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Melba - Forgotten 1986 Sitcom Flop Singer Melba Moore was the star of a barely remembered 1986 CBS sitcom aptly tiled Melba. Moore played Melba Patterson, a recently divorced black mother. Along with running the Visitors' Center in Manhattan, Patterson was trying to raise a spunky nine-year-old daughter (Tracy) with the help of her mother (Rose) and her white "sister" (Susan Slater)--a childhood pal who had been raised by Melba's mom. Before it had even aired once, critics who had seen sneak previews of Melba strongly took a dislike to the show. Nevertheless, Melba's debut occurred at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28, 1986: the same day of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. Apparently few people were in the mood to watch a new sitcom later that night: Melba's ratings were the worst in CBS' prime-time history. It got a 13% viewer share--an awful number in the days of just three networks and limited competition from cable stations. Despite the Challenger tragedy, The A-Team (NBC) and Who's The Boss? (ABC) still managed to pull in respectable ratings opposite Melba. Panicky network executives swiftly yanked Melba from CBS' lineup. However, five other Melba episodes aired in August and September on Saturday nights when ABC and NBC were showing reruns. The ratings for Melba were still unacceptably low, so CBS killed it for a second and final time. Here's what the show's opening montage looked like.
Tags: Melba  CBS  sitcom  flop 
Added: 21st March 2014
Views: 1280
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Posted By: Lava1964
Diet Rite Cola Originally introduced in 1958 as a dietetic drink. It was launched in 1962 nationwide and marketed to the general public as a health drink. With little to no competition it quickly became the number one diet drink. Today it is owned by and distributed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
Tags: Diet  Rite  Cola  dietetic  drink  diet  soda  Dr  Pepper  Snapple  Group 
Added: 5th May 2014
Views: 1487
Rating:
Posted By: Cliffy
Olympic Cheater Boris Onischenko At the 1976 Montreal Olympics a scandal enveloped the modern pentathlon competition. It centered around the Soviet Union's team captain Boris Onischenko. Entering the fencing part of the event, Onischenko, a skilled swordsman who had won medals at both the 1968 and 1972 Olympics, was paired against British captain Jim Fox. Fox complained that something was amiss with Onischenko's epee. Officials seized it and determined it had an illegal grip. Onischenko was given another epee and the match continued with Onischenko winning easily. However, further examination of Onischenko's original weapon found it had been electronically altered to register phantom hits. The Soviet team was immediately disqualified. To their credit, the rest of the Soviet modern pentathlon team shunned Onischenko (whom the world media dubbed Dishonest-chenko) for his shenanigans. The Soviet men's volleyball team threatened to throw Onischenko from the highest window of the Olympic village if they encountered him.
Tags: fencing  Boris  Onischenko  cheater  Olympics 
Added: 29th October 2009
Views: 3345
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Posted By: Lava1964
1992 Little League World Series Scandal In 1992 the Little League baseball team representing Zamboanga City, Philippines won its way through national trials and the Far East series. After brushing aside the competition at Williamsport, PA, the team was crowned the champion of the 46th Little League World Series. Not long afterward, though, the team was stripped of its title after Filipino journalists revealed the team had used ineligible players who did not meet either age or residency requirements. In 1992 the LLWS introduced a new format--round-robins within both the American and International pools. Zamboanga City thumped Kaiserslauten, Germany, then Valleyfield, Quebec to clinch a berth in the International final. They lost a meaningless game to Epyguerrerro, Dominican Republic, but beat them 5-1 when it counted in the International final. The LLWS championship game, on August 29, against Long Beach, California, was a blowout, with Zamboanga City scoring seven runs in the first inning and cruising to an easy 15-4 win. The team was hailed as heroes in the Philippines. Filipino president Fidel V. Ramos awarded the players' families a million pesos. Long Beach head coach Jeff Burroughs remarked that one Filipino pitcher, Roberto Placious, had the poise of a high school or college pitcher. He may have been right! A few days after Zamboanga City's victory, journalist Al Mendoza of the Philippine Daily Inquirer began a series of stories suggesting that some players were ineligible for the LLWS. In response to this allegation, Little League headquarters faxed administrator Armando Andaya questions regarding the players' ages, birth certificates, residence--and a specific question regarding pitcher Ian Tolentino's participation in a tournament in 1990 (suggesting this would have made him overage in 1992). Andaya admitted to violating rules on district representation. Eight players were from outside the Zamboanga City area--some came from as far away as Luzon and were unable to speak Chabacano, the language most commonly spoken in Zamboanga. Little League Baseball promptly stripped Zamboanga City of its title. Under Little League rules at the time, when a team was found to have used an ineligible player, it forfeited only its most recent game. Since the revelation was made after the championship game, that game was declared a 6-0 forfeit victory for Long Beach--which was awarded the LLWS title. The exposed players and parents remained defiant, and accused Little League Baseball of denying them due process. Many Filipinos were outraged at what they saw as a betrayal by Mendoza. (He was given the key to the city of Long Beach!) Nevertheless, fellow Inquirer journalist Armand N. Nocum conducted a further investigation and found that even the six true Zamboangueños were overage--one was at least 15--and thus ineligible. It was further discovered the fraud was based upon the ineligible players assuming the identities of eligible players who had represented the city at the national championships. In some cases, even the parents of the ineligible players assumed false identities to maintain the appearance of propriety. Apparently no lesson was learned by the Zamboanga City Little League. The very next year its team was disqualified from the Filipino national championship tournament in another overage-player scandal.
