Damn, Total Recall has been lying to me all along...
It would be highly fascinating to find out you imploded, as opposed to exploded, but you're definitely right, the very theory and science of what space is composed of contradicts the theories posed in poor sci-fi flicks. But at least they make some sci-fi flicks more grotesquely interesting (what would Total Recall be without Arnold turning to mush?)
I'll tell you what killed a perfectly good sci-fi movie for me:
Remember in Mission to Mars where the guy was falling to mars and whatsername was trying to save him, so naturally she holds down the jets until half her fuel is gone, but since she's not right there at him she then has to turn around and watch him open his helmet to the vacuum and then burn up on reentry?
GOD I HATED THAT SCENE. All the stupid cave-woman had to do was accelerate until she was moving a little faster than him. This would have taken, oh, I dunno, 10% of her fuel maybe? Then COAST (FOR GOD'S SAKE) until you get to the guy and drag his hairy butt back to whereever it was she was saving him from. She could have followed him all the way around the damn planet without using any fuel at all if she wanted to - I wanted to start screaming at the director right there in the theater "IT'S SPACE YOU F'IN MORON! THERE IS NO DRAG TO SLOW HER DOWN AND SHE WILL CONTINUE INFINITELY IN THE SAME DIRECTION UNTIL SOME OTHER FORCE ACTS ON HER, OR UNTIL HER TINY MIND CEASES FUNCTIONING, WHICHEVER IS FIRST, YOU FRIGGIN AUSTRALOPITHECINE!".
It ruined the whole movie for me, which is sad, because as I recall that was pretty much the only blunder in the movie, scientifically speaking.
That STILL ticks me off when I think about it...and this was, what, 3 years ago?
Incidentally, regarding the original topic, I bet you'd explode if you acclimatized to a deep-sea dive or were pressurized in a hyperbaric chamber for a few hours to, say, 5 atmospheres, and *THEN* were dumped straight to vacuum.
TO THE MOON, ALICE!
I mean, fer cryin' out loud, "boost and coast" is the WHOLE BASIC PHILOSOPHY OF OUR SPACE PROGRAM! IT'S HOW THE CHARACTERS IN THE MOVIE *GOT* TO MARS (in order to pointlessly fall into the atmosphere) IN THE FIRST PLACE!
I think I had better go lie down.
Does anyone else ever come back and look at something they wrote the night before and feel a bit surprised at themselves?
I have to agree with Wirehead - that one part of Mission to Mars completely crushed my hopes of it being any sort of decent sci-fi flick. But for two distinctly different reasons... First, as Wirehead amusingly points out, there were definitely alternative courses of action in saving the "drifter". To kill himself as a solution for keeping his wife from him because she was low on fuel was rather ridiculous, what's to say the depression of watching her husband melt wouldn't cause her to commit suicide and negate the reason he'd done it anyway? Second, for the sake of plots, it was rather idiotic to kill off a character at that specific point in the movie in that way after having such a large, non-human catalyst kill off the first few characters. Very much of conflict of intensifying interests. It could definitely have done with a better screenplay that correctly utilized space technology and plot progression, but what can you do about it now?
Apparently you can complain about it on the Internet after the fact.
And isn't the fact of people complaining on the Internet about movies the whole basis of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back?
So, we can deduce from this thread that Tim Robbins and Don Cheadle will one day appear at Jackson and Wirehead's doorsteps to kick their asses?
Edited by Aesopian: Feb. 12, 2003 - 3:19:57 PM
You tell those pinko Hollywood nancy-boys to bring it on.
I'd like to see them try...
Yeah, but only if you complain on moviepoopshoot.com
As always, I'm amused at one's ability to find such interesting internet sites.
On a dare against myself, I bet I couldn't find an interesting site in less than 20 seconds after reading Jacksons last comment.
Being on both sides of this bet, I both win and lose.
And here's why.
is not exactly an "interesting find" but rather the web site that is featured in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
. They bought the domain and created the site before the movie came out so that people seeing the movie could actually go to the site and see the same thing that was in the film. Forward thinking.
Mboffin is right--I'm about the biggest Jay and Silent Bob fan around. But Aesopian wins the award for the funniest site. You guys have got to check out that Facts on Farts site!
Have you been to Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash
? My sister just went there and bought me a Milk and Cheese
comic and a J&SB sticker, and a beanie with "Snoogans" printed around it.
I know that The Matrix is worshipped by many, but I personally have several bones to pick with that movie.
Looking past all the physics in this movie is pretty easy because, after all, the world is just a computer simulation and so of course some rules can be broken.
But in "the real world", they use human bodies to produce energy by feeding them liquified remains of dead bodies. Haven't they ever heard of the laws of thermodynamics? I shouldn't even have to begin to explain why you could not produce a profit of energy from a human body by only feeding it other dead bodies. Do they have an infinite supply of dead bodies or have they figured out how to get more dead bodies than they hare born? Or maybe they've simply perfected perpetual motion.
Here's a novel idea:
IT WAS JUST A MOVIE.
If you want something to be really mad about, check out the official reports on the crash of TWA 800. Apparantly, when it explodes, seperating the cockpit from the body, and losing as aerodynamics in doing so, it gained speed and somehow gained altitude.
In re: the Matrix thing I would assume that if the "free" humans have access to oatmeal glop then the other humans do as well. It was also mentioned that the machines "make use of a form of fusion combined with ..." (the human battery thing).
I'd like to make a distinction between things that are actually obvious stupidities and/or violations of the laws of physics, and things which simply aren't explained in the movie. My complaint was obviously FAR more annoying and, therefore, more valid for this thread. So, NYEAH!
I have to agree with Aesopian and Wirehead:
I'd like to make a distinction between things that are actually obvious stupidities and/or violations of the laws of physics, and things which simply aren't explained in the movie.
For me, the really bad ones are the type of crap put on the WB or UPN. I could care less about the physics, as long as it isn't glaringly bad. I care about the cool special effects used in these sci-fi movies. The Matrix was great because the special effects were so awesome that we were willing to believe anything in the movie. But these TV movies or shows where they try to do the same stuff, but with 1/1000 the budget, just don't work. The only time I find myself thinking about stuff like this is when the movie is really bad and my attention drifts. So as long as they have cool special effects and a decent plot, I could care less if they mess with the laws of nature every once in a while.
I fail to see how that's agreeing with me, seeing as how my whole rant was based on hating the celluloid that was wasted to print movies with obvious physics violations...but...thanks for the moral support, anyway.
I like stuff with cool SFX, but that just can't save a lot of movies - like (shudder) Armageddon. Good god, it was SO HORRIBLE. I mean, what's the point of flying your damn space shuttle through a cloud of comet fragments under full boost as if it's an F16 or something? And just how the hell were they swooping around like that to DODGE the comet chunks? THERE'S NO AIR FOR THE CONTROL SURFACES TO WORK ON! ARGH ARGH ARGH!
Anyway, "messing with the laws of nature" is permissible if the story is at least internally consistent. But when you take a movie that tries to place itself in our everyday world (i.e. Armageddon) and then have it do things that would not physically be possible, it just SUCKS. I mean, it's not like I want them to flash the vector equations showing how it works on screen just so I know it's accurate, but if the whole point of the movie is to be a perfectly accurate representation of how something might actually happen (i.e. Mission to Mars) then you've gotta stick to the facts or it defeats the whole purpose.
Like, Rain of Fire. That was a damn cool movie. No violations aside from the idea that there were dragons, (which is not impossible). Lord of the Rings. Great movie. Any weirdnesses there, well, it's magic. Fine. All I want is for the movies to at least make sense within themselves and fit the genre they are addressing.
Reign of Fire was surprisingly good. I was expecting a lot more cheesy lines and quirky characters, but it remained rather serious the entire film. It was just an accurate account of what the world would be like if dragons took over the earth. Rather matter of fact.
