Does E = mc² or mc³? The Science in Bond Films Thread



  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    The science of James Bond's
    Oct 2, 2020 3:42 PM PHT |
    MANILA, Philippines

    Can James Bonds' gadgets really exist in real life?
    [Editor's Note: Since 1995, Omega watches have been used to depict unbelievably handy spy tech in the iconic James Bond film franchise. But are they really that unbelievable? Omega breaks down the science to Bond tech below.]

    There have been many characters over the years touted as the “real-life” James Bond, a list usually drawn from the various spies and adventurers that his creator, Ian Fleming, met during his time in Naval Intelligence during World War II. Equally, there are several contenders for being the inspiration behind Q, the boffin who heads up Q (for Quartermaster) Branch – Fleming’s fictitious version of what is now known as Her Majesty’s Government Communications Centre – the department that provides 007 with his famous gadgets.

    My favorite of these candidates for the prototype Q is Christopher Clayton Hutton, of the little-known branch of military intelligence called MI9. Its role in World War II was to help downed aircrew and escaped prisoners of war get back to the UK, using a series of escape lines across Europe, and Hutton’s job was to provide the equipment to assist in what was known as Escape and Evasion, a phrase which accurately describes much of Bond’s activity during a mission. So Clutty, as he was known, created maps concealed in playing cards, compasses hidden in buttons or collar studs, powerful flashlights disguised as bicycle pumps, multi-function "escape knives," and tiny radios and a cigarette lighter with a concealed camera inside.

    Miniaturization was his specialty and he would have relished the world of Bond, where various aids to Escape and Evasion have to be incorporated into equipment such as 007’s trusty Omega watches. But could even a maverick genius like Clutty make the spy’s various Seamasters function as shown on screen, or are they just a fantasy product of the scriptwriters’ imagination? With an Omega about to play a pivotal role in No Time To Die, it’s as good a moment as any to look at the practicality of the world’s most versatile, and sometimes lethal, timepiece, and to give them a "Clutty Rating" (CR) for the likelihood of the great-gadget man being able to duplicate them.
    Radio signal detonator
    Over the past 25 years, Bond has frequently turned to his Omega to get him out of a tight spot by making something explode. In GoldenEye (1995), 007 uses the Seamaster’s HRV (Helium Release Valve) to initiate the timing sequence on several limpet mines. This is the watch acting as an on-off switch for the mines – which means Q has installed an actuating transmitter in the Seamaster. The limpets never actually blow – spoilsport Alex Trevelyan (Sean Bean) uses another click on the HRV to stop the countdown.

    All this is eminently feasible, even with the limited space within an Omega. Researchers at Columbia University in the US, for instance, have built what they describe as the smallest frequency-modulated (FM) radio transmitter ever. Based on a graphene nanoelectromechanical system (NEMS), the microscopic device oscillates at a frequency of 100 MHz and, with a tiny antenna, could broadcast an activation signal. Even without using nanotechnology, traditional UHF transmitters can now be produced that are not much longer than a grain of rice.

    No matter what type of signal generator Q opts for, a battery needs to be included to provide the power for the transmission. But this is also achievable – the University of California is working on gold nanowire batteries, which use rechargeable filaments thinner than a human hair as an energy sink. More practically, the Jenax company has created a thin, foldable, and bendable lithium-ion battery called J.Flex. It isn’t difficult to envisage one of the latter fitting snugly against the inside of the case back of a Q Branch Seamaster.

    CR: 9/10
    The laser beam
    Lasers have a long association with James Bond, ever since Goldfinger (1964), when 007 was “expected to die” while being threatened with being split in two by a giant industrial CO2 laser. By the time of GoldenEye (1995), the laser had shrunk enough to be concealed in 007’s Omega Seamaster. Bond uses the light beam to cut a very neat panel out of the steel floor of rogue 00 agent Alex Trevelyan’s armored train and escape before the whole lot blows. The laser-watch reappears in Die Another Day (2002), with the light lance emerging from the crown, operated by pressing the face of the Omega, and is deployed by 007 to cut a hole in the ice outside of Gustave Graves’ frozen palace (admittedly an easier task than burning through metal floors).

    Ridiculous? Well, German prop-maker and "laser hobbyist" Patrick Priebe has succeeded in fitting a 1,500 milliwatt laser into a wrist-worn case. The beam is capable of puncturing balloons, scorching walls, and cutting through duct tape. Burning steel? Not so much. You need at least 300 watts to cut metal. However, it will ignite matches, and it doesn’t take much to imagine a Bond scenario where that would come in handy.

    Like 007’s version, Priebe’s laser-watch also tells the time – using a very crude LED digital display. A handsome Seamaster, it is not. Despite companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin working hard on miniaturizing laser guidance and weapons systems, and the development of tiny (but weak) nano-lasers, it is likely that this is one 007 gadget that will remain in the realm of fiction for the time being.

    CR: 2/10
    Primary explosive detonator
    In the pre-credits sequence of Die Another Day (2002), 007 lifts a tray of diamonds from an attaché case and underneath are blocks of C-4 explosive. He removes the Seamaster’s HRV, which has a small shaft or pin attached to it, and sticks this into the C-4.

    So what is it? I turned to Warrant Officer Kim Hughes, an ATO (Ammunition Technical Officer, bomb disposal expert in non-army parlance), who won the George Cross for his service in Afghanistan, to explain.

    “Military-grade explosives such as Semtex or C-4 are relatively insensitive compounds. They need a ‘kick’ to enable the chemical reaction to take place, which results in a rapid release of energy or explosion.”

    So the detonator pin that Bond buries in the C-4 would contain a small amount of "primary" explosive, triggered by heat from an electrical circuit. In the film, Bond initiates the blast by twisting the Omega’s bezel, which would send a signal to the HRV pin, causing a current to flow to a small wire. This instantly turns white-hot (think incandescent light bulbs) setting off the detonator charge, which in turn gives the energetic shock needed to make the main lump of C-4 go up. Is it realistic? Hughes agrees the principle is sound enough.

    CR: 8/10
    Primary and secondary charge
    An example of 007’s watch containing both primary detonator and secondary explosive is found in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), which also features an X-ray of the Seamaster in the credits, showing its elegant inner workings in all their mechanical glory.

    Onboard the megalomaniac media tycoon Elliot Carver’s stealth ship, Bond slides a small, flat unit from the side of his watch. This has a coin-sized explosive charge at its center, with a detonator contained in the outer casing.

    Bond assembles an IED – Improvised Explosive Device – by placing a hand grenade, with the pin removed, in a glass jar. The fit is tight enough to stop the safety handle of the grenade flying off. Bond tapes the portable micro-bomb to the jar. Later on, Bond transmits a signal, using the Omega’s bezel, to the unit. The small amount of plastic explosive in the gizmo is just enough to shatter glass, so the jar breaks open. This allows the grenade handle to release, causing a conflagration that ignites the drums of flammable liquid that all super-villains carelessly leave lying around. Simple.

