Five Things – 11.17.14

1.  Country Gentleman Covers – I fell into a rabbit hole this week when I stumbled across an old Country Gentleman magazine on the web.  Country Gentleman was an agricultural magazine that was published from 1831 to 1955. A good run! The covers are Saturday Evening Post-like in their Americana essence – some covers were done by Norman Rockwell here, too, so it makes sense – but Country Gentleman’s covers also branch out a little bit more stylistically than the Post did.  Here are some of my favorites.

Country Gentleman Turkey

Country Gentleman Schoolkids

Country Gentleman Something Went Bump

This one might be my favorite of the bunch – the clowns!

Country Gentleman Circus


2.  Science Moves the Army – This 1960s documentary geared toward children take a look at the research and development side of the Army, an interesting angle and one I hadn’t really seen before.  Growing up in the ’80s, most of the Army media I saw was of the jockish, “Be A Real Man!” variety; it’s neat to see something that focuses on the nerdy side of things.  The guy recording the tank sounds looks like a modern day hipster!

If you can’t watch the whole thing, the first 20 seconds or so with the intro graphic makes for a nice taste.

“Have you ever seen a flying videocamera?” Just you wait, ’60s people, just you wait…


3.  Karnov (NES) – One of my NES jams as a kid was this clunky title from Data East, an arcade port called Karnov.

Karnov cover

There’s nothing about this cover that I don’t love.  The main character, Karnov, is a stout, fire-breathing circus strongman who travels through fantasy lands in search of treasure.  That’s rad enough as it is, but with the right powerups he could fly, swim, and create ladders out of nowhere.

The idea was fantastic, the graphics were great, but the controls were pretty rigid and that makes it tough to go back and play as a grown-up.  As a kid I didn’t care about that so much, and I’d play this game until my eyeballs bled.


4.  Computer Chronicles Christmas 1983 – Let’s kick off the holiday blitz with a 1983 episode of the Public Television show Computer Chronicles that focuses on what to buy your hacker for Christmas.

Reader Rabbit, guys.  That’s the hot item.  Also that word processing software nobody’s heard of for $300.


5.  Racko & Easy Money – Here’s a Milton Bradley commercial from the 1950s highlighting two lesser known games: Racko and Easy Money.  The latter seems to be a Monopoly ripoff, and the song for it seems to be made up on the fly.