start producing “bug art” during his time as an insect wrangler in Hollywood. He was asked to make a fly walk through ink and leave fly footprints for Amazing Stories which gave him the idea for letting bugs produce art works.


The artworks are displayed on Steve’s website sorted by insect species.

There’s a nice simplicity to the work of the Sarcophagid Fly


And the Hissing Cockroach has produced an attractive childlike abstract


You can buy cards and prints of Steve’s (sorry Steve’s Bug’s) works from his website. His bugs produce some nice patterns and would certainly be a talking point on your walls,

You’ll be pleased to know that no insects were harmed in the making of this art. Steve boasts – “I use water-based, nontoxic paints that easily wash off. I have to take good care of them. After all, they are artists!”

It is sad to think that insect wrangling might have become largely a thing of the past given that nowadays everything can be computer generated. At least we can rest in the comfort of knowing that talented insects still have an outlet for their creative endeavours.

Like many people of my generation (and older), I suffered the tedium of Latin at school. Why were we bothering with this dead tongue when our own language owed more to the barbarians than the romans? Useful if you wanted to study botany or medicine or the law, I think was the claim. Really? Surely you just learn the naming of the parts as with any study. I don’t imagine that doctors invent the names of organs or diseases that aren’t already named. And yes, I know why the Nullabor Plain is so-called without having to sit through years of amo amas amat. I didn’t need to study Italian so that I could read musical directions.

Besides, the concepts seemed so dead. I remember texts about throwing spears from the ramparts and boys and girls playing with slaves, or  something. Perhaps for that reason, modern phrases and concepts sound so funny when rendered into Latin. Thus the delights of the unattributed list of handy Latin phrases.

Here are a few of my favourites.

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo.
Don’t call me, I’ll call you.

Mihi ignosce. Cum homine de cane debeo congredi.
Excuse me. I’ve got to see a man about a dog.

By the way, the title of this blog is – If you can read this you’re over-educated.