Saturday, October 31, 2009

Scary Movie 4

The Scariest

Las Vegas stockbroker Brian Yeager's Halloween handiwork.My sister Ruth once asked me "What was the scariest movie you ever saw?"

My answer: "Beaches!"

She looked incredulous.

How could "The Friendship You'll Always Remember... In The Film You'll Never Forget" be my all-time scariest?

Well, the total experience was.

At least it introduced us to Mayim Bialik"Beaches" was the movie my companion chose for our first date. I not only sat through an entirely predictable and manipulative melodrama, but also the complete emotional collapse of a woman with a Mensa level IQ... Reduced to a puddle of tears, before the final reel.

OK, I know. There's a reason they call them tearjerkers. But I didn't enjoy the the date dissolving "special effects," or being called a jerk because I didn't.

Mercifully, there was no sequel... Movie or date.

Are You Afraid Yet?

Why do we get a chill down our spine when we watch a horror movie? Is there such a thing as a haunted house? A werewolf? Are black cats actually good luck?

Award-winning astronomer Stephen James O’Meara answers these and other questions in the book “Are You Afraid Yet: The Science Behind the Scary Stuff.”

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now. Host: Robin Young.

Rapping Eminem In Klingon

What do you mean it's not a Halloween costume?

"Klenginem" covering Eminem's 'Without Me' in the Klingon language. Apparently this guy actually dresses up and plays gigs doing this. He's German... Explains a lot.

The Reviews Are In

Go to source.

Or maybe it was too much candy, not the rapping Klingon.

Halloweak in Review

Halloween Mix 6

More monster hits...

Screaming Jay Hawkins
I Put a Spell on You (1956)
Haunted Hits (1996)

Atlanta Rhythm Section
Underdog (1979)

Alice Cooper
Welcome to My Nightmare
Welcome to My Nightmare (1975)

Bobby "Boris" Pickett
& the Crypt-Kickers
Monster Mash
Monster Mash (1962)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Scary Movie 3

Halloween's Home Port

Salem Harbor -- from the website of Lori Erlich, Massachusetts State Rep. for the area.Salem Massachusetts, known for its Witch Trials and for putting on a great show at Halloween, also produced America’s first millionaire and in 1800, it was the richest city in the U.S.


Dr. Vanita Shastri explains Salem’s riches came out of its maritime trade in the East Indies in “The Salem-India Story: Maritime Trade between Salem, Massachusetts, and India 1788-1845.” Her book is published by the Meru Educational Foundation.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now. Host: Robin Young.

Scariest Demon Face

Where Did Poe Go?

All year long, there have been events to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. But what about the circumstances surrounding the death of Edgar Allen Poe?

Nate DiMeo, producer of The Memory Palace, recounts one version of Poe’s strange and tragic final days 160 years ago in Baltimore.

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now. Host: Robin Young.

Eno on Echoes

Click for an additional article at Curator magazineTo celebrate 20 years of shows Echoes, the ambient music program on public radio, is running a series of iconic interviews... Including Brian Eno, who easily topped their listener poll.

Echoes says "Look in any corner of contemporary music, and Brian Eno is there. Rarely has an artist made such a monumental impact on modern music with such subtlety as Brian Eno. Here's a look back at his career with interviews from Eno, Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, and members of the group "Bang on A Can."

Audio: PRI's Echoes, an ambient music program.
Host: John Dilberto, Reporter: Kimberly Haas.

Halloween Mix 5

The dead shall rise...

Citizens of Halloween
This Is Halloween
Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Michael Jackson
Thriller (1982)

Ray Parker Jr.
Ghostbusters [OST] (1984)

Oingo Boingo
Dead Man's Party
Dead Man's Party (1985)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Scary Movie 2

Expanding Rights

As Americans we have rights...
  1. According to The Declaration of Indepedence you have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of hapiness.

  2. According to the Supreme Court's "Miranda decision" you have the right to remain silent and a court-appointed attorney.

