17 Episode results for "RCA"
RCA and its 100th Year
"This episode of tech stuff is sponsored by ADT. This is real protection on this show. I talk a lot about smart, technology, and home automation. Those advances have really transformed home security and real protection from ADT provides the tools and services to make the most out of that tech. And to make sure your home is secure. Real protection means having access to tools like video doorbells. Surveillance cameras smart locks lights smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in a customized system for your home. You can control your smart home with the ADT app, or even with the sound of your voice, and it includes professionals who can monitor your home security. So you don't have to eighteen thousand employees safeguarding you that's real protection. Visit ADT dot com slash podcast to learn more about how ADT can design and install a secure smart home. Just for you. Didn't cut tooth technology with tech stuff from how stuff works dot com. There. Welcome to text off. I'm your host Jonathan Strickland. I'm an executive producer with how stuff works, and I heart radio and a love all things tech and today and going to finally wrap up the discussion of RCA the four episode arc about RCA, and it'll all finish up in this episode. But that's going to mean, I'll be packing a whole lot into one episode. I'm not gonna go long. I'm just going to have a light touch because we have to cover about fifty years of history in this episode. So I won't be going into so much technical detail for a lot of the stuff. I'm talking about besides which I've covered a lot of it already. However, I do need to start off with a description of how electron microscopes work because I think I've mentioned it in at least two of the previous episodes, and I haven't actually talked about it yet. So rather than put it off again. Let's talk about electron microscopes. Why do you need them? What do they do? Do well when you start getting small, and we start working with small stuff, and I mean, really really small stuff you get to a point where you can no longer rely upon optical microscopes anymore. And that's because of a couple of big problems. One of them is that a microscopes ability to magnifies limited by two major factors. One of those would be the quality of the lenses, eventually reach a point where you just can't make lenses of a high enough quality to get better magnification, but you also run into the physical limitation of light itself visible light because it's dependent upon the wavelength of that visible light. The theoretical limit of resolution for a light based microscope not the practical. But the theoretical limit is somewhere around two hundred to two hundred fifty nanometers because beyond that you get beyond the wavelength of natural light. And it literally cannot imag- things smaller than that. The the wavelengths are big. Than the thing. It's trying to you're trying to look at however, two hundred to two hundred fifty nanometers. That's that's really small. I mean that is the nano scale that is tiny. But if you do need to look at stuff that's smaller than that. Because there are things even smaller than that level. You gotta figure out some other way of doing it because light waves. Can't do it there too big. So you've gotta figure some other method out. Now electrons have very very short wavelengths shorter than light. So if you had a way to beam electrons at a sample, now, whatever's you're trying to look at and then you had some means of detecting all of the different signals that would be produced as the electrons from the beam would interact with the sample. You could use the information to construct images of the sample at that scale. So the electrons you would use would be high energy beam electrons. And when they collide with a sample, the interactions would produce all sorts of stuff like. Secondary electrons back scattered electrons xrays that kind of thing you'd have specific detectors to pick up these different signals and register them for processing to create the final image and these microscopes have a much greater resolution than optical microscopes. But even these have their limitations a scanning electron microscope has a limit of around one nanometer or so you're not gonna get much smaller than a single nanometer now that is still incredibly small, but it's still too big to look at individual atoms. The atomic scale is smaller than the Nanno scale. So if you wanted to get a look at Adams, you would have to use something else like a scanning tunneling microscope, but those wouldn't come around until the nineteen eighties. All right. So that's all electron microscopes work are scanning electron microscopes work and RCA had been in that business of making those along with the consumer electronics. They were making and the other. Industries that were involved in. Now, let's get back to RCA's history. In the last episode. We left off right around the early to mid fifties. And so we've got to cover all the time from that point to present day in this episode. Fortunately, there are large spans of time that we can kind of leap over now. One thing the company was gearing up to do was to introduce solid state electronics into its line of products bell labs had developed the transistor in the nineteen forties. Although it was pretty primitive. It wasn't ready to be incorporated into a consumer electronics yet it would take several years for that. So RCA got a relative late start in the field of transistors and solid state electronics and semi-conductors because they had focused more on using vacuum tubes. In fact, in nineteen fifty RCA was the largest manufacturer of vacuum tubes in the world at that point. Now is the even built an experimental television with transistors as. As early as nineteen fifty two. But this was again, an experiment not meant as a consumer product in nineteen Fifty-three. An engineer named Cohen built a wrist radio that quickly got the nickname the dick, Tracy wrist radio. After the comic strip character, dick, Tracy who has an iconic wrist radio device that allows him to speak with his supervisor. Now RCA did not build this device. Cohen wasn't working for RCA. However Cohen did use some of our c- as transistors to help power and operate this device. So RCA actually got a nice boost in publicity because everyone was really excited about this risk radio. It seemed like the thing of the future of the gadget of the future and the late nineteen fifties RCA began to design and manufacture components for satellites. So this point solid state is ready to go, and they're now looking at creating a satellite technology, specifically they were looking at radio communications. Technology in satellites are CA started doing some preliminary research and development in nineteen fifty seven and they created a dedicated division for that purpose. And eventually, they call it. The RCA Astro electronics division actually got the official name in March nineteen fifty eight now in turn this particular division was under a larger department called the RCA defense electronic products because our C A was still very much in the business of designing components for defense systems for the military. They had been doing that since World War Two. The company's first satellite to launch successfully was called these signal communications by orbiting relay equipment or score is the acronym for that. And that entered into service on December eighteenth nineteen fifty eight RCA was kind of exploring the possibility of establishing a network of satellites for the purposes of global communications, and that would really. Begin in earnest in nineteen sixty two with another communication satellite called relay relay would relate communication signals between North America and Europe and between North America and South America, so quickly. It was theorized that with a an appropriate number of satellites in orbit. You can have global communications and just use the satellite surrealist signals until they got to wherever you needed them. Go the relay communications satellite also worked in conjunction with another satellite called the Centcom three and the two satellites together where able to provide live television coverage of the nineteen sixty four Olympics which were going on in Japan over to North America. So that was an amazing development being able to watch stuff live with only a a slight delay really as they were going out on the other side of the world RCA would partner with NASA to develop whether satellites and ground based observation station. So they were really becoming. Ng an instrumental company in the space race as well around the same time RCA contributed some of the equipment that would make up the United States ballistic missile early warning system or bemuse B M E W S. It was a system of radar facilities and communications channels meant to detect an alert the United States to any sort of missile launch originating, particularly in the Soviet Union because this was taking place during the Cold War between the USSR and United States, and it became particularly important in the wake of the Soviet Union's launch Sputnik, which wasn't just a satellite. But also a demonstration that the Soviet Union was capable of launching a missile that had a long enough range to potentially strike the United States. So if the Soviet Union were to say attach, a payload of nuclear warhead to such missile they could. Enthusi- have a nuclear strike against the US. So the United States went to have a system in place in order to detect any potential missile launches from the USSR RCA would produce a radar set and a communications data processor for this system. It also relied the system that is relied on equipment from many other companies not just RCA companies like General Electric, western electric, and Silvani a- also contributed components to this. So while RCA was prominent in the minds of consumers looking for television sets at home, the company was also working closely with government and military organizations in the United States in the nineteen sixties RCA dominated in the television camera industry. The the consumer television industry going out and buying a television set that was really competitive, but RCA was pretty much the name in television cameras for actual TV studios. The TK forty four had become the Indus. Standard and on the consumer front color television. Sales were starting to pick up in the early to mid sixties by nineteen sixty six the overall color television market was around three billion dollars a year. Now, that's for all color TV's. Not just the ones that are CA was making. So we're talking worldwide sales reaching three billion dollars hefty, but not anything close to what the television consumer market is today. Obviously now at the same time the company was participating in larger efforts to develop new technologies and one of those was the stereo eight four Matt also known as the eight track tape. This was a form of magnetic tape storage specifically for audio and music. It was largely designed for in car audio systems. And honestly, it probably merits its own episode of tech stuff. I should probably do a full episode of tech stuff about the development of the eight track for. Matt, particularly since some of the people involved are real characters. One of those would have been the legendary Earl madman months who was an important and eccentric figure in consumer electronics in the forties and fifties and sixties as well. Anyway, prior to the eight track Goldmark that was the brilliant engineer who had been a pain in the butt to our RCA's as David Sarnoff back when they were trying to race against CBS in developing color television, and the thirty three and a third RPM long playing record Goldmark was the guy at CBS who developed both of those will he also developed a hi fi car system a system that would allow you to play recorded music in your vehicle, not just rely upon the radio something that is pretty standard in vehicles today. But it was brand new back. Then now, however gold marks approach rely. I'd upon vinyl records. Yep. You would have a turntable in your car instead of cassette player or CD player or digital radio these days. So as you can imagine this was not ideal. Because if you went down a bumpy road. It would start sending this needle skipping all over the record. And so you would get terrible experience that way, you know, the the song would skip around or you'd have this horrible scratching noise. There were other ways of getting around it. You could weigh the needle down a little bit that would discourage skipping. However, it would also cause more wear on the actual records. So you wouldn't be able to play them as a many times he would decrease the useful lifespan of the records months decided that to fix this. He would change the method of storing music he wanted to use magnetic storage on tape, and he created a four track magnetic tape system, which was later refined by different crazy person and consumer technology. William bill. Lear sometimes referred to as King Lear, which I think is a cute not Shakespeare, and he created the eight track system Lear worked with numerous other companies to finalize the standard which really helped it's Dopp Shen. And one of those companies was our CA one of the interesting things about eight track tapes is that some of the mechanics for playback are actually in the cartridges themselves not in the playback devices. So some of the moving parts for an eight track player are not even in the player. They're inside the cartridge each cartridge has those parts eight track had about a decade long run as an in-car Soundsystem component. But it was eventually displaced by cartridges. They were actually cartridges come out a little bit before eight tracks. But took some time before they reached a quality level where they were reliable and provided good enough sound quality for them to compete against eight tracks h Rex. Had their own limitations. He couldn't fast forward and rewind an eight track tape you pretty much the listen through it. And then turn it over and listen through it again. And also because those were moving parts were inside the cartridges whenever a company would make cheaper eight tracks in effort to try and build out a larger customer base because they were kind of expensive when they first came out. They would skimp on the Tirias. But that meant that some of the moving parts that were necessary for this to work were made of cheaper materials than they would break, more readily. So the format eventually fizzled out also in nineteen sixty four RCA engineers would come up with an idea for video playback device. The would work kind of like a record player except for video not for sound. And instead of transmitting vibrations through a stylus, right? Instead of having a groove with tiny vibrations that create a the. The vibrations of the stylus create an electrical impulse that ends up being turned into into sound through an amplifier. This was a stylus that would measure differences incapacitates capacities, by the way that refers to a ratio. It's the ratio of the change in an electric charge in a system compared to the change in its electric potential, and to go into further detail would require a lot of talk, and it would make this episode go way too long, but I will get back to this particular device later in the show because the work began in the sixties, but it would take almost twenty years before RCA could actually do anything commercial with this technology, and as we'll see by that time it was a little too late now January first nineteen sixty five Robert Sarnoff, David Sarnoff son becomes the president of the company. So his father steps back from being president. Although he was still chairman of the board. Of directors and his son Robert becomes president. He was already a seasoned executive. He had been the president of NBC since nineteen fifty six and during that time he had overseen some pretty big changes in television programming. One of those being that NBC began to include black entertainers on shows. And at the time integration was pretty progressive. Robert Sarnoff would end up taking over RCA and trying to grow it five years after he became the president of the RCA. He would become the chairman of the board, but his role as leader of the company as we will see would not be permanent in nineteen sixty five RCA began producing a special machine called these spectra seventy this was a mainframe style, computer. So this was RCA trying to get into the mainframe, computer business, and this particular computer was semi compatible with another mainframe, computer, the IBM. Mm three sixty mainframe. So RCA was trying to go into competition against IBM at the height of IBM's powers, which was probably not the best idea. Now, I called it Simi compatible because the spectra seventy could run some, but not all of the code those written for the IBM three sixty the hardware of the spectra seventy was compatible with the IBM three sixty but the operating systems, the the firmware, and and the OS were a little different between the two so not every program was directly portable from IBM three sixty two the spectra seventy so it pursued the strategy of being in the mainframe, computer business for a few years. But as we will see in just a moment that was not to last either. Now, I've got a lot more to say about what RCA has been up to over the last sixty years or so, but before I get into that. Let's take a quick break to thank our sponsor. This episode of tech stuff is sponsored by ADT. This is real protection on this show. I talk a lot about smart, technology, and home automation. Those advances have really transformed home security and real protection from ADT provides the tools and services to make the most out of that tech. And to make sure your home is secure. Real protection means having access to tools like video doorbells. Surveillance cameras smart locks lights smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in a customized system for your home. You can control your smart home with the ADT app, or even with the sound of your voice, and it includes professionals who can monitor your home security. So you don't have to eighteen thousand employees safeguarding you that's real protection. Visit ADT dot com slash podcast to learn more about how ADT can design and install a secure smart home. Just for you. Now, we're about to enter an odd era in our RCA's as history, and it's one marked with tons of acquisitions and mergers instead of being innovative in the technology space, although RCA was continuing to try and do that it was growing by buying up other companies. So in nineteen sixty five RCA purchases, a book publisher, in fact, a very famous book publisher Random House. This was an early attempt for RCA to try and diversify and and go beyond electronics and technology RCA would hold onto Random House until nineteen eighty at which point it would sell Random House to another company called advance publications for seventy million dollars in nineteen sixty seven just two years after buying Random House. The company would acquire another big company Hertz rental car. So you can already see that things are a little strange. Here are. CA buys a book publisher than a rental car company. Neither of which seems to be remotely connected to its core. Businesses are CA would allow hurts to operate as essentially an independent subsidiary hurts still had its own executive leadership. It had its own board of directors and ultimately are would hold onto hurts until nineteen eighty five. And then they sold the company for five hundred eighty seven point five million dollars a princely sum. However, this was not as much as what RCA was hoping to get for hurts. In fact, our c had already tried to sell hurts two years earlier in nineteen Eighty-three, but they were soliciting bids for the company, and they were hoping to get a bid of around seven hundred million dollars. But no one was biting at that that price. So they held onto the company for a couple more years in eighty five. They finally sold it the company that bought hurts was U A L, which was a holding company for unite. Added airlines. The prior to do a full episode about that company at some point in nineteen sixty eight RCA would introduce another really cool technology one that we depend heavily upon these days in various formats, and that would be the liquid crystal display RCA displayed it publicly in nineteen sixty eight. They had a big press event. Engineers led by a guy named Richard Williams had been working on this LCD technology for years now, essentially a liquid crystal display consists of a couple of sheets, a polarizing material and between those sheets sandwiched if you like is a liquid crystal solution. So what's a liquid crystal? Well, it's a substance that's kind of inbetween being a solid and liquid molecules in a solid material omit all maintain the same orientation and the same position with respect to one another. So. So in other words, all all the molecules are stuck where they are with respect to each other in a solid, but in a liquid it's different molecules, no liquid are free to change their orientation and position with respect to each other. They flowed all over the place and they'd twist and turn freely liquid crystals tend to maintain their orientation. So they all tend to continue pointing in whatever direction they're pointing in when that starts, but the molecules are able to change their positions with respect to each other. So they all point in the same direction as they had started. But they can move around each other. They can be in one of several distinct phases, but the important phase for liquid crystal. Displays is a phase called the pneumatic phase one type of liquid crystal is called a twisted pneumatic liquid. Crystal and twisted, the Matic's are very important for L C D's. They are as the name suggests twisted. But if you apply. An electric current to a twisted pneumatic liquid crystal it untwisted, if you very the voltage of this electric, current you change the degree to which it untwisted. So you can make it untwisted more or less by varying the voltage this behavior is replicable. It's predictable. It's always going to happen. Exactly. The same way. Assuming you vary. The voltage in exactly the same way. So you can use these crystals to do very specific stuff. For example. You can use them to block light from passing through a surface. And then you could use it to allow light to pass through other parts of this surface. And this is how we use liquid crystals and an electronic display the crystals block light that's trying to come through or allow light to come through. And LCD TV's worked this way. It's why you would often hear people talk about how LCD televisions had a problem whenever there was a very. Dark seen onscreen because there's always a back light in an L C D display and the liquid crystals are blocking the light. But some of that light can bleed through. So you couldn't get these very dark black colors in LCD displays because there's always this light behind that screen of liquid crystals. You would have to get something like a plasma display, which actually wouldn't back light the screen. So you could get those more deep dark black colors on that kind of television. Anyway, I'll have to do a full episode about LCD's describe their history and how they work in a future episode. Richard Williams was instrumental in finding the practical application for liquid crystals in electron IX and RCA held this big public demonstration in nineteen sixty eight it was also one of the last big company events, the David Sarnoff would attend his health was deteriorating at this point. And remember he had been in charge of RCA since nineteen nineteen and it only step back in nineteen sixty five for his son takeover as president and he had remained as chairman of the board nineteen sixty eight RCA finally updates its logo RCA Victor would become RCA records, and Victor is now just a brand name that shows up on stuff like album covers and seems a little haphazard the way Victor shows up on I'm not entirely certain that there's a particular rhyme or reason to it. But the RCA's logo would be turned into what was considered at the time to be a futuristic logo these days. We would look at it and think oh that's a acquaint retro like nineteen eighty style logo almost and that was in nineteen sixty eight also in sixty eight a miniature RCA television camera was used on Apollo seven to provide the first live television pictures captured from outer space and beamed back to earth. RCA also built the radio backpack. The Neil Armstrong war when he set foot on the moon and delivered the famous one small step for a man line in nineteen sixty nine. The company was also responsible for designing components for multiple space probes. Like, the Viking Mars probes and much later. They were also responsible for some of the subsystems on the space. Shuttles in nineteen sixty nine RCA would change its name officially from the Radio Corporation of America. That was the official name of the company to RCA corporation also in sixty nine RCA and CBS would ignite a new feud. If you listen to the previous episodes, you know, that are CA and CBS fought several times in the forties. They were battling to define the standard for color television. Now in sixty nine just at the dawn of the nineteen seventies. They were competing to try and create a new technology for home video playback. This would be a device capable of playing back video. Media on demand at home sort of a precursor to the VCR, and then later still to technology like DVD players and Blu Ray players the CBS version debuted I actually debuted in sixty seven I think, and it was called the electronic video recording device or VR for short. RCA's approach was originally called the SV hollow tape later, the company would dub it these Selecta vision, which gets really confusing because RCA has used Selecta vision for a few different products over its history. But CBS's version was further along than RCA's when RCA debuted. There's in fact when RCA showed off this technology. It was not yet able to play sound it was showing video, but it was all silent. There's no soundtrack to go along with it. The process of mastering a tape for this system was actually really cool for for RCA's. It actually involved. Lasers and holograms, but RCA would experience some financial difficulties as it was trying to develop this technology further. Those those financial difficulties were largely due to RCA trying to extricate itself from the computer mainframe business. Ed gotten into in the sixties, and meanwhile, while RCA was trying to weather that storm another video technology, the VCR came out and pretty much made both the EV are from CBS and RCA's Selecta vision moot. They just couldn't compete against the VCR. And it would automatically mean that RCA would abandon its attempts to market the holiday as a consumer product. So it never really launched as an actual thing. You could go out and buy. In one thousand nine hundred seventy David Sarnoff would retire as chairman of the board. Although to be more accurate. He was really in the late stages of a long term illness. And so he was affectively removed. As chairman, I don't get the sense that he chose to step down so much as he was forced to also in nineteen seventy RCA announced a -nother plan for another acquisition. And you remember they had already talked about. There are bought the Hertz rent a car and Random House publishing. So what was it this time? Well, it hits close to home for me. Actually, they bought that industries. What was coronet industries or what is it? It's a carpeting company a flooring company. So again, this was another effort for RCA to diversify its holdings, and this acquisition would officially complete in nineteen seventy one. Now, I said it hits close to home. Whether I mean by that. The headquarters for coronet industries was or is in Dalton Georgia Dalton Georgia's in the northwest part of Georgia. If you ever drive through that part of Georgia, you will see numerous billboards for rug and carpeting wholesalers, and yeah that so I actually was surprised to hear that RCA at one point owned that company. RCA would eventually sell this off in nineteen eighty six to see I Holdings Inc. The we'll get into that. Because when I say RCA sold it off. I don't really mean RCA that's a that's a hint for things to come in nineteen seventy as well RCA would also by another company that made people scratch their heads. This would be banquet foods, the company that the time was most known for its TV dinners and frozen foods RCA would hold onto this for a decade, but sell it in nineteen eighty and due to the efforts to diversify. By and the fact that there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for the types of companies that RCA was going after some people inside the company felt like RCA was losing focus. I mean, what did RCA even do anymore? It's core. Businesses used to be electronics both for consumers and for business to business as well as for government and military uses. But now now it had a rental car company at carpeting company in a frozen food company. Some people began to joke that RCA really stood for rugs. Chickens and automobiles in nineteen seventy-one David Sarnoff passes away. So this was the man who had largely been associated with our C A. In fact, a lot of RCA's history tends to get tied directly to David Sarnoff. And his personality. He was a force to be reckoned with and his passing was probably one of the more remarkable things to happen to our C A during its full. History. It seems to me like this was a case of another leader of a company having an extreme influence on hell that company did business. You know, some leaders you would think they would have an extreme influence, but they may just help keep the company going while other people handle stuff, they might be more decentralised Sarnoff did not come across to me as that kind of person. Also in nineteen seventy-one RCA would get out of the mainframe, computer business. They sell it off to another company called universal automated, computer, better known as univac, and ultimately this computer business was unprofitable for RCA the sale represented at a huge loss for the company. According to some sources, I read mostly the New York Times it amounted to essentially a two hundred fifty million dollar right off, which wasn't great news. And in nineteen seventy five the board of directors. Decided to aalst Robert Sarnoff as chairman and CEO they felt that the attempts to diversify RCA had weakened the company. This this decide this exit from mainframe, computer business, also hurt the company. So this was essentially what some people referred to as a palace coup came from within the company itself and RCA president and chief operating officer Anthony Conrad led this coup attempt. Anthony Conrad I joined RCA way back in nineteen forty six after being discharged from the army after World War Two and had worked there ever since he had made his way up the corporate ladder and in the nineteen fifties. He was the executive in charge of overseeing RCA's missile and space tracking operations. And now he was the head of the company he became the new CEO and in June nineteen seventy six he was elected chairman RCA's performance was starting. To turn around. The company was beginning to make money things seem to be on the mend. However Conrad turned out to have some skeletons in his closet in September nineteen Seventy-six just ten months after he had taken control of the company Conrad announced he was resigning his position and it turned out. He had kinda sorta failed to file any income taxes for five years and the IRS kinda wanted to talk to him about it because the agency had held a routine enquiry and saw some irregularities. So Conrad would end up settling up with the IRS. He was essentially a fugitive in New York state for two years until he was able to reach a plea deal in which he paid a one thousand dollar fine. But also an undisclosed but presumably sizable amount of money in back taxes interest and penalties. So after he resigned a guy named Edgar h Griffiths took control of our CA Griffiths was concerned with getting RCA back on. Track from a numbers perspective. So he wasn't so much of a leader. As far as strategy and long term plans goes he was trying to get the numbers to lineup. So he began to divest the company of many of the subsidiaries that had been accumulating throughout its history since Robert Sarnoff had taken control stuff, like a, banquet foods and Hertz rental cars. So he's kind of trying to undo what Robert Sarnoff had done in nineteen eighty Griffiths directed RCA to purchase another company. So he sells off a lot of companies, but then he directs RCA to acquire a different company. This would be commercial investment trust or CIT and the deal was for one point three billion dollars or thereabouts a huge sum CIT is an investment company. And as the name suggests it provides financing to other companies after acquiring CIT RCA would sell off several subsidiary companies that had belonged. Two CIT including an office furniture manufacturing company and the greeting card company, which just tells me corporate, politics are weird and complicated. And I don't understand diversification. Very well. Anyway, this acquisition caused RCA's credit rating to drop and that made the board of directors vary upset so they demanded that Griffiths resign, and he did and in nineteen Eighty-one. A new leader was brought on or pushed to the to the front of the company. This be Thornton f Bradshaw. He was a member of the board of RCA when they made this decision to get rid of Griffiths. And he was also the president of the Atlantic Richfield company, which was an oil company. So he became the new leader of our CA. And then he made Robert r Frederick who had previously worked at General Electric, the new president of RCA eventually Bradshaw becomes the chairman of the board and Frederick would become the CEO. Oh, but they continued to sell off the diversified subsidiaries. And by one thousand nine hundred five all of those companies that had been acquired, including CIT had been sold off except for the carpeting company coronet industries that one would stick around till nineteen eighty six jumping back to nineteen Eighty-one RCA finally released that video disc technology. I talked about earlier in this episode. It was called a C E D or capacity. It's electric disc player the tech for the video playback device. Only allowed you to play video you could not record to it. But you could grab a plastic caddy kind of looked almost like a vinyl record album cover, and you would insert it into a player, and you could watch a video each side of the disc could hold about sixty minutes of interior see video that's the television standard in the United States, or it was the television standard in the United States. So movies would typically require you to take the disc out halfway through the film. Flip it over. And then put it back in to continue watching the movie, the discs themselves were inside these protective, plastic caddies. So you wouldn't handle the disks you would handle the plastic sleeves essentially, and you they were hard plastic or semi hard plastic sleeves at least they weren't like super floppy or anything. So you'd slide these suckers in and watch movie, and I actually had one of these my family had one of these when I was growing up. In fact, I know own it, my parents gave it to me. So it's at my house and even have a few movies for like raiders lost Arkan singing in the rain. The technology worked just fine. You got picture you got audio. But by the time it debuted in nineteen Eighty-one. It was already obsolete because you already had other video standards. You had the the VHS you had Betamax. You had laser disc and even though laser distant last super long. It was definitely superior to C E D quality. And you didn't have to you have extra stuff on laser discs stuff that would carry. Over into the DVD era. So RCA's technology was interesting, but it never took off and by nineteen Eighty-four just a three years after they debuted the tech, they discontinued manufacturing the playback machines. So I guess I've got a collectors. Addition thing kind of anyway, nineteen eighty-five this is a big important year because it's the air when General Electric announced its intent to acquire are CA a huge deal and did so in nineteen eighty six for six point four billion dollars. All right. We're coming up to the most important year in recent history for RCA. In fact, some would argue that we're talking about the final year of RCA. I'll explain more in just a minute. But first, let's take a quick break to thank our sponsor. I want to thank the Microsoft surface team for sponsoring this show. Now, you might remember from a few episodes ago when I talked about the surface go well now, you can meet the newest member of the Microsoft surface family, the brand new surface pro six, and this sucker has got more of everything you want. It has more power and has more speed and a ton more fun. You can get a peripheral keyboard, and it will snap right on to the Microsoft surface. Pro six and you can type on it. Like, it's a laptop you can could detach. It just as easily and then draw on your Microsoft surface. Pro six as a new eighth generation Intel core processor powering the thing that's incredibly powerful. It gives you up to thirteen and a half hours of battery life on a single charge. You can work where you want. How you want for as long as you want? So check it out the Microsoft surface. Pro six. Let me tell you about Pete who loved hockey and always wanted to play in the NHL Pete played since he was three and begged his mom to let him stay on the ice. Why some nights he even slept in his hockey skates? Pete practiced and practiced until one day when he was forty seven feet realized he just wasn't that good. So he threw his skates in the trash. But then he heard how gyco proud partner of the NHL good save money on car insurance. So he switched and saved a bunch. So it all worked out. Aren't roped in nineteen eighty-five. This was a monumental year. Because it was the year when GE would make the decision to acquire RCA, although that acquisition wouldn't be complete until nineteen Eighty-six and the deal was for six point four billion dollars. Now, this this meant that this was the largest ever acquisition or merger business deal. That didn't involve an oil company and the history of business at this point is since been clips, obviously, but in one thousand nine hundred six a six point four billion dollar merger between two companies that were not oil companies that was a record breaking moment. And it came in a time when RCA chairman Thornton Bradshaw and RCA CEO Robert r Frederick had managed to get RCA on a profitable track. They had managed to sell off these businesses most of them. Anyway, that didn't make any sense to our. As core business. They're able to refocus our CA they were able to make it profitable NBC was doing incredibly well toward nine hundred eighty five and had started to win awards for its programming and starting to to get more viewership things were really looking great. And on November six nine thousand nine hundred five after having a meeting with the board of directors Bradshaw would go off and meet with a guy named John F Welsh junior who was the chairman and CEO of GE at that time. Now, if you've been listening to all of these episodes, you might remember GE was one of the founding partners for RCA. In fact, it was the principal partner way back in nineteen nineteen GE owned most of RCA for many of the early years until it was forced to divest itself because the US government said you can't do that anymore. However now are in the eighties. This is the Reagan era when the US government was less concerned about things like. Nop elise. And there was a very Lhasa fair approach to corporate politics in corporate acquisitions, this was the era of hostile takeovers. But you might wonder if our RC was doing so, well, why was Bradshaw? Willing to entertain this deal. If RCA is actually on the right track. Why go with an acquisition deal in the first place. No part of the problem. The Bradshaw was the culture at the time. Because like I said, this was the era of hostile takeovers. So there was always a fear that someone would end up creating an environment where they would approach shareholders with the deal that was too good to refuse. And then take over the company the only that but RCA had two billion dollars in cash because it had divested itself of all these other companies and also found that it had been overpaying the pension fund. So there was actually extra cash leftover because the pension fund had more money in it than it needed. It also meant that if a company came in out or some investors came in and a. A huge amount of money to acquire RCA. They could done leverage that two billion dollars in cash to pay off any debts and more problematic than that parts of RCA were really really valuable. In fact, it was thought that if you were to divide up our CA into different pieces, you can make more money selling those individual pieces off to different companies than you would if you just operated our CA as a full company in itself. In fact, Bradshaw had even looked at offloading. Some more of our CA at one point he had looked at the possibility of selling NBC to Disney, but eventually Bradshaw realized that RCA really needed in B C the revenue NBC was bringing in was too important to RCA's business. So he couldn't really afford to divest itself. So the two companies GE and RCA happened to have some divisions and departments that clearly complemented one another our. She had done a lot of work for the navy and G had done a lot of work for the army, so bringing the two companies together would create a more unified approach for military contracts that kind of thing so after some debate RCA's board met and agreed to GE's terms. And at that point once GE takes over you could argue that the end of RCA RCA is no longer an independent company is now part of GE and more than that. Jesus starts to make some pretty big changes over the next few years they begin to merge departments. So they begin to take RCA departments and merged them into existing GE divisions. Or they liquefy parts of our CA and sell it off and one of those divisions. That did this with was of Astro elect electron IX department that was the the company or the part of RCA that was specifically focused on space technology GE would merge. That department with its own space systems division, and thus created the GE Astro space division, but this was not meant to stay on as GE property forever. In nineteen Ninety-three GE would sell off this entire division to Martin Marietta which turned around and merged with Lockheed, and that's where we get Lockheed. Martin in nineteen ninety-five lucky Martin announced it would close the Astro electronics division facility and that finally happened in nineteen ninety eight. So that part of RCA is no more it. It ended years forty years of research and development and space and communications tech out of that facility. So that was just part of it. You would get to a lot of other spin offs here. GE would sell off a lot of what made RCA the company that it was and it would also spin off other divisions like NBC became its own sort of autonomous unit instead of being. Connected to what RCA used to be in one thousand nine hundred eighty six GE would sell off RCA records to Bertelsmann. So that company would become the steward of RCA records, which was formerly RCA Victor. And remember Victor was a company that even was older than our CA in nineteen eighty-seven GE would sell NBC radio to Westwood One. And it would hold onto the NBC television networks. So the radio network would be sold by the TV networks stayed behind selling off the radio networks was one of the conditions. That GE was forced to meet in order to get approval from the United States government for the acquisition. Then a g would also sell the RCA name, the consumer electronics brand essentially to a French company called Thomson Brandt. We'll get back to that. In just a second in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight Sarnoff labs that was the RND. Arm of RCA was funded. For GE for several years, but then GE would transfer Sarnoff labs to the nonprofit organization, SRI international. It's another organization, I should probably cover in a future tech stuff as SRI international. It's a scientific research institute. It's based in Menlo Park. California originally it was founded by trustees from Stanford University in the nineteen forties. In fact, SRI stood for Stanford research institute, but the organization formally parted ways with university back in nineteen seventy anyway by two thousand eleven Sarnoff labs had become fully integrated as part of SRI international. So it does not exist as its own independent thing anymore in two thousand four G E would merge NBC with Vivendi, Universal entertainment in that created in B C, entertainment, but GE would remain the majority owner at that point also in two thousand four Sony Music and the Bertelsmann music group or BMG would. Merge together and that brought RCA records under the umbrella of Sony. Interesting side, note Sony is also the parent company of Columbia records. And if you remember from my earlier episode Columbia records and RCA were fierce competitors in the early days of records. Now, they're both part of the same overall company as for as the Japanese Victor company that was part of RCA for awhile that actually had split off decades earlier it split off from RCA during World War Two for obvious reasons. It was operating in Japan, and we were at war with Japan JVC has a record company called Victor entertainment. This one's still uses the logo of the dog looking at the gramophone, the the one that's titled his master's voice and two thousand eleven Comcast would buy controlling interest in NBC. So it's no longer part of GE. Comcast has. Is it as an enormous conglomerate? So a big question, you might have is you know, I started this all up by saying RCA is celebrating its one hundred year. So what is it what what is actually left? What is what is celebrating its one hundred year the company which had ballooned into an enormous and troubled conglomerate in the sixties and seventies has been through so many different sales spin offs and mergers that there's no longer and RCA company. There's no longer an independent company called RCA the name RCA still exists. The brand still exists. It is a trademarked brand today. The owner of that trademark is the French company technicolor essay that was the one that used to be known as Thomson the company license, the the name RCA to other companies that wish to use it on various products. So that includes a RCA records, which I mentioned is part of Sony Music RCA telephones and RCA projectors a company called telephone uses those RCA audio and video and our CEO. RCA accessories are both licensed by vox international. That's v o x x RCA televisions. Licensed by on corporation of. RC computers, which is licensed to American future technology corporation. You get the idea like there's there's the brand the name still exists, but the company doesn't so to say that RCA is celebrating its one hundredth year is I think a little misleading maybe more than a little misleading because the company itself hasn't really existed since one thousand nine hundred eighty six it's interesting to see how a company that was so instrumental in very important moments in consumer electronic history, like the development of color television could ultimately whittle get whittled doorway down two to nothing. Really? But I thought I would cover this because it was a fascinating story, and it has had such an important impact on various parts of technology. Our next episode will not be so deep and and grave a subject as. As the one hundred year history of company were instead going to look at a popular video game. And how it got so popular, and it's story until you about four night. That'll be the next episode. Hope you guys enjoyed this one. If you have suggestions for future episodes of tech stuff get in touch with me the mail address for the show is tech stuff at how stuff works dot com in pop on over to tech stuff podcast dot com, and you can get in touch with me through social media there. You can also look at the archive of all the show's over there. Don't forget the pop on over to our merchandise store. That's over at t public dot com slash tech stuff. Every purchase you make goes to help the show we greatly. Appreciate it. And I will talk to you again releasing. For more on this and bathrooms of other topics. Visit how stuff works out com. Ron burgundy podcast. It's the Ron burgundy podcast. Guess what? I got up gas. And you don't guess what I got up gas. And you don't Ron burgundy. Puck cast. This is Ron burgundy from the Ron burgundy podcast brought to you by fair fares. A totally new way to get a car with the flexibility to turn it in anytime. Don't buy a car. Don't get alone. Get a car on your phone fair. The new way to get cars.
