Monday, February 13, 2012


My favorite number is 66. My favorite year is 1966. Growing up, I had a weird fascination with the telephone and tore out the page from our phone book that contained all the country and city codes, and learned which numbers I could call where I could hear the "this call cannot be completed" prerecorded messages (ala Kraftwerk's "The Telephone Call").

Last year upon mentioning this blog idea to a techy friend of mine who knew my fascination with the number of 66, he told me about this:

(from wikipedia)

66 block (also M-Block or B-Block) is a type of punchdown block used to connect sets of wires in a telephone system. 66 blocks are designed to terminate 22 through 26 AWG solid copper wire.
The 25-pair standard non-split 66 Block contains 50 rows; each row has four columns of clips that are electrically bonded.
The 25-pair "Split 50" 66 Block is the industry standard for easy termination of voice cabling, and is a standard network termination by telephone companies–generally on commercial properties. Each row contains four clips, but the left two clips are electrically isolated from the right two clips.
66 blocks pre-assembled with an RJ-21 female connector are available that accept a quick connection to a 25-pair cable with a male end. These connections are typically made between the block and the CPE (customer premise equipment).

Its a weird world.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter Radio Show-"Snow Shadow Area"

"Vanishing Point", a Canadian radio show from the early 1980's, is perhaps the highest quality OTR show that I have ever heard. Its worth it to visit the Archive and download them all. Each one I have heard distinguishes itself immediately with its lack of bombast, its unusual plot twists, and the dated electronic incidental music.

This episode, "Snow Shadow Area", in hands down the creepiest show I have ever heard. This one is perfect for a dreary evening, but I warn you, it really will frighten you. This isn't the ordinary crime drama you find so often with OTR. Its thoughtful, quiet, and unsettling. Winter is painted in very sinister, disturbing tones. Its very much like "The Shining" in that winter and snow are almost a character in the unfolding nightmare. Surreal and enveloping, unexpected and unsettling. This is not comical or overblown like "Inner Sanctum". It isn't melodramatic. Its like a fever dream. Download it here.