Little Ads - Get you some learn!

Spewing from the pages of Popular Science Monthly comes... Fancy Book Learnin! Learn to remember, detect crime, learn to play Jazz, and forget how to play Jazz. Let's get learned!

Thank you, Probable Library Rummage Sale organizer From Nineteen-Forty-Something (probably) With a Fifty-Pound Pencil, for making sure we never forget how much you value the knowledge of the past.

In 1925, Chicago was the center of a wild new wave of "scientifical" forensic analysis, supplanting the more traditional "scary claw hand" method of determining guilt.
In later decades, with the proliferation of FaceTweet and related services, the "social" section of the mental file system would come to dominate the majority of the human cranial cavity's file system.

If you learn Jazz, you'll become the most popular person in your "set". However, to truly master any craft, you must then choose to forget everything you've learned, just to show that it has no power over you.
To that end, please attempt to enjoy this improvised jazz-loss lament, "I forgot how to Play Jazz", by my former non-band, Blue Wank. All noises and words were improvised directly to tape, for your sanitation. You're welcome, and I am so sorry.

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Gulfpride Oil - Your short woody.

Hey! Nice ad for.... "Gulfpride" oil? When did they drop the "pride"? The Google isn't easily forthcoming with the story on that. Maybe one of our Alert Readers has this information contained in-brain?

Nice rendering of the car. It still puzzles me why they so often use a painting for old ads instead of a nice simple photo. Anyway, the car's too long. Here, let me get that for you...

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Swift Ham - Eating Out(back) gives life a lift!

Yep! Everyone likes to go out for dinner. However, I can't remember when I went to a restaurant and ordered a slice of ham with peas and... uuh.... two kidneys.

Yes sir, that little girl (?) in the Tom Sawyer hat looks really excited to have some dinner. She'll need "her" strength, too, when society crumbles and (s)he becomes a feral boy, wandering the post-nuclear wastes of inner Australia, peddling her/his boomerang skills for whoever will take her/him in. What? You don't follow? Here, let me get that for you...

See? Spitting image! You're welcome!

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One of the many other times 3D failed to become a big thing. Lenticular photography, 1931.

Hey, consumers! You know that 3D television you didn't buy two years ago, that Sharpsonysung desperately wanted you to desperately want? This may totally fail to surprise you, but stuff like that has happened before. A slightly interesting technology becomes expensively attainable to a public that finds it amusing just long enough to sniff and wander off. Enter "three way" photography, 1931-style, as seen in this article from Popular Science Monthly!

We now call this "lenticular" printing. You can pretty much tell when you're in the presence of lenticular-ness because the image looks kind of dark, kind of blurry, and usually has some kind of vertical comb filter or something embossed into the surface of the image. It goes "zip, zip" as you drag your fingernail across it. It's pretty cool, and still occupies a niche in advertising or the sign industry, but it never became a thing you would use for all your family portraits, like old Ming the Merciless here probably hoped.

Image from Wikipedia. A close up of a lenticular print.

Here's a quick lazy summary of how it works: multiple images (usually two or three) are printed in vertically alternating slices on the same paper. A textured comb-like lens is either laminated onto the paper or simply suspended in front of it to view the duplex print. The lensing effect of the comb changes which image you see, depending on your viewing angle in relation to the print. So, as you shift your head around, the image seems to change. This is pretty impressive for 1931, if you ask me.

Limitations of lenticular? Well, it's way more expensive than normal printing (duh). Then, they're kind of blurry. Also, the nature of the printing process usually makes for a sort of dim image, lacking the contrast and vividness of a regular photo. You can even make backlit signs this way, but that doesn't solve the brightness problem. It's still nowhere near as bright as a conventional backlit sign, so you don't dare use them side-by-side or the lenticular section of your sign will be humiliated.

