Kooking Kornir - Cells Parma. A little snack.

Our regular readers all know that, here at P.A.G. Kitchens, we try to show you how to eat light and healthy. Today, we're just tickled to present to you and your hungry family our lightest tummy-pleasing snack ever. It's also got lots of tummy-pleasing flavor. Cells Parma. Mio dio, รจ commestibili!
Begin by  greasing a small petri dish and rolling out a cellular membrane. Some people will tell you it's quicker to buy frozen membrane, but you won't regret taking the extra time to make your membrane from scratch! Be sure your cell membrane is a lipid bilayer with hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties!

Next, mix up some cytosol and spread evenly throughout your cellular membrane. If you'd like your cells a little heartier, feel free to add some extra proteins to the cytosol. It won't go to waste when it's time for glycolysis!

Now the fun begins. Nobody knows your family better than you, so use your judgement when adding the toppings. Of course, Cells Parma just wouldn't be Cells Parma without a nice sprinkling of endoplasmic reticulum, so don't even think of starting without it!

Does your gang love the earthy flavor of golgi apparatus? Don't hold back! Mmmmmm, golgi!

For a little seasoning, give your secretory vesicle shaker a shake or two. They're full of zesty hormones that are sure to please! Corneo!

Last but not least, you can't call it "done" without the nucleus! Have you heard the catch phrase "got nucleus?" No? Well shut up. Just put them on. You may like your nucleus pitted, but some chefs like to leave the nucleolus in there for extra flavor. During baking, the nucleolus will produce more delicious ribosomes for even more old-world zing!

Pop the whole petri dish in your autoclave for fifteen minutes or until protein synthesis slows down in the endoplasmic reticulum. Then call in the fmaily and let the endocytosis begin!  Just invaginate a portion of your plasma membrane and engulf! You won't believe your vesicle! Yes, there's a party in your endosome and we certainly hope Phil Are Go! is invited! Mangiare la vita!


New Products - From science's brain to your basement.

New Gigantic Glider-Kite. Protect your tank column or dispose of troublesome light person. Two or more may be used to deal with jerk of ample carriage. Business meaners only, please.

Comb-A-Trim. Previously available as "Coma Trim". Does not induce coma! Just cuts hair. Please order!

Pressure Queen portable air compressor. Through simple"modification", can be converted to Pressure King, which can spray standing up.

Mr. Walker action toy. Walks downstairs. Walks one or two at a time. Fun for boy or girl. Makes metallic sound. Thing. Thing. Wonderful coil. Everyone knows its Mr. Walker. Order today, before lawyers find our office.

Umbrella Hat Cover. Easy to make at home, but I can't be bothered. $1 buys plans to build mysterious plastic hat cover clearly described in detail in ad copy. Order now.


Post Sugar Crisp - Sucrose Intolerant.

"Sugar Crisp?" you say? "What the effing eff?" you say? "It's called 'Golden Crisp', retard!" you say? You're absolutely right. It IS called "Golden Crisp", but it wasn't always. Gather round, children and I'll spin you a tale of perception versus substance.
In 1949, Post began selling Sugar Crisp, a cereal of puffed wheat sweetened with sugar. Ever the Soviet Union to Post's US of A, Kellogg's released Sugar Smacks four years later, a cereal of puffed wheat sweetened with sugar. Sugar Crisp was mascotted by a bear. Sugar Smacks had a frog at the helm. Everyone knows bears have many pointed sweet tooths, while frogs eat bugs. Advantage: Post.

Interestingly, These two cereals were found by Consumer Reports to be the brands with the highest sugar content - over 50% sugar. I wouldn't know how to begin baking something that was 50% sugar without simply pouring molten sugar (the magma of the breakfast world) into bite-sized molds. When you look at a single pixel of Sugar Crisp, it is glossy with an obvious varnish of sugar. But still. Wow. 50%.

