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Mr. Rogers’ Rides

from The Drive

Parked in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: What Fred Rogers Taught Us About Cars

Though rarely center stage, automobiles played a quiet but crucial role on the iconic children’s TV show.

BY JOE LIGO

Despite growing up in a wealthy family and being taken to school by the family driver in a Cadillac, Fred McFeely Rogers—known as Mister Rogers to most of us —never appeared to have developed a taste for exotic or expensive things. As the nationally-known host of the PBS children’s program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and perhaps one of the most universally adored public figures in the country, Fred’s personal life was strikingly modest. He seemed the least likely person you’d expect to be interested in cars.

And yet: take a wider view, and his program showed children that the automobile is a fixture in modern American life over the second half of the 20th century, introducing them to everything from seat belts to automated car washes to early EV efforts. Fred Rogers himself wasn’t much of a gearhead, but he knew just as much as anyone how much emotion can be wrapped up in a car, quietly maintaining a 1928 Ford Model A Sport Coupe over the decades that had been given to him by his parents. 

In reality, a survey of the 900+ episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood indicates that Fred understood there are lots of kids (and adults) who love anything with wheels. So with help from the invaluable NeighborhoodArchive.com and a few phone calls with Rogers’ former producer Margy Whitmer and former co-star/company PR rep David Newell, let’s dive into the automotive world of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

[ click to continue reading at The Drive ]

Posted on June 29, 2022 by Editor

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Queen Bubbles

from The New Yorker

The Gospel According to Mavis Staples

A legendary singer on faith, loss, and a family legacy.

By David Remnick

Mavis Staples sings with a group of people in her youth.
Staples once considered stepping away from singing to become a nurse. Her father said, “Don’t you know you’re already a nurse?”Photograph by Steve Schapiro / Corbis / Getty

Mavis Staples has been a gospel singer longer than Elizabeth II has worn the crown. During concerts, sometimes, she might take a seat and rest while someone in her band bangs out a solo for a chorus or two. No one minds. Her stage presence is so unfailingly joyful—her nickname is Bubbles—that you never take your eyes off her. Staples sings from her depths, with low moans and ragged, seductive growls that cut through even the most pious lyric. She is sanctified, not sanctimonious. In her voice, “Help Me Jesus” is as suggestive as “Let’s Do It Again.” When she was a girl, singing with her family ensemble, the Staple Singers, churchgoers across the South Side of Chicago would wonder how a contralto so smoky and profound could issue from somebody so young.

She is eighty-two. While singers a fraction of her age go to great lengths to preserve their voices, drinking magical potions and warming up with the obsessive care of a gymnast, she doesn’t hold back. Time, polyps, and a casual disdain for preservation have conspired to narrow her range and sand down her old shimmer, but she is not about to hum lightly through a rehearsal. A little ginger tea and onward she goes. Singing is what connects her to the world.

Sly, sociable, and funny, Staples reminds you of your mother’s most reliable and cheerful friend, the one who comes around with good gossip and a strawberry pie. Her cheeks are round and smooth; her hair is done in a copper bob; her resting expression is one of delight. “She is a ray of sunshine,” Bonnie Raitt, her frequent touring companion, said. “She’s never cranky. She has an abiding belief in God and His plan and believes the world is moving toward a higher and more loving world.” Staples has spent the past few decades lending her voice to a startling range of collaborators: Prince, Arcade Fire, Nona Hendryx, Ry Cooder, David Byrne. Anyone who has something to say, she’ll help them say it, in an inimitable gospel voice. One collaborator, Jeff Tweedy, of Wilco, said, “All day long, Mavis is having a good time. She’s excited about making music and just being alive. I hope I have that energy when I’m her age, but the truth is I don’t even have it now.”

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on June 28, 2022 by Editor

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No way! I didn’t know there was a ‘porn trilogy for Nintendos’.

from Vanity Fair

Jason Brassard Spent His Lifetime Collecting the Rarest Video Games. Until the Heist.

The porn trilogy for Nintendos. Atari games from the 1980s. Pristine nostalgia, potentially worth millions, gone in a night. 

BY JUSTIN HECKERT

Jason Brassard Spent His Lifetime Collecting the Rarest Video Games. Until the Heist.
ILLUSTRATION BY QUICKHONEY.

He tries his best to forget about the safe. But when he has a few free minutes and is cleaning the pins of old Nintendo cartridges with rubbing alcohol and Q-tips, a little piece of him dies every time he thinks about how he could’ve been so naive. When he ran the place, he would man the counter from a swivel chair next to the cash register, a can of Diet Coke by the keyboard of his desktop computer, his palms at the edge of a Super Mario World mouse pad. He’d lined his shelves with Pokémon and PAC-MAN figurines, Sonic the Hedgehog plushies, T-shirts and stickers with the store’s logo, dog-eared stacks of GamePro and Nintendo Power, and a feng shui of other games. Drawers nested all sorts of controllers smothered in black cords. Until he was forced to sully the store by putting jail bars on the windows and installing security cameras out front, Trade-N-Games had been lighthearted in spirit and charming in its accentuations. He’d wanted customers to experience what it had been like to be part of the video game generation that had discovered Nintendo and Sega. He had wished to replicate for people that feeling that usually disappears as they settle into adulthood. There’s a “great buys” bargain bin and a giant glass collector’s case.

