I’m fascinated by this slightly frightening, forgotten book unearthed by Toys and Techniques. Published by the “University of the Trees”, contained within are diagrams of devices including the psychotronic generator and Pi-ray Orgone Accumulator, which “purify your consciousness”, enabling you to “harness nature’s more subtle energies” and become your own magic genie.
Tag Archives | nostalgia
Oak Ridge Associated Universities has a groovy collection of vintage “atomic toys” and games for children which referenced and/or promoted nuclear technology. Included are board games such as “Uranium Rush” and “Nuclear War” and, below, 1952’s Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab, which came with four pieces of real uranium:
Today, it is so highly prized by collectors that a complete set can go for more than 100 times the original price. The set came with four types of uranium ore, a beta-alpha source (Pb-210), a pure beta source (Ru-106), a gamma source (Zn-65?), a spinthariscope, a cloud chamber with its own alpha source, an electroscope, a geiger counter, and a comic book (Dagwood Splits the Atom).
Long-term decay on the internet can be a fascinating thing. Google Maps’ not-quite-as-popular sister site Yahoo! Maps hasn’t updated some of its street images since the nineties, giving you the ability to virtually explore a pre-millennial London which some people prefer to the city today, Londonist writes:
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Remember the days when Arsenal still played at Highbury? Those halcyon times when Heathrow was content with four terminals, when you could catch a train to Paris from Waterloo, and when Westfield was, if you had to guess, the latest boyband off of that new Popstars show on ITV.
In Yahoo! Maps, London is stuck in a new-Millennial timewarp. The satellite view still shows the old Wembley Stadium, complete with twin towers. Demolition of the landmark was completed in 2003, but hasn’t even started here. Over at St Pancras, work on the mammoth new Eurostar terminal has barely begun, while Heathrow’s Terminal 5 is a giant building site.
Tyler Hicks of the New York Times found family pictures at the the Qaddafi residence in Tripoli, and they’re amazing. How often do images of a Third World dictator make you irresistibly nostalgic for childhood?
The Qaddafis playing soccer. Baby photos. Colonel Qaddafi as a young lieutenant in the late 1960s. Later, as a father. And finally, a bizarre figure; something of an object of ridicule. A picture of Seif al-Islam atop a horse was a glossy, poster-sized print.
In PCWorld, Benj Edwards explains how he booted up a dusty 1981 IBM 5150 and attempted to perform typical 21st century computing duties on it. The 5150 fared pretty well at most essential tasks, including lolcat browsing (below left) and Twitter (below right). The lesson being, perhaps, that we should try to do more with less? And that today’s consumer-market computers can’t hold a candle to classic models in regards to appearance and style. The old ones even have ports for hooking up cassette tape players:
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Despite the malfunctioning RAM, the machine seemed to work well. The 5150 contains, as the Apple II did, a full version of BASIC in ROM that loads right up if you don’t boot from a disk.
Targeted mostly at computers without floppy drives (the lowest-priced 5150 sold with 16KB of RAM and no drives), this version of BASIC could save programs only to cassette tapes.
Sure, video games are art nowadays, but do they have to be depressing art? In light of the preponderance of dark, dull, grey-and-brown-hued titles such as the Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto series, the Blue Skies in Games Campaign is a call for a return to the days when the ascendant video games were happily surreal and bursting with technicolor. In addition to more detailed discussion, a quick-fix series of suggestions is offered:
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DEVELOPERS: HOW YOU CAN HELP TODAY!
– Change everything that’s grey into blue.
– From now on, everyone wears red shoes.
– Make everything happen at midday or sunset.
– Replace gun textures with banana textures.
– Turn all cars into pink convertibles that wobble and only do 15mph.
– If you get 100 of anything, a little tune plays.