Saturday, December 31, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR - 2012 !


Hi folks... dear regular readers and drop-ins.  It's been a slow last couple of months for me posting here simply because I've been distracted -- and not always by the right things.  Even though I used to make fun of Twitter (see earlier postings), a friend talked me into setting up an account with the Byte-sized-Bites.  See here:  www.twitter.com/barrysmight

Tweets are good since it takes little investment in time... and brain cells, perhaps.

Happy New Year to all.  May we reduce the rate of global conflict; feed more people; reduce crime (and deal with its root causes); post more general silliness online....

***

"... the prejudices people feel about each other disappear when they get to know each other."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

BEST OF BARRY - "COSELL'S BANANAS" - ORIGINAL POSTING: NOVEMBER 5, 2007

While the kids are out playing with their new toboggan, I thought I would post a "Best of Barry" piece.  What can I say about Bananas and Howard Cosell that I haven't said before? This has proven to be one of my more popular postings (lots of hits)...
http://barrysmight.blogspot.com/2007/11/cosells-bananas.html

Friday, December 16, 2011

SHATNER GOES BACK TO BROADWAY

William Shatner is taking his one-man show to Broadway.  Shatner's World: We Just Live in It will be a limited run, and because of that, I'm sure, tickets will be hot.  By the way, this is not the great starship captain's first appearance on Broadway.  Before he became the big cheese of NCC-1701, Shatner was lead character "Robert Lomax" in The World of Suzie Wong, which ran from 1958 to 1959.  As a matter of fact, his costar was France Nuyen, who would appear ten years later in Star Trek's "Elaan of Troyius".

Saturday, December 10, 2011

BARRY SMIGHT NOW ON TWITTER

I never thought that would happen.  Friend yesterday encouraged me to join.  He did a good job of selling.  Maybe he should work for Twitter.

Say hello...
http://twitter.com/#!/barrysmight

BEST OF BARRY - "BIBLE BRITNEY READING" - ORIGINAL POSTING: MARCH 17, 2009

I understand that singer/popster/someone Britney Spears turned 30, back on December 2nd.

Well... can't let this go without some sort of celebration.  Here's a bit I wrote a couple of years ago about the famous lady...
http://barrysmight.blogspot.com/2009/03/bible-britney-reading.html

... Something about Britney and the Holy Bible.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ICE HOCKEY PUCK - REAL ONES

In regards to my posting immediately below (CANADIAN TIRE STORE FLYER), I decided to put up the goods on the Ice Hockey Puck...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_puck

In the above article there is a bit on "Underwater Hockey", and the model of puck that sport utilizes.  I amused myself with the memory of a team I played for one year, where I was the goalie (goal-keeper).  As I watched my "forwards" skate about, I thought they were playing so slowly they might as well have been playing underwater.

Then the opposing team got a "three man breakaway"; on me, of course.  (They screwed it up!  And because of that I easily stopped the puck.  Ah, yes... I have lots of great memories playing ice hockey.)

CANADIAN TIRE STORE FLYER

Came home today, checked my mailbox for mail, and pulled out the junk-mail -- some jerk tore off the "No Junk Mail, Please" sticker I had stuck on the box. (I've been too lazy to replace the label.  Hey, it takes a lot of effort to pull out a marker pen, a piece of paper...)

Included within the pile of paper junk was a flyer for Canadian Tire (a big retail chain here in Canada, with an emphasis on automotive stuff, and hardware; but they sell just about everything, it seems).  While I sat down and enjoyed my 'come-down coffee' I leafed through the mini-magazine, enjoying the ads for things I cannot afford -- even though a lot of items appear to me to be very reasonably priced.  One such advert caught my attention: "Replica hockey pucks."  Oh, as opposed to "non-replica hockey pucks"?  Look, it's a hockey puck or it's not a hockey puck.  After that blip, I notice the puck ad is in a little, bottom-of-the-page section titled, "Complete Your Game With The Right Accessories".  What?  A hockey puck is hardly an "accessory".  I've played ice hockey, I know.  A "toque" is an accessory!  A puck is not!

That ice hockey "accessory" hit me in the face once.  I needed stitches.  Then I became a man.


(What Woody Allen film has the line, "I need a Valium the size of a hockey puck!"?  It's a very funny line, delivered by the man himself.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

TWO LITTLE BOYS HAD TWO LITTLE TOYS

Songs from our childhood snap us back whenever we hear the tunes as an adult, or even think about them.

Something, I do not know what, got me thinking of the 1969 hit song "Two Little Boys".  I decided to do something about it...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Little_Boys

... I had not realized the song was that old.  Two Little Boys was written in 1902 by Americans Theodore Morse (music) and Edward Madden (lyrics), and originally achieved popularity with Scottish entertainer Harry Lauder.  The version I know was covered by Rolf Harris, and it became a No. 1 hit in the U.K.

This I did not know, simply because I had forgotten a particular lyric:  The song tells the story of two boys who grow up to fight in the American Civil War.

Next it was a matter of finding out the exact lyrics.  And here they are...

Two little boys had two little toys 
Each had a wooden horse 
Gaily they played each summer day 
Warriors both of course.


One little chap had a mishap 
Broke off his horse's head 
Wept for his toy and cried out the joy 
As his young playmate said.


Do you think I would leave you crying 
When there's room on my horse for two 
Climb up Jack and we'll soon be riding 
I can go just as fast with two.


When we grow up we'll be soldiers 
And our horses will not be toys 
and I wonder we'll remember 
When we were two little boys.


Long years has passed, war came so fast 
one fought the blue the other gray 
Cannons roared loud and in the mad crowd 
wounded and dying there.


Out comes a shot, a horse dashes out 
Out from the ranks so blue 
and it gallops away to where Joe lay 
then came the voice he knew.


Did you think I could leave you dying 
When there's room on my horse for two 
Climb up Joe, we'll soon be flying 
I can go just as fast with two.


Do you say, Joe, I'm a-tremble 
well perhaps is the battle noise 
but I think it's that I remember 
When we were two little boys.

TOM HANKS TO PRODUCE A MAJOR MATT MASON FILM?

When I was a kid, I had two "Major Matt Mason" articulated dolls... actually, the other one was Sgt. Storm, I think (as he had a red spacesuit... Matt's was white).

News came out a while ago -- and I forgot to post when I saw it -- that actor Tom Hanks has been planning to make a big-screen version of the famous spaceman.  (Well, famous when I was a kid.  Don't know what it would mean at the box-office.)


A look at Major Matt Mason...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_Matt_Mason

DAVID FINCHER AT TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA

I found out a few weeks ago that David Fincher is planning a new version of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  Great!... I thought; until I found out that he will be lensing it in 3-D.  No.  Please, no.  My fear is it will not be exhibited at all in 2-D.  That is the bigger issue.

Back in 1997, there were two competing made-for-tv Leagues projects shown within months of each other.  They were both pretty weak.  Ben Cross played Nemo in one of them.  The other telefilm's Nemo was in the form of Michael Caine.  I actually preferred the former production, overall.

Note:  Got a kick out of a bit in article I read; went like this...
"(3-D) will bring Jules Verne's classic novel to life."

... What?  I think the fact that it's a great story should be able to, we hope, handle the "to life" all on its own.  (The average 'entertainment writer' is pathetic. Yep, "3-D" will give Verne's story much needed zip.)


Overview of Jules Verne's novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty_Thousand_Leagues_Under_the_Sea

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

CLEANSED OF THE TORONTO SUN

Just realized today that I no longer check out the Toronto Sun as part of my newspaper reading in the morning.  It's been a few weeks since I last saw the Anger Pages.

Even this self-proclaimed media watchdog sees no purpose in wasting time on an irrelevant 'paper'.

