The indices of Harper’s Magazine

I have been a fan of Harper’s Magazine since the 1980s. In particular, I loved the Readings section, as well as the factoids list (with citations) known as Harper’s Index, near the front of each issue. Here are 100 factoids I’ve researched from over the years, dates not important, but they have been taken from issues since 2000. I have favoured factoids that are not dated, but that was difficult as many good ones with dates crept in. The URL for Harper’s magazine is http://harpers.org, and is available on some newsstands, but not as many these days as in days previous.

  • Cost to produce Safeguard, the only U.S. ground-based long-range missile shield ever deployed: $23,500,000,000
  • Number of days in the 1970s that the system was operational before it was abandoned as inadequate: 135
  • Pounds of fuel required to maintain this year’s 11,500 Olympic torches: 2,029
  • Ratio of the amount of energy generated by 1 gallon of ethanol to the amount of energy required to produce it : 1:0.9
  • Number of times Colin Powell said, “I don’t recall” or, “I can’t recall” during his 1987 Iran-Contra testimony: 56
  • Percentage of global economic activity accounted for by the world’s 200 largest corporations: 27.5
  • Percentage of the world’s population that these corporations employ: 0.8
  • Minimum number of mentally retarded Americans who have been executed by the justice system since 1976 : 35
  • Estimated chance that a U.S. prisoner is mentally retarded: 1 in 14
  • Days after Time named George W. Bush 2000’s man of the year that Russians named Vladimir Lenin man of the century: 4
  • Places by which Russia’s ranking in the U.N.’s Human Development Index of living standards has fallen since 1990 : 31
  • Rank of the United States and Britain among nations whose residents are most likely to be obese: 1,2
  • Rank of Hungary: 3
  • Ratio of the number of pardons George W. Bush has issued turkeys to those he has issued human beings: 2:1
  • Ratio of the average life span of a commercially bred turkey to that of a wild one: 1:7
  • Year in which Disney’s Mickey Mouse copyright will expire if the Supreme Court reverses a 1998 extension this winter (2002): 2003
  • Minutes that a Massachusetts surgeon left a patient with an open incision while he went to deposit a check: 35
  • Percentage change since 1990 (to 2003) in the number of U.S. schoolchildren labeled “disabled” : +37
  • Chances that a U.S. adult does not want to live to be 120 under any circumstances: 2 in 3
  • Chance that an American adult believes that “politics and government are too complicated to understand” : 1 in 3
  • Chance that an American who was home-schooled feels this way: 1 in 25
  • Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida (in 2004): 240
  • Percentage of the 13,129 varieties of dirt in the United States that are endangered: 4
  • Years in prison to which two ex-Pentagon officials were sentenced last year for taking bribes of money and prostitutes: 24
  • Number of years a North Carolina man has been in prison for stealing a television: 33
  • Rank, on the Turkish bestseller list in March (2005), of a thriller depicting a U.S. invasion of Turkey: 1
  • Rank of Mein Kampf: 2
  • Average percentage by which the power of the male heart declines between the ages of 18 and 75 : 20
  • Average percentage by which the female heart does: 0
  • Amount a Chinese online gamer made last year (in 2004) by selling a virtual sword he had borrowed from a friend: $850
  • Months later that the friend retaliated by stabbing him to death with a real knife: 6
  • Number of beetles that right-wing entomologists have named after Bush Administration officials: 3
  • Number of times that Mary, Jesus’ mother, is referenced by name in the Bible and the Koran, respectively: 19,34
  • Number of “Wal-ocaust” T-shirts sold by a Georgia man before Wal-Mart ordered him to cease and desist: 1
  • Ratio, in the United States, of the number of Wal-Mart employees to the number of high school teachers: 1:1
  • Portion of states where the projected climate in 2100 will not be able to sustain their official tree or flower: 3/5
  • Number of words spoken by Clarence Thomas during Supreme Court oral arguments since February 2006 (until Aug 2007): 132
  • Number by Samuel Alito, the Justice who spoke the second-fewest words: 14,404
  • Percentage of single U.S. women in their twenties who are “very” or “extremely” willing to marry for money: 61
  • Percentage of women in their thirties who are : 74
  • Percentage change since 1985 (to 2009) in the number of U.S. newspapers with reporters covering Congress : –72
  • Percentage of six- to nine-year-old American girls (in 2009) who wear lipstick or lip gloss : 46
