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

The most annoying sound on radio

Related image
This picture was shot at Square One … no, in Vaughan, no, in Scarborough, … Edmonton?, … oh, well… they all look alike.

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 manner known to man, tell you how you can trade in your jewellery for cash, in a way that seems to rob your most prized possessions of all the dignity and memory they once had. But I don’t believe he is the worst.

On the radio station I listen to, which doesn’t play a lot of ads, I admit, there is that infernal commercial from Spence Diamonds. Oh, that Scream! I didn’t know that it has been dubbed the “Spence Scream”, and even hashtagged #SpenceScream since at least 2014. It has even attracted some imitators, and an attempt had been made to vote it out of existence (Spence didn’t listen and it still persists to this afternoon). Since it was Spence that initiated the vote, I believe that maybe they thought it was too memorable, and couldn’t come up with a less annoying idea.

I am annoyed because I am already married, been there, done that. Having been through it, it is a tad degrading to hear it. The marriage (mine, at least), was about love. Clearly, Spence is agaisnt this idea. They want it to be about their diamonds.

Curiously, the comment sections of the YouTube videos of Spence promos have curiously well-worded and lucid critiques of Spence’s advertising practices. These are not your normal trolls. These apparently well-educated and erudite people seemed to have a lot of time on their hands, and are gravely preoccupied with dignity and class.

I think: look, the couple sounds very much in-character on the radio, just get rid of the scream.

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 Your Nose. A longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry, also made appearances on Johnny Carson (Age 94).
2: Tihomir Novakov: Atmospheric scientist known for his research into a class of airborne particulates known as “black carbon”, contributing greatly to the theory of global warming (Age 85).
3: Bernice Madigan: At the time the oldest resident of Massachusetts, and the world’s 5th oldest living person before her death, died at age 115 in Cheshire, Massachusetts.
4: Bernard Williams: Producer of such movies as A Clockwork Orange and Flash Gordon. (Age 72).
5: Al Bendich: Civil rights attorney who defended poet Allen Ginsburg and comedian Lenny Bruce against obscenity charges. (Age 85).
6: Francesca Hilton: Daughter of Zsa Zsa Gabor and Conrad Hilton, lived in poverty toward the end of her life. Died of a stroke (Age 67).
7: The Editors and writers from Charlie Hebdo magazine: Jean Cabut (“Cabu”) (76), Elsa Cayat (54), Stephanne Charbonnier (“Charb”) (47), Philippe Honore (73), Bernard Maris (68), Mustpha Ourrad (60), Bernard Velhac (“Tignous”) (57), Georges Wolinski (80).
8: William Boeing, Jr.: son of the founder of Boeing Airlines (Age 92).
9: Samuel Goldwyn: Producer of many films since the mid-20th century, up to and including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, produced two years ago (Age 88).
10: Robert Berner: Yale professor known for his modelling of The Carbon Cycle (Age 79).
10: Francis Simard: FLQ member, assassinated Quebec cabinet minister Pierre LaPorte in 1971, and sentenced to life imprisonmnent for murder (Age 67).
10: Taylor Negron: Stand-up comedian who played a key scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Age 57).
10: Robert Stone: Author nominated twice for the Pulizer Prize, and once for the Faulkner Award. (Age 77).
11: Darrell Winfield: Was the Marlborough Man (Age 85).
12: Stephen Gold: Hacker and author. Known for hacking into the private information for Prince Philip. Acquitted on charges, since he did not get any material gain, nor was any sought (Age 58).
13: Mike Marqusee: Left-leaning humanitarian writer (Age 61).
13: Frank Mazzola: Editor of many blockbuster films, such as Rebel Without a Cause, Casablanca, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Age 79).
13: H. Wesley Kenney: Director for the sitcom All in the Family; Produced and directed many soap operas such as General Hospital, and The Young and the Restless (Age 89).
17: Don Harron: Canadian comedian, actor and author, best known for his “Charlie Farquarson” persona, as well as his role in the TV variety show Hee Haw as the news anchor for station KORN (Age 90).
18: Tony Verna: Inventor of the “instant replay” (Age 81).
20: Edgar Froese: Founder of the electronic music group Tangerine Dream (Age 70).
24: Toller Cranston: Canadian figure skater, Bronze medalist (1976 Olympics) (Age 65).
24: Joe Franklin: Longest running TV talk show host (10 years longer than Johnny Carson) (Age 88).
29: Bernice Gordon: Crossword puzzle writer for The New York Times. (Age 101).
29: Will McBride: Photographer and author of the controversial 1975 book Show Me! (Age 84).
29: Colleen McCulloch: Author best known for The Thorn Birds. (Age 77).
30: Rose Frisch: Discoverer of leptin. (Age 96).

