Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thoughts on Bill Nye Saves the World

I remember catching Bill Nye the Science Guy on PBS back when I was in high school.  It was by far my favorite educational TV show on science.  I found Bill Nye to be fun and quirky which made the educational part fun.  Plus being a visual learner it helps my understanding a lot when things are shown well along with the auditory explanation.  Thus imagine my delight when I read a couple of weeks ago that Netflix had picked up Bill Nye to do another science show.  What I didn't expect was that it would be up to watch so soon (I'll admit I don't stay up to date on all the entertainment happenings) and of course when I saw that Netflix had it available, I had to start watching.

As you can see, we are not disappointed by a change of the Science Guy.  He still wears his bow tie and since his original show aired from September 10, 1993, to June 20, 1998, he wore them before Doctor Who made them cool.  As you can see he's also sporting his blue lab coat just like in the previous program.

I shamelessly stole this off the internet.

What is different about Bill Nye Saves the World is that it's more geared for adults.  This makes me think that Netflix decided to try and grab all of his previous fans now that they are grown up.  I have no complaints about this because they have made sure to share the lessons in a fun a way.  They have accomplished this by bringing in some other people to do some research or a skit and also having a table discussion with experts in what the day's topic is about.  Don't worry Bill still does his own illustrations too in his fun an quirky way.

I have only watched the first three episodes thus far and am enjoying the way in which the information is presented.  The first episode deals with global warming and brought out some very good facts about what it is doing to our planet.  I know I personally try to be as green as I can.  I would love to see more renewable resources being used. The best illustration to help get the point across was them showing Karlie Kloss interviewing and talking with the citizens of Venice, Italy and how the earth getting warmer has affected them.

The second episode deals with debunking the bogus alternative remedies.  These remedies include using magnets to heal and using sound to cure cancer.  There's a good demonstration near the end of the episode of milk of magnesia versus a fifty dollar bottle of a miracle cure (which happens to have vinegar in it of all things).  Guess which one actually works? We also learn how scientists go about actually testing how things work using the double blind method.  It's all actually quite interesting.

I found the third episode to be rather intriguing too because Bill touched on artificial intelligence, a.k.a. AI.  Some of what was talked about brings back memories of things like The Terminator or Tron where machines become an entity of themselves and decide to rise up against humanity.  They also touch on how much it already has infiltrated our lives currently and how much we trust the machines. We mostly prefer for them to handle simple tasks and not complex decisions because that starts feeling scary to us.

The episodes are filmed before an audience which makes it feel more interactive since you'll hear them cheer, chant Bill's name, and laugh at the corny jokes.  Bill also mentions that he actually has an engineering degree and worked in that field before he ever went into television.

Over all I quite like the feeling of the show, how Bill Nye delivers his lines, and how he goes about sharing the information or science behind the topic of the episode.  I'll definitely continue watching Bill Nye Saves the World and already I hope they do more than just one this one thirteen episode season.  All in all the program has brought back some nostalgia of growing up.

Lastly I must share some of the great facial expressions that Bill does as he teaches us about the various topics of science.  Personally I think they are quite on par with many of the recent actors of The Doctor from Doctor Who.

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