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Monday, September 27, 2010

Forever Dead, vets of first "Living Dead" relive their zombiedom

Image Ten, Inc.Herbert Summer, Josephine Streiner and Jason Richards were among the classic film's undead.

Early Zombies win Undying Loyalty from their Fans
original cast of "Night of the Living Dead" 
still signing autographs

PITTSBURGH—Josephine Streiner, 92, is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She is also the oldest living ghoul from the 1968 horror classic "Night of the Living Dead."
"It was definitely one of the highlights of my life," says Mrs. Streiner, who lives in Pittsburgh and appeared in several scenes as short-haired ghoul, or zombie, walking in a nightgown with her arms outstretched.
Like many of the original zombies, now in their 70s and 80s, Mrs. Streiner never imagined that a few minutes on a grainy black-and-white film would, decades later, bring her requests for autographs and other trappings of near-celebrity. But that's show business.
Herbert Summer, 82, was there with his wife, Donna. It was his second convention this year, the first being the Famous Monsters Convention in Indianapolis.
Mr. Summer ran a men's clothing store around the corner from the studio used by the movie's now-celebrated director, George Romero. While eating a sandwich at a nearby deli, Mr. Summer was recruited to be a ghoul, as the living dead were originally called.
"Truthfully, I didn't know what a ghoul was," says Mr. Summer, who appeared in three scenes with a raccoon-like face and a bullet wound to his chest.

Star of "Titanic", SAG Founding "Father" Gloria Stuart passes away in her sleep at age 100

Gloria Stuart, the 1930s Hollywood beauty who gave up acting for 30 years and later became the oldest Academy Award acting nominee as the spunky survivor in Titanic, has died. She was 100.
Stuart died in her sleep on Sunday night at her Los Angeles home, her grandson Benjamin Stuart Thompson said Monday.
In her youth, Stuart was a blond beauty who starred in B pictures as well as some higher-profile ones such as The Invisible Man, Busby Berkeley's Gold Diggers of 1935 and two Shirley Temple movies, Poor Little Rich Girl and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. But by the mid-1940s she had retired.
Los Angeles (September 27, 2010) — Screen Actors Guild deeply mourns the passing of founding member Gloria Stuart, whose contributions to her union, the film industry and world of fine art were a legacy second only to the humanity by which she lived.

Stuart, who won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role as Old Rose inTitanic, a performance which also garnered Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, turned 100 on July 4 of this year.

She died of cancer Sunday at her home.

“Not everyone receives the recognition they fully deserve in their lifetime, but the Guild was among those fortunate to know what we had before she was gone,” said Screen Actors Guild National President Ken Howard. “Gloria was an exceptional personality in every aspect, a delightful human being, and we take this loss as hard as we would that of any close family member, which she was. In every way, she exemplified the professional artist. She was a lover of life and a fighter.”
Click on "read more" below for further information. 

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The increasing possibility of two Reids winning

Like a nightmare no Republican should have to endure, like one of those frightening visions of a future where the devil and his son rule the world (or at least Nevada), the word came Friday: Two Reids could actually win in November.
Sen. Harry Reid (again, still) and Gov. Rory Reid! Say it ain’t so. Could it really happen?
Maybe. And the possibility was raised by … a nationally respected Republican pollster. Oh, the horror! Avert your eyes, GOP faithful. This is a future no one thought was possible, and yet it may be more so than anyone (yes, your humble pundit included) thought.

Full Surviving Nixon-Kennedy Dabate

Nixon-Kennedy Debates 50th Anniversary

50 years ago yesterday (Sunday) the first Kennedy-Nixon debate was held, changing politics and society forever. Politically these were the first televised presidential debates. The Kennedy victory helped prove the power of television over other media. It was also the birth of the power of television news, which over time has evolved into talking heads, 24 hour ten minute news cycles, commercial content and advertisers influencing news content, our tendency to vote for how someone looks and sounds on TV (Lincoln, Roosevelt and most of our past great presidents could not make it past the first primary today) and brought the president and their lives into the home, therefore making it personal to every citizen and their families.

Click here for a clean video of a longer portion of the debate, including opening statements.

Here is a link to a series of YouTube sections of the debates (not just Chicago or Dallas).

Note that this is such an historic video that copy or embed protect exist, so use links above to start your search to watch what is history making public speaking, back when debates were actually debates.

The research is fascinating. You will not regret it if you wish to look into the debates and the impact of television further. Start with the museum of radio and television by clicking here.

What are you thoughts and views today?

In praise of dissent

Want to spur innovation, creativity and social justice? 
Get to know a dissenter.

“When people change their opinions or behaviors to conform, they are doing it out of a deep fear of being excommunicated from their group,”

Jeremy Mercer | July/August 2010 issue

Photo: Fancy Photography (woman); (man)
Mabel Yu didn’t trust the numbers. It was 2006 and Yu was an analyst with The Vanguard Group, a financial firm based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, that manages almost $1 trillion in investment funds. Bond sellers were trying to convince her to buy a new financial security backed by huge bundles of home mortgages. They assured her these bonds were risk free; after all, Moody’s and Standard & Poors had graded them “AAA,” the highest rating. But to Yu, the data made no sense.

