Friday, July 31, 2009
CBS TV star Jackie Gleason stops by Sterling Cooper to drop off a pair of airplane tickets to Miami for Don Draper, inviting him to fly down to watch a filming of his show. Don is excited, though he decides not to admit to Gleason that he really preferred Art Carney's Ed Norton in "The Honeymooners".
Thursday, July 30, 2009
"Good morning, girls" he cried out in a hollow booming voice. He always tried to sound so cheerful, but his eyes...dead and flat like dull pennies, told the true story. Mr. B's soul was as empty as a bottle of Alka Seltzer at a chili cook off. Watch your back, Don! Mr. Bob loves to bring the high and mighty to their knees!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
A sweet South American calypso drifts through the speakers...the Girl from Ipanema? His eyes close and the Cadillac swerves towards the dense brush at the side of the road.
Seconds before disaster he turns the wheel and is on the pavement again. Almost home. He's flashes back to the afternoon with Gretchen the frozen food mogul. Nice. But in his reverie she looks more like a Latin beauty in glasses. And her boobs have been deflated. Whoa! What's up with that?
Not for the first time, Don thinks maybe it's time to cut back on the double shots of Johnny Walker Red.
The engine purrs as he pours the car into the driveway.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
"Chicken Finger Frozen Fun". Here she congratulates the Sterling Cooper team that came up with a new campaign to replace the tired, "Betcha Didn't Know Chickens had Fingers" catch-phrase. The Sterling Cooper pitch is dreamy and iconic, as housewives in their undergarments wander through the frozen tundras of Alaska with plates of canapes in their slightly blue fingers.
Gretchen also meets Don after the meeting in a cozy little bar downtown with red Naugahyde leather booths. Naturally, they hit it off, since she is the male version of he...and Don has an ego the size of the Goodyear blimp.
OK folks, now go make your own Mad Men avatar! And check out the zippy early 60's muzak in the background. It reminds me of when my parents would let the kids eat the maraschino cherries out of their Manhattans.
A blowhard guy with an eyepatch and a drink --
And a career lady I tried to make look like Edith Prickley from SCTV --
Definitely check this wonderful website out and congrats to Dyna Moe!
Monday, July 27, 2009
We haven't done a Viral Video in a while either, and what could be more perfect than following Lisa's 90 year old TV animated cat tribute to Felix with a very modern YouTube animated cat. The "Simon's Cat" series is up to 5 original episodes now, and each one is delightful. There is even a Thanksgiving version that features (gasp) a dog. This animator is a genius. Anyone who has a cat will instantly recognize that he has captured the very essence of what makes cats simultaneously adorable and maddening.
Below is one of the most popular Simon's Cat episodes, called TV Dinner. It has gotten nearly 8 million views on YouTube!
The character of Felix The Cat is ninety years old this year, and you can read all about the important role he played in the history of television here! Long before he showed up as a children's TV show that delighted baby boomers, Felix was a mega-star in the world of animation. He's more than deserving of our attention!
He's truly a wonderful, wonderful cat!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
There are also two amusing vid ads for Ray and Tanya's "Happiness Consultants" business --
Don't miss Hung on HBO tonight at 10pm, right after TrueBlood!
There's also a new longer TrueBlood promo just released at Comic Con, which covers events to come in the rest of the season. Watch for actress Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler, Across The Universe, Thirteen) who will be joining the show for a limited run.
Looks like the Season 2 is only going to get better! TrueBlood airs on HBO Sunday nights at 9pm, with frequent encores throughout the week. It`s easy to see why this is one of The Flaming Nose Favorites!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
If you missed the harrowing new Torchwood miniseries Torchwood: Children of Earth which played this past week, all five parts will repeat tomorrow, Sunday 7/26, beginning at 1pm with a special which will get you up to speed with Captain Jack Harkness and the group. I'm telling you, this special is riveting even if you've never watched the series before, and it's pretty damned shocking, too. Really horrifying in sections, especially from Part 3 onward. Yikes. Some creepy stuff.
