David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Is There A Script In This Class?

 May 8, 2012:   Is There A Script In This Class?

I'm all for finding ways of taking academic subjects and making them interesting through popular culture.  My son's love of history is fueled, in part, by Pawn Stars, and I suspect he's learned a lot about firearms from, sigh, Top Shot.  The History Channel seems to have taken a right turn in the last few years in its approach to presenting history.  I'm not really quarreling.

That's why I'm glad to chalk up another History Channel  show to learning through humor and whimsy.  The always hilarious, dead-on, Sklar brothers (Jason and Randy) unveil their approach to statistics through "The United Stats of America", debuting tonight at 10:00 PM.  I just heard about this show through The New York Times' aptly titled article, "Why Your Desk Is Deadlier Than Your Toilet Seat," which, among other things, caused me to look askance at my desk while reading it.  It's not easy to type when my arms are hovering over my desk.

You can read the Times article to gain an appreciation of a show that determines statistically the way we are most likely to die.  I have no idea what the Sklar brothers decide to tackle in future shows, but I look forward to them.  Maybe they will examine just how likely it really is that I will end up next to the crying, snotty nosed kid on an airplane. 

More importantly, I see pitches I need to make to television networks. 

  • HIM Books:  Medical Record Coding for fictional characters.  "Episode One:  Go With Us On a Journey Exploring the Coding of Shakespeare's Richard III.  ICD10 Updated!!"  "Next week, a two-hour episode dedicated to John Q.  Could better coding have prevented Denzel Washington's meltdown?"
  • Grammar Got Run Over By A Reindeer:  Famous texts dramatically altered by grammar errors.  "The Gettysburg Address was really about Pool Playing:  "Four.  Score!  And Seven!  Who knew Abe Lincoln was such a pool shark?"
  • Pharma-Call-OMG!:  "See which pharmacy can process obscure prescriptions and assess drug interactions the fastest." 
  • Principals of Accounting:  "Travel with us from town to town as we check the books of this country's finest private schools.  Can school prinicipals justify their accounts?" 
  • Teenage Phlebotomy:  "Join Keith Richards at youth detention centers for blood draws.  Guess the drug found in subsequent testing."  "Special Holiday Episode:  Keith and, special guest, Courtney Love, sing a duet, 'The Tracks of My Tears."

I really have missed my calling, haven't I?  In fact, that might be Dr. Kevorkian calling now.