More Film Bites the Dust: Polaroid Shaken to Death

The OutKast song “Hey Ya!” may have just put off the inevitable.  The 2003 tune encouraged people to “shake it like a Polaroid picture.”  (Never mind that the film had changed by the time of the song so that shaking was no longer necessary.)  Polaroid saw an opportunity, and tried to ride it to a boost for the instant film.

But the long, slow march to death finally ended on Friday.  The film was discontinued last year, but last Friday was the use-by date for the last batches of that film.  This follows the trend in film, where Kodak put Kodachrome out to pasture earlier this year.  What I said then applies just as well today.  Just because the film is no longer used doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad technology, just that it no longer made sense for a company to produce it.  Now if there were still artists like Ansel Adams and Andy Warhol making use of the film, it might stick around.  Too bad it takes the end of the film to get an exhibition of how it can be used.


Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of October 12

Last week’s bounty of guests is nearly matched by this week’s crop.  Oceanographer Sylvia Earle appearing Tuesday on The Colbert Report.  Thursday, on Last Call with Carson Daly, Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs, is scheduled to appear.  But perhaps the biggest deal is the appearance of Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman – the lead Mythbusters – on Thursday’s edition of The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Colbert’s show is at 11:30 Eastern (with repeats the following day), Ferguson’s starts at 12:35 a.m. Eastern, and you probably should tape Last Call, which airs no earlier that 1:35 Eastern (check those local listings).  Both Colbert and Ferguson will have video available the following day.  I don’t know about Last Call.  The show’s website does not appear to have full episodes, and videos seem to be updated irregularly.

While I think the inclusion of the Mythbusters top dogs should be obvious, some may wonder why I include Mike Rowe.  I suggest those people should watch an episode or two of Dirty Jobs, because he is usually in the thick of some kind of job-specific technology, or there are scientific applications connected to the work being done on the show (especially environmental applications).  Often it’s both.  Rowe typically represents the show as reinforcing the value of hard work and skilled trades.  I’ll add to that list and suggest the show does a lot to highlight how science and technology are used to support civilization.