Ben does it again!

With a likability, honesty and profoundness that can match few other pop artists, Ben Folds has done it again with his iTunes exclusive release this week, aptly titled, ‘iTunes Originals.’

For me, this all started in the spring of 1996. It was in my room, some algebra homework staring me in the face, when over my radio I first heard the quirky lyrics, luscious harmonies and pounding piano of "Underground," a new song by a little-known band from Chapel Hill, N.C., called Ben Folds Five.

Little did I know then, it would set the standard I would compare all other music against.

This much we know: Folds burst onto the indie rock scene in 1994, teaming up with Robert Sledge and Darren Jessee to form Ben Folds Five. After attracting critical acclaim with their self-titled debut and "Underground," the band signed with major label Sony to produce 1997's "Whatever and Ever Amen."

But Folds has been most recognized for "Brick," the hit-selling single about his high school experience with a girlfriend who had an abortion. Its lyrics are a classic piece of Folds storytelling, but the song is hardly a spec of Folds mind-whirling piano playing and most fans attending his shows probably don't care if "Brick" makes the set list.

Since going solo in 2000 and continuing to tour heavily, Folds has continued to pick up fans across the country with a witty, honest songwriting sense, catchy melodies and that thumping piano that's unlike any of the pre-packaged stuff being played on VH1 or Top 40 radio.

Through it all, Folds often has drawn comparisons to Elton John and another famous piano man, Billy Joel. Folds, however, does it his way -- and with attitude.

To listen to a Ben Folds album is one thing. To attend one of his performances is a completely different experience.

While few other performers haul a baby grand piano across the world, Folds pounds on his with whatever he can find and often ends the show by throwing his stool at the keys like a sledgehammer.

His diverse audiences hang on every word, typically singing the old BF5 harmonies like a concert choir (If you don't know them, don't worry -- it's easy to catch on). Folds even has been known to conduct the crowd while standing on top of his piano. And he divides them into a trumpet and saxophone section for renditions of his bouncy 1999 single "Army."

You want cover songs? Yeah, he might do a couple of those too. I've seen Folds put his piano spin on everything from Kansas' "Carry on Wayward Son" to Elton John's "Tiny Dancer," during which he donned a large pair of white rimmed glasses and shamelessly imitated Elton's wide-eyed, open-mouthed piano playing.

And that brings me to today, where somewhere in a box at my home are a half dozen ticket stubs from his concerts. A couple Ben Folds DVDs are stored in our video cabinet and every album he's ever released or appeared on remains either in my car or at the stop of my CD stack.

Now, just when me and every other obsessive Folds fan thinks we know everything about him, he unleashes a collection of untold stories and images of him playing records for hours on the floor of his boyhood home, walking through the school cafeteria with melodies playing in his head and he begins to tell us just how hard of a year he had at age 16 -- a story that brings out a whole new appreciation for ‘Brick.’ He tells us of a mind-boggling realization during the birth of his son and he reminds us just how great an album Reinhold Messner is, despite its commercial failure.

In between all of it is a blend of old Folds tunes that, no matter how many times we’ve heard them, sound amazing anyway they’re played.

My bond with Folds’ music is one I don't intend to break soon. And I'm renewing it again today as I listen to another one his collections with a wide-eyed grin that is perhaps bigger than the one on Ralphie’s face when he opened his Red Ryder BB gun in ‘A Christmas Story.’

It’s a bond I don’t intend to break because few things in life make me as happy as the feeling I have when I'm listening to Ben's music.

More Ben insight ...
a Ben Folds Five Talk About The Songs of The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner
a Ben Folds lyrics database

Good read (03.29.07): Ben Folds is still rockin' the suburbs


World's oldest person dies aged 115

For all the world and life has to offer, I can only hope of living this long someday. Oh, the stories I'd have to tell ...

World's oldest person dies aged 115


No clowning around

A story I wrote a couple weeks ago was picked up by the Associated Press and appeared in newspapers throughout the country this weekend including the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I'll try to let the story do the talking for how special this woman truly is and add that she will forever be in my heart ...

(If the above link doesn't work try this one.)


A weekend at the farm

We were at the farm -- one of my favorite places on earth -- this weekend to celebrate Kates' parents' 30th wedding anniversary along with the almost-complete restoration and remodeling of the farmhouse ...

Just a few of my favorite shots from the weekend ... They say pictures speak a thousands words, but not even these can offer up enough words to explain the peace and serenity one feels at this place.


