I am pleased to welcome a guest bonobo to the Refuge. You might recall Professor Doctor Eye as the model for this fine motivational poster:
Dr. Eye is a physicist on the faculty of a university in a certain European Union country where something smells rotten and it ain’t Havarti. Maybe it’s a cheesy Danish gone bad. His hobbies include hobnobbing with hadrons and channeling Grendel. Without further adieu, Dr. Eye rants about science in television, a favorite subject here at the Refuge.
Recently, I have developed a somewhat less than healthy habit. Yes. CSI reruns. From Horatio overdramatically removing his sunglasses in Miami, to Mac Taylors’s NY sneer, to Grissom admonishing his—well, I don’t know what they are, juniors? Proteges? To look for what isn’t there, I love ’em. All. Every night at 20.00, on one of the many cable channels which seem to only ever show reruns of US TV shows, there they are – fellow scientists – but with guns. I won’t even get into their labs.
Good googly woogly, what I’d give to have a lab that clean and stylishly lit. But the entire illusion came crashing down in Las Vegas, and let me tell you…
I’m madder than Ed Asner at an ACLU convention! Some body had fallen (or was it pushed?) from an upper floor of a construction site*, and Grissom, discussing the fall, made the worst conceivable error (OK, I’ll admit this may only be the worse conceivable error for someone teaching first year physics, but still…). He didn’t have to mention it at all. It had nothing really to do with the case, but there he is, trying to look smart, saying the body reached its terminal velocity of…9.8m/s**2.
As the kids say today, dude, WTF? How can an error of this magnitude get broadcast on (inter)national television? Does this mean that I should question everything I have seen on CSI? Is it not commonplace to match (graphically!!) fingerprints in a matter of seconds? Do CSI folks really not get to interrogate suspects? Would they really not be allowed to blow up trucks full of explosives thus foiling terrorist attacks on nuclear power plants? Say it ain’t so.
*Yes, this may well be old news. In fact, I have no idea how old, since I don’t even know what season this show comes from. It is new news to me, though, and I’m still reeling from the shock. I’m even beginning to wonder if there really is luminol.