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279 comments

The science is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23263672)

Martini's and babes!!!

Real Life Aliens PowerLoader (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263690)

It doesn't have hands yet, but it works. You even step into the boots with your feet in the same way Ripley did in Aliens.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/25/sarcos-military-exoskeleton-becomes-a-frightening-reality/ [engadget.com]

Re:Real Life Aliens PowerLoader (1)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263950)

Pretty neat, but the PowerLoader didn't have hands either - just clamps. The video you linked does have a hook and while it's not quite the same thing, it does offer a similar utility.

Re:Real Life Aliens PowerLoader (1)

brassman (112558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264352)

Loved the scene with the Power Loader; Cameron set it up fair and square, then managed to make me forget all about it until the critical instant. Nicely done.

But for the record, a very similar scene was in an Iron Man comic book years before ALIENS. (Issue #19, Tony in the old armor vs a rogue Life Model Decoy android in the new armor.) They'll never use it in an Iron Man sequel now, because everyone would go "Boo, ALIENS rip-off!" and that's really unfair.

Print Version (2, Informative)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263716)

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn13815&print=true [newscientist.com]
Without the ads and other extraneous stuff.

Re:Print Version (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263754)

Erm... I guess less ads seeing as they seem to include one in the print version. -.-

Re:Print Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23263880)

Uh, the whole article is an ad for Iron Man.

Re:Print Version (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264264)

Without the ads and other extraneous stuff.
Thanks, but you do realize the whole article is a promotional advertisement for the movie? One which has gone further viral by getting it on /.

It's spam really. Spam we like, but nonetheless, spam.

Re:Print Version (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264414)

Vikings: "Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam..."

Re:Print Version (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264460)

It's spam really. Spam we like, but nonetheless, spam.
That was the point. I'm interested in essentially a movie "ad" that explores the science of Iron Man, which is why I clicked. What I'm -not- interested in is the ads for subscriptions and such that came with it.

All that's left (2, Funny)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263748)

All that's left now is to find somebody who looks like Robert Downey Jr. in real life.

Re:All that's left (2)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263842)

I met someone in college who slept with him.

Re:All that's left (1)

Bwana Geek (1033040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263998)

Was she a Russian redhead with a penchant for skintight black outfits?

Re:All that's left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23264060)

What was his name?

Re:All that's left (1)

BorgCopyeditor (590345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264198)

This means your Downey-Ball number is 1. Congratulations.

This is one of the reason I want to see this movie (3, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263760)

For once, it looks to be at least within the realm of possible science (i.e. real science-fiction as the term implies, not the usual hollywood acid trip scripts).

Oh, and none of the "I got bitten by a mutant spider/got exposed to gamma ray/etc" crap that is usually associated with american super-heroes.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

Mental Maelstrom (1268890) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263816)

Yeah. And scientists relate to nerds. :)

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263818)

Sure, now all you have to do is work around the fact that the human body isn't aerodynamic, that there's no space for fuel, and make a rocket engine fast enough to outrace a fighter jet, yet fit into a shoe. Sounds like a SMOP to me.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (2, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263924)

And we'll never be able to make a computer small enough to fit in a shirt pocket.

Science-fiction is fiction based on science. It doesn't require actual, current technology, only theoretically possible technology.

Just because you think it's not possible with today's technology doesn't mean it'll never exist.

In any case, a rocket-jet-inside-a-shoe is still at least more believable than some guy being bitten by a spider who can then hold a tramway full of people with his bare hands.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264272)

In any case, a rocket-jet-inside-a-shoe is still at least more believable than some guy being bitten by a spider who can then hold a tramway full of people with his bare hands.
No. The rocket in a shoe violates conservation of mass and energy. There is no such thing as a reactionless thruster, and likely never will be unless the laws of physics are much different than we imagine them to be. A physical being the size of spider man holding up a tram full of people is at least physically possible.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264472)

As long as he stays in the atmosphere, it doesn't necessarily violate conservation of mass (I guess the air intakes are just improbably small and the compressor improbably effective). Energy is a different matter; that'd be one hell of a freaking battery he's got crammed up in there.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264534)

> unless the laws of physics are much different than we imagine them to be

The whole world is only what we imagine it to be. So, I think both spider-man and iron-man are equally possible. The only problem left is that it's damn hard to get out of this matrix, ya know, coz it's the only thing most of us have ever managed to consciously experience. But it is doable.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264728)

"The whole world is only what we imagine it to be"

No.

