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 – 01.25.16 – And By Our Daring

1.  Space Shuttle – This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, which was a defining moment of my childhood. Thinking on it reminds me of what a space nut I was as a little kid; living in Orlando, Florida makes it pretty easy to catch space fever.  I saw Challenger’s doomed liftoff…

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 – 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…

Five Things – 2.16.15

1.  Space Shuttle: A Journey Into Space – This 1983 Atari 2600 and 5200 title is pretty serious business.  It’s a flight-sim program for the Space Shuttle that might be the deepest title released for these Atari systems. Space Shuttle: A Journey into Space tasked players with piloting the shuttle to a satellite, docking, and…

Five Things – 2.2.15 – Now You’re Knitting With Power

1.  NASA’s Spinoff – in the late 1970s, NASA began providing a report to the public regarding the technological advancements gleaned from the Space program in an attractive, easy-to-read format.  Called Spinoff, this wasn’t the first attempt at a report of this nature but it was definitely the most digestible.  And the most stylish. What is it…

Five Things – 12.1.14

1. A Claymation Christmas Celebration – It’s finally the proper season to share this.  This Christmas special premiered in 1987 and loudly touted the then-ubiquitous California Raisins’ involvement, although the Raisins don’t really show up until the final number. Hosted by what appear to be a dinosaur version of Siskel and Ebert, the half-hour special takes…

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…