Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see the film Lucy. It's built around that well-known law that people only use ten percent of their brains. Why? Scientists are divided. Some say most of our brain cells are disabled from underuse, but others believe they're just saying, "Shut up! I'm taking a nap!"

All agree, though, that the brain is different from other muscles. If you're not using 90% of your quadriceps, for example, you can reverse that by doing squats. That'll throw them all into action. 90% of those cells won't say, "I'm resting! Find some other schmuck to do your dirty work!" 90% of your brain cells, though, will simply refuse to fire up. If we had really tiny microphones and listened in as you tried to divide 8 into 74, we could probably hear 90% of your brain saying, "Why don't you go pull turds out of a duck?"

In Lucy, though, Scarlett Johansson takes some weird drug, and immediately those hibernating cells wake up. With each new group activating, she discovers she can do something new. Here's what Morgan Freeman says:

At 20%, she can manipulate the world around her.
Now, if I had my way, the movie would just stop here. Because how great would that be, a woman manipulating the world around her? I'm picturing the first hour just showing Lucy redecorating her apartment, and maybe in the second hour she buys a tiny dog.

At 24%, she can control the cells in her body.
Some might feel their disbelief firing up, but it still sounds scientifically accurate to me. Researchers have known for years that you can alter your body through sheer brain power: that's why Stephen J. Hawking is incredibly handsome and has a bangin' six pack.

At 40%, she can control matter.
Now, I'm clearly just using 10% of my brain, because I have no clue what Mr. Freeman is saying here. Does this mean Scarlett can point at a lamp and say, "Hey, you, don't go anywhere!"? Wait: does it means she can fly? Einstein was really smart: why we didn't see him flying around? Maybe you get invisibility here too.

At 62%, she can control other people.
This is the place where I get a tiny tingle of excitement. The mind boggles at the vast possibilities! Think of how different the world would be if, for instance, women could somehow get dudes to buy them food.

Though some so-called "smart" people will say the whole concept is preposterous, I must respectfully disagree. Not many people know this, but all of our scientific laws have odd dependencies built into them. It's like our traffic laws: they're all incontrovertible, hard and fast rules until a blonde shows up in a convertible. We shouldn't be surprised that, say, Newton's laws of motion can be disabled by a teenager who drank some Red Bull and then did homework. Did you think it was sheer fantasy that if fourteen idiots in a Dallas multiplex clap, Tinkerbell and three ragamuffins can fly?

Pythagoras said that in a right triangle the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides unless the Dutch wins the World Cup. If David Letterman beats Jimmy Fallon in the ratings, Mandelbrot Fractals start looking like a chicken in a compact car. Relativity? You might not know this, but Einstein said E doesn't equal MC squared when Kristin Bell is wearing a crop top.

Though I can vouch for the film's accuracy, I'm not so sure about its entertainment value. It might just be another film about somebody with superpowers. Me, I think they should have gone the other way.

At 8%, you can't find your car keys.
At 6% you choose a favorite sports team.
At 4% you send money to Nigerian princes.
At 2% you get your own show on E!
What happens when you get down to zero? I don't know, but I really hope you enjoy my blog.


jeesau said...

I don't know how many percentage points you have firing but you're a genius in my book for finding another use for "pulling turds from a duck."

Yet Another Steve said...

Yeah, what he said.