28 July 2013

More Changes On The Sonic Dataset


The Sonic Dataset

I have gone through the dataset for the Sonic Screwdriver [sonic] uses for, what I feel, is the final time. Or at least until after the article and poster is done and it's time for an update. It's been a long and difficult trek mainly as I needed to discard many outdated and illogical conclusions about how the sonic worked.


Sonic Misconceptions

The biggest misconception in every list I encountered was the functionality of the sonic. People saw the Doctor burn through a metal door and would state it was a cutting torch. They'd see the Doctor examine someone and would say it scanned that object. And the biggest misconception was watching the Doctor open a door. If you think about it, open door is not a function—it is the result of something the Doctor did with the sonic.

Next time you see the Doctor open a door you need to ask yourself, what type of door did he open. If it was a door in a medieval castle and the door was bolted on the outside, how would the sonic open that door. It would have to move the bolt. And what if the Doctor opened a door on a spaceship, one with powered servos to automatically open the door. There's no bolt to move. The sonic would have to affect something in the circuitry to allow the door to open.

So there are two open door scenarios each with completely different functionalities. What was needed was a redefinition of how the sonic actually did all those things. For the medieval door, the sonic altered its sonic waves into electromagnetic [emr] waves and magnetically moved the bolt. For the powered door it would be necessary to affect the electrical nature of the circuit by altering the sonic waves into electromagnetic waves and affect the electricity. Similar to the first example but working with magnetism in the first and electricity in the second.

The Scrubbing Of The Stories
Not able to find a comprehensive list I took to reviewing every story by scrubbing through all the footage. I didn't watch every episode all the way through but scanned for those particular movements that belied the Doctor using the sonic. And that is how I found many that other lists had missed.

The Sorting
After scrubbing through all the stories [more than once] it was time to begin the categorization. I tried many types mostly based on the type of science it was duplicating. Then it occurred to me that I needed to find if these sciences actually existed. Was it possible that the sonic could turn a screw.

The Search For Science
SO began the exhaustive search for evidence of the sciences that I needed to explain all those 792 uses. I was quite surprised. It turned into an easier task than I thought. And after a little work [in actuality, a lot of work] I had categorized all the sonic uses.

What's Next?
Now the work begins on creating the charts, graphs, and networks. There are stats for uses by Doctor, uses by writer, failure rates, the statistically worst sonic offenders [writers], statistically worst sonic offenders [Doctor], and many I haven't thought of yet. All of this will be compiled into a nifty amalgamation of a data visualization and infographic.

I'm also working on creating some of this material as on-line interactive web pages with the use of a language I'm learning, d3.js. Static images are nice but this type of data really needs to be worked with by the viewer. Besides, it's more fun that way...

So stay tuned, we are working very hard and hope to have some interesting charts soon...

22 July 2013

The Data Gathering Stage

The project is still in the data gathering stage. A little slower than I'd like but my priority centers on the job search. Yes, I must do things like find a job before I can go out and play. That said, here's an update for the sonic dataset.

• One particular stat requires finding the exact amount of time each writer has written so I've been searching out run times. On many of the new series it's listed as 45 minutes. We all know that's not the case. I had to go back to the DVDs and check the run times of individual episodes. I wish this data had already been calculated. It would have saved a lot of time.

• I have categorized approximately 99% of the sonic uses as acoustic. It requires a lot of searches and much potential future projection into what science could do in the future. But I feel it makes for a more feasible explanation having the screwdriver doing something sonically instead of stating it has the function to open doors.

• With the help of a former colleague, we are formulating various ways to display this information in different, and occasionally in a humous manner, for everyone's enjoyment.

• I was amazed I had the energy to scrub through every episode from Fury From The Deep on looking for the slightest traces of sonic uses. After finding multiple lists on line, most conflicted with all others and none were even remotely complete. I hope this will become a definitive listing. But knowing how subjective this subject is, many will still consider it wrong as open doors is listed as a result, not a function.

Some graphs will be posted shortly...

10 July 2013

Sonic Uses by Writer

I just realized, I do have something to post without revealing too much of the final product. It's a chart showing the worst offenders of sonic use.

number of uses of sonic screwdriver photo numberofusesofthesonicusesbywriter_zps4173cc93.jpg

Now it's Photobucket and it's a bad interface. So here's what you do to see it really big.
  1. Click the picture in this post.
  2. On the Photobucket page, click the magnifying glass in the lower left.
  3. No click the magnifying glass in the lower left. Yes, I said that already but you have to do it again.
  4. Adjust the enlargement of you screen as it's a hi-res picture and you may have to shrink it to see.

Says something for those new series writers. And they say the Classic series depended on it too much...

Sorry, I Was Being Shown The Door

Things got very hectic at my RL job. So hectic that I don't work there anymore. It wasn't where I should have been in the first place but we all make mistakes. That's why I haven't been around here.

So that's the bad news. The good news is the Sonic Screwdriver dataset is well on its way to being finished. I'm getting all the physical science references with all the sonic collieries. I see wonderful new charts and graphs on the horizon. I will try to put a few things up to show where it's at.

I plan on doing one now but intend for an almost immediate update right after the 50th anniversary. The goal is to have a 50 years of the sonic screwdriver graphic before the end of November.

I have sent the draft spreadsheets to my cohort for review and asked him to look them over before our meeting next week. Then we can decide just what will go onto this insane infographic.