A classic TV show, one of my favorites.
A classic TV show, one of my favorites.
By Rosa Golijan
If it weren’t for Eugene J. Polley, flipping TV channels would be an exhausting and tedious undertaking. Polley, after all, invented the world’s first wireless TV remote. He died of natural causes on Sunday, at the age of 96.
According to a press release put out by Zenith — the company with which Polley started his 47-year engineering career in 1935 — the innovator earned 18 U.S. patents for his inventions, which include the “Flash-matic” remote control. This device, introduced in 1955, “used a flashlight-like device to activate photo cells on the television set to change channels.”
Because the remote shined visible light, TVs could be confused by other light sources. In spite of its quirkiness, the Flash-matic was a revolution, and the reason Polley was bestowed with humorous titles ranging from “the founding father of the couch potato” to “the czar of zapping” to “the beach boy of channel surfing.”
The Flash-Matic was followed by the Space Command — a “next-generation wireless TV remote based on ultrasonic technology” — which was developed by the late Dr. Robert Adler, a fellow Zenith engineer who built upon Polley’s invention. Of course, by the time the 1980s came around, ultrasonic remotes had given way to infrared (or IR) remotes. The most recent ones use radio frequency, so you don’t have to point them directly at anything.
Wireless remote controls, which were a luxury in their early days, are now a standard accompaniment to any TV, set-top box, DVD player, DVR, stereo, and just about any other home entertainment device you might encounter. All because of the work tracing back to one Eugene J. Polley.
So pause for a moment the next time you sit on the couch, idly surfing channels on a TV that’s 8 feet away, and think of the brilliant engineer who made your exquisite laziness possible.
Want more tech news, silly puns, or amusing links? You’ll get plenty of all three if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.
If you watch TV’s Parks and Recreation, you probably know that Ron Swanson is one of the greatest characters ever to appear on television. Here he is drunk, infinitely so. On my screen, he’s currently been drunk and dancing for 842 seconds. (It has a timer).
LOS ANGELES — Sophie Clarke slayed the competition on “Survivor: South Pacific.”
The brainy 22-year-old medical student from Willsboro, N.Y., overcame 39-year-old “Survivor” veteran Benjamin “Coach” Wade of Susanville, Calif., and 26-year-old high school baseball coach Albert Destrade of Plantation, Fla., to win the CBS reality competition’s $1 million grand prize Sunday. Clarke earned six votes from the nine-person jury of former players.
I’m watching season 2 now, on Netflix (my girlfriend subscribes to Netflix, I use Blockbuster still). This episode should be good, it has guest star Louis CK…and Ron Swanson is a pirate for halloween.
Watching this now. I’ve seen the first and second seasons, but I think there’s a third season out now, which I haven’t seen any of due to not having full cable…but I have Netflix streaming! My girlfriend hasn’t seen the show, so that’s why I’m re-watching episodes I’ve already seen.
Another awesome documentary I just watched streaming on Netflix.
Before the Civil War, preparing the dead for burial and funeral rites generally fell to friends and family members of the deceased. The 20th century saw the rise of the professional undertaker, a trend that changed American attitudes toward death and distanced grievers from their loved ones. This eye-opening film uncovers a growing movement advocating a return to a more traditional, personal approach to honoring the dead.
Watching this now,streaming it on Netflix. It’s about a few of the well-known graveyards in the United States. Pretty interesting.
Writer-producer Rick Sebak serves as your tour guide for this hourlong journey through America’s most notable cemeteries, examining the history and artistry of headstones, crypts, monuments and family plots. Stopping in Florida, Alaska and numerous points in between, this fascinating program explores humans’ diverse methods for honoring the departed — and the myriad ways in which graveyards relate to modern culture.
My girlfriend is currently in bed watching Celebrity Rehab season 4 on Netflix, streaming it on the Wii. I’m here at the laptop, watching it with her. What a trip. Eric Roberts is such a puss. Dude is having “cannabis withdrawals” and crying all the time. Seriously? Keisha Coles mom is about to kick everyones ass. Evidently she is a crackhead. I haven’t figured out who the big fat gay dude is yet, but he just now got sent to his room by the “Shelly” chick who works there. I’m pretty sure Shelly did the crack and heroins in the past, but she’s clean now and works at the rehab place. I’m going to bed.
