Physics In Film Blog

Physics In Film

Movies and TV shows, when done right, are great ways to entertain and tell stories. They can be fascinating avenues for experiencing some phenomena we may never actually witness in real life. They can also be ridiculous or laughably awful when scientific liberties are taken a bit too far. Join the CR4 team here in the Physics in Film blog as we explore the good, the bad, and the ugly of the science and engineering we see on the screen.

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Scientific Anomalies in “Lost” (Part 3)

Posted May 28, 2010 12:00 AM by moorec74

In the first and second parts of this series, many of the fantastic events written into the "Lost" television show were brought to light from an engineering perspective. In this final entry, I'll wrap it up with just a few more.

Moving the Island

When Locke initially discussed moving the island, I assumed that he meant geographically re-positioning the land – which in and of itself would have been quite the feat. It later became clear, however, when they wound up back in the 1950s that he was actually moving the island in time. But the donkey-wheel underneath the island does even more than mere time travel. It manages to "skip" or "flash" the island through time as if it were a scratched CD. Dr. Emmett Brown (from "Back to the Future") would be so proud! Although research in the field of string theory has come a long way in recent years, it is still not a likely means of time travel - yet.

Bomb Detonation

The characters on the island finally figure out a way to make the flashes through time stop – by blowing up the site of the wheel with a bomb. After carefully preparing it, they drop it down a deep hole into the ground where it smashes on the rock. Unfortunately, Juliet also falls down the same hole (despite Sawyer's desperate attempts to save her) and finds herself lying next to the undetonated bomb. Upset that all their trouble was for nothing, she proceeds to hit the bomb with a rock in an effort to smash it. When the flash of white light comes, we know that she was successful. This situation baffles me along with the rest. If the bomb did not detonate on its way down the long, hard tunnel, I don't believe her helplessly striking it would force it to blow either. Any demolition experts out there?

A Sixth Sense

Each character was well-developed and had his or her own set of personality traits that made the character very different from anyone else on the island. Miles, a member of the team sent by Whitmore to find Linus, had one of the most exceptional abilities – he could speak to dead people. While I initially questioned whether he was truly capable of what he claimed he was performing, he did successfully acquire information on the deaths of people on the island. There have been scientific experiments involving telepathy, of course, but communicating with the dead is generally the stuff of spiritualists rather than scientists.

The viewers also learned that before his mission to the island, Miles used this skill to help several clients and to con others. Regardless of Miles' ability in the show, though, I'm doubtful that this quality is present in today's world. Just think of the criminals we could catch and the catastrophes we could remedy if someone like him were among us!

Never Quite Over the Hill

Despite the situations in various time periods on the island, one man never seems to change. Jacob gives Richard the facility to remain the same age. But don't take this decision lightly; it is probably better that this is a fantasy and an impossibility for us in our modern times. It may seem like a blessing, but it does manage to take a toll on his relationships. So consider this when reading advertisements about the wonders of anti-aging drugs.

What do you think are some of the other unusual occurrences of the Oceanic Six and the various groups they met?

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Re: Scientific Anomalies in “Lost” (Part 3)

05/29/2010 5:06 AM

I think you have totally lost the plot, Lost was pure fiction, in fiction science does not have to be exact. If you want pure science watch the Discovery channel or Open University programmes.

Lost was a great fictional drama but sadly had the most terrible ending.

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Anonymous Poster
#2
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Re: Scientific Anomalies in “Lost” (Part 3)

05/29/2010 5:42 PM

I agree, except on the Discovery Channel. I dislike some of their "documentaries" based on interviews to laymen who say "uh, yeah, I remember as if it was yesterday..." DUH !. just compare them to one of the National Geographic's productions.

Yahlasit

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