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The origin of the Presidential Turkey Pardon

Published Thursday, November 26, 2015 @ 9:38 AM EST
Nov 26 2015

You can thank Sam Donaldson and Reagan's evasion of Iran-Contra scandal questions.

Categories: Iran-Contra Scandal, Rachel Maddow, Ronald Reagan, Sam Donaldson, Television, Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon, YouTube

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This almost makes the music tolerable

Published Friday, November 20, 2015 @ 4:50 PM EST
Nov 20 2015

Categories: Dance, Music, Video, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: Irving Berlin

Published Sunday, May 10, 2015 @ 8:11 PM EDT
May 10 2015

Irving Berlin (born Israel Isidore Beilin, May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was a Russian-born Jewish-American composer and lyricist. Widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history, his music forms a great part of the Great American Songbook. He published his first song, "Marie from Sunny Italy", in 1907, receiving 37 cents for the publishing rights, and had his first major international hit, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" in 1911. Composer George Gershwin called him "the greatest songwriter that has ever lived," and composer Jerome Kern concluded that "Irving Berlin has no place in American music- he is American music." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


After you get what you want you don't want it.

Everybody ought to have a lower East Side in their life.

I got lost but look what I found.

Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.

Music is so important. It changes thinking, it influences everybody, whether they know it or not. Music knows no boundary lines.

Never hate a song that's sold a half million copies.

Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.

Talent is only a starting point.

The mob is always right.

The reason American composers have done nothing highly significant is because they won't write American music.

The toughest thing about success is that you've got to keep on being a success.

The world would not be in such a snarl,
Had Marx been Groucho instead of Karl.

There is an element of truth in every idea that lasts long enough to be called corny.

There's no business like show business.



(May 11 is also the birthday of Salvador Dali.)

Categories: Irving Berlin, Music, Quotes of the day, YouTube

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Send in the clowns

Published Monday, January 05, 2015 @ 6:31 AM EST
Jan 05 2015

The 114th United States Congress begins today. To prepare you for the inevitable onslaught of political rhetoric, here's the master of language and comedy, George Carlin, airing his complaints.

"They speak, of course, with great caution, because they must take care not to actually say anything."

Taken from a May 19, 1999 appearance before the National Press Club, Carlin's observations are free of profanity, which make them shareable. Pass along the link: http://youtu.be/UJRSHqeu_WM


(January 5 is also the birthday of Konrad Adenour.)

Categories: Congress, George Carlin, Video, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: Steve Allen

Published Friday, December 26, 2014 @ 6:36 AM EST
Dec 26 2014

Stephen Valentine Patrick William "Steve" Allen (December 26, 1921 – October 30, 2000) was an American television personality, musician, composer, actor, comedian, and writer. Though he got his start in radio, Allen is best known for his television career. He first gained national attention as a guest host on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. He graduated to become the first host of The Tonight Show, where he was instrumental in innovating the concept of the television talk show. Thereafter, he hosted numerous game and variety shows, including The Steve Allen Show, I've Got a Secret, and The New Steve Allen Show, and was a regular panel member on CBS' What's My Line? Allen was a credible pianist and a prolific composer, having penned over 14,000 songs, one of which was recorded by Perry Como and Margaret Whiting, others by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Les Brown, and Gloria Lynne. Allen won a Grammy award in 1963 for best jazz composition, with his song The Gravy Waltz. Allen wrote more than 50 books, has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Hollywood theater named in his honor. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Asthma doesn't seem to bother me any more unless I'm around cigars or dogs. The thing that would bother me most would be a dog smoking a cigar.

God is by definition the holder of all possible knowledge, it would be impossible for him to have faith in anything. Faith, then, is built upon ignorance and hope.

Humor is a social lubricant that helps us get over some of the bad spots.

I do not understand those who take little or no interest in the subject of religion. If religion embodies a truth, it is certainly the most important truth of human existence. If it is largely error, then it is one of monumentally tragic proportions- and should be vigorously opposed.

I used to be a heavy gambler. But now I just make mental bets. That's how I lost my mind.

Ideas have consequences, and totally erroneous ideas are likely to have destructive consequences.

If God exists, his unlimited power can certainly redress imbalances in the scale of human justice. But if there is no God, then it is up to man to be as moral as he can.

If the Old Testament were a reliable guide in the matter of capital punishment, half the people in the United States would have to be killed tomorrow.

If there is a God, the phrase that must disgust him is- holy war.

If you pray for rain long enough, it eventually does fall. If you pray for floodwaters to abate, they eventually do. The same happens in the absence of prayers.

In a rational society we would want our presidents to be teachers. In our actual society we insist they be cheerleaders.

Is it bigger than a breadbox?

It is not hardness of heart or evil passions that drive certain individuals to atheism, but rather a scrupulous intellectual honesty.