So, 3D TV was pushed on us as a half-baked stupid thing nobody wanted. (Care to have your family wear kooky glasses and sit in single file to watch a movie together?) Now the industry is swearing up and down that 4K television won't be a total waste of your time (It's roughly four times the resolution of your current high def TV). Unlike 3D and lenticular technology, 4K doesn't have a painful downside, apart from price. It's just a higher resolution image. It will catch on just as fast as televisions are replaced by consumers for the magic price of about a thousand dollars... I think. My HD idiot box still looks super nice and I'm not feeling a deep urge to replace it any time soon. Sorry, Ming.

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Country Gentleman. March, 1930. Page 127. Girl's Life!

So, apparently, Country Gentleman magazine had a column called Girl's Life, waaaay back in 1930. This sends the eyebrows up, as it's surprisingly gratifying to hear of mainstream culture concerning itself with girls, or their having a life of any kind. I guess American society wasn't made up of backward troglodytes in 1930 after all.

Herein is reproduced for your amusement the entire March, 1930 Girl's Life page, which includes fashion news, a household tip, and another promotion for the "jazzy uke" girls could earn, just for selling nine years' worth of Country Gentleman magazine. Not kidding.

And while we're exploring good old page 127, please enjoy these impressive fashion illustrations. At the time, they were depictions of the latest trends, but whattya know? Sit on it for eighty-four years and the drawings become pretty nice period pieces. Funny how time works, isn't it? Here they are, all cleaned up and clip arty, for your doing whatever the heck you want with them. Who says we don't post stuff for the ladies? Click through them for the larger versions, as usual.

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It's a lazy- bangle-dangling afternoon in
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And what goes on here? The word "togs" used in 1930? News to me. I always thought it was kind of a 60's California thing, but apparently not. The word seems to have come from an obsolete term "togeman", which comes from an even older word "toga", which you may have heard before.

Also not to be missed, but possibly definitely to be missed, is the racist little "dinah doll" made from an ink bottle on the top shelf of the bookcase. We won't run an enlargement of that. You can find that for yourself, if that's what you're into. You're not welcome!

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Supplemental post that's not a real post. - Another Power Bar flavor. And another.

Not really a post. Just a couple  throwaway joke. Hey, the price is right. Right?


The Old Man and the Tree

Joke #1 - Jeb cradled her in his arms. He couldn't believe she was gone. Those darn beavers would pay. He'd have is revenge, but first he needed to start growing his new wife.

Joke #2 - "He's down but he's not out! Don't you say that! Tree will play again. He'll play and he'll win!"

Joke #3 - C. Everett Koop, in new Deep Woods scent. Use only as directed.

Joke #4 - Sprigbough Farms' Pine Blast Cereal. Still 100% spruce. Now gluten free.

Joke #5 - Radagast the Tweed.

Joke #6 - ...but most of all, Grampa loved it when we'd take him out to the country, to scamper and run free, and play hours and hours of Fetch, until his hip replacement would start to creak.

Joke #7 - "'T'were a fair tree, English, but she weren't cut down. She were PRAYED down. My old bones suspect the Protestants! Get the village ready for a hard preachin'!"

Joke #8 - "Ummm, that's very nice, Grampa. Well, let's get that, uuh... 'rabbit'... ready to stew. *sigh*."

Joke #9 comes to us in the form of a tidy little LOTR reference from a mysterious stranger. That narrows it down to one of seven billion likely individuals. Humanity, I'm looking in your direction! - Joke #9 - Bill was saddened to hear he really wasn't an Ent...

Joke #9b comes to us on the wings of a Nazgul from MisterFancyOneBallToRuleThemAll, even though he later seemed to regret it. No takebacks! - Bill was then deeply mortified that the little boys who rode on his head weren't really Hobbits.

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

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Camel Cigarettes - Smoke the straw man.

If you like your bullshit fruit to be of the low-hanging variety, you need to introduce yourself to a little friend of mine called Cigarette Advertising. You won't find anyone's fruit hanging much lower, with the rich, thick layers of misdirection and pseudoscience, all covered in a gooey frosting of we're perfectly-happy-to-get-rich-making-you-sick-and-dead. But let's take those lemons and make some Skeptical Lemonade, by drilling ourselves on a few of the most commonly seen logical fallacies. Let the skeptical self-drilling begin!