No... not even to check out Toronto Sun comment boards.  I already feel much more enlightened.

Jethro Bodine, who is one of my idols, wouldn't waste his time with that rag.  Don't forget, he's the one with the "sixth grade education".

By the way, how is Sun News Network doing these days?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

RIGHT-WING NEWSPAPER COMMENT BOARDS

A friend got me reading the 'comment' boards on the Toronto Sun website (www.torontosun.com).  Although I will not exaggerate and claim I am always checking them out, they are interesting as some sort of sociological experiment. Or lab.

Do you want to see endless examples of bad grammar and atrocious spelling in one convenient place?  (That's not even counting the amount of "hate" you can see in one location.)

I'm the first to admit that my own scribblings on this blog are sometimes imperfect.  (When I sometimes look back at old postings, I roll my eyes and, for a few minutes, say, "I'm not cut out for this writing stuff".)  But, I produce technical errors once in a while.  Not every other sentence.

My favourite specimen? Even though there is a lot of competition, I managed to pick one. I should prefact by saying the story in particular was about our education system here in Ontario, Canada. Are you ready? Okay...

"AND GO BACK TO SCHOOL MORON!!!"


(I cannot resist... I will follow up to this in a few days.  The serious problem within the above quote, posted to Toronto Sun comment boards, is very common -- every day, in fact.  In just one fairly brief visit to today's on-line paper, I saw a few examples.  By the way, what did angry right-wingers do before newspaper comment boards came along?)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

STAR TREK - "THE SAVAGE CURTAIN" - A LINE


When speaking with a friend recently he said that he had just watched Star Trek on television.  When I asked him which episode it was, he answered with a happy "The Savage Curtain".  He then went on to say that he almost "pissed" himself when Yarnek (the rock creature from the planet Excalbia) said something about 'Zora experimenting with people's chemistry'.  While I did score some laughs from my friend when I tried to quote the line, I decided that one day I would look up the exact wording.  Well, ladies, gentlemen, Trekkies & Trekkers, here is Yarnek's commentary (as the camera shows each of the four villains that Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Surak, and Abraham Lincoln [!] will have to combat)...

"... some of these you may know through history...

"Genghis Khan, for one...

"And Colonel Green; who led a genocidal war early in the 21st century on Earth...

"Zora; who experimented with the body chemistry of subject tribes on Tiburon...

"Kahless the Unforgettable; the Klingon who set the pattern for his planet's tyrannies..."

***

"The Savage Curtain" is a lot of fun.  Yes, it's from Trek's infamous third-season, but "Savage" is still underrated, as far as I'm concerned.  And Phillip Pine is awesome as "Colonel Green".

Great pulp cheese.  But with a strong theme.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

BEST OF BARRY - " 'NEW LEAFS' AGAIN?! " - ORIGINAL POSTING: JUNE 27, 2009

We know what's happened -- or rather, not -- since this original posting...
http://barrysmight.blogspot.com/2009/06/new-leafs-again.html


As a former teacher of mine used to say, "a big, fat, nothing".  Check the Toronto Maple Leafs' record from the last couple of seasons, if you are curious.  They would be 2009/2010, and 2010/2011.  Hint: They did not even make the playoffs; and have not for a few years now.

Even I'm not laughing anymore.

One of the few equally sad stories (to this sports 'dabbler') is when Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy took his team to four consecutive Super Bowl games only to lose on every occasion.  I was actually cheering for him.  (Let us not forget the non-sports case of Susan Lucci.  After many, many Emmy nominations, she finally won the big prize in 1999.  Hey, there's a joke in there: What's the difference between Susan Lucci and the Toronto Maple Leafs?... After many seasons of losing, she finally won the trophy.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

TONY THOMAS ABOUT JERRY GOLDSMITH

Two film people who I greatly admire, and who are no longer with us, are historian Tony Thomas and composer Jerry Goldsmith.

How about the two of them in the same clip?  Thomas hosts a little spot on the famed movie scorer recording a music cue for The Mephisto Waltz (a fine film from 1971, directed by Paul Wendkos) -- the archival 16mm footage that Thomas introduces is culled from a documentary made in the early 1970s, titled The Score.  Other composers profiled in the original were Quincy Jones, Lalo Schifrin, and Hugo Friedhofer. The doc ended with the Goldsmith segment.

Watch the two men do their thing...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpIKaW75ifI

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SHATNER RULES? - HE SURE DOES

The Toronto Star has excerpted a section from William Shatner's new book, "Shatner Rules: Your Guides to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World At Large".

Very interesting; at least to "Bill" fans...
Energize


Like writer Harlan Ellison, and Woody Allen, Shatner has earned a living exclusively from his chosen field.  Neither one of these men had to work, they claim, at a McJob while pursuing their desired careers.

How many of us can say that?

"Shatner Rules" might be fun reading:  As a matter of fact, "Required reading at the Academy."


The Captain Above the Clouds has just produced a feature-length documentary film...
"The Captains is a feature-length documentary I produced in which I traveled around the world and interviewed everyone who has played a captain with the Star Trek canon . . ."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BACK TO THE PREVIOUS `LOOK` - FOR NOW

Hello, dear reader.  I had to go back to the previous design since I was alerted to the fact that a lot of my earlier postings had lighter coloured text -- which all but disappeared against the new white background.  When I get time to fiddle with such details, I will re-update the design.  Again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NEW LOOK - MORE WAYS TO HAVE FUN WITH BARRY

Blogspot now offers "Dynamic" pages.  I have decided to try one of them.

In a way, this design (which I will customize further when I get some time) fits the style of what I write about.  Hope you like it, too.

My own favourite display is 'Magazine', but go ahead, display away.

Here's a thought:  Blogspot should offer "New York Times (from 1900)" page design.  It would look great, I think.  And you would have 20-30 stories starting on the front page.  Complete with newsprint background and 'screeny' pictures.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

THANK YOU, ALL READERS

I started this blog four years ago.  For the most part I've followed a regular pattern of new postings.  Sometimes I'll hear it said "nobody reads blogs" (in general, not specifically my own), and realize that I enjoy doing it; even if my only regular reader were to be my cat when he logs on without me knowing, in the middle of the night.

There are followers to this blog, who I thank, and obviously there are many, many more who would not sign up as a follower, and those who just drop in as part of a general search or surf.

Last week I found out that Blogspot now provides full statistics for their clients.  My reaction after this was with my usual and patented "wow".  Over 15,000 page-views!

My point is, knowing these interesting statistics really makes this whole blog worthwhile.  Thank you all.



Pageviews today: 39
Pageviews yesterday: 39
Pageviews last month: 1,019
Pageviews all time history: 15,237


***

Here are stats from the last month; the top individual posting hits...

1.  Disturbing Magic Roundabout Theme
(April 18, 2010) - 71 Pageviews

2.  Six Million Dollar Man Coming To DVD
(April 21, 2010) - 69 Pageviews

3.  Motown "Jackson 5" Greatest Hits
(June 26, 2009) - 53 Pageviews

4.  R-7 - Superfine Industrial Design
(May 14, 2011) - 31 Pageviews

5.  N1 Rocketa - U.S.S.R. Moon Shot
(May 14, 2011) - 27 Pageviews


... And from today...

1.  Saturday Night At The Movies (Tonight)
(May 10, 2008) - 2 Pageviews

2.  Motown "Jackson 5" Greatest Hits
(June 26, 2009) - 2 Pageviews

3.  Sun TV Amuse
(Sep 19, 2011) - 2 Pageviews

4.  Happy Canada Day - 2011
(Jul 1, 2011) - 1 Pageview

5.  Six Million Dollar Man Coming To DVD
(Apr 21, 2010) - 1 Pageview

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CHROMED STEAL

Is it just me, or is Google Chrome smoother sailing than Internet Explorer when moving down the River Internet?

