Casey Kasem, the resonant voice of Top 40 radio and a vocal fixture on cartoon programs for the past 40 years, has died, according to his daughter. He was 82. [more inside]
Alphabet Blocks for a Geek Baby "Amateur engineer/designer" Jonathan M. Guberman made his newborn son a set of custom engraved wooden alphabet blocks, with "things that his mother and I were looking forward to sharing with him" on 4 of the 6 sides. (See them all here) "The only real rule I followed in choosing subjects was trying to maintain an even gender balance" which makes them even more awesome. (Of course, your choices for certain letters may vary)
The Meddling Kids + Sidekicks + Mysteries formula for cartoon series is not terribly unique, but Scooby-Doo has been at it for 11 iterations. Until the latest series, it has been a campy episodic series for Saturday mornings, with the occasional campy movie. The kids come across a mystery, then one way or another, they solve it. You learn about the villain behind the crimes, but never about the crime-solvers. All that changed with the newest series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, which some folks consider to be the best Scooby-Doo series ever, with an over-arching story, character development (spoilers!), and a ton of geeky references, as picked apart in depth on TV Tropes.
And Fear & Superstition Would Have Gotten Away With It, If It Wasn't For Those Meddling Kids . . . And Their Dog!
An innocuous question in Comics Alliance's weekly Ask Chris column about whether Chris Sims (previously) prefers the monsters in Scooby Doo to be real or people in costumes results in a stunning defense of secular humanism and the importance of the search for truth in order to expose lies perpetuated by Authority through the use of fear & superstition.
The All Time Top 100
Stars Credited Actors at the Box Office at the-numbers.com has an interesting #1: Frank Welker, who did voice work in 95 feature films since 1980 totaling over 6-BILLION-dollars gross in the U.S. and 12-BILLION worldwide. Over a third of these roles were "Special Vocal Effects" or "Additional Voices" or such. But, hey, a hit's a hit and a credit's a credit. [more inside]
Saturday morning cartoons were once a staple of American television, but by the year 2000 they had all but disappeared. Of course, the Internet never forgets. Case in point: Cartoon Network Video -- a free, searchable, ad-supported service that provides hundreds of full-length episodes of classic shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and The Powerpuff Girls, as well as current offerings and scads of shorter material. Too recent for you? Then give Kids WB Video a whirl -- it does the same thing with the same interface, but for older programs like Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Thundercats, and the original Space Ghost. If you're in the mood to learn (and don't mind some live-action), PBS Kids Video has educational fare such as Arthur, Wishbone, and Zoom. And don't forget about Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, The Magic Schoolbus and Schoolhouse Rock! Now if only we had some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs...
Author Dennis Cooper discusses the secret passage in practical terms. With practical examples for the handyman and notable buildings featuring secret passages in the United States, such as Doug Carlston's Broderbund Manor.
"Words & Stuff" is a column on wordplay. It lasted from January 1997 to September 2003. The six alphabets of content include pangrams, nonlimericks, monosyllabism, names for wind, Gilbert and Sullivan's Xena, Warrior Princess, and an interesting cameo in Hamlet. Other highlights, with more in the archives. [more inside]
Scooby Doo stage play debuts in Toronto and former Kids In The Hall alumni are implicated in its production. Deconstructed French farce, post-modernism run amuck, or yet another sign of the impending teevee apocalyse? (via BoingBoing)
More Live-Action versions of beloved cartoon icons. I was thrilled this morning when I heard an actress being interviewed about her upcoming lead in the new Josie and the Pussycats movie. That thrill turned to disgust when I discovered it was Rachael Leigh Cook (Devon on Dawson's Creek) and not Laura Prepon (Donna from That 70s Show) being interviewed. It only got worse when I discovered that Jennifer Love Hewitt is being wooed for the role of Daphne in a possible Scooby Doo project (with Mike Meyers as Shaggy???). Hey, Laura Prepon could do that one too!