RCA and Color Television
"On March twenty sixth two thousand eighteen the heart tribe and apparently loving family suffered a terrible tragedy. There GMC Yukon was found belly up on the rocks below California's highway one and this murder suicide shocked the nation. Broken hearts, a new podcast from glamour, and how stuff works investigates that fatal crash starting December fourth with new episodes. Every Tuesday co hosts and glamour editors Justin Harman and Elizabeth Egan followed the family's journey listening subscribed to broken hearts, spelled H A R T S Condie. Nests I ever narrative podcast at apple podcasts or on the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to podcasts. Get in touch with technology with tech stuff from how stuff works dot com. Hey there in welcome to tech stuff. I'm your host Jonathan Strickland haven't executive producer with how stuff works iheartradio and love all things tech. And before I jump into what is going to be the main focus pun intended for this episode. I want to mention something about RCA because we're continuing our story bell RCA and something that happened RCA nineteen forty eight that was the year that Howard Hughes would by controlling stake in our KO pictures, the motion picture company and also theater chain RCA had purchased a theater chain and created our Cao's specifically in order to get a foothold with its optical on film sound system. So if you listen to the earlier episodes of our CA, you remember they went so far as to create an entirely new film company in order to establish. This technology will that being done now in nineteen forty eight. They no longer saw necessary to keep this motion picture company around and sold off the controlling interest to Howard Hughes, someone that I should probably do a full episode about in the future, but that is one complicated cat right there. Anyway, in nineteen forty nine David Sarnoff the man who was the general manager. And then the president of RCA would then become the chairman of the board of RCA the Elsa remained on as president of the company. So he had unprecedented control of RCA and Sarnoff. You may remember had a bit of a reputation of being something of a control freak someone who really wanted the company he worked for to excel and he greatly resented. Anyone who appeared to stand in the way of that? Well and the previous. Upset the most recent one I talked about how RCA was a pioneer in consumer electronic televisions, and how the US government forced RCA to spin off one of its to NBC radio and television networks, which would become ABC. Also, remember CBS the third of those of the the big three networks in the United States actually grew out of a talent agent's failed attempts to get his clients booked on NBC radio shows, so we are now in an era, and which we have three broadcast giants NBC ABC and CBS and NBC in ABC both came from the same company CBS came out because no-one NBC would hire. This guy's talent. Interestingly so television is slowly starting to pick up, and as I mentioned at the end of the last episode RCA would push a new innovation in the early nineteen fifties, which was colored television. But RCA wasn't the only. Company working on color. TV CBS was also very much in the game. Both companies had been experimenting with color TV strategies since the nineteen forties. And it was a CBS engineer who seemed to win at least at first. Now, I want to chat about this for a moment as well. Because the system that this guy made was truly amazing and it was dependent upon peculiarity of human biology. We have what some people refer to as the persistence of vision. This is the same thing that makes animation work for us animation, or or film, if you're looking at a real film, you know, like sewing this actually posted to photographic film is just a series of still images if we play those still images back at a fast enough speed, we perceive what appears to be movement. Even though if you were to slow it down enough you'd see it's just a series of still images. There's no actual movement happening. The human eye and brain can process about ten to twelve separate images per second and can retain an image for about a fifteenth of a second. So if you have an image and your place it with a new image faster than one fifteenth of a second, you can create the illusion of continuity of movement from one image to the next now, a common term for this is the persistence of vision, and again, a lot of the different allusions. Depend upon this says it's this limitation of our faculties and a guy named Peter Carl Goldmark who was a Hungarian born engineer who immigrated to America, and then would work for CBS would rely upon this peculiarity to create an early form of color television. And his system was an electro mechanical system inside the television was a color wheel with red green and blue sections on it and both the camera. The television camera. And the receiver or TV says had a color wheel the wheels positions and rotation would match precisely and the wheels would spend at an incredible one thousand four hundred forty times per minute that was the speed of rotation. So the light coming into the camera would pass through this color wheel, which would kind of act like a filter. So remember earlier when I mentioned in the previous episode that an electron beam would make sixty passes over a screen in a second. But it would only hit the odd lines on one pass and the even lines on the next pass those individual passes are called fields. So if you hit all the lines that's one field, all even lines. That's a second field to fields make up a video frame because then you have all the lines. Then you have all the lines that make up the entire picture. So that's a video frame. Now, let standard wooden work for the color images in gold marks system because there would be noticeable flicker from the different colors, if you're only doing this at a sixty really really thirty frames a second it would actually end up being closer to twenty because you have to divide it by three one for each color instead goal. Mark would increase the field rate to one hundred forty four fields per second. Instead of thirty h color would get scanned twice in a second. And the number of frames or complete images shown onscreen would drop down to twenty four frames per second. Instead of thirty frames per second Goldmark decrease the resolution of the image from five hundred twenty five lines to four hundred five lines, which means you're they're making the picture smaller. And the reason he did this was because otherwise he would need a lot more bandwidth per channel to send that much information to a receiver. Anyway. Because of that persistence of vision, the these colors while they're technically changing, very very quickly, our eyes and our brains can't keep up with that. They can't distinguish how those colors are changing so fast from red green and blue. So we perceive a mixture of those colors, and thus with a combination of electronic and mechanical elements gold marks approach allowed for color TV, and it gets way more technical and psychological really to describe exactly how this works. So that you represent all the different colors, but this is the basics of how the system worked, by the way side note Goldmark was also in charge of the team that would develop the micro groove technology that would make thirty three and a third RPM long playing vinyl records possible and since RCA had previously attempted to market thirty three and a third rpm records though, they did not do. So with a micro groove. I suspect Sarnoff felt Goldmark was a thorn in his side. After all gold. Marquette created a new standard for color TV and a new standard for records and Sarnoff wasn't really happy. When other people took the lead or other companies took the lead RCA had its own version of the same sort of mechanical color television approach they had developed there's independently of Goldmark, but the CBS version provided a better picture. And so in nineteen fifty the FCC made the CBS approach the standard for color televisions now temporarily it was only temporarily the standard. So if you've listened to my earlier episodes on RCA, you know, that David Sarnoff wanted to be the leader in all things, and he was fiercely competitive, and I suspect he was very much infuriated that the FCC would choose the technology of a rival company. Actually, I don't have to suspect. He absolutely was because Sarnoff led a crusade against CBS and the FCC. So RCA and another company called color television sought an injunction against the FCC's decision to go with the CBS standard that actually put a temporary halt on color televisions? Because while the matter was being decided CBS couldn't accept any sort of sponsorship money for color television programming. So there was no money coming in to support the programming. There was very little chance to make the programming in the first place. CBS wasn't going to invest in something without knowing for sure that could go forward with it. So it kind of put the brakes on color TV. Now the courts rejected this injunction RCA, then appealed it and this went up the court system, and in nineteen fifty one the matter got all the way up to the supreme court of the United States, and the supreme court also agreed with the FCC, or at least they said the FCC had not acted improperly in stating that the CBS standards were fine. But. Sarnoff was not ready to give up once. It was clear that gold marks CBS approach was going to win out RCA concentrated on moving away. From this electro mechanical approach toward a purely electronic method of transmitting and displaying color television. Meanwhile, CBS was running into trouble of its own. The company was finding it hard to convince a public market a consumer market to purchase a new expensive television, set only is it new inexpensive. It was incompatible with existing black and white broadcasts. It was a different resolution, and it was a different methodology. And in the summer of nineteen fifty the United States entered the Korean war, which disrupted CBS's manufacturing processes, which meant the company couldn't make sets for people to buy only a couple of hundred sets had been produced at that point colored television had stalled out early and that gave Sarnoff some time to push his team into getting the electronic approach ready for. Display. So how did this electric version work while I talked in the last episode about how cathode Ray tube TV's work? So I'm not gonna go over all that again, because it's exactly the same thing up to a point the cathode Ray tube is like a giant light bulb and as special fos Fers that glow when struck by electrons, the filament inside the cathode Ray to gives off an electron stream that anos or positively charged elements, focus, indirect direct towards specific points or pixels on the back side of the screen service that creates television pictures, I guess I did go over it. Again. I I never learned. So how does color television work? How is it different from this? Because this approach really just means that when electrons hit the fos- Fers the phosphorus get excited, and they start to glow if they get a lot of energy, they glow brighter that they get a little energy. They don't grow glow as brightly. And if they don't get any energy there dark, and that combination gives you the image. Of black and white pictures that move across your TV screen. This is happening. Lots of times per minute, right? Like every every single pixel is being eliminated thirty times per second. So it's pretty amazing, or at least the electron beam is passing over maybe not activating, but passing over every fos for thirty times a second sixty times for a a second the electron beam is actually crossing the entire screen. It's only Bill only concentrates on the odd lines or even lines. So how does the color television work in comparison? Well, the basics are the same. You still have the filament that generates the electrons. You still have the fosters. You still have the positively charged elements directing the stream of electrons. You still direct the beam across the screen line by line from the upper left to lower right? Sixty times per second at least in the United States. But there are. Three ways colored TV screen differs from a black and white screen. I you have three electron beams not just one. And each of those beams is responsible for one of the three main colors from which all other color, onscreen originates. So they're called the red green and blue streams now let me get that clear. The electrons streams themselves are not red green and blue. There are electrons. You don't see like a red laser a blue laser and a green laser we could call them streams one two and three and it would be just the same. But they are responsible for specific groups of fos for dots. And the foster dots are what are red green or blue. So one stream will only activate the green dots. One will only activate the red dots. One will only activate the blue dots. So if you have a black and white screen, you have that whole sheet of foster that substance that gives off light when electrons excited to a higher energy state with a CRT color TV set, you have three different kinds. Of offers that correspond with those colors imaging early red green and blue now explain how this works in greater detail. Just a moment. But first, let's take a quick break to thank our sponsor. Guys. Let me talk to you a little bit about turbo tax live. I don't know about you. But for me, nothing really cranks up. My enzyme like tax time. I'm always worried I'm going to do it incorrectly. We'll turbo tax live is a new way to do taxes. It combines technology with on demand tax professionals who can answer your questions and offer personalized advice of talking about real CPA's real e as they can help you with your return. They can help you find all the deductions that apply to you. And you can file your taxes and know that you're doing them correctly. They're tax experts are there when you need them. So you can file with complete peace of mind. Turbo. Tax live with CPA's and EA's on demand. See details at turbo tax dot com. All right. The fosters in a color CRT television are either in dots or stripes on the back side of the screen. The screen. That's on the inside of the TV from where you are. And between the fosters and the electron beams is another layer that you don't find in black and white televisions. It's a metal screen. It's called a shadow mask. And they shuttle mask has tiny perforations that lineup precisely with the fos for positions on the back side of the screen to create the pixels that will create your television screen picture. So you turn on your color TV then you change the channel to something that send color, maybe it's Kermit the frog singing rainbow connection, which is pretty sweet so Kermit his green. So everywhere Kermit is on the screen. You have the green electron beam hitting those green phosphorus to create green pixels. The also have the other. Beams hitting the other phosphorus to change that color. Green to just the right, Hugh, the red and blue beams excite phosphorus to make colors, red and blue. So how'd you get all the other colors while it's by that combination? That was just talking about the combining the fosters and combining them at different intensities creates all the different colors. So if you were to excite the red green and blue phosphorus at a single pixel with the same energy, you would create a dot of white light, those colors would combine you get white. If you want to black then you would just not have any of the electron beams hitting any of the phosphorus at that pixel. Every other color is some combination of those phosphorus getting lifted to that excited state by these electron beams. So in these old crtv sets every single point of light on a screen every single dot has three smaller for dots behind it and the color. You see on screen depends upon which electron beams are active at that specific point in any given instant and all of this is happening all across all the dots on the screen thirty times a second so Peretti phenomenal. So. I still find this an amazing thing that's happening so fast that we perceive it as motion we perceive the the color as being a solid color instant of a combination of different colors. And it's it appears to be seamless to us. It really says one something interesting about the limitations of human biology that we are not able to see these differences because of actual limitations on on us as as bags of meat, and to the lack of limitations on human, ingenuity that we can actually create systems that depend upon these limitations and do so in a way that's not predatory, but is is benefecial or at least entertaining now color television, only works. If you have something capturing an imaging colored to begin with, obviously, you couldn't send a black and white feed from a camera that can only capture images in black and white and expect it to come out in. Color, so RCA introduced the world's first commercially available color television camera in nineteen fifty two. This was called the RCA TK forty. There had been previous cameras in the t K Line, but those are black and white cameras. The company would then introduce the RCA t k forty eight in nineteen fifty four and that camera would become the first mass produced color television camera in the world. This was the culmination of many years of work. The company had largely made the move toward developing an all electronic approach starting around nineteen forty seven. That's when they began to see that they needed to to abandon the electro mechanical approach that CBS was developing because CBS was just way too far ahead. The first few cameras were all meant as prototypes. As sort of developmental steps toward the TK forty so RCA did make some color cameras before the TK forty, but they were all prototypes experiments. Internal things the first two cameras that the company developed were often referred to as the warden park cameras because they were used in a special color studio and they warn men park neighborhood in Washington DC are C A operated. The studio there in part because it was close to the seat of government and therefore the FCC. So this was RCA's attempt at making a system that would be easy to show off to the FCC. And then hopefully, persuade the FCC to choose RCA's approach as the standard for color television, next came a couple of cameras that were still prototypes that were referred to as coffin cameras. They were called that. Because the operators would joke that the cameras were large enough to bury a man inside of them. These were mainly used in our see as New York studios at thirty Rockefeller Center. It remember the show. Thirty rock were NBC is centered. The that's RCA's old studios often the tests. Were broadcast to the RCA exhibition hall, which was right across from thirty rock and the demonstrations were public really public and this was another one of start off site as he was determined to bring as much attention to RCA's efforts as possible which would create added pressure on the FCC as the public got a chance to see a color, set and more importantly, it was a colored television that could still show black and white programming because unlike the mechanical one that CBS was developing this one had the same number of lines of resolution as a black and white set, you could send black and white content to a color set. It would be displayed in black and white, but you could actually still watch older programming very important unless you're planning on changing the entire format of broadcast overnight, which is a pretty tough thing to do once you've already established a standard during this prototyping. The camera crews noted that the cameras. Would tend to get real hot not just from the internal operations going on inside the camera, but also from soaking up energy, so one of the limitations of color television. And in the early days was that you need a really brightly lit studios, very similar to color film. You needed to have a lot of light and those lights would get really hot. And that would heat up the cameras also if you were shooting on location, you would soak up sunlight and get really hot and electronics and heat are not there. They don't go well together typically so in order to avoid overheating RCA chose to make the TK forty cameras silver, though, it reflects some of that light away from the camera. This is after some enterprising camera crews had done a DIY approach and taken silver paint and coded earlier. Prototype cameras in silver paint to deflect some of that light to to make sure that didn't get too hot. And RCA took a note and decide to make that an official design point these cameras also had what are called Lynn's turrets. If you take a look at old school television cameras, you'll see that they appear to have four lenses poking out of the front of them. That's actually a lens turret it's kind of a disk that has different lenses mounted on it. And then you can turn the disk. So that a different lens is actually active. So the whole purpose of this is to create different focal lengths of of lenses rather than having to physically remove them. And swap them out. They were all mounted on the camera. You could just change whichever one was active at a given time. So the common setup on one of these lens tarts was to have one eight and a half inch lens one one thirty five millimeter lens one ninety millimeter lens of one fifty millimeter lens, and I gave the camera operator and director, some odd. Options to choose the focal point for specific cameras in whether it was going to be a close up or a wide shot. They could choose whichever lens. They wanted to us. Now, it was possible to change lenses during a live show typically you would do so by switching to a different camera. And then changing the lens on camera one while camera to his active, but this was pretty uncommon usually they would just set the lenses for whatever shot they wanted. And that was what it was gonna stay as RCA had introduced lens turrets with the older black and white television cameras. This was kind of a holdover from those days now once light pass through the lens of one of these color cameras. It would hit a beam splitter. Then that would divide the light into three beams each of those beams of light within hit an individual orthodox con to non the previous episode when I was talking about black and white TV's talked about a special component called the economy scope, which was in charge of taking light having it hit a photo electric bass. Then using an electron beam to scan it and that would send out the signal the Ortho. Con was the successor to the scope it used a low velocity electron beam instead of a high velocity electron beam the economy scope used the high velocity ones, but the problem with that was that it would sometimes produce secondary electrons. So you would get quote unquote noise in the signal the Orthon used low-velocity electron beams which would not create these secondary electrons. And again, it would use it to scan a Photoelectric mosaic on a special plate inside the tubes. The lights hitting that plate the electron beam scanning the plate, and that's what's creating the signal. So in this case, the light comes into the camera it splits into three beams and each being goes into a separate Ortho. Con then you can guess each of those cons was dedicated for a specific representation of color, red green or blue and these cameras would then. Send that signal out to be a transit transmitted over to the color televisions? They were large cameras they are relatively primitive. They required lots of adjustments and tweaking to keep them tuned to the proper colors, but they worked and the most important aspect of this whole approach was one of practicality that was how RCA was really leaning into this technology. The CBS color television was incompatible with the older black and white sets as I mentioned. So the CBS approach meant that you were going to have to go out and buy a brand new very expensive television said if you wanted to watch this new programming, and you would have to have an older black and white set if you wanted to continue to watch all the programming that was made just for black and white televisions. So it was not a very attractive technology to consumers it you weren't able it wasn't backwards compatible as we would say in the in the video game console age. So. So this was not something a lot of people were excited about the RCA approach was different it would allow people with monochromatic televisions to still view color broadcasts. They just wouldn't be in color. You could tune into a color program on a black and white set. You would just get the black and white representation of that CBS founded self stuck. There was a manufacturing issue with building out TV sets, especially during the Korean war. There was a programming issue of creating material for those sets. There was the market issue with people gain to buy new expensive technology. So ultimately Sarnoff was able to win the battle for the color television format. The FCC would ultimately drop the standards that they had adopted that had come from CBS. Instead, the national television system committee, which was the second entity to have that name previously. The the first version was formed to develop the standard for black and white TV transmissions. So this verse. Version was this new organization with the same name, essentially, it was reformed with the purpose of creating new color television broadcast standard it did. So and publish the standard in nineteen fifty three, and it was pretty much the same as RCA's standard Sarnoff had one at least for the time being. I've got a lot more to say about what RCA did during this age. But before I get to that. Let's take another quick break to thank our sponsor. I wanna thank the Microsoft surface team for sponsoring this show. Now, you might remember from a few episodes ago when I talked about the surface go well now, you can meet the newest member of the Microsoft surface family, the brand new surface pro six, and this sucker has got more of everything you wanted has more power and has more speed and a ton more fun. You can get a peripheral keyboard, and it will snap right on to the Microsoft surface. Pro six and you can type on it like, it's a laptop you can detach. It just as easily and then draw on your Microsoft surface. Pro six as a new eighth generation Intel core processor powering the thing that's incredibly powerful. It gives you up to thirteen and a half hours of battery life on a single charge. You can work where you want. How you want for as long as you want? So check it out the Microsoft surface. Pro six. This episode of tech stuff is sponsored by ADT. This is real protection on this show. I talk a lot about smart, technology, and home automation. Those advances have really transformed home security and real protection from ADT provides the tools and services to make the most out of that tech. And to make sure your home is secure. Real protection means having access to tools like video doorbells. Surveillance cameras smart locks lights smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in a customized system for your home. You can control your smart home with the ADT app, or even with the sound of your voice, and it includes professionals who can monitor your home security. So you don't have to eighteen thousand employees safeguarding you that's real protection. Visit ADT dot com slash podcast to learn more about how ADT can design and install a secure smart home. Just for you. RCA begins to manufacture color television sets. No now, they've set the standard. Now, they're going to make the actual products. Originally, the early sets had either fifteen inch or nineteen inch screens though by nineteen fifty-five all our CA sets were twenty one inches in screen size. And you measure that on the diagonal other companies would continue to manufacture the smaller screen sets. But RCA focused on twenty one as the standard. Now, interestingly RCA was not the first manufacturer to offer. A consumer color television set that was running on what was affected -ly. Our see as color, television, transmission standards. Westinghouse would introduce a color television ahead of our CA in nineteen fifty four it sold for one thousand two hundred ninety five dollars a princely sum. Particularly when you factor in inflation. If you were to do that, you would see that in today's cash. That would cost you about twelve thousand dollars. RCA would follow this up in less than a month with its own. First television, set color television, set called D C T one hundred that one had a price tag of one thousand dollars so about ten grand in today's cash pre expensive to watch some color TV. Now, it may come as little surprise that not many people picked up a new C T one hundred at that price tag RCA pursued some pretty enthusiastic marketing strategies. In other words, they held a very expensive advertising campaign trying to get interest up, but at that price at just wasn't going to happen by August of nineteen fifty four not even two months after its debut are CA would drop the price tag to four hundred ninety five dollars, which was still a huge chunk of change. But at that price are CA was actually losing money on every sale because the sets were so expensive. To make even so if the company had failed to sell it sets that would have cost RCA even more money in the long run. So this was a way to get early adopters on board and pave the way for future less expensive televisions colored television wouldn't really pick up steam in the consumer marketplace until the nineteen sixties. That's when the quality really improved the price dropped, and there was more programming. Available to watch as well shows like Disney's wonderful world of color, which debuted in nineteen sixty one helped a lot, but color television sales wouldn't overtake black and white TV sales until nineteen seventy meanwhile, RCA and CBS did battle over which company would define the future of television at that same time Sarnoff was waging a separate war about radio waves. His adversary was someone who used to be a close friend of his a guy named Edwin. Howard Armstrong Armstrong was an electrical engineer. He had attended Columbia University. Brilliant guy, apparently one of those people who really was only interested in studying anything that directly appealed to him and had no interest whatsoever. In any other subjects Armstrong had already achieved a great deal by the late nineteen twenties. But we're concerned specifically with his work in FM radio. FM stands for frequency modulation as opposed to AM radio which stands for amplitude modulation. In both cases. We're talking about changing a radio wave in some way to transmit information. So it's all about varying something some aspect of the radio wave and with AM or amplitude modulation. It's all in the name. It's all about the amplitude the strength of a radio signal by varying that modulating the strength of the signal you can encode audio onto a radio wave. And you have a receiver, and it has a device to decode that modulation essentially to reverse this process. So that whatever information was laid on top of that radio-wave can be played back. You can convert it into an audio signal electrical signal really that represents an audio signal send that to an amplifier and then onto speakers, but AM has some drawbacks. And a big one is that it is it interference really can come into AM transmissions quite easily stuff like electrical equipment can introduce interference or thunderstorms, and you get static and other noise that gets introduced into the signal. So you don't get a clean signal. Sarnoff led to eliminate all of that static that noise. Armstrong wanted to experiment with frequency modulation, which was already a known method at that time but had yet to produce results that were remarkably better than AM broadcasts, and as the name suggests instead of messing with the strength of a radio wave you mess with its frequency you increase or decrease its frequency to encode audio on top of that radio-wave. Otherwise, it's a very similar system. You would have a receiver that would pick up the radio wave and a decoder that would take that modulation of frequency and converted back into an electrical signal that would represent audio. So Armstrong believed that the reason why FM had not really shown to be better than AM was because earlier attempts had focused on too narrow arrange for modulation people were not changing the frequency enough, essentially, so Armstrong began to experiment with wide band. FM he filed and received five patents for his approach. And he had an agreement with RCA that said the company was going to have the right of first refusal on any patents that Armstrong was able to secure while working in FM, he demonstrated his system to RCA RCA would actually test it out fairly extensively in the mid nineteen thirties, and it was pretty clear that the system was superior to AM for the purposes of radio broadcasts within a given region. AM signals could be picked up further away than FM in most cases, but RCA was so focused on developing television that relatively little attention was given to the FM developments. And ultimately Armstrong wasn't presented with any sort of deal for his work a short while later Armstrong brought his ideas to some other companies. Now RCA wasn't doing anything with them. And his intent was partnering with those other companies and. Licensing his patents in order to start changing radio stations over from AM to FM, which would actually require lots of work that would require not just a a format switch but new equipment FM and AM transmitters and receivers are not compatible. You can't have both in the same radio set. If you have a receiver it may have an FM receiver and an AM receiver, but they are two separate receivers. They're not it's it's it's not a compatible technology again because you're looking at different modulations, and you're looking at different sizes of radio waves as well. So in nineteen forty RCA says, you know, what this FM thing makes less sense to us. Now now that we're really looking at it that we've got deal to make with you. And they present their Armstrong with a really attractive contract. He would get a cool one million dollars which in today's money. Around eighteen million dollars. In return RCA would get a royalty free license to use his FM patents. It was supposed to be a non-exclusive deal. However, so RCA would not get the exclusive rights to use this. They just wouldn't pay any royalties on anything they earned and in return Armstrong would get this one million dollar fee. However Armstrong had already made arrangements with other companies to license his patents, and they had to pay royalties on everything they sold anything that made use of one of his patents. He would get a little cut of it. And he felt like if he signed this agreement with RCA, it wouldn't be fair to these other companies that had to pay him every time they sold something. If RCA didn't have to do the same thing. How is that fair? So he refused. He said, I'm sorry. This deal's not gonna work with me. And that ticked off Sarnoff to no end. So Sarnoff directs is a genius to work on FM. Check of their own rather than license Armstrong's work and give them royalties. He says forget it. Let's just make our own FM tech and the company starts develop systems that they claim do not infringe upon Armstrong's patents. RCA then took another step casare enough isn't pleased with just trying to sidestep Armstrong. He wants to punish Armstrong and the company begins to encourage other companies to not license Armstrong's patents. And other words, cutting off our Strong's source of revenue because Armstrong's not making radios himself. He's licensing his designs to other companies. And now RCA saying, oh, don't do that. He we've come up with our own FM transmission stuff, don't bother paying him for this stuff. So Armstrong goes in sues RCA NBC and he's pretty confident. He's going to win right off the bat. But. The legal proceedings lasted much longer than he anticipated and the expense drained is personal finances by nineteen fifty some of his patents had actually expired. So he couldn't even really leverage those anymore and the lawsuits were continuing. Meanwhile, his mental health was deteriorating. They felt strongly that he was being cheated out of his money and the credit for his work. And what's worse? This mirrored something that had happened to Armstrong earlier in his life. He had worked on an invention that he felt he was responsible for that. Ultimately, the credit went to a different engineer. So he felt like this was happening all over again in the winter of nineteen fifty four after having driven away his own wife. He he actually hit her during an argument, and she had left him to leave an live with her sister Armstrong decided to end his own life. He jumped out of the window of his thirteenth floor apartment and landed on a on a bow. Johny ten stories below and died. He had a suicide note in his pocket. The expressed his deep regret for hitting his wife and for his actions and Sarnoff would shrug off any responsibility. He might have played Armstrong deterioration. He said, I didn't kill Armstrong. Now. Armstrong's wife Marian took over the case on behalf of her deceased husband and she pursued it with determination and the end of nineteen fifty four RCA and Marian Armstrong reached a settlement. The amount was said to be around million dollars, which was the fee RCA had proposed Armstrong and return for the royalty free. Use of the patents. Pretty tragic story now before I sign off. I should also mention that at the same time RCA was working on technology. That was not meant for your average consumer. I've been focusing on the consumer tech because that's the stuff. Most of us are familiar with the things we come in contact with radios. Televisions that kind of thing the company had become an important partner with the US military during World War Two. They had developed a lot of components that were used in radar systems. But that relationship with the military continued after World War Two was over in the late nineteen forties. RCA developed a system called typhoon to help the navy test missile designs, typhoon was a guided missile simulator. So the idea was that would let navy engineers test out different ideas, different designs under different test conditions, all in a computer simulated environment, which meant they didn't have to go out and actually build rockets, and then seek out those conditions and test them for real. That gets really expensive. It's a logistic nightmare this way. They could do it in a simulated environment and test out these different ideas before ever committing to a specific design typhoon debuted in Princeton at our C as are indeed it had more than four thousand electron tubes. And it took up fifty three computer racks, the room it was in had to be air conditioned to keep everything at the right operating temperature. It was not common to find air conditioning in a lot of Princeton buildings at that time before this. So RCA also developed a electron microscopes and the television microscope during these years, but don't really have enough time. In today's episode to go into detail on those we'll pick up with a little bit of that in the next episode, but we're really going to try and focus on wrapping up. Our see as history at least up to present day in our next episode. So we're going to skip over a lot of stuff to hit the highlights. Anyway, RCA's work also branched out beyond electronics. I think this is something worth commenting on the company developed reading aids for people with impaired vision, and they also had come up with a new way of producing penicillin, which seems kind of crazy. But no, it's absolutely true. Are CA was producing penicillin they use radio frequency heating during the process. So one of the stages of penicillin production requires you to remove water from penicillin shortly after you've separated penicillin out from the solution you develop it in. So you develop in sullen and a solution you separate it out from the solution. You then have to remove as much water as you can efficiently and safely so RCA's approach used radio frequency heating to dry, the penicillin more efficiently and economically to make it viable. But before RCA could even take advantage of this discovery before they could go to market with it. The researchers who are working on this project at RCA discovered that they could use a chemical approach that was even more effective and. More efficient producing more bureau fide penicillin more efficiently. So RCA was able to help doctors secure sources of penicillin to treat infections around the world, which is pretty incredible. Now in our next episode like I said, we're going to wrap up the history of RCA. We're going to hit the highlights which is going to be a lot of highlights in a short amount of time because we're leaving off in the mid fifties. So we've got fifty years to cover. However that being said allow those years involve a lot of big general steps that can be summarized much more effectively than a deep discussion of how color TV works or FM radio. So we won't dive so much into technical detail. But I look forward to covering that with you guys in the next episode. If you have suggestions for future episodes, send me a message. The Email is tech stuff at how stuff works dot com or pop on over to our website. That's tech stuff podcast dot com. You'll find different ways to contact me there in the archive of the episodes. Also, don't forget to head over to t- public dot com slash tech stuff. That's our merchandise store. Everything you purchase goes to help the show, and we greatly. Appreciate it. We're going to be putting up some new designs. They're pretty soon. Look forward to seeing those and I will talk to you again, really sick. For more on this and bathrooms of other topics. Visit how stuff works out com. Hey, guys, I wanna tell you about the end of the world with Josh Clark. It's ten part audio podcast series. It's all about extant threats. Terrifying stuff. But also, really fascinating. Josh looks deeply into the subject matter and looks at ways that we might be able to prevent or perhaps provoke an existential threat. Join the movement. Listen subscribe at apple podcasts or on the I heart radio app or wherever you listen to bide casts and find the conversation on social with hashtag e OT w Josh Clark.
RCA Goes Off The Air
"SMART is open open is smart. IBM is combining their industry expertise with the open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential attentional. Let's put smart to work learn more at IBM DOT com slash red hat welcome to business on the brink of production from iheartradio and how stuff works when last we left off the Radio Corporation of America or RCA had just become the corporation so I guess it was the Radio Corporation of America Corporation President David David Sarnoff was relying on a combination of innovations and ruthless business strategy to tune into success ultimately would grow into an enormous company with its proverbial Irv your fingers in many proverbial pies Yum pie until the one thousand nine hundred eighty s on another company would put a stop to it this is RCA in business is on the brink. Everyone I'm Jonathan Aerial and we're going to continue our story with RCA as we mentioned so if you have not heard the previous episode you should probably go do that feels it will it will set the stage was about to happen but in we adjust talked about how RCA had become its own independent company after being sort of a mutual partnership among many big big companies like General Electric and Westinghouse and we left off in the year nineteen thirty two yeah so we're going to jump tonight nineteen thirty four because this is when one of our CA's properties in B. C. The that point the radio network it was before TV networks was the subject of some scrutiny the Mutual Broadcasting System said that NBC CNC BS were essentially a duopoly that these two networks of radio stations were making it very difficult if you wanted to operate say an independent radio station Russian and the FCC the Federal Communications Commission said Yeah so they went up to NBC which technically was was to radio networks in the red network and the Blue Network and said here's the deal you got to get rid of one of them. You got to sell one of these off pick your favorite child hold and RCA said I'm Gonna I'm gonNA appeal this and the appeals court said Ghia you gotta do it so RCA said Oh aw I'm GonNa take this Spring Court and Supreme Court said Dea you gotta do it yeah in meanwhile. RCA kept business going yeah yeah. It was no longer tied to General Electric or Westinghouse. The Great Depression was still going on but David Sarnoff the leader of the company was still trying to innovate date and also still trying to use any kind of business method whatsoever to keep competition well under his heel yet but one of the things he was still trying trying to push was this TV right yeah you had been behind the idea of electronic television since really the twenties and the had been funding it directly since nineteen thirty and in nineteen thirty nine so after about a decade of research and development they debuted and electronic television at the nineteen thirty nine world's fair they actually showed a live broadcast of US president. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was drinking PBR. He was not those different different worlds fair eighteen hundreds but he was he was giving an address live and in fact this was a live broadcast so live live from camera broadcast to this television and they began RCA the company to manufacture television sets giant ones like sixty inch irs divide that by five twelve inches so you go twelve inch TV's or while the screen was twelve inches the television sets were. There's a piece of furniture all those tubes in the back. These were big as before the transistor so very large pieces of equipment and and of course just like we talked about in the last episode you gotTa have stuff to show on your thing or nobody's going to buy it so they. They showed a baseball game right. They did between Columbia University and Princeton Huan Princeton Two to one so not a bad game. You gotta think that Sarnoff was probably proud of that. Because the other university had the word Columbia and our and the company Columbia were constantly bickering with one another fighting for domination and then they they should major league baseball game after that right up November of nineteen thirty thirty nine it was actually a double header between two teams the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Cincinnati reds each team won one of those games so at Ah if you were a fan of Cincinnati or a fan of the Brooklyn dodgers you you were able to be happy at least half the time then the networks like. NBC and CBS were getting into television trying to push this but it's hard getting a brand new technology it off the ground specially one that was as expensive as television's early. TV's were I mean they were prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of consumers out there and on top of that even when the Great Depression was going to start to come to an end something else was starting waiting to boil up and that something else was the Second World War now or to World War Two that would be it. That's the one so yeah they called World War One the war to end all wars and then I guess World War Two was oops. I did it again Britney leave Britney alone so RCA's consumer electronics business would slow down during this time but there was money to be made because as it turns out when a war is on the military needs lots of stuff see. I thought you're going to say when the war is on the TV's on well would have been but there was no TV yet so at least not not really so instead RCA would start to develop technology for the military now most of the time it was like components that would go into larger things like radar systems installed so they were really focusing on that you know a lot of the manufacturing power of the United States was being dedicated into wartime efforts. This was across the board. If you operated a factory chances are you're trying to land military government contracts because otherwise you couldn't couldn't even get the raw materials you needed to make your stuff yeah because the US would put you know very strict limitations on that everything was going to the war effort yes yes and and so at this time also during World War Two the FCC ruling would come down in nineteen forty three in RCA would half to you split up those NBC networks red and Blue Network so a guy named Edward J noble. We're going to have to do an episode about Edward J Noble Godwin known he he had made a fortune with lifesavers not the not the not the flotation device the candy the candy life savers he was the life-saver Fortune favors were his lifesaver he made a lot of money on those lifesavers so he would buy the Blue Network from NBC for or the princely sum of eight million dollars not to shelley no and then a couple of years later he would rebrand that network so that its official name became became the American Broadcasting Company or ABC so in the last episode I referred to the fact that that are see as RCA pretty much ah played a role in the creation of three of the major networks in the United States it made NBC outright that was it's subsidiary it inspired the creation of C. B. S. yeah and then it's spun off half of NBC which then became ABC all right but also during during this time so sarnoff was getting military contracts but with the money well he was pretty. I mean not just pretty smart. He was incredibly smart. He used that money money to increase our see as manufacturing capacity star billing out more manufacturing centers more factories because he knew that when the war was at an end there would be another market for consumer electronics as well as industrial equipment and in order to meet the need he would need better manufacturing facility so he was using that money and at the time they were still making military stuff but it was all with the eye of converting this over back to civilian applications once the war was over which they did so they started making TV sets in forty-six yes so wars over the year after the war is over. RCA starts to really manufacturer television sets of course these are black and white TV's at this time and again like we've said before before they had to make stuff for people to watch like baseball games they had to create stuff so they essentially told NBC which at the time again was just a radio network network to start working into television production as well so that's when NBC started to become not just radio network but a TV network meanwhile CBS was trying to do the same thing William Paley who was the leader of CBS he was the guy who had bought CBS back when that was a sort of a being made in spite of in B. C. Yes so he bought it and he was also trying to turn CBS into not just a radio network with a TV network and Palley would do something very shifty in one thousand nine forty eight. I know what this is again we talked about it and CBS CBS the great talent raid yes so in that episode we mentioned how CBS was able to secure a whole bunch of very big names in radio because the general wisdom was what's the best way to create really good TV content. Let's take the stuff we make for radio and make it for TV and so they already had big radio stars that they could. It's a whole plot point in singing in the rain. Yes Sir yeah. It's a IT'S A it's one of those Hollywood stories that has made its way into two different things because it was a big deal so CBS came forward and offered a huge contracts really really lucrative contracts to stars. There's like George Burns and Gracie Allen who were a duo at the time he had Jack Benny Yeah these big names and radio who were starting to make the transition transition to television and CBS why don't you come and work for us for a while and they said sure because these are great contract and was not happy no Sarnoff he really liked to put his pressure on other companies. He did not like it when the same was done to him so he got got really upset and apparently it really illustrated the difference between Sarnoff Leadership Style and philosophy and pay lease his leadership style and philosophy so sarnoff reportedly. He hated the idea of advertising he thought of it as vulgar. He didn't like he didn't like running ads on this any certainly didn't like having to meet with ad executives that was beneath him so he would send direct reports to those meetings. Where's Paley was like this very gregarious south going guy who was happy to bring people in and have them be part of the whole situation of joining a and and having a conversation about how can we get your ads on your network so Paley was the like polar opposite of South Yeah but Palley Palley won that battle he did win that particular battle yeah all right so what does RCA do next yeah so you remember I told you they had established that movie theater chain and they had created a movie studio are Ko pictures as and this was all in an effort to get their audio technology into theaters to create the standard well the the achieved that so once they achieve they're like well? There's no reason for us to keep this movie business anymore diversification so they sold it and you know they sold it to 'cause. I got it in the nets Howard. He is yes another another person will have to do an episode about that'll be a truly eccentric episode. When you're that rich you get to be eccentric? Okay so you have have this Newton one thousand nine hundred forty eight where we get to the speed wars and I'm so excited to hear about how they got into the the bus industry not yeah you have to go fifty five miles brower. RCA explodes yeah. No this has everything to do with turntables all right. I'M GONNA make this super fast. In the beginning. You had turntables that we play music at seventy eight revolutions permanent so the disks would turn seventy eight times every sixty seconds. RCA tried to introduce a thirty three and a third RPM album about a decade earlier but it was during the Great Depression. Nobody Button then Columbia are sees he's great rival comes up with two big things that help change that I they start making records out of vinyl as opposed to SHELLAC which is a much harder material vile is much easier to work with and they come up with micro grooves which means you could fit more grooves per side of the desk which means more audio more grooves yeah so who's grew so it used to be that you can only fit like five minutes on one inside a seventy eight album. They were able to fit way more than that on a thirty three and a third album which is about the same size in dimensions as the old seventy eights. It's now Columbia said we're willing to license this design to you. Because you make turntables you make disks. We'll we'll license this to you. SARNOFF does not like ever having to deal with somebody else's intellectual property he wants to own it all or or key wants to license it to somebody else exactly and wants to be on the other side of that deal so Cerna says pound sand Columbia and so he creates he directs RCA to create their own format which is a forty five RPM album and they're smaller. They're like you know a seven inch desk as opposed to the thirty three and a third which is like a twelve inch so it can't hold as much music then it can't it holds about as much as the old seventy eight stu so this is what would be used for singles right all right get a single on one side and then you have the B. side whereas the thirty three and a third would create the concept of the long playing or LP album and you had these two two formats going to war with one another eventually you had third party manufacturers that would make turntables that could work at either speed so that's what would allow you to play either or forty five or thirty three and a third. You had to select the right speed because I don't know Ariel. Have you played with a record player. Okay Sev- records. You're younger than I am. I just had to ask I now. I didn't know that technical Mumbo jumbo behind but you know that interesting Bojenka you know that if you put say a forty-five but you said two three three and a third it's not gonNA sound marina slow and low pitched. If you put a thirty three in the third and you said forty five it's going to be like the Chile so these were the speed wars and the two companies would maintain this kind of adversarial approach for the next several years ultimately they would both kind of settled settle with each other and agree to make an they would agree to make a records in the other formats but it was ugly like these were two the big companies that were both vying to become the name in that particular industry but I mean Columbia records eventually wins that war I mean they thirty three and a third became like the Go-to and then you would have these singles on forty five so it was kind of this weird world where both were able to coexist but I think Columbia because it created the microbrews really had the big advantage also therefore that came out about a year before RCA is they're also fighting on television the television front row do who boy Oy yeah. We'll get into that in fact. Let's let's take a quick break but when we come back we'll talk about how Colombian. RCA put up a really good fight on that front. Dell has something extra for small businesses up to forty five percent off during their semi annual sale. It's a perfect time to to opt to Windows ten with huge deals on business computers featuring Intel core processors plus free shipping on everything Cole Small Business Technology advisers who can help you achieve your business goals affordably with low monthly payments on the right tech- for you just call eight seven seven by Dell that's 877-buy-dell or visit Dell Dot com slash business deals for semi annual savings soon so we just talked about how they were going to have this big fight in intelvision specifically. It was going to be in setting the standard for color TV justice. David Sarnoff wanted to set the standard for audio on film he he wanted to set the standard for color television now at first they started making what recalled mechanical color. TV's there was one element inside the television that was on a mechanical basis not an electronic one. There's literally a color wheel inside the TV sets this had a disadvantage they'll get into in a second but Columbia shows off their version of this the CBS Columbia version of Color TV and and it's a pretty good quality RCA shows off. There's and there's just wasn't quite as good as C. B. S.'s so the you then have the FCC deciding what's going to be the standard and they say CBS is going to be the standard because it's a better picture so we're going to go with CBS's approach to Color Television Sarnoff enough. I'm sure it was not super happy not even a little bit but he had a couple of advantages on his side one was that he had already already been dedicating some resources. RCA to create an electronic version of color TV it just wasn't ready at the time when the FCC was making this decision. Asian advantage was that this mechanical colored TV was not compatible with the already existing black and white broadcasts yeah. That is a problem yeah we if you're told hey you can buy this brand new TV. sadly nothing that's showing today will show on your TV but future shows will if we can sell enough of these. That's not a great yeah yeah. If Y- you have to convince people that you're going to sell enough to make the content right well Tom that was not a good enough market proposition for consumers to go out and buy this brand new very expensive color. TV and at at the same time there was another problem that was coming up there was the the Korean War which was making it harder for CBS Stephen. Get the components needed to make its color televisions ended up only making a couple of hundred and it just never really took off then Sarnoff essentially said well. I've got this `electronic colored television solution that was ready a couple years later shows it to the FCC and says here's the advantage of mine you you can still watch the old black and white stuff on here because it's using the same methodologies Scott if