Watching brief

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And now a few notes on where we are, where we’re going and what we must look like to others.

First, snippets from two back-to-back emails that arrived in the inbox from news services:

• “American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM), the leading wave technology innovation company, announced the debut of the world's largest standing wave surfing machine, the SurfStream(R) model SS5032, in Nashua, New Hampshire. This will be the first multi-sport venue with surfing and skydiving. Called Surf's Up New Hampshire, it's part of an expansion of SkyVenture NH, a profitable massive indoor skydiving venue. The all-season indoor SurfStream(R) will be connected to the skydiving facility and features a retractable glass roof for seasonal open air operation, glass walls for enhanced spectator viewing, surfside lounging, and a cafe.”

• “On Wednesday September 26 at 9 pm, TVO presents the world premiere of the TVO-commissioned, one-hour documentary Chubby Chaser. From first-time Toronto filmmaker Jeff Sterne, Chubby Chaser is an honest and humourous coming-out story about Sterne's love of full-figured women and chronicles how the ideals of beauty have gone from real size to no size. Blending live action and animation, the film tackles the subject of size acceptance through a man's eyes as it follows Sterne's engaging personal odyssey. For Sterne, big is beautiful. A lifelong ‘fat admirer’ (FA), he's what some might call a ‘chubby chaser.’”

Meanwhile, “Toddlers and Tiaras” — a U.S. television show about tiny girls entered in beauty pageants that can cost their parents thousands of dollars in costumes, hair and beauty products — has flung out a spinoff, called “Here comes Honey Boo Boo,” which, more than anything, seems bent on celebrating a particular portion of American society. TLC, the show’s producer, says, “Take an inside look into life with ‘Honey Boo Boo’ where the six-year-old pageant sensation proves that she is more than just a beauty queen.”

TLC, of course, is the same network that plans to premiere “Abby and Brittany” later this fall in which “conjoined twins, Abby and Brittany, are preparing to graduate from college and start out on their own,” along with “Breaking Amish,” premiering Sunday, Sept. 9, which provides “a never-before-seen look inside the lives of young men and women as they, for the first time, trade horse and buggy with taxi cabs to break out from their respective Amish/Mennonite communities in their pursuit to chase big dreams in the Big Apple. The groundbreaking series features nine hour-long episodes.”

Truth is truly stranger than fiction.

But you have to wonder: if someone somewhere out in space is considering our plethora of electronic communications — from press releases to television shows to talk radio — just what kind of picture does our electronic homunculus leave them with?

And would anyone — anywhere — feel like coming for a visit?

Organizations: Wave Machines, AWM, FA Big Apple

Geographic location: Nashua, New Hampshire, Toronto, U.S.

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