Like many people, I don’t watch all of my television as it’s broadcast. I’m a little bit behind on watching all the shows with science and technology content that I promote here. I don’t even try to keep up with stuff on The Science Channel, Animal Planet, NatGeo Channel, and other stations where you expect to see this kind of stuff. It’s where you don’t expect to see it that I’m more interested in.
The latest stuff I missed is all from the December 15, 2010 edition of The Colbert Report. While you can no longer see the entire episode in one go, the segments are available online. As is common with my misses, the science and technology content was both unadvertised and unexpected from the interview guest. Three segments in a 30 minute ‘fake opinion’ show on science and/or technology is a rare convergence.
First is a segment on ‘cyberwar’ where Stephen talks with Omar Wasow after a short report on the electronic back and forth between companies encouraged to cut off Wikileaks and those who don’t care for that kind of tactic. Wasow was billed as ‘The guy who taught Oprah how to use the Internet,’ but is a former Internet executive now preparing for a new career by working on a Ph.D. at Harvard in Government and African-American studies. He shows up at about 5:14 into the clip. Wasow did his best to describe the issues at play while Colbert tried to be a hip Internet guy of 1998.
Next there was this report on California’s recent shortages in sodium thiopental, and how Arizona bailed them out. As I recently noted, the shortage of sodium thiopental will get worse, as the sole American manufacturer of the drug is stopping production.
Finally, Laird Hamilton, surfing legend, was the main guest. I didn’t expect things to get to science, but since he is one of the subjects in Susan Casey’s The Wave, it wasn’t a total surprise. Colbert brings up the book early, but the really science-related stuff happens in the last half of the interview.