Four of these are not so ancient. They still existed when I was a kid, along with “hat-check girl,” which was not mentioned.

My parents’ house had a milkbox, and we got a daily visit from the milkman of DeRyke Dairy (except Sunday). (By that time the deliveries were made in trucks, not the horse-drawn wagon you see in the picture.)

My best friend worked his summer job at a local alley as a pinsetter. (It was about the only option for kids who wanted a summer job. Mike was about 11, and the bowling proprietor paid in cash.)

The pre-digital world was filled with typesetters and switchboard operators.

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The early 80s represented the golden age of youthploitation films, and those films produced some of the most memorable nudity in screen history. It was in the 1982-1983 period that all hell broke loose:

Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Phoebe Cates in Paradise (1982)
Diane Franklin in The Last American Virgin (1982)
Porky’s (1982) and Porky’s Revenge (1983)
Leah Thompson in All the Right Moves (1983)
Rebecca De Mornay in Risky Business (1983)
Virginia Madsen in Class (1983)
Caren Kaye in My Tutor (1983)
Betsy Russell in Private School (1983)

At least three of those are sure Hall of Fame performances (Leah and the two Phoebes).


Also from that era, although not in the youthploitation genre:

Morgan Fairchild in The Seduction (1982)
Barbara Carrera in I, the Jury (1982)
Barbara Hershey in The Entity (1982)
Pia Zadora in Butterfly (1982)
Nastassia Kinski in Cat People (1982)
Mariel Hemingway and others in Personal Best (1982)
Pia Zadora in The Lonely Lady (1983)
Theresa Russell in Eureka (1983)
Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon in The Hunger (1983)
Mariel Hemingway in Star 80 (1983)
Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places (1983)

Kinski’s performance is a sure Hall of Fame entry, and others on the list are strong possibilities

Bill Russell heads to the highest skybox with too many rings for two hands.

He was arguably the greatest defensive player in history, and those 11 rings make his case for the best overall. Here is an amazing statistic: “In 30 elimination games at the college, pro and Olympic levels, Russell was a staggering 28-2.”

Russell faced Wilt Chamberlain in 94 NBA games and won the match-up 57-37, although Chamberlain dominated the individual stats.

We need not limit the discussion of Russell’s greatness to basketball. He was arguably the most successful athlete of all time in any of America’s four major team sports. He won 11 titles in just 13 seasons, including eight in a row. In one of the other two seasons, the Celtics had the best record in basketball by a margin of 8 games, but lost the finals when Bob Pettit put up 50 points and 19 boards in the final game.

One of Russell’s teammates, Sam Jones, shared the record of eight consecutive world championships, but when we look outside of the great Russell teams, I don’t think any athlete in the major team sports ever won more than five in a row.

Hockey’s Henri Richard matched Russell’s total of championships, with a share of 11 Stanley Cups, including five in row, in 19 full seasons in Montreal. None of his teammates shared in all 11 championships, but some of them shared the record of five in a row, including his own brother.

Baseball’s Yogi Berra won 14 American League pennants and 10 World Series in his 18 full seasons with the Yankees. His longest streak of World Series wins was five. Many of Berra’s teammates shared in the five consecutive championships, but nobody ever matched his lifetime total of ten rings.

Football’s Otto Graham won seven championships, including five in a row. (Tom Brady also has seven championships, but over a much longer span of time, and never more than two in a row.) Otto Graham topped Bill Russell by one measure of success, having made the championship game in every one of his ten seasons. Russell had to settle for 12-for-13 because his long-time rival, Wilt Chamberlain, finally beat him in the division finals in 1967, after Russell’s Celtics had dominated the match-up for many years. (Chamberlain averaged an unearthly 32 rebounds per game in that series.)

Can you spot the problem?

The caption for this picture of a beautiful nearby galaxy, Starburst M94, reads:

Beautiful island universe Messier 94 lies a mere 15 million light-years distant in the northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici). A popular target for Earth-based astronomers, the face-on spiral galaxy is about 30,000 light-years across, with spiral arms sweeping through the outskirts of its broad disk. But this Hubble Space Telescope field of view spans about 7,000 light-years across M94’s central region. The featured close-up highlights the galaxy’s compact, bright nucleus, prominent inner dust lanes, and the remarkable bluish ring of young massive stars. The ring stars are all likely less than 10 million years old, indicating that M94 is a starburst galaxy that is experiencing an epoch of rapid star formation from inspiraling gas.

Continue reading “A little miscommunication from the astronomy geeks”

“Under New Jersey state tax code, any land that is dedicated to cemetery purposes is exempt from all taxes, rates, and assessments. Cemetery companies are also specifically exempt from paying any real estate taxes, rates, and assessments or personal property taxes on their lands, as well as business taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, and inheritance taxes.”


“Nichols was born Grace Dell Nichols near Chicago in 1932. (Unhappy with Grace, she took the name Nichelle when she was a teenager.) Her grandfather was a White Southerner who married a Black woman, causing a rift in his family.

Blessed with a four-octave vocal range, Nichols was performing in local clubs by the time she was 14. Among the performers she met was Duke Ellington, who later took her on tour. She also worked extensively in Chicago clubs and in theater.

She moved to Los Angeles in the early ’60s and landed a role in a Gene Roddenberry series, ‘The Lieutenant.’ A number of Star Trek veterans, including Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig and Majel Barrett, also worked on the show.”

Nichelle never did any screen nudity, but she wore a mighty sexy outfit in a 1974 film called Truck Turner:

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According to Celebrity Sleuth magazine, she also posed for this nude photoshoot:

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