Strip your own bones

You ever wonder how they get animal skeletons in museums so nice and white? It looks a lot better than the turkey after Thanksgiving.

The preferred method of skeletonization these days it “dermestids” – a carrion-eating beetle. Museums keep colonies of these things.

The best / most disgusting part of this: in order to grow a colony, you start with a few beetles, and give them an entire animal head to clean. They eat the brain, and the population explodes.

When you have less “work” for them, you just stop feeding them. The population dies down to a lower level.

  • The Boneroom, the only shop I know of where you can walk in and get bones from pretty much anything.
  • get your own “starter kit” of dermestids!
  • Or buy from here, “Derestids, Inc.” Awesome.
  • A look behind the scenes at the Museum of Texas Tech University … into their dermestid colony. Look at all the racks of boxes. Pretty crazy.
  • Another behind the scenes look, this one from University of Michigan.


Along with Book of Five Spheres, the definitive book of samurai philosophy.

Keep in mind that while Musashi (author of Book of Five Spheres) was basically the biggest badass of all time, Yamamoto Sensei (the author of Hagakure) was essentially a crotchety, retiring samurai, trying to revive the Golden Age when the samurai took their honor a little more seriously.

Good times, good times.

Web link of note: Hagakure

Day in the Life of Larry

SHAC: i think i may head here for a while

BRAIN: I hear that place is a MADHOUSE

BRAIN: is it close to you?

SHAC: its like 10min away

SHAC: its the only thing remotely close w/o driving 15min south 101 or 20min north

BRAIN: I bet Oracle has a cafe… aren’t you close to there

SHAC: me driving to oracle would be like you driving to… basically home

SHAC: has oracle installed GATTACA style turnstyles to enter their campus yet?

BRAIN: prolly

BRAIN: they are evil like that

BRAIN: I hear Larry randomly fights some dude in the cafeteria every day, and skullfucks him right there on the table, just to make sure no one forgets who runs bartertown

SHAC: right after 9-11 there were talks of a new national ID system

BRAIN: yeah and CA bought it

BRAIN: suckers!

SHAC: and ellison jumped up and said YES WE CAN DO IT

BRAIN: yes then he would control the citizens of the united states!

BRAIN: then James Bond kills his ass

Make Your Own Slate

A movie slate is actually pretty necessary. You will wish you had one when you start editing or even reviewing your footage.

I bought a real nice one- it’s backlit so you can use it in the dark!

You could probably make your own slate. The bare essentials:

  • writing area for either chalk or dry-erase. I prefer dry-erase; chalk is too messy and I never shoot anything where people are wearing white, so it can potentially get on clothes or set.
  • clapper – with stripes, so you can tell when they are fully closed
  • hinge at the exact center of the two halves of the clapper. This is necessary because, by definition, the clapper must close
  • magnet in the ends of the clapper to make the last moment the clapper closes as brief as possible

but the features that the nicer ones have:

  • larger area- duh
  • inlaid stripes on the clapper. No stickers = higher durability
  • COLOR stripes on the clapper… Nyeh… who cares really. If you’re doing your color balance based on your clapper you are insane.
  • etched lines on the slate itself. Again… no stickers = higher durability
  • BACKLIT writing area for night shoots. VERY nice. That feature adds you around $60. Or adds me that is, since I actually bought it.
  • (super expensive) digital readout with the current time. Ideally it synch’s with your camera gear!

I’m considering making a simple LED readout which would display the current local time, along with the fractions of a second. That way I could tell when something was shot, and not have to get the crazy expensive kind of display that plugs into the camera!