After some particular fun with character creation, Emperor Colbert’s coronation is interrupted by a sudden attack. With RPG-Colbert still entranced in his ceremonial mask, his bodyguard Chris rushes him to safety, but… airships!
Man’s best friend! And one of (many of?) our best technologies. The level to which we can handicap animals for aesthetics if we put our mind to it. Domesticated foxes.
Domestication. Plants and animals. Bending chosen qualities to better human use.
Implicit and explicit communication channels. Dog human body language-reading. Data connections and cloudy signal processing. Adaptation of dog body-design to robots. The small design effort required to get people to treat a robot animal like an animal.
The difference between industrial and military flamethrowers. An unpleasant, sticky material: napalm and napalm-like products!
We have one of those. Pls help.
Classic arcade gaming
Memories of the arcade and the Sega Game Gear. Introduction of Larry the Rat in the Atari Lynx port. How to pick from current social fears for your lazy game plot.
Genetics research in spaaaaaace. CRISPR. Bremen Drop Tower.
Gorilla sign language
Koko the gorilla. Gorilla sign language. Credulity and confirmation bias. Impressive gorilla lexicons. Adventures in signing portmanteus. Yogurt aka “milkfruitcandy food.”
Comparing the gorilla to the grizzly bear. Relative animal size. Grizzly bears as killing machine. Gorilla conflict-avoidance techniques.
The square-cube law! Relative scaling and the race between volume and surface area (volume always wins!). The creation of a bio antenna. The relatively low energy of radio waves.
Mutations, mutations, mutations
Gorilla turns into giant gorilla. Lizard turns into mega lizard. Wolf, though, turns into a wolf… with patagia and throwable quills! Possibly resembling the urticating hairs of a tarantula.
How to Make an Elephant Explode with Science by Kurtzgesagt: YouTube
Zero-G Experiments on Earth: The Bremen Drop Tower by Tom Scott: YouTube
Scientists Successfully Teach Gorilla It Will Die Someday by The Onion: YouTube
Special conditions requiring primary and secondary warnings.
How to tell if you are a robot? New Study Finds Best Way To Determine If You Are Android Still Cutting Open Forearm To Reveal Circuitry Within. Self-delusion and mass self-delusion.
Earth is really well-tuned for our needs (or is it the other way around?), and humans should try to maintain this as a base of operations if at all possible.
Surviving outside of Earth
Key resources on Mars and elsewhere in the solar system (outside of Earth). Iron for bullets. Rocket fuel.
Stealth in space
There is no stealth in space. Trying to hide from Earth (on Mars). Difficulties in hiding propulsion, light-blocking, and infrared emission. Hiding “in” the sun.
Shock and awe vs the impossibility of stealth. Why a nuclear EMP attack might not be a great idea. Throw a rock at it.
Evolved consciousness in Earth life. The possibility of consciousness emerging in “artificial” life. Attention Schema Theory. Central processing of separate signal enhancement.
Love! For James Cameron and Aliens. And the great utilitarian design of the spaceship interiors. Great world-building.
Cryosleep? Ice sublimation and mummified Sigourney Weaver. Hibernation. How to shove pine cones up your butt, chug some Nyquil, and turn into a bear. Cryogenic specimen preservations: sperm! DIY fecal plugs for hibernation.
Private space industry
The rise of private space industry. Going dystopian.
Planet? Moon? The delineation between planets and moons and looking forward to the future when we get confused again. Demoting Pluto to planetoid. Terraforming Mars. Sad news on Martian CO2 supplies for atmosphere creation. Crater settlements and whether or not you need a roof. Atmospheric density limits for human comfort and thriving.
But are they really called Xenomorphs? The throwaway line in Aliens that spawned decades of confusion.
Send the robots
Always send the robots. Unless you are an evil corporation with shady goals. Milk robots…?
Blade Runner connection
Blade Runner and Aliens are the same universe. The separate lines of technological development that yielded replicants and Aliens’ “synthetics.” Blade Runner 2049’s anime prequel and how that informs the universe crossover.
Aliens: iTunes | Amazon
Josh’s shows on LSG Media: Science Fiction Film Podcast | The X-Files Podcast
Josh’s escape room in Massachusetts: Mass Escape
Jurassic World, Jurassic Values by Mike Hill: YouTube
The economics of leaving Earth. Settling the inner and outer solar system. The Expanse. Space cattle and other space resources (water, mineral).
Garbage – in spaaace!
Garbage in space aka space junk. Cleaning up space junk. Giant nets as a major cleanup strategy.
Garbage – on Eaaaarth!
Modern waste management. What to do with municipal solid waste. Leachate. The difference between dumps and landfills and the interesting energy-reclamation technology involved in cutting edge WTE facilities.
Massive plastic appreciation. How plastics ushered in the modern world. A lament for wasteful use of “disposable” plastic products. Microplastics in the water. Biodegradable plastics. The discovery of plastic-eating bacteria. Speeding up nature to digest plastic now. The coming plague of plastic-eating bacteria.
