Boing Boing 

Telephone management skills, 1957 edition: Stephen Potter

From the wonderful blog "Vintage Scans," a page from Lifemanship lesson from Stephen Potter, 1957 (11th impression). Potter was a British writer known for dry, mocking, self-help books, and the TV and film projects they inspired.

Ad, 1970: Use Dixie Cups, ladies, and you will never grow old

"Think of it. You'll have more time on your hands (...) to make a pantsuit. To live a little."

Shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by vintage ad archivist MewDeep, and larger size here.

Late '60s ad for space jobs at NASA JPL

A late-1960s ad that ran in Scientific American, scanned and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr pool by fdecomite.

The look is true to Mad Men, and the copy is true to life: I bet the Mars Curiosity team say stuff like that to each other all the time.

Give that dude a mohawk—oh, and increase NASA's budget so JPL can hire, instead of lay off?—and the ad could run today.

Cat Dance (video)

In the 1970s, someone thought this was a good idea. [Video Link]

(Thanks, Tara McGinley)

Pill-popping, jazz-loving Japanese youth in revolt, 1964 (photo) has a beautiful gallery of Michael Rougier photographs from Japan in 1964: runaways, rock and rollers, biker gangs, "pill kids" and other Japanese teens. LIFE Magazine published some of these in September, 1964, but some have never before been published.

Above, the original caption from 1964: "Kako, languid from sleeping pills she takes, is lost in a world of her own in a jazz shop in Tokyo."

Excellent vintage film about the first accurate atomic clock

This short film was produced by the film unit of the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the 1950s, and explains the principles behind the first accurate atomic clock, which was designed by Louis Essen and built at the National Physical Laboratory in 1955. The NPL's YouTube channel has other videos of interest to science geeks. (thanks, obadiahlemon)

Sad Schlitz Beer Clown is Sad (vintage ad)

Image Link. From the excellent Flickr collection of MewDeep (lots of '60s-'70s ad scans), via BB Flickr Pool.

"My Favorite Museum Exhibit": The relics of a scientific saint

"My Favorite Museum Exhibit" is a series of posts aimed at giving BoingBoing readers a chance to show off their favorite exhibits and specimens, preferably from museums that might go overlooked in the tourism pantheon. I'll be featuring posts in this series all week. Want to see them all? Check out the archive post. I'll update the full list there every morning.

Most Americans probably associate the collecting of relics with the Catholic Church, and particularly with the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages—a time when shards of saints' bones and pieces of the true cross were big business, basically creating the West's first tourism industry.*

But hoarding and gawking at pieces of dead heroes is a human hobby with far older roots and a much broader appeal. It's been done all over the world, certainly since antiquity if not before, and it's not even exclusively associated with religion. This is one of those weird urges that just seems to be somehow intrinsically linked to how humans do culture.

Which brings us to these fingers. They belong not to a Catholic saint, but to Galileo Galilei, father of astronomy and (at the time of his death) condemned Catholic heretic. Because of the whole heresy thing, Galileo had to be buried in a back corner of the basilica where his family graves were. But, a hundred years later, after his reputation had considerably improved, fans disinterred his body and reburied it in a much more prominent spot. And, while they were at it, they cut off three fingers and removed a tooth. And started displaying all four bits in reliquaries like this.

Previously, Pesco told you about how two of the fingers actually went missing for 100 years, before turning up in 2009 when an anonymous donor turned them over to the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy. Today, you can see all the relics of this secular saint on display there.

Thanks to Lauren Kinsman and Karen Ackroff who both submitted this exhibit separately. The photo I've used here, showing two of the fingers, was taken by Lauren Kinsman.

*In regards to true cross relics, there's a great John Calvin quote about there being enough pieces of the true cross in circulation that, if you brought them all together, you could build Noah's Ark. This is probably the only time John Calvin was ever funny. And I'm sure he felt bad about it.

Madonna's cautionary AIDS comic, handed out at a 1987 concert

From Ethan Persoff's ongoing chronicles of vintage weird ephemera: COMICS WITH PROBLEMS #7 - MADONNA ON AIDS. This public health pamphlet was handed out at one of her concerts, one night only, in 1987. Her image appears on the cover, and inside, a handwritten note urging for greater awareness of AIDS and an end to prejudice against those who contract it (or who are HIV-positive).

How to build a "Family Foxhole"

Everything above ground level is getting blown apart in a fiery blast while this 1950s family gets ready to settle in for the evening in their cozy basement bunker. (Via X-Ray Delta One)


Delightfully creepy portraits of ventriloquist dummies


I will offer this without comment. See the rest of the dummies, who are not in police custody, at the Public School blog.

Thanks to the wondrous Leslie Marlow!

An appreciation of '60s and '70s bubblegum trading cards


Dangerous Minds recently did a nice image gallery of selected bubblegum trading cards of the 1960s and '70s, including some sci-fi classics, Bo Derek, What's Happening, and Dukes of Hazzard.

