Thursday, August 12, 2010

THOR'S DAY RANT: It's Effin BAD Science...

There's this new show on the G4 channel, and I'm going to have to go all Phil Plait on it's ass for a moment.
The show is called "It's Effin Science" and it's been advertised very widely on my satellite service provider, Dish Network. They try and give it a Mythbusters look, with "cool", "hip" sciencey nerds blowing things up, etc. My kids and I love Mythbusters, so I finally watched part of an episode the other Effin night.
Awful. So awful, in fact, I am compelled to warn people that watching this show will actually reduce your intelligence.
First off, one of the science nerds "built" spy glasses with a mini digital camera in them, recording to a mini SDCard. Oh, so cool...
And I can get one for under $50 at They've had these devices for several years now. carries them too...
Next up, a science nerd built a radio control car with a pan and tilt camera that wirelessly transmits to the base station. He used it to patrol a house to find the other science nerd, who was hiding under a bed. Wow. How exciting. Not exciting enough for me to go to Target and buy a pre-made car like this, though.
Oh, and when I say built, I'm not talking about an Adam Savage-like sequence where science nerds injure themselves welding or make clever jokes while scavenging parts. I mean they presented an item to the camera and claimed to have built it.
But the final Effin' straw for me came between segments, when they asked viewers what would kill you first in a vacuum: Cold, Radiation or explosive decompression? Their answer was explosive decompression. Yeah, maybe on Star Trek. Or Futurama.
What would actually kill you is your lungs rupturing- and this is assuming you jumped out the hatch, holding your breath. Human bodies WOULD NOT explode in a vacuum. Don't believe me?
The only redeeming thing that Effin' Science has going for it is that one of the nerds is Chad Zdenek, from G4's Human Wrecking Balls. I don't like Chad, but seeing him reminds me of the awesomeness of Human Wrecking Balls. Good memories there.
My final spin on Effin Science?
Effin avoid it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The First Day of School

Ah, the first day of school, when kiddies go off to learn.
Today was our kid's first day of school this year... and it sure doesn't seem like as a good a start as one could hope for...
Our youngest, Mandi, started off fussing all morning wanting to go to her 1st day of kindergarten. She couldn't wait.
"Daddy! Let's go!"
"They're not open yet, Mandi."
"Daddy! Let's go to school!"
"I'm still not dressed, Mandi- eat your breakfast..."
Cute the first three times, started to get annoying... Meanwhile, Sammie (our oldest) was nervous about going to middle school- afraid about kids fighting. Clearly she's watched too much Ned's DeClassified or something. And since she's 5'2" she shouldn't be worried.
Next, I get in the shower and notice some water where there shouldn't be. Put my glasses on and find out that the shower head is leaking like crazy. One of the girls (and I can eliminate Mandi- she's too short) was twisting or turning the head where it meets the shaft out of the wall. That made a loose, leaky connection. No time to find my channel locks and teflon tape so I just whipped out my Leatherman and did an impromptu tightening. And yes, I wear my Leatherman around the house.
After I'm done with my shower, toweling off, Sammie comes running through the house and beats on the door "Daddy! We need your help!" Crossing my fingers someone didn't fall down the steps or shit themselves or light the house on fire I asked what was wrong. "Sunnie got loose- mommy can't catch her!".
Great. Sunnie is our border-aussie, one year old dog who is testing us lately. When we put her out, we have to walk with her to keep her from running down the carport and out to the front yard. Sometimes, you even have to hold her collar. I've told the wifey this multiple times, but she refuses to listen. She swings the door open for the dog and says "outside" and out Sunnie runs... mostly toward the backyard. This morning wasn't a mostly.
"Sammie- what do you expect me to do? I just got out of the shower! I'm not even dressed!" I yell in frustration. Then I go into old man mode and start talking to myself: "Maybe if she gets hit by a car she'll learn not to run out front..."
Moments later, as I'm brushing my teeth (because I refuse to change my routine because the wife can't control the dog), Sammie runs back in the house and tells me it's okay- mommy caught the dog.
Allright, so we all get our shit together and leave... a little behind schedule due to the normal, I-can't-find-my-backpack, where's-my-shoes, etc.
We take Sammie to her school. On the way, she announces that she can't remember where her classroom is. I have to repeat like five times how to get to her class... "Go inside, take the first left. Walk to the end of the building and take the last right. Walk down the hallway and your class is on the left. If you get to your locker, you've gone too far." I also point out to nervous-girl that the school expects kids to get turned around and not to worry. If she gets lost, ask for directions.
Then it's on to Mandi's school. And the traffic jam to end all traffic jams. Apparently, not just the kindergartners' parents were parking and walking their kids in. Half the freaking town was there, parked on side streets, walking in. It was like a damned flea market. We find a space, take the hike to the school, and walk Mandi in. No way she's getting to her locker- there's so many people jammed in the kindergarten hallway it looks like a movie letting out. Finally manage to squeeze into her classroom and stand around waiting. Bell rings, kids start to filter in, then finally the teacher. The teacher has the kids say goodbye then we finally leave- which is great, cause I was pretty dehydrated at this point from all the sweating.
Take the wife back home- it's her day off- then I hurry to work.
But hey, it's almost lunch time and no calls from the school! Maybe this day will get better!