I took Jeff to Gravity yesterday. I enjoyed it, he hated it. I’m hoping he does a full core dump on the subject, but like I say I really enjoyed it. I found it interesting, on Google Plus, that one guy I know who has been in zero g (twice, fer reals) and is a self described space geek absolutely adored it. Even Neil deGrasse Tyson liked it, fer cry eye. (Added later, but he ALSO critiqued the hell out of it.)
Very funny crossover graphic, safe for work.
I have a chest cold and my voice is now emerging from somewhere around my navel.
No word back about the cafe.
One thought on “Five dollar Tuesday”
Yes, I hated it. If you set an SF story in the far future, or on a planet other than Earth, or make it about aliens, you can do whatever you want with technology and science. Within reason, of course. This is why we enjoy Star Trek’s transporters, even though current thinking in physics tells us they’re impossible. It’s the future, baby!
But if you set a story in the present, using current science and technology, you need to make some effort to keep the science reasonably realistic. ‘Gravity’ borrows all the cool technology from the ISS, the Space Shuttle, and so on, but it conveniently departs from real science when the story requires it. You can’t ignore science if it’s the basis for the story. Another example of this is the crapfest Armageddon.
Here are just a few of my objections to the selective science in Gravity:
 Sure, the astronauts behaved appropriately some of the time. Clooney’s calm and cool reactions are typical for astronauts. But they often did things that made no sense at all: Clooney zooming around in his jetpack, getting way too close to the shuttle and other spacewalkers; Clooney taking up the slack in a tether by blasting away at full speed; telling long, personal stories over the radio.
 The Hubble and ISS are not even in the same orbit. Getting from the Hubble to the ISS would not be even remotely possible without a lot of fuel to change orbits. In other words, the basic premise of the story is fatally flawed.
 Once our heroes glommed onto the ISS and their motion relative to it was stopped, disconnecting Clooney from the tether would serve no purpose. He’s not hanging off a cliff, fer crissakes! Talk about a pointless death.
 During their tethered flight, Ms. Bullock begs Clooney to let her go because she’s “slowing him down”. At that point they were already moving as fast as they were going to, so this just makes no sense. Cutting her loose would have resulted in her floating along with him, untethered. Pointless.
 Airlock hatches that explode outward when opened. I have no words to describe how stupid this is.
 The idea that someone could successfully operate a Chinese space vehicle, de-orbiting and landing it successfully, without any training on that hardware or any understanding of the language, is ridiculous. Bullock literally punches buttons at random.
I could go on, but writing about this is making me alternately furious and bone-weary.
To make a good movie out of this story, set it in the future, using technology that is unfamiliar to the viewers. Leave our real science and technology alone.
While I’m at it, my objection to the recent Star Trek movies is similar: they’re perfectly fine as long as you leave Star Trek out of it. Leave those characters alone. Set the movies elsewhere, in another time, and with different characters. Borrowing so heavily from Star Trek and then messing with it is just wrong. Fun movies, though.