Torchwood: Children of Earth runs straight up until 8pm, at which time BBCA presents a Doctor Who special "Planet of the Dead" -- available in HD, too -- and on Monday there's another Doctor Who special entitled "The Next Doctor". (Pictured below, "Planet of the Dead".)
Being Human, a brand new show, premiered earlier tonight. It's about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost 20-somethings living together in Bristol, England, and the opener repeats tomorrow night at 9:15p after the Doctor Who special.
Lots to watch! Here's a cute trailer for Being Human, from its run on BBC 3 in Great Britain.
Friday, July 24, 2009
As expected, the return of Keith Carradine as Frank Lundy is a wonderful thing, and John Lithgow has the perfect mien to be the mild-mannered longtime serial killer, Dexter's new nemesis. The detective work this season should be fascinating, and we're counting on it being the highlight because we're not so much looking forward to all the domestic stuff. I don't think we're going to be disappointed.
It will also be especially interesting to watch Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall onscreen together as brother and sister again, because as we know they are real life husband and wife. Just kind of an intriguing subtext for us to ponder!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
We'll be waiting here until September 27th for the fourth season of Dexter on Showtime!
Monday, July 20, 2009
To all the men and women of NASA and related industries who's brilliance and diligence helped put humans on the moon, we thank you.
To all the people of the world who support space exploration and dream (as we do) of going boldly where no man has gone before...we thank you.
To all the television networks and Internet websites who remembered with their coverage this historic day, the Flaming Nose says a very heart felt thank you. Especially to the History Channel which featured the original CBS telecast of the Apollo landing narrated by the unforgettable news anchor Walter Cronkite, who just passed away this week.
Forty years ago people all over the earth put their differences on pause, to watch humans take the first step towards the stars. May it happen again in my life time.
Next stop...Mars. (Imagine how great it will look on HDTV!)
Here's another stunning excerpt, entitled "Blast Off".
I can't find the whole opera anywhere yet (I keep hoping Ovation will play it sometime), but if you are fascinated by this amazing piece, there are four segments of conductor Brad Cohen in rehearsal which will give you a taste of more of this incredible production, available here, here, here and here.
Of course, you might like to tune into Turner Classic Movies today for a whole day of space-related movies, including in prime time at 8pm the documentary For All Mankind about the Apollo missions, featuring the words of the astronauts themselves, and following that, the greatest, smartest and most entertaining movie about space and astronauts ever made, 1983's The Right Stuff, directed by Jonathan Kaufman. (Pictured below, from left, Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid, Scott Paulin, Ed Harris, Charles Frank, Scott Glenn and Lance Henricksen, as the Mercury 7 astronauts.)
Take a few minutes today to reflect on the marvelous achievement from 40 years ago. The Flaming Nose salutes the men and women of NASA, past and present!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
While Walt on Breaking Bad has always been under the economic gun -- he's a brainy guy who chose to teach high school chemistry, and loved it -- Ray from Hung is a former jock who coaches high school sports. Ray once "had it all" -- good looks, beauty queen wife, all the undeserved accolades thrown at sports-types in modern-day America -- but it's all crashed and burned (literally) around him.
As everything else that made him a man is broken down and taken away -- his wife, his house, his children -- the only thing he has left is his actual manhood. His penis is basically all that he has left of his masculine identity, at least that's how he sees it. Lucky for him it's a big one, and it becomes his money-making idea, just as Walt in BB turns to manufacturing drugs to dig out of his economic hole.
Hung lacks the heartbreaking sense of pathos that informs every second of Breaking Bad, but the best parts of Hung are the moments where Ray is camped out in a tent next to his burned-out house, alone and pretty much at hope's end. Where BB is a complex and dramatic descent into Walt's change of character, Hung (so far at least) is a sympathetic portrait of a guy who thought he had everything -- Walt never thought he had everything, and it's only gotten worse from there -- and his amusing solution to try to get back on his feet by putting women on their backs.
