The Reality Check #202: Sports Energy Drinks + Tommy Westphall + Microwaved Water

Darren explores the claims made by various popular sports energy drink manufacturers. Elan finds flaws in the logical assumptions that were made by the nerds who created the Tommy Westphall Universe. Adam discusses whether plants die when given microwaved water.

 
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9 Responses to The Reality Check #202: Sports Energy Drinks + Tommy Westphall + Microwaved Water

  1. MattP says:

    Great show, only slightly ruined by Adams curmudgeoness. The POINT of the Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis is just a thought exercise. It’s not MEANT to make sense outside of the assumptions used for the thought experiment. Yes there are actors and writers and it’s a fictional show, but for fun, it is assumed they don’t exist and the ideas are explored. Not because the hypothesis is REAL, but because it’s fun and helps exercise thought processes.

    Elan, it was an awesome topic!!

  2. Trevor MacKay says:

    I think if you grant that St. Elsewhere intended its ending to mean that their whole series was in the imagination of Tommy Westphal and if you also grant that any crossovers the show made were intended to be canon with St. Elsewhere and whatever show it crossed over with then any canon crossovers would link the shows in to the Tommy Westphal universe. The only way to really avoid it would be to surmise that the events in the Tommy Westphal version of events were based on the events of the “real” St. Elsewhere and then mixed together with various random shows and pop-culture (which is possible, I suppose). But I agree with MattP, it’s really intended as more of something fun rather than a serious attempt to link canon from various TV shows.

    Great show in any event.

    Oh, and I am pro-sound effects as long as they are used sparingly (the amount in last week’s show seemed about right).

  3. aDam says:

    I did not intend to be a curmudgeon, just trying to add another perspective. Elan’s topic was on shooting down the idea after all.

    I mean hell I don’t even consider Terminator 2 to be canon to Terminator 1, just the other way around. Same for most Star Wars films.

    Indeed it’s a great thought exercise but unless we accept that Tommy Westfall is a character in the mind of Buffy Summers who’s stuck in a mental asylum it all falls apart.

  4. Plain Simple says:

    I loved the crossover segment (and Adam’s waterfall of comments/questions; clearly a topic near to his heart :) ). Cross overs hold a strange fascination for me and every so often I amuse myself by browsing this site: http://www.poobala.com/crossoverlist.html

    I do have one criticism about the segment though. At some point the objection to the Westphall hypothesis is raised (by quoting Weatherson) that “from the fact that a character appears in two different TV shows, it doesn’t follow automatically that those shows take place in the same fictional world.” A comparison with cities is made to make the point. However, I think an important difference that should be, but wasn’t, made, is that between fictional people/cities and people/cities that exist in the real world. …Continued in next post.

  5. Plain Simple says:

    Most shows are supposedly set in an alternate version of reality which coincides in most aspects with our reality: earth exists, with the same countries and cities, and often also the same politicians, scientists, celebrities, are referenced etc. There are exceptions of shows that create their own world (almost per definition these would be in the scifi and fantasy genres), but even those usually assume humans exists, if only for the practicalities involved in having human actor.

    So if you want to be able to play this cross over game at all, the appearance of, say, New York or Bloomberg, in two shows, should not ‘count’ as a proper cross over. But if one show uses a fictional character, which only exists in the context of one (or a few) other shows, like Munch showing up on The X-Files, I think it’s fair game to connect both shows. Of course in the end it’s just a fun game to play and you can set whatever rules you want for it, but including real cities and people would make the whole affair fairly meaningless (more so, that is ;-) ), but then, I suppose that was Weatherson’s point.

  6. aDam says:

    Certainly the shared usage of a fictional character is a stronger link than a shared reference to real world city or person, especially when that reference is two ways.

    I would say though that while crossovers in David E. Kelly shows certainly indicate they are in the same world I would not say the same for something like Mulder and Skully in the Simpsons or ED 209 in Family Guy. I don’t think the FBI is tracking down Kodos and Kang and the Griffins certainly don’t live in future distopian Detroit which is controlled by the OCP. It really falls apart at one point.

  7. Tom Sidwell says:

    Hey guys, I enjoyed the show, but just wanted to answer one question that arose during Darren’s segment.

    Isotonic means to have the same osmolarity as. That is, that an aqueous solution will have the same amount of salts in it as another. This is as opposed to hypo- or hyper-tonic, which refer to an relatively lower or greater salt content. While I am most familiar with its use in cell culture (mammalian cells need to be kept in isotonic conditions – too much salt outside the cells and they shrink and die, to little outside and they puff up and pop)I have also come across its use in alt-med, where the term is sometimes used to mean having the same osmolarity as blood (which presumably makes the nostrum less ‘harsh’ on the body or a similar such justification).
    …continued…

  8. Tom Sidwell says:

    Given that water consumed containing little salt will have to be excreted containing some salt (just the way our waste water systems work) and so, in a way, could help to rob our bodies of otherwise potentially useful salts.

    My specialty, however, is the immune system, so I do not know the relevance of salts lost in this way, I just feel that this was a potentially interesting area of discussion that was missed out on by the host not knowing what the term meant. I am sure that in future I or any other biologists that listen to your show would be more than happy to help when questions relating to human physiology crop up. Just try asking a question on facebook or twitter – remember, your fans are a resource too :)

    Also, I enjoyed the sound effects last week. While they didn’t add anything to the subject matter, they did add to the general ambience of your program. I like your show because it has a similar dynamic and feel to discussions with my friends, which can be serious, frivolous and fun all at the same time. That’s one thing I appreciate about TRC, and one thing the sound effects worked to. If you want to chuck one in every now and then, I say go for it.

  9. Aubrey Jackson says:

    Just listened to this episode. I encountered the microwave water killing the plants back in April when one of my nutty friends posted it. I was surprised that you did not mention that microwaved food is better for you than food cooked in other ways. Heat denatures many nutrients and amino acids so the hotter the food gets the less value it has. Grilling your food might taste better but it destroys the nutrient value more than microwaving does.

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