Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And now a public service announcement--from Superman!

Superman, fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. And doing so--by speaking out against society's ills. Sure, super strength, super speed, and the ability to fly come in handy here and there, but nothing beats the power of the spoken word. See below for proof!

First are two public service announcements (PSAs) against smoking. Both were created and aired in the United Kingdom, and you can tell by the children's accents. The voice actor for Superman, however, is trying to fake an American accent--and failing miserably. Still, smoking sucks, so the PSAs are worth it. The animation is pretty good for a PSA, and I like Superman's tough attitude.

Next we're back in America, and this time Supes is reminding us to watch our cholesterol. Or more accurately, Clark Kent is. Clearly inspired by the Superman movies, the actress portraying Lois Lane bears a very close resemblance to Margot Kidder.

Finally, this PSA is likely my favorite, because I remember this one from childhood. Superman is telling a group of children how they can stay active while taking care of their asthma. This was shown quite frequently on children's TV in the early and mid 80s. Please forgive Superman's blue hair.

If anyone knows of any other superhero related PSAs, let me know in the comments section and I'll try to showcase them here. Thanks!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Four Things: The Meme

Ladies and gentlemen, I've been meme-ed! My good friend Todd Mason at the Sweet Freedom blog has sent me this meme entitled four things. Four things of what? See below. (Alas, I couldn't come up with four things for every category, which shows how bad I am at this sort of thing).

Four Movies You Can See Over and Over
It's A Wonderful Life (everything I believe and aspire to be can be found in this film)
Jaws (No movie has had as visceral an impact on me; I can't see footage of a shark without cringing)
Fools Rush In (romantic comedy with Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek; one of the first movies my wife and I saw when we were dating)
Tommy Boy (starring the late Chris Farley; plain old stupid fun)

Four Places You Haved Lived

Philadelphia, PA
Bellmawr, NJ
That's it!

Four TV Shows You Love to Watch
Lost (this past season kicked ass!)
Pushing Daisies (ironically named; RIP, piemaker!)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (more fun than many comic books these days)
That's it!

Four Places You Have Been On Vacation
Seaside Heights, New Jersey (small shore town; I have family there)
Niagara Falls (slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch...)
Walt Disney World (great fun, and food everywhere!)
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (quiet, but that's not a bad thing)

Four of Your Favorite Foods
fried chicken cutlet (just had some tonight)
chicken and dumplings (yes, I really like chicken)
Papa John's pizza (hell yeah!)
country biscuits and gravy (if I lived in the South I'd be dead)

Four Web Sites You Visit Daily
my own blog (somebody has to read it)
Comic Geek Speak (fun podcast and active message board)
Twitter (I've partaken of the Twitter Kool-Aid)
YouTube (better than television, at least sometimes)

Four Places You Would Rather Be
In bed (I agree with Todd)
the beach at 7pm (better than during the day, usually)
downtown Philly, where I work anyway, but to be there when I don't have to work (so I can take my time and drink it all in)
In bed (it's so nice I said it twice)

Four Things to Do Before You Die
lose weight (me and 300 million other people)
get enough rest so I don't feel dead when I'm alive (no small feat, that)
establish a regular routine for each day
learn to drive (I'm 34 years old, and I don't drive)

Four Things You Wish You Were Reading for the First Time
Watchmen (Hey, I just did read that for the first time)
The Phantom Tollbooth (loved the movie when I was a kid, a sophisticated children's story)
Frankenstein (it blew me away when I read it out of high school)
The Wizard of Oz (so different from the movie, but so enjoyable in its own right, which is only fair, since, you know, it came first)

Tag Four People You Believe Will Respond
How about my four registered blog followers? Karswell, Rokk Krinn, Chris Illuminati, and Michele at Reader's Respite. I throw down the gauntlet!

Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson

My my, where to begin?

Yesterday was surreal, to say the least. Ed McMahon earlier this week, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson. Three people who couldn't be more different, but each of them made an impact on pop culture, to varying degrees. Being a pop culture blog, I have to acknowledge each of them.

Here on The Tonight Show, Johhny plays back a clip from the 70s featuring Ed in a bit of a, shall we say...he was drunk. A funny reminder of the chemistry Johnny and Ed had with each other.

Fawcett fought a public battle with cancer and won the hearts of Americans and the world to the end. Here is a fan-created video made in tribute long before she died. The Bee Gees song "More Than A Woman" fits well with the images of Farrah as people best remember her, when she burst on the scene in the 70s.

