Will December be magic ?

December 1, 2014

Yikes!! It’s snowing already. WordPress snow doesn’t need shovelling away, but it may slow down your computer if you’re one of the hardy few still using XP.

Hooray! Here is another music mix with only a couple of Xmas tunes thrown in as befits my current “bah humbug” mood.

hellcat

Here is a crumbly old British Blackhawk reprint that I remember reading way back when.

zinda

One of the fast-disappearing Xmas rituals is the traditional unravelling of the fairy lights and the search for replacement lamps of various wattage/voltage/cap. The instructions/box would have been lost years ago. If the lights were in series, one dud lamp would darken the whole string and you had to remember it must be 12v lamps for 20-sets and 6v lamps for 40-sets or suffer the consequences. There were loads of cheap Chinese strings with “push-in” rather than “screw-in” lamps which relied on two bits of thin bent wire on each lamp to maybe or maybe not line up with the flimsy metal contacts inside the lampholders. Such fun!

Artificial Xmas trees are so elaborate now with computer programming for their built-in lights or pretend snow puthering out the top. Circa 1933 my grandmother bought a Xmas tree from Woolworths. It stood 2 feet tall and had about a dozen sparce branches. It wore six candles on bulldog clips and a few little plastic bells and would emerge every year until the late 1980s.

Xmas 1933

Shocker

December 1, 2014

The once-mighty Philippines comic book industry has now virtually disappeared with home-grown Komiks mostly replaced by Manga and DC and Marvel imports.

Shocker Komiks

Not too long ago (as in the UK) there were dozens of weekly titles ranging from romance to funny animals and adventure to horror. As in the UK, Filipino Komiks were printed on cheap newsprint (including the covers) and consequently were seen as disposable items. In this particular comic the art is quite good and the words are a mixture of Filipino and English.

15

19

Monsters

The kookiest hat

December 1, 2014

kookiest hat

Switch off your smartphone, print this image and colour it in for the full retro lifestyle experience.

1986

December 1, 2014

I remember the first time I saw a sales rep proudly dragging his “mobile” phone into my place of work in the mid 1980s. What a great leap forward there’s been in battery technology. If only they were still that size. Then mobile phones would never have become mass market items (over)used by 90% of the population.

1986 Mobile Phone

Eliza

December 1, 2014

Eliza

ELIZA emulates a Rogerian psychotherapist. ELIZA has almost no intelligence whatsoever, only tricks like string substitution and canned responses based on keywords. Yet when the original ELIZA first appeared in the 60’s, some people actually mistook her for human. The illusion of intelligence works best, however, if you limit your conversation to talking about yourself and your life.

This javascript version of ELIZA was originally written by
Michal Wallace and significantly enhanced by George Dunlop.

Scratch and Sniff

December 1, 2014

I did wonder why the recent Harley Quinn Annual No 1 was in a poly bag and cost $1 more than all the other annuals. We’ve had various novelties like 3D artwork in comics before, but this “Rub ‘n’ Smell issue is probably a first for comics.

!Warning

Actually, the “Scratch and Sniff” technology has been around for years and has been used to “enhance” stickers, cards, LPs, CDs and books. The best worst example of a “Scratch and Sniff” book was one full of foul odours such as dog shit, vomit etc. An adult magazine once did a “Scratch and Sniff” centrefold!

HQ

Harley Quinn seems to be one of DC’s most popular characters at the moment and will no doubt be included amongst the two dozen new Superhero films now in the planning stage. There’s even going to be an Elongated Man film (!?!).

Harley Quinn Annual

El hombre increible

December 1, 2014

Kaliman comic covers were colourful (and sometimes gruesome).

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