Saturday, December 28, 2013

Whatever Happened To...Fitness Television Programs?

I find it amazing that out of the hundreds of channels I receive in my cable subscription not a single one of them is devoted to health and fitness. There's never been a greater need for one. Americans continue to get fatter and unhealthier and nearly every week it seems there's a news story about our growing obesity problem, yet an exercise show featuring at-home workouts is apparently as elusive as the Tooth Fairy as we head into 2014.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

10 Things You Didn't Know About Bobby Darin

"It isn't true that you live only once. You only die once. You live lots of times, if you know how." - Bobby Darin

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of Bobby Darin's death--and considering that he's my favorite entertainer of all time, I couldn't let another day slip by without spreading some love for my Bobby D. Notice that I chose the word entertainer to describe him in lieu of singer or musician. That's because Bobby Darin, as his diehard fans already know, possessed talent that was way more multi-faceted than just being a crooner. So many of today's fame whores from Miley Cyrus to Kanye West are nothing but posers with overinflated opinions of themselves; Darin was the real deal. He wrote catchy songs that spanned several genres and composed instrumental music, had mastered several instruments by the time he was a teen, was intelligent, involved in social and political causes and even scored an Oscar nomination. If you think that the only thing Bobby Darin contributed to the world was "Mack the Knife", think again. The man was so amazing that when his son, Dodd Darin, interviewed friends of his father for his biography about his parents, "Dream Lovers: The Magnificent Shattered Dreams of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee," he said they often burst into tears while waxing nostalgia about his dad; so beloved that he was. Here are ten things most non-Darin fans probably don't know about him...

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Reasons Why the Rankin/Bass TV Specials Rocked

As a 70s/80s child I'll always hold a special place in my heart for the Rankin/Bass animated TV specials--particularly the ones that featured their stop-motion technology. Every year it seems a new children's Christmas special makes its debut, but they can never touch anything that Rankin/Bass produced--in fact, they're downright lame by comparison. I started to think about why Arthur Rankin's and Jules Bass' creations were so enchanting, given that animation has become way more sophisticated compared to the 1960s. While everyone working on the Rankin/Bass team contributed to the success of these specials, I determined that it seemed to boil down to three key ingredients...

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