A placard above the employee gate by the desk reads NINTENDO REPAIR AVAILABLE HERE. The AS SEEN ON YOUTUBE sign he’d taken down. He’d had a kind of philanthropic hubris as an owner and collector, someone who never gave a second thought to keeping his legendary game collection a secret. He’d gladly let YouTubers film in the back; he would even open the safe back there and show them, item by item, his Louvre. Other collectors had rare games, sure, but in the back room of his store, and especially in the safe, he was proud to own 10,000 of what he described as “cherry” copies—his preferred term for virgin condition. The cardboard on his Super Nintendo games was still crispy, as collectors like to say. His Sega Genesis and Master System games were as pristine in their clamshells as if they had been hanging from the racks at KB Toys.

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on June 27, 2022 by Editor

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Five Planets In A Row

from The Jerusalem Post

Five planets align perfectly, visible until end of June

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible every morning until the end of June in an alignment not seen since 1864.

By ARIELLA MARSDEN

 The solar system. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The solar system. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have lined up in a rare alignment that won’t occur again until 2040, according to AccuWeather.

While it is common to view a couple of planets together at any given time, the alignment of five planets simultaneously is a rare phenomenon which last occurred in 1864 and won’t occur again for almost 20 years.

The alignment is best viewed in the early morning around an hour before sunrise and will remain as is until the end of June.

[ click to continue reading at JPost ]

Posted on June 23, 2022 by Editor

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Marram Montauk

from InsideHook

We Found America’s Chillest Hotel at the End of the World

Marram Montauk merchants in vibes, waves and s’mores. You will leave relaxed and recharged, whether you like it or not.

BY TANNER GARRITY

We Found America’s Chillest Hotel at the End of the World
Read McKendree

I left my balcony door open both nights at Marram Montauk last week, with only a screen and a shade separating my room from the roar of the surf. If there’s a better white noise machine than the East End on a misty weeknight I’d love to hear it. Sleep arrived gently, like just about everything else at the monastic, four-star retreat, which recently reopened its doors for the 2022 season after some light renovations.

Before there was Marram there was Atlantic Terrace, a yellow, family-run motel with a shuffleboard court. It was built in the 1960s — a time when the year-round population of the town was less than a grand, the town was only serviced by New England local news stations, all shops were closed on Sundays and interested buyers could purchase a home in town for $12,000…at Macy’s in Herald Square.

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on June 22, 2022 by Editor

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Longest Home Run Ever

Posted on June 10, 2022 by Editor

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NYFU FWD

from One Sports

Exclusive: Behind New York Fury’s quest to build a new era in Valorant

Always moving forward.

BY WANZI KOH

Valorant New York Fury 2022
Credit: New York Fury

The New York Fury is ready to create a new era for its organization, unveiling a brand new Valorant roster ahead of VCT NA Stage 2 Challengers. Built around former Version1 in-game leader Chad “Oderus” Miller, the team plucked talent from Evil GeniusesFaZe Clan, Rise, and Soniqs.

The North American team, formerly known as Andbox, is part of the NYXL organization, which fields championship-winning teams in the Overwatch and Call of Duty League.

That winning legacy is one it’s looking to carry over into Valorant. In an exclusive interview with ONE Esports, NY Fury General Manager Matt “Warden” Dickens talks about how the new roster came together and their goals moving forward.

[ click to continue reading at One Sports ]

Posted on June 5, 2022 by Editor

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Streaming Crickets

from SFGate

Spotify podcasters are making $18,000 a month with nothing but white noise

by Ashley Carman, Bloomberg News

Calming sounds of white noise podcasts are bringing in one podcaster $18,000 per month. (Rachel Austin/The University Of Western Australia via AP)
Calming sounds of white noise podcasts are bringing in one podcaster $18,000 per month. (Rachel Austin/The University Of Western Australia via AP)

People on the prowl for a new podcast to consume often go for a stimulating option like a political debate or a true crime mystery to quicken the pulse. But when the din of the world becomes too much, listeners often need the opposite vibe: something soothing and sedating, maybe with the sound of static or falling rain. Perhaps a touch of crickets.

Enter — quietly, on tippy-toes — the white noise podcasters.

While the top of the podcast charts on Spotify and Apple are still dominated by garrulous, jawboning hosts, these days you can also reliably find a smattering of white noise shows appearing in the mix. Relatively new to the podcast scene, the tranquil programs haves names like “Calming White Noise,” “Best Noise Labs,” “Relaxing White Noise” and “Deep Sleep Sounds.”

Who is behind the popular offerings is a bit of a mystery.

[ click to continue reading at SFGate ]

Posted on June 2, 2022 by Editor

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