No actual tyrant known to history has ever been guilty of one- hundredth of the crimes, massacres, and other atrocities attributed to the Deity in the Bible.

Old men miss many dogs.

One of the nice things about problems is that a good many of them do not exist except in our imaginations.

One social evil for which the New Testament is clearly in part responsible is anti-Semitism.

Ours is a government of checks and balances. The Mafia and crooked businessmen make out checks, and the politicians and other compromised officials improve their bank balances.

Religious believers of the world, you are free to continue to debate the simple, narrow question that divides you from atheists, but you have no right, in so doing, to treat the Humanists of the world with contempt. You owe them a deep debt of gratitude, for not only have they shed much light on a naturally dark world but they have very probably helped civilize your own specific religion.

The Bible has been interpreted to justify such evil practices as, for example, slavery, the slaughter of prisoners of war, the sadistic murders of women believed to be witches, capital punishment for hundreds of offenses, polygamy, and cruelty to animals. It has been used to encourage belief in the grossest superstition and to discourage the free teaching of scientific truths. We must never forget that both good and evil flow from the Bible. It is therefore not above criticism.

There are hundreds of millions who believe the Messiah has come. If he did, then it is unfortunately the case that his heroic sacrifice and death have had no effect whatsoever on the very problem his coming might have been expected to address, for history demonstrates, beyond question, that we Christians have been just as dangerous, singly and en masse, as non-Christians.

To those who wish to punish others- or at least to see them punished, if the avengers are too cowardly to take matters in to their own hands- the belief in a fiery, hideous hell appears to be a great source of comfort.

Totalitarianism is patriotism institutionalized.

We are entitled to make almost any reasonable assumption, but should resist making conclusions until evidence requires that we do so.

Without laughter life on our planet would be intolerable. So important is laughter to us that humanity highly rewards members of one of the most unusual professions on earth, those who make a living by inducing laughter in others. This is very strange if you stop to think of it: that otherwise sane and responsible citizens should devote their professional energies to causing others to make sharp, explosive barking-like exhalations.

"I want to give you the bad news first- this program is going to go on forever."
-Steve Allen on the first episode of "Tonight" (later, "The Tonight Show"), September 27, 1954.


(December 26 is also the birthday of Henry Miller )

Categories: Quotes of the day, Steve Allen, The Tonight Show, YouTube

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Merry Christmas from Sir Patrick Stewart. Includes facepalm.

Published Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 11:57 AM EST
Dec 25 2014

Categories: Holidays, Patrick Stewart, Video, YouTube

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Lest we forget...

Published Wednesday, December 17, 2014 @ 11:48 PM EST
Dec 17 2014

Categories: Holidays, Tom Lehrer, YouTube

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"Chlamydia, your Dad's here..."

Published Tuesday, December 16, 2014 @ 11:30 PM EST
Dec 16 2014

Craig Ferguson ends his ten-year run on CBS' Late Late Show this Friday. His segments with Robin Williams were always tremendous. In this clip from November 2011, Williams drops by unannounced to sit in on the nightly e-mail segment. Their off-the-wall conversation gets a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the segment.

The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles celebrated Craig's tenure with a great interview conducted by Academy Award-winning screenwriter, comic and actor Jim Rash.

Categories: Craig Ferguson, Robin Williams, Video, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: John Huston

Published Monday, August 04, 2014 @ 8:50 PM EDT
Aug 04 2014

John Marcellus Huston (August 5, 1906 – August 28, 1987) was an American film director, screenwriter and actor. He wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), Key Largo (1948), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The African Queen (1951), Moulin Rouge (1952), The Misfits (1961), and The Man Who Would Be King (1975). During his 46-year career, Huston received 15 Oscar nominations, won twice, and directed both his father, Walter Huston, and daughter, Anjelica Huston, to Oscar wins in different films. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


After all, crime is only a left-handed form of human endeavor.

Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!

(from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, screenplay by John Huston from the B. Traven novel. )

Heavy. What is it? The stuff that dreams are made of.
(from The Maltest Falcon)

Hollywood has always been a cage... a cage to catch our dreams.

I don't try to guess what a million people will like. It's hard enough to know what I like.

I prefer to think that God is not dead, just drunk.

I've lived a number of lives. I'm inclined to envy the man who leads one life, with one job, and one wife, in one country, under one God. It may not be a very exciting existence, but at least by the time hes 73 he knows how old he is.

It's very good for a picture to have an ending before you start shooting! (on Apocalypse Now)

Most people never have to face the fact that at the right time and the right place they're capable of anything.
(from Chinatown)

Talk to them about things they don't know. Try to give them an inferiority complex. If the actress is beautiful, screw her. If she isn't, present her with a valuable painting she will not understand. If they insist on being boring, kick their asses or twist their noses. And that's about all there is to it. (on directing)

The directing of a picture involves coming out of your individual loneliness and taking a controlling part in putting together a small world.