February

5: Val Logsdon Fitch: Winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics. (Age 91).
8: Thom Wilson: Producer for Burton Cummings, Seals and Crofts, as well as punk acts such as The Dead Kennedys, Social Distortion, and The Adolescents. (Age 55). Note: Wilson’s age was hard to track down. IMDB.com provided his birth date, and calculator.net was used in obtaining his age (exact age at death is thus likely to be 55 years, 9 months and 24 days).
11: Bob Simon: Senior foreign correspondent for 60 Minutes and earlier 60 Minutes II. (Age 73).
12: Sam Houston Andrew II: Founding member and lead guitarist of the rock group Big Brother and the Holding Company. (Age 73).
12: Gary Owens: Radio and TV announcer. Best known for playing the radio announcer on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in. (Age 80).
14: Helen Glass: Saskatchewan nurse. Taught in Regina and Prince Albert. Contributed to the creation of the Canadian Health Act in 1984. (Age 97).
16: Leslie Gore: Singer of such hits as You Don’t Own Me, and It’s My Party. (Age 68).
20: Patricia Norris: Costume designer for movies such as The Elephant Man, and Scarface. (Age 83).
24: Maurice Hurley: Producer of Miami ViceBaywatch and Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Age 75).
25: Harve Bennett: Writer/Producer for Star Trek, The Mod Squad, and The Six Million Dollar Man. (Age 84).
27: Leonard Nimoy: Best known for his role of Spock in Star Trek. He also was one of the lead characters in the series Mission: Impossible. (Age 83).

March

1: Daniel von Bargen: Appeared in sitcoms such as Seinfeld and Malcolm in the Middle. (Age 64).
3: Lynn Borden: Acted in movies in the 70s such as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. (Age 77).
5: Albert Maysles: Documentarian best known for his documentaries Gimme Shelter and Grey Gardens (Age 88).
8: Lew Soloff: Played trumpet for the 70s rock group Blood, Sweat and Tears. (Age 71).
9: Lou Silverstone: Comedy writer. Listed as one of the “Usual Gang of Idiots” in Mad Magazine between 1962 and 1990. (Age 90).
11: Jimmy Greenspoon: Played in the rock group Three Dog Night. (Age 67).
12: Sir Terry Pratchett: Author of comic fantasy novels. (Age 66).
15: Mike Porcaro: Played bass for the rock group Toto. (Age 59).
16: William Ewald Jr.: Speechwriter for Dwight Eisenhower and historian. (Age 89).
19: Michael Brown: Singer (The Left Banke) and songwriter (Walk Away Renee). (Age 65).
21: Alberta Watson: Canadian actress (The Sweet Hereafter). (Age 60).
26: Tomas Transtromer: Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature. (Age 83).
28: Richard Bare: Producer of the sitcom Green Acres. (Age 101).
28: Gene Saks: Directed the original Broadway play The Odd Couple. (Age 93).
28: Tuti Yusupova: World’s oldest person (unverified at this writing). Claimed to have been born on 1 July 1880 in Imperial Russia. (Age 134).

April

1: Misao Okawa: World’s oldest confirmed person, Japan. (Age 117).
13:
Gunter Grass: Nobel Prize-Winning author of The Tin Drum and other books. (Age 87).

May

2: Ruth Rendell: Known for the Inspector Wexford series. (Age 85).
4: Michael Blake: Author of Dances With Wolves. (Age 69).

June

9: Vincent Bugliosi: Prosecuting attorney in the Charles Manson case, and author of Helter Skelter. (Age 80).

July

21: E. L. Doctorow: Author of Ragtime. (Age 84).
28: Ann Rule: True crime author. (Age 83).

