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Old 01-29-2020, 05:43 PM
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Common Gaffes in Movies and TV


I'm currently binge watching Law & Order so many of these gaffes apply to that show.

But I'd like to know if any of you know of other common gaffes that seem to have been present ever since movies and TV shows were first produced. I will list three of my favorites and maybe some of you will know some others?

1) When someone is asked something like, "Where were you last Thursday at 8PM?", they always seem to know immediately and are able to just rattle it off the top of their head. I know that when I have to find out where I was and what I was doing on any day before yesterday, I always have to consult my calendar. In general, I can't remember where I was on some evening more than two days ago. Are you able to easily answer a question like that from two days ago or more?

2) Whenever someone is shown drinking a cup of coffee or similar hot beverage, they seem to take the cup and move it instantly to their lips and then tilt it up quickly to simulate drinking and then quickly put it down. Anytime I see someone doing that for real, they move very slowly. They don't want to burn themselves so they take their time in drinking a hot beverage. I always figured this was done because, "time is money" and the producers didn't want to waste time showing people drinking like they really do and they just accept this gaffe. This is something that has been going on ever since movies and TV shows were first made and I've never before seen anyone point it out as a gaffe.

3) Whenever someone is shown dropping or throwing a handgun that lands on a hard surface, the sound played is the same as an empty soup can landing on a hard surface. Handguns are heavy and solid and made of steel. When one lands on a hard floor, it makes a loud and deep sound - almost like a large bowling ball falling on the floor. I don't know why producers have done this ever since the beginning of movies and TV. Sound engineers must surely know the real sound these things make. Why do they use such lightweight or tinny sounds when the real thing sounds so much different?
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Old 01-29-2020, 05:59 PM
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Those are not gaffes. The first two are simply dramatic license. Trying to do what you suggest would be incredibly boring and wouldn't add anything to the story other than to avoid the most trivial of nitpicks.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:12 PM
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This past weekend, we were watching The Lone Ranger (Don't judge!), and there was the part where the Lone Ranger called Trigger, and told him to untie his hands, which were tied behind his back. Trigger, being the WonderHorse that he was, did untie him. The Lone Ranger also dropped a sugar cube (That the audience wasn't supposed to see), or some sort of treat, that Trigger was getting, after he did the trick of freeing the Lone Ranger. They should have edited that out, but, they left it in there for all to see.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:21 PM
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Regarding #3 - I can honestly say I have NEVER heard this foley in all my decades of watching movies and TV.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:24 PM
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Shifting gears in a car a million times when there's no reason to, during a chase sequence.

Cocking back the slide on a gun when there's no reason to.

Moving the hands around a plate while holding utensils, but not actually eating anything.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:34 PM
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This past weekend, we were watching The Lone Ranger (Don't judge!), and there was the part where the Lone Ranger called Trigger, and told him to untie his hands, which were tied behind his back. Trigger, being the WonderHorse that he was, did untie him. The Lone Ranger also dropped a sugar cube (That the audience wasn't supposed to see), or some sort of treat, that Trigger was getting, after he did the trick of freeing the Lone Ranger. They should have edited that out, but, they left it in there for all to see.
I won't judge you for watching The Lone Ranger, but misidentifying his horse is inexcusable given the well-known catchphrase "Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!" Trigger was the horse of Roy Rogers.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:03 PM
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I won't judge you for watching The Lone Ranger, but misidentifying his horse is inexcusable given the well-known catchphrase "Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!" Trigger was the horse of Roy Rogers.
Oooo! I was WAY wrong, wasn't I?! Good grief. I obviously was NOT thinking. I'm ready to become nursing home fodder, apparently. My apologies to all! Good grief, though...
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:26 PM
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Anytime the cops go to question someone about a murder/rape/heinous crime, the person being questioned will continue gardening, stocking shelves, batting practice or whatever they were doing when the cops showed up. "Oh, you want to know about the details of my boss's murder? I guess I can humor you while I paint this railing..."

It's not even that they're being pissy at the cops about it and the person usually isn't a final suspect, they just really give more shits about chopping firewood than giving their attention to a murder investigation for ten minutes. I wouldn't even call it "dramatic license" since it'd be just as dramatic to have them say "Oh, shit, let me tell you what I know and be as helpful as possible!" instead of dramatically watching them lay brick pavers while they talk.

Last edited by Jophiel; 01-29-2020 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:33 PM
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Ah, but what was Dale Evans' horse named? (No fair Googling. This is for the old farts)


SPOILER:
Buttermilk
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:46 PM
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Ah, but what was Dale Evans' horse named? (No fair Googling. This is for the old farts).
Buttermilk (I didn't peek).
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:57 PM
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Buttermilk (I didn't peek).
Ah, but what about the Lone Ranger's nephew's (Dan Reid) horse's name?

