Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Winnie the Pooh (Disney)

Monday, 12 February 2007; 9:44

Although everything Disney is just one big advertisement directed toward children, The Distillery cannot deny any child (or adult) Winnie the Pooh.

Home page:  Winnie the Pooh
Home page: Disney (redesigned site)


Catch of the Day (12.02.2007)

Monday, 12 February 2007; 9:27



Steve Irwin (1962-2006) & Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom

Monday, 4 September 2006; 12:15

Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble it, don’t harass them, don’t deprive them of their happiness, don’t work against God’s intent.  ~Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

This posting is not about Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. The untimely death of Steve IrwinThe Crocodile Hunter, reminded me of his television predecessor, Marlin Perkins and his television program, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. No greater homage can be paid the The Crocodile Hunter than by including him in what must surely be the most exclusive of all Explorers’ Clubs. There can be little doubt that both Marlin Perkins and Jacques Yves Cousteau are waiting to greet Mr. Irwin at the club’s entrance and extend to him all rights and privileges thereof.  

Thank you for teaching us, Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter. Every living animal on this earth sheds tears for you this day, especially your beloved crocodiles. May your wife and children find a measure of peace in this time of great sorrow and loss.  

Home page:  Australia Zoo – Home of The Crocodile Hunter
Home page:  Cousteau Society
Home page:  Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom



Friday, 25 August 2006; 15:22

Do you live and breathe NASCAR? Do you like the internet? If the answer to both of those questions is “Yes,” then head on over to for your daily NASCAR fix. Not only will you find NASCAR videos, but also other racing videos, including motorcycle and F1 Grand Prix.

The site is superb for automotive racing fans. It is well-designed and includes message boards, chats, and fantasy racing. You will also find competitive online drag racing in the game, PINKS. In sum, Speed TV is the place to get all of your NASCAR news, commentary and video.

Home page: Speed TV (
Video player: Speed TV

Mark Martin photo graphic

The Automatic TV Sound Regulator

Tuesday, 22 August 2006; 10:08

Each word alone in the above post title seems simple and harmless enough. Put together, they sound pretty darn inviting and high-tech. They evoke those same pleasant feelings stirred by the words “remote control.” But is the Automatic TV Sound Regulator (quite a mouthful, isn’t it?) or TVSR destined to become as ubiquitous as that “clicker?” (Clicker? Yes, younger readers. Remote controls were not always the solid state devices they are today. Once upon a time, and not so very long ago, remote controls made a distinct clicking sound when used. That’s why your grandparents call them “clickers.” Isn’t The Distillery a wonderful place for absolutely useless information?)

However, one must wonder why the firm did not devise or contrive a demonstration of the TVSR at its web site. It could very easily be done. Although not absolutely necessary to have a potential customer understand the product, a virtual “hands-on” demonstration might be a more effective selling mechanism. On the other hand, the manufacturer is not over-estimating the public’s collective intelligence when it supposedly explains how its product works. There are words written, but they ultimately reveal nothing at all about how the TVSR works.

One thing The Distillery tends to like about the TVSR site is the immediate availability and playback of its online [only?] video promotion. Yet, the manufacturer then falls into the very trap stated as the problem — no user control! One has no choice but to listen to the video except by navigating away from the home page. And given it’s right on par with some of the worst “only sold on TV” ads seen, the manufacturer walks right into the very quicksand its product is intended to help you avoid.

Another thing. The site states that the Automatic TV Sound Regulator (Are we certain that’s not the code name of some new DoD weapon?) does not reduce the sound’s dynamic range. But given what has already been noted about vacuous explanations, The Distillery questions that. By law, commercials cannot be aired at a higher volume than regular programming.

Then why do almost all commercials sound louder than the TV shows? It’s the lack of dynamic range that the shows retain and the commercials eschew. That is, does a whisper sound like a whisper and you must strain to hear it? Does the cannon fire from the 1812 Overture leave you no choice but to reduce the volume?

If both answers are no, then you are experiencing a lack of dynamic range. That’s what we typically experience with commercials. Commercials are simply notched up to the top of their dynamic range. So, now everything — whispers, pin drops, gentle rain falling on a tin roof, etc. — sounds just as loud as “Help! I’ve fallen and can’t get up!”

Home page: The Automatic TV Sound Regulator

TV Sound Regulator logo graphic

“Conjoined at the Head” & “Joined for Life” ( & Figure 8 Films)

Tuesday, 8 August 2006; 16:05

The only time we will be separated is upon our death. ~Lori and Dori Schappell

My college buddy, the man behind and Figure 8 Films, and the producer of Jackie’s Story, now brings us Conjoined at the Head and Joined for Life. (Streaming videos highlighting the programs can be found about one-quarter of the way down each page.) The following are synopses of these amazing programs about even more amazing individuals:

Conjoined at the Head:

Conjoined at the Head explores the life and death challenges faced by craniopagus conjoined twins or those connected at the head. Craniopagus conjoined twins are the rarest and possibly the most difficult to separate. We examine three such sets of twins whose lives unfold in three very different ways.

