Dec 092012


In this series we feature photos, videos, and news items that we think are metal, even though they’re not musical. Today we have seven items for you:


As usual we’ll start with a photo, the one at the top of the post. It was taken by the Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn on November 27, 2012. It shows a vortex of swirling clouds near the north pole of Saturn. To get a sense of how big this cloud formation is, Cassini was about 230,000 miles away when it took the photo.

This cloud formation lies at the center of an enormous, rotating hexagonal cloud formation that is unlike anything seen by humans anywhere else in the solar system. A pic of that, also taken by Cassini, is at the right.

Cassini took 14 pics of this swirling cloud formation, and those photos have been combined to create a smooth animation that can be seen here. Follow this link to get more info. This thing is so huge, strange, and scary looking that I think it qualifies as metal. (thanks to Mike Yost for turning me on to this)


On the NCS Facebook page I’ve gotten into the habit over the last few months of posting a piece of artwork every day. Recently I’ve been on an H.R. Giger kick. He’s best known, of course, for his Oscar-winning design work on the film Alien.

In 1998 Giger acquired a château in Gruyères, Switzerland, which now houses the H. R. Giger Museum, a permanent repository of his work. The museum’s web site is at this location. In the museum is a bar. It looks like no bar I’ve ever been in, or ever will be in, unless I get to Gruyères, Switzerland. It’s fuckin’ brutal:

More pics of the Giger Museum Bar can be seen here.


Chasing Ice is a documentary made by the producers of Academy award-winning The Cove. It tells the story of photographer James Balog’s multi-year effort to photograph the effect of climate change on the planet. Since an initial trip to Norway in 2005, he has used time-lapse cameras in brutal Arctic conditions to conduct an Extreme Ice Survey that provides evidence of glaciers melting. Although what he’s documenting is disturbing, the photographs are beautiful. These pics were taken on the Greenland ice sheet:


More pics can be seen here and here. And this is a trailer for the movie, which comes out on December 14:




The next item is a video called “The Athlete Machine” that was financed by Red Bull. It’s a kick in the ass to watch, like a giant Rube Goldberg machine powered in part by people. Some of the performances are more eye-popping than others, but they’re all pretty cool. And I though this video was definitely metal, both in the conception of this “machine” and also in its execution.

I wish I could say that the operation of “the machine” went off without a hitch in one take, but it was filmed in several separate segments, as you’ll see in the second video below. The second video shows how the film was made. It’s almost as much fun to watch as “The Athlete Machine” itself.


I thought the next photo was metal, because of . . . a corpse, exposed bone, and general weirdness.

The sheep drowned while trying to cross a small canal in the meadow-swamp ‘Tøndermasken’ in southern Jylland in Denmark. Birds ate every part above the surface, while everything under was left totally untouched.

Photo credit: Johannes Bojesen, from the National Geographic Photo Contest 2012 (via TYWKIWDBI).


Enormous fiery conflagrations are metal. Maybe it’s ghoulish of me to say so, because spectacular fiery conflagrations sometimes involve crispy-fied human beings, but that’s how I feel — which brings me to our next item.

On May 6, 1937, the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed while attempting to dock with its mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. Of the 97 people on board, 35 people died, and it’s amazing that the casualties weren’t higher. Equally amazing is the fact that even as of today, the cause of the fire remains unknown. But the enormity of the disaster killed off the inflatable rigid airship as a means of public transportation.

Last week I discovered that the French newsreel company Pathé had established a YouTube account and had uploaded a variety of original film footage of historically significant events — including the destruction of the Hindenburg. And here it is (also via TYWKIWDBI):



This is our last item for this installment of THAT’S METAL!. It may cause you to hate me.

This is a game called Circle the Cat. I can’t embed the game here, but if you click on this link, you’ll get to it. It took me 10 tries to circle the cat the first time. I’m sure there are many readers who will get there a whole last faster than me. My one piece of advice is not to start clicking circles too close to the cat, because he/she will get away. Start further away and work your way in.

I don’t think I can do a very good job articulating why I think this is metal, but I do.


  7 Responses to ““THAT’S METAL!” – BUT IT’S NOT MUSIC (NO. 68)”

  1. this needs more whiskey. gimme more whiskey,

  2. Wow, I circled the cat in three tries. What luck.

  3. Road trip to the Giger bar?

    I know a bunch of people died and such but watching the Hindenburg go up in a fireball is pretty damn spectacular. Also serves a good warning that packing a giant balloon full of flammable gas and trying to fly it somewhere is a stupid fucking idea.

  4. I saw that picture and video of the storm on Saturn last week…so fucking cool. And I WILL go to the Giger Museum before I die. Every piece of artwork that guy has and will make is 100% metal.

  5. Quite possibly the best “That’s Metal – But It’s Not Music Yet”. Every item is just fills One with wonder, horror and gas.
    …except that Circle the Cat game – just gas with that one.

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