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 Post subject: The Bad Fish Paradigm
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:00 pm 
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In "The Bad Fish Paradigm" episode of "The Big Bang Theory" a reference to an "Area 51" like facility, 12.5 miles Southeast of Traverse City, Michigan was made. Obviously this is an example of one of many TV series references to various towns to keep local audience interest. But does anyone know what the origin of that reference is? How was it chosen by the writers? What is actually at the location referenced? There used to be a top secret radar facility in the area, but not at the location mentioned. Or are we to believe the attorney disclaimer at the end of many shows?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:59 am 
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Assuming Sheldon's slip about being denied clearance to a secret research facility is true, there's a secret government-funded military supercollider hidden beneath a fake agricultural station near here (12.5 miles southeast of Traverse City, Michigan); in the Traverse City Forest Area.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:17 am 
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"Big Bang" has a staff specifically dedicated to realism; I recently viewed an interview with their science consultant where he described the concerns and the level to which realism is attempted.

For instance, the whiteboards reportedly contain formulae that are appropriate to the situation, mathematically correct, and usually humorous in some form to those that understand the topic. In another instance, a character described the distance the earth moved in miles during an on screen kiss, and when a viewer attempted to refute it, the science consultant described how the viewer missed a key component that made the number accurate.

I suspect someone related to the scripting wanted to mention TC, and it became another's job to find an area that would not necessarily end up in someone's back yard. Landing in Grand Traverse Bay or Torch Lake would generate a lot of letters. The Pere Marquette SF is probably a pretty good choice to avoid that.

My pencil calculations, assuming downtown city center and 135 degrees true put it in an area roughly bounded by Hodge, Sharmen, Mayfield, and Knight roads.

I'm a couple hour drive away, and I don't get that way often except for the Buckley Old Engine Show in August, and the occasional concert at Interlochen in the summer. My bride is pretty patient with my "field trips", but I suspect this one would try even her patience.

We need a local investigator to run this important item down! :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:02 pm 
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For years, I heard rumors that the call letters "WJM-TV" on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" were no conincidence. The story was that someone on the MTM staff had grown up with WJIM-TV as their CBS affiliate, or had worked there. Barton Dean fit the description, but he wasn't in any official MTM capacity until the "Newhart" series. Dean also created a series "Down Home", based in a fictional "Hadleyburg", whereas Hadley is a small town in Lapeer County.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Here are some thoughts from my hiking buddy:
Quote:
Been tromping aroind pere marquette all weekend. Surpring number of old sand quarry sites, abandoned farms etc--in places that were beyond nowhere. This must have been world capital of failed crazy-ass-dreamer's businesses at one time.
There is also a very nice Golf Course back in that area as well as numerous gas and oil wells.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Ben Zonia wrote:
For years, I heard rumors that the call letters "WJM-TV" on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" were no conincidence. The story was that someone on the MTM staff had grown up with WJIM-TV as their CBS affiliate, or had worked there. Barton Dean fit the description, but he wasn't in any official MTM capacity until the "Newhart" series. Dean also created a series "Down Home", based in a fictional "Hadleyburg", whereas Hadley is a small town in Lapeer County.


Like most of the John Hughes movie in the 1980's was based around or in Chicago.

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:59 am 
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There may be a simpler explanation. Bill Prady, the co-creator of the show, is from Michigan. He grew up in Oakland County, and went to Cranbrook. His parents apparently still live in Michigan. Perhaps they vacationed near TC. In another episode, The Bozeman Reaction, Sheldon wants to find a safer place to live. He makes a map of the US which shows several potential locations, but eliminates an area near the Straits of Mackinac from consideration. He finally picks Bozeman, MT.

Perhaps TC Talks should interview him.

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