This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.
The last hot day, the weatherpeople say. Rain? Don’t be ridiculous. It doesn’t rain anymore.
MARKETING Yesterday was Star Trek Day, and before you think I’m late to the story, A) I am, but B) I talked about this last week before it happened. Here’s how Oreos celebrated it:
I had no idea Oreos updated their site with such exacting specificity. It’s called the Daily Twist, and it commemorates each each in Oreo form. And so it came to pass that I learned about a new ZZ Top album from a Nabisco website. That makes sense nowadays.
It took them four years to make the album, although of course they broke for meals now and then. Billy Gibbons describes it thus:
We were quite pleased to hear the final version. What you suspect you’re hearing is what you’re getting: three guys playing the same three chords.
I thought that’s what it might sound like, but couldn’t be certain. The album comes out today.
Someone already posted the entire thing on YouTube.
GANGNAM It’s over. Psy is still cool, but it’s over with this song.
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Apparently there’s a new responsible, put-together Britney, which replaces the old one who shaved her head and lost her kids. Remember those days? No? Good for you.
INTERNETS Nipplegate, or how a New Yorker cartoon was rejected by Faceboo
I have a big book of old New Yorker cartoons, which I got at a young age; didn’t understand half of them. This one, for example. Coal miners. One of them says “For gosh sakes, here comes Mrs. Roosevelt.” Made no sense whatsoever, until you learned that she was noted for her busy travel schedule. Went everywhere, shook hands, met folks, assured them that Franklin felt their plight. Also, this: “Let’s go to the Trans-Lux and hiss Roosevelt.” (Link goes to Arno’s pants-free version, which was not published.) (I’d post the cartoon but permission and rights are spotty, and for all I know someone would sue the paper right out from underneath us, and I’d have that on my conscience.)
Didn’t know what a Trans-Lux was, until later. It was a theater chain that showed only newsreels. But that’s only part of it. Wikipedia:
In 1920, Furber formed American Lux (Latin for "light") Products, and three years later, using a fine high-quality natural silk, it created its first successful screen, with initial sales going mostly to schools and churches. It was only after a visit to the New York Stock Exchange that Furber saw a truly profitable application for rear projection. At the time, brokers obtained the latest stock quotes, provided by Western Union's telegraph, or wire service, from a glass dome-topped ticker. The machine printed the results onto a long thin piece of paper known as a ticker tape, with the brokers closest to the printer having the advantage. Prior to this invention, any stock information was hand-written, usually on a chalk board; although the results were less immediate, they were better displayed.
Furber combined the best aspects of both methods: by enlarging the stock quotations from the running ticker tape and displaying them onto a rear projection screen. In 1923, the company installed the first "Movie ticker" ticker tape projection system at the New York Stock Exchange. Like every ticker of the time it was a mechanical format, but by using yellow dots on a black background it gave the illusion of electronically generated green letters and numbers.
It is this stock ticker that provided the company's name: "Trans-Lux" meaning "moving light".
That must have seemed marvelously modern, but the Twenties were a time of great technological advances. Everything still looked old, though; that’s the odd part. The streamlined look didn’t come until later. All those modern innovations wore old clothes. Put it this way: imagine if the first home computer monitors looked like 1950s portable TVs.
Which would have been pretty cool, when you think about it.
One more thing: Today’s Oreo Twist.
If you’re thinking ‘c’mon, it’s time to move on,” take heart. Mediabistro notes that there was a moment of silence this morning in New York.
The cable networks all carried it, with ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning” carrying it as well. The only national general news program to not carry the moment of silence was NBC’s ‘Today,” which, in an odd bit of counter-programming, opted to air an interview with “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star Kris Jenner, who talked about the new season of the reality show, and her breast implants.
That’s where they moved on to.