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Of Shoelaces and Ribbons

Tying shoelaces and fixing ribbons

This week’s Off the Beaten Path starts out with something that answers a question about those extra holes on tennis shoes (it’s actually an interesting idea) and ends with the viewing of “a masterpiece” … at least to those who love old broadcasting, old technology and, especially, microphones.

How to Tie a Shoe
The extra holes at the top of a shoe … and creating a better fit …

We’ve all tied our shoes since an early age … so you might think you already know how to do it … but did you ever wonder about those extra holes near the top? They’re there for a reason. This might be something you didn’t know.

Very Early Late Night TV …
There’s been Carson, Letterman, Leno, Kimmel, and so many late night talk show hosts, but did you ever wonder who may have started it all? “Broadway Open House” with Jerry Lester is sometimes credited with the start. Here’s a great old recording of the show (in its entirety). It’s actually a great show (though more sketch-like than most of the modern equivalents). Enjoy Jerry Lester on “Broadway Open House” from NBC.

Music With a Theremin …
Maybe you’ve heard of a “Theremin”? It’s an electronic device invented in 1920 where proximity to an antenna, rather than physical contact, produces varying audio frequencies. The inventor Léon Theremin based it on a proximity sensor. Here’s a modern equivalent for a touchscreen. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to work with the Firefox browser.

Need a Laugh?
Cleveland area TV, near my old hometown of Dover, Ohio, has a great history of late night comedy/bad old movie shows. Voice over artist and then local DJ Ernie Anderson, who later became the voice of ABC and “The L—o—v—e Boat” in the 1980s, was a late night creature feature host with the nom-de-fright of “Ghoulardi.” He was followed by the more comedic “Hoolihan & Big Chuck,” and now “Big Chuck & Little John.” This is nothing but a great little audio bit from that show … a goofy laugh. If you produce audio bits for radio or have a radio show, you might want to “borrow” this great laugh.

And finally …
Maybe the best for last — repairing an RCA 77D ribbon microphone. I watched this amazing engineer/artisan restore the mic (via this YouTube video) with amazement. What an incredible craftman!

If you stumble across a good or unusual web site that might be of interest, please don’t hesitate to send me the link and any info you might have about it. My email address is [email protected].