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posted by martyb on Monday June 10 2019, @01:57AM   Printer-friendly
from the ohhhhh-nooooo! dept.

A recent article explores Godzilla's physical growth over his big screen career (the longest in world cinema history).

Godzilla was born out of climate change in his native deep sea environment caused by nuclear testing at the Bikini Atoll in the 1950's and quickly rose to prominence on the big screen becoming the lead actor in a series of movies that continues to this day. The supersized saurian was finally granted citizenship in his longtime stomping grounds four years ago and employed as a "tourism ambassador."

Gozilla's rise in film has been accompanied by amazing physical growth at a rate 30 times faster than any creature on Earth.

When the dinosaur-like monster debuted on the silver screen in 1954, he stood a towering 164 feet (50 meters) tall. Now, 35 films later — the latest, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," came out Friday (May 31) — the behemoth has more than doubled in size, currently reaching 393 feet (120 m) tall.

Researchers explored and dismissed various causes for this growth, including speculation that:

Godzilla is a ceratosaurid, a type of dinosaur that lived during the Jurassic period. But even though these dinosaurs evolved to have huge bodies, Godzilla's growth spurt far outpaces theirs, the researchers said. The monster's growth is also far too rapid to come from genetic drift, that is, when certain gene variants in a small population are randomly lost, diminishing genetic diversity, the researchers said.

Even natural selection, by which organisms with advantageous genes survive and then pass those genes on to their offspring, couldn't explain Godzilla's swift sprouting.

Researchers finally came to the conclusion that the societal fear and angst might be fueling the largish lizard's growth:

a look at Godzilla's history explains his accelerated growth, the researchers said. Godzilla was created, in part, because of nuclear-age fears following the use of the first atomic and hydrogen bombs in the 1940s and 1950s. In Godzilla's case, hydrogen-bomb testing decimated his deep-sea ecosystem in the first movie, and Godzilla exacted his revenge by destroying Tokyo.

To test the idea that anxiety fueled Godzilla's growth, the researchers used U.S. military spending as a proxy for the nation's collective anxiety. They found a strong correlation between this spending and Godzilla's body size from 1954 to 2019, which includes measurements from both Japanese and American movies.

[coefficient of determination (r^2) = 0.74].

Of course the researchers are quick to point out that

correlation doesn't imply causation. And it is possible that another factor, such as people's appetite for big and scary monsters drove movie makers to grow Godzilla, to ensure box office success.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Godzilla Receives Japanese Citizenship 16 comments

[editors note: for those of you that want some Blue Oyster Cult playing while reading this, here's a link ]

Godzilla has received a Japanese citizenship certificate. Address: Shinjuku-ku, Kabuki-cho, 1-19-1. Date of birth: April 9, 1954. Reason for special residency: "Promoting the entertainment of and watching over the Kabuki-cho neighborhood and drawing visitors from around the globe."

A replica of Japan's undisputed "King of Monsters" was also placed on top of the district's iconic Toho building. The Japanese film company will release a new Godzilla film in 2016, following the success of a 2014 Hollywood remake by British director Gareth Edwards. Godzilla attended an awards ceremony in April, where he was presented with a sash from Shinjuku mayor, Kenichi Yoshizumi.

In other news, Sony Pictures could lose its license to kill make James Bond films after an agreement with Metro Goldwyn-Mayer expires later this year.


Original Submission

Geologists Reject Declaration of ‘Human Era’ in Earth’s Timeline 31 comments

Scientists argued that mankind had been reshaping the planet long before the 1950s:

A top panel of geologists has decided not to grant Anthropocene, or 'human age', its own distinct place in Earth's geological timeline after disagreeing over when exactly the era might have begun.

After 15 years of deliberation, a team of scientists made the case that humankind has so fundamentally altered the natural world that a new phase of Earth's existence – a new epoch – has already begun.

Soaring greenhouse gases, the spread of microplastics, decimation of other species, and fallout from nuclear tests – all were submitted as evidence that the world entered the Anthropocene in the mid-20th century.

But the proposal was rejected in a contentious vote that has been upheld by the International Union of Geological Sciences, the field's governing body said in a statement published on its website on March 21.

[...] Despite this, the Anthropocene would endure as a widely used term: "It will remain an invaluable descriptor of human impact on the Earth system," the union said.

In 2009 scientists began an enquiry that ultimately concluded that the Holocene epoch – which began 11,700 years ago as the last ice age ended – gave way to the Anthropocene around 1950.

They gathered a trove of evidence to show this, including traces of radioactive material found in the layered sediment of lakes, the global upheaval of plants and animals, and omnipresent "forever chemicals".

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 10 2019, @02:11AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 10 2019, @02:11AM (#853541)

    "Climate change" is a child's game. We really fucked now.

    • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Monday June 10 2019, @03:05PM

      by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Monday June 10 2019, @03:05PM (#853703)

      Shin Gojira [imdb.com]

      Just my humble opinion; out of all of the movies, and I have seen them all (repeatedly), it is one of the best so far. A worthy reboot to the 1954 original, updated for today's culture.

