backmasking video

Kelly Clarkson Plays the Backward Song Game

This video isn’t backmasking, per se, but backward songs nevertheless… watch as Kelly Clarkson competes with Jimmy Fallon to be the first to identify each of the backward pop songs:

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Classic Advertisements

My kids each got a package of those store bought Rice Krispies Treats in the goody bag of a recent birthday party. Ian immediately devoured his but Nesslin hid hers away for safe keeping.

This morning Ian discovered her stash and ate it too which, ultimately, led to Andrea whipping up a fresh batch of homemade Rice Krispies treats. I knew it was a fast an easy recipe but even I was surprised at how quickly they came out. It reminded me of the old Rice Krispies ad where the mom is taking a break in the kitchen pretending that she is slaving away. It didn’t take me long to find it on YouTube.

This particular YouTuber, who goes by the handle Internet Lurker, has an enormous collection of old ads so I went down the rabbit hole. Here are a few that caught my attention:

Have you ever wondered why it was named, “Mac”?

In 1979, an Apple employee named Jef Raskin began working on an experimental appliance-like computer project within Apple. In a 2003 interview with ACM’s Ubiquity journal, Raskin described the origins of what he named the project: “I called it ‘Macintosh’ because the McIntosh is my favorite kind of apple to eat. And I figured that if I was going to have an apple I might as well have a tasty one.”

See also these other Tab cola commercials.

Is that Helen Hunt? Yes, it is. Also, if that kitchen looks familiar it’s because after the show was cancelled the set was used for all 7 seasons of The Golden Girls.

I always liked the actor Harry Anderson. When I was a kid I wasn’t allowed to watch Night Court because of the salacious content but I loved him in Dave’s World. I also quite liked Dave Barry. 1

You’re not allowed to show kids in that kind of headgear these days. Also, thank goodness for iPads… am I right?

I REALLY wanted one of these when I was kid. Despite my own kids already having gone through several, I’ve still never had my own remote control car.

Duncan Hines used to push these brownies HARD. This commercial was on all the time.

When Top Gun was in theatres, Diet Pepsi was on TV.

When he sings about her never having been this far before, where do you think they are going?

  1. It made my day the time Dave Barry linked to my website[]
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Anna-Maria Adventures

A drone photographer captured the wild moment when a shark charged into a giant school of stingrays off the coast of Florida.

Although there appears to be thousands of them, the shark went away hungry.


Dan Mangan at the Yates

Last night Andrea and I hit up the concert of two time Juno award winning musician Dan Mangan at the Yates here in Lethbridge. He puts on a fantastic show. About halfway through the night he explained that the show was being recorded and a link would be sent out so that we could all have a copy if we want to listen again later. In the age of (basically) free digital storage… why not?

Dan Mangan raises his arms with his band at the Yates in Lethbridge taken on September 27, 2023.

Art work

Guest Teaching

I’m back into the swing of things as a substitute teacher. I don’t have much to say about it other than now that I’m back teaching high school I remember what it’s like to really love what you do.

On that note, here’s an inspirational cartoon I saw in the class I was subbing in today:

A security guard for a bank crops security footage in his mind while a bank robbery occurs.

Art humor

Old Hard Drive Images

The other day, while looking through an old hard drive of mine, I found a folder called “Random Internet Fun”, which was full of random comics and animated gifs that I suppose I collected over the years. I’ll post them here for posterity…


Writer’s Strike Ends

From Cynthia Littleton, Kate Aurthur, Matt Donnelly, Gene Maddaus writing for Variety:

Hollywood heaves a sigh of relief. The WGA and major studios and streamers have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract that promises to end the 146-day strike that has taken a heavy toll across the content industry.

Negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached the finish line Sunday after five consecutive days of negotiations.

”What we have won in this contract – most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd – is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days. It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal,” the negotiating committee wrote in its message to members.

Now it remains to be seen how long it will take until my favorite shows are back in the air. As much as everyone hated the strike, good on the writers and their guild for sticking it out.

