Results tagged “Discovery Channel” from kwc blog

Discovery lays off 3%

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WashingtonPost: "Discovery Communications Lays Off 3 Percent of Workforce"

Discovery Communications (aka Discovery Channel) laid off 3% of its workforce but also plans to grow elsewhere. I bring this up because many of my favorite programs (MythBusters, Dirty Jobs, and Deadliest Catch) are on Discovery, as is the very excellent Planet Earth series -- its only fault is that it feels the need to say how great it is.

A positive note in the article is:

Discovery will be hiring for its digital media department, as the company seeks to make its television content available to high-speed Internet users.

Another note from the article is:

Discovery is exploring whether it should get out of the storefront-retail business. The company has 100 Discovery stores around the country. But Discovery pays high rent for premium mall space and is studying whether it could sell its branded products more efficiently with a combination of online sales and partnerships with established big-box retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Target, executives said.

While I enjoy the Discovery stores, I don't think Discovery has quite caught up to the modern era of e-commerce. They're still too focused on selling individual episodes (what casual viewer is going to spend $20 on a single episode?) and availability of their products on sites like Amazon remains spotty.

NYTimes on MythBusters

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The New York Times has an article title 'Best Science Show on Television?", which discusses the MythBusters TV show and their Hindenburg experiment.

I get to clear some photos from the backlog

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The MythBusters "Mega Movie Myths" episode has now aired so I've uploaded some more photos from "Awning Fall," which is the segment that we got to watch. m lent me the 16-35mm lens that really made a lot of these shots possible. I'm still watching the episode so I'll keep my comments brief, except to say its fun to finally see how they put it all together.

Mythbusters-Awning Fall-Adam

Mythbusters-Awning Fall-Buster Butt Mythbusters-Awning Fall-Buster Butt

I was just on MythBusters!

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See if you can spot me ;) (Hint: you won't recognize me, just my big telephoto lens shooting behind everyone as Tory does his fall)

Dirty Jobs Drinking Game

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dirtyjobs.rowe.jpg

photo used with permission

d and I love Dirty Jobs. d loves it because "it reveals the dirty underbelly of capitalism," I like it because it's dirty. In honor of their 100th dirty job episode -- Farmer Bob's Las Vegas pig farm is our favorite -- we put together this drinking game. This is our first cut, we may refine the list later.

Warmup:

  • "Hi, I'm Mike Rowe" (including outtakes)

Drink if:

  • Mike tells someone, "you have a dirty job"
  • Mike quotes opera lyrics, theater lines, or poetry
  • There is an explosion
  • Mike squirts/flings something on the camera
  • Mike gets something unpleasant in his mouth
  • Mike writes "Dirty Jobs" in muck
  • Fecal matter is involved
  • Pigs!
  • Mike harasses a cameraman
  • Mike attempts math
  • Mike takes his shirt off
  • Mike loses a shoe
  • Vexcon makes an appearance
  • Mike has to catch an animal
  • Producer jazzes up monotonous segment with rock music
  • Mike has to sex an animal
  • Mike wonders why he isn't wearing a mask
  • Mike complains about not getting any help
  • Mike has to herd an animal into a pen
  • Mike mentions his former career
  • Mike eats whatever he was handling
  • Mike gets stuck
  • Mike has to assist animal mating rituals
  • Mike fears for his life

Chug if: * Mike sings a song * Mike coaches a kid to say Dirty Jobs is his favorite show * Mike vomits

If you're really crazy, drink (or chug) if: * Mike screws something up

Bustered

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I just got back from watching the MythBusters in action. They were really nice to us and I took a ton of photos, but I'll have to figure out how to split this up as neither I nor they want to give away any spoilers.

Update: here's an initial sample. There are many, many photos remaining, but they will probably wait until I can do a writeup.

MythBusters-Buster

MythBusters-12 MythBusters-07 MythBusters-06 Kari and Jamie

Situation resolved

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It looks like my mythbusters site is in the clear now. I've just chatted with the lawyer and, although I don't have the official okay, any confusion as to the nature of the remaining images on the site has been cleared up. In response to this whole situation that started a month ago, I have been trying to find legal sources of images documentating the shows. Just today, Robert Werden of replicaprops.com was kind enough to let me use photos of the Flatulence Containment Unit (FCU) that he acquired (as seen in the Flatulence myths episode). If you know of any images, please drop me a line at

For reference, I was asked to remove images from the Archimedes Revisited and Shredded Plane myths. Neither of those are actual screen captures from the program, which was the cause of the original cease and desist.

In other MythBusters news, you can now view video of the six pack cooling demonstration on my Encinal High event summary. You get to see Jamie shoot Adam with the fire extinguisher and audience members drink beer in a high school auditorium.

I've posted a lot of transcripts and video from the MythBusters Encinal High Benefit. The video is shaky but has descent audio.

NOTE: The video of the six-pack cooling demonstration is still being verified by Google Video. From prior experience, that's gonna take awhile to be ready (YouTube couldn't handle a file that large).

Brief update

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Thanks to bernadette I've been browsing the Chilling Effects database. There are a few cease and desist letters from the same law firm and one for Discovery Channel that is much more harshly worded than the one I received. They are a bit nicer in their wording now, though the arguments I feel still conflate copyright and trademark and are awash in slippery slope non sequiturs. It's still not clear to me how one defends against a cease and desist letter without financial liability.

I also found this fair use article online, which I'll link to because of it's title:

Copyright Mythbusters: Believe It or Not, Fair Use Exists

For now I've updated the MythBusters episode summaries to really, really try to make it clear that this site is not Discovery affiliated. I've also decided that I'll leave all the broken image links in so that future visitors can appreciated the absense of screenshots.

MythBusters @ Encinal High

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Update: my summary and videos from the event have been posted

Even in light of my previous post, I'm still going to a "MythBusters Live Event to Benefit Encincal High" in Alameda. Perhaps they will be raising money to fix the goalposts they warped in Border Slingshot. Here are the full details:

Encinal High School Presents:
Myth Busters : Live Event to benefit Encinal High School
Saturday, Mar 25, 2006 7:00 PM PST (6:00 PM doors)
at Kofman Auditorium

Tickets are still available.

Myths undecorated

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In my more recent episode summaries for MythBusters, I have been using screenshots from the episodes as I felt that they conveyed some of the mythbusting better than text. I did so believing this is fair use, as they were merely screenshots and not actual video clips, they were of low quality, and in no way did they devalue the original material. Apparently the Discovery Channel does not agree.

They state that I am using Discovery Channel's copyrighted material and, oddly, Discovery Channel's logo (do they mean their own logo they place in the bottom right corner of every episode?), and they are concerned that somehow someone will mistake kwc.org for a Discovery affiliated or sponsored site. This is probably a form letter and, as such, I can only expect a form response to any further inquiry. In the mean time, I have disabled the images in the links so you will see many, many broken image links. It will take quite awhile for me to fully purge the entries of these images.

I'm saddened as I feel that this was a fair, legitimate, and appropriate way in which to document MythBusters episodes. I also feel we live in a very bogus era of copyright enforcement where any weak argument can be used to effectively deter legal uses of material.

'Lost' MythBusters Experiments

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Discovery has posted some videos of 'lost' experiments: MythBusters: Lost Experiments

These aren't really 'lost' because, as far as I can tell, they've all been shown on the show before. They're more like MythBusters shorts.

MythBusters interview

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The MythBusters were interviewed over at Ask Slashdot: The Mythbusters Answer Your Questions. I think the most interesting bit for me is finding out that they have just completed an episode on firing bullets up into the air -- it should be a nice variation on the Penny Drop myth.