Here's a thought: If everything that we "dream up" and have happen in movies was actually 100% possible in real life, then we wouldn't be here on Earth like this. To some degree a theory has to be "played with" and mutated simply because there is no known absolute of how that "something" really is. In other words, if we knew that our "reality" was just a controlled facade and we knew how to manipulate it, a movie portraying this would either be made with absolute technical perfection and not marvelled at by anyone or it simply wouldn't exist from boredom of portraying the already-known. The whole concept of contemporary movies seems to be to push the threshold into the barely known and plain unknown. And, the genres of sci-fi/fantasy is widely acknowledged as the genres where "anything is possible". While a glaring atrocity such as Armageddon is undeniably offensive, many of them are actually worthy of our mild respect for their creativeness. After all, the Matrix DID "take the world by storm".
Longest MB thread ever? I like it.
Dangit, I was just going to comment on the length of this. You done stole my thunder.
Anyway, nicely put, Jackson. Also, I DO very much respect a movie that manages to open up a whole new area of ideas for people like the Matrix did. It's the modern day equivalent of things like Arthur C. Clarke's books - they give people ideas that may eventually make it to the real world (though hopefully not in the case of the Matrix, of course). Arthur C. Clarke was the first person (I believe) to write about the idea of an artificial satellite being used for communications or as something USEFUL - and look at what we do with them today. Larry Niven writes about the Bussard Ramjet for interstellar travel. Last year when I visited Kennedy Space Center, they had a big diorama up of all the alternative methods of space travel they were investigating - number one was a Bussard Ramjet (in case you're interested, the others were an ion drive, nuclear rockets, and travel via Einsteinian wormholes, in that order).
I'm just trying to say that the movies have to follow the rules as we know them, unless the rule being bent/broken is actually part of the plot. That is, we all know gravity is universal. So, in a normal movie, you would not expect to see some schmuck go flying off across the street and smack into a building, unless the whole premise of the movie was that that guy was sometimes immune to gravity, which turns out to be some heretofore unknown psi power or something...or Nike accidentally made an antigravity compound and made the soles of his shoes with it...whatever.
I think you get the idea.
I did read a sci-fi book wherein the idea of space/time portals was briefly touched on without too much prodding or probbing. It was fascinating to later hear a scientist say that the theories so casually posed in the book weren't far from the way it could be.
Certainly does seem that "imagined" ideas are sometimes dug into a bit and expanded on, only to become the latest discovery in science.
Larry Niven writes about the Bussard Ramjet for interstellar travel. Last year when I visited Kennedy Space Center, they had a big diorama up of all the alternative methods of space travel they were investigating - number one was a Bussard Ramjet
I can't find the link, but I once read part of Nasa's website that described and had pictures of a working ion drive prototype.
And you know... Well, I think
it was Clarke, possibly Heinlein, (I have the book at home somewhere) but a book one of the two wrote led directly to Project Orion. Can't remember the title, but it was about a planetbound race that had to prove their sophistication by getting themselves into space, and they ended up doing it by setting off nuclear bombs under a big metal shield, thus boosting the craft into orbit.
What a fascinating concept - using bombs for their boosting capabilities. Hmm.
Yeah, and it'd work. Only problem is the fallout, of course.
Maybe someday all the bombs the US and Russia have stockpiled can be used as fuel to get us to Mars and back.
Why would we want to come back? :)
Has anyone else noticed that though this is such a long thread, there are only two short posts by Mboffin?
Hehe. Re: the nukes as propulsion idea: it's been proposed. It's doable as well, but the idea was to use them as deep-space propulsion, not as lift to get off the ground. I would think it would require a disgusting number of nukes to get you to orbit - because they weren't designed with propulsion in mind. In order to use them for propulsion you'd need a very large dish to focus the blast, made of something both very strong, and very light. Obviously the smaller it is the more tightly you can focus the blast, and thus the more efficient the propulsion, but so far as I know we have nothing strong enough to withstand the kind of pressure you'd need to make it truly efficient.
As an interesting side note, the Bussard ramjet was considered unusable as a form of propulsion for anything other than robot ships until recently because there was no way to shield the living areas from the extremely strong magnetic fields involved (think disrupting electrical nerve transmissions = instant death). However, a recent development in superconducting ceramics that I saw in Popular Science seems to bode well for this method - some high-temperature superconductors are capable of completely blocking electromagnetic transmissions of apparently every type with only minimal thicknesses - thin enough that you could use them for shielding for a life support compartment without making the ship so heavy you couldn't go anywhere in it.
The only real barrier is our current lack of true understanding of real fusion, and figuring out a) what is the minimum velocity required for the ramjet to function in interstellar space (not inside a solar system where you've got a solar wind rich in hydrogen) and b) how do we accelerate the ship to a velocity it can function at? In Niven's books a linear accelerator (basically a huge railgun) was used to fire the ships off from a mountain on the moon, but at the moment we don't seem to have the (ahem) spare change to build something that ambitious - and if you get something going that fast in atmosphere (like if you were launching it from Earth) it'd burn up or fragment before ever leaving the air.
An *exceptionally* cool development: Anyone ever heard of the Kenia beanstalk? It's been in several Sci-Fi's by several authors, most notably Peter F. Hamilton's AWESOME Reality Dysfunction series. For the uninitiated, you move a nice big asteroid into a geostationary orbit (probably using bombs set off in craters as mentioned above), then anchor it DIRECTLY to the Earth using a superstrong cable made of carbon-carbon - buckytubes. Some eggheads (I believe from NASA) were interviewed on this idea recently and they admitted to having figured it all out - it would WORK if we could manufacture enough b. fullerene tubes to make the cable a couple of feet thick.
Then you just built a super-express elevator and have a one-stage to orbit that costs a few bucks a trip. You can build anything on the asteroid that you can fit onto (or into) it since no matter how heavy it gets it will not fall. Then you use that to ferry parts for starships et. al. to an assembly area on the asteroid and put them together out in space, where they belong.
Unfortunately, the total annual producition capacity for buckminsterfullerene amounts to perhaps a few ounces or at most a pound or two. The compound was only discovered in about 1992 or so. Note also that the majority of that production is buckyBALLS which are not what we need - we need buckyTUBES which are a totally different arrangement, atomically speaking.
Anyway, the eggheads said if they got "sufficient funding" (I'm thinking "this makes the ISS look cheap) they could do it, since the only problem is adequate quantity of the material - NO NEW SCIENCE OR DEVELOPMENT WOULD BE NEEDED. Hell, in the 1960s we went from knowing pretty much nothing about rockets to putting a (rather large one) on the moon, with considerably less financial incentive at the time. I think we could see this in our own lifetimes, folks. Think of taking the elevator to outer space for your 60th birthday present. Screw that stoopid NSync kid's $40,000,000 ride to the ISS - this would cost maybe a thousand bucks or something - cost of the electricity to run the elevator plus profit.
There really is a large incentive to do this for companies, too. Imagine if you needed to launch a new communications satellite and all you had to do was send it up and have a small booster on it to put it in the orbit you need? The possibilities are endless.
(Amusing side note: the NSync dork recently defaulted on the second half of his payments to the Russian space agency, and as of the last time I heard he wasn't returning their calls, as if this was some creepy ex-girlfriend he didn't want to talk to anymore or something)
Final PS: If you haven't read The Reality Dysfunction, I HIGHLY recommend it. This is, without question, the BEST sci-fi series I've ever read, excellently written with just plain BADASS ideas. Check them out.
Oh - I completely forgot about the thing I originally intended to write about. Ion drives.
Our (America's) current space travel strategy involves using high boost (like anywhere from 1-7 G) for a short period of time and then coasting for a hell of a long time to get there. The fastest thing we've ever launched moved at 27.4 miles per second once up to full speed. It passed Pluto recently (about 2 years ago). It was launched in either 1974 or 1978, I forget which.
I don't know about you guys, but I don't want to wait 25 years or so just to see some stinkin' ball of methane ice (pun most definitely intended).
Now: Imagine you have an ion drive that accelerates you continuously at only 1/100 of a G. How long will it take you to get to Pluto?
About 2 *weeks*. NASA demonstrated a proof-of-concept ion drive which produced about 1/100 G of accelration continuously on a mass of about 100 grams or so. This was, I think, 3 years ago.
This is a functional technology and is within the current realm of possibility with little remaining to do, aside only from problems of scale (and we are talking BIG differences - about 6 orders of magnitude). I think that's just too damn cool for words.
If you haven't read The Reality Dysfunction, I HIGHLY recommend it.
Sounds good. I'll have to check it out.
Is it hard SF? That sort of stuff, Niven and Pournelle, that's my favorite.
To give you some idea:
Short summary of the universe the story occurs in:
Biotechnology continues to progress at its current rate. about 30 years from now, someone develops a biomod called the "affinity" gene. You can get this implanted in yourself and in an animal, a friend, whatever, and you are able to telepathically communicate with the person, or control the animal, and percieve using their senses, etc. Affinity bonded animals become amazingly useful - think police dogs, dolphins disarming deep sea mines..etc... but the current Pope at the time (Pope Elanor I...heh) declares that this is an unholy infringement upon the divinity, or something like that, and gives a deadline beyond which anyone using affinity will be automatically excommunicated.
The deadline passes. Some people swear off the affinity gene (and, in effect, biotechnology in general, since all new biotech ends up being controlled by affinity bonds), and some people go whole hog for biotech. Some people, the majority, just use both.
You end up with your normal people who use whatever is convenient as long as it works, another group which is soley electronic - where at an orbiting spaceport you have some guy who has replaced his skeletal system with carbon fiber struts and servos, and replaced his skin with black micrometeorite armor so he can work indefinitely in zero G with no external space suit - the perfect high-tech longshoreman. Just an example. FTL travel occurs by means of your standard sci-fi starships using nodes which are evenly distributed around a ship that can increase their mass to the point that they collapse the entire ship into an event horizon which can be controlled. "Jumps" of about ten light years are possible, longer for military ships. These guys are known as the Adamists, for their usually strict adherence to the Bible etc, but this type of ship is also the most common because it can be manufactured quickly. The third segment of society is made up of what are usually called the Edenists. They use very little, if any, electronics as we know them. They use biological computers and living spaceships which work roughly the same way the Adamist ships do, but which are sentient and bond with their pilots for life. Edenists live in giant floating habitats made of engineered coral, which are several km. long and cylinder shaped. They rotate along their axis for induced gravity from centripetal force and have a containment field of plasma running the length of the habitat for natural sunlight. The habitats orbit around large gas giants like Jupiter and generate all the power they need from their rotation - they have long cables coming out of one end which swing in and out of the strong magnetic fields from the planets and this induces current. All raw material comes from asteroids etc. which are shoved into one end of the habitat by tenders and it "digests" them, using the rock etc. to "grow" new things. The whole interior of the habitat is basically a beautiful park. One end has a docking ledge for voidhawks (the sentient starships) and most people live in starscrapers - buildings which extend outward from the exterior surface of the habitat. If you don't want to work you don't have to as an edible substance is extruded from a nipple in your apartment - but it ain't filet mignon so most people are very productive. They also have "general affinity" which means basially they are telepathic to anyone else who has the affinity gene - not just to one person or one animal. The habitat itself is also alive and sentient - sort of a gaea entity which looks after everyone. Edenist habitats also are generally very wealthy since they are in close proximity to large quantities of hydrogen which they can easily harvest from the gas giants and sell to the Adamists to fuel their fusion-powered starships. I should also explain the concept of combat wasps, as this occurs on the opening couple of pages and it took me a while to figure out what the heck he was talking about - a combat wasp is basically a deep space torpedo. They can accelerate at anywhere from 20G to 100G depending on their method of propulsion (some can use antimatter) and each contains several methods of attack - fusion bombs, charged particle beams, etc, and they launch decoys and have electronic warfare capabilities to prevent themselves from being tracked and destroyed. Ships defend themselves using other combat wasps at long distance, and using railguns and particle beam weapons at close range. There's also something called a Blackhawk - someone reverse engineered the genetic code of a captured voidhawk and made their own version - slanted more towards high speed and maneuverability. These are mostly owned by privateers or mercenaries. They don't live as long as regular voidhawks - maybe only 70 years or so instead of something like 100 or 120, but they can "jump" farther and accelerate faster in real space.
And that aint even the STORY, folks. Any book with a title like "The Neutronium Alchemist" has got to be good...(the next-to-last book in the series). What you want to get is either a hardback entitled "The Reality Dysfunction", or a paperback entitled "The Reality Dysfunction Part One: Emergence". You should probably just get "...Part Two: Consolidation" at the same time because you'll hate yourself if you don't.
Incidentally, Joe - I still have your copy of ShoGun that I borrowed in 1994. Do you want it back?
I've been looking for some good reading material, thank you for the concise synopsis of a book that sounds worthy of my time.
Incidentally, Joe - I still have your copy of ShoGun that I borrowed in 1994. Do you want it back?
Hah! I wondered what happened to it.
No, that's ok--keep it. I got a new copy about two years ago and promptly read it 3 times in as many months.
Now, if you find Sam's "Morsby" CD...
No, can't say that I've seen it...at least not since I wonked Jon on the head with a sock full of stone-hard bread rolls.
(I still laugh whenever I see a mirror 4 feet long that looks like it might be bendable...)
The food containers have labels on them! THE FOOD CONTAINERS HAVE LABELS ON THEM!
Hehehh. <Shocked silence>....<shocked silence continues>...DUDE WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?!?!?
Ok, since you brought up a painful incident from MY past:
"The network will be shutting down in 30 Seconds. <FROM SERVER GALILEO>"
"DYLAN, SEE ME IN MY OFFICE. <FROM USER GREGS>"
(I still laugh whenever I see a mirror 4 feet long that looks like it might be bendable...)
Yes! Yes! Best high school prank ever.
Well, that and putting a Metallica CD under
my Sea Biscuit CD so that when I hit play I got COMPLETELY confused.
That wasn't a prank. That was to get you conditioned out of listening to Sea Biscuit.
Well great. Now you've given it away. He's probably going to go out and buy everySeaBiscuit album ever cut now. Good job. I slaved over that tactic for at LEAST 30 seconds, and what thanks do I get?
Strangely enough, I still have that disc. The album name is Sea Biscuit and the artist's moniker is Spacetime Continuum.
SEE?! He went and broke out the Sea Biscuit!
At this time, I'd just like to comment on the sudden and precipitous descent of this thread from a somewhat literary and relatively high-minded conversation regarding the reality, or lack thereof, of mainstream movies into a sordid reminiscing of logically questionable activity by hormonally influenced teenagers, which is entirely devoid of multisyllabic words and hyphens.
Still, feeding the dead humans back to the living humans as the only source of food violates the laws of thermodynamics, unless you have an infinite supply of dead humans.
And mixing it with a form of fusion? Isn't that like saying a jet liner is powered by a mouse in a wheel "and also by some jets."
I can't recall, but was that the only source of nutrients for the humans? Now I'll have to get the DVD out and watch it again.
I am very interested in The Animatrix
. It's 9 short stories told by 7 different directors. All animated. They have one of the episodes available as a free download off the site. It describes how the war between the machines and humans began.
Hopefully, one of the other stories in The Animatrix will give more detail as to the question you brought up about what they feed the humans.
It's annoying to me because it's obvious that by only feeding the humans other humans, it would be impossible to stay within the laws of thermodynamics and generate a valuable amount of energy unless you had a negative population growth.
Even more importantly, if you had a form of fusion, why bother with the humans at all?
I have no life.
They didn't mention whether there were additional food supplements or not in the movie. I don't know about the original stories. I would assume that if they're intelligent enough to kick our asses and make us all think we're living in the real world when in fact we're in the 24th century equivalent of office cubicles 24/7 that they had some familiarity with the laws of thermodynamics, and thus were supplementing our food intake with something. I did not get the impression from the movie that eating the dead was supposed to be our only form of nourishment, but that it was a particularly gross fact about what was going on which was mentioned for shock value. You know, if you're at thanksgiving and they serve live monkey brains through holes in the table you really aren't going to talk much about the turkey and stuffing to your friends afterwards.
