Gentleman's Tales, 1898


Photo-Shoppe! Photo-editing for 1934.

If you have a passing familiarity with Adobe Photoshop, you've probably noticed that some of the tools have icons and names that are not descriptive or otherwise indicative of the tool's function. You may be given to wonder "Why the fuck, in this time of Great Understanding and Intuitive User Experience, are some of Photoshop's tools so abstruse? What the precise fuck?"

Well, there is a reason. It's because some of the more basic tools in Photoshop are derived from darkroom techniques that date back to.... well, from a really long time ago, is all. When Adobe first created Photoshop (in like 1987, sheesh!), it was designed pretty much for scanning editing photographs. And so, its tools were named for the traditional darkroom techniques they emulated. As Photoshop evolved, the names were left a sthey were to keep from confusing long-time users, while completely baffling newbies.

This article (scroll down) from a 1934 copy of Popular Science gives us a clue as to the origins of the DODGE tool, which is used to lighten areas of an image.

But first, let's see where we are, so we can understand where we came from.

In the tool bar, the dodge tool looks like this. You may have mistaken it for a magnifying glass, but nope, it's just supposed to look like a "shielding card" on a stick. In the article, you'll see that, back in dinosaur times, you'd use pretty much whatever you could find to allow more or less light to fall on an area of the negative during the process of making a copy. This allowed the photographer to selectively brighten or darken areas of a photo during exposure of  a print during duplication. See?

Anyway, the dodge tool is used to brighten pixels. It has an opposite partner, called the BURN tool, which will darken image pixels, and it looks like this (see left).

If you're using the most recent version of Photoshop - Photoshop CC, or "creative cloud" (ugh) - both of these tools have been tossed into a single catch-all icon in the tool bar that looks like a set of ellipses, as in "here's the rest of them". You'll have to click and hold on those dots to make Photoshop show you all the useful stuff they threw in there, as if they were ashamed of them.

If you have an older version of Photoshop, the dodge and burn tools probably have their own spaces on the tool bar and are visible all the time.

So, if you're a dinosaur, here's how you edited your photos back in 1934. Complete article follows. But first, the cover of the magazine.

Cool worn paper, huh? This magazine looks like it spent all eighty-three years at the bottom of an ocean in that weird tractor thing. You could probably use a transparent image of all that scrubbed paper and worn edges for all your future image-ruining adventures, couldn't you? Coming right up.

Here's the article. You know the drill: Click it to big it, baby. Hey, at the end of the article, be sure not to miss the stunning science news about suction cups. Hoo boy.


Car reassembly diagram.



Absorbine Jr - What is the meaning of this?

Okay, Advertising, you got some 'splaining to do. Double-you tee eff is the point of the picture in this ad?

Is the wooden figure in the ad supposed to portray, as a literal interpretation, the feeling that your skin is all dry and cracked, like wood? If so, then why is he cradling the only part of his wooden body that is not represented as being made of wood.... the afflicted foot in need of relief? Nowhere in the ad copy can there be found any reason for there to be an artist's mannequin used as the athlete foot sufferer's body. There's no pun, spoonerism, visual metaphor, joke, or cheeky play on words explaining why this guy is portrayed as a wooden figure.

Okay, this is where I start to get the feeling that I've spent more time thinking about it than the advertiser ever intended, and possibly more time than the advertiser ever spent thinking about it.

Moving on......

Are you tired of people coming to you for answers? Tired of looking like a source of wisdom? Grab the guy's head from the Absorbine Jr ad and use it as your profile picture on Popular Social Network Of Choice or Office Chat System, and just watch people avoid you! They'll feel safe in assuming you're a doofus who absolutely does not have the answers! You're welcome! Get your rude finger ready to right click this dork onto your HDD in three, two, one, RIGHTCLICKNOW!!!!!

Click for 1000px.


Couple more vintage motorsport shirts.

Trolling through an old Car and Driver from 1965, we found some little ads for slightly obscure companies closely tied with the super-cool sixties racing scene. Why not have the Phil Are Go! Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade whip up a few shirts? Why not, indeed.

Here's a link to the Halda shirt on our Spreadshirt shop. You can mess with the colors of the shirt and logo on this one. Usually, you can just change the shirt color, but this one uploaded in a better format, so you can change the colors of the blue and white logo all you want before you order.

Isky's logo has a cool grumpy parrot in it! Here's a link to this shirt in the Spreadshirt shop. 

Lastly, here's a Stewart-Warner shirt, if gauges are your thing... or possibly your dad's thing.

See you tomorrow!


Gronk You Answer - Such the offers of product!

Gronk open mail bag now and also answer mail in mail bag! Say "aaah", mail bag!

"Steven" say....

Gronk thank "Steven" for letter. What you try say about Gronk? Why you think Gronk need 8,000 wigs? How bald you think Gronk is? You think Gronk is 8,000 bald? Look at picture of Gronk! If one thing Gronk have, is hair! You bark up incorrect tree, "STEVEN"!

