The Cosby Show, what has long been considered the greatest black sitcom of all time, celebrates its 30th anniversary in two weeks. That the show’s legendary run is marked by a return to a more diverse television landscape this fall seems fitting: NBC, ABC, and FOX, along with other networks, will debut a variety of shows that cast minority actors in lead roles (several are women of color). This push for more nuanced programming brings to mind the 1990s, a decade known for its rich portrayal of black life through shows like Living Single and Roc. Here, a completely indisputable ranking of black sitcoms that aired between 1990 and 1999.
Known as the father of the modern submarine, American inventor Simon Lake had been captivated by the idea of undersea travel and exploration ever since he read Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in 1870. Lake’s innovations included ballast tanks, divers’ compartments and the periscope. His company built the Argonaut—the first submarine to operate successfully in the open ocean, in 1898—earning him a congratulatory note from Verne.
While Jules Verne is perhaps most famous for his fictional submarine, the Nautilus, the French author also envisioned the future of flight. Igor Sikorsky, inventor of the modern helicopter, was inspired by a Verne book, Clipper of the Clouds, which he had read as a young boy. Sikorsky often quoted Jules Verne, saying “Anything that one man can imagine, another man can make real.”
Robert H. Goddard, the American scientist who built the first liquid-fueled rocket—which he successfully launched on March 16, 1926—became fascinated with spaceflight after reading an 1898 newspaper serialization of H.G. Wells’ classic novel about a Martian invasion, War of the Worlds. As Goddard would recall later, the concept of interplanetary flight “gripped my imagination tremendously.”
Martin Cooper, the director of research and development at Motorola, credited the “Star Trek” communicator as his inspiration for the design of the first mobile phone in the early 1970s. “That was not fantasy to us,” Cooper said, “that was an objective.”
One of the most famous literary characters of the early 20th century was Tom Swift, a genius inventor who was the protagonist in a series of juvenile science fiction books. NASA physicist Jack Cover, who invented the Taser, was a fan—“Taser” is an acronym for one of Swift’s fictional inventions, the “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle.”
Public pay phones in use at Broadway and 34th Street, in May of 1973. The first handheld mobile phone call in history was made one month prior to this photo in midtown Manhattan, April 1973, when Martin Cooper, made a call to his chief competitor Dr. Joel S. Engel. Photo by Erik Calonius
British heritage brand Belstaff is in the process of rebranding and relaunching to spiff up the venerable label with fresh design. Martin Cooper, previously Christopher Bailey’s right-hand man at Burberry, is leading the design team and from the looks of it, doing an excellent job. The moto jackets (revered by every Italian on a Ducati zooming along the streets of Milan, as well as Kate Moss btw) have been reworked into plenty of new versions and with a tight, whip thin silhouette.
While the color palette is rather staid in neutrals, some warm cognac browns and of course plenty of black in leather and wovens, the details and fit are excellent. Trousers were mostly cropped, skirts mostly knee-length, and abstracted racing stripe details perked up some wonderful knit dresses. I look forward to seeing more of Cooper’s work as this brand grows, and I"ll start saving now for one of his excellent pieces of outerwear. -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
Stydia is Sethummer: The whole “unpopular, spastic, Star Wars-loving boy in love with the popular girl who doesn’t even notice him” plot line has been done before with Seth and Summer. Teen wolf is basically just taking their relationship and giving it a slower burn.
Stiles Stilinski is Seth Cohen: Sticking with the theme, Stiles is the same nerdy-cute sidekick to Scott that Seth was to Ryan. And, yes, he’s stealing teenage girls hearts’ just as quickly as Seth did. Plus, they both love Star Wars and girls out of their league.
Lydia Martin is Summer Roberts: Summer may have not been a genius like Lydia is, but both girls went through a tremendous amount of character growth. They both started out as shallow, self-centered cliche “popular” girls, but over time they started to care more about other characters (more specifically Seth and Stiles…) and their feelings. Plus, they were both besties to the female leads who died tragically (I’m looking at you, Marissa and Allison!).
The panic attack kiss was the ferris wheel kiss: On The O.C. Ryan was afraid of heights, and when he started to have a panic attack on the ferris wheel, Marissa kissed him to calm him down. Lydia used a similar tactic on Stiles when he was having a panic attack. Those girls sure know how to distract a guy! Plus, these were both couple’s first kisses.
Allison’s death was Marissa’s death: The world stopped when Marissa was killed off The O.C. in the season 3 finale. She died in Ryan’s arms, and I’m still crying over it! Allison followed suit by dying in her first loves’ arms as well (yup, it’s Scott), at the end of season 3b. These girls must really not have liked what was coming up in season 4.
I could also argue that Kira becoming Scott’s new love interest after Allison is like how Taylor became Ryan’s new love interest after Marissa, or how Matt was basically just a glorified Oliver Trask, or even how Jackson’s ass hole jock status was exactly like Luke’s, but I think I’ve made my point. Teen Wolf (although I love it!) is just a supernatural version of The O.C.