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  #1  
Old 05-03-2016, 10:42 AM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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SHOCKER! Things work differently in the movies.

If you were to take your cues from the movies on how machines and devices work, you'd believe that stealing a car involved little more than yanking some wires from the steering column, that all elevators feature human-sized access panels at the top and that ventilation ducts in all commercial buildings are large and sturdy enough to support multiple adults. Any other examples of man-made things that are consistently misrepresented in the tv and movies? Not talking about suspension-of-disbelief stuff where a car can jump a canyon and continue on with no damage. I'm talking about the basic functionality of everyday devices.
  #2  
Old 05-03-2016, 10:54 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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I'm sure we've gone over this ground many, many times in the past.

My contribution (which I've brought up here before): Cutting an elevator's cables won't make the car fall and plunge the occupants to their death.

The reason that "Otis" has his name on all those elevators isn't because he invented a box that goes up and down -- we've had those, believe it or not, for a great many hundred -- possibly thousands -- of years. What he invented and patented was an elevator car with an emergency brake mechanism to prevent such plunges to your death. And he did it well over a hundred years ago.

so, the Matrix and all notwithstanding, your car ain't gonna fall.
  #3  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:08 AM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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You can't conveniently knock someone out by bopping 'em on the head. Any blow to the head which causes unconsciousness will typically result in a severe brain injury.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:15 AM
Gordon Urquhart Gordon Urquhart is offline
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Part of my job responsibilities involve working with digital images of varying quality supplied by customers. Every once in a while, in an attempt to increase the size of the image while simultaneously increasing the DPI resolution of the images, I lean into my monitor and dramatically say, "Enhance."

It doesn't work very well.
  #5  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:29 AM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Originally Posted by buddha_david View Post
You can't conveniently knock someone out by bopping 'em on the head. Any blow to the head which causes unconsciousness will typically result in a severe brain injury.
This is the most consistent departure from reality across all entertainment media. People get knocked on the head, keel over, and wake up an hour later with a slight headache. And this is something that pretty much cannot happen. You can hit someone hard enough to knock them unconscious. They're likely to have a fractured skull, concussion, and possible lifechanging brain damage. Or they lie there unconscious for a while, and then die. Or like what happens in boxing, the guy gets knocked down and can't get up for a while, but he's not completely unconscious, just dazed and possibly concussed.

Human beings don't come with an off switch, and knocking someone unconscious or drugging them into unconsciousness is pretty difficult without risking serious injury or death.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:17 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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If you are holding someone at gunpoint, you don't need to cock the weapon again to demonstrate how serious you are. Presumably you have already cocked it and have a round chambered.

You don't need to chase an aircraft through a dangerous winding canyon. It is safer and just as easy to follow the aircraft from a slightly higher altitude. (I think this was lampshaded in Firefly)

SAMs and air to air missiles do not pull up behind your aircraft, chase you through every turn, matching your speed and then get distracted by any convenient heat source that crosses it's pass. They plot an intercept course travelling like Mach 3 and either explode if they get close, peppering your aircraft with shrapnel or miss and most likely lose track of their target and run out of fuel.

AFAIK, night vision goggles don't glow green or red.

System admins do not get alert messages indicating "someone is hacking the network" and then get into hacker battles where each side is feverishly typing code.

Password cracking software does dramatically find each digit of your password in sequence like a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.

If someone shoots a small hole in the side of an aircraft or space ship, you will not get sucked (blown?) through it.

The generally accepted way to perform CPR is not to take a break for a few minutes before screaming "LIVE DAMN YOU!" and then slapping the shit out of the patient.

Cars generally do not explode. In fact, most things don't outside of a Michael Bay film.

I don't think I've ever seen an ER that was a constant madhouse flurry of activity and beeping lights like you see on TV.

When my company's office was robbed a few years ago, they did not solve the crime in 24 hours. Although, I did get to sit with them and go through security camera footage, saying "enhance..." every time I clicked a button. The cops thought that was pretty funny. In fact, the cops were actually more Brooklyn Nine-Nine than Law & Order. Then again, no one was murdered. But I digress.

Last edited by msmith537; 05-03-2016 at 12:19 PM.
  #7  
Old 05-03-2016, 02:33 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Cars generally do not explode. In fact, most things don't outside of a Michael Bay film.
Inside of a Michael Bay film, everything explodes.
  #8  
Old 05-06-2016, 10:43 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Inside of a Michael Bay film, everything explodes.
In The Simpsons, everything explodes. The Flying Nun exploded when she fell out of the air.
  #9  
Old 05-03-2016, 04:19 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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There are slow-acting poisons that function like a time bomb. You can predict the time of death to the precise minute. The hero has 24, 48 or 72 hours to find the antidote. It's always an exact number of days. If the victim is given the antidote a few seconds before the deadline, he will make a complete recovery in less than a minute.