(I've had Chrome on my laptop for a while and, due to habit, I have always clicked on Explorer when starting my journey.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

SUN TV AMUSE

I have missed Sun News Network (here in Canada) in the last few weeks. Too lazy and cheap to get a converter box for my analogue television.

Good news, and a friend suggested this recently, is that the super news network is available online, here...
http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/watch-live.html

Oh, my. Nothing has changed. Still the amateur outfit it was when I last visited them three weeks ago. Technical glitches galore. (A few weeks ago I had a coffee with a university student friend of mine. He too has noticed the abundance of errors: "It's like, someone just press that GD button!")

It's still loaded. What is more interesting is that the commercials are still the 'block-booking' type: Pet spray; portable cooler; Dr. So-and-So's foot odour shoe insert. There are still no 'regular' commercials. A part of me would like to contact the sales guy, feigning interest in buying air time. Hey, I'll get back to you. It's just too tempting. My guess is he will be very cautious, if not defensive.

Before I go, I must suggest you tune in and seek out, or wait for, the 'remotes'. They are so amateurish that they remind me of when we had to do the same thing back in school, when we booked the Portapack units. Yep, that bad. (When I told this story to a former film/tv student friend of mine, recently, he almost sprayed a mouthful of coffee over me. I must be careful.)

Dear Sun News Network: Fire Alex Pierson. She embarrasses you, and herself. "I thought I was really dumb and not getting it." Heard seconds ago. Hire someone smart and pleasant, like Genevieve Tomney. Maybe your can lure her away from the CBC. Nah, that won't work. Why would she leave a real news organization to take a massive step down?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

TRAVELER/TRAVELLER COMPLAINTS

Normally when I travel, I save most of the complaints for me: "Cripes, why don't you leave for Heathrow at the last minute? It's not as though you risk missing your flight." (Last time I did just that, I got stuck in the middle of the middle of an Air Canada Boeing 747. The guy to my immediate right was just a miserable individual -- or maybe he was smart and wanted nothing to do with me. The guy to my immediate left was an Art History professor, so he was really interesting to speak with since I am no slouch in that area (he seemed to agree with my summation of 'Early Christian Art', with an enthusiastic response). We chatted for the bulk of the flight. Still, it would have been nice to have had a starboard-side window instead of the World's Happiest Man.)

So!... How about people who complain to their travel agents about their recent trip? As detailed in today's Toronto Star, there are some bizarre complaints on record.

My three favourite are these...

* “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England, it only took the Americans three hours to get home.” (Note from Barry: I'm convinced, and have been for years, that many people have never picked up an Atlas. Use the Internet for something besides wanking.)

* “There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad.” (Note from Barry: I'm guessing that the editor of this article replaced "to" with "too".)

* “Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women.” (Note from Barry: No comment.)


Check out the other 17 complaints...
http://www.thestar.com/travel/article/1055019--stupid-travel-complaints

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

LESLIE H. MARTINSON


Two days ago I mentioned the 1963 feature film PT-109. The director was Leslie Martinson. Three years later, Mr. Martinson directed the feature-film-from-a-tv-series, Batman. I saw it again a few years ago. It is actually a fun movie, even to someone like myself who grew up with the classic series (starring the impeccably-cast Adam West and Burt Ward).

"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"

I did not realize that Leslie Martinson was still around...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_H._Martinson

JOHN CALLEY (1930 - 2011)

John Calley, a studio executive who was in the thick of the upheaval in late 1960s American cinema, has died. He was executive at Warner Bros from 1968 to 1981. He more recently spent seven years at Sony Pictures.

Watch a documentary on film directors like Stanley Kubrick or the 'Movie Brats' (George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, etc), and there he is, in all his soft-spoken glory.

He looked like a nice and well-balanced guy, for someone who was in a pressure cooker of a job.


Obit from The Hollywood Reporter...
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/john-calley-dies-at-81-234633

Wikipedia entry on John Calley...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calley

Sunday, September 11, 2011

SARAH SILVERMAN AT TIFF

I only just learned that actor/comedienne/beauty Sarah Silverman is here in Toronto. That's right, she's in Sarah Polley's new film which is premiering at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

Hmmm... the TIFF 'grounds' are mere minutes away by foot.

Gotta go!


Sarah Silverman and Gross Guy...

LESS A TREKKIE (MORE A MAN?)

For someone who considers himself a Star Trek fan (original series only) it's pretty amazing that I had forgotten that the famous show was celebrating its 45th anniversary, on September 8th, until I picked up the Globe and Mail later that day. No folks, I did not have a calendar on the wall with a run-up or countdown to September 8th, 2011, marked in red ink. That surprises even me.

The first episode to air, even though it was not the first one of regular series production (after the two pilots), was "The Man Trap". With great journalistic integrity, not to mention a placement on 'page 2', the Globe printed a frame from the actual episode; and not from one of the movies, which can be the usual lazy photo editor's treatment. (Jeez, I know that but I cannot remember the anniversary. Sorry, my head's been in Jersey Shore these last few months.)

By the way, and it's a big one, although NBC premiered Star Trek on September 8th, 1966, in the United States, here in Canada, CTV beat them to the punch by running "The Man Trap" on September 6th. Americans living near the Canadian border could watch the exciting new NBC color series in "Colour".






A look at Star Trek's 45th...
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/08/scitech/main20103413.shtml

Nice timeline/historical graphic on Trek...
http://www.space.com/12858-star-trek-timeline-science-fiction-infographic.html

CLIFF ROBERTSON (1925 - 2011)

Two days ago I was leafing through the book "Steven Spielberg - a biography" and read a bit on a young Spielberg visiting a soundstage at Universal where the feature film PT-109 was being shot. The tour group was kicked out as cameras were about to roll on an effects scene.

Cliff Robertson played a young John F. Kennedy in PT-109 (1963).

This morning I read the sad news that the 'actor with a long career' passed away yesterday.

I will post something later today when I get more time.


http://www.toronto.com/article/698049--oscar-winner-cliff-robertson-dies-at-88

Saturday, September 10, 2011

3 MOVIES FOR BROTHER BARRY

Things have been slow in, or rather, from, this corner of the Internet. Life is taking over.

However; I have three movies lined up for this weekend. They are...

* Martin (1977)
* A Boy and His Dog (1975)
* Living In Oblivion (1995)


... I'll let you know.

Monday, September 5, 2011

CASSAVETES - A CONSTANT FORGE - CRITERION

Last week I polished off the 200 minute long documentary on super-indie filmmaker John Cassavetes, A Constant Forge - The Life and Art of John Cassavetes.

In typical Criterion style, the production was outstanding and superior. A doc of 2.33 hours might seem like a long time (given that talking-heads can take over the screen), but due to the thousands of stills -- not to mention 16mm film -- taken of Mr. Cassavetes and company over the years, and clips from his movies, the running time is balanced nicely.

I realized while watching A Constant Forge that I have never seen film or photographs of teacher and critic Ray Carney. For some reason I did not picture him like that... more like Oscar Levant, I suppose. Funny how we form mental images of people based on their reputations, careers, and attitudes.

One of my favourite films of Cassavetes' is The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976); as outlined in the doc, it is not exactly considered a highpoint in the director's filmography, critically or otherwise, but for some of us, it's a fine film.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

NO TV AT 4 DAYS

Here in Canada we switched over exclusively to digital broadcast television. As I receive over-the-air signals via rabbit ears and run an 'analogue' (cool name, eh?) television set, I now cannot watch any telly.

That's too darn bad. Not that I watched much before. But....

