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Fwd: Geologists in Reality TV



I'm taking the liberty of  forwarding this hilarious post by Matt from the 
vrtpaleo list:

<<  An old geology buddy of mine sent me this.  Thought I would  
share.Geologists in Reality TVWhile the
media rarely represents geologists to  the general population,
(excluding sound bytes on Discovery Channel volcano  specials), there
was one recent attempt to integrate geologists into a  television
program. According to various blog sources, CBS was looking to  produce
a newreality TV show for 2008, after correctly predicting that  the
writers' strike would cut down on their ability to create  blue-toned
dramatic shows centering around corpses. One of their  production
managers happened to see a documentary on a volcanologist  researching
lava in Hawaii, and seeingthe danger and excitement inherent  in
people smashing molten hot 'magma' with rock hammers, pitched the  idea
of a 'geologist survivor-type' show.In December of 2007, CBS
hired a  production crew to pull the show together; the scenario was
that nine  geologists would be placed in the field, where they would
vote each other off  based on their willingness to do dangerous
geologist type feats common to the  field; like researching activevolcanoes,
earthquakes, landslides, and landing  in bush planes on glaciers.
Geologists that weren't up to the task would be  voted off, and the last
remaining "Hard-core geologist" would win a  prize.The
production was plagued from the beginning. They were successful  in
finding nine geologists, 6 males and three females, between 25 and  50
years of age, and they quickly set up the first challenge;  researching
an active volcano in the Philippines. The geologists and camera  crew
set up campnear the bottom of the volcano. The camera crew filmed
the  nine geologists bonding. The geologists were supplied with alcohol
(a common  strategy to loosen up the cast in reality TV), but the camera
crew was  surprised to notice that even after drinking gallons of the
liquid, the  geologistsdid not change their behaviour, and continued
talking in an obscure  jargonized language about 'bombs', 'breccia,' and
'lahars,' none of which  made for {great TV}This trend continued
through the entire first challenge:  the geologists were seemingly
oblivious to the camera, and the only  interpersonal drama occurred when
the seismologist and structural geologist  got into a yelling match over
the best recipe for chili. When the camera crew  andgeologists went
up to do research on the volcano, instead of sticking  together, the
geologists scattered into the landscape, and the camera-crew  found
themselves unable to find more than two at a time. Also,  after
listening to the volcanologist eagerly predict just how soon  the
volcano would blow,the camera-crew became extremely nervous  and
returned to the camp. The final result was almost no footage, and  the
editors were unable to make sense of what footage their was  because
they had no idea what the geologists were talking about. Finally,  few
of the scientists seemed to understand theconcept of 'voting  off'
another member. After consulting a nearby university, the crew  finally
explained that they 'competing for a GSA research grant.' This  didn't
go well either, as the geologists pointed out that they didn't have  the
time to write a paper.... Finally, they were simply told to get rid  of
someone on some sort of criteria. After a council, the  geologists
decided that whoever had the worst aim with a rock hammer would be  told
to leave.The second event, landing in a bush plane in upper
Alaska,  was a complete failure. None of the geologists were nervous at
the idea,  which destroyed the drama the crew was hoping for, and worse
yet, no-one in  the production crew was willing to accompany the
geologists to the site, out  of sheerterror. The result was that
small cameras were given to two of the  geologists to film themselves.
When the footage and geologists returned, the  editors found tapes
filled with footage and commentary about mountains and  'glacial
erratics.' Only ten percent of the footage featured humans,and most  of that 
footage was simply the petrologist standing by outcrops for  scale.By
the time the production reached Hawaii, most of the camera-crew  had
quit (because of the steady diet of chili and the  dangerous
situations), and only five of the geologists were left; not  because
they had been voted off, but because they had been over-excited by  rock
formations at variouslocations and had refused to leave.  Moreover,
paying for an almost-constant supply of beer and transportation of  the
geologists' luggage (piles of rocks), had almost exhausted the  budget.
CBS finally pulled the plug on the project in January 2008,  despite
their fear that they might be sued forwithdrawing the promise of  a
prize; however, none of the geologists sued, as they were still  under
the impression that they needed to publish a research paper to  receive
the money.Cheers Matthew T. MillerSDSMTDept. of Geology and Geologic  
Engineering501 East St. Joseph StreetRapid City, SD 57701wieroo@optonline.net  
>>  




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