We can make good movies or we can make bad movies. The bad movies cost a bit more, but if they give us enough money, we can make them just as bad as they want them to be.

Well, if you lose a son it's possible to get another. There's only one Maltese falcon.
(from The Maltest Falcon)

What to do when inspiration doesn't come; be careful not to spook, get the wind up, force things into position. You must wait around until the idea comes.

You walk through a series of arches, so to speak, and then, presently, at the end of a corridor, a door opens and you see backward through time, and you feel the flow of time, and realize you are only part of a great nameless procession.

You're a good man, sister.
(from The Maltest Falcon)

(August 5 is also the birthday of Peter McWilliams.)

Categories: John Huston, Movies, Quotes of the day, YouTube

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What a wonderful world

Published Sunday, August 03, 2014 @ 9:18 PM EDT
Aug 03 2014

Some of you young folks been saying to me, "Hey Pops, what you mean 'What a wonderful world'? How about all them wars all over the place? You call them wonderful? And how about hunger and pollution? That ain't so wonderful either." Well how about listening to old Pops for a minute. Seems to me, it ain't the world that's so bad but what we're doin' to it. And all I'm saying is, see, what a wonderful world it would be if only we'd give it a chance. Love baby, love. That's the secret, yeah. If lots more of us loved each other, we'd solve lots more problems. And then this world would be better. That's wha' ol' Pops keeps saying.
Spoken intro to "What a Wonderful World" (1970 version)

(Biography of Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971) at PBS' "Jazz" site.)

(Today is also the birthday of Barack Obama.)

Categories: Louis Armstrong, Music, Quotes of the day, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: Wil Wheaton

Published Tuesday, July 29, 2014 @ 12:31 AM EDT
Jul 29 2014

(Wheaton currently hosts The Wil Wheaton Project Tuesdays at 10 pm on the Syfy Network.)

Richard William "Wil" Wheaton III (b. July 29, 1972) is an American actor, blogger and writer, known for his portrayals of Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gordie Lachance in the film Stand by Me, Joey Trotta in Toy Soldiers, and for his recurring role as a fictionalized version of himself on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Don’t let the fear of not pleasing someone stop you from being creative.

Either you have a sense of humor about (being a former child star), or you're in rehab. There's not a lot of gray area.

If the world were a bar, America would currently be the angry drunk waving around a loaded gun. Yeah, the other people in the bar may be afraid of him, but they sure as hell don't respect him.

No matter what I do with my life, or how successful I am, I will always be a socially awkward penguin inside.

Some days, you're just going to be Sideshow Bob, and the world is going to be a dozen rakes.

When you say a 'former child star,' you may as well say 'failed child star.'

When I was a little boy, I was called a nerd all the time because I didn't like sports, I loved to read, I liked math and science, I thought school was really cool, and... it hurt. A lot. Because it's never ok when a person makes fun of you for something like you didn't choose... we don't choose to be nerds. We can't help it that we like these things, and we shouldn't apologize for liking these things.

I wish that I could tell you that there is a really easy way to just... not care. But the truth is it hurts. But here's the thing that you might be able to understand- as a matter of fact, I'm confident you'll be able to understand this, because you asked this question.

When a person makes fun of you, when a person is cruel to you... it has nothing to do with you. It's not about what you said, it's not about what you did, it's not about what you love. It's about them feeling bad about themselves. They feel sad. They don't get positive attention from their parents. They don't feel as smart as you. They don't understand the things that you understand.

Maybe one of their parents is really pushing them to be a cheerleader, or a baseball player, or an engineer, or something that they just don't want to do. So they take that out on you, because they can't go and be mean to the person who's actually hurting them.

So, when a person's cruel to you like that- I know that this is hard- but honestly, the kind and best reaction is to pity them. And don't let them make you feel bad because you love a thing. Maybe find out what they love, and talk about it- how they love it. I bet you'll find out that a person who loves tetherball loves tetherball exactly the same way you love Doctor Who. But you just love different things.

And I will tell you this: it absolutely gets better as you get older. I know it's really hard when you're in school and you're surrounded by the same 400 people a day that pick on you and make you feel bad about yourself. But there's fifty thousand people here this weekend who went through the exact same thing- and we're all doing really well.

Don't you ever let persons make you feel bad because you love something they decided is only for nerds. You're loving a thing that's for you.
-Wil Wheaton, responding to a question from a young girl at the 2013 Denver Comic Con.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Video, Wil Wheaton, YouTube

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Now THIS is an error message

Published Friday, July 11, 2014 @ 3:48 PM EDT
Jul 11 2014

(Mediocre Laboratories' web form error message.)

