The Vancouver Disc
The first use of interactive media in a broadcast setting.

The first weirdly wonderful person to toss something over the Voyager transom was a professor from British Columbia, Patrick Burns, who had assembled a laser videodisc with 20,000+ images and 37 time-lapse sequences of Vancouver. I'd been fascinated by the potential of browsable archives ever since I had the opportunity to play with the 54,000-image disc Michael Naimark made at MIT, so leaped at the chance to publish Patrick's which was marked by a charming outsider-art aesthetic. 

But that's just the set-up to the story
Patrick's girlfriend, Nijole Kuzmickas, was the producer of one of the popular local TV shows for young teens. On the day of the Canadian equivalent to the Super Bow, Nijole was told that her normally live show would be taped for that morning. Sensing that she wanted some connection to the live events of the day, Nijole came up with an ingenious prank. One of the time-lapse sequences on the disc showed the dome of the football stadium being inflated. Realizing that the videodisc could run forwards and backwards seamlessly, Nijole inserted a BULLETIN claiming that the stadium's dome had suddenly deflated on the day of the big game, cut to the first frame of the inflating footage. The announcer claimed that the engineers had come up with a plan involving the kids blowing air into their phones which could in turn re-inflate the dome. Kids were given a number to call and periodically the footage was run forward to show some success and then backward a bit to encourage kids to blow harder.  By the end of the show the dome had been successfully inflated.

And Nijole, instead of getting a promotion and raise, for coming up with a brilliantly creative use of new media, was summarily fired.

Video to come . . .