Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mike Rowe and "Somebody's Gotta Do It": raising birds in MD, making signs in TX

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, CNN aired two segments of Mike Rowe’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It”, a sequel to an older series “Dirty Jobs”.  The title does suggest karma management, doesn’t it!

The first half hour took place at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center  ( link ), NE of Washington DC, near the Beltway and Baltimore-Washington Parkway.  I have been near there many times but never on the premises, so I’ll try to visit it soon myself since I live in the DC area.  The segment presented efforts to preserve the whooping crane, including a woman who walks baby birds hours a day so they learn to survive on their own.

The second segment presented Evan, a neon sign manufacturer in Austin, TX.  He is actually a graduate of Yale with an English major and did not go to trade circle, and making 1950s-style signs is a kind of art and sculpture.  This sort of individual enterprise is popular in central Texas.  But making the signs involves enormous skill, as the bending of the glass, the recharging of it with electricity to clean it and filling with inert gas or mercury is dangerous work.  The segment did go into the debate about trade schools.  

On Saturday, Oct. 18. Rowe visited the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas to see how the underwater show is set up by the stage manager Dale.  The male divers were all absolutely hairless -- head and body.  "Josh" dove 80 feet into 20 feet of water.  In December 1997, I went to a show "Atlantis" at the Luxor, where men hung over the audience.

Rowe also visited Lelilah's "Hair Museum" in Independence MO (oddly, home of an offshoot of the Mormon Church which I visited in 1982).

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