27 May 2010


ART LINKLETTER. Yesterday the genial and creative radio and TV host Art Linkletter died, at age 97. I was most familiar with him from his radio days in the 1950s -- back then my family had no TV yet, so radio was our staple form of home entertainment. Those old programs -- dramas, westerns, mysteries, variety shows -- remain vivid in my memory. Linkletter led a varied and colorful life before he settled into broadcast entertainment. The link above provides highlights. He was best known for his humorous impromptu exchanges with those in the studio audience, and for his easy connection with children.

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE. On this day in 1937 one of the world's most recognizable works of art and architecture was dedicated -- San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. It provides a vital traffic link between the San Francisco peninsula and Marin County to the north, spanning the channel where San Francisco Bay meets the Pacific Ocean. The signature orange vermillion color was chosen both to complement the natural surroundings, and also to make the bridge more visible to air and sea traffic in frequently foggy conditions.
The bridge is also the most popular spot for suicide attempts, not only in the US but in the world. Anyone who jumps from the deck, 245 feet above the water, takes about four seconds to fall. Speed upon impact is roughly 75 miles per hour, a velocity at which water takes on the properties of concrete. Those who survive the concussion usually drown or die of hypothermia.
Visually the Golden Gate Bridge is never boring to watch -- ships may be passing beneath, or the bridge may serve as a colorful backdrop to displays by the Navy's Blue Angels during San Francisco's Fleet Week. Here are a few sample images.

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