Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Whole Earth Catalog...Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!

You have to remember The Whole Earth Catalog! It was the bible of the American counterculture. Published in 1968 by Steward Brand, his goal was to have anyone to be able to pick up a telephone and find complete information on anything.
The publication was an access to tools and education for the reader to shape his own environment and find some inspiration. This was a large book and later editions were an inch thick. In 1972, the catalog won the National Book Award, the first time ever for a catalog.
In 1966, Steward Brand initiated a public campaign to have NASA release the rumored satellite image of earth as seen from space. He felt this image of our planet would be a powerful symbol.
In 2005, the catalog was compared to Google search engines in paperback form. In the 1960's, there was no Internet or hundreds of cable channels. As the web and blogs arrived, Whole Earth Catalogs disappeared. Everything The Whole Earth Catalog did, the web did better. It became a transfer from counterculture to cyberculture.
There were seven sections in the 1968 catalog:
~Understanding Whole Systems
~Shelter And Land Use
~Industry And Craft
In each section, the best tools and books were listed by the editors. This included reviews, images, uses, supplies and prices.
The catalog was a huge success for hippies and survivalists. The publication was not intended for very long, just long enough for the editors to complete a good overview of available tools and resources for everyone that needed them.
In these times, I think The Whole Earth Catalog is just the ticket. It will take you back to the times when life was a bit more wholesome and basic. I found my old original copy. It's got the whole earth in my hands.

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's Tom Terrific And Mighty Manfred The Wonder Dog!

I bet you remember Tom Terrific. I just loved it! What a great cartoon. My friend once gave me a brand new giant red plastic funnel and I wore it like a hat, just like Tom Terrific. This was about 5 years ago.
Simple and sweet, in case you have forgotten, Tom Terrific was a boy hero who lived in a tree house. Thanks to his magic funnel cap, he could transform himself into anything and also became smarter.
Tom Terrific debuted in 1957 on the Captain Kangaroo show. The budget was small, but the imaginative scripts and stylized designs hid this fact. The scripts were simple and the music was minimal too, mostly just an accordion. Lionel Wilson did all of the voices.
Each episode on the Captain Kangaroo show consisted of a 5 minute cliff hanger everyday and in a week the story was completed. Confident, but never violent, Tom Terrific took on a variety of criminals. They were Sweet Tooth Sam, The Gravity Maker,The Silly Sandman, Captain Kidney Bean and his arch enemy, Crabby Appleton who was rotten to the core.
Here is a flash back for you:
My name is Crabby Appleton,
and I am simply awful.
It does my heart a lot of good
to do a deed unlawful!
I'm fond of gloom, impending doom,
I think good deeds are sappy!
I laugh with glee. It pleases me
when everyone's unhappy!
Mighty Manfred The Wonder Dog was always at Toms side. Manfred really never liked the whole crime busting routine. He was a big baggy-eyed pooch who would rather avoid trouble than stop it. To him, a big long nap would beat a good deed any day.
There were twenty-six full adventures or 130 episodes of the cartoon over a four year period.
"When there is trouble,
I'm there on the double,
From Atlantic to Pacific,
They know Tom Terrific!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Just In Time For The 4th Of July.....Tang Pie!

One of my readers alterted me to the fact that there is a Tang Pie. Well, I couldn't let that get by me so I did a search. Just in time for tomorrow. Impress your friends with this all American (sorry cherries and apples) pie! Be brave and go for it. Your friends and family will love you for it!

1/4 cup Tang orange drink powder
8 oz. sour cream
12 oz. Cool Whip
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 graham cracker pie crusts
Mix all ingredients together well. Pour in the 2 pie crusts and set in refrigerator overnight.
Put a twist of an orange slice in the middle of each pie for decoration.

Now how easy is that!
Enjoy the holiday!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Indescribable...Indestructible! Nothing Can Stop it! The BLOB!

Beware of the Blob! It creeps and leaps and glides across the floor. It crawls... It creeps... It eats you alive!
Don't you just love it? It doesn't get any better than this! In 1958, this independently made science fiction/horror film depicted a giant amoeba alien that terrorizes the small town of Downington, Pennsylvania. Today this film is a cult classic.
The film was Steve McQueen's third feature film, but his first starring role. Because of him, this film became a hit in the drive-in theaters. Aneta Corsaut played his girlfriend and Olin Howland was the elderly old man.
In the film, the Blob comes from outer space and lands on earth inside a meteor. The two teenagers, McQueen and Corsaut drive the car to find out where it landed. Meanwhile, the elderly man heard the crash too, finds it and pokes it with a stick.
The rock breaks open and voila! There's the blob which crawls up the stick and attaches itself to his hand. It's all over from there.
By the time the teenagers get the old guy to the doctor's office, it engulfs him and eats the doctor and nurse too.
The film ends with the words, "The End", which then morphs into a question mark. Will the Blob return? Only time will tell.
The blob was filmed in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and several scenes were filmed in Downington. If you are around that area on July 10Th, don't miss the Blob Fest and Ball in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
During this movie, Steve McQueen was offered $2,500 or 10% of the profits. He took the $2,500 for food and rent,not thinking this film would be a hit. Little did he know, this film ended up grossing $4 million.
What was the Blob made of, you ask? It was originally created with a modified weather balloon for the sky shots and later made from silicone gel.
Wes Hark, a horror movie fan and collector, actually owns the Blob. It was love at first fright!

The Blob - Movie Poster - 27 x 40
The Blob - Criterion Collection