Monday, April 08, 2013

"Virus X": prescient (by over a year) of H1N1; maybe it should have worked on H7N9 instead

In recent days, medical authorities have become concerned about a new bird flu, H7N9 in China, speculating what happens it if becomes transmissible person-to-person and comes to the US by one infected passenger.
In fact, H1N1, or swine flu, appeared suddenly in Mexico in 2011, but came under control relatively easily. 

But the film “Virus X” was apparently made before H1N1 became pandemic, but was already known and somewhat feared (maybe as even more dangerous than bird flu).  The film has a “Saw” setup,  where a few scientists find themselves in quarantine with three days to live, watched by a mysterious white-haired golem.   

 The virus seems to have been manipulated to involve the immune system, but the visible effects in the movie are more like that of Ebola. 

The original project was supposed to be to make a “genetic” rather than “live” virus vaccine that could work against everything.  That concept led Dr, Gravaman (Joe Zaso) and investor Danita Herrington (Sybil Danning) to set up the experiment.

When a handsome Malcom (Jai Day, one of the handsomest actors in the world) joins the project, he quickly becomes suspicious of Gravaman’s motives, and then finds the quintet trapped.  It seems that he remains a bit unscathed for the circumstances (such male perfection must not be desecrated); but the others start to bleed out and liquefy.

Another issue is what kind of world they could escape to.  Apparently not much is left of it anyway. Even if they made a perfect vaccine, it might be too late.  This is one of those movies where there are just hours left until "self-destruct".  Remember "Project Wildfire" from "The Andromeda Strain"?  Please, no "body analysis" need be done here.

The film seems a bit frenetic and silly given the seriousness of the subject.  But this is genre horror, distributed as art of Lionsgate's "films to die for", 

By the way, is "Jai" usually an Australian first name (like Jai Courtney)?

Thursday, April 04, 2013

YouTube videos speculate on North Korean EMP and "radiation dispersion" threats

A brain the size of Paul Giamatti's chickpea ("Cold Souls") can figure out that the biggest practical threat from North Korea right now, to South Korea, Japan, or maybe even the US mainland doesn't come from a missile launch, but from a terror weapon like a dirty bomb or a smaller EMP device (which doesn't require nuclear detonation). There are a number of "amateur" or mashup or mixage videos on YouTube now to make these points.  

MoxNews has an excerpt from a CNN interview with George Little of March 28, 2013, titled bluntly, “What happens if North Korea explodes a dirty bomb in Times Square?”  The link is here.  Actually, this possibility existed throughout the entire Cold War.  

Of course, we saw discussions speculations like this ten years ago after 9/11 about Al Qaeda.  The film “Red Dawn II”, reviewed here Nov. 22, presents an EMP scenario from North Korea in the Pacific Northwest, and the film “Olympus Has Fallen” (reviewed on the Movies blog, March 22) presents a North Korean (mercenary) conventional assault on the White House in Washington DC.  I think the latter really is impossible.
Mark Dice has an eleven minute video “Calm Down”, subtitled, “North Korea threatens to nuke Los Angeles, Hawaii, and Austin Texas”, link here.  Dice, however, goes off on a survivalist, doomsday prepper mentality anyway.  He talks about how a patient who had drank a “nuclear milkshake” at a hospital tripped up a detector in the NYC subway.
"DAHBOO77" has a ten minute video published April 1, 2013, warning of official concern about the North Korean missile launch last December containing and EMP device.  Is this an April Fool’s joke?  The link us here.  It points to an article by Michael Maloof, author of “A Nation Forsaken: EMP: The Escalating Threat of an American Catastrophe”, published by WND Books in January 2013 (check Amazon, with a review mentioning Newt Gingrich and Roscoe Bartlett).
There are a number of “amateurish” YouTube videos out there on this possibility (especially coming from Iran and North Korea) dated within the past six months. 
The longest (45 min) is by American Free Press “EMP Attack on the Horizon?”, published Nov. 18, 2012, link here.   But it has only one picture for the entire length of audio, 
There’s another video by Bobby Powell (his blog is on Blogger here) , “The Truth Is Viral”, 11 minutes.  But this video is more concerned about Iran and Syria, from Oct. 2012.

One thing is scary:  North Korea is making unusually bellicose threats, even for that country. If it does nothing right now, then the threats become meaningless quickly.

There are various YouTube videos which analyze the recovery time (months) if a large area of the country were hit by an EMP high altitude blast, even launched from a ship.  The conceptual problem is that a rogue state (North Korea, Iran) or asymmetric group, possibly acting in mercenary fashion from a rogue state, could possibly make repeated attacks, keeping much of the world under subjugation.  People who had grown up "spoiled" (as some of the less developed world sees it) by technology could wind up living the last decades of their lives (if they survived at all) under primitive and authoritarian conditions.  This grim possibility should not be taken lightly.  The world hasn't seen a situation quite like this in modern times (Hitler makes a comparison of course, but so do some of the exiles and conquests in the late Old Testament years).  No civilization should take its personal freedoms for granted.  One cannot afford to be smug, or insular. One should not hide in indifference. 
I suppose I could boast, "I told you so."  I surely hope not.