SPOILER:
It's Victor.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:01 PM
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And what was the name of the ride of the Lone Ranger's grand-nephew?


SPOILER:
Black Beauty (it was a car)
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:07 PM
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Ah, but what about the Lone Ranger's nephew's (Dan Reid) horse's name?

SPOILER:
It's Victor.
Everybody knows that!
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:10 PM
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Since lots of TV shows are set in California or New York City, shows set in those locations have guns that are always either WAY too easy to get legally (in contrast to actual California or New York City laws) or because the writers are from those areas, you see people needing permits to own guns in places like Texas.

I see this all the time, The Last Stand starring Arnold set in Arizona has him asking to see Johnny Knoxville's permit to own a magnum revolver, which actually you wouldn't even need a permit for in California itself.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:32 PM
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And what was the name of the ride of the Lone Ranger's grand-nephew?


SPOILER:
Black Beauty (it was a car)
Of course. I watched the TV series.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:32 PM
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One shooting gaffe that I always notice is when a bad guys shoot at the hero and miss, dust kicks up at the good guy's feet. No. Way. When you shoot at someone you aim at the center. It is far more likely that if you miss it will be to one side and the bullet will strike way behind the target. If you are fairly close the bullet will hit a hundred back.

If you shoot at someone more distant and the bullet strikes at their feet it means you have underestimated the distance by hundreds of feet at least.

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Old 01-29-2020, 09:32 PM
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Everybody knows that!
well sure, one of the great characters from American literature
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:36 PM
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The most annoying is the swishing sound of metal on metal when someone slices another one's throat (or another body part) with a sword. Every fucking time...
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:36 PM
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Ah, but what was Dale Evans' horse named? (No fair Googling. This is for the old farts)


SPOILER:
Buttermilk
EZPZ. Buttermilk! Name Pat Brady's haunted jeep.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:40 PM
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The most annoying is the swishing sound of metal on metal when someone slices another one's throat (or another body part) with a sword. Every fucking time...
Or the metal on metal "schwing" sound of a sword being drawn from a non-metallic scabbard/sheath.

But a non-metallic throat is even more idiotic.

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Old 01-29-2020, 10:40 PM
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Shifting gears in a car a million times when there's no reason to, during a chase sequence.

Cocking back the slide on a gun when there's no reason to.

Moving the hands around a plate while holding utensils, but not actually eating anything.
I don’t see how any of these are “gaffes” when they’re done entirely intentionally. But especially the last one.

The “food” in a scene is often inedible. It may be a straight up prop, it may have been sitting under hot lights for hours, it may be disgusting or dangerous to eat.

Furthermore, for the sake of continuity, if an actor take a bite on camera, e might have to take a bite during every take, which could interfere with the actor’s health, well-being, or comfort, and make it difficult for em to act.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:54 PM
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Or the metal on metal "schwing" sound of a sword being drawn from a non-metallic scabbard/sheath.

But a non-metallic throat is even more idiotic.
In the second season of the Daredevil TV show, he fought ninjas whose swords went "schwing" when they waved them through the air.
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:56 PM
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In the second season of the Daredevil TV show, he fought ninjas whose swords went "schwing" when they waved them through the air.
Actually they were inaudible, but Daredevil's hearing is so awesomely acute that he can detect schwingibility at a superhuman level.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:03 AM
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The sound of a bald eagle. You've heard it; they do that badass screaming sound.

No, actually they don't. Real bald eagles make a chirping sound.

That sound you associate with bald eagles? It's made by red tail hawks.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:07 AM
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Cocking back the slide on a gun when there's no reason to.
That one always gets me. The cop or soldier or good guy caught up in a horrible situation points his gun at the dangerous bad guy. Bad guy doesn’t do what he’s supposed to so now the hero racks the slide because now he means business. Why are you pointing an empty gun at the bad guy to begin with?
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:20 AM
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EZPZ. Buttermilk! Name Pat Brady's haunted jeep.
Nellybelle.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:22 AM
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Name Tonto's horse. And Zorro's. And the Cisco Kid's and Pancho's.
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Last edited by terentii; 01-30-2020 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:24 AM
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The job of a foley artist is to make things sound the way an audience thinks they should sound; not the way they actually sound. 99% of the audience “knows” the sound a dropped gun makes from film and TV; not real life, so THAT is the sound that needs to be used.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:33 AM
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Any time a train is shown, it blows its whistle. Even if the train is travelling deep in the wilderness or desert, with no level crossings anywhere in sight, we'll hear the train whistle if we see the train.

