A few more Bad Universe reviews

By Phil Plait | August 31, 2010 2:30 pm

baduniverse_logoIt’s been a couple of days, and more reviews of "Bad Universe" have come in:

- My brother from another mother Fraser Cain at Universe Today

- My alma mater’s online mag UVa Today

- Gotham Skeptic

- The Bollingbrook Babbler (that’s a satirical newspaper, so there ya go)

- Hey Freqs!

- Pop Army

- My friend Evan Bernstein from Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe wrote up his thoughts at The Ness

- I started a thread on Reddit

- The science and scifi blog io9

The reviews are all still very positive, which makes me happy, since I can send the links to Discovery Channel instead of pestering them myself. If you know of more reviews, please link to them in the comments below! If you find a negative one, don’t hesitate to link to it; I want to know what people think so we can make the better… if we get that chance.

A lot of folks are asking when it will play in their country. I don’t know, except that Discovery Asia will air it in November, and Discovery Canada is looking into it – and that latter was due to people on Twitter asking them. So don’t ever think you can’t influence what gets aired on TV, folks. Power to the Tweeple!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Bad Universe

Comments (81)

  1. Bob

    My review:

    The show was pretty good. Catchy graphics, snappy dialogue, science wasn’t dumbed down – was just right.

    I like that you used real world places to simulate the size of the destruction – gives you a sense of what will happen – would of liked to see the ELE in more detail though.

    Most of the scenarios I all ready knew about, but my wife learned something new.

    I hope your catch phrase isn’t “Holy something something…” – knowing your stance on some subjects – that was kinda weird :)

    The hand cam work was a bit jarring – a lot of movement sometimes – but after a while – really felt like I was there.

    Really liked the comic book switches/story telling – nice way to connect things.

    Overall – I rate it a solid A+ for science – hope more to follow.

  2. I just got back from a trip last night. I was in a very rural location with no cable. Still waiting for me on my DVR. I will be posting my review when I finally get a chance to watch it (which either will be tonight or not until next week the way my schedule is stacking up!)

  3. OtherRob

    Out of curiosity, why did you pick Sydney to obliterate?

  4. I missed it. Is it on the web? if so where?

  5. OtherRob, I think we all see why Sydney is the obvious choice for annihilation =)

  6. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE

    OtherRob:

    Out of curiosity, why did you pick Sydney to obliterate?

    Probably because that’s where the first convicts arrived in Australia! ;-)

  7. elgarak

    BTW: Any idea if this will be released, say, on iTunes?

    I don’t have cable — I feel ripped off paying for hundreds of channels I will never, ever watch — so my only way of getting this is downloading, or on DVD.

    I have already seen it … it kinda, umm, fell off the information highway … ;D…. but I would pay for it, IF I COULD ACTUALLY GET IT. Hear that, networks? You can’t make money off downloads if you don’t offer it for download!

  8. Knight of L-sama

    Actually I’m trying to figure out if Phil (or someone on the production crew) picked Sydney as part of a Gundam reference.

  9. I was going to review it. Decided not to because… well… the way in which I was able to view it is questionable… (but legal here).

    Dorky thoughts as I watched it: “Nice! Now the long burning question, ‘How did Phil Plait lose his hair?’ has finally been answered!”

    And then when I was finished, I thought, “Great. I’m going to have nightmares about asteroid impacts. Screw zombie or robot overload uprising. Most excellent.”

    And I squee’d each time there was explody things and fire and FREAKING LASER BEAMS and riffles and Geology and and and…

    Was both fun and educational. And seeing you so excited was just wonderful to behold.

    I need to stop gushing now.

  10. FetchBeer

    @OtherRob I was asking myself the same thing.
    What does Phil Plait have against Australia? Well besides everything down there being poisonous…

  11. Bill

    Phil doesn’t have anything against Sydney OR Australia. He was just aiming at Meryl Dorey.
    :)

  12. @FetchBeer: That’s “poisonous, strange, or sheep.” Technically.