Tags: cheating  Little  League  Baseball  scandal  Philippines 
Added: 28th August 2011
Views: 4624
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Posted By: Lava1964
Weightlifter Vasili Alexeyev 1942-2011 It has been reported that Vasili Alexeyev, the Soviet weightlifter who utterly dominated the super-heavyweight division of the sport during most of the 1970s, died in Germany on November 25, 2011 at the age of 69. He was at a clinic seeking treatment for a serious heart ailment. Alexeyev easily won gold medals at both the 1972 and 1976 Olympics and won eight straight world championships from 1970 to 1977. (The Olympics doubled as weightlifting's world championships in 1972 and 1976.) Alexeyev, who set 80 world records in his career, was listed as a "mining engineer" by Soviet sports authorities. Alexeyev was the first man to lift 500 pounds in competition. But his fans were fickle: When the 38-year-old Alexeyev failed to make any of his three lifts at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, he was jeered off the stage. In a 1971 interview, the affable Alexeyev said he liked to spend his spare time reading Agatha Christie mystery novels.
Tags: weightlifting  Vasili  Alexeyev 
Added: 28th November 2011
Views: 4782
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Posted By: Lava1964
Jenna Talackova - Transgender Beauty Pageant Controversy Jenna Talackova became something of a curiosity when she became embroiled in a beauty pageant controversy. Talackova was originally denied the right to enter the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant on the grounds that she was born a male. Donald Trump, who owns the rights to the Miss Universe Pageant, overruled the initial decison. On May 19, the 23-year-old blonde from Vancouver was one of the final 12 contestants, but failed to make the final five at the pageant, held in Toronto. Another Vancouver contestant, Sahar Biniaz, 26, claimed the crown and advanced to the international Miss Universe competition, but she didn't get anywhere near the publicity that Talackova did. Talackova was one of four contestants named Miss Congeniality. Talackova's lawyer Gloria Allred said that Talackova shouldn't feel too disappointed about not winning. "She's still a winner as far as I'm concerned," Allred said during an intermission. "She won an 'herstoric' civil rights victory and that I think is frankly more important than anything, any victory she would win, even representing Miss Canada." Talackova was born Walter Talackova and under went a sex change operation four years ago. Talackova was the first transgender competitor to seek the Miss Universe Canada crown and, predictably, attracted extensive media coverage.
Tags: Jenna  Talackova  transgender  beauty  pageant 
Added: 20th May 2012
Views: 4299
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Posted By: Lava1964
Kazakh National Anthem Gaffe At an international shooting competition in Kuwait in March 2012, a major error in protocol occurred: During the medal ceremony, the gold medal winner from Kazakhstan was serenaded on the podium with the bogus Kazakh anthem from the 2006 satirical film Borat rather than her country's true national anthem. Maria Dmitrienko remained calm while listening to lyrics from the made-up song that insults other countries and touts Kazakhstan's "clean prostitutes." The movie portrays Kazakhs as backward and degenerates. Nevertheless, Dmitrienko left the stage smiling, possibly realizing what had happened. Kazakhstan's shooting team understandably demanded an apology. Ilyas Omarov of Kazakhstan's foreign ministry called the error "a scandal" and promised to undertake an investigation. The event's organizers apparently downloaded the wrong song from the Internet--and also got the Serbian anthem wrong too. This isn't the first time Kazakhstan's national anthem was messed up. At a ski event in northern Kazakhstan earlier that same month, a bit of "Livin' La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin was played briefly in error before the true anthem played.