    CR: 9/10
    The grappling hook
    A grappling hook and cable fired from a pistol appeared in the opening sequence of GoldenEye during the dam dive, but by The World Is Not Enough (1999), the device was incorporated into Bond’s Omega (along with ultra-bright micro-LEDs which provide illumination when Bond is stuck inside an inflatable anti-avalanche sphere). This piston system really would have been a challenge to Q Branch. But as ATO Kim Hughes pointed out to me, there is already a weapon that fires hooks trailing a cable: the taser.

    Tasers use compressed gas to deploy the lines down which the electric shock travels, but shrinking the cylinders enough to fit into a Seamaster is quite an undertaking. However, ultra-compact micro- and pico-cylinders do exist and are used in medicine in self-injection devices and inhalers. Whether they would generate enough pressure to drive a piton in concrete, however, is doubtful.

    The BolaWrap100 uses a blank .380 cartridge as a propellant and the tether exits the weapon at 200m a second, faster than the human eye can see clearly. The drawback for Bond and his Omega? The BolaWrap is the size of a mobile phone. Something tinier is needed.

    Enter the ANT, or actuating nano-transducer, which releases remarkable amounts of energy from gold particles which fly apart when hit by a beam from a minuscule nano-laser.

    “It’s like an explosion,” said Dr. Tao Ding from Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory. “We have hundreds of gold balls flying apart in a millionth of a second when water molecules inflate the polymers around them.” Such an explosion could be used to propel out the barb, while the same technology could be harnessed to produce an ANT “engine” to power the rotating bezel that rewinds the line attached to the hook.

    And the cable needed to support the weight of 007? A 2020 update on the Omega would not use high-tensile steel (too bulky to incorporate in the watch) but rather a new material, such as Dyneema (15 times stronger than steel) – or perhaps one of the materials that laboratories are currently experimenting with, such as a filament that mimic the properties of spider silk in terms of tensile strength. The US Army, for example, is testing fibers called "Dragon Silk," produced from modified silkworms, which are strong enough to be woven into bulletproof vests.

    CR: 3/10 (for the moment)
    Primary explosive
    The Q Branch Omega watches were retired from active duty (other than for telling the time) for the first run of the Daniel Craig movies, but in Spectre (2015) one watch was up to its old tricks. When he is tortured by Blofeld, Bond manages to remove his NATO-strapped Seamaster and spins the crown, so that the hour markers flash red. This initiates a countdown that culminates in a blast which blows Blofeld off his chair and causes significant facial damage to the villain.

    CR: 6/10

    Kim Hughes pointed out that it would be difficult to pack enough explosive into the Spectre watch to cause such a big bang. However, he did concede that modern hard PBX (Plastic Bonded Explosive) could be machined or cast – complete with engraving – to replace entirely the case back of the Seamaster (it would, he adds, also need a detonator and a battery to be fully operational). He reckoned this might be enough to, say, blow off a hand. Whether one would want to walk around all day wearing such a timepiece is debatable. Of course, he is assuming that Q wouldn’t have access to types of PBX more powerful than those commercially available.

    CR: 6/10
    And for its next trick?
    A lightweight titanium Omega Seamaster Diver 300M chronometer will certainly play a part in the next 007 outing, No Time To Die. Rumor has it that Q Branch has been hard at work creating new surprises to incorporate into Bond’s trusty timepiece. For the moment, exactly what those surprises are is under wraps. Time will tell.
    'GoldenEye' (1995)
    Pierce Brosnan debuts as 007 with an Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2541.80.00 on his wrist. It comes with built-in laser and limpet mine activator button on the HRV (Helium Release Valve).

    'Tomorrow Never Dies' (1997)
    James Bond sports an Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80.00, the automatic version of the quartz watch seen in GoldenEye. This Q-enhanced model has a concealed, removable explosive unit in the case, detonated by the watch’s HRV.

    'The World is Not Enough' (1999)
    This Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80.00 has high-power illumination on the watch face and a grappling hook and wire, the latter capable of holding the weight of a spy.

    'Die Another Day' (2002)
    Another Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80.00 for Brosnan’s fourth film. The HRV is an explosive primer; there is another built-in laser.

    'Casino Royale' (2005)
    Daniel Craig’s debut as Bond involves him wearing two Omegas: the Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2220.80.00 and the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 2900.50.91.

    'Quantum of Solace' (2008)
    No timepiece trickery in the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 2201.50.00 worn by Bond.

    'Skyfall' (2012)
    Once more a duo of new models on 007’s wrist, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. and the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ref.

    'Spectre' (2015)
    Three watches for this outing: the Seamaster Aqua Terra Ref., the Seamaster 300 Ref. and, briefly, a vintage Omega Chronograph Ref. ST. 101.010. The Seamaster 300, if primed correctly, is actually an explosive device, with plenty of bang for the buck.

  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Scientists Discover That Short People Are Angrier
    And More Violent Than Tall People
    By Danielle de Wolfe 25 August 2015
    Short men, Ian Fleming once said, “caused all the trouble in the world".
    Having spent years working in intelligence before creating some of the most famous fictional villains known to literature, the 6ft author knew more than most about megalomaniacs. But was he onto something? A new study by US government scientists suggests he was.
    Scientists at the Centres for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, recently quizzed 600 men aged between 18 and 50 on the perception of male gender, self-image and behaviour in relation to drug-taking, violence and crime for a government-led study, finding that men who feel the least masculine are most at risk of committing violent acts.

    The study found that men who considered themselves less masculine, or suffering from 'male discrepancy stress' (in which they feel they are lacking in traditional masculine norms than the average man) were nearly three times more likely to have committed violent assaults with a weapon or assaults resulting in injury.

    Last year, a team of researchers at Oxford University also claimed ‘Short Man Syndrome’ really does exist, asserting that reducing a person’s height can increase feelings of vulnerability and also raise levels of paranoia. Also known as ‘Napoleon Complex’, ‘short man syndrome’ is not exactly a new notion, with the phrase often wheeled out to describe any number of diminutive diplomats making aggressive policies, and, well, Tom Cruise.

    Regardless, as society becomes increasingly superficial over body standards for both sexes, height appears to be an increasingly taboo topic for many men, almost to the point of an unspoken male body shaming.

    And who knows, perhaps these studies such as the one in Georgia are too small, too caught up with studying fringes of society with volatile characteristics to be able to accurately paint males of smaller stature.

    After all, Napoleon himself actually measured at 5ft 7, roughly the average height of his day. Which, if you want some perspective, is an inch taller than action star Jet Li.

