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In Memoriam 2015

January 1: Donna Douglas: Played daughter Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. (Age 82). 1: Mario Cuomo: Governor of New York (1983 to 1994) (Age 82). 2: James Cecil Dickens: Known as Little Jimmy Dickens, best known for his song May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up ...

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The disappearance of misc.activism.progressive and the emergence of Thought Crime Radio

Almost four years ago, the articles in the USENET newsgroup misc.activism.progressive ground to a halt, and moderator Rich Winkel has all but disappeared from the USENET, whom I learn resided in Harrisburg (up until 2010, at least), a half hour or so drive from his ...

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Sounding off on the end of CanCon and the CRTC

I guess with the recent decision to axe all cancon requirements for daytime programming in Canada, the CRTC is crawling toward its own irrelevance. Let's not be naive, Canadian culture is that much more weakened without the protection it partially enjoyed from American influence. With ...

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Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map … barely

Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map ... barely

I've written about obscure Saskatchewan communities before. Here is another community far to the north of Unity. My ancestors from France settled here. Many of my ancestors were pioneers that broke new farming ground nearest to a community called Eldred, Saskatchewan. Eldred was about 10 km ...

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Zero

Once upon a time, around the year 525 during the reign of Pope John I, a monk named Dionysius invented the idea of Anno Domini by producing a calendar which marked the time since the birth of Christ. The numbering of the years was adopted ...

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Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

You know, I was minding my own business in this classy Chinese restaurant, engorging myself on their copious buffet, had my fill, and was handed the bill with an accompanying fortune cookie. This fortune cookie (the one to the left) really existed, and I never saw ...

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Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Maple is a robust math environment which can graph, solve equations, and solve for the unknown with the aid of its computer algebra solver (CAS), which is capable of computing exact roots of cubic functions, for example. I wanted to demonstrate for myself that Maple could ...

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Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Recently, I've been hit (my website that is) by someone possibly checking his plethora of links from his/her website, and when I back-traced it, I find this cool blog which acts as a convincing historical shrine to the late great 1050 CHUM Radio in Toronto. ...

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The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

This is more like a meta-review. I have gone to Canada Computes where nearly the entire Behringer line is sold, and was impressed by the specs. But does it do what I want, the way I want it? I face a number of obstacles, being a ...

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The most annoying sound on radio

Tweet Why do jewellery commercials have to be so tasteless and annoying? I single out jewellery commericals, since they are more annoying even then furniture commercials, their main competitor for the gold standard of tastelessness. But no. We have sharpers like Russell Oliver, and others who will go on TV and radio and in the most garish […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #103 — My Bruthas' Johnson (more phallic symbols)

Tweet The funk/disco/R&B duo The Brothers Johnson’s 1980 recording, “Light Up The Night”, was the high water mark in their career as  a duo. Rolling Stone listed this record as #48 in the top 100 records of the 1980s.Looks like George is using his Johnson to light up Louis. Probably didn’t help sales, which went to […] […]

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Charles Manson covers Beach Boys’ "Cease to Exist"

Tweet Charles Manson covers the Beach Boy’s tune “Cease to Exist”, accompanied by talent from The Manson Family. Not great, but I have heard worse from ’60s music. Is it too bad of a pun to say that this song is likely a “cult favrourite”? The video is all imagery, and not badly done. I hear […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #40 — Jackdaws I

Tweet I refer to anything I could not put into any specific category as a “Jackdaw”. I am aware that jackdaws are also a species of bird (C. monedula), but I have heard them use a lot by libraries to refer to uncategorizable books, and on the other end of the spectrum, primary source documents. In […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #39 — Still More Gays

Tweet Paddy Roberts, whom allmusic.com claims is in the Rock genre, released this album in the mid-60s, probably the last decade where “gay” only meant “happy”. Likely not an album for queers. Not even queer dogs.In 2006, this album was re-released on CD, bundled with another album, “Funny World”. No detailed information on Paddy Roberts could […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #38 — Sports people with something to sing about

Tweet Evel Knievel (1938 – 2007) needs no introduction. Motorcycle daredevil and religious convert, Robert Craig Knievel was also a reader of Napoleon Hill, a fellow crappy album maker, mentioned in an earlier posting. Wikipedia cites Hill’s book, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude as one of Knievel’s influences through life. No daredevil has suffered more broken […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers 37 — Self-help for the helpless

