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Marcin Aleksander Surowiec

11 Strange and Delightful Twin Peaks Tattoos

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Marcin Aleksander Surowiec

We recently posted an article about how Twin Peaks helped revolutionize television by making a soap opera into a modern art piece. While some people watched the show, appreciated it, and then moved on to the next trend in prime time, the show, like all David Lynch creations, developed a strong cult following. In fact, many people have tattoos featuring icons of the series. Here are a few we uncovered.

1. Who Killed Laura Palmer?

The first and foremost mystery in the series is who killed Laura Palmer, but I’m willing to bet you didn’t expect anyone to have tattoos of her corpse after it washed up on shore. But here’s one by tattoo artist Josh Carlton that recounts the scene in perfect detail.

2. It’s Not the Laura You Know

Here’s another take on Laura Palmer’s corpse, only this time with classic actress Vivian Leigh filling in for actress Sheryl Lee. Why someone wanted to combine the two isn’t clear, but it is obvious that artist Mez Love did a great job illustrating the concept.

3. Two Seasons, One Tattoo

This tattoo also includes a shot of Laura lying dead on the beach, only it seems less morbid since it also incorporates other images from the show. This impressively detailed leg tattoo by Attitude Tattoo isn’t even complete, it still is waiting for the dark red curtain from the Black Lodge and a few other details to be added in.

4. A Damn Fine Tattoo

Here’s another piece that incorporates a variety of icons from throughout the series in one great image. Artist Silje Hagland combined the décor of the Black Lodge with a “damn fine” cup of coffee, an owl that is not what it seems and a blue rose that symbolizes the unsolvable case.

5. So Much Lynch, So Little Space

This half sleeve by Mez Lovealso incorporates many of the iconic images from the show, including the Black Lodge, the blue rose, and some coffee and pie from the Double R Diner. But it adds in portraits of both Agent Cooper and Gordon Cole (the character Lynch played in the show).

6. Not What They Seem

Joshua Marhall likes the show enough that he’s getting an entire sleeve based on it. The first piece he had completed was one showing that the owls are not what they seem.

7. As Black As Midnight On A Moonless Night

Next, Joshua got some of the RR coffee on his arm with Agent Cooper’s preference for the beverage. His sleeve, by artist Scott Move of Circle Tattoo, isn’t yet complete, but we can’t wait to see how it ends up when it’s done.

8. Welcome to Twin Peaks

No two images better represent Twin Peaks than the town sign shown in the intro and Agent Cooper. This tattoo by Marcin Aleksander Surowiec combines the two into a unique image that seems particularly fitting for such a strange and surreal show.

9. This Must Be Where Pies Go When They Die

It’s hard not to love the Double R, given how much Agent Cooper raves about their coffee and pie. For that reason, a surprising number of people have tattoos featuring coffee or pie from the diner, including Kat Selvocki who was inked by Ashley Love.

10. This Owl Belongs In A Cave

One of the most famous icons from the show is the owls, so it is no surprise that there are so many Twin Peaks owl tattoos. This one, on Instagram user craigy_mac, is not only topped off with a quote about the owls, but also with the owl pictogram found in the Owl Cave.

11. Traditional Owl Surprises

Ryan’s owl tattoo by Ron Henry Wells is quite striking as he decided to get the Twin Peaks icon in a very traditional tattoo style, which flows well with the message about the owls not being what they seem.

If you still can’t get enough Twin Peaks weirdness, don’t miss these great coffee ads from Japan made by David Lynch himself.

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The King of Kong © Jim Naughten. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery
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The Mountains of Kong: The Majestic West African Range That Never Existed
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The King of Kong © Jim Naughten. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

If you look closely at a 19th century map of Africa, you’ll notice one major way that it differs from contemporary maps, one that has nothing to do with changing political or cartographical styles. More likely than not, it features a mountain range that no longer appears on modern maps, as WIRED explains. Because it never existed in the first place.

A 19th century map of West Africa
From Milner's Descriptive Atlas, 1850

The “Mountains of Kong” appeared on almost every major commercial map of Africa in the 1800s, stretching across the western part of the continent between the Gulf of Guinea and the Niger River. This mythical east-west mountain range is now the subject of an art exhibition at London’s Michael Hoppen Gallery.

In "Mountains of Kong," stereoscopic images by artist Jim Naughten—the same format that allowed Victorians with wanderlust to feel like they’d seen the world—reveal his view of the world of wildlife that might have existed inside the imagined mountains. As the gallery describes it, “he imagines a fictitious record made for posterity and scientific purposes during an expedition of the mountain range.” We’ve reproduced the images here, but to get the full effect, you’ll have to go to the gallery in person, where you can view them in 3D with a stereoscope (like the ones you no doubt played with as a kid).

Toucans fight a snake in two almost-identical side-by-side images.
The Toucans © Jim Naughten. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Naughten created the images by taking two photographs for each, and moving the camera over some 3 inches for the second photo to make a stereoscopic scene. The landscapes were created by shooting images of Scottish and Welsh mountains and dioramas in natural history museums, using Photoshop to change the hues of the images to make them seem more otherworldly. His blue-and-pink-hued images depict fearsome apes, toucans sparring with snakes, jagged peaks, and other scenes that seem both plausible and fantastical at the same time.

