April 29, 1992 (Miami), 25 years ago

26 years ago. Read the rest

In 1961 an IBM 7094 was the first computer to sing

I had no idea!

Evidently HAL 9000 sang Daisy Bell as a tribute, it is the first song ever sung by a computer. In 1961 an IBM 7094 was the first to raise its voice in song.

The vocals were programmed by John Kelly and Carol Lockbaum and accompaniment was programmed by Max Mathews, but the song was written by Harry Dacre, almost a century earlier, in 1892. Read the rest

Trump's anti-Semites are here to stay

The Trump administration continues to bumble nearly every time they mention Judaism or the Holocaust in public. Orange Julius claims to love Jews, but the anti-Semites in his cabinet are here to stay

Salon sheds some light on exactly why Trump can't seem to wash his hands of his white supremacist supporters.

Via Salon:

Let’s put aside the president’s trademark bluster and take him at his word — he loves his daughter, and he has a handful of individual Jews in his life that he cares about. But the issue isn’t what Trump believes in his heart of hearts. What really counts are his actions and the company he keeps — including once fringe figures like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka. In that sense, tragically, he has been a godsend to anti-Semitic movements and ideologies once relegated to the margins of society.

All the while, alt-right trolls, white nationalist activists and conspiracy theorists have cheered on President Trump from the virtual sidelines. They’re cheering because this administration has carried the stain of anti-Semitism from the campaign into the White House and federal government. Sadly, the longstanding taboo in the GOP against overt anti-Semitism has begun to fall, and ties to anti-Semitic figures and thought — once considered to be automatically disqualifying by the Republican mainstream — are no longer an impediment to serving in the executive branch.

But across the GOP and among too many establishment Jewish organizations, no one wants to name the depth and breadth of this pattern.

Read the rest

Drugs and Alcohol = No Job

You may have seen the Wainwright Training videos on Boing Boing's in-flight entertainment channel on Virgin America.

While they probably won't be offering sensitivity training, Mark Fite and Jim Turner, one-half of Los Angeles' best sketch comedy troupe 2 HeadedwDog, will be appearing at Beyond Brookledge this May, in Riverside, CA.

Beyond Brookledge is a fantastic three-day magic and variety extravaganza thrown by Erika Larsen and Bob Self at Riverside, California's unbelievable Mission Inn May 19-21st. Once a year those two curate a weekend of dazzling entertainment, and amazing community, around the acts from Erika's private shows at the theater in her home, Brookledge.

You'll instantly feel like you are among friends, and spend a weekend hanging out with some of the most amazing magicians, makers and variety performers on Earth.

The Amazing Jonathan will probably make fun of you.

Previously:

Beyond Brookledge, May 19-21st at the iconic Mission Inn Read the rest

Make silly noises and fight Kirk in your own Gorn mask

I had forgotten how goofy the monster noises were in the epic Kirk vs Gorn battle. With this excellent mask and a few groans you too could rough up Starfleet's more daring Captain.

Evidently you'll need to make your own body suit, but the mask looks nicer than the actual prop.

Star Trek Classic Gorn Deluxe Latex Mask via Amazon Read the rest

This is the Slinky commercial theme of my youth

There have been many Slinky theme songs, but when the Slinky theme song gets stuck in my head this is the Slinky theme song I sing.

My daughter was given a large plastic rainbow slinky for her birthday. None of the kids understood why I immediately broke into song. Read the rest

What school of kung-fu did PaRappa the Rapper learn?

I loved helping PaRappa win the heart of Sunny Funny. PaRappa the Rapper remains one of my favorite console games of all time.

Ellen Steuer probably remembers all the lyrics! Read the rest

Stop! Hammock time!

Spring is here, time to toss the ratty old hammock and get a new one! This $15 replacement hammock fits my stand well.

Couple years back I reviewed this fantastic hammock stand and hammock. I live in a harsh marine environment to say the very least, and the stand has held up amazingly well. It shows some patina but no real rust. I think I'll happily be using it for years to come.

