Ten Favorite YouTube Channels (Writer’s Workshop)

Another mashup with The Thursday Ten!


Every time this prompt comes up, I do it, because YouTube is a great resource, and it seems that whenever I get this prompt I’ve found a few new channels. I’ll try not to repeat too much, so the other times I’ve done this prompt are here, here, and here.

Strange Mysteries describes itself this way: “Unexplained & Unsolved Mysteries of the World. All about ghosts, ufo’s, spirits, aliens, legends, paranormal activity & phenomena from magic, science, facts, and tales either real or some fake hoax.” Here is one of their latest, “7 Mysteriously Lost Great Cities.”

Today I Found Out is a channel dedicated to answering some of life’s greatest mysteries, including “Why Do Rice Krispies Snap, Crackle, and Pop?”

Looper describes itself as “the go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games we all love.” Not that I actually care about movies, TV shows, and particularly video games, but occasionally they have a pretty interesting video, such as “Creepy Things You Never Noticed In Classic Christmas Movies.”

AllTime10s tells us “we aim to bring you the most informative, fascinating and engaging top 10 videos on YouTube.” For example, “10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Christmas.”

News Be Funny Videos makes me laugh. They publish video collections of news bloopers, including crazy interviews, funny video bombs, double entendres, wardrobe malfunctions, demonstrations that don’t go as smoothly as one would hope, animal funnies, newsreaders in hysterics, etc. Here is “Best Live TV News Bloopers, 2016 (Part 1).” Part 2 is here, if you’re interested.

Techquickie features Linus Sebastian and presents topics of a technical nature, such as “What Happens To Discarded Electronics?”

NativLang‘s proprietor says “I’m animated about language! The history of written and spoken languages amazes me. I use stories and cartoons to bring linguistics to life.” Here’s “What Latin Sounded Like – and how we know.”

Langfocus‘s creator, Paul, says he’s “sharing [his] passion for languages and reaching out into the wider world.” Here he explains “What’s The Easiest Language To Learn?” And, for the record, Dutch is a very easy language to learn, but as he says, the Dutch speak very good English, so it might not be necessary. And the Netherlands, or as I call it Holland, is a wonderful country.

TopTenz creates a Top Ten list every day that’s available at 6 PM Eastern Time. For example, “Top Ten Awesome Things You Can Do With Household Objects.” Notice that Simon Whistler hosts both this channel and the “Today I Found Out…” one.

I used to play the bagpipes. While I no longer do so, I still enjoy listening to Scottish and Irish music played on the piob mhor. So, I love Jim Ramsay‘s channel. He has a number of videos of homecoming parades for troops returning from Afghanistan. Here is a video he took of massed pipe bands, most of them amateur, walking down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, from Edinburgh Castle to the Scottish Parliament building.

Yes, I have some rather eclectic tastes. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour through my brain as seen though my favorite YouTube channels.

A Thursday Ten/Writer’s Workshop Mashup: Some Favorite Instagram Accounts

So today Mama Kat asks us to sample a few of our favorite Instagram accounts. It’s Thursday, so ten oughta do it, right?


Tommy Emmanuel, C. G. P. “C. G. P.” stands for “Certified Guitar Player,” and it’s an honor Chet Atkins created (as a joke, really) and bestowed upon some of his favorite guitar players. That Tommy was one of them should tell you something, and if that doesn’t, the clip below will.

Chicago’s Extinct Businesses Those of us who grew up in Chicago, as with any big city, remember certain businesses that were once there that have long since disappered. Pete Kastanes finds pictures, ads, matchbook covers, and other memorabilia from those places and posts them to his account. He’s also active on Facebook.

Robert Crais is the author of the Elvis Cole, Joe Pike, and other books which I really enjoy. He’s pretty active on Instagram, and will share book covers, ads, pictures from book signings, and just pictures from his crazy life.

Oedipus The Cat I follow a lot of cats because I like cats. One of them is Oedipus, a Cornish Rex with plenty of personality.

Loyola Quinlan I am an alumnus of Loyola University Chicago’s School of Business (BBA in Operations Management, 1978) and like to keep up with what’s going on there.

O’Charley’s is a restaurant chain found primarily in the Southeastern US, though I think they’re trying to spread nationwide. We have one nearby and like to have lunch there about once a week. They have good food and great pie.

