“It smelled like death”: An oral history of the Double Dare obstacle course:
This Wednesday night, Nickelodeon will air a special commemorative episode of Double Dare celebrating the show’s 30th anniversary year. Summers will return, along with announcer John Harvey and production assistant Robin Russo. In the spirit of that super sloppy reunion, The A.V. Club set out to discover the origins of the obstacle course, the show’s most memorable and popular segment.
Racist Objects The New York Times and the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia are partnering to collect stories of personal encounters with racist objects, like producer Logan Jaffe's grandmother's salt and pepper shakers. [more inside]
Stressed Out is a song from Blurryface, the fourth studio album by Twenty One Pilots. Released in April 2015, the song reached #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100, #1 on Hot Rock Songs and Mainstream Top 40, and is certified 4x platinum The video features many relatives of the band, and was filmed mostly in the Ohio childhood home of the drummer. The lyrics, a recent NYT review of the band at Madison Square Garden and a New Yorker piece, and a previous mention in MetaFilter.
Philadelphia's 30th Street Station is home to one of the few remaining "split-flap display" departure boards. The flipping, clicking board, which is managed on four desktop computers running Windows 95, will soon be replaced by a digital display. Other stations' split-flap display boards have been replaced by digital displays that try and mimic the look and sounds of the original. Aficionados and nostalgics, take note: the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg may be acquiring 30th Street's board. Interested in seeing a split-flap board in action before they're all gone? Wikipedia has a list of remaining boards around the world.
As TGI Friday's goes minimalist, signalling the demise of restaurant Americana kitsch, what happens to all the antiques? Containing a pretty fascinating and comprehensive history of the development of the "good-time" chain restaurant/bar and the antique-picking and design work that created its signature feel. Previously.
In the days before widespread cable TV with electronic menus, people relied on print guides to know what to watch and when to watch it. The regional New York paper Newsday had its resident staff artist Gary Viskupic provide illustrations for the movies, specials, and day-to-day programs. Nostalgia blog don't parade on my rain has a collection of scans showing Viskupic's trippy, macabre line art, giving a certain amount of panache to the rather pedestrian world of TV Scheduling. Part 1 (including: Kubrick's 2001, NBC Reports: But is this Progress?, Hellstrom Chronicle) and Part 2 (including: Rosemary's Baby, The Marx Bro's Coconauts, Bunny of the Year Pageant). [more inside]
Starting Aug 1, cable channel VH1 Classic will disappear and be replaced by MTV Classic. The debut hour of television will replicate the first hour of MTV, aired 35 years previously to the day. After that, the format will include reruns of TRL and Unplugged and Beavis & Butthead and Daria and a lot of other favorites. Plus, apparently, music videos! The Hollywood Reporter has the most complete scoop on the change / debut / reboot.
Netflix’s sci-fi throwback Stranger Things is Yesterday’s Summer Blockbuster Today [A.V. Club] Stranger Things is stylish, beguiling, and eminently bingeable, but it isn’t skeptic-proof. The Duffer brothers, who previously worked on Fox’s surprisingly compelling Wayward Pines, should know by now that open-ended supernatural mysteries are going to dissuade some viewers, particularly those who have felt duped by such stories in the recent past. But anyone willing to push through their resistance will find a borderline hypnotic show that could be to this summer what USA’s Mr. Robot was to last summer: a hyper-stylized niche series that feels essential even at its wobbliest. [more inside]
On Reading Issues of Wired from 1993 to 1995, by Anna Wiener
Captain Disillusion (previously) has himself become disillusioned with his own show's format. Fortunately, a mentor from another era has returned to give him guidance.
Imagine it's the Fall of 1987 and you recently saw The Princess Bride (trailer). Then you heard that Fred Savage was back, in an oddly familiar setting with another story, this time about dinosaurs. You might be thrilled to see Dinosaurs! A Fun-Filled Trip Back In Time! (full film), even if you've already seen Will Vinton's clayanimation that was used as part of a dream sequence of sorts. Flash forward to the present day and you might do a bit of research on the "prehistoric monsters" featured in the short film and find some of the details less than accurate. [more inside]
Happy Vintage Pyrex Addiction / Rare Vintage Pyrex (Pinterest) | Vintage Pyrex Kitchenware (article, Collector's Weekly) | Pattern Reference and This Is NOT Pyrex (blog posts from Pyrex Love) | How to Tell Old Pyrex from Really Old Pyrex (blog post, Cara Corey) | 3 Reasons I Love (and Collect) Vintage Pyrex (The Kitchn) | Previously: now we're cooking with glass, American Pyrex Less Resistant to Thermal Shock
Mary J. Breen writes for The Toast. She's a 71 year old Canadian. She wrote an essay about high school dances back when sock hops meant wearing your bobby socks. And now, fifty-five years later, I do wonder why I kept going to those dances, though of course teenagers do things for tangled, overlapping reasons, reasons both complicated and simple, critical and shallow, and most of all, for reasons deeply unclear to themselves. Back then, wanting to be in a certain place at a certain time with certain people felt like it had life-or-death consequences. So yes, I felt I had to keep going to those dances.
