Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Chen » Fri May 21, 2010 7:11 pm UTC

Bhelliom wrote:I can accept crazy science in the name of movie fun, but it drives me crazy when science in a series of movies doesn't match up.
In Iron Man 1, Tony stark designs a suit made of awesome and win. It is powered by the generator in his chest.
In Iron Man 2, One of his suits gets stolen by his buddy. He doesn't take the suit usable by normal people created in movie one, but the prototype suit that tony built.
The Suit built to fit Tony. The one that needs a chest-piece to function. Huh?
Not to mention that the instant the military started threatening to take the suits Tony would have programmed in a million fail-safes in the event one got stolen.

Just.... ARGH


Well its not exactly clear which suit that silver/grey one was. I mean you saw at least 4 suits in the lab. Plus the first one he made in the first movie was the red/gold one (aside from the cave one which got destroyed). Also, the fail-safe idea was brought up in the movie. The way the scene went tended to imply Tony had willingly let Rhodes get that suit. I think its Black Widow who makes the comment at how easily Rhodes got away with the suit implying Tony helped him, and Tony kinda gives her a look of "yeah ok maybe I did".

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat May 22, 2010 4:00 am UTC

What? No. In Iron Man 1, there are three suits.

The "Mark I" is used to escape from the terrorists.
The "Mark II" is his grey suit, which he uses for initial testing.
The "Mark III" is his red and gold suit, which he uses for the rest of the movie.

Iron Man 2 follows:
Spoiler:
From that point forward, he uses only the red-and-gold color scheme on (I believe) three more "marks". After Rhodes takes the Mark II, Pepper is heard on the phone discussing the rights to the "mark II" specifically. So we know which one Rhodes stole. However, at the same time, it was pointed out in multiple ways that Tony was, in a way, giving it to Rhodes--remember, he was dying, and had given away all his art, money, etc. He intentionally declined to activate safeguards which the sequence at the climax shows could completely override Rhodes.

As for not needing an arc reactor, that's pretty easily handwaved. Presumably, after nearly dying because he didn't have any spares, Tony built a few more and stuck them in the suits for independent power, which makes loads of sense anyway. This works doubly well if he intended the suit to be stolen.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Whelan » Sat May 22, 2010 11:11 am UTC

Yeah, if you look at it when
Spoiler:
it's being opened up on the table
it looks like you can just about see an arc reactor built into the chest, at least I think I did.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat May 22, 2010 1:29 pm UTC

Oh, wait. Yeah, there's definitely a reactor built into it.
Spoiler:
Rhodes makes a point of stealing it before they hand it over to Hammer, or at least before Hammer does his weapons demonstration.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby mdyrud » Sun May 23, 2010 2:27 am UTC

One thing that did irritate me was the new configuration of his suit after putting in the new power source. Did he really take the time to change the shape of the glowing chest piece before he went off to defend the American Way?

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun May 23, 2010 3:08 am UTC

mdyrud wrote:One thing that did irritate me was the new configuration of his suit after putting in the new power source. Did he really take the time to change the shape of the glowing chest piece before he went off to defend the American Way?

Maybe modifications were necessary to accommodate the new element? Just because it was a suitable replacement for palladium doesn't mean it plugs-and-plays with the old equipment.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby TheChewanater » Sun May 23, 2010 3:42 am UTC

mdyrud wrote:One thing that did irritate me was the new configuration of his suit after putting in the new power source. Did he really take the time to change the shape of the glowing chest piece before he went off to defend the American Way?

This is Tony Stark. He didn't redesign the thing to help defend the American Way, he defended the American Way to show everybody that he redesigned the thing.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Agent_Irons » Tue May 25, 2010 6:37 am UTC

The only really annoying thing about Iron Man 2(i.e. that can't be reasonably explained by handwavy possibilities like islands of stability, exotic stable particles made of weird quarks instead of vanilla up/down, pressurized quickset resin, etc etc etc) is when
Spoiler:
Tony uses a wrench to bend a beam of "particles". Fine, whatever. Why doesn't he put the breadbox-sized target closer to the accelerator? It's like 30 pounds, I could move it for him if he didn't feel up to it. Moreover, why did he put the 'Flammable' cabinet between the beam and the target? Burning holes in things is a completely foreseeable consequence of magic particle accelerators.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:41 pm UTC

So this isn't a facepalm—quite the opposite in fact—but I thought it was so awesome I had to post it.