"So, I think both spider-man and iron-man are equally possible."
neither are possible.

Both can be fun.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264986)

> No.

Prove me wrong, if you think you can.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264470)

"Science-fiction is fiction based on science. It doesn't require actual, current technology, only theoretically possible technology."

Then you please can tell us what's the theoretical possibility for some one hundred kilograms mass the form a human body to be pushed from their feet and be able to control it without any control surfaces -on the air? (do you know what happens with a back-traction car on a slipery road? Then think about the same on a 1000 times more slipery "road": the air).

No to talk about the fact of such a mass being pushed by a reactor (action and reaction Newton's law) without any source to explain where all the ejected mass comes from.

"In any case, a rocket-jet-inside-a-shoe is still at least more believable than some guy being bitten by a spider who can then hold a tramway full of people with his bare hands."

But this film wants to play somehow "science-fiction" while spiderman tries to be simply fantasy.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264696)

The Iron Man suit is not possible, it wouldn't be stable in flight.

The man inside the suit could never survive the forces the suit goes through during combat. I don't care how strong the material is, you run into to something at 100+ mph and important parts of your body become goo.

Guess what? It doesn't matter, it's an action comic book movie. All you need is consistency within the premise...and not being Emo.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23263936)


The reason I dont want to see this movie is a preview scene in which IronMan turns a rocket 180o.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

brassman (112558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264376)

I believe that preview scene was from the video game.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263944)

What they don't show is the fact before he puts on the suit he has beans.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264288)

Sure, now all you have to do is work around the fact that the human body isn't aerodynamic, that there's no space for fuel, and make a rocket engine fast enough to outrace a fighter jet, yet fit into a shoe. Sounds like a SMOP to me.
Actually it's not that improbable, just expensive. The human body is actually decently aerodynamic if the air is traveling from the head down to the feet. Yes, the human form won't function as a lifting body on its own but that's easily solved by adding some strategic fins and surfaces to a suit, perhaps ones that can be extended and collapsed at will.

Honestly though, you don't need to have lifting surfaces to fly, all you need is properly directed thrust. That takes energy and a lot of it. What you need is some sort of fuel that has a high thrust to mass ratio, like antimatter [wikipedia.org] . It's something that we can and do make today and even though we don't make a lot of it right now we could easily ramp up production. The true problem is the cost of producing it but it's not inconceivable that the cost will eventually drop as we develop new ways to produce it.

Once you have enough antimatter the rest of the problem comes down to simple engineering and a computer capable enough to calculate all of the thrust vectors needed to perform stable flight. Can we do it today? Probably not but it's not that far-fetched that we can't imagine it being possible sometime soon.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263898)

"I got bitten by a mutant spider/got exposed to gamma ray/etc" crap that is usually associated with american super-heroes

That is not really the Science Fiction part of the story. It is just a plot forwarding device to explain how the person got the powers. Even Iron Man really isn't Sci-Fi they are more under "Modern Fanticy"

Good Sci-Fi uses unheard of technology or really advance technology to forward the plot. Bad Sci-Fi uses unheard of technology or really advance technology to resolve the plot (I talking to you Star Trek Fans (Espectially Voyager))

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263956)

Um okay just where does iron man keep his rocket fuel? Positional thrusters?

Where can i get some boots with engines capable of mach 2? A real life mach 2 engine is much larger than a man.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264006)

Nuclear Energy. That solves all problems right.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23264170)

No, you're thinking of XML.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (2, Funny)

koh (124962) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264896)

Nuclear XML. I've seen it in production once.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264002)

Say what you want about ST:Voyager, but at least the Doctor was one of the most entertaining character I ever saw (witty remarks without completely realizing it, etc).

I'd love to see a Seinfeld-style sitcom with the Doctor (Voyager), Data (Next Generation) and Julian Bashir (DS9).