  • Number of poppyseed bagels that could be made with Afghanistan’s annual poppy harvest : 357,000,00
  • Percentage of British elementary-school students who think Isaac Newton discovered fire : 60
  • Number of U.S. states that have more pigs than people : 3
  • Minimum number of birds that die from crashing into New York City windows each year : 100,000
  • Number of Bentleys purchased in Russia in 2000 and in 2010, respectively : 0, 113
  • Estimated portion of registered voters in Zimbabwe who are dead : 1/4
  • Average minutes more exercise per week that a heavy drinker gets than a non-drinker : 21
  • Portion of the total U.S. corn crop that goes to make ethanol : 2/5
  • Projected worldwide surplus of low-skill workers by 2020 : 93,000,000
  • Projected worldwide deficit of high- and medium-skill workers by that time : 85,000,000
  • Rank of China among global beer producers by volume : 1
  • Rank of the United States : 2
  • Percentage change since 1988 (to 2012) in U.S. teen-pregnancy rates : –36
  • In abstinence rates among white teens : +31
  • Among black teens : +56
  • Portion of Americans who don’t walk for at least ten continuous minutes at any point in an average week : 2/5
  • Percentage of American cats that are overweight : 58
  • Percentage of men in dual-income marriages who said they struggled with work-family conflict in 1977 : 35
  • Who say they do today (2013): 60.
  • Average annual cost of detaining an inmate at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay : $900,000
  • At a supermax prison in the United States : $65,000
  • Portion of all online advertising that is never seen by a human being : 1/2
  • Percentage of U.S. children in 1960 who lived in households headed by heterosexuals in their first marriage : 73
  • Who do today (2015) : 46
  • Estimated minimum gallons of water used annually to produce Coca-Cola products : 8,000,000,000,000
  • Ratio of money spent by Britons on prostitution to that spent on hairdressing : 1:1
  • Years in prison to which a New Mexico man was sentenced last year (in 2015) for shooting children with a semen-filled squirt gun : 18
  • Estimated number of people who will be driven into extreme poverty by 2030 because of climate change : 100,000,000
  • Percentage of the world’s civilian-owned firearms that are owned by Americans : 48
  • Number of Americans aged 60 and older who have outstanding student loans : 2,800,000
  • Portion of those borrowers who have taken on debt to pay for a child or grandchild’s education : 3/4
  • Percentage of children’s toys available in Sweden that contain banned chemicals : 15
  • Of sex toys available in Sweden : 2
  • Average number of people who die in avalanches in the United States each year : 27
  • Number of FBI confidential informants (in 2017) who worked for Best Buy’s Geek Squad between 2008 and 2012 : 8
  • Rank of Nebraska among states with the least liked state flags : 1
  • Number of days in January that the flag at the state capitol flew upside down before anyone noticed : 7
  • Number of US states in which fluorescent pink is a legal color for hunting apparel : 6
  • Chance an American has taken an “active shooter” preparedness class : 1 in 10
  • Percentage of US “active shooters” from 2000 to 2016 who were killed by police : 21
  • Who were killed by armed civilians : 1
  • Number of universities in which half of all the US tenured and tenure-track history professors are trained : 8
  • Number of the twenty largest German companies that are headquartered in the former East Germany : 0
  • Rank of Germany in consumption of nonalcoholic beer : 2
  • Of Iran : 1
  • Portion of Hawaii’s drinking water that comes from underground wells : 9/10
  • Gallons of raw sewage that leak into the ground from Hawaii cesspools each day : 53,000,000
  • Percentage change since 2009 in reports of human waste on San Francisco streets (in 2018): +391
  • Chance that a given day is a public holiday in Cambodia : 1 in 13
  • Rank of Disneyland among the happiest places on earth, according to Disneyland : 1
  • Percentage of Disneyland employees who worry about being evicted from their homes : 56
  • Number of dead people Americans have elected to Congress : 6
  • Factor by which a millennial is more likely than a baby boomer to claim they have a food allergy : 2
  • Number of states that allow roadkill to be salvaged for food : 31
  • Rank of Arabic among France’s most spoken languages : 2
  • Factor by which graduate students are more likely to experience depression or anxiety than the general population : 6
  • Percentage of Americans aged 18 to 34 who say they’d like to live forever : 24
  • Of Americans over 55 : 13

