TV. The impenetrable theory behind space, or sea exploration, or other difficult-to-understand things is made more palpable through the visual medium that is television. So for the nerd that lives inside all of us, take a look at these five science-themed TV shows that every nerd should see.
"Nova" has been around since time immemorial, courtesy of PBS and the donations of viewers like you. But its longevity is a testament to its tight editing, good pacing, and coverage of current events. "Nova" generally focuses on natural events, and it has been on had to cover things like volcanic eruptions, flash floods and all types of natural phenomena. And with Mother Nature's ever-present desire to rid the world of mankind, "Nova" will have no shortage of material as long it's on the air.
Hyneman and the goofy and eccentric Adam Savage host this show that essentially started out testing urban myths, like the "pop rocks and soda" myth and others of that ilk. Over time, they've branched out and tested all sorts of things, while still keeping the original spirit of the show. But any fan will tell you that more noteworthy than the tests are the truly awesome explosions on the show, blasts so big that they require constant help from FBI specialists. Now that's science in action!
"How It's Made"
Simple in theory but pretty fascinating in practice, "How It's Made" is a little marvel of scientific TV that has been on the air for quite a while now. The premise is pretty basic: show how things are made in short, ten-minute segments. Typically, this involves showing factory and assembly line footage of stuff being made. The products have included everything from chocolate candy to gigantic steel cables and pretty much everything in between. It sounds pretty dull, but in practice the show proves to be really interesting, and it's a great way to kill some time.
"Brainiac: Science Abuse"
"Brainiac" could really be "Mythbusters" British cousin. Built on a similar premise, "Brainiac" tests the validity of perceptions, creates wild and sometimes silly experiments and even has its share of really cool explosions. Of course, all of this is done with a strong scientific backbone, so anyone watching is sure to learn a little something each time out. Americans will probably prefer the humor and style of "MythBusters," but those of the British persuasion certainly have a great show to stand on. Not literally, of course.
TV show, and it's destination programming for nerds everywhere. Focusing primarily on technology and cosmology, "Naked Science" takes a drier, more in-depth approach to scientific TV. If you really want to learn about the ins and outs of something, then "Naked Science" is the show for you.