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Movies Idle

Submitting "Nuking the Fridge" To Scientific Peer Review 284

Posted by samzenpus
from the leave-Indiana-alone dept.
An anonymous reader writes "George Lucas claims there was 'a 50/50 chance' Indiana Jones could survive the atomic blast in Legend of the Crystal Skull by hiding inside a refrigerator. Dr. David Shechner subjects this claim to rigorous peer review, and his findings are not good news for people looking to hide from nukes in appliances."
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Submitting "Nuking the Fridge" To Scientific Peer Review

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  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:42PM (#39143073) Homepage

    Glad I'm not one of Dr. David Shechner's peers, then. Although from the sound of things he must not have many left!

  • by Manuka (4415) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:45PM (#39143097)

    Is that he denied the Mythbusters a chance to go nuclear.

  • Trauma (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dan East (318230) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:45PM (#39143099) Homepage Journal

    Forget the radiation and heat. The trauma from the g-forces of that flight and landing would have killed anyone easily.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thereitis (2355426)
      And let's not forget we're talking about "surviving" afterward - that could mean living the rest of your life in an ICU. Indiana Jones not only survived but kicked some serious ass the same day.
    • by mrmeval (662166)

      Indiana Jones is immortal

      Harrison Ford is just OLD

      Dammit, I was hoping to see a few dozen more movies by him.

      • Re:Trauma (Score:5, Funny)

        by oodaloop (1229816) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @10:38PM (#39143849)
        I think Indiana Jones was only immortal while he was in that temple. In the Young Indiana Jones serial in the '80s, he was depicted with...OMG I'm such a dork.
        • by snowgirl (978879)

          I think Indiana Jones was only immortal while he was in that temple.

          Indeed, as the Grail Knight specifically says that the immortality the cup grants lasts only within the temple. And further if you examine the... OMG, I'm such a dork, too.

        • by mrmeval (662166)

          I actually meant immortal on our side of the 4th wall. If they ever kill him in a story there will be a lingering doubt that he will stay dead. If the IP holders were to in some way convince people they kill him off in a story the IP holders won't be able to wallow in the Indiana Jones Money Tub anymore. ;)

  • by Chas (5144) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:46PM (#39143109) Homepage Journal

    The only thing George is an expert on is MOICHANDISING!

    But, if you're about to suffer the effects of a close range nuclear detonation, you could do worse... At least this way you'll feel proactive about avoid death as you die horribly.

  • by davidbrit2 (775091) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:47PM (#39143129) Homepage
    1. Ripping out a man's heart without killing him.
    2. Jumping from a plane using an air raft.
    3. Keeping an immortal knight in a subterranean cavern for thousands of years.

    Or, how about just shut up and watch the movie.

    • by hawguy (1600213) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:58PM (#39143221)

      1. Ripping out a man's heart without killing him.
      2. Jumping from a plane using an air raft.
      3. Keeping an immortal knight in a subterranean cavern for thousands of years.

      Or, how about just shut up and watch the movie.

      Mythbusters already busted [mythbustersresults.com] that middle one. I'd like to see them test the ripping out a man's heart one, though I'm not sure PETA will appreciate them testing on live animals.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They could do it in China... I'm sure they could come up with someone waiting to be executed whom they need to make a serious public spectacle out of (bonus points to the condemned if, when his heart is being pulled out of his chest, yells the Mandarin equivalent of "Freeeedommmmmm!!!gaaakkkgakkk")

      • by Dunbal (464142) * on Thursday February 23, 2012 @09:15PM (#39143351)

        I'd like to see them test the ripping out a man's heart one,

        Not something you do successfully in your average weird cultist temple, but this is done in heart transplants all the time...

      • by Fluffeh (1273756)

        Mythbusters already busted [mythbustersresults.com] that middle one. I'd like to see them test the ripping out a man's heart one, though I'm not sure PETA will appreciate them testing on live animals.

        Hey, for the sake of scientific accuracy, the myth is ripping a MANS heart out without killing him, not some animals heart. I am not sure that PETA has any standing with that one...

        • by jd2112 (1535857)

          Mythbusters already busted [mythbustersresults.com] that middle one. I'd like to see them test the ripping out a man's heart one, though I'm not sure PETA will appreciate them testing on live animals.

          Hey, for the sake of scientific accuracy, the myth is ripping a MANS heart out without killing him, not some animals heart. I am not sure that PETA has any standing with that one...

          Perhaps, for the sale of saving the life of an animal, a PETA member will volunteer for this experiment.

        • Well, a man is a living animal...

          • by Fluffeh (1273756)

            A case of accuracy though - All men are living animals. Not all living aminals are men.

            C'mon, the folks here should be used to these sort of mistakes causing havok with solutions/research.

        1. Ripping out a man's heart without killing him.
        2. Jumping from a plane using an air raft.
        3. Keeping an immortal knight in a subterranean cavern for thousands of years.

        Or, how about just shut up and watch the movie.

        Mythbusters already busted [mythbustersresults.com] that middle one. I'd like to see them test the ripping out a man's heart one, though I'm not sure PETA will appreciate them testing on live animals.

