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David Letterman’s Top 10 Legacies


What better authority on these matters than “Variety”?

This may be my last post for a little while, as I’m going offline for another stretch…

Please feel welcome to e-mail me if you have need!

Originally posted on Variety:

Beginning with “Late Night” on NBC in 1982 and continuing with the “Late Show With David Letterman” on CBS in 1993, the gap-toothed, be-spectacled, Indiana-born “Dave” became America’s most exceptional everyman — finding unconventional ways to point out the silliness of daily life. Here’s how his hosting style forever changed late-night TV.

10. The Top Ten List
The segment mocked the media convention (ahem) of ranking everything from the eligibility of bachelors to the popularity of songs, while shunning anything in eleventh place and beyond. It debuted in 1985 with “Things That Almost Rhyme with Peas.” Over the years, guest presenters added another layer of humor: see actor John Malkovich reading “Top Ten Things That Sound Creepy When Said by John Malkovich,” or our current president and then-senator intoning the farcical “Top Ten Barack Obama Campaign Promises” in 2008. Total Top Tens by the time the show wraps: 4,605.


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secret app logo and motto

The Secret’s Out… Over and Out

From the New York Times:
Last summer, employees at the start-up Secret gathered in their new offices in downtown San Francisco, waiting for the founders to address the company. Secret had recently raised $25 million to work on its smartphone app, which lets users anonymously share information with groups of friends and connections.


But the news had broken that David Byttow and Chrys Bader, the founders of Secret, had sold part of their stake in the company for $6 million and that Mr. Byttow later bought a Ferrari.
The founders did not initially tell the employees about the sale; instead, some of them found out on Secret.
Although Mr. Byttow and Mr. Bader reassured workers at the meeting that they were dedicated to the company, it was a turning point, said people close to Secret, who spoke on condition of anonymity. It shook the confidence of some workers, they said: If the founders had taken money off the table, it could mean they were protecting themselves against Secret’s failing.
On Tuesday, that course of events played out. After use of the app declined for months, Mr. Byttow told employees that the company was closing and handed out severance packages, the people close to the matter said.


“After a lot of thought and consultation with our board, I’ve decided to shut down Secret,” Mr. Byttow wrote in an online post on Wednesday shortly after BuzzFeed reported that the start-up would close. He said he would wind down Secret over the next few weeks and would return money to investors. “I believe in failing fast in order to go on and make only new and different mistakes.”

Secret App Logo

Secret’s trajectory illustrates the flash-in-the-pan nature of Silicon Valley’s current technology boom. Even as a handful of start-ups rise to stratospheric valuations and take in billions of dollars in financing, other privately held companies cannot sustain their following.
Please read more by clicking on the following link:
Flynn Doubts Rapunzel

English Much?

As a writer, I am naturally fascinated by the adaptive use of my native language.  Sometimes that also includes adaptive abuse of my native language.  Please permit me to illustrate…
I was very recently at a certain cultural venue which shall remain nameless.  Its identity is not important.  
Also present were two young women.  They were not with me.  
They were, as it happens, very pretty, very young, very well-groomed, very well-dressed and very much aware of all of the above.  
They were not so adept at self-expression and that also soon became apparent.  Which is certainly one good reason why they were not with me.
As they entered the venue they were both within my range of vision and hearing.  The taller of the two, a willowy young blonde, evidently seeking to express her excitement, spread her arms, lifted her head and exclaimed, “This has always been one of my goals in life!”
Her companion, a shorter brunette, obligingly inquired, “What’s that?”
Quoth her companion, “To CULTURE myself!”


Now, the last time I had heard the word “culture” used as a verb in a sentence, the object was either bacteria… or cheese.  Neither of these were being celebrated at this particular venue on this particular occasion.  
To give credit where it’s due, at least this young lady was making some sort of attempt to, shall we say, “enculturate” herself, and that is most laudatory.

Spock Wants To Know

On the other hand, this also fuels my growing conviction as I trundle along my little course on the timeline, that my mortality is truly a good thing.  
By the time Ms. Malaprop has reached the pinnacle of her career as a patron of the arts and humanities, I will be cultured myself and doubtless pushing up the daisies as a result.


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Jayne Meadows Dies at 95; Widow of Steve Allen Was Nominated for 3 Emmys


A unique woman of remarkable talent who walked among some incredibly brilliant colleagues and family members has passed from the stage and screen…

Originally posted on Variety:

Jayne Meadows, a longtime television actress who was the widow of TV legend Steve Allen and the elder sister of actress Audrey Meadows, died of natural causes at her home in Encino, Calif., on Sunday night. She was 95.