  13. I liked it a lot but should of chosen a better place to wipe off the Earth.

  14. We eagerly await your first big zeta-pinch to model supernova core collapse.

  15. Chris

    Loved the show.

    Only caveat were the many exclamations of “Holy Hockalay (?)” It came off as really forced and goofy (not in a good way).

  16. As to why Sydney was chosen:

    For the Twitters when Phil live tweeted the show:

    “We chose Sydney because we needed a place with an iconic landmark that hadn’t been destroyed zillions of times in movies. Sorry, Aussies.”

    http://twitter.com/BadAstronomer/status/22490652405

  17. dangermom

    I enjoyed it, though since I only read “Death from the Skies” a couple of months ago, a lot was familiar. My kids will love it! (ooh, will it be on DVD for next school year, when we do astronomy??)

    Only irritant: too much “Holy Haleakala!”

  18. AliCali

    I enjoyed the show overall, but I had one beef with this particular episode, if I may. I didn’t read all the comments on prior threads, so forgive me if this is repeated.

    There was talk on the show about an asteroid heading our way. If memory serves from discussions months ago, the asteroid will definitely miss us this next close encoutner, but if it passes thorough this very tiny bit of space (keyhole), then it could be sent on a trajectory that would collide with Earth in a few decades. The chances of this happening are extremely small (around one in a million small).

    On the show, the asteroid was talked about quite a bit, but it sounded like it will definitely hit us unless we ram it with a kinetic missle. And that might not work, so we’d then have to use the tractor method. It really sounded alarmist and didn’t tell us that it will only hit if things happen just so. There was one mention of a keyhole with neat graphics, but it was not clear or in context.

    Being alarmist is out of character for Dr. Plait, so I will go on the assumption that the final editing trumped up the danger and cut out the actual odds or what will likely happen. It’s much better TV to have actual danger than one-in-a-million chance danger.

    Otherwise, the production was great. I kept imagining all the travel to get to these places. I especially liked the style of the animation sequences.

  19. BGC

    OK, riddle me this BadAstronomy Man –

    How is hitting an asteroid with a nuke different than a kinetic impactor? I assume your average nuke has substantial energy to be released on impact, and even if much is lost in directions away from the asteroid, it looked like it would have very much the same effect as the big, bad bullet version of an impactor. Am I missing something here? I mean, if the asteroid is one of the iron types and unlikely to break apart, wouldn’t a concentrated nuke barrage still be able to deflect its trajectory?

    BGC

  20. Dan I.

    @ 19. BGC

    This comes from someone who was an astronomy/physics major for two years before calculus kicked my butt so take it for what its worth but…

    I think it has something to do with the explosive issue. When you use a nuke you’re blowing a lot of that energy back out into space, not really at the asteroid. In fact, you’re going to lose probably half or so of the energy to space.

    With a kinetic impactor your slamming the entire momentum (i.e. force) of the object into the asteroid, there is no explosion. It’s basically a giant shove.

    You’re right that a nuclear explosion would cause SOME force on the asteroid to push it in another direction, but I guess not enough to make enough of a difference (unless we somehow got the nuke out there when this thing was REALLY far away [propagation of error and all that]).

    That’s what I’m guessing, but I’ll let the man with a PhD. and a tv show tell me if I’m right.

  21. One thing I didn’t think about during the program, but which occurred to me while driving to town today, is that the show depicted Sydney being obliterated in the daytime. That would indicates the impactor was coming, more or less, from sunward. It’s much harder to find objects in that direction.

    Of course, it wasn’t necessarily directly sunward — the impactor came in at an angle of (from my memory) about 30 degrees to the vertical, and depending on the time of day that could put it up to about 90 degrees from sunward. Or completely sunward.

    Phil, can you comment on this? Sunward seems an unlikely direction for an impactor to come from, but also the worst possible in terms of finding it.

  22. John Sandlin

    My review: BOOM! Now that’s the way to do Science.

    Way cool to see the Southwest Research Institute, too. They’re just down the street, well sort of. ;-)

    jbs

  23. Bryan

    Just one comment: you may do better with fewer Holy Haleakela’s per minute. The Lady (who is not a follower of your blog) was just about to throttle you by the end if you said it one more time.

