December 29th, 2006

Tom Lehrer is Smug

Joe Raposo YouTube Funtime!

(All right, now we'll be quiet and you sing it!)
I like fish food
You do too
Don't look now, your
Hair is blue

Walk right in and
See the zoo
Up is down and
I love you

Stop and go and
Dance a dance
All the way from
Here to France

Day and night all
Bright and new
Left is right and
I love you
This, along with the "No Right Turn, No Left Turn, What Can You Do?" song, probably goes a long way towards explaining my signage fixation.
Tom Lehrer is Smug


This morning I noticed they'd gone and did another all-over ad job on the Harvard Square station. This time around every single ad poster is for Special K cereal and I guess some Special K cereal bar byproduct. Much like JetBlue's all-over train campaign, the posters are designed to flow in a linear fashion, and that's neat. (There's an undulating background across all posters which looks like a continuous wave when you look at several posters in a row. I think that's cool.)

Now, I understand why Harvard Square is the station that always gets this kind of regular advertising treatment. It's easily the busiest Red Line station north of the Chahls so the eyeball factor is high, and there's plenty of advertising space on the walls and poster slots and the floors.

But even so, with a product like Special K, I thought maybe it'd have been more appropriate to place the ads in Kendall.

You know, because, like, of the K, and all...

ok if anybody needs me I'll be over here
Tom Lehrer is Smug

double-you BEE ZEE, BOS-tonnnnnn! A Westinghouse Broadcasting St(BOOOP)ation.

Ever wanted to synchronize your *nix computer's clock to WBZ 1030's dual-tone time signal? The 825 Hz and 950 Hz tones that automatically hit on top of the hour regardless of what's being broad(BOOOOOOP)cast at the time (usually a station ID or the beginning of the hourly news)? Well, you can. All you have to do is hook an AM receiver up to your sound card, compile some quick C code, and wait for that boop.

Of course, being New England and all, this does not work exactly perfect. WBZ's time signal is actually 8 seconds late. Googling around discovered some discussions over whether this delay is due to the FCC-compliant talk radio time delay ("The Dump Button") or the HD signal conversion, but apparently the delay is there.

So I guess I should say that if you've ever wanted to synch your *nix computer's clock to WBZ's dual-tone signal and be 8 seconds late to everything, you can. Or as phatmike points out, add a bit to the code to subtract 8 seconds from the mark. If you really insist on being on time.

The WBZ time signal, by the way, is a radio tradition I hope never goes away. On-air personalities have come and gone, the station itself has seen some major format changes, but since the 1940s that BOOOOOOP has been there. May it always herald the top of the hour (plus 8 seconds.)