CSI:Crime Scene Investigation
By Mehzeb Rahman Chowdhury
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is a popular CBS television series that trails the investigations of a team of forensic scientists as they unravel the circumstances behind mysterious and unusual deaths in Las Vegas, Nevada. In a recent poll, it has been ascertained that CSI has approximately 120 million viewers worldwide. The idea for CSI was presented to ABC Network for review in 1999, but was dismissed as the network thought it would be too confusing for the average viewer. Creator Anthony Zuiker then took his ideas to CBS, where, the management agreed to produce the popular series. The show first aired on October 6th 2000, and is still being broadcast all over the world. Voted as the best drama series on TV, CSI has undoubtedly had an impact on the general public's perception of what forensic science can accomplish. Police and forensic scientists have complained that the show has given people unrealistic hope, and criminals ideas on how to escape the law. In a recent research paper published by BBC, it's been said that, “People have unrealistic expectations of forensic science thanks to the success of the CSI TV shows.” However, CSI has influenced thousands of students worldwide, to take up forensic science as a career. It has been credited with an increase in college applications to forensic science programs, and has influenced the way victims, jurors, prosecutors and the general public view forensic science. The show's incomprehensible impact on the whole world has been termed as the “CSI effect”.
The success of the show is unimaginable, considering that it has been on the air for only five years. CSI's dramatization of police procedures, and the involvement of the forensic scientists in the interview of suspects, is what made the show so interesting. The show's characteristic gadgetry and occasional use of yet-to-be-invented technology has moved the show nominally into the genre of science fiction, rather than reality. The series is known for its unusual camera angles, high-tech gadgets, detailed technical discussion, graphic portrayal of bullet trajectories, blood spray patterns, organ damage, innovative methods of evidence recovery, and re-creation of crime scenes. The show's greatest asset however, is the stellar cast. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation stars William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Gary Dourdan, George Eads, Jorja Fox, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, David Berman and Paul Guilfoyle. The success of the show is also due to the contribution of the writers, who have created some memorable characters, and some dynamic story arcs.
Gilbert Arthur Grissom (played by William Petersen) is the night shift team supervisor for the Las Vegas CSI unit, and a forensic entomologist with a degree in biology from UCLA. Grissom knows sign language and has inherited his mother's otosclerosis, a disease which was causing him to slowly go deaf. His hobbies include his work, cockroach racing, reading and roller coasters. Grissom is known to be one of the most intriguing members of the CSI team, who amazes fans every week with witty catch phrases, uncanny perceptions, and quotes, which leave the fans scratching their heads.
Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) is a blood spatter analyst and second-in-command of the nightshift. She led the group when Grissom was out of town or on leave. Originally from Bozeman, Montana, Willows first worked as a stripper, in order to pay her way through college at UNLV where she studied medical technology. She is a strong and confident member of the group, and is seen to be playfully alluring with men in almost every episode.
Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) is a materials and element analyst. A physics major at Harvard University, Sidle previously worked for the San Francisco coroner and crime lab. She was recruited by Grissom, a man she sees as more than just her boss. Sidle sometimes takes her assignments a bit too personally, especially if the victim is a woman. She was raised in a violent and abusive family, and lived in foster care after her mother killed her father. Fans of the show have written countless letters to the CSI writers to build a love story arc, around Sara and Grissom, but counter claims from fans of a possible Nick/Sara pairing, put a dent into the whole process. Sara is still single, but who knows, she could end up with any of the team members.
Warrick Brown (Gary Dourdan), a Las Vegas native and Chemistry major from UNLV, is an audio/visual analyst. His addiction to gambling and his subsequent attempts at recovery were a major theme of the first few seasons of the show. Warrick is known throughout the police force as a charming womanizer. However, in the sixth season it is revealed that he secretly got married to a medical practitioner named Tina, and was finally settling down.
Nick Stokes (George Eads), an easygoing and friendly ex-fraternity member with a degree in criminal justice, is a hair and fiber analyst from Dallas, Texas. Nick is arguably the nicest guy in the whole team. Often seen as the most emotional member of the team, Nick Stokes is an all-American homeboy. He is Warrick's best friend, and is cool, confident, and often seen philandering with various women.
Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) was the head of the CSI unit in Las Vegas until he was moved back to the police homicide division. He was originally from New Jersey, but is now a Captain in the homicide division, usually working with the CSI team. Brass helps the CSI team with police procedures, and has an unusually effective skill in interviewing suspects. Brass is a cunning and perceptive detective, often portraying the role of a wiseass cop on the verge of cracking open a skull or two.
Greg Sanders (Eric Szmanda) is a young lab technician who idolizes Grissom. He quite recently became a CSI, and still in the learning process. In the first few seasons of CSI, Greg was one of the funniest characters of the show. With his cool and quirky-nerdy attitude, his addition to the team is a breath of fresh air.
Al Robbins M.D. (Robert David Hall) is the calm and collected coroner of the crime lab. Married with three children, he's often the only one who understands Grissom. He has two prosthetic legs and likes playing in rock bands for fun. He walks with a cane, and is seen having a good time with most of the team members. His assistant coroner, David Phillips (David Berman) is a nervous youth, who is most often called “Super Dave” by the CSI team members.
CSI received quite a number of awards over the years, which include: 2003 Telegatto Award, 2005 Screen Actors Guild Award, & 2005 People's Choice Award. The show has a wide demographic consisting of teenagers as well as adults from around the world. If the sixth year of this immensely popular show can capture the action, intensity, and intelligence that it is known for, CSI will be winning a lot of awards and stealing the hearts of fans all over the world, in the years to come. To enjoy this multi-award-winning show, proceed to any DVD shop and ask for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The first four seasons of the show has been released on DVD, and the fifth season is due for release sometime this year. CSI can also be seen on AXN on a weekly basis, but it is better to purchase the DVDs and enjoy one of the greatest television dramas ever made.
Book to movie translations are usually very unsatisfying, especially for the fans. The Harry Potter movies are, unfortunately, no exceptions. Sure, they can be considered as above-average movies, but so often they stray form the book, it's nothing but pure frustration.
The fourth movie in the series will be no exception. But this time, it'll be so in a different way. Where you like it or not, large portions of the story has been omitted, several dozen “unimportant” characters has been compromised and many things from the books has been overly changed and tweaked.
There are, of course, some reasons to justify these decisions and some of them are even acceptable to some extent. No matter how much you try, there's only so much that you can squeeze in the hundred or so minutes of an average length movie. And the moviemakers cannot afford to make it longer because it would mean lower profits: the expenses would increase drastically but the number of moviegoers would remain roughly the same.
And after all, Warner Bros making the Harry Potter movies is not about making truly artistic films, or translating the true feel of Rowling's magical world in to a movie. It's about them making a lot of money, and they're doing extremely well. That doesn't mean they'd make sucky movies, it means that they would deviate only so much away from their primary goal.
On with the article… On October 19th, a press screening of the movie took place in New York. I've dug up what people who saw the movie there has to say about it. All the “real information” in this article is here thanks to a guy named Michael who was kind enough to write a long and detailed overview (twelve pages of it!), and posted it on Mugglenet.com. Here's what you can expect from the movie. But before that, a short (and incomplete) list of what's NOT in the movie:
No Bertha Jorkins, Dursleys, No Bill, Charlie or Percy, No towering solid gold world cup stadium (instead there's a “subterranean structure with most of the seats underground”), No Narcissa Malfoy, No Bagman, No leprechauns or veelas (that's one less thing to look forward to). Now get this: the world cup Quiddich match? It's not there. You just see that the match is going to start… then whoosh! The scene changes to the campsite after the movie. On with the list: no house-elves, blast ended skrewts. No Olivander, No Harry asking help from anyone or practicing for the tasks, No scenes with Harry finding Barty Crouch Jr. in Snape's room, or the one in which he met Krum. And for all the characters that've been cut, all the scenes involving these characters have been also cut and when that wasn't possible, tweaked. A lot. Unfortunately, you'll surely find more and more stuff that has been omitted.
