All posts by Paul Stroessner

19 Somethin’ – Rubik’s Cube

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here is the next line in the song:

I took the stickers off my Rubik’s cube

Ahh, Remember the days when there would be a craze about something that wasn’t electronic? The Rubik’s Cube is an iconic symbol of the ’80s. The Rubik’s Cube had six sides, with each side covered with nine stickers. The colors were white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. You would twist and turn all the rows until the colors were scattered all over the place. In order to solve the puzzle, you had to get each side all the same color.
Without cheating, I could usually get 2 sides. But, that was about it. I think I got 3 sides once by accident. But the easiest way to get all the colors to match would be to peel the stickers off, then stick them back on where you wanted them to be.
However, you could tell that the person cheated because you could see the stickers bent up a little. Here is how I could solve the puzzle:

Yes, you could pull the blocks apart, and then piece them back together. The downside to that was that the blocks would be a little loose after you did that, and they would wiggle a little. But, you could show your friends that you solved the puzzle, and not let them touch it.

In 1982, there was a World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. There were pavilions that represented each country (similar to the World Showcase at Disney’s Epcot). The inventor of the Rubik’s cube was Erno Rubik, who was from Hungary. Outside the Hungarian pavilion was this giant Rubik’s Cube that turned by itself:

The craze was huge in the early to mid 80’s. Everybody had one. If they didn’t have the actual cube, they had the keychain version. And there are also many kinds of competions on who can slove it the fastest. Here are some other different competitions:
– Blindfolded solving
– Solving the Cube with one person blindfolded and the other person saying what moves to do, known as “Team Blindfold”
– Solving the Cube underwater in a single breath
– Solving the Cube using a single hand
– Solving the Cube with one’s feet

There was also the spinoff Rubik’s Snake:

If you get a Rubik’s Cube nowadays, there probably wouldn’t be a challenge in solving it. All you would need to do is look online, and get the steps there. I guess that beats peeling the stickers off.

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19 Somethin’ – Sideburns

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here is the next line in the song:

Dad broke down and finally shaved those sideburns off

By the ’80s, sideburns went the way of disco, bell-bottoms and leisure suits.
But, the moustache remained intact through at least the early to mid ’80s. John Oates pulled it off, along with Burt Reynolds, Freddie Mercury, and the king of the moustache – Tom Selleck.

But then, tragically, the side burns came back with a vengeance in the ’90s with the arrival of Luke Perry and Jason Priestly in Beverly Hills 90210.

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Star Wars saga is set to go with 3D

Well, it has been a long time coming. Star Wars fans should not be surprised to hear that the entire saga will be released in 3D. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the films will be rereleased in 3D beginning in 2012, starting with Episode I: The Phantom Menace. After that, each film would be released in order at the same time in consecutive years, depending on how well the first rerelease does.

In the meantime, Lucas plans a comprehensive Blu-ray Disc set of the six films next year, which would include upgraded picture and sound quality, new deleted scenes and special features.

If the movies stay on schedule, and are released every year, then Return of the Jedi will be released in 2017. And that means fanboys will finally get to see the moment they’ve been waiting for. Jabba the Hutt in 3D!!! Oh yeah, and Princess Lea will be in her slave outfit in 3D.

19 Somethin’ – Microwave Ovens

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here are the next lines in the song:

It was the dawning of a new decade
we got our first microwave

It’s hard to imagine a world without microwave ovens now. But, I remember getting our first microwave oven in the early ’80s. It may be surprising, but the microwave oven was not an ’80s invention.
The first home microwave was launched in 1952 in the US. But, it did not catch on due to its hefty price tag, and due to the fact that it probably freaked people out. In the ’60s, several companies started producing the microwaves. But, nobody could still afford them. The prices started to drop in the ’70s, but it was still not worth it unless your name was Rockefeller. By the ’80s, normal people could afford to buy them – and soon, everybody was.

There was a learning curve though. Have any of you put something metal or aluminum in a microwave? it looks awesome, but probably not good for the microwave! And it became known that you shouldn’t stand near the microwave if you had a heart pacemaker. I wonder how they found that out! Well, if you wanted to knock off somebody with a pacemaker, the microwave would be very handy. It was also handy if you needed to get rid of a gremlin.

But, the microwave did make our lives easier. You could cook a lot faster.

The earlier microwaves usually had 2 dials, one for the cooking time, and one for the cooking power. Things are even easier today. The microwaves are mainly digital, and they usually have pre-programmed cooking options.

Now we just need something to automatically clean the microwave if you forget to cover something that explodes all over the place when you cook it.