      --
      "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Monday June 10 2019, @02:40AM

    by krishnoid (1156) on Monday June 10 2019, @02:40AM (#853545)

    What I want to know is how his growth correlates to Moore's law. The ability to simulate larger creatures and the concomitant graphical detail should track CPU/RAM/storage improvements nearly (?) one-for-one, right? Too bad they can't apply it to script quality -- we'd get a bigger Godzilla with more powerful emotional depth, and who wouldn't want that?

  • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday June 10 2019, @02:47AM (5 children)

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday June 10 2019, @02:47AM (#853548)

    If anyone is interested, Godzilla is currently at 40% with critics on rottentomatoes.com.

    This thing is an unholy mess.
    David Edelstein
    New York Magazine/Vulture

    The film is so murky, it looks as though it was put through a dark blue Instagram filter.
    Peter Howell
    Toronto Star

    Or, my favourite:

    Budget is not normally the sort of thing you mention in a review, but when you see a film that is almost entirely driven by spectacle and you keep marveling at how slapdash and/or unreal everything looks, you do start to wonder where all the money went.
    Matthew Lickona
    San Diego Reader

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday June 10 2019, @03:03AM (3 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday June 10 2019, @03:03AM (#853555) Journal

      Critics: 40%
      Audience verified to have bought tickets and seen the film: 85%

      Hmmmmmmmmm

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by PartTimeZombie on Monday June 10 2019, @03:31AM

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday June 10 2019, @03:31AM (#853560)

        If a movie is panned by the critics the ratios are often that high.

        I always assume that most of the audience reviewers deny they ever wrote anything nice a year later.

        The example on the site right now is "The Hustle" with Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway. 15% critics score, 48% audience score. It's a direct remake of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and it looks dreadful.

        I am going to go right ahead and never, ever watch it. I suspect quite a few of those audience reviewers might pretend they never saw it too, even though they wrote something like :

        "Well, you know, it wasn't terrible. (Even though it really, really was).

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by HiThere on Monday June 10 2019, @04:29AM (1 child)

        by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 10 2019, @04:29AM (#853568) Journal

        That's hardly surprising. The critics usually have a different taste than the self-selected audience. They often consider popular taste to be "vulgar" (which it is, of course, in the precise meaning of the word).

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday June 10 2019, @05:11AM

          +1. Absolutely, the self-selecting sample has obvious bias, not least because they invested some of their time, money, and mental capacity in that movie - saying it was terrible reflects badly on their investment and their ability to discern good from bad.

          However, it's worse than that! The critics themselves are not independent either, as ll of them work for a paymaster, and whatever corporation they are part of will have a sociopolitical bias aimed at keeping their readership happy. This is particularly clear with the loonie leftism that's being shoved down our gullets from all possible directions nowadays. Studios push it, mainstream media lap it up, but if they don't blow up enough CGI furniture, the masses will probably hate it.
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Monday June 10 2019, @06:21PM

      by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 10 2019, @06:21PM (#853784)

      Bah... reviewers almost never like movies that I like.

      It's a Godzilla movie! What did they expect? I expected giant monsters fighting each other with humans underfoot, and got exactly that. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

      Why should I care about some artsy-fartsy reviewer who didn't?

      --
      The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.
  • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 10 2019, @03:03AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 10 2019, @03:03AM (#853554)

    When he crossed the Pacific ocean he found supersized McPeople on the menu.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 10 2019, @07:54AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 10 2019, @07:54AM (#853588)
  • (Score: 2) by stretch611 on Monday June 10 2019, @11:01AM

    by stretch611 (6199) on Monday June 10 2019, @11:01AM (#853614)

    Godzilla was born out of climate change in his native deep sea environment

    Well, seeing how climate change has a compounding effect that has made it worse as time goes by, wouldn't that account for Godzilla's growth?

    --
    Now with 5 covid vaccine shots/boosters altering my DNA :P
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 10 2019, @01:10PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 10 2019, @01:10PM (#853664)

    Get the chap's name right!

  • (Score: 2) by Farkus888 on Monday June 10 2019, @03:17PM (1 child)

    by Farkus888 (5159) on Monday June 10 2019, @03:17PM (#853712)

    I'm pretty sure King Kong has grown faster. He even has a longer track record. His 1933 debut makes him 21 years older. But why let facts get in the way of your hyperbole.

    • (Score: 1) by RandomFactor on Monday June 10 2019, @04:44PM

      by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 10 2019, @04:44PM (#853748) Journal

      Tfa says longest 'series'. Summary error.

      --
      В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
  • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Monday June 10 2019, @03:21PM

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Monday June 10 2019, @03:21PM (#853717)

    Gojira's size has varied wildly over the years,

    one of the better size comparison [newsweek.com] charts I've seen

    --
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
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