Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bendy Woman

Picture Of The Day: Roger e-mails, "Paul, you have to see Bendy Woman, who seems to be doing some sort of ad-hoc contortionist act, but I have no idea where. Why she isn't working for Cirque du Soleil yet, I don't know."

For previous POTDs, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Beyonce Does Tina


If you missed Beyonce doing "Proud Mary" as part of the tribute to Tina Turner at the Kennedy Center Honors last night, here it is. Not only is her performance amazing, watch the backup dancers bend over backward -- literally!

Superballs in San Francisco

Picture Of The Day: 250,000 superballs of every color cascading down the street in San Francisco for a TV commercial. Wait for the frog to appear. The link gives you choices of long or short version, high or low resolution.

For previous POTDs, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Tabloid Psychics Fail Again!

Every year, Gene Emery collects the predictions made by psychics in the tabloids and holds onto them. At the end of the following year, he comes on my KMOX show to report on their accuracy and do something the publishers never do -- hold them accountable. Today was the day I talked to Gene about which predictions were made for 2005, which ones came anywhere near being correct, and which predictions were so wild they qualify as the funniest fiction of the year. Listen to the conversation here.

Gene Emery is a reporter for the Providence Journal and columnist for the Skeptical Inquirer.

Still Ready For Some Football

It occurred to me last night while watching ABC's goodbye to "Monday Night Football" that the generation that grew up in the 36 years the show has been on the air probably didn't understand all the hoopla.

After all, the only thing that's changing is the channel. Football will still be played on Monday nights next season, and it will still be televised, only now it will be on ESPN instead of ABC, with Joe Theisman sitting next to Al Michaels. Don't expect Hank Williams Jr. to ask next season, "Are you cable-ready for some football?"

All the reports mourned "the last over-the-air broadcast" of MNF, as if that matters anymore. Most of the nation's TV viewers have either cable or satellite and couldn't care less whether the content passes through a broadcast transmitter before getting to their house. For them, ABC and ESPN are merely channels in a multi-network universe, and the change won't keep football fans from watching the game (it may affect the casual fan, but that's not because of the hardware -- it's because of meaningless matchups like the Patriots and Jets last night, or ESPN's final Sunday night game this weekend between the Rams and Cowboys).

If it were all about technology, few people in St. Louis would have even seen "Monday Night Football" in the last decade, because the ABC affiliate here is a UHF station. A generation ago, that mattered, because UHF stations were hard to tune in -- you needed the skills of a safe-cracker to get the signal just right. But Americans under the age of 35 have no idea what VHF and UHF are, and have no memory of that weird loop antenna or the fine-tuning UHF knob on old TVs.

Yet, it's not really a generational matter. My mother is 81 years old, but she's had cable TV for three decades. Whether a show is on her local CBS affiliate or HBO or TCM is immaterial to her ability to watch it. Neither is the time it's on -- with her DVR, she watches what she wants, when she wants.

Having a TV show move from one channel to another isn't a big deal, either. "Law and Order" fans watch the show on both NBC and TNT without pausing for a moment to wonder about subscriber fees, distribution rates, etc. Tennis and golf fans understand that big tournaments air on USA during the week and CBS or NBC on the weekend.

And don't forget the millions of people who have bought DVDs of their favorite TV shows to enjoy again and again, or downloaded episodes of "Lost" and "Commander in Chief" from iTunes. They are loyal to the show, not the network.

Sure, ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX remain the most popular networks, because they've been around the longest and having the highest brand recognition. But just wait until "The Sopranos" returns to HBO in March. Wanna bet what will be the number one show that night?

Americans make viewing and listening choices based on content, not on some old-fashioned notion about who is delivering that content to them. Give'em the goods they want and they'll take'em, regardless of the route.

Bush Drunk

Picture Of The Day: After I mentioned how much I like Craig Ferguson's show, several readers e-mailed me this bit he did recently which asks, "Is President Bush drinking again?"

