Highlights – 12/24/2012

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December 24, 2012 by Daniel

Hello hello hello, and happy holidays to you if you’re celebrating (and belated happy holidays to you if you did so a little while ago, like moi).  You may have noticed that there wasn’t one of these last week, which was because I only had one quote and I wanted to get the Mark of the Ninja piece up.  But here we are, back again with a vengeance!

On another note, y’all better get prepared, because it’s time for the Bomb the Stacks “Best of Stuff” week!  Each day I’ll be taking a look at my favourite things in TV, movies, video games, and music that came out this year.  Starts tomorrow, so make sure you check the blog e’r day this week!

“I realize, when it’s too late to turn back, that I’ve forgotten the key to my bike’s lock and chain. So I stop en route and buy a lightweight job to make do just for today. Fourteen bucks. There are two ways of looking at this.  First, you can say it cost fourteen dollars just to park your bike for two hours (we take our time over lunch).  Or you may take a more stoical view of the situation and say the fourteen bucks was your stupidity tax.”  (Eddie Campbell, Alec: The Years Have Pants)

“For four and a half hours, Mrs. Chase, who was described later as ‘dishevelled, vague, and not-quite-lucid,’ wandered through the White House, setting small fires – five in all. That’s how tight security was in those days: a not-quite-lucid woman was able to roam unnoticed through the executive mansion for more than half a working day.” (Bill Bryson, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Subsequent quotes from the same.  He’s talking about the 50s, by the way)

“At the same time, the nation’s food factories pumped their products full of delicious dyes and preservatives to heighten and sustain their appeal.  Supermarket foods contained as many as two thousand different chemical additives, including (according to one survey) ‘nine emulsifiers, thirty-one stabilizers and thickeners, eighty-five surfactants, seven anti-caking agents, twenty-eight anti-oxidants, and forty-four sequestrants.’ Sometimes they contained some food as well, I believe.”

“As many as four nuclear detonations a month were conducted in Nevada in the peak years.  The mushroom clouds were visible from any parking lot in the city, but most visitors went to the edge of the blast zone itself, often with picnic lunches, to watch the tests and enjoy the fallout afterward.”

“In May 1953, United Press reported that Boston now had more television sets (780,000) than bathtubs (720,000), and people admitted in an opinion poll that they would rather go hungry than go without their televisions.”

“Advertisers dominated every aspect of production.  Writers working on shows sponsored by Camel cigarettes were forbidden to show villains smoking cigarettes, to make any mention in any context of fires or arson or anything bad to do with smoke and flames, or to have anyone cough for any reason.  When a competitor on the game show Do You Trust Your Wife? replied that his wife’s astrological sign was Cancer, writes J. Ronald Oakley in the excellent God’s Country: America in the Fifties, ‘the tobacco company sponsoring the show ordered it to be refilmed and the wife’s sign changed to Aries.'”

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