Five Things – 1.2.17 – Sure, Mac, Sure

Connections: AT&T’s Vision Of The Future AT&T’s got a record of anticipating future trends and technologies that extends almost as far back as they do. They kind of have to; that’s their business.  This 1993 video, Connections, takes the emerging technologies of the internet and mobile phones and imagines a future that combines the two. And,…

Five Things – 12.12.16 – Alphie Says I Got It Right

Mr. Ed’s Christmas Story What holiday season would be complete without the ritual viewing of that one Christmas episode of that one show about the horse that can secretly talk and makes life miserable for the awkward suburban man who owns a horse that can secretly talk? Mr. Ed’s Christmas Story opens with Ed and Wilbur…

Five Things – 12.5.16 – I Can’t Sell It To You

Deck the Halls With Wacky Walls Wacky Wall Walkers were a very popular toy for a brief period in the early 1980s.  They were these rubber octopi that were sticky; you threw them against the wall and they would slowly “walk” down until the adhesive gave out and they just fell to the floor.  Super popular…

Five Things – 07.04.16 – You’re Weird Too, Then

Dollar a Second This 1981 reboot of a 1950s game show seems centered around insulting and humiliating people while occasionally throwing them a few dollars, and also about confusing the rest of us. Bob Eubanks conducts this train wreck in which contestants earn the titular Dollar A Second for as long as they’re on stage.  A…

Five Things – 06.20.13 – A Neon Sign Designer

Whew! This short lived Game Show featured an amazing set, a strange format, and good old Rod Roddy. Whew! is basically a string of lightning rounds with a little twist – in the “normal” part of the game one contestant tries to get through the board in a set amount of time while the other…

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 – 09.07.15 – Of Course You Want To Memorize Some Commands

1. The Martinettis Bring A Computer Home – It’s strange to see Apple playing this sort of game, but the ’90s were a different era for the company.  This 1995 infomercial presents the Martinetti family and their experience with their first family computer, the Macintosh Performa. This half-hour “program” plays like a sitcom without jokes,…

Five Things – 7.13.15 – Time to Buff Up The Old Brain Muscle

1.  GamePro TV – A complement television program to the magazine of the same name, GamePro TV hit the airwaves in 1990. As you can tell, the show was VERY ’90s. It closely resembled the format of the magazine with segments for game tips, game reviews, and sneak peeks of to-be-released games.  They answered viewer…

Five Things – 9.22.14

1.  Playsack – Fredun Shapur designed toys and children’s books in the 1960s and ’70s. His clean, simple (and beautiful) design aesthetic is a big inspiration of mine: My favorite toy of his has as much inspiration in the product itself as it does in the way it’s designed.  The Playsack takes the idea of a used-grocery-bag-turned-costume…

Five Things – 08.04.14

1.  Can Animals Think – No question mark here! This 1950 educational film is bluntly titled “Can Animals Think” and spends about 10 minutes pondering this eternally obvious subject.  His running commentary is pretty great, though – it’s as if the narrator is seeing this film for the first time along with the rest of…