Let me digress for a moment: For Jewel, there were some culture shocks when she went from being a hard-working Alaskan to being an art-school student. In one class project, she found that she was the only person who knew how to shovel.
Fortunately, such knowledge gaps will now by filled by cable TV. On July 21, we'll learn how to dig a hole and how to flip a coin. Before that, on July 14, we'll learn how to make ice cubes and tie our shoes. That's in a quirky show called "Going Deep"; here's the story I sent to papers:
By MIKE HUGHES
In its highest moments, television has been where people
It’s where they learned about civil rights, Vietnam, the
Cuban missile crises. And now it’s where they’ll learn … well, how to shake
hands. Or swat flies. Or open a door. Or much more.
“You’ll never think about tying your shoes the say way
again,” promised Heather Moran, the programming chief of the National
Really. In “Going Deep with David Rees,” each gets its own
half-hour. “If somebody sees (an) episode summary,” Rees said, “they have to
think ... like, ‘This must be a joke.’ Or ‘I know how to tie my shoes. How are
(they) going to do 30 minutes on this?’”
They did. “Fact of the matter is, we shot like nine hours of
footage” on shoe-tying, Rees said. He talked to mariners about knots and
parachute people about strings. And he talked to a personal hero.
“We flew him over from Australia,” Rees said. “I have been obsessed with him for years. As
soon as we got the deal to make the TV show, it was like, ‘Well, we’re going to
talk to Professor Shoelace.’”
Think of it as like the fictional moment on “The Big Bang
Theory” when Sheldon met Professor Proton. “Going Deep” lets Rees to satisfy
many long-time goals.
“When I was growing up, my mommy and daddy did not allow me
to climb trees, which was a huge injustice,” he said. “So at the end of (an)
episode, I go home and climb the childhood tree that my mom and dad didn’t let
me climb. I make them sit there and watch me. It was profoundly satisfying.”
He did it safely and successfully … after conferring with the
top tree-climbing minds. “One of the real pleasures of the show is going around
and meeting with experts,” Rees said.
To learn about shaking hands, he studied a cadaver arm. To
learn about paper airplanes, he talked to a top NASA scientist and to a world
record-holder who took this seriously: “(He) spent two years designing the
plane and then he literally hired a football quarterback to throw it.”
Rees’ top thrill came while learning how to make ice cubes: “My
favorite thing was going to the National Ice Core Lab and being able to hold
this ice that was almost a half-million years old.”
Still, plenty of other things came close: “I did learn some
pretty cool ways to tie your shoes.”
“Going Deep with David Rees,” 10 and 10:30 p.m.
Mondays, National Geographic Channel. Debuts July 14 with how to make ice cubes
and then how to tie your shoes.
Those rerun at midnight and 12:30 a.m.; then
Wednesday (11 and 11:30 p.m.), Friday, July 18 (10 and 10:30 p.m., midnight and
12:30 a.m.), July 19 (11 and 11:30 p.m., midnight, 12:30 a.m.).
They also rerun twice from 6-8 p.m. July 21, the
night of the next two – how to dig a hole and how to flip a coin.