I was happy to see more skin in the last episodes as compared to the pilot which was quite chaste, and I also enjoyed Jane Adams as Tanya and her attempts to put a little more polish into Ray's foreplay and seduction skills. Though Ray is well-endowed, he seems not to be the best lover in a technical sense, which is kind of an interesting character flaw.
I recommend the show. Thomas Jane is appealing, Jane Adams is fresh and unusual as she plays an over-educated poetess who has to work in a deadly office environment to survive, and Anne Heche is always a concise presence onscreen. Even the character of her earnest dermatologist husband, played by Eddie Jemison, isn't the complete fool he might have been. He's written as a nice nerd who by virtue of his profession and its monetary rewards gets to marry the beauty queen, something that would only happen because of his salary, and I think he knows it. However, I am happy to see Ray's next-door neighbor consistently played as an ass; he's built a McMansion next to Ray's parents' spot and wants to buy the house and raze it. (Hang in there, Ray. Don't let that bastard have it!) I also have to applaud the casting of two genuinely unique young actors -- Charlie Saxton and Sianoa Smit-McPhee -- as Ray's twin children.
Here's the opening title sequence to give you a taste of the show -- and a glimpse of Thomas Jane's behind:
And although it may be unwatchable or maybe that's merely unbearable, considering the source, here's a clip of Thomas Jane and Jane Adams on a recent episode of The View:
Hung airs on HBO Sunday nights at 10pm, following TrueBlood. Visit HBO's Hung website for more show information and video.
And why is it SO hard to find a promo online that one can embed in blogs? HBO.com doesn't offer one, nor do they on their YouTube channel. C'mon...we're just trying to help promote the show. Would you rather have these crummy versions out there? Put the promos up, HBO!
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Moon Walkers - The 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing - TIME
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Thursday, July 16, 2009
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series -- I go for Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad. Great to see him nominated. Would also loved to have had somebody from Rescue Me in there...excellent ensemble cast who deserve more recognition. Pictured above, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.
The Emmy Awards will air on CBS, September 20, 2009.
Outstanding Comedy Series
“Entourage,” HBO, Leverage and Closest to the Hole Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
“Family Guy,” FOX, Fox Television Animation
“Flight Of The Conchords,” HBO, Dakota Pictures and Comedy Arts in association with HBO Entertainment
“How I Met Your Mother,” CBS 20th Century Fox Television
“The Office,” NBC, Deedle-Dee Productions and Reveille LLC in association with Universal Media Studios
“30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios
“Weeds,” Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with Lionsgate Television and Tilted Productions, Inc.
Outstanding Drama Series
“Big Love,” HBO, Anima Sola Productions and Playtone in association with HBO Entertainment
“Breaking Bad,” AMC, High Bridge, Gran Via Productions, Sony Pictures Television
“Damages,” FX Networks, FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television
“Dexter,” Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Clyde Phillips Productions
“House,” FOX, Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions
“Lost,” ABC, Grass Skirt Productions and ABC Studios
“Mad Men,” AMC, Lionsgate Television
“Generation Kill,” HBO, Company Pictures and Blown Deadline Productions in association with HBO Films
“Little Dorrit,” PBS, A co-production of BBC Productions and WGBH Boston
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner
Jemaine Clement as Jemaine, “Flight Of The Conchords,” HBO, Dakota Pictures and Comedy Arts in association with HBO Entertainment
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk, “Monk,” USA, Universal Cable Productions in association with Mandeville Films and ABC Studios
Steve Carell as Michael Scott, “The Office,” NBC, Deedle-Dee Productions and Reveille LLC in association with Universal Media Studios
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy, “30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal
Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper, “Two And A Half Men,” CBS, Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc., The Tannenbaum Company in association with Warner Bros. Television
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, “Breaking Bad,” AMC, High Bridge, Gran Via Productions, Sony Pictures Television
