19 Somethin’ – Pac Man

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the first article, you can get caught up here. Here is the next line in the song:

Had the Pac Man pattern memorized

Before home video games, you used to have to go to the arcade to play video games. And it would cost a quarter a game. So, in order to spend less money, and more time on the game, you learned the patterns to the games pretty quickly. Most, if not all, video games had a pattern. And you either spent a lot of quarters learning them, or you watched your friends spend a lot of their quarters on the game, and learn the patterns that way.

Here is the full article about Pac-man that was posted on May 25, 2010 in case you missed it:

Pac-Man, the most successful coin-operated video game in history, was released in Japan on May 22,1980. Pac-Man is an icon of ’80s pop culture. Not only did it boost the popularity of video games, it generated spin-off games, merchandise, a television show, and even a cereal!

When Pac-Man was released, the most popular arcade video games were space shooters, such as Space Invaders and Asteroids.

Pac-Man is one of the longest running video game franchises from the golden age of video arcade games, and one of only three video games that are on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., (along with Pong and Dragon’s Lair).

The original Japanese name was Puckman, which evolved from the Japanese word paku, meaning ‘chomp.’ But in America, arcade operators were worried that vandals would alter the letter P. Eventually, ‘Pac’ was suggested as an alternate name.

To play the game, you would insert your quarter, then use the joystick to move Pac-Man through a maze and eat dots, and avoid the four ghosts – Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. Near the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing dots known as power pellets that provide Pac-Man with the temporary ability to eat the monsters. The monsters turn deep blue, reverse direction, and usually move more slowly. When a monster is eaten, its eyes remain and return to the monster box where it is regenerated in its normal color. Blue monsters flash white before they become dangerous again How many of you would become greedy and try to get all the ghosts? But then just when you try to get one of the last ghosts, they would flash white, and they would get you before you could get them.

In addition to dots and power pellets, bonus items, usually referred to as fruits (though not all items are fruit) appear near the center of the maze. These items score extra bonus points when eaten. The items change and bonus values increase throughout the game. Also, a series of intermissions play after certain levels toward the beginning of the game, showing a humorous set of interactions (the first being after level 2) between Pac-Man and Blinky.

In 1982, Pac-Man was released for Atari. For people how had Intellivision instead of Atari, you had to settle for Lock & Chase.

Pac-Man spawned numerous sequels, the most significant of which is Ms. Pac-Man, released in the United States in 1981. The game features several changes from the original Pac-Man, including faster gameplay, more mazes, new intermissions, and moving bonus items. Some consider Ms. Pac-Man to be superior to the original, and even the best in the entire series.

In 1982, Milton Bradley released a board game based on Pac-Man.

An animated TV series was produced by Hanna–Barbera and aired on ABC from 1982 to 1984:

The song “Pac-Man Fever,” by Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, reached No. 9 on the Billboard pop chart in early 1982:

And you know you’ve made it when “Weird Al” Yankovic does a parody song about you. Here is “Weird Al”‘s Pac-Man song, done to the music of The Beatles’ “Taxman”:

If it wasn’t for Pac-Man (the game, not those songs!), there may never have been a Mario, Lara Croft, or Call of Duty video games.

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19 Somethin’

1200px-star_wars_logo-svgIn 2002, country music singer Mark Wills released a song called 19 Somethin’. It was written by David Lee and Chris DuBois, and it is basically a “We Didn’t Start the Fire” type of song that makes pop culture references from our generation (late ’70s early ’80s). It spent six weeks at #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in early 2003, and was the #2 country song of the Decade on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart.

This song happened to come up on my iPod this week. I have somewhere around 7,000 songs on my iPod, so I had forgotten about this one.

So, in this series, I will write about each line of the song. At the end of this article, you can watch the video of the song.

As you can tell from the logo, you can see what the first line is about:

I Saw Star Wars at least eight times

To say that this movie had an impact on my life, (and on most kid’s lives) when this was released, would be an understatement. I’m not going to bother going through a summary of the movie.

This was the first movie that I can remember seeing in the theater. And at this point, I have seen this a tad more than eight times. I haven’t listened to most of the songs I love as many times as I have seen Star Wars.

To this day, if I hear the 20th Century Fox theme, and it is not followed by the Lucasfilm Ltd logo, then:

then I am very disappointed!

Star Wars changed movie making as it changed special effects forever. It also spawned off many space/science fiction movies, such as Battlestar Galactica, The Black Hole, and it got the Star Trek franchise going again.

It also changed the toy industry. I don’t think there were small action figures before this. I had a big G.I. Joe figure, and a Six Million Dollar Man figure (where you could look through a spot in the back of his head, and see out his eye for bionic vision, and you could roll the skin on his arm back to see the bionics there).
But now there were small action figures of everybody in the movie – even the characters that were in the movie for 2 seconds (R5-D4 or Hammerhead anyone?). And of course there were figures of the main characters:

I think I had almost all of them from the original movie. And there were the ships. There was the X-Wing fighter where you push down on R2-D2’s head, and the wings opened up:

And then there were the sequels. Some (including me) would even argue that the second movie – The Empire Strikes Back – was the best of the franchise.

And then the prequels were released from 1999-2004. A lot of people from my generation complained about them, but I liked them a lot. And it introduced a brand new generation to the movies we loved. And now there is the Clone Wars series on the Cartoon Network. So now there is an even newer generation being introduced to Star Wars.
And weren’t we curious about the Clone Wars ever since Obi-Wan mentioned them quickly in the original movie?

There have also been Star Wars books, comic books and video games. Basically, Star Wars will live forever. And most of us have been there from the very beginning.

Now, enjoy the song 19 Somethin’ by Mark Wills:

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Music Video of the Week – 9/15/10

Today’s selection, in honor of drummer/singer Kelly Keagy’s 58th birthday, is “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger:

Night Ranger is one of my favorite bands, and in my opinion is one of the most underrated. “Sister Christian” is their most successful song as it reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single came off of the album Midnight Madness, and was released in 1984. The song was written and sung by Kelly Keagy. The song is about Keagy’s little sister, Christy. He wrote the song after visiting his hometown, and seeing how fast his teenaged sister, 10 years younger than he, was growing up. The original title was “Sister Christy,” but the rest of the band thought Keagy was singing “Sister Christian,” so that became the title.
There was controversy about the lyric “You’re motoring. What’s your price for flight? In finding Mr. Right?”. in a VH-1 Behind the Music interview, the band said that the term “motoring” was synonymous with the term “cruising.” Cruising can be meant as driving around slowly, socializing with friends, or it can mean driving around looking for people to pick up for casual sex. When Keagy visited his family he heard second hand about his sister cruising for a man to casually sleep with. After verifying this with her he was shocked about how fast she was growing up, so he wrote the song.

George Michael gets 8 weeks jail for driving uncer the influence of drugs

According to the Associated Press, George Michael was sentenced to eight weeks in jail and lost his license for five years today for driving under the influence of drugs when he crashed his car into a London photo shop. Michael pleaded guilty last month to driving under the influence and possession of cannabis following a July 4 collision between his Range Rover and a Snappy Snaps store in north London. Judge John Perkins told the singer he had taken a “dangerous and unpredictable mix” of prescription drugs and marijuana.

“It does not appear that you took proper steps to deal with what is clearly an addiction to cannabis,” the judge said. “That’s a mistake which puts you and, on this occasion, the public at risk.”

The judge said Michael would have to serve four weeks of the sentence in prison and the rest on parole.

According to police, Michael appeared “spaced out” when they found him sitting in the car, whose engine was still running, in the wee hours of July 4. He acknowledged smoking marijuana and taking a prescription sedative, prosecutors said.

It was the latest in a string of automotive and drug-related mishaps for the 47-year-old star, who has often spoken of his fondness for marijuana.

In February 2006, he was found slumped at the wheel of his car at London’s busy Hyde Park Corner. That April, he hit three parked cars while trying to maneuver out of a parking space, and admitted being “a terrible driver.”

In October 2006, he was found slumped over the wheel of his car as it blocked an intersection. He pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs and was sentenced to community service.

Michael’s lawyer, Mukul Chawla, said the singer felt “profound shame and horror” at his actions.

“It is no exaggeration to describe him as a very kind, considerate and loyal man, constantly concerned for the plight of others,” Chawla said. “The prospect he could have put anyone else in danger is an appalling prospect to him.”

The judge said he was sending Michael to jail “with regret,” and had taken into account his guilty plea and the fact that after the crash he had checked into a clinic to seek help for anxiety, depression and insomnia.

But he said Michael’s previous conviction made a prison sentence inevitable.

Michael sighed as sentence was passed. His long-term partner Kenny Goss buried his head in his hands.

For some reason, this song popped into my head. I forgot that I liked this song:

Trivia Tuesday – 9/14/10

Question: Who griped of his duo’s MTV image: “It’s not as simple as me being the melodic one or John being the one with the mustache”?

Last Week’s Question:What disease killed off Mark Harmon’s character on St. Elsewhere?

Answer: AIDS

Before there were those McWhatevers on Grey’s Anatomy, Mark Harmon (who now stars in the great show, NCIS) played Dr. Bobby Caldwell on St. Elsewhere. He was a plastic surgeon at at St. Eligius. He had an affair with hospital administrator Joan Halloran (Nancy Stafford). Bobby ended the relationship because he thought they were superficial, and he wanted something more meaningful. However, he ended up having a series of empty flings and one-night stands. Eventually, Bobby was diagnosed with HIV. This was the first time a main character on series TV contracted the virus, and it was one of the first times a heterosexual character contracted the virus. When word of his HIV status got out, Bobby was told he could no longer be involved in patient care at the hospital, though he initially refused to leave. Devastated at his diagnosis and the impact it had on his career, he almost committed suicide, but was interrupted by a neighbor’s child knocking at his door requesting his help. He then decided to go on with his life, but he left St. Eligius, and Boston, towards the end of season 4, to go and work part-time in an AIDS hospice on the West Coast. Two years later, during season 6, his friends and former colleagues at St. Eligius were informed that he’d died.

