Did any of you have a moment when

I was watching “Deepwater Horizon” and watched an idiotic scene. They drill up a 6 million year old fossil from a 38 million year old formation. (the movie makers were clearly never equipped with a petroleum geochemist or Paleontologist?). (I don’t want to have to explain drilling technology)

Professionals (and others), I know you are here, what stupid things do you see that are too idiotiotic for words in media?


My expertise is phaleristics (the study of decorations, medals and orders of knighthood), and so many times i see movies get decorations wrong. They are not simply shiny pieces of metal pinned on a uniform, they have the place in which they belong. Some of them are to be worn on the right side and not the left, some have a very specific place to be, and even the regular medals have some kind of hierarchy so they should be placed in a specific order. Then there are the ribbons, there are so many variations of colour and shape (plus a whole different type for priests and another for women) and if the makers of the movie did not contact a professional they can make absolutely unrealistic things. I have seen movies where some of the characters had decorations that didnt even exist when the plot happened.

My other thing is WW2 weaponry and equipment some movies cannot make a difference between a Wehrmacht and an SS uniform, there are terrible mistakes out there. The only thing i can somewhat forgive is when they “build” german tanks on the chassis of soviet ones as very few german armoured vehicles remained after the war in operational condition.

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I think I have some understanding. I feel, It’s maddening, I would have given you a consult for $150, maybe for free, just get it right!

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Yeah. Well, all for the glory of Hollywood and the film industry.

What I am about to share is on the issue where certain words in the English language (mind you, it is not my native tongue) which are confusing, especially when American English is compared to British English. For example, some words are spelled using the letter “z” while others are spelled using the letter “s”. These words include “recognize” (recognise), “paralyze” (paralyse), “organize” (organise), etc. Other English words have an additional letter “u”, such as, but not limited to, “odor” (odour), “valor” (valour), “neighbor” (neighbour), “color” (colour), etc. And there are a ton more where us (or perhaps only me) are confused which of them are really correct. “Traveled” (travelled), “defense” (defence), “leukaemia” (leukemia), “oestrogen” (estrogen), “manoeuvre” (maneuver), “analog” (analogue), etc. are some of the strangely-spelled words on the top of my head.

And why the heck is the abbreviation of the pounds equate to lbs? Nothing in the word can we see the letters “L” and “B”. To me, pounds abbreviated to lbs is a Lot of BullShit :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Totally. You’re an engineer right? (one of my favorite nephews is an engineer) And they say “this is what we we want” and yet models will not come up with an acceptable result?

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To add more confusion, the LB abbreviation for the english word pound comes from the latin word “libre”, which roughly translates as scale or weight (generically). Just because.

As for the rest, it relates to there being two different englishes. The Americans did away with the “u” and changed “s” to “z”. The British retained the “u” and 's". And us poor Canucks are stuck in the middle vacillating back and forth between the two.


Tungsten <> Wolfram

Aluminium <> Aluminum


I went to buy a diamond ring once.
When the saleswoman began to explain how the diamond was formed through compressed coal I just walked out.

As a fellow geo, I’m sure you’ll’ll find that unforgivably cringeworthy.


OMG, I just stopped watching a YT docco because coal was compressed into diamonds forgetting that most known Kimberlite and Lamproite pipes are 2.5 billion and 1.7 billion years old (I have a theory, but that is professional). Just 1.4 billion years before land plants were a thing to form coal deposits?

EDIT: the tragic thing about the docco was that If I didn’t know better, it would have been totally credible. Sadly I did and my take was; “you tool!”

I’ve spent most of my career in financial services companies (insurance/banking). Not too often I see fair and accurate portrayals of my job.

I’ve posted a summary of the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect below.

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
Michael Crichton (1942-2008)


Not a computer science professional anymore, but that’s what my degree is in. I mostly enjoyed the movie Independence Day, but the plot resolution was just ludicrous. Aliens have flown 100 gazillion miles in their massive starships, hacked our satellites to coordinate an attack against us, demonstrated that their shielding technology can absorb the force of a nuclear warhead with ease, and leveled several of our cities with a single blast from their uber-laser-cannon. But somehow, they aren’t able to prevent an overachieving cable installer from accessing their computer system and deploying and executing rogue code that brings their shields down? Like, they didn’t even have a password? (Actually, since they are a non-verbal species, they would probably have had something besides a password… likely something incomprehensible to mere mortals like us.) And how does Jake from Comcast even know what code to execute to bring down the shields? The alien language, such as it is, appears incomprehensible to us. How did he know his code would bring down the shields instead of turning the lights off, firing the aforementioned destructo-cannon, or adjusting the air conditioning by two degrees? How does his code even run on the alien technology? You mean to tell me the aliens control that behemoth death saucer with Windows 95? Utter flipping nonsense!