“Although television gets a bad rap for its association with inactivity, mindless snacking, and weight gain, there is an oft-overlooked upside to tuning into many of today’s popular programs: health education. “In 2004, just over half of top primetime shows featured health-related storylines. In 2010, about 80 percent of shows did,” says Sandra Buffington, director of the Hollywood, Health & Society (HHS) organization, which, through its partnerships with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, and the University of Southern California Annenberg Norman Lear Center, works with entertainment writers to responsibly portray health storylines on television and in film.
Fans are paying attention to the plots, which address everything from Asperger’s syndrome to cancer. “According to our research, more than two-thirds of viewers learn something about health from the shows they watch, and one-third of those viewers take action,” says Buffington, such as scheduling a doctor’s appointment to get their own symptoms checked out. Here, experts point out the most informative and inspiring health-related shows on the tube today, and why you should tune in — or add them to your Netflix queue.”
READ MORE via A Healthy Dose of Primetime Drama – EverydayHealth.com.
Currently watching EVERY episode of Trailer Park Boys on Netflix. Funny stuffs.
Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor has died. She was 79 years old.
Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed beauty whose hectic off-screen love life often eclipsed her most sultry film roles, has died. She was 79.
She died today at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, her four children by her side, according to a statement from her publicist. She was hospitalized six weeks ago for treatment of congestive heart failure, a condition that had stabilized, “and it was hoped that she would be able to return home,” the statement said. “Sadly, this was not to be.”
Read more via Bloomberg.com
Watching now. I watched a few minutes of this Saturday night but the UFC was on, so I was more into the fights on that night. However, Peewee is great, and always has been.
Gary Busey is guest starring…lol, awesome.
I recorded the new SURVIVOR: Redemption Island first episode earlier tonight, and am now about to watch the recording. I have successfully avoided spoilers thus far.
When Netflix started up more than 10 years ago, its sales pitch was pretty simple: Hey, subscribe to us, and we’ll mail you DVDs that you can then mail back to us without worrying about any late fees. But as the rental market moves toward online and on-demand models, Netflix’s iconic red envelopes may eventually become as antiquated as VHS tapes. Beefing up their streaming business, Netflix has predicted…
Merv Griffin Entertainment and Pac-Man game maker Namco Bandai Games America have teamed up to develop an unscripted Reality TV series based on the hugely popular video game Pac-Man, according to Deadline.
The Pac-Man reality series is envisioned as a “big, crazy Wipeout-type event with a lot of energy. To take what Pac-Man is and bring it to life, to bring what is essentially the world’s biggest game of tag to television.”
The new series marks the game’s first major foray into TV.
This old movie is kinda rad. I dig it. My girlfriend turned me on to it because she remembered she liked the movie as a kid, but hadn’t been able to find the movie on Netflix, at Blockbuster, or anywhere. She warned me however, that she thinks the movie is a bit corny, and the “special effects” are totally 1980′s. Of course, this made-for-tv movie came out in 1985, so I find the corniness acceptable.
I decided to search eBay and found a VHS copy that was like new, and it played beautifully with a great picture!
As I said, it is a 1985 made-for-TV movie that is set in the Star Wars galaxy. A sequel to Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, this movie focuses on the primary character named Cindel, a little girl from the first film, who, after being orphaned, joins the Ewoks in protecting their village and defeating the evil marauders who have taken control of the Endor moon.
The main Ewok in the film is Wicket, played by actor Warwick Davis. Television personality Matt Roloff plays an Ewok in this movie, he can be seen as the Ewok on crutches. Also, Wilford Brimley plays the character of Noa.
I’ve been busy, if it’s not one thing it’s another, as they say. The biggest problem though, was that someone hacked the blog and screwed it up pretty good, and I didn’t have the time to sit down and fix it right away. Fortunately, I was finally able to take the time needed, and lucked upon finding out what the problem was and corrected it. Hooray. So now I should be able to post more often again.
I bought this dvd years ago on clearance sale at a Blockbuster store. It’s been on a shelf since, and I haven’t watched it in awhile. If you’re wondering if it is a good movie, look at the cast. Denis Leary, Christopher Walken, Jay Mohr,Jeremy Sisto, Henry Thomas, Sean Patrick Flanery, and more.
Yes indeed, GTL, and they’re making them keep a job.
I haven’t watched it in awhile… actually I probably haven’t watched it regularly since the late 1990′s. I’m now going back and watching full episodes online at ComedyCentral.com.