Missed connections with Alien War. For the better part of an academic year from 1995-6, I lived as a student in Central London. I like to think I learned a whole lot about and experienced a lot of the culture there, but I was growing and evolving at the time too, and, well, some things seem to have painfully just passed me by completely. I hadn’t thought about the crazy entertainment complex at the Trocadero in Picadilly Circus for a long time, and then I came across this thread that gives a history of some very unique offerings that hit their peak during my time there. “Alien War” was a wild live adventure experience that was there for just a short time. From the thread:
“Guests who entered Alien War - similar to a haunted house, with live actors - found themselves in the dim halls of a Weyland-Yutani freighter. Sets/props from the Alien films were used in the building of the attraction, and key FX staff from the franchise worked on the project.”
Imagine this, but in 1996. There was just nothing around like it.
I remember a guy in my dorm, Francois, who it turns out was a super smart economics major visiting from the esteemed Sciences-Po in France, exclaiming “Alien War!” in endearing Franglish from time to time with excitement. I walked by this place a zillion times. Never went in. What was wrong with me?
According to this thread there was also a one-of-a-kind Segaworld/Sonic The Hedgehog exhibit over there, crazy cool light shows…A lot of stuff, none of which I saw. I think some of my dorm-mates did get there, and, well good for them. If any of y’all are reading this, please send your recollections and I’ll update the thread, or comment below.
Scroll through this amazing trip through Trocadero history. It’s chock full of photos and well worth your time. And reflect on how easy it is to miss things happening all around you all the time.
A complete thread on exploding books. A UK Primary school teacher tweeted to show off a very cool project he did with his class. They created these “exploding” books, that come to life by unfolding panels instead of by turning bound pages. The source material they used for the books was Robert Macfarlane’s “The Lost Words,” an illustrated book of spells about nature words (like bluebell, dandelion, acorn) that are disappearing from children’s lives and literature, which sounds like a book I need to own.
So first you see this spirit-lifting work by the kids. Then the first reply I see in the thread is from the author himself:
And you also get more than one link from other Twitter folk to the recipes for how to make these books. And lots of teachers sharing their work and excitement. And links to more works inspired by The Lost Words. And right before your eyes unfolds a whole world that a moment ago you knew nothing about. It would be easy to forget that complete threads like this exist on Twitter; they’re rarely celebrated or curated by the platform. Part of my mission with this newsletter is to keep my eye out for them, for us all to find and enjoy.
A super smart subscription idea. Mschf internet studios, which I feel a kinship with from my old Giantheads days, has a mailing list that’s sort of subscription in reverse. You give them your Venmo payment id, and every time they have a new project to announce, they make a micropayment in to your account to go with the email announcing it. I love the thinking, and it’s been rattling around in my brain ever since.
Bonus bananas: There are a few extras that hitched a ride in the bushel this week. Check out why pencils are traditionally yellow. Look at a graph of how people in the UK met over time, from 1940 to the present. And enjoy this thread of loose thoughts about cinema, thought, and the mechanics of seeing from a Twitter user I have really come to enjoy.’
Those are all the bananas I found for you this week. You can hit “reply” and it will go only to me. Thank you.