Friday, August 26, 2011

A DIAMOND AS BIG AS A PLANET

A diamond as big as a planet? Just imagine...
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2090471,00.html?hpt=hp_c2


I have a good name for it: "Carbonetta"

Thank you, Rocket Robin Hood.

(More planets featured in the above series: "Arborea"; "Nocturna"
Of course, when I was a kiddie, those names went over my head.)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

NEW MUNSTERS SERIES?

I used the watch The Munsters (CBS, 1964-1966) when I was a kid. Would I watch it as an adult? I have not seen it in years. The Addams Family (ABC, 1964-1966) still stands up well.

My vote for a new cast... the only person who comes to mind is journalist Andy Rooney, as 'Grandpa Munster'.

One of the most memorable things about The Munsters is the great theme tune by Jack Marshall.


Here is the story...
http://tvguide.ca/TVNews/Articles/110814_munsters_remake_planned_GD

An overview of The Munsters...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Munsters

Saturday, August 13, 2011

TVO ON NORMAN JEWISON

TVO (TVOntario) repeats A Tribute to Norman Jewison tomorrow, Sunday, August 14th, at 6pm.

ERIC MARGOLIS ON TWITTER

I am a fan of writer Eric Margolis: I would read the Toronto Sun rag on Sundays when they used to run his column; now I read his well-informed and opinionated musings on his website (http://www.ericmargolis.com/).

However, I keep forgetting that he is now on Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/ericmargolis).

Dig this comment he made on August 10th regarding China's "new" aircraft carrier...

"US asks China why it needs a just-relaunched used aircraft carrier. What imperial chutzpah! The US has 11 big attack carriers."



... I say, "Good point!"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

CANADIAN TV MIGHT SNOW

Greg Quill of the Toronto Star has written a nice overview to Canada's upcoming switch to 'digital broadcast' tv. Like many Canadians who use an antenna to grab tv broadcasts, I will be S-out-of-luck on August 31st since I do not have the proper equipment to convert the digital encoded signals to my analogue television.

My dilemma is that I can't really justify, right now, the cost of the converter box. (They will retail for about $100.00 including taxes.) I might want to pull out the calculator to work out how much tv I actually do watch, and break it down into dollars and cents; keeping in mind, of course, the point where the investment in a box is paid in full.

An interesting note to all this: American viewers who live near the Canadian border, and who watch and enjoy Canadian stations over-the-air, have been frustrated in the last couple of years -- ever since the U.S. undertook the complete changeover to digital.


The Toronto Star article...
http://www.toronto.com/article/694325--some-canadians-won-t-be-able-to-adjust-their-sets

SOBERING TRUTH RE U.S. POLITICS

I don't often agree with anything that Toronto Sun opinion writer Mark Bonokoski says, including much of what is in his column today regarding the U.S. debt crisis...
http://www.torontosun.com/2011/08/05/usa-home-of-the-broke

... But this point he makes about that great nation's political state-of-affairs, is sobering...

Because of its electoral structure, it is a nation that is forever in election mode, with virtually no breathing room in which to get down to the nation’s business without partisan politics ruling the debate and blowing apart even the sanest of objectives.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

NO AAA FOR USA TODAY

Credit rating agency Standard and Poor (S&P) has lowered the United States of America from a AAA to an AA+ standing.

Scary news indeed, especially for we Canadians. The U.S. is our biggest trading partner.

This morning I was doing my Internet news-site roundup, when it occurred to me to see what right-wing rag Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/) had to say.

The Business end of Fox News had a look into what countries still maintain an AAA rating, tenuously or otherwise. Look at their take on Canada...

2. Canada
> GDP per capita: $39,057.444
Canada has a solid triple-A rating, and its deep trading ties to the U.S. does not jeopardize it, even if the U.S. has a troubled triple-A with a negative outlook. Canada has vast natural resources and its citizens mostly avoided the real estate and debt bubble that hurt the U.S. The population is under 34 million, its GDP is about $1.33 trillion, and public debt at the end of 2010 was a mere 34% or projected GDP. Neither Moody’s nor S&P have any issues with the triple-A ratings and stable outlook, and our take is that Canada is perhaps the safest triple-A rating of all nations in the Western Hemisphere.



Here's the whole piece, from which the above was extracted...
http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/08/05/last-countries-with-triple-ratings-and-those-at-risk-losing-them/

Thursday, August 4, 2011

WELCOME BACK BARRY - FORD QUALITY

By the way, I welcome myself back to the blogfold. I have been (cripes, I almost keyed-in "lazy") busy recently with career stuff -- as in, maintaining some sort of career.

Oh... Rob Ford: Brainless mayor of Toronto. I'll post something soon. His brother, Doug, wants to close a few branches of the Toronto Public Library system. Let's face it, The Fords have probably rarely stepped into a library of any system. And I doubt they read. Sports Illustrated does not count, if you are just looking at the colourful pictures.

Hmm, who would I rather have a coffee or dinner with, The Fords or Margaret Atwood? The question is, who is more my intellectual equal?


(Photo above: "Hi, I'm Rob Ford, and this is my brother Doug." The Wonder Twins.)

FOREIGN HOLLYWOOD FILMS

Yes, why are Hollywood films so bad (lacking) today?

David Ignatius of the Washington Post has something to say about the subject...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/hollywoods-small-screen/2011/08/03/gIQAsyiqsI_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

... We must be careful when using generalizations, but Ignatius is correct. Hollywood has been bad for a while.

Example: Rise of the Apes is an action movie. Hollywood treats everything as an action movie, now. If Citizen Kane were remade today, it would be an action movie.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

FUNNY FUR

I went onto Youtube today; on the main page were the usual recommended videos; noticed one thumbnail image of a cat firing a gun; cool!

Often when I hear about certain video shorts -- those that end up going viral -- being very funny, I am often left kinda cold... at best, left chuckling: The talking dog one from a few weeks ago was like that. Cute, but....

This one, "Medal of Honor Cat", involving a regular ol' pussy cat, albeit one with a crack shot, had me in stitches...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXRX47L_3yE&feature=topvideos_mp


After I watched it, and settled down from my giggle-fit, I decided to check when the clip was put up: July 9, 2011. Wow; it had, by this early this afternoon, gathered over 800,000 views.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

CINEFLIX COMEDY DRAMA

Canadian (low-end) television production company Cineflix is planning to move into the arena of sitcoms and drama.

Good luck. They are asking for trouble. Many a company has ended up in bankruptcy after making such a move. Sitcoms and dramatic television programs are much more expensive to produce, for one thing; a far cry from lifestyle/reality-type fare.

Cineflix can barely put a junky, bottom-of-the-barrel show together -- never mind one with serious scripting and casting considerations.


The Globe and Mail story...
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/television/cineflix-media-makes-a-move-into-tv-drama-and-comedy-production/article2077802/

Saturday, July 2, 2011

IMPECCABLE - WILL AND KATE IN CANADA

'The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge' were in Ottawa yesterday as part of Canada Day celebrations. Since they set foot in this country two days ago, I have spent a few minutes here and there catching up on the royal visit.

One thing I have really noticed: William and Catherine are note perfect. They were meant to be together, and to fill the role of Modern Royalty.


The Globe and Mail...
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/royal-couple-wind-down-canada-day-with-a-concert-on-parliament-hill/article2083489/page1/

Thursday, June 30, 2011

SOL KAPLAN'S "THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE" - DOCUMENTARY PIECE

"The Doomsday Machine" is one of the best episodes of the original Star Trek series. This status, according to us Trekkers, is helped in no small way by composer Sol Kaplan's superb symphonic score.

On a theme(s)...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61Bu7bmz17E&feature=player_embedded

MORE SUN NEWS

Popped Sun News Network on a few minutes ago, just to convince myself that I was dreaming.

