Fred Goss, Sons & Daughters, and More Proof That Network TV Executives Are Weasels

Posted in Fred-Goss, Miscellaneous, Sons-&-Daughters on May 29th 2006 by Randy Reichardt

.: In a previous post, I raved about the brilliant ABC show, Sons & Daughters, easily the funniest network sitcom I’d seen since Seinfeld, and partially improvised to boot. ABC, in classic fashion, showed great faith in the show by cancelling it after 10 episodes, proving yet again, that network television executives cannot recognize talent and creativity when it is staring them right in their collective faces. Scheduling the show opposite American Idyll didn’t help the cause either. I haven’t felt this passionate about a television show being yanked before its time since ABC tanked the equally brilliant My So-Called Life.

A petition to bring the show back to ABC is online and I’d encourage you to sign it.

Fred Goss, the co-creator, Executive Producer, Writer & Director of the show, is on MySpace and YouTube, and posted two short videos that are worth watching. Fred writes, “This is the presentation I used to sell a pilot to NBC last year. It also led to the sale of Sons & Daughters at ABC. I shot this for under 5000.00 dollars and obviously it was worth every penny.” If you haven’t seen Sons & Daughters, the video has very much the same feel as the show, improvisation, actors playing off one another.

Of the following video, Fred writes, “These are a compilation of additional scenes to the weekends presentation. If you haven’t already watched weekends, I recommend that you watch that before watching this.”

As for Sons & Daughters, read this post, a great summary of why the show is so good. Missed the show? Check the links at the bottom of the aforementioned post, which will take to you videos of all the shows, available on YouTube until ABC yanks them. Brilliant stuff, funny, edgy, and worth the time to watch.

.: The band I am in, Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys, played its first gig last night with its current lineup, with me on guitar. We played 14 songs, including 12 originals by David Leigh, the drummer and lead singer. Overall, it went well. Pictures will be posted soon. Many friends and colleagues were in attendance, and my thanks to each of them for taking the time to support my musical escapades.

What Happened Before The Big Bang?

Posted in In The News on May 24th 2006 by Randy Reichardt

.: This kind of stuff hurts my brain but absolutely fascinates me. From Penn State Live:

Penn State researchers look beyond birth of universe
Monday, May 22, 2006

University Park, Pa. — According to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the Big Bang represents The Beginning, the grand event at which not only matter but space-time itself was born. While classical theories offer no clues about existence before that moment, a research team at Penn State has used quantum gravitational calculations to find threads that lead to an earlier time.

“General relativity can be used to describe the universe back to a point at which matter becomes so dense that its equations don’t hold up,” said Abhay Ashtekar, holder of the Eberly family chair in physics and director of the Institute for Gravitational Physics and Geometry at Penn State. “Beyond that point, we needed to apply quantum tools that were not available to Einstein.”

By combining quantum physics with general relativity, Ashtekar and two of his post-doctoral researchers, Tomasz Pawlowski and Parmpreet Singh, were able to develop a model that traces through the Big Bang to a shrinking universe that exhibits physics similar to ours.

In research reported in the current issue of Physical Review Letters, the team shows that, before the Big Bang, there was a contracting universe with space-time geometry that otherwise is similar to that of our current expanding universe. As gravitational forces pulled this previous universe inward, it reached a point at which the quantum properties of space-time cause gravity to become repulsive, rather than attractive.

The full press release is here.

.: Rehearsals for the Sunday night gig are going well, we should be able to crank out about 14-15 tunes, even if a couple of them are, like, 60 seconds long!

It’s Better To Burn Out Than Fade Away, Isn’t It?

Posted in Music on May 11th 2006 by Randy Reichardt

.: In the fall of 2004, my friend James invited to join him and sit in with a band called Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys, a long-running musical project of the drummer and songwriter, David Leigh. James, the bass guitarist, and I had played together previously in Edmonton in 1990-91, as members of the seminal, cutting-edge band The Flicks (ok, so I embellish a bit, but seriously…) I continued rehearsing with HDNB until Feb 2005, when the project went on hold for about a year, until spring 2006. Since then, David and James and I have been rehearsing and polishing up David’s original tunes as well as a handful of covers.

Now comes word that we have a one set gig on Sunday, 28 May 2006, at The Fox Pub in Edmonton. The information I have is that we will be on stage at 2000 hrs (08:00 pm), and will play a short, one set gig. Cover is $6.00. If you’re in town that night, please come by, it would be great to have the support of friends. With the exceptions of playing twice with the late, great Edmonton band, Capt. Nemo, the last time at The Sidetrack on 13 July 1999, this will be the first time I perform loud, noisy electric music on stage since 1991. Is it too late to rock at 52? Stay tuned and find out.

Aaden, Adan, Aden, Adin, Adyn, Aedan, Aeden, Aedyn, Aiden, Aidin, Aidon, Aidyn, Aydan, Ayden, and Aydon

Posted in Bad Baby Names on May 7th 2006 by Randy Reichardt

.: Of all the posts I’ve ever written, the one which has received the most comments was my first baby name rant. To date, it has received 32 comments. The comments turned into a thread, with various readers responding to earlier comments. The most recent ones are from some angry readers. This one came from someone afraid to list a real name, choosing to use “What’s the big deal”:

Are you kidding me with this? Aren’t there more important things over which to obsess than what other people name their clhildren? Please don’t attempt to speak on behalf of the “poor, unsuspecting child” who, you argue, hasn’t a chance in life if he’s been given a unique name…

(And, BTW Randy, I find it poetic that you have such a problem with all of the different spellings of people’s names, yet have such a hard time wrapping your brain around the correct spelling of “stupid” …that’s the irony that made ME laugh). Why don’t you post something as fervently hostile about a topic that’s actually meaningful …like, I don’t know, the war, or fighting leukemia, or the pitfalls of modern healthcare, …anything. Names? You’re joking.

Seems this person completely missed the point of using the word “stoopid” in the original post.

Erik followed with:

Would you be the one slapping and kicking people?. I know you wouldnt talk that smack in front of fathers who named their child one of those names. Who are you to judge who should have kids and who shouldnt? Do you think your God or just smart enough to speak on his behalf? I named my baby Ocean Why dont you come over to my house and try slapping me?!

To which I replied:

I’m not sure that would be necessary. I think if federal legislation was developed and passed, preventing parents from giving their children names that will result in the crap getting kicked out of them when they are older, and from generally being humiliated and laughed at for the rest of their lives, slapping parents wouldn’t be required.

And lest you think this is an isolated viewpoint, (as mentioned above) please check Baby’s Named a Bad, Bad Thing: A Primer on Parent Cruelty. It covers stupid baby names much better than I could ever do.

Finally, another reader, once again afraid to use her real name, writes:

I’m pregnant and if it is a boy I plan to name him Aedan. Don’t like it? Kiss my @$$. It isn’t your choice to make and my kid will appreciate the fact that I didn’t name him some retarded generic, biblical name like John, James, Joseph, etc.

To which I replied:

Good luck with your impending birth, and with giving your child his name, Aedan. And you can kiss my ass as well, let’s make it mutual. I can’t speak for all the men who have been given “retarded generic, biblical” names like John, James, Joseph, but at least their parents didn’t name them Jawnn, Jaymzz, or Josiffe.

I stand by what I wrote. Kids given names with insanely twisted spellings, in the misguided belief that it will make them “unique”, need our sympathies and understanding. More than likely, they’ll have the sh*t kicked out of them when they’re older. BTW, read Ken’s comment about giving your children names with odd spellings. Not everyone agrees with you, whomever you are – what is your name, anyway? You’re not married to Erik, are you?

I figure there must be a few dozen more ways to spell Aidan than the 14 listed above. Why not add some random diacritics, and run with it: Äidan, Äiden, Äyden, and so on, using Ä or  or à or Ą or Æ or Ẩ or Ặ, and so on. Finally, consider a Canadian variation: you could spell his name Eh-den.

Derryl, what does Aidan make of all this? Is he concerned that you didn’t choose an aberrant spelling of his name?

I guess it’s time to review the Alberta Baby Names for Boys 2004, Girls 2004, Boys 2005 and Girls 2005. In the meantime, if you find any gems, let me know. – ŖåήδËỷ

I Answered Yes

Posted in Canada, Miscellaneous on May 5th 2006 by Randy Reichardt

.: From the 2006 Canada Census:

8. The Statistics Act guarantees the confidentiality of your census information. Only if you mark “YES” to this question will your personal information be made public, 92 years after the 2006 Census. If you mark “NO” or leave the answer blank, your personal information will never be made publicly available. If you are answering on behalf of other people, please consult each person.

Does this person agree to make his/her 2006 Census information available for public release in 2098 (92 years after the census)?

BBC Magazine: 100 things we didn’t know this time last year

Posted in Miscellaneous on May 3rd 2006 by Randy Reichardt

.: This list is from the BBC Magazine, and was posted at the end of 2005, so it’s a bit outdated, but still fascinating. 100 things we didn’t know this time last year is based on the Magazine’s weekly feature, 10 Things We Didn’t Know This Time Last Week. A number of “things” are endemic to the UK, but there are a few gems, such as:

  • 3. While it’s an offence to drop litter on the pavement, it’s not an offence to throw it over someone’s garden wall.
  • 6. WD-40 dissolves cocaine – it has been used by a pub landlord to prevent drug-taking in his pub’s toilets.
  • 11. One in 10 Europeans is allegedly conceived in an Ikea bed.
  • 12. Until the 1940s rhubarb was considered a vegetable. It became a fruit when US customs officials, baffled by the foreign food, decided it should be classified according to the way it was eaten.
  • 19. The = sign was invented by 16th Century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing “is equal to” in his equations. He chose the two lines because “noe 2 thynges can be moare equalle”.
  • 29. When faced with danger, the octopus can wrap six of its legs around its head to disguise itself as a fallen coconut shell and escape by walking backwards on the other two legs, scientists discovered.
  • 32. “Restaurant” is the most mis-spelled word in search engines.
  • 45. C3PO and R2D2 do not speak to each other off-camera because the actors don’t get on.
  • 59. Oliver Twist is very popular in China, where its title is translated as Foggy City Orphan.
  • 65. Actor James Doohan, who played Scotty, had a hand in creating the Klingon language that was used in the movies, and which Shakespeare plays were subsequently translated into
  • 73. One in six children think that broccoli is a baby tree.
  • 99. The Japanese word “chokuegambo” describes the wish that there were more designer-brand shops on a given street.

.: If you watch LOST and haven’t seen tonight’s episode, stop reading, this is a spoiler. I was quite surprised and disappointed at the final scene, in which Michael, rescued from the jungle by Jack and Kate, shoots and kills Ana Lucia and Libby in the hatch. Or are they dead? I have to hand it to the creators of this series, they really, really know how to get a rise out of the audience.

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