In Mass Effect 2, the main character is complaining about people who don't understand how their own technology works, and says, "You'd be surprised how often I get asked, 'Why's the ship turning around? We're only half-way there.'" I did a double take, since the last thing I expect from a mass market video game is a physics joke. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

(Admittedly, it would have been better if inter-system transportation in the game weren't based on FTL that ignores the whole acceleration/deceleration issue.)
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby pingiscoolest. » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:47 am UTC

Agent_Irons wrote:The only really annoying thing about Iron Man 2(i.e. that can't be reasonably explained by handwavy possibilities like islands of stability, exotic stable particles made of weird quarks instead of vanilla up/down, pressurized quickset resin, etc etc etc) is when
Spoiler:
Tony uses a wrench to bend a beam of "particles". Fine, whatever. Why doesn't he put the breadbox-sized target closer to the accelerator? It's like 30 pounds, I could move it for him if he didn't feel up to it. Moreover, why did he put the 'Flammable' cabinet between the beam and the target? Burning holes in things is a completely foreseeable consequence of magic particle accelerators.

What annoyed me so much more than this (irrationally probably) was when in the first movie his computer tells him the current altitude record. Obviously not the highest a manned aircraft has flown, as we went to the moon (unless your a conspiracy theorist)...when I first saw the movie, i thought it must be the highest flight for an air breathing engine, but...IRON MAN DOES NOT HAVE AN AIR BREATHING ENGINE! Also I have to wonder where his rocket fuel is stored.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Charlie! » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:01 am UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:(Admittedly, it would have been better if inter-system transportation in the game weren't based on FTL that ignores the whole acceleration/deceleration issue.)

Hahaha. Ha.

Yeah, I mean they made an effort. But the effort was a patch-up job after all the important stuff had been determined (like usual), not a part of the design.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby The Scyphozoa » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 pm UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:So this isn't a facepalm—quite the opposite in fact—but I thought it was so awesome I had to post it.

In Mass Effect 2, the main character is complaining about people who don't understand how their own technology works, and says, "You'd be surprised how often I get asked, 'Why's the ship turning around? We're only half-way there.'" I did a double take, since the last thing I expect from a mass market video game is a physics joke. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

(Admittedly, it would have been better if inter-system transportation in the game weren't based on FTL that ignores the whole acceleration/deceleration issue.)

I, uh, I don't get the joke.

Anyway, I noticed a comment about Stargate earlier in the thread. I think, for the most part, Stargate does a good job, except for anything dealing with computers.

I can understand how they, after many many years, managed to "MacGyver" a system (cue funny look from Richard Dean Anderson) to interface between their computers and a thousands-of-years-old alien device. But, on the spinoff series "Atlantis", they can hook up their computers to those of ANOTHER alien race they just encountered. Nevermind that they probably don't use anything even remotely similar to "combinations of eight 1's and 0's form any one of 256 possible bytes".

Also, if you have a robot (actually a humanoid being made of nanites) that dissolves their body and turns their consciousness into a floating invisible energy being thing. How exactly do they just move into some computer system? They float around, find a computer, and just seep into the wires? And they can just adapt to another form in a different computer language on the spot? And some types of computers are unpleasant to be in?

Anything having to do with computer viruses is complete handwaving. So, you have a huge computer virus, and you delete a good chunk of it. It then continues to function as before in the parts of the system where it survived. It's "able to regrow itself from a very small fraction". Uh huh. So what exactly do the extra parts of the code that "regrew" DO?? Does it have a command somewhere that says "continue to write code that has these functions: [...]"? If so, then that's not regrowing, it's just duplicating parts of itself. Which I guess is understandable. But if it needs to expand in order to function, then deleting chunks of it would likely cause it to stop functioning. Not to mention that a computer entity was able to zap itself into someone's brain... through a keyboard. Last time I checked, keyboards were usually made of non-conductive plastic.

