Category Archives: history

Not just “Bernard” Sanders

As many people in the United States know, Vermont is a State in the Union. Like all other States, it has local government. UNlike most other States, the State’s Secretary of State (no connection with the federal one, currently Tillerson) maintains a list of local government non-civil service positions, viewable here.

I don’t know if the current Secretary of State wrote the descriptions or not, but some of them are a hoot. For example:

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Another lost business

Similar to Gioia, I found this in my grand mother’s attique:

delphianlogo

It is a 10 ream paper box. I have no idea what happened to the company, other than it disappeared in the pre-Internet days, so there is no record of it online… at all.

Any information would be welcome. It is a beautifully designed logo, especially the semicircle dots on the lowercase i’s.

A lost and forgotten standardized test

Probably everyone in the United States who went to school knows what a standardized test is. One of those fill-in-the-circles affairs that returns a percentile rank. Currently they are controversial on account of their potential use in teacher evaluations.

I found this certificate for an apparently long discontinued test, the National Educational Development Test:

NEDT

The Science Research Associates that Lyle Spencer signed for had just been bought by IBM at the time, according to Wikipedia. Per a paper in ERIC, it was administered at least as late as 1993, but probably not much after since there is next to nothing on the Internet about it. Also per that paper, it took until 1982 to delete “gender, racial or ethnic bias”. Shades of the oarsman-regatta question once on the SAT?

Anyway, I notice this particular paper didn’t bother to tell the awardee what their performance was, just that it was “outstanding”.

A Visit to Satan

Every Christmas season (in the United States at least), two notoriously bad seasonal films are aired “for the lulz”. They are “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” (wiki, IA) (you can’t beat a title like that) and “Santa Claus” (wiki, IA) of K. Gordon Murray. Both of these are hilariously bad in ways their creators probably didn’t intend. However, they are feature films, which can make watching them hard.

For a shorter, lighter dose of Christmas nonsense, I present the little known, but just as bad, “A Visit to Santa” by Clem Williams. A short little flick (less than 15 minutes) containing Santa and some children wandering around a 1960s shopping mall in (according to reviewers) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pay particular attention to the Tom Swift-like obsession with transportation technology: Santa has a rocket (!) and magic helicopter (!!).

Even if you don’t, or can’t, watch the film itself, I highly recommend reading the reviews, which are a hoot.