How B.B. King & Stevie Ray Vaughan Dealt With Breaking Strings Onstage Mid-Song: A Masterclass in Handling Onstage Mishaps

Play­ing music live onstage invites any num­ber of mishaps. Break­ing a string may not rank that high­ly as one of them for most pro­fes­sion­al gui­tarists. But the expe­ri­ence can still be tem­porar­i­ly embar­rass­ing. It inter­rupts the groove and forces the kind of cre­ative adap­ta­tion not every play­er appre­ci­ates on the spot. Even if you’ve got a per­fect­ly-tuned gui­tar offstage—or, bet­ter yet, a gui­tar tech to hand you one from a rack of tuned-up guitars—you might only want that gui­tar: that exact gui­tar and no oth­er.

If you’re B.B. King, that gui­tar has a name. While there were many Lucilles over the blues master’s career, when he stood in front of an audi­ence of tens of thou­sands at Farm Aid in 1985, he wasn’t about to relin­quish the cur­rent Lucille for a back-up instru­ment just because he broke a string in the mid­dle of “How Blue Can You Get.” His tech rush­es in, but instead of hand­ing him a gui­tar, he hands King a high E string, and the leg­end pro­ceeds to restring Lucille with­out so much as drop­ping a line of the song.

It helps that he’s got an ace band behind him, but it’s still a bravu­ra dis­play from a per­former who wouldn’t get rat­tled in front of an audi­ence three times this size. (Though he did once say that watch­ing Peter Green play gave him the “cold sweats.”)

As attached as King was to his sig­na­ture Gib­son 335s, so was too Ste­vie Ray Vaugh­an to his Fend­er Stra­to­cast­ers, espe­cial­ly to the gui­tar he called his “first wife,” bet­ter known as “Num­ber One.”

It’s not got as pret­ty a name as Lucille, and may not have as col­or­ful a back­sto­ry to go with it, but the specs of Vaughan’s vin­tage ’63 Strat were just as inte­gral to his tone and play­ing style as Lucille’s were to King’s. In the video above, we see Vaugh­an break a string on Num­ber One while play­ing an intense solo on “Look at Lit­tle Sis­ter” in Austin in 1989. He opts for the switcheroo instead of chang­ing a string mid-song, but what a switcheroo it is.

First, he tears through the solo with a string hang­ing loose, then he launch­es into the cho­rus, churn­ing out the rhythm after a two sec­ond-pause to grab a new gui­tar from his tech, who attach­es his gui­tar strap while Ste­vie chugs away. If you turned away for a moment, you’d be sur­prised to find him play­ing a dif­fer­ent, num­ber two, gui­tar. And, as in B.B. King’s onstage-string-change, if you closed your eyes, you’d nev­er know any­thing went wrong at all, a sign of how a true pro­fes­sion­al deals with the unex­pect­ed.

via Twister Sifter

Relat­ed Con­tent:

B.B. King Explains in an Ani­mat­ed Video Whether You Need to Endure Hard­ship to Play the Blues

B.B. King Plays Live at Sing Sing Prison in One of His Great­est Per­for­mances (1972)

Ste­vie Ray Vaugh­an Plays the Acoustic Gui­tar in Rare Footage, Let­ting Us See His Gui­tar Vir­tu­os­i­ty in Its Purest Form

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Pretty Much Pop #3: CONFORM with Yakov Smirnoff

Is media try­ing to brain­wash us into being ALL THE SAME? Are the excess­es of the mob scar­ing us into con­for­mi­ty? And does this in turn keep us from being actu­al­ly cre­ative, with healthy rela­tion­ships?

Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Eri­ca Spyres, and Bri­an Hirt muse on cul­tur­al homog­e­niza­tion and a few sci-fi takes on forced same­ness and then bring out our first celebri­ty guest, beloved come­di­an and now psy­chol­o­gy Ph.D. Yakov Smirnoff, who tells us about grow­ing up in a repres­sive soci­ety and his fears that polit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and a lack of appre­ci­a­tion for the “rec­i­p­ro­cal oppo­sites” nec­es­sary for authen­tic com­mu­ni­ca­tion is lead­ing us in that direc­tion. We con­clude with a bit of host-ful response.

We touch on Cat’s Cra­dle, Aladdin, Rosanne Barr, The Twi­light Zone, Bri­an’s wear­ing a Cubs hat in Mis­souri, and per­form­ing com­e­dy in the U.S.S.R. as well as var­i­ous sen­si­tive audi­ences here. Will you not join us and dress as Devo every day?

Here’s that arti­cle that comes up on Kurt Von­negut Jr.‘s terms “karass” (vol­un­tary, organ­ic group­ing) and “gran­fal­loon” (inher­it­ed, basi­cal­ly mean­ing­less group­ing).

No, we are not a pol­i­tics pod­cast, but some­times when we reflect on the dynam­ics involved with our being enter­tained,  pol­i­tics is hard to avoid! You may enjoy lis­ten­ing to The Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life (Mark’s phi­los­o­phy pod­cast) dis­cuss Adorno on the Cul­ture Indus­try, or per­haps their dis­cus­sion of the world of tech­no­log­i­cal unem­ploy­ment.

Get more at Sub­scribe on Apple Pod­casts, Stitch­er, or Google Play. Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is pro­duced by the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life Pod­cast Net­work.

Fol­low Yakov:  @Yakov_Smirnoff. Not enough Yakov? Well, of course there are scads of YouTube clips and oth­er pod­cast appear­ances that he’s done that you can check out with a mere web search, but if you want to hear EVERY SINGLE WORD he said to us, we did post an entire­ly unedit­ed ver­sion of the inter­view for $5 sup­port­ers at

Moonlight Strikes 107,000 Solar Mirrors & Creates a Portrait of Apollo 11 Computer Programmer Margaret Hamilton

In the mid­dle of the Mojave Desert, Google has cre­at­ed a high-tech trib­ute to Mar­garet Hamil­ton, the lead soft­ware engi­neer of the Apol­lo space pro­gram. Google writes: “The trib­ute was cre­at­ed by posi­tion­ing over 107,000 mir­rors at the Ivan­pah Solar Facil­i­ty in the Mojave Desert to reflect the light of the moon, instead of the sun, like the mir­rors nor­mal­ly do. The result is a 1.4‑square-mile por­trait of Mar­garet, big­ger than New York’s Cen­tral Park.” You can learn more about Hamil­ton and her con­tri­bu­tions to the 1960s space pro­gram here.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Mar­garet Hamil­ton, Lead Soft­ware Engi­neer of the Apol­lo Project, Stands Next to Her Code That Took Us to the Moon (1969)

How 1940s Film Star Hedy Lamarr Helped Invent the Tech­nol­o­gy Behind Wi-Fi & Blue­tooth Dur­ing WWII

Meet Grace Hop­per, the Pio­neer­ing Com­put­er Sci­en­tist Who Helped Invent COBOL and Build the His­toric Mark I Com­put­er (1906–1992)

How Ada Lovelace, Daugh­ter of Lord Byron, Wrote the First Com­put­er Pro­gram in 1842–a Cen­tu­ry Before the First Com­put­er

NASA Puts Its Soft­ware Online & Makes It Free to Down­load


Martin Amis Explains How to Use a Thesaurus to Actually Improve Your Writing

Among all nov­el­ists cur­rent­ly work­ing in the Eng­lish lan­guage, how many pay the atten­tion to style Mar­tin Amis does? And among all nov­el­ists who have ever worked in the Eng­lish lan­guage, how many pay the atten­tion to style Vladimir Nabokov did? No won­der that the for­mer yields to none in his appre­ci­a­tion for the lat­ter. “Amis has always want­ed to see Nabokov as some­one resem­bling his own crit­i­cal self — essen­tial­ly, a ‘cel­e­bra­tor,’ a man whose dark­ness and sever­i­ties have been over­stat­ed,” write The New York­er’s Thomas Mal­lon. Amis has explic­it­ly tak­en note of “Nabokov’s dis­dain for sym­pa­thet­ic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with fic­tion­al char­ac­ters, and also of his belief that artis­tic effect was every­thing, the descrip­tor more impor­tant than the described.”

