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...

SoulTrainFinal

Soul Train

Ever since its debut in 1952, fans of American pop music could tune in weekly to American Bandstand and keep themselves current on all of the latest artists and trends. But it would be almost two decades later before fans of rhythm and blues were given their own weekly outlet. They would forever owe their thanks to a Chicago DJ named Don Cornelius, the creator of Soul Train, for letting their voices be heard. Soul Train showcased all of the up-and-coming artists of the genre, put a spotlight on all the current dance moves, and, very quickly, became an enduring hit. Continue reading...

Space Invaders

Space Invaders

Backed by a thudding bass beat, dozens of invaders from another world descended on our planet in 1978. Within months, Space Invaders was one of the hottest fads on the globe, helping propel the video arcade into a multi-billion dollar industry. Let's take a look back and trace this history of this beloved game. Continue reading...

SpaghettiOs

SpaghettiOs

Isn't it funny how food can serve so aptly as a time machine? The mere mention of some items can miraculously transport us right back to the kitchen table of our youth. Such is the power of SpaghettiOs, those tiny rings of pasta packed in a strangely-sweet orange sauce. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that they have left an indelible mark on our memory with that brain-adhesive catch phrase/jingle "Uh, oh, SpaghettiOs!" Perhaps that's why, even in adulthood, when we know we should never eat such things, some of us are still compelled to grab a can of the stuff on occasion and toss it into the shopping cart when nobody is looking. Powerful stuff. Continue reading...

Speak & Spell

Speak & Spell

Ponder for a moment the fate of most educational toys. They are destined to languish in the back of a closet somewhere after getting a disdainful glance in favor of the more exciting toys in the pile of presents. A toy that (gasp) teaches has to be mighty sneaky to get past a youngster’s well-honed radar for such subterfuge. That Speak & Spell managed to lure kids back even after they realized it was a learning tool was remarkable; becoming a best selling toy was nothing short of phenomenal. For years, kids not only enjoyed this device everywhere they traveled but, miracle of miracles, they also learned from it despite themselves. 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...

Splash

Splash

Don't ask why, but little girls always aspire to be the following: super heroines, career women, princesses and mermaids. Before The Little Mermaid's Ariel inspired little girls to centipede in their swimming pools, hold their breath as long as they could, and play mermaids all the livelong summer day…there was Daryl Hannah in Splash. Continue reading...