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Gang Members

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Live From Congress: Representative Wants To Rid Congress Of Gang Members

Finally, someone is standing up to these gang members. I've heard a lot about them from the newsmedia here in Los Angeles, and frankly, I'm terrified. Especially at night, when they're particularly difficult to spot. Kudos to our nation's leaders for addressing this pressing problem.

Podthoughts by Ian Brill: "1up.com - Retronauts"

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There was a time when just the idea of video games seemed to represent “the cutting edge” (think Tron). Even select Baby Boomers who like to imagine themselves with-it were alienated by the button mashing and hand-eye coordination that their kids had no trouble with. But now video games have been around long enough that nostalgia has risen for the games and hardware that the march of technology have left behind. People may line up around the block for a Play Station 3 but some of us are happy with a few rounds of Street Fighter II on SNES. For us we have 1up.com’s Retronauts (iTunes link).

The podcast has no set schedule or hosts, although all are drawn from 1up.com’s writing staff. Usually four or five video game aficionados take on a different subject, Street Fighter, the Mario franchise and Chrono Trigger were spotlighted on recent shows, and come at it with different points of view. A bit of history is usually given. Most of us experienced these games as kids and had no idea of what the game developers put in to their accomplishments. We just enjoyed the final product. You can really get the “Wow! I had no idea!” feeling listening to Retronauts. But the show is not a history lesson. It is primarily a place where friends tell stories of the years where all that mattered were how many quarters you could pump into a cabinet twice the size of you. I had a lot of fun listening to the Mario episode where the hosts talked about their excitement of learning about the release Super Mario Bros. 3 (I was glad to see the Fred Savage/Christian Slater film The Wizard get a mention). At some points the podcast stops being about video games and is more about childhood experiences an entire generation can relate to.

When discussing nostalgia it’s hard to know when to stop. That’s the biggest flaw with Retronauts. The shows clock in at around hour and twenty minutes. Something I’ve learned from reviewing podcasts is that brevity is not just the soul of wit. It is also the soul of listenability. Shows start with a news segment that offers many chances for the hosts to go off on tangents. It’s interesting to learn about Nintendo’s The Virtual Console, it’s the only aspect of the Wii that interests me, but I felt a lot of that could be covered in a much more succinct fashion (or better yet, saved for the website). The listener sees the description of an episode and has to wait a good half-hour before the show gets around to Mega Man.

For anyone like me who was once a subscriber to Nintendo Power magazine Retronauts has some transcendent moments. If they keep pack those moments within an hour long format it would be a perfect little podcast.

Podcast: Director Jeffrey Blitz

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Show: 
Bullseye

Jeffrey Blitz is the director of the film “Rocket Science,” which follows the story of a New Jersey teenager with a stuttering problem who joins his high school's debate team. His last film, 2002’s “Spellbound,” was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary. He has also directed several episodes of NBC’s “The Office.”

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You might also enjoy these past interview programs:
Terry Jones
Mark & Michael Polish
Paul Feig
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Steve Martin on Charlie Rose

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MaxFun Group on Goodreads

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The latest lively discussion on our LIVELY DISCUSSION FORUMS concerns books, which are a bunch of pieces of paper that contain knowledge.

MaxFunster jbissel has put together a MaxFun group on Goodreads, a site that logs what books you've read and helps you find new books to read through the amazing power of social networks. If you're an MFer who wants to share your taste in words with other MFers, the group's a great place to start.

(pictured above: 19th century internets)

Sound (courtesy of Radiolab)

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Podcast: Comedy: "Help Me Help Me" from Stephen Brophy

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Show: 
Bullseye


Here's a Sound of Young America comedy podcast from writer/performer Stephen Brophy. Stephen has a recurring role on the ABC sitcom "Carpoolers," and is a member of the sketch comedy groups "Oh, You and Your Bone Spurs" and "White Noise Radio Theater."

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Matt Belknap on Juno

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If we've learned anything here, it's that when people don't like something, they will object to and complain about every choice made within that thing. On a perverse level, I kind of enjoy how the "Juno" soundtrack punishes the hipster viewer/listener for knowing so much obscure music. Whereas the rest of the world is oblivious to the songs' sources and can just take them at face value, the hipster will go crazy with every needle drop and become filled with the indignant rage of a villager whose homeland has been invaded and his family raped. I have no doubt that, to the learned music fan, the "Juno" soundtrack is a cloying, ham-handed appropriation of indie music that tries too hard and exposes the filmmakers as hopeless poseurs... but then again, there were probably die-hard folkies who felt the same way about "The Graduate."

Matt Belknap of Never Not Funny and aspecialthing.com sums up the discourse on Juno quite ably.

Podcast: TSOYA Classic: People Helping People

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We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Clasics.

On this week’s show, People Helping People, we’re joined by public radio broadcaster Bob Edwards. We also help a listener impress his girlfriend, and Jesse's little brother tells a joke.

Bob Edwards spent almost twenty-five years as the host NPR’s Morning Edition, and is now the host of The Bob Edwards Show on XM Satellite Radio. He is a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2004, and is noted for his skills as an interviewer. He is also the author of two books: Fridays With Red: A Radio Friendship, about his weekly interviews with sportscaster Red Barber, and Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism, a biography of the legendary broadcast journalist.

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"Fuck Planet Earth"

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By LA comedian Max Goldberg

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