Dr. Brian GreeneMy new book, The Hidden Reality, takes on a grand question. Is our universe the only universe? You see, there's a growing belief among scientists like me that ours may only be one among many universes populating a gigantic cosmos. In The Hidden Reality, I explore this possibility without presuming any knowledge of mathematics or physics on the part of the reader.
AmyI'm glad you talked me into this. We work so hard, sometimes, it's nice to goof off and do something silly.
SheldonAgreed. Wait till you hear how he dumbs down Werner Heisenberg for the crowd. You may actually believe you're in a comedy club.
GreeneYou can think about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle much like the special order menu that you find in certain Chinese restaurants, where you have dishes in column A and other dishes in column B, and if you order the first dish in column A, you can't order the corresponding dish in column B. That's sort of like the Uncertainly Principle.
AmySay, I heard an interesting tidbit about Howard and Bernadette.
SheldonReally, Amy? Gossip? I'm disappointed in you.
AmyNow, now. Evolutionary biologist Robin Dunbar has identified gossip as an aid to social bonding in large groups.
SheldonForgive my language, but poppycock.
AmyWhat if he's right? And by not participating in gossip, society breaks down into small feral bands of tattooed motorcycle riders fighting to the death over the last few cans of tuna fish.
SheldonFine. In the parlance of the urban music scene, what's the 4-1-1?
AmyBernadette is thinking about breaking up with Howard.
SheldonI believe our nation's tuna cans are safe. Excuse me. Dr. Greene, question?
SheldonYou've dedicated your life's work to educating the general populace about complex scientific ideas.
GreeneYes, in part.
SheldonHave you ever considered trying to do something useful? Perhaps, reading to the elderly?
SheldonYeah, but not your books. Something they might enjoy. I kid, of course. Big fan.
The apartment. The guys are playing on a Nintendo Wii.
SheldonThank you. My father taught me archery as a child. It's odd how the activity brings back the smell of Kmart bourbon.
SheldonI know. What an elf I would've made. Whoo, what do you think you're doing?
LeonardShooting at a target?
SheldonReally? I didn't see you draw one from your quiver.
LeonardI'm not gonna do that, Sheldon.
SheldonLeonard, the people at Nintendo can only go so far in helping us recreate an actual athletic experience. We have to do our part, too. (Leonard mimes drawing an arrow and stabbing Sheldon with it.) That was uncalled for, but I'll play along. Ow! I had an unusual experience with Amy last night.
LeonardReally? How could you tell?
SheldonShe was attempting to engage me in gossip.
LeonardYou don't say.
SheldonYes. I think prolonged exposure to Penny has turned her into a bit of a Gabby Gertie.
LeonardSo, what's the gossip?
SheldonOh, please, I was just pointing it out. I have no desire to engage in the activity.
LeonardFine, don't tell me.
SheldonAll right, get this. Bernadette is thinking about breaking up with Howard.
LeonardOh. That's too bad. I wonder what happened.
SheldonMm, it's hard to say. I can only speculate based on the data I collected watching my parents' marriage implode. In that case, the woman dives into religion, while the man dives into a bottle-blonde bartender who tries to buy my love with action figures. Oop! Out of arrows.
LeonardBoy, you sure get your money's worth out of these games.
LeonardPriya, can I come in?
LeonardIt's okay. You didn't know. I'll take care of it.
PriyaWhat, what did I do?
LeonardSheldon doesn't allow flossing that close to the mirror.
LeonardIt's a splatter thing. There's a little piece of tape on the floor you're supposed to stand behind.
LeonardI know. Just do it. There's a big inspection coming up, and I don't wanna lose my TV privileges.
PriyaYou really need to let me take a look at that roommate agreement one of these days.
LeonardMm, I don't know. I get a lawyer, he gets a lawyer, it's just easier to stand behind the tape.
PriyaHey, by the way, a fellow at work said I could use his Dodger tickets this weekend. Does that sound like fun?
LeonardYeah! Dodgers are baseball, right?
PriyaYou'll need to explain the game to me.
LeonardMm, it's complicated, but as I remember it, the essentials are, get chosen last, get hit by the ball, cry, go home.
PriyaWell, regardless, I've got four tickets, and I was thinking we can bring Bernadette and Howard. She's really interesting, and I bet I can get used to him.
LeonardWell, it might not be a great idea to invite those two.
LeonardDon't tell anybody I told you, but I heard she might be breaking up with him.
PriyaOh, too bad. Although I do know one person for whom that's good news.
PriyaMy brother. He's got a big crush on Bernadette.
LeonardWhat? You're kidding!
PriyaMmm. I found poems he wrote about her. Very disturbing. Oh, Bernadette, please play my clarinet.
LeonardWow, that's hard to believe.
PriyaYes. And for years, everyone in my family was convinced that he was the clarinet enthusiast. Hmm. What's that piece of tape?
LeonardOh, that one doesn't apply to you. You sit.
PennyHey! How's it going?
LeonardNot too bad. Did you hear about Howard and Bernadette?
Penny'Course I heard about it. How did you hear about it?
LeonardI heard about it from Sheldon. He got it from Amy.
