Friday, 27 March 2009

Wiseman's Flea Circus

Richard Wiseman has been blogging about flea circuses and has stired up quite a debate about cruelty to fleas.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Snow fleas

Linda Kervin from Bridgerland Audubon Society has been writing about Snow Fleas, and how they arn't really fleas at all.

Friday, 20 March 2009

The Adventures of the Araknid Kid, Episode 1

Josh Alves has produced a new comic book set in a "Wild, Wild, West" type version of the "Old West" and called "The Adventures of the Araknid Kid". The first episode has a flea villian from Ritz Nabiscov's Flea Circus.

In good comic book style, the villians "Kracker & Flea", were formed when their travelling show was hit by a meteor. Kracker is a shape-shifting brute made of cracker crumbs and his flea became enlarged and super-smart.

There was a long development of the characters, Josh told me that Araknid Kid was developed out of a character created in high school called BugBoy. Kracker had started out as a research professor not a showman.

For more details of the book you can read a review of The Adventures of the Araknid Kid by Katherine Dacey

You can buy the book via the Araknid Kid website.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Charlies Fleas

Tom Shone has been looking at Charlie Chaplin's idea for a flea circus from 1919.

Tom Shone and Chaplin's Fleas

Chaplin tries to work the idea into several films but ends up with a short sequence in Limelight where two of the flea escape from the match box.

Other flea films

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Another Flea Circus T-Shirt

Here's another Flea Circus t-shirt design, this time from "grypes" of Shared Areas.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

More Industrious Fleas

In this latest find of industrious fleas from 1832, the writer is not in anyway impressed by the exhibition. The Athenaeum was a weekly periodical published in London between 1828 and 1923. Thanks to google books for their digitisation of this paper.

The Athenaeum
Journal of English and Foreign Literature, Science, and the fine arts
No 219 London, Saturday, January 7, 1832 Price four pence.

Our weekly gossip on literature and art

"But our fashionable friends are spending their wonder on 'The Industrious Fleas' in Regent Street; a strange mania, for there is really nothing in the exhibition worthy a moment;s admiration the fleas have not been taught and trainedl there has been no patient labour bestored on their schooling; they are simply fastened ny a hind leg to a little car, modelled out of the pith of elder, and the struggles of the creatures to escape give motion to the carriage. A flea just caught would do the same thing."

Monday, 9 March 2009

Flea Circus T-Shirt

Flea Circus by by bsweber

This Flea Circus T-Shirt by BSWeber was spotted on Woot today.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Bamboo Flea Trap at London's Science Museum

Bamboo Flea Trap

Thanks to Lee Jackson from the Cat's Meat Shop I've discovered that London's Science Museum houses a bamboo flea trap. The tubes were heated up to attract the fleas inside, once there the fleas stuck to the sticky substance contained within.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Flea Circuses topic on QI

Stephen Fry quizzes his contestants on their knowledge of Flea Circuses on the QI quiz show. In a episode called "Flora and Fauna" he is joined by John Sergeant, Jimmy Carr, Jo Brand and Alan Davies.

Q: What was the biggest destroyer of human fleas? Asks Fry
A: Vacuum Cleaners answers John Sergeant.

However Sergeant then goes on to incorrectly comments that if a human being had as powerful legs as a flea that they could jump over the Eiffel tower. The flea can jump 80 times its own height but if you scaled that up to human sizes then it would not be as high. The reason for this is that muscle strength scales with cross section but mass would increase with volume on a cubic scale. This would mean that a human with flea legs could jump (cuberoot of 80)squared i.e. approx 18.5 times their own height. Taking the UK average of 175cm, which multipled by 18.5 is approx 32m which although very impressive is only 1/10 of the height of the Eiffel tower.

I thought Mr Fry was rather over exuberant with regards to the one rare example of the flea band (who were glued to a heated tray) where as the majority of flea performances were about pulling things, something that does not put any more strain on the flea than a horse pulling a cart. It sounded like he got all his information from Wikipedia but the clips from Pathe News were very good.

BBC Flea (contains Adult themes) 5mins -> 9mins

Sunday, 1 March 2009

The Flea Pit on tour to Wimbledon

Belfast based children’s theatre company, Cahoots NI, take to the road this April with The Flea Pit – an original and quirky production that takes place in a miniature, mobile theatre space. The tiny theatre, holding just 15 people, has been magically created to present this delightful Flea Circus.

Dates: 07 April - 18 April
Age Range: 4 - 11
Duration: 20 minutes

These magnificent mini-beasts have performed across the USA, Europe and Ireland amazing people with incredible feats of weight-lifting, trapeze and high-wire. Come along, be amazed and delighted by this sensational circus troupe featuring live music, loads of laughs and magic tricks galore.

Show Details and booking

Polka Theatre is one of the few venues in the UK which is dedicated to producing and presenting work for young audiences. Over 100,000 children a year come to Polka and are inspired, stimulated and enaged by the theatre they see there.