  24. Menyambal

    Dan I., I agree with you. My analogy is to say that a certain amount of gunpowder, placed inside a firecracker lying on your skin, will not do more than burn you. The same amount of gunpowder, used to propel a bullet out of a gun, may well kill you. An uncontained explosion isn’t much use, but a kinetic impactor will impact kinetically.

    But a nuke does pack a lot of power into a medium-sized package. Most of that goes into heat, though, which may not convert to propelling the asteroid. Impact, on the other hand, is propulsion.

    Which is one of the things the show didn’t have time to really explain.

    I liked it a lot, and enjoyed Phil. Some of the “Hollywood” aspects were bad astronomy, but overall, very good.

  25. Hey Phil! Your show is simple awesome. The best science show out there now.

    I wrote a small review on my site. It’s in Spanish and my blog goes for the Europe and Latinamerican communities. If you want to take a look go here:

    http://webonauta.info/2010/08/bad-universe-ciencia-y-apocalipsis-que-te-haran-reir/

    I need to watch the show again.

  26. Dave in Texas

    I really like the show! I DVR’d it to show to my kids.

    My review is “Here’s another science show that blows up stuff!”

    It presents a difficult concept quite clearly and it’s aimed at the normal person, but entertaining to educated people as well.

    Keep up the great work!

  27. Carl Matherly

    Nothing new here. I watched with the missus, the kid sister, and the maternal unit who is also a third grade teacher. We all enjoyed everything save the “Holy Haleakela” and wanted to know “Why Sydney?”. Will watch again and will recommend.

    Carl M

  28. @Bob, it’s an astronomy site (Haleakala). I don’t see what Dr. Plait’s lack of theism would have to do with that. ;)

    I had a good time watching it, although I was annoyed that gravity tug wasn’t brought up sooner. That is probably the most technically feasible and lowest risk assuming we can spot the bloody thing.

  29. BGC

    @Dan & Menyambal:
    Got it, thank you! That squares well with my own vague remembrance of physics.
    I’ll trust you on the math — calculus kicked my ass twice.
    Rocks I get; big math in space, not so much.
    BGC

  30. Jim Ortner

    I sat down with the kids and watched the show last night. My kids really enjoyed the show, especially the explosions. They thought it would be a good show for their science teachers to show. I have 2 boys, 14 & 16 years old and a daughter that is 12.

    My only complaint that was noted above a few times is too many ‘Holy Haleakala’s”.

    Jim

  31. J.W.

    Question: Why Sydney?

  32. kebsis

    Phil,

    I’m curious if you ever discussed doing a television show about skepticism? Not even necessarily astronomy based, but the usual suspects; antivax, the moon hoax, etc.

    I enjoyed the first episode of Bad Universe quite a bit, but it would be great to see a skeptical show- like a less adult-oriented version of Penn and Tellers show- on a major cable network like Discovery.

  33. Will Mattsson

    Ditto on the “Haleakala” usage; ditto on the familiar theme (read the book), but I realize when you make big time TV that most of the audience most likely hasn’t read your tome. I think the demonstrations owe a debt of thanks to your friend Adam Savage and his show. Well done overall, however. Science aspect was inspiring; hope you’ll give more speaking/camera time to your experts, however. I’m hooked; I look forward to the next episode…

  34. Anna

    I missed it, I’m so mad!! I had my cable turned off while in the process of moving and didn’t even know the show existed until it was too late :( I’m a physics and science major and hope to some day be a Phil Plait myself, I’ve been waiting for years for a show where they don’t dumb down the math. I looked everywhere for dates and times the show airs but can’t find anything! It’s not available on the web??