Movies that made me say ‘Yeah!’

(Revised 06.22.2012)
Let me start by saying I don't consider myself much of a movie connoisseur.

While Kates brags about the list of classic ‘80s movies she watched as a kid, I can count on one hand the movies my parents took my brother and I to see in a theater during our childhoods. (My first: ‘Follow That Bird,’ a Sesame Street classic …) ...

During my teens, though, I could be found at a movie theater almost every weekend -- back then ticket prices were just $4 or $5, I had the money to burn and it was the thing to do on a Saturday night. It also was a time when I thought every movie was the best thing I'd ever seen ...

These days, I’m more critical of movies than I've ever been. You can probably point to my life experiences and my work for much of that ...

Still, there's a selection of movies that I can watch over and over again, reciting my favorite lines, adoring the characters and still laugh at the same lines I probably laughed at the first time I heard them.

Here's my list of movies I think everyone should see at least once ...

-- About Schmidt
-- Air Force One
-- A League of Their Own
-- American Beauty
-- Apollo 13
-- Armageddon
-- Back to the Future (The entire trilogy)
-- The Bank Job
-- Big
-- The Bourne Identity & The Bourne Supremacy
-- Cast Away
-- Christmas Story
-- ConAir
-- Crash
-- The Cure
-- Dead Poet's Society
-- Down With Love
-- E.T.
-- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-- Eye for an Eye
-- Face Off
-- Field of Dreams
-- For Love of the Game
-- Forrest Gump
-- Frequency
-- Freedom Writers
-- The Fugitive
-- Garden State
-- Good Will Hunting
-- Hairspray
-- The Help
-- Home Alone
-- Honey I Shrunk the Kids
-- The Incredibles
-- Independence Day
-- Jerry Maguire
-- Juno
-- The Karate Kid
-- L.A. Confidential
-- The Last Kiss
-- Little Miss Sunshine
-- The Lorax
-- Love Actually
-- The Matrix
-- Magnolia
-- Major League
-- Mean Girls
-- Million Dollar Baby
-- Moneyball
-- Monsters Inc
-- Mr. Holland's Opus
-- National Treasure
-- The Natural
-- Notting Hill
-- Ocean's Eleven
-- Once
-- Over The Hedge
-- The Perfect Storm
-- Pleasantville
-- The Pursuit of Happyness
-- Ratatouille
-- Ray
-- Remember The Titans
-- Rent
-- The Rock
-- The Rookie
-- The Sandlot
-- Serendipity
-- Shakespeare In Love
-- The Shawshank Redemption
-- Shrek I & II
-- Sister Act I & II
-- Spanglish
-- Speed
-- Star Wars (The original trilogy)
-- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
-- Stand By Me
-- Tangled
-- Team America
-- That Thing You Do!
-- Titanic
-- Toy Story (The entire trilogy)
-- The Truman Show
-- Vanilla Sky
-- Walk The Line
-- Wizard of Oz
-- World Trade Center

Movie marathon!

... So my mom gave us these coupons a couple weeks ago that she got from the Hallmark store because she bought a handful of greeting cards. With that, I got this random idea that Kates and I could devote and entire weekend to watching all the movies we haven't seen, but have waited to see for too long. You see, we don't go out to the theaters that often anymore because 1) it's pretty dang expensive 2) immature people and 3) well, a lot of the movies lately just haven't been that appealing ...

So on Thursday night, we made a list. We calculated the number of movies we could watch in a day and allowed the other to pick three movies, having no regard for the other's interests. Kates picked: 'Closer,' 'Ray' and 'In Good Company.' ... Pretty good picks for me since I wanted to see all three of those. Kates couldn't say the same to me though as I picked 'National Treasue,' 'The Pacifier' and 'Team America' (one that she really didn't want to see). ... Then I went to get the movies.

Saturday morning -- we stayed in our pajamas and hunkered down as if there was a blizzard outside (it was raining actually ...). We snacked on chips and salsa, chocolate pudding and then had pizza and popcorn for supper. A good old-fashioned lazy day!

And the reviews are now in ...

