Monday, February 25, 2013
“Laugh it off, laugh it off; it’s all part of life’s rich pageant.”
—ARTHUR MARSHALL, British broadcaster
Mrs. Thompson: How did your class field trip to the art museum go?
Mrs. Beck: Oh, my goodness, I have never been so embarrassed in my life!
Mrs. Thompson: What happened?
Mrs. Beck: I was explaining to the kids why one painting of a woman with grotesque features was a brilliant work of art.
Mrs. Thompson: So?
Mrs. Beck: Then a tour guide walked by and said, “Ma’am, you’re looking in a mirror.”
What facial feature almost resulted in Charles Darwin’s being denied the post of naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle on its historic 1831 voyage?
The shape of his nose. In his autobiography, Darwin reported that Captain Robert FitzRoy “doubted whether anyone with my nose could possess sufficient energy and determination for the voyage.”
TV predicts the future!
ON TV: Set in the dystopian future world of 2004, Max Headroom, a 1985 British TV movie about totalitarian networks, insidious subliminal advertising, and computer-generated talking heads became an American series on ABC in 1987. The movie predicted that TV would consist of hundreds of niche-based “micro-channels” (including one that showed only court trials) and ratings could be measured on a second-by-second basis.
IN REAL LIFE: It seemed far out at the time, but viewers today have hundreds of available channels, including Court TV (now TruTV). And while Nielsen can’t yet measure ratings down to the second, it can and does track them minute by minute.
The computers on The Office are operational. Rainn Wilson (Dwight) occasionally blogs in character.