And sound frequencies. If a particular frequency has some effect on people or technology, it probably won't remain exactly the same if recorded through a microphone and played through a speaker. If they can record and play back a sound that sounds exactly the same as it does in person, they'd be selling that audio reproduction technology.

Not related to computers, but still weird: where the hell does the iris protecting the gate GO when it's open? You can't even attribute this one to alien technology, because scientists on Earth built the iris very shortly after figuring out that lots of other people could try to come through it.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby TaintedDeity » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:25 pm UTC

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Sizik » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:40 pm UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:
skeptical scientist wrote:So this isn't a facepalm—quite the opposite in fact—but I thought it was so awesome I had to post it.

In Mass Effect 2, the main character is complaining about people who don't understand how their own technology works, and says, "You'd be surprised how often I get asked, 'Why's the ship turning around? We're only half-way there.'" I did a double take, since the last thing I expect from a mass market video game is a physics joke. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

(Admittedly, it would have been better if inter-system transportation in the game weren't based on FTL that ignores the whole acceleration/deceleration issue.)

I, uh, I don't get the joke.


When traveling through space, you want to get to your destination as quickly as possible. So, you put your rocket engines at full blast and leave them on. Now, how are you going to stop? You can't just turn your engines off, since you'll maintain your current velocity and (assuming the destination is stationary relative to where you left from) you'll land too quickly. You have to turn to turn on the brakes, but when do you do so? The answer is halfway there. Since you've been under constant acceleration, you'd have to accelerate in the opposite direction for as much time as you accelerated, so you'd start braking halfway. The reason you turn around is because you use the same engines to do the braking as you did to do the accelerating.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Mr_Rose » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:51 pm UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:I can understand how they, after many many years, managed to "MacGyver" a system (cue funny look from Richard Dean Anderson) to interface between their computers and a thousands-of-years-old alien device. But, on the spinoff series "Atlantis", they can hook up their computers to those of ANOTHER alien race they just encountered. Nevermind that they probably don't use anything even remotely similar to "combinations of eight 1's and 0's form any one of 256 possible bytes".
Which alien species was it? The one created by an unusual interaction between two alien biologies whose technology is entirely derived from their understanding of the technologies of the original gate builders, or the computers of the species that was created by those same gate-builders?

The Scyphozoa wrote:Also, if you have a robot (actually a humanoid being made of nanites) that dissolves their body and turns their consciousness into a floating invisible energy being thing. How exactly do they just move into some computer system? They float around, find a computer, and just seep into the wires? And they can just adapt to another form in a different computer language on the spot? And some types of computers are unpleasant to be in?
Probably induction. Also, I'm pretty sure there are much bigger problems with the existence of "invisible energy-beings" than there are with the idea of them being able to change form.

The Scyphozoa wrote:Anything having to do with computer viruses is complete handwaving. So, you have a huge computer virus, and you delete a good chunk of it. It then continues to function as before in the parts of the system where it survived. It's "able to regrow itself from a very small fraction". Uh huh. So what exactly do the extra parts of the code that "regrew" DO?? Does it have a command somewhere that says "continue to write code that has these functions: [...]"? If so, then that's not regrowing, it's just duplicating parts of itself. Which I guess is understandable. But if it needs to expand in order to function, then deleting chunks of it would likely cause it to stop functioning. Not to mention that a computer entity was able to zap itself into someone's brain... through a keyboard. Last time I checked, keyboards were usually made of non-conductive plastic.
Is there a particular episode that goes with this? I don't recall this particular incident, but I suspect procedural generation may have been involved.

The Scyphozoa wrote:And sound frequencies. If a particular frequency has some effect on people or technology, it probably won't remain exactly the same if recorded through a microphone and played through a speaker. If they can record and play back a sound that sounds exactly the same as it does in person, they'd be selling that audio reproduction technology.
Who says they're not? You don't see much of the "outside world" in stargate, but the fictional "stargate programme" has to show results in order to continue getting funding; I mean, human-made plasma weaponry was shown to be in a deployable state by the end of series eight....