  3. And according to Steve Guttenberg, in Police Academy II, you also have the right to sing the blues, cable TV and sublet.
But in Finland they'll soon have the right to broadband Internet access of at least 1 megabyte per second... Starting in July 2010, as part of Finland's effort to develop an information society.

Audio: NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, October 18. Host: Liane Hansen.

Two Parties, One Climate

Illustration via Butler Library at Buffalo State College
Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democrat John Kerry of Massachusetts reached across the aisle to outline a possible bipartisan path for U.S. Senate approval of climate change legislation.

David Jenkins of Republicans for Environmental Protection tells Living On Earth host Jeff Young it's a game changer.

Audio: Living On Earth, Host: Jeff Young

Energy’s Hidden Costs

Illustration: From the website of Congressman George Miller (D-CA), Chairman, US House Education and Labor Committee; Member, House Natural Resources Committee; Chairman, House Democratic Policy CommitteeThe energy we use comes with a hidden price tag beyond the cost of the fuel. It's in the billions of dollars, according to a new study by the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council. NAS study panelist Dan Greenbaum breaks down the hidden costs related to continuing air pollution from power plants, vehicular traffic, and home heating.

Audio: PRI's Living On Earth, Host: Jeff Young.

Say It Ain't So, Joe

Leaving his waffle iron in the cabinet, Joe says NO!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Joe Lieberman Is a True Independent 10/28/09
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorReligion

Mocking the defection of Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, conservative Republicans said he would now be "the least reliable vote" in the Democratic caucus... They forgot about Lieberman.

Halloween Mix 4

Oooooh... Scary Costume!
Jerry Seinfeld
I'm Telling You For The Last Time (1998)

Secret Samadhi (1997)

Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
I Scare Myself
Striking It Rich (1972)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scary Movie 1

World Class Conundrum

While many rock stations have played all their songs A - Z, WTTS in Indianapolis has added a new wrinkle.

They'll take all the artists in their library, arrange them alphabetically, then play one song from each artist.

Whether it's The Beatles or a one-hit wonder, each artist gets only 1.

ONE SONG! Imagine having to choose!

In their current guise of a "World Class Rock" station WTTS places a lot of emphasis on newer music by "emerging artists." But what about artists who are established, or even essential?

Could you really pick only one song by The Rolling Stones for a 55 year career?

The picks play starting at 8am ET, today October 28 thru whenever... It should take awhile.

Listen in or follow along with a set list.

Brian Williams: 'Not My Job'

Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC NewsWireBrian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, joined "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" to play a segment of their quiz game called "You are the very worst act ever to play this stage."

Williams returned to the scene of the crime to answer three questions about Florence Foster Jenkins, an American music legend(?) who performed for a sold out Carnegie Hall audience 65 years ago, and became known, make that infamous, for singing terribly.

Host: Peter Sagal, Announcer: Carl Kasell
Panel: Mo Rocca, Adam Felber & Paula Poundstone

Audio: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, October 24.
Brian Williams' BriTunes music blog.

This week Brian is hosting NBC Nightly News from Afghanistan.

Russ Mitchell: One Night Only

More anchor men as comics...

Russ Mitchell got his "Name In Lights" after getting some stand up comedy tips from Joan Rivers, performing his routine at the famed Caroline's Comedy Club in New York City.

But seriously folks... I wanna tell ya.... He killed.

Get Back, Jack Kerouac

Illustration from Wilson's AmanacBefore Dylan held the title, Jack Kerouac was considered the voice of his generation -- and avatar of the Beat movement. Following the triumphant debut of “On The Road,” the avid "consumer of life" found life was consuming him. By 1960, Kerouac was aded cynical, disaffected from the culture he helped create and tortured by self-doubt, addiction and depression.

