Childhood Horrors

by Kieran Healy on April 26, 2007

Sneaky SnakeSo, in a fit of nostalgia I picked up a DVD of Wanderly Wagon episodes. Although marketed as “Vol 1” it seems to be a slightly haphazard collection of episodes, as these were the days (the 1970s) when most programs were not preserved on videotape. The second scene in the first episode re-introduces us to the character shown here, Sneaky Snake. I had forgotten about his fez. But the tiny rush of adrenaline that I felt as he hoisted himself up on his bench (prehensile tail and all) next to Dr Astro reminded me how much he used to scare the bejaysus out of me when I was a kid. Something about the eyes. Always looking at you they were. On second thoughts, maybe I’ll hold off on making my own kids watch this stuff.

[click to continue…]

You Kids Get Off My Berlin Wall

by Scott McLemee on April 26, 2007

Two radio spots that aired when I was a freshman in high school (that would be Wills Point High School, aka “Home of the 1965 State AA Football Champs,” which can now also proudly boast that it is “ranked as ‘academically acceptable’ under the Texas Education Agency”) have stuck in my head for the past — oh good lord, this can’t be true — thirty years almost. And to think Kieran feels old.

Both ran on the “album oriented rock” station in Dallas, i.e., the one that played “Stairway to Heaven” every day. One of them had Andy Warhol endorsing the Talking Heads. I’m pretty sure it was More Songs About Buidlings and Food. Imagine hearing “Freebird” and then, “Hi, uhm, this is Andy Warhol and, uhm, I think Talking Heads are really great….”

But the other ad really brought the culture clash: an announcement that the Sex Pistols would be coming through on tour. For years I have been puzzled by this memory, given that the only show in Texas anyone ever seemed to discuss was the one at Randy’s Rodeo in San Antonio (several hundred miles away) where Sid hit somebody over the head with his bass.

Somehow I forgot that the Pistols actually did play Dallas. That ad was neither a trick of my memory nor a sign of how badly organized the tour must have been. And it turns out that a video from that show of “Holidays in the Sun” is available online, which I put up now for all the other geezers in the house:

[ Word Press being strange about embeds sometimes, here’s a backup link ]

Technopeasants

by Henry on April 26, 2007

In honour of “International Pixel-stained Technopeasant Day”:http://papersky.livejournal.com/320114.html, Charlie Stross is giving away his novella(??? I – never figured out the difference between novellas, novelettes etc myself) “Missile Gap”:http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/spring2007/fiction-missile-gap-by-charles-stross/ for thems that wants to download it. I’ve put it on my iRex Iliad (which I promise to write a proper review of after the end of semester crunch) for consumption on an upcoming plane trip. Other good stuff is available for free on the technopeasant page from Jo Walton (the main instigator), Sarah Monette etc.

Acrobots

by Kieran Healy on April 26, 2007

Dynamically coupled vaguely squid-like fun.