From the guy who invented and sold Woot!, meh.com.

Categories: Computers, meh.com, Music, Video, WTF?, YouTube

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Signs of the Apocalypse, #911...

Published Wednesday, July 09, 2014 @ 9:30 AM EDT
Jul 09 2014

... when Jesse Ventura is the voice of reason:

This is simply the protection of religion, again, to gain its foothold into our state houses, and to inflict their beliefs on people like me that don't want to believe what they believe.

You listening to me out there? I don't want to believe what you believe, and you can't make me. And you never will. Enough of this.

You have your religion, you're free to practice it, but stop bringing it into the state house and stop trying to pass now federal laws that protect you.

When the churches start paying taxes, then the church can have a say so."

Categories: Church and State, First Amendment, Jesse Ventura, Religion, Signs of the Apocalypse, Supreme Court, Video, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: Anna Quindlen

Published Monday, July 07, 2014 @ 8:15 PM EDT
Jul 07 2014

Anna Marie Quindlen (b July 8, 1952) is an American author, journalist, and opinion columnist whose New York Times column, Public and Private, won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992. She began her journalism career in 1974 as a reporter for the New York Post. Between 1977 and 1994 she held several posts at The New York Times. (Click for full Wikipedia article.)


A finished person is a boring person.

Acts of bravery don't always take place on battlefields. They can take place in your heart, when you have the courage to honor your character, your intellect, your inclinations, and yes, your soul by listening to its clean, clear voice of direction instead of following the muddied messages of a timid world.

And sometimes you do everything right and something bad just happens. It's as simple, and as scary, as that.

But never fear, gentlemen; castration was really not the point of feminism, and we women are too busy eviscerating one another to take you on.

Catastrophe is numerical. Loss is singular, one beloved at a time.

Control is a nice concept, little more.

[Dr. Seuss] is remembered for the murder of Dick and Jane, which was a mercy killing of the highest order.

For the young the days go fast and the years go slow; for the old the days go slow and the years go fast.

Guilt is what separates humans from animals.

Have you ever noticed that what passes as a terrific man would only be an adequate woman?

Here is one of the worst things about having someone you love die: It happens again every single morning.

I conveniently forgot to remember that people only have two hands, or, as another parent once said of having a third child, it's time for a zone defense instead of man-to-man.

I have a cat, the pet that ranks just above a throw pillow in terms of required responsibility.

I know from experience that those least capable of truly assessing any marriage are the children who come out of it. We style them as we need them, to excuse our faults, to insulate ourselves from our own expendability or indispensability.

I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.

It's only before realities set in that we can treasure our delusions.

Maybe crazy is just the word we use for feelings that will not be contained.

New York City has finally hired women to pick up the garbage, which makes sense to me, since, as I've discovered, a good bit of being a woman consists of picking up garbage.

One of the useful things about age is realizing conventional wisdom is often simply inertia with a candy coating of conformity.

Our lives, so settled, so specific, are built on happenstance.

People who wish to salute the free and independent side of their evolutionary character acquire cats. People who wish to pay homage to their servile and salivating roots own dogs.

The life of a good dog is like the life of a good person, only shorter and more compressed.

The voices of conformity speak so loudly. Don't listen to them. No one does the right thing out of fear.

There's something undeniable about the posture of a person trying not to acknowledge your existance.

This is how I learn most of what I know about my children and their friends: by sitting in the driver's seat and keeping quiet.

We're part of a mixed marriage: he's male, I'm female.

What I expect from my male friends is that they are polite and clean. What I expect from my female friends is unconditional love, the ability to finish my sentences for me when I am sobbing, a complete and total willingness to pour their hearts out to me, and the ability to tell me why the meat thermometer isn't supposed to touch the bone.

What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.

When you really want to say no, say no. You can't do everything- or at least not well.

You can tell a really wonderful quote by the fact that it's attributed to a whole raft of wits.

You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.

Your children make it impossible to regret your past. They're its finest fruits. Sometimes the only ones.

Categories: Anna Quindlen, Craig Ferguson, Quotes of the day, Video, YouTube

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Kids and animals

Published Monday, July 07, 2014 @ 12:38 PM EDT
Jul 07 2014

A picture of granddaughters Joelle and Leanna from their vacation cabin.


Pixie the Shih Tzu (Klingon for "small, insane, dog-like creature") attacks: a) invisible bunnies under the comforter; b) my socks; and c) her older "sister," Sassy.