August

30: Oliver Sacks: Nerologist and author (Age 82).
30: Wayne Dyer: American motivational speaker and self-help writer. (Age 75).

September

10: Basil Johnston: Author and Historian for the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation on the Bruce Penninsula in Ontario. (Age 86).
19: Jackie Collins: American best-selling author (Age 77).

October

3: Barbara Meek: Played Ellen Canby in the early 80’s sitcom Archie Bunker’s Place. (Age 81).
5: Larry Brezner: Producer of such comedy films as Good Morning Vietnam, and Throw Momma From The Train. (Age 73).
5: Andrew Rubin: Acted in comedic movies such as Police Academy, and comedic sitcoms such as Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. (Age 69).
5: Henning Mankell: Author who contributed to the “Nordic Noir” genre of crime novels. (Age 67).
6: Billy Joe Royal: Pop singer (Cherry Hill Park, among others). (Age 73).
6: Otto Tucker: Newfoundland heritage activist and educator. (Age 92).
10: Richard Heck: American chemist who shared the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Japanese chemists Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki. (Age 84).
10: Wesley Funk: Saskatchewan novelist and teacher. (Age 46).
14: Eric Wright: Canadian Crime Novelist. (Age 86).
20: Cory Wells: Original lead singer of the 70s band Three Dog Night. (Age 74).
25: Lee Shaw: Known as “The First Lady of Jazz”. (Age 89).
29: Kenneth Gilbert: Actor who performed in the series Doctor Who. (Age 84).
30: Al Molinaro: Played a police officer in The Odd Couple. Appeared in other 70s sitcoms such as Happy Days, and Joanie Loves Chachi. (Age 96).
31: David Shugar: From his arrest in Canada in 1946 for trading state secrets with the Russians to his becoming professor of biophysics and being inducted to the Royal Society of Canada in 1999. For the record, he was found innocent of all charges in 1946. (Age 100).

November

5: George Barris: Designer of the original Batmobile in 1966. (Age 89).
7: Eddie Hoh: Drummer for The Mamas and the Papas, and a studio drummer for Stephen Stills, The Monkees, Donovan, and others. Led a secluded life after 1970. Died in Westmont, Illinois, a half hour’s drive west of Chicago. (Age 71).
9: Andy White: Susbstitute drummer for Ringo Starr for The Beatles’ first single Love Me Do. Affectionately called the Fifth Beatle. Had no further performances with them since. (Age 85).
10: Allen Toussaint: Arranger, producer, songwriter (Working in a Coalmine, Southern Nights). (Age 77).
15: P. F. Sloan: Songwriter for Barry MacGuire, Jan and Dean, Herman’s Hermits, The Mamas and the Papas. (Age 70).
19: Ron Hynes: Newfoundland singer/songwriter. Wrote Sonny’s Dream, covered by many artists worldwide (Age 64).
21: Gil Cardinal: Canadian filmmaker and documentarian. (Age 65).
22: Albert Pick: German banknote collector. Wrote the first reference book for world bank notes, and it remains the standard. (Age 90).
23: Douglass North: Winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economics, alongside Robert Fogel (1927-2013). (Age 95).
25: Elmo Williams:  Editor and producer in American cinema. Won an Oscar in 1953 for his editing work in the movie High Noon.