    Anna

  35. Will Mattsson

    Ditto on the “Haleakala” usage; ditto on the familiar theme (read the book), but I realize when you make big time TV that most of the audience most likely hasn’t read your tome. I think the demonstrations owe a debt of thanks to your “close personal friend” Adam Savage and his show. Well done overall, however. Science aspect was inspiring; hope you’ll give more speaking/camera time to your experts, however. I’m hooked; I look forward to the next episode…

  36. A great first show (I am one of those Canadians who was able to watch!)
    I can’t wait for the next two.

    It may be a bit self-serving, but here is a review to which I am partial:

    http://universalskeptic.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14:bad-uinverse-asteroids&catid=14:bad-universe&Itemid=27

  37. Alan L

    Kebsis, I think he’s still trying to get the skeptologists off the ground. Hoping to see that one one day!

    I’m overjoyed about the series since I get to pass my middleschool classes their copies of Death From the Skies this week. Great timing.

  38. Potco

    Fascinating show, but I had a few basic physics questions, basically resolving around the testing, the explosives to test the asteroid impact seemed weird to me, wouldn’t a lot of the force that an asteroid have going into the earth be directed up? Same for the nuke on the asteroid, the gun seemed like it would direct the force into the asteroid rather than in all directions, am I wrong?

  39. OtherRob

    @Julia (Jules), #19

    As to why Sydney was chosen:

    For the Twitters when Phil live tweeted the show:

    “We chose Sydney because we needed a place with an iconic landmark that hadn’t been destroyed zillions of times in movies. Sorry, Aussies.”

    Thanks. I didn’t watch it “live” and so didn’t follow the Twitter feed. Probably wouldn’t have followed the feed anyway. Sometimes I just like to watch a show without having to go all multi-media on it.

    Though I wonder if there wasn’t some hidden, sinister part of Phil’s mind that was hoping that Meryl Dorsey was visiting the Opera House that day…

  40. nudel

    What was missing for me was sufficient explanation of how the simulation experiments were physically related to the real-world scenarios. For example, there was little if any information to convince us why a concrete boulder and a bullet was a reasonable analogy/substitute for an asteroid and a kinetic impactor and this trended throughout the episode.

    So, I think the science of what could potentially happen to the Earth, what the impacts would be and what could be done to avoid them comes across as sound, but the science of the experiments being somehow representational of these effects seems dubious without sufficient explanation.

    The a-la MythBusters comparison fails here as they always go to great lengths (without getting complicated) to explain how their models try to mimic the real-world scenarios that they’re testing.

    Time constraints?… I hope so.

    Regardless, I’m hanging out for the remaining three – and hopefully more episodes! Just cut down on the Holy Hale Akelas before you’re stuck with it for life… :)

  41. I got to watch it tonight…my review is here. You can put it in the positive category.

    http://halfastro.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/phil-plaits-bad-universe-review/

  42. john

    Good first episode. I didn’t notice the “Holy Haleakala’s” but starting way too many sentences with “well,..” was very annoying. I think I counted five or six in about ten minutes. gonna keep DVRing.

  43. @OtherRob #42

    You’re welcome :) As to Meryl Dorsey, I don’t know if I want to wait for an asteroid to hit her. Maybe one of those nasty venomous snakes and spiders that Australia has in abundance, will give her a jab of their own.

    As to another comment which keeps coming up re: the “Holy Haleakala”. Phil tweeted that he didn’t think they would put them all in there:

    “Sorry about all the Holy Haleakalas. I didn’t think they’d use *all* of them. :) #BadUniverse”

    I’d link as well but then the comment would have to wait for moderation.

  44. Curt

    The program demonstrated to me that you, Phil, are an excellent host/narrator. You can–and should–have a rewarding future in the world of video. And, the viewing public will be the winners.

    With all of the varied subjects you have written about (way back to the early days of BadAstronomy.com), you have the ability to become a versatile, very popular, and entertaining educator.

    Keep it up! Please.

    P.S. I have admired you for nearly ten years, but I must agree with others about your catch phrase. IMO, saying “Holy Haleakala” only one time would have been perfect. … Sorry.

    .

  45. Hi Phil,

    FYI the first episode is available on torrents sites. (http://thepiratebay.org/search/bad%20universe/0/99/0) How do you feel about this sort of distribution for your show?

  46. Curt

    @Julia (Jules)

    Bummer… I read your post *after* my revising time had expired. How I wish I could now delete my Post Script.