For previous POTDs, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Aaron Barnhart, TV Year In Review

This afternoon on my KMOX show, in an extended segment, Aaron Barnhart and I reviewed the year in television -- from the Katrina coverage to the indecemcy hearings, from "My Name Is Earl" to Ken Jennings, from the death of Carson and Jennings to the birth of the video iPod. Listen to the conversation here.

You'll find Aaron in print in the Kansas City Star and online at TVBarn.com. He's on my KMOX show every Monday at 4:15pm CT. For more Aaron, see these archives.

Knuckleheads In The News®

Stories you may have missed on my KMOX show this afternoon:

  • In a hotel elevator, a man took off his clothes, lit them on fire, and danced around them. You won't be surprised to hear that he'd been smoking meth.

  • The coat room at a Christmas party at a brewery seemed like a good place for a pickpocket to grab some stuff -- unfortunately, he didn't check to see whose party it was.

  • Dad bought a lottery ticket, which turned out to be worth $46 million. He couldn't decide how to split up the money, so he asked his daughter to do it because she's so fair. Guess who she didn't give any of the winnings to?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Best Monologue on TV

Several months ago, I wrote about the monologue Craig Ferguson does on his "Late Late Show" on CBS. It's not the joke-athon all the other hosts do. Instead, it's almost Regis-like in his discussion of things from his own life, or other events that have caught his fancy. It's always relatable, thematic, and easy to like because of his personality and presentation. Now the LA Times has an insider piece on how it comes together each night and how it became the new monologue standard [registration required, or use bugmenot.com].

Friday, December 23, 2005

Stories You May Have Missed

Stories you may have missed from my KMOX show today:

  • A woman who swallowed her cell phone, apparently after an argument with her boyfriend. No word on which ringtone she keeps hearing, or if she had it set on vibrate. I'd like to know the size and model of the phone she was trying to slide down her gullet -- I could see if this were something like an iPod Shuffle -- is there one that could have fit?

  • Talk about hellish holiday travel. It took these passengers, about 45 hours to fly from Los Angeles to New Delhi.

  • When this kid plays his baritone saxophone, it sounds like a moose's mating call. At least, it did to a moose that was attracted to the house, to mom's surprise.

Christmas On The Hill

Picture Of The Day: Another home with computer-synchronized Christmas lights and music, this time by Tim & Patricia on The Hill in St. Louis. Their website is here.

Here's another home light show by Geoff George.

For previous POTDs, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dave Mungenast, Hollywood Stuntman

Dave Mungenast is known to St. Louisans as a longtime auto dealer, but for 7 years, he also was a Hollywood stuntman. Today on my KMOX show, he told stories about some of the movies he worked on, including three with Burt Reynolds ("Hooper," "The End," and "Cannonball Run") and one with Paul Newman ("Harry and Son").

Listen to the conversation here.

A Soldier's Funeral

I spoke with Spc. Peter Navarro's father last night, and he has asked that no one go to his son's funeral tomorrow morning. In accordance, I'm urging everyone to respect his request to stay away and let the family mourn in peace.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Dr. Marc Siegel on the Epidemic Of Fear

This afternoon on my KMOX show, I talked to Dr. Marc Siegel about his book, "False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear."

He explained that our leaders and media manipulate our emotions so much that we've become far too afraid of things that aren't nearly as big a risk as we're told they are. For example, he cites the anthrax scare, bird flu, Sars, West Nile Virus, mad cow disease, etc. We also discussed Big Pharma's role in exploiting the situation, whether this problem is unique to America, and whether being afraid actually weakens us physically. Siegel is a voice of reason in a nation with too much anxiety and too many pills to cure that anxiety.

Listen to the conversation here.

No Kilt For You!

That's football player Nathan Warmack and his girlfriend, photographed moments before he wasn't allowed into a Missouri high school dance because he was wearing a kilt. He says he did it to honor his Scottish heritage. The principal says he just wanted attention and would have been a distraction (this isn't in class, it's at a dance). We'll talk about it on my KMOX show today and you can add your comments below.

