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How to stop worrying and love the computer - Newsweek, July, 1970
“Nice kids aren’t supposed to get venereal disease. But they do.” #newsweek #archives #moralpanic #suburbs
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On This Date In 1965: The First American Spacewalk
Eyes glued to television sets, millions waited tensely to hear from astronaut Edward White as he climbed out of his capsule high over the pacific ocean. Then came the verdict: “This is fun!” said white, and men everywhere shared his boyish glee.
Newsweek June 14, 1965
Abbi lives in an apartment in Greenwich Village. Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service delivered a letter that was sent 70 years ago. Like, it was lost in the system. Now, she’s trying to track down the original intended recipient.
I was out of town for two weeks in late January-early February, so when I returned, I had a lot of mail. I hardly ever get real letters— maybe once in awhile from my mom or family, so as I was spreading out the pile, I wasn’t expecting much more than LL Bean catalogues and VALU coupon-packs. I knew immediately that this was something special. The coloring of the letter was so dated and the cursive writing is something you don’t see a lot of these days. I could see the letter was opened already, so I went for it. I felt like I had won the lottery—who gets sent 69-year-old letters that may have been lost in the mail!? I immediately thought to get in touch with friend Todd who makes documentaries to see if he wanted to collaborate on telling this story and going on this adventure.
We scoured through city records, searched online databases, and made phone calls. We came up very short and kept hitting dead ends. That’s when Todd suggested we involve ‘radical collaborators’ in the search (which is maybe just a fancy way of saying crowdsourcing). I said yes and here we are with the site and you. I am so excited to find this family together and see what the internet can do.
Now you can join the search. If you find anything, post it on twitter (using the hashtag #lostletterproject) or on Facebook. Also, please video or photograph your search and we’ll try to include the footage in upcoming video updates.
Check out her website and maybe lend a hand if you like mysteries!
“Flexing For Hitler”
Newsweek March 6, 1939
Just wait a few years…
“Three Cars For The price Of One” Guess the Year…
Can you guess the year?
A medical journal corrects an obituary from 1858:
More than 150 years later, and 200 years after Snow’s birth, The Lancet has finally decided to set the record straight. In a recent article, “after an unduly prolonged period of reflection,” the journal finally comes clean, lightheartedly admitting that “some readers may wrongly have inferred that The Lancet failed to recognise Dr Snow’s remarkable achievements in the field of epidemiology,” as well as “his visionary work” in discovering how cholera is spread.
My Dark Days With Phil [Spector], by filmmaker Vikram Jayanti, in this week’sNewsweek
It’s a story as old as justice. The crazy man crying out, “It’s not fair!”—his calls falling deaf ears.
Now it’s Phil Spector’s story too, about to be twice-told anew, once in his last-chance appeal being considered by a federal court and again by David Mamet in a new film to air later this month. Both argue that whatever happened to cause the bloody and gaudy 2003 death of actress Lana Clarkson—at Spector’s home, a gun owned by the legendary music producer discharged in her mouth—Spector should not have been convicted. Innocence is not the question. The right to a fair trial is.
It’s a story I also have told. A month before the start of his first trial—which ended in a hung jury—I started making a documentary film with Spector, as complicated and self-destructive a man as you can imagine. He’d been a celebrity for almost 50 years, since writing and performing his first No. 1 hit song “To Know Him Is To Love Him” at 18 years old and going on to develop his hallmark Wall of Sound. As a producer, he had dominated the ’60s charts, later producing Let It Be (the final Beatles album), George Harrison’s and John Lennon’s first solo albums, and the most successful Ramones record. In all that time, he never let a filmmaker near him—until the eve of his first trial. The result was my feature-length documentary The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector, which intercut no-holds-barred conversations between Spector and me in his castle with the trial footage from the courtroom.
There were many surprises along the way, the first being that Spector’s castle, where Clarkson died, was in blue-collar Alhambra on the outskirts of L.A. and not in Beverly Hills or Malibu. As Spector told me, when he decided to leave his Beverly Hills mansion, he wanted to live in a castle. His real-estate agent found two for sale and the one in Alhambra, atop the town’s only hill, took his fancy.
But if Alhambra was a surprise, the possibility that he’d finally shot and killed somebody was most definitely not. After all, the world had been hearing stories about his gunplay and mean temper for more than 30 years. He’d even been reported to have taken a shot just past John Lennon’s head after they’d made the Rock & Roll album together, to encourage Lennon to hand over the acetate master recordings. He’s said to have pulled a gun on the Ramones, and on Leonard Cohen—who became even more of a hero to me when he told my journalist friend Chris Goodwin that he’d responded by saying something along the lines of, “Oh, Phil, you’ve been pulling guns on everyone your whole life and you’ve never shot anyone yet and you’re not going to shoot me either, so just put it down.” And Spector was so taken aback that he did.
[Photo of Phil Spector, 1975. By Mark S. Wexler/Corbis]