Pratt & Whitney - A bit waspy.

Here's a graphical idea that somebody had to do sooner or later. A jet engine looks a lot like a wasp, and makes a really memorable image for an ad. "Wasp nest in East Hartford".
This ad ran in the Nov 15th, 1952 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. It sounds weird, to our modern ears of the future, to see an ad for jet engines in a general interest magazine. But, this tells us about the nature of the medium at the time. In 1952, there weren't 800 TV channels,  podcasts, and a thousand struggling magazines dedicated to any activity engaged in by more than two people. The Saturday Evening Post and Life magazine were huge. Everybody in the family  read them. Look through the magazine, and you can find ads for industrial products like caster wheels, electrical motor controls and jet engines, in addition to the normal stuff like deodorant and televisions. It shows us that media was more consolidated then, and not at all fragmented and specialized like it is now.

So anyway, this wasp engine is pretty darn cool. A clever fellow could snip it out of the background and save it on alpha for easy placement in whatever picture he wanted, a clever fellow could. If only one of those types were here. A clever one, I mean. Ah well. We'll just have to make do with this Rude Finger Graphical Gift of a wasp engine snipped out of its background and saved on alpha for easy placement in whatever picture we want. The wings are appropriately translucent at 55% opacity, too. So, you can see through them. Right click with your rude finger and save that PNG to scare your kids with.Left and right. Big and small.You're welcome.


Champion Spark Plugs - The mothership connection.

Here's the Champion mother ship, guiding a happy family on their "vacation tour" through, uuh, El Paso, if the picture on my salsa jar is accurate... and salsa's never lied to me before.
I wanted to complete the P-Funk joke with some kind of "flash light" reference, in connection with the picture in the ad, but I came up empty on that. Note to self: have the assistant editor leave out that last sentence in the final post. No one must believe a joke was stillborn on my watch.

So, to hear Champion tell it, all you need to do is check your plugs and all you'll have to worry about on your "vacation tour" is adjusting your carburetor every 45 minutes due to the changing climate as you drive south into the salsa label. Oh, and watch those corners. Your tires are probably bias ply, as opposed to radials. They'll deform badly under side loads... not that your 75 horsepower Oldsmobuick can achieve a speed likely to make that happen. Old cars are fun to look at, but just believe your modern car is a better thing to drive. Sorry, Dad.
So anyway, somebody spent a lot of time airbrushing that giant spark plug. This was 1941, and computers were still grunting and banging rocks together. So, there were no P-Shop All Stars just yet (Yes! Funkadelic joke redemption!). Everything in that spark plug was masked with frisket material (adhesive film), cut with an X-Acto knife and sprayed with an airbrush. The detail in the metal knurling (yep, that's what it's called) on the spark plug must have been an absolute chore to do. Eff that.

Who did all that work? We do have a hard-to-read signature. In a demonstration of the frreaky power of the web, I searched on "ickery" and "artist" a few different ways and came up with John Vickery. Is it him?
Well, there are a few posters like this one that look like the same artist painted them. But, the clincher is his signature, found on "identifyartistsignatures.com". Scully, we have a match.
Vickery was an Australian artist who did a lot of commercial work but also did lots of interesting modern stuff, it turns out. It's always interesting to see what people prefer to do when they're not on the clock. Wikipedia doesn't seem to know about him at all, but the exhibition page in that link says he died in 1983, just when the video game industry crashed. Coincidence? Yep.

Lastly, here's a piece of sciency weirdness I found out while I was looking up bias ply tires in preparation to ridicule them: the steel wire bead in car tires generates a magnetic field when you're driving. What the eff? Not scary or life-changing, but very weird. Here's the study by the Berne University of Applied Sciences.


10 Inch Telescope - Mr. Veberg and Dr. Rob.

Joke #1 - "Honestly, I don't know how I get myself into these situations. Maybe if I turn this wheel a little to the- OWW! NOOO! Not that one..... *pant, pant* Well, maybe if I gently turn this one to the-AAAAH! DEAR GOD, NO!!!..."

Joke #2 - In the early forties, researchers experimented with telescopes that could be adjusted scrotally, but were criticized as being "weird" and "pointless".

Joke #3 - In just a few more minutes, Dr. Rob would be ready to switch on the Grandpa Detector,  writing his name in the pages of history by making the first major discovery in the field.

Joke #4 - While early designs needed to be counterbalanced with a large telescope, later versions of the ass-sombrero were stabilized by a complex system of gyroscopes, allowing the wearer far greater mobility, if not greater dignity. Dignity, however, was not what the ass-sombrero wearer was about.