Star Trek: The Seinfeld Chronicles.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264210)

Well The Doctor was a character used to extend the plot, at least in the early seasons having a charactor who had limitations (suck in the sickbay, and 0 people skills). Foricing other people to expand their jobs as Medics, that was a good idea. But Resolving the final plot by the captian from the future giving them High Tech that lets them blast away the borg and armor that borg cant hit them really was just pushing it. The problem was whenever they were pushed in a spot in the plot that they can't possible excape they just come up wit tech that would take years of development, to get past it.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23264036)

I give you the mating call of the true nerd or 'Homo Patheticus':

"That's not real Science Fiction that's just Fantasy."

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (5, Funny)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263946)

Oh, and none of the "I got bitten by a mutant spider/got exposed to gamma ray/etc" crap that is usually associated with american super-heroes.
tell me about it.

after watching spiderman, i was so psyched.
I went right home, caught a spider, microwaved it for a few seconds to mutate its DNA a little bit, then I took it out and let it bite me.

and guess what?

No superpowers

spiderman is bullshit.
this ironman fellow, this is real superhero stuff for sure...

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264090)

That's pretty cool that it survived the microwaving.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (2, Funny)

cheezitmike (537630) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264140)

after watching spiderman, i was so psyched. I went right home, caught a spider, microwaved it for a few seconds to mutate its DNA a little bit, then I took it out and let it bite me. and guess what? No superpowers
You think that's bad? I wanted mutant superpowers like my hero, The Tick, but instead I just got Lyme disease.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (2, Funny)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264706)

I always found the lesson Spiderman teaches a little weird; if you get bitten by a spider and start stumbling around and seeing everything blurred don't tell a soul, pretend like nothing happened, and go up to your room to sleep.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264012)

For once, it looks to be at least within the realm of possible science...Oh, and none of the "I got bitten by a mutant spider/got exposed to gamma ray/etc" crap that is usually associated with american super-heroes.

Of course, there are somewhat realistic aspects of the suit, but there are still problems. Notably, how are you going to generate power, how do you make something that sleek-looking also structurally sound enough to pull off the stunts he pulls, and how are you going to actually fly that suit.

It's realistic in about the same way as the whole "I got hit with radiation, was mutated, and gained super powers." Sure, you could argue that it's scientific because radiation can mutate living cells. But that doesn't mean the whole thing is scientific.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264314)

The suit is nuclear-powered. Lots of people here have never read the comic, it seems! For shame!

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264872)

That and much more is discussed in "Iron Manual" I wish I could find my copy... About it's creation and how it works, etc...

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264296)

Realism aside, there's another good thing about Iron Man. He got his powers on purpose. He wasn't accidently bitten by a spider, and he didn't go into space with crappy shielding. He built his armor. He really IS a self-made superhero.

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23264448)

For once, it looks to be at least within the realm of possible science (i.e. real science-fiction as the term implies, not the usual hollywood acid trip scripts).

Oh, and none of the "I got bitten by a mutant spider/got exposed to gamma ray/etc" crap that is usually associated with american super-heroes.
As opposed to European super heroes like the Frenchman that changed after he ate some radioactive Brie or the Scotsman who mutated after he was exposed to sun light? Super Heroes have always been far more fantasy than science fiction. You might as well debate the science merits of LOTR or Harry Potter. I always hear this "American" crap. So American super heroes are far less plausible than say Japanese super heroes like Ultraman?

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264770)

> As opposed to European super heroes like the Frenchman that...

You mean this one [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:This is one of the reason I want to see this mo (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264584)

Oh, and none of the "I got bitten by a mutant spider/got exposed to gamma ray/etc" crap that is usually associated with american super-heroes.
There is nothing wrong with a deus-ex-machina origin. What I think you're confusing is science fiction and modern fantasy with science themes. That's OK, most everyone does. Modern fantasy is a completely separate genre from science fiction, but because the two are conflated so often it can be hard to accept fantasy themes. This becomes more obvious when you look back at the modern fantasy of previous generations or even centuries. There was a time when the reason that steel weapons took a central role in swords and sorcery fantasy was because they were the cool high-tech of the day. When radiation was the cool high-tech of the day, we told fantasy stories about its transformative powers. We've told stories about the transformative powers of computers, space travel, nanotech, etc. These are fantasy stories that we use to grapple with the issues that people face, and sometimes those issues are based on fear or misunderstanding. That doesn't make the process of coping with them any less valid or relevant.

