Viewing Habits

“I have a problem with the strip
that runs along the bottom of the news programs.
Don’t these idiots who run the news programs know
we don’t want to read.
That’s why we’re watching TV.”
Jerry Seinfeld


Viewing Habits

Standing behind the Ampex Mark IV Video Tape Recorder. From left to right: Charlie Anderson, Ray Dolby, Alex Maxey, Shelby Henderson, Charles Ginsburg, and Fred Pfost.

We have become so spoiled with our current technology. We can stream television and movies virtually any time and on a multitude of devices. When television first began, most shows were broadcast live because of the limitations of the technology. There were no home DVR‘s. There were no video tapes that broadcasters used. And no sports slow-motion instant replays. All our television shows, including the news was broadcast live.

Thanks to some very innovative men, we now have the luxury of taping shows and watching them when we want to watch them with or without commercials.

In the early 1950s, engineer Charles Ginsburg and his team at Ampex Corporation, Charles Andersen, Ray Dolby, Shelby Henderson, Fred Pfost, and Alex Maxey developed the world’s first practical video tape recorder known as the Video Television Recorder aka VTR. These video tape recorders would allow television stations to record shows and replay them when they wanted to.

After several years of testing and development, on November 30, 1956 The Ampex Mark IV Video Tape Recorder went on the air, for the first time, from CBS Television City, in Hollywood, California, broadcasting a West Coast delayed broadcast of DOUGLAS EDWARDS AND THE NEWS. This, as far as it is known, was the first time in history that any video tape had been broadcast anywhere. NBC followed suit at the beginning of 1957, and ABC began delayed broadcasts from video tape for the West Coast in early April of 1957.

This VTR invention revolutionized television broadcasting forever. Thanks to Ginsberg and his team, we now have entire control over what and when we watch our favorite shows. Which today, has dramatically changed all of our television viewing habits.

Shine On

Chasing the Sun

When there’s a huge solar energy spill,
it’s just called a “nice day”.

It’s difficult to highlight just one person responsible for the idea of capturing solar energy to generate electricity. The technology has been around for well over a century.

Some of the earliest uses of solar technology were actually in outer space where solar was used to power satellites. In 1958, NASA launched, the Vanguard I satellite which used a tiny one-watt panel to power its radios. In 1973, the University of Delaware was responsible for constructing the first solar building, named “Solar One.” The system ran on a hybrid supply of solar thermal and solar PV power. It was also the first instance of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) – the array didn’t use solar panels but instead had solar integrated into the rooftop, similar to the design for Tesla’s new roof product.

Then in 1979, President Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the White House during his term as president. However, in 1981, President Ronald Reagan ordered the White House solar panels to be removed. In 2010, President Barack Obama requested that solar panels and a solar water heater be installed in the White House.

Solar energy today is being used from charging our phones to powering office buildings entire energy source. There are companies popping up all over the world to harness this clean free energy source from the sun.

I recently read about a new company based in Boston, SmartFlower. They created a large solar panel consisting of twelve solar panels shaped like a sunflower. Just like a sunflower, as the sun rises SmartFlower activates its panels to open. Not only does it open up like a sunflower, it also mimics this heliotropic flower. The pedal like solar panels slowly turn their panels so they continually face the sun throughout the day. It also has the capability to close and shut itself off in harsh weather. This beautifully sculptural designed devise is paving the way in solar technology. It’s the world’s only, all in one, solar solution to power your home and your electric automobile.

Although, we are still chasing after the sun to improve our planets energy source, we now have these beautiful flowering solar panels that are literally, chasing the sun.

Shine On