Captain Kangaroo Dead At 76 :-(

Captain KangarooBob Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo, died yesterday at the age of 76 after a “long illness.” His children’s TV show Captain Kangaroo was on the air from 1955 to 1985, and I was surprised to find out that he also played Clarabell The Clown on The Howdy Doody Show for five years. A former Marine, Keeshan deplored violence on TV, and his show reflected that, “entertaining youngsters with his gentle, whimsical humor” along with “the puppets Bunny Rabbit and Mr. Moose, as well as Dancing Bear and the laconic Mr. Green Jeans.” I guess I didn’t watch the show too much as a child, since I have only vague memories of the show, albeit good ones. His distinctive presence will definitely be missed…

Smack The Pingu

If you liked Slingshot Santa, then you’ll probably enjoy Smack The Pingu, although I will admit that it gets old a little quicker. Which is not to say that I haven’t sat here figuring out trajectories and timing for the last 15 minutes or anything. Because that would be obsessing, and I am not obsessing! OK, maybe a little… :-p

Howard Dean – “I Have A Scream”

Howard Dean in IowaI totally missed Howard Dean’s infamous speech after his loss in the Iowa caucuses, now known as the “I Have A Scream” speech because of his rant and barbaric yawp at the end. This transcription doesn’t do it justice at all, but I haven’t gotten the video link to work yet. I’m sure his campaign managers have been in a tizzy trying to figure out how to spin this, and it appears that they’ve taken one of the few tactics that could work: shameless self-deprecation. To wit: Howard Dean appeared on Late Night With David Letterman last night to present a very appropriate Top Ten List:

Top Ten Ways I, Howard Dean, Can Turn Things Around

10. “Switch to decaf”

9. “Unveil new slogan: ‘Vote for Dean and get one dollar off your next purchase at Blimpie’”

8. “Marry Rachel on final episode of ‘Friends’”

7. “Don’t change a thing – it’s going great”

6. “Show a little more skin”

5. “Go on ‘American Idol’ and give ’em a taste of these pipes”

4. “Start working out and speaking with Austrian accent”

3. “I can’t give specifics yet, but it involves Ted Danson”

2. “Fire the staffer who suggested we do this lousy Top Ten list instead of actually campaigning”

1. “Oh, I don’t know – maybe fewer crazy, redfaced rants”

His image of an angry berserker may still linger, but his willingness to make fun of himself and put the speech behind him is a start towards directing attention away from his rant and back towards his campaign. We’ll see if it’s enough…

Oh, and just to show that I’m not letting him off that easy, here’s a site dedicated to the speech, as well as some MP3 “remixes” of the speech that have been making the rounds on the ‘Net:  MP3  MP3  MP3  🙂

Update: MTV has joined the fray with some descriptions and review of the remixes.

Russian Beer Rescue

beerI’m glad to see that the Russian military has its priorities straight. According to CNN, “Russian troops have retrieved 10 tons of beer trapped under Siberian ice,” apparently a week-long operation. A truck carrying the beer sank while trying to cross the frozen river Irtysh near the Siberian city of Omsk. The rescue team of “six divers, 10 workers and a modified T-72 tank” were unable to save the truck, which sank when the rope tethering it broke. However, and most importantly, the kegs and bottles of beer were retrieved unharmed. At temperatures of around -17 degrees Fahrenheit, I don’t think there’s any danger of the beer being skunked, although the news agency TASS “quoted the brewery as saying it will sell the beer as a rarity, but with a discount.” What a feel-good story to start the day… 😉

100 Best Sports Moments On The Simpsons

Homer At The BatESPN’s Page 3 presents the 100 best sports moments on The Simpsons, or at least 100-75 so far. I think my vote would have to be the whole episode “Homer At The Bat,” starring Wade Boggs, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey, Jr., Don Mattingly, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, Ozzie Smith, and Darryl Strawberry (at right) as softball ringers for the Nuclear Plant’s team. In fact, it ranks up there with my favorite episodes of all time…