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The Core - Earth Has A Deadline (Official Website)

"The Core" is NOT meant to be taken seriously. It's not based on an article in Scientific American. ...The scriptwriter and filmmakers may have strived for some scientific accuracy, but who in their right mind would for one minute believe anything like this could happen?!? It's a MOVIE, it's entertainment, it's NOT a documentary."
- MaxStone, RottonTomatoes forum, 3-10-2003

“To be ‘matter of fact’ about the world is to blunder into fantasy—and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful.”
- Robert Heinlein in “Time Enough For Love”

NOVA | Magnetic Storm | TV Program Description | PBS
Like the plot of a sci-fi B movie, something weird is happening deep underground where the constant spin of Earth's liquid metallic core generates an invisible magnetic force field that shields our planet from harmful radiation in space. Gradually, the field is growing weaker. Could we be heading for a demagnetized doomsday that will leave us defenseless against the lethal effects of solar wind and cosmic rays? "Magnetic Storm" looks into our potentially unsettling magnetic future.

Profile: Parallels between the movies and real-life tragedies  
February 10, 2003
...And now along comes "The Core," a disaster epic that depicts what might happen if the Earth's molten center were to stop spinning. That sounds safe enough, doesn't it? Not a likely plot development in real life, but the trailer for the film depicts what results when the core stops spinning: a global electromagnetic disturbance that knocks a space shuttle right out of the sky.

Space shuttle Columbia explodes over Texas, killing 7 astronauts
February 02, 2003
Trouble came at 7:53 a.m., 23 minutes before the expected arrival time, when flight control saw the loss of temperature sensors on the left wing's hydraulic systems, said chief flight director Milt Heflin. That was followed by the loss of a series of other sensor measurements, including the tire pressure and temperature readings, also on the left side. An alert about the malfunction was sent to the crew members, who then acknowledged the information.

That was the last that was heard from the five men and two women aboard. Flight control lost all contact and ability to track Columbia around 8:00 a.m., Heflin said.

The Core (2003) SYNOPSYS © Paramount PicturesEarth Has A Deadline
But Keyes can't let go of the deaths so easily, and when other bizarre "natural" phenomena begin occurring worldwide, he suspects that earth's electromagnetic field has been comprised.

Mysterious Shift in Earth's Gravity Suggests Equator is Bulging
01 August 2002
Since the late 1970s, satellite measurements have shown that this post-glacial rebound, as it is called, generates a corresponding rounding of Earth's gravity field.

Suddenly the trend has reversed.

"The effect is twice as large as post-glacial rebound in terms of effect on the gravity field, and it's in the opposite direction," Cox said. "Whatever it is, it's big."

Magnetic Reversals
Although other mechanisms – such as meteor impacts – have been postulated, it is generally agreed that reversals occur because of some change in the dynamo process that generates the magnetic field. The simplest explanation is that convection in the outer core ceases, allowing the magnetic field to decay. Eventually, heat build up will start convection going again and a new field will form whose polarity will depend on the polarity of any residual field at the spot where convection restarts.

Detection of a Large-Scale Mass Redistribution in the Terrestrial System Since 1998
Christopher M. Cox,1* Benjamin F. Chao2
Volume 297, Number 5582, Issue of 2 Aug 2002, pp. 783-784.
Earth's dynamic oblateness (J2) had been undergoing a decrease, according to space geodetic observations over the past 25 years, until around 1998, when it switched quite suddenly to an increasing trend that has continued to the present. The present increase, whose geophysical cause(s) are uncertain, thus signifies a large change in global mass distribution with a J2 effect that considerably overshadows that of mantle rebound.

The Core (2003) SYNOPSYS © Paramount Pictures
And things will only get worse. As the electromagnetic field, which shields the earth from solar radiation, slowly collapses, airplanes will start falling from the sky, and everything electronic will be fried. Static discharge in the atmosphere will create "super-storms" with hundreds of lighting strikes per square mile, and deadliest of all, microwave radiation will literally cook the planet.

