Some favorite TV theme songs

3-2-1 Contact

I love TV theme songs. I play old science fictions standards in the car or fast roads, funky 70s cop and public service show themes when I drive around big cities, and children's television workshop themes touch my heart. Walks down Memory Lane can be fun, when they aren't terrifying acid flashbacks.

Here is a list I kept as I lost 30 minutes this afternoon, feel free to add more to the comments below.

3-2-1 Contact (top) was the best kids science show of my youth. The theme song continues to inspire and I admit to singing along, very loudly. You can watch them recording it, it was the intro of their first episode.

The Bob Newhart Show's big band jazz theme contrasted with the mundane, but brilliant, Bob Newhart walking around opening.

Gimme a Break's Nell Carter sure could sing.

The Patty Duke Show's theme always struck me as just ridiculous, but I can remember ALL THE WORDS. I mean how much convincing does it take? Those cousins are awfully similar.

Charles Gounod's The Funeral March of a Marionette (Marche funèbre d'une marionnette) very distinctly means Alfred Hitchcock Presents is on.

The Electric Company sure had a trippy intro.

If you made it this far, this video of Sammy Davis Jr. singing the theme song to Baretta, "Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow" is amazing. The several minutes of Sammy, on stage and being his incredible, generous, loving, and just genuine self brings tears to my eyes as I type this. Sammy singing the funkiest television theme song of all time? Really an absolute masterpiece of music, let alone TV music, and a masterpiece of a human being.

Best way to get started with Arduino


Arduino is an electronics prototyping platform that gives non-engineers the ability to add interactivity to their projects. (I teach an online Arduino course on Skillshare that 1,163 have taken with a 97% rating).

Amazon has a sale on the genuine Arduino Starter Kit for $72. It has the Arduino Uno microprocessor and a bunch of components, along with instructions for 15 projects that will give you a feel for all the things you can do with Arduino.

If Donald Trump ever talks to a real journalist, these are the questions he should answer


The questions posed by David Cay Johnston include some tough-to-avoid queries about Trump's involvement with the mafia, the regulatory findings against his company for unfair and unsafe employment practices, and times when Trump had admitted to shading the truth or lying outright about his affairs. (more…)

Documentary of Marine Corps boot camp training


This cinéma vérité style documentary follows a Marine Corps drill instructor and his crew of fresh recruits in San Diego during the 13-week training program known as boot camp.

From Wikipedia: In Helmet for My Pillow, his World War II memoir, journalist Robert Leckie wrote of Marine Corps Recruit Training that, "It is a process of surrender. At every turn, at every hour, it seemed, a habit or a preference had to be given up, an adjustment had to be made. Even in the mess hall we learned that nothing mattered so little as a man's own likes or dislikes ... Worst in this process of surrender was the ruthless refusal to permit a man the slightest privacy."

Tesla driver sleeping at the wheel while car drives itself


Here's a gentleman taking a nap while his Tesla drives for him. From Electrek:

Tesla’s Autopilot requires the driver to always monitor the vehicle and be ready to take control. If the system lacks data to continue to actively steer the vehicle safely, it will show an alert on the dashboard.

If the driver ignores the alert for too long, it will emit a sound and decelerate while activating the hazard lights and moving the vehicle to the side of the road. The vehicle basically assumes that the driver is unconscious if he can’t take control after visual and audible alerts.

In this case, it seems like the Autopilot is still very much in control and therefore is not bothering the sleeping driver – now a simple passenger.

California lake trashed, University of Oregon students suspected

photo via Jennifer Cox/Facebook

Over 90 tents, sleeping bags, coolers full of food, and of course trash were left strewn about California's Lake Shasta. Some of the detritus was proudly emblazoned with University of Oregon logos, and those of the fraternal organization Lambda Chi Alpha. Unsurprisingly, the images have made their way to social media.

Via Oregon Live:

While the university can't confirm that UO students were at the site, Holmes acknowledged that Duck gear was strewn across the landscape. She added the school could discipline students who are involved in the situation, adding those students would have violated the school's code of conduct.

