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The First Time News Was Fit To Print, XXI

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Every Monday, mental_floss finds the first time The New York Times mentioned select topics. If you have a suggestion for our next episode, leave us a comment.

Books on Tape

February 20, 1977

cassette.jpgCatching Up With the Classics
Want to catch up on your reading while driving cross-country? Or dip into the classics while sunning with eyes closed on a secluded Caribbean beach? A California outfit called Books on Tape makes it happen.

Described as the "thinking man's answer to CB radio," Books on Tape was conceived in Los Angeles a few years back to aid long-haul commuters avoid "cerebral atrophy" occasioned by long traffic tie-ups on freeways.
* * * * *
Clients are able to rent the cassettes at fees ranging from $6.50 to $7.50 for a complete work, based on a one-month rental period, plus $1.75 for postage and handling. If one had to buy the tapes, the purchase price would be somewhere around $50.

Keep reading for Tina Fey, Blog, Blogs, Andy Pettitte and Bobblehead Dolls...

Condoleeza Rice (one 'z')

June 1, 1990

Faces of the Summit: The Supporting Cast
rice.jpgCondoleeza Rice "“ Senior director for Soviet affairs on the National Security Council staff . . . A former associate professor of political science at Stanford University . . . At the age of 35, one of the youngest senior officials in the White House and one of the few women to hold a senior position there . . . Assigned to travel with Mr. Gorbachev to Minneapolis and San Francisco . . . Has a doctoral degree in international studies from the University of Denver . . . Worked on strategic nuclear policy at the Joint Chiefs of Stafffrom 1986-87.

Condoleezza Rice (correct spelling)

June 18, 1989

The Great Beyond
''NOW IT IS TIME TO MOVE beyond containment,'' President Bush told the Texas A & M graduating class on May 12, 1989, ''to a new policy for the 1990's - one that recognizes the full scope of change taking place around the world and in the Soviet Union itself.''

In subsequently defining his foreign policy, the President has quoted himself saying those words - ''I call it 'beyond containment' '' -evidence that he considers the phrase the one that he wants to be used in any labeling of his foreign policy. White House staffers tell me, in passionate anonymity, that (contrary to the claims from Foggy Bottom) the persons who put the idea on paper before the President are Robert Blackwill, the European and Soviet Affairs man at the National Security Council, and Condoleezza Rice, the resident Sovietologist.

Tina Fey

November 8, 1998

tinafey.jpgA Talk Show for an Indelicate Age
Saturday Night Live, which has been lampooning The View in a recurring skit since late last year, already counts the routine among its classics. "It's great material for us, because we really don't have to heighten the reality much to make it absurd," said Tina Fey, one of the writers who created the sketch. She knew The View was ripe for parody the moment she saw Ms. Vieira give Wesley Snipes a spontaneous lap dance on air.

Blog

April 16, 2001

'Blog' Technology to Be Licensed
Trellix, which lets clients like About.com provide site-building tools and Web server space to their users, plans to announce today that it has licensed from Pyra Labs technology that provides an easy and fast way to publish a personal site known as a Web log or "blog."

Blogs

February 25, 2002

Internet Experts Wonder if Weblog Technology Is a Powerful New Media Species, or Just Another Fad
awaymsg.jpgFor the last two years or so, so-called Weblogs have slowly built a following among Internet users who like to dash off a few random thoughts, post them on a Web site and read similar musings by others. In the last two months, the universe of Weblogs has grown more quickly, with mainstream media analysts praising ''blogs,'' as the sites are known, for bringing a new type of expression to the Internet, and perhaps undermining the hegemony of global media giants.

But is this a truly new media species, with the power to command the attention of big Internet media companies? Or is it simply that in this, the Internet's fallow period, anything even remotely buzzworthy is given more of a spotlight than it deserves. Is the Weblog, in other words, a fad that is destined to fade?
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But even among those whose Weblogs have gained notoriety, there are some who see this trend as ephemeral. Take Mark Hurst, who created a Weblog, goodexperience.com, in 1999 that he said attracted thousands of readers. Mr. Hurst, the president of Creative Good, a Net consulting firm in New York, eventually stopped posting daily remarks on the Web site and instead simply e-mailed a compendium of comments to a subscriber list that now numbers nearly 50,000 people.

"If you want to communicate with people, e-mail it to them," Mr. Hurst said. "Don't force them to come to your site every day to read what you've written."

[Image: chelseaperetti.blogspot.com]

Andy Pettitte

November 20, 1994

Transactions

pettitteposada.jpgNEW YORK YANKEES -- Designated Xavier Hernandez, pitcher, for assignment. Sent Billy Masse, outfielder, and Jose Musset, pitcher, outright to Columbus of the International League. Purchased the contracts of Andy Croghan, Andy Pettitte and Brien Taylor, pitchers; Jose Posada, catcher; and Ruben Rivera, Matt Luke and Lyle Mouton, outfielders, from Columbus.

Bobblehead Doll

September 29, 1993

Don Imus: It's a Hideous Life, and You Get to Hear All About It
bobblebeheaded.jpgIf he didn't invent shock jockery, he pioneered it, siring WXRK-FM's Howard Stern, among others. "People perceive me as Howard Stern," Mr. Imus, who reportedly earns $2.5 million a year, says off the air, seated in a reclining chair in his cluttered station office. "It's not the case. I'm Howard Stern with a vocabulary. I'm the man he wishes he could be."
* * * * *
Mr. Imus's four interviews with Bill Clinton -- three before the election, one after, and two of them broadcast live on the "Today" show -- vaulted him out of the dirty-deejay hamper. Mr. Imus credits himself with reviving Mr. Clinton's New York primary campaign and thus assuring his election.