  • -- Team America: Kates launched it by saying 'Let's get it over with ...' ... OK, not the greatest movie ever. But there were several times that I laughed pretty hard and you have to remember the actors are puppets! PUPPETS!! How many other movies have you seen like this? Aside from the story and writing, the makers of this film were absolute geniuses for, first, tackling such an idea and then pulling it off and doing it amazingly well! (watch the DVD special features and you appreciate it even more.) ...Definitely a must-see for what it's worth.
  • -- Closer: ... And this got Oscar buzz last year because ...? A rambling storyline with an ending I've already forgotten ...
  • -- The Pacifier: Glad we waited to see it on DVD. Vin Diesel's comic acting needs some coaching ...
  • -- National Treasue: A great film that keeps you interested all the way through! Nicholas Cage reaffirmed why he's one of my favorite actors ...
  • -- Ray: Now I know why this one was up for the Oscar's Picture of the Year and why it rekindled interest in Ray Charles' career and his music. Jamie Foxx's portrayal of Ray Charles was as memorable, and yet as unbelievable, as Will Smith's performance in 'Ali.'
  • -- In Good Company: A cute story, but again glad we waited to see it on video.


From tornado alley to 'Suicide Alley'

Let the end of summer begin … Kates goes back to school Monday, so we’ve decided to go all out this weekend. This afternoon I met Kirk Hinrich at the Racine Boat Show (got him to sign my KU basketball … Go Jayhawks!), then Kates and I hooked up and went to the Milwaukee County Zoo for tonight’s A La Carte event, although the real reason for going was to see Shawn Colvin (left) …

We might not have made it there had we had the fate that our fellow Wisconsinites experienced last night. I mean, we’ve had a drought this summer and we needed some rain and all, but sheesh! ...Yesterday afternoon the downtown was as dark as a night sky and we got dumped on for about 30 minutes straight. The afternoon sky cleared up and gave way to the sun at some points. But after supper, as I was driving to Blockbuster with a list of movies for the weekend, I noticed the incredible, gargantuan, dark orange and red cloud bearing down on the city from the west. The sky was turning pink and it was like nothing I’d seen before. All I could think of was 'War of the Worlds' and some alien creatures dropping out of the sky ... I wished I had my camera.

I got our movies and by the time I arrived home, Kates was on the phone with her mom and hearing the news that her grandma and some relatives survived one of the hardest hit areas, a tornado that went through their small town of Viola, apparently obliterating some 70 homes, lots of tress and the old feed mill in its path.

By the time the storm came east and reached us and the Milwaukee area, it’s strength had diminished substantially and we just got a good lightning storm as it passed on over Lake Michigan. When we turned on the local news they were giving reports of people finding papers and debris in their yards some 60-70 miles west of where it started in Stoughton. Unbelievable!

Reader: ahem! …Mr. Horns, sorry to interrupt, I can learn everything I want about tornados by watching the Weather Channel --

Mr. Horns: Oh yes! The Weather Channel! Splendid piece of television, isn’t it? It’s one of my mother’s favorites --

Reader: Yes, but Mr. Horns you were about to tell us about Shawn Colvin. How was that?

Yes. Sorry. Shawn Colvin. ... but for more on the tornado go here!

For my musical side, a dream come true tonight. I fell in love with Shawn Colvin’s music the moment I heard ‘Sunny Came Home’ hit the radio airwaves in the spring of ‘97. Her soothing music helped me through many stressful weeks in college and I haven’t stopped following that adoring, unmistakable, rough, yet soothing alto voice since.

Seeing her tonight -- for a cheap $9.75 adult admission into the zoo, I might add -- was everything I’d hoped it would be. Like an intimate MTV Unplugged or VH1 Storytellers performance, Colvin played to a diverse outdoor crowd of about 200 people on a small stage tucked at the furthest outskirts of the zoo grounds. A clear sky of stars and the full moon hung over as the zoo animals and full grown trees surrounded us.

No band. Just Colvin and her acoustic guitars. And that soothing alto voice.

Her set lasted almost two hours and included an encore of four songs. She wasted no time pleasing the crowd, delving into Shotgun Avalanche and mixing in a lot of old favorites with new tunes, and even taking requests from the crowd. Almost the entire show appeared made of whatever the heck Colvin felt like playing, which only added to the intimacy of it. She was barely halfway through the show when she told the crowd she wasn’t gonna wait any longer to play her most popular song -- an obvious intro to ‘Sunny Came Home’ -- adding that she didn’t care to save it for the end like other artists might and she wanted to play it before too many of her younger fans got sleepy.

She kept going with several more from her Grammy-award winning masterpiece, ‘A Few Small Repairs,’ including ‘Wichita Skyline’ and ‘Mona Lisa.’

