Discovery Channel’s new Wednesday-night show Time Warp is see-this! science for the Mentos/Diet Coke generation. Time Warp events get the super-slo-mo treatment, so we can see what blender blades do to everything from gumballs to a video camera (think of all those Will It Blend? Web videos); what stone slabs look like when they’re broken by a martial-arts expert; and why a juggler can make catching and tossing chain saws look easy. This is the logical extension of those college late nights, when I marveled at David Letterman’s groundbreaking remote-crew experiments in rooftop-to-ground impact and bulldozer flattening. Now Discovery sucks us in with the promise of cool camera technology capturing even cooler shit — dropped turkey meet deep- fat fryer! — while host Jeff Lieberman (he’s an MIT scientist!) tells us what nature is actually doing to please the less-sophisticated portion of our brains. It’s the perfect edutainment antidote to the 24-hour election coverage you’ve probably overdosed on, although this political season has certainly provided its own version of slow-motion awe: the steady implosion of John McCain’s presidential campaign.
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