If you read comic books in the 1960s or 1970s, you must! Ads for Sea-Monkeys filled the back pages of comic books. Tailored after the ant farms that were so popular in those days, Sea-Monkeys kits were for hatching a type of mini shrimp. They didn’t look like shrimp… and they certainly didn’t look like the human/fish hybrids shown on ads promoting the little beings. If you ever ordered your own Sea-Monkeys, you probably remember pouring packets of nutrients and eggs into some tap water and waiting for your Sea-Monkeys to hatch. And you were most likely very surprised by what your new little pets looked like. In 1998, astronaut John Glenn carried hundreds of Sea-Monkey eggs into space with him aboard the space shuttle Discovery. John was taking part in a study on the effects of space on older people. He came back to earth with no ill effects and so did his sea-monkey eggs. They later hatched exactly as they would have if they had never left earth's surface.
Remember when the entire family jumped into the car for an afternoon drive? Family afternoon drives aren’t as common as they once were. In the "good old days," families often got in the car and just drove with no real itinerary or plan and no destination or goal. The journey was simply about spending a lazy afternoon together, and it was usually on a Sunday. Of course, back then, stores were closed on Sundays... gas was a lot more affordable... and lives seemed a lot less hectic.
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The first broadcast of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” aired in 1962 and stayed around until Johnny decided to retire… three decades later. Johnny’s first guests were Rudy Vallée, Tony Bennett, Mel Brooks, and Joan Crawford. Robin Williams and Bette Midler were the guests on his last show, which aired on May 22, 1992. TV Guide ranked "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” at #12 on its list of the “50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time” and #22 on its list of the “60 Best Series.” The show’s finale ranked at #10 on TV Guide's list of “TV's Most Unforgettable Finales.”
Pong introduced millions to the joys of playing video games. Looking back, Pong seems like such a simple concept and so low tech, but it was a breakthrough in the video game industry. And… we LOVED it! First came the arcade version… and then the home console system game. Looking at a screen that looked like the “from above” view of a ping pong table, players controlled paddles (simulated by small lines on each side of the screen) and competed by volleying a ball (simulated by a dot) across the screen. Players could play against each other or the game’s computer.
Lots of us wore mood rings in the ‘70s. We were intrigued by the idea that a ring could reveal our true feelings. But did they? Well, not exactly. The stones in the rings did change color when we wore them, but not because the rings were responding to our emotional states. The colors fluctuated with levels of body heat, because the stones contained crystals that react to changes in temperature. Mood rings appeared to be responding to our emotional state only because blood flow in the body can change with our feelings. For example, when someone is very excited, stressed, or frightened, blood flows toward the body’s vital organs and away from skin. In such a situation, fingers can cool down quite a bit. The change of temperature in the ring finger can then cause the color of a mood ring to also change.
The ‘70s hit show “Good Times” came into existence because of the sitcom “All in the Family,” although not directly. “Good Times” was a spin-off of “Maude,” which was a spin-off of “All in the Family.” The character of Maude Findlay from “Maude” originated on “All in the Family” as the cousin of Edith Bunker, and the character of Florida Evans from “Good Times” originated on “Maude” as Maude’s housekeeper. So… without “All in the Family” there probably would never have been a “Good Times.” Florida (played by Esther Rolle) was so well-liked on “Maude” she ended up as the anchor character on “Good Times,” which focused on other great characters as well. Actor John Amos had a strong presence as Florida’s husband James and comedian Jimmie Walker was a standout as J.J., son of Florida and James. Of course, J.J. brought us the popular exclamation "Dy-no-mite!”