The Mountains of Kong appeared in several hundred maps up until the 20th century. The first, in 1798, was created by the prominent geographer James Rennell to accompany a book by Scottish explorer Mungo Park about his first journey to West Africa. In it, Park recounts gazing on a distant range, and “people informed me, that these mountains were situated in a large and powerful kingdom called Kong.” Rennell, in turn, took this brief observation and, based on his own theories about the course of the Niger River, drew a map showing the mountain range that he thought was the source of the river. Even explorers who later spent time in the area believed the mountains existed—with some even claiming that they crossed them.

Two colobuses stand in a tree on a mountaintop.
The Colobus © Jim Naughten. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

The authority of the maps wasn’t questioned, even by those who had been to the actual territory where they were depicted as standing. Writers began to describe them as “lofty,” “barren,” and “snow-covered.” Some said they were rugged granite peaks; others described them as limestone terraces. In almost all cases, they were described as “blue.” Their elevation ranged from 2500 feet to 14,000 feet, depending on the source. Over the course of the 19th century, “there was a general southward ‘drift’ in the location,” as one pair of scholars put it.

Though geographers cast some doubt on the range’s existence as time went on, the Mountains of Kong continued to appear on maps until French explorer Louis-Gustave Binger’s Niger River expedition between 1887 and 1889, after which Binger definitively declared their nonexistence.

By 1891, the Mountains of Kong began dropping off of maps, though the name Kong still appeared as the name of the region. By the early 20th century, the mountains were gone for good, fading into the forgotten annals of cartographic history.

[h/t WIRED]

All images courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery.

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10 Fun Facts About Play-Doh
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As any Play-Doh aficionado knows, September 16th is National Play-Doh Day! Let's pay tribute to your favorite modeling clay with some fun facts about the childhood play staple that began life as a cleaning product.

1. IT WAS FIRST SOLD AS WALLPAPER CLEANER.

Before kids were playing with Play-Doh, their parents were using it to remove soot and dirt from their wall coverings by simply rolling the wad of goop across the surface.

2. IF IT WEREN'T FOR CAPTAIN KANGAROO, PLAY-DOH MIGHT NEVER HAVE TAKEN OFF.

When it was just a fledgling company with no advertising budget, inventor Joe McVicker talked his way in to visit Bob Keeshan, a.k.a Captain Kangaroo. Although the company couldn’t pay the show outright, McVicker offered them two percent of Play-Doh sales for featuring the product once a week. Keeshan loved the compound and began featuring it three times weekly.

3. MORE THAN 3 BILLION CANS OF PLAY-DOH HAVE BEEN SOLD.

Since 1956, more than 3 billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold. That’s enough to reach the Moon and back a total of three times. (Not bad for a wallpaper cleaner.)

4. IT USED TO COME IN JUST ONE COLOR.

Photo of child's hands playing with Play-Doh clay
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Back when it was still a household product, Play-Doh came in just one dud of a color: off-white. When it hit stores as a toy in the 1950s, red, blue, and yellow were added. These days, Play-Doh comes in nearly every color of the rainbow—more than 50 in total—but a consumer poll revealed that fans' favorite colors are Rose Red, Purple Paradise, Garden Green, and Blue Lagoon.

5. FOR QUITE SOME TIME, DR. TIEN LIU HAD A JOB SKILL NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD COULD CLAIM: PLAY-DOH EXPERT.

Dr. Tien Liu helped perfect the Play-Doh formula for the original company, Rainbow Crafts, and stayed on as a Play-Doh Expert when the modeling compound was purchased by Kenner and then Hasbro.

6. YOU CAN SMELL LIKE PLAY-DOH.

Want to smell like Play-Doh? You can! To commemorate the compound’s 50th anniversary, Demeter Fragrance Library worked with Hasbro to make a Play-Doh fragrance, which was developed for “highly-creative people, who seek a whimsical scent reminiscent of their childhood.”

7. HASBRO RECENTLY TRADEMARKED THE SCENT.

Anyone who has ever popped open a fresh can of Play-Doh knows that there’s something extremely distinctive about the smell. It’s so distinctive that, in early 2017, Hasbro filed for federal protection in order to trademark the scent, which the company describes as “a unique scent formed through the combination of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough.”

8. IT CAN CREATE A PRETTY ACCURATE FINGERPRINT.

When biometric scanners were a bit more primitive, people discovered that you could make a mold of a person’s finger, then squish Play-Doh in the mold to make a replica of the finger that would actually fool fingerprint scanners. Back in 2005, it was estimated that Play-Doh could actually fool 90 percent of all fingerprint scanners. But technology has advanced a lot since then, so don’t go getting any funny ideas. Today's more sophisticated systems aren’t so easily tricked by the doughy stuff.

9. IT HOLDS A PLACE IN THE NATIONAL TOY HALL OF FAME.

Unsurprisingly, Play-Doh holds a coveted place in the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. It was inducted in 1998. According to the Hall of Fame, “recent estimates say that kids have played with 700 million pounds of Play-Doh."

10. YOU CAN TURN YOUR PLAY-DOH CREATIONS INTO ANIMATED CHARACTERS.

While Play-Doh may be a classic toy, it got a state-of-the-art upgrade in 2016, when Hasbro launched Touch Shape to Life Studio, an app that lets kids turn their Play-Doh creations into animated characters.

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