January 16th, 2010

billy mays

Caturday! Caturday!

...blue cat people day to be exact.  I have lots of opinions about Avatar that don't belong here, but among them is my distaste for the stupid-sounding branding of their all-important natural resource.  Although the context isn't really correct, it actually is a word...

Unobtainium

A placeholder term used in science to describe an element which would be perfect for a specific use and is theoretically possible but beyond the current scope of human innovation, rare, or prohibitively expensive.  In science fiction the term is often a trope used to describe "whatever is used to further the plot with the least amount of imagination and understanding of physics possible."


"In creating a design for a pulley system, our first challenge is to identify our unobtainium.  In this case, the optimum material would lack both mass and friction."


PS I don't plan on doing pop culture references every week.  Just this one.  :-)