She Blinded Me with Science

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Dr. Dolby about to experience a gale-force brainstorm.

“If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, blind them with science!”
~ Apocryphal

She Blinded Me with Science[1] refers to a(n) historic mishap that occurred in 1982 to Dr. Thomas Dolby during his development of the Dolby® Processor.® This Processor is used worldwide to take the "hiss" out of .WAV and .MP3 files. UnNews Audio uses Dolby on all its recordings, without which the voice would be drowned out by a sound like that of a TeleType. The Dolby Processor is sometimes even used to recover music recorded onto magnetic tape, and keeps it from being too loud.[2]

Sadly, Dr. Dolby's assistant, named Watson although she was a comely Asian woman, appeared at the door of the laboratory with a stack of bills that had just arrived in the mail, at the exact moment that the bright light that represents inspiration, bright enough to possibly pay a few of them, was flashing right above Dr. Dolby's head. Watson was immediately blinded.

Dr. Dolby is widely viewed as a one-hit wonder, but this notion is mistaken, as the mishap was soon followed by another brainstorm accompanied by lightning: the notorious Dolby® Digital® event. This accident, which cost Dr. Dolby the index finger from his right hand, is the source of the famous quote, "Come here, Watson; I need you," as Dr. Dolby lost the ability to make the simple gesture for Watson to step away from the laboratory's innovative full-length Braille mirror and pay attention to the experiment at hand (or at what was left of it).

edit Poetry in Motion

Lucy Liu

The blinding Watson, at a comic convention in 2012.

Watson never filed a claim for job-related injury or even Permanent Disability. She suspected that administrative law judges would rule that assisting a noted scientist like Dr. Dolby bore the risks of frequent flashes of brilliance, against which she had the duty to use protective eye-wear. Despite her total blindness, she remained able to organize all Dr. Dolby's tubes and wires so he could find everything.

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about She Blinded Me with Science.

Another minor obstacle to claiming legal inability to work is that Watson was already working. Dr. Dolby's laboratory at the Home for Deranged Scientists would soon go on to become Hyperactive! but Watson seamlessly transitioned to using sign language under a federal grant, in order that the American television series Elementary could be enjoyed by other blind people.

Watson's blindness is also a bit surprising, as she had previously interned with the famous Dr. Ped Xing, and he had lazer eyes.

edit Footnotes

  1. The use of the pronouns in the phrase is a persistent error based on confusion over who blinded whom, and with what. It is a bit surprising that Dr. Dolby and Watson never sorted it out despite several minutes of feeling the machinery.
  2. Prior to that, sound used to be recorded onto a twitching wire, the predecessor of the modern write-only memory. That would place the historic mishap somewhere in the second decade of The Golden Age of Wireless.
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