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Music Video of the Week – 9/29/10

This week’s selection is Prince and the Revolution’s “Let’s Go Crazy”, which was #1 this week in 1984:

“Let’s Go Crazy” was from the album, and the film Purple Rain. This is a hard rocking song for Prince. I am not a huge Prince fan, but this is one of my favorites of his along with “Little Red Corvette” and “When Doves Cry”. I didn’t care too much for the song “Purple Rain”, but it has grown on me over the years.

I have never seen the movie Purple Rain, so I can’t comment on that. If anybody has seen the movie, please leave a comment about it, and let us know what you thought of it.

19 Somethin’ – Bell-Bottoms and 8-Track Tapes

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here are the next lines in the song:

Bell bottoms and eight track tapes
lookin’ back now I can see me
oh man did I look cheesy
I wouldn’t trade those days for nothin’
ah, it was 1970 somethin’

I know that people make fun of ’80s fashion, BUT C’MON NOW!! Those bell bottoms were pretty ugly. The bell bottoms came into fashion with the hippie movement in the late ’60s. Now, I’m beginning to understand. And it got out of control in the late ’70s with disco. And when disco died, so did the bell bottoms. That is until they made a minor comeback in the ’90s. Nowadays, jeans seem to be in fashion if you can see ass-crack. Maybe we are better off with the bell-bottoms!

8 Tracks had about the same life line as the bell bottoms. They started in the ’60s. They became popular when automobile factories started installing eight-track tape players in their cars. The 8-track was convenient an more portable than a vinyl album. And you could record on the 8-tracks.
But 8-tracks started to go out when cassettes started coming out. The cassettes were much smaller, and you could fast forward and rewind more efficiently. And the sound quality was better on cassettes. In the U.S., eight-track cartridges were phased out of retail stores by late 1982.

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Trivia Tuesday – 9/28/10

Question: What Pro-Wrestler was turned into a G.I. Joe character?

Last Week’s Question: Who was Mallory Keaton’s fiance?

Answer: Nick Moore

Nick, Mallory’s dim-witted fiance on Family Ties, was played by Scott Valentine. In 1986, He actually starred in a spin-off called The Art of Being Nick. The show also starred Julia Louis-Dreyfus. But only the pilot episode was aired. Nick was then a recurring character on Family Ties again. Here is The Art of Being Nick:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Scott Valentine did not have many other major roles after Family Ties. Here is a recent photo of him:

19 Somethin’ – Farrah Fawcett

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here are the next lines in the song:

it was 1970 somethin’
in the world that I grew up in
Farah Fawcett hairdo days

Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009) starred in Charlie’s Angels for only 1 season (1976-1977), but what an impact she made on pop culture! She became an international sex symbol, and her hair style was emulated by millions of young women in the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1978, she developed her own brand of hair care products, marketed by Fabergé, for which she appeared in a series of commercials and print ads.

Fawcett was married to Lee Majors, star of TV’s The Six Million Dollar Man and The Fall Guy, from 1973 to 1982, although the couple separated in 1979. Then from 1982 to 1997, Fawcett was involved with actor Ryan O’Neal.

Farrah Fawcett made her mark on the ’80s by starring in the television movie The Burning Bed, from which she earned an Emmy nomination. She played a battered woman, and the movie was the first to provide an 800 number that offered help for people in that situation – in this case, victims of domestic abuse.
Over the years, she starred in several other movies.

In 2006, Farrah was diagnosed with anal cancer. She went through chemo and surgery, and on her 60th birthday, it was reported that she was cancer-free. However, four months later a malignant polyp was found where she had been treated for the initial cancer. She then went through all kinds of alternative treatments. But, on May 7, 2009, she was reported as critically ill. A two-hour documentary Farrah’s Story, which was filmed by Fawcett and friend Alana Stewart, aired on NBC on May 15, 2009. The documentary was watched by nearly nine million people, and Fawcett earned her fourth Emmy nomination posthumously on July 16, 2009, as producer of Farrah’s Story. Fawcett died at approximately 9:28 a.m., PDT on June 25, 2009, in the intensive care unit of Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. And as we all know, this was overshadowed by the death of Michael Jackson later that day.

Charlie’s Angels co star Kate Jackson said “I will miss Farrah every day. She was a selfless person who loved her family and friends with all her heart, and what a big heart it was. Farrah showed immense courage and grace throughout her illness and was an inspiration to those around her. When I think of Farrah I will remember her kindness, her cutting dry wit and, of course, her beautiful smile.”

“Today when you think of Farrah remember her smiling, because that is exactly how she wanted to be remembered.”

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