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Tag Archives: television

getting to know you

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A blog is often a mixture of what is happening in a person’s life and what is happening on the Web, a kind of hybrid diary/guide site, although there are as many unique types of blogs as there are people.

When I initially began blogging, not knowing what the heck I was doing or trying to do – or how to do it – I had no idea of the connections that would be made with old friends and with new friends and just visitors who share some of the same interests.

It is exhilarating to interact with other bloggers who love books and theatre and stitching and cooking and genealogy and Texas and Colorado and New Mexico and  . . . . even things I didn’t KNOW would be interesting to me – just everyday happenings that strike a chord.

I love the connections and the conversations that have ensued (via personal e-mails) once the connection has been made from a posting on a blog.

I love it!

If I’ve learned anything, I have learned that we all basically have the same feelings and experiences (albeit not in the same way).  When I read someone’s blog who is dealing with relationships (children, family, friends, work – the list goes on), I ‘know’ what they are experiencing for I have ‘been there’ in one way or another.

When I read about someone who is noticing the beauty that surrounds us – I see it too – every day.  Some of the bloggers have such a marvelous gift for writing the words that describe exactly how I feel (although I could never express it so eloquently – but reading their words puts a smile on my face and an “uh-huh – I KNOW about that” –  thought in my head).

I’m getting to know these bloggers – folks I will never ever meet in person – and I am ecstatic and delighted.

Who woulda thunk it??!!

Andrew Gordon and his colleagues at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies in Los Angeles have been trying to teach computers about cause and effect. Computers are not good at dealing with causality. They can identify particular events but working out relationships is more difficult. This is particularly true when it comes to using computers to analyse the human experience.

But it turns out that computers can learn a lot about causality by reading personal blogs. Of the million or so blog entries that are written in English every day, most are comments on news, plans for activities, or personal thoughts about life. Roughly 5% are narratives telling stories about events that have recently happened to the author.

. . . The web could be mined to track information about emerging trends and behaviours, covering everything from drug use or racial tension to interest in films or new products. The nature of blogging means that people are quick to comment on events in their daily lives. Mining this sort of information might therefore also reveal information about exactly how ideas are spread and trends are set.

In the world before the web, chatter about the trivialities of everyday life was shared in person, and not written down, so it could not be subjected to such analysis. While recording their words for posterity and obsessively checking their hit counters to see if anyone is reading them, today’s blog authors can console themselves with the thought that computers, at least, find their work fascinating.


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TV Commercials – CLEO Award

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laughter is good for the soul

The I Love Lucy Show is timeless and this segment with Tallulah Bankhead is a gem!

Minnie Pearl

Minnie Pearl, a member of the Grand Ole Opry cast from 1940 until her death in 1996, was country music’s preeminent comedian and one of the most widely recognized comic performers American culture has ever produced. With her straw hat and its dangling $1.98 price tag, her representation of herself as a man-chasing spinster in the small town of Grinder’s Switch, TN, and her great-hearted holler of “How-DEE! I’m just so proud to be here” as she took to the Opry stage, Pearl became an icon of rural America even as she lovingly satirized its ways.

Cousin Minnie Pearl grew up among people quite different from the Uncle Nabob, Brother, and boyfriend Hezzie who populated her comic routines. Born Sarah Ophelia Colley, she was the daughter of a prosperous lumberman in Centerville, TN, and she attended tony Ward-Belmont College in Nashville as a theater major. As a young woman she favored classical music, not country. In college she focused especially on her dance classes, which would serve her well as she developed her top-notch stage presence, and after college she taught dance for several years. Then she took a job as a dramatic coach with a touring theater company based in Atlanta. As the group barnstormed through the Depression-era south, she would try to promote the group’s shows by making brief appearances at local Lions’ clubs and the like. She hit on a routine in which she delivered an impression of a small-town girl, Minnie Pearl, and then began to amplify the impression with traits she observed in people she met along the way. By 1939, the Minnie Pearl character was well developed, but Colley had to return to Centerville that year to help care for her ill mother.

In 1940 Colley appeared at a banking convention in Centerville at which some of the executives of the Opry’s host station, WSM, happened to be in attendance. One suggested that she audition for the Opry, and despite the misgivings of Opry managers that she might be seen as ridiculing country people, she was accepted for a late-evening slot. Several hundred cards and letters addressed to Minnie Pearl arrived at the station over the following weeks, and her place in the cast was assured. “I don’t think people think of her so much as a show business act as a friend,” Colley would later observe.

During World War II, Pearl toured with the Camel Caravan, and she married Nashville pilot Henry Cannon in 1947. She authored a cookbook and became a prominent figure in Nashville social circles under the name of Sarah Cannon. But her greatest fame came from her Opry performances, some of which were broadcast nationally when the show hit prime time in the 1940s. In the late ’40s and early ’50s, Pearl often worked as part of a duo with comedian Rod Brasfield, and by 1957 she was famous enough to be featured on NBC television’s This Is Your Life program.

Pearl went on to make many more television appearances in the ’60s and ’70s, eventually joining the cast of the hillbilly-themed variety show Hee Haw. That show made varied use of her comedic talents, featuring her in such segments as “Driving Miss Minnie” in addition to her usual Grinder’s Switch settings. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1975. Pearl was still a television fixture in the 1980s, when she appeared on TNN’s Nashville Now. She also toured the country for much of her career and made a number of recordings. One of them, the recitation “Giddyup Go Answer,” a rejoinder to Red Sovine‘s sentimental trucker number, became a Top Ten hit. Performing into the 1990s, Pearl suffered a stroke in 1991 and died five years later. ~ James Manheim, All Music Guide