A guest post from Uncle Jack

Last night on the tube I saw an ad for the new Journey to the Center of the Earth movie. Brendan Fraser movies are generally a plus in my book [he is George of the Jungle!], and I had read that some of the movie was shot in Iceland –prob’ly places I never saw– so I was interested. I had also read the Verne novel when I was a kid, and was curious as to whether the new movie includes the Snorri Sturluson angle.

So far, Snorri seems to be left out. The IMDB cast listing is only six names long and no Snorri. Next I check the “Official Site.” There I’m greeted by bombastic theme music and the rest of a typical official movie site stuff, much of which doesn’t work. Of note is the Vernian Log that links you to the “Asgeirsson Institute for Progressive Volcanology,” and a “polar opposites” widget. The first has me wondering if this movie’ll be the Indiana Jones of hard geology –I’ve gotta look up my college neighbor and ask– and the second purportedly finds one’s antipodal location on the globe.

The widget was fun for as long as it took for me to notice that everybody I know lives opposite the Indian Ocean. I s’pose that you enter your global location as a US zip code should have tipped me off. Determined to test the limits of this widget’s powerful technology *heh, heh* I look up zip codes in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Interestingly, Kotzebu, AK is still opposite the Indian Ocean [near Antarctica], but Hanalei, HI is opposite somewhere along the Namibian/Botswana border [not Madagascar] and San Juan, PR is opposite somewhere outside Helen Springs, Australia. Methinks the widget’s algorithm is a wee bit off.

I come out of this adventure feeling a little robbed [“No Snorri! Crappy widget!”], but at least it was educational. I now have a better idea how large the Indian Ocean is, and I found a locality check tool that is much more fun.

Addendum:
According to IMDb, the 1959 JTTCOTE [hereafter pronounced “Jaitey-coat”] had Pat Boone [yes, that Pat Boone] and James Mason scampering around Lone Pine, CA pretending it was Iceland.