He secretly retreated to Lawrence Ferlinghetti's rustic cabin in the Big Sur woods. The sruggle with his own inner demons became the basis for Kerouac's second novel... The gritty, lyrical, semi-autobiographical "Big Sur."

The real life events behind the book are documented in a film called “One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur.” The soundtrack CD, composed and performed by Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Jay Farrar of Son Volt, used novel passages as song lyrics.

article at Paste magazine

Audio: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now, October 12. Host: Meghna Chakrabarti.

Halloween Mix 3

There will be blood!

Warren Zevon
Werewolves of London
Excitable Boy (1978)

Dave Matthews Band
Before These Crowded Streets (1998)

Temptation Waits
Buffy The Vampire Slayer [OST] (1999)

Electric Light Orchestra
Fire On High
Face The Music (1975)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cockpit Questions

As NTSB investigators question the flight crew, news that Northwest 188 not only overshot its destination, but could have been shot down.

A look back at Saturday's CBS Evening News reveals that post-911 Air Force intercept protocols placed a flight of F-16 Falcons on alert.

The two pilots from the infamous Northwest Flight 188, with over 31,000 combined flight hours, separately told investigators that they did not fall asleep, but admitted being preoccupied with their laptops.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Whether scheduling flights, their DirecTV DVRs or even watching movies on those laptops, pilot inattention to the task at hand could be fatal for an entire flight... And should be fatal for their careers.

Update: FAA Pulls Licenses of Northwest Pilots

Europe's Far Right & Media

Far-right British National Party leader Nick Griffin's participation in a BBC discussion program led to a large number of complaints to Britain's media regulator and vociferous protests at the TV studio.

So how should media deal with extreme parties and politicians?

Audio: BBC World Service, October 23. Run time 26:30

Another One Rides The Bus

Meanwhile, back in the states...

"You're either on the bus, or off the bus." -- Ken Kesey (circa 1964)

Off Target Advertising

Ever feel like online advertisers know you a little too well? If so, you're not alone.

UPenn Professor Joseph Turow, lead author of a new study on behavioral advertising, says two-thirds object to targeted ads and the online tracking that marketers do to produce them.

Audio: WNYC's On The Media Host: Bob Garfield.

High Concept

Sometimes it's stunningly simple and very accessible, and other times it's just some crap thought up by someone who was really high.

Black Eyed Peas in Space? I vote really high.

Halloween Mix 2

Enjoy, you devil...
Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen
Abraxas (1970)

Devil Inside (1988 Single)
Greatest Hits (1994)

The Rolling Stones
Sympathy for the Devil
Beggars Banquet (1968)

Monday, October 26, 2009


It's a soup... And a metaphor.

Photo: Orange County Mexican Restaraunt blogOn one side of the street, a Mexican/Cuban restaurant offers tasty "albondigas" every day. On the other side, at the casino's cafe, it's part of a rotating soups of the day menu, as "meatball soup."

That's what it is, meatball soup from Mexico ... And the English name sounds perfectly natural when said by a middle-aged white waitress from Kentucky. But what if she was a chicana from Sinaloa, Chiapas or Veracruz?

Management asked the casino's multiethnic waitstaff not to use Spanish words to describe the food to Anglos... A Hispanic waitress admitted it when I asked if Wednesday's chicken soup came with tortillas, rice or noodles? Had I asked "¿Sopa de pollo con tortillas, arroz o fideos?" her answer would've been different. But she was serving soup to crackers.

I first heard the term "international city" widely applied to Atlanta about the same time it sought to host the 1996 Summer Olympics... And to overcome the imagery of racial intolerance evoked by Lester Maddox' axe handle... Not an easy road, and a journey incomplete.

And in a lot of ways, Nevada is a lot like the deep South. A quick look at education funding or health care outcomes, the waistlines of perpetual heavy smokers snarfing down fast & fatty foods or a sampling of local talk radio replete with thinly veiled racism and overt xenophobia... All will confirm Las Vegas is really Mississippi with a desert, garish cartoon-like architecture and hookers galore.

