About Christopher Peterson

http://www.chrispeterson.info

Geek, dad, maker of things on the internet

Posts by Christopher Peterson:

2036 Origin Unknown Katee Sackhoff backdrop

2036 Origin Unknown: ion propulsion, dust storms, and how to speak Greek in orbit

Ion Drive

Compounding acceleration in the relative vacuum of space. Incredible efficiencies versus chemical rockets, and the very low force produced making it only appropriate once spaceborn. The differing problems solved by chemical rockets and ion drives. The benefit of ion drive once out of Earth’s gravity well and going far away. Earth’s tectonic plates, slowly building up to escape velocity. That beautiful blue glow. “Ionic wind” aircraft in-atmosphere: a completely silent aircraft motor with no moving parts!

Landing in spaaaaace

Methods of landing on Mars: Aeroshells, parachutes, rockets, and balloons. Past examples. Different bodies in space and their particular atmospheric densities, atmospheric conditions, and gravitational acceleration.

Nuclear power solutions

Nuclear power vs solar cells. People’s presumption of full-on nuclear reactors rather than the smaller and less-efficient radioisotope thermoelectric generators like on Curiosity. Wondering why we don’t use tiny nuclear robots to blow the dust off of the solar robots. NASA, call us for more great ideas.

Dust storms

Martian dust storms. The low density and force of Martian dust storms, contrary to popular depictions. The visual impressiveness of huge Martian dust storms from space relative to actual effect. The (low) density of the Martian atmosphere and its make-up. How 60mph dust storms are are actually not that powerful: with low gravitational acceleration, static charge, it is very very easy it is to keep dust particles aloft.

Orbital centricity words

The revelation that “geocentric” and “geostationary” apply very specifically to only Earth and there are other words particular to the other major bodies in our solar system. All of the other centricity classifications, including Arecentric for Mars as in the film (though they don’t use it).

Hypoxia

Hypoxia and inability to give detailed instructions to your AI on how to disperse the spirit of humanity into the universe.

Links

2036 Origin Unkown: Netflix | Amazon | iTunes
Why You Should Put YOUR MASK On First (My Brain Without Oxygen) by Smarter Every Day: YouTube
How Do Ion Engines Work? The Most Efficient Propulsion System Out There by Fraser Cain: YouTube

Total Recall 2012 Colin Farrel backdrop

Total Recall 2012: falling through the planet, 3d scanning, and lasers in your eyes

Philip K Dick

Giving’em the old Philip K Dick joint. Cyberpunk. Adaptation fidelity.

Even though it looks like it’s the future…

Luminescent tattoos! Bioluminescence, electroluminescence, phosphorescence, and maybe some other -escences too! A world with three boobs. Well, maybe more than that in the whole world. Hand phones. Ubiquitous smart glass. Neck-mounted face-replacing direct-eye laser projectors. Memory manipulation and deletion.

“The Fall”

Digging a hole through the Earth. Trying to find hard things to do when building a space elevator is too easy. Adding unnecessary rockets to your earth-faller to reach a seventeen minute trip time. Digging deep in the Earth and heat issues. Finding impenetrable hot rock stew even without piercing the crust. Atmospheric pressure in the center of the Earth. Making it work by vacuum tube. The one easy straight line through the Earth that avoids the Coriolis effect, and the actually useful curved lines between land areas.

3d space-scanning

Camera rocket grenades that explode into camera bullets. Like a camera, but more messy. IR scanning. Two-dimensional room-mapping by Roomba. Photogrammetry. Playing VR hentai sex games in your room, in your room.

Links

Total Recall 2012: iTunes | Amazon
My room in VR in 1:1 scale (Photogrammetry Scan) by Az Balabanian: YouTube
FACE SWAP by David Gidali: Vimeo

The Predator 2018 movie backdrop

The Predator: glistening biceps, savant syndrome, and first contact w/ Josh Effengee

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

Action heroes

Glistening, rippling man-meat. Sweaty pecs. Aggressive handshakes with biceps the size of coconuts. Longing for the good old days. Feeling unjustified disappointment when our heroes aren’t giant walking meat monsters. The inapplicability of the bodybuilder physique to actually getting hero stuff done. Bodylifting.

Savantism

“Savant syndrome is a condition in which someone with significant mental disabilities demonstrates certain abilities far in excess of average” –Wiki. As opposed to someone just simply being awesome at something. Josh’s recent related coverage from The X-Files Podcast @ LSG Media. Acquired savantism. Aptitude for… alien user interfaces? Trans-cranial magnetic stimulation.

Nerddom

Chess club vs computer club. Afterschool D&D. Duke Nukem and Team Fortress LAN parties at school.

Predator

Predator vs prey. Linguistically, should they be called “predator” if they hunt mainly for sport? “Predator” as a label for a biological relationship in which one creatures hunts and eats another for sustenance. The deadliest cat in the world. Humans as top “predator.” How to judge top predator when the line is not so clear cut.

Alien contact

Survey of movie alien contact scenarios and what they reveal about us. Energy required for interstellar travel and the likelihood anyone will happen by by accident. Government secrecy. Zip tie budgets and how to keep an alien captive. irl tranquilizer dart use and the inherent dangers. Why not to shoot yourself with an alien tranquilizer dose.

