Tim Wise: Use of the N-Word

Tim Wise is a white anti-racist writer and activist in the U.S., who started giving lectures in 1995 at over 500 college campuses across the US. He has trained a multitude of teachers, corporate employees, non-profit organizations and law enforcement officers in methods for addressing and dismantling racism in their institutions.

Today in History for November 30Th

Pink Floyd releases its best-selling album "The Wall"; Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Dick Clark born; World Trade Organization's meeting met by 40-thousand protesters; (Nov. 30)

Today in History for November 30Th

Pink Floyd releases its best-selling album "The Wall"; Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Dick Clark born; World Trade Organization's meeting met by 40-thousand protesters; (Nov. 30)

Boilerplate: The trailer

Boilerplate was a robot built by Professor Archibald Campion in 1893 as a prototype, for the self-proclaimed purpose of preventing the deaths of men in the conflicts of nations, Boilerplate charged into combat alongside such notables as Teddy Roosevelt and Lawrence of Arabia. Campion and his robot also circled the planet with the U.S. Navy, trekked to the South Pole, made silent movies, and hobnobbed with the likes of Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla.

Drunk History Vol 6: Nikola Tesla, John C. Reilly and Crispin Glover

Tesla was the Electric Jesus! - An inebriated man relates Tesla's life story.

Watch the amazing story of Nikola Tesla (John C. Reilly); the father of Western Technology, who sailed to America to meet Thomas Edison (Crispin Glover) and work for him.

Late one night Duncan Trussell had a six pack of beer and a bottle of absinthe and sat down to tell us about this historical event.

Starring John C. Reilly & Crispin Glover
Featuring Craig Anstett, Duncan Trussell & Jeremy Konner
Directed by Jeremy Konner
Created by Derek Waters
Written by Derek Waters & Tom Gianas
Edited by Neil Mahoney
Original Music by Eban Schletter
Cinematography by Hiro Murai
Production Design by Ryan Berg
Art Direction by Sara Kugelmass & David Michael Max
Eric Binns: First Assistant Director
Charity Ozarowski:

Mark Twain's letter to an Elixir Salesman

In November of 1905, an enraged Mark Twain sent this superb letter to J. H. Todd, a patent medicine salesman who had just attempted to sell bogus medicine to the author by way of a letter and leaflet delivered to his home. According to the literature Twain received, the 'medicine' in question - The Elixir of Life - could cure such ailments as meningitis (which had previously killed Twain's daughter in 1896) and diphtheria (which had also killed his 19-month-old son). Twain, himself of ill-health at the time and very recently widowed after his wife suffered heart failure, was understandably furious and dictated the following letter to his secretary, which he then signed.

Mark Twain Tonight!

Hal Holbrook plays Mark Twain, expounding upon Man, "the reasoning animal." The words in this scene come mostly from Twain's 1903 essay, "The Damned Human Race" and other essays, such as "Papers of the Adam Family".

Carlin: Twain Prize, American Humor

On June 18, 2008, four days before his death, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC announced that Carlin would be the 2008 honoree of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which was awarded on November 10, 2008. Carlin thus became the award's first posthumous recipient, a decision the Kennedy Center made after consulting with both Carlin's family and PBS (which aired the ceremony).

You Are Not Alone

Ever wonder if there are any other atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers out there? Here's a sample of celebrities, authors, scientists, athletes and more.

"San Franciscan Nights" is a 1967 song performed by Eric Burdon and The Animals, with words and music by the group's members, Eric Burdon, Vic Briggs, John Weider, Barry Jenkins, and Danny McCulloch. A paean to San Francisco, it was the biggest hit that the new band, as opposed to the first-incarnation Animals of the mid-1960s would have, reaching a peak position of number 1 on the Canadian RPM charts, number 9 on the U.S. pop singles chart and number 7 on the UK pop singles chart.

The song opens with a brief parody of the Dragnet theme. This is followed by a spoken word dedication by Burdon "to the city and people of San Francisco, who may not know it but they are beautiful and so is their city," with Burdon urging European residents to "save up all your bread and fly Trans Love Airways to San Francisco, U.S.A.," to enable them to "understand the song," and "for the sake of your own peace of mind."

The melody then begins with lyrics about a warm 1967 San Franciscan night, with hallucinogenic images of a "strobe light's beam" creating dreams, walls and minds moving, angels singing, "jeans of blue," and "Harley Davidsons too," contrasted with a "cop's face is filled with hate" (on a street called "Love") and an appeal to the "old cop" and the "young cop" to just "feel all right." Pulling in as many 1960s themes as possible, the song then concludes with a plea that the American dream include "Indians too."

