Pop Culture & Current Events

Check Out A Cool ‘Live Lip Dub’ Wedding Proposal

Photo courtesy of Alysha Beck and The Oregonian Way back in the stone ages when I proposed to my wife, cell phones were very rare and barely functional outside of cities (and only made ‘phone calls’), video recorders were bulky and tape based and left behind large rectangles no one ever saw again, and a ‘flash mob’ would call to mind a bunch of people with no clothes on. Oh,…


How Common Is Your Birthday?

Here at Gear Diary we have just gone through a period where it seemed that two-thirds of us had our birthday within the same month. So when I saw a link to a NY Times article that compiled some data on the most common birthdays, I was intrigued. Turns out that the plethora of April birthdays at Gear Diary is an anomaly, with the greatest density of births coming in…


RIP Eugene Polley, Inventor of the TV Remote at 96

Image courtesy of Wikipedia I remember reading an article about 25 years or so ago! on how everything wired was going wireless and everything wireless was getting wired. The article was mainly about cordless phones and wired cable television, but it is one that comes back to me often about the transformative effect of technology and how quickly we acclimate to changes. One thing that pretty much everyone takes for…


Windows XP’s “Bliss” Background: A Blissful Happenstance

Most people who have been using PCs in the past decade or so have doubtless seen this image, the default background image on Microsoft Windows XP. “Bliss” it is called. I’ve always had a soft spot for this image, plus images like it for my desktops. To my mind there is something soothing about undulating fields of green grass under a bright blue sky. In the back of my mind…


Google Doodle Celebrates Bob Moog

Today’s Google Doodle is a fully interactive synthesizer to celebrate the life of synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog. The sound of so many classic recordings from the 70s owes almost entirely to Moog and his crew from the small Trumansburg, New York manufacturing facility hand-wiring these innovative musical instruments. The ‘Moog Sound’ is not just due to analog circuitry, but more due to the limitations of the technology and some errors…


RIP Donna Summer, Queen of Disco and More!

I remember way back at the beginning of High School the dances always seemed to conclude with one song – Last Dance by Donna Summer. It was just one of the iconic songs by the 5-time Grammy Award winning singer, who died yesterday at age 63 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Unlike some celebrities, she kept very private during her illness. For someone who bore the mantle of ‘Queen…


The 50 Best “Very Special” Sitcom Episodes

Coming out of the 1970s social awareness which turned into popular After School Specials and dramatic mini-series ‘events’, the early 80s spawned an endless stream of ‘Very Special Episodes’ in sitcoms, which continue to plague shows as some of the worst and most awkward moments in the series. The folks over at Jest Comedy have compiled a video of 50 memorable episodes, from caffeine pills to shoplifting and more. Here…


All the Things a Star Trek Doctor is NOT!

If you think of quotes from the classic Star Trek, one of the first few would be ‘I’m a doctor, not a …’. These were uttered brilliantly by DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard McCoy in the series, and have become a standard line in later series entries. You heard it in Deep Space 9, Voyager and even the Enterprise prequel – but ironically never from Dr. Crusher on The Next…


RIP Legendary Bassist Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn

This weekend we learned of the passing of one of the most influential bassists of the electric era – Donald “Duck” Dunn. He was 70 years old and ‘died in his sleep’ according to long-time collaborator guitarist Steve Cropper. The pair were touring and had just played two sets at the Blue Note in Tokyo earlier that night. Here is more information: Dunn is perhaps best known as the bassist…


A BBC Series Will Attempt to Dissuade People Who Believe In Alien Abductions

It’s interesting to hear the reasons given when people believe in things which seem contrary to what evidence otherwise proves, but there are plenty of people who do. Whether it be the country of Obama’s birth (and whether his US certificate is forged or not), that the earth will be destroyed in 2012 when the Mayan Calendar ends, that the events of 9/11 were not a terrorist attack, that childhood vaccinations…



RIP Adam Yauch, the Beastie Boys MCA

Sad news today as we have just heard of the passing of the Beastie Boys MCA, Adam Yauch. He was 47 and had been battling cancer, which we learned about back in 2009. Here is more from USAToday: The music world is mourning again. Adam Yauch, known as Beastie Boys rapper MCA, has died. GlobalGrind.com, Russell Simmon’s website, reports that Yauch died after a long battle with cancer. He was…


May the 4th Be With You as Donny & Marie Do Star Wars!

If you go back 35 years to the late 70’s, it seemed that everyone had a variety show – and one of the best things was that they were all live. I loved watching the Carol Burnett show, and one of the best parts was that Harvey Korman could never keep a straight face once Burnett and Tim Conway got going. Donny & Marie had an enormously popular variety show…



Dark Knight Rises Final Trailer

It has become a common tactic for a film studio to attach a trailer for a hotly anticipated release to help bolster interest in another release. It was already widely known that the final trailer for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was planned to show with ‘The Avengers’. But now that ‘The Avengers’ is breaking records in its international release and seem assured a tremendous box office, Warner Brothers has released…


Ellen Reads from ’50 Shades of Grey’

If you follow pop culture and popular books at all, you have heard something about the novel 50 Shades of Grey. If not, I’ll catch you up quickly: it was a Twilight fan-fiction which gained interest from publishers but needed a change of characters, which basically puts a young college student and a rich older man together … but rather than vampires and werewolves we have whips and chains. In…


Boston’s Fenway Park Celebrates 100 Years of Baseball Traditions

Even as the world was still reeling from the sinking of the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic, a new era dawned in Boston, and in sports history. On April 20, 1912 Fenway Park opened to the public with a capacity of 35,000 seats … and the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Highlanders in an extra-innings thriller to launch the storied baseball stadium. At this point, Fenway Park is the oldest professional…


Music as Art … Sheet Music Art, That Is!

An artistic duo called ‘People Too’ from Novabrinsk in Russia are known for their amazing papercraft that seeks to bring small scenes to life, but apparently they can also bring sheet music to life as well! We all know that music is art, and therefore sheet music contains art … but it is amazing when the sheet music ITSELF becomes art! The site linked below has more than a dozen…


RIP Dick Clark, Timeless Host and Breaker of Boundaries

Although my kids will sadly remember Dick Clark from his post-stroke days, struggling for coherence alongside Ryan Seacrest, he was much more than that in a career that cut across 8 decades. The Dick Clark I grew up with was a force of nature – he started well before my time as the man who brought rock’n’roll to the mainstream, spent 31 years as the host of the amazing American…


The Amazing Story of the First Woman to Officially Run the Boston Marathon

It is hard to think that within my life there was a time when women were essentially forbidden to run a marathon – yet the image above is one of those magical moments caught on film. It shows 20-year old Kathrine Switzer as the first officially entered woman in the Boston Marathon (Roberta Gibb ran as a renegade the year before). And the image shows marathon organizer Jock Semple chasing…


Hilariously Effective Nike ‘I Would Run to You’ Commercial

How often do you see a full 2.5-minute commercial that even as it is obviously selling a brand, makes you stop and fully engage in the story? Well, this new commercial for Nike featuring two lovers who find themselves across the country and missing one another is cute, endearing, and hilarious. It is a great story … and well worth watching and sharing! Here is the description: Nike and W+K…