Archive for the ‘Television’ Tag

From Unclogging Toilets to Hunting Ghosts   Leave a comment


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I try to watch Ghost Hunters from time to time. I’m an open-minded person who doesn’t readily dismiss anything.  But nothing ever happens on this show. The hunters claim they hear and see things, but nothing is ever captured on audio or video. Just wishful thinking.

Ghosts may exist, although I contend it is highly unlikely, and if they do, lets get some hardcore empirical evidence. Bring in Kreskin, whatever it takes.

Ghost Hunters is an American paranormal reality television series that premiered on October 6, 2004, on Syfy (previously the Sci Fi Channel). The program features paranormal investigators Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, who investigate places that are reported to be haunted. The two originally worked as plumbers for Roto-Rooter as a day job while investigating locations at night. Since the show’s success, the series now takes precedence in their lives, but they are still honorary employees with the company and continue to do jobs for them if time permits.

In a much maligned photo taken near Roswell, New Mexico, the Boys claim they experienced the presence of an Alien Ghost in Jim Brazil’s house.

 

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The whole connection between ghosts and Roto-Rooter started when one of their co-workers sucked up a malevolent spectre from a sewer a few years ago.

 

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Criticism

Ghost Hunters has attracted various critics and skeptics, such as Joe Nickell of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Skeptical Inquirer author Lynne Kelly, James Randi, and Benjamin Radford. The Skeptical Analysis of the Paranormal Society (SAPS) was founded with the intent to recreate and debunk segments of the show.

In June 2008, Ghost Hunters was awarded The Truly Terrible Television (TTTV) Award by Independent Investigations Group for peddling pseudoscience and superstition to its audience.

Methodology

According to investigator Benjamin Radford, most ghost hunting groups including TAPS make many methodological mistakes. “After watching episodes of Ghost Hunters and other similar programs, it quickly becomes clear to anyone with a background in science that the methods used are both illogical and unscientific”. Anyone can be a ghost investigator, “failing to consider alternative explanations for anomalous … phenomena”, considering emotions and feelings as “evidence of ghostly encounters.” “Improper and unscientific investigation methods”, for example, “using unproven tools and equipment”, “sampling errors”, “ineffectively using recording devices” and “focusing on the history of the location…and not the phenomena.” In an article for Skeptical Inquirer, Radford concludes that ghost hunters should care about doing a truly scientific investigation: “I believe that if ghosts exist, they are important and deserve to be taken seriously. Most of the efforts to investigate ghosts so far have been badly flawed and unscientific — and not surprisingly, fruitless.” In a New York Times article about Ghost Hunters and TAPS, Radford contended that “the group and others like it lack scientific rigor and mislead people into thinking that their homes are haunted.”

The show’s editing has been questioned, such as activity that is not captured on tape and findings that are unsupported by evidence in the show specifically. Tools are used in ways that are not proven effective, or in ways in which they have been proven ineffective, such as infrared thermometers that are claimed to detect cold spots in the middle of rooms when such tools are able only to measure the surface temperature of objects unless equipped with a probe accessory. However, the show has been seen using a probe attached to the infrared thermometer that would then give the temperature of both the surface it is pointed at and the area around the probe.

Techniques with thermal imaging cameras, Geiger counters, electronic voice phenomenon, and EMF detectors are used with little or no explanation as to how the techniques have proven to provide evidence of ghosts or other entities. There are concerns that the devices are misused, such as the noting of Benjamin Radford’s article for Skeptical Inquirer: “you may own the world’s most sophisticated thermometer, but if you are using it as a barometer, your measurements are worthless. Just as using a calculator doesn’t make you a mathematician, using a scientific instrument doesn’t make you a scientist.”

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Why can’t these plumbers/ghost hunters get something like this on camera?

 

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Posted April 20, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Starship Enterprise in the shop for repairs, to voyage again later this year   Leave a comment


Washington Post

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After 50 years of imaginary intergalactic service and epic flights of science fiction, the starship Enterprise, registry number NCC-1701, lies in pieces on a table at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.

