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Article: Mad Max of the Future - Sci-fi movies don't always get it right

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Mad Max of the Future
I’m a big sci-fi fan. Everything from Star Trek to the Road Warrior movies, and anything else in between. If the story line is good, well, that’s a plus, but what I like to keep an eye on is the technical aspects of the movie and compare it to the technology we have today. You know, see if they’ve improved on the technology we already have. For example, the communicator in Star Trek can easily be transitioned into the modern cell phone and other technology like that. It’s just one of the ways to look at past and present technologies, but a lot of times these movie plots don’t follow the progression of technology. In fact sometimes they get it entirely wrong.

In the Mad Max movies we’re to assume the movie is set some time in the future after the fall of society. However, all the engines appear of the 70’s era. They’re all carbureted engines. I mean, how did they skip over decades of computerized vehicles and end up with carbureted cars with a shortage of gasoline? I’m pretty sure none of those four wheeled creations in the movie are running on a PCM or ECM. Where’s the check engine lights? Where’s all the scanners? Where’s all the DIY hackers? Did all the electronic and technical creations end up useless after a gigantic solar flare wiped them out?

It could be, as the movie goer, you’re just supposed to accept the fact as to which cars survived. In a realistic view, those engines would have been all but worn out by the time the apocalypse came around. But, it is just a movie. Then again, what would happen if we moved the time frame of the movie up a bit and relied on today’s advanced technologies.

Hmm, well it’s not likely anything has a working computer. Who’s going to flash the crazy thing? No internet and obviously no manufacturer’s website to get the info from. That puts the likely vehicle to be a pre-software controlled car, or maybe it would be a full electric car. Sure why not? There’s still solar and wind power around, and maybe one of those cyber geeks/mechanics was able to figure out how to rig up some sort of software bypass that could get these technically advanced cars back into running condition.

So, what kind of modern technically advanced car would Mad Max be zooming through the desert in then? I think I know. Let’s go to the opening scenes of “Mad Max of the Future” movie.

It’s years after the world as we know it has fallen apart. Chaos is rampant, there’s no internet, no infrastructure, and nothing but insanely radical and delusional characters running around. Now, for the movie buff, seeing Mad Max flying down the highway in his modified hot rod equipped with a huge blower and nitrous is part of that testosterone movie appeal, but that’s not around anymore. He would be more inclined to be driving something that he wouldn’t have to deal with the gas shortage. What if Mad Max’s car wasn’t a snarling gas guzzling combustion engine from the late 70’s, but a car of the here and now? I know the perfect car that fits the criteria. How about a Toyota Leaf.

Let me set the scene for you. We see Mad Max disconnecting the battery pack from his solar array as he crams himself and all his sawed off shot guns into his little Leaf. A wide shot pans across the car showing a huge stack of auxiliary batteries strapped to the roof that Max can use just in case he needs that extra jolt of energy.

The next shot shows him heading down this lonely stretch of desert road when the “Ayatollah of Rockin’ Rolla” and his henchmen comes into view over the top of the next ridge. They’re baring down on him so, Mad Max punches the pedal to the floor and heads straight for them. When he gets up to speed, he flips the safety cap off of the switch and hits the button. The camera zooms in on the internal cells of the batteries strapped to the roof. The camera scene moves with short quick motions as the viewer goes for a ride with the current as it passes through the electrical veins to the drive motor. Max is jolted back into his harness as the electricity sends him zooming down the road at lightning speeds. Of course, there wouldn’t be the roar of the exhaust or the whirl of the blower belt.
More like a loud whine as the electric motor whizzes to its full potential.

Sure it could happen, but I suppose, even in the future downfall of society the roar of a powerful engine is still far more dramatic as a movie scene than the whiz of an electric motor. Which brings up the thought that even if the world collapsed into utter chaos, technology would still be a part of it. At least I think so, and somebody somewhere would have to know how fix it and who would that be? Who else but the modern mechanic, of course. If there was a great upheaval of the world as we know it, mechanics would still be in demand. Let’s just call it “future job security”. Even Star Trek had their engineer, Scottie. Which just goes to prove you can’t leave home without knowing where a good mechanic is.

To say the writers and producers of these sci-fi flicks got it wrong isn’t all that important, but it does make you wonder how the lack of gasoline became the theme in a lot of these movies. I don’t know about you, but for me, I’m a bit of the macho motor guy who loves to hear the roar of a big motor and I wouldn’t want any other way.

