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    Re: Celestial Navigation in the Movies
    From: Bill Lionheart
    Date: 2019 Oct 8, 15:07 +0100

    Maybe it is OK that CN details are wrong.  It is certainly fine that
    the character  made lots of mistakes we can learn from, even though it
    is not meant to be a training film. However he calls on the VHF radio
    "SOS 'boat name'". I think it is unwise of the film-makers to
    deliberately  not use the correct proword "mayday" instead of the
    obsolete SOS. What would they do that? I suspect because the film
    industry, especially the US film industry, treats its audience with
    contempt and assumes them to be extremely ill informed, so much so
    that they would not know what "mayday" meant and was better to spread
    dangerous falsehoods  about how to send a distress call than to
    confuse "poor stupid movie goers".  So with this attitude why would
    they not also get details of navigation wrong?
    That said there is increasingly a movement for correct details in
    parts of the movie and TV industry. For example mathematicians at
    CalTech and UCLA, presumably by lobbying long and hard, are now
    regularly consulted so incidental mathematics seen on blackboards in
    films and TVs is less often completely stupid. Also details of
    firearms are now much more accurate than eg in early Bond (eg a
    suppressor on a revolver?). The accuracy of hand guns is still greatly
    exaggerated but maybe that is dramatic effect. And there is an awful
    lot of "racking" of gun mechanisms  just because it makes an
    interesting noise!  Should they deliberately under estimate the
    accuracy of navigation perhaps?  perhaps we should lobby them like my
    colleagues in mathematics   departments in S California?
    On Tue, 8 Oct 2019 at 09:18, Brad Morris  wrote:
    > Hi David
    > That is spot on.
    > I follow a youTube channel called "TwoSet Violin".  I don't play, but the 
    lads are very funny.  So I watch.
    > One of their schticks is to make fun of movies that get violin playing so 
    wrong.  Wrong bowing, wrong fingering, etc etc etc, all played for laughs, 
    but as they are both accomplished musicians, you know the complaint is valid. 
     They provide a demonstration of proper technique and then demonstrate how 
    the movie actors could not be producing the sounds with their motion on the 
    violins.  Clear mistakes, clearly demonstrated.
    > Except the only people who would know the mistakes are accomplished 
    musicians.  Or someone who has seen too many TwoSet videos, like me.  The 
    vast majority of the public won't know or care.  The violin playing is merely 
    incidental to the story.
    > The same can be said of the percentage of folks who understand the CN and 
    can see the errors this thread has so amply identified.  Simply put, the few 
    of us who know it won't matter to the bottom line, to make it worthwhile for 
    the filmmaker to correct.  Folks aren't even sure what a sextant is, let 
    alone how to properly use it.  The arithmetic reduction to a fix?  
    Captivating.  Filmmakers should definitely bring one of us in to provide 
    expert guidance.
    > Brad
    > On Tue, Oct 8, 2019, 12:47 AM David Pike  wrote:
    >> I’ve been thinking about this, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s 
    horses for courses.  Film directors survive, because they know what the movie 
    going public wants to see.  They don’t pretend to be navigation experts.  I’d 
    like to bet that if a selection of contributors to NavList were invited to 
    make a movie, it probably wouldn’t end up winning an award, apart from 
    possibly the one for the most boring movie of the year.  Similarly newspaper 
    editors survive by knowing what their target audience wants to read.  I don’t 
    think any of us would dream of reporting the following incident in the manner 
    of the British Redtops, but they know their audience far better than me.  
    . DaveP
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