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Post Week in Review: September 21–September 27

Published: September 26, 2014

Are Your ‘Friends’ Missing?

September 22 marked the 20th anniversary of Friends, the NBC sitcom about six 20-somethings addicted to caffeine. This milestone might make some of us feel old. But should it? It’s only the 10th anniversary of when the show ended, so the 20th doesn’t really seem like a “wow, I’m old” moment.

Here’s an interesting piece of info about Friends: If you didn’t see the episodes when they originally aired on NBC or watch the uncut episodes on DVD or online, you’ve probably never seen an entire episode. I sat and watched several episodes on DVD last year and it’s amazing how much is cut out of the shows when they air in syndication on networks like Nick at Nite — not just lines, but sometimes entire scenes and subplots.

It’s interesting how many other classic shows started on September 22. Lost, The West Wing, Sports Night, Family Ties, ER, The Good Wife, and Two and a Half Men, along with many others. OK, maybe Two and a Half Men isn’t a “classic” in the purest sense of the word.

SiriusXM Might Be in Serious Trouble

Piano keyboard with headphones for music

The outcome of Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., et al could influence how music aggregates do business. (Antonio Gravante/Shutterstock)

The satellite radio company lost what could turn out to be a precedent-setting case this week.

U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez granted a summary judgment in favor of Flo & Eddie, the comedic musical duo made up of Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, founding members of the Turtles. It’s a complex case that deals with sound recordings made before 1972; music that SiriusXM has been playing without paying royalties or getting permission. The judge had to interpret a 1982 statute and decided that the law “infers that the legislature did not intend to further limit ownership rights.”

Flo & Eddie are seeking $100 million (say it in Mike Myers’ Dr. Evil voice). This could change not only the way SiriusXM does business but also many music websites.

It’s a big case that will probably drag on for quite some time.

MAVEN’s Maiden Voyage

Last week I told you about NASA and Boeing and SpaceX teaming up to build “space taxis.” This week came word that the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) has entered Mars orbit to study the red planet. Not to sound like a little kid, but space travel is so freakin’ cool.

Bendy iPhones

I’m not an expert on modern technology, but smart phones aren’t supposed to bend, are they? That’s what’s happening to the new iPhone 6 Plus from Apple. People are finding that the phones are so thin that they are bending if you sit down with the phone in your pocket. Now, there are two solutions. One is to carry it in your jacket, like I do, and another is to not sit down with an iPhone in your pocket. But is this really how we should look at this problem? I think it’s a reasonable request that an expensive piece of modern technology shouldn’t bend like this, isn’t it?

Between this and the problem with iOS 8, it’s not the best week Apple has ever had.

What Would Raiders of the Lost Ark Look Like in Black and White?

Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh (pictured) stripped Raiders of the Lost Ark of all sound and color to teach film students a lesson in staging. (Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock)

Whenever a network or studio colorizes a classic black-and-white film, there’s always a bit of controversy. But what about changing a classic color film black and white? I’ve been doing this for years. I’ll adjust the color on my TV to watch a movie in black and white just to see if it will somehow make the movie better, maybe give it more gravitas—sort of how playing an acoustic version of a really bad electronic rock song makes you look at it in a different way.

This is what director Steven Soderbergh did with Steven Spielberg-directed Raiders of the Lost Ark. He also took out John Williams’ music and replaced it with moody themes from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Here’s the result.

I wonder what people who have never seen Raiders of the Lost Ark (there must be some of you out there) think of the movie if this is their introduction to it and then they watch the original?

Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald!

'Babylon Revisited by' F. Scott Fitzgerald

You can purchase a collection of Fitzgerald’s short stories, published in the Post at Shop the Post.

The Great Gatsby author, and one of the Post’s most prolific writers, publishing 65 stories between 1920 and 1937, would have celebrated his 118th birthday on Wednesday. Esquire’s John Hendrickson has a nice appreciation of Fitzgerald, who was born in 1896 and died in 1940.

National Punctuation Day

Wednesday was the day, we, “celebrated” National Punctuation Day? That’s the. day when we all remember! to! put! periods and exclamation points and commas – in the right (place). .. ,,

First Day of Fall

Fall Horseback Ride

Fall Horseback Ride
John Clymer
October 20, 1956

There are a lot of people who will say the nice weather in summer is their favorite, but I’ll take fall any day (I don’t know how heat and humidity can be considered nice). So us autumn-lovers were happy that the season kicked in on Tuesday. Now the days are getting shorter and the leaves are changing. Soon I’ll have to wear a coat, and I couldn’t be happier.

Hey, It’s National Pancake Day

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Fall also means it’s pumpkin season. I know, I know, you’re sick of pumpkin flavored everything, right? Coffee, cakes, doughnuts, beer, Oreos. I think I took some pumpkin-flavored Advil the other night. But to celebrate National Pancake Day today, here’s a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes that sounds delicious.

You can’t get anymore fall than something that combines pumpkin and toasty pancakes.

Upcoming Anniversaries

September 28

A Really Big Show (1901). American television host Ed Sullivan, whose guests included the Beatles, Barbra Streisand, and Tony Bennett, is born.

September 29

Saturday Night Football Debut (1951). Duke and University of Pittsburgh play the first live sporting event seen coast to coast on NBC.

September 30

Hydropower Is Here (1882). Thomas Edison opens his first commercial hydroelectric power plant on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin.

October 1

Strike Up the Band (1880). John Philip Sousa becomes leader of the United States Marine Band. Eight years later he will write the official march of the US Marine Corps, Semper Fidelis.

October 2

Comic Triple Begins (1890). The last third of the American comedic trio the Marx Brothers, Groucho, enters the world. In 1954, his son Arthur Marx would write an eight-part series, “My Old Man Groucho,” for the Post.

October 3

Nevermore (1849). American author and Post contributor Edgar Allan Poe is found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland; the last time he’s seen in public before his death. Read Poe’s spine-tingling story “The Black Cat,” published in the Post in 1843.

October 4

Sputnik Blasts Off (1957). Russia launches a satellite — the first man-made object ever to leave the Earth’s atmosphere — into space.

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