Based in Alameda, Calif., the Pacific Pinball Museum is a nonprofit dedicated to the promotion and preservation of one of America's great pastimes. The museum's annual fundraiser, which also happens to be the world's largest pinball show, was the Pacific Pinball Expo held this year in San Rafael, Calif., October 2-4. More than 400 machines were on display showcasing the art, engineering, and rich history behind more than 70 years of pinball wizardry.
SAN RAFAEL, California--You might not think of pinball as an educational tool, but to some devotees of the age-old arcade favorite, that's exactly what they can be.
That's because pinball machines have been around for decades, and often have themes representative of the era in which they were built. And this weekend, visitors to the Pacific Pinball Expo here, an event billed as the "world's largest" pinball show, can see history on display in bright lights and enhanced with familiar bells and whistles, things like the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the first man on the moon, contemporary music from the 1950s and much more.
At the expo, which opened Friday at the Marin County Civic Center here (admission is $25 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under), visitors can see more than 350 machines from as early as the 1920s, and with names like "Wild West," "Quartette," "Dragonette, "4-Belles" and much more.
And the mission statement of the Pacific Pinball Museum, which is behind the expo, is as follows: "To inspire an interest in science, art and history through pinball and to preserve and promote this important part of American culture."
Jeff's back and gives us a rundown of his minivacation to Atlantic City, N.J., and his love affair with pinball machines. A lot of other stories to talk about today, like the Zune HD, the new Chevy Volt, Spielberg taking over the Halo movie, and Hayato Shimizu's interpretation of Jeff as the superhero COMMODORE!
The team is back together now that Jeff is back from his trip to Atlantic City, where he reportedly spent the majority of his time playing blackjack and a series of analog video games like Batman: Dark Knight pinball, skeeball, and bubble hockey. In celebration of Jeff's return, we surprise him with the image you see above, the final superhost of The 404--COMMODORE! Defending the world from positive vibes with his giant hockey stick, Commodore also wields the might Power Glove, which, unfortunately, is incompatible with today's villains, but it still looks cool! Big thanks goes out to Hayato Shimizu for his great work with all three characters, maybe we'll even seen a picture featuring LaserJet, G-Force, and Commodore battling crime for the future of podcasting!
As usual, we have a lot to talk about today, and kick it off with some rumor mongering about the latest Zune HD. CNET's own Donald Bell reports that Amazon is showing off retail pricing for the portable media player, listing the 16GB Zune HD at $219 and the 32GB at $289. The rumor mill continues to churn over Steven Spielberg taking over as producer for the Halo movie adaption, although the three of us are still skeptical about any long-form video game story adaptation, as we all remember what happened with CHUN-LI. We also look at the latest commercials for the Chevy Volt and its how viral advertising is affecting viewer participation.
Finally, Wilson G. Tang took it upon himself to create a 404 Dashboard Widget for video or the audio version and have the show play in the background while you finish "working." Best of all, this blog description populates nicely into the widget as well, making it super easy to auto-update and listen to your favorite episodes! Download them and let us know what you think!EPISODE 401 OS X users! You can download the Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
If you haven't played pinball in a while, it's time to find a local arcade that still has a sense of history, fish out some quarters, and get ready for seriously good times. A few days ago, I rediscovered the fun at the Lucky JuJu pinball museum and gallery in Alameda, Calif.
The CNET News.com multimedia team paid a visit for a story and found ourselves in the middle of one of the largest and most diverse collections of machines around. An affable guy named Michael Schiess owns the machines, operates the space, and is a walking … Read more