The Tumblr posts I’m archiving here for the James Burke gifset project were mostly created back at the old townhouse. From here on out, though, they were produced at the Hillsboro abode…

(17 May 2015)

“In most people’s everyday life the computer isn’t much more than a very fast adding machine. It tends to send you bills. But it is very much more than that. The modern world could not function without computers because they operate everything from production lines to telephone exchanges to traffic systems to international finance. But the main reason that computers matter so much to you and me in our future is because they have perfect memories. They never forget anything they’re told about you and me. The kind of data, say, you have to give somebody if you want a bank account. Or credit. Or to be able to vote or buy a house or if you’ve been accused of a crime.“ ”“ James Burke, Connections

Took a while, again, didn’t it? Sorry about that, but there was the minor issue of relocating my entire existence across the city, on very little notice, then getting settled in enough to be able to goof off again. Whew.

Now, ignore the bit about what a computer means to most people’s everyday life. This was the late 1970s, so the level of personal computing we see today was barely a pipe dream. The rest of it, though. Tell me that’s not even more relevant now than when Mr. Burke recorded this program. Go on.

I have a few options picked out for the next set out of the “Wheel of Fortune” episode of Connections, so if all goes well the following installment won’t take nearly so long. (I keep saying that)

(13 July 2015… it took nearly so long and then some…)

“Well, instead of using a swinging weight to give those blades the power to hold the wheel, Huygens used the swinging power of the pendulum. So that as the pendulum swung the blades went hold, release, hold, release, hold, release.” ”“ James Burke, Connections

This wouldn’t have taken so long but I had the damnedest time picking a second segment from this episode. Eventually I realized that despite not being the best bit of textual material available, this sequence shows that every now and then, James Burke was willing to be a bit silly for the sake of the program. Look at that abashed grin at the end, I mean come on now.

That’s episode 5, “The Wheel of Fortune,” taken care of. Next up: “Thunder In the Skies.” Stay tuned, won’t you?