Saturday, March 21, 2009


This article from last week's economist about the death of the view master almost made me shed a tear for this revolutionary and ubiquitous toy/tool.

Here's to the memories!

Economist print edition March 12th.

"A PIECE of the American experience has faded away. Fisher-Price, the toy company that used to market them, has just eliminated almost all the View-Master titles that have been a staple of young lives for almost 70 years.

The boxy binocular-style viewers remain; but the circular reels that brought three-dimensional images of the world to millions have now been cut back to a handful of children’s titles. Long before the internet, or even before most people had colour televisions, View-Masters gave millions a full-colour, three-dimensional view of the world.

View-Masters were introduced at the 1939 New York World’s Fair and became an overnight sensation. During the second world war the armed forces produced training reels for identifying enemy and friendly aircraft and ships. After the war View-Masters became household items, as common as frozen food. Thousands of businesses promoted themselves using custom-made View-Master reels. Recently the University of Missouri football programme promoted its candidate for the Heisman trophy by giving away viewers moulded in the college colours and a reel of highlights from the season. Medical students used View-Master to study a 3D atlas of human anatomy. In all, more than 1.5 billion reels have been produced, every one of them to the same size and format, and usable in every model of viewer ever made.

The gutting of the View-Master comes just as 3D is experiencing a renaissance. Improved technology has made 3D films much easier to produce and view, allowing them to progress far beyond the gimmicky thrusting of objects into the audience seen in films briefly in vogue in the 1950s. The Jonas Brothers, the latest boy band for teenage girls, recently released a concert film in 3D and also appeared on a 3D magazine cover. Several commercials aired during the Super Bowl, the climax of the football season, were broadcast in 3D. George Lucas is said to be toying with the idea of re-releasing the “Star Wars” saga in a retrofitted 3D format; recent blockbusters, including “Kung Fu Panda” and “Beowulf” have appeared in 3D versions at special cinemas, with many more to come. But the experience of 3D in your hand, which the View-Master made possible, is now a thing of the past."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


This is really interesting. Whether you think the current economic crisis has hit bottom or just begun this article on the effects its having in Japan certainly looks like a distinctly 21st century way of living through 'economic depression'. In stead of lining up factories and soup kitchens people live in internet cafe's and look for cheap noodles.



Monday, March 16, 2009


Off on vacation soon. Less than two weeks! Liz and I get to make up for lost time two years ago. Can't wait!



Monday, March 09, 2009


So this weekend marked the first time since October/Nov that the temperature got up to around 10C. I walked around, I BBQ'd, I had good belgian stlye beer from Quebec, had a lovely cigar and enjoyed some good music all in the comforts of my own back deck! It was fantastic!

Then monday happened. Snow, ice and ick. I'm taking a vacation...



Tuesday, March 03, 2009


This is very cool. As the ongoing debate about the role of video games and other media in leading its users down the path to anarchy and mayem (for those who buy in to that crap) this is an interesting way of having your cake and eating it too. Play the games but do so in line with international norms.

Also is everyone else just about as bloody fed up with those damnable Wendy's North Pacific Cod-wich commercials! GAH ENOUGH ALREADY. WE GET IT. ITS FISH, ITS COD, ITS FROM THE NORTH PACIFIC. NOW SHUT THE BLOODY HELL UP ABOUT IT ALREADY!!!!