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Archive for September, 2010


Unlikely Twins, Part XXI

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Happy Birthday, this September 28th, to two opposite sides of the show business spectrum:

Brigitte Bardot,
Sex Kitten
Ed Sullivan,
Introduced Guys who Juggled Kittens

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Two of these things are not like(d by) the others…

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

This story is strange on a wide variety of levels.

But first, the facts: Pop singer, Katy Perry, recorded a segment for Sesame Street, in which she sang a (child-friendly) version of her hit song, Hot N Cold, with everybody’s favorite montser, Elmo. The segment was posted on Sesame Street’s YouTube channel as a “sneak peek” at the show’s season premiere. After more than one million views, the folks at the Sesame Workshop received a number of complaints that Ms. Perry’s outfit was too revealing, making it inappropriate for a TV show aimed at preschoolers. The Sesame Street folks decided not to air the segment on television and removed it from the Sesame Street YouTube channel, although they did allow it to remain on other YouTube channels and websites, including Katy Perry’s own YouTube channel and katyperry.com.

Oh, strange story, let me count the ways…

1) Sesame Street pre-releases clips of its shows on YouTube? Is this really such hotly anticipated content that we can’t wait for the actual show to air?

2) Parents actually watch pre-release clips of Sesame Street on the Internet? Are there folks out there who really want to pre-screen Sesame Street on a regular basis?

3) To Sesame Street’s target demographic, cleavage doesn’t suggest anything naughty – it suggests lunch!

To be honest, I don’t very much care that they didn’t air it on television. One of the great things about the times we live in is that television isn’t our only source of media content. Anyone who wants to see Katy Perry sing with Elmo (or just ogle her cleavage) can do so on the Internet just as easily (or, some would argue, more easily) than on television. And if your two-year old is a big Katy Perry fan, you’re free to sit him/her down in front of the computer and let him/her watch. So the TV show becomes the “extremely safe zone.” That used to matter a lot, because the decisions of a select few affected the choices of the masses. Today, not so much.

For those who are curious, here’s the video. But be forewarned – if you click on it, you have to stop claiming that you read my blog just for the articles…

Categories: Primetime TV, Words about Music | 1 Comment »

Unlikely Twins, Part XX

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

If these two September 21st birthdays had gotten together, maybe they could have produced something that both made kids laugh and made adults scream in unholy terror:

Chuck Jones,
Cute Cartoons for Kids
Stephen King,
Horrible Nightmares for Adults

Categories: Unlikely Twins | 1 Comment »

Geek humor

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Here’s one for my more techie friends. If you don’t understand this, trust me – just move on…

The warning message that Microsoft PowerPoint gives you when you open a presentation from a SharePoint site:

Woah, dude…. Check out that PowerPoint deck. Like….totally awesome, man……

Categories: Tech Talk | 1 Comment »

Unlikely Twins, Part XIX

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Both of these men probably received something chocolate for their September 13th birthdays, but only one of them really knew where the chocolate was made…

Roald Dahl,
Charlie’s Chocolate Factory
Milton Hershey,
His OWN Chocolate Factory

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September 11, 2010

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

It’s become a bit of a personal, annual tradition for me to write something on the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Each one, quite obviously, is a little different, and reading through them all now (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), provide an interesting (at least to me) perspective on how one processes a traumatic event like this one over the years.

This year, I once again note the degree to which we are moving on. There will be memorial services of course, but the President’s remarks at his most recent press conference show the shift in emphasis:


Categories: New York, New York, Political Rantings | 1 Comment »

Unlikely Twins, Part XVIII

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

September 7th – birthday of two men who grew to know a lot about crashes…

Buddy Holly,
Killed in a Plane Crash
J.P. Morgan,
Survived a Market Crash

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The Best of TED: Why are we happy?

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Here’s another installment of my Best of TED series, in which I share talks from the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference that have struck me over the years as particularly insightful or fascinating.

Today’s installment represents the only time I’ve found two videos from the same presenter that struck me as worth discussing. Harvard psychologist, Dan Gilbert, discusses the concept of happiness, and uses the scientific method to examine how it is created and how long it lasts. Here’s a good way to summarize the talk:

We believe that synthetic happiness is not of the same quality as what we might call natural happiness. What are these terms? Natural happiness is what we get when we get what we wanted, and synthetic happiness is what we make when we don’t get what we wanted. And in our society, we have a strong belief that synthetic happiness is of an inferior kind.

He goes on to present situations where people don’t get what they want, but legitimately come away from the experience happier than they otherwise would have. And he proves that it’s real by testing the same theories on amnesiacs, and through the more traditional control groups.

If you feel like you’re constantly searching for happiness, give this a watch . . . and then go make some happiness of your own!

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