Thursday, November 4, 2010

My 15 minutes: Extreme Hawaii

Here's a special treat for the weekend... my 2001 Discovery Channel performance on Extreme Hawaii, filmed at W. M. Keck Observatory. Watch it before the lawyers find it.

Things to watch for:

  • Me yawning
  • My alarmingly low blood oxygen level
  • A computer display showing the telescope at "horizon stow" ostensibly in the middle of the observing session
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • My "Transitions" lenses that were never quite clear no matter how dark it was

All science reporting is required to have a substantial misrepresentation of what's going on. In this case, we visited the Mauna Kea summit during the day, but conducted the nighttime observations from Keck HQ in Waimea, at about 2,500 feet above sea level. BTW, the observations documented in the show resulted in New Observations of the Interstellar Medium in the Lyman Break Galaxy MS 1512-cB58.

The rest of the show included a guy who pokes a stick into molten lava and spins it around to make vases and another guy who surfs waves taller than my house, but I didn't think they were quite extreme enough to hang with the astronomers.

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