When we engage in science fiction, it can be broad-strokes of extrapolation (e.g. Diamond Age) or very specific pieces of well-explained tech, but the core element of science fiction is science, not just as setting or plot device, but as a means of understanding.

within the realm of possible science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23264722)

only if you ignore conservation of momentum;-)

So, proof-of-concept of real-time translation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23263766)

From exoskeletons to real-time translation there are at the very least proof-of-concept demonstrations of pretty much all the glitzy tech the hero Tony Stark uses.


Bullshit. This is an AI hard problem; if you've got real, honest-to-god accurate real-time translation of a natural language, you've got an AI. What we have now is sometimes-acceptable real-time translation using corpora whose product is easily distinguishable by any native speaker as a machine translation.

Re:So, proof-of-concept of real-time translation? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263928)

Well, I disagree in two ways.

One is that the current implementations being "sometimes-acceptable" means they don't count as a "proof of concept". Actually I think that's exactly what it means, same as muscle-enhancing exoskeletal body armor is very much in a "proof of concept" stage, and not actually usable in real-world deployments yet.

Second is that to actually improve the translation to the point where it is accurate requires a hard AI. Surely translation algorithms, enhanced with knowledge of colloquialisms and idiomatic usages, have the potential to make translations that are extremely good. It won't be the same as when a translator translates a novel into a foreign language, where they take creative liberties with the original text so as to improve the flow and try to make the jokes/puns work, but then again that translation is not "honest-to-god accurate" either.

Re:So, proof-of-concept of real-time translation? (1)

oliderid (710055) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264492)

Bullshit. This is an AI hard problem; if you've got real, honest-to-god accurate real-time translation of a natural language, you've got an AI. What we have now is sometimes-acceptable real-time translation using corpora whose product is easily distinguishable by any native speaker as a machine translation.

I can't wait to see tourists with those machine in Paris...But hacked :-).
"Missa wants to be yussa friend. Wherssa Effeil towa?".
"Desole, je ne comprends pas ce que vous dites". (hacked translation)Your wife is so hot, what is her name?(/hacked translation)
"Fuck youssa, you dumby frenchy! Wessa save your arsy in biggy trouble II!"
Imagine a bus full of Jar Jar Binks...Priceless. :-)

Close to comic (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263810)

Apart from the science reality, I'm more impressed with how close (at least from what I've seen) Iron Man sticks to the comic. It isn't set in WWII but that was a decision whoever directed/wrote/produced it made to appeal to the audience today. I'm not sure if I'll actually go see it but at least Uwe Boll didn't direct it.

Re:Close to comic (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263966)

World War II was a lot more interesting than anything going on today. I'd probably be more likely to go seen it if it were.

Re:Close to comic (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264050)

Iron Man was (early) Viet Nam era. His big nemesis was the Commies.

Re:Close to comic (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264656)

Ah, thanks for correcting me. I'm more of an amazing spiderman fan anyway.

Re:Close to comic (1)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264082)

My question is, if it's not released yet how is it a blockbuster? Are we talking "Incredible Hulk" blockbuster or "Spiderman" blockbuster? Used to be a movie had to earn that title.

Re:Close to comic (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264278)

Have you not heard of tracking numbers and prediction markets [hsx.com] ?

Re:Close to comic (1)

Phylarr (981216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264854)

That would make it a predicted or expected blockbuster, not a blockbuster. Calling it a blockbuster before it even comes out is advertising and nothing more.

Re:Close to comic (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264978)

And I bet you also don't support naming Tropical Depressions, do you? :)

Names are for hurricanes!

No it isn't set in WW2 (1)

hassanchop (1261914) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264762)

And neither is Iron Man, nor has it ever been.

