If I don't laugh, I'll cry. (Brandon Smith)
In memory of the late Mary Tyler Moore, I present to you Minneapolis punk pioneers Hüsker Dü's killer 1985 cover of "Love Is All Around," Sonny Curtis's theme song to The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The Hüskers' rendition was the flipside to their "Makes No Sense At All" single.
Cable network Sky will not air the episode of the comedy series Urban Myths featuring Joseph Fiennes, who is white, portraying Michael Jackson. The decision came in response to intense criticism from the likes of Jackson's daughter Paris Jackson who tweeted that the trailer (above) "honestly makes me want to vomit."
“We have taken the decision not to broadcast Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon, a half hour episode from the Sky Arts Urban Myths series, in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson’s immediate family," said a Sky spokesperson. "We set out to take a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offence. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”
@TheMJCast i'm so incredibly offended by it, as i'm sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit.— Paris-Michael K. J. (@ParisJackson) January 11, 2017
A 1958 episode of the television western Trackdown features a con artist named Trump who wants to build a wall to protect a town from destruction. From the Classic TV Archive:
Walter Trump, a confidence man, puts on a long robe and holds a tent meeting in the town of Talpa. He tells the townspeople that a cosmic explosion will rain fire on the town and that he is the only one that can save them from death. Ranger Hoby Gilman attempts to prove Trump is a fraud.
And a bit of dialog from the episode:
Narrator: Hoby had checked the town. The people were ready to believe. Like sheep they ran to the slaughterhouse. And waiting for them was the high priest of fraud.
Trump: I am the only one. Trust me. I can build a wall around your homes that nothing can penetrate.
Townperson: What do we do? How can we save ourselves?
Trump: You ask how do you build that wall. You ask, and I'm here to tell you.
"Trackdown Shakedown" (Snopes, thanks David Steinberg!)
In May 1984, George Michael and Morrissey, promoting respectively “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and The Smiths' "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now," appeared on the BBC program Eight Days A Week. They discuss such urgent matters as the film Breakin' (released as Breakdance outside the US) and Mark Johnson's book An Ideal for Living: A History of Joy Division.
(via Dangerous Minds)
We've posted previously about Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), the weird sounds in electronic recordings that some paranormal researchers insist are actually voices of spirits. But I didn't realize that EVP is part of a larger genre of ghostly phenomena called Instrumental Transcommunication "said to occur on devices as varied as television sets, radios, computers, handheld devices such as ipods or iphones, and even fax machines," according to Mysterious Universe. In the 1970s and 1980s, one popular medium for these ghosts in the machine were television sets. (Remember Tobe Hooper's excellent 1982 film Poltergeist?) From Mysterious Universe:
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Throughout the 1970s and 80s the ITC phenomenon as it relates to TV really got its roots, becoming quite popular with researchers of the weird, and there were numerous supposed video and audio recordings of these TV bound ghosts at the time. The investigators in these cases claimed that this phenomenon had even been documented with TVs that were turned off or completely unplugged.
One of the pioneers of using televisions to try and pick up signals from the dead was a German ITC researcher named Klaus Schreiber, who used an apparatus that he called the “Vidicomin,” which used a video camera aimed at a TV set that was switched on but not attached to an aerial, and the signal looped the output from the camera back into the TV. This loop was said to produce dramatic results, with various faces apparently blooming out from the white noise on sets, and on one occasion an actress from Austria named Romy Schneider supposedly clearly appeared on a TV in one such session years after her death.
This oft-seen wonderfully weird photo depicts Hugo Gernsback wearing his "teleyeglasses" in 1963. Gersnback, an inventor of such innovations as a combination electric hair brush/comb and a battery-powered handheld illuminated mirror, is best known to science fiction fans as the founder of Amazing Stories magazine! Gernsback coined the term "science fiction" and the Hugo Awards are named in his honor. But back to the history of his teleyeglasses, as discussed in IEEE Spectrum:
"The Man Who Invented VR Goggles 50 Years Too Soon" (IEEE Spectrum) Read the rest
A Life magazine profile of Gernsback in July 1963, when he was 78, described his “teleyeglasses”:
He now invents only in broad outline, leaving the actual mechanics of the thing to others. His television eyeglasses—a device for which he feels millions yearn—constitute a case in point. When the idea for this handy, pocket-size portable TV set occurred to him in 1936, he was forced to dismiss it as impractical. But a few weeks ago, feeling that the electronics industry was catching up with his New Deal-era concepts, he orders some of his employees to build a mock-up.
The teleyeglasses weighed about 140 grams and were built around small cathode-ray tubes that ran on low-voltage current from tiny batteries. (The user faced no danger of being electrocuted, Gernsback promised.) Because there was a separate screen for each eye, it could display stereoscopic images—much like today’s 3D virtual-reality glasses. Noting the massive V-type antenna protruding from the teleyeglasses, Life described the effect as “neo-Martian.”
Actress Florence Henderson, most famous as "iconic matriarch" Carol Brady and recent turns on Dancing with the Stars, is dead at 82.
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"We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our dear mother Florence Henderson from Heart Failure," the Henderson family said in a statement. "On this day of thanks, our beloved mother was surrounded by her devoted children and dearest friends. We thank all of her fans for their many years of love and ask that we be allowed to grieve in private.
More fun than the Lego Batman Movie?
From a 1984 episode of the fantastic USA Network series Night Flight, an interview with pioneering digital video artists John Sanborn and Dean Winkler about their latest pieces, "Act III," with music by Philip Glass, and their music video for Adrian Belew's "Big Electric Cat." Watch them both below.
Premiering January 13, 2017, Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" stars Neil Patrick Harris as the creepy Count Olaf.
The popular and long-running British antiques-peeping program is broadening its horizons for a new generation of viewers. "These are quite collectible, you know." Read the rest
Archival footage of Brenda Wood on 5 WIYZ reporting on the disappearance of Barbara Holland and a young girl stealing Eggos in Hawkins, Indiana.
The Inbetweeners is a great British comedy series that bombed when remade for an American audience. How can the same characters, plot lines, and jokes work so well in one case and fail in the other? YouTuber JackWolf dissects some examples, brilliantly explaining the essence of good comedic directing and editing. Read the rest