One icon of the 1980’s was a black Trans-Am with a red light sliding back and forth across the front of the car. This wasn’t just a car; it even had a personality, and a name. His name was KITT, standing for Knight Industries Two Thousand.
This car had everything that an imagination could think of in the 1980s. The basic premise of KITT was that a super computer had been installed into a vehicle. He was a car with artificial intelligence allowing him to in essence learn and think, as well as converse with humans. In addition to that, he was able to drive himself, he was bulletproof, fireproof and had afterburners to provide ridiculously quick acceleration. KITT also was equipped with a Turbo Boost function which was probably one of the most used accessories for KITT on the show. KITT was able to see, hear and smell. KITT was able to provide video conferencing to the rest of the team supporting Michael Knight, KITT’s driver. KITT also had a wide variety of weaponry. He had oil slicks and smoke screens, tear gas, a flame thrower and explosives.
Knight Rider KITT
KITT was often driven into a semi trailer, which held the FLAG mobile headquarters. FLAG was the organization that owned KITT and employed Michael. In the headquarters, KITT was able to get all of his mechanical needs met. One of my favourite KITT accessories was Michael’s watch which he was able to use to talk to KITT. As a kid, you always have a watch, and if you don’t you still have a wrist, you could always pretend to be Michael Knight on a mission and be talking to KITT who was outside somewhere.
I think that while partnered together KITT and Michael became best friends. They were each other’s only consistent company. Can you imagine being best friends with a machine? Friends with a faceless voice? I can’t imagine it, but KITT did seem very nice. I wonder if he was programmed to have feelings. If something had happened to Michael, would KITT have started leaking washer fluid as a way of crying? Could he actually be worried when they were in dangerous situations? I wonder if Michael wondered these things as he and KITT raced along the highways. Was he ever able to make complete use of all KITT’s capabilities? KITT type vehicles would certainly be useful in law enforcement today. Perhaps we could all use these vehicles, without weapons of course, and virtually eliminate traffic accidents. At the least let’s get a fleet of them, and give one to every bar, so we don’t have drunk drivers all over the roads.
Knight Rider – Inside KITT
I remember watching one episode as a kid in which Michael was sleeping while KITT was driving. I can recall thinking how awesome it would be to be able to do that. I also remember pushing buttons in my parent’s cars whenever we were driving somewhere and saying “Turbo Boost”. Yes, you can call me a nerd, I definitely was one in those days, but it was still fun and I would do it all over again.
In the 21st century, video games are more real and downright incredible than we ever imagined. Game consoles such as the Sony Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 bring our favourite sports heroes and other characters right into our home with graphics and game play unimaginable to date. This is great for the current generation of gamers but it would not have been possible without the original Atari game console, arguably where it all started.
Atari Pong Games Console
Back in 1972 the very first game was created for an Atari console with the ever famous title “Pong.” Pong was, and still is to this day, amazing in its simplicity and ability to completely mesmerize anyone who played it for hours. A simple tennis game with one line on one side of the screen and another on the other side, with a square “ball” being hit back and forth was all the graphics you needed for this funfest. The Pong game would be played for hours among friends to determine who the best of the Pong players was. Looking back at it today, it is amazing to think that one could spend as many hours on such a simple game as that.
The beauty of Atari after Pong is that most of the games carried with it the same ability to keep you playing on the simplest of games. The next major Atari system after Pong was the legendary 2600, which sported such games as Asteroids, Space Invaders, Megamania, Superman, Pac-Man and Pitfall! If we thought Pong was going to monopolise endless amounts of our time, we had no idea what was coming at us next.
Atari 2600 Games Console
Asteroids, Pac-Man and Space Invaders in particular are legendary games. If there were a Video Game Hall of Fame similar to major professional sports, these games would certainly be at the top of the list. Once again, very, very simple in concept for each of these games but the re-playability is incredibly high. In addition, the challenges mount quickly as you advance levels and the speed of the game is faster, which is a difference from today’s video games. In modern times, when the games get harder they do become faster but there are many more options and distractions thrown at you to make the game harder. In the Atari days, for the most part, you were facing the same challenge but much faster as the game went on.
Atari 7800 Games Console
Subsequent versions of the Atari console such as the 5200 and 7800 were met with varying degrees of success and then Nintendo began to monopolise the market, making it difficult for Atari to compete. Eventually the company stopped making the consoles and left the games in the archives, which certainly does not diminish our admiration for them. Even today if you have either an original Atari system or an emulator on your computer that runs the games, you will still spend hours playing it. Why not show your love for the Atari with a vintage t-shirt sporting either the Atari logo or your favourite game from the console? Your new t-shirt will show the world your appreciation for the “old timers” of the video gaming world, and earn you points for unique style at the same time!