    And you didn’t think you’d be reading that little fact nugget today did you?

  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    Fact is Napoleon was actually not that small:
    At 1.57 metres (5 ft 2 in), he was the height of an average French male but short for an aristocrat or officer (part of why he was assigned to the artillery, since at the time the infantry and cavalry required more commanding figures)
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    Gerard wrote: »

    Then someone should adjust wikipedia... I also thought he was taller. Apparently the British still want to keep him small ;-)
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    James Bond villains blamed for nuclear's bad image
    See the complete article here:
    By Sean Coughlan | BBC News education correspondent
    Published 12 January 2012
    The evil Dr No was foiled by James Bond: Sean Connery and Ursula Andress in the 1962 movie

    The evil villains in James Bond movies are being blamed for casting a long-lasting shadow over the image of nuclear power, says the president of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
    Prof David Phillips says that Dr No, with his personal nuclear reactor, helped to create a "remorselessly grim" reputation for atomic energy.

    Prof Phillips was speaking ahead of the 50th anniversary of the movie.
    The chemistry organisation says it wants a "renaissance" in nuclear power.

    Prof Phillips says the popularity of the Dr No movie from 1962 created an enduringly negative image of nuclear power - as something dangerous that could be wielded by megalomaniacs with aspirations to world domination.

    Unfair image
    The villain of the movie, planning mass destruction from his secret Caribbean hideout, eventually dies in the cooling pool of his nuclear reactor, having been foiled by James Bond, played by Sean Connery.

    Against a background of the cold war and a nuclear arms race, the movie showed a world of intelligence agencies, glamorous spies, secretive assassins and underground laboratories.
    But the Royal Society of Chemistry, which promotes the work of chemical sciences, says that it also meant that millions of people who saw the film saw nuclear technology being presented as a "barely-controllable force for evil".
    Later Bond villains, as part of their cat-stroking, laser-pointing, world-destroying repertoire, also had nuclear ambitions.
    When there are worries about nuclear safety - such as following the tsunami in Japan - the Royal Society of Chemistry fears that the public reaction is still shaped by such emotive, negative associations.

    As such, Prof Phillips says that when nuclear power is discussed "it is not at all surprising that the public at home and abroad are sceptical".

    "But the RSC asserts that nuclear power has to be part of the future national energy mix, in which it plays a major role, complemented by renewable sources. Fossil fuels have to be eradicated for people to live in a healthy environment."
    "Let's say yes to nuclear and no to Dr No's nonsense."
    This message was not accepted by the Green Party - which argued that Bond movies reflected concerns rather than created them.

    "Although James Bond is fiction, the truth is that nuclear power is dangerous, dirty and unsafe," said spokesperson, Penny Kemp.
    "It is improbable to think that people's perceptions have been influenced solely by The World is Not Enough, but this film came after the Chernobyl disaster so the film was merely picking up on a real fear people have of nuclear power. And rightly so."

    Richard George of Greenpeace said: "A handful of Bond films haven't tarnished the nuclear industry's reputation. They've managed to do that all by themselves.
    "I don't think they've got a top secret fake volcanic island though. But if they did, it would probably be cheaper to build than a nuclear power station."

  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Smoking related imagery absent from only one James
    Bond movie to date
    Bond himself no longer smokes, but is still exposed to second-hand smoke
    Date: January 16, 2017
    Source: BMJ
    Smoking related imagery is conspicuous by its absence from only one Bond movie since 007 first graced cinema screens in 1962, finds a new analysis.
    Smoking related imagery is conspicuous by its absence from only one Bond movie since 007 first graced cinema screens in 1962, finds an analysis in Tobacco Control.

    And while Bond himself has stubbed out his last cigarette, with no smoking after 2002, he continues to be exposed to second-hand smoke, including from his sexual partners, the findings show.

    Given the links between smoking in movies and teens taking it up, and that the James Bond series of movies is the longest running and highest ever grossing movie franchise globally, these findings are of concern, say the researchers.

    While several studies have delved into various aspects of Bond's lifestyle, there hasn't been any detailed consideration of smoking related content and its potential health impact since the spy first lit up in 1962.
    The researchers therefore analysed these themes in the 24 Bond movies screened by Eon Productions, from 1962 (Dr No) up to the latest, Spectre, in 2015.
    They found that Bond's on screen smoking peaked during the 1960s, when he puffed away in 83% of the movies produced in that decade, after which it declined until he took his last puff in 2002 (Die Another Day).

    When he was a smoker, he lit up, on average, within 20 minutes of the start of the film.

    While smoking has declined among Bond's sexual partners over the decades, it is still happening, as seen most recently in 2012 in Skyfall.

    Smoking by his sexual partners would have exposed Bond to considerable levels of second- hand cigarette smoke, although the typically brief nature of his romantic liaisons would have at least curbed some of the impact, suggest the researchers.

    Smoking related spy gadgetry had a relatively short lifespan in Bond movies, peaking in the 1970s in 80% of the films produced during that decade, but never to be seen again after 1989.

    And cigarette branding featured in two movies: in 1979 (Marlboro in Moonraker); and in 1989 (Lark in License to Kill), as part of a product placement deal with Philip Morris to open up the Japanese cigarette market.

    Overall, smoking related imagery was absent in only one movie in 2006 (Casino Royale). In the most recent movie, in 2015, none of Bond's major associates smoked, but other characters still did, adding up to an estimated 261 million 'tobacco impressions' for 10-29 year olds in the USA alone.

    The researchers note that there have been attempts in the Bond series to mention/depict the hazards of smoking, the first of which came in 1967 (You Only Live Twice), with subsequent references made in 1974, 1979, 1997. And in 1999, Miss Moneypenny hurls Bond's gift to her of a cigar into the bin in disgust (The World Is Not Enough).

    But while there have been some "favourable downward smoking related trends in this movie series, the persisting smoking content remains problematic from a public health perspective, especially given the popularity of the series," write the researchers.

    And they suggest that while smoking seems to be at odds with Bond's need for physical fitness and his level of educational attainment, it does fit with his disregard for other risks to his health.

    After all, 007 has dodged thousands of bullets, he drinks a lot of alcohol, and often drives very fast, they point out. And that's without a goodly proportion of his sexual partners (nine out of 60) attempting to disable, capture, or kill him.....
    Story Source:
    Materials provided by BMJ. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

    Journal Reference:
    Nick Wilson, Anne Tucker. Die Another Day, James Bond's smoking over six decades. Tobacco Control, January 2017 DOI: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2016-053246

    BMJ. "Smoking related imagery absent from only one James Bond movie to date: Bond himself no longer smokes, but is still exposed to second-hand smoke." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2017. <>.

  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    edited January 2021 Posts: 13,889
    Overall, smoking related imagery was absent in only one movie in 2006 (Casino Royale).