The Scyphozoa wrote:Not related to computers, but still weird: where the hell does the iris protecting the gate GO when it's open? You can't even attribute this one to alien technology, because scientists on Earth built the iris very shortly after figuring out that lots of other people could try to come through it.
Into the hollow pocket that is part of the inner ring of every old-style stargate. No-one really explained why it was there, but evidently inserting titanium-alloy plating doesn't affect its function much, if at all.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby The Scyphozoa » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:03 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:
The Scyphozoa wrote:
skeptical scientist wrote:So this isn't a facepalm—quite the opposite in fact—but I thought it was so awesome I had to post it.

In Mass Effect 2, the main character is complaining about people who don't understand how their own technology works, and says, "You'd be surprised how often I get asked, 'Why's the ship turning around? We're only half-way there.'" I did a double take, since the last thing I expect from a mass market video game is a physics joke. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

(Admittedly, it would have been better if inter-system transportation in the game weren't based on FTL that ignores the whole acceleration/deceleration issue.)

I, uh, I don't get the joke.


When traveling through space, you want to get to your destination as quickly as possible. So, you put your rocket engines at full blast and leave them on. Now, how are you going to stop? You can't just turn your engines off, since you'll maintain your current velocity and (assuming the destination is stationary relative to where you left from) you'll land too quickly. You have to turn to turn on the brakes, but when do you do so? The answer is halfway there. Since you've been under constant acceleration, you'd have to accelerate in the opposite direction for as much time as you accelerated, so you'd start braking halfway. The reason you turn around is because you use the same engines to do the braking as you did to do the accelerating.

Ah, I see.

That would be the fastest way, but that seems really inefficient.


Mr_Rose wrote:Which alien species was it? The one created by an unusual interaction between two alien biologies whose technology is entirely derived from their understanding of the technologies of the original gate builders, or the computers of the species that was created by those same gate-builders?

I'm referring to the Wraith on "Atlantis". Within a few years of encountering the Wraith, they can hook up their computers to Wraith ships.

Mr_Rose wrote:Is there a particular episode that goes with this? I don't recall this particular incident, but I suspect procedural generation may have been involved.

There's the "SG-1" one where Sam gets that computer entity in her, and the "Atlantis" one where the ship (Daedalus, I think?) gets infected with a computer virus, they wipe it out from the main system but it survives in the computers on the fighters on board, and then continues to survive on the one fighter that it took control of, which was following the ship. Perhaps the virus was small enough to fit on the one fighter's computer the whole time, and it just duplicated itself, but it annoys me how they don't realized (or make it sound that way) that a computer program can't just "regrow" like an organism, and unless it's purposefully redundant, every piece of the code is vital in some way. If you take away one byte, the entire function it was part of will stop working if it isn't specifically designed to account for that, if not the whole program itself.

Mr_Rose wrote:Who says they're not? You don't see much of the "outside world" in stargate, but the fictional "stargate programme" has to show results in order to continue getting funding; I mean, human-made plasma weaponry was shown to be in a deployable state by the end of series eight....

There are two episodes I was referring to with the sound reproduction: The one with the big white plants on the planet with the almost-naked white people, where the UAV damaged a plant and it started making a sound outside our hearing range that hurt the people. In this episode, they weren't even trying to reproduce the sound. They started getting headaches when they watched a recording that someone took on that planet, with an average run-of-the-mill video camera.

The other episode was when aliens disguised themselves as SGC personnel, and there was a frequency which interrupted their disguise devices. That one I'll forgive because Sam figured out there was a frequency, and meant to broadcast it across the whole base. But she did put the thing that made the sound in front of a microphone to amplify it.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Whelan » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:11 pm UTC

There's no reason it couldn't be a range of frequencies that includes the original and the slightly-off one.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby kernelpanic » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:24 am UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:But she did put the thing that made the sound in front of a microphone to amplify it.

That makes perfect sense if the microphone is connected to an amplifier.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby The Scyphozoa » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:16 am UTC


Wait... then how does the iris actually get to the front of the gate if the blades overlap behind it? I always thought they disappeared into some space within the ring of the gate, but then they wouldn't have room to overlap unless there was a hollow space in the gate specifically designed to have an iris put in it. :?
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby hemhhr » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:36 am UTC

They're all tilted a bit. With a bunch of tilted things, you don't really stack them on top of each other, they're next to each other and overlapping, like if you pushed over a deck of cards. And when they're all extended, the center point is the farthest from you, if they stay tilted.