A would be international city must outgrow its past prejudice and learn to embrace its emerging ethnic soup... Accept growing pains that may simmer, like a good soup, but can't be allowed to boil over.

Searching For Whitopia

Photo credit: Patrik GiardinoBetween 2007 and 2009, author Rich Benjamin took a 26,909-mile journey throughout the heart of white America. It was research for a book, "Searching For Whitopia," which lists every city and county in the U.S. that is "whiter than the nation, its respective region, and state."

Benjamin wanted to find out why more and more whites are becoming refugees from diversity and moving to idyllic small towns and exurban areas that are uniformly nice, friendly, neighborly and for the most part, white.

What does that migration in or out mean for the U.S.?

From NPR's Talk of the Nation, October 6... Download podcast.

Ho White

Australia's Jamieson Brewery shows a whole different side of her...

Jamieson's Raspberry Ale 'Ho White' adAs part of a campaign that positions the brewer's raspberry ale as "Anything but sweet," they've turned "Snow White" into "Ho White," a floozy who lounges around naked in bed, blowing smoke rings, next to her brood of shag-mates, the Seven Dwarfs.. Given new names like Filthy, Smarmy and Randy.

Disney's legal department isn't laughing. In the past they've even gone after nursery schools for unauthorized portrayals of their trademarked cartoon characters.

Via AdWeek

Future of Traffic

Street View

Dan Meth's video uses actual Street View images for the backgrounds.

See more funny videos at College Humor

Halloween Mix 1

Ready for a couple of ghost stories?

Dirty Vegas
Dirty Vegas (2002)

Home By The Sea &
2nd Home By The Sea
Genesis (1983)

Danny Elfman
Simpsons Halloween Special
(End Credits)
Songs In The Key Of Springfield (1997)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fed Up with N-Word

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Tell Me A Story

When the late Don Hewitt, creator and long-time executive producer of "60 Minutes," was asked about his philosophy of TV news, his answer was simple:

"Tell me a story."

Hewitt's approach was very successful with 15 minutes of airtime per subject, but not everybody gets that much time. For example, to enforce brevity of reports as the CBS news radio outlet in Boston adopted the format, the manager physically removed all tape cartridges longer than 70 seconds. They were talking about the news at length, but God (or at least upper management) forbid, not depth.

In music radio, everybody used to talk over the start of records. Stations that play hit singles still do. Stations that fear talk as a turn-off don't... They let you talk before nusic starts, or after it ends, but even though the opportunity exists so much of what you MUST say is predetermined that you're out of breath and time long before you run out of ideas or speak a word of your own.

So what about storytelling?

Fortunately, storytelling is still alive on air... NPR's StoryCorps segments, PRI's "This American Life," and if master storyteller and former New York/Boston radio personality Dick Summer's plan is realized, soon online with an Internet streaming station consisting of real people's real stories. We'll watch for the debut.

Meanwhile, he's having fun and telling bedtime stories as he tucks you in with his "Good Night" podcast...

Dick Summer's site has links to his podcast & blog.

Jason vs Gumby

Game Theory

Multiplayer online games store reams of data about avatars’ every transaction, and it turns out this kind of information can serve as a model for real-world concepts, such as economics and epidemiology.

Researcher Dmitri Williams has been studying EverQuest II and says the information he gets from that game is better than any data he could expect from a traditional survey.

Audio: WNYC's On The Media Host: Brooke Gladstone.

Michael Jackson Pumpkin

This is it!

A costume suggestion from Extreme Pumpkins.

Free Form 024

A few more minutes...

I Need You Tonight
Kick (1987)

Billy Idol
White Wedding (Part 1)
Billy Idol (1982)

Goo Goo Dolls
Long Way Down
A Boy Named Goo (1995)

Mitch Ryder
Devil With A Blue Dress (1966)
Rhino Hi Five (2006)