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Godzilla King of the Monsters: acoustic wildlife tracking and moth superiority

Titans

Awaking dormant giant monsters from within the Earth. Bio-acoustic signatures. Giant balloons! Tracking elephants by sound.

Pre-civilization civilizations

The Silurian hypothesis thought experiment, especially as part of our Atlantis coverage. The increasing disappearability of the details of civilization as they raise their technological level.

Moths

Moths: way better than butterflies! Echolocation defense mechanisms. Corresponding bat appreciation in our A Quiet Place episode. Echolocation signal jamming vs. aural camouflage. Giant moths and dedication to reproduction so complete that they will never once eat as an adult and devote all of their stored energy to reproduction. How we harvest silk from moths.

Creature combos

Pterosaur-bird monster Rhodan. Inane pedantry. Pterasaurs vs dinosaurs! Freedom at the cutting creative edge of paleontological art.

Links

Deep Learning With The Elephants by Planet Money: NPR.org
Godzilla: postwar Japan, science, and regrets w/ Miles Greb: Decipher SciFi

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Terminator Genisys: surprise anthologies & time travel spaghetti w/ Joe Ruppel

The curse of the Terminator

Why do all these production companies go under after making these always-profitable Terminator movies?

VFX

Twelve months to make a fake Arnold.

Time travel

Time travel but, like, way more confusing. And possibly nonsensical. Five movie in and we FINALLY we see a time machine. Operation Cronos. Trying to count timelines and getting very confused because they broke everything.

Skynet

Skynet in the government shadows vs Silicon Valley public launch. UbiquityOS. Engineering to let the AI our of the box. The dawn of “apps” and how it was important. “”Genisys does what Nintendon’t.” Skynet takeoff scenario, altered yet again.

Terminators

A review of the T-3000 and T-5000. Doctor Who. Bio-nanite replacement. Ship of Biorobo Theseus: is the T-3000 still the same person as it was?

Kyle Reese

Old Nikes! Scrappy Kyle vs jacked Kyle. David vs Goliath.

Who wants to go do my mom

– John Connor

Arnold

build_time_machine.bat . Time traveling at 1x speed. Various messy strategies for re-encasing your robot arm in flesh.

Mortal Kombat 11 Kombat Pack – Official Terminator T-800 Gameplay Trailer: YouTube
Scientist Man Explains Terminator: Genisys by Red Letter Media: Youtube

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Terminator Salvation: body donation, realistic time travel, and the legal shmegal defense w/ Joe Ruppel

Is this a sequel? A prequel? Our progress in covering the entire Terminator series. The possibility of the future war trilogy, dashed.

Body donation

Donating your body to science. Body donation vs organ donation. Size and BMI standards. Medical education via cadaver. “Body brokers.” Why do blast testing on bodies? Are we learning to cure “acute dynamitism?”

Lethal injection

How to make a body unsuitable for whole-body donation. Donating to Terminator-science. Executions as disincentive. The role of the medieval executioner. How the guillotine was an early example of the robots taking our jerbs. Execution showmanship. The Ultimate Warrior was nuts.

Time travel

The only sorta realistic time travel in the whole Terminator series: pausing your exiistence and turning back on in the future! The nature of self, and the “legal schmegal” defense.

Terminators

The most human Terminator yet? Robocop vs Wolverine? Head transplant or body transplant? Terminator production volume and just-in-time delivery.  The first T800. A T600 review. Austrian bodybuilders always make good Terminators.

Skynet

Technological anxieties over time through the Terminator series…. but not really in this one? Or are just jumping straight through to concern with AI takeoff? The Skynet-iest movie in the Terminator series, so far. Personifying Skynet. Explaining the human prisoner project with the design of the T800.

Madness

Amazing alternate endings that Chris is sad didn’t happen! Skinning John Connor, for fun and profit.

Links

Terminator Salvation: iTunes | Amazon
Terminator Salvation the Machinima Series: YouTube
Decipher Media’s re-jiggered Pateon: Patreon

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Species: alien bio-containment, the Arecibo message, and Von Neumann trolls

Species

Wow there some really good movies in 1995! Geiger alien designs. Not “Alien,” but “alien.” This time, with nipples.

Ptosis

Forrest Whitaker. Chris’s history of eyelid laziness variability. Being either a dolphin or a flamingo. Eye farts?

The Arecibo Message

The limited utility of sending messages to aliens 25,000 light years away. The Arecibo Message sent in 1974 toward the M13 globular cluster. A cluster containiner millions of stars. 1679 bits: not a lot of bits!

Bio-executable Von Neumann machines

Von Neumann trolls. Self-assembling bootstrapping biological systems. What if DNA is very common across life in the universe?

Containment

How to combine biological containment and prisoner containment. Lots of “fire” buttons. Biocontainment protocols. Integrating what we’ve learned from prison-escape movies. Considering the Magneto-vault.

Cocoons

Vulvic wall-pods. What the hell even is up with cocoons anyway? Cocoons are basically alien material already. The “soup method” of metamorphosis.

Fat-bergs

Links

We redid our Patreon tiers! Check it out!: Patreon

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Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines: hacking cars and supercomputing Skynet FLOPS w/ Joe Ruppel

Meta

James Cameron blank checks and record-breaking budgets and payouts.

