Category: "Media"

Wal-Mart about to end the format war in favour of HD DVD?

It has emerged that the US retail giant Wal-Mart have brought some two million HD DVD cores, at $50 a piece, assuming they go on sale for $199, or even $299 this hugely undercuts the cheapest HD DVD players and even more so Blu-ray players at the moment.

HD DVD

With 20th Century Fox cutting back it's Blu-ray releases, and European film studios all rallying around HD DVD, with over three times as many HD DVD titles available in Europe compared with Blu-ray, as well as sales figures released 3 days ago in the United States showing standalone HD DVD players have outsold Blu-ray players four to one, will Wal-Mart's move to flood the US market with cheap HD DVD players finally resolve the format war?

Let's hope so.

Katie Melua and good science

Katie Melua in her song Nine Million Bicycles had a bit of bad science in the second verse:

We are 12 billion light-years from the edge,
That's a guess, no one can ever say it's true,
But I know that I will always be with you

Anyway, after a tongue-in-cheek article appeared in the Guardian about this she did another cut with some more accurate lyrics:

We are 13.7 billion light-years from the edge of the observable universe,
That's a good estimate with well-defined error bars,
And with the available information, I predict that I will always be with you

Here's Michael Shermer featuring it in one of his talks.

Much better. :D

The real Superman

I am fed up with Superman this and Superman that. If Superman is so super why does he suck?

What does he suck compared to? The real super-"thing", he only takes a man-form when it suits him.

This is something so super he is can appear as god, can travel back in time billions of years, shift the whole universe around with a thought, change history of billions of planets with a snap of his fingers, or destroy the entire universe, or create a whole new one.

So behold your true Superman... Q.

Q as God
Q appearing to Picard as God Almighty.

This guy doesn't need to use his body to stop an aircraft from hitting the ground, who knows if he even has a body. With a single thought he can send that aircraft crossing the billions of light years to the other side of the universe and back again safe and sound before Superman had even finished putting his costume on.

The Core II - the worst film ever to return

I've just heard that the Core, one of the worst films attacks against human intelligence ever is set to return sometime next year.

I can just see the tagline now... The Core II - We'll get at least 3% of the science right.

The Core is right up there with Armegeddon, in fact it's probably beyond Armegeddon on how dumb it is. I'll just briefly outline why the Core was so stupid:

1) The Earth's magnetic field is collapsing because the core of the Earth stopped rotating.

The amount of energy worked up in the Earth's core is huge. Here's an interesting fact; if the Earth's core actually did stop rotating the energy released would be enough to melt metals on the surface of the Earth, enough energy to evaporate all the world's oceans 10 times over.

2) Because the field is collapsing the microwaves from the Sun are getting through.

The Sun doesn't emit much in the way of microwaves. Secondly the magnetic field doesn't stop microwaves anyway. Thirdly microwaves aren't even that dangerous.

3) The bridge scene.... Bad engineering at its worst, a bunch of microwaves break through the magnetic field and come up to a suspension bridge - breaking it in two. The towers bend inwards.

If you break a suspension bridge in two, ie break the cables, the force would pull the towers outwards, not inwards because the inward force has just disappeared because the cables have broken.

4) They use a ship that is made out of indestructible metals to reach the core of the Earth.

Bad engineering and bad science. If the metals are indestructible how can you cut them to make a ship out of them? I mean come on.

5) They use a nuke to start the core of the Earth up again. In the film they mention the core is a ball of iron the size of Mars.

Well the core is about the size of Mars and it is mostly iron. So what the hell is a nuke going to do to it? Nothing!

Right so that is why the Core was a terrible film. You might argue it's only a film it doesn't need to be realistic, that's perfectly correct. But this film is the typical disaster film, ie it tries to make itself realistic. It has therefore stepped over to the side of reality where it can be judged by reality.

The lack of any understanding of science is inexcusable, it wouldn't take a lot to get at least some of the science right, well actually with this film the whole plot would need to be scrapped.

At it's best this film is a comedy. At it's worst this film damages the already under-developed understanding of science among the population.

We do not need a sequal. I mean what the hell are they gonna do next? Start the core of the Sun up with another nuke? What's a nuke going to do to a nuclear reactor over a million times the size of the Earth? Bugger all!

Signs

Did I ever tell you I thought it was crap? Never thought I'd find someone who could explain why it was crap in just four little images though.

Signs

Signs

Signs

Signs

Halo 2 soundtrack volume 2

Released at last... And it's pretty good.... Now got ALL the tracks that I wanted from Halo 2, especially Unforgotten which is a really nice piece.

Halo 2 soundtrack volume 2

Big thumbs up, been waiting ages for this.

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