That's what Philo T. Farnsworth said to his wife as they sat in their living room on July 20, 1969, and watched Neil Armstrong take "one giant leap for mankind." Watched. Because of the thing that he invented 40+ years earlier.
It's been said before, but bears repeating: amazing as the moon landing / walk were, the truly amazing thing was that a billion people were able to watch the whole thing unfold from their living rooms.
Anybody who knows me at all knows that I'm a big fan of Marshall McLuhan, the proto-media theorist from the 1960s who said (among a million other things) that "the medium is the message." In other words, McLuhan explained, "Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication."
That's a cardinal observation in my universe, and the reason I've been known to carry a business card on which my "job description" is "Staunch McLuhanist."
But few people these days have ever heard of Marshall McLuhan, nor are they familiar with this dictum about media and messages. So imagine my delight when the media started picking up on a moment in the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings yesterday and describing it as an "Annie Hall / Marshall McLuhan" moment. To whit, this post from yesterday's Daily Kos:
Today, Sonia Sotomayor had an actual Allen/McLuhan moment.
Senator Jeff Sessions (Pompous racist, Ala.) contrasted Sotomayor's
"wise Latina" remark with NY Judge Miriam Cedarbaum, whom he said
"believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and
The reference is to this scene in Woody Allen's 1977 movie with Diane Keaton,Annie Hall:
Thus the Daily Kos post continues:
Apparently unbeknownst to Sesssions, Judge Cedarbaum was at the hearing. Judge Sotomayor replied:
My friend Judge Cedarbaum is here," Sotomayor riposted, to Sessions's apparent surprise. "We are good friends, and I believe that we both approach judging in the same way, which is looking at the facts of each individual case and applying the law to those facts."
The Kos post was picked up and repeated by other media outlets during the day, among them Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's "Countdown." And so Marshall McLuhan is revived, and perhaps another generation will find out who made the pivotal observation that "the medium is the message," who coined the expression "global village," and what it all really means.
NPR offers suggestions for a point-and-shoot, compact, and DSLR:
As summer gets into full swing, so does taking pictures. Whether it's at the beach or during a backyard barbecue, people often find themselves in charge of the food and the towels — but not in charge of the photo memories.
In spite of the seemingly unlimited supply of new "point-and-shoot" cameras on the market, many people have trouble finding the right combo of simplicity and quality that will take us from ho-hum to must-see photo status.
NPR's multimedia director Keith Jenkins offers tips for the amateur, including how to choose the right type of camera. Jenkins tells NPR's Robert Siegel that you should make your choice based on how much you want to spend — and how much you want to carry. Jenkins gives insight on three types of cameras — the camera phone, the point and shoot, and the DSLR.
The three recommendations are: iPhone 3GS, Canon G10, and a Canon DSLR. The iPhone I sorta have, the G10 is on the list, and the DSLR... well, soon as Nikon introduces the next generation, I'm there...