Saturday, July 03, 2010

Science Shows on TV

There seem to be a great many science shows on cable TV these days. My only complaint is that too many of them focus on the same old topics, especially cosmology and astrophysics. You can almost guess the sequence of their series: the Big Bang. The Solar System. Comets. Galaxies. Black Holes.... Maybe they get a little esoteric and cover Interstellar Travel, Time Travel, Parallel Universes....  It's just that there are a great number of other science topics that seem a bit neglected, especially in biology and genetics. (Or am I missing them?) I guess graphics of planetary collisions are more thrilling than those of epigenetics.

Anyway, the graphics on these shows have really improved a great deal in recent years. How the Universe Works does an especially good job, except, I'm sorry, but while Mike Rowe is a great host for a show like Dirty Jobs, he doesn't make a good narrator for science shows. Just not his image. (PS: Did you know he was once an opera singer?)

Anyway, one little factoid I learned from their show on the solar system (Episode 7) was about the role of Jupiter in protecting the Earth from comets and asteroids. Without Jupiter, the show said, the impact rate of asteroids on the Earth would be about 1000 times what we see today.

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