Ron Palillo, of ‘Welcome Back, Kotter,’ dies at 63

FILE - This June 8, 2008 file photo shows actor Ron Palillo at the TV Land Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. Palillo, best known as the nerdy high schooler Arnold Horshack on "Welcome Back, Kotter," died Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., of an apparent heart attack. He was 63. (AP Photo/Mark Mainz, file)Ron Palillo, the actor best known as the nerdy high school student Arnold Horshack on the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter," died Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He was 63.

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Clinton, Minnelli among stars at Hamlisch funeral

Friends and admirers of Marvin Hamlisch including former President Bill Clinton and Liza Minnelli gathered Tuesday to bid farewell to the celebrated songwriter hailed as “the people’s composer.”

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Spike Lee revisits Jackson’s ‘Bad’ at Toronto fest

This film image released by the Toronto International Film Festival shows Kanye West in a scene from the Spike Lee documentary "Bad 25." Lee’s documentary “Bad 25” is playing the festival, marking the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s 1987 album “Bad.” The film features footage shot by Jackson himself along with interviews with such stars and music producers as Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow and L.A. Reid. (AP Photo/Toronto International Film Festival)Music is highlighting the Toronto International Film Festival with a Michael Jackson documentary from Spike Lee and a closing-night film featuring Vanessa Redgrave as a terminally ill choir singer.

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Progressive denies defending the person who killed its policyholder

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Adweek has a short item about Progressive Insurance’s “social media crisis” resulting from Matt Fisher’s claim that the insurer defended his sister’s “killer in court in an effort not to pay out the benefit on her policy.”

Progressive understands Flo is now a liability, at least temporarily, though the company was way too slow to replace her avatar with the corporate logo on its main Twitter account — leaving Flo to smile maddeningly as she robo-spammed canned responses at people who had read Fisher’s story and were horrified.

The article also linked to a statement from Chris Wolf, the claims general manager for Progressive, who points the finger at Nationwide for representing the defendant.

To be very clear, Progressive did not serve as the attorney for the defendant in this case. He was defended by his insurance company, Nationwide.

There was a question as to who was at fault, and a jury decided in the Fisher family’s favor just last week. We respect the verdict and now can continue to work with the Fisher family to reach a resolution.

Flo Suddenly a Problem for Progressive in Its Social-Media Crisis


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What to do if your car gets broken into and you’re the MPAA


In a guest editorial on TechDirt, Harold Feld ruminates on the recent theft of his iPod from the front seat of his car, and imagines what his response to this difficulty might have been like, had he been the MPAA:

1. Berate the cop who answered my call for not stopping the crime before it happened. I would also go around to everyone in my neighborhood and accuse them of “supporting theft” from their failure to set up a neighborhood watch to protect my right to leave my iPod in the front seat of my car.

2. When the cop told me that I could reduce the likelihood of future car break-ins by keeping electronics hidden, I would shout at the cop for “supporting theft.” After all, I have a perfect right to keep my iPod in my car, prominently displayed if I want. How dare this cop tell me to change my behavior to avoid getting robbed!

3. Later, I would try to get the cop who advised me on how to avoid future car break-ins fired for “abetting car thieves.” I would conduct a public smear campaign in which I accused this cop of being in bed with thieves, fences, and other nefarious dealers in stolen goods because he “supports theft” by advising me how to avoid future car break-ins rather than setting a 24/7 guard on my driveway or preemptively arresting anyone who looks like he or she might steal my iPod. After all, if you really cared about stopping theft, you wouldn’t tell me to change my behavior or take steps to protect myself! I have a perfect right to leave my iPod in my front seat, and theft is wrong. So telling me to hide my iPod to avoid a break in means you don’t really want to enforce the law.

4. While I’m at it, I will also accuse my neighbors of secretly wanting to steal my iPod. They have motive (who wouldn’t want a free iPod?) and opportunity, so they are all prime suspects. I will demand the police conduct a house-to-house search. If they are too busy, I insist the police give ME the right to do a house-to-house search…

If I Were The MPAA… How I Would Deal With My Car Break-In


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Mulberry’s beastly photo campaign

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UK fashion house Mulberry’s latest campaign is a forest fairytale shot by famed British fashion photog and Vogue mainstay Tim Walker. The photos are fantastic but I hope those wild things run like hell given that Mulberry’s autumn/winter line is all about the fur. (via SuperPunch)


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Gotye’s YouTube orchestra remix of "Somebody That I Used to Know"

Gotye created the ultimate remix of his ubiquitous “Somebody That I Used to Know” track strictly from covers and parodies of the song that he found on YouTube. Gotye says he was directly inspired by Kutiman’s classic “Thru-you” from 2009. “Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra(Gotye.com)


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Little Printer can now be pre-ordered

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BERG design studio’s delightful Little Printer that we first blogged about in November can now be pre-ordered! You use your phone to subscribe to content sources that the Little Printer spews out as a custom miniature newspaper. It’s £199.00 for the starter pack including the printer, cloud bridge, international power supplies, cables, and extra paper. Little Printer

And the more makery of you might prefer AdaFruit’s “Internet of Things” DIY mini-printer kit!


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Great writing advice from this year’s Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy writing workshop


Sam J Miller sez, “I just graduated from the amazing Clarion Writer’s Workshop, and transcribed over 300 great pieces of advice and guidance from my instructors and fellow students. I did it for the benefit of myself and my Clarion Comrades, but hoped other folks would find it helpful.”

I’m a Clarion grad, teacher, and board member — I’ll be back teaching next summer, in fact, after a five-year fatherhood hiatus. This is a great collection of the kind of stuff you learn at the workshop.

“A common way to structure stories is: ESTABLISH NORM. UPSET NORM. COMPLICATE & ESCALATE. CLIMAX. RESOLUTION.”

“Whenever you think you’re going to create a really strong character by putting “I” at the beginning of every sentence, you’re digging yourself a hole. It’s actually harder to bring “I” to life.”

“When it’s broken, you don’t always have to fix the whole thing. You can fix half—you just have to know which half. And that’s not always easy.”

“The problem with people is they have beer and they want egg in it. Things are good and they’re unsatisfied.”

“Opening the vein is where the best writing comes from.”

“You have to write things you genuinely are not sure about.”

“Frequently, your back brain is wiser than your front brain.”

“You left yourself a lot of hints that I don’t think you even know about.”

(Thanks, Sam!)

Clarion 2012: Every Brilliant Piece of Writing Advice*


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Bigfoot checks

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I don’t write many checks, but if I did, I’d prefer Bigfoot checks. (via Cryptomundo)


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