Volvo 1800S - The lost wisdom of the ancients.

Prepare your monocle to fall into your tea. Also, get ready to say "The DEVIL you say!". Volvos used to be beautiful cars.

Here is an eye-wateringly beautiful 1964 Volvo 1800-S. It was not Volvo's first sports car, but it was their first successful one. Roger Moore drove one as Simon Templar in The Saint, and liked it so much, he bought one himself.

The photo in the magazine is kind of artsy and you can't really see the whole thing. Let's find a clearer picture.

Look at that. You'd think it was a Jaguar. Funny enough, Jaguar declined the opportunity to have their equally gorgeous Jaguar E-type serve as The Saint's weekly conveyance, and the opportunity then fell into Volvo's lap. Good choice.

Why, why, WHY did Volvos become boxy monstrosities, when clearly they knew how to make such a pretty thing as this? And don't give me that "Volvos are supposed to be functional" crap either. The utility of 70s and 80s Volvos did not have to come at the expense of being able to look at the thing without making excuses.

Somewhere along the line, Volvo chose to stop making beautiful things, forsaking all other concerns for safety and utility, but this is a false dichotomy. There was no need to become ugly. Someone just wanted it, and I would like to understand why.

Can you get one today? Sort of. This one is for sale in New York for about $5000. Ouch. It is in rough shape. I'd imagine a clean and drivable version would be triple that price.

So sad.

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Zenith Pop-Up Portables - Pop-up ray-dee-oh.

Today, we have some eye candy courtesy of Zenith and their Pop-Up line of portable radios from 1949.

These are pretty slick radios. People like gizmoey things like this. Plus, having just the one button to open the radio up and turn it on was not a bad idea. One thing I do not miss, however, is analog tuners.

You know... a tuner with a knob and a needle that has only a vague relationship to the numbers silkscreened on the dial? You may remember endlessly adjusting the tuner's knob, trying to feel around for a decent signal on your radios back in the 70s. Until the day, that is, when the nylon string inside the radio comes off the spool somehow and the tuner then becomes unusable, with the radio forever stuck on a local station playing ranchero music. That's funny. I don't remember ever tuning in a ranchero station, but every time one of my radios broke, there was Radio Domingo 475.3 FM, ready to entertain. Ug. Good-bye analog tuners.

The downside of digital tuners is that almost every affordable radio with a digital tuner is now equipped with a one-inch LCD display made in the same Nanjing factory as the one in your magnetic kitchen timer. LCDs are pretty bulletproof, but man, it's hard to hide their ugliness or work them elegantly into a highly designed case, like the ones in this Zenith ad.

Holy crap. $59.70! That seems pretty steep for 1949. What's the equivalent in current Future-Bucks? Holy jeez! $567.36! The cheaper model at the bottom would just be $379.67. Man, you'd better like your Glenn Miller. Zenith must have been using every bit of available technology to make these radios work. Imagine cool-looking portable radio made of carbon fiber with bluetooth, every kind of USB port, an incredible speaker, and a lithium-polymer battery. Something like Bang & Olufsen would make. That would be your modern equivalent. Man, you'd better like your Michael Buble'.

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News from around the science. - The news of yesterday, ripped from the headlines of the past!

Carpenter's smoking jacket is said to increase classiness of projects, with admitted increased risk of pipe smoking near flammable wood shavings. Platinum circular saw sold separately.

Human cloning project said to be "largely successful" at Michigan State. Two identical simulants are seen above, with anomalous "klinker", on left. Says klinker, "I will probably be dissolved and my materials salvaged, as is only fitting."

Recently rescued after years of servitude and sexual slavery (see image), this car is now recovering from its ordeal at an undisclosed service station. It also claimed to have been forced to run on watery, unbranded Speedway gasoline. Charges are still being determined.


Charles Atlas 1956 - Hey Skinny, your ribs are showing.

Here's another dramatization from Angelo Siciliano Charles Atlas that takes place in the wonderfully ridiculous cartoon reality where all that matters is your ability to beat up guys. Be sure to note panel two, where we see Joe apparently running somewhere while trying to read his new Charles Atlas book. Man, is he in a hurry!

Click for a bigger image that is the envy of other images.

If only the cartoon world of Charles Atlas were the world we lived in. Imagine how much more interesting presidential elections would be. I'd never miss a televised debate if I knew I could count on Obama and Romney (for example) beating the shit out of each other while shouting their talking points at the camera.

So how much is there to Siciliano's Atlas' claim to be "The World's Most Perfectly Developed Man"? Well, the sequence of events is like this: A fitness magazine held a contest in Madison Square Garden to find the "World's Most Beautiful Man". The 775 entrants were judged by a panel of doctors and artists, and Siciliano Atlas won. After a second win the following year, he crowned himself the WMPDM for all eternity. After all: every time you compete, that's just an opportunity to lose your title.

So, if you're better at something that 775 other people who think they're pretty good at it, you can therefore claim to be the World's Most Perfect Book Binder / Tennis Ball Juggler / Fish Wiggler / Chronic Overeater / Bear Baiter, etc. Good to know!


Kooking Kornir - Memorial Day Recipe Special: S'mlesses!

It's Memorial Day weekend, eaters! And that means cookouts and fires and whatever! Have we got a campfire recipe you! You're going to wish you could be memorialized when you wrap your mouth around our instant classic cookie to die for! S'mlesses!

After your belly is full of hamburgers and bratwurst pizza, etc., you need a nice rustic dessert to put a lid on all the eating. Our campfire cookies will have your guests shouting for less, because they're so darned satisfied!

Just like that "other" classic DIY campfire cookie, it just takes three ingredients: saltine crackers, swiss cheese, and expanded foam corn syrup circus peanuts. Swiss cheese can be cut into quarters, sized perfectly for a saltine cracker. If you need help cutting in a straight line, try using a hot dog as a straight edge.

You will need some kind of skewer to roast your circus peanuts. You can use a stick for that "emerald ash bore" flavor, but here we're using a bicycle spoke. Don't worry about your bike, you won't be wanting to go for a ride for some time. S'mlesses are that good!

Roast your circus peanut to taste. We think you'll find that roasting brings out the secret hidden flavor of circus peanuts. Ssh! Don't tell Martha Stewart!

Now it's time for all the magic to happen! Building your S'mless. Whilte it's still nice and hot, put your circus peanut in between the saltines with a piece of swiss cheese.

Then squeeze and watch all the gooey delicious flavor spew itself out! Now it's time to go in your mouth! See? Isn't it a taste sensation? Such big flavor!

So there you have it. A fun-to-make campfire cookie that will have your guests wishing they hadn't eaten so much. They'll be shouting for "S'mless!!!"

You're welcome!


1949 Mercury - Thrrrrifty, lad!

This 1949 ad from Mercury is thrilled to tell us about the fuel economy of their first postwar model. It's "thrifty" as a... who is that on the left? Hey, it's a racial stereotype helping Mercury to sell cars!

Okay, the '49 Mercury weighed about 3700 pounds, and managed to squeeze a little over 100 horsepower from its V8 engine. That's pretty unimpressive to our future-ears. That's about as much power as a Honda Civic. An average SUV weighs about a thousand pounds more than this Mercury, has at least twice the power, and has a mileage rating somewhere in the low teens. So, current cars embarrass the old cars in terms of power, weigh a lot more, and don't really get much better mileage. You'd think we'd have made more progress in fuel economy, but electronics are really heavy. So is safety equipment, like airbags. Almost any modern car is probably way better in a crash than this pretty old Merc'.

Where were we? Oh yeah. Thrifty. What's with the beardy guy with the scarf? That's a Scotsman. You may not have heard this before, but Scottish people are supposed to be cheap. Like any stereotype, it can't be universally true. It was actually hard to find any evidence of exactly how it got started. If I had to guess, it probably began during a particularly bad time in Scottish history when things were tough and Scotland suffered economic troubles.

However, we found lots of examples of the stereotype. Investopedia surprisingly embraces the stereotype saying that "The Scottish have long been famed for their frugality and practicality." That's a positive spin on a negative stereotype. Investopedia also offers no citations for the stereotype.

Studebaker actually had a line of cars called the Scotsman, so named for their affordability and practicality.

Monty Python wrote a sketch about a Scottish poet called Ewan Mcteagle, author of such poems as  the brilliantly allegorical "What's 20 Quid to the Bloody Midland Bank?" It's interesting to note that as the sketch starts, as soon as the Narrator (John Cleese) introduces McTeagle (Terry Jones) as the author of "Lend us a Quid", it gets an immediate laugh from the audience. They seem familiar with the stereotype. This gives us no answers, but a Python sketch is always good enough to go out on.

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Allosaurus 1949 - Dem dry bones.

Joke #1 - "This skeleton was found, almost complete, in New Orleans. Notice how small and underdeveloped the front limbs are. This can only mean that the Allosaurus was completely incapable of playing the trombone, leading to it's eventual extinction."

Joke #2 - "Some say these marks on the claws are evidence of some great battle with another dinosaur. But, we're not fooled. Here at the Discovery Institute, we know that those marks were made by Jesus when he carved the bones from wood and buried them in the ground to test our faith. It's just one of his many devious hobbies, trying to trick us because he loves us so much and stuff."

Joke #3 - Evidence of an extinct race of hideous folding skeleton monsters, who apparently slept in a flattened state under many layers of sedimentary rock.

Joke #4 - "...And since we know that the Earth is only 5,000 years old, the carbon data suggest that these 65-million year-old skeletons traveled here from space, colonized the young Earth and made themselves extinct because of their terrible skin shortage."

Joke #5 - "Now, some 'scientists' will tell you that the dinosaurs suffered a catastrophic extinction event, killing off the largest species, leaving the smaller dinosaurs to evolve into birds. But, I believe it's clear that they all survived the meteor strike and simply evolved into skeletons."

Joke #6 - "Now this big fella, with all his bones and such, is the one we call the 'bone-o-saurus'. We're still not sure what to call the rest of the specimens, but we feel we're off to a good start."

Joke #7 was submitted by Misterfancyhotballs_2. Thanks Fancy! - "You see being a Scientist and all, I can pretty much say without a doubt, that this 'Allan-sore-ass' died in this very spot! Probably when that pipe you see sticking out of the floor there pierced him directly in his 'esophla-thingus'- That means 'throat' for all you not versed in the Scientifical termincology"

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.   -Mgmt.]

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Careers in Art! - Careers in dart!

Make some darts, you!

Back in 1951, before everything smaller than a giraffe was made basically for free by Chinese slave babies, you had to make your own fun. Darts, for example, could only be afforded by the three richest sultans on the moon. The rest of us troglodytes (see illustration) had to make our own.

Setting aside all questions of whether a mouth-breathing goober like the one in the picture should be allowed to handle pointy things, you can totally make your own throwable pointy thing, you mouth-breathing goober! The partial instructions are partially right. They instruct you to cut off the head of the nail and file it to a point before driving it into the wooden clothespin. This mouth-breathing goober recommends using the head of the nail to drive it into the clothespin (as directed by the National Nail Council), and then cutting it off and filing it to shape the point of the dart. But, what do I know about breathing through my mouth, or goobering, for that matter? Paint your target on a chair cushion, as shown, for some extra-bouncy random dart peril.

Clearly, the artist tasked with illustrating the home made eyeball puncturing kit dart game loves detail, for that extra touch of realism. No upholstery nail is too distractingly unnecessary. No unnecessary bench is too unnecessary. No overbite is too overbitten. This talented gent has clearly had some training. Where? Possibly this! That's why!

ART FOR A PROFITABLE CAREER! No previous experience or skill necessary. Also, no small words like "the" or "is" necessary! You get?

Of all careers advertised in the opportunity-spewing pages of Mechanics Illustrated, no vocation is so enthusiastically heralded as being "talent free" as art. Everyone knows that any semi-concussed yokel can be taught to draw gigantic amazonian women in togas (see illustration). Naturally, they will pay you in enormous amazonian dollars and also offer to sleep with you, as the ad implies. At the very least, you will get to see some side hogan as they raise their giant arm for the pose (see illustration again). As a professional artist/yokel, I myself have several twelve-foot women awaiting my talent-free sleep action at home right now. Also drawing them. Then we will play darts, after making some darts. We will, of course, drive our nails into our clothespins before cutting off the heads and filing them to an eyeball-puncturing point. What kind of mouth-breathing gooberyokeltroglodyte to you think I am?

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Gas Mask Handbag - Post-apocalipstick.

Heads up, girlfriends! The post apocalypse doesn't have to be totally barbaric! As you wander through the smoking ruins, you'll be sure your essentials are taken care of, with this miraculous gas mask handbag!

Found in a 1940 issue of American Druggist, this gas mask says "Nein" to the axis powers and their policy of sour pusses! Your powderbox (No, silly! Not gunpowder!) and lipstick are carried right there on your face for easy access, once the civil defense gives the all-clear to breathe again.

Shew! What a relief! If you're like me, the moment you remove your gas mask, that's when your makeup needs a refresher the most! Am I right, ladies? Well, you'll never be far from fabulization with this little beauty. Rosie the Riveter taught us that "We Can Do It!", but we say "Not without our makeup". Handbag your face! Now, if they would only make a cover-up stick to hide the chafed area around your face where the mask forms a seal against your skin, or as I call it, "The Magin-jaw line."

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Farah Scotwist Slacks - Morning stretch.

It's standard practice in advertising to put emphasis on the product in your product shot, but today's ad from Farah (of the Texas Farahs, apparently), goes the extra mile.

Guess what Farah sells? Legs? No, you're close. It's pants! You can tell by the way the people in the illustration have four men's worth of legs and hips like a nutcracker's. Either junior's going out on his first date with two girls stacked on top of each other, or dad's giving him an early birthday present: the car and an extra set of shins.

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Fram Air Filters - Fibers in your diet.