    Oh well, no problem. The Internet is only… … forEVER!

  47. I thought it was really good. Surprisingly good for a first show and very fun to watch for the whole family, ages 7 to 28. :)

  48. “Only irritant: too much ‘Holy Haleakala!’”

    I gotta agree here. The show was fantastic, but you said that particular phrase about 6 times more often than you should have (and I counted 6 total times, including the replayed footage). I’m excited for the next 2 episodes! The show has a real Mythbusters feel, which is about the highest compliment that exists for a science-based reality show, if you ask me.

  49. We chose Sydney because we needed a place with an iconic landmark that hadn’t been destroyed zillions of times in movies.

    Well, that’s what he says, but I suspect it’s another attempt to get on the Colbert Report. Here’s the logic.

    Real AmericansTM, of whom Colbert is one, know that the only places worth targeting are New York, the White House, and the San Andreas fault. Those aliens, unlike Europeans, aren’t stupid. By deliberately choosing a target in the smaller and less important half of the world, Phil is clearly showing himself to be an America-hating liberal, probably receiving funding for his program from the UN and Soros.

    Only someone with the stature of Colbert is capable of refudiating this Bad Television, and he needs to ask Phil onto his show immediately.

  50. MarkW

    At least now I know how to pronounce Haleakala!

    I enjoyed the show. (I’m in the UK, where it fell off the back of an internet :cough: ) While it didn’t reveal much new to those of us who read your books and blog, I enjoyed the explosions. ;) Seriously though, it has more of a visceral impact (pun intended) when you actually see things being blown up, not just read about it.

    I think you were going for a “Brian Cox meets Mythbusters” feel? If so, you nailed it.

  51. Magnum

    I live in Sydney (*coughbittorrentcough*), and could roughly see where I live, and *definitely* saw the building I work in destroyed.

  52. Dennis

    Watched it, enjoyed it.
    Agree 110% about the over use of “Holy Haleakala”.
    The first time made me smile ’cause I know it’s your thing from reading this blog.
    The second time (within like a minute of the first) made me think “oh boy, I hope he’s not going to beat that to death”.
    Half way through the show I realized “wow – he really is going to beat that to death”.
    By the end, I was thinking “I hope I never hear him say that ever again”.
    Sorry – very entertaining otherwise.

  53. Kimpatsu

    Despite several posts that he says it too much, I figure that “Holy Haleakala!” is Phil’s equivalent of “It’s clobberin’ time!” or “Holy Mad Munchies, Batman!” (“Steady, old chum!”)
    After all, Phil is a Superhero who can grow to 30m tall (as we saw in the opening of BU), whereas his nemesis is a mad scientist called Brian Cox who has a secret lair under Geneva.

  54. MoMan

    The only announcement I saw of this show appeared in my box the day after the show ran. Didn’t you have a good idea that it would run long before this and think of something other than a last minute notice, which was even after the last minute? So, will it run again?

  55. Finally sat down to watch the show and it was great! It’s fun to see Phil’s progress from the written word into the television realm. Very cool! I think it’s great bringing science into the realm where it may be absorbed by the less science-inclined. I think it would be really cool if there was downloadable content on the Bad Universe website: scale graphics and figures of different size asteroid impacts and the damage they’d cause. A beachball could cause that crater you made and you referred to a football field size rock, but what would the kill zone of the shockwave be at that size? From 2 miles to 20? I sat down last night and tried to figure out a scale version of how close that asteroid (forgot the name) which will pass within the orbit of telecommunication satellites will pass. Instead of say…within 250 miles of earth, if earth was the size of a house, this asteroid would pass within say…6 feet at x miles and hour. It was late and I didn’t look up actual figures. Something like this could even be interactive (and I could help you with that) where you adjust a slider for size of asteroid and you see a corresponding graphic that would show the resulting carnage in an ever growing radius of shockwave, crater, and heat damage circles.

    Well done, my good man, well done!

  56. parclair

    Well, in my house you got the highest complement. My sweetie didn’t fall asleep on the couch while I watched a science show. In fact, my SO sat up and was entranced by every minute, even asking me to rewind to watch something again. Congrats.