Anyway, in the fifties people were okay with sugar. You could have "sugar" in the name of your cereal. Not for long. Both cereals have had the old name-o change-o performed on then a few times. The version of Sugar Crisp that I remember best is "Super Sugar Crisp", which happened, I think, in the Seventies. Adding the word "super" makes it better, see? It may also have something to do with the fact that Superfriends was huger than huge on Saturday morning television at the time. Just a hunch. The bear has always been called "Sugar Bear".

Kellogg's frog mascot has only been around since '72. Can you tell? His name is "Dig'Em". Previous to Dig'Em, there was Cliffy the Clown, Smaxey the Seal, Quick Draw McGraw (yep, the horsey sheriff), The Smackin' Bandit, and the Smackin' Brothers. There was even a "Wally the Bear" for a while in the Eighties. So, it looks like there's been a lot of turnover in the role of Sugar Smacks spokescreature. They probably all died of diabetes.

In the late Seventies, cereal companies began to make a half-assed attempt to market the products to mothers, not just the kids. So, "sugar" became a bad word, despite the biological fact that glucose is the only fuel your brain uses. Not that you need your food to be 50% sugar. I'm just saying. Cereal names changed across the industry. Usually, they just swapped in the word "honey" for "sugar" and called it a day. Post took a different route, using "golden" instead of "honey". Mavericks.

My mom would hardly ever buy these kinds of cereal for me and my bro/sis. It would only come home with us on occasion, and it would only be used as dessert, and only in a particularly small bowl to control the portion. Of course, we'd just heap the bowl with a hemisphere of cereal well above the rim of the bowl, but that was part of the game. I don't think our sugar intake would have been a problem anyway, because we'd immediately head straight out the door to run around and jump our bikes over randomly placed objects. Sugar ain't the devil. Laziness is.

I like the old box art in this ad. Red, brown and turquoise. Cereal boxes today are over-rendered chromatic grease fires of eye-hurting craziness. There's a cartoon studio here in Chicago that lots of my animator friends have worked at from time to time over the years, on a freelance basis. This studio makes lots of the cereal commercials that run on children's television. The people who work on the spots sometimes describe them as "chewed up crayons fired out of a cannon at the camera lens."

Anyway, the moral of the story is that the marketing solution to any problem is not to change the product, but to change your perception of the product. They'd never dial the sugar down to 40%. That would be insane. But they will do a different song and dance to try and change the way you think about their product. Fight the power.


Country Quarrel - Madge and Thurb.

Joke #1 - "...and what's that you've got there? A piece of paper? Well tomorrow it's going back to the store!"

Joke #2 - "You'd better stop looking pensive right now. I won't have any wife of mine going around THINKING about stuff!"

Joke #3 - "Madge, wake up! Why are you standing around holding paper when you've got the rest of our carpet to finish coloring in?"

Joke #4 - "...and what's that you've got there? Is that a sonnet from that man you've been seeing behind my back? Well, hand it over. You know I love poetry!"

Joke #5 - "Madge, stop fretting over my alternate ending to Thick as a Brick. I know it looks rough now, but I swear by great granddad Ian Anderson it'll be ready for the county fair. You just worry about your flute solo."

Joke #6 - "Madge, can you come over here and help me wrap the dog?"

Joke #7 - Madge wondered. The article "How to kill your husband and make it look like an accident" said she'd need a combine harvester. Was that anything like a thresher? They had one of those in the barn...

Joke #8 - While Thurb shouted, Madge barely moved her finger, keying her throat mic', sub-vocalizing to her contact out near the shed. "Yes, he's near the window. I'm across the room. You have a clear shot."

Joke #9 - "... and what's that you've got there? Is that a sonnet from that man you've been seeing behind my back? Well give it here. I'm starving."

Joke #10 - "Why'd you wear that dress? You know I like your other gray one with the red dots... or was it gray with red checks?" (A typical evening at home with Mr. and Mrs. Spotcolor.)

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


Formfit Lingerie - Exquisitely bored.