    Challenge accepted!

    Madagascan Boston and Oxford cigarette flip-top packs of 20 *with governmental warnings*, on display at the Designing 007 exhibition at the Barbican:


    A pack of Bostons are seen in the Nambutu embassy chief's desk drawer as he reaches for his gun - blink and you'll miss it:



    I have an unfolded/unused Boston cigarette pack in my collection, sans warnings:


    Haven't spotted the Oxfords yet - I always thought they could be in Mollaka's back pack, along with the various IDs and credit cards made for his character.

  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    But while there have been some "favourable downward smoking related trends in this movie series, the persisting smoking content remains problematic from a public health perspective, especially given the popularity of the series," write the researchers.
    It's this kind of nonsense that's undermining science. What do they think teens think: 'it's cool to bed smoking women'? Bond lives in a world where things happen. I know. It's terrible.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Live Like Bond: Make your coffee
    with James Bond's Chemex
    By Charlie Burton | 30 January 2019

    GQ Hype’s new series ‘Live like Bond’ explores the clothes, accessories and accoutrements used by James Bond that you can buy in real life. Want 007’s lifestyle? Here’s where to start...

    Everybody knows how James Bond takes his Martini, but what about his coffee? From Russia With Love offers some clues. In the film version (1963) we learn that he likes it “medium sweet”. In the book (1957), however, we get fuller details:
    "Breakfast was Bond's favourite meal of the day. When he was stationed in London it was always the same. It consisted of very strong coffee, from De Bry in New Oxford Street, brewed in an American Chemex, of which he drank two large cups, black and without sugar. The single egg, in the dark blue egg cup with a gold ring round the top, was boiled for three and a third minutes."
    De Bry is a reference to De Bry de Paris, a confectioners that also sold coffee, located at 64 New Oxford Street. The shop has long since closed down – these days, fittingly, the address belongs to a Pret A Manger – but Chemex is still going strong. The brand's hourglass-like coffee maker is considered an American design classic. It is made solely of non-porous glass, in order to keep the taste pure, and the company says that the brewing method lets you “make coffee as strong as you like without bitterness...Chemex brewed coffee can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for reheating without losing its flavor”.

    So how does it work? First you put a specially designed Chemex filter in the top half and add scoops of ground coffee. You then wet the grounds with hot water and leave them to “bloom” for 30 seconds. Next, you slowly pour hot water over the grounds until the desired amount of coffee has filtered through to the base. Finally, you remove and discard the filter and spent grounds, and pour the coffee through the spout.

    History: As you might guess from the name and shape, the Chemex was invented by a chemist. In 1941, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm drew on his lab experience to design a borosilicate glass vessel that was non-porous and a double bonded filter paper to use within. The style was a Bauhaus-inspired riff on scientific equipment – complete with a wooden collar to make it easy to handle when hot. Today, a Chemex sits in the New York Museum Of Modern Art. You can buy one in the UK through the online coffee emporium HasBean.

    What it’s like to use: We think the large ones look a little odd, but Chemex makes smaller vessels (big enough for three cups) that will enhance any sideboard or home office. Sure, using it is a touch more fiddly than a French press but… is it just our imagination or does this coffee taste really, really good?

    £37 for the Chemex, £8 for 100 filters.

  • Posts: 5,797
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    In Battles of Man Versus Machine, James
    Bond Always Wins
    We love the suave character because he soothes our anxieties about
    the power of humans in an increasingly technological world
    Detail from a promotional poster for Thunderball showing James Bond escaping with the help of a jet pack.
    (Courtesy of Boing Boing)
    By André Millard, Zócalo Public Square | | July 11, 2019

    Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels have been enjoyed by a global audience since the 1950s, and the films constitute the longest running and most profitable franchise in the history of the movies. This fictional character is a global icon admired by millions.

    What explains 007’s enduring appeal?

    Adventure, guns, and girls, surely. But Bond’s long-standing popularity can’t be separated from our relationship with technology. The Bond character consistently embodies our ever-changing fears about the threat of new technology and assuages our anxieties about the decline of human agency in a world increasingly run by machines.

    Ian Fleming made Bond a modernizing hero, and the centrality of his gadgets in the films have established Bond, armed with watches capable of creating magnetic fields or Aston Martins with hidden guns, as a master of technology, a practitioner of high-tech equipment in the service of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service. But the reason why we, the audience, admire him and follow his never-ending career is to be found in his inevitable conflict with the machine.

    Whatever the threat posed by the technology of the future, we are reassured by Bond’s example that one heroic individual (plus an attractive woman) can return us to normality. Bond is the man who saves the world from a nuclear holocaust by the turn of a screwdriver or pressing the right button on a control panel.

    Fleming, Bond’s creator, was born at the beginning of the 20th century and was part of a generation of technological enthusiasts—optimistic young modernists who believed that the future could be transformed by new and wonderful technology. Fleming’s generation embraced the motor car and airplane, and Fleming enjoyed sports cars, cameras, guns, scuba diving, and air travel and made sure his alter ego did too.

    Fleming deliberately introduced the gadgets into his stories to give them a sense of authenticity and to endorse the products he admired. He also portrayed Bond, a gentleman of a jet-setting age, as an expert in the technology of espionage, and the tools of his trade eventually became embedded into his persona. As soon as the producers of the Bond films realized that the gadgets were a major selling point to audiences, they filled each successive film with more photogenic and prescient technology. Over the years, Bond films introduced audiences to wonders such as laser beams, GPS, and biometrics well before they appeared in the real world. Producers claimed that the Bond films represented “science fact, not science fiction,” but they usually mined the latter for the latest diabolical machine that Bond had to face.

    The villains’ wicked plans for world domination also reflected the changing technological threat. Fleming’s involvement in the hunt for German scientists in the dying days of World War II introduced him to chemical and biological weapons, which he considered as insidious and terrifying as the atomic bomb. He devoted a chapter of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service to a detailed account of such weapons, and the film involves deadly strains of toxins that can exterminate entire species of plants and animals. Auric Goldfinger brags that his nerve gas GB is “a more effective instrument of destruction than the hydrogen bomb.”

    Fleming’s world was also changing dramatically when he started writing in the 1950s, and his enthusiasm for technology was undermined by its revolutionary effects in the business of espionage. His books were essentially an exercise in nostalgia because Bond represented a dying breed in the intelligence service—his tough guy derring-do was being replaced by the quiet work of technicians who eavesdropped on telephone calls or analyzed satellite images.

