Five Things – 07.28.14

1.  The Mastery of Space  – Here’s a beautiful 1962 documentary produced by NASA about the Mercury program.  The fonts used and the static design elements are fantastic, and the actual space footage, test-footage on Earth and spaceflight animations are pretty great, too. It’s kind of hard to tell who the intended audience for this film is, though – it gives a pretty basic description of weightlessness and gravity, like it’s speaking to kids, but then takes a left turn and gets somewhat complicated.  I can’t imagine kids catching anything Gus Grissom’s putting out there.

  2.  Otter Pops – Introduced in 1970 as an alternative to the ubiquitous Fla-Vor-Ice, Otter Pops always won out for me.  They were pretty much the exact same recipe – sugar water+artificial flavoring+freezer- but National Pax went to the trouble to name the different pops and that made all the difference to young me. Otter Pops Poncho Punch replaced the unpopular Rip Van Lemon, which seems like a pretty good move.  Outside of Italian Ice, lemon is useless as a frozen treat . Also these things were crazy cheap – I think you got 200 for about 5 dollars back in the ’90s.  It’s probably creeped up to 6 dollars now. Go get some. It’s summer. You deserve it!


3.  Kid Power – This animated version of the Wee Pals comic debuted in 1972 on ABC and was one of the first cartoons to feature a cast of several ethnicities. Kid Power Here’s an ad for the show, followed by the show’s intro.  The promo (which is one of the most sedated cartoon promos I’ve ever seen) sells the “what-if” and imagination side of the show while the intro really hammers home the whole melting pot thing.


Kid Power ran for one season, and then went off the air in 1973. A short run but still a groundbreaking show!


4.  Refrigerator Safety PSA – Don’t go into abandoned refrigerators to play! Here’s a PSA about that very thing from the 1970s, which oddly suggests a way to play with an abandoned fridge in case kids couldn’t think of one themselves…and then tells you how to keep kids from doing it:


5.  Warrant Rock Line – If you had a little time on your hands (and a few dollars per minute) in the late ’80s, you could check in on what Warrant was up to.  Who wouldn’t want to know what Warrant was up to?