X-rays of its insides hang on the walls of the conservation unit. Parts of the ship’s poplar-and-fiberglass hull are exposed. And the bridge, where fictional Starfleet Capt. James T. Kirk once sat, has been removed.

Enterprise is a venerable ship — launched in 1964 at a Burbank, Calif., prop maker’s shop for the original “Star Trek” television series.

It’s also a piece of history, along with the Wright Brothers’ “Flyer” and Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis.”

The museum is now restoring the make-believe voyager as a part of America’s real-life air and space heritage.

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Ariel O’Connor, a conservator at the museum, shows where screws were hidden under a rail on the main body of the Enterprise model.

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The lighting effect (oscillating look of movement) was achieved with blinking Christmas lights and a spinning fan mechanism.

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Paramount Studios gave the 11-foot-long Enterprise model to the Smithsonian in 1974, Malcolm Collum, the Air and Space Museum’s chief conservator, said Thursday.

The show, about the a starship’s crew of space adventurers, made its debut in 1966 and was canceled after three seasons.

“At that time, [the model] was just a discarded piece, a prop,” he said.

No more.

Star Trek, created by the late Hollywood screenwriter and World War II bomber pilot Gene Roddenberry, has become a global phenomenon, sparking several television shows and movies, books, comics — and legions of followers.

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Crude by modern standards, the Enterprise model is being handled as a classic, if evolving, work of art.

“Its appearance changed numerous times throughout the [TV] series,” Collum said.

Conservators are striving to make the Enterprise look as it did in the 1967 episode “The Trouble With Tribbles,” in which the ship is infested with the furry creatures, he said.

The original model, painted battleship gray, was made by the Production Models Shop, which built models for commercials, Smithsonian conservator Ariel O’Connor said.

It went back to the shop once for the addition of lights and windows, and was altered three times in the studio.

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Collum said the model had long hung in the gift shop of the Air and Space Museum on the Mall. Now it is headed for the renovated Milestones of Flight Hall there.

“The historical relevance of the TV show, and this model, has grown,” he said. “So it’s now being brought up into the limelight, and it’s going to be in the same gallery as the ‘Spirit of St. Louis’ [and] the Apollo 11 command module.”

Enterprise will go back on display this year, in time for the museum’s 40th birthday in July and the 50th anniversary of “Star Trek” in September, museum spokesman Nick Partridge said in a blog post.

But before that, deterioration of the model has to be addressed. Paint is peeling in spots. Parts of the four earlier restorations have to be corrected. And years of grime must be cleaned off, Collum said.

“But for being a model that was built by a shop that would build things for a quick TV episode and be done, it’s actually built remarkably well,” O’Connor said. “It’s very sturdy.”

It’s a half-century old, she said — a moment in star time, a small chapter in its continuing mission.

 

Posted February 8, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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If it wasn’t for Lucille Ball, there wouldn’t be any Trekkies   Leave a comment


The ultimate decision to put the original Star Trek series on the air back in 1966 fell into the hands of Lucille Ball. She was a studio executive (Desilu) who wielded power over decisions like which shows will move forward and which shouldn’t. She took the Star Trek plunge, the rest is mega science fiction franchise history.

Lucille Désirée Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) was an American actress, comedienne, model, film studio executive, and TV producer. She was the star of the sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy, and Life with Lucy.

How Star Trek was launched:

In April 1964, Roddenberry presented the Star Trek draft to Desilu Productions, a leading independent television production company. He met with Herb Solow, Desilu’s Director of Production. Solow saw promise in the idea and signed a three-year program-development contract with Roddenberry.

The idea was extensively revised and fleshed out during this time – ‘The Cage’ pilot filmed in late 1964 differs in many respects from the March 1964 treatment. Solow, for example, added the Star Date concept.

Desilu Productions had a first-look deal with CBS. Oscar Katz, Desilu’s Vice President of Production, went with Roddenberry to pitch the series to the network. They refused to purchase the show, as they already had a similar show in development, the 1965 Irwin Allen series Lost in Space.