Burdon's notion that San Francisco's nights are warm drew some derision from Americans more familiar with the city's climate best exemplified by the apocryphal Mark Twain saying "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" and music writer Lester Bangs thought Burdon's notion "inexplicable".

The Adventures of Mark Twain

Based on elements from the stories of Mark Twain, this feature-length Claymation fantasy follows the adventures of Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, and Huck Finn as they stowaway aboard the interplanetary balloon of Mark Twain. Twain, disgusted with the Human Race, is intent upon finding Halley's Comet and crashing into it, achieving his "destiny." It's up to Tom, Becky, and Huck to convince him hat his judgment is wrong, and that he still has much to offer humanity that might make a difference. Their efforts aren't just charitable; if they fail, they will share Twain's fate. Along the way, they use a magical time portal to get a detailed overview of the Twain philosophy, observing the "historical" events that inspired his works.

Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

A journey to freedom, seen from the river's perspective.

The spot has been directed by Brady Baltezore and produced by Mary Mathaisell at Radium.

Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo reads.

George Carlin Arrested for Seven Dirty Words

George Carlin, the influential comedian whose routines used profanity, scatology and absurdity to point out the silliness and hypocrisy of human life, has died. He was 71.
Carlin performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

Carlin performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, died of heart failure Sunday in Los Angeles, according to publicist Jeff Abraham. Carlin went into St. John's Health Center on Sunday afternoon, complaining of chest pain, and died at 5:55 p.m. PT.

Carlin performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, and maintained a busy performing schedule, which included regular TV specials for HBO.

"He was a genius and I will miss him dearly," Jack Burns, who was the other half of a comedy duo with Carlin in the early 1960s, told The Associated Press.

Carlin was often quoted, his best lines traded like baseball cards. "Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?" began one famous routine. Then there were the non-sequiturs: "The bigger they are, the worse they smell," he observed. He filled three best-selling books, several record albums and countless television appearances with his material.

He appreciated the impact his words made on fans.

"These are nice additional merit badges that you earn if you've left a mark on a person or on some people," he told CNN.com in 2004. "I'd say it's flattering, but flattery implies insincerity, so I call it a compliment."

But he was probably best known for a routine that began, "I was thinking about the curse words and the swear words, the cuss words and the words that you can't say." It was a monologue, known as "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television," that got Carlin arrested and eventually led to the Supreme Court.

The "Seven Dirty Words" bit, which was initially recorded for 1972's "Class Clown" album, prompted a landmark indecency case after New York's WBAI-FM radio aired it in 1973.

The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices ruled 5-4 that the sketch was "indecent but not obscene," giving the FCC broad leeway to determine what constituted indecency on the airwaves.

"So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I'm perversely kind of proud of," Carlin said. "In the context of that era, it was daring.

"It just sounds like a very self-serving kind of word. I don't want to go around describing myself as a 'groundbreaker' or a 'difference-maker' because I'm not and I wasn't," he said. "But I contributed to people who were saying things that weren't supposed to be said."

Carlin, who was also an author, was slated to receive in November the 2008 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, given by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

"In his lengthy career as a comedian, writer and actor, George Carlin has not only made us laugh, but he makes us think," Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen Schwarzman said in a statement. "His influence on the next generation of comics has been far-reaching."

In a typically wry response, Carlin said, "Thank you, Mr. Twain. Have your people call my people."

Carlin hosted the first broadcast of "Saturday Night Live" in October 1975.

He played the character of Mr. Conductor on the PBS series "Shining Time Station" and starred in more than a dozen HBO specials. Carlin was also a regular on The Tonight Show.

He produced 23 comedy albums, 14 HBO specials, three books, a couple of TV shows and appeared in several movies, from his own comedy specials to "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" in 1989, the AP reported.

He also starred in three of comedic director Kevin Smith's movie -- 1999's "Dogma," 2001's "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and 2004's "Jersey Girl." And his voice was so familiar and tuned to the craft of comedy that he was often asked to appear in cartoons, including Toon City's "Tarzan II," Disney's "Cars" and two episodes of "The Simpsons."

He won four Grammy Awards, each for best spoken comedy album, and was nominated for five Emmy awards, according to AP.