Last edited by Peter Morris; 05-03-2016 at 04:20 PM.
  #10  
Old 05-03-2016, 04:25 PM
JohnGalt JohnGalt is offline
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Not a movie, but on Night Gallery: Dear Joan: We're Going to Scare you to Death with Joan Crawford, at the 4:30 mark you don't use an inhaler by holding it inches from your face and squirting it into the air.
  #11  
Old 05-11-2016, 10:37 AM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
System admins do not get alert messages indicating "someone is hacking the network" and then get into hacker battles where each side is feverishly typing code.
Actually this does happen, but often counterparty is either a co-worker or nobody at all, and instead of feverishly typing code, we mute our phone and say "I'm going to get that asshole first thing tomorrow."
  #12  
Old 05-11-2016, 10:56 AM
solost solost is offline
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I was just reminded of this one on a tv show I recently watched: In real life if someone coughs, 99.99% of the time it's nothing serious. On a movie or TV show if someone coughs, it's always the beginning of a fatal disease.

Then there's the vomiting corollary- if a young woman throws up in a movie or tv show and she hasn't been drinking, it's always a first sign she's pregnant.

If someone is shot on the left side of their chest, it's always quickly fatal- they'll have just a minute or two for a few last words before they die. But if they're shot on the right side of their chest, they'll nearly always recover.
  #13  
Old 05-03-2016, 01:18 PM
El_Kabong El_Kabong is offline
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There seems to be a thing in movies these days where a vehicle impacting another vehicle or object flips forward on their nose. Although pretty 0% likely for just about any kind of car or truck, it's especially hilarious when the vehicle in question is an 18-wheeler.

Last edited by El_Kabong; 05-03-2016 at 01:21 PM.
  #14  
Old 05-11-2016, 07:23 PM
Lukeinva Lukeinva is offline
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
This is the most consistent departure from reality across all entertainment media. People get knocked on the head, keel over, and wake up an hour later with a slight headache. And this is something that pretty much cannot happen. You can hit someone hard enough to knock them unconscious. They're likely to have a fractured skull, concussion, and possible lifechanging brain damage. Or they lie there unconscious for a while, and then die. Or like what happens in boxing, the guy gets knocked down and can't get up for a while, but he's not completely unconscious, just dazed and possibly concussed.

Human beings don't come with an off switch, and knocking someone unconscious or drugging them into unconsciousness is pretty difficult without risking serious injury or death.
Martial arts fighters and boxers... ? football players? they all get knocked out dazed and confused.
  #15  
Old 05-12-2016, 10:11 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Martial arts fighters and boxers... ? football players? they all get knocked out dazed and confused.
See: Mohammed Ali.
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:32 AM
Isilder Isilder is offline
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Martial arts fighters and boxers... ? football players? they all get knocked out dazed and confused.
The point was its kinda random.

if you hit one guy on the skull, he might be knocked out, you hit the next guy the same way, he can have his skull broken away and brain hanging out and he's seeking revenge on you.
  #17  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:45 AM
MrAtoz MrAtoz is offline
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Originally Posted by buddha_david View Post
You can't conveniently knock someone out by bopping 'em on the head. Any blow to the head which causes unconsciousness will typically result in a severe brain injury.
You also can't hold a chloroform-soaked rag over their face for a few seconds to knock them out, either. In reality, it would take five minutes or more to render someone unconscious that way, and you'd run the risk of things like liver damage, suffocation, and overdose resulting in death.

Much the same goes for "sleeping gas," as the Moscow theater hostage crisis ought to prove.

There's a reason that anesthesiology is a medical specialty requiring years of training and knowledge.
  #18  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:52 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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You can't conveniently knock someone out by bopping 'em on the head.
Of course not. (For that, you need a Vulcan nerve pinch.) When you bop someone on the head, they get amnesia and forget who they are, until you re-bop them so they get their memory back.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:08 PM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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You can't conveniently knock someone out by bopping 'em on the head. Any blow to the head which causes unconsciousness will typically result in a severe brain injury.
I did appreciate one time when, in Hogan's Heroes, Hogan got knocked unconscious by a blow to the head. When he came to, Newkirk told him, "It's just a slight concussion. You'll be right as rain in a year or two."

