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Classic sci-fi of the 50’s and 60’s

Sci-Fi was a pretty big deal when I was a kid.

Back then the Sunday afternoon creature feature was not to be missed. Godzilla and King Kong rated right up there on the sci-fi o-shit-o-meter — The 50’s and the 60’s were quite an era for sci-fi and those two decades had the shows to back that era up.

The sci-fi of today doesn’t even come close to the classics. Classic sci-fi was written with a great deal of talent and imagination. One didn’t need to use gratuitous sex, blood, and gore to make the point.

Sci-fi these days can be pretty dark — Writers and producers lacking any real imagination that recycle the ideas and the concepts of bygone years trying to make a buck at the box office aren’t really very impressive.

Matching the genius behind shows like the Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock, Outer Limits, and even My Favorite Martian isn’t something the writers of today are known for.
Even the creators of Star Trek knew there was no sound in space — The lack of creativity says that there is sound in space because the story lines are so poorly written that sound is about the only thing that can hold the attention of the audience.

You don’t need blood, guts, and violence to put on a good show.

Below, you’ll find my short list of what real sci-fi looks like:

It Came from Beneath the Sea (1959)

A submarine gets caught in the tentacles of a massive sea creature that’s heading for San Fransisco Bay leaving a wave of destruction in it’s wake.
*starring Kenneth Tobey, Faith Denergue, Donald Curtis, Ian Keith, and Harry Lauter.

H.G. Wells – First Men on the Moon (1964)

Convinced they are the first men on the moon, three astronauts discover evidence of a lunar landing decades earlier and track down it’s sole survivor.
*starring Edward Judd, Martha Hyer, Lionel Jeffries, Mike Mallison, Norman Bird, Hugh McDermott, and Betty McDowall.

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)

The U.S. military realizes it’s most advanced weapons are no match for an invading army of aliens determined to enslave earth — and time is running out.
*starring Hugh Marlow, Joan Taylor, Donald Curtis, and Morris Anrum.

Space Probe Taurus (1965)

Four scientists head toward the planet Tyros, but the force of another planet causes them to land on it’s ocean floor where they are attacked by monster crabs.
*starring Francine York, James E. Brown, Baynes Barrow, and Russ Fender.

Invisible Invaders (1959)

Spine tingling excitement builds with each narrow escape in this sci-fi thriller about a nightmarish attack on earth that begins when aliens inhabit human corpses.
*starring John Agar, Jean Byron, John Carradine and Philip Tonge.

The Flight that Disappeared (1961)

Three pentagon-bound atomic scientists are detoured to another dimension beyond radar range where time doesn’t exist. Here they are put on trial by a jury of the future for their potential involvement in the creation of a dangerous and destructive weapon.
starring Craig Hill, Paula Raymond, and Dayton Lummis.

The Blob (1958)

After discovering a mass of alien slime that grows and engulfs people, two teenagers try to warn incredulous adults of the threat.
*starring Steve McQueen, Aneta Corseaut, and Earl Rowe.

This was just a short list. As most of you already know, there are way more true sci-fi classics floating around out there from the 50’s and 60’s that have weathered the test of time and continue to prove their place in history as true sci-fi.

Have any sci-fi favorites you’d like to share?

Sound off in the comments below and tell me about them.

The Filter Bubble: What the internet knows about you

When you search on Google for something you want to know more about, your search results reflect those sites that everyone on the internet has collectively decided are the most useful sites regarding that subject – right? … Wrong.

Your search results are instead personalized for you, showing you what you are most likely to click on. Another person searching on the same term may very well get completely different search results.

At first glance, that might seem helpful, but truly what’s happening is that you are being isolated from information that may not fit your current beliefs and interests.

These filters, based on your past habits, are making your world smaller and in the process promoting the polarization of society.

What The Internet Knows About You

We all know by now that Google collects a lot of information about us based on our conduct on the internet. So does Facebook, Amazon and, in fact, the top 50 sites on the internet.

The extent to which this is happening, however, isn’t really well known.

For example, did you know that Google collects 57 different personal profiles of you every time you use it?

What computer are you using? Where are you sitting? How long does it take you to pick a link? What link do you pick first? How long do you stay there? And on and on.

From this profile, Google, Facebook, and others can start making determinations as to your likes and dislikes. That can sometimes be good. If you’re an outdoorsman looking for shoes, you won’t be shown a lot of links for female pumps.

This kind of prediction can make shopping on the internet faster and more convenient for you, but what are you giving up in return?

The Filter Bubble

As Eli Pariser points out in his book, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You, the trend for personalized internet experiences has gone well beyond making shopping easier. The issue now has become not what the world knows about you, but instead, what you know about the world. Not just what you buy, but what facts you receive.

