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Hallelujah, Holy Shit! Where's the Tylenol?

Xmas or Bust: The Untold Story of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. The modern holiday classic and third installment in National Lampoon's Vacation series turns 25 this year! Join hapless patriarch Clark Griswold as he struggles to maintain his sanity in a Christmas season full of eccentric relatives, mounting workplace stress, and increasingly outlandish domestic disasters. Full video - Scenes: Eat My Rubber - The Griswold Family Christmas Tree - Bend Over and I'll Show You - Gift-shopping - Decorating - Christmas Lights - Cousin Eddie - Let 'Er Rip, Hang Ten! - MERRY CHRISTMAS, SHITTER WAS FULL - Home Movies - Aunt Bethany - Turkey Dinner - The Cat - Clark Breaks Down - SQUIRREL - Hostages - The National Anthem - More: Quotes from IMDb - PDF Transcript - What's the Damage?
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 24, 2014 - 28 comments

Young Frankenstein at 40: not so young, but still Brooks' finest film

Director Mel Brooks spent a lot of money on white handkerchiefs while making his 1974 tour de farce, Young Frankenstein. "I gave everybody in the crew a white handkerchief," said the 88-year-old comedy legend during a recent phone interview. "I said, 'When you feel like laughing, put this in your mouth.' Every once in a while, I'd turn around and see a sea of white handkerchiefs, and I said, 'I got a hit.'"

Young Frankenstein was more than a hit. It is a comic masterpiece.
An interview with Mel Brooks on the 40th anniversary of Young Frankenstein, with an overview of the events that lead to what Mel Brooks calls 'by far the best movie I ever made.' [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 20, 2014 - 78 comments

"Some things belonged to both of us from day one"

"A song, a poem, a scene from a film triggers memories. You’re startled, moved, shaken. And you’re faced with two options: 1) engage with the work and the memories it calls up, or 2) retreat, postpone, avoid. Option 2 is very attractive." Matt Zoller Seitz remembers his wife Jennifer, who would have turned 44 today. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Nov 24, 2014 - 16 comments

See ya in another life, brotha.

Ten years ago today, LOST premiered on ABC. EOnline posts an interview with Damon Lindelof, about the show's legacy. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 22, 2014 - 221 comments

A little Clump of Soul

Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy. Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations. It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time -- an eccentric, richly produced, and incredibly catchy blend of funk, salsa, bossa nova, experimental electronica, J-Pop, swing, lounge, bamboo flute, hair metal, buoyant parade music, soaring children's choirs, Macintalk fanfares, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros. Called a consumerist critique by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi (who after one sequel moved on to Glitch, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy, and playground design), the series has inspired much celebration and thought [2, 3] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 21, 2014 - 92 comments

In pleasanter anniversary news...

Hey, remember when Oprah gave everyone in her audience a new car (previously)? It was ten years ago tomorrow.
posted by Small Dollar on Sep 12, 2014 - 64 comments

Turn on, turn on, turn on, turn on the news: Zen Arcade hits 30

Hüsker Dü's landmark double LP hits its third decade this summer. "Nobody was prepared for Hüsker Dü‘s Zen Arcade. It didn’t sound like any other album slapped with the "punk" tag. It didn’t even sound like any other music being made in 1984. Zen Arcade was a double album released in an era when two-record sets were reserved for bloated and pointless live records or even more bloated and pointless “artistic statements” put out by artists with way too much creative freedom. Plus, it’s a concept album — the hoariest of ’70s music shackles. But Zen Arcade was different — a punk-based double album that wasn’t very punk at times. It wasn’t very focused either, moving from folk and pop to jazz and classic rock." - diffuser.fm

The sky's the limit on this chartered trip away. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Aug 21, 2014 - 35 comments

