World's Fair Week - Pavilion of American Interiors.

Today we're at the '64 World's Fair again to see the Pavilion of American Interiors. Ooo! Such a Googie building! What goes on in there? Uuuh, not much, I'm afraid. Mostly, it was a showroom of stuff you could buy to decorate your home. The husbands must have gone to the International Beer Pavilion while the wives swooned about in here.

Well, not everything at the Fair can be exciting. Maybe they had some nutty furniture on display? Maybe? Please?

Well, in '64, they were starting to get over the national obsession with minimalism and space age design. It looks like they were already looking forward to the overall shittiness of The Seventies and its emphasis on clutter and pointless ornamentation.

This looks like my Aunt's living room, and not in a good way.

And now, something for everyone. If you think the Pavilion of American Interiors is simply fab, here's a picture of it under construction. Here's to anticipating a neato expo of kitschy furniture!

And if you think the Pavilion of American Interiors is a pathetic commercial pox on what should be a display of science and technology, here's a picture of the P.A.I. being demolished. Good riddance! Bring on the parking lot of the future!

And then there's whatever the hell this is, which was in that brochure....

Over at NYWF64.com, they have an excerpt from a brochure explaining this photo. Text pasted without permission, for your sanitation:

No? Come to our Moon Room. It is beautiful and strange. A moon dining room floating in cosmic space. (So you can see what a sit-down dinner on the moon would be like!) It is the most heavenly part of the International Silverware Exhibit at the World's Fair.
Here by the light of the moon you will see Vision -- sterling flatware ten light years ahead of its time. Find a silver coffee service you'd fly to the moon for. Water pitchers too ethereal for water. Futuristic design far too advanced to go on the market. (Although our culture is going at such a fast clip -- who knows?)
Another thing about our Moon Room. It lets those scientists know no matter what we'll be eating 20 years from today -- even if it's little blue food pills -- dinner will still be served on gleaming silver platters. By candlelight.

Ugh. A LIGHT YEAR IS NOT A MEASURE OF TIME! IT IS A MEASURE OF DISTANCE YOU WILLFULLY IGNORANT FOPS!! I like the spacey tableware and stuff, but when interior designers try to talk about the future in terms of meal pills and actors on wires, a column of puke slowly rises to the top of my throat. I'm leaving. Look for me in the International Beer Pavilion.

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World's Fair Week - AMF Monorail, Monorail, Monoraaaaail!

World's Fair Week continues with a quick stop at the '64 World's Fair in New York. The best place to get a good overview of the park was the AMF monorail. Monorails were space-age technology that's bound to really catch on any decade now. Just keep your monofinger crossed!

You may know AMF from their many years making equipment for bowling alleys. Their flexibility in engineering and design shows in this rendering of the monorail station, which looks an awful lot exactly like a giant ball return for humans. Can't get enough of those crazy boomerang  shapes and vertical stripes, can you?

So what's there now? Not bloody much. The monorail station was located at A8 on the World's Fair map, which is now a triangle formed by two branches of Meadow Drive and Meadow Lake Trail. Sometimes life just completely fails to be interesting.

View 1964 Worlds Fair in a larger map

There's nothing on Earth like a genuine bon-a-fide electrified six-car monorail. Here's Phil Hartmen as Lyle Lanley selling a monorail to Springfield.

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World's Fair Week - U.S. Science Building

Here's the U.S. Science pavilion at night, from the '62 Seattle world's Fair. Pretty!

Want to see the logo they chose for that' year's fair? Nope? Well here it is!

What the.. ? Well, apparently Austin Powers was on the Expo '62 design staff. Despite the distinctly male direction of the logo (and maybe because of it), I'm sure the ladies were more than welcome at the Expo, where they could field questions all day regarding whether or not various men make them horny. 

So what's there now? Well what do you know! The U.S. Science Building is there now, but now it's called the Pacific Science Center! How about those particular apples?

View Larger Map

It's a nonprofit science museum that's been yanking and cranking pretty much since the Expo closed in '62. It's not every day you find an old Expo facility that hasn't been bulldozed or turned into a parking lot.

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World's Fair Week Preview - La Ronde.

Next week will be World's Fair Week here at Phil Are GO!, because the Garage Sale Assault Squad found a cache of super cool postcards, and you need to see them. The World's Fair was a thing that used to be relevant back before we had the internet and FaceTube and everyone could know everything instantly. Nations would get together to show off their technology, industry, architecture and generally pretend they lived in The Future. Now that we're here, we've decided we're a disease on the planet. Whee. Next week we're going to forget that and look at some crazy buildings and wallow in memories of optimism, whatever that was.

As a preview, please enjoy this picture of (I think) Hudson Bay, at Expo '67, in Quebec. Cable cars,pirate ships and Logan's Run's summer home. You want weird? We'll weird you up but good at Expo '67!


Old Money

Joke #1 - It had been a good night- lots of sailors in town on leave. Grandpa dumped his take on the table and went upstairs to take about five showers.

Joke #2 - Charlie couldn't believe his eyes. He'd never seen so much money all at once. His head swam with the possibilities this could mean for his family. It had been a long battle to keep his dream alive - the dream of a mom-and-pop nuclear waste facility serving a hometown community. But, the mighty dollar could not be ignored forever. Old man. McCreedy had won. Charlie's Family Funtime Nuclear Waste Emporium would be torn down and an evil retirement community would be built in it's place.

Joke #3 - "There you go, son. I hope this helps the business. It's the money I collected from all those years I was running over hobos when I was delivering pizzas. I've been saving it for you. I guess I should have been running over richer people, but that's hindsight for you, right?"

Joke #4 - "There. Now mow the goddam lawn, son."

Joke #5 - Rob couldn't believe this scam still worked. All he had to do was ask people to "mess up the table with loose cash" and the suckers would happily do it, eager for a demonstration of the Miracle Vacuum Bag.

Fizzy contributes a joke in the form of #6 - "IS THIS ENOUGH?! IS IT?! I'm sorry I never told you about the Tooth Fairy but I can't see how that put you in therapy."

Joke #7 comes to us from frequent flier MisterFancyHotBalls_2. Well joked, sir! - Grandma Mabel looked on in horror as Grandpa Joe dumped out all the money she had saved from hooking while he was at work. She thought he'd never look in that box marked "Mom's Old Undergarments" in the attic.
[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.   -Mgmt.]

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New, from the Pages of Science! - Sciences pages! Radiator milk, Telescope Scope, Talking Mailbox.

New talking mailbox brings courtesy, friendliness of post office experience to street. Also, post office now interviewing surly, hostile workers of "modest stature".

New telescope scope allows user to observe telescopes at distances of up to six feet, saves scopestronomers several steps. Inventor has been denied naming rights of instruments orbiting his desk.

Add evaporated milk to leaking radiator. Also works with pancake mix, raspberry jam, a dead raccoon, or cement. If radiator is still broken, repair radiator.


Motorola Hi-Fi in fiber glass - The carbon fiber of 1957.

This Motorola ad seems very thrilled with itself about their record player, which is made out of the "tough, light, miracle material" fiberglass. Bet you didn't know fiberglass was so fancy, did you?

The way Motorola talks about fiberglass - or, if you're a British person, "glass fibre" - in 1957, it sounds an awful lot like the way engineers get all breathless talking about carbon fiber now - or, if you're a British person, "fibrous carbon".

For the uninitiated, carbon fiber is a still-expensive material that consists of a woven carbon fabric held in a rigid layer of (usually) epoxy resin or, if you're from anywhere in the world, "glue". It's crazy light and insanely strong, and fantastically expensive - or, if you're a British person "expensive fantastically". For any car or bicycle component, if there is a version of it made from carbon fiber, add another zero to the price tag.

Fiberglass and carbon fiber. Fiberglass can also be found with the glass organized into a woven pattern, but
this is how you mostly find it - just scattered and loose.

Fiberglass is pretty much the same thing, except instead of nanometer-thin carbon fibers, you have much thicker strands of glass. For it's day, fiberglass was indeed a high-tech miracle material just as carbon fiber is today. Anything made from either CF or fiberglass can be really light and strong, and because every part must be made from what basically amounts to fabric and glue, you can make it in almost any shape you want.

In the case of this "hi-fi" record player, the product is light and durable, and the lid can be shaped to help project the sound of the speakers, like a bullhorn. And, true to form, this record player was pretty steep. "As low as $79.95" means $656 in today's money... for a record player.

Of course, fiberglass is nothing big now. Almost every carnival ride (or "ride carnivale") has whimsical pretend cars made from fiberglass. When will CF trickle down to the fly-by-night carnival level? Who knows, but it will mean that we'll gradually see it in a lot more consumer products than we do now, and at more reasonable prices. Already, an ordinary mortal can own a carbon fiber bicycle frame when, at one point, it was strictly aerospace firms that could realistically work with the stuff.

Here's a video showing how they make an entire car from carbon fiber at Koenigsegg.

Fiberglass and CF also share certain health issues. Fiberglass, as you may know, can be a pretty serious skin irritant. You need to handle it with gloves, because the fibers are tiny enough to get embedded in your skin where they itch like mad and don't want to come out. That generally won't kill you, but carbon fiber presents a little more danger. Because the carbon strands (carbon nanotubes or "tubes nanocarbon") are so tiny, they can be inhaled if they become airborne - usually while cutting or sanding carbon fiber panels or parts. When inhaled, the fibers get into the lungs and tend not to come out. There, they can irritate the tissues of your lungs and generally act just like asbestos. The whole problem  is that fibers as small as asbestos and carbon nanotubes aren't really something your lungs evolved to deal with. So, we have no natural mechanism to cough them out, once they get in. Inflammation then goes crazy and basically becomes lung cancer.

Here's an article all about it from the CDC, to brighten up your Monday morning.

Carbon fiber is new enough that the risks are still being assessed and legislation will eventually move at it's traditional glacial pace to put in place controls and safeguards for CF production facilities. As for the end user, if you own stuff made from carbon fiber, try not to cut it or sand it without your own private hurricane in your workshop to blow the particles away from your face and keep your from inhaling the invisible fibers and dying from mesothelioma in thirty years.

So, the key takeaway is, ride your bike. Don't inhale it.

Note: The Phil Are GO! Images and Scanning them team apologizes for the sub-par quality of today's picture. The printing ran deep into the binding and Esquire is a thick magazine with a strong back. Due to our "do no harm catch-and-release" policy on magazine image capture, they did their best to capture the image without destroying the magazine. This is part of our commitment to guarding our nation's hilarious old magazines, a non-renewable resource. Also something about heritage or whatever.

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Three motorbike ads - Harley, Honda... Cushman?

In the September 1961 issue of Popular Science, there appeared three motorbike ads, mere pages away from each other, but miles away in their customer base. But this being 1961, everyone in the ads looked like the Cleavers.

First up, a Harley-Davidson funtacular fun-o-rama sales event, where everyone is as square as the day is long. Better still, all the fellas brought their gals along because the ladies are totally into Harleys, too, just like real life! Nice try, The Marketing Division of the Harley-Davidson Corporation.

Little known fact: Harley-Davidson dealers would
let you test drive these indoors.
I'm amazed that the Ranger model - their "trail bike" - has no rear suspension at all. From an engineering standpoint, this makes my eyes hurt to look at. To be called a proper motorbike, anything must at least have a suspension. I have spoken!

While it is possible that the average Harley buyer in 1961 did look like Pat Boone, I have a feeling this was wishful thinking on the part of the advertiser. And even if this ad's squeaky clean depiction was accurate, soon The Seventies would happen. And, well, the less said about that, the better.

The Honda 50, or "Cub" is, in James May's opinion, "the greatest machine ever". In terms of number of units built, durability, and simple utility throughout the world, he has a point.

When Top gear shot their Vietnam Special, James chose a Honda Cub to drive the length of the country. The world is never brighter and the sun so warm as when Jeremy Clarkson (a lifelong motorcycle hater) is completely sad and wishing for the sweet release of death. Few things in life have made me laugh as hard as that episode. So much misery. So much funny. Find it on Netflix as series 12, episode 8.

Yeah! A Cushman Silver Eagle! The new one! What's a Cushman? Well, they're mostly four-wheeled golf cart looking things used by groundskeepers all over the world. I don't know what this Silver Eagle thing is for. Maybe Cushman was hoping you'd figure that out for them? That Ken doll seems to be enjoying his.

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Ancient greeting cards - Unearthed, for your re-usement.