More political articles on the Silent Majority

I believe the third time anyone writes an article on the same creepy topic, it is time either to cease and desist, or to make this into an ongoing series, embracing the concept whole.

Twice before, I have written with a straight face about how the dead participate in all parts of the electoral process, being both the voters, and those being voted on. And I have written more than once, that dead people have often win elections against their living opponents. While all this sounds both creepy and hilarious, these stories are utterly true. And before you think this is a liberal or conservative conspiracy, I also reiterate, that the dead benefit both sides of American politics. Since there are more dead people than living, we call them the real Silent Majority in this blog. We ought to root for them, since many of these are hard-working dead people who have never committed crimes, and don’t bother anyone.

After paying $1.50 for this issue of The Sun yesterday, I find that the cover story is an opinion piece.

Just yesterday in The Toronto Sun, the front page — yes, the front page, in the biggest screaming headlines you have ever seen in your life, decried the Liberal practice of leaving dead people on the voter rolls. So, now the silent majority have invaded the Canadian Liberal party, according to The Sun. While I understand that the Sun takes every opportunity to attack the Liberals, and have never met a politician to the right of Atilla the Hun they didn’t like, I have to say, the dead are not a voting block. I am certain that the list contains conservatives and liberals in fairly equal numbers. Regardless, no one can control the voting preferences of the Silent Majority, since you can’t speak to them, and they can’t speak to you. Even if you could speak to them, the Silent Majority will just vote as they damn well please. Or, do anything else they damn well please. You may have your perceptions and illusions about the Silent Majority, but we can both agree that you can’t tell them who to vote for. They just won’t listen, and you can’t change that.

You can call me a leading authority on the voting behavior of the Silent Majority. I have been observing them for quite a while now. And a good many years from now, I too will some day go to the Majority. To be honest, it’s pretty boring watching them, because I never see them move. I guess that’s part of their mystique.

Google Autocomplete Follies

Humans are a curious species. We like to ask the questions about why things exist/happen/not happen, and so on.

When I built my search engine questions, I began with the word “WHY”, then gradually built on that, one word at a time. Now, I pass on the list of questions to you.

If the list of Google autocomplete suggestions which is to follow is taken to be the true distillation of human thought, we seem to be very preoccupied with aches and pains, bodily functions, and weather events, and not a whole lot outside of that.

WHY

⦁ him
⦁ is the sky blue
⦁ don’t we
⦁ him cast (sic)
⦁ do whales beach
⦁ am i so tired
⦁ are you running
⦁ do cats purr
⦁ am I always tired
⦁ do we yawn

WHY DOES

⦁ my cat lick me
⦁ my dog lick me
⦁ it hurt when i pee
⦁ salt melt ice
⦁ ice float
⦁ my stomach hurt
⦁ my head hurt
⦁ my jaw hurt

WHY DOES IT

⦁ snow
⦁ snow in Canada
⦁ rain
⦁ always rain on me
⦁ hurt to swallow
⦁ hurt to poop
⦁ hurt to have sex
⦁ hurt to breathe
⦁ hurt when I cough