PennyOh, damn it. I told Amy that in the strictest confidence. Boy, some people are such blabbermouths. Well, whatever, I'm sure Bernadette can do better.
LeonardDo you think a sexually ambivalent Indian astrophysicist with selective mutism and alcohol issues is better than a hundred-pound Jewish guy who lives with his mom?
PennyYou are kidding. Raj likes Bernadette?
LeonardI didn't say Raj. Who said Raj?
PennyOkay, give. How do you know? Did he tell you?
PennyWell, then who?
LeonardI can't say.
PennyPriya told you. Oh, what a little gossip. You know, not an attractive quality in a woman, Leonard. Not judging, just my opinion.
LeonardWell, The point is, if this got out, it would destroy Howard and Raj's friendship.
PennyYou don't have to worry. Unlike Amy and Priya, I know how to keep a secret.
LeonardYou're the one who told Amy in the first place.
RajHello, Mummy. Hello, Daddy. How are you?
Mrs Koothrappali(On webcam) We're very rich in a very poor country. So, all in all, can't complain.
Dr KoothrappaliSo, Priya, how are you enjoying staying with your brother?
PriyaIt's fine. But if I'm going to stay in Los Angeles much longer, I think I should get my own place.
Mrs KoothrappaliWhy? Is Rajesh not making you feel comfortable? Rajesh, why aren't you making your sister comfortable?
RajI am making her comfortable. Besides, she's not sleeping here half the time anyway.
Dr KoothrappaliWhat? Where are you sleeping, Priya?
PriyaIt's a figure of speech, Daddy. It means I-I work late.
Mrs KoothrappaliPlease tell me you're not dating an American. I knew this would happen. Rajesh, are you letting your sister date that little Howard boy?
Dr KoothrappaliNow, hold on. If she is dating an American, that's not a bad way to go. He's Jewish. Those chaps are very successful, and they don't drink a lot.
RajIt, it doesn't matter. Howard has a girlfriend.
RajWhat does that mean?
PriyaI'll tell you later.
RajIs something going on with him and Bernadette?
Mrs KoothrappaliWho's Bernadette?
Dr KoothrappaliDoesn't sound Jewish.
Mrs KoothrappaliYou can't tell by that. Winona Ryder is Jewish.
Dr KoothrappaliOkay, we're getting off the subject. Rajesh, I want you to try harder to make your sister feel welcome.
PriyaThank you, Daddy.
RajDon't worry. Everything I have, I share with her. Including my friend Leon-
PriyaGood night, Mummy. Good night, Daddy.
RajOh, my God, I think you broke my toe!
PriyaWell you should have kept your mouth shut.
RajFair enough. Now, what's up with Clarinet? Bernadette!
SheldonI've been thinking about Dr. Greene's efforts to make science palatable for the masses.
LeonardOh? What about it?
SheldonThat's all. I've just been thinking about it. Now, I'm thinking about fractal equations. Now I'm thinking about the origin of the phrase train of thought. Now I'm thinking about trains.
RajAre you listening to this guy?
HowardHmm? Oh, I'm sorry. I was somewhere else.
SheldonNow I'm thinking about Jell-O.
RajSo what's up?
HowardIt's a Bernadette thing.
RajOh, no. I hope everything is okay.
LeonardWhatever it is, we're here for you. You can tell us anything.
RajYeah. Good or devastating.
HowardI'm gonna ask her to marry me.
HowardYeah. I just need to figure out the right time to pop the question.
LeonardOh, I'd wait.
RajNo rush, no rush.
Howard(Phone rings) Oh, great. It's my cousin David about the ring. Hey, David, what'd you find? Oh, sure, a half a carat's fine. Her freakishly small hands make anything look big. It's one of the reasons I love her.
LeonardMan, he's gonna be blindsided.
RajI know. It'll be awful.
SheldonWhy are you smiling?
LeonardYeah, Raj, why?
RajUh, a smile means something different in my country. You know, tears of joy, smile of sadness. India's a goofy place.
SheldonOh, I'm back to trains. Woo-woo.
AmyDid I tell you our lab got a grant to study addiction?
AmyFascinating work. I recently trained a capuchin monkey to smoke cigarettes.
SheldonHave you learned anything?
AmyYes. He looks much cooler than the non-smoking monkeys. Although it's not much of a contest. The other monkeys just sit around and masturbate.
SheldonIf you don't mind, I'd like to stop listening to you and start talking.
AmyBy all means.
SheldonHoward has announced his intention to propose marriage to Bernadette.
AmyI don't understand. The original piece of gossip indicated an impending breakup.
SheldonI know. The group consensus is that his proposal will be met with an humiliating, soul-crushing rejection. Everyone was set a twitter. Although oddly, no one tweeted.
AmyIt's not surprising that the story has captured the attention of our little circle of friends. Are you familiar with meme theory?
SheldonI'm familiar with everything, but go on.
AmyMeme theory suggests that items of gossip are like living things that seek to reproduce using humans as their host.
SheldonI'm no stranger to memetic epidemiology. At Johnson Elementary School, the phrase Shelly Cooper's a smelly pooper spread like wildfire.