The Garage Sale and Antique Store Assault Squad has brought us a new cache of ancient greeting cards from the dawn of time (the early 1900s or so). Observe them! Right-click them! Use them for your next birthday or Miscellaneous Obligatory Reward Occasion. Why? because 99% of greeting cards are either wildly unfunny and stupid, or play squeaky music until you shut the damn thing and throw it in the grill. You're welcome!


Mountain Accident, and the Loss of a Box.

Joke #1 - "NOOOOO!! My children are in that crate!"

Joke #2 - "No. My wife is in that crate."

Joke #3 - "Nooooo! That's my new iPad Maxi in there!"

Joke #4 - The crate, destined for North Korea, slid off the truck and into the ravine. Fortunately, it only carried a shipment of sugar, and it would simply crash at the bottom, and not explode or anything crazy like that.

Joke #5 - Fortunately, the crate held Shrodinger's cat. So, to ensure his safety, the men simply promised each other never to open it.

Joke #6 - A scene from Initial D, Kentucky Drift. (1% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.)

A joke so good I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it comes to us from MisterFancyHotBalls_2. MFHB2, I look forward to meeting you on the field of battle. Joke #7 - NOOOOO! My crate of non-slip mats & safety tie down straps!!!!!

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

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Super-Shell Gasoline - A little comedy.

"'In 25 years you'll swing into main street at 50', says Norman Bel Geddes." BAH HAH HAH HAH HAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! OH man, stop it, you're killing me!! Oooooh god, BAH AH HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

"Main Street won't be a 'stop street' in 1960". "Nationwide, the average motorist makes thirty stops a day..." Oooooo, so scary! Thirty whole stops! Madness! Surely this must be the end times! Oh man, my frikkin sides. Stop it! Norm, you're adorable. Last night I made thirty stops in my car on my way to get a Diet Sunkist out of my fridge.

Norman Bel Geddes was a theatrical set designer, then an industrial designer, and then a hilariously dark comedian. He loved art deco, which was pretty much swimming with the current, in 1937. He also fancied himself something of a futurist. Futurists are people who not only like thinking about The Future - they like prophesying about "what will happen". This is all hunky dorey. SOMEbody's got to think about The Future. However, when you use language like "you will", you're setting yourself up to look like a dope. The good thing is, you'll probably be dead by the time your reign as King Doofus, Lord of Delusion, begins. Better to use phrases like "I think we should..." and "if we built things this way, it would..." etc. etc.

Observe this other miniature that Geddes built for the 1939 New York World's Fair. It illustrates his idea of separating pedestrians and vehicular traffic with elevated sidewalks. A fine idea, and fun to build in miniature! It slightly didn't happen, though. Wait. Did it happen somewhere? Well, it sure didn't become the standard.

Partly sunny, with areas of urine smell.
In fact, here in Chicago, we have Wacker Drive, upper and lower versions of it. It's a double decker mishmash of people and cars all mixed together in defiance of Geddes' prediction. In fairness to old Norm, Chicago predates this Shell ad by like fifty years, so by the time old Norm came around to redesign the American city for us, we weren't exactly working with a blank sheet of paper. But when Chicago didn't like the direction its river flowed, they beat it with a length of pipe until it went the other way. You'd think if we really wanted to do the Norman Bel Geddes thing, we would have done it, probably funded with parking tickets. Ah well. Plus ten points for our total lack of good intentions, right?

Lower Wacker. So dank, even cars are afraid of being murdered down here.
There is one thing I'm definitely glad Geddes was wrong about: teardrop cars. Maybe they were very "aero", but man do they look retarded. The Toyota Prius (the car powered by smugness) was designed to be sort of teardrop shaped, and man does it look retarded. We can do better.

Goo goo g'joob!
But I do love me some miniature cities. Whether the're made of Lego or matte board, I'll take it. We don't know why he built the miniature that features so prominently in today's ad, but he seemed to just build them. Since the world's fair was two years away, it may have been something to do with that. Who wants a special crop of this picture? I do... and I have two thumbs! I think I got that joke wrong. Know what's NOT wrong? Having a picture of this miniature future city, complete with horrible spermdrop cars! If you need to ask why, shut up! Right click these mofos into your heart immediately!

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