"See you next year at the halloween parade" - Lou Reed's New York at 25

Lou Reed's New York LP hit the quarter-century mark earlier this year. "Meant to be listened to in one 58-minute sitting as though it were a book or a movie," New York couples an unusually accessible rock style with some of most topical lyrics of Lou's career. "Protesting, elegizing, carping, waxing sarcastic, forcing jokes, stating facts, garbling what he just read in the Times, free-associating to doomsday, Lou carries on a New York conversation--all that's missing is a disquisition on real estate." - Robert Christgau

Get caught between the twisted stars, the plotted lines, the faulty map that brought Columbus to New York. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Aug 18, 2014 - 40 comments

Happy Birthday, MetaFilter

Cat-Scan.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by Rock Steady on Jul 14, 2014 - 168 comments

It Was Thirty Years Ago Today... Sgt. Purple Told His Band To Play.

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the release of Prince's Purple Rain... [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Jun 26, 2014 - 44 comments

"The Bells isn't merely Lou Reed's best solo LP, it's great art."

Lou Reed's 1979 LP The Bells, featuring Don Cherry and Nils Lofgren, turned 35 in April.

Lester Bangs' take: Lou Reed is a prick and a jerkoff who regularly commits the ultimate sin of treating his audience with contempt. He's also a person with deep compassion for a great many other people about whom almost nobody else gives a shit. I won't say who they are, because I don't want to get too schmaltzy, except to emphasize that there's always been more to this than drugs and fashionable kinks, and to point out that suffering, loneliness and psychic/spiritual exile are great levelers. The Bells isn't merely Lou Reed's best solo LP, it's great art. Everybody made a fuss over Street Hassle, but too many reviewers overlooked the fact that it was basically a sound album: brilliant layers of live and studio work in a deep wash of bass-obsessive noise. Most of the songs were old, and not very good, with a lot of the same old cheap shots.
[more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 16, 2014 - 56 comments

10 PRINT "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" 20 GOTO PARTY

"At 4 a.m. on May 1, 1964, Dartmouth professor John Kemeny and a student programmer simultaneously typed RUN on neighboring terminals. When they both got back answers to their simple programs, time-sharing and BASIC were born." This post from the '60s at 50 blog about BASIC's 50th Birthday/Anniversary has several good historical links (including Dartmouth's Anniversary Celebration, which started about 15 hours early), but as for recognition by 'today's media', the 'Guarniad' may be best, with memories of a half-dozen veteran programmers and developers, and Jack Schofield, their "computer editor" (isn't that job title obsolete?), wondering if Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" may have been inspired by the computer language. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on May 1, 2014 - 57 comments

Two Muddy Pills

On the 10th anniversary of his wildly popular blog, Joe.My.God published Two Muddy Pills, a previously unpublished true story.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 29, 2014 - 17 comments

The good that men do (sometimes) lives after them

Today is the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth - "...The centenary of Shakespeare’s birth fell soon after the theatres reopened with the Restoration of the monarchy, following the period when the Puritans had closed them down for the duration of the Civil War. His plays formed a staple part of the repertoire, but those of Beaumont and John Fletcher were performed more frequently. Shakespeare only pulled ahead of the pack in the Georgian era. It was around his 200th anniversary, under the auspices of the great actor David Garrick, that he took on his status as National Poet and exemplar of artistic genius...." More here
posted by marienbad on Apr 23, 2014 - 31 comments

"I'm Martin's Dad"

The Boston Globe visits the Richard family, on the eve of the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. The Richard's youngest son, Martin, was killed, and their daughter Jane, is still recovering, learning to navigate with her prosthetic leg.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 14, 2014 - 9 comments

The burden of survival

Rwanda: 20 years later
posted by infini on Mar 30, 2014 - 13 comments

Happy 30th Birthday Macintosh!

