Early TV

A recent survey reveled that the typical American spends from two-and-a-half to almost five hours watching television every day.  Early television was quite primitive, as there was no cable, no remote control and no color TV.  After World War II, around 1949 Americans who lived within range of the growing number of television stations in the country could watch, for some shows like, The Texaco Star Theater (1948), starring Milton Berle, or the children’s program, Howdy Doody and by 1951 there were 12 million TV sets and by 1955 half of all U.S. homes had one.

Color sets started appearing in the United States by late 50’s, but the market was slow because they were expensive and hardly any shows were being broadcast in color.  In 1964 color broadcasting began on prime-time television with the three major networks ABC, CBS and NBC.  Shows were forced to convert from black-and-white programming to color and these included, The Wild, Wild West, Gilligan’s Island, The Andy Griffith Show, I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched.

Before cable TV came along, people picked up their signal from broadcast antennas and picture quality was not always great.  People living in cities got better pictures, because they were a lot closer to the signal broadcast, but still it was nothing like we have today.  Pre-solid state TVs were finicky, and required lots of fiddling, tube-testing and finger-crossing in addition to any antenna adjustments.  Early cathode ray tube televisions were constantly grainy, fuzzy, foggy and out-of-focus and even distorted.  They broke down a lot and these sets always had to be repaired.

The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions

The Philistines were an ancient people, who descended from Noah’s son Ham after the time of the flood. The Lord promised that the land of Israel would include the territory where the Philistines lived and this promise caused prolonged conflict, as Israel tried to displace the Philistines and they became mortal enemies for hundreds of years.  They had different Gods and had different cultures, and they were both powerful and warlike people, and neither group wanted to be ruled by the other, so they constantly challenged the strength of each other to try and prove which one was better.

A priest named Eli had just retired and Samuel replaced him as the Judge.  The Israelites mostly dwelled in the hills of Samaria, however in order to expand their trade routes, they pushed westwards towards the plains into Philistine territory.  Their settlements along the western edge of the hills, including Eben-Ezer, were part of this push westwards and eventually pressure built up, which brought these two nations into a conflict.  Samuel gave the word about the impending battle to all Israel, so the men of Israel went out to battle against the Philistines, and they pitched beside Eben-Ezer and the Philistines pitched their tents in Aphek.

On the first day of the engagement, the Philistines routed the Israelites on the battlefield, as they slew about four thousand men in Israel’s army at Eben-Ezer.  When the Israel army regrouped back at the camp, the elders of Israel wondered, ‘Why had their God let the Philistines slaughter them this day?’  The Israelites saw how the Philistines had carried their idol Dagon, and his sacred symbols, into this war, and they wondered if this is what gave them the victory that day.  Dagon was a fertility god, he was the head god for the Philistines and he looked like a half fish and half man.  The Israelites made an effort to remedy their situation, by sending for the Ark of the Covenant to be brought to the battlefield, which was stationed at Shiloh.  They reasoned that when it arrived at the battle, it would save them from their enemies, for the Ark of the Covenant is where God dwelled under the wings of the cherubim, and it contained the promises of Jehovah their God.  When the Ark of the Covenant arrived at the Israelite camp, they all shouted with joy as they thought that it would give them success, because God had given them many victories before over their enemies while carrying the Ark.

The Philistines immediately attacked the Israelite camp for a second time, when they heard the shouts of the Israelites and they smote them in a great slaughter.  This was one of the most catastrophic military losses in Israel’s history and it tragically resulted in 34,000 Israelite soldiers being killed.  The two spiritual leaders, the sons of Eli were dead, and worst of all, the Ark of Covenant, which was brought to encourage the army, was taken by the Philistines.  Samuel and a few elders of Israel survived the onslaught, but they could not understand why this battle turned into such a disaster.  They did not realize that the spiritual decline of the nation had lost them God’s protection and assured their enemy’s victory.  They had placed their confidence in the magic of the Ark, rather than the majesty of the Almighty, who resided above in heaven and not in the Ark.  The Israelites tried to use the Ark of the Covenant as a good luck charm, but God had given conditional promises to Israel, and since Israel did not keep these conditions, the covenant with God was broken and God was not obligated to answer their prayers.