1. Spider-Man – Any teenager could connect to Spider-Man. Peter Parker is a little awkward, geeky, and crunched for deadlines at the Daily Bugle. Without the help of other heroes, Parker has to learn that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Spider-Man has agility, a spider sense where he can detect something wrong (his sense often tingles), and web-shooters to go with his strong intellect.
Marvel Comics – Spider-Man
2. Captain America – Steve Rogers was part of an experimental program during World War II. He became the physical representation of American values. The Super-Soldier serum that Rogers was injected with gave him enhanced abilities that brought all of his abilities to the highest limits of human power. He also fights with an almost indestructible shield.
3. Wolverine – The Canadian fighter is probably the best known member of the X-Men. He has adamantium fused to his bones, the ability to heal, and animalistic instincts. He is usually depicted as a loner but has been a father figure to other mutants like Kitty Pride and Jubilee. He is also known for saying the phrase “Bub.”
Marvel Comics – Wolverine
4. The Hulk – There are several degrees of the Hulk. Depending on the writer and artist he is represented as dumb (Hulk Smash!), but other times the writers will merge the brains of Bruce Banner with his brute strength, creating an intelligent fighter. Either way, emotional stress causes Banner to transform into the Incredible Hulk.
5. Iron Man – TonyStark created his power suit to save his heart and transitioned the suit to save the world as Iron Man. Stark is both wealthy and smart and has created several military weapons. He is traditionally a member of the Avengers and was portrayed in the live action movies by Robert Downey Jr.
Marvel Comics – Thor
6. Thor – Based off of the Norse god, Thor is well known for his mythical hammer Mjolnir which can control weather and the God Blast. His biggest nemesis is his adopted brother, Loki. He is also known as one of the many power-house Avengers.
7. The Punisher – The Punisher vows to take down the mob and crime in New York City. He is a true vigilante who will use any tactics to stop crime. Frank Castle can use martial arts, weapons, and his former war tactics.
Marvel Comics – Daredevil
8. Daredevil – Being blind has never stopped Matt Murdock. He fights in the court by day and by night he puts on a red devil suit. Even though he is blind from a radioactive accident, his other senses have been heightened and he can use his other senses to figure out his surroundings. He knows several forms of martial arts and is well known for using a specially designed billy club.
9. Ms. Marvel – Ms. Marvel is a pivotal member of the Avengers. She has super strength, flight, stamina, and a seventh sense. Although many know her from the X-men cartoon when Rogue took her powers, she still exists today with the same abilities.
Marvel Comics – Ms Marvel
10. Elektra – Elektra is an assassin who was a love interest of Daredevil. She is well known for her fighting abilities with the sai, but has several other abilities like gymnastics, swimming, mesmerisation, and the obscure ability to borrow people’s minds.
So thats my top ten Marvel Super Heroes, who are yours? Leave your top ten in the comments below.
What is a band without a drummer? Keith Moon was an awesome percussionist who really helped give The Who a great beat and style. He took the simple, standard rhythms used by the drummers of other groups and added a whole lot of extra hits and rolls to give his playing a running sound. He was a big fan of his bass drum, and liked to use it and symbol rolls to add to his busy, but fluid technique. On top of his playing being simply outstanding, Moon had an awesome stage presence, with flamboyant hits and body movements that make him really stand out in the band.
The Who – Keith Moon – 1968
Of course, as the scene goes, Moon was a heavy partier and drinker. Late in his life however, he attempted to go dry, which for him would have been an amazing achievement. Unfortunately, a misinformed doctor gave him a medication to counteract withdrawals which is lethal in even semi-over doses. Moon died on September 7, 1978, during an overdose. His great style and charisma will always be remembered and appreciated.
John Entwistle began his life in a London suburb, moving quickly from there to a grammar school. During school, he joined the Middlesex Youth Orchestra and learned some classical instruments: trumpet, french horn, and piano. He eventually made it into some jazz groups, using his orchestral training as a foundation, and subsequently formed a duo with schoolmate Pete Townshend. Of course, he then joined Robert Daltrey’s The Detours and went on to play bass for The Who.
The Who – John Entwhistle
Entwistle was a true instrumentalist. For starters, he amassed a collection of over 200 instruments up until his death, and was proficient if not prodigal on all of them. He liked to use pentatonic lines, a rather unusual scale based on five notes. Most of the time this results in an eerie sound, but can be augmented for many styles. Entwistle liked to augment sounds and make creative lines in his playing, giving him a very unique sound which contributed greatly to the band.
