Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

The Onion on 'This American Life': Hard to explain

As a public radio employee, this Onion headline caught my eye today: "Ira Glass Tries To Explain 'This American Life' At High School Reunion."

I've stood around trying to explain what "This American Life" is to friends before, and likely falling short of capturing what it is that makes it so special or even how to best explain its format and subject matter, so this rang true for me.

The universal public radio closer to the article: "After Glass left the reunion early, a number of sympathetic attendees took up a collection for their old acquaintance, as Glass had mentioned that he relied almost entirely on donations."

This dynamic has gone the other way before; "This American Life" did one of my all-time favorite segments a couple years ago taking a look at the Onion writers' room. It's a fun look at what goes into creating the Onion's articles; you can check out the episode here.


Windows 'Double Rainbow' ad - Meme oversaturation of the day

Everyone's trying to figure out this Internet stuff, with corporations trying to figure out how to turn all the free content out there into something that makes money.

You've also got those outside the large corporations who develop an audience, either intentionally or unintentionally.

The latest mashup of these two worlds comes with the world famous Double Rainbow Guy, aka Paul “Hungry Bear” Vasquez, doing an ad for Microsoft.

Wait, Microsoft?

Yup! He uses the Windows Live Photo Gallery in the new ad to stitch together photos of - say it with me - a double rainbow.

(Of course, I'm not sure it makes a ton of sense to recast him as a still photographer when he became known for a video that he shot of the double rainbow, but whatever.)

(via Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish)

(Note: Yes, I know Mr. Vasquez is a still photographer; just pointing out that he's best known for video.)


Neil Patrick Harris continues quest to host everything with Fashion's Night Out

Neil Patrick Harris, star of "How I Met Your Mother," "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" and the classic "Doogie Howser, M.D.," will host the Fashion's Night Out special on CBS Tuesday, September 14.

Harris has become a mainstay of the awards circuit. He's hosted by the Primetime Emmys, the Tony Awards, the TV Land Awards and, I'm not making this up, the World Magic Awards. He appeared at the Academy Awards, delivering an opening musical number, and returned to the Emmys as a presenter just this past weekend.

Aside from award shows, Harris also hosted Saturday Night Live last year. His prolific nature doesn't stop there, as he also recently directed a production of "Rent" at the Hollywood Bowl (his first foray into directing), he just voiced Spider-Man in a recent video game, he appeared on "Glee" last season, did a voice for a recent Batman animated film, and has another Harold and Kumar project coming up. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.


Emmys - Opening sketch featuring Glee cast and... girl from the CW?

I was watching the Emmys opening sketch, featuring host Jimmy Fallon and the Glee cast doing their interpretation of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." They had a lot of help, including appearances by Tina Fey, Jon Hamm, Jorge Garcia from Lost, Betty White and many more.

However, while I like to think I'm someone who follows pop culture, a woman leaped onto the screen who my memory banks could provide absolutely no explanation for.

Thanks to the power of the Internet, I discovered that this was, of course... Nina Dobrev? Still no idea. Apparently she's on "The Vampire Diaries" on the CW.

So, did you know who this was, or are you, like me, now feeling super old for not recognizing her?

You can watch the Emmys opening below:

Some of our listeners live-blogged the Emmys on The Freeway, KPCC’s new listener-led community on Facebook.


Cover of Radiohead's 'Creep' from 'The Social Network' trailer

I've always loved Radiohead's "Creep," so I was struck by the cover used in the trailer for "The Social Network," the new movie about the founding of Facebook. The trailer for the Aaron Sorkin-penned, David Fincher-directed new film features a choir singing the classic song. Here's the song, as sung by Belgian women's choir Scala and Kolacny Brothers.

Another of my favorite covers of the song is this one by Prince from Coachella 2008.

Check out the trailer for "The Social Network" below; the film opens October 1.

(Via Entertainment Weekly's Music Mix)