Moving right along with the TV analogies, this LiveScience.com article (below) reminded me of the Simpsons episode where a new character, Poochie the dog, is introduced into The Itchy and Scratchy Show in a misguided effort to appeal to kids and to boost declining ratings.
Teen Talk: Science Needs to Dazzle
By Jeanna Bryner
posted: 19 December 2006
SAN FRANCISCO - Scientists who want to get their messages across to hip teens should spice up their presentations without dumbing down the science.
When it comes to climate change, educating the next generation of earth-saving scientists takes savvy, scientists said here last week at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
"Teenagers live in an MTV world so most things they are exposed to are slick and well produced," said Katharine Giles, a research fellow at the Center for Polar Observation and Modelling in the United Kingdom. "So anything like a lecture should try and get to the same standard."
The Faraday Lecture of 2006 did just that. With swirling lights, electronic music, videos and lots of audience participation, more than 30,000 attendees got a dose of "Emission Impossible: Can Technology Save the Planet?"
The Itchy & Scratchy Show: "The Beagle Has Landed"
Itchy and Scratchy are driving to a fireworks factory, when they pass a beagle dressed as a surfer dude. Itchy tells Scratchy, "It's our new friend, Poochie."
To show that he's ultra-cool, Poochie uses a rap to introduce himself. Scratchy thinks Poochie is "one outrageous dude", while Itchy opines the beagle is "totally in my face."
Further revealing his character, Poochie then performs a rock guitar solo, before demonstrating how he can skateboard and play basketball at the same time. Before exiting, he uses some more hip language: "Catch you on the flip side, dudemeisters!" He also feigns a high five to Scratchy, before reminding the audience to recycle to the extreme and taking off in Itchy and Scratchy's car (passing the fireworks factory).
Kids just want to see the cartoon violence, right? Explosions and all?? Can a focus group of adult scientists produce videos that will inform and educate teens about climate change (for example) and yet still appeal to them?
"Teenagers that were surveyed thought that celebrities could make more of a difference to mitigating our effect on the climate than engineers and scientists could," Giles said. "This may well actually be true, but I think it raises quite an important issue. There's a misconception about what scientists and engineers actually do."
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