Monday, June 8, 2009


TWO CORTICES? Or is it cortexes...?
Apparently the cyborg, Marcus (the dreamiest cyborg yet!), has been given a "hybrid nervous system" as well as a metallic skeleton. According to dialogue, Marcus has a human cortex and a machine cortex in his brain. The cortex of the cerebrum is the outer, gray part. The cortex interprets and processes the sensory information coming into the brain, controls voluntary movements and functions in intellectual and emotional processing, including memory.

The cortex is called the cortex because it's the outermost part. Your adrenal glands have cortices, too. Guess where they are? Yup, they are the outer shell of the gland. So the conversation distracted me for a moment because I was trying to imagine how a brain has two outer casings. I wondered if they meant the extra "cortex" was labeled that way as a functional structure instead of an extra cap around Marcus' brain. Once I decided that was the case, I could keep moving with the film(1). The question remains as to whether the "control chip" placed at the back of Marcus' head is this second cortex.

It does make sense that Marcus would have enhanced processing and voluntary motor control. Later, after I saw half his face taken off, I realized that he must have a metal skull. This would certainly help protect his brain from injury although injury from brain sloshing(2) would still be an issue. Perhaps the machines had invested Marcus' brain with so many fine, mesh-like wires that it would hold it in place during agitation. Let's face it: skipping across water like a stone, as Marcus does in the movie, would shake a non-augmented person's brain into a liquid bloody pulp. I get distracted by trivia like this. I think it's a sign I need to get out more...
An illustration of a contrecoup injury scenario. No big surprise, I found it on a site for a attorney's office.

Has anyone noticed how characters in movies can survive the flaming backlash from an explosion with all their hair? It's maddening. Most people can't even get their locks within 6 inches of a candle flame. And yet 98%(3) of all movie characters retain their hair in the presence of fireballs.

Marcus (Sam Worthington) and Blair (Moon Bloodgood) have fire proof hair.

The girl, Star (Jadagrace), discovers a tray containing a number of nuclear fuel cells for the T800 series. I don't imagine that the machines have the same intolerance for radioactivity in the workplace as do people. Shouldn't someone pull that kid's pretty face away from a nuclear fuel cell before her skin bubbles away, or she's set up for cancer at an early age? Instead everyone goes over to stick their own faces next to the radiation, too. If John Connor is about to be a father, he better start thinking like one.

Next time, the big defibrillation scene!

1. I really had to resolve this issue! This is sooo important to my enjoyment of the film.
2. One of the (understandable) major oversights movies make is that a person can sustain a fatal brain injury even if their skull is intact. Acceleration/deceleration injuries can happen from violent shaking, striking the head, or if the head strikes something. The brain's axons and its blood vessels can get torn, leading to direct destruction, and damage from bleeding and swelling. A contrecoup injury means that the brain is damaged at the point of impact as well as the area opposite the point of impact. This happens because the brain is very liquidy and will "slosh" in the skull if forces permit.
3. These statistics cannot be verified because I made them up.

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