Pop Culture


  The disease that would eventually become known as AIDS began to surface in 1981, killing mostly gay men in large urban areas. For the time being, it was known in medical circles as GRID, or Gay Related Immune Deficiency. AIDS initially produced many social prejudices about homosexuality and intravenous drug use, and much education(...)

Air Blaster Gun

Was there ever a toy gun as cool as Wham-O's Air Blaster? Not only did the thing look like a spaceman disintegration ray, it actually fired a blast. A blast of air, yes, but that was as close to a spaceman disintegration ray as most kids were going to get. And maybe a good deal(...)

Air Hockey

Ice hockey enthusiast Bob Lemieux dreamed up this popular table game for billiards manufacturers Brunswick back in 1972. Almost instantly, the craze spread across the country, and eventually to the world. Every family with a rumpus room or play room had it. The really cool amusement places had them under black lights with playing pieces(...)


Arcade game designers have always been a creative bunch, generally willing to try any idea (no matter how strange it may seem) if they think it can be transformed into an arcade hit. As a result, arcades have seen many games over the years that have been built on strange ideas. Some of these are(...)


Alan Bond

This English-born Australian entrepreneur was chair of the Bond Corporation from 1969 until 1990 during the years when its aggressive takeover strategy gave the company interests in brewing, the media, mining, and retailing. In 1983 Bond led a syndicate that sponsored the winning yacht in the America's Cup race. By 1988 the Bond Corporation could(...)

Alec Douglas-Home

Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home served as Prime Minister for a year from October 1963 to October 1964. He became famous for a series of records. He was the last member of the House of Lords to be appointed Prime Minister, the only Prime Minister to resign from the Lords and contest a by-election to enter the(...)

Allen Ginsberg

1 9 2 6 - 1 9 9 7 US poet and political activist. His reputation as a visionary, overtly political poet was established by Howl (1956), which expressed and shaped the spirit of the Beat Generation and criticised the materialism of contemporary US society. Ginsberg - like many of his generation of poets - found his(...)

Allen Klein

Allen Klein was born in Newark on 18 December 1931 and spent several years in an orphanage after his mother's death during his infancy. He was later raised by a grandmother and an aunt. He graduated from Upsala College and served in the US Army before joining a Manhattan accounting firm. He eventually started his(...)

Altamont (1969)

On Saturday 6 December 1969, some 300,000 people turned up for a free Rolling Stones concert at a speedway track near San Francisco called Altamont. While Woodstock, four months earlier, had been the zenith of the hippie dream, Altamont marked its nightmarish nadir after an 18-year-old black man, Meredith Hunter, was murdered by a Hells Angel mere feet(...)

Amazing Maze

The deceptively simple concept of Amazing Maze was this: You were on one side of a maze, and you had to get to another. It sounded no different from what you might find in any puzzle book, except for one thing: Amazing Maze was competitive. It’s one thing to find your way out of a(...)


As far as automotive ideas go, the Amphicar never really held water, even if it could float on it. However, this unusual amphibian somehow made it into production and actually managed to attract a small knot of nautically minded buyers. These hardy souls thought nothing of venturing off terra firma in search of oddball adventure, even(...)

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, the high priest of Pop Art, presented everyday images, from soup cans to celebrity photos, as high art, in repetitious silkscreen reproductions. His preoccupation with the popular led to his famed remark that "in the future everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes". Andrew Warhola was born in Newport, Rhode Island, of Czechoslovakian parents.(...)

Angel Delight

Angel Delight debuted in British supermarkets in 1967, promising the taste of strawberries and cream from colourful sachets of microdust. The luminous powder fell out of favour in the 1980s.

Angel Sleeve Dresses/Blouses

The flower children hippies of the 1960s let go of convention and shrouded themselves in soft and fluid fabrics when they adopted the gypsy style wardrobe. Angel (or bell) sleeves - think bellbottoms for sleeves - dripped from the arms and sailed in the wind. Layers of chiffon, lace and macramé streamed off of shoulders, wing-like, nearly touching the ground. Stevie(...)

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