Joke #5 - "All right, Mr. Veberg, the machine is warming up. I'll just need you to hold very still and carefully remove the top of your head."

Joke #6 - Mr. Veberg didn't want a telescope in the back yard. It would ruin his view of the birds in the big sycamore, he said, and stood his ground. Rob was determined, though, so he just built the observatory around him.

Joke #7 - It was only after the observatory's completion that Dr. Rob realized he'd built the dome without a retractable roof. That was fine. Fortunately, Rob's telescope was also a cannon. First the roof. Then the moon.

Joke #8 is from Sue. Thanks Sue! Take THAT, science!!!"Why, yes, Robert, I DO think we will make a million dollars on our 'Fly Zipper'! No, I DO NOT think a hand held device would sell better! Go big or go home, Rob!"

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


Charles Atlas - This could be you.

Charles Atlas' bodybuilding ads are famous for appearing in the back of comic books. Usually, the saga of Mac was portrayed in short form, crammed into a tiny fraction of a page. Here, as found in the pages of February 1947's Popular Mechanics is a full-page ad featuring the lavishly produced narrative once and for all. Yes, this is real.
Mac is hopelessly in love with Alice, a girl who values only strength and cruelty. The key to a happy, long-term relationship with her is simple. All Mac has to do is 1) become the strongest, most violent man in town and 2) remain so for the rest of his life. The moment Mac can no longer beat the shit out of any and all other men, Alice will fracture her pelvis spreading her legs for the man who can. Truly the girl next door. One can understand Mac's obsession with her.

Eventually, Alice will climb the ladder
of local mouth-breathing oafs (oaves?) until she finds herself tearfully describing a domestic disturbance to the police, dabbing at her bleeding lip. This is the life she chose.

The story of Mac, Alice and Bully is neat and clean. It has a definite beginning, middle, and end. Trouble is, it's too trite. We've seen it a million times. Angry nerd pines for screwed-up beauty queen with father issues. Bully beats up nerd. Nerd apparently becomes fit and strong in the same afternoon and returns the beating to Bully while wearing the exact same clothes. Former nerd finally gets cold, hateful beauty queen. All are happy, except for Bully, who presumably goes off and never comes back.

What this story needs is a surprise ending.


Kooking Kornir - Compressed meat disc of adequate nutrition!

Mouth vehicles, prepare to construct a hyper-savory nutrient puck to fulfill the belly requirements of your hungriest planetary conquerors! Behold the compressed meat disc of adequate nutrition!

Initiate procedure in this fashion! Acquire sixteen pounds of well-marbled creature meat. Marbling occurs when creatures are largely sedentary, so let us hope that your victims did not receive adequate physical conditioning before choosing to become your supplicants! BAH hah hah hah hah! Depending on creature physiology and your metabolism, you may choose to de-horn, de-fur, or de-scale your creatures.

My adventures have shown me the wisdom of choosing to cook using humans. They are rarely well-conditioned for battle and seem to reproduce in large numbers at any convenience, rather than at preordained optimal biological cycles. The fools! If choosing humans for your meat disc of adequate nutrition, endeavor to harvest them during their nocturnal somnolent phase. They are less resistant to conquering during this time. Additionally, you will find the humans to be more savory upon consumption if you scare them before preparation. Humans are most easily frightened by utterances of a single syllable at very high volumes. Appropriate volume for frightening humans is slightly above what I would call a "conversational bellow". My most successful syllable is "GRAAAAHHH". Scare to taste with syllable of your choice!

Place your creature meat into a freshly cleansed compression cylinder, such as may be found in the hydraulics bay of your starship. The pressures required to actuate standard starship landing gear (530 pounds per square Earth-inch) are also very nearly ideal for creature meat compression. If you are are accustomed to the cuisine of the northern reaches of the Spyuff mountains on the second moon of Ixst, you may also choose to leave your compression cylinder in an un-cleansed state, for the various flavors that hydraulic fluid imparts to your creature meat. Those entities of Ixst really know how to wantonly celebrate! They are aware of their identities!

After two standard lunar orbits, test your meat disc with a claw. If the meat is insolent or is too soft, compress an additional lunar cycle or until meat disc has learned some manners. The meat disc can be difficult to extract from the compression cylinder. If I am extremely hungry or merely impatient, I prefer to simply crash the ship into a convenient planetoid, extricating the newly-formed meat disc from the wreckage. Destruction of a perfectly serviceable starship is also a delightful excuse to serve canapes and get in some additional shouting.

