Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Video of the Day: Chris Norton Walks The Graduation Stage

Chris Norton doesn't do anything small. Back in 2010, he suffered a severe spinal cord injury while playing football for Luther College and was given very little chance to ever walk again. Last Sunday he walked across the stage to receive his diploma with the help of fiancee whom he had proposed to the night before. He will also be featured in the new book, "The Power of Faith - When Tragedy Strikes," written by him, his father and author Christy Hayes coming out this summer.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Vidoe of the Day: Cop Rock

No, it's not a legend. There really was a short-lived police drama/musical show in 1990 called Cop Rock. As these shows, there was definitely talent there - just misplaced. 

John Wayne is Born

John Wayne was born on May 26, 1907.
May 26, 1907
On this day in 1907, Marion Michael Morrison, better known as the western actor John Wayne, was born. Wayne hadn’t always wanted to be an actor. He wanted to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, but he was rejected. However, he did accept a full scholarship to play football for the University of Southern California. During the summer of 1926, one of Wayne’s football coaches found him a job working as an assistant prop man for director John Ford.  Ford took a liking to him and started him out as an extra here and there and eventually gave Wayne a starring role in The Big Trail in 1930. The film did poorly and it wasn’t until 1939 that Wayne got another chance to star in a movie. This time it was Stagecoach, which did so well, that Wayne didn’t have any trouble getting new roles for some time. It is said that audiences got tired of Wayne by the late 1960’s (he did tend to play the same role over and over again) but surprised people when he played the “bad guy” in True Grit in 1969 and won an Oscar for his efforts. His last film was The Shootest which came out in 1976. He died three years later of cancer. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Summer Shows – Let the Games Begin

Now that we got most of the series and season finales done, summer time game shows hit the small screen in a big way. This week, eight new and/or returning reality/game shows debut with a total of 13 or so debuting in the coming months. NBC is the leader of pack with the largest selection of shows which makes sense since they have had good luck with ratings for American Ninja Warrior, America's Got Talent and Last Comic Standing – all three returning. But, all of the four major networks have something new to share. One notable absence is Wipeout, the silly slapstick competition show that's been a summer staple on ABC. The “official” page has been taken down from the ABC website, so there's no telling if or when the show will reappear. However, Here' is what you can look forward to – starting tonight!

American Ninja Warrior (NBC)
American Ninja Warrior (NBC)
American Ninja Warrior
Show: Returning
Network: NBC
Premieres: May 25

Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila return for American Ninja Warrior's 7th season with the addition of Kristine Leahy from CBS Sports as co-host. Over the six previous years, none of the contestants have been successful in completing the entire course (modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama course in Japan) and claimig the $500,000 prize. This year, over 700 contestants are participating in the course which includes 23 new obstacles.

Video of the Day: The Jaws Ride

This is said to be the last ride ever on the "Jaws" ride at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fl which shut down in 2012. I never got a chance to experience it, and from watching this video, I'm glad I didn't. You would think that Universal would have had some better special effects, wouldn't you?

Anne Meara Passes Away

Anne Meara, mother of Ben Stiller, passed away on May 25, 2015.
Ben Stiller and Anne Meara (Life and Style magazine)
There are a lot of headlines posted in the last few days that the mother of Ben Still, Anne Meara, passed away on Saturday, May 23, 2015. She was 85. While this news is true, the headlines really should have read that Anne Meara, mother of Bill Stiller has passed away. What's the difference? Ben wouldn't be the comedian he is if it wasn't for his mother and father, Jerry Stiller.

Long before Ben or his sister, Amy, was born, Jerry and Anne were married in 1954 and worked together in comedy acts on stage, TV and movies ever since, known as Stiller and Meara and they were brilliant together. Here is a clip of the pair working with Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman for The Carol Burnett Show

Meara appeared in a number of her son's movies including Heavyweights (1995), Zoolander (2001), and Night at the Museum (2006). Her last acting role was for the short film, Simpler Times, that she did with her husband in 2014. She and Jerry also voiced two characters in Disney's Planes: Fire & Rescue, also in 2014.

New Giveaway! Fathers Day Book Giveaway

Win 4 books for dad!
Writer of Pop is giving away a prize pack of four inspiring books in celebration of Fathers Day, but you don't have to give them to your father if you win - you might want to keep them for yourself! Entering is easy - just find the form on the bottom of the home page. You can get extra entries too by following the Writer of Pop Facebook page and Twitter too! Deadline to enter is June 20, 2015. Prize pack contains:

Another Man's War by Sam Childers
The true story behind the movie, Machine Gun Preacher about the remarkable transformation of Sam Childers - from violent thug to a man of faith and his on-going battle to save children in one of the world's most lawless areas.

52 Things Wives Need from Their Husbands by Jay Payleitner
A non-preachy book on what husbands can do to build a stronger marriage. Like you, Payleitner is not perfect and you can benefit by his mistakes and the times where he got in right in his own marriage.

Man Alive by Patrick Morley
From the writer of The Man in the Mirror, examines just what it means to have a rich and satisfying relationship with Christ by helping men transform seven primal needs into a powerful spiritual life.

Real Valor by Steve Farrar
From the best-selling author of Point Man, this book is a guide on how to nurture and protect your family.

Star Wars Comes to Theaters

Star Wars was released in theaters on May 25, 1977.
May 25, 1977
Almost weekly, there is a new story about the upcoming Star Wars sequel, but on this day in 1977 is when the phenomenon first began as 20th Century Fox released the classic for the first time. After George Lucas scored a hit with American Graffiti, Fox allowed him to spend $9.5 million for the space epic. It took four years to create the cowboys and Indians tale told in space. Initially, the film was released to only 42 theaters, but by the end of the film’s first week, the movie had made $3 million allowing it to be expanded to a lot more. By the end of summer the film made over $100 million. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won in six. The movie alone resurrected the idea that science fiction movies could be profitable.