Sunday, February 19, 2017
Friday, February 17, 2017
On February 17, 1972, automotive history was made as the Volkswagen Beetle overtook the Ford Model T as the best-selling car in world history. How did this little car overtake the mighty Ford? See if you can answer these questions about the Beetle.
The Beetle has an unpleasant historical association. In 1934, Ferdinand Porsche, the German automaker, was ordered by Adolf Hitler to build a "people's car," or a Volkswagen in German. It had to be able to transport two adults and three children at 62 miles per hour, the Beetle's original top speed, and had to get 32 miles to the gallon. The parts had to be quickly and easily swapped out and the engine had to be air-cooled.
The original Beetle had only 25 horsepower, and the war derailed attempts to put it into production. While a small number were made in 1941, mostly the Beetle factory Hitler had built put out military vehicles.
The Beetle nearly wound up a British car. After World War II, the factory was to be disassembled and sent to Britain, but it couldn't find a buyer. Nobody wanted to make the strange little car Hitler had demanded. A British officer named Ivan Hirst saved the factory, figuratively and literally; he had an unexploded bomb that would have destroyed irreplaceable equipment defused. He also put the Beetle to work making cars for the British Army. In January 1949, the Beetle crossed the Atlantic when one was imported to New York City.
Between 1949 and 1955, demand was so high, and production increased so much, that by 1955, the millionth Beetle had rolled off the line. It was simply the most versatile, and best-engineered, car on the market. It was dirt cheap, under $2000, it sipped gas, and its far-from-stylish looks earned it affectionate nicknames like Turtle, Flea, and Mouse.
And in 1960, the famous ad campaign from Doyle Dane Bernbach encouraged drivers to "think small," called it a lemon, and made fun of the pompous ad campaigns for cars at the time. The Beetle quickly found a market among teenagers, hippies, and people who just hated Detroit's aesthetic of bigger, louder, and with more chrome. They even got Wilt Chamberlain to endorse it... because at his height, he couldn't fit in the tiny car.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
They wore pink knit pussyhats, they carried signs with such messages as “I can’t believe I’m still protesting this sh--.” They are "old" ladies, and gentlemen, and they’re coming out of activist retirement in droves as part of the resistance to President Donald Trump.
Membership in the well-established Three Parks Independent Democrats based on the Upper West Side has never been so high — around 300, and they picked up at least 50 members immediately after the election. The influx of participation in the 42-year-old group is by and large from people of a mature age, said Three Parks board member Lynn Max, who met her husband in 1972 while campaigning for women’s rights leader Congresswoman Bella Abzug.
“It’s more of the baby boomers who have been doing this since the 60s getting active again,” Steve Max said.
To keep reading this article, click here.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
We Baby Boomers, as a generation, often appeared to be obsessed with sex. And for many that obsession began with their first encounters with Hugh Hefner's publishing phenomenon Playboy magazine.
Some readers claimed they liked the magazine for the articles, and indeed some of the greatest writers and celebrities of the age were featured. Others said they liked it for the lifestyle it delineated.
But for most, it was the pictures of the centerfolds and the other exposed women that provided the main attraction.
But that changed in 2015, when magazine officials announced they were no longer going to run pictures of unclothed young ladies.
But now Playboy has changed its mind and is reverting to its skin-only clad staples once again beginning with next month's issue.
To read all about the now we have them, now we don't, now we do again issue, click here.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Back in 2002, when AARP presented its first Movies for Grownups Awards, the movie industry virtually ignored the interests of people 50 and older. Those stories simply were not being told.
Many of our greatest actors and actresses were seen less and less on the big screen. Roles for them were few and far between. When we did see people 50 and older in movies, they were more often than not fringe characters portrayed as weak, frail, sick, senile, cranky or unattractive.