10 Cultural Milestones Turning 30 In 2019

It’s hard to believe that Seinfeld first aired 30 years ago, just as the first pieces of the Berlin Wall were chipped away, and Nintendo created and released the first-ever Game Boy. Take a look back at some of the biggest cultural moments turning 30 in the coming year.

1. The Simpsons premieres on FOX

When: December 17, 1989

cultural moments
The first episode of The Simpsons aired on FOX on December 17, 1989 (FOX)

The Simpsons is America’s longest running sitcom. The dysfunctional but still lovable family of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie had first debuted on television on April 19, 1987 as an animated sketch that was part of  The Tracey Ullman Show. After three seasons, the sketch was developed into a full-length, half-hour prime time show that debuted mid-season in 1989. It soon became the fledgling Fox Network’s first hit show as The Simpsons broke into the top 30 ratings for shows airing during the 1989 to 1990 season. Currently, more than 650 episodes of The Simpsons have aired.

2. Berlin Wall comes down

When: November 9, 1989

cultural moments
Workers prepare the last wall segment for dismantling in the center of Berlin, Nov. 30, 1990. After dividing the city for 28 years, the wall began to be torn down in late 1989 as the Soviet Union’s control over the Eastern bloc collapsed. (AP Photo/Axel Kull)

The Berlin Wall stood for almost 30 years before folks began to chip away at it in the fall of 1989. Since its erection, more than 100,000 people had tried to escape to the West from East Germany, but only 5,000 made it. Between 130 and 200 people died trying to climb the wall. Both East and West Germany open the wall in November of 1989, and although folks immediately began to chip away at at the stone structure, it wasn’t until the following summer that the wall officially began to be demolished. By 1992, the demolition was complete.

3. Nintendo Game Boy is released

When: April 22, 1989 (Japan), July 31, 1989 (North America)

cultural moments
Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario and other characters and video games for Nintendo, holds a Nintendo Game Boy containing the Super Mario World video game. (Getty Images)

The Nintendo Switch has this original handheld gaming device to thank for its popularity. In 1989, way back before e-sports and Twitch, gamers got a taste of the future of gaming when Nintendo released their first-ever hand-held gaming device: the Game Boy. Before it was discontinued in 2003, the Game Boy sold over 118 million units and spawned the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Pocket. 40,000 Game Boys were sold in the United States the day it came out. In Japan, Nintendo sold 300,000 consoles during the first two weeks on the market.

4. Disney’s The Little Mermaid released

When: November 17, 1989

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Actress Jodi Benson, who is the voice of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid,’ at Disney Studios in Burbank, California. The animated film, released in 1989, made over $200 million worldwide. (Photo by Bob Riha Jr/WireImage)

When Disney’s The Little Mermaid premiered in 1989, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Disney’s then CEO, said because it was a “girl’s movie,” don’t expect the mermaid film to make much or as much money as Oliver & Company. Boy was he wrong. The Little Mermaid first saw life at Disney as part of an animated collection of Hans Christian Andersen shorts created in the 1930s. After decades on the shelf, Disney revitalized the concept and brought it life. The underwater setting in the film required the most detailed special effects animation for a Disney movie since 1940’s Fantasia. The film went on to gross over $200 million worldwide (blowing Oliver & Company out of the mermaid-filled waters), spawning re-releases, sequels, and even a limited 3D version that played at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood in 2013. Disney is currently in production on a live-action version of the animated classic.

5. Seinfeld premieres on NBC

When: July 5, 1989

cultural moments
Season one of Seinfeld premiered in 1989. Pictured: (l-r) Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Jerry Seinfeld as himself, Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer, Jason Alexander as George Costanza. (Photo by Carin Baer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

After it premiered on NBC in 1989, Seinfeld went on to become one of the most acclaimed television shows in TV history, lauded by publications like Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and TV Guide. The show won three Golden Globes and 10 Emmy awards during its run. Its finale, at the end of its ninth season, attracted more than 38 millions viewers. In 2002, TV Guide called Seinfeld the greatest TV show of all time and it still commands millions of dollars in digital streaming fees. The show continues to live on through reruns and popular catchphrases created by the show like “Yada, yada, yada…” “No soup for you!” and “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

6. Execution of Ted Bundy

When: January 24, 1989

ted bundy cultural moments
Ted Bundy walks forward and waves to TV camera as his indictment for the January murders of FSU coeds Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman is read at the Leon County Jail. Bundy was later sentenced to death and executed on January 24, 1989. (Getty Images)

Serial killer Ted Bundy admitted to brutally murdering 36 young women (though law enforcement officials believe he killed more than 100 people). He began taking lives sometime around 1974, perhaps even as early as 1971, and his murder spree spanned the U.S. including Washington, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. The world was stunned to learn that such a charismatic, good looking “all American” type guy could decapitate at least 12 women and sexually assault their lifeless bodies. After two escapes from custody, Bundy was sentenced to death in Florida and sent to the electric chair on January 24, 1989. After being cremated, the notorious mass murderer wanted his ashes spread on the Cascade Mountains of Washington State—that’s where he murdered at least four women.

7. First Global Positioning System (GPS) launched into orbit

When: February 14, 1989

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An artist’s rendering of the first Block II satellite, launched into orbit on February 14, 1989. (NASA)

The first of 24 satellites designed to make up the Global Positioning System (GPS) was launched into orbit in 1989. Over the coming years, additional satellites were put into place at specific orbits and altitudes to ensure coverage around the globe. The system, still used today as the backbone to modern life, was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense and features applications in land-surveying, global timekeeping, and mapmaking.

8. Batman the film is released in theaters

When: June 23, 1989

Batman cultural moments
Michael Keaton as Batman in Tim Burton’s film adaption of the classic television series. The film grossed over $400 million worldwide. (IMDB)

Kids (and parents) went nuts during the summer of ’89 when Tim Burton’s Batman hit theaters. The $48 million big-budget film went on to gross over $400 million at the box office—that’s over $800 million in today’s dollars. The film was so popular it helped to launch the successful Batman: The Animated Series cartoon show. At the time, Batman was the fifth-highest-grossing movie in film history, paving the way for future DC Universe pictures. The all-star cast included Michael Keaton as Batman, Jack Nicholson as The Joker, and Hollywood It-Girl Kim Basinger. The popular score was created by Danny Elfman. Other A-listers who had a shot at being Batman but didn’t make the cut include Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, and Charlie Sheen. Prior to the film’s release, over $750 million worth of Batman merchandise had already been sold. The film won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction and has spawned six more Batman sequels.

9. Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web

When: March 12, 1989

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British physicist-turned-programmer Tim Berners-Lee devised much of the programming language that made the Internet accessible to the broad public. (Catrina Genovese/Getty Images)

Tim Berners-Lee was a CERN software engineer at the laboratory in Switzerland near Geneva in 1989 when he invented the World Wild Web. While working at the lab, Berners-Lee noticed that visiting scientists were having a difficult time sharing their findings with one another. Knowing that the super computers were connected via the Internet, the engineer figured he could exploit hypertext, an emerging tech in the field. In March of ’89 Berners-Lee created a new project, calling it “Information Management: A Proposal.” Mike Sendall, his boss at the time, called the proposal “vague but exciting.” By the fall of 1990, Berners-Lee had developed HTML, URI, and HTTP: three fundamental pieces of technology that are still used to build and deliver website today. In 1991, CERN opened up the World Wide Web to everyone.

10. Dalai Lama wins the Nobel Peace Prize

When: December 10, 1989

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Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (left) receives the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize from Egil Aarvik, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, on December 10, 1989 at Oslo University. (AFP/Getty Images)

The 14th Dalai Lama, birth name Tenzin Gyatso, fled his home region of Tibet in 1959 after a deadly uprising against Chinese rule broke out. After landing in India, he set up a government-in-exile. Thirty years later, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to honor the fact he “consistently has opposed the use of violence” in his campaign for Tibetan independence from China, the Committee said.

Informed of the award while in California, the Dalai Lama said he was thrilled to hear the news: ”I very much appreciate that kind of recognition about my beliefs,” he told the New York Times. ”In fact, I always believed in love, compassion and a sense of universal respect. Every human being has that potential. My case is nothing special. I am a simple Buddhist monk—no more, no less.”

The Dalai Lama had been nominated in previous years but in 1989 he beat out 100 other nominations to win the prestigious prize.

6 Heroic Rescues, for the 10th Anniversary of the “Miracle on the Hudson”

It’s been 10 years since the “Miracle on the Hudson” when famed pilot Chesley Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles of US Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing on the Hudson River. Here’s a look back at that incredible feat and some of the other most heroic, and daring, rescues to have made headlines.

1. Miracle on the Hudson

miracle on the hudson flight 1549
Rescue crews secure US Airways flight 1549 floating in the water after it made an emergency landing in New York City’s Hudson River on January 15, 2009. The Airbus 320 aircraft lost power shortly after take-off from LaGuardia Airport when it collided with a flock of geese.. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

On January 15, 2009, 155 people aboard US Airways Flight 1549 left LaGuardia airport but only got as far as the Hudson River in New York City. That’s because not long after takeoff, the airplane struck a flock of Canada geese as it approached the George Washington Bridge. Both engines soon stopped functioning. Sullenberger, formerly a fighter pilot, radioed for help but quickly realized he wouldn’t have time to fly the plane to any nearby airports. Within minutes of “hard-landing” the plane down the middle of the river, the NY Waterway ferries Governor Thomas H. Kean and Thomas Jefferson arrived on the scene to rescue passengers stranded on inflated slides and life rafts. The entire flight crew was later presented with the Keys to the City by then-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

2. Baby Jessica rescued from a well

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Rescuer rushes “Baby Jessica” rescued from a fall into a well that was only 8 inches wide. The young girl was trapped for three days before being pulled out and rushed to the hospital. (Getty)

During the fall of 1987, 18-month-old Jessica McClure, nicknamed “Baby Jessica,” fell into a tiny well in her aunt’s backyard in Midland, Texas. Rescuers worked around the clock for three days to safely extract the desperate baby who was trapped 22 feet down inside an 8 inch-wide well casing. At one point, rescuers could hear the toddler singing “Winnie the Pooh.” A full 56 hours after she was discovered, the little girl was brought up to the surface and taken to the hospital.

McClure went through 15 surgeries after her rescue and needed to have a toe amputated (due to gangrene). But she has no first-hand memory of the incident.

3. Navy Seals kill Somali pirates who hijacked the Maersk Alabama

The US merchant ship Maersk Alabama berths in the Kenyan coastal city port of Mombasa on April 11, 2009. Pirates hijacked the ship as it sailed towards the port carrying food aid on April 8. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

After a four day standoff with Somali pirates who had taken over the cargo ship, US Navy SEAL snipers, through the darkness of night, fired off three shots killing three of the pirates who were holding the Maersk Alabama’s captain hostage inside a life boat. Captain Richard Phillips escaped unharmed from the incident. The fourth, surviving pirate was flown to the United States where he stood trial and was sentenced to almost 34 years behind bars. A movie about the hostage situation, Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks was released in 2013.

4. Thai soccer team rescued from cave

Thai soldiers relay electric cable deep into the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 during a rescue operation for a missing children’s football team and their coach. (LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)

Eighteen days after entering the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai Province in Thailand, 12 children and their soccer coach were finally rescued from the flooded caverns. The group had completed a soccer practice and wanted to explore the cave, which they had done so previously, when a monsoon struck, flooding the cave system and trapping the group nearly a mile from the cave’s entrance.

A world-wide rescue effort soon followed—including a belated contribution from billionaire tech guru Elon Musk. Thai Navy SEAL divers brought the boys food, water, and medicine as they prepared to extract each boy, one by one, out of the murky flood waters. The entire team, along with their coach, was successfully rescued from the cave, with the final boys appearing through the entrance on July 10, 2018. One Thai Navy SEAL diver died during the rescue of asphyxiation.

5. NASA’s Apollo 13 mission

Apollo 13 astronauts treading water as they await their recovery helicopter. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/NASA/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

On April 11, 1970 Apollo 13 was rocketing towards the moon.