you are able to show it in color will show it in color and then he made cameras to produce immaterial says well yes and that was another advantage are see was in the the business of both sides both the camera side in the screen side so effectively civilly. RCA would get the color television standard. Essentially there was a committee that was formed actually technically reformed the National Television System Committee the N. T. S. C. and they created the standard for color TV and it was almost exactly RCA specification yeah but it took it still took a long time for color TV to replace black and white TV decades. Yeah it was so it was available the first RCA set was the C. T. One hundred which cost a thousand dollars in nineteen fifty four which would be about ten grand today. That's an extra. That's an extra luxury luxury items. I just I can't imagine dropping ten ten g's he's on a television. I can imagine dropping tingey television and then immediately wanting to hide somewhere but anyway it was it was it meant that no one was able to buy one and because the black and white sets were still good for a while it wouldn't be until really the nineteen seventies that he started seeing color our TV so I'm guessing they still had to work on their radio side of things as well they did and here's where we get into another dark story and Sarnoff off being the ruthless businessman that he was all right so sarnoff had a friend and the effective word there was had a friend named Edwin when Howard Armstrong and Armstrong came up with a methodology for transmitting radio through what was called Frequency modulation or FM yeah whereas am which was the standard was amplitude modulation. Am has some great advantages. I can go really really far like those. Broadcasts US can travel great distances but they can't penetrate through stuff so well so have you lived in a city. You could have trouble picking up stations. FM didn't have those problems but it had a a much smaller range of broadcast so Armstrong and RCA had worked out an agreement way back when that it would get the right of first refusal if Armstrong came up with something that was workable using FM and Armstrong dead so he goes RCA RCA and he says I've got this FM technology it would require having to invest in all new equipment because FM transmission and am Mr not compatible setting up new stations exactly yeah you'd have to build out a whole new infrastructure for this to work but it will work so RCA looks it doesn't says well. We're really dedicating our resources right now to try to get television going so they refuse. Yes exactly so I'm Sean trunking. Go elsewhere. Yes exactly yes. You're you're way ahead of me. Armstrong goes he makes some agreements with some other folks and then our. CIA says you know what on second thought we totally do do one that FM thing but you know you gave us the right of first refusal. That's all good so let's have an agreement where you will license the technology to US royalty free so you'll get a flat fee for your technology but it'll be non-exclusive so you'll be able to still go to these other parties and use your. FM Technologies seem fair to the other parties who opted in I yeah and they were already opted into paying royalties Armstrong. DOC said you know it's. I don't feel good about making that deal because if I say to you yes you get this royalty free whereas everybody else has to pay royalties. That seems like it's it's not terribly fair so he said you know I. I don't think this is going to work. Halt and Sarnoff did not react well to being turned turned. It doesn't seem like he does that very often sort of like getting his own way yeah so so he makes his own. FM Technology yes HE PUSHES RCA research and development to develop their own FM technology and they wanted to have at least enough plausible deniability to say a that they did this completely independently of Armstrong and that none of their technology violated any of the patents that Armstrong held. That's as shifty shifty yeah I mean we've seen instances where companies have reverse engineered things and they've made their own version of stuff and these or they'll they'll look at a patent battened and they'll be very careful to try and get the same result without infringing on the patent but with something like this it was very questionable that RCA could do this without Armstrong at all so Armstrong would end up bringing a lawsuit against our CA and this lawsuit stretched on For years and you know we talked about how Filo Farnsworth suffered essentially an emotional breakdown due to the length of the legal battle he went through uh it was worse for Armstrong. not only did his mental health deteriorate has physical health deteriorated his wife separated from him after he lost his temper and physically assaulted her golly so she leaves him he and a deep sense of guilt and shame takes his own life and his widow his his estranged wife and now widow would continue to pursue the lawsuit against RCA which ultimately settled with her for one million dollars which just happened to be the exact act amount that RCA had offered Armstrong in that royalty free deal Cali yeah so Sarnoff from what I can understand never seem to indicate that he felt he had anything to do with Armstrong's deterioration but every other source I read outside. Signnow seem to suggest otherwise so a very dark portrayal of this particular person yeah he's still working in the military military and scientific areas at this time right RCA was still making components for for things like electron microscopes. they also contributed attributed components to the United States Ballistic Missile Early Warning System I mean important yeah yeah and also to satellites and that the space race was taking off in our. CA was one of many companies that were contributing components to that they even created a special division called the RCA Astro Pro Electron ix division which has an awesome name it yeah and it was also really well. She wasn't like the dominant a player in making televisions but it was the dominant player making television cameras and you can't shoot stuff for television without cameras so RCA it was doing really well on that front so this was more of a business to business kind of thing like TV. Stations were buying these and keep in mind like early days of TV. Everything was live to broadcast it was only later that would be safe to to videotape and so this was an interesting time fine. Yeah Sarah's getting old though Ghia yeah he was getting old getting sick he had he started beginning health problems so in nineteen sixty five his son Robert would become the president of the company David Sarnoff was still the chairman of the company but it was clear that David was sort of you know queuing up Robert to become the heir apparent to RCA and Robert had already served does president of NBC. It's not like he was sitting at home all singing the giant so he comes in and he's the president an and then hey starts making some decisions that would you could argue lead to RCA's eventual decline so oh this is where we have our conversation about succession planning even when you keep it in the family it's not necessarily going to all be wine and roses roses yeah so we get into some some diversification and of questionable merit so you have have not and I skipped over by accident that our CIA was behind the development of the eight track tape. That wasn't what brought them down. Was it no no no so the eight track tape. The consumer consumer side of the eight track tape had a short life eight track tape in general has had a lot of life outside of those tapes you would find in like an old car the nobody listens to anymore. there there that was now bra down but one thing that really hurt the company was in sixty five. They started building computers. They got into the computer business as so their first computer was called the Spectra Seventy and these were mainframe type computers. There's like big centralized computers. That would be used for business so this is you know a decade before we get into personal computers but it was it's an expensive business to get into there was already competition from much more grandfathered in companies that had been in part of the rise of computers from the beginning. It seemed like Robert wanted to diversify but he didn't really put a lot of thought into how or four or maybe he didn't yeah. He didn't consider what the consequences could be if the if the businesses weren't going so well because like I don't think trying to diversify into computers I was necessarily the worst idea yeah but buying random house in Hertz now the okay so they bought Random House the publisher in nineteen sixty five they bought the rental car company hurts in nineteen sixty seven in sixty nine they started fighting against CBS again they were both. CBS and RCA were trying to create a video playback device for the home essentially a predecessor to what would be the VCR so before Vhs Betamax they were both trying to create something spoiler alert neither of those took off so both efforts would end up falling short of their goal because the VCR would end up taking that place so that ended up being being a bad business deal as well and in Nineteen Seventy David Sarnoff at age seventy eight would retire as chairman and I get the feeling that he didn't WanNa do it. He did not want to say goodbye but we had taught about since the mid sixties his health had been in decline line and by this point he was essentially confined to his home. He can could not go to the office and his doctor when asked asked by the board of directors can sarnoff continue in his role as chairman his doctor said. I don't think there's any way he could oversee the day to day operations the company they were right because he passed away the next year the next year yeah he he turned eighty and then passed away so he he was seventy eight and seventy but that was early in nineteen seventy when he retired it was late in nineteen seventy one when he passed away and he was eighty years old now as we have seen in lots of our episodes odes when a company loses a leader and really they had lost Sarnoff you could argue in sixty five right like David Sarnoff had had stepped down as president by then when you lose someone as iconic and as someone who's who's personality kind of infuses the company's strategy someone like David Sarnoff it can often leave a company in a vulnerable position so how would that turn out for RCA. I I think you said not well hoops. Yeah I think I think I've already indicated that. This does not turn out well. We'll explain exactly how things went wrong and just a moment but first. Let's take a quick break. We are living in complicated times. I'm seventy rule rule. MSNBC ANCHOR AND NBC News Correspondent and in my new podcast modern rules. I'm going to be spending time unpacking. Some of the hairiest of today's top decided I I was going to be a survivor survivor fights. He would board they want new. It's America listen subscribe to my new podcast modern rules on apple podcast. I the iheartradio APP or wherever you get your podcast okay so after David passed way wasn't done acquiring things yeah so this one hits close to home for US aerial. They bought a company called CORONET industries. Are you calling find me a carpet bagger no but I am saying that coordinate industries was had its headquarters in Dalton Georgia. If you've ever gone up to Dalton like you've passed through to on your way data Tennessee you see all the billboards carpet yeah that's because of this is because coronet industries so yeah. RC buys a carpet company so on top of the rental cars and then they end up purchasing banquet foods which is known for TV dinner just casting a wide net there got to the point where the joke was RCA would stand for rugs chickens and automobiles things were going great from from a like a company culture perspective but and then they lose their computer division right been losing money they decided to sell it off for a substantial loss to a different company called universal automatic computer or UNIVAC and and they hope the maybe that would get the company back on track but didn't know no so RCA was starting to suffer its performance was much below what their expectations were based upon their past performance and they weren't really sure how to run all these businesses they had acquired through Roberts Tarnoff's leadership yeah but they knew how do you get rid of the person who kept getting them yeah yeah yeah so board of directors comes together in one thousand nine hundred ninety five and they say this just in listen. It's not us it's it's you and they say goodbye to Robert Sarnoff he effectively is fired from the role of president and chairman and so oh then Anthony Conrad who had been an RCA employees since nineteen forty six would come over and become the new head of RCA ah but that's not quite succession planning and he resigned shortly after yes turns out Conrad had made a little a bit of a boo boo he failed to report his income taxes for about five years in a row and once that became public knowledge he felt compelled spelled to step down in September nineteen seventy six so essentially the year after he had become the leader he has to step down and then Edgar your age griffiths would take over our CIA so we've done other episodes where we've talked about rapid changes in leadership that you already. We're having a problem when you're you're visionary. Leader has either passed away a retired often. It's very difficult to continue a company following that vision because the person who was defining it is no longer there. It's even harder when you're going through this rapid change and executive leadership griffiths at least knew what there is. She was with the company so he started getting rid of all of those very randomly acquired company. Yes he start selling off companies. sold off banquet foods. He sold off Hertz rental cars. I think United Airlines bought them he sold off some of the others however cornet industries the carpet company would still be part of RCA heels acquisitions to yeah he did a one point three billion dollar acquisition for a company called commercial investment trust or cit which was an investment company now see also had its own share of odd companies and their its owner umbrella including Furniture Company and a greeting card company Ford's three steps back now see did get rid of some of those before the acquisition position happened so it it divested itself of some of those companies but still it seemed a little odd now that ended up hurting. RCA's credit rating as a company and the board of directors already antsy because of the problems with Robert Sarnoff and and the problems with Conrad Conrad they felt this was not the right spot for RCA so they demanded that griffiths hand in his resignation which he did in nineteen nineteen eighty one and then we get Thornton F bradshaw yeah he was an old tycoon he had also served on the board of RCA okay so he was already familiar with the operations of the company and he became the chairman and then a guy from General Electric named Robert R Frederick came over and became president of our ca and they continued to try and shed these subsidiary companies that have been added to RC and they got rid of all of them. Well not coronet industries the carpet company because that's sucker stuck around this carpet tacks are hard to get out okay. Have have you ever pulled up carpet. It's hard I have in fact pulled up carpet and you know how hard it is. Okay imagine how hard it is to get rid of a whole body of that. It seems like RCA is really floundering at this point it was and so it was weird because on one hand by divesting itself of all these companies actually was cash rich at that point they had like two billion dollars in cash but that's because they had gotten rid of of all these other little companies so they have two billion dollars in cash but their business isn't doing so well it's only because they sold all these companies that they have johnny cash in the first place and they had really defined a lot of the previous generations technologies but in the current generation things had not been going well right. They tried to come out with a thing called the capacity selectric disc or C. D. Player which did not do well but I own one. I have one of the few in my house right now next to a couple of different CD desks by the way you referenced just one of the two movies I own on CD singing in the rain. I have it on a speech. Didn't they know speed did not go. ZD Speed was far after the era but on top of all that so the the corporate leadership had been a real issue for RCA okay so that was still a problem for the company and so this led to a weird situation general enroll electric which as you'll remember was one of the corners it was actually the biggest of the partners to as far as ownership goes when our C. I came into being so a friend General Ledger. The old buddy comes by and says now. I see you've been having hard times friend. How would you come into the fold? General Electric makes a bid to acquire. RCA EH SO RCA has a tough decision to make right on the one hand. They've just finished divesting themselves of all these other businesses. They have two billion dollars in cash cache. They are able to now focus on their primary business and hopefully turn it around. Things are starting to look promising but it's still pretty shaky GI ground. Do they say yes or no to this deal well at the now they now. They thought about it but here's here's the problem. This is also in the eighties and something else was going on in the eighties currency degree that hair our hair was awesome beyond neon lots of neon on I had hair in the eighty rates jeans with lace also awesome. I've seen where you're not saying anything wrong so far I I like all those things okay boy bands maybe B- but anyway no in the nineteen eighties there were there was this culture of hostile takeovers in business in a hostile takeover is when a company goes does end to acquire another company they can't do it through normal acquisition so they appeal to shareholders and they essentially try to get more shares of the company company like a controlling interest amount of shares fifty one percent of ownership of the company and then they effectively can tell the board of directors to go yeah it took a long walk-ups work around to get your own way yeah so the board of RCA said well we could say no to this deal but that would potentially set up up a hostile takeover situation and then we'd have to defend ourselves from GE and that would be a lengthy and expensive and ultimately it could be an unsuccessful successful task or we could agree to the acquisition said they agree yes and that two billion dollars in cash was actually a strike aac against RCA which seems counterintuitive but the reasoning was this if g were to go after our C. A. for a hostile takeover over they could go after RCA super hard because if they took over RCA then they would get that two billion dollars and they could use that to pay off any debts they accrued in the process of going after RCA well thankfully they didn't have to do that. They only spent six point four billion dollars. They just bought our sages right at at six point four billion dollars and this is why I say that. RCA effectively stopped being company in nineteen eighty six because general general electric would bring our C. A. Under the fold so it's no under an independent company at all and then either liquefied and sold off RCA assets or consolidated R. C. A. Assets with existing General Electric. Ge Assets so all the divisions of RCA that weren't sold off became part of other existing G. Visions. I like this you have about RCA records because they were sold off they didn't become a part of GE right. Yes so g did ED sell off like I said some of the components one of those being. RCA records are the records is what had evolved essentially from the Victor Talking Machine Company Victor Victor Records we had talked about them in the previous episode so RCA records that the one that has nipper as the as in the logo they got sold off to a company called De Bertelsmann Music Group out better known as BMG so BMG buys RCA records but then BMG would merge with Sony Music in two thousand and four Sony the Parent Company Company of Columbia Records Yeah so RCA and Columbia Lumbia which had been the fiercest of competitors in the old gramophone days and the speed wars of the figuring out the album speed lead now belong to the same company. It's similar to I think we've talked about this with board games and toys as well right later toy companies that were for in fierce competition with each other the now ultimately belong to the same parent company it. It certainly seems it's like that old adage they said about the thunderstorm the the the faster comes on the faster it goes away it seems it seems like RCA really strong and really hard and really fast and then and in an fizzled out mighty fall did that and the core over the course of almost eighty years so it was a good long run and really seventy seventy years and while meal RCA the brand calls this at centennial. That's one hundred years old. You could make the argument that the brand has very little connection to the company that gave its name because it's just gone through so many different changes in ownership either. It's you know there are. RCA branded products out there. There are see records out there but they're it's. It's like it's a flavor. It's not like it belongs is to the same lineage necessarily as this established company the came together in Nineteen nineteen well it. It certainly is a very interesting and dramatic story. Yes it's it's a phenomenal one. You know again to to see a company that I would say. RCA was one of does that you would describe too big to fail at its Hi hat and like the titanic yeah I mean it was aren't off the distress signal for Alexander in Nineteen twelve has a good callback. Yeah it was it was established as a monopoly by the United States government and then ultimately it had to be swallowed up by one of the companies that helped establish it in the first place and it's I think really you could in retrospect lay a lot of this at the decline of health of David Sarnoff and the fact that Robert Sarnoff while he was ambitious and was trying to divert I mean he was trying to diversify the company's holdings in order to give it more stability but it just didn't work out he he just went went to random too far and probably didn't have quite the same force of will as his father did and that's a that's. That's not to say that David. I don't think I would like David Barry Much. It's not necessarily saying it's a bad thing yeah for the purposes of establishing being a corporate empire. It might not work out so well but I have a feeling that I would find David Sarnoff to be not my kind of person not to say like is necessarily good or bad but some of the decisions he made are ones that would be very difficult for me to reconcile I agree with that but that is all we have an RCA so if you guys have any companies you want us to talk about email them to us you know or you can just email to say hi we do get all of those suggestions and we are working through them. Yes where we have an actual spreadsheet that Ariel maintains that has all the different suggestions actions and who made them and we are thankful for all of them. Keep them coming in because it's awesome it. lets us know exactly what you guys WanNa hear about and otherwise it's Ariel aerial night just sitting down and saying so what's a company you know yeah so if you have this companies or you just want to say hi emails feedback at the bring podcast dot show Yup and you can pop to our website. That's the brink podcast dot show. That's why there's an archive of all of our past episodes. There's information about your beloved hosts. Who Love below you right back here and until next time I'm Jonathan Strickland and I'm Ariel cast this just on the brink is a production of iheartradio and how stuff works for more podcasts from iheartradio visit the iheartradio APP apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows live? They're in the Montgomery County Maryland courthouse. There are thousands of pages of documents detailing the horrific murders of three innocent people soon as I heard the details I knew my dad was involved right away. Instantly I said as Lawrence but at the time of the murders orders Lawrence Horn was clear across the country. I'm Jasmine Morris from iheartradio and hit home media. This is
RCA During World War II
"Hey there guys. It's Jonathan the host of tech stuff. You know, the show. You're listening to well. I got a big favourite ask if you we need to find out more about you. Now, this is because our show it's free. You're welcome but ads help us pay the bills, and we want to make sure that we're matching the right kinds of adds to our listeners and to find out we have made a special survey. Just go to tech stuff podcast dot com to find the survey should take five minutes. And we really appreciate it. Get in touch with technology with tech stuff from how stuff works dot com. Either in welcome to textile. I'm your host Jonathan Strickland. I'm an executive producer with how stuff works in iheartradio of all things tech. And we are continuing our story about RCA in its history. It celebrating one hundred years in two thousand nineteen. So we're looking at how this company came to be than we left off in the last episode talking about how RCA formed archaic pictures largely in an effort to establish its sound on film technology called RCA photo phone that effort began in nineteen twenty nine just as the world was hurtling toward the great depression, which wasn't that great. If he asked me, but in October of that year of nineteen twenty nine the stock market crashed and a panic ensued. Ultimately, wiping out the fortunes of millions of investors large and small the effect on numerous industries was devastating. Millions of people were out of. Work businesses, like theaters and restaurants were closing, but one industry remained strong. And that was radio radios were seen as an important element in the home because they provided a means of escape through entertainment programming. They allowed families to keep up with the news of the world. The radio would even play an important part in economic recovery. When on March twelfth nineteen thirty three which still in the middle of the great depression. US? President Franklin Delano Roosevelt FDR. In other words, addressed the country in a broadcast fireside chat to talk about the Bank crisis Roosevelt, urged Americans to be patient and to trust the government as it worked to stabilize the banks that helped reverse a trend in which people had been participating in numerous runs on banks in they were in fear of losing their savings. They were withdrawing other money from the banks, and it helped make stabilization a reality and helps set the ground for recover. Every now in the mid nineteen thirties. FDR started the rural electrification administration, which was tasked with extending electric utilities to rural areas, particularly farms the national estimate for rural farms with electronic was just at ten percent in the mid nineteen thirties some areas like Texas were even lower with only two point three percent of farms having electricity. But as more communities were getting access to electricity more people began to invest in radios. And so the industry continued to do well, even through the depression and the depression wouldn't end until nineteen thirty nine that put RCA in a particularly strong position. It had the national broadcast company or NBC, and it's blue and red networks that was network of radio stations to networks radio stations technically stretching across the country that would broadcast material that have been created in our see as New York and New Jersey studios. This was the golden age of radio popular, formats included music, such as live performances from famous concert halls and opera houses. There was also a boom in radio drama and radio comedy as well as news and game shows all of those formats were debut in around this time these were programs that would precede the air of television, and we're sort of experiencing these anew today in the form of podcasts. We're getting a lot of those sort of things like the various radio programs and radio dramas, you can find lots of examples of that on podcast today, and they kind of have their history back in these old radio programs. Some of the more notable programs that played on NBC included the Jack Benny program, dick, Tracy. The spike Jones show dragnet burns an Allen and dozens more tons of programs came out around this time. Now one thing I find really. Interesting is that NBC's sort of created its own rivals. It was an effective monopoly heading into the late twenties. In fact, it really was a monopoly. It owned a huge network of radio stations. There were still some independent radio stations. But there were no competing networks. There was however, a talent agent named Arthur Judson, and he was getting really fed up with NBC. He was frustrated. He kept meeting with resistance when he was trying to get his clients on radio programs that were carried by NBC. And so Jenson did what any reasonable person would do. He created his own network of radio stations and originally it was called the United independent broadcasters. But shortly after Judson founded this effort in nineteen twenty seven he agreed to a merger with the Columbia phonograph and records company and this new company became known as the Columbia phonograph broadcasting company the company. Ever didn't do. So well, it was up against NBC, which was a giant in radio. And so they weren't really able to mount a strong offense while they were starting to accrue, a whole lot of debt, and they came up with a big loss of money and that led to an acquisition in nineteen twenty nine a rich dude named William s paley who had come into a lot of money due to his father's successful. Businesses bought the struggling concern. And he renamed it the Columbia broadcasting system or CBS. So you could argue that CA created NBC, directly and CBS indirectly. And we're not done with all that yet. But first, let's get back to RCA. In the time around nineteen thirty and nineteen thirty one RCA Victor would create the first record albums to be played back at the speed of thirty three and a third revolutions per minute. Now, this isn't what we would call a long play or L P record today. Even though it was at thirty three and a third revolutions. Now, I kind of covered all of this in the history of turntables. So I'm just going to give a relatively brief overview in the early days of flat disc, records most records were made out of a shock compound material because it could hold up to multiple playbacks. They needed something that was going to maintain its shape as you played it over and over again, however, shall I was not ideal. It was an abrasive material it had bumps on it. And that meant that a needle going through the groove would occasionally hit these bumps and it would cause the needles to move around a bit and create noise in the process. So it wasn't. Ideal the standard playback speed at the time was seventy eight revolutions per minute. For a couple of big reasons. One was technical limitations the Motors manufactured at that time were largely in the thirty six hundred rpm range. So that was readily available. They were inexpensive says what these these various companies were going after they went with these Motors of attorney at three thousand six hundred revolutions per minute. And then they would use a gear ratio to. Change that revolutions per minute for the actual platter. So the Motors turning at three thousand six hundred revolutions per minute. And the gear ratio that was most frequently used the one that was again, easy to get and therefore cheap was a forty six to one ratio gear. So if you do that math you say like all right for every forty six times. This thing turns this other thing turns one time you end up with these seventy eight revolutions per minute. The higher speed had a secondary function and helped smooth out some of that noise that would otherwise be present. When you're playing back one of these seventy eight RPM records, it wasn't a perfect solution. But it was better than playing them back slower because we played them back more. Slowly, the noise was amplified. You you you just heard it more. But when Warner Brothers started its vita phone system for films, which I talked about in the last episode, the company realized that it would need a more efficient system than one that played back at seventy eight RPM. So if you remember the vita phone system was where you would record the audio for film onto a disc, and then you would synchronize the playback of the disc with the playback of the film, and that's how you gotta talking picture like the jazz singer. But using seventy eight RPM desk was not a great idea for that. Because at that speed it only takes about five minutes for a playback device like turntable to play through one side of a twelve inch desk slowing down the RPM's, reducing the number of RPM's would increase the playback time. It would take longer for the needle to travel through the groove. And so- Warner Brothers used a gear ratio that a hundred eight to one. And that created the thirty three and a third revolutions per minute. Speed RCA decided to embrace that approach and introduced new thirty three and a third RPM turntables in nineteen thirty one though it play back discs that were recorded at that speed. These turntables still use the larger group that these seventy eight RPM records had however this is before the micro groove invention. Now, if you know your history of turntables you've heard that the company that introduced the long play album, the LP the vinyl l p was Columbia records, and that this didn't happen until the nineteen forties. And that's true. When Columbia records would bring this innovation forward. It did. So on a new material that was called vinyl made from PVC, plastic and it introduced the micro groove technology that brought the width of the groove to the records down to about a millimeter wide. And that may you could fit way more. Grooves on each side of a record and you could extend playtime to about twenty two minutes for a twelve inch desk, but if RCA introduced a thirty three and a third format in nineteen thirty one why does Columbia records get the credit for thirty three and a third album in the nineteen forties months because RCA's efforts were a total failure the company had tried to introduce a brand new format and technology right at the beginning of the great depression, and while families were willing to make payments on their radio sets because a lot of families were buying these things on credit. They would end up. Paying for the radio say their families that would get rid of other luxuries, but they would keep that radio because it was such an important element of home life. They were not ready to dip in and buy a whole new piece of electronic equipment. They didn't have the money for it. They didn't have the interest in it. They would rather just stick with the thing. They already had. So the economics just weren't there for RCA. So the company ultimately abandoned, the thirty three and a third format when Columbia records was ready to debut its technology more than a decade later executives reached out to RCA to see if the company would want to license the technology and build its own thirty three and a third turntables, but David Sarnoff who you'll remember from the last episode was the very strong willed guy who was in charge of RCA refused. He did not like the idea of conforming to someone else's standards. Particularly since RCA had tried to do it earlier. Instead he would push RCA to market its own disk format which would play back. Forty five revolutions per minute. And thus another format war began the speed wars. RCA would sell seven inch disks that would play back at forty five rpm and Columbia focused on twelve inch discs at thirty three and a third rpm. This took place in the late nineteen forties and by nineteen fifty after seeing several artists leave RCA to join Colombia, the company finally gave up and began to create its own thirty three and a third rpm long playing records, the forty five rpm disc would become the favourite format for singles and juke boxes. So it wasn't a total loss RCA still made money off of its format. It just did not become the standard. I have a lot more to say about our RCA, and it's innovations, but first, let's take a quick break to thank our sponsor. Guys. Let me talk to you a little bit about turbo tax live. I don't know about you. But for me, nothing really cranks up my in Zion, easy, like tax time. I'm always worried I'm going to do it incorrectly. We'll turbo tax live is a new way to do taxes. It combines technology with on demand tax professionals who can answer your questions and offer personalized advice of talking about real CPA's, really as they can help you with your return. They can help you find all the deductions that apply to you. And you can file your taxes and know that you're doing them correctly. They're tax experts are there when you need them. So you can file with complete peace of mind. Turbo. Tax live with CPA's and EA's on-demand. See details at turbo tax dot com. Okay. We got a jump back to the nineteen thirties. Now, we went ahead a little bit to talk about the thirty three and a third versus forty five rpm speed wars that stretched all the way into the late nineteen forties. Back to the nineteen thirties in nineteen thirty two under pressure from the United States federal government. The partners that formed. Our CA all jumped ship at issue was the monopoly like status that RCA enjoyed as both an operator of radio stations, and as an arm for these various companies to develop and sell technologies. So in other words, the government that had created this monopoly now fell the maybe things have gone a bit too far because remember the United States made this monopoly, they encouraged it. And now they were saying well, this is getting a bit uncomfortable. So General Electric Westinghouse and AT and T also their interest in our C a to the new company and be. Am a independent company called the RCA corporation. David Sarnoff would remain in charge of this new independent company. RCA was a pioneer in another big consumer electronic category, which would be television RCA had employed Vladimir's, Oregon, the television developer who had fought for the title of inventor of television untitled that most people would give to his rival Filo Farnsworth Farnsworth. I demonstrate electric television back in nineteen twenty seven can however had worked with a guy named Boris Rausing in Russia who had been working on a similar experiment more than a decade before Farnsworth demonstration. But Rusling's work had not really reached a level of sophistication interesting enough for big business at the time. And it was crude by comparison to farnsworth's invention Sarnoff with hires work into head up a division and RCA to develop electronic television technology with the goal of creating a consumer product in the future. Now as a whole RCA would invest around fifty million dollars into this project, which is a princely sum today. But remember this was back in the late twenties and into the thirties and forties that was a truly gargantuan sum of money back then and it shows how Sarnoff the man who had proposed the radio music bucks before becoming the head of our CA could see how the future of an entertainment might unfold, he he was convinced that television would be the next big thing after radio, and you certainly could say he was absolutely right now all of that work that this investment would bring about would get shown off on a very large stage. The nineteen thirty nine world's fair in New York City RCA demonstrated the electronic television system there and broadcast. The first televised address by US president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt that same year RCA would pay Farnsworth some licensing fees. To use some of his patents and RCA began selling television sets. They're pretty darned small the picture tubes. Measured five by twelve inches or twelve point seven by twenty five point four centimeters. So you might wonder how do these electronic televisions work, the heart of the technology is the CRT or cathode Ray tube? This is not just how the images get generated. It's also what serves as the screen that you look at in these old televisions? I'm talking about the old big TV's, the wide deep TV's, not flat screen or anything like that. That's a different method to produce the same sort of result. So the CRT is essentially an electron generator. A CRT is kind of like a giant lightbulb a more sophisticated lightbulb inside the CRT is a filament a small piece of material. That's. Meant to heat up, and then shed electrons. If you run current through the filament it causes it to heat up, and as the atoms in the filament gain energy, they begin to shed these electrons. The electrons pop off of the atoms as charged elements called ano- DHS attract the electrons because of charges attract right electrons have negative charge. They get attracted to things that have a positive charge. The old CRT sets had essentially a focusing and owed which would pull the stream of electrons into a very tight beam and an accelerating NO two, which would you know, accelerate the stream of electrons the destination for this stream of electrons is the backside of the television screen itself. So you're looking at a screen on TV on the reverse side of that screen. That's the backside for you. That is where the electrons are making impact. It's like looking at the fat end of. Lightbulb if you think about it. That's what the television screen is. So on the backside of this TV screen is a coding fos ver-, which is a material that will give off light when it's excited by energy in this case when it struck by electrons and coating the rest of the inside of the tube is a conductive material that's meant to soak up electrons as they build up on the screen side of the tube. Wrapped around the base of the CRT are two sets of steering coils. One set runs parallel to the base of the CRT and one set wraps across the base of the CRT. These are copper windings the kind you would find an electromagnet. In fact, they are essentially electromagnet s-, and when you run electricity through the coils, you create magnetic fields these sets of windings are at perpendicular angles to each other, right? You've got the parallel kind and the perpendicular kind and one set is used to steer the beam of electrons vertically and the other one. One steers the beam of electrons horizontally, if you change the voltage in the coils that directs the electron beam to specific points on the screen now when you turn on this electron beam, it starts to paint the back side of the screen that is it's shooting electrons at the fossils on the backside of the screen causing those phosphorus to glow. The beam scans across the screen one line of the time from the top to the bottom. So the beam I moves left to right across the top of the screen when it reaches the right side, the beam turns off the electron flow and then rapidly redirects back to the left and down one line. So it goes down a notch. And it does it again when it gets all the way down to the bottom right side of the screen. The beam turns off and it returns back to the upper left position and starts over. It would take a while before broadcast standards would really define how all televisions would work in the United States. But eventual. Really it evolved into this approach where CRT television would paint a screen sixty times per second. However, it would only paint half the lines per frame. So in the first frame in might paint. All the odds lines so one three five seven and so on and the second frame would have the electron beam paint all the even lines. So while the electron beam would be moving across the screen sixty times per second, the entire frame of odd and even lines the total screen would be painted thirty times per second. Eventually TV's had a standard of five hundred twenty five lines. So every second they electron beam would paint a total of fifteen thousand seven hundred fifty lines. So RCA shows of this technology in nineteen thirty nine the company also broadcast. The first televised baseball game on may seventeenth nineteen thirty nine. It was between. In Columbia University and Princeton. I don't know who won. I didn't look it up. But it was all done on a single camera, which I imagine created a somewhat limited affect for watching it on TV especially considering that at the time you needed a whole lot of light to get a good picture on these on these televisions because the cameras were limited early television. Broadcasts were tricky in general, the camera technology like I said required a whole lot of light to create a strong enough signal to send out to TV's and a lotta light meant that television personalities actors newscasters that sort of thing they were all pretty much exclusively white people at that time, they would appear washed out on screen because they had so much light on them to deal with that the actors would often have to wear dark makeup frequently green makeup, it would show up better. And remember all TV's at this point are black and white sets. So. No, one knew that the people were all green because they're seeing a black and white image of the actors newscasters at cetera would often also wear black lipstick. So that their lips would actually be visible onscreen early. TV sales were a little slow. The nation was still climbing out of the great depression, and it wasn't expensive new technology and another event meant that the entire industry would be put on pause for several years and that little event would be World War Two. Now, if you listen to my last episode, if you haven't you should you know that the first World War was what led to the formation of RCA in the first place World War Two would slow down the consumer electronics business, but RCA wasn't put into mothballs and storage. They weren't struggling. Instead, the company opened up the RCA research laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey, and for years, the company had relied upon its close association with General Electric for our D. But now it could pursue its own research with its own facility with I think one hundred twenty five scientists when they first opened up and much of that early research would be dedicated to the war effort on the part of the United States are CA would develop a smaller version of its icon a scope for the military. The iconic scope was the television camera tube that Zora can had developed. So I describe how the cathode Ray tube worked in a effort to display images the account. The scope was how these images were initially captured to be transmitted to a television. And it's an element that has a particularly peculiar shape. It would be inside the television camera. I've seen the shape referred to as a barrel shaped bulb and an angled neck and there were a couple of different versions of the scope that did not take that particular shape, but most of them dead. I do not think I can adequately. Describe what this looks like I don't I don't think it's within my powers of description. So I suggest if you are interested in seeing what these things look like because they're kind of funky. Looking you go onto an image? Search and look for icon of scope, I see in O S C O P E because they do look pretty unusual. So they consisted of a few parts. One part was called the target. This was the area of the iconic. Nope. That would receive the focused light coming for the camera's lens. All right. So you've got a scene in front of you. Let's say that it's a news seen. There's a desk a news anchor. You have very bright lights shining on that scene. And that light is some of that light anyway is traveling through the camera's lens, and it gets focused onto the target the targeted self has an array of photosensitive dots on it or pixels. If you like, and they would end up generating a different voltage based upon how much light was hitting them an electron beam would sweep across the target the electron beam is generated by an electron gun. That's in that angled neck, I had explained about just a minute ago. So you get this proportional. Current flow from the dots based upon how much light is hitting them and the electron beam sweeps across this, and then it would send this signal out through to an amplifier for transmission to television receivers that would then reverse this process. RCA developed a lightweight version of this for the United States military by the time the war would end the company and the rest of the industry would move toward alternative camera designs that didn't rely so heavily on brightly lit environments, which as it turns out are a difficult thing to insist upon during wartime operations, so allow the television based technologies that are see developed for the military were of limited use. I'll explain more in just a second. But first, let's take another quick break to thank our sponsor. Lows is my new go-to destination where I can explore the latest innovative craftsman products, including their new v. Twenty power tool battery platform craftsman's v twenty cordless power to a lineup features a high capacity lithium battery that's part of craftsman's interchangeable battery system. So it works with all the tools in their v twenty lineup including the v twenty max brushless drill the v twenty max impact driver and the v twenty max hammer drill. It gives you the Runtime you need and the power you deserve. Lows is the new home of craftsman for the latest craftsmen product updates? Visit lows dot com slash tech stuff. Hey, guys. I want to tell you about a brand new show called the brink. This is a podcast that has been in the works for a really long time. And the hosts are well, there's a handsome devil Nate Jonathan Strickland and is good for. Ariel casten. And together we bring to you stories about big moments in business that were make or break situations. And what happens when people have to make that pivotal decision. In some cases, things turn around and a company that was on the verge of extinction will find a new life and be rejuvenated and everything's happy. Sometimes things don't go. So well, and we learn about those stories as well. So if you've ever wanted to know the human stories behind some of those big moments and business make sure you check out the brink. Listen and follow on the iheartradio app or subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. One of the things the modified iconic scope would be used for wasn't a very early attempt to create unmanned drones in one thousand nine hundred forty one the United States military, converted some manned aircraft. So that they could be controlled remotely the camera would mount on top of the drone and being back. A signal to the operator which meant there didn't need to be visual contact between the remote pilot, and the actual aircraft in one thousand nine forty two military was able to pilot such drone on a test flight to land on a target ship. And it was controlled from a control aircraft at a distance of thirty miles or fifty kilometers from that target ship. Pretty incredible. Now one of the projects that use. This technology was called operation Aphrodite -i in which old b seventeen and b twenty four bombers were loaded up with explosives and launched under human control. You would have. Tailing aircraft following behind and at a certain distance from the intended target the human pilot of that bee's of teen or be twenty four would bail than parachute out of the bomber. The trailing aircraft would have to pilots aboard at one of them would be controlling the actual trailing aircraft. And the other one would be manning. The remote controls for the bomber actually several cases it would require two pilots to control the the remote controlled aircraft. Joe? Kennedy brother to John Kennedy. Former US president actually died while serving as a volunteer pilot for this operation are also developed technologies though, be used in glider bombs and also a program called the T D R drone, but the technical limitations of camera and television technologies meant these were of limited use the TD. Our drone was probably the most successful of all the different experiments, but at that stage. The United States at injured a part of the war where it was more about brute force and less about precision strikes. And so the TD our drone only had limited use during the war. But the military contracts really helped justify Sarnoff massive investment in developing television, technology and amended RCA had the money to build out its manufacturing facilities. So on top of those projects are CA engineers at the RND facility also worked on radar and Tanna phosphorus for radar screens. They worked on acoustic fuses for various types of munitions, and they also help develop things like infrared cameras and navigation equipment. It became one of the indispensable companies that the United States would rely upon develop wartime technologies that weren't you know, weapons in of themselves. Meanwhile, as the war raged in Europe RCA would make another big move back at home in nineteen forty three. The company was forced. To sell off its NBC blue network and sold it to a guy named Edward J noble. Now, if you remember from our last episode NBC was originally two different networks, you had a blue network, and you had a red network the heart of the blue network was a radio station that had originally been established by Westinghouse and the heart of the red network was a radio station originally created by AT and T. The blue network was mostly known for non sponsored content like news reports and culture broadcasts and the red network was the one known for commercially sponsored entertainment and was the more popular and more profitable of the two networks. Both you years earlier in nineteen thirty four the mutual broadcasting system filed a complaint to the FCC and said that NBC and CBS had a duopoly over the national radio market that those two companies had pretty much completely dominated the industry. And this case. Made its way to through the court system because the FCC agreed and ordered NBC to divest itself of either the NBC blue network or the NBC red network RCA appealed to the supreme court but lost which led to the sale of the less popular blue network to Edward J noble who had made his fortune in lifesavers. The candy not the emergency flotation device anyway noble paid eight million dollars for NBC blew a princely sum and on June fifteenth nineteen Forty-five NBC blue would officially be renamed the American broadcasting company or ABC, and so our CA had a hand in creating all three of the original major broadcasters in the United States radio and television broadcast companies the company directly created NBC. It inadvertently created CBS. And then. Created the network that would become ABC and the end of World War Two CA was in a strong position to build out. The consumer television market the company had used its military contract money to build out manufacturing facilities, and it can now rededicate those facilities to making consumer goods instead of military equipment. RCA started selling black and white television sets in nineteen forty six. So remember they demonstrated it in nineteen thirty nine but World War Two pretty much put a complete stop to that effort. So in Forty-six, they start selling these sets and to create content RCA would rely upon NBC which would not just make radio contact, but now television content as well, many of the popular radio series would be converted into TV series. Then this created a new challenge because now personalities couldn't just sound great the needed to look great to this was kind of the opposite of how things change. When sound came to motion pictures because before sound it was important that you look really good for the camera after sound. You also had the sound good for the microphones. Now. This leads us up to nineteen forty eight. And what I call. The great talent raid CBS, which was also getting into television production needed some good looking stars. And NBC had a lot of them. So William s paley the guy who had purchased CBS who had formed it out of the company that Judson had tried to create years. Earlier ordered a talent raid on NBC. This involves CBS executives offering lucrative contracts to many of NBC's big stars and previous to this. There had been sort of an understanding a gentleman's agreement. If you will that the two networks would not dare Radi other for talent. And now paley says. You know what? So they ended up luring people like George Burns and Gracie Allen Jack Benny to jumped ship from NBC to CBS so RCA NBC built the network and allow the technologies that led to the rise of television and CBS was able to pull a fast one and make the transition for radio television smoothly by hiring away. Some of NBC's talent Sarnoff had been a little slow to adapt to the world that paley had been forging Sarnoff was really good at leading his company to sell radio sets and televisions and paley had been more effective at Xining programming. So as to say, the the stuff that it would actually air on those radio sets and televisions paley had embraced advertising as a source of revenue. He was also wholeheartedly into creating sponsored content and which company would pay for the production. Costs of show entertain verse saving heavy promotion, sometimes an ad breaks. Sometimes even within a show. It's. Self Sarnoff wasn't really crazy about that type of business. He thought of it as being distasteful, and reportedly he wouldn't meet with Adam executives at all he delegated all of that to his direct reports paleo on the other hand would seek out those ads executives, and so well NBC had a huge head start on CBS paley was able to catch up pretty quickly. Even before the TV era had begun Sarnoff did rise to meet pay lease challenge and had the benefit of RCA backing NBC up whereas paley was running CBS without a larger corporation behind it in nineteen fifty just four years after RCA had introduced a consumer television black and white set. The company showed off a new innovation. It was one that would change television dramatically. This would be color television. And they would take some time for the format to become the standard in American households. But it was another big innovation from RCA that had a major impact on technology and culture. In our next episode. I will explain how color television works. Explain. How are see as version of color television became the standard for broadcast in America? And also talk about some of the other businesses that are CA got involved in including things like semiconductors electron microscopes VCR's and how the fifties through the seventies would be a boon time for the company, but it would lead to some troubled times a little later on and what would happen in the eighties. So we'll be following all of that. In our next episode of hope you enjoyed this one. If you have any suggestions for future topics, I should cover on tech stuff. Sent me a message. You can Email me the address is tech stuff at how stuff works dot com or you can visit our website. That's tech stuff podcast dot com. You'll find other ways to contact me and the archive of all of our episodes on their don't forget to visit our merchandise store over at t public dot com slash tech stuff every purchasing make. Goes out the show, and we greatly. Appreciate it. And I'll talk to you again, really sick. For more on this and bathrooms of other topics. Visit how stuff works out com. Hey, Matt I have yet to ride one of those birds scooters 'cause I hate those things that does not surprise me at all Joel. But you know, I've been getting Instagram adds to give me to become a Birger to join that gig economy. Oh, that's right. Just like Uber folks are getting targeted start side hustles to make an extra buck or even to try to make career out of it. But should you? Do it not all side hustles are created equally. Exactly every week dive into practical money topics like this on a podcast. Listen subscribe to our show on apple podcasts the iheartradio app or wherever you get your podcast. Just search for how to money.
