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Wednesday
Apr042012

The 1960 patent for the "pink slime" process

 

I keep reading articles that make it sound like the process to create so-called "pink slime" was invented in the 1990s. The process dates back to at least 1960, as evidenced by the patent filed by Chicago meatpacker Armour and Company on April 5, 1960 and approved in 1962. Patent 3,062,655 was initially intended to create a "water insoluble defibrillated meat protein" that could be added to cakes and candies. This was before the product was added to ground beef, as it is today.

I've embedded the patent below and you can read about my take on pink slime at The Daily.

US Patent 3,062,655

Saturday
Mar242012

No Jeans Allowed

I just found this great newspaper advertisement for a disco outside of Cleveland, Ohio where jeans are allowed on Tuesday and Wednesday but not allowed on Friday and Saturday. For an era of decadence and depravity they seemed to have very specific rules about denim.

This ad for Stars Disco appeared in the March 16, 1979 Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, Ohio).

Saturday
Mar242012

Rick Santorum's Dystopia of the Year 2014

According to Rick Santorum, if Obama is re-elected Americans will be forced to fill up their heads with gasoline

Probably inspired by Hunger Games mania, Rick Santorum recently released the most dystopian campaign video we've seen in quite a while. Called "Obamaville," the video depicts the bleak world of 2014: President Obama has been re-elected, the playgrounds sit empty, freedom of religion is under attack, and apparently we're all cyborgs powered by putting gasoliine directly into our heads. THANKS A LOT OBAMA!

As a fan of apocalyptic fiction, I watched closely and noticed a few interesting images that the campaign chose to include in the video. Some of the weirder images are below. If you notice the same timecode for some images it's because these images were only up for 2 or 3 frames, and trust me, that's where the gold is!

You can watch the entire video here, though it's labeled as "unlisted" for some odd reason.

Men smoking! Indoors, no less! (00:13)

Wait, are those Bob Casey posters behind them? Casey was the guy who unseated Santorum in 2006, but something tells me this is a photo staged by the Santorum campaign.

Hooverville, USA (00:22)

The Santorum campaign is clearly trying to make "Obamaville" into an everyday term in the way that Hooverville was a term critical of President Herbert Hoover during the Great Depression.

Old media! (00:38)

Whoever lives here really loves newspapers and old televisions and are those... vinyl records? I can only assume that this is the episode of Hoarders where the law student is studying Texas v. Johnson.

Termination notice (00:48)

Wait, is that Latin? Pig Latin? Oh, it's filler text that designers use!

Another smoking guy (00:52)

This video sure has a lot of smoking, but I'm not sure what the message is here.

Piggy bank (00:52)

If Obama is re-elected he will literally come to your house and smash your child's piggy bank on the floor. And there's nothing you can do about it.

Chasing children through the woods (00:52)

In one of the creepiest shots from the video, we're watching from the perspective of someone chasing a child through the woods.

Meat grinder (00:53)

This video just keeps getting weirder and weirder. It's only a couple of frames long, but I'm not sure what this meat is supposed to represent in Santorum's dystopia of the year 2014. Is he campaigning against pink slime?

General disgust (00:53)

Again, what's going on here? Just stock photos of people looking disgusted? This was supposed to be a hellish dystopia of the future!

We see four shots of Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the video. On two of those four occasions an image of President Obama is flashed in juxaposition to Ahmadinejad.

Santorum spokesperson Hogan Gidley said it was "absurd" to think that the Santorum campaign was comparing Obama to Ahmadinejad. If you're going to make a video saying that if President Obama is elected that the United States will become a dystopia of epic proportions I'm not sure why you wouldn't just own that comparison. Which they're clearly making:

(00:42)

(00:54)

Frankly I think every politician should make a scary apocalyptic campaign video. If you've ever seen LBJ's "Daisey" ad from 1964 you know that at least they're not new.

Saturday
Mar102012

Moebius (1938-2012)

French artist Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius to his fans, died today.

His work had a profound influence on a huge number of filmmakers and comic book artists. Moebius did the set and costume design for Tron, and though he didn't work on Blade Runner directly, his work had a great influence on that film as well. His short story comic The Long Tomorrow -- a film noir set in the future, written by Dan O'Bannon and illustrated by Moebius in 1975 -- quite obviously had an impact on Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

BBC Four produced a documentary about Moebius in 2007 titled In Search of Moebius. It's presented in three parts below.


In Search of Moebius - Jean Giraud clip1/3 by foivosloxias


In Search of Moebius - Jean Giraud _clip2/3 by foivosloxias


In Search of Moebius - Jean Giraud_clip3/3 by foivosloxias

Friday
Mar092012

We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home (1954)

Edward R. Murrow (March 9, 1954)

On March 9, 1954 Edward R. Murrow's CBS program "See It Now" aired an episode that sharply criticized Senator Joseph McCarthy and his zealous campaign against communism in the United States.

The program ended with Murrow reading a statement directly into the camera, which is credited with helping to stem the tide of McCarthyism that was sweeping the nation. Ultimately, Murrow's statement may have been most instrumental in making people feel comfortable questioning McCarthy and his tactics without fear of being labelled a communist or a traitor oneself. 

Murrow's statement from March 9, 1954:

No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. 

His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind as between the internal and the external threats of communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. 

We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men — not from men who feared to write, to associate, to speak and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy's methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities.

As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.

The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn't create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it—and rather successfully.

Cassius was right. "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves." Good night, and good luck.

Murrow invited McCarthy to respond to the March 9th episode. McCarthy took three weeks to film a response and was given airtime to defend himself against the earlier criticism. The program aired on April 6, 1954.

McCarthy says in the film that normally he wouldn't waste any time replying to Murrow, but feels compelled to because Murrow, "is the cleverest of the jackal pack, which is always found at the throat of anyone who dares to expose individual communists and traitors."

You can watch the entire epsiode of McCarthy's "See It Now" rebuttal from April 6, 1954 on the CBS website.

The Murrow-McCarthy saga was dramatized in the 2005 film, Good Night, and Good Luck.