Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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4/19/2017


Rebecca Skloot and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Filed under: Television, Films and Video, Bob Edwards Archives — Charlie Summers @ 10:54 pm

Over 60 years ago, doctors took cells from a cancer patient in Baltimore. She died soon afterward, forgotten to everyone except her family. But her cells became immortal and famous – known as HeLa. HeLa cells were the first to grow reliably in a laboratory, and they’re still the most widely used today. They’re responsible for everything from the Polio vaccine to gene mapping. They’ve ridden into space and into oblivion on atomic weapons.

The Oprah Winfrey-lead film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks premiers in a few days on HBO…but in 2010, Bob Edwards spent an hour with the author of the book on which this film is based, Rebecca Skloot, hearing the story of the woman from whom HeLa cells were taken without permission, and what happened to her family after she died. From the program introduction:

For sixty years, scientists all over the world have conducted research using Hela cells. They’re called Hela cells because they came from a woman named Henrietta Lacks. The scientists know the story of the cells, but not many have bothered to ask about Henrietta’s story. Well Rebecca Skloot did-and she spent ten years researching the life of a 30-year old African American mother of five who died of cervical cancer in the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in 1951. It would be another 25 years before Henrietta’s children learned about the involuntary contribution their mother left to medical science—a legacy that continues today.

Script/Roadmap also included below.

icon for podpress  The Bob Edwards Show Script for Monday February 8th, 2010: Download

icon for podpress  The Bob Edwards Show for Monday February 8th, 2010 [59:30m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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1/12/2015


So I’ve been going through some old videotapes…

Filed under: Films and Video — Charlie Summers @ 1:07 pm

Anyone who’s followed this blog for any length of time knows I am a collector. Ok, “packrat” may be a better definition, although I am trying to be better. One of the things I’ve been doing to reduce the clutter (and the many many boxes in the blackhole I laughingly call a basement) is go through old saved videotapes. I haven’t yet gotten to the hundreds of beta tapes down there (for those of you too young to remember video tape, web search “VHS vs Beta” sometime for an eye-opening overview), but I have started on the hundreds of VHS tapes. In the first box I started to transfer to digital video, where I can store literally hundreds of tapes in the space of a single hard drive, I’ve found:

  • Promo: The Late Late Show: One of the tapes had a 60 Minutes episode, after which there was a 10-second promo for The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, premiering tomorrow night. I have always considered this program truly the last of the late-night talk shows, since that’s exactly what Tom did…talk. He had on interesting guests, asked interesting and interested question, and basically brought his old Tomorrow program to CBS.

    I get that I was one of the few who truly appreciated this program for the jewel it was, and even David Letterman eventually came to the realization it needed to be replaced with a mindless “comedy” show (originally hosted by Craig Kilborn who was never particularly funny and has returned to well-deserved obscurity) then Craig Ferguson who is on his way out - the demographic they were looking for wasn’t interested in smart dialog, but rather sophomoric hijinks. But it was Snyder who set the bar for intelligent talk, and is someone I still greatly miss. I often hoped when he left The Late Late Show he would be given a weekly show in the mold of David Susskind…but it never happened, and Snyder passed away in 2007, taking with him all hope for intelligent, entertaining, and witty television interviews.

  • Great Performances: Jesus Christ Superstar: I have always loved this rock opera…I remember listening to it over and over, wearing out the records on the little record player in my room at home. In retrospect, I must have driven my parents (and the neighbors) crazy with those two disks. To this day, I can hear the entire thing in my head (the original, without the songs added for the Broadway and movie versions), and each Good Friday I sing it to the walls of my office.

    But I have no memory whatsoever of this version. Apparently broadcast April 11, 2001, I recorded this Really Useful Films production to a high-grade tape, and I swear I don’t remember watching it. Still haven’t, although as soon I can gather together two hours I’m going to lock the door to my office and enjoy.

  • Coming this fall - James Camron’s first television series: Yep, a 10-second promo for Dark Angel. And let me admit I still have an old-man crush on Jessica Alba.

  • E! True Hollywood Story - Dallas. Sometime I’ll tell you the story of why Dallas was a weekly guilty pleasure, but this E! program dug the dirt about its history…and only a little way in, got everything completely wrong (They talked about the show leasing the “Southfork” ranch for the five-episode opening mini-series, not realizing that series was shot at a completely different ranch, one with a main house and three sibling houses out back.)

    Still, it’s trashy television about trashy television. What’s to complain about?

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1/19/2011


Johnny Depp talks ‘Lone Ranger’ reboot

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Films and Video — Charlie Summers @ 4:59 pm

From CNN: Johnny Depp talks ‘Lone Ranger’ reboot

Says Mr. Depp, who plans to portray Tonto, “What we’ve got so far screenplay-wise is really great, really funny.”

Awesome. Just awesome. Suddenly the Green Hornet film doesn’t look so stupid, does it?

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11/30/2010


First Flier for the 2011 Cincinnati Old Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television, Films and Video — Charlie Summers @ 12:40 pm

Received this morning from Bob Burchett the first flier for next May’s Old Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. Details within.

icon for podpress  First Flier for the 2011 Cincinnati Old Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention: Download

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5/11/2009


To Boldly Go…or not.

Filed under: General, Television, Films and Video — Charlie Summers @ 12:48 pm

Anyone who has known me since my misspent youth is asking me if I’m going to go to the Star Trek movie opening in theaters nationwide. So to put this at rest once-and-for-all, the answer is a definitive no. But let me take a moment to explain why I’m not going to be in the theater, and why I probably won’t bother watching it on DVD, either, even if it ends up in the $1/night Redbox.

First off, I do not go to movie theaters anymore. There’s no point. I mean, c’mon, the “communal experience” of going to the movies of my youth is long gone, replaced by louts talking loudly throughout the film, cell phones ringing, and annoyances of every shape and size. Children are no longer taught to be quiet and respectful, and their children are even less well-behaved - “feral” would not be too harsh a description for some of the children I’ve experienced. I think the last film I saw in a theater was the original Superman when it returned to the Hiway Theater (no longer in existence) for a nostalgia release. You can get me to go to the legitimate theater, but movies? Not bloody likely, since I like to actually see and hear the film, not the audience.
(more…)

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12/8/2008


Free Rentals Using Redbox Codes!

Filed under: Films and Video — Charlie Summers @ 4:58 pm

Because the guy running the biggest RedBox Free Rental Code website is getting seriously slimy about forcing his users to divulge personal information just to get the codes, I’ve started a new webpage tracking RedBox free rental codes. Check it out, and help out if you can, since I can’t afford to spend a lot of time personally searching out the codes.

And to get your started, the code for today only, Monday 8 December 2008 is 23MJT7 - how-to-use info and other stuff is available at the Redbox Codes - Free Rentals! page.

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