Celestial Nomenclature


Why I Stopped Watching Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, Reason 227

I wanted to open this blog with the actual clip from Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, episode 107 (S01E08), but I could not find a copy anywhere on the Internets. This was way back when that show was brand spanking new and I thought I'd watch a few episodes to see how it was. This was the last one

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Poirot on Fish Paste

This will be one of those posts in which only I have any interest whatsoever. Sorry.

I adore David Suchet's portrayals of Agatha Christie's Belgian detective for British satellite television. Suchet has filmed nearly every Poirot story and hopes to finish them out before retiring. Most of the short stories were filmed in an hour-long episodic format in the early and mid ninties. The longer stories are shot as TV movies.

One of the longer

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<i>De Minimis</i> Establishment Clause Violations?

I just saw this ad on telly:


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the Ad Council (both organizations about which I have nothing positive to say), has funded and produced an advertisement featuring religious figures endorsing and promoting government programs. No mention of the featured anthropomorphic vegetables' religious affiliation is mentioned. Something about using explicitly religious characters to encourage children to follow

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Oh, Alex IV

This one isn't a faux pas.

Atlas Shrugged was featured as the question to the $200 answer in this evening's "Literary Titles" category (Jeopardy Round). It was the first answer of the game. I don't think the Jeopardy! people like having clips from the show up on the YouTube, so I can't post a video. The clue was cute. Alex gave a spoken clue ("1957 novel about a strong female executive") while a video clip

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Kathy & Andy

Kathy Griffin co-hosted New Year's Eve at Times Square with Anderson Cooper on CNN last night. And she claims to be D-List. That's a squarely C-List activity.

Kathy tried her hardest to get Anderson fired, at one point asking him who, in the current administration, he would most enjoy waterboarding. Of course we all know Anderson's position on waterboarding (even though he never really comes out and says it), so he was quite perturbed, refused

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It's Like <em>Sophie's Choice</em>!

Warning: Project Runway spoilers ensue!


For some reason, I've been watching Season 4 of Project Runway. I blame Flibbert, but it's not really his fault.

Last week, Chris March left. I disagreed with that choice, purely on quality-of-product grounds. I think the judges booted him because of his poor performance as leader, rather than the quality of his own work. Leader in a group challenge. A group challenge really early in the show. The

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Oh, Alex III

Mr Trebek had a minor heart attack at his home yesterday. He is recovering in hospital, and intends to continue hosting Jeopardy! when it resumes taping in January. I wish him well, and look forward to many more awkward contestant interviews in the future.

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Jorja Fox, who plays Sara Sidle on CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, is leaving the show! Tonight was her final appearance!

Apparently this is old hat, and had I been paying any attention to the Internets, I would have know this since August. Still, it is quite disappointing.

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I don't think so!

From what I've been able to dig up on the Internets, "Macgyver" was composed by Randy Edelman and "Rescue Rangers" by Mark Mueller. "Macgyver" predates "Rescue Rangers" by 3½ years. I think "Rescue Rangers" was intended to be evocative of "Macgyver."

Again, both are favorite shows from childhood.

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The Secret

I have discovered the secret of high blog traffic!

Since I posted about this week's episode of House, M.D., my hits have quadrupled. Apparently, many people want to know about the phrase written on the chalkboard behind House in the classroom where he grilled his 40 or so candidates:

Tesla was Robbed!
The phrase appears alone on the board early in the episode. But later in the episode, House writes the following above it:

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Tesla was Robbed!

Tonight's House, M.D. is very entertaining so far. House should have a 40-member team all the time!

Update: But next week's "Dr. House Pulls a Kiefer in Flatliners" looks awful!

Update II: See The Secret for more on the meaning of "Tesla was Robbed!"

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Blast from the Past

I'm quite busy. I have three large papers due in the next 7 days. So posts this week are likely to be on the rather fluffy side. Like this:


I used to watch this show when I was very young. The theme has been stuck in my head ever since. It would pop up, usually in the shower, from time to time, and I couldn't place it. Then

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Oh, Alex II

A contestant relates a story from when he was a messenger. Upon making a delivery to the exercise guru, the messenger could not regain his pen from Richard Simmons until he had made a promise to exercise. The present day contestant is a husky man, with noticeable paunch. Alex responds:

You lied!

If he keeps this up, I'll make this a regular feature.

PS: Remember to avoid dangling your participles!

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On Nausea

Open letter to TV commercial directors of photography:

Shaking the camera will not make what the ad is saying more true. It will only make your viewers seasick. This is especially so on larger screens. No one wants to buy a product whose ad made them barf. It doesn't make your subject more "real," or "raw," or "edgy," or "relevant." It's also such a Commie thing to do. Cinéma vérité, Dogme 95, reality television, documentary

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Where You Should Be

If you aren't watching the season finale of The Closer, the best written show on television right now, you're not doing things right.  Or you're in some wonky time zone.  See WoPSR.net Official Time for information on time zones.

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Oh, Alex

Alex Trebek asks a contestant, who boasts that she has slept in a hotel room floating on the Kwai river in Thailand, whether the original bridge (of cinema fame) is still there.

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