🎮 Doggone it
A history of game music, the king of collectibles, and an Independence Day bonanza.
Mornin’. Independence Day is just around the corner, and that means two things: hot dogs and hamburgers.
(OK, so it also means American flag apparel, family cookout drama, and fireworks. Obey your municipal codes, friends.)
According to Instacart sales data, Americans eat more hot dogs on the Fourth of July than any other food—including burgers. According to the yes-it’s-real National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, more than 150 million franks are consumed on America’s birthday.
What you put on your dogs is a matter of regional influence and personal preference. Though one of us has learned that if you prefer a certain tomato-based condiment from Pittsburgh, the fine citizens of Chicago prefer that you see yourself out.
—Andrew Nusca, Eric Alt, Marques Edge
P.S. We’re off for the holiday. See you Wednesday.
What’s up and down in the world rn.
Buffed: Antacid sales. Taco Bell has resurrected its Volcano Menu, an aughts-era offering distinguished by the use of "Lava Sauce” (a spicy nacho cheese) and, in the case of the taco, a bright red hard shell. You call it nostalgia; I call it “not before 2 a.m.”
Nerfed: The twisties. All-around all-star gymnast Simone Biles is finally back in action, and we’re stoked. Her last competition was the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Buffed: Infinity and beyond. Virgin Galactic successfully launched its first commercial space flight, sending five people into space—barely—on a winged rocketplane. At just 14 minutes, the trip wasn’t long enough for an annoyed dad to threaten that he’ll turn it right around.
Buffed: Sartorial subtext. Princess Diana’s iconic “black sheep” sweater, made by Warm & Wonderful, is on the block at Sothebys. Auctioneers expect it to fetch upwards of $80,000, though you can get your own for $248. —AN
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Extractor: A brief history of video game music
Investigations of interest.
From tinny MIDI tunes to full-scale, in-game concerts, video games and music have shared a unique—if sometimes clunky—history.
From cassette decks hidden inside arcade cabinets to beloved theme songs (you’re already humming the Super Mario Bros. music, aren’t you?) to the works of Frédéric Chopin, this one has a lot of ground to cover in a very short amount of space.
Executive editor Eric Alt gives you a broad overview of it all right here.
Speed Run: Super7 founder Brian Flynn wants you to play with your toys
Two-minute talks with today’s movers and shakers.
Despite the advances in action figure technology since the late ‘70s, there is something just so comforting about the original Star Wars figures—their stiff arms and leg, their likeness-adjacent faces, their iconic backing cards.
Super7 founder Brian Flynn agrees. So much so, that he and his team have given everything—and we mean everything—the Star Wars action figure treatment, and it is glorious.
Executive editor Eric Alt spoke with Flynn about the origins of Super7, his Japanese toy obsession, and whether or not there are still “holy grail” toys waiting out there for him to discover.
Fun Fact Friday
Despite all those stars and stripes, Americans don’t have the market cornered on Independence Day.
In fact, celebrating national independence is the most popular type of national holiday in the world. More than 150 countries celebrate independence in some form, which if you think about it…is a lot. (Maybe we should leave each other alone, eh?)
Here’s a six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon look at some of them:
In 1825 Uruguay declared independence from Brazil, which three years earlier declared independence from a kingdom that included Portugal, which in 1640 declared independence from Spain.
In 1844 the Dominican Republic split from island neighbor Haiti, which in 1804 rather famously declared independence from France.
In 1991 Eritrea declared independence from Ethiopia, which in 1896 gave colonizers from Italy the boot. (No pun intended.)
In 1903 Panama separated from Colombia, which in 1810 declared independence from Spain.
In 1971 Bangladesh declared independence from Pakistan, which in 1947 split from the United Kingdom.
In 1960 the Democratic Republic of Congo declared independence from Belgium, which in 1831 split from the Netherlands, which in 1581 declared independence from Spain.
In 1847 Liberia declared independence from a private colonization society founded in the United States, which of course had a very conscious uncoupling in 1776 from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Click the following image and…well, we don’t want to ruin the surprise.
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