I wrote this last year when Shark Week made me upset.
"Elephants Can’t Talk":
How The Discovery Channel got from The Crocodile Hunter
to 120 minutes of misleading fakery about an extinct mega-shark
The above quotation is part of a quote from Discovery Channel spokesman Matt Katzive in 2004. What people want, Katzive went on to explain, is personalities they can return to week after week. That quote appeared in a 2004 article in Slate that first posed the question of whether Shark Week had itself jumped the shark. It’s important to reflect for a moment about just how long ago 2004 was. In about 4 months it will be 10 years deep and only further distorting in our cultural rear view mirror. At present, people are justifiably up in arms about the stupefying and poorly disclaimed Megalodon: The Monster Shark That Lives mockumentary that Discovery recently aired to unsuspecting viewers during its Shark Week, but the programming trend it represents is nothing new—the nearly identical and very successful mermaid fiasco on Animal Planet is still fresh in the minds of many. The modern obsession with “reality” television has roots that extend back into the late 90’s and those of us that have been conscious over the course of its ascension hardly need to be reminded of precursors like The Real World or the national blight that was the Survivor craze.
China starts televising the sunset on giant TV screens because Beijing is so clouded in smog
”The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.
Commuters across Beijing found themselves cloaked in a thick, gray haze on Thursday as air pollution monitors issued a severe air warning and ordered the elderly and school children to stay indoors until the quality improved.”
The Pink Fairy Armadillo
Encased in a bony protective armour, this tiny rodent can burrow itself entirely underground in mere seconds when threatened.