Sunday, October 5, 2008

JJNN Sunday: Leftovers - 10

Welcome again to JJNN for Sunday October 5th, 2008. Today we will be talking about a terrible movie.

I was busy all day so I didn't have enough time or energy to actually find a news story. So instead of looking for one at this point of time I am going to talk about the movie that I am watching at the moment on TV. That is the only connection with is now playing on Japanese TV. Sorry guys.

Any way the movie that I am watching now is called the Poseidon Adventure. It was made in 2005 and is a remake of the 1972 classic movie. The basic story is about a huge ship that was suddenly flipped upside down. It is the basic man against the environment, escape the dangers and get out with your life type of movie.

So, why am I talking about this movie? Well other than it is what I am currently watching it is the fact that it sort of gives science a huge slap in the face. The ship is turned upside down in the first place because of a huge tidal wave in the middle of the ocean. You can see this scene down below.

So, what is so wrong with this scene? Well how about everything. Let's focus on the wave though. Why is there a huge wave in the middle of the ocean? In the movie itself they call it something like a "rogue wave," but that is crap. Just think about it. Have you ever seen a wave like that in the middle of the ocean? The answer is no because waves do not act like that.

How do ocean waves work? Well just like all other wave of the same type. The wave propagates (moves) though a material (water, air etc) but the material itself does not propagate with the wave. For example, with sound, the sound waves go from my mouth to some one's ear, but the air from my mouth does not go to the person's ear. The material just helps the waves move. The same thing goes for ocean waves. The energy moves though the water, but the water itself does not move.

Well than, why do we see waves on the beach? Well that is because there is still energy left over. The energy propagates though the water and as the water gets more shallow the energy actually pushes the water up and onto land. This is the same principle for normal waves and for tidal waves. The source of the energy is just different.

So, why is the wave in the movie crap? Well unless the area the ship was in was extremely shallow there would be no reason why a wave would form out of the ocean like that. And if that area of ocean was shallow the boat would be screwed any way.

I know what most of you will say. "It is a movie. Forget the science and just enjoy it." I can do that for most movies, but for some movies truly terrible science ruins my enjoyment of the movie. Especially when it is something that the rest of the movie is based of from . I guess I am just a scientist through and through.

Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 津波(つなみ). It is pronounced tsunami and means tidal wave. The other English name for tidal wave is tsunami. A raw English word that comes from the Japanese.

That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.

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