Silly Putty

Silly Putty

What an inert, innocent appearance for such a versatile toy. Silly Putty would just sit there like a lump—literally—until you deigned to pick it up. But then, oh then…it came alive. Well, not really; there was a fair amount of elbow grease involved in getting enjoyment out of the Putty. It bounced; it flowed (if given enough time); it stuck to the wall; it stuck to newsprint and comic books and copied whatever was on the page; it even picked up pet hair and dust, should the average 8-year old feel a sudden urge to clean the living room. It could be kneaded and bent, stretched and flattened. And it owed its existence to an accident. Continue reading...

SleepingBeautyFinal

Sleeping Beauty

In what would become the last animated feature produced by Walt Disney to be based upon a fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty was one of the most ambitious endeavors Disney ever embarked upon. Costing $6 million to produce (an unheard of sum in 1959,) requiring nine years of planning and three years of filming, and utilizing a new 70MM “Super Technirama 70” process, the result was an animated feature that was simply stunning - perhaps one of the finest achievements ever in animation and a film destined to become a timeless classic. Continue reading...

Smarties

Smarties

You've just spent the evening knocking on neighborhood doors, your pillowcase or plastic jack o' lantern gradually filling with sweets. Upon your return home, you dump out the rewards of your labor and scan your hard-earned bounty. Like every other kid who has ever performed this ritual, you are apt to come across a few rolls of cellophane-wrapped candies called Smarties. Both sweet and tangy, with a distinct powdery consistency, they have remained a Halloween tradition for over six decades. Continue reading...

Smokey Bear

Smokey Bear

With World War II raging away, natural resources needed protection at all costs. A forest fire could be devastating in terms of lost lumber. The government handed a very special bear the task of informing the public about the dangers of fire and the need for watchful vigilance. And for over 60 years, he has proven himself worthy of the task. He is Smokey Bear and his contributions to the war effort and beyond have made him a legend. Continue reading...

Snowball Fights

Snowball Fights

There are few times when a kid can throw a projectile at someone without admonishment. Once a sufficient blanket of snow has fallen, however, the rules change. The potential for war looms behind thick trees and parked cars and any other place that offers momentary cover. Attacks come with no warning, nor mercy. Negotiations are futile, retribution is a no-brainer. Let's face it - it wouldn't be winter without a snowball fight. Continue reading...

Sorry!

Sorry!

The ancient game of strategy called Parcheesi got a modern makeover in the early 20th century, emerging as Sorry! the game that apologized for your woeful lack of skill and/or good fortune. First seen in England, it was imported to America in 1934 by Parker Brothers and a new family institution was born. Hearing your mom saying "Sorry!" in a saccharine, condescending voice as she denied you victory was enough to make you wonder if the notion of motherly love wasn't just a big crock. Continue reading...

Spitballs

Spitballs

You’re sitting in class, minding your own business, watching the teacher meticulously write the next algebra equation on the blackboard and feeling pretty good about yourself. That is, until you feel the sharp sting against the back of your neck. Is it an insect bite or have you been shot in the neck by a primitive Amazon warrior’s blowgun? You reach behind your head and feel wetness - but it isn’t blood. Rather it is a sample of one of your classmate’s saliva. You’ve just been pelted by a spitball (or spitwad, if you prefer.) Continue reading...

Sugar Babies

Sugar Babies

The offspring of the celebrated confectionery clan we'll call the Sugar family, Sugar Babies are the diminutive nuggets of sweetness that bear genetic resemblance to their proud parents, Sugar Daddy and Sugar Mama. They have satisfied the hunger of sweet-toothed fans for over 70 years and counting. Continue reading...