Sun's rays to roast Earth as poles flip
November 10, 2002
Earth's magnetic field - the force that protects us from deadly radiation bursts from outer space - is weakening dramatically.

The effects could be catastrophic. Powerful radiation bursts, which normally never touch the atmosphere, would heat up its upper layers, triggering climatic disruption. Navigation and communication satellites, Earth's eyes and ears, would be destroyed and migrating animals left unable to navigate.

The Core (2003) SYNOPSYS © Paramount Pictures
At the same time, life as we know it begins deteriorating as well, causing birds to lose their ability to navigate, whales to erratically change their migration patterns and people with pacemakers to suddenly drop dead. Even the famed Northern Lights appear in the night sky a hundred times brighter and farther south than ever before.

Sun's rays to roast Earth as poles flip
November 10, 2002
But now Gauthier Hulot of the Paris Geophysical Institute has discovered Earth's magnetic field seems to be disappearing most alarmingly near the poles, a clear sign that a flip may soon take place.

And as Scientific American reports this week, this interpretation has now been backed up by computer simulation studies.

It is unlikely that humans could do much. Burrowing thousands of miles into solid rock to set things right would stretch the technological prowess of our descendants to bursting point, though such limitations do not worry film scriptwriters. Paramount's latest sci-fi thriller, The Core - directed by Englishman Jon Amiel, and starring Hilary Swank and Aaron Eckhart - depicts a world beset by just such a polar reversal, with radiation sweeping the planet.

A Little Too Real
from All Things Considered, Monday , February 10, 2003
Hollywood is a dream factory. But what happens when real-world events make the dreams feel like nightmares? NPR's Bob Mondello looks at movies that come too close to reality for comfort.
 

“Looks like the producers changed the entire premise of the movie. In the original trailer, it was suggested that some kind of natural process caused the earth's magnetic field to dissipate every million years or so. Now, in the new trailer, the problem is not natural. Evidently some kind of government weapon that causes earthquakes is to blame. Like that's any more believable.”
- mister_kronic, 12/30/02, Don't get too excited about this flick

What is the Objectivist View of Reality (Metaphysics)?
“Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man's feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.”
- Ayn Rand, "Introducing Objectivism" The Objectivist Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 8 August, 1962 p. 35

NOVA | Magnetic Storm | See a Reversal | PBS
Most of us like stability in our lives, especially when it comes to planet-wide phenomena, such as the daily appearance of the sun or the periodic change of season. So it can be unsettling to learn of global phenomena that are inherently unstable, unpredictable. Such is the case with the Earth's magnetic field. Every so often, our planet's magnetic poles reverse polarity (see When Compasses Point South). Compass needles have always pointed north; in a reversal, they would point south.

You could perhaps take comfort in the knowledge that these reversals happen infrequently -- on average every 250,000 years -- but maybe not when you consider that it's been over 700,000 years since the last reversal, and the next one may be currently underway.

Profile: Parallels between the movies and real-life tragedies  The Only Way Out Is In
February 10, 2003
The real world and the world of movie make-believe don't intersect very often, but when they do, Hollywood tends to give way. The events of September 11th, 2001, for instance, prompted a three-month postponement for the thriller "Collateral Damage," in which Arnold Schwarzenegger battles terrorists who had blown up a skyscraper. Other headlines also have on-screen parallels, ones that critic Bob Mondello says the film industry views with everything from horror to delight.
...
And now along comes "The Core," a disaster epic that depicts what might happen if the Earth's molten center were to stop spinning. That sounds safe enough, doesn't it? Not a likely plot development in real life, but the trailer for the film depicts what results when the core stops spinning: a global electromagnetic disturbance that knocks a space shuttle right out of the sky.


Space shuttle Columbia explodes over Texas, killing 7 astronauts
February 02, 2003
HOUSTON -- The space shuttle Columbia splintered across the East Texas sky early Saturday morning, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

The disaster came just 16 minutes from Columbia's scheduled landing at Cape Canaveral, Fla., where friends and family waited expectantly for loved ones part of what was deemed an "amazing mission."

While it may be months or years before the cause is known, NASA officials have already launched an investigation into the cause of the disaster.

