Though he's enough of a geek that he might have known that the last film to use it was the theatrical version of Battlestar Galactica, which I took my boys to, at a stand-alone, single-screen theater, which I add because of the drawbacks to Sensurround noted in the above-linked Wikipedia article:
Sensurround made Earthquake a popular "event" film in 1974 and one of the year's highest-grossing films. Sensurround presented practical challenges, though, in multiplex cinemas where separate theater spaces shared walls. Audiences for The Godfather Part II, which opened the same month (November 1974) as Earthquake, often complained to theater managers about the Sensurround effect when Earthquake was shown in an adjoining theater. The low-frequency vibrations rattled tiles and plaster, too, leading to damage in some venues; a safety net was installed at Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to catch errant pieces of plaster falling from the ceiling. When Earthquake was screened in Chicago, the head of the Chicago Building and Safety Department demanded that the system be turned down or removed to prevent damage to city theaters. In Germany Sensurround movies could only be screened in single-screen houses. Subsequent Sensurround films, such as Midway, also tended to play in single-screen cinemas.
And it didn't involve kisses, just earthquakes and explosions. God knows what risks kissing ushers would have entailed.
Come to think of it, I'm a little surprised Rudy remembers ushers.
Speaking of movies
I've only just discovered Lunarbaboon through his current cartoon, which someone shared on Facebook.
And I sympathize with his fears, because I remember -- back in the '70s when we didn't know a baby's sex until it was born -- being a little afraid of having a girl because she'd be shut out of so many opportunities and I didn't know how I would deal with that.
By the time my boys were old enough to play sports and daydream of careers, they could just as well have been girls, given how many of those sorts of barriers had been lifted, but not to worry: The world of women's fashion corrected for the popular "natural look" in hair and make-up, and brought back dressy-dresses and skyscraper high-heels to rescue girls from casual clothing.
Similarly, a generation later, they brought in the princesses to get that programming in early.
On the other hand, parents still have the upper hand, and not all little girls are buying the hype.
After all, James Thurber had made the greater point 75 years ago:
One afternoon a big wolf waited in a dark forest for a little girl to come along carrying a basket of food to her grandmother. Finally a little girl did come along and she was carrying a basket of food. "Are you carrying that basket to your grandmother?" asked the wolf. The little girl said yes, she was. So the wolf asked her where her grandmother lived and the little girl told him and he disappeared into the wood.
When the little girl opened the door of her grandmother's house she saw that there was somebody in bed with a nightcap and nightgown on. She had approached no nearer than twenty-five feet from the bed when she saw that it was not her grandmother but the wolf, for even in a nightcap a wolf does not look any more like your grandmother than the Metro-Goldwyn lion looks like Calvin Coolidge. So the little girl took an automatic out of her basket and shot the wolf dead.
(Moral: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be.)
And then there's this:
Brewster Rockit has been time-traveling to visit ancient technologies and misunderstanding them as he misunderstands nearly everything in his own time period as well.
However, he inadvertantly got this one right.
As I noted in this round-up of old cartoons, telegraphy was once a standard office skill, and, yes, they did have their own acronyms, as this Van Loons strip from 1914 points out.
I don't know how much back-and-forth of a personal nature went on between office boys or those who, like young Tom Edison, operated a telegraph for the railroad, but the ease with which they learned to translate Morse Code created what the papers in April, 1897, referred to as a "leak" in the White House.
Given that McKinley was inaugurated March 4, I'd say his staff picked up on the problem fairly quickly, but it does make me wonder about the security of information under previous administrations.
A more benign application of the skill from 15 years earlier was recalled in an article in August, 1897:
And while we're on the general topic:
We're down to the extra-credit reading now, so those of you who have to leave may do so, but an article was posted at NiemanLab about a presentation on the use of syndicated material in 19th century newspapers with the provocative-but-silly headline, "Listicles, aggregation, and content gone viral: How 1800s newspapers prefigured today’s Internet."
No, there's nothing new about syndicated material or wire copy, though one drawback of computer typesetting is the loss of "fillers," those little bits of trivia with which editors used to fill small blank spots on the page, before you could simply mess with font sizes and spacing until the blanks disappeared.
But for small papers, handsetting an entire paper every day was as impossible as having reporters write every word would have been, and until mechanical typesetters were available, external copy was sent as pre-set lead, and, as this piece tells, the editors chose the news that was placed, but the backshop was often left to fill in less crucial blanks with feature articles.
Sometimes with disastrous results: