Saturday, September 08, 2012

Solar Storm: entertainment gets in the way of the serious message about solar coronal mass ejections (Can the sun "attack" us?

The 2006 film “Solar Attack” (also called “Solar Strike” and maybe "Solar Storm") from Lionsgate and CineTeleFilms (Canada), and director Paul Ziller, seems like an overdone attempt to warn – that is, entertain – audiences with the threat from solar coronal mass ejections.

The film maintains that increased methane in the atmosphere (from global warming) makes the upper atmosphere vulnerable to spontaneous combustion when the CME penetrates through the ozone layer. 
There is also a private probe, the Galileo (not to be confused with NASA’s), which gets destroyed by the CME, with pieces falling onto downtown Detroit (aka Toronto, probably).

The cure is worse than the disease, perhaps.   A nuclear explosion near the North Pole is supposed to put out the fire.  Wouldn’t it also generate an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) over much of the northern half of the world?  EMP does get mentioned near the end, in connection with geo-politics with post-Soviet Russian subs.   

Lou Gossett Jr. is not too convincing as President Ryan Gordon (aka Barack Obama).

What seems needed is a serious documentary film on this subject: just how much danger is the power grid under from larger (Carrington style) coronal mass ejections.  

Monday, September 03, 2012

X-files hero had gone to Heaven in "The Rapture", which really happens

I don’t know if the “Rapture” qualifies as a “catastrophe” in the sense of many other events on this blog, but certainly the disappearance of a lot of people would create chaos (airplanes, highways, infrastructure) comparable to that of an EMP attack.

I thought I would retrospect on the 1991 film “The Rapture”, directed by Michael Toikin, from Fine Line. I saw it then (October) at the Shirlington Theater in Arlington during a difficult time in my own career when I was preoccupied with some mundane, compulsion-associated problems.

The film first attracted my attention because David Duchovny, the handsome “Fox Mulder” from X-Files, played Randy, the innocent husband who gets murdered, and winds up in Heaven.  Apparently he believed in a simple way. But the story is mainly about Sharon (Mimi Rogers), who stumbles into contact with a religious sect that believes that the Rapture is eminent, becomes a born-again Christian, and gives up her unfaithful lifestyle (with Patrick Vauchau as Vic).  But after Randy’s death, she questions why God allows bad things to happen to good people, and winds up killing her own daughter Mary (Kimberly Cullum).  She refuses to commit suicide, and when she is in jail, the Rapture happens and the jail walls fall down with the sounding of trumpets.  She refuses to accept God even now, and “chooses” to stay in Purgatory forever, separated from Randy.

I never heard much about “The Rapture” until I moved to Dallas (in 1979), and I remember a particular Sunday night sermon at MCC Dallas by Rev. Don Eastman where I heard it mentioned in early 1983, just before AIDS would become an everyday headline.

Here’s a 24-minute short, “Getting Prepared for the Rapture” by “Kingdom Come Warriiors” from Youtube(2011).

If it happened, there would be a “one second after”.