There is a loud and painful screech of microphone feedback. As it fades out, there is a series of loud, reverberating thumping noises, followed by:
ANNOUNCER: ....um, hello? Is this on?
The announcer, a small, hunched, elderly old man, continues to speak timidly into the microphone.
ANNOUNCER: Um, hello, well, er, yes, um, hello, everybody. Welcome to the, er, second round results of the Orbit Bracket of the, um...
The announcer pats down his jacket pockets, pulls out a small calendar, glances at it through the bottom of his bi-focals, and puts it away.
ANNOUNCER: 2007, yes, 2007 Spring Science Showdown.
The screen suddenly splits in a massively over-rendered CGI explosion, the image of the stage spreading away as random gambling, football, vehicular, and beer images flash and fly across the screen. A driving drumbeat launches in to the high-octane heavy-metal theme.
DEEP VOICE: The Science Spring 2007 Showdown! Orbit Region! The action! The drama! The lights! The camera! The action! I ALREADY SAID THAT!!!
VOICES OF MANY: Ave, Caesar! We who are about to cry salute you!
The screen cuts to a brief shot of Albert Einstein in the middle of an interview.
ALBERT EINSTEIN: ...it's just that descriptive statistics sound so much like playing dice...
The screen fades quickly to a sportscasting booth where two identically-dressed forty-something men with short black hair sit behind desks holding pieces of paper they are clearly ignoring.
SPORTSCASTER 1: Welcome, ladies, gentlemen, and others to the wrap-up of the Physical Science contests in the second round of the 2007 Showdown. The action this week was intense, the contests were bloody, but the outcomes were—
SPORTSCASTER 2: ...let us not say predictable, but rather, a confirmation that the dominant presences in the contest are indeed as dominant as they appear.
SPORTSCASTER 1: That's right, Al, and we can only imagine what that will leave in store for us as these powerhouses collide with each other in Round 3!
SPORTSCASTER 2: Of course, Al, you have to remember that the high-speed colliders were eliminated in Round 1.
SPORTSCASTER 1: You're right, Al, we remember that the high-speed Internet soundly trounced it, despite being the youngest team in this bracket. A young, and exciting team it is...
SPORTSCASTER 2: ...but without the depth that the long term powerhouses such as Newton's Second Law of Motion, Al.
SPORTSCASTER 1: You've got that right, Al. Newton's Second Law of Motion has been a favorite for... oh, I don't know, centuries now? In any event, it was no contest at all. F=ma came out of the locker room swinging, powering down through the gradient of its potential so quickly that the high speed Internet never knew what hit it.
SPORTSCASTER 2: There wasn't even time for an equal and opposite reaction!
SPORTSCASTER 1: And if there had been, Al, assuredly Newton's Third Law would have been on the same team as Newton's Second Law.
SPORTSCASTER 2: And now, Al, F=ma advances to the third round. I think this team may have what it takes to make it all the way.
SPORTSCASTER 1: But there are some other strong contenders in the game. Let's head down to our announcer on the field of another of the exciting matches.
Gratuitous overdone CGI transition wipe.
OJ SIMPSON : I'm down here on the field with the Euler Angles team. I find this very interesting. Suppose, for instance, I am holding this knife...
OJ Simpson produces a knife in his right hand
OJ SIMPSON: With the Euler Angles, I'm able to describe the motion of my shoulder, my elbow, and my wrist, to bring the knife around into any pos....
The screen goes blue for a several seconds, and returns to a very flustered looking sportscasting booth— insofar as a set can look flustered.
SPORTSCASTER 1: Sorry, folks, little technical glitch there!
SPORTSCASTER 2: (aside) Didn't we fire him?
SPORTSCASTER 1: (aside) Beats me, Al. You have to admit he's better than Jimmy the Geek.
SPORTSCASTER 2: As we were saying, folks, the second exciting matchup was between Particles as a fundamental description of matter and the Euler Angles. The Euler Angles came out to a strong start, and looked like they might upset the match....
SPORTSCASTER 1: ...but it wasn't to be, Al.
