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Odd Lots

  • Never fear; I’ll return to the pulps discussion shortly. I’m way behind on a lot of projects right now.
  • One of the few things I remember about the old 40s Flash Gordon serials (which played incessantly on Saturday morning TV in Chicago circa 1960) are the Rock Men, who could blend into the rocks to escape giant lizards with poison breath. They talked weirdly, and eventually we figured out that they were talking backwards, but none of us had a tape recorder in 1960 to reverse it and see what they were actually saying. Finally, somebody has done it.
  • Popular Science has posted the entire 137-year run of its back-issue archives on the Web via Google Books, and you can read it all for free. The whole mags have been posted, including the advertisements. Maybe this time I can find one of those weird ads for the Rosicrucians.
  • Gizmodo is beginning a series on Microsoft’s Courier project, which is starting to look more like the ebook reader I’ve always wanted.
  • A link on the Make Blog concerning the Vacuum Tube Radio Hat (which I’ve seen before, on Wikipedia, with schematic) led me to Retro Thing, which has just eaten a goodly portion of my morning. Be warned.
  • BTW, the model in the Radio Hat cover story above is Hope Lange at age 15.
  • I had plum fergot about Boeing’s X-37 spaceplane (and this is probably just what the Air Force wanted) but it will apparently be launched on April 19. Don’t get too excited; it’s a robot and won’t carry humans. (Of course it won’t. It can’t. Impossible. They said so. The subject is closed. How ’bout those Blackhawks?)
  • I’ve seen this time and again among the Pack here, but I never knew it had a name: The Nose of Peace. (Thanks to Bruce Baker for the link.)
  • Be careful how you talk in front of very small children, even (or especially) girls. (Thanks to Mary Lynn Jonson for the link.)
  • I have no idea what to think about this: A site that creates techno music from…Web sites. Read the algorithm description under “About.”


  1. Fred says:

    Pop Science – my favorite from the 50s and 60s – had a big collection of them, learned a lot about repairing cars from reading Gus and the Model Garage series. Maybe you can publish a collection of all those like the Carl and Jerry series ?

  2. Fred says:

    Spoke too soon ! Gus stories already published in various forms.

  3. Tom R. says:


    Try page 14 of the April 1956 Popular Science for your Rosicrucian add.
    Also for another reference to them there is a song in the Movie “Paint Your Wagon” that references them.

    I remember the adds and wondered about them, but not too much.

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