Let Go Of The Bowling Ball

Picture Of The Day: Mike Machuga is a pro bowling champion who celebrated clinching a title recently by doing his famous "Machuga Flop," hanging onto the ball and flinging himself down the lane.

For previous POTDs, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hockey Hit

If you heard the discussion on my KMOX show this afternoon about the brutal high school hockey hit and want to see the video, it's in this channel 4 report.

The kid who was hit suffered a grade three concussion and will likely never play any sports again in his life (he was also a top soccer player). The hitter has been suspended for 7 games, but not the rest of the season (which has 12 games left). The question is whether that's a harsh enough penalty for a brutal, flagrant hit like this, and whether there should also be criminal charges filed, as in the Todd Bertuzzi and Marty McSorley cases.

Add your comments below.

Guest Today: The King of TV

Paul Goebel, who bills himself as The King of TV (you may remember him as The TV Geek on Comedy Central's "Beat The Geek"), will be on my KMOX show today in the 3pm hour to try to answer your TV trivia questions. Here are the rules:

  1. NO number questions. No "What year?" "What channel?" "How many?" I will, however, answer questions about Barbara Feldon.
  2. NO multiple questions. You ask one question and you get one answer. I don't have time to list the entire cast of Hill Street Blues.
  3. NO questions about the television itself. Not that I don't know, but this is just not the site for that. I'll take a look at your set, but you have to bring it in to me.
  4. NO daytime TV. This, basically, means soaps and game shows.
  5. NO questions about any comedy appearing on the WB.

Jib Jab's Year In Review

Picture Of The Day: The folks at JibJab are back with a Year In Review piece to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.

For previous POTDs, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ice Scraping

Picture Of The Day: When you go outside in the morning to find your car covered in snow and ice, you get to work scraping it off so you can go to work. But there's a hitch. [thanks to Mike Grimm for the link]

For previous POTD entries, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Remembering Richard Pryor

When Richard Pryor died last weekend, I struggled with what I wanted to say about him, but couldn't quite find the right words to post here. Instead, my friend Jamy Ian Swiss has said all the things I wanted to, and more.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Laurie David, Stop Global Warming

This afternoon on my KMOX show, global warming activist Laurie David talked about the event she's doing at the Rams-Eagles game this Sunday at the dome and the virtual online march she's organized.

Since her husband is Larry David, I also asked her whether "Curb Your Enthusiasm" would be back for another season, and about his recent comment that he wishes he were more like his TV character in real life.

Listen to the conversation here.

Guest Today: John Marshall

This afternoon on my KMOX show, John Marshall will be back to do on-air appraisals of those old vinyl record albums you have in your basement. If you're still wondering whether they're worth anything before you put them out for a garage sale, he'll take your calls between 3 & 4pm.

Please Remain In The Car

Picture Of The Day: A guy doing donuts in a parking lot decides to get out of the car, which then proceeds to run him over [contributed by Chris Miller].

For previous POTD entries, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Who Left The Ring In The Car?

This afternoon on my KMOX show, Carol Daniel told a news story about a man in Massachusetts who found a $15,000 diamond ring in his car. It was in a box with a white bow, along with a note: "Merry Christmas. Thank you for leaving your car door unlocked. Instead of stealing your car I have you a present. Hopefully this will land in the hands of someone you love, for my love is gone now."

This led to the question of the gender of the person who left the ring in the car. I said it had to be a woman, Carol insisted it was a man. Soon, everyone else on the show was chiming in, along with listeners, leading to a very funny discussion.

Listen to the conversation here, and then add your thoughts to the comments below.

Roger McGuinn, The Folk Den Project

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Roger McGuinn was back on my show this afternoon to talk about his newest release, "The Folk Den Project."

