From Twitter to TV Show

OK, they're really reaching now. It was silly enough when they turned a web TV show into a real TV show -- remember Quarterlife, canceled after the first episode? -- but now a new TV show on CBS is being featured with the tagline "Based on the Twitter sensation!" That's right -- a Twitter-to-TV deal.

You may remember the "Twitter sensation," a feed called "Shit My Dad Says," which was, exactly as its title suggested, a 140-character record of salty comments made by the father of the titular Tweeter, a semi-employed comedy writer named Justin Halpern. He had just moved back in with his parents, a rather blunt radiologist at UC San Diego. On Twitter he explained: "I'm 29. I live with my 74-year-old dad. He is awesome. I just write down shit that he says." After being re-Tweeted by a few prominent folk including Rob Corddry and Kristin Bell, Halpern was sifting through book deals. The resulting tome eventually became a bestseller, and a TV deal wasn't far behind.

So if a Twitter feed can become a TV show, what's next? Facebook status updates? Is there a Twitter feed you could see making a movie or a TV show?

If you're really curious, here's a preview of the TV show. I love how CBS makes you watch a commercial before the preview, which is itself basically a commercial. Am I curmudgeonly to complain about such things?

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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