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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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Back after being blocked out

Tweet I haven’t published anything at this blog since mid-2011, and I won’t for some time, as I have to now fix the site. First, I needed to get rid of fake subscribers (over 15 thousand of them)  placed here by spambots. Spambots have also inserted nearly 150 thousand fake messages should you like to hear […] […]

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[Media Monday] – Getting Sound equipment on the uber-cheap

Tweet This photo shows my sound equipment used for generating voice recording on a laptop. The most prominent devices on the photo are the pair of Optimus microphones which have no hint of XLR connectivity, and just have quarter inch jacks. I bought them 10 years ago, and they have hardly been used. There is also a Nexxtech […] […]

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I’ll try not to talk in overly joyful terms of the beginning of the end of Rupert Murdoch

Tweet For one thing, it is too soon to know whether he will be merely decimated as a media tycoon or ruined altogether. But the fact that the political influence counter in Britain has seemingly been re-set to zero is quite telling. I`ll try not to engage in schadenfreude. Yippee! (oops, sorry!) […]

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Crappy Album Covers #147 — Blunders by Major Acts

Tweet People old enough to remember Abbey Road when it came out engaged in speculation as to why Paul crossed the road barefoot for the album cover.So, I would like to continue the pointless speculation, and begin the discussion as to why Hillel Slovak (1962-1988) refuses to wear a hat. However, it’s nice to know that the two guys […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #146 — MS Paint Massacre

Tweet Well, no, this wasn’t MS Paint. You can tell that a toddler was set loose on a piece of blank ruled paper with markers.Wikipedia makes no mention of whose toddler it was that did this, but does say that this 2004 album was critically well-received, and debuted at #7 in the US. The Cure’s 12th album […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #145 — Cartoony Covers

Tweet Milton Babbitt looks like he is trying to out-do Stephen Hawking for the tackiest cover. At least Hawking might have an excuse; but Babbitt here is trying to make this poster look avant-garde. So here he is, like your most imposing physics teacher, making music about ends being a new beginning, and manifolds. As if there were not enough ended […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #142 — Diving for Crabs

Tweet By the time this record came out, Nirvana already took the idea of totally immersing the kid in water, so I guess they had to settle for this. Neverhteless, I hear that the Children’s Aid Society is looking for the guy who took this photo and allowed the infant depicted in this photo to play […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #141 — Food On Vinyl VIII

Tweet OK… I said that Jabberwocky was going to be the last Herb Alpert parody, didn’t I? Well, it seems as though poor Alpert must have a red-and-white target painted on his back, since even the Washington Symphonic Brass is now into it for this 2007 rendition of Carmina Burana. Many famous musicians such as  Bizet, Puccini, […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #140 — Bad Hair III

Tweet Enough with bad hair on women, Guys are equally capable of falling out of the wrong side of the bed and combing their hair with a mixmaster. Many may like the music inside this 1998 double CD by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but clearly, their hair is wearing them, not the other way around. The album was […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #136 — Food on Vinyl V

Tweet While I can’t say whether the alternative group Soul Asylum qualifies as Aplert “wannabees” exactly, having bassist Karl Mueller sit half-naked in a mountain of clam dip and other unintelligible seafood was actually something that made Alpert very un-amused. And since he is the owner of A&M Records, who in turn own Twin Tone (where Soul […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #135 — Food on Vinyl IV

Tweet Yes, Herb Alpert was at it again, back in 2006, when this CD got released. Re-Whipped appears to have some of the same standards on there, with some new stuff thrown in. In this age of “Hoochie Mamas” and Paris Hilton getting laid in front of the whole Internet, the whipped cream idea doesn’t have the […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #100 — Monsters!

Tweet Barry Louis Polisar is another one of many CAC makers that appear to have one solution or another to deal with rebellious children. And you know, it is something that no parent I know has ever thought about: Threaten to eat them! Eating children has been advocated throughout history as the remedy to one social ill […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #99 — Creepy Sexuality

Tweet This is the 1958 record which started their short career in singing, being the first of four albums for the American novelty act The Playmates. The single “Beep Beep” lasted 12 weeks on Billboard, peaking at #4. The lyrics mention a Cadillac and AMC’s Nash Rambler, which caused sales of the Rambler to skyrocket. When the […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #98 — Still More Belly Dancing

Tweet One idea I haven’t yet explored is a blog of belly dancer favourites; a kind of “belly dancer top 40”. I don’t know if it will catch on, though. When you buy a record, its about the music. But if a guy says that he likes belly dancing, it probably is not about the music. However, this […] […]

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Rube-Goldberg Machines V

Tweet Another one. A couple of years ago, this was a Honda Accord commercial, and it caused quite a sensation when it got released. It took over 606 takes and cost over 6 million dollars to make. Any minor misfirings resulted in having to set everything up from scratch, all over again. It was a 2-minute […] […]

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Binary adding machine using marbles

Tweet My marble adding machine in action. More at http://woodgears.ca/marbleadd What impressed me is not just the fact that it looks like it could be used as 1) a great woodworking project, and 2) a great computer science tool in grade 10. [vodpod id=ExternalVideo.797953&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26] more about “Marble adding machine“, posted with vodpod There is another video that explains […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #76 — Keyholes and topless women

Tweet This is Woody Woodbury’s big comedy album from the 1950s, “Woody Woodbury Looks at Love and Life”, put out by the Stereoddities label. This was one of the first comedy records ever made (probably the first), and are considered innovative. Woody put out comedy records before Bill Cosby, or Bob Newhart, or any of the […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #75 — Big Heads I

Tweet 1960 crappy album cover (CAC) maker and, oh yeah, comedian to boot, Bill Carty has a variety of albums which all fit the high standards of crappiness that gives this blog such longevity. Here, we see a standard technique for CAC making that has been imitated by many CAC makers in many countries worldwide: thoughtless […] […]

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(Adult Content) Crappy Album Covers #74 -- Why sex is like chocolate in record cover design I

Tweet You have heard that some women think that chocolate is like sex. Well when designing crappy album covers, the reverse is true: sex is like chocolate. For one thing sex sells record albums. For another, when a food goes rancid one can cover up the rancidity by covering the food in chocolate. Similarly, nudity can be used […] […]

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(Adult Content) Crappy Album Covers #72 -- Crappy Classical

Tweet The Eastman-Rochester Orchestra wanted to portray Pinocchio in an innocent way, but I’m not sure. First of all, he doesn’t look all that friendly, and something about him looks larger than life. Kind of like “Pinnochio attacks Manhattan”. Imagine a giant Pinnochio, tall as a skyscraper, dancing and causing havoc in a metropolitan area. “I got […] […]

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