December

2: Sandy Berger: Clinton advisor in the early 90s (Age 70).
4: Scott Weiland: Front man for Stone Temple Pilots (Age 48).
5: Chuck Williams: Founder of Willliams-Sonoma, an upscale kitchen shop known for its innovation (Age 100).
6: Marque Lynche: Former Mousketeer; played in The Lion King in Broadway, and American Idol finalist (Age 34).
6: Holly Woodlawn: Transgender actress and Warhol contemporary. Written about in Lou Reed’s hit song Take a Walk On the Wild Side. (Age 69).
7: Martin E. Brooks: Played in many television drama serials in the ’70s and ’80s: McMillan and Wife, General Hospital, Knots Landing, and Dallas. (Age 90).
15: Harry Zvi Tabor: Israeli physicist, brought solar power to the Middle East. (Age 98).
16: Snuff Garrett: Record producer. Produced hits for Sonny and Cher, Vicki Lawrence, Bobby Vee, Del Shannon, Buddy Knox, and many others. (Age 76).
22: Billy Glaze: Accused and convicted serial murderer; died in prison before DNA evidence would have exonerated him. (Age 72).
22: Carson van Osten: Creator of many Disney Comics. (Age 70).
23: Michael Earl: Puppeteer who brought Snuffalupagus to life on Sesame Street. (Age 56).
24: William Guest: Cousin of Gladys Knight, R&B/Soul singer who performed with Gladys Knight and the Pips. The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. (Age 74).
25: Robert Spitzer: Psychiatrist known for being a major force in the creation of the DSM. Has been called one of the most influential psychiatrists of the 20th century. (Age 83).
25: George Clayton Johnston: Writer of modern sci-fi/futuristic classics such as Logan’s Run, Oceans 11, and The Twilight Zone. (Age 86).
27: Haskell Wexler: Influential cinematographer, known for the production of movies like: Who’s Afraid of Virginai Woolf?, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Bound for Glory. (Age 93).
28: Ian Frazier Kilmister: Known as “Lemmy”, founded and led the heavy metal group Motorhead. (Age 70).

Signs that you have become a fossilized fuddy-duddy

This is an updated version of the original post found at this site. Today’s kids who will be old enough to graduate this year (we’ll say 18) will have the following traits:

  1. The kids who are now 18 were born in 1992.
  2. The Soviet Union collapsed a year before their birth (1991).
  3. Apartheid ended before they were born (also 1991).
  4. Operation Desert Storm happened before they were born.
  5. Nelson Mandela was freed before they were born.
  6. The Hubble space telescope was launched before their lifetimes.
  7. They would not have had a memory of seeing Lech Walesa become the first president of an independent Poland.
  8. They were just born the year the L. A. riots happened over the Rodney King verdict.
  9. They would have only learned about the Exxon Valdez or the Tiannanmen Square massacre either through their parents or their teachers.
  10. The fall of the Berlin Wall as a publicity stunt for Ronald Regan’s historical stature is something they have only heard about second or third-hand.
  11. These kids were not alive during the Regan era.
  12. They do not have a meaningful recollection of the era under Bush I either.
  13. Kids graduating today have not known a world where DNA evidence was not used to convict criminals
  14. Black Monday, and the stock market crash in 2008 both have the same significance to them as the Great Depression.
  15. To them, “The interenet” consists only of the Web, chat groups, and text messaging.
  16. They have never known a world that didn’t have a hole in the ozone layer.
  17. The Thriller album and video are a fossilized piece of rock history.
  18. While we’re at it, rock videos themselves have been on the decline during their lifetimes in favour of YouTube and internet videos.
  19. E. T. is a movie their parents like.
  20. Pac-man is something their parents played
  21. They have never played Atari games, except on their parent’s antique consoles.
  22. Their grandparents saw the original Star Trek.
  23. Their world has always involved the risk of AIDS
  24. Their parents were already too old for “new wave” music
  25. The original Star Wars movies are something kids see now on movie reruns or from DVDs from the delete bin.
  26. Their view of the 1970s does not seem to consist of a wasteland of K-Tel and disco.

Thunder thighs

Well, I have heard the term since at least my adolescence, and I never quite knew the definition. But according to the urban dictionary, which sports 136 related definitions and synonyms. Ladies with thunder thighs can also have “piano legs”, or they can sport an “ocean of butter”, or whatnot. Basically, any woman buy cheap tramadol 50mg whose thighs range from Amazonian (substantial, but toned and still sexy) to just plain enormous can be said to have “thunder thighs”. Here is a photo gallery. Click on each one for an enlargement.

Carppy Album Covers #101 — Latest religious messages

album-cover-crap-49_thriftstoreart_com No idea of the artist, but I guess that the lesson here is that a fascination with morbidity affects us in different ways. Some of us contemplate death; others form a heavy metal band; still others punk rock; some write about what the experience must be like, and some people, like these folks on this CAC, enjoy walking around on graveyards wondering where the heck they are.

And that is the question, isn’t it? These folks, like many of us, often where can i buy tramadol online have unfinished business with such people for which inconveniaces such as untimely deaths create obstacles for us. If you found such a dead person, say, sitting at a bar, wouldn’t you like to give them a piece of your mind? Or tell them you’re sorry? Or forgive them for something?

album-cover-crap-8_lp-cover-lover An album title which has many meanings, depending on how you emphasize the words. Such as:

“What’s your name?”