Additionally, "a form of fusion" would tend to indicate that there was some difficulty with it - if he had just said, "fusion" then I'd think, what the hell do you need humans for?". But if he has to specify that it's some weird non-standard type of fusion then there could be any numbe of problems. Fusion is notoriously difficult to get any positive power production from, for many reasons. The easiest form of fusion to use also uses elements not easily available which usually have to be artificially manufactured and don't produce much more energy by fusing than you used to produce them (i.e. deuterium and tritium). Presumably the AI dudes were still working the bugs out and we were an interim solution. Once fusion fully came on line, they'd just stop feeding us and then harvest our decaying corpses to get methane to fuel their bunsen burners or something.
But you musn't forget the "mwa-ha-ha" factor, where the bad guys get their jollies from doing horrible things to the good humans, even when it's not energy efficient.
I wonder how well a technoligically/scientifically/reality perfect movie would actually do on the charts....
We could lay rest to this whole argument by assuming the "form of fusion" is ramming together at high speeds the dead bodies of skinny people (lighter elements) so they form fat dead bodies which explode and release energy.
Or maybe the whole thing is, y'know, powered by some sort of Santa Claus
I'm just saying.
Speaking of bad movie physics, ever seen SpiderMan? Where the goblin is holding onto the cable attached to the cable car while standing on the bridge?
While we're at it, let's also take all the fun out of comic books, video games and science fiction and fantasy novels.
Edited by Aesopian: Mar. 4, 2003 - 1:46:49 PM
Personally, I like really realistic factual reality-based movies like "What Dreams May Come" and "Back to the Future."
You're arguing of all things the physics of that one scene? If you're going to argue about that scene, you might as well make a case for the whole movie! I'm guessing it's scientifically impossible to be bitten by a spider and start shooting out spider webs from your wrists! It's a fictional comic-book story for god's sake!
Bump. This thread was about to slip off the Recent Threads list.
We can't let the streak die, now can we? So, what's this Animatrix thing anyway? When someone first brought it up I thought they were referring to the original comics that the movie the Matrix was made based on, but apparently it's some current thing still in production?
Animatrix is a set of short anime films about the Matrix, but not directly related to the movies.
I posted about it a long time ago.
(This thread also chronicles my on-going fight against the multilple edits, and trying to get MBoffin to just make the old ones automatically disappear.)
The funny thing is, I still haven't seen a single one.
Edited by Aesopian: Mar. 5, 2003 - 11:09:22 PM
I was talking to a friend of mine who is an electrician and he brought up an interesting point regarding bad movie physics.
Bullets don't spark when they hit metal. Lead and copper are actually used in the electronics industry because the two metals are known for their ability to not spark -- even when striking steel. In fact, in propane plants, workers are often required to use lead/copper alloy hammers to make sure there are no spark-induced fires.
When I was living in New Mexico, my friends and I used to shoot at an old water tank, which was made of steel, and come to think of it, it never sparked either.
Maybe they use flint bullets in James Bond movies.
(That should keep this thread alive for a few more rounds.)
Now that is actually extremely fascinating...
That lead bullets one has always bugged me... Or when all the bullets hit the chain link fence, or the single metal railing instead of the hero.
Yeah, or when the hero is surrounded by a circle of bad ninjas, for some reason they have to take turns attacking him.
Part of the ninja/baddie code? Maybe.
Ninja teams can't multi-task. They have to do it one at a time.
Well if ninjas were open source, clearly we wouldn't have this problem.
I figured they were tungsten tipped bullets. I mean, I don't think the movie producers ever thought it out that much, but I think tungsten will spark and it's often used for the tips of bullets for assault rifles, machine/submachine guns, or heavy caliber pistols that are meant to kill people regardless of body armor. Tungsten tipped bullets will go right through kevlar (as will teflon coated bullets, though for a different reason) because the sharp tungsten tip does not melt or deform from air friction or impact, so it spreads the kevlar fibers apart as it passes through them and lets the bullet pass through behind it now that the hole is started.
Also, often when you see a bullet spark in a movie it's riccocheting off of concrete or a similar substance which often has some kind of mineral component that will spark.
Embarrasingly enough, I didn't know there was any other bullet besides teflon that actually pressed boundaries enough it could be called a "cop killer". I guess I can officially say that this site has become an educational tool for me.
But you musn't forget the "mwa-ha-ha" factor, where the bad guys get their jollies from doing horrible things to the good humans, even when it's not energy efficient.
Kind of like Standard Oil.
Are we talking in a historical context re: Standard Oil here, or did I miss some recent developments?
Also, Jackson, the bullets would only be a cop killer depending on where you shot the cop, and how much money his department felt he was worth. Good body armor these days also includes hardened steel plates of various thicknesses (tungsten tipped bullets can nearly always make it through this, while Teflon ones cannot - they flatten out and expend their energy against the steel, giving the cop a nice big square bruise) or, for well funded departments, ceramic plates. Nothing short of a good-sized assault rifle round will get through a ceramic plate, and it STILL needs tungsten or Teflon to get through the Kevlar in the first place. If it's not tungsten tipped or Teflon coated it will use up a lot of its energy tearing through the Kevlar (bullets this heavy WILL go through Kevlar - they just slow down some) and then be stopped cold by the ceramic, or if you're lucky by the steel. For purposes of comparison regarding the density of ceramic armor vs. metallic armor, a good way to stop an enemy vehicle (assuming it's not well-armored itself) is to shoot it right in the engine, once, with an M-14, M-16, AK-47, SG-550 or similar firing high-energy rounds. The bullet will go right through the engine block, or at least penetrate it enough to seize a couple pistons right in their cylinders and (obviously) stop the engine from fuctioning as anything other than a nice anchor. Compare a 200+ lb block of cast iron with a 3/16" or 1/4" thickness of steel or 3/8" of ceramic. (Ceramic can also be thicker 'cuz it's usually lighter).
That's so awesome! I had no idea that developments in this field had advanced that far. Of course, I don't have ready access to any sort of material that would explain any of this. Where exactly do you find all this out?
I'm the kind of person who can get totally interested in something without knowing much about it. For instance, I like nice cars and the sound of a good engine running, but have no idea what makes it sound/run so well.
It's a good thing that in Independence Day his Mac laptop interfaced beautifully with an alien network.
The only thing worse than this is any one of the computer scenes from Swordfish. It's a good thing the main hero could "see the code in his head" because there never was any on his computer monitor, that's for sure.
For all-time wonderfully bad computer science, I highly recommend the film "Hackers."
In the end they save the world by interfacing with the bad guy's corporate mega-network using dialing up on Macs through pay phones in Grand Central Station.
that movie was really popular among the little wanna-be script-kiddy hackers with names like "BurnTheory" who write like this: "How R U 2Day? Got any WAREZ?"
My b0x0rz could not any more r0x0red than they are right now.
Hey, give swordfish some credit, man. At least the stuff on the screen had words in it that you might actually see in a program. There was even the odd "%" symbol. Compare that to any other Hollywood representation of computer programming! Besides which that was an awesome movie and I'll set your hair on fire if you dis it. No, really.
The Mac thing in Independence day was the sole down point in the movie for me. Everything else was good, clean fun. If he had walked out with some miraculously cobbled-together homemade prototype computer thingy to interface with the alien ship in base-11 or something, I could have rolled with it. But then, on top of being made to believe that a MAC (which, by the way, can't even successfully interface with another HUMAN made computer, or half the time, even another MAC) could just plug in through some sort of alien wi-fi and upload a virus (and wouldn't you think that if they had a system that was susceptible to a virus, they would have defenses of some kind? Given their obviously far-superior technology?), we are then asked to swallow the insanity that the alien monitor is then going to display an animated GIF? (It was some sort of laughing skull & crossbones thingy as I recall) ARGH.
