Sunday, August 26, 2007

Apple #263: Sesame Street, Pinball Number Count

I have a certain song in my head right now. It arrives often. It's an old, old friend.

This one is a medley of several of the skits put together.

And this version highlights Number 7.

One of the things I remember for sure is how the blimp at the very end never makes it to the right edge of the frame. Every time I'd watch and hope, but of course, every time it would stop just short of the frame. Maybe in heaven, that will be one of the things that gets completed and I will sigh and say, "Ah, thank you."

  • The song's official name is Pinball Number Count and was released in 1972.
  • It was performed by The Pointer Sisters -- all four of them.
  • Although the song is meant to teach children to count from 1 to 12, and there are different variations for each number, they never made a version for the number 1.
  • Music and lyrics were composed by Walt Kraemer.
  • Kraemer worked for a company called Imagination Inc., which was based in San Francisco. He says, "forgive me if I'm a bit hazy as to some of the particulars" about how the song was conceived.
  • Originally, Mr. Kraemer said, he wanted to write a song in 12-4 or 12-8 time, but that didn't work out.
  • He also said he wasn't aware, until the song was completed, that they had used the first five notes from the Woody Woodpecker Song.

  • Jeff Hale was the director and main creator of the animation.
  • Hale studied at England's Royal Academy of Art before co-founding the San Francisco-based Imagination Inc. animation company with his wife, Margaret.
  • I have to say, while many of these are slightly odd and funny, none of them approach the funkeriffic-ness that is the Pinball Number Count.
  • Other animations Hale has directed or helped produce include The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show (Academy Award nominee), Here Comes Garfield (Academy Award nominee), Thank You Mask Man, and several episodes of Transformers.

Family Guy parodied the Pinball Number Count, briefly. I'm surprised to see that they seem to have used the original Pointer Sisters soundtrack.

If you want to own the Pinball Number Count to watch over and over, you can buy it on this collection of gems from the first five seasons of Sesame Street, which is from 1969-1974.

Sesame Street - Old School, Vol. 1 (1969-1974)
is a 3 DVD set and can be yours for $26 from Amazon.

You can also learn how to make a clock that looks like the one at the beginning of the video, from

What your own Pinball Number Count clock could look like
(Photo from

Ninjatune, Solid Steel Presents Sesame Street
Ballofstringtheory, A Letter from Walt Kraemer, September 10, 2003
"ASIFA-SF Co-Founder Margaret Hale Dies," AWN, February 24, 2003
Curious Artist, Walt Kraemer's Pinball Number Count, May 4
IMDB, Jeff Hale (II)
Milk and Cookies, Pointer Sisters: Sesame Street Pinball Number Count
JocTV, Pinball Song #6 - Sesame Street, Sesame Street "Jazzy Spies," August 30, 2006
Q Daily News, The Pinball Number Count Lives! April 19, 2006
Webomatica, Deconstructing Sesame Street Animations, December 26, 2006
Moviegrooves, C is for Cookie
Press Release Network, "Rob Coleman, Animation Director for Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace Gives Keynote Address," October 16, 1999
Muppet Central Forum, Sesame Street Fairy Alphabet
Muppet Wiki, various episode entries

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Apple #262: Chuck Woolery

Let me just get this out of the way: I watch the Game Show Network. Before I had cable, I hooted with disbelief that there was such a channel and that anyone would watch it. Now that I have cable, I watch. That's TV, I guess.

But there's a new game show on that channel, called Lingo. I like word games, and this is a pretty good one. And I have to admit, one of the reasons I like it is that it's hosted by Chuck Woolery. He does look like he's done a bit of hard living. But he still seems to be pretty relaxed up there and when he laughs, it doesn't seem fake. Or at least, most of the time it doesn't. Which is more than I can say for most game show hosts. And I liked that other word game show he did for a while, Scrabble. I liked the sound effects.

His thing is to say, before a commercial, "We'll be back in two and two," and he holds up two fingers, palm facing the camera, then flips his hand around and back again. It refers to the amount of time of one commercial break: two minutes for the commercials plus one second before and one second after.

Chuck, now
(Photo from Game Show Network)

So let's find out a little more about Chuck Woolery. But first, just to get us oriented a bit, I'll list the TV shows he's hosted.