Meadows was thrice nominated for Emmys, the first time for a 1977 episode of the PBS show “Meeting of Minds,” the second time in 1987 for an episode of NBC’s “St. Elsewhere” on which she guested and the third time in 1996 for supporting actress in a comedy for CBS show “High Society.”

Over a showbiz career that spanned six-plus decades, Meadows took to the Broadway stage — in “The Gazebo” in 1958 — appeared in films including 1946’s “Undercurrent,” starring Katharine Hepburn; toured in her one-woman show “Powerful Women in History” for seven years; appeared with Allen onstage in A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” off and on for 11 years; and…

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Driverless Cars Will Change Everything

The following link will take you to a SlideShare presentation designed by the marketing firm of sparks & honey.  

It makes some truly insightful predictions about how driverless or autonomous vehicles will likely affect our lifestyles, our culture and our lives.  

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  

And as always, thanks for reading!

Here’s the link!:


1960s era Futuristic Monorail and Automobile Highway


Link to Maki Naro’s “Vaccines Work! Here’s Proof!” from The Nib on Medium

Okay, I know the title up there may appear confusing…
There’s a social media platform that shares editorial cartoons and written copy of an op/ed nature: it’s called “Medium.”
One of the communities within Medium which focuses on editorial cartoon artists is called “The Nib.”  (The Nib is that pointy end of an old-style ink pen that actually transfers the ink to the paper and gets the writing done.)
Maki Naro is a cartoonist.
The link below will take you to a piece of his work which explains why vaccines are important enough that we shouldn’t stop getting vaccinated, no matter what certain simple-minded non-medical folks may think or say, nor how loudly they may say it.
Hopefully, we are now all on the same page here and you will click on the link below and you will understand what you’re seeing once you get there.
At least I sincerely hope so.
That’s it!   Here’s the link:
As always, thank you so very much for reading!
Hal Tweet on Tumblr

Video: First World Problems

Okay, I know I’m not always the first one to find something from the Internet, and certainly not the first one to find something on YouTube…
But my lovely wife, Jamie (“Hi, Sweetheart!”), found this and showed it to me and I begged her and begged her to send me the link so I could post it and then one day it dawned on me:
I could search for it myself…
Did I mention she’s the BRAINS of the outfit?…
So anyway, here it is and…
Thank you, Sweetie!  I LOOOOOOVVVE YOU!!!  
Oh, and Hi, Jamilah!  I LOOOOOOVVVE YOU, TOO!!!

And Now, a Word from Officer Friendly

Having worn a uniform or two in my day, I cannot help but applaud what this editorial cartoonist is doing.  As in any other field of work, you have practitioners who bring care and compassion to what they do, and then you have those who do not.

When those practitioners hold the power of Life or Death in their hands, our Society has an obligation to view them with greater scrutiny when they exercise that power.  It’s just that simple.

Please click on the image below to view it in a more easily-read larger size in this browser window (you’ll need to click on the “back” button after you’re done to return to this blog…)

Tom Tomorrow Officer Friendly 021115

As always, thank you for reading.
Earth Collides with Theia

Astronomers Theorize: Earth’s near twin helped make the moon!

But solving one puzzle of lunar origins has raised another linked to the abundances of tungsten in the primordial bodies…

It’s beginning to appear the moon was born in the collision of a Mars-sized body and the early Earth, but beyond that, much about the world we see in our skies every night is still a mystery. After 61 missions, including six astronaut visits that collected samples of moon rocks, many questions remain, including how much of the moon is made from that lost planet’s leftovers, and how much was stolen from Earth? Answering these questions could offer fresh insights into the evolution of both celestial bodies…

Now, scientists in France and Israel have found evidence that the smaller body that smashed into the proto-Earth was likely made of similar stuff to our home world. Also, according to their computer models, the current composition of lunar material is best explained if whatever hit early Earth formed nearby. Two additional studies suggest that both bodies then built up a veneer of extra material as smaller protoplanets continued to bombard the young system, but Earth picked up much more of this later coating.

According to the “giant impact hypothesis,” the moon formed about 4.5 billion years ago, when a planet-like object about a tenth of Earth’s current mass slammed into our planet. Simulations and recent studies of moon rocks suggest that the moon should be mostly made from the remains of the impactor, nicknamed Theia. This would explain why the moon seems to be made of material that looks a lot like Earth’s mantle, as seen in rock samples and mineral maps.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/moon-was-formed-smashup-between-earth-and-near-twin-180954915/#Qb2I1dF6plmxq3Ah.99

Earth’s near twin helped make the moon..