Crosswalk All-Stars An account dedicated to pictures of people in downtown crosswalks, primarily in Chicago and New York, both of which have lots of them.

Daily Facts – Now You Know Daily An account dedicated to image quotes about things you might not have known.

The Cooper Review is the brainchild of Sarah Cooper, a business website offering office humor and tech culture. She has some hilarious things on there.

Yvette Young is a very talented young woman who plays the guitar beautifully and composes beautiful tunes. Just watch her fingers.

There are so many more accounts I follow that are similar to these, but you get the idea. That’s Writer’s Workshop and The Thursday Ten for August 18, 2016.

Top Ten From WCFL, June 20, 1968

I had no luck with any of the prompts from Mama Kat this week, amnd thought, it’s been a while since I did a Thursday Ten… This just leapt out of my Facebook feed (where I always go when I’m really stuck for a topic). The person who posted it said that it was what we were listening to on this date in 1968, but the actual survey date is June 20, which was the Thursday of that week, making June 16 the Sunday… well, whatever. What I can tell you is this was Mom’s last week of school that year, which meant one week until she was around to supervise us (or, to put it another way, our last week of total anarchy, at least until 3:30 PM when she got home, that year).

Anyway, here’s the Top Ten from WCFL that week.



#10: Master Jack – 4 Jacks and a Jill This was headed back down the chart this week; it had been #8 the week before.

#9: How’d We Ever Get This Way – Andy Kim Its second week at #9.

#8: Like To Get To Know You – Spanky and Our Gang A semi-psychedelic tune from Chicago’s Spanky and Our Gang. (The other half of the semi was “easy listening.”) Down from #6 the week before.

#7: Macarthur Park – Richard Harris Who else thinks of Dave Thomas doing his impression of Richard Harris on “Mel’s Rock Pile” on SCTV? Here it is, in all its seven-minute glory. This was up from #10 the week before.

#6: Reach Out Of The Darkness – Friend & Lover One of those “peace, love, and understanding” songs from the late Sixties. I remember watching a White Sox doubleheader, and Friend & Lover appeared between games. You could hear them wailing this one during the interview. Thankfully, WFLD cut to a Meister Brau commercial halfway through. Down from #4 this week.

#5: Angel In The Morning – Merrilee Rush Up from #7 this week, a beautiful tune by a lovely singer. I was at the first Summerfest in Milwaukee, and saw a comedy duo singing this song. When they got to the line “Just touch my cheeks before you leave,” one of them grabbed his rear end, and it changed how I heard this song forever.

#4: I Love You – People This is the “long” version, with a full minute of psychedelia leading into the tune. Most radio stations cut that minute out because the song was “too long,” but for some reason they played all seven minutes of “Macarthur Park.” Up from #5 the week before.

#3: Yummy, Yummy, Yummy – The Ohio Express Most of us could have gone the rest of our lives without hearing this one again, but it was still high on the charts in Chicago this week. It was down from #2.

#2: Mrs. Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel S&G were a veritable hit machine in the late Sixties, and this was helped by the popularity of The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. This swapped places with “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” this week.

#1: This Guy’s In Love With You – Herb Alpert Herb Alpert was a force to be reckoned with. This was its second week at #1; it stayed at #1 until July 11, when it was knocked all the way to #5 by “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones, which wasn’t even on the survey this week.

Hope you enjoyed this look back into what we were listening to in the late Sixties. Did I play your favorite song from the period?

That’s the Thursday Ten for June 16, 2016.

My Top Ten Favorite Candies

It’s another mashup between the Writer’s Workshop and The Thursday Ten.



The prompt in question:

List your top 10 favorite candies.


I like just about any candy you have, and it shows, unfortunately. Anyway, these are the first ten I thought of.

Starlight Mints

I wrote about starlight mints for last year’s A to Z Challenge. (This year’s is coming up on April 1, by the way, and I hope you’ve signed up. If not, check this out for further details.)


We don’t go to movies like we used to, at least not since my stroke, because it’s too hard to get out of chairs once I get into them, but when we did, this was one of my favorite candies.


Another movie favorite. The same company comes out with all-black licorice ones, which are called Crows.


Yet another movie favorite. We went to the movies once and I bought a big bag of these. When I tried to open it, the bag tore and about a quarter of them spilled out onto the floor, making these little “ping”ing sounds. Was my face ever red…

Hershey Bars

Occasionally (i.e. when I can talk Mary into it), we get a couple of the big bars and split them. I’m not talking about the five-pound ones…

Tootsie Rolls

Not the big ones; the stubby ones and the ones the Knights of Columbus sell every year. I worked for a company that kept bowls of candy around, and these were one of them.

