Hello. My name is Holly. I'm part of a team of people who assemble the programming schedule for OETA.
We look at the PBS national schedule, local programs and programs from other stations and distributors. We take in all that information and combine it with Member ballot feedback and viewer suggestions, and at the end of the month, I put together a schedule for each of our four channels.
The following are some notes about upcoming programs, preemptions and other points of interest that viewers might not hear otherwise. I hope you'll find it useful!
Written by Holly on Tuesday June 30, 2009
What's the difference between NOVA and NOVA scienceNOW? It's easy. NOVA scienceNOW delivers science and technology in bite-size pieces. It's more of a a fast-paced magazine series while NOVA focuses on one subject per episode. I love them both.
Another difference is that NOVA scienceNOW has a host... Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Over the past four years, he's become one of my favorite TV personalities. I could listen to him talk all day. I actually did listen to him talk for a couple of hours at a PBS conference last year. He's even more interesting in person without a script or teleprompter. He'll never know it but one of his anecdotes changed the way I raise my children. He spoke about his two-year old daughter pouring a cup of milk onto the dining room table and how, much to his wife's chagrin, he enjoyed witnessing his daughter learn the laws of fluid dynamics. It sounds so much cooler coming from him.
This clip shows some of his personality. I think it's his enthusiasm that sucks me in.
NOVA scienceNOW starts its fourth season tonight on OETA. Tonight's topics include making bad singers sound good, growing diamonds in a lab and the results of the scientific research on the 2001 anthrax attacks. Here's a peak...
NOVA scienceNOW airs Tuesday nights at 8pm.
Do It Yourself TV
Written by Holly on Monday June 29, 2009
We're celebrating the tinkerers, tweakers and hackers among us with a new weekly TV series called MAKE:.
You might recognize the name from the MAKE: Magazine popular with the inventor crowd. Much like the magazine, the television series is dedicated to "makers" and their insatiable desire to make something out of something else.
Last week's episode explained how to turn an old VCR into an automated cat feeder. Tonight we'll learn how to build a Burrito Blaster (pictured) that will launch hotdogs and other stadium fare high into the bleachers. Future projects include how to make a Steadicam, DTV antenna, wind generator and heat ray. Cool!
The inventions and alterations featured in the show go beyond their specific purposes. MAKE: is about inspiring artists, geeks and viewers of all walks of life to invent, re-invent and recycle.
MAKE: airs most Monday nights at 10pm.
"Elegant Cookies" on Everyday Baking
Written by Holly on Thursday June 25, 2009
Host John Carricelli uses recipes from Everyday Food Magazine to teach viewers how to make bakery-quality desserts without too much fuss.
I took a peek at the recipes that will be featured in this Saturday's episode "Elegant Cookies" and was taken by the Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps. They looked exactly like cookies my mom makes every year at Christmas. So, I made a batch of them last night (pictured) and, as promised by the show's premise, they were super easy. But how did they taste?
Here's what some of the OETA staff thought...
The size is excellent, the texture is perfect, the blend of chocolate and espresso is equally balanced. Yummy for my tummy. -- Jenelle, Human Resources
I don't like Espresso or anything coffee flavored, but... I was very surprised that the Espresso flavor wasn't overpowering... For someone who wants to taste the Espresso, they might be disappointed. -- Tanya, Executive Assistant
Just on looks alone, I would not pick out this cookie if I had another choice, it's "funny" looking... I was very surprised when I tasted this cookie...I love it! It's very chewy and not overly sweet...which I would have guessed it would be overly sweet but it's not. -- Janette, Traffic and Operations
I am not a coffee/espresso fan... I really couldn't taste it while eating. After I had finished, I could taste a little "tang' of the espresso, but it wouldn't discourage me from eating the cookie! -- Rebecca, Administrative Assistant
I think they are balanced. Not too chocolate and not too much coffee. For a person who does not like very sweet cookies, this is the one. The cookies is a very nice texture and too me just the right softeness. -- Natalie, Certified Procurement Officer
I like them. I don't drink coffee and really like the cookie. I can't even really taste the coffee in them, all I taste is the chocolate, which I love! Very yummy! -- Cindy, Accounting
At first, I was hesitant... due to the powdered sugar, which normally makes me sneeze. I tried one and LOVED IT! The powdered sugar adds a touch of sweetness to balance the deep chocolate espresso. -- Traci, OETA Foundation
First of all, I thought the cookie was delicious! Great texture; just the right amount of "chewy-ness." I got the "espresso hit" on the second bite, more than the first, which is fine by me. -- Debra, Producer/Director
EVERYDAY BAKING airs Saturday mornings at 10am.
Behind the Soundstage
Written by Holly on Thursday June 25, 2009
As a money-strapped mom, I don't go to many concerts. Thank goodness for SOUNDSTAGE. The concert is brought to me in my own living room. All of the less-than-enjoyable aspects of a live concert (i.e. finding parking, making polite conversation with people seated near me) are eliminated but without sacrificing the uninterrupted music and live performance atmosphere.
Part of what makes SOUNDSTAGE so entertaining is the excellent use of their 12 high-definition cameras (Sony HD 1080p for those who are interested in such things). They have some cameras held in place by giant tripods, and they have some hand-held cameras (left) that are toted around on the shoulders of strong cameramen (or women, I can't be sure). My husband does this type of work from time to time. If you find yourself at an event with hand-held cameras, watch for the "grip". That's a person who is in charge of keeping the cables from tangling or tripping the cameraman. The grip is sometimes the hardest working person on the crew.
SOUNDSTAGE also makes use of a "Steadicam" (right), which is a stabilization device worn on the torso of a cameraman. It gives him the steadiness of a tripod camera but with the freedom of a hand-held camera. You might see the Steadicam operator walk around in some of the wide shots of the stage.
Another important camera is the jib camera (left). It's used for getting shots from up high in the studio and for sweeping motions, like those that start high and move down low. The jib camera operator uses electronic joysticks to control the jib arm, almost as an extension of his own body. He can pan, tilt and zoom the camera with the controls, giving a unique perspective to the concert that you couldn't get as a member of the audience.
So, while you're watching OneRepublic on SOUNDSTAGE tonight at 10pm, keep an eye out for these cameras and the shots they take. Or, even better, just sit back and enjoy the show.
Science and Song
Written by Holly on Tuesday June 23, 2009
Remember that song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" from somewhere back in the 80s? Bobby McFerrin used his voice, lips, mouth and chest to create a variety of sounds, all of which came together to make a delightful little ditty. The lyrics annoyed me, but I was fascinated by the complexity of the song.
Tomorrow night's documentary THE MUSIC INSTINCT: SCIENCE AND SONG looks at why humans are so moved by music. We'll hear from neuroscientists as they discuss the brain's connection to music and how music can begin to heal damaged parts of the brain. There's even new evidence that music can actually alter the physical structure of the brain.
Did you hear me? It can change the shape of the brain!
And for those who aren't there for the science, the program includes performances in genres from rock to classical, including Bobby McFerrin "singing" a duet with his son, Taylor. Fortunately, this one has no lyrics.
THE MUSIC INSTINCT: SCIENCE AND SONG airs Wednesday night at 8pm.