Cordial Deconstruction

Observations from our shared single objective reality in a materialistic, naturalistic, & effectively macro-deterministic universe.

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Posts Tagged ‘Polite Dissent’

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 1, Season 3, Olivia

Posted by Karl Withakay on September 23, 2010

(A Red Episode)

As usual, an episode synopsis can be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent.

It seemed to me there was less to Deconstruct in this episode as it didn’t involve a Fringe incident and dealt mostly with the drama of Olivia in the alternate universe, but after finishing this post, maybe I was mistaken.

Ultra Low Security Establishment

OK, first they escort a potentially dangerous, combat trained prisoner using only one guard and no restraints.  Then they have no guard(s) posted outside the room during the treatment, and the guards on patrol in the hallways are best suited to be a mall cops rather than guards at a secure government installation.  (No offense intended to mall cops.)  Next they release her from her restraints when she starts having breathing problems so they can sit her up rather than say, bag her while she is still restrained.  (They’re conducting medical experiments on her, they have to have the  equipment and trained personnel to deal with medical emergencies, right?)  Finally the doors are locked only with a key code and no swipe card, they allow the prisoner to observe the code being entered, and all the doors internal and external have the same code.  If I ever get locked up in a super secret, government facility, this is the one I want to be locked up in.

Magic “Memory” White Blood Cells

I think the writers are confused about what is meant by the term “memory B Cells” and “memory T cells” in regards to B cell lymphocytes and T Cell lymphocytes (types of white blood cells) in the immune system.  The term does not refer to memory in regards to the ability to consciously recollect things; it is an anthropomorphic characterization of the T & B Cell’s ability to chemically “recognize” antigens from pathogens the immune system has “seen” before.  In no way do these cells have anything to do with memories stored in the brain.

Alternate Universe Presidential Trivia

In case you couldn’t make out what was being said on the radio:

In the alternate universe, not only is former president Kennedy still alive, but he is still actively involved in government service.  He is currently stepping down from his role as UN ambassador to head the agency in charge of slowing down ecological breakdown.

Cab Driver AND Women’s Clothes Buyer

How did the cab driver know what size clothes to buy Olivia?  She didn’t tell him her size.  Was she about the same size as his wife, or does he have a lot of experience in buying clothes for women of different sizes?

Alternate Universe Advertising Trivia

GlatterFlug (German for “smooth flight”) offers daily flights to the moon. “Don’t give her diamonds, give her the moon.”

Magic High Explosive Incendiary 5.7X28mm Ammo, Standard Issue

One shot from Olivia’s gun and the propane tanks explodes in a massive fireball.  It looks good on TV, but the Mythbusters can tell you it doesn’t happen like that.

Olivia was using a FN Five Seven pistol that could have been using SS190 copper jacketed rounds that do contain a steel penetrator, so a spark is not completely out of the question, but I’m still comfortable saying the explosion wouldn’t happen.

Adrenaline Carries Blood Cells Across the Blood Brain Barrier?

Scott will probably have more to say on this, but that’s the kind of thing the blood brain barrier prevents.  It’s generally not a good thing when things that normally don’t cross the BBB manage to do so.

Question To Be Answered:

Will we see the cabbie again?

Is Olivia truly converted into Bolivia II, or is she faking?

Identity Assumption Plausibility Problem

How can Bolivia I effectively pass herself off as Olivia in our universe without any of Olivia’s memories?  I would think her complete lack of knowledge of Olivia’s past has to catch up with her pretty soon.  “Geez Olivia, don’t you remember anything from before you returned from the alternate universe?  Wait a minute…travel between universes must give long haired, female FIB agents amnesia.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!”

UPDATE:  From My Notes

I had a couple of things in my notes, but forgot to mention them in my post.

Apparently in the alternate universe Manhattan is spelled with one t, and there is a vaccination for typhus, neither of which is true in this universe.  🙂

Posted in Fringe, Medicine / Health, Red Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Origins of My Pseudonym and My Blog’s Name

Posted by Karl Withakay on July 29, 2010

Tonight I decided to do a light and easy post on my pseudonym and blog name rather than the topic I originally planned to blog about, partly because I spent too much time playing Lego Harry Potter to have enough time to do a good job on the topic I was going to blog about.

Origins of a Pseudonym

Tonight I changed the display name for my blog ID to match the name I use pretty much everywhere else on the internet.  It’s the name I use in forums, when making comments on other people’s blogs, and elsewhere.  The name is Karl Withakay.

Until recently I never realized how many people don’t catch the play on words underlying that online name.  In fact, it seems that most people that I meet in person after “meeting” online haven’t caught it.  Perhaps that’s because they first see the name written (typed) online rather than hearing it pronounced out loud.  Once I explain it to them, they tend to say something to the effect of, “Oh, duh, I get it now.”

Apparently I’m not the first person to think up the pseudonym Karl Withakay:  This guy is not me, but apparently he came by the name through a similar process.  After years giving my first name as “Karl, with a K” to avoid any misspelling of my name, I eventually began to joke to my friends that I should change my middle name to “Withakay”.  When I first started registering to post on forums and blogs, I thus had the perfect pseudonym to use for my online persona, Karl Withakay.

Origins of a Blog’s Name

The name of this blog, Cordial Deconstruction was chosen after much deliberation and consideration of various names.  I’d been thinking of setting up a blog for a while and had always intended it to be related to critical thinking and deconstruction of  things like fallacious logic or bad science & plot lines in television shows and movies.

Before getting around to setting up my own blog, I had been commenting on various blogs like Science Based Medicine, Respectful Insolence, and Neurologica for several years, cutting my teeth on logical argument and online discourse.   I always strove to hold myself to the standard of conduct of the bloggers on those sites, keeping the discourse polite and cordial, even when completely deconstructing another commenter’s arguments.

The name I finally settled on for this blog was both a reflection of what the blog was going to be as well as a tribute to the blogs of two other people.  One is probably my favorite blog, Orac’s Respectful Insolence.  The other is the blog of my real world friend, Polite Scott of Polite Dissent.  Thus the current subtitle “(Not Polite or Respectful, just Cordial.)”

Posted in Me, This Blog | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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