The Apollo was a combination of two separate spacecrafts: the orbiter Odyssey, where the crew lived on their way to the moon, and the lander Aquarius, which was designed to land and take off from the surface of the moon. On April 13th, while the crew was approaching the moon, a low-pressure warning signal was noticed by Sy Liebergot, the mission controller. To address the situation, Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert flipped a switch that would resettle the gas inside of one of the vessel’s hydrogen tanks, a common procedure. However, this time, a spark from an exposed wire ignited, causing an explosion that ripped through one hydrogen tank and damaging another.

The crew took steps to shutdown the Odyssey orbiter to conserve power for re-entry. As they made their way back to Earth, crew members moved to the Aquarius lander where temperatures dropped to near-freezing levels and water was rationed, all while astronaut Fred Haise developed a kidney infection.

Apollo 13’s crew was unsure if the spacecraft’s heat shield was properly functioning as they approached Earth’s atmosphere. Luckily for them, it functioned as normal and the crew plopped down into the Pacific Ocean on April 17th, 4 days after the explosion occurred. Except for weighing a few pounds less than when they left, the crew was unharmed.

6. Trio of lions rescue girl from kidnappers

Three lions chased away a group of kidnappers who abducted a 12-year-old girl on her way home from school. The lions stood watch over her until police arrived on the scene. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In 2005, a 12-year-old girl in Ethiopia was snatched by kidnappers while she was walking home from school. As police were in pursuit, the kidnappers stumbled across a trio of lions who chased the child-snatching monsters off.

The lions then remained, protecting the young girl until police approached: “They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest,” Segeant Wondmu Wedaj told the BBC.

The rescued child told police that the kidnappers had beaten her, but the lions did her no harm.

“Everyone thinks this is some kind of miracle, because normally the lions would attack people,” Wondimu noted.

Meet the ’32 Ford Roadster That Made Hot Rods Cool

If you look up the term “hot rod” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, you’ll find an entry for a noun that reads “an automobile rebuilt or modified for high speed and fast acceleration.”

While that’s accurate, the good folks at Webster’s could have just replaced their entry with a picture of the 1932 Ford Roadster that Tom McMullen purchased in 1958 for $650 shortly after he moved from the East Coast to Southern California.

Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)
Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)
Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)

Already used in episodes of TV shows like “Life of Riley” and “Lassie” by the time McMullen purchased the muscular motor vehicle, the ’32 Roadster started out with a small-block Chevrolet V8 under the hood.

After McMullen – who was an accomplished gearhead and aspiring automotive writer at the time – took possession of the car he replaced the small-block motor with a 352 CI Chevy V8 that he eventually outfitted with a GMC 4:71 supercharger and two four-barrel carburetors.

Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)
Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)
Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)

That engine rig allowed McMullen to street and drag race to his heart’s content as well as run the roadster to run a track-best speed of 118 miles per hour in the quarter-mile at El Mirage and hit 138 MPH in the half-mile at Riverside.

In addition to the work he put in under the hood, McMullen also got to work on the hot rod’s exterior and spray painted flames and pinstripes designed by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth onto the roadster’s black body.

Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)
Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)
Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)

With its engine intact on the inside and its flashy paint job turning heads on the outside, the roadster appeared on the album covers of several records and graced the fronts of magazines including Street Rodder, Popular Hot Rodding, and Hot Rod.

Following its appearance on the cover of his ‘zine, Hot Rod writer Pat Ganahl wrote: “when [McMullen] reconfigured it to the form that blazed our eyeballs on the April, ’63, cover of Hot Rod, once again, we’d never seen anything like this!” And Street Rodder editor-in-chief Brian Brennan said McMullen’s ’32 was “the most identifiable hot rod of all time.”

Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)
Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)
Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)

With his writing and publishing career off the ground, McMullen – who founded Street Choppers magazine and then started Street Rodder as its sister publication – made the agonizing decision in 1970 to sell off the roadster for $5,000 in order to keep his growing businesses running.

McMullen later called the sale “one of my biggest mistakes” and the car passed through a number of hands before winding up with collector Jorge Zaragoza. He asked award-winning Hot Rodder Roy Brizio to dismantle the car down to its brass tacks and then restore it to its original appearance from the ground up.

.Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)
Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)
Tom McMullen’s 1932 Ford Roadster is one of the most iconic Hot Rods in history. (Mecum)

Brizio did as he was asked and the result was a car which was able to take third place in the Historic Hot Rods at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as well as go on to be named one of the 75 most significant 1932 Fords of all time by a panel of experts assembled by Ford Motor Company

Sold at a Mecum auction in Anaheim in 2012 for $700,000, the McMullen roadster is scheduled to cross the auction block once again at Mecum’s Kissimmee 2019 sale this Saturday.

How Scientists Use Volcanic Lightning

Although beautiful, the lightning strikes that occur during volcanic eruptions have the potential to offer more than just a magnificent display- they offer clues to how a volcano is behaving. Take a look at these breathtaking volcanic lightning strikes.

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Nighttime eruption of Galunggung Volcano, Java island, Indonesia. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Previously, researchers were relying on eyewitness reports to help determine eruption behavior but are now using satellite imagery and a network of shared data from the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN). Scientists hope to use these tools to use lightning as a monitoring tool to track the dangers of volcanic eruptions.

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Lightning strikes near the Icelands Grimsvotn volcano which threatens travel chaos when it erupts. (Photo by Orvar Atli Thorgeirsson / Barcro / Getty Images)

“It sort of fills a niche that no other volcanic eruption monitoring tool can cover,” Alexa Van Eaton, a volcanologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory, told National Geographic.

Lightning is seen within a cloud of volcanic matter as it rises from the erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland. A major eruption occurred on April 14, 2010 which has resulted in a plume of volcanic ash being thrown into the atmosphere over parts of Northern Europe. Air traffic has been subject to cancellation or delays, as airspace across parts of Northern Europe has been closed. (Photo by David Jon/NordicPhotos/Getty Images)

It’s expensive to hardwire every volcanic hotspot with seismometers, so scientists focus on regions with highly populated surrounding areas. As international air travel increases, the need to monitor more remote volcanos is becoming a priority. Monitoring lightning activity using the WWLLN could help.