Of course, they undercut that line by showing Hogan with no lasting effects whatsoever, but hey they at least mentioned it.
  #20  
Old 05-12-2016, 12:46 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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You can't conveniently knock someone out by bopping 'em on the head. Any blow to the head which causes unconsciousness will typically result in a severe brain injury.
Likewise with knockout drops and knockout gas. Anything that can knock you out can also kill you; administering a dose both safe and effective is a tricky business. That is why anesthesiologist is a medical specialty.
  #21  
Old 05-12-2016, 01:49 AM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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Likewise with knockout drops and knockout gas. Anything that can knock you out can also kill you; administering a dose both safe and effective is a tricky business. That is why anesthesiologist is a medical specialty.
There's no such thing as a truth drug, either.
  #22  
Old 05-12-2016, 11:01 AM
Commander Benson Commander Benson is offline
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The Four Inevitabilities of a Successful Television Series

If a police, private eye, or some other form of action-adventure series is successful enough to run three years (and, sometimes, it doesn't take that long), four things will eventually happen to Our Hero.

1. He will be blinded (temporarily).

2. He will suffer amnesia.

3. He will encounter an evil double.

4. He will be accused of a major crime---usually homicide.
  #23  
Old 05-12-2016, 09:39 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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There's no such thing as a truth drug, either.
Ha! Next you'll be saying there's no such thing as Spanish fly.
  #24  
Old 05-12-2016, 10:27 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Ha! Next you'll be saying there's no such thing as Spanish fly.
There is, but it's best not to mess with it.
  #25  
Old 05-12-2016, 10:23 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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There's no such thing as a truth drug, either.
Oh, yes there is. The formula is CH3CH2OH. Unfortunately, it is equally and unpredictably effective as a lie drug.
  #26  
Old 05-14-2016, 03:50 AM
I Love Me, Vol. I I Love Me, Vol. I is offline
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There's no such thing as a truth drug, either.
You're lying! I know how to get to the bottom of THIS, you fiend!
  #27  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:19 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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A blast from a shotgun, even at close range, is surprisingly unlikely to send a 200lb man into backflips.

For that matter, a woman who is skilled in hand-to-hand combat is unlikely to consistently overpower similarly-trained men who are 50-100% heavier than she.
  #28  
Old 05-04-2016, 12:48 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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A blast from a shotgun, even at close range, is surprisingly unlikely to send a 200lb man into backflips.
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Guns never have recoil in the movies. Nor does the shooter ever need to use two hands while firing.
Movie guns have the special "Recoil Reverser", which sends all the recoil into the target.
  #29  
Old 05-09-2016, 04:07 PM
Stoid Stoid is offline
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No one rolls face to face with their bed partner and kisses intimately in the morning. <shudder>
Oh my god this makes me absolutely crazy. A peck, at best. Tongues? Open mouths? GAH...

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For that matter, in the movies, you can strangle a person to death in fifteen seconds. You grab them, they choke, flail for about ten seconds, and they're dead.

It takes a lot longer than that for a person to die of asphyxia or brain hypoxia. They can become unconscious very quickly - no more than 15 seconds if you can cut off the blood supply almost entirely - but you need to keep strangling them to kill them. If you just walk away after they fall unconscious, they'll wake up quite rapidly.

Thank you! the idea that lack of movement = death is ridiculous.

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At a judicial hanging, the condemned man doesn't die the second he drops, even if the neck is broken.
Really? A snapped neck doesn't mean instant death? The head keeps blinking or something? Ew.
  #30  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:35 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Are we allowed to include misconceptions about how space travel works? Because we could pretty much fill up the whole thread with those.
  #31  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:40 AM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Are we allowed to include misconceptions about how space travel works? Because we could pretty much fill up the whole thread with those.
Let's stick with common devices and machines rather than scientific concepts and theories. Otherwise, we'll devolve pretty quickly into an endless spectrum of things the movies get wrong.
  #32  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:53 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is offline
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Let's stick with common devices and machines rather than scientific concepts and theories. Otherwise, we'll devolve pretty quickly into an endless spectrum of things the movies get wrong.
Well, I'll now say something irrelevant that you forbid me to mention to the jury, but I'll then take two steps back while holding up my palms and saying "withdrawn."
  #33  
Old 05-04-2016, 05:39 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Since nobody mentioned it, I'm assuming it's true that hospital supply rooms and sleeping quarters are hotbeds of daily sexual activity between doctors and nurses.
According to my father, who was quite scandalized by it, yes but not limited to doctors and nurses.




