Suppose you're held at gunpoint by henchman on a deep, frozen pond. To avoid being shot, you grab the henchman's semi-automatic assault rifle and shoot a hole so that you both fall into the freezing water. After a few minutes of strangling the henchman underwater, you emerge from the ice, run a few hundred feet, and rescue your companions by effortlessly tossing a knife in the back of your nemesis.
This is a key plot sequence in the new James Bond movie Skyfall
, and it irks us. Unless you're Wim "Iceman" Hof
, holder of the world record for longest time in an ice bath (1 hour and 52 minutes and 42 seconds), you'd likely experience severe hypothermia
in a few minutes, and you'd probably die after about 15 minutes. But before that, your body would siphon blood away from your extremities and hoard it to keep your internal organs warm, causing you to lose consciousness and shiver uncontrollably. That's hardly a proper setup for a perfect knife throw.
Sloppy portrayals of computer science also bugged us throughout the movie. In one particularly annoying scene, a hacking genius named Q attempts to solve an ever-changing "polymorphic encryption algorithm" that hides the next stage of the evil plans of the movie's villain. Q displays the algorithm on a giant screen, which looks like a mutating wad of code strings. Somehow Bond solves the puzzle in seconds by guessing Silva's password. Sure, movies need visuals -- but if a cipher is supposed to be ever-changing, then why is one short password all it takes?
Scientific violation index: Moderate