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Science behind Science Fiction


I have a bone to pick with the science fiction writers of today. No, not the science fiction story writers but the scifi movie writers. The people who wrote Spider Man, Superman Returns, The Dark Knight Returns etc etc.

To start with the new Spider man movie , I actually liked it. It wasn’t very boring, it had Emma Stone in the movie who I love and the science behind it was quite strong as well. Well, spider man's web in this installment doesn’t come from his body but is actually an artificial fiber which he is able to modify and use as a web! and using his sharp senses and strength, he uses the spider silk for the better, to swing around and to hold onto cars. But there was one thing that got stuck in my head. A big one at that. You remember the villain from the movie, who takes an experimental medicine and grows his arm back using some space age genetics tech? well, the space age tech is supposedly modeled on reptiles and their ability to grow limbs or specifically their tail incase it is cut off. Well, you see, the problem is that the tail of a reptile (take a lizard) isnt all bone. Quite a lot of the tail is plain muscle. And reptiles can grow muscle back. They CANNOT grow bones. But in the movie, it's shown that the scientist who has the lower part of his arm missing actually grows back the whole hand, bone and muscle together instead of just the muscle. Well, if it had to work out in the right way, he would just have his hand muscles and not a bone! Remember one of the harry potter movies in which instead of fixing harry's broken bone, one of the professor completely removes the bone and harry's hand starts to move about willy nilly. Well, it'd be somewhat similar to that. So, you see these small things, which some people might care about, ruin the movie for us.

Coming to the Super Man, supposedly the man of steel, I don’t just have a problem with the movie but in general with his costume and his personality. We were wondering what direction the new superman movie would take, given that he isn't an emotionally complicated case like batman is (which is why BATMAN rules!). So, starting with the costume, I donot understand why he should have a cape. Batman needs the cape because he isnt super human and he cant fly! His cape lets him jump off buildings, jump on thugs and put pseud as well. So, why exactly does Superman need to wear a cape?! And one other thing, when superman is flying, the cape will interfere with him. Quite a lot! As superman's cape isnt a smart material (like batman's is), it will just flutter about in the wind while superman's flying and will hamper superman from reaching his terminal velocity! And who knows, if the fabric isn't good, it might just rip off mid flight and super man would be flying around looking shabby, like a homeless person! And, as you might've noticed if you were ever wearing a scarf while on a bike ride, the scarf moving about in the wind makes quite a bit of noise as well. And at the speeds at which superman flies, even his super hearing might be impaired due to the sound of his cape fluttering. You see, batman thought about all these things while modelling the bat cape and thus doesn’t have to worry about the drawbacks superman's cape poses. c'mon superman, look at batman and learn something. You know that it isnt a bad thing to ask for help if you don’t know how.

And well coming to the Batman, I have very few problems. Batman is brilliantly written; his personality, his mental condition and thought process, his history and his rules; all of them personify a common man aiming to be more. But well, I do have one problem with how the Dark Knight Rises ended. If you looked closely enough, the timer had just about a minute left when the batman hooks the nuclear bomb  to his Bat and runs off to the sunset to save Gotham City! And if you remember, the blast circle was mentioned to be 6miles in the course of the movie! So, for the Bat to go 6 miles into the ocean in a minute, it had to be travelling at 360mph! Im sorry but it didn’t look like the Bat was that capable! Or even if it could travel that fast,  what happened to the mushroom cloud and it's after effects?! The blast wave coming from the explosion would have hit the water, which would then manifest in huge waves, that would hit New York city and probably end up submerging it! So, pretty gaping holes I feel! And I do agree, the Dark Knight had far less holes that the Dark Knight Rises did!

But anyway, I've been mind fucked enough watching Star Trek, Star Wars, the Terminator series, Total Recall and a couple of other awesome sci-fi movies! So, there is still hope for awesome sci-fi movies. Let's just hope that Star Trek 2, Wolverine, Man of Steel work out well and Iron Man3. Hope.

PS - if you guys don’t know, I was trying to emulate the awesome what-if-xkcd while writing this article. I don’t know how good my article is, but it is in no way comparable to the ones you will find there. Do check them out. They are awesome! 


EDITED - While i do realize that these examples arent exactly from sci fi movies but from comic books, i also want to say that im just trying to copy what-if.xkcd.com. i wanted to look at a situation like that side does and wanted to see where it goes. while i can just edit the first para of this post and not piss off people, i shan't do it because that will remind me of this unspeakable mistake that i committed. im sorry for the start but i hope you liked the rest of it. 

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