We’re supposed to write about the first picture we see when we sit down to write. And here it is!
Being the TV freak that I am, I use TV test cards (or, as we call them here, test patterns) for my computer wallpaper. This is the one I use on my laptop, the high-definition version of the BBC’s famous Test Card F, unofficially known as Test Card X.
The girl in the middle is Carole Hersee. Carole’s father George was a BBC engineer, and when they were about to start broadcasting in color (or, as they say in Great Britain, colour), they needed a way for viewers to test the colors on their TV’s and adjust the hue and tint, which you used to be able to do. George took pictures of Carole and her sister Gillian for possible use on the test card, and went with Carole because Gillian, as kids are often wont to do, knocked out her front teeth.
The clown playing tic-tac-toe (or noughts and crosses, if you prefer) is Bubbles, which was Carole’s own toy and which she still has. They dressed Bubbles in green cloth because they needed some green in the picture. The X in the middle of the board is in the exact center of the screen. When I bring my laptop up, the mouse pointer is right on the X when the wallpaper appears.
Unofficially, she’s set the record for most hours on TV at roughly 70,000. When she was a teenager, she got fan mail and lots of requests for interviews, but being a typical introvert, she got tired of all the publicity. When she finished school, she became a seamstress and costume designer, most notably sewing the costumes for 1988’s Dangerous Liaisons.
Here’s an interview with Carole and Keith Hamer, test card enthusiast…
By the way, my desktop computer uses the ARIB color bars, which is like this minus the 1000Hz tone.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Zenith color televisions. At Zenith, the quality goes in before the name goes on.