Arnold

Getting re-jacked to your original shape at 56 years old. Screening your movie at Saddam’s palace.

Terminators

The broadness of the term “nanotechnology.” Upgrading your liquid-metal nanotechss32 robots.

Data Collection

Placing this movie in the data collection timeline: after the dawn of big data digital government spying, but before smartphones when we willingly began to give up all the data. But there’s a Terminator movie for that too!

Hacking cars

Direct linkages in car systems. Driving by-wire. Hacking automobile computer systems. Wired hacking and modern wireless car hacks.

Technology progression

Finally, a Terminator in the age of the ubiquitous cell phone! Still not smartphones yet, but it’s a start! Hydrogen fuel cell failure modes and the danger of tiny hydrogen bombs. MRI dangers.

Skynet

AI escape scenarios. Supercomputing at “60 teraFLOPS” and wth is a “teraFLOPS” anyway? Computing power  measurement and FLOP precisions. Recognizing the actual utility of supercomputers only becoms apparent with very paralellizable tasks.

Links

Decipher SciFi: Decipher Media
Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on a Highway by WIRED: YouTube

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On Decipher History: The Last Samurai w/ Isaac Meyer

A small taste of our new episode of Decipher History to remind you to subscribe to the new show. This week featuring our new friend Isaac Meyer from The History of Japan Podcast!

New episode: The Last Samurai: Bushido, European influence, and howizters w/ Isaac Meyer

Subscribe!: Decipher History

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Roundtable: Colossus The Forbin Project w/ Chris Noessel, Damien Williams, and Jonathon Korman

At the table:

Jonathan Korman: Twitter
Chris Noessel: Twitter | Sci-fi Interfaces
Damien Williams: Twitter | A Future Worth Thinking About

Weirdly prescient and quietly influential

AI portrayal in film. Recognizing 2001: A Space Odyssey. Command and control. Unintended consequences. Personal movie connections and impact decades before Bostrom’s Superintelligence. Game of Thrones??? 70s scifi cynicism.

Benevolent AI dictator

The Cold War and looming climate catastrophe. What are Colossus’ goals? What goals does it think it has?

AI Portrayal

Period conceptions of computing as centralized and institutional. Computing in the era of the first moon landing. The “big board.” Computer scientists a la Mad Men. Colossus as a Golem story. How to take over the world with no subterfuge or tact. Gendering AI.

Realism

Portrayal of telecommunications literally before the invention of networking. Packet switching was first implemented after the novel was written and only just before the film! Computer communication syntax. Computing language. Computer interfaces and code checking.

Getting weird

The books get weird. And weirder! How sometimes books are accidentally way better than their author is capable of.

Paperclip maximization

Colossus as utilitarian “peace maximizer.” Showing the monkeys the gun to get your point across.

Links

Works by Madeline Ashby: Amazon
Person of Interest: Amazon | iTunes | Netflix

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Terminator 2: advanced puppetry, Skynet, and liquid nitrogen handling w/ Joe Ruppel

People

Love and appreciation for the humans involved. James Cameron is amazing. Arnold, always our favorite. Linda Hamilton playing one of the most iconic characters in film. Robert Patrick doing the robot. James Cameron doing everything himself.

VFX

VFX and CG and the high shot counts for the time. The expense of CG and the appropriate use thereof. Budgets. Incredible animatronix! The value of high-quality practical FX from the 90s and how they hold up.

Ict hot stuntaz

Motorcycle jumping. Harley’s Fat Boy. Jumping into helicopters.

Technology

The Terminator series as a window into our concerns over technology in different decades. Computing miniaturization. Quantum stuff. Read-only Terminator modes, IRQ switching, and ro cassettes.

Terminators

Terminator models and designs. Possible Billy Idol T-1000, or Kyle Reese-bots. T-1000 shiny grey goo nanite flow robot.

Liquid Nitrogen

Pork chop sandwiches! Inert gas asphyxiation. Steam barriers, sugar work, and dipping your hand into hot lead.

Links:

T2 Stunt Trailer by Peter Kent: YouTube
The Forgotten Art of Blockbuster Cinema by Mike Hill: YouTube

Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse: particle colliders, art, and magnetic monopolies w/ Adrian Falcone

Featuring guest co-host
Adrian Falcone
Adrian Falcone (@AdrianBFalcone), internet nerd

Colliders

Particle collider scales. Increasing energies. Finding the Higgs Boson. Different ways of smashing things. Straight colliders, ring colliders, and rings so large they kinda seem straight at a certain scale. Adrian’s new area of expertise. “Natural experiments” in particle physics. Imagining future colliders and subsequent discoveries. Confirmation of supersymmetry. Probing the edges of the standard model.

Collider danger

Stragelets and black holes and other things that won’t happen. Anatoli Burgorski taking a load in the eye. Magnetic monopoles and winning “Magnetic Monopoly.”

Magnetic monpoles

Art!

OMG the art. Chromatic aberration. Offset printing errors. Smearing vs motion blur. Animating on “twos” or “threes” and the use of fluidity as a storytelling tool.

Spider-ones

Favorite Spiderman movie?

Links:

Exhalation by Ted Chiang: iTunes | Amazon