It’s the kind of day when I can’t seem to pull anything together completely, so here’s a batch of seeds and stems:
Following up on yesterday’s post about the November 9 national test of the Emergency Alert System, here’s a video explaining what the test will look and sound like, based on statewide tests done previously in Alaska. One thing I neglected to mention yesterday—a fact that’s fueling the paranoia about the test—is that after an emergency is declared and for as long as it continues, radio and TV stations are forbidden to broadcast anything else. Theoretically, a real emergency might last for hours or days. I suppose a government bent on taking control of the nation’s media outlets could use EAS to do it, but it’s hard to imagine such a takeover succeeding for very long. Local stations could certainly override the system if they chose. As I noted yesterday, I am betting that not every station will get the test on properly to begin with—and also a fairly safe bet that some stations will elect not to participate at all, as some sort of anti-government, anti-Obama pander to their listeners.
(Coincidentally, the EAS test falls on the anniversary of a Strategic Air Command error that could have resulted in an accidental nuclear strike on the Soviet Union. That’s not going to calm the loons.)
I’ve mentioned Ken Levine’s blog before, in which the TV comedy writer, baseball broadcaster, and former radio guy tells stories out of his vast and varied experiences. In today’s entry, he describes his experience as an engineer at KABC and KLOS in Los Angeles during the early 70s, about the culture clash between talk-radio AM and album-rock FM, and an unfortunate-yet-hilarious mistake he witnessed on the air one night.
Also recommended: the blog by our Internet pal kblumenau, the artist formerly known as Kinky Paprika, called Hope Street. He uses events large and small from the 1960s and 1970s, as noted by his late grandfather on a series of calendars, to illustrate both his family history and American life in those years. It’s a blog that deserves wider notice, so notice it already.
A further recommendation: To the Batpoles!, a blog featuring a different episode of the 1960s Batman series every day. I was a big fan of the show as a kid, although I’ve watched a bunch of episodes again recently and haven’t liked them much. To the Batpoles! helps explain why—the plot holes, the cheesy setups, the bad acting and more—and contains a wealth of television trivia, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Earlier this year, we discussed the way music is processed today, and how dynamic range, one of the most pleasing aspects of music, is being sacrificed in the name of loudness. Dan Kelley of Okemos Brewing Company pointed me to an article at CNET about how the “loudness wars” are affecting music recorded years before the wars began, and one potential solution to the problem.
That’s all I’ve got for now. We will return you to your day, already in progress, following a word from our sponsor.