Your roundup of tech, culture, and nostalgia for

January 30, 2024 // Web version //

TimeMachiner. Tech, culture, nostalgia. By Aaron Crocco
Inside Today's Issue:
It’s Only A Matter of Time

Read to the end for a post about critical chicken thinking.

For over a year and a half I've been pining to see Back to the Future: The Musical ever since it debuted on Broadway here in NY back in October, '22. But life usually has other plans. Finally though after waiting over a year, this past weekend my fiancé and I took in headed to Broadway. For me it was seeing new 'Future' for the first time since experiencing BTTF: The Ride in 2000.

BTTF: The Musical is not a reboot or Part: IV or any other breaking of The Pact co-creators Bobs Gale & Zemeckis have always made. The musical is a reinterpretation to show the first film in a new way. It still takes place in 1985 and still follows the main story of Marty McFly endangering his own existence. Some parts have been changed and others strengthened and to this BTTF purist, I welcomed all of it.

For starters, the show was not a 1-for-1 recreation of the movie to simply be live. It also kept close to the core threads that have made this trilogy endure for over 35 years. There's many nods to the audience and small jokes between Doc and Marty that allow for some laughs. Parts of their dynamic come out that you simply can't get from a movie.

BTTF:TM opened in London in the West End and I was disappointed I couldn't get the opportunity to see it. As soon as it was coming to the states, I was so excited and I cannot stress enough how fun it was. Hearing the main theme overture to open the show was invigorating. The music never let up. The actors were spot on. The pace was perfect. And the most important thing to me was I never stopped to say "hey, that shouldn't be here" or any nitpicks.

The real star of the show is absolutely the Delorean. While not a real Delorean on stage, it's a fantastic stage prop that has incredible lighting, styling, and looks as much stage-ready as the actors. Through a mix of creative lighting, projections, and mechanics, the car comes to life. I won't say more of those details because I could never do it justice. It has to be experienced.

The wait to see BTTF:TM was worth it and my only regret was not being able to go sooner. The icing on the cake was seeing co-creator Bob Gale was in attendance. I took the opportunity after the show to say hello and get a quick selfie with him. He was incredibly gracious and happy to oblige my request. To a lifelong Future fan like me, it was the cherry on top of a night to remember.

I don't consider myself a broadway buff or someone who's really into the theatre. Given I've lived in New York my entire life, of course I've seen a few Broadway shows but nothing will ever top this experience. Yes I'm biased and partial. And yes I'd love to see it again.

If you're ever in London or New York and have the chance, I cannot recommend BTTF:TM enough. If you can't make it, the show is going on tour beginning in June of this year. Perhaps the Delorean will come to a town near you.

Thanks for reading. Now, onto the rest of today's issue.

A Roller Coaster For One
For those of you that enjoy theme park rides then you'll want to check this out. The Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art in North Adams faced a daunting challenge: how to occupy an expansive space with a creation that would captivate visitors. To solve this provlem, they turned to the talents of Los Angeles-based artist E.J. Hill. His interactive sculpture called the "Break Run Helix" exhibit built in 2022, is an imaginative exploration inspired by the whimsy of backyard roller coasters. But, this isn't your typical theme park ride. The experience is designed for a single rider, allowing only one person per hour to ride on the artwork. You can check it out in the video below. Participating in the "Break Run Helix" is akin to stepping into the spotlight of your very own live theater performance. The coaster starts with a 12-foot drop and then you ride along 260…
Show Me This Story
The Power of TayTay
Only a few months ago I wrote about the incredible proliferation of Taylor Swift and her music. Her business acumen has propelled her into superstardom. But last week a flood of AI-generated fake sexually explicit material of Swift was posted all over Twitter X. It's a reminder that this happened to one of the most powerful entertainers out there. Even she can still fall victim to terrible people, predictably doing terrible things with bullshit-spewing AI tools. Jess Weatherbed at The Verge has more. One of the most prominent examples on X attracted more than 45 million views, 24,000 reposts, and hundreds of thousands of likes and bookmarks before the verified user who shared the images had their account suspended for violating platform policy. The post was live on the platform for around 17 hours prior to its removal. But as users began to discuss the viral post, the images began…
Show Me This Story
The Touchscreen iMac
On the 40th anniversary of the Macintosh computer, I thought it would be interesting to look back on an oddity in the history of this machine: a touch screen version. In the late 90s Apple was close to going out of business and with the acquisition of NeXT brought Steve Jobs back into the fold. The iMac was the first piece of saving the company. Then a different company was buying them and installing touch technology into them for niche use. The coolest part of these machines was that the company ELO was an Apple Authorized seller and apparently had Apple's blessing in some way to do this. YouTube channel Michael MJD has acquired a prototype of one of these ELO touch iMac computers. The video below is a great nostalgic deep dive on not only what made the original iMac special, but how this computer is likely one of…
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