For the last ten years, Roger has been recording folk songs and posting them on his website, along with the lyrics and chords, in an attempt to preserve the music he loves. Now he's compiled 100 of these recordings in a CD boxed set that you can order here.

Today, he explained some of the history of folk music and played some of those songs, including a couple of classics you'll recognize, and the first one he felt was appropriate after the 9/11 attacks. He also explained how and why he helped invent the 7-string guitar he plays.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Baby Dropped Out of Window

A woman in a building apartment building wanted to save her baby, so she wrapped him up in a blanket and dropped him out of her third-floor window. Fortunately, the building superintendent was on the sidewalk below, caught the kid, and got him to rescue crews.

For previous POTD entries, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Pong Clock

Picture Of The Day: Thanks to Bill R. for tipping me to the Pong Clock, a wall clock that plays random games of pong, with the score showing the correct time.

For previous POTDs, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Squick

I had never heard the word "squick" until yesterday, when the Oxford dictionary folks announced that it was a runner-up for Word Of The Year. "Squick" is defined as a verb meaning "to cause immediate and thorough revulsion" as in was anyone else squicked by our waiter's piercings? Seems to me it would also make a pretty good noun, as in, the boss is a real squick today or the Rams are playing like squick.

The Word Of The Day winner, by the way, is "podcast."

She's Dead But Glad He's Gone

Mike Boyles tipped me off to this obituary of a woman in Belleville, Illinois, who died a few days ago at age 88. In addition to the usual mentions of her family members and the memorial service, it also includes a bit of sports commentary:

"Mrs. Eckert was...an avid Wednesday night bingo player at VFW, when she was younger and playing softball she led the league in batting, she made several quilts, enjoyed cooking and baking, and she was a big Cardinals fan, she was glad to see Ray King traded."

He'll Lie For You

You're cheating on your wife and need some cover. You want to call in sick to work but you're a bad liar. You want to pretend you're a successful business owner instead of an ordinary shlub.

As Jeff Irwin explained on my KMOX show today, his company, the Alibi Network, will handle all of those situations for you, and more. You won't believe how he justifies his marital-affairs packages. Listen to the conversation here.

Christmas Mustang

Picture Of The Day: A California man has decorated his Mustang with Christmas decorations, real candy, a fish tank, and a snow globe.

For previous POTD entries, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Woman And Her Mannequin

Picture Of The Day: While her husband's away on a US Navy submarine, Suzy Walker spends her life with a mannequin that looks just like him -- complete with sailor costume and stick-on moustache -- and she takes it everywhere. No word on whether he's anatomically correct.

For previous POTD entries, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race

With the season finale of "The Amazing Race: Family Edition" airing tomorrow night, host Phil Keoghan returned to my KMOX show this afternoon to talk about the families, the adventures, and what's coming up next.

We discussed the challenge of doing the show in North America and keeping the secrets of location, contestants, etc. I also asked him about the impact of having young children along and what it was like to look them in the eye on the elimination mat. Phil also explained the deal with the Weavers (who think all the other teams hate them), and previewed the 9th season, which he's just finished taping and we'll see in March.

Listen to the conversation here.

A Christmas Story (bunnies edition)

Picture Of The Day: After seeing the bunnies edition of "It's A Wonderful Life," several readers tipped me to the new condensed version of "A Christmas Story" by the same bunnies.

For previous POTDs, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

His Widow Remembers Belushi

Friday on my KMOX show, I talked to Judy Belushi Pisano, the widow of John Belushi, about his life, career, and death.

She told stories about "Animal House," "Saturday Night Live," the Blues Brothers, and less successful projects, like "1941" and "Continental Divide." We also discussed his drug abuse, the speedballs that killed him, and the impact his death had on his friends.

Listen to the conversation here and check out her new book about John, an oral history by those who knew him, simply entitled, "Belushi".