Yaya and Friends: Athens, Greece, ca. 1927 (photo, Boing Boing Flickr Pool)

5870237825_b38aac5363_o.jpg "Yaya and Friends," a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (2.0) image from bigfatstupidslob's photostream, contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr pool. About the image, I asked him where it came from, and he explained:
It's my grandmother and some of her friends in what seems to be a dress-up photo studio. Who knew they had them way back when? And in Greece no less! That's Yaya on the top right - her name is Domna.

Every Ray Harryhausen stop-motion monster ever, in one video

[Video Link]. As Mark explained in a prior BB post, "Ray Harryhausen is a stop-motion-animation wizard who is widely regarded as the master of old-school special effects."

(via Aaron-Stewart Ahn)

Chemcraft (vintage chemistry set, from Boing Boing Flickr Pool)


Contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr pool by Stephen Hocking.

Read the rest

It's National Use-Up-Your-Leftovers-in-a-Jell-O-Salad Week!

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What will you put in your Jell-O Leftovers Salad?

Jell-O Leftovers Salad -- For the hungry insinkerator (Via Ape Lad)

Atom bomb survival suit patent from 1958


This atomic bomb survival suit looks like something Chris Ware would have in one of his comic books.

John Ptak says:

Is there anything more revolting than this solitary, encapsulated,  iron maidenesque survival sarcophagus and its promised hope of survivability? 

Perhaps not.  This patent application for an individual survival suit from 1958 gives us something to think about, perhaps gives us the cause to imagine what the world would look like from the inside of that portable evacuation chamber (that had its own attache case for storage).

Questionable Quidity: the Preservation of Decay--Atomic Bomb Suits

Famous People Hanging Out With Their Vinyl


A wonderful photo-essay on Dangerous Minds. The selection above, obviously: Marilyn Monroe.
(thanks, Tara McGinley!)

This machine destroys everything

[Video Link]. Update: Previously blogged on BB. Here is a link to the "shred of the month" archive.

(via Jon Swaine / spaceghetto)

Twitter Gun

Angry Birds, indeed! Video of a cool weapon automata from the 19th century, in which a little birdie spins on the top of a gun when you fire it. Video is from Christies, the auction house where this oddity is offered. The intricate mechanics are what make this precious device a win; the narrator is what makes the video win.

(via Submitterator, thanks amok69, via from Tree Climber, the blog of goldsmith David Neale)

ColecoVision 1983 TV ad for George Plimpton's "Video Falconry" game

[Video Link, from NewGrounds via Jesse Thorn]

"Reality 86'd," David Markey's film on the final tour of Black Flag

Twitter newbie Henry Rollins says, "In 1986, Dave Markey made a documentary of Black Flag's final tour. He just posted it for free viewing. Brutal!"

Lebanese '90s television emulator:


Watch it: It's like Nam Jun Paik on vacation in Beirut after dropping acid with a falafel chaser. Created by Nadim Kobeissi, aka @kaepora. He tells Boing Boing how the project came about, below.

Read the rest

Crab attack!


My favorite part: they are lining up to take their turn. (Via Illustrateurs)

World's creepiest product for kids from 1959


Yikes. From the insanely weird archives of Mitch O'Connell!

The Starlighter Quartet


I'm hopping in my Peel P50 and heading over to the Biltmore Motor Hotel to see The Starlighter Quartet tonight. Check out those handmade guitars!

Here's the same photo without the text around it.

Monumentally bad writing: recovery from thermonuclear war, loan forgiveness, and taxes (1966)

John Ptak, proprietor of the JF Ptak Science Bookstore, reviewed a research project report filled with "putrified moral-punk thinking on envisioning American society post nuke holocaust." He says it's one of many "very badly written, deeply obfuscated, sinful research projects" that he's come across, but says this one stands out because "it is the first I can recall that restarts taxes right off the burned-up bat. Quite something, really. "
thermowar.jpg[T]he authors clearly assume that there will be something approximately preattack life in the post-attack world. Amidst the horror and chaos, we read that

"Businessmen, in particular, but others as well, would experience disturbing and subtle changes in familiar institutions and in such bases of mutual trust as methods of establishing or verifying credit...or estimating delivery dates"--pg 11.

"Disturbing and subtle" changes to delivery, indeed.

We further read of "widespread readjustments of status, status symbols, and values" (page 11) which no doubt would come if all of your possessions were burned up, or lost or destroyed in some way, along with the owner. It is definitely difficult to maintain status relationships in the evidence of no status and no relationships. Of course this whole deal is complicated by the issue that status symbols are also relationships and associations, much of which could also be gone in the same fire cloud.

Monumentally bad writing: recovery from thermonuclear war, loan forgiveness, and taxes (1966)

NYT: Whiskey, your only defense against diseases from space


What can't whiskey cure?

Link. "What is the Grip?," from the April, 22, 1891 edition of the New York Times.

Via Gabriel Snyder of Atlanticwire, originally the subject of this "Found item" post.

(BB headline by Warren Ellis, for whom this item was almost certainly written lo these many years ago.)

The Kelly Family: "Ain't Gonna Pee-Pee My Bed Tonight" (music video, ca. 1990)

[Video Link, and related Wikipedia entry.]
(via Mikael Jorgensen)