This isn’t a thing! There’s no end point that is being retreated from – life just adapts to pressures, ongoing.
Revisiting our past failures. Combating cynicism by just kind of ignoring it.
Ready Player One: virtual reality haptics, digital economies, and optical trickery w/ Jolene Creighton
Featuring guest co-host
Identity according to interests. Fiction as personal and social mirror. Cultures and subcultures and super-niches.
Ad-hoc city large-scale construction. Kowloon Walled City.
Virtual Reality immersion technology
VR treadmills vs slippy-feet (Virtuix Omni). Looking silly. Scaling and translation from real-world input to virtual worlds. Manual and body haptics. Simulating moistness. Nard-stimulation for good and ill.
VR spatial awareness
Directional trickery in virtual reality. Tricking people into experiencing smaller real-world spaces as much larger in virtual reality. Saccade-driven Redirected Walking for VR.
Resolution of virtual worlds
Pixel densities and optical foci. Continuity of experience and detection of the difference between virtual and simulated worlds. Finding the clever “hacks” that will enable us to more deeply immerse ourselves in VR experiences.
Virtual world scale and sharding vs mon-worlds.Virtu
Real virtual economies and responsibility.
Ready Player One iTunes | Amazon
Ready Player One (book) by Ernest Cline iTunes | Amazon
Saccade-driven Redirected Walking for VR YouTube
A Real Life Haptic Glove (Ready Player One Technology Today) by Smarter Every Day YouTube
The Infinadeck Omnidirectional Treadmill by Smarter Every Day YouTube
Kowloon Walled City interactive feature WSJ
The Brookhaven Experiment Steam
Man From Earth Holocene: hunter gatherer nostalgia and trading intestines for brains w/ Adrian Falcone
Featuring guest co-host
The Man From Earth
Our love for the original. Considering the sequel. People talking in a room.
The coming-on of the bronze age. Grocking the rate of progress w/ Dominick Perry. “Free time” in hunter-gatherer societies. Nostalgia as a way to bridge from what was old and comfortable to what is new and scary.
Anatomically modern humans vs socially modern humans. The evolutionary advantage of controlled fire and beginning to cook food. Getting away from all-day mastication and looooooooong intestines in favor of the big brain on Brad.
Getting boy without modern technology. The earliest evidence for humans cooking with fire. Differentiating human-controlled fire from millennia ago from other sources (like iguanas, or wildfires).
Life expectancies over time. Appreciation for antibiotics. Life expectancy vs lifespan. Evolving into a centauranarian.
Less-than-generous portrayals of religious characters. Third-act surprises. Jesus vs the antichrist.
Preposterous amounts of testosterone. Preposterone. Ahhnold and Carl Weathers. The muscles from Brussels in spaaaaace.
Picking a chunk of the electromagnetic spectrum to be invisible within.
- Spatial light manipulation
- Temporal light manipulation
- Spectral light manipulation
Seeing in infrared! Interactions between optical camouflage and optical receivers. Why doesn’t all the life on Earth have heat vision? Heat-tracking evolution. Pit viper heat sensors. Human heat-tracking. Biology absorbing infrared. Seeing in greyscale. Wet clay camouflage and effectiveness over time. Mythbusting. Infrared-blocking materials.
Aliens vs Predator for top monster. Ears…? Bleeding. The rainbow of different blood colors available on Earth. Green blood. Luminescent blood. Figuring out why only arthropods seems to have mandibles, and lamenting the lack of them in macro predators.
Appreciating that Blade Runner is pretty much officially the same world as Predator now.
Techno-scuttling. Destroying advanced technology to keep it out of enemy hands. Super-expanding polymers. Amazon delivery drone automatic “dispersal.”
A collection of responses to feedback and addenda from supporter Jeremy. Basically, a review of some things we missed in a few episodes and an expansion on others. 🙂
Fault types review. Flood basalts as hot spot lava spam. The Deccan Traps. Vulcanism as a possible explanation for dinsoaur extinction (Wargames).
Progress in millitary tactics. The triumph of guerrilla tactics. Politeness in chess. Mt St Helens sound waves. High-energy events.
Implantable devices. API development.
Lojban. Constructed languages. Esperanto.
Unfavorable reviews. Myth vs legend vs fable as given to us by an actual folklorist. Colonialism and the lens of cultural study. Swole Jesus. Zeus’s promiscuity. Anti-intellectualism.
“Gopher nukes.” Tactical nuclear yields. Nuclear testing and Godzilla.
Alcohol! Low-alcohol beverages in history instead of water. A History of the World in Six Glasses, again.
Climate change and glacial surges.
Programming languages, where to draw the line behind low and high level.
Sound localization without pitch. Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity.
Amazon and iTunes links include our affiliate codes. If you wouldn’t mind helping us out a tiny bit, go ahead and use them to buy/stream something. Thanks! 🙂