Five Things – 11.4.13


1.  The Powers of Matthew Star – In 1982, NBC rolled out this sci-fi series that featured an alien teenage boy and his royal protector who were being pursued by bad guy aliens and had fled to Earth where the kid disguised himself as a high school student and the protector disguised himself as a science teacher.  Also, the protector was Lou Gossett, Jr.

Matthew Star

A little bit Superman, a little bit Fugitive Alien, The Powers of Matthew Star focused mostly on the kid gaining control of his alien powers but also keeping his cover on earth.  Lou Gossett, Jr. didn’t have any powers, even though he was an alien, too.

Matthew Star Cast

The show ran for one season and then was cancelled.  The final episode aired was the pilot episode, which gives some indication of how little NBC cared at that point.


Still, there’s some redemption in the opening title.  I’m not sure if I would have felt that way in 1982, but in 2013 it’s pretty great.

2.  Radio Shack Computerized Arcade – I guess, technically, this was an accurate thing to call your product.  Also released in 1982 the Tandy-12, also known as the Radio Shack Computerized Arcade, used the then-common Pong-box strategy of creating one thing that could play different games that were essentially all varients of the same thing.

Computerized Arcade

To be fair, these games were a little more varied than the game systems that had four versions of Pong.  From Wikipedia, here are the 12 games:

  • Organ – Electronic Organ with 12 Notes.
  • Song Writer – Record a song of up to 44 notes.
  • Repeat – Follow a random sequence like in Simon.
  • Torpedo – Fire torpedoes to sink enemy submarines.
  • Tag-It – Try to catch 110 moles.
  • Roulette – Electronic Roulette (Uses playing board).
  • Baseball – Electronic Baseball (Uses playing board).
  • Repeat Plus – Repeat variant for 2 or more players.
  • Treasure Hunt – Variant of the board game Master Mind.
  • Complete – Battle of reaction time.
  • Fire Away – Destroy enemy invaders.
  • Hide ‘N Seek – Guess the computers 3 numbers in order.

I mean, really, it could have just been a 12-button version of Simon and it would still be cool.


3.  Dinosaur Pumpkins – It may be a little late for Jack-o-Lanterns, but it’s never too late for dinosaurs.  Because dinosaurs are timeless.  Except that they’re all dead.




4. Pelican Covers – Here’s a roundup of some of the iconic book covers created by Pelican Books in the 1960s.  These covers bring back memories of public school libraries and church reading rooms of my youth:



5. Les Combustibles du Corps Humain – An infographic from before when infographics were a thing.  From Mondorama:

Les Combustibles





One Comment

  1. That pre-infographic infographic is awesome. What does it MEAN?

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