Tag Archive | "TV"

Back To The Future


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From James O’Hearn…

I got my wife the new iPad 2, and it quickly became the go to device for my kids for watching music videos and playing games. Recently, however, we started using it to watch TV shows.

Hooking it up to the TV was simple, we just had to buy a little adapter, and an HDMI cable, and voila! MP4s on the big screen. For some reason, our DVD player only supports Dvix/Xvid .AVI files, so MP4s were something we only saw on the computer.

But now we could watch them in their full compressed glory.

Only one hitch. Watching a show, pausing a show, or changing to another show requires someone (me) to ponderously leverage themselves off the couch, and stumble over to the TV table to hit the home button, unlock the screen, and hit the pause button.

It brought me right back to my childhood, back when this was how I had to change the channel when I was a child (only we turned a knob back then), back before there were remote controls.

But then, in back-twinge induced moment of insight, I realized something… Remote controls were never invented. No. They have always been with us, just changing forms, is all. Remotes today have two batteries, remotes back then had two legs.

I… did have a remote for the iPad! In fact, I had three just waiting to be called upon.

Now I need only mention “Oh I better pause the show…” and make to move in order to spur six little legs into motion, all competing to beat me to it.

As my parents had trained me, so I now pass that on to my children.

Until they make a remote for my iPad, you know, the kind with two batteries.

Or maybe I’ll just stick with what I’ve got. For as long as I can, at least.

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Top Ten Inventions Of The 20th Century


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There is no doubt about it, the 20th century is unparalleled by any that came before it in terms of its rate of technological advances and scientific discoveries – a rate that continues to speed through these early years of century 21 at an unprecedented pace.  There were so many new developments and discoveries during this time, it was hard to narrow things down to just ten, but that’s what we did.  The list below has effected humanity both positively and negatively. Regardless, they have held a tremendous influence over how our world has unfolded over the last 100 years.  RELATIVITY OnLine’s list of greatest inventions and discoveries of the twentieth century follows, but allow us to ask – did we forget anything?

  • 1. The Internet – The typewriter became obsolete after the personal computer was introduced to the general public and this slowly made writing in long-hand a thing of the past, but it took the internet to make the computer what it is today. While the airplane shrank our planet to the point that one could fly from Paris to New York in a few hours, the internet made it possible to be there in seconds.
  • 2. Radio – suddenly it was possible for a person to be heard from thousands of miles away without the use of a wire (a real accomplishment in the early 1900s) but more importantly it was the center of family life until the onset of television in the 1950s.
  • 3. Antibiotics – Until 1928 when Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin  nearly any little bug someone picked up was potentially fatal.
  • 4. Television – Where would we be without the boob tube?
  • 5. The Airplane – The world was first made a smaller place by the locomotive in the 19th century, and the airplane did the same the 20th. Suddenly, any place in the world was there for the choosing. 
  • 6. The Automobile – The automobile became the most practical and reliable source of transportation ever invented and people the world over still cannot imagine life without them.
  • 7. The Personal Computer – It’s hard to imagine a world without computers these days. They may have been around since World War Two, but these clunky underachieving hunks of scrap cannot be compared to today’s models, in which a person’s entire life can be stored and organized.
  • 8. Rocketry – The Chinese are credited with inventing rockets over three thousand years ago, but it was in the 20th century when they transformed from exciting amusement to an effective weapon of war and terror.
  • 9. The Submarine – Although predating the 20th century, submarines as we know them today came into being during the 20th century.  With development of nuclear power, a submarine’s range and endurance become nearly unlimited effectively rendering all previous forms of  naval warfare obsolete.
  • 10. Nuclear Energy – With nuclear energy, humanity suddenly had a power source that was efficient, virtually unlimited, and didn’t pollute.


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Top Ten Most Watched TV Broadcasts


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mashcompleteboxset_mPeople love to watch TV.  Television can be our best friend, our babysitter or psychologist. Maybe the best (or worst) part of it is that when we watch TV,  it does all the work for us.  We don’t need use our minds to create like we do when reading.  When we read, our  imagination has to conjure up images and scenes, but good old television allows us sit back while someone else does the work. The whole world watches more TV than ever before, but nowhere do people watch more television than in the United States. The average American household has more TVs than children and watches more than four hours of television per day. That equals about 30 hours per month or two entire months of non-stop television watching per year. Going further still, for every six years, that equals one non-stop year of watching TV and more than a decade straight of sitting in front of television in the average American lifetime. Depsite watching TV day in and day out, every once in awhile, something special hits the airwaves that tunes more people in than usual. The list below contains the 10 highest rated television broadcasts in American history, and with Americans watching more TV than anyone else,  the list in turn represents our planet’s ten highest rated TV broadcasts of all time.

*source: Wikipedia

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TV Land


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TV

From James O’Hearn…

Most years, when the fall premiere season arrives, it is a safe bet that a majority of the shows will land with a thud. For some reason, only one or two shows will stick in a given year, but then along come these bumper crop years where the small screen is suddenly awash with brilliance.

This year is one of those years.

For some time now, TV pundits have spoken at length about the death of the sitcom. One of my favorite TV critics, Jamie J Weinman, whose blog Something Old, Something New gained enough of a following that Macleans Magazine snapped him up as their TV guy, made a very prescient prediction back in 2004.

In a nutshell, he posited that the single camera comedy was going to replace the traditional multi-camera format.

For some time, this prediction seemed like the yammerings of a yahoo, as networks kept on cranking out the multi-cam shows, like According to Jim, Til’ Death, two failed Kelsey Grammer projects (Back to You, Hank), and any number of other, unmemorable wastes of time.

In the past several years, only two multi-camera shows have reached the level of hit status – Two and a Half Men, and The Big Bang Theory. And while these shows are definitely hits with audiences, creatively they are somewhat hit and miss.

But this year we hit the jackpot. Shows like Community, Modern Family, The Middle, Glee (Not a sitcom, but pretty darn funny), and Seth McFarlane’s latest franchise “The Cleveland Show” have been hitting all their marks, breathing life into what had appeared, for some time, to be a dying, or even dead, genre. All of these shows, as it happens, are single camera shows, with no laugh track, not shot in front of a live studio audience. Kind of like Corner Gas… Actually, exactly like Corner Gas.

I’m not sure if Corner Gas had any influence on this trend (and it’s a long shot that it would have), but just as Corner Gas recharged Canadian TV, especially Canadian comedy, shows with the exact same format, such as 30 Rock (which is probably what sparked this trend in the US) have done the same in the US.

Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see how this trend grows and develops.

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