John Lennon's ER Doctor

Dr. Stephan Lynn was in charge of the emergency room at Roosevelt Hospital in New York on the night of December 8, 1980. He had just arrived home after a 15-hour shift when he received a call from the hospital about a man coming in with gunshot wounds. He returned to the ER in time to work on the victim, who turned out to be John Lennon. At one point, he cracked Lennon's chest and literally held his heart in his hands in an unsuccessful attempt to revive him.

Dr. Lynn told this story on my KMOX show to mark the 25th anniversary of that night. I also asked him why no gruesome memorabilia from that night has ever shown up on eBay or at Beatles shows, and about his personal connection to Lennon before that horrible event.

Listen to the conversation here.

Larry Kane, John Lennon Revealed

Larry Kane was the only American radio reporter to travel with The Beatles on their 1964 and 1965 US tours, which he detailed in his book, "Ticket To Ride." His new book, "Lennon Revealed," includes more stories about his friendship with Lennon, right up to the month before he died.

Larry returned to my KMOX show Thursday to mark the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's murder and tell some of those stories. The most remarkable involves a weekend in 1975 when he convinced Lennon to take the train from New York to Philadelphia to help out with a charity radiothon on WFIL. While there, Lennon (who hadn't made public appearances in years) spent hours on the air, answered phones, signed autographs, and personally met nearly 2,000 fans who flocked to see him. Kane, who was then the top TV anchorman in town, also convinced Lennon to join him on his newscast that night to do the weather. There's video of that odd few minutes included on the DVD in Kane's book.

Listen to the conversation here.

Al Wiman with The Beatles

Al Wiman is best known to St. Louisans for his years as a TV reporter at channels 4 and 5. But in 1964, Al was a radio reporter for KFWB/Los Angeles.

When The Beatles came to town to play the Hollywood Bowl, Al was not only at the press conference, he also managed to work his way to the side of the stage just as the Beatles began their show. With tape recorder rolling, he did play-by-play of those exciting first minutes -- quite a feat, considering the concert was promoted by Bob Eubanks, who was then a DJ at KRLA, the competing radio station. A few days later, Al and a couple of cohorts went into a studio and recorded an audio documentary, "The Beatles Story," which Capitol records rush-released as a double album to cash in on Beatlemania.

On the 25 anniversary of John Lennon's death, Al joined me on my KMOX show to reminisce about those days, and to play the audio of that historic night in LA. Listen to the conversation here.

Friday, December 09, 2005

My 8-Year-Old Daughter Wears Thong Underwear

Lots of people have asked about that Paul Larimore piece I read on my KMOX show this afternoon. You'll find it here.

It's A Wonderful Life (bunnies edition)

Picture Of The Day: Because you don't have a lot of time today, here's the Frank Capra holiday classic "It's A Wonderful Life" summarized in thirty seconds by animated bunnies.

For previous POTDs, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Synchronized Xmas Lights

Picture Of The Day: Carson Williams of Mason, Ohio, synchronized the Christmas display at his house to music. He used his electrical engineering skills to have the 25,000 lights blink in tune with "Wizard In Winter," a song by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Instead of blasting it on speakers, he broadcast the song on a low-power FM station to keep from bothering the neighbors (although you have to wonder how they feel about the lights). Unfortunately, the house attracted so many visitors that the police asked him to shut it down, which he did yesterday, so now you can only see it online.

For previous POTDs, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Exploiting A Child's 911 Call

There were debates in Florida TV newsrooms earlier this week about whether to broadcast the 911 call of a 7-year-old girl who had seen her mother shot dead by her half-brother. Two TV stations decided against airing the audio, but three stations put it on the air.

Those three were wrong.

There's no news value in that tape, just exploitation. You can tell the story well enough without exposing the horrible moment in this child's life to the viewing public.

I have some experience with this. In 1987, I was doing the morning show at WCXR in Washington, DC. About halfway through the show one day, I was talking on the phone with a listener about something silly when she suddenly stopped in the middle of a sentence. Half a second passed before I heard something that sounded like a thud. I said, "Hello?" a couple of times before hearing a little girl's voice in the background saying "Mommy??"

