(Roughly) Daily

In a nutshell…

From Joe Nicolosi’s Fishrockit, a (three-and-a-half minute) retelling, set to Joe’s animation, of the entire original Star Wars trilogy, by his friend Amanda Moore…  who has never seen the films.

Click on the screen below…

… or click here.

As our minds wander long ago and far away, we might celebrate two other pillars of popular culture…

– The Frisbee was first produced in its “modern” form on this date in 1957, when the Wham-O toy company rolled out the first batch of the aerodynamic plastic discs.

In 1871, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company. Students from nearby universities would throw the empty pie tins to each other, yelling “Frisbie!” as they fired. In 1948, Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Franscioni invented a plastic version of the disc called the “Flying Saucer” that could fly further and more accurately than the tin pie plates. After splitting with Franscioni, Morrison made an improved model in 1955 and sold it to the new toy company Wham-O as the “Pluto Platter”–an attempt to cash in on the public craze over space exploration and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).

n 1958, a year after the toy’s first release, Wham-O–the company behind such icons as the Hula-Hoop, the Super Ball and the Water Wiggle–changed the disc’s name to the Frisbee, misspelling the name of the historic pie company in order to trademark it. A company designer, Ed Headrick, patented the design for the modern Frisbee in December 1967, adding a band of raised ridges on the disc’s surface–called the Rings–to stabilize flight. Via aggressive marketing of Frisbee-playing as a new sport, Wham-O sold over 100 million units of its famous toy by 1977.

Patent drawings for the Frisbee

And indeed, in 1967, high school students in Maplewood, New Jersey, invented Ultimate Frisbee, a cross between football, soccer and basketball. In the 1970s, Headrick himself invented Frisbee Golf, in which discs are tossed into metal baskets; there are now hundreds of courses in the U.S., with millions of devotees. There is also Freestyle Frisbee, with choreographed routines set to music and multiple discs in play, and various Frisbee competitions for both humans and dogs–the best natural Frisbee players.

– The great Ernest Edward Kovacs was born on this date in 1919.  Ernie Kovacs was a television pioneer, whose approach to absurdist and often visually-centered humor echoes through Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Uncle Floyd Show, Saturday Night Live and the bits done by David Letterman…  among others.

(For a quick– and hilarious– taste of Kovac’s work “Musical Office”, a pioneering piece of stop-motion, is a great place to start…  then just follow the links you’ll see…)

(Some of) the Many Faces of Ernie Kovacs

Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 23, 2009 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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