Modem Family

Joke #1 - "Okay, I've cycled power, and brought him back up after two minutes. He's still tumescent. Now what? Pardon? What? The pills didn't come with any 'special pliers'!"

Joke #2 - "Yep! It's cancer. Thanks doc! This was much more convenient that driving to the hospital."

Joke #3 - "Good news, honey! The doctor says the infection has 'ksssshhhht', whatever that means."

Joke #4 - "Ooooh, I see that your firmware is updated already. Verrrry up...dated."  -I.T. porn scene.

Joke #5 - "Okay, I've extracted the basilic vein from his forearm and stuck it up his nose. What? Shark fin powder on his nipples? No, I don't have.... sigh. Honestly, I was never asked to do anything like this before our clinic's help line was outsourced to Guangzhou."

Joke #6 - "Wups. I'm sorry, sir. With your coverage, your healthcare provider says no procedures will be covered for any claims involving your health, or care, of any kind. Please leave your wallet with the receptionist and, if you could, please throw yourself on the pile of bodies behind the building. Thank you so very much!"

Joke #7 - In 1963, much money was made by clinics offering reverse de-electrolysis treatments, or "rug jobs",  using The Sean Connerizer.

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.   -Mgmt.]


Popular Mechanics - Science Bryce.

Guess who advertised in Popular Mechanics. Popular Mechanics! This 1961 ad features a terrific standard issue Eisenhower-era Generic White Man doing science. Using science like this, you could build a garage, make a burglar alarm, or build a bunk bed!

You need this guy, whom we will call Science Bryce, on your hard drive. You can use him to punch up all your best memos and notes. Such memos and notes as...

  • It's your birthday, so I'm making dinner tonight, honey.

  • Good news! My genetic simulacrum is pregnant with our doppleganger! Call the replicants!

  • We're out of coffee again.

  • Whoever took it, please return my bubbling vial of glowing fluid. Urgency: medium.

  • I'm leaving you, Gordon. He's twice the man you are and his name is Dwight... or Yngwe. I haven't decided yet.

We've got a graphic Gift for you, because your experiments came in on time and under budget this morning. His name's Bryce. Science Bryce. He's got an alpha channel background and he's ready to science the place up. Who's your buddy?

Get your rude finger to right click this gent into your privately funded research facility in three, two, one.... RIGHTCLICKNOW!!!!


Spuds - Finally, a cigarette that's good for you!......???

So apparently there was a brand of cigarettes called "spuds". Also, apparently, they were good for your cold, helped soothe a hoarse voice, cured your cough, and moistened your throat.

Click for big.

Sure, it was 1943, and we should go easy on them because the scientific method hadn't been invented yet, and nobody knew cigarettes were bad for you, right? Of course not. Let's get started.

What advertisers want most is for you to glance at the ad for a few seconds, accept their message and not look at any small writing. And most of all, do not pay attention to what the copy is very carefully NOT saying... probably because there are laws expressly forbidding them from just lying to you. However, deceptive implications and suggestions are super great. Ads like this from The Past are less sophisticated in the way they try to deceive you, but this still goes on today. Let's identify some logical fallacies.

Good for your cold. "Thousands do this, therefore they must be right." This is a perfect bandwagon fallacy. It's the old "Twenty thousand mothers can't be wrong." argument. They sure can be wrong. Also, the careful use of "seems" eliminates any objectivity and falsifiability from the argument. You can't prove or disprove how something "seems".

"They're not a remedy". A fleeting shred of truth, but then back to the deceit. "But many find them more agreeable". Bandwagon again, along with some of the anecdotal fallacy. In the end they're just comparing the experience of smoking Spuds to other cigarettes. "Pleasing" is subjective. What the ad is not saying is that their cigarettes will heal a stressed throat, but they'd be happy if you got that impression. Assuming that you have to smoke something is a false dilemma fallacy. "You must either smoke spuds or 'ordinary' cigarettes. The other option is smoking nothing, which would be better that anything else.

"Does not produce...acrolein". This is a red herring argument. Absence of acrolein doesn't mean the other compounds present in the smoke aren't bad for you. Their proud acrolien-related announcement is intended to distract you from thinking about all the other myriad chemicals present in cigarette smoke. This statement about acrolein could still be true if the cigarettes created plutonium when burnt.

"Enjoy the feeling...". Subjective and not provable.

