The Science in the Movie 2012

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  1. #1 Coturnix
    November 21, 2009

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  2. #2 Greg Laden
    November 21, 2009

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    I’m … speechless.

  3. #3 The Science Pundit
    November 21, 2009


  4. #4 NewEnglandBob
    November 21, 2009

    Someone actually watched that alleged movie? It must have been one of those ‘know thy enemy’ proponents.

  5. #5 MadScientist
    November 22, 2009

    I saw a few reviews for the movie so I read the reviews and thought the authors were bending over to say anything nice at all. “Lots of explosions” seems to be the nicest thing they can say. I think I’ll head over to Roger Ebert’s site and see if he’s watched it (damn, I almost said Gene Siskel).

  6. #6 Clemens
    November 22, 2009

    I mean, how awesome is this: A rare planetary constellation triggers a neutrino outburst in the sun that melts the earth’s core…

  7. #7 The Science Pundit
    November 22, 2009

    Everything that I’ve read or heard about the movie suggests that this parody trailer got it exactly right. 🙂

  8. #8 Claire Binkley
    November 22, 2009

    I hear so much about this movie claiming it all to be rubbish. Perhaps MST3K will get its hands on it?

  9. #9 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    November 22, 2009

    In just the trailer version of the special effects, I can tell that they will be even worse than the ones in the transformers ii movie. Yes, I saw that movie. Yes, I almost cried (for the wasted ticket money.)

  10. #10 momkat
    November 22, 2009

    Destruction porn is a guilty pleasure for many of us. I won’t apologize. But I do think I strained an eye muscle from all the eye rolling at the science (or lack thereof).

  11. #11 Umlud
    November 22, 2009

    As a person who is a scientist and who went to see the film, I must admit that it was quite funny. However bad the science was, the action sequences were quite well-done and it never really made me yawn.

    Furthermore, there were so many tongue-in-cheek references in the film that I’m sure they weren’t taking themselves seriously. However, some of the things that struck me immediately as wrong (and I’m not a physicist or a geologist) were:

    * the alignment of planets occurs quite often
    * microwaves would have cooked all matter on Earth, not just the core
    * the counterfeit Mona Lisa was obviously a fake
    * the twin prop jet should have encountered more turbulence when flying through a volcanic eruption
    * the shifting of the continents – if it happened so quickly – would have caused a lot more initial devastation than the washing away done by the water
    * what’s the significance of the south pole shifting to Madison Wisconsin (other than continuing the several references in the film to Wisconsin)?
    * tsunamis a couple thousand meters high?!?
    * even if they were so high, they should have receded quickly (not take 27 days)
    * if people were at a couple thousand meters of elevation, they should have been breathing harder
    * if the southern part of the African continent had risen so significantly, the Great Rift Lakes should have shifted
    * Mt Kilimanjaro should have erupted (if all the other volcanoes and hotspots had also erupted, too)
    * if Europe were still inundated after 27 days, then why wasn’t North Africa?

    I’m sure there were plenty of other ones, but these were ones that occurred to me, even though I tried to turn off my “scientist thinking”. One shouldn’t go to these kinds of films (including The Day After Tomorrow) to critique the science.

  12. #12 yud
    November 22, 2009

    My favorite part was how the “hydraulics room” actually housed gears, not hydraulics.

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    November 22, 2009

    Umlid: I have a lot of things to day about the geology related to Africa as well as the socio-political implications of the whole setup but I’m keeping that to myself for now because it requires referring to how the film ends and I don’t want to ruint it for the zillions of people who are still going to see the film.

  14. #14 Rodrigo
    November 23, 2009

    Greg: The hero doesn’t die. The girl kisses him. He rebuilds the world, and the US is still the bestest country EVAH. There, did I hit it? Now you can comment 😀

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    November 23, 2009

    The hero dies, the US is part of the Atlano-pacific ocean forever, and the girl is actually the hero’s daughter, but she turns out fairly happy.

    Or is that other guy the hero?

  16. #16 Bill Beaty
    November 23, 2009

    I had a brainstorm. How do you explain 2012 to the general public? Well, the Mayans didn’t use base ten, and their calender had a different starting point than ours …so our 1999 is sort of like the Mayan year 2011. What happens one year later? IT’S THE Y-2K DISASTER! The entire Mayan government crumbles because nobody knows how to write the date on official documents. Riots and looting and expensively dressed bureaucrats with paper bags over their heads!

    But we’re already past all that. Only ancient Mayan government officials need worry about the (gasp!) Y- 5.125K disaster.

  17. #17 Christophe Thill
    November 23, 2009

    I saw the title and, while clicking on it, thought “This must be a blank page”. Bingo. Do I win something ?

  18. #18 Antonio Chevez
    May 3, 2011

    The movie 2012 was a credit to Computer Generated Imagery, it is fabulous as a graphic exageration, but if the actual phenomenon had happened, I dont understand why would it be like that, given that the humans and other animals on the surface are so vulnerable, would not we melt before we say ouch? our skin is not designed to take a shower of rays coming from out space in such intensity. I am half Mayan Half Lenca, we dont see the 2012 as Westerner see it, for us is the conclusin of one of many rounds, this round hands over its goodies to the next, which in tourn nurish what is put inside it, and thus a new cycle start. In my tribal language we hav not word for Armagedon or the final end of days, it is a new concept that has made it into the popular talks, even among our people.