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Posts Tagged ‘1957’

The BBC has received a mixed reaction to a spoof documentary broadcast this evening about spaghetti crops in Switzerland.  The hoax Panorama programme, narrated by distinguished broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, featured a family from Ticino in Switzerland carrying out their annual spaghetti harvest. It showed women carefully plucking strands of spaghetti from a tree and laying them in the sun to dry.

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But some viewers failed to see the funny side of the broadcast and criticised the BBC for airing the item on what is supposed to be a serious factual programme. Others, however, were so intrigued they wanted to find out where they could purchase their very own spaghetti bush.

Exotic delicacy

a121305_spaghetti1Spaghetti was not a widely-eaten food in the UK and was considered by many as an exotic delicacy. Mr Dimbleby explained how each year the end of March is a very anxious time for Spaghetti harvesters all over Europe as severe frost can impair the flavour of the spaghetti. He also explained how each strand of spaghetti always grows to the same length thanks to years of hard work by generations of growers.

This is believed to be one of the first times the medium of television has been used to stage an April Fools Day hoax.

In Context

The origins of April Fools Day are not clear but it is known that the tradition of practical joking and mischief-making dates back to Ancient Roman times.  It would appear that the festival is closely related to the coming of Spring.

Ancient Romans and Celts celebrated a festival of practical joking at about the time of the Vernal Equinox, as do millions of India’s Hindus. The French also mark 1 April but instead of April Fools they call it Poisson d’Avril (April Fish).

April Fool or “Aprilspøk” as we call it in Norway has a long tradition both in national radio and television. And they have pulled a few very good ones over the years – Ted

Tekst from BBC’s OnThisDay

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Image found on NEAT STUFF BLOG

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Evinrude Fishing Saucer concept boat. 1957

Image found at LivingInARetroWorld

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The Clúa is a roadster that was introduced in 1957 by Mechanical Clúa Construcciones S. L, Spain. Its consumption was approximately 5l/100 km, and its maximum speed 75 km / h. Customers were promised that in case of defects, the money would be returned. A mismatch in the contracts caused so many returns, that in 1962 the company went bankrupt. There were three versions of 350, 400 and 500 cc, for an average price of 64,000 pesetas (about US$ 3,500 then). In total approximately one hundred cars were manufactured.

Text an image found at mrscharroo photostream on Flickr

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354_missab“Copa Room showgirl Lee Merlin poses in a cotton mushroom cloud swimsuit as she is crowned Miss Atomic Bomb 1957 photograph. Above-ground nuclear testing was a major public attraction during the late 1950s, and hotels capitalized on the craze by hosting nuclear bomb watch parties, which usually included the dubbing of a chorus girl as Miss Atomic Bomb. Merlin was the last and most famous of the Miss Atomic Bomb girls” – Las Vegas Sun

As wonderfully tasteless as only the fifties could make it – Ted

Image and text found at Retronaut

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The Soviet Union has launched the first ever living creature into the cosmos. The dog, described as a female Russian breed, was projected into space this morning from Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard the artificial space satellite Sputnik II. Sputnik I, launched on 4 October, is still circling the globe.

The dog has been fitted with monitors to check its heartbeat and other vital signs and was reported to be calm during the first hours of the flight. Russian scientists are particularly interested in the effects of solar radiation and weightlessness on living organisms.

Fury of animal lovers
Moscow Radio reported the second satellite was launched to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution and gave details about the spacecraft’s contents and orbit.

Sputnik II weighs half a ton (508kg) and carries instruments for studying solar and cosmic rays, temperature and pressure, two radio transmitters and a hermetically-sealed container with "an experimental animal" inside, as well as oxygen and food supplies. It is travelling more than 900 miles, (nearly 1,500 km) above the Earth – higher than Sputnik I – and is orbiting at about five miles (8km) a second.

It will take one hour and 42 minutes to circle the Earth. The satellite is transmitting telegraphic signals that are being picked up from receiving stations around the globe.

Animal welfare organisations expressed outrage at news that the Russians have sent a dog into outer space. The National Canine Defence League is calling on all dog lovers to observe a minute’s silence every day the dog is in space. The RSPCA said it received calls of protest even before the Moscow Radio announcement of the launch had ended. It has advised those who wish to protest to do so at the Russian Embassy in London.

‘Dog was trained for mission’
It is believed the Russians are planning to catapult the dog back to Earth although there has been no official announcement confirming this. One British scientist told newspaper reporters the dog had probably been trained for the journey but was unlikely to survive.

"A terrified dog would be useless scientifically," said Dr William Lane-Petter, Director of the Laboratory Animals Bureau of the Medical Research Council. "It would not give them the information they want. This dog will have been trained long for the task and subjected to similar simulated conditions, and this flight is just another experience of the same sort."

In Context
 The following day, after several inquiries from Western journalists, Russian officials confirmed the dog’s name as Laika.
The Soviet authorities said Laika died painlessly after a week in orbit but in 2002 new evidence revealed the dog died from over-heating and panic just a few hours after take-off.

 Laika’s "coffin" burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere over Barbados on 14 April 1958, five months after launch.Three years later, the Russians achieved another space first by sending Yuri Gagarin into orbit on 12 April 1961.

The Sputnik II flight made Laika one of the world’s most famous animals and allowed Russian scientists to learn much about the prospects for human space travel.

Text from BBCs On This Day

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The Aurora monster was built in 1957 by an eccentric New York priest trying to make the ultimate safety vehicle. Clearly, this design was not graced by the hand of God: only one prototype was produced, and it broke down 15 times on the way to the press conference, requiring towing to 7 different garages.

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