Tag Archives: TV

The Top 7 American Writers of the 20th Century

AALBC.com Founder, Troy Johnson on James Baldwin

I had the pleasure of speaking in a couple of the short video biographies, on American novelists, created by Bio.com, which is part of the  A+E Television Networks.  I spoke briefly about James Baldwin and Langston Hughes.

There were several more videos created.  I’ve posted a seven of them below — hence the title of this article.

James Baldwin

James Baldwin’s written works made him an important spokesman of the Civil Rights Movement. His essays explored the black experience in America and his novel,”Giovanni’s Room,” was one of the first to tackle homosexuality.

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was the leading voice of the Harlem Renaissance, showcasing the dignity and the beauty in ordinary black life. The hours he spent in Harlem clubs affected his work, making him one of the innovators of Jazz Poetry.

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her novels include “The Bluest Eye,” “Sula,” and “Beloved.”

Harper Lee

In 1961, Harper Lee became the only author to win the Pulitzer Prize for her first and only novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Jack Kerouac

As a writer and pioneer of the Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac epitomized the era of sex, drugs, and jazz. His novel “On the Road,” which he wrote in a three-week bender of writing frenzy, became the bible of the countercultural generation.

John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck gave voice to working class America. In 1939, he reported on migrant farm workers for the San Francisco Chronicle, providing the basis for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Grapes of Wrath.”

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut’s blend of black comedy and wild imagination in works such as “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “Cat’s Cradle” made him one of the most loved writers of all time.

All of the videos are posted here are provided courtesy of A+E Television Networks, LLC.  © 2012 All Rights Reserved.

The Days of Being Gouged by Cable TV Companies Are Over…

…well almost.

Two services, reported by the Wall Street Journal this morning, look very promising FilmOn.com and Ivi. TV.  Both of these services address my biggest complaint about cable television — cost.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, so I really dislike paying my cable company for channels I will never watch. The idea of locking into a long term contract for this “privilege” is equally irksome.

Both FilmOn.com and Ivi .TV will allow you to watch broadcast TV directly on your PC or mobile device.  I just tried FilmOn.com on my iPhone and it worked quite nicely.  No software was required, just browse to the website.

Ivi TV appears to be more feature rich, but charges a paltry $4.99 per month with a 30 day free trial.  Setting up this service was simple and fast.  The screen shot (above) is from my local, New York City, broadcast of the Dr. Oz Show.  I even learned from Doc Oz, while writing this Blog post, that Chamomile tea is better for you that a glass of red wine to help you sleep at night.

I wrote “well almost” because neither service provides the ability for you to watch TV on your regular television (at least not yet).  I enjoy television the most when I’m sharing the experience with family and friends or relaxing in bed before falling off to sleep.

In order to watch Internet delivered programming on my regular TV, I recently purchased the $99 AppleTV device.  It works wonderfully, allowing me to watch or listen to anything in my iTunes folder, Netflix, YouTube and a few other service I don’t currently use on my regular TV.  However, if you want to watch a live broadcast programming, like your local sports team, AppleTV is not the answer.

The bottom line is that virtually anything anyone would want to watch is available, via some web based source, for delivery to one’s desktop PC or mobile device.  However getting this stuff to your “real television” is still a kludgy, hit or miss, proposition for tech savvy early adopters.