Nabokov’s dec­la­ra­tion that “for me, ‘style’ is mat­ter,” Mal­lon writes, “remains almost fear­ful­ly thrilling to Amis.” And it is with one of Nabokov’s prin­ci­ples on style that Amis begins in the Big Think video above. “There is only one school of writ­ing,” he quotes Nabokov as writ­ing. “That of tal­ent.” You can’t teach tal­ent, of course, “but what you can do is instill cer­tain prin­ci­ples,” one of them being “the impor­tance of ugly rep­e­ti­tion.” But then, “rep­e­ti­tion has its uses, and any­thing is bet­ter than try­ing to avoid rep­e­ti­tion through what they call ‘ele­gant vari­a­tion’ ” — the use, which Amis dis­miss­es as point­less, of “using a dif­fer­ent word when there’s no change in mean­ing.”

Most of us com­mit ele­gant vari­a­tion with the­saurus in hand; hence, it would seem, that par­tic­u­lar ref­er­ence book’s rep­u­ta­tion as the tool of sec­ond-class writ­ers and worse. But Amis him­self uses the the­saurus, and heav­i­ly, as a means of “avoid­ing rep­e­ti­tion of pre­fix­es and suf­fix­es” — he cites Nabokov’s chang­ing the title of Invi­ta­tion to an Exe­cu­tion to Invi­ta­tion to a Behead­ing — “as well as rhymes and half-rhymes, unin­ten­tion­al allit­er­a­tion, et cetera.” Peo­ple assume “the­saurus­es are there so you can look up a fan­cy word for ‘big,’ ” when in fact they serve their true pur­pose when you come to a point in a sen­tence “where you’re unhap­py with the word you’ve cho­sen not because of its mean­ing, but because of its rhythm. You may want a mono­syl­la­ble for this con­cept, or you may want a tri­syl­la­ble.”

A writer like Amis, or indeed Nabokov (who learned Eng­lish after his native Russ­ian), will also “make sure they’re not vis­it­ing an indeco­rum on the word’s deriva­tion.” This requires noth­ing more than the hum­ble dic­tio­nary, to check, for exam­ple, whether dilap­i­dat­ed can describe a hedge as well as a build­ing. (It can’t, and Amis explains why.) “When you look up a word in the dic­tio­nary, you own it in a way you did­n’t before,” says Amis, who esti­mates that he does it him­self a dozen times a day. “It’s very labor-inten­sive. It takes a long time, some­times, to get your sen­tence right rhyth­mi­cal­ly, and to clear the main words in it from mis­use. And all you’re win­ning is the respect of oth­er seri­ous writ­ers. But I think any amount of effort is worth it for that.”

Relat­ed Con­tent:

When Vladimir Nabokov Taught Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg, His Most Famous Stu­dent, To Care Deeply About Writ­ing

Vladimir Nabokov Names the Great­est (and Most Over­rat­ed) Nov­els of the 20th Cen­tu­ry

Nor­man Mail­er & Mar­tin Amis, No Strangers to Con­tro­ver­sy, Talk in 1991

Writ­ing Tips by Hen­ry Miller, Elmore Leonard, Mar­garet Atwood, Neil Gaiman & George Orwell

V.S. Naipaul Cre­ates a List of 7 Rules for Begin­ning Writ­ers

Nietzsche’s 10 Rules for Writ­ing with Style (1882)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

Bryan Magee (RIP) Presents In-Depth, Uncut TV Conversations With Famous Philosophers

Note: We woke this morn­ing to the news that Bryan Magee, aca­d­e­m­ic and pop­u­lar­iz­er of phi­los­o­phy, has passed away. He was 89. Below, we bring you a post from our archive that high­lights Magee’s many tele­vised inter­views with influ­en­tial philoso­phers. You can watch them online.