 Locate meat disc among the wreckage and messily devour! Alternately, meat discs of adequate nutrition of this nature can be stored for many lunar cycles, providing convenient energy to all your metabolic functions on your longest forced marches across surfaces of varied conditions!

When served as the centerpiece to a gala luncheon, the meat disc goes well with chardonnay, strawberry spritzer, or hydrogen. Do not plan to accommodate leftovers! All fragments of the  meat disc of adequate nutrition shall form an accretion disc spiraling rapidly into your guests' toothy maws with no hope of escape! You shall see!

Recipe complete! I am Oteogg! Hear me!


1961 Ford Econoline - Be mine.

This is what I want. Now and then I'll browse through the listings on Hemmings or Ebay amd dream of buying a Ford Econoline from the early sixties.
They're ugly by any modern standard, but beautiful by the "hilariously pudgy" standard. You can get one for about ten thousand, but bringing it back up to "like new" would probably cost twice that. There aren't any fancy parts inside, and the moving parts are all very ordinary, so I think most mechanics can work on them easily enough. However, finding parts may be kind of tricky. Ah well.

Possibly best of all, Early Ford Econolines look wall-eyed, like someone who's been hit on the head really hard. It gives the truck that difficult-to-achieve "derrrrr" look that creates the impression you're driving around in a semi-concussed version of the Catbus from Totoro. This is an excellent way to demonstrate to the world that you're secure with your masculinity.

RUDE FINGER GRAPHIC GIFT TIME! The trucks featured in today's post have been lovingly extracted from their backgrounds and presented to you as PNGs on transparency. You can insert them in your email sig, use them as avatars, or grab them with your mouse and go "BRRRRRRMMMMMMM!" across your computer screen. Choose the pointlessly huge 2000-pixel-wide versions or the reasonably 400-pixel-wide ones... or grab both sizes if you want to be greedy about it. Just save a few for the rest of the class.


Trees down. Blogger down.

[P.A.G. internal memorandum follows]

Could someone please get on the horn to Blogger and ask them what the eff? The image uploader is once again stuffed, and as you all know, pictures are the bread and butter of our collective meat and potatoes.

Disclaimers and excuses dept: Please whip up some kind of explanation about Chicago being pounded about the head and shoulders by a furious system of storms that blew down a zillion trees and a few Sears Towerses. Sorry, what's the new corporately auctioned off name for that building? Oh yeah. "Willis Tower". What you talkin bout, Willis tower naming committee? Jagoffs.

Images and Scanning Them Dept: Please have a fresh ridiculous and defenseless old picture ready to go once Google gets it's thumb out of it's backside and remembers how to upload a picture. If the Okidata AdequateScan 620 is down, just grab another one out of Storage Closet F on the fifth floor. The Equipmemnt Aqcuisition Squad found a pallet of them at Montana Charlie's Little America Flea Market and Dysintery Distribution Center over the weekend, so no more excuses for un-scanned pictures. I want no less than three P.A.G. IAST staffers constantly hitting the "upload" button until it works. We've got literally tens of viewers waiting to see what we've got in store. Some of them are depending on us, perhaps!

Today's lunch in the GO! Cafeteria is carefully arranged peas and medium ham quadrants. The vegetarian option is salmon cubes in aspic with napkin.



Quaker State DeLuxe - Mink oil.

A sophisticated woman demands the very best marketing money can buy. Every product she buys must have a gold aluminized foil package and swoopy cursive writing. That's how she knows it's allegedly better than the other products.
Based on the indisputable premise that stupid people are dangerous, Quaker State is doing society a service by removing surplus funds from the stupid, thereby diminishing their ability to affect change in the world. So, thanks to Quaker State for that little public service.

Ingenious lies aside, there's some nice artwork here. First there's the beautiful scratchy texture. This is achieved by a certain application of "gesso" to the canvas or art board prior to painting.

Gesso (pronounced with a soft "g", like a "j") is a kind of thick white primer applied evenly (usually) to a surface before painting. It seals the surface and keeps the paint from soaking into the canvas/board/wood so that it behaves properly during the work. Usually, the goal is to get the gesso applied smoothly, but in this case, it was brushed on heavily and in two directions - vertically and horizontally, being allowed to dry between applications. The result is this criss-cross fabric-y texture. This way, the paint tends to skip over the dry gesso, allowing the texture to be seen through the paint. For areas of fine detail like the face and oil can, the gesso can either be sanded smooth (before painting!) or built up to a smooth surface by a thick layer of paint.