“There was nothing to support those ratings,” she says. “They didn’t account for all the economic scenarios. I would stay up late trying to understand, and whenever I asked questions the bond sellers never gave me a straight answer.”
Instead, they were condescending and insulting. They told Yu she was making trouble for nothing, that she was missing the boat on a great deal. They called her managers at Vanguard to complain about her intransigence and accused her of professional incompetence. Millions in commissions were being made and the housing market was soaring. What could possibly go wrong?

John F Kennedy Campaign Ad 1960: seems like today

Interesting topic in John Kennedy campaign commercial from 1960.

On some computers, depending on OS and if you use Explorer, Safari or Chrome, the image may appear twice, some once, and some not at all. Tech person, please explain why a compatible Internet could work this strangely.

USA is NBC's most valuable property

Note that Comcast has said it will not just pay attention to numbers like these in its decisions should it take over NBC-Universal. They do admit that USA was the most valuable "software" program unit of the corporation, aside from real estate values. The Universal library (much of which has been sold off) still contains titles and rights of value to Comcast, as do other "divisions".

From Hollywood Repoter, click here for full story and additional news.

NEW YORK -- USA Network is the most valuable part of NBC Universal at $11.7 billion, but the NBC network is worth a negative $600 million, according to Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Harrigan. He also puts the value of the Universal studio arm at about $4 billion.

Harrigan listed the valuation estimates in a research note on Monday following Friday's news that Jeff Zucker will leave his role as CEO of NBC Universal to Comcast COO Steve Burke after the cable giant acquires the entertainment firm.

"Burke appears likely to focus on revitalizing the NBC network and addressing digital media and subscription model initiatives," Harrigan wrote. "In the interim, Universal head Ron Meyer is apt to remain in position even with uneven market share and financial performance at the Studio," which he doesn't expect to be a near-term priority for Burke. "The NBC Network is simply more important perceptually and from a pop culture vantage point."

According to the analyst, the NBC Universal cable networks make up 78% of NBC Universal's valuation. Thanks to the stronger-than-anticipated recovery in the advertising market, the total company is likely worth slightly more than $32.5 billion, he said. In the Comcast deal, NBC Universal was value at $30 billion.

For the rest of the story, click here.

$30 home viewing option, and other proposed ways to pay per view

Disney CEO Robert Iger said, “I think there are a number of other products that we will be able to create through Internet-connected television, particularly when you consider our brand focus.” Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg
Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Co. are in talks with the largest cable TV systems to offer films for as much as $30 per showing soon after they run in theaters.
The studios are talking with In Demand, a partnership of Cox Communications Inc., Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc.Bob Benya, chief executive officer of In Demand, said in an interview. Disney is also discussing streaming films on Web- linked devices such as Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox console and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3, people with knowledge of the talks said.
Hollywood studios have been looking for ways to generate additional sales from movies as DVD purchases decline. A so- called “premium” service would let consumers see movies on TV without waiting as long as the typical three to four months for DVDs or cable companies’ $4 or so on-demand showings.


In just a few hours the SAG and AFTRA negotiating teams and the AMPTP representatives will assemble in the AMPTP’s cavernous conference center in Sherman Oaks for the first meeting of the 2010 TV-Theatrical/Exhibit A negotiations. There’s an official press blackout on the talks, meaning, if they follow form, there will be a statement at the end of every day’s session – or maybe only every few days – saying the talks are continuing, and not much more.
The first day, however, is a ritual almost as old as the contracts themselves. It’s a meet and greet for the committees, with the top negotiators spending a little time in an informal exchange. That means, on the SAG side, David White and Ken Howard, for AFTRA, Kim Roberts-Hedgpeth and Roberta Reardon, and for the AMPTP Carol Lombardini and one or two others will be trying to sense the temperature of the other side.
The talks come at a difficult time – not that they’re ever easy. The economy is somewhere between really awful and just bad, but the theatrical business has been doing better than surviving. TV is far more difficult, with audience fragmentation making big budget production less viable.
New media is still promising and looks like the future, but the new delivery systems haven’t yet delivered revenue with the same ease that they deliver product. The talks begin on the same day that there’s news of a new attempt by the studios tocreate new revenue streams from things like home viewing. The worry is that they could further cannibalize traditional revenues.
In short, it won’t be easy. The W&W process has produced a solid package of proposals with broad support. The AMPTP undoubtedly has its list, too.
The one big positive is that this time SAG and AFTRA are very much on the same page, with the past week’s election results only bolstering the solidarity. Still, for the next few weeks, we’ll all be holding our breath…

The above is from SAGWATCH, which can be accessed by clicking here.