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Biological realism of movie scenes megathread?


ScienceNostalgia101
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuYeQi4wB_k#t=2m40s

 

So I was recently thinking about this Cheech and Chong scene in which the characters smoke a joint in which cannabis is mixed with dog feces, presumably because the screenwriters were going for cheap shock value. In real life, though, wouldn't this risk causing them to inhale aerosolized fecal matter, and in turn, causing them to inhale all the pathogens contained within it? Or would the heat from the flames kill the pathogens on their way into the individual's lungs? Even if this kills the pathogens, would this still risk causing inhalation of non-trivial amounts of hydrogen sulfide and/or methane? (Disclaimer: For the record, I do not intend to attempt this and I would not recommend anyone else attempt this, because eww, let alone possible safety concerns.)

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Unless the defecating animal is sick, then their feces is unlikely to harm the person ingesting it. It’s mostly water, harmless bacteria, undigested food, and some dead cells. 
 

 

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13 hours ago, iNow said:

Unless the defecating animal is sick, then their feces is unlikely to harm the person ingesting it. It’s mostly water, harmless bacteria, undigested food, and some dead cells. 
 

 

Ah. So there's a chance that the bacteria inhaled are harmless? So the characters could've gotten sick if the dog were an asymptomatic carrier to a dangerous pathogen, but it also makes sense that if the dog were healthy enough, the bacteria involved were harmless enough for the characters involved not to gave gotten sick?

 

Am I to assume then that the issue of hydrogen sulfide/methane inhalation issue is a negligible one?

 

(Again, I want to be as clear as possible that I do not intend to try this kind of "mixed joint" either way.)

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50 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

Ah. So there's a chance that the bacteria inhaled are harmless?

Not just a chance, but a high likelihood. 

 

51 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

Am I to assume then that the issue of hydrogen sulfide/methane inhalation issue is a negligible one?

Depends on intensity and duration of exposure 

Also, this isn’t a megathread. That was a bit presumptuous 😂 

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I love the notion that old Cheech and Chong movies can generate science threads of any size! 

I think the answers lie in determining a broader question:  what are the combustion products (aside from CO, NO2, CO2 and volatiles) of dog poop?  I'm leaving aside the bacteria question, as I think it's reasonable to assume that they don't survive incineration very well.  Your biggest concern would probably be the PM, which could be highly oxidizing in the lungs.  Check with studies of biomass burning done in the homes of developing nations?  Dung cakes are often used, along with other agricultural waste.  If there were a lot of PM10 or PM 2.5, that could be the real threat to your hapless movie stoners. 

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  • 5 months later...

 

So in the South Park movie, Stan claims the grass is green "under the 3 feet of snow". The movie takes place in Colorado, where all of that snow could indeed have fallen within the prior 24 hours, but the question is whether the grass is still green underneath it. What would kill the grass first? The weight of the snow, the temperature being brought to the freezing point by contact with snow, or the reduction in CO2 making it to individual blades of grass? If any of these were enough to kill the grass within a day, would it lose its pigmentation that same day, or would there be a delay between the death of the grass and its discoloration?

 

Of course, the movie also doesn't specify whether Stan is telling the truth, but still...

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51 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

but the question is whether the grass is still green underneath it.

Very likely. How long it takes to kill the grass depends on how dense the snow is. If it's light and fluffy, some air will get through and the grass will stay alive, and green up very quickly spring, when it all melts. If it's packed down, and especially if intermittent melting or rain have turned it to solid ice, it still won't kill the grass, but the grass will go dormant. That is, the blades will turn brown and die, while the roots slow their metabolic function to near zero until conditions improve. It doesn't happen in a day, though. If it doesn't get any light for six or seven days, the grass will go limp and lose its colour, fading to straw-yellow, then brown. If the snow melts in a couple of days, the grass will be unchanged.  

Edited by Peterkin
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As is the case where I live, and Peterkin up in Canada, (and in South Park) late Spring snow is not uncommon.   When the grass greens up in May, in South Dakota, we will often get a wet snow that melts rapidly and will leave the grass still green.   As Pete said, a couple days won't hurt it.  

Latest estimate I've heard is that this area has lost at least two weeks of meteorological winter, due to climate change, and so we are seeing fewer May snows.  There are very few tears shed over this, for some reason.  

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We've had intermittent snow since early November  (which in is pretty late according to our accustomed seasons), sometimes heavy and deep enough to require ploughing, and sometimes it's lasted several days. Yet I still have some green grass in the front yard. 

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On 12/18/2021 at 1:03 PM, Peterkin said:

Very likely. How long it takes to kill the grass depends on how dense the snow is. If it's light and fluffy, some air will get through and the grass will stay alive, and green up very quickly spring, when it all melts. If it's packed down, and especially if intermittent melting or rain have turned it to solid ice, it still won't kill the grass, but the grass will go dormant. That is, the blades will turn brown and die, while the roots slow their metabolic function to near zero until conditions improve. It doesn't happen in a day, though. If it doesn't get any light for six or seven days, the grass will go limp and lose its colour, fading to straw-yellow, then brown. If the snow melts in a couple of days, the grass will be unchanged.  

"Green up very quickly spring"? I have a feeling there's a word or two missing from that statement.

 

Apart from that, thanks for the explanation!

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1 hour ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

"Green up very quickly spring"?

That's how it's usually stated. The correct term is "revive": Grass, like other perennial plants, goes dormant in unfavourable conditions; the top foliage dies off, but the roots are still alive, though inactive. When conditions improve, the roots revive and new foliage grows. In the case of grass, since the foliage is so simple and grows directly out of the roots, this new growth is - the transition from dead brown to vivid green - is startlingly rapid. Thus it is said to "green up"    

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Not really.  But I'm sure plenty of people with IBS wish that constipation and diarrhea would cancel each other out.

When things are in actual regulatory balance, that's an indication of  good health.  Like, normal BP is not hypertension and hypotension cancelling each other.

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On 12/20/2021 at 2:47 PM, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

Ah.

 

But did you mean "green up very quickly in spring", or does "green up very quickly spring" mean something else?

Is it vitally important? If so, insert "in", "in the" "in early" or "come" between 'quickly' and 'spring'. Otherwise, interpret as you see fit.

2 hours ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

Is this even a thing that can happen?

In Doctor Who, it can. Series 2, Episode 1, New Earth

But, as you are more literally oriented: NO

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  • 2 months later...

Not sure if this should count under a movie thread, but rather than having a separate one for movies than video games, I figured I might as well put video game cutscenes under the same category. In Wind Waker, Link falls asleep on a wooden surface. Outdoors. At the top of a lookout post.

 

 

When I watched this I thought 3 things.

 

1: Heh, "4:20".

 

2: How doable is this? I know in China the beds are pretty hard, but I would think even hard beds have a little more give than a literal wooden surface.

 

3: How safe is this? He does this outside, in summer, on an island full of birds. What's stopping those birds; or any other animal that can make it to the top of that lookout post; from biting him and in so doing transferring some of their diseases to his bloodstream? What's stopping a hornet or wasp from stinging him?

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1 hour ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

How doable is this?

Completely. Small children, soldiers and prisoners do it all the time.

1 hour ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

How safe is this?

Insect bites are common and rarely fatal or even particularly harmful. I doubt bids would go out of their way to bite a sleeping human. I'd say, on the whole, not very dangerous at all.

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On 3/24/2022 at 2:20 PM, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

How doable is this? I know in China the beds are pretty hard, but I would think even hard beds have a little more give than a literal wooden surface.

 

Are you under the impression that people didn't sleep before beds were invented? That people don't sleep on a floor or the ground?

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On 3/26/2022 at 7:02 PM, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

Ah, good to know. Thanks again!

