Animated interview with Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone

Pleased to present for your consideration, this quote from the creator of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling: "The most unfettered imagination belongs to young people, and they don’t walk through life; they fly.” (Blank on Blank)

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This Simpsons couch gag is a clever Ikea spoof

On last night's episode of The Simpsons, the couch gag was animator Michael Socha's excellent spoof of Ikea's instruction manuals.

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Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling talks censorship and sponsor pressure (1959)

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Mike Wallace interviews the amazing Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone, about censorship and marketers trying to push around writers of the TV shows they were sponsoring.

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Watch Louis C.K. play Jeopardy!

Who won $50,000 for charity on Jeopardy! last night?

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Antiques Roadshow erroneously appraised 1970s high school art class mug at $50,000

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Antiques Roadshow appraised this "bizarre and wonderful" ceramic jug from the late-19th/early-20th century at $50,000. Turns out, they were mistaken. A woman named Betsy Soule crafted the mug in high school in the 1970s. Soule's friend recognized the piece on TV and alerted her.

"As far as its age is concerned, I was fooled, as were some of my colleagues," said Antiques Roadshow's Stephen L. Fletcher in an update. "The techniques of making pottery, in many ways, haven’t changed for centuries…Still, not bad for a high schooler in Oregon.”

The current owner paid $300 for the object at an estate sale.

“I hated it when it was $30,000 to $50,000, because who wants $30,000 to $50,000 lying around their house?" he told the Bend Bulletin. "Now, it’s on my table, and I love it.”

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Twinsies! Wonder Woman and her stunt double (c.1975)

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Lynda Carter, the Wonder Woman of 1970s television, with stunt double Jeannie Epper. If you're not hip to the only screen Wonder Woman that matters, watch the original title sequence below.

In your satin tights, Fighting for your rights And the old Red, White and Blue.

(via r/OldSchoolCool) Read the rest

Samantha Bee on America's warehouses of untested rape kits

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Tens of thousands of rape kits remain untested. Samantha Bee wonders why the time is taken to complete the kits, a lengthy and unpleasant process, but authorities and politicians are so enthusiastic to avoid the results—even after it's been shown how effective they are in tracking down suspects, and even after being given the resources to do so. Read the rest

Far out Star Trek convention at mall in 1976

In 1976, Star Trek fans converged on Denver, Colorado's Northglenn Mall for one of the first conventions! One Trekker in attendance captured the experience (Nimoy and Doohan in person!) on Super 8 film that's now been digitized and uploaded to YouTube.

(Thanks, UPSO!)

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The FCC wants to unlock your cable box, and Silicon Valley agrees

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Silicon Valley has managed to break apart the long-locked cable TV bundle. On Thursday, The Federal Communications Commission okayed a proposal to let cable TV customers swap out their Comcast or TWC cable boxes for third-party boxes and applications.

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Fantastic search engine for matching Simpsons quotes and screenshots!

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Frinkiac allows you to type in a quote from The Simpsons and it'll find the matching stills from a database of 3 million screen caps. I expect that its creators will be acquihired soon by Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net.

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Louis C.K. just released a new 'surprise' web show with Alan Alda, Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco

The comedian Louis C.K., photo via Reuters.

How cool of an internet-age entertainer is Louis C.K.? Here's what I got in my inbox this morning, as a subscriber to his email updates:

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Stretch Armstrong cartoon coming to Netflix

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Netflix ordered 26 episodes of a new Hasbro-produced cartoon starring Stretch Armstrong, the iconic 1970s action figure whose rubbery body could be pulled and stretched until its skin inevitable tore or was punctured and the gross gel filling dripped out. I hope they do battle with the evil Stretch Monster! (Original TV commercial below.)

From Variety:

The 26-episode Stretch Armstrong series, Hasbro Studios’ first original programming for Netflix, is slated to debut in 2017. The animated animated action/comedy series is about an over-scheduled teenager named Jake Armstrong and his two best friends. Then the trio are accidentally exposed to an experimental chemical, they become Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters — a team of stretchable superheroes.

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Meet the composer of "Schoolhouse Rock!"

Conjunction Junction, what's your function? That iconic tune (below) and others from the "Schoolhouse Rock!" cartoon were the work of composer Bob Dorough, now 92-years-old and still playing music. (Great Big Story)

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Anthony Geary of General Hospital touts the virtues of Members Only jackets (1982)

"When I put one on, something happens." (Thanks, UPSO!)

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10% of college grads think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court

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Judith Sheindlin, a television entertainer and former family court judge, is believed to be a member of the Supreme Court of the United States of America by ten percent of college graduates.

The poll, conducted by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni in August 2015 but released in January 2016, concluded from the 1,000 surveyed that college graduates "are alarmingly ignorant of America's history and heritage."

The survey also found 28.4% of college graduates correctly identify the father of the Constitution as James Madison. About 59% of college students surveyed believe the father of the Constitution was Thomas Jefferson, who was actually the principal writer for the Declaration of Independence.

Next they'll be telling me that Andre Romelle Young isn't the Surgeon General. Read the rest

TV networks are pissed at Netflix for not disclosing data on what you're watching

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Photo: Reuters

At a Television Critics Association event this weekend, the tension between Netflix and traditional television networks ratcheted up a few notches. TV executives expressed the growing frustration they share over the fat that Netflix refuses to disclose ratings.

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Recovering Teletext data from VHS recordings

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Teletext was an early mainstream precursor to the web that became successful in the UK and France: hundreds of low-res pages a day streamed in the invisible overscan margins of the TV signal. It died with analog television; archivists are finding the original data can be recovered from VHS tapes.

Technology is changing that. The continuing boom in processor power means it’s now possible to feed 15 minutes of smudged VHS teletext data into a computer and have it relentlessly compare the pages as they flick by at the top of the picture, choosing to hold characters that are the same on multiple viewing (as they’re likely to be right) and keep trying for clearer information for characters that frequently change (as they’re likely to be wrong).

It's an interesting study in horsepower: it takes such "phenomenal processing power" to accurately and reliably scan VHS recordings of text that we're only now on the cusp of being able to do so.

That hundreds, even thousands of frames of each teletext page are required to OCR each one is also a powerful tribute to just how astoundingly awful VHS is. Read the rest

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