Meanwhile, the ongoing actors strike is entering its third month. So while late-night and daytime talk shows are expected to make a quick comeback, scripted shows that require actors will take longer to return.

Apple Music

Default iPhone Ring as a Ballad

The default ring for the iPhone used to change every year or two evolving through various iterations of the tunes: “Marimba”, “Opening”, and “Reflection”. In the video above composer and pianist Tony Ann reimagines “Opening” as a complete ballad.

(via Kottke)


Comic Book History on a New YouTube Channel

I just discovered a relatively new YouTube channel about comic books that takes me back to my childhood. I particularly enjoyed this story of Rob Liefeld, and despite the clickbait title, “How this ‘terrible artist’ made MILLIONS”, it’s actually a great documentary on Comic Book history, and true, I remember thinking how weird some of his characters looked. I got my start collecting comics with the X-Force #1 mentioned in this video. I still have it wrapped in plastic sitting in my childhood bedroom.

Also, don’t miss the backstory behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I also used to collect the Archie Comics version of these heroes in a half shell. On the playground I remember hearing about the ultra-violent black and white versions of the comics that kids weren’t allowed to buy. I enjoyed hearing about the ending to that particular run of comics at the end of the video:

Rediscovering comic book history through this captivating YouTube channel has been a delightful journey down memory lane, and it looks like it’s gotten quite popular in its short life so far. I’m looking forward to Matt’s next release.


Remembering Keith

A couple of months ago, I received the news of Keith Johnstone’s death and learned about a celebratory wake in his honour to be held in Calgary on June 25th. Initially uncertain about attending, fate led me to join my friend, Wren, and I must say, it turned out to be an incredible experience. As we pondered what the event might entail, Wren confessed her belief that it could either be a remarkable gathering or a chaotic mess.

During my time at University, I had the privilege of participating in a one-day improvisation seminar led by Keith himself. The experience was truly transformative. I distinctly remember Keith expressing his disappointment with students who focused solely on being great performers, emphasizing the importance of authenticity and embracing our natural selves. His wisdom echoed the sentiments he had eloquently penned in his renowned book on improvisation, aptly titled “Impro” (which I highly recommend). Don’t try to be great, just try to be average and it will free you to be great.

Yesterday, Wren and I arrived at the festive wake, and to my delight, it was a beautiful celebration of Keith’s life, flaws and all. The eccentric sound technician, Dave Lawrence, embodied the character of Terry Cahill from the film “FUBAR” and added an extra touch of greatness. Mouthwatering authentic Mexican tacos from a local truck satisfied our appetites. The venue showcased an impressive collection of Keith’s artwork, accompanied by live music and heartfelt speeches. Even Death itself made an appearance, as a towering Grim Reaper on stilts, reciting Keith’s “Death’s prologue to Live Snake and Ladders.”

Although the livestream encountered some technical difficulties, the audience cheered Terry on as he quickly resolved them, and we were treated to a captivating collection of interviews and insights from Keith, which I encourage you to watch:

However, there was an incident that stood out—a passionate audience member expressed his disagreement when Keith’s son revealed that he had asked GPT4 to emulate Keith’s thoughts on the new AI technology. The man, sitting near us, repeatedly shouted “No!” at the screen. I thought the message from the chatbot was apt because it determined that while Keith may have marvelled at the technology he ultimately would have emphasized the importance of keeping a human connection.

Surprisingly, these minor technical glitches and the diverse characters in the audience added to the charm of the event. The imperfections created an atmosphere of genuine connection and shared appreciation for Keith’s impact.

Attending Keith Johnstone’s festive wake was a privilege I won’t soon forget. From my personal experiences with his teachings to the delightful surprises at the event, it was an extraordinary tribute to a remarkable individual. The gathering showcased the essence of Keith’s wisdom—embracing imperfections and allowing space for greatness to emerge. It was a truly memorable and inspiring celebration of a life well-lived.

Update: here is the entire festive wake edited “with the boring parts cut out”.