.... right (1)

conan1989 (1142827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263828)

power source? oh and what about those rockets that are sitting on the uncomfortable side of close to the feet... wouldn't they be getting a little warm. and i'm sure there are many other flaws that the guys who are into engineering can find. but who cares, it'll be a awesome movie... can't wait for the aXXo too :D lol

Re:.... right (1)

ittybad (896498) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264286)

Warm feet is easily taken care of. I remember watching something on Discovery about some guy who, in his garage, has made this gunk that, when cured, is an amaizing heat shield. To show it off, he made a "hat" out of it, and had his buddy hit it with a blowtorch for several minutes until the outside was glowing red. Roughly an inch thick, and the guy's head was just fine. For IronMan, there is a LOT more issues to be resolved, namely the power supply and aerodynamics.

This is a fucking ad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23263840)

That "article" was crap!

Might as well have posted a banner ad to the front page.

Huh? (5, Funny)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263854)

But I thought

He was turned to steel
In the great magnetic field
Where he traveled time
For the future of mankind
I must be confused.

Re:Huh? (1)

bartosek (250249) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263970)

If I had mod points you'd SO be getting a funny right now.

Don't spoil it! (3, Funny)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264098)

Hey, no spoilers! The movie isn't even out yet. Next you'll be telling us some other important plot point, something like him rising from his grave to kill the people he once saved. Have some respect.

Re:Huh? (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264294)

If he's an Iron Man, I get why he would be partially made of steel (since it's an alloy). However ... why does Iron Man have lead boots, in the song? :)

Re:Huh? (2)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264476)

To fill his victims full of dread...duh.

Re:Huh? (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264660)

However ... why does Iron Man have lead boots

To fill people full of dread, naturally.

Re:Huh? (1)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264886)

You forgot the last line, which is why you are confused:

Burma-Shave

Flying suits of armor? I don't think so. (3, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263908)

It's nice that Stuart Ross thinks he can develop rocketbelts to enable people to fly. However, until someone comes up with a way to store the, apparently, unlimited fuel necessary to power a suit such as Iron Mans, and have it weigh, again, apparently, next to nothing, we will never see flying suits of armor.

Forget for a moment that a large percentage of people can't safely drive a vehicle on the ground at 65 mph. We now want to develop suits of metal capable of flying hundreds of miles per hour (Iron Man can out run jets and other craft)?

Then there is all his armament that he carries within the suit. How many rounds of ammunition, not to mention various missiles and such, is he carrying? Yeah, I thought so.

Yeah, yeah, I realize this is all fantasy and it makes for good enjoyment. But let's not get ahead of ourselves and try to claim that everything developed in a fantasy environment is directly translatable to real life.

Super-duper computers capable of interacting with humans? Sure. It will take some time but it is feasible and most likely probable. New uber-compounds which can retain their shape or make repairs to themselves? Already happening. Suits of armor capable of flying hundreds of miles per hour? Not gonna happen.

On a side note, is it just me or do Downey's whoops and hollers sound flat? I realize he wasn't actually flying but his yelling just doesn't seem, to me, to be indicative of someone who's flying in a suit of armor.

Re:Flying suits of armor? I don't think so. (1, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264028)

But let's not get ahead of ourselves and try to claim that everything developed in a fantasy environment is directly translatable to real life.

Nobody is claiming that.

The "unlimited energy" thing is an extremely obvious impossibility, as are others. This article focuses on those "super power" aspects which do have a plausible amount of reality behind them.

Re:Flying suits of armor? I don't think so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23264300)

Your comment reminds me of when I went to see Austin Powers at the theater. Two people in front of me sat silently through the movie until the point where Mini-Me picked up Austin over his head. At that point one of them yells "Yea, right!" I was unable to comprehend how they can accept time travel and Mike Myers getting a hot chick, and yet flat out refuse to believe a midget was strong enough to pick up a grown man.

i beg to differ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23264602)

> a large percentage of people can't safely drive a vehicle on the ground at 65 mph.

actually, only a small %, otherwise there'd be no traffic moving anywhere;-)

Re:Flying suits of armor? I don't think so. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264858)

Forget for a moment that a large percentage of people can't safely drive a vehicle on the ground at 65 mph.

no. That would be a small percentage. Millions and millions of people driving over 2000 billion miles accident free every day.

Yes over 2 trillion miles.

http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/2004/html/table_01_32.html [bts.gov]

Ooops! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264874)

Remove the accident free, I changed the sentence and that slipped through, sorry.

6 million accidents.

Oh fucking please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23263914)

Oh fucking please. It's a MOVIE.