Where would we be without Pete Townshend? Pete was the lead guitarist for The Who, as well as their songwriter. On top of The Who’s extremely successful run, Townshend had a very successful solo career. He is the creator of the rock opera, and an accomplished keyboard and piano player.
The Who – Pete Townshend
Townshend is best known for his stage presence. He is the creator of the windmill, a flamboyant guitar move where the player swings their arm around like a windmill and strums the guitar on the passes. It is very fun to watch, and always an involving crowd pleaser. He is an awesome soloist, and loves showing off what he has on stage.
Roger Daltrey is an accomplished actor as well as a wonderful vocalist. He helped write songs at the beginning of The Who’s years, but eventually was overtaken by Townshend’s creativity. With Townshend taking that roll, Daltrey became a vehicle for expressing Pete’s visions. His signature move was swinging the mic around on its chord, equally as crowd spurring as Townshend’s windmill.
The Who – Roger Daltery
Daltrey spent a lot of his time during the band’s middle years trying to keep the members from drinking and drug abuse, things he rightfully felt would destroy them as it had so many people. The Who achieved greatness in part due to the members being inseparable and intertwined. The four each had unique styles that caused them to stand out individually and vault The Who to greatness.
As one of the original comic book heroes which opened up a market for the likes of Spiderman and Batman, Superman is deserving of its status as ‘legendary’. The comic books span the ages of American modern cultural history, starting back when it was first created in the 1930s by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Schuster.
Superman is a character whose life and influence has spilled out of the comic book genre and into films, TV shows, books and cartoons. There have been five movies about the Man of Steel, the most celebrated portrayal of him being Christopher Reeve (playing Superman four times out of the five), followed in ‘Superman Returns’ by Brandon Routh in 2006. But to understand why the movies have been such a success over the years, we need to go back to its origins. What kind of a man this superhero is, his family, his relationships, and his morals…
Superman – Clark Kent
Superman was created alongside an alter ego, Clark Kent. Being Clark Kent during the day, and ridding the city of its evils at night as Superman, does not necessarily mean that Superman has two very differing personalities. Clark Kent is much like Superman; he is moral, just, and protective of those he loves. How did a boy growing up with such powers and abilities not be tempted into using them for his own gain? For this, we look to Martha and Jonathan Kent of Smallville. It was they who found the smouldering wreckage of the rocket which bore him to earth, and brought him up as their own.
Superman – Daily Planet
With a good upbringing behind him, and a feeling of responsibilities for his powers, Clark moves to Metropolis to work as a journalist for The Daily Planet. This is where he meets, and falls for, Lois Lane, a tough investigative journalist. Where would a good superhero be without a sweetheart? And of course, this isn’t a straightforward relationship. Clark Kent might be wearing the Superman outfit under his work clothes, but she can only see Clark; a guy who’s a little awkward, sweet enough, wears glasses. She has her eyes on Superman himself, but is unable to see that behind the glasses and the altered mannerisms, Superman is Clark Kent after all. Of course, this doesn’t last for long, and Lois Lane spends much of her time in the 1950s and 60s comics trying to prove that Clark and Superman are one and the same. The rough beginnings to their relationship eventually lead – in the modern DC comics – to their marriage. The glasses are off, and she knows of his Superman identity.
Superman and Lois Lane
The love of Superman spread into the movies in the 70s and into cartoons since the 60s, and now with this more accessible media, new fans arrive at the story of the Man of Steel regularly. After nearly eighty years of storylines and the building of the superhero’s history, the story never quite feels complete. And it’s a good thing too. As powerful and as noble as he was at the start, he still invites those with an inquisitive mind to ponder over him.
And it leaves us with the underlying question of how many everyday superheroes there are out there, with their outfits underneath their work clothes, hidden behind their glasses…
The General Lee….thinking of that car brings back so many memories. When I was a child, I had a remote controlled General Lee. Unfortunately it could only go in forward or reverse, there was no steering. If any of you don’t know, the General Lee was the bright orange Dodge Charger driven by the Duke boys in The Dukes of Hazzard. As much as I tried and tried, my little remote controlled car was never able to make the jumps that they mad on the television show.
Dukes of Hazzard – General Lee – Sliding
Each week, I would wait in anticipation to see the real General Lee with the confederate flag on the roof, and a 01 painted in blue on the doors, which were welded shut. I’d watch the whole show just waiting for the moment when they would launch the car over something and hit the horn to play part of the song Dixie. If those of you who were kids when The Dukes of Hazzard was airing on television were anything like me you got in trouble from your parents more than once for not using the door on the car and instead going through the window. Those of you who were adults at the time I am sure always wanted to be able to drive like Bo Duke, fishtailing turns, skid out u-turns on the dirt and putting a car on two wheels…hope you didn’t try this and get arrested for reckless driving. Maybe you did try this and then outran the police who were chasing you, while you were pretending they were Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane and his trusty Basset Hound, Flash. The General Lee could outrun anything on the roads and trails of Hazzard.
