As I sat watching the illuminating CBS magazine program CBS Sunday Morning, which has been on the air for 35 years, I learned the roots of the word “limelight,” which, besides meaning “the center of public attention,” also means an actual light used to illuminate a stage, providing the first following spotlights, I had to reflect on what an entertainment and informative treasure CBS gives us every Sunday morning.
The program’s Almanac feature spotlighted Scottish inventor Thomas Drummond who, on November 9th, 1825, successfully demonstrated a brilliant light produced by a white-hot flame from burning calcium oxide. (Calcium oxide is lime.) He used a parabolic reflector to direct the light. Theaters quickly embraced the limelight to light stages and provide spotlights before the advent of electric lights. (Wikipedia tells us that Drummond didn’t actually invent limelight. Sir Goldsworthy Gurnery did that. Drummond made it work.)
This is one TV news magazine that leaves you feeling good after watching it. You can’t say that about the others. I get tired of being depressed by reports of the bad things going on in the world, so I look forward to this program, which I record every week. Sometimes I actually watch part of it when it airs.