Five Things – 3.23.15 – A Bursting Bubble Containing Its Own Tragic Irony

1.  How Nuclear Radiation Can Change Our Race – Here’s an interesting branch of the nuclear scare of the 1950s: this “article” was published in the December 1953 issue of Mechanix Illustrated, informing the masses of what would probably happen to the human race in the event of a Nuclear War.

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(This is a serious article.)

I’m actually going to post the entire thing since, besides being absolutely hilarious, the ads are fantastic. The tl;dr for you, if you don’t want to soak in all 9 pages, is that a nuclear conflict has the potential to cause a sudden and widespread mutation in humans – effectively creating a new race. This guy really specifically predicts what this new race would look like – huge heads, very tall, and four toed! This new race will either become our masters, or they will kill us all, or we will hunt them down to the last mutant, or we will co-operate with them.  Really taking a stab there, listing literally ALL possible outcomes.

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I choose to shrug this threat off!

2.  Ark II – For another take on the apocalypse, there’s Ark II.

Ark II

Ark II was a one-season wonder on CBS from September to December 1976. The show takes place in the 25th century, on an Earth-turned-wasteland by pollution and waste.  Humanity has devolved for the most part, but there still seems to be some technological development and a core group of humans working to make the world a better place.

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It’s actually a relatively awesome premise, right? I’m not sure what happened but the show itself is really pretty bad.  The crew of Ark II is appropriately diverse, both across race and species!





And don’t worry, Adam could speak – Lancelot Link style.

The show was a pretty lighthearted look at the apocalypse, but it wasn’t intentionally funny – occupying that middle ground might have been what killed it and made it unremarkable.  It feels like the super-homogenized westerns of the ’50s and ’60s applied to a sci-fi format.  Actual  badness aside, there’s some great design going on with the costumes and machines:

Ark II

Here’s the Ark II A mobile command unit that has a lab inside of it and is super clean both inside and out… in the middle of a wasteland. Also they have jetpacks.


And a rover car, which supposedly fit inside of the Ark II?


Here’s the first episode.  It really could be a Petticoat Junction episode with some sci-fi thrown in.


3. Six Million Dollar Man From The Electric Company Magazine, here’s a great look inside the Six Million Dollar Man: Six Million Dollar Man


4.  Chuck vs. Showbiz – There’s nothing about this video that isn’t amazing.  Evening Magazine, a local TV Show in San Francisco, directly compared Chuck E Cheese to Showbiz Pizza in 1983.

This looks like a parody of entertainment shows, for starters, but let’s focus on the actual comparison.  Apparently Showbiz skews more heavily toward teenagers in the evenings? Really? Teenagers went to Showbiz Pizza? Also, huge slam on Showbiz’s pizza quality! I guess it’s no wonder that Chuck won out.

Looks like Showbiz might have tried to rig the review a little bit but to no avail.  Billy Bob was clearly placed there to greet Scott at the door.  He was NEVER at the door to shake my hand when I went.


5.   Lightbeam Skateboard- Lastly, a beautiful 1970s ad for the Lightbeam skateboard.  Light Years Ahead