Tag: Cold War

You Should See the Size of the Pot

You Should See the Size of the Pot

Retrotisements
Because Cold War-era nuclear paranoia wasn't just limited to monster movies, you know... Let's take a closer look at the giant, mutated radioactive can of corn niblets shall we? Not sure how niblets the size of this housewive's fist are supposed to convey freshness, but I guess that's why I'm not in advertising.
Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 2 (1960s)

Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 2 (1960s)

Ephemera
I hope you enjoyed the first set of New Year's cards from the USSR of the 1950s, because we're moving on to the '60s. And while most of the imagery found in the '50s was brought over into the next decade, you can definitely see some more of the Space Age creeping in as well. As with the first set, all card scans courtesy Flickr user katya. Enjoy, and С Новым годом! (Happy New Year!) 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 1 (1950s)

Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 1 (1950s)

Ephemera
I guess I just always assumed that once the Communists came to power in Russia and the rest of what became the USSR, any holiday not linked directly to the Communist Party ceased to exist. But lo and behold, I stumbled upon a Flickr set of postcards from the Soviet Union celebrating New Year's, some of them dating back to the 1930s. What I find most fascinating about these cards is how for the most part they look like they could have come from the West. Most of them feature images of idyllic forest scenes, cityscapes, and smiling children. The more overt Soviet stuff pops up in the cards from the '60s, which I'll feature in the next post on this series. Let's look at some cards, and as they say in Russia, С Новым годом! (Happy New Year!) 1953 1954 (more…)
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 8 — Radiation Dummy

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 8 — Radiation Dummy

Vintage Photo Wednesday
I wasn't around to witness the fallout -- no pun intended -- of the Soviet Union's detonation of Tsar Bomba on October 30, 1961. It was and still is the biggest test of a nuclear weapon, in terms of explosive yield. It packed a destructive force approximately 1,400 times the combined power of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombs. Needless to say, America was a little spooked. So in its November 10, 1961 issue, Life magazine ran a story on the bomb, and a companion piece on nuclear fallout. To demonstrate the effect of radiation on a human body, a plastic skeleton partially filled with fluorescent fluid was used. Here's the photo of the dummy used in the article: As the article explains, [the] thyroid gland in neck becomes a repository of iodine 131. Strontium 90 lodges in th
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 5 — 1950s Family Nuclear Fallout Shelter

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 5 — 1950s Family Nuclear Fallout Shelter

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Here's a totally fascinating and somewhat disturbing image from the early days of the Atomic Age and the Cold War (click for a larger copy). As you might be able to guess, this is a family nuclear fallout shelter, made out of steel and full of all the home comforts of 1950.  I spot two board games -- Life and Chutes & Ladders, a Reader's Digest book, a box of macaroni dinner, a block of Velveeta, some Ajax cleaner, and assorted other sundries. Why, in the event the Soviet Union ever drops the Big One I would expect to live comfortably in this thing for at least a week before going insane. (Source -- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center) Related articles July 16, 1945: Trinity Blast Opens Atomic Age (wired.com) Dinosaurs of the Atomic Age! (
Was the American space program built in… Yugoslavia?

Was the American space program built in… Yugoslavia?

Movies
When most Americans think of Yugoslavia technology, this is probably the first thing that comes to mind (at least for those of us who remember the '80s): But if the trailer to the upcoming documentary Houston, We Have a Problem! is to be believed, the former Yugoslavia has a pretty rad space program back in the day. So rad, in fact, that the United States bought the whole thing from Marshal Josip Broz Tito in March of 1961. Then, just two months later, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech before Congress announcing America's ambitious plan to land a man on the moon. In September 1961 he gave a speech at Rice University that included the now-famous quote, "We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy,...
Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Internet, Links
Here’s a fresh batch of some quality interweb finds I’ve come across over the last 7 days or so:  You've read endless commentary on the Miami University football booster scandal involving Nevin Shapiro, why not read the original investigation by Charles Robinson? (Yahoo! Sports) A very cool photo gallery by Natsumi Hayashi, the "levitating girl" from Tokyo (Geekologie) Will Google+ be able to unseat Flickr as the premiere destination for photographers on the web? (TechCrunch) A fascinating gallery of photographs taken by the East German Stasi (secret police) during the Cold War era. (Conscientious Extended) You'd swear this article on the role of police patrols and the impact of broken windows in a neighborhood wasn't written almost 30 years ago, it's so relevant (The Atlan
Movies That Defined My Youth, Part 3

Movies That Defined My Youth, Part 3

Movies
Waaaay back in 2007 I looked back at five flicks that made a big impact on me during my formative years. The next year I ran through four more. And today I drag out another five. Let's reminisce! Better Off Dead (1985) — There is not one part of this movie that isn't 100% awesome, even more than 25 years later. This Savage Steve Holland masterpiece was perfectly cast and written, which makes its more surreal vignettes feel like integral parts of the movie instead of just absurd asides. It never really sunk in when I was a kid that this was a pretty dark film. Hell, the lead character (John Cusack as Lane Meyer) spends most of the it trying to kill himself. Over a breakup. Fortunately he fails and gets to see an Eddie Van Halen-esque hamburger wailing a Frankenstrat to "Everybody Wants S