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Headscratchers / The Day After Tomorrow

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  • Americans say that Australia got a Typhoon. a) Americans call them Hurricanes b) Australians call them Cyclones. So why the heck do they use the Asian name for them?
    • "Typhoon" refers to Pacific hurricanes in general, including ones that hit the American Pacific Coast, so the average American would probably use that word to describe one hitting Australia.
    • In a part of America, Typhoons are Hurricanes that are mostly water and Cyclone is a superhero. While not logical from a technical standpoint, in-character people calling it that makes sense.
  • In the party scene at the school. Why the heck does Sam's name tag say 'Hello my name is Yoda'?
    • Probably to show that his character has a sense of humor.
  • Is it even possible for two twisters to join like that? Beside each other their sides would be going opposite ways.
    • Yes, it's possible, but not very common.
    • Actually, two tornadoes in proximity to one another would spin around each other, often close enough to appear to be just one fat funnel, like a wedge tornado. In these cases, the stronger vortex will sometimes starve the weaker vortex of its energy source and kill the weaker vortex, or both will survive and get stronger.
  • How the hell do they use a wood and paper fire to stop a wave of air so cold it makes ice crystallize on stone walls and freezes a human in seconds?
    • In that same vein, as mentioned by Rifftrax: Why did the characters immediately default to burning the books, especially when the preservation of First World knowledge and culture through books would probably be absolutely paramount in order to help humanity rebuild after having essentially the entire First World wiped out? Why not, y'know, the wooden furniture of the library, considering that wood burns warmer, longer, and leaves a lot less smoke instead of the remaining and durable repositories of knowledge and literature?
      • Paper burns more readily than wood, which is important if you're trying to keep the fire lit in spite of the extreme cold.
      • Which is an argument for using paper as kindling, but not as fuel.
      • It is generally not recommended to use old furniture as firewood because their varnish or other chemical treatment can burn and turn into poisonous fumes.
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    • Unlike some natural disasters, this one isn't necessarily going to destroy all written records: there are probably copies of any of those books that merited preservation in the Southern hemisphere, after all. Only unique volumes with historical value as artifacts, like the Gutenberg, really rate as irreplaceable.
    • Most natural disasters are highly unlikely to destroy all or even most written records and leave any humans alive to care. A lot of the books written today have lots of duplicate knowledge or more up to date knowledge anyway. As for burning the furniture that could easily have been next to impossible. Most furniture is specially treated to be difficult to burn, and anybody who has even tried to start a fire in their fire place which is ideal circumstances can tell you that starting a fire is often much harder than it looks. So it's entirely plausible that burning the furniture wasn't an option, especially amongst the skill sets they had available which clearly skewed more towards book smarts than wilderness survival techniques.
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    • Libraries aren't full of expensive and irreplaceable books like the Gutenberg Bible. They're also full of thousands of copies of "Green Eggs and Ham" and "Rosemary Coneley's Hip and Thigh Diet".
    • and books on tax law...
      • The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in New York is also a museum and research center. The Rare Books Division and the Manuscripts and Archives Division are located on the third floor. The regular collection are on the lower floors, which were flooded.
  • It's odd from a film making perspective, that at $1 million a wolf, they went for using C.G.I wolves rather than real, trained wolves which would be better looking and cheaper.
  • Why are they huddling for days and days in a library when there's a perfectly good abandoned freighter floating down the street from them? Ships have things the library doesn't... such as diesel generators, climate control, long-range radios, food supplies, and beds. And yet nobody considers the freighter as anything other than a possible source of medical supplies.
    • It'd been established that it was too cold to survive in even for a short period of time. Even if they were just travelling down the street, what are the odds they'd all make it. Plus they had a sick person with them, and they'd already set up a - rather weak - source of heat in the library.
      • Well, given that a later part of the plot has two guys making a round trip to the freighter and back without even taking a rest break, and being chased by wolves aside, I'd say the odds of survival were somewhere around "one out of one".