        PETA would, however, be totally fine with that experiment being performed on a human.

      • by bronney (638318)

        kalima!!! kalima!!! kalima!!!

      • by tnk1 (899206) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @10:06PM (#39143681)

        "JAT stewardess Vesna Vulovi survived a fall of 33,000 feet (10,000 m)[7] on January 26, 1972 when she was aboard JAT Flight 367. The plane was brought down by explosives over Srbská Kamenice in the former Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic)." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_fall [wikipedia.org]

        Yes, not a rubber life raft, but it's not impossible to survive dropping out of the sky, just really freaking unlikely. Of course, that woman actually landed in part of the plane, broke her skull and was in a coma for 27 days. Probably not in a mood for serious ass kicking at that point, but she's no Indiana Jones either.

        • by Evtim (1022085) on Friday February 24, 2012 @12:45AM (#39144413)

          The second in the world-record list of "people falling from the sky" is more bizzare. I read it in the "book of general ignorance". The name was Alkemade and he served on a British bomber during WW2 (the name is Dutch though). He fell 6km if I remember correctly by himself (not sitting on the plain chair or something), landed hitting trees and finally snow, had a cigarette and walked away...

          • by St.Creed (853824)

            He had a sprained ankle and got arrested, so no walking away. Still, falling 18000 feet and having no more than a sprained ankle so impressed the Germans that they gave him a certificate attesting to the fact and he was something of a celebrity in the POW camp.

            See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Alkemade [wikipedia.org]

            • by TheLink (130905)

              A few more here:
              http://www.greenharbor.com/fffolder/unlucky.html [greenharbor.com]
              e.g.

              Tang Lee Ping Kuala Lumpur: In February of 2001 Tang Lee Ping of Malaysia fell 1,500 meters after her main and back-up parachutes failed to open. She woke up three hours later in a nearby hospital. Her injuries were minor (only bruises). She attributed her survival to God and a soft landing area.

              Bruises only! I think 1500 metres is enough distance to get to "normal" terminal velocity.
              And: http://www.greenharbor.com/fffolder/leeds.html [greenharbor.com]

              I walked away without so much as a scratch. Following this incident I must have made over a hundred free falls and static line jumps without incident.

    • They mythbusters actually tested using a raft to jump out of a plane, and they concluded it was plausible.
    • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @09:17PM (#39143375)
      Disbelief can only be suspended so far. The first and third items on your list were attributed to supernatural events, and the second, while implausible, was nowhere near as insane as the nuked fridge stunt. Granted, suspension of disbelief is an entirely personal thing, but for me, the other three movies only pushed the boundaries of reality enough to be entertaining, whereas the fourth movie completely obliterated it.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 23, 2012 @09:24PM (#39143417)

        ^This.

        I'm willing to suspend disbelief and pretend that magic is real... but there's no way that "physics as normal" allows the fridge stunt to work.

      • by Kozz (7764) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @10:15PM (#39143721)

        ... whereas the fourth movie completely obliterated it.

        Wait... there was a fourth movie?!

      • Okay, then how about we just go with "nearly every damn thing Indy does with his whip defies the laws of physics"? Ropes/whips do not work that way
    • by izomiac (815208)
      Suspension of disbelief has limits. Movie writers seem to rely on mass ignorance to stretch these limits. Nobody would accept a car chase that suddenly goes airborne because everybody knows that cars can't fly under their own power. That said, some things can be accepted as a visually appealing metaphor, such as banging at the keyboard to hack a computer.

      Others, like being knocked out for half a day and actually waking up (and without brain damage no less), simply shows the writer knows nothing about
    • by alienzed (732782)
      Actually, myth busters did the raft from plane thing, if I remember correctly it actually sorta worked...
    • by evilviper (135110)

      Ripping out a man's heart without killing him.

      You do recall that the guy died moments later, don't you? There's nobody in the film running around, minus their heart. Besides, this was some supernatural cult thing. You could easily rationalize it as some form of slight of hand or mass hypnosis to impress the audience of followers. No comment about the rocks that burn on command...

      Jumping from a plane using an air raft.

      There's an outside possibility you'd survive. If you were sure you're going to die,

    • Or, how about just shut up and watch the movie.

      It was possible with the first three because they were entertaining. The fourth one wasn't, so the nitpickery is much more entertaining.

    • Clinging to the outside of a submarine while it travels halfway around the world...

      The fridge stunt was completely in keeping with the tongue-in-cheek tone of the Indy films - the film sucked because it was the much-delayed fourth film in a trilogy. When has that ever worked?

  • by rykin (836525) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:48PM (#39143135)
    Peer review? This is a job for the Mythbusters!
    Let's see, we have a fridge, now we just need a nuclear testing facility!
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @08:57PM (#39143209)

    ... but the franchise didn't.

    Does that make him "Schrodinger's Archaeologist?"

    • by mykepredko (40154)

      Uhhmmm... Apparently Lucas is working on the screenplay to #5.

