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Bill Thompson
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So cool to see Gilliam's creativity first-hand, and the work that went into "analog" animation. Also kinda thrilling to see the actual pieces we all remember so well, that were used in the actual Python episodes.
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I was one of the half-dozen or so people that actually had BASIC Programming for the 2600. The interlocking keypads and overlays were actually fun to use for a youngster, and you did get the feeling that you were really "programming" something. Severe memory limitations, true; but it was a good attempt. I often wished Atari had done more with the keypad input.
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Oh my gosh this man is a genius. I love everything about this. The only thing I would have done differently was to mount it on a sprung subframe over woofers with some sort of provision for emulating the rattle and shake of the rails, and mounting the image of the next car on a separate frame, to get that feeling of disconnected movement; with the rumble of the engine and the click of the tracks. I'd sleep in it every night. The static car is beautiful, but if it had an immersive and convincing sensation of movement, it would be perfect. Perhaps some dressed mannikins to occupy some of those seats...
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The only reason I finally abandoned VHS for rewritable DVDs: A DVD player has never eaten a disc. I got tired of losing cassettes to the sickening crackle-crunch of a VHS machine winding the tape around its capstans, letting me know I'll never watch THAT tape again.
Toggle Commented Apr 27, 2012 on The Last Good Thing About VHS Tapes at Retro Thing
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You must have a heckuva Deere. A T in good nick will top 45 mph. (Not that you'd want to do that.) They're still the best bang for the buck in '20s cars. Fun and easy to know every nut and bolt, and a breeze to work on. Not too bad driving in town...just give yourself a lot of lead time on the brakes!
Toggle Commented Mar 14, 2012 on 1929: It Was a Very Good Year at Car Lust
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Fascinating. I didn't know about Lloyd Haynes. His 'similarity' to Nichelle Nichols is notable. I'd love to hear the story behind the change of casting. Yeoman Smith is a fair bit of eye candy; it would have been interesting to see her character development as compared to Janice Rand's. I liked what little there was of Piper. Wonder if he would have worked out long-term as well as McCoy did?
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2011 on Selling Star Trek at Retro Thing
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Ah, James, you're getting a well-deserved lashing this time. Calling something "the ugliest Ferrari" is like saying "the homeliest Miss America contestant," or "the most developmentally-disabled rocket scientist." By definition, they don't exist. For 1972, it was unbelievably low, sleek, and knife-edged. Every sports car from Bitter to X-1/9 owed its crisp doorstop looks to the wedgy Ferrari. There's a whole lot of Buick and Honda there, too. But Ferrari did it twenty years earlier. Props for the progenitor! Pininfarina in the hizzle, yo. :D
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2011 on The Ugliest Ferrari at Retro Thing
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Art school pretension, indeed! You can give any harebrained art project instant clout by making obscure existential parallels in its description. You don't receive good grades in art class by telling the truth: "I drew this because it was pretty." Giving it a complex German name is good for a few bonus points too. ;)
Toggle Commented May 18, 2011 on TV Tubes Caught In The Act at Retro Thing
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I have always been stunned at how far ahead Deusenberg was compared to every other car at the time. I've tried to find a modern equivalent, but nothing stands out today as much as the Deusey did then. Bugatti Veyron? Meh, maybe. It's complex, fast, and expensive, but still not far enough ahead. The Deusenberg was from another planet, another plane of existance altogether. Maybe if a Maybach was crossed with a Stealth fighter? Big, luxurious, sumptuous, supersonic, and invisible to radar. And with aerial capability.
Toggle Commented May 5, 2011 on It's a Duesey! at Car Lust
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The Minerva looks awkward, like its trying to out-Royale the Bugatti, but nothing beats the perfect proportions of the Type 41. The ALCO is a honey...it just looks so right, the carriagework is elegant without being ostentatious, in that Silver Ghost style. Wonder how much torque that 60hp engine pulls?
Toggle Commented Apr 30, 2011 on Living Rooms on Wheels at Car Lust
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I love the veteran cars. The unrestrained inventiveness and enthusiasm of the era was fantastic. There was just no precedent at all for what a car "should" look like or how it should work, or even how to make it go. Anyone who thinks cars pre-1905 were "primitive" should read some back issues of The Horseless Age magazine! The unrestored barn find looks like a De Dion-Bouton ca.1896 to me, going from the shape and location of the steering controls, the vis-a-vis seats, and the general shape of the carriagework.
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2011 on Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum at Car Lust
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I like electrics because they are simple, have few moving parts, and are (nearly) silent in operation: the very reasons the Detroit Electic and their breed were popular a hundred years ago. I like sitting silently at a light, enjoy whispering through twisty back roads. They are technologically elegant, cheap to operate, and fine for medium-range use if you have a second car for long-range work. So why are they all so plug-ugly and prohibitively expensive? There's a market that's not being filled -- for pretty, light, touring-style electrics. A car that AVERAGE people can afford, as a second 'errand-and-commuter' car, and is FUN. An electric can't blast down the Interstate at 75mph all day, so why try to compete with cars that can? A low, open voiturette-type electric could be as fun and useful at 45mph as an insulated closed car is at 70mph. Some carmaker needs to play to the electric's abilities: Low-end torque, medium speed, limited range, AND the unique ability to put you outside without engine noise. Until that happens, electrics will always be just an eco-nerd curiosity.
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When I was about 10, my parents bought a FIAT Spider. It was a pivotal experience for me. I could squeeze behind the seats and watch the mountains of West Virginia roll by, and it was magical. Late one night in a driving rainstorm on the WV Turnpike, the wiper motor burnt out -- my dad had to roll down the window and clear the windscreen with a handheld squeegee, rain blasting in, top leaking, hazards flashing, roaring with laughter -- it was STILL magical. I was hooked. Twenty years later, I bought a FIAT of my own: an orange '78 Spider 2000, just like Dad's. I've had a few convertibles since then. My current daily driver is a '76 MG Midget. There's nothing in this world like a little convertible!
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2011 on April 4 Open Thread - Going Topless at Car Lust
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@mgabrys -- (wow, a three-year reply!) Although not hologrammish at all, TRON did use forced-perspecive optical trickery: the view of the I/O tower, on a backlit cel through the "windscreen," gave a very convincing illusion of depth.
Toggle Commented Apr 5, 2011 on TRON Arcade Game On Your Tabletop at Retro Thing
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"US legal" because a three-wheeler is classified as a motorcycle, so no airbag or crash regs to worry about. The rollover hoops should obviate the requirement for a helmet, I hope. Drive it as you would a bike and not a car, and you probably won't die. :) Zero to sixty times and top speeds are probably irrelevant. Thirty feels like sixty, and sixty feels like Formula 1. It's not how fast you go, it's how fast it FEELS like you're going...and these babies fly. Can't wait to see new ones Stateside!
Toggle Commented Mar 3, 2011 on Return of the Morgan Threewheeler at Retro Thing
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They all seem to be foreshadowing fenderless aerodynamic fuselage shapes...not too far off, really. If the 50's hadn't become so focused on the race to go longer/lower/wider, higher tailfins, and more chrome, we might have seen some of these streamliners. Single front wheels, like the Reliant or Bond, tend to be more unstable than single rear wheels, like the Isetta or Morgan. Better for parking, for high-speed maneouvers not so much. Gordon Beurig knocked it out of the park, of course. Everything that man touched was gold. Gorgeous.
Toggle Commented Feb 13, 2011 on Yesterday's Cars of Tomorrow at Retro Thing
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Feb 12, 2011