      • Three experts in working on those conditions began the trip, who were also carrying specialized gear. One of the died, and the other was very badly hurt for about half of the trip. The people in the library were four students, a librarian, two random persons, and a hobo. Dressed in street clothes.
    • A metal ship that's foundered in frigid seawater and ice, smack dab in the center of a street that's channeling the wind straight in from the harbors, is bound to lose heat faster than a squat, sturdy concrete-and-brick building whose thick walls are further insulated by a few dozen yards of snow.
    • It's also important to remember that while the ship does have all those amenities, you need to know how to actually run them. Firing up marine engines that size isn't like starting a Toyota, and keeping them running would've been effectively impossible as they rely on seawater for cooling, and ice is pretty famous for not being liquid. (Even if there was still liquid water below the ice, the intakes and/or outlets would likely be blocked or hindered.) Only if a trained crew were handy would the freighter be any degree of practical as a refuge, and even then it would be marginal.
  • The part where our class full of honor students and science geniuses actually had the gall to act surprised that someone who'd gashed their leg while standing hip-deep in New York City sewer water might get an infected wound.
    • Did she actually tell anybody she'd cut her leg?
      • Yes, given that she needed help bandaging it.
      • The problem is though, she only told one person about cutting her leg, and it was a minor, supporting character who really served no real purpose to the story at all.
      • It's still asinine given that she herself, being one of those gifted students, should know damn well that her wound is at high risk of becoming infected and thus she should alert the others to the possibility, if not try and find some alcohol to rub the thing down with or something.
      • They had plenty of more pressing matters at the time than her leg wound. It's hard to focus on thinking of infections when you're otherwise focused on not starving or freezing. Both of which might either kill you faster or exacerbate the infection while at the same time masking the real cause.
  • Why did the global freeze stop at political frontiers?
    • It didn't, even Jack said Texas would be fine. The entire population would probably think in terms of borders, so it would be better to tell everyone to make their way to Mexico instead of them all thinking "we're in the southern half of the country... we'll be fine."
      • Even so, the panning shot of the Earth at the end shows that Texas was completely covered in ice and snow, as well as Florida, both of which should have been spared. So no, they weren't fine.
      • He was probably defining "fine" as "not dead and buried under fifty feet of snow", rather than "not stuck indoors shivering". The southern states may just have been subjected to winter conditions rather than glaciation.
      • On the other hand, the way the southern states handled the 2013-2014 winter (where residents of the state of Georgia had lots of trouble after getting two whole inches of snow when temperatures dropped below 30) suggests that anyone probably there died of exposure, too. Viva la Mexico: the last great hope for warmth!
  • Just one question: Why are the people driving into a tornado throwing cars at them?
    • Sadly, people do stuff just that dumb all the time with tornadoes. The leading Darwin Award-winning justifications are "I'm sure I can outrun it!" followed quickly by "It can't turn quickly enough to catch me!" - both of which are deadly wrong. Plus, panicky people are stupid; you start throwing vehicles around and the average person will start to panic a tad, and good judgment goes right out the window.
  • "I hope no one was in that car!" - TV announcer after a tornado-tumbled bus rolls over a Porsche. Wouldn't the possibility that there were people on the bus be more of a concern...? Considering the number of occupants each vehicle is built to carry...?
    • For that matter, why even hope that a car was empty when it was clearly seen moving on its own shortly before the bus hit?
    • Maybe the commentator was hoping the car was being blown around just as the bus was?
    • To the first question: if the bus was being blown around, maybe the announcer thought that whoever was inside there was already doomed to begin with. At least if the car was empty, no one else besides who was already on the bus would die.
    • TV announcers probably do not take the bus to work and aspire to drive a Porsche if they don't already drive one... so naturally they'd empathize with the posh car and not the plebs in the bus?
