Sunday, March 31, 2013


More interesting 'cable access' on Youtube: "Star Trek Winnipeg: Episode 1."  By the way, here in Canada we call Cable Access, "Community Television".

"Star Trek Winnipeg" was just that; fans based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The vid is from 1980, and since Star Trek: The Motion Picture was just months old at that point, there are references to the film including the host's uniform and Jerry Goldsmith's superb theme music (which was later matched inaptly to the mediocre series Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Ah, yes, to be a genuine "Trekkie"; check out the video (part one of three) and you will get a diploma program...

It would be interesting to find out what happened to these Trek people: Dean Naday and Hans Goldfuss. What course in life did they end up taking?....


While on Youtube a few days ago I keyed "cable access television" into the site's search-bar. Some interesting videos came up (oh, really?), one of which was something called "Henrietta and Merna Can't Sing - Go Tell It On The Mountain".  I watched but didn't laugh; I was more fascinated than anything, by two people who were obviously genuine. (Henrietta, during her solos, comes very close to swinging into "Oh! Susanna".) My reaction was more along the lines of, "this is sweet".

Singer Justin Bieber is in the news today as he might be charged with 'battery' for allegedly spitting on his neighbour. I ask: Who is more genuine?... Justin Bieber, or Henrietta & Merna Neudorf?

Watch this at two o'clock in the morning; I haven't yet but just might...

The uploader of the above video is Youtube user "CGE-TV Winnipeg". He's got some interesting-looking stuff on there. I will explore, later.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Dear Sirs,

I understand the Sun News Network will soon be going out of business. I'm sending this note to get first dibs on any broadcast equipment you may be selling off.

Too bad you couldn't make it work at all. You had a broadcast licence and you were unable to produce even the simplest competent television program.

It goes to show you that 'talent' is key, and, unfortunately for you, simple-mindedness, anger and hostility do not increase viewership beyond the built-in plebeian faithful.


Barry F. Smight

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Another posting on artist Juan Ortiz's retro Star Trek posters (from company QMx). Instead of popping every poster into this blog, I decided to pick a few of my favourites -- difficult given that I like them all. Below...

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Normally when I read the Washington Post, before I scan the news headlines, I look for the juicy high-brow stuff. The kind that comes from the pen of George F. Will or Charles Krauthammer, their right-wing leanings be darned.

One headline in Friday's Post, the website, was this; "Smart Mouth: Native American dining in Toronto."

I had to investigate further.

The piece was written by Boston-based writer Steve Jermanok; he writes a daily blog called

I say that because I am going to crib-quote a section from his WP story...

"Once a staple for Lewis and Clark, pemmican was the protein powder of yesteryear, dried bison crushed into a concentrate and mixed with cooked fat upon dining. [chef] Bear Robe’s version is far more appealing: tender strips of bison marinated in a mahogany sauce and topped with peas and Saskatoon berries (blueberries with a bit more tang), served atop pan-fried bread."

I am so there!

"There" is...

Keriwa Cafe
1690 Queen St. West, (just east of Roncesvalles)


Artist Juan Ortiz was commissioned by CBS to illustrate 'retro' posters for all the episodes of the television series Star Trek (1966-69). His efforts are impressive. (All posters are 18 x 24 in size.)

Here are the four posters from "Star Trek: The Original Series Art Prints - Set 4", from QMx...

QMx website...

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Reading the Toronto Star online this morning alerted me to the fact there is a new (International) trailer for the upcoming movie, Star Trek Into Darkness. The headline leading to the article said: "new trailer is the best thing of the day."

Really? By who's measure? (Psst: It's only a movie. "Get a life.")

Anyway, here is the trailer... which I have yet to watch. If my day ends up being a disappointment, I'll watch a trailer which, apparently, will make my day...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


The "History Channel" is currently airing a miniseries on the holy bible; The Bible. On Sunday night, viewers got their first look at Satan. (I guess in future trivia circles a question might go like this: "In what episode of 'The Bible' did the character of 'Satan' make his first appearance?")

What struck many viewers was the more than passing resemblance to the current president of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

After noticing the headline "Does Satan actor in 'The Bible' look like Obama?" in this morning's Washington Post, I decided to visit the article. "Holy... he does look like Obama." ("And that outfit makes him look like a kind of 'Darth Obama'.")

In the role of Satan is Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazanni; I don't know what he looks like without the makeup styling done on him in The Bible, but in this case he does certainly bare more than a passing resemblance to the 44th president of the U.S.A.

I'm a fan of Obama. Satan is not rendered in this History Channel Special the way I've always imagined him as looking. Isn't he supposed to look really mean, and evil? Here he looks more like a merchant dealer in kevas and trillium.

What I do find amusing is the fact that the miniseries' producers, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, are denying the Doppelganger bit in their show. They are quoted as saying in the Washington Post story: "Utter nonsense."

What that tells me, if those two Uber-producers are being authentic in their reaction, is they've never been in an editing room at 3 o'clock in the morning. The similarity is obvious anyway, but when you're exhausted at such a late hour, trying to make your air-dates, you start getting loopy; seeing things you've never noticed before. One could imagine this exchange...

Hey, man, don't you think he looks like Obama?...

(giddy laugh)
That's so funny! I never noticed that before. You're right!
Oh... no....

Washington Post story...

Monday, March 18, 2013


Priceless line in today's Toronto Sun editorial...

'The New York Times recently showed that its famous slogan of "All the News That's Fit to Print" also includes the right to print garbage.'