In May 1964, Solow, who previously worked at NBC, met with Grant Tinker, then head of the network’s West Coast programming department. Tinker commissioned the first pilot – which became ‘The Cage’. NBC turned down the resulting pilot, stating that it was ‘too cerebral.’ However, the NBC executives were still impressed with the concept, and they understood that its perceived faults had been partly because of the script that they had selected themselves.

NBC made the unusual decision to pay for a second pilot, using the script called “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. Only the character of Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, was retained from the first pilot, and only two cast members, Majel Barrett and Nimoy, were carried forward into the series. This second pilot proved to be satisfactory to NBC, and the network selected Star Trek to be in its upcoming television schedule for the fall of 1966.

The second pilot introduced most of the other main characters: Captain Kirk (William Shatner), chief engineer Lt. Commander Scott (James Doohan) and Lt. Sulu (George Takei), who served as a physicist on the ship in the second pilot but subsequently became a helmsman throughout the rest of the series. Paul Fix played Dr. Mark Piper in the second pilot; ship’s doctor Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) joined the cast when filming began for the first season, and he remained for the rest of the series, achieving billing as the third star of the series. Also joining the ship’s permanent crew during the first season were the communications officer, Lt. Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), the first African-American woman to hold such an important role in an American television series; the captain’s yeoman, Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney), who departed midway through the first season; and Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett), head nurse and assistant to McCoy. Walter Koenig joined the cast as Ensign Pavel Chekov in the series’ second season.

In February 1966, Star Trek was nearly killed by Desilu Productions, before airing the first episode. Desilu had gone from making just one half-hour show (The Lucy Show), to deficit financing a portion of two expensive hour-long shows, Mission: Impossible and Star Trek. Solow was able to convince LUCILLE BALL that both shows should continue.

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Imagine the world without Trekkies.

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Posted December 28, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The Endless Endings of NFL Football Games   Leave a comment


In a close NFL game the endings are long and stretched out.  Both teams use all their time-outs and when those run out they can spike the ball to stop the clock.  The game drags on and on.  It can take 20 minutes to play 5 minutes.  But if the ending was like the game below, it can be worth it to  watch the game until the final referee flag wave. Green Bay won this game on the very last play with a hail Mary bomb thrown by Rogers.

Posted December 6, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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American fans P.O.’d as Grey Cup commercials are blocked in the States   Leave a comment


A few thousand American football fans PVR the Grey Cup championship game up in Canada so they can watch it on Tuesday night when there are no NFL, College or high school games.  However these die-hard football fanatics are complaining because the Canadian TV commercials are blocked by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC wants Americans to watch American commercials.  So the nifty Canadian commercials get bumped.

As Leerod Cowhoon said from his Birmingham, Alabama trailer park, “damn feds are taking away our human rights and freedom of choice. What’s next? A total ban on porn, greased hog wrestling and fully automatic machine guns?”

Leroy at his residence.

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Leroy wants to see the commercials, they make him laugh so hard he almost splits his gut. He isn’t crazy about the game itself. “With that three down bullshit and twelve players on that giant gulldarn field a guy could get confused.”  But I need my football fix, and it beats Japanese football.

Some samples of the Canadian commercials that were blocked by the FCC:

Posted November 29, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Archie Bunker: The King of Political Incorrectness   Leave a comment


The sixties were a very liberal decade. This Archie Bunker stuff could never been done today.  There would be camp-outs and demonstrations to stop this meanness.  An ignorant blue-collar guy today must be confused.

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Archibald “ArchieBunker is a fictional character from the 1970s American television sitcom All in the Family and its spin-off Archie Bunker’s Place, played to acclaim by Carroll O’Connor. Bunker, a principal character of the series, is a veteran of World War II, reactionary conservative, blue-collar worker and family man. Described as a “lovable bigot”, he was first seen by the American public when All in the Family premiered on January 12, 1971, where he was depicted as the head of a family. In 1979, the show was retooled and renamed Archie Bunker’s Place, finally going off the air in 1983. Bunker lived at the fictional address of 704 Hauser Street in the borough of Queens in New York City.

