M Is FOR MASHUP - RERUN - January 21st, 2015
TV Shows from That Day-Glo Decade
This week, we're gonna' hand it over to guest columnist Dave, otherwise 'noun' as AtoZ !
Some of the thoughts he's had on 60's TV that've been knockin' around his whimsical version of a brain for ages have suddenly taken the written form of an essay . . or a thesis . . or maybe just a rambling series of sentences ?
Anyweigh, we're gonna call "TV Shows from That Day-Glo Decade" a topic related to Mash-Ups, perhaps as the deep seated seeds of inspiration . . . or maybe just cuz your Useo host has mashed both "Hogan's Heroes" and "Mr. Ed"?, while he and AtoZ both have used The Dick Van Dyke show on separate occasions.
If the men behind the TV pilot seasons of the mid-60's weren't exactly at the same "LSD In Your Coffee Surprise Party" as Mr. George and John Beatle, then at least they were all passed the same joint !
We went from the dawn of that "turbulent decade", where shows were still painting dreamy pictures of suburban life. And even if all the shows like "Father Knew Beaver Would Make Room For Daddy" added more salt to their sugary visions then we tend to remember, it was still largely the rosy ideal portrayals of the late 50's.
Things took a few major steps towards realism as Dick Van Dyke and Andy Griffith came on the scene, but in only a couple more years high concept sit-coms would explode in all directions !
One guys marries a witch, while another brings home a genie in a bottle ( eventually marrying her as well ).
One motley assortment of oddballs get stuck on an island, while a couple of astronauts get stuck in the stone-age!
"My Favorite Martian" crashes with an L.A. reporter while a Flying Nun sails over Puerto Rico.
We got yer' talkin' horses, yer' mother's spirit inhabiting a car, wacky antics in a concentration camp with adorable Nazis, and two families of family-friendly ghouls living in the ookiest homes on the block! (a rent-free ghost even lived with Mrs. Muir!)
Rural America was on the move in all directions too! . . . Manhattanites move out to Greener Acres, Hillbillies end up in Beverly Hills . . . while the girls of Petticoat Junction simply washed-up in a water tower.
At the same time, modern culture continually passed thru the looking-glass of tripped-out TV.
The Beatles became "The Monkees" . . . James Bond translated into Maxwell Smart . . and without a dozen comic-book superhero movies a year to draw on, TV fed on it's own with the campiest version of Batman paving the way for a couple of single-season delights like "Captain Nice" and "Mr. Terrific".
If we trace the evolution of music, culture, and personal/social self-identity through the very same times, it becomes apparent that we were all Dorothy, traveling from black & white Kansas to step out into the colorful landscapes of Oz!
The Times, They Were a' Changin', indeed . . . everywhere and on most levels. So perhaps my observation that TV pitch-guys ( and Madison Ave. ) all flipped their wigs as they lost their expanded minds… maybe this is pretty darn obvious afterall.
But it sure made for some entertaining & goofy new ideas on channels 2, 4 and 7 !!
To paraphrase a "pair a' phrases" from this same frame of time, they "turned-on while we was already tuned-in ... and then we all dropped-out and staged a "Laugh-In" till the 70's dawned and the gritty realism at the movies manifesting in films like "Midnight Cowboy" & "M*A*S*H" was also reflected in TV shows like "All In The Family" or "Room 222".
We came back down to earth, putting our trippy threads back in the closet, but we'd never have ended-up in Enlightened Town if we hadn't have travelled through Whimsyville to get there.
Paul Mason: The European elite have developed a death wish (The Guardian)
From the French right's selection of Fillon to the Italian referendum and Austrian election, Europe's centre is oblivious to its own existential crisis. They might want to dust off their copies of Thomas Mann's Death in Venice.
Michele Hanson: Break the taboo and talk about death - it will make you feel better (The Guardian)
Planning for one's passing doesn't have to be frightening - it can be poetic and moving.
Hadley Freeman: "Christopher Lloyd: 'Donald Trump's a beast. He needs to be put in a cage'" (The Guardian)
After three decades, the Back to the Future star is still happy to be known as zany scientist Doc Emmett Brown. He talks about the prescience of Biff Tannen's politics and why he's the only person alive to prefer the third film in the trilogy.