Volcanic lightning breaks through the ash and smoke as lava spills out from Sakurajima’s opening on March 2, 2015 in Kyushu, Japan. (Marc Szeglat / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Satellite imagery isn’t perfect. The dark night sky and clouds can affect the images. Infrasound has becoming a promising monitoring tool in recent years. However, the sound waves must travel so far, the audio integrity could be compromised by the time it reaches the tool.

View from Frutillar, southern Chile, showing volcanic lightnings and lava spewed from the Calbuco volcano on April 23, 2015. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2016, without proper monitoring tools, a volcano in Alaska erupted for over a week before anyone noticed. Lightning monitoring is not dependent on seismometers or audio equipment, so the Alaskan eruption would have been noticed almost immediately.

A general view of spewing pyroclastic lava and thunderbolts are seen during Mount Sinabung volcano eruption, seen from Tiga Pancur village in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia on July 28, 2016. Areas of Tiga Pancur village and Payung village are covered with volcanic ash. (Photo by Tibta Pangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Van Eaton studied the lightning during a 2014 Indonesia eruption. Using WWLLN technology, she found that lightning strikes would peak at six strokes a minute during the early stages of eruption and then taper off once the plume was steadily expanding.

This volcano is one of the most active in Central America and is located over 30km away from the city of Colima in west Mexico. (Marc Szeglat / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

A new lightning-focused study published in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research has Van Eaton excited but cautious. “What we really have with this paper is some juicy observations. I hope that this will trigger a lot of interesting modeling work, and people who can take these observations and take them to the next level.” she told National Geographic.

The Five Stories You Missed Over the Holidays

It’s a great big internet out there, and we know you don’t have time to search and scour every news app or homepage during the week — especially when you’re spending time with loved ones over the holidays. While you were soaking in the last few moments of 2018, we were doing the job for you. Take a look at some of the most fascinating and in-depth stories of the week you may have missed. Happy reading.

personality traits
(Getty Images)

Regardless of what you might think about the sex lives of millennials and Gen Z, the data shows that young people are having less sex than ever — but it’s not for the reasons you think, The Atlantic reports. Yes, there are the theories that hookup culture, crushing economic pressure, psychological frailty and widespread anti-depressant use are contributing to the dry spell. But there are also more hopeful explanations, like people feeling less pressured into sex they don’t want to have. The Atlantic also cites experts noting that childhood sex abuse rates have declined in recent decades, and that abuse can contribute to promiscuous sexual behavior. But regardless of the reason, what are the consequences for society? Because there are many. Read on.

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) ©Marvel Studios 2018

How many superheroes is too many? That’s the question that Playboy is asking after Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said this week that everyone’s favorite characters — Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, etc. — are going to be included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe within the next few months. Yes, you read that correctly. Months. The eye-bulging news comes after Disney’s 2018 acquisition of 21st Century Fox. When you spend $71 billion, you can pretty much do whatever you want. But should you? Discuss.

money
$4,210 will land you among in top 50% of the world’s wealthiest. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Let’s talk about higher education. Is the student loan bubble going to burst? How much is a four-year degree actually worth? Vice investigated, taking a look at the most recent data with expert help. The takeaway? The fact that we’re even asking the question means trouble is already brewing. Hold onto your wallet and jump in.

Rev. Martin Luther King, director of segregated bus boycott, brimming w. enthusiasm as he outlines boycott strategies to his advisors & organizers incl. (seated L-R) Rev. Ralph Abernathy & Rosa Parks who was the catalyst for the protest of bus riders (Photo by Don Cravens/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Who was responsible for funding the Civil Rights Movement? Step into Georgia Gilmore’s underground kitchen. A new Atlas Obscura piece delves into how Gilmore organized a network of Black women who sold sweet potato pies, pound cakes, stewed greens and plates of fried fish door-to-door in order to raise money for the Montgomery Improvement Association. What was the MIA responsible for? Just a little thing called the Montgomery bus boycott. Learn more about Gilmore’s incredible tenacity and spirit here.

amazon
Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos presents the company’s first smartphone, the Fire Phone, on June 18, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (David Ryder/Getty Images)

Want to lose thousands on Amazon? Here’s a how-to guide from The Atlantic, and it has nothing to do with stocking up on items you actually need. It’s actually a deep, dark look at the latest get-rich-quick scheme — or scam, depending on who you talk to — that’s plaguing average Americans trying to make a buck all around the country.

After 25 Years in Hiding, the ’64 Ferrari 275 Prototype Is Coming Out to Play

If Enzo Ferrari ever had a poster of one of his marque’s Maranello-manufactured cars on his wall, it probably would have been this prototype 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB.

The highly anticipated follow up to the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, the 275 was constructed in ’64 and was the first Ferrari model to feature an independent rear suspension. Carrying assembly sequence no. 1, the model you see here, chassis #06003, is the only 275 GTB “Prototipo” model in existence.

The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)
The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)
The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)

Originally built with short-nosed bodywork, the prototype was used for experimentation and underwent changes as Ferrari sought to develop the style it would use for its production models.

One of those changes was updating its body with long-nose coachwork penned by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti. Though Ferrari was initially unsure about the alteration, the long-nose style became standard for the 275 after approximately 250 cars were built.

The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)
The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)
The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)

Utilized for trying out further revisions and photography for promotional purposes for about a year, prototype 275 GTB was actually sold to its first private owner while engineers were prepping it to hit the track as a factory-supported rally car.

In order to gather technical information on how the model’s new features performed in a rally setting, Ferrari’s racing manager Eugenio Dragoni enlisted the services of Ferrari factory test driver Roberto Lippi and rally driver Giorgio Pianta to put the model through nearly 75,000 miles of coursework.

The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)
The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)
The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)

To get an even better sense of how #06003 – which by this time was equipped with rally equipment, including auxiliary driving lights, reinforced glass, and a modified hood – would fare, the model was entered in the 35th annual Monte Carlo Rally in January of 1966.

With Pianta driving and Lippi navigating, the powerful 12-cylinder Ferrari caused a stir when it took to the snow-covered mountain roads but was forced to quit the race near Nyons due to driveline issues.

The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)
The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)
The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)

Despite the early retirement, the time behind the wheel of #06003 made quite an impression on Pianta and he called it “the most beautiful memory of my life” in an interview in a 1991 issue of Ferrari World.