Someday there might actually be anti-gravity cars or teleportation. For now, I’m glad to see some of this old iron still belching exhaust in these wacky movies. Maybe not the most “environmentally friendly” type of cars, but they sure do make for a great chase scene. Then again, maybe they’ll make a “Mad Max of the Future” movie with hybrids, electric cars, and of course Max’s hopped up Toyota Leaf.



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To me it was just seconds ago that she had told me to not try to pull out the breathing tube, but in reality it was about five or six hours later.  However, the “minor discomfort” was over shadowed by the fact you’re trying to breathe through a drinking straw.  That I wasn’t expecting at all.  Yea, Uhm Ms. Nurse… you forgot to mention that part.  My night nurse for ICU was the most anal retentive-OCD person I’ve ever met.  The guy spent every waking hour neatly aligning all of the monitors, bottles, tubes, and me over and over again as if we were about to have the commanding general stop by for an inspection.  Although, when the day came for me to be wheeled back into a regular room a new nurse was assigned the task. My OCD nurse was sent off to another patients ICU room to straighten up their hoses and IV units. 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That was shift change and it never failed that somebody didn’t tell somebody about what somebody was to do or not do, which meant even more trips in and out of the room. I learned very quickly that the best way to avoid the ever present knock on the door was to just leave the door open….at least that way they didn’t knock, and if you were just about to doze off you might actually catch a bit of shut eye before the next round of visitors, and if you’re really lucky you could avoid the guy coming in to check the serial number on the IV for the UPTEENTH time.   It was always the same guy at least twice a day from the inventory department.  I told him, “Dude, look around, I’m stuck in this room with this IV monitor and I assure you if anybody comes in here and steals it, replaces it with one that looks just like it, I guarantee I’ll call you and let you know. With all these interruptions I’m awake 24-7 which means me and this IV have become the best of friends. I’m dammed sure this is the same IV unit that was here yesterday! So why in the world do you need to come in and scan the serial number twice a day?!”  I don’t think I came off as his next best pal by a long shot. Eventually, the day came to get out of the hospital.  One the happiest days of my new life. Me and my IV had to part ways, and no, I didn’t tell the inventory guy. Home at last          When you finally get to be home, start your rehab schedule, and try to reassemble your now broken apart life, you begin to reevaluate what is most important for your future. Walking is your foremost concern. I had a routine I would do and set a goal each day a bit farther than the previous day.  Oh, I’d push it too far, and the wife or my son would have to come haul the emotionally incoherent old guy off of our hilly driveway more than once. It does get better, but it does take time.           You soon learn new routines, things like coughing and sneezing should only be done if your heart pillow or Teddy bear are close by.  Squeezing the pillow (or bear) against your chest prevents you from popping your sternum open. You also learn how to stand up and roll over without using your upper body as much as you previously did. Sleeping in a bed is out, at least for a month or so (if not longer) you’ll have to learn how to be comfortable in a recliner 24-7. Breathing, talking, walking, and bathing, etc… all their problems that you’ll need to overcome. And, probably the most important thing or the most annoying... (Your interpretation may vary) is the now-and-for-ever-more medications you’ll be on. Family and friends take precedence over work and bills.  The realization that life is all about a beginning and an end and that you’ve been given a chance to change your life’s conclusion differently than what it could have been.  Not that you need a lightning bolt to drop out of the sky to tell you to change your life…but a heart attack and open heart surgery is close enough to the same thing. So heed the warning, do yourself a favor. Except it for what it is, and discover what is more important.  Not a lot of people get this second chance. For some, it’s as sudden and as unexpected as a car crash. I feel there’s reason for every action and reaction.  It’s how you cope and/or do with those actions and reactions that make a difference.   Putting it all into perspective           Life is what you make of it.  There is no perfect solution, there is no golden key, it’s up to you to make it a difference. It’s not money or fame… just you.  As we’ve all heard before, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have much at all.” True to some extent, but not always true and not always is your health something that you can have the way you’d like it to be. What is possible is living life to the fullest no matter what the odds.  I for one, love to hear stories of people who have found out they have some sort of rare disease and decided to fill their bucket list of personal accomplishments until their time has expired. I commend them and hope I can do the same. So even though my stamina and strength may not be equal to what it was of years past, I’m still able to experience all there is out there. For me, I’d like to think I still can try. Maybe it’s not all about the challenges, maybe it’s not all about solutions, perhaps it’s just about the adventure.  Becoming a member of the Zipper Club isn’t the end… it’s a new beginning.             
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