Friday, February 24, 2012

Next on Nova: The Artist Dimension

Be More PBS!

Next on Nova ....

Many have long wondered:   Does there exist alongside us a hidden world that we cannot see, even if we squint?  Could a parallel dimension co-exist in the same time and space as we do and yet our feet never get stepped on, not even once in a while?  

Now new developments in String Theory bring us closer than ever to peering directly into that unseen world, a parallel land called "The Artist Dimension!"   On Nova ....

For years now, a growing number of physicists have come to believe in String Theory, a theory of the nature of the universe which posits that all matter is made up of minute oscillating strings. What a boon to those people who save string,  if only we can get the damn strings to stop oscillating!

While massive research goes on in that area, other scientists are pursuing another intriguing aspect of String Theory, namely its prediction of the existence of additional dimensions, possibly as many,  to use the technical term, "as you can shake a fist at!" 

This is Dr. Carl Churning of the University of Havertown PA.   He has been  studying String Theory for over 35 years, ever since he narrowly failed to make the United States Professional Bowlers' Tour.  

"Dr. Churning:  Students,  the new and incredibly  complex mathematical model that Dr. Max Greenbaum and I have developed takes us far beyond String Theory and all the way into Rope Theory,  thank you very much!  

We can now predict with high certainty that there is indeed a parallel dimension to our own.   We call it The Artist Dimension because it reminds us of the movie The Artist, except without all the Oscar buzz."

Student 1:  Professor, what makes it remind you of the movie The Artist?

Dr. Churning:  The Artist Dimension has no sound!  People don't speak, dogs don't bark, and college basketball analyst Dick Vitale is a pleasure to be around! "

The apparent discovery of  the Artist Dimension, a dimension without any audible sound, has rocked the scientific world and certainly potted a few hot dates for both Dr. Churning and Dr. Greenbaum, whom you'll see shortly is no beauty. 

But initially even Churning and Greenbaum were stumped: how could people communicate in a soundless environment?  Then they rechecked their long division, never a strong suit for either of the two physicists,  and fixed a few typos.  The revised model provided the answer.

Dr. Greenbaum .... 

"How do they talk?  Just like in silent movies, they use title cards!  Everybody is born with a certain number of title cards and a magic marker.   But you gotta write fast all through your life!

Let's say two two Jewish guys who used to be partners in the garment business meet each other on the street in the Artist Dimension: one holds up a card  like this one that says 'How are you, Sol?'  The other holds up a card with these three words: 'Drop Dead, Shmuck!' 

See? Not that different from here." 

Back in class,  Dr. Churning's students are eager to learn more about this exciting and brave new world ....

"Student 2: Dr. Churning, is there music in the Artist Dimension?

Dr. Churning:  Our mathematical model shows that they do have ABBA.

Student 2OK, so that's a "no."

Student 3:  Professor, how do people communicate during the sex act in the Artist Dimension?  

Dr. Churning:   The mathematical model shows that people use pre-printed cards which they frenetically display to each other during sex.  We can confirm that there are cards that say  'Give it to me, big boy!,'  'Yes, yes, oh, yes!!!,'  and  '(aside) .... wait til I tell the guys about this!'  

Student 4: Is the Artist Dimension exactly like ours except for the lack of sound?

Dr. Churning:   In every other respect except one.  There, Khloe is the hot sister."

Despite the impact of their breathtaking  research,  Dr. Churning's and Greenbaum's findings have not been verified by the broader scientific community,  and some critics point out that not only has no one ever been to the Artist Dimension,  no one has even gotten a call through during peak hours.   

Dr. Churning and Dr. Greenbaum have responded to their critics by holding up a couple of choice title cards  which we're not going to share with you because we don't want to jeopardize our federal funding.  But in truth the only way to verify the existence of the Artist Dimension is to travel there and bring back presents.

Many questions remain, including: 
  • Does Adam Sandler exist in both dimensions?  Why? 
  • Is the Artist Dimension only in black and white?  Or is it sometimes in color, like The Wizard of Oz?  
  • If a tree falls in the Artist Dimension and no one is there to hear it, does it make a title card?
The debate willrage on.  Perhaps it is raging on right now,  title cards flashing away,  in the Artist Dimension as well. 

Next Time on Nova:  Having a goofy name - can it  be harmful to your health?  Dramatic new research reveals that the name "Marvin" can kill you.  

This is PBS


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