New Data on Shuttle 'Mystery Object'
Accident Board Confident of Determining Cause of Columbia Disaster
By Don Phillips
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 25, 2003; Page A09
The Columbia Accident Investigation Board has received solid data about an "object" seen drifting away from the shuttle the day after launch that, officials believe, may allow investigators to determine the object's size, shape and density as well as whether it was a piece of the shuttle.

There was speculation at the time, however, that the object could be some piece of space junk that hit the shuttle or a piece of the shuttle that was knocked off by a meteoroid.

Profile: Parallels between the movies and real-life tragedies  
February 10, 2003
(Soundbite of trailer for "The Core")

Unidentified Man #1: We've been hit!

Unidentified Man #2: We've got to get out.

Unidentified Man #3: We've lost control.

Unidentified Man #4: Coming in high and wide.

Unidentified Woman: Endeavour, you are off course.

MONDELLO: Paramount executives decided that after the Columbia disaster, the sight of space shuttle Endeavour crashing into Los Angeles would alienate more audience members than it would entice. So they've pulled that scene from the previews running in movie theaters. Still, the shuttle's crash is reportedly integral to the film's setup, so it's probably going to be there when "The Core" is actually released next month, along with such presumably less traumatic sights as an exploding coliseum in Rome and the West Coast experiencing what the trailer refers to as `the biggest shock wave in history.'

Hollywood reacts to tragedy
USA TODAY,
Claudia Puig and Scott Bowles
Feb. 4, 2003 12:00 AM
Trailers for the upcoming movie The Core were pulled from theaters over the weekend as Paramount Pictures responded to the tragic end Saturday of the space shuttle Columbia. The trailer shows a space shuttle having navigational difficulties.

"We wanted to be sensitive to the tragedy and show respect for the families that have lost loved ones," said Nancy Kirkpatrick, executive vice president of worldwide publicity for Paramount.

The Core (2003) SYNOPSYS © Paramount Pictures
...With her is a room full of scientific experts and government officials, and unfortunately, an eccentric young genius called Rat (D.J. Qualls). Formerly convicted of computer fraud, Rat is there to hack into the Internet to suppress information about the situation in order to prevent widespread panic. Secretly, however, he is also feeding Keyes covert data about something geophysicist Zimsky is hiding from the crew, something that the U.S. government is privy to...

    While most of the content of this page is focused on uncovering relationships and coincidences between natural geophysical phenomenon and the film The Core I thought it worth identifying the US Government sponsored project that I think the filmmakers based their alternate explanation, i.e. HAARP.  You can find several other sites which discuss the HAARP project by utilizing any search engine such as Google, Yahoo! or MSN.  This is the projects home;

HIGH FREQUENCY ACTIVE AURORAL RESEARCH PROGRAM
General Information about the HAARP Program
HAARP is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere, with particular emphasis on being able to understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes.

The HAARP program is committed to developing a world class ionospheric research facility consisting of:

* The ionospheric research instrument (IRI), a high power transmitter facility operating in the HF frequency range. The IRI will be used to temporarily excite a limited area of the ionosphere for scientific study.
* A sophisticated suite of Scientific (or "diagnostic") instruments that will be used to observe the physical processes that occur in the excited region.

Observation of the processes resulting from the use of the IRI in a controlled manner will allow scientists to better understand processes that occur continuously under the natural stimulation of the sun.

Scientific instruments installed at the HAARP Observatory will be useful for a variety of continuing research efforts which do not involve the use of the IRI but are strictly passive. Among these studies include ionospheric characterization using satellite beacons, telescopic observation of the fine structure in the aurora, and documentation of long-term variations in the ozone layer.

 

    As of August 22, 2002 when I write this the film The Core is scheduled to be released November 1, 2002 (As of 10/2/02 it has been rescheduled to release in the first quarter of 2003 in order to improve special effects).  Below I have assembled some articles and specific citations that I contend correspond both with the underlying premise of the film (if not all the specifics) as well as my Pleistocene Mass Extinction theory.  I chose the quote below about scientists being blind to obvious patterns to highlight the coincidental timing in 1998 of both the change in redshift observations that when applied to a Big Bang cosmological model (which I think is fantasy) indicates the Universe has begun accelerating in its expansion with the observation that the Earth's gravitational field has significantly and suddenly shifted direction.

