Jim Henson’s Doozers on Hulu

I’m not proud to say this here, but I accepted a Klout Perk today: a sneak preview of the new Hulu original series from Jim Henson Productions, Jim Henson’s Doozers.

60% of the time Klout Perks are crap all the time, but this is a nice surprise that I’m happy to share here.

For folks that want the full experience instead of an embedded player you can go here.

I’m not a current Hulu subscriber – mostly due to the fact that I pay for premium cable plus Netflix – but this might start to sway me.1 2

If you’re looking for a better breakdown of the costs/benefits of Hulu vs. Netflix, I’m not the expert, but they’re both making a go at acquiring/licensing/creating new shows.

The greater problem this causes for fans of quality entertainment is how they get to shows they used to love, are in love with currently or might love if they could find it. (Feel the love?)

To that end HBO actually did the once-unthinkable and has agreed to license some of their original series to Amazon Prime Instant Video. That’s a HUGE deal and it might (though it probably won’t) make HBO GO more usable on Game of Thrones premiere nights.

Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

Whatever the case I’m happy Henson is getting Doozers out there for kids. It seems cute and high quality which is a lot harder than it sounds, especially for preschool kid content.

Being totally selfish I wish it had 3 things:

  1. Fraggles, Gorgs & the Trash Heap
  2. Motion capture digital puppeteering a la Sid the Science Kid
  3. A better theme song

All things considered though it seems like a fun little show. Maybe not $7.99/month to get Hulu “fun” but we’ll see.

I like that, exactly like the Doozers of the Fraggle Rock show, these new digital Doozers are industrious & engineering/technically-minded. What better way to introduce little kids to the 21st century.

Happy Wednesday!

1 One of my biggest gripes about the TiVo is that I don’t sample enough new/current broadcast TV.

2 One of my biggest gripes about Netflix is that they don’t have great kids programming (but they do have great originals for adults.

Grow Clay Walkthrough

The newest game from Eyezmaze is out in the wild and it’s a branded/sponsored game called Grow Clay.

Like the other games in the series it’s a simple puzzle game where the user decides which choices to make to help a society achieve some futuristic goal.

In this case the whole thing is a promotion for a sourcing company in Japan.

Here’s the starting state of the game:

Grow Clay Beginning

Grow Clay Beginning

And here’s the conclusion:

Grow Clay Ending

Grow Clay Ending

Here are the steps I took to solve the game:

Stage 1:

  1. Lab
    • Clay
  2. Lab

Stage 2:

  1. Clay
  2. DNA

Stage 3:

  1. Clay
  2. Tire Tread
  3. Bolt


  1. Computer
  2. Clay
  3. Battery
  4. Magnet

I’m not sure if there are any alternate solutions, but I’ll keep trying & let you know.

Until the next Grow game: happy clicking!

Other Grow game walkthroughs:

The Muppets & Rule 63

I realize that Rule 63 doesn’t have anything to do with musical theatre, but it’s the closest thing to explaining the next two links:

  1. Muppet Christ Superstar
  2. Rocky Horror Muppet Show

The first is a faithful (ha!) rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar as sung in the style (and voices) of The Muppets while the second is a Muppet-ized version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show: the lyrics remain the same but the tunes are all different, while still featuring Muppet voices.

I think it’s obvious but neither one of these are officially related to The Muppets, RHPS or JCSS, but they do point to the enduring intersection of The Muppets and music, especially Broadway-style music. The original Muppet Show had more than it’s fair share of stage talent: Carol Channing, Joel Grey, Julie Andrews, Ethel Merman, Bernadette Peters & Liza Minelli among others.

If you’re keen on the RHPS angle beyond those audio-only excerpts, here’s a YouTube video in a more literal vein (a la JCSS):

Of course, if you’re really into the idea of The Muppets & RHPS, you won’t mind cosplaying that crosses over between the two.