Selling women's underwear must be hard.  All you really want to do is show a woman in her underwear and the sales take care if themselves. But no. The client wants you to show how Formfit underwear can change a woman's life. They want you to show the model being exuberant and lively in her underwear. This is why underwear ads are almost always stupid. They love to show people winning Nobel prizes in their underwear, playing tennis in their underwear, or performing limb reattachment surgery in their underwear.
This ad looks to be painted by one of the pinup masters. I would have thought it was painted by Gil Elvgren, but the American Art Archives (whoever that is) thinks it was Haddon Sundblom. They even claim to have passed the Formfit ads under the nose of a "pinup historian" who seems to think it was Sundblom, although they also mention Elvgren as a possibility.

Sun-who? Sundblom was the guy who painted all the Santa Clauses for Coke, and also pretty much crystallized the look of Santa in the American mind forever.

I think this picture has the heavy eyebrows and soft hair of an Elvgren girl, but what do I know? I'm no Pinup Historian.

So here's a girdle model who clearly doesn't need a girdle. Advertising is full of images of people selling products they have never needed. Actors selling tooth whitener who've never had yellow teeth. Spokesbimbos selling diet pills who've never been chubby. Starlets demonstrating colostomy bags who've never had colostomies. You know... the constant lie of advertising.

Our model is performing yet another improbable underwear task. She's playing solitaire.Why so improbable? People usually put on their underwear and immediately finish dressing or make the sexiness with their life partner or whatever (which probably means getting right out of the underwear again). They don't sit around and pass the time. What oh what could she be doing? Only some captions can tell.

Joke #1 - Time dragged. Jackie was going to be in so much trouble. She had to be at work in fifteen minutes and her chicken suit was still in the dryer. That thing took forever to dry.

Joke #2 - Dammit. Jackie lost her rent money to herself and now she was about to lose her clothes. She really had to give up strip solitaire.

Joke #3 - Jackie was almost done strip-pokering her way into the bath tub. Afterwards, if she played enough craps, she'd comp herself dinner. Then, depending how long that took, she'd either get some sleep or get dressed and go right back to work. Such was the grinding slowness of the life of a compulsive gambler.

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


Bromo Seltzer - Momma took her crazy pills.

Health week continues and stops today, with this ad from Bromo-Seltzer, featuring a painful lady. Clearly, her hands hurt... or maybe whatever she touches with her hands.

This ad is from 1941, when typesetting was so expensive that they omitted unnecessary words like "the" from text in large typefaces whenever possible. This is completely true, so don't even bother to fact check it even a little bit. I mean "This complete true. No you fact check."

Bromo-Seltzer was discontinued in 1975 after the discovery that the SEDATIVE ingredient, bromide, was slightly PSYCHOACTIVE and a little bit toxic. It's easy to point fingers in hindsight. So let's do some of that. Bromide was the ingredient that calmed the nerves. It was a sedative. So, it's no great surprise that, if undetected in the diet in large quantities, it could make your brain stop working right. Favorite symptoms of bromism include slurred speech, irritability and jumbled thoughts.

So now we have Alka-Seltzer (no relation), which contains a pain reliever and is already dissoved in water, so it is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. Also, there's some sodium, which, again, speeds absorption through the intestines. Clever.

Mom always fed me 7-Up when the old belly was on the boil, claiming that fizzy drinks help with a sour stomach. I thought that the bubbles in Alka/Bromo - Seltzer did the same thing. However, ten minutes of Google searching brought no results on that. If anything, I'd guess that maybe the mechanical action of the bubbles doing their thing would disperse acid throughout the stomach, instead of hanging around in a big puddle? That sounds like reaching, to me. It's probably crap. Gotta get an intern to delete that from the post or I'll sound like a goof.

Bromo-Seltzer had a pretty famous jingle involving the rhythmic chanting of the product name so that it sounds like a steam engine. Hear here.

This painful lady is pretty funny. Maybe you can use her in an email to that someone special in your life? First big, then small. Enjoy.


Vacutex - Black ops.

