Via the Smithsonian -- This toy “Cape Canaveral Satellite Monitor” bus is a tin toy produced in Japan for export to an American market. In post-WWII Japan, producing space-themed “tin toys” originated as a way to tap into an international market for “penny toys” or cheap playthings. By the late 1950s, however, this home-crafted industry had become a successful international business manufacturing creatively-designed, complex toys with moving parts and/lights that competed successfully with Western toymakers. This toy’s maker, Yonezawa Toys, Co., Ltd., was one of the biggest manufacturers in Japan of tin toys, many of which carried space themes. The design of this toy, which features lithography created to appeal to an American market, tapped into the American fascination with the new
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 a fresh batch of some quality interweb finds I’ve come across over the last 7 days month or so: Awesome internet meme of the day -- Retro Spider-Man, bringing that classic '60s animated version of our favorite webslinger back to life in the internet age (Know Your Meme) Yet another way to get the most out of Spotify -- a ridiculous collection of shared playlists (ShareMyPlaylists) Not even the discovery of a fourth moon around Pluto can get it back in the big kids' club. (Defective Yeti) An extremely detailed and thoroughly riveting account of the operation to kill Osama bin Laden (The New Yorker) Productivity + internet = No Productivity (The Daily What) 21 Google+ circles you can actually use (HappyPlace) A giant list of movie references seen in The Simpsons (J
The General Mills Corporation started producing a little-known, citrus-flavored drink mix called Tang in 1959. It sold pretty poorly for more than half a decade, until the company noticed that it was being used by NASA's Gemini space program. They latched onto that as a marketing angle, and fifty years later Tang is still synonymous with outer space and astronauts. So much so that many people mistakenly believe that Tang was developed for the space program. It didn't take long for General Mills to cash in on the 1969 moon landing, as this ad demonstrates: Notice the little blurb at the bottom that says "Chosen for Apollo astronauts in outer space"? Makes for a great sales pitch, except it's not entirely true. According to both Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, Tang was not on