Dukes of Hazzard – General Lee – Swamp Jump
The Duke boys could do anything with the General Lee. They could outrun the law and land jumps that would have Evil Knievel dropping his jaw. Either the 1969 Dodge Charger was an amazing car, or the Duke boys were the best drivers around. Most likely it was a little bit of both. This car jumped rivers and police cars, if I am not mistaken, there was only one episode that the General Lee didn’t appear in, and if I remember correctly, that was probably the only episode that the General Lee didn’t make a jump.
Dukes of Hazzard – General Lee – Police Block Jump
Whether it were jumping, or racing, making full speed u-turns, or simply parked in front of the Boar’s Nest, the General Lee was a beautiful car. To this day, I’d love to have a 1969 Dodge Charger, though I don’t think I would paint it orange or have a Confederate flag painted on the top. I have seen a General Lee driving around, but I have no idea if it was an authentic one that was used in the show…if it was, it is great that whoever owns it is actually using it, and not just having it sit in a show room. It would be offensive to own a car that gave everyone so much excitement and not let it’s tyres touch the road.
Characters. Characters are what make movies, television shows, sports and video games relevant and interesting. Much of the talk and literature on the best movies of all time centres on both the plot and the characters in the plot. The same applies to video games; while there have been many excellent things such as game play and graphics in all Mario, Zelda and other major character video games, the characters are what help to draw the players in. This is true for another iconic video game character that exploded on the scene in 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sonic the Hedgehog – Sega Genesis
Sonic the Hedgehog was Sega’s main rival to Nintendo’s Mario, and helped propel the Sega Genesis system into the market lead among 16-bit video game systems for a period of time in the 1990s. The main premise of the Sonic games is that Sonic needs to save the planet from Dr. Robotnik, who provides a variety of evil attempts at planetary takeover throughout the game series.
There were four primary games for the Sega Genesis that launched the Sonic series to the forefront of gamers’ minds; the original, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. The Sonic games were similar in nature to their main rivals in that there were multiple levels, varying enemies and the notion of saving something as an overall goal (as could be said for many games of the time).
Sonic the Hedgehog – Game Screenshot
What differentiated Sonic from its predecessors was the dizzying speed you could play the game at. Anyone who has played Sonic will tell you that there are points in the game, particularly when Sonic is running downhill or is spinning around a loop, that the game speed picks up so dramatically it can be tough to follow what is happening. The speed of the game is a benefit to gamers as it increases the excitement level of the game as you are playing it.
The strategy of the Sonic games is fairly simple, as there is not much complicated to the game. The first and foremost strategy to follow is acquiring as many rings as possible; having fifty rings at the end of the game allows you to go to “the special zone”, which is an entirely separate part of the game. The special zone has gotten more advanced as the games have, going from the simple special zone in Sonic 1 to “Hyper Sonic” status in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
Sonic the Hedgehog – Playstation 3
Over the years, the Sonic games have graduated through the various gaming consoles of the modern era, similar to many other popular Sega games. Sega stopped making gaming consoles after the Dreamcast failed to compete with Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, focusing their energy on games, including “Sonic Unleashed”, which can be played on the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a tight knit family. With Splinter as their sensei/father, the turtles only have a few friends, most notably April O’Neil and Casey Jones. Although they may argue, the turtles are all brothers to each other and care about each others well being.
TMNT – Leonardo
Leonardo — Wearing Blue accents, Leonardo is considered the leader of the turtles. He is named after Leonardo Da Vinci. Leonardo is courageous, clear-thinking, and a devoted student of martial arts. As a strict supporter of the Bushido, he has a very strong sense of honor and justice. He wields a pair of katanas.
TMNT – Raphael
Raphael — Donning the red accents, Raphael is considered the “bad boy.” Named after Raffaello Sanzio, he has has an aggressive nature and doesn’t hesitate to throw the first punch. Raphael is an intense fighter. His personality can be alternate between fierce and sarcastic. Raphael is intensely loyal to his brothers and sensei. He is good friends with Casey Jones, after meeting one night on patrol of the city and challenging him to a fight. The two have frequently patrolled the city together since. Raphael’s weapon of choice is a pair of sai.