I never saw Hackers. It looked AWFUL...and that was when I was right in the age demographic it was supposed to appeal to. I think Joe went to see it in the theatre, though. Heh.
Jackson - I once READ from cover to cover, a textbook on loading and reloading your own ammunition which covered not only the various types of projectile and the grains of powder to use, but also the various ballistic characteristics of the bullet types, including variations caused by different rifling, different barrel lengths, and variations in powder burn time measured in nanoseconds. I just like guns (not to mention military hardware of every type, cars, coffee, smoking and red meat). I can tell you what's driving behind me at night by looking at the shape of the headlights in my rearview mirror.
RE: Independence Day -- I think Mars Attacks is actually the same film, but MUCH better done, and more believable.
Did anyone else notice how many time the big shell alien in Independence Day changed size?
At first you just see Will Smith punch it in the head and knock it our (right...), and it's pretty big. Then he drags it in his parachute, and it conveniently shrinks to the right dragging size. Then it goes in the back of a truck, and gets a little big. Then into the lab, where it stays about the same size until it freaks out and starts killing people, at which point it suddenly grows twice its former size.
And Mars Attacks was one of the single greatest movies ever. I still have my ticket stubs from openning night, and a t-shirt, and a Making-Of book, along with the VHS and DVD and soundtrack.
Tim Burton is a genius.
Wirehead - unfortunately, with few exceptions, I find myself often wanting as much data as I can possibly glean from a subject, without having to actually go in and read a reference book from cover to cover. This usually leaves me with just the data I can gather with obnosis, which may not be too much.... But those few exceptions where I do grab a reference book and read it diligently certainly make for interesting "data" that may or may not be useful. For instance, did you know that each zig and zag of lightning is exactly the same length - and that no lightning that originates from a thunderhead actually touches the ground? The opposite charges from the ground actually leap up and meet the zig/zag in the air, completing the chain. Furthermore, the heat of lightning, because it is condensed in such a small space (about the width of a pencil) in such a short time, is somewhere in the region of about 50,000,000 times the heat of the sun. I thought that was interesting.
I can tell the make of some cars by their headlights, but I can't always then get the model. Except perhaps the Mercedes SLK230 because it's so distinctive....
Also, it seems to me not very prudent to shoot down a 15-mile diameter saucer sitting over 5,280 feet in the air. In reality, a chunk of metal 15 miles in diameter falling from a mile up would probably cause an enormous planetary disaster. What a catastrophic level of energy being released. I could do the math. How much did it weigh? 900 million tons? A billion? 15 miles in diameter!
Yeah, I don't remember the ships ever landing. I guess they either killed millions of people upon landing or they must be filling our atmosphere with toxic fumes, also killing millions.
No, they fell harmlessly to the ground while children the world over cheered and laughed.
I'm sorry but I HATED that movie. I couldn't STAND it. Not for anything science related...it was just TERRIBLE. I mean, the whole "Jack Nicholson trying to sell people something or other while aliens rampage in the background" was too much. I do remember a couple of scenes I liked - the one where the knuckle-dragging older brother's magazine falls out of his rifle, live on international TV, just before he's annihilated, and the scene where they realize how to kill the martians. Having their heads explode from horrible music reminded me of many similar sensations I have experienced. Other than that it was TERRIBLE.
Anyway, that much mass falling from an altitude of only a mile would basically just flatten things...it wouldn't have the force of even a small meteor impact at any one point although the destruction would be greater in total since it would be distributed over a larger area. You also must realize that the great majority of those ships was AIR or its analogue - since they were composed of hangars for the fighters, quarters for the (presumably large) crew, plus corridors, elevators, transportations systems...and most interior partitions would probably be very light, if there even were any. Alien warrior castes probably have a different idea of what is an acceptable level of privacy. In other words, it's lighter than you think, and it would only be moving at perhaps several hundred miles per hour when it struck the ground, with much of the force of impact being soaked up by the ship itself collapsing and fragmenting, etc. There would also be a not-inconsiderable air braking effect given the disc shape and huge size. Try to compress a 15 mile wide column of air downwards at 900 mph and I suspect you would find a great deal of resistance...also there would be a vacuum behind it trying to slow it down. Overall I think the impacts were portrayed as accurately as anyone could expect. Just for fun I thought I'd find the exact, e=1/2MV2
impact energy, though I did not compensate for atmospheric drag. If anyone wants to try to figure that out I will applaud. Anyway, for purposes of our example, you could estimate the equivalent number of aircraft carriers to get an approximate weight, since we could reasonably assume the interior of the alien craft to be similar to an aircraft carrier (both are intended to house and launch combat aircraft and provide some ground attack ability, while being sufficiently well armored to survive an attack and housing as well the crew required to operate and maintain themselves as well as the combat aircraft). The largest class of carrier in the world are, I believe, the U.S.S. Nimitz-class. These guys weigh in at 97,000 tons, and are 1,092 feet long. So, 5280 feet to the mile we get 72.5 Nimitzes as the diameter of the alien craft (the radius, obviously, would be 36.3 Nimitzes). This gives a surface area of 4139.6 square Nimitzes (or 19,691,137,089 square feet, if you prefer). Their thickness was about 500 feet as I recall, and the top of a Nimitz carrier is something like 200 feet above the waves, so we'll say they are 3 Nimitzes thick, allowing for antennas and whatnot on the Nimitz which obviously don't contribute much to its total weight. This gives a volume of 12418 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, therefore giving a mass of 1,204,635,742.5 tons. Falling from one mile of altitude, it would reach 576 feet per second before it struck ground in a vacuum, giving an impact energy of 404,027,562,376,896,000 foot-pounds. That's a hell of a lot, but it also would be distributed approximately evenly over the area of impact, giving an impact energy per square foot of 20,518,000 pounds, and an impact energy per square inch of 142400 PSI. For purposes of comparison, a .50 handgun (Deagle, anyone?) has an impact energy of around 800 foot-pounds of energy distributed over 2/10 of a square inch, giving 2,000 PSI of force. (I had to come back and edit this thing because I forgot to convert tons to pounds...my initial result was only 70.2 PSI or so... I was like, "That's not all that bad!)
(The above edit also makes the following comment somewhat nonsensical but I like it so it stays. :P)
Muahahah. Screw 15 mile wide alien spacecraft, gimme a Desert Eagle with a custom engraved barrel, pearl grips and a couple of clips.
Edited by Wirehead: Mar. 12, 2003 - 1:40:17 AM
Actually, its the CIA and the media.
Not only are the Wire/Brumley accounts inconsistent with the CIA video, but all witness accounts who saw the front section separate from Flight 800 contradict the CIA conclusions.
"Boeing was not involved in the production of the [CIA] video shown today, nor have we had the opportunity to obtain a copy or fully understand the data used to create it." (Boeing Press Release, 11/18/97)
I could also show you the fake science released about the JFK assassination, the Oklahoma City Bombing and Roswell New Mexico, but I'm not in Conspiracy Mode at the moment.
But I'll post them if you're interested.
but what about visible laser beams? How come they are visible in Star Trek, and more interestingly, how come I can see them travel?
Regarding why you can see them travel, because they're PHASERS, silly. I don't know what a phaser is, but it's obviously not a laser.
You could see them because space is actually not a perfect vacuum - there are some particles of dust etc. that a beam would hit and ionize during its travel. You should be asking, why can I STILL see them (after the first 1/10 of a second all the stuff in their path should have been reduced to its various components, and shouldn't be in the path of the beam anymore, so nothing should be glowing).
Because it looks cool on the show?
More importantly, how come you can HEAR them?
In space, no one care hear you complain about movies.
I think I hold the record for shortest posts ever. Beat that.
I'll beat that with a stick.