That is so funny. I was going to expound on the above, but there is no need. I'll leave it at that. (I'm laughing so hard that I'm finding it hard to use my computer keyboard.)

Monday, March 11, 2013


I swear, I cannot make this stuff up...

"i'm smart enough to get under your thin skin idiot."

Ever since I saw that comment a few days ago, on the Toronto Sun comment boards, I've been trying to get under a "thin skin idiot" myself. I quickly realized it's a lot harder than I imagined.


Saturday, March 9, 2013


I've not done a lot of picture-based blog postings, but after speaking with a friend the other day and finding out that he is a bit of a George Takei fan (Mr. Sulu from Star Trek) I decided to gather some choice pictures of our amiable crewman. Amiable with the possible exception of the episode "Mirror, Mirror"...

"Mister Sulu is Security Chief, like the ancient Gestapo."

After his mean-buddies blink out in flashs of light, Mr. Sulu is on his own against Captain Kirk. (Guess who wins....)

Sulu, before he was helmsman, from the second pilot show "Where No Man Has Gone Before"; seen here with Sally Kellerman, James Doohan, and Paul Fix.

From "The Man Trap": Sulu, still not helmsman but a botanist, eats and chats with Janice Rand, who just delivered to him a tray of food.

"The Doomsday Machine": Mr. Sulu, as we know him, as helmsman of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

"The Naked Time": Sulu on an unscheduled and unauthorized break from the helm.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I've blogged about Raymond Cusick before; he was the real "Davros" of Doctor Who's infamous Daleks, and his realized design ended up scaring the bejeezus out of many kiddies. There is something about that look that automatically says 'alien' and 'dangerous'... and I musn't forget, 'bad attitude'.

Mr. Cusick died on February 21st, at the age of 84. It is no surprise that the British press is devoting some ink to the man.

What's a little upsetting to me is the fact that although the Cusick's classic design was replicated over and over again in the form of toys -- wind-up, electric, and static -- he was never given a cut of the profits. The total number of units sold would probably reach into the millions, if one were to tally the decades of cash transactions, but unfortunately, Mr. Cusick's original BBC contract had no provision for potential merchandising sales. Hard to imagine any designer today not having a 'share-the-loot' clause in their contract.

"You are an employee of the BBC, and, as such, you are paid a proper salary. No need to provision for something that will never happen, anyway."

Here in North America we use a classic saying: "Ripped-off!"

Obit in The Guardian...

The Telegraph...

Saturday, March 2, 2013


The very real rocket from 2013, "Falcon 9".

Cinema rocket "Kosmokrator", from Der Schweigende Stern.

While on The Guardian's website -- -- I opened a link to a story on the SpaceX "Falcon 9" rocket and Dragon spacecraft: energize. The vessel was launched successfully yesterday, but there are technical problems which have delayed the capsule from docking with the International Space Station (ISS).

When I saw the article there was no delay from me in noticing the affixed picture's uncanny resemblance to the rocket lift-off scene from the 1960 East German/Polish science fiction film, Der Schweigende Stern. The "Kosmokrator" certainly is one of cinema's coolest space vee-hicles.

Friday, March 1, 2013


I have an upfront admission to make: I have not yet seen the 2012 film, Argo. Directed by Ben Affleck, this Oscar-winning rabbit has been causing some dismay with Canadians since it grossly downplays Canada's role in the 'evacuation' of six American diplomas who had evaded capture during the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979/80. Former Canadian ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor, a key player in the story, has understandably been vocal lately about how his role in Argo has been downsized while the CIA's participation has been 'up-converted'.

I remember the incident and, yes, Canada was there. Cut to: An outpouring of gratitude from south-of-the-border. Could all those Americans have been wrong?

Some folk chalk up the current controversy, certainly pumped-up since Argo's Oscar win as Best Picture (just what is a "Best Picture", anyway?), and they are probably on the right hill right now, to this hard cold fact: Hollywood is Hollywood. Any movie fan can tell you that scripts are extruded to entertain efficiently and effectively over a limited allotment of time (generally two hours). Now, this doesn't mean the resulting films are entertaining; after all, most movies are bad, but they are engineered as such to increase the chances of excelling at the box office. The business' biz trumps reality.

Now, having said all that, there is more to complicate the issue. The subject of the 'Canadian Caper' had previously been committed to motion picture film. I remember even if I did not watch the broadcast (I had already grown out of watching prime-time television). A co-production between Canada's CTV network, and CBS, Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper aired on May 17, 1981 to... bottom-of-the-barrel ratings; one of the lowest rated programs of the night. I remember being surprised when I heard the news of the TV movie's poor performance. The flick had been produced and broadcast a little less than a year and a half after the true-life event. "Has interest cooled down that much in sixteen months?", I probably asked at the time.

You may know where I'm going with this. Escape from Iran was much closer to the truth in its storytelling than was Argo thirty-one years later. (Escape's script was provided by British born, Canadian expat and super-proud-Republican, Lionel Chetwynd.) Maybe the pieces are fitting together. While television movies and theatrical features are slightly different animals, the comparison warrants some analysis in that one version succeeded in the numbers column where the other did not.

Maybe 'Hollywood' is right. Do most people, those who part with their hard-earned cash, really care about the truth? It's not as though they're going to read a book on the subject after hearing, if they hear anything at all, about the playing-with-the-facts of Argo.

Time for me to watch both Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper and Argo. Then I can really talk.