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, “Dexter,” Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with John Goldwyn Productions,
The Colleton Company, Clyde Phillips Productions
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House, “House,” FOX, Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z
Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions
Gabriel Byrne as Paul, “In Treatment,” HBO, Leverage, Closest To The Hole Productions and Sheleg in association with HBO Entertainment
Jon Hamm as Don Draper, “Mad Men,” AMC, Lionsgate Television
Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, “The Mentalist,” CBS, Warner Bros. Television
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Kevin Kline as Cyrano de Bergerac, Cyrano de Bergerac (Great Performances),” PBS, A Cyrano on Film, LLC Production
with Thirteen/WNET New York in association with Ellen M Krass Productions, Inc. and NHK Enterprises
Brendan Gleeson as Winston Churchill, “Into The Storm,” HBO, Scott Free and Rainmark Films production in association with the BBC and HBO Films
Sir Ian McKellen as King Lear, “King Lear (Great Performances),” PBS, A Co-production of The Performance Company,
Iambic Productions Limited, Thirteen/WNET New York and Channel 4, in association with NHK
Kevin Bacon as LtCol Mike Strobl, “Taking Chance,” HBO, Motion Picture Corporation of American and Civil Dawn Pictures in association with HBO Films
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, “24: Redemption,” FOX, Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox TV in association with
Teakwood Lane Productions
Kenneth Branagh as Kurt Wallander, “Wallander: One Step Behind,” PBS, A Left Bank Pictures/Yellow Bird/ TKBC/BBC series for WGBH
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine, “The New Adventures Of Old Christine,” CBS, Kari's Logo Here in association with Warner Bros. Television
Christina Applegate as Samantha Newly, “Samantha Who?,” ABC, ABC Studios
Sarah Silverman as Sarah Silverman, “The Sarah Silverman Program,” Comedy Central, Central Productions/Eleven Eleven O'Clock Productions/Oil Factory Inc.
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, “30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios
Toni Collette as Tara Gregson, “United States Of Tara,” Showtime, Showtime presents in association with DreamWorks Television
Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin, “Weeds,” Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with Lionsgate Television and Tilted Productions, Inc.
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Sally Field as Nora Walker, “Brothers & Sisters,” ABC, ABC Studios
Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Leigh Johnson, “The Closer,” TNT, The Shephard/Robin Company in association with Warner Bros. Television
Glenn Close as Patty Hewes, “Damages,” FX Networks, FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television
Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” NBC. Wolf Films in association with Universal Media Studios
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson, “Mad Men,” AMC, Lionsgate Television
Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko, “Saving Grace,” TNT, Fox Television
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Chandra Wilson as Yvonne, “Accidental Friendship,” Hallmark Channel, A Muse Entertainment and Automatic Pictures Production
Shirley MacLaine as Coco Chanel, “Coco Chanel,” Lifetime, Lux Vide S.p.A, Pamp Productions and Alchemy Television Group
Drew Barrymore as Little Edie, “Grey Gardens,” HBO, Specialty Films and Locomotive in association with HBO Films
Jessica Lange as Big Edie, “Grey Gardens,” HBO, Specialty Films and Locomotive in association with HBO Films
Sigourney Weaver as Mary Griffith, “Prayers For Bobby, Lifetime, Once Upon The Times Films, LTD in association with Permut Presentations and Sladek Taaffe Productions
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Kevin Dillon as Johnny Drama, “Entourage,” HBO, Leverage and Closest to the Hole Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson, “How I Met Your Mother,” CBS, 20th Century Fox Television
Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, “The Office,” NBC, Deedle-Dee Productions and Reveille LLC in association with Universal Media Studios
Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan, “30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios
Jack McBrayer as Kenneth Parcell, “30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper, “Two And A Half Men,” CBS, Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc., The Tannenbaum Company in association with Warner Bros. Television