“My name is Al Kaseltzer”

“Jesus! What a name!”

Crappy Album Covers #100 — Monsters!

album-cover-crap-55_thriftstoreart_com 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 or another. If you recall, Jonathan Swift, when he was still a newspaper editor in Ireland sometime in the late 1600s, wrote A Modest Proposal, which advocated the consumption of children for food. But only the poverty-stricken children, so that it would put an end to the problem of poverty-stricken children in Ireland. It was a clever idea, but sadly however, the urgings of newspaper editorials rarely make it into the cornerstone of Irish public policy (or policy elsewhere, so I hear).

It is nice to know that Polisar is willing to take Swift seriously and put himself on the line for the greater good. Of course, the difference is, Swift was only joking to make a point about poverty.

album_cover_crap_163_showandtelmusic_com Let Ron “The Terminator” Curtis show you the Sounds Of Love, as soon as you tell him where you’ve hidden Sarah Connor.

Does Ron look like he’s in a loving mood? Would you trust him to show you what love sounds like? Is that an Uzi he has in his pocket or is he happy to see you? You can’t tell with these cyborgs. Just stay clear, is all I can say.

Crappy Album Covers #99 — Creepy Sexuality

album-cover-crap-60_playmates 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 single crossed the Atlantic, the Brits had laws against product placement in the lyrics, so the British single had no mention of specific brand names in the single.

The playmates broke up in 1964.

album-cover-crap-78_lpcoverlover_com I am not sure who recorded this or what label it was on, but, hey, does it matter? The title tells us right away that this is not a singing record.

To make picking up girls easy, life experience tells me you need to have a lot of money, job security, and looks come second. Actually, this has been proven to be true cross-culturally, and is believed to be a survival tactic of our species that choices of mates take place in this manner.

But this album came out before we knew any of that, more than likely. And someone likely made a mint off of people’s ignorance.

Crappy Album Covers #98 — Still More Belly Dancing

album_cover_crap_119_-_belly_4 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 record could be about what the belly dancers where can you buy generic viagra now like. They may like music that has little to do with belly dancing. This could get interesting …

album_cover_crap_118_-_belly_3 Artie Barsamian currently leads the Boston Big Band and Swingtet. Barsamian is an afficionado of the Big Band sound in the tradition of Benny Goodman, and has been following that tradition for over 50 years.

Very little info appears on the album “The Seventh Veil”.

Search terms that did not quite make it, annotated.

On WordPress, we can see a list of search terms people used to find entries on our blogs. Here are some of the more amusing ones. These won’t lead to anything useful on my blog. While my blog has the odd bit of nudity, this is not the mainstay of the blog. All mis-spellings are from the search string used:

  • valerie bertinelli topless
    • I have only a bad drawing of VB’s face; and it appears with about 20 other celebs on the same crappy album cover (CAC).
  • naked klingon women
    • I have no klingons, klingon women, or naked klingon women. Just a fully-clothed CAC with William Shatner, and a fully-clothed g-rated vid with Leonard Nimoy.
  • topless lobsters
    • If you are looking for topless lobsters, the closest you’ll get is to go to New Brunswick. I have only the odd CAC depicting topless women (human ones). Sorry to disappoint.
  • scottish kilt organist
    • I have nothing with kilts, few to no Scots that I can think of, and maybe a few organists, but they are wearing pants.
  • beautiful naked women with their legs sp
    • This search string was cut off just as shown, but I get the point. Most of the women here are on album covers; and if they are nude, they are not spread-eagled. Frankly, if you are looking for porn, my site is the most boring place in the world to look for it. By Internet standards, what I have in terms of nudity is campy, perhaps “naughty”, but I would stop short of calling it porn. By Internet standards, far short.
  • seventies boobs
    • Seventies boobs. Not the same as eighties boobs I suppose. There is an empty-headed blog article in this one somewhere, I know it.
  • lady wrestler leg photos
    • No lady wrestlers on this blog, so no lady wrestlers legs. The only wrestler I can think of, Sweet Daddy Siki, is male, as implied by the word “Daddy”
  • guy jumping guitar album cover
    • No CACs of guys with jumping guitars, no guys jumping a guitar (WTF?), and no CACs of guitars jumping. Sorry once again.
  • topless seductive nipples
    • … As opposed to “topped” seductive nipples? or topless “ugly” nipples?
  • topless flautist
    • The only topless flautist I have is a CAC of Herbie Mann. No topless women playing flutes (musical or otherwise) on this blog.
  • topless chocolate wrestle
    • Topless women wrestling in chocolate will only make it here if it is a CAC. None have been found, so as of yet we have no chocolate wrestlers, and no topless wrestlers.
  • swedish women football women beach tople
    • No football, no beach football, and no women’s beach football, no women’s football, and certainly none with topless women, topless Swedish women, or topless Swedes.
  • artistic hair dye raccoon
    • ?

