Que Sera, Sera, Doris Day & Alfred Hitchcock


As far as I can tell Joel hasn’t offered us much insight into the lyrics of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” but I think he included Doris Day because she personified the ideal, wholesome, perfect woman of the 50’s, Joel’s formative years.

Doris Day is a 20th century singer and actress. She turned 80 this year.

Her first #1 pop chart hit was “Sentimental Journey.” It was released during WWII. Let’s listen.

Eventually she grew to hate singing that song. Overexposure I guess. For me, the song that reminds me of Doris Day is Que Sera, Sera. More on that later.

In 1948, Day began her movie career in Romance on the High Seas as Miss Georgia Garrett. According to IMDB she went on to make 41 movies, including one by one of my favorite directors, Alfred Hitchcock. The movie is The Man Who Knew Too Much. Hitchcock’s remake of his own 1934 suspense/thriller. Yes he remade his own movie and did a fine job.

Back to Doris Day. In The Man Who Knew Too Much she sang Que Sera, Sera and won an oscar for her performance. And this is the song that makes me think of Doris Day. As far as I can recall this is the only Doris Day movie I have seen.

Earlier this month her son, singer, songwriter and record producer Terry Melcher died at the age of 62. Melcher’s claim to fame was in shaping the “California Sound.” He sang on the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album and produced the Byrds’ version of Bob Dylan’s Mr Tambourine Man.

William Gibson, Morgan Stanley & Charles Fort

Today’s word might not meet a strict, scrabble (is it in the dictionary?) definition, but I found enough sites and writing using it to meet my low standards.

I came across the word on William Gibson’s blog. An interesting thought provoking, just a little bit out there blog, that Gibson has recently returned to writing.

The word is fortean. It is an adjective derived from Charles Fort’s work. Who was Charles Fort? Good question.

Fort was an early 20th century writer and researcher who coined the term teleportation while making a name for himself researching and writing on the paranormal. Today the term fortean is used to describe weird unexplainable phenomena.

The unexplainable phenomena that Gibson refers to in his blog is the vacation that apparently he and a big shot economist at Morgan Stanley believe Americans have been enjoying. A vacation from an impending economic Armageddon caused by America’s record trade deficit. I will have to look up Armageddon but it sure sounds worse than a depression.

ForteanTimes.com offers some entertaining fortean stories.

Adam Curry Uses Big Latinate- Jurisprudence


Today’s word was heard on the Daily Source Code earlier this week. Adam was talking about the unwillingness of a record producer to license his music for podcasting. Let’s listen.

Jurisprudence literally means the study or philosophy of law. Juris comes from the latin word iuri. For example the degree a lawyer takes is called a J.D.- Juris Doctor. Juris meaning law and doctor meaning they spent a long time in school. Prudence comes from the latin word prudentia meaning knowledge.

In practice jurisprudence is a noun that means the theory of law, the legal system or a branch of law as it is applied to the real world. This last definition is what Adam’s buddy used. This is also know as common or case law. He was telling Adam that if he let podcasters license music he would be setting the landscape, the precedence for licensing the music to podcasters. Presumably a precedence the rest of the music industry doesn’t want. They and their lawyers like being able to say we have never done that, we don’t do that. If a major music label breaks ranks the past jurisprudence will be muddled and a new jurisprudence or legal landscape may emerge. A landscape the music big shots might not like.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

Happy Thanksgiving Harry Truman

Happy Thanksgiving!

First off I must apologize to Olivier whose comment I played yesterday. I mispronounced his name. My spell checker “corrected” the spelling to Oliver.

I also want to add to yesterday’s podcast. I got an email from Lee Ann of the Lascivious Biddies letting me know “The Biddies are also a set of characters in The Music Man – it means little hens, but also talkative, gossipy women…” I think I will have to see that musical.

Today’s quote is inspired by a road trip my girlfriend and I took a few weeks ago. On the trip Billy Joel’s famous song “We Didn’t Start the Fire” turned up on one of our old mix CDs. We must have replayed it ten times trying to recall the cultural significance of each of his historical references. Between the two of us I think we got about half of them.

