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The Blinding Light Show

This week we will talk about light - a very general topic. We restricted ourselves to talking about the visible, ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) portions of what we call the electromagnetic spectrum. The E-M spectrum also has radio waves, microwaves, x-rays and other waves with cool names like that, but hey, we only had 22 minutes to work with here.

Now believe it or not, I have, on occasion, been told I look like a cop. So this week I really got to live up to that image by hanging out with the boys in blue and finding out how they use light when tracking down bad guys and solving crimes. And who do you think the bad guy is? Take one guess. Marc, you can run, but you can’t hide, especially when I’m in a helicopter and you’re running on foot. Look at him go…

Later we see Marc laying immobile on the floor and pretending to be a corpse at a crime scene. He’s quite good at it. All those years of acting school for Marc were really paying off here.

We describe IR and UV light by showing off my ambidextrous chalkboard work. That’s a professor trick; dogs roll over, we draw lines. Watch for the sneaky cheating we try to slip by you as our multiple takes of this scene mix together. You’ll see how hard it is to do the same thing twice for the camera.

We head off to the Ontario version of Crime Scene Investigation to show you how the pros get fingerprints and other clues from crime scenes. Believe it or not, they have this big machine that sprays a thin layer of superglue on everything that actually makes stains and fingerprints show up better, especially when you shine a blue laser at them.

The fun really gets going when we get into the Ontario Provincial Police helicopter in Orillia. Their chopper is rigged with a very sensitive IR camera that makes playing cops and robbers a lot easier when it’s night and some nasty character like Marc is on the run. We ended up having a lot of fun that night, in spite of the lost sleep.

Brian Alters also does some nightstalking, but he’s out in the tidal pools of Vancouver Island looking at jellyfish that look like they snuck off the set of Alien. Jenn goes in search of how to make light actually come to a near standstill. There’s a test on her segment so make sure you take notes and memorize all those 12 syllable words that come at you - at the speed of light!