Limitless, Star Trek: Sci-fi movies and their homework – understanding how things work

I love sci-fi movies!

Every time I see that there’s a sci-fi movie coming out, I can’t wait to go to the movies and watch it on that huge screen!

Thing is, with my basic knowledge in physics and science, I can’t help to be desapointed by the lack of scientific accuracy. Right, “it’s sci-fi” so they could do what ever they want as in any fictional story right? But isn’t it best when there’s a minimum of scientific accuracy?

Let’s take two movies I enjoyed and loved watching, but kept having this itchy feeling they didn’t do their homework properly (which can be quite a pickle when there are millions going into the making of the franchise right?): Star Trek and Limitless.

Star Trek (mostly Into the Darkness):

Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachery Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg (hilarious!!) and the rest of the cast is amazing! However, when one of the fundamental laws of mechanics (Newton’s laws of motion) is broken, that itchy feeling came running through my spine. It’s when the Enterprise broke down and stopped!

For those who do not know what I’m talking about, it’s the first law:

When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either is at rest or moves at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force. (source: Wikipedia)

What is an inertial reference frame?

In simple words (or rather as simple as I try to be), it’s an ‘environment’ where time and space is homogeneous and isotope. Makes sense?

What should have happened?

The Enterprise would simply have kept on with its “course”. Otherwise, what they should have done, was, with a certain speed, found themselves gravitating around a moon or planet, or any object with a mass much bigger than theirs (Gravitational law).

So that’s for Star Trek.

Limitless:

Sexy, talented Bradely Cooper and those bright blue dreamy eyes… Just thinking about it makes me want to see the movie again (yes, just for his good looks…).

In the movie, it says that we only use 10% of our cognitive function. It’s a myth. Here’s an article in French which answers the question: Do we only use 10% of our Brain?

Interested in the Brain? How to actually develop your cognitive functions? Check out these articles:

What one needs to know about the brain (National Geographic [FR])

How to exercise your Brain (Psychologies.com [FR])

The Blue Brain Project (EPFL): it’s an attempt to create a synthetic brain using maths, physics and neuroscience. Though their aim is to study the brain’s archtectural and functional principles.

Interested in the project? Here’s a more visual and explicative site on the subject: Blue Brain, a documentary film.

In summary, a brain can be seen like a computer. It has all this potential that an ‘ordinary user’ would only use, let’s say, 20% of its capacity. However, once you know how it works, once you know how to programme for instance, you can use the computer to its maximum potential, and mostly: to your advantage! 😉

The best thing, is that it doesn’t limit itself to science and technology, but anything in general. Once you’ve understood the way it works, you can use it to your own advantage 😉

So what have you thought unfair for instance? Would you be willing to go deeper and understand that system to use it to your advantage? But then think about the ethics, morals, law and your beliefs….

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