So starting with today’s very special Thanksgiving podcast I will go through one or two references per week. Think of it as a very long quote. I think there are over 100 references.

The song is essentially a catalog of the historical events of Billy’s life. The song begins in 1949 with Harry Truman.

Harry S. Truman was the 34th president of the United States. He had a sign on his desk that read “the buck stops here.”

He served as FDR’s Vice President until 1945 when FDR passed away and Truman became president.

He was re-elected for a second term, but barely, he was expected to lose the election and the Chicago Tribune even ran the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman”

While Truman is most famous for his decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945 effectively ending World War II. I suspect Joel started with Truman because Truman was Joel’s earliest memory of an historical figure.

Lascivious Biddies- Exciting Sexual Desire & a comment from Bordeaux

Today’s word, lascivious, was inspired by the Lascivious Biddies. Actually you get two words today, lascivious and biddies.

First off the Lascivious Biddies are four talented women who perform some very entertaining cabaret style tunes. They have been featured in Adam Curry’s DSC several times. Good music.

On to the words:

Lascivious is an adjective – Inspiring or exciting sexual desire or lust. Often lewd or salacious lust.

Biddies is a noun meaning a hen or in general a bird.

Judging by their luscious sound I think the Lascivious Biddies are appropriately named.

We are all such sinners…


Today’s words are a quote from Mohandas Ghandi. Often referred to as mahatma which is not a name but a epithet meaning “great soul.”

I find that we are all such sinners that it is better to leave the judging to God.

~ Mohandas Ghandi

I wasn’t able to confirm the context of this quote. But if we rely on the movie, the quote was intended to remind his fellow leaders that they were fighting for independence not to punish the British.

Desperate House Wives, Madam Bovary & Steven Jay Gould

I stumbled across today’s word in Wikipedia. It is used in the entry for Madame Bovary, a scandalous 19th century novel by Gustave Flaubert. ( I was looking up Madame Bovary because the book was featured prominently in last night’s Desperate House Wives).

The word is exegesis. It is a noun that means an “extensive and critical interpretation of any text, or especially of a holy scripture. An exegete is a person skilled in the science of interpretation.”

In Wikipedia’s Madame Bovary entry exegesis is the title of section that examines the scandal the novel caused and and some of the techniques Flaubert employed. In my opinion the 171 word section isn’t extensive enough to be an exegesis. But that is the nice thing about Wikipedia this entry can grow and be improved.

Actually I first learned this word from Stephen Jay Gould– one of my favorite writers. I am sorry I can’t recall which book or article it was in. But if you read his work, you will come across exegesis frequently. And he most certainly uses it correctly.

The Provenance of Podcasting



I got a few questions about a word I used in yesterday’s Today’s Podcast. Maybe I should refer to Today’s Podcast as just TP or maybe something else?

Anyway I used a word yesterday that raised a few questions. The word was provenance. It is a noun meaning place of origin or where something came from. It can also have the connotation of authenticity such as the quote I used yesterday. Where did that quote really come from?

If you were listening to today’s podcast hoping to learn the provenance of podcasting. Long story short, Adam and Dave did it.

If you want a little more detail you can visit Wikipedia’s entry on podcasting and learn all about the beginning of podcasting.

Get someone involved in a podcast


Today’s quote might be a chinese proverb. I spent a few minutes looking for its provenance and found conflicting reports. Maybe its chinese, maybe its native american. Who knows? I bet most cultures have some proverb like this one.

Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.

I have tried to explain podcasts to many people but only a few have understood. Sometimes when I show them ipodderx and itunes they start to get it. But I think until a person subscribes to a podcast and then listens to it away from their computer I don’t think they understand it.

So get a friend to download an ipodder and subscribe today so they can get it.

Or better yet get them to start their own podcast. Chris Brown are you listening? How about doing a weekly show together? 30 minute show tops.