“The car was extremely well-balanced on both snow and tarmac and was surprising, because it reached in seconds speeds which for that time were incredible,” Pianta said in the interview. “I can only say that when I drove the rally Ferrari, that car was a dream for me – at that time it seemed perfect. I honestly can’t remember anything that wasn’t beautiful about that car. The braking was perfect, the tuning. Even with all the experience I have now as a test driver of rally cars for Abarth, I couldn’t say what more they could have done.”

The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)
The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)
The 1964 Ferrari 275 which will be sold by Gooding & Company at The Scottsdale Auction 2019 on January 18. (Photos courtesy of Gooding & Company © 2019)

Held out of the public eye in a private collection for the last 25 years, the prototype 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB will be sold by Gooding & Company later this month in Arizona and is expected to fetch anywhere from $6 to $8 million.

For more information about the one-off 1964 Ferrari 275  or The Scottsdale Auction 2019, head over to Gooding & Company’s website. 

Favorite Ski Resort Sold Out? These Are the 10 Next Best

RealClearLife has partnered with InsideHook, the essential lifestyle guide for adventurous and established men. Sign up to get the best of InsideHook’s recommendations and advice delivered to your inbox every weekday

The Epic Pass is sold out. The IKON Pass? Gone. If you’re one of those ski bums who’s not so great at planning ahead and missed out on the season’s best multi-resort passes, don’t worry: we’ve got you covered.

For the right person, the Powder Alliance and Mountain Collective can both be good options that are still on the table, but if you’re more of a daytripper looking for a hot deal, these are the top resorts across North America where the terrain is steep and the prices cheap.

10. Sugarloaf, Maine

Skiing fanatic/lodge owner Paul Schipper posing on Sugarloaf mountain on skis; he holds the record for consecutive skiing days of 1,400 days without a miss. (Photo by Richard Howard/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Single-day ticket: $99
Skiable terrain: 1,240 acres
Average snowfall: 200’’
Airbnb average rate: $239

Let’s preface this by saying that East Coast skiing is a racket. While no one ever said $99 for a day pass was a steal, at least it grants access to 1,240 acres of skiable terrain at Sugarloaf. Compared to other nearby mountains — where you’ll pay more for less — here you’ll find the only chairlift on the east of the Mississippi that’ll take you above tree line, which gives way to their signature Snowfields. Lift lines stay surprisingly short and the sidecountry area holds a stash of some of the best glades in the east.

Après: Things can get rowdy at The Rack. Just consider their slogan, “serving questionable locals … and those soon to be.”

9. Grand Targhee, Wyoming

A skier hits a 40 foot cliff in the Grand Targhee Backcountry. (Getty)

Single-day ticket: $90
Skiable terrain: 2,000 acres
Average snowfall: 500’’
Airbnb average rate: $314

At first glance, Grand Targhee does not look cheap, but keep in mind that $90 gets you access to more powder than Tony Montana saw in his lifetime and the average Airbnb rate is heavily skewed due to a large amount of high-end properties (there are plenty of affordable options). With an outrageous 500’’ of snowfall annually, you’ll understand why we say it’s worth it when you’re ripping down wide-open trails with snow plastered all over your sh*t-eating grin.

Après: The Trap Bar and Grille is the place for local brews and live music while stuffing your face with their famous “Wydaho” nachos.

8. Jay Peak, Vermont

Warm light on rime-covered spruce near summit of Jay Peak. (Getty)

Single-day ticket: $89
Skiable terrain: 385 acres
Average snowfall: 350’’
Airbnb average rate: $163

Again … East Coast prices. But with more snow than any other resort in eastern North America and a very liberal in/out-of-bounds policy, Jay Peak delivers strong value to those who are stuck on the ice coast. They’ve got more than 100 acres of woods to rip around in, but also cater to all skill levels.

Après: The Bullwheel Bar is the spot to thaw out and swill some suds.

7. Silverton Mountain, Colorado

A man backcountry skiing along snowy ridgeline with US Grant Peak in the background, San Juan National Forest, Silverton, Colorado.(Getty)

Single-day ticket: $79
Skiable terrain: 26,800 acres
Average snowfall: 400’’
Airbnb average rate: $216

For $79, Silverton delivers a high rate of return on ass-puckering terrain. We use the term “resort” lightly here, because this expert-only mountain is serviced by a single chairlift (as well as a helicopter) and is about as raw and rugged as skiing gets in the lower 48. Avalanche gear is required at all times and guides are available for hire. If you’re not into dropping cliffs and big mountain chutes, run the other way, little doggy.

Après: Head to Avalanche Brewing Company to throw a few back while waiting for adrenaline levels to drop.

6. Hoodoo Ski Area, Oregon

A large cumulus cloud sits atop Mount Jefferson, Oregon’s second highest peak, like a hat. Jefferson is a dormant volcano in the Cascade Range of central Oregon. (Getty)

Single-day ticket: $54
Skiable terrain: 806 acres
Average snowfall: 350’’
Airbnb average rate: $139

Hoodoo isn’t the biggest mountain in the Cascades, but you really can’t beat $54 for a day of carving up untouched snow on the resort’s backside. What it lacks in size, Hoodoo more than makes up for in charm, with a laid-back vibe and much-welcomed change of pace from over-skied and overpriced resorts. Oh yeah, and they’ve got night skiing, so don’t go too hard at après because, contrary to popular belief, normal rules do apply on the mountain.

Après: Three Creeks Brewing is the local watering hole for some Hoodoo Voodoo IPA, or make the 20-mile drive into Bend and check out Deschutes Brewery’s Public House.

5. Mount Baldy, British Columbia

Conrad Petzsch-Kunze (Flickr)

Single-day ticket: $42
Skiable terrain: 600 acres
Average snowfall: 250’’
Airbnb average rate: $180

You might think $42 (forty-two dollars!) means underwhelming conditions, but if you skip out on Mount Baldy, you’ll be sorry aboot it. The mountain boasts a ton of heart and a respectable amount of fresh powder — just ask this guy. With 360 acres of trails and another 240 acres in the woods, a full day here is money well spent (après might actually be the most expensive part of your day).

