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8

Clutch Cargo - Love It Or Hate It

Incredible as the 1950's were so far as film, television, and popular culture are concerned, 1959 was a true annus mirabilis for television. Among many other debuts, that year gave us Rocky and Bullwinkle, Slam Bang Theater, Bonanza, The Untouchables, The Twilight Zone, Dennis the Menace, and - Clutch Cargo.

Clutch Cargo was one of the most unusual programs ever seen on television, and it was intended as a childrens' cartoon program. What made it so unusual was its animation; the voice actors were filmed during the recording sessions and their moving mouths extracted and superimposed on what were otherwise still figures. The effect was at once creepy and fascinating. All other animation such as character movement was held to a bare minimum.Clutch Cargo himself was a writer and pilot who took on an assortment of dangerous assignments, always bringing along a young boy, Spinner, who was apparently his ward (as Dick Grayson was to Bruce Wayne), and the boy's dachshund, Paddlefoot. They were involved in a variety of adventures for several seasons. Adventure awaited at every juncture, villains were defeated, good people prevailed. Each episode contained five chapters, the first four were cliffhangers and the finale upbeat.

This was also an unusual program in that you either loved it or hated it. The IMDb User Reviews contain about an equal distribution of each and you will find the assorted commentary quite interesting. Still, it is worth watching just to experience the 'Syncro-Vox' technology used to animate the characters' mouths.

All episodes appear to be available on YouTube and a typical one is embedded below. I haven't seen these on television since about 1962 but have fond memories of them. Clutch was a genuine 'good guy' and an intended role model, but you would never find a series such as this on television today. More's the pity.


8

Play Button Find its Way into a Haircut

In a surprising turn of events, a barber literally shaved a play button on a client’s head due to a hilarious confusion. The photos of this Chinese customer are trending like crazy online. Instead of omitting the play button on the paused video, the barber imitated the what he could see a little too perfectly.

A CUSTOMER at a barber shop got more than he bargained for when he showed the hairdresser a paused video of the hairdo he wanted - and ended up with a PLAY BUTTON shaved into his head.
The unidentified customer, from China, wanted to look just like the trendy model in the video but ended up going viral for the hilarious error.

How would you react if your hairdresser made this mistake? Read more about the confused barber here.

Source: Weibu/ Tianxiu Bot


9

Swimming with a Great White Shark



Don't try this at home! Or anywhere. Hawaii diver Ocean Ramsey is a shark advocate and a victim of nominative determinism. The shark is named Deep Blue, who is believed to be 50 years old and pregnant, which is why she is so big and doesn't act like the Hollywood version of a great white. On Tuesday, Ramsey and other divers were observing tiger sharks feeding on a whale carcass in the ocean off Oahu. Great whites don't normally come close to Hawaii because the water is too warm, but Deep Blue hung out all day with the divers and some dolphins. Ramsey enjoyed the interlude.

She was especially thrilled because, based on the shark’s size and markings, she tentatively identified her as Deep Blue, a shark she has swum with on research trips to Guadalupe Island, Mexico. “I’m without words; it’s heartwarming; she’s probably the most gentle great white I’ve ever seen. Big pregnant females are actually the safest ones to be with, the biggest oldest ones, because they’ve seen it all — including us.” (Sharks only bite humans when they are curious or mistake people for their natural prey, she said.) “That’s why I kind of call her, like, a grandma shark.”

Read more about Deep Blue and Ocean Ramsey at the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
-via Geekologie


8

The Menendez Brothers Make Cameo Appearance on Mark Jackson Trading Card

Last August, the redditor Stephen Zerance posted the Mark Jackson trading card he bought on eBay showing that the Menendez brothers had been on courtside watching the Knicks at the Madison Square Garden. But it wasn't because he was a big fan of the Knicks.

In fact, Stephen Zerance doesn’t even watch the NBA. He was just trying to find photographic proof that Lyle and Erik Menendez did all the outlandish stuff that court documents claim they did in the months between murdering their parents and getting caught.
“My friend and I, who is also a true-crime head, knew that the brothers went on a lavish spending spree after they got an insurance payout from their parents’ death,” Zerance said. “They bought a lot of things: tennis lessons, Rolexes, clothes, businesses, restaurants, cars.”

As they continued doing their research, they tried to look for evidence of all the things that the Menendez brothers did. One of these, they noticed, was buying courtside tickets to a Knicks game.

Zerance, who writes crime novels, began looking at old photo archives for proof. Nothing. Maybe someone had uploaded a picture or video somewhere else? No luck.
Zerance looked up cards on eBay from 1989 and 1990 and zeroed in until he found a match. He bought a bunch for about 10 cents apiece.

The story continues further, with Zerance's post not garnering much attention until December of the same year when somebody tweeted about the post.

(Image credit: Stephen Zerance)


8

Ever Wanted to Touch a Brain?

Who knew that there could be a brain museum as well? An Indian Neuroscience Institute in Bengaluru gives visitors the opportunity to touch a real brain.