Fetishizing Family Farms Broken families, underground vice, and sexual variance - not stability - characterized the American family farm for most of its history, argues historian Gabriel Rosenberg. [more inside]
Remember Hardy Boys #58: Fucking Run, The Sun Exploded? Or the Sweet Valley Twins classic, Go Apologize To God? Relive these and other classic young adult titles, thanks to the literary archivists at Paperback Paradise.
Game artist Jude Wilson, like many of us, spent a lot of time playing Goldeneye (previously) on the Nintendo 64. Videogame graphics have come a long way in the nineteen years since Goldeneye was released, so Jude undertook to recreate part of one level in Unreal Engine 4 for his portfolio. [more inside]
Space 1970 :: Journey with us back to the days when special effects were created by skillful hands and spaceships were detailed models, when robots were obligatory comedy relief, when square-jawed heroes and cloaked villains battled among the stars -- and the future was fun!
Taxster reviews all of today's hottest P2P programs: KaZaA, Morpheus, Limewire, eDonkey2000, and more! [more inside]
My Dark California Dream. Confusing one’s own youth with the youth of the world is a common human affliction, but California has been changing so fast for so long that every new generation gets to experience both a fresh version of the California dream and, typically by late middle-age, its painful death. [more inside]
"There's a snideness about it that is in keeping with the experience and the inner life of being a certain kind of teenager. It's very anti-earnest. There was a moment after the period where that song came out where everything was humorless and grotesque. But after that, it seems like what happened was that everything got pretty earnest." Why Harvey Danger's '90s alt-rock hit "Flagpole Sitta" endures. [more inside]
Ayman Rostom had a penchant for nostalgic productions in his music, which isn't surprising given how he studied his brother's tapes of Yo! MTV Raps back in the day, which lead to his career as Dr. Zygote and his own Boot Records label (Bandcamp). More recently, he's taken the handle The Maghreban and embraced stripped-down house-type beats that he releases on his Zoot Records label, though in his new video for Now Easy, the focus is on his love of oldschool drum'n'bass. [more inside]
The Wheel of Time Reread by Leigh Butler [TOR.COM]
Hello! Welcome to the introductory post of a new blog series on Tor.com, The Wheel of Time Re-read. This is in preparation for the publication of the next and last book in the series, A Memory of Light, which is[more inside]
scheduled to bepublished this fall. My name is Leigh Butler, and I’ll be your hostess for the festivities. I’m very excited to be a part of this project, and I hope you will enjoy it as well.
Someday this country’s gonna be a fine, good place to be. Maybe it needs our bones in the ground before that time can come: An essay on the summer of the Atomic Bomb, by Joni Tevis. Originally published in The Diagram
Here's Dinosaur Dracula, a pop culture retro nostalgia site from the guys who formerly brought us X-Entertainment (currently "down for repairs"), the subject of many many MeFi posts. Some pages of interest:
- TV Guide listings for Halloween 1990
- Excerpts from the 1989, 1992, 1998 and 1999 Sears Wish Books.
- Comic Book Ads.
- The Masters of the Universe Slime Pit, which had great instructions, and the sliming of Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart. There's more....
Walt Disney - "An unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America's most enduring and influential storytellers -- Walt Disney."
Sometimes I wanna take you down, sometimes I wanna get you low. 'Cause you're a human supernova. I'm looking for answers from the great beyond. You're older than you've ever been, and now you're even older. Oh, get off the air! I'm on the stereo, stereo. Now check-ch-check-check-check-ch-check it out: It's 90s Bands on TV. [more inside]
Megasoid started in the winter of 2006/2007 as a Montreal-based mobile soundsystem making aggressive street-bass and remix music. For the following 3 years Vaughn Robert Squire and Hadji Bakara spent their time playing their music out of vans, throwing amps in basements for live sets, lugging modular synths to rooftops of hotels, and setting up big PAs under bridges and at after-hours spots [more inside]
Ernest Cline’s Armada is everything wrong with gaming culture wrapped up in one soon-to-be–best-selling novel
Taking on the dreamy, compelling sound of the lost soul decades is a damn high bar to set for yourself. Soul revivalists usually don’t get very far in my book, because what’s the point of competing with the likes of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding? Listening to Leon Bridges made me do a 180 on that stance. See, if you actually can hold a candle to legends like Cooke and Redding — and Bridges can — then there’s no reason not to indulge in some nostalgia.NPR has a first listen of Coming Home, Bridges' debut album, and you can see and hear plenty more of him on YouTube, from a live cover of Cooke's "Nothing Can Change This Love" to a solo performance of "Lisa Sawyer," a reflective song about his mother. [more inside]
What did he do in Mark Lawrenson's kitbag ? Ian McIntosh of the Guardian's on-hiatus "Football Weekly" tells the evocative tale of proto-70's legend Robin Friday, soccer's first rock star. (SLGrauniad audio - NFSW)
"Why so Poky? The scourge of terrible canonical children’s books." by Gabriel Roth, Slate
