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What's wrong with The Discovery Channel?

  1. May 23, 2005 #1
    Seriously, did anyone see their most recent program called Voyage to The Planets and Beyond? It's totally ridiculous! The program is about a manned voyage to 5 of the 9 planets and close pass by the sun, a voyage that alone takes over 1200 days. I'll list some of the outragous events that take place.

    1. The CREW, yes the crew, land on Venus and are able to walk around and explore it in space suits. The surface of Venus is over 900F and the pressure is several hundred times greater than the pressure on Earth's surface. No space suit, let alone any probe, could survive more than a few minutes on the surface. Someone couldn't even survive on Venus, even wearing a suit, for more than a few seconds. This is CRAZY!

    2. Another things, one of the fictional biologists states it might be possible for life to be on Venus because they is life in hot springs on Earth. ARGH! The is a huge difference between 180F water and 900F sulfuric acid!

    3. Another part, the spaceship travels through the asteriod belt. Yes, they travel throught it! No mission would ever dare doing this! The ship wouldn't stand a chance! In the program they show small chuncks of rock just foating around minding their own bussiness. They seem to forget all about the pea sized rocks flying around at 80,000+ mph. The ship would have been bombarded to death with thousands of these little bullets.

    4. Then they go into Saturn's Rings! One of the crew member's even goes out to capture some sample rocks! As stated in #3 they would have been killed by the little shards of rock buzzing around at 80,000 mph!

    5. Finally, they land on a Comet and it explodes. The ship is hit with car sized boulders and the ship isn't even dented or even bumbed off coarse a little. The landing craft was even hit with a car sized rock and the rock bounced right off! Even ignoring the fact that in real life the rocks would being going at several hundreds of mph, this is completely inane.

    Is anyone else suprised Discovery would air this trash? I think my favorite channel is slowly going down the drain.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2005 #2


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    I tuned into it late and for 10 minutes all that happened was some woman in a space suit was collecting rock & soil samples, and for ten minutes the dialogue went something like

    woman: must...get...samples

    person on spaceship: there is too much radiation, return to the ship

    woman: rocks...ack...ack

    person on spaceship: there is too much radiation, return to the ship

    woman: must...ack...get...rocks...ack

    other person on spaceship: there is too much radiation, she must return to the ship

    person on spaceship: we're losing her!!

    woman: ack...

    I couldn't take it any longer and changed channels, obviously not a show about science. :mad:
  4. May 23, 2005 #3


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    Plain and simple, the Discovery Channel has expanded it's channel so much it can not keep up with the demand to fill all of it's time slots. It's the same thing that happens on all of those super lame stations like the DYI channel. Because they need to fill the time, they will take just about anything that looks like it means something.

    Who do you think works for these stations and is the gatekeeper of what gets shown? It's not anyone with any kind of scientific/technological background.
  5. May 23, 2005 #4
    I think Discovery Channel is suffering the same problem as many highly educational channels - lack of viewers. Realistically how many people actually KNOW how ridiculous some of the things in that show were (aside from everyone on this forum :wink: )? In order to get their ratings up they are required to either 'dumb down' some of their programming or replace it with 'entertaining' garbage for the masses. If they have to do something to stay on the air I'd rather they do this than dumb down the good programs to make everyone happy. At least I can avoid dumb shows like this one or erase them from the DVR!
  6. May 23, 2005 #5
    I didn't think it was *that* bad. Sure it was a little overly fanciful and the science wasn't always the best, but maybe it will get some peoples' imaginations going.

    The girl in the suit was guilty of bad acting, to be sure. As for nearly dying in the suit, that doesn't seem all that unprecedented. As I recall, some of the first Gemini astronauts that performed EVA's (not sure if it was Ed White or someone after him) nearly killed themselves trying to work in zero G. I imagine if I had spent 2 years in a space ship and I was only going to get a few hours on a Io for the whole trip, I'd be out there nearly killing myself too.

    I'm not sure the Venus thing was super unrealistic. The suit looked like a deep sea diving suit (a Jim suit) which can take ~100 atm of pressure IIRC. Of course you've got the caustic atmosphere and heat to deal with as well, but I wouldn't say we could *never* do it, at least for the hour or so they were on the surface.

    If you're in roughly the same orbit as the rocks, they should be still relative to you. Of course there will be some random motion going on from collisions and such, but the relative speeds would be nowhere close to 80k. An EVA may still be terminally stupid though, but maybe not.
  7. May 23, 2005 #6


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    Did they get the samples back to the ship? When I changed channels she was ditching the samples.

    I was hoping the show might be something similar to the "Cosmos" tv series for PBS Sagan did years ago. This was too melodramatic. Or maybe I just tuned in at the worst moment. ack :wink:
  8. May 23, 2005 #7
    No. :cry: I think that was the point though. Even with all the money and planning that went into the trip, sometimes 'stuff' just happens and we're at its mercy.

