Who is John Daker?

I decided to make a website dedicated to John Daker. Check it out here…


If you haven’t already seen the video ‘My name is John Daker’ yet, here it is…

[I updated this section after reading Michelle Cooter’s comment below – thanks Michelle!]

I did some research to try and find out more about him, but information is sparse. According to this video from Michelle Cooter’s YouTube channel, John, or Mr Daker, as he is known to his closest friends, may have died a few years ago. Michelle says that she used to perform with Rev Cooper Unsicker, and that Rev always played too fast, which explains John’s lyricism. There’s a video here of Michelle with Rev Unsicker, which has a similar background and set up as the John Daker video (perhaps filmed at the same performance?).

Most awesomely, Michelle has footage of John Daker singing the Woody Woodpecker song. At first I thought it was just a rumor that someone made up to get everyone unnecessarily excited, but Michelle has posted a video. It’s amazing, and gives just a glimpse Mr Daker’s breadth of experience. Some great close ups too.

Some guy on some blog says he uploaded the John Daker video to the internet after his friend gave him a VHS copy of the segment (which he speculates was perhaps a second generation copy). Some claim that there was a sort of cult following of the show when it was first broadcast bi-annually on public access television. (This kind of reminds me of the owner/uploader of the video ‘Jesus is my friend‘, who said that they played the VHS tape to everyone who came over in the pre-internet era – a kind of viral video without the internet).

Also, according to the comments, Reva Unsicker was born in 1915 and died in 1995. And that’s all I could find out about John. If you find any more reliable information, let me know.

Here’s the John Daker sing-a-long, the John Daker sextet (which includes a close up of some great jaw work at 0:45), and the Hitler bunker verion…


Highlights of 2012

Here’s the summary of my blog highlights from last year. Thanks WordPress for this bleak reflection of modernity…

“A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,400 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 57 trips to carry that many people. In 2011, there were 9 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 31 posts. There were 19 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month. The busiest day of the year was November 23rd with 282 views. The most popular post that day was JFK is Dead.”


Who are you and why are you reading this blog?

So, I don’t often post things on this so-called ‘blog’, and often it’s not original, and often it’s not very good. So, that brings me to the question raised by the statistics that WordPress presents to me when I look at my blog every few months to try and work out why it exists and what it’s purpose is. Here are those statistics now…

As you can see in the graph, people are reading my blog, even though I haven’t put up anything new in about three months. On most days, more than five people look at my blog. In the past week, 10 people have looked at an article I cobbled together which includes videos from youtube, infographic I pinched from somewhere, and some information copied from Wikipedia. I find this concerning.

Who are these people? Robots? People with visual impairments? Scott? And why has the internet reached such a stage that people feel that useful or entertaining information can be gained from visiting this particular website (i.e. this one). If you are one of these people, perhaps you should leave a comment below, explaining your actions.

Nice foxes and super-villain rats

Here’s some stuff I recently discovered about genetics and animal breeding ‘research’. Sounds like these people are more interested in breeding a race of super-villain rats to take over the world (that’s assuming that everything I’ve learned about the Soviet Union from Get Smart is true…).

Excerpts from Wikipedia about breeding tame foxes

Domesticated Silver Fox

“The domesticated silver fox (marketed as the Siberian fox) is a domesticated form of the silver morph of the red fox. As a result of selective breeding, the new foxes not only became tamer, but more dog-like as well.

The result of over 50 years of experiments in the Soviet Union and Russia, the breeding project was set up in 1959 by the Soviet scientist Dmitri Belyaev. It continues today at The Institute of Cytology and Genetics at Novosibirsk, under the supervision of Lyudmila Trut.

The Russian researchers have partnered with the American company SibFox to distribute these foxes as pets internationally.

Belyaev believed that the key factor selected for domestication of dogs was not size or reproduction, but behavior; specifically, amenability to domestication, or tameability. He selected for low flight distance, that is, the distance one can approach the animal before it runs away. By selecting this behavior it mimics what happened through natural selection in the ancestral past of dogs.

Following the demise of the Soviet Union, the project has run into serious financial problems.”

Full Wikipedia article here…

Excerpts from a New York Times article about breeding super-villain rats

A Nice Rat

“Studying the genetics of domestication, Dmitri K. Belyaev developed colonies of silver foxes, river otters and minks, as well as rats, starting in 1959. On an animal-breeding farm in Siberia are cages housing two colonies of rats. In one colony, the rats have been bred for tameness in the hope of mimicking the mysterious process by which Neolithic farmers first domesticated an animal still kept today. When a visitor enters the room where the tame rats are kept, they poke their snouts through the bars to be petted.

The other colony of rats has been bred from exactly the same stock, but for aggressiveness instead. These animals are ferocious. When a visitor appears, the rats hurl themselves screaming toward their bars.

“Imagine the most evil supervillain and the nicest, sweetest cartoon animal, and that’s what these two strains of rat are like,” said Tecumseh Fitch, an animal behavior expert at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland who several years ago visited the rats at the farm, about six miles from Akademgorodok, near the Siberian city of Novosibirsk.”

Full New York Times article here…