Bryan Magee comes from a tra­di­tion that pro­duced some of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry’s most impres­sive media per­son­al­i­ties: that of the schol­ar­ship-edu­cat­ed, Oxbridge-refined, intel­lec­tu­al­ly omniv­o­rous, occa­sion­al­ly office-hold­ing, radio- and tele­vi­sion-savvy man of let­ters. Stu­dents and pro­fes­sors of phi­los­o­phy prob­a­bly know him from his large print oeu­vre, which includes vol­umes on Pop­per and Schopen­hauer as well as sev­er­al guides to west­ern phi­los­o­phy and the auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal Con­fes­sions of a Philoso­pher. He also wrote anoth­er mem­oir called The Tele­vi­sion Inter­view­er, and philo­soph­i­cal­ly inclined lay­men may fond­ly remem­ber him as just that. When Magee played to both these strengths at once, he came up with two philo­soph­i­cal tele­vi­sion shows in the span of a decade: Men of Ideas, which began in 1978, and The Great Philoso­phers, which ran in 1987. Both series brought BBC view­ers in-depth, uncut con­ver­sa­tions with many of the day’s most famous philoso­phers.

You can watch select inter­views of Men of Ideas and The Great Philoso­phers on YouTube, includ­ing:

At the top of the post, you’ll find Magee talk­ing with A.J. Ayer, a well-known spe­cial­ist in “log­i­cal pos­i­tivism,” about the devel­op­ment of, and chal­lenges to, that philo­soph­i­cal sub-field. Two philoso­phers, relaxed on a couch, some­times smok­ing, enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly engaged in a com­mer­cial-free back-and-forth about the most impor­tant thinkers and thoughts in the field — watch some­thing like that, and you can’t pos­si­bly think of now as a gold­en age of tele­vi­sion.

Oodles of free phi­los­o­phy cours­es, many thought by famous philoso­phers, can be found in the Phi­los­o­phy sec­tion of our list of 1,300 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free Online Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es

105 Ani­mat­ed Phi­los­o­phy Videos from Wire­less Phi­los­o­phy: A Project Spon­sored by Yale, MIT, Duke & More

44 Essen­tial Movies for the Stu­dent of Phi­los­o­phy

How Kurt Cobain Confronted Violence Against Women in His “Darkest Song”: Nevermind’s “Polly”

In 1991, Nir­vana changed pop music with Nev­er­mindWe know this, and we know—or can con­firm with a few clicks—that “Pol­ly,” the 6th track on that album, sits at its very cen­ter. We can call to mind, or pull up in sec­onds, the lul­la­by cho­rus melody and the sound of Cobain’s five-string, pawn shop Stel­la acoustic gui­tar. And we may even remem­ber the lyrics, or some of them, ellip­ti­cal, deeply dis­turb­ing descrip­tions of a girl named “Pol­ly,” from the point of view of some­one doing hor­ri­fy­ing things to her.

“Pol­ly,” as Evan Puschak, bet­ter known as video-essay­ist Nerd­writer, explains above, in fact describes an actu­al occur­rence near Cobain’s home­town of Aberdeen, WA: the abduc­tion, rape, and tor­ture of a 14-year-old girl, writ­ten from the per­spec­tive of her abduc­tor, rapist, and tor­tur­er. “Of all the dark songs” Cobain wrote, says Puschak, “and there are a lot to choose from, the most dis­turb­ing to me is ‘Pol­ly.’” The inci­dent hap­pened in 1987; Cobain first wrote “Pol­ly,” then called “Hitch­hik­er,” in ’88.

