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January 16, 2021

Grace Slick — 'White Rabbit' a cappella

On January 3 I featured Jefferson Airplane's 1967 "White Rabbit."

Reader xoxoxoBruce commented, "Have you ever heard the audio track of Grace separated out on this song? It's absolutely incredible."

That is the understatement of 2021.

January 16, 2021 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Striking on the Modern Matchbook

Screen Shot 2021-01-09 at 12.49.12 PM

[A 1973 federal regulation mandated that the striker be moved from the front of the matchbook to the back (they were originally inside).] 

From the New York Times:

Striking on the Modern Matchbook

No one knows what exactly prompted Joshua Pusey, a lawyer and the inventor of the modern toboggan, to patent a folded piece of cardboard carrying matches and a striker in 1892.

Though legend suggests it had more to do with vanity than with safety.

"I heard that he was a patent attorney and always wearing suits and vests," explains Mark Bean, president of the match division of New Hampshire’s D. D. Bean & Sons Company, which has been in the trade since 1938. "And that a box of wooden matches was bulky and awkward to carry around."

Pusey called his brainchild "flexibles" quite possibly because, unlike their predecessors, which smokers carried in silhouette-marring match safes, they slid into a dandy's pocket with nary a bump.

His contraption soon caught the attention of a company called Diamond.

In 1896 it purchased the patent for $4,000, thereby charting its course toward world matchbook domination.

American businesses quickly learned that the matchbook's value lay outside the box.

In 1889, the Mendelssohn Opera Company promoted the imminent arrival of "America's youngest operatic comedian," Thomas Lowden, on the front of a matchbook. (On the back flap, it noted there would be "pretty girls.")

Soon everyone followed suit: airlines, universities, Epcot Center.

Five-and-dime stores sold matchbooks of movie stars and sports teams.

"The last 100 or so years of this country are all chronicled on match covers," says Michael Prero, who runs the collectors' website Matchpro.org.

By the 1940s, it was estimated that more than one million Americans had become s, or matchbook collectors.

During World War II, General Douglas MacArthur had matchbooks bearing the words "I shall return" dropped behind enemy lines in the Philippines.

"When you talk about the history of the match industry," Bean says, "it's pre-lighters and post-lighters." In the mid-1970s, he says, around 35 billion matchbooks were manufactured each year. "Within 20 years, lighters took away about 90 percent of the market."

As recent anti-smoking crusades have dried up the remaining ad business, today's beautifully designed books are often inspired by nostalgia (or branding, or a combination of the two).

And the rest are plain, undecorated white.

"There's an affiliation with smoking that's hard to avoid," says Chris Scherzinger, president of Jarden Home Brands, which bought Diamond in 2002. "Not that I have anything against smokers."

[Inspired by Crack Correspondents©® Paul Tempke and xoxoxoBruce]

January 16, 2021 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

'Wag the Dog'

Buried treasure, this 1997 film directed by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman is LOL hilarious and trust me, I don't laugh out loud very often while watching a movie.

Oh, yeah, one more thing: the rest of the cast — Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Willie Nelson, Andrea Martin, Kirsten Dunst, William H. Macy, John Michael Higgins, Suzie Plakson, Woody Harrelson — is no small beer.

January 16, 2021 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Canary Wharf Docklands Light Railway Station in London, England


Who's been?

January 16, 2021 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Anti-Sleep Glasses



From the website:

Get sleepy at work?

Need to stay awake and get things done?

Well, there's another way to help you burn the midnight oil (or just stave off that post-lunch afternoon drowsiness) with the Masunaga Wink Glasses, now available again and finally here for overseas shipping.

These clever specs detect when you haven't blinked in five seconds and then fog up one of the lenses.

This simple function will then "jolt" the eyes and make them focus, thus waking you up before you drop off fully.

Men blink once every three seconds; women once every four seconds.

So any longer than this and you are slowing down, which generally means you are getting sleepy.

Don't let yourself fall asleep at your desk again!

This set of glasses and silver frame is compact and lightweight, and is powered by USB and/or battery that can go for eight hours.



Still not sure?

Watch the 


Hey, wait a sec — what's that music I'm hearing?

FunFact: I owned the [33⅓ vinyl] album on which this song appeared, way, way back in the 1950s.

yo joe — who let you out of your room at Geriatric Park?

Never mind.

January 16, 2021 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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