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Today's Featured Article - NBC

NBC 2014

NBC is an American television corporation. During television's "golden age," NBC was a big member of the "Big Three," which tirelessly presented the same content as its two rivals.

In the modern era, NBC has split into dozens of niche channels and projects, which swim in every American's video bloodstream like an antibody looking for an infectious idea to latch onto and destroy.

NBC was begun by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), eventually to stand proudly alongside CBS and ABC. This was the reassuring 20th Century, in which everything big had a three-letter abbreviation. There was no torture of terrorists but merely DOD, and RET to the ROK, and welfare was simply HUD and HEW, and even spoke English without an African American accent, LOL. It was a nation where Grandpa still had decades left before discovering that permanent foreign involvement and the welfare state didn't work — and even after he did, he would keep getting checks in the mail from the SSA.

RCA had acquired two radio stations, WJZ in Newark and WEAF in New York City. RCA was perturbed that WEAF had more than three letters, and no less perturbed that no one could listen to both stations at the same time (as people had at most one radio).

At the time, no one wanted to listen to even one radio station, and they did so only because the only alternative was going outdoors and listening to sirens and gunshots. The scientists of the day were experimenting with using radio to send pictures as well as sounds, and RCA management was experimenting with running two businesses without two staffs. "We are starting a network" became a more pleasing posture than, "We are firing all the employees and keeping their pay."(more...)

Recently featured: NBC

Yesterday's Featured Article - Raphael

Raphael-3

Raphael (1483-1520), he of the sickly smiling Madonna and Child paintings, the School of Athens fresco at the Vatican and the Galatea slap-on work, hasn't aged so well as regards his artistic reputation. No one cites him as an influence except the purveyors of the chocolate box school of artists whose work can often be found staring down at you from Catholic Church cathedrals. Raphael lived well and died in his late 30s, just before he would have lost his hair and developed a paunch.

Raphael became exceedingly filthy rich, successful and the toast of Renaissance Rome. He must have been insufferable to all those who crossed his path: Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo could rare agree on anything but both hated the 'boy' with intense passion, especially Michelangelo who was rumoured to have been turned down for a bit of man-on-man action with the young pretender when they both worked on the Sistine Chapel. He could have become a saint except in the manner of his death - a heart attack after some rigorous in-studio rogering of his favourite mistress Margherita Luti.

Born Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, 'Raphe' grew up with angelic kiss-me-quick hair curls and a smile that got him a lot of work - and clients amongst the cassock lifters in the Roman Catholic Church. These were the days before Martin Luther's banging rude jokes on church doors and at time when the Papacy was in a full, florid corruption that so angered the sober sided Christians that they would later smash up churches in the manner of Gaiseric the Vandal a thousand years earlier.

Blessed with Italian pretty boy genes and a smeary palette, Raphael soon showed he knew how to get work. This essentially meant from two sources: The Catholic Church or rich italians who wanted to boast of their achievements and attractions with portraits. Others wanted suitable cultural pagan myths illustrated for bedroom stimulation. In reply, Raphael just gave them a lot of Madonnas with Jesus sitting pretty on her lap. (more...)

Featured today, a long long time ago

Featured Police, featured on 31 March 2014. See the featured version.
Nuclear semiotics, featured on 31 March 2012. See the featured version.
HowTo:Become a Master of Disguise, featured on 31 March 2011. See the featured version.
Firearm attachments, featured on 31 March 2010. See the featured version.

Did you know...

Pennylamp2
  • ...that Pennywise the Clown wants to entertain you? (pictured)
  • ...the muffin man?
  • ...that the Russian Reversal is the common English term for the phenomenon during which a person descended from Russia is spontaneously turned around?
  • ...that Euroipods is a website giving away free ipods in return for completing offers and reffering freinds to do the same?
  • ...that people who "have their cake and eat it too" are 10 times more likely to die of obesity than people who only "have their cake"?
  • ...that telling someone you masturbated to their Facebook picture is frowned upon in society?
  • ...that life is a sexually transmitted disease with a 100% fatality rate?

In the news

On this day...

March 31: Condom Appreciation Day
Shocked

you spent how much on balsa wood condoms?

  • 4000 B.C. - Babylonians create the first wooden condoms, resulting in much fewer unexpected pregnancies and many, many, many more splinter-related injuries.
  • 1865 - The modern condom is introduced, consisting of sheep stomach lining coated with sulfuric acid. It is quixotically not well received.
  • 1939 - With the invention of latex, the modern modern condom is introduced, single handedly ending the Great Depression.
  • 1958 - Condoms are mentioned on television for the first time, in an episode of The Flintstones entitled Put It Back In.
  • 1970 - National No-Condom decade kicks off at Studio 69 in New York City.
  • 1986 - AIDS becomes all the rage. Condom sales increase tenfold.
  • 2009 - The Pope claims that condoms would increase the number of people with AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, in a similar manner to how exercise is unhealthy and cheeseburgers eat people.
  • 2010 - World's first condom-themed birthday party!
  • 2020 - Robotic condoms are invented.
  • 2030 - Robotic condoms, sick and tired of copulating with the female genitals turn gay!

Today's featured picture

CheckpointCharlieSign

Checkpoint Charlie was the only Berlin Wall crossing point where the authorities used humour as a weapon against those who tried to cross it.

Image Credit: ScottPat
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