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ISMP In the Classroom?
Physics Classes: The web site was
originally created to help high school students think physics
and have a lot of fun in the process.
The book adds new content to the classroom in
ways only a book can accomplish. While it's written for a wide
audience, it includes example calculations designed to
Film Classes: Knowing when and
when not to alter a movie's physics is as important to creating
the illusion of reality as acting, costumes, and sets. The ISMP
book brings a new point of view to the study of film making.
Consider buying a classroom set.
author: Tom Rogers has taught
AP Physics since 1993. He
currently teaches in the
International Baccalaureate magnet
program for gifted and talented
students at Southside High School
in Greenville SC. He began using
movie physics in 1996 as a way to
get his students thinking about
physics outside of his classroom.
In 1997 he set up the Insultingly
Stupid Movie Physics which has
gone on to become the internet's
premier movie physics site and has
grown to about 1,000,000 visits a
Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics (ISMP)
First the Web Site, Now the Book
Are you a science fiction or space movie
enthusiast? Read about:
Star Trek: What
makes it special. Why characters
like Sulu, and Uhura
were unique in the original Star
Trek TV series.
Star Wars vs Star Trek:
Which has the most ISMP?
The starship Enterprise:
Why it needs to remain in space.
Space battles: Which tactics
might actually work and which
would be suicidal. Why the
starship Enterprise couldn't make
fast turns in the midst of space
Hollywood robots: Are they
really the all powerful,
multi-purpose, super smart devices
that can run for decades without
so much as an oil change? Will
Star Trek's android Data be
created any time soon?
Artificial gravity: Good,
bad, and downright ugly depictions
of it in space movies from
Armageddon to Star Trek.
Real gravity: How it
affects orbits and vertical
takeoffs from asteroids with no
gravity. What it's like inside a
Are you a history buff? Uncover facts about:
ISMP in the movie JFK: From
the standpoint of physics, could
Oswald have done it?
real physics: How did an
understanding of physics shape the
Japanese attack? Why was it so
hard to shoot down a Japanese
bomber? Would the bomb that sank
the USS Arizona have been released
directly above it as depicted in
The force field used in WWII
for protecting ships from air
attack: What was it and what
were its limitations?
The influence of WWII battles
on science fiction: Are the
space battles in both Star Trek
and Star Wars really something
Are you a film student or enthusiast? Delve
The dos and don'ts of movie
physics: Why movie physics
plays an important role in
creating the illusion of
reality--a key ingredient in high
quality movies . When moviemakers
should and shouldn't alter
The worst ISMP
mistakes: Mistakes of these
kinds trash the credibility of
otherwise serious movies and
shatter the illusion of reality.
The filming and depiction of
explosions: Why scale models
have to be filmed with high speed
cameras and then run in slow
motion to appear realistic. Why an
exploding planet should appear to
be happening in slow motion.
The movie physics clichés:
That's right, movie physics
clichés are just as bad as other
The vomit comet: How the
makers of Apollo 13
actually simulated low gravity
situations during filming.
Are you a curios person who likes to delve
deeper than the obvious? Find out about:
Real vs. movie disasters :
Which is worse tsunamis or
physics: They're not the
all-powerful problem solvers with
endless ammunition as often
depicted in movies. The book
includes discussions of shooting
from the hip, sniper rifles,
sub machineguns, sideways handgun grip, etc.
Jumps and leaps: Could the
terrorist have survived the jump
in True Lies? Could the bus have
jumped the gap in the bridge as
depicted in Speed?
Exploding gas tanks: Could
a bullet make a car's gas tank
explode? How likely is it for a
gas tank to explode in a car wreck?
Cigarettes as a source of
ignition: Could a lit
cigarette really set off a puddle
King Kong: Could he have
existed and if so would scaling a
critter up make it able to jump
higher or further.?
Are you a student struggling to understand how
physics relates to the real world?
The physics of escape: Is
it possible to outrun an
explosion? Can a person escape a
fire ball by jumping in a lake?
The physics of falling:
Everything from falling humans to
Kinematics: Not just the
equations but all kinds of
applications from starships to
All three of Newton's Laws:
Not just explained but applied to
a vast variety of situations.
Kinetic, potential, and thermal
energy: Why nuclear bombs
can't save Earth by blowing up
major sized asteroids
Movie momentum: Is there an attractive
force of glass? Would a rail gun
have recoil? Will we one day be
riding around in cosmic Toyotas?
Circular motion: How Star
Trek justifies the high speed
maneuvers of the starship
The 1st and 2nd laws of
thermodynamics: How movies
commonly break them in movies such
as the Matrix.
Written in the
the irreverent and humorous ISMP tradition with all kinds
of content for anyone who wants to
learn something about how the
universe works. Ideal for discriminating movie goers, film
students, aspiring science fiction
writers, physics students,
teachers, and anyone who wants to
understand physics and just plain
have fun. Discusses over 20 movies
including Star Trek and Star Wars.
Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics
by Tom Rogers
Best Price $8.92 or Buy New $10.17