Very Rare Air Raid Atari Cartridge Found

Back in 2010, I wrote a story about some very rare and very expensive video games. Thanks to that article, Tanner Sandlin of Austin, Texas, realized he had one of only a handful of known copies of the Atari game, Air Raid. Normally the cartridge sells for about $3000 online, but Sandlin had an ace up his sleeve: the game’s original box, which had never been seen before. The game and the box wound up selling for $31,600 on eBay.

If you think that's crazy, there's a good chance that Tanner's auction-price record is about to be shattered.

Recently, a man in California (we'll call him Lucky, as he would prefer to remain anonymous), was reading another article about rare Atari games. Naturally, Air Raid was mentioned, as was the $31,600 sale price. Lucky recalled that he'd been given a sample copy of the game by a sales rep back in the 1980s when Lucky was an assistant manager at a drug store that sold video games. Lucky took the game home, played it for a few minutes, but decided he didn't want to order it for the store's inventory. When he told the sales rep he could have the game back, the rep said not to bother because none of his other clients were all that interested, either. Lucky stuck his copy of Air Raid in an old Atari display case at home, where it sat virtually untouched for the next 30 years.

Upon reading the article, Lucky and his daughter scoured through his old collection and found they had the second known copy of Air Raid in the box. But unlike the copy that Tanner bought from a clearance bin at a discount store in the mid-1980s, Lucky’s Air Raid has never been in circulation, so the box is in near-perfect condition.

As Lucky and his daughter were taking photos of the box to send to Albert Yarusso, the owner of (who personally examined Sandlin’s Air Raid box in 2010), they discovered something else tucked inside: the instruction manual. Before now, there was only speculation that a manual even existed, so this makes Lucky’s the only “CIB” (Complete In Box) copy of Air Raid ever found.

After verifying that the cartridge still worked, Lucky and his daughter put Air Raid up for sale on, an auction site exclusively for video games. Will it break Sandlin’s $31,600 sale-price record? Watch the auction and find out!

The Queen of Code: Remembering Grace Hopper
By Lynn Gilbert, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Grace Hopper was a computing pioneer. She coined the term "computer bug" after finding a moth stuck inside Harvard's Mark II computer in 1947 (which in turn led to the term "debug," meaning solving problems in computer code). She did the foundational work that led to the COBOL programming language, used in mission-critical computing systems for decades (including today). She worked in World War II using very early computers to help end the war. When she retired from the U.S. Navy at age 79, she was the oldest active-duty commissioned officer in the service. Hopper, who was born on this day in 1906, is a hero of computing and a brilliant role model, but not many people know her story.

In this short documentary from FiveThirtyEight, directed by Gillian Jacobs, we learned about Grace Hopper from several biographers, archival photographs, and footage of her speaking in her later years. If you've never heard of Grace Hopper, or you're even vaguely interested in the history of computing or women in computing, this is a must-watch:

Watch Christmas Island’s Annual Crab Migration on Google Street View

Every year, the 45 million or so red crabs on the remote Australian territory of Christmas Island migrate en masse from their forest burrows down to the ocean to mate, and so the female crabs can release their eggs into the sea to hatch. The migration starts during the fall, and the number of crabs on the beach often peaks in December. This year, you don’t have to be on Christmas Island to witness the spectacular crustacean event, as New Atlas reports. You can see it on Google Street View.

Watching the sheer density of crabs scuttling across roads, boardwalks, and beaches is a rare visual treat. According to the Google blog, this year’s crabtacular finale is forecasted for December 16, and Parks Australia crab expert Alasdair Grigg will be there with the Street View Trekker to capture it. That is likely to be the day when crab populations on the beaches will be at their peak, giving you the best view of the action.

Crabs scuttle across the forest floor while a man with a Google Street View Trekker walks behind them.

Google Street View is already a repository for a number of armchair travel experiences. You can digitally explore remote locations in Antarctica, recreations of ancient cities, and even the International Space Station. You can essentially see the whole world without ever logging off your computer.

Sadly, because Street View isn’t live, you won’t be able to see the migration as it happens. The image collection won’t be available until sometime in early 2018. But it’ll be worth the wait, we promise. For a sneak preview, watch Parks Australia’s video of the 2012 event here.

[h/t New Atlas]


More from mental floss studios