Categories: KGB Family, Video, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: Carl Jung

Published Friday, June 06, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 06 2014

Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875 – June 6, 1961), often referred to as C.G. Jung, was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. Jung proposed and developed the concepts of extraversion and introversion; archetypes, and the collective unconscious. His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion, philosophy, archeology, anthropology, literature, and related fields. He was a prolific writer, many of whose works were not published until after his death. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man who has never passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

Beautiful bodies and beautiful personalities rarely go together.

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.

I must also have a dark side if I am to be whole.

I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.

If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.

No psychic value can disappear without being replaced by another of equivalent intensity.

Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment, and especially on their children, than the unlived lives of the parents.

One cannot live without inconsistency.

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls.

Primitive superstition lies just below the surface of even the most tough-minded individuals, and it is precisely those who most fight against it who are the first to succumb to its suggestive effects.

Reason alone does not suffice.

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.

Space flights are merely an escape, a fleeing away from oneself, because it is easier to go to Mars or to the moon than it is to penetrate one's own being.

The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.

The healthy man does not torture others- generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.

The inner voice is at once our greatest danger and an indispensable help.

The meaning and design of a problem seem not to lie in its solution, but in our working at it incessantly.

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.

The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that fits all cases.

There's no coming to consciousness without pain.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

What you resist, persists.

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.


(Today is also the birthday of Thomas Mann.)


"This is Dr. Niles Crane, filling in for my ailing brother, Dr. Frasier Crane. Although I feel perfectly qualified to fill Frasier's radio shoes, I should warn you that while Frasier is a Freudian, I am a Jungian. So there'll be no blaming Mother today."
-dialogue from "Frasier Crane's Day Off," written by James Burrows
Season 1, episode 23 of the NBC television series "Frasier"

Categories: Carl Jung, David Hyde Pierce, Frasier, James Burrows, Quotes of the day, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: Bob Dylan

Published Saturday, May 24, 2014 @ 5:52 AM EDT
May 24 2014

Bob Dylan (b. Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'," became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving behind his initial base in the culture of the folk music revival, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" radically altered the parameters of popular music in 1965. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.

All this talk about equality. The only thing people really have in common is that they are all going to die.

And don't criticize what you can't understand.

Behind every beautiful thing, there's some kind of pain.

Chaos is a friend of mine.

Colleges are like old-age homes, except for the fact that more people die in colleges.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside and it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

Don't matter how much money you got, there's only two kinds of people: there's saved people and there's lost people.

Everything passes. Everything changes. Just do what you think you should do.

I believe strongly in everyone's right to defend themselves by every means necessary.

I have no message for anyone. My songs are only me talking to myself.

I once loved a woman, a child I am told
I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul.
But don't think twice, it's all right.

I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.

Just because you like my stuff doesn't mean I owe you anything.

Money doesn't talk, it swears.

Morality has nothing in common with politics.

People dissect my songs like rabbits but they all miss the point.

People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around- the music and the ideas.

Sometimes it's not enough to know what things mean. Sometimes you have to know what things don't mean.

The cost of liberty is high, and young people should understand that before they start spending their life with all those gadgets.

The first way to answer the questions in the song ('Blowin' in the Wind') is by asking them. But lots of people first have to find the wind.

To live outside the law, you must be honest.

We may not be able to defeat these swine, but we don't have to join them.

You can't be wise and in love at the same time.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

The official Bob Dylan web site.

Categories: Bob Dylan, Music, Peter, Paul and Mary, Video, YouTube

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Quotes of the day: Happy birthday, Craig Ferguson!

Published Saturday, May 17, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 17 2014

Craig Ferguson (b. May 17, 1962) is a Scottish-born American television host, stand-up comedian, writer, actor, director, author, producer and voice artist. He is the host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, an Emmy Award-nominated, Peabody Award-winning late- night talk show that has aired on CBS since January, 2005. Ferguson will leave the show in December, 2014. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


It's hard to stay up
It's been a long, long day
And you got the sandman at the door
But hang on, leave the TV on
And let's do it anyway
It's okay!
You can always sleep through work tomorrow, OK?
Hey hey!
Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.

Tell the clock on the wall
Forget the wakeup call
Cause the night's not nearly through
Wipe the sleep from your eyes
Give yourself a surprise
Let your worries wait another day
And if you stay too late at at the bar
At least you made it out this far
So make up your mind and say
Let's do it anyway!
It's okay!
You can always sleep through work tomorrow, okay?
Hey hey!
Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.

Life's too short to worry about
The things that you can live without
And I regret to say
The morning light is hours away
The world can be such a fright
But it belongs to us tonight
What's the point of going to bed?
You look so lovely when your eyes are red!

Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.

The world can be such a fright
But it belongs to us tonight
What's the point of going to bed?
You look so lovely when your eyes are red!

It's hard to stay up
It's been a long, long day
And you got the sandman at the door
But hang on, leave the TV on
And let's do it anyway
It's okay!
You can always sleep through work tomorrow, OK?
Hey hey!
Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.
Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.


