This 42-minute Big Think video by the string field theory pioneer called "The Universe in the Nutshell" (yes, Stephen Hawking should feel plagiarized) is exactly one month old right now and while it is of a somewhat lighter genre, I found its slightly over-the-edge claims amusing:
Physicists invented microwave ovens and everything else. Schoolkid Kaku. Physicists will invent everything.
Why couldn't Einstein complete the homework exercise, the theory of everything? Couldn't he asked his mother for help? We would look like magicians to the ancestors. And our descendants will have powers of God.
Regular TRF readers won't learn much but I hope that Kaku's childish physics-centered version of the history of the mankind will entertain them. You will be shown the industrial revolution and many other things and at around 30:00, you will also get to the Higgs boson and string theory. Maybe the video is older but it was posted by Big Think one month ago.
Which Europeans ignore science and technology
Incidentally, the EU Barometer just revealed that among all the European nations, the Czechs are least interested in new scientific and technological advances. Only 9% of Czechs have a strong interest in those things; the figure is 43% in Malta. 32% of Czechs aren't interested at all; that's well above the 22% EU average.
This sad observation should lead certain people to think about their prejudices – especially the people who identify science and atheism. They're not the same thing. We, the Czechs, may be least interested in religion but we're the least interested ones in science, too. Well, I didn't participate in the poll. ;-)
Your humble correspondent just sent a copy of his translation of "The Hidden Reality" to Jiří Grygar, a well-known Czech astrophysicist and popularizer of science. It is annoying to see that there's no physics or astronomy on Czech TV these days. When I was 7, despite the communism (and perhaps because of the communism), the public TV could broadcast 30 episodes of "Windows to the Universe are Wide Open" featuring Grygar. All of them may be found on YouTube today. I am afraid that TV stations wouldn't allow 25 hours of astronomy, astrophysics, and fundamental physics to be inserted in a pretty good time slot around 2012...
The program was masterminded by Dr Vladimír Železný, later the founder and director of TV NOVA, post-socialist Europe's most successful commercial TV station (still active, owned mostly by Ronald Lauder after some dirty tricks). You may want to check a 1/3 of an episode, e.g. this one on general relativity. Lots of Vangelis' music, Saudek's cartoons, Chaplin, Einstein, etc. – it was a great program, especially for the late 1970s.
Needless to say, the Czechs who are mostly uninterested in science were partly forced to watch things like Grygar's program. Profits didn't matter. In the competition today, the TV stations must focus on the generic – i.e. pretty damn stupid – citizens. Just to be sure, I am not blaming capitalism; I am blaming the stupid people for their being stupid!