☐ How do VCRs Remove Static?

I’ve always wondered about a curious behavior I’ve witnessed on numerous occasions.

If you have a poor television signal with interference, a television will often display a fuzzy image, but if you then put the TV on the appropriate channel (usually 3), and turn the VCR’s VTR function on to see its output, you can usually see the aforementioned channel but it will be clear or at least significantly less fuzzy.

Why is that?

Is the VCR removing interference like a UPS cleans up a power line? Does it amplify a low signal? Do VCRs have some sort of anti-static function?

I have seen this happen with different TVs and VCRs and in different houses with different cable lines.


A couple of years ago, while I was going to the bathroom, I had an idea about a name for something and wanted to see if it could make a decent acronym. I scrawled the acronym in very small letters on the wall, mused that it could sort of work, then washed my hands and left the bathroom.

It is still there on the wall, though fairly faded from a couple of years of shower humidity. If you look really close, you can still make out the letters NUMSVCO (it may actually be NUMSUCO, but the second ‘U’ seems to have a pointy bottom).

The acronym isn’t too bad, but the problem is that I have long since forgotten what it stands for. If I think hard about it, I vaguely recall that it may have been in the context of a company or product name. It may have been something novel (something I was doing myself), but it could have been related to something that I was reading about in a tech magazine or some such.

In addition, it may be either a one-to-one acronym where each letter stands for a word, or more of an abbreviation where for example the NUM stands for number and perhaps co stands for corporation.

I know it’s the longest of long shots for anyone to try to read my mind from years ago when even I can’t, but I don’t suppose anybody can think of something that I may have been seeing, doing, or working on that could lead to this acronym can they? I do recall being quite pleased with it as though it was quite fitting for whatever it was supposed to be for.

☐ Windows 3 Animated Background/Desktop/Wallpaper

In the summer of 1995, I visited some family in Los Angeles. My uncle had a computer with Windows 3 (or some version thereof since Windows 95 had not been released yet).

In Windows 3, there was no desktop or wallpaper like in later versions; instead you could set it to a simple pattern (still possible in later versions before XP) like hounds-tooth or bricks (interestingly, there seems to be next to nothing available on the Internet about this anymore; no screenshots and almost no pages).

I recall being amused when I found a program (on the still young “world-wide web”) that would actually let you set an animated background. It was smooth and fluid and was quite an amazing thing at the time. The program was a background program and did not run in a window.

If I recall correctly, it had several built-in animations including one of a light-orange-pink background over which storks flew towards the top-left, possibly with some light stuff floating in the “background” (they were actually animated and flapped their wings, not simply translated coordinates). The storks were somewhat simplified, black-line drawings.

Over the years, I’ve tried finding it again a few times but never could. Worse, it’s become harder and harder over time as new programs came out and polluted the search results.

I’m hoping that someone remembers this software and knows some useful information like the author or where to download it.

(It’s not ScreenPaper. That was created in 1997 to let you set a screensaver as the Windows 95/NT4 background. This was *at least* two years earlier for Windows 3 and I’m almost certain it had these animations built-in—I don’t recall any stork screensavers for Windows 3. It’s also not After Dark which was a screensaver while this was a program.)

Normal Windows 3 desktop
Normal Windows 3 desktop
Mock-up of “Flying Stork” animation
Mock-up of “Flying Stork” animation
Mystery program running (imagine the—approximately accurately sized—storks flapping their wings and flying towards the top-left)
Mystery program running (imagine the—approximately accurately sized—storks flapping their wings and flying towards the top-left)

☐/☑ Tobasco ice-cream and air warriors in an (anime?) animated movie?

When I was a child, we rented a children’s movie one day from Jumbo Video during the 1980’s. My mother slept through it, but my sister and I watched it. It was definitely animated, and may have been Japanese/Anime. It was a sort of action-fantasy movie.

I recall that air/wind played an important part in the movie as though the characters were air-warriors or wind-riders, or some such. I also recall an iconic image from the movie (either from the movie itself, or more likely, from the cover of the tape) being of a bunch of characters riding large animals towards the camera with wind and sand blowing behind them (something like the—very—crude drawing below). I forgot to draw it, but in this picture, they were running through some sort of dusty valley, so the picture should have had some cliffs on the sides.

Another uniquely identifying scene I remember was of a boy and girl in a cave, wherein one of them (I believe it was the girl) eat some ice cream that turned out to contain Tabasco/hot sauce/jalapeños, after which she spat it out and gasped for water.

Does anyone know what movie this was?

Cover of unknown anime movie
Possible cover of an old anime movie

☑ Boy carves Initials onto turtle shell; years later, turtle is gigantic

Years ago (late 80’s to early 90’s), we watched a movie in which a seaside town is terrorized by a sea-monster which turns out to be a giant turtle. At the very end of the movie, the turtle sinks into the ocean and we see its shell with the initials (with the typical ‘+’ and heart, I think) that the boy and girl carved onto it when they were young.

I tried Googling it, but the only thing I could find were some news articles about a real-life incident (from May 2012) where a turtle is found 47 years after a boy carved his initials in its shell. Obviously the movie predates the real-life incident (strange that I thought of the movie only a few weeks after the news broke).

Does anyone know what the movie was?

☐ Emily Osment’s Lovesick

The middle part (ie the “breakdown”) of Emily Osment’s song “Lovesick” from her album Fight or Flight sounds very familiar both in music and lyrics, but I can’t figure out what other song it reminds me of. The verse in question is this one:

Radioactive; now you can’t stop it; we’re gonna party all night
Radioactive; you know we got it; we’re gonna party all night
Radioactive; super hypnotic; we’re gonna party all night
Radioactive; now you can’t stop it

Does anyone know what other song sounds just like that part?