“It’s a hard song to talk about,” Puschak admits, but an impos­si­ble song to ignore, giv­en its place in one of the biggest-sell­ing albums from one of the biggest bands in the world. And com­ing from Cobain, whose out­spo­ken activism defined his pub­lic per­sona, it’s a song we must hear in the larg­er con­text of a writer per­pet­u­al­ly hor­ri­fied by sex­u­al vio­lence and misog­y­ny, and unable to look away and ignore it.

“Dis­gust­ed,” writes Juli­et Macy at Go Mag, after “some of his fans spread anti-gay mes­sages in tune to his music,” Cobain left a mes­sage for them in the lin­er notes to Inces­ti­cide: “If any of you, in any way, hate homo­sex­u­als, peo­ple of col­or or women, please do this one favor for us—leave us the fuck alone. Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.” He meant it, and left an even more furi­ous mes­sage for in the notes for In Utero.

“On rape cul­ture,” Macy writes, “Cobain assert­ed, ‘The prob­lem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to edu­cate women how to defend them­selves. What real­ly needs to be done is teach­ing men not to rape. Go to the source and start there.” “Pol­ly” rep­re­sents such an attempt to go to the source, Puschak argues, to get clos­er than we’d ever want to get. Its spare arrange­ment helps cre­ate its sense of inti­ma­cy. “’Pol­ly’ is basi­cal­ly Cobain and his gui­tar.”

Musi­cal­ly, this was not the kind of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty Cobain was at all com­fort­able putting on dis­play. Two years lat­er, when Nir­vana went on MTV’s Unplugged, he “wor­ried the band didn’t have the grace to pull off some­thing so sub­tle,” as Mike Pow­ell notes at Pitch­fork. Notably, one of the songs Cobain chose to play in that exposed, uncom­fort­able set­ting venue was Leadbelly’s “In the Pines,” a song writ­ten from the point of view of a man inter­ro­gat­ing a woman; a man who may be a father, jeal­ous lover, or some­thing much more sin­is­ter.

In every ver­sion of this old, vague­ly trag­ic Amer­i­can folk-blues, from its first, 1929 record­ing as “Black Girl” by Peg Leg How­ell to “In the Pines” to wordier, and white­washed, ver­sions by coun­try pick­ers and croon­ers, a sense of men­ace hov­ers, near or far, fraught with inti­ma­tions of rape and mur­der, the klax­ons the Rolling Stones rang to announce the end of the flow­ery, folky ’60s. Bands in the ’90s culled from a much dark­er strain of the coun­try’s ear­li­est pop­u­lar music than Pete Seeger, or even Dylan, and “Pol­ly,” in its old-timey instru­men­ta­tion and blues sim­plic­i­ty, touch­es into this under­cur­rent.

In “Pol­ly,” Cobain “forces an emo­tion­al iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with evil, to stop us from sup­press­ing this bru­tal­i­ty,” Puschak says, search­ing­ly, or “to stop us from evad­ing it.” Per­haps. Maybe he’s ask­ing us to empathize with a mon­ster, but he also push­es us to look at a dis­turb­ing Amer­i­can tradition—one evoked by “In the Pines” as well: mur­der bal­lads, songs, books, and films about stalk­ing, pos­ses­sion, manip­u­la­tion, and rape (see the Stones’ “Brown Sug­ar”): a near-con­stant aes­theti­ciza­tion of vio­lence against women.

This kind of exca­va­tion was lost on many of the fans who bought Nev­er­mind—those same fans whom Cobain came to loathe. His evo­ca­tions of dark Amer­i­cana were part of a gen­er­al trend of the time. In 1994, when the Unplugged episode aired, many Nir­vana lis­ten­ers of the band were also howl­ing, “Do you want to die!” to the The Toad­ies hit “Pos­sum King­dom,” anoth­er song that reached into south­ern U.S. folk­lore to tell what seems to be a sto­ry of rape and tor­ture in the woods from the per­spec­tive of the rapist and tor­tur­er. (The song’s video explic­it­ly plays with ser­i­al-killer film tropes.)