This is happening because sites like Google, Yahoo News, The New York Times, MSN, CNN, Fox News, and Facebook have taken it upon themselves to decide for you what news items you are probably most interested in.

Are you a conservative who relishes reading about liberal scandals and mounting debts?
Is your friend a liberal who loves finding out about Republican embarrassments and global climate change?

Your search results will be tailored to your likes, and each of you may well get different results in your search on the same subject.

Confirmation Bias

The result? Conservative leanings will be reinforced by what’s being read, while at the same time, liberal leanings are also being reinforced by what’s being read.

This is called confirmation bias, the natural tendency we all have to place greater value on information that agrees with our pre-existing beliefs, while discounting information that goes against those beliefs.

Your internet search results or the news you get from online sites like MSN, Google, or Yahoo News, will have invisibly been tailored to fit your profile.

Information that questions your assumptions will be harder to find. Politically, you and your friend’s beliefs will be further polarized as you each receive a different set of facts, over and over again.

Facebook asks if you like what you have just read or seen, and uses that information to make predictions about what else you want to see. How many people do you think like a story about homelessness or foreign wars? … Not many.

Consequently, we can become isolated from these unpleasant, but important, topics.

Making Decisions For You

According to author Eli Paliser, Facebook even goes one step further.

He, a liberal, decided that since all of his friends were fellow liberals, he wanted to befriend some conservatives, so he could read more about their point of view. They all agreed to be his friend.

Within a few months, he noticed that these friends had disappeared from his friends list.

When he asked those friends, it turns out, they had not un-friended him. Rather, Facebook’s systems had decided that these people weren’t really his friends, so they were automatically deleted.

George Orwell, author of the dystopian novel 1984, would have understood why Big Brother would do this.

The personalized internet has some key results:

1) it targets advertising to your tastes, not necessarily a bad thing;
2) it targets the content of what you read about, a dangerous tendency;
3) it makes decisions for you, such as the Facebook issue;

Your Own Universe

What can you do about it? Frankly, very little.

If you don’t like sites like Google tracking what you click on, you’ll need to get a new computer and start afresh.

Even then though, Google will instantly know what kind of computer you bought, and the data collection will start all over again.

Privacy laws are outdated, and there is little push in Congress to limit what commercial sites can do with the personal information you provide to them every time you use the internet.

The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

Increasingly, we are living in a world of our own facts, shaped for us according to our likes and dislikes.

Who thinks that’s a good idea?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Sound off in the comment section below and tell us what you think.

Meet Boeing’s Pre-Production MQ-25 Stingray

Shown in the video below is Boeing’s Pre-Production MQ-25 Stingray:


While MQ-25 initial operational capability was previously anticipated by 2025, this was pushed back in April of this year to 2026 due to delays in construction.

Delays have also impacted the development of the pre-production models, with earlier hopes that the first EDM MQ-25s would be delivered in the fall of 2022.

The EDM drones are set to conduct more experimental work at the Boeing facility in St. Louis, Missouri before moving to Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, where the flight test program will commence. Testing periods at Lakehurst in New Jersey and Eglin Air Force Base in Florida will also be conducted.

Once the drones do end up in service, they will perform critical refueling support for the Navy’s carrier air wings. Having a dedicated tanker capability will allow tanker-tasked F/A-18E/F jets to focus on their primary mission sets. As we’ve noted previously, this will both expand the combat capabilities of strike fighter squadrons, as well as freeing up Super Hornet fleets.

On top of this, MQ-25s are also expected to play an important role in undertaking intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions for the service. The Navy is actively pushing for larger uncrewed contingents on its carriers, with air wings becoming more uncrewed than not in the coming decade.

Working with and controlling carrier-based drones will also form a critical component of the service’s future next-generation F/A-XX carrier fighter.

Read more on MQ-25: https://www.boeing.com/defense/mq25/

Historical fast facts

It seems these days that there are fewer and fewer people in our country that know history to any real degree.

I’m of an opinion that if more people knew a bit more about history in general, we would have a lot less to argue about.

I’ve taught my son from a very young age that with regard to history, “you’ve got to know where you’ve been before you can know where you’re going”.

Listed below are some historical facts that many may not readily know … Enjoy.

1) A remarkable 81,000 Americans are still listed as Missing In Action, dating back to the American Revolution.

2) Martin Van Buren was the first President to be born a US citizen.

3) Martin Van Buren (8th President of the United States and founder of the Democratic Party) was the only American president who did not speak English as his first language. He was born in Kinderhook, New York, a primarily Dutch community, and spoke Dutch as his first language.


