(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Sesame Street

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes”*…

 

crime-perceptions

 

There’s a persistent belief across America that crime is on the rise.

Since the late 1980s, Gallup has been polling people on their perception of crime in the United States, and consistently, the majority of respondents indicate that they see crime as becoming more prevalent. As well, a recent poll showed that more than two-thirds of Americans feel that today’s youth are less safe from crime and harm than the previous generation.

Even the highest ranking members of the government have been suggesting that the country is in the throes of a crime wave:

We have a crime problem. […] this is a dangerous permanent trend that places the health and safety of the American people at risk. (then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions)

Is crime actually more prevalent in society?… crime rate data from the FBI shows a very different reality…

More on a phenomenon that would simply be bemusing if it weren’t driving both personal and governmental action: “The Crime Rate Perception Gap.”

* Sherlock Holmes, in Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles

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As we triple-lock our doors, we might recall that it was on this date in 1976 that Sesame Street aired episode #847, featuring Margaret Hamilton reprising her role as the Wicked Witch of the West from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.  It scared children so badly that the episode has never been re-aired. (This, after she had appeared as herself in three episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, between 1975 and 1976– because Fred Rogers wanted his young viewers to recognize the Wicked Witch was just a character and not something to fear.)

220px-Sesame_Street_Margaret_Hamilton_Oscar_The_Grouch_1976 source

 

“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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Written by LW

November 10, 2013 at 1:01 am

Sounding it out…

 

click here to hear pronunciation

On the heels of Tuesday’s almanac entry, several readers have wondered how to pronounce the name of Moctezuma’s capital, the Aztec metropolis overrun by Cortez…

More educational enunciation on Pronunciation Manual’s You Tube channel

click here to hear pronunciation

[TotH to EWW]

As we remember to roll our Rs, we might recall that Pronunciation Guide’s spiritual ancestor, Sesame Street, premiered on this date in 1969.

source

Written by LW

November 10, 2011 at 1:01 am

A matter of perspective…

From Darren Rouse‘s Digital Photography School, a 90-year-old example of forced perspective photography:

The picture is of 18,000 men preparing for war in a training camp at Camp Dodge, in Iowa.

A few facts about the image:

* Length from base to Shoulder: 150 feet
* Right Arm: 340 feet
* Length of Torch and flame: 1000 feet
* Total Length: 1490 Feet
* Number of men in body and head of figure: 2,000
* Number of men in right arm: 1,200
* Number of men in torch: 2,800
* Number of men in the flame only: 12,000
* Total men: 18,000

(Thanks SC for the pointer)

As we adjust our focal lengths, we might pause to slip a celebratory tickle to Elmo– it was on this date in 1969 that Sesame Street first aired…

The original cast

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