WHY DOES IT SEEM

⦁ like everyone is rich
⦁ impossible to lose weight
⦁ impossible to get a girlfriend
⦁ hard to breathe
⦁ hard to swallow

WHY DOES IT NEVER

⦁ work out with guys
⦁ snow in London/Manchester/Swansea/England/Florida
⦁ snow on Christmas
⦁ snow
⦁ rain in California
⦁ get dark in Alaska

WHY DOES IT ALWAYS SEEM

⦁ to be (Phil Collins lyric)
⦁ to rain at night
⦁ to rain on the weekend
⦁ to rain on Good Friday
⦁ to be my fault

A list of state slogans

From the responses to Chris Cillizza’s request on Twitter (@CillizzaCNN) that people submit their own state motto. Fair use, since none of these were authored by Chris Cillizza, but submitted by the general public.

Alabama: first in football, but last in everything else.
Alaska: Worst deal in history. Give it back to Russia!
Arizona: Sunny, With Sucky Senators.
Arkansas: Come dig for diamonds and leave with Cotton.
California: the land of fruits and nuts
Colorado: So fricken high they voted for Hillary
Connecticut: Just a restroom between Boston and New York.
Delaware: Have you seen Delaware? It’s more like a Dela-won’t.
Florida: underwater shark bait
Georgia: Without Atlanta, It Would Be Another Alabama
Hawaii – when you only want to be “sort of” American
Idaho: “Where did you think Vodka came from?”
Illinois – Land of the only President I rank above me.
Indiana: Where Indiana Jones comes from
Iowa: Gateway to Nebraska
Kansas: “Great band! I am delivering on my promise to bring the U.S., the whole world actually, to the ‘Point of no return.'”
Kentucky: New Jersey Charm with Mississippi Sophistication
Louisiana: We’re Alabama with Better Food
Maine: Basically Canada — except Paul LePage
Maryland: The Wire was real, you know
Massachusetts: Vegans and Massholes
Michigan – The rusted-out can you buy viagra female over the counter gauntlet of the Great Lakes.
Minnesota: Always getting out over our skis.
Mississippi: more ‘I’s than teeth
Missouri: First in meth houses.
Montana: The cool stuff died 65 million years ago.
Nebraska: First in Friendship, Second in Cat and Dog Obesity
Nevada Home of High Rollers and Low Lifers
New Hampshire: A drug-infested den (Trump)
New Jersey: ‘I don’t own it, they’re just paying to use my name’
New Mexico: the only Mexico paying for my wall
New York: “At least we’re not New Jersey.”
North Carolina: Gateway to Virginia and its many great Trump properties!
North Dakota: For when you are bored of South Dakota.
Ohio…we put the O in opiates.
Oklahoma: 1st in earthquakes and tornadoes, 49th in everything else.
Oregon: The home of the witch trials.
Pennsylvania: They said I had no chance.
Rhode Island: Small state, small hands.
South Carolina, the rusty buckle of the Bible Belt.
South Dakota: Gateway to North Dakota
Tennessee. Above Kentucky in everthing but the map
Texas: Thank God for Mississippi.
Utah-needs casinos
Vermont: communists and cows.
Virginia: Make-Believe Southern State
Washington: Too much cyber.
West Virginia – Come for my Cousin, Stay for the Coal
Wisconsin – The Curdled Milk State!
Wyoming – Not sure where it is, but I think I won there.

So you want to be a witchcraft-practising wrestler?

You are a follower of witchcraft, and you want to become a wrestler for WWF or something (what decent witch wouldn’t want that?), then you need to have a moniker. An alias that captures all that you are. Here, from the website “Behind the Name“, are some name suggestions to help out witches and warlocks who want to also buy veterinary tramadol join the wrestling profession (a mixture of names construed to be masculine and feminine):

  • Batfire Catgoo
  • Spiderpop Ice Threat
  • Money Kick Macho Professor
  • Atomic Grip Dreadspaz
  • Stone Cold Sheik Toadstare
  • Rhino Kick Beetleweed
  • Beetletooth Vixen
  • Boiltongue Demonhex
  • Danger Dragon
  • Roid Muscles Iron Queen
  • Star Hit Swamphex
  • Wartcast Ice Masher
  • Dragon Roid Princess

[Media Monday] Collision of cultures

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 snarkiness. Who wins? This is an ad for the Swedish company Silva Navigation Systems.

