The Meg movie backdrop sharks

The Meg: claspers, megalodon teeth, and shark proponency w/ Melissa Marquez

Featuring guest co-host
Melissa Márquez headshotMelissa Márquez Website | Twitter

Sharks

A sharky public service message/pro-shark propaganda. Sharks get a bad wrap in the media. Eating weird stuff. The importance of sharks in the ocean and their roles in their particular ecosystems.

Shark behaviour

Biting the internet. Alternative shark species name suggestions. “Exploratory” biting. Claspers! The Megalodon’s likely “biiiiiiiiiig” penis. Shark skin with dermal denticles, aka “teeth paper.” Shark intelligence and how you might measure it.

The Megalodon

Irl best estimates of megalodon size vs the creatures of the film. Limited fossil data and cartilaginous skeletons. Learning from paleoarchaeological study of ancient shark relatives with more calcified skeletal material. Working backward from the modern shark bodyform. Ancient buzzsaw-mouthed monsters. The importance of teeth.

Helicoprion illustration

Helicoprion by ДиБгд via Wikimedia

The Marianas Trench

Pressure and darkness at depth. Adaptations to pressure and darkness. Odd, squishy creatures. Blob fish as the gudetama of the sea.

Blob fish

Blog fish by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Wikimedia

Conservation

Shark public image management. Sharks with eyebrows.

Links

Melissa’s Chondrichthyan-promotion organization: The Fins United Initiative
Melissa’s podcast: ConCiencia Azul

Decipher SciFi State of the Union with President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho

Decipher SciFi State of the Union 2018

In which we look at your survey responses and reveal where we’re headed in the coming year

  • Listening habits
  • RPG experience
  • Nerd gatherings and meeting listeners irl
  • Creator support
  • Guest co-hosts
  • Suggestion box
  • Future expansion recommendations (Decipher History!?)
Sorry to Bother You movie backdrop

Sorry to Bother You: code switching, indie media, and the power of scifi w/ Eliot Peper

Featuring guest co-host
Eliot Peper headshot with puppyEliot Peper, author of Borderless

This movie

It gets a bit weird! And we have a bit of a time summarizing it.

Storytelling

Adventure stories. Social allegory. The power of science fiction in particular to force you to reframe your perception by believably breaking your assumptions. HG Wells and Moreau. Science fiction tropes and the subversion thereof. Christopher is bad at human things.

Code Switching

Languages, dialect, and speaking to your audience. “Not having to think about it.”

Media

Mass media vs indie communities. The lowest common denominator. Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans.

Milk stuff

A lament for the concentration on cow’s milk. Mare milk. Fermented milk products from cows and horses.

Links

Eliot Peper: Bandwidth | Borderless | Amazon Author Page
Key & Peele Obama Meet & Greet: YouTube
Key & Peele on Code Switching: YouTube

eXistenZ movie backdrop fleshy nipple pod with umbilical on bed

eXistenZ: reality testing, biocomputing, and gross stuff

Cronenberg

Creepy body horror. Fingers in holes. This is kinda hot.

The video game industry

Gaming in film. Brainscan. The video game bubble. E.T. The Video Game landfill debacle. AAA Game budgets before people took the industry seriously. AAA Auteur creators of the past. Auteur creators in indie games now.

Meat guns

Wooden cannons! Wow! Harvesting ammunition from people’s mouths. Bio-based squirt guns as a reasonable alternative. Blood-squirting lizards.

Alternative computing

Biological computing: mechanical, electrical, and chemical. Quantum supremacy. Nipple interfaces and umbilicals.

Neural interfaces

Neural interface placements. Spinal connections and how to interact with the sensory loop. Bodily orifice security defenses. Sphincters vs meatuses.

Reality

But how do we tell what is real anyway!? The power of storytelling, even when you know it’s not real. Railroading. Milgram experiment the game.

Links

War Stories by Ars Technica: YouTube
GDC Classic Game Postmortems: YouTube

Pacific Rim Uprising 2018 movie backdrop

Pacific Rim Uprising: drone jamming, the aircraft boneyard, and cerebral organoids

Robot police

Keeping the peace when independent operations can make their own giant robots. Staying somewhat prepared for returning existential threats.

Jaeger graveyard

Stowing expensive purpose-built machinery. Aircraft graveyards. The economics of storing and securing out-of-production technology for later use.

Robotics

Avoiding trouble with the square-cube law by building smaller robots. Boston Dynamics and the inevitable impression of the coming robot apocalypse. Parkour Atlas. Robot kumite.

Drones

Securing mobile war machines. EMPs. Resistance to signal-jamming. Broad attack surfaces.

Brain in a jar

IRL progress towards a brain in a jar: human brain organoids implanted on a mouse brain. Sensory apparatus and feeling pain. Getting (ethically) hairy.

Rare earth elements

Actually: not so rare! But a pain in the ass to extract. The Japanese rare earth ocean-bottom treasure trove and how it will be difficult to access. Mining rare earth elements from spaaaaaaaace and how we probably need a new colloquial name for these materials. Underwater volcanoes.

Jaeger blood rocket fuel

Magical Jaeger blood rocker fuel. Gravity gun space race. Keeping Earth as a farm for kaiju blood, fueling our expansion into the entire solar system. Throwing rocks at things for fun and profit.