Power is the big magic item here (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263948)

Right. He develops a new tiny power source that produces megawatts. Out of scrap.

If he developed a new power source that good, commercializing it would put the oil states out of business. Success is the best revenge.

"My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel." Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum (Dubai) 1912-1990.

Spoilers! (2, Informative)

effigiate (1057610) | more than 6 years ago | (#23263960)

The article contains some spoilers. If you want to see how the movie unfolds for yourself, save reading the article until after you've seen it.

"Iron Man" the song (3, Funny)

plopez (54068) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264118)

I got a kick out of them using the old Black Sabbath song. Since, far from being a savior, Iron Man ends up destroy all humans. I'm not sure if that is what the movie makers intended.

Re:"Iron Man" the song (1)

sukotto (122876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264186)

Considering what Tony Stark/Ironman did during the retarded "Civil War" series, I'd say the song pretty much sums it up. :-(

Re:"Iron Man" the song (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264528)

Since, far from being a savior, Iron Man ends up destroy all humans.

You say poh-tay-toh, I say poh-tah-toh.

Re:"Iron Man" the song (1)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264620)

Destroying all humans?

You mean he turns into Bender?

Damn... now I have to see the movie!

suspenders not necessary (1)

BorgCopyeditor (590345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264234)

Glad to hear the science is plausible. Otherwise, I might have had to suspend my disbelief in order to enjoy the movie at all!

New Scientist selling out, too? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264302)

What's with these thinly-veiled blockbuster release promotions in "legitimate" media? Seems like every time a new blockbuster comes out, science shows start doing their "The science of..." specials on the figments of a comic book writer's imagination.

Re:New Scientist selling out, too? (1)

leoboiko (462141) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264596)

What saddens me more is that these "the science of" things are often not about science but about technology, thus making the general people even more confused about science (equating it to "Gyro Gearloose science", that is, merely a means of coming up with new tech).

Oblig. (1)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264310)

That Iron Man suit is cool, but can it run Linux?

Soundtrack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23264338)

If they don't open up with Black Sabbath, they wont see a penny of mine.

Suspension of disbelief (1)

jhRisk (1055806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264344)

The more a creator does to facilitate this in the audience the better your chances for their immersion into your fictional world. When it comes to science fiction, however, this is especially challenging given that we who enjoy the genre tend to also be quite analytical and detail oriented. I love it!

Iron Man's Suit Defies Physics -- Mostly (2, Interesting)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264438)

For an another opinion:

Iron Man's Suit Defies Physics -- Mostly [wired.com]

By James Kakalios

Tony Stark's amazing suit is a long way from realization, mostly due to practical energy constraints.

As a comic book fan and physics professor, I am looking forward to the big screen debut of Iron Man. This is due, in part, to the fact that instead of getting belted with gamma rays or being born a demon from hell, industrialist and scientist Tony Stark got his super powers by means of his engineering genius.

But just how realistic is Stark's amazing suit?

Sadly, nearly all of the features of the Iron Man suit, with one important exception, are not likely to be realized anytime soon. Let's look at each of the suit's major elements in turn.

Jet boots

The reason that we don't fly to work using boot-mounted jets as Iron Man does has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with energy. We know how to achieve thrust and propulsion using personal jet packs, and a person can indeed fly from home to their place of employment like Buck Rogers or Adam Strange -- provided they live 30 seconds from work.

The problem is that lifting a full-grown person 100 feet into the air considerably increases their potential energy, and that gain in energy must come from the stored chemical energy in the jet pack. Ditto for the energy required to zip around once airborne. You just can't store enough energy to make long flights without making the suit too big to wear. So jet boots alone don't make Iron Man an escapist fantasy, but the idea that Stark could store enough energy in his suit to fly for more than half a minute does.

Repulsor rays

Similarly, the directed energy weapons Iron Man uses, such as the "repulsor rays" built into the palms of his gloves, should require that Stark drag along a large power generator whenever he faces off against the Mandarin or Titanium Man. I'm not exactly sure what a "repulsor ray" is, but if it's anything like a high-power laser, then the energy demands are considerable.