Also, does Qingdao Shunfa (Gronk correct capitalization for you at no charge) have crazy-too-many virgins around there? Is hair from Virgin extra nice for wig? Or, maybe virgin hair is part of crazy "traditional medicine" superstition, like rhino horn? Does Qingdao Shunfa think if wear hair of virgin on head, will make you more sexyness? If virgin wig hair does have magic power, Gronk think maybe it just make you live in parent basement and watch Transformers movie over and over. Boom! Take that, Transformers movie fan!

Gronk thank "Steven" for showing pictures of virgin scalps, but Gronk usually like to scalp his own virgins. If scalper not do his own scalping, he not appreciate scalping art, you know? Just like rich jerk who play World of Warcraft and just buy level 60 character already powered up. "Steven" should ask "Steven" cousin about that. Gronk pretty sure "Steven" cousin is probably gold farmer.

Sophie Jia say...

Wow, Vermiculite. Gronk not hear about travels of Vermiculites since Sunday school. Vermiculites wander through Mesopotamia, or something. Gronk can remember favorite Bible story about them now...

And lo, The Vermiculites traveled to the Place of Fishes, and they were there. Then, while they lodged in the Houses of Gerald, they beheld a Great Host on The Plains. Then, The Vermiculites went and saw that the Great Host were, in truth, The Masonites. The Vermiculites did have a great Battle with The Masonites, who were their foes from ancient time. It was on the Plains of the Fishes that The Vermiculites found they were a match for The Masonites, for their Strength was in them, for they carried in their ranks the Tablets of Terrence, who put his Wisdom into them. For Twelve Times Twelve afternoons did The Vermiculites battle The Masonites, until they became bored, and said that it was dumb. Upon the Twelfth Times Twelfth late afternoon, did The Vermiculites celebrate with a dance of Many Gyrating Elbows. And lo, The Vermiculites could be had in a wide range of diameters, from 0.3mm through 8mm, inclusive. On the Thirteenth morning, they exfoliated with Great Gladness.

Gronk wonder how much of Gronk brain is wasted by storage crazy old Bible stories like ones about Vermiculites. Maybe if Gronk could delete those, he could have brain room for learn to play guitar. Gronk feel need for sweet guitar solo shredding. Maybe some day. Thanks a LOT, Sunday school!


Little ads, Esquire, 1969 - Your parents wore this. Sweet dreams!

When were these the now anything? I do not recall a version of "now" in which this shit was within a stone's throw of being okay. But, since everything is bought by someone, we can assume that someone's dad had these little beauties hanging in his closet, just waiting until the kids went to bed, so he could slip into his snakeskin briefs and get down to the business of making you a new little sister with your mom. That little horror show is the preferred scenario. Worst case is this: your dad wore this stuff while watering the lawn.

In The Seventies, there was a kind of effort to realize the eternal dream of "unisex clothing"...for some
reason. Was this because it was a huge pain in the butt to offer different garb for Bob and Barb? Looking
back, it's a quaint distraction. We now have a much greater fascination with unisex people. Anyway, why
was it that every time someone made unisex clothing, it just worked out as "everyone just dresses like a


Eye of the World Ad - No thanks, but the clip art, yes please.

Inside the front cover of an issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine from 1990 (whose cover is plainly ridiculous but we haven't been able to figure out a joke to write about it yet, so stay tuned), there's this ad for the then-upcoming book Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. I haven't read the book, and don't plan to.

The clip art in the corners, however, is probably worth harvesting.

A quick glance at a Wikipedia entry on The Eye of the World says this:

Robert Jordan has stated that he consciously intended the early chapters of The Eye of the World to evoke the Shire of Middle-earth in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
Okay dokey. Well, at least he's honest about his influences. I think I'll just go and re-read The Lord of the Rings, then, instead of reading The Eye of the World. The cover art is by Darrell K. Sweet, anyway, and his paintings always bugged the crap out of me. All the people are stiff, like they have a broom handle shoved up their ass. Not at all naturalistic. Nobody has posture like that.

Anyway, the other art in the ad is pretty neat. Two trees and two birds. Some courageous Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade trooper should pull those out and maybe clean them up... just a little, not too much.

Each icon has been scanned an 800 dpi, tidied up just a little, vectorized in Adobe Illustrator, and saved out as PNGs with a transparent background. CLick through each to see it at 1600-ish px. Get ready to right-click these medieval little icons onto your enchanted hard drive in three, two, once, RIGHTCLICK NOW! You're welcome!


Air India - Ooh la la!!! Show your continental!

It's summer holiday season, citizens! Get in the spirit of getting the eff out of here with this 1964 Air-India ad from Holiday magazine!

Air-India wants you to see the world with their help. Who? Air-India is an airline, duh. What's wrong? you've never heard of Air-India? Well, since airlines in the news are mostly known for being purveyors of misery and degradation, if nobody's heard of your air carrier, that's a definite feather in your cap.

And they still exist after all these years. Good for them!

So maybe you're planning a little vacation (as we here in The Colonies call it), and you're looking for a way to show everyone you meet how continental and stuff you are? What better way than with our newly designed Air-India T-shirt? (You can get it printed on whatever color shirt you want, of course.)

Oooh la la! Formidable!