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18h48 UTC; FRIDAY, 27 JANUARY 2012: It'd be interesting to find out what exactly prompted Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak to go on ESPN2 the other night and explain that, back when he first began hosting the long-running game show alongside Vanna White in 1981, the two used the dinner break during tapings of the show (which, back then, were at the NBC studios in Beautiful Downtown Burbank) to drink margaritas galore at a Mexican restaurant across the street from the studios thus renowned ... and when it was time to resume taping, Sajak was so drunk, he couldn't see many of the letters in the puzzle clearly.

In its turn, prompting one of the breakfast-show reporters at HLN to suggest that there must be tapes of the episodes in question still around, which would be "rather hilarious" in context. (Or was it that such scenes were edited from the final broadcast tape, what with the disclaimer in the end credits about "portions of this programme not affecting the final outcome of the game were edited"?)

"Today's show was presented live before a taped audience ..."

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The St. Paul Winter Carnival may now be underway--howbeit without two snow-critical events, lack thereof forcing the cancellation of the Snow Sculpture Competition (which was scheduled for the Minnesota State Fairgrounds) and the sled-dog competitions (scheduled for White Bear Lake). Still, though, you have their Royal Family coronations and the Grande Day Parade tomorrow ...

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Talk about dumb publicity stunts: It's now emerged that the antics of U.S. Senator Rand Paul at Nashville airport the other day at a TSA checkpoint (with video of the whole available) were actually staged, manipulated even, by his father Ron's way-out-of-right-field Presidential campaign; the better for prolefeed value vis-a-vis "an emerging police-state mindset" as "endangers our cherished liberties."

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Latest triumph for the Canadian space programme (or reasonable facsimile thereof): Two Toronto high-school students, working on a budget of but C$400, successfully launched a weather balloon equipped with video cameras and GPS positioning gear--and a LEGO man in the RCMP's traditional scarlet tunic, holding the maple leaf flag--to a heighth of 15 miles (24 km), the video cameras recording the whole experience. (You can see the CTV News report on the adventure right here.)

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Staying with Canada for the nonce, eh, Your Correspondent understands that The Once and Future Waterpark Capital of the World, otherwise known as Wisconsin Dells, has been attracting a steady count of Canadian visitors during recent summer seasons (in particular from Manitoba, central Ontario and Alberta) as are attracted to the waterslides and wavepools, and then some, as Midwest Americans. The which is not lost on their Visitor and Convention Bureau, who are studying the prospect of whether to launch marketing efforts as target Canadians (especially considering where, thanks to the exchange rate between the Canadian and American dollars being more favourable to the former of late, the United States may be an amazing value for money to Canadian visitors).

But let's just hope that in promoting Wisconsin Dells to the Canadians, they don't play up offensive stereotypes or traits of character about Canada or Canadians that the "Great White North" routine on SCTV made infamous (especially such about supposedly funny accents and overdone Canadian Exceptionalism) to the point of Ottawa issuing a Diplomatic Protest (in both English and French) which can quickly be exploited by the Luscious Glory of nativist and xenophobic excess here in the United States.

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It looks as if bigotry may INDEED be hereditary, acquired even: Newly-released British research as draws on some American such in this respect suggests that bigotry, nativism, xenophobia, racism even, may be the acquired byproducts of a conservative upbringing combined with poor education. But then again, let's not forget the possible influences of upbringing in a socioeconomically-disadvantaged community lacking realistic job or career prospects beyond the unskilled or deskilled, the sort where conservative mindsets are especially likely to hold high carnival.

Especially where the clear "lack of positive role-models" conservative prolefeed insists happens only among National Minorities, Muslims and Jews may be obvious, yet discreet (such as the paterfamilias spending too much time playing cards, drinking beer and swapping conspiracy theories in misogynistic bullfests to the detrius of their children's well-being) ... and the prevailing mentality of the community is one as could easily be right out of Afrikaner nationalist campaigns for Reddingsdaad down South Africa way out of the 1930's whose slogan was 'n Volk red homself ("a people rescues itself"), with the aid of God and ekonomesie vryheid met Amerikaanse eienskappe "gebore ons die Volk, die Volk te doen" as Great White Father.



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