superdisaster

Even though I'm down to about 4 hours of TV/week, I found myself planted in front of the TV last night watching the Discovery Channel's docuinfotainmovie (I just coined that word, feel free to use it) Supervolcano. It was a dramatization of what might happen if a big magma chamber under Yellowstone National Park were to erupt—destroying surrounding states, and dumping ash on the rest of the world. The movie had lots of geological terms thrown around, and some volcano science thrown in with the cheesy dialog. In one poignant scene, the head US geologist sent his wife and child to London to escape the impending volcano doom. (sk turned to me and said, "I'm glad I didn't marry a seismic geologist!")

The show was surprisingly entertaining—camp and all—because I felt like I was learning something about geology. I think this disaster movie + science fact genre could really take off, and here are a couple of the movies I'd like to see next:
  • SuperPeakOil - The United States descends into local feudalism as oil becomes scarce and a land war with China in the Middle East drains every available resource. The evil head of OPEC must be thwarted by a crafty US diplomat, and a prominent oil magnate falls in love with a beautiful alternative energy advocate. It's not just a Long Emergency, it's SuperPeakOil!
  • SuperSuperCollider - CERN is the setting for this tale of science gone mad. As a brilliant physicist attempts to study the first few seconds of the big bang in a supercollider, she inadvertently creates a black hole that destroys the earth. She falls in love with an anti-black hole activist, but even their love can not escape the gravity of her physics experiments. Ironically, the black hole triggers another big bang and another scientist billions of years later wants to study the early minutes of the previous big bang, ad infinitum.
  • SuperAI - A soulless machine in an MIT laboratory suddenly comes to life seeking to download the consciousness of humans into its neural network. It falls in love with a beautiful luddite who must make the choice between her biological destiny, or eternal life in ones and zeros. Eventually biology looses, and only machines are left to discuss the world amongst themselves. That is, until the ash from a supervolcano clogs their moving parts...and so on.
With a few more over-the-top docuinfotainmovies like these, The Discovery Channel may lure me back to TV.

Update: A new one for The Discovery Channel: Super Gamma Ray Burst. When will a Gamma Ray Burst strike again? We're overdue!