“Pol­ly” is nei­ther mourn­ful nor play­ful, and it decid­ed­ly does not rock like “Pos­sum King­dom.” Almost total­ly acoustic, drum­less, deliv­ered in a mum­bled monot­o­ne in the vers­es, and an off-key dead-eyed sing-song in the jar­ring­ly catchy cho­rus­es, it lulls and repuls­es at the same time. Like every oth­er artist, Cobain had no con­trol over what lis­ten­ers did with his music. After Nev­er­mind’s suc­cess, reports emerged of two men com­mit­ting a rape while singing the song. Cobain replied, “I have a hard time car­ry­ing on know­ing there are plank­ton like that in our audi­ence.”

But he could not have made his own inten­tions clear­er, or the bur­den he felt to con­front a cul­ture that would not lis­ten to women. “A man using him­self as an exam­ple toward oth­er men,” he once said rue­ful­ly, “can prob­a­bly make more impact than a woman can.” Iron­i­cal­ly, giv­en how much he came to resent Nev­er­mind’s mas­sive suc­cess, one of its effects was to show cyn­i­cal male record label exec­u­tives that rock stars could be edgy and also out­spo­ken about sex­ism and rape cul­ture and also sell mil­lions of albums: which helped open doors for an explo­sion of female artists and bands through­out the decade who issued sear­ing punk man­i­festos and right­eous­ly angsty alt-rock against the patri­archy.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Nir­vana Plays an Angry Set & Refus­es to Play ‘Smells Like Teen Spir­it’ After the Crowd Hurls Sex­ist Insults at the Open­ing Act (Buenos Aires, 1992)

Nir­vana Refus­es to Fake It on Top of the Pops, Gives a Big “Mid­dle Fin­ger” to the Tra­di­tion of Bands Mim­ing on TV (1991)

33 Songs That Doc­u­ment the His­to­ry of Fem­i­nist Punk (1975–2015): A Playlist Curat­ed by Pitch­fork

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Watch an Animated Documentary About the Pioneering Journalist & Feminist Icon Nellie Bly

While no longer a house­hold name, the trail­blaz­ing jour­nal­ist Nel­lie Bly (1864–1922) is def­i­nite­ly an endur­ing Amer­i­can icon.

Her like­ness has graced a postage stamp and a fin­ger pup­pet.

Her life has been the sub­ject of numer­ous books and a made-for-TV movie.

Some hun­dred years after its com­ple­tion, her record-break­ing, 72-day round-the-world trip inspired an episode of The Amer­i­can Expe­ri­ence, a puz­zle-cum-boardgame, and a rol­lick­ing song by his­to­ry fans the Dee­dle Dee­dle Dees.

And now? Meet Nel­lie Bly, car­toon action hero. (Hero­ine? Hard to say which hon­orif­ic the opin­ion­at­ed and for­ward-think­ing Bly, born in 1864, would pre­fer…)

Film­mak­er Pen­ny Lane’s “Nel­lie Bly Makes the News,” above, is not the first to rec­og­nize this sort of poten­tial in the pio­neer­ing jour­nal­ist, whose 151st birth­day was cel­e­brat­ed with an ani­mat­ed Google Doo­dle and accom­pa­ny­ing song by Karen O, but Lane (no rela­tion to Lois, the fic­tion­al reporter mod­eled on you-know-who) wise­ly lets Bly speak for her­self.

Not only that, she brings her into the stu­dio for a 21st-cen­tu­ry inter­view, in which an eye-rolling Bly describes the resis­tance she encoun­tered from the male elite, who felt it was not just unseem­ly but impos­si­ble that a young woman should pur­sue the sort of jour­nal­is­tic career she envi­sioned for her­self.

