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Mad men, vagrants and secret symbols

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I'm the type of person who doesn't like to come into a new TV series in the middle. Not that I watch much TV, but when I do, I'm pretty loyal from the pilot onward and don't like wondering what I missed. Of course, with iTunes, it's now possible to download episodes of certain shows that have deals with Apple for less than the price of a gallon of gas. So it's been with AMC's new series Mad Men.

With Baby Jack taking up so much of our lives, my wife and I missed the first half-dozen episodes. In fact, I didn't know anything about the show until I heard some colleagues discussing it at the office over lunch one day.

If you haven't checked it out yet, do! It's set in an advertising agency in NYC during the early1960s and features one of the best-looking, most authentic sets in recent memory. Danish teak in every room, ashtrays and cigarettes in every scene, and wonderful attention to detail in the costumes, musical selections, and, sadly, the characters' treatment of women and minorities. Even the pacing of the show matches that of a show made in 1960 vis-à-vis today. (Which might be a turn off to those raised on Aaron Sorkin, but not me.)

Created by a former Sopranos producer/writer named Matthew Weiner, the show uses flashbacks much the way David Chase did for Tony Soprano to help fill in the backstory regarding the childhood of its protagonist—in this case, Don Draper, the creative director for Sterling Cooper advertising agency.

Other than plugging the show with the hopes of boosting its ratings and, therefore, doing my part to help secure a re-order for next season, I wanted to write about something I learned on a recent episode (gotta love shows that work all kinds of cool, accurate trivia into their storylines). I had no idea, but apparently there's a code of symbols that vagrants once relied on (and perhaps still do) when stopping for the night. With a piece of chalk, or a knife, they'd etch a symbol like the ones you see below into a fence post or a backdoor to alert future tramps who might be passing through. The images below come from this site, which has many more for the mildly curious. For the very curious, I really do urge you to catch the reruns on AMC or head over to iTunes and download the episodes. I'd be surprised if you didn't like "˜em.

Anyone agree? Disagree?

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Shout! Factory
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entertainment
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathon Is Back
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Shout! Factory

For many fans, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is as beloved a Thanksgiving tradition as mashed potatoes and gravy (except funnier). It seems appropriate, given that the show celebrates the turkeys of the movie world. And that it made its debut on Thanksgiving Day in 1988 (on KTMA, a local station in Minneapolis). In 1991, to celebrate its third anniversary, Comedy Central hosted a Thanksgiving Day marathon of the series—and in the more than 25 years since, that tradition has continued.

Beginning at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, Shout! Factory will host yet another Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day marathon, hosted by series creator Joel Hodgson and stars Jonah Ray and Felicia Day. Taking place online at ShoutFactoryTV.com, or via the Shout! Factory TV app on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and select smart TVs, the trio will share six classic MST3K episodes that have never been screened as part of a Shout! Factory Turkey Day Marathon. Here’s hoping your favorite episode makes it (cough, Hobgoblins, cough.)

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CableTV.com
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Pop Culture
America's Favorite Reality Shows, By State
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CableTV.com

From aspiring crooners to housewives looking to settle scores, there are plenty of reality shows out there for every interest. But which ones are currently the most popular? To answer this question, CableTV.com mined Google Trends data to measure the most-watched “real-life” programs in each state. They broke their findings down in the map below.

The results: Residents of sunny California and Arizona are still Keeping Up With the Kardashians, while Texans love Little Women: Dallas. Louisianans can’t get enough of Duck Dynasty and in Utah, viewers are tuning in to Sister Wives.

See which other shows made the cut below, and afterwards, check out CableTV.com’s deep data dive from 2016 to see how our viewing preferences have changed over a year.

A map breaking down each state's favorite reality show, created by the CableTV.com team.
CableTV.com

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