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
William Shatner as Denny Crane, “Boston Legal,” ABC, A David E. Kelley Production in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Christian Clemenson as Jerry Espenson, “Boston Legal,” ABC, A David E. Kelley Production in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, “Breaking Bad,” AMC, High Bridge, Gran Via Productions, Sony Pictures Television
William Hurt as Daniel Purcell, “Damages,” FX Networks, FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television
Michael Emerson as Ben Linus, “Lost,” ABC, Grass Skirt Productions and ABC Studios
John Slattery as Roger Sterling, “Mad Men,” AMC, Lionsgate Television
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Ken Howard as Phelan Beale, “Grey Gardens,” HBO, Specialty Films and Locomotive in association with HBO Films
Len Cariou as Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Into The Storm,” HBO, Scott Free and Rainmark Films production in association with the BBC and HBO Films
Bob Newhart as Judson, “The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice,” TNT, Electric Entertainment
Tom Courtenay as Mr. Dorrit, “Little Dorrit,” PBS, A co-production of BBC Productions and WGBH Boston
Andy Serkis as Rigaud, “Little Dorrit,” PBS, A co-production of BBC Productions and WGBH Boston
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Kristin Chenoweth as Olive Snook, “Pushing Daisies,” ABC, Living Dead Guy Productions, The Jinks/Cohen Company in association with Warner Bros. Television
Amy Poehler as Various Characters, “Saturday Night Live,” NBC, SNL Studios in association with NBC Studios and Broadway Video
Kristin Wiig as Various Characters, “Saturday Night Live,” NBC, SNL Studios in association with NBC Studios and Broadway Video
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney, “30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios
Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater, “Ugly Betty,” ABC, ABC Studios
Elizabeth Perkins as Celia Hodes, “Weeds,” Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with Lionsgate Television and Tilted Productions, Inc.
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons, “Damages,” FX Networks, FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television
Sandra Oh as Dr. Christina Yang, “Grey's Anatomy,” ABC, ABC Studios
Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey, “Grey's Anatomy,” ABC, ABC Studios
Dianne Wiest as Gina, “In Treatment,” HBO, Leverage, Closest To The Hole Productions and Sheleg in association with HBO Entertainment
Hope Davis as Mia, “In Treatment,” HBO, Leverage, Closest To The Hole Productions and Sheleg in association with HBO Entertainment
Cherry Jones as President Allison Taylor, “24,” FOX, Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox Television in association with Teakwood Lane Productions
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Marcia Gay Harden as Janina, “The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler (Hallmark Hall Of Fame Presentation),” CBS, Jeff Most/Jeff Rice Productions in association with Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions
Jeanne Tripplehorn as Jackie O., “Grey Gardens,” HBO, Specialty Films and Locomotive in association with HBO Films
Shohreh Aghdashloo as Sajida, “House Of Saddam, HBO, HBO Films in association with BBC
Janet McTeer as Clementine Churchill, “Into The Storm,” HBO, Scott Free and Rainmark Films production in association with the BBC and HBO Films
Cicely Tyson as Pearl, “Relative Stranger,” Hallmark Channel, A Larry Levinson Production
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Last season ended with an exhilarating roller coaster, culminating in Vinnie getting the lead in a Martin Scorsese picture. This Sunday found the boys back in LA, struggling to wean themselves from the pack and find their own (homes, girl friends, identities). There was a completely unnecessary arc about Vinnie learning to drive the big black Cadillac sport utility vehicle. Note to producers: a) Gas guzzlers are so 2008 in Hollywood now. The coolest celebrities are all in little Hybrids. And b) why the heck should Vinnie have to learn how to drive? Everybody drives like crap in L.A. anyway, he should stick with a chauffeur since he can afford it. Maybe they are planning a DUI for him in this season? How Lindsay Lohan can you get.
What I liked about the season premier? Shades of "it's lonely at the top" with Vinnie going home to a dark house while his bro's are all out doing their own thing. What I didn't like? Ari's over the top hazing of his hapless gay assistant who is gunning for a promotion. Check out the HBO website for Lloyd's diary and snarky video.
