Justin Wilson's "gar-on-tee"

I had misassigned the "Gar-On-Tee" to Chef Paul Prudhomme for some reason. Justin Wilson is the chef who filled my kitchen with empty promises. Read the rest

Don't look up childhood friends, unless you're sure you want to know

Douglas Preston's search for a boyhood friend led to a dark discovery.

He fled from any hint of conflict, usually with a wiseass comment flung over his shoulder, and he could outrun any goofus who took up the chase. I couldn't begin to fathom the trajectory that brought him from an upper-upper-middle-class home in Wellesley to a cramped boarding house in New Jersey. Details of his life came flickering back into my memory: Petey singing songs to his hamster Gertrude; Petey cradling his dying dog after she'd been hit by a car, even though she was bleeding and peeing all over him; Petey writing silly stories about a magical valley where the animals talked like people; Petey and I burying a treasure.

It's better to know, because you never know who might not. Read the rest

Leia kisses Luke for good luck in this 'A New Hope' LEGO set

One of the most memorable moments of the movie that will always be known to me as Star Wars is now in LEGO.

I had to wonder if people just went around kissing strangers for good luck in the Republic. This scene was awesome, it deserves to be immortalized in LEGO.

The Han Solo chases stormtroopers down hallways scene will come with 1000 extra stormies, in the event you want to re-enact the re-releases.

LEGO Star Wars: A New Hope Death Star Escape 75229 Building Kit , New 2019 (329 Piece) via Amazon Read the rest

If contemporary singers were around in the 80s

A masterfully-executed selection of LP covers that "imagine how your current favorite singers would look like in a 80s version." The artist is Fulaleo from Australia. Read the rest

Mallwave: nostalgic synth music for imaginary and abandoned shopping centers

Mallwave is a microgenre of bedroom electronic music and smooth jazz meant to evoke nostalgia for the vibrant mall scenes of the 1980s and 1990s that many of the music's composers are too young to have experienced or at least remember.

Think of Mallwave as a hauntological soundtrack for an Orange Julius-fueled consumer culture where Suncoast, Merry-Go-Round, and Spencer Gifts anchored suburban reality. (Or, in the case of some of the moodier tracks, the kind of muzak that might play in your mind as you wander an abandoned mall in a Ballardian trance.)

From Hussein Kesvanio's feature in MEL:

“The nostalgia is so real you can cry and wish you went back in time,” reads one comment underneath the video “Neon Wave Mall (Vapor Mix).” “I feel a certain sense of… familiarity watching this footage. Almost like I myself have set foot in these places,” adds a viewer of “Corp Palm Mall.” Under the same video, another person opines: “Why wasn’t I born in this time? This video makes me realize how much things were not as advanced as we have now but it was better. I could be wrong, but sometimes I feel like living around the ‘90s sounds fun. Lifestyle is different, mindset is different and not as much laziness.”

According to writer Joe Koenig, this kind of feeling — a “nostalgia for a past you’ve never known” — is called anemoia. In his ongoing project, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, Koenig describes it as “the desire to wade into the blurred-edge sepia haze that hangs in the air between people who leer stoically into this dusty and dangerous future.”

Read the rest

I was too young to understand 'Love, American Style' but the theme-song stuck with me

Love, American Style was occasionally on in re-runs, during my younger years. The short stories made no sense, and I didn't really understand why there was no continuity.

I sometimes find myself singing this while working in the kitchen. Honestly, I sing a lot of TV themes.

Read the rest

38-year-old Macaulay Culkin is Home Alone again in this fun ad

Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin, of course) is no longer a boy but has been left home alone again in the same house he was back in the early 1990s. The difference? This time the house is controlled by voice-activated devices so he's able to get stuff done without lifting a finger by talking to Google Assistant.

It's a cute advertisement but remember, ya filthy animal, that EFF has put "creepy, surveillant" devices like the ones featured in the video on the don't-buy list.

Personal side note: My awesome cousin James was the art director on this!

Thanks, Andy! Read the rest

Tiny Emus: play old games online without hassle

Tiny Emus has in-browser emulators for all the classic 8-bit systems, but also ready links for specific games so you don't have to spend ages tracking them down and configuring them.