Chrome is not so hard to pull off, once you understand the reflections. To do some fairly simple chrome, think about the surface of your metal. Areas that point up at the sky can be kind of sky blue. Areas that angle toward the ground can be grey or some other ground-ish color.
The line where dark and light meet can be contoured to help describe the shape of the surface, but that's just details.

I do not know what kind of car that is back there. Sometimes, a client or director will ask for a genericized car, to avoid, umm, I dunno, car companies being angry that you gave them free advertising? People are smart.

Quaker State made this attempt get the other half of humanity to give a damn about what brand of oil is in their engine. The continued absence of luxury motor oil on store shelves tells us how well it worked.


Wall of Meters - Walt and Gerb.

Joke #1 - "You're kidding! They can't all go 'beep'. What about THIS one?"

Joke #2 - "Jeez, Walt. My arm's killing me. Can we switch places a little early today? You do the pointing and I'll say 'three' into the phone."

Joke #3 - "I heard someone say 'bomb'!!! Wait. False alarm. It was 'flan'."  - Deep inside the homeland security call monitoring center.

Joke #4 - "That's right sir. One of them moved. Yes, I'm sure. It could be a neutrino detection. Also, Gerb has been farting like crazy. Can I get a transfer to... WAIT! Don't hang up!"

Joke #5 - "Yes, Gerb. That dial is also my favorite. I see it."

Joke #6 - "Yes sir, I'm sure. One of them moved. Someone has activated a new AOL account!"

Joke #7 - "Well, there's a leak in the coolant reservoir. Yes, that's right. I'd give us two days before the fuel rods are exposed. Also, can we have a second chair? See, Gerb has those corns, and ...Hello?"

Joke #8 comes from Brain Thought. Thanks, Brain! - ""Check engine soon, wonder what that's all about."


Kaywoodie Pipes - DFH gift set. You're welcome.

Nothing too funny in this Kaywoodie ad. No absurd claims of smoking aiding your digestion or uses of the undefinable word "healthful". Just some weird pipe jargon like "it's briar is unique", and "exclusive drinkless fitment". Say what? I dunno. Go ask a lodge member.

The reason to look at this ad is these three fantastic Disembodied Floating Heads (DFHs). As you'd expect from a pipe ad, the pipe smoking guy is the best, with his smarmy shiteater turned all the way up to ten. In fact, these guys are so great, how much would you pay for each one of them presented to you in crazy high resolution? Two dollars? Two dollars and five cents? Don't answer, because we're also going to offer you these fine museum-quality DFHs as PNG files, which is a file format that supports alpha channel. Yes, you get three giant Floating Heads with a transparent background, ready to be pasted into your email sig, FaceTube blog, Chirpy page, or inappropriate family photos. Order now and get a second copy of each one at a smaller 200px size for your additional right-clicky-save pleasure.

Brought to you by the Images And Scanning Them Brigade at Phil Are Go!, and the letter "H".


Lancer Pools - Car from another world.

Just ten or so pages past the ad with the bear from another dimension, we find this pool/car dimensionally anomalous ad for Lancer pools in the very same 1959 issue of Life magazine. We'll go easy on them in the "execution" column because their art comping tools amounted to scissors and glue. However, they still get graded heavily on concept and design. Lancer Pools: negative a million for baffling decisions.

Painting of suburban backyard. Check. Happy ethnocentric white bread family enjoying pool. Check. Price of pool printed large and tilty to show how excited we should be. Check. Pasted-in photograph of a super compact car. Check. Doubleyou tee eff?

"Hi Becky! I just thought I'd come see your new pool in my new extra-realistic car. Hope you don't mind that I brought my loosely-painted daughter along! I think you'll notice she's loosely painted, just like me and my absent husband. I can't help but notice you're loosely painted too, as is your back yard. That's all great, but how do you like my totally realistic car? Pretty distracting, huh?"

Let's reserve judgment. Maybe the company had a tie-in with a car manufacturer?
Hey! Check it out! For some reason, Lancer DID mention that their pools are so affordable, everyone can buy a second car, specifically, a Renault Dauphine! Why? No idea. But, the car totally upstages the pool, which presumably is supposed to be the star of the show. Frikkin' weird, man.

Also, the pool features hygen-ioned-ness, which will keep your family from growing a shiny layer of algae or something... unless that's what you're into, in which case BOOO for hynegne-inoeen!


Harrison Automotive Air Conditioning - The bear from another world.