The Scyphozoa wrote:That would be the fastest way, but that seems really inefficient.

Could there be some way of taking advantage of the fact that you want to end up the same velocity of the planet you're visiting? Like, their gravitational field or their sun's gravitational field can help slow you down or something? I don't know much physics, is that a thing to be done?
Last edited by hemhhr on Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:45 am UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby TaintedDeity » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:37 am UTC

As Mr.Rose said:
Into the hollow pocket that is part of the inner ring of every old-style stargate. No-one really explained why it was there, but evidently inserting titanium-alloy plating doesn't affect its function much, if at all.
:wink:
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby The Scyphozoa » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:46 am UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:As Mr.Rose said:
Into the hollow pocket that is part of the inner ring of every old-style stargate. No-one really explained why it was there, but evidently inserting titanium-alloy plating doesn't affect its function much, if at all.
:wink:

Ah, I must have missed that part of his post since you had already posted a link. Thanks.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby TaintedDeity » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:05 am UTC

Seriously though, the thought that the stargate would've already needed to have a huge empty space hadn't crossed my mind...
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Dopefish » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:40 am UTC

On the mention of Mass effect 2, theres a lot of good reading in the codex of that game, that I only just read through recently.

I don't know enough biology to tell how feasible/real the descriptions of a number of biological processes are, but they do give a number of them for each of the races.

Lots of physics related things to chew on when they describe the technologies and the ships there too, but there a lot of justification fall back to the magical mass reducing maxx effect fields that break real physics as we know it. Still, even if you allow for that, theres a number of explanations that might still be questionable given the amount of detail. For example, one of the main FTL communication devices you use in the game works on the basis of quantum entanglement, which they describe reasonably correctly, but omit the fact that it doesn't actually work for communcating information. It's not like by observing one of the objects that the one it's entangled with suddenly lights up and says "I'm garunteed to have this result if you measure me!", so it can't be used as a bit of information like the game describes.

Lots of other things in there too. (Fun game though.)

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Chen » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:08 pm UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:Anyway, I noticed a comment about Stargate earlier in the thread. I think, for the most part, Stargate does a good job, except for anything dealing with computers.


I remember one episode of stargate where they said something like "evacuate a 20 square mile radius around the mountain". How can you have a radius measured in square miles? I remember having to rewind the episode just to check after my buddy said something seemed wrong but that is what they said. I suppose they could have meant 20 square miles, around the mountain at a certain radius, but that seems like a very poor way of describing an area to me seeing as it requires some math that isn't easy to do in your head to get the actual distance away from the mountain you'd want to be.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby The Scyphozoa » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:12 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
The Scyphozoa wrote:Anyway, I noticed a comment about Stargate earlier in the thread. I think, for the most part, Stargate does a good job, except for anything dealing with computers.


I remember one episode of stargate where they said something like "evacuate a 20 square mile radius around the mountain". How can you have a radius measured in square miles? I remember having to rewind the episode just to check after my buddy said something seemed wrong but that is what they said. I suppose they could have meant 20 square miles, around the mountain at a certain radius, but that seems like a very poor way of describing an area to me seeing as it requires some math that isn't easy to do in your head to get the actual distance away from the mountain you'd want to be.

A circle with an area of 20 square miles has a radius of about 2.5 miles.

I re-watched another episode last night. You know how human-form replicators can stick their hand in your head and read/control your mind? The replicator version of Sam (RepliCarter?) decided to input data into a computer "directly". She stuck her hand in the monitor. Well, there you have it.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Sockmonkey » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:46 pm UTC

Having your rocket do a burn/flip/burn all the way uses a lot of energy but it also means you need less air/food/water and spend less time in microgravity.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Carnildo » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:47 am UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:And sound frequencies. If a particular frequency has some effect on people or technology, it probably won't remain exactly the same if recorded through a microphone and played through a speaker. If they can record and play back a sound that sounds exactly the same as it does in person, they'd be selling that audio reproduction technology.