The Philistines chased the Israelites back to Shiloh and they destroyed the city.  For the first time in its history, the ark was now in the hands of those who did not worship Jehovah.  They took the Ark of God from the battle in Eben-Ezer, and brought it into Ashdod.  In Ashdod, the Ark was placed in their pagan temple of Dagon, and the next morning the statue of Dagon had fallen on its face in front of the Ark.  The Philistines restored the statue of Dagon, back into its upright place, but again the next morning it was found prostrate bowing to the Ark and this time its head and hands had also been broken off.  The Philistines decided to move the Ark from Ashdod to Gath, but as soon as it arrived there, all the people became afflicted with hemorrhoids.  The presence of the Ark in Gath caused extensive tumors and so much panic, that the people there had to find volunteers to take the Ark away.

They sent the Ark of God to Ekron, and when it arrived there, the Ekronites cried out in alarm, saying, ‘Woe to us!  God has come into our camp.  They have brought the Ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay all our people.’  While the Ark was in Ekron, the people realized that the severity of the punishments increased each time it was moved from town to town.  They felt that the Ark of the Covenant was a curse to them, so they gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, ‘Send away the Ark of the God back to the people of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, so that we will not be slayed by Yahweh’s hand.’  The Philistines were so afraid of the Ark, that they returned it to the men of Beth-Shemesh.  The Philistines did not know how to properly treat the ark, thus their desecration of the ark was a sin of ignorance.

The people who lived in the Israelite city of Beth-Shemesh were not properly trained how to take care of the ark either and they did not understand how to respect it, so being curious they decided to open it and see what was inside.  This was in direct violation of how the ark was to be treated, and all those who looked inside died.  After this catastrophe, the remaining citizens of Beth-Shemesh decided they did not want to have the ark in their city, and they sent it to another Israelite city.  Curiosity killed the cat and many evils begin with curiosity.

Twenty years later, Saul became king, David rose in power, Saul died, and David was recognized as king over all Israel.  David made Jerusalem his capital city and wanted the ark transported there.  During this transport journey, Uzzah suffered divine punishment for desecration of the ark.  From the time of Moses, the ark had been at the center of Israel’s temple worship as the representation of the earthly dwelling place of the Lord.  Its design was given by revelation, and the ark was to be placed in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle.  Since the tabernacle was designed to be portable, there were specific instructions about how to move the ark.

The Lord commanded the Levites to carry the ark on their shoulders.  The ark was designed for this method of transportation featuring four golden rings on the four corners held by two staves.  Those who carried the ark put these staves on their shoulders, providing stable transportation without directly touching the ark.   The Lord commanded that only one family among the Levites was authorized to carry the ark, who were the sons of Kohath.  Kohath was the grandfather of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.  The ark was so sacred that the sons of Kohath were specifically warned that if they touched the ark, even while performing their duties, they would die.

David went to retrieve the ark accompanied by a large procession and he began the journey back to Jerusalem, however, during this trip the commandments about moving the ark were not followed.  Instead of descendants of Kohath transporting the ark, two of the sons of Abinadab were selected and one of them was Uzzah.  Also the ark was not carried with the staves on their shoulders, it was instead placed in a cart pulled by oxen.

Uzzah had good intentions when he saw that the ark was about to be tipped, because the oxen nearly upset it, so he put out his hand out to hold the ark, trying to protect the ark from falling off the cart.  Uzzah committed a sin because the ark was not being transported properly as it should have been securely resting on the staves on the shoulders of those carrying it.  Uzzah was struck dead by God because he violated the law, and the punishment for what he did was death.

Written for this week’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.

Helter Skelter

The compound word willy-nilly has a similar meaning to that of helter skelter, as they are both actions done without definite aim, direction, rule, or method.  In the summer of 1969, in Los Angeles, a series of brutal, seemingly random murders captured headlines across America, when a famous actress Sharon Marie Tate Polanski (and her unborn child), were found murdered along with four other people at her Los Angeles home.  Sharon Tate was an heiress to a coffee fortune, and a supermarket owner and his wife were among the seven victims.  The gruesome crime, in which the killers scrawled messages on the walls with the victims’ blood, sent Hollywood into a state of panic.  A thin trail of circumstances eventually tied the Tate-LeBianca murders to Charles Manson, a would-be pop singer of small talent, a career criminal and cult leader living in the desert with his ‘family’ of devoted young women and men.  Manson and his followers lived together on the outskirts of L.A. in a commune where drug use and orgies were common, and he was later convicted for the murders.

