1931 Pipeless Organ - Sleepers aWakeman.

Music news now, from our office in 1931. An organ without pipes? Readers of Popular Science Monthly (named back when people had no idea when to expect magazines to come out) ran this full page article explaining how such wizardry worked. I think this is different from the standard valve-based electric organs that became the standard in The Thirties. The organ in this article, built by Captain Richard H. Ranger (can there be a cooler name?) creates tones using the electrical hum of motors - twelve, in all.

Enough speakers to rattle the trunk lid of any church.

FaceTube was not forthcoming with likely samples of how this thing sounded. All the 1931-ish organs I found seemed to be of the vacuum-tube valve type of thing. Ah well.

But look what the P.A.G. Research and Googling team DID find! An eleven-year-old girl playing Rush's YYZ at her keyboard recital! She's Asian, of course, because all children with superpowers are Asian. This fulfills your daily requirement of vitamin cool.

Bonus points to anybody who got the references in the title of today's post. For those who didn't, here's two things:

A) Sleepers Awake, a pretty popular organ piece by Bach. For those who think that pipe organs are all obnoxious honking and squeaking, please enjoy Sleepers Awake.

B) Rick Wakeman, keyboardist for Yes, playing Journey to the Center of the Earth, some kind of weird side project of his. Any time you saw him, he was likely as not to be wearing a sparkly sequin cape. It was more of a Merlin thing than a Liberace thing.

Link to the Wakeman video. Sorry, but if I embedded it, you'd have to watch it from the start (Do not do that.). As a link, I can make it start at the right place.

And just to be completely "meta", here is Wakeman in 1977, in the studio sessions for the album Going for the One, recording some overdubs for the last couple of minutes Awaken, which is a ten-minute-plus-long guilty pleasure of mine filled with impenetrable lyrics and space cathedral imagery. So, there's your "Awakeman", from the title of today's post. How's THAT for bringing it all home?

AAaaannnd, here's what the whole song sounds like. Live in 2013. Note that guitarist Steve Howe has turned into the Crypt Keeper in the last few decades. Good shot of Tony/Crypt Keeper at 2:30.


Kooking Kornir - Gelatinous Crater Mite Larval Ring.

Pathetic humans! Prepare to accept a delightful summer recipe or be destroyed! Gelatinous Crater Mite Larva Ring! Observe this image with your eyestalks!

If you are like me, Oteogg, Conqueror of All Space, you know how long the summer afternoons can be on any planet within seven thousand kilometers of your parent star! Armed with the formidable preparation whose construction I am about to describe, your young will be begging for a complete absence of dessert, for their bellies will be full of wonderful crater mite larvae!

Begin by harvesting crater mite larvae from your local scorched, uninhabitable crater! Remain motionless for not less than six hours, and crater mite larvae will emerge from subterranean burrows to eat your flesh! The joke will be on them, as you seize them in your mighty claws, flinging them into your larvae bucket! Return to your base, and lightly kill your crater mite larvae with a mite mallet, placing them in a level three containment field while you prepare the bundt cake pan!

Seize a bundt cake pan and slather the interior with food-grade dietary lubricant! Then, pour in an introductory layer of multipurpose protein gelatin! Allow the introductory layer to set, then add the crater mite larvae, arranging them in a delightful fashion, as shown in the image above! Observe delight now!

On top of the larval layer, add chunks of adult crater mite meat! Whoops! Go back to the scorched, uninhabitable crater and capture an adult crater mite, first! I am sorry! Fill the bundt cake pan to the rim with the remaining multipurpose protein gelatin! Allow this preparation to become firm, over a period of one pathetic Earth hour in a refrigeration unit, or outside the hull of your ship! The firming process may be accelerated by shouting at it!

Present this to your young and / or troopers while screaming the Song of Grinding With Teeth, and watch them cower with joy!

I am Oteogg! I have spoken!

Communication ends!


National Schools - Pick your job.

With the help of The National Schools, you can have any one of nine high-pay jobs. You pick job now!

Panel Pointer.

Knob-To-Eleven-Turner / Cowbell Adder

Human Patch Cord

Cargo Cult Enthusiast

Nationally Televised Camera Tilter

Vacuum Tube Tweaker

Any Given Eighteen-Year-Old Male. Am I right? heh heh.

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United Aircraft Corporation - Use your air.

Guess who wants you to fly all over the place? The United Aircraft Corporation! Derr! Let us remember that there was a time when air travel was glamorous and exciting, and not a dehumanizing humiliation.

You have to like the idealized paintings of travel ads, where everything is inviting and everyone is friendly, and almost no one has their body cavities searched, except in the nice romantic way. In 1957, getting on a plane was something to look forward to, and the UAC was keen for you to get cranked about picking your summer holiday destination, because they made the plane you'd be flying in.

When planning your 2014 summer vacation, remember that Florida used to be a place for beaches, not just baffling crime news. Also, only part of California used to be a desert, and the Alamo has never had a basement.

Remember this while standing in a queue in the airport, having orders barked at you by a barely employable high school dropout drunk on power.

Here is a partially fictionalized (read: corporate) film from 1959 produced by Pan Am, from the time of Airline Glamour. In this film, "6 1/2 Magic Hours" Pan Am uses insane phrases like "speed of service and convenience for passengers". Harumph! The very idea! Preposterous!

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Indian Motorcycles - Sporting blood.

No, it's not "spurting blood". It says "SPORTing blood". The Fellowship of Men with Spurting Blood (FMSB) still has trouble with new enrollment. Maybe they should change the name? Nope, this ad is just about motorcycles.

