Friday, November 27, 2009

The 2012 Movie Was Hilarious!

Spoiler alert: This review will mention things that happen in the movie so, oh, who am I kidding? You can see the plot coming a mile away.

As comedies go, the movie 2012 was hilarious. I laughed out loud – mostly at how scientifically flawed it was. Essentially the movie was John Cusack and friends out-divining an earthquake in a limo, out-flying the city of Los Angeles as it fell into the Pacific Ocean, literally out-running a volcano when Yellowstone erupted, out-flying the ash cloud, outflying the destruction of Las Vegas, and finally out-sailing a tsunami that submerged the Himalayans. When the laws of physics broke, I broke out into laughter.

Now to the science: There was some – 95% wrong. They started in a deep mine where astronomers are actually trying to measure cosmic rays but the overactive Sun was heating up the core of the Earth. There was even a boiling well (that produced no steam BTW). This heating will eventually cause “crustal displacement,” and change the face of the Earth. After all, “this is the biggest solar season ever,” some unnamed scientist says in the movie. Good gag, but in reality we are experiencing the quietest solar season in the past 100 years.

There is brief mention to a rare planetary alignment which takes place every 640,000 years and a youtube video of the planets aligned with the galaxy. Conspiracy theorists love this but it is simply not true (see the post below). Later in the movie the magnetic field of the Earth decreased 80% in four hours. This type of decrease could happen but would take hundreds to thousands of years.

Some other funny science in the movie: the poles flip putting the South Pole in Wisconsin, Hawaii melts, and China moves 1,000 miles closer to the US in less than a day. Plus how they transported giraffes and rhinos to the ark in the mountains cracked me up!

Now to the Mayans and their prediction of doom on December 21, 2012: The movie barely mentions it in a quick 20 second scene. No details just, “The Mayans predicted the end of the world.” So no Mayans - no astronomy. Cool.

As someone a little edgy to answer the wave of 2012 hysteria that will build up over the next 3 years, the movie was surprisingly reassuring. It presented such a crazy, absurd, and impossible vision that it ceased being scary. It was almost as if it was happening to another planet or in another dimension. There is nothing to debunk because it was all so fantastical. And there is nothing to be scared of from 2012 – unless you’re afraid of laughing yourself to death.
You were warned.


Monday, November 16, 2009

2012 Hoax: The Real Story

I'm sorry but I need to take a break from constellation myths to comment on 2012 hysteria. The new #1 asked question at the Cincinnati Observatory is, "What will happen December 21, 2012?"

Answer: Nothing.

The world will not end. Forget what you read on websites. Don’t believe the horrible Hollywood movie.

The Ancient Mayans knew great things about astronomy, could predict eclipses and cycles of Venus. But their calendars predict neither gloom nor doom. In fact their calendar cites an event to occur 2000 years in the future. They just flip their calendar over and start again every so often (like we do every year). The last time it flipped was August 11, 3114 BC. The world survived that date just fine.

In case you hear otherwise here are some facts:
1) We do not have a second Sun that will come near us called Nibiru
2) No asteroid is scheduled to hit us in 2012
3) The Earth's magnetic field is fine
4) The pole shift may be happening but it takes years and years and won't change anything
5) The continents will not move 1000 miles and Florida will not be on the North Pole
6) The Sun is not crazy-active, nor will it be in 2012
7) The Sun is not lining up with the center of the galaxy (that happened in 1999)
8) The planets will not align on that day

I do have one prediction for December 21, 2012:
It will be seasonably cold in Cincinnati. So will the next day.

I'll have a full review of the movie 2012 next week. Spoiler alert: It was about as believable as when Bugs Bunny sawed off Florida in Rebel Rabbit. "Take it away, South America!"Bugs Bunny sawing off Florida