Grand Prix and the Broken Suspension

January 23, 12

Manetta-Ferrari driver Jean-Pierre Sarti heads for trouble as his suspension buckles on the rain-slicked track at Spa Francourcamps during the Belgian Grand Prix.

The ultimate in loss of control and abandon.

Grand Prix unfolds a passionate adventure of racing drivers and the women in their lives, which sweeps across Europe’s glamour capitals, with Cinerama making the viewer a participant in the speed and spectacle of the world’s most exciting sport.

A John Frankenheimer film for MGM produced by Edward Lewis from a screen story and screenplay by Robert Aurthur. Starring James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand, Toshiro Mifune, Brian Bedford, Jessica WAlter, Antonio Sabolo and introducing Francoise Hardy.

When blowing scarves and checkered flags meant transport across Mediterranean hillsides.

The celebratory martini hoisted to forehead level with a pinky salute.

The Pods Carry Secret Equipment or Fuel

December 24, 11

Steve Austin Bionic BlueprintWe all need the fuel to finish the mission.  Fuel is sometimes in short supply.  We need to find extra pods to store up some reserve fuel.  It’s nice if the same pod houses our secret equipment.

The pods carry secret equipment or fuel.

Our mission is supported by two FUNdamentals: fuel and secret equipment.  Play is fuel.  It keeps us going when the meters are peak down.  And, boy, people sure like to jam those meters peak down into the dirt.

Our secret equipment is the framework for our secret plans.  Our secret plans guide and support us in crossing over from who we are, towards who we wish to become.

May you always have plenty of fuel and secret equipment this holiday and far beyond.

The End of Traitors

December 22, 11

Captain MarvelIt’s been awhile.  A fantastic cover is needed.

There is the concentric symmetry involved here in projecting a fire ring audio blast at Marvel.

Helpless.  The rushing army is suited up on alert and much too eager.  Much too comfortable.  Much too uniformed for the occasion.

Is it really the death of a traitor?  We miss the mark in identifying the real traitor.

What is there among these cartoons, toys, comics, and games? Why does it end in a personal desire to occupy the ocean? A piece of plastic used for storing bath soap becomes a $400 pop culture artifact.

The pursuit of the object hides the real traitor.

Photon: The Ultimate Game On Earth

September 26, 11

I recently got this press image at auction from 1986 for the then brand new Photon game centers. Unfortunately, they closed down only a few years later in 1989, and I would have been first in line to purchase the “alien tower” and wall lighting pictured here.

One of the articles that ran with the photo is attached here:

A Photon Warrior hides from his opponent behind the Alien Tower in Chicagoland’s first Photon facility.  The game is a totally new approach to participatory amusements and encourages a high degree of skill and agility in a fast, fantasy-based, life sized contest of wiles and wits.  Photon opened in early June in Palatine, IL.

Imagine being locked in a sci-fi battle straight out of Star Trek or Star Wars: Your princess has been captured, so you don your space helmet, strap on a portable infrared phaser pack and board the enemy spaceship to battle the forces of evil.

“No, Scotty, don’t beam me up yet.  The Klingons are attacking from one side, the Destructicons from the other and Darth Vader has me in his tractor beam.  I’ve got them right where I want them.”

Is this a fantasy, an arcade gamester’s hallucination?  No, this is what they’re doing for kicks in Palatine (and 10 other U.S. locations), and it goes by the name of Photon, the Ultimate Game on Earth.

The $1.5 million Photon Game Center at 647 Consumers Ave. in the northwest suburb is part of a Dallas based national franchiser who has raised the concept of interactive video games to the level of participatory sport.

Mission Stardust

September 25, 11

Insect head tenticular vehicle design.
Glass mounted eyeballs.
The proto-pre-Darryl Hannah.
Surface roving ambulance with radar.
Head bucket mounted weapons.
The overt threat of the miraculous.

The arm twist that expresses conformity of will.

North American Aviation Space Scooter, 1963

September 25, 11

Flying Space Scooter — Powered by a jet of air, this one-man scooter is testing the principle of rocket powered flying platforms in a company funded project at North American’s Space and Information Systems Division, Downey, CA.

