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Science Detemines The Discovery Channel Is Bad For Your Relationships
Nothing brings a couple together like science programming ... you'd think. Not necessarily, my friends. Sure, it sounds like gold. What healthy, educated man and woman wouldn't want to enjoy scientific programming together, right?
The scientific programming I am talking about is the 100 Greatest Discoveries that originally aired on the Discovery Channel ... or the Science Channel ... I am not sure. I was just happy that the Discovery Channel had some programming that had nothing to do with loud, fat men building motorcycles. Maybe that's why they created the Science Channel - to have a place to air programming that had science. Kind of like MTV having to create MTV2 to show actual music videos. Now, I am not criticizing MTV. There's no way I could have been smart enough to create "Rock & Jock Softball."
Anyway, I never saw it when it first ran but I recorded the finale of it this time and we sit down in front of the handy Replay DVR to take a look. That's right, scientists don't use Tivo because we're not educated by advertising ... but you go ahead and use Tivo and enjoy your Ipod also. I don't want you to use Replays because if they get popular mathematicians would start using them and we would have to abandon them.
I only recorded the top 10 of the 100 because, really, the bottom 90 aren't all that important. I don't know who came up with the 100 since there are about a million scientific discoveries that are important ... but if people voted you can bet the only people who had time to vote were students and university professors, i.e. people who don't do actual science or otherwise work for a living.
Immediately Lady Scientist and I had to discuss what we think should be number 1. This is important stuff ... if she picked something dopey like the cuckoo clock it would put a serious dent in our relationship.
"Bernoulli, fluid dynamics, flight," she says.
Well, I suppose I could almost respect that. If she was 14.
"Are you insane? Clearly, there is no other answer than Newton's Laws of Motion."
"You see that degree up on the wall?" she asks.
"What does it say?"
"Ummmm ... Cal Poly?"
"No, it says you don't know what you're talking about, that's what it says. Without flight, you don't have international mass transit, tourism, McDonald's in Hindu countries and the space program. Without Bernoulli you don't have ..."
"Aren't Euler's Equations actually more ...?"
"Read that degree up on the wall again."
"I get it, I get it."
So we start to watch and right there at number 10 is ... Newton's Laws of Motion.
Wow. That's a shocker. There must be something really big I have just forgotten in those other 9. Maxwell? Well, yeah, but not many people have heard of him and it's not the kind of safe choice homeless people or university professors would pick. Einstein? Sure, everyone has heard of Einstein ... but did E=MC^2 really change our lives? It led to things that changed our lives but Newton had a much greater impact in that sense.
Bill Nye the Science Guy keeps talking and the list goes on. Molecules, they say. Well, okay, I guess. I feel like that is going to take some justification. Then they come out with penicillin. Now, penicillin is important, sure ... it has saved a lot of lives in the last 60 years. But it didn't help us understand how the universe works.
Germ theory. Wait ... how is that worth being in the top 10? Did only biology students vote on this thing? I feel like they have jumped the shark here.
Then they do a complete triple gainer over the shark with this one: Heredity.
"That's it ... enough," I say. "Who gives a crap about Mendel?? Like people didn't know before Mendel that our kids would be tall."
"You think they didn't know apples fell out of trees before Newton?" she asked.
I stared at her, aghast. My irritation level went to some sort of berserker-rage new level but I kept it in check. Scientists don't let anyone know they have lost their cool.
"You have just cost yourself sweet lovin' this evening with that shot at Sir Isaac," I said.
"No, I didn't."
And there you have it, folks; the secret to why the Discovery Channel is bad for relationships. Without the Discovery Channel we would never have needed to argue about the most important scientific discovery, I would never have stated that her disputing my infallible reasoning was going to cost her sweet lovin' and she would never have been able to prove I was wrong, thus impacting my credibility the next time I try to withhold sweet lovin'. If you don't want to establish a dominant force in a relationship, don't watch Discovery Channel.
But Bernoulli? Nowhere near the top 10.
posted by Buckaroo at 7:33 AM