CAPTAIN PLANET GOES TO MONGOLIA

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There's nothing as unsettling as watching a forgettable movie about a startling event or a small-scale natural disaster - only to read about the exact same occurence in the newspaper a few years later. For example, the story of the woman who missed an Air France flight which crashed, only to be killed in a car accident two weeks later, is tragic. But even more so if you've seen the movie Final Destination. Similarly, Bill Clinton might have expected a warmer reception to his announcement of the bombing of Afghanistan and Sudan, just a few days after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. What he didn't take into account was that too many journalists had watched the movie 'Wag The Dog' - about a President trying to divert attention from his sex scandal by going to war. The movie was released just a few months earlier, when there wasn't even a whiff of a scandal.

The latest incident inspired by fiction is a little more pleasant. The city of Ulan Bator in Mongolia is planning to build a giant shield of ice to combat the effects of global warming. The objective is to store the winter temperatures in this giant block of ice that will help to cool and water the city as it slowly melts through the summer season. Geologists say that it could be a good model for cities that have extreme temperatures, and that such unconventional thinking must be encouraged. Not bad for an idea inspired by more than one episode of Captian Planet, and if I remember correctly, a couple of Futurama ones too.