Even assuming that Iron Man can convert any stored energy in his suit into laser light with 100 percent efficiency, then to generate a beam powerful enough to melt a fist-size hole through a half-inch thick steel plate (which any comic book fan can tell you is well within Shellhead's capabilities) would require an energy pulse of more than 2 gigawatts of power, greater than the output of a nuclear power plant.

Cybernetic helmet

There is one aspect of Iron Man's armor that is not only scientifically sound, but may be available for our use someday soon: the "cybernetic helmet" Tony Stark uses to control the devices within his armor. When Iron Man wants to discharge his palm-mounted repulsor rays, he does not have to manually release a safety switch, enter a firing sequence code or even pull a trigger -- he just tells the supervillain to "talk to the hand" and fires!

In fact, Bin He of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota [umn.edu] has already created a helmet much like Iron Man's. It works on the principle that neurons' electrical currents create electric and magnetic fields, which can be detected with devices such as the electroencephalograph, or EEG. While the EEG has been around since the 1920s, recent advances in signal processing have enabled scientists to isolate and identify the firing signatures of neurons associated with particular motor-imagery tasks.

Professor He identified the specific firing pattern that arises when a person, watching images on a computer monitor, tries to mentally move a cursor to the left or right. These detected frequencies can then be amplified and, when suitably modified, can instruct the computer to move the cursor in the same direction.

Of course, He is not interested in developing control helmets for crime-fighting superheroes, but hopes to develop devices that will enable people with paralyzing injuries to communicate more easily, or eventually to activate artificial limbs and prosthetic devices. To those trapped within unresponsive bodies, the development of a device that could "read their thoughts" would trump the wildest adventures in any superhero story.

James Kakalios is a professor at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota and the author of The Physics of Superheroes [physicsofsuperheroes.com] (Gotham, 2005), now available in trade paperback.

Re:Iron Man's Suit Defies Physics -- Mostly (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264638)

Too bad it doesn't look like it'd be practical in the real world, but if it could be... a nuclear isomer [wikipedia.org] power source would just about fit the bill. "One gram of pure Hf-178-m2 contains approximately 1330 megajoules of energy, the equivalent of exploding about 317 kilograms (700 pounds) of TNT." However, it doesn't look like one can induce the isomers to relax on cue.

Popular Science has a neat article (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264562)

Here [popsci.com] . I don't know if the article is yet open the public, I subscribe to the magazine so I have full access to the article. But none the less it gives a minor history of exoskeletons and expectations of them. One of popsci's better articles.

I think the idea is crazy (1)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264650)

Come on people, it's a comic book idea! That suit is not the least bit aerodynamic. If he moved to take any action, any stability he might have would be lost and he would go out of control. Then there is the small matter of a power and weapon supply.

That whole being hit by a rocket thing.... (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264746)

Uh, I don't care if the suit has the ability to not be destroyed by the impact of the rocket, the kinetic energy from the explosion is still going to be transferred. My understanding of how highly explosive things work is that the explosion is part of it but it's the shock wave that really screws things up, and does any sort of technology exist to mitigate shock wave damage?

In other words, when he gets hit by those missiles, he's done :)

Maybe I'm wrong, I ain't no weapons engineer.

New Iron Man Movie! (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264800)

Now TRANSISTOR-POWERED!!

Excuse me? (1)

JasonBee (622390) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264826)

I still think that no matter how robust and capable an exoskeleton is, the things that's INSIDE will still only be so capable of resisting certain forces.

Sure the suit might survive a free fall - sorry, POWERED ballistic trajectory - but the person inside hitting the sides of that suit will still turn to something akin to liquid.

Then again maybe the suit does serve a purpose.

It keeps your floors clean of that sticky human mess. The suit can then get itself to a morgue all on its own.

I knew it's have a purpose!

JB

Great movie, but totally comic book (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264906)

I'm told that the Iron Man suit in the comics has inertial dampening or acceleration compensators or whatever techno-babble name to keep him from being turned into raspberry jam. He still would have been killed when he tested out the flying boots for the first time when it was just his fleshy frame crashing against the wall. And if there are acceleration compensators, he's just invented antigravity.

I love love love the idea of super-suits, been in love with them since I first saw the Greatest American Hero as a kid, fell in love with them all over again after reading Starship Troopers. Sadly, I have to admit that we're talking about some insane super-science to make this shit happen.

