Alternatives, energetically
Friday April 22nd 2022, 8:43 pm
Filed under: History,Life

I do not remember which TV show from when I was a kid had it as a tagline but I do remember “Here in beautiful downtown Burbank!” as the audience applauded and the show host waved his arm to the stage. I always wanted to know what did Burbank actually look like? Were they being proud? Ironic? Sharing a good day?

Okay, I just googled the phrase and apparently a bunch of shows and businesses there have now adopted it as their own. But–Price is Right, maybe? Who did it first?

Well, anyway, Southwest Air wanted hundreds of extra dollars each for the only nonstop return flight three weeks ago, so we flew Salt Lake to Burbank to San Jose instead.

The Bob Hope Airport at Burbank.

Which looked like it was straight out of the 1950’s. That had to be the original signage. Possibly the carpeting, too. Roll the metal steps up to the plane and cross the tarmac and should you want a wheelchair, the people working on the ground urgently requested a strong complaint to Southwest to finally provide them because they don’t.

But what I actually sat down to write about was what I saw on the way there, that I would never have on any other route nor even from the other side of the plane: a solar farm, sure, that was cool, but also another one that I had to figure out how to even search for it to learn more about the giant cobweb.

A solar tower that runs on melted salt. Including up to ten hours at night.

Melted. Salt.

What I can tell you is that the very top of that thing is brilliantly, painfully bright, so you know it’s doing its job.

It was very expensive to build and it was apparently a proof-of-concept endeavor.

But I figure (with admittedly limited knowledge) that once you build it you have it so why wouldn’t you and why aren’t there hundreds of these already.

Just make sure the pilots have sunglasses.

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Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, I believe, which was straight satire even in the opening announcement of “Coming to you from Beautiful Downtown Burbank!” intoned by a guy in huge sunglasses and psychedelic clothes. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Comment by Marian 04.22.22 @ 9:57 pm

Yes, “beautiful downtown Burbank” definitely says Laugh-In to me! I watched reruns as a kid and I’m sure a ton of it went right over my head, but I loved it anyway. I just looked at the Wikipedia page for it and the catchphrases section has me giggling.

I love that the not-at-all-modern airport is named for Bob Hope. And that salt idea, wow!

Comment by ccr in MA 04.23.22 @ 5:41 am

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