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Crappy Album Covers — Sidebar: CACs brought to life

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 the album cover.

In the original cover, Blythe sat on what appeared to be a tree branch. But since the branch buy pink viagra didn’t seem to be connected to anything, it looked like he was floating. Now, thanks to the magic of animated GIFs and a bit of retouching, he really is floating.

Appearing in early April will be this 1969 album cover from King Crimson, entitled “In The Court of the Crimson King”.

Well, not exactly this cover. This is another one of Mike Portillo’s handiworks, exaggerating the already-exaggerated madness of the cover through the magic of animation.

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

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 would be more like “Guy and gal get married, they honeymoon, then Guy finds the gal is a guy.” Introducing the new cold hard facts.

Wagoner ushered in the career of Dolly Parton and hosted the Grand Ole Opry for many years. He has reportedly had over 80 hit singles on the country charts.

More down-and-outer music can be expected from Latino Joe Bravo in the name of Skid Row Joe. Porter Wagoner actually wrote a song about Skid Row Joe, and in this LP we find Joe doing a cover version.

Now you can hear both songs and become depressed in two different languages:

Crappy Album Covers #226 — The Demon Alcohol

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 things in life that f**k you up, isn’t it?
I would come out and say how ugly the above buy tramadol for dogs cover is, if it wasn’t for the existence of this cover. “Amazing Grace” by “The Celebration Road Show”. It looks like it was put together by the guy sitting next to the trashcan in that blue photograph. Or it could just as easily been put together by the toddler in the color insert. If only he were old enough to spell.

Crappy Album Covers #225 — Generic music for generic people

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 ministry. I take it you need to be reasonably handy to Northern Alabama to take advantage of this deal. Here is a part of their notes from the back cover.
Dixieland Jazz, played by a band of eight Shriners who call themselves “The Eight Balls”. These Shriners hail from Lexington, Kentucky, and appear to consist of a dead guy on trumpet, with 7 onlookers.

Crappy Album Covers #224 — No-Name Album Covers

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. Dylan also contributed on three of the tracks.

While it peaked at #63 back in the day (was it the lack of a name on the cover that was the problem?), it was ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as #53 in the “500 greatest albums of all time” in a more recent 2003 appraisal of the album.

Psychedelic rockers Blue Cheer released this “nameless” 1968 LP called “Outsideinside”. Later albums had the title across the top of the front cover design. Of course, if you see this cover and you don’t know what it is about, that makes it all the more edgierfor some folks. But other folks can dismiss it with a curt “WTF?” also. Free world.

Some people just like to know the titles of stuff, sometimes. It isn’t nerdy or un-cool to not buy a record because you don’t know who recorded it or what the album name is. Unless your band name is Led Zeppelin (which copycatted this concept three years later with Led Zeppelin IV), you are probably not able to take such risks.

Blue Cheer has been performing as a group under wildly varying lineups over much of the 43-year period between 1966 and 2009. One of the founding members, singer/Bassist Dickie Peterson, died of prostate cancer in October of 2009. After Peterson’s death, bassist Andrew McDonald announced that the group will disband for the final time out of respect for Peterson.

Crappy Album Covers #223 — More Bodily Functions

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’ and Rockin'”, “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning”, and “At Last”. It may have been purchased at the same joke shop that sold “Half ashtrays” (for your half-ash friends).  A cardboard insert inside explains the gag.
Well, if you are a CAC fan like I think you are, you probably figured sooner or later I would display the Pooh-Man album 1992 cover “As Funky as I Wanna Be”.  Old jokes, re-told on countless blogs I visited that display this CD cover, consist of banter such as “giving birth to a guy with shades must be painful.” And if you hold the record upside-down, well… then we get really gross.