    Probably the *most* melodramatic moment was when they did an EVA in the middle of the exploding comet to get back to the ship though.
  9. May 23, 2005 #8
    I thought it was a cross between 2001 and that movie where the mission to Mars ended up being a fart joke and the guy saying, "hey look, I'm the first person to ______ on Mars!...and I'm the first person to ____ on Mars too!" It's the one where the chimp outfoxed one guy and snagged his cryo-chamber and the guy wound up eating all the food or painting with it. I don't care who you are, fart jokes = funny, space chicks = hotness(mostly). For those of you still wondering, I'm talking about the whole.......zero gravity......thing. Use your imagination.
  10. May 23, 2005 #9
    I think the movie you're talking about is Rocketman! i love that movie. anyone who hasn't seen it... its hilarious. i love it. the best part was when they get everyone to sing "he's got the whole world, in his hands." or when he sings "when you wish upon a star." i like that part too....

    Anyways, i like the discovery chanel thingies. I don't take them seriously or anything, they're just entertaining. And at least its still better than MTV or the other inane shows on television. i didn't see the special you all are talking about... but i always think its funny when people will watch with me, and be like "hey, you're into this stuff... what if...? or is it possible to..?" and i'm just like, "its television..."
  11. May 23, 2005 #10
    Who has seen few months ago program about dragons on Discovery Channel ?
  12. May 23, 2005 #11

    Slowly? Its been nothing but the auto-shop channel for almot two years. Nothing slow about it. How did it take you this long to notice?
  13. May 23, 2005 #12
    So is going to the zoo and watching monkeys throw their own poo. But i wouldn't advise wasting time doing that either. Just my opinion.

    I get really annoyed when they do that. not so much because they're asking, but because i was already really annoyed at the program in the first place.
  14. May 23, 2005 #13
    well, i tend to be a very tolerant person. i'll appreciate things as best i can. all things considered, i don't think the discovery chanel is the worst thing out there. you know how they say, "imitation is the highest form of flattery." at least discovery is... erm.. imitating science.. eh?
  15. May 23, 2005 #14
    you just have to take look at US television programs on other channels, what you see is simply crap ! maybe not all of it but 95 %.
    european version of discovery channel is much better by the way.
  16. May 23, 2005 #15


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    You know, I was going to whine about their program Alien Planet

    I'm no Biologist, but even I knew that those concepts they presented were completely, I mean ridiculously far fetched. And what's worse? Mikio Kaku appeared on that program. I mean who does Kaku think he is, really, to give his opinion on when and how the technology will be available? He is a physicist - not an engineer, not a sponsor for NASA or an indepedent aerospace company, not even a Computer Scientist to talk about robots and their capabilities. On the other program he was talking about robots that would be used to have sex with humans. Imagine a Physicist in Hyperspace/String Theory getting involved in real science.
  17. May 23, 2005 #16


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    More like 97%. My only problem with Discovery Channel is that I can't watch it. I don't get cable. It might very well be garbage, but I'd like a chance to determine that for myself.
  18. May 23, 2005 #17


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    The discovery channel is pretty much a bunch of crap. But they do own alot more channels like animal planet, wich also sucks. They do own the science channel which is actually good. It is pay-per-view though
  19. May 23, 2005 #18
    I agree. I'm just plain sick and tired of "American Choppers" and "Motorcycle Mania." I miss the good days when Discovery aired truely educational things about science and technology. Now I rely on History Channel's "Modern Marvels" and extended channels on my Comcast Digital Cable like Discovery's "The Science Channel." Regular Discovery just plain isn't up to par with my interests anymore. It's a shame, really.
  20. May 23, 2005 #19
    Have you ever read Michio Kaku's book, Visions? Visions takes the reader through a wondrous tour of science and technology yet to come. Going through the three main scientific pillars of the 20th century, the computer revolution, the biological revolution, and the quantum revolution, Michio Kaku explains in detail where these revolutions in science will lead us in the 21st century and beyond.

    Do you know how Michio Kaku is able to write about computers, advanced composites, robotics, genetics, biology, medicine, astronautics, aeronautics, and more? He is able to write about all of these various fields on science and technology because he has had the pleasure of interviewing over 150 leading scientists, technicians, engineers, researchers, and specialists. The insights of all of these individuals were then summarized in the crowning achievement, Visions. Michio Kaku explains this on the first page of the Preface in his book.

    As you can see, Michio Kaku can give people insight into what the future holds on store for us because he has interviewed people leading the forefront revolutions. Of course, there is no better person who can give a better explanation on something specific other than the individuals leading the revolutions themselves, but Michio Kaku surely does have credence enough to be a spokesperson of technological progress, whether or not his specialty lies in theoretical physics.
  21. May 23, 2005 #20


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    The same might be said of Isaac Asimov. He was undoubtedly a brilliant man, who did wonders for bringing an understanding of science to the masses, but his field of expertise was biochemistry. It was his network of equally learned people in other areas that enabled him to espouse upon all subjects in his columns and books. (And even then, he made a few mistakes.)
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