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Alex Haley Plagiarism Scandal 1978 In 1978, Alex Haley, the renowned author of Roots, came under fire in a plagiarism lawsuit launched by a white anthropologist and fellow author Harold Courlander. Haley claimed he had spent a decade researching his heritage for his historical novel, which in 1977 was adapted as a wildly successful TV miniseries. That same year he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and the Spingarn Medal for the book. A year later his reputation was forever marred. Courlander went to the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York to charge that Roots was substantially plagiarized from Courlander's own book, The African. Courlander's witnesses included Michael Wood an English professor at Columbia University and an expert on plagiarism. Wood opined in a report that the evidence of plagiarism in Roots was 'clear and irrefutable' and that the copying of passages was 'significant and extensive.' After a five-week trial in federal district court, Courlander and Haley settled the case, with Haley making a financial settlement of $650,000 and a statement that 'Alex Haley acknowledges and regrets that various materials from The African by Harold Courlander found their way into his book Roots.' Haley claimed the appropriation of Courlander's passages had been unintentional. Haley orginally maintained he had never heard of The African, much less read it. Shortly after the trial, however, Joseph Bruchac, an instructor of black literature at Skidmore College, came forward to swear in an affidavit that in 1970 or 1971--five or six years before the publication of Roots--he had discussed The African with Haley and had given his 'own personal copy of The African to Haley.' In a later interview with BBC Television, Judge Ward stated, 'Alex Haley perpetrated a hoax on the public.'
Tags: Roots  Alex  Haley  plagiarism  scandal 
Added: 4th February 2010
Views: 15439
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Posted By: Lava1964
End of Western Union Telegrams 2006 On January 27, 2006, Western Union ended more than 150 years of telegram service. Beginning in 1854, the company began transmitting and transcribing telegraphed messages and delivering them to customers across the country. They heyday of the telegram was in the 1920s and 1930s when sending a message by telegraph was cheaper than making a long-distance telephone call. The word 'stop' was commonly used in the text of telegrams to end a sentence instead of a period because it was cheaper to send a four-letter word than a punctuation mark. Telegrams were often used for formal notifications and announcements, such as the one below to inform the recipient that he would share the 1958 Nobel Prize for Medicine/Physiology. During the Second World War, Western Union couriers were feared because they delivered official death notices to the families of servicemen. Eventually technology made telegrams obsolete and anachronistic. Only about 20,000 telegrams were sent in 2005, mostly by companies that were required to send legal notifications. On that final day of service, ten telegrams were delivered. They included a congratulatory message, a sympathy message, and, of course, a handful of messages from people who were trying to make history by sending the final Western Union telegram. Today Western Union exists only as a company that handles money transfers.
Tags: last  telegram  Western  Union  communications 
Added: 9th March 2010
Views: 3210
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Posted By: Lava1964
Michael Larson Beats Press Your Luck Press Your Luck was a CBS daytime game show that ran from 1983 to 1986. It was one of the first game shows to use computer technology. The heart of the game revolved around a large computer-generated prize board. There were 18 'randomly arranged' panels. On average, 15 of the 18 panels contained cash or merchandise prizes. The other three were 'whammies.' If a player stopped the rotating board on a whammy, he lost everything. If a player kept accruing spins, he could keep pressing his luck and accumulate as much money and prizes as he dared. Enter Michael Larson, an out-of-work ice cream vendor from Ohio. Using his VCRs, Larson taped numerous episodes of Press Your Luck and screened them in slow motion. Larson's study habits paid huge dividends: He recognized that the board only generated five patterns. If a player was smart enough to recognize the patterns and time his presses accordingly, a small fortune could be amassed. In a May 1984 taping, Larson did just that. To the amazement of host Peter Tomarken, a studio audience, his two opponents, and CBS brass, Larson made 46 consecutive spins without hitting a whammy. (The odds of such a feat, if it were pure luck, are about 5000 to one.) At a time when most game show winners took home less than $10,000, Larson won $104,950 in cash, a sailboat, and trips to Kauai and the Bahamas-- for a total haul valued at $110,237. Larson's run of whammy-free presses took so long that CBS had to air the show over two episodes (on June 8 and 11). At first CBS was reluctant to award Larson his winnings, but they had no legal grounds to withhold Larson's loot. He had beaten the system fairly. Immediately afterward, the Press Your Luck board patterns were increased to 32 making it much less likely that anyone could memorize them. To see a condensed version of Larson in action, check out another post on this website: http://www.yourememberthat.com/media/14367/Michael_Larson_on_Press_Your_Luck/
Tags: Press  Your  Luck  Michael  Larson  game  show 
Added: 30th November 2010
Views: 2055
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Posted By: Lava1964
Lawn Darts Remember Lawn Darts? Also known as Jarts or yard darts, they were a popular game at picnics and in backyards during the 1970s and into the 1980s. A typical set consisted of four to eight darts comprised of two different colors along with two plastic rings. The rings were placed a reasonable distance apart and served as targets for the darts. Rules varied from place to place, but the game was scored in a similar fashion to bocce or horseshoe-pitching. A game could be played as a one-on-one singles match or with partners. The metal tips were designed to dig into the lawn when they landed. Of course, they could also dig into somebody's flesh if the darts were thrown recklessly. In December 1988 the sale of the metal-tipped lawn darts was banned in the United States. Canada banned them the following year. Since then, safer forms of 'lawn darts' have proved to be very unpopular with consumers. Quality sets of the metal-tipped lawn darts are prized by collectors.
