Yesterday evening, my dinnertime channel surfing was as it often is when the Red Sox (sigh) have a late game. After watching the evening news, I turn to the Cartoon Network. Nope, don't want to watch that. Comedy Central? No, not that. Sci-Fi Channel? Not this time. OK, over to the National Geographic Channel. No thanks. Nothing on G4 either. How about the Science Channel? Hey, this looks interesting. . . .
I subscribed to digital cable only a few months ago. I'm finally able to not watch many, many more channels. However, I am tuned to the Science Channel and National Geographic Channel a lot. Last night was a good example. As I entered numbers into the remote to check each favorite station shortly after 7 p.m. EDT, the on-screen TV guide said that the Science Channel was showing a program about glass, an episode of its Building the Ultimate series. There on my TV was the partially built Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City. (There's the astronomy tie in, you see.) The show talked about how revolutionary the structure is, how the glass was installed, and how weather-tight the glass cube around the Hayden Planetarium is.
But that was just the first part of the "Glass Houses" program. The documentary also featured the company in England that made the glass and explained that the furnace will produce glass 24 hours a day for 12 years — or until the furnace breaks. The liquid glass is spread onto a layer of molten tin, then moves down a conveyor where, over the course of just 10 minutes, it is cooled and cut — nonstop.
Then the program turned to discuss an amazingly designed art museum in Milwaukee that I had never heard of. It's stunning!
I was growing more and more interested in this show. It brought back memories of the feeling I would get watching science shows on PBS as a child. Everything was new and interesting. I felt like I was better for knowing this information.
Hopefully, the let-me-tell-you-about-the-show-I-watched-last-night feeling won't be washed away by the program about the "end of the world" that ABC will be airing tonight on 20/20. Maybe I'll see what else is on. . . .