Building the megapredator

Selecting desirable traits from around the cosmos. Leave enough room for my stomach. Spinal juice collection. Gene manipulation. Selecting for intellectual traits: competitive science. Interpretive flex-dancing to enable armor modes.

Predator-killer

Reasonable solutions to the predator problem. The fix for climate change (fusion?). Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator integrated with The Predator, Aliens, and Blade Runner. How awesome was the original predator?

Links:

Josh is on other shows at LSG Media!: Science Fiction Film Podcast, The X-Files Podcast
Meet the Deadliest Cat on the Planet: YouTube

Doctor Who the movie 8th doctor the master backdrop

Doctor Who: the Y2K scare, supernumerary hearts, and the utility of atomic clocks

Doctor Who

Not a lot of Doctor Who experience at the table here. Recognition of the Moffat era. Finding a single, self-contained Who unit to use as an entrée. James McAvoy.

Millenium

Pedantic note: the millenium wouldn’t really start until 2001. Colbert gets to be the jerk for once.

Y2K

Numeronyms. Alternate terms: CDC, FADL. How we got here (there, then?). Limits on data storage and memory over time that make two-digit date storage actually seem kinda reasonable. Y2K38, aka the Unix millnium bug. The horrors of datetime in software and can you imagine the pain of writing this code for time travel. Standard datetime epochs: unix epoch, planet epoch, and time-since-the-big-bang epoch. We’re gonna need a lot more memory.

Multiple hearts

Doctor Who has got a lot of heart. But also he has literally two hearts. Animals irl on Earth with multiple “hearts.” Octopus (3), hagfish (4). The role of auxiliary “hearts” in these animals. Human heart grafting in heterotopic aka “piggy-back” heart transplants.

Atomic clocks

The history of time-measurement accuracy. From sundials to Hugens’ pendulum to modern atomic clocks. Appreciating GPS and understanding how atomic clocks are integral to their function.

Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie backdrop

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Dolphin communication, the babelfish, and bad AI

Adaptations

Appreciating the book(s). Bigtime. Adapting Douglas Adams. Remembering the text adventure video game exists.

Dolphins

Dolphin intelligence. It’s not about how smart they are, it’s about how they’re smart. Mammalian sameness as an avenue into better understanding life in the sea. Dolphin communication. Dolphin “language” and the possibility of translation. The Dolphin C.H.A.T. interface.

Betelgeuse

Big star! Red supergiant, 9th brightest in our sky. “Brightness” outside the visible spectrum. Dying stars gnoshing on their planets before going off.

Life form dominance

Metal boxes, taking over the planet and slowly digesting the soft squishy things inside them. Street Fighter-style car-breaking. How to judge the “top” species of a world.

Babel fish

Universal translators. A visit from Nick Farmer from the past, when we asked him about universal translators in our Q&A #2.

Space is big

Mind-bogglingly big! The bigness of space and the difficulty in finding a sense of scale from a human perspective.

Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.

-Douglas Adams

AI

Doors deriving sexual pleasure from providing their service. Polar opposite extreme AI demeanors. Deep Thought and AI constraints.

Links:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy The Game: BBC Radio 4
DRONE Solar System Model by Mark Rober: YouTube
VFX Artist Reveals the True Scale of the Universe by Corridor Digital: YouTube

Akira red motorcycle on white background

Akira: mind bullets, evolution, and odd horsepower calculations w/ Jolene Creighton

Featuring guest co-host
Jolene Creighton headshot
Jolene Creighton, the science queen

Akira

Hey this movie was really important! Time and place. Budgets. Omg so pretty.

Subtitles

Subtitling adult anime for the west. Translation vs localization. Different industries and approaches to localization. Software localization in comparison to film localization. Fansubs online before the likes of Crunchyroll.

Motorcycles

Horsepower! Sweet motorcycles. High-speed motorcycle attacks. Turning people into “mushwater.”

Funiculars

giant slidey freight elevators. Also mountainside trams. Related words:

  • Funicular is Latin for cord
  • Funiculus is Latin for umbilical cord
  • Umbilicus is Latin for navel

Waterways

Underwater or otherwise. Rivers vs sewers. The Tokyo sewer and transport overhaul preceding the 1964 Olympics. The inefficiency of poop-sucking truck fleets. Traveling in sewers and dysentery avoidance.

Psi powers

Creepy, wrinkly children. Psi floaty chairs, the escalator of chairs! When operational, their ares a floaty chair. When they fail, they are… a comfortable chair.

Mind bullets

Obvious thing to do: government research into mind-bullets. Surprising thing: when it works. Even more surprising: when it works so well it blows up Tokyo and starts World War III.

The future of humanity

Evolutionary milestones. Latent abilities. Guided evolution. Atavism.

Laser guns

Laser rifles! Conventions against blinding weapons. Tricking the enemy into rout with elaborate eyepatches. Recognizing the obvious advantages of space lasers. Space-based light concentrators. The difficulties of penetrating atmosphere with space-based lasers. Space lasers for space junk cleanup (Kurtzgesagt).

Blobby guy

Overloading on mind bullets and turning into a big blobby guy before going all mini-singularity. Crushing your girlfriend in your fleshy bits.

Links

AKIRA: How To Animate Light by Nerdwriter1: YouTube
Decipher SciFi animated scifi posters: Twitter
Jolene Creighton: Website | Twitter | Future of Life

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