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Andrei in the office


Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness

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Andrei in the office

Obscure makes me happy...

Yes, I was raised on television. I had one in my room as a kid. This probably had short and long range bad effects on me.

That being said... I am always happy to discover something obscure. Even more so because I've made one of my first posts to Wikipedia

When I was a kid... (Let's avoid the references to when the rocks were soft) there were 3 main stations. ABC, NBC, and CBS. (There was PBS, and a bunch of hard to tune UHF stations as well)... Oh yeah.. there was a lot of fuzzy white-noise space between them.

My one thrill a year was a program called, "Battle of the Network Stars." Back before greed had gotten out of control, the three networks would collaborate to host a series of fun physical challenges between teams made from the stars of their prime time shows.

The show stared Howard Cosell as sports commentator. Cosell was a television institution that I regret is slowly fading from memory and history.

The show was fun. There was an obstacle course, tug of war, swimming, even one year a pinball contest (which ironically was quickly lost by Elton John) But my fondest memory was of "Simon Says." Not even really a part of the competition it was one man calling the game vs. most of the stars. And the caller was deadly. For years... I've tried to remember anything I can about it. Some of my friends have even fallen prey to my ability to make them lose "Simon Says" in less than 5 moves.

Well tonight while YouTube surfing on my AppleTV (A prize I won at work for helping to test our software), I found a video of Simon Says. The video gave me the master's name. "Lou Goldstein" (Who despite being probably 80 may still be travelling and entertaining. Damn those Borscht Belt mensches!)

So, I appended the article. There was no information on Goldstein. The article now references him and includes an external link to the footage.

In some ways it may seem dated. But it's a pearl of history. And I'm very, VERY, VERY happy to see it still exists. I wish I could explain the really warm feeling I got... get from putting this piece of Television history in Wikipedia.

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I loved the Battle of the Network Stars! I saw it again on tv a couple years ago. I think it was on Spike TV when the station first came out. They ran a marathon of them. I couldn't get enough. Simon Says was always the best. Disney runs a version of it over the summer with their stars. How I wish the networks would bring back the event.

I think i might have told you this in the past, but when I was very young, but old enough to remember, my parents, grandparents, and I would spend parts of our summers at the Pines (one of the only ones not linked to anything in the article about the Borscht Belt)

I *hated* it. Because my parents and grandparents got to do fun stuff and eat really good food, and I had to go to the kid's camp and eat hotdogs. One dinner per trip, they would allow me to eat dinner with the adults.

Now that I'm a parent, I cannot *wait* to go on some trip where I can dump my kid into the "kid's camp."

What none of the articles mention is that the Simon Says shows became the only exercise anyone got during their stay at the resort. Pretty much, all there was to do was eat, and change clothes for the next meal.

Oh, yeah... the hell that was the Borscht Belt

I spent more than one traumatic week up there. My maternal grandparents would often go to the Homowack. Of which someone recently actually wrote:

Rumor has it that the Homowack has been sold to investors connected to the Skvere chassidim, and they will continue running it as a hotel.... Still OU, but no more mixed swimming, OK most of us who read chowhound don't look so great in a bathing suit anyway!

But will they start serving some geshmakke treats... overnight kugel? Ptsha for kiddush? Heimishe soup instead of the pale yellow soup base ersatz chicken soup with jarred matzo balls? Three types of gefilte fish..... Toi'amehoo on Friday afternoon? There is a heimishe caterer in New Square who makes fabulous heimishe food, and even the more elegant salads the balebattish party planners require.

Now that would make it a hotel worth going to.

You have to wonder about a hotel whose saving grace is an "Automatic" Bowling Alley.

One of my fonder memories is of "Charles and Lillian's Brown's Hotel" in Loch Sheldrake.

Tannen's Magic Shop had its international Magic Jubilee threre for many years. One of the biggest trade shows in the field of Magic.

Again.. I had the kiddie treatment. But there were kid classes and activities, an arcarde, and family style magic shows.

So, nu. Not so bad.

Edited at 2008-01-05 05:17 pm (UTC)

That was definitely an interesting video after not having played "Simon says" for 20 years. However after watching that video it seems clear to me that the "trick" of getting people out in this game is exploiting ambiguousness and limited brain processing speed. For instance, at one point he says, "Simon says 'Stop clapping hands down'" and then proceeds to call out everyone who put their hands down. But there literally was no pause in that sentence to indicate it was more then one command, or that "hands down" was not subordinate to "Simon says". And it goes on and on. He says things really fast which, even when he does leave a pause makes the actual pause short enough that autonomic responses try to kick in before the brain has a time to override with the realization that... "hey, Simon didn't say that!" Which I suppose is why it is so entertaining to play...

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