December 09, 2013

Pass-Ack Words

Pass-Ack Words, the third of our highlighted word games, is a variant of Password. In Password, the purpose is to give one-word clues to your partner to get him or her to provide a supplied answer. In Pass-Ack Words,...

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July 31, 2013

Google Whiz Visualizes Beach Boy Harmonies

Featuring the vocals-only mix of the Beach Boy's You Still Believe in Me from their masterpiece, Pet Sounds. Here's the original Wired article....

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February 25, 2013

Celebrity Heights

It is somehow comforting to know that I am taller than Sting and shorter than Kyle Chandler. How about you?...

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January 12, 2013

Pinball Survives

Barely....

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December 03, 2012

Mark Evanier's Larry Hagman Story

It may be long, but it is so worth reading....

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June 03, 2012

In Honor of Captain Wa Wah

I'm on my way home from my college reunion, and in honor of John Peterson, otherwise known as Captain Wa Wah, here is how I first got to "know" him -- as keyboardist for the Pete Klint Quintet:...

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May 23, 2012

Rent a Fake Internet Girlfriend

It's convenient, hassle-free, and an oh-so-reasonable $250 a month. For the basic package....

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January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

[Thanks to Sal Nunziato]...

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December 26, 2011

3 Tributes -- 3 Broadcasters

Why do you pay some broadcasters the big bucks? For coming through at the big moments. You can learn a lot about Bob Costas, Keith Olbermann, and David Letterman from their tributes to makeup artist Michele O'Callaghan. There are few...

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An Important Phone Call

Call (719) 266-2837 for the antidote to the post-Christmas blues....

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December 13, 2011

Louis C.K. on Reddit

If you are a fan of Louie, his FX comedy, or his standup, then you probably already know that Louis C.K. is now offering an original hour of standup via his website for $5. To help promote the concert, Louis...

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October 25, 2011

Top-Earning Dead Celebrities

The kings are king....

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September 03, 2011

11 Facts You May Not Know About Jerry Lewis

I sure didn't know most of these. [Thanks to Mark Evanier]...

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May 30, 2011

Don't You Wish You Lived in Grand Rapids?

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May 25, 2011

Planking

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April 14, 2011

ABC Cancels One Life To Live and All My Children

The expected ax has fallen. I have some personal reasons for being depressed about these shows biting the dust. I watched both of them from inception, used All My Children as a "text" in my daytime television course, and had...

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December 27, 2010

Disneyland Dream

[Thanks to Steve Cohen]...

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November 18, 2010

Billy Joel & Howard Stern

Thanks to Bob Lefsetz, of The Lefsetz Letter, for recommending a long radio interview between Joel and Stern. Neither is necessarily my favorite performer, but both are brilliant at their best. What carried me away is Stern's genuine passion and...

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October 25, 2010

Muppet Celebrity Lookalikes

[Thanks to List of the Day]...

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July 12, 2010

Harvey Pekar, RIP

Cleveland has just suffered a greater loss than Lebron James. The great comics writer, Harvey Pekar, is dead at age 70. Pekar chronicled the lives of working men and women in his beloved Cleveland. Harvey wrote many things besides his...

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June 27, 2010

Country Hip-Hop

It's sweeping the country! [Thanks to John DiBartolo]...

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May 02, 2010

Timm Gunn Critiques Superhero Costumes

Is Batman Fashion Forward?...

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January 24, 2010

Betty White Rocks it at the SAG Awards

She's the Greatest....

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January 16, 2010

Pants on the Ground Parts 1 & 2

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October 28, 2009

Ray Browne Obit in New York Times

I'm still under the weather, but I wanted to link to a wonderful obit written by Margalit Fox in the New York Times today. If you've read my books, I think you'll have a good idea from this why I...

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October 24, 2009

Ray Browne, R.I.P.

You'll notice that the icon on the left categorizes this post as "Pop Culture." The man who coined the expression "Popular Culture," and more important, led the crusade to study and teach popular culture in universities, died Thursday at...

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September 02, 2009

Eyewitness Clothes

Who needs Brooks Brothers or Ann Taylor?...

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June 19, 2009

Dixie Does Yoga

Watch at your own risk. [Thanks to List of the Day]...

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April 12, 2009

Fix Rumer

Among the more obscure blogs I've ever stumbled upon: a site devoted to photoshopping the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore....

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April 07, 2009

Celebrity Couple of the Day

[Thanks to Bedazzled]...

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March 25, 2009

PopWatch

Continuing Website Week on Imponderables.com, I had to include my current favorite popular culture website: PopWatch, part of Entertainment Weekly's site. Popwatch includes a mix of breaking news, commentary, videos, interviews, and not a few blog entries written by performers,...

