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What I Learned From Cable TV
People tell me
that prime-time television isn't educational. What do they know? Just
the other day, I was watching the premiere episode of this brilliant new
series, "Invasion America," and I made it a point to watch the show
In just an hour (including the commercials, during which I learned such
things as why I should buy a new Buick) I learned many important lessons
which might someday be applicable to my life. Lessons like:
And, last but not least:
- If you're going to blow up a giant tank of hydrocarbons by shooting
at it with an energy weapon, make sure you jump off the tank right before
you fire. If you're standing on the tank or the ground nearby, you'll
die, but if you're already a few feet in the air, you're fine.
- Bad guys are horrendously bad shots. With energy weapons which are
(supposedly) designed to be accurate, they can collectively fire over 100
shots without a single hit. With machine guns, they can spray clips and
clips all over the landscape and never hit a single living thing (although
they can apparently hit jeeps just fine). With a pistol, however, their
accuracy jumps to about 1 in 3 -- although they'll never more than wing
- Good guys are bad shots, too, but we almost never see them fire
ranged weapons, because they have deadly accurate computers to aim their
guns for them.
- It's far more practical to build, equip and arm your "biggest
[interstellar] warships" in an underground complex on a planet than it is
to simply ship the materials to a space station and build them in zero-G.
- Just because its bone structure is twice as dense as yours, just
because it has claws and teeth as long as your forearm, just because it's
named a "mangler" and was specially born and bred for combat, doesn't mean
that it can take out a humanoid one-on-one.
- If you're deep in a cave in the middle of nowhere, on a planet you've
never visited before, and not a soul knows which direction you've headed
since you were last seen over 18 hours ago, your friend will still be able
to find you.
- If two races look similar, their genetics are compatible enough for
- Any alien can walk into a small town and, less than 15 years later,
with no background checks nor contacts nor influence with the government,
be elected Sheriff.
- Now I know why Michael Jackson used to wear a single white glove:
it lets you deflect energy bolts and electrocute big fanged things.
- The learning curve for telekinesis is nearly vertical.
- The learning curve for driving is nearly vertical. Either that, or
driving skills are hereditary.
- When neutron stars form, they bend light toward them, but somehow
fail to attract everyday matter.
- People can be made to accept a lot of stuff, which they otherwise wouldn't believe, in the name of entertainment.