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Put 'Em in a Blender - 91923
I don't want this email to blend in with the rest.
Good morning! I really hope at least one of you has woken up on a Tuesday and thought, “I wonder what random thing is going to appear in my inbox today from Ted.” I think I’m delivering on the “random” part of that today. Let’s jump in.
The Daily Rabbit Hole: The first infomercial aired in 1949.
How you know this is a rabbit hole: I started with a search on a Vitamix the other day and ended up discovering they were first to market with 30 minute promotional programming. Please watch to hear “Without health, you’re a miserable failure” in a pseudo trans-atlantic accent.
The Vitamix was the first to use the infomercial format, so naturally another blender company, Blendtec, hopped onto a newfangled website called YouTube in 2006 and began a series called, “Will It Blend.” The show began with the host blending 50 marbles into glass dust. This leads to an obvious question: why is blender content ripe for the disruption of technological advances to sell the product?
If the metaverse does ever take off, I’d be willing to bet a blender company will have a booth. Perhaps they’ll even have a station where you can experience the inside of a blender personally from the comfort of your couch. For whatever reason, people love selling blenders using a new medium.
The ‘Wait, What?’ Vortex: We had the Interstate system before smoothies became a real thing.
President Eisenhower signed the Federal Highway Act in June of 1956 to solidify the American highway system, but you couldn’t start finding a smoothie at a roadside stand or restaurant until the latter part of the 1960s. It technically was a Brazilian invention going back to the 1930s, but it still seems like mixing fruit into a convenient treat should have been a thing long before then.
“He put him in a blender”
The phrase is commonly used when an offensive player in any sport forces his or her defender into getting twisted around. As a quick aside, this is one of the greatest quick clips on the Internet using the phrase as the title.
As is usually the case, I’m less interested in listing out all of the times a highlight has used this as bait to get people to watch, and more interested in something else. In a world where the only sure thing for live TV viewership is sports, we have to ask - is it really?
32% of Gen Zers said they watch live sports through authorized streaming services, compared with 28% who watch via broadcast or cable TV1. Yet 58% of them love sports2. This means that there is a sufficient enough gap (almost 30%) between people who watch live and people who enjoy sports. This has led to a phenomenon where many people watch highlights and short clips only (often with videos titled with today’s newsletter headline) and therefore have a wildly different perspective on who is actually good at a sport.
I don’t want to verge too hard into “get off my lawn” territory, but I continue seeing people believing individual players with loads of athleticism are better than they actually are. A few quick highlights strung together can make anyone look like Michael Jordan or Serena Williams, when in reality what set them apart was their consistency in mesmerizing play.
There is no perfect conclusion here, just another endlessly fascinating result of the Internet: We have more access to everything, but we still choose to put our blinders on in search of a quick and entertaining clip.
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