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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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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 #144 — Computers and Electronics

Tweet It is not clear what year Mike Melvoin recorded this 12-inch LP, but the hits listed on the jacket place this record in the early-to mid-1970s. Hear synthesised versions of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love”; Blood, Sweat, and Tears’ “Spinning Wheel”; The Beatles’ “Ballad of John and Yoko”; Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild”; Dylan’s “Lay Lady […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #143 -- Guys who only want to be your friend

Tweet This is the album cover from The Bloodhound Gang’s last album as far as I can tell, their 2005 offering called “Hefty Fine”. The album cover has the much-wanted “Explicit Lyrics-Parental Advisory” sticker on the cover. Translated, that means: Kiddies, this is a way cool record! That other stuff without the sticker is garbage! Buy this […] […]

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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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Why I’ve Avoided Discussing Certain CACs

Tweet Crappy Album Covers have been a staple of this blog for over a year now.  I think I may have posted over 400 album covers in that time, and I have particularly, but not always, targeted the unintentionally bad ones. There have been certain themes/artists/genres I have avoided: Metal: I’ve said it before that many metal/punk/hard rock […] […]

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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 #139 — Out of their depth

Tweet Allmusic.com sums Pat Boone up best. Having started his hit-making career before the “British Invasion”, Boone was the only worthy rival to Elvis Presley. Boone was the “nice guy” of the set, seeming to symbolise wholesome values at a time when Rock and Roll was considered by many to be a sign of the apocalypse. […] […]

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(Images may be disturbing) Crappy Album Covers #138 — Food on Vinyl VII

Tweet This is the last (I promise) of the Herb Alpert parody covers I have. Jabberwocky is an audio montage troupe in the tradition of Negativland and Plunderphonics. All these folks use spliced audio sequences and multi-track audio in order to make social commentary on media, popular culture, sexuality, war, and religion. You can download the whole album […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #137 — Food on Vinyl VI

Tweet Here is the Lawrence Welk organist Bob Ralston, who while trying to be Alpert-esque with the album lettering, has still managed to do this album cover without being covered in food, to his credit. Judging by Ralston’s youthful appearance, this album probably dates to about the same time as “Whipped Cream”. “Sweet Cream and Other Delights” is […] […]

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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 #134 — Still more frickin' sunshine

Tweet Frickin’? Friggin’? I wish they had a dictionary for the correct spelling of expletives. Lillian Southard Robinson looks like a kindly enough elderly woman in the picture. The kind that would give an extra quarter to the paperboy, and who would visit shut-ins twice every week. In the middle ground of the photo is a quote […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #133 — Hicks from the sticks

Tweet Felix Lorentz will sing your requests whether you want him or not. He comes out of his shack near the lagoon to the bar in the nearby village and rips the mike out of the hand of the entertainer that was scheduled to arrive, and yells out “I take requests!”After a few moments of stunned […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #132 — More happiness

Tweet Another album cover which has been fodder for the CAC blogs, “Return to Oz”, from a Leo Sayer wannabe named Dardy. If anyone can tell me something biographical about Dardy, drop me a comment. This dynamic fun machine also produces happiness. Every home should have one. This one has a flat tire, so it can only […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #131 — Are you happy?

Tweet Get ready for a feeling of bliss that is beyond belief … The Young Believers are going to impose cheer and goodwill whether you like it or not. Rise and shine! Up with the crows! The happiness you have demanded all your life is now mandatory. And after you have complied with the minimum requirements for […] […]

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Crappy album Covers #130 — More Do-It-Yourself Covers

Tweet A recurring rule of CACs is that if you don’t want to make your album cover crappy is occasionally in the attempt to overvalue the art of their children and make their art. The motorhome (bus?) looks like a hot dog on wheels. No information on “Sounds of VIctory” (or is the band name “Jesus Freak?) […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #129 — Atomization and Anomization

Tweet Jim Haun, known as Rouvaun (pronounced “Rove-On”) (1932-1975) was a famous tenor, born in Utah. This is likely to be his first album. Wikipedia says that while he was an unknown woodworker studying voice, he relased this album after becoming an overnight sensation at The Dunes hotel in Vegas. Already with this album we can […] […]

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Brothers In Arms: A belated review of the versions

Tweet Not really having heard the original Dire Straits version of “Brothers in Arms” when it came out (it was one of these things I was planning on “getting around to”), my first experience with the song was through protest singer Joan Baez in 1988, with a radio-only compilation back when I was a university DJ. […] […]

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