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Posts Tagged ‘electromagnetism’

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 17 Season 3, Stowaway

Posted by Karl Withakay on March 18, 2011

A Blue Episode

As always, an episode synopsis will eventually be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent

Soul Rape/ The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul

I hope I’m not the only one who considers that what William Bell did to Olivia without her consent constitutes an immoral assault against Olivia.  He slipped her the soul magnets into her tea without her consent, which constitutes an assault by itself.  The purpose of the magnets was to facilitate the seizure of her body and suppression of her consciousness against her will, another assault, both legally and morally.

I proclaim “Bellivia”

…as the name for Bell possessed Olivia

Why the Funny Voice?

I guess I have to accept that the funny voice was so we could tell when it was Bellivia and not Olivia, because I can’t really think of any other good reason for Olivia’s body to talk with a funny voice when Bell is controlling it.

I Proclaim “Nerdly”

First, let me just say, I have street cred here, so I can get away with calling someone a nerd.  I’m going with the name Nerdly (or NerdLee or Nerd Lee if you prefer) for our universe’s version of Agent Lincoln Lee with the thick, black framed glasses and conservative clothes & haircut.

Location, Location, Location

I’ve probably asked this before, but why hasn’t Walter moved his lab to Massive Dynamic where they have many more resources available, or at least decked his lab out a little more now that he’s the owner of a multi-billion dollar corporation?

Physics 102 (Literally 2nd Semester Physics, After Motion and Kinematics)


“In performing the tests, we noticed something odd in the molecules of Miss Gray’s body.  They didn’t want to come apart.  They were held together by an unusually strong electromagnetic bond.”


“I’m Confused.  You’re saying her body is held together by magnetism?”


“Well, we’re all held together by magnetism.  Our molecules are like theses hematite rocks.  Magnetism is what keeps us from flying apart.  It’s what keeps us solid.”


“In Miss Gray’s case. The attraction was almost unbreakable.  Uh, it’s a miracle she left behind any blood at all.”

Ok, let’s set things straight here.  Magnetism and electromagnetism are not the same thing.   Magnetism is property of materials that respond at an atomic or subatomic level to an applied magnetic field.  Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental interactions or forces in nature.  Electromagnetism is responsible for molecular bonds, not magnetism.  Out molecules are not held together like ferromagnetic hematite stones.

Stronger Molecular Bonds = Dead

If Dana Gray’s molecules had unusually strong molecular bonds, her molecules would have a very hard time undergoing chemical reactions.  Chemical reactions are all about the breaking and forming of molecular bonds.  If the bonds of Dana’s molecules were so strong that they are nearly impossible to break, they wouldn’t’ be able to undergo the chemical reactions necessary to support life, and she’d be dead.  Consider the following in support of the notion that even minor changes to chemical properties can be detrimental to life:  While we generally state that different isotopes of the same element have identical chemical properties, this is not 100% accurate.  For all practical purposes, most isotopes of the same elements have indistinguishable chemical properties, but in rare instances, there is a detectable difference.  One such instance is with Deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen.  Normal hydrogen has no neutrons in its nucleus, but deuterium has one neutron in its nucleus.  The chemical properties of deuterium are very close to those of regular hydrogen, but they are not 100% identical.  The properties are different enough, that water with at least one atom of deuterium (heavy water) is slightly different from regular water.  If as little of 25% of the water in the human body is replaced with heavy water, heath problems such as sterility occur. At 50% concentration death occurs, due to inhibited cell division due to the altered bond energy in the deuterium-oxygen bond.

An Innuendo Too Far

Hey, I’m a healthy, heterosexual male, and I appreciate a hint of girl on girl action as much as anyone, even if I know it’s not going to happen (even though one of the hot actresses is gay), but the milking comment by Bellivia was a little creepy.

It’s All Energy, Man…


“Life force?  You mean like a soul?  Is that even a scientific concept?”


“It’s best to try to not be reductive.  I mean After all, every living thing is just bundled energy.”

Any so is a rock, and a block of ice, and a cloud of hydrogen (e=mc^2).  No souls there.

Not In an Unfringified Universe


“If Dana Gray was struck by lightening twice, do you think that would help to explain whye she was overly electromagnetic?”


“I suppose that’s possible.  The ions due to multiple lightning strikes could cause her molecules to become supercharged.”


“And possibly intensify the electromagnetism, why do you ask?”

The elementary charge carried by electrons and protons is one of the fundamental physical constants of the universe.  You can zap someone with lightning all day long and its not going to change the behavior of molecular bonds or behavior of the electromagnetic force.

Remedial Phone Trace 101

FBI Phone Trace Guy:

“Can’t run a  trace unless the line’s open.  She has to pick up.”

OK, apparently the FBI assigns their technical flunkies to Fringe division work.  For a physical land line, you don’t need to do a trace if you have the number; you just look up the address in the phone company’s database.  For a CELL PHONE, you don’t need to do a traditional trace at all if you know the number of the phone.  Even if the GPS function on the phone is switched off, as long as the phone is on and able to receive calls, you can do a reasonably accurate location of the phone by determining which cell towers it is registering with.  They should also have been able to tell that the phone was moving at a reasonable velocity and determine the general path it was taking by observing it switching between towers as it moved.

Superman’s Suit is Super Too?

How come Dana’s Clothes weren’t singed at all by the explosion?



“As a scientist, I like to believe that nothing just happens,”

OK, so far, so good, cause and effect, that’s from science…

“that every event has some meaning, some sort of message.  You just have to be able to listen closely enough to hear it.”

Whoops, you lost me here as to how that has anything to do with science.  You just jumped into philosophy, which is fine.  It’s just not science anymore.

Please Set Your Phone to Vibrate, or Set a Non-Ringy Ringtone, Mr Potter.

Is Bellivia going to swap with Olivia every time an angel gets their wings?

Posted in Blue Episode, Fringe, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , | 13 Comments »

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