Saturday, April 29, 2006

You can find neat things in thrift stores

Here's something cool. Blogger Lee Hartsfeld has posted a 1961 recording of Bell Telephone's first attempts to make a computer talk.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hooray for Hollywood, eh?

Film buffs will be pleased to know that Canada Post will be releasing a set of four postage stamps on May 26 honouring famous Canadians in Hollywood.

Cardston, Alberta native Fay Wray, who is best known for her role opposite the tallest and darkest co-star available to "act" with her in a certain 1933 film, will be one of those honoured.

Canada Post is keeping the identity of the other three Canadians to be honoured top secret for now.

Fay Wray is a good choice, but not an obvious selection. I would add that Mary Pickford, who was born and spent her early childhood in Toronto, should be an obvious choice for this series, given that "America's Sweetheart" was very influential in the Hollywood of her time. (However, given that Canada Post can be politically correct, I would not be surprised to see a choice like Nell Shipman as one of the four. Mrs. Shipman, recently the subject of an approving feminist biography, is best known for frolicking naked in the outdoors in the silent version of Back to God's Country.)

Keeping in mind that Canada Post has a rule that those honoured by a stamp should be dead, it might be fun to guess who the other three Canadians to be honoured in the stamp series will be.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Das Peppermint Twist

In the 1960s, you could count on every American hit song spawning various European language cover versions. A German-language cover of The Peppermint Twist, which I picked up for 50 cents at the Vancouver Record Collectors Association swap meet on the weekend, is just one example of many that I could cite. It was sung by Caterina and Silvio (with "Werner Muller und sein Orchester"!).

My German is almost non-existent, but I can tell that the lyrics of this cover version were rather freely translated. I'll give it a 78, though, because it has a good beat and it is easy to dance to.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Mah Na Nah Na?

Here's an interesting item about Mah Na Mah Na, that annoyingly persistent tune. I must add, however, that I do not believe Wikipedia's assertion that the song made its debut in a Swedish soft core porn film.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I'm pleased to see that there's a new book about the history of The Dartmouth Review, the conservative U.S. student newspaper.

As someone who did a feature on one of the controversies plaguing the Review back in my CUP days, I'm pleased to see that the paper is still chugging along.

Dartmouth Review fans will be pleased to know that I wore a Dartmouth Indian T-shirt duirng my days at UBC. My colleagues at the very liberal UBC student newspaper didn't understand that they were supposed to be annoyed at me when I wore the T-shirt in SUB241k.

Of couse, I may have annoyed lots of people with my T-shirts back then. I also wore my Christian-made "No Surfin' In Hell" T-shirt to church.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Victor Appleton, taken behind the woodshed

Like many fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which made fun of bad movies and film shorts for many years on Comedy Central and the SciFi Channel, I regret that the show is off the air. However, wiseacre fans are borrowing the show characters to take wisenheimer pot shots at Internet spam and other printed materials using the same format as the original show.

Here's a link to John Nowak and Matt Plotecher's wonderfully funny take on Tom Swift and His War Tank, an inane boys book from the World One era. They make fun of the entire book.

"Misting" is now a verb describing giving something in print the MST3K treatment. It's something I would like to try looks like fun. By the way, a hat tip to Keith Palmer for posting one of my fave MISTings.