GSC-Geomagnetism - Magnetic Reversals
Magnetic Reversals
The Earth's magnetic field is aligned roughly along the spin axis and has an approximate dipole shape, similar to that of a bar magnet, with north and south magnetic poles. This is the normal state of affairs, but occasionally the magnetic field switches polarity, the north and south magnetic poles reverse, and the field settles down in the opposite state. The process goes by several names – "magnetic field reversal" and "polarity transition" are the most common.

Reversals have been documented as far back as 330 million years. During that time more than 400 reversals have taken place, one roughly every 700,000 years on average. However, the time between reversals is not constant, varying from less than 100,000 years, to tens of millions of years. In recent geological times reversals have been occurring on average once every 200,000 years, but the last reversal occurred 780,000 years ago. At that time the magnetic field underwent a transition from a "reversed" state to its present "normal state".
...
We get our information about reversals from certain types of rock in which information about the direction of the magnetic field is imprinted. When igneous rocks, which may form inside the Earth or on its surface, cool and solidify they acquire a magnetization parallel to the ambient magnetic field. If the rock cools quickly, as would a lava flow, it acquires an almost instantaneous record of the magnetic field. Slowly cooling rocks, such as those that form inside the Earth, acquire a record of the magnetic field smeared over a much longer period of time. Sedimentary rocks acquire their magnetizations as each individual grain of sediment aligns itself in the direction of the magnetic field as it is deposited.
...
Although other mechanisms – such as meteor impacts – have been postulated, it is generally agreed that reversals occur because of some change in the dynamo process that generates the magnetic field. The simplest explanation is that convection in the outer core ceases, allowing the magnetic field to decay. Eventually, heat build up will start convection going again and a new field will form whose polarity will depend on the polarity of any residual field at the spot where convection restarts.

Mysterious Shift in Earth's Gravity Suggests Equator is Bulging
01 August 2002
Since the late 1970s, satellite measurements have shown that this post-glacial rebound, as it is called, generates a corresponding rounding of Earth's gravity field.

Suddenly the trend has reversed.

"Sometime around 1998, something began to make the Earth's gravity field flatter," says Christopher Cox of Raytheon Information Technology and Scientific Services. "The result is it looks as if post-glacial rebound has reversed itself. But, we do not have any reason to think that post-glacial rebound has in any way stopped or changed."

In effect, Cox said in an interview, while post-glacial rebound continues to make the Earth rounder, some movement of mass on the surface of the Earth must be making the gravity field flatter. It's not a change anyone could notice; it's only revealed by sensitive satellite measurements.

The shift, however, is significant.

"The effect is twice as large as post-glacial rebound in terms of effect on the gravity field, and it's in the opposite direction," Cox said. "Whatever it is, it's big."

Detection of a Large-Scale Mass Redistribution in the Terrestrial System Since 1998
Christopher M. Cox,1* Benjamin F. Chao2
Volume 297, Number 5582, Issue of 2 Aug 2002, pp. 783-784.
Earth's dynamic oblateness (J2) had been undergoing a decrease, according to space geodetic observations over the past 25 years, until around 1998, when it switched quite suddenly to an increasing trend that has continued to the present. The secular decrease in J2 resulted primarily from the postglacial rebound in the mantle. The present increase, whose geophysical cause(s) are uncertain, thus signifies a large change in global mass distribution with a J2 effect that considerably overshadows that of mantle rebound.

GEOPHYSICS: Redistributing Earth's Mass
Anny Cazenave and R. Steven Nerem
Volume 297, Number 5582, Issue of 2 Aug 2002, pp. 831-833.
Since the end of the last glaciation, postglacial rebound of Earth's crust has resulted in a net transfer of mass from the equatorial regions to high latitudes. This small mass transfer has been monitored for 25 years. But a report by Cox and Chao suggests that since 1998, the mass transfer has changed direction. In their Perspective, Cazenave and Nerem discuss possible mechanisms that may have caused this change.

Sun's rays to roast Earth as poles flip
Robin McKie, science editor,
The Observer
Sunday November 10, 2002
Earth's magnetic field - the force that protects us from deadly radiation bursts from outer space - is weakening dramatically.

Scientists have discovered that its strength has dropped precipitously over the past two centuries and could disappear over the next 1,000 years.

The effects could be catastrophic. Powerful radiation bursts, which normally never touch the atmosphere, would heat up its upper layers, triggering climatic disruption. Navigation and communication satellites, Earth's eyes and ears, would be destroyed and migrating animals left unable to navigate.

'Earth's magnetic field has disappeared many times before - as a prelude to our magnetic poles flipping over, when north becomes south and vice versa,' said Dr Alan Thomson of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh.

'Reversals happen every 250,000 years or so, and as there has not been one for almost a million years, we are due one soon.'

For more than 100 years, scientists have noted the strength of Earth's magnetic field has been declining, but have disagreed about interpretations. Some said its drop was a precursor to reversal, others argued it merely indicated some temporary variation in field strength has been occurring.

But now Gauthier Hulot of the Paris Geophysical Institute has discovered Earth's magnetic field seems to be disappearing most alarmingly near the poles, a clear sign that a flip may soon take place.

Using satellite measurements of field variations over the past 20 years, Hulot plotted the currents of molten iron that generate Earth's magnetism deep underground and spotted huge whorls near the poles.

Hulot believes these vortices rotate in a direction that reinforces a reverse magnetic field, and as they grow and proliferate these eddies will weaken the dominant field: the first steps toward a new polarity, he says.

And as Scientific American reports this week, this interpretation has now been backed up by computer simulation studies.

It is unlikely that humans could do much. Burrowing thousands of miles into solid rock to set things right would stretch the technological prowess of our descendants to bursting point, though such limitations do not worry film scriptwriters. Paramount's latest sci-fi thriller, The Core - directed by Englishman Jon Amiel, and starring Hilary Swank and Aaron Eckhart - depicts a world beset by just such a polar reversal, with radiation sweeping the planet.

"This is a common problem in science: Sometimes we don't see what we don't expect to see," Brett said. "The influence of a particular paradigm is so strong that it may make people put blinders on, and it may prevent people from seeing obvious patterns."
- STORY IN FOSSIL RECORD

Science lists 1998’s biggest breakthroughs - Weird discovery about our accelerating universe ranks No. 1 in annual review
Alan Boyle, MSNBC, Dec. 17, 1998
“The universe is not only expanding, but that expansion appears to be speeding up. And as if that discovery alone weren’t strange enough, it implies that most of the energy in the cosmos is contained in empty space — a concept that Albert Einstein considered but discarded as his “biggest blunder.” The new findings have been recognized as 1998’s top scientific breakthrough by Science magazine.”

Punctuated Equilibrium
“The "punctuated equilibrium" theory of Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould was proposed as a criticism of the traditional Darwinian theory of evolution. Eldredge and Gould observed that evolution tends to happen in fits and starts, sometimes moving very fast, sometimes moving very slowly or not at all. On the other hand, typical variations tend to be small. Therefore, Darwin saw evolution as a slow, continuous process, without sudden jumps. However, if you study the fossils of organisms found in subsequent geological layers, you will see long intervals in which nothing changed ("equilibrium"), "punctuated" by short, revolutionary transitions, in which species became extinct and replaced by wholly new forms. Instead of a slow, continuous progression, the evolution of life on Earth seems more like the life of a soldier: long periods of boredom interrupted by rare moments of terror.”
- F. Heylighen, Jul 22, 1999, Copyright© 1999 Principia Cybernetica, Punctuated Equilibrium

Inner Earth Spews Superplumes
April 19, 2002
"Generally, it is assumed that only about 10 percent of the heat that comes out at the surface of the Earth comes from the earth's core. This number may thus be underestimated, perhaps as much as by a factor of two," she wrote.