No.

There was an outside remote: The host (the weather girl, I think) had her microphone; she interviewed a cool-looking dude who was grilling meat on the barbecue; the floor director made an appearance, to chomp on some beef.

Painful. Absolutely painful. (Dr. Smith used to say, "the pain... the pain". Like that.)

Total beeping Amateur Hour. The most professional, and charming, person was the barbecue guy. Hire the man. Please. Do something right.

Seriously, folks. You have to tune in for even a few minutes -- anywhere, anytime!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

POSTING NUMBER 1000 (+1)

My previous posting (A FRED STEINER ALBUM) was number 1000! It came and went with (a) little fanfare.

A FRED STEINER ALBUM

Fred Steiner's re-recording, with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, of the Max Steiner score for King Kong (1933)...



Steiner's recordings, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, of suites adapted from Star Trek (1966-1969)... some his own scores and one from Sol Kaplan ("The Doomsday Machine"). These performances lack the fire and swagger of the original recordings done for the show, and suffer a bit from the 'concertized' sound and tempo, but they are worth listening to if you want to hear outstanding dramatic music written for a television series...



... And various scores his own ("Mirror, Mirror", and "By Any Other Name"), and from others (Jerry Fielding's "The Trouble With Tribbles", and George Duning's "The Empath")...

COMPOSER FRED STEINER DIES

Just heard the sad news that Hollywood film and television composer Fred Steiner passed away a few days ago at the age of 88.

Not only did he write much of the superb music for Star Trek (1966 - 1969), but he was highly regarded for his academic research.

One film score he admired, was Max Steiner's King Kong (1933). As a matter of fact, Fred (who was no relation to Max) recorded an adaptation of the score back in 1976 with the National Philharmonic Orchestra. I have the LP... it is a wonderful performance of dramatic film music, energetically conducted by Fred Steiner.

More thoughts on Mr. Steiner, soon....


Obituary in the L.A. Times...
http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-fred-steiner-20110625,0,7265403.story
And Variety...
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118039133?refCatId=14

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DIM SUN

Further to my previous post, LACKING SUN (WATTAGE)...

Margie Gillis is beautiful.

Krista Erickson is ugly. (Watch the video and observe how angry she gets at around the 7 or 8 minute mark; someone has an axe to grind! There is nothing wrong with asking the question, but to do so with such emotionalism is... revealing. It's great!)

What was I saying about a "train wreck"?

LACKING SUN (WATTAGE)

This self-proclaimed media watchdog tunes in to Sun News Network almost daily for a few minutes; I'm not so sure it is about monitoring a self-proclaimed news organization, but more a case of enjoying a train wreck.

Now I'm sure: Sun News is staffed by incompetent fools. Top. To. Bottom.

How the heck did over 4,000 people submit complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council regarding an interview that Grand Dame Creepy Clown Krista Erickson held with Canadian dancer Margie Gillis, when only about 5,000 people were even watching? (By the way, the Bonzo-Brainless Sun network is getting lousy numbers. More about that in a future posting.) I'm acting stupid -- a specialty of mine -- as no doubt word spread, people watched the segment, and acted.

Read this in the Toronto Star, and make sure to watch the video in question...
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1016306--sun-news-interview-elicited-record-complaints-says-watchdog?bn=1#article

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

32" STAR TREK U.S.S. ENTERPRISE MODEL KIT FOR 2012

A friend saw my "phaser" postings and thought I might want to know about this...
http://toynewsi.com/index.php?itemid=17317

From the above link...

"Polar Lights, a brand of Round 2 LLC, is developing what is considered to be the “holy grail” of science fiction modelers everywhere: a 1:350scale Star Trek the Original Series U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 plastic model kit. The highly demanded kit will measure over 32” long and will be accurately detailed to reflect the 11’ filming model used in the production of the classic TV show."


***

What do I add besides a racing heartbeat?


(Apparently the SRP [Suggested Retail Price] for the "Premiere Edition" will be $149.99. Not too bad, considering the kit size.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

BEST OF BARRY - "THE DISORDERLY ALIENS" - ORIGINAL POSTING: APRIL 27, 2010

Now that I'm talking about hand phasers again; time to revisit an earlier posting...
http://barrysmight.blogspot.com/2010/04/disorderly-aliens.html

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a copy of physicist Stephen Hawking's best-selling book "A Brief History of Time". I wonder if he touches on the issue in this book that he now warns us about: The possibility of interstellar hoodlums wanting to come visit Sol-3, with the intent of doing us harm.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

VANCOUVER CANUCKS LOSE (I KNEW THEY WOULD) - GIMME PHASER 2

The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup last night by beating the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 4 - 0, in game seven. I knew Boston would win it all... realized after game three that it was fate.

Having said that, the big talk today is what happened in Vancouver after the game -- the mindless and senseless violence. No surprise. Admittedly, the problem was started and carried out by a few... hooligan's. No brains: "Take pictures of me being violent!"

I e-mailed this note to a friend today regarding the hooligans...

Re: the Vancouver riots. I wish there was such thing as a hand phaser. Give me one and I'll mow 'em all down! "Oh, shit! Someone left it on dematerialisation!"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

MANUFACTURED MOVIES - TRUE BELIEVER

Sometimes you watch a movie -- generally the Hollywood kind -- and you are able to sense jokes and plot points seconds or minutes before they happen; or twists and surprises which are neither. True Believer (1989) is such an example. I watched it this evening on TVO's "Saturday Night at the Movies".

True Believer stars James Woods and Robert Downey Jr., two actors I like very much, and they get to do their thing here, but the movie is a little bit too much 'manufactured'.


Wikipedia file on True Believer...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Believer_(1989_film)

STYRENE IS A CARCINOGEN, MAN?

It seems that styrene -- used to make polystyrene -- is a possible carcinogen. All those plastic model kits -- made of polystyrene -- I made as a youth may not have done my organic system a lot of good. And this does not include the wonderfully intoxicating "Polystyrene Cement"... Testors brand for me.

I remember the day I used a knife to cut off the nose of a De Havilland 'Mosquito' kit (Airfix brand) in order to model a fighter variant of that famous aircraft. The smell of sawed-off polystyrene, coupled with the aroma of special cement. Mmm, mmm, good.


A potential contributor to my weirdness...
http://www.healthzone.ca/health/newsfeatures/cancer/article/1006806--styrene-added-to-list-of-possible-carcinogens?bn=1

Thursday, June 9, 2011

CORONATION STREET X 2 = CBC, THIS FALL

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) announced recently that they will be eliminating Wheel of Fortune from this Fall's week-day evening schedule and replacing it with another episode of Coronation Street. This will mean an hour of the Brit soap... 6:30pm and then again at 7:00.

Good news for Canadian (and some U.S.) "Corrie" fans. From what I understand, as it stands right now there is about an eight month delay in seeing the "current" episodes here in Canada.

Good, when yet another character gets 'the chop', we can see it sooner! (Forgetting, for a moment, the power of the Internet to close the gap.)

***

"Did you hear that Morrie Smith got murdered?"

"What, again?! I thought he was murdered before."

"No, no... let me explain...."


The Toronto Star bit on back-to-back Corrie on CBC this Fall...
http://www.toronto.com/article/688456--wheel-of-fortune-replaced-by-double-dose-of-corrie-st-in-cbc-fall-line-up

BEST OF BARRY - "FILM MUSIC STORIES" - ORIGINAL POSTING: DECEMBER 24, 2008

Time to see The Philadelphia Story again as it has been a while. I was sure I mentioned the George Cukor-directed classic film in a previous posting. This picture, released in 1940, starred little known actors by the names of Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart.

