Random Thought 3

I just watched the first episode of “The Universe.” It is accurate and so totally unlike anything I’ve seen on PBS that I’m at a loss for words. Take every cool image of the Sun you’ve ever seen, combine them with talking heads that are on sound stages instead of in university offices, and mix with high speed CGI animated content. Blend all on high for 45 minutes. This is not a bad thing, but it was not your Daddy’s science special. Clearly, this was science for the ADHD, digital generation – Not a single pause long enough to SMS “The Sun” was to be seen. With that audiance in mind, the only thing I could complain about is the lack of explaining what all the images of the Sun actually meant (okay, so that’s kind of big, however…). They somehow combined everything I address in 2 lectures on the Sun and its stellar evolution into 45 minutes, so I guess something had to get left out and everything else had to go fast. Zoom, Zoom, Zoom kind of fast. The History Channel is showing the episode over and over right now. Try catching it twice to catch the content, and then visit SOHO to find out what the solar images mean.

I’m really in awe of how much material they covered. This was content from a fire hose. Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. For those of you how were left feeling a little worried about Coronal Mass Ejections by the episode, I’ll being talking about them tomorrow in my blog. There was a nice press release on how to detect them early at the AAS last week.

2 Comments

  1. Jorge Schrauwen
    Jun 4, 2007

    Can’t watch it due to me being in Europe… is there a web feed available? probably not but worth a shot 🙂

  2. Rebecca B-F
    Jun 9, 2007

    I realise I’m a little behind, but I’ve only just watched this episode of The Universe. I was impressed at the amount of information they included in 45 minutes while keeping it at a fairly simple level. I suggest the difference between this program and your lectures on similar topics is you can require deeper scientific understanding from your audience (I, geek that I am, prefer the depth your lectures went into, for all that the CGI is really cool). 

    The program left me with more questions than answers. 

    It was really nice to see so much involvement from Holly Gilbert (Rice University), in addition to all the men interviewed. 

    The Canadian/scientist(?) in me wishes they would give numbers in metric and Celsius (or Kelvin), as well as in units Americans understand. I don’t think encouraging a broader understanding of units science is actually conducted in is a bad thing.

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