Not the best start ever, but I still love these guys and I'm glad to see them back.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
This Thursday will mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission launch. The journey that followed for astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, became one of the most viewed television events of all time, as people from every nation turned to the small screen to see history being made.
I was a geeky little kid with blue glasses when my Dad stuffed us into the family station wagon and drove from NY to Florida to see the launch in person. We woke up before dawn on July 16th and drove as far down the beach as possible, to get closer to Cape Canaveral. I remember thinking how strange it was to see what was normally a deserted beach just covered with thousands of cars and people. We all had transistor radios so we could hear the launch countdown. Ours was a lime green Panasonic Ball and Chain model. Even though the crowd on that beach was huge, you could have heard a pin drop when Apollo 11 lifted off, on that bright July morning in 1969. Look at the fantastic NASA slow motion video posted above and you'll get a sense of the wonder reflected in the faces of the people lucky enough to witness this moment in person. See that fiery glowing rocket in the corner of the sky? That's humanity going to a different world for the first time. Heavenly.
Central Florida around the time of the Apollo 11 mission had "space fever". Half the buildings in the state looked like they were designed by the animators from The Jetsons. You could buy moon pies at the 7-11 and Blast Off cocktails at the beach side restaurants. We even had a beach ball colored to look like the surface of the moon. Here's a picture of it deflated, and being worn like a hat by our dog King.
I had space fever too after the launch, and would run from the beach back to our hotel room to watch the news coverage on a little black and white TV. On July 20, 1969, I sat with my sisters and parents while we watched the Eagle detach and then descend to the surface of the moon. We were part of the largest TV audience ever at that time. It was estimated that over 500 million people around the world watched the Apollo 11 moon landing. Below you'll see an excellent video depicting that moment. Be sure to watch all the way to the end, because there's a wonderful montage of folks from around the world, eyes wide and mouths agape, as Neil Armstrong makes the most famous step in history. I'm amazed that he came up with the line "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" on his way to the moon. Nice to think that not every great quote is from a ghost writer or PR agent.
As we remember the glorious and successful Apollo 11 mission, we actually have a modern day space flight to view tomorrow at 7PM eastern time. If all goes well, the much delayed STS-127 Endeavor mission to install new equipment on the space station will finally launch. Visit the NASA website to learn more or to watch the launch in streaming video.
Both Discovery and History channel websites also have plenty on Apollo 11. And History will be airing an Apollo 11 special on Modern Marvels, July 18th at 1pm.
There is not much to feel cheerful about these days, with millions of people out of work and the economy doing a nose dive. I think we need another shot of hope like that moment when JFK swore that the USA would land a man on the moon before the next decade. We did it then and we can do it again. So...note to President Obama: Please throw a little of that stimulus money over to NASA and we can make the next stop Mars!
Friday, July 10, 2009
And if STitP isn't amazing enough, I just found this incredible Star Trek opera on YouTube, also inspired by "Amok Time". OMG -- it's insanely great! If you are a Trek fan, be sure to watch the six parts. Clever, unique...wow. Written by composer Steven Clark, and first performed in San Francisco in 2006, it's terrific. Why hadn't I run into this before? See, the internet is still full of surprises for us, every day!
I also just ran into a great blog called "My Star Trek Scrapbook", which is just that -- a wonderful collection of articles and photos collected by a devoted fan over the years. (I'll have to put my stuff online sometime, too.) It's a delightful site and be sure to visit! Our congrats to Frederick for such an impressive job!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The above image is a lighthearted but still massively creepy take on Dexter's occupation. We've got a terrific guest villain to look forward to, also. John Lithgow is onboard as the resident nemesis, and that's gotta be good. I'd say we're in for huge amounts of dark humor!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Every cable news, local news and network news channel appears to be covering the event. It is also streaming live on all news websites. It's not worth listing them all here. If you can't find the coverage within 30 seconds of switching on your set or booting up your PC, then stick a mirror under your nose to see if you're still breathing.