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Let's stick with common devices and machines rather than scientific concepts and theories. Otherwise, we'll devolve pretty quickly into an endless spectrum of things the movies get wrong.
Are DNA and chemical analysis "common devices and machines"? Because the immense majority of what goes on in the lab in cop shows makes Star Trek look realistic.

And you can't be in front of the Biltmore in Miami and then in the middle of the Everglades in a matter of half an hour. Not even if that Pontiac flies.


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Fred Burton (an alias) stalks Joan Manion in The Sky's the Limit. James Bond romps with Pussy Galore in the hay. Commonness could depend on what one watches.
Lots of romcoms, too, and lots of stories set in high school or college (both movies and TV). Sleepless in Seattle is the one which always comes to mind.

Last edited by Nava; 05-04-2016 at 05:44 AM.
  #34  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:48 AM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Are we allowed to include misconceptions about how space travel works? Because we could pretty much fill up the whole thread with those.
The most common set of interlocking misconceptions is that space travel "should work" pretty much the same as travel by ocean in the golden age of sail. It should take about as long to travel to another planet as it does to sail from Bristol to Jamaica, ships should be about the same size and have the same sort of crew, the space navy is just like the wet navy except in space, ships should be out of contact with home base while traveling, there should be space weather and space storms, space pirates, colonies set up the same way countries set up colonies during the Age of Exploration, aliens who are either colorful natives, or spacefaring great power rivals, even forms of government should be the same, so you have space kings and space queens and space princesses and space aristocrats. And planets are exactly like small islands with one and only one city or base and some surrounding countryside.
  #35  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:36 AM
FairyChatMom FairyChatMom is online now
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Let's not forget real-time satellite tracking that can follow you around town and monitor your every move... especially because the sky is always clear and unobscured by clouds or haze or anything else. Yeah.
  #36  
Old 05-03-2016, 11:43 AM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Let's not forget real-time satellite tracking that can follow you around town and monitor your every move... especially because the sky is always clear and unobscured by clouds or haze or anything else. Yeah.
This plus Gordon's example reminds me of "Enemy of the State", one of the more egregious offenders in recent memory. Remember the 3D model they made from two security camera angles?
  #37  
Old 05-03-2016, 12:19 PM
Soylent Juicy Soylent Juicy is offline
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You can't have a gun fired near you at close range and not experience some kind of hearing damage.

(Watching "Magic City" last night and one character shoots a gun across the other character. Second character later rubs his ear - my husband said that was first time he's ever seen someone on TV acknowledge that a close-range gunshot hurt their ears.)
  #38  
Old 05-03-2016, 01:38 PM
JcWoman JcWoman is offline
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Originally Posted by Soylent Juicy View Post
You can't have a gun fired near you at close range and not experience some kind of hearing damage.

(Watching "Magic City" last night and one character shoots a gun across the other character. Second character later rubs his ear - my husband said that was first time he's ever seen someone on TV acknowledge that a close-range gunshot hurt their ears.)
Archer actually does this one right in many episodes, and turned it into a source of humor. After narrowly avoiding being blown up, Archer and Lana rub their ears. Also for some reason Archer says "mop mop" as he rubs his ears. I guess it's just one of his oddities. On rare occasion they even mask the show soundtrack for a few seconds so that it sounds like you (the audience) have also experienced having your ears blown out.

My favorite one: whenever I need to inject myself with my arthritis medication, of course I have to jam the needle into the side of my neck! (not)

Last edited by JcWoman; 05-03-2016 at 01:39 PM.
  #39  
Old 05-04-2016, 04:49 AM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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On rare occasion they even mask the show soundtrack for a few seconds so that it sounds like you (the audience) have also experienced having your ears blown out.
Not that rare, and it drove me fucking nuts when I was marathoning the seasons that are on Netflix. I suffer from tinnitus...one of the things that can set it off is frequencies in the same range. So, I'm not just getting a simulation of the tinnitus, I'm getting the real damn thing, and I will be for the rest of the episode.
  #40  
Old 05-04-2016, 05:08 AM
Lorne Armstrong Lorne Armstrong is offline
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At a judicial hanging, the condemned man doesn't die the second he drops, even if the neck is broken.

Prison lights do not dim when someone is executed in the electric chair. (It has its own generator.)

If you try to jump a car like it's the General Lee, the vehicle will be completely destroyed on landing. And passengers are going to be seriously injured, too.