Rube-Goldberg Machines V

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 ad spot which was released in the UK in 2006.

Crappy Album Covers #86 — Bad Hair II

album_cover_crap_121_-_hair_franklarosa_com I have no idea how many remakes of the Hair soundtrack there were. You know, this hippie chick looks like she has a case of running out of conditioner and shampoo. While this doesn’t hurt album sales in the least, it is still part of the problem.
Once again, we see a naked woman but for her hair, “Hair” in large letters and “Music from” in small letters. In the same small lettering are the performers, called “The Sunshine Generation”.Would you rather hear songs like Aquarius and Good Morning Starshine from The Sunshine Generation or from The 5th Dimension and Oliver respectively?
album_cover_crap_109_-_howtosaveamarriage This was not going to be a bad hair album until I realised that the lady in this photo is wearing a wig.

The plot line to the movie is something like: A bachelor tries to save a friend’s marriage only to end up getting married himself, I think, to the friend’s mistress. This is a soundtrack to this 1968 comedy starring Dean Martin opposite Stella Stevens, with music by Micheal Legrand.

Crappy Album Covers #85 — One up for the ladies

album_cover_crap_115_-_ragtime Never mind what the (usually male) record company exectives tell you. The real record salesmen are women. All they need to do to sell a record, regardless of its quality, is take off some or all of their clothes and pose for the album cover. Too bad the ones in this blog are entry are nameless, as they are most of the time.
album_cover_crap_111_-_dances This model  remains possibly clothed and looks suggestively at the camera lens. Definitely a “money shot”. Believe me, I have nothing against women who play no part in the music performance on album covers, but what makes this cover crappy is that it has little else going for it. Just a spinning globe in the forground to keep the guys guessing.

Crappy Album Covers #80 — Wanna Come to My Place?

bongodate This is Jazz artist Mike Pacheco with his 1957 LP “Bongo Date”. Back then, there was the fascination with Beatnik culture. It was the Hip-Hop of the 1950s.

Guy says to the girl: “Wanna come to my place and I’ll show you my instrument?” And the pick-up line actually works! It’s a date! Or maybe the girl is saying it to the guy. For me, it works both ways in this photo. Cherche la femme, indeed!

harmonicagang Johnny Puleo (1907-1983) was a pantomine artist, dramatic actor, and in his later years, master of the harmonica. He has recorded at least two albums with “His Harmonica Gang”, and has had at least two solo efforts.

He’s the short guy in the foreground. Standing at 4′ 6″ tall (1.37 metres), he would show up on Ed Sullivan playing a bass harmonica that was almost the size of his head. He started in Vaudeville playing all of the large night clubs in the United States. His last performance was on television in 1982, when he appeared once on SCTV.

Crappy Album Covers #79 — Crappy to Infinity

album_cover_crap_105_blonde_redhead-23 Proof that the lady on Blonde Redhead’s 2007 album “23” has an infinite number of legs:

1) This woman has 4 legs

2) 4 is an even number

3) 4 is an odd number of legs for a woman to have

4) The only number that is both even and odd is infinity

Therefore, this woman has an infinite number of legs.

Tennis, anyone?

I have this one in my collection. The contents are pretty good, and the CD has had great reviews. 23 was one of the top 10 alternative albums of 2007. I’ve heard comparisons with other bands; but no — they stand on their own. They are very melodic and very listenable.

