Monday, November 19, 2012

An ode to Nintendo

When I was 13, I got what the greatest video game system at the time, the Nintendo NES. My brother, friends and I would spend a lot of time trying to master games like "Super Mario Bros.," or beat each other senseless in sports games like "Mike Tyson's Punchout," "Blades of Steel," and "Double Dribble."

With that in mind, here is a tribute to that game systems of days gone by, when the world got along just fine without mindblowing graphics, Internet connection and movement-based gaming, all set to a classic song by a classic band.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A different look at Iowa State

Every now and then, I get a little nostalgic for days gone by, including my college years at Iowa State University. I remember the things I did, the people I hung out with, and some of the classes I took.

I also remember this video, "The Home Economics Story," that was produced by the College of Home Economics (now the Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies program in the College of Human Sciences) at what was then known as Iowa State College in 1951. It struck a chord with me for the facts that it showed off the campus as it looked back then (including the old Clyde Williams Field that served as the home of Iowa State football until the opening of what is now known as Jack Trice Stadium in 1975), my wife majored in child development in the FCS some 45 years after this was made, I remember watching it in a video production class I took, and how different the gender roles were then compared to now. That last part was something that was rightly lampooned on "Mystery Science Theater 3000."

Enjoy the laughs.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

As I've indicated before, I am a Disney fanatic. So today, in honor of it being Halloween and in honor of Disney acquiring LucasFilm and the "Star Wars" franchise (more on that in the future), here is a good video of the "Haunted Mansion"ride at Walt Disney World. This has been one of my favorite rides since I was a kid and my dad convinced my brother and me to rub the gargoyle heads on the line dividers so we wouldn't be taken away by the ghosts.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's a Full House...

For anyone who ever watched Full House on ABC's TGIF lineup during the 90s (you know who you are), this is for you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dora the Explorer gets explosive...

As the father of two young children, I am exposed to a fair amount of children's programming.

Occasionally, that has landed me on "Dora the Explorer," a show for those not in the know about a little girl who speaks English and Spanish and with the help of her monkey, Boots, goes on short quests to find something or help someone.

With that, thanks to the folks at College Humor, we have the new adventures of Dora the Explorer in a movie I likely would watch if it were real.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Football, marching bands and video games, oh my!

Back during my days at Iowa State University in Ames, IA, I had a friend who played in the marching band say on more than one occasion that football games were a marching band show with a football game thrown in. Considering Iowa State football fans had little to cheer about during the mid-1990s (Sure, we had Heisman candidate running back Troy Davis, but we only won six games during my four years as an undergrad, including an 0-10-1 campaign during my freshman year), he may have had a point.

Fast forward a few years to this past Saturday's game in Columbus, Ohio, between Ohio State and Nebraska. As Ohio State was beginning their pounding of the Cornhuskers, the marching band had their own great performance at halftime with a tribute to video games. How many games can you identify?

Monday, October 1, 2012

30 years of EPCOT Center

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Disney fanatic.

I grew up on all things, including seeing most of the classic movies and a lot of the "live action" (read: non-animated) films from the 1960s and 1970s. I also have been able to visit Walt Disney World in Florida five times in my lifetime, the most recent in 2004.

However, I can say I was among the first-year visitors to EPCOT Center, which opened to the public for the first time on October 1, 1982. Featuring two areas, one with hands-on science exhibits in Future World and the other featuring cultural aspects from 11 countries in World Showcase, it had everything a then-7-year-old boy could dream about.

One of the cooler things they have there (since returned following his death in 2009) was the "Captain EO" 3D movie which starred Michael Jackson and premiered in 1986. Looking back now, it is kind of cheesy, with bad acting, but it was just plain fun, and something I hope to see again in person in the very near future, this time with my own kids.