"If your throat is over-strained, you better smoke Spuds" (paraphrased). This is another false dilemma argument. better still to stop smoking. To suggest that only Spuds can give this feeling of cool refreshment (something subjective) avoids a lie. Saying "only we can give you this ambiguous thing" is safely meaningless.

It's likely that everyone who worked at the Axton-Fisher Tobacco Company is now dead. It's also likely that everyone who worked there at the time this ad was prouced smoked Spuds. If these two things were verifiable, we could then enjoy the most fun-to-say logical fallacy by assuming that all of the workers are dead because of smoking Spuds. This would be a "post hoc ergo proptor hoc" fallacy, or "after this, because of this". Some of the workers may have, in fact, been killed by the marketing department after announcing that their cigarette line would be called "Spuds".


How to Create your Very-own Tele-Vision Scanning Disk! Behold!

Great news, tele-vision hobby-ists! To-day, Phil Are GO! is proud to bring you detailed instructions for building your own Tele-Vision scanning disk - the heart of your very own home Tele-Vision system! You'll still need other brick-a-brack, such as a light and electric-motor, but any gent on the street will tell you that, by far, the most difficult component to acquire of any Tele-Vision set-up is the Tele-Vision  scanning disk. Here now is a complete article for a perfectly current issue of Popular Science Monthly to show you, yes you, the home Tele-Vision hobby-ist how to make your own! How splendid!

Simply click each electro-photo with your computo-mouse to view each in a clearer, easier-to-read version.

"But wait, you bastard!" you may well be shouting. What in The World is on the Tele-Vision here in 1931? This is a fair question. Let me tell you there are ever so many programmes on your new Tele-Vision apparatus, from fisticuffs to piano instruction and a wonderful programme about Tele-Vision itself: Television Today! Observe such a list as this...

  • Exhibition Boxing Bouts premieres on the experimental W2XAB (1931–1932)
  • Hints for Swimmers premieres on the experimental W2XAB (1931)
  • Piano Lessons premieres on the experimental W2XAB (1931–1932).
  • The Television Ghost premieres on the experimental W2XAB (1931–1933).
  • Television Today premieres on the experimental W2XAB (1931).
  • W2XAB debuts music segments with Doris Sharp, Elliot Jaffee, Grace Yeager, Harriet Lee, and Helen Haynes, among others.
  • W2XCD debuts a semi-regular segment with singer Alice Remsen.

Please view this electro-film to see how your Tele-Vision apparatus will look once you complete your Scanning Disk...


Postum - How's your flower?

If you're tired, it may be because you drink.. too much coffee?? Say what?

The illustration in this ad kind of seems like the sort of thing they'd use to sell "feminine solutions", with the flower as a visual metaphor for one's freshness, but it's just about caffeine crashing.

It is possible that "riding the white pony" for a while can leave you drained from all the chemically induced go-power, if you've hit the coffee tureen hard enough. Just like anything that picks you up must let you down eventually. If you ask me, the smart money's on smoothing out that crash by easing down the caffeine crank with maybe some tea or a nice sodey pop.

Here's a decent  article on the subject from WebMD. Surprise! The long and short of it is that, yeah, you're going to come down after the rush. The stronger the up, the stronger the down. There are no free rides.

Side note: A quick Google search of "too much coffee low energy" is a cattle call for everyone trying to convince you that caffeine is a terrible poison that wants to kill you and shit in your shirt drawer. If you want something unbiased and evidence-based (meaning, the scientific consensus), as opposed to hyperbolic woo, you'd be wisest not to even bother clicking on the first link from "naturalnews", or the other one from "caffeineinformer". You know what you're going to get from them just from reading their URLs. They have an ideology to push on you, and probably a book to sell you. If you're looking for an echo chamber that feeds into your sense of paranoia, do your search however you like, of course.

Anyway, going cold turkey is a livable long-term solution, once you're off the stuff. This Postum ad makes it seem as if Postum gives you energy, which is a lie - or as an advertising person would call it, "talking".

So what does Postum give you? Well, Wikipedia's a decent source of non-controversial information (I wouldn't trust it for the straight dope on, say, the Arab-Israeli hootenanny that's bee rocking for a couple thousand years). The Wikipedia entry says...

a powdered roasted-grain beverage once popular as a coffee substitute. The caffeine-free beverage was created by Postum Cereal Company founder C. W. Post in 1895 and marketed as a healthful alternative to coffee.[1]:93 The Postum Cereal Company eventually became General Foods, which was bought by Kraft Foods. Post was a student of John Harvey Kellogg, who believed that caffeine was unhealthy.

