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]
The Film Archive is an eclectic collection of full-length television and films, focusing mostly on the 30’s to the 60’s, that include teenage self-help films, the first televised Nixon / Kennedy debate, nuclear preparation films, exploitation/propaganda movies of every era, and much more.
Mattel's Hot Wheels for Real campaign documents "the existence of a testing facility 'hidden for 43 years,' where all sorts of bad-ass driving happens on huge Hot Wheels tracks." Their first real world stunt: a Guinness world record 332 ft. jump off a giant orange track at this year's Indy 500.
Over 100 full episodes of the Marlin Perkins-hosted television show Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (previously) are now available on YouTube. That is all.
Boxer - the DOS game emulator that’s fit for your Mac, making it beautifully, trivially easy to run DOS games [via]
You may not be familiar with the name Mel Birnkrant, but if you've played with toys in the last 45 years, you're probably familiar with his work. [more inside]
How They Look Now is a LJ community with one focus: finding more current pictures of past stars, from that kid in those 1980s Moody Blues videos (who went on to star on stage and screen), to the diverse cast of Legend (1985 trailer).
The idea behind Whatever Happened To Alternative Nation? is to look back at an era that’s both incredibly important and yet mysteriously absent from my life as a music fan. Part 1: 1990: “Once upon a time, I could love you”. Part 2: 1991: “What’s so civil about war anyway?” Part 3: 1992: Pearl Jam, the perils of fame, and the trouble with avoiding it
Past, I'd like to introduce you to the present. "Letters Home relies on contributions. We are nothing without readers who are willing to share their stories or respond to others. We don’t think we’re alone in wondering what’s happened to our childhood homes since we left. Or in wanting to share an important event that occurred there – from a birthday party to a marriage proposal, a secret revealed to a lie concealed. Write a letter to the present occupant (even if it’s still family), the owner of the store that now stands on that lot, whatever or whoever might be there now, and share your memory. Ask them to respond with their own story and photo. Their letter and photo will then be added to your post." How Letters Home works?
I'm Remembering has pics of things that people aged 30-40 will remember from their childhood and adolescence. Who could forget Tiger Handheld games, Hypercolor shirts, Paint With Water books, Surge soda, Scholastic Book Club, Slice cola, Madballs, Ring Pops, and, last but not least, Zack Morris's cellphone?
Britain's longest running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine came to an end on Sunday, gathering 5.4 million viewers rather than the 20 million of its heyday. Filmed in Holmfirth, Yorkshire it followed the exploits of playful, cantankerous retirees for 37 years. Though the last bathtub has rolled, Britons can watch the final episode on Iplayer. Location map, some quotes, scriptwriter Roy Clarke interview. We won't see its like again, but you can hear Ronnie Hazlehurst's theme tune set to words for Compo's funeral.
Retrospace will bring back all those memories. '70s home decor. '80s teen comedies. Lifestyle magazines from 1977. And so much more. So very very much more. [more inside]
"'BANZAI!' is what Woodstock would have been screaming had he been wired into a vocoder at the moment."
Funny, apocalyptic cultural-mashup stories circulated as text files from the hoary days of the Internet's early-'90s adolescence: A Peanuts Halloween II: Electric Boogaloo1 and Apocalypse Now (Or in That General Time Area): A Different Twist on the Final Judgement of Mankind2, both by Gary Achenbach (a/k/a Subgenius Rev. Gar Drastic); Day of the Barney3 and Son of Barney4 by Brian Bull; and Star Wars: the Purple Sith5, by Ali Hadden. [more inside]
Toy Story 3 hits theaters today, and it's already winning universal acclaim as an enchanting and heartbreaking wonderwork, employing understated 3D and a "real-time" perspective that deftly capitalizes on the nostalgia and can't-go-home-again angst of a generation that grew up with the series. It has a strong pedigree, with 11-year-old predecessor Toy Story 2 the rare sequel to equal its forebear, 1995's Toy Story (itself the first CGI feature in history). And it joins a lofty stable of films: over the last 15 years, Pixar has put out an unbroken chain of ten commercial and critical successes that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide and collected 24 Academy Awards (including the second-ever Best Picture nom for animation with Up), a legacy that rivals some of the greatest franchises in film history. But there's rumbling on the horizon. Although the studio has been hailed for its originality (of the 50 top-grossing movies in history, only nine were original stories -- and five of them were by Pixar), two of their upcoming projects are sequels, both of them based some of their least-acclaimed films (Cars 2 in 2011 and Monsters, Inc. 2 in 2012). And while 2012 will also bring
The Bear and the Bow Brave, the first Pixar flick to feature a female protagonist [previously], fellow newcomer Newt has been canceled. With WALL-E/Up/Toy Story 3 guru Andrew Stanton focusing on his 2012 adaptation of John Carter of Mars and with forays into live-action already in development, does this mark the end of the golden age of Pixar? Or is this latest entry lasting proof that even the toughest case of sequelitis can be raised to the level of masterpiece? [more inside]
They'er ugly! They're weird! They're tiny! They're terrible! And they're pink! They're Kinkeshi, er MUSCLE Things!
