Mathnet

Coming to NYC: A Square One TV/Mathnet 30th Anniversary Tribute Show!

Hey, Square One TV/Mathnet fans! 2017 marks 30 years since Square One Television first debuted on PBS! My, how time flies, eh? There’s so much that’s been going on within the fandom over the years that I need to take some time to point out all the amazing projects and social media posts I’ve found, although today, let’s just focus on this upcoming event.

The PIT’s Square One TV/Mathnet 30th Anniversary Tribute Show! Happening in NYC at the People’s Improv Theatre on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $5 – call ahead to reserve yours!

Square One TV 30th Anniversary Tribute Event

This is totally a dream fan project of sorts, so grab your 80s fashions and travel back in time, mathematics-style! One of the performers is an old Mathnet fandom friend of mine (hi, Heather!), so please do go and support all the hard work and talent behind this special event!

But Who’s Going?

Will I be there? I wish! Although if anyone attends and grabs video, pictures, etc., feel free to post here and/or share online! Go! Make me jealous! Maybe if it goes over well, they’ll do future performances…you never know!?!?! (PSST! Rumor has it some former cast members, writers and crew may also be in attendance.) I have been fortunate enough to keep in touch with many of the actors and behind-the-scenes crew over the years, so if anyone has a chance to meet any of them in person, tell them hello and shake their hands for me!

Connect With Fellow Fans!

The fan base has sort of migrated throughout social media over the years, starting on Usenet back in the late 90s, but for the time being, Facebook is the place to find many fans. Here are a few Square One TV-related groups/pages where you can post memories, pictures, stories, etc., at that:

Square One TV Page on Facebook (Like the page; it seems to be a semi-official one.)

MathNet – “To Cogitate and to Solve” (Public group)

Square One TV Math Fans (Closed group – request to join!)

Should any video and pictures materialize from the event, I’ll update this post to reflect it!

Enjoy! And until next time, “May the Math Be With You!

HBO Go: What’s SHE In?

Holy cow, it’s been awhile since I last posted, as in last year, but I’ve been quite busy doing the whole artist thing (go check out my Etsy shop if you’re interested in a sampling of the many things I’ve been working on), but I have a fun(ish) post to share today.

Last week, some new ads for HBO Go were suddenly stirring up quite the buzz on social media, featuring an “Awkward Family” watching some rather saucy scenes together from shows like Girls, True Blood, and Game of Thrones. My first exposure (pun intended) to this ad campaign was on my Facebook timeline, via a Time Magazine link. I noticed right away in the preview images one of the actors looked very familiar…

Where have I seen her before...hmm...

Where have I seen her before…hmm…

After checking out the ads, I knew why; the mom is played by Toni DiBuono, best known as Pat Tuesday, Mathnet.

By far the most popular of the seven clips, already reaching over 1 million views on YouTube since they debuted on April 21st, is one in which Toni doesn’t even speak – her facial expressions say it all. She walks in as her commercial son is watching True Blood.

WARNING – potentially NSFW video clip follows – click play at your own peril!

HBO Go Awkward Family Viewing from SS+K on Vimeo.

Hilarious, and effective. The rest of the ads are equally funny, and awkward, and Toni appears in 5 of the 7 ads. Go check them all out, and let’s hope we’ll see Toni in more stuff in the near future – hey, maybe they’ll spin this family off into their own series, or do some more ads!

Given the success of these ads, I’m thinking it might be a good time to do a follow-up interview/Q &A with Toni, so if anyone out there has questions about what she’s doing now, or anything not covered in Maia Weinstock’s great 2012 conversation with Ms. DiBuono (aka, Mrs. Michael McGrath), comment here!

By the way, if you have anything you’d like to shout at me on Twitter – I tend to retweet and comment about things on Mathnet/Square One TV when I find them, I can be found @JillthePillNet, though I do occasionally share and talk about other random things as well, so fair warning. 😉

An Open Letter to PBS.

Dear PBS,

Oh, how you taunt us so. A couple of weeks ago, you posted on your official Tumblr account this little teaser image:

Where in the World IS Carmen Sandiego?

…Carmen Sandiego?

And then…speculation started to flow from all corners of the Web. Even HuffPo covered it! New episodes? Reruns of old episodes? So much potential excitement here, and then…NOTHING. No follow-up posts as of yet. Boo. Hiss.

So, what’s the deal, PBS? Don’t you guys realize how EPIC this would be? Why tease the masses, then just crush their hopes with your “edited to add” business: “this is not about new episodes, but will be appreciated by any 90s kid…” Well, I was an 80s kid and I watched it, but I’ll let that slide. Are you going to do something, or not? And while we’re on the subject, PBS, let’s talk about some other shows that could prove useful for today’s kids. You did keep Reading Rainbow on the map for awhile, as well as Ghostwriter, you even refreshed The Electric Company, an “Old School” staple, as well as Zoom! for a time. Sesame Street continues to brighten the lives of young kids as well. So, how about a couple more that could use some revamping, or re-airing, at the very least: 3-2-1 Contact, and Square One TV. Oh, and of course, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (Let’s pretend that Noggin didn’t exist though, because it’s dead; well, it’s Nick Jr. now, and they didn’t always do these shows justice in rerun format.)