Health Week continues here at P.A.G. Towers. And Sue's right. We need to find some beauty products for the guys. Trouble is, the vast majority of guys don't want to be beautiful. I've seen loads of ads in Popular Mechanics asking "Ruptured?". I really wanted to post an ad for a truss. I really did.
All I could find was this thing. It's a blackhead gun. But see the picture of the guy with the girl clawing at him? This is for guys. Besides, it was published in Popular Mechanics, so it's for guys, right?

I love your gaping pores. So empty!
"Look attractive instantly!" Wow, that's quite a claim. Not "more attractive" or "less off-putting". "Attractive instantly". There's not even an asterisk there to direct you down to the fine print: "*so long as your only obstacle to attractiveness was a few blackheads." They promise their blackhead gun will make anyone attractive, period.

God, I really would rather be talking about hernias right now. It would be more horrifying, but less disgusting.

So what's a blackhead? Well, children, a blackhead is when your skin - jeez, this is bringing the tapioca right to the top of my chimney. Why is it that I can deal with something that happens to everyone but not describe it? Bleah. I'm taking a long lunch. Look it up on Wikipedia for yourselves if you want to see loads of pictures. I haven't checked, but I'm sure they're there. I'm just going to post this picture of Dr. Zoidberg and call it a day.


More health tomorrow!


Siroil - The psoriasis of the nightmare of psoriasis.

Even more health this week. Siroil promises to free you from the nightmare of psoriasis. You know the nightmare: the one where you're being chased by a faceless madman and your skin is really really dry.
Okay. Psoriasis sufferers, please back off. I'm sure it's a frikkin nightmare having psoriasis. Nobody's saying psoriasis is a joke, all right?

That doesn't make this picture any less funny. The woman looks as if she's annoyed by the spotlight shining on her head as much as any skin condition.

Murderers and bathtubs full of snakes are the stuff of nightmares. The one I still get is the one where I'm back in high school for some reason and A) I don't know my locker combination B) I don't know my class schedule and C) I've just remembered I haven't been to my English class in half a semester and I don't know what room it's in. This is a nightmare because it draws upon the fear of being an unprepared screwup who doesn't have his shit together, and being put on the spot and realizing you've completely mismanaged your life.

I'm tying to imagine what a psoriasis-themed dream would be. Maybe I'm changing clothes and I look down and wonder "Why the hell is my skin all red and dry? This blows, all of a sudden." Dream over.

Psoriasis is a chronic condition in which skin cells reproduce and slough off in volumes up to ten times greater than normal, causing white scaly  areas on the skin. It is most likely an autoimmune disorder inherited from parents. Once again, you don't want your immune system to be "boosted". You can't boost it, and even if you could you'd have all sorts of problems like diabetes and psoriasis. So, when somebody is advertising a product that's supposed to "boost your immune system", it's definitely a complete lie, and you should be glad it is. The immune system is a powerful thing that can ruin your life if it gets too enthusiastic about doing it's job. Just so you know.

This tortured lady is funny enough to add to a graphic collection for hilarious use at a later date. So, here she is, all on her own. You're welcome.


Zonitors - Interior daintiness. So darn dainty.

More health news today! Get ready for daintiness!

 What's a zonitor? Well, it's a snow white thingy that a lady sticks where the sun don't shine - no, not that sun. The other sun-don't shine place. No. Wrong again. It's right next to - yes! THAT sun don't shine place.

Anyway, she puts a zonitor there and there's something with medicine and then she becomes dainty. I dunno . Go ask your mother.

If you're especially dainty, you'll stare off, just past the camera, like the lady in the picture. Then you may get a haircut like a pro golfer.


Mercolized Wax Cream - Dainty up, for crying out loud.

I've never heard of Mercolized Wax Cream before, but then I’m not a woman of 1941 looking to “lighten up a dull, drab, sun-tanned complexion”. Yep. You read right. Having a sun tan was undesirable in 1941. Also, being dainty was the shit.

