Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, May 08, 2021

Looks like that TV fad has finally run out of steam after 50-odd years. Nielsen ratings from this past Spring show 2.5 million fewer pairs of eyeballs watching the broadcast networks, compared to the previous year.

Indicating even worse to come:

Scariest of all for the networks, however, is the idea that many people are now making their own television schedules. The industry isn’t fully equipped to keep track of them, and as a result the networks are scrambling to hold on to the nearly $8.8 billion they collected during last spring’s ad-buying season.

“This may be the spring where we see a radical shift in the way the culture thinks of watching TV,” said Sarah Bunting, co-founder of the Web site Television Without Pity.

I have little doubt that the TV Zombie Nation is still out there in force, and are absorbing the advertising (30-second spots, in-program product placements, etc.) just as much as always. Nielsen simply has to get the surveying right, so that the reporting is actually demographically reflective.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/08/2021 11:56:16 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Society, TV
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A land of perpetual winter ordinarily doesn’t hold much appeal to me.

That said, I find this unofficial history of British Antarctic base Halley Bay engrossing. Particularly the copious photos and notes found in the year-by-year archives, which stretch all the way back to 1956. (Apparently, there’s plenty of time for taking pictures way down under — I’m impressed by the volume of photographic records.)

Naturally, I’m curious about what happened in 1971, my birthyear:

- First visit of RRS Bransfield
- First journey to Riiser-Larsen ice shelf
- Astronomical observations by Bob Paterson
- Lowest recorded temperature to date: -53.2°C
- A large area of ice shelf calved northeast of the Macdonald Ice Rumples (September)
- The horizontal speed of the ice shelf increased from 400m/yr to 750m/yr
- 50 Hz mains synchronised to atomic time.

So, a lot of watching ice. Oh, and a visit by apparent Argentine helicopter pirates. It’s like I was there!

I also got a kick out of the index of dogs that have worked the base.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/08/2021 11:22:17 PM
Category: History, Science
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