Monday, June 4, 2012

WORD OF THE DAY! 6/4/12.

Olmec [ol-mek]
1. Of or designating a Mesoamerican civilization, c1000–400 b.c., along the southern Gulf coast of Mexico, characterized by extensive agriculture, a dating system, long-distance trade networks, pyramids and ceremonial centers, and very fine jade work.
2. A member of the ancient people who belonged to the Olmec civilization.
EX. The 90's had some of the most incredible children's entertainment ever conceived. Screw your Transformers of the 80's and Spongebob Squarepants of the millennial decade, our decade saw the Renaissance of Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and the Rise of Cartoon Network. This was before the fall of Nickelodeon and Disney at the hands of their own pride as their channels became more and more dominated by lousy live-action shows that served as vehicles for teenage girl pop singers and boy bands. Cartoon Network has had some rough patches, but I would still call it a decent network for entertaining kids. Yet, in the 90's, Nickelodeon was king.

Nickelodeon was probably the strongest of the three channels in that decade; with a mix of cartoons that struck chords across different age groups, some silly live action that never overstepped its welcome, and, oft neglected by modern television, the kid's gameshows. The best part about Nick's gameshows is that they all combined academic elements with physical challenges. The latter was the more amusing. The best of these shows, in my opinion, and the one with the biggest cult following of anthropologists everywhere is Legends of the Hidden Temple.

The action-adventure themed show centered around a "Temple" that is "filled with lost treasures protected by the Mysterious Mayan temple guards". The show was hosted by Kirk Frogg, who served as the guide for the contestants, and all announcements are made by a giant statue head, Olmec, voiced by Dee Bradley Parker. Each episode began with six teams of children, each with one boy and one girl, competing to retrieve one of the artifacts from the center of the Temple by performing physical stunts and answering questions relevant to history, geography, and mythology. After three elimination rounds, only one team remained to take on the ultimate challenge of making their way through an obstacle source filled with puzzles and terrifying temple guards to find the artifact and win the grand prize.

Some of the more amusing parts of the show were the team shirts. Each team had a shirt with a different color and animals. Everyone had their favorites like:

Red Jaguars
Blue Barracudas
Green Monkeys
Orange Iguanas
Purple Parrots
Silver Snakes

My favorite was probably the Silver Snakes.

The first challenge, The Steps of Knowledge, was a tad boring and the kids rarely for the questions right. The other challenges were somewhat amusing, but it was the final challenge that is unforgettable. By winning the rounds leading up to the final round, the kids can get special medallion pieces. These come in handy in the final challenge where both contestants have a chance to make their way through the temple, under the time limit, and find the artifact. The medal pieces are vital because, if a temple guardian catches you without one, you're captured and disqualified. The race across the confusing mess of a temple and the nerdy fun of thinking you knew better than the kids made it an exhilarating watch.

For some nostalgia, click the link below. I started at the final challenge for those of you wanting to just enjoy the best part.

Legends of the Hidden Temple: The Levitating Dog Leash

Legends of the Hidden Temple - The Silk Sash of Mulan 


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