The news industry is not an easy one to be in — let alone be good at. But sometimes you have to chuckle when you discover what the 24-hour news networks will do to fill some airtime.

Like many around the world, I found myself glued to the television following the disaster in Japan. On the other end of that media equation were producers who not only had to keep viewers informed, but also were tasked with filling airtime with new and relevant content. By the time Sunday evening came along, we got to the real interesting television guests.

First up, Bill Nye the Science Guy. I’m glad to know the fine folks at CNN have the same instincts as I do. I don’t know much about earthquakes or tsunamis, let alone nuclear power. If I worked there, my first instinct would be to get Bill Nye on the air as quickly as possible. The Science Guy took to the airwaves and immediately brought me back to a simple time of beakers, bow ties and dry ice. I call this time 6th-grade science class.

Following the Science Guy’s explanation of how nuclear reactors work, I was ready to turn off the tube and spend time with my visiting friends, whom I had been ignoring since Nye began filling my brain with the best science nuggets since Saturday morning’s with Mr. Wizard. But then something happened. That something was George Takei. That’s right, Mr. Sulu himself from "Star Trek." The Japanese-American actor was brought in as a pundit on CNN.


The constant news coming out of Japan is heartbreaking. These videos provided me a brief respite, and I hope they help you as well.

Also on MNN: Get the latest updates on the disaster

Bill Nye and Mr. Sulu are the only experts I need
As networks struggle to fill the airwaves with 24-hours of earthquake news, it's interesting to see who shows up in your living room.