item 1 >>> Now Playing… the elements Tom Lehrer was a math professor who wrote and sang clever songs in the 1950s and 60s…some rather controversial by today’s prickly standards, but believe it or not, back them people got the satire and didn’t mind. I’d especially recommend “National Brotherhood Week,” “The Vatican Rag,” and his infamous “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.” BTW, some of these chemical elements sound made-up, but they’re all completely legit…and there are even a couple of new ones since then…consult your periodic table.
item 2 >>> LQQK @ †h∆†!… neocube This video is actually a commercial of sorts…a commercial for a Neocube, which isn’t cheap, compared to say a Rubik’s Cube. On the other hand, it sure looks like fun! The reason these tiny balls stick together so well is they aren’t normal magnets…they’re an alloy of iron, boron, and the rare-earth metal neodymium..Nd2Fe14B. The result is the strongest type of permanent magnet made, now used in countless applications, including disk drives. It was developed in 1982 by the Satan of Industry, General Motors…
item 3 >>> Naked Women…ya can’t beat ’em for shucks…Scholars don’t believe the story of Lady Godiva is true…altho Coventry, England is a real place and she was a real person. Now you may have heard that to protest the high taxes levied on the townspeople, she road the streets wearing only her hairdo. As the story is told, there’s a little more to it…it was her husband Leofric who was the one imposing the taxes. She pestered him to stop till at last he said he would, if she would put everything she had on a horse…figuring she never would…but of course she did, and to his credit, he kept his side the bargain. The folks all agreed to stay inside and not watch as she took her gallup, except for Tom…who Peeped…which is where that comes from. He was either struck blind or dead for his eyeful, depending on the teller.
item 4 >>> Football Season Is Over…And I’ll just say this…if you missed Monday’s sports pages…good.
item 5 >>> But Speaking of Sports…When I was a lad, “RUNS FOR THE WEEK” ran each day in the Boston Globe, along with the baseball scores, standings and stats. Now I thought it was a real baseball statistic…I even followed it, and recall when the Red Sox set some sort of record with over 60 RFTW. Looking back on it, I realize of course there never was such a stat…I was told these were put in the paper for betting purposes, and it always sounded like areasonable explanation…altho it seems a little weird that a prestigious publication would go along with something like that. The internet trail on this is long cold, unless you can shed further light on the subject…seems to me not too long ago I found something similar in a NYC paper, but with my filing system, fawgeddaboutit.
item 6 >>> The N-Word Pool…Look, that’s what some people called betting the numbers. History’s history. Your sweet grandmother played her number and you loved her didn’t you, no matter what she called it? It was no doubt going on in my town when I was growing up, completely under my radar. But I had heard of it in places like Salem and Boston, where it was called “policy.” And the origin of that name has an interesting twist to it. Policy as in insurance policy…which at first sounds strange, since insurance pays you when something bad happens, and hitting a number is by definition good…the whole point of the game. Fact is tho, insurance was originally seen as a bet on the future…paying a monthly premium was a bet that your house would burn down, and if it did, you got the payoff. After all, if you believed your house wasn’t going to burn down, why throw your money away? Again, not the way most people think abut it today, but that’s the reason there were and to this day still are religious objections to insurance…it’s seen as gambling.
item 7 >>> Remember These?…I think they pretty much cover it for the Baby Boomer years…for much, much more on vintage crayons, especially Crayola, but other brands too, this website is unmatched: crayoncollecting.com. Tell ’em Stolf sent you…seriously…they know me over there…
item 8 >>> Baby Boomer Crayon quiz…So in the basic Crayola box of 8, what color do you get 2 of? And please ignore black, which could be “all” colors or “no” color depending on your deeply held convictions. Well, by process of elimination, it couldn’t be anything but Brown…which some would say is a type of red, or yellow, or orange…so whichever, you got 2 shades of that color. At the very least we can agree its not in the spectrum.
item 9 >>> Orange Indigo Violet Yellow Red and Blue and Green…The 7 colors of the rainbow, from that song on the 78 you had when you were a kid, the Columbia “Now We Know” series…”Seven can be seen…seven!” Did you ever wonder what happened to Indigo…after all, if it’s so basic, why isn’t it in the Crayola 8-count box? Well, with Brown and Black, one of the 7 spectral colors had to go, and they chose Indigo. Or did they? Looking at an actual spectrum, looks like it was Blue that was tossed out, and Indigo renamed “Blue.”
item 10 >>> The Lost Color of the 50s?…No, not Indigo…I’d have to say it’s Cream…no, not Ivory or Eggshell or Ecru or Light Beige or Fawn…I’m talking Dark White…Cream! You know it when you see it…and I don’t see it around that much these days, and certainly never called that. The color of lactose intolerance? Crayola never had a Cream…
I always thought of it as crayons with a speech impediment, but it really was what they called their modeling clay for a time. Interesting there’s a real person with that name…she’s a labor leader in Washington DC.
shameless indigo plugs...
Resume and audio samples at http://home.rr.com/mastolfi