Setting: Day. Interior office of a successful ad agency. Scenery: Desk, walls, window with sophisticated downtown backdrop. Props: Various matted art boards and comps of artwork for advertising accounts. A busy and important art director sits behind a desk, flipping through a proposal, smoking several cigarettes at once and looking very focused.
[Sound FX: Knocking at door.]

ART DIRECTOR: Come on in.


ART DIRECTOR: Good morning, Jerry. I have a fun one for you this week. Cigarette?

COMMERCIAL ARTIST: Great, Kent! I'd love a cigarette, and a drink or two on the job! I sure am glad it's nineteen fifty-nine!

ART DIRECTOR: Right you are, chum! I'm still drunk from that funeral yesterday afternoon. [Both laugh]

 [ART DIRECTOR pours drinks. Gives cigarette to COMMERCIAL ARTIST]

ART DIRECTOR: Jerry, this one's for Harrison. Big account. Build "air conditioning" systems for cars. Lots of dough. Wanna make a big impression with this ad. You're my best photo comp man, so you're on the job.

COMMERCIAL ARTIST: Thanks, Kent! What's the dope?

ART DIRECTOR: We have these photos of a swanky yard and a pool. You're going to comp in a picture of a polar bear jumping in the water. Should look refreshing. Summery. You know. The boys down in photography just finished blowing up the bear shot to the right scale last night. It's all ready for you.

COMMERCIAL ARTIST: Uuuh, fur can be tricky. The edges of the figure are vague and irregular. And the edges between the figure and background are indistinct. You know ... fuzzy! There's bound to be foggy halos at the edges ... And this bear has wet feet. The splashing water is impossible to paint out completely.

ART DIRECTOR: Bushwah. You're a magician. Just X-Acto it out and fuzz the edge with airbrush. It'll be fine.

COMMERCIAL ARTIST: But, Kent, it won't make sense. The patio is bone dry. We can't have a polar bear with water streaming off his feet onto dry stones. It'll look like he's stuck in grey chewing gum.

ART DIRECTOR: It's summer. The patio is hot. The water evaporates.

COMMERCIAL ARTIST: The patio is so hot the water instantly flashes to vapor on contact? Where is this back yard? On mercury?

ART DIRECTOR: No. Mercury is not a GM brand. What are you talking about, kid?

COMMERCIAL ARTIST: ...And the reflection of the bear in the water. I can't fake that. I only have an airbrush. It's not a magic wand, Kent.

ART DIRECTOR: Yes it is.

COMMERCIAL ARTIST: We should abandon this photographic approach and just do a nice painting. People love a nice rendered ad. It would be great.

ART DIRECTOR: Painting is out, grandpa! Photos are the new thing. Get on it, or out you go! You have till tomorrow morning. Here, take the rest of the gin. It's going to be a late night for you.

[COMMERCIAL ARTIST stares in disbelief, then exits in a daze. Comes back for bottle of gin, and exits again]

[ART DIRECTOR laces his fingers behind his head and leans back in his chair]

ART DIRECTOR: There's no way anyone will ever make fun of this on any kind of globally accessible communications network. I sure am earning my fifteen grand a year in 1959's money.


Meilink safe - Questionable product placement?

Product placement in TV and movies is nothing new. In the old days, a single company would sponsor an entire show. This resulted in things like Ricky and Lucy hawking Philip Morris cigarettes like they invented them. This ad for Meilink safes, from 1952, co-markets the product with a movie called The Thief.

I would think that a safe manufacturer wouldn't be to keen to show their product getting cracked in a movie, whether the audience knew it was fiction or not. Car manufacturers, fro example, can be a little jumpy about having their cars portrayed in video games while taking damage in crashes. Not good for the image. That's why some game reviews make special note of "real Porsches showing crash damage" with wide-eyed astonishment, when the manufacturers begrudgingly give the go-ahead for virtual pileups using their products.

At first glance, it looks as though the Meilink company did a cross-promotion showing their product in an unflattering light. But, whet you read the fine print, it says "Ray Milland using his Meilink safe in the great new picture "The Theif", released through United Artists." So, apparently there's no embarrassing depictions in the movie. Still, I'll search TCM for The Theif and see if there's anything surprising to be found. Possible update on this in the future, depending on the functionality of the Comcast title search feature.

Mentioning Rita Gam at the bottom of the ad not only lets Meilink  get another plug in for the movie, but it also lets them run a picture of a babe displaying her valuables to great advantage, which were apparently stored in a safe somehow.