0. Stupid Comics

Now I know what you're asking. You're asking "what good are electronics anyway? Why should we care about them and the cold, mechanical grip they hold over our modern world?" Well let me tell you something buddy. Without electronics you wouldn't even be reading this. Oh, that's not good enough for you? Well maybe we should have a science fair line of electronic experiment kits, and maybe we should let that science fair line of electronic experiment kits tell the story through a promotional comic book!

Yes, it's the Science Fair Story Of ELECTRONICS as told by Radio Shack a Tandy Corporation, selling the exciting world of fiddling with tiny parts, wiring things to other things, plugging the whole mess in to a battery, and watching it all start to smoke. Which is what your parents are doing, nervously, over by the fire extinguisher.

Radio. Television. Computers. Tape recorders. Toy police cars that light up and make noise. Toy robots that light up and make noise. Toy fireman helmets that light up and make noise. These are all for sale in your local Radio Shack. But these things took time to invent, to develop, to market research, to find the factory in Taiwan that would bid the lowest. !0 years? 15 years? 50 years? Not even close.

That's not so much the "electronics took how long?" face as it is the "oh my god my leg is caught and that train isn't stopping!!" face. Relax Cindy.

"If your erection last more than six hours, contact your doctor. He'll get a weirdly dressed man with a bowl haircut to show you some eels. And your "stiffening disease" is cured!"

"Yeah, archeologists have discovered lots of things. Now get some of this down your windpipe while the professor isn't looking. It's the good stuff!"

Ben Franklin first started this whole "plus" and "minus" thing that confuses everyone who tries to jump start cars. You want this Radio Shack battery? Don't pretend you don't want it. I know it's the only thing you ever come into a Radio Shack for. And sure, I'll sell it to you. First I need your phone number, your home address, and the names of three other people in your household. That's the Radio Shack way.

The first translatlantic cables were unreliable. "Curse you Transatlantic Cable!" hollers Captain Angry. But hollering isn't enough, and at several dollars a word, it gets expensive.

"Yes Bob, the radio is working swell. The two pink swirly things might need some adjustment, though."

Karl hears voices from outer space ONE TIME and they build an entire industry out of it. Listen guys, it was just those kids next door messing with you. Relax.

Radar was invented during a WWII explosion. Sonar? That's just deep-sea radar. Now sit back and watch some of this new fangled television. The screen's almost the size of a postcard!

Hey Frank, let's talk about the three men who invented the transistor. You know who *didn't* invent the transistor? Judy over there.

Transistors are more efficient and they produce very little heat, just like the all-star strikeout squad of executive losers shown here.

Improvements in communications will someday give women a world where their lengthy telephone calls and exhaustive meal preparation duties will be made slightly less onerous!

What a coincidence! "Zworykin's Iconoscope" is also the name of my lo-fi experimental drone-rock band!

Today, home video taping is a boon for the many people who are weirdly small or have giant children. Or both, maybe.

If we ever use a laser beam to talk to people around other stars, I imagine the very first reply message will be "hey, stop shining that laser pointer at us, we aren't cats."

It will take all the computing power of our most up-to-date thinking machines to decipher the nonsense coming out of Screwdriver Man's mouth here. Look, either the thing does the work for five cents, or it costs hundreds of dollars an hour. It can't be both.

Solid-state electronics make possible giant computers and pocket calculators, both capable of adding and multiplying vast sums and facilitating the work of science and industry. And yet with all their power, they still can't erase the faint look of contempt radiating from their human masters.

You can cook a hamburger in a minute, bake a cake in 3 minutes, and other food in seconds! This means plenty of time to visit the doctor and get your weirdly misshapen back checked out.

Today's electronic devices let America's nurses keep up with their soap operas. Those patients can wait until "Guiding Light" is over!

Here Radio Shack scientists test out their latest innovation, the "Bong-O-Tron 4200". Soon we may be able to achieve rapid, mass stoned-out bliss in only 90 seconds!

And despite any so-called "energy crisis," mankind will find a way to cope with any problem and explore and discover and maybe learn to draw planets with more competence than a 4th grade art class.

Yes, electronic teaching aids will teach our boys and girls faster than ever before, and these "super children" will no doubt grow up to solve all our energy problems, the issues with the ecology and climate change, and the challenges facing our economy and government. They'll all be solved by Radio Shack electronic learning gadgets, which is why here 45 years later... we still have all those problems. What we DON'T have is Radio Shack.

Young science enthusiasts can build their own AM radio station that broadcasts to the next room, or the next block, or even the next town. Why not try it, kids? It's great fun until the FCC catches on!

Yes, the prospectors of yesterday would have called Radio Shack Metal Detectors "magic wands." What do the prospectors of today call them? "Absolute pieces of crap," that's what.

Well, electronics are great, but sometimes they can be dangerous. So here's Radio Shack with some tips to keep your electronics usage safe and sane.

Don't put dynamite in your speakers! Well, that's good advice, sure!

Will you blow your speakers before you blow your eardrums? Or will you only realize your volume errors years later when the crippling, irreversible tinnitus slowly takes over? Or will you die in a horrifying car fire because you left some bare wiring lying around your flammable car interior? Looks to me like electronics are more trouble than they're worth.

Okay, if you're hooking ladders, washing lines and people with your car antenna, that's not an installation problem, that's a drunk driving problem. Pull over, you lush!

Just replace that first panel with a guy texting somebody, and this helpful hint is as helpful today as it was in 1975!

What's the best way to tell people to respect their CB license and operate their equipment properly? When in doubt, go with the racist caricature!

And last but not least, when broadcasting, remember to keep the microphone *out* of your actual mouth. Nobody wants to hear your epiglottis slopping around in there!

Well, we hope this Science Fair Electronic Story has filled you with appreciation for our electronics-filled present, and relief that to acquire these electronics we no longer need to actually go to the local Radio Shack, where some pocket-protector-sporting nerd in a short sleeve button down shirt will try to upsell us on a TRS-80 or a weather radio or one of those fireman helmets with the siren and the light. Actually, I kind of miss those helmets.

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