Posted by Mike

Mike

NBC 2013-2014

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All sorts of exciting events to read about online this week. Near the top of the list, TV Network Upfronts. Meaning we get the fall schedules and find out what shows are new/renewed/cancelled.

Up first, NBC. Will there be anything to watch? Well, besides the Winter Olympics, which I will watch all of.

Late Night
First, there is the late night shakeup, with today’s news that Seth Meyers is taking over for Fallon. Now I’m a big fan of Seth Meyers. I’ve enjoyed him on Weekend Update and saw him do stand-up a year or two ago. My first reaction is that it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Two Weekend Update hosts, back to back, both from New York. Will they be the same show? Actually no, and I actually warming up to the idea. While both Fallon and Meyers were Weekend Update hosts, they have completely different styles. Fallon can kill the music parts, which are the only thing I see of his, online. That’s not Meyers game. What could be his game, is a 12:35 Daily Show style show. He already does this once a week at the Update Desk. Add in a daily format, which he can handle, since most news jokes get played out by the time SNL comes around. The question will be if he can handle the interviews. I don’t know if he can, but he should be better than Fallon.

Renewals
If I had to rank the bubble shows up NBC from this past season for the order I’d renew them.

1. Parks & Rec – No doubt.
2. Community – I didn’t like this season, but the cast is too good to give up on.
3. Guys With Kids – I didn’t get how no one watched this. It was the best pure sitcom I had seen in a long while.
4. Go On – I like Matthew Perry a lot. I watched this whole season. It never quite figured itself out. There were some really good episodes. The cast was a bit too large and they weren’t developed enough. Even at the end of the season, I didn’t know the names of all the members of the support group.
5. New Normal – The only one on the list I didn’t stick out for the season (I quit short of half way through), which is why it’s last. I tried to like it. I wanted to like it. The leads were solid. The show was actually destroyed by the grandmother and assistant. 

Just Parks & Rec and Community. No surprise. I would have liked for one of the others to make it.

New Shows
Not a ton jumped out at me on the schedule. The Michael J. Fox Show will get a watch, but the fact that it was given the 9:30 spot, and not 9, makes me wonder if it turned out less than excellent. Although if NBC is the judge, that either means it’s actually good or so bad even they realized it.

I see a midseason show from Bill Lawrence, Undateable. I always give his shows a chance. Ok, maybe I never gave Cougar Town a chance.

The odd one on the list: The Million Second Quiz. If I understand this correctly, players live in a bubble answering questions 24 hours a day for 12 days and it will air in primetime. But people at home can play along and possibly appear on the show. So I don’t really know how it works. It’s pretty save to say during those two weeks if you watch any NBC, they’ll mention it.

Outlook
I’ll give some of the new shows a try, at least the Thursday night lineup. It looks like the spring might be where it’s at for me on NBC. Whenever Community and Undateable show up along with Seth Meyers, they will add to Parks & Rec and SNL. Hopefully for NBC’s sake, one of the other shows makes the list.

Mike

Two TED Talks That I Should Have Done

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Mitch Resnick: Let’s teach kids to code

I’ve been saying everyone should learn a little about coding. I posted about it over a year ago when there was an online Computer Science 101 class. Not sure what happened with that class, I signed up and got one email that it was running behind schedule.

Still, even in the simple example used in the video, it gets kids to start thinking with a basic idea of a variable (and maybe a data type) and if statements.

Cesar Kuriyama: One second every day

This guy’s idea was to take a second of video everyday and stitch it all together. He was thinking that he forgot too many experiences. I’ve always had a similar problem. In college I always said I wanted to hire a stenographer to follow me around because I always forgot really smart things I said during the day.

The bonus to this video concept is that in order to remember, you should have some video worth remembering. So it forces him to try and do something each day that is worthwhile. A chunk comes from his 3 month cross country roadtrip. Which is weird cause I’ve wanted to do that for a long long time and was just thinking about it a few days before watching this.

Mike

Late Night TV is all the same and so different

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With Kimmel going to 11:35 last week, I think it was Letterman who pointed out (many times) how necessary it was to have 3 shows that were exactly the same all on at 11:35. I find it so interesting how they are all pretty much the same, yet I like a lot of them for different reasons. I wanted to try and describe each show as quickly as I could.

David Letterman
The master of the format. I’m not old enough to have watched Carson (but I’ve seen plenty of specials). I can see why people might be turned off by Dave and all of his quirks, but for some reason every one of them cracks me up. As great as I think he is now, I wish I would have been old enough to watch his NBC show. I probably would have invented the DVR in order to watch it.

Jay Leno
When I watch I can’t grasp how anyone finds the show funny, yet, the ratings. I hear so many people say how great he was when he’d go on Letterman, but I have not seen the proof. I really want someone to make a documentary about it called, ‘I Swear He Was Funny’.

Jimmy Kimmel
Most resembles what I image the show would be if my friends and I put one together. I think he’s the best interviewer and the number of pre-taped bits that have been home runs shouldn’t be possible.

The Daily Show
Jon is so good that sometimes trying to get jokes in actually takes away from the greatness of the show. How’s that for a comedy show? Less jokes! He could do the show by himself but has so many funny corespondents around (and how do they keep finding great new ones when others leave?). I don’t know how everything fits into a half hour every night. (Except for interviews going long and being posted online almost every night these days.)

The Colbert Report
The concept is so genius that they really don’t even have to try and the show would be great. The fact that they work really hard, there is no way anyone else should ever win the Emmy.

Conan
I watch because the bright spots are so much fun. I usually skip the monologue, and the interviews aren’t the best. So what’s left? The sketches are just off the wall sometimes. The show is at its best when it is the most cartoon-y. Bonus: Andy Richter is incredibly underrated. A lot of nights he will just say one thing but he’ll get my biggest laugh of the night.

