Diabolical Dr. Cyclops Shrunk the Kids

Or, if you’d rather:

A Cat Named Satanus and a Toga Party We Weren’t Invited To

Our Hermit Desert Fathers


Painters suspended on cables of the Brooklyn Bridge, on October 7, 1914.                               Eugene de Salignac (1861–1943). NYC Municipal Archives

Engineer John Roebling was born June 12, 1809. He designed the Brooklyn Bridge, but he never saw his vision realized, as he died a year before the bridge started construction.

Dr. Cyclops trailer screenshot (Paramount Pictures), 1940.

The first horror movie to use three-strip Technicolor, Dr. Cyclops began shooting June 12, 1930 with King Kong director Ernest Schoedsack.  Set in the Peruvian jungle, the plot of the movie appears to be a sort of horror-version precursor to Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Dr. Thorkel, aka Dr. Cyclops, is shrinking things in a radiation chamber. Also, he owns a cat named Satanus. You can rent it on Amazon for 99 cents. I can think of worse ways to spend 76 minutes. If you find out why they are all dressed in togas, let me know.

drcyclopscactus.gifHell, Upside Down

Film and television director and producer Irwin Allen was born June 12, 1916.  He is behind a long list of sci-fi classics, such as The Poseidon Adventure and Lost in Space.  

Also born on June 12: historian Charles Kingsley in 1819; painter Egon Schiele in 1890; and photojournalist Ascher Feiling, better known as Weegee, in 1899.  His name, phonetic of Ouija, was either his own rebranding or a nickname given to him by someone early in his career. While working as a freelance street photographer, it’s said, as if by premonition, he frequently arrived at emergencies and crime scenes only moments after authorities.

Self-Portrait with Physalis, Egon Schiele (1912)
Caricature of Charles Kingsley by Adriano Cecioni published in Vanity Fair in 1872. 
Weegee with his Speed Grafic camera,   International Center of Photography collections
Russian ballerina Marina Semyonova


Also born on June 12: Astronomer David Gill in 1843; ballerina Marina Semyonova in 1908; and Anne Frank in 1929.

Suspended Strait Jacket Escape

On June 12, 1923, Harry Houdini performed an escape act in New York City, hanging upside down in a straitjacket, 40 feet from the ground. Also, over at Yankee Stadium, the New York Yankees lost to the Cleveland Indians 8 to 4.


On June 12. 1967. the Supreme Court, ruling on the case Loving v. Virginia, declared unconstitutional any state law prohibiting interracial marriage.

June 12th is the feast day of Saint Onophrius, desert hermit, patron saint of weavers and jurists.

I looked through some words of wisdom from the Desert Fathers to see if I could find anything inspiring for today. I didn’t find anything that particularly spoke to my Tuesday afternoon sensibilities, but I did stop to ponder this one: “A man who keeps death before his eyes will at all times overcome his cowardliness.” I can say confidently, as someone who considers risks and calculates the probability of certain death 100% of my days, these words are categorically untrue. Unless I am doing it wrong?

Thanks to E. L. Wordworderer for editing today’s post.  I finished yesterday’s post late and didn’t send for proofreading. Regrettably, as my husband pointed out this morning,  I twice wrote Godfellas instead of Goodfellas.  Two times. I wonder what a mafia man from heaven looks like. It has the potential for a comic book. He’s going to need some buddies. And an alter ego. And a cat named Satanus. Incidentally, Henry Hill died on today’s date in 2012, from heart disease. He had turned 69 the day before.

For Today:

The Old Farmers Almanac says today is the best day to end a project, so I guess it’s time to throw in the towel. Unless it’s a weaving project.  St. Onophrius wants you to see that one through. Also, go check your backyard – I think your kids are in the weeds.

Published by Guinevere Han Derpants

Writer. Not waving but drowning. Don't worry, help is probably on the way.

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