Five Things – 11.11.13

1.  2001 – As I’ve mentioned before, I love the Odyssey series.  The film 2001: A Space Odyssey has style out the wazoo, but my favorite aspect of it is the delicate way that the film handles putting an extraterrestrial experience on film.  Basically it doesn’t, not specifically, and that’s what makes the film work just as well 35 years later as it did in 1968.  Well, apparently that wasn’t always the case, and Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick went around the block trying to come up with just what the extraterrestrials would look like. 2001Italia’s got a great roundup of some of the pre-production imaginings of what the aliens would be.  Here are some of my favorites:


A crystalline form, pretty abstract and keeping with the approach they eventually ended up using.


A crazy dot-suit against a dot background.

ReddyTall, thin, elegant, and floating!

Eventually it was Carl Sagan who provided the answer, suggesting that Kubrick not show the aliens at all.  That decision resulted in one of the weirdest film endings ever, but also keeps that movie timeless as there are no makeup/costume/effects attempts that would assuredly become outdated.

And once again Carl Sagan proves his worth to the human species.

Anyway, 2001Italia tells the story better than I do, so check it out there.


2.  Apple Gift Catalog – My pal Chrissie sent this my way and I haven’t been able to stop looking at it.  Enjoy my favorites from a 1983 Apple Gift Catalog, and hit the link for the rest. And check out Chrissie’s blog. It’s good. It’s good.





3.  Dial-Up – Here’s a spectrogram of a dial-up modem connecting.  FACT: this is way more beautiful than any image ever received in the age of dial-up modems.



4.  School Is – So Much Pileup‘s got a pamhplet from 1969 written by a high school class complaining about the foibles of day-to-day life. It’s like a pre-Seinfeld, in a pamphlet form, written by public school kids.  But it looks awesome:

School Is

School Is

School Is

5.  Cosby Bebop – You’re welcome.