Hammocks themselves are a different story. Normal wear and tear, forgetfully leaving them outside overnight, washing them in a machine washer and dryer, all destroy a hammock pretty quickly. Once every year or two I need a replacement. This $15 hammock is just great and will help make my Spring, Summer and Fall 2017 wonderful.

Double Wide Hammock Cotton Soft Woven Bed for Supreme Comfort Fabric Travel Camping Hammock 2 Person for Backyard, Porch, Outdoor or Indoor Use (Green & Blue Stripes) via Amazon Read the rest

Windmill failures are spectacular

I feel bad for that vulture. Well, I think it either was a vulture or turkey buzzard. Read the rest

Suspected Nazi enthusiast Sebastian Gorka's degree probably fake

Adding to the controversy surrounding hyper-sensitive, Nazi-affiliated medal wearing "deputy assistant" to Orange Julius, Sebastian Gorka is now a credible claim he faked his PhD.

Gorka has unsuccessfully attempted to assuage fears that he is a yet another Nazi enthusiast in the Trump Administration. Now, suspicions have arisen that he has faked his degree. Andrew Reynolds, a professor of politican science at the University of North Carolina did some digging.

It looks bad for Gorka.

Via Andrew Reynold's website at UNC:

Gorka is Hungarian-English. He gained an American passport in 2012. His nationalist parents fled to London from Budapest in 1956. His dissertation – Content and End-State-based Alteration in the Practice of Political Violence since the End of the Cold War: the difference between the terrorism of the Cold War and the terrorism of al Qaeda: the rise of the “transcendental terrorist” was apparently granted in 2007 by Corvinus University of Budapest. The tract is long on Islamaphobia and the unsubstantiated claims of the polemicist but short on theory, evidence or academic rigor. Corvinus is not an institution with a profile, so I looked: sadly it doesn’t even make the top 1,000 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Even Gorka’s attendance poses a mystery. When exactly was he a graduate student at the university? Did he take classes? Did he receive any training in Islam or Islamic studies? His CV notes that he left Hungary in 2004 to work for the US Defense Department in Germany and then in 2008 relocated to the US.

Read the rest

Jane Morris explains improvisation and life

This video is an absolute gem! Jane Morris, one of the best improvisational actors alive, explains what makes the art so magical!

Jane has improvised, written, performed, and directed shows around the world. Beginning in Chicago, where she helped found the Second City ETC, later from her own theaters in Los Angeles, no one has done more to advance the art of improvisation.

If you are a writer looking for help getting unstuck, building a regular ritual of daily writing, or just help figuring out how to get the story out of your head and on to paper, Jane runs a wonderful writers workshop. If I was an Angeleno, I'd be there every week.

Read the rest

Star Wars Rebels season four promises excitement

The final season of Star Wars Rebels looks intense.

We knew from the beginning of the series run that some of these characters would have to die before the timeline caught up with A New Hope. Rogue One made it clear how Star Wars deals with those situations.

May the force be with them. Read the rest

Ernie K. Doe has his heart set on "A Certain Girl"

What her name is, however, he can not tell you. Read the rest

Automotive tires sent down a ski jump

Incredibly satisfying to watch. Read the rest

A snuggle with Tribbles

I've always wanted a few tribbles around the house.

First introduced in David Gerrold's episode The Trouble with Tribbles, the Tribble a super cuddly invasive species! Spock said they have no purpose but to eat and to reproduce, but that's because a Vulcan doesn't love snuggles!

I have one of my own, so this guy'll go on the shelf next to my phaser.

Quantum Mechanix Star Trek Tribble Platinum Plush via Amazon Read the rest

The Journey/Wilson Phillips mashup you've been waiting for

A friend sent me this gem, as vengence for some other Wilson Phillips related post. Read the rest

Beaver leads a cow parade

I guess there is a leadership deficit in Cowtown.

(via Unilad) Read the rest

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