Tags: protocol  error  Kazakh  anthem  Borat 
Added: 27th July 2012
Views: 1452
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Posted By: Lava1964
Pop Qwiz Popcorn 1990 1990s Colors included yellow, blue, green, and a mystery bag with a surprise color. I'm not sure how many of you will remember this stuff, but it was just too weird not to mention. Video store chains became especially popular during the early 90s; a fact proven by the insidious amount of Blockbuster commercials strewn into TV breaks at the time. As more and more movie nights were staged from home, popcorn finally shed its "theater treat" stigma for good while sales soared. Those microwaveable bags of kernels became and remain a staple in most households, with several companies competing for the coveted top spot. Yes, there's competition in popcorn. So how do you make one popcorn more attractive than the other? For the most part, it's all the same shit. Covering the packaging with pretty colors and in-your-face fonts only took these companies so far, and while dubious additions like cheddar dust and Cajun red spice helped differentiate the products, General Mills had something else in mind. Something strange. "Pop Qwiz." Perhaps the first and only popcorn marketed exclusively towards children. Thrown under General Mills' "Pop Secret" banner, Pop Qwiz really broke the mold. Junk food with a gimmick is common nowadays, but this stuff was pretty unique in 1991. Basically, it was just regular, buttered popcorn dyed in every color of the rainbow. You had bags of red popcorn, blue popcorn, green, yellow, you name it. That alone was sure to bring in a substantial clientele -- kids'll eat anything that looks odd. Pop Qwiz had more to offer than weird colors, though. While each of the mini-sized bags had correspondently bright colors, the colors of the bags didn't necessarily match the shade of the popcorn within. What was surely just a cost cutting measure was sold to us as a "game" -- it was up to us to guess which popcorn color was in each bag. The point of the game is up for debate, as we got to eat all of the popcorn even if we guessed wrong. Taking things even further, the bags had all sorts of quizzes, puzzles, and other stupid games printed right on 'em. Children always appreciate things tailored specifically for them, and while popcorn wasn't an important victory, we took it with great pride. We had our own popcorn. Tomorrow, the world. You'd have to imagine that some kids would've begged for Pop Qwiz just by passing the colorful box in grocery stores, but the point was really driven home with General Mills' ad campaign. This was crucial for ten trillion reasons, and I swear, I've counted. Okay, how often do you see popcorn advertised during children's programming hours? It's pretty rare, so Pop Qwiz was playing to an audience its competitors never even thought to tackle. Another point: when a kid wants popcorn, words are rarely minced. "I want popcorn." That's all that's ever said. No specific brands are mentioned, no bias towards one particular popcorn is conveyed. Just a simple "I want popcorn." By throwing the "Pop Qwiz" title in our heads, General Mills created a sense of inadvertent brand loyalty. If we wanted popcorn, we asked for popcorn. If we wanted crazy wacky colored popcorn, we asked for Pop Qwiz. And what kid wouldn't always prefer crazy wacky colored popcorn? This was all much more brilliant than it seemed on the surface, and the commercial was a real keeper to boot. I know I focus more on earlier years with these articles, but as I was entering my ugly, lonely teen years during the 90s, I ended up watching a whole lot more television. Alone. This "Pop Qwiz" ad, to me, is just as synonymous with the time as any of the big ones, including that PSA where the Ninja Turtles exposed the dangers of marajuana. It surprises me that the snacks weren't very successful -- I guess the world just wasn't ready to accept, much less eat radioactive green popcorn. Artists are so often unappreciated in own their time, even if they only work in kernels.
Tags: Pop  Qwiz  Popcorn  1990 
Added: 19th August 2012
Views: 2235
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Posted By: masonx31
1973 Wimbledon Boycott In May 1973 Nikola (Niki) Pilic, Yugoslavia's number-one-ranked male tennis player, was suspended by his national tennis association. The governing body claimed he had refused to play in a Davis Cup tie for Yugoslavia against New Zealand earlier that month. Today tennis players routinely turn down invitations to play for their countries in Davis Cup competition, but back in 1973 it was considered a big no-no--especially in an eastern European country. Pilic denied he had done so. Be that as it may, Pilic was initially suspended for nine months. Yugoslavia's suspension was supported by the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF), but it was later reduced to just one month. Nevertheless, that month happened to be when the prestigious Wimbledon championships took place. Thus, Pilic would not be permitted to play at Wimbledon. The recently formed men's players union, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), stated that if Pilic was not allowed to compete, none of its membership should compete. As a result, 81 of the top players, including reigning champion Stan Smith, boycotted Wimbledon in 1973 to protest Pilic's suspension. The initial seeding for the men's draw had already taken place. Thirteen of the 16 men's seeds withdrew. This resulted in an enormous number of qualifiers and lucky losers getting into the main draw. Three leading ATP players, Ilie Nastase, Roger Taylor and Ray Keldie, defied the boycott and were fined by the ATP's disciplinary committee. Also among those who chose to play were two rising stars: Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors, who each advanced to the quarterfinals. Despite the boycott, the attendance of 300,172 was the second highest in Wimbledon's history at that time. The eventual men's champion was Jan Kodes of Czechoslovakia. He defeated Alex Metreveli of the Soviet Union 6-1, 9-8, 6-3 in the final. (Tiebreakers were played at 8-8 in those days.) Kodes is shown here planting a kiss on the championship trophy.
Tags: tennis  Wimbledon  boycott 
Added: 15th September 2012
Views: 3467
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Posted By: Lava1964
1975 Sitcom Flop - The Montefuscos NBC was struggling to come up with a successful sitcom in 1975--and they failed again with The Montefuscos. The premise of the show was that three generations of an Italian-American family would gather each Sunday night for dinner at the home of the family patriarch and matriarch. Critics hated the show. One referred to it as "The Monte-Fiascos." Others objected to what they perceived as blatant ethnic sterotyping. Audiences didn't think much of it either. It could not compete with the competition opposite it on CBS (The Waltons) or on ABC (Barney Miller). The Montefuscos was axed after just eight episodes. Here's a three-minute network preview of the first episode of the short-lived series.
Tags: The  Montefuscos  sitcom  NBC 
Added: 2nd February 2013
Views: 2098
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Posted By: Lava1964

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