Apple is kicking off the Mac's 30th in typical Apple style with a lovely landing page. Slate has a copy of the video of Steve Jobs unveiling the Macintosh in 1984. Watch as the audience looses their minds over scrolling graphics and a basic voice synthesizer. iFixit has posted an appropriately retro teardown of a Mac 128k in celebration. As always, Folklore.org is your best source for first hand accounts of what it was like to actually create something cheaper and less clunky than the Lisa. All whilst hiding in the closet from Steve Jobs.
posted by BartFargo on Jan 24, 2014 - 85 comments

40 Years in the Dungeons

January 26, 2014 will mark the 40th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, and the anniversary will culminate with an event called Tyranny of Dragons. The playtest of the forthcoming D&D Next has been ongoing since 2012, and the final playtest version is available. Alternatively, the original game (complete with its supplements) is available as a boxed set. [more inside]
posted by graymouser on Jan 24, 2014 - 139 comments

Lisbon Burning

Twenty-five years ago, in the pre-dawn of August 25, 1988, a fire started in downtown Lisbon's Carmo Street and quickly spread to Garrett Street and others, destroying a total of 18 buildings of the Chiado. Two people were killed, and 73 were injured (60 of them firemen). Between 200 and 300 people lost their homes. Several of the historical shops were lost. In terms of the extent of the city affected and number of destroyed buildings, the Chiado fire is considered the worst disaster to strike the city since the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. A rebuilding project directed by Portuguese architect Siza Vieira has, to a great extent, returned the area to its former glory. The exterior look of the buildings were restored, while the interiors have been completely renovated. [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Aug 25, 2013 - 2 comments

Curiosity's First Anniversary

Twelve Months in Two Minutes; Curiosity's First Year on Mars. Happy First Anniversary, Curiosity! [Previously]
posted by homunculus on Aug 6, 2013 - 25 comments

The 14th July 14th

Cat-Scan.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by FelliniBlank on Jul 14, 2013 - 139 comments

First!

"Just setting up my twttr". This Was First archives the first posts on some of the world's biggest websites. (Metafilter is sadly absent from the archive.)
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jul 14, 2013 - 27 comments

Doomed Planet. Desperate Scientists. Last Hope. Kindly Couple.

The 75 greatest Superman stories of all-time: 75-26, 25-1 - celebrating the 75th anniversary of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's debut of the character in ACTION COMICS #1. Everything you need to know about Superman in four panels. The Actual Best Superman Writer Ever Happy Anniversary Lois Lane. The $130 Check That Bought Superman.
posted by Artw on Apr 18, 2013 - 19 comments

1993 -> 2013

For WIRED magazine's 20th anniversary, they've "gathered stories for, by, and about the people who have shaped the planet's past 20 years—and will continue driving the next."
posted by zarq on Apr 16, 2013 - 36 comments

Cities and the Soul

With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else. December 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Invisible Cities -- the sublime metaphysical travelogue by author-journalist Italo Calvino. In a series of pensive dialogues with jaded emperor Kublai Khan, the explorer Marco Polo describes a meandering litany of visionary and impossible places, dozens of surreal, fantastical cities, each poetically reifying ideas vital to language, philosophy, and the human spirit. This gracefully written love letter to urban life has inspired countless tributes, but it's just the most accessible of Calvino's fascinating literary catalogue. Look inside for a closer look at his most remarkable works, links to English translations of his magical prose, and collections of artistic interpretations from around the web -- including this treasure trove of essays, excerpts, articles, and recommended reading. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 30, 2012 - 26 comments

♪ Where Everybody Knows Your Name! ♪

"Everybody Knows Their Names: The GQ Oral History of Cheers." (Single page version.) On the thirtieth anniversary of the premiere of Cheers, GQ "sat down with just about everyone who made it." Also, Christopher Lloyd, Amy Poehler and Shawn Ryan talk about what they learned from the show. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 27, 2012 - 145 comments

Terra Nova, formerly Incognito

In a twist worthy of a bestseller or blockbuster, the remains of the shipwrecked Terra Nova have been identified just off the coast of Greenland, just in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Scott's ill-fated attempt to become the first man to reach the south pole. On 6 June 1911 Robert Falcon Scott, who was born in Plymouth, celebrated his 43rd birthday at the south pole expedition base camp at Cape Evans. On 29 March 1912 he and his companions finally starved and froze to death in their tent, 11 miles from a supply cache, on the march back from discovering that the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten them to the pole.
posted by infini on Aug 20, 2012 - 24 comments

"...women get this movie much quicker than men."

