The best genre of Star Wars media? Brandishing yourself. Old west forced sack removal.
Werner Herzog’s surprising(?) praise. “Real filmmaking” in the wake of the prequel trilogies. Wooden green-screen acting vs sweet puppets and actual human beings. Unreal Engine LED walls and volumetric projection and camera tracking.
Our new mythology
Star Wars as our new shared cultural mythology the world over. Concern about disney’s stewardship and the private ownership of our cultural heritage. Streamboat Willie entering The Commons.
Some past famous Mandalorians, this particular Mandalorian, and martial prowess. Mandalorian history and why the Mandalorians are the only ones who figured out how to fight the space wizards for some reason?
Pooping space. Weightless waste elimination can be tricky. Floating turds.
Freezing in carbonite
Cryostasis. Cryopreservation. Avoiding ice crystals. Replacing blood with “antifreeze”
Taking the most depressing angle on droid consciousness and freedom (or lack thereof). And then to make it worse: DRM!
Extra-long postnatal development. Big brains and incomplete gestation. Cuteness. Animatronics.
The Mandalorian: Disney+
Star Wars Meta: How to Star Wars, machete order, and the best Star Wars fan edit: Decipher SciFi
Star Wars: the death star, planet science, and appreciating the original Star Wars trilogy: Decipher SciFi
The Last Jedi: FTL ramming, salt geology, and real green milk: Decipher SciFi
NASA’s irl de-contamination measures. Private space industry without apparent government oversight.
Some of the oldest things in our solar system and maybe the oldest things that we can reach. Leftovers from early solar system formation. The possibility of finding the precursors of life. Delineating between comets and asteroids. Fuzzy definitions. “Extinct” comets. Scales & tails.
Von Neumann Goo
Sending out of infected ice-balls and hoping someone notices. Like a tree! Just send your reproductive material everywhere and who cares who it lands on or gives allergies to.
Evil Jeff Bezos
Thinly-written villains. Narcissism. Poorly designed humans and “saving” humanity.
And magnets! The frequencies in which MRI machines are loudest, and the way that doesn’t line up with Venom’s sonic sensitivities. Resonance frequencies and alien “brown notes.”
Christopher’s surprise learning the distinction between the category of biological interactions that is symbiosis and its subcategories.
mutualism (Venom, but perhaps not his compatriots)
LPT: you can get pommes frites in Europe. Could Eiffel have been an agent? The history of the Eiffel tower. The Eiffel Tower’s science history. Cosmic rays. Wireless telepraphy (radio). Outliving its intended lifespan.
Which government agency should you be applying to in order to research alien stuff? Remembering the MiB is an NGO.
Increasing ability to track nearby space objects. Tracking objects in our solar system’s plane. The difficulty of tracking interstellar objects. Being a good space neighbor. Confirmed tracked interstellar objects. Failing to pronounce “ʻOumuamua.”
Danzig lives next door to me in l.a.
down the street
and he is the worst neighbor ever
justin: so he has this huge pile of bricks in his front yard
and the house looks like an evil pixar house
so anyway, his neighbor was like, “dude, danzig your bringing property values down with these bricks in your yard.”
and danzig was pissed
so anyway, back and forth with his neighbor and danzig
and finally one day
i see danzig outside
in his front yard
and he’s hurling bricks into this drumpster and he’s screaming, “HERE I AM MOTHERFUCKER, JUST CLEANING UP MY FUCKING BRICKS BITCH!”
Just super loud
to no one in particular
for two hours
it was amazing
like, i couldn’t even think about other things
because it was so amazing
me: oh my god
this is amazing
it blew my mind
because it was danzig as just a really poor homeowner
Hacking satellites! Actually totally possible and has happened. Air Force satellites at DEFCON. DDoS in space. The possibilities for catastrophy in hacking things in space. The many ways an attacker could damage or destroy our space telescopes.
Blue giants! They’re rather large, and luminous. And hot. Capturing star energy. Kardashev scales.
The tendency of our minds to backfill missing information. Using neuralizers without providing a cover story is probably actually good enough, really.
Men in Black: human gestation, stimulants, and Earth as backwater w/ Liam ginty: Decipher SciFi
Isaac Arthur: YouTube
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: 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.
Pterosaur-bird monster Rhodan. Inane pedantry. Pterasaurs vs dinosaurs! Freedom at the cutting creative edge of paleontological art.
Deep Learning With The Elephants by Planet Money: NPR.org
Godzilla: postwar Japan, science, and regrets w/ Miles Greb: Decipher SciFi
Wow there some really good movies in 1995! Geiger alien designs. Not “Alien,” but “alien.” This time, with nipples.
