Loading file... File loaded.

Go to another Season? 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Menu Options: Latest Files || Help & Info || Other Science Resources
 Science File Information:
  • Mulder and Scully travel to a community of Hasidic Jews near Brooklyn to investigate the mysterious strangulation deaths of teenagers involved in the hate-crime murder of a local store owner, Isaac Luria. As we see from the introduction to the episode, someone has summoned a golem to avenge his death. A golem is a mythical, mute, nocturnal creature sculpted from of mud. What's so scientific about mud, you ask? Well for one thing, Mulder uses mud found at the crime scene to track the killer back to the cemetary. Mud is no more than soil and water mixed together to a sticky consistency. Believe it or not, there's an entire field of science devoted to the study of soils, so if you're really interested in mud, read on.

    For a simple introduction to soil study, go to http://avenue.gen.va.us/Community/Environ/ EnvironEdCenter/Habitat/SoilStudy/Sshome.HTML.
    To see an elementary school study of the microscopic organisms that a 5th/6th grade class found in a sample of mud, read http://www.nueva.pvt.k12.ca.us/~science/mudcomm4.96/ mudcomm.4.96.html.

  • The hallmark clue left at each strangulation is that Isaac Luria's fingerprints are found on the victims' throats. Sure, Isaac's dead, but they're still finding his fingerprints. Is it possible that a fingerprint could be mistaken or forged? Not likely--no two people have exactly the same fingerprints.

    For more information on forensic fingerprinting, read the Forensic Science Web Page's article at http://users.aol.com/murrk/page6.htm.

  • When Mulder and Scully exhume the remains of Luria to find if someone has stolen his body to plant the fingerprints on the victims, Mulder discovers a tattered book behind the corpse's head. When he picks it up, it bursts into flames spontaneously. Scully tries to rationalize this by saying that arsenic in the groundwater could have caused a buildup of arsine gas in the coffin that combusted when it came into contact with the air. Scully, enough already. Arsine gas is a highly flammable and poisonous gas, and arsenic has been known to pollute groundwater, but it seems that the agents would have been poisoned by it before it would cause a book to catch fire. Besides, arsine gas acts like gasoline vapors--it needs a heat source or a spark to combust. (As a side note, arsine gas has been found to be a contributing factor to SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.)

    To learn more about Arsine (AsH3), check out http://www.worksafe.gov.au/worksafe/fulltext/docs/h4/738.htm.

  • Mulder finds out that the golem has been brought forth by an incantation of one word, the Hebrew word "emet." This word has quite a bit of symbolism to it, because it means "truth," but when the "eh" sound at the beginning is removed, it means "death." The study of words is a fascinating science; some scientists even think that humans are genetically predispositioned to learn languages, a theory called glossogenetics.

    For an interesting article on research being done into the science of linguistics, go to http://www.research.ucla.edu/chal/2lingus.htm.
    For Yahoo's compilation of linguistics web sites, check out http://www.yahoo.com/Social_Science/ Linguistics_and_Human_Languages/Languages/.

 File #:

Basic Plot:
The murder of a Jewish store-owner by teenage hatemongers is avenged by a mythical undead creature.

Synopsis URLs:
Synopsis @ Official X-Files Site
Synopsis @ Deep Background

Title means:
As defined by The American Heritage College dictionary, a kaddish is "a Jewish prayer recited by mourners after the death of a close relative."

End of science file.
Go to a Season (for more info)? 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Menu Options: Latest Files || Help & Info || Awards & Webrings || Other Science Resources

The Truth Is Here...At huah.net_