Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Every teenager knows that his or her parents must have been geeks when they were seventeen, but Back to the Future gave one teen a chance to see for himself. Directed and co-written by Robert Zemeckis (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Forrest Gump), this mid-80's time-traveling romp became the highest-grossing movie of the year, and it helped transition Michael J. Fox, then best known as orthodox conservative Alex P. Keaton on the popular sitcom Family Ties, into a genuine movie star. Continue reading...

Life Savers

Life Savers

Perhaps you once heard that Life Savers were invented because the famed candy maker’s daughter died after choking on a hard candy. You might also have heard that the hole in the middle is to prevent more deaths due to suffocation, thus the name Life Savers. It's a believable story, as are most urban legends, but it isn't true. Here is the real story behind this iconic candy that's been around for over 100 years. Continue reading...

Pong

Pong

Pong wasn't the first commercial video game but it sure was the most successful, ushering in the first generation of electronic arcade games. Developed by video game guru Nolan Bushnell, Pong became the foundation for Bushnell's legendary Atari company and ground zero for an industry about to explode. Continue reading...

Frisbee

Frisbee

The concept is simple, but the history of the iconic Frisbee is a bit more complicated. Throwing discs is a tradition that dates back centuries, one that eventually led to the plastic recreational toy that we've carried with us to parks and beaches and backyards and tossed with reckless abandon for over sixty years. Continue reading...

Clarissa Explains It All

Clarissa Explains It All

Sometimes your fevered imagination is correct and the characters on TV do talk back to you. It happened in every episode of the teen comedy series Clarissa Explains It All, one of Nickelodeon’s most popular kid shows in the 90s. Continue reading...

The Naked Gun

The Naked Gun

Considering the many years that Leslie Nielson spent playing serious roles, few realized the zany sense of humor he possessed until he portrayed a doctor in the smash hit comedy, Airplane. Two years later, he continued the shtick in the very short-lived television series, Police Squad, playing Lieutenant Frank Drebin. For those that may have missed that little piece of TV comedy gold, he eventually took the character to the big screen in The Naked Gun. Released in 1988, there was no joke or sight gag too silly to milk for every laugh it was worth. Of course, the true charm was in Nielson’s ability to always keep a straight face. Continue reading...

Parachute Pants

Parachute Pants

Looking back, one might wonder why gaggles of kids (and rock bands, for that matter) were wearing parachute material in the 80s. It’s not like they were going to accidentally plunge off a cliff or walk out of an airplane. Rather, a new dance form called breakdancing was gathering momentum, and if you wanted to spin with reckless abandon or bust out with some robotic moves, you needed a pair of pants that were lightweight and slick. Once again, the dance community led the way to a fashion fad of immense proportions. Continue reading...

Now and Later

Now and Later

Sharing the dubious honor with such confectionery legends as Laffy Taffy and Sugar Daddies, Now and Later is a candy so supremely sticky, so eager to yank one of those fillings from your mouth, that you would think a dentist had concocted the flavorful little squares. Continue reading...