Guns never have recoil in the movies. Nor does the shooter ever need to use two hands while firing.
  #41  
Old 05-04-2016, 10:13 AM
Intergalactic Gladiator Intergalactic Gladiator is offline
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Originally Posted by Kamino Neko View Post
Not that rare, and it drove me fucking nuts when I was marathoning the seasons that are on Netflix. I suffer from tinnitus...one of the things that can set it off is frequencies in the same range. So, I'm not just getting a simulation of the tinnitus, I'm getting the real damn thing, and I will be for the rest of the episode.
I have tinnitus in my left ear as well and while I appreciated the gag it annoyingly set off mine as well.
  #42  
Old 05-03-2016, 06:49 PM
TBG TBG is offline
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Originally Posted by Soylent Juicy View Post
You can't have a gun fired near you at close range and not experience some kind of hearing damage.

(Watching "Magic City" last night and one character shoots a gun across the other character. Second character later rubs his ear - my husband said that was first time he's ever seen someone on TV acknowledge that a close-range gunshot hurt their ears.)
There was an episode of Fringe where the technobabble doodad of the week killed people by generating some sort of sound. In order to retrieve it quickly and without dying from the sound, one of the characters had another fire off a gun next to his head so he couldn't hear the device anymore.
  #43  
Old 05-03-2016, 12:19 PM
madsircool madsircool is online now
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No, that prostitute does not have a heart of gold.
  #44  
Old 05-03-2016, 12:21 PM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is offline
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Movie guns never seem to need reloading. And the ones the bad guys have are terribly inaccurate.

Bad guy's cars, however, are exceptional! Old Soviet-era Skodas are able to keep pace with Aston Martins on twisty mountain roads. Right up till they explode for no apparent reason.
  #45  
Old 05-03-2016, 12:23 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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Security doors can't be opened by shorting their keypads.
No OS that I know of has "ACCESS DENIED" in 96pt type displayed on the screen when you type the wrong password.
Large datacenters are not cooled by submersion in seawater...
  #46  
Old 05-11-2016, 05:16 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Security doors can't be opened by shorting their keypads.
Depends on the security door and what it's protecting, but at least some keypad locks fail to an unlocked state.

It's a bad idea for the doors to lock during, say, a fire, if the keypad or power line gets damaged. Many of the ones I'm familiar with have a magnet that will withdraw the bolt, and the correctly functioning keypad/etc. runs an electromagnet to counteract it. Break the keypad or cut the power, and the electromagnet turns off and the door unlocks.

They may do things differently in nuclear silos.
  #47  
Old 05-12-2016, 01:27 PM
Gedd Gedd is offline
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Depends on the security door and what it's protecting, but at least some keypad locks fail to an unlocked state.

It's a bad idea for the doors to lock during, say, a fire, if the keypad or power line gets damaged. Many of the ones I'm familiar with have a magnet that will withdraw the bolt, and the correctly functioning keypad/etc. runs an electromagnet to counteract it. Break the keypad or cut the power, and the electromagnet turns off and the door unlocks.

They may do things differently in nuclear silos.
No, no, no. The door can read the hero's mind. If he needs to get through the door, shooting the keypad will open in. If he needs to stop someone else from getting through, shooting the keypad will lock it.
  #48  
Old 05-12-2016, 03:49 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gedd View Post
No, no, no. The door can read the hero's mind. If he needs to get through the door, shooting the keypad will open in. If he needs to stop someone else from getting through, shooting the keypad will lock it.
However, make sure the keypad doesn't also activate the bridge control for the chasm you need to cross.
  #49  
Old 05-13-2016, 12:23 AM
Ají de Gallina Ají de Gallina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gedd View Post
No, no, no. The door can read the hero's mind. If he needs to get through the door, shooting the keypad will open in. If he needs to stop someone else from getting through, shooting the keypad will lock it.
Fingerprint-scan door and retinal-scan door can be fooled easily. Some dust or a picture is enough
  #50  
Old 05-03-2016, 12:26 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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If you engage in a sword fight with someone where you keep hitting each other's swords, what's actually going to happen is you're both going to wreck your swords.

I've noticed recently in movies that people get thrown right across rooms, often smashing into furniture and such, and they go "oooh" or "ugggh" and slowly get back up. Quite often these people are not, in fact, superheroes. In actual fact, if you were flung twenty feet across a room crashing into furniture and walls, what's going to happen is you're going to be really badly injured, with broken bones and stuff.
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