The casting is not that bad. Sure almost all of them will look different from what you've imagined them to be, but you probably have gotten used to that by now. Sure, Mad-eye Moody is fat, Krum is too healthy, Fluer is just average, the Patil twins are ugly and the like, but what else did you expect? At least these people know how to act (and that's basically why they're chosen). And there will be scenes after scenes which will be depicted very different from what's been described in the books. At least some of the looks cool.
On a different note, Dumbledore is very different from what you'd expect: he's angry, mad, frustrated and basically, he's a big let down. With a Dumbledore of this sort, you'd be happy to get rid of him in the sixth book. (Richard Harris, you're being missed.)
Now, with all this negative commentary, you might think that the movie would suck. No, that'll not be the case. No matter how much it “ruins the story”, it's cooler and darker this time, with bits that are actually scary. Voldemort, the death eaters and the dark mark has been made actually awesome. And the whole movie is actually a treat. If only you can look beyond the fact that they are “totally ruining the book”, this is a film you'd really like.
Oh, and if you'd like blow by blow account of the film, visit [doiop.com/GoFoverview] and you'll get the 12 page long detailed overview written by Michael.
In pictures: the people behind gamer avatars
Robbie Cooper, a photojournalist working for the BBC, has captured images of the people behind online gamer avatars. The feature compares gamer's online personalities to their real life ones, and examines the differences between the two. He asks the gamers why they chose the particular characteristics of their online avatars and how they think their real life idea of themselves compares to their custom made self-created one. Anyone with an interest in the psychology and philosophy of online games will find this feature fascinating.
This one is a game studio that has put out some fantastic Flash games. For starters, try out Rocky Races, a fun one-button (well, three if you count the motion of the mouse) drag racing game. Another gem is Lone Star, a game where you have to use the mouse to draw circles around similar items that won't hold still for you. There's dozens of games to choose from, so you're bound to find something that'll help pass the time until the weekend.
Science & Photography through the Microscope
They say everything looks better from a distance, but here's proof that it's not always true. While no one's itching to get close to the mosquito, when it's magnified a couple of thousand times, the pest begins to look almost...beautiful. With this site, you can zoom in on the detailed anatomy of a black ant or fruit fly, simulate the use of a scanning electron microscope to magnify a bee's eye or a carpet beetle (up to 4000x), discover the 12 Most Wanted bugs (like our old pals the cockroach or the cat flea), and browse "over 1500 micrographs of scientific, biological, and medical subjects photographed with light and electron microscopes." (Why would you find THIS interesting? Don't ask me.)
Red-Color News Soldier
The revolution may not be televised, but China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was photographed secretly. Journalist Li Zhensheng took thousands of pictures of the decade of Mao Zedonginspired turmoil, but he had to hide them under the floorboards of his home because Chinese authorities considered his images "counterrevolutionary." Not until 2003 were the photos displayed publicly, and this site highlights excerpts from that exhibition. The stark black-and-white pictures hint at the complicated, harrowing story of propaganda, labour camps, and Little Red Books.
Comic Strip: Slow Wave
“Slow Wave is a collective dream diary authored by different people from around the world, and drawn as a weekly comic strip by Jesse Reklaw.” Interesting concept, and the first time I've not been bored stiff by the dreams of others. Check out this one: [doiop.com/EinstienAutograph]. Also, NASA brings you an article titled “Was Einstein a Space Alien”. Read it at[doiop.com/SpaceAlien]
Eolo Perfido's Propaganda Series
Photographer Eolo Perfido looks at the embrace of Propaganda in these images almost as if it were a parasitic form of Schizophrenia, tearing its host organism apart. Nifty stuff.
Set up and photographed by Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle, Minimiam is a photo set in a flash presentation that has fun with scale and perception. Leeeeetle tiny construction people build food!
Installed Truths - some great Alexander Sterzel neogothic imagery for the Halloween season.
Naoya Hatakeyama's Lime Works Series
Naoya Hatakeyama's photos of industrial sites which as far as I know are untreated and simply caught in the right light to look otherworldly.
That's it for this week. All the links are available at niloywrites.blogspot.com so that you can easily visit the sites just by clicking the links. You can also log on to my site BDcomics.blogspot.com if you're into comics, or check out my photography at flickr.com/photos/niloy/. You can contact me for whatever reasons at firstname.lastname@example.org