At 43, Lori and Dori Schappell from Reading, PA are the oldest living female conjoined twins in the world. They have lived their lives conjoined at the side of their heads facing opposite directions.

Joined for Life:

Abby and Brittany Hensel are eleven-year-old conjoined twins (the scientific and politically correct term for Siamese twins). They are intelligent, energetic, fun-loving girls who just happen to share one set of legs and one set of arms – each girl controlling one half of their conjoined body. In their own words, they are “just two people…stuck together.”

In addition, we have the following update about Abby and Brittany from

Conjoined twins, Abby and Brittany Hensel, are now 16 and driving, in addition to anything else a typical 16 year old would be doing. No dating yet, but they sure do have a lot going on as their enter their Junior year in high school. We are spending the summer with them for a new hour that will be seen on TLC in North America and Channel Five in England. We will post updates and more about airdates and other distribution on our website – and

Update on Jackie’s Story: It has not gone unnoticed the number of people who come to The Distillery for Jackie’s Story. has informed The Distillery that Jackie very recently fell and broke both an arm and a leg. She now faces a new set of challenges.

If you wish to discuss Jackie or any other programs from and Figure 8 Films, be certain to login at the firms’ new forums. There you will find others sharing their stories and the inspiration they received from watching the productions.

And last, be certain to check out Figure 8 Films’ On The Road With 16 Children, featuring the Dugger family. From the producer:

The first Dugger show was one of the highest rated shows ever shown on the Discovery Health Channel. This Sunday, August 6th, you can see all of the Duggar shows ever shown in Prime Time on Discovery Health. (Check your local television program listings for channels and show times.)

Home page:
Home page: Conjoined at the Head
Home page: Joined for Life

Lori and Dori Schappell photo graphic Abby and Brittany Hensel photo graphic

“American Dream” (Budweiser)

Wednesday, 2 August 2006; 11:11

Legal Advisement: The following commercial content is to be viewed only by individuals 21 years old or older.

After viewing American Dream by Budweiser, you will not doubt its nomination for an Emmy Award. This is a great commercial that may even bring tears to your eyes. It does everything right. Who would not stop and at least consider purchasing a six-pack of Budweiser after viewing it? Only the Grinch.

Something extra: Have a look at Budweiser in China. Very different, eh?

Home page: Budweiser

Clydesdales graphic 01

Toscana Promozione TV (Italy)

Friday, 21 July 2006; 8:25

Somewhere inside me there is supposed to be the ability to somewhat translate Italian. However, it’s been a very long time since I dated the beautiful Luisa from Naples, my teacher. Therefore, and given the very little time I typically have, you’re on your own with this page of promotional videos from Toscana Promozione TV for the Tuscany region of Italy. (If you wish to cheat a bit, look here.)

Home page: Toscana Promozione

Tuscany painting graphic
radio graphic Tuscany Promotional TV banner

Friday, 7 July 2006; 13:50

24 hours a day of streaming video for diehard automobile racing fans (inc. Kart, F1, GrandAm, everything!)? Yes, at

And with this, we are witnessing firsthand the blurring of all distinctions between traditional television and TVoip. Which will be which, in no time at all? But even more, what’s a cable company to do when you can now essentially bypass them, both as producers and receivers of content, and unbound by any geographical boundaries?

RaceWorld is a pan-European multi-media television and internet concept, exclusively covering motorsport. In addition to broadcasting live, recorded and archived TV, it is proactive on the internet, on mobile phones and in merchandising.

RaceWorld has produced a cutting-edge weekly motorsports show for the past five years, broadcast on Sky and through the Fox network, and has also led the field in providing live TV coverage of the DTM and its support races through the internet and mobile phones for the past two years. Its live on-track and studio talk shows with stars and cars have also become a must-see for racefans.

Now RaceWorld is taking the final step in launching its own 24-hour/7 day TV channel on ASTRA Digital, and it will continue to bring all the best in world motorsport to your screens. Race fans can watch,feel and discover what topline motorsport – and the people behind it – is all about.

RaceWorld will take racefans behind doors closed to others, as well as showing all the best from the DTM through Champ Car and GrandAm to features on Formula 1, drivers, lifestyles, circuits and racecars. This wealth of material, together with RaceWorld’s vast film and video archives stretching back to the dawn of motor racing, have logically led to Raceworld TV becoming an ASTRA channel in its own right.

