Five Things – 03.07.16 – Tiny the Mustache Twirler Is Pointing At Me

Popular Science Covers Here’s a roundup of some gorgeous covers of the long-running Popular Science magazine. Retrofuturism bliss ahead! I particularly love this one featuring automotive issues as devils!   Blankety Blanks This 1977 game show is an Australian version of The Match Game. Pretty much line-by-line. They even had their own Charles Nelson Reilly! It’s probably my own…

Five Things – 02.29.16 – I Swear By My Tattoo

Saturday Morning Sneak Peek  Well, they called it what it was. No razzle, no dazzle, no confusion. Also, this was apparently before drop-shadow was invented. Avery Schreiber and Jack Burns host this 1973 ABC special, under the premise that the comedy duo is setting up a surprise party for Schreiber’s nephew.  Burns pulls some strings…

Five Things – 1.4.16 – That Warm Bean Flavor

1.  Droid World – This gorgeous Star Wars book was a part of the read-along The Further Adventures series released in the early 1980s.  Each book was about 20-25 pages long and came with a record or cassette that you played alongside it.  Illustrated by Dick Foes, the artwork was much more impressive than it needed to be. The…

Five Things – 12.28.15 – Top 5 of 2015

Here are the most viewed, voted, and commented-on Things from the past year.  There’s a pretty great mix here of corporate cheese, baffling games, retrofuturism, and Leonard Nimoy; it provides a good glimpse of the scope of the Timid Futures embrace.  Here we go, in reverse order…   #5 – How Nuclear Radiation Can Change…

Five Things – 11.23.15 – An Attractive Customer Is Courteously Assisted

1. Boosting is a Business – Here’s a 1950 informational film detailing various techniques used by “professional” shoplifters.  The tactics used range from pedestrian “grab-and-put-it-in-your-pocket” theft to coordinated operations involving multiple people  Beyond the actual shoplifting there’s a lot to love about this film: the locations, the fashions, and the little slice-of-life glimpes you get…

Five Things – 11.16.15 – The Battleground Is The TV Set

1. 1986 Hardees Training Video – On the surface this is a pretty pedestrian video as far as 1980s training films go – there’s no music video, no stylized effects, no imaginary flights of fancy.  Upon deeper inspection there’s some good stuff here, though, and a pretty good snapshot of 1986 life. While there’s not…

Five Things – 11.09.15 – Sophie’s Choice, Whenever You Choose

1. 1999 A.D. – The Philco-Ford company was very optimistic about 1967’s future.  It’s a beautiful one. This short film takes a look at a family of the future, with all of the bells and whistles that 1999 has to offer.  Some of their predictions are pretty accurate, while some are a little far fetched….

Five Things – 10.26.15 – It’s a Man, Talking To a Machine

1. AT&T: Challenge of Change – This 1961 short film produced by AT&T does a pretty great job of capturing the suddenly-accelerating nature of technological development of the age and the frenzied attempts to harness that development into making life easier for everybody.  In this specific case, though, it’s focused mostly on making business easier for businessmen….

Five Things – 09.21.15 – Content To Let Television Do Its Thing

1. Magnavox Odyssey Videos – I’ve touched on the beautiful Magnavox Odyssey Five Things – 4.15.13, but here’s a look at some of the promotion that surrounded the video game system’s release in 1972 and shortly thereafter. The Odyssey’s light-based gameplay took a little explaining to the average Joe, and for good reason – you…

Five Things – 09.14.15 – The Faint Pressure Of Starlight

1. Mars and Beyond – This episode of Disneyland, the ABC show that would eventually become The Wonderful World of Disney, Walt Disney Presents, and about a dozen other variations on that title, presents the history and future of speculation on the rest of the Solar System and man’s eventual place in it. This episode…