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Cash SimpsonRSS Feed of this column.

In his other life, Cash is a Formula One race car driver who solves mysteries on TV. His personal site is Science And Supermodels.... Read More »

If you're a student of culture, a number of things have likely piqued your curiosity; like why so many modern people get drunk about ancient religous stuff.

Take Mardi Gras, for example - go to any Mardi Gras celebration and 98% of people there will be Protestants, so they haven't fasted for Lent in over 400 years, and 85% won't know why they are getting drunk at all, but they still act like they are getting ready to starve for 40 days - if by starving we mean not having yards of beer for 11 straight hours.  It's a real mystery but at least it gets people thinking about religion and its relationship to Brazilian strippers.

I was puttering around the attic of the Cashominium, trying to sort through some old boxes, and I came across something you all might find interesting. Before any of this makes sense, I need to give you a little family background.

Like many, the Cash family has been here a long time (a long time for America, anyway - here a hundred years is a long time and in Europe a hundred miles is a long distance, so it's all perspective) but we are not blueblooded fancy-pants Mayflower descendants or anything like that. We arrived just over 160 years ago.

It's political primary season and you know what that means, right? Right, it's time to rent movies and think about something else.

But you wouldn't be here if you could watch just any movies, you'd be a Huffington Post reader or Glenn Beck listener or whatever it is those people do that gets so much more attention than actual quality writing, like this site. You have more sense than that so you like movies with scientists; and especially scientists who could be hottie supermodels, mostly because they don't know anything about science.

In compiling a list like this, I am torn and maybe you will be also. Great science movies and attractive women don't always go together.

When President George Bush announced in 2004 that he wanted to reinvigorate space exploration, he presented a number of arguments for increasing funding but they were all rather tepid. Space exploration technology, for example, led to CAT scans and MRIs. Oh, and we got better weather forecasting.

Honestly, those are pretty weak arguments to justify an organization that gets almost $15 billion per year. Why not mention Tang and a pen that writes upside down? At least Tang is something most of us have had. I have never had an MRI.

Sometimes people think that, because I write this column for peanuts, I am somehow available for free science consulting services. Obviously this is not the case but I don't mind the occasional question, especially if it concerns real puzzles like how a car in China doesn't cause global warming but a car in America does.

How close are we to real-world bionic parts like they show on TV? We spent Part I discussing Bionic Women on TV and speculating as to why they spent $55 Million on Jaime Sommers in the show but couldn't fix actress Michelle Ryan's chin.

Now we're going to get into actual science, like how we would build a Bionic Woman today if we didn't give a crap about television ratings. It's a good thing I am writing this now because television ratings are important and this show could be cancelled any day, making it a lot less culturally relevant. How will I get you to buy a book on science if it doesn't have pop culture relevance and cute girls?