Bad things happen when local TV news tries to appeal to teens

Toledo's WTOL 11 crew thought they were on fleek. Da fuq?

(Thanks UPSO!) Read the rest

Watch the new Stranger Things 3 trailer

They had me at the opening reference to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Read the rest

Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts for faking his assault

A grand jury indicted Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for falsely reporting that he was assaulted by two men who, he claimed, targeted the Empire actor because he is black and gay. The two men later told police that Smollett paid them to stage the attack as a publicity stunt that Smollett hoped would land him a raise. Smollett will be arraigned on Tuesday. From the Chicago Sun Times:

The indictment, which was made public on Friday, cites Smollett with disorderly conduct for each crime he said he had suffered, with separate counts related to statements he made the night of Jan. 29 to a police officer, and then for repeating the same account to a detective the same night. The charges all are Class 4 felonies, the lowest category of felony offense under Illinois law...

In a statement, Smollett’s attorney Mark Geragos said while the indictment is “not unexpected…What is unexpected however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts.”

“This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie’s privacy in tampering with his medical records. Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence even if law enforcement has robbed him of that presumption.”

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The Simpsons producers are pulling the classic Michael Jackson episode

The producers of The Simpsons are pulling the 1991 "Stark Raving Dad" episode featuring Michael Jackson, uncredited, from rerun rotation and streaming services. This follows news that a number of radio stations will no longer play Jackson's music in the wake of the sexual molestation allegations described in the new documentary Leaving Neverland. From Variety:

“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” executive producer James L. Brooks told the Wall Street Journal, which broke the news on Thursday. He told the paper that fellow executive producers Matt Groening and Al Jean agreed with the decision. “The guys I work with — where we spend our lives arguing over jokes — were of one mind on this,” Brooks said.

In the episode, Jackson voiced the character Leon Kompowsky, who meets Homer Simpson in a mental institution. Simpson brings home the character, a large white man who claims to be Michael Jackson. Ultimately, Leon helps Bart Simpson celebrate his sister’s birthday by singing one of the show’s most memorable tunes, “Happy Birthday Lisa.” Jackson didn’t actually sing on the episode; Kipp Lennon mimicked Jackson’s voice on all of the episode’s songs...

“I’m against book burning of any kind. But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter,” he told the Journal.

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On Star Trek: TNG, those aren't Captain Picard's hands holding his flute

Sir Patrick Stewart doesn't play the Reskian flute, or any flute for that matter. The trick worked on me at least, because I hadn't noticed even after seeing this episode several times over the last 26 (!) years. From Wikipedia:

...As neither Stewart nor Hughes could play their instruments, it required a number of camera techniques to be used in order to disguise the musicians playing just off screen. Husband and wife duo Natalie and Bryce Martin played the piano and tin whistle respectively to portray Daren and Picard's abilities. Bryce had played his instrument to represent Picard's Ressikan flute since it first appeared in "The Inner Light". However, while Stewart did the majority of his flute fingering, he was doubled in several scenes by Noel Webb and John Mayham. Webb also doubled for Brent Spiner early in the episode when Data was playing Frédéric Chopin's trio in G minor.

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Friends: The One Where They Are ALL Nicolas Cage

Yes, as seen below, somehow Ross with Nicolas Cage's face makes him look even more like Ross. But now comes the discovery of this lost Friends episode above, "The One Where They Are ALL Nicolas Cage."

(TheAngryStag via r/funny)

Here's the original weirdness:

Ross from Friends with Nicolas Cages face on him just makes him look more like Ross from r/pics
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This was the first US mainstream television commercial featuring a gay couple

In 1994, Ikea ran this television commercial in major East Coast US markets. (Interestingly, the commercial's art director was Patrick O'Neill who went on to be Chief Creative Officer at everyone's favorite Silicon Valley start-up disaster Theranos!)

From a 1994 article in the Los Angeles Times:

A few East Coast Ikea stores have been targeted by angry protesters who have jammed phone lines since last week. One store in Hicksville, N.Y., was briefly evacuated last week after a bomb scare. No bomb was found.

At issue is the homosexual relationship between the two men in the Ikea ad, who talk about how buying the dining room table together shows their commitment to each other. If it becomes clear to other major marketers that Ikea's business is not harmed--and perhaps even helped--by the ad, it could profoundly affect the way major advertisers speak to gays and lesbians.

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WATCH: Two New Adam Savage #MythbustersJr episodes, 'Demolition Dominoes' and 'Gravity Defying Carl'

I've really been enjoying the new 'MythBusters Jr', Adam Savage's new science exploration show featuring... kids. Really smart awesome talented kids.

