Combinatorics, Sesame Street, and ENT’s #socs

Dan’s taking over this week for Linda, who’s off at a writer’s conference this weekend. Hope she’s having a good time. Anyway, Dan wants us to work with three three-letter combinations, “ent,” “net,” and “ten.”

First, those aren’t combinations: they’re permutations of the three letters E, N and T. A permutation is a unique way of arranging a set of items. Besides “ent,” “net,” and “ten,” you also have “etn,” “nte,” and “tne,” none of which are words and only infrequent permutations within words.

I could launch into a lengthy discussion of combinatorics at this point, but I won’t. You’re welcome.

Source: Giphy

NET at one time stood for National Educational Television, and was the predecessor to PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States. It was what public TV was called when Sesame Street first reached the airwaves.

Source: Wikipedia. Public Domain.

And, while we’re on the subject of Sesame Street, they taught a lot of kids how to count to ten with these cartoons.

Grace Slick (yes, that one) provided the vocal. Betcha didn’t know that!

ENT can refer to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Their official name is otorhinolaryngologist, which is why they’re usually called ENT doctors or ear, nose, and throat doctors. So there!

Source: Giphy

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Planter’s nuts (sounds like a disease, doesn’t it?). America’s diggin’ into Planter’s!

A lot of commercials from the mid-’70’s featured jingles sung by a crowd clapping its hands, kind of like Up With People. At least, it seems that way…

25 thoughts on “Combinatorics, Sesame Street, and ENT’s #socs

  1. I didn’t know PBS was under another name back in the day. I tried to video but it didn’t play not tha I was a big Sesame Street fan. I liked Bert and Ernie and I do think they are gay, always did. I loved the Count and I liked those counting bits. Grace Slick! That’s cool but I wonder if she remembers this at all. I love PBS from the Great Downton Abbey to Poldark and the nature shows and documentaries. Love the ancestry show of which the name escapes me.

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  2. That is so cool that Grace Slick did the vocals for 1-10. It sure was a peppy piece. I’m guessing they did one number each show. We watched Sesame Street a lot from mid 80s to mid 90s. Good memories.

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    1. Actually, they never made a 1, maybe because they felt they didn’t need to. I used to watch Sesame Street with my then-baby brother (we’re 19.5 years apart) in the ’70’s. When it started, the nuns would show it to the younger kids at school. It was a real groundbreaker. The Electric Company started a few years later, and that was even wilder. Now they’ve taken all the good stuff out (not PC enough, I guess…)

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  3. Great job, John. I almost spit my coffee on the dog thinking about be diesease form of Planters Nuts. And, I did not know that that was Grace Slick – wow!

    I though about offering bonus points factorial for each of the permutations used, but I thought Linda would never trust me to fill in again, and might ban me from the prompt entirely. But thanks for going there.

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  4. I had no idea that was Grace Slick, but I’ve never been a big Sesame Street viewer. When it started, I was old enough not to be that interested in it. I thought I would watch it with my children, but they didn’t like it. You might ask, Who doesn’t like Sesame Street? The answer is my kids. 39 and 34 and they still won’t watch it. I remember when PBS was NET. Sometimes we watched it in school. It was dry and dull. In fourth grade we watched a show that was supposed to teach us Spanish. I guarantee than not one single kid learned a word of Spanish from that show. Teachers also had long conversations about whether we should watch the black-and-white TV wheeled into the room with the classroom lights on or off. Those teachers must have been so bored. I also got picked to join a small group that watched a show about geography. It’s the reason I still know nothing about geometry. PBS is so much better now. Downton Abbey: need I say more?

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. When we watched Downton Abbey, we thought the first season was it; we had no idea it wouyld go on and on. We opted out off the remaining seasons.

      We also watched that geography show, in 4th grade. I remember barely being able to hear the guy (the louder the nun turned it up, the harder it was to understand) and that the guy would read letters from viewers, who apparently all were public school kids from New York (“here’s a letter from Tommy at PS 332 in the Bronx…”).

      My youngest brother would lie in his playpen when he was just a baby and watch all those shows (Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood). I’d watch with him. Wasn’t much of a bonding experience (I was 19-20 years old) but it was fun anyway.

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