      Indiana's death has been somewhat exaggerated...

      myke

  • by rush,overlord,rush! (1995452) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @09:03PM (#39143271)
    Actually it's the TARDIS, and Indiana Jones is just another alias of Dr. Who. Of course he will survive.
  • Wrong subject (Score:5, Insightful)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Thursday February 23, 2012 @09:04PM (#39143277) Homepage

    I, for one, wish they had peer reviewed THE SCREENPLAY.

    What a shit movie that was.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Personally, I'd put Temple of Doom as a worse movie. It was cringe worthy from start to finish. Whereas the last one I'd put at third word, since it was cringeworthy near the end. The refrigerator scene was implausable but still humorous and a fun way to start off the movie.

      • When you talk about the end, do you mean the Alien bit? I don't see that having aliens in a movie is any worse than having a weapon of god, or a cult of evil magic, or yet another goblet with magical powers from god. All the movies have extranatural central elements.

        What made the first movie so great was that there was a Quest with a satisfying ending. It also started with a mini-quest to set the scene. The other movies replaced some of the elements while keeping some others. The last one didn't really ha

  • George Lucas must be dumber than I thought if he really thought there was a 50/50 chance of survival. What kind of odds does he give for being in a fridge while it gets hit by a 18 wheeler going 70 mph? Gotta be a 80%+ chance of survival compared to the nuclear blast.
    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      No he's not dumb. He realizes that if he says 50-50, then millions of people will believe him and tell everyone they know about this "fact" they have discovered. He's actually quite smart. Completely incorrect - but when did that ever get in the way of making a buck?
      • by Jeremi (14640)

        Completely incorrect - but when did that ever get in the way of making a buck?

        I submit that there is a distance from ground zero at which chances of in-fridge survival are in fact 50/50. Computing the distance is left as an exercise for the fanboy.

  • The webserver!

    Fall! Fall before the power of the Slash and the Dot!

    HMBOOWAHAHAHAHA!

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @09:12PM (#39143327) Journal
    ( ! ) Fatal error: Out of memory (allocated 15728640) (tried to allocate 19456 bytes) in /var/www/overthinkingit.com/wp-includes/class-http.php on line 1358
  • by RandomAvatar (2487198) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @09:13PM (#39143333)
    I guess it is back to hiding under a desk if we ever see a nuke coming.
  • Out next experiment, called "nuking the server", was carried out successfully. Oh I love a good slashdotting in the evenings. Now, anyone care to calculate the temperatures on the server at this time?
  • Thanks for the spoiler, Slashdot.

    Am I the only one who hasn't watched this supposed piece of crap movie?

  • No Problem (Score:5, Funny)

    by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @09:30PM (#39143445)
    It would be almost certain that Ford would survive a movie nuke in a prop refrigerator. Union rules specify that prop 1940s refrigerators weigh enough to require an entire crew to move. It was probably made of depleted uranium. As for the nuke, it was no more than 450 teraflops due to FX budget constraints. It takes at least an petaflop to kill an A-list movie star, and that is contractually stipulated.
  • by amanicdroid (1822516) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @09:57PM (#39143637)
    Scientists aren't the only peer-reviewing group. Bethesda looked at the evidence presented and showed their judgement here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-iPC-IyZCY [youtube.com]
  • So a director of fiction makes an absolutely absurd claim that can damn near be debunked with common sense, and someone with a doctorate degree (which I now question) feels the need to not only study this, but submit it for peer review?

    Is the good doctor high on his own supply, or is this because it's George Lucas and therefore sensationalist attention-grabbing?

    Uh, not to mention we're submitting a scenario for peer review that has likely NEVER happened and likely never will. I suppose the icing on the cak

  • It appears to be slashdotted :)

    While I certainly agree with the HIGH probability of Dr. Jones dying in his flying refrigerator, it is worth noting that in the Hiroshima bombing, there is a documented case of a bank worker surviving the blast from less than 330m from the hypocenter. Now granted, she was inside, at the back of a concrete bank building, but she DID survive, and was not fatally injured. Assuming the bomb was at the low edge of the kilotonnage listed (i.e. similar to the Hiroshima bomb), and a

  • by retchdog (1319261) on Friday February 24, 2012 @12:46AM (#39144419) Journal

    in the original back to the future script, marty mcfly was sent "back to the future" in a refrigerator in one of the model houses at a nuclear test site. doc brown modded the fridge somehow so that the radiation would trigger the time circuits.

    the original script was very surreal, and a blatant social commentary on the failure/decay of the space age. for example, iirc, the time machine was powered by diet cola and marty is stranded because aspartame isn't invented until 1965.

  • by ledow (319597) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:04AM (#39147473) Homepage

    Dunno, but I heard of one poor sod that was caught within the Hiroshima bombings and, after being exposed, evacuated to Nagasaki just in time for...
    And that was a genuine, documented case from what I remember.

    Maybe people should watch "When The Wind Blows" more often and less Terminator. Nuke != instantaneous death. Really. It's a whole lot worse than that. In comparison to what happens to you after, it's probably better to go out in an instant flash of hot, burning death.

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