Chuck, then, in his Wheel of Fortune days
(Photo from Gameshow Galaxy)

  • Your Hit Parade (1974)
  • Tattletales (1974)
  • Wheel of Fortune, as the original host before Pat Sajak (1975-1981)
  • The $1.98 Beauty Show which was a lot like the Gong Show (1978-1980)
  • Love Connection (1983-1994)
  • Scrabble (1984-1990, 1993)
  • Playboy Playmate Playoffs (1986)
  • The Dating Game (1998-2000)
  • Ultimate Fan Search (1999)
  • Greed (1999-2000)
  • Lingo, co-hosted by Shandi Finnessey, who was Miss America 2004 (2002-present)
He's also appeared on a few episodes of Hollywood Squares.

If you've never seen it, this picture gives you an idea of the format of The Love Connection. It was like letting you be the fly on the wall in a video dating service. You got to watch people's video ads, then hear the couple talk about what their date was like. Sometimes it didn't go well at all, and sometimes, as in this episode, the couple hit it off.
(Photo sourced from Neil Kramer's blog, Citizen of the Month)

Other TV shows where he has appeared include:
  • Melrose Place, 2 episodes
  • 227, 1 episode
  • It's Garry Shandling's Show, 2 episodes
  • Late Night with David Letterman, 1 episode
  • CHiPS, 1 episode
  • Love, American Style, 1 episode in 1973
  • The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, 1 episode in 1972
  • New Zoo Revue as Mr. Dingle the toothless mailman, 1972

Here's a sample of the show Scrabble. I picked this one because you get to hear a lot of the sound effects, and also the guy Rick is a bit of a nut. With his tarantula.

Now here are some facts about Chuck's life outside of TV:

  • Chuck's full name is Charles Herbert Woolery.
  • He was born in Ashland, Kentucky on March 16, 1941.
  • He joined the US Navy and afterwards, went to college in Kentucky.
  • Post-college jobs included off-shore tuna fishing and working as a sales rep for Pillsbury.

Making use of his long-time love of fishing, Chuck has a DVD on bass fishing techniques.

  • He finally decided to be a singer and songwriter and moved to Nashville. With Elkin "Bubba" Fowler in a pop duo called The Avant Garde, he wrote and performed a song called "Naturally Stoned." The song hit #40 on the Billboard charts in 1968.
  • In 1972, after leaving Fowler and carrying on with a solo singing act, he appeared on the Johnny Carson show as a singer. Merv Griffin approached him after the show and asked if he'd ever thought about being a game show host. That conversation ultimately led to Woolery being signed as Wheel of Fortune's first host.
  • In 1981, shortly after Woolery had been divorced from his second wife, Jo Ann Pflug, he asked Griffin for a raise from $300,000 to $500,000. Griffin gave Woolery the boot and Pat Sajak his job.
  • Two years later, Woolery was hosting The Love Connection, the dating show for which he is best known.

I tried to find out what made him look so haggard, like maybe was he a big drinker or something once upon a time. I couldn't find anything that said either way. So maybe the four wives and eight kids and the quadruple bypass is what accounts for it.

  • In 1996, he had quadruple-bypass heart surgery.
  • In an interview from about four years ago, he said he reads the Bible every morning.
  • He's on his fourth marriage, and he has 8 children, two of them twins and one son adopted.
    • 1st wife: Margaret Hayes. One of their three children, Chad, died in a motorcycle accident at age 19, in 1986.
    • 2nd wife: Jo Ann Pflug, best-known for The Fall Guy

Jo Ann is on the far right
(Photo from TV

    • 3rd wife: Teri Nelson, step-granddaughter of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson of early TV fame
    • 4th wife: Kim Barnes

Wedding photo from Chuck's fourth marriage in July 2006
(Photo from People)

I also found Chuck's MySpace page. On this page, he says he's only been married three times. Since his fourth marriage took place in 2006, he either hasn't updated his profile recently, or . . . something. He also talks a lot about how much he likes his Lingo co-host, Shandi.

Chuck and Shandi in a Lingo promo shot
(Photo from

Here are some, er, highlights from his profile:

Combining strong looks with casual wit and unbounded charm, I have since become one of the most respected and liked game show hosts in the business.

[I'd like to meet] more future Lingo contestants so I can secretly ridicule their stupidity on the show.