Perhaps this—a belief in the power of a direct experience—is why the Brain Museum’s staff encourage visitors to reach out and hold real human brains, slick from their pickling baths, in their untrained and ungloved hands.

Would you touch one if you had the chance? Read more about this at Atlas Obscura

Source: Maya Prabhu


13

Cats and Dogs VS Robot Spider

The title says it all.

Enjoy!


8

'What a Magnificent Body of Men Never to Take Another Drink': The U.S. Army and Prohibition

Soon after the end of World War I, the US ratified the 18th Amendment, ushering in Prohibition. Returning US soldiers weren't all that enthusiastic about it, to say the least. Alcohol had been a part of military life since the American Revolution. As the 1920s dragged on, the army seemed to react to the alcohol ban the same way the rest of the country did: by ignoring it.

Observance of Prohibition in the breech was also common amongst junior officers. While commanding tank battalions and living next door to one another in renovated barracks at Camp Meade, Maryland, Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton avidly partook in the new American pastime of making their own bootleg alcohol. Eisenhower distilled gin in an unused bathtub, while Patton brewed beer, storing it in a shed outside his kitchen. One summer evening there was a sudden noise outside the Pattons’ barracks that sounded like a machine gun, followed by a series of soft booms. As their cook began screaming, Patton instinctively dove for cover. When they realized it was merely the beer bottles exploding from the heat, he rose, sheepishly explaining how much it had sounded like hostile fire. His wife Beatrice “laughed and laughed and called him ‘her hero’ and he got very red.” Omar Bradley commanded an infantry battalion in the 27th Infantry Regiment in the 1920s and took advantage of the Hawaii Division’s leisurely pace of duty to play golf several times a week. At the end of one round, the 33-year-old teetotaler drank his first glass of whiskey, which he liked enough to make “a habit of having a bourbon and water or two (but never more) before dinner” for the rest of his life.

Enforcement of Prohibition in the military varied from place to place during the thirteen "dry" years, just as it always did. Read about Prohibition and alcohol regulations in the military at Real Clear Defense. -via Strange Company


9

Why Human Dads Sets Us Apart from Apes

Though we may share 99% of our DNA with chimpanzees and a significant percentage with other apes, there are still so many things that make us worlds apart from them. One being the qualities of human dads to be involved and empathetic. Sure, not everyone experiences that, but that quality is still quite unique in humans.

Anne Machin has done research on the subject and has written a book called The Life of Dad: The Making of the Modern Father.

However, there is one aspect of human behaviour that is unique to us but is rarely the focus of these discussions. So necessary is this trait to the survival of our species that it is underpinned by an extensive, interrelated web of biological, psychological and behavioural systems that evolved over the past half a million years.
Yet, until 10 years ago, we had neglected to try to understand this trait, due to the misguided assumption that it was of no significance – indeed, that it was dispensable. This trait is human fatherhood, and the fact that it doesn’t immediately spring to mind is symptomatic of the overwhelming neglect of this key figure in our society.
When I began researching fathers 10 years ago, the belief was that they contributed little to the lives of their children and even less to our society, and that any parenting behaviour a man might display was the result of learning rather than any innate fathering skill.
Stories of fathers in the media centred on their absence and the consequences of this for our society in terms of antisocial behaviour and drug addiction, particularly among sons. There was little recognition that the majority of men, co-resident or not, were invested in their children’s lives.

(Image credit: Caleb Jones/Unsplash)


8

One Small Step



Luna wanted to be an astronaut ever since she was a little girl. The story, however, turns out to be about shoes. This is the first project released from Taiko Studios, which was formed last year by a group of ex-Disney animators.


9

The Great Chlorophyll Fad of 1952

Chlorophyll is the green pigmentation on plants that help them filter air to absorb nutriets and sunlight. But we all know that from 3rd grade science class. But in the 1950s, scientists tried to dig deeper into it and caused such a hype.

There are two researchers we need to thank for the success of chlorophyll, the mass-market dynamo: Dr. Benjamin Gruskin and Dr. F. Howard Westcott.
Dr. Gruskin, a Temple University researcher, got started first, experimenting with chlorophyll for roughly a decade starting in 1930 on a wide variety of different things, including the fast healing of burns and wounds. Gruskin’s work led him to patent the use of chlorophyll in water soluble solutions in the late 1930s.

Apparently, after Dr. Gruskin's research, Dr. Westcott also conducted tests and took notice of the pigment's ability to reduce odors.

An article from Time Magazine dating to 1950 noted that Westcott first noticed the pigment’s apparent deodorizing abilities related to Vitamin B and asparagus, two nutritious things that happen to have a pretty bad smell.
After this Eureka moment, he then did a small test involving a doctor and four nurses, giving them a dose of chlorophyll, then having them measure their underarm odor over a daylong period. Somehow, taking chlorophyll appeared to cut their B.O. in half. Later, he expanded the test to a larger group college students, with similar results.

