Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Pay it to Payphones or don't

So, I went down a short rabbit hole when I saw a payphone in a movie review for Secret Obsession. Of course, payphones aren't common any more, so seeing one featured in a new movie was a bit of a surprize. 

So, first, Secret Obsession is a really bad, in my opinion.  I tried to watch, but had to stop.  This movie review does a good job at explaining why:

The movie shows the protagonist stopping to use a payphone to call 911.  Unfortunately, she didn't have change (coins) or phone card.   There's a problem with this scene.  I tweeted this, thinking that was all I was going to do:

That wasn't the end of it, though.  I remembered that there's still some payphones in service, so I looked it up.  That's when I ran into the fact that there's still over 100K payphones in the US, and that each payphone can still earn a profit with as few as three 50¢ calls per day.

Was that the end?  No.  I remembered that I somehow ended up at the movie theater to see Phone Booth back in 2003.  It's about this guy of questionable morals who is trapped in a phone booth by a sniper out to prove a point.  The guy is played by Colin Farrell.  The movie was made near the end of the payphone era.  Had this movie come out just a few years later, it would've already been too dated for people to relate to it.

So, that brings me back to start.  Secret Obsession was released in 2019.  The entire plot is built upon the conflict that starts with the main character who gets out of her car while being chased to run to a payphone in a phone booth to call 911 (emergency services in the US).  She doesn't have change, so the phone doesn't work.  It's 2019.  Why doesn't she have a cellphone?  Even if that option was somehow not available, all payphones in the US allow 911 calls without payment, as noted in my tweet (and the movie review shown above).  For who was this movie made?  ...in 2019?

Friday, February 12, 2021

Recent news tour of our Solar System from Mercury to FarFarOut

Some recent news tour of our Solar System: