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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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OOC 013: Folkies and Rockers

Tweet Bruce Cockburn tried to stay back-to-the-land (and later political) in his music and public image for as long as he could. Born and raised in Ottawa, he has been penning songs for over 30 years along many themes, including religion, third world politics, love, friendship, and much more. Apart from getting his Order of Canada in […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #322 — Pretentious Prog

Tweet On a faraway planet, children crawl out of their homes inside of outdoor toilets to greet the Sun God. They call their place the “Houses of the Holey.” Led Zeppelin’s 1973 classic “Houses of the Holy” yielded a minor single, D’yer Maker, but it did end up as one of the top 200 albums of all […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #307 — So Rockin’ it Hurts

Tweet This is a 1958 compilation on the “Waldorf Music Hall” record label, and was part of a series of cover tunes done by “middle calibre” acts of the time. This album featured The Ink Spots and Vincent Lopez. Congo Mambo Mando & the Chili Peppers “On the Road With Rock and Roll”. Year unknown and not […] […]

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[Video Monday] A duet with David Bowie and Marianne Faithfull

Tweet Can you picture Bowie and Faithfull doing “I got you babe”? It would seem to be a union as un-convincing as they come. The bizarre, brazen outfits don’t make up for it either.   […]

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Crappy Album Covers #205 — Covers that tell you to chill

Tweet Trevor doesn’t seem to be too worried about any trouble over Bridgewater. Just sitting there with his ale, smiling away. I think the reason he’s smiling is that he came up with the clever title (a play on the Simon and Garfunkel 1970 hit “Bridge Over Troubled Water”), decades before Half Man Half Biscuit did […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #204 -- Even More Big Heads

Tweet Decca records seemed to also have caught on to the “Big heads” aesthetic, and the resulting album cover is designed to catch your attention and make you buy it before it sinks in that the cover is ugly and, well… I would place this record in the mod-50s to mid-60s. Fritz Schultz-Reichel (his real name) was […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #203 — Creepy Similarities IV

Tweet 1972’s Exile On Main St was one of those Rolling Stones records that grew on the reviewers. It went from having lukewarm reviews in ’72 to being worshipped as Rolling Stone Magazine’s #7 of the 500 greatest rock records of all time in 2003. The Rolling Stones had no albums ranking higher than this. But what […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #200 -- Full of sound and Fury, Signifying nothing

Tweet “Empire of the Sun” is the name of a 1987 Stephen Spielberg movie, but it is also the name of an Australian musical duo consisting of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore. The bombastic cover has them depicted as a cross between Michael Jackson and Adam Ant, but the music seems to have been received to […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers (sidebar) — The (belated) Furr Shrine

Tweet Fans of this blog may recall that venerable, but enigmatic group of CAC makers from who-knows-where called Furr. As you can see clearly, they are pretty derivative, and the cover shown here dates back to 1977  (so I was close), according to this CAC blog. Also, according to the same blog, some visitors categorized their music […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #198 — Crappy album covers raised to high art

Tweet Yes, I remember paintings like this. Some of them hang in the National Gallery in Ottawa, with names like “Gray Square on Canvas” and sell for about a quarter million dollars CDN. The members of U2 saw this one, fell in love with it, and used it on their twelfth album released earlier this year, […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #196 — Superstition and legend

Tweet The Incans were ahead of their time. Their legends may have given us the first samples of pornography. Voice of the Xtabay is a legend about a woman who has sex with countless men, then died with Xtabentum (fragrant flowers) growing on her grave. It has all the elements of a plotless porn film. All […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #195 — How a CD was made back in the day

Tweet The Swedish group The Spotnicks made this album called Out-A-Space back in 1962. They were among the first really successful Swedish group to exist on the international scene, in the same way that The Ventures and The Shadows did in the late 50s. Unlike The Ventures, I know of little indication of them making it big […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #194 — Cliche Clowns

Tweet See this clown? Look how much fun he’s had! Fun, fun, fun! So much fun, the entire circus collapsed around him, and now he’s having no more fun. His former employer sold the junk for scrap, and once in a while he comes over to the junk yard to rekindle old memories. Otherwise, he panhandles […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers 193 — Tackiness past and present

Tweet Other blogs have already commented on Brooke Hogan’s 2009 CD The Redemption, especially AOL Radio, who has declared this cover the #1 worst of 2009. True, it would look tacky on the side of a van, let alone a CD, but it has a trailer trash groove about it that befits the daughter of Hulk […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #192 — Non Sequiturs and Weirdness

Tweet Let’s  see if I can figure this out … Dusan Reljin Fischerspooner wears a top hat (of the vaudeville variety) attached to a metal cage extending the height of his forehead; the hat is somehow connected to two bungee cords which also are tied to hs neck; and finally the top of his hat is […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #191 — Slightly creepy

Tweet I am not sure why it matters that a record album be advertised as “full color” high fidelity, but that is the kind of thing that comes with this compilation of “Rock and Roll Party Oldies and Goodies”, I suppose. I am not sure which is dorkier: the guy hopping up and down and not being […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #187 — Food on Vinyl IX

Tweet Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen to the sub-series that never ends! FOOD ON VINYL! Martha and her ugly sister greta were in bed sleeping when they were awaken by a rumbling outisde their room. They followed the rumbling to the kitchen, when, suddenly, they were attacked by snacks! Marauding hamburgers, with evil eyes, flying through the air. This […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #186 — A Parent's Horror

Tweet A parent’s horror: Ukuleles. On tour, no less. Pay admission, you get to hear a whole orchestra of them.   Few people can make a ukulele sound good.  This is an elpee’s worth of toons from a group of classmates, possibly from Halifax, by Order of Canada recipient J. Chalmers Doane and a group of his pupils. […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #185 — Family Bands II

Tweet Available for $21.00 on some websites, this 1977 album features siblings Rick, Jack, Toby, Jill and Carrie who hail from Minneapolis, and according to Bizarrerecords.com (click on image) they still are performing as grownups. Comedians John and VickiJo Witty are here with their album called “Family Portrait”. Not sure about their style of humour (haven’t heard […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #184 — The International Language of Bad Taste V

Tweet In the multilingual universe that is the international CAC-o-sphere, we see three guys with pasty complexions and one chick sporting skin tones of a living being. Honestly — do we have to see the pasty complexions twice — once again in their reflections? A direct translation of the title might be uninformative, but “Look To Paris”/”I Want […] […]

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