Aaah, Kellogg. He was a piece of work. Even water is unhealthy in large enough doses, but the list of things on his "okey dokey list" included rectal electrocution. I'm sure it was intended to "stimulate the bowel" or whatever. Granted, that was the 1800s, and few people had a firm grip on the scientific method back then. Kellogg was really into your bowel. He loved flushing people out with water and on occasion, yogurt.

Kellogg also had some rather puritanical views on masturbation. Some of his therapies involved applying carbolic acid to the clitoris to prevent women from any of that "harmful" masturbation. So, coffee bad, burning a lady's junk, a-ok. Got it. Thanks, John. Thanks for helping.  Ironically, a little bit of "me time" may have been just the thing to help Kellogg relax about the whole enema fixation and keep his mind out of everyone's poop chute, not to mention worrying about what women did with their "curious fingers". If you ask me, Kellogg is a fine example of someone who "doth protest too much", and I'm given to wonder what he got up to behind closed doors, after a long day of administering butt smoothies and napalming ladies' hoo-has.

They made a movie about him, which is really good and stars Matthew Broderick and Anthony Hopkins, The Road to Wellville. Holy crap! The whole thing is up on FaceTube! You can enjoy it over a nice iced coffee. That's my evening. See you.


American School of Aviation - Are you a He-Man?

Are you a red-blooded, daring he-man? If you are, then by the power of Grayskull, have we got an opportunity for you... back in 1927. Be an aviation!

Back in '27, airplanes were new and exciting. The age when commercial aviation became a humiliating ordeal in which you are not allowed to have baggage, but instead are eyeballs-deep in the "emotional support dogs" of your neurotic fellow passengers was still many decades away. No, friends. Back then, blood was red, and men were he, and also daring. Except..... hey, wait a second!

None of the actually advertised jobs are anything like being a pilot. Maybe being an instructor requires you to know how to fly the plane, but that could just as easily be an instructor who teaches people to be... "mechanicians"? This whole thing stinks of bait and switchiness. Look at the photos. Crowds crowding around the plane, each fighting for their chance to get naked with the red-blooded he-man at the controls. The promise of your own leather Time Bandits hat. These are all things that the frikkin pilot gets to enjoy.

David Warner as the evil pilot in Time Bandits, and as the deceitful douchebag who created this ad.

And why is the salesman's salary listed as "$5000 a year" when all the others are described in terms of "per week"? Divide 5000 by 52 and you get about $96 bucks a week... a salary that falls near the middle of the pack for the other aviation gigs.

They wanted the biggest number next to the sales job because they wanted it to jump out at you - assuming you're in a hurry, don't read the fine print, or are just dumb. This must be because the American School of Aviation wanted salesmen the most. I promise you, the adoring crowds in that photo are not shouting "Who sold you the plane? We MUST know, so we can have hot monkey sex with him and/or her!"

So, tricking people with advertising is as old as advertising. Shocking. Anyway, here's the Disembodied Floating Head from today's ad. Maybe you can use him to Tom Sawyer people into doing your boring work, thinking it's a total party, while you pop off and fly around.


Along the Way - Barny's corn cakes.

Today we bring you another report on the schoolbooks of Rosemary the Namer. She's the little girl that owned these books, and she it was who really really liked making up names for the people in the illustrations.

Just a lazy afternoon giving your dolly a good hard shake while riding the bus.

Today's chapter is about "indians", which is kind of like getting lost on the way to New York, winding up in Nevada, and thereafter referring to the people you met there as "Yorkies". It only took a couple of hundred years for that habit to die out.

Anyway, there's some stuff about corn cakes, and our patronizing view of indigenous peoples, which is par for the course in 1948. if you want, you can just skip ahead to pages 60 and 61, where Rosemary the namer does some good work.

The girls can make rattles too? This was subversive stuff in '48, and probably got this book burned in some states.

When presented with a two-page spread of anonymous kids, Rosemary the Namer's pen cannot lie still. She goes through all the standard apostles' names, which is about average for a little Catholic girl (safe assumption) growing up in Chicago. But did she name them left to right or right to left? I want to believe she started on the left, naming Barny the Indian first, and only then resorting to the more predictable names. Hooray for Barny the indian. You just know he was the comedy relief Indian who was always knocking over the corn meal and falling off his horse. Ol' Barny never caught a break... until he opened his own Casino.