Michael Magnes: When Sarah Marshall first told me about her hobby of watching old TV show themes on YouTube, I probably made fun of her, and then immediately told her about this early 90s Fox show called "Woops!" The exclamation point is part of the title. It was about last six humans on earth, survivors of a nuclear holocaust. They all found a farm somewhere in America and did things like fight giant spiders, have their aging process reversed, start their own currency, and find hallucinogenic berries. Later I'd find myself at parties trying to explain the show and no one believed me. They suggested I'd made it up, [...]
Sarah Marshall: I'm not especially proud of any of the hobbies I used to waste my free time, but perhaps the most inexplicable is my fondness for watching compilations of old TV themes on YouTube. As a general rule, I love all sludgy runoff of pop culture past and present, and the themes to failed 80s TV shows provide its most potent concentration: the montages, the glittery synth music, the streetwise detectives running on the beach in tiny shorts. I vacillate between feeling ashamed of how many no-name actors I routinely recognize, and feeling that I'm spending my leisure time in exactly the right way.
Michael Magnes: It's oddly thrilling [...]
Part of a series about youth.
1. Urine has been used as an acne cure and everyday cleanser since at least the 17th century. The Encyclopedia of Folk Medicine reports that "rubbing [a] baby's face with a recently wet nappy was practiced in the Highlands of Scotland to prevent the child developing acne later and give it a good complexion." And in an article on natural remedies used by Kansan pioneers, Amy Lathrop quotes a seventy-year-old woman who claimed: "None of the girls in the family ever had acne. All retained fine skins until their deaths—complexions outstanding for their beauty and smoothness. My mother had the rosy skin of [...]
1. Chicken in white wine sauce, salad, and tea
2. Half a bottle of Israeli wine
3. A tuna sandwich
4. A glass of white Bordeaux and a croque monsieur
5. Ice cubes
6. Coffee, orange juice, two boiled eggs, bacon, and toast with marmalade
7. Vegetarian pasta
Some things aren’t as good as they used to be, but that isn't true of birth control. Some tips from the footnotes of history, used by women (and in some cases, men) far less fortunate than us:
• A pessary made of dried crocodile dung (Ancient Egypt)
• A mixture of olive oil and oil of cedar, placed in the vagina (recommended by Aristotle)
• Bloodletting, as current medical tradition held that sperm was merely blood turned white by the heat humor. The French physician Jacques Ferrand, author of A treatise on lovesickness, recommended that, if moderate bloodletting failed to dampen libido, the man must be bled until he "is [...]