The Rise of RCA
"Dell has something extra for small businesses up to forty five percent off during their semi annual sale. It's a perfect time to update to Windows ten with huge deals on business computers featuring Intel L. core processors plus free shipping on everything Cole Small Business Technology advisers who can help you achieve your business goals affordably with low monthly payments on the right tech- for you just call eight seven seven seven buydell that's eight seven seven by Dell or visit Dell Dot com slash business deals for semi annual savings <music> welcome to business on the brink of production from IHEART radio and how stuff works <music> zipping through the air the speed of light radio broadcasts were on the verge of changing communications for ever but even in the early days ace there was some static in the signal as the United States government worried about who controls the transmissions concern over national security led to an effective monopoly that tuned into what listeners wanted to year this is RCA on business on the brink. Everybody <hes> Jonathan Strickland. I'm Ariel casten and welcome come to business on the brink and today we're GonNa talk about. RCA this was a listener requests. Ashley wrote in to ask us to cover our C. A. and it's really interesting one. I've talked about RCA before in another podcast and <hes> it's partly I think interesting because unlike any other company we've covered so far on this show this was one that started off as monopoly not just a monopoly but a government sanctioned monopoly it was the covenants idea but in order to understand how we got to that point like why did this exist. We have to look at a little bit of background first of all. RCA is an initial ism mm-hmm okay so if it's an initial what is it Stanford Jonathan Radio Corporation of America which will come into play later when they changed their name to a point where it becomes funny to me but I think corporations now not going to say they're funny. It gets it gets funnier trust but technically they celebrated turning earning one hundred years old in two thousand nineteen. which is the year that we are recording this episode well? That sounds like a pretty great accomplishment to me. It would be if it was still a company but it hasn't been since nineteen eighty-six kind of like United Artists United Artists Yeah. We'll we'll talk more about L. The ultimate fate of RCA in the next episode. Oh I guess I should say that to spoiler alert. This is going to be a two part episode because we wanted to talk one about. RCA's meteoric rise helped in no small part by the fact that it was the only game in town but we want to talk about how it established itself and and moreover how the leader of our ca really established RCA as a power player in not just radio and in radio equipment business but business in general and then the second episode we'll talk about what done went wrong. Dunton Dunn's Oh <hes> this is where we get into the history and how the United States created our C. or at least allowed RCA to be created all right so I guess what happened were they. Did they create the very first radio. No no so here's what happens you've got the discovery of Radio Right which is outside the parameters of this show so I'm not going to go total geek on you and talk about thank you John but I could hood thank you John. So if you're not good I will do it okay. I'm I will be good. Okay all right so radio. Discovered people start figuring out applications wins for radio. They start using it to be a wireless communications tool where they could transmit morse code over radio waves. Previously Morse Code was transmitted over wires so that's that's primarily what radio is being used for in the early nineteen hundreds around the world. It was being used as communication. No one was using it to broadcast audio apart from the Morse Code <hes> clicks in whips which barely counts as audio. Yes yeah once in a while people would experiment with it but it was not a thing yet so we didn't even have pirate radio at this point. No no you just had blips as people were sending messages across across vast distances. Now there was a company that was a big big player in this radio communication space called Marconi named after after one of the disputed inventors of radio. You know who the other big disputed inventor radio was right Tesla. Yes I also WanNa must say <hes>. Jonathan did most of the research on this episode when I read it. I thought it said the macaroni company I was may have within a couple of places because my sometimes I make typos and correct them. I was just hungry and a little confused so okay so so yeah. Marconi the Marconi company's created created and it owns a bunch of radio transmission stations in the United States and again. This is really just for sending messages telegrams so here's the issue. The Marconi company was a British owned company. There was not an American company and I know one had a problem with that but then a little thing started to happen <hes> in the late nineteen <hes> tens era and that little thing was is called at the time the Great War in retrospect they call it. I First World War World War One. I guess it's also so called that so World War One breaks out in Europe and this is where the United States government starts to get a little nervous because because you have a vital communications network within the borders of the United States but it is owned and operated by by a foreign company but an ally even so and so there was a lot of fear that communications could be uncompromised that it could result in spies spying on American intelligence. That's passing through if it's if it's passing through a foreign owned owned companies system there was no way of knowing that the official communication's through the US government. We're going to be safe. I see <hes> so do they just cut us off from all other radio communications. No they kind of went even more crazy paranoid than that so I shouldn't didn't say crazy paranoid. It was definitely ruthless so I you have the United States Navy saying that you know what we're GONNA do. We're going to have have <hes> the WE'RE GONNA enforce an executive order that President Woodrow Wilson signed <hes> and that <hes> that order was giving the Navy Authority to censor communications communications that were passing through the Marconi network so as you can imagine if you're a communications company censorship is not something you want to have happen. You don't obviously it would cast doubt on your ability to fulfil your promise to your customers so the Marconi company says this don't sound right so they challenged okay all right so it seems reasonable yeah yeah you're thinking like well that that you gotta take some steps to protect your business this can't be legal <hes> the navy ended up responding reading in a very reasonable way by shutting down all US operations of Marconi in nineteen fifteen for about three months that it's Kinda like hi Terry narrow definition of reasonable. It's like my threat that I would go into talking about the invention of radio hits. It's sort of you know the definite the stick not the carrot and <hes> they decided that it was too risky to trust that Marconi would obey the the executive order the the the authority at the Navy's supposedly had to censor them so they took all the assets the North American assets towers hours in the station. Yes all the all. The equipment being used to transmit communications. The government said this is no longer yours so this is a case ace where the US government effectively wrested the corporate assets of another of a foreign owned business away from that business. I okay so what does that even accomplish. Okay <hes> well for one thing failed the US military had its own communication system. I mean 'cause Marconi didn't have neymar. I'm pretty sure they were already more coating each other right now but now they could do it wirelessly cool and also also more importantly from national security standpoint. I mean I would argue that. This was definitely a crazy case of overreach <hes> yeah but this also met from national security standpoint which is it's hard to argue it did make the country more secure against foreign spies as you know for espionage from a from <hes> sabotage of communications networks. I mean I guess it's better to be overcautious than not cautious enough during a time during a time before but it is it's tough because you think about that. If we heard a story today about the United States government taking over. Let's say that it's a <music> a social network that was owned by a company that existed outside the United States and it's at a point where we're seeing a lot of chatter on social networks <hes> that the government might say well. We're GONNA shut either. Shut down access to this or we're going to somehow rest control role of facilities in the United States that belong to this company that would there'd be a riot there would be all right but I mean eventually the war is over right yes and then we can just return it no no they. They decided that what that it'd be better. If an American company owned it rather than a foreign company like well we could make an arrangement to return this to the formerly rightful owners of the equipment but if this should it happened again. We'll just have to take it back. Why don't we just create an all American organization to oversee it. Oh Man Poor Marconi well poor tesla tesla for everybody yeah <hes> so <hes> the decision was made that there needed to be an American American company or organisation to oversee these various broadcast stations and other assets so they a console consulted with a group of companies that together formed a partnership that would create this organization and those companies were huge. It's still are huge names. I'll radio companies right. Well all sorts of companies that were somewhat connected to the radio industry in that they would make the stuff that rate. Hughes would either PL- like the radio would play on her transmit through so they had a vested interest. Obviously these are companies that were making either either products or services that the radio industry would depend upon so it's almost like saying to Coca Cola like let's say all right coca-cola. You make soft drinks. We're GONNA make you in charge of all distribution of soft drinks throughout the United States and coca-cola says that's great all right so I know one of the companies is because it came into play in our CBS episode and that's Westinghouse dipped westinghouse was one western electric General Electric at and T. and the United Fruit company. How one of these things is not like the other? I you need your energy to Morse Code. People Jonathan Okay so full of energy. Here's the thing about the United Fruit company that that story is crazy. We'll have to do an episode about United Fruit Company at some point because you've heard you've probably have you ever heard the phrase <music> a like a Banana Republic okay. I've bought some of their close enough now. I've heard the phrase but have you also heard of things like banana wars. Yes okay so if you start looking into those things and you look at the conflict and the the controversy of American businesses in tropical regions and hell they destabilized entire regions in order to do business united fruit trade company are the United Fruit company rather comes up a lot in those but for the importance of this episode they also owned and operated their own radio and Telegraph company so that's why they were brought in on this as well and why this company that would otherwise seem like an outlier was an important part okay so all these companies companies come together and they are yup. They do that and by nineteen nineteen. RCA is a thing general electric would be the primary sorry owner of this organization not the sole owner but had like a majority shares essentially and <hes> in order to avoid having any problems with each other they all agreed they would cross licensed their individual patents to this company so that way no one a partner in the in the in the group would say oh no you can't use this particular technology unless you pay US X. amount of money and then we'll let you do seems reasonable so this way no one could hold out on anyone else that was the premise anyway <hes> and they then and had to figure out who is going to be the leader obviously. Marconi Tesla okay neither of those first of all neither them neither of them were considered search fit to be to own a company to run a company in <hes> in America at that time so no they turned to someone else who also would have seemed unlikely if you had just had a cursory look at his history and that was a man named David Smirnoff Sarnoff so close. I'm sorry I've very little sleepy. Guys Yeah Extra Funds. I made me look to make sure I didn't end up writing smirnoff okay. Please don't please please don't okay okay sarnoff. He he becomes the general manager and the reason he was general manager. Not President is that. RCA was not really independent company yet. It was this kind of group concern concern so is a weird it. It occupied a weird space in the in the spectrum that we look at for corporations yeah yeah because it was a it was a partnership. It was an organization. It was sort of a company I mean INC was in its name but Sarnoff was considered a general manager because it was operating under the auspices of these larger shadowy partners in the background aren't so Sarnoff was interesting because he was originally born born in Russia. Not In the United States. His family did immigrate to the states when he was just a boy though it wasn't like he had grown up and then and then immigrated upgraded to the United Steel he wasn't living in Russia. When he took over the company that would defeat the purpose keeping would've said hey what's up really? We're actually the really it would have been the the British company owners of the Marconi company. Say Excuse me what in fact is up quite understand what's going on is but <hes>. SARNOFF had been a kind of in the business since he was a child as a teenager. He worked as a messenger boy for a telegraph company. He then worked his way up to becoming an actual telegraph operator and he worked for the American Marconi company. The same one that the United States arrested all its assets from so I mean it feels to me like that's not succession planning but still a very wise move he's already already familiar why and he had proven himself to be incredibly ambitious and innovative he had quickly risen through the ranks over over at the <hes> American Marconi company so he was really like a good candidate like he he knew his stuff and he seemed like the kind of guy who was going to just push this this business to greater heights and in fact that's exactly what he would do and you have this note here that he even picked up a distressing from the titanic well. That's what he said Yeah. He claimed that in nineteen twelve he was one of the radio operators who picked up the titanic's Tannock's distress signals there were other reports that disputed that and said what he actually picked up was a response to the titanic's distress distress call so he picked up one of the rescue ships responses so <hes> he however would relay the story as being him him like sat he said it as a Telegraph Office for like twenty six hours straight or whatever okay this is a sidetrack. Let's let's get back to serve his partners so the two two businesses that he was really focusing on early on were <hes> essentially wireless communications so again it's still telegraphs and <hes> which would mean building out more towers and stations to build out more orvin infrastructure for that communication system in the United States and through its partners that was selling industrial radio equipment so we're talking thing about like against stuff for the transmission and reception of radio waves on a major scale not like radio sets that you would buy take home in tune in and but rather these were again the component parts for communication system and it's important to say that because at this point. RCA's is not making stuff for the general consumer but one of the interesting things about technology is that when a new technology starts to blossom blossom regular ordinary schmos part of it yeah they WANNA THEY WANNA learn how it works. They want to get interested. They're fascinated by it and has it turns out building a radio. It requires a little bit of knowledge but not a whole lot in materials and so you started seeing people building their own radios and you saw the rise of a new species the amateur radio operator all right well <hes> tech guy. You're gonNA bring talk about that but first. We're GONNA take a quick break. Dell has something extra for small businesses up to forty five percent off during their semi annual sale. It's a perfect time to update to Windows ten with huge deals on business computers featuring Intel core processors plus free shipping on everything thing coal small business technology advisers who can help you achieve your business goals affordably with low monthly payments on the right tech- for you just call eight seven seven by Dell. That's 877-buy-dell Adele or visit Dell dot com slash business deals for semi annual savings all right so tell us more about this immature radio boom well it had had a bit of a delay on it because during World War One the United States said no because they wanted the airwaves clear for official communication's but once that was over the the ban lifted on October first nineteen nineteen <hes> and now the General Public Blake was starting to get interested at least the hobbyists in the general public are starting to get interested in radios and then on top of that. You had westinghouse one one of the partners bind. RCA that wanted to make radio sets for the general public but here's the problem. How do you convince somebody to go out and buy a radio JIO set you give them a free puppy with it. That's one way but I mean like you asked me that question childcare. That's how we get. You'd buy radio set but before the general public the problem was that were you. GonNa listen to Right. There's nothing there's nothing to listen to beeps and move are not yeah. DOTS and dashes are not very entertaining so so it meant that Westinghouse said well we need to do is create a station that would broadcast something that a radio that could pick up and play play and this is where you're talking about actually broadcasting speech and music real audio to these stations now a radio sets now to be clear on experimental level. This has already been done it wasn't like Westinghouse was inventing the radio set but no-one had done it on beyond the hobbyist level or beyond a couple of sort of almost like pr stunts yet but I mean he set up an actual radio station in nineteen twenty. They created a they got the licensed to operate the first <hes> radio broadcast station a this was where it was all new. The United States is having to come up with away to license the stuff because no one had done it before. The radio station was K. D. K. A. N. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania represent yeah I guess they're y'all and <hes> it went live on November second nineteen twenty and Sarnoff. RCA were not part of this yet okay but SARNOFF and I've had already proposed in his earlier work at the Marconi company something called a <hes> he was calling radio music box which was essentially a radio Cetin <music> so this was very much in line with things that he had been thinking about for years so he thought let's create more demand for radio sets. He arranged for the radio broadcast of a sporting event. which was the boxing match between? Jack Dempsey those world famous boxing champion <hes> MHM and he was going up against George Carpentier. There was a French boxer who had a reputation for knocking out British boxing champions also dipsy in this one oddly enough was considered the villain even though he was American and this was a fight that was going to happen on American soil he he was considered to be the villain of this boxing match. You know often we think in terms in that way and it was because he did not fight in world war. One but carpentier did interesting yeah <hes> Dempsey would win by knockout in the fourth round so bad guy wins all right anyway. RC A within <hes> <hes> try to leverage this to sell more radios sets and started to work so then you start to see entrepreneurs across across the United States establish their own radio stations and this was early on so radio stations were largely independent. They were just I was a a regional thing. They had a wide range of transmission power so in some cases you might only transmit a few miles others that might be a full region so that that means that you didn't have to listen to a lot of commercials on your radio right well especially early on you didn't because it was such a new idea but eventually got to the point where it was sponsored content and so you would have a company say all right well. We will offer to pay for the production of this radio content. If in turn you'll say our rename every X. Number minutes <hes> and then eventually you would actually get to radio advertising so radio commercials would start to become a thing by nineteen twenty twenty two and then by nineteen twenty four there are more than six hundred radio stations in the United States took off yeah so RCA's doing business like like gangbusters because again they're selling the actual transmission components so they're doing really well and then their various partners are selling. I love the the radio sets so everyone's happy great and his story. No we got whole much more to talk about but then sarnoff office thinking all right well what if we create a network of radio stations so not just these independent ended stations that are everywhere what have we we create a network so that we can make content in a centralized location and then broadcast that out two different stations in this network and then you can have the same radio content going out to listeners across an entire seaboard or or even across the entire. United States it sounds like a good improvement in the process yes it also would cause headaches for RCA later but but they decided we're going to make a network. We're going to actually create two networks but they're. GonNa be lumped under the same designation that designation and was <hes> the National Broadcasting Company started off as the radio network not a TV network and <hes> it's interesting because there were two parallel independent networks under NBC. They were called Red and blue so I'm like yes. It was like versions. Lou No they were largely similar but over time they would have slightly different programming really it was just a way of organizing the networks they had different kind of central radio stations as their HQ but you had two separate ones you had the blue network the red network but they were both NBC so they were both identified as NBC one of the other interesting things we can actually talk about now for right now because here's the crazy thing about NBC. You can argue that. NBC was the creation of all three of the classic major United States networks so you know we've got the four now you would argue you have NBC ABC CBS and Fox Take Fox out because for a long time it was just ABC NBC and CBS again we covered that in our CBS episode yeah so NBC he was very picky about what programming it would carry and you had this talent ellen agent named Arthur Judson and he was frustrated because the talent he represented he wanted to get them on NBC but NBC wasn't picking them up so he thought well hello fine. I'll go my own radio network and he did. He created one. It was called United Independent Broadcasters and he founded that 1927 but <hes> it didn't go over well. He wasn't able to really get good financing for it. It was losing money and so then a a wealthy dude named William S Paley comes along and he ends up buying the United Independent broadcasters re works at renames it and calls the Columbia Broadcasting System or CBS so the reason CBS existed in the beginning was because there was is this group of talent that couldn't get work in BC so if NBC had hired them CBS maybe never would have existed existed which is kind of interesting that if you want to hear about that listen to our CBS episode yes back back to RCA nineteen twenty nine. They got majority share in the victor. Talking Machine Company made victimless victimless gramophones so if you I'm sure you've seen the logo of the dog cocking its head looking at the photograph yes that's Victoria. Yeah which I know is the RCA logo yeah that's because it was the victor talking machine logo then RCA acquire them and then they used that logo for some of our particularly for RCA records for some of their their divisions so yeah that <hes> logo by the way is specifically called his his master's voice and the dog's name is nipper upper so-called because he would nip the backs of legs of people who came to visit Nice his master <hes> yeah funny little story so this would be the moment when RCA would actually get into consumer electronics this rise of radio RCA was again looking at just doing the industrial stuff. Yeah I mean they were like toying with the idea yeah and their partners were selling <hes> consumer electronics. Thanks so like Westinghouse was doing it but RCA itself had not been doing it up to this point but now they bought a company that was making consumer electronics so do they start selling but this puts them in competition with Columbia right. Yes it did and it would get pretty ugly so Columbia. Now is is in competition with them on two different fronts. There's the consumer electronics front in the sense of the gramophones and Victoria listen things like that as well as the music that was being sold for those things. That was one level of competition the other being that now are. CA A is operating or is the parent company of NBC and NBC is competing against CBS Columbia had been part of CBS <hes> so yeah this would be the beginning of a fierce competition between RCA and Columbia but we'll tell you guys about that right after this break break. Your calls is here sports business and everyday life there arrears for at all if it has to do with rules you can learn all about it on the podcast with me. Your host seem bland. Each we break down the calls that sometimes drivers crazy and the what when and why of the rules behind you'll you'll see the world of sports officiating in a way you haven't before you'll hear from some of the most influential people in sports and the perspective perspective on officiating and how the rules impacts the way to play sports aren't your thing. We'll even take a crack at breaking down some everyday every day. Life Fools to trust me. There is something here forever. Listen to good calls on apple podcast on the iheartradio APP. Wherever you listen to podcasts. We're going to get some ugly stuff Yay Kaz Sarnoff. It is a sort of take-no-prisoners kind of guy. He seems like it very very driven driven a good word for it so nine hundred twenty nine big year here for RCA for one thing RCA would buy a chain of movie theaters called the Keith Albee orpheum chain of theaters and also acquired the film booking booking offices of America then took those two things and collided them in a weird way squishing them together to create a new thing something that Ariel on I know a lot about this but that's a different show and merged them into a new company called Radio Keith Orphee orpheum pictures better known as arc. Ao Pictures <hes> anyone who's a big fan of rocky horror picture show like Jonathan Yup. They're very familiar with our KO 'cause they're. It's referenced lot in that particular movie all right so why did they. What did they get into the theater business busy. This is this. is another one so you remember how westinghouse needed to have something something to play on radios in order for people to go by radio sets yeah very similar. RCA had come up with a way to pair audio Joe with images in film okay so they needed a place to present that audio exactly they they needed to have theaters that would run run the equipment that would show these films because otherwise they were having to come into competition with established film companies that were also trying to market their own audio to film <hes> technologies so this was a race to establish the standard. I mean I've I've been to a lot of movies. It seems like RCA is the standard it is it. It eventually became that so it ended up working. RC was able to establish that it's it's methodology would become the basis for the standard of a film audio and I won't go into how it works super technical but it was just imagine that you have all these different companies. They're all trying to become the standard. They're all competing as very frustrating. Oh strating right if you're if you own an independent movie theater you might have to operate several different types of projectors in order to be able to show any any given film because it could have been shot using a different standard or a different approach by standardizing it then movie theater operators were saying. Oh good now I no no matter who I get a movie from I can show it in my theater because it will work on the same piece of equipment so it's very important and RCA of course wanted to be the company company to do that because you can make booze of Buck goes by licensing out that technology nice yeah. We're really well. We're not done with nineteen twenty nine by the way Oh yeah ask so. This was also win. A sarnoff became interested in studying something that had not yet fully come into being and that would be electronic traumatic television. <hes> there had been mechanical televisions. I won't go into that either now but it is weird and there weren't a whole lot of them not a lot of people own mechanical television <hes> but the electronic television seemed to be pretty promising so sarnoff met with a westinghouse engineer and remember. Westinghouse was one of the partners and this was a guy named Vladimir Zorkin. I'll have you heard about the inventor of TV I I. I have a little bit again. We talk about like. CBS made a TV RCA made a TV and they had some fights over Vergara the that's going to be a part of this conversation so so that's what I know about the invention of TV so if you ask the averaged edged like tech savvy health history buff person who the inventor TV as they typically say Filo Farnsworth and that's that's fair. Filo Farnsworth did a lot to create electronic TV Vladimir Zorkin was also working on the same concept <hes> at the same time and the two of them. We're both kind of rushing to develop like Edison and Tesla or Marconi and tesla for anyone else in Tesla Tesla yeah and and in this case Farnsworth would be the Tesla of that and that he was given a a a raw end of the deal because Sarnoff ends up bringing sort for over two. RCA Okay so he's working leaves. Westinghouse joins RCA RC creates a whole are indeed division. That's where it gets to a uses as personal laboratory and they also decide that in order to squelch farnsworth breath so that he can't cer- key can't stand his competition. They are going to fight file a whole bunch of lawsuits against Farnsworth intellectual property lawsuits <hes> Farnsworth fully believed and ended up being right that his claims were valid that he was not violating their intellectual property. They were infected violating his intellectual property but here's the thing about those. Ip lawsuits they drag on for a very long time yeah so Farnsworth was kind of a broken man by the end of it but it seems it seems like a an unwise battle to be having aim because this is around the time of the Great Depression Right Yep does having well but in Great Depression was hitting a lot of businesses really hard but there were certain businesses businesses that are actually doing fairly well movie. Theater businesses were doing all right and so it was radio because people want an escape so they were pouring in a lot of money into rnd for television in fact a crazy amount it was like fifty million dollars over over the course of more than a decade but still and they were still doing quite well with Radio President Roosevelt be FDR Franklin Roosevelt <hes> where he was using radio to connect with citizens who were enduring economic hardship so is creating sort of a national identity using radio so people didn't have a whole lot of money to spare bear but those who were saving up would often save up to get something like a radio set it would help them get entertainment. They would get news so it was still a a booming business okay but how were consumer electrics doing. Howard the TV's doing because that's what they're fighting over <hes> they didn't really do much of anything at all all at first because <hes> coming up with a brand new technology that's expensive at a time when people are enduring severe economic hardship turns turns out not the best time to launch a new product kate suited. Rca Do in the interim they focused on the radio stuff <hes> as much as they could but they weren't able to really move some of their other products. They came out with a new type of record player that would play records at thirty three and a third revolutions per minute second okay. They used to play at seventy eight revolution. That doesn't seem very good going into this would also require technical description in by the way are the important. The interesting to me is that RCA tried to come out with a thirty three and a third RPM record. It did not do well because they tried to launch it in the Great Depression and nobody could afford a new radio or new record player essentially so they didn't go anywhere and for a longtime the thirty three and a third. D- <hes> version of records was just off the table all right but so that was another failure on our part they weren't making any <unk> headway with TV yet <hes> they were not doing well with the phonograph they were still doing well with radio but <hes> we'll we'll wrap this episode because we're already running long and we have to get into the decline of our next one but we're getting up to nineteen thirty two still great depression era but the US federal government now was starting to get a little little worried about our ca because ca was so dominant it's industry. I mean they were made up of a bunch of really big companies. Yup and they were like incredibly powerful. The government said you know what you're essentially a monopoly and they. RCA's like <hes> yeah you made us and the government said no no no that was like a couple of administrations ago so technically weeded and make you and so we'd like you to break up now and a RCA did not break up but the partnership that formed Rca what they do is they sold their their stake in RCA to RCA itself also RCA the entity buys up its own shares so spinoff kind of like yeah spinning it off so that it becomes its own independent company and RCA would become the RCA corporation. Which is why. I think it's funny because it's the Radio Corporation of America Corporation it just in case you didn't get it. The first time I see here's David Sarnoff became the president goes from general manager to President of RCA. 'CAUSE RCA now is its own independent company and he would continue to lead RCA and that will become very important in our next episode and if you've listened do a lot of business on the brink. You probably already anticipating where this is going to go. Which is where we tell stories about. How changes in leadership can have a big impact act on a company yes but in the meantime if this is inspired you to ask us to talk about a different company you can email us. Where can they do that. Jonathan and that could be it feedback at the brink podcast dot show also you can go to the brink podcast show and look up all kinds of information about Jonathan. You mean our past episodes anything like that. Yup and we promise that in future episodes area will talk a lot more than I will. It's just the this particular particular when I went bonkers because I've got so many notes on this and it's like there's so much technical information and you are at like a technical maven and yes. I just didn't want to get too bogged down in any of the technical details of and that's that's you know it's it's tough because when you're talking about a company like RCA. It's it's business. History is deeply tied to technology was creating but yes in our next episode. We'll find out how this this company that started as monopoly. Ah got spun off and was still a very dominant player in the space and would continue to be so largely because of David Sarnoff. We're going to see how that could go to a point where I would say that. Since one thousand nine hundred six doesn't even really exist anymore. I and I look forward to that all right. See you guys next time. I'm Jonathan Strickland. I'm Ariel Castro. Ask Business on the brink is a production of iheartradio and how stuff works for more podcasts from iheartradio visit visit the iheartradio APP apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows my name is Danny Shapiro and I'm the host of family secrets secrets a podcast about the secrets kept from US secrets. We keep from others the secrets we keep from ourselves family secrets is a show where you can hear a powerful stories of heartbreak healing and hope listen to season to a family secrets on apple podcasts the iheartradio APP or wherever you get your podcasts.
134: Productive Intuition - Paying Attention to the Subtle with AdaPia d'Errico
"A quick word from our sponsor if you're struggling with alcohol or drugs reach out for help. Recovery centers of america can help you are see as local. Inpatient and outpatient programs are founded on science delivered with heart from an expert. Caring team will inspire and guide you every step of the way. You don't have to do this alone. Call one eight hundred ninety five two two six nine and speak with treatment advisor at rca state of the art campuses located along the east coast and in the mid west. You're going to be with a community. That builds connections and foster support from peers and rca's team of medical professionals and recovery support specialist. You won't be alone at rca tailor your treatment to you. Rca accepts patients twenty four seven and is in network with insurance providers. So don't wait. Get recovery today. Call one eight hundred nine eight five two two six nine. That's one eight hundred nine eight five two two six nine. Hello everyone welcome to the addicted. Mind podcast my. Name's dwayne ostlund and i'm your host and we are on to another episode so today our guest is off appear to rico and she is going to talk about intuition and paying attention to our authentic self. Her book is titled productive intuition connecting to the subtle. And i really like that title because often our intuition and our authentic self can be very subtle and can be difficult to pay attention to especially if struggled with trauma and hardship. I loved my conversation with. She is really passionate about her work and about sharing her story and sharing her wisdom. I think you're going to get a lot out of this episode so stay tuned. Hello everyone welcome to the addicted. Mind my guest. Today is to rico and we are going to talk about intuition and and your book productive intuition but i i love to hear your story and how this all evolved. Yeah thanks so much joining such a pleasure to be here when we were kinda speaking prerecording. I was saying that you know this book and even me being here and talking about it has so much to do with a time in my life. one of many but Specially point in time in my life where i was so completely lost where i essentially went through with. A lot of people would call a spiritual crisis. It was out it. Was this time in my life. Where the person that i thought i was successfully especially around career. I've always been like really career driven. I'm going to get things done. I'm in business. I wanna like do things in the world. They want to be a human doing instead of a human being. Right right link. Everything i knew how to do was not working. And i completely lost my marbles because i was like i can't be effective can't make money. I can't do anything. And then i didn't know who to talk to. I didn't have anybody to talk to you. Because i sounded in my own crazy person. How how how do i explain to people that this basically at that point is twenty year career that i had worked so hard to build up. I typically walked away from it with this idea that i was going to use a purposeful work and i was gonna you know i was gonna make really meaningful more meaningful than what i was doing so i was prejudging myself before even going into something into something new and instead what life or the universe or god delivered to me was just failure and right and then my whole identity kind of like fell apart and in that process so this was back in two thousand seventeen and like in that process what i had to actually do. It wasn't failure. It was a different door. Had to go through to get clarity into really trust myself. The the book really comes out of the the last few years of me getting that clarity and discovering how intuitive i am and how intuitive we all are and how to use it not just like accidentally use it right like we all have intuition and will sometimes we'll use it and we're like oh that worked but we don't understand it and then other times we don't listen to it and we're like well damn. I should have listened to it. How do i find and intuition. Is you know if we've come from trauma we've had hardship especially maybe early childhood trauma or something that listening to intuition can be difficult or in some ways doesn't seem like it's there oh so much. Oh so much because especially and we've all had different levels and types of trauma right. I mean to me in a way. What makes us all what connects all of us is. Humans is trauma because we've all had it even the conditioning. The stories that we grow up being told about who we should be and how to please and all. That's essentially traumatic right. I mean that's essentially saying go into this box or the cage of thought and being an be that and in reality really the liberation if he will comes from sort of opening that door and walking through it and it's so much easier said than dining it's constant like i'm constantly even today working through the stories that actually my mind was addicted to certain stories about who i am about how the world is about how other people are. And if i listen to those stories which is usually the default. I'm gonna get the same results whereas if i try a slightly different approach of saying what's my inner knowing and i call it interests authority you can call it soul. I mean really doesn't matter what you call it it's place in. It's actually like almost like a feeling that you just know you're not believing something you're not listening to voice. It's not a voice it's annoying and that is inherently tied to intuition. That's your intuitive space. And that's the space where we can learn to trust ourselves and not seek answers outside of ourselves and that's how we kind of get over the stories from the trauma by coming back by by being able to come back into ourselves and really listen to our gut. I would love to hear how that journey evolved for you from to looking to the outside for your answers to being able to trust your gut because i think a lot of people who are listening to the podcast. That's hard to do though is so hard it's like the work of our lives and and i'll say it this way to there's not like just one way and so for example. When i wrote the book i explained how were neurologically. Biologically hardwired for intuition and i and a lot of research in there. Because it's really it's it's super important to get the left brain on board to really understand instead of blindly believing because blind relief isn't gonna get us anywhere but if there's something that you're reading or or learning from somebody clicks that's really important and the truth about intuition about how we get into it. It's not a linear path. Like it's going to be through the body so i talk about the body it's gonna be through the heart and there's incredible science about the heart and the vibrations electro-magnetic vibration of heart our emotions. You know our mind our brain. There's all these different mechanisms inside of us that are ways of moving inward instead of outward so a lot of it is noticing and to me one of the most powerful ways of understanding our intuition. Because it's kinda hard to say go within like. Oh what does that mean. Growth in. Go with great. Hey like how do i do that. I i'm here right near like i'm already here but but most of the time we're thinking about something else. So meditation is a pretty big one law. A lot of research around that another one is noticing. It's like noticing what we do on a daily basis and noticing how we react instead of respond. So it's like noticing our own patterns starts to bring us inward because we're focusing on our self instead of on somebody else or on an outside object right and then in that process of noticing you can start to actually discern a thought a false spot or a trauma story from something. It really is like a felt sense like this knowing knowing is knowing. I don't know like there's no word to really describe it but there's a peaceful place that is your intuition and when you start to notice your thoughts and like the quality of the thought like is it kind of jagged. Does it give me anxiety. Does it like riled up. Does it have an end goal in mind that thought versus a knowing. That's just really peaceful. That has no questions. That's like pure answer. That's the difference in that knowing. Lives inside of us as a form of intuition. And then what we start to do. As we notice when that one comes through versus the thought and they're so diametrically different that you start to notice which one you're you're going to choose to listen to right right. Why is it so hard to let go of those thoughts that have so much energy that pull our attention and not pay attention to that peaceful space and which allows us to make those decisions. That are congruent. But i'd like to hear more about that. Yeah you at you named at when you said the thought that has a lot of energy so the reason it's really hard to let go of the thought is that it's not just like a cloud like it's not just like some formless piece of air if it's there in our awareness it has an emotional charge and that emotional energetic charge lives in our body which is why so much somatic work is really important to help us. Release the stories and release the thought. Because it's not just a thought. And i think there's a huge disturbance done to us by. It's not on purpose. But it's like this accidental. Like oh just let go of your thought will. I can't because it lives in my body as a memory with emotion that brings up that energy. And because i am either afraid of it or i'm ashamed of it or it makes me uncomfortable. I'm going to suppress it hands. I'm gonna keep it in my body and the thought is going to run around in my head right right. Yeah so that's why it's really hard because it's because it's not that easy. If it were that easy we'd all be fine by now if it were that easy. So it really. It's actually in our body. Which is the very last place. Any of us want to go especially through any kind of really strong trauma because our body holds it in. It doesn't feel good. Nobody wants to do things that don't feel good so it's just it's normal. It's like i don't like doing things that are uncomfortable. I mean i will avoid discomfort at all costs and that's in a way when i go towards that discomfort. I get through it. I realized it wasn't that bad. I just told myself it was going to be bad right. We get locked in that fear of our own emotional experience yes exactly yep and then we can't listen to our cells and then we're usually doing behaviors or actions or making decisions that we don't really wanna make. Yep yep and we're making them it's like our desire doesn't want that but our subconscious is trained to do what we know and in a way because of how our brain works and our ego. The there's a really good saying in I think it's a buddhist saying but basically it's the the mind only knows the past right right and because uncertainty is somewhat scary rate. I is a really like uncertainty is not something that our brain likes at all and so we're always trying to avoid certainty which is why we all have control issues. Rose trying to control everything our environment our people because we don't we we've told ourselves at some point that uncertainty is bad and we default to what we know even though it hurts us and it's not our fault it's literally how the brain is wired but because the brain is neuro plastic. 'cause you can. You can really change the way. Your brain works with the mindfulness with the meditation. With the noticing. The noticing has is like a little bomb over things right is really soothing to notice and say oh. Wow you that a lot like. Where does that come from. Like why am i doing this and kind of exploring it with a lot of south compassion because our our natural tendency is to go into shame because everything around us tells us to be ashamed of our past of our trauma of our addiction right. There's so much shame. And it's it's actually it's really deeply embedded in us energetically so it's really important when you're noticing yourself and doing a behavior that isn't you know it's not when you're at your best to be like okay. I'm i'm going to have compassion for myself. And i'm going to celebrate that. I noticed it. Because that's a really small step towards changing my habitual pattern right and i was also as you were talking. I was thinking about how this is something that takes work. You don't just do it once you don't just know it. You practice it. Yeah it's a daily practice like that's the best word it's a discipline and it's a practice and it becomes second nature and it also gets easier. It's like anything in. It's like anything right like when you start something. You're not good at it unless you're like some are really gifted or your kid that just you know at that point. You're so nero plastic anyway in your body's kinda plastic and you can figure out what you're good at but as we become adults were calcified physically mentally emotionally. We're just not immediately good at something so we have to practice and that's the work. Yeah and that is that is definitely the work. Can you share a little bit about how that journey happened for you because usually when we're doing this work it you know it's because we needed the work. We needed it so we had to find it or or were. We're we're lost. You know we feel lost and where we're looking for some kind of answered. Sometimes we stumble upon it somewhere. Oh yeah oh for sure so for me. What really works for me is journaling. And it's really cathartic to get the thoughts out of the head and physically moved them then. I like With my hand like just like journaling. So that's a humongous practice. Because if we don't get them out of our head they're going to keep spinning around they're kind of like a dry or a washer just it just spins and spins so journaling. I've learned to find safe people to talk to. Because i was i was the person in. It's still a natural to me not to ask for help. One appear week especially for high functioning. They don't want to appear weak and in reality. I'm just suffering so much inside so my journey involved a lot of this like noticing because most my outside world was falling apart. And so i couldn't not notice i couldn't i pretend it's not there and i like doubled down on my old way of doing things which is kind of hilarious. But it's what we do know. This always works. I'm going to do it again again. And again and i'm just really stubborn until the point where i was like. I'm getting. I have to give up on what i'm doing because it's clearly not working. I have to find a different way. It was a lot of introspection. It was a lot of really observing my life and saying what is going on right now. And then i started to you know. That's what really got me on a spiritual path. Because before then. I really wasn't. I mean is doing radar guy. That was really helpful to me. But i really didn't understand some of the principles of i wasn't doing self reflection or south inquiry which is really the number one work and so when i'll journal you know a lotta times it'll be like a thought that comes up and really have to explore that thought. Why do i have that thought. Why do i believe it. Where did it come from. Who did it come from is most of the time. It's not really mine. And then i can see it and i can say okay so i can start to work with an notice. How my how. I've actually create a quick word from our sponsor green chef the first. Usda certified meal kit company if you want to eat healthy with less time stressing out about shopping for foods that are seasonally sourced and peak freshness and are healthy. Then go to green chef dot com. It can be difficult to find the time to plan out every meal. And sometimes i just don't have the time to think about it planet and prep so green chef makes it so much easier. They have a meal kit for every lifestyle kito paleo vegan vegetarian. Whatever your preference is you can know that. You're getting quality healthy meal kits without the stress. Green chef offsets one hundred percent of their direct carbon emissions and reduce food waste by twenty-five percent. You can feel great knowing that you and your loved. Ones are eating healthy quality food supporting the environment and with so much less stress with their easy to follow recipes. Go to green chef dot com forward slash ninety addicted and use the code ninety addicted to get ninety dollars off including free shipping. That's green chef dot com forward slash nine zero addicted and use the code ninety addicted to get ninety dollars off including free shipping at green chef dot com. Get a life around the thought. And then i have to take a different action. Even if it's really small like we have to take a different action especially when we noticed something so that was one. I've mentioned a lot more meditation and asking for help and asking for help. And yeah that's definitely a big one but also sometimes feels the most risk is to is to ask for help. I want to go back to the journaling. 'cause i was thinking about how when you write in you put pen to paper how you slow the whole process down for yourself so that you can. I guess step back a little bit and see it in a bigger picture and slow down and ask yourself those questions because when we're in that crisis state it seems really hard to be able to make a decision because we're just kind of frantic. Oh yeah oh yeah for sure and you know. This is why in the book at every chapter. I have reflection questions. Like i have the question so that you can journal and also some practices to get to get in the body to do them and a lot of it is the slowing down. Because i you can just like write whatever comes through like right all out. Just just get it out but then really makes sense of it to make meaning of it. We need to slow down even more and most of the time. I can't write as fast as what the thoughts are you. Bring up a good point. It's it's that we have to slow down because physically. We can't go as fast as the thoughts and when we take the time to write them down and look at them with our eyes to and process them and then maybe explain them to somebody. That's a whole other level of understanding. Right can run your life if they're unexamined so what is unexamined runs. Our lives period. Absolutely so that's why whether it's journaling and then like finding safe people like even just listening to other people's stories like your podcast is like such a great resource for people because that also helps them unlock a little bit of maybe fear around telling a story 'cause they hear other people and they're like okay. I don't feel so alone because it feels really lonely. Oh yeah. I think in the beginning of this process of healing we do. We feel like we're the only ones in the world who maybe i don't wanna say suffer or have some level of shame or you know about are suffering. Whatever it is and yet to hear other people's stories starts to connect us to our humanity are are universal. That we're we're all in this together and it's it's challenging That's exactly what i learned to is sharing my story healed me in heels me every time and sharing my story heels others because of what you just said that i'm not the only one. It is such a lonely place to be in our trauma. And it's like. I'm not the only one and then the more we do that we start to build up a form of really deep inner confidence in. That's when we can start listening to ourselves and that's when we can really start to get into that place of discernment between thought an emotion and intuition when you get that inner knowing that we've all had and so you know if we wanna take that practice from say think about a time in your life when you had a hunch or you had a gut feeling and maybe it was irrational. You didn't think about it but you just knew it and you took action on that and it really worked out and we all have one of those. That's your intuition. And when you can identify it from a past story and you write it out and you start to put yourself in. That situation may be like like. I always liked to emotionally go there as well to some degree like what was. I feeling what exactly was happening in that moment. That got me there and then you kind of lock in and then and then next time you'll notice it again you'll be like maybe that's maybe that's my intuition. Oh yeah because it reminds me of that time that i remembered the same thing for like all the times. We didn't listen to our intuition. And i laugh because everything of like the worst thing ever. That happened to me. When i didn't listen to my intuition and i can pretty much like identify every time and so now when i get kind of like the danger signal that it's my personal way of knowing now i know to listen because i went back in my past and i was like. Oh all these times went bad so this time. I'm gonna listen. And this gets me to another question. Because i wanna i wanna talk about your book because I love the title productive intuition connecting to the subtle. And i think that when you get past that initial overwhelm kinda step out of the lost this and you start to get direction. This is where paying attention to the subtle reaps huge benefits because we start to follow our spirit. Yes and it's subtle. I mean it's all subtle it's all subtle so goes back to the noticing and if the practice of noticing becomes second nature. The subtle isn't so subtle anymore. Because you're tune in right. Yes one of the things that i've noticed myself As i've practiced mindfulness and journal love journal into it's helped me a lot. Is that as. I guess evolve in my own own. Work is noticing that some of these things are. They are obviously on the surface. Sometimes i have to step back really just pay attention and then i see like oh okay now. I understand why was doing that. It's not really what i wanna do right. Yeah that's the practice and the next time in because he took a step back. You're going to respond instead of react. What you're gonna take a moment and going to choose a different response which is going to change the outcome right. Yeah and then and then being able to go well actually. This is the choice. I actually wanna make. Yeah no yeah and then and then and then when you do that and you get sort of get what you want so to speak then to me. I feel like it locks in as like a new way of doing things in the more we go back to that the more we continue to get the results that were actually seeking and desiring because we took the time to stop to notice and to make different choices like twice as the most powerful thing that we have is is our choice but most of the time. We're we're reacting because we haven't taken the time we haven't given ourselves time to make a choice right right so. Tell me a little bit about in writing this book. What did you want to give to people yeah. I wish i had had this book. When i was going through my like dark knight process when i was going through my crisis because i didn't have anybody to talk to you that i thought could understand me especially coming from like basically committing career suicide where i i b. I just laughs a best position my life like just crazy. I just laughed. And i didn't know who to talk to you and i felt really silly and if i had had this book written by somebody who wasn't i'm not a spiritual leader right like this is just what i've learned and understood. There's wonderful people in spiritual community. But i didn't have anybody to talk to you to look like me Had a background like me. And what i learned in writing the book was i had to continue to do my work on such a deep level and i had to learn how important what i learned is that it was really important for me to understand the mechanism behind things. So that's why. I had to like do so much research into the science and the more i did research into like you know whether it was quantum physics neurobiology the more. I was amazed at how obvious it seems that we have this intuition. And so then i really excited about. Why needs help people how to do this. And so here. The practices and here are some other resources. And here's the science. And here's my stories of how i did this and and so really in a way that the book aims at helping somebody who might be in going through something like this Going through that lost period. Which will all. I'll have another last period. I'm sure it's you know it's going to sneak up on but i'll be resourced that's really what my hope and wishes for the book that offers resources to somebody who's like man things are just not working anymore. I'm not the same person that i was or who i thought i should be. And i don't really know how to how to like who to talk to. You just need some answers. That are also really practical. And that's why i called it productive intuition because i didn't go become a monk when i woke up i actually went back into the business world and i work in private equity and link is show up as a very whole person. I'm very whole. I'm not divided in myself anymore and so i can have a spiritual conversation with somebody i can talk about finances or will it. I don't have to choose to be. I can be myself. And therefore i can do anything i want. 'cause i know who i am now and it's not a title and a role. It's my values and work as i have an issue sometimes. It's the word work because it doesn't feel like work. It just feels like discovery. The more i discover myself the more authentic. I am and honestly i have so many authentic relationships. Because i'm not hiding. Who i am anymore right and i think so. Many people when they're when they're struggling the selfish so divided and pulled in so many directions. Because we don't know how to listen to our gut and and so we don't know how to listen to our authentic self and were pulled in all these weird directions by either society rules that are written by somebody else thoughts you know from her early childhood. Whatever it is. It's all pulling us apart and we can't feel whole and we need the process to to get there to to find it to get whole and connect ourselves to be authentic and in our bodies as a whole person. Yeah exactly exactly in one of the practices in. It's actually the the apple log in in the book. And i have a masterclass class in the summer coming out about. This is the process of going back into our past and extracting the gift from a situation that we thought was quote unquote bad. Rake because that's also how we get trapped in the mind is we've assigned a certain meaning to something that happened and that meaning is bad. So it's another like cage when in reality when we go back into that past situation armed with you know certain techniques and like being in a safe space and we go back in and we re experience it compassionately an objectively in question ourselves. What was my motivation. Not why did i do this. Because that'll just spend the mind out but like what was i training get out of this and then when you reflect in a meditative space would i actually get like what was the gift. That is such a powerful way to completely reprogram a story and you change it and you heal it forever. because now you're the hero not the victim. And i think that talk so well to the neuro plasticity of the brain and how much we can really change how we experience the world by using some of these techniques and these ways to shift our whole thinking and shift are feeling about it as well and then you shift your action and then you reality changes and then you suddenly recognized. How much of a creator are like whether you know it or not. We are always creating always an absolute responsibility. And it's not something that's really easy to digest fully beat because it goes back the choice and it goes back to the noticing and it goes back to the response and so i don't wanna overwhelm. I'm excited about the potential for people to recognize how much more control they have when they slow down and when they find the intuitive space whether it's the god or the hard or you know there's so many different ways of getting there and thinking of it as an ally thinking of it as the one that is there for you is within you in. Just anchoring there and kind of that's your allied. That's how you want to live your life because that feeling of peace or joy or bliss or wonder that's our natural state. It's not our natural state to be stressed out or anxious or upset or enraged like. That's not our natural state even biologically. That's fighting flight. That stressful state breaks our body down so it technically is logically not our natural state neuro chemically joy and bliss is our natural state. So how do we get there absolutely outta pia. Thank you so much for coming on. I usually like to ask one questions of my guests before they go. And it's if you could say one thing to someone out there who's lifting. Maybe they're struggling today. What would you tell them. i would say. Take a moment if you can and try and like sit with yourself. Maybe put your hand on your heart and just feel. Put your mind in your heart and feel that knowing that you're knowing that's a safe safe place and that's the moment that is the most important one for you because that's like the only moment that we have is at present moment so you can go there and find that knowing find your heart find dot your home base an every time life. Throw something out you go to home base and everything a but everything's going to be okay. It really really is your so supported your so supported and even your podcast wayne is a safe space for people so thank you for creating that space. Oh thank you. So how can people find if they want more information. How can they get a hold of you. Yeah it probably. The best place to go is productive. Intuition dot com. That'll tell you more about the book. There's little bio about me. There's an e book there if you wanted a chance to buy if you're interested but that will give you more information about me in this book and i really hope that if you choose to get the book that it helps you and is a resource for you now and for the rest of your life. Thank you so much for coming onto the victim my podcast. Thank you my pleasure. All right everyone. Thank you for listening to the addicted. Mind podcast as usual. All the show notes will be at the denied dot com. And if you are enjoying the mind podcast and you find it valuable. Please rate and review us on itunes or wherever you get your podcast. That really does help. Get the podcast. A lot of exposure and helps people find it and join our facebook group. Just go to facebook and type in the addictive mind podcast click join and you can continue the conversation online there all right. Everyone have a wonderful day. And i will talk to you on the next episode.
