Why this image? Aside from being a seldom-viewed image from a different civilization? I'll let you know on Thursday. If I remember.

Okay, it's not that much of a different civilization. I was listening to Daughter's appearance on college radio show today. They were discussing cryogenic freezing. The host mentioned that somoene stuck away in the fridge in 1967 would be so out of step in 2021 - why, the language alone would be confusing. And how would you explain TikTok to someone from 1967?

Here was where I started banging out texts to Daughter, even though the show was tape-delay. How to explain it? Simple. "Everyone has a TV with a camera the size of a shirtpocket transistor radio, and everyone can broadcast."

"Okay, that sounds interesting."

To the host, who's in her early 20s, 1967 seems impossibly ancient. But it was a forward looking time. Everyone knew about computers - not personal ones networked together, no, but they'd seen the World of the Future promotional programs that showed the Housewife of 1979 using the home terminal to pay bills and call upn recipes. Science fiction shows on TV prepped everyone for iPhones and iPads. For that matter, Dick Tracy's two-way wrist radio prefigured the Apple Watch. For that matter, Buck Rogers and other sci-fi shows got people used to telescreens. For that matter, E. M. Forster wrote a story about a global comm / computer culture in 1909. For that matter, unfreeze someone from 1899 and say "our armies have beams of light that can disable other soldiers from great distances," and he'd say "oh, like the tripods in that Wells chap's new book, eh?"

Language? I know it changes, and Chaucer is tough sledding, but it's not as if we have to read Twain in translation. One of the things I keep noting is how the newspapers of 1921 are completely, utterly, 100% comprehensible. There are different conventions and beliefs, but none of it as alien as another culture on another continent might be today.

When I was young the past of the 20s and 30s and 40s was interesting because it was understandable. I was a half-century away from it. Are the 90s vanishing into the Shrouded Mists, ahead of schedule? Are the 60s now the Stone Age?

The trial and protests began today. These guys were blocking the street, shouting and banging on hoods if anyone tried to turn into the street they had commandeered.


They got really angry when someone did not instantly recognize their authority.

TV crews back in force.


The view from inside the bubble.


As you can tell, it was a lovely day. Warmer than it's been since November. But everything is spiky and electric.










I’ve been watching an Apple TV series called “For All Mankind.” Alternative history - USSR gets to the Moon first, story of the subsequent trajectory of the space program. Gets horrible reviews. I gather some people are annoyed by wokeness - an undervalued female coder, gets elevated to the control room, faces friendly jeers which might be standard hazing but probably have an undertone! Eh. I’m interested.

This is not a recap or a review. Who cares? Rather, this: the difficulty of seeing actors in roles that are different from the one where you first met them. One of the by-God-‘Murcan astronauts is Joel Kinneman, an actor I first met in . . . oh lord what was the name. Drizzly damp overcast miserable mopey Seattle murder series. He was this lupine jangly SuperCop who was also down with the street. I disliked the character and liked the performance.

But it’s the guy they chose to play Gene Kranz. Ed Harris played the guy in Apollo 13.


I know this actor as a reporter-weasel on “Bosch.” Beta to Bosch’s Alpha. It’s hard to see him as the inheritor to Ed Harris’ role. Which, I’m sure, is intentional. It's still a bit of a jolt to realize "ahh, man, now I have to like this guy."

In this alternate world, Werner Von Braun has serious reputation issues, shall we say. Cast out. It’s helpful to understand the parameters of what is acceptable: in an alternative history, Von Braun must still be cast out. It’s not that I want him to get a happy rewrite where his religious conversion and expressed contrition gets center stage - don’t care. I don't know know enough to judge, but i suspec the Sgt. Schultz I KNOW NUTTING / Tom Lehrer lyrical evaluation is correct. But when the writers start reconfiguring history, you can’t help but think they’re trying to fix it.

Did I mention that Ted Kennedy is president?

Another thing: there’s a female Soviet cosmonaut, Anastasia Belikova. An obvious nod to Valentina Tereshkova. Why not use her name? This leads to a plot that demands a woman be sent to the moon - and to be honest, it’s not a bad twist. Fine. Let’s go there. It’s an unexplored hypothesis that leads to some clever conflicts. (And kicks off where the show wants to go.)

But if the show’s going to make us thing rah rah women in space . . . why not tell us more about Valentina Tereshkova? Ladies and Gentlemen: NOT KRAFWERK.



But boy, do they want to be.



It’s 1965.

It’s the last gasp of the over culture, before it starts to get swamped by the Forces of Grooviness.

She could be from 1960, or 1955.


Still made, but differently compounded.

It is a Typist-Indulging machine.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I look at this ad, and think of New York office buildings of the 60s, and the ad agencies that created the ads, I think of West Side Story, and the wretched condition of the slum-boroughs, and how everything was on the cusp.

Meanwhile, in suburbia, where life was good in the split-level rambler and the little girl was having a nice, peaceful, stable childhood she would reject when she got to college:

Discontinued in 1991, not that anyone asked the dogs about it.

A gorgeous depiction of these modern marvels:


TIROS-1 (or TIROS-A) was the first successful low-Earth orbital weather satellite, and the first of a series of Television Infrared Observation Satellites.

Used for weather. (Wink wink.) As for the Ranger:

The Ranger program was a series of unmanned space missions by the United States in the 1960s whose objective was to obtain the first close-up images of the surface of the Moon. The Ranger spacecraft were designed to take images of the lunar surface, transmitting those images to Earth until the spacecraft were destroyed upon impact. A series of mishaps, however, led to the failure of the first six flights. At one point, the program was called "shoot and hope”

Eventually they worked.

It seems, in retrospect, a remarkable achievement, probably because it was.

Normal folk who don’t like filters!

Let’s meet them.

All I can tell from google is that he sued someone in 1993, and there was a real estate company involved.


I’ll bet he subscribed to - well, you know.

This one intrigued me.

She did?

In 1967, the StarTrib called her the Minnesota Apparel Industries Fashion Coordinator. She wasn’t a columnist, but she was an actress, and helped found Theater in the Round, which is still in existence. Or was, before all this. Died at 63 in ’87.

I wonder how she made it into this ad.

That will do today! Except of course, there's always more.




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