4) The IBM 650 RAMAC hard drive from 1956 used 50 24-inch-wide platters to hold a whopping 3.75MB of storage space.

5) The United States is the single largest civilian firearm market in the world. A recent Gallup poll found that 45% of Americans have a gun in their home. And many of those households have more than one, as the U.S. is the only country with more privately-owned guns than people.


6) Before Abraham Lincoln became a politician, he was a champion wrestler. With more than 300 bouts under his belt, Lincoln only lost one match in his career and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall Of Fame in 1992.

7) All British tanks since 1945 have included equipment to make tea.

Chinese prostitute Ching Shih
Chinese prostitute Ching Shih

8) One of history’s most successful pirates was a Chinese prostitute named Ching Shih. She commanded a fleet of over 1,500 ships and 80,000 sailors.

9) Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima when the first atom bomb was dropped. He then traveled home to Nagasaki the day before the second atom bomb was dropped. He survived both and lived to be 93.

10) Jeanette Rankin became the first female member of Congress in America in 1916, four years before women were given the right to vote.

11) At the height of his popularity, Charlie Chaplin entered a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like competition in San Francisco. He came in 20th place.

12) Before the 19th century, dentures were commonly made with teeth pulled from the mouths of dead soldiers.

13) The Civil War began on the farm of Wilmer McLean, who then moved more than a hundred miles away to escape the fighting, only to have the war end inside his new house at Appomattox.

14) The current 50 star U.S. flag was designed by 17-year-old Robert Heft for a school project. He received a B-.

Thanks for the read.

Happy Trails

Little Red Truck Cottage Market – Great Falls, Montana

This weekend we attended the Little Red Truck Cottage Market in the historical Trades and Industry Building at the Montana Expopark Fairgrounds.

The building was crammed full of stuff from many different vendors that included things like art, crafts, antiques, and other things.

Our son is really into the vintage/retro stuff and we happened across a few genuine antiques from one of our local vendors right here in Great Falls. As some of you may already know, The Picket Fence is located at 1219 13th Street South.

Kodak Vigilant Six-20 camera
Kodak Vigilant Six-20 camera

While at The Picket Fence booth, our son discovered a camera — A Kodak Vigilant Six-20 to be more precise, in mint condition. This camera was made in the U.S. by Kodak between 1939 and 1949 and it cost $38 when it was new (that’s $839 in today’s money). He was so excited about it that when we got home, he went right on the internet to see if he could still get film for it. He came back sort of disappointed however because Kodak quit making 620 film in the mid 80’s.

While he was lamenting the fact of not being able to buy 620 film any longer, I reminded him that they still make 120 film, but only on narrower spools. You can respool 120 onto 620 spools, or buy it pre-respooled at a premium price. If he needed the 620 spools, he could buy 4 of them for $20 over on https://filmphotographystore.com/collections/620-film/products/620-4-620-film-spools.

Zenith 300 transistor AM radio
Zenith 300 transistor AM radio

The next piece of vintage we found was a Zenith 300 transistor AM radio that was manufactured in 1958. It didn’t have the required 4 AA batteries in it and no one knew if it even worked, so we snagged it up anyway in the off chance that it would work (I learned at a young age that these little transistor radios were virtually indestructible). When we got home I pulled 4 AA batteries out of my old Fugifilm Finepix camera and put them into the radio. Low and behold, the radio fired right up and was tuned to 560 KMON. I told our son to wait until after the sun went down to really listen to it because AM radio has a huge range after dark.

These little transistor radios seem to hold on to a magic all their own, because as you see, our son usually has his face buried in his phone … he hasn’t touched his phone since he got that little radio … his face buried deep into and listening intently to sounds of the real-time airwaves. They just don’t make things the way they used to.

When I was a kid I’d lay awake at night under the covers and listen to Boise or Salt Lake City with my little AM radio when I was supposed to be going to sleep. Those were indeed the days and I hope that our son might have a chance to experience some of that right here in 2023.

This little Zenith 300 Transistor Radio came with a list price of $59.95 in 1958 (that’s $626.80 in today’s money)

There were so many vendors and so much to see. I had planned to stay longer and poke around some more but we got in there mid Saturday afternoon and the market was scheduled to shut down at 4pm. I’m hoping that we can get in earlier next time so we can stay longer. The longer we’re able to stay, the more in the way of one-of-kind treasures we’re able to find.

Over all, the Little Red Truck Cottage Market at the ExpoPark was a blast. We’ll definitely have to do it all again soon. We were told that they’ll be back around again in October.

I can hardly wait.

Thanks for the read.

Happy Trails