Oliver Burkeman: How to talk to strangers (The Guardian)
People are happier when they talk to strangers, even when they predict they'll hate it.
Jonathan Jones: Did the boldness of Britain's public art pave the way to Brexit? (The Guardian)
From the Angel of the North to the Tower of London poppies, art on an epic scale has captured imaginations, fired up patriotic pride - and made us a Brexit nation.
Marina Hyde: Ivanka Trump is a shoo-in for the Iron Throne (The Guardian)
Before you could say 'conflict of interests', America's most dysfunctional family have already begun blurring the lines between politics and business.
Nimby Smith: 7 Famous Companies Who F**ked The World And Got Away With It (Cracked)
7. Big Sugar's Been Covering Up Sugar's Link To Heart Disease For Decades
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Another Reason Why I'll Miss President Obama
Eight years without scandals or mistresses...
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In The Chaos Household
Sunny and on the brisk side (for these parts).
Wants Back Up Site In Canada
Donald Trump (R-Pendejo) won't be sworn in as US President until January, but one major internet organization is already making back-up plans, literally.
The Internet Archive, a San Francisco non-profit that maintains one of the world's largest library of cached web sites, said on Tuesday that it was planning to create a copy of its archives in Canada, out of the reach of the incoming US government.
"On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change," Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive wrote in a blog post published on Tuesday.
"For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions."
Presumably, if the Internet Archive had a Canada-based operation, controversial documents would stay online in the event that US censorship laws became more restrictive under Trump. Kahle also points to the possibility that government surveillance may increase under a Trump administration as another reason for the move.
Dictionary.com's Word Of The Year
You might have thought about it, heard it. A lot. You might have even felt it: Dictionary.com's word of the year is "xenophobia."
While it's difficult to get at exactly why people look up words in dictionaries, online or on paper, it's clear that in contentious 2016, fear of "otherness" bruised the collective consciousness around the globe.
The Brexit vote, police violence against people of color, Syria's refugee crisis, transsexual rights and the U.S. presidential race were among prominent developments that drove debate - and spikes in lookups of the word, said Jane Solomon, one of the dictionary site's lexicographers.
Searches for xenophobia on the site increased by 938 percent from June 22 to June 24, Solomon said. Lookups spiked again that month after President Obama's June 29 speech in which he insisted that Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric was not a measure of "populism," but rather "nativism, or xenophobia, or worse."
"Goodfellas" director Martin Scorsese is to be granted a private audience with Pope Francis on Wednesday after unveiling his latest film to an audience of 400 Jesuits, the Vatican said.
"Silence", an adaptation of Shusaku Endo's 1966 novel of the same name, tells the story of two Jesuit missionaries (played by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who visit 17th century Japan in the footsteps of their mentor (Liam Neeson).
Francis was not due to attend the screening of the film in Rome on Tuesday, despite its subject being close to his heart.
A member of the Jesuit order, the Argentinian pontiff wanted to become a missionary in Japan himself as a young man but was prevented from doing so by ill health.
The veteran director was to attend the Rome screening of his latest work, for which a senior figure in the Jesuit order was employed as a consultant.
Symphony Score Sells For £4.5 Million
The complete score of Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony was sold in London for £4.5 million on Tuesday, a record for a musical manuscript, Sotheby's auction house said.
The handwritten 232-page score includes the composer's deletions, alterations and annotations, many of them done in a vivid blue crayon.
The score was owned by US businessman Gilbert Kaplan who became obsessed with the work, known as the "Resurrection Symphony", and dedicated his life to conducting it before his death earlier this year.
The only comparable sales, both sold at Sotheby's, were a manuscript of nine Mozart symphonies for £2.5 million ($3.1 million, 3 million euros) in 1987 and the manuscript of Robert Schumann's Second Symphony for £1.5 million in 1994.
We're Number 10!
American students have strides to make when it comes to math and science, where they lag behind a solid block of East Asian countries, according to results released Tuesday from an international exam.