"The I-Man is now a fashioner of kings," Mr. McCord says on the air.

"You don't have to suck up to me," Mr. Imus says. "Everyone else does."

"My man Bubba," as Mr. Imus calls him, may keep a Don Imus bobble-head doll on his Oval Office desk (there are snapshots to prove it), but Mr. Imus has not refrained from calling the President "that pantload in the White House," or simply "Fatso."

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Space
Google Street View Now Lets You Explore the International Space Station

Google Street View covers some amazing locations (Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, and Stonehenge, to name a few), but it’s taken until now for the tool to venture into the final frontier. As TechCrunch reports, you can now use Street View to explore the inside of the International Space Station.

The scenes, photographed by astronauts living on the ISS, include all 15 modules of the massive satellite. Viewers will be treated to true 360-degree views of the rooms and equipment onboard. Through the windows, you can see Earth from an astronaut's perspective and a SpaceX Dragon craft delivering supplies to the crew.

Because the imagery was captured in zero gravity, it’s easy to lose sense of your bearings. Get a taste of what ISS residents experience on a daily basis here.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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Lucy Quintanilla/iStock
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travel
6 East Coast Castles to Visit for a Fairy Tale Road Trip
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Lucy Quintanilla/iStock

Once the stuff of fairy tales and legends, a variety of former castles have been repurposed today as museums and event spaces. Enough of them dot the East Coast that you can plan a summer road trip to visit half a dozen in a week or two, starting in or near New York City. See our turrent-rich itinerary below.

STOP 1: BANNERMAN CASTLE // BEACON, NEW YORK

59 miles from New York City

The crumbling exterior of Bannerman Castle
Garrett Ziegler, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bannerman Castle can be found on its very own island in the Hudson River. Although the castle has fallen into ruins, the crumbling shell adds visual interest to the stunning Hudson Highlands views, and can be visited via walking or boat tours from May to October. The man who built the castle, Scottish immigrant Frank Bannerman, accumulated a fortune shortly after the Civil War in his Brooklyn store known as Bannerman’s. He eventually built the Scottish-style castle as both a residence and a military weapons storehouse starting in 1901. The island remained in his family until 1967, when it was given to the Taconic Park Commission; two years later it was partially destroyed by a mysterious fire, which led to its ruined appearance.

STOP 2. GILLETTE CASTLE STATE PARK // EAST HADDAM, CONNECTICUT

116 miles from Beacon, New York

William Gillette was an actor best known for playing Sherlock Holmes, which may have something to do with where he got the idea to install a series of hidden mirrors in his castle, using them to watch guests coming and going. The unusual-looking stone structure was built starting in 1914 on a chain of hills known as the Seven Sisters. Gillette designed many of the castle’s interior features (which feature a secret room), and also installed a railroad on the property so he could take his guests for rides. When he died in 1937 without designating any heirs, his will forbade the possession of his home by any "blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” The castle is now managed by the State of Connecticut as Gillette Castle State Park.

STOP 3. BELCOURT CASTLE // NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

74 miles from East Haddam, Connecticut

The exterior of Belcourt castle
Jenna Rose Robbins, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Prominent architect Richard Morris Hunt designed Belcourt Castle for congressman and socialite Oliver Belmont in 1891. Hunt was known for his ornate style, having designed the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, but Belmont had some unusual requests. He was less interested in a building that would entertain people and more in one that would allow him to spend time with his horses—the entire first floor was designed around a carriage room and stables. Despite its grand scale, there was only one bedroom. Construction cost $3.2 million in 1894, a figure of approximately $80 million today. But around the time it was finished, Belmont was hospitalized following a mugging. It took an entire year before he saw his completed mansion.

STOP 4. HAMMOND CASTLE MUSEUM // GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

111 miles from Newport, Rhode Island

Part of the exterior of Hammond castle
Robert Linsdell, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. built his medieval-style castle between 1926 and 1929 as both his home and a showcase for his historical artifacts. But Hammond was not only interested in recreating visions of the past; he also helped shape the future. The castle was home to the Hammond Research Corporation, from which Hammond produced over 400 patents and came up with the ideas for over 800 inventions, including remote control via radio waves—which earned him the title "the Father of Remote Control." Visitors can take a self-guided tour of many of the castle’s rooms, including the great hall, indoor courtyard, Renaissance dining room, guest bedrooms, inventions exhibit room, library, and kitchens.

STOP 5. BOLDT CASTLE // ALEXANDRIA BAY, THOUSAND ISLANDS, NEW YORK

430 miles from Gloucester, Massachusetts

It's a long drive from Gloucester and only accessible by water, but it's worth it. The German-style castle on Heart Island was built in 1900 by millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt, who created the extravagant structure as a summer dream home for his wife Louise. Sadly, she passed away just months before the place was completed. The heartbroken Boldt stopped construction, leaving the property empty for over 70 years. It's now in the midst of an extensive renovation, but the ballroom, library, and several bedrooms have been recreated, and the gardens feature thousands of plants.

STOP 6. FONTHILL CASTLE // DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA

327 miles from Alexandria Bay, New York

Part of the exterior of Fonthill castle

In the mood for more castles? Head south to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where Fonthill Castle was the home of the early 20th century American archeologist, anthropologist, and antiquarian Henry Chapman Mercer. Mercer was a man of many interests, including paleontology, tile-making, and architecture, and his interest in the latter led him to design Fonthill Castle as a place to display his colorful tile and print collection. The inspired home is notable for its Medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine architectural styles, and with 44 rooms, there's plenty of well-decorated nooks and crannies to explore.

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