Friday, June 12, 2009


Hippo is a little too young to remember the parties on New Year's Eve 1999 as Y2K approached. That was a wild night of food, drinks, games, funny hats, and sitting glued to the television waiting to see if predictions of blackouts, crashing jetliners, and jackpotting ATM's would come true.

But Hippo was ready to party today, the last day in decades of analog TV. We switched over from the cable box to watch our local NBC station on the rabbit ears one last time. They even had a countdown to switchover time, just like Dick Clark on Rockin' New Years' Eves.

What would happen when they turned off all those transmitters. Would the sky turn black? Would the urban buzz fade to an eerie silence? Would the aliens come for a visit, wondering what happened to all their favorite shows?

In fact, what happened is: it SNOWED. We learned recently that the snow is actually radio noise echoing from the Big Bang. We wonder what will happen when those old TV frequencies get reused for new kinds of transmissions. Maybe they'll make abstract art or Rorschach tests appear on those old-fashioned TV's. I think we'll keep one around to find out.

1 comment:

D. McCormick said...

We hear you through our little hippo ears. Sadly, we too have only snow. We returned from a trek to the San Diego area (eh hem, there's a BIG hippo in the zoo there!) and alas, the little tv from the 80s works no more.