Posts

Contact

Image
Contact is a movie that revolves around the first instance of human contact with aliens. These extra terrestrials transmit a blue print to a machine that can transport a human from earth to the Vega star and back. When discussing some tribulations about this machine the two main characters Ellie (Jodie Foster) and Palmer (Mathew McConaughey) discuss special relativity and the "Twin Paradox". In this conversation they discuss this concept correctly in that Ellie, traveling near the speed of light, would experience time slower than the time passing on earth, making her age at a slower rate.


At the climax of the movie however, the movie portrays her actual trip wrong. Ellie's transportation lasted an apparent 18 hours relative to her, but the time passed on earth was only seconds. According to the "Twin Paradox" more time should have passed on earth than the relative time of  Ellie's trip. This could have been easily revised if they just swapped the time diffe…

Final Project: Looper

Image
Looper is another Hollywood time traveling movie that attempts to blow the watchers mind with "unexpected" twists and crazy plot devices. Looper revolves around contract killers called "loopers" that are hired by crime syndicates from the future to execute victims they send back in time. These crime syndicates have to utilize this time travel technology because in this fictional future it's "nearly impossible" to hide a body due to future tracking systems. (written down it sounds much more absurd than it is) Regardless of these crazy tropes, Looper is still an entertaining movie. With intense and engaging action scenes and, it's easy to divulge into the mindless entertainment while not thinking too much about what you're seeing. 
But, despite the temporary amusement, it's hard to look past some of the fundamental physics problems the movie does wrong.Much like many action movies, Looper defies the conservation of momentum constantly. We see…

The Martian and Philip Plait's "Bad Astronomy"

Image
In chapter 24 of Bad Astronomy, Philip Plait breaks down his top ten bad examples of astronomy in movies and TV.

 1. Plait's first example is one of the most common concepts done wrong in Hollywood movies. This mistake is that their is sound in space. In order for sound to travel it has to have something to go through. On earth we are able to hear because the vibrations that produce sound are transferred from the atoms in the air to our ears. So in space, because their is nothing for the vibrations to be transferred to, no sound would be able to be perceived in space. We see this violated in The Martian when Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is blasting out of Mars' atmosphere.


2. Example 2 doesn't apply to The Martian because it deals with the perception of asteroid fields in movies being extremely dense and that isn't a problem that appears in the movie.
3. In this example Plait uses the example of space crafts making sharp turns in order to redirect the trajectory of their s…

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Image
The creation of weapons of mass destruction has been a troubling moral concept since the creation of the first atomic bombs in the 1940's. Personally, I believe the construction and research of these weapons is morally wrong. I think the creation of extremely powerful weapons that pose a threat to humanity as whole is objectively bad from a positive moral stand point. The creation of weapons of this nature bring up many moral quandaries like, why or when would a weapon of this magnitude be a viable option in world conflicts. Although the actual construction of the weapons poses no direct threat its the implication and use of the weapons in a foul way that is troubling. We see this directly in history after the drop of the two bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where countless innocent people lost their lives and the world was then sent into a frenzy of creating nuclear warheads in fear of their countries safety.   











Global Warming

Image

Zero Gravity: Apollo 13

Image
What is weightlessness?