In the first half, advocate for protecting America's power grid, Peter Pry, shared updates about preventing damage from EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attacks and solar flares. "This is the most important issue of our time, because EMP, even though it's unfamiliar to most people is the greatest threat our civilization faces," he remarked. Individual states have started to pass legislation because they've run out of patience with Washington, he said, but we may not be moving fast enough (NASA recently released a report that Earth narrowly missed a highly destructive solar flare in 2012, and North Korea continues to test missiles and projectiles ).
Bipartisan proposals, such as the Shield Act, which would harden the electric power grid against EMP, have been stalled by lobbying from the electric power industry, which doesn't want to spend the money. Currently, the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives, Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Fred Upton has refused to bring the Shield Act out of committee and up for a vote. George suggested that people write Rep. Upton (contact info/Facebook) and let him know how they feel about this. Both Russia and China hardened their grids years ago, Pry noted.
In the latter half, television writer and historian Marc Cushman discussed the emergence of the TV drama genre during the 1960s with such shows as I Spy, The Twilight Zone, and Star Trek, as well how TV content has changed over the years. I Spy was groundbreaking as the first show to have an interracial cast, while Star Trek, which also had an ethnically diverse cast, broke taboos about presenting political and social issues on prime time entertainment television, he cited. The Fugitive introduced the idea of an antihero, which was also featured in the daytime soap, Dark Shadows, with the vampire Barnabas Collins.
Other trailblazers in the earlier days of TV included Jack Webb, who created the genre of the cop show with Dragnet, and pioneered the use of close-ups in TV, and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz who developed the idea of a three camera set-up and the viability of reruns, Cushman continued. Interestingly, it was Lucy, who greenlit the original Star Trek series through her Desilu Studios. Though many of the TV shows of the 1960s such as Get Smart, Bewitched, Hogan's Heroes, and The Munsters, were silly, they were quite distinctive, whereas nowadays programs are often highly derivative of other hit shows, he pointed out.
8/21/14 guest Marc Cushman shares this "film trim" which came from the editing room floor at Star Trek in the 1960s. Such images were sold to fans by Gene Roddenberry's mail order company.
Click on photo to enlarge.