And, of course, Michael. Undeniably talented, very suspicious personal behavior. Is he guilty? Despite disturbing stories, I still can't say with 100% certainty if he was guilty. All I can say is that his music was some of the best pop of its time.
Here is a song that I like a lot and doesn't get as much airplay as his others, from when he still was a boy, here is "Got to Be There."

Rest in Peace everyone!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lemon Demon: The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny

Are summer blockbuster movies too action-packed for you? Are they too bloated with strange characters and violence? Of course not! They're awesome!

But not nearly as awesome as this animated video from music artist Lemon Demon. Here is--The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny! Not coming to a theater near you, but should be!

Sorry for the lack of posting this week. I'll do better, promise!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Weird Al" Yankovic, Craigslist

From the mind of accordionist extraordinaire "Weird Al" Yankovic (a lifelong favorite of mine), here is his latest song and video, "Craigslist." A parody of The Doors, this one features Ray Manzarek on keyboards.

Yes, thee Ray Manzarek. Of The Doors. Himself.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Comfort Wipe

My, I had no idea how foolish I was to wipe my ass by my own power. I should use Comfort Wipe!

"Being a big guy has its advantages--and its disadvantages." Advantages?

Has anyone ever injured themselves by wiping their ass? On second thought, don't anyone answer that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Batman: The Musical?

Many of you following the comic book industry know that there is a Spider-Man Broadway musical opening in January 2010, with music by U2's Bono and The Edge (perhaps more on that later this week). Hopefully it won't be as hokey as what you're about to see. From the animated TV series Batman Beyond, here is a clip of Batman: The Musical. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Holy coincidence! I just discovered via a tweet from TV Guide Magazine that the current series Batman: The Brave and the Bold will have a musical episode air in the fall, guest starrring Neil Patrick Harris of How I Met Your Mother. Read about it here: http://www.tvguidemagazine.com/news/neil-patrick-harris-gets-musical-with-batman-1417.html

P.S. If anyone can tell me how to hotlink in Blogger, I'd really appreciate it!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Goodbye Analog TV

Today is the day that traditional analog television transmisssion ceases forever. This may not be a big deal to many readers of this blog, as you likely have had cable TV for most of your life. But for me, it's a big deal.

I was born in 1974, but cable TV wasn't available in my neighborhood until 1987, and even then my family only had it in the living room and basement; rabbit ears were the norm for my bedroom TV. Therefore, I well remember what it was like to deal with static, fuzzy pictures, and foil wrapped around the antenna. As much as a pain as those things could be, I'm gonna miss it a little bit.

Of course, over-the-air TV transmission isn't going away, it's just changing, presumably for the better. Still, it's the end of an era for a medium that permeates my very DNA. I can't help but be a bit wistful.

Here is a not-quite-accurate recreation of something that almost never happens in this 24/7 world: a broadcast station sign-off; in this case, from Philadelphia station WPVI, Channel 6. I post it here as a symbolic sign off of analog TV transmission throughout the country. Goodbye, analog TV! I will miss you, but I will never forget you. Rest in peace.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saturday Night Live: Superhero Party

Here is a classic clip from the golden age of Saturday Night Live, featuring the Not Ready for Prime Time Players as various superheroes hanging out at Superman's place. John Belushi makes a great Hulk!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Alex's Lemonade Stand

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation

This past Friday, my wife, a kindergarten school teacher in southwest Philadelphia, hosted her third annual Alex's Lemonade Stand at the school. In addition to lemonade, the stand offered snack cakes, chips, pretzels, water, and ice pops. The grand total this year was $775, easily surpassing last year's total of $626, making this year's stand the biggest success so far. Of course, we are hoping to do even better next year. This stand is a testament not only to my wife's efforts (I've know for years about her love and concern for her fellow man), but for everyone who worked hard to make the stand a success.

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation is an amazing organization raising money for research into the discovery of a cure for childhood cancer (and all cancers). This week the organization will be having its biggest fundraising period of the year, called Lemonade Days. I strongly encourage you to give what you can to either a lemonade stand near you or directly to the organization at www.alexslemonade.org. Or better still, learn how you can host your own lemonade stand at your home, church, workplace, or school. It's been a rewarding experience for my wife and I, and you will be doing your part in fighting childhood cancer--one cup at a time!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rock Band: The Beatles Trailer

Following up on the Beatles theme, here straight from this week's E3 gaming convention is the trailer for the upcoming Rock Band: The Beatles game. Looks pretty damn good!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Beatles, In My Life

I'm surprised I've never mentioned this before, but I'm a huge Beatles fan. If you'd ask why, this is about as good an answer I could give as any.