  57. Scott

    It’s a good show, Phil! I hope you get renewed for a second season.

  58. Lima

    This was an interesting programme. I liked the subject matter, although I have a few reservations. How many Holy something or other do you need? I really would have liked less music during the talking stages, at times it got a bit too loud compared to speech.

    I really wished there was more on the gravity tug. I was hoping for a bit more explanation on how it worked, then I noticed the programme was finishing. It was brilliant and enjoyable, but please less music during talking.
    Thanks

  59. QuietDesperation

    A gunman just took hostages in the Discovery Communications building. Looks like not everyone was pleased. :shock:

  60. evinfuilt

    I guess I’m the only person who wasn’t confused about Sydney. I was pleased that for once someone didn’t blow up NYC.

    Of course, I was disappointed that there wasn’t enough filming done in Boulder. Other than that, you needed to be on Colbert Report telling more people about it.

  61. Discovery and Discover are different. It’s a Judean People’s Front thing.

  62. QuietDesperation

    Discovery and Discover are different.

    Yes. TV show was on Discovery Channel.

    O_o?

  63. ChrisZ

    I really enjoyed the show’s style and phil’s story-telling.

    I do want to echo thoughts expressed by others here that I wanted a better understanding of what was happening in the experiments. Without an understanding of what the experiment means (rather than someone just telling you what it means), I don’t think an experiment has any more value than a computer graphic. What makes the experiments in Mythbusters so compelling is that the audience understands (again, rather than just being told) what the results mean. Without any explanation about the scaling, and why the rocks and projectiles that were filling in for asteroids and nukes and impactors made any sense, I didn’t feel like I understood the experiments well enough for them to have any explanatory power to me.

    Of course, fitting in more explanation about the experiments would leave less time with other things. That’s obviously a struggle, and I don’t have an easy answer, but I would err on the side of more explanation of the experiments and less breadth in content. Everything about asteroid impacts is pretty tough to fit into an hour show.

  64. Adam

    Finally saw the show tonight. Loved it, perfect blend of science and fun. I hope it gets picked up so you can do episodes from other chapters in your book.

  65. KyleS

    Loved the show Phil, you’re an excellent host. Can’t praise your TV presence enough.

    That said, the only flaw with the show, I found, was technical; the editing. The show had a bit of a choppy feel to it at times, and some of the dialog felt cut-up. I suppose the Holy Haleakala is just one aspect of that.

    I liked it at its best, when it felt more like a grown up Bill Nye with its scientific enthusiasm, rather than when it felt more like it was focusing on the loud and explosive aspects.

    That said, it was the first episode, and it takes a few before the show develops its own personality. I’m really looking forward to more! TV has been missing a great personality like you ever since Bill Nye got off the air.

  66. chris

    fantastic program – just watched it after having it taped. one thing i really liked is the apparent attempt to have CGI that is reasonably accurate, not showy like the clutter that made hawking’s “into the universe” almost unwatchable.

    a couple of technical questions. first, while i understand that nukes aren’t the most efficient choice as a kinetic impactor (losing most of their energy to space), they have a huge advantage in that we have lots of them already mounted on rockets and ready to launch-on-warning. also, the shockwave/heat may be more effective against rubble-pile asteroids, since the show demonstrated that KE impactors would have no effect on them.

    second, is there a reason why a gravity tug is more effective than just gently bumping the spacecraft into the asteroid and pushing with the ion thruster in the opposite direction? with adequate calculations and low surface gravity, we should be able to park the craft somewhere that it doesn’t just spin the rock, and to move it to a new place if we do.

    third, while we might not be able to melt a comet with a laser, can we change its orbit with a kind of induced yarkovsky effect?

  67. Gary Ansorge

    I watched the shorts on Hulu. Very cool!!!

    When making exclamations, I much prefer holy merde, since we could also interpret that as wholy(completely) merde,,,

    (I love double entendres)

    Gary 7

  68. Bob

    @Chris 69

    “ready to launch-on-warning.”