Tags: lawn  darts  recreation   
Added: 15th February 2011
Views: 6351
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Posted By: Lava1964
Queen For A Day Total Television calls Queen For A Day, '...possibly the most maudlin game show ever broadcast'--and for good reason. Considered a forerunner of modern-day reality TV, QFAD was a successful radio program beginning in 1945 before airing on daytime television from 1956 through 1964. At the peak of the show's popularity in the late 1950s, NBC expanded it from 30 to 45 minutes to sell more commercials, at a then-premium rate of $4,000 per minute. QFAD opened with host Jack Bailey asking the largely female studio audience, 'Would YOU like to be queen for a day?' After this, the contestants were introduced and interviewed. Each contestant talked about recent financial and emotional hard times she had been through. The sob stories were rated on an applause meter. Bailey began each interview gently, asking the contestant first about her life and family, and maintaining a positive and upbeat response no matter what she told him. The interview climaxed with Bailey asking the contestant what she needed most and why she wanted to win the title of Queen for a Day. Often the request was for medical care or therapeutic equipment to help a chronically ill child, but sometimes it was as simple as the need for a hearing aid, a new washing machine, or a refrigerator. Many women broke down sobbing as they described their plights, and Bailey was always quick to comfort them and offer a clean white handkerchief to dry their eyes. The more pitiful the story a contestant had, the likelier the studio audience was to reach the applause meter's highest level. The winner, to the musical accompaniment of Pomp and Circumstance, would be draped in a sable-trimmed red velvet robe, given a glittering jeweled crown to wear, placed on a velvet-upholstered throne, and handed a dozen long-stemmed roses to hold as she wept, often uncontrollably, while her list of prizes was announced. The prizes began with the necessary help the woman had requested, but might include a vacation, a night on the town with her husband or escort, silver-plated flatware, an array of kitchen appliances, and a selection of fashion clothing. The losing contestants were each given smaller prizes; no one went away from the show without a meaningful gift. Bailey's trademark sign-off was 'This is Jack Bailey, wishing we could make every woman a queen--for every single day!' A 1970 short-lived syndicated revival of QFAD quickly fell into disfavor with viewers when it was revealed the 'contestants' were actually actresses.
Tags: Queen  For  A  Day  reality  TV  game  show 
Added: 24th February 2011
Views: 1802
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Posted By: Lava1964
1963 Contest For Women Only The ad copy reads, Only women are eligible to enter which means you have a much better chance to win. Entries from Alaska are not allowed. The prize is free installation and one year's EXTENSION service using the Princess phone which is provided; you can choose the color. After one year, if you don't pick up the yearly extension service costs, say adios to your extension service and the Princess telephone! Obviously, you have to have another telephone in the house in order to qualify for this contest. Boy have things changed.
