Suddenly Bill Nye's disembodied head is floating across your screen, with 1s and 0s streaming in and out of his ears. Instead your carrier confronts some laws of physics and gets those 1s and 0s from the little brick in your hand to a cellular tower that's miles away, which then sends the call over a mess of wires, pipes, and lines that dates back to Alexander Graham Bell himself.
"Did you know," shouts Bill Nye (I don't know why he's shouting, but he is), "that when you make a cellular phone call your voice is transmitted as digital data, just like how a CD or DVD stores information? It's all very impressive, but who are they trying to impress?
It was a reasonable idea, after all: by providing a reliable service inside the home, a cellphone could replace the stalwart landline, whose only technological advantage in 2007 was reliability and voice quality.
Built on the little-used UMA standard, the service shipped on a couple of specially Wi-Fi-equipped mid-range featurephones and was promptly forgotten.
The reunion involves an appearance by Alan Thicke who originally hosted them.