Back to, not 1940, but 2008...
http://barrysmight.blogspot.com/2008/12/franz-waxman.html

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

GAME FOUR: BOSTON BRUINS 4 - VANCOUVER CANUCKS 0

What happened to Vancouver? Actually, it's more a case of what has happened to Boston. After that cheap hit during the first period of game three, which put Boston forward Nathan Horton out of action with a severe concussion, the Bruins went berserk!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

HOW STUPID IS SARAH PALIN?

Sarah Palin is so stupid that she would stand in the United States Senate and hold a red octagonal sign, with the printed words: "Stop Harper!"

BEST OF BARRY - "TORCHWOOD" - ORIGINAL POSTING: OCTOBER 29, 2007

It occurred to me the other day that I have heard nothing lately about the Brit telefantasy series Torchwood.

Check out my feelings when the issue was hot and heavy...
http://barrysmight.blogspot.com/2007/10/torchwood.html

LIONS, TIGERS, AND PALINS, OH MY!

What can I say about Sarah Palin that has not been said before in regards to her mind-numbing lack of knowledge?

Her insistence that Paul Revere (basically an American brand name) "warned the British" (?!) is most illogical.


I'll pass 'er over to Eugene Robinson, columnist for The Washington Post...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/sarah-palins-revisionist-ride/2011/06/06/AGVMGbKH_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

Monday, June 6, 2011

2011 STANLEY CUP FINAL - GAME THREE RESULT

Game three, of the Stanley Cup final round, between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins finished five minutes ago.

Vancouver won games one and two by just one goal each; the game tonight was a blow-out... Boston 8, Vancouver 1.

Goodbye Canucks!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

BEST OF BARRY - "VANCOUVER CANUCKS LOGO" - ORIGINAL POSTING: FEB 9, 2008

For a while now I have been thinking of doing a regular "Best of Barry" feature. (I use the term loosely.) Not that I am too lazy to post -- I have done close to 1000 entries since I started blogging four years ago -- but unfortunately a lot of stuff gets lost in the archives; especially to newer readers who, for obvious reasons want to maintain a sense of sanity.

As it is the season of NHL playoff action, coupled with the fact that the Vancouver Canucks is vying for the Stanley Cup, I thought the time right to make the following posting, from February 9th, 2008, the first entry for "Best of Barry"...
http://barrysmight.blogspot.com/2008/02/vancouver-canucks-logo.html

PAGE BABE - FOLLOW-UP

I'm happy that Canadian Senate Page Protester Brigette DePape protested in a peaceful way. But, I admit a side of me regrets that she didn't toss something Herr Harper's way before being escorted out of the chamber... like a pineapple. Fruit always gets attention.

I have since learned that Ms. DePape is an actor and performance artist. She says she wanted to protest in a "creative" way. Good for her. (For those right-wing loony-tunes, do not fret, or get angry, as difficult as that may be for you.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

PAGE BABE - CANADIAN SENATE

As printed on the Toronto Star website today, a news bit from 'The Canadian Press'...

OTTAWA—The Harper government's first throne speech under a majority mandate hit a slight snag today.

A lone female protester — dressed like a Senate page — quietly walked to the centre of the red chamber and held up a sign reading "Stop Harper."


***

This woman is my personal Goddess. I'm in love.


More of the story...
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1002515--rogue-page-disrupts-throne-speech-with-harper-protest?bn=1

Thursday, June 2, 2011

CN TOWER'S EDGE WALK ALREADY

The CN Tower, here in the amazing city of Toronto, Canada, is ready to open its "EdgeWalk" attraction. Apparently, the bookings/reservations are already becoming backed-up. The first release is on August 1st.

I get dizzy looking at the CN Tower, never mind being willingly suspended on the upper edge of its "Space Deck".

Perhaps it is time to buy shares in Fruit of the Loom, if not "Depends".


The story of insanity as described by the Toronto Star...
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1001225--cn-tower-edgewalk-overwhelmed-by-high-demand?bn=1

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

CANUCKS VS BRUINS

Well, hockey fans, from coast to coast. Tonight: The Boston Bruins visit the Vancouver Canucks for game one of the Stanley Cup final best-of-seven. (Best 3 of 5 is really what it should be.)

Do not get excited, Canucks fans.

Barry predicts that Boston will win the series, therefore the Stanley Cup (the most beautiful trophy in professional team sports), 4 games to 2.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

BILL MASTERTON

Just yesterday I was thinking about how NHL player Bill Masterton of the Minnesota North Stars died as the result of striking the back of his head on the ice during a game back in January of 1968.

Those were the days when very few players wore helmets.


A look back at that terrible day in ice hockey, in today's Toronto Star...
http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/998665--star-investigation-what-really-killed-nhl-s-bill-masterton?bn=1

Thursday, May 26, 2011

SARAH PALIN SAYS WHAT?

Have you seen U.S. conservative politician Sarah Palin speak, in person or on telly? What is it she is trying to say? It's all in code, if you listen carefully...

She wants to "shore up". "Shore up."

CANDIDE, CANDIDE, WHERE ARE YOU?

Last night I spent a few minutes copying some music CDs to my computer's hard drive.

Then it hit me: I do not recall seeing Candide since moving three years ago. Leonard Bernstein's Candide; where John Williams got his "Luke and Leia" theme.

When I get more time, I will look for Bernstein.

SUN NEWS EMOTIONAL RESPONSE

This news watchdog has an admission to make. When I tune in to Canada's Sun News Network, I always end up feeling... pathos.

They are so pathetic. Your heart goes out to them.

The only person I have any respect for is Pat Bolland. (I remember watching his early morning biz reports, a few years ago.) However, the man is surrounded by amateurs.

STAN MIKITA

While doing my morning news roundup I learned that former NHL (National Hockey League) player Stan Mikita is being treated for 'Stage 1' oral cancer.

I remember that great Chicago Blackhawks team from the early 1970s: Jim Pappin, Bill White, Tony Esposito, Pit Martin, Keith Magnuson, Chico Maki, Dennis & Bobby Hull, and "the rest"...

Of course, for you movie fans, Stan Mikita was immortalized in Wayne's World (1992): "Stan Mikita's" donut shop was a play on "Tim Horton's".


The Globe and Mail...
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks-great-stan-mikita-diagnosed-with-tongue-cancer/article2033466/

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

SARAH PALIN - THE MOVIE?

Conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon has bankrolled, to the tune of 1 million dollars, a two-hour movie about conservative clown Sarah Palin.

As Stewie Griffin would say, this is too easy:

I ask, quite innocently, will there be subtitles?

In no time flat someone will give this magnum opus the What's Up, Tiger Lily? treatment. Guaranteed to put you on the floor!

As Sam Kinison might have said, let's watch...
http://www.toronto.com/article/686642--palin-commissions-2-hour-film-about-herself-to-launch-presidential-run-report

Sunday, May 22, 2011

VON TRAP

The answer to my earlier posting regarding the Family Guy take on Star Wars - Return of the Jedi (IT'S A TRAP! REALLY?!) is: It was okay. Nothing special.

The SW prequel films are asking for the royal treatment next, even if they are parodies of themselves.

Episodes I, II, and III are crap. A colossal and tragic waste of man-hours; making them, and watching them.

SARAH PALIN SPEAKS METAPHORICALLY

Sarah Palin speaks metaphorically, without realizing what it is that she is actually doing, when she says that she has "the fire in my belly" to take a run for U.S. prez.

Now, if only she had the brains in her head.


An article on Ms. Palin that she probably would not be able to make heads or tails of...
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/20/sarah-palin-has-the-%e2%80%98fire-in-my-belly%e2%80%99-for-prez-run/?fire-in-my-belly?-for-prez-run/?hpt=Sbin

IT'S A TRAP! REALLY?!