I think the reason for the crappiness of this cover is that, on one hand, it doesn’t look “alternative”, but it doesn’t look terribly normal. It’s a cover which confuses its audience. It also is not really an indication of what is inside. What’s inside is pretty consistent, well-done, and not so “weird” as this cover would suggest. The cover has since been modified.

album-cover-crap-107_-_polka_disco_franklarosa_com As was mentioned by this blogger, with this 1979 album by Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra, we witness the union of the two most repulsive words in music.

And to make things worse, it is actually a double album. But one has to realise that this album wasn’t made to further tighten the noose on disco; it was done to popularise polka. Jimmy Sturr still makes music and has his own website, sponsored by Mrs. T’s Perogies.

Crappy Album Covers #78 — Crappy on many levels

tubby_boots I can’t resist adding this second Tubby Boots album, called “Goes Topless”.Whoa.

This one is crappy on so many levels. Recall in our first Tubby Boots record shown last week that he thought he was a hipster. Now he thinks he is a female stripper. A female stripper wearing a Roman war helmet. And pink underwear with a bearded man drawn over his crotch. And, of course, the pasties.

On the bottom it says: “For the Mature-Minded Adult”. I am unsure how many “mature-minded” adults would be seen with this record. But if you are an adult and not mature-minded, you are obviously spared from having to buy this record.

cartyparty Bill Carty’s album here is also crappy on many levels. Imagine pulling up your blinds, to be confronted with this guy staring back at you?We have already seen Carty’s head go into orbit with the last album we saw, when we witnnessed him as the world’s first suicide bomber. Now his head is landing in front of your window.

His eyes popping out of his head could be a mirthful look, or it could be hyperthyroidism. Or it could be his forever frozen look of surprise when he found out all he needed to set off the grenade was to pull the pin.

Crappy Album Covers #77 — Big Heads II

billbarner1 Comedian Bill Barner was a comedian for a short stint in the Florida area in the 1960s. His comedy records are one of the earliest to appear. However, his career didn’t go too far, according to my informants (actually, it was from an interview between Woody Woodbury and WFMU in New York, which was podcasted).

You can see clearly this is some kind of ’60s anaesthetic aesthetic. A woman is showing herself off, and Barner seems to show his appreciation.

Barner had to travel to San Francisco to get this recording made, signing up with Arrow Records. Lots of hints that this is from SF: Recording is done in “Mirth-Quake”; and Barner is standing (sort of) on a trolley.

billbarner2 Perhaps Duo and Arrow Records are the same company, since both have the “Mirth-Quake” monacre, and both have mostly the same messages on top and bottom as a whole. Both also show the same love for excessively large heads in the album artwork.

Barner apparently plays piano, and does so live in front of a night club audience (as was the above album). They don’t say which night club allowed them to record. It would have been great publicity for the night club. But for all we know, a laugh track may have been his only audience.

He has released six other albums that I am aware of. Those lack the requisite big heads to be in this entry, but they are still pretty bad. One of them is a sequel called Trolley Bar Party II. Some of these records, depending on the condition, are collectors’ items.

Crappy Album Covers #76 — Keyholes and topless women

keyhole_woodywoodbury_wfmu1

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 other ’50s and ’60s comedians.

Woodbury was a big name, and he almost had the job of hosting The Tonight Show, except that the plum job was instead taken up by some wisecracker named Johnny Carson. Woodbury was a guest host of that talk show in the past, and thought he had the job.


album-cover-crap-100_lpcoverlover_comProving that the suckiness of album covers are never limited to English-speaking countries, we present Jacinto O Donzelo, looking into a keyhole of his own. When this name came up in most searches, it appeared without the comma.

From what I can make out, Jacinto has made what appear to be comedy records, well into the 1980s. He has sold apparently well in Spain, Portugal, and Brazil. MP3s of his comedy are ripped and traded on several websites.

I shall declare that this cover is so bad, that merely gazing upon it will make you feel as though you stepped on something warm and brown. I’ve called the cops, Jacinto. They’re on their way down.

