For very many years I’ve been a big fan of writer-performer Sandra Tsing Loh. I’m a radio addict, as you may have gathered from other posts, and along wiith NPR’s standard news programmes, and Stardate, her brief monologues “The Loh Down” have been things I have sought out for a long time (and before that, when she used to appear on This American Life). She’s funny, smart, intelligent, sharp, irreverent, funny… and uh, did I mention funny? I love her voice acting in her delivery, tone, timing, etc. So I was already
wrappable around her finger quite a fan of her work – and then I learned (a while ago now) that she was a physicist too! Great!…which explains why she occasionally pops physics references into her work, of which I approve (for reasons I’ve spoken of here …too many times). So it seemed a disaster in 2004 when she was fired from KCRW when her technician forgot to bleep out the f-word in one of her monologues, but she got lot of publicity from the event (rightly so) and furthermore, to my delight she was picked up by my preferred local station, KPCC, where she has been ever since. (Stories here and here, for example.) (Podcasts and streams of her KPCC-based monologues here. Google for others.)
Many times while listening to her I’ve actually thought it would be great if she combined her science background with her work, becoming a powerful sort of special-ops soldier in the army to bring science to everyone…..
…Well, her alma mater, Caltech, seems to have thought it too! I just this minute heard her on KPCC in a trailer for a new show of hers (in collaboration with Caltech)…. “The Loh Down on Science”. Wow! I hope it is good….I can’t wait. For those of you who don’t get KPCC, you’ll be able to download podcasts and streams from the programme’s page, or go here.
[Update: Oh dear. I just heard the first one. It is way too short! The theme tune, combined with the commercial for Caltech, and the other sponsors is longer than her part. I'm worried that they're going to be afraid to have actual science in there so as not to "scare" the public....Come on guys (the various scriptwriters and editors mentioned on the homepage)! This is a great opportunity...don't squander it. Give Sandra Tsing Loh something to get her teeth into. She'll make it work! Use the MacDonald Observatory's Stardate as your model, read daily by the excellent Sandy Wood. It is short but not too short and just a perfect daily taste of astronomy. Come on....try harder. Please.]