A junkie will steal your purse, and then help you look for it.

Being guilty tends to engender feelings of guilt.

Change is the nature of God's mind, and resistance to it is the source of great pain.

Confession is a sacred rite enhanced by allegory, exaggeration, and lies.

Disagreement, vehement disagreement, is healthy. Debate is impossible without it. Evil does not question itself. Even the incorruptible are corruptible if they cannot accept the possibility of being mistaken.

Failure is not disgrace. It's just a pitch that you missed, and you'd better get ready for the next one. The next one might be the shot heard round the world. My son and I are Americans, we prepare for glory by failing until we don't.

I think when you become a parent you go from being a star in the movie of your own life to the supporting player in the movie of someone else's.

I'm always a bit shy around evil people.

If you really don't want gay people to get married, you shouldn't ban gay marriage, you ban gay divorce.

It's a great day for America, everybody!

It's easier to feel a little more spiritual with a couple of bucks in your pocket.

Love at first sight is not rare, in fact it is extremely common, it happens to some people a few times a year. The feeling of 'what if' when meeting the eyes of a stranger can be love unrecognized.

Maybe fear is God's way of saying, 'Pay attention, this could be fun.'

Other than the laws of physics, rules have never really worked out for me.

The devil is not abroad at night in the form of a cat or a wolf or any other animal. He lives eternally in the hearts of men.

Time is only linear for engineers and referees.

To most Americans, soccer is like warm hockey.

Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.

White Americans have a very unusual sense of history. They make it up as they go along, constantly revising to suit their tastes in a manner that would make Stalin blush. Very few of them saw any irony in the fact that during a recent nasty Balkans conflict, when Uncle Sam intervened to stop the Serbs from ethnically cleansing the Bosnians, the military action was performed using Apache helicopter gunships. Helicopters named after a people that had been ethnically cleansed in the United States less than one hundred years previously. Sixteen lane highways across the sacred burial grounds. Yee-hah.

You die alone in your house, and your cat will eat you.

Categories: Craig Ferguson, Quotes of the day, Video, YouTube

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Cleaning off the desktop III: A helicopter, the Tamiami, and Girls With Guns

Published Sunday, May 11, 2014 @ 8:26 AM EDT
May 11 2014

We were living in Philadelphia in the summer of 1985, and the television was on as background noise. A "Miami Vice" rerun was airing. I'd caught a few minutes of the series earlier in the year and, frankly, it wasn't on my must-see list. Anyway, I was working on something when I heard a car engine gunned, followed by a hard cut to Tommy Shaw's driving "Girls With Guns."

I looked up to see a tracking shot of speeding convertible. After a few seconds, it became obvious the tracking vehicle was a helicopter, perfectly matching the speed of the auto. I slowly became aware that there weren't any edits... this was one long honking aerial shot.

It runs for a total of 79 seconds, an eternity in a filmed television series. I couldn't find many details. The episode, "Glades," was the ninth in the series' first season. It originally aired on November 30, 1984; I apparently caught the rerun on June 21, 1985. The show was directed Stan Lathan (who would later go on to direct 122 episodes of "The Steve Harvey Show"), and the director of photography was Duke Callahan, who was also the D.P. on the motion picture Conan The Barbarian. The helicopter pilot and cameraman were uncredited.

The segment starts on the west side of Miami and continues along the Tamiami Highway. My guess is the director told the stars to drive themselves to the location that day, and he told the DP to grab a camera, get a helicopter, and get him some filler because the episode timed out short.

Or, it could have been a deliberate attempt to create a shot so impressive an old fart like me would remember it nearly 30 years later when he accidentally encountered it on the web.

Here's the link to the full song.

Categories: Classic, Cleaning off the desktop, Music, TV, Video, YouTube

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It's all in the delivery

Published Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 5:24 AM EDT
Mar 19 2014

YouTube video: This is Neil deGrasse Tyson:

YouTube video: This is Neil deGrasse Tyson, slowed down.
Cosmos for stoners!

Categories: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Video, YouTube

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Idina nails it

Published Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 12:25 PM EST
Mar 04 2014

Forget the Oscars. This is the best version.

(YouTube video: Jimmy Fallon, Idina Menzel and The Roots perform "Let It Go" on classroom instruments!)

The song as it appears in the film was undoubtedly assembled from multiple takes and enhanced electronically- a necessity when you're planning to exhibit it in huge IMAX venues with several thousands watts of audio amplification.

(YouTube video: Idina Menzel performs "Let It Go" in "Frozen.")