Lawrence Lee Thomas sings the three sacred topics in the Rap Trinity: money, sex and murder. He knows that no rapper has ever lost a dollar singing about those topics, and he’s going to make a mint and wave it in your face, like a good rapper should.

For all the hoopla, I think all the publicity for his album must be coming from blogs like these. This LP never made it into the Billboard Hot 100, but only just made the R&B charts at #38. That being said, this album was the high water mark for MC Pooh, and as far as I can tell, he has never returned to this level of artistic achievement since.

Crappy Album Covers #221 — Unique Reiligious Concepts

“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 to his biographer and publicist, Al Franken, as when the choice was given to the multitudes as to whether to release Supply-side Jesus or Jesus of Nazareth from the sentence of death by crucifixion, the people chose Supply-side Jesus, since he offered the public 20 sheckels to anyone who voted for him. This historic act is depicted here for all to see.

I don’t care if it rains or freezes, s’long as I have my 8-bit Jesus playing on my iPod in my car. Our Lord and Saviour meets Mario Brothers.

These ditties by Doctor Octoroc may be downloaded again from a web page that touts it as the “second coming of 8-bit Jesus”.

Crappy Album Covers #220 — Poorly thought-out concepts

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 for a newspaper courtroom artist who wants to capture the likenesses of large numbers of people. Unless  your album is about famous or notable court cases, courtroom art is a bad idea.

This album is an improvement over Swan Lake due to the lack of a courtroom image.

Al Jolson was known for his imitating a black singer by covering his face in black makeup, but it appears as though this black guy covered his face in even blacker makeup. But alas, it looks like a wax carving.

Some amusing tidbits: I found a larger image than this in a place called the “Uncyclomedia Commons“. The web page containing the image declares that “This image or article is a copyright violation”. Then in small print, it continues: “Luckily, nobody cares.” The link on “nobody cares” points to an aticle in the “uncyclopedia” called “nobody cares“. The Uncyclopedia is touted as a “content-free” encyclopedia, but it appears to be satire.

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

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 black-and-white in Photoshop, and made into the cover of his second solo CD, entitled “A Fool For Everyone”, which got released in 2009.

Honestly, I have no idea of the circumstances for the photo. The above idea was competing in my brain with another scenario, that he is photographed here showing the after effects of interrogation, imprisonment and starvation.

Mike Jones was Mike Strallow, lead guitarist of such indie/underground bands as Soldiers of Fortune and The Mighty Flashlight. The Mighty Flashlight looks like it was used in this album cover photo as part of the interrogation, as evidenced by the washed-out image.

Former Italian fashion model and romance novelist Fabio Lanzoni would stand for none of that black-and-white, washed-out photo nonsense. He still looks like he walked off a GAP commercial … the one that might have had the slogan “Everyone in love with themselves”.

Fabio has also appeared in countless movies and soap operas. Not much info on his singing career. If you want to know if Fabio can sing, then buy the album and write me back.

Crappy Album Covers #218 — Old-School Telephones

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? Look at him smiling! Don’t it make you want to rip the phone out of his hands?

“Yo God! I’m really happy for Jer’! I’ll let him finish, but I just want to say that Millie Jackson has one of the worst album covers of all time!”

Jerry Irby mixed gospel with country music. Bobby Bland mixed gospel with blues and R&B. This 1962 single had Bobby imprisoned for overuse of the depiction of a telephone, just because the word “call” appears in one of the titles.

Bland recorded 30 albums and released around 45 singles over the years between 1958 and 1998.  That is, 45 hit singles out of a total of 120.  During that time, he had served in the US Armed Forces. He has been entered into both the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Crappy Album Covers #217 — Too much for metal

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 above every occurence of the letter “o”.