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!
Von Neumann trolls. Self-assembling bootstrapping biological systems. What if DNA is very common across life in the universe?
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.
Vulvic wall-pods. What the hell even is up with cocoons anyway? Cocoons are basically alien material already. The “soup method” of metamorphosis.
We redid our Patreon tiers! Check it out!: Patreon
James Cameron’s first film! And Arnold is amazing! The possibility of casting O.J. Simpson as the T-100. Harlan Ellison lawsuit.
The thawing of the AI winter of the 70s. Robots finally showing up in our lives and in the workplace. Terminator bootstrapping. Robotics and machine learning.
The possibility of AI becoming “self-aware” or “conscious” and whether we even know what those things really mean. Big data feeding skynet.
Jacked-up and oiled beefcake “infiltration” models. Franco Columbu. Robotic Ahhhhhnold blending in. The “rule of cool.” Feeding and maintaining a terminator’s “living tissue.”
Persistence of information
The persistence of human knowledge after the nuclear apocalypse. The fragility of magnetic storage media. Storing your data under a mountain. The weakness of encryption over time.
How to not sound crazy when telling people in the past that you’re from *the future*. Meatball time travel. Using the “living tissue” time travel rule to transport large weapons into the past. Stuffing a whale or elephant. Realizing that maybe (probably), no one (not even SkyNet) has the slightest clue what they are doing with the time travel.
John Carpenter, this movie, and Escape from New York plagiarism. Metal Gear Solid also as an Escape ripoff. Running popular media through a “Hideo Kojima filter” to see what comes out.
Side-mounting your spacecraft. Flying a brick. Deorbiting and landing in the space shuttle’s “orbiter.” Wiggle-worm descent. Having only one chance because all of your fuel was spent getting out of orbit. Returning to shuttle-like designs with mag-lev mountain-ramps.
Inert gas asphyxiation
Nitrogen! Biologically inactive gas asphyxia vs potentially-toxic: CO2, CO, etc. Hypoxia.
Falling out of space
The slim odds of hitting the ISS when accidentally de-orbiting. Space is… small? Understanding what “orbit” really means. HALO/HAHO jumping, Baumgartner’s Stratos jump, and the incredible difficulty of jumping out of orbit ffs. Copyrighting all of the “totally radical” stunts.
Breaking the sound barrier
The difference in the “speed of sound” at different atmospheric densities. Terminal velocity at high altitudes. Air is more “sticky” than you might expect. Why didn’t Felix Baumgartner “burn up” on reentry?
“Jumping down” from a space station and how that is not sufficient for deorbiting. Megaconstellations and space junk.
Height and reach advantage and impossible momentary punching force. Punching with horsepower vs just straight up hitting people with horses.
James Brown and showboat Apollo. The Khaleesi naming scheme.
The rising tide of money in sports. The “big bang of body types.” Steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
The particular badness of boxing for brain damage. The possible safety increase in taking off the gloves in MMA. Just about any sports injury is better than brain damage. The brain compared to Jello. The extra danger of rotational brain injury. Cumulative microconcussions.
Worrying the minimum amount about your speech. The difficulty of quoting noisy radio transmissions.
Because it is haaaahd
Recognizing the small temporal distance from the first powered flight to the first moon landing. The cutting edge of the early space program. Test piloting. Gemini.
The edge of space
Defining the edge of space. The “Karman Line”: transition from atmospheric lift to orbital velocity. Complications and redefinition of where “space” begins. Geopolitics, ruining everything since forever.
The “right stuff”
Badass engineer pilots. Moving fast and breaking things. Selection testing. Giving prospective astronauts ice-water wet willies. The importance of simulation in the early space program and the difficulty of simulating things we haven’t actually ever done or seen up close.How hard it really is to stay conscious under high-g stress.
Monocular depth cues. Light and shadow, unfamiliar objects, and depth perception. Equatorial noon on the equinox when stuff looks creepy: Lahaina Noon.
Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment
Retroreflectors and really really powerful lasers. Tiny photonic returns: 1 out of every 10¹⁷ photons shot at the moon mirror make it back for our detection. Multi-mile laser beams. Confirming relativity ftw.
… from the moon! And some regolith to boot. Vacuum transport for moon samples and how we work with them on Earth’s surface without contaminating. The difficulty of maintaining a a very strong vacuum vs nonreactive gasses. Detecting the provenance of proposed moon rocks. NASA’s moon-rock cataloguing system.
Viewership numbers. NASA’s custom video encoding and the incredibly analog conversion methods employed to bring it to television.