I'm In Love With That Song: Sweet - "Fox On The Run"
"Welcome once again to the I'm in love with that Song podcast. I'm your host Brad, page and each episode we explore a different. Song together to find out what goes into making a great song. Well, I wasn't originally planning on talking about this song but not that long ago on June fourth twenty twenty we lost another player in Rock History Steve. Priest from sweet. Sweet were one of the pioneers of Glam, rock. They had a few hits here in America, but they were huge in Europe and England. So let's give this ban there do and pay our respects to Steve Priest by taking a closer look at one of their more significant hits. This is sweet with Fox on the run. Sweet. Formed in nineteen sixty eight originally as the sweet shop then short and to the sweet and eventually just sweet Steve Priest was on Bass Andy Scott played. Guitar. Mick Tucker was the drummer and Brian Connolly handled the lead vocals. By nine, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, four, the band had racked up a series of hits mostly in the UK with like wig Wam Bam and blockbuster. If you've never seen the clip of them, playing blockbuster on top of the POPs with Steve. Priest. Dressed as a gay Nazi. You don't know what you're missing. What's Behind this this. Is. New You. Know does anyone way. Say The. Way, Scott. They. Also had some success in the US with Little Willie. And probably the song their most famous for in America. Ballroom blitz. Thanks. The thing was though all of those songs were written for them by their. Management Team of Mike. Chapman and Nicky Chinn, the band was pretty frustrated at this point because their own songwriting wasn't being taken seriously but they had a secret weapon nestled deep on their most recent album. Desolation Boulevard were sweets. Album tucked away on side two was a track called Fox on the run songwriting credits go to all four been members though guitarist Andy Scott was really the one who came up with the song. Chinn and Chapman weren't really interested in promoting songs written by the band. But Luckily, their record label RCA records saw some potential in the song. Now here's where things get tricky. There are two versions of the desolation boulevard album released about eight months apart the original version was released by RCA records in Europe and England in November nineteen, seventy, four in July nineteen seventy-five Capitol records released an alternate version of the album in the US along with Canada in. Japan. That had a bunch of different songs on it. The American version of the album ditched half of the songs from the original added in a handful of tracks from sweets. Second album instead that second album had never been released in the state. So most of those songs were new to the US market. and to make matters more confusing, there are two different versions of Fox on the run as we said before, the original song appeared on the UK version of the album but with the record label support sweet went back into the studio without Chin and Chapman's knowledge or approval and recorded a new version of the song tightening it up smoothing out some of the rough edges and adding some elements to make it more appealing to pop radio and it worked they had a hit on both sides of the Atlantic with a song that they had written on their own mission accomplished. So that leaves us with a dilemma, which version to we listen to hear my tendency is to always go with the more raw hard rock in version of a song especially when that's the original. But the version that I came to know and Love was the re recorded version the one that came out as a single let's call that the single version. It's probably the version most people are familiar with it's more concise and I think it's actually the more interesting version. But Hey, this is my show and I can do what I want. So let's listen to a little of both versions here. Here's how the original version started guitars upfront with a live in the studio feel to them. Let's listen to this original version through to the end of the first. I. Off. The re recorded version has a very different beginning the guitars are lower in the mix with more of a studio sheen on them. But more importantly, there's a new instrument added a synthesizer that introduces a whole new hook to the song. While the rest of the band headed down to the pub for break guitarist Andy, Scott stayed at the studio to keep working on the track and when they returned, they discovered that Andy had added this synthesizer part and that's when they all realized. They were really onto something now. What? That intro has a completely different. Feel right. Now I do prefer the sound of the guitars on the original version, but there is no denying what powerful and memorable Hook that synthesizer ads let's continue on with the first verse. So what's different here? Well, besides the overall sound of the guitars and the drums, the most obvious difference on the single version is the addition of that echo on the first word of the verse. That's not there on the original. Let's continue on with the first verse on the single version. I think that echo is a nice touch. Now here's how the ended the vs on the original version. and. And here's the single version. Along. Those layered harmonies it's kind of a sweet trademark. They were doing some of these vocal maneuvers before Queen. In fact, I've heard that sweet were a bit annoyed that they never got enough credit for that. Let's listen to that again into the first course. Notice the shorter echo on the lead vocal here. Nice drum fill by Mick Tucker. There's some powerhouse drumming on what's obstensibly a pop song here. I like how the backing vocals repeat the words secondhand there. Notice that they repeat part of the first. I hear according to Andy Scott the lyrics were written in rush just to get the track done in time. So they barely had time to finish the second. I let alone third verse. Of course, the song was written about a groupie like seemingly half the songs in the seventies. This part leads us into the Guitar Solo on the original version that Guitar Solo is like an extended riff that Andy Scott improvises over Solo goes on like this for over a minute. It's a pretty lengthy jam in the middle of the song on the single version. It's completely different. It's much shorter less than twenty seconds and it's not Jammie at all. It's a completely worked out composed section with harmonized guitars totally different vibe than the original. Let's listen. There is a synthesizer part on the chorus. It's setback in the mix of doesn't jump out, but it's there on every course. Bob. Some Nice Drum work by Mick Tucker during the fate. Sweet with Fox on the run. Sweet were one of those quintessential seventies bands that mix of hard rock and bubblegum pop outrageous fashion swaggering male sexism, wild gender bending at the same time. None of the band members were gay. But that didn't stop them from camping it up and shocking a lot of parents in the seventies and once more rock and roll than that. Singer Brian Connolly died in nineteen ninety-seven from kidney and liver failure as well as multiple heart attacks. He lived hard. He was only fifty one. Drummer Mick Tucker died in two thousand and two from leukemia aged fifty four. And Steve Priest was seventy two when he died in. June. Leaving only Andy Scott as the last surviving member of the original. Sweet. Thanks for joining me on this episode of I'm in love with that song here on the Pantheon Network. The network for music podcasts come find me on facebook or on the website I'm in love with that Song Dot Com where you'll find a whole bunch of episodes behind this one, check them out, and if you enjoy the show, please subscribe to it so that you never miss an episode I'll see you again in two weeks for now put on your satin trousers and crank it up because here sweet with Fox on the run. Only. Say Hey, this is mark from performance anxiety here on the Pantheon podcast network. have. You ever wanted to sit down with your favorite artists and wild stories that happened on tour or in the studio. We, get these stories for you and a lot more. Stories like the singer who was defeated three times on stage in one night. Guitarist who was shot outside a white castle by fire Marshall. Then, there's the keyboards who got his start making instruments from trash. Then, there's the band that had to sneak their tore manager across an international border. The Bass player almost stranded in Poland. And the front man who's spent his sixteenth birthday in an Israeli prison. Ever wonder what Bourbon paired with your favorite song got that to. This isn't a bullet-point sound bite interview. Shows a conversation one that unearths the best stories you've never heard. This is Scott base I play Bass Bob Western publicans. Michael, Giron of warned. This is King Basil Melvin everybody. This is Chris trainer from Bush. This Barbara. I make records hi I'm Scott a page. I am we vera M- see. Yeah and I'm. Sorry. This is Mark Lanigan. You're listening to performance anxiety. Join US here on performance anxiety every week for the best stories and music.
No Filler: Sidetrack: Mutoid Man
"And welcome no filler. The music podcast dedicated to sharing the often overlooked hidden gyms that fill the space between the singles on our favorite records. My name is Quentin. Got My brother Travis with me as always, and we got a little sidetrack lined up today. GonNa step outside the school bus for a little bit, did We've been hanging out listening to bands that we? Listened to in high school, but this going to be a little bit different, but that's all right. We'll hop back on the bus right after the sidetrack Travis. Gino anything about this band called mutilated man I. Know Nothing about Mutahi man-kyu, but every time I every time I hear it or the name every time I hear the name. I immediately get the song twenty first. Century schizoid man. Yeah me, too, actually everytime. Yeah, which is king, Clemson Clemson a prog rock band, which is funny, because they're kind of these guys are kind of in the Prog Rock, Fan. Yeah. So since you mentioned that we were going to cover these guys, I have not listened to them, purposely Come at this fresh. But I did look the album art and it is very. PSYCHEDELIC space rock. Progressive Rock looking the album art at least and cave in I. Don't know if we actually used the word. The Term Space Rock on our last episode, but gave in. was classified as a early Santana a space rock progressive rock album. I know that the record that came out prior antenna was definitely space rocket was called. Jupiter even even named it after a planet right? Yeah, but anyway so I'm not surprised that. That he is involved in in a similar type of project, right? Yeah, so let's backtrack a little bit and we're going to kind of fly through this upside. Travis has got some work stuff to do here. So this one's going to be short and sweet. I got some websites to launch you as as the saying goes here and say exciting did. Cave in so that's covered last week. we specifically focused on their album antenna, which came out in two thousand and three on RCA records. Lead. Singer of that band is named Stephen Brodsky and the conclusion that we came to. And the way that they see it as well antenna was quote Unquote Corporate cave-in? So if you listen to. Albums! There's that came up before antenna. They were a lot heavier, and they're a little bit more in metal core Fain more screaming. You know way more heavy on the distortion and much faster tempo. Just more intense songs. A. Lot more happening squirm. And that's really like this is what that's what they were wanting to do. The whole time you know and like an antenna was just a an opportunity for them to get on RCA. And their young and naive, and they learned from it, but as soon as they. Got Off of RCA there on the very next album they jump back into that more heavy. Stuff I mean it's kind of a good thing that the the didn't sign. Like a five album contractors like that, you know. Yeah, you know. Don't even I wonder if they if they broke their contract. I bet you they didn't you know I do remember. We mentioned last week that. That album just didn't do as well as our. She thought you know so. Maybe it was. Let's see how your first album does kind of thing and then we'll go from there. So before and after RCA records. They're assigned to a record label called Hydra head records Have you ever heard of a band called Isis? I feel like I have seen them pop up in while I'm asking you because they are apparently a. Post metal bands that can I helped. Pioneer and evolve. The new you know like I guess the post metal sound in the late nineties the owner of Hydra head records is a guy named Aaron Turner. who was the frontman of Isis reason I bring that up. Is because that was one of those smaller record labels and you know it was allowed cave in to just go back to the roots. Do what they wanted to do. And that was with their album, perfect pitch black, which we mentioned last week. Stephen refers to that as the grave marker of the death of Corporate cave-in that was in two thousand five same year. He starts doing stuff under mutated man. actually no I'm sorry I'm way off on that I'll get back to that year later but. Stephen was playing with a guy named Ben Koehler. who was in cave around two thousand five and this guy later jumps back in and plays alongside him with mutilate man. Several years later, mute man, their first album was in two thousand twelve, not long. Do any sort of research q now, Dude, common kind of you know what I'm reading, Kapiti page today. Trying to keep it short and sweet did. The whole point I'm trying to make is i. feel like this is the kind of stuff when we jim out just muted man a little bit. What Stevens been wanting to do since day one when you listen to old cave-in. and. You listen to post antenna given. It is in this vein, but mutinied man just Kinda. Crank it up even more. It's really fast, paced more technical almost like math rock kind of stuff, really crazy, time signatures and stuff like that. So anyways did I'm rambling like led Zeppelin here? That's a good to get reference. Let's play some dude. We got one song to play so. They have three full length albums. Well there I. technically an EP was only like five or six songs, so the song that we showed in was from their first EP. Helium had a song called narcissist. We're GONNA jump a couple of years to their first fooling studio album called leader, and we're gonNA play a song called Reptilian soul. Days. All Right Q.. You asked me with the mics are off. If I was reminded of somebody right? Lane on me. Queens of the stone tonnage. Fuck yet. That's why I wanted to play the song big time. I love it. Man I love that kind of yeah, so I mean. As far as as far as genres go I mean that's that's desert rock on Iraq rhyme. Yeah this one, but so this. This is a little bit different than a lot of the stuff that you'll hear. Through the rest of their records there is some heavy screaming on a lot of these songs, but yeah, just like I just love that. It's got those Josh Hami Vibes. The. Yeah definitely, I of always loved that kind of stuff. Yeah, What's cool to hear You know because I think we kinda mentioned this last week, but is like kind of the beginning and end of. My knowledge of in like I'd never listened to any their older stuff. Never listen to any of their newer stuff, so it's nice to hear. What what he's up to what Steve's up to right? Yeah, and you know if you look on I. According to Wikipedia Kevon is still active as a band. Well, there's he's relatively new material. Yes, so he's. He's doing doing stuff in both bands. So I think. I mentioned to you earlier drive, and this is very telling. I found cave-ins official band camp page. If you go to their discography on band camp antennas not even listed on there, so they would like to just pretend like that never even happened, and when you listen to this man stuff. The altro Song I'm GonNa play another cave in song. It's obvious that you know as as much as we love antenna. Thousand totally different. Thing it. It was Stephen. Flexing his his songwriting skills I. think is more like structured. I don't WanNa. Use The word pop by at works like pop songs in you know in the radio format castaway and he was just doing it for RCA just to please the record company. Well, this is this is what he's all about. It's interesting to to ponder that question to. Why did they do it? Because like obviously if if they you know the idea is when you sign to a major record label, your intent in doing that is to get more successful. And more records. And do more touring and stuff like that so I mean with with some of the interviews that I watched. They admit that like we were naive. Shine a bunch of. Nice looking stuff at us like here's all the stuff we can do for you. It was very enticing to them I. Guess you know so. They took the bait. Every band has seems like every band has their horror story. Dealing with a major record label, you know what I mean and then yeah. What happens next is kinda differs right because I mean. There is I mentioned RCA in the record, the record the contract. Is the strokes were signed RCA. Right and they had a longtime. Record deal, and so like that fifth record comedown machine which twenty thirteen. That's why they put. The giant RCA logo on the front of the cover. Because I thought that was a cool cover. Yeah, they're made. It. Kinda looked like a generic. Label cover right yeah I, remember, but they. They purposely made the RC logo bigger than their own name. For that very reason of like you know that's. We're dad's retelling as well. We're done finally that we're done here the last. This is our last record under our ski. In the very first record or the, I'm sorry. The very first track record is called. TAP OUT RIGHT, yeah! That's. That's. I just didn't know that was like standard with RCA. When they signed bands, you know, but either way in was like they. They were wanted. Don Basically you know they're like? This is not for us and I bet you that's true for so many bands man words like. I need more autonomy. Yeah. Well. Dr Do you. Have we got time I? WanNa play. Let me just play a little bit more than another mutilated man song just real quick. I've always got time Q. Good good good Let's see. I'M GONNA. Try and find one with some screaming screaming screams. think. Is Let's try lost in the hive. There it is. Love it, so you don't this album miscue. This is A. I should say what this band is. This is a jam band, did he? This is a let's just get into room. and. Just crank it up and see what happens. I would love to see these guys live. If fuck you, we're. We're GONNA. Get an opportunity to see bands live again which we well I have I'm holding out hope for that this kind of like. Super fast paced technical kinda heavy stuff kind of reminds me of. Mars, Volta or maybe more specifically at the driving Do you ever get into those guys? At the driving. I guess I. Mean specifically the the brothers. delopez boys I think that's her last name. While they're the Mars. Volta came from at the drive in and started from Omar and Marcel their brothers, anyways did fast paced heavy kind of Prague experimental stuff. If you like to admit, you'd probably Dixon Mars Volta and or at the driving. anyways, dude, so yeah, that's all. I got for human, short and sweet today Yeah, by Hey, before we. Jump into our what you heard. Let's take a quick break. And Rebecca. Dude. It's the beloved what you heard segment. I'm GonNa let you go first this time. Dude, so what you got for us. Man What you've been heard lately. High Q. I'm curious to know this pop up on your radar as well. As! We are both mega fans of this group. We did an episode on them. We talked about About their album at data, learn the language Oh. Shit Dude I I have no news on. This bans all right. Strap ended. So the Mercury program is a speaking of math rock. Yes, and math rock, good timing rent. Mostly instrumental. Math rock band which math rock gets kinda thrown around a I've learned over over the years of of kind of looking into math, rock and whatnot. that. The term is usually reserved for something very specific that I would say. Merck program doesn't really fit into but I. Think we call them. We call them math rock because of their complex yeah, the complexity to their their song structures, and like the crazy time signatures and stuff. Like you're saying like think of them and then think of a ban like foles. We've also covered right also math robots. Yeah totally different vibes for sure but math rock can get get the full spectrum to like crazy town with lifetime secretary. Shit, anyway. Mercury Program for the most part is an instrumental post rock group. And so last week they released. On streaming services, their self titled Debut Record, which came out twenty one years ago in Nineteen, ninety nine. If you're if you're a die, hard murky program Fan. I consider myself a diehard mercury carbon. Realize that the record came out I. Probably could have if I if I tried hard enough. It I'm sure it's it's been out there, but now it's more readily available. It's on band camp. It's on spotify. And manage great did. What I like about it is. By, the time you get to data, learn the language a data. Learn the language. It's hard to say. You know they are. They are very much of a jazz oriented. Instrumental rock band. If that makes any sense, you know if you go back and listen to our episode in that I think you'll see what I mean I mean. They've got a xylophone xylophone and stuff like that right, but on the self titled. Record. It's a little bit heavier, which is really great. Cool, so it's mercury program, but it sounds like a record the amount of the nineties so anyway we're GONNA listen to the second track and. I did this last week and since we do I'm going to have to insist that we do it again cue. We listen to the whole track because the best part of this track is the very last moments in the song so all right strap in this is a a three minute diddy by the Mercury program came out in nineteen. Ninety nine. This album or the song is called travelling at night. and. Idea I'm glad we listen to the whole thing. That would have been fun. Era of Mercury, program, to see live dude, yeah, and so what's interesting about it I kept saying that they're instrumental There's a couple of tracks here where he's doing. Almost like a spoken word thing I'm not sure which member of the band is doing that? Yeah I didn't want him. fricken drag on for too long, but I was Gonna ask you like 'cause. You kept saying mostly instrumental. Ban on Mike and I haven't heard them seeing any songs really only on this. This I I mean I I admit I haven't listened to their. The record that came out prior to like I. Haven't listened to. Suits began to fall off. oxy No at the might there might be. There may be something in on their some of that in there, too, but I know on the self titled. Record he's doing like a spoken word thing. That's really interests. yeah, so anyway, It's it's one of those I mean. If you're a mercury program Fan, do you have to listen to it? I've been a fan of everything they've ever done so. They're they're kind of like. I feel Kinda like spoon. The way I feel about spin just to throw them in there because we try to rip A. Reference every episode now dude if I can all right I think we can do that. They can do no wrong in my eyes right, so yeah, anyway, no matter how much they're sound evolves. Around SAN WITH MERCURY PROGRAM All right cool. That's awesome excited to give that a listen. And what have you been heard? All right so. You know this is our back to school segment. We're still hanging out on the school bus. we started a few weeks back with blink one eighty two. Trying to stay in the early Os. ERA OF TUNA JR bands used to listen to in high school. I really wanted to play some youtube man, so this sidetrack is specific to cave in, but I was very close to doing a sidetrack on a band called every time I die. So. Paint a little picture did. GETS A. Little little email. Cuban there is. Visual photographic evidence of you from this era. Were you looking at that, and then you say that law email catered there. I know man and you know what I'm far enough removed from it now I can admit. I mean you started listen man I started dating a girl. Emas I now man. So I was there. I remember. But. Let me just say this. fucking, we'll blown. I I didn't go home loan email. But you you you, you dip your tone it. You know there are some pictures that are pretty damn crazy Leeann. I started like a frigging straightening my hair so that it could be you know classic combed over my I spiked it in the back and like war. Again girl jeans and two all done. We've all done stupid stuff for for love. Look the style like clothing style and all that stuff. I admit it was kind of peer pressure. I started hanging out with people. The dressed like that but I really did get into that kind of music, and it was because I was shown these bands from my girlfriend at the time and. And then I kinda stopped listening to so it was a very small window of time in my life where I was into really hardcore, screama bands, and every time I die was one of them. I can remember writing on the CD are in Sharpy every time I die with the album name hot damn, which came out in I wanNA, say two thousand two. Yeah, So this is the one album there is that I know. I think this is kind of a good transition. Because next week we're going full-on like one of the saddest break-up like Imo albums that I've ever heard We're going to cover emery next week. We'll dive into that a little bit. Let's play a quick song from hot damn and I, just want to warn it just GONNA. Be Some screaming K., nothing but Screamin I think this is a good idea. Primer for what's coming next week I think you're GonNa like it did so. This song is called e Bala Rama. Rama. Blah, So, here's the thing. We're GONNA. You know we're going to dive into this next week. That's not nearly as. Angsty as the band. We're talking about next week. Now. What that is is, it's just metal and punk rock like fuse together, at least that is. That's that's metal. That's metal corden. PUNK and metal. and. It's good Shit Dude. I'm getting back. I'm Kinda getting back into that man. so anyways yet. That was a song called e Bala Rama by a band called every time I die. All Right Travis wanted t us up for next week. Okay. So next week. We are talking about little band called emory and their debut record. The week's end. As in. To Be e Aka the week? The week's end, and like he was saying. It is possibly the most e mode this this podcast It's definitely most email. We've gone so far. And we may never get get this mo again, but we're going to have to talk about this again. Because you know all this lots of different flavors and different waves of. but yeah I think this album the week's end. Is that I think it's the Mo that most people think of when they think of that John Mara. You know it's pretty heavy. There's quite a lot of screaming. And the lyrics are mostly about heartbreak and angsty. The that you go through when your kid or you know when you're a teenager when you're coming of age but there is something about this album, dude, it's another one of those examples Kinda like what we said of cave in this is not an album that I revisit simply furnace Daljit. It is up there for me. One of my favorite albums of all time something about it, Dude. This'll be interesting conversation about this type of music because I think it's really easy to. To, poke fun at it and be like it is. Let's look at Oh. This is corny. That is and right. You know if you if you don't. Appreciate it for what it is. then. Yeah, it is pretty. Corny rain, but if you look at it as a as a piece of Artwork Q. If I may be that bold or whatever you may, you may sir, as far as like the story that's being told the emotions that are genuinely being conveyed Dan, I think you can appreciate it for how effective it is an hour jumping again. We should save all this conversation for next week, but yeah. I'm really this is another. One of those albums dude that from from the beginning of. The idea. To do this podcast. This was there for albums that we absolutely have to cover. Yeah, and I think. I think there's there's moments in multiple songs. Probably the songs we're GONNA talk about. That do the same sort of thing that that breath of water did for his last week with Kevin. Where it's a, it's a eastbound. Yes, it's a moment that is that is pulled off in such an effective way. that. You actually feel something earliest you should if you're if you're if you're a music fan than my guess is. Music moves you in that way. So Yeah Dude. I can't wait to listen to these towns. Man He all right so. That's it did. Let's wrap it up all right so. As we always say. You can find us on. Our website no filler PODCAST DOT COM. We can find all of our previous episodes going back to episode one. Every episode has track listing and sources cited she can kinda dig in a little bit deeper you can see all attracts. Tracks played including. Are What you heard. If, you want to listen to every watching. Heard that we've ever talked about on this podcast. We now have a spotify playlist that we are. Throwing these tracks onto every week, so if you. Subscribe to that. I guess it's not subscribe. If you follow that playlist on spotify, then you will get to hear. The what you heard choice before. The episode drops right because we put it on like I'm watching Clinton. Do it right now. He's he's putting that mercury program track right onto that playlist. Did. Thanks for reminding me. You'll get a sneak peek of our. What your heritage before the episode drops. And yeah kind of the spirit of what you heard. It's very random. We bounce all around Jonah. Wise on on this the segment that we do so it's a good playlist for just random music. Just hit shuffle and let it ride basically. And you can also find us on our podcast network that we are part of Pantheon podcast dot com, where you will find plenty of other great music content music podcast content. Lots of great stuff on that. If you follow the Pantheon feed, basically, you'll get all of our episodes plus every other show that on the network it's sort of a way of just hitting play, and then going from show to show episode episode, great way to to really kind of see what the what the network has offered. So Q.. You Got Natural Lineup for us. I, do so remember I said we would. We would circle back to the year two thousand five. When cave-in got dropped from RCA, or when they left, whatever the case was, and they started writing material for perfect pitch black They released a CA- single. I honestly the only reason I did this for the truth because I love that word and I just discovered it CA- single. It's a single on a cassette. And they released. A and B kinda cassette with two songs and he mentions. When talking about Kinda origins of mutual man. so I'd mentioned that that they had a guy named Ben Koehler. In came in at the time. WHO PLAYS DRUMS? He later joined Mutahi man and Stephen Brodsky says the material picks up from where we left off with the cave in shape shifter dead already 'cause single. So basically. He gave Ben Koehler a call and he said you remember that you know awesome. Little CA- single. Remember those vibes. We were jamming to doing this. Let's try that again. You know so. We're GONNA. Play a song from that cave in Ca- single again came out in two thousand five It's a little bit. More on the heavy toyed man Cana side so. We're going to close us out with that. It's a song called shape shifter, and that's going to do it for today. Thank you so much as always for listening, my name is. My name is Travis. I'll. Take care. Hello everybody I'm kyle and I met and we're from audio judo. The music discovery podcast curious about new music or WANNA. Learn something new about old music and start right here with us Here's a little sample of what we do. Then tonight we are talking about pink Floyd's. A momentary lapse of reason led Zeppelin's houses of the holy. Matthew and the Atlas Hunky Dory by David. Vote, yes, we are awakened my love child Ish Gambino Boston by the band Bosto- yeah. I for sure was never cool enough to Liz Smith. Like I feel like there was this weird entry fee you had to pay in coolness seen the movie less than zero. Yes, they kind of costs about that, okay? Today. We have a very special interview with legendary singer fish. Fish. Cow You've got yeah, just really got scape coal from run the volunteer. Legal until. One of our listeners recently wrote to me and said that he was referring to you and I said I like the cantankerous Gen xer less grumpy, millennial thing you guys have. Let's it if you like to Mike the Little sampling audio judo there. Please give us a listen and if he loved music, come check us out at audio judo, dot, com, or wherever podcasts our podcast.
"Support for this WHYY podcast comes from the Philadelphia speaker series, presented by Thomas Jefferson university. It's next season of diverse ideas and world perspectives at the Kimmel center features. Bob, Woodward, Seinfeld. Jason Alexander and others Philadelphia. Speakers dot org, supporting WHYY Penn Orthopaedics with advanced treatments for hip and knee arthritis and a personal patient. Navigation team the Penn Orthopaedics approach to joint pain is designed to help get you back to enjoying life. Again. More at Penn medicine dot ORG slash joints. Major funding for the pulse is provided by a leadership gift from the Sutherland family charitable fund. The Sutherland support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science I Mike and Scott when you are a Nobel laureate, aka a super successful. Scientist people will often ask you, how did you make your discovery they want you to get the exciting part? You know, don't tell me about all of the time. You spend rolling that boulder up the hill cut to the chase. You can't say to them. Will you see I was working for many years on an animal that was transparent Columbia neuroscientist, Martin Chaffee says this long version matters. So here it goes he was studying the sense of touch using tiny translucent worms which meant because it's only a millimeter long that I took an eyebrow hair glued to a toothpick and tickled the worms. Eventually he got mutant worms that couldn't sense touch. Ric loan those jeans. That's a whole big story of how we did that. All right. We're not getting. Get into that. But after working on worms for about a decade. He attended a seminar on bio luminescent organisms think jellyfish and he heard about what makes them glow green fluorescent protein and it hit him. He could use these proteins get them into his worms and light up some of the processes he was trying to study. I'm going to see where those genes are activists can be in our transparent animal, and that's what he eventually got the Nobel prize for in chemistry together with Assam Oshima Mora and Raja sin for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein usually Martin sums up the whole story. More like this reported into the worms and it worked. But he says by jumping right to the success. You're leaving out. What came before which includes failure lots of failures? We don't talk about how people work out things. How to prob. Himself. How to keep going when you're feeling totally defeated or how to ask for help. It paints a wrong picture of how science works Martin says as young undergrad at Harvard working in a lab, he thought that scientists never failed our head this idea that I needed to prove myself improving myself meant not asking for help and not asking questions all of his experiments failed miserably, and I took that as an absolute indication that I should not be a scientist because scientists are the people succeeded these things it made me abandoned the idea completely after graduating Martin started working as a teacher. It was only by total chance through a summer job that he returned to a lab there. He had some good experiences, and he went back to grad school, and now from his Nobel laureate perch, he wants to spread the gospel of failure in. Science and life failure is both a stumbling block and building block. We lows fear and avoid failure. We feel ashamed when it happens, but it's also often unnecessary learning experience on today's episode failure. How we talk about it and cope with it. More and more colleges are starting conversations about failure. I met up with Martin Chelsea right after he gave a big talk on this issue at Columbia's teachers, college it was a kickoff for a whole series and universities all over the country are doing events like that where people share their struggles and epic fails and how they got back up and moved on. It's part of an effort to get students to ask for help. Rather than give up when failures happen Allen. You has more mentally Balkan was a PHD student. Earning her talked with emphasis in consumer behavior. But standing in her way was statistics. I was feeling really confident about the exam. And then when I got in there, I just broke down in the middle of the exam and just started screaming by this is not what was on. This is not what I study. I just started crying in the middle of the exam. I ended up getting D on it like a high D. And I was like oh my gosh. I'm going to get thrown out of my PHD program, and is gonna be because I can't seem to conquer the statistics in the middle of worries about the future. She shared her fears, she talks to her friends who understood the physics and spend time with them outside clause. And that's how she got help. Here's Angeles on those story. She'd played feud Haughey since seventh grade she loved it and made it onto her college team practiced for hours five days a week. But then got it was like era saying on this team for two years while I might not good enough. Now, it was awful. I it's like hard to describe. But the feeling was is so memorable to me. And then all of a sudden it was like, oh, I don't fit with you at dinner anymore. Like, we would sit every night after practice. Dinner together. Like, we get a table. It'd be the feel architectural, and that's what every sports team kind of did. But now she wasn't on a sports team anymore. Angela felt lost. She called her parents. She called her high school coach in those moments like just following. It was really painful and really hard to talk about and not something I really wanted to acknowledge. But that's what helped him move on. I think I felt better about it rather than letting it just kinda hideaway or be something that was like eating at me a couple of years off to those failures. Both of them aren't doing fine. Natalie. Welcome is now Dr Natalie poke him a professor of marketing Angela found the passion for public health. She's now a health promotion specialist they both shit their experiences onstage and Bentley University in Massachusetts just outside Boston. You're going to have the opportunity to hear from some amazing panelists who are willing to be vulnerable and share their stories of failure. The whole event celebrated failure it's part of that movement to encourage students to get comfortable talking about failures as they happen. And ultimately to get people help when they really need it. There's a similar push in the science world to share recent failures biologist and science up Mariam. Zeroing Hellum is making that log humint. Ho failure story starts a few years ago when she was a molecular biology students she had this big idea for her PHD. How is it that all the cells in body have the same DNA blueprint yet turn out so different the lab work could get pretty tedious and my computer writing code growing up sells like billions and billions of cells billions and billion basically looks like these leader flasks of red fluid extract all of their are in a from that send it off in a vile. She did this five to six days a week in two thousand thirteen her third year. Of doing this work something happened. She came home from thinner and sat down to read a scientific journal as I'm reading I start to notice. Hey, this is exactly what it was that. I wanted to study my advisor sent me an Email and said, oh, no. And they'll the scientist had beat her to it. Her adviser was reading the exact same paper Mariam was reading. She was also panicking it meant that I was kind of out of a research project and had to regroup three years into my PHD that was really upsetting because I'd put three years at that point into trying to into trying to ask this question seemed like somebody else had answered it already and had answered it quite well that was difficult to accept. I had a really hard time getting out of bed. I had a really hard time. Trying to read the research papers that I should have been reading to get more ideas. I didn't see my. Friends very much, but her advisor stepped in and told Maryam to take some time off to regroup. My adviser said that I wasn't going to come up with any new and good ideas when I was really sad. And when I was kind of kicking myself for not being faster a few months later. She went back to work. She came up with a new plan to build on the work that the other research teams had thumb and suggested improvements moat, quite the big boldly facades. She had envisioned but still a step Fullwood. She submitted and gone her PHD. She says talking about failure back then in that low moment was really valuable and she thinks there's value beyond just the person it can help people get a clear and accurate picture of what scientists do. And what they go through scientists aren't used to talking about our emotions and our vulnerability. It's a space. That's very different for us because your emotions don't. Get you grant money, your emotions don't get you funders, your emotions don't get you. Your next publication. Mariam says failure is Paul of science. It's part of the nature of what you do and talking about it would only be an improvement for the field. And I think that we're really doing ourselves into services. Scientists by not talking about those fresh failures because I think that people start to see out devastated. A scientist can be after a failure. But that because they love science so much because we're so passionate about the questions that were asking we will eventually come back with the optimism that the next time. We do an experiment it might work out. That story was reported by Alan you and Allen failure is sort of having a moment right now, they are these universities that are starting up conversations about failure. And also scientists are trying to bring more attention to the fact that mistakes happen. Even in science and also in research publications, right? Yes. So one example of something called the loss of confidence project, which group of psychologists started, and the idea is for them to take a look at the old work and tell people, you know, this doesn't really hold up anymore. And he speaks to the idea that the whole point of science is to learn new things I told to call native scientists Chris Shaprio he's behind that project. Scientist you are known and judged on your body of published work so admitting that there are cracks or flaws in it might be difficult especially for for some people. So we really wanted to sort of provide a social impetus to show people that it's, you know, it's okay. Chris shed one of his early research papers, where he that something that scientists coal p hacking, basically, it means you crunch the numbers until you get the results that you want and his team collected ten more examples from researchers who are willing to take a look at that old. Work more critically and not all of them, a tenured professors with secure jobs. So is the thinking, you know, if we get some people to share mistakes they've made and discuss them publicly, maybe others will follow suit best. Right. And so his vision is that maybe the science journals will have a section for something like this kind of a full room where researchers can learn from each other's mistakes sooner. We didn't want her deathbed confessions. We wanted active researchers to talk about this and to say what they had lost confidence in and the hope is that this will bring about a different process. One west scientists few free to say, you know, I don't think this result really holds up. Thank you, Allen Franks, Mike. Generally, speaking, scientists publicly reviewing their own work finding their own mistakes that doesn't happen. Very few people want to shine a giant spotlight on their own failures. So who's out there looking for bad science, meet a guy who's been nicknamed the data thug James Heather's or come across is sufficiently intimidating to live up to that. Yes. You sound. You sound very intimidating. Oh, thank you very much for saying James is a bio signals researcher at Northeastern University in Boston in the computational behavioral science lab that's his day job. But in his spare time together with other scientists James looks for mistakes and inconsistencies in research. Studies. Can you venture a guess how much of the research that were consuming on a daily basis has prob? Uh-huh. In it. But really depends on what you mean by problems if you mean really serious problems not that much estimates for all forms of serious misconduct and for serious mistakes ole somewhere in the low single figures four normal inconsistencies, it's a lot higher. But it's also a lot harder to determine normal inconsistencies are things like human and machine errors old equipment. Breaking down files being lost mistakes. Made when measurements are taken or coded all of which leads to having incomplete or incorrect data as for major problems. Here's an example, the people James collaborates with found many of them in some research that came out of Cornell University from a really successful and popular scientists, Brian one sink. They didn't find one or two they found one hundred fifty and this is a scientist who has done a lot of research. On nutrition right on the size of plates and the color of plates, and where your toaster is located that kind of stuff, you absolutely toast. A location dynamics we had Brian wanting on the pulse of few years ago. Hey, good morning. Good morning. Good. Born in Philadelphia. Yeah. Yeah. Cool cool and sure enough we talked about toasters mixture. There was no toast, your counter, we did this really cool study called the Syracuse study because we went into two hundred and thirty households and circus, and took pictures of everything they had and weighed the family we found that the average family that has toaster sitting out anywhere in the kitchen. The male of the household will wait will wait eight pounds more than the daddy next door. Why? Well, I think it's largely because it makes breads so attractive. It's like, you know, it wasn't really thinking of bread toast. You know, that's a different story since then seventeen of Brian wanting papers have been retracted he no longer teaches at Cornell. But he says he stands by his work. I s James Heather is how this kind of thing happens. I'm wondering though, how does the scientific community failed to detect such errors the? These papers were published. They got a lot of attention. It seemed legit right? Well, he's a he's a very good presente. And I think he's extremely personable. When he speaks about his research with a lot more dynamism than I can usually must. It's it's on on face value. I think it's it's very interesting to people. You question was like how did this thrive? Yes. And the answer is really simple. Peer review is not designed to detect whether or not numbers exist in the first place. I give you a marvelous example of this. If if we we have children in the room when we give them all twenty jelly beans, and they all eat an average of eight the average of what is left behind his twelve. It's massachu- linen primers. Go those numbers in this paper were the of of that level of simplicity. None of the numbers were consistent. Now when I found that piper one thousand one hundred people had down. Unloaded on read that paper over a period of about a decade. And no one pointed out the fact that the primary school maths didn't add up that is how and said ical to accuracy, the peer review in what we can co post publication review convey think these mistakes happen in the first place because I don't think and I don't want to assume that people said out to do bad science and to put shoddy workout there. I think in general there are an enormous amount of people in science who swimming furiously upstream just trying to keep body and soul together as they are turning their work into publications and turning their publications into careers. It's very hard to be incredibly accurate incredibly fast and science increasingly as a profession demands speed. So is there a way that the field? Of science could embrace the concept of failures more as part of the process, the good and the bad, and and all the mishaps and mistakes that happen or would up -solutely love that. I think it should be okay to say either publish something on top of my paper that expresses concern or retract my paper until I can fix it or help me change this. I would like it. If you could put a note on your own paper that says I've lost confidence in this result will someone come and help me actually solve the problem. You absolutely should be allowed to make a mistake, and then go out owner and fix it. But the idea of Anita put as many published items in order as possible. Is not really congruent with son James Heather's is a bio signals researcher at Northeastern University in Boston. And in his free time. He tracks down mistakes in studies and papers. So I moved my toaster for nothing. I think you should probably go and put that toast back. We're talking about failure. How we deal with it. What we can learn from it medical school is tough competitive exhausting and expensive. Which means the stakes are high list tongue has the story of a student who faced failure and came up with an innovative solution. It was the second round of med school applications for Percy Tachiki hit applied to a dozen schools the year before and didn't get into any of them. So in the spring of two thousand seventeen when he got an Email from one of the schools, he applied to he was expecting a big fat. No. And I'm reading the words, and I'm seeing all positive worries all sorts of gray worries. I'm like, wait. Hold on like gonna accept me in at the bottom. They're like oh years the award package, and I was in disbelief. I started crying tears of joy, it was a huge moment for Percy it decided in college that he wanted to be a doctor. It's sort of a family business. His brother's a doctor his mom, a nurse, and he liked the idea of service. But there was something else. Driving Percy a few years before while Percy was still in college. His mom had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer Percy's has visiting his mom the hospital during the last year of her life helped cement his drive to become a doctor got to see different physicians who would care for her. And I saw some really great ones, and I saw some really bad ones. And I think just seeing that while like a low these people are doctors, not every doctor's great doctor. You know, I wanna be able to go into this field, and how Rusape it or kind of help change the landscape, even after perseus mom died that determination stuck with him. It kept him going through a whole extra year of pre-med classes, and then two more years of working full-time while studying for his m cats, the notoriously tough admissions test for medical students all the way to the fall of twenty seventeen. Which is when Percy started his first year at P, calm, the Philadelphia college of osteopathic medicine Percy says he went in confident well sort of I was good. I'll be honest. I was scared. But I did think I was just gonna come in and kill it Percy had always been a smart guy, and he knew how to work hard. But like a lot of med students. He wasn't prepared for this year volume of material. He had to learn each and every week this analogy that medical school is like taking a fire hose sticking in their mouth and his turn on full blast. That's almost information. You're getting that first trimester Percy had three main classes, he was doing well in the first two, but the third one, and anatomy course, was just so much information. They got tested on every two weeks which was daunting enough. But there was something else that made this class, especially scary. If you do not pass it then unfortunately, you have to retake do over the whole year. Let me repeat that this. Class is so important that if you fail you essentially have to drop out for the rest of the year and start over from scratch the following fall. It only took a couple exams for Percy to realize that failing the class was a real risk hit never had to learn this much stuff in his life. It was completely overwhelming. But Percy Denness for help. He felt like he had to figure this out on his own and the worst. He did the more isolated he became kinda felt like it was you know, like a snowball rolling down a hill. And the keeps building up. It was just it was just downhill, and it was it was it was hard for me to come back from the whole that Doug myself in soon Percy's fear of failure started affecting his studies. And it would just keep coming into my head was going to happen. If I don't pass. What would he do if he failed? How would he tell people? I didn't know what what what will life was going to be like after I didn't pass, you know, even just having a conversation in the hallways. You see people people are prepping for this class. Like, oh, you know disability. No identity pass. This course, there was also a more practical concern Percy had paid for his tuition along with this housing. His bills textbooks using financial aid money, and he knew that loan money with contingent on his being enrolled in school. Didn't even know how all this going to live where it was gonna live out. I was going to have money for that. And I was scared not knowing how to approach have conversations with professors to not seem as though I had given up for Percy. That's how taboo, the idea of failing was he needed help. But he couldn't bring himself to discuss the possibility with his professors, even at the risk of facing potential homelessness are think a lot of they're still shame associated with with struggle Stewart Slavin's whole job is to study well being among med students. He used to be a med school. Dean and now works at the accreditation. Council for graduate medical education that organization responsible for crediting med schools. And Stuart says. Medical students are especially vulnerable to this. Shame and stigma associated with academic failure. If you reveal to others that you're struggling people will think you're weak that that you're not as tough as everybody else. Stuart says that competitiveness and the intense fear of failure that it brings is part of the culture medical school. He says that's partly because a lot of programs have unrealistic expectations, and partly because of the students themselves, they view performance as identity many of them, right? So so they don't see themselves as oh, I got this test score is I am this test score. What makes things worse is that according to Stewart, those thoughts can lead to some really serious problems. Studies show that medical students have depression and anxiety at rates as much as three to five times higher than the general public and that can lead to a vicious cycle. Fear of failure leads to anxiety and depression, anxiety and depression can disrupt students lives leading to actually fail. So how'd you break this cycle to find out? I turned to Angela Duckworth. She's a psychology researcher at the university of Pennsylvania, better known as the author of the book grit. You know, what I notice about gritty women and men across a different fields is that there is a kind of underlying confidence about what they are going to be capable of at some point. I don't think it's the same thing as era Gance about what they are currently capable of today. In fact, I think actually knowing what you can't do is important because with gritty individuals that are just always learning and improving its what psychologists call a growth mindset, basically the belief that you can get better smarter more skilled by challenging yourself. It's opposite is the fixed mindset would says ability is eight either have it or you don't would distinguish the two is how they react to failure people with fixed. Mindsets see as evidence that they don't have what it takes and never will people with growth mindsets on the other hand are more likely to embrace. Failure to see it as an opportunity to learn and improve Angela says it helps to think of your life as a story your narrative. The idea is not to tell perfect story. The idea is not even to tell like the best possible, sir. Just to tell east story one possible. So that you can be proud of. And if I were a medical student who had just failed my first year. I would certainly say this is a really grim chapter. Right. It's a low point in the narrative like let's not kid ourselves. But I would think about it as like, okay? What happens next in the story, and we've all read enough stories and listen to enough stories to know that you know, the greatest people alive have had those chapters for Percy that chapter became real. When he received his grades for the first trimester. It was the moment of truth had he passed his anatomy class or not ended up with a sixty percent. And you needed a seventy two points off. It was pretty tough to take. But it wasn't a disaster. Percy had thought it would be he found out. He could hold onto his financial aid by continuing to take supplementary classes until fall arrived. And he was able to start his first year over again, it could have been a grim nine months, but instead Percy decided to make something productive out of it. He started working out reconnected with friends figured out which study methods worked best for him. And he even started thinking about failure differently in order to get to where we want to get to or going to have failures. They your lead us into success. That's how Percy decided to launch his own podcast behind the white coat failure and perce e v Ren's get it was going on. Folks feels great to be back man this past trimester was rough one so far Percy's Moseley interviewed other med students. He talks about his failures. They talk about there's and then when I took step probably my darkest time medical school because. Because that was how they dealt with it what they learned from it. And how they eventually muddled through to the other side Percy says hearing other people's stories and thinking about his own has already helped and hope that when people started to see the. Oh, wow. All these people who are doing all of these wonderful things they went through a whole bunch of trials and tribulations, you know, they had a whole bunch of failures, and they would allow other people to open up and share their stories, and you make other people not discourage the keep pushing forward that's all Percy imagines his own story will