Regions above the superplumes tend to bulge upward. The plateaus of southern and eastern Africa are about 1,600 feet higher than most old continental areas in the world, she pointed out. This is referred to as the "African superswell."

Also, she wrote, heat flow from the Earth's interior measured in a wide area of southern Africa is higher than expected, indicating that an unusually large supply of heat must be coming from underneath.

More evidence for mass extinction - Lava flow twice the size of Europe covered Siberia 250 million years ago.
PHILIP BALL, 7 June 2002,
“We knew it was big - but not this big. Geologists now suspect the massive eruption of lava in Siberia 250 million years ago [250 is disputed] was at least twice as large as they'd thought. This makes it even more likely to have caused the biggest extinction the world has ever seen.”

“The Permian period ended with the extinction of 85% of all ocean creatures and 70% of land ones - a toll three times greater than the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, 65 million years ago.”

Quakes from Italy to Alaska Unrelated, Experts Say
Mon, Nov 04, 2002
OSLO (Reuters) - Earthquakes from Italy to Pakistan that have killed at least 48 people in the past week are unconnected and merely part of the planet's routine and often devastating rumblings, seismologists said on Monday.

The deaths of 26 children in southern Italy when their school collapsed on Thursday caused international shock and made it seem that subsequent quakes in Indonesia, Pakistan, the United States and Japan were part of a freak chain.

But seismologists were unanimous: the earth is not going into a sudden spasm. People who live on geological fault lines, such as in San Francisco, California, are no more at risk than they were before.

Alaska Quake Shakes Yellowstone Park, Too
Mon Nov 4, 2002
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A big earthquake that cracked roads and closed an oil pipeline in rural Alaska has spawned shudders thousands of miles south in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, researchers said on Monday.

This "confirms what we are beginning to see worldwide -- that earthquakes can be triggered by other earthquakes at great distances, more so than we had though before," Robert Smith, a University of Utah professor of geology and geophysics, said in a statement.
 
L.A. Overdue for Major Earthquake
Sun Nov 17, 2002 8:12 AM ET

Geologists: Alaska Quake Caused by Huge Rupture
Wed Nov 20, 2002 3:36 PM ET
PASADENA, Calif. (Reuters) - A 7.9 magnitude earthquake (news - web sites) in Alaska earlier this month was triggered by one of the largest fault ruptures in at least 150 years, rivaling the one that caused the great 1906 San Francisco quake, geologists said on Wednesday.

The scientists were surprised to discover that the fault rupture moved only east from the epicenter and left the western half of the great fault unbroken, Sieh said, prompting them to speculate that the quake could have been the first in a series of large events that will eventually include breaks farther west toward Mount McKinley and Denali National Park.

Expert warns California to brace for big quake by September
Thu, Apr 15, 2004
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A US geophysicist has set the scientific world ablaze by claiming to have cracked a holy grail: accurate earthquake prediction, and warning that a big one will soon hit southern California.

Russian-born University of California at Los Angeles professor Vladimir Keilis-Borok says he can foresee major quakes by tracking minor temblors and historical patterns in seismic hotspots that could indicate more violent shaking is on the way.

And he has made a chilling prediction that a quake measuring at least 6.4 magnitude on the Richter scale will hit a 31,200-square-kilometer (12,000-square-mile) area of southern California by September 5.

The team at UCLA's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics accurately predicted a 6.5-magnitude quake in central California last December as well as an 8.1-magnitude temblor that struck the Japanese island of Hokkaido in September.

Profile: Parallels between the movies and real-life tragedies  
February 10, 2003
(Soundbite of trailer for "The Core")

Unidentified Man #5: San Francisco is in ruins.

Unidentified Man #6: The whole West Coast is out.

MONDELLO: Timing is important when it comes to whether real life makes movie sequences resonate freshly or seem tasteless.
...Still, it's friendlier when Tinseltown plots a less nerve-wracking course. I mean, if there's even an alien invasion, I'm going to be a lot more interested in watching "Close Encounters" or maybe "E.T." than "Independence Day," and I bet I'm not alone. I'm Bob Mondello.
 

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