Snickers bars

If I can’t talk Mary into the Hershey bars, I can usually talk her into Snickers. Ron Santo, Hall of Fame third baseman from both Chicago teams (he played his last season for the White Sox), used to advertise these. Ron suffered from diabetes all his life, and a Snickers in the dugout would keep his blood sugar up during ballgames.


Another candy they used to have around the office, at practically every company I worked for. They used to pass around baskets of these during classes.

Candies from Ferrara Pan

This company is based in Forest Park, Illinois, just off the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290). They make Lemonheads (and other -heads candies), Boston Baked Beans, Jaw Breakers, and Red Hots. They merged with a couple of other candy companies and also produce gummy bears and other kinds of candy. I saw an episode of Unwrapped on The Food Network which visited the Ferrara company and saw how they make the “pan” candies. Really interesting: the process is similar to mixing cement or polishing rocks. I love shows like that, that show how things are made. I have a degree in Production and Operations Management, so I guess it figures.

jelly beans

I got my love of starlight mints from my grandmother; I got my love of jelly beans from my mother. They don’t even have to be Jelly Bellys or other designer brands; any old cheap jelly beans will do. Mom also liked spice drops, another favorite of mine. Like I said, I like just about any kind of candy.

I could probably do another ten, but that would be overkill. I mean, I didn’t talk about M&M’s (plain and peanut), Brach’s Royals (caramel candy with a flavored filling, like orange, maple, vanilla), Caramel Bullseyes (I liked eating the bull’s-eye first, then the caramel), or any of the others. What’s your favorite?

This Month’s Top Ten YouTube Channels


As hard as it’s been to get into Mama Kat’s prompts the last couple of weeks, this one’s easy:

List the top 10 YouTube channels you’re loving most this month.


So, we also have a Thursday Ten!



Notice that a big percentage of what I watch on YouTube fits into the category of “nostalgia.” I enjoy watching old documentaries, travel films, educational films, and especially old commercials from TV. I also really enjoy fingerstyle guitar, and have a couple of channels of some of the better players.

Jeff Quitney’s channel: Jeff’s channel is an eclectic combination of old commercials, training films, and documentaries. Here’s a commercial for Sanka brand coffee, circa 1965.

Classic Airliners and Vintage Pop Culture: This channel has a lot of videos of planes taking off and landing, and also has some documentary footage and vintage airline commercials from around the world. This is a 1970 Aeroflot promo spot.

Tommy Emmanuel: The amazing guitarist Tommy Emmanuel keeps his channel filled with new videos of him playing and offering his sage advice to other guitar players. Here he is playing Doc Watson’s “Deep River Blues.”

David Von Pein’s JFK Channel: David has an incredible channel of radio and TV clips, mostly dealing with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Here’s one of his more recent videos, a (relatively) short recording of JFK and his brother Robert presenting medals to three young Americans on June 8, 1962.

Jamie DuPuis: Jamie is a fantastic fingerstyle guitar player and singer with whom I’ve just recently become familiar. He also plays the harp guitar, as seen in this video of him playing Coldplay’s “Amazing Day.”

The Best Film Archives: A lot of documentary videos, mostly about military and war-related subjects. Here is a “Private Snafu” cartoon, created by the crazies at Warner Brothers, with the voice of Private Snafu (and several other characters) provided by Mel Blanc, about the importance of keeping your gas mask available.

Val73TV4: More documentary videos, mostly from before 1960, about a wide array of subjects. A lot of educational films, including this one, “Dating Do’s and Don’ts,” from the 1940’s.

Tolly’s Old Films: This looks like a new channel. Documentaries, educational films, and movie trailers. Here’s a health film from 1947, “Joan Avoids A Cold.”

TV Toy Memories: Vintage TV commercials from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Here’s Bullwinkle for Cheerios.

Captain Bijou: This is actually on Dailymotion; apparently the YouTube folks got tired of having to deal with all the copyright infraction complaints. Most of what he has on his channel has been well out of print for some time, but… anyway, more old TV and commercials here, as well as some short films like this Superman short George Reeves did for Stamp Day 1954.


I hope you enjoy these channels as much as I do!