Originally published at Mental Floss on Christmas morning 2015. Of the many curious holiday traditions (figgy pudding? wassailing?), one of the oddest has to be spraying down small trees with a mixture of adhesive and cellulose fibers to satisfy our longing for a white Christmas.
That’s what’s happening when you adorn a tree with artificial snow, otherwise known as flocking. And yet, when decorated and lit up, there’s something beautiful and warmly nostalgic about a well-flocked Christmas tree. Here’s how professionals manufacture this Christmas miracle. Read More
The most immediately notable thing about this 1960 issue of Popular Science I picked up a vintage market is the smell. It smells, heavily, of chlorine. Not just chlorine, it smells like an indoor whirlpool Jacuzzi, like filmy chlorinated water and aqua blue PVC, with a vinyl cover holding down vapors that make the nose and eyes burn.
The smell isn’t relevant to the content, and it’s specific to this one water-damaged copy. But it’s a fitting smell, and it conjures images of spilled martinis, one-piece bathing suits and foamy wet chest hair. Consumer products awash in chemicals and exciting new compounds, promising joy and leisure. Read More
Buzz Rickson’s Black MA-1 Bomber Jacket Cayce Pollard, brand-phobic coolhunter at the center of Pattern Recognition, adores her Japanese-made replica of a standard issue U.S. Air Force flying jacket.
The Rickson’s is a fanatical museum-grade replica of a U.S. MA-1 flying jacket, as purely functional and iconic a garment as the previous century produced…Cayce’s MA-1 trumps any attempt at minimalism, the Rickson’s having been created by Japanese obsessives driven by passions having nothing at all to do with anything remotely like fashion…It is an imitation more real somehow than that which it emulates.
The Rickson’s is a quite real jacket, emblematic for Gibson of the almost religious craftsmanship of Japanese garment makers. Buzz Rickson’s is, in fact, a Japanese clothing company founded in 1993 that specializes in replica vintage flight jackets, one of which is the MA-1. Read More