Single frequencies, or complex sounds? We've had the ability to record arbitrary frequencies and play them back with high fidelity for better than half a century now. The reason why complex sounds (say, music) don't sound the same after recording is that there's more to them than the simple frequency/amplitude/phase information that a tape deck stores, such as spatial positioning, and most recording technology distorts the relative volumes of different frequencies.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby skeptical scientist » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:00 am UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:
Sizik wrote:When traveling through space, you want to get to your destination as quickly as possible. So, you put your rocket engines at full blast and leave them on. Now, how are you going to stop? You can't just turn your engines off, since you'll maintain your current velocity and (assuming the destination is stationary relative to where you left from) you'll land too quickly. You have to turn to turn on the brakes, but when do you do so? The answer is halfway there. Since you've been under constant acceleration, you'd have to accelerate in the opposite direction for as much time as you accelerated, so you'd start braking halfway. The reason you turn around is because you use the same engines to do the braking as you did to do the accelerating.

Ah, I see.

That would be the fastest way, but that seems really inefficient.

It's the least efficient in terms of fuel use, but the most efficient in terms of time at a given acceleration. It makes sense to do this when the limiting factor in your transportation is time or maximum acceleration rather than fuel quantity, or if you have enough fuel to use acceleration to generate the onboard gravity. It doesn't make sense to do this when the limiting factor is fuel. So in science fiction, this type of travel is common in universes with efficient reactionless drives, on ships powered by Bussard ramjets, and by anyone in such a great hurry that they are willing to throw fuel economy out the window.


Dopefish wrote:Lots of physics related things to chew on when they describe the technologies and the ships there too, but there a lot of justification fall back to the magical mass reducing maxx effect fields that break real physics as we know it.

Meh, I'm happy to suspend my disbelief for intentional violations of the laws of physics; it's really only the blatant mistakes (as opposed to artistic license) that bother me.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Chen » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:10 pm UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:A circle with an area of 20 square miles has a radius of about 2.5 miles.


Yes I am aware. Still root(20/Pi) is not something I can quickly and accurately do in my head. If they wanted you to get 2.5 miles away from the mountain that seems like a much better thing to say. I'm sticking with the whole "its a goof up in terminology" on their part.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby JudeMorrigan » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:06 pm UTC

Stargate has two of my [least] favorite bits of Hollywood science:

1) The whole "humans only use 10% of their brains" drivel. This wouldn't bother me quite so much if I had any faith in the writes to actually realize that it was drivel. People who think that it's actually true are scarily commonplace.

2) Closley related within the Stargate mythis, their conceptualization of evolution bears a marked resemblance to your average creationist's strawman of evolution. See, for example, how it's a goal-seeking process where "lower" life-forms are trying to evolve into "higher" life-forms. Again, it doesn't bother me so much that it doesn't mesh with reality as it does that it surely helps perpetuate misconceptions.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby johnny_7713 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:17 pm UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:
Dopefish wrote:Lots of physics related things to chew on when they describe the technologies and the ships there too, but there a lot of justification fall back to the magical mass reducing maxx effect fields that break real physics as we know it.

Meh, I'm happy to suspend my disbelief for intentional violations of the laws of physics; it's really only the blatant mistakes (as opposed to artistic license) that bother me.


I am reminded of a quote that I once read (not sure who by) that stated: 'In sci-fi, people are willing to accept the impossible, but not the highly improbable'.
I suppose that intentional violations of physics show understanding, whereas mistakes do not. E.g. realising that you need to invent a new area of physics (or some kind of magic machine) to explain FTL shows you understand physics (to a point). Violating conservation of momentum without explanation shows you do not and implies this is how things work in the real world as well.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby The Scyphozoa » Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:50 pm UTC

So, of course Jimmy Neutron is full of a bunch of sciency-things that don't exist/don't work that way, but the one that sticks in my mind as being particularly humorously stupid, is when they shrunk themselves and went into Carl's body to extract a mitochondria [sic] from a VIRUS. So that they could figure out how to kill it.

1. Mitochondrion is the singular form.
2. Viruses don't have mitochondria.
3. And what exactly would getting one do for you trying to kill them?
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Re: Facepalm TV

Postby furyguitar » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:11 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Interactive Civilian wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:
Zhatt wrote:I always groan at the typical scene where someone gets thrown out of an airlock into empty space and then they instantly freeze and get's covered in ice because space is apparently oh so very very cold.