  • Why does the Scots speak in an American accent, and why does Tokada, an American, speaks a semi-British accent? It was never stated in the movie that they are immigrants or studying aboard.
    • The R is in the wrong place Appolo!
    • Seeing this movie, none of the Scots speak in American accents: their accents just aren't real heavy (and most European accents you hear in American entertainment are large exaggerations anyway); like with Americans, certain accents and dialects are more noticeable than others are, such as, say, a Brooklyn accent, or a Cajun (Louisiana) accent. Same with the U.K., they have regional accents and dialects that are more pronounced than others.
    • Educated upper middle class Scottish accents are not that strong and certainly not Glasgow. A sort of Highland Scots accent exists which is, paradoxically, more English in sound!
  • How come Tokada and two other dudes were the only climatologist NASA sent out? It's under the LAW that NASA has to monitor this huge shift. They have a huge program dedicated to monitoring climate change. Even the California drought made it to NASA homepage a few times. Moreover, the storm is affecting the Cape and Russia, so wouldn't it make sense for them to do more research on it?
    • Judging by the actions of the Vice President at the climate conference, this movie apparently occurs in an AU where the US government didn't give a fuck about climate, didn't pass any laws regarding it, and didn't fund any programs for it. Which would be consistent with the whole heavy-handed Anvilicious that's the entire movie.
  • If it's an ice age why is only the Northern hemisphere effected? Shouldn't we at least hear about some doomed Australians or South Americans/Africans heading North?
    • It's Roland Emmerich. His movies are pretty much always US-centric, acknowledging other countries only reluctantly, and nearly never in any kind of depth. So while we can logically derive this happening, it wasn't in the US (or Europe), thus not important. Hell, even India was only really important as the setting for a meeting.
    • Also, the actual Ice Ages didn't really cause much glaciation in the southern continents, aside from expanding the ice shelves around Antarctica and moving the Andean snowline down a ways. Places like Australia would have more problems with receding sea levels pulling back their coastlines than with ice.
  • Was the Dick Cheney Expy supposed to be far-sighted? Throughout the movie, he wears glasses, but takes them off to read, when most glasses-wearers do the opposite.
    • Considering his age, you'd assume he was far-sighted, but if he was doing that then he's probably nearsighted. Most nearsighted people do that.
  • How exactly do the Astronauts aboard the space station confirm that the storm has broken up over North America while over Europe?
  • What exactly was Jack's plan to save his son?So he's in DC quite some distance from NYC to go during the worst storm in recorded history.He gets to NYC while losing a friend during the trek and what was his plan afterwards?Had no choppers came to rescue him his son and all the others their only option was to go on foot all the way to Florida.So what exactly was his plan?Get to NYC prove to my son i care about him for 'reasons' then go on foot all the way to warmer places?Wouldn't a better solution have been to tell him to wait it out then hopefully get a chopper to go to NYC and avoid losing one of his friends in a way that could have been avoided.He already knew where his son and presumably others were located going to NYC wouldn't really 'save' his son since they both and others need to reach warmer places.If anything the best solution was to tell his son and others to wait it out then once the worst of the storm passed find some chopper to go there.Had he stayed in DC he wouldn't have gotten one of his friends killed and he still could have went to NYC on a chopper afterwards.
  • Also i get the whole 'joke' with Mexico closing its border to american immigrants but realistically if 50 million or so americans charged the border even shooting to kill wouldn't stop more than a few of them.And to be frank allowing such a huge number of refugees in such a short time while the global food stocks have been largely lost due to the climate disaster would cause Mexico huge problems pretty soon like starvation since not enough agricultural products are left to feed not only Mexicos population but the 50-60 million americans who suddenly came over the border.It seems Emmerich wanted that scene for the sake of a 'joke' and didn't exactly think it through.
  • How did Laura not spot the gargantuan tidal wave when she turned around to get the woman's purse in the taxi cab, she was looking in it's direction for several moments but somehow completly missed it.

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