The photo of Jacinto and the keyhole was photoshopped at lpcoverlover.com, who uses the photo as an overlay to indicate that the album cover “underneath” is X-rated. It is not so much serving as a warning, and more like an urging to “click here you idiot if you want to see some nudes”. Great system they have. Anyone who is highly moral has to put up with having to stare at Jacinto eternally pointing at the keyhole, which by itself simply forces visitors to click on the photo if they want to make Jacinto go away. Once they do, they see the album cover depicting nudes underneath. Prudishness is inherently maladaptive in the blogosphere.

My blog isn’t nearly that high-tech. I put “Adult Content” in my title as a warning, telling patrons that they should visit my site as an invitation to see a really cool posting. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? Every time I view a movie on TV that has an announcer saying “This movie may involve mature subject matter and scenes of sex/violence/coarse language” what the television folks are really saying is “whoa, this show is really cool, folks — watch this one!!” Just imagine that if they didn’t use that disclaimer and you didn’t know the movie, would you really watch it? I almost never do. And I think that the TV folks know me, since I think they make that disclaimer in almost evey movie. I think I even saw it once on Bambi. That’s for the part that when Bambi’s mother dies, I think I heard Bambi say something like “Oh, shit”. Of course you have to keep kids away from that kind of nonsense.

Crappy Album Covers #75 — Big Heads I

album-cover-crap-95_lpcoverlover_com

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 photo retouching.Workers at a construction site on the other side of Pompano Beach were probably scratching their heads after it appeared that ten of their blasting caps went missing.If Bill Carty is really “Blasting Off”, it’s only his head that is blasted off. Spectators below stare aghast at this horrid spectacle. This would mean that the late 60s the audience in The Space Sattelite Motel in Pompano Beach, Florida were witness to the world’s first suicide bomber. In those days, they didn’t have Homeland Security, either.

The Space Sattelite Motel, which was located in a city located north of Miami and closer to Fort Lauderdale was the epitome of 50s kitch. Carty would have been placed on a stage in the middle of an audience and a bar which surrounded the stage. The motel does not show up anywhere I have where do i buy viagra looked in the Pompano Beach area, and it may no longer exist.

lpcoverlover.com says this is from “Stere Oddities”, but I think that on seeing another record from the same label, I think it should be “StereOddities”.

ninonanni_bighead This is the other record I saw. See? The words are closer together. StereOddities just seem to love big heads on their records. And there are more. Many more. CAC collectors even have a special section for albums depicting disproportionately big heads (or disembodied big heads) of the artist on their covers. This is true for lpcoverlover, and it is also true of another account of a curio record store in the states that I have heard about.Nino Nanni (b. ?- d. circa1991) was another comedian on the same label. Both Nanni and Carty are mentioned in WFMU’s Beware of the Blog as “Nobodies”. Nanni did in fact have a great braritone voice, and perfect enunciation, apart from his talent with the piano. The main attraction from Stereoddities will be presented later in this series.

Both of these albums are rare, and are discussed at length, halfway through this WFMU podcast, starting at about 30 minutes:

Crappy Album Covers #71 — Hats and Accordion Players

Apologies for this posting being over 4 hours late. I set the date on it OK, but not the time. I just checked ahead to the posts for the next couple of weeks, and fixed any time probelms there. Normally, you should see these postings on or after 6PM EST/EDT, with some obvious allowances for the odd bit of human error.

album-cover-crap-93_lpcoverlover_com1 Today, we have a double bill from the same artists. The  duo Elna Fredhoy and Rigmor Odun, both members of the Norwegian Salvation Army, one of whom is playing the much-feared accordion.

The other musician is playing a guitar, and it does not look terribly familiar. According to lpcoverlover.com, the 6-string guitar can be identified as an Isana, from Germany. According to the website, Elvis Presley once owned an Isana.

Branches of the Christian religion have never completely gotten along: Pentacostals snipe against the other protestants; and of course almost everyone snipes against the Catholics while the Catholics feel superior to other Christians. But no one has ever had anything negative to say about the Salvationists. I’ve never heard a peep said against them. OK, so some of them wear funny hats.

album-cover-crap-94_lpcoverlover_com The hats say a lot about these ladies. To me, they say things like “we’ve never heard of The Red Hot Chili Peppers”; or “what on Earth is Jungle?” or “Peeps in your hood? I had that problem once, and they gave me some kind of medicated shampoo for it, maybe I could lend you some.”