Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Tagged tv

Published works: The future of TV, film tourism, first time in Hawaii, Trump’s #1 hotel

Excluding non-bylined stories for my commercial clients, this is what I published last month:

Thanks for reading.

How to stay young at heart (aka “aging gracefully”): Don’t knock it ’till you try it

credit: dungeons and dragons

credit: dungeons and dragons

Growing old is a weird as you imagined it. Not that any young readers ever think about getting old. As a tenderfoot, I certainly didn’t. Yolo!

In any case, onset aging baffles me. The body can’t move like it used to. The brain increasingly forgets things. And it’s perplexing to watch younger generations do things in ways you and your contemporaries can’t relate.

Take Let’s Play videos, for instance—one of the most popular and fastest growing types of television. Also called playthroughs, they work like this: Continue reading…

Which countries work, leisure, and volunteer most?

AM Charts

AM Charts

I’ve done some light reading on time use this summer — invigorating stuff, I know — and came across some insightful observations from John Robinson. He’s spent the last four decades reviewing thousands of “time journals” from people around the world.  Continue reading…

You can’t look away: Here’s why people still watch NBC’s criticized Olympic coverage

nbc-fail

A lot of rabid olympic spectators in America are understandably upset. NBC has spoiled the tape-delayed results on more than one occasion, either with an evening newscast or even a promotional commercial in between events which announce interviews with eventual gold medalists that still haven’t won on tape delay.

Worse still for cord-cutters like me, authentication of a cable subscription is required to watch events live online, even though NBC is a free broadcast channel. Even still, the live stream app reportedly crashes a lot.

At the same time, the number of people watching NBC’s olympic prime-time and tape-delayed coverage is off the charts. Record ratings even. NBC’s tape delayed approach is even boosting they’re revenue, so they’re approach is obviously working, even if it upsets a lot of people.

So why is everyone so pissed off, and by everyone I really mean just a loud vocal minority? Continue reading…

Is this really such a good idea?

YouTube Preview Image

Mixing camping with must-see TV?

Honestly, how much could this fan be “enjoying” a game of football on a three inch screen while camping, especially since he probably has 50″ HDTV at home? Grow a pair and pick one: Get away from it all in the great outdoors or stay home to watch a game you’re really interested in. Or if you must, DVR.

Seriously, what kind of sick society are we turning into? The equation is simple.

See also:

Seriously, how can this thing cost only $2.15?

HDMI cable cost only $2.15

I needed an extra HDMI cable for my living room. So I turned to where I always go for such things: Amazon.com.

When I found one for $2.15 with free shipping, I was skeptical. But the 4.5 star average user rating quickly quieted any concerns. After all, the item has been favorably reviewed a whopping 3,231 times on Amazon.

So I bought it.

The fairly advanced cable arrived today, after only a few days. The craftsmanship is middle grade. It works fine. It suits my needs, if not exceeds them given the ridiculously low price. So how the crap can someone make money selling this thing for only $2.15 with free shipping?

It can’t just be volume. It can’t just be cheap foreign labor.

In other words, if this little guy isn’t proof that the Chinese artificially deflate their currency, despite their booming economy, I don’t know what is. Booming economies, after all, have trusted currency. Trusted currency results in higher trading prices (i.e. historically high prices for Dollar and Pounds when compared to the rest of the world).

What’s a reasonable consumer to do when the global economy doesn’t play by the rules?

In China’s defense, the U.S. just printed 6 billion notes, which isn’t exactly playing by the rules. But at least our currency is rightfully trading at market prices. The Chinese’s, on the other hand, is still bottom of the barrel, even though its economy is similar in size and trusted almost as much as the American economy.

Something’s fishy, no?

Proof that clever marketing can glam up dumb ideas

YouTube Preview Image

Because sitting through a two-hour moving on a single sofa is so hard these days. Or waiting for popcorn to pop while a movie is paused is excruciatingly slow.

DirecTV’s response: “We better make it easy for people to pause dramatic movie scenes between kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom TVs. It’s not like they’re going to want to stay engaged in said scenes anyway. Who are we to deny people continuous movies during potty breaks? Now let’s go sell this dumb idea! There’s a sucker born every minute!”

Multi-room viewing is retarded use of technology.

DISCLOSURE: I don’t subscribe to any TV service. (Over-air HD and Internet TV only).

There are better ways of spending your time…

… than watching this. Usually (I make exceptions for high-profile sporting events and the occasional Netflix stream.)

Point is, DVR lowers your standards. You wouldn’t watch half that crap (and by “crap,” I mean poorly produced, written, and acted shows when compared to movies) if it were live. So why subject yourself to lesser entertainment? I’m sure some people use DVR as it was designed: to make it easier to watch the shows you used to watch live. But the majority of DVR users actually abuse the technology, and end up watching more television (i.e. settling) than they normally would.

In that sense, DVR is not better living through technology. It’s clouding our judgment. It’s reducing our ability to think critically.

This is why I love Grand Slam tennis

ten_g_isnerj_576

WIMBLEDON, England – The longest match in tennis history was suspended because of darkness at 59-59 in the fifth set at Wimbledon on Wednesday night.

The first-round match between 23rd-seeded John Isner of Tampa, Fla., and qualifier Nicolas Mahut of France already had been suspended because of fading light Tuesday night after the fourth set.

They have been playing each other for a total of exactly 10 hours — 7 hours, 6 minutes in the fifth set alone, enough to break the full-match record of 6:33, set at the 2004 French Open.

Awesome.

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Overheard in family prayer: “Please help me forget scary movies”

Samsung PN50C450 2010While considering a TV upgrade, Lindsey and I were price checking a nearby retailer yesterday. Thankfully for us, the outfit was showing a kids movie, so parents could shop around.

Lindsey and I didn’t wait to take advantage. After a few minutes, I glanced towards the girls to find my four year-old looking the opposite direction, peeking through tiny fingers, and squirming in her skin as she watched a sci-fi movie on a different TV. I then rushed over to rescue her from the gnarly Alien surgery taking place on screen.

She was pretty upset. And I’m sad to say I didn’t notice the movie beforehand. (Was neck deep in materialism—not parenting— at the time, okay?) She cried when we got home. Her mother wisely recommended prayer. I offered. It helped.

This morning, it was Sadie’s turn to pray. “Please help me forget scary movies,” she supplicated.

Cutest. Prayer. Ever.

People of planet Earth: What are your favorite sporting events?

“Oh Ten” has already been kind to sporting events. The Super Bowl was actually worth watching this year. The Winter Games were better this time than four years ago. And March Madness was crazy good—the most exciting first round I’ve ever seen, in fact.

But it doesn’t stop there. Grand Slam tennis picks up again next month with the start of the French Open, followed by hollowed Wimbledon a month later. The Atlanta Braves are gonna win the pennant this year and make it to the World Series. And college football will once again turn your Saturdays into the most important day of the week.

More than anything, though, I have World Cup fever this year. The U.S. opens against former colonizer England on June 12. And other first round match ups are equally oozing with riveting story lines and potential. Plus, all 64 games will be freely broadcast over air by either ABC or Univision in high-definition. (Note to self: Remember to buy bigger TV before hand; clear your schedule from Jun 11 – Jul 11.)

But enough about me. What are your favorite sporting events? What are you excited to watch this year?