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Archie quotes:

 

No bum that can’t speak poifect English oughta stay in this country…oughta be de-exported the hell outta here!

Don’t talk like an ignarosis.

All kids are trouble, Edith. And I don’t wanna spend my reclining years trying to raise another one.

Yankin’ out the tonsils and the adenoods.

We hold these semi-animal meetings.

It passes outta you through your lower intestubes.

After once or twice a thing like this gets vulgarious.

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More quotes:

U.S. history….that’s part of your whole American heresy.

You don’t hear me gettin’ historical (hysterical).

President Ford tells us all to bite the bullet and Betsy Ford goes on TV and shoots off her mouth.

I’m readin’ in the paper where the CIA is dopin’ people up. Maybe somebody injected some of that LSD in the lady’s cottage cheese.

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That’s what Columbus said to the Indians just before he gypped ’em out of Manhattan.

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Posted November 28, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Star Trek, the original TV series, behind the scenes photos   Leave a comment


This is just bloody weird

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The expensive sets was one of the reasons the series was so short-lived.

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Kirk had a libido like Bill Clinton

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Chekov would like to zap that script.

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Spock makes an appearance on the Carol Burnett Show.

Posted November 16, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Halloween Monster Movie Marathons   Leave a comment


With Halloween fast approaching many of the TV channels are advertising their Halloween Monster Movie Marathons.  Each channel wants you glued to their channel throughout Halloween week.  They want to scare the audience to the point where they wait for the commercials, so the viewers get a breather.  All the ad company’s will try to brainwash the audiences with the popcorn, hairspray, car and truck, make-up, fast-food joint etc. etc. commercials.  So beware, beyond getting scared out of your pants, you may unconsciously radically change your shopping habits.

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Zombies would be the best competing in a marathon.

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But anything can enter the race.

IMDb’s best TV Halloween horror movie list. Whoever thought up this list must be possessed.

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Werewolves and Gill-Men could enjoy a marathon if enticed by gifts of human flesh!

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Oh God No! It’s a pack of werewolves!

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WTF!!

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Getting back to the movie list. I have to check this flick out, and soon!

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Posted October 18, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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How to Be on ‘The Walking Dead’: Tips to Join the Zombie Cast   Leave a comment


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Ever wonder how to be on The Walking Dead? The hit AMC series has everything: zombies, drama, the apocalypse, action, betrayal, suspense, and did we mention zombies? It’s those first and last parts that gave this show such an obsessive fanbase because — different from the shows like Game of Thrones filmed overseas and shows like Arrow with a minimal cast — more zombies means more opportunities to become an extra!

Admit it! Some Sunday nights you sit on your couch watching the latest episode and think about how to be on The Walking Dead. Well, here’s good news for you — it’s possible! Hundreds of fans have done it before and countless others will follow suit.

So if you want to put your dreams into action, here are some tips on how you yourself can be a zombie on The Walking Dead.

 

‘The Walking Dead’ Casting Calls

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If you’re wondering how to be on ‘The Walking Dead’ and you by chance reside in or around the Georgia area, you’re in luck! ‘The Walking Dead’ films primarily out of Georgia in locations like Atlanta, Fairburn, Haralson and Senoia, to name a few, and consistently works with the Atlanta Extras Casting Company to score willing bodies that want to get the zombie treatment.

‘The Walking Dead’ Zombie School

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If you’re wondering how to be on ‘The Walking Dead’ as one of the hundreds of zombie extras, then you should know the process is a bit more than just elaborate makeup and getting down your zombie walk. In fact, Greg Nicotera, ‘The Walking Dead’ special makeup effects artist, has revealed that there are specific qualities that can make a person a great Walker on the show. Auditions occur at the beginning of each season, where upwards of 150 to 200 extras are auditioned for the chance to appear in zombie costume and makeup.

