Keep hoping machine running: Woody Guthrie's New Years resolutions, 1943

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New Years Rulins: Read the rest

That time Walt Disney's oppo researchers claimed his business rival was laundering money for Jimmy Hoffa

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Len Testa writes, "Back in the early 1960's, Walt was interested in buying and developing the Mineral King ski area in California, which was being put up for sale by the U.S. government. Another potential bidder on the project was industrialist Robert Brandt, husband of Hollywood actress Janet Leigh." Read the rest

Listen: free recordings of Edgar Allen Poe stories, read by Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone

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If you've got a Spotify account, you can tune into the classic Caedmon Poe recordings (also available on 5 CD), featuring classic tales like The Masque of the Read Death; The Pit and the Pendulum; The Black Cat; The Cask of Amontillado; The Imp of the Perverse and The Gold Bug. (via Diane Duane) Read the rest

1940: sf writer predicts the imminent and welcome end of science fiction comic books

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Scott Edelman writes, "Science fiction writer Thomas S. Gardner says in a 1940 issue of the fanzine Fantasy News that science fiction comic books hurt science fiction, but don't worry -- he also says that comics likely won't be around for long anyway:" Read the rest

Reviving an Ann Arbor Ambassador 60 terminal

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JWZ documents his adventures in bringing a 1982/3 vintage Ann Arbor Ambassador 60 terminal (a rare portrait-orientation terminal) back into service -- fitting it with a Raspberry Pi and a new power-supply and getting it to boot its beautiful green-screen. Read the rest

Talking about Allan Sherman on the Comedy on Vinyl podcast

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Jason Klamm stopped my office to interview me for his Comedy on Vinyl podcast, where I talked about the first comedy album I ever loved: Allan Sherman's My Son, the Nut. Read the rest

1916 ad chides Congress for not investing in pneumatic tubes for first class mail delivery

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Scott Edelman writes, "An ad in the December 1916 issue of The Scoop, a magazine 'written by newspaper men for newspaper men,' decries the fact Congress appropriated funds for continued mail delivery by pneumatic tubes in New York City, but failed to do the same for Chicago, and insists the loss of that technology 'would be calamitous.' At the time, 10 miles of two-way, eight-inch tubes running under Chicago delivered 8,000,000 pieces of mail daily. To the suggestion that mail should instead be delivered by trucks rather than pneumatic tubes, the question is asked, 'If we are going backward, why not get a wheelbarrow?'" Read the rest

A modern rebuild of the Radio Shack 150-in-One electronics kit

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While looking into the Kano snap-together learning computer kit (Kickstarted in 2013, reviewed here last January) I got to thinking about Radio Shack's classic, much-loved 150-in-One Electronics Kit, which occupied literal years of my time when I was a boy. Read the rest

Adafruit's Tempest in a Teacup: the world's smallest MAME cabinet

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The fun-lovin' hackers at Adafruit banged together this teensy weensy MAME cabinet over a weekend; it's more of a kludge than a project, and they didn't document the build in its entirety, meaning that making your own is a challenge that the Fruits have thrown down before you. Read the rest

Kickstarting a new edition of Villains & Vigilantes, a superhero RPG

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I discovered Villains and Vigilantes in 1982, with the publication of the game's second edition, and 11-year-old me played it like a fiend; I still remember long hours of designing costumes on the super-cool character sheets that came with the game (we'd sneak into the school office and run off more of these from blanks; ditto for hex-ruled paper for Car Wars and all the best stories from that month's Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine). Read the rest

Lost in Space prop computer remake

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Brian Mix shows off his replica Jupiter 2 computer, a remake based on the 1960s TV Lost in Space show -- which was also used as the 1966 Bat Computer in the Batman TV show. Read the rest

The New York Public Library is surprisingly CHUD-friendly

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As this spectacular cross-section of the NYPL main branch demonstrates, the library was designed to service the needs of all the city's dwellers, even the CHUDs. (via From Deco to Atom) Read the rest

Power Glove oven-mitt

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Celebrate the golden era of useless-but-cool-looking gamer peripherals with the Power Mitt, a $15 oven mitt that comes in lefty or righty. (via Wonderland) Read the rest

The history of the home pregnancy test is a microcosm of misogyny, chauvinism, and erasure

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When Pagan Kennedy wrote her 2012 New York Times Magazine history of home pregnancy testing, it didn't mention Margaret Crane, the product designer who created, designed and championed the test and all it stood for: the right of "a woman to peer into her own body and to make her own decisions about it, without anyone else — husband, boyfriend, boss, doctor — getting in the way." Read the rest

Hugo Gernsback's introduction to the first issue of Amazing Stories, 1926

When Hugo "Award" Gernsback launched Volume 1, Number 1 of Amazing Stories in April, 1926, he created the first magazine in the world solely devoted to science fiction stories: on the magazine's editorial page, Gernsback laid out his vision for the genre. Read the rest

"Tellin The World" 1972 voting PSA aimed at 18-25 y/o working-class voters

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Amy Sloper writes, "This is a really timely (while still feeling dated) voting PSA about the importance of tellin' the world your opinion by voting." Read the rest

RIP, MAD Magazines's Jack Davis

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Davis had been with MAD since its first run in 1952, and his illustrations helped define the look of satirical art for generations. Read the rest

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