    Nope – the nukes in the silos are programmed to hit Earth targets. (launch on warning)

    They would have to be redirected (re-programmed) to intercept an incoming target – which would take longer than “launch on warning”.

    Not to mention the rotation of the Earth, trajectory, speed, location of the launcher, etc.. have to be all taken in account.

  69. Blaze Morgan

    Big kudos for making basic level astronomy type material dynamic and entertaining. Hopefully it will get the average rube to pester their government representative into doing some “space stuff”.

    I was flabbergasted that you’d spend all that time in New Mexico making fake craters but not make a quick trip just down the road to Meteor Crater in Arizona to see a REAL dent in the earth.

    Using lasers and lenses against a comet is all fine and good, but last I heard, nuclear bombs generated a fair amount of heat energy. Not mentioning them, pro or con, seemed a glaring omission.

    The minor “Haleakala” thing is doubly irritating because it sounds so pretentious. Humans caught up in shock/anger/surprise/amazement let loose with very few syllables. Sharp, focused exclamations. This is such a convoluted attempt not to cuss in a mundane fashion.

  70. chris

    thanks, Bob. i was focusing primarily on the fact that the nukes are already sitting on top of rockets that are fueled and ready to go. i also wasn’t thinking that if you take the warheads out, that rocket is still a ready-to-launch crude KE impactor.

  71. fred edison

    I thought the show was great. Phil’s TV practice on other shows has helped him become a supergiant star of this ‘Bad Universe.’ He did a wonderful job of explaining kinetic energy and how an extremely fast moving beach ball sized rock (or much bigger for added devastation) could wreck some real havoc if it hit the Earth. Far too many people don’t understand the basic concept of speed, mass, and energy.

    Also, I must add that far too many people still buy into the ‘Armageddon’ nuke the shocked quartz out of that thingie. It’s generally not a good idea to use nuclear weapons, not only because it makes one asteroid into many asteroids, but it makes the fragments/rocks radioactive, as well. IOW, nuclear bombs are a last resort to use with extrme caution. That’s a primary reason for locating these babies, and is critical because the more time we have to do something about it the better off we’ll be to successfully prevent an impact. We don’t necessarily have to be wiped out like the dinosaurs were.

  72. drow
  73. Richard S

    The problem was really that the supposed “nuclear weapons simulation” did not simulate a nuclear explosion, it was being shot, that is only kinetic impact, you would need to use a scale amount of explosives on a model comet or asteroid to really show what effect it would have, perhaps not on the surface as one would expect a bunker buster approach to delivering the nuke would supply a better effect than a mere surface attack.

    In short, a gun = kinetic impactor, and kinetic impactor = kinetic impactor

    Holy Haleakala is very annoying, being from Europe I also have no idea if it means anything either.

  74. Karl Hansen

    Here’s my positive review: http://a2brute.blogspot.com/2010/08/review-of-bad-universe.html

    Keep up the good, entertaining, informative work!

  75. Bunkie

    The show was GREAT! When is the next one? I looked for a new episode this week but no luck.

  76. Crazy Old Woman

    I enjoyed the show, although I found the Holy Holly-what-ever references a bit annoying after the first time. The focus, continuity of topic and energy levels were all perfect for the general population. It reminded me of Myth Busters + Astronomy, two topics that most people really enjoy. I have encouraged my college physics and astronomy students to watch the show. I will buy a copy of the series if it ever becomes available. Nice work, Phil.

  77. Kurt_eh

    Good news, everyone!

    I just got an email from Discovery Canada:

    Thank you for your email.

    ‘Phil Plait’s Bad Universe’ will premiere on Discovery Channel in Canada

    Sunday, October 3rd at 9m ET.

    Kindly check your local listings.

    http://www.discoverychannel.ca/Schedule.aspx

    Sincerely,

    Discovery Programming

  78. Discovery Canada will be showing Bad Universe!

    From their email to me in response to my query:

    ‘Phil Plait’s Bad Universe’ will premiere on Discovery Channel in Canada

    Sunday, October 3rd at 9m ET.

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