Rodney didn't get two PhDs so that he could host a kids' science show on a criminally underfunded public television station, but it had its moments. College students were so jaded; they fought about everything. (Tenured college professors fought about everything, too, but the one thing they seemed to agree on was that MIT no longer needed to employ Rodney McKay.) But these kids -- science was like magic to them. It made their breath catch and their eyes light up and he was the one that got to teach them about physics and magnets and exothermic chemical reactions.
Rodney used his big stick to tip the catalyst into the beaker. Its contents exploded with a bang and a flash of light.
"Oooooooh!" said the kids.
His assistant, John -- ridiculous, frustrating Sheppard, full of charm and energy and child-like enthusiasm -- was wearing knee-high rubber boots, goggles, and a white lab coat. He jumped straight up into the air. "That was super cool. What do you say, kids? You wanna see it again?"
John turned his big, goggly eyes to Rodney. "How about it, Dr. Rodney?"
"Why? Didn't you see it the first time?"
"C'mon, Doc, for me?"
And John, who despite his clownish exterior actually understood the science, still treated it like magic, like something Rodney conjured up just for him.
"If you insist," Rodney sniffed, "but this time I'm going to explain why it explodes. Pay attention."
"Yes!" John said, arms raised over his head in victory. The kids cheered.