The Colbert Report

Season 4 Episode 62

George Johnson

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM May 07, 2008 on Comedy Central
8.8
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George Johnson
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Tonight Stephen welcomes science writer and author of The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments, George Johnson.

Also, Stephen talks with artist and SJSU professor Hasan Elahi about his being on the terrorism watch list. He created a webiste http://www.trackingtransience.net that tracks his location and every purchase he makes purportedly in order to "aid the government in tracking him".moreless
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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (9)

      • Stephen Colbert: What makes an experiment beautiful?
        George Johnson: It's a kind of beauty in the classical sense, like a Greek statue, with nice, clean lines, and well proportioned.
        Stephen Colbert: Maybe the lady's got no top on. Beautiful.You know, beautiful experiment…But here's my problem with beautiful experiments. When you experiment and investigate the world, the scientific method, you are dissecting the rainbow. What could be more beautiful of an experiment than to just look at something and say, "God did it"? That's the most beautiful, possible explanation because it involves salvation and the afterlife. Why do we have junk it up with thought?

      • Hasan Elahi: I had red dreads at the same.
        Stephen Colbert: You had red dreads? Oh, that is pure Jihadi.

      • Stephen Colbert: You're actually surveying the people who are surveying you?
        Hasan Elahi: …When I'm looking through the log files, I get some really interesting hits…the pentagon, the secretary of defense. I get one from the eop.gov…It turns out it's the Executive Office of the President…
        Stephen Colbert: You've got a fan.

      • Stephen Colbert: Are you an immigrant, sir?
        Hasan Elahi: Yes, I was born in Bangladesh.
        Stephen Colbert: Ok, that's one problem I have with you. By doing the surveillance on yourself, you are taking the job from an American citizen.
        Hasan Elahi: That's true but I am an American citizen.
        Stephen Colbert: You're an American citizen now.

      • Hasan Elahi: Intelligence agencies all operate in an industry where their commodity is information…so by me disclosing all this to everybody…
        Stephen Colbert: …it becomes worthless.

      • Stephen Colbert: Thank you for helping us fight the war on you. When did you first suspect that you were a terrorist?
        Hasan Elahi: According to Homeland Security, it was in June 19, 2002…I was flying in from overseas…And, as I'm coming in, I get taken in by INS which is unusual given I'm a U.S. citizen…

      • Stephen Colbert: Everyone's got a favorite suspected terrorist on the list. My favorite terrorist is Hasan Elahi. Just saying his name makes my heart go up one terror alert level. Why Elahi? Well, to begin with, he's innocent, a quality so rare in someone so guilty...But the FBI refused to give Elahi a written letter clearing him of suspicion because he refused to change his name, religion, and skin color…Of course, all of this does not mean this man is not dangerous. He is both an artist and a professor. I personally would not go within a mile of this guy.

      • Stephen Colbert: Terrorism is still a danger out there and the most successful tool to fight it is the Terrorist Watch List. How do we know the Watch List is working? Because the Watch List is now up to 755,000 names. Hopefully, we will soon hit our target number of everyone. But, unfortunately, some extremist coddlers out there are trying to get one well-known terrorist off the list: Nelson Mandela. (shows picture) Oh, oh, you can sense the menace in those eyes. Back in the 1970s, the African National Congress was declared a terrorist group by the Apartheid Government of South Africa. America, of course, had to follow suit because the ANC was trying to bring down their own government which is the same reason all Democrats should be put on the Terrorist Watch List. But now, even Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wants Mandella removed from the list, saying his inclusion is "…Frankly, a rather embarrassing matter." Yeah, it does seem strange that the Secretary of State can't get a Nobel Prize winner off the list…unless Condie's on the list too. After all, she knew that Bin Laden was determined to attack the United States and did nothing. Hmm, curious.

      • Stephen Colbert: Here's an experiment. Will two grown up men continue to touch something that hurts them? (as Stephen and guest continue to electrocute themselves)

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