Friday, March 11, 2011

CSI: NY "Do or Die" gets extreme fact pattern

A popular girl at a prep school ("Olivia Prescott" played by Cassandra Jean, now a veteran of all three CSI's ) drops dead. As the investigation unfolds, one learns Olivia witnessed the filming of a porno short in the school library, and was so impressed she wanted to be in one. The student filmer was legally-minded and was obtaining releases from his "stars." Just a walk in the park at an $80,000 per year prep school, and a side story to "Do or Die."

The "showpiece" of the show was a Chilean lava lizard, and material from the terrarium. There really are lava lizards
material from Olivia's clothes appeared, (supposedly) by GC/MS analysis to be Martian soil. The finding was based on Na+, K+, and Mg+2 levels, not likely analytes in GC/MS. The Martian soil turned out to be Atacama soil leading back to the lava lizard leading back to Olivia's study partner and to Olivia's murderer. [Whether the premise of the science fair project involving the lava lizard, that it contains color-changing chromophores, is correct, remains to be seen.]

There was a cheating theme. Olivia was getting answers to exams printed up on a water bottle by her study partner (who was already accepted into Georgetown). [See earlier IPBiz posts for cheating via Coke bottles.] The study partner was getting the test questions via a link between a school desktop and his own laptop. The CSI writers took the position that such cheating was not unexpected behavior at the expensive prep school. The CSI writers, in showing shots of the students sending fotos from their phones at the beginning and end of the episode, depictws the elite students as emotionally disconnected airheads. And yes, recall Adam Wheeler got into Harvard, and no one could tell the difference between a mediocre student and an elite airhead.

Did we mention there was also a side story involving a scorpion, too, whose crushed remains ended up on a toilet seat? Definitely an extreme fact pattern, with some really bogus science (eg, GC/MS).

***Of the Atacama/Chile connection, note The Enigma of the Martian Soil , 309 Science 888 (2005) [ Soils in the Atacama Desert in Chile, one of the driest regions on Earth, may offer valuable information on Mars-like soils. ] The connection is NOT what is posited in "Do or Die."

**Blue Bloods on March 11 made reference to "Hucklebuck Law School." One suspects that they might teach that Gary Boone invented the integrated circuit.


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