    Fleming also grew very much afraid of the new weapons of mass destruction, especially an accidental or criminal nuclear explosion. And this threat was uppermost in Fleming’s mind when he pitched an idea for a Bond film: An organized crime group steals an atomic bomb from Britain and blackmails the world for its return. Eon productions took up this narrative and a nuclear holocaust hangs over Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, Octopussy, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The World is Not Enough. The films kept up with the advance of bomb technology, from the conventional finned bombs in Thunderball to the Polaris intercontinental ballistic missiles in The Spy Who Loved Me. The menacing, cumbersome machine in Goldfinger evolves into smaller and more dangerous devices in Octopussy and The World is Not Enough, enabling “the most deadly saboteur in the history of the world—the little man with the heavy suitcase,” as Fleming wrote in Moonraker.

    The Bond films would move away from the fictional villains of Fleming’s youth—the evil “others” like Fu Manchu who inspired Dr. Julius No—to smooth businessmen like Karl Stromberg in The Spy Who Loved Me. To this day, the films reflect a 1960s distrust of big business. Take Dominic Greene of Quantum of Solace, a villain who hides behind his environmentally friendly business. The faces and ethnicities of the bad guys move with the times; thus the thuggish Nazis of the early novels were replaced by more refined European industrialists in the 1970s, Latino drug kingpins in the 1980s, and Russian criminal syndicates and hackers in the 1990s.

    The space race of the 1960s coincided with the first boom in Bond films, and so 007 duly moved into orbit and flew spaceships and shuttles in his fight against communists and ex-Nazis armed with nuclear-tipped missiles. Roger Moore as Bond faced the newest military technology of the 1980s—computer-based targeting systems and portable nuclear weapons—and by mid-decade he had to deal with the dark side of the digital revolution. A View to a Kill was released in 1985, a year after Apple introduced the Mac personal computer, and the film reflected the rise of the integrated circuit and its growing influence on daily life. The plot involved cornering the market for microchips by creating a natural disaster in Silicon Valley.

    The second boom in the 007 franchise came in the 1990s with the success of Pierce Brosnan as a Bond who fought the bad guys in the new world of interconnectivity—the military-industrial complex of the 1960s had become the military-internet complex. In Tomorrow Never Dies the villain is no “oriental other,” but an English media tycoon. Elliot Carver is bent on world domination, not unlike the media moguls Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch, for whom, as Carver points out, “words are the weapons, satellites, the new artillery.”

    We love Bond because he always triumphs against the machine. No matter how futuristic and dangerous the threat, Fleming’s reliance on individual ingenuity and improvisation still wins the day. In The Spy Who Loved Me, it only takes two screwdrivers to disassemble the nuclear warhead of a Polaris missile, and it only requires a few seconds of examining a software manual to reprogram two intercontinental ballistic missile launches—the first recorded instance of one-finger typing saving the world.

    Today, the fight against evil has moved into the internet and cyberspace, against malicious hackers and digitally enhanced villains, but in the end, tranquility is always restored by a hero who wrests power from the machine and puts it back into the hands of his grateful audience.

    André Millard is a professor of history at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the author most recently of Equipping James Bond: Guns, Gadgets, and Technological Enthusiasm.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Preliminary investigation offers possible cause of Arecibo Observatory telescope collapse
    By Meghan Bartels | 24 January 2021
    An image of Arecibo Observatory's iconic radio telescope before damage that began in August 2020; the curved azimuth arm and the dome suspended from it are both visible.
    (Image: © University of Central Florida)

    An ongoing investigation of the December collapse of the iconic radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico offers early evidence that a manufacturing issue may have contributed to the failure.

    The telescope's massive science platform, which weighed in at 900 tons, was suspended above the vast radio dish by three dozen supporting cables. But in August 2020, one of those cables slipped out of its socket; before the failure could be repaired, a second cable snapped outright in November. The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), which owns the site, determined that the platform was too unstable to safely repair and decided to decommission the instrument. Before that could happen, the telescope collapsed on its own on Dec. 1.

    Engineers have been investigating the cables since August, and crews have been cleaning up the debris and monitoring environmental concerns since the collapse,observatory director Francisco Cordova said during a panel discussion held on Jan. 21. "The site cleanup and the debris removal really is ongoing," Cordova told the panel, which is focused on small solar system objects like asteroids in order to inform the National Academies committee that's putting together the document that will shape planetary science priorities for the next decade. "In general, I think that is moving in the right direction."

    Cordova noted that the telescope's azimuth arm, which helped steer its instruments, and the hanging dome suspended from it that held antennas and the facility's radar transmitter, have already been removed from the site. Environmental engineers have also collected two types of potentially hazardous materials that were used on the platform, he said.

    The next priority is to clear out remaining platform debris; to reach that material, work crews have deconstructed part of the massive Arecibo reflector dish, which measures 1,000 feet (305 meters) across. The observatory team is also evaluating how much of the dish itself can be rescued, Cordova said.

    "There's still a lot of discussions as to how much of the primary reflector can be saved and how do we go about that," Cordova said. "Our focus right now is the safe removal of the platform structure, and then we'll look at it from there."
    Simultaneously, two forensic investigations are evaluating what caused the telescope's collapse. One investigation focuses on the so-called auxiliary cables. These 12 cables were added in the 1990s, when the observatory installed the massive hanging dome that distinguishes the telescope's appearance in the movie "Contact" from its previous cameo in James Bond's "GoldenEye." The first cable to fail was one of these auxiliary cables, which slipped out of its socket where it connected to one of the three supporting towers surrounding the dish.
    "Preliminary investigation has revealed that there was a manufacturing error in those cables — in particular, the socketing procedure wasn't done appropriately, and that led to advanced degradation of that particular structural element," Cordova said. "But the final forensics investigation is still to be completed."

    A second forensic investigation focuses on the main cables, which are original to the telescope's construction in the early 1960s. It was one of these main cables that snapped in November, despite engineers' estimates that it was only carrying about 60% of the weight it should have been able to withstand.

    As they work, site engineers are separating debris that could be relevant to the two forensic examinations. In addition, Cordova said that personnel are evaluating debris being removed for potential historic importance so that items can be saved.

    Both the clean-up and investigation processes are ongoing, Cordova emphasized; in addition, the NSF is working separately on understanding the collapse and evaluating the site's future, including for a report that Congress has requested by late February.

    And the answer may never be crystal clear. "Certainly, there's typically not a single item that contributed but a multitude of items that contributed to the particular failure," Cordova said. In addition to the facility's age, the past few years have been hard on Puerto Rico. In 2017, Hurricane Maria battered the island, and over the course of 2020, it experienced more than 10,000 earthquakes.

    "Basically, we were shaking the entire time; that certainly could have been a factor," Cordova said. "That's being still analyzed by the engineering teams."

    Email Meghan Bartels at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

    Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: [email protected].