You can hear them because the gas from the disintegrating hulls of the enemy spaceships makes a temporary atmosphere that is dense enough to transmit some part of the sound. You're quite lucky that that atmosphere is so light - because if you were to hear the full volume your eardrums would be impelled directly into your cerebellum, meeting each other in the center of your head, and then causing a small fusion reaction to occur in your gray matter because of their immense opposed velocities, liberating all the energy contained in their mass in a few picoseconds. This would cause your head to explode rather messily and spatter your brains all over the screen, which would probably much disturb the other moviegoers, except that their brains would also be busy exploding. Muahah.
Yes, but as you see, I have the Lnogest post. Our is that the lognest?
I think "Loch Ness" is the word you're looking for.
I think Wirehead still holds the title for lnogest post ever.
PS: Nice job on the above calculations. Now, what can
you say about chocolate-covered manhole covers?
Edited by Joseph Wain: Mar. 12, 2003 - 7:04:27 PM
They're heavy. And I told you to shut up about that if you don't want to be abducted and sent off onto some Godforsaken empty planet to restart the human race with 3 buddies.
I should get at least some credit for lnogest post, but Databind actually STARTED this thread. I just think it was my irrational comments that kept it going so long, at least partially.
Damn, Total Recall has been lying to me all along...
You owe it all to me. All the movie evaluation started after this.
I dunno about that. The original basis of the thread was criticism of bad movie science. See databind's original post.
I can dream... and ignore the facts...
Heh. That you can. I can fly, too. Just not for very long.
And the trick to that is... (c'mon, let's take a left turn in this thread and quote some HHGTTG)
Wouldn't a left turn actually point us back toward the topic?
(The above link is best enjoyed while reading the content aloud to yourself in a theatrical voice.)
Car-din-al Fang! Cardinal Fang?
Ah, Cardinal Bigglesworth: Produce the COMFY CHAIR!
that should get this post up to 200
Edited by DataBind(): Mar. 13, 2003 - 4:08:52 PM
"Linux is only free if your time is worthless." - Unknown (but obviously very witty and intelligent) denizen of the internet
I'm raging against the machine because I spell Micro$oft with a dollar symbol.
And so the dwindling spiral begins.
All joking aside, I really want to know how you come across these "things". Do you aimlessly surf the internet and find them by accident? Are you looking for them by punching in some key words? Or perhaps you're directed there by a friend? I can't find things so effortlessly like you seem to be able to....? (It seems a shame I rely solely on others to gather interesting tidbits).
Jackson, see this thread.
The answer is: I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I DO THIS.
Watch. I will post this, and within 10 minutes, return to post a random link I found by accident. Just wait.
So I was thinking...
Assume Schrodinger had a closed-casket funeral. Do you suppose people kept popping open his coffin to see if he was really dead?
LOL! That is right up there with the prime rib!
The best part about physics humor is knowing that you are one of the 1/10 of 1 percent of people on the planet who think it's funny.
How is it that after all this effort this managed to fall off the recent threads list?
These things happen. It's part of the natural cycle of any forum.
Heh. Not if WE have anything to say about it.
Speaking of Science (though not bad), has anyone heard that something like 3 separate companies all claim that within 25 years we will have a functioning orbital elevator? I think this idea was mentioned above in the thread - basically literally taking an elevator from the ground all the way to orbit. This IS physically possible with materials science we have TODAY, but the cost would be exorbitant because the chief material needed is carbon nanotubes which are currently manufactured by the microgram and cost a lot even at that. We'd need TONS of it to manufacture a cable 2000 miles long or so. But with bulk production comes economies of scale...can you imagine taking an elevator to orbit for your 50th birthday?
That would be pretty exciting. And just think, as time passes on, the cost might lower itself to a reasonable level that I CAN afford to pay by the time I turn 50. :) I'll stick with skydiving for now to get my kicks.
I was looking at your conclusions regarding the impact of a 15-mile diameter space vessel impacting the earth from 5280 feet. I am doing some math on my own because it seems like too much. You said you came to 142400 psi. That's insane! A 1 megaton nuclear blast only has 12 psi in the first 1.7 miles of the blast (reference)
I theorized that the impact would be magnificent, but I didn't suspect it would be so great.
Yeah - I'd be happy to have someone check that. I was running a 101 fever at the time. When I came back to look at it I thought it was high but I couldn't bring myself to re-do it all. God knows what I actually found - probably the density of cheese on Jupiter or something.
You? Skydiving? I can't believe it.
Couldn't think of a better thread to ask in so I'm askin here.
Do you prefer a site colored as so
or do you prefer Gray
? Or do you think the gray on Multi Phase should be blue? Or non of the above? I'm desperate for feedback...
Okay, now this is just cheating. At least this thread got to where it did by staying mostly on topic. Why don't you just start a new thread about it? I'm willing to tell you about it.
But with how I've been mutilating your site, I don't know if that is in your best interest.
Hey, now. I was talking about bad science (even it it was of my own creation).
Joe - what's so unbelievable? There's a bunch of us young Floridians all going together, guys and gals. It'll be fun!
Who's going skydiving? Why wasn't I informed of this?
You can come over and jump off my roof if you want.
I'll boost you up into the air with detpacks, and then you can land on Aesopian's roof and jump off, if you want. Watch out for the Kubelwagen coming down the north road towards our base, though...
WOW, ANOTHER WILD TANGENT FOR THIS THREAD.
He could always just rocket jump by himself... or maybe plasma crawl up the side of my house. Or if his is really skilled, grenade jump, using either a handgrenade or the grendage laucher. If he wants to go so far, he could even charge the guass rifle to full, then run towards my house, fire the lazer at his feet, and lauch into the sky, only to land on my house, losing 30 point of health (or 10 if realistic physics is off). Then jump off.
Of course, he'd be using strafe jump all along to gain momentum.
I was actually speaking of specifically leaping from an airplane, over the water, towards the earth, and hoping that your parachute will open and drift you slowly downwards safely. But heck, you can fire yourself off roofs if you want. Probably just as much exhiliration/adrenaline.
He could also just launch himself with explosion packs and deploy his parachute once he was on his way back down. Assuming friendly fire was off.
Ever notice how in movies when someone tosses a grenade it always results in this huge flamey explosion that looks like a gasoline tanker on fire?
If anyone tries to nitpick James Bond films, I'm going to shoot them in the face with my laser watch.
There's nothing to nitpick in James Bond films. There's NO SCIENCE IN THEM. THEY ARE COMPOSED OF PURE FANTASY.
I can't enjoy them at all, but for some reason I keep going to see them in hopes that there will be something entertaining that will happen during the course of the movie. (sigh)
The problem is that you keep going to see them.
The only good Bond films are the old ones, and they're only good because Bond is such a womanizer and all-around stud.
They're good for a laugh at a cliche and an oggle at some 1970's swimsuits.
PS: Brosnan = worst Bond ever. Yes, even worse than Lazenby and/or Dalton.
Connery 4 Ever, yes, true, but Moore's were good also.
Connery was definitely better than anyone else, but Brosnan isn't that bad. He's not the problem. The problem is that James Bond stories are only amusing when seen in their context - the 1960's and 1970's. That's when EVERYTHING was goofy and over the top. Today they're just stupid. I mean, a giant orbital weapons platform with some multi-gigawatt laser thingie being used just to clear a minefield so N.K. can again invade S.K.? Even if orbital weapons platforms were practical (and they're not, given today's technology, because the beam diffuses in the atmosphere over that great of a distance, and even if you can get it to not diffuse, using adaptive optics, a laser powerful enough to reach through that much atmosphere and do anything useful actually ionizes the air it passes through, thus obstructing itself and eliminating the vast majority of its power) why would you use them to clear the way for a conventional invasion? Why not use it to smoke the S.K. government leaders and have a fait accompli?
Bond's viewpoint on women etc. today just comes across as an A-hole who'd probably be a date rapist if he wasn't rich and good looking with an Aston Marton. That kind of thing was the norm in 1965, so it's at least forgivable given that you can't expect the guy to be WAY better than the rest of society (and if he was it would be a giveaway that he was somehow weird, thus blowing any semblance of cover he might somehow have managed to generate after operating under the same "cover" name for eons and consistently driving the most expensive machinery known to man while constantly indulging in public drunkenness...but I digress).