Whatever you’re in to, you can’t deny that The Muppets make the perfect pairing to Broadway musicals. By the way my own personal Rule 63 is this: If it has music in it, someone will eventually record themselves singing it in the voice of a Muppet.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to sing The Time Warp as though I were Kermit the Frog. ;-)

Bandcamp downloads available here:
Muppet Christ Superstar on Bandcamp
Tom Smith Live at LibertyCon 2010 (Rocky Horror Muppet Show excerpts)

Sometimes I’m an asshole

Earlier today the following exchange happened on Twitter:

The whole thing reminds me of this great Monty Python sketch: Argument Clinic

Of course, it could also be a simple failure to communicate too (without resorting to violence).

Here are the basic facts (and why I’m also wrong):

  1. I agree with Rumsfeld that the tax code is too complex
  2. I am dismissing this criticism because of the messenger (and I’m aware that this is a logical fallacy or bias)
  3. Twitter, with its 140 character limit, is a bad place to make a nuanced argument
  4. I wasn’t making a nuanced argument, I was venting my spleen at Rumsfeld through the lens of a “conversation” (twitter’s nomenclature) with Dave
  5. I tweeted before I had coffee. This is clearly an excuse.
  6. I shouldn’t @ reply people who I don’t know personally. Something is always lost in the unwritten spaces between the tweets.

Was I an asshole? I got called one and I certainly should’ve known better than to engage on a tweet that was clearly already an attempt to respond to criticisms of the type I offered directly back.

So, yes, I was an asshole. I’m sorry, Dave.

Was it avoidable? No. People are assholes and, try as I might, I’m likely to do something else stupid in the future.

I’ll forget myself and rush headlong into a debate.
I’ll respond too quickly when I should save something in my drafts.
I’ll be passionate and vocal.

Does this mean I hope to do it again any time soon? No it doesn’t. I’m at least aware enough of the above facts (and my bias against Rumsfeld) not to make this exact same mistake.

Especially when discussing politics online (which I don’t often do because I can get riled up) I need to remember Wheaton’s Law: Don’t Be A Dick.

Related: If I really feel strongly about something, I should own it enough to blog it (see this post you’re reading now) or tweet something public and not just a reply.

Happy Internetting (and remember these are good learnings for offline behavior too)!

Funny Phrases

Since the age of two-and-a-half our 3rd child, Evie (currently age 4), has made the same request for cereal every weekday:

“Oatmeal Squares with milk and a spoon.”

She says this as though any self-respecting parent could forget the primary constituents of a bowl of cereal, but she says them every day, without fail.

On the few days in which I ask her what kind of cereal she would like she slumps her shoulders, rolls her eyes, dramatically sighs and repeats her morning mantra:

“Oatmeal Squares with milk and a spoon.”

But recently she has taken to upping the ante.
Being even more precise.
Subjecting us to specificity above and beyond.

Her newest request:

“Oatmeal Squares with milk and a spoon in a bowl.”

As an adult of reasonable intelligence, I struggle to imagine the kind of caregiver who would forget to provide a child with a bowl as the primary conveyance of cereal & milk when a spoon is already involved (as requested), but I digress.

What’s even more amazing (or appropriate, depending on your perspective) is how her younger sister, currently two-and-a-half herself, has co-opted this funny phrase.

And while the choice of cereal may be different – Imogen prefers Life to Evie’s Oatmeal Squares – the phrase is no less funny coming from her mouth. In fact it might even be funnier considering her diminutive stature and wispy voice.

I can make all the jokes I want, and it does make me laugh (most times to their dismay), but I’m going to miss this request once it’s gone. It’s a near-constant reminder that neither of them will be little forever.

I want to bottle up those words and save them with me.
I need very badly to record them saying it so I don’t forget it (or them) exactly as they are right now.
I’m writing it down here as a means of preserving the impermanent.

I think the best part about this little ritual is that now I hear the big kids playfully asking for their own cereal this way. I’ve even found myself saying it to Jenn and likewise her to me.

“Oatmeal squares with milk and a spoon in a bowl.”

It’s funny how that little, funny phrase has so much power.