Après: Post up around the fireplace at the Baldy Bar and soak in the mountain’s relaxed ambience.

Check out the remaining list over at InsideHook.

insidehook

Underwater Wonders That Will Blow Your Mind

Underwater wonders are a sight to behold- no matter the location. Take a deep dive with these astounding images that take you across into magical worlds below the surface.

Orda Cave, Russia

underwater wonders
The Orda Cave in Russia’s western Urals region is three miles of eerily dramatic natural channels created by water so clear divers can see over 50 yards into the deep. (Photo by Victor Lyagushk / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)

The Orda Cave system is located outside of Orda, Perm Krai in Russia. The cave stretches over 3.2 miles, three of those miles are completely underwater. It is the largest underwater gypsum cave in the world. Water temperatures can plummet nine degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

Green Lake, Austria

underwater wonders
Wooden bench in overflowed Green Lake, Tragoess, Styria, Austria (Getty)

Surrounded by the Hochschwab Mountains in Austria, Green Lake is situated within a picturesque community filled with lush greenery and beautiful mountain ranges. During the winter months, the lake water recedes and the surrounding area is used as a park. Once spring and then summer arrives, the lake fills with water from the melted mountain snow, filling the lake and reaching a maximum depth of about 39 feet. Once flooded, park benches, trees and bridges can all be found submerged underwater as if there is an underwater park waiting to be explored.

Jellyfish Lake, Palau

underwater wonders
Swimming with Jellyfishes, Mastigias papua etpisonii, Jellyfish Lake, Micronesia, Palau (Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Formed more than 12,000 years ago, Jellyfish Lake is located at Eil Malk island in Palau. Eil Malk is part of the Rock Islands, comprised of over 70 different marine lakes. Golden jellyfish have found a home in this mesmerizing oasis, by swimming through underwater fissures and tunnels that connect to the surrounding ocean. Adventurers looking to visit can purchase a lake pass, which lasts for 10 days, for $100.

Hveravellir Hot Springs, Iceland

underwater wonder
Natural volcanic area Hveravellir in central Iceland. (Getty)

Located near the interior of the island, Hveravellir hot springs is the perfect place for water lovers to explore. The area is surrounded by hot pools and geysers. There are also multicolored pools such as Bláhver, Bræðrahverir, Eyvindarhver and Öskurhólhver that visitors can dip their toes into. The Hveravellir spring is especially popular as it has low temperature pools perfect for lounging.

Lake Kaindy, Kazakhstan

underwater wonder
Lake Kaindy is a sight to behold- large submerged trees break the surface of the water in a stunning display. (Getty)

Lake Kaindy was created after the great 1911 Kebin earthquake triggered a massive limestone landslide that formed a natural dam. This underwater wonder, also known as the “sunken forest,” features many tree trunks jetting out from the water that have been preserved by algae the lake’s cold waters.

Yonaguni Jima Pyramid, Japan

underwater wonder
Yonaguni, Underwater Pyramid. (Getty)

There’s an ongoing debate as to whether or not the Yonaguni Monument is naturally or artificially made, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeing the magnificent site. Visiting the underwater “steps” will make you wonder: was there a palace at the top of these slabs? When did they get here? How did they get here? Researchers are still looking for the answers.

Underwater Museum, Mexico

underwater wonder
ISLA MUJERES – SEPTEMBER 26: A diver kicks past a to scale-sized underwater statue of a volkswagon beetle at MUSA (Museo Subacuatico de Arte) off the coast of Isla Mujeres. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Lumix)

Consisting of 500 sunken sculptures, the Cancun Underwater Museum is a non-profit organization that works to save the nearby coral reefs. This watery wonder opened in 2010, over 200,000 people visit the museum every year. Thanks to this organization, coral reefs and marine life in the area are beginning to flourish once again.

Five Compelling and Disturbing Stories You Missed This Week

We hope you were able to power down your smartphone and spend time with family and friends this week. But news never stops, so we found disturbing, compelling, newsworthy and uplifting stories from the week you should take a look at. Happy reading!

Stock image of a satellite (Getty)

A space startup called Swarm Technologies was slapped with $900,000 in fines by the US Federal Communications Commission this week for illegally launching four satellites in January 2018, the MIT Technology Review reports. The investigation into the unsanctioned launches took nearly a year, and while the fine isn’t bank-breaking, the FCC said it’s betting the swarm of negative press will deter any Elon Musk wanna-bes.

A member of the “Mara Salvatrucha” gang is presented to the press in San Salvador on September 7th, 2006, after his arrest. (Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images)

There’s a revolution happening in El Salvador, and MS-13, the brutal gang often referenced by President Trump, is at the heart of it. A new investigation funded by the Pulitzer Center and published in LongReads reveals that many gang members have found a loophole in the lifetime of service required by MS-13: God. But not everyone in the community appreciates that these born-again Christians are being forgiven for the terror they’ve inflicted on their neighbors. Can they be forgiven? Should they?

Disgraced actor Kevin Spacey will face felony chargers for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage boy at a Nantucket bar in July 2016 — but that’s only part of the story. Spacey broke his silence this week for the first time since he was accused by multiple people of sexual assault, releasing a House of Cards-style monologue in which he dons a Christmas apron and asks — no, demands, really — for viewers to “Let Me Be Frank.” W Magazine called the video spine-crawling, and we have to agree. Take a look. Brace for impact.

Out with the old, in with the new. Digital license plates have arrived. (Getty)

Digital license plates have arrived, and with them, a host of conveniences — and privacy concerns. Smithsonian Magazine reports these digital displays are already available in California, and allow drivers to pay tolls, parking meters and traffic violations automatically. They can also track a stolen car, record collisions and monitor carbon emissions. But the magazine also highlights concerns from cybersecurity experts who point out data-mining, surveillance, and the potential exploitation of GPS records by insurers and/or advertisers.

(Getty)

How can you be a better person in 2018? The New York Times wants you to have more sex, less screen time, and increased face-to-face interaction with the people you care about. We have some advice, too: Have a Happy New Year, and keep coming back for more in 2019. We’ll see you out there.