Colvin charmed the crowd again when her ‘G-string’ broke and repaired the string as she conversed with the crowd about things to do in the area and a tangent about taking her 7-year-old daughter to Disney World, buying her a Belle dress that caught the eye of ‘The Beast’ -- thus Colvin joked she’s been brainwashed by Disney and has had to buy her daughter everything Disney since. The crowd was later treated to the cuteness that is Colvin’s daughter, who pranced onto the stage and playfully whispered some things into her mother’s ear. Callie, as Colvin introduced her, eventually whirled around toward the crowd and bounced back off the stage.

Taking more requests and keeping the young ones’ interests, Colvin also played a for-sure charmer from the Elmopalooza album, ‘I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon’ (although Ernie wasn't with her). And of course, Kates and I sang adoringly to every word in one of those concert moments you hope you never forget … The classic Colvin tunes seemed endless -- ‘Trouble,’ ‘Tennessee,’ Diamond in the Rough,’ ‘I Don’t Know Why,’ 'Matter of Minutes' and ‘Whole New You.’ And later a comical encore request of ‘Tenderness on the Block’ that Colvin muddled through and admitted she had forgotten the words. No problem -- the crowd helped her pretty well.

… A night to remember.


The Power of Listening

I don't plan to discuss politics on here frequently. I am by no means a political mind and I've never really cared to be one ...

But the case of Cindy Sheehan strikes me. I love my country and I have the utmost respect and admiration for the people fighting for our freedom and liberties. You couldn't pay me enough to step into their shoes ...

Yet, I can't say I agree with all our country is doing in Iraq. Sure, I've talked to some of the soldiers and heard the feel-good stories about the happiness Iraqis have shown for the American presence and the improved atmosphere since the fall of Saddam's regime and yada, yada, yada. Still, I'm not sure the Bush administration had a concrete reason to go there in the first place, as much as they tried to make the impression that it was our duty ...

...meanwhile the references increase of Iraq being our generation's Vietnam and it seems Bush's numbers in the popularity polls are dropping as fast as our soldiers themselves.

I don't understand why Bush couldn't just speak with Cindy Sheehan. Or why any big-time CEO can't treat the employees that keep his company running with dignity. Or why a Major League Baseball player can't take a minute to sign a baseball for a kid waiting beyond the dugout ...

I have little faith that any of these examples will change, but, man, if they did, and if Bush met with Sheehan personally for even an hour, it would speak volumes to this country that our president really does care about this country, its policies and its people.

SEE RELATED: MSNBC.com: Why Cindy Sheehan deserves an audience with President Bush

UPDATE, AUG. 31: Anti-war mom glad she didn’t meet Bush


Sweaty, sweaty, sweaty hippo

I came across this story today on the wire. Let me just say it raised my eyebrows kinda like it must've done when some scientists started taking cotton swabs from this hippo's arm pit ...


A headline you don't see every day ...

In the journalistic community, debates about what's news often include a reference and comparison of the headlines 'Dog bites man' and 'Man bites dog' ...

Now, none of us expect to see the latter headline in print, but this one comes close:

Hooked fish gets revenge, lures angler to death


The Summer of Love continues

Good day. Good memories. Good conversation. Good laughs. Good times.

My cousin got married this weekend in what was our fourth wedding of the summer (something like the 14th wedding ceremony we've had in the last three years -- at least as far as I can remember; I think I'm forgetting a couple ...). Trouble was I had to attend it without my other half as Kates had a wedding of her own to attend -- a friend of hers also was married in Chicago. A THIRD wedding, a friend of mine, also was celebrating her marriage, but we of course, couldn't make it.

So yeah. My cousin got married. Blah, blah, blah, just another member of the family, right? Perhaps. But for some reason this one struck me more than I had anticipated. I'm not sure if it was that I missed having Kates by my side, or simply being with family, or realizing all of us 'boys' are all grown up, married and talking about starting families.

On Saturday, the memories of my childhood came rushing back as I listened to my childhood minister marry my cuz and his bride and later watched a slideshow of the two growing up -- you know the ones that are so popular at wedding ceremonies now and feature all the pictures your parents took from the time you made funny poses in your underwear to the day you donned a cap and gown. ... I learned even more I didn't know about cuz's life when my uncle told an emotional story of cuz's complications at birth and his near-death.

