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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: 2211
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Posted By: Lava1964
Rodney Allen Rippy Rodney Allen Rippy was well known for a few years for his appearances in television commercials, most famously for his work in ads for Jack-In-The-Box restaurants. His fame got him a few small TV roles. (He played himself as the absentee landlord in an episode of The Odd Couple.) By 1975 he had pretty much faded out of show business and into anonymity. As a young man, Rippy earned a university marketing degree. The largely forgotten 42-year-old Rippy made news in September 2010 when he was seriously injured in a motorbike accident.
Tags: Rodney  Allen  Rippy  commercials 
Added: 7th January 2011
Views: 1706
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Posted By: Lava1964
US Customs Seize Chocolate Treats From CBC News in Canada: A Winnipeg woman was warned and nearly fined $300 after U.S. customs officials found a Kinder Surprise chocolate egg in her vehicle, which is considered contraband south of the border. U.S. authorities have banned the popular treats because they come with a plastic toy inside that could, if eaten, choke a small child. 'It's just a chocolate egg,' Lind Bird said, who was recently stopped at the U.S. border and selected for a random search. 'They said, 'If you were caught with this across the border you would get charged a $300 fine,' she said. The U.S. takes catching illegal Kinder candy seriously, judging by the number of them they've confiscated in the last year. Officials said they've seized more than 25,000 of the treats in 2,000 separate seizures.
Tags: border  US  customs  contraband  candy 
Added: 12th January 2011
Views: 1208
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Posted By: Lava1964
Oorang Indians The Oorang Indians were a travelling team in the National Football League from LaRue, Ohio (near Marion). The team was named after the Oorang dog kennels. It was basically a novelty team put together by the kennels' owner, Walter Lingo, for marketing purposes. All the players were Native Americans, with Jim Thorpe as its star. The Indians played the 1922 and 1923 NFL seasons. Of the 20 games they played over those two seasons, only one was played at 'home' in nearby Marion, OH. Only four games were won by the team. With a population well under 1,000 people, LaRue is easily the smallest town ever to have been the home of an NFL franchise. The Indians were the first NFL team to have a halftime show. (It featured the kennels' dogs.) The team's owner was not too concerned about fielding a competitive squad--and it showed. Discipline was lax on road trips and the players routinely engaged in heavy drinking binges at speakeasies. In one famous incident in St. Louis, the Indians commandeered a trolley car to get them back to their hotel. Since the trolley was headed in the wrong direction, the players simply lifted it, and turned it around on the tracks.
Tags: football  Oorang  Indians  NFL 
Added: 22nd January 2011
Views: 1348
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Speedy Gonzales Deemed Politically Incorrect Speedy Gonzales, the cunning cartoon Mexican mouse that could run at blazing speeds, was first introduced by Warner Bros. in 1953. (Mel Blanc provided Speedy's voice.) By 1999, however, the Cartoon Network ceased to air Speedy Gonzales. In an interview with Fox News on March 28, 2002, Cartoon Network spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg commented, 'It hasn't been on the air for years because of its ethnic stereotypes.' This is widely believed to refer to Speedy's fellow mice, who are all shown as being very slow and lazy, and sometimes even appear intoxicated. This is particularly true of Speedy's cousin, Slowpoke Rodriguez, who is exceptionally slow and lazy. In one cartoon, titled Gonzales' Tamales, the town mice instigate a feud between Speedy and Sylvester the Cat because Speedy has been stealing the hearts of all the females. Much of the dialogue between Mexican characters is in English and the small amount of Spanish that peppers the dialogue consists of basic greetings, goodbyes, exclamations, and misplaced references to popular Mexican foods. Criticism prompted the Cartoon Network to largely shelve Speedy's films when it gained exclusive rights to broadcast them in 1999. However, fan campaigns to put Speedy back on the air and lobbying by the League of United Latin American Citizens saw the shorts return to air in 2002. Ironically Speedy Gonzales remains a very popular character in Latin America. In Mexico, Speedy Gonzales cartoons have been part of the regular programing of Televisa's Canal 5 national channel ever since it was created. In 2010, a Looney Tunes New Year's Day marathon on the Cartoon Network showed the episode 'Mexican Boarders' featuring both Speedy and Slowpoke. On the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, the Speedy cartoons are prefaced by a disclaimer that states: 'The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. While the following does not represent the WB view of society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as to claim these prejudices never existed.'