It was obvious something was wrong. I immediately took the call off the air and went to a commercial break. Then I picked up the phone and tried to talk loudly enough to get the girl to pick up the receiver, which she did. She sounded like she was about five or six as she told me that her mommy was lying on the floor and wasn't moving. I asked if there was anyone else in the house. She said no.

I said we'd try to get her help and asked if she knew her address. She did, and with an eerily calm voice told me where she lived. I handed the info to my producer, who called 911 and told them to get police and an ambulance out to that house.

The commercial break was ending, and I knew my listeners were wondering what was going on. I had no intention of putting the girl on the air. I explained to the audience that we were dealing with a situation involving the woman who'd called and asked for their patience while we played a song. The other members of my morning team scrambled to help in any way they could while I continued to talk with the girl off the air.

When I could hear sirens approaching the house, I asked the girl if she could see police officers outside. She said yes and I told her to let them in, which she did. Soon, a police officer picked up the phone and explained that they were dealing with an unconscious woman and the EMTs were working on her. Not wanting to be in the way, I got off the line and let them do their job.

We found out later from a family member (who was nice enough to keep me informed on the aftermath of the incident) that the woman had died instantly of a brain aneurysm. No particular health problem, nothing genetic, just one of those awful flukes of nature. When the police contacted her husband at work, he rushed home to take care of their daughter who was, as you'd expect, having a hard time dealing with what had happened to mommy.

Obviously the tone of my show that morning was drastically changed, as we were no longer in the mood to be funny. None of us had kids at the time, but we all hoped that, if it ever came down to it, our child would be as helpful as this little girl. At some point, my producer reminded me that we had the whole thing on tape -- we recorded every call on 10" reels in a rack right next to me. No one on the show objected when I took that tape and locked it in the desk in my office.

When we got off the air, all of the other local media wanted to talk to me and it became a big story -- they wanted to play me up as a hero. I deflected that angle and told them the truth, that it was the little girl who had acted heroically, not me.

They all wanted copies of that tape. They were furious that I refused to give it to any of them, from the TV stations to the Washington Post to a couple of news radio networks. Dave Marash, who was the anchor at the local NBC affiliate, seemed to be one of the few who understood when I explained my reasons to him during a live shot.

I also never played it on the air myself. To this day, no one has ever heard the tape of that little girl -- which I still have in my basement -- and no one ever will.

Why? Because to put it on the air would be to exploit the tragedy for shock value. Listeners (and viewers) didn't have to hear it to understand the drama of what happened that morning, or to realize the real horror of a woman dying in front of her little daughter. Releasing that tape would do nothing to further the story -- and there was the family to think of, too. You'll notice I haven't mentioned the name of the mother or the daughter here, even though they are burned into my memory. You don't have to know them to get the story.

This was a no-brainer decision for me. Shame on those Orlando news directors whose standards and desire for ratings made them stoop so low that they made the wrong decision and aired that 911 tape.

Building That Won't Fall Down

Update: link fixed at 5pm

Picture Of The Day: The tallest building in South Dakota was scheduled for demolition, and 25,000 people showed up to watch it come down. Only one problem: after the explosives went off, the building moved a little bit, but didn't fall, much to the amusement of the crowd. Still, it's no longer the tallest building in the state -- it's one story shorter and leaning at a 30-degree angle.

For previous POTD entries, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Greasy Muscle Men

Seriously, ladies, do you find this attractive? Please comment. These Hans and Franz wannabes took the gold and silver in some bodybuilding contest in the Philippines.

Baseball's 100 Greatest Players

John Rawlings of The Sporting News will be on my KMOX show this afternoon to talk about the revised edition of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players." They had to revise the list to update positions and to add The Big Unit, A-Rod, and others.

