Main The Coconut Effect Discussion

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01:21:21 PM Jan 14th 2018
  • Firefly deliberately took this concept to the logical extreme: the CGI space scenes not only included Lens Flare, but also moments where the camera takes a second to find or focus on an object, or where a speeding spacecraft is blurry and slightly out of frame.
  • The new Battlestar Galactica makes similar use of faux camera effects for many space scenes; in one episode, the camera is even struck and knocked spinning by debris from an explosion. Joss Whedon points out in his commentary that brand new, state-of-the-art lenses had too little lens flare for him, so they switched them out for cheaper ones that would have wider lens flares.

I believe Firefly and Battlestar Galactica were mixed up here and have changed them around (Joss Whedon was the creator of Firefly not BSG for one and the tropes seem to describe the other show). Unless I'm mistaken, but switch them back if I am
04:08:15 PM May 21st 2014
  • So much for some modern fan writers' assertion (in an apparent overcompensation to avoid accusations of Mary Sue) that women are not physically capable of handling or wearing swords.

I'm curious what fanfic(s) made this assertion. Does anyone know any examples?
10:15:01 PM Jan 15th 2014
I'm confused about this example, listed under "Media in General / Common Tropes":

  • Morse code is always received as through a WWII-era radio: bee-beep-beep-bee-bee-beep.

Um, what else is Morse code supposed to sound like? It consists of short and long pulses of continuous-wave tones. It sounds like beeps because that's exactly what it is.
11:34:29 AM Nov 20th 2012
Electric scooters used for delivery of Domino’s Pizza in the Netherlands added a fake engine sounds since the scooters are silent.

These aren't the usual "engine noises" though - it plays odd sounding, engine mimicking phrases like "Mmmmmm... Domino's! Mmmmmm... Pizza!" and so on.
02:57:43 AM May 19th 2012
Should the lens flare example perhaps be moved down lower on the page, or even removed? As it is, the very first example of the Coconut Effect that we're offering seems to have confused the attempt of video games to look as cinematic as possible with a failed attempt to make them look as realistic as possible, and weakens our definition in the process.
12:35:15 PM Mar 9th 2012
edited by OldManHoOh
I don't really pay attention to how they sound on TV or film, but at least where I live, ATMs make a distinct whirr when money's drawn.
07:25:33 PM Jan 6th 2012
  • The "thumbs up" in pretty much every Roman Colosseum setting has the Emperor raising his thumb to say he's pleased by the battle and wants the loser to live and drop it to say "put him down" (or something like that). However, in ancient Rome, the thumb pointing up meant "slice his throat", and a thumb down was "put down your sword". There's even a movie which actually did it right. Then the producers got complaints that they had gotten it wrong!
    • Historians are not entirely sure which thumb gestures meant what. It is more widely accepted that neither up nor down is correct, but rather that mercy was indicated by extending the thumb to the side, and death by closing one's fist around it (Indicating whether the victorious gladiator's sword should be placed inside or outside the loser's body). None of the surviving sources are sufficiently specific to be sure. The only description of the gesture actually used seems to be "pressed his thumb," which really says nothing about what was actually DONE. For a modern comparison, everyone reading this likely knows what the gesture referred to by the phrase "giving the finger" is, but it would likely be very difficult to find an actual written description of the gesture. People write for contemporary audiences almost exclusively, and well-known gestures are just not something you bother describing.

(Removed other irrelevant stuff not related to the Roman gesture)

So, what exactly was the gesture?
01:33:48 AM May 23rd 2011
I'm a bit confused about the direction bananas take. Is up referring to the individual fruits or the whole bunch?
01:14:18 PM Jan 20th 2011
The 'loud whump' of lights turning on actually happens, incidentally. Listen next time you have a power outage. When it comes back, there's a 'Fwump-KLICK' (At least in my house) as everything turns back on. Flourescent lights also have their own 'turning-on' sound. Maybe not everyone can hear it, but some can (Like me).
10:28:14 AM Dec 29th 2010
after reading the thing about whacking a tv on the truth in television thing

actually, me and at least one other friend have routinely made sure our televisions, as well as other things work after essentially being for all intensive purposes destroyed

percussion maintenance does in fact work and I've used it on numerous things, surprisingly most of them electronics
01:11:12 PM Jan 20th 2011
Not that surprising. When percussive maintenance works, it often works because you've jarred something that was stuck loose, but with electronics, it'll be because you've knocked something *off* that shouldn't be *loose*. An errant wire crossing another that causes a minor short, something metal touching something energized, causing it to ground...
12:55:36 AM Oct 10th 2010
Regarding horse sounds, I wonder if the coconuts are somewhere close to the sound of horse hooves on paving stones. A metal horseshoe coming down on a flat stone with the weight of a horse behind it would surely make some sort of noise. And a horse's hoof has some hollow space inside kinda like a coconut, especially with the shoe on.

So maybe the coconuts aren't all the unrealistic if you're talking about, say, horses pulling a carriage through the streets of Paris during the French Revolution. Those sorts of stories aren't popular today, but they were very popular a century ago when radio performers were first figuring out how to make sound effects for microphones.
07:42:46 PM Oct 13th 2010
Have you heard an actual horse walking on stone? It sounds closer to coconuts than one on softer ground, but still not that close.
11:27:04 AM Sep 6th 2010
edited by TwinBird

  • Many people criticize the regular usage of real-life swear words in modern Westerns like the series Deadwood or the film 3:10 to Yuma as being "unrealistic" or "anachronistic". This is because the Western was, for a long period in the 20th century, a form of entertainment marketed toward children, and even when it wasn't the general bowdlerization of Hollywood during the Hays Code era made cursing off-limits onscreen. The idea that rough-and-tough gunfighters from the 1880s actually peppered their speech with euphemisms like "tarnation" or "gol'durn it" or "jumpin' Jehosaphat" is not quite true. Although there is much that actually was very different about Wild West slang that usually goes untranslated into modern Westerns, the actual curse words "fuck", "shit", "ass", etc. are several centuries old and were used back then just as they're used now.
    • Indeed, those words go back to Shakespeare's time, and although Shakespeare couldn't show them onstage there are quite a few vulgar puns that make reference to them. (Playing around with the word "cunt" was, in fact, one of old Billy's favorite ways to get a cheap laugh.)

Natter aside, the words existed, and they'd have been in their vocabulary, but would have mostly been used in a literal or directly metaphorical sense. When they actually meant to swear in those days, they would use blasphemies such as "damn" and "hell," which are often "translated" for Westerns aimed at an adult audience due to not sounding much worse than "tarnation" or "jumpin' Jehosephat" to the modern ear. So words like "fuck" and "cunt" wouldn't be out of place in a brothel, and "shit" wouldn't be out of place as an attack on credibility, but when they're just expressing frustration or contempt, they are a bit anachronistic.
06:58:48 AM Aug 25th 2010
This troper just wants to mention that his Japanese phone, purchased and operated in Japan, takes silent photos, which rather invalidates a great deal of the discussion in the Real Life section of this page.
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