Forensics Comes To NYC

Discovery Times Square has recreated the magical realm of Hogwarts.  It has resurrected the secrets of the Titanic and Pompeii and has allowed Egypt’s boy king to have a starring role in heart of the Theater District.  Currently, the large-scale exhibition center is bringing the world of forensics science right to New Yorker’s fingertips with CSI: The Experience.

Ever had the temptation to walk the grid of a homicide scene?  Ever desire to play detective? Well, CSI: The Experience takes the game of whodunit to another level.  It is the game of Clue on steroids.  Gone is the notion that Professor Plum off the body with the candlestick as you roll dice and try to determine if your hypothesis is correct.  CSI: The Experience is a true interactive murder mystery that is enjoyable for the entire family.

Before you get introduced to the crime scene, you receive a clipboard and sheet which you will use to record your findings.  As new recruits, you receive a CSI vest and are briefed through a video featuring CSI: Crime Scene Investigation creator Anthony E. Zuiker and Dr. Gilbert “Gil” Grissom, played by William Petersen.  After the video you and your class of neophytes are guided through one of three crime scenes.  Each scene has five forensic lab stations and video messages from additional CSI: Crime Scene Investigation  cast members as well as professional forensic experts all trying to assist you with the finding the poltroon that committed the heinous act, using the data you collect.

Totally engaging and enlightening, CSI: The Experience is by far the best exhibit I have witnessed at Discovery Times Square.  Sure, it is fun and educational to peer at ancient artifacts and reflect how much humans have or have not changed since Eve bit the apple, but CSI: The Experience truly lives up to its name.  You are not just walking through the exhibit; you are a part of the exhibit.  CSI: The Experience is recommended for ages 12 and older. The video portions are presented in English and Spanish subtitles.  CSI: The Experience has a limited run at Discovery Times Square, located at 226 West 44th Street, and is open Sunday – Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  The average time to complete the exhibit is between 60 and 90 minutes.

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Photos courtesy of Edelman Public Relations


The Fame Queen Takes the Pop Crown

The little monsters in Gagaland are rejoicing and dancing in the streets.  Lady Gaga’s reign as pop music’s newest monarch was cemented at Sunday night’s 53rd Annual Grammy Awards telecast on CBS.  She took home the golden phonograph for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Best Short Form Music Video and Best Pop Vocal Album.  Also, she delivered one of the most anticipated performances of the evening when she sang “Born This Way,” a revamped version of Madonna’s “Express Yourself” complete with Horton-styled, Aileyesque choreography. 

But while the legions of Gaga fans were celebrating, this viewer was not so happy.  Overall, the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards was lackluster to say the least.  I doubt I could have had a worse time watching a bunch of crickets performing a mating song on the National Geographic channel.    The show opened up with LL Kool J introducing a star-studded girl group that paid tribute to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and included Florence Welch, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride and Christina Aguilera.  The crew of ladies belted out some of Franklin’s most iconic works and it seemed that the Grammys were off to a rocking start.  But it appeared that music’s biggest night never fully got off the runway as the performances were sans the oomph of past Grammy shows. 

More than ever before the Grammys’ formula showed like a slip hanging from an expensive cocktail dress.  A physic was not needed to foretell the winners, all one needed to do was watch the performers.  Almost every performer that hit the stage won their category (and frankly that bit is getting pretty old).  Also the Grammys’ method of ad-hoc collabos was for the most part insipid.  The most unlikely duo to perform was Ceelo Green and Gwyneth Paltrow; they along with a band of Muppets sang “F**k You.”   Green looked like the Muppet Czar as he donned a colorful, feathery number that resembled an Elton John throwback.  Paltrow looked sexy in a black catsuit, but the most entertaining part of this duo was watching Paltrow balance herself in a pair of uber-high colorblock heels.  Another anticipated performance was that of Mick Jagger, and although it was enjoyable watching him and Raphael Saadiq on stage, I have seen Mick Jagger give more spirited performances. 

One good component of the Grammys’ formula is that in this digital, Auto-Tuned age, The Recording Academy still values musicians over artists as the top honors of the night, Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best New Artist were won by Lady Antebellum, The Suburbs and Esperanza Spalding instead of the pop stars du jour. 




Probably the most ironic element of the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards is that it started out paying homage to the woman most synonymous with soul music and that was exactly what the show was lacking – soul.   In past Grammy shows, a more eclectic blend of music was present in the selection of performances that exposed the viewers at home, especially the youth, to genres of music they would not normally listen to.  Question for the academy, where was the classical, jazz, Latin or gospel music?  How was this music’s biggest night when more music outside of Billboard’s Top 40 was not represented in the telecast?  If this is an omen for Grammy nights in years to come, then the world should just wait for the MTV Awards because the Grammys will not be worth watching.


Photos:, Lester Cohen/, Kevin Mazur/