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Exploring Saturn: Because We’re All Dying to Know

January 17, 2009

I’m watching a show about Saturn. It’s part of the History Channel’s series The Universe. A bunch of scientists get together and talk trash about a gassy planet. It’s basically like The View right after Star Jones quit.

Oh yeah, I went there. Wait, she’s fat again, right?

Onto the recap!

* They have an involved discussion about Saturn’s rings. It lasts for about fifteen minutes. They even talk about when the rings will disappear. Here’s what I want to know: if all the particles break up and start traveling through space, can they destroy Earth? No? That’s all I need. Basically, once you establish the fact that something in space can’t go Armageddon on us, my interest begins to wane.

These guys continue to talk a planet that doesn’t impact us in any way. One scientist talks at length about the fact that Saturn has no surface. Not really that interested in that, and can’t really see how it’s relevant to anything. Wait, no surface means no aliens who can attack us, right? Yeah? Okay, good. Go study pandas or something.

* I love seeing the collection of scientists they interview for these kind of shows. These guys would make Harvey Fierstein secure in his masculinity. Louis Skolnick looks like Maximus compared to these chibbies. Whenever one of the scientists finishes answering a question or commenting, I wish they’d show the interviewer going, “Fascinating. Next question: when’s the last time you got laid?”

* There’s always a lady scientist or two thrown in. I always feel bad for lady scientists because their potential dating pool is so limited. At the end of the day, when she slips away from the lab to go get a drink, she has to be thinking, “My precise calculations show that I have a 95.6324% chance of marrying a giant dork. Son of a glaven!”

* Ten minutes are dedicated to a spacecraft we send over there to study the weather. Glad to know we can figure out the chance of precipitation on a planet none of us will ever see. How we doing on the cure for AIDS?

* One scientist puts forward the theory that Saturn has lightning, only that no one’s ever seen it. There could be giant redwoods on Saturn. There could be armies of dogs wearing funny hats on Saturn. There could be anything on Saturn. We don’t know. We’ll never know. I tell you what we do know though: when Saturn will be getting hail.

* I took a break from the massive display of nerdage to check out Notre Dame and Syracuse on ESPN. They interviewed ND coach Mike Brey, and he had this to say about number one ranked Pitt: “The Big East is a league of men, and no one has more men than Pittsburgh.” As opposed to what? “I mean, Marquette has four chicks playing, and have you seen Cincinnati’s point guard? It’s a pony.”

* Another guy theorizes that Saturn’s rings will disappear within several billion years. Basically, a theory that no one will live to disprove. I theorize that the dinosaurs went extinct when they all joined a suicide cult. If some guy comes forward and says that the triceratops was the Marshall Applewhite of dinosaurs, you can’t prove that guy wrong.

* Back to the lady scientists: I bet one of the best parts of being a lady scientist is when you take off your glasses, shake your hair out of a bun, and chew on your glasses seductively.

* They discuss the phenomenon known as the “polar vortex,” which is a “persistent, large-scale cyclone” according to our always reliable friends at Wikipedia. I ended up kind of half-listening to this part, so all I’ll say is that polar vortex sounds what an action sequel to Polar Express where the North Pole gets attacked by bioterrorists. Oh and also, Santa is played by Steven Seagal.

* The narrator called Saturn’s moon Titan “seductive.” Take it easy there, buddy. It’s a family show. Don’t get too excited while you’re giving us random facts:

Did you know that Titan has hundreds of miles of dunes 100 meters high? And that it has the word “tit” in it?

* They also talk about the possibility of life on Titan due to the appearance of ice and rivers. From some of the graphics they were showing, I don’t know if we want to meet any life that comes from Titan. They can’t be happy. It looks like it sucks there. If there are some kind of primordial fish-spiders that inhabit their oceans, the last thing we want to do is bring them over to Earth one day. We’d call this big press conference to welcome the primordial fish-spider to our planet as the first display of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, and the whole time he’d probably just complain about his back ache and being homesick for his primordial lake/web.

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