Thursday, April 2, 2009

Knowing - The Movie

Yesterday I checked out the movie Knowing staring Nicolas Cage.

The powers that be, the critics, only give it a "C", but the people give it a "B".

I give it a very good.

At the ticket stand it is still #3 in box office income after two weeks. It was released March 20th.

I liked it because it deals with subjects we discussed here, here, and here recently.

As it ends up, the basic science in the articles and in the movie are extremely up to date. In fact, more up to date than the textbooks that are being thrown out and re-written as we speak.

The only part of the movie not yet a part of the textbooks is the subject matter of a SETI post, which I hope to get to later.

See the movie if the subject matter is to your liking.

NASA helped finance a report that shows our nation could be set back 100 years by solar activity expected to peak in 2012.

I don't subscribe to the 2012 date. They picked it because of mathematical projections, but the solar cycle related to the report is not consistent in the sense that it is not like clockwork. That cycle averages 11 years, but it varies to as high as 14 years and as low as 9 years.

Right now we are at about a 100 year low and quiet as to solar activity of the destructive potential type. For things to change in a short 3 year span of time (2009-2012) would be "out of the box", and not within normal solar activity variation parameters.

Therefore I think we have more time than 3 years to fix the power grid. As we are "greening the power grid" and otherwise improving the power grid we must take the opportunity to make it resistant to solar flare ups too.

Making it resistant to solar outbursts during the upcoming "smart grid" upgrade would save tons of money and perhaps our civilized condition.

Just to give an idea of the magnitude of the subject matter, here is an excerpt from one of the links above:
IT IS midnight on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.

A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation's infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event - a violent storm, 150 million kilometres away on the surface of the sun.

It sounds ridiculous. Surely the sun couldn't create so profound a disaster on Earth. Yet an extraordinary report funded by NASA and issued by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in January this year claims it could do just that.
(New Scientist, emphasis added). An article at Space adds more insight into why we need to fix the grid.

1 comment:

  1. Some recent NASA science lends credibility to some of the vulnerabilities shown in the movie ... although of a lesser degree by far.