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)


9

Icky Twerp, The Electronic Babysitter

Ah, for the days of my misspent youth in Fort Worth, Texas, 60 years ago. I was privileged - again - to be present at the premier of Slam Bang Theater, a genuine kids' show that was broadcast twice a day on the old KTVT, Channel 11. In those days, KTVT was an independent, which is how and why Slam Bang Theater was created, to compete with the local network affiliates. Today it has long since sold out to one of the major networks and Slam Bang Theater is also long gone. What exactly was it? Glad you asked!

Slam Bang Theater ran for 13 years as a morning cartoon and sketch program for kids in elementary school in the DFW area. With TV putting an end to the mass production of two reel comedies, short subjects, and cartoons for then greatly diminished movie theater audiences, the studios sold these products to their former competitors - television.

This show introduced me to The Three Stooges, The Little Rascals, the old Fleischer studio Popeyes, and more. It was wildly popular, and I can remember kids running home from school since school let out at 3:30 and Slam Bang Theater started at 4 pm for the afternoon show.

The host was Icky Twerp (Bill Camfield). He was dressed up in a too-small hat, a bad wig, and striped coat. He would do bits of slapstick comedy with his five "apes" - Ajax, Delphinius, Caladium, Arkadelphia, and Linoleum. In between sketches they showed the discards of the motion picture industry, primarily shorts and cartoons. Bill Camfield wore several other hats at KTVT, and he was also the host of their Saturday evening program Nightmare, which showed old horror films. I am pleased to report that this is where I first saw Fiend Without A Face.

Slam Bang Theater finally came to an end in 1972 when a competing station hired Bill Camfield away, and he simply could not be replaced. Tragically, he later developed brain cancer and died in 1991 at age 62 - four years younger than I am now. Gulp. There is somewhat of a happy ending, however. The Three Stooges were so grateful for Camfield's efforts at promoting their past work that they cast him as Wyatt Earp in one of their films, 1965's The Outlaws Is Coming.

Luckily, YouTube has preserved much of his work and some of these videos are embedded below. His IMDb profile may be found here.

Bill Camfield jokingly referred to himself as 'The Electronic Babysitter', and he earned the gratitude of countless parents in the days before VCR and cable television. The mere threat to take away Slam Bang Theater privileges was usually enough to keep the rowdiest kid in line. Believe me, I know.

Icky Twerp, the Electronic Babysitter.

A Tribute to Icky Twerp and Slam Bang Theater.

Nightmare Theater Opening, with Bill Camfield as Gorgon.


11

Police Chase Van Through Three Towns



The above video, with added Yakety Sax, is only one portion of the low-speed police chase that led cops through Garland, Mesquite, and Dallas, Texas. Stoffon Lorains Cooper was stopped for speeding through a school zone, and fled when the officer discovered warrants against him. The loops through a parking lot were not the craziest part of the chase.

Cooper's most daring maneuver, caught on video by Texas Sky Ranger, was to thread the vehicle through a car wash, turn around and drive right past police, over a curb and back onto the street.

Dallas police handed Cooper over to Garland police, who charged him with the original warrants plus evading arrest. -via reddit


8

13 Fascinating Facts About Pallas’s Cats

Neatorama regulars know we love the opportunity to post videos of Pallas's cats, because they look so awesome. You might want to learn more about these small wild cats of the Asian highlands. Like stuff about their ears.

2. Its scientific name means "ugly-eared."

Later on, the cat's scientific name was changed from Felis manul to Otocolobus manul—not exactly the most flattering moniker, since Otocolobus is Greek for “ugly-eared.”

3. Its unusual ears come in handy.

Some may consider the Pallas’s cat’s ears to be ugly, while others might think they’re adorable. Arguments aside, the cat’s round ears—which sit flat on the sides of its head—are one of the feline's most distinguishing features. As Crystal DiMiceli, a former wild animal keeper at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Zoo, explains in the above video, having low-positioned ears helps the cat conceal itself—they don’t poke up to reveal the animal's position while it's hiding or hunting.

Read about the rest of the Pallas's cat at Mental Floss.

(Image credit: Albinfo)


8

The Little Brain That Does Pretty Big Things

We haven't completely figured out everything about the brain and how each part or region of it works. However, the field of neuroscience continues to make great strides in helping us understand how our brain works. Recently, some researchers have turned their attention to the cerebellum.

For the longest time the cerebellum, a dense, fist-size formation located at the base of the brain, never got much respect from neuroscientists.
For about two centuries the scientific community believed the cerebellum (Latin for “little brain”), which contains approximately half of the brain’s neurons, was dedicated solely to the control of movement. In recent decades, however, the tide has started to turn, as researchers have revealed details of the structure’s role in cognition, emotional processing and social behavior.

(Image credit: Life Science Databases/Wikimedia Commons via PT)


8

Netflix Stats: How Many Viewers Do Their Shows and Movies Have?

If you're curious about how big the streaming giant has grown, then look at some of its audience numbers, some of which they have recently shared.

At the end of December, Netflix said that 45 million people had watched Bird Box, a Netflix-owned thriller starring Sandra Bullock that came out just before Christmas. Now the company is using its quarterly earnings letter to share more numbers about viewership of some of its other shows — as well as a sense of how much of your TV screen the streaming video company really owns.

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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