“Feel the Steel” was released in the UK June of 2009, and a few months later in North America and Australia. Previous albums included spoken-word comedy tracks, but this one is just the music. Their website features this CD and sells it bundled with a T-shirt for around 26 bucks. CD is 11 bucks.

Metal, mullets, tattoos and babes the trappings of the CD design for Reel Big Fish’s 2009 CD “Fame, Fortune and Fornication”. The guy on the cover is actually not a member of the band, but Brian Klemm of the group Suburban Legends, wearing the same clothing (or not) as he had on the album cover of “Let’s Be Friends” from the previous year. Klemm acts as a guest backing vocalist on the LP. No one knows who the token female is.

The entire album consists of cover ska versions of songs done by John Mellencamp, Van Morrisson, The Eagles, Tom Petty, and Poison.

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

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 ourselves. Oh! Our virgin ears! Our virgin eyes!

I guess no film has ever lost money over simplistic stereotypes.

Avco Embassy Pictures made mediocre to half-decent movies. They filmed The Graduate (1967), and The Producers (1968) for example. Later films included Blade Runner, and This is Spinal Tap.

Avco changed hands and names several times over the decades. The 1968 film “Sweden Heaven and Hell” is not listed as one of Avco’s “Notable Films” under Wikipedia. The “Hit Single” “Mah-Na-Mah-Na” never made the Billboard Top 40 (peaking at #55 in the US in 1969), but was later used on The Muppet Show and Sesame buy tramadol online reviews Street.

Don’t remember the song? Oh yes you do! Scroll down, plress “Play” to hear the Sesame Street version on YouTube. It won’t leave your head for a week! I guarantee.

Here are more things that bug me… Bugs!

Hi-Fi bugs are a class of “bug” species that all point to Magnetic North whenever they hear the key of Middle A, as depicted in this real-life nature photo.

Pete Rugolo was born in Sicily on Christmas Day, and has spent most of his life in Califronia. He played in a band with Paul Desmond druing World War II. Since 1949, he was hired as the East Coast music director for Capitol Records, backing and arranging for such notables as Mel Torme, Nat King Cole, and Peggy Lee. During the 60s and 70s, he contributed music to a number of TV shows, including “Leave it to Beaver”, “Felony Squad” and “The Challengers”. His most recent work was for music to the the 1997 movie “This World, Then The Fireworks”, an adaptation of a Jim Thompson novel.

Mah-Na-Mah-Na was on Sesame Street at one time, apparently:

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Crappy Album Covers #215 — Your Miranda Rights

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 finances her jewellery.

Portuguese-born Maria do Carmo Miranda de Cuhna (1909-1955) was a Broadway singer and actress, and many believe she was the highest earning woman in the United States during the 1940s. She grew up in Brazil, earning her nickname “The Brazilian Bombshell”.

Below, the Lady in The Tutti Fruitti Hat sings the title track to this album.

Dick Schory and his merry band of percussionists and other musicians made this LP in 1958 or 1959 depending on what website you are looking at. I’ve seen it categorized as Easy Listening and as Space Age Pop. Either one would be possible for that tramadol buy online canada period.

The music has faded into mediocrity (answers.com gives it only two stars and a lukewarm review), but the crappy album cover lives on in our collective memory. This vinyl LP, whose cover depicts Dick Schory crawling out from underneath a pile of percussion instruments, is considered a collector’s item, with Amazon selling a used copy for around $280.00

WARNING: The picture on the Amazon site, on close inspection is of a 1996 German import CD, not a vinyl LP — Not sure if that is something I would pay close to $300 for. A giveaway is the jewel case, but an even bigger giveaway is the “Compact Disc” logo on the back cover. While there is no overt attempt by Amazon to obscure this (it is listed as a CD), Vinyl Renaissance sells the original vinyl LP used for $55.

Carmen Miranda, “South American Way”

Here is an English translation of the same song by The Andrews Sisters:

Crappy Album Covers #213 — More TV and Movies

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.