Nathan (vovat) wrote,
Nathan
vovat

Tonight at 11...DOOOOOOM!

Penn & Teller's Bullshit: Vaccinations - When I first heard about this episode, I was afraid they were going to go the more controversial route and come out AGAINST vaccinations, which would have been pretty hypocritical given their usual pro-science stance (except with global warming, for some reason). Fortunately, they came out in favor of vaccination, and pointed out that the now-common belief that vaccines cause autism (as promoted by Jenny McCarthy and her pediatrician) was based on a bogus study.

Yes, they did say pretty much the same thing about the effects of secondhand smoke, and apparently later realized they were wrong. In this case, however, they seemed to have more of an argument as to the researcher's ulterior motives, as well as statements from The Lancet making clear that the journal regretted publishing the article. I get the impression that the anti-vaccination fervor is yet another example of distrust of the educated by the uneducated. Obviously more educated people aren't always right, but the part I don't get is why you wouldn't trust a doctor or scientist and yet WOULD trust a former Playboy model (or, for that matter, an e-mail forward or infomercial).


Futurama: The Prisoner of Benda - It seems like every cartoon does at least one episode where the characters switch minds, and they also somehow always switch voices as well. I figure it's to make things less confusing for the audience, but it still bothers me. It worked pretty much the same way in this episode, but the results were funny, so I can't complain. We now know where the disturbing image of the Professor and Zoidberg making out comes from. The Robo-Hungarian Emperor might be an interesting character to see again, especially considering my interest in the political situation in the thirty-first century. I have to suspect that they'll never explain it fully, as that would mean less flexibility with the jokes, but is the Robo-Hungarian Empire a significant part of Eastern Europe inhabited entirely by robots? I'm sure the show could do more with that. Also, the description here reveals the fascinating detail that the theorem the Professor and the Globetrotters use to get everyone switched back is an actual one that Ken Keeler devised and proved. Apparently the best option for someone with a doctorate in mathematics is to become a comedy writer. Who knew?
Tags: cartoons, futurama, issues, television
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