 

What about bats? I know they're usually nocturnal, but is there a risk of a stray rabid bat being out during the day and biting? Would anyone happen to know how significant such a risk would be?

Quote

Less than 1/10 of 1 percent of wild bats have rabies. A bat must be sick with the disease to pass it to another animal via a bite. Bats with the disease become progressively paralyzed. The mere presence of bats does not pose a health threat to humans.https://www.ocregister.com/2019/10/12/how-common-are-bats-with-rabies-and-should-you-worry/

And if you were asleep on the ground, a bat wouldn't even be aware of you. Even if you fell asleep on the ground in South America, vampire bats would be the very least of the things you should worry about. https://www.realworldholidays.co.uk/blog/2016/06/27/dangerous-animals-south-america/

On the whole, I'd advise caution, re sleeping outdoors.

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@Peterkin:

Yeah, I'm probably not going to try it during the summer unless I could find myself a wire mesh or net to keep hornets away, at the very least. What about in the winter months? Would it be (relatively) safer then, what with the worst of the animals being in hibernation? What about on a back patio or something like that? Would the winter birds presumably leave me alone, or would I need a net to keep them away too?

 

@Swasont:

I just figured they must've found something at least somewhat soft to sleep on. Or at least softer than a wooden surface, if nothing else...

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27 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

What about in the winter months?

On which continent? In which climate zone? I've slept outside in summer in Ontario lots of times. If you're near water, you get bitten by mosquitoes, so a tent is useful but a net is enough. Nocturnal birds are not interested in great big lumpy things like a comatose human: they're hunting mice and voles and little things that scurry. In the winter months, you freeze to death. In October, I've been so miserable with cold and damp and a pair of chipmunks having a fight overhead that I decided to walk at night and sleep in the daytime.  

I wouldn't choose a wooden surface, if I had a choice of sand or grass, but a groundsheet is a good idea against ants. If you're tired enough, you can fall asleep on anything.

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I'm referring to a cool-summer continental climate zone within Canada. That's as specific as I dare get, what with my taste in pop culture also being outlined in these and similar threads.

 

How close does it have to be to the freezing point for freezing to death or other permanent effects to be a serious risk? A quick Google search suggested keeping the temperature above 60 Fahrenheit in your room while sleeping (a guideline I have gone below on several occasions; now I'm wondering if that's part of why I wake up with nosebleeds and a sore nose so often in the winter) but how much further below are such ill effects only temporary?

 

Heh, I remember when I was a kid I went to the mini-forest (ie. area of trees surrounded on all sides by actual houses which in turn were surrounded by rural streets; negligible risk of encountering wild animals, except maybe winter birds) in my neighbourhood and tried to fall asleep in my warm coat in the snow in the middle of the day, just to see what it'd be like to wake up outdoors under direct sunlight. I had no idea the cold air would've been harmful in and of itself with or without actually reducing the temperature of the rest of my body. Probably for the best I didn't fall asleep after all. XD

 

In the meantime, I'm thinking I'll wait until summer. And will definitely make sure I have a net with me when I do.

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35 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

I'm referring to a cool-summer continental climate zone within Canada.

Yukon, NWT, northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Labrador.  (Of course, every place in Canada is growing warmer, way faster than anyone's prepared for, so zones are pretty much a thing of the past.) 

41 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

How close does it have to be to the freezing point for freezing to death or other permanent effects to be a serious risk?

Depends how long you're there, what you're wearing and whether you're lucky enough to have seven or eight Huskies hunkered around you. 

Quote

Humans freeze to death when their internal body temperature drops below 70 degrees. It’s possible to freeze to death in 40 degree temperatures, but that’s rare. The amount of time you can survive in the cold drops along with the temperature.https://thehikingauthority.com/lowest-temperature-a-human-can-survive-freezing-to-death/

 

Eeeewwh, they put a little kid in the row of soft porn advertising at the bottom of this screen!

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