Tuesday, January 1, 2013

On The Fall (Total Recall 2012)

Total Recall follows Douglas Quaid, a factory worker at a robot factory, married to a beautiful E.M.S. technician, living in an overcrowded, mega-slum post-apocalyptic Australia, which is now referred to as simply "the Colony" and is one of only two places on the globe that is still inhabitable. The other is comprised of England and some nearby land, which together comprise the United Federation of Britain. Those who have even a passing grasp on geography may immediately assume that these populations don't interact, but, as it turns out, much of the populace of the Colony perform high-risk, low-paying jobs in the UFB, commuting daily via a large elevator / subway train, of sorts, that goes straight through the Earth, in a tube that is curved a bit to avoid the hot, gooey molten core.

This "elevator" is known as "The Fall," since it essentially falls down from one station, then comes to a stop when it reaches the station on the other side. While the plausibility of creating such a mode of transportation has several technical hurdles to overcome, the physical principal is sound; in much the same way that something thrown upward slows to a stop and then returns to its initial height at the same speed it was initially thrown at (not considering wind resistance), if you could drop something into a hole that went all the way through the Earth, it would accelerate until it got to the center of the planet, then would start slowing down, reaching the initial speed (zero) when it arrived at the same height it had started at, but on the other side of the planet.

Even considering losses due to wind resistance, this would be a very energy-efficient mode of transportation.