Global News Blog: Beauty Pageants in Venezuela

December 1, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Stuart Fisher

Many Americans love the idea of becoming the most perfect version of themselves and performing a talent on stage; Other Americans find beauty pageants disturbing and unnerving. Venezuelans have a completely different opinion.

Venezuelans love beauty pageants and are always concerned with appearance. Miss Venezuela is the most watched television program in the country, and there are schools dedicated to girls who want to participate in pageants.

Osmel Sousa, owner of Miss Venezuela School and president of the Miss Venezuela pageant, has made beauty a symbol of Venezuelan pride. The 60 regional winners go through a two month training at the school. The school is unlike any other in the world and shows the immense emphasis placed on beauty.

You may think it is absurd, but Venezuelans love the culture of beauty pageants. It has become a huge part of their lives.

Arts Beat: Analog vs. Digital TV – Stuck In The Middle With You

April 8, 2009 by · Comments Off 

I don’t have cable; I never have and maybe never will. But for now I have something much better – an off-brand television set able to pick up both analog and digital signals. In addition to the 8 to 10 broadcast stations I have grown so accustomed to, my TV can now pick up some digital channels, and the combined content is providing me with more than enough entertainment value.

Of course, the entirety of TV programming was supposed to be digital by now. We have been hearing February 17, 2009 as the DTV “Big Switch” date for some time, but Congress, fearing now enough viewers were ready for the jump to digital, pushed the date back to June 12…for now. We’ll just have to wait and see about that.

In the interim, my set is receiving some of the most obscure and overlooked programming the airwaves have to offer. Since January, for example, one of the digital NBC stations has been showing old X-Games coverage along with replays of the 2008 Summer Olympics. And just last week, I stumbled upon an old public service announcement called “Kids Against Crime,” appropriately hosted by Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.

As advertised, these DTV channels provide a crisp, interference-free picture. Having grown up with analog signals and a shoddy rabbit-eared antenna, I’m happy to watch anything not interrupted by passing storms or aircraft flying high above my apartment. But that’s just the point of digital TV – you either get the full, clean picture or nothing at all; there is no “gray area” or “snow” as there is with analog television.

So I’ll be perfectly happy to keep watching analog channels such as ABC, NBC and CBS until they too make the switch to digital. In the meantime, the secondary programs found among the DTV stations will adequately suffice as the next-best thing to cable.

–Posted by Nate Regan