Granted, some of the materials and information on these shows may be a bit dated and in the case of “Carmen,” inaccurate, but in a time where American kids are falling behind in math, science, and geography, let’s at least put some reruns back. Better yet, DVD releases of these shows. Ever heard the phrase “shut up and take my money” used online? Surely you have. You would have SO MANY former kids fully prepared to hurl massive amounts of money at you if you put these shows out on DVD. You might not even need to have pledge drives for awhile if you do it right. Teachers and parents want this stuff in their homes, trust me. As someone who created the site for “Mathnet” (yes, it needs updating, I KNOW), I can tell you I have received a lot of E-mails about this very thing for years now, and the more people hear about possible renewed interest in these 80s and 90s after-school staples for kids, the more people will crawl out of the woodwork wanting to know more. And they’re waiting…

I could go on for quite a while about this, but what I’m saying here is: pay attention to the media buzz! Look at the likes, shares and mentions on all the major sites  – there’s your target audience, plus any new fans you pick up along the way. If you follow through with these teasers, it’ll be a move you won’t regret, and kids are about to go back to school – is there any better timing? 

So, do it. Do it, Rockapella!

With Love (that remains to be seen),

Me, and Legions of Other Fans.

Time Marches On.

Wow, June has come to an end already. Half the year gone POOF? What is with that? Seriously, time…just slips away, no matter where you are or what you do. Let this serve as a reminder that life and time is short, so make the most of it! 🙂

So many things as usual on the mind, recently lost a beloved furry friend (R.I.P., Mr. Biddles), but I am finding, as time marches on, that things that were giving me worries and regrets earlier this year are no longer important enough to fret over, or rather, have faded into the past where they belong. Feelings of anxiety, emptiness, anger, frustration, sadness, all that is no longer hounding me, or very rarely these days. The time I have had to focus on finding myself in my element again has been good medicine, and surely a few of those who have been following along don’t want to hear that, but perhaps the problem isn’t really me, in that case. 😉 Finding what is going to make my life the best it can be (while the show is just me) is the main task for my life. While I am here to support and care for those in need (ALWAYS), and even those who don’t need it at this time, we have to look out for ourselves first and foremost; if you lose yourself in trying too hard to please everyone else, avoiding making waves to a point you become a pushover, blankly going through the motions, getting back to YOU can be a difficult journey. But honestly, I need not go on about that, because I have found peace in the process of moving ahead, and that is giving me motivation to tackle the things I had pushed aside for a long time. Don’t like that? Too bad; nobody’s making you read this anyway, and my give-a-damn’s busted. 😛

The coming months will be busier yet; over the past months, I’ve been working gradually toward making art my (eventual) full-time life; it takes time to get everything just right, with projects and client work on all sides, but it will be worthwhile for those who have been waiting ever-so-patiently to get things launched and up for sale in my design business. If you haven’t hopped over there yet, check out my business site at JillthePill Design (currently a landing page), and track the progress, answer polls and “like” the page over at Facebook; it’s nearly launch time, but before I unwrap the site, I’m working on getting physical goods made and assembled, while also helping my mom get her stuff going, too. (If you like one-of-a-kind, fine jewelry pieces, her stuff will be right up your alley!) My aim is to avoid any bumps in the road upon opening the virtual shop doors, so fingers crossed that works out!

Spring? Plants? I hate them. I made my zom-bees months before Grumpy Cat became a thing, but if the shoe fits, Tardar would hate these, too.

This is a Zom-BEE™. Don’t you want to own one of these “happy” fellas? I think you do…

Other than that, nothing of terrible importance to report at this time; once things have officially launched, I intend to get back into tackling those personal projects that have languished for far too long…yes, that means you guys, Mathnet fans. In fact, Mental_Floss recently posted an article that pays homage to the show, and we have dropped the ball a bit with keeping things updated. Enjoy things as they are now, and know that they will be revamped one of these days…we (the fans) really want to inspire enough confidence in the folks at Sesame Workshop so maybe they’ll finally bring Square One TV back – the youth of today could certainly use it!

Okay, that’s it for this month, since it’s essentially over now. Enjoy the summer (or winter, depending where you are), and I’ll be here to yap at nobody in particular (probably just myself at this point) at some point in July. Take care! 😀

3/3/13 – World Dyscalculia Day

Yay, it’s World Dyscalculia Day!

Uhhhhh…WHAT?

So, I started to touch on the topic of Dyscalculia in my last post, and I intend to further break it down into a series of posts over time, but this is a good time to summarize it, on the very day set aside each year for Dyscalculia awareness (always 3/3; how fitting for it to be a lovely fraction).