Charles Manson often spoke to the members of his Family about Helter Skelter, an apocalyptic war arising from racial tensions between blacks and whites.  The term Helter Skelter came from the Beatles song of that name, which referred to the British amusement-park ride of that name that featured built in a slide in a spiral around a high tower, but it was interpreted by Manson as being concerned with this race war.

Helter Skelter

When I get to the bottom
I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and turn
And I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again
Do you, don’t you want me to love you?
I’m coming down fast but I’m miles above you
Tell me, tell me, tell me, come on tell me the answer!
Well you may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer
Go Helter Skelter
Helter Skelter
Helter Skelter
Will you, won’t you want me to make you?
I’m coming down fast, but don’t let me break you
Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer!
You may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer
Look out!
Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Look out!
‘Cause here she comes
When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
And I stop and I turn
And I go for a ride
And I get to the bottom and I see you again
Yeah, yeah
Well do you, don’t you want me to make you?
I’m coming down fast but don’t let me break you
Tell me, tell me, tell me your answer
You may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer
Look out!
Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Look out!
Helter skelter
She’s coming down fast
Yes she is
Yes she is
Coming down fast
I got blisters on my fingers

The Letter is E

Here we are again for another weekly contest, write whatever you want, as I am only interested in the contestants having fun. This game will be called the Letter Repetition Game as this accurately describes how it played.  It is not an alliteration game as that would also involve the occurrence of the same sound in a word and this Letter Repetition Game requires you to write a sentence where every word in this sentence starts with the same letter.  If you think this could be a fun game, then write your sentence in the comment boxes shown below.  The person who gets the most likes on their sentence will be the winner.  Have fun, tell your friends and spread the word (no pun intended).

This contest will run starting from every Tuesday through the following Monday. The winner will be decided by the numbers of likes that their comment box gets.  If you paid any attention to the title of this post, it should be clear that you are to create a sentence where every word starts with the letter E for this week and next week we will move on to the letter F.  Don’t take this too serious, as this contest is mostly about having fun.  It is not that difficult to play, as all you have to do is make a sentence using words that start with the same letter.  The sentence does not have to make all that much sense, but the more sense it makes the better it is.  There is no prize issued and it would be good if you only made one submission per week.  Last week had 4 participants and Vandana won again with two likes.  Last week’s entries are listed below.

Vandana – Drew daydreamed doodling dandy dandelions dotting daffy daffodils.

Sight – Deadpool dreaming, deadly droppings.

Fandango – Degenerate Daniel defiantly delighted doing dangerous, death-defying deeds

A sample sentence is listed below.

Every elephant eventually expects euphoric empty experiences encompassing eclipses.

Money For Nothing

Look at them Senator’s that’s the way you do it
You sit around and BS all day
They ain’t working that’s the way they do it
Money for nothing and chicks for free
Now that ain’t working that’s the way you do it
Let me tell you them guys ain’t dumb
Maybe get a prickle on your little finger
Maybe get a prickle on your thumb
We got to put up with Trump senior talking about fake news
We got to hear from Kim Jong-un we got to punish those Russians
Putin is a little faggot even though Trump is in love with him
Yeah buddy he waxes his chest hair
That little faggot is in charge of all the hackers
That little faggot was in the KGB
The white supremacists started trouble in Charlottesville
One person is dead after car rams into anti-fascist protesters
No one is draining the swamp as the Donald promised
Not the Governors, or Congress or anyone in the Senate
I should have studied Civics in college
I should have learned to bang my drum
Look at the First Lady Melania who was born in Slovenia
Donald does not like immigrants
So tell me, what is up with that?
Cricket noises?
Banging on the bongos like a chimpanzee
That ain’t working that’s the way you do it
Get your money for nothing get your chicks for free
Defense secretary Mattis says US will take out any North Korean missiles
That is detected heading for American soil, including the island of Guam
Listen here
Now that ain’t working that’s the way to do it
Putin began his career in the KGB
That ain’t working that’s the way you do it
Money for nothing and chicks for free

Jiffy Time Unit

The word jiffy is an arbitrary, indeterminate amount of time and the expression ‘in a jiffy’, can mean ‘maybe now, or maybe never’, so if someone tells you that they will be back in a jiffy, you should be prepared to be disappointed.  It is the same as saying that you will be back in a moment, as jiffy does not constitute a specific length of time, it is is an informal term for any unspecified short period of time, thus jiffy could mean two minutes or two hours.  Doing something in a jiffy, certainly does not mean that it will be done now at this exact moment, or in a flash, or fast as greased lightning, or in the blink of an eye, or the beat of your heart and it is quite possible that it will never get done.