If you were to pry open your skull, throw your brain on the floor and stomp it into a puddle of gore (Somewhere in New York, an ad executive just leapt to his feet and shouted around his cigar "You mean we can do that now?"), you'd look at this ad and think "Hey! Camels are completely safe! Thanks! I need me some Camels!" This is thanks to a couple of misleading logical fallacies. Let's get to know their names!

I found three logical fallacies stretching their legs in this ad. Ambiguity, Argument From Authority, and Straw Man.

Ambiguity - This one is pretty general, but advertisers luv luv luuuuuuuuv ambiguity. They use the hell out of it... probably such that they don't even know they're doing it any more. Here, R. J. Reynolds is hoping you'll mistake "throat irritation" for "cancer", and assume Camels are the cancer-free cancer stick. Negative. Just because your throat feels buttery smooth doesn't mean you're kicking ass in the living-forever department.

Argument From Authority / Appeal to Authority - "A bunch of doctors smoke Camels. Therefore, they're super great and totally safe and you'll never die." This one has been nicely satirized by infomercials on The Simpsons, usually featuring Try McClure. "Don't believe me. Just ask this 'scientician'!"

Nowhere is it written that doctors have flawless judgment. Many doctors have drinking problems and may indulge in kiddie porn here and there. That is not an endorsement for the health-preserving effects of either. Here's another one: "Four out of five Josef Mengeles recommend joining ze Nazi party for their patients who chew gum." See? Easy!

Straw Man - Ah, the man of the hour. He's the life of this party. A Straw man argument is one where you set yourself up with an easily-defeated enemy so that you can claim a hollow victory... usually, while hoping no one notices the other, bigger, more important argument for which you have no answer. Here, RJR would like you to believe that "throat irritation" is the worst consequence of smoking, and if we could just come up with a non-irritating cigarette, everything would be great. They do this to distract you from the cancer elephant in the room. They would also be very happy if you would mistake one for the other (See "ambiguity").

Here are some other straw mans you can expect to see before you go to bed tonight:

-"Zero trans fat!" (Please don't check the amount of actual regular fat, found on the nutrition label.)

-"Yeah, but the man can dance!" (Routinely used to excuse the despicable or illegal behavior of celebrities and pop stars.)

-"Gluten free!" (Please be thrilled that this bottle of water has no gluten. Please do not be outraged that you're paying 1000% more than you should for the privilege of drinking water, when in reality the water from your tap is held to a higher standard of purity than bottled water shipped across state lines.)

-"New size!" (Please do not compare the amount of product in the new package to that in the old package, which was sold for the same price.)

The straw man argument is very popular with advertisers. It's a very effective way of distracting someone away from the truth while making it appear as though you're helping them. For more on straw man arguments and other logical fallacies, please turn on any media device in the world or walk out your front door.

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Wisconsin, your post card is here.

These are kind of hard to find now. It's a post card of Wisconsin featuring a dense drawing of everything there is to be found in the state. Start planning your summer vacation today! Such attractions as "tires", "paper", and "shipping" await your gaping eye-holes! Reserve your place now, for some first-class dairying, unless you're a stupid jerk.

Get on down to Wisconsin, before all the rocks have been stood on.

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Jameson Whiskey - Whiskey dude. Chunk chunk chunk. Whiskey dude.

Well, today is the most sacred of all alcoholidays. It's International cirrhosis awareness day, the day when everyone in the world does their best to develop cirrhosis, while taking random swings at strangers. Let's try in vain to class up the joint with this 1937 ad for Jameson whiskey.

The art in this ad looks like it could be an engraving or etching or something, but can we tell? Of course not, but we can make an educated guess or two. Here are the contenders:

Engraving - Art is drawn on a metal plate with special tools called "burins" (plural). Ink is applied and then wiped off of the high spots, so it remains only in the lines. Pressed onto paper, it leaves the drawing on the paper.

