“Unity, Precision, Thrust”: The NASA Graphics Standards Manual, 1975

n the mid-1970s, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was in a period of transition. The final manned Apollo mission to the Moon, Apollo 17, had returned to Earth in December 1972; no further Moon landings were planned. NASA had recently kicked off their Skylab experiments in short-term orbital space station living (and détente-inspired collaboration with the Soviets), as well as announcing a reusable fleet of Space Shuttles…

“Spacy Spheres and Funky Shacks”: The Otherworlds of 1971’s ‘Domebook 2’

In the spring of 1971, it seemed everyone on the fringes of mainstream society in North America was trying to build geodesic domes: soaring gridwork domes made of plastic and steel, of wood, of concrete. Inspired by technocratic engineer-turned-counterculture guru and geodesic dome evangelist R. Buckminster Fuller, hundreds of back-to-the-land hippies sought to use his elementary architectural example…

“When Seconds Count”: Reader’s Digest’s ‘What to Do in an Emergency’, 1986

The world is a dangerous place, and nowhere is this more true—subjectively speaking—than in its safest, most fortunate corners. I’ve spoken before about how the postwar UK seemed sometimes to be living in a traumatized fugue state of danger and threat. Here, then, is the bible of that particular belief system: the Reader’s Digest’s 1986 What to Do in an Emergency

“A Matter of Good Breeding”: The Shape-Shifting Elite in Brian Yuzna’s ‘Society’

By Noah Berlatsky

The elite is an amorphous clotted blob of parasitic greed and hate. Its tendrils extend with slimy stealth into every orifice of society—which makes its precise outlines difficult to see. Are the elite contemptuous coastal liberals and academics? Are they hedge fund managers and tech billionaires? Are they infiltrating globalists or capitalist pigs? Are they your bosses? Or are they your neighbors sneering at your MCU films and your fast food diet?

‘You Don’t Have to Get Pregnant’: Miseducation in the Age of Sexual Revolution

By Lindsay Oxford

In the early 1970s, scores of liberated, fertile women were eager to join the sexual revolution. Along with the diaphragm and IUD, the recently available birth control pill gave women the autonomy to decide when and if they would have children. With so many options and the pill so new, where could a woman turn to get reliable advice and information about contraception?