item 1 >>> You must have had a Language Lab in your high school…I got in trouble, started a small fire. See, I mixed Spanish and German and it sort of exploded. German? Oh, yeah…and you might be a Baby Boomer if you remember when you could take Russian. What is it today? Chinese? Vietnamese? Dare I say, Latin?

item 2 >>> The movie Jaws culminated the 2nd wave of “animals attack.” I always liked “Night of the Lepus” from 1972. Yup, giant killer bunnies. “Kill one, and thousands take their place!” (See, I told you we shouldn’t’ve killed one!) And wasn’t’ there one with Frogs…and Worms…

item 3 >>> One of my favorites is from 1975, “Bug.” (Actually, the titles on the movie say “The Bug.”) It’s scientist Bradford Dillman versus these beetles from the center of the Earth…they can start fires, and can communicate with us by spelling out words with their bodies. Neat. Horror maven William Castle’s last movie, from novel “The Hephaestus Plague.”

item 4 >>> I say 2nd wave of “animals attack” because the 50s had the 1st wave, not the least of which was “The Killer Shrews,” which were just dogs with hairy blankets and fake fangs, they must have loved that, no wonder they were so pissed off. But the hero of this 1959 classic was none other than Ken Curtis, aka Festus on Gunsmoke. And , killer beast movies are still going strong, like the recent “Sharktopus”…I know, sounds like I’m making it up, but it was on Syfy, so help me. Still, the CGI effects just don’t cut it for me…the phony effects seem more real, somehow.

item 5 >>> It never ended up happening, so perhaps you’ve forgotten, but in 1992, James Orthwein, grandson of Anheuser-Busch founded Adolphus Busch, bought the Patriots, hot to transfer them to St. Louis. He couldn’t swing it, and sold to current owner Robert Kraft 2 years later.

item 6 >>> Remember the fad of having a mirror over your bed? That may well have been started by Mae West. She said of hers: “I like to know what I’m doing.”

item 7 >>> Sound bites from “Cotton Comes to Harlem,” 1970…stone fox, race leader, black is beautiful, shooting gallery, Swahili class, ask yo mama, get our black thing together…and Godfrey Cambridge’s great line as Gravedigger Jones: “How do I know he’s alive? Cuz I said so and I’m the doctor.”

item 8 >>> When the German car company Daimler bought Chrysler, I was puzzled since I always knew Daimler as a British car. Turns out Gottlieb Daimler sold the rights to use the name in the UK in the 1890s, and from that point on, the UK Daimler had no connection to the German Daimler, even pronounced differently, dame-ler versus dime-ler. Daimler was eventually bought by Jaguar, and used from the 60s on for its top level luxury cars. The Queen had one. Ford bought Jaguar in 1989, then sold it to India’s Tata Motors in 2008, who now owns the rights to the name. The last Jaguar Daimler was made, as far as I can tell, in 2006.

item 9 >>> What dogs do you recall from back in the day? For me, mostly cockers, beagles, German shepherds, poodles, and an Irish setter named “Irish.” In fact, you might be a Baby Boomer if the first golden retriever you ever saw was on your dad’s Field & Stream calendar.

item 10 >>> A new TV version of Wonder Woman is coming…Joss Whedon’s version was rejected. “They didn’t like my take.” (I’ll bet!) So David E. Kelley of “Ally McBeal” and “Boston Legal” fame is in charge. Are state-of-the-art special effects up to the challenge of an invisible airplane, I wonder…

Wicked Ballsy

Yeah, but did the Dutch know about this…?

hopey changey plug thingies…
Podcasts at
http://stolfpod.podbean.com and http://thewholething.podbean.com
Daily blogs at http://stolf.wordpress.com and https://deepfriedhoodsiecups.wordpress.com
More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com and http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi
Resume and audio samples at http://home.rr.com/mastolfi

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