In the early 1970s, Princeton University physicist Gerard O’Neill became a space activist touting plans to build human colonies in outer space. He argued that humans could escape (while helping alleviate) the environmental damage we are causing on Earth by migrating to space habitats housed in cylinders that would be suspended 250,000 miles from Earth at LaGrange Point 5, a spot where the gravitational forces enable objects to just hang there. O'Neill's ideas, while controversial, were mostly sound from a scientific and engineering perspective.
After the New York Times published a front page article about O'Neill, he became a media sensation and quickly developed a very vocal following of space geeks, (some) environmentalists, heads, and future-minded scientists. NASA even jumped in, supporting studies based on O'Neill's research and commissioning the incredible illustrations seen here. O'Neill's specific concepts influenced countless science fiction books and movies and were the seed of bOING bOING patron saint Timothy Leary's plan for humanity's future, SMI2LE (Space Migration, Intelligence Increase, Life Extension.)
His book The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space is still in-print and captures the wonder and sense of possibility that permeated our culture after the first moon landing and into the 1970s. It's my hope that today's myriad private efforts to make space accessible will re-ignite that desire in everyone to explore and experience what lies beyond our home planet.
The fantastic podcast 99% Invisible told O'Neill's story in an episode titled "Home on Lagrange":
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The animated graphics before the song starts are the best thing about this 1978 video. Donny and Marie's outfits are the second best thing. Their dancing is the third best thing. Their puffy hair-dos are the fourth best thing. The dancers with the giant bunny tales are the fifth best thing. The song is the second worst thing. The comedy routine at the end is the worst thing.
The only Osmonds song I really like is "Chilly Winds":
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On November 4, 1975, David Bowie performed "Golden Years" on Soul Train. Sure, he was lip-syncing, but who cares. The Thin White Duke's got soul.
The Bowie Golden Years site has more background on the appearance.
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Jen Yamato of The Daily Beast describes Belladonna of Sadness (Kanashimi no Belladonna) from 1973 as a "long-forgotten X-rated psychedelic animation gem about one woman’s violation, persecution, and sexual awakening produced over four decades ago by the makers of Astro Boy." Read about the film here and watch the NSFW "psychedelic orgy of sexual liberation explode" in the clip above.
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Now Belladonna of Sadness has been brought to vivid new life by a group of L.A.-based cineastes who have given the 1973 gem a 4K restoration and added eight minutes of explicit footage back in. After its unveiling late last week at Austin’s Fantastic Fest, Belladonna will be released stateside for the first time next year.
The stunning rediscovery, adapted by anime veteran Eiichi Yamamoto more than 40 years ago from Jules Michelet’s 19th century French proto-feminist text La Sorciere, tells the tragic tale of a blissfully happy peasant bride in feudal France.
A seventies country cock-rocker soft-bluesy ballad that you may know best from the soundtrack for the movies “Boogie Nights,” or “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Rolling Stone's Gavin Edwards posted a list of ten experimental, outré, outside, or otherwise curious albums that the magazine's critics raved about in the 1970s. I know and love most of them, especially John Cale and Terry Riley's "Church of Anthrax" and "The Art Ensemble of Chicago With Fontella Bass," but several of the selections are totally new to me. Read the rest
TV shows were much more realistic in the 1970s
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"Be the first on your block to know about nude psychotherapy." A 1970s-era magazine ad, scanned and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by Boing Boing reader v.valenti. Read the rest
"The Meditator," a personal isolation tank fashioned from 12 pentagons decorated with photo collages. "You may find the sensation akin to that mystical communion with nature that you experience when alone in a forest," according to Popular Science writer Ken Isaacs in November 1970. At popsci.com, they've republished a photo gallery with enough detail that serenity-seeking DIYers in 2012 can once again roll their own. Read the rest
"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. Read the rest
View larger size here. Lovingly scanned and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by reader v. valenti. Art by Japanese illustrator Shusei Nagaoka, whose sci-fi illustrations were popular during the 1970s and '80s, and graced album covers by ELO, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Deep Purple. There's an awesome little archive of his work here. Read the rest
In the 1970s, someone thought this was a good idea. [Video Link]
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[Video Link: "A Long, Drawn Out Trip"]
Last night I watched (and greatly enjoyed) the Pink Floyd "The Story of Wish You Were Here" documentary Richard Metzger turned me on to last week (buy it here, and my earlier post about that documentary is here).
I ended up going down one of those internet-rabbit holes where you search and watch a bunch of related stuff online. Among the rabbit-holes I fell down: the story of how the band hooked up with the now-legendary illustrator and caricaturist Gerald Scarfe. He and the band later teamed up on "The Wall," and Scarfe's visual style is now a kind of icon of that era of Big Rock and Roll. I am not a big fan of the later, big budget, grand spectacle school of rock music visuals for which they became known, but I am fascinated by the earlier material.
UK native Scarfe created "A Long, Drawn Out Trip" in 1971 after traveling to the US. As the story goes, Roger Waters and David Gilmour saw the 18-minute short when it was aired on the BBC in 1973 (only once in its entirety! remember, this is before YouTube!), and said, "That's the stuff!" The stream-of-consciousness short pokes fun at symbols of American culture. In one sequence, Mickey Mouse gets high and morphs from the Disney character we all know, to a stoned-out hippie. Read the rest
As Rob noted in an earlier Boing Boing post, the UK television teletext service known as Ceefax ("See Facts") has been terminated. So sad! It began in 1972. I remember staring at the chunky pixelly pages for hours in my hotel room, on my first visit to the UK in the 1990s.
Robert Popper, funnyman and Look Around You co-creator, says:
I thought I’d perk you all up by digging out the Pages from Ceefax, that Peter Serafinowicz and I made for our Look Around You DVD extras. They’re full of nonsense. Hope you enjoy the guitar I did too. Included here is an improvised modern classical piece. I was trying not to laugh while I played…
I remember these fake Ceefax screens well from the Look Around You DVDs. I had no idea Popper played the music, too. Brilliant. More below.
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