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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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