There’s no airline food like old school airline food

Tuesday, 9 August, 2016

There’s very likely a reason latter day air travellers don’t like airline food, that’s because they don’t cook it, or for that matter, serve it, the way they used to. Check out these photos on the Flickr page of SAS Museet, or museum of Scandinavian Airlines, of the way things used to be.

Could you even imagine having a meal served this way on a regular commercial flight? No, I doubt it’s a sight we’ll see again.

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You need no longer concern yourself with the VCR…

Wednesday, 3 August, 2016

I remember the VCR, or VideoCassette Recorder, and I remember the day it was superseded by CD and DVD discs. I remember the tape tangling up, and being “eaten” by VCR players. I remember them making owning a collection of movies more trouble than it was worth, on account of their bulk and weight.

Not that DVDs were without their shortcomings. Or downloadable movies for that matter. Anyway, the final batch of VCRs was manufactured last month. I know some people will miss them, but not here.

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Stand by Me, it’s been thirty years since that fateful summer

Monday, 1 August, 2016

And it’s been thirty years since Stand by Me, directed by Rob Reiner, was released. It seems hard to believe, but the film may never have been made, as Stephen King, who wrote the short novel that the screenplay was based on, wasn’t, at first, willing to be involved.

After convincing a reluctant Stephen King to allow them to adapt his novella, “The Body,” for the screen, writers Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon brought the project to AVCO Embassy Pictures, a production and distribution company owned by Norman Lear. For King, who based the story on his own childhood, it was a leap of faith. The horror writer had bad experiences with Hollywood and was unhappy with adaptations of his books “The Shining” and “Christine.”

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For the love of the old Australian milk bar

Wednesday, 27 July, 2016

The milk bar of old, is fast fading from the suburbs. Australian artist, designer, and illustrator Eamon Donnelly, is intent on preserving their memory, and the place they held, and still hold, in Australia.

The Australian Milk Bar was quietly fading away without anyone noticing, an Australian icon was disappearing like an ice cream melting in the hot summers sun. I had still visited Milk Bars over the years but hadn’t really noticed a change until that day. I had always imagined Dave’s would still be there.

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Do you remember the days of the old roller-skating rinks?

Wednesday, 20 July, 2016

Remember the days of the old roller-skating rinks? Anyone? If you are feeling nostalgic though, Cascade takes a look at the rink, of the same name, in the US city of Atlanta.

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There’s no accounting for taste, especially our own

Friday, 24 June, 2016

Why do our tastes, or preferences, become our tastes and preferences, why do they change over time, and why do we think we had bad taste in the past, when, say, we look at old photos of ourselves, and cringe at the way we used to dress, or style our hair? The here and now is always the new black, it seems, while the past, was, I don’t know, some other colour.

It is reminiscent of the moment, looking through an old photo album, when you see an earlier picture of yourself and exclaim, “Oh my God, that hair!” Or “Those corduroys!” Just as pictures of ourselves can look jarring because we do not normally see ourselves as others see us, our previous tastes, viewed from “outside”, from the perspective of what looks good now, come as a surprise. Your hairstyle per se was probably not good or bad, simply a reflection of contemporary taste. We say, with condescension, “I can’t believe people actually dressed like that,” without realising we ourselves are currently wearing what will be considered bad taste in the future.

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What a tangled web we weave when first we begin to compose music

Tuesday, 21 June, 2016

The Musicmap, by Belgian architect Kwinten Crauwels, might look pretty straightforward when it loads in your browser, but zoom in. What started out as a dozen or so music genres, expands into over two hundred and thirty sub-genres, that encompasses almost one hundred and fifty years of pop music history.

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1976, birthday music by Dion Lunadon

Thursday, 9 June, 2016

New Zealand musician Dion Lunadon likes 1976 so much, he wrote a song about it. Mind you, he was also born that year, so that might have something to do with it. That’s definitely a 1970s guitar riff going on there though.

The video was produced by US film editor Ryan Ohm, as a private project, using archival footage. Works well I think.

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Tetris, the story of the pieces that don’t always fit together

Wednesday, 8 June, 2016

The story behind video shape puzzle game Tetris, that was created thirty-two years ago, is almost as fascinating, and, at times, perplexing, as the game itself.

It’s here that the rights issue surrounding Tetris became somewhat fraught. The UK company Andromeda was forced to negotiate a proper licensing deal with Elorg when the latter’s director, Alexander Alexinko, noticed that Andromeda was selling on rights that it didn’t actually own. Meanwhile, Spectrum HoloByte sub-licensed its rights to Henk Rogers’ company, Bulletproof Software, which planned to sell Tetris in Japan, without realizing that Mirrorsoft had also sub-licensed the game to Atari, who planned to sell it not only in America, but also in Japan.

Just goes to show, that when you’re onto a good thing, everyone wants not one, but a couple of slices of the pie.

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Roman-era notes come to light on London construction site

Friday, 3 June, 2016

Hand written documents, that were composed nearly two thousand years ago, have been uncovered during construction work in London’s financial district. They are said to be the oldest hand written messages ever found in Britain.

So far 87 have been deciphered, including one addressed “in London, to Mogontius” and dated to AD 65-80, making it the earliest recorded reference to the city, which the Romans called Londinium. Another is dated January 8, AD 57 and is considered Britain’s earliest dated hand-written document.

I sure hope whoever wrote these notes wasn’t worried about their contents becoming public, even if that were to happen twenty centuries later.

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