Tags: 1963  PrincessPhone  ATandT  contest  Seventeen  magazine  DialSoap   
Added: 12th July 2011
Views: 1396
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Posted By: AngoraSox
The Man Show One of the more over-the-top TV shows to hit the airwaves in recent years was The Man Show. From 1999 to 2004 it was a half-hour program that aired on Comedy Central. It was created in 1999 by its two original co-hosts, Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla. Kimmel had earlier gained a following hosting the offbeat game show Win Ben Stein's Money on the same cable network. The Man Show overtly and proudly celebrated the stereotypical loutish male perspective in a sexually charged, humorous light. The show consisted of a variety of pre-recorded comedy sketches and live in-studio events, usually requiring audience participation. The show tried to touch on all the aspects of alpha-maleness: excessive drinking, the sexualization of women, obsession with sports, and general lack of refinement. Typical of the fare on The Man Show was a recurring segment called Wheel of Destiny in which a lucky participant selected from the studio audience could win one of four desirable prizes (such as an erotic massage from two female porn stars or $10 in cash) or one of four undesirable prizes (such as "Adam pees on your wallet" or having a sumo wrestler sit on your face). Each show routinely ended with a slow-motion video montage of comely females in lingerie jumping on trampolines. Shakespeare it wasn't--but it had its moments. Kimmel and Carolla left The Man Show in 2003. With new co-hosts Joe Rogan and Doug Stanhouse taking over the helm, the show lost much of its luster and lasted just one more season before being cancelled. A total of 114 episodes were made in five seasons. The Man Show's first four seasons are available on DVD.
Tags: comedy  Man  Show  Jimmy  Kimmel  Adam  Carolla 
Added: 17th June 2012
Views: 5469
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Posted By: Lava1964
Scrabble Cheating Scandal - 2012 It's not often that the U.S. National Scrabble Championship tournament prompts a discussion on an ESPN panel show, gets feature coverage on CNN, is reported in numerous overseas newspapers, and has an op-ed piece in the New York Times written about it, but it happened at the 2012 tourney in Orlando. Why? A youthful competitor was disqualified for cheating. It was the first time in the tournament's 35-year history that a player was booted out of the Nationals. The minor, whose identity is being protected by the North American Scrabble Players Association because of his age, was caught 'palming blanks' before his 24th-round match on Tuesday, August 14. At the previous year's tourney in Dallas, suspicions were raised about the same player because he only had six tournaments' worth of experience and did not possess especially strong word knowledge, yet he consistently scored exceptionally well. After the tournament, one suspicious opponent polled the boy's other opponents and discovered the youth had gotten about 90% of the important blank tiles over 31 games--which is statistically improbable. The legitimacy of the boy's 2011 performance was widely debated on Internet Scrabble forums, with the accusers often being denounced as jealous or sore losers. At the 2012 event, the boy's 'lucky tile drawing' again appeared. Before round 24 began, after all 100 tiles were supposed to have been put into the tile bag, the youth's opponent suspected that the boy had palmed the two valuable blank tiles instead of placing them into the bag. He summoned a tournament director (referee) to examine the bag to see if it contained 100 tiles or just 98. Just as the director was about to begin his count, an alert player at a nearby table shouted, 'He just threw two tiles onto the floor!' Sure enough, they were the two blank tiles. The youth was quickly disqualified--and the close-knit tournament Scrabble world knew about it almost immediately through Internet tournament coverage and social media. The I-told-you-so crowd had a field day. The news spread quickly beyond the Scrabble chatrooms. Within 40 minutes the story was on ABC News' website and on CNN's within an hour. Without much delay, the story spread to most of the English-speaking world, garnering print media coverage in Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, among other far-flung places. The British enjoy a good scandal, so it was not too surprising that UK newspapers were escpecially interested in the youth's disqualification. A picture of the youth, cleverly Photo-Shopped to show him playing Scrabble behind prison bars with the vertical caption 'BUSTED' (written in Scrabble tiles, of course), circulated in cyberspace. John D. Williams of the National Scrabble Association joked, "We're one step away from drug testing." Nigel Richards, a brilliant New Zealander who lives in Malaysia, won the the tournament and the $10,000 first prize for the third time in four years in a spectacular manner--but Richards' feat was almost completely overshadowed by the juicy cheating scandal.
Tags: Scrabble  scandal  cheating 
Added: 5th September 2012
Views: 1312
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Posted By: Lava1964
The New Treasure Hunt - 1974 Clip The New Treasure Hunt was a 1974-1977 syndicated remake of a 1956-1959 game show. The orginal show had a quiz segment. The 1970s version did not. Hosted by Geoff Edwards, it offered a fantastic grand prize of $25,000 to a contest who was lucky enough to choose the right box out of 30--and have the nerve to stick with it. Total Television describes the program as "slow moving and cruelly suspenseful." In this short clip from a 1974 episode, a contestant thinks she has made a bad bargain until Geoff surprises her.
Tags: New  Treasure  Hunt  Geoff  Edwards 
Added: 4th November 2012
Views: 2328
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Posted By: Lava1964

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