Two-Thirds of A Great Science Fiction Movie?


Our sun is dying. Mankind faces extinction. Seven years ago the Icarus project sent a mission to restart the sun but that mission was lost before it reached the star. Sixteen months ago, I, Robert Capa, and a crew of seven left earth frozen in a solar winter. Our payload a stellar bomb with a mass equivalent to Manhattan Island. Our purpose to create a star within a star.

From the reviews, “Sunshine” is certainly the best sci-fi film of 2007. It opened in Salt Lake City (Trolley Square) a week late, so I’m more than ready to go see it this weekend. Some have called it “two-thirds of a great science fiction movie” because of the ending. On the other hand, comparisons to “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Alien” and “Solaris” put “Sunshine” in the big leagues. It was directed by Danny Boyle (“28 Days Later”). There is a good spoiler-free review in Slate.

The plot takes place only 50 years in the future, so the sun isn’t dying in the normal sense (this is not due for around five billion years). It has instead been “infected” with a Q-ball – a supersymmetric nucleus, left over from the big bang – that is disrupting the normal matter. This is a theoretical particle that scientists at CERN are currently trying to confirm. The stellar bomb is meant to blast the Q-ball to its constituent parts which will then naturally decay, allowing the sun to return to normal.

Note: “Sunshine” is rated “R” by the MPAA.

UPDATE: Here’s my review. There are no original ideas in science fiction stories, but if you can live with that fact you will agree that this is a great genre film. It’s better than “Dark Star” (1974). And you will never take the Sun for granted, you’ll be looking up at it a lot more. Note to space agencies: you have to send the computer anyway, but don’t send any people. The computer doesn’t really need anyone to talk to, and humans take up space. They also whine a lot about whether they’re going to make it back alive, is there enough oxygen and food, who’s in command, etc. And they make very bad decisions (e.g. trying to bypass the computer). Of course, nobody would ever make a movie about an automated space mission that went exactly as planned.

  1. #1 by Ken Bingham on July 27, 2007 - 2:01 pm

    We don’t even have to go to the movies to watch science fiction anymore. Just turn on the evening news and watch a report on global warming.

  2. #2 by Cliff Lyon on July 27, 2007 - 2:09 pm

    Thats very funny Ken. And for some reality, you can just step outside.

  3. #3 by glenn on July 27, 2007 - 3:55 pm

    It been hot, and it’s been cold
    how people predict, oh so bold?
    I do not know, but what’s for sure
    we know not certain what’s in store
    for you folks, just look upon the Salt Lake Valley
    before mos came it was pretty sorry
    one need only take stock of what there grows
    to know that hot, is summers’ woes
    there is for sure, a damn good reason
    that Utes didn’t live there during summer season.

  4. #4 by Ken Bingham on July 27, 2007 - 4:02 pm

    Yea it is pretty warm outside. I think I’ll refresh myself with some good bottled water while it’s still legal.

  5. #5 by Caveat on July 27, 2007 - 6:10 pm

    Legal, but stupid. Likely came from a tap in Duluth. Add in packaging and transport and you’ve got a real thirst quencher.

  6. #6 by glenn on July 27, 2007 - 7:56 pm

    What I like best is the bottled water from Fiji, it likely takes as much fuel to get it here by volume as there is water in the bottle.

    The law of entropy in relation to the chemical reactions and the 2nd law of thermodynamics states that all reactions tend towards lower energy state and higher states of disorder. Translated into human activity, in my view, means in reality that the more wasteful and stupid a device or activity is, the more successful it will become.

    Since all we materially do falls into this chemical and thermodynamic reality we are the catalysts, or “enzymes” as it were, of the reactivity and energy transfer on earth, or wherever we will go. Einstein said that the law of entropy was the most immutable physical law that constrains all humanity.

    The definition of a catalyst in chemistry is that which aids and abets in a chemical reaction but is in itself unchanged by the reaction. Fits humanity to a T. Our technology changes, but by and large, our reasons for being, or desires, really have not. That we are the agents of entropy in an unavoidable way. Efficiency just means more access for more people. There will never be a day in this oil reality, where we won’t burn more fuel year to year, until it is gone. Oil represents highly ordered stored energy, defying entropy in its highly ordered state underground. We are here to burn it all. If this does heat the Earth, it will fit directly fit into the Law of Entropy which also states that ALL chemical reactions increase in frequency with a rise in temperature. So if we are the cause of warming, it is likely because in my view, it is because it is what we were made to do. Call it God, call it evolution. It really won’t matter, will it? We just will become fossils. Or not.

    If one is know that the ultimate fate of the planet is to become a penoplane (flat) after the heat of our core ceases to build mountains and produce quakes, erosion, in which WE are a prime mover(through building and agriculture) will eventually level all areas of the planet, and put it into the lowest energy state possible, before it is annihilated by an ever expending dying entropic Sun.

