Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sesame Street is Brought to You by the Letter "V"

I suppose I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention this in passing. The remake of V, a series that cried out for such treatment ...

At first mention, I couldn't help but yawn. The original stunk on ice, so, oh, boy, let's have another helping! But there I had to consider Battlestar Galactica, didn't I? That original was a honker, too, but the remake threw out almost everything but a general idea and some names, and it turned out pretty good. So I lit the tube and watched some of the new V.

It ain't no Battlestar Galactica revision, folks. (Which, back in the day, we called "Gabblestar Bad-actor-ca.")

Save your neurons.

I dunno how they are gonna wrap it up -- I shut it off after fifteen bilious minutes -- but as I recall the original all those years ago, it had perhaps the worst reason de etra for any alien invasion story ever: The aliens came here to steal our water.

Oh, man, they are gonna steal our water!

Who could blame them? There's not a lot of water in the galaxy, is there? Kind of like a huge Sahara Desert, right? Right?

Sweet Mother Mary chasing Satan on a pogo stick, that is so incredibly stupid as to rank up there with the, Uh-oh-there's-gonna-be-an-eclipse-of-the-galaxy! story.

For those of you who disremember or flunked out of high school chemistry, a short refresher.
The original V(isitors) aliens were, albeit disguised, air breathers. They came across the galaxy in a space ship, which presumes a, you know, basic level of technology somewhat farther along than ours.

So the idea that they somehow missed the fact that Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe seems, I dunno, uh ... stupid? Or that if you take two parts of that most-common element and add one part of one of the main components of air and goose it little, what you get is -- wait for it, wait for it --

Water. And with a lot less energy necessary than fielding star ships.


This is what happens when people who don't know any science, and not much about fiction, get turned loose to make science fiction shows. Yeah, yeah, it was an allegory about Nazis and Jews and all, but c'mon!

Skip it. Burn it. Load the ashes onto a rocket and shoot them into the sun, thank you.


Steve Perry said...

Reminds me of the Hillbilly Astronaut Program.

Hell, they announced, if'n NASA went to the moon, by gum, they were a'gonna go the sun!

To the sun? You'll burn up, fools!

Nuh-uh. Cause we are gonna go at night ...

Anonymous said...

I liked the original V.

Of course, I was ten.

Steve Perry said...

When I was ten, there wasn't any science fiction on television. Before Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, way before Star Trek, Lost in Space, etc.

And even though there wasn't any SF on? It was better than V ...

Anonymous said...

Was there even science back then?

Steve Perry said...

Sure. Alchemy. Natural Philosophy. No wheel, nor lever, but we did have fire and stone tools.

Justin said...

I hate to sound stupid, and no this isn't rhetorical, but: Is it really that easy to make water? What about the whole "all we have on Earth is all we'll ever have" jibber-jabber?
Why are we paying more for water than gasoline if we could just manufacture more?

Or do you mean if someone could master interstellar travel -- unlike us -- they should be able to whip up plenty of water in a lab -- unlike us?

Steve Perry said...

It just takes energy to produce water from H + O. And it couldn't be too difficult, or it wouldn't be the most common substance on our planet.

All you have to do is light up Hydrogen in the presence of Oxygen. Presto, water.

To get pure H and O needs some effort, but if you have them, making them combine is a snap.

And electrolysis, is the opposite. We can take it apart into its component gases. Old high school lab experiment, all you need is water and electricity.

(Hydrogen-powered cars produce water as a byproduct, if I'm not mistaken, as the H combusts with O.)

It takes more energy than it yields to take water apart, which is why H isn't a great fuel, but if you have star ships? You'll have all kinds of energy to burn. Space is full of Hydrogen, and although it's spare, you could collect a whole bunch like baleen whales filter krill.

Justin said...

Thanks for the science lesson, Prof. Perry! I honestly didn't know.
In somewhat related science'y, watery news, did you hear about water being found on the moon? Seems pretty big to me.

Steve Perry said...

Water on the moon. The dead, powdery, no-atmosphere, nobody home moon has water.

I rest my case.