Saturday, October 10, 2009

SyFy's "MegaFault"

Well, the one good thing you can say about SyFy/Asylum Film’s pre-2012 ripoff, “Megafault”, is that it starts with a scene in a mountaintop removal mine in West Virginia, one that looks like the notorious mine 40 miles south of Charleston. Pretty soon, mine operators and Big Muskie draglines are getting swallowed up, Biblical style, by cracks that open in the Earth and travel, Smallville-style. The stripminers get what they deserve.

Pretty soon Washington DC gets it, and then so does Lexington, KY. It turns out that the military had a crypto project to use space lasers to flash-freeze underground water to produce quakes, and it went wrong, and now the planet is threatened. Furthermore, the quakes approach the Yellowstone supervolcano, and threaten to blow it up (we’ve seen a lot of the consequences of supervolcanoes already).

The movie is directed by David Michael Latt and features Brittany Murphy as the PhD heroine, and actor Bruce Davison makes a comeback, as does an unerased Justin Hartley (Smallville, Passions).

But the urgency is so coincidental and so contrived that the movie seems laughable than a real warning about a megadisaster that could happen. People try to outrun progressive quakes they way they outrun tornadoes—recalling the effects of the 70s thriller “Sorcerer”. The Earth’s surface gets turned over the way Venus’s did 500 million years ago, and the prospects for civilization are not too good.

The film could be compared to NBC's miniseries "10.5" and the sequel "10.5: Apocalypse", both directed by John Lafia.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

"Space Wars" on "The Universe" of History Channel: EMP was the biggest "practical" issue in the documentary

Space Wars”, of the History Channel “The Universe” series, aired on Oct. 6, 2009, link here.

Probably the most alarming portion of the show concerned the EMP (electromagnetic pulse effect), powerful “lightning-like” currents shot to earth by nuclear explosions. The higher the explosion, the wider the area affected. In 1962, a nuclear hydrogen bomb test disabled electronics from New Zealand to Hawaii, which resulted in the US and Soviets stopping high altitude nuclear tests (although enforcing the ban was tricky, as I would learn when I worked for the Navy Department as a programmer in summers and then permanently in ensuing years).

The rest of the show was closer to the “StarWars” scenarios. There were, however, many exotic ideas proposed. One is gattling rods fired from the stratosphere as the ultimate bunker busters.

Some scenarios, with e-pulses from above, were less melodramatic, but could disrupt GPS timing signals, meaning the electronic funds transfers don’t work.

Space battles with human combatants would be limited by the acceleration that humans can take, about 10G. “Ray guns” however would require fusion-sized reactors packed into a handgun-sized devices.

The show speculates that aliens could build a base on Mars, but we could sling an asteroid at them. Or perhaps aliens could detonate a high-altitude EMP blast before settling on the Earth (this happens in ne of my screenplays, but before hand some earth people are abducted and taken to the aliens’ static, dying world where people live in time slices, in structured moneyless societies, in a narrow ring on a small planet always facing its sun, which is threatened by an approaching brown dwarf.)

The show concludes with a brief discussion of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, and speculation as to how countries would behave once we colonize the Moon and other planets like Mars.

Also, take a look at MSNBC's slide show :"8 space crashes and smashes: NASA’s LCROSS probe won’t be the only spacecraft to meet its demise", link here.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

"Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup": more conpsiracy theories?

NatGeo recently previewed Dylan Avery’s documentary “Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup” and the film (distributed by Microcinema) is now available from Netflix. The website is this also here's and adovcacy engineering site for this particular "conspiracy theory".

The film starts out with a 12 minute prologue showing how in history governments have set up catastrophes to justify their agendas, starting with the Nazi burning of the Reichstag in 1933. LBJ’s handling of the Gulf of Tonkin before Vietnam is interesting.

The film moves on to analyze the events of 9/11, and point out various anomalies. The government is said to have started a maneuver on September 10, and President Bush stayed in the elementary school for almost half and hour after the attack started, reading “My Pet Goat”. The path of the plane that hit the Pentagon is said to be illogical, and impossible even for a recently trained hijacker.

But much of the film goes into claims that the “pancake implosions” of the Twin Towers could not have occurred without explosives having been planted beforehand, near the base of the building, which some witnesses claim they saw.

The DVD includes interviews with Daniel Sujata, and actor who says “artists have got to become activists”, as well as engineer Richard Gage. It also interviews the artist Janette McKinlay.

I suppose that this film makes a good comparison to Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11".