That is really annoying. Blackbody radiation a ridiculously slow way to loose energy at such low temperatures (human temperatures). I think I did some calculations on just how long it would take to drop 37 degrees in space at some point, and it was order of magnitude days (maybe even weeks)

I'm not going to defend the "freeze instantly in space" types, but I can't help but wonder how much heat will be lost through evaporative cooling as any liquids on the surface of the skin immediately boil off. Maybe not enough to freeze a body solid, but perhaps enough to freeze-dry surface cells causing a bit of frostbite? just curious.
Zhatt wrote:They're beside the flipping Sun for goodness sake!
But they are also in the shadow of their ship. With no medium to conduct heat from the direct sunlight areas to the shadow areas, does their proximity to the sun really matter? Again, I'm not defending the "freeze instantly in space" types, but in the shadow of their ship (which, IIRC was designed to reflect on the front side, so it wouldn't be absorbing much to re-radiate into its own shadow as blackbody radiation), would it really be any different regardless of proximity to the sun?

Not defending the bad science. Just curious about the real physics of such a situation. :)

Regarding proximity to the sun, look at the planet mercury. The side of the planet facing the sun will reach upwards of 400oC (752oF) during the day and around -170oC (-274oF) on the darkside. Sounds sufficient enough to freeze.

I often have big problems with music in films - watching "conductors" supposedly conduct ensembles with the most awful gestures, and they are rarely, if ever, in sync with the music. Music teachers as conductors in films are equally hilarious. Also people being impressed with mediocrity in performance. See August Rush, Finding Forrester, and American Pie. And Glee. And, if I remember correctly, Les choristes. There are many, many more instances of music that piss me off in films, but these are just a few. Oh, another one just came to me - Lindsay Lohan's Just My Luck (I've watched it with my wife, don't F with me... lol) where a teen pop/emo/punk band listens to a song once and then flawlessly improvises their own version right off the bat. I call BS, sir!

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Steax » Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:52 pm UTC

Into the Universe with Steven Hawking is pretty cool and interesting. Nice graphics too, and quite captivating. Except the effects team felt they had to include sound in space.

It was like..
whoa wormhole!
generic spaceship coming into the wormhole. okay.
it's getting closer to the camera—!
uh... closer.. please no.. closer.. it won't, won't it? ... closer... I mean, this is a physics show- ... ZHOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:17 am UTC

Very early in this thread (first page maybe?) somebody referenced Star Trek and how humans were somehow genetically related to the other hominid aliens (which explains why they are hominids).

But I don't understand how that works. How can we simultaneously be descended from great apes (Pan in particular) and from extraterrestrials ("The Preservers" in particular)?

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:23 am UTC

According to the Trek episode in question (TNG: "The Chase") life on various planets was seeded with genetic code such that a basic hominid pattern would emerge on lots of planets. This is, of course, pretty ridiculous, and the Trek writers should have gone "uh..uhh....convergent evolution!" for everyone's sake. (Of course, in Trek, there are plenty of aliens that are sentient rocks or beings that eat inspiration or beings that live in boxes and are so ugly they'll kill you. So another common fan explanation is that hominid species are not really all that more common than others--it's just that humanoid species tend to associate with other humanoid species, and so that's what we see.)
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:31 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:According to the Trek episode in question (TNG: "The Chase") life on various planets was seeded with genetic code such that a basic hominid pattern would emerge on lots of planets. This is, of course, pretty ridiculous, and the Trek writers should have gone "uh..uhh....convergent evolution!" for everyone's sake. (Of course, in Trek, there are plenty of aliens that are sentient rocks or beings that eat inspiration or beings that live in boxes and are so ugly they'll kill you. So another common fan explanation is that hominid species are not really all that more common than others--it's just that humanoid species tend to associate with other humanoid species, and so that's what we see.)

Of course, no matter what you do the math isn't going to work out. There's just no way so many aliens would be so fundamentally similar to humans.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby TheChewanater » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:50 am UTC

Universes in which hominid species occur independently many times are not really all that more common than others - it's just that humans relate better with movies about other humanoid species, so those are the universes they make movies about.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:04 am UTC

I didn't say it was realistic or made sense, in any case. I'm just playing Q's advocate here.
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