Fashion changes, and everybody knows that – unless you’re a nineteen year girl and lack the perspective to understand it. My niece enjoys laughing at old pictures of her father with swoopy hair and flared trousers. She is, of course, oblivious to the irony that the current set of fashion fads like muffin top jeans, and droopy “I just shat in my pants” jeans will be viewed by history in the same light as leprosy. Even a person as dumb as a teenager should be expected to understand that all things change, especially retarded clothing trends.

Actually, the goofier a fad is, the better the manufacturers like it, because when it goes out of style, nobody wants to be seen wearing it, which sends all the sneetches to the store for whatever is new and hot, or soon to be hilarious and stupid. The unfaltering historical constant is that every new generation thinks all that came before them is lame and that only they have the vision to be the supreme arbiters of cool forever and ever. Hah. Just take lots of pictures and hang on to them for ten years. Then, you can use the pictures for purposes of extortion. It's no less than they deserve.
I think you've had enough apples, love.
Fads always seem to follow the pattern of “whatever is hardest to have”. In this ad, the implication is that a sun tan is bad, presumably because it means you have a menial job and spend a lot of time outdoors. Here in the era of the couch potato, getting outside and forcing some air into your lungs is a desirable thing, and so is the accompanying sun tan, warnings against excessive UV exposure notwithstanding.

Here’s another example. You know how all the women in old paintings are kind of tubby? Same thing. Hundreds of years ago, anybody who didn’t spend their day sowing, reaping, bailing, or hoeing was probably pretty rich. And so, it became a status symbol to have a few inches of blubber around you to prove that you didn’t have to break your back for a living. Women that we now regard as “lean and healthy” would, in the time of Peter Paul Reubens, be called “malnourished”. Now that crappy food of all kinds are readily available and frighteningly cheap, the luxury of fatness has lost its glow.

I could go out on a limb and call the bluetooth earpiece a status symbol. It implies that you are popular, or at least in demand, and that you are tech-savvy. These are, of course, mistaken. If you use one of those, you MAY be busy or popular, but you could just as easily wear it to make yourself look popular or important. You're probably just a douchebag if you walk around a store wearing it. Upgrade your status to "asshole" if you walk around the store actually carrying on a phone conversation using it.

I do like the product names in this ad. They don't tell you anything about what the products do. You can carry a jar of Phelactine to the checkout aisle without embarrassment. It's not like "Ex-Lax", which has part of the word "laxative" right in the name. I'd like all of the more embarrassing products to have cryptic names. As I get older, I expect to need more of these items down the road, and it'd be nice to be able to buy a bottle of Transitol instead of "Core Dump - The high-tech laxative!"


Your Daily Accusation

Joke #1 - 'THAT is a really nice tie. Yes, THAT ONE RIGHT THERE!!!"

Joke #2 - Grandpa had been in the bottle again tonight. Ted knew what this meant. All night long, he would be calling him a "slacker", demanding to know why he was to good to have his legs, pelvis, and half of his torso blown off by "jerry" and too good to spend the rest of his life scooting around the living room floor in a wagon.

Joke #3 - Winner, 1941 Academy Award for the most dramatic "pull my finger" scene in a serious screenplay: Victor Fleming's The Flatulist.

Joke #4 - "Happy birthday to YOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUU!"

Joke #5 - Great. Grandpa was in one of his "lying on the floor and looking up your nose and offering to 'get that' for you" moods.

Joke #6 - "Jeez, dad! We were only talking about maybe putting you in a home. How long were you hiding under my chair, anyway?"

Joke #7 - "BANG! See there, son? If I was a communist, you'd be dead already. Gotta stay sharp. Now, help me fill in this foxhole before your mother gets home."

Joke#8 - 1941 Allstate life insurance Salesman of the Year Bud Voont, demonstrating the importance of a comprehensive "falling out of your chair" policy.

Joke #9 - "Beware the ides of next Tuesday!"

Joke #10 - "You think you've seen clean carpet? Yeah? Get down here with me and I'll show you how clean carpet can be, son!"

