Science illiteracy in the media

1 minute read

On the general topic of the declining status of science in the media, I thought I would just mention on a tangent…

The third season premiere of the “Robin Hood” series just premiered on BBC America (yes, we’re quite a lot behind my Brit readers). A central plot device is that Robin takes advantage of knowing that a solar eclipse will happen at a certain time. So far, so good – if Columbus could do it, why not Robin Hood, right?

Except, we discover this plot device is coming when, as they sit under a full moon, the Friar Tuck character says, “What the moon does tomorrow is a gift of once in a generation.”

Well, I would guess it’s a whole lot more than once in a generation that the moon does half an orbit overnight!

So, they go through the eclipse, Robin saves the day, and then we get a slow-mo shot of Robin standing against the blue sky.

With a half-moon behind him!

Hmm… Maybe in 12th-century England, the Earth had three moons?

UPDATE (2009-09-14): A reader writes:

Same thing happened in Ladyhawke.

Oh, well then, that answers the question. You see, Rutger Hauer, as everyone knows, is an android who came from space bent on evil. When he meets up with Catwoman, well, clearly more than one moon must be involved. Fortunately, Christian Slater shows up with Indiana Jones’ dad, fights Hellboy with an origami chicken, and puts the extra moons back in their proper orbits.

It’s just Robin Hood that I have trouble squaring away.