About Christopher Peterson

http://www.chrispeterson.info

Geek, dad, maker of things on the internet

Posts by Christopher Peterson:

Close Encounters of the Third Kind movie backdrop

Close Encounters: alien contact, debunking, and music communication

Special offers

A special chance for us to use your name for something dumb in the upcoming scifi adventure show Decipher RPG :-). Anybody supporting this show by Fri Dec 21 2018 will get their name used for a character! 😀

Contact

“Levels” of alien contact. Converting anal probes and sex bases to contact “levels.”

  1. First kind: visual contact
  2. Second kind: evidence of contact
  3. Third kind: in-person contact

The Devil’s Tower

How to pronounce butte. Convention vs personal preference. The awesome nature of structures like The Devil’s Tower, jutting up all inaccessible as they are. Translation errors for fun and profit. Thinking back to Schiaparelli’s canals. Geological origins: igneous intrusions and volcanic butte plugs.

“Sunburn”

Ultraviolet effects on body tissues. What is a sunburn? Arc welding and ultraviolet exposure: “arc eye.”

Debunking things

Shying away from debunking. Appreciating folks who cross boundaries and make deeply interesting informative generally-useful critical thinking-training material, like Captain Disillusion. Credulity and our personal predispositions.

SETI

Appreciating a scientific, rigorous approach to finding intelligent life in the cosmos.

Communicating with aliens

Randomness in space signals. Encoded information, decipherable to latitude and longitude. Past sightings of alien information encoding on Decipher SciFi: Arrival (part 1, part 2), Contact. Math! alien tonal communication.

Music! The Tones!

Music as math. Considering the tiny slice of reality in which we operate. Considering the universality in physics of the mathematical relationships between vibrations. Caelum Rale‘s mathematical musical perspective. Making sense of the noise of the universe and demonstrating intelligence across vast distances.

Links:

Captain Disillusion: YouTube Channel | A video selection

The Titan Sam Worthington movie backdrop

The Titan: adapting vs terraforming Titan, individual adaptations

Titan

The most interesting moon ’round Saturn! Viewing the moon Titan by eye or by telescope. Protip: bincolulars are actually just two tiny telescopes.

Saturn

The Saturnian hexagonal storm vs the larger Jovian storm. Latitudinal wind gradients.

Adaptation

Adapting the world to our needs. The possibility of adapting ourselves to a world. Inhospitality. Ethiopian, Tibetan, and Andean elevation adaptation. Andean vampires?

Titan Habitability

Atmosphere. Temperature. Breathability. Tidal locking and avoiding tidal locking with Jupiter. Frozen and liquid water! Methane oceans. No shortage of atmospheres in our solar system, but we’re short on good ones.

Probing titan

The Huygens probe. Proposed future Titan exploration projects.Drones, submarines, floatydrones, sinkydrones, etc.

Weather

Titanian weather gets bigs! Large methane rainstorms, but really only after decaded or centuries of drought. Energy availability so far from the sun.

Hominoforming

Who needs oxygen? Apnea training irl. Suck-tubes. Eventually breathing methane. Cat eyes vs shark eyes and which is best for a flying lizardman.

Evil scientist

Space Moreau, or Space Mengele? Space Merengele? Individual plasticity. Creating the ultimate MMA alien creature thing. Modeling after Bas Rutten. The final mutation hogdepodge. Bat-lats. Human flight on Titan.

Links

The Titan: Netflix
What About a Mission to Titan? It’s Time to Explore Saturn’s Largest Moon by Fraser Cain: YouTube

Blade 1998 movie backdrop

Blade: blood, colloidal silver aposematism, and scoville testing

Blade

Blade enthusiasm motivational poster

Silver

Weaponizing silver. Colloidal silver. Papa Smurf. Blue anti-vampire aposematism.

papa smurf Paul Karason

Spray defense

Pepper spray. Garlic spray. The difference between bear spray and self-defense pepper spray. The positives and negatives of fog-mode sprays in vampire club fighting. Johnny Knoxville pain ratings.

Scoville units

Laboratory capsaicin measurement by high-performance liquid chromatography vs the organoleptic method. The obvious unreliability of the original organoleptic (tasting) method.

Blood

Blooooood. Blood drinking. Hemoglobin deficiencies. Heme. Porphyria and the vampire legend. Blood doping.

Sun block

Vampires and ultraviolet sensitivity. “Chemical” and “physical” UV sunblocks.

Decipherment

Decipherment vs translation. Ancient manuscripts. Multispectral imaging. Machine learning supremacy. Making random noise until you know how to play Mario.

Links

Blade: iTunes | Amazon
The World in UV by Veritassium: YouTube
Sunscreen in UV by Physics Girl: YouTube
Red Bull Crashed Ice 2012 Uphill Race: YouTube

I Origins movie backdrop

I Origins: rationality, eyeballs, and biometric ID w/ Daniel Barker

Featuring guest co-host
Daniel Barker headshotDaniel James Barker of Uncertainty Principle the Podcast

Eyeball anatomy

All the important parts, wherever they are! Who really cares anyway we’re only here for two in particular: the iris and the retina. The retinal blind spot.

Creationism

And intelligent design. Are wrong. Reaching conclusions and working backwards for fun and profit. Young Earth creationism. Dan’s religious upbringing. Irreducible complexity. Faulty reasoning.

The evolution of the modern vertebrate eyeball

Fish and their goofy eyeball arrangements. The crazy Charlie eyeball progress chart. Light sensitive flat patches, pits, enclosures, open pinhole eyeballs, lenses, and flexing your sphincters. Dan’s episode on Three-D Vision.

conspiracy charlie eyeball evolution

Comparative eyeball studies

Human eyes are pretty sweet! But there other ones that do other things (at their own local summits on Mount Improbable) and are also really good at stuff! Goats, sharks, snakes (sorta), bees. Removing your lenses for fun and profit. Monet’s lens removal and ultraviolet perception.

Eyeball shortcomings

Common “colorblindness” is a misnomer, but “color discernment syndrome” doesn’t flow as well. Retinal wiring and the “blind spot.” Saccades. “Chronostasis” or “the stopped clock illusion” and the tight coupling of our eyes and our brains.

Bio-identification

Selecting scanning sites for statistical uniqueness and natural resistance to hacking. The insufficiency of fingerprints. Iris scans. Retinal scans. Bio-identification security. Ease of use.

Rationality

Rationalism/spiritualism/etc. The rational scientific worldview and self-correction. The absolution of new knowledge.

Links

Richard Dawkins demonstrates the evolution of the eye: YouTube
Uncertainty Principle the Podcast Daniel James Barker: The Show | The Marty McFly episode

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.