Joke #11 - "Houses of the Holy... better than Supertramp's Breakfast in America? I HAVE NO SON!!!!"

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

Joke #12 comes from Comatoast. Thanks CT! - "Ha! If you thought the rotten milk in the fridge smelled like crud you should smell this!

Jokes #13 to 16 are from Bob. (BTW, check out his blog from some brilliant Anchorman drawings. http://bobrissetto.blogspot.com/2011/09/stay-classy.html) Well joked, Boob!

Joke #13 - "Your honor, it was HIM! The man with chair legs for legs!"

Joke #14 - "...so is THIS where the assailant touched you?"

Joke #15 - "Look out! It's an arrogant MadMan!"

Joke #16 - "I'm right in front of you, Jim. Get your eyes re-checked."

Joke #17 Comes from new-ish commenter John Josef. Thanks John! - Daniel began to question the authenticity of "Rain-Moon's School of Holistic Optometry"


1975 Dodge Dart Hang Ten - Gotta keep on moving keep on keep on...

The seventies were mostly an idiot. This cannot be proven or disproven, but I think, if I had to, I could make a strong case for placing a restraining order on The Seventies keeping it away from all the other decades (except maybe The Eighties. They could share a basement apartment on an asteroid orbiting Pluto for all I care). However, this '75 Dodge Dart Hang Ten edition kind of makes me smile.

Kind of like an especially "charming" drawing scribbled out in orange crayon by a child, I want to take this Dodge Dart and hang it on the fridge with a magnet shaped like a banana. I would pat The Seventies on the head and tell it that the car is "very nice! I see that you used lots of stripes to make your car happy!" Then The Seventies would sort of gape in saucer-eyed delight and run off to the family room to do another one... probably a Battle of the Network Stars or something that would be much much harder to feign pleasure about.

That's about as good as The Seventies gets. It's my happy little "special needs decade".

The Dodge Dart Hang ten edition (which I had never heard of before I saw this ad and only found any of this out by searching the web so back off Dodge buffs if I got a few facts nearly right) was a special cosmetic package marketed to surfer types. In '74, Dodge did this thing called the "convertriple" option, which basically was a fold-down rear seat. This has become pretty normal now, but at the time it was a clever new feature. This allowed the stowage of a surf board inside the car, without the need for a roof rack of any kind. So, Dodge had a groovy old time, decorating the interior in striped swimsuit fabric to get surfers more interested in the car. There was a wave decal on the rear quarter panel and a surfboard-shaped thing on the hood.

The Wikipedia article has the ring of truth, calling the Hang Ten "an attempt by Dodge stylists to better determine consumer preferences in a declining performance market". Ouch. By 1975, the Good Old Days of muscle cars was starting to suffer from the realities of oil crises and smog regulations, and things like the Hang Ten were an attempt to keep the good times movin' on through the night.
The glove box is full of cursed tiki necklaces.
Speaking of Greg Brady, there must be a door-panel-and-bucket-seats-shaped hole in his pants. Also, perhaps there's a floor-pan shaped hole in his bedroom carpet, too.

I do like this Dart, partly because it's to ridiculous. Could I use it as my daily driver? Absolutely not. I'd hate to have to show up at a funeral in it. It would be like the one Hawaiian shirt that I own. Nice to have around for occasional use, but I couldn't be seen in it every day. That's just one more reason why collectible cars like this are a rich guy thing. I wish car makers still put white interiors in cars (but maybe not with stripes like this, at least not always). White interiors are very Space 1999.

How collectible? Here's a clean one on Ebay for a buy-it-now of $8900. It's not Enzo money, but it's more than the car sold for in '75.

Anyway, Dodge made it really easy to pull the Hang Ten out of its picture by way of making absolutely sure none of the models interrupted the outline of the car. "The car must always be front and center!" So, get ready to right click this little longboard into your P.A.G. multicar pileup of PNGs. Rude finger... ACTIVATE!


Dad, Son, Gun.

