The things that go on in the dark

Every now and then a stupendous advertisement comes along that does not annoy the living Tophet out of me, and which I generally remember forever. I’ve mentioned some examples before.

There’s one print ad that I’ve been looking for since, like, forever – and I finally found a copy. The Internet is great – sooner or later, almost anything of interest will pop up.

In 1998, Sony introduced their Handycam with its patented NightShot infrared system, and this was the print ad that publicized the product:

Handycam Infrared Camera Cat Dog Advertisement

Discovering the cat and the dog in an amorous clench made me laugh way too hard since I was no longer a high-school sophomore – at least not chronologically.

The Print Ad titled CAT & DOG was done by Campbell Ewald advertising agency for the product: Handycam Camcorder (brand: Sony) in the United States. It was released in January 1998.

The advertisement hinted at good things to come when you used this feature. Unfortunately for Sony, there were other things about this camera that the developers had not counted on – like being able to see through clothes.

No, not like the X-Ray Specs advertised in the comics…

(For an interesting write-up on the history of these novelties, visit Lee’s Comic Rack, and for more samples of comic book advertising, check out “Kick the chair and gamble a stamp.”)

… but something much closer to reality.

Yes, the NightShot technology, combined with certain kinds of clothing, effectively made that clothing “disappear.”

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Sony recalled about 700,000 cameras and installed a kludge to disable that particular capability, but enterprising people – as enterprising people are wont to do – quickly found ways of making this thing work with just about any Infrared video system. Just Google around if you’re interested.

Technical ramblings aside, I’m happy to have finally found a copy of this ad online. It’s one more thing rattling around in my skull that I can lay to rest.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

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Images of the Middle East – Félix Bonfils

In the process of researching something else (this is how it usually works, and don’t even mention TVTropes)…

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… I encountered this lovely group of photos by Félix Bonfils, a French photographer who was active in the Middle East in the 1800s. They are available in many places on the Internet, but I found them captivating and felt like they were worth a share.

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Street vendors

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Western Wall of the Temple, or the Wailing Wall

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Group of Bedouin women

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Western Wall

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Western Wall

It looks as though some of these images may have been staged, others appear more or less candid – but they capture beautifully the feel of an age gone by.

To see more of Bonfils’ work, just do a Google image search for Felix Bonfils.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

1911 – Hot town, summer in the city

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Heat wave in New York. July 6, 1911. “Licking blocks of ice on a hot day.” 5×7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

Found at Shorpy.

New York can get blistering hot when a heat wave rolls through. I experienced a number of days like this when I was growing up there. And I’m old enough to remember the ice man with his truck, and an electric crusher on the back so he could deliver chips as well as the blocks.

Our neighborhood didn’t get ice deliveries, those were mostly down in the village if I remember correctly. But I do recall that close to my home was a playground with one of these:

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It was a great way to cool off on a hot summer day. I’m glad there are still water attractions around to help kids stay cool in the summer heat.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The ‘10,000 Calorie Sundae’

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The image above shows two young girls purchasing a so-called “10,000-calorie sundae” from Blair Parson’s store in Lynchburg, Virginia, sometime in the 1950s. Price: 35¢.

Odds are that this was some marketing license; the average hot fudge sundae comes in at about 284 calories, and these don’t look like killers. But it’s a cute picture.