Frankly, her Oscar performance wasn't her best... having John Travolta mangle her name didn't help. Think about it- you're following Bette Midler, you're the last musical performer of the night, singing what everyone expects to win the Oscar for Best Song, the live orchestra is in a recording studio over a mile away, and "Let It Go" (which its authors say was specifically written to be "Idina's Badass Song") is the Power Ballad from Hell, ranging from F3 to E♭5.

Go ahead... follow along...

(YouTube video: Let It Go arranged by Larry Moore)

Anyway, it was nice to see her actually enjoying herself with Fallon and The Roots.

Categories: Frozen, Idina Menzel, Jimmy Fallon, Music, Video, YouTube

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, February 23, 2014 @ 7:58 AM EST
Feb 23 2014


"Some people, when they're slightly feverish and taking strong antibiotcs, have exotic dreams. I dream of digital rights management."

"Sounds exciting."

"Not the way we implement it."



They used a text-analysis program to measure the tone of articles in USA Today between 2007 and 2009, and found that especially positive articles predicted a downturn in the Dow Jones Industrial Average between a week and a month later. The researchers also analyzed all twenty-one U.S. Presidential inaugural addresses between 1933 and 2009, and found that Presidents who waxed optimistic about the future saw a rise in unemployment and a slowdown in economic growth during their terms in office. It’s perhaps too strong to suggest that positive thinking, alone, produced these large macroeconomic changes, but the staggering results in this most recent paper are consistent with more than a decade’s worth of studies in Oettingen’s lab. (The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking)



Just a reminder- Abe Vigoda's birthday is tomorrow. Get your party supplies today.



When the next crisis happens, and by the nature of markets, it will happen again, the government will do the only rational thing it can, and once again step in and save the institutions with taxpayer money. The economy will again be wrecked and the average family will again pay the costs.

The bankers won't suffer much, not personally. That's the real stupidity tax, and we are all paying. The Powerball lottery: Is it really a stupidity tax?.


(YouTube video: a great Vivaldi/Disney mashup.)


Beware the meeping angels.

Categories: Cartoons, Cleaning off the desktop, Music, YouTube

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Remembering Sid Caesar

Published Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EST
Feb 13 2014

Isaac Sidney "Sid" Caesar
(September 8, 1922 – February 12, 2014)

(Richard Drew/Associated Press)

Sid Caesar, a comedic force of nature who became one of television's first stars in the early 1950s and influenced generations of comedians and comedy writers, died on Wednesday. He was 91.

Mr. Caesar largely faded from the public eye in his middle years as he struggled with crippling self-doubt and addiction to alcohol and pills. But from 1950 to 1954, he and his co-stars on the live 90-minute comedy-variety extravaganza 'Your Show of Shows' dominated the Saturday night viewing habits of millions of Americans. In New York, a group of Broadway theater owners tried to persuade NBC to switch the show to the middle of the week because, they said, it was ruining their Saturday business.

Albert Einstein was a Caesar fan. Alfred Hitchcock called Mr. Caesar the funniest performer since Charlie Chaplin.

Television comedy in its early days was dominated by boisterous veterans of vaudeville and radio who specialized in broad slapstick and snappy one-liners. Mr. Caesar introduced a different kind of humor to the small screen, at once more intimate and more absurd, based less on jokes or pratfalls than on characters and situations. It left an indelible mark on American comedy.

'If you want to find the urtexts of 'The Producers' and 'Blazing Saddles,' of 'Sleeper' and 'Annie Hall,' of 'All in the Family' and 'M*A*S*H' and 'Saturday Night Live,' ” Frank Rich wrote in The New York Times when he was its chief theater critic, 'check out the old kinescopes of Sid Caesar.'

A list of Mr. Caesar's writers over the years reads like a comedy all-star team. Woody Allen and Mel Brooks did some of their earliest writing for him. So did the most successful playwright in the history of the American stage, Neil Simon. Carl Reiner created one landmark sitcom, 'The Dick Van Dyke Show;' Larry Gelbart was the principal creative force behind another, 'M*A*S*H.' Mel Tolkin wrote numerous scripts for 'All in the Family.' The authors of the two longest-running Broadway musicals of the 1960s, Joseph Stein ('Fiddler on the Roof') and Michael Stewart ('Hello, Dolly!'), were Caesar alumni as well. (Click here for the full New York Times obituary.)


Comedy has to be based on truth. You take the truth and you put a little curlicue at the end.

If I don't believe it, I don't care.

In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed.

New Year's Eve we got five dollars for the evening- but that was from eight to unconscious.

The best thing about humor is that it shows people they're not alone.

The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius.

The remote control changed our lives... The remote control took over the timing of the world. That's why you have road rage. You have people who have no patience, because you got immediate gratification. You got click, click, click, click. If it doesn't explode within three seconds, click click, click.

The trouble with telling a good story is that it invariably reminds the other fellow of a dull one.