The word is actually libra (plural librae).
Its first meaning is actually a weight measure unit which, as it often happened in Latin and derived languages, came to indicate the measuring instrument also.
To be precise it indicated a much wider concept that is related to how two armed scales work: balance.
To be ad libram means “horizontally”.
As such libra was also used for “level”.
The word “measure” itself (Latin “misura”) was a measure unit before becoming related to the act of measuring.


My biggest pet peeve in movies is when someone has just knocked out or shot the baddie and then turns their back on them while they use their cell phone.

They aren’t dead … I’m screaming at the tv.

ps - I know it’s not in the spirit of the OP but it feels good to get that off my chest :joy:


So funny to bring up Michael Crichton. Jurassic Park is in the forefront of my mind when it comes to movies that make me crazy. Even I know frogs change gender and I’m not a biologist. And I don’t remember all the dumb things in the security system but I remember thinking “what clown designed that?”

And don’t get me started on Armageddon…. Super-secret shuttles “hidden” in the Vehicle Assembly Building is just one of many…


Exactly, I’m fairly certain we use the best technology we actually have, not some super secret extra nice piece of kit.

This might be the single best topic I have ever seen in any online forum ever.

I could write forever about how psychological/clinical/MH/SA issues are butchered in film and television, and I might, but for now…

One of my “worst experiences/best stories” happened in Homer Alaska years ago.

I went to see that Bruce Willis asteroid movie with a science guy, physics maybe. Pretty sure I remember him being slightly under the influence of a few substances.

The absolute worst yet most hilarious evening of my adult life, with two hours of him repeatedly shouting some version of, “oh come ON, everyone KNOWS that would be impossible because of insert yet another scientific principle I knew nothing about!”

Brad, if you’re out there, thank you for an embarrassing, hilarious evening.


I would pay extra to see that movie under those circumstances!


Horses and dogs clearly belonging to breeds that were never a thing before the 18th or 19th century appearing in films supposedly set in the Middle Ages or Ancient Rome or Greece. Or prehistoric animals roaming a continent where they never lived. Pick your nightmare.


So… Beyond being a latin freak, something that hardly ever comes into play except for president Bush wishing to have studied it so he could have talked to Latinex in their native language (really, George Jr? Any idea the @#%& jr. stands for?) or John Wick’s tattoo my area of expertise are models and controls, with particular regard to non-linear systems.

Control theory hardly ever comes into play in any aspect of non-dedicated engineering, even less in every day life.
But there’s one thing that has found its way into everyday use: the butterfly effect.
The butterfly effect is not the hurricane in Miami resulting from the flap of the wings of a butterfly in Beijing a few months earlier.
It is a much more complex thing than that poetic description - which is also probably false - and its name is likely to derive by the trajectory of Lorenz’s strange attractor (very technical stuff).
Also… The original observation involved the flap of wings of a seagull in Brazil and it was only at a later stage that Lorenz held a conference he couldn’t come up with a title for and someone suggested Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?
But that is an effect of butterfly effect.
Which might seem contrieved to most but is essential in this area of expertise.

That used to be what bothered me the most.
Then came Covid and it became apparent that practically no scientist in the world knows anything about control theory, even when the problem is clearly a matter of control.
So much so that I’ve kept seeing the pandemics modelled as an exponential even when it’s very basilar knowledge (for experts in the field) that no - literally no single one - phenomenon in a finite system can be modelled as such and the correct approach involves a sigmoid function (most notably Velhurst’s or Gompertz’s).
From there it grew marvellously with journalists and scientists totally uncapable to understand (or at the very least explain) the concepts of system delay, stability, stabilizing control, optimal control or robust control.
That really hurt because it wasn’t a film.
That was real life and real lives. From “experts”.
I would listen to the news sometimes yelling in frustration “Ask. Someone. Who. Freaking. Knows!”



Sorry :joy:

I play a lot poker. Sat across from the unibomber a couple years ago and he pulled the drawstring tight on his hood when I was sitting on a pair of 10’s.
Which wasn’t strong. He had a few outs on me and the hoodie thing made me panic… I folded…

So the scene in Casino:

when Deniro catches the card thief by getting directly in the line of sight of the dealer’s hole card. And the guy goes right on tapping his leg… despite this:

That always gives me a good chuckle.

Otherwise my job isn’t cool enough to make movies out of.

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“Uncool jobs that appear in movies” would be another fun thread. “Sunshine Cleaning” comes to mind…


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