In the shows I've seen, he's usually pretty complimentary of the players who whip through the puzzles in no time flat. But apparently when the camera isn't rolling, it's another story.

Supposedly, the Guinness Book of World Records says that the biggest Bobble-head doll is of Chuck Woolery. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Later addition:
By the way, lots of people have been searching the web to find out who is the politician who appeared on The Dating Game in 1972. Actually, this person is now a governor, and he was on The Dating Game in 1974.

See this You Tube clip.

Internet Movie Database (IMDB), Biography for Chuck Woolery, Chuck Woolery
NNDB, Chuck Woolery
"Chuck Woolery...still making love connections,"
Wikipedia, Chuck Woolery, Chuck Woolery Biography

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Apple #261: Wilkes-Barre, PA

The other night, I was out with a few friends, and someone mentioned the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I don't remember why it came up, I just know that it did. And then -- well, I'll give you the details in dialogue form because the pronunciation is important.

ALBERTINA: . . . all the way to Wilkes-Bar.

BRIGID: It's Wilkes-BARRIE, you dolt.

ALBERTINA: ha-ha, (dripping with sarcasm) Wilkes-Barrie. I don't think so. It's Wilkes-BAR.

BRIGID: No, it's not. It's Wilkes-BARRIE. I've known two people from there, one my cousin's friend who was born there and moved away, and another was a friend of my brother's who was also born and lived there until he was five, and they both pronounce it Wilkes-BARRIE.


BRIGID: Yes. Really. It's the same way people from Lancaster pronounce it LANG-kustir.

Wilkes-Barre is in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, almost directly west from the pointy part on the NE edge of the state.
(Map from the Weekend Guide)

So I had to find out. Is it true what Brigid says? Because I have always thought of it as Wilkes-BAR. And why is the name hyphenated, anyway? Did it get married and choose hyphenation?

  • The American Heritage Dictionary says it should be pronounced Wilkes-BARRIE.
  • The website called "You know you are from Pennsylvania when" says that Pennsylvanians pronounce it Wilkes-BARRIE.
  • And the AP newswire says it should be pronounced Wilkes-BARRIE. That settles it. Wilkes-BARRIE, it is. The AP folks do their research.
Other "mispronunciations" by residents
    • Lebanon, Pennsylvania: Leb-a-NON
    • Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania: SKOO-kul
    • Ghent, West Virginia: JENT
    • Talladega, Alabama: Tall-a-DIG-ah
    • Louisville, Kentucky: LOU-uhvul
    • Des Plaines, Illinois: DEZ PLAINS (as opposed to the French DAY PLAHN)
    • Dumas, Arkansas: DOO-mus
    • El Dorado, Kansas: el dor-AY-doh
    • Moscow, Idaho: MOSS-koe
    • Spokane, Washington: spoh-CAN
Some pronunciations people might think are incorrect, but they are said this way because that's how the British said them to begin with:
    • Worcester, Massachusetts: WUH-stir
    • Reading, Massachusetts: RED-ing
    • Stoneham, Massachusetts: STONE-em
    • Greenwich, Connecticut: GREN-ich
However, the folks in Reading, Pennsylvania, pronounce their town REED-ing.

Here are some other towns with the same name that are pronounced differently depending on what state you're in:
    • Monticello (Jefferson's home in Virginia): Mont-ih-CHELL-oh
    • Monticello, Minnesota: Mont-ih-SELL-oh
    • Lafayette, Louisiana: Lah-fee-ET
    • Lafayette, Georgia: Luh-FAY-ette
    • Beaufort, South Carolina: BYOO-furt
    • Beaufort, Missouri: BOH-furt
    • Cairo, Egypt: KYE-roh
    • Cairo, Ohio: KAY-roh
But, I should say in response to all of this, that in the case of proper nouns, the correct pronunciation is that which the owner of the name wants you to use. So if the town wants to be called Wilkes-Barrie, then so be it. And if Brett Favre wants to be called Brett Farv, that's correct too.

