While overseas in Southeast Asia, we only get three English channels in our hotel. But one of them, thankfully, is National Geographic. If it wasn’t for this channel, I think I’d probably watch five straight re-runs of Sportscenter. I know that I get NGC HD back home but I’ve never really watched any of the programming. After I get back, however, I will be sure to set the DVR for a few shows.
National Geographic does a great job of being informative and uses lots of CGI to captivate viewers. The one show that I have really gotten into is called Big Bigger Biggest. They take some huge object that has evolved to being instrumental in our daily lives and that also pertains to science. What they do is start out at its initial stage when it was first invented or thought up. Then, through five key steps, they go from big, to bigger, to biggest. They’ve looked at bridges, dams, telescopes, and buildings. It is amazing to see just the simple ideas that led to giant steps in architectural and scientific industries.
It is a new series so there aren’t that many examples of what they have looked at. Another good show is World’s Toughest Fixes. This show is in its second season and features Sean Riley participating in various “tough fixes”. These fixes are done on equipment or structures that are massive and his expertise as a heavy duty rigger comes into play. Some of his big fixes include, incredibly, a solar power plant, the Columbia River dam, and the Large Hadron Collider. Not only is it amazing to watch a bunch of men with rigging and cranes fix things that around thousands of tons in weight, but what also is stunning is that humans actually built these structures. It made me realize that we take so many of these mega-structures for granted, like the power plant or dam. But little do we realize that they power the city or get necessary resources from one place to another via a major river.
Another show, a bit more morbid though, is called Seconds From Disaster. Apparently after three seasons, its title was changed to Situation Critical. Regardless though, the program investigates man-made and natural disasters. Each episode aims to explain a single incident by analyzing the causes and circumstances that ultimately affected the disaster. While informative, the show seems to be somewhat depressing to me. After dissecting the things that went wrong in each particular situation, the show concludes with the original disaster scenes being “rewound” and played again. The clock is replaced by a countdown timer and the conclusions reached from the analysis are put together with the sequence. They have investigated the Kursk sub accident, the Mount St. Helens eruption, and a few of the Space Shuttle mishaps.
Perhaps having NGC was a blessing in disguise. Not only did it help pass the time, but I think that I learned a few things as well. I love those science type of shows that break things down so if you’re like me, you should check out this under-the-radar channel.
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