Do I smell malodorous regulatory bodies and lobbyists around here somewhere? Is this even on their radar yet? If not, I bet you it will be. And come to think of it, might it not possibly be a slam dunk for a smaller network like Fox to go for first-mover advantage by fulling leveraging all its assets toward the internet now? logo

Vodafone – 2006 Summer Models (Japan)

Wednesday, 5 July 2006; 20:35

Seasonal cell phones? Apparently so with Vodafone’s 2006 Summer Models. And come to think of it, many people do seem to change their cell phones with any change in the weather. (Me? I’d probably still be using the one I bought 10 years ago, if I could.)

But once again, we see the very coolest consumer electronics from Japan never make it across the Pacific Ocean to America. Case in point is the Vodafone 905SH with its portrait or landscape view screen, termed a “Cycloid Style” screen by Vodafone. Maybe the small screen won’t be so small after all.

Not only does this phone receive televised broadcasts (analog or digital), it can also record them. Even more, you can set a time for the phone to automatically start recording broadcasts. That’s not all. It’s also a gaming platform. Jeesh, this cell phone does almost everything! (Okay, this is one new cell phone I really like.)

905SH cell phone graphic 01 905SH graphic 02

905SH normal display graphic 905SH widescreen display graphic

Connexion by Boeing

Friday, 9 June 2006; 14:01

Microsoft forever continues to play catch-up. Fellow WordPress blogger, Scobleizer – Microsoft Geek Blogger, commented that Google’s newly announced web-based spreadsheet service might not fit his bill because…well, in his own words:

Also, I’ve learned that the Internet sometimes goes away (like every time I’m on a plane) so keeping files locally is vitally important to most businesspeople who can’t rely on the Internet for their vital data.

(Reference URL for fact-checkers and record-keepers:

Isn’t Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Seattle? And, wasn’t Boeing’s corporate headquarters in Seattle until only a few years ago? Would not such worldwide-located and globally important firms know a little something about each other, especially if the knowledge is not a tip-top-secret threat to national security? Don’t their employees inter-marry? (By the way, kudos to Bill Gates for marrying a fellow Duke alumnae/i.) Didn’t Scoble think to invite any of the likely remaining Boeing employees to his upcoming barbeque? Then why doesn’t an apparently well-spoken, well-traveled, and highly intelligent Microsoft employee know his above statement is not entirely correct? In fact, it’s dead wrong.

I guess it’s up to the The Distillery to correct him–and remind Microsoft it still owes its blogger an Office Suite for a needed favor provided to one of its sales reps ten years ago. (No, I never forget being cheated, especially when it would cost Microsoft essentially nothing to make good on its promise. And again, need Microsoft wonder why it was recently surveyed as being one of the most untrustworthy of corporations? Again, “Duh!”) Robert Scoble, meet Connexion by Boeing. And with that tip from The Distillery, I’m certain we’ll not hear any more excuses for why something did not get finished because you were on a cross-country flight, eh? In fact, you can sign up here.

(Note: Robert, this is not at all intended to be a personal attack on you, but very much so one on Microsoft. I trust you can understand both my ire for being cheated by a Microsoft sales rep, but also my immense respect for you. I also understand my invite to your barbeque “got lost in the mail.” No hard feelings, I hope. In fact, I’ll make sure you get an invite to my fall oyster roast here on the east coast.)

Connexion by Boeing logo

Connexion TV Player graphic

Queer TV Online

Friday, 9 June 2006; 11:01

I recall attending my first drag queen show eons ago. To say it opened my eyes (very widely!) is an understatement. And from Down Under, today The Distillery brings you QueerTV Online. It amply illustrates one of the things I like about Aussies–a typically “live and let live” attitude. After all, it’s the country/continent that brought us the outrageously (no pun intended) funny movie, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.

Today, I will save you the trouble of navigating to the site in order to see its “OUTrageous” content. (Might the boss be lurking or IT snooping?) By the way, each of the following links is in MP4 format. However, Quicktime* formatted (.qt) versions are also available at the site.

Turn down the volume a tad, sit back, and watch the show(s). And, enjoy. I most certainly did. (Jeesh, how do I find this stuff? ‘Tis a puzzlement, even to the The Distillery.)

2005 Mardi Gras Party with Nikkie French
2005 Mardi Gras Party with Nikkie French

Mardi Gras Fair Day 2006
Mardi Gras Fair Day 2006

Queer TV theme song graphic
Queer TV Theme Song

Queer TV Bloopers
Queer TV Bloopers

Big Queer Nation
Big Queer Nation

Tina Arena Mardi Gras 2005
Tina Arena Mardi Gras 2005

The Pussy Cat Has Her Say
The Pussy Cat Has Her Say

(* I feel a rant coming on. Although I love Macintoshes, I am beginning to despise Quicktime just as much–and possibly more–than I do Real Player/Media. Stay tuned until I fully pull my thoughts together. Maybe it’s time for Quicktime to be “outed.” It sometimes behaves most queerly. Update: Then again, maybe it’s not Quicktime per se, but too many people who simply cannot write code very well at all.)