Holiday Hair

Picture Of The Day: He's celebrating Christmas by having a mini fir tree woven into his hair.

For previous POTD entries, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Shoe Flies

I guarantee no women were in the crowd.

An AP headline this morning reads, "An angry crowd confronted former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi at a Shiite shrine south of Baghdad on Sunday, forcing him to flee in a hail of stones and shoes."

Even in Iraq, women aren't giving up their shoes for anything.

Stupid Game Show Answers

The British tabloid The Sun has compiled some of the stupid answers given by contestants on game shows:

Q: What is the capital of Australia? And it's not Sydney.
A: Sydney.

Q: How long did the Six Day War between Egypt and Israel last?
A: Fourteen days.

Q: What insect is commonly found hovering above lakes?
A: Crocodiles.

Q: In which European country is Mount Etna?
A: Japan.
Q: I did say which European country, so in case you didn't hear that, I can let you try again.
A: Er... Mexico?
See them all here.

Backstreet Boys, Chinese Student Edition

Picture Of The Day: Two Chinese students put on Houston Rockets shirts (a la Yao Ming), turn on their webcam, and sing a Backstreet Boys song. Just silly enough.

For previous POTD entries, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Robert Klein returns

Robert Klein was back on my KMOX show this afternoon, one day ahead of the debut of his new HBO special, "The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue" (which is also the name of his book, which came out this summer).

This is the 8th time he's done a standup special for HBO -- in 1975, Klein did the very first one the network ever showed, at a time when HBO wasn't even available nationally yet. We talked about that and his other TV appearances, including with Carson and Cavett, and doing the first "Chee-burger, chee-burger" sketch with Belushi and Aykroyd on "Saturday Night Live."

Klein is currently working on "Ira and Abby," a new movie written by and starring Jessica Westfeldt (from "Kissing Jessica Stein"). One of the co-stars is Fred Willard, who Klein worked with in Second City forty years ago. Once we got into that, we branched off into "Hooper," the 1978 Burt Reynolds movie in which Klein played a megalomaniacal director -- and he revealed who that character was based on.

Listen to the conversation here.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

College Window Photo

Here's a slideshow of the University of Pennsylvania pix that got one student in trouble for photographing a couple having sex in a dorm room, completely visible through the window [note: you can't really see anything, but let's put a parental warning on this one anyway]

Now, add your comments...the woman says having these photos made public caused her "serious distress" and "in intimidating living environment." Is that the fault of the photographer or the couple?

For previous POTD entries, see the Picture Of The Day page.

Your Cell Phone Records Are For Sale

Did you know that anyone who wants your cell phone records can get them -- every call you've made and to whom? There are over 100 companies offering them for sale online right now. Bob Sullivan, who writes the Red Tape Chronicles for MSNBC.com, exposed the story and explained it yesterday on my KMOX show. Listen to the conversation here to find out what you can do to protect yourself.

Should Cable TV Be A La Carte?

There's a push on in Congress and by the chairman of the FCC to force cable companies to sell their programming on an a la carte basis, instead of as packages of fifty or a hundred channels at a time. Yesterday on my KMOX show, Steve Effros, former president of the cable industry's lobbying association, explained why this is a bad idea that would end up costing you and me more money in the long run. Listen to the conversation here.

Before talking to Steve, I went through the list of channels I get in the Dish Network package we subscribe to. Sure, there are many of them that I never watch, but there were also several that I'd never heard of, including the Good Samaritan Network. I have no idea what that is, but I imagine it shows things like a car crash followed by 11 people coming out of a building to help the victims. Or a woman with a flat tire getting help from a kindly passerby. Or the CEO of a huge corporation protecting the jobs and retirement plans of his employees, even if it means he and the board of directors don't personally gain from it.

Wide Thief, Narrow Window

Picture Of The Day: If you're trying to escape from the police, be sure that the window you're trying to squeeze through is wide enough for your fat butt.

For previous POTD entries, see the Picture Of The Day page.