Escalator to 2nd Floor – Heck’s Kitchen Appliances.
Cellulose nitrate was used to make dice from the late 1860s until the middle of the twentieth century, and the material remains stable for decades. Then, in a flash, they can dramatically decompose. Nitric acid is released in a process called outgassing. The dice cleave, crumble, and then implode.
From Dice: Deception, Fate & Rotten Luck by Ricky Jay and Rosamond Purcell, 2002.
[Via Wiki] Because of its explosive nature, not all applications of nitrocellulose were successful. In 1869, with elephants having been poached to near extinction, the billiards industry offered a $10,000 prize to whoever came up with the best replacement for ivory billiard balls. John Wesley Hyatt created the winning replacement, which he created with a new material he discovered called camphored nitrocellulose—the first thermoplastic, better known as celluloid. The invention enjoyed a brief popularity, but the Hyatt balls were extremely flammable, and sometimes portions of the outer shell would explode upon impact. An owner of a billiard saloon in Colorado wrote to Hyatt about the explosive tendencies, saying that he did not mind very much personally but for the fact that every man in his saloon immediately pulled a gun at the sound.
Talking Heads‘ classic “Swamp” performed at the London Wembley Arena 1982. It was released the following year, creeped me out, and I became a TH fan.
“Now, Amos Moses was a Cajun. He live by hissef in da swamp.”
This is the best cover of Jerry Reed‘s “Amos Moses” I’ve ever heard. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band took it and made it nasty. (This 1976 video is from the German TV show Pop Scop.)
That’ll do for this edition of The Saturday Matinee. Have a great shopping spree, folks.
It amazes me to think that in September 1620, 102 people were so fed up with the English monarchy that they were willing to risk a dangerous late-season voyage across the Atlantic (that lasted over two months at sea) to a new land to establish a free colony.
Disease, scurvy, starvation and weather exposure took their toll, and half of them died before the following spring. In March of 1621, the survivors sought to establish Plymouth Rock, ventured ashore, and met an escaped British slave named Squanto who spoke English.
His first words to William Bradford were:
“Dude. This is a swamp. You f’d up. Y’all gonna die an’ stuff.”
Bradford replied, “Bro, WTF?”
“Here. Plant some of this, but put a fish under it.”
“Dude, no way.”
“Way. Just do it.”
“K. By the way, we got a plow.”
“Get out. You got a what? What you need a plow on a boat for?”
“We got one. You got an ox?”
“Ordered one on Amazon, but he ain’t showed up yet. They walk slow.”
“Cool. We’re gonna pop some pheasant for supper. Y’all wanna come?”
“Hell yeah. We’ll bag some Bambi and see you about 4.”
And the rest is history.
Have a great holiday, folks, and never forget the Reason for Thanksgiving.
[Image from here.]
Yeah, we had ‘em.
We’d split them up, Germans vs. Allies, set them up in the dirt, then each of us would shoot rubber bands at the opponent’s “army.” If the rubber band knocked over a soldier, he was taken off of the battlefield as KIA.
If you shot a rubber band off your thumb, hit or miss, it became part of your opponent’s arsenal. If you were a good shot but too aggressive, you might run out of rubberband ammo and lose the battle. Strategy & Tactics for 8 year old boys.
Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by a communist named Lee Harvey Oswald. I was very young, but I remember understanding that something terrible had happened.
JFK was indisputably the last conservative democrat to hold the Office of the Presidency, and the loss still echoes.
On a lighter note, in 1963 one of my prized possessions was a transistor radio that I listened to constantly, and I wasted a large number of batteries by falling asleep with the radio on my pillow.
Here are three favorites.
The Chantays performed Pipeline live on The Lawrence Welk Show in 1963. According to the liner notes on their album, the oldest member of the band from Santa Ana California was 17 when they invented surf-rock.
This was the also the age of the “girl groups.” Before lil’ Bunk was in the double digits of age he liked girls, just couldn’t admit it to his buddies, and was secretly in love with Ronnie Spector, Skeeter Davis, Barbara Lewis and The Chiffons, but not Leslie Gore – what a whiner.
Have a great weekend, folks.