"It's hard to remember now, but at one time, MTV really was watched just like commercial radio was listened to: you would turn it on and see what came around, and if you particularly liked a video, you'd wait a while and hope you heard it. That's what half the slumber parties of my adolescence were about: waiting for Michael Jackson or Duran Duran.
We don't wait very much anymore. It's not just that this model of MTV largely went away, or that getting most of your music listening through the radio faded. It's that the entire idea of ephemeral availability — that you would have to sit and [...]
"There was such a purity of thought at the time with people who were involved… We believed if we could create something useful we could be successful. By and large a lot of companies thought we were inventing something good and help people." —Guess what they invented! GUESS!
Tomorrow sees the 25th anniversary of the release of one of the greatest works of art of the 20th century, Brenda Russell's "Piano In The Dark." Some of us were slow to see its power, perhaps due to its incessant repetition on the broadcast media of the time, but as is the case with most true classics the mixture of memory and distance reveals its true worth to even the initially skeptical. Because I have been misinterpreted by some in the past I'd like to make it very clear that I am being completely sincere here: This is an amazing song, and if your friends are irritated by the [...]
"At a meeting of the Geological Society of London on 18 December 1912, Charles Dawson claimed that a workman at the Piltdown gravel pit had given him a fragment of the skull four years earlier…. Woodward announced that a reconstruction of the fragments indicated that the skull was in many ways similar to that of a modern human, except for the occiput (the part of the skull that sits on the spinal column) and for brain size, which was about two-thirds that of a modern human. He went on to indicate that save for the presence of two human-like molar teeth, the jaw bone found would be indistinguishable from [...]
Let's take a moment today, on this third anniversary of the amazing "Balloon Boy"hoax, to remember that, as Twitter user pourmecoffee says, "if it's on TV, it's important!" Also on this day in history, it is the 229th anniversary of man's first ride in a balloon, which probably should have tipped us all off in the first place. [Via]
"Once upon a time, people used to write missives by hand – and share them on paper" —Do you remember when you had to take your tongue and, using your own saliva, physically moisten the back of a tiny piece of paper which you would then affix to the top right corner of a larger piece of paper (which held within it an even bigger piece of paper, which you had to fold into thirds with your own fingers, cramped though they might be from the forceful application of ink to the piece of paper so that you might convey your message in printed or scripted words), and [...]
"On May 1, 2003, Bush became the first sitting President to make an arrested landing in a fixed-wing aircraft on an aircraft carrier when he arrived at the USS Abraham Lincoln in a Lockheed S-3 Viking, dubbed Navy One, as the carrier lay just off the San Diego coast, having returned from combat operations in the Persian Gulf. He posed for photographs with pilots and members of the ship's crew while wearing a flight suit. A few hours later, he gave a speech announcing the end of major combat operations in the Iraq War. Far above him was the warship's banner stating 'Mission Accomplished.' Bush was criticized for the [...]
"Despite its reputation for bad hair and loud clothing, just about everything about the era — from the politics, leaders and safety to the music, TV shows and blockbuster movies — are seen as being better than they are today. In fact, 3 in 4 Americans (74%) thought that our country was better off then and even safer (76%). The same amount (76%) believe that government ran better in the 1980s than it does today. And if a presidential election were held today, 58 percent would vote for Ronald Reagan over Barack Obama. Americans ages 18 to 34 were evenly split, with 51 percent favoring Reagan and 49 percent Obama. [...]
With the news cycle set to "fast" these days, we often lose track of people who seemed to be all over the media landscape not so long ago. Today, we revisit a figure you may well have forgotten: Pope Francis. What has the old fellow been up to, since his 15 minutes passed? Oh, just living life the way any older person might go about their business. Here, some people are helping him unlock his apartment after a mishap. The people helping Francis are telling him that there's a spare key in case he loses this one again. It's going to be all right!
