vans 1966

5

Dodge Tradesman A-100 Barris Supervan, 1966. Originally designed by George Barris as “The Love Machine” and reincarnated for the 1977 movie “SuperVan.” It appeared in a number of movies and TV shows, such as “Back to the Future II,” “Sea Quest” and “Solar Crisis.” It sold at auction in 2016 for $62,700

Riding high in the constellation of Auriga, beautiful, blue vdB 31 is the 31st object in Sidney van den Bergh’s 1966 catalog of reflection nebulae. It shares this well-composed celestial still life with dark, obscuring clouds recorded in Edward E. Barnard’s 1919 catalog of dark markings in the sky. All are interstellar dust clouds, blocking the light from background stars in the case of Barnard's dark nebulae. For vdB 31, the dust preferentially reflects the bluish starlight from embedded, hot, variable star AB Aurigae. Exploring the environs of AB Aurigaewith the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed the several million year young star is itself surrounded by flattened dusty disk with evidence for the ongoing formation of aplanetary system. AB Aurigae is about 470 light-years away. At that distance this cosmic canvas would span about four light-years.

Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona

Time And Space

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Man With No Name Epic

Probably saw for the first time with my little brother sometime in the seventies on television, but I first watched the whole thing start to finish sometime in the eighties on video (and the first time in widescreen on DVD sometime in the mid-90s). Several of Leone’s films use the ‘good, bad, ugly’ character structure, in which one of the characters is the sympathetic mythic western hero (not necessarily ‘good’ in the traditional sense of the word, but usually 'good’ in respects to the 'bad’ character), but this one makes it clear from the title what we have in store, and in that sense, this is a much more stripped down and pure storyline than some of the previous films. A stolen cache of gold, and three characters in a race to recover it, and running into a few obstacles in the way. Clint plays the 'good’ (no name other than “blondy” as he is called by the other character), in his trademark poncho and constantly smoldering little cigarillo. Eli Wallach plays the 'ugly’ (a character who is more 'human’ than the other two, usually with a sense of humor, and family ties and religion) and has a lot of fun with an absurd mexican accent, and finally Lee Van Cleef as 'the bad’. This one features a little bigger budget, so we are able to afford more sets, more extras, and more ambitious scenes like the one about the Civil War general and the bridge. One of the best three way final shootout scenes you are likely to see, and some great Morricone music, as usual.

4 stars out of 5

Released 1966, First Viewing May 1976 with many revisits over the years