I like CSI, yes, the TV series CSI=Crime Scene Investigation. I know a lot of you out there like CSI as well. In fact if time permitted I would watch all the 3 CSIs. CSI, CSI=Miami and CSI=NY. But I like the original CSI the best. Maybe it was the "chemistry-trained" in me that make me like the series so much. I am fully aware that since it is a TV series that they are potrayed as a very glamourous job, those acted the parts are potrayed as being such noble and professional criminalist or chemists as they are called in Malaysia.
Last year when I restricted my daughters to watch TV during the week-nights, I would still allow them to watch CSIs. Kak Long's interest in chemistry grew by watching CSI. Hubby does not like it because he said it is a slow show, no action. He prefers action packed, people shooting bullets at other people or smacking people's anatomy with their fists or legs. Too violent.
I remembered between third and final year in USM, we had a chance to do a practical or industrial training. I was very interested in analytical chemistry at that time. The lectures was an old, small size and disabled man (tempang, but the type with very strong willpower). He used to work in the Jabatan Kimia Pulau Pinang before he applied to further his study and became the lecturer in USM. A friend Ainon and I were accepted to do a practical training in the Chemistry Department (near the GH) in Penang during the holidays. If not mistaken we were there for 6 weeks. So we had the chance to actually be hands on with the work of the Chemistry department (2 weeks at each lab). We were not allowed to do even enter the crime lab for obvious reason.
2 weeks each were spent in the labs, strating with the microbiology lab where they will have to cultivate and study spores, algae and microorganism. More on the food and water contamination for those sample sents for evaluation by other government department (DOE and the likes). At that time this lab was run by a lady chemist. Then we were in the water lab where they calculate the BOD and COD of the water samples. Maybe Hana Kirana and OOD will be able to give a proper definition of the two terms. I think with more polluted rivers all over Malaysia, this lab is busier now then previously. The next lab which we were able to enter and help with actual work was the food lab. We heard that the staffs (they were understaff then) were looking forward for us to be there for 2 weeks. Free labour, who don't want right?. This lab would analyse the dye stuff used in the food whether they are what the manufacturer claimed that they were, the % of rice as per claimed on the packet, whether the tea leaves were added with colourings, those kind of stuff.
On the last day of our stay there we did request to enter the crime lab. Due to the fact that the lecturer used to work there, we were given the permission. I can actually relate the way the bullets were matched in CSI and in the crime lab was very similar. Using the microscope to match the groove made by the fired bullet. At that point DNA, were not as popular as now, and finger prints were still being matched manually by samples.
Back then, most things were very manually done. Even the chromotogaphy was done very manually for the die to be seperated in their different "wavelength". I hope the instruments have been upgraded. To see the CSIs do their jobs so fast and efficient with the help of the most sophisticated gadgets and software, I wonder whether our Chemistry Depts are as sophisticated. I wouldn't mind working in such environment potrayed in the CSI. In fact I think I would have loved it. I would be able to actually practice my chemistry knowledge. But, being a criminal chemist is a stressful job, you really have to be so thorough to be able to handle all the questions posted in court by the defense lawyer. I was told that one of the Chemists in Penang at that time, wrap and re-wrap the evidence 8 times!! to make sure she wrapped the right thing. It was troublesome because the evidence need to be sealed when they are brought to the court.
On the funny side, I was told sometimes by some people that they can "open up" to me because I seemed to have asked the "right" questions. I remembered some of my friends used to tell me their problems. Maybe I am just a good listener or maybe I also a good CSI ?
To those who like CSI which CSI character do you like?
I like Grissom, my daughter Kak Long like the DNA guy in CSI, what his name? I can't remember.