Actually Facebook, Let’s Not Be Friends

Facebook had a rough 2018. The year included a #DeleteFacebook trend after a number of the company’s high-profile scandals were brought to light. Those include the promotion of propaganda and fake news by Russian trolls and the alleged selling off of user data and private information. And it wasn’t just the common profile owner who paid attention; many prominent tech leaders and famous users took note, too.

Here are some of the biggest stars that are no longer “friends” with Mark Zuckerberg, despite his many public apologies.

Elon Musk
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took all of his companies off Facebook. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Elon Musk

Musk deleted both the Tesla and SpaceX Facebook pages (which he apparently didn’t even know existed) in a March tweetstorm after being challenged to do so by his followers.

Whatsapp
WhatsApp left Facebook in 2018. (Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

Brian Acton

The WhatsApp co-founder was quick to jump on the trending #DeleteFacebook bandwagon after the Cambridge Analytica data debacle.

Will Ferrell said his conscience prompted his deletion of Facebook. (Steve Granitz/WireImage,)

Will Ferrell

Actor Will Ferrell said he was appalled at Facebook’s response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“I can no longer, in good conscience, use the services of a company that allowed the spread of propaganda and directly aimed it at those most vulnerable,” he said. “I love my fans and hope to further interact with them through my comedy via the mediums of film and television.”

cher
Cher seemed to believe Facebook acted in greed this year. (Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Universal Pictures )

Cher

The Oscar-winner tweeted in March that, despite utilizing Facebook as a means of promoting her charity, she was deleting her account because “I believe there are things more important than (money).”

Carrey
Jim Carrey even sold his Facebook stock. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for New York Magazine)

Jim Carrey

In February, Carrey not only deactivated his account but took it a step further by selling his shares of Facebook stock, as well. Following the revelation that Facebook may have profited from Russia’s interference with the 2016 election, Carrey called on others to do the same.

Mossberg
Walt Mossberg’s personal values drove him away from Facebook in 2018. (Denise Truscello/WireImage)

Walt Mossberg

The technology journalist told his 266,185 followers earlier this month that he was leaving the social platform “because my own values and the policies and actions of Facebook have diverged to the point where I’m no longer comfortable here.”

Playboy
Playboy no longer has a Facebook page. (Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Playboy)

Playboy

The iconic adult magazine said in March that it would suspend all its Facebook activity, citing privacy concerns and sexual repression.

“For years, it has been difficult for Playboy to express our values on Facebook due to its strict content and policy guideline,” the mag said in a statement. “Playboy has always stood for personal freedom and the celebration of sex. Today we take another step in that ongoing fight.”

Mozilla
Mozilla said it would no longer advertise on Facebook. (Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Mozilla

The operator of the FireFox web browser called it quits with Facebook this year, too. Mozilla said that while it was glad to see that Facebook promised to improve its users’ privacy settings, it wanted the company to go further with how third-party apps handle data, Yahoo reported.

Steve Wozniak
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak didn’t appreciate how Facebook treated its users. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images)

Steve Wozniak

Apple’s co-founder stepped away form Facebook because of how it treats its users. He said in a statement that the site’s “profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.”

A Rare Ferrari That Caught James Dean’s Eye Is Hitting the Block

What did international playboy Porfirio Rubirosa, acting icon James Dean, and racing world champ Phil Hill have in common?

Besides being popular with the fair sex, just one thing: this 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider.

The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (P. Litwinski)
The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (Getty/J. Edgar Motorsports)
The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (P. Litwinski)

One of only 12 which were built, chassis No. 0438MD was originally purchased by Rubirosa – who was basically an Archer character considering that he was a Count, a diplomat, and even an alleged assassin – when he was dating Zsa Zsa Gabor. 

Wanting to show off his purchase and his paramour, Rubirosa had the new Spider shipped to Santa Barbara so he could race it over Labor Day weekend.

A looker because of its coachwork as well as its deep blue color scheme (Gabor wore a matching blue dress), the car took second in class and seventh overall with Rubirosa behind the wheel.

The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (P. Litwinski)
The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (Getty/J. Edgar Motorsports)
The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (P. Litwinski)

Despite the fairly successful debut, Rubirosa decided to move on from prized Prancing Horse and sold it to sports car dealer and racer John von Neumann.

One of the founders of the California Sports Car Club and the owner of Porsche factory distributor Competition Motors, Von Neuman typically favored German cars and No. 0438MD was his first Ferrari.

At the Santa Barbara Road Races in 1955, Von Neuman was able to impress another Porsche devotee with his Ferrari: Dean.

The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (P. Litwinski)
The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (Getty/J. Edgar Motorsports)
The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (P. Litwinski)

The Hollywood heartbreaker was at the races to compete in his Porsche 356 Speedster but had to retire early thanks to a blown piston.

Not wanting to leave just because he was out of the race, Dean walked around the paddocks at Santa Barbara inspecting cars and talking to their owners.

One of those cars was No. 0438MD and iconic images of Dean assessing the Ferrari were captured by photographers who were on the scene.

The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (P. Litwinski)
The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (Getty/J. Edgar Motorsports)
The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (P. Litwinski)

Though Dean never had a chance to race the Ferrari before taking his fateful trip on California State Route 466 in late September (he died on Sept. 30, 1955), Von Neumann was able to get another notable driver, future motorsport legend Phil Hill, to take the 500 Mondial Spider for a spin.

Along with driver Richie Ginther, Hill raced the Spider at the Torrey Pines endurance race in January of ’56. That race took place towards the end of No. 0438MD’s tenure in Von Neumann’s stable and it was soon sold, sans engine, to Lew Yates. He kept it until mid-1959 and opted to outfit it with a Chevrolet V8 instead of its original inline-four aluminum engine.

The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (P. Litwinski)
The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (Getty/J. Edgar Motorsports)
The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was raced and/or admired by Porfirio Rubirosa, John von Neumann, James Dean, and Phil Hill. (P. Litwinski)

Now completely restored by Ferrari’s in-house Classiche department in Modena and decked out in its original Pinin Farina blue body paint, the car is crossing the block on January 17 in Scottsdale courtesy of act Bonhams.

Valuable for its pedigree as well as its association with such illustrious personalities, the Ferrari Classiche Red Book-certified Spider “is a very special and highly significant piece of California car and pop culture,” according to the auction house.

