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Tag: Science (61-70 of 93)

'Big Bang Theory': WHEEEAATONNNN! (Also, Wolowitz kinda gets a girlfriend)

It would appear, Big Bang theorists, that Sheldon has finally found his Khan — or, maybe, his Kirk. See, if, like me, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is one of your favorite sci-fi flicks of all time, you probably noticed that the normally exacting Shedon became hilariously unmoored in his white hot rage for Star Trek: The Next Generation wunderkind Wil Wheaton. Quoting both Khan Noonien Singh (“From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee!”), and, in a fashion, Capt. James T. Kirk  (WHEEEAATONNNN!), it was unclear whether Sheldon saw himself as a wronged, genetically superior supervillian battling to destroy Wheaton’s impetuous Kirk, or a dashing starship captain striving to defeat Wheaton’s nefarious Khan. Then again, like most Wrath of Khan geeks, Sheldon probably just wanted to be both men at once, and I’ve almost certainly spent far too much Sheldon-esque time exploring this topic as it is. Suffice it to say, in the grand tradition of Newman vs. Seinfeld, Sideshow Bob vs. Bart Simpson, and Mr. Wilson vs. Dennis the Menace, I cannot think of a better bête noir for Sheldon Cooper than (an evil, underhanded version of) Wil Wheaton, since Wheaton’s Wesley Crusher on ST:TNG was essentially an earnest, 24th century version of Sheldon Cooper, replete with a comically unfortunate wardrobe. (For one thing, Wheaton is light years better as an adversary than the odious Barry Kripke.)

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Every Kramer entrance on 'Seinfeld,' in chronological order

If ever there were a YouTube video that demonstrated the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory through pop culture, this is it! Here’s a montage of every single Kramer entrance from Seinfeld — in chronological order. How long can you last watching this? At what point in the video does your conception of the world dissolve and you realize that that every single outcome is simultaneously occurring in an alternative universe? And, more importantly, did Kramer’s fashion sense improve or deteriorate over time?

'Big Bang Theory': Raj, deported? Sheldon to the rescue!

Alas, filmmaker Chris Columbus does not appear to tweet (I checked), so we must for now remain bereft of his feelings concerning Leonard, Sheldon, Wolowitz, and Raj’s tradition of celebrating “Columbus” Day by watching the Columbus-penned generational touchstones GooniesGremlins, and Young Sherlock Holmes — probably the nicest Columbus Day joke ever made about the Home Alone director, in fact. (And yes, Young Sherlock Holmes is indeed a touchstone, if only because it is the first major motion picture to feature a character fashioned entirely via computer.) (Whoa, got a bit Sheldon up in here. Apologies.)

The holiday merriment was short-lived, unfortunately, after Raj broke down at the mere mention of the Wolowitz family’s traditional Thanksgiving turbriskefil, and it wasn’t because that’s a turkey stuffed with a brisket stuffed with gefilte fish. OK, it wasn’t just because of that unholy culinary trinity; he’s also in danger of being deported back to India.

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'Big Bang Theory': Sheldon makes Penny his lab rat

Poor Wolowitz and Koothrappali — or, as I’ve taken to calling the inseparable duo, Woloppali. With Leonard and Penny (Lenny? Pennard?) soaking up so much screen time — or rather, with their relationship soaking up so much of Sheldon’s time — Big Bang Theory‘s horny C-3PO and guileless R2-D2 were left adrift in a subplot that peaked at the very top of the episode. Namely, the mighty choice sight gag of Wolowitz walking in decked out like an Adam Lambert wannabe sporting a coif that was somehow equal parts emo and rockabilly.

But it was all downhill from there. Wearing tattoo sleeves that were both credible and completely ridiculous, Woloppali picked up the two most dead-eyed boring Hot-Topic-shopping goth girls in southern California, who dragged the guys to a tattoo parlor, where Wolowitz promptly freaked out at the mere touch of a real tattoo pen and the girls promptly left. The whole “wacky” “adventure” just made me wish all the more for Penny and Leonard’s inevitable break up so Woloppali can once again re-enter the full ensemble and not be banished to lame goth bars to make 15-year-old jokes about John Grisham. (On the plus side, I gotta say, guyliner is a surprisingly good look for Simon Helberg.) READ FULL STORY

'Big Bang Theory': Sheldon is (gasp!) proven wrong

One of my favorite things about The Big Bang Theory — the thing, in fact, that got me officially hooked on the show in the first place — is the way on occasion it casually breaks certain steadfast sitcom rules. Exhibit A: Sitcom characters are never supposed to laugh at a funny situation, even when the natural response for most human beings would be to break down in hysterics. But every so often, Penny will actually laugh at something Sheldon or Leonard has done that’s genuinely funny, and not one of those forced sitcom-y laughs, either. (This example is as it happens the aforementioned catalyst for my now rather serious Big Bang addiction.)