Throughout the day, all the memories came back of us boys swapping baseball cards, synchronizing our watches to time Sunday church services, decorating Grandma's Christmas tree, ice skating on a backyard pond, crowding my our uncle's room to listen to records, playing basketball in the dark on a June night, camping with the scouts and competing in Little League baseball and youth soccer.

And as I made the two-hour trek home late on this night and continued to reminisce and daydream, one thought came to me: For all the hundreds of positive reasons I had for moving to Kansas more than a decade ago, finally I had come up with one regret ... somewhere I lost the closeness I once felt with my cousins.


Cast Away

Heard of podcasting? … A couple months ago, I hadn’t either -- until some guy I had interviewed for a feature about blogging ripped me on his blog for not asking him any questions about RSS feeds and podcasting (uh, buddy, I wasn’t writing a story about podcasting; I was writing about blogging. Had I been writing a story about podcasting, I would have asked you about podcasting. …so of course when do begin a story on podcasting and follow-up with him for an interview he gives me the cold shoulder …).

Apparently, blogging was so last year and now it's podcasting that’s the latest Internet craze (with video blogging right behind). So in writing this latest feature I found out about a local guy who has the only podcast in the region, thousands of subscribers and an iTunes rating that peaked at No. 56. For about two weeks, I immersed myself in everything podcast, listening to about a dozen of them for several hours straight …

It's been dubbed “TiVo for Radio,” and “Wayne's World for Radio.” Others call it audio blogging or blogcasting. …it’s only called podcasting because some yahoo derived the word from using his iPod to download and play the audio files, which are essentially pirated Internet broadcasts. Thus the common misconception is you need an iPod to listen to podcasts when all you really need is a computer with an Internet connection and a speaker, or any other MP3 player to store and listen to the files.

Podcasting is the latest Internet revolution that’s allowing the guy next door to record his random thoughts and views from his basement -- with as little as some cheap software, a microphone and a home computer -- and upload the audio file to the Internet for listeners across the world.

The first podcast was born about a year ago when ex-MTV VJ Adam Curry, with the help of software developer Dave Winer, created his “Daily Source Code.” Then, as more wannabe DJs figured out how to podcast, the new medium's popularity exploded faster than you can say web blog.

Now, it's estimated more than 7,000 podcasts are airing worldwide, discussing everything from religion, filmmaking and politics to, quite literally, sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. Some of them, in a Seinfeld-like style, talk about really nothing at all, complete with dead air and “ums.”

According to a Pew Internet & American Life Project report released in April, more than 6 million adults in the U.S. have downloaded a podcast. And Apple has said users subscribed to more than 1 million podcasts within the first 48 hours of the iTunes 4.9 release in June, which made the downloads more easily available.

So remember me saying that while researching and writing this story I listened to podcasts for hours straight? Yeah. Most of those podcasts were episodes of the infamous ‘Dawn & Drew Show.’ I downloaded every episode they’ve ever produces and listened to them back to back to back to back …

Consistently, one of the most popular pod casts, the humorous, but vulgar and raunchy show debuted last September within the walls of the married couple’s Wayne, Wis., farmhouse. It features Dawn Miceli, 28, and Drew Domkus, 33, and sometimes their yapping dogs behind them, conversing about their daily lives and everything in between from their families, Drew’s tech guy nerdiness and Dawn's obsession with Hello Kitty to, well, sex.

And yes, they truly were as cool and fun -- and even more sweet -- during a phone interview with me as they are on their podcast.

“The first one Drew did by himself and Drew kept talking; he talks about nerdy stuff all the time,” Miceli told me. “When I heard the show and realized ‘oh this is like an audio blog. I can get into this.’ I jumped on the bandwagon and took over.”

Now “The Dawn and Drew Show” podcast, which averages about 30 minutes and airs three or four times a week, has become so internationally popular, the couple can’t think of a country or continent they haven't received fan mail from. Their names also have appeared in the pages of The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, USA Today and so many other periodicals they’ve lost count.

Prior to the launch of the new iTunes, Dawn and Drew had racked up more than 100,000 subscribers. The couple said they have not received updated numbers since then, but can speculate the new iTunes has caused their subscription base to double.

“When we started it was just kind of a fun way to have a radio show for our family and friends,” Miceli said. “We were so excited when we had 60 listeners. I don't think any of us could have foreseen the success.”

For the whole story go here or here or the Madison Capital Times.