"As a child, there was nothing to me more fantastic than than the M.U.S.C.L.E. toys. I don't know if it's just my love for the weird, or the fact that I like pro-wrestling that makes it so special to me, but there's something about a guy from outer space with a fin on his head who would fight against a walking, talking urinal. That's right, a urinal." In the US, they were known as Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere, or M.U.S.C.L.E., but they were basically bendable plastic duplicates of Kinkeshi, a line of collectable erasers from Japan. More than peachy-salmon colored minifigs, they were based on the world of Kinnikuman, which started as manga in 1979, then an anime series, and more, and more, and more... [more inside]
Vintage Polly Pockets forever! Maybe you had the old-school compact beach house or Polly's Cafe. Maybe you had an awesome Polly Pocket Locket. Maybe your parents were the best ever and you had a full set of f'in awesome Pollyville houses, complete with tiny cars and balloons and pets and other pieces designed to be lost the minute the package was opened. Thankfully, Only Polly Pocket is here to help you identify every Polly set you ever owned. [more inside]
The Commodore 64 - arguably the most influential PC in history - is back. They've beefed up the specs a bit.
From 1980 - 1988, a science education series called 3-2-1 Contact ran on PBS. Produced by Children's Television Workshop, the series was geared toward an older audience than other popular CTW offerings Sesame Street and The Electric Company, and focused on teaching kids about science, math and the world around them. [more inside]
Space: 1999 (1975-77) is a British sci-fi series, the last production of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson who were first recognized for their work in "Supermarionation." This series saw the end of the couple, with Sylvia Anderson leaving the show at the end of the first season. She was replaced by Fred Freiberger, who brought in some Star Trek sensibilities and attempted to cater the show more to the American action-adventure audience. A third season was planned but not produced, and left the series unfinished, ending on an episode that was "like bad Shakespeare, or worse, bad Star Trek." Fans still support the show in many forms, even creating a semi-official fan-produced mini-episode entitled Message from Moonbase Alpha to bring some completion to the series, which was shown on September 13, 1999 at the Breakaway: 1999 convention. Another group of fans has recently taken to updating the whole series, to bring Space:1999 into the future. [more inside]
Seventeen (Youtube), a music video by Matt Kresling, makes use of his yearbooks from high school, the music collaboration site Kompoz, a green screen, and a mean ukelele. [more inside]
"We might not be aware of it, but we're all watching more computer generated television these days." [SLYT]
Let's take a jaunt back, to the early days of DOS, from the early 1980s to early 1990s. Way back to IBM PC DOS 1.00 and 1.10. Back when Bill Gates wrote code. This was the time of avoiding donkeys on the road (gameplay), gorillas lobbing explosive bananas over skyscrapers (gameplay) and a hungry line named Nibbles [a variant of the older Snake game] (gameplay). So have at it! Gorillas recreated in Flash | Flash tribute to Gorillas, with updated graphics | Snake | two-player Nibbles | Radical Snake (now with curves) | Snake (like Radical Snake, but with landscape obstacles) | Nibblets (All 10 original levels from the QBasic game Nibbles, but with a new control system) | Snake/Nibbles for Vim (download) | Donkey (QBasic source code)
TheSmartAss.info's suite of Java emulators allows smooth, in-browser playback of literally thousands of old-school video games: 517 Atari titles, 148 for DOS, 636 Game Boy games (and 410 for Game Boy Color), 2,019 (!) NES titles, 238 GameGear games, 802 Sega Genesis titles, and 284 for the Sega Master System. Highlights include Space Invaders, Frogger, Galaga, Pitfall!, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, SimCity, Zero Wing, Duke Nukem, Sonic the Hedgehog, Aladdin, Earthworm Jim, Pokemon, and Metal Gear Solid. Use the search function to find your favorites! You can also register an account to save games on emulators that support it. Make sure to check the purple bar below each game for control info and links to alternate emulators in case the default one is buggy or slow.