Four Men. Forty Years. An interview with Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox about Deliverance, on the film's 40th anniversary. Additional interviews: Collider. THR
posted by zarq on Jul 9, 2012 - 47 comments

Sing us a Song to Keep us Warm, There's Such a Chill

In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep" and the success of sophomore record The Bends, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead were under pressure to deliver once more. So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor and got to work. What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity -- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology -- through a mosaic of challenging, innovative, eerily beautiful music unlike anything else at the time. Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments, the band finally settled on OK Computer, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 16, 2012 - 66 comments

The U.S.'s West Coast Icon Turns 75

The Golden Gate Bridge is 75 years old today. They had a daylong celebration culminating in a spectacular fireworks display. These people had an excellent view of the finale.
posted by NetizenKen on May 28, 2012 - 12 comments

Star Wars 35th Anniversary -- the music edition

May 25, 1977 - 2012. Celebrate 35 years of Star Wars by getting your groove on with Meco's classic Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on May 24, 2012 - 21 comments

Marriage may have changed, but love has not. It still makes people say crazy things. And it’s still a glue that no one has control of.

The New York Times' "Vows" column is turning 20. Lois Smith Brady revisits some of the first couples covered in the column which she has written since its inception (alone for the first decade, and as one of several writers in its second). A companion article describes how the column came about and how it (and the couples it covers) have changed over the years. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on May 20, 2012 - 16 comments

"Fenway is the essence of baseball"

Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark. Everything is painted green and seems in curiously sharp focus, like the inside of an old-fashioned peeping-type Easter egg. It was built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1934, and offers, as do most Boston artifacts, a compromise between Man's Euclidean determinations and Nature's beguiling irregularities. So wrote John Updike in his moving tribute to Red Sox legend Ted Williams -- an appropriately pedigreed account for this oldest and most fabled of ballfields that saw its first major league game played one century ago today. As a team in flux hopes to recapture the magic with an old-school face-off against the New York Highlanders Yankees, it's hard to imagine the soul of the Sox faced the specter of demolition not too long ago. Now legally preserved, in a sport crowded with corporate-branded superdome behemoths, Fenway abides, bursting with history, idiosyncrasy, record crowds, and occasional song. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 20, 2012 - 48 comments

Waiting for justice

Today is the third anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. And India, tired of waiting, wants answers. [more inside]
posted by infini on Nov 25, 2011 - 8 comments

An MP3 player that became your buddy

The iPod turns 10 Today marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the iPod. Touted in a low-key presentation as a player that would let you carry 1000 (!) songs in a player the size of a pack of cards (!), the 1st gen model didn't really impress techies (or mefi), though consumers quickly fell for the stylish white and stainless player. In the ensuing years, Apple kept plugging away at new models, and today, few even remember that Apple was late to this game. (previously)
posted by Gilbert on Oct 23, 2011 - 318 comments

Fifty years ago today, a whole lot of light bulbs went on

Fifty years ago today, Richard Feynman gave the first of his famous lectures at Caltech. [more inside]
posted by SNACKeR on Sep 26, 2011 - 55 comments

Cat-Scan.com

Cat-Scan.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by Argyle on Jul 14, 2011 - 255 comments

Happy anniversary, Neptune!

Tomorrow evening, at roughly 9:50 in the evening GMT, marks the first anniversary (more or less) of the discovery of Neptune.
posted by Dim Siawns on Jul 10, 2011 - 35 comments

"That son of a bitch WILL fly!"