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March 15, 2009

The First Barbie Commercial

This commercial was made only 50 years ago. It feels like one hundred. [Thanks to Bedazzled]...

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March 06, 2009

What If Woody Allen Directed Watchmen?

Dan Kois and Ashley Quigg ponder....

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March 02, 2009

Siegried and Roy? Or Siegfried and Mr. X?

Two takes on the mystery of Siegfried and Roy's farewell appearance -- one from the L.A. Times's Richard Abowitz and the veteran columnist of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Norm Clarke....

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February 24, 2009

Take That, Coldplay!

The latest musical sensation is Mark Gormley. Here's the essential interview; And his greatest video:...

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January 16, 2009

Ricardo Montalban

Even though he died this week, it's still hard to suppress a giggle when the name "Ricardo Montalban" is uttered. But I loved this story from blogger extraordinaire Mark Evanier, which makes Montalban a little more human and a lot...

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January 12, 2009

By Popular Demand

The Evolution of Dance Guy is back....

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December 04, 2008

Spectacle

I totally expected Elvis Costello's new talk show, Spectacle, to be wonderful. It is. Last night, the show debuted with Elton John as guest, and as I hoped, the discussion was 95% about music. If you want to hear Elton...

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October 31, 2008

Easiest Guinness Book of World Records Record to Break?

Gather your extended network and dance! If you want to practice choreography, here you go....

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October 29, 2008

Top Earning Dead Celebrities

Who would have thought that Albert Einstein would outearn Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon?...

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August 18, 2008

Celebrity Starbucks Orders

Al Sharpton drinks skinny lattes?...

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June 17, 2008

I Wanna Love You Tender

[Thanks to Elizabeth Frenchman]...

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June 06, 2008

Well, WE Have Family Feud

[Thanks to Christine Beagle]...

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May 14, 2008

Ashton Kutcher and the Cougar Effect

Why is Ashton Kutcher's career on the upswing? Maybe because his leading ladies are more mature?...

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April 28, 2008

PlayCafe

Want to play trivia against Ken Jennings? You can tonight, at 9:00-11:00 P.M. E.S.T. tonight....

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April 24, 2008

David Gest (and Tito Jackson)

Now we see what Liza saw in him....

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March 31, 2008

Oddest Book Titles

Shoot. Why Do Pirates Love Parrots? didn't even make the shortlist, let alone win the coveted title....

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March 11, 2008

If Celebs Moved to Oklahoma

Warning: It ain't pretty....

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February 15, 2008

Stuff White People Like

Lots of stuff. [Thanks to Michael Feldman]...

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January 15, 2008

The 7 Most Bizarre Celebrity Blogs

According to Cracked, anyway......

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December 29, 2007

Not Exactly Bartlett's

Some of the, er, more interesting celebrity quotes from 2007....

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November 20, 2007

Take That, Katie Couric

BBC News readers perform "All That Jazz" from the musical, Chicago....

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October 30, 2007

Inside Inside Inside

James Lipton interviews himself and likes what he sees!...

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August 11, 2007

Movie Pulchritude Morphing

Beauty through the cinematic era. [Thanks to Mark Evanier]...

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August 04, 2007

Don't Wear a Red Shirt!

At least, if you are going to encounter Captain Kirk....

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July 30, 2007

Blindfolded Artists

In 1947, Life Magazine asked some of the most famous cartoonists to draw their most famous creations -- blindfolded. A terrific pop culture blog, A Hole in the Head, shares the results. [Thanks to Susan Thomas]...

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July 15, 2007

FormatChange.com

Arguably the most important oldies record station in the country, WCBS-FM, switched to the "Jack" format several years ago. Jack was a quasi-alternative format that didn't stick to a particular genre of music, and flattered its listeners with promos indicating...

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June 21, 2007

Dion's Song for Paris

Thanks to Artie Wayne....

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May 13, 2007

Sonny Bono on Marijuana

via The Smoking Gun...

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April 22, 2007

The Best Book Promo Website I've Ever Seen

Miranda July's. [Thanks to Malcolm Mead]...

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March 21, 2007

K-Yahoo

This is not a joke. I think....

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March 13, 2007

The Evolution of the Geico Caveman

From cave to ABC pilot....

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February 28, 2007

The Fugly Women Review the Oscars

Go Fug Yourself is its usual witty self in the annual Oscar rundown. Any description of an outfit that starts with "Even though your skirt looks like an enormous cartoon fish vomiting up its own membranes, we appreciate..." has got...