    So goes the Universe.

    You can call it cassandras’ axiom.

    There is no cheating it. So far.

  7. #7 by Ken Bingham on July 27, 2007 - 11:31 pm

    Personally I think bottled water helps. We are in a drought and companies are shipping in bottled water to Utah. That’s water that is not being drained from the local aquifers. Drink out of the tap and you are deminishing the areas precious water supply.

  8. #8 by Cliff Lyon on July 28, 2007 - 6:17 am

    Ken, you are always right on the edge of reason, but your premises pretty much suck. Whether every ounce of water we drink came from, or outside of, Utah, it wouldn’t have an detectable impact on our natural water supply.

    Let me see if I really get where you are coming from. As a human, you are a superior species, placed here temporarily, for some ethereal purpose and goal.

    Outside of that purpose, everything else is trivial and in the end, meaningless.

    Am I close?

  9. #9 by Richard Warnick on July 28, 2007 - 8:52 am

    I think they dehydrate the water in Fiji, ship it here, re-hydrate it and bottle it.

  10. #10 by glenn on July 28, 2007 - 8:56 am

    Even if that were true, what of it Cliff. One man, one vote, or just a tyranny of those convinced in fear or well placed concern that the world is coming to an end.

    Were you aware that Zoroastrianism predates Judaism, and of course Christianity, and therein are tales of impending doom at armageddon, The one god Ahura Mazda, Ahriman his devil, and a son that saves humanity?

    Anyway, the climate cult is upon us. Makes one wonder what the indigenous thought when their lake (your) began to dry up thousands of years ago. The fears of survival have been with humans forever, we have just extended that view. If the cave man speculated on the melting ice, it was a place he could hunt animals, and later collect food, and later still start agriculture. Now its where it is, and the world has changed, is changing, and will continue to change.

    Still driving the SUV? Remember that the most esteemed David Suzuki once formulated a calculus with SCIENTISTS that described what the carbon consequence for simply owing a car and never driving it meant to the environment, never mind daily use of an aging 15 yr. old abomination Apparently one using car owner contributes the pollution and environmental degradation of 100 3rd worlders. But as far as it goes, its cool with me.

    Burn it all, then it won’t be an issue.

  11. #11 by glenn on July 28, 2007 - 9:21 am

    At this point Richard the asinine worry of the climate change without substantively changing ones own lifestyle is getting pretty old. Americans use more power in an order of magnitude than any other people, Canadians being 2nd.

    If it didn’t pollute and destroy other peoples economies, and mono-economy the whole world, why would care how much energy people used if it did not pollute and was renewable. Power = better quality of life. At this point for humanity the goal of efficiency is excellent, but what we should make our highest priority is to find an inexhaustible, clean source of power. For the long haul.

    For this to happen the oil barons must go away, or oil must run out. Since the barons run the whole thing, and what they wish is the highest price for what remains of the product, I propose a plan.

    Let begin to direct our entire economy to increasing demand for fuel, and high price, and began to burn it in greater amounts, wastefully, every extra penny going to buy up and somehow burn it. Our money will become more worthless as this progresses, and soon no one can buy it. The economy stops, and in the end when the oil is so scarce they will have to restart money based on a different medium.

    Might as well it is where it is going whether it happens in 60-70 years or 5.

    We can can it the 5 Year Plan. Complete with government incentives for vehicles over 6000 lbs. Likes hummers. Oh we have a raft those burning fuel in Iraq, and I believe the 75% purchase price write off for vehicles over 6000 lbs for corporate entities, farmers etc. still exists.

    Cool, bush is so on the plan.

  12. #12 by WP on July 28, 2007 - 12:00 pm

    so much about nothing here, look up Webster’s definition of ‘inane’.

  13. #13 by glenn on July 28, 2007 - 5:07 pm

    Sure is isn’t it? Human conceit and the concept that our activities are all encompassing strikes me as inane also.

  14. #14 by glenn on July 28, 2007 - 5:08 pm

    Glad that you wasted your time reading it all WP.

  15. #15 by WP on July 28, 2007 - 7:41 pm

    If it walks like one and quaks like one it is a duck! May I recommend a CB radio for your next toy?

  16. #16 by glenn on July 29, 2007 - 7:40 am

    Already have access to a SW SSB.

    Go to this site and see what you can come up for excuses to the hard data.

  17. #17 by glenn on July 29, 2007 - 10:10 am

    Yo WP, your link is to centervilleblahblah.xom, so it won’t link due to the mistake.

  18. #18 by WP on July 29, 2007 - 3:05 pm

    Don’t know how that happened other than the proximity of the ‘c’ key next to the ‘x’ on my Maxintosh.

    Thanks Glenn!

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