  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    A very sad ending to an iconic Bond location.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Cleanup of Arecibo Observatory's collapsed
    radio telescope seen from space
    By Elizabeth Howell 3 days ago

    Satellite images show what's left of the iconic observatory.
    The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which collapsed in December 2020, is seen from space in this satellite image captured Feb. 23, 2021. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies)

    The sad work of dismantling the remains of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is underway.

    Fresh satellite images from Maxar Technologies from Feb. 23 show work crews removing part of the structure and clearing the land for safety reasons, after the telescope collapsed Dec. 1, 2020.

    The National Science Foundation (which stewarded the telescope since the 1970s) had no updates about Arecibo's status recently on Twitter or on its press releases. It announced the decommissioning of the famed observatory back in November, however, due to hurricane and cable damage deemed too dangerous to repair. The new pictures are therefore no surprise.

    The collapse, documented in pictures and video, saw the 900-ton platform that hung above the radio dish suddenly falling 450 feet (140 meters) into the structure below at 8 a.m. local time. A preliminary investigation is ongoing for the cause amid the cleanup; a first update Jan. 21 from NSF suggested manufacturing error in the cables may have contributed to the collapse.

    "We at NSF are extremely grateful that the safety zones were adequate and that nobody was physically hurt," Ashley Zauderer, the program director for the Arecibo Observatory at the NSF, said during a virtual town hall event held separately Jan. 11 at the 237th conference of the American Astronomical Society.

    "I say 'physically hurt' because we do want to clearly communicate that we understand that this was a very traumatic event, impacting a lot of people," Zauderer added. "There is a lot of hurt."
    A closeup view of the satellite image shows cleanup crew working to dissemble the Arecibo Observatory. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies)
    The telescope's astronomical achievements are vast, but include scanning asteroids that came close to Earth, examining exoplanets and once sending a message to extraterrestrials in 1974. The public was also familiar with Arecibo's work through sci-fi films in the 1990s such as "Goldeneye" of the James Bond franchise, and the alien-focused "Contact" that starred a young Matthew McConaughey decades before his more famous space flick "Interstellar" (2014).
    Arecibo's location in Puerto Rico brought tourism and scientific employment to the island associated with the telescope's work; how to secure that for the future is still being discussed. A recent editorial in Astronomy magazine suggested selling off pieces of Arecibo (in the context of a growing, worldwide space memorabilia market) to contribute to a fund for education and outreach at the former facility.

    Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,524
    Up yours, Alec!
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Bill Nye Decides: James Bond Car vs Electric
    James Bond drives the best cars on the planet.
    There's no way an electric car could out perform one, right? Bill Nye Decides.

    Aston Martin Rapide E: James Bond Gets an Electric Car
    James Bond goes electric in Aston Martin Rapide E while its production version was unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show this week.
    Let's talk about it as I take your questions and comments during the LIVE stream!


  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Science News from research organizations
    Powered By Your Liquor Cabinet, 'Biofuel Cell' Could
    Replace Rechargeable Batteries
    Date: March 25, 2003
    Source: American Chemical Society
    From scientists at Saint Louis University comes a gadget fit for a James Bond movie. Imagine 007 sauntering up to the bar, ordering his trademark martini (shaken, not stirred) and, before taking a sip, topping off his cell phone with a few drops of alcohol to recharge the battery.
    NEW ORLEANS, March 27 — From scientists at Saint Louis University comes a gadget fit for a James Bond movie. Imagine 007 sauntering up to the bar, ordering his trademark martini (shaken, not stirred) and, before taking a sip, topping off his cell phone with a few drops of alcohol to recharge the battery.
    Researchers have developed a new type of biofuel cell — a battery that runs off of alcohol and enzymes — that could replace the rechargeable batteries in everything from laptops to Palm Pilots. Instead of plugging into a fixed power outlet and waiting, these new batteries can be charged instantly with a few milliliters of alcohol. The new findings were presented today at the 225th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, in New Orleans.

    Biofuel cells have been studied for nearly half a century, but the technology has not advanced to the point of practical use. Instead of using expensive metals to catalyze the power-producing reaction, these cells use enzymes — molecules found in all living things that speed up the body's chemical processes.

    "The only items consumed in a biofuel cell are the fuel and oxygen from the air," says Shelley Minteer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of chemistry at Saint Louis University who presented the research. "Given the proper environment, an enzyme should last for long periods of time. It is creating this environment in a fuel cell that researchers have struggled with for years," Minteer says.

    Enzymes are extremely sensitive to changes in pH and temperature, and even slight departures from ideal conditions can lead to inactivation of the enzymes, producing a short supply of power.

    The typical approach to overcoming this barrier has been to immobilize the enzymes by attaching them to the electrodes, but they still tend to decay too quickly to be useful. Minteer and her colleagues coated the electrodes with a polymer that has specially tailored micelles — pores in which the enzymes find an ideal "micro-environment" to thrive. "The enzyme has everything it needs to function for a very long period of time instead of denaturing like it normally would," Minteer says. "Other biofuel cell studies have had lifetimes of a few days; our technique allows for enzyme activity over several weeks with no significant power decay. With proper optimization, these biofuel cells could last up to a month without recharging."

    Most other biofuel cells have used methanol as a fuel, but the researchers chose ethanol because it supports more enzyme activity. Ethanol is abundant and cheap to make, relying on the well-established corn industry for its production. It is also far less volatile than hydrogen, which has seen a great deal of interest as a potential alternative fuel for automobiles.
    Minteer and her colleagues are focusing on small-scale applications, with the preliminary fuel cells being no bigger than five square centimeters — about the size of a postage stamp. "We've tested probably 30 to 50 of the ethanol cells," Minteer says. They have successfully run their cells with vodka, gin, white wine and flat beer ("The fuel cell didn't like the carbonation," Minteer says).
    While consumer applications are still a few years off, "these results show the applicability of biofuel cell technology and help move the research from a purely academic endeavor to a more practical technology," Minteer says.
    Story Source:
    Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
    Cite This Page:
    American Chemical Society. "Powered By Your Liquor Cabinet, 'Biofuel Cell' Could Replace Rechargeable Batteries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2003. <>.

  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 13,889
    Q approves of that concept.

  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    6699906670066.jpg satellite_p
    Moon landing confession: James
    Bond creator’s era-defining role
    in Apollo 11 exposed
    MOON LANDING technology used in the 1969 Apollo 11 mission was the result of the most cutting-edge science the world had ever seen - and it was made possible by secrets obtained by the man who later created James Bond, can reveal.
    By Callum Hoare
    PUBLISHED: Thu, Jun 11, 2020

    On July 21, 1969, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong completed John F. Kennedy’s goal of putting man on the Moon by the end of the Sixties when they jumped off the lunar lander and buried the US flag into the lunar surface. Their actions, dubbed “a giant leap for mankind” by Mr Armstrong came after years of work by thousands of scientists during the Space Race, in which the US fell behind the Soviet Union – who had launched the first artificial satellite – Sputnik 1 – and put the first human in orbit – Yuri Gagarin. This Cold War battle to achieve firsts in spaceflight capability had its origins in the ballistic missile-based nuclear arms race between the two nations which was born out of World War 2 and both sides had German engineers working as specialists in their teams.
    But, the Americans had the golden ticket, a series of blueprints recovered by a covert British Commando team known as 30 Assault Unit during the Allied invasion of German-occupied Western Europe more than two decades earlier, led by none other than the author of James Bond – Ian Fleming.