SPORTSCASTER 2: No, Al, it sure wasn't. I believe that it was on the personality of the team's coach, Euler, that they had as good of a showing as they did. However, they seemed to lose heart when a contingent of Quarternion fans, still bitter from the results of the last match, showed up and booed them off the field.
SPORTSCASTER 1: In the end, Particle won the day.
SPORTSCASTER 2: That's right, Al
SPORTSCASTER 1: Thank you, Al. And what about the other games?
SPORTSCASTER 2: The third matchup was much more interesting because of the controversy before the game than because of anything that happened in the game itself.
SPORTSCASTER 1: Al, you're right there! I've seen unseemly behavior from fans before, but this was pushing the boundaries!
SPORTSCASTER 2: The fans do have a point that while in many contests, the teams get together for a group prayer, discussion of religion was not appropriate at this match.
SPORTSCASTER 1: But, in the end, Al, it was clear that it was descriptive statistics that didn't have a prayer. Let's cut to the field for an interview with the coach of the winning team.
Gratuitous CGI wipe
STEPHEN HAWKING: This is Stephen Hawking for the SBBC, on the field with the recently victorious coach. Coach, do you have anything to say?
GENERAL RELATIVITY: (Wiping gatorade out of his hair) Shock and awe. We came in and used military tactics, just as I told them, and descriptive statistics didn't stand a chance.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Now, if I might ask you a question or two about quantum mechanics....
GENERAL RELATIVITY: I'm sorry, is that my phone ringing? I have to go. Nice chair, by the way.
Gratuitous CGI wipe
SPORTSCASTER 2: And now, Al, we get to the most thrilling match of the week.
SPORTSCASTER 1: That's right, Al. After watching the previous three drubbings, it was nice to see a contest that was at least a little bit of a nail biter.
SPORTSCASTER 2: On one side, we had Ordinary Matter. After the victory many found surprising over Dark Matter last week, baryonic matter came into this match strong, with confidence. On the other side, showing better team cohesiveness than any other team anywhere in this contest, we had Bosons, fresh away from a well-fought match against Fermions last week.
SPORTSCASTER 1: This match was fought hard, but after the very entertaining first period, Bosons pulled out to a strong lead and never looked back.
SPORTSCASTER 2: I was impressed about how well Bosons stood together, much like an entire team of cyclers all drafting off of Greg Louganis.
SPORTSCASTER 1: Um, Al, wasn't he a diver?
SPORTSCASTER 2: (aside) stay focused!
SPORTSCASTER 1: Um, sorry. We tried to find the members of the Boson team for an interview following the match, but it turns out that they had all gone out to a bar.
SPORTSCASTER 1: The same bar.
SPORTSCASTER 2: Having the same drink.
SPORTSCASTER 1: All in the same seat.
SPORTSCASTER 2: Uncanny.
SPORTSCASTER 1: And that about wraps up this weeks action!
Lights fade; the driving drumbeat starts up again in the heavy metal theme
DEEP VOICE: Stay tuned next week for the next round in the Spring 2007 Science Showdown, Orbit Bracket
Cut to an excerpt of Albert Einstein in the middle of an interview.
ALBERT EINSTEIN: ...what do you mean the other team is using Bose-Einstein Statistics?!?!? Did they see our playbook?
The screen dissolves into a mishmash of overtestosteroned images flashing by at near-subliminal speeds, and fades away to black.
REEDY VOICE: This presentation has been supported by a grant from the NFS, supporting cross-mounts for scientists everywhere.
JOHN MADDEN: Boom!
Funny as ever, Mr. Playwright!
And, apropos of your Brahe/Kepler/Newton post, I still don't understand how a=F/m defeated F=Gm1m2/r2 in the first round. But that's ancient history by now...
So who won?
Just out of general noseyness; what blog is the next round on?
What, you expect us to plan ahead??? If anybody's doing that, I sure don't know about it.
right on, rob -- plan ahead? feh.
What, you expect us to plan ahead???
Posted by: Rob Knop>>
Sorry, stupid of me :o)