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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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So you want to be a witchcraft-practising wrestler?

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[Media Monday] Collision of cultures

Tweet Another in a series of highly-circulated videos. Somewhere off the coast of Ireland in the North Atlantic, a large, fully-armed ship tries to avoid a collision with something on its radar which it thinks is another ship. They make radio contact, and find this smart-alecky Irish dude on the other end. American bravado versus Irish […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers -- Sidebar: CACs brought to life

Tweet A while back, I poked fun at a an album cover by Sterling Blythe, called Sterling Blythe Sings (CAC #47). Mark Portillo, keeper of the blog called Drop Me Off In Harlem, started a concept where simple animation to familiar, and not-so-familiar album covers could bring out many salient features, or poke fun of drawbacks, of […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #227 — Songs about being s**t out of luck

Tweet Porter Wayne Wagoner (1927-2007) seems to be well-known for his hard luck songs, like the one that makes the title to this LP. “The Cold, Hard Facts Of Life” is exactly about what is depicted on the photo. Hubby comes home earlier than expected, and finds his wife fooling around with another guy. Nowadays, it […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #226 -- The Demon Alcohol

Tweet Gertrude Behanna bears witness of the healing power of God to her admirers at an AA meeting. The recorded speech made some time after 1970 is reportedly quite memorable and witty. Reportedly, she is a a very human personality that emerged from “a miasma of glamour, sex, liquor, and irresponsibility.” It’s always the good […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #225 -- Generic music for generic people

Tweet As Show and Tell Music tell us, this cover is for real. It was pressed some time in the 1980s, and has addresses of the performers in the Northern Alabama area for you to call if you want one of them to perform for you in person, which they would do as part of their […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #224 -- No-Name Album Covers

Tweet The Band’s 1968 LP “Music From Big Pink” shows artwork from the Marketing Department at Bob Dylan Enterprises. Actually, Dylan painted this himself, just to give it that “out there” feel. And to be really out there, make sure you don’t put the name on the record. Figerpainting meets Putumayo. That’s how it looks to me. […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #223 — More Bodily Functions

Tweet FYI, this was an album cover released, according to my reliable informants, during the fifties, and was meant to be a gag album cover with no actual vinyl LP inside. If it did have an LP inside, you would hear the tunes listed on the back cover, which consisted of titles such as “Just Sittin’ […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #221 -- Unique Reiligious Concepts

Tweet “I stood at Calvary in a business suit, but no one told me that they were gonna have a toga party” is how I paraphrase one MSN blogger who discussed this album. But this could also be one of the earliest depictions of Supply-Side Jesus in a business suit. No one would crucify Supply-side Jesus, according […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #220 — Poorly thought-out concepts

Tweet This is an awfully dry album cover for the former members of The New Pornographers and Wolf Parade. I mean, a courtroom? In their 2009 album “Enemy Mine”, it is not clear if there is any connection at all between this cover and the album’s contents. Apart from that, this kind of art might be OK […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #219 — Beefcake or fruitcake? You be the judge!

Tweet Crossing the line between soft porn and insanity, Mike Bones offers us this picture of himself spending time at the Betty Ford Clinic. Honest, he just let one of his buddies play with his camera while he was visiting him, and being too drugged up to notice, a picture was taken of him, desaturated to […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #218 — Old-School Telephones

Tweet Buy this album and you will always be able to see this beautiful photo of a telephone held by someone in a tasteful suit. Yes, I’ll bet you will stare at this one forever. I’m only saying all this because I’m jealous, of course. Aren’t you, knowing now that Jerry Irby has a hotline to heaven? […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #217 — Too much for metal

Tweet The only thing this album has going for it is the “Explicit Lyrics/Parental Advisory” sticker that tells adolescents that these are the only kinds of recordings they should buy. The Metal parody group Steel Panther currently play weekly in Los Vegas and Los Angeles. They must be metal, because their website overuses gothic fonts and umlauts […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #216 -- Stereotypes and other things that bug me

Tweet Come to Sweden, “… where the facts of life are stranger than fiction.” “The most permissive state in the world!” (sez the cover) Well, that’s got to mean only one thing, folks. That they’re all a bunch of debauched perverts, and the rest of us uptight Westerners should pass up this film or become debauched […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #215 -- Your Miranda Rights

Tweet You have a right to remain silent, while Carmen Miranda has a right to sing her fool head off. It almost isn’t fair, is it? Here she is depicted as being attacked by a fruit bowl, and you stand accused. She’s smiling because she’s hired the best lawyer in the business, and this is how she […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #213 -- More TV and Movies

Tweet Cushy job there, Dean. Dino Paul Crocetti, known as Dean Martin (1917-1995), played secret agent Matt Helm in the 1966 movie The Silencers. I can’t see Matt Helm’s agency remaining secret if he continues to chase women. This looks like the second redesign I’ve seen about the movie Peter Gunn. Same artist, same movie. […]

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Crappy Album Covers #212 -- The love of self and others

Tweet Common wisdom tells us that you must love yourself if you are going to give love to others. Otherwise, if you see yourself as a miserable chump, others will see you the same way, and only other miserable chumps will be your companions. The first step in loving yourself is self-acceptance. And with that, being yourself. […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #211 — Domestic Affairs

Tweet If you cook either with electricity or briquettes, this album is not for you. I think there was a decade between the mid-50s and mid-60s where there were a spate of “Music for X” albums for every occasion. Cook with gas? Then buy this record! Harry Fields (?-1988) graduated from Julliard with a Ph. D., and […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #209 -- Keyboard Obsessions

Tweet There was a period of time that just about every “nerdy” musical act wanted to record something by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. They were the Lennon and McCartney of predictability and commerciality in the 1960s and early 70s. While they took few artistic risks, it is not to say that they lacked originality. Their catalogue […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #208 — Television II

Tweet I remember seeing the title “The Man From UNCLE” in my TV Guide when I was quite young. Never saw the show, but I at least understood that it had this famous guy Robert Vaughan in the show. The acronym apparently stands for the “United Network Command for Law Enforcement”. Sheesh. It’s a James Bond knockoff […] […]

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