Filing a federal tax return is an ingrained habit now, but most middle-class Americans didn’t have to before World War II. The Revenue Act of 1942 made 15 million more people eligible to pay taxes. How could the government explain this to the masses? Cartoons! The U.S. Treasury department commissioned Disney to make a short animated film that explained how to fill out a simple tax return, and why paying income taxes was so important. (Spoiler alert: Defeating the Axis powers.)
SpongeBob SquarePants and other silly, rapid-fire cartoons have come under the cross hairs of the research community, with a study finding that 4-year-olds who watch a cartoon fitting the description of SpongeBob SquarePants had more trouble immediately performing cognitive tasks and maintaining self-control than those in two other groups, one of which watched a slower-paced cartoon while the other spent time drawing.
The group Consumer Watchdog is pushing hard for Congress to establish a “do not track” list for online consumers, which I’m all for. I’m not sure whether releasing a ridiculously unpleasant cartoon in Times Square is the right strategy, though–especially when you use the very service you’re warning people about.
Gizmodo paired up a former Best Buy employee with a professional illustrator and created a taxonomy of seven Best Buy employees you’re likely to meet whenever you shop there. The two who probably get the most coverage on our site (and who are probably the most annoying in general): Pervy Geek Squad Guy and Slick Careerist Manager.
We were fascinated to discover today that Walt Disney reused animation cycles across different movies—the characters are unique (sorta) but the motions are cel for cel copies. It looks like the movies that reuse animation are from that infamous era in the 70s and 80s when Disney’s animation unit cut too many corners and churned out less “classic” fare. Well, they were copying classics—shouldn’t that count for something? Video clip below.
Slate’s “The Big Money” has decided it’s time to start educating readers on some core financial principles, and they’re starting with the very basics, presented in a “Schoolhouse Rocks!” style. Their first cartoon explains the four types of bonds. Visually, it’s a perfect match to the style of the original cartoons, but we hope they work on a catchier jingle for their next installment.
Enjoy your weekend, and mind your pockets when you’re out and about.