So Sarah and I survived another big satellite media tour: neither of us slept through our 4AM wakeup calls, we successfully hid our pasty white skin (the mark of the true almanackist) under a few layers of makeup, and we made it through 19 interviews without boring anyone to tears with long speeches about the truly geeky stats that we really enjoy, like tungsten mining or meat consumption in developing countries.
The clip below from XETV in San Diego is typical of the kind of interviews we have this time of year: recap the top news stories, share a few offbeat trivia items, maybe take a peek inside the World Almanac Time Capsule*. It's all good fun, and even more so when the hosts get really sucked in by the book — as with the whirlwind tour through the world of contranyms, below.
What you don't see is how truly weird it is to be an interviewee in one of these satellite tours. On TV, you get the impression that all participants can see each other... but in reality, you're perched on a stool in a small studio, staring straight into a big TV camera, only hearing the interviewers through a tiny earpiece. Which means the big challenge is to treat the camera like another person, and not let your attention wander all over the room... But then the fun part is finding out what your interviewers actually look like, when the clips go online or on the air.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun; thanks to all the stations that took time to talk with us. And don't forget to become a fan of the World Almanac on Facebook (just watch out for the Koobface virus currently making the rounds on Facebook and MySpace).
(*Which exists only in our imagination, as I often have to remind people; I can't tell tell you how many interviewers thought we were actually burying Nancy Pelosi's gavel, or Barry Bonds' 756th home run ball, in a physical capsule last year.)