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Posts Tagged ‘Public Television

“Different languages, the same thoughts; servant to thoughts and their masters”*…


Every year, the US Census Bureau releases data on the languages spoken in American homes. Usually it groups the languages in 39 major categories. Now it has released much more detailed figures, which show that Americans speak not 39, but more than 320 distinct languages.

The bureau collected the data from 2009 to 2013 as part of the American Community Survey, which asks Americans all kinds of questions to create highly granular estimates on various demographic indicators. The new data estimate that more than 60 million Americans speak a language other than English at home…

Learn more– and see the breakdown– at “All 300-plus languages spoken in American homes, and the number of people who speak them.”

* Dejan Stojanovic, The Sun Watches the Sun


As we choose our words, we might recall that it was on this date in 1969 that Sesame Street premiered on public television in the U.S.  In 2008, it was estimated that 77 million Americans had watched the series as children.  By its 40th anniversary in 2009, Sesame Street was broadcast in over 120 countries, and 20 international versions had been produced. And as of 2014, Sesame Street has won 159 Emmy Awards and 8 Grammy Awards—more than any other children’s show.  The show, which was itself based on mountainous research,  has been the subject of, literally, thousands of studies on its effectiveness as a learning vehicle for children; it has been a keystone of English (and native) language learning in the U.S. and around the world.



Written by LW

November 10, 2015 at 1:01 am

The Nose Knows…


Lisa Brodar owns Portland General Store, maker of natural scents for the rustic, modern hombre. Options include Moonshine, Moss, Tobacco, and Wood. Her new, cow-friendly cologne costs $110 a bottle and is targeted at the urban cowboy, “with the sun and dust clouds casting a warm light across his weathered skin” (a quote from the product description).

Many of Brodar’s scents are meant to be evocative, like Saltwater, designed to “conjure the sense of a dad in a 1970s photo, lounging on a sun-stained beach.” Or Whiskey, which doesn’t smell like whiskey at all (sorry boozehounds). But this new Farmer’s Cologne gives more than an abstract flavor of farm life – it was tested on cows.

Brodar got the idea from Fragrancefreeliving.com, after the site ran a post about a Canadian farmer. In this (somewhat dubious) story, the nameless farmer’s cows are acting weird; he decides they’re repulsed by his odor. Apparently his wife was using artificially scented detergent in the laundry — and his cows weren’t into it. Soon the farmer started keeping a stash of fragrance-free clothes in the barn. Problem solved…

Brodar’s challenge: Could she design a cologne that would appeal to both the sensitive bovine sniffer — and the stylish modern farmer?

Brodar tinkered, mixing natural oils and essences — sandalwood and sage, cedar and blue tansy (plus a few proprietary secrets). Finally, she hit on a balance she liked. It had a woody, earthen musk, with only a hint of the pungency found in mainstream fragrance (a writer in the Los Angeles Times is blunt: “Redolent of the grain and hay smells of the cow barn from my Vermont childhood … with an ever-so-slight medicinal note.”)…

Of course, it’s not the cows who will shell out over a hundred bucks for a small bottle of cologne. It’s the farmer — or the wannabe farmer. “This probably isn’t for the third-generation farmer who smells like whiskey and washes with Castile soap,” she says. “It’s for the guy in Brooklyn who wants to move back to the land, to become a homesteader … but who still likes going out at night.”

Read the whole story at Modern Farmer.


As we wait for the cows to come home, we might celebrate critters of a different sort:  it was on this date in 1969 that educational television in the U.S.– then National Educational Television (NET); soon thereafter, PBS– debuted the Childrens Television Workshop series Sesame Street.



Written by LW

November 10, 2013 at 1:01 am

Take a letter…

From Letterheady, a collection of interesting and amusing letterheads…

For others– including examples from such celebs as Elvis, Adolph Hitler, The Rolling Stones, and Kurt Vonnegut (before he was “Kurt Vonnegut”)– visit Letterheady.

As compose ourselves, we might recall that on this date in 1967, the first educational television network in the U.S.– National Educational Television (NET)– signed on as a network, when 70 independent educational stations interconnected for the first time to broadcast Lyndon Johnson’s inaugural address. (Prior to this, NET had simply circulated tapes of shows to stations, which broadcast them when they arrived– “consult your local listings.”)  Lest we doubt that the pace of advance is brisk, it was on this same date only four years later (1971) that public television’s signature prime time show, Masterpiece Theater, premiered on what by then was PBS (the successor to NET).

The original logo

Written by LW

January 10, 2010 at 1:01 am

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