Debunking Hollywood: The Gordian Knot

I’ve often wondered who was the first person to tie a knot. Who was that ancient ancestor 10, 20, 100 thousand years ago who first wrapped a strip of animal skin – or maybe some fibrous vine – around itself and realized that it could hold itself together, even hold a person’s weight. Or hell, […]

Guest Post: Isis, a Dog Out of Time

WARNING: If you are not up-to-date on the most recently aired episode of Downton Abbey on PBS, and you actually care what happens, read no more. Spoiler, though hardly a shock, within. “I’m worried about Isis,” Downton Abbey’s Lord Grantham told his daughter Mary the other night. “She’s not looking too clever.” ‘Tis true: Isis, […]

Debunking Hollywood: Falling!!!

Debunking Hollywood is LWON’s very occasional series that takes a hard science look at common TV and movie tropes.  Our hero is in dire trouble yet again. He stands on the rooftop, a villain in front of him, his feet inches from a seven-story fall. Sweat glistens on his brow as he fearlessly throws a punch but […]

Q&A: Big Bang Theory

                              For most of the interviews we do, sources will be disappointed by what comes out. And we journalist are mostly okay with this because those are the rules of the game. But every so often a person gets a little […]

Dolphins: Largely Unexceptional

When John Lilly first suggested dolphins were super-intelligent, the context was clearer. The neurophysiologist was injecting his dolphins with LSD, masturbating them to encourage cooperation and hanging out with Timothy Leary. Before understanding that dolphins were conscious breathers, Lilly accidentally asphyxiated his subjects by fully anaesthetizing them for brain studies, but as they died they […]

Debunking Hollywood: Headshot

Last month, Erik took a hard look at a staple in Hollywood’s menu of plot devices: the knockout shot. Now we turn to a movie trope that hits a little closer to home. Our very own Sally needs your help in the investigation: Dear LWON readers, I’m a boxer with a problem: I can’t punch […]

Debunking Hollywood: Science On the Fringe

I am just sitting down to dinner at makeshift cafeteria a few miles away from a Maya dig site, called Xultun, in the jungles of Northern Guatemala. It’s my third day there, and I am still not used to the howler monkeys and giant insects. But most of the students around me have been here […]

Debunking Hollywood: Knockout Shot

Today LWON is proud to announce a new intermittent  series, ala TGIPF. Every so often our writers will choose a common trope in movies and television – something based at least loosely in science – and pick it apart. If you have any suggestions for topics, drop them into the comments or send them to @erikvance […]