Trains blow their whistles for various reasons. They will blow a distinctive pattern when approaching a level crossing (two longs, a short, and a final long that lasts until the engine crosses the level crossing), and there are other patterns that are used for other situations. Of course, a train will blow its whistle if it sees something on the track anywhere (say, an animal), but a train will not blow its whistle in the middle of nowhere, just because the operator hasn't heard it for a while.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:34 AM
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Name Tonto's horse.
As I recall, it is
SPOILER:
Scout.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:35 AM
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I've been annoyed by the cup thing, except I have thought of it, and described it, differently. I think it is obvious from how people carry and move covered coffee cups, that the cups are empty. And it may not be a gaffe per se, but it takes me out of the show every time I see someone "drink" from an obviously empty cup. I think it happens far less in movies than in TV shows, so there must be an awareness that it's better to at least put some liquid in the cups to make the actions more natural.

Last edited by eschrodinger; 01-30-2020 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:35 AM
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Soldiers' gear doesn't clack and rattle while they're marching. This is especially true of their rifles. If they do, they're either not made well or they're poorly cared for, which would earn you a reaming from your sergeant.
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:11 AM
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Treason. TV and movie writers have about as great a grip on it as the common american civilian. ...but I'd expect a government employee on screen to.
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:14 AM
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That one always gets me. The cop or soldier or good guy caught up in a horrible situation points his gun at the dangerous bad guy. Bad guy doesn’t do what he’s supposed to so now the hero racks the slide because now he means business. Why are you pointing an empty gun at the bad guy to begin with?
Or how about when a semi-auto pistol is empty and they keep pulling the trigger to hear clicks. In real life the slide stays open after the last shot on most semi-autos, especially full sized models used by police/military. It really gets me when they do this with what appears to be a Glock. Glocks are single action with no second strike capability. The trigger wouldn't continue to function after the first pull if no round were fired.
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:34 AM
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That one always gets me. The cop or soldier or good guy caught up in a horrible situation points his gun at the dangerous bad guy. Bad guy doesn’t do what he’s supposed to so now the hero racks the slide because now he means business. Why are you pointing an empty gun at the bad guy to begin with?
Or it's distant cousin, when somebody is given an empty pistol and doesn't realize it until they already have pulled the trigger and heard the click, especially people who supposedly should know better (like assassins or elite soldiers)

This means either they have never racked the slide of the pistol which means even if loaded wouldn't have fired, or they did rack the slide earlier and somehow didn't notice the gun was empty despite a lot of guns will automatically have the slide lock back when the gun is completely empty.
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:47 AM
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They never use the space bar.
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:17 AM
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They never use the space bar.
Or they just hit keys indiscrimately, as fast as they possibly can; yet still manage to produce grammatically-correct, correctly-spelled e-mails, make accurate flight reservations, write letters that are good enough after only a first draft, find the password to the villain's computer, and so on.
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:52 AM
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Or they just hit keys indiscrimately, as fast as they possibly can; yet still manage to produce grammatically-correct, correctly-spelled e-mails, make accurate flight reservations, write letters that are good enough after only a first draft, find the password to the villain's computer, and so on.
The dumbest computer thing I ever saw was on an episode of NCIS. Here it is. Watch as they both type away on the same keyboard simultaneously.

I won't discuss how the entire NCIS database was apparently stored on that one computer so unplugging it stopped the attack.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 01-30-2020 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:55 AM
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The dumbest computer thing I ever saw was on an episode of NCIS. Here it is. Watch as they both type away on the same keyboard simultaneously.

I won't discuss how the entire NCIS database was apparently stored on that one computer so unplugging it stopped the attack.
Everyone knows that hacking is just being able to type fast. To stop hacking you have to type faster.


The second part I’ll give them a pass. I took it to mean there was an intrusion on the main network which was used to get data stored on that particular computer that was on the network. Not that all the data was stored on that one computer.
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Old 01-30-2020, 04:25 AM
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The sound of a bald eagle. You've heard it; they do that badass screaming sound.
I knew the stock noise was the hawk, but I always assumed, given their similarities of appearance and habit, that the Bald Eagle would sound like the local Fish Eagle's call (AKA - the Sound of Africa)
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Old 01-30-2020, 04:37 AM
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Soldiers' gear doesn't clack and rattle while they're marching. This is especially true of their rifles. If they do, they're either not made well or they're poorly cared for, which would earn you a reaming from your sergeant.
A story I heard about Mr Foley. Kubrick was disgusted with the sound of a marching legion in the film "Sparticus". Foley produced a key-ring full of keys, shaking them to make the sound that Kubrick wanted.