    Edward Abel Smith, the author behind Ian Fleming's Inspiration, has told how the writer came to uncover Wernher von Braun’s V2 rocket design – a devastating weapon that wreaked havoc on Britain, but at its heart, a powerful motor capable of taking the rocket more than 50 miles above the Earth in a trajectory of some 120 miles.

    Mr Abel Smith said: “Fleming got involved by accident, he set up a group of commandos which were called the 30 Assault Unit and his case for this was that the Nazis had a similar intelligence-gathering group.

    “They would be at the front line and as the enemy were retreating, like when the Nazis swarmed through Europe and into France, they would find and destroy as much information, data and equipment as they could.
    Ian Fleming played a vital role in the Apollo series (Image: GETTY)
    The V-2 rocket caused devastation in WW2 (Image: GETTY)
    “Fleming got hold of information and details about this group and decided that naval intelligence should have something similar.

    “So he wrote a proposal for what he called a Naval Intelligence Commando Unit and he did this on March 20, 1942, as planning for the Allies was ongoing.”

    Mr Abel Smith went on to reveal how Mr Fleming’s unit was a disaster at first, with an unsuccessful mission to Dieppe where his men were almost killed, but things soon turned around with success in North Africa during Operation Torch.

    But, there was also a very personal reason why Mr Fleming wanted to head to Normandy, too.

    Mr Abel Smith added: “Due to the success, Fleming was told to prepare for Operation Overlord and his planning started on May 1, 1944 – 37 days before D-Day.
    confession exposed
    Wernher von Braun (Image: GETTY)
    “One of his main targets was the V1 and the V2 rockets – these were the reprisal weapons used by the Nazis – self-propelled weapons fired over Britain.
    “But it got particularly personal for Fleming because he was, at the time, dating Muriel Wright and she was out on her motorbike picking up cigarettes for Fleming and she was struck by some shrapnel from a V1 bomb that killed her instantly.

    “It was a real fluke death, nothing else was damaged around her, the only reason they found her was because her dog was barking at the door four days after her death.

    “It became personal for him, the V1 and the V2 rocket were very much his targets and for his group, so they went over on Operation Overlord, landed in Normandy, worked their way through France.”
    Mr Abel Smith went on to reveal how the unit came across the rockets in June 1944 but made an even more astonishing revelation as a result.
    Mr Fleming's unit obtained the information after the Normandy landings (Image: GETTY)
    It would come to be vital to the Cold War (Image: GETTY)
    He added: “They made some pretty astounding discoveries, one of which was the first V1 launch site, it looked like a backwards ski jump, but this was the first time the British had come across the technology and they were able to take the measurements.

    “Just to put it into perspective, you’re talking about a 25-foot rocket that has about an 18-foot wingspan, it’s a pretty hefty bit of kit.

    “They fired over 650 V1 rockets in June alone into London and one of those killed Muriel Wright.

    “The next big find of Fleming’s was the V2 rocket – a V1 on steroids – the V2 could fly 200 miles and would fly over 3,000mph which was unheard of at the time.

    “They were put out of action because of the Allied invasion and interestingly more people died building them that as a result of them being dropped.”
    The rocket was capable of launching 50 miles high (Image: GETTY)
    The technology would be used by NASA in Apollo 11 (Image: GETTY)

    The team were able to arrest one of the key scientists of the V2 rocket project, Hellmuth Walter, who led them to Tambach Castle near Nuremberg, where troves of documents were uncovered by the British on the rocket designs.

    Mr Abel Smith said: “They captured Tambach, two days before the Russians arrived, so all of the plans and the blueprint for the V1 and the V2 weapons were in these archives, as well as the scientist they had captured.
    “They were quickly whisked away by Fleming’s men and a few days later the Russians arrived and a lot of the information used and the launch site became part of the foundation of the Apollo rocket.

    “What I would argue is, had Fleming’s men arrived two or three days later, all of that information would have fallen into the Russian hands and there would have been a really different outcome from the Apollo Space Programme.

    “Unbeknown to Fleming at the time he had helped the Americans.”

    Even more incredible is that Mr Fleming’s men should not have even been in the area at the time.

    Mr Abel Smith continued: “The main find by the assault unit was the archives at Tambach and it actually sat within the Red Army zone, so Fleming’s men had to load it onto six three-tonne lorries and bring back all the data, but technically it should have been left for the Soviets.

    “The other point as well is when they captured it, they had come across it purely by accident and only four men got to the castle and they didn’t know what to do with it because it was so vast.

    “So they sent three of the four men off to try and get back-up to guard the castle and they left one commando, Jim Besant, to guard this whole building which had 68 windows on the front of it.

    “The Nazis had long surrendered but there were all these desperadoes running around and they try to set fire to it to burn down all the records, so it was pretty close to the wire.”

  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 13,889

    Yuri Gagarin can be seen in FRWL, in the Russian Consulate when Bond checks his watch. A framed photo like the one above.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,524
    Ow, very good find, @QBranch! I don't think I knew that.
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 13,889
    Lenin can be seen too.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,524
    Scientists mean more to me than politicians. ;-)
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 13,889
    Same here! A helluva lot more.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Spoiler Alert! James Bond’s Q Watch Gadget In ‘No Time To Die’ Revealed (By
    by Nick Gould

    The global COVID-19 pandemic is still causing problems more than a year after the first cases were detected. This has caused major disruptions to businesses worldwide, including the film industry. The closing of cinemas has been catastrophic on box office sales, drastically reducing revenue.
    Daniel Craig as 007 wearing the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition ‘No Time to Die
    (photo courtesy Greg Williams Photography)

    A major Hollywood film many have been eagerly waiting to see is No Time To Die, the twenty-fifth James Bond film, which will mark Daniel Craig’s last appearance as 007. The world premiere was originally scheduled for March 31, 2020 in London, but due to the pandemic the release of the film has been delayed several times, with the latest release date now scheduled for September 30, 2021.
    Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition ‘No Time to Die

    When production of the film began in 2019, I caught a glimpse of a new Omega watch on Craig’s wrist on photos in the media from filming and shared my thoughts on what it might be and what potential gadgets Q might have installed in Wrist Watching: Update On 007’s Potential Omega Seamaster On The Wrist Of Daniel Craig In The As Yet Untitled ‘Bond 25’.
    Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition ‘No Time to Die

    At the end of 2019, Omega unveiled the Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition, revealing the full specifications of the timepiece. In the film, Bond will be wearing a Seamaster housed in a 42 mm titanium case with matching mesh titanium bracelet. The watch offered to the public is the same one worn by Craig onscreen.

    In 2020, Omega released a video on its Instagram and YouTube accounts giving a hint as to what type of gadget Q – the head of the research and development division in the British Secret Service of the Bond film series – had installed in the timepiece, but still leaving us guessing.


    Fast forward to March 2021 when I saw a post on the official 007 Instagram account introducing a new deck of Top Trumps cards featuring gadgets from Q Branch.
    if you do not wish to know the gadget in Bond’s Omega in No Time To Die,
    The Q gadget in the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition of No Time to Die
    The post contained pictures of three cards. The third card revealed the gadget Q had installed in the Seamaster to aid Bond on his top-secret mission.

    It turned out to be the same gadget that I made an educated guess on back in my 2019 article: an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) device. It made sense to me at the time considering Bond’s Omega was mechanical and has a movement rated to withstand magnetism of 15,000 Gauss.
    Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition ‘No Time to Die’ on NATO strap

    It appears that twisting the helium escape valve counterclockwise and pressing it down activates an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that disables electronic devices.
    Engraved back of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition ‘No Time to Die

    While we still don’t know how the watch’s EMP device will come in handy, this is the first time that I can recall a Q gadget being revealed before the release of a 007 film.

    With all the delays to the film, and merchandise having already been produced, I think this may have slipped through unintentionally. However, a small but notable and fun spoiler has been revealed.
    Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition ‘No Time to Die

    Fingers crossed that No Time To Die really does get released in September 2021!

    For more information, please visit
    Quick Facts Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition
    • Case: 42 mm, titanium with helium escape valve
    • Movement: automatic Caliber 8806, magnetic resistance 15,000 Gauss, 35 jewels, 25,200 vph/3.5 Hz frequency, power reserve 55 hours; Master Chronometer certification
    • Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
    • Q Branch additions: twisting the helium escape valve counterclockwise and pressing it down activates an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that disables electronic devices
    • Price: €9,000
    • Remark: five-year warranty

  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    edited April 2021 Posts: 13,889
    I wonder where he got the information about the HEV activating the EMP, when the button Bond pushes is on the black housing Q adds to it. The HEV has the flashing LED light on it.

    I outfitted Bond's Planet Ocean with an EMP gadget for my (unfinished) fan story back in 2012. 3D model renders below of what it looked like:


    As a side note, my story featured digital number plates on Bond's car too, but it was a Lotus concept.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    "All in all, rather stocked." :D
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Skyfall makers 3D printed Bond's DB5
    Exploding cars a la model
    Caleb Cox | Wed 14 Nov 2012

    The makers of James Bond's latest outing, Skyfall, cut a couple corners in production and used modern 3D printing techniques to fake the decimation of a classic 1960s Aston Martin DB5.
    You wouldn't steal a car but now you can download one
    The movie studio contacted Augsberg-based 3D print firm Voxeljet to make 1:3 scale replicas of the car for use in explosive scenes during the new film.

    The company churned them out through a VX4000 3D printer and shipped the 18-piece DB5 miniatures to London's Propshop where they were assembled, painted and touched up with fake bullet holes, 3ders reports.

    The final products were then used to shoot an adrenaline-pumping scene which concludes with the total destruction of the DB5. Badum tish and there goes the spoiler... along with the rest of the car.
    Bear that in mind when you spend your weekly wage on popcorn to accompany the extortionate cinema ticket. As impressive as 3D printing has become, Skyfall had a budget of $200m and we don't even get to see a real car explode. Cheapskates.

    Vulture Central published plenty of Bond-related articles to coincide with Skyfall's release last month. Unpleasant surprise? We aim to please.

  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited July 2021 Posts: 12,980
    Press Office
    Home / Offices / Press Office / Press Releases / 2013 / July / No Mr Bond, I Expect you to Drive
    No Mr Bond, I Expect you to Drive
    Posted by er134 at Jul 03, 2013 | Permalink
    University of Leicester Physics Students investigate the famous ejector seat in Goldfinger

    Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 3 July 2013

    You can listen to and download a podcast on the students’ research here:
    [use link above to access]
    In the 1964 film Goldfinger, James Bond is involved in a car chase with one of the villain’s henchmen who he ejects from the Aston Martin DB5.

    The ejector seat is seen to accelerate the passenger of the DB5 through an opening in the roof and into the air.

    But what force would need to be exerted by the ejector seat?

    James Nelms, Declan Roberts, Suzanne Thomas and David Starkey – a group of fourth year MPhys students investigated this very question.

    Their paper, No Mr Bond I Expect You To Drive, was published in the latest volume of the University of Leicester’s Journal of Physics Special Topics.
    The journal is published every year, and features original short papers written by students as part of their four-year Master of Physics degree.

    The students are encouraged to be imaginative with their topics, and the aim is for them to learn about aspects of publishing and peer review.

    The team first studied the trajectory of the henchman in the film footage. They worked out the highest point the henchmen reached when ejected from the seat by measuring the pixels in the screenshots and comparing against the known height of the car.

    Using the maximum height of 2.37 m the team then modelled the motion of the ejected henchman.

    They found that the force and pressure required to eject a typical henchman from an Aston Martin DB5 were 1930 N and 8870 Pa respectively if the henchman were ejected via a hydraulic piston exerting a constant force.

    David Starkey, a member of the team said: “I really enjoyed working on this topic; the idea actually came about when one of my team members was watching the new James Bond, Skyfall.

    “Our plan initially was to examine the optics involved in Die Another Day’s Aston Martin “Vanish”; it turned out we couldn’t see anything in it. Perhaps next year’s edition of the journal might make the physics involved more transparent!”

    Course leader Dr Mervyn Roy, a lecturer at the University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said: “A lot of the papers published in the Journal are on subjects that are amusing, topical, or a bit off-the-wall. Our fourth years are nothing if not creative!

    “But, to be a research physicist - in industry or academia - you need to show some imagination, to think outside the box, and this is certainly something that the module allows our students to practice.

    “Many of our masters students hope to go on to careers in research where a lot of their time will be taken up with scientific publishing - writing and submitting papers, and writing and responding to referee reports.

    “This is another area where the module really helps. Because Physics Special Topics is run exactly like a professional journal, the students get the chance to develop all the skills they will need when dealing with high profile journals like Nature or Science later on in life.”


    Notes to editors:

    For more information please contact: Dr Mervyn Roy on: [email protected]


    David Starkey on: [email protected]
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