World’s Toughest Fixes

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Jun 042010

I love good shows about science and engineering (eg. “Nova”); however, most are over-produced eye candy with lots of cheezy rock music and little information. “World’s Toughest Fixes,” on the National Geographic Channel, is a refreshing exception.

The show follows host Sean Riley, a professional rigger, as he observes large, dangerous, or complicated repair jobs such the repair of major electrical transmission lines (while live) and the replacement of a nuclear power plant’s main turbine. Riley is a smart, educated guy, so it never feels like he’s merely reading off a cue card. Additionally, his rigging skills are relevant to almost any project that involves lifting heavy loads, so he often takes an active part in the job.

Several episodes available free at the time of this writing on Hulu.

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia

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May 252010
Jesco White gives the finger

The documentary, directed by Julien Nitzberg, follows the legacy of the White family of Boone County, West Virginia. Their most famous living member is Jesco White, star of the 1991 cult documentary hit “Dancing Outlaw” (on which Nitzberg was associate producer).

The Appalachian clan is notorious for criminal activity and reckless, larger-than-life characters. They tap-dance, shoot and stab people (including each other), and sell (and do) a lot of drugs. Think “Sopranos” meets “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

Link (BoingBoing)

Tobacco – “Trucker Sweat”

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May 242010
A bare foot stepping on a sandwich

“Video for ‘Truck Sweat’ off the new Tobacco (of Black Moth Super Rainbow) album called Fucked Up Friends.”

One of many compellingly weird videos by Tobacco, an electronic artist whose “contains elements of psychedelia, folk, electronica, and pop. Their distinctive sound is characterized by analog electronic instruments including the vocoder, Rhodes piano, and Novatron.” – wikipedia

8 Unbelievable Real-Life Doogie Howsers

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May 202010
Snapshot of young Wendy Vo

“Every year a new child prodigy seems to pop up and battle both puberty and the challenge of earning multiple degrees before they can see an R-rated movie at the theater.  We’ve highlighted the latest crop of young geniuses who are real-life, present day Doogie Howsers (minus the IBM computer diary).”


Personal Journal of Doogie Howser, M.D.

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May 202010
Screenshot from Doogie Howser's PC

“The following is considered original research, but done with the utmost accuracy. Spacing, capitalization, line returns, and typos have been left original. Use care when editing. Note that in many cases the dates do not agree, or indicate that the story order is different from the broadcast order, or may cause continuity issues (any of which may or may not have been intended).”