The Rocketeer: [SLVimeo] Homage To Dave Stevens - "The Rocketeer 20th Anniversary" fan-film by John Banana.
posted by Fizz on Jun 27, 2011 - 28 comments

Over 70 Billion Gold Rings Served

Twenty years ago today, the gaming world saw the launch of a truly landmark title: Sonic the Hedgehog. Developed as a vehicle for a new Sega mascot, the fluid, vibrant, cheery-tuned wonderland swiftly became the company's flagship product, inspiring over the ensuing decades an increasingly convoluted universe of TV shows, comic books, and dozens of games on a variety of systems (all documented in this frighteningly comprehensive TVTropes portal). And while in recent years the series has turned out more and more mediocre 3D and RPG efforts, the original games remain crown jewels of the 16-bit era. So why not kick off this anniversary by replaying the titles that started it all for free in your browser: Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992), Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994), Sonic & Knuckles (1994). Or click inside for music, remakes, and other fun stuff! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 23, 2011 - 71 comments

"It is better to live for one day as a tiger, than to live for a thousand years as a sheep."

Amnesty International, 50 Years: Standing Up For Freedom (Vimeo. YouTube.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 18, 2011 - 18 comments

"AIDS at 30: A time capsule," by Bill Hayes

Look back in wonder.
Prepare for the next time.
Do not forget us.
[more inside]
posted by docgonzo on Jun 7, 2011 - 6 comments

Fading to yellow in a brown leather frame.

67 years ago today, 150, 000 allied troops landed on 5 beaches on the coast of France that were defended by Rommel and about 60,000 troops of the Nazi Wermacht. Today is the D-Day landings anniversary. Lest we forget.
posted by dazed_one on Jun 6, 2011 - 62 comments

Funeral money in the contamination zone: living with Chernobyl, 25 years after the accident

Nadezhda Korotkaya, 77, a widow who lives alone in her small wooden house on the edge of Stary Vyshkov, still remembers the World War II. "The Germans came and went," she said. "But Chernobyl came here to stay." It was 25 years ago today that reactor number four at the Chernobyl power plant exploded, following an emergency shutdown (detailed recounting of the disaster on Wikipedia). A memorial was held in Kiev, Ukraine, this morning for the liquidators who were the first human responders, with a bell struck at the exact moment of the Chernobyl explosion on April 26, 1986. See also: a look back, with The Big Picture. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 26, 2011 - 23 comments

X day

OS X is X today! Meanwhile, Bertrand Serlet, father of OS X, is leaving apple.
posted by Artw on Mar 24, 2011 - 123 comments

.

Today is the 8th Anniversary of the beginning of the War in Iraq. Protesters around the country are trying to bring attention to our nation's continued involvement.
posted by whimsicalnymph on Mar 20, 2011 - 38 comments

"Slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."

Challenger . . . . go with throttle up. Twenty-five years ago today the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into the 25th space shuttle flight. The reports (pdf) tell us of O-Ring failures. Today, we remember one of the most tragic days in the history of the U.S. manned spaceflight program. Today, January 28, 2011, we remember: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.
posted by IvoShandor on Jan 28, 2011 - 100 comments

Smosh's Pokemon Theme Song REVENGE

Five years and more than one hundred videos after their debut on Youtube, Smosh has released a video as a 5-year-anniversary celebratory video, taking stabs at the powers that be within YouTube. [more inside]
posted by MHPlost on Nov 28, 2010 - 13 comments

Happy 25th to the SUPER Mario Bros, Peach and Bowser

September 13, 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the original Japanese release of Super Mario Bros, featuring the return of everyone's favorite sailor, Popeye. That's not right, he's the Italian carpenter, Mario. Wait, now he's a plumber with a brother (named Luigi Mario), and they're not normal, they're super! And they're fighting to save Princess Peach Toadstool from an angry ox king, who became the stubborn but cute turtle Bowser. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 13, 2010 - 58 comments

A half-hour in 1990

On August 28th 1990, between 3:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. a devastating tornado ripped a 16.4 mile-long path through portions of Kendall and Will counties in northern Illinois. At its strongest, the tornado was rated F5, the highest rating a tornado can be given. A total of 29 people were killed and 350 more were injured. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Aug 19, 2010 - 23 comments

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