TMNT – Michelangelo
Michelangelo — Wearing orange accents, Michelangelo is considered a free spirit and easy going. Michelangelo Buonarroti, is his namesake and he is considered to be the joker in the group. While he loves to put his feet up, this Turtle also has an adventurous and creative side. He is considered the fastest of the turtles and welds a pair of nunchakus. He, like the rest of the turtles, has a huge love for pizza.
TMNT – Donatello
Donatello— Sporting purple accents, Donatello is the genius in the group, he is a brilliant scientist, and using his engineering skills to come up with various inventions. He was named after Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi the well known sculptor, he is the most passive Turtle, and while his choice of weapon is a bō (six foot staff) he does prefer to use his intelligence to avoid any conflict.
TMNT – Splinter
Splinter – Splinter originally was Hamato Yoshi, a ninja master. He became mutated when he got in contact with the mutated turtles. He is the turtle’s sensei and often their “shidoshi” (teacher of the warrior ways of enlightenment). Splinter is fond of the arts, especially martial arts. He also likes living in the underground, since his rat-like abilities make him quite a burrower. Splinter uses his shrewd thinking and two weapons, his sword cane and bow and to put a stop to the evil Foot Clan. Splinter continues to train the turtles to battle for honesty, integrity and of course, pizza.
TMNT – April O’Neil
April O’Neil – In the 1980s classic cartoon April is a TV news journalist with her camcorder strapped around her arm in case there is any breaking news. She often gets into trouble trying to find the next breaking news feature. The Turtles always end up saving their damsel in distress. Still, April is a valuable member of the Turtle Team. April, being human,can get into places that the Turtles can not. Just in case the situation gets tough, April has a gun secretly locked in her camcorder. Other versions have her as a skilled computer programmer and worked as an assistant for Baxter Stockman before going on to help the Turtles.
TMNT – Casey Jones
Casey Jones – Casey Jones was a sports fan turned crime-fighter. He decided to take the law into his own hands after being influenced by his favourite cop show. He uses an array of sportsgear to fight crime. He’s teamed up with the Turtles to fight against Shredder and his Foot Clan. His main catchphrase is his battle cry “Goongala!”
The band members of The Rolling Stones have together made a reputation of being rambunctious adult-kids, living the life we all want: never growing up. Let’s take a look at their current members, and how they got to where they are today.
Mick Jagger has been with the band since its beginnings. He was born into a middle class English family, with a teacher for a father and a hairdresser for a mother. His paternal grandfather had also been a teacher, and as these things go, there was parental pressure to keep the job chain on the same path, along with his younger brother.
But Mick, who liked to be called Mike, had a different passion. “I was one of those kids who just liked to sing.” He was in his church choir and loved listening to singers on the radio or watching them perform.
The Rolling Stones - Mick Jagger
He was also no idiot. He passed in school with high quality grades, earning himself a scholarship to a prestigious economics school. But he didn’t let his academic ties keep him from where his heart lay, in the world of music. A club near his school that he frequented eventually had him on as a singer even though he had never had any formal training during the previous nineteen years of his life. Eventually he met up with classmate Keith Richards, and the two hit it off. When they met again in 1960, their friendship furthered with their mutual love of R&B. Together and with Brian Jones they moved to an apartment. Jones and Richards were putting together a plan to form a rock band while Jagger continued at school. Fortunately for the musical world, Jagger left his promising school career to form up with the other guys after a rehearsal put on by Jones. They named the band after one of Jagger’s favorite “Muddy Waters” songs.
Keith Richards has a history of a slightly different background. Born in Dartford, Kent (the same birthplace of Jagger), Richard’s father was a World War Two vet who worked as a factory laborer in spite of his injuries earned during the war.
His interest in Guitar was sparked by his Mum’s Father who toured Britain with a big band jazz group. His love of jazz was further supported by his mother who bought him his first guitar for seven pounds.
The Rolling Stones - Keith Richards - 1967
He went to the same primary school as Jagger, meeting Mick when they were still very young (who knew they would be world sensations in less than two decades), but didn’t foster his singing voice until he joined the choir as a soprano at a technical school.
Interestingly, he was expelled and sent to a nearby art school in 1959. There he met Dick Taylor, also an early member of The Stones, and the two stayed up into the nights (with the help of various drugs) to work on their music.
The Rolling Stones
On a train ride, he met up with Mick Jagger by chance, and the two reminisced about where they had been and where they were going, and eventually Richards left school to go off with Mick and Brian. Obviously the rest follows in line with Mick. His mother divorced his father around that time, but she always remained supportive of Keith as a musician (and bless her for it!).
It is amazing how the whims of fate can bring random things together and make great ideas. Mick and Keith are the only original members that still are with the band, and continue to write songs as they have always done.