Petoskey Stones are stones of fossilized coral (Hexagonaria percarinata ) that can be found along the shore of Lake Michigan near the town of Petoskey (Population 6,000). Once polished, they can be beautiful, and are often made into jewelry. It is the state stone of Michigan and is celebrated in an annual festival. The origin of the name of the stone, however, is under contention. [more inside]
Autumn, by Roger Ebert. The season of new beginnings and the forever-remembered smell of burning leaves. [more inside]
Hey Paisanos! It's the Super Mario Brother's Super Show! Hosted by Captain Lou Albano ( previously ) as Mario and Danny Wells as Lugi, the show boasted an unusual list of guest stars including Elvira, Magic Johnson, Erine Hudson, Moon Zappa, Regina Williams (with Capt. Lou in drag) , and in a meta-twist, Cyndi Lauper trying to find Captain Lou himself. [more inside]
Saturday morning cartoons were once a staple of American television, but by the year 2000 they had all but disappeared. Of course, the Internet never forgets. Case in point: Cartoon Network Video -- a free, searchable, ad-supported service that provides hundreds of full-length episodes of classic shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and The Powerpuff Girls, as well as current offerings and scads of shorter material. Too recent for you? Then give Kids WB Video a whirl -- it does the same thing with the same interface, but for older programs like Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Thundercats, and the original Space Ghost. If you're in the mood to learn (and don't mind some live-action), PBS Kids Video has educational fare such as Arthur, Wishbone, and Zoom. And don't forget about Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, The Magic Schoolbus and Schoolhouse Rock! Now if only we had some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs...
Punctuality, privacy, dead time, concentration: all dead or dying at the hands of the Internet, according to this list in the Daily Telegraph.
Only at festivals with no Wi-Fi signals can the gullible be tricked into believing that David Hasslehoff [sic] has passed away. [more inside]
Only at festivals with no Wi-Fi signals can the gullible be tricked into believing that David Hasslehoff [sic] has passed away. [more inside]
The amazing products and lifestyles that would be at your fingertips if you lived 50 years ago and had a magazine subscription.
Old-time radio (often abbreviated as "OTR," also known as the Golden Age of Radio) refers to a period of radio programming in the United States lasting from the proliferation of radio broadcasting in the early 1920s until television's replacement of radio as the dominant home entertainment medium in the 1950s, with some programs continuing into the early 1960s. The origin of radio dramas in the United States is hard to pin down, but there is evidence of a remote broadcast of a play in 1914 at Normal College (now California State University at San José), and the first serial radio drama was an adaptation of a play by Eugene Walter, entitled "The Wolf," which aired in September 1922. Given the age of the programs and the fact that home reel-to-reel recording started in the 1950s (followed by Philips "compact cassettes" in 1963), it might be surprising that quite a few of these old shows have survived. Thanks in part to original radio station-sourced recordings made on aluminum discs, acetates, and glass recordings and other unnamed sources, many radio dramas and newscasts from decades past are available online, and more are being digitized and restored to this day. [more inside]
This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, or to give its official name, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, a little get-together held at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York. It's not like Woodstock hasn't been picked apart to death for every year around this time, but since this is the 40th year since it happened, there seems to be more than the usual nostalgia fest going on. [more inside]
Andy's Gang - 1 2 3: "The green puppet, Froggy the Gremlin, appeared in a puff of smoke, and was always interrupting the story." [more inside]
100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About a rather comprehensive list, ranging from the gone-and-forgotten (22: Using jumpers to set IRQs) to the not-yet-extinct-but going-there (41: Phone books and Yellow Pages). But missing a few like 101: wired.com not being a nostalgia site and 102: getting punished for calling your dad a geek.
8-bit Weezer. Video game music netlabel Pterodactyl Squad has released an 8-bit album tribute to Weezer, for free.
Home Movie Reconstructions 1974 / 2004 MeFi's own dziga takes family movies from 1974, revisits the locations 30 years later with the same people doing the same things. Amazing. [via mefi projects]
If you love 1970s food-related advertising mascots as much as I do, you'll probably love Waffle Whiffer's blog. Loads of old posts on fast food characters, sugar cereal boxes, and even pogs! The Waffle Whiffer's flickr stream is a similar treasure trove of goodies with too many worth mentioning. Ok, just one: who knew the Thompson Twins had such great iconography (and why did they do a deal with Cap'n Crunch?)?
Sunday at Big Rec Field in Golden Gate Park, the hometown San Francisco Pacifics trounced the Aces 15-5.