Jimmy Fallon
When you put it on, it feels like a really hip club that went through initiation and learned all sorts of secret handshakes that you don’t understand. Yet they are really friendly to visitors who want to stop by. You always feel welcome, but also feel like you shouldn’t ask about the handshakes because they won’t tell you.

Craig Ferguson
Sometimes I catch the first few minutes after Letterman. He’s so different than everyone else, even though the format is so similar. Of all the shows, if I had to test someone to see if we had a compatible sense of humor, I think I’d go with Craig.

Mike

Dog steals golf ball

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Favorite story from the weekend.

This happened in Scotland at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which looks to be an event on the European Tour. So this wasn’t just a random country club occurrence. It may have been during a Pro-Am since the story mentions the golfer being partnered with Michael Phelps. The golfer was Paul Casey and he was lining up for an eagle putt when a dog ran onto the green and took the ball!

A spectator stopped the dog and got the ball back. There was no penalty.

A dogs often hanging around major events? Casey said this one showed up at the tee and followed them to the green before it saw an opening on the green to get the ball.

Story on Golf.com
Gallery

Mike

Frozen Faceoff

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Frozen Faceoff

I’m very upset about the NHL lockout. With giving up college football and not really wanting to go all in on the NFL, the NHL was all set to get a lot more viewing from me this season. What we have here is a positive link for NHL fans.

Center ice designs for all the NHL arenas. So you can see all of them on the homepage. So cool, right? Oh, it’s not done. Click around for historical center ice designs. Yes. Historical.

One thing that stood out is that most teams have gone with the single giant logo these days. Only the Flyers and Canadians have the two logos on each side of the red line.

Looking at all the Flyers designs they have on the site, the only reason they’ve ever really had to change is for the numerous changes to the name of the arena thanks to all the bank buyouts and mergers over the years.

The Spectrum always had the best designs and that early 90s center ice should be the design for all time.

Mike

SNL: Seth MacFarlane

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A strong opening to the SNL season. Not too surprising. I expected Seth to be excellent. I thought his monologue did a decent job of showing off his many skills.

Not as good:
– Not sure about Jay Pharoah as Obama. Not that Fred Armisen was particularly great at it.
– Weekend Update is always a little flat when the season starts. But I forget every time. There is just too much time to figure out which jokes to tell. I also imagine with changes for the new season, those get more attention than Seth Meyers back for another year at the desk.
– Someone explain Frank Ocean to me. I tried to listen to his new album when it came out, I didn’t get far into in before giving up.

There were a lot of good sketches (including this great one with Amish guys trying to give their web address for their wooden spoon business), but I think this was my favorite …

Now I liked the sketch itself, but I love the concept. You could do this multiple times a season. Starting with the host as the teacher, there is nothing tying it to a single cast member. You can go a million different directions with teachers, students, puppets, and puppet personality. Please SNL, make this recurring.

Next week: Joseph Gordon-Levitt with Mumford & Sons

Mike

Matt & Kim – Now

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Matt & Kim – Now

I have a proposal. Fun. has to swap names with Matt & Kim. If any band should be called ‘Fun’, it’s Matt & Kim. What should fun. do having to be called Matt & Kim? They could just call themselves The Format. If they called themselves The Format they’d have to make songs as good as they were then. (Me = bitter than fun. is so popular when The Format made much better music.)

The new album is called Lightning and comes out October 2nd. You can pre-order the CD on Amazon, or as mp3s.

Found on AbsolutePunk.

Mike

NFL Travel Schedule

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NFL Travel Schedule

I’m always interested in these, although I usually prefer to have some maps to get a real idea of what is going on.

Green Bay has the least amount of travel ahead of them. A trip to Seattle and New York (Giants) are the only times they have to wander out of the central part of the country.

Most northeast teams usually have the least amount of travel. The NFL is a little different as it isn’t weighted quite as heavily toward your division. And the division matchups could give you a few trips across the country. Also, having the Cowboys in the NFC East is wrong geographically, so that adds some travel.

Looking at the Eagles, Phoenix is the biggest trip with New Orleans, Dallas, and Tampa Bay all in that mid-range giving them the 21st most miles traveled.

Mike

I’m a Tropical Storm?

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Tropical Storm Michael popped up. Doesn’t appear to be headed for much in its life. The computers aren’t even sure which way it will head before it fades away.

Mike

Full Moon Names

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Full Moon Names

Tonight is a Full Moon. It’s the 2nd full moon of August. And that means it’s a Blue Moon. At least, I think. I thought the 2nd Full Moon in a month meant it was a Blue Moon, but then Wikiepedia said something about a Blue Moon being the 3rd Full Moon in a season with 4 Full Moons. That seems a little complicated.

Back to the link. I was not aware that each month’s Full Moon has its own name. August is the Sturgeon Moon, but that already happened a few weeks ago. So look forward to the Full Harvest Moon on September 29th.

The next Blue Moon? July 2015. That is, if you are following the 2 in a month business. Sounds like next August has that other seasonal Blue Moon.

Mike

Meet Leslie

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I think everyone (on the east coast) should be aware of any named tropical systems. Even if they aren’t going to hit the US. It might be my weather obsession, but every once in a while, they make landfall. Then you can be smug and say, ‘I knew Issac when …’.

So here’s Leslie. She a tropical storm now. The computer models don’t have her hitting much of anything. Still, get to know her a little bit.

Another fun thing to do, is reminisce of anyone you knew with that name. I don’t recall meeting any Leslie’s. The first one that comes to mind is Leslie Knope. So watch some Parks & Rec.