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Oops. Blink and a link goes dead. At the time of this upload, every link below was live. If one fails, I'd appreciate a heads-up!
Students who are also parents: some author and media sites listed below contain adult content.

Worth Checking Out

The Speech Communication Department website. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Author Michael Perry's website: Michael Perry Online
In various contexts, Perry's work is discussed in SPCH 1311: Fundamentals of Speech Communication, COMM 1307: Introduction to Mass Communication, and COMM 2300: Media Literacy. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Author Hallie Ephron's website: Hallie Ephron
Many of the writing tips on her website are useful for any writer, not just those writing mystery and suspense. Live from Boston: Hallie is a guest critic for COMM 2339: Writing for Radio, TV, and Film. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Advertising creative / director / freelance writer Devon Thomas Treadwell: Devon Thomas Treadwell
Live from Minneapolis: Devon is a guest critic and coach for COMM 2331: Radio and TV Announcing, COMM 2332: Radio and Television News, and COMM 2339: Writing for Radio, TV, and Film. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Author and all-around writer type person, Will Clarke, of Dallas. When we can catch him, Will is often a guest speaker for COMM 1307: Intro to Mass Communication, COMM 2339: Writing for Radio, TV, Film or COMM 2300: Media Literacy. One of our most popular guest speakers. His interactive website and blog offer a frank look at the working life of a freelance writer/author. (Note especially archived entries that follow his book tours.) wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

And Now for Something Completely Digital


Gollum / Smeagol channeling Barry White. This is just scary. Thank the person who sent it to me. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

You've heard them in the theatre. Now see them in a car! Movie trailer voiceover guys give us a glimpse of the good life. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

From a few years back: Capturing the Friedmans. This provocative and disturbing documentary is discussed in COMM 2332: Radio and Television News and COMM 2300: Media Literacy, and in another context in SPCH 1311: Fundamentals of Speech Communication. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

The interactive support website for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005), viewed and discussed in COMM 2300: Media Literacy. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

The original interactive support website for the film, Memento (2000), discussed in COMM 2339: Writing for Radio, TV, and Film, COMM 2300: Media Literacy, and SPCH 1311: Fundamentals of Speech Communication. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes


Here's a video spoof of British Marketing and Media Agencies, The Truth in Ad Sales, which riffs on the very popular Canadian Truth in Advertising film short by director Tim Hamilton that's made the rounds since 1999. (And then there's Reel Truth, pt. 1 and pt. 2, which are similarly-constructed.) wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

The Top Commercials of 2006 from CBS News Online. This clip has not only the commercials, but also discussion of spot effectiveness for the brands they represent. Sent in by Kelly in COMM 1307 on the Web. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Yes, I admit it. I like Bud Light's Real Men of Genius radio spots. Gotta love a radio campaign so popular it can be sold as a set of collector CDs and accrue its own set of fan sites. My favorites: Mr. Discount Airline Pilot Guy, Mr. Back Yard Bug Zapper Inventor, and Mr. Really Loud Cell Phone Talker Guy. This site adds to the collection. Thanks David, in COMM 2339, for pointing out the websites and thanks DDB Chicago, for reminding us what radio can do. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

The original video to Gary Jules' cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World", a song made iconic in the movie Donnie Darko (beware, this version has film spoilers), differently framed in the "Room Service" (Season Six) episode of CSI, and lately creating new pathos in a commercial/trailer for the Xbox Gears of War video game; all discussed in COMM 2339: Writing for Radio, TV, and Film and COMM 2300: Media Literacy. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

And then there's the Star Trek franchise, outranked only perhaps by James Bond and the influenza virus for its ability to mutate and endure. Here's 72andSunny/G4's Star Trek promotion, featuring stop-motion animation "shorts" of the original characters in updated contexts, using the voices of Craig Kilborn and Charlie Murphy as Kirk and Spock. See the videos here. Discussed in COMM 2300: Media Literacy. And then there's this, which will probably come up in Media Literacy, too, under the "Intellectual Property, Copyright, Fair Use and Parody" unit.wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes


Sent in by Ryan in COMM 1307 on the Web: a parody video mashup from The Office (NBC) Michael and Dwight Bring Sexy Back to Scranton. This is a fun edit with some nice sync work to the Justin Timberlake 2006 release. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Worth the purchase, and for a good cause, too: Into the Fire, a compilation documentary by Academy Award-winning director Bill Couturie, provides an insider's look at the realities of the fire service, posing the question: What makes ordinary people perform extraordinary acts of courage? Among the featured firefighters is Michael Perry, whose work we're reading in SPCH 1311 on the Web. A portion of the purchase price can be directed to the fire department or firefighting fund of your choice. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes


By request, the script and audio from Guy Noir: Private Eye, aired on A Prairie Home Companion, April 22, 2006. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Miscellaneous Strange

Improv Everywhere: We Cause Scenes: this group gets a lot of media attention these days as they choreograph "events" in public places, like shopping in slow-motion at Home Depot, or orchestrating a cell phone symphony in another public place. We discuss Improv Everywhere in SPCH 1311: Fundamentals of Speech Communication and COMM 2300: Media Literacy. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Speaking of disturbing -- Here's some commentary on (and an audio file of) a really bad cover of "We Are the World" with new lyrics to make it a corporate feel-good motivational tune. Ouch. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Here's a personal favorite -- a perfectly nasty little website where twisted minds, complex carbs, and pseudoscience have a really good time. Pity the poor little Peeps. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

And let's start the semester off with our first Wierd Product Pitch. Make sure your sound is up, just to get the total effect.

And this one -- viral concept, urban legend or high-caliber multitasking? I'm not a hunter. Maybe I don't want to know.

Not sure what to give that special someone who has everything? How about a can of Gourmet Oxygen?

Yes, we talk about such things in COMM 2300: Media Literacy. All knowledge comes at a price. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Maybe More Than You Wanted to Know. Or Maybe Not.

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Puzzle, the search-and-rescue Golden Retriever
More about her here. And here's a picture of her when she was just a little shrimp. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

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Fo'c'sle Jack, the Pirate Pom, aboard his ship, used for charity events. Note: Jack was a cool pirate before Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean! He gets fan mail from kids, adults, and other Poms (!?!), which necessitates a reply using official Pirate Pom postage. The world is wonderous strange.

More about Jack, on this website for kids and grown-up visitors. He was once a little shrimp, too. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Here's a picture of a ceilidh, and here's another. The name doesn't imply there's only Scottish country dancing going on. I once went to a ceilidh where a man and a woman did the hottest samba I've ever seen. Clothing required, but kilts are optional! wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

The Tall Ship "HMS" Rose, used in the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and re-named the Surprise.
Here she is on the front page of the NY Times in 2000 at the time I worked her. And the first thing I saw every morning over the coffee pot in the galley on the 4 AM watch. The ship's well worth a complete visit. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Students sometimes ask why my computer is ringing. Because I have this, a nice little program that tells the time by ship's watch bells The site explains the meaning of the bell series and how you tell the time using the dings! You can mute the bells when desired. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

The pig tattoo -- it's another link to the sea. Though explanations vary somewhat, the basic story goes that back in the 16th-18th Centuries, sailors often did not know how to swim. Some superstitiously claimed it "demonstrated a lack of faith in the captain." However, in the heat of battle or in the threat of storm, many crews had to toss their livestock overboard to lighten the ship's load (hoping for better stability and speed), and sometimes in the aftermath, sailors saw that the pigs they had thrown overboard were still afloat, perhaps because they had too much adipose tissue to sink and drown! So the belief was that a pig tattooed (or in the 16th and 17th Centuries, scratched with a knife) on the right foot would prevent a sailor from drowning. The pig was tattooed in such a way to appear right side up to the person looking down at it. The better to stay right side up in the water, perhaps. My pig was drawn by my best friend for the past 29 years. She did four versions for me to choose from -- and this one was the most cheerful. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

No reason other than while I prefer the sound quality of modern-day technology, I still like the look and the history behind antique radios. A lot. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

An experiment in the Zen of small spaces: the doghouse in the backyard. The doghouse lit up for the holidays. And inside the doghouse. (The dogs share it with me. I study and write a lot in here!) Notice the tiny knockoff antique radio on the table. Built because I was inspired by the "tiny house" work done at the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and the concept of the Katrina Cottage, envisioned as a gracious, affirming space and vast improvement over the FEMA trailer for survivors, post Hurricane-Katrina. Architect Le Corbusier (1887-1965) commented that "a house is a machine for living in", and though I have no talent at all for this kind of work, I admire spaces that inspire us in both practical and soulful senses. Machines, too, can be beautiful. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

The original artwork featured on this website is by Vlad Gerasimov, of Irkutsk, Russia. I appreciate Vlad's unusual take on the world. He does beautiful work. Also a nice guy. You can see some of his other work here! wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

Playing in the office these days:
Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium
Sting: Songs from the Labyrinth
Soundtrack: Good Night, and Good Luck wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

More soon. Cheers!