Eighth graders in the United States improved their scores in math over the last four years, up nine points. Scores for science, however, were flat. In fourth grade, scores were unchanged in the math and science tests.
Singapore topped the rankings, taking first place in both grades for math and science on the tests, known as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, or TIMSS. The tests are administered every four years to a random sampling of students in dozens of countries.
Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan also dominated the lists for each grade in both subjects.
The United States placed 10th in fourth-grade science as well as in eighth-grade math. In eighth-grade science, the U.S. tied with Ireland in 10th place. It ranked 14th for fourth-grade math, just behind Portugal and Kazakhstan.
Kellogg has announced that it will no longer advertise on Breitbart.com, the alt-right website formerly run by one of President-elect Donald Trump's (R-Grifter) top aides, Steve Bannon (R-Creep).
The food manufacturer decided to discontinue advertising on the site as soon as it was alerted by consumers to the presence of its ads, Kellogg Co. spokeswoman Kris Charles said Tuesday.
Breitbart has been condemned for featuring racist, sexist and anti-Semitic content.
Breitbart said Kellogg was denigrating "to its own detriment" a loyal and engaged community of consumers who helped elect Trump, saying the site had 45 million unique visitors in the last thirty days.
Pharmaceutical maker Novo Nordisk, online glasses retailer Warby Parker and the San Diego Zoo are among those that have publicly stated on Twitter that they will no longer advertise on the site.
Japan's trade ministry has almost doubled the estimated cost of compensation for the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and decommissioning of the damaged Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant to more than 20 trillion yen ($177.51 billion), the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.
The trade ministry at the end of 2013 calculated the cost at 11 trillion yen, which was comprised of 5.4 trillion yen for compensation, 2.5 trillion yen for decontamination, 1.1 trillion yen for an interim storage facility for contaminated soil, and 2 trillion yen for decommissioning, the report said.
The new estimate raised the cost of compensation to 8 trillion yen and decontamination to 4-5 trillion yen, the cost for an interim storage facility remained steady, and decommissioning will rise by several trillion yen, it added.
The part of the cost increase will be passed on in electricity fees, it added, citing multiple unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
Museum Rules Out Debate
Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum ruled out Tuesday a public debate over the authenticity of a book of sketches that an art historian has said belonged to the Dutch impressionist.
Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov, a University of Toronto academic, has declared the apparent find to be "the most revolutionary discovery" in the history of Van Gogh's work.
But the Dutch museum says the sketches, said to be from the artist's stay in the French city of Arles, are fake.
Welsh-Ovcharov's French publishers Le Seuil reproduced the drawings earlier this month in a book titled "Vincent Van Gogh, the fog of Arles: the rediscovered sketchbook."
The art historian says the drawings came from the Cafe de la Gare in Arles -- where Van Gogh stayed -- which "records that on May 20, 1890 Dr Felix Rey (who had treated Van Gogh's severed ear) visited the cafe on behalf of the artist" and left a large book of drawings.
Personal Marijuana Strains
Hunter S. Thompson
The public will finally be able to smoke pot like a goddamn doctor of journalism.
Anita Thompson, the widow of gonzo writer and reporter Hunter S. Thompson, recently announced her plans to produce marijuana from extracted strains of weed he smoked before his death in 2005, she told The Aspen Times.
"Since it became legal [in several states] I get approached probably once a month by cannabis growers, dispensaries," Anita told The Times. "I've had probably 10 meetings in the last three years and I always ended up saying 'No' because it's the same story every time: Somebody wants to slap Hunter's name on their strain."
But now, Anita outright owns the gonzo logo and Hunter's likeness, so she decided to, with help from a unnamed cannabis company, create new brands of marijuana from six strains she saved which Thompson personally smoked, according to the newspaper.
"I have found a legal method to extract the DNA from Hunter's personal marijuana and hashish that I saved for 12-15 years," she wrote. "I am in the process of making the strains available to those who would like to enjoy the authentic Gonzo strains in legal states. Although the 'drug lord' phrase is silly as it doesn't match my personality, I am looking forward to making the authentic strains available in legal states to support the Farm and the scholarships."
Hunter S. Thompson