When I did comedy I made fun of myself.If there was a buffoon, I played the buffoon. And people looked at me and said, 'Gee, that's like Uncle David', or 'That's like a friend of mine'. And they related through that. I didn't make fun of them. I made fun of me.

You gotta come down to go up.

You have to be prepared for luck. You have to work with luck.


YouTube video: Mel Brooks on working for Sid Caesar


YouTube video: Sid Caesar reminisces with Barry Mitchell.
ABC World News Now


YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 1 of 6

YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 2 of 6

YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 3 of 6

YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 4 of 6

YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 5 of 6

YouTube video: Sid Caesar Interview Part 6 of 6

Categories: ABC World News Now, Quotes of the day, Sid Caesar, Video, YouTube

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Cleaning off the desktop

Published Sunday, February 09, 2014 @ 5:53 PM EST
Feb 09 2014


I can communicate through a series of short & long groans & sighs. It's called 'morose code'.
-Robb Allen, @ItsRobbAllen (h/t David Kifer, alt.quotations)



Somewhat alarmed to discover some teens don't recognize "Uncle Sam," I checked with my daughter about my soon to be 11 year old granddaughter's status:

KGB: Does Lea know who Uncle Sam is?

Sara: Oh, I think she would.

KGB: Ask her when convenient.

Sara: She said yes, it's the guy pointing and saying "I want you."

KGB: Excellent. Our nation is in good hands.

Sara: She said "Yes. Yes, it is."

Can't argue with that...>



"I give them a year."
-Ray Bloch, musical director for "The Ed Sullivan Show," on the Beatles, when they made their first live appearance on American television 50 years ago.



"Ah, hell. Let's call Froot Loops what they really are: Gay Cheerios."
-Bill Maher



Those who feel that humans are essentially good and altruistic have never read the comment sections on YouTube.



I actually used to date a girl named Christie Benghazi, so it's funny for me now when I flip between those two channels.
-John Fugelsang


The Star Trek Facepalm collection, although I don't think Spock actually qualifies.


“If we came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?”

Let me ask you this: If you came from parents, why are there still parents?


"Fortunes have been lost underestimating Jay Leno."
-Lorne Michaels

Categories: Cartoons, Cleaning off the desktop, Harrison Ford, Jay Leno, KGB Family, KGB Opinion, Linked In, Michael Collins, Miscellany, NASA, Star Trek, YouTube

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Published Wednesday, January 08, 2014 @ 6:17 AM EST
Jan 08 2014

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977) was an American singer, musician, and actor. One of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as "The King of Rock and Roll", or simply, "The King". Presley is one of the most celebrated musicians of 20th century. Commercially successful in many genres, including pop, blues and gospel, he is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music. He was nominated for 14 Grammys and won three, receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.

Don't let your head get too big, it'll break your neck.

Don't criticize what you don't understand, son. You never walked in that man's shoes

I believe the key to happiness is: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.

I don't feel I'll live a long life. That's why I have to get what I can from every day.

I don't know anything about music. In my line, you don't have to.

I have no use for bodyguards, but I have a very special use for two highly trained certified public accountants.

I was training to be an electrician. I suppose I got wired the wrong way round somewhere along the line.

I'd never do anything vulgar before an audience. My mother wouldn't permit it.

Music should be something that makes you gotta move, inside or outside.

My voice is ordinary. If I stand still while I'm singing, I might as well go back to driving a truck.

Rhythm is something you either have or don't have, but when you have it you have it all over.

Singers come and go, but if you're a good actor, you can last a long time.

Talent is being able to sell what you're feeling.

The image is one thing and the human being is another. It's very hard to live up to an image.

The Lord can give, and the Lord can take away. I might be herding sheep next year.

The only thing worse than watchin' a bad movie is bein' in one.

There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.

Those movies sure got me into a rut.

Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away.

When things go wrong, don't go with them.

When you're a celebrity, people treat you nicer. The bad part is, they also tell you what they think you want to hear, which ain't always the truth.

You only pass through this life once; you don't come back for an encore.


Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it's a whole new social revolution- the 60s comes from it.
-Leonard Bernstein

We're the Axis of Elvis.
-John Lileks

America is Elvis Presley- the most beautiful, talented, rebellious nation in the history of Earth. And now, you're in your Vegas years. You've squeezed yourself into a white jumpsuit, you're wheezing your way through 'Love Me Tender' and you might be about to pass away bloated on the toilet. But you're still the King.
-John Oliver

He was a unique artist… an original in an area of imitators.
-Mick Jagger

A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man's music, when in fact almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis.
-Jackie Wilson

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate him eleven.
-Sammy Davis, Jr.

Before Elvis, there was nothing.
-John Lennon


Categories: Elvis, Music, Video, YouTube

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