One day last week I was in "my local video store" when I noticed a certain DVD on the shelf: It's a Trap!

I knew that a takeoff on Star Wars - Return of the Jedi was being planned for the animated TV series Family Guy, but I could not understand why I had missed it on first broadcast. (I had seen that series' spins on A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back when they hit the airwaves.)

When I got home later I happened to learn from http://www.zap2it.com/ that this week's episode of Family Guy is "It's a Trap!"

Suddenly I was confused... I'll just leave it at that, and tune in Global (television network) at 7 o'clock tonight. (Fox premieres the episode later, at 9pm.)


ONE BRILLIANT GUY, THAT ISAAC

Isaac Newton died almost three-hundred years ago; he figured out so much -- that still holds true today.

A remarkable man. I can't even figure out why my cat sometimes ignores me. Admittedly, Sir Isaac probably tried that equation and came up empty.


Notes on Newton...
http://www.newton.ac.uk/newtlife.html

NEWTONIAN PHYSICS FOR 2060

Yesterday's non-events reminded me of a prediction that famed physicist Sir Isaac Newton made regarding the year 2060.

I took a moment to find a good overview...
http://www.isaac-newton.org/update.html

So, does this mean that we have roughly 48.55 years left of existence-bliss before the Big Day? Something like that....

Saturday, May 21, 2011

END RAPTURE

The end of the world was today? Awesome!

Hold on a minute... why am I able to write this? You'd think the communications grid would have gone down if there was a 'Judgement Day'. We'd probably get billed for it anyway.

Another lunatic spoke today (besides me).

I remember back in the Spring of 1976 when the same thing was predicted. After school I hung around with a friend for the countdown; we put out our plastic 'army men', not to play with but to use as a first alert. We figured if they started melting then we would not have to worry about doing our homework anymore. I walked home late that night, disappointed.

From here on in -- to the real end of the world -- let's ignore these clownish biblical scholars and just go about our business of heavy drinking and cavorting. A life of sin. Frak, yah!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ABC FALL LINEUP - 2011

Ad executives and members of the press were gathered at the Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, yesterday, to get the pitch from television network ABC. It was a first look at what the corp thinks the public will want to sit down and watch this coming Autumn. The lead-in to cooler temperatures.

The Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes was one of the press, and her copy is at times so honest that you feel for the ABC pitch people -- including Tim Allen -- when they drum-roll their bits only to be acknowledged with an unenthusiastic applause. "Polite applause."

Some of the programs to come are a mix of the old (Charlie's Angels), and the 'please, not another one'. I'm referring to a Lost-like show... which leads to my favourite funny line from Ms. de Moraes: "In truth, it’s a sort of Lost meets Brigadoon meets Disney animation licensing lawyers."


Article in the Washington Post...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/tv-column-from-disney-characters-to-tim-allen-its-a-brand-new-small-world-after-all-at-abc/2011/05/17/AFGFI35G_story.html?nl_headlines

Monday, May 16, 2011

A SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE PREMISE

After posting my previous entry (SUPER 8 - FILM), I got thinking. (Duck.)

I came up with what I think is a cool science fiction movie premise: omitted

As Woody Allen said in one of his early stand-up acts: "It'll make millions!"

SUPER 8 - FILM

Minutes ago, I finished watching an episode of Family Guy. As I was ready to press the television's "off" button a trailer for a feature film played.

For some reason I felt like I had seen this kind of movie 20,000 times before. What's with the James Horner-type score? (Sounds an awful lot like his music to 1985's Cocoon.)

Then I discovered why everything felt well-worn... even in trailer form: Super 8 is "A Steven Spielberg Production, A J.J. Abrams Film."

Click.

Double click.

YABBA DABBA DO!

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane wants to make a new Flintstones television series...
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/sns-rt-television-us-flinttre74f7z3-20110516,0,948505.story

Like many of my generation, The Flintstones was required viewing... every day... at lunchtime. In my case, courtesy of station CFTO.

Go, Seth!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

WALLACE MCCAIN DIES

Canadian frozen-foods magnate Wallace McCain died today at the age of 81.

I never met the man even though I have long been fascinated by him and his empire, McCain Foods Limited. He and his sons got into a big legal power-play a few years ago over control of the highly successful "McCain's" brand. (I can't remember if Wallace's brother Harrison was involved or not.)

About ten years ago I worked for a guy who was a former corporate exec. I had to ask him: "Do you know Wallace McCain?" He rolled his eyes, finished taking a puff of his cigar, and answered, "Wallace McCain's a..."

McCain was probably a great man in many ways.

R-7 - SUPERFINE INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

As I referenced in my previous post (SERGEI KOROLEV - RUSSIAN ROCKET MAN) the 'R-7' rocket is a favourite of mine; including from an industrial design perspective.


Yuri Gagarin is rocketed into space aboard Vostok 1.



The R-7 rocket family with off-shoots.


Wikipedia article on the R-7 family...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-7_family

WONDER WOMAN IS CANCELLED BY NBC

David E. Kelley's take on Wonder Woman is not going "to series". The pilot was screened for NBC execs who decided to save their money. Word is the reaction was lukewarm.

Maybe Siffy (SyFy) will pick it up.


The news...
http://www.reelzchannel.com/movie-news/10321/david-e-kelleys-wonder-woman-tv-series-is-d-o-a/

SERGEI KOROLEV - RUSSIAN ROCKET MAN

Bit by bit, page by page, I'm making my way through the excellent and revealing book, Space Race: The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union For Dominion of Space.

Sergei Pavlovich Korolev was the brilliant designer and organizer of the early Russian space program. His greatest creation, in my own opinion, is the 'R-7' rocket booster. It launched Sputnik 1, Yuri Gagarin, and many a satellite. Not only that, but the basic idea, that of strap-on booster rockets, is still used to this day.

Korolev lived a roller coaster of a life; one with too many heart-breaking moments.

Here is a fine article on Sergei Korolev, written by James Harford...
http://www.cosmos-club.org/web/journals/1998/harford.html


(Photo above: Sergei Korolev, right, with Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.)

N1 ROCKETA - U.S.S.R. MOON SHOT

Back in the 1960s, and early 1970s, the Soviets were developing a major booster rocket as part of their own project to land cosmonauts on the moon. Woefully underfunded, not to mention being behind the Americans who started designing the "Saturn V" about four years earlier, in 1962, the N1 was beset by problems, chiefly the engines. When the final design was settled on, the "first stage" booster had 30 separate engines. By comparison, the Saturn V had just five. You don't have to be a mathematician to understand that you are increasing your chances of an engine failure (to whatever degree) by six times. Having to synchronize so many engines is perhaps the greater problem.

It was more complicated than that, of course, but the end result was not only were the Russians not able to put a man on the moon -- thwarted in a big way by the death of chief rocket designer Sergei Korolev in January of 1966 -- but the rocket itself was not even put successfully into an L.E.O. (low Earth orbit). As a matter of fact, one rocket exploded on the launch pad -- a major disaster, but luckily nobody was killed. (Keep in mind that a rocket detonating at such an early part of the flight is a major event. The fuel tanks are topped-off.)

The last attempt at uploading an N1 was done in 1972... the program was finally cancelled two years later.

Details on the N1 rocket were not made public until 1990.


This looks like something out of a Gerry Anderson show, such as Thunderbirds.



Yeah, it looks like model-work that Derek Meddings would have done for Thunderbirds. You can almost imagine the Airfix kit parts. And the brilliant, joyous, and almost martial-like, Barry Gray music accompanying all the above photos.