AmyI should think so. That's gold.
SheldonYour meme hypothesis does intrigue me. How might we examine this more closely?
AmyDo you have any ethical qualms regarding human experimentation?
SheldonIt's one of the few forms of interaction with people that I don't find repellent.
AmyWe need to fabricate a tantalizing piece of gossip.
SheldonAnd a second non-tantalizing piece to use as a control.
AmyThen we'll track its progress through our social group and interpret the results through the competing academic prisms of memetic theory, algebraic gossip and epidemiology.
SheldonLook at you, getting me to engage in the social sciences. You're a vixen, Amy Farrah Fowler.
PennyOh, hey, Amy. What's up?
AmySheldon and I engaged in sexual intercourse. In other news, I'm thinking of starting an herb garden. Mum's the word. Gotta go.
The Cheesecake Factory.
BernadetteOh, hey, Raj, what are you doing here?
RajI just felt like drinking alone, because I'm deep and dark.
BernadetteUh-huh. So, uh, Howard's not here?
RajNo. It's just one of those times when it's just you and me. Like when the three of us went to the movies and you and I waited outside the bathroom while Howard threw up Red Vines and Cherry Coke. Do you remember that?
RajMe too. Good times.
PennyHey, 16 wants to order appetizers.
RajThis was nice.
PennyWhat the hell are you doing? Howard is your best friend, and that is his girlfriend. You should be ashamed of yourself.
RajI was when I came in, but it's amazing what liquor does to guilt. Besides what you might not know is, Bernadette is planning on breaking up with Howard.
PennyWell, I know that. How do you know that?
RajMy sister told me.
PennyOh, that gossipy bitch! No offense.
RajNone taken. You should hear how she talks about you.
PennyOkay, listen, just because Howard and Bernadette are having problems, does not mean you should be here sniffing around.
RajWhat can I do? I can't stop thinking about her.
PennyAll right, try thinking about this. Sheldon and Amy had sex.
RajShut your ass!
PennyYeah, it's true. Amy told me.
RajHow did that even happen? Did they know that's what they were doing when they were doing it?
PennyI-I guess they just figured it out at some point.
RajWow. I can't believe old Smelly Pooper finally got laid.
LeonardHope you're hungry.
SheldonInteresting. A friendly sentiment in this country, cruel taunt in the Sudan. It's a lesson in context.
LeonardWill Amy be joining us for dinner?
SheldonYes, I believe so.
LeonardGood, good. Everything okay between you two?
SheldonYes. Why do you ask?
LeonardNo reason. I was just talking to Raj, and he mentioned what a lovely glow she has these days.
SheldonDid he mean as if she'd been out in the sun, tending an herb garden without wearing a hat or sunblock?
LeonardNo. That's not what he meant.
SheldonWell, we may never know. As my mother would say, the Asians are an inscrutable folk. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have work to do.
LeonardYeah, you do. You dog, you. (Goes to his room)
Sheldon(Video chatting with Amy) Did you get that?
AmyEvery word. Our false gossip meme appears to have reached node lambda.
SheldonThis is moving faster than we thought.
AmyAgreed. It appears the rate of gossip transmission is proportional to the number of nodes squared.
SheldonI must say, Amy, pretending to have intercourse with you is giving me a great deal of satisfaction.
AmySlow down, Sheldon. I'm not quite there yet.
The apartment, later.
LeonardPass the soy sauce.
AmyBernadette just asked about my sexual encounter with you. The meme has reached full penetration.
AmyNo. Happy accident.
SheldonThis is remarkable. Took less than 24 hours.
AmyI should let you know that she asked for details about our dalliance.
SheldonInteresting. So it went beyond the mere fact of coitus to a blow-by-blow, as it were.
SheldonI'm sorry. What pun?
AmyNot important. I described your lovemaking as aloof, but effective.
SheldonI wish you hadn't done that. That's going to make me a chick magnet, and I'm so busy as it is.
HowardHey, everybody, I got something I wanna ask Bernadette, and I can't think of a better time than when I'm with all my friends.
LeonardOh, hold on, Howard. There's lots of better times.
RajLeonard, please. The man is talking. Let him get it out, and let the chips fall where they may.
HowardThank you. Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski-
BernadetteOh, God. What's happening?
HowardI know things haven't been perfect with us, and we've had our problems, but, I just have to tell you, from the moment I-
BernadetteHoward, let me just stop you right here.
RajThis is it.
BernadetteYes, I will marry you.
BernadetteI will. I will!
HowardOh, I love you so much.
BernadetteOh, I love you, too.
PriyaOh, it's so exciting.
AmyI wonder what changed her mind.
SheldonPerhaps your talk of my sexual prowess renewed her faith in love.
AmyAs good an explanation as any.
PennyOh, hey, Amy. Bernadette just texted me. Howard proposed?
AmyYes, not important. Just stopped by to let you know I'm getting orthotics. Also, I'm carrying Sheldon's baby. Mum's the word.
The stairwell, moments later. Leonard is reading a text message.
AmyWow. Is there anything on there about orthotics?