The world remembers Edison, Ford, and the Wright Brothers. But what about Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television, an innovation that did as much as any other to shape the twentieth century? That question lies at the heart of "The Boy Genius and the Mogul," Daniel Stashower's captivating chronicle of television's true inventor, the battle he faced to capitalize on his breakthrough, and the powerful forces that resulted in the collapse of his dreams.
The son of a Mormon farmer, Farnsworth was born in 1906 in a single-room log cabin on an isolated homestead in Utah. The Farnsworth family farm had no radio, no telephone, and no electricity. Yet, motivated by the stories of scientists and inventors he read about in the science magazines of the day, young Philo set his sights on becoming an inventor. By his early teens, Farnsworth had become an inveterate tinkerer, able to repair broken farm equipment when no one else could. It was inevitable that when he read an article about a new idea -- for the transmission of pictures by radio waves--that he would want to attempt it himself. One day while he was walking through a hay field, Farnsworth took note of the straight, parallel lines of the furrows and envisioned a system of scanning a visual image line by line and transmitting it to a remote screen. He soon sketched a diagram for an early television camera tube. It was 1921 and Farnsworth was only fourteen years old.
Farnsworth went on to college to pursue his studies of electrical engineering but was forced to quit after two years due to the death of his father. Even so, he soon managed to persuade a group of California investors to set him up in his own research lab where, in 1927, he produced the first all-electronic television image and later patented his invention. While Farnsworth's invention was a landmark, it was also the beginning of a struggle against an immense corporate power that would consume much of his life. That corporate power was embodied by a legendary media mogul, RCA President and NBC founder David Sarnoff, who claimed that his chief scientist had invented a mechanism for television prior to Farnsworth's. Thus the boy genius and the mogul were locked in a confrontation over who would control the future of television technology and the vast fortune it represented. Farnsworth was enormously outmatched by the media baron and his army of lawyers and public relations people, and, by the 1940s, Farnsworth would be virtually forgotten as television's actual inventor, while Sarnoff and his chief scientist would receive the credit.
Restoring Farnsworth to his rightful place in history, "The Boy Genius and the Mogul" presents a vivid portrait of a self-taught scientist whose brilliance allowed him to "capture light in a bottle." A rich and dramatic story of one man's perseverance and the remarkable events leading up to the launch of television as we know it, "The Boy Genius and the Mogul "shines new light on a major turning point in American history.
In page after page of colorful imagery, "The Incredible World of Spy-Fi" captures four decades of espionage eye candy from our favorite fictional spies. From Maxwell Smart's Shoe Phone to James Bond's Walther PPK to Austin Powers' eyeglasses and classic spy gear from "Alias," "Mission: Impossible," "The Wild Wild West," and more, this visual gallery reveals to the public for the very first time the world's largest collection of spy props and artifacts. Danny Biederman, creator of the Spy-Fi Archives, has spent the better part of his life tracking down over 4,000 rare pieces. So thorough is his collection that the CIA visited the Archives and invited Biederman to display a portion from his massive treasury at CIA headquarters. Here, Biederman profiles over 200 of his coolest, most captivating gadgets, offering enough juicy trivia and insider stories to make any spy proud.
What warps when you're traveling at warp speed?
What's the difference between a holodeck and a hologram?
What happens when you get beamed up?
What's the difference between a wormhole and a black hole?
What is antimatter, and why does the Enterprise need it?
Are time loops really possible, and can I kill my grandmother before I am born?
Discover the answers to these and many other fascinating questions from a renowned physicist and dedicated Trekker.
Featuring a section on the top ten physics bloopers and blunders in Star Trek as selected by Nobel-Prize winning physicists and other devout Trekkers
"Today's science fiction is often tomorrow's science fact. The physics that underlines Star Trek is surely worth investigating. To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit." --From the foreword by Stephen Hawking
This book was not prepared, approved, licensed, or endorsed by any entity involved in creating or producing the Star Trek television series or films.
Don't hide from the truth -- you'll find it in here
For inside information on TV's hottest show, turn to this unique compendium of The X-Files facts and figures. Everything you must know is in here, including:
- A complete and detailed episode guide
- Scores of never-before-seen photos
- A look behind the scenes and on the set
- Fascinating stories that trace the show's origin, including interviews with creator Chris Carter, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson -- everyone in front of and behind the camera that brings The X-Files to life
- Biographies of cast and crew
- A detailed look at the extraordinary special effects, who creates then, and how they are done
- Character studies of Mulder and Scully -- as well as detailed breakdowns of favorite villains and recurring characters
- Plus, intriguing trivia and sidebars of "Mulderisms" and "Scullyisms"
Your passport to the unknown is here.
"The entire recent tradition of American theatrical satire can be summed up in three words: The Second City."
--New York Times
Many of comedy's biggest stars cut their teeth at The Second City. Learn all of the backstage details--the laughs, loves, struggles, successes, fights and failures that have made Second City such a fertile ground for comedy over the years. And hear Second City's most outrageous and hilarious live performances on two audio CDs narrated by Robert Klein.
--John Belushi try to bluff his way through an oral exam to avoid the draft
--Mike Myers as a Canadian border guard who "closes" Canada
--Bonnie Hunt singing "Up, Up And Away" as an annoying "on-hold" entertainer
--John Candy playing Dan Aykroyd's rebellious, hockey-hating son
And read about:
--Bill Murray demonstrating the proper way to deal with a heckler
--Alan Arkin's pre-Second City days as a troubadour with The Tarriers
--Where Gilda Radner first came up with "Emily Litella"
--How Second City alum Martin Short "discovered" Mike Myers
Since 1959, The Second City has been producing cutting-edge satire and wickedly funny improvisation, while keeping countless individuals of questionable character off the streets for a couple of hours each night. It has also trained thousands of young performers in the art of improv-based theater.
The Second City recounts the early years of the comedy troupe's biggest stars, including John Belushi, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, David Steinberg, Robert Klein, Chris Farley, Martin Short and John Candy, as well as some of today's hottest directors, like Harold Ramis (Analyze This), Mike Nichols (The Birdcage), Betty Thomas (Private Parts) and Bonnie Hunt (Return to Me).
Author Sheldon Patinkin, one of Second City's founding fathers, tells the story of Second City like no else can--with rare photos, profiles and backstage stories you were never supposed to hear. The Second City is both funnier and more poignant than you could have imagined. The book includes two full-length audio CDs containing hilarious classic scenes like:
--"Football Comes to the University of Chicago" (with Alan Arkin and Severn Darden)
--"Brest Litovsk" (with John Belushi and Joe Flaherty)
--"Motivational Speaker" (with Chris Farley, Tim Meadows and Bob Odenkirk)
Plus new, never-before-heard material that will leave your sides aching.
Following in the successful wake of" The Beverly Hillbillies "and "Green Acres," " The Dukes of Hazzard" debuted in January 1979 and quickly became a staple of CBS-TV's Friday night lineup. With its wild mix of wacky car chases and spectacular vehicle wrecks, bumbling sheriffs, greedy politicians, and its rambunctious lead players (the Duke boys and curvaceous Daisy Duke), it's little wonder the program developed such a strong and loyal viewership.
This is the first book devoted to the genesis and production of the hit program, tracing its 1970s origin through to its recent, highly-rated "reunion" movie on CBS-TV. The author conducted extensive interviews with cast and technical talent to explore this beloved show - revealing for the first time many behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the week-to-week filming of the series.
In this lively and factual presentation of the long-running TV series (1979-85), no trivia point is left unanswered about the amazing clan of Dukes and their colorful nemeses Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane and Boss Hogg.
Millions of people all over the world are avid members of the television audience. Yet, despite the central place television occupies in contemporary culture, our understanding of its complex and dynamic role in everyday life remains surprisingly limited. Focusing on the television audience, Ien Ang asks why we understand so little about its nature, and argues that our ignorance arises directly out of the biases inherent in prevailing official knowledge about it. She sets out to deconstruct the assumptions of this official knowledge by exploring the territory where it is mainly produced - the television institutions.
Ang draws on Foucault's theory of power/knowledge to scrutinize television's desperate search for the audience, and to identify differences and similarities in the approaches of American commercial television and European public service television to their audiences. She looks carefully at recent developments in the field of ratings research, in particular the controversial introduction of the people meter' as an instrument for measuring the television audience. By defining the limits and limitations of these institutional procedures of knowledge production, Ien Ang opens up new avenues for understanding television audiences. Her ethnographic perspective on the television audience gives new insights into our television culture, with the audience seen not as an object to be controlled, but as an active social subject, engaging with television in a variety of cultural and creative ways.