Tags: cartoons  Speedy  Gonzales  racism 
Added: 29th January 2011
Views: 3313
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Posted By: Lava1964
Wings - First Best Picture Winner The first movie to win the coveted Best Picture Oscar was Wings, a silent masterpiece from 1927. Starring Buddy Rogers, Richard Arlen and Clara Bow, Wings is a drama about two American aviators who enlist in the First World War. The film's aerial shots of dogfights were revolutionary for the time. Gary Cooper, at the beginning of his great career, has a small role as a pilot who is killed in a training flight crash. The film also has some surprising nudity for its time: Clara Bow's breasts are shown for a fraction of a second in a scene where she is surprised while dressing. There is also a long shot through a door of nude army recruits preparing to undergo their physical exams. The movie was incredibly popular in its day. It ran for 63 weeks (with several showings each day) at New York City's Criterion Theater--a major venue that seated about 3,000 people--before it was released to smaller movie houses. Wings was considered a lost film for many years until a copy was discovered in a film archive in Paris. It is the only Best Picture-winning film not currently available on DVD, although is can be obtained on videotape. A very good organ score accompanies the VHS copy of Wings I bought many years ago.
Tags: Wings  Oscar  Clara  Bow  silent  film 
Added: 21st February 2011
Views: 1905
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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: 2046
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Posted By: Lava1964
North American Soccer League The North American Soccer League was supposed to be the 'next big thing' in sports. It lasted 17 seasons but it failed to dislodge the traditional team sports from their longtime perch as fan favorites. The league began in 1968 with the merger of two small pro leagues and lasted until 1984. At the peak of the NASL's popularity in the late 1970s, it had 24 teams. The New York Cosmos (who featured Pele and Franz Beckenbauer on their roster) sometimes drew 70,000 fans to Giants Stadium. However, the league average never exceeded 15,000 fans per game and some teams struggled to draw 5,000. By its last season, the NASL had dwindled to nine teams. By the time the final NASL game was played between the Chicago Sting and Toronto Blizzard, only three teams were solvent. To Europeans, the NASL was perceived as soccer's version of an elephants' graveyard where players long past their primes could extend their careers for sizable money. The Euro stars, despite their diminishing skills, accounted for large chunks of teams' payrolls that could have been better spent fostering North American talent. Traditionalists were also put off by the NASL's gimmicks to Americanize the sport: a liberalized offside rule, game clocks that counted downward instead of upward, penalty shootouts to break ties, and a crazy points system that rewarded goals scored as well as wins. In the end, the NASL managed to alienate traditional soccer fans while failing to attract new ones.
Tags: NASL  soccer 
Added: 12th April 2011
Views: 1420
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Posted By: Lava1964
1965 War on Pimples Found in the April 1965 Seventeen magazine. If a small tube of pimple medication won't do, a hugh jug of Ten-O-Six lotion will! Yes, you could actually buy it by the jug. I'll bet there were some brothers sneaking into their sister's supply. Fighting pimples was as serious in 1965 as it is today!
Tags: 1965  teens  pimples  SeventeenMagazine 
Added: 1st September 2011
Views: 1471
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Posted By: AngoraSox
Cafe Americain - Sitcom Flop 1993 A ratings disappointment for NBC in the 1993-94 TV season was Café Americain, a sitcom starring Valerie Bertinelli. Bertinelli played a young American woman, Holly Aldrige, who finds a job working as a waitress in a small café in France even though she speaks no French. The cast consisted of an assortment of eccentric characters from around the world who regularly visited the café, generating comedic circumstances. One, Madame Ybarra, a former dictator's wife, was a thinly veiled spoof of Imelda Marcos. Another was Fabiana Borelli, a tempestuous Italian model, and her perpetually jealous Italian lover Carlo. They regularly sparred and reconciled. The show never garnered a following, even with a favorable timeslot change. It was yanked from NBC's regular schedule in February 1994 after just 16 episodes. In May two previously unaired episodes were shown on one night.
Tags: Valerie  Bertinelli  Cafe  Americain 
Added: 8th September 2011
Views: 1756
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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