Matthew says: "[Here's} a video I put together featuring the opening titles for 20 different American game shows of the 1950s. Unfortunately, I was unable to get copies of 50s game shows from other countries. Most of the shows featured in this video were legit, a few of them weren't. Most of these aired live, so expect the occasional technical fault. The episodes excerpted in this video can be viewed in their entirety on the Internet Archive"
Silicon Valley is a new comedy series premiering April 6th on HBO. It's created by Mike Judge (Beavis & Butt-Head
, Office Space
Silicon Valley was co-created with comedy veteran Alec Berg (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm). The eight-episode first season will feature four directed by Judge, two directed by Berg, and one apiece from Tricia Brock (Breaking Bad, Girls) and Maggie Carey (The To-Do List).
Silicon Valley: Mike Judge's new HBO series
I liked pint-sized commercial pitchman Mason Reese when I was a kid, and after seeing this old video of Mason interviewing Leonard Nimoy about Star Trek, I like him even more.
Here's another video of Mason bursting into tears when he realizes that Harry Chapin is about to perform "Cat's in the Cradle" on The Mike Douglas Show.
Mason has been uploading his TV appearances to YouTube. Catch them here.
(Via the A.V. Club)
Fixed is a web app designed to beat parking tickets. Take a photo of the ticket, choose your reason to contest the ticket, and click the button. Fixed will charge you 25% of the ticket price if they get it dismissed. I tried to sign up, but the website said they are overloaded with new customers.
"We do not have concerns if people want to use a third-party service, but there is no secret to overturning a citation if it has been issued erroneously. If someone feels that their citation was written in error, they might want to consider protesting themselves, for free," said Paul Rose, a spokesperson for San Francisco's transportation agency.
San Francisco issues about 1.5 million parking tickets every year, typically for $45 to $115 each (there are also some significantly pricier violations, such as having an expired plate or abandoning a car on a highway). The fines add up to about $95 million a year, according to Hegarty.
Of those 1.5 million citations, only five percent are actually contested. And of that small amount, only 30% are actually overturned, according to Rose. There are three rounds of appeals -- two by mail and a court hearing.
New app helps you fight parking tickets (Thanks, Matthew!)
My friend Bob Knetzger recently went to an exhibit of pop-up books from Prague at The Grolier Club. He says:
This show of about a hundred great pieces focuses on the work of Vojtech Kubašta. He created really cool pop up books, cards and displays. I think his versatile illustration styles and background as an architect make his work really special: both charming and clever!
Pop-Ups from Prague
A nice infographic by Maya Eilam. She's going to offer this as an 11 x 17 print! (Via This isn't Happiness)
The original art from Action Comics number 15 sold for the price of a house at auction this week.It's interesting that the earlier covers of Action Comics either do not exist, or are stashed away somewhere and forgotten.
The earliest Superman cover art known to exist – Fred Guardineer’s action-packed tableau from 1939 of the Man of Steel from Action Comics #15 – brought $286,800 at Heritage Auctions on Feb. 22 in New York.
“Guardineer’s cover is the earliest Superman cover art in existence,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage, “and an absolute treasure of comics history. A price like this shows just how much collectors covet a rarity like this.”
The Action #15 cover depicts Superman in full hero mode, saving a distressed U.S. Submarine just a few feet from a presumably bad end in the depths of the ocean, without seemingly an ounce of strain.
It was purchased by Richard Evans, of Houston, TX, who owns Bedrock City Comics Company. He has said that he plans to display the cover in his shop.
“I’m just a big fan,” he said.
Fred Guardineer Action Comics #15 Superman Cover Original Art
The 600-year-old, strangely-illustrated Voynich Manuscript (which resides at Yale University) has been called the most mysterious manuscript in the world. Not a single word of the secret language has been decoded, at least not until now. Stephen Bax of the University of Bedfordshire says he has decoded ten words from the Voynich Manuscript. This seems to indicate that the document is not a hoax filled with nonsense words, as some scholars have concluded.
Stephen Bax, who teaches at the University of Bedfordshire, has produced a paper and a video where he details his theories on the text and provides translations of ten words from the manuscript, which are proper names of various plants that are depicted in the manuscript.
Professor Bax explains, “I hit on the idea of identifying proper names in the text, following historic approaches which successfully deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs and other mystery scripts, and I then used those names to work out part of the script.
I have not yet watch Bax's 47-minute video, above.
Voynich Manuscript partially decoded, text is not a hoax, scholar finds (Thanks, Gareth and Syd!)
Join The Immortal Augustus Gladstone director Robyn Miller and producer Mischa Jakupcak for a live chat at the online screening February 24, 2014 at 7pm PT. Tickets to the online show are available on a pay-what-you-will basis (including free!).
