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Here’s the recording of last night’s (2021-02-19) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show, ready to re-enjoy.


And thanks to Hank Sims of Lost Coast Outpost here’s a page with not only the above MOTA show but also other ones going back awhile.

What you hear at the beginning of the recording is just the very end of a presentation by linguist and accent expert Eric Singer and his team giving a tour of U.S. accents. That’s here.

Just about every time, after everything’s over and I’ve signed off and I’m so exhausted after working on the show all day and talking on the radio all night all hopped up on decaffeinated green tea and soda crackers (and sometimes chocolate covered raisins) that my very skin is buzzing, I wince over how at some point in the show I started explaining something and went down a ridiculous path with it and, lost and embarrassed, moved on. That’s okay. This time it was about people who are too picky about proper speech, for whom it isn’t enough that they understand exactly what you said, they want you to say it the way /they/ want you to say it. I thought of a great short essay by Stephen Fry on the subject, mentioned it and, on the way to say why, mentioned his part in a movie he was in, in order to remember his name, but found I couldn’t recall the title of the movie either, so, oy. “It starts with V,” I said, “Verdure? Verdigris? [no, red rather than green] Vendetta? No…” Close, though. Too close. “Natalie Portman is in it. It has that poem about the Gunpowder Plot. /Remember, remember, the fifth of November./ The mask thing…” Guy Fawkes mask, sure, it comes to me /now/, as well as the movie poster with the giant bloody V on it. V for Vendetta. It’s a terrific story, even though, as usual for movies, the movie is like the Reader’s Digest condensed version of the Wikipedia plot of the book, if not quite a travesty and two shams of a mockery.

Besides all that, here’s a fresh batch of not-necessarily-radio-useful but worthwhile items that I set aside for you while gathering the show together, found mostly thanks to the fine websites listed to your right.

Fantasy and science fiction artist Rowena Morrill is dead. A particular book cover she painted comes to mind. The book was about a character named Lafayette O’Leary, an interdimensional traveler whose method of moving to other worlds involved a magical spell, a particular frame of mind, and a can of sardines. On the cover, O’Leary is flying on a magic carpet with Princess What’s-her-name, whose decolletage draws the eye. There is no doubt she is a mammal. One time back in the Mendocino Commentary days (thirty and more years ago) Judy Brown saw that on top of a box of my books and smirked? appreciated it? I said, “I like that. I like the way the flesh hangs on the bones. Look at her arms.” She said, “I do too.” I miss Judy Brown. She, like Rowena Morrill, was an art elf.

How it works.

How it ends.

Sounds of ice cracking. (via b3ta)

Sounds of metal crumpling. (via b3ta)

Yma Sumac, the Peruvian Songbird, sings /Chuncho/. It’s a lie that she was just from Brooklyn and her real name was Amy Camus, (Yma Sumac backwards). She was born Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo on September 10, 1922 in Ichocan, an indigenous village in Cajamarca, Peru, and her vocal range went from low foghorn all the way up to fingernails on a blackboard, which you hear in this recording, whose technology was unequal to the task, but they did the best they could.

Tabletop Marx generator.

Il Showdown a Rio Jawbone.

Pill bucket. Escape. Vendetta guy problem, Florida retirement apartments, Major Hoople (Slavic Douglas Roycroft), etc.

A century of UFO sightings. Why do you suppose they mainly only mess with the U.S.? Trailer parks, maybe.


Little Barb.


Ice capades.

The scene in /X-Men: Apocalypse/ where Quicksilver saves everyone.

Neither the time nor the place.

There can be only one. “Do you have any idea how long it took for me to infiltrate this group? Do you think I’m gonna roll over for some falsetto-ass mo-fo? Pshh.” That’s a good bad thing to call somebody who you don’t like. Some falsetto-ass mo-fo.

“I have got a friend who is a spiritual medium and she wants to go and take a look up there to see if she can feel anything,” the hiker said.

Moving like this will catch on. Why /should/ it be just for video games?

All the sexy diseases.

I can explain.

How fairies fly. “These men toil that the girls may spin.”

Good advice: “You can leave your head on.”

Tiny taiko.

I’m not sure why, but this reminds me of a public radio show that started with a guy singsonging something like –in a voice like the 7-Up-the-UnCola ad: “Thees eez SAH-vim-bee BAH-bim-bee weeth ETH-no pop!” Or, during the Gulf War, there was an oily-sounding British newsguy who always introduced his report from where he was staying in a hotel very far from any actual fighting, in Nicosia. “This is [Something Something] in Nicosia.” The say he said it so British-like, like smarmily sculpting a mouthful of taffy: /Nee-coh-SYEE-ah/. I would add the way NPR’s Maria Hinojosa pronounces her name, but it is her own name, after all. It comes from places in the Spanish-speaking world where fennel grows, or once grew. Hinojosa means fennel, which is to licorice as carob is to chocolate. Maria means the sea. Do what you want to with this information, make it work for you.

Ev’rybody in the whole cell block, it’s snowing on the Dome of the Rock.

Japanese bullet trains in the snow.

“Now I see it.”

iPhone acapella.

Wendy Carlos.

How it ends.

Midwest Siri.

Laurel and Hardy: Atoll K, recut to be good. (113 min.)

Don’t worry about a thing.


How a motion picture camera works.

Duck! (I wonder what would happen if one of these ducks suddenly remembered that they can fly.)

Topiary. (via Everlasting Blort)

Gretchen’s wedding dance.

This makes me think of the movie /Annihilation/. A truly alien lifeform of unknowable motives is changing creatures and plants and people and the very Earth in a vast ever-widening circle to, uh, perform an experiment? terraform? colonize? conquer? Spoiler: In the last instant before the closing credits Natalie Portman’s irises go weird, so she’s probably one of them now. Is that good or bad? The swamp in /Annihilation/ looked a little like this:

Having not seen this movie I’m not sure exactly what deeper issue is going on here, but I can imagine, and I like it.

Russian flappers flapping in the 1920s. (via NagOnTheLake) (My grandmother was a flapper. Not a famous one, but she could certainly flap.)

Rerun: Crying about this

And this:

“Formidable indeed is its nose.”

If Asian people acted like white people in restaurants.

A map of where all the Baltic icebreakers are right now. At first it seems like they’re all piled up on top of each other, but zoom in, they’re really not. It’s a big place. (via NagOnTheLake)

What it sounds like inside each of those ships.

And beautiful footage of  the Yamal, a 75,000 horsepower (!) Soviet nuclear icebreaker ship. The phrase /as inevitable as the tide/ comes to mind.


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