Man on the moon: July 20, 1969

And here’s a Nova episode on the lunar mission:

I’ve probably said this before, but this was the greatest human achievement in history. So it’s frustrating to think that what I consider the most outstanding event of my lifetime happened 45 years ago.

C’mon, people. We’re now in the 21st century. We can do better. We already did.

Football vs. football: What do people really want to watch?

Every year, the Super Bowl comes around and the mavens in the sports media tell us that it’s the biggest sporting event in the world.

Then every four years, the World Cup comes around and mavens in the sports media tell us that it’s the biggest sporting event in the world.

So which one is it? (Via Beutlerink):

World-Cup-viewersBut (the NFL fans whine) you’re comparing something that happens every four years to something that happens every year.

Really, are you going to make me do the math?

Multiply the Super Bowl number by four, and you’re still short by the entire population of North America, where the only people who care about the Super Bowl live.  And when you think about it, lots of people in the world don’t have televisions. So the World Cup is a community event where villages gather in front of a lone TV to see what’s going on.

And unlike the Super Bowl, they’re not tuning in just to watch the commercials.

I was in Belgium during the 2006 World Cup, and the city put a huge monitor in the middle of the street near the Bourse (the stock exchange building) downtown and closed off the area to automobile traffic. We roamed the streets with an Italian flag and joined all the Italians after Italy beat France in the final. That year in Paris, they put a big screen on the Eiffel Tower which allowed everyone to see Zidane’s headbutt heard around the world.

In 2010, we were in a restaurant/pub in London watching Spain beat the Netherlands in the final, although the highlight of that tournament was when the U.S. tied England because goalie Robert Green let this get by him. We were watching that match with a bunch of Brits who were ragging us on how badly American asses were going to be kicked. Let’s just say, the Americans were the ones gloating at the end.

Check out this photo gallery at the Washington Post to see how people are watching the World Cup around the globe. This is not how we watch the Super Bow.

The ESPN test

I have a relative who used to work for ESPN in a pretty high profile position. Let’s just say there were times I’d be away from home and I’d glance up at a television screen and, “Wow. My relative is on ‘Sportscenter.’”

In all our conversations about getting a job and working at ESPN, the subject of an entry test never came up.

But today, I see on Deadspin that ESPN tests its new employees. If you’re thinking about working there some day, here’s what you have to answer in 45 minutes. Think fast!

Let’s destroy the world: A musical climate change chart

It’s lovely to watch your world collapse in a graphic. I wonder what Pat Sajak would say (via MSN):

Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak sparked a social media backlash Tuesday after calling people concerned about climate change “unpatriotic racists.”

“I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends. Good night,” Sajak tweeted late Monday.

I mean, really, who are you going to believe? The world’s scientists or a game show host who emcees a sophisticated version of Hangman? And where does the idea of racism and climate change come from?

‘Get Lucky’ on ‘Soul Train’

Every now and then, I miss “Soul Train,” not because I ever could sit through the whole show, but because of the dance line. “American Bandstand” didn’t have anything like that, two kids dancing down a line while folks on the line keep the beat going.

There’s no particular reason I’m thinking about this, other than I’m another year older and thinking about the past. But wouldn’t it be cool to watch kids dance to today’s music?

Soul Train (1971-2006)

And now, the right wing’s favorite rancher, Cliven Bundy!

So, yeah, I’ve been trying to ignore this “rancher agin’ the gubment” TV orgy. But honestly, when you see a story about flag wavin’, tax hatin’, Stetson wearin’ defenders of the Amurkin’ way bearin’ arms to protect FREEDOM!!! … Do you REALLY expect their inevitable discourse on race to be all …

And as for the conservative politicians and pundits who all were featured entertainers in the Cliven Bundy Travelin’ Salvation Show only a few short days ago … well let’s just say I never saw roaches scatter as fast when the lights came on.

For some reason, this whole circus has been like watching Maximus Decimus Meridius in the Colosseum:

So, what do they watch on Mexican television?

That’s from “María la del Barrio” and it appears to have run for one year in Mexico the 1990s. I can see why, because no one can be that intense for more than one year. And what’s with everyone NOT jumping on her and grabbing the scissors.

Of course, if you have more than an hour to kill, the series finale was really intense.

Makes you wonder if the actress who played the crazy lady later took quieter roles in her career?