The photo below is an aerial view of what Niagara Falls usually looks like. But for a period of about 40 hours on March 29-31, 1848 Niagara Falls stopped. No water flowed over the great cataract for the first time in recorded history. Not surprisngly people went a little nuts.
Niagara Falls was already a big tourist attraction by 1848. Villages sprouted on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the river to accommodate the sightseeing throngs. Residents also built waterwheels to harness the Niagara River’s power to run mills and drive machinery in factories.
An American farmer out for a stroll shortly before midnight on March 29 was the first to notice something. Actually, he noticed the absence of something--the thundering roar of the falls. When he went to the river’s edge, he saw hardly any water.
Came the dawn of March 30, people awoke to an unaccustomed silence. The mighty Niagara was a mere trickle. Mills and factories shut down because the waterwheels had stopped.
The bed of the river was exposed. Fish died and turtles floundered about. Brave—or foolish— people walked on the river bottom, picking up exposed guns, bayonets and tomahawks as souvenirs.
Was it the end of the world? Perhaps it was divine retribution for what some folks thought was a U.S. war of aggression against Mexico? In an age of religious revivals, theological explanations abounded. Fearing the end of the world, thousands of people filled special church services praying for the falls to start flowing and the world to continue, or for salvation and forgiveness of their sins as the Last Judgment approached.
Because communications were haphazard in 1848, no one knew why the falls had stopped.
But from Buffalo, NY word eventually arrived that explained the bare falls and dry riverbed. Strong southwest gale winds had pushed huge chunks of ice to the extreme northeastern tip of Lake Erie, blocking the lake’s outlet into the head of the Niagara River. The ice jam had become an ice dam.
And just as news traveled inward, news also traveled outward. Thousands came from nearby cities and towns to look at the spectacle of Niagara Falls without water. People crossed the riverbed on foot, on horseback and in horse-drawn buggies. Mounted U.S. Army cavalry soldiers paraded up and down the empty Niagara River. It was a potentially hazardous act for there was no telling when the rushing waters might return. One entrepreneur used the hiatus to do some safety work. The Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat had been taking tourists on river rides below the falls since 1846, and there were some dangerous rocks it always had to avoid. Since the river had ceased running and the rocks were in plain sight, the boat’s owner sent workers out to blast the rocks away with explosives.
March 30 was not the only dry day. No water flowed over the falls throughout the daylight hours of March 31.
But that night a distant rumble came from upriver. The low-pitched noise drew nearer and louder. Suddenly a wall of water came roaring down the upper Niagara River and over the falls with a giant thunder.
The ice jam had cleared. To the relief of the locals, the river was running again.
Added: 21st March 2011
Posted By: Lava1964
Nickelodeon Commercials December 11, 1993
1. "Looney Tunes" End Credits
2. Up Next...
3. Dimension Cable
4. Promo for "Rugrats: The Santa Experience"
5. Shark Attack (OMG I totally forgot about this)
6. Kirby's Pinball Land
7. Happy Chanukah Bumper
8. "Muppet Matinee" Commercial Bumper
9. Lickin' Lizards (With Michelle Trachtenberg)
10. Baby Get Well (Yep, the cheeks of babies glow neon pink when they're feverish)
11. Huffy Dr. Shock (Dr. Shock is still recovering from his mental breakdown and is prohibited from working with bicycles per a court order)
12. Chuck E. Cheese's
14. Barbie Golden Dreams Motorhome
15. Barbie Fountain Pool
16. Promo for "Muppet Babies"
17. "Muppet Matinee" Commercial Bumpers
18. Promo for "Can't Wait 'til Christmas Week"
19. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (Am I watching a video game commercial or some weird music video for an alternative band?)
20. Kirby's Dreamland (As the owner of a Game Gear, I sort of missed out on the whole Kirby thing)
21. Apple Jacks (With Devin Ratray aka Buzz from the "Home Alone" movies)
22. Station ID (Awesome)
23. "Muppet Matinee" Commercial Bumper
24. Aladdin Gift Set
25. Sally Secrets (So she hides stickers in her prosthetic feet? Neat)
26. X-Men Video Pack at Pizza Hut (That poster is amazing)
27. Stack-a-saurus Nex (I forgot so many of these cheesy electronic board games)
28. Eat At Ralph's (Vomitastic!)
29. Power Wheels Barbie Lamborghini (While watching her spoiled, delusional child drive around the block, little Cindy's mother thought to herself, "What sort of monster have I created?")