Creator Andre Weissflog, via Hacker News:

The emulators are written in C(99), with some platform-specific bits written in Objective-C and Javascript, and in C++ for the UI parts (since Dear ImGui is implemented in C++). Apart from the WebAssembly version, Win32, Linux, OSX and iOS is also supported, but you need to compile those yourself

The selection's limited but Weissflog's really nailed the "just let me play" UI, so hopefully more's to come. Read the rest

Welcome To The Internet, the tracksuit

The Welcome To The Internet tracksuit [Getonfleek.com] features a classic image so thoroughly buried in sedimentary layers of meme and merch that it's no longer easy to locate the original through the usual means: the cover of a Scholastic book from 1999 [Amazon].

The illustrator is Donald Grant, whose page on Behance has contact info if you're looking to commission a sequel. Read the rest

'The Amazing Spiderman Web Shooter' was a favorite childhood toy

GenX kids had better toys. Read the rest

Vectorbeam Outrun

Outrun, the classic racer that blew players' minds with its huge colorful sprites, is getting an ususual port: to the monochrome vectorbeam world of the vintage Vectrex console.

Creator Chris Parsons:

A little "demo" I put together today to warm up my coding skills as I get back to developing my second full Vectrex game. I put the Pole Position overlay on at the end as it comes out clearer without it when filming. Check out my Vectrex home brew games on here and at www.vectorrepublic.co.uk

He's gotten the Ferrari, the tarmac and some roadside palms going, but it's missing other vehicles and curves: "Now, should I try to add some game in there???" Read the rest

Video game catalog from 1996 is a wonderland of gamer nostalgia

If you weren't a kid or a nerd in the '90s, these video game advertisements might look strange. Read the rest

The one beer to have when you are having more than one

Schaefer. Read the rest

Sony announces miniature Playstation Classic, with 20 games built-in

The fad for fire-and-forget retro consoles continues with Sony's PlayStation Classic. It's $100, has 20 games built-in, modern connectors, and the original 1995 design—albeit shrunk to the size of the original's controller.

Five of the games were announced: Final Fantasy 7, Jumping Flash, R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3 and Wild Arms.

The mini console is approximately 45% smaller than the original PlayStation, and it emulates the original’s look and feel by featuring similar controllers and packaging. Long-time fans will appreciate the nostalgia that comes with rediscovering the games they know and love, while gamers who might be new to the platform can enjoy the groundbreaking PlayStation console experience that started it all. All of the pre-loaded games will be playable in their original format.

The NES Classic and SNES Classic are huge moneyspinners for Nintendo, so this was an inevitability.

It'll be out on December 3. Sony's press release says you can pre-order it, but the only place I could find was this unnervingly empty database stub at Best Buy. Read the rest

Wonder of wonders: a Trapper Keeper for your 7" or 10" tablets

I can not express the joy that a Trapper Keeper for tablets brings me. Read the rest

The Beach Boys' "Do It Again" with the delay removed from the drums

Do It Again is one of my favorite songs, not least because of the distinctive delay effect applied to the drums by sound engineer Stephen Desper, giving it its weird blend of electronic fuzz and nostalgia ("like something from another planet"). Here it is with the delay effect removed. Being honest with myself, I have to say it's better this way. But then, I wasn't there in '68. Read the rest

Basic Engine: $10 open-source gadget designed to be the best game machine of the 1980s

The Basic Engine is a tiny but intentionally limited computer platform designed to be like a late-1980s game console or home computer, but with some useful modern benefits. In effect, it's like Pico-8, but hardware instead of a set of abstract and arbitrary design limitations on software.

The BASIC Engine is a very low-cost single-board home computer with advanced 2D color graphics and sound capabilities, roughly comparable to late-1980s or early-1990s computers and video game consoles. It can be built at home without special skills or tools and using readily available components for under 10 Euros in parts, or mass-produced for even less.

Graphics and sound · 256-color text and graphics at resolutions from 160x200 up to 460x224 (PAL: 508x240) pixels · Software sprites (up to 32 sprites sized up to 32x32 pixels). · Scrollable tiled background graphics engine with up to four layers. · Wavetable synthesizer and PLAY command that renders music in MML format. · Loading and saving of PCX image files to and from video memory. · Various text fonts built-in, including an ATI 6x8 font (for up to 76 (PAL: 84) characters per line) and PETSCII. · Direct manipulation of video memory and controller registers possible, permitting higher-color screen modes, custom resolutions and other video effects.

"Why not just use a Rasberry Pi?" is a common question but the answer should be obvious: it's about a nostalgic idea of the perfect thing that never existed, a technological hiraeth, forbidden to exceed the place and time the yearning was born. Read the rest

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