UPDATE, Aug. 23: My friend Tom apparently hates the word podcast …


Peter Jennings 1938-2005

When I saw the headline during a surf of the Internet Sunday night, I quickly learned I knew so little of how much Peter Jennings had accomplished in his career -- the Canadian-born journalist had debuted as ABC's network news anchor in 1965. He then thrived as a foreign correspondent and, as this story puts its, dominated the ratings througout the '80s and early '90s.

Reading all this now, I'm sorry I didn't pay more attention to him, having been largely raised on Dan Rather and CBS. (Rather's subsequent fall and that network's handling of the now infamous Bush-National Guard story has me watching more of Brian Williams and NBC, however.)

Yet, what might be one of my most vivid memories of network news, among perhaps one of the most vivid days of this generation, was the Saturday morning -- it must've been Saturday, Sept. 15, 2001, as I think about it now -- that I walked into my college's newspaper office. All alone, I picked up the remote and turned on the TV. There was Peter Jennings, in one of his now infmaous broadcasts, talking to children about the events of those last few days. I'm sure it probably took me awhile to get any work done as I remember marveling at how easily he met the children at their levels and made them feel comfortable with their fears and feelings, as all of us were experiencing the same confusion and fears.

My lasting memory of Peter Jennings ...


10 reasons tonight wasn't the greatest night in the world ...

1) We have like pennies in our bank account ...
2) Yet we still think it's OK to put $800 on a credit card for a new mattress set and bed frame.
3) The Cubs can't win lately.
4) Sales people at Best Buy are no help.
5) I was almost home when Kates -- we were driving seperate cars -- calls me to say she's pulled over at a gas station and her car is smoking.
6) Gas is $2.45 a gallon.
7) The tow truck takes like two hours to find us, while we sit in my hot, uncomfortable car.
8) The Cubs still aren't winning. In fact, they're getting creamed.
9) Kates will probably need a new car ... but we have like pennies in our bank account.
10) After the tow truck leaves us at an auto shop, but before Kates and I can start to leave, a cop stops us and questions us like we're some crooks breaking in to these piece of junk cars. 'Ah no officer, we're just leaving ...'

The one reason tonight wasn't so bad after all:
1) The towing service told us the tow might cost us about 80 bucks. ... I guess he miscalculated. It cost us like 6 bucks.


Hazardous to your health

I couldn't hide the chuckle the other night when Seann William Scott strutted toward David Letterman's desk for a Late Show sit-down. Heck, it seemed Dave could barely hide the smirk on his face as he announced Scott and the cheap knock-off film he's set to star in, probably knowing all too well how bad this movie was going to be.

Jessica Simpson could be wearing a 'Daisy thong' (Ok, that was a stupid attempt at a clever line ...) for all I care ... this story couldn't have explained better why I won't be spending my precious dollars to see this movie.

And from the Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan: "The last word on this non-film film should go to a man who likely has not seen it, cartoonist Wiley Miller of the daily comic 'Non Sequitur.' A recent strip featured a movie marque reading 'Now Showing: Another Lame Movie Version of A 60s Sitcom, As Hollywood Has Completely Run Out Of Any Semblance of Creativity And Is Banking On Your Being Too Stupid To Notice.' Change the decade, and that about says it all."


Why I Can't Stand 'CSI'

The following story lays out some perfect examples for why I can't stand to watch one of television's most overrated shows: CSI

It's bad enough television is saturated with so many law and crime dramas, but the fact people actually believe them to be realistic is more sickening. Experiencing more real-life, emotional crimes in my career than I could have ever imagined, it's all to easy for me to see what the shows lack -- or in this case, doesn't lack. And I still roll my eyes with police everytime I hear someone comment on and investigation by saying 'That's not the way they do it on CSI' ...


The real world vs. the CSI syndrome


Best Ad on Television

This was a good story appearing on Slate today about a classic Geico campaign ... Every time I see the commercial, it makes me think of how well the ad duped me the first time I caught it over the winter. I remember my jaw dropping at the thought that TV producers could possibly come up with another reality series further from reality than they've already gone, and then actually feeling bad for the couple appearing in the alleged new show! ...and then that tag line " ... it won't save you money on your car insurance." ...It's gotta be one of the most clever ads on television right along -- along with, of course, those HP picture commercials with the guy putting picture frames around his neck. Those rare gems that make you stop what you're doing and watch EVERY TIME ...

The Best Ad on Television - The brilliance of Geico's "Tiny House" By Seth Stevenson

Dentures stuck in bronchial tubes — three years

From today's wierd news file ...

Dentures stuck in bronchial tubes — three years