30. Promo for "Can't Wait 'til Christmas Week"
31. "Muppet Matinee" Commercial Bumpers
Added: 19th August 2012
Posted By: masonx31
1990s Colors included yellow, blue, green, and a mystery bag with a surprise color. I'm not sure how many of you will remember this stuff, but it was just too weird not to mention. Video store chains became especially popular during the early 90s; a fact proven by the insidious amount of Blockbuster commercials strewn into TV breaks at the time. As more and more movie nights were staged from home, popcorn finally shed its "theater treat" stigma for good while sales soared. Those microwaveable bags of kernels became and remain a staple in most households, with several companies competing for the coveted top spot. Yes, there's competition in popcorn.
So how do you make one popcorn more attractive than the other? For the most part, it's all the same shit. Covering the packaging with pretty colors and in-your-face fonts only took these companies so far, and while dubious additions like cheddar dust and Cajun red spice helped differentiate the products, General Mills had something else in mind. Something strange. "Pop Qwiz." Perhaps the first and only popcorn marketed exclusively towards children. Thrown under General Mills' "Pop Secret" banner, Pop Qwiz really broke the mold. Junk food with a gimmick is common nowadays, but this stuff was pretty unique in 1991. Basically, it was just regular, buttered popcorn dyed in every color of the rainbow. You had bags of red popcorn, blue popcorn, green, yellow, you name it. That alone was sure to bring in a substantial clientele -- kids'll eat anything that looks odd.
Pop Qwiz had more to offer than weird colors, though. While each of the mini-sized bags had correspondently bright colors, the colors of the bags didn't necessarily match the shade of the popcorn within. What was surely just a cost cutting measure was sold to us as a "game" -- it was up to us to guess which popcorn color was in each bag. The point of the game is up for debate, as we got to eat all of the popcorn even if we guessed wrong. Taking things even further, the bags had all sorts of quizzes, puzzles, and other stupid games printed right on 'em. Children always appreciate things tailored specifically for them, and while popcorn wasn't an important victory, we took it with great pride. We had our own popcorn. Tomorrow, the world. You'd have to imagine that some kids would've begged for Pop Qwiz just by passing the colorful box in grocery stores, but the point was really driven home with General Mills' ad campaign. This was crucial for ten trillion reasons, and I swear, I've counted. Okay, how often do you see popcorn advertised during children's programming hours? It's pretty rare, so Pop Qwiz was playing to an audience its competitors never even thought to tackle. Another point: when a kid wants popcorn, words are rarely minced. "I want popcorn." That's all that's ever said. No specific brands are mentioned, no bias towards one particular popcorn is conveyed. Just a simple "I want popcorn." By throwing the "Pop Qwiz" title in our heads, General Mills created a sense of inadvertent brand loyalty. If we wanted popcorn, we asked for popcorn. If we wanted crazy wacky colored popcorn, we asked for Pop Qwiz. And what kid wouldn't always prefer crazy wacky colored popcorn?
This was all much more brilliant than it seemed on the surface, and the commercial was a real keeper to boot. I know I focus more on earlier years with these articles, but as I was entering my ugly, lonely teen years during the 90s, I ended up watching a whole lot more television. Alone. This "Pop Qwiz" ad, to me, is just as synonymous with the time as any of the big ones, including that PSA where the Ninja Turtles exposed the dangers of marajuana. It surprises me that the snacks weren't very successful -- I guess the world just wasn't ready to accept, much less eat radioactive green popcorn. Artists are so often unappreciated in own their time, even if they only work in kernels.
Added: 19th August 2012
Posted By: masonx31
Farley's Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles Snacks 1990-1997? The Turtles were all over the place in the early ’90s. You couldn’t walk into a Kay Bee toy store or supermarket without seeing their faces and logo plastered all over some type of product. As far as food tie-ins go, other than Pizza-Crunchabungas and TMNT cereal, Farley’s TMNT fruit snacks were a high point in the merchandising blitz that controlled my young life.
Farley’s was always produced a low budget line of fruit snacks. You could just tell from packaging and flavor and texture that they weren’t the best brand around. Farley’s was the type of fruit snacks where you’d see a whole palette of them in the middle of the sales floor at the Dollar Tree (no doubt right alongside whatever licensed cereal Ralston was pumping out that month). They couldn’t compete with Sunkist or Betty Crocker but cheap fruit snacks are still very good in my opinion because you can never really go wrong with fruit snacks in the first place.
One of the great things about fruit snacks is that they double as toys if you’re creative enough. Who else had the Turtles battle Shredder and his henchman before playing the part of a giant and gobbling them all up? I think Leatherhead was my favorite to eat just because I like Leatherhead and I think he’s a criminally unappreciated part of the Turtles universe. I was disappointed there was no Rat King though.
Added: 19th August 2012
Posted By: masonx31