"Our apartment was a railroad flat—a long room running from the windows in the front to a small bedroom and a bathroom in the back. I slept on a mattress, under the windowsill in the front overlooking Ludlow. We burned crates and furniture in the fireplace to keep warm. There was no heat in the winter other than the gas stove. Tony and I lived on what we could afford—mostly canned stew and milkshakes. Across the street in the morning, you could hear kids from the nearby high school singing doo-wop in the doorway there. Other kids threw rocks at us because they thought we looked like the Beatles. [...]
For an hour or two today, Gmail was down. The entire world basically screeched to a halt. The economy crashed. A monkey in a coat wandered around an Ikea, in Toronto. And in offices everywhere, people were forced to talk to each other. Why did we ever think it was a good idea to trust our entire life to an Internet text-ad company that thought "Google+" was a good idea?
What did you do during the Great Mayan Apocalypse of December 10, 2012? Was it "fun," or did you keep trying to reload Gmail every thirty seconds, like a drug-addicted laboratory animal? Share your story of what it [...]
A central swath of the East Village, formerly known as Little Germany, then known as Little Kraków and Little Dnipropetrovsk, has, astoundingly, succeeded in achieving "historic district" designation. The district stretches down Second Avenue, which is now referred to as "Little Dartmouth Gangsta's Paradise," due to the habits of the khaki-clad worthies who clog its congested sidewalks of an evening, alternately issuing mating shrieks and vomit.
A little middle finger of the district extends up to St. Mark's Place, and its dangling feet hit Second Street. All of First Avenue is not covered, because it is ugly. Congratulations to the hundreds of slumlords who now must [...]
"Of course, not everyone has the purple blood to imitate His Royal Badness. The decision is left up to the judges. But remember: the clones can earn up to $25,000 per year on a part-time basis. Not a bad salary for donning a little eyeliner, some lacy frocks and gyrating like Elvis!" —As is their wont, the guys at Ego Trip have unearthed something wonderful for us.
"Mosaic, based on the work of Berners-Lee and the hypertext theorists before him, is generally recognized as the beginning of the web as it is now known. Mosaic, the first web browser to win over the Net masses, was released in 1993 and made freely accessible to the public. The adjective phenomenal, so often overused in this industry, is genuinely applicable to the… 'explosion' in the growth of the web after Mosaic appeared on the scene. Starting with next to nothing, the rates of the web growth (quoted in the press) hovering around tens of thousands of percent over ridiculously short periods of time were no real surprise." —Mosaic, [...]
"2013 marks 35 years of video game music (Space Invaders, released in 1978 was the first game to feature a continuous soundtrack). So we took the opportunity to take a look back at some of our favourite examples of video game music and build a 19 track mashup, combining them with some other tracks we love. The tracks used vary from some of the original 8-bit tracks from the Atari, GameBoy, through '90s N64 and PS1 classics, right up to modern day symphonic epics that accompany some of today's blockbuster games." —I am at the point in life where every previous experience or memory is starting to blend together [...]
"A subterranean railway under London was awfully suggestive of dank, noisome tunnels buried many fathoms deep beyond the reach of light or life; passages inhabited by rats, soaked with sewer drippings, and poisoned by the escape of gas mains. It seemed an insult to common sense to suppose that people who could travel as cheaply on the outside of a Paddington bus would prefer, as a merely quicker medium, to be driven amid palpable darkness through the foul subsoil of London." —The first stretch of London's Metropolitan Line opened on January 9th, 1863. That's 150 years ago today, which, if you've been on an A train here in [...]
"Today, masturbation on TV draws only a small kerfuffle, if that. Neither Sally Draper's prepubescent self-exploration on Mad Men nor her mom's passionate encounter with a washing machine caused much of a commotion, for example, and even Louis C.K.'s darkly funny self-gratification after a meaningful moment with a beautiful anti-masturbation activist garnered only mild surprise when it aired in 2011. But back in 1992, even the suggestion of a little solo sex was a big deal. Nine out of 10 of NBC's scheduled advertisers pulled their ads before the broadcast, and Seinfeld's writers and cast braced themselves for a backlash."