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February 27, 2007

Handcuffed to Hugh

It's not easy being Hugh Grant....

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February 15, 2007

You Be the Judge

On YouTube, the commenters are arguing whether this is the best or worst commercial ever. We'll leave the decision up to you, but note in these days of 15-second spots, this one weighs in at a full two-minutes....

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February 14, 2007

Larry King -- Movie Critic

Never let misunderstanding get in the way of a blurb....

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January 10, 2007

You Know You're in Trouble When...

...your stylist disavows you....

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December 25, 2006

My Christmas Gift To You

I come bearing gift. My favorite part of the Christmas season is looking forward to hearing and seeing Darlene Love perform Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)on the David Letterman Show. Here is her brilliant 2004 performance, along with Darlene singing...

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December 23, 2006

Stationery Movies

For those who love quizzes. And movies. And stationery....

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December 21, 2006

A Very Different Charlie Brown Christmas

Performed by the cast of Scrubs. Warning: Rated R for language and not workplace friendly....

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December 20, 2006

Cico

This guy can dance....

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November 10, 2006

Dull Men's Club

These are my soulmates. This site revels in National Fig Month (you do know that this is National Fig Month, don't you?). It studies the direction in which carousels around the world rotate. And it includes a book review section...

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October 21, 2006

Like Visual Quizzes?

I don't think you'll find any better than Margaret Nissen's at Modesty Panel. [Thanks to Jack Estes]...

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September 03, 2006

Our Kind of Spin Doctors

The Museum of Yo-Yo History. [Thanks to Gerry Fifer]...

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August 03, 2006

Bedazzled

The amount of video online is staggering, and a trip to YouTube can induce a migraine and overload. So it's always great when someone with an astute sensibility and an archivist's soul filters a part of what's "out there." Such...

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July 31, 2006

The Answer Is: Today's Link

The question is: Where can I find the Jeopardy Archive? [Thanks to James Gleick]...

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July 24, 2006

Obsessed with Wrestling

I'm not, but I started watching professional wrestling when I was four years old. My grandfather informed me at that tender age that it was "fake," and then proceeded to yell his tonsils out at the grapplers on his black...

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July 05, 2006

Celebrities Have To Eat, Too

Even if they are photographed doing so....

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June 26, 2006

DDR Master

Actually, he's a Pump It Up master, but he's still worth checking out....

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March 12, 2006

The Davie-Brown Index

Advertising agencies and media companies are always looking for ways to quantify what are essentially the qualitative feelings that consumers have about celebrities. Davie-Brown is the latest in an attempt to improve upon Q-ratings (which essentially measure how much name...

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February 24, 2006

Chris Bliss

The Beatles, as interpreted by three balls and two hands. Must-see viewing. Click on "The Big Finale." [Thanks to Bobby Lloyd]...

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December 30, 2005

Best of Best Ofs

Like year-end best lists? So does this guy....

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December 10, 2005

Jersey Boys Soundtrack

I don't have a "theater" category on the blog, because it usually requires a crowbar, a free ticket, and some medication to drag me to a Broadway show. I haven't seen Jersey Boys, the show chronicling the Four Seasons. But...

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November 12, 2005

FINALLY, the Cardboard Box Receive Its Props

Who would have thought that corrugated cardboard would be inducted into the Hall of Fame before Pete Rose?...

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October 16, 2005

The 62-Pound Hamburger and Other Great Moments in Junk Food

The Junk Food Blog is devoted to chronicling the latest development in arterially-clogging and cavity-inducing foodstuffs. We were sent there by another cool site, Strange New Products, that let us know that the world is no longer without candy corn...

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August 31, 2005

The Writing Life

My friend Beth Amos is a terrific suspense and mystery writer, but like many talented novelists, she's had her shares of bumps in the road to commercial success. Her official website is full of tips for aspiring suspense novelists. But...

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August 12, 2005

Want To Be Popular?

It never hurts to be dead....

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August 10, 2005

Jossip

There are scads of blogs on the web devoted to media news and gossip. I visit too many of them. My latest main squeeze is Jossip. What I like least about it is its snarky tone. It's not as well...

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July 25, 2005

Lorenzo Lamas Is Not a Llama

Did you know that Lorenzo Lamas recently cut off his impending fifth wedding? Neither did I. We love this story from The Superficial...

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July 23, 2005

You Can't Complain If You Don't Vote

Vote wisely....

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June 27, 2005

What's the Deal with Tom Cruise?

Salon is running an informative, non-snarky four-part series about Scientology by James Verini that features the observations of some anonymous but knowledgeable long-term members of the group. The first installment is here....