One thing that's funny when applying real logic to super-heroes, think about what it would be like for a flying hero who doesn't also have superman invulnerability. All of the worst vulnerabilities of BASE jumping but with even more danger. I saw a scary video showing some stunt jumpers trying to do a flyby of a bridge. One misjudged and hit at pretty much the maximum dive velocity for a streamlined human form. Pieces of him went everywhere. So when my 10-year old self is thinking "flying suits would be so awesome," my more practical self is thinking "yeah, and parents are thinking ninja street bikes are dangerous, wait until they get a load of this!"

A proper Iron Man suit is looking at major super-science. First off, the power source. I don't know about the comic but I like that they at least said it would have to be something crazy and revolutionary. You're not going to run this thing on laptop batteries. For the kind of power density we're talking here, it would have to be nuclear fusion or matter/antimatter. That's very super-science. And consider the energy density, we know laptop batteries contain about as much energy as a quarter stick of dynamite, can you imagine the power requirements for a flying super-suit? To give it any range, I'm guessing it would have to have enough energy density to equal a suitcase nuke if it were all released at once. If it's a fusion power source, the fuel isn't explosive but if it's antimatter, ho boy.

Then there's the levitation devices or whatever the hell he's using to fly. We don't even know where to begin with for anti-gravity, don't even have the slightest means to guess. Major super-science. But once we have that, gravity manipulation gives us the repulsor beam punches such as we saw used in the movie. So between power source and flight mechanism, armament, and also the presumed inertial compensator to keep the pilot from being squooshed.

At this point in time, an Iron Man suit is so advanced that it may as well be magic, probably as far off as androids indistinguishable from humans. The Aliens powerloader is getting scary close to reality. That "Big Dog" quadroped robot is also extremely advanced.

What I find scarier than Iron Man is the eminently plausible unmanned surveillance/kill systems we're building right now, exemplified by the Predators and Global Hawks. Between satellite, micro-drone, macro-drone, and electronic surveillance, we're going to be able to put a level of surveillance on this planet that's downright frightening. And as the drones get smaller, just how difficult is it going to be to escape assassination? Let's say the target is an Arafat-type guy who never sleeps in the same room, never lets people near him without being disarmed, etc, what does that matter if a fly-sized drone can slip in and confirm his location? What does that matter if a hunter-seeker like from Dune can penetrate his room and inject him with a nerve agent? Right now the intel side is still the weakest part for the CIA's assassin drones, they're guessing at who's in the cars and are firing their missiles based on guesswork. This is kind of like how naval guns in WWI completely outranged effective fire control. "Yeah, we can sink that ship at maximum range! If only we could make sure it was actually under the shells when they fall..." Get a micro-drone in to make ID, target is confirmed, fire away.

Iron Man is 50, maybe a hundred years off. It's so far off we can't even speculate on it. But this crazy robot assassin shit is coming about right now. If we're to compare robotics with aviation, we're in the WWI phase where the first crude applications are coming together, stuff that will then be rapidly blown away by future developments. The political repercussions of such weapons will be profound.

I'll leave with this final thought. The sniper is one of the best killers on the battlefield and is also quite popular for political assassinations. We're getting electronics small enough that we can put guidance systems in projectiles small enough to be more like bullets than what we usually think of when we think "guided missile." Imagine a launch platform as small as a sparrow that can enter a location and conduct surveillance with platforms possibly even smaller, dragonfly size, mosquito-sized, determining the exact location of the target. He steps out of the hotel to move to the motorcade, the sparrow unit is in the right location and fires off it's missile. It's the size of a thick highligher, has a rocket-boost, spin-stabilized, gets up to the speed of a .50 cal sniper bullet in less than a second and hits with the same energy two seconds after firing, guided right into the target's head. Imagine if the launch platform could do this from three miles away. This kind of ability to so precisely target death, it would change everything.

Sung to the Spiderman TV theme! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23264970)

"Iron Man, Iron Man
Does whatever an iron can
Presses pants really fine
Keeps those pleats right in line
Look out! Here comes the Iron Man"

Original appear in a marvel book.
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