Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Chuckie Baby and Gene Gene

The Gong Show

Image via Wikipedia

For a reason I’ll not go into here I’ve been thinking now and again about Gene Gene the Dancing Machine. Gene Gene (Gene Patton) was one of the regulars on the ’70s TV game show The Gong Show, which was produced and hosted by Chuck “Chuckie Baby” Barris.

I intended to search online for video of Gene Gene, but the thought wasn’t occurring to me while I was using the computer.

A couple nights ago, though, I had just turned off my computer and come upstairs from my basement lair when I had the thought. Son #3 was still online, so I took a chance: “Hey [son #3], how would you like to search for a funny video?” To my surprise, he brought up YouTube and seconds later, we were convulsed in laughter watching Gene Gene, Chuckie Baby, and the celebrity panel of judges — sassy Jaye P. Morgan, Arte Johnson of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In fame, and young David Letterman.

It’s Friday and therefore an especially good time to share this. You may not laugh, but you’ll be hard-pressed to suppress a smile.

Soon after viewing this clip with son #3, I convinced son #2 to take a look. The video kept freezing, so his reaction was understandably muted. Still, though, there is no doubt he liked it because he later told me he posted it on his Tumblr blog.

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Next: An ALL NEW Post!

Well, that’s the way they do it on TV, isn’t it? TV’s hype machine has successfully morphed “new” into ALL NEW.

Sunday, on an ALL NEW Simpsons

Next, it’s an ALL NEW Office, followed by an ALL NEW 30 Rock.

An infant feeding from a bottle

No doubt you’ve seen this usage of  “all new” ad nauseam if you watch prime time network TV with any regularity.

I think it’s stupid and annoying.

It’s as if you wouldn’t watch the touted episode if you knew it contained the least bit of footage recycled from another episode. And besides, you know it won’t, not if it’s advertised as a NEW episode — unless the episode contains flashback sequences or it’s a highlights anthology.

So inserting ALL is not only stupid and annoying on the networks’ part, it’s redundant. After all, stock (recycled) footage isn’t used to any significant degree in prime time network TV. Or is it?

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Would-be Windfall

Gas prices 9/2
Image by &y via Flickr

The July 9 issue of the Delaware Coast Press turned out to have a wealth of “blog fodder” — just what was needed to energize my moribund blog.

This, from that issue’s GRAPEVINE column, wherein DCP readers’ “comments and observations” are featured without attribution, is a real LOLer:

All my life, I have heard and read about the price of gas — per gallon. But it’s not the price for a whole gallon of gas, it’s for 9/10 of a gallon. You’re always cheated out of a 10th of every gallon of gas. Over your lifetime, that’s a lot of money these companies are making. Isn’t it time to get the federal government to get rid of that 10th and make them give us the full gallon?

This is like the parallel universe of gas consumption. A put-on? Probably. But very funny. Who would have thought the “9/10” on gas station price signs is a fraction of a gallon rather than a fraction of a cent? The answer: the writer of this GRAPEVINE submission.

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Care to Reenact That?

Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, southward
Image by Ed Yourdon via Flickr

Props to photographer John King for capturing the moment of a personal injury in the photo accompanying this article in the Delaware Coast Press (not the photo to the right) — at least if you believe the caption:

Jordan Wehtherholtv, 12, of Reading, Pa., gets a splinter while walking on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.

I don’t believe it. Looks like a reenactment to me.

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One Year in the Blogs

One Year in the BlogsQuiet Clown celebrates its first birthday today.

On March 25, 2008, I posted Tech writer’s block and followed it up later the same day with Remembering DJ Jackson Armstrong.

Here is a list of the 10 most popular posts:

  1. My Long-Legged, Celebrity Colleague From Childhood 237 views
  2. Blip.fm DJs — What’s Your BLA? 151 views
  3. My Visit to a Service at WellSprings UU 150 views
  4. Remembering DJ Jackson Armstrong 129 views
  5. FiveThirtyEight: 11%(!) Chance of Obama Winning EV, Losing PV 104 views
  6. Matching Mismatches 92 views
  7. Bobbie Gentry’s Mystifying Mississippi Tour 86 views
  8. Finally! 2001 Anthrax Attacks are Back in the News 77 views
  9. Was ‘McCain Would be Better Than Bush’ an Obama Gaffe? 74 views
  10. ’tis the Season for Throw-Up Coats 60 views

There’s more I could say to mark the occasion … but I really don’t feel like it.

Photo credit: Flickr user kymai100 (Brenda), used here in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons license.

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Batting Cleanup — Moe Howard

UPDATED 3/10/09, 7:50 am:
Joe Conklin posted the Moe Howard/Ryan Howard comedy bit described in this post on his own site. To hear it go to Conklin’s media page. The bit is in the “Audio” column; it’s currently at the bottom.


Yesterday morning comedian Joe Conklin did a 3 Stooges bit on the WIP radio morning show. The inspiration for the bit was an interview in which retired baseball star/manager/disgraced gambler Pete Rose referred to Ryan Howard (pictured), the slugging first baseman of the Philadelphia Phillies, as head Stooge Moe Howard.

