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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 #175 — Thinking you have something important to say

Tweet I guess anyone who ever wondered what had happened to the members of Milli Vanilli after Rob Pilatus (1965-1998) and Fabrice Morvan were outed to being nothing more than two good looking guys lip synching someone else’s music, need wonder no further. By 1990 they went by the name “Rob + Fab”, and had an […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #174 — The Return of Monsters!

Tweet Oh No! It’s monsters, again! Time to run and hide. Judging by this monster with granny glasses, you don’t need to run that fast. This self-titled record was released in 1982, and again in 1983, as an attempt to revive ’70s-style hard rock. were the granny glasses meant to convey a message in that vein? Super […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #173 — Genre confusion

Tweet This is the second album released by The Ben Folds Five, called “Whatever and Ever, Amen” released in 1997, and remastered in 2005. The combination of seepia photos of the band members against a tablecloth background is unbecoming of an alternative record. Maybe a Johnny Cash album, if he was still alive. Or for that matter, […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #172 — Scary warlike thingies

Tweet Let’s get something stright here. Just because there are scary warlike thingies on your album like the Transformer dude on this Linkin Park record, doesn’t mean it’s a cool record, OK? It might impress a 10 year-old, but not many older people. Bodies of men with heads of birds as a warlike thingie has been overdone […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #171 — Pinin' for the lord

Tweet This is Kenny Rodgers, with his 1981 open declaration of love to his saviour, “Kenny Loves Jesus”. The next sweet odour you smell may be the sweet smell of the Holy Spirit, which will draw you closer to the Lord. It says so on the back cover of this LP. I have resisted this crappy cover from […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #170 — Unhealthy lifestyles

Tweet The idea of heads being depicted as eating other heads on this “Mew” album, as an attempt to look disturbing, fails miserably and just becomes another Photoshop hack job. However, Mew’s CD released some time around 2007 is reputed to be a decent album content-wise. Carnival in Coal was a French Death Metal band that had been […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #169 — Bad Steely Dan Covers

Tweet You are looking at the two albums once rated by band members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen as being the two worst album covers of the seventies, bar none, according to Wikipedia. I disagree. I think I could come up with several seventies’ past postings that could be worse than this. I grew up with this kind […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #168 — Sucky Latino

Tweet This is Richard Hayman’s 1969 cheezily synthesized “Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine”. Hear synthesized versions of songs like “The Girl From Ipanema”, “The Windmills of Your Mind”, and “Hare Krishna”. Wait … “Hare Krishna” is a Latin tune? Naw! And “Windmills” isn’t exactly Latin either, come to think of it. Looks like the robot needs to […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #167 -- Negative Brand Recognition II

Tweet This is the Manchester-based group, The Chameleons, with their 2001 CD “Why Call It Anything” with the world’s biggest UPC symbol to bugger up scanners all over the world. Behind that is some kind of dorky, clowny smiley thingy with too many teeth but excellent bridgework. What galls me is that the band, or some human, […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #166 -- Negative Brand Recognition I

Tweet Uh, yeah, like, we’re members of this band “Weezer”, and, uh, like, buy our record OK? Weezer is a band that may, on some level, be authentic and earthy (in the grunge sense); but with these album covers, they just look like some guys that just came out of Starbucks to pose for a cover before […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #165 — Just Hanging Around

Tweet This is the second CD released by the Toronto-based group Our Lady Peace. The cover features septuagenarian model Saul Fox, a frequent flier on many of OLP’s album covers. A combination of bad lighting and bad retouching makes it pretty clear that he is standing on the floor, giving little cause for the fear and […] […]

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(Adult Content) Crappy Album Covers #164 — How they do it

Tweet This is a 2005 album by Coco Rosie called “Noah’s Ark”. We see unicorns having a threesome over here (a slight departure from Genesis). My impression was that this album was some kind of progressive/heavy metal/grunge/experimental album. However, this is far from the case. Coco Rosie plays folk. Freak folk, to cite Wikipedia. Coco Rosie is […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #163 — Lacking a Certain "Je ne sais quoi"

Tweet In a failed attempt to “Out-4AD” the album designs of other groups signed to that label, The Mountain Goats approved this supposedly muted-but-proggy album design. You place a cartoony stock image of a boxer painting on top of a splattery concrete background that the Cocteau Twins probably rejected, then place the album and band name somewhere […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #162 — Tribal Suckiness

Tweet This 2007 album by M. I. A. called “Kala”. It may have hit Billboard’s Hot 200 at #13, but the album by London-born Mathangi Arulpragasam won some kind of informal tastelessness award from crappy album cover blogs across the ‘net. Could it have something to do with the color scheme? Or how ’bout the four — […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #161 — The uses of recycled curtains

Tweet June Mary Gough (stage surname is Bronhill) (1929-2005) sports a long dress made from curtains taken from a rummage sale at the Sydney Opera House. She is a renowned operatic soprano, and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. She is here posing outside of an opera house in her native Australian […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #160 – Elvez Prezley

Tweet This would be the soundtrack to Elvis’s first comedy, GI Blues, released in 1960 by Paramount Pictures, where he acts as Tulsa alongside some token girl named Juliet Prowse, who plays Lili. This is not Elvez, but “El Vez” (The Time), played by Hispanic smart aleck Robert Lopez. He is not strictly an Elvis impersonator, and has […] […]

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(Adult Content) Crappy Album Covers #159 — Another rule: Male nudity doesn't work as well

Tweet Men and women both buy records. With this idea in mind, I have no idea why it is that female nudity sells even the crappiest records, while male nudity doesn’t. I am not a marketing psychologist, so I have no idea why that is.Yes’s 1977 album “Going for the One”, which sold certified Gold, depicts […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #158 — Ladies of the low-rent district

Tweet Harris Glenn Milstead (1945-1988) was a transvestite entertainer, whose live CD “Born to be Cheap” was issued posthumously in 1994. He died a week after the release of the movie Hairspray, which he acted in. He was going to audition for Fox’s Married with Children, but died of an enlarged heart before arriving. The people at […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #157 — Full-cover faces

Tweet Paul Simon’s 2006 album “Surprise” has a baby’s face with the requisite surprised expression. Probably surprise at having the top of its head cut off by the upper photo, which is a depiction of some kind of bluey-watery-reflection thingy. Who knows what that’s supposed to convey? Hydrocephalism? The album boasts participation from big talents such as […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #156 -- Sounding Off

Tweet Post-grunge group Caramel’s only album sports an angry cactus with bad teeth. There is a fable in this one, consisting of a “good” witch who cast some evildoer into the body of a cactus where the town lives happily ever after, but I am not sure that is what was intended. Allmusic.com places this self-titled album […] […]

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