go he went back to school in the fall of twenty eighteen back to his first trimester. And the anatomy class that he didn't pass and this time he confronted his weaknesses head on. For instance, e figured out that flash cards helped him target the material he knew the least and that living a balanced life was ultimately better for his academics than all night. Cram sessions so far it seems to have worked he passed that anatomy class and now he's in his third trimester. But he says. School is still really hard and his fear of failure hasn't gone away, the differences now instead of imagining every detail of his own failure. He tries to keep the faith that eventually hill succeed for the pulse. I'm Liz tongue. Van the white hope filled. You impressing be rinsed. Do one from. Pass them by from just the willingness to the sky now take this journey with student doctor personally, fear. We're talking about failure. How we cope with it? And how we can learn from it a new documentary called right to fail looks at an ambitious effort to give New Yorkers with severe mental illness the chance to live independently in what's called supported housing. It was a landmark Warwick Rosen's of New Yorkers with severe mental illness had a right to live on their own. It was a huge question about whether people that have been institutionalized can live successfully in the community and the right to scissors taught me than zoo apartment prep line and propublica examined the challenges and the risks. My brother was found. Totally naked was he taking his medication. We'll see not taking many Asian. What was going on? Steph yin looked into right to fail and some of the issues around supported housing that are covered in the documentary. And she's here now to talk more haste of hey, Mike. So steph. What is supported housing? And ideally, what should it look like? So how it works is that people would get their own apartment and someone from a social service agency was supposed to come check on them a few times a week. But for the most part people had the freedom to run their own errands, cook their own meals and go about their days as they wanted. So it was supposed to be less restrictive, but people still had support. Yes. In theory. So what happened? So what the investigation found was that for many people this setup worked just fine. Some people even flourished, they built their own lives and their own friends networks, but there were other people for which the setup didn't work. So well, I talked to Joaquin Sapien who investigated this for propublica. Many of these people had lived in institutions for decades for their entire adult life. It never lived on their own and they became accustomed to. To having a lot of things done for them laundry being fed calls to take your medication things like that. So canes team looked into what happened to some of the people who moved out of adult homes into their own apartments, and they found more than two dozen cases where the system totally fell through and people ended up getting seriously hurt or even dying one of the people that we focused on in. Our story is a guy named Abraham Clemente who lived in his own apartment for less than a year, and it really devolved very quickly into a squalid situation. I mean, the whole apartment was alive with insects. Abraham also accidentally started to fires in its kitchen. And ultimately, he ended up back in the group home. So this didn't work out for him. And for others. I looked at the documentary, and they. Also talked to a man name Nestor bunch. Yes, Nestor has severe schizophrenia. He has trouble telling his hallucinations from reality. And he's pretty much lived under some form of supervision his entire adult life. He moved into one apartment wound up having a suicide attempt was then moved in with a roommate who his caregivers thought might be able to take care of him. He found that roommate naked in dead in the foyer of their shared apartment building. So that roommate had died of hypothermia and what happened to Nestor after that? So Nestor was really traumatized by that afterwards. He moved a couple more times Emma's alternately found in another apartment injured with an inch of his life. His doctor suspected he had been brutally beaten up possibly by his roommate and even after all of that state wanted to keep him in his own place in. So what we saw was that. There was an effort to kind of key. Keep people in their own apartments once I'd moved no matter what. So they were dust. There were injuries this documentary is called right to fail. Why this title why not just straight up failure right to fail is a term used by advocates and people working in the field of supported housing to convey that these people should have the freedom to live like anyone else in the least restrictive setting with adequate supports and that includes the freedom to try things that might lead to failure. So I talked about that with Tony laszewski executive director of the association for community living most of us in the mental health world believe that people should be giving enough space to take risks. Because after all nobody really moves vote in their lives unless they take some risk. Tony represents nonprofits from around New York state that provides supported housing to people with mental illness. They're called housing providers. When somebody moves out of there. Parents home. They're taking a risk when they change jobs. They take a risk when somebody moves out of an institutional setting into an independent apartment. They're taking a risk. There's no doubt about it. And a person with a serious mental illness is probably feeling more anxious than most about a step like that. But it doesn't mean that we shouldn't allow them to do it. And we shouldn't support them in doing it. Tony says that the vast majority of people who move out of adult homes into supported housing do just fine. But she acknowledges that there are people who fall through the cracks. She thinks this system needs better ways to detect when someone's illness starts to deteriorate. So what are they gonna do better in New York? How would they catch somebody before they totally deteriorate? Yes. So one of the things that stood out to the reporter Joaquin was that there are so many players involved in this system. You have the state the housing provider the social service agencies the individual workers who are underpaid and. Burnt out and the lines of communication and accountability between these people aren't very clear until recently, the state didn't even have an incident tracking system all that leads to people pointing fingers instead of taking action when something goes wrong, part of the solution seems to be just consolidating and clarifying who's responsible for what has there been any reaction on a government level to this documentary at all, yes. After the documentary, aired a federal judge ordered an investigation of the quality controls of supported housing. So everyone's waiting for those results now and both Joaquin Antoni agree that the entire system is totally underfunded and desperately needs more money to work properly. Thank you. So if the documentary is called right to fail. It's a collaboration between frontline and propublica, and we'll put a link on our website, WHYY dot org slash the pulse. So what makes a failure a failure? I guess it depends on who you ask. And what metric you're using in your evaluation money popularity scientific achievement. Sometimes you get one. But not the other Lindsey Lazar ski has this example from the world of technology. Have you ever heard of the RCA videodisc know, that's fine. Most people haven't now what's that? Oh, no, no. What? Or C as a recording company. All right. Here's the back story. The RCA video disc was a short lived entertainment format developed by the Radio Corporation of America. And it was essentially a way to store a video on a record on a vinyl record. That's technology. Historian. Ben Grosse from the Linda hall library in Kansas City. He is a collection of these things and brought one with him the one that's in my hand right now is a movie called Star Wars. You might have heard of it. So about the size of a regular L P, and it's encased in a protective sleeve if you were to play this. You would not actually take the record out yourself with your hands. Because the groups are so small that you might end up getting dirt or dust or something else into them. And then the record wouldn't play right? The disk is encased in a protective sleeve and can only be removed by the player to your hands and never touch it and it won't be damaged. So instead, you would put it into your video disc player, which you'd have hooked up to your TV kind of like a DVD player or a VCR. You would kind of. Slide it in. It would click you pull out the sleeve and the disc would stay inside the player and ring not to found but found and pictures, clear beautiful pictures right into your living room to build this analog system. Engineers had to figure out a way to cram all the information of a feature length film sound images color into the grooves of a record. And you would read it with a needle in this case a diamond stylus with metal electrode at the bottom. Each side of the disc could hold an hour of a movie, and then you had to flip it to the other side engineers, and scientists are CA began developing this technology in the nineteen sixties after color television had become a hit. At that time. The only way to watch a film in the comfort of your own home was if you had a projector in screen RCA was always interested in coming up with the next big electronic breakthrough. So they started thinking to themselves. What sort of thing would be a good follow up product and one technology that jumped out was some sort of home video player engineers had a couple of different technologies that could serve as the basis for this system magnetic tape like in a VCR or Eliezer based system in DVD's, but they ended up going with what they knew vinyl. It was easy to mass produce them. They had a lot of experience making records, and they could stamp them out pretty quickly. Once they figured out how to actually encode the information inside the grooves. Then it was a relatively straightforward compared to making a tape based system, and it was less expensive than something that used lasers RCA released. The video disc in nineteen eighty one with a splash why from NBC. Studios in New York City. Arm CA presents a year with our name on it. But evening and welcome to NBC studio. Eight h I'm Tom Brokaw. NBC news tonight. We are going to be part of an story event in the home entertainment industry. Chairman at good Griffiths said the company invested more in the videodisc than it had in black and white or color television in our judgment. This will be the most dramatic and important consumer product since the introduction of color, but it wasn't. It was a massive flop. There were several problems with the video disc. The biggest one being the timing of its release by the time. The video disc was released VH s was already on the market, and it could do something video disc couldn't record your favorite program or sports game. And watch it later laser discs were also entering the field. Then there was a new and emerging business model that are CA had an anticipated rentals. The company assumed that people would have video disc elections just like they did record collections today. Many of us have VCR's and DVD players collecting dust in our basements, not video displays they just never took off. Well, that is one of the most tragic parts of the story is that RCA spent an enormous amount of money to make this happen in the end when they decided in nineteen Eighty-four to kind of wind down video production. The total loss was calculated at around five hundred eighty million dollars. It was a significant enough loss that the company was put into financial peril and by nineteen Eighty-six. They were bought out by General Electric. This was the last great consumer electronics product that RCA ever tried to release, but despite its commercial defeat, then says the ingenuity of the video disc is a reminder that the line between success and failure isn't always. So. Cut from a technical perspective. The video disc is a remarkable technology. Right. Figuring out how to take all of the video and audio information from a two hour long movie and put it within the grooves of a vinyl record. That is a very difficult technical achievement. And the fact that RCA scientists and engineers were able to figure out how to do that. And not only how to do that. But how to turn it into a commercially viable product is extremely impressive at the same time technical brilliance doesn't necessarily translate into commercial success. So here was a technology that was for a variety of reasons not able to eke out a market share. And ultimately was consigned to oblivion. That science historian Ben Grosse and Lindsey Lazar ski reported that story. So failure is in the eye of the beholder the framework matters a few years ago, I hung out with some very special Uman's who don't care if they failed. In fact, that's pretty much all they do all day long. And they seem to be undeterred by it. Let's listen back. How? Ten months old Henry Bechtel ones. Nothing more than to put his little hands on my microphone, but he just can't get there. Try as he might to stand Saltzman is a year and a half. And she's having a terrible time. Trying to put colorful rings on wooden stakes. There goes the whole thing falling on the floor. Olivia. And I were also experiencing a pretty serious failure to communicate. Crash, but that pay. Finally, she holds up a tiny crested object which belongs to one of Princess dolls crash. Oh, purse, and she just doesn't seem to care. That's because at this precious age from birth to about eighteen months kids, only feel the primary emotions joy, and sadness, and anger and fear and disgust and one other which is surprise Catherine dolls guard is a psychologist at the children's hospital of Philadelphia. And she says that limited range of emotions means blissful. Ignorance children are busy busy busy in the first year of life trying to learn how to talk and how to walk and how to use fine and gross motor skills, and how to have their movements correspond to what their brain is saying to do. So basically the first year of life is about learning literally learning to walk the walk and talk the talk. So they don't have time or the capacity to know how they are in relation to others to judge. Themselves in relation to others. All of those things think about it. How would you learn to crawl stand walk or talk? If you were secretly wondering, why Hudson over there can already get up the steps, even though he was born two months after you or why little Ella? With her. Perfect hair is already forming three word sentences show off dolls guard says that all of those more complex emotions envy jealousy pride. The baggage. Perhaps all that comes later around two years of age, they are called the social emotions, it means that the child has developed the capacity to understand herself in relation to others. And once kids understand the concept of achievement and failure on a more complex level. Parents play an important role in framing how they deal with setbacks and dolls guard says many overdo it big time krone ups are bylabatry mounts a child fails. And it's oh, it's okay. It's okay. It's okay. Don't were. It's just a mistake. Oh, it's okay. If it's not perfect. We can we can give you new piece of paper. Look you can drought. Again, the did. And the message that children get from. That is oh my gosh. My failure has made my mother anxious look at how much she is trying to correct it or fix it. Or sue that? It must be a big deal instead dolls guard encourages parents to allow failure to happen. And if nobody's heard give your child space to deal with it feeling distress is a normal an important part of growing up and being able to deal with that distress and move on dolls guard says that's what's going to count in the long run. There's a lot of research that says the better you are regulating your emotions the th the ability to soothe yourself the ability to put the painful event that just happened to you into perspective. And then shoes how to express your motions about? That is one of the main predictors of adult success, so dealing with kids failure is yet another thing parents can fail it. And that's not all researchers have. I also found that how parents praise their children's successes impacts. How kids will deal with future challenges praising behaviors rather than making glowing blanket statements, so nice work drawing that elephant rather than? Oh, wow. You're the best artists ever that seems to help kids develop a healthy attitude toward learning new skills and potential failure. Moment happy when? That's our show for this week. The pulses a production of WHYY in Philadelphia. Our health and science reporters are Alan you list. Hung jets Lehman and Steph yet Julian Harris is our intern. We had helped producing this week's episode from Joseph Redman Charlie Kyler is our engineer Lindsey Lazar ski is our producer Tanya English is our editorial director, I'm Mike. Instead. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare WHYY's health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from public health management corporations public health fund, P H, M C gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.
With A Big Pop Sound And Sticky Turn Of Phrases, The Beths Are Taking Over
"Support for NPR and the following message. Come from RCA records, presenting pinks new album hurts to be human featuring the hit songs. Walk me, home and hurts to be human featuring Khalid available everywhere now. You're listening to world. Cafe I am Kalaheo today? We've got a mini concert from a rising band in the indie pop scene the Beth's. And yes, there is an Elizabeth leading the band, but there's also Jonathan Benjamin. And for today's session a tristen for those wondering where those harmonies are coming from the baths were studying jazz at Auckland University when they founded the band in two thousand fifteen since releasing their debut, EP warm blood they've attracted more attention and praise including opening up for death cab for Cutie and playing south by south west last year, they released their full length debut future me hates me, despite the big pop sound on the record lead singer, Louis Stokes can catch you off guard with a turn of phrase or dig at emotional insecurity with her delivery. You hear it all over future? Me hates me future. You will not regret hearing this session. Let's get started with a performance of the title track. Its future me hates me. The baths on world cafe. The future calls. The. Aw. It's world cafe a live performance instr- record for the cafe from the bats. That is uptown girl before that future me hates me. And that is the name of their debut album, which came out last year in-studio Liz Benjamin Jonathan entering member. Tristen hanging out playing some great songs, including this one. It's happy unhappy from the baths on world cafe. The. Takeout. That. Everything. Free things. Why? I have been. Breast. Please. Pressed. Felt so good the bats in studio for world. Cafe you wouldn't like me? Also, happy unhappy definitely wanna thank Liz Jonathan Benjamin. And tristen from the bats for hanging out with us today. Their debut album is called future me hates me. It's available now, I'm Kaleo. Thanks for listening to the world. Cafe.
Electronic Television: A Great Depression And The World's Fair | 2
"It's nineteen thirty. The world is stuck in the early stages the great depression many Americans lift their spirits at the new moving picture shows in theaters and nickelodeon 's Buster Keaton Charlie Chaplin comedies. These films are often introduced with Mickey mouse cartoons or newsreels one newsreel in particular dazzles the audience with the promise of soon bringing these new moving picture shows into their very own homes presents. A backstage preview television the newest miracle of modern Electrical Engineering Mr penalty shown shown at the right is working on the image dissect to photoelectric camera. Tube of his own invention that distinguishes his system of television from others. It is said to be responsible for the most clearly defined television pictures placed in the second of this receiving system is a funnel shaped cattle due the round flat surface of its bulb becomes the picture screen in Studio Monitor. It does it as well. As in home receiving sense the image detector Tube and the Cathode Ray tube are the heart and brain system. Television Vilo Farnsworth's image to sector tube and camera system had finally brought the long anticipated picture radio into being station equipment. The electrons become radio impulses to broadcast and picked up by receiving sense where the routine is with us. The radio impulsive becoming points of light that appear on the screen as picture thirty pictures. I completed every second. These earliest television programming was live performance music and sound accompanied. The OBAMAS was action both visible and audible elements going on the air in perfect synchronization battling with the speed of light to amaze of tubes and equipment. The show leaves the station send the towers viewed by the television public and audience as yet small and comparatively ignorant of the research and experiment. That makes it possible rush to see and hear people many miles away watching this newsreel in the movie theater. The audience is intrigued but sceptical. The most fanciful dream of mankind is day startling reality destined to become the world's most popular science in one thousand nine thirty in San Francisco. Two years have passed since Filo funds worth with help from his wife. Pam Gardner and her brother cliff triumphantly showed off off a working prototype of electronic television. Violence picture was on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle under a headline that called him a genius is name was being being mentioned in newsreels magazines journals and the Associated Press but he hadn't yet found a manufacturer to partner with so financially files fortunes agents hadn't changed Penn gave birth to their first son. Filo T farnsworth third the previous year and a second son. Kenny would follow in nineteen thirty one but now a curious envelope in the days male brings a new possibility. You got a letter here. Filo says it's from New York I can't believe. RCA is offering one hundred thousand dollars for the image sector would. That's wonderful that exactly pam they want to own it outright i. It's not ideal but one hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money. Not compared to what television will eventually be worth. It's a mistake to cash in too soon like this. We have to keep the faith. I understand. Filo it's your invention that's Pammy. It's not it it never was. It's it's all of the great minds that have come before to make this possible. And it's you it's cliff. All of us were a team but they wanna buy our work and call it. There's it's just not fair. They can license it if they like. I've spent my entire life working towards this Pam. It's like it's like trying to sell one of our children. The Lord will provide Filo a a few weeks later. The farnsworth's receive another big opportunity with visit to the lab from United Artists. The Film Production Company was Silent Age Film Stars like Charlie the chaplain. Douglas Fairbanks D W Griffith and Mary. PICKFORD PICKFORD is especially enthusiastic. We just had to see this amazing new television system. We've heard so much about it. But when the time comes the image to sector won't cooperate Filo is rattled. I I'm sorry folks. This is humiliating million chaplain smiles. Don't sweat it. I've seen worse like Douglas's latest picture a few hours later. After the stars leave cliff finds the problem on a wire wasn't plugged in it. Was that simple Dan. How did I not see that Pam tries to reassure him? Mary Pickford was here. We were all a bit distracted. It did keep the faith Filo when a third opportunity knocks a few weeks later Filo is determined to answer the call this time. FILC who radio in Philadelphia. They they they want to license the Patents Fund our research. But it'll still be ours with some help Vilo at Phil Co so in Philadelphia moving from the bay area to the city of brotherly love. What do you think it sounds great? And so the Farnsworth family packed packed their bags with their belongings precious equipment and board a train to head across the country to Philadelphia Pennsylvania. His family counting on him. Kylo could only pray he was making the right decision. From wondering this is American innovations and I'm Steven Johnson. You're listening to part two of our series on the invention of television part one we we followed Filo t farnsworth on his journey to create the first working prototype of electronic television the realization of a dream that came to him when he was only fourteen years old working on his parents. Farm an Idaho without personal funds formal training or even a college education Filo managed to develop one of the most significant significant inventions of the twentieth century. But while file was building gizmos out of a loft in San Francisco. The Radio Corporation of America is already plotting auden domination for the yet to be television industry under the leadership of a man named David Sarnoff by the end of the decade the first commercially available and mass produced. TV will debut at the nineteen thirty nine world's fair in New York City but it will be yet another decade before the product takes off. This is part part of our series on television a great depression and the world's fair New York City nineteen thirty. David Sarnoff arrives at his corner. Office on the top floor of the building at Thirty Rockefeller Center SARNOFF is the president of RCA and NBC. He's tall commanding broad shouldered man with dismissive expression and tone that sounds caustic. Even when he means to be it kind. Good Morning Mister. SARNOFF morning sarnoff passes. His Secretariat shuts his office door behind him. He takes in the Manhattan skyline with crossed arms Almost defiantly he was never aired to view like this and he's not sure it will be his forever. It doesn't come from privilege. He was born to a poor Jewish family in Russia and moved to New York City in one thousand nine hundred. When he was ten years old he started working immediately to help his family as a paper boy and his father died of tuberculosis hostess? He dropped out of school to work fulltime I at. At and T.. As a call operator but he quit when he wasn't allowed to take a day off for Rosh Hashanah. The second time me applied for a job was his last. Sarnoff became an entry level. Radio operator. Marconi Wireless Telegraph company. He climbed the ranks. SA- company was transitioning listening to become RCA and eventually wound up its chief executive SARNOFF. Tenacity and foresight was on display early. It's The Sunday night in one thousand nine hundred twelve sarnoff working as a radio operator. Discovers an SOS signal broadcasting the names of survivors of a massive shipwreck braff by the drama. He listens into a receiver. Then shouts out the names signaling for his coworkers to write them down. James Cooley James W Cooley Douglas. Winston Douglas Winston one executive turns to another. What's his kid think he's doing? What's going on? The titanic. Went down now. The curb atheist got seven seven hundred seven hundred and twelve survivors aboard. And these are the names. Who else has this just us? Just sarnoff every other wireless station has gone dark. He told them to the third executive jumps in. He didn't want the interference. Wow would there have been interference. PROBABLY NOT MR and Mrs Theodore Mary Very Weather Theodore meriwether. Mr and Mrs at this time radio was considered to be a military device mostly used for communication between between maritime vessels. The assumption was radio. Technology would be used like a better version of telephone but the SARNOFF. The potential is so much bigger than anyone else was imagining. Thank sarnoff envisioned. A signal related from one point to hundreds thousands maybe millions of listeners. A broadcast he imagined sending out whether reports sports for farmers music and entertainment for the masses. Zun after the titanic incident Marconi was bought out. By General. Electric Marconi was a British owned company. The US government decided it was probably a bad idea for all of their wireless communications to be controlled by a foreign company. So President Woodrow Wilson arranged for GE to buy the the American branch of Marconi. That's how the Radio Corporation of America was born in one thousand nine hundred nineteen Surhoff spouses. Didn't care to entertain the idea of broadcast when he pitched it to them nonetheless in January nineteen twenty one he arranged for the latest Jack Dempsey heavyweight fight to be broadcast on. RCA Stations Thirty thousand people listened to the fight and after that the demand for home radio sets skyrocketed in the booming economy years following the first World War radio became a defining defining new luxury item for Americans the RCA purchased its first radio station and established the National Broadcasting Company also known as NBC under Sarnoff Leadership Radios Potential became clear to investors. RCA was one of the hottest stocks on the market making sarnoff the most powerful awful man in the telecommunications industry until the market crashed and suddenly it was as though everything Sarnoff at built was a house of cards in nineteen thirty. RCA stock also faced antitrust charges from the Department of Justice for being a patent monopoly with an inflated value two years later RCA stock. DOC would hit a new low of two dollars and fifty cents per share. Now sarnoff stares out the window defiantly the city is a mirage. It's not real nothing. Nothing can be trusted. No one can no one but yourself just as he saw the future in Radio Sarnoff knows the television could be an even bigger success with limitless. Potential it just needs to work. That's why he spent as much as he has buying at researchers like Vladimir Zora Rican. misters Rican please. Come in. We can enters the room with calm. Precision is a middle aged man with a slightly aristocratic Russian accent. Thank you can I get you something to drink. Taste of the home country Yes if not for this silly. American Prohibition Law SARNOFF unlocks a safe below his desk. It pulls out a bottle begins to fill to tumbler glasses. I'm a man of means. Misters Oregon and men of means have ways of getting what others can't have he slides a glass to Zuri can and then hands him the entire bottle for you. Keep it in your desk. Like SARNOFF. Zorkin was born in Russia but whereas Sarnoff was working to support his family before he turned ten so rican was the son of a prosperous merchant as a teenager he studied at the elite Saint Petersburg Institute would of technology where he was mentored by one of his professors. Or as Rosen together Rosenman so rican were among the earliest researchers in television transmissions although although their approach involved in mechanical devices transmitter not electrons like Farnsworth's designed Roseling and so we can unveiled the world's first demonstration of TV TV of any kind back in nineteen twelve in one thousand nine hundred eighteen the Russian civil war forrest Sawyer we can flee the country after revolutionaries burned his family home he and his wife Tatyana traveled the world before landing in the US where he found work at Westinghouse in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. It was here that he began working on his. I kinda scoop. His name for the camera tube. That transmitted pictures from point A. TO POINT B.. The design was more sophisticated than Farnsworth's in the theory was brilliant but in practice. You never figured out how to get the thing to work nonetheless jerrycan patented as work under the vague title of television system in Nineteen twenty-three Nineteen thirty Sarnoff had recruited the best researchers to develop an invent for RCA. The deal was while working at RCA. You would be paid well L. But anything you invented would be the property of our CIA once you sign over your patent you received credit and a check for one dollar to formally exchange ownership Sarnoff specifically recruited so we can to ensure the when television was invented. It wasn't it Westinghouse or Edison or anywhere else is adamant that television will be invented by RCA and now drinks in hand. He turns to his trusted researcher of ladd. My friend where are we with this iconic scope of yours. There's Oh yes the comments. We've made great progress. I'm not interested in progress. I'm interested in results. The results are not quite there yet. But it's it's I've heard enough. Glad I want you to go and check out this Farnsworth's lab but if he already declined as offer sarnoff wields. RCA's as capital with blunt force. He searches out any patents related to television and he buys the mount he's built an empire or put it another way a patent monopoly -opoly now all that stands in his way is a farm boy and his friends well on this trip. Let's just say your an investor independent of RCA. I want you to look at his so-called image sector and tell me what it has your COSCO blacks. What do you think of this idea so we can understand what's being asked asked him? SARNOFF wants him to spy to steal. It's unethical and illegal. And Zuri can feels disgusted with himself even considering it if another man. Install his invention sir. We can knows how upset he'd be on the other hand as a scientist he is curious to see what Farnsworth is doing differently. Not just with the image to sector. What kind of person turns down a hundred grand and a guaranteed job especially during the great depression you wants to size up his competitor and so oh he agrees not that he feels? He has any real choice in the matter. I'm sure my wife would love a chance to see California. Well Give Tatiana my regards but Mr Farnsworth earth is an in California anymore. He's in Philadelphia. It's a day-trip few not a vacation. Why is he in Philadelphia because right? After he turned me down he accepted opted. An offer from the race has begun but anything I might see protected by his patent anyway. Man Doesn't have the means to enforce a patent. The next time I see you you better be looking at a damn television picture. So we can nods and exits and SARNOFF stays turns again to the window. He can see for miles and there's not a cloud in the Aski- two thousand twenty shows up in a lot of science fiction. A lot of people predicted that by now it'd be teleporting to work or living on Mars and a lot of those predictions were wrong. The truth is will always get the future wrong which is why we need to get life insurance right. That's where policy genius can help policy genius makes finding the right life insurance breeze in minutes you can compare quotes it's from top insurers to find your best price in fact you could save fifteen hundred dollars or more a year by using policy genius to compare life insurance policies. Once you apply the policy genus team will handle all the paperwork and red tape one of our ad producers here at wondering just used policy genius to apply for Life Insurance and she. The process has truly been painless and that the customer service has been stellar so if your science fiction dreams for twenty twenty still haven't become science fact. Don't get discouraged reached get life insurance it takes just a few minutes to find your best price and apply at policy genius Dot Com policy. Genius will always get the future wrong. Better get life insurance right. It's May nineteen thirty Philadelphia and Zoran is arriving at filers lab via the greets him with a firm handshake and a wide smile. And right away. Things do not go as planned. Zero Rican Vladimir's Oregon from Westinghouse. I have been following your work for years. It's it's very impressive. My whole lab. We're big fans of your work. What brings you here so much for? So Ricans undercover undercover spy mission but Filo assumes that so he can will want to license the image to sector for himself and his flattered so we can continues on well. I heard you moved moved to the East Coast. You could say I'm I'm looking to invest but mostly I'm here to see you of course I've been following your career closely to the famous image to sector now beams of light like like plowing a field yes hotter sir and frankly you couldn't have come at a better time. We're looking for new investors. I'm sure it's a difficult opposition. You find yourself in all alone now with the stock market crash and people are scared. I've seen it before you have when the revolutionaries burn my family's family's ancestral home well would you like to see it. The image detector Vilo doesn't consider the possibility that story can might steal his work. How could he? He filed a patent years. AGO is work is public record in his mind. He's not giving anything away. That isn't already there. Except except that's exactly what he does and check this out here. This is the real genius of it. By God you seal the Pyrex to it was my understanding that this was impossible. The greatest researchers on the planet told me that sealing a flat optical disc into the end of a vacuum without it exploding it was simply not possible. Yup told me about it. Two dozen glass blowers in the bay area said the same thing to us. I must say this is truly beautiful instrument. I wish I had invented it. Well I can't take full credit it for this is cliff my brother-in-law he's the one who made the two. It's a good thing we didn't tell him. It was impossible before he did it. And of course this is my wife Pam. She's the true brains operation and that sound is our newest team. Member may be Kenny after some cordial Chitchat so we can thanks Filo and takes his leave once he's on on his own. He rushes to grab a pen and pad to describe every last detail of the image sector especially the sealed pyrex to a revelation to him. He Census and this is a telegram to his team and instructs him to immediately get to work just one month later at the RCA lab and Camden New Jersey so we can produces a working television picture somehow even better than what Filo produced as the electrons fire in the images play across the screen around of cheers swells up in the room. Champagne glasses clink. Filled with Prohibition Friendly Soda Pop. sarnoff looks at Ceriga. Looks Pretty Grim for a celebration vlad the creation as finally gone to life trying to act a little enthused. Yes yes of course. This is a great day for us. Nothing needs to be said for them to both understand the truth so we can never wanted to plagiarize to steal and it hurts the pride of both men to know that happen as much as they try to ignore it yes. He regrets robbing robbing another man of his do but some part of him feels. It's Karmic justice so we can can't help but feel robbed at the life. He should have had if he hadn't been forced to flee if if he could have continued his work at the Institute with his mentor Rosen. God knows what he might have accomplished by now so we can steps away from the group to grab himself a harder drink income from his desk drawer. It goes down bitterly. May Nineteen thirty. Two VILO superiors at Phil. Co- call him to tell Paulhamus request for more time off is being denied. I'm sorry for your loss Filo but your work is too important here. We need you back two months ago. Filo and PAM's fifteen eighteen month old son. Kenny passed away. The doctors were attempting to treat a particularly aggressive strain of strep throat. It didn't work. The child died at the hospital. During emergency surgery. Farnsworth were and are devastated but for the Phil Co Executives. Their grief is a secondary concern. I'm afraid he's right. You've had a terrible loss. It's not lose this too. So filo stays in Philadelphia while Pam Travels to Utah to bury their child without her husband. They're both completely shattered. An isolated both filled with guilt and grief each assumes that the other hold some responsible and neither knows how to begin talking about a loss this tragic. My son is dead by thinks. He's dead because I didn't have time to save him. Twenty years later he will invent the first isolate baby. Incubator is a way to prevent what happened to his son from happening to others by those lab is a mess his hair and clothes or sloppy and unkempt attempt. He spiraling with grief. He needs to get himself cleaned up his a meeting. Coming with Phil Coles investors apparently. RCA just came up with its own working picture. Sure right after so ricans visit a piece of News Filo hasn't even had time to process Filo is nearly an hour late to his morning appointment with his investors but it doesn't look like he's been sleeping or slept at all waiting in the conference room or the financiers of the Filo T farnsworth company including William Crocker the banker son on a railroad magnate and George Everson and Leslie Gorell his first backers from Utah. I S serious Vilo. I'm afraid we have some bad news. Filo nods numbly. When it rains it pours he gestures to the new person in the room? And who is this. This is Donald Lippincott. He's your new lawyer lawyer. Don't worry I'm obviously covering the bill. The lawyer clears his throat Mr Farnsworth. I want you to know that we're going to do everything thing. We can't protect your proprietary claim. I have a background in electrical engineering myself before I went to law school Thank you but I don't understand. Everson gently tries to explain. Gorell is angry. RCA now has a picture there. Man's Rican seems to found the magic touch just a month after his visit. Is it to your lab. What a coincidence say so he just waltz in your lab and you gave him everything did you? What are you talking about? The patent is out there. I wasn't giving Bingham anything. That wasn't a matter of public record. So far see wants to use the image to sector. They're more than welcome to pay us to licensing fee. That's just fair. Lippincott shakes his head. Had there not intending to license it. They're saying their version counts as an engineering modification Missouri Patent from nineteen twenty-three. WE'RE GONNA need to file file and interference claim. We're going to build a case and we're going to take it to the patent court and we're GONNA move for a priority claim for the image sector. Okay and then what. And then we'll go before a judge who will decide who invented television Filo buries his head in his hands. This is all too much is wasn't what. He was picturing for himself selfish family when he set out on this journey out. Is there anything you can think of that Sir. Rican might have seen in your little demonstration. That wasn't there in the original design in the patent `Hattan now I mean I don't know we've made all sorts of improvements doing that all the time I mean I. It's the PYREX to he. He didn't know it could be sealed. I see well gather your research notes in any documentation you've collected over. The years will begin filing our case tomorrow. vilo returns earns home to share the bad news with Pam and cliff and they say that Somehow Zurich and is able to get this to work with only thousand watt lights like with photographers kit. Well that would be much more convenient. Yep It but how you need ten times that amount of late just to get the electrons moving. I'd I don't know him but he did it somehow. The AWASA THEIR SON is a presence. Felt in every interaction since it happened but now filo finds pens is and breaks. They're gonNA take everything pammy. They're they're going to ISLA. Weeps Pam holds him and cries to its nineteen thirty-one New York City Saint Patrick's ex cathedral on Fifth Avenue. The Memorial Service for Thomas Edison Sarnoff gently takes a hand of Edison's widow. Meena I want you to know that tonight. The lights of the RCA building will go dark for two minutes in honor of your husband. That's Nice David. Thank you. The cross the crowd stands Pam. She spots Meena and approaches Mina. Hi I'm so sorry Filo senses love to talk. Kim Thank you so much David. This is Pam Gardner. She's the wife of Calms Young Friend. In France worth from San Francisco each of them immediately knows who the other is. Hello Mrs Farnsworth. Pleased to meet you. Did your husband come. He's with the lawyers lawyers again like every day. But you knew that didn't you. My understanding is the legal team from. RCA is going to be asking a lot of questions about our education our certification. It seems to me. It's all the same question isn't it. How dare you? Why don't you just I mean he was I? It's his work. Well we'll let the lawyers handle it. I heard about your son. Is it sudden yes. And how is your husband holding up. What is this some kind of question about his mental fitness just at these legal proceedings? seatings they can be very drawn out very costly. Well as you said. We'll let the lawyers handle it. You something when my husband was twelve years old he designed the the first magnetized keys for the model. T's what were you doing when you were twelve melted. been two years after my family and I escaped to New York. I was learning English and and selling newspapers. I am sorry for your loss as pem watches. SARNOFF leave to mingle with the others. She wonders which loss exactly he's referring to to. American innovations is sponsored by Pella. Tom You might have heard me. Let's Sing Peleton's praises on this show before it's a game changing cardio workout. You can do from the comfort of your own home but if you've always wanted to try the Peleton bike AAC out for yourself now you can with Peleton's new thirty day trial with free pickup and full refund. I've been using a Pelivan bike myself and and it's a great combination of the energy excitement and great instructors of going to the gym with the convenience of actually having an exercise bike in your own home. But you don't have to take my word for it now with this thirty day trial you can check it out for yourself. That's thirty days to find. Your favorite instructor led classes and work out on your own terms with live. Live in on-demand classes. That suit your schedule. Learn more about Peleton's thirty day trial at one PELETON DOT COM and get one hundred dollars off accessories with the purchase. The PELETON bike when you use the Promo Code innovations restrictions apply. If you don't find that the bike is right for you. They offer free pick-up full refund. It's worry free. That's one PELETON DOT COM Promo code innovations to get started. Hi Everyone I'm Justin Long. I'm an actor who has been in some things that you may have seen better question is. Why are you listening to me right now? Instead of your favorite show. Well I've been hosting a podcast with my brother. Called Life is short just long and and this week. We're talking to Penn Badgley. Who is a popular actor? Who's in some things you also might have seen? He's on a show called you. A lot of people say he is Thurston juicing thing and if you don't know what that means ask your kid or look it up online to listen to this episode and other great interviews subscribe now to life short from nineteen eighteen thirty two files attorneys have launched multiple patent interference claims against can and the RCA in conference room in Delaware the US patent court here's Farnsworth unsworth versus. RCA is one of several items to get through this morning. Can you state your name for the record. Please Vladimir 'cause Meech Zo Rican. RCA's as defense is that first television set patent ascribed the same tube and scanning method as the new patent. He filed in one thousand nine hundred eighty two. The only problem problem with that position is it didn't so ricans entire approach changed after he visited follows lab and it was only then that he was able to produce working pictures. If the patent examiners agree with Filo and he's entitled to be paid royalties for any televisions. RCA manufacturers and sells it's not as though RCA couldn't afford to pay the licensing if they had simply agreed to do this RCA would still be in a prime position to reap the rewards. For being the first to market television. Everyone involved could be rich inch but sarnoff decided long ago the claim to television would be his. Mr Zoro can. I'm looking at three patents here years from Nineteen twenty-three twenty three Farnsworth's from nineteen twenty seven and years again from nineteen thirty two now these last two years and Farnsworth's they look the same aim to me but I don't see how this first one this older one relates. No they are the same which ones all of them but mine came first nineteen twenty-three the three these designs look pretty different to my i. They're not they're the same. The engineering evolved is all. That is different. Isn't the engineering. The entire point yes but it's an evolving process but it is the same inciting point for the evolution. You see it says here you visited Mr Farnsworth's lab in nineteen thirty one. One is that right and your second patent here is from nineteen thirty two. Did you have a working television set before this visit. The answer is no but Surrey can says yes. I only visited to make sure he was not stealing from me. Something about a sealed tube. I'm told is what you learned that day. Oh No I had already known that. In fact Zurich is exact words had been. I wish I had invented that. Can you prove you had a working television before. Nineteen thirty one again the answer there's no and RCA knows it will be hard to demonstrate otherwise the plan is to drag their heels and play the long game to bleed Farnsworth dry a year and a half later the the case plows along meanwhile Sarnoff has been litigating in the court of investor. Opinion this Farnsworth. It's pathetic he's trying to lead us with his court case he's burning his own business down. Believe me my friend. Zuri can work has and will continue define the industry standard. It's the price of success. David you attract parasites meanwhile file meets with his attorney Donald Lippincott to discuss their strategy. Filo is there anyone else who could verify your design came I. What about Everson in Gorell my first investors but they came along in nineteen twenty six? Didn't they is there anything you have on record from before so Ricans Nineteen Twenty-three Patent Bilo things back in Nineteen twenty-three he was still in high school talking about his image to sector idea to anyone who would listen Mr Tolman woman by High School Chemistry Teacher. He was the first one who understood worth a shot. I suppose lippincott sends a telegram to Justin tolman woman in Rigby Utah a week later. Palman shows up at the law office in person on Filo arrives and sees. His old teacher feels like he's entered dream. His toleman is is that really you follow. I have been so proud to follow your accomplishments in the newspapers. I tell all my students about you. In to be honest. I've still oh yeah to see another pass through that classroom devoured textbooks. The way you did tolman removes a folder from his bag and gently takes out an old piece of notebook paper. It's the sketch Filo drew him in. Nineteen twenty two. The first record of the image to sector from when Filo was only fourteen year old high school freshman. Would you you believe I held onto this all. These years. Filo can't stop. His is from leaking. This may be the single kind gesture he's ever received. He struggles to find the words for thank you the while Filo touched. His lawyer is more pragmatic about the situation at hand. All the matters is that the patent examiners believe you the question before the court is who invented television on one side is RCA with several teams decorated engineers and scientists led by Titan the industry. I have a electrical engineering from Princeton masters in chemistry from MIT PhD Princeton Masters at Caltech Harvard. For the and on the other side Vilo Farnsworth college dropout with a small team who star players include. Pam Gardner is wife. Cliff Gardner her brother and a handful of technicians and lab assistants lippincott brings tolman and the sketch to the patent examiners. Mr Tolman you've known Mr Farnsworth. Since nineteen twenty one. Is that correct. He was my student. Yes and you teach science High School Science. I'd like to bring your attention here. He holds up the drawing from toleman side by side with follows 1927. Patent this is from March nineteen twenty two two years before Ricans first patent and look at this drawing and then look at Farnsworth's 1927 patent. These are the same next he holds up so Ricans Nineteen twenty-three patent alongside this is not you see. Yes but this first drawing you say it's from nineteen twenty two but where is the proof. He could have drawn this yesterday. I'm afraid hey this is an addressable hearing this Bilo slumps. Though the court's verdict won't be delivered until months later by mail. Feels like he's already lost when the session and ends sarnoff finds Filo alone outside to Francois. SARNOFF getting your money's worth please. It's not about the money then. Pay Me what I'm owed by do this. Just come work for me so you can tell me what to invent next. I can't work that way and the freedom to be able to invent things like like this you did not invent television. Do you even believe that. You sued me funds worth. You rejected me and then you started this but this is your mistake because I I will finish it. Just pay me what I'm owed. RCA does not licensed patents. It collects them in July of nineteen. Thirty five the patent in court delivers its decision number. Six four zero to seven by male violence rips open the letter as pem reads over his shoulder so Rican has no oh right. Priority of invention is awarded to Filo t farnsworth. We we won we won but RCA VA refuses to pay for the patent and continues to appeal throughout the nineteen thirties. The appeals continue. RCA loses every one of them finally early in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine Sarnoff Lenz. He's sick of the fight and wants to see his television dream. Come true so he agrees to pay. Farnsworth one million dollars to US US patent in manufacturing television sets. It is a small price to pay that April New York City is hosting the nineteen thirty nine world's fair and RCA. A is the star of the show. Sarnoff gives a speech dedicating the RCA pavilion to the fairgrounds and announces the beginning of regularly scheduled electronic television broadcasting in America on the National Broadcasting Company. NBC Sarnoff speech is the first TV broadcast ever aired. It is with a feeling of humbleness that I come to this moment of announcing the birth in this country of a new art show important and implications that it is bound to affect all society. It is an art would shines like like a torch of hope and troubled world. It is a creative force which we must learn to utilize for the benefit good long mankind. When the fair opens officially on April Thirtieth President? Franklin Delano Roosevelt's speech is also broadcast making him. I am the first president to appear on television. I hereby dedicate the New York world's fair of Nineteen thirty nine and I declare it open to all mankind by this time Filo had left to start his own company based in Fort Wayne Indiana but his business was out of money. Thanks in part to. RCA's efforts efforts to freeze them out and promised him one million dollars not all at once but over a period of ten years. The payment still weren't actually coming in. In fact they they would never arrive. Not In full at this point. Filo was capable of building televisions in asleep with one hand behind his back but his company simply didn't possess the capital capital needed to produce models at scale for the general public has Sarnoff is making history Farnsworth watches through the window display of an electronic store uncreative port. Would we must learn to utilize for the benefit of all mankind. I think I'm GONNA be sick. He's a distant spectator to his own creation. That's what television is he. Thinks a way of seeing things from afar and now I don't want to look on July twentieth nineteen. sixty-nine Filo and Pam joined the millions of Americans who gather with friends and family to witness mankind's minds first steps on the lunar surface broadcast live my. CBS We're getting a picture on the TV Great deal of contract and currently. It's upside down our monitor but we can make up a fair amount of detail. In Outer Space Apollo Eleven astronaut Doc Buzz Aldrin. Adjusts the camera facing out from the lunar module as a half a billion people watch from Earth. The image returns. It's a clear picture of an astronaut on a small ladder standing on a flat. CHAKI surface. Look at those pictures. Armstrong is on the move. Neil Armstrong the thirty eight year old American standing on the surface of the Moon on this July twentieth. Nineteen hundred sixty nine farnsworth sixty sixty two years old living again in Salt Lake City Pam touches his hand and turns to him. He's watching his invention being used from the moon to transmit pictures to his living room here and to millions of others. You did this love. It doesn't happen without you. You know Pammy. I've always said you were the smartest person I've ever known tone. But for the longest time I've felt terrible for everything right Pam. This is made it all worthwhile and one man. I have one small step. And if you like our series please give us a five star review until your friends to subscribe were available. WHOA ON APPLE PODCASTS spotify? NPR One and every major listening APP as well as that wonderful dot com. If you're listening on a smartphone tapper swipe over the cover art of this podcast broadcast. You'll find the episode notes including some details. You might have missed and a quick note about those historical recreations. You've been hearing in most cases we can't know exactly what was said. So those scenes are dramatization. But they're based on real historical research. You can find some of the books and articles we found useful in the episode notes. American innovation nations is hosted by me Steven Johnson for more information on my books about science and innovation including my new one coming out in May enemy of mankind. You can visit my website Steven even Berlin Johnson Dot Com. This episode was written by Grant Party and edited by Liza veal. Sound design and this episode is by land. Lipinski American innovations produced by EMMA CORTLANDT executive produced by Marshal Louis and Hernan Lopez for wondering. Hi I'm Lindsey Graham the host of wondering show American history tellers. We take you to the events times people that shaped America and Americans in this week we start a new five episode series on the Water Wars that transformed Los Angeles into a thriving metropolis at the turn of the century L.. A.'s water supply was running. Out William William Mulholland had a plan. It was an engineering marvel a boon for L._A.. In disaster for the Owens River Valley to listen to this and other great series. Subscribe now to American history tellers from wondering.
