Noted documentarian and PBS regular Ken Burns delivered the commencement address at Stanford University over the weekend and gave a wonderful speech with some exceptional takeaways not only for the graduates but the world at large.
Check out the prepared text of the 2016 Stanford Commencement address by Ken Burns at the Stanford website.
I must admit I was slightly uncomfortable when I first saw this Apple iPhone commercial with Sesame Street‘s own omnivorous Muppet … but I quickly gave in because Cookie Monster is simply so darn awesome and he should be the spokesmonster for every product!
Watch him wait for his delicious cookies and just try not to smile.
(Also, who knew Cookie Monster was a Jim Croce fan? Interesting.)
Fans of Monty Python’s John Cleese will appreciate this commercial for optical retail chain Specsavers. It’s an ad that allows Cleese to pay homage to one of Fawlty Towers more memorable scenes. Enjoy!
Documentary-filmmaker Ken Burns has been named as grand marshal of the 2016 Rose Parade. The award-winning director of The Civil War, Baseball and The National Parks: America’s Best Idea will do the honors on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California.
Apparently, one of the latest memes to make the rounds is asking Siri to divide zero by zero. It’s a simple enough math problem, but Siri has the snark factor turned up all the way and you get the following exchange:
Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See, it doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies. And you are sad that you have no friends.
Maybe one of the oddest Sesame Street references ever, don’t you agree? Certainly, Cookie Monster would appreciate the shout out but he’d definitely be sad that there are no cookies. Gee, even I’m a little bit sad there are no cookies.
Try it yourself by asking Siri, “What is zero divided by zero?” Or just do an internet search and you’ll no doubt discover one of the many videos folks have posted demonstrating the phenomenon.
Okay, technically, James Taylor wasn’t born in the Tar Heel state, but he grew up in Chapel Hill and gave us the unofficial state anthem, Carolina In My Mind, so we North Carolinians are going to claim him as a native son until he tells us to stop.
That being said, I was surprised and pleased to hear that Taylor just had his first number one record on the Billboard album charts with his recent release, Before This World. Surprised because I found it hard to believe James Taylor has never had a number one album before this. Pleased because I’m a huge JT fan and I owe a lot of that to the many James Taylor specials UNC-TV has aired over the years. (In fact, a quick search in our database returned the following programs: James Taylor Live; James Taylor Squibnocket; James Taylor: Pull Over; Carole King – James Taylor Live at the Troubadour; assorted Great Performances; and a guest appearance on North Carolina People, just to name a few.)
If, like me, you’re a fan of Sweet Baby James and missed the piece PBS Newshour did on him recently, head over to their website and see Jeffrey Brown’s interview with Taylor. Brown and Taylor discuss Taylor’s life, music and his coolness – or lack thereof.
Now, if you’ll excuse me – I have to dig out my VHS copy of James Taylor In Concert and relive some fantastic memories from Festival ’88.
There’s a new documentary about a subject that anyone who has grown up with PBS will surely be interested in: Big Bird.
The film is titled I Am Big Bird and takes a heartwarming look at Caroll Spinney, the man behind the bird. Or rather, beneath the bird.
Spinney is the performer who brings Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life on Sesame Street. And he’s been doing it since the beginning in 1969. He was a longtime collaborator of the late Jim Henson and, although he’s not a household name, his characters are. This touching documentary celebrates him and his amazing career.
I Am Big Bird is in limited release now (the only North Carolina cinema the web site mentions is in Greensboro and the movie’s not due to open there until the 22nd), but I certainly hope the film will be shown in many more cinemas around the state and around the world. Look for I Am Big Bird in the coming months in your local theater.
Note: The film is available on demand from some cable providers and for download at various sites online. Nonetheless the cinephile in me believes that to truly experience a feature you must view it as the filmmaker intended – on a big screen in a darkened cinema. So I will hold out hope for a wider release and a local multiplex showing some love to this highly anticipated documentary.