Oh, and I found out the origin of the name Wilkes-Barre (pronounced Wilkes-BARRIE). It's actually kind of interesting: a thumb to the nose of the British king.
  • Wilkes-Barre was named after two people, John Wilkes and Isaac Barre.
  • Isaac Barre was the son of a French refugee (who probably pronounced his name BAR), and was a lawyer in Dublin, Ireland until he joined the English army in 1746. After various commissions, he was sent to the Colonies (the US, today) in what is now Pennsylvania.
  • John Wilkes was a politician in England who spoke up for the rights of the Colonists.
  • Barre liked what Wilkes stood for and when he went back to England, a Lieutenant-Colonel, he supported Wilkes in a speech to the House of Commons.
  • Barre got dismissed from the Army with loss of his rank and Wilkes lost his seat in Parliament for saying things unpopular with the British government.
  • Back in the fledgling Pennsylvania, the mayor of a just-forming town started referring to his residence in his letters as Wilkesbarre, in honor of his friend and his friend's sympathizer across the ocean.
  • People started writing letters back to England using the name Wilkesbarre, mainly as a way to tick off the English, and the name stuck.

Who knew that Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania was the site of such controversy? Yeah, I know. Wilkes-Barrians.

American Heritage Dictionary, Wilkes-Barre
Palmyra, PA, You know you are from Pennsylvania when
City Data, General US Forum
AP News Pronunciation Guide, A-E, E-M, N-Z
Wilkes University, History, Naming Wilkes-Barre

Monday, August 13, 2007

Apple #260: Yo-Yos

I was on the phone with a friend of mine the other day, and he mentioned yo-yos. I hadn't thought about yo-yos in years.

Mini glitter yo-yos in Halloween colors.
(Photo from Costume Express)

  • The oldest known yo-yos are from 550 BC. According to paintings on Greek vases, Greek boys were given yo-yos, probably at coming-of-age ceremonies.
  • In the 1700s, yo-yos were called "quizzes."
  • In the 1800s, yo-yos were called "bandalores."
  • The first actual yo-yo was manufactured in 1928 by Pedro Flores, who was from the Philippines, where they called quizzes and bandalores "yo-yos." In Tagalog (language of the Philippines), the word means "come come," or "come back."

Pedro Flores, with one of his yo-yos that he manufactured in the United States
(Photo from Yo-Yos.Net)

  • Four years later, Donald F. Duncan bought Pedro Flores' yo-yo business and started making more yo-yos, and in more styles and of various materials, but primarily wood.
  • By 1962, due to Duncan's switch to plastic and with the help of TV commercials, yo-yos skyrocketed in popularity.
  • In 1965, a lengthy court battle over whether the word "yo-yo" could be trademarked resulted in Duncan losing the right to trademark the term, and the subsequent bankruptcy of both Duncan and the company that sued it.
  • In 1968, a company called Flambeau bought the rights to Duncan-brand yo-yos. They are the ones who make Duncan yo-yos today.

Diagram showing how plastic yo-yos are made
(Image from How Products Are Made)

  • The longer you can get a yo-yo to "sleep" or spin at the end of its string without winding back up the string, the more tricks you can make the yo-yo do. So people have made lots of innovations to yo-yos over the years, mainly to make them sleep longer and to make it easier for people to perform tricks with them.
    • Some of the innovations have included changing the spindle in the middle from wood to metal, thus reducing the friction.
    • Another innovation was inverting the two outer halves of the yo-yo so that the bulk of the material was on the outside and less material on the inside (the Butterfly).

This is John, and he did some of his own experiments about how to increase a yo-yo's sleeping time.
(Photo from PBSKids)

    • More recent innovations have included adding ball bearings, as well as a clutch. Yo-Yos are getting almost as complicated as cars!
    • Currently, the favorite type of yo-yo among champion yo-ers is called the freehand. In this model, the yo-er does not loop the end of the string around the finger but instead holds a counterweight (like a six-sided die). This helps keep the string taut but not to the point where the yo-yo wants to snap back up the string. In addition, the yo-er can move or drop or adjust the counterweight as needed while performing a series of tricks.

The Duncan Freehand Zero,
(Photo from Product Wiki)

  • A long-time competitive yo-champion is Stephen D. Brown, who worked at Duncan for years and patented several new yo-yos. He has since left Duncan and is pursuing a full-time career in yo-yo performance.

Here is a video of one of Steve Brown's performances. It's pretty entertaining. And, when you realize that with the exception of when he clutches the yo-yo in his fist, the yo-yo is spinning the entire time, it's quite impressive.

