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MARINATING

Science Channel presents wonder-filled entertainment

Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 12:01 am

If you are fortunate enough to subscribe to satellite or cable TV, you should try and catch some of the programs on Discovery's Science Channel.

TLC (The Learning Channel, another offering from Discovery) seems content to “teach” you about such nonsense as big, fat gypsy weddings; extreme cheapskates; women who supposedly didn't know they were pregnant; and a mom with 19 kids who will undoubtedly grow up, join the Amish mafia, become hoarders and get one of America's worst tattoos while clipping thousands of coupons after consulting a psychic from Long Island.

Unlike its sister station, Science Channel actually treats viewers as if they had half a brain.

To wit, various episodes of “How Do They Do It?” have explored and explained everything from how to turn trash into energy and how to make curved glass to turning worm spit into silk. They have also answered the age-old questions of how hotels always have hot water and how car mufflers work.

These and dozens of other stories can be found on their website: http://science.discovery.com/tv-shows/how-do-they-do-it.

Some of the more fascinating programs on Science Channel include “Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman” and “Wonders of the Universe With Brian Cox.”

Speaking of outer space, how come we name all of the other moons in our solar system — Europa, Io, Ganymede, Atlas, Phobos, Callisto, Juliet, Ophelia, Triton, and a hundred or so others — but ours, arguably the only one we really care about, just goes by the generic name, “the moon?” That would be like referring to Earth as “the planet.” Doesn't our orbiting sphere deserve a title?

I say we do away with all the Greek and Shakespearean names and just call it “Fred.” While we're at it, how about naming the sun “Wilma?” And that fulfills my obligatory old TV show reference for this week.

Mike Marin is a cranky curmudgeon who, when he’s not yelling at kids to get off his lawn, likes to complain about the sad state of popular culture, especially as seen through a TV screen. His email address is marinating@tribune.com. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.