L.C.D Turns 50 in the Year of Screens
"The end of the article isn't the end of the story. The Journal podcast goes behind the scenes with reporters and covers everything from the Mormon Church's one hundred billion dollar fund to Corona virus. Listen to the Journal on spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. This is your Tech News. Briefing for Tuesday may fifth. I'm Qatar Yokum for the Wall Street. Journal Twenty Twenty Marks. The Fiftieth Anniversary of technology that you use every day. It's in your smartphone your TV. Maybe even your that's right. We're talking about liquid crystal displays. Lcd screens are tech columnist. Chris mims took a trip back in time and he'll join us to tell us all about it. That's coming up after these headlines. Say Goodbye to the butterfly keyboard on Monday. Apple announced a new thirteen inch macbook pro which features double the minimum storage on previous models. Faster processors better memory and a return to the traditional scissor mechanism. The decision comes after multiple lawsuits over the butterfly keyboards which were introduced in twenty fifteen to enable thinner laptops but they also suffered reliability problems like duplicate or missed keys since then apple has been forced to offer replacement programs and has been slowly phasing out the butterfly mechanism with the latest model. The company no longer has a single butterfly left in its lineup. As the cybersecurity industry has grown so too has its spending on lobbying we report that the collective spend of several large firms has more than tripled in the last four years to nearly four million dollars. Experts say lobbyists are also trying to shape bills and issues in their early stages helping to set standards for things like five G. Networks and the Internet of things the increase could also designed to capture commercial opportunities around the public's newfound awareness for cyber security threats and Supreme Court justices. They're just like us no. We're not talking about. Rpg's exercise regime. We're talking about teleconferencing. The Supreme Court kicked off. Its first remote arguments on Monday. Hearing a case over whether booking dot com can trademark its name and like all of us. They ran into a couple of minor technical difficulties on their first day. Our reporter just braven has the details. Yes there were three very pregnant moments of silence rather While we waited for just a soda minority get on the line and then there was a a extremely scratchy. Bit of static. When justice prior came on it reminded me of the The grownups on the Charlie Brown cartoons. You couldn't quite make out what he had to say but the line cleared we got in his question about the Lanham Act of Nineteen forty-six which of course everyone was at the edge of their seats paying attention to in order to reduce confusion during the questioning portion. The court came up with the system. The judges asked questions in order of seniority. Just says that provided an opening for the normally silent Justice Clarence Thomas Justice Thomas He has asked questions from time to time over his decades on the Supreme Court since since nineteen ninety but generally He doesn't years can go by without a single question from Justice Thomas and perhaps because of the style of oral arguments in the courtroom justices jump in At will and hurled questions at the advocates This time though This is grading curve but it was a moment of intense. Suspense Supreme Court watchers on if he would say pass or remain silent or have us some questions to ask and it was a door number three justice. Thomas had questions for both The government's attorney representing the US At trademark office and he had questions later on in the arguments for the lawyer representing bucking dot com. And we'll see if that debt remains style for the nine arguments to come after the break. We'll have tech columnist Christopher mims with us for the history of LCD screens. When the world is at a standstill. Facts can move us. Forward facts helps make decisions and bring us together. Even as we're apart the Wall Street Journal has the facts in these uncertain times. Get the latest on the corona virus outbreak with free coverage of the crisis and its impact on the economy politics culture and daily life. Find the clarity. You need with America's most trusted news source visit wsj.com and stay informed today. We're GonNa talk about something that lot of people take for granted your screen when you look at the screen of your smartphone. You're watching light refracted through TANGY DOTS containing liquid crystal. That's all powered by microchip. And those dots arrange themselves into your twitter feed and your email inbox and even pictures that is your LCD screen and this year liquid crystal displays those Lcd Screens are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary. Which may seem hard to believe. They don't look that old. The history of these displays can tell us a lot about the relationship between scientific discovery. Business and the government are tech columnist. Christopher mims has been taking this trip back into time and he joins us now to talk about his adventures. Hey Chris how's it going good? Thank you for having me all right. So this story starts in the nineteen sixties right. Tell us a little bit about those very first liquid crystal displays so in the nineteen sixties which we had invented color television and was by far the dominant TV maker of the time. Had its own research lab. Which was the fashion at the time like? At with Bell Labs and they did a lot of basic scientific research there so they let their scientists actually just research whatever they wanted as long as it was sort of related to their lines of business so there was scientists. They're named Richard Williams and he heard about these things called the crystals been around for seventy years. He put some of this liquid crystal chemical which is just an organic chemical looks like laundry detergent or something. If you look at the molecules he sandwiched between two pieces of glass. He hit him with an electric current shining through it and made this really strange pattern. I didn't know what to do with this thing. He talked to his colleagues and they're like well if it's modulating late when there's electricity going through it could be an optical switch which they were already needing for things like lasers and communications and stuff since the nineteen fifties. The Chairman of David. Sarnoff had talked about wouldn't be great. If we could create flat televisions. You hang on the wall like a painting so the scientists in this RCA research facility. Hearkens back to that vision and we're like okay. Well trump these down. Maybe this could be the thing that we make flat televisions out of by Nineteen Sixty. They had created the first ever. Lcd display. They were really simple even primitive by today's standard it wasn't a lake and LCD screen that we think of it was like those digital displays. It you remember from being a kid and you had your first digital wristwatch and it's just like the five looks like a asks where all the pieces are right angles and it's just these little segments that light up and they demonstrated it at their headquarters in New York City. That technology was actually a dead end. It couldn't work across a very big range of temperatures only worked for a couple of days before the liquid crystal broke down so then there was a researcher at RCA who heard about competing liquid crystal technology or really came up with it and he proposed to his boss that they should pivot to. This new. One is Boston now. Invested too much in what we're doing already and health risk was frustrated. He Left E. moved to Switzerland. And that's actually where the liquid crystal technology that we use to this day in. Many displays was invented and filed for a patent on it December fourth nineteen seventy and. That's really the birth certificate of modern. Lcd Technology that technology ended up being laced by all the companies that created all those early nineteen seventy s digital wristwatches all the way through the eighties and the nineties that we had and the first portable electronic calculators and all those funny little game things that we all played with. If you're a child of the eighties all of that came from this guy leaving in disgust and RCA eventually exiting the whole CD industry completely and just seating to companies like sharp in Japan. I mean it's so interesting to think that vision of the screen as an as a picture on your wall. Was you know envisioned so many years ago and it took so long to get there. I mean to go from that idea to that little. Lcd screen in your calculator must have been incredibly. Frustrating really was frustrating. So no one could make any money on this. No one was able to create a liquid crystal display. That was really worth anything. Like the first ones they ever tried to make were black and white and they would fade in the sun and they couldn't work in hot or cold temperatures and it was just this this long uphill battle and it wasn't until nineteen eighty-eight actually so Twenty years after this first demonstration by RCA that sharp demonstrated the first commercial fourteen inch LCD screen but that wasn't an RCA anymore. Right No ours. He really by Nineteen seventy-six. They were out of business completely. They had really despite inventing this technology despite there being a lot more research on it assume the UK all those firms really lost out on the technology and it really became the domain of this one company sharp and then eventually kind of in the more modern air in the last twenty years companies like Samsung and LG really picked it up and ran with it so RCA seems like they really missed out. You spoke to some researchers who say that. Rc's decision was actually the right one. Tell me a little bit about that. With the time you know inventing this brand new technology there were actually a lot of ways to make displays out of liquid crystals and to this day. That's still the case. There's all kinds of niche applications. It wasn't clear at all which one of these was GonNa win and it wasn't clear how long it was going to take to get to what our goal was which was television so these researchers they're just kind of operating on the best information had it wasn't a huge team you know it's it's less than twenty people and they don't have an infinite. Arnie budget and they and they don't and they can't do this for decades so they basically they had limited resources. It wasn't like a government lab looking university or anything so these historians that. I talked to. You said you know what is rational that they sort of ended this research and then when in licensed this technology to sharp because it wasn't clear when the payoff was going to be for them and so that's true for a lot of companies. You know they'll do this kind of basic research going with good intentions. We'll do this with their acts labs but at the end of the day they have to make money off of it. Within a certain period of time they can't fund it forever. It seems like if you think about that. Time period in the nineteen sixties. We also had the MOONSHOT. And you know we're investing a lot of money in to defense and into NASA and as you were saying a lot of big companies were doing basic research in their companies and that was kind of a given. Where do we stand now? Compared to other countries in terms of that kind of are in D so if you look at per capita public research and development spending as a percentage of our first product we spend zero point six percent which sounds like a lot but in the nineteen sixty two percent and at that time we were number one in the world. Now we're still number one on an absolute basis but compared to the size of our country were actually thirteenth in the so. There's you know. Countries that are pumping out tons of new technology generating tons of high paying high tech jobs like Israel South Korea Japan. All the ones you could you would imagine that are way ahead of us by those measures. So contemporary economists argue that. We've we've actually fallen behind that. We're investing less in public research which generates public goods the same way that you know building. Roads does or having a police force or fire department and the public benefit of that public research then creates more jobs and more industry and that sort of thing. What are some of the technologies that we're falling behind on so it's very difficult to predict the future of course but you can see where investment is happening in other countries? China is very big on funding and supporting its Battery Industry which you know if our world's auto fleet goes electric that's the next oil. Quantum computing is huge. I mean there are firms like Google doing that kind of research here but in China gets a ton of state support. Same thing in Japan's anything in Europe. Quantum cryptography which is really a big deal for secure communications. So there's a bunch of these kinds of really cutting edge research activities where the US does have a foothold. But we seem to be kind of bad at translating that into new industries at this point and you know compared to our our budget we're really under investing in tech columnist crims. Thanks so much for coming back. Thank you for having me okay before we go. We're still taking your work from home tech stories and questions. Our senior personal tech columnist to Anniston will be back with us on Friday to share her favorite tips and solutions. You can call us and leave a voice message at the number and the description or you can email Joanna at Joanna turn at wsj.com and that was your tech news briefing. I'm Qatar Yokum from the Wall Street Journal. Thanks for listening.
About HDMI 2.1
"I have an hd cable but is it the right one but the heck is this hd two point one do. I need new cables confused. Don't be let's help a little more about. Hd two point one let's start with hd itself the high definition multi media interface. It transmits unimpressed video. And either compressed around compressed audio to a compatible device words digital video with audio all in one it's a proprietary system but it is an implementation of the eia a one standard. That's why if you're curious the old. Dv standard is interoperable with hdmi. Just the dvi doesn't have audio in fact before hdmi most systems carried audio and video separately. You may remember the old yellow composite video plug that dangled alongside the red and yellow stereo. Rca plugs for instance hd added audio into one cable and it also supports consumer electronics control or cbc or sometimes cac which lets devices control each other over the cable hence your tv can turn itself on when the roku tells it to. For example there have been seven versions of hdmi onepointoh. One point one one point two one point three one point four then. We skipped two point now and most recently two point one. We're gonna talk about two point one in depth later they all use the same form factors so they all look essentially the same and they can work in the same ports and they're backwards compatible but the new versions have added things like improved capacity and performance higher resolution and color space support and advanced features like three d. or ethernet data connections hd however is not a standard but it's also not controlled by just one company the founders were easy. Panasonic philips silicon image. Sony thomson rca and to sheba development of hd. My began april sixteenth. Two thousand and two and products with hdmi started rolling out in late. Two thousand and three control of hd was further diversified. When the hdmi forum was founded october eleventh. Two thousand fifteen. That's an organization that manages hdmi development and now includes more than eighty three members and more than seventeen hundred companies have adopted hdmi. Oh and hdmi also integrates the hd c. p. copy protection developed by intel. But that's not part of hdmi. That's provided by intel subsidiary called digital content protection. llc now there's a rabbit hole we can go down of all the various types of connectors and cables. But we're going to try to keep it simple here. There are technically five types of connectors type. Be dual link isn't even used by anyone because the maximum with hdmi one point. Three makes the dual link unnecessary. So you can forget about that one type. C is the mini connector. That's a smaller version of. Hdmi meant for mobile devices. You'll see this on cameras and there's also type d and even smaller version. That looks like micro usb. There's type e for automotive systems that adds a lock to stop it from vibrating out of the port and adds some moisture in dirt prevention. But almost all the hdmi cables. You're going to see our hype. A that's one. You most likely see on your tv and desktop monitor now. Those are the connectors the ports and the ends of the cable. There are different kinds of cables though in fact before. Hdmi two point one. There were basically three groups. Standard cables to ten eighty high speed up to four k and premium up to eighteen gigabits per second with hdr. All those came with ethernet support. There's also standard automotive. Hdmi cable for that automotive. Port and along with the introduction of hd two point one. there's now new uncalled high-speed hdmi cable for up to eight k and ten k at one hundred twenty hertz. Keep in mind. The cables don't match up with the hdmi versions. That's gonna really confuse people. But we'll try to make it clear. Cable type only affects the band with the cable can carry and therefore the maximum resolution and refresh rate the ports themselves on the devices determine whether you can do things like three d. variable refresh rate etc. So any cable will work if it fits the connector but it may not have enough with to enable all the features of the device and older cables can sometimes still handle newer features. So there's not a one to one correspondence between the cables bandwidth and the hdmi version of the port. It's connecting to yeah. I know that's confusing. Your port is hdmi. One point four. But there's no such thing as an hdmi one point four cable. The cable just has a bandwidth capacity right and cables generally also. I'm sorry to say. Don't label whether they are high-speed premium high-speed etc so the second best method. I've found to figure out what cables i have is to them in and see if the features work right which can be really time consuming and annoying the best method and most wasteful to responsibly. Recycle all your cables and just buy new ones. That you're here are the right ones. But how do you even by the right ones. Well this i can make a little easier. You can pretty much ignore everything in hd cables description except the bandwidth if it says eighteen gigabits per second or higher. You're good to go for four k sixty hertz. Hdr if you're sure you haven't hdmi two point. One port on your television and you want to do four k one hundred twenty frames per second then you want to look for cables that say forty eight gigabits per second. Older cables can do four k just not at one hundred twenty frames per second also try only the by certified cables since companies who get certified get punished for lying about what the cables can do and keep in mind. Certified cables can't market themselves as a version number like hd two point one. So if you see an hdmi version number in the marketing for a cable be suspicious. The hdmi forum even has an app for verifying genuine cables for both ios and android. That leads us to admi. Two point one. Do you need a new tv or monitor. That supports it. Well here's what it means. Hdmi two point. One increases bandwidth support as we mentioned with the cables from eighteen to forty eight gigabits per second. It can support resolutions up to ten k. And up to one hundred twenty frames per second have any ten content out there but it can do it when it comes along it also supports bt twenty twenty and sixteen bits per color for wide color. Gamut now remember each feature increases the bandwidth used it from ten eighty four k. You're sending more data if you increase from thirty frames per second to sixty frames per second. They're also increasing the data. Do both at the same time. Go from tennessee peter. Four k and up from thirty to sixty frames per second and now you've increased data a lot more data for hdr and wide color. Gamut now you see and what it mean. Hd two point one has higher with so it can do more of those things at once but if you were paying attention you remember me saying that. The cables were identified by bandwidth but the connectors were the ones with the actual version. Hdmi two point one type designation. Because they don't just increase the capability of bandwidth they also add features hd two point. One connectors can support the following features. They don't always support them. They can still d- hdmi two point one. We'll get to that in a second. Here are the features though e arc or electronic audio return channel now arc itself audio return channel. Let's audio two ways over. Hdmi without needing the second audio cable it can already do stereo and compressed five point one surround sound adding e arc. Lets you do uncompressed. Five point one surround sound and uncompressed seven point one surround sound in other words dolby atmos and since audio doesn't use as much bandwidth e arc just needs the devices to have hd two point one and a lot of cases and older high speed cable with ethernet can support it next feature dynamic hdr. Yes i know it. Technically means dynamic high dynamic range twice the dynamism. hdr is meditated. That tells a device like a tv how to treat an entire video file or stream one set of instructions that it applies to every frame and it improves the color range dynamic. Hdr on the other hand can set new rules for each individual frame in the video and practice. They usually set by scene. But hdr treats a person under a bridge in broad daylight the same as a campfire at night dynamic. Hdr has different rules for each of those scenes to make each of pop a little more hdmi. Two point zero offered partial support for dynamic. Hdr four k sixty frames per second but hd two point one offers dynamic hdr all the way up to four k at one hundred twenty frames per second finally variable refresh rate or vr. This reduces tearing that thing when you see part of one frame and part of another at the same time the scenes all jagged for a split second usually an issue in games because the game console isn't creating the frames at exactly the frame rate. The tv expects because with prerecorded video. You can say. I'm gonna give you exactly thirty frames per second in a dynamic game that you're affecting with your amazing game-playing skills that might not be optimal variable refresh rate. Let's the console very the rate in which creates frames and send them when they're done. This reduces image artifacts like tearing. If you're familiar with nvidia g sink or amd freesync. It's similar both those work only over display port but new graphics cards like the g force. Rtx thirty eighty and the radio on our x sixty eight hundred x t support game mode. V are over. hd two point one and it also works on previous as long as you have two point one devices on either. End a companion feature of hdmi. Two point one is quick frame transport or q. f. t. that shortens the delay sending active video. So there's less time between you pressing a button and the laser hidden aliens face. There's also auto low latency mode or a l l m automatically enable and disable gaming mode when you're playing a game rather than the making you dig through the displays menu every time and there's quick media switching or q ms screen that happens when you're switching between inputs. Now one last thing to keep in mind just because hd two point one can support a feature doesn't mean the device with the hdmi two point one certified connector does support it to get certified as hd two point one. The company just has to support one of the features one. The connector makes these features possible but the device still has to implement it so for example. It's possible to get a tv. With hd two point one that does not support e arc because the tv maker didn't implement it or if i do e arc but not the higher frame rates and it might support hd my two point one and have five hd reports but only one of them is hd two point one yes it's technically possible for manufacturers to add hd two point one features in a firmware upgrade. But almost nobody expects device makers to do that. I say this not to confuse you but to remind you that. Hd two point one is not a shortcut for has all the features. So when you're buying a device make sure it supports the features you want. Don't just look for that. Hd two point one two d needed if you want four k at one hundred twenty frames per second especially if you have a playstation five or six series x if you want dynamic hdr or if for some reason get a k at sixty frames per second then yeah hd two point one might be for you in other words. I hope you know a little more about hdmi. Two point one.
The Birth of RCA
"This episode is sponsored by ADT ADT can design and install smart home. Just for you backed by twenty four seven protection, you can have all sorts of automated settings for example, you could have the worry free getaway service, ADT automation arms your system locks up and set slept lighting schedules while you are on vacation. So it looks like you're still at home ADT sets everything up for you, including locks lights garage door control even video doorbells. Brought to you by ADT smart security designed and installed just for you. Visit ADT dot com slash podcasts. Get in touch with technology with tech stuff from house networks dot com. Hey there in welcome to tech stuff. I'm your host Jonathan Strickland. I'm an executive producer with how stuff works and iheartradio in the love all things tech. And while I was preparing for CAS twenty nineteen which I am getting ready to to travel to as I'm recording. This. I'm agreeing list the Friday before I jump on a plane and head out to Las Vegas, Nevada. Well, I read a lot of emails from a lot of different companies, and they're all attempting to entice me to go to a particular part of CAS to see their booth or their presentation, or maybe even to a hotel suite off the exhibition floor because you know, some companies will rent out a suite of rooms rather than secure exhibition space for lots of reasons. That's neither here nor there. Anyway, one of these companies the ones that sent me these emails was our CA, and the thing that really caught my eye is that in twenty nineteen RCA. Is celebrating its one hundredth anniversary RCA has been a really important company in technology for lots of different reasons. Not just consumer tech and RCA is responsible directly for two of the big broadcast networks in the United States and indirectly is responsible for the third. I thought I would explore the history of this company and what it's been through during the century of its existence. So this is the first episode where we're going to talk about the formation of RCA. But of course, this also means that I'm going to be doing a lot of backtracking because while RCA which was an initial ISM originally for Radio Corporation of America. It would become an established company in nineteen nineteen the history actually dates further back. So we've gotta talk about some other companies and some politics and some other big issues that would lead to the formation the founding. Ng of RCA. So let's go back to the eighteen hundreds in the late nineteenth century invention and innovation were rapidly. Changing the world you had the industrial revolution. And it had altered the way we do work at impacted the price of goods things became cheaper. Because it was easier to make a heck a lot more of just about everything people had more time on their hands. And at the same time, you had engineers and inventors who are experimenting with stuff like electrobi- and magnetism and radio waves entrepreneurs from around the world, some of them inventors other just business not just but others of business minded people who saw opportunity through the invention of others began to form corporations that could exploit these discoveries for profit. And they included companies like the American Telephone and telegraph company also known as AT and T also General Electric, which grew. Out of several companies one of which was founded by Thomas, Edison, himself, and many more the discovery of radio waves, and the technology that would allow humans to produce transmit and receive radio waves in a meaningful way is beyond the scope of these episodes. Besides I've talked about that a lot in earlier episodes of tech stuff. You can search the archives there tons of episodes where I talk about radio waves and the history of radio, but by the early nineteen hundreds there were a dozen or so radio operating stations in the United States. Several of these stations were owned by foreign companies and almost all of them were dedicated to transmitting signals using Morse code. So this wasn't about radio stations playing the top forty or anything like that. At this stage. These were communications stations they were meant to transmit signals from one place to another to send communications across the nation. It was sort of analogous to the telephone infrastructure. So not meant as entertainment or news source, the telephone companies had not yet entered into this business at this point these were all individual enterprises, some of which were getting pretty large and the biggest of all of them was the American Marconi company named after Marconi the guy who gets the credit for inventing radio. That is the transmission technology of radio, though, that is of course, a matter of great dispute in certain academic circles Nikola, tesla would be the other name that gets thrown around in that. And for good reason, tesla was awarded a patent early on and that patent would eventually get overturned in favor of Marconi's under somewhat shady circumstances. Anyway in the summer of nineteen fourteen war broke out in Europe somewhat optimistic. People were calling it the war to end all wars. But now, we call it World War. One thus optimism did not win out now while the United States initially maintained a neutral status during the war. The US government was already making preparations in the event that the nation would be pulled into the conflict and part of that wasn't executive order. That was signed by Woodrow Wilson on August fifth nineteen fourteen that executive order authorized, the United States navy department to censor international. Telegraph messages that were sent by radio firms, the largest of which was the Marconi company now Marconi company challenged the legality of this executive order saying this is censorship. You can't do. It. Legal battles would follow and the navy would ultimately shutdown. Marconi radio transmission station for three months until the company agreed to follow regulations in January nineteen fifteen eventually. Even this was thought to be too risky and the United States government, effectively took over the American Marconi company. And the American Marconi company was technically it was a subsidiary. It was a subsidiary of a company that had its headquarters in England. So the US government says we want to maintain Neutra neutrality. We cannot have stations that are located in the United States, sending messages on behalf of one or another of the parties that are at war in Europe because that would seem to suggest that we are on a particular side, and we want to stay out of this. So the US says in order to do this. We're going to take over your assets. They're not yours anymore. They're ours. Boo. Now at the end of the war, the United States still had those assets of the American Marconi company and the government needed a way to offload them. They didn't want to keep them. They also wanted to ensure. That those assets would remain under American control. They didn't want foreign nations to have access to critical communications technologies with on you know, on US soil. So the government approached a group of companies that included General Electric, which would become the dominant partner in this group, Westinghouse AT and T western electric and United fruit company. And if you're like me, your reaction to that last partner was probably hang on. Did he say United fruit company, and indeed Idid that company has a complex and controversial history? It was involved in various levels of government in many regions across the world, particularly in central and South America, and the Caribbean, and it was operating as an effective monopoly in a lot of places has a lot of a lot of time. With colonization. So there are a lot of negative things that kind of tie into this company's history. But in nineteen thirteen the United fruit company had established the tropical radio and telegraph company, which is kind of what brought it up as a potential partner for this enterprise. So anyway, these partners all got together, and they formed the Radio Corporation of America or see a in nineteen nineteen. It was essentially a government sanctioned monopoly in the radio industry in the United States. The companies all pooled their patents together in a series of cross licensing agreements to avoid any conflicts of having one company attempt to leverage its essential patents over the other partners in the operation of our c- as business, so essentially they were all saying here are all the patented technologies that we have at our disposal that relate to radio transmission technologies. We wanna make sure that we're not creating impediments for our. See a to do business to head up this company the partners chose a guy named David Sarnoff Sarnoff himself had a really interesting history. He was born in Russia in eighteen ninety one. But his family immigrated to America in nineteen hundred he had started working as a messenger. Boy for a telegraph company in nineteen oh six and he became a telegraph operator for the American Marconi company. A couple years later legend has it that he picked up the distress calls from the Titanic in nineteen twelve while working in the radio station that was owned by John Wanamaker, but the truth appears to be that Sarnoff had instead picked up signals of rescue ships that were responding to the Titanic's distress call. And then he relayed that information to the local press in New York. He was promoted to chief inspector of American Marconi a few years later, and he wrote a memo in nineteen sixteen in which he proposed building radios for home. Consumers and he called it a radio music box. So this is before the days of commercial radio. But he had thought this technology has the potential to bring culture, entertainment news, all sorts of stuff into the American Home. Through transmission, if we want to pursue that this was in the days when only amateur radio enthusiasts had any access to radio equipment outside of the professional industry. The otherwise the only places you would find it are in these radio stations where they were acting almost like telegraph operators. So he would then become the commercial manager for RCA eventually become the general manager. And then further down the line. The CEO Sarnoff was a really am businessman. He was also really good at self promotion, and who is also really good at sensing the potential impact of radio broadcast technology as well as related technologies like television broadcast. Sts which I'll talk more about in the next episode in the early days of our c- as history, it mainly did two things it operated, the various radio stations which were still almost exclusively transmitting messages in Morse code, and it sold radio equipment manufactured by the various companies that had formed our CA while this was intended to build out a communications infrastructure similar to the telephone system. Something else was happening at the same time that changed the course of the industry, and that something was the rise of amateur radio operators, the United States had banned amateur radio during World War One saying that they needed to have those radio waves free for communications. But the the government lifted that ban on October first nineteen nineteen and more. People were interesting radio communication and setting up their own radio receivers at home, the rise in amateur radio encouraged Sarnoff and gave credence to that idea. He had proposed a few years earlier. About his radio music box will during World War One. There were some hints at what would become the standard for commercial radio in use by the military in nineteen eighteen a publication called the wireless age featured a short range system that could broadcast news and music to hospitals to entertain convalescing soldiers, for example, on the technology front companies were exploring ways to make radio receivers. More compact in less expensive to make radio signals loud enough for commercial radio to be practical. Those radios would have to have amplification and so companies began investing in research and development to improve vacuum to manufacturing processes to make radios. Ab- radical consumer item before the transistor the vacuum tube was your primary way of taking in an incoming weak signal and boosting it to a stronger outgoing signal an amplifier in other words, I have more to say about the early days of RCA. But first, let's take. A quick break to thank our sponsor. Hey, guys. I wanna talk to you about the online furniture shopping company joy bird, because I recently got a chair from joy bird, and I am incredibly pleased with the experience not only was it seamless the furniture itself is gorgeous. And it's comfortable. It is a wonderful accent to the room that we put it in. We put it in our guest room. We got the Soto chair from joy bird in lucky turquoise. And my wife said immediately, you did a really good job picking this out. Will I didn't do that job joy bird? Did they have an incredible selection of different pieces of furniture? They are made with precision and care. They use responsibly sourced materials, and they have a three hundred sixty five day home trial. You can see how joy bird is revolutionizing online furniture shopping. Just go to create the for. Furniture that brings you joy today at joy bird dot com slash tech stuff. Go to joy dot com slash tech stuff and receive an exclusive offer for twenty five percent off your first order by using the code tech stuff. And so as RCA oversaw radio stations transmitting communications across vast distances and various companies began to work toward a goal of building. Consumer radios. The race was on for the first true commercial radio station, and it wouldn't be RCA to launch it. Instead Westinghouse applied for a license to operate such a transmission station, they applied to the US government. And received permission in nineteen twenty Westinghouse was in the business of manufacturing radios, but demand for radios was lagging behind and so leaders at the company reason that one way to increase demand would be to create programming. Now today that seems pretty clear that if you want to sell a technology to someone a technology that allows people to access content you need to create content for people to access otherwise. They just have useless tool. But this was a big step in nineteen twenty radio had mainly been used as point to point communication at that. At that stage. It's just that the points were undefined because there were no wires. So you had a receiver that could pick up a signal that would be a point. So this would open up the possible uses for radio and allow them to become entertainment devices. It was precisely the stuff Sarnoff had been saying in his memo back in nineteen sixteen Westinghouse approached a ham radio operator named Dr Frank Conrad who had already been playing records over the radio for some of his other amateur radio operator, friends and on November second nineteen twenty Westinghouse launched K D K A L of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the first commercial radio station Sarnoff had been working on his own approach receiving the blessing of the companies that founded our CA to do. So they gave him some funds. So that he could pursue this and on July. Nineteen twenty one Sarnoff showed off the market potential for radio by broadcasting a boxing match between Jack Dempsey, and George Carpentier Dempsey was a celebrated US champion Carpentier was a boxing hero in France. And he had a reputation for knocking out British champions. So this was a super hyped event. Back in nineteen twenty one Dempsey would win by knockout in the fourth round. And the broadcast was a sensational hit our CA began to sell more radio receivers to customers and radio stations began popping up all over the United States. The first radio commercial on record happened in August, nineteen twenty two when a New York real estate developer. Aired an ad in New York City two years later in nineteen twenty four there were more than six hundred commercial radio stations in the United States, these were mostly independent stations. And that's when RCA made a really big move in the industry. Partnering with Westinghouse and AT and T RCA formed a new company called the national broadcasting company or in B C, which had its first broadcast on November fifteenth nineteen twenty six the concept was that NBC would produce material for broadcast, which would then be sent out over different radio stations in different regions with the stations being part of the overall network, which was a new idea the time, you know, create your your content in a central location and then distribute it using these various radio stations that was revolutionary NBC had to Simi independent networks under its governance shortly after it was formed so it split off. It's it's operations into two networks. One was called the blue network and one was called the red network. So yet NBC blue and NBC writ. The center of the blue network was a radio station called w Jay z which had been founded by Westinghouse in. In nineteen twenty one the center for the red network was a station called W E A F which was founded by AT and T in nineteen Twenty-three while all this was going on Sarnoff was already looking at the potential future of television in nineteen twenty four RCA transmitted the first transatlantic radio photo from New York to London. This is before the invention of electronic televisions when the early prototype TV's were largely mechanical in nature, and I talked about that in the history of television episodes on tech stuff. So there was a limited market for mechanical televisions. They really didn't make a lot of progress in the consumer market. They were very expensive. They are very complicated. And they had limited successful results. Let's say, but the real boon would come when inventors began to create electric televisions, and that wouldn't begin until the late nineteen twenty s and when we talk about commercial TV's your timeout. Two more decades on top of that. Now, this is not entirely a happy story in nineteen twenty nine Sarnoff met with an engineer at Westinghouse named Vladimir Zorkin. And if you've listened to my episodes about the origins of television, you knows working is one of two inventors who typically get the title of inventor of television. The other would be Filo Farnsworth Sarnoff convinced Westinghouse to fund Zorkin's work, and in nineteen thirty RCA would take over the research as work would actually go over to our CEO as well become an RCA employee Sarnoff seeing the power of patents wanted to run out of business any person or company he felt was Horning in on his action. And so in nineteen thirty two RCA would file a patent suit against Filo Farnsworth. The case would last seven years ultimately Farnsworth would win that case. RCA would have to pay fines and royalties to. But by that time, his health was in shambles. He had had a nervous breakdown from all the stress, and I'm going to get back to Sarnoff litigious ways throughout these episodes. But bouncing back to nineteen twenty nine for a moment. So this is before all of the legality issues with Farnsworth. I need to talk about another company that would play a very important part in our see as early history. Now, if you heard my episodes about the history of turntables, you'll remember the early days of the phonograph and the graph own and the gramophone I covered a little bit of the turbulent patent battles in the cutthroat business strategies that are all part of the early days of home audio and I'll have to do a more in depth series in the future to really focus on it. Because it gets nasty all but the Victor talking machine company was born directly out of all that strife now since this is not an episode about Victor. I'm just. To give you the super short version, which let's face it. I'm Jonathan Strickland of tech stuff super short for me as a lecture for anybody else. But let's go with it. The Berliner gramophone company of Philadelphia. Founded by Emile Berliner was the company that really was the focus of this. This strife Berliner gets the credit for inventing. The first flat disc record before his invention engineers would press recordings onto cylinders. So you had these cylinders that you had put on a spool essentially that would then rotate, and you could play it back on of various devices the discs were much easier to store, right? You didn't have as much space as much bulk as a cylinder dead. There were easier to ship and wants the manufacturing process was refined. They lasted a lot longer than cylinders did as well. It took a while to get the right materials. But once they did those disks just seemed more practical Berliner made a deal. Deal with an enterprising manufacturer and machinist named Eldridge. R Johnson Johnson developed a wind up spring motor for Berliners gramophones now previously those gramophones had relied on hand cranks. So you'd literally turn a crank which would then turn the gears inside the device and turn the platter. So that you could listen to the disk being played back on the gramophone Johnson. Did good work. He created a spring motor that worked reliably, but Berliner would enter into a sales agreement with a man named Frank seaman, and this would lead to massive trouble. Frankie wanted more money for himself and eventually began to sell knockoffs of Berliners works while simultaneously bringing legal action much of its spurious in nature against both Berliner and Johnson the process eventually prevented Berliner from selling gramophones in the United States and nearly bankrupted. Both Berliner and Johnson in the process, and this was infuriating to them. I mean, they were the ones who had created this technology and now this salesman. They had worked with was claiming that they were the ones infringing on his patents, his ideas and his trade secrets, but in nineteen oh, one Johnson Berliner and some other entrepreneurs got together and founded a new consolidated company that took Berliners facilities and Johnson's manufacturing plants as the basis for the new organization, and this was the Victor talking machine company which incorporated on October third nineteen o one. So the Victor talking machine company was older than the Radio Corporation of America. That would not be born until nineteen nineteen but Sarnoff looked at the Victor talking machine company and thought this is a way I could sell more radios, I could take this company and take their product the the gramophone. Essentially, although they didn't call it that in the United States like they couldn't that. They started calling it things like the Victoria, those one that the Victor company made I can take that I can incorporate a radio into the design of those machines sell it as a new product and sell more radios this way, also just as a quick aside. The Victor trademark is one of the more famous ones in business history shows a dog specifically a FOX terrier sitting in front of a gramophone horn. And the dog's head is tilted slightly from a painting, titled his master's voice and the artist was Francis borrowed, and it was made in eighteen ninety nine the dog was named Nipper and once belonged to Borodin's nephew, Mark, Mark had tragically passed away. And then Francis sawn Nipper one day sitting near gramophone with his head cocked. And that led Francis. To wonder what the dog's reaction would be if they had happened to be playing a recording of. Of his old master, Mark speaking that was the expression for the painting. They tried selling the painting as a magazine illustration to no avail, and ultimately sold it to the gramophone company for the princely sum of one hundred pounds. Sterling Johnson got permission from the gramophone company to use it for his products under the Victor company and Berliner trademark the design at some point transferred that trademark over to the Victor company. The whole story is super fascinating. And I'm sure I'll devote a future episode to the Victor talking machine company. But for now, let's remember that it started in nineteen Ninety-one. And even though it grew out of an older company. And then would eventually get incorporated into our CA. I'll explain more in just a moment. But first, let's take another quick break to thank our sponsor. Hey, guys. I wanna talk to you about the online furniture shopping company joy bird, because I recently got a chair from joy bird, and I am incredibly pleased with the experience not only was it seamless the furniture itself is gorgeous. And it's comfortable. It is a wonderful accent to the room that we put it in. We put it in our guest room. We got the Soto chair from joy bird and lucky turquoise. And my wife said immediately, you did a really good job picking this out. Will I didn't do that job joy bird? Did they have an incredible selection of different pieces of furniture? They are made with precision and care. They use responsibly sourced materials, and they have a three hundred sixty five day home trial. You can see how joy bird is revolutionizing online furniture shopping. Just go to create the furniture. That brings you joy today at joy bird dot com slash tech stuff. Go to joy dot com slash tech stuff and receive an exclusive offer for twenty five percent off your first order by using the code tech stuff guys. Let me talk to you a little bit about turbo tax live. I don't know about you. But for me, nothing really cranks up my in Zion, easy, like tax time. I'm always worried I'm going to do it incorrectly. We'll turbo tax live is a new way to do taxes. It combines technology with on demand tax professionals who can answer your questions and offer personalized advice. I'm talking about real CPA's really as they can help you with your return. They can help you find all the deductions that apply to you. And you can file your taxes and know that you're doing them correctly their tax experts are there when you need them. So you can file with complete peace of mind. Turbo tax live with CPA's and as under. Amand? See details at turbo tax dot com. The acquisition of the Victor talking machine company met that RCA was now getting into the consumer electronics business. Keep in mind up until nineteen twenty nine are see was primarily in the business of operating radio broadcast stations and selling what was -ffective -ly industrial equipment. But now RCA owned the company that had created the icon Vitrolles machine, and they created a subsidiary company called RCA, Victor that company also took a majority ownership in the Japan Victor company, which is also known as J V C also in nineteen twenty nine Arcadio radio. Pictures released a film called syncopation which relied upon a new technique called RC a photo phone, which is not to be confused with the technology developed by Alexander Graham, Bell that was also called photo phone now, this was a technique of recording audio onto film for the purposes of synchronization. Sized visuals and audio in other words away of making talking pictures and the formation of archaic pictures at self is a great story that ties directly into our history of our CA. So the development of the RCA photo phone technology date back to the early nineteen twenty s there was a man named Charles a husky who was working on recording audio to photographic film as a project for General Electric, which you'll remember was one of the founding partners that created our CA. Now hawks these work, and that time was more about preserving audio recordings for playback, not necessarily as a way of creating talking pictures, but just recording audio in itself, but by the mid twenties General Electric was thinking about applying hawks he's work in the direction of talking pictures. Now, the desire to match sound to moving images dated back to the earliest moving pictures. Edison himself worked on this challenge. And a lot of different companies were taking various approaches. To this problem. So for example, Warner Brothers had created a system called vita phone vita phone, you would record a soundtrack onto a disk similar to in L P record when you're ready to play the film. You would synchronize the film playback with the audio from the disk. So that was a pretty primitive approach, but it was how some early talking pictures were made including the first one the jazz singer, which debuted in nineteen twenty seven RCA photo phone used a totally different approach. The sound was recorded in a narrow band on the side of the frame of film. Some actual photo reactive film. The band would be out of you. When the film was put through a projector. There was a frame on a projector that covers up the edges of the film. And the audio track is on one of those edges. The wits of this strip on the side of the film varies with the frequency of the sound. That was record. Id onto the film. So essentially if sound that's transmitted into a microphone, it is turned into an electric signal which in turn is used to treat this this federal to film. So that it has this record of the frequency. It's almost like a wave form if you were to think of that, you know, in the modern sense if you were to look at an audio file on a audio editing software. So then when you're playing it back. You have a bright lamp that shines light through this narrow strip. And you have a photo sell that picks up the light that's coming through, and it generates an electric current that matches the amount of light that's hitting the photo cell, and that signal goes to a pre amplifier, which can then boost the signal strength. So it can go to an amplifier. And then ultimately speakers the lamp for reading this optical sound. And the photo cell are not in the same position. As the projection lamp, though, it just get in the way. So. This is actually it creates something of a challenge. It means that the soundtrack is offset from the actual frames of the film itself. The soundtrack is either running a little ahead or a little behind the action of the film, depending upon the method that was actually used so in playback, it's all synchronized because if you as you put the fell through the right type of projector. The audio track gets read through the audio system at the same time as the video or the film rather the images are being projected through the projection lamp, and I'll get synchronized together so in playback, synchronized. But if you were to look at the film itself, like if you took the film out of the projector, then you held it up to the light. And you saw where the audio track is the audio. You're looking at would not be the audio that occurs in synchronisation with the image. You're looking at the advantage of that approach was. That all the synchronization would be done beforehand. You didn't have to set up a disk and a film in separate chambers to try and match up to each other. It was all in one piece of film, but the format itself changed several times sometimes with the optical soundtrack running ahead of the actions of us behind the action. This meant that movie theaters had to invest in different equipment to play back those films properly because if you put in a film where the soundtrack ran a little ahead of the action, but you put it in a projector that was designed to run a film that had the audio a little behind the action. You would have terrible experiences because the audio would not be at all synchronized with what was happening on screen. It would just be a total mess. This ended up creating kind of a format war that waged in the late twenties after RCA's approach debuted. It was not the only audio on film format and it also did bad. With the via phone approach where it was the the recorded two disc version now on the production side, if you were making films, it also changed how movies were made because if you watch some of the early films with sound like some of the first films that had sound in it, you might notice. People don't move very much shots are pretty static actors tend to remain in place. Well, this was largely because of the limitations of these sound recording equipment at the time microphones were large and bulky and typically Omni directional actors needed to be close to the microphones. So that they could be heard clearly, but they also couldn't move around very much because the microphones would pick up everything. So you just have a love noise the cameras themselves which had been motorized in the late nineteen twenties to create a standard frame rate of twenty four frames per second. That was necessary in order to have reliable sound playback. Those cameras made a lot of noise to in those early. Days and that could get picked up by the microphones. So as a result, the common practice was to put the cameras in enclosed somewhat soundproofed chambers. The camera man a camera operator, if you prefer would be inside that chamber with the camera, and they would be isolated from the rest of the set. So that the sound wouldn't leak through they were jokingly referred to as iceboxes I say jokingly because it would actually get scorchingly hot inside those as the cameras were running, and it limited what you could do with a camera, you could pan the camera a little bit on tripod. But that was about it. And so early talkies typically don't have very much movement or action in them, which was a big change from the early days of silent films because in those days actors would make these really big dramatic movements in an effort to tell a story because they could not be heard another thing that would change was that in the early days film, crews captured audio and images on the same film at the same time. Time. So in other words, the audio and images were both being directly recorded to the same strip of photographic film. This made editing really tricky. Because again, the audio track wasn't indirect line with the images. It was running a little head or a little behind. So you couldn't just snip film to create a transition or cut out a mistake because the audio wasn't lined up directly with whatever was happening in the image. And that would eventually changed when the industry began to capture images and audio separately and would only combine them after the editing process to create a master print the audio track and the images were still offset. But you could at least make edits to the film without messing up the soundtrack, and you could do the same to the audio track without messing up the film RCA's photo phone would go up against not only the vita phone system from Warner Brothers. But another sound on film system called movie tone movie tone came from a western electric subsidiary called. Electrical research products, Inc, or E, R P. I that's this time was the dominant one when RCA was ready to debut photo phone. So again, the company goes out and says what can we do to really compete in this market again idea? Let's make a new company. So they go out they purchased the Keith Albee orpheum chain of theatres that was a chain of the Inter's. That wasn't wasn't just motion picture theaters. But also vaudeville the enters as well. So our C goes out and buys this company that owns these multiple theaters. And then they merged that company with another company they buy called film, booking offices of America or F B O and the merger of these two acquisitions becomes the radio, Keith orpheum or are K O pictures company, so RCA created an entirely new corporation in order to put its motion picture audio format onto the market. And it worked photo phone would eventually evolve into the industry standard, pretty audacious move. And not the last one from RCA in our next episode. We will continue this story to talk about how our a weathered the great, depression, and what it was doing during World War Two. If you guys have suggestions for future episodes of tech stuff. Let me know semi an Email. The address is tech stuff at how stuff works dot com or head over to our website. That's tech stuff podcast dot com. You'll see the archive of older episodes. They're in different ways to contact us, including on social media. Don't forget to visit our merchandise store. That's not public dot com slash tech stuff. Remember every purchase? You make goes to help the show and we greatly. Appreciate it. And I'll talk to again releasing. For more on this and bathrooms of other topics. Visit how stuff works out com. Hey, guys wanna tell you about a brand new show called the brink. This is a podcast that's been in the works for a really long time. And the hosts are well, there is a handsome devil Nate Jonathan Strickland and his good friend Ariel cast. And together we bring to you stories about big moments in business that were make or break situations. And what happens when people have to make that pivotal decision. In some cases, things turn around and company that was on the verge of extinction will find a new life and be rejuvenated and everything's happy. Sometimes things don't go. So well, and we learn about those stories as well. So if you've ever wanted to know the human stories behind some of those big moments and business make sure you check out the brink. Listen and follow on the. Iheartradio app or subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.