Phil Are GO! has presented hard-hitting journalistic expose's on the hazards of asbestos in the past, and today is kind of another one, sort of. In 1957, Fram offered this send-away promotion for a pizza kit, featuring a gaily decorated asbestos cushioned stove mat. I try to keep asbestos away from my food, but... you say it's gaily decorated? Okay, sign me up.

Dear Fram: Please get your racial stereotypes right. Chef Sepe is clearly wearing a French moustache, when everybody knows pizza is commonly misunderstood to be an Italian creation.
It's not like Fram is asking us to rub asbestos ON our pizza. It's only a gaily decorated asbestos cushioned stove mat. But to our ears, this is like inviting us to pull our piping-hot pizza from the oven, and place it on a mat made from the Ebola virus. It's not like you're eating Ebola. You're only using it to cool off your pizza, so calm the eff down.

Sure, we could judge Fram, with all our modern knowledge and understanding, but maybe we should take the high road? Maybe we should try and understand that, at the time, Fram didn't have the benefit of our decades of research. After all, the first observed asbestos-related health issues were only observed by the Greeks around 100 A.D., and medical articles documenting the hazards of asbestos only date back to 1898. Sure, it's easy for us to be hard on Fram with our 1,913 years of perspective. But, try and imagine how hard it must have been to truly understand the dangers of asbestos with only 1,857 years of evidence behind you?

By way of example, we barely know that Ford Pintos explode. After all, that information only came to
light in 1972, which was only thirtywhatever years ago. We need more time to grasp the danger of driving an exploding vehicle whose design flaws were judged "too expensive" to be fixed properly by the manufacturer, who decided that it was more cost effective to allow people to die in fiery explosions and pay the legal fees than to pay for a vehicle recall for around $100 $11 per car.

In another 1,883 years, we will definitely be able to say for sure that the Pinto was a poorly designed car whose appalling safety issues were covered up by the manufacturer so that it could be sold to families who would meet their fiery doom in them. But for now, because the information is so new, we can only assume that Pintos are completely safe. Why, just last night, I used a Ford Pinto to beat out a kitchen fire when I left my bread in the toaster too long. I won't really understand the foolishness of my actions for another 1,800 years.

See? Now don't you feel bad? Maybe the real monsters are you and me?

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Blind dinner.

Joke #1 - "Mmm! This dinner is great, honey! Now, can I have a blindfold for my mouth, too?"

Joke #2 - "Soooo, what did everybody hear and/or smell today?"

Joke #3 - Focus testing lima beans, June, 1939. So far, all respondents seem to prefer the centipedes. Further testing is required to find something people will refuse in favor of lima beans. Researchers considering setting the centipedes on fire and re-testing.

Joke #4 - "Surprise! I'll bet none of you guessed you've been eating Folger's Crystals!"

Joke #5 - Making the most of every minute of the day, the Floobsons find it easier to sleep during meals if they wear eye shades.

Joke #6 - "You know, I know this meatloaf doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is dreary and kind of dry, with a funny aftertaste, and leaves a weird puddle on the plate that smells like feet. After nine years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is shit."

Joke #7 - "Okay, imagine you're eating dinner at a legless hovertable in a milky yellow void with three strangers. Now, take off your blindfolds!

Joke #8 comes to us from the Associated Press. Just kidding. It's from Misterfancyhotballs_2 - Yes, it's dinner time with the contestants of "What's My Flatulence?"- Now you need to match which Star had the Broccoli, the Cabbage, the Asparagus or the 5-Alarm Chili, before THEY let you know!! (The audience will now put on their nose-plugs).

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.  -Mgmt.]


Arty jobs - You get good pay job! Get you job good pay! Pay good! Get job, you!

"I'll train you in DRAFTING until you get a GOOD PAY JOB. You will not leave me until you get a GOOD PAY JOB. I will WATCH OVER YOU and MASSAGE YOUR BACK. I will CARESS you into a PROFITABLE NEW CAREER. Graduates are awarded with GENTLE KISS ON THE NECK." Engineer Dobe. Libertyville, IL.

"LEARN TO DRAW beautiful girls' heads and figures from large photos of artists' models. Ogle at your own pace. Also, beautiful girls who don't mind getting naked and being ogled by would-be artists cheerfully accepted.


Little Ads - Opportunities for the inopportune.

MAKE BIG PAY out of prestressed concrete, on properly zoned site, following carefully prepared blueprint. Big Pay may be subject to local earthquake codes.

Caution: Diesel may be hazardous to throat.

From comfort of home, learn to exclude self, demean self, pick on self, shove self into locker, turn down self for Prom, ridicule self at most awkward stage of life, create emotional scars that take lifetime to heal. Send for free overly descriptive booklet.