Since this is 1931, the copy gets a little fervent describing the product. The "fraternity of 'men with sporting blood'". "The thrill of throbbing power". At least hey did have the good taste to leave off the "between your thighs" part, which would have been a  perfectly reasonable description, I suppose.

Hey, is that ken doll shooting mind beams out of his head? Maybe Indian isn't talking about the throbbing power of the bike after all? This guy has throbbing brain energy, and any who stand in his way will soon be members of the Fellowship of Men with Spurting Blood.


Pal and Bike - Your vital zone.

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It's World Cup time, sports-of-some-kind fans! And that means sports of some kind! Your vital zone! Are you protecting it? Also, WTF is your vital zone?

We have answers, people, so simmer down. You'd think that your vital zone may be your brain, or your heart or something. After all, you'd be mostly screwed without them, unless you have a career in cable news, ha ha. BOOM! Take THAT, twenty-four-hour bullshit news cycle that pushes an agenda via slanted coverage rather than simply reporting world events and allowing the viewer to decide for him or herself! You've been slammed!

Nope. Brains and hearts aren't "vital". Your junk, however, is what Pal and Bike and Bauer and Black which was a division of the Kendall Company were talking about. This ad is from 1931, so they preferred to use delicate terms like "vital zone", which would simply confuse anyone without prior knowledge. But what would be the un-delicate term?
"In no major college sport is a student allowed to compete... or even practice... without an athletic supporter to guard his twig and berries."
I guess that's why they felt they had to draw a circle around the guy's junk to drive the point home. Look at his face. He's got kind of a Walter White thing going, hasn't he?

Humm. 2500 South Dearborn.So what's there now? A family planning center? That'd be funny. Or a sausage factory? Huh huh huh.

A-HA! A printing company! Service Web Offset, Inc! Very telling! Or is it? No. It isn't. Oh well.

I'm not sure what you could do with it, but here's the baseball player from today's ad, presented to you in convenient clip art form. Please enjoy, if that's what you're into. You're welcome, I guess. See you Monday.

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The man who knocks... but never without a jockstrap.


Blackhawk Vintage Classic 2014 Group 4 - Monopostos, Formula V, Formula Ford

Today's batch of pictures will wrap up our coverage of the 2014 Blackhawk Vintage Classic. We'll be going to a few more events this season and the pictures will be found in the pages of P.A.G!

These are all formula Vee and formula Ford. Those technically minded can maybe get some joy from reading the VSCDA's description of group 4:

Cars will run on treaded tires and without aerodynamic devices following Monoposto Racing Rules. This group is sometimes split into two separate race groups, one for Formula Vee and Formula Junior and the second for Formula Ford, Formula B, Formula I & II and Club Fords (on treaded tires).
As for me, these are the cars that look like hot dogs. They're a chassis, wheels, a motor and not much else... oh yeah, a person goes in the middle. The surprisingly small motors get them up to speed just fine. Less is most. I love group 4.

Oooo,  inboard brakes. Cooooooool. Moving the brakes inward and off of the suspension components improves handling by reducing unsprung weight. The idea is to have only the wheel and tire moving up and down with uneven road surfaces.

I don't know of any race car that doesn't look good in Gulf livery.

In this photo, you can pretty clearly see the bar between the wheels on each side of the car. This is a safety measure, intended to prevent the wheels of another car getting tangled in there, causing a horrible crash. Open-wheeled racing is pretty dangerous, as any tire-to-tire contact will probably end with somebody's car getting thrown into the air. But these side bars can prevent some of the worst carnage.

This Lotus was at last year's even, too. It's in perfect, pristine condition. Super clean.


Blackhawk Vintage Classic 2014 Group 3 & some 4 - Sports Racing Cars & Monoposto Cars through 1972

Today we continue our photospew of the Blackhawk Vintage Classic with my favorite, group 3 - Sports Racing cars. These are actual purpose-built racing cars from decades ago.

After that, there are some group 4 formula Vees. There were so many of them, they overflowed from tomorrow's post into today's. Formula Vees are single seat "monoposto" cars with Volkswagen engines and drive trains. They don't have gobs of power (like maybe 40), but they're so small and light, they're anything but slow. They have the cheapest barrier-of-entry into the sport, so there are always lots of them to look at. But first, the bigger group 3s.

Because they're not production-based (meaning you couldn't just walk into a dealer showroom and buy one), it can be hard to guess the make of a group 3. I never know without asking. This one is green.

See? Green.

Because I saw this car last year, I happen to know that it's a Lola. Ooooo, Lola! Last year I got to help push this car onto the false grid (the starting area).

Another terrible attempt at a pan shot. No blur. No excitement. I really did get better later on. I promise.

Aha! See? Much better. Doing these follow shots takes a lot of trial and error, but it's worth it.


I think this car may be a group 7. "all types of single-seat race cars, equipped with wings and slicks, from the late 60's through 1979." We welcome input/corrections from any VSCDA people on this stuff.

Same car as above, with it's skin off.

Starting to get the hang of pan shots. First priority for the next event: get a less shitty tripod. I got smoother results when I handheld the camera and rested my elbow on the tripod to steady it (my arm, not the tripod).

A green formula Vee going a million miles an hour.

A good pan shot means tracking the car perfectly with the lens as you follow it. Here's what you get if you can't quite do it.

The cars all drive back to their respective paddocks (camp sites) along the main road. Race tires are usually pretty sticky, and toss rocks around like crazy.