One of the most interesting circus side stories to this amazing public meltdown, quite literally involves the circus. KTLA-TV's website reported that dozens of elephants were paraded through LA at dawn, past the pulsating crowds waiting outside the Staples Center for Michael Jackson's memorial. Barnum and Bailey's circus begins its run at the same venue tomorrow and an elephant walk is part of their tradition. We don't make this stuff up folks, we're just passing it along.
Meanwhile, several news outlets have just reported that Mr. Jackson's casket will be transported to the Staples center for the memorial. Apparently it will be rolled out during a performance of "Thriller". OK, I did actually make that one up. But it wouldn't surprise me.
Superstars scheduled to appear at the memorial include Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson. Elizabeth Taylor respectfully declined.
I don't recall anything like this level of public insanity when past music superstars met their demise. Surely both Elvis and John Lennon were as big, if not bigger in the pantheon of dead celebrities? What makes Michael Jackson's death and subsequent memorial a bigger media event? I offer the following hypothesis:
- The number of media outlets has exploded. There are countless websites, cable channels, social networking sites....one can barely get a Tweet in edgewise. They all contribute to the media uproar like twigs being thrown onto a giant bonfire.
- Similar to "The Day of the Locust" which is set in the great Depression, we are now teetering on the edge of very dark days. If not an actual depression, we are certainly in a deep recession, with massive unemployment in Southern California. Mob mentality thrives in an economic downturn.
Monday, July 6, 2009
The first and most important is NASA's Apollo 11 moon voyage, which took place forty years ago in mid-July. At least three of the Flaming Nose bloggers are confirmed space program fanatics, so you can expect multiple posts over the next few weeks. The nasa.gov website already features some terrific information about the mission. I have a personal connection to the Apollo 11 story, since I was lucky enough to be standing on the beach in Florida when I was a kid to witness the launch with my own eyes. Quick TV factoid about the moon landing 40 years ago; according to Nielsen Media Research it was one of the most viewed live events (worldwide) for decades, with between 600 million and 1 billion watching Neil Armstrong step onto the moon. Immense population growth and greater availability of television globally has seen many additional events surpass that number, including the funeral for Princess Diana, which was estimated at 2.5 billion viewers.
The next event is as dark a moment as the Apollo 11 mission was glorious. On August 9th, 1969, the infamous Manson "family" began its murderous rampage in Los Angeles, by killing movie star Sharon Tate and her friends, and later the LaBianca couple. Captured months later, the trial of Manson and his followers became a television and media circus (and that was BEFORE cable!), as well as spawning the best selling true crime book of all time, "Helter Skelter". Here's another little personal factoid about the Manson murderers. For a while, the family from Hell hung out at the abandoned Spahn movie ranch in Chatsworth, California....a mere mile away from this blogger's current humble abode. I drove up there to see what has become of the ranch 40 years later. The familiar rocky hills are still there, but the ranch location is now a private gated picnic area. There are no buildings left and the only sign that it was once a ranch is a large wooden crossbar made out of railroad ties at the entrance.
The final big event from the summer of 1969 was the long weekend of peace, love and hallucinogenic drugs on Max Yasgur's upstate NY farm. Of course, we are referring to "Woodstock", the muddy four day music festival that rendered a feature length movie, an album, made stars out of many musicians and gave us the most interesting rendition of the National Anthem ever when Jimi Hendrix reinvented it on a rain soaked morning. And now for the final personal connection... I was raised in upstate NY, and I recall very well the hoards of colorful hippies hitch hiking up route 17 to attend the festival that weekend in August. I was way too young to go myself (darn!).
So strange to have connections to all three of these historical moments. I feel a little like Forest Gump right now.
Stay tuned for more on the Summer of '69, right here on The Flaming Nose!