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I'm starting an organization, and I'm calling it PETS. It stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Science.

Now, before I get on this rant of mine here, let me tell you; I'm a big believer of suspension of disbelief. Without it, fiction would suck. We need unrealism in stories!! Star Wars wouldn't be Star Wars if space didn't act like it had aerodynamic properties to allow the ships to fly around in, right? Action movies would be pretty boring if guys didn't fly back 10 feet when shot with a gun, even though the shooter barely moved when he fired the bullet, thus implying that the bullet magically picked up some energy from somewhere whilst in flight, right?

So the bottom line is that we need unrealism sometimes.

But other times it just gets annoying.

I finished reading Angels and Demons this weekend. I tried to like it. I couldn't. Every inch of the book made me want to stand up and scream "GAH". The end of the book has the lead character jumping out of a helicopter that has an "antimatter bomb" in it of 20 kilotons yeild. The Hiroshima bomb was 13 kilotons, remember.

So anyways, he jumps out of the helicopter (Which is directly over Rome, by the way!) and it blows up a few seconds later, and he miraculously manages to use a piece of tarp as a parachute to land safely on the ground. Not a single person died from the explosion, nor got hurt in any way. Wow. Despite the fact that the massive burst of gamma radiation alone would have fried everyone to a crisp... GAH.


I couldn't suspend my disbelief.

So I thought to myself; okay, maybe he was taking a creating licence with his stuff and hoping that no one would call him on his blatant mistakes. So I find an interview with him, and do you know what he says?


Q: Antimatter plays a startling role in Angels & Demons and sounds utterly terrifying. Is antimatter for real?

A: Absolutely. Antimatter is the ultimate energy source. It releases energy with 100% efficiency (nuclear fission is 1.5% efficient.) Antimatter is 100,000 times more powerful than rocket fuel. A single gram contains the energy of a 20 kiloton atomic bomb--the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. In addition to being highly explosive, antimatter is extremely unstable and ignites when it comes in contact with anything...even air. It can only be stored by suspending it in an electromagnetic field inside a vacuum canister. If the field fails and the antimatter falls, the result is a "perfect" matter/antimatter conversion, which physicists aptly call "annihilation." CERN is now regularly producing small quantities of antimatter in their research for future energy sources. Antimatter holds tremendous promise; it creates no pollution or radiation, and a single droplet could power New York City for a full day. With fossils fuels dwindling, the promise of harnessing antimatter could be an enormous leap for the future of this planet. Of course, mastering antimatter technology brings with it a chilling dilemma. Will this powerful new technology save the world, or will it be used to create the most deadly weapon ever made?

Someone, please whack him upside the head. PLEASE! How could antimatter possibly be an energy source? The only reason Fossil Fuels are an energy source is because they exist on this planet; all we have to do is find them and use them.

Antimatter doesn't exist on this planet! We can't just find an antimatter field, drill it up and ship it off to a power generating plant!

Let's read what he wrote again:

Antimatter holds tremendous promise; it creates no pollution or radiation, and a single droplet could power New York City for a full day.

Okay, first off, antimatter annihilations give off gamma radiation. So right away you know he's full of shit.

But then he says a single drop could power New York for a full day. While that's true, where the hell are you going to get a drop of antimatter in the first place? That's right, you have to use that much energy to create it, and THEN you can annihilate it and get that energy back.

Seems like a waste to me...

Oh god, this is torture.

Okay, and now lets get on with the second topic.

For some retarded reason, last night I decided to watch... (dum dum dum) CATEGORY 7: THE END OF THE WORLD.

Fun fact: I was originally planning on making a journal entry entitled "CATEGORY 7: THE END OF THE WORLD", and the entry would just say "LOL" in huge bold letters, but I felt that was too lacking in content.



No seriously. I want to know whose 10 year old son wrote that script. I used to think that "The Day After Tomorrow" was the worst ecological disaster movie I've ever seen. Then I saw "The Core" and changed my mind, and said "that's it, no ecological disaster movie could possibly ever be worse than this!".

I. Was. Wrong.

The name of the movie should have tipped me off right away; there's no such thing as a Category 7 storm. Whatever brilliant retard thought that up?

Then you've got a hotshot pilot flying an SR-71 around tornados at Mach 3, like he's dogfighting or something. Oh yeah, and did I mention that at the end of the movie he ends up doing the classic "heroic sacrifice for no apparent reason"? The fucker flies into a hurricane/tornado/whatever to get "scientific data", so that the people on the ground can figure out what temperature the ambient air needs to be in order to kill the super storm.

Yeah, you heard me right. The grand plan to kill the super storm is to turn off all electricity in Washington DC, so that the ambient temperature of the city drops to 78.2 degrees (yes, it needed to be precise to 1/10th of a degree!), so that the super storm immediately dies.


Yeah you read that right.

I really don't know what else to say.

So there you go. PETS is now active. Let's go find Dan Brown. And club him.
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Category 7 looked terrible. It came on after Cold Case and I just changed the channel. Nothing advertised that much can be good.

If you hated Brown before, wait until you read The Da Vinci Code (obscene amounts of deus ex machina) or Digital Fortress (uhhh... gets a lot of things wrong... even reading Cryptonomicon would have improved the research quotient admirably).

I never quite understood why those religious wackos were after him, but if he's manhandled religious dogma as much as he's molested scientific facts we'll have to team up with those God-fearing wife-beaters and teach him a lesson. Then we'll turn on each other.

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I gotta say, those two examples are great testiments to why some people shouldn't write.

if you are going to write about somthing at least make it a _little_ credible, and if you are going to lie (be creative) own up to the fact it is just a fantasy if asked about it (anti-matter as a viable fuel source, yeah 'maybe' but 'maybe not' =D)

for once i actually found your post pretty interesting, had a good balance of gripe/content

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John <- not bored

Keep it up.

Skeptic Magazine did a great article on the scholarship Brown used behind DaVinci Code. Basically it's an amalgam of discredited sources and stuff he just made up.

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I thought the dialogue in The Da Vinci Code was enough to get him lynched, let alone factual errors.

Robert to the gendarme near the beginning sounds something like a bad adventure game:
"Aren't you coming?"
"No. I have other things I must attend to."

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Robert to the gendarme near the beginning sounds something like a bad adventure game:

"I can't pick that up."

"It doesn't seem to close."


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