For the love of Pete, whoever he is, it was cold this weekend. Not “cover the plants” cold but “what are the chances the rain turns to snow?” cold. But if you’re going to have a houseguest during a dank overcast rainy spell, have one from England; they might even think you’ve arranged this to make them feel better. Yes, it’s cloudy and wet, and we also have scones. Beans for brekky, then?

Astrid is here from Walbers to work on the play and the TV show, and we’re going down to put flowers on Peg Lynch’s grave, as well as visit the ancestral home and talk to a small theater about putting on a show. Saturday we went downtown to look at some buildings that aren’t open to the public EVER, but this special event called Doors Open invited people to tour spaces no ordinary uncredentialed mortal gets to see. Went first to the Scottish Rite Temple, which is full of Masonic secrecy. It was not open for the first day. FINE. Went to the Van Dusen mansion, a fascinating little house built by a very rich man who feared tornadoes - one had demolished his previous house - and hence built tunnels for escape, or so the legend goes. It was not open for the first day. OH COME ON.

So I took her on a tour of the skyway system, and that was a joy; I love showing it off, and seeing people’s faces when they learn there are urban theorists who advocate for its demolition.

Poked in to the old Forum cafeteria, which is restored to its Moderne glory . . .


And took a look at City Hall.


A man was playing the bells in the tower on a tiny keyboard, the same one I used when I had the opportunity to ring out a song for the noontime crowd. I played “Smoke on the Water,” and Gnat - seven yrs old, perhaps - played “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for the entirety of downtown.

One of my favorite memories in all of life.

We’d also been up to the top of the tallest tower, a rather harrowing journey. I doubt she remembers, but it happened, and that’s what matters.

Dinner downtown with friends. A perfect day, if inordinately moist.

The album slumbered for a century in an attic, untouched by scouring photons, so everything is vivid.

The Perkins Wind-mill: it’s so colorful. I’m used to seeing old ads in yellowed mags and newspapers; seeing the past in color is always a revelation.


The big event was the Columbian Exposition, and the book has several cards of views I haven’t seen before.


The pictures link to larger versions.

Some inscrutable ads:

Muraline. What the hell was Muraline?


McLaughlin’s Coffee wishes to associate its brand with the launching of a Man-O-War, if you please


The Perkins Wind-mill: it’s so colorful. I’m used to seeing old ads in yellowed mags and newspapers; seeing the past in color is always a revelation.



Just because Clippings replaced the Serial feature doesn't mean you're getting off easy. Oh no, my friends. Not at all.

This should be good!

Although if it actually has Space Giants at all, I’ll be surprised. As you remember, this is a non-serial serial, something of a sneaky way around the genre’s most interesting convention: the cliffhanger. I mean - “let’s do a serial, except there’s no suspense that keeps them coming back next week.” Right/

It starts with explosions, which is usually something you see in the first ep:


Those are guys who work for The Ruler, who is trying to take over the Earth for the usual reasons. These are the outer-space minions:

They need to recharge the ray gun, so the henches call The Ruler. He lives in a model:

Here he is with his Lovely Assistant:

He tells the henches to destroy the Arsenal on the Outskirts of Town, and then demand unconditional surrender. Seems like a rather small shop; get a fix on their signal, one Tomahawk through the window, there you go.

But it’s worse:

Oh, all that and germ warfare, too. They’re using a new ray to blast through the cosmic barrier, and then using a germ beam. Better take up the rocket and fight them!

Like every other damned episode!

With no cliffhanger!

C’mon, let’s get to the giants.

Well, they take off after turning some dials and saying things like “fire main jets,” and it’s fun stuff if you’re 11. (I am not 11.) (But I remember being 11, and also have a soft-spot for early mid-century sci-fi, and how exciting it must have been to imagine the near future that would surely bring rockets and moon landings and space stations.)

There’s some combat in the sky - ray-gun sounds, smoke pot, etc.

Cody heads out Wockateer-style*, plants something on the other ship which makes its atomic pile leak. (Too much Splenda.) This leads to a ray-gun battle with farting car-horn sfx:

Great but where are the giants

Well, the Ruler’s ship has an antitoxin for the epidemic we never saw, so that’s okay. They break down the Ruler’s weapon, and discover it requires a special metal found only . . . ON A MOON OF SATURN.

It is called Saturnium.

Soooo they decide to fly to Saturn and blow up the moon, which seems a tad out of the range of 1951 tech.

Here we are on the Moon of Saturn:

Giants ANY MINUTE NOW, I can feel it. Well, Cody makes his way to the vast industrial facility that mines the precious mineral:

Vast, I tell you.

A fierce ray-gun battle ensues! Here’s why they went to pew=pew instead of beep-beep, I think.

Their metal is Italian, obviously. Vo-la-tee-lay!


He blows it up - just a flash of light, noting too impressive - and calls in the rocket strike just before he’s ambushed. Will he get away?

So the Moon of Saturn had a breathable atmosphere and pine trees. Noted. Back on the ship, they discuss how they’ve completely destroyed the only source of this mineral, and Egghead Flyboy is a bit regretful:

I’m not sure which stereotype they’re employing here. The smart guy who’s full of BS?

Reminder: no giants.




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