Exhibit B: Last night, Wolowitz actually called Sheldon on one of his countless mini-lectures on arcane scientific trivia, i.e. Sheldon’s insistence that the cricket chirping within earshot was, due to the length between chirps and the ambient temperature in the room, a snowy tree cricket. Instead of letting it pass by as a rote character tic used as a throwaway punchline, Wolowitz insisted instead that the insect had to be your run-of-the-mill field cricket. So with respective rare copies of Fantastic Four (#48, first appearance of the Silver Surfer) and Flash (#123, the classic Two Worlds issue) on the line, Wolowitz and Sheldon spent the rest of the episode hilariously trying to prove the other wrong and/or distract us from the milquetoast romantic fumblings of Penny and Leonard.


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'Big Bang Theory': Penny and Leonard kiss, and Sheldon runs away

The Big Bang Theory

Greetings, fellow Big Bang theorists! I shall be your ship’s captain on our voyage this season through the oft-mirthful lives of Messrs. Hofstadter, Cooper, Wolowitz, and Koothrappali, as well as the lovely Ms., er, Penny. (Curious — I just realized that we’ve never learned Penny’s last name. Most curious.) If my measurements of the volume and frequency of my spontaneous diaphragm expansions during last night’s premiere episode was anything to go by, it should prove a most entertaining season indeed.

All right, I’ll stop with the Sheldon-esque semantic shenanigans. (For now, anyway.) I just couldn’t help myself, given all the standout moments among our geeky quintet last night — and, yes, with Penny effortlessly referencing plot points in the new Star Trek movie, I’d say the Cheesecake Factory waitress long ago started her irrevocable journey into permanent geekdom. My confidence in the strength of this premiere was bolstered by the fact that I watched it with my visiting parents, who had never once seen the show and who concluded at the end, with a twinge of surprise in their voices, that it was indeed “really funny!” READ FULL STORY

Bobby McFerrin at the World Science Festival: Summoning musical magic

I had written off Bobby McFerrin years ago, after that “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” incident. And then I saw this video, in which he uses an unsuspecting audience to demonstrate the universal power of the Pentatonic Scale.

I don’t know about you, but music — and our innate understanding of music —  is an everyday magic I too often take for granted.

Waste time (and blow your own mind) by staring at this spiral!

Discover-Magazine_l You're probably thinking, "What's the big deal? It's not like the spiral is spinning. It's not 3-D. I don't see Mother Teresa's face jumping out at me." True. But there's something you might not realize. See the blue spiral? And the green one? THEY'RE THE SAME COLOR.

Go ahead, take a look.

Still don't believe me? Check out this post over at Discover Magazine, which explains how the mind interprets colors based on surrounding hues. Then grab a Kleenex and wipe your brain off the walls.

'Real Genius' house of overflowing popcorn myth busted :(

This is too upsetting to keep to myself, so I must ruin it for you as well: Last night on Discovery's MythBusters, they proved that the pressure of a massive amount of popcorn popping is not enough to blow out the windows of your home as seen in the 1985 film Real Genius. Busted! Two consolations: They did prove that a laser can pop popcorn (which drew applause from Kari Byron and me). Confirmed! And they did blow up a small-scale house filled with popcorn with explosives, which you can watch in high speed here.

If the show's already gone after the ice skating scene, I don't want to know about it.

More MythBusters:
PopWatch Duel: MythBusters' Adam Savage vs. Jamie Hyneman
MythBusters' 100th episode Q&A

NBC plans to conquer...er, SAVE the planet

With the launch of its 2009 "Green is Universal" campaign, NBC is once again hoping that its reputation as an environmentally conscious network will help boost its saggy viewership. In past years, the network plugged its initiative with PSAs and guest stars (like Al Gore on 30 Rock). We’re not exactly sure what greenery NBC has in store for this year, but we’ve got a few suggestions for kicking it up a notch in ’09:

Harness the power of The Biggest Loser
Contestants on the weight-loss competition are constantly working out — but all that spent energy is going nowhere. Why not hook their exercise equipment up to generators so that every step and squat produces electricity for the show’s camera equipment? An on-set desalination plant could also turn that sweat into drinkable water, which could be bottled and sold alongside the show’s bath scales and panini makers.

Cancel America’s Got Talent
Noise pollution is still pollution.

Recycle old shows
Oh, wait. They’re already doing that.

Looks like NBC may have a slightly different strategy in mind (check out one of their green tips videos below). But go ahead, PopWatchers, and tell us what YOU think is the best way for NBC to go green this year?

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