Tuesday videos: What’s this Internet thing?

For your viewing pleasure today:

A 1994 clip of the hosts of the Today Show, completely flummoxed upon encountering an email address. Please note especially Katie Couric’s classic hairdo and Bryant Gumbel’s infuriating arrogance.


A 1978 clip of Phil Donahue, that silver lion, interviewing a puckish Ayn Rand. Be sure to watch long enough to catch her mimicry of Jimmy Carter’s smile and her explanation of why Charlie’s Angels is an excellent TV show. Also note the fabulous graphics, and the fact that a talk-show host in 1994 is interviewing AYN RAND AND MILTON FRIEDMAN, for god’s sake. Human brains were bigger back then.


A recent clip of the “Best Illusion Ever.” I am usually skeptical about such things, but upon several viewings, I hereby declare this title to be correct. I cannot for the life of me figure out how this is done, and it is really bizarre to watch.


Bonus non-video: A photo essay of Creepy Children’s Playgrounds in Russia. Enjoy! Happy Tuesday!

9 responses to “Tuesday videos: What’s this Internet thing?”

  1. Any idea why the Today Show used such a weird font for the @ sign? I’ve never seen it rendered that way before. And it’s not an exotic character — it’s right there on your typewriter keyboard above the ‘2’. I would have thought they would have it in their normal set of characters without having to create a custom image for it. (But then, I know exactly zilch about late-20th-C tv production.)

  2. lane says:

    bryant gumble! wow what an ass.

    loved the magik.

    i might get to rand.

    those russians!

  3. AWB says:


  4. Tim says:

    Don’t know if I can make it through that Rand video, but here’s recent news about a hypocritical incident in her life.

  5. LP says:

    It really is fascinating to go back and look at contemporary media reports on the Internet. Everything was so confuuuuuusing! What is it for? Why do we need it? Reminds me of scoffing as a kid when answering machines first came out. Who in the world is so important they need a machine to take their calls when they’re out?

    One of my favorite examples of this theme is Clifford Stoll’s infamous 1995 Newsweek article, in which he wrote, among other things:

    “Then there’s cyberbusiness. We’re promised instant catalog shopping—just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet—which there isn’t—the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.”

  6. swells says:

    My favorite part is how much Katie Couric hates him. I believe her body language choices are intended to make that clear to the viewers without being obvious. I never knew how disgusting he was! Then again, I never knew I could stand her until that Sarah Palin business, when she became my hero, so now I sympathize with her here too.

  7. LP says:

    Yes! It’s so obvious, isn’t it? I was mesmerized by that too. Imagine having to sit next to Mr. Blowhard Arrogant Guy You Hate every day and smile big like you love him on national TV.

  8. That Ayn Rand video is a trip. Interesting reaction shot at 2:30 when she’s talking about emotionally repressed American men, and again at 3:22.

  9. Far out, today is Rand’s birthday! She is (or would be) one hundred and six today.