Bauer and Gadget; Same Ma, Different Pa

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According to my studies, Inspector Gadget is Jack Bauer’s retarded, half, part machine, brother. I haven’t been conducting this study for several years, months, or even days. I thought of it while I was walking to the bathroom. Also, there was actually no studying involved. And you may ask yourself, “well…how did I get here?” I would immediately ask you to stop quoting the Talking Heads because, this is an entry about Jack Bauer’s and Inspector Gadget’s blood relation.

Submitted for the approval of the midnight society, I present to you: Bauer and Gadget; Same Ma, different Pa.

  1.  CTU & MCPD

Much like the Hanson Brothers from the movie SLAPSHOT, whom share a common love for hockey, brothers, Bauer and Gadget share a common love: law enforcement. Yes, I know this is a weak point. Just because they are both special agents for the law doesn’t mean they are brothers. If you would allow me to stop interrupting myself, I will present more evidence.

  1.  Dr. Claw and Other Terrorist

Inspector Gadget and Jack aren’t your normal, everyday, pull-over-this-guy-for-speeding cops. They are saviors of the civilized world. They deal with the baddest of the bad-asses. Dr. Claw has 3 goals in life: 1. Kill Gadget. 2. Take over the world. 3. Kill Gadget, again. Doesn’t that sound very similar to season one of 24?! Jack’s family was kidnapped just because an accented Dennis Hopper had a vendetta against Jack — He was pissed that Jack killed him. I say stop bitchin’, he must have not killed you good enough. Mr. Hopper was using Jack’s family to lure him into his evil dockside lair so he could kill him. Guess what, Jack didn’t die, not even for a second. Jack is almost immortal, Gadget is half robot; they can’t be stopped.

  1.  In and Out Like Sauerkraut

No hideout, base, compound, house, prison, or villainous complex is too difficult for Gadget or Bauer to infiltrate. Whether Bauer drives a van through the building or Gadget accidentally wonders into the place. No matter what the situation is, they get in and handle they biz.

  1.  Happy Boss Day

Although, I would argue both are unbossable, bossless, they receive orders from someone. In season two of 24, George Mason gave Jack orders, sort of. And Gadget’s Boss, Chief Quimby, shows up at the beginning of every episode to give the Inspector “suggestions” for what he should do that episode. But because Gadget and Bauer hate being bossed around so much, they just kill those who boss them. Again, in season two, Jack was so pissed that Mason was telling him what to do, Jack placed George in a nuclear laden plane and told him to crash it into the ground. BALLIN! Inspector Gadget loathed Quimby like no other, Gadget blew him up every show, just because he wanted to, with the “self-destructing” message.

  1.  Failure to Abort

Even though they are not fit to raise kids in this crazy world because they are too involved with their careers, they both have daughters. Kim and Penny. They are destine to be on an episode of Dr. Phil.

Dr. Phil (to Kim): Because of your father, you have been kidnapped several times, by the same people. Lost in the woods with Johnny Drama, and your mom died?

Kim (sobbing): Yes

Dr. Phil (to Penny): Your dad, he has a helicopter in his hat?

Penny (sobbing): Yes, well, it’s not really whole helicopter, just the propeller…

Dr. Phil: And he can fly with it?

Penny (sobbing harder): Yes

And they both have blond hair. You can’t deny genetics.

Please, do not take this study lightly. It is the most serious subject that I have ever been serious about. The facts I have present throughout this essay are facts, not fables or folklore, cold hard, tell-it-to-your-mama facts. If you can’t understand the logic I used to prove that Jack Bauer and Inspector Gadget came from the same womb, I would suggested calling the grade school you attended and ask if you can come back.

The Beatles Remastered CDs – Stereo & Mono Box Sets Out on 999


1987: The Beatles Albums Are First Released On CD

CDs were still pretty new technology at this time and so it shouldn't really be too surprising that the original mastering job done for The Beatles albums first release on CD wasn't particularly good. In fact it's now seen by most experts as a downright lousy job. The packaging for these CD releases wasn't particularly good either.

September 9, 2009: The Beatles Remastered

On 9/9/9 (a cool reference to "Revolution #9") all of The Beatles albums are being re-released on CD in both stereo and mono. This is significant because these CDs are all newly remastered and should sound better than ever before. It's also significant because this is the first time that the original mono mixes of The Beatles albums are being released on CD.

The stereo albums will be available both for individual sale (they will be the new standard Beatles CDs) and as part of The Beatles Stereo Box Set. This box set will include a remastered stereo mix of every single song The Beatles officially released from 1962 through 1970!

The mono mixes will not be available for individual, but only as a part of the special limited edition Beatles Mono CD Box Set. This set includes all 10 of The Beatles albums which were originally mixed in mono (that's 1962's Please Please Me through 1968's self titled double album which is best known as The White Album.) It does not include their final three albums (Yellow Submarine, Let It Be, & Abbey Road) because those albums were never mixed in mono in the first place. Like the stereo mixes, the mono mixes are also newly remastered and they should sound fantastic.

The Significance Of The Mono Mixes

As I mentioned previously, this is the first time that the original mono mixes of The Beatles albums are being released on CD.

It may be hard for some people to understand why anyone would want to hear mono mixes of The Beatles albums. After all, isn't mono a very outdated way of listening to music? Well certainly it is. There's a good reason nobody is recording or mixing albums in mono these days. But you must understand the context of the original recordings in order to fully appreciate the importance of these original mono mixes finally being available on CD.

For most of the 1960s (up until about 1968) mono was the standard way that people listened to music. Because of this it makes sense that the band's producers (George Martin, Norman Smith, & Geoff Emerick) and the band themselves (who were increasingly involved in the production of their albums over time) were focused primarily on the mono mixes.

They would spend many hours getting the mono mixes "just right" and then just throw together the stereo mixes very quickly. Simply put, the stereo mixes were little more than an "after thought" in comparison with mono. It's because of this that many hardcore Beatles fans now believe that these original mono mixes represent the "real" Beatles albums. It's why they are so excited that these mono mixes are finally going to be available on CD in the Mono Box Set.

Some Claim Mono Beatles Albums Sound Better

But it's more than simply a matter of historical accuracy that excites Beatles fans about these new mono Beatles CDs. It's also the fact that many have claimed over the years that the mono versions of the albums (in particular Sgt. Pepper) sound better than the stereo! In a way that makes sense. They spent so much more time on getting the mono mixes right, so it makes sense that they would sound better. Plus stereo mixing in the 1960s was a very experimental new thing and a lot of the stereo mixes of The Beatles songs sound downright "weird" today.

Among those who have claimed that Sgt. Pepper sounds better in it's original mono was none other than John Lennon himself.

Hear Clips Of The Remastered Beatles Songs

If you've already got all of The Beatles stuff on CD, you may be wary about buying it all again. But the cool thing is you can hear clips of the remastered Beatles songs online to see what all of the fuss is about before you make your decision on whether you want to splurge on 9/9/9.

Cigar, Pleasantly Perfect in Dubai: Two USA Horses Won Titles in Breeders' Cup Classic and in World Cup


The brilliant Cigar and the perfectly pleasant Pleasantly Perfect are the only two horses who have excelled in the American sponsored Breeders' Cup Classic, then traveled half way around the world five months later to score in the richest Thoroughbred race in the world, the Dubai Classic in the World Cup race festival held in the UAE (United Arab Emirates).

Both prestigious races feature world competition for three-year-olds and up.

Cigar, the Streaker

In 1995, Cigar was in his second year of invincibility and on his way to winning 16 consecutive races under the skillful hands of Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey. Only one other horse before Cigar had won 16 straight contests. His name was Citation.

Cigar beat out the Breeders' Cup Classic competition in 1995 on a muddy track in the fastest time (1:59.58) ever recorded to that point. Five months later, in the spring of 1996, he went to Dubai and scored over Californian Soul of the Matter to win the inaugural World Cup Classic.

Pleasantly Perfect turned the same trick in 2003 and 2004, winning the Breeders' Cup Classic over rival Medaglia d'Oro, then turning back the same competitor in a stirring finish in the Dubai Classic.

Who Is Almutawakel?

American Thoroughbreds have done well in Dubai, bringing home five Classic championships. The biggest upset winner over an American favorite was 1999's Almutawakel.

America's Kentucky Derby winner in 1997, Silver Charm, finished second in that year's Breeders' Cup Classic, where Swain, an Irish-bred, placed third. In Dubai's 1998 Classic, Silver Charm claimed the title over Swain. Silver Charm returned to Dubai in 1999 to try to achieve back-to-back titles in the World Cup, a feat which would have assured him a place alone in American Thoroughbred history. His chief rival in the '99 Dubai field was Epsom Derby champion High-Rise. It marked the first time that a Kentucky Derby winner and an Epsom Derby victor squared off for a title.

In the way of the epic battle was a fellow named Almutawakel. A huge longshot, Al was a Godolphin Racing entry, and he came home with the bacon to even up the world scoreboard at two wins each for the USA and the UAE.

The Competition Heats Up


Dubai Millennium, son of the USA's Seeking the Gold, delivered for Godolphin in 2000.

In 2001, Captain Steve carried the red, white, and blue into the contest and was given favorite status. He had finished third in the previous fall's Breeders' Cup to the great Tiznow. In Dubai, he came in with his game face on, and the scoreboard was even up again at day's end — USA, 3; UAE, 3.

Ironically, the following year, Jerry Bailey rode Godolphin's Irish-bred Street Cry to the Classic title. Street Cry soundly beat his own favored stablemate, Sakhee. Either way, it was a win for Godolphin. The next year, Moon Ballad gave the UAE a 5-3 advantage.

Then came Pleasantly Perfect with his perfect stride to the wire in front by a half length. UAE, 5; USA, 4.

Roses in May came on in the stretch to put everyhoof behind him in 2005, cleanly, concisely. USA, 5; UAE, 5.

Electrocutionist regained the overall lead for Godolphin in 2006, but in 2007 a twist of fate evened the score again. Shadwell Stable, based in the USA, but owned by the brother of Godolphin Racing, fielded the nearly unbeatable Invasor. The Al Maktoum brothers brought the Thoroughbred world to a 6-6 tie as Invasor took center stage.

On March 29th, the tie will be broken. Will 2007 American Horse of the Year Curlin prevail? Or will Godolphin Racing beat him to the line?

Add a '60s Groove to Your Next Event: Spark the Evening with an Early Rock-and-Roll Twist


Got a flair for the old times? Enjoy the idea of rocking and rolling with company at an all-American diner? Well, the magic of the '60s era stays on after all these decades. It’s even more vibrant with musicals like Hairspray and crossover fashion trends captivating today’s young generation. Keep the retro spirit alive by infusing an oldies vibe at your next get-together with friends.

Party Like the '60s

An evening at Johnny Rockets would be a marvelous start. Tasty sandwiches and chicken wings with your choice of sauce are among the list of specialties on the menu. Take turns choosing songs on the mini jukebox on the side of the table with your friends. Feel free to sing along with the light tunes until dinner is served.

Want to experience watching a movie at a drive-in? There are places and festivals in every town that play out-door films. Checking your local listings can help you find them. If everyone is in a competitive mood, the bowling center may be a dream destination.

Is there an oldies-themed event going on at a venue nearby? If so, get ready to jive together with costumes from that era. Setting up a house party can make a great alternative. You have the freedom to decorate the place your way. It’ll be more personalized. After all, nothing beats the unforgettable taste of a homemade milkshake.

A Little Musical Inspiration

These songs are some of the yesteryear hits you can play to get everyone in the mood fast and easy:

  • The Twist – Chubby Checker
  • Blue Moon – The Marcels
  • It’s My Party – Lesley Gore
  • Baby Love – The Supremes
  • These Boots are Made for Walkin’ – Nancy Sinatra
  • I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops
  • Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
  • Travelin’ Man – Ricky Nelson
  • Moody River – Pat Boone
  • Please Mr. Postman – The Marvelettes
  • I Feel Fine – The Beatles
  • Peppermint Twist – Joey Dee and the Starliters
  • Stuck on You – Elvis Presley
  • Happy Together – The Turtles
  • My Boyfriend’s Back – The Shirelles
  • Sugar Shack – Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs
  • Bend Me Shape Me – Amen Corner
  • DownTown – Petula Clark
  • Hey! Baby – Bruce Channel
  • Surf City – Jan and Dean

Mix the Old with the New

If you also crave music from this era, a mix-and-match can work. Blend the old with the contemporary by listening to these tunes that very much cater to the new generation but still fit in with the old style vibe:

  • Are You Gonna Be My Girl? – Jet
  • Rock and Roll – Eric Hutchinson
  • Mercy – Duffy
  • Honey – The Hush Sound
  • Radio Radio – Brooke White
  • The Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani
  • Rich Girls – The Virgins
  • Baby, Baby, Baby – Joss Stone

These are just ideas to get things started. There are more song options you and the group can explore.

For more inspiration, various old magazines, music videos, movies, TV shows, photography books and record shops make excellent resources. It’s about time for everyone to blast to the past.

Sound Effects for Festive Events And Stage Shows: Use Audio for Halloween, Christmas and Theater Performances


Sound effects can add atmosphere to theatrical productions, add a spooky and ghoulish mood to Halloween and add fun to kids' parties and Christmas events.

Developments such as digital music players like the iPod have made it much easier to use audio and to cue sound effects from a library. In the past a theatre sound operator used to have to locate a track on a sound effects record, cue it up and play it out over the house audio system, fading up as the track started and fading down to lift the arm.

MP3 Digital Audio Files Make Theatre Sound Effects Simpler and More Foolproof

Nowadays, often the simplest way to to have sound effects is to use an iPod, where the sound op selects the track by name and plays it out. This is a great option for productions that do not follow a fixed sequence of sound effects.

However, many shows do have a fixed sequence of sound effects, but exact timing still varies between shows on how long the actors take. Padding the sound effects with silence gives the sound operator valuable thinking time after an effect has played, reducing the chances to the classic bane of DIY theater sound – the miscued next sound effect blaring out because the sound op didn't stop the tape.

Use Silent Tracks To Take Up Scene Timing Variations

The way to deal with varying scene timings is to interleave the tracks with a long silence, longer than the anticipated time before the next sound effect will be needed. When Play is pressed, the first sound effect will play, the track will end and the long silence will begin to play. The playlist thus looks like:

  1. 00:00 to 00:10 Sound Effect 1
  2. 00:10 to 30:00 Silence
  3. 30:00 to 30:15 Sound Effect 2
  4. 30:15 to 1:00:00 Silence

and so on.

On a MP3 CD player, each of the silences will have to be a separate track, but on a hard disk recorder a playlist can be set up which can repeat a single track of silence between each sound effect.

Initiating the next sound effect is then as simple as pressing the next button, which will skip to the end of the silence and start to play the next sound effect. By encoding the silence at a low bit rate it does not need to take up very much space on the hard drive, and the audio distortion that goes with low bit rates is not audible on the low replay volume of a silent track. The downside of this method is that the playlist looks cluttered, with twice the number of tracks as there are sound effects.

Use Trailing Silence To Take Up Scene Timing Variations

Alternatively, each sound effect can be authored with the long silence following it as part of the same track. This works best if the audio is encoded at variable bit rate, otherwise the silence will consume a lot of the storage space. A typical digital music player storage capacity is usually much longer than a show's length, so that is not necessarily a problem.

Use Audio Loops For Mood Setting and a Spooky Halloween

Short audio clips set against long silences is a good way to lend suspense to things like Halloween shows. Less is more with this sort of thing – soft strange sounds that listeners can't easily locate are far more effective than a continuous loop of ghoulish effects at a high volume.

By adding long gaps of varying length between ghostly rattles and distant low howls, the overall soundtrack can be looped, without having to bother about cueing the sound effects.

Stereolab's Oscillons from the Anti-Sun is the Perfect Introduction to the Band


The multi-national psych-pop "groop", Stereolab, are arguably one of the top bands to come out of the 90s. They effortlessly combine leader Tim Gane's musical and sonic adventurism with a strong melodic sensibility, featuring the beautiful intertwined singing of lead vocalist Laetitia Sadier and the late Mary Hansen.

I've always considered the Lab to be an almost perfect cross of pre-Rick Wakeman Yes and Neu! They effortlessly mix the driving motorik rhythms and analog synth-bubbling of the latter with the 5th Dimension influenced vocal influences of the former.

Oscillons from the Anti-Sun is the Lab's first boxset, combining three CDs of various singles, with album and EP tracks from 1993-2001 with a DVD featuring promo videos and a few TV performances. Their VW and Volvo commercials weren't included, unfortunately.

The tracks on the 3 music CDs aren't programmed chronologically; they are programmed for purposes of musical flow. Standout album tracks like "Les Yper Sound", "The Free Design" and "Cybele's Reverie" combine with EP nuggets like "Fluorescenses". The latter is one of the Lab's best songs ever and is a perfect boxset opener.

Most of the songs on the music CDs are taken from the aforementioned regular Stereolab album or EP releases. There are a few alternative tracks, like a hugely energetic version of the early lab hi", Jenny Ondioline, originally released as a tour single.

The fourth disc DVD is the highlight of the set. The eight promo videos mostly feature the interesting directorial style of Nick Abrahams and Mikey Tomkins, which ranges from the 1920's film style used in "Cybele's Reverie" to the retro-80s dumb-terminal-laded "Fluorescences".

The three UK TV performances are the star of the entire boxset. "French Disko" is taken from a UK Channel 4 show (The Word) from the mid 90s. There are also top-notch performances of "Cybele's Reverie" (with a string quartet) and "Les Yper Sound" from Later with Jools Holland. It really makes one hope for more live video from the Lab. What a brilliant, vibrant live band.

The boxset is topped off by the inclusion of stickers commerating the covers each of their EP/Single releases. At three CDs, one DVD, and stickers for about 20 bucks, this is a highly recommended to those interested in discovering Stereolab.