Reading to one’s children is, as everyone knows, one of the great pleasures of parenthood. I love the creaturely warmth of my daughter snuggled up close and the feeling of giving her something intrinsically human and necessary. And Eliza loves being read to. She enjoys the stories and the pictures, but more than that, I think, she responds to the mental intimacy: the knowledge that she and I are looking at the same pages and interpreting the same sentences. It’s a balm for the terrible isolation that arrives around age 2, along with language and self-consciousness—the knowledge that one’s experience is inescapably private. And so the time I spend reading to her can feel, for both of us, like communion.[more inside]
Lomography is style of pop photography based around the quirky cameras by the Austrian camera manufacturer known as Lomo. There are several camera types that fall under the lomography genre. Among some of the more popular, are the Diana and Holga. These cameras, and (all of them in the Lomo line) are usually poor technical cameras. They are "poorly" built and often have light leaks, poor alignment of their lenses or other defects. [more inside]
"Some games make an enormous impact on you when you play them, and time and technology do little to diminish that impact. I feel that way about quite a few games: Elite, Super Mario Bros, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are three that immediately come to mind. Secret of Mana is without question a fourth." [more inside]
A grown-ass man replays Final Fantasy VII. The unfortunate part about replaying Final Fantasy VII is realizing that it is terrible. I mean, not terrible terrible, but it’s bad the way, say, a very old sci-fi movie is bad. It is enjoyable exclusively with mountains of qualifiers, with context and air-quotes and, preferably, your own reminiscences filling it in, making its absurdities lovable.
He held the world record for the longest-running talk show in history, interviewing everyone from notables to nobodies from 1950 to 1993, continuing to work on NYC radio up until his death. He was an early advocate of film preservation and got his start selling jokes to the likes of Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson.
Joe Franklin has died at age 88. [more inside]
Joe Franklin has died at age 88. [more inside]
Like beer and pop music, it was easy to make do with what’s cheap and available, only to look back on a life of Dave Matthews and Bud Light and wonder why I’d gotten by on “good enough.” Because I am aging, and because I have the memory of the original Tamagotchi, I am profoundly grateful to have these clear, high-resolution photos of the people I loved and love. [more inside]
Royal Mail 'special stamps' have been produced in the UK for fifty years since 1965, when the new postmaster general, Tony Benn, expanded the criteria for commemorative stamps to include representations of British life and culture.
Search Engine Land (December 27, 2014): "The Yahoo Directory, the core part of how Yahoo itself began in 1994, officially closed today, five days ahead of when Yahoo had said the end would come." The Internet Archive save of Yahoo for October 1996. [more inside]
"Rankin/Bass made 18 specials, of varying length and ambition, between 1964 and 1985. Nearly all of these films revolve around the performance of some Christmas song or another. Nearly all of them deal with the crippling scars of childhood shame. And nearly all of them are completely off the rails insane." Vox's Todd VanDerWerff watches, and ranks, all 18 Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials.
"With Christmas not far away, you may start seeing ads for video games that try to marry the VCR with traditional board games. Unhappily, that marriage more often resembles the bickering Lockhorns than the mild-mannered Nelsons. Here's a look at three of the games now
out in 1986." But that's only a snapshot of the dynamic world of VCR board games, which peaked in the early 1990s with the Atmosfear series, known as Nightmare in Australia, where the game series was a huge cross-media empire, bigger than "Crocodile" Dundee. Another significant game was Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game, if for no other reason that it is canon and expands the story of the second Death Star. There are less than 100 VCR board games, and the videos for many of them are currently online, with more game documents and details on Board Game Geeks. By the end of the 1990s, the VCR was on the way out, replaced by DVD board games. Let's browse the isles of toy stores past, thanks to the crowd-sourced nostalgia that is the internet. [more inside]
Groove Is in the Heart celebrates the ritual of recording a compilation tape in the days before the infinite jukebox of the internet. [5-minute Guardian microplay] [more inside]
"If you want to hear music, you know what you do - you turn on the radio, put on a CD, or even go to a concert. But as the age of the info superhighway inches forward, you can even get music from your own home computer." That's the intro to a short CNN segment on IUMA, the Internet Underground Music Archive, which opened in 1992 as an effort for unsigned bands to share their music on the world-wide web, for free. Unfortunately, it fell the way of many early 1990s online entities: it was bought out, then the new owners couldn't keep up with changing times, and the site went dark. Except before IUMA disappeared, John Gilmore grabbed much of the material and backed it up on tapes, and turned to (MeFi's Own) Jason Scott and Archive.org to bring back IUMA. They did, and you can now browse through over 45,000 bands and artists, and more than 680,000 tracks of music.