Pipeline Blog

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!

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.

untitled2Part 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.

untitled1SOUNDSTAGE 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.

untitled3Another 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

Music_Instinct-Heartbeat_04.11.08_147_1Remember 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.

Quality Time with Dad

Written by Holly on Friday June 19, 2009

250postoffice-familyWe always hear relationship advice that says "turn off the TV and have a meaningful conversation." But come on, the reality is we all love TV and we all love to talk about what we watch on TV.

So, if you find yourself in the living room with Dad this weekend, tune in to OETA and have a good chat about these dad-friendly shows...

THIS OLD HOUSE -- Saturday at 12:30pm -- Learn about installing a cell phone zone extender so you don't have to go outside or stand on the toilet to get a good signal on your cell phone.

NEW YANKEE WORKSHOP - Saturday at 1pm - Learn how to build a portable chop saw station so you can have your own "New Yankee Workshop" at home.

HOMETIME - Saturday at 1:30pm - The crew makes a basement more livable by taking care of asbestos, low-hanging pipes and floor drains.

MOTORWEEK - Sunday at 7am - They road test the 2009 Nissan 370Z and 2010 Mazda3.

NOVA "Bone Diggers" - Saturday at 3pm, Sunday at 11am -- Preserved remains of long extinct, fascinating creatures litter the floor of a prehistoric grave site in a cave in Australia.  

NATURE "Animals Behaving Worse" -- Sunday at 7pm --  As cities and suburbs extend further into animal habitats, conflicts between humans and animals are on the rise, ranging from annoyance and harassment to outright threat and danger.

While we're on the subject of Father's Day, let me take this opportunity to say howdy and "I love you" to my dad. Instead of watching TV, he and I will be watching my son hit a birthday piñata. Now that's good family fun.

The History Detectives are Back!

Written by Holly on Thursday June 18, 2009

If you put Antiques Roadshow, C.S.I. and Mythbusters in a blender, you'd get something pretty close to History Detectives.history_detectives

Here's how the show works... A person has an historical object and a story that's been passed down with it, and they call on one of the "History Detectives" to find out if the story is true.  In their research, the detectives use resources that are available almost anyone... libraries, museums, experts and archives. In the end, they find out the real history behind the object.

A few of the questions they'll try to answer in Season 7:

  • Did John Wilkes Booth's father once threaten to kill President Andrew Jackson?
  • Did Thomas Edison build a device for communicating with the dead?
  • Why were tiny babies exhibited at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair?
  • Was a gun handed down through two generations of prominent Chicago families used by Al Capone's gang during the St. Valentine's Day Massacre?
  • Why did President Millard Fillmore pardon an unknown Indian convicted of murdering a St. Louis trader?

HISTORY DETECTIVES has come to Oklahoma at least four times in doing their research, and I want them to come back. Not only is it interesting to learn about Oklahoma's history, but it's exciting to think I might run in to one of them at the airport or the mall. I actually did see detective Wes Cowan (pictured, top right) at a restaurant at one of the PBS conferences, but I was too star struck to say anything. All I remember is that he ate a salad and was very polite to his waitress.

Let's try to get HISTORY DETECTIVES to visit Oklahoma again. If you have an object that might have played a role in American history, submit your story here.

Season 7 of HISTORY DETECTIVES starts this Monday, June 22nd at 8pm.

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Written by Holly on Thursday June 18, 2009

June is a busy month. There are weddings, birthdays and various other celebrations. Just this weekend alone, I have my son's birthday and Father's Day. I have only two more gifts to purchase, but I know exactly what I'm going to get, so the hardest part is over.

If you're still undecided on what to get your dad, grandpa or husband for Father's Day, here are some DVD suggestions...shop_pbs_2

Sports Dad: Ken Burns' Baseball DVD Set

Spiritual Dad: Walking the Bible DVD Set

Funny Dad: Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America DVD Set

History Buff Dad: Ken Burns' Civil War DVD Set

Movie Buff Dad: The Ultimate Sherlock Holmes Collection DVD Set

Music Dad: History of Rock n' Roll DVD Set ...or... Ken Burns' Jazz DVD Set

ShopPBS is offering $10 off any $50 purchase right now. But if it's too late to order for Father's Day, go ahead and get the gift for Dad's birthday or Christmas. You'll be glad you did.