Humans measure time being relative to the Sun, and Earth’s orbit around it.  One year is one complete orbit around the Sun, One day is one full rotation of the Earth on its axis.  We have 24 hours in every day which equates to 1,440 minutes in a day.  Time as we know it, consisting of 24 hours in one day, did not come about until the 14th century when the first mechanical clocks were made.  The entire world only just synchronized their clocks in 1967, when the second was recognized as the international unit of atomic time.  Jiffy is a scientific time unit that has taken on many different meanings, it implicates various things across numerous fields of study.  Jiffy has acquired a number of precise time unit definitions which all describe short, very short, and extremely short periods of time.

The earliest technical usage for jiffy was defined by Physical Chemist Gilbert Newton Lewis who proposed a unit of time called the ‘jiffy’, which was equal to the time it takes light to travel one centimeter in a vacuum (approximately 33.3564 picoseconds).  This jiffy is equal to a ‘light centimeter’.  The speed of light in a vacuum provides a convenient universal relationship between distance and time, so in physics (particularly in quantum physics) and often in chemistry, a jiffy is defined as the time taken for light to travel some specified distance.  Since Lewis, other physicists and chemists have suggested alternative distances to measure a jiffy, rather than light traveling for a centimeter, but the original value is still most typically used in physics and chemistry.

In electronics and for electrical engineers, a jiffy is the period of an alternating current power cycle, 1/60 or 1/50 of a second in most mains power supplies. Specifically, it was .0167 or .02 seconds, which is the time between AC power cycles (.0167 seconds for the United States and .02 seconds in Europe).  However, today it usually just means .01 seconds (10 ms), for no particular reason other than that’s the resolution of most common stopwatches.

In computing, a jiffy was originally the time between two ticks of the system timer interrupt.  It is not an absolute time interval unit, since its duration depends on the clock interrupt frequency of the particular hardware platform.

In astrophysics and quantum physics a jiffy is, as defined by Edward R. Harrison, the time it takes for light to travel one Fermi, which is approximately the size of a nucleon. One Fermi is 10−15 m, so a jiffy is about 3 × 10 to the minus 24 seconds.  It has also more informally been defined as ‘one light-foot’, which is equal to approximately one nanosecond.  The jiffy is also used as the time required for light to travel a distance of one femtometer (the Fermi being an SI unit of length equal to 10−15 meters, which means a quadrillionth of one).  This would make the jiffy equal to 3.335 64 zeptoseconds (unit of time equal to 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001 seconds, that is, 10−21 second.  In the 20th century Richard Tolman suggested that a jiffy should be the length of time it takes a photon (light particle) to travel from one side of a nucleon (neutron or proton) to the other.  A nucleon has a diameter of about 10−15 meter; a jiffy in this context would only be a paltry 3.3357 x 10−24 seconds.

The jiffy has become standardized, more or less, as 0.01 second (10 milliseconds).  There are only 2 smaller measurements of time, the yoctosecond (one trillionth of a trillionth of a second), and a Planck time unit that is used to describe the Big Bang.  Other vague measurement units that are used to indicate a tiny bit or a small amount that often create confusion are a pinch, a smidgen, a dash, a tad, a scoach and a drop.

BBC Dr Who Marathon

Starting today a Four Day Doctor Who colossal marathon will be broadcast on BBC America with non-stop continuous episodes all day long.  The Doctor is an alien Time Lord from the distant planet Gallifrey.  He is a renegade highly-intelligent scientist that is eccentric yet compassionate as he travels through all of time and space in his TARDIS (an acronym for Time and Relative Dimension In Space), fighting monsters and other villainous megalomaniacs with his numerous companions to solve problems and battle injustice.  The Doctor often visits Earth, to save it from alien threats or to grab a few choice inhabitants to help him fight evil nin the galaxy.

I want to see the episode where that huge spaceship is trapped in the gravity well of a black hole, or the one where every clock in the world begins counting down to the Earth’s destruction.  I definitely want to catch the one where the Doctor makes a final stand against an army of Cybermen and also when he is trapped on a space station with no oxygen.  I absolutely want to see the episode where there is that spectacular city on a distant planet inhabited by a band of cute droids.

For Sunday Fiction Sunday Photo Fictioneer
200 Words