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White Noise Entertainment

Don't have a channel? Don't worry!
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

For those of us who can't afford cable, we're stuck with whatever public stations there are (though I hate over 90% of TV anyway). I noticed that with about 8 normal channels and a couple of Spanish/televangelist/UPN crap channels, there are nearly 90 more unused channels being wasted on white noise (the fuzzy snow-looking stuff that makes the loud hissy sound). Where's the fun in that?

After reading the White Traffic Rafting idea and remembering my The Random Truck idea, I had an epiphany: my pants have been behind the couch this entire time! Then I thought of something else: why not combine white noise and pointless randomness?

While watching a non-existent channel, let's say for example channel 73 (if you have a channel 73 pretend I said a different one), rather than just seeing plain ol' snow, you see plain ol' snow. And then BAM! Was that a man whitewater rafting?! Wow-- I better--WHOA! Was that a Leprechaun eating a couch? What the hell? Why is this man playing poker with dogs?
AfroAssault, Oct 16 2001

Rudy Rucker: Saucer Wisdom http://www.amazon.c...103-4509302-8983847
Hit and miss book (well, I liked it) with weird white noise tv device. [Guy Fox, Oct 16 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and it sounds like yours is pretty wasted right now. Enjoy the show, munchies and all, but don't forget to mute the commercials. They really bother the space aliens living in your Ficus Benjamina.   

       Hey, isn't that show a rerun?
Canuck, Oct 16 2001

       AfroAssault: He's not playing poker with dogs, he's playing poker with _pigs_.
cp, Oct 16 2001

       I understand every single word of what Afro is saying. Butt, I digest. 'fro bro' - adjust set in every way possible with horizontal, vert, bright and contrast to get the dots orbiting in a looping pattern that you find to be the epiphany gateway - I kept a set of mine on that setting save for Kentucky Derby for three years.
thumbwax, Oct 16 2001

       [waugsqueke] - Amazing how that works, huh? If you hear anything on a loop long enough, it eventually becomes music to you, unless your neighbor yells at it for mowing its lawn at 3 in the morning.

[blissmiss] - surprisingly, I wasn't the least bit high when I wrote this. My brain's "stoned but not stoned" section (approx. 48% of it) goes off at completely random times. Best when I was in school.
AfroAssault, Oct 16 2001

       OK, ok, OK. A pool of surrealistic scenes and shorts created by seriously artistic nutcases, and broadcast or whatever on otherwise snow channels at random intervals. Get some whacko young film maker with a fire in his/her belly to create the bits. Hey, futurebird, you into film? That would work, AfroAssault, and by God I might actually turn my son's TV on now and again just to see if I could catch one.
Dog Ed, Oct 17 2001

       When I was a kid, we had a class on drugs <Including fairly detailed directions on how to make heroin and morphine, starting with poppy plants>...the book for the class gave directions for a 'drug replacement'...tune the TV to some channel, turn the sound all the way down, cover the screen with tinfoil, and poke random holes in it. Turn the lights off and watch the little lights change...
StarChaser, Oct 18 2001

       There's a really cool idea in a Rudy Rucker book (can't remember which one at the moment, but I'll try and track it down) which takes this a stage further. If I remember right it involves a series of cameras trained on tv screens showing the outage of cameras trained on tv screens and so on back to one set which is tuned to white noise. Can't recall how it works (interference? chaos theory? I dunno) but the results are supposedly quite swirly-trippy.   

       Later: the book is Saucer Wisdom (see link).
Guy Fox, Oct 19 2001

       If you point a camera at a TV screen which is showing the output of the camera, you get the effect that was used for the original Doctor Who title sequence. It works best in low ambient light, and you need to experiment with distance. Small imperfections in the processing get magnified each time through to produce the video equivalent of howling feedback.
angel, Oct 19 2001

       angel: yes; I vaguely remember mucking about with a video camera to get the Dr Who title sequence effect many years ago. The way Rucker describes it, with a daisy-chain of cameras trained on the previous camera's screen, as I recall, apparently the feedback gets complexified to a whole new level.
Guy Fox, Oct 19 2001

       [Guy Fox], [angel]: There's a whole heap of stuff about this in Gödel, Escher, Bach (by Douglas Hofstadter, in case some people haven't read/heard of it). See the section called "Eddifying Thoughts of a Tobacco Smoker"/"Self-Ref and Self-Rep". It has several pictures of the effect, although with only one camera/screen.
cp, Oct 19 2001

       Peter, I think you sprang a leak.   

       The idea was not for a full framework of holes, it was random holes. <Thus 'random holes'.> The idea was that the colors behind them would change as the pictures moved.
StarChaser, Oct 20 2001

       Select a tv station you do get (muted, of course), put on Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" and close your eyes for a similar effect.
snarfyguy, Oct 21 2001

       <me too, me too>Gödel, Escher, Bach, the Eternal Golden Braid should be required reading. Hard to believe it is Hofstadter's first effort. If you haven't consumed it yet, run to the nearest bookstore. Today.
bristolz, Dec 29 2001

       Now. It's *that* good.
snarfyguy, Dec 29 2001

       - shut
po, Dec 29 2001

       Read an Irish poem that was very similar about a young girl who wakes up her mother to watch TV, just to show that she loved the static. *points finger at throat*
modular, Nov 30 2003


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