She also touch­es on some of her most famous jour­nal­is­tic stunts, such as the under­cov­er stints in a New York City “insane asy­lum”and box-mak­ing fac­to­ry that led to exposés and even­tu­al­ly, social reform.

Biog­ra­ph­er Brooke Kroeger and brief glimpses of archival mate­ri­als touch on some of the oth­er high­lights in Bly’s auda­cious, self-direct­ed career.

The car­toon Bly’s hair­do and attire are peri­od appro­pri­ate, but her vocal inflec­tions, cour­tesy of broad­cast reporter and voiceover artist Sam­mi Jo Fran­cis, are clos­er in spir­it to that of Broad City’s Ilana Glaz­er.

(Inter­est­ing to note, giv­en Bly’s com­plaints about how promi­nent­ly the one dress she took on her round the world trip fea­tured in out­side sto­ries about that adven­ture, that dress is a pre­oc­cu­pa­tion of The Appre­ci­a­tion of Boot­ed News­women blog. Respect­ful as that site is, the focus there is def­i­nite­ly not on jour­nal­is­tic achieve­ment.)

via Aeon

Relat­ed Con­tent:

New Aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty App Cel­e­brates Sto­ries of Women Typ­i­cal­ly Omit­ted from U.S. His­to­ry Text­books

74 Essen­tial Books for Your Per­son­al Library: A List Curat­ed by Female Cre­atives

New Web Project Immor­tal­izes the Over­looked Women Who Helped Cre­ate Rock and Roll in the 1950s

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inkyzine.  Join her in NYC on Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 9 for anoth­er sea­son of her book-based vari­ety show, Necro­mancers of the Pub­lic Domain. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin & Michael Collins Go Through Customs and Sign Immigration Form After the First Moon Landing (1969)

Above, find a doc­u­ment signed 50 years ago by Neil Arm­strong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins after they returned from the first manned trip to the moon. The three astro­nauts came down in the Pacif­ic Ocean and were tak­en to Hon­olu­lu on July 24, 1969, where they sup­pos­ed­ly signed this immi­gra­tion form, declar­ing a car­go of moon rocks and dust. Pres­i­dent Nixon was good enough to let them back into the coun­try.

The form, NASA spokesper­son John Yem­brick told, is authen­tic. And, he says, it was a joke. He does not, how­ev­er, say exact­ly when the form was signed, either on the day the crew splashed down or some­time after­ward. They did not actu­al­ly arrive in Hon­olu­lu until the 26th. After their return,

The astro­nauts were trapped inside a NASA trail­er as part of a quar­an­tine effort just in case they brought back any germs or dis­ease from the moon. They even wore spe­cial bio­log­i­cal con­tain­ment suits when they walked out on the deck of the USS Hor­net after being retrieved. 

NASA trans­port­ed them to Hous­ton, quar­an­tine trail­er and all, and they emerged from iso­la­tion three weeks lat­er.

Astro­nauts these days most­ly just need a show­er when they touch down, although inter­net savvy Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion astro­naut Chris Had­field did tell some cus­toms relat­ed sto­ries on a Red­dit AMA—maybe noth­ing so weird as the cur­rent space snor­kel­ing up there, but still a pret­ty great read.

Note: An ear­li­er ver­sion of this post orig­i­nal­ly appeared on our site in Decem­ber 2013.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

“Moon Hoax Not”: Short Film Explains Why It Was Impos­si­ble to Fake the Moon Land­ing

Michio Kaku Schools Takes on Moon Land­ing-Con­spir­a­cy Believ­er on His Sci­ence Fan­tas­tic Pod­cast

Dark Side of the Moon: A Mock­u­men­tary on Stan­ley Kubrick and the Moon Land­ing Hoax

Find Astron­o­my Cours­es in our Col­lec­tion of 1300 Free Cours­es Online

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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