“We have what we call ‘Zombie School,'” said Nicotera in an interview with CNN. “I grade them on two criteria: Look and performance… We tend to go with thinner people who have a specific kind of bone structure, so when we put prosthetic on them, because makeup is an additive process, it doesn’t look like we’re building out their face too much. The second part of it is performance. The actor has to bring it to life. It’s very important that our Walkers are genuine and authentic.”

The Ideal ‘Walking Dead’ Extra

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As previously stated, if you want to know how to be on ‘The Walking Dead,’ you should know that it can’t hurt to look the part. We can’t speak for the casting agencies and the show’s representatives, but there are certain qualities that make an ideal Walker.

“We look for certain attributes that we feel make good Walkers, like big eyes and good bone structure and a long neck,” Nicotera has previously revealed to EW. “The whole point, the whole look that was established in the graphic novel was that these things are emaciated and starving and very thin and gaunt looking so we try to stick to that visual aesthetic and I think that’s been tremendously successful for us.” This is not to say that you should starve yourself to look the part, people!

Let’s say you’ve figured out how to be on ‘The Walking Dead’ — meaning you’ve made it through “Zombie School,” you’ve received a phone call to appear as a Walker on the show and you’re heading to the makeup trailer to get all done up — what are some things you should know in advance?

If you’re allergic to latex or are adverse to wearing dentures, prosthetics, bald caps, fake beards, fake blood, etc., you probably shouldn’t become a zombie extra on ‘The Walking Dead.’ The show received an Emmy for all the makeup work, which should tell you a lot of time and material goes into the making of each zombie. Also, if you’re unwilling to stand around in full zombie makeup for hours on end and reshoot scenes multiple times for limited pay, this gig is not for you. Die-hard fans need only apply!

The Walking Drunks are very similar to Walking Deads

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Posted October 2, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Lily Munster – Irresistible Dark Beauty   Leave a comment


Lily Munster, Countess of Shroudshire (née Dracula), is a fictional character in the CBS sitcom, The Munsters, originally played by Yvonne De Carlo. The matriarch of the Munster household, Lily is a vampire.

Lily was born in 1827 to Sam Dracula (Grandpa) and his 166th wife (referred to only as “Grandma”). She lived with Grandpa for some time in Transylvania (a region in Romania) before meeting Herman Munster and marrying him in 1865. She, Grandpa, and Herman moved to America sometime before the mid-1940s and adopted her sister’s child, Marilyn. In the mid-1950s, she gave birth to Eddie, her and Herman’s only child.

Her name is presumably derived from the tradition of the lily as a flower of death, or a vague reference to Lilith, a female demon of Jewish mythology.

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Lily is the matriarch of the Munster family. She is very close with her niece, Marilyn. She has a werewolf for a brother, who appears in one episode, and a sister who is mentioned a few times who is Marilyn’s mother. Lily is the voice of reason in the Munster household, often relied upon to set problems right, and typically mediates when Herman and Grandpa squabble.

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Lily and Herman

Lily also has a fiery temper. While she is deeply in love with Herman (“Pussycat,” as she calls him), she also frequently gets very angry at him (due to his frequent stupidity and occasional selfishness), and Herman often meekly discloses his fear (to others) of being on the receiving end of her wrath. She also has reprimanded her own father (Grandpa) on several occasions for his own foolish actions and stubborn self-righteousness.

Lily is a beautiful and slender woman who appears to be in her middle age years, although she is actually hundreds of years old. A white streak in her hair recalls the monster’s mate from Bride of Frankenstein. Lily usually dresses in an ankle-length pale pink gown that appears faded and old, and she sometimes also wears a scarf. Her necklace features a bat-shaped medallion. When away from the Munster house, she sometimes wears a long silver cape with a hood. In the episode “Munsters Masquerade”, Lily demonstrates the ability to float in the air while dancing.

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Gothic Underwear

Herman loves it

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Posted September 18, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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