Tag Archives: CBS “Sunday Morning”

Techno Claus Comes To Town. Wait — He Already Lives Here!

One of the highlights of the holiday season — far better than fruitcake, much less stressful than holiday parties — is Techno Claus.

That’s “CBS Sunday Morning”‘s annual present to viewers. “Santa” — who for some reason has a New York-ish accent — offers viewers a whimsically rhyming musical look into some of the season’s more intriguing high-ish tech items.

It doesn’t take Einstein to figure out that Techno Claus is really David Pogue.

His clever patter and fun piano playing are no surprise. The nationally known tech writer/journalist/author/TV star majored in music at Yale, then spent his first 10 years after graduation working in New York, with a theatrical agency, and as a conductor and arranger on Broadway.

Pogue is also a longtime Westporter. Yesterday’s gift to viewers had a decidedly local flavor.

Nearly all of the scenes were filmed at his house: inside, in front and out back.

The only other locale was Granola Bar. That was for a segment on a reusable straw. Okay, it’s not exactly high tech — but it is important.

Click below to see Pogue’s Santa’s take on a speaker with scents; a spy camera for pets (it dispenses treats too); a keyboard for phones, and a wallet with tracker.

Ho ho ho!

Sunday Morning With Linda Hunt

Every week, another person tells me to watch “CBS Sunday Morning.” Every week, it seems, there’s some great interview, story or factoid.

If I had watched this morning, for example, I would have seen an intriguing interview with Linda Hunt.

And buried there, halfway through the piece, was this: the 67-year-old, 4-foot-9 star of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” 1984 Oscar winner for “The Year of Living Dangerously,” and (of course) narrator in the God of War video franchise grew up in Westport.

Linda Hunt

Linda Hunt

“Everybody either wanted to take care of me or push me around,” the woman born Lydia Susanna Hunter told Lee Cowan. “I was teased a lot…. Fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade, everybody was taking their spurts except me. I was not growing up.”

A form of dwarfism stunted her growth, “Sunday Morning” said. But when her parents took her to her first Broadway show — a production of “Peter Pan” — Hunt realized the stage was a place where she might feel taller. There, she could pretend to be anything.

Wikipedia says that Linda’s mother, Elsie Doying Hunter, taught piano at the Westport School of Music, and accompanied the Saugatuck Congregational Church choir.

Yahoo! Movies  says she “took her first stab at acting at age 12 while performing in a production of ‘Flibbertigibbet’ at Westport’s famed Silver Nutmeg Theater.”

Linda attended the Interlochen Arts Academy— s0 it appears she’s not a Staples grad — and the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago.

In 1969 she returned to Westport to study acting with Robert Lewis at Bambi Lynn’s studio, TCM.com says. The next year her career took off. She played Joan of Arc in a 1-woman show at Long Wharf.

Linda Hunt, with her Oscar.

Linda Hunt, with her Oscar.

Since then she’s been a 2-time Obie winner, and a Tony nominee. She played alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger — as opposite from her as anyone can be — in “Kindergarten Cop.”

She’s been in a 26-year relationship with Karen Klein. They married in 2008.

And now?

Her current contract will take her into her 70s. “CBS This Morning” concluded:

Not bad for a woman whose own parents feared might be too small to stand out on stage. Half a century later, their small wonder still has audiences looking up.

And — thanks to a show nearly everyone but me seems to watch — looking back on a career that began 55 years ago, right here in Westport.

(Click here for a great WestportNow.com photo of Linda Hunt as a Saugatuck Elementary School 1st grader — standing next to future first selectman Gordon Joseloff.)

Pogue In Vogue: St. Nick’s Tech-y Tricks

If you think being David Pogue is hard work, try being Pogue plus Santa Claus.

David "Techno Claus" Pogue

David “Techno Claus” Pogue

You’ve got to be a whiz-bang expert on every tech gadget. You’ve got to travel the world distributing the right gadgets to every (good) boy or girl.

And you’ve got to rhyme everything. Every year. On national TV.

Here’s how Westport’s resident tech expert/ Christmas icon started yesterday’s CBS “Sunday Morning” shtick:

You think you get stressed when you get on a flight?
Try my job: to fly the whole world in one night!
I got reindeer with rabies, and scrapes on the sleigh,
And that hurricane – hoo! Nearly blew me away!

But I do it. You know? For it’s all a good cause:
To spread joy via gadgets – that’s me, Techno Claus.

Now, this year, some folks are in financial jams,
So everything here’s below 100 clams.

Techno Claus went on to list 7 great gifts. Far more impressively, he rhymed “wealthier schmucks” with “70 bucks.”

Pogue’s poetry is particularly blog-worthy because the video was filmed entirely in Westport. Even Christie’s Country Store takes a star turn:

David "Techno Claus" Pogue at Christie's

Ho ho ho!

(Click here to see the entire CBS “Sunday Morning” video.)

Stephen Wilkes Stops Time

Westport artist Stephen Wilkes spends 15 hours a day in a bucket truck, suspended high over whichever New York scene he’s shooting: Central Park. Times Square. Coney Island.

He’ll shoot 1,400 images — and never take a bathroom break.

But that’s not even the most remarkable thing about his work.

Washington Square Park (Photo by Stephen Wilkes)

Wilkes spends the next 4 months examining every single shot. He searches for tiny, telling details, like 2 men’s hands that seem to reach toward each other — taken several hours apart.

He stitches his favorite shots together. Sure, he uses a computer — but it’s hands-on, intricate, intensely tedious work.

When he’s done, Wilkes has produced a “Day to Night” shot. It’s as if 1 photo shows a 15-hour span.

Of course, it’s dozens of images. Amazingly — though one side of his work is light, the other dark — you can’t see any separation at all.

This past Sunday, “CBS Sunday Morning” profiled the Westporter’s astonishing artistry.

A national audience heard Wilkes describe “Coney Island.” The right side of the photo — the beach — was crowded during the day. The left side — the amusement park rides — were equally packed at night. The dividing line, though, was nowhere to be seen. Day morphed subtly into night, just as it does at the real Coney Island.

Coney Island. (Photo by Stephen Wilkes)

CBS showed other Wilkes works. There was the Flatiron Building — taken on September 11, 2010 — with “ghost lights” from the Twin Towers. Central Park, in an ice storm. Washington Square Park, where brides kept appearing at different times during the day.

Though New York offers a seemingly endless array of “Day Into Night” possibilities, Wilkes may soon turn his 15-hour lens on Shanghai. Or Jerusalem.

Months later, the world will see his spectacular images.

All of which he works on — day and night — right here in Westport.

Flatiron Building (Photo by Stephen Wilkes)

(Click here to view the CBS-TV “Sunday Morning” video clip.)