Quickies

Quickies: Women with friends are scary, Bigfoot is dead

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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      1. Also, they don’t actually do science, they just talk about doing science (until it kills them.) But we (science geeks, desperate SciFi nerds) watch these movies any way, because at least they mention science, even if the characters don’t actually do it, and even if it kills them in the end.

        BTW, it’s the classic Frankenstein plot, The Fly would also qualify. Probably if I thought about if for more than half a second, I could come with a hundred more. Can anyone think of a movie where the heroes actually practice science and critical thinking and it saves them?

        1. Well, in Lorenzo’s Oil the father teamed up with the doctors to scientifically deduce which combination of oils would save his kid. Too bad the story is pretty much bullshit as they discussed recently on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

          Oh, I know. Kurt Russell used a scientific test to find out who was still human in The Thing, also not really a science movie. I know, Jodie Foster does actual science in the very beginning of Contact, that was until something interesting happened. I guess part of the problem is doing science can be fun but watching science is really rather boring, kind of like golf.

          1. “I called it fantacrap.”
            —Jay Sherman

            I think fantasy is more popular than science fiction. Notice how the Star Trek reboot is more fantasy than science fiction. (To be fair, the franchise has been like this since Voyager.) But the most extreme example has to be Beastmaster. Originally a space Western about psychics (Andre Norton loved her psychics.) who communicate with animals, it became Conan…IN MEXICO! (said in a “PIGS IN SPACE!” voice), albeit with psychic powers and communicating with animals.

            To give you an idea where science fiction is in Hollywood, we give directors cookies for remembering there’s no sound in a vacuum.

            Oh, speaking of fantasy, Magic: The Gathering introduced a new planeswalker with ambiguous gender last year. Ashiok’s a villain, but considering Xantcha was in some ways *the* hero of the Weatherlight saga, yeah.

        2. It always amazed me to see Outbreak, where a monkey resistant to Ebola virus is found, caught, bled and antibodies produced in liter quantities all in about 24 hours or at least in time to save the hero’s girlfriend.
          OK in theory but the process would take months even if everything went perfectly and all possible resources were made available right at the start. That’s IF all the bigshots in command could be found, pulled out of meetings, listen, and be convinced in time.
          IRL it would be a damage control exercise with lots of flowcharts long after the event and the heroes would be reprimanded for not wearing the proper protective clothing at all times.

  1. I think it’s that Hollywood doesn’t understand how science works more than anything. Some of this is pragmatism. (It’s cheaper to pretend a starship has gravity.) The rest is…Sometimes I think the Hollywood equivalent of a penis-measuring contest is “Who can believe the most insane thing?” This is why so many celebrities are $cientologists, why so many are into detox diets and homeopathic medicine, and why so many think vaccines are evil.

  2. OK, if there really was a dead Yeti being autopsied at a “college in Washington State,” it would be at WSU, where they have a college of Veterinary Medicine. It’s The School for zoology out here. But he doesn’t say where. If it were out here, we would surely know it.

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s a poor excuse for an animal of such noble heraldry as the Yetinsen. (The Yeti is considered the source of evolution of the SubGenius. We didn’t evolve from no monkeys. We evolved from the Yeti, and the rest of yew came out of a botched science experiment by the Yetis.)

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