For more information about the car and the 2019 Scottsdale Auction in general, head over to Bonhams’ website

How Ghost Towns of California’s Past Can Help Us Understand the Present

One of the best ways to get a tangible understanding of the history of the living people who inhabit a place is to explore the places the abandoned places they’ve left behind.

At least that’s the opinion of Joanna Kalafatis, a travel writer and photographer who just documented the ghost towns and forgotten spaces of the Golden State’s rugged past in Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West.

Joanna Kalafatis

From prospectors seeking gold mines, to the workers that help connect the U.S. via the railroad, to the families fleeing the Great Depression from the East Coast, Kalafatis’ book traces the story of the myriad groups of people that left their mark on California.

“The book is a love letter to the brave, quirky, innovative, desperate, hopeful people that settled California and made it the state it is today,” Kalafatis told RealClearLife. “To them, California was a symbol of hope, of optimism, of progress. Sometimes they found that the reality of California was much harsher and tougher than they realized. Sometimes their dreams came true. I think that still holds true for California today.”

In an interview with RCL, Kalafatis shares a number of her other thoughts on ghost towns, the art of taking photos and her favorite spot on Route 66.

Those thoughts, along with tons of photos from the book, are below.

An image of the Bodie Hotel from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image of the Bodie Gas Station from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.

RealClearLife: How would you describe the feeling of a ghost town?

Joanna Kalafatis: It really does depend on the ghost town. Some preserved towns (like Bodie) for instance, have a charming, historic vibe, while others can be pretty foreboding, especially those who still have a couple of residents. They tend to be closed off to outsiders, and since the houses are abandoned private property, rather than preserved by the state, they are much more dilapidated.

In all ghost towns, however, there is a definitely an eerie atmosphere; it’s strange to see belongings, furniture, someone’s house, the marks of someone’s life all left behind, while the actual people are gone. And you can’t help but wonder what led someone to the point of abandoning their residence. After all, very few places become abandoned because life there was easy and happy.

RCL: What story do these pictures usually tell?

JK: I’d like to think they tell the story of a ghost town’s former residents, of its history and past. When I explore abandoned places, I imagine it as a form of very recent archaeology. Because you really are doing similar things when you’re investigating abandoned places – you are looking through peoples’ belongings and homes to get an idea of what life was like for them.

An image of the Bodie Hotel from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image of the Bodie Jail from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.

RCL: Have you ever been spooked during a shoot?

JK: Many, many times. People sometimes tell me I’m brave for going to these abandoned places alone, but if they saw how long it took me to steel myself for a walk down a dark hallway, they definitely wouldn’t have that opinion.

I was very spooked at Camarillo State Mental Hospital, featured in the book. It was abandoned recently, in the 90s, so a lot of furniture and other things have been left behind. For some reason, that always makes a place look creepier than just empty rooms and bare walls. It makes the place look like it was just abandoned a few days ago. When I was walking through it, I came across a room deep inside the building where the light was on and a fan was spinning, even though the power was out in the entire rest of the building. That gave me a scare.

There are less otherworldly, and more dangerous things, to fear when exploring abandoned places though. At one of the abandoned hospitals I explored for my second book, Abandoned Northern California, I went inside the courtyard to take pictures and found clothes being dried on a chain link fence, and possessions scattered around. People do sometimes take residence in abandoned places, and if you scare or surprise them by walking in unexpectedly, it can become a dangerous situation.

RCL: What’s the most challenging part of your job?

JK: Well, what I mentioned before is a pretty big challenge. I would not recommend walking alone into completely abandoned places, even though I have done it. I now always try to go with company when I can. Abandoned places can also be structurally unstable, or have toxic fumes inside, or rodents and vermin that carry diseases, so you really need to be careful where you enter and where you don’t.

With photography in general, I think the most challenging part is having the patience to get the right shot. It sounds easy in theory, but photography can be quite physically exhausting, especially when you’re carrying equipment, lenses, and tripods up steep hiking trails in Yosemite or over the snow-covered fields of northern Norway in December, in subfreezing temperatures. Then sometimes you get to your destination and realize you have to wait for the light to change, or people to clear the shot, or a million other little things to be right, and the impulse to want to just take an OK shot and get it over with comes up. That’s what you have to fight through to really get that amazing photograph.

An image of the Bodie Jailhouse from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image of Bodie’s main street from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.

RCL: Why did you decide to undertake this project?

JK: I have loved looking through abandoned places since I was a child. My parents come from towns/islands in Greece that have a lot of abandoned houses due to rapid urbanization and people moving out to go to the cities. I found it fascinating to explore these houses.

When Fonthill Media approached me to publish a photo book on Abandoned California, I immediately leaped at the chance. It’s rare that you get commissioned to do work you also happen to really personally care about. The fact that the book would be about California was even better, because I always feel California is thought of as superficial, and a lot about its history is unknown to most people. It’s a shame, because the history of migrations and innovations that shaped California is fascinating, and that’s what I wanted to explore in the book.

Do you have a favorite section of Route 66?

JK: So many different places! I do love the stretch featured in the book through, around Roy’s Café in Amboy. It’s such a slice of old school Americana, which is exactly what Route 66 is associated with in most people’s imaginations. And there’s nothing quite like driving down a two-lane highway in the open desert.

An image of the Bodie schoolhouse from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image of the interior of the Bodie schoolhouse from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image of a street corner in Bodie from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.
An image from “Abandoned Southern California: The Eras that Shaped the West” by Joanna Kalafatis.

RCL: What do the images you capture say about the places where they are photographed?

JK: They simultaneously show the life that existed in these places and the decay/passage of time that has happened since abandonment. I look at these photos and I see a strange mix of the hope that shaped these places and the disappointment that led to them becoming vacant.

RCL: What is one surprising thing about these places that most people wouldn’t realize?

JK: That a lot of ghost towns still have residents. Most of the more recent ghost towns, that have not become State Historic Parks or otherwise protected, will still have a few families living there, even though the houses around them are in ruins. People stay for many reasons: poverty, inability to move, or just a desire to stay behind in the place they were born and raised, no matter how tough life there has become.