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Taking Movies at Face Value

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Why does science always have to be so serious?

Oh wait, it doesn’t! You could even enjoy it! So says Dr. Tyson on NPR, as he goes through the summer’s blockbusters.

The Intuitor Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics page has always been, at least in title, a little militant for me. Granted, they do not rate the movies for acting or storyline, but sometimes it’s just nice to sit back and enjoy the ride and ignore the stuff claiming to be science or engineering feats. That being said, I had to be restrained when in G.I.Joe, when a giant ice-base is blown to pieces and sunk… I mean, sinking ice! Aaaaaugh!

The reason it bothers me isn’t that it’s weird or too far over the top. The rest of the movie involves, among other things, super-duper military groups, mechanized suits of armor to enhance soldiers’ skills, all kinds of technological gadgets and gear, and so on. What bothers me is that it’s just wrong. Ice doesn’t sink on this planet, at least, not in the ocean. It just doesn’t. Density will pwn you every time.

If you’re going for scientific accuracy (or plausibility), go for it, but don’t leave out the details. Otherwise, Dr. Tyson will go after your slackness!


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