Bond stories would have to be set in the '70's again to seem even vaguely amusing, and then it would just seem fake.
Austin Powers is actually far more entertaining and the gadgets are pretty much just as cool. But then, I also hate 90% of what I see in those movies too.
I'm not against a little skin but treat the woman as a woman, not a walking penis receptacle.
Eloquent or not, that was very nicely said, Wirehead.
Heh. I sorta liked the turn of phrase, myself. I find that for some reason my best "work" seems to come out when I'm suffering from sleep deprivation and/or some kind of fever-induced delirium..."The tortured soul of the artist" or something, I guess. Heheh.
Don't talk about walking penis receptacles that way.
See now, it just didn't have the same effect when restated a second time there. (No direct offense to you Aesopian).
I love that saying, "no offense." You can get away with anything. "No offense, but you're a complete fucking moron, you shit-fucker." It was NO OFFENSE so no one can get mad. Brilliant, I tell you.
I think it matters how it is said and who it is said by. "No offense", over used by someone can make it just as effective as a nicely-placed expletive.
Indeed. Mostly because the people who say that sort of thing actually DO mean the things they say but they say "no offense" to preclude the possibility of your using their face for a punching bag because of their unending stream of verbal diarrhea regarding you, your friends, habits, ideas, goals, etc. etc...
This is a statement used by a coward to allow him to tear up the people around him without (he hopes) evoking eventual retribution.
Saying it once a month obviously doesn't place you in this category, but I've known "people" who seemed to end about every third sentence with it or some similar responsibility-denying statement. Also an alternative is "Now, don't take this the wrong way, but..." or "I only mean this in a GOOD way, but...".
Gag. If someone wants to say something nasty to me, say it to my face and say it with the ability to back up your statement or don't say anything at all. I can't STAND people who resort to nattering on about a person behind their back because they don't have the cojones to say things to their face. Under ANY circumstances. I don't care if you're feeling critical of a 750-lb weightlifting steroid addicted bodybuilder high on PCP who carries dual AK-47s. Say it to his face (but be prepared to run away quickly, in this case).
It could just be a formality that serves no real purpose in conversation. "I bought an Uzi and took out all the smart people in this part of town - no offense". Heck, it is an offense, and probably conciously intended, but it's just a formality to say "no offense".
You people sure do like to babble on don't you?
Wait until we start speaking in tongues.
Can we be excused if we call it constructive babble?
George Carlin would say "brain droppings".
However, I'd say we were proactively sharing ideas toward the construction of an ideal science fiction gestalt-essence.
Actually, I probably wouldn't say that at all. If I did, I'd probably hit myself. Anyway, why doesn't someone come up with some terrible movie for me to make fun of?
The Fifth Element deserves discussion.
But allow me to clarify - I don't think it was a terrible movie, though it definitely had some interesting (and vague) ideas on reconstructing a life form and futuristic tools/space travel abilities.
I can't be an objective critic on that one. It's just too damn COOL. I also don't recall anything especially "bad" about the science in it...the closing scene wasn't really even related to science so I can't pick on that.
Yeah, that was definitely an awesome movie. Sorry, can't help you on that one.
Also I thought Judge Dredd was pretty damn cool. The whole post-apocalyptic flavor is something you don't get from too many recent movies. The costumes were ...interesting. But overall a big thumbs up.
Now, one that brings up an interesting question is Waterworld. Although I think this was a very underappreciated movie, and I actually liked it a lot, I thought it was questionable that New York City could be covered by hundreds of feet of water. I mean, there really isn't THAT much water in the polar caps, is there? Even if the pack is a mile thick it should only raise the overal level 50 feet or something, spread out over the surface of the planet. Does anyone know of any hard data that backs up this idea one way or the other?
I was watching Demolition Man on TNN, but the show info said it was Judge Dredd. I was so offended.
Oh my gosh, I used to have scores of data on the whole "global warming/flooding" theory, but that was 5 years ago and I allowed myself to forget it pretty thoroughly, replacing it with other interesting tidbits.
What is interesting, though, is how suddenly some/all of those ice caps appeared. I mean VERY suddenly, like within a minute. The proof? They found a mammoth encased in the ice with vegetables perfectly preserved and frozen in his stomach. In order for vegetables to be so perfectly preserved in the mammoth's stomach, in that acidic environment, without ANY signs of beginning food breakdown, the stomach would've had to have frozen practically instanteously to the vegetables reaching it.
There's something to think about - what sort of cataclysm caused ice caps to form so thoroughly and instantly?
Seems to me someone was having fun.
Or was very angry.
I think this proves that there was a highly advanced civilization living right alongside the woolly mammoths, because they had invented freeze-dried mammoth.
Some day we'll find the giant microwave ovens they used to zap them for a quick meal.
It seems to suddenly be a delicacy to eat mammoth stomach, in which are the nicely preserved (now cooked with the stomach) veggies.
Hmm. I think I'll stick with chicken.
Escape from LA.
There is no competition. I hope for your sake that you have never seen it!
Heheh. Actually I did see it. I sorta liked it, in a "USA Up All Night" kind of way. It was too goofball for me to be able to get really offended at the various and sundry scientific blasphemies in that movie.
Come on, someone give me some hard data on this polar ice cap thing. I'm too tired to go type a 3 letter word (ice) in google.
The scene that really ruined it for me was watching Kurt Russell surf a wave onto the road way above the water, with a background that was so obviously a video screen!
I pity you Wirehead, I pity you!
Here - straight out of a research site...
Glaciers are made up of fallen snow that has compressed into large ice masses. Glaciers form when snow remains in one location over many years and transform over time into ice. Glaciers move due to their sheer mass and flow like very slow rivers. Some glaciers are as small as a football field while others grow to be over a hundred kilometers long. Glaciers occupy about 10 percent of the world's total land area.
An ice cap is a cover of ice that centers around a specific point on the surface of a piece of land. The Penny Ice Cap on Baffin Island in Auyuittuq Park is believed by many to be the birth place of the last ice age. The Penny Ice Cap is huge. It covers over 5,000 square kilometers (2,200 square miles) with ice as thick as 300 meters (1,000 ft) in places. The ice cap provides an excellent record of past climates and has been the base for several major scientific studies into climatic change and global warming.
An iceberg is a mass of ice that has broken off part of a glacier and has fallen into a nearby body of water. Icebergs consists of solid freshwater water ice. They float because the density of the ice is less than the density of sea water.
Many icebergs are moulded into unusual shapes by the wind, waves and the process of melting. Icebergs have been compared to mountains, pyramids and castles. About 10,000 to 30,000 are produced each year. Because nine-tenths of an iceberg is under water, iceberg movement is mostly caused by water currents.
The ice that makes up an iceberg is believed to be at least 12,000 years old.
The frozen water that makes an iceberg is fresh water, not sea water.
Arctic icebergs have reached as far south as the island of Bermuda.
The temperature inside an iceberg is around -15 C. At the surface the temperature is about O C.
The biggest iceberg ever recorded was 208 miles long and 60 miles wide, a total of 12,000 square miles. The tallest iceberg ever recorded was 550 feet, just over half the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Does that help at all?
Erm. Some. The 10% of Earth's surface thing is helpful...but I don't know to what depth. I was looking for something like the total volume of water contained in the ice caps (and ice is less dense than water, remember) vs. the total surface area of the oceans, so we could then figure out just how much the actual water level of the world's oceans would increase. Or, a site which just tells us that would be good also.
What I really need is a team of hooded acolytes tending the library who know where everything is, like Cecil.
Ah, sorry 'bout that. I'll keep looking.
Okay, I know we've diverted (again), and I'm sorry to divert back again, but this is rather bothersome, and if it actually does make sense, I'd appreciate it if someone could enlighten me.