There is SO MUCH I want to say about it, but seriously, it can’t be summed up in a short post, and writing a novel will only bore people in a sea of new knowledge (tl;dr ;)), given how few actually know what it is. There are a lot of people out there who have this and only wish they could turn to someone who gets it, or knew more about it themselves, or wish to find a community of fellow “sufferers” where they’ll fit in and can relate to.

What is Dyscalculia exactly? It’s a learning disorder involving numbers, but not just numbers. Rather than write a painfully long description when other sites explain it very well, head over to the Dyscalculia Forum site and read up for a good breakdown (I’ll wait…). This does not mean we’re stupid and/or lazy, or aren’t trying hard enough to understand things like handling money, reading a map or organizing a space, or that we’re just choosing not to do something because we don’t like/feel like it, we actually lack the ability to grasp these concepts; our brains simply cannot make heads or tails of it (pun intended). It’s like any other form of dyslexia – you can try to learn, practice for hours, and no matter how much you put into it, your brain will never retain the information, or very little of it, and scrambles it around furiously without ever actually understanding it. Ooh, and the resulting brain pain. 😛

Month One, Complete.

Well, how quickly the time flies, the end of January already? That means my first month in this new adventure of being self-employed is wrapping up. 2012 ended with feelings of guilt and a bit of anxiety, 2013 starting with the next phase of sorts: emptiness. The first couple of weeks I felt so empty, that vessel-full of frustration and futility suddenly giving way to a new, fresh slate. It was weird…I just felt nothing for a time, it’s like a mourning process, I guess: guilt, anxiety, emptiness, and now acceptance and the slow adjustment of my new life. I don’t regret it, though, because I am seeing life has put me where I need to be when I need to be, and I’m keeping busy with projects. Motivation comes in waves, inspiration pops up at rather interesting times, and coffee has become a dear friend, which leads to burning a lot of midnight oil these days. I do need to work on that, trying to keep a normal person’s sleeping schedule. I’ve had to kick my ass a bit, tell myself to “snap out of it” and get into this new groove, but as the weeks have passed, it’s getting easier.

Michael McGrath, We Salute You!

Photo Credit: Broadway World

Congratulations to Michael McGrath on his Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical! This was his second Tony nomination; the first was in 2005 for his role of “Patsy” in Monty Python’s Spamalot; this was his first win!

In a  year where no horses would win the Triple Crown, Michael managed to pull off a “Triple Crown” awards sweep of his own for his role of Cookie McGee in Nice Work if You Can Get It by winning the Tony, as well as the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards.

I’ve been following Michael’s work for years, along with that of his wife, Toni DiBuono, who Mathnet fans will remember as Pat Tuesday. Both of them are very talented actors who have been pretty under-appreciated, in my opinion. (I have fan sites set up for both of them, but they are in serious need of updating, so I won’t be linking to them here.) At last, Mr. McGrath gets his due props after years of successful performances on and off Broadway. Congratulations on the well-deserved accolades – here’s to many more to come! 🙂

Here’s his short but very sweet speech (on YouTube) upon accepting the Tony, with a little hint at the end about his next role (in the musical adaptation of The Honeymooners). Toni responded to the news via Facebook, saying: “It was pretty awesome and surreal.

Fun Fact: Michael appeared in an episode of Mathnet, as bad guy “Barney Oldmeal,” in The Case of the Parking Meter Massacre (before Toni was cast on the show): Watch it On YouTube!

Fact #2: His last name is pronounced “McGrahhh.”

For other Q’s & A’s about Michael: Playbill.com’s Cue & A 

Since it’s International Geek Pride Day…

I may as well post a teaser image… 😉

(Click to embiggen!)

Is that a...a...first draft?

I bet you wonder how this reads…

And nope, not gonna tell you how I managed to get my hands on it, at least, not yet. Just know that it’s very different from what you see in the actual episode, by quite a lot. And no, the entire episode isn’t available on YouTube, but you can see a couple of the parts:

Thursday’s Episode of “Mystery Weekend” (full Square One episode).

Friday’s Episode of “Mystery Weekend” (full Square One episode).

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for more updates to come…eventually. 😀

P.S. 5+25+12 = 42!

A Peek at Things to Come…

SQTV Season 3

A rare find, as far as press materials go. Image Provided by Jeff Thurman (Son of the late Jim Thurman.)

This is just a sample of things to come on the site; this particular rare press image came from Jeff Thurman, son of the late Jim Thurman, who was co-creator and writer of Square One TV/Mathnet. You may also remember Jim as Vern of Dick and Vern, as well as having been a part of other CTW shows back in the day, among other things.

There are some other exciting developments on the horizon (check the “Tweetbox” for vague hints and such), mostly including that promised overhaul of the Mathnet section of the site. 8)

I have noticed more and more clips appearing on YouTube (uploaded by other fans), just in case you need something to tide you over. 😉

I am still trying to figure out all the inner workings of WordPress, so please bear with me!

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