Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
From the Guilty Pleasures file comes my current love affair with “Deal or Dud” on Fox 16 News. Every Thursday during the 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. newscasts, anchor Kevin Kelly hosts the segment, in which he tests those “As Seen On TV!” gadgets to see whether they're worth their shipping and handling.
Kelly said that the segment falls under his duties as the consumer reporter at Fox 16. Though he said he usually puts on that hat to alert viewers to scams and rip-offs, in 2006 he decided to start trying out some of the late-night fool's gold to be had on insomniac TV.
“Let me spend the money so you don't have to,” he said.
So far, Kelly said, the hands down best “deal” has been “Stops the Sting” — a cream that says it can stop the pain and burning from insect and jellyfish stings within seconds. The video where Kelly tries it out is an instant local TV classic. First, Kelly found a nice, active nest of fire ants. After kicking the nest a couple times to make sure they were good and pissed off, Kelly then thrust his hand into the middle of them and held it there for around 20 seconds.
“I figured, I'll give it a shot and pray like hell that it works,” he said. “I was thoroughly impressed with that stuff.”
Also in the “deal” category, Kelly said: veggie preserving “green bags,” the foot exfoliating Ped Egg, and an indestructible cell phone (which Kelly froze in a solid block of ice and thawed out, to find it still worked). Not so good: home auto body kit Pops-a-Dent, and the personal sound amplifier (“Turns regular hearing into super hearing!”).
Coming up in the next few weeks: the Rocket Fisherman, Mighty Putty epoxy repair sticks and toxin-sucking Kinoki footpads.
“It's becoming a full time job to be honest with you,” Kelly said. “But the viewers have just responded to it. I really enjoy doing them, because I can show another side of my personality. That's fun, and as long as the demand is there, we're going to keep doing them.”
Check out all the “Deal or Dud” videos at: www.fox16.com/content/news/consumer/dealordud.aspx.
As a big fan of all forms of the “New Media,” one of the best things I get to do in this column is steer you in the direction of websites that I think you might want to check out. Caught in this week's web: arkansasflaunted.com. A new community arts, entertainment and music portal with a fresh look and a youthful vibe, it's definitely worth a visit.
The website (and its sister site, arkansasblack.com) is the brainchild of web developer Angelica Gooley, who launched arkansasflaunted.com in late 2006. From the start, she wanted it to be a gathering place for those interested in the Little Rock arts scene, with features such as a forum, job search and interactive calendar.
“I just want to provide another outlet,” Gooley said. “We have a lot of independent artists here in Arkansas, whether they're musicians, poets or visual artist. Also, I want to feature people who have uniquely accomplished certain goals.”
Though the website has so far featured mostly black artists — poets Lyric Sol, Kuji Wright, Simone Lewis and others — Gooley said she wants to add more diversity in coming months, just so people don't label arkansasflaunted.com a “black” or “hip-hop” website.
“I'm trying to get more features to make sure people know it's a diverse site,” she said. “I started it with what I had and who had contacted me… It is still very much in a growth spurt.”
To help that growth spurt along, Gooley said she plans on bringing in at least two more writers this summer, and hopes to start running radio ads. She said the site gets around 2,000 visitors per month, based solely on word of mouth. While the audience for the website right now is mostly the artists featured there and their fans, Gooley said she hopes to make arkansasflaunted.com known to the wider community very soon.
“The website is not just for local artists. I guess you can just say that it's an online magazine for Arkansas,” Gooley said. “The plan for the future is when you come there, the website visually says this is a website with a diverse mix of artists and Arkansas businesses. It's a lot bigger than where it is now.”