As you may have heard, Columbia House Records is kaput. On behalf of every kid who got suckered into that thing, good; on behalf of every adult to ever used it as an example of why things that Look Too Good might actuallybe less than great, it’s a pity. I think my family had to move twice to get away from the monthly mailings of LPs no one wanted, plus postage, because I couldn’t be bothered to send in the cards.
You were enticed by two-page spreads in the comic books,which offered stacks of 8-tracks to make your life more groovy. Some examples:
That's quite a time capsule there. Partridge Family, Crossworld Puzzle? Ta-da:
Rote dreck. Columbia wasn’t the only one. There was also the Record Corporation of America, which made you think it was backed by RCA and thus a venerable brand you could trust. (That was RADIO Corporation of America.)
Same deal, more or less, but a bit more highbrow. The Planets! In 8-track glory. No doubt it made that CUNK-CUNK sound in the middle of "Venus," spoiling the mood completely.
Was Columbia really the Spotify of the 80s? Not really, but this recollection sums up the experience as well as anyone could.
TV Good news: there will be a season 4 of “Ripper Street.” Haven’t seen the 3d season yet, but the first two were sharp, compelling shows with great production values. No word yet on the 3rd season of “Halt and Catch Fire,” AMC’s prestige drama that had a second season as good as first season was bad. Apparently ratings were subterranean. It probably ended where it should; leave it be.
BZZZZZZ SLAP A new idea to control mosquitos. Gizmodo:
In an experiment that might be construed as evil if we weren’t talking about mosquitoes, the insect control company Oxitec decided to see what happens when Aedes aegypti eggs are injected with a custom gene that hinders development. The gene doesn’t kill the mosquitoes outright, it simply prevents their offspring from reaching sexual maturity. Once its genetically modified self-destruction bugs had reached adulthood, Oxitec began field trials, releasing them into the wild in dengue-ridden regions of Panama, Brazil, Malaysia, and the Cayman Islands. By unleashing ‘a sufficient number of male mosquitoes’ to outcompete the local bugs (this sounds like a horrifying experiment, if well intentioned), the company was able to suppress wild populations by over 90 percent. Oxitec is planning additional trials for the Florida Keys later this year, pending FDA approval.
Sounds good, right? But what about the creatures who feed on skeeters? Will bats start coming after us if there aren’t any delicious little bugs to snack upon?
Okay, the Dristan is really starting to kick in; time to find a string to tie my head to my shoulders. See you around.