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June 21, 2005

No Redeeming Social Value (Part 2)

A few months ago, I admitted that I was known to frequent a gossip site called The Superficial, which is going as strong as ever. But I surprise even myself, someone with zero interest in fashion, that I find myself...

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May 24, 2005

Not On Cruise Control

Oprah Winfrey is a talented broadcaster, and often can be an incisive and tough interviewer, but put her in front of a star and she is horrifying. Yesterday, she engaged in her usual kissfest with Tom Cruise. Of course, T.C....

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April 08, 2005

A Piece of Japan

No country's popular culture is wackier than Japan's. There are scads of English-language sites devoted to the quirkiness of Japanese culture. One of our favorites is Syberpunk.com. Browse around, but be sure not to miss the tribute to Oolong, a...

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April 02, 2005

Alan Dundes, R.I.P.

With the deaths of Pope John Paul and Terry Schiavo dominating the news, I wanted to acknowledge the passing of one of the great figures of popular culture scholarship -- folklorist Alan Dundes. People often ask me what do you...

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March 27, 2005

No Redeeming Social Value (Part 1)

When I'm not researching why pirates wore earrings, or poring over EPA emission standards, I must admit I save a minute or two for checking out websites that offer little but pointed and scathing gossip about celebrities. One of my...

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March 23, 2005

Ugly Things

The annual Popular Culture Assn. got off to a smashing start for me with the appearance of Mike Stax, editor of the fanzine,Ugly Things, who has a website of the same name. You got to love folks like Stax who...

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February 15, 2005

So You Want To Publish a Book?

I stumbled onto the Everyone Who's Anyone website via a Google link and I couldn't stop reading it. Gerard Jones has assembled a gigantic directory of literary (and Hollywood) agents and editors, along with their email addresses and whatever correspondence...

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February 04, 2005

Query Letters

When I worked at NBC-TV, I read more than a few horrendous pitches for television shows. After I left NBC and worked on the proposals for what became my first two books, I did a little consulting and read even...

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February 02, 2005

Timing Is Everything

And now is the time to sell Johnny Carson memorabilia....

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December 24, 2004

Why Are Bookstores Crowded?

And I thought it was because folks were looking for copies of Do Elephants Jump?...

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November 14, 2004

Dayton Allen, R.I.P.

One of my comic idols, Dayton Allen, died last Thursday, a largely forgotten figure. Mark Evanier, who writes one of my favorite blogs in the blogosphere, news from me, posted a wonderful anecdote about Allen. Allen is best known as...

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Poltical Colors

In a wonderful, November 13 blog entry, Kevin Drum researches how "blue state" and "red state" went from wonk terms to omnipresent during the 2004 election....

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November 12, 2004

Product Placement Run Amok

Now it's in weddings. And in particular, Star Jones's wedding....

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November 11, 2004

Film School Finals

My favorite new reality show of the year, Film School, concludes its run tomorrow night (Friday, at 10:30 P.M. on Independent Film Channel). One of the four filmmakers has dropped out of school, and all three of the remaining film...

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October 25, 2004

GTA: San Andreas

Tonight, I was walking a few blocks away from my local movie megaplex, and saw a long line of people waiting in line? What movie could possibly attract so many folks on a Monday night? Whoops! The crowd was waiting...

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October 15, 2004

Closer? Maybe

How do you choose what movies you see? I know that the movie studios think that stars often drive opening weekend attendance, but I can't think of one actor or actress that compels me to hit the multiplex if I'm...

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October 11, 2004

The Long Tail

Are you exasperated by the shallow selection of CDs at the record store? At all the books you can't find at your local Barnes & Noble? In the latest issue ofWired, editor in chief Chris Anderson's article, "The Long Tail,"...

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October 03, 2004

Two Guys Sitting Around Talking About Movies

When you think of Sunday morning talk shows, chances are politically oriented programs like Meet the Press or This Week come to mind. I watch a bunch of these public affairs show, along with that wonderful mix of politics and...

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October 01, 2004

Bill Ballance (1918-2004)

BIll Balance, a California radio legend, died last Thursday at the age of 85. At the tender age of five, I started listening to him at the advent of Top 40 radio on KFWB-AM, in Los Angeles. Ballance didn't...

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September 28, 2004

Come Back, Mr. Potato Head!!!

The end of civilization as we know it....

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September 19, 2004

The Company

Today I went to see the documentary, The Corporation, a film about the history and creeping dominance of multinational corporations not only in the West, but in Third World countries. Compared to Michael Moore's screeds, The Corporation is thoughtful and...

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