Discovery operates something called the Science Channel, and most of the time I just ignore it. There are a lot of channels out there like that. If I paid them all attention, I'd never get to sleep.
Still, Science Channel (or SC for short) has a new program premiering Dec. 1 that tries -- as many of these things do -- to make science accessible to science-fiction geeks and the dumb kids in school (that is, the ones forced to become journalists). It's still pretty technical, but "Sci-Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible," does its best to translate gee-whiz movie elements into science, or rather, explore the possible science behind these gizmos and gadgets.
Hosted by Dr. Michio Kaku (center), the author of "Physics of the Impossible," the premiere looks at the science behind creating a "Stargate"-like portal as well as the feasibility of actually concocting a light-saber like the ones they use in the "Star Wars" films.
"Light just can't be solidified into a blade," Kaku explains near the outset of the second segment, sounding like a real killjoy, before he gets out the goggles and starts trying to form super-hot plasma into a three-foot blade. He finally enlists a guy at MIT who specializes in carbon nano-tubes -- which sounds like something Mork would have had -- before presenting his finding to a bunch of fans with their own toy light-sabers.
Just another reminder, George Lucas, of what you have wrought.
Actually, my guess is that the Pentagon can already build a light-saber, but that they won't be issuing them to troops until the $3-billion price tag comes down. See, this is what happens to you when you watch crap like "Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura," coming soon to TruTV.
Anything that gets kids to study, I suppose. But in this case, science doesn't seem cool so much as like an endeavor with way too much time on its hands.