The Endless Summer is the most important film in the history of surfing, and a lot of that is due to director Bruce Brown's evangelistic narration and participatory enthusiasm. Brown died this week at age 80. Read the rest
Wonkette writer Robyn Pennacchia went on a brilliant Twitter rant about the strange history of square dancing, which is not an old American tradition, but rather a 20th century hoax that Henry Ford and Dr Pappy Shaw created to get white people to stop dancing to music made by black people. Read the rest
Preservationists restoring an 18th century statue of Jesus that was hanging in Burgos, Spain's church of St. Águeda found a two handwritten letters tucked into the figure's buttocks. Dated 1777, the notes were written by chaplin Joaquín Mínguez from the Burgo de Osma cathedral. The letters will be archived by the office of the Archibishop of Burgos while copies were put back into the statue's bottom. From National Geographic:
In his letters, Mínguez paints a picture of the region's day-to-day economic and cultural activity. The chaplain first notes that the statue was created by a man named Manuel Bal, who created other wooden statues for churches in the region. He then describes the successful harvests of various grains like wheat, rye, oats, and barley and stores of wine.
Mínguez also names diseases like malaria and typhoid fever plaguing the village during this time period, but adds that cards and balls were used for entertainment.
Let’s cut to the chase. This place has over 250 arcade machines. Just take that in for a second. It’s the biggest arcade in Europe. I don’t know even know how many arcades in the UK had that many machines back in the 80s! Funspot and Galloping Ghosts in the US are definitely much bigger but this is still pretty massive for the UK. I obviously won’t list all the machines here but what I will do is list all the ones I can think of off the top of my head without taking a breath…
It looks amazing: in addition to the 250 cabinets, there's a newly-opened floor for pinball machines, Japanese-language games that never saw the light of day in the UK, and even a restaurant!
Compuserve's sprawling, paleolithic forums were acquired along with Compuserve itself by AOL in 1998, and their fossil remains were augmented, year after year, decade after decade, by die-hard users who continued to participate there. Read the rest
Selectrics get all the hype, but I love the typefaces available on Smith-Corona typewriters from the 1960s. From the samples posted by munk, I think my favorites are the futuristic but legible "Classic Elite No. 86" and the handwriting-style Artistic Script (pictured).
There are about 20 in the set. The only ones that seem to be available as fonts are Numode No. 61, and this set with Smith-Corona's Prestige, Mini gothic and the script, bu all in very roughly-scanned form.
(Via this conversation between @hacklib and Marcin Wichary, who is writing a book about the typewriter and mechanical keyboard community.) Read the rest
A remarkable Jacobean re-emergence after 200 years of yellowing varnish 1/2 pic.twitter.com/yBGNGDcNd7— Philip Mould (@philipmould) November 6, 2017
Art dealer and BBC presenter Philip Mould posted this video showing restoration work on a centuries-old painting. It's more vigorous than you might expect: a solvent tailored to the varnish but safe for the paint, and the resulting slimy mix simply wiped off to reveal surprisingly clear, vibrant color.
Mould hasn't shared the secrets of what method is being used. Turpentine is sometimes used with another solvent, but that doesn't appear to be what's happening here. No matter what method is employed, it takes a good deal of skill to remove the varnish and not have any impact on the actual painting underneath. Details about the featured painting aren't abundant. Mould later clarified that the "woman in red" is 36 years-old and was painted in 1618, according to an inscription.
Below is a digital restoration of the Mona Lisa. The varnish and paint are reportedly too chemically similar to attempt the job with current techniques.
800 years ago today, on Nov 6, 1217, the Charter of the Forest was sealed by King Henry III, making it "the first environmental charter forced on any government" in which were asserted "the rights of the property-less, of the commoners, and of the commons." Read the rest
Look at them. Look at these weird flat cows. Look at these rectangular sheep. Tell me these aren't perfect.— Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) November 6, 2017
The Comic Book Story of Video Games: The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution, by Jonathan Hennessey (author), and Jack McGowan (illustrator) is an entertaining full-color book about the roots of video games. It starts with the discovery of electricity and the birth of electronic digital computers in in World War II and ends with augmented reality games like Pokemon Go. In between we learn about the origins of Pong, Doom, Nintendo, Sega, and more. I feel like I learned as much as I ever want to know about video game history in one pleasant afternoon. This would make an excellent gift for kids who want to learn about the pioneers of video games.
From Entertain the Elk: "A love letter to video stores, horror films, and the AIDA Advertising Method that made the artwork on their VHS covers so effectively grotesque and memorable." Read the rest