Article on the N1, comparing it with the American Saturn IV rocket...
http://www.space.com/10763-soviet-moon-rocket-infographic.html

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

SARAH SILVERMAN - THE GOOD WIFE

I had never heard of the CBS television drama series The Good Wife until I read today that funny-beauty Sarah Silverman is a guest star on tonight's episode; which is a good reason for me to become familiar with the show.

I will tune in to Global television at 10:00pm.

Interesting how this works.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

SPADINA - SPADEENA

Interesting observation, I have made and will state: Torontonians pronounce major Toronto length-of-pavement, Spadina (includes "Road" [north of Bloor Street] and "Avenue" [south of Bloor Street]), as "Spa-dye-na", while many tourists to this great city say the word as "Spa-dee-na".

The joke is, "Spa-dee-na" is actually the proper pronunciation.

I told you my observation would be "interesting".

THOR REVIEW - BY 'J-MAN'

Fellow blogger "J-Man" posted this review of the new movie, Thor...
http://thefantomzone.blogspot.com/2011/05/whosoever-holds-this-hammer-if-he-be.html

I have not seen this film yet and therefore have not experienced its 3-D pleasures, but, in principle, J-Man is right about 3-D.

By the way, J-Man's blog (www.thefantomzone.blogspot.com) is a good one... anyone who reviews giant-monster films is cool. Go Gamera!

Friday, May 6, 2011

TORONTO FC AND EDMONTON



On Wednesday evening I attended my first Toronto FC football match in two years (almost to the day). This game -- Toronto versus Edmonton -- was much better than the last one I saw at BMO Field. Beautiful goal by "a Toronto FC player" in the first half, which ended up being unanswered to give Toronto the win.

Two observations...

1. The real grass is so much better than the greasy plastic carpet which used to represent the 'field'.

2. It was a good night for the players: Cool but not cold.

BELL TV AND SUN TV NEWS

Canada's Bell Satellite TV recently dumped upstart channel Sun News Network from their package. Some subscribers are upset; they are threatening to go elsewhere.

To be honest, viewership for Sun News is very small, and the few who would decide ultimately to dump Bell as their 'tv addiction supplier' hardly constitutes a threat.

It's all about the numbers.

I have no love for Bell Canada, but facts are facts.


The story...
http://www.thestar.com/business/article/984969--sun-news-pulled-from-bell-satellite-tv

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

JD ROUETTE TWEETS - MAY 3, 2011

I've put in my observations and two-cents worth regarding the elections here in Canada. Try these tweets from friend JD Rouette...
http://twitter.com/#!/jdrouette

"... by a long-horned sheep"? That sounds painful.

IN THE MORNING

The elections in Canada were historic. The NDP formed the "official opposition" (to the Conservative Party of Canada).

I admit that I'm not too disappointed by the result: The fact is Canada's economy, on balance, in comparison those of other countries, is in pretty good shape. Not that the Conservatives are the reason why this is so, but why screw with things?

Voter turnout was much lower than what was expected -- based on the high advance polling numbers: Just over 60% of eligible voters turned out to cast their say. (In 1993 the number was around 74%.)

The Bloc Quebecois has been all but vapourized.

Michael Ignatieff and his Liberals have taken third place; they have not formed the opposition for the first time since Confederation. Bring in Justin Trudeau!

Oh, Canada!


About last night and yesterday...
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/harper-finally-wins-majority-as-ndp-surges-into-opposition/article2006635/

Monday, May 2, 2011

A CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY

I popped on the television to the CBC and saw that the Conservatives have a "majority" win. The number of seats needed for a majority is 155... the Conservatives had 166 at the point of my tuning in. Not to dismiss this result, and I won't, but the stunning part of all this is the fact that the NDP party has so far -- the votes out west are still being counted -- captured 105 seats (!). Wow! Of course, this is fluid, and the final tallies will not be known for a couple of hours.

The Liberal Party of Canada will be in rebuild mode.

Congrats to Stephen Harper. I do not like him and a lot of his policies, but it does not matter. Canadians voted. It will be interesting to see how many eligible voters did the deed....

CANADA VOTES TODAY

Okay. Fellow Canadians of voting age: Today is the day. Let's look good. (And that is a tall order for me.)

Some Canadians have called this country "the best in the world". We are not known for such impudicity, so let's prove that Canada is a great nation. Talk is cheap, and a trip to the voting booth is almost as easy.


Tim Harper of the Toronto Star...
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/983823--tim-harper-get-ready-to-watch-history-unfold-on-election-day?bn=1

Sunday, May 1, 2011

OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD

Breaking news...
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/983864--al-qaeda-leader-osama-bin-laden-dead?bn=1

I don't know what it really means outside of the symbolic aspect. The year is 2011.

U.S. Special Forces have Bin Laden's body, but they should handle it with care... a lot of U.S. money was invested in that thing.

Someone is now a martyr.

MACKENZIE BOWELL?!

Maybe it's the fact that tomorrow is election day here in Canada, that I checked a list of Canadian Prime Ministers. (Wikipedia is good for this sort of thing. Almost all of those guys lived to old age.)

While I consider myself to be a very patriotic Canadian, even I admit I'm not up on a lot of relevant things that I should. Going through the list made me realize I don't know much about some of our top leaders: Yes, Canada's first Prime Minister was Sir John A. Macdonald. I know about Tupper, Borden, King, and of course the more recent ones like Pearson, Trudeau, and Mulroney.

But... MacKenzie Bowell?! I've never heard of him. That's like thinking you know the names to all the episodes of one of your favourite television shows and, while looking over a list, stumbling across... "The Enterprise Factor"?!


Wikipedia entry on Canadian Prime Minister Sir Mackenzie Bowell...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mackenzie_Bowell
... and Canadian Prime Ministers...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Prime_Ministers_of_Canada

Saturday, April 30, 2011

SUN TV NEWS NOT THAT BAD

The highly anticipated arrival of Canada's Sun News Network has been a mixed bag: No, it is not a "Fox News North"; no, it's not an unofficial "mouthpiece for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives"; as for being "on your side", well, it doesn't really do that either. All said and done, it's another... news network. And hardly one that talks about 'issues nobody else will touch'. That pompous and often repeated line is nonsense. I have not seen a single story where I'm thinking, "Wow, nobody else would dare cover this!"

So, is Sun News a disappointment? Probably. It does not push any boundaries in the profession of journalism here in Canada (and it certainly will not single-handedly send the CBC's news division packing), nor would it impress the average angry right-winger who is looking for a channel where "Socialists", "Liberals", "Lie-berals" (I just love that one, from the brainless twit), and "Commies" get raked over the coals 60 times an hour. Far from it. (By the way, don't you love name-calling? If those right-wing, loony-toons, wingatics spent as much time readin' as they do dispensin' insultin' words they don't even understand, they might actually advance intellectual-like.)

Maybe Sun News is a disappointment as it is getting terribly low ratings -- odd for a new channel, where what often happens is ratings are very high, even if they drop over time and rest. Sun did have okay numbers in the first half hour, to carry over the next day or so, but after that it was a big plummet job. Even hot-head Ezra Levant is getting very low audience counts... 19,000 for Canada-wide is pathetic. And those are the high numbers. The average is around 4 to 5 thousand. (It's not for lack of coverage; Sun is carried by many cable companies, plus it is offered over-the-air on the 'old' SunTV spot of channel 52, UHF, in the Toronto broadcast area.)

From a technical standpoint, the channel is amateurish; looking like 'community access television', more often than not. The news set is junk. More suited for an Entertainment Tonight-type show than a news network. Now that I think about it, Sun News does look kinda....

We'll see how long they continue in this mode. After all, it is very tempting to turn it up a notch when blessed with continually low ratings. As a friend said to me after I told him that I was impressed that Sun News was "not that bad" and explained why: "Yet..."

We'll see.