Tag: Germany

Here’s a Terrifying Popular Mechanics Magazine Cover from World War I

Here’s a Terrifying Popular Mechanics Magazine Cover from World War I

Ephemera, History
I find images and illustrations from World War I to be more frightening on average than almost anything -- the Holocaust excepted -- from World War II. There's something morbidly fascinating about the weaponry used in that conflict. It certainly was new and cutting edge for its time, but looks curiously antique now. It gives drawings like this one from the July 1915 issue of Popular Mechanics all the more sinister. It showcases a German soldier wearing an oil tank with a mask and goggles, which can all be used for just one thing: shooting liquefied fire at his enemies. And just to complete the look, he's got a service pistol at the ready. This sort of military ensemble would probably be called steampunk now, if it weren't so cruel in its very design. I suppose I shouldn't be s...
A Gallery of World War II Superhero Comic Book Covers

A Gallery of World War II Superhero Comic Book Covers

Capsules, Ephemera
In modern times, comic book superheroes tend to view armed conflict with a healthy dose of skepticism regardless of which side they're on. But that wasn't the case during World War II, when costumed do-gooders from Superman all the way down to the lowliest nobody of a crime fighter eagerly signed up to wallop the Axis powers on behalf of Uncle Sam. And hey, if they had to deal in period racism to get the job done, who were we to question that? So just in time for Memorial Day, here's a gallery of vintage WWII-era Golden Age comic book covers showing our heroes fighting the Nazis and the Japanese on behalf of Uncle Sam. Many of these images were sourced from the excellent Digital Comic Museum -- check 'em out!  
Computers Have Taken Our Jobs, Now They Want Our Games

Computers Have Taken Our Jobs, Now They Want Our Games

Funny Stuff, Listcruft
We've grown accustomed to machines taking over routine jobs that humans used to perform (think auto assembly, telephone operators, etc.). But now, the machines are even taking away our fun. Recently, researchers at Japan’s Ishikawa Oku Laboratory unveiled a robotic hand that is unbeatable at the time-honored game of rock-paper-scissors (Roshambo). That’s right, the friggin' machines have taken rock-paper-scissors away from us. And this is simply the latest example of artificial intelligence ruining our cherished games and acting like a giant buzzkill with circuits in the process. “What Is an Ass-Kicking?” In 2011, IBM’s Watson supercomputer appeared on Jeopardy! and wiped the floor with two of the show’s greatest champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Even after missing
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 6 — The 1912 Summer Olympics

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 6 — The 1912 Summer Olympics

Vintage Photo Wednesday
The 2012 London Summer Olympics are in full swing now, so I'd be remiss if I didn't use this column to hop into the time machine and look at images from Olympiads past. Let's set the chronometer for 100 years, which puts us back to 1912 and the Games of the V Olympiad in Stockholm, Sweden. The images you see here were collected from the Library of Congress. Click on any for a larger version. On the right is Robert Means Thompson (1849-1930), who served as a United States Navy officer, businessman, and a president of the American Olympic Association. On the left is Ralph Waldo Rose (1885-1913), an American track and field athlete. He won a gold medal at Stockholm for the two-handed shot put. He died the next year, at 28, of typhoid fever. There's not a lot of info a...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 1 — Photochrom Prints, 1890s-1900s

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 1 — Photochrom Prints, 1890s-1900s

Featured Posts, Vintage Photo Wednesday
This is the first of what I hope will be a long-running feature on the site. Each Wednesday I'll post a handful of vintage photographs that strike my fancy. Some weeks there will be a theme, others not so much. If you have any subjects you'd like me to look for, or have photos you'd like to share, let me know! This week's collection is drawn from the Photochrom Print Collection on the Library of Congress website. From the site: The Photochrom Print Collection has almost 6,000 views of Europe and the Middle East and 500 views of North America. Published primarily from the 1890s to 1910s, these prints were created by the Photoglob Company in Zürich, Switzerland, and the Detroit Publishing Company in Michigan. The richly colored images look like photographs but are actually ink-based phot
Retrotisements: Halloween (1978) U.S. and Foreign Movie Posters

Retrotisements: Halloween (1978) U.S. and Foreign Movie Posters

Featured Posts, Retrotisements
This piece originally ran in October 2008. I've republished it because, really, this should run annually. But to show I'm not just being lazy, I've added posters from Denmark and Italy below! October 25 marks a momentous day in horror history — the 30th anniversary of the release of John Carpenter's slasher classic Halloween.  While it certainly wasn't the first horror film on the block, it is one of the best and most influential. I and many other fans of classic horror consider it to be part of the holy trinity of the genre, alongside Friday the 13th (1980) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). In retrospect, it seems like such a simple concept that it's hard to believe it hadn't been fully explored before. A psychopath is on the loose in the streets of a quiet, suburban town (Haddo
10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Kiss

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Kiss

Featured Posts, Music
It's been nearly 40 years since Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss put greasepaint on their faces and took the stage as Kiss for the first time. Since then they've amassed 24 gold albums in the United States, took the makeup off, got a bunch of new members, put the makeup back on, and toured seemingly in perpetuity. In those four decades a lot of facts, rumors, and myths about Kiss have circulated. Of course the diehard members of the Kiss Army usually know what's what, but for everyone else, here are ten things you probably didn't know about Kiss. 10. Katey Sagal was a backup singer on Gene Simmons' 1978 solo album. Before she gained fame with American television audiences for her portrayals of Peg Bundy (Married... with Children) and later Leela (Fu...
Listening booth — Amy Winehouse (Tränenpalast, Berlin, Germany 2004)

Listening booth — Amy Winehouse (Tränenpalast, Berlin, Germany 2004)

Listening Booth, Music
I'll cop to not being the biggest Amy Winehouse fan in the world, but there's no denying the incredible talent she possessed. That talent is on display during the concert I'm sharing with you today. This is from a July 29, 2011 broadcast on Deutschlandfunk, a German radio station. It captures Amy performing in support of her debut album, Frank, on September 28, 2004 at the Tränenpalast in Berlin, Germany. This is the Amy that fans will likely want to remember. Before the scandal, before the very public -- and ultimately losing -- battles with addiction, and before the days of mysteriously canceled shows and poor performances. Here, she's in great voice and hits a groove with her sterling backing band. (These are all in .mp3 format by the way. If you want to download the show in .F
Vintage View-Master: Germany (Nations of the World series), reel 3

Vintage View-Master: Germany (Nations of the World series), reel 3

Ephemera
And so ends our three-part journey through 1960s Germany (as presented by View-Master). Today we say auf wiedersehen to Bavaria and head northwest to the states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Lower Saxony. #1 - Black Forest Farmhouse Has Stable in Rear OK, so not every View-Master picture can be a winner. #2 - Heidelberg's Arched Bridge and Famous Castle This bridge has spanned the Neckar River since 1786. That's a long time. #3 - Cochem Castle Overlooks Moselle Valley The Reichsburg Cochem had its first documentary mention in 1130. In 1151, it was occupied by King Konrad III, who declared it an Imperial castle. In 1688, the castle was overrun by French King Louis XIV's troops in the course of the Nine Years' War (known in Ge