It took several minutes searching, but thanks to Google and USA Today, I found the interview. It turns out the interviewer was WIP’s veteran afternoon drive host Howard Eskin and the interview was originally broadcast on, not surprisingly, WIP. Rose’s gaffe occurs about three-tenths of the way into the interview — unfortunately the WIP audio player doesn’t display elapsed time.

Now Rose’s error is funny on its own. Most current events relatable to the Stooges are — to me at least.

The error becomes doubly funny when one recalls Rose wore his hair in the “bowl cut” style as an active player — the same hair style sported by Moe Howard when he was in character. One need only google “Pete Rose” “Moe Howard” to verify that this comparison has been made by many over the years.

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Raining in Baskets

What a day brightener! Only minimal basketball knowledge is needed to enjoy this CBS Evening News clip (running time 2:45):

Thanks to my friend Pete S. for posting it on his Facebook profile.

An ESPN clip on McElway has more detail and the game footage is in color, but the cheesy music is distracting in my opinion — plus it’s twice as long as the one I’ve embedded. The detail I thought most interesting is that McElway actually missed not two but six shots. But that hardly detracts from his achievement.

I can imagine Tom McGinnis, the excitable Philadelphia 76ers radio play by play announcer, calling McElway’s hot streak. By McElway’s third three-pointer, you’d hear McGinnis’ trademark “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?”. The fifth would cause McGinnis’ head to explode — leaving you to deduce from the crowd reaction and buzzer that McElway hit a sixth to end the game.

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No Pass for Marley

The dog ownership memoir Marley & Me from FOX 2000 Pictures, which opened in theaters Christmas Day, may turn out to be the top grossing family movie of the holiday season. The movie is based on the book by journalist John Grogan. Grogan is played by Owen Wilson. Also starring are Jennifer Aniston and the 22 yellow Labradors it took to collaborate to play the role of the energetic Marley. SPOILER ALERT …

Shop for this book at Amazon.com (audio CD edition is pictured)

audio book CD cover

The crux: Marley was a pain in the ass a lot of the time, but Grogan and his family loved him and now that he is gone, they miss him dearly. Although the movie is primarily a comedy, there is obviously a tearjerker aspect to it. James Berardinelli, my favorite online movie critic, uses the tag line “Three hankies, minimum” for his review.

Not all audience members will be moved to tears, of course. What may surprise the filmmakers is that not all those whose eyes remain dry are the kind of people rarely moved to tears by sad scenes in movies. For some there are other reasons to keep the tissues in storage.

Consider the Marley & Me movie going experience of a member of my extended family and owner of two dogs:

When Marley died everybody in the theater was crying. But I didn’t cry — because I didn’t like that dog.

Take that, Marley!

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Blip.fm DJs — What’s Your BLA?

Regarding my recent unplanned, unannounced hiatus:
I was gratified by the presidential election result, but in the aftermath of the election my interest in blogging suddenly decreased. After having been emotionally invested in the election for so many months, a letdown was inevitable I suppose. I haven’t a clue about my future posting frequency, but I’m happy this post gets me off the
schnide. I’ve recently been distracted from blogging by Blip.fm, the subject of this post.

Blip.fm is a music community site modeled after the ultra-popular microblogging site Twitter. Sign up for Blip.fm and you become a Blip.fm DJ. My DJ name is nitetalker. A blip is analogous to a Twitter tweet.

Like a song you just heard on your iPod or the radio or wherever? Search for it on Blip.fm and if you find it — and you probably will — blip it. That’s the essence of Blip.fm — everything flows from there. A blip consists of embedded streaming audio of the chosen song and an accompanying comment of 150 characters or less. Writing a comment is optional but it makes blipping a lot more fun.

search results, the most recent blip by one of my favorite DJs

Blip.fm: search results followed by the most recent blip by one of my Favorite DJs — Jeffie

As other DJs view and listen to your blips, some of them may favorite you, meaning they become one of your listeners. You may return the favor. Some DJs may give you props for what they feel are particularly inspired blips on your part. Here again, you may return the favor.

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Pie Sizing and Slicing

A January 9, 2007 piece titled Why Income Equality Matters by Charles Wheelan, Ph.D., writing as The Naked Economist on Yahoo! Finance, is a fascinating read, especially in light of the current credit crunch and bailout and the upcoming elections.

I’m particularly intrigued by this part:

There’s a very interesting strain of economic research showing that our sense of well-being is determined more by our relative wealth than by our absolute wealth.

In other words, we care less about how much money we have than we do about how much money we have relative to everyone else. In a fascinating survey, Cornell economist Robert Frank found that a majority of Americans would prefer to earn $100,000 while everyone else earns $85,000, rather than earning $110,000 while everyone else earns $200,000.

Think about it: People would prefer to have less stuff, as long as they have more stuff than the neighbors.

The point — and this is still a nascent field — is that a nation may be collectively better off (using some abstract measure of well-being) with a smaller, more evenly divided pie than with a larger pie that’s sliced less equitably.

This point, according to Wheelan, constitutes one of two reasons to be aware of income inequality in the US, the other being that “Income inequality doesn’t motivate anything good when there’s no hope of sharing in the pot of gold”.

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