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.
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The future “language” in the film. The difference between accent and dialect. how languages change over time, by example. Trying to understand original spoken Shakespeare and generally succeeding. Trying to understand original spoken Beowulf and completely failing. The mutual intelligibility of Old Norse and Old English.
Surprise! There are aliens and they want to kill us. Engineered animal-weapons (the “Ursa”). Improving the Ursa design: giving guns to blind animals for fun and profit. Komodo dragon-mode leeches. Evolving from parasite to hunter. The combat techniques of butt-spiking murderbirds (shrikes).
“Smelly handshakes.” Mammary pheromone response in human infants. Getting used to stinky things. Tales of accidental moth pheromone pranks.
Surprising evolutionary directions in the absence of humanity. Even a thousand years later, baboons still don’t appreciate getting hit with rocks.
The dangers of low atmospheric oxygen. Using the top of Everest as marker for O2 danger. Climbing Everest in shorts.
In Our Time – Pheromones: BBC
“Butchering Bird” (the shrike): YouTube
Eddie Izzard “Babies on spikes” bit without any context: YouTube
Lion scent-marking with non-scientific audio: YouTube
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rationalism/spiritualism/etc. The rational scientific worldview and self-correction. The absolution of new knowledge.
Domestication. Plants and animals. Bending chosen qualities to better human use.
Watermelon as of The Renaissance. Yay selective breeding! We win!
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!
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.
What: We talk about H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” and its two film adaptations. Time travel! Written/Directed by: H.G. Wells | George Pal | Simon Wells Starring: Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux | Guy Pearce, Yancey Arias, Mark Addy
Featuring guest co-host Joe Ruppel, history nerd and our co-bff