Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps

Posted by Rezwan Razani on Nov 06, 2011 at 09:09 AM
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Author: Oliver Stone (Director)

Top Fusion Flavored movie of 2010 features a fusion energy storyline and cool Inertial Confinement Fusion animation.  Per IMDB,

The fusion project depicted in the movie is based on work at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which Oliver Stone toured during production. The graphics used to show the process are very similar to and derived from animations viewable at the National Ignition Facility website.

Alas, the fusion plot elements are not mentioned in the logline:

To take down a merciless finance executive, a young trader agrees to a disgraced Wall street legend’s proposal in exchange for the man to be reunited with his daughter, the trader’s fiancĂ©e.

The screenplay by Allan Loeb (available on screenplayexplorer.com ) doesn’t feature the fusion subplot, either.  Somewhere between the first draft and the final draft, fusion infused itself.  It would be nice to know how this came about.  Rumor has it that Ed Moses’ promotion played a part in this. 

Perhaps the story behind the story is in the DVD extras.  If not, they should definitely include it in a special re-release.  Charging a bit extra, with the proceeds going to fund a fusion project. 

Fusion Exposition

Thanks to the filmmakers for indulging in a bit of fusion exposition.  The scene in which Shia explains fusion to the Chinese is thrilling.  The device is based on NIF, but with modifications:  200 laser beams, rounded up from 192.  The laser-skewered hohlram imagery (similar to image right) is flashed subliminally a few times in the film. 

The device is a chimera of alternative energy.  The lasers are powered by “Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion”.  Is it possible to do that?  Use the differential between hot water on the surface and cold water beneath to power the lasers?  (This sounds like a perfect exercise for movie classroom physics).  They show an animation in which NIF like laser bays are arranged on an offshore platform to harness the ocean energy.  (Piling it on.)

A fun bit of dialogue comes when the Chinese investor asks:  “How do you contain the explosion?”  Shia says:

That’s a secret I really can’t share with you right now.  Not to be secretive.  But maybe I can get you in there for a peek.

It makes it seem like this is a secret to the scientists as well.  A bit of Ed Moses’ Salt Blanket explanation (minute 3:22) might have helped here.   

The device shown in Wall Street has the larger NIF lasers.  NIF is giving way to LIFE and they will have improved (smaller) lasers and more answers to how they will contain the explosion and harvest the energy.  (A post on this pending: Your Donations will speed up content development). 

Gratuitous Wall Street Art

This just in:  A Shocking Wall Street inspired sculpture from ChinaWhat You See Might Not Be Real by Chen Wenling. Allegedly the man represents Bernie Madoff, and the bull is Wall Street. On display in Bejing.  Among other things, a reminder that China is funding fusion and could pull ahead of the US in the fusion race (See ASP White Paper).

If we could just harness the gas from that bull!  Or use wall street bubbles for sonofusion.  Does this sound like we’re hatin’ on Wall Street?  We’re just jealous of their ability to attract funds without much to show for it, while earnest fusion scientists trying to save the world are starved for funds.  Join the Fusion Finance Conversation to change that.

In any case, enjoy the flick!  If we have our own fusion oscar celebration, this will be up for best fusion themed movie.  But lifetime achievement still goes to Back to the Future, and Spider Man II, of course.

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