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Case Number 23080: Small Claims Court

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The Fabric of the Cosmos

PBS // 2011 // 240 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 7th, 2012

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson has mastered string theory. (Just not the string theory you're thinking of.)

The Charge

Space out.

The Case

NOVA is back to hurt your brain. If you think the eminent PBS science program had your Grey matter in a hammerlock before, prepare to be hit with some truly big and scary statistics.

Your tour guide through this quantum tomfoolery is physicist Brian Greene, host of The Elegant Universe. To be honest, for a man smarter than 50 of me put together, Greene does a fantastic job of articulating these monster concepts in an entertaining and engaging manner.

The Fabric of the Cosmos is broken up into four 55-minute episodes…

• "What is Space?"
An examination of what might be going on in the void, which answers the question: Is empty space really empty?

• "Illusion of Time"
Is time a flowing linear concept or a series of snapshots that encompasses the past, present, and future? And why did Einstein have to bone our perfectly simple concepts of timekeeping?

• "Quantum Leap"
Quantum mechanics is the new and exciting realm of physics. Naturally, no one has a clue on how to fully decipher it. BTW, Ziggy is nowhere to be found.

• "Universe of Multiverse?"
Here's where things get wacky. In an attempt to unravel the crushing mystery of dark energy, scientists have begun exploring the idea of the multiverse, which posits that there are endless copies of us and our universe. Or something.

Lots of heavy-duty stuff, but kudos to Greene and the producers for making it largely accessible. Much of the knowledge is transmitted through the use of simple visual examples (e.g. wave particles are illustrated by a bowling alley, dark energy through a baseball throw), and though they might be corny at time, the concepts register. Plus, experts in the field from all manner of universities convey their two cents, while Greene fills in the blanks.

The DVD presentation is extras-free, but sports a decent technical presentation: standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby 2.0 stereo.

The Verdict

If this subject matter interests you, take The Fabric of the Cosmos for a spin. Not Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 85

Perp Profile

Studio: PBS
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 240 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None

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