The Immortal Augustus Gladstone online screening
From the creator of Myst comes a story of alienation and love in the digital age. Meet Augustus Gladstone, a 156-year-old eccentric who seeks celebrity and craves connection via social networks. But the line between fantasy and reality is blurred when a documentary film crew prods too deeply into Augustus’ private life, sparking an irreversible chain of events. The Immortal Augustus Gladstone has been released online on a limited basis through the popular blog, Boing Boing, Vimeo and VHX. The soundtrack featuring the music from the film which Robyn composed and the wide release of the film on iTunes is scheduled for April 1st, 2014. This rare opportunity should be exciting! We urge you to grab some popcorn, get comfy and settle in for a groundbreaking film experience with its creators.
Prankster Jack Vale reads the nametags of passersby at 2014 NAMM, then says their name on a fake phonecall so they can hear him.
See also: Zombie Phone Prank and Wife on a Leash Prank. (Via Laughing Squid)
A protestor outside a Chris Christie town hall meeting in Middletown, NJ (Matt Katz)
Carla is bemused by my obsession with the New Jersey Governor Christie Christie Bridgegate scandal. I can't really explain it myself, other than to say it is interesting to watch public servants who can't keep their psychopathy under control and shut down the world's busiest bridge traffic out of spite. (I'm not saying Christie shut the traffic down, I'm saying the bad apples he surrounded himself did).
Until now, I've had to keep myself satisfied with Rachel Maddow's excellent, unrelenting, obsessive coverage of the scandal on her nightly show, but now I can get mini-fixes throughout the day, thanks to The Christie Tracker, a website created by Matt Katz of WNYC. I'm so excited!
Here's my prediction of how this will play out (I posted it to Facebook on January 21):
Once he runs out of people to throw under the bus, Christie will make a deal with investigators to resign in exchange for an end to the investigations and subpoenas. In his resignation speech Christie will say he is innocent of all accusations but is stepping down to stop the bad Democrats from harming the great state of New Jersey with their witch hunt. After a couple of months he will get a job on Fox News.
The Woman Who Stopped Traffic by Daniel Pembrey is a Silicon Valley thriller about a wildly successful social networking startup that's on track to becoming a publicly-traded company. If the IPO goes through, the young founder (who owns 40% of clamor.us) and its lead investor (very loosely based on Whole Earth Catalog creator Stewart Brand) will become multi-billionaires.
The IPO plans are jeopardized when, during a presentation to investors and press, a Clamor.us page that has an ad for child sex trafficking is accidentally displayed on the projection screen, causing alarm among the audience. Clamor.us' official response is that a rogue user created the page. Its executives promise to take steps to put a stop to such illegal content.
Of course, this being a thriller, there's a deeper problem at Clamor.us than evil users selling sex slaves on its site. One of the early investors in Clamor.us, based in Aruba, is suspected of being involved, but no one knows who the investor is. The chief scientist of Clamour.us hires Natalie Chevalier, the ex-head of security at a "large Seattle software company," to get to the bottom of it before the IPO goes bust. Murder, mayhem, and MMORPGing ensue.
Read the rest
Steve Wahrer of The Trashmen going all out on American Bandstand in 1964.
The Trashmen's biggest hit was 1963's "Surfin' Bird", which reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the latter part of that year. The song was a combination of two R&B hits by The Rivingtons, "The Bird's the Word" and "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow". The earliest pressings of the single credit the Trashmen as composers, but following a threat from The Rivingtons' legal counsel, that group was subsequently credited as composers. The early single was credited solely to the drummer (and singer) – Steve Wahrer. The song was later re-recorded by artists including the Ramones, The Cramps, Silverchair, The Psychotic Petunias, Pee-Wee Herman, Equipe 84, and the thrash metal band Sodom. It has been used in filmmaking and television productions including, most notably, Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket; Vince Vaughn's "Fred Claus"; John Waters' Pink Flamingos; Lyndall Hobbs' Back to the Beach (where Pee-Wee Herman sang it); and the soundtrack to the video game Battlefield Vietnam.
Learn the trick that drunken frat boys have known for years - tossing a shard of spark plug porcelain will easily shatter a car side window. (Via Dooby Brain)
Very nice graphic design on this pyrex crack pipe vending machine! It's a project from the Portland Hotel Society, which also runs workshops to teach alcoholics how to make beer and wine. The idea behind both projects is harm reduction — clean pipes prevent the spreading of disease, and alcohol less harmful to drink than rubbing alcohol, hair spray, or hand sanitizer gel.