History

The Beer Bomb

Tuesday October 02, 2012

Back in the 1950s, the U.S. was ready for nuclear war. And we mean really ready for nuclear war. Entire government departments were dedicated to working out what the country might look like after the USSR tried to end life as they knew it. 

Life on a Lighter

Saturday September 29, 2012

There weren't many civilian items GIs could take with them into Charlie's Jungle. The Zippo was an exception.

Gallery of Ghost Signs

Wednesday September 26, 2012

There's something wonderful about the hubris implied in signs and advertisement painted on to buildings. The presumption that whatever was in that building right then was going to continue to be in that building until it was torn down by the ravages of time. 

Presidential ads from 1952 till now

Tuesday September 18, 2012

There's a fine art to the political attack ad. The heightened rhetoric, the suggestive images, the terrifying music – everything is carefully calibrated to induce a maximum of fear with a minimum of fact. Bemoan them as we might, they're impressive pieces of emotional engineering.

Darwin on Marriage

Saturday September 15, 2012

Trust Darwin to take a particularly reductive view of the necessity of love and marriage. 

Another Time and Place

Thursday September 13, 2012

Frank Zappa in The Big Lebowski? James Dean in Rushmore? Charlton Heston in Pulp Fiction? The Rat Pack in The Hangover?

Zeppelins Are Back

Friday September 07, 2012

The ol' zeppelin got a pretty bad rap post-Hindenburg and outside of the gaseous behemoths floating above cricket grounds there hasn't been much call for them since World War II. Until now.

Edison Shoots Twain

Thursday August 30, 2012

Mark Twain died in 1910, so there wasn't a lot of time to get him in front of a movie camera. The cameras themselves were big, the technology rudimentary and Twain had never really evinced a passion for performance.

Six-Day Racing

Monday August 27, 2012

Held on indoor velodromes, six-day racing encourages folks to ride until they wobble off the track.

The real viking

Thursday August 02, 2012

We all know what vikings look like: long, ragged beards, horned helmets, lots of nasty/heroic scars and a general ambience of dirt. They were men's men, killing at will and laughing in the face of personal hygiene. Or were they?