Sunday, January 31, 2016

Thankful Sunday--January 31, 2016

I am thankful for Buzzr TV.

A few months ago, we started to get Buzzr TV which is a channel that plays only old game shows. It's good for some mindless fun from time to time whether it is a trip down memory lane with Monty Hall and The Price is Right or watching new-to-me shows* like I've Got a Secret and What's My Line.

I find it particularly interesting to see how the old game shows worked with chalkboards and cardboard signs. No flashing lights or music for drama--just game playing. And some good playing at that. This channel also plays the original commercials that aired with the game shows. After watching several, it seems to me that commercials from 50 years ago were more about convincing you that they had a good product than entertaining you like today. For example, one was a man shaving the fuzz off a peach with a Remington razor.  No sports heroes or funny lines--just a man shaving a peach. And when he was done, I was convinced that a Remmington razor could give a close, gentle shave.

All and all, I feel like I'm watching a piece of cultural history when I watch these old shows. That was especially evident yesterday when I saw an episode of I've Got a Secret that introduced Velcro to most of the country for the first time.** The contestant's secret was that she could walk on the ceiling. She demonstrated this by hanging upside down with only the help of Velcro. She appeared with a space technology engineer who was using Velcro to develop things for astronauts.

So all my life, I've heard about Velcro and the space program and yesterday I saw how most of the country learned about this. It was really cool. And for Buzzr TV letting me see this bit of our history, I am thankful.

*I have heard of these shows, but have not seen most of them before.

**Original air date was January 1, 1962.

But wait, there's more:
Contrary to popular belief, NASA did not develop Velcro. It was developed in 1948 by Swiss engineer, George de Mestral. He patented it in 1955. However, NASA did develop many uses for it in the space program and helped popularize it. Velcro first became commercially available in the late 1950's.