Tag: 1990s

Reliving the Glory Days of the Weather Channel

Reliving the Glory Days of the Weather Channel

TV & Radio
I've been clean for several years, but at one time I was a hardcore Weather Channel junkie. From the late '80s through about the mid-1990s, I watched the Weather Channel more in one week than I watched most other channels in a year. And so it makes me just a little bit sad to see what has become of my once-favorite TV destination. Instead of the sober, lo-tech and slightly geeky take on weather that the network used to specialize, we now have a cesspool of lame reality programming and ugly public disputes with cable providers. But it was not always so. When it was launched in May 1982, the Weather Channel had one mission and one mission only -- to broadcast the weather. Sounds so simple, how could it possibly work? Because the internet is so awesome, we have footage from TWC's first...
Vintage 20th Century World’s Fair Postcards (1958 – 1992)

Vintage 20th Century World’s Fair Postcards (1958 – 1992)

Ephemera
Back for more, eh? As the follow-up to my set of World's Fair postcards covering the first half of the 20th century, here is the second half. This set picks up with Expo 58 in Brussels, which marked the first World's Fair held after World War II. Expo 58 (Brussels, Belgium) Century 21 Exposition (Seattle, 1962) (via Drive-In Mike) 1964 New York's World Fair (via The Pie Shops) Expo 67 (Montreal) (via The Pie Shops) HemisFair '68 (San Antonio, Texas) (via zawleski) Expo '70 (Osaka, Japan) (via Duncan Brown) Expo '74 (Spokane, Washington) (via The Pie Shops) Expo '75 (Okinawa, Japan) (via World's Fair Photos) 1982 World's Fair (Knoxville, Tennessee) 1984 Louisiana World Exposition (New Orleans) Expo '85 (Tsukuba, Japan) (via World's Fair Photos) Expo...
Vintage CompuServe Ad Gallery (1980s – 1990s)

Vintage CompuServe Ad Gallery (1980s – 1990s)

Featured Posts, Retrotisements
During the 1980s, CompuServe was the undisputed king of online communities. Founded in 1969 as  Compu-Serv Network, Inc., the company got its start providing in-house computer processing support for Golden United Life Insurance, as well as by selling mainframe time-sharing.  This of course was in the days when both computers were very big and very costly to own. Fast forward to the '80s, and CompuServe -- owned then by H&R Block -- began to experience tremendous growth. Their subscriber base jumped from 3,600 in 1980 to 60,000 by early 1984.  By 1993 the service had more than 1.5 million subscribers, 90,000 of whom were in Europe. But the rise of competing services such as America Online and Prodigy ultimately spelled doom for this pioneer. AOL essentially bought CompuServe (alt
Logo Evolution: ABC TV

Logo Evolution: ABC TV

TV & Radio
Until the Fox television network went on the air in 1986, the American Broadcasting Company -- ABC -- was the young kid on the block. It began in 1943 as a direct descendant of RCA's NBC Blue radio network. Originally known as the Blue Network, the network was re-branded in 1944 as the American Broadcasting Company. On April 19, 1948 the ABC television network went on the air, and so it is in that year that I begin my look at the history of the ABC-TV network logos. Dates on some of the early logos are approximate. If any readers have more accurate information please let me know in the comments. To check out my history of the NBC logo, click here. Logo #1 (1948 - ?) Not surprisingly, ABC's first television logo was directly inspired by radio -- the same is true for NBC as well. Ba
Behold the Strange Beauty of the Metal Ballads Album Covers

Behold the Strange Beauty of the Metal Ballads Album Covers

Album Cover of the Week, Music
I can't tell if these album covers for a compilation series called Metal Ballads are serious or not, but they are 100% undistilled awesome either way. They were released in Germany between 1988 and 1991, before grunge made things like this look even more foolish than they already did, so I'm inclined to think that RCA Records didn't realize they were unintentionally goofing on the entire hair metal scene. But still, look at these things. You could take the title off these drawings and pass them off as the covers to some astoundingly bad romance novels. Ones that take place in a world where shirts are but a distant memory and only the tender, rocking ballads of the Scorpions will see you through another hellish day sharing body heat for survival. Oh and for the curious, I've included ...
Pop Culture Capsule — November 14-20, 1993

Pop Culture Capsule — November 14-20, 1993

Capsules, History
While the nation should be celebrating another win by my Rutgers Scarlet Knights, apparently it's considered bigger news that Notre Dame is back at #1 for the first time in 19 years. In fact, almost exactly 19 years. Before this week, the Fighting Irish last held the top spot in college football in the poll released November 16, 1993. To put all of this into context, here's what was going on in the world of American pop culture the last time Notre Dame was at the top of the college football world. Top 10 Movies 1. Addams Family Values 2. The Three Musketeers 3. Carlito's Way 4. My Life 5. Mrs. Doubtfire 6. Man's Best Friend 7. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 8. The Remains of the Day 9. Cool Runnings 10. A Perfect World Will you look at that -- the top movie of...
Four Classic Bettie Page Album Covers — Two Old, Two New

Four Classic Bettie Page Album Covers — Two Old, Two New

Album Cover of the Week, Music
If my Tumblr feed is any indication, Bettie Page is one of the most loved and photographed women in history. And so it's only natural that she'd show up on album covers as well. Here's a cheesecake-filled selection. This is a shot from the famous 1954 "Jungle Bettie" session with photographer Bunny Yeager. Never one for subtlety, David Lee Roth's 1998 solo album pretty much summed up what he thought was best about America. This also appears to be from the same Yeager photo session as the first cover. Here's another lovely 1957 gem from Halo Records. I'm not enough of a Pageophile to know the lineage of this boudoir shot. This same photo of Bettie in her black lingerie was used for a 1955 release of Bizet's Carmen by the London Concert Orchestra, but with most of the li...
Retrotisements – McDonald’s McRib

Retrotisements – McDonald’s McRib

Advertising, Retrotisements
If you aren't one of the many McRib believers out there, now is your chance to find enlightenment.  Now through November 14, McDonald's is unleashing one of their menu's white whales* on the American public.  So if you've been missing a certain something in your life -- that something being soft, molded pork-like product slathered in BBQ sauce, onions, and pickles and served on a soft roll -- you can now fill that void.  Just remember to stock up on antacid and toilet paper. But before you head out the door, join me for a quick look back at some McRib ads of yesterday.  First up are a fun pair of spots from 1989: Hey I don't know about you, but McRibs always taste best in an Oldsmobile Firenza. And did you check out that Coke? Does McDonald's even sell soda in cups that small
Football Friday — The World League of American Football

Football Friday — The World League of American Football

Football Friday, Sports
It's instructive to remember from time to time that not everything the National Football League touches turns to gold. Case in point -- the World League of American Football. It was formed, with backing from the NFL, fewer than five years after the collapse of the rival USFL. The WLAF was the NFL's first organized attempt to spread the game beyond American shores, and as such it featured four franchises outside the United States (London, Barcelona, Frankfurt, and Montreal). It also served as a developmental league of sorts for the NFL, a concept that would be carried over into the WLAF's successor league. The first WLAF franchise was awarded to Orlando, which dubbed themselves the Thunder and lives on in football fans' memories as the owners of one of the ugliest uniforms in spor