This is why I never really feel good about surround sound. It's all fake anyway.
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Old 01-30-2020, 04:43 AM
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Or it's distant cousin, when somebody is given an empty pistol and doesn't realize it until they already have pulled the trigger and heard the click, especially people who supposedly should know better (like assassins or elite soldiers)

This means either they have never racked the slide of the pistol which means even if loaded wouldn't have fired, or they did rack the slide earlier and somehow didn't notice the gun was empty despite a lot of guns will automatically have the slide lock back when the gun is completely empty.
Honestly, that stuff doesn't bother me, I want to be caught up in the action enough that I'm not paying attention. Still I love "The Mummy" where they make an attempt to keep track of the shots and choreograph in the reloading, grabbing a new weapon, etc. It does put action on a higher level.
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Old 01-30-2020, 04:58 AM
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How about when they show someone talking on a pay phone and they hang up. very rarely do you hear the coin drop sound that you hear in real life when you hang up a pay telephone.

And don't say they had used a calling card!
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Old 01-30-2020, 05:01 AM
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In the second season of the Daredevil TV show, he fought ninjas whose swords went "schwing" when they waved them through the air.
"Schwing" and not "swish, swoosh"?
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Old 01-30-2020, 05:12 AM
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The second part I’ll give them a pass. I took it to mean there was an intrusion on the main network which was used to get data stored on that particular computer that was on the network. Not that all the data was stored on that one computer.
Lord knows I'm not a computer expert. But I'm going to assume that the computer we saw in that office was just part of a network (because if it was a stand alone computer, the hacker would have had to be in the room with them). It connected them, along with dozens or even hundreds of other computers, to a centralized computer where files were stored. The hacker was trying to break into the central records via one terminal and we saw them trying to stop the hacker getting in by typing in commands on their computer.

So all Gibbs did by unplugging their computer was cut them off from the central computer and stop their attempts to defend the files. The hacker was still connected and able to finish his work now that he wasn't being interrupted.
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Old 01-30-2020, 06:30 AM
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The sound of a bald eagle. You've heard it; they do that badass screaming sound.

No, actually they don't. Real bald eagles make a chirping sound.

That sound you associate with bald eagles? It's made by red tail hawks.
In a similar vein, recent analysis of T. Rex anatomy has paleontologists believing that they couldn't roar but squeaked instead. When I mention this tidbit at the natural history museum I volunteer at, I add that we don't expect Hollywood to change any time soon.

And to add to the conversation, how about the "sching" when a sword is drawn from a leather scabbard?
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:22 AM
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Anytime the cops go to question someone about a murder/rape/heinous crime, the person being questioned will continue gardening, stocking shelves, batting practice or whatever they were doing when the cops showed up. "Oh, you want to know about the details of my boss's murder? I guess I can humor you while I paint this railing..."
<snip>
This is the one that makes me crazy. If the police stopped to question me while I was gardening, I'm pretty sure I'd stand up and take off my dirty gloves. But I guess we'll have to see when and if the time comes...

One that makes me crazy is the apparent inability of some writers to figure out how long it takes to go certain places. I saw and episode of X-Files where the timeline showed one character waking in Baltimore at 8:30 in the morning, and next thing you know, it's about 4 hours later the same day, and he's in Rhode Island. Sorry, dude, unless you've got a very fast helicopter in your back yard, that ain't gonna happen.

Similarly, on NCIS, the agents easily drove from DC to Norfolk and back in a matter of a few hours - because there's never traffic in DC or on I-95 or around Richmond, or on I-64 to Norfolk, or in Norfolk itself. Not to mention California writers having characters on the east coast referring to highways as "the 495." Nope, sorry, we don't say that here.
  #48  
Old 01-30-2020, 08:36 AM
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In a similar vein, recent analysis of T. Rex anatomy has paleontologists believing that they couldn't roar but squeaked instead. When I mention this tidbit at the natural history museum I volunteer at, I add that we don't expect Hollywood to change any time soon.

And to add to the conversation, how about the "sching" when a sword is drawn from a leather scabbard?
Not entirely impossible. Leather scabbards typically have a metal fixture at their top. The sword can drag along that to make the noise.

I saw the documentary about T rex's abilities. I don't remember a squeak; instead, there was a very low-frequency rumble that was much more terrifying than a high-pitched roar. This was based on the probable configuration of the animal's inner ear and examples of the vocalization produced by its closest living relatives.

https://www.iflscience.com/plants-an...-sounded-like/
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:40 AM
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Perfect, white teeth in every mouth, no matter when, no matter where.


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  #50  
Old 01-30-2020, 08:53 AM
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Perfect, white teeth in every mouth, no matter when, no matter where.


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If Downton Abby were accurate, all the characters would have teeth like those soldiers in They Shall Not Grow Old.
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