language

thor the dark world movie backdrop

Thor Dark World: Finnish-ish, amphetamines, and weaponized gravity

Background

Looking back after the culmination of all these threads in Endgame. Queen Amidala’s midichlorian magical umbrella.

Language

Thor knowing All-Tongue, emitting pheromones, and doing the bee dance. The difficutly of universal language or language understanding. Finnishish conlanging. The cultural and linguistic juxtaposition between Scandinavia and Finland.

Alignment of worlds

Astrology is bunkum nonsense gobbledegook. The miniscule and generally unimportant effects when bodies in space are “in alignment.”

“Magic”

Our difficulties with magical realism. Asgardian “Smagic.” Apparent technology levels and technology so advanced it looks like magic. Bringing swords and shields to a lasergun fight.

Battle stimulation

Dosing for war. Uppers are very popular. The Finnish soldier who was the “first documented case of a soldier over overdosing on methamphetamines during combat.”

Black holes etc

“Gravity grenades.” The possibility of man-made miniature black holes.

Vikings

“Viking burials” but not like you thought. Tumuli/barrows/kurgans. Horned helmets.

Links

Thor The Dark World: iTunes | Amazon
Guardians of the Galaxy: Decipher SciFi
Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Decipher SciFi
Avengers Infinity War: Decipher SciFi
Black Panther: Decipher SciFi
Avengers Endgame: Decipher SciFi

After Earth Will Smith Jaden Smith backdrop image

After Earth: pheromones, murder-birds, and language evolution

This movie

Not well reviewed. Will Smith’s “painful failure.” The real twist is the lack of explanation for things. Jaden Smith wisdom.

Accent and language

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.

Creatures

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).

Phereomones

“Smelly handshakes.” Mammary pheromone response in human infants. Getting used to stinky things. Tales of accidental moth pheromone pranks.

Quarantine earth

Surprising evolutionary directions in the absence of humanity. Even a thousand years later, baboons still don’t appreciate getting hit with rocks.

Atmosphere

The dangers of low atmospheric oxygen. Using the top of Everest as marker for O2 danger. Climbing Everest in shorts.

Links

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

Aquaman Jason Mamoa backdrop

Aquaman: cetaceans, riding sea animals, and the bends

DCEU

Aquaman as a sign of possibility the of interesting things going forward in the DC Extended Universe. Sexy Jason Mamoa. Underwater Superman.

Atlantis

Unlimited power when everyone else thought the world was flat. Appreciating the innovation that was realizing the Earth was mostly spherical. Ancient Greek steam turbans. Eating raw fish and seaweed. the origins of sushi. The careful application of lava for removing parasites.

Sea mammals

Underwater echolocation. Communication by sound. The possibility of cetacean languages. Torpedo-shaped body plans and efficient insulation. Breathing fluids (but not sea water!).

Deep diving

Decompression sickness. Why you really don’t want bubbles in your fluids. The differing breath-holding techniques of whales at different depths. Whales that get decompression sickness.

Domesticating sea animals

The list of traits that make for good domesticatiion: “Friendly, feedable, fecund, and family-friendly” and how hard it might be to find the full set of traits in the ocean. The ultimate futility of trying to domesticate sharks.

Links:

Aquaman: iTunes | Amazon Prime Video | YouTube
Zebra vs Horses: Animal Domestication by CGP Grey: YouTube

Atlantis Disney movie backdrop

Atlantis: the Silurian hypothesis, ancient language, and updating the drake equation

Myth and history

Getting past the nonsense. The reasonable idea that civilizations have in fact existed and then fallen, without notice by modern study. Rocking Like a Hurricane in the B.C. era.

Human history irl

Humanity circa 10,000 years ago. The beginnings of civilization. Early agriculture. Making beer and eventually bread. How not to make bread by putting beer in the oven. More Rocking Like a Hurricane. Just invent pants, beer, and bread and you’re off to a really solid start. “Why are pants, different than shirts?

The Silurian Hypothesis

The Silurian Hypothesis. Imagining the difference in civilizational detectibility over hundreds of thousands or millions of years. Thinking like ze dolphin. Plastic permanence. Climate impacts written into geology. Radiological evidence.

Proto Indo European

The “Atlantean” conlang. Marc  Okrand and Klingon. Language before language was written down. How we figure out anything about a language from 6500 years ago that is no longer spoken and was never written down.

Links

Atlantis: iTunes | Amazon Prime Video
The Silurian Hypothesis: Would it be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record?: arXiv.org

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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

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

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

Black Panther T'Challa movie backdrop

Black Panther: rhino domestication, click languages, and Killmonger overheating

Afrofuturism

Wishing there were more of this in popular media.

Invisible cities

A review of invisibility technology: spatial, temporal, and spectral light cloaking. Vibranium to the rescue.

Vibranium

Space impactors. Resource

Armor

Body armor, stationary armor. Avoiding concussive force. Reactive armor in tanks: shaped explosives that explode at the other thing that’s gonna explode! Molecular springs of carbon for storage of mechanical energy from kinetic. How not to turn into Black Panther jelly when the suit releases its energy (be superhuman).

Absolute monarchies

Bas Rutten for king. Right hoooook.

Scars and sweat

Killmonger’s scarification and scar damage to the dermis. Sweat patterns around scars.

Telepiloting

Remote vehicle control. Light-speed communications delays. AI-assisted remote human driving.

War Rhinos

Domestication vs trainability. Extinct war elephants and why we can’t have war rhinos. Dürer’s rhinoceros, drawn from notes on the first rhino seen in Europe since Roman times.Dürer's Rhinoceros

Click language

Xhosa! Bantu languages. The possibility of a connection to the earliest human languages.

Links

Decipher RPG Part 1 | Part 2

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Westworld : Episode 139

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Westworld [1973]

What: Robots! And six shooters! you get the idea.
Directed by: Michael Crichton
Starring: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin

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Stargate backdrop

Stargate (feat Dominic Perry of The History of Egypt Podcast) : Episode 136

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Stargate

What: Stargate science in the movie that spawned the sprawling franchise. Yay ancient Egypt!
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Kurt Russell, James Spader, French Stewart

Featuring guest co-host
Dominic Perry headshotDominic Perry of The History of Egypt Podcast

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