New Bon Jovi Greatest Hits Album Cover

Bon Jovi’s upcoming Greatest Hits collection will be released on November 9th this year. Bon Jovi’s Facebook page revealed the album cover.
As far as the songs go, here is what was revealed on the bands official web site:

Bon Jovi GREATEST HITS will be a 16-song single disc chock full of the band’s biggest chart-toppers including “Livin’ On A Prayer,” “Always,” “It’s My Life,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” and “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” Two new songs, including lead single “What Do You Got,” round out the tracklisting. “What Do You Got?” will hit radio airwaves globally at the end of August.

Bon Jovi GREATEST HITS – THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION will be a 28-song two disc edition made up of the GREATEST HITS CD from the standard edition and a second disc featuring beloved fan favorites including “Bed of Roses,” “Blood on Blood,” “These Days,” and “Keep The Faith” plus the third and fourth new tracks created for this project.

The four new songs (“The More Things Change,” “No Apologies,” “This Is Love, This Is Life” and the first single, “What Do You Got?”) were written specifically for inclusion in this compilation.

The complete tracklistings for Bon Jovi GREATEST HITS and Bon Jovi GREATEST HITS – THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION will be unveiled exclusively at www.bonjovi.com.

Here is the new single, “What Do You Got?”:

Ronald Reagan movie planned for 2011

The following article is from Reuters:

The story of Ronald Reagan’s life — from boyhood to Hollywood actor to leader of the free world — is about to spill out on the big screen in a way quite different from the miniseries that caused such a stir seven years ago.

The feature film, titled “Reagan” and sporting a $30 million production budget, is set for release late next year and will be based on two best-selling biographies of the 40th U.S. president by Paul Kengor: “The Crusader” and “God and Ronald Reagan.”

Jonas McCord, who was not a Reagan fan, wrote the script. “I was of the opinion that at best he was a bad actor and at worst a clown,” McCord said.

But the scribe, whose credits include “Malice” and “The Body,” said he was drawn to the project as he researched the former president’s upbringing. He described Reagan’s childhood as “a surreal Norman Rockwell painting with his alcoholic Catholic father, devout Christian mother, Catholic brother and ever-changing boarders the family took in.”

The film will begin with the 1981 assassination attempt and tell Reagan’s story through flashbacks and flash-forwards. No actors or director have been signed.

Hollywood’s last attempt to depict Reagan was the 2003 miniseries “The Reagans,” which starred James Brolin. It was supposed to air on CBS until a controversy erupted over alleged left-wing bias and it was relegated to sibling premium cable outlet Showtime. It was seen by 1.2 million people.

“Only in Hollywood could you make an insulting, condescending movie about a much-loved historical figure, hire an actor who loathes the man, watch it flop and then somehow conclude that Americans don’t want to see a movie about him,” said producer Mark Joseph, who optioned the books four years ago.

“I watched Americans line up and wait for 10 hours for the simple privilege of passing by his closed casket. They love this man,” added Joseph, a marketing and development executive who worked on “Ray” and “The Passion of the Christ.”

He has partnered on the project with Ralph Winter, whose producing credits include four “X-Men” movies, two “Fantastic Four” movies and the 2001 remake of “Planet of the Apes.”

The producers are considering two distribution offers as they complete a final round of funding. They have created the production company Rawhide Pictures, an homage to the Secret Service code name for Reagan.

John Lennon’s murderer, Mark David Chapman, is Denied Parole

According to the New York Daily News, John Lennon’s killer was denied parole yesterday for the sixth time. The parole board panel said that Chapman’s “premeditated senseless and selfish act of tragic consequence” makes his release “inappropriate at this time and incompatible with the welfare of the community.”

Releasing him would “would so deprecate the seriousness of [the] crime as to undermine respect for the law,” the panel said.

The state parole board received 75 letters against Chapman’s release – including one from Yoko Ono, and just 1 memo in favor of his release. There always has to be a contrarian!

Chapman is locked up at Attica Correctional Facility, where he works as a porter and assists other inmates in one of the prison’s law libraries.

Because of his notoriety, Chapman is housed in a special unit apart from the general population.

He is also allowed conjugal visits with his wife, who lives in Hawaii, under the “family reunion program.” Sources have said she visits about once a year.

Chapman is next eligible for parole in 2012.

Music Video of the Week – 9/8/10

This week’s selection is “Parents Just Don’t Understand” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince:

“Parents Just Don’t Understand” came off of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s second album, He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper. The song was released in 1988 and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance, and basically launched Will Smith into superstardom. Will Smith is one of the few successful rappers who use clean lyrics.
The beat of the song, and the video style were used in Will Smith’s successful show, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Jeff Townes (DJ Jazzy Jeff) also made appearances in the show.
Who would have thought back then that this rapper would go on to launch a successful television show, then go on to become one of the most sought after movie actors in Hollywood?!? He even has the pull to get his son to star in movies such as the successful Karate Kid remake this year.

80's Pop Culture and News

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