1. Magnavox Magnavision Demo Video – In 1981, Leonard Nimoy held a secret meeting with an alien emissary that appeared in his apartment and translated specific instructions on how to operate a Magnavox Magnavision Laserdisc player. Thankfully, this meeting was recorded and is now available for everyone on YouTube.
The video mostly consists of this rock that lights up and beeps, and Nimoy repeats what it said back to it to confirm his understanding. It’s their one trick, and they stick with it. There’s a few examples of Laserdisc technology, like rewinding and slowing down an epic football tackle or skipping to your favorite moment in an ABBA song (there’s a LOT of ABBA here), but for the most part it’s beeps and words.
It’s a charming video, for sure – this disc was included in the packaging of the Magnavision so that users could get a quick tutorial on the ins and outs of the machine. I can’t really tell if it succeeds or fails at that, but it’s got a lot more character than it probably should have. Here it is:
2. 1972 McDonalds Training Aid – This little film helps new employees at McDonalds learn how far their courtesy goes at the counter.
Most of the training videos of this sort that I come across are from the ’80s and ’90s, so I wonder how many companies were also doing this at the time or if McDonalds was a pioneer. It’s worth a watch, and actually has a good message – it’s far more useful than a ‘this is how to pour a milkshake’ video. As usual, the real gems are in the background of whatever’s going on in the specific shot- there’s a lot of beautiful design, layout, and fashion going on here. I do enjoy the differences in how the females are presented as opposed to the males.
(descending trombone sound)
Here it is.
3. Women’s Way 1925 Cover – A beautifully illustrated cover from a 1925 issue of Women’s Way magazine featuring Josephine Baker and a side piece where Will Rogers talks about “Talkies”.
4. Don’t Copy That Floppy – Don’t pirate floppy discs! Don’t do it! The computer age will end! Here’s a nine minute rap to back me up!
5. Bermuda Triangle Board Game – I’ve never heard of this game, but this ad’s got me sold.