But then, this guy, Hiroyuki Suzuki, the 2006 World Yo-Yo Champion, kicks Mr. Brown's ass.

[edit: I'm not sure what video I had originally posted here, but it went away. This may not be the same video, but it is Hiroyuki Suzuki, showing off his unreal yo-yo skills.]

  • You can buy a Duncan yo-yos today for anywhere from $3.49 for the Butterfly or the Imperial to $21.49 for the FH (Freehand) Zero.

Duncan Yo-Yos
Lucky Meisenheimer's Yo-Yos.Net
Tom Harris, Howstuffworks, "How Yo-Yos Work"
Peter Weiss, "Reinventing the Yo-Yo," Science News Online, April 17, 2004

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Apple #259: Skull Removal

I know, this one sounds gory and maybe fantastic. And for some readers, it might be too gory. But it comes from a genuine concern and a medical question.

About a month ago I think it is now, a friend of a friend suffered a fairly severe stroke. She was taken to the hospital and despite their efforts to stop or slow the stroke, the pressure in her brain continued to build. To keep anything else from rupturing and causing irreparable damage, the surgeons operated and removed a portion of her skull to relieve the swelling.

She survived the stroke, has regained consciousness, and is able to talk. She still has problems with motor coordination in her right arm, sometimes she can't identify what day it is, and once she was convinced she was in Panama. She will have to go through a pretty long and probably arduous course of physical therapy before she will be able to return home. But the removal of part of her skull seems to have prevented even worse damage and, perhaps, her death.

In asking people about how she is doing, I also burn with curiosity to know about this opening in her skull, and the bit that was removed. These are not the sort of questions you can ask people who are wound tight with worry over her survival and her basic abilities to function. But still, I want to know, does she still have a hole in her skull? Some equally concerned and curious friends have suggested that maybe her skull will mend itself, the way a broken leg can knit itself. I'm skeptical about this, but I really don't know the answer. Other friends said the doctors kept the piece of skull they removed and at some point will put it back in, and that piece will knit to the rest of her skull. But where do you keep a piece of skull? And how long do they wait before putting it back in?


  • The term "stroke" means that something has happened in the brain to disrupt blood supply. That disruption in turn causes brain cells to suffer damage or die. There can be a lot of different kinds of strokes, occurring due to many different causes.
  • Because strokes can vary quite a lot from one patient to another, some procedures are more appropriate than others given the type of stroke that has occurred.
  • Most strokes are called ischemic strokes. In these, a blockage or a clot occurs in a brain blood vessel, and that obstructs blood flow.

Diagram of an ischemic stroke, showing the site of blockage up close and the damage to surrounding cells.
(Diagram from University of California, San Francisco Neurovascular Medical Group)

  • In my friend's case, she had the far less common variety, a hemorrhagic stroke. In this type, a blood vessel actually bursts, and blood flows out into the surrounding tissue. This can cause damage to the nearby tissue which is not getting its necessary oxygen and nourishment.

Diagram of a hemorrhagic stroke, showing the site of rupture up close and bleeding at the surrounding tissue.
(Diagram from University of California, San Francisco Neurovascular Medical Group)

  • In addition, the blood pouring out of the ruptured vessel begins to fill the brain cavity and puts pressure on the surrounding tissue.
  • Left untreated, the buildup of blood can put so much pressure on the brain that it no longer fits comfortably within its protective coverings of the tough but flexible dura and the far less flexible skull surrounding that. Under such pressure, the brain can shift or re-settle within the dura, seeking more space. That re-positioning can force the all-critical brain stem to move and sometimes twist along with it. If such twisting occurs, blood flow to the brain can be cut off, resulting in extensive and severe neurological damage, and sometimes even death.


  • Methods of treating stroke vary depending on the type of stroke, as well as the extent of the damage at the time the patient arrives for care.
  • Medications can be used to reduce the patient's blood pressure and so reduce the bleeding. Other very specific types of drugs can reduce swelling in the brain; and anti-seizure, anti-anxiety, and even more familiar pain relievers can be used to reduce any associated spasms, anxiety, or headaches.
  • Many surgical methods of stopping the bleeding are also available. A surgeon can insert a clip (I picture this looking like those black office supply clips, but I'm sure they're far more sophisticated than that) over the site of the bleeding, essentially applying a tourniquet. They can also remove the piece of damaged blood vessel and replace it with healthier tissue. If a blood clot has formed, they can remove the clot itself and thus reduce the swelling that way.

Diagram of a surgical clip being placed at the neck of a ruptured blood vessel in the brain to stop the bleeding. (From the San Diego Neurosurgical Medical Clinic)
I knew it had to be more sophisticated than one of these:

  • But in some cases -- apparently very severe cases, and when the patient's age and other factors would help him or her to recover sufficiently -- surgeons decide that the only way to reduce the swelling fast enough is to remove a piece of the skull. This is what the doctors decided to do in my friend's case.


  • The medical term for the procedure used in my friend's case is decompressive craniectomy: "cranium" referring to the skull, and "-ectomy" or "-otomy" indicating surgical removal.
  • Surgeons practiced craniectomies as far back as the 1800s, but the technique became used less and less often when doctors believed that it resulted in too much damage, and that less invasive techniques might be preferable.
  • It never fell entirely out of use, though, since emergency surgeons continue to use it as a last-ditch effort to assist victims of severe head injuries. Now some neurosurgeons who treat strokes are beginning to perform more craniectomies again.
  • Specifically, here are the steps:
      • Surgeon removes a part of the skull to relieve pressure.
      • To provide some protection over the opening, the scalp is sewn to the dura, the inner membrane under the scalp. This allows some flexibility to accommodate any additional swelling, but also provides some protection to the exposed area.
      • After the crisis of the stroke has passed, it can take about three months for the swelling in the brain to subside. The dura is left sewn to the scalp during those three months, and the patient may also wear a helmet for that time period.
      • The piece of skull is kept in one of two environments to ensure that the bone marrow survives so that it can knit with the remainder of the skull later. One option is to keep the piece of skull frozen. Another option is to surgically place the skull in the patient's abdomen, in between the layers of muscle and fat. This keeps the piece of skull alive and healthy and acclimated to the patient's body.
      • After the swelling has subsided, the piece of skull is either unfrozen or removed from the patient's abdomen, and re-inserted in its former place.

(Image from the Detroit Medical Center, sourced from Wayne State Medicine)

Bizarre, isn't it? But it's true.

Roy, of Siegfried & Roy, underwent this very surgery, following his near-fatal mauling by a white tiger. Surgeons removed about 1/4 of the right side of his skull to reduce pressure on his brain following lots of internal bleeding. They put the removed part of his skull into a pouch and inserted it into his abdomen. Nearly a year later, and after they had re-inserted the piece of bone into his skull, he had recovered enough to return home. He can now speak and write and walk with a cane.

Roy Horn in February 2005, a year and a half after the tiger attack and decompressive craniectomy.
(Photo from the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

By the way, this friend of mine is a long-time and deeply committed smoker. It is also a fact that smoking seriously increases your risk of getting strokes. Which means that quitting smoking will do a lot to help you avoid going through something like this yourself. The same could be said for not provoking any white tigers.

Pamela Linton, "Time and Space Heal Head Injuries," Wayne Medicine 1999
Ricker, Polsdorfer MD, Emory Healthcare, Surgical Procedures for Stroke, 2007
Treatment of Hemorrhagic Stroke at Mayo Clinic
Stroke from, reprinted at CNN's Health Library, July 5, 2006
"Hemicraniectomy for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage from a Giant Middle Cerebral Artery Aneurysm," Mount Sinai Clinical Program for Cerebrovascular Disorder, 2007
Tazbir et al., Decompressive Hemicraniectomy With Duraplasty: A Treatment for Large-Volume Ischemic Stroke," Medscape abstract, September 27, 2005
Ketter et al., "Outcome of patients after hemicraniectomy in malignant middle cerebral artery infarction after first rehabilitation," DGNC meeting abstract, April 23, 2004
Attia et al., "Decompressive Hemicraniectomy as a Lifesaving Procedure in Severe Acute Ischemic Stroke," Israel Medical Association Journal, September 2003
Stephen M. Silverman, "Report: Part of Roy's Skull Removed," People, October 16, 2003
Joelle Babula, "Roy awaits surgery to restore his skull," Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 16, 2003
IMDB, Roy Horn biography as of July 2004