Links

Pacific Rim: square cube law, giant death robot, and Earth terraforming w/ Stephen Granade
Atlas Parkour: YouTube
Rayguns and Robots (Curly Phil): Instagram
Batch 25 Comics (Andy P): Instagram

Gravity 2013 movie backdrop

Gravity: decompression sickness, orbital mechanics, and jet chairs

Criticism

Sloppy orbital mechanics and the value of science-adjacent entertainment.

Ed Harris

Forever the voice of Mission Control.

Space is dangerous

Almost as scary as the ocean.

EVA jet chairs

NASA’s MMU. The new tiny one: SAFER! Giant rectal rectangle jet chairs?

Where and how things orbit

Earth-orbital distances. Where different kinds of man-made satellites operation and how they are not likely to run into each other roughly ever. The utility of geostationary orbits.

earth orbits

Wikipedia has the awesome animated version here

Orbital impacts

Relative velocities. Could you dodge a sniper bullet? IRL ISS escape procedures. Soyuz escape plans.

Deadspin

Glowing blood and possible alien infections. Human sensitivity to positive and negative g-forces. Trying to push more blood to your head for mental superpowers.

Orbital transfer

And impromptu deorbiting. How to crash a probe into mars (by accident).

Pressurization

Chinese space stations, then and now. Station entrance and exit procedures. Finally the Star Trek balloon analogy comes in handy! Decompression sickness/the bends during EVA. Portable life support systems. Sokol and ACES, and their insufficiency for extra-vehicular activities.

Fire extinguishers

…in spaaaaaace. Carbon dioxide. Water. Super soakers. Fire emergency procedures.

EVA Suits

Past designs and modern designs. Future EVA suit developments. Constrictive suits directly against the skin rather than creating an atmosphere around the body: the biosuit. The NASA Z Suit that looks like Buzz Lightyear, and operating EVA suits at the same pressure as your space station.

Reentry

Soyuz reentry angles. Heat shielding. Trying to point in a particular direction.

Lifting

The complete obviousness that heavy compound weight lifting is the major solution to muscle and bone loss in space. Bro do you even lift? Vacuum-based space squat rack.

Skyscraper movie jump calculation backdrop

Skyscraper: vertical cities, holodecks, and personal Dyson clouds

Skyscrapers

History. The industrialization at scale of steel. The state of things. Future heights. Arcologies.

Vertical cities

Hong Kong’s real estate problem. Urban verticality and resource efficiency. Living in coffin pods and sharing utilities.

Holodeck

IRL holodeck technology. Projecting images for multiple . Your own personal Dyson display cloud. Frickin lasers directly in your eyes. CastAR.

Skyscraper materials technology

Sand as a rubbish base for huge buildings. Building deep foundations in the desert. Wooden skyscrapers!? Sand in concrete and sand shortages. Varieties of sand. Engineered sand.

Fire

Fire suppression! Overheated air and air pressure for aircraft.

Elevators

Elevator cable lengths and limits. Maglev elevators. High-speed elevators.


PORK CHOP SANDWICHES

Doom 2005 movie poster

Doom: moons of Mars, space marines, and telefragging w/ Josh Effengee of LSG Media

Featuring guest co-host
Josh from LSG Media headshotJosh from LSG Media

Doom

Doom! Nostalgia.

The Martian moons

Crappy moons that can barely form a potato. Phobos and Deimos. Delineating between moons, planets, and all the other stuff. The likely origin of the Martian moons.

Space marines

Corporate space settlement and operations. Space Force. Josh reviews space marines; again. Martian weaponry.

Settling mars

Where to build? The cost of scratch settlement construction. Caves and lava tubes. Teleporting resources changes the game.

Ancient aliens

The Prometheus Problem, again. Doom humans-on-mars hypotheses: aliens developed humans on Mars vs humans originated on Mars. Species resurrection. Gene therapy. Chromosomal addition and subtraction.

Martian miscellany

Nano walls! Water on Mars! Telefragging!

Links:

Upgrade 2018 movie backdrop

Upgrade: biohacking, AI containment, and paralyzation workarounds

Image enhancement

Naive vs machine-intelligent image enhancement. “Photorealistic hallucination” and honest technical names. Reconsidering the absurdity of fictional image enhancement in the age of clever neural nets. Creative, artistic “enhancement” vs rigor.

Paralyzation workarounds

Well, breaking your spinal chord sure seems to suck. Spinal breaks and the autonomic nervous system. Bodily control via brain-machine interface.

Transhumanism

Extension of human functionality by implanted technology! Increasing neural communication speed, or shortening signal distance. Gun arms. Gun arms! Vocal device command by subvocalization.

The AI “box test”

Self-serving artificial intelligence. Yudkowsky’s AI  box test. Callback to Ex Machina. Additional stipulations. The true power of a goon with a wrench. How easy are humans to fool? Very.

Links

Decipher RPG Mirror Pilot #3

Decipher RPG – Mirror Pilot #3 (the finale!)

Our heroes make a real mess of an airship or two, and FINALLY Bodyguard Chris manages to turn the tables and make something of his repeated failures. Emperor Colbert tries not to die before the end.

(This podcast is the finale of our pilot series for Decipher RPG where we play Mirror by Sandy Pug Games with Liam Ginty. Previously: Part 1 | Part 2)