The vehicle can hover, rotate, accelerate forward, backward or horizontally and accomplish an accelerated climb or controlled descent and soft touchdown.  Safety devices attached to a crane prevent the space platform from rising above roof top heights.

And here’s the real thing, being tested in 1963. From rendering to execution, the image gives us something tangible and immediate to reflect on.

I think it’s especially meaningful and important given the insanity of the current political climate. These images displayed tangible examples of the once entirely impossible on a daily basis.

All of it, too soon forgotten.

Space Scooter Image, 1963

September 23, 11

A 1963 artist rendering from a press image for a Space  Scooter created by North American Aviation.

“Crater Hopping — Propelled by liquid storable propellants, this rocket powered Space Scooter would traverse rough lunar terrain and hop craters in this concept by North American’s Space Division, Downey, CA.

The Space Scooter is a proposed advanced model of the jet-propelled, one-man space platform tested successfully in a company funded research project.

The Space Scooter also might be used to scale steep cliffs, descend into fissures or crevasses, or act as a shuttle bus between orbinting space vehicles.

Diamond shaped figures represent thrusts vector pattern developed by faster-than-sound propulsion.  Spheres on craft contain storable liquid propellants.”

Innovation. Optimism.  The suit that inspired Major Matt Mason.

More MARS Patrol Frogmen at work

September 03, 11

MARS Patrol Comic Here’s the whole MARS Patrol team suited up for an underwater strike attack on the position held by the bald purple costumed aliens.

Check out the football shaped re-breathers popular in the 1960’s! I always especially admired the accuracy of the technical illustration for the MARS Patrol covers and the precise rendering of their suits and equipment.

I love the way the tanks and supply trucks are roving on the sand berms trying to get into position to defend.  Explosive bolts are fired by the MARS Patrol’s nuclear powered spearguns with a scattering of enemies consumed in the blast front and center.

The ever popular ascending pancake stack architecture, popular with aliens,  forms the only thing outside of the blast radius that we are allowed to see.

The frogmen of MARS Patrol are in command.

Sgt. Ken Hiro – MARS Patrol Frogman Badass

September 01, 11

Mars Patrol FrogmanSgt. Ken Hiro is a MARS Patrol frogman badass.  He’s the one in green leaping over a trench with the Thompson sub-machine gun in the two o’clock position.

Mask mounted on his head, regulator at the ready —  the rocket in the background is primed and ready to launch in a time when space exploration actually mattered to most.

Bald aliens or “baldies” have built a series of undersea colonies and Sgt. Ken Hiro isn’t about to take any lip from a bald genetic non-terrestrial oddity.  He needs to get through the bald purple foot soldiers and wire up some holiday salutes to turn a few colonies into fish sticks.

Who can resist the fashion choices of baldy leaders with names like Technicon Kargin that dress like period Venetian Renaissance actors?

When bald and theatrical were simple shorthands for evil.

MARS patrol baldies

Finding the Last Station – Yamada Mumon

September 01, 11
Kneeboard surfing

Yamada Mumon’s quote on play is one of my favorites:

“When you have reached the last station at the end of the line, there is nothing to seek, all one does is play.”

This can really be a beacon of guidance if we let it.

In this case, I happen to like the existentialist angle, and I don’t always respond well to the existentialist cold water bucket shower. The last station is not, of course, a physical place.

It’s the perfect symbol of a linear journey, and each “station” might represent the defining mindset we carve out for ourselves at various points along the way – the way we think we’ve sussed it all out or have it partially answered – but the last station can be reached long before we reach the physical end.

The last station can be reached at the same time we realize that there truly is nothing left to seek — a version of knowing through intuition and experience that everything we need is right in front of us.


If you think about it, play is the only possible response to this realization. Going backwards on this, if we were to frame play at the center of our own pursuits, would we start to achieve a loss of seeking? Either way is difficult, but extreme play does seem to cause a spontaneous loss of seeking.

Nothing feels more perfect than pure play exhaustion, and nothing can be added to improve the situation.

Hard for many to accept.
Harder still for many to act on.

Play turns out to be the most non-frivolous activity we might pursue.