Etching - A metal plate is covered with a thin layer of wax or "ground".The art is scratched in the wax using an etching needle, revealing the bare metal beneath. Acid is poured over the artwork, eating into the areas unprotected by the wax. Then, wax is removed and ink is applied. Pressed onto paper. Bob's your uncle.

Scratchboard - A wooden or paper board is coated with white clay and then a layer of India ink. Ink is scratched away using various pointy things, revealing the white underneath. Boom. Art.

There are characteristics to each of these that help us with our guess. So, if we have a close look at the ad, we can see what we can see. Let us see.

While all three of these art forms are done with pointy metal tools that produce very detailed work, engraving is the situation in which you're creating the image in a metal plate with a metal tool. So as a rule of thumb, the fine detail possible with engraving is, as General Winfield Scoot would say, "freaky deaky".

Each little line made in an engraving has a characteristic taper to it, as the tool is pressed into the plate and lifted again at the end of the stroke.

Here are the type of lines we see in the Jameson ad. They're kind of blobby at the ends. So, it's probably not an engraving.

So, an etching, maybe? Does our Jameson ad look like it was drawn in wax? Meh. Maybe could might do. But you know what? It really looks a lot like scratchboard.

When you're doing scratchboard, creating fine white lines is a piece of cake. The whole picture starts out completely black, after all. With engravings and etchings, the ink's presence on the paper usually indicated where you created a line with the tool, but in scratchboard, your lines are white. There's so much white line work here that I'll go right ahead and guess that it was done with scratchboard.

There's one other question to answer. See all the cursive text on the label? Should we assume that the artist scraped all the ink away from around each letter, and got results that clean? Not bloody likely. Commercial artists have a deadline. They probably could have done it all by hand, but on in any profitable timeframe. The text was probably printed on a sheet of clear plastic and positioned on top of the drawing, along with the rest of the text above and to the left.

There. Now doesn't that feel like you earned your buzz? Here's a little reward/punishment for your art sleuthing today. It's a song improvised by a little combo I used to play with one hundred and six years ago called Blue Wank. This track was an unrequested improvised encore at the end of a show we did at The Neat Snake. We always find that our music comes out better when we don't plan it, or write anything. Whiskey Dude is the kind of song that hastens the onset of your inevitable hangover. Well done, Us. You're welcome! and, I'm sorry!

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Kelvinator Mediterranean Refrigerator - Business in front, party out back.

Hey redecorators! Do you need to replace your boring old bulbous fridge from the Eisenhower era? Have we got the upgrade for you! Go Mediterranean with the new Kelvinator. Sure, it looks classy on the outside, but inside it's all wild party time! Woo-woo! Look at that smart, sophisticated wood-grain refrigerator. What is this? The secret door to an hep classy sex dungeon? No, stupid! It's the refrigerator! Check it out, groovy!

Kelvinator borrowed the styling for their new refrigerators from The Mediterranean Sea, which is where Spain comes from! So, now you can have a fridge identical to the ones owned by dozens of everyone in the Mediterranean Sea. That's classy as crap! See how the handles are needlessly ornamental and overdone? That's how you know you're fancy! It's just a thing you pull on to open the door, but because you have so much culture and stuff, you can have curlicues and swirls all over it! Otherwise, people would think you're a tasteless loser, right?

See those beveled panels stamped into the door? Each one of those bevels was hand-carved into the metal dies by old-world artisans from Italy or wherever. Then, those dies were rammed into a sheet of steel, which had been printed with rich mahogany wood texture, just like Old World Fridgemakers used to do in the 1600s, probably while drinking wine and dying of syphilis.

See the lady's sash? That's how we know she's a Spaniard.

Sure you think it's all class and taste on the outside, but open it up. Brain explode! Movable shelves! Stuff on the doors! Gaaaaah! Ice-making robut! Cray-zeeee!

There. Now you are dead from crazy.