I just watched XXX, and though I generally found the movie to be very entertaining (which is my definition of a good movie), there is one part that doesn't just seem slightly unreal, but rather highly improbable and, in fact, completely impossible.
Near the end, when AHAB has just been launched and X and the other agents are stuck away from it because there is a man staked out to shoot any guy who tries to get past, X makes a jibe about how they have a bazooka and should do something with it. The agent says "It's not a bazooka, it's a heat-seeking missle". X then says "he's smoking" and fires the missle, which seeks out the guy as he blows out a puff of smoke and kills him.
Honestly, in an underground lab where there are instruments AND where the body heat of the agents that have just been running around the "fortress" shooting and blowing things up, is it really logical that the heat-seeking missle would locate and direct itself towards the small heat of a cigarette?
I may not understand physics or chemistry that well, but this just seems beyond impossible to me.
Any second opinions out there?
Edited by Jackson: Mar. 27, 2003 - 9:59:23 AM
Depends on air temperature, who made the missile (i.e. US or Russia, as our seeker heads are better) and whether or not he was sucking on the butt at the time. Heat seeking heads work on temperature DIFFERENTIAL, not absolute. They will aim for the hottest thing around that they can find, generally speaking. If they had the A/C cranked up, and he was taking a nice drag off the cigarette, there could have been a temperature differential in excess of 400 degrees F which is certainly enough, given these things are designed to be able to track helicopter exhausts that have been specifically constructed to be as hard to spot as possible by IR seeker heads.
Excellent. However, I was a little disappointed, as I thought you were linking me to somewhere that I could obtain some hooded acoylytes. Or were you inferring that you yourself were hooded while writing the link, and intend to become my acolyte? Please clarify.
As it turns out, it is estimated that if the total volume of ice on antarctica and Greenland all melted, the oceans would rise something like 200 feet. This pretty much gets rid of the whole LA street gang problem, not to mention my fetish of bitching about Florida. I'm currently sitting at about 22 feet above sea level and I'm on the second floor in Clearwater.
However: Should this occur, it would be the least of our problems. The temperature average of Antarctic ice is given as about -34C. This means that worldwide temps would have to increase by about 35C overall to cause that level of melt-off. This would make virtually all areas of the world where people currently live basically uninhabitable. Think about it: A hot summer day in Tampa would be something like 160F at that point. The beaches in Anchorage would look like Rio (except Anchorage would be gone too).
Denver would be ok in the winter, but you'd still have to go live in a cave or something in the summer.
Basically we're talking ELE territory. Anyway, the amount of greenhouse gases required to accomplish this would be so thick that the Earth would cool off, anyway, because no sunlight would actually make it to the surface. Then we'd have to start grinding up our kids to feed the babies and making endless fields of thousand foot towers with people used as DC generators. Or something like that.
The "realistic" estimate is that by the year 2100 the sea level may rise by 50 cm. That ain't really all that much, but it puts most coastal cities in some serious trouble, particularly if there's a storm. Down here in Clearwater if we get a real good hurricane it can have a 12 foot storm surge. If that happens during high tide, most of the city of Clearwater Beach would be underwater. Really huge storms like Andrew back in the early 90's can have 25 foot storm surges (note for the hurricane-uninitiated: storm surge is NOT the height of the waves. Storm surge is the height of the mound of water blown up against the beach by the oncoming winds. If you're on the "incoming" wind side of a hurricane you'll get very high tides. If you're on the side of the hurricane that is blowing away from shore, the tide will be extraordinarily low) and 25 foot waves.
Anyway, I'm honestly not all that worried about this: I've yet to be convinced that this global warming thing is actually in any way related to us.
Additionally, you always hear some yahoo whining about how the Earth is thousands of years overdue for an ice age. Did it occur to anyone that maybe the ice age started 200 years ago but the Industrial Revolution negated the effects? I dunno. There are just so many differing opinions on this...and every single one of them has a horde of (well paid) climatologists to tell you their own ideas are right. I'm about 90% inclined to think it's all hooey at the moment.
Person to post the 200th comment on this thread will receive an amazing prize...
Yeah, distinction as the 200th poster...
I've travelled back in time to post a message letting you know that I've already posted the 200th message in the future.
Just thought you should know.
Oh jeeze. Don't you just love it when you are about to do something witty, and then you discover that someone else did it just before you? Hmpf.
You mean like pressing the "Post Reply" Button 13 times?
Edited by Aesopian: Mar. 27, 2003 - 4:58:19 PM
Boy, I'm the essence of wit.
Boy, I'm the essence of moderation.
That's not exactly what I had in mind, Aesopian. But you know, whatever floats your boat....
Hey - MBoffin - my mom tells me that Quinn hangs out in your office in her little "basket/hanger" while you work. Sounds cute - have any pictures? :)
You know, I'm rather disappointed. Nothing has been posted for 7 hours...and I put several rather inflammatory comments into my post re: ice caps melting etc... I was expecting to be raked over the coals on my skepticism re: global warming et al.
Good Lord, look at that. It's 4:02 AM. That's either time for another Ramen or time for bed, I forget which. Which means it's probably time for bed.
This is the essential and complete definition of mindless babble. Are we trying too hard to hit 200 posts here or what?
Wirehead - perhaps adequate rebuttals to your inflammatory comments have not been posted because either no one knows what to say or they are still trying to figure out how exactly to say what they have to say.
Speaking of bad science and the end of the world and all, it looks like The Core
will have something for everyone.
Why on Earth would you develop a weapon of mass destruction that would obliterate you along with the rest of the people?
Oh wait! Oh wait! I've got it!! It's a mixture between "The Sum of All Fears" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth".
Don't you love how new/original movie ideas are becoming so sparse - I mean Disney doesn't even know what to do - they are making sequels to all their old classics and so forth. Pretty dang sad.
Dost thou meanest to cast aspersions upon that finest piece of literary excellence, "The Sum of All Fears"? Thy criticism betrays thy misappreciation of good science! Thou art a philistine who knoweth not the workings of nuclear weapons. Methinks thou have not even read the volume of which you speak, but only view'd the abominable picture-show which was rip'd, entire, from its pages, and there altered to a foul form. Not having viewed the cinematic adaptation of this fine treatise myself, I canst not but assume that, as is the norm for Hollywood and its ilk, that the once-great tale formerly contained only on the pages of the book, has been ruined, so that any varlet may see the foolish errors therein. I assure thee, those errors were not comitted by the original author, but added by some miscreant known as a "screen-writer", or so I am told. The descriptions of the arcane inner workings and forces inside an "A-Bomb", as they are now called, were so thorough in the original book as to be beyond the ken of most, and upsetting to some, for they cried out, "With this any fiend could construct such a diabolical device!". But, forsooth, t'werent true, for the chief problem in such workings is the getting of the stuff that's needed, not really the assemblage that's done to make the thing required.
Exists there here anyone who has viewed with their own eyes the pages of this tale by Sir Clancy, of "Red October" fame?
Oh no - I didn't mean to make less of the Sum of All Fears - I actually greatly enjoyed that movie. I was just commenting on how this new movie seems like it might turn out to be (I can't say that it for sure is, because I haven't seen it) like a cross between Journey to the Center of the Earth and Sum of All Fears.
I'm innocent of accusations - I swear!
By the way, Mboffin - thanks for the picture. :)
OK. You guys definitely have to check out:
The guy running the site still gets email on his Armageddon "Bad Science" review.
He also links to the "Insulting Stupid Movie Physics page at:
All worth reading.
He and I have even discussed starting a company to proof-read movie scripts to insure that gravity doesn't start working backwards, etc.
Very interesting stuff...he caught a few things I didn't even see, and I'm the pickiest person I know. I try to stop short of nit-picking, however...and anyone who sits in a theatre with a stopwatch to check the time that some guy takes to swing on a pendulum to see if the gravitational constant is correctly simulated has WAY too much free time on their hands.
well, that just totally killed the thread.
Heh. I went out of town for 5 days and haven't been making any inflammatory comments. Perhaps that had something to do with it.