Joke #1 - "Hey, Bobby, Daddy needs to borrow the gun tonight, okay? Tonight's poker night, and, well... you know how that is."

Joke #2 - "Aw jeez, dad. Do you have to borrow my gun? I need it for class tomorrow. If you need to send someone a message, can you just borrow my horse's head instead?"

Joke #3 - "Playing with a gun, Bobby? really? A GUN? Is this how you want to live your life? What's next? Video games?"

Joke #4 - A turning point in a young man's life: Mister Presley teaches his son how to turn off the television."

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

Joke #5 comes from long-tine listener Sue. Thansk Sue! "and that, my boy, is Pistol Whipping. Tomorrow we'll do Russian Roulette. I'm sure this is what mom was talking about when she mentioned "quality time".

A bunch of jokes from Mononymous Dan. Thanks Dan!

Joke #6 - "I had one of those as a boy, and you know what..."
* Son shoots Dad in the head *

Joke #7 - "Now, son, violence doesn't solve anyth..."
* Son shoots Dad in the head *

Joke #8 - "Son, you may think it makes you the bigger man..."
* Son shoots Dad in the head *

Joke #9 - "Now, son, that's not even loaded..."
* Son shoots Dad in the head *

Joke #10 - "Son, you keep polishing that thing and you'll go blind."
* Son shoots Dad in the head *

CraigF brings us joke #11. Thanks Craigf! - Mr. Johnson and mom had been in Dad's cabinet with all the bottles all night. They made a lot of noise down on the couch. It sounded like they were picking up something heavy a whole bunch of times. After he heard mom snoring, Billy heard Mr. Johnson creep into his room. He smelled like rotten apples. Good thing Billy had Dad's Colt 1911 stashed under the bed in case of such an emergency.

Joke #12 is from John Josef. Take THAT, stupid painting! - Operative Billy hated to bring his work home with him, but Dad's oppressive school-nite bedtime regime had to be stopped.


Western Union - Broadband 1963 style.

When I pulled this ad from my inbox this morning, I had to stop reading, go get some coffee and read it again so I could do a spit take. Broadband in 1963. Double you, tee eff?
Sure, it probably cost a fortune, could only be justified by fairly rich businesses and the power of the local Western Union station was probably equivalent to the cable modem enjoyed by the average household today BUT... 1963?

I know, you're probably thinking that all computing in the sixties was accomplished by banging rocks together, and that transmitting data by wires was invented by Madonna in 1985. Actually sending data by wire was happening back in the 1800s. Doing it wirelessly was invented in 1924. When all of global trade happened by sea, there's a strong impetus to stay in touch with ships out in the middle of nowhere. So the biggest driver of wireless fax technology in the twenties was keeping track of the latest shipment of sock garters from London.

As we all know, and as we would all like to pretend isn't true, the one thing that forces advancements in data technology today is pornography. Here is a Western Union delivery boy circa 1911, ready to bring a basket of "frisky pictures" to the local preacher so that he could deny it belonged to him.

So, by 1963, business guys who were rich enough to have those little egg cups could transmit pictures, charts, stock data and stuff over the phone lines. Who knew? Well, the internet knew. It's just jarring to see the word "broadband" appearing in print as early as the sixties. I tried to find some numbers on what qualified as broadband back then, but couldn't find anything. Shazbot.

This ad also brags about WU's use of microwave transmission - probably via satellite. You know those news trucks you see driving around with the thing on top that looks like a gun turret? That's a microwave antenna. That's how your local news drone can report live from the scene of a fast-breaking newstragedy. The van transmits the video straight to an antenna on the roof of the TV studio, without the delays of shipping a video tape by a boy-powered bicycle network. The boy industry has never recovered.

This is all pretty impressive for 1963 - four years before George Harrison had the idea of singing through a leslie speaker. So what can we make fun of? Errr. The telephone looks like a styrofoam takeout container! And its yellow! What a bunch of jerks. Huh huh "Wups! My lunch is ringing! Take a message. I'm not hungry." Huh huh huh.