I’m no Loki (I look terrible in a helmet with long curving horns), but I still know how to take down S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Helicarrier. My pal Veronica Belmont asked me to come on her TechFeed show "Fact or Fictional" to talk about whether the ginormous turbo-fan driven Helicarrier from the Avengers movie could actually fly. SPOILERS: yes, kinda, but at grave cost to the planet below it.
It turns out that just to power the thing would take about a trillion Watts – enough to supply electricity to a billion homes. That might prove detrimental to the environment. Worse, the air blasted downward from the fans would have to be moving supersonically to support the tremendous weight of the Helicarrier, so it would pulverize anything near where it was landing.
And don’t even get me started on Iron Man kick starting that one engine. The centrifugal force alone would reduce him to the size of a soggy jelly bean inside that suit.
And before I get accused of nerdgassing about the movie, note well that what I bet most people would think is the craziest thing about the Helicarrier – its ability to cloak – actually strikes me as being possible. It’s a bit tougher than getting a 100,000 ton carrier off the ground without utterly destroying everything within a hundred square kilometers, but still not outright nuts. It’s all in the video.
And heck, I loved the movie. If you want nerdgassing, read what I have to say about "Armageddon"…
My pal Veronica Belmont hosts a show on TechFeed called Fact or Fictional, where she investigates the science of a movie based on viewer suggestions. She recently took on the
wonderful fantastic gawd-awful piece of festering offal "Armageddon", talking to scientist Joe Hanson, who writes the terrific It’s OK to Be Smart blog.
Let’s just say they agree with me about the movie:
If you want to learn how we’d really prevent an asteroid impact, and why we need to take this seriously, I gave a TEDxBoulder talk about it. It’s a real threat, but one we can prevent if we choose to do so.
A few weeks ago, I got a note from my pal Brian Brushwood (via Ashley Paramore and, somehow, Veronica Belmont; the actual email path was Möbius-like) asking if I’d like to be a part of a short, funny video about Angry Birds Space for his videocast "Game On!"
Not being an idiot, I said yes. Here’s the result.
I had fun filming this! Angry Birds is evil and addicting and I don’t recommend downloading it unless you like evil and addicting games, which of course I do.
Sadly, "Game On!" was canceled. But the good news is that:
2) Brian has a book out, "Scam School", which I’ve been perusing and is both very funny and highly, highly evil*. It’s all about tricks and puzzles and brain teasers you can pull in bars to win free drinks off people (it also has the amazing super-cooled beeer thing in it). I’m really enjoying it, and you will too if you buy it. And you should.
Thanks to Brian for having me on the show!
* Today’s word: evil.
Things I love: astronomy, geeks, dorky humor, the scientific method.
And hey, Veronica pronounces Uranus correctly! She’s awesome.
If you like that video, then check out some of the others they’ve made with Friends of Bad Astronomy™: