As most of you know by now, the Space Shuttle Discovery successfully launched yesterday. NASA’s Return To Flight page has regular status updates, including some amazing imagery and video.
RCGroups.com has a discussion thread about home-built radio-controlled models of Star Wars ships that actually fly. I’m still trying to figure out how they got a model of the Millenium Falcon to stay in the air…
The Space Shuttle Discovery is set to launch any minute after an almost two-week delay due to a fuel sensor problem. Once again, I wish the astronauts well and hope that a successful mission will result in a return to regular Shuttle flights.
For those of you that haven’t heard of the phrase “Jump The Shark,” it is used to “describe the moment when a television show or similar episodic medium is in retrospect judged to have passed its ‘peak’ and shows a noticeable decline in quality.” The phrase specifically refers to the Happy Days episode Hollywood in which “Fonzie — wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket — jumps over a tank containing a shark while on water skis.”
The site Jump The Shark is a comprehensive collection of user-submitted opinions on when different shows “jumped the shark,” and is chock-full of TV trivia. For example, although the great majority of people voting on the entry for The Simpsons feel that the show “never jumped,” I tend to think that it started to go downhill when Conan O’Brien left the show as one of its writers. There have been glimmers of former glory in the years since, but it’s been some time since I can call any episode a classic.
In any case, what got me to making this post in the first place was an interview of Henry Winkler in which he commented on the term and revealed the origin of his waterskiing stint:
Winkler doesn’t want to be associated with any “showkiller” labels either.
“You forget one thing, when we jumped the shark, we went on for six years to be No. 1,” Winkler points out. “And at that time I had great legs. So don’t put me in that category.
He’s correct, of course – about his show’s longevity if not the quality of his gams. The Fonz jumped the shark three episodes into the fifth season of "Happy Days,” not even halfway through its run. Not only that, but Winkler is willing to explain the whole bizarre plot line in plausible terms.
“My parents were from Germany and I was a water ski instructor as a counselor in camp, and they would say to me, ‘Tell zem you water ski. Zis were be good for The Fonz,’” Winkler says. “And I did.”
Call it what you will, I still remember that episode and remember wondering, “What the Hell are they thinking?” 🙂
The Smoking Gun has the full scoop on the mug shot at right. Classic…
After my previous post, how could I not make my latest MP3 Of The Moment a-ha’s Take On Me ? Enjoy…