Michael Shevack -197
"I could wile away the hours conversing with the flowers okay. Excuse me hi. I'm jordan rich and this is on mike with jordan rich. The podcast that champions creative conversation how about a way to discover spiritual freedom by clicking your heels together and getting ready to chart your own course along the yellow brick road your own version of the yellow brick road. Michael shevach is a teacher of spirituality and comparative religion and he's a guy who's actively involved in interreligious dialogue around the world. He's also the author of six books including the one. We're going to be focusing on today. Seoul lessons from the wizard of oz out of follow your yellow brick road. It's the movie beloved by millions for obvious reasons. And michael and i plan on delving into the deeper spiritual meetings that dorothy and her friends discover there are things about life available somewhere over the rainbow. Perhaps a bit closer than we ever imagined. So michael i invite you to join me as we go online. So i don't know about you. Michael but i love Opening my door to full nineteen thirty nine technicolor. that's the greatest feeling in the world isn't it is nothing like technicolor. You know it doesn't have a reality to it. And that's what makes it even more special indeed so tell me before we talk about the book and all the cool things that are in covered here. your first viewing experience. Do you remember it or early. Viewing experiences. Oh god when i was when i was a child the first time i ever saw it. I didn't even know that there was a colored distinction between ause kansas. I saw it on the nineteen nineteen fifties black and white tv. We didn't even have color set yet. We've got ups i gene. You know. I think it was your motorola or something like that color. Tv and the ones where you had to dial the callers. Dial the red red green and blue you had to. You know you have to tune it up. I could not believe that the door opened an oz was there. I had never seen on the wide screen. Had to see it on a television screen. Just just incredible for me. It was an rca rca brand tv and sixty three or four. Now i I i i mean it's it's so interesting today. Kids can watch it anytime they want as well as ten million other things in those days it sounds like a couple of old fogies here but in those days it was assignment viewing. And you couldn't wait for it to come on. It was appointment viewing. And if you missed it you missed next year. It was theater. It was true theater. I mean every there's just such a glut on the market of content and people don't realize the amount of work in the artistry that goes into it anymore it's just like pumped down and that that the the the the performance of the wizard of oz was a yearly memorial to that movie. It was just you know we booked it weeks in advance now before we examined all of the really cool stuff that i've often thought about in your book crystallizes it. Did you do any research into frank baum himself and whether or not he was in in in very much intent on having people think about these concepts you know i've gone through the annotated wizard of oz but i didn't see anything that indicated that this guy was building layers of symbol structures into it. I didn't see anything that represented the fact that the flying monkeys were really a hindu and buddhist. God name honam on you know they just seems to be there and sometimes sometimes people can create and there and the and the the levels are in the person for some reason they kind of or reincarnated into the person just comes through the creative. And i think that's really what happened here. Well it's certainly food for thought and more than just food. It's it's food to enrich your soul. Because i get a tingle every time i think of certain scenes in certain events but your book sort of brings it all together so let's breakdown soul lessons from the wizard of oz you basically look at almost every Iconic scene or gesture. And there's something there where do we. What are we start. We start in. Kansas knowing stole where we are. That was what glenda said. Don't when you know. We opened up the scene and you do the they had the open. Ed shot of the circular rilo. Rick roy and dorothy will have you get you know and and glenda says well. It's always best to start. At the beginning so interest goes into the little centripetal four in a little centrifugal center of it right and then spy outward you start at the beginning because from my perspective it is a book about spiritual awakening spiritual illumination and the psychological processes that goes through in expanding your awareness in your consciousness to a new level. So you start answers which is every day life humdrum from black and white grey flat everyday. Look and with apologies by the way to that great state of kansas. I'm not at all you know being prejudiced here. I'm just using literature for what it provides and everyone has the started out in life for the basics of being humid and pigsties. We have That we can fall into. We have corrals at tennis in too much. we have. We think don't really understand us and appreciate us where even parents that don't really love us enough in. Dorothy is even an orphan. We never even talk about the fact that she's living with her aunt and uncle you know. And she's dealt one hell of a very difficult task in our life but every human person comes from kansas. Which is the basic mortal everyday mundane experience. A human physical life And spiritual task is to own that transform. It re envision it and as dorothy discovers at the end of her journey realize that everything she had ever been looking for she had already been given but she was unable to see it. She was too bound by too many conflicting emotions and she couldn't see the gift of her everyday life the emotions. Let's talk about those. Because fear plays a huge part and of course you got the three characters. She teams up with her three friends Whom have needs all of whom have emotional needs. We are dorothy right. Were walking through this path and all of the characters and all of the events are things that happen to us pretty much. Yeah you know they all. Are we all dorothy. The greek meaning of the word. Dorothy is to be a gift of god. It's like we're all soul role a gift of god and what happens. Is we get trapped in kansas. So it's only black and white and gray in this note technical because we live in fear and the fear happens very naturally because you know any child knows as as any pediatrician knows when the baby is born the fears somewhat in eight. If you don't support a baby when they come out of the will the baby has a built in reflects to panic. Okay because nature bills in these fears to hold us protected to keep our bodies protected so we had these vital fears that a built in and when then we get fierce to its society and fears to other people and those are not necessarily aligned to our protection they become neurotic fears okay and we get them very easily. Because we become dependent on on family become dependent on money. And we get neurotic. You're so we really don't learn how to be part of life. We just live in our own minds. In all societies in alone little cools and those very neurotic deep fears that we have. They are our wicked witch. We all have little wicked witch on the inside. That's cackling yet and is trying. Row us off balance to steal a ruby slippers from us and imprison us in the Forest every single person has that the concept of dousing the which with water which purifies a lot of things it. it's the. It's the unlikely way to do away with evil but it works all kinds of imagery here. Well the water is your classic semple for forgiveness. K it for purification. it's the atomic structure waters. H two is is the Is the atomic number is eighteen. Which is the hebrew cabalistic symbol for life right The of the everything is packed into this little story. But we all have to face our wicked witch. Indeed new say everything you're you're including the four legged creatures in and the most important one of course is toto. What do we learn and understand about todo. As you point out well look thinkable that repression that we go to you know we have so much repression on the inside of us and there is an animal in us that it that society is trying to constantly civilize so we don't really experience. Our true wildness were always living in an obsessive compulsive disorder. With society's trying to shut down our recklessness because it can be dangerous and then they over control us and then when we feel over controlled like every teenager knows or any parents to verity ager knows you break away from that excessive control and you become reckless then you go as far as you can and then you cause damage and then you get extra control. And you're always going backwards. And forwards between recklessness and over control and reckless in control and society is really an obsessive compulsive disorder. And what toyoto represents is the totem animal of dorothy. The true spirit in body the wild anima spirit okay from breath in latin and toto through the entire story is always barking encouraging. All defending and is absolutely undaunted. You can't put her in vira gulch's bicycle seat. The which cannot control total total always winds up escaping. Nothing frightened ohio. And that's because built into us is dr in the fierceness that is part of our animal nature which when it isn't erotic and it isn't governed by crazy rules and regulations of kansas society is really a helper you know. The body doesn't interfere with spirituality. It can be a help. But when it's properly aligned and the alignment of todo to dorothy through the whole movie is constantly. There is an anchor for her on the yellow brick road michael Let's take a look at professor marvel aka the man behind the curtain. Because that's one of my favorite chapters and it's also he's also one of my favorite actors. Frank morgan but it's it's the the man behind the curtain. I mean it's it's we buy into so much and people are are likely to fall prey to all kinds of gimmicky things one of them. Is this imaginary wizard. What role does. Yeah in your estimation. Well you know. Many many years ago. I had read an article in psychology today on on on psychotherapy and in psychotherapy they have this notion. That roy invented transports every single person projects onto their therapist certain primary relationships parents and stuff and the therapist as kind of a mirror for working that kind of stuff out and that you begin to think the therapist is really going to be a great person who's gonna lead you or the or the clergy's the great person that's going to you know give you the answers to lie but ultimately health comes when you realize that your therapists through your clergy were just ordinary people. They were just ordinary people behind the curtain and that that the veil of what they were performing their tasks that they were performing at had really nothing to do with. It is that you you're neediness Was projected onto that person and made that person feel bigger to you and it's best all the straighted. Best illustrated isn't it with the scarecrow lion and tin man searching for heart mind and the courage which in a sense they always had but never tapped into. Yeah that's that's the whole in order to enter the yellow brick road. You have todo very strong Right custody egging. You want because you have a body in this life that propels you but you've got to get to the point. Your mind will the scarecrow the tin man or your heart and your will which is the cowardly lion that they're all forgiven for their frailties and they're all integrated in united with you on the yellow brick road. You know we all had we all Jordan we all hate ourselves sometimes for being so stupid and for allowing ourselves to have done this that and we don't think we have a brain and sometimes we. We made the raw emotional decisions with partners. So whomever we full our heart and even accused ourselves of heartless behavior when in fact we were following the rolling motion and many times. We fold ourselves for getting into trouble because we were just week and didn't have the power of our courage. It ought to do something different. So on the yellow brick road of life we have got to take our mind our heart and our will and we unite them. We door is doing is uniting them so that she's not split into different faculties you know how we human beings are split into so many faculties. But we don't know how to put the puzzle pieces together. Okay and that's what. The yellow brick road is. You know. I'm gonna give you a little secret. Okay if you ever have a decision to make don't make it unless your mind and your heart. You scarecrow. Tin man are totally in agreement. Good advice and and then when you're scarecrow and your tinman are totally in agreement okay and your vital force or your was yapping and ready to go then engaged the cowardly lion then engage you. Will you will make the best decisions of your life by learning how these characters operate on the inside of you okay. And it's that simple. The story just teaches you how to do it. Does it's profoundly simple and beautiful The song which everybody knows the greatest american song ever written in my opinion somewhere over the rainbow expresses the desire to go beyond and i guess dorothy is is that gift. Is you call. Her has that yearning has that desire A lot of people have desire. They may not think of it as looking over a rainbow but they think this something. I don't know what it is. I need to grasp look for something else. That's a positive. Isn't it this environment but head very well lived without it and you can't very well live without it. We have a terrible tendons because of misuse of our intellect. Divide everything into excessive polarities. This or that this they read is versus blue. Or you know in old times they were. You know jews versus christians muslims verses. You know christians and they were all these wars this gay versus straight and on mind. Just divide everything into canada works and we have to find a way to transcend and go beyond it all. We are left split between glen. Designer are wicked witches which is good which is good. Which is it a bed which you know and every human being must go beyond the rainbow. They must go beyond that in order to put the meaning of life meaning of life and it's deep spiritual purpose in in its proper place a we can use see. There's there's there's a world here of great meaning in great depth and it's there to be used but unless you knock on the door it does. The door doesn't open and so when you know that song by the way which they were gonna cut out of the movie we're gonna actually cut it out of the movie is the greatest yearnings of the human heart to find meaning to life in fact the rainbow from a biblical point of view is is the symbol of the covenant of peace after after noah and the ark. Okay now it's now it's lgbt q. rainbows are symbols of really the the healing trauma of day life right. We're blue merle flowing and we're troubles melts like lemon drops in other words. We all have problems. But most of the problems we have a really our own judgments mirrored back to us in life. Because it's very creative world we live in and We create our own problems. Mirrored back to ourselves and when you begin to operate from an odd state of consciousness oz state of consciousness rather than kansas state of consciousness. You begin to notice that the troubles and as simply as changing your mind and that you begin to interact with interact with reality differently and reality is responsive and when you when you remove the problems in your mind you remove them in their out picturing which is our everyday experience the one thing that always sticks with me whenever i see it and i'll see at once twice three times a year because i have to is the sweet relationship between dorothy and her friends. Most particularly the scarecrow. I choked up every time. I think of that scene by the balloon and i i know that as basic to human need anything but to be with the right people. Who were there for us. Who care for us. Who empathize with us. And we'd them comment if you will about the message of love and friendship that this film and the story might supply. The scarecrow is particularly tendered to door at the. I believe because psychologically dorothy is faulting herself for the decision process to have left hall in the first place and she's thinking that she was stupid and her stupidity caused all the problems so she has a special bond. She doesn't have a doubt that she has some courage because it took a lot of courage to leave the house. Just seventy doubt that her heart is there because she knows she loves anti. She has a doubt that her mind was functioning and the beautiful thing about life and the beautiful thing about the yellow brick road. Is you begin to see that these characters and indeed every single person we meet in life is a mirror of some aspect of yourself which is getting tuned. you know jordan. It's kind of like if you take a a tuning fork and you hit the tuning fork and you put it near a piano. The frequency of the tuning fork will make the string on the piano. Play that is the same frequencies tuning for you. Don't have to get the key on the piano phenomena and wrench ship these kind of deep friendships. They allow us to resonate with a side of ourselves and build a side of ourselves so we come to know that side of ourselves by having friendships and relationships are friendships and relationships are the very special even holy and the reason. There's so many causes so many problems is because you know they resonate with us and the problems that we have in relationships get increased through friendships. You know the the the purpose is to make us aware of why the relationship is painful and it's not never the relationship rights relationship of yourself mean they may be a fuzzball but you got the velcro that makes it stick. That's a good one audrain. I'll put that one down in my bag of quotes in you know or you. You know you're button was hardwired long before they pushed it. You know every single person has to take responsibility for their velcro and for their button because relationships will push it but we have the button so relationships are guide to ourselves. Okay at if you pay for the relationship with the therapist that's okay but you also get all these relationships free date for it right No one go all. Joseph cambell here but There is that quest. For in this the broomstick that would prove dorothy and dorothy value it. It's obviously a symbol but There is this sense of challenge that we have to accept the challenge in ride truth. Storms to get to where we need to get very very universal concepts very traditional concepts in the room. Stick in this situation. It's hard to avoid. It's it's it's the it's a phallic symbol Have the witch riding very heartily star in the sky. It's inserted between her legs. It's a symbol of the power of a woman that became repressed okay but society and becomes reborn in the witch in the wiccan and dorothy has to take back the broom meaning. She has own her power her. She has to own her male side an end so that she can conquer her own fears. She can't just be shy and demure you know would die. I'm dorothy the me she says in the movie has to take back and she has to own the vital power of that. Which is bro. We all do because as as the great hindu philosopher Or a bimbo said your fire. The very thing. That is your hardest thing to accomplish. Is the indication of your greatest gift very very well said a couple of things number one as a film nut margaret hamilton. The actress went on to become a wonderful lady who adopted a lot of children and it was the sweetest person on the planet always known as the wicked witch. But it's always interesting how art doesn't necessarily imitate life and the other way around but i'm just curious. Is there any other film that you would even think about exploring in this realm. I mean there've been a lot of movies. The swedish films that we all know and love seven seals. Are there any other film that even comes close with with all of the the good stuff to talk about. In your estimation nothing has layers of death and and psychological and spiritual meaning of the wizard of oz. however i i've been really genuinely educate by superman comics. I do have to tell you that you're talking about. You're talking one of my favorite subjects here. The even the story about how they came up with the character is amazing. Yeah it's very clear to me because you don't even crypt. Tony in is is is is hebrew. Bright corral giral. They're all there. They're hebrew at carlisle. Could be the voice of god You know al being the wrath of god it's very clearly have kind of a hebrew story of perhaps a jesus coming to earth with towers ability far beyond mortal men. So does that kind of stuff. You know it's very funny. How the human soul kinda is drawn to these things. Even though they're not overtly religious but we can sense the meaning that they have for us and they whole us towards it even as children there are scripture. They are the scripture. I couldn't agree more. I believe that people are It it's hard wired to to be drawn to that were seeking answers or seeking inspiration. I couldn't agree more. The film works on a million now. Works on ten million. Thanks to your book. But it's really. I loved it because Not only are we talking about philosophical and spiritual issues but a lot of good movie Memories i mean you talk about everything from the flying monkeys to the poppies for crying out loud. I mean it's when you get older and you realize what poppies are are really designed to do by evil drug lords. You realize there's a lot going on here. Yeah poppies of their to put her to sleep at the very point that ego which is a very dangerous thing on the yellow brick road because as you were powerful you. Your ego can misuse that power misdirected and so at the very point that she seeing the emerald city she seeing that cure incredible green that balances the sick twisted green of the of the witch at every point. She's about to be free. That's the point. Wish she is put to sleep okay where she can no longer really realize a spiritual path because she only knows that what she's been searching for his in front of her and that's the danger of the goal you can hold onto it. You can't hold onto the to the goal. The goal belong to god. The gold belongs to something bigger than you. You gotta keep looking but not hold onto tight like the monkey who puts his hand in a cage and hold a peanut and is stuck because he won't let go of the peanut to get the cage his hand and that's weird dangerous that's one of the dangers on the spiritual path is holding onto tight to the peanut. Well i think the spiritual path is made a lot clearer when you think that. It's comprised of yellow bricks and you start at the beginning. That's a good way to go you. You've entertained us with this but it's also great thought provoking stuff. I can't thank enough. It's it's really true. The yellow bricks yellow gold. It's the symbol of of of spiritual power of the male spiritual power with gold and it's also the power of the solar plexus which in the into Shaqra system is Is is yellow. it's son you know. Very out chemical symbol. Well michael this has been a pleasure. I look forward to reading more of your material and and following your exploits but it's called soul lessons from the wizard of oz how to follow your yellow brick road and may your road be paved with good health and happiness along the way my friend. Thank you getting better. As i learn how to operate the odds lessons i will be your co-pilot moving along. Thank you so much. Thank you jordan for having me. I appreciate it so much. Michael chevette. the book so lessons from the wizard of oz how to follow your yellow brick road loved this book. The perfect companion to the perfect film. Want to say. Thanks as always dante boa fast. Which media to kenny carberry chart productions and to all of you for not listening to this podcast but spreading the word those five star reviews certainly help and the reach of this. Podcast is now worldwide with building numbers every single week to find out more visit jordan. Rich dot com. That's my website. You can check out the book on air. My fifty year love affair with radio very soon as we record this to be an audio book. And i'll tell you about that when it happens so until next time this is jordan as always saying be well so you can do good take care.
Long Shot: Charlize Theron And Seth Rogen Mix Romance And Politics
"Support for NPR and the following message. Come from RCA records, presenting pinks new album hurts to be human featuring the hit songs. Walk me, home and hurts to be human featuring Khalid available everywhere now. Well, summer is a time of spectacles and sequels. There is always time for love the new romantic comedy longshot stars Charlie's therein as a beautiful and sophisticated presidential candidate and Seth Rogan as the grubby speechwriter with her on the campaign trail can up the track and tensions be resolved. Does Shirley's Barron have great hair in this movie? We're talking about all the answers to these questions on today's pop culture happy hour. So don't go away. Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from made, well where the motto is good day start with great jeans. How did they make them? So great made well starts with premium denim. Then offers men's and women's styles for seriously, everyone, also you can recycle any brand of jeans in a made well store, and they'll give you twenty dollars often new pair, they work with the blue jeans. Go green program to turn old genes into housing insulation for communities in need terms apply. Ready to find your perfect fit? Stop by a maid. Well store or go to made well dot com. Welcome back. Although I am alone today in historic studio forty four joining us from WB you are in Boston is Margaret Willison who is one half of the two bossy Dame's and one third of the podcast appointment television. Hi, Margaret Highland. Also at WVU are in Boston is Christina Tucker of the unfriendly, black hotties podcast. Welcome back, Christina. Hey, hey, I'm so happy to have you guys with me to talk about this romantic comedy, Margaret, tell me how you felt about long shot. I really liked it. I think I turned to Christina lake eight minutes in it was like, I think I love this movie. And you know, I went in with a certain amount of apprehension because there are a lot of different directions where this could have gone wrong, and I left really surprised with the elegance with which they threaded a lot of different needles. They had to thread talk to me about what those such out with those are so the hot girl, Sean. Guy. Conceit can go wrong in a lot of different directions can be a method for negating the idea of sort of female sexual attraction. And instead basically being like, oh, what they really needed just like someone who's going to be nice and sure and they're just too dumb. And they're just distracted by hot things rate. And it doesn't go in that direction. It could go under direction of framing people who don't look like Shirley's there and as inherently unworthy of love, and it doesn't go in that direction either. And then there's also sort of like up tight lady lake chill dune. That is even more a threat, and is not the direction that they go in the direction to go in is really interesting, which is that they're both incredibly intense in different sort of self defeating ways and that they need to learn from each other's intensiveness to achieve balance in their lives. Right. Right. Right. Okay. Christina was you think? Yeah. No. I was probably not as charmed as Margaret was watched. We watch the film together. And I will say there was a lot of just deep sighing giggling coming from that side of the theater tears at one point. I assumed that I thought I was just gonna leave that where it was. But I yeah, I also came up with some apprehension, you know, it was the trailers kind of give you that mid offs hot girl schlub Jared. And I was like is this really what we're doing right now not dip for president. Right. Like to knocked up two furious. I just was concerned that we were going to be doing that again in this economy. It seemed to respond. Yeah. They as Margaret said, they had a bunch of needles, and I thought they threat to them quite well. And I exited that film and Phil charmed and delighted and I had a wonderful Sunday afternoon. Yeah. I think that's sort of where I came down. I like you. I don't think I loved it as much as Margaret did the big threat for me was the uptight driven woman and kind of gentle fund, dude. And because that is very much the vibe of not numb the romantic comedy. I know Seth Rogan best for and a movie that frankly, I really love despite the fact that I share Katherine high goals feelings about in the role is kind of thankless in some ways, there are many things I love about that film. But I did feel that threat. And I do think they stay away from it. There is some of that. If I never again saw the person gets other person to lighten up by getting them extremely high and taking them to club. I just don't need that scene. Anymore? I've seen that so much. I'm on the record that most drug scenes are so boring to me. I don't think high people are particularly fun unless you are also high, but I will say Shirley's therein almost makes me like that trope because she's very funny in. That's he I think, but yeah, I liked it. There were parts of it that I found unsatisfying do you know, how at the end there's a part that's kind of like everyone of all different political persuasions should there. Yes. As I said to Margaret when we left I was like that kind of felt like it was just kind of stuck in there by like nervous studio executives did. And then that's just not really fully investigated. And I do think the land that scene a little bit better than I could ever have expected them to. But I'm still mad that they put it in there and mad about who they pinned it to. I think what would have worked better for me if they had committed a little bit more to the politics like I would have liked to see her do more politicking that was not meeting at parties. Right. Yeah. Because the only political position that they really put in her mouth is environmentalism which is kind of the nice person's political position where it sort of suggests. She's progressive ish. Right. There's no suggestion. So she she is the secretary of state in this film on the president Xi answers to is played by Bob Odenkirk. There's no indication that he would have progressive politics at tall. I don't right, right. So where is she coming from? Because he is a the Seth Rogan character is a flaming liberal journalists. And so presumably if she's bringing him on to work for her. That's where her politics are. But then she doesn't talk about anything except environmentalism. If you look at. Like, for example, the American president, they at least give him some political positions that he's arguing about in the film. So I wanted to hear a little bit more about her politics like Margaret. Yeah, they want you to invest in the fact that like she would be a great president. And it's like, right. Isn't just about recycling. Well, she's also you're forgetting extremely beautiful Linda, she is. I have to say it's shallow. But they are really steering into the fact that she has you know, on this show in the past. I have appreciated a good, Bob. Has the best Bob that I have seen in movies. Yeah. Yeah. Awhile it done, Bob. It is great not one moment where it seems like a local newscasters hair. Yeah. I think one of the reasons that I liked this movie so much like one of my great personal axioms is that attraction is specific. So it's not just like there's this crowd sourced idea of hot. And that's what everyone would get perfect world rate, and that the farther you are from that crowd sourced ideal the more jer settling right that instead it's putting forward this idea. It's like, no actually attraction as a Wild Thing. Nobody entirely understands how it affects people in wanting to fix people. And sometimes that means attraction is deeply embarrassing. And like when you are putting yourself forward as the leader of the free world, and you've found yourself really immediately attracted to an. Nebi dude who wears a zipped up windbreaker all the way to his chin too, many formal events like your attraction is a little embarrassing. But that doesn't mean it's not deep sincere attraction and that right me that's not grounded in something really real. And I appreciate the fact that you'd get both of those dynamics at the same time like you get the sense of why this is kind of a hard leap for her to make an it's not just like, oh, he's schlumpy. He's just a little bit too much. But you also understand why a little bit too much is like exactly what she needs most in her life and the freedom to be a little bit too much herself is what she's seeking. So I really appreciate it that. Yeah, I agree with that. I think that they do a good job of putting her in a position where you know, she thinks he's fun at the beginning. When she starts to read his writing, she becomes interested more in his sense of humor. I guess I struggle with. With not necessarily believing that he that she would be attracted to him because of looks. It was surprising to me that she would be attracted to him. Because he's so unfiltered her entire life is very filtered. And I I completely. I mean, look I've watched rom coms before I understand the opposites attract business. I'm not sure it's completely believable. I guess I would say this. It's more believable to me that you'd be attracted to him than it is that she would hire him. Yes. Because if you want to run for president, you're not necessarily looking for someone who is totally unfiltered. That's not right. What being that's not what running for president calls for for good or for ill. I will say I wished also that there was a little bit more meat on the bones of the story of him being kind of turfed out of journalism because he basically is writing for it said to be a Brooklyn paper, I would think of it as being like a village voice type of van. Which gets purchased by a giant media conglomerate, which lays most people often a whole thing happens, but they don't ever really return to that. And they don't really have him grieve being out of journalism very much. And I'm not sure that somebody who got turfed out of journalism and went over and became a speechwriter would do it quite this seamlessly the way they handle that story of the way they try to put meat on the bones of that story is with another character. I want to talk about who is sort of a media mogul, maybe some Rupert Murdoch some Roger Ailes kind of media guy. Yeah. Played by Andy circus. So I checked perfect sense. I kept looking at that guy. I did not recognize it as anti circus. I know him, and I was thinking why does this look like a guy in a Halloween costume like everyone else? Just looks like a normal person. Why is doesn't this guy? Just looked like an actor. What have they done with his makeup or something? He looks. Very weird. And then you find out not only is it. Andy circus in six hours of prosthetics. According to one interview, I saw nobody asked Andy circus to do this. It was his thing. I wish to be in six hours of aesthetics, which can be there's a whole thing about how this is how he gets in character. But he looks so strange in it it does not look natural. And so to me it's like you're just distracting, I believe at one point I leaned over. And I was like who is this goblin looks like an extra from a Harry Potter set. Like, I don't know where you got from green. God's listen. I guess if Andy circa says, I want to be in six hours percents. Anything you must give it to the only person who can drain his role. Sometimes you have to say no to people, and I think if Ono to the six hours of prosthetics it might have been a smarter move. And if we're just talking supporting cast, I just wanted to have to talk about gene Raphael quick shot to June Diane Raphael, playing both. A person I would like to be and also a person I would like to marry isn't that was a lot for me to take in latching confusion. Just flit across your face every time she said something mean was it was a symphony. Okay. And tell us who June Diane Raphael playing here. She plays. Maggie who is short leases campaign manager chief of staff kind of right hand woman. She is very hesitant about the burgeoning romance with I think in certainly in the beginning, some good reason to be she burns Seth Rogan quite excellently in their first. Oh, I'll take him to get dressed. Don't worry about it moment yet, which is going to be your big makeover saying it's sure is it's a big makeover on. I'll give it that. I think she's funny all the time. Like just listening to her say words, always makes me laugh. I do wish she got to do a little bit more than be the mean Burnett. But like, well, let's just like the mean Burnett when we're not rooting for her mean point of view, right, right? Like the while. I was a little bit. Let's be honest too. But the film doesn't want you to be reading turning point of view, which is like you can't be with a guy like this because the American public won't accept it. I also want to do want to acknowledge. I am amazed. How long and successful. Seth Rogan's career has been since he is basically always the same guy. Yup. He is that dude. Yeah. But then again when Christina and I were walking. Yeah. It was like I just think he's a star. True. Is that what you did you say I did say that. And then Christina did point out that my bar for men with glasses and beards is pretty much underground. Yeah. It was amazing to me that there's a moment where like the version of like, oh, he's he's cleaning himself up. Now is when he shows up and she says, oh, you shaved your neck. I just always want there to be like some lady who gets away with that career. You know, what I know? I totally agree. And you know, as I am on anti heterosexual agenda being like does it have to be this, man? Couldn't just look. Just like, it's fine. I think they pulled it off. I think it was a harder execution than we. You know, that I thought it would be I think they did a great job. It was a charming film. But it still at the end of the day. I was like, yeah. I guess just that. Like, I was well positioned to absolutely love this foam. And I enjoyed it while I was there I recommend to people who like this kind of film, and I have already forgotten most of it. So tomorrow, I will have forgotten all of it. And that brings us to the end of our show if you have seen longshot come and tell us what you think find us on Facebook at Facebook dot com slash PCH or tweet us at PCH. You can follow Margaret at MRs Friday next. You can follow Christina at sea underscore, grace, t thanks to both of you for being here up there at WVU. Are we were thrilled? Thank you. Thank you. And of course, thank you for listening. If you have a second, and you are so inclined please subscribe to our newsletter at NPR dot org slash pop culture newsletter. We will see you. All right back here on Friday. What would you do if you found out story that it shaped your identity was ally? NPR's new podcast white lies investigates in murder in Selma Alabama from nineteen sixty five and exposes the conspiracy that kept it unsold until no white lies. Start listening Tuesday.
Philando Castile's Mother Wipes Out School Lunch Debt, Continuing Son's Legacy
"Support for NPR and the following message. Come from RCA records, presenting pinks new album hurts to be human featuring the hit songs. Walk me, home and hurts to be human featuring Khalid available everywhere now in two thousand sixteen Philander Casteel was fatally shot by police officer during a traffic. Stop in. Minnesota. Casteel was the beloved cafeteria supervisor at JJ hill Montessori magnet school. He was known as the lunch man or Mr. Phil. If a child didn't have enough to eat he would add some Graham crackers to her tray or even use his own money to pay for her lunch. Casteel legacy of generosity lives on through his mother last month. Valerie Casteel donated eight thousand dollars to a high school outside Minneapolis to pay off lunch. Debts for hundreds of students the money came from the philanthropists steel relief foundation. It's nonprofit she founded in her son's name after his death. Valerie Steele joins me now from her home in Minnesota, welcome. Hello. How are you today? I'm very good. Thank you so much for joining us today. I just want to start with your son Philander was remembered so much for his kindness and his report with the students at his school. Can you share a story about just help beloved? He was at JJ hill. Montessori magnet school want story did reds Nate's with me is young boy was new to the school. And when he would come in to the cafeteria, he would sit by himself because he didn't know anyone and my son would come over and talk with him and. It is grabbed his tray and took him to another table with other little boys, and you know, the kids introduced themselves and he sat with them to have lunch from that day forward. Philander helped him make his first friends. Yes, he d. So can you talk a little bit about this foundation? You started. I mean, how big of a problem is this young students racking up debt for school lunch. You know? I don't have children at our school age though, I really had no idea of the lunch shaming and kids gone without eating and then to have a dead at the end of the year. I had no knowledge about that. But now that we've been doing things, you know, helping students pay off these debts. It has really come to the surface. A lot of problems in our school. Districts have really opened up our ads about the problems that we have in our schools. Do you think this is something that you believe in so much that you would like to push for change at the political level now? Oh my God. Yes. That's the next step. I mean, our kids have one job one job only Annette's to go to school become educated to become the future leaders of this country in I myself personally. And I think a lot of parents will agree that they should eat lunch freak, you know, the story of your son's life. It has moved people so profoundly that your station actually isn't the only one doing this kind of work in Filanto's memory. What is that been like for you as his mother to watch the impact he has had even after his death? It's been a journey everyone who has came forward in. Doing anything in honor of Landau is just a beautiful thing. Why, you know, even though they tried to make him seem like he was something. Nettie wasn't you know, he wasn't. You know, wasn't a gang banger and just to seek people open up their hearts in their wallets in be so supportive, generous is just absolutely amazing. Valerie Casteel is the CEO and president of the Philander Casteel relief foundation. Thank you so much. Valerie for joining us today. Oh, thank you for having me.