Tweet The first time I saw this album cover by Jimmy Jenson, I thought it was some kind of self-help manual on the care and maintenance of your household Swede. First and foremost, is the obvious crisis depicted on the album cover. There are nine chilren there, and I would imagine that either she is going […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #36 — Space, Religion, and Getting Down

Tweet Laverne Tripp is the sole proprietor of Laverne Tripp Ministries. He preaches. He sings. Oh, does he sing! To date he has released 78 full-length albums of his singing. Pardon the pun, but I find the cover kind of, …, well, … trippy. It plays with your mind, in a way. It also looks like he’s falling. I […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #35 — Love, Peace, and Good Bodies

Tweet This is Cherone, and the cover could have easily been passed over at the record store by you, because it contains, well, nothing all that special. Yes, I know that it contains the requisite semi-nude female required by marketers, yes the lights are low and it looks intimate. However, there is a problem here in that […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #34 — Celebrities doing WHAT?

Tweet Ethel Merman (1908-1984), born Ethel Agnes Zimmerman, had a career that went all the way back to the days of Vaudeville. Her first big-time performances, in fact, were on Broadway in 1930. By the time she left Broadway in 1959, she was already a show biz veteran. She appeared in movie musicals with Bing […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #32 — Gays and Lesbians

Tweet Kevin Rowland is actually a very good musician. His first solo album put out in 1988, “The Wanderer” is seen as a great, and highly accessible album from this former front man for Dexys Midnight Runners. This album, released 11 years later, was panned by critics and was a general let-down. For one thing, the album […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #31 — Cliches per square inch

Tweet As an asside, I would like to know who bought these albums when they were a teenager, then pinned up the album covers on their wall, and threw away the record? A Gruson & Turium Empty Cliche Checklist: Topless chicks? Check. Lit candles? Check. Ballroom curtains? Check. Piano to let the buyer know that this is a music album and […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #30 — RAP! ZAP! POW! BOOM!

Tweet With Just-Ice’s 1986 album “Back to the Old School”, we now see who the initial artistic influence was behind the designing of the album covers for the Putumayo collection. All a cover artist would need to do is remove the graffiti and a few of the logos, put smiles on everyone’s faces, and you now […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #29 — More Celebrities

Tweet This is a curious album, since Jimmy Carter is talked about, and does not appear on this 1977 album. Preview Records is a company that keeps track of the history and lore of the song-poem industry. It is not known which company put this out, but it seems to be MSR Records of Hollywood (now defunct). The […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #28 — Bad Ideas

Tweet Here, the glam rock group Nelson provides the musical answer to the riddle “why do dogs lick themselves?” Members Matthew and Gunnar, the twin sons of Ricky Nelson — who, in turn was the son of Ozzy and Harriet Nelson, have the distinction of belonging to a family that has had #1 hits in each of […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #27 — More people who worry me

Tweet Steve E. King just wants you to know that if you don’t buy his album “Prelude”, he’ll personally come over and pop you full of lead. There is no information I can find on Steve E. King anywhere. However, it is a bit suspicious that he has the same name as novelist Stephen King, who also […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #26 — Phallic symbols

Tweet Phallic symbols, their effects, and other weirdness… Sigmund Freud once was quoted as saying “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” After inventing the idea of phallic symbols, and knowing how much he loved to smoke cigars, there are people who would have disagreed with Freud’s veiled attempt to shield the psychological dimensions of his own […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #25 — Da Doktor's In Da House

Tweet This album was only released in England in 1976, by a Pop/Country musician from Missouri named Jimmy Payne. Payne wrote hits for the likes of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap (Remember “Woman, Woman”?), Charlie Pride, Glen Campbell, and Tammy Wynette, among others. He still lives with his wife in Nashville, and he apparently is still recording […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #24 – More Overexposed Celebrities: A Gallery

Tweet The marketers of our dear friend Colonel Sanders, I believe, tried to pump his image for all it was worth. The fact that he is relaxing there with a whole bucket to himself is about as ridiculous as the title “Tijuana Picnic.” What on Earth has KFC got to do with Tijuana? Unless there is […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #23 - Just Plain Old Bad Taste

Tweet Yes, it’s time for some old-fashioned run-of-the-mill examples of bad taste. This example — the mullet — is so common, it is now cliche as an example of bad taste. No tangible information exists on the group Chicken Coup de Ville or this album. I also don’t recognise any of the “smash hits” listed on the cover. In […] […]

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