Adam Savage will be Tweeting live during tonight's two premiere episodes, and they start airing an hour early (at 8 pm ET) for parents with wee ones. Read the rest

The Office documentary reportedly confirmed by Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration

Robert Ray Shafer who played Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration on the US version of The Office apparently posted the below to his Facebook page confirming a documentary in production about the beloved show. Of course this will be a documentary about a mockumentary. According to this Facebook post, the documentary "That's What She Said (And They Said Too)" is expected to be premiere on the show's 15th anniversary in 2020. (via r/DunderMifflin)

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Watch Mr. Rogers' wonderful show for adults from 1978

In 1978, Mr. Rogers hosted a television show for adults called "Old Friends...New Friends" in which he interviewed interesting musicians, artists, athletes, teachers, and others "about their search for meaning in life." A clip of the show appeared in last year's documentary about Fred Rogers, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?." Above is that complete episode, titled "Inner Rhythms" and featuring classical pianist Lorin Hollander. There are 19 other episodes profiling the likes of composer Hoagy Carmichael, barrio teacher Nancy Acosta, comedian Milton Berle, and psychoanalyst Helen Ross.

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It has been years since I've heard Porky Pig say "That's all folks!"

I used to see/hear Porky say this 20x a day.

I want this on my tombstone, but maybe higher res. Read the rest

Max Headroom recites the ABCs

In 1987, Max Headroom appeared on Sesame Street where he recited the alphabet. Catch the wave.

And if you're not hip to Max's cyberpunk stylings, the 1985 UK TV movie is where it all started:

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Humorous ad about South African explorer discovering Europe in 1650

This funny South African ad depicts an African explorer discovering Europe in the 1650s, a counterfactual to the 1652 arrival in South Africa of the Dutch. But it's upsetting people there and fast food chain Chicken Licken has withdrawn it due to the complaints.

South African Sandile Cele lodged a complaint with the Advertising Regulatory Board, arguing that the commercial made a "mockery of the struggles of the African people against the colonisation by the Europeans in general, and the persecutions suffered at the hands of the Dutch in particular".

Upholding the complaint, the board said: "While the commercial seeks to turn the colonisation story on its head with Big John travelling to Europe, it is well-known that many Africans were in fact forced to travel to Europe in the course of the colonisation of Africa.

"They did not leave their countries and villages wilfully. They starved to death during those trips to Europe and arrived there under harsh and inhumane conditions."

Chicken Licken said it wanted to show that South Africa had "all the potential to conquer the world and rewrite history from an African perspective". Read the rest

Watch a child magically materialize in the background of this BBC News clip

In this BBC News clip, a child seems to materialize just behind the woman speaking. WTF. Unfortunately this isn't likely a fun glitch in our simulated reality but rather something with much more insidious potential. From WAXY:

If you watch the woman’s face at the same time the boy appears, you can see her expression morph into a smile.

This technique is known as a Morph Cut, a feature added to Adobe Premiere Pro in 2015, intended to smooth transitions in interview footage, removing unwanted pauses, stutters, and filler words (“like,” “um,” and “uh”) without hard splices and cuts.

The results, when used appropriately in interview footage without a changing background, can be nearly seamless.

It’s likely that BBC News used a morph cut in the clip above to tighten up the interview without changing its meaning. But it’s also ripe for abuse and fully capable of altering the meaning of an interview, and in many cases, undetectable.

Another demonstration of the technology:

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Watch David Lynch's weird TV commercial for Adidas

David Lynch has directed many television commercials but this one from 1993 for Adidas, titled "The Wall," gives any surreal perfume commercials (including Lynch's own) a run for their money. (See what I did there?) You can find a directory and clips of Lynch's other commercial, ad, and promo work here.

(via r/ObscureMedia)

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Live-action Cowboy Bebop coming to Netflix

Classic anime hit Cowboy Bebop is to become a live-action show at Netflix, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The live-action take tells a jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Fay Valentine and Radical Ed, a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system's most dangerous criminals. The Netflix series arrives as a live-action feature take starring Keanu Reeves has been toiling in development at Fox for nearly a decade.

Produced by one of UK broadcaster ITV's studios. No cast yet.

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Pee-wee Herman's TV commercial for Japanese securities firm

In 1990, Pee-wee Herman recorded this delightful TV commercial for Japanese company Wako Securities. As we know, the following year, Pee-wee (aka Paul Reubens) was arrested for indecent exposure in an adult theater. From an Associated Press article at the time:

″I know this may sound rude coming from a sponsor of his commercials, but he is not that famous in Japan, and the news doesn’t create as much of a fuss as in the United States,″ said Wako Securities Co. spokesman Yoshihei Nishimura.

He said, however, that ″renewing the contract with him is unthinkable, given common sense″

(via /r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest

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