Two Men Hanged, Last Executions in Canada December 11, 1962

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Ronald Turpin and Arthur Lucas hold the dubious distinction of being last two Canadians to be executed by the government. They were both hanged on December 11, 1962 (for separate murders) at the Don Jail in Toronto. There were no executions from then on, although the law banning executions in Canada did not go into effect until 1976.

The executioner who “serviced” Turpin and Lucas, is seen here in this interview. He offers his own opinions about capital punishment, and also explains why hanging is more humane than the electric chair.

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Lawrence of Arabia Premiere in London, Queen Attends December 11, 1962

The World first saw the epic screen classic, Lawrence of Arabia, at the Odeon Theater in London. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were in the audience along with director David Lean and producer Sam Spiegel

From BFI.orgAlmost not present at all was the film itself. Two nights earlier, the expensive 70mm print had got scratched. There were only two such prints in existence, and the other was under lock and key at London Airport (today’s Heathrow), standing by to fly off to New York. Lean’s editor, Anne V. Coates, found herself speeding down to the airport to retrieve the New York print in order to save the world premiere.

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“Portable” Video Recorder only 130lbs, $12K December 9, 2012

Ampex Corp. introduces the VR-1500, a “portable television tape recorder”. It only weights 130 pounds, and the company claims that it is one-twentieth the size of previous models. It’s also much more affordable, with a price tag of less than $12,000. That’s less than one-fourth the price of its predecessor models. It should be noted however, that in 2012 dollars, it would cost about $360,000.

From labguysworld The VR-1500 is a simplified version of the Ampex VR-660 professional VTR. The 660 had tighter servos, electronic editing (VR-660B) and even color operation (VR-660C). The VR-1500 uses two inch (5 cm) wide tape, configured in what is called the B-wind. B wind tape feeds from the right side of the reel, with the oxide side facing out. This is the opposite of A-wind tapes which feed from the left and have the oxide side facing in. Tape speed is 3.7 inches per second, providing up to 5 hours of recording time.

Operation of the 1500 and 660 VTRs is by means of the four position joystick control. This was a huge innovation which simplified operation of the VTR as well as the control circuitry inside the deck. The joystick switch was made by General Electric. The controls for recording are sophisticated as well. Audio and video tracks can be recorded simultaneously or separately, as well as re-recorded, after the fact. Click on the photo to read about the joystick controller.

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Start of 114 Day NY Newspaper Strike December 8, 1962

From Vanity Fair

Fifty years ago this month, striking printers shut down seven New York City newspapers. The strike would last for 114 days and helped to kill four of those newspapers. “This was an absolutely unnecessary strike,” recalls Tom Wolfe, who worked for the doomed Herald Tribune. Deep down it was about technological disruption—a foreshadowing of dislocations that roil the newspaper industry in our own time. As a newspaper town, New York was never the same again.

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Bill Wyman Joins the Rolling Stones December 7, 1962

Bill Wyman Joins the Rolling Stones December 7 1962 Bill Wyman Joins the Rolling Stones December 7 1962[/caption]

Rolling stones bass player Bill Wyman reminisces about his first meeting with “the boys”. He recalls that they were more impressed with his equipment than his bass playing, but they warmed up when they found out that he would let them use his amps, which were far superior to the ones they had. For their second meeting he met them at their flat, which Wyman says “was disgusting, filthy; chairs had three legs.”

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