Candy Land Was Invented for Polio Wards

It is a game absent strategy, requiring little thought. Consequently, many parents hate Candy Land as much as their young kids enjoy it. Yet, for all its simplicity and limitations, children still love Candy Land, and adults still buy it. What makes it so appealing? The answer may have something to do with the game’s history: It was invented by Eleanor Abbott, a schoolteacher, in a polio ward during the epidemic…

The Neutral Zone (TGN Rewatch: Season 1, Episode 25)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. Unfrozen humans from the 21st Century annoy the crew while the Enterprise investigates the destruction of several Federation outposts near the Romulan Neutral Zone. The episode begins and ends with the cryonics story, so technically it’s the A plot, but there’s little at stake. Nobody gets trapped on the holodeck, nobody gets twinned by technology or taken over by an…

The Dish (2000 Australian comedy)

I try to watch this every July to commemorate the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Based on a true story, The Dish focuses on the staff of the Australian radio antenna charged with relaying the TV signals from the Apollo 11 moonwalk. The story was exaggerated here and there for dramatic effect, but does a great job capturing how this moment in time united all the people of the…

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Watched “Apollo 11” at local library with my son today

50 years ago today, three humans were on their way to the moon for the first time. Todd Douglas Miller’s documentary “Apollo 11” uses lots of found footage (including longer cuts of iconic sequences I know well, and plenty I’ve never seen before) arranged on split-screen multi-angle shots, woven together with low-key graphics and the unmistakeable voice of Walter Kronkite from contemporary news broadcasts. The Latrobe library screened the movie…

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In July 1999, I was blogging about Dante’s ashes, Apollo 11, gender-neutral language, and e-books.

In July, 1999, I was blogging about: (July 19) Florence, Italy — Librarians stumble across a bag of Dante’s ashes, lying on a shelf. [more | Digital Dante (U.Va)] (July 20) “That’s one small step for [a] man“…one grammatical goof for mankind? [RealAudio] [transcript] Did Neil Armstrong flub the first sentence spoken on the soil of the moon? [more] (July 23) How does gender-specific language affect students? In a 1980 study, one group read chapters…