Earlier this week, Apple brought out its dog-and-pony show to promote, among other things, the original TV shows that will debut (at some unknown date) on its new streaming video service. One of those onstage was Oprah Winfrey, who will apparently contribute some new content. Oprah does draw attention wherever she goes, with one exception: her OWN channel. That network debuted in 2011 to a lot of hoopla and the promise to bring us new and innovative programming from her Harpo Studios. Well, I just checked the lineup of shows airing this afternoon and evening. They are all reruns of Dr. Phil, ABC’s “20/20,” and NBC’s “Dateline.” There appears to be some original programming on the OWN website — mostly reality shows — but I’ve never heard anyone talking about any of it. So why would Apple think Oprah has come up with some new magical formula for TV? And how do you think Discovery, her partner in OWN, feels about her trying to create buzz for someone else’s streaming video service?
Schools in the UK are getting rid of analog clocks (you know, the ones with two hands moving in a circle?) because today’s students can’t read them, so they have no idea what time it is. Digital clocks they understand, because that’s all they see on their phones, tablets, and laptops. But big hand on twelve and small hand on nine? No idea. This seems like a teaching opportunity, a problem that could be fixed in about a week in elementary school, perhaps in the days leading up to a field trip to Big Ben — the giant analog clock on a tower that is one of Britain’s most iconic sites.
In the last week, I’ve been in three separate public bathrooms that have replaced their paper towel dispensers with hand dryers that blow air so hard they could be mistaken for jet engines. I have nothing against them. I’m glad those venues are cutting down on paper waste. However, I wish they had kept some tissue dispensers, because in this hay fever season, I have to blow my nose multiple times a day, and it’s awfully hard to do that on one of the hand dryers. Oh, sure, I could go back to the stall and get some toilet paper, but the person currently on the bowl might object. Before you ask why I don’t have a handkerchief in my pocket, it’s because once I expel anything from my body, I have no interest in folding it up and carrying it with me the rest of the day.