In a statement, Holmes said national fraternity Zeta Omicron Zeta was suspending all of its chapters' activities until the "situation is addressed."

One photo showed a cooler emblazoned with one of that fraternity's chapters, Lambda Chi Alpha's Greek lettering and the phrase, "Do you wanna do some blow man?"

Documentary about men who live as dogs


Secret Life of the Human Pups is a Channel 4 documentary that takes a "sympathetic look at the world of pup play, a movement that grew out of the BDSM community and has exploded in the last 15 years as the internet made it easier to reach out to likeminded people."

From The Guardian:

While the pup community is a broad church, human pups tend to be male, gay, have an interest in dressing in leather, wear dog-like hoods, enjoy tactile interactions like stomach rubbing or ear tickling, play with toys, eat out of bowls and are often in a relationship with their human “handlers”.





World of Warcraft Chronicle takes you to the very beginning of the WoW universe


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

World of Warcraft Chronicle
by Blizzard Entertainment, Peter Lee (artist) and Joseph Lacroix (illustrator)
Dark Horse
2016, 184 pages, 9.3 x 12.3 x 0.7 inches
$25 Buy a copy on Amazon

Real chronicles for imaginary places are nothing new. I'm pretty sure my first one detailed all the secrets of Krynn. But it might have been Pern. Or maybe Thra. It's hard to remember. And these days, the market boasts a surfeit of atlases, histories, dictionaries, and art books big enough to satisfy even the most die-hard fan.

Dark Horse's World of Warcraft Chronicle Vol. 1 fills all these roles beautifully. Formatted as a history (hence "chronicle") the book takes the reader from the very beginning of the WoW universe to a time 45 years before the Dark Portal, when a young boy named Medivh awoke from a long coma...

WoW is famously lore-dense. It is one of the most captivating things about the game for many players. Each new expansion brings new races, new characters - each with their own complete story - as well as new back stories for old favorites. And then, too, WoW has a nifty habit of either adding new locations (and new stories!) or completely destroying the old lands and kingdoms and rebuilding in the same spots for, you guessed it, new stories!

This book is an attempt to corral all those stories into something coherent and readable. Two things help the book achieve its goal: the history is laid out chronologically (chronicle!) and supported by numerous maps and stunning artwork. The maps show the same locations again and again, noting how things have changed since the last time they were presented. And the art...Blizzard's own Peter Lee illustrated Chronicle with lush paintings that depict key scenes instantly familiar to anyone who has spent time in World of Warcraft.

As a physical object, Chronicle is another in a long line of beautifully constructed books from Dark Horse. The covers are sturdy (and sans jacket, instead having fixed illustrated panels on the front cover) and the paper is heavy enough to survive being leafed through repeatedly without tearing. Likewise, though glossy, the paper resists being smudged or marked by skin oil. The font and typesetting is clear and easy to read. As I said, it is a beautiful book.

With the (hopefully first of many) Warcraft movie set to debut this summer, World of Warcraft, the game, is sure to gain a bunch of new fans as well as see the return of lapsed players like yours truly. This book is the perfect companion piece for those new to Azeroth and those whose recollection may have faltered a little and even those who are already experts because, if nothing else, this book will make you want to take up your sword, climb on your mount, and join the battle. For the Horde! (Alliance!) – Joel Neff

This seven-minute video shows amazing Hong Kong


When Brandon Li, a 34-year-old American, went to Hong Kong, he was so taken by the city that he made this stunningly beautiful short video about it, which shows the people, both rich and poor, eating, playing, working, competing, and celebrating.

Li told the South China Morning Post, “Hong Kong is a city which feels like it cannot exist. It is this mix of British and Chinese culture – it is filled with an uncontainable energy of beautiful corners that are sometimes hidden.” hongkong10 hongkong11 hongkong5 hongkong6 hongkong7 hongkong8 hongkong9 hongkong1 hongkong2 hongkong3 hongkong4