austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

As the wizards play down on Pinball Way on the boardwalk way past dark

(Sorry, honestly thought I had set this to post.)

Relatively quiet week at my mathematics blog, with the usual comics posts and one stray bit of reading post. Don't worry; it's inspired me to write something as a follow-up. To see what I'm going to have a follow-up to, why not try some of these:

  • Reading the Comics, November 4, 2017: Slow, Small Week Edition
  • What Only One Person Ever Has Thought ‘Pi’ Means, And Who That Was
  • Reading the Comics, November 8, 2017: Uses Of Mathematics Edition
  • Also, are you informed about What's Going On In Gasoline Alley? You can be! It takes maybe a thousand words to catch up on three months' worth of searching for the heartbroken Rufus. Had enough beauty shots of pinball machines? Me neither. I used the Sunday of my work trip last year to get to the Silverball Museum in Asbury Park. Here's how the place looked.


    In the dark grey skies of an overcase December afternoon the Silverball Museum's lights don't make it look the least like the evil corporate overlords of a dystopian yet very 80s future.


    Looking north along the boardwalk from outside the Silverball Museum. It looks cold, to me, but that might just be my memories of the way the place felt and how I worried that I ought to be back home with our pet rabbit instead.


    Looking east along the boardwalk into the grey Atlantic shore. I don't know how much the fence does to stave off winter storms stealing away the beach, but the beach was there when we visited in summer, at least.


    View of the Asbury Park Convention Center; you an see the tree set up inside. Fun fact: if you wander the length and breadth of the convention center you have a 20 percent chance of seeing Bruce Springsteen, even if it's only his spectral presence manifested by the expectations of Jersey Shore residents and he's off performing in London or something.


    So here, finally, a look inside the actual Silverball Museum and its first row of games. It leads off, naturally, with FunHouse, this model featuring an over-caffeinated Rudy staring directly into your soul. Howdy, Biff.


    South wall along the Silverball Museum, and the games that are off past FunHouse and The Shadow and Road Show above. It isn't quite a review of the games I learned to love pinball on --- I never saw a Scared Stiff or a Cirqus Voltaire until this decade, for example --- but most of this row is stuff I played in the 90s when I was learning to love the game.


    Backglass for Silverball Mania, an early solid state game themed to the idea of ``why not have everybody be shiny liquid metal''? And like a dozen years before Terminator 2 invented liquid metal, all right? If you prowl around the game you discover there's a lot of people and different body types, including some wizened old men with beards and stuff. Don't worry. All the liquid metal women are young-looking, if I'm not mistaken.


    One of the rows of solid-state games at the Silverball Museum. Evel Knievel, sadly, came out like two years too early to have ramps, which has to be one of the great shames of pinball timing.

    Trivia: One scheme of counting the dates, popular in Italy in the Middle Ages, was the ``Bologna custom''. It counted dates from the first to the middle of the month, and then began counting backwards toward the last day of the moth. Source: The Calendar: The 5000-Year Struggle to Align the Clock and the Heavens --- and What Happened to the Missing Ten Days, David Ewing Duncan.

    Currently Reading: Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History, David Aaronovitch.

    Tags: mathematics, new jersey, silverball museum

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