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You Will: AT&T’s eerily accurate predictions of modern day technologies

by Trevor May | 21st September 2009 | Advertising Commercials Gadgets TV | 1 comment

In 1993, AT&T ran a number of commercials in which Tom Selleck (or someone who sounds remarkably like him) predicted the kinds of crazy things we’d later just take for granted in our everyday lives, like in-car GPS to help us navigate our way, pay road tolls without cash, TV movies on demand and so on. (thanks Will!)

If you hadn’t seen these before but thought they seemed a little familiar, it may be because Universal Studios parodied them in their Terminator 2 3D attraction pre-show video.

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Walt Disney on What’s My Line?, 1956

by Trevor May | 20th September 2009 | Disney Retro TV | Comment on this

Here’s mystery guest Walt Disney on the North American version of the TV quiz show “What’s My Line”, first aired on CBS in November 1956. The show also features Jerry Lewis as a contestant who asks, “Walt, did you check with the government to see if they needed any money lately?”

Also fascinating are Walt’s comments on his love of the immediacy of television. I wonder what he’d have made of the internet.

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Vintage Disney newspaper comic strips

by Trevor May | 4th September 2009 | Comic books Disney Illustration | Comment on this

Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip from 1930

D23, the new Disney fan community, are putting up classic newspaper comic strips every day. Right now they’re showing vintage Mickey Mouse strips from 1930, Donald Duck dailies from 1938 and Scamp (the son of Lady and the Tramp) from 1955.

There doesn’t seem to be any sort of archive, unfortunately, but hopefully they’ll add one in the future. And an RSS feed, please!

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Cassia Beck: Vintage inspired photography

by Trevor May | 21st August 2009 | Photography Retro | Comment on this

Cassia Beck photography

If you haven’t already (as I mention the lovely lady on my personal Twitter pretty much every day!), take a look at Cassia’s wonderful vintage-inspired photographs.

She’s just made the front page of Flickr’s Explore with this colourful collection of beach huts, shares her favourite things on her blog and sells prints through her shop on Etsy and on All Things Original.

If you’re in Brighton this weekend, be sure to drop by the IO Gallery at 39 Sydney Street where a selection of her retro TTV images are for sale. They’ll only be available there until Monday 24th August, so be quick!

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Home movies at Disneyland, 1956

by Trevor May | 20th August 2009 | Disney Movies Retro | 1 comment

Jeff Altman, an assistant film colourist, has been restoring a bunch of his grandfather’s old 16mm home movies — including this absolute gem of a family vacation to Disneyland in 1956, a year after the park opened.

What’s amazing is not only the image quality, but that they managed to capture Walt Disney himself (shaking hands with Jeff’s grandmother, no less). Superb! (via The Disney Blog)

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Legion Of Terra-Cotta Mouseketeers Found Beneath Walt Disney World

by Trevor May | 8th August 2009 | Disney Humour | Comment on this

Terracotta Mouseketeers

The Onion, the bastion of all credible news sources, has revealed that a Walt Disney World maintenance crew accidentally stumbled upon an 2,300 year old underground chamber containing more than 8,000 terra cotta Mouseketeers.

According to photographs surfacing from the dig site, the terra-cotta Mouseketeers are arranged according to rank, from Annette to Cubby, and appear to be marching or tap-dancing in place. On the walls of the tomb, archaeologists have discovered a large fresco that depicts thousands of the mouse-eared foot soldiers bowing before what appears to be a large reptilian figure wearing a crown. The apparent king is shown seated upon a throne of skulls and bears a striking resemblance to Walt Disney.

Akman al Luad H’Beth!

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Knowing is only half the battle. So what’s the other half?

by Trevor May | 6th August 2009 | Animation Clothing Shopping TV | Comment on this

Nerduo "Half the battle" t-shirt graphic

Remember the public service announcements at the end of G.I. Joe cartoons in the 80s? If knowing is half the battle, what’s the other half? Our friends at Nerduo have the answer, in t-shirt form: lasers!

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Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain DS

by Trevor May | 4th August 2009 | Books Retro Video games | Comment on this

Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Nintendo DS screenshots

While working this evening I downloaded and listened to the latest Retronauts podcast. I hadn’t listened to it before and was surprised to discover that it had been replaced with a podcast for another 1Up offering, The Grind — an RPG games blog. As I’m not adverse to such things (and because they mentioned Fallout at the start of the episode) I listened to it anyway.

But that’s not what this is about! When I was about seven years old I ordered a book called The Warlock of Firetop Mountain from the school book club. Probably because, to a seven-year-old, it sounded pretty cool and most likely because it shared a premise with my favourite game of all time, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons for the Intellivision.

Part-way through the podcast I thought I heard a reference to this book and — sure enough I had! It turns out that a company called Big Blue Bubble, developers of, uh, nothing really, are producing a game based on the original Steve Jackson/Ian Livingstone-penned book for the Nintendo DS. It’s unlikely that the game will live up to the lofty heights my wide-eyed seven-year-old self held the book but the screenshots look promising.

Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain for Nintendo DS is scheduled for release at the end of 2009.

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Infographic: How Americans spend their day

by Trevor May | 4th August 2009 | Environment Social | 1 comment

American time use survey infographic

Mmm… infographics… There’s an interesting interactive one over at the New York Times which depicts how people over age 15 spent their time in 2008. I do wish they’d used livelier colours though. (via Kottke)

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Monkey Island Special Edition for iPhone

by Trevor May | 26th July 2009 | Humour Mobile Retro Video games | 1 comment

The Secret of Monkey Island on iPhone

Following the recent rumours of a port, Lucasarts quietly slipped The Secret of Monkey Island onto the iTunes App Store this week without fanfare… So quietly that it still isn’t mentioned on the game’s official site. But yes, that’s right, you can now play the updated point and click classic on your iPhone and iPod Touch!

Weighing in at a hefty (for an iPhone app, anyway) 350Mb, it includes the new “special edition” version with the voices and enhanced soundtrack found on the Xbox and Windows versions as well as the original VGA version, just as it appeared in 1990. Simply swipe two fingers across the screen at any time while playing to switch between them. Swiping two fingers sure is easier than messing with DOS extended memory and Soundblaster drivers for hours on end! Oh how I miss 1990s PC gaming… You really had to work to play a game back then. None of this plug and play nonsense.

I digress…

Monkey Island iPhone screenshots

The new high-definition visuals work just as well on the less than high definition format of the iPhone’s three and a half inch screen. The controls, while seemingly cumbersome at first, work incredibly well once you realise that the screen is functioning in the same way as a laptop trackpad to guide the cursor around. This offers much more precision than if you were to use a greasy finger stump to directly select objects on the screen.

Just as in the original it’s possible to store multiple saved games which means you can let your friends and family have a go. It’s a simple feature that’s surprisingly lacking in many iPhone games that would benefit well from it. Yes, I’m looking at you, Rolando!

In summary, it’s a great port of a lovely revisiting of a fantastic classic. Buy it now and help ensure Lucasarts re-release Sam & Max Hit the Road, Day of the Tentacle and the rest of their point and click adventure back catalogue!

The Secret of Monkey Island £4.99/$7.99 (iTunes App Store link)

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