Time Travel

Terminator 2 T-1000 movie backdrop

Terminator 2: advanced puppetry, Skynet, and liquid nitrogen handling w/ Joe Ruppel

People

Love and appreciation for the humans involved. James Cameron is amazing. Arnold, always our favorite. Linda Hamilton playing one of the most iconic characters in film. Robert Patrick doing the robot. James Cameron doing everything himself.

VFX

VFX and CG and the high shot counts for the time. The expense of CG and the appropriate use thereof. Budgets. Incredible animatronix! The value of high-quality practical FX from the 90s and how they hold up.

Ict hot stuntaz

Motorcycle jumping. Harley’s Fat Boy. Jumping into helicopters.

Technology

The Terminator series as a window into our concerns over technology in different decades. Computing miniaturization. Quantum stuff. Read-only Terminator modes, IRQ switching, and ro cassettes.

Terminators

Terminator models and designs. Possible Billy Idol T-1000, or Kyle Reese-bots. T-1000 shiny grey goo nanite flow robot.

Liquid Nitrogen

Pork chop sandwiches! Inert gas asphyxiation. Steam barriers, sugar work, and dipping your hand into hot lead.

Links:

T2 Stunt Trailer by Peter Kent: YouTube
The Forgotten Art of Blockbuster Cinema by Mike Hill: YouTube

Arnold Terminator bad guy movie backdrop

The Terminator: bootstrapping, machine uprising, and time traveling meatballs

People

James Cameron’s first film! And Arnold is amazing! The possibility of casting O.J. Simpson as the T-100. Harlan Ellison lawsuit.

Robots

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.

Skynet

The possibility of AI becoming “self-aware” or “conscious” and whether we even know what those things really mean. Big data feeding skynet.

Terminators

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.

Time travel

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.

Links:

Harlan Ellison and the Terminator: YouTube

Star Trek IV – The Journey Home: whale margarine, transparent aluminum, and time travel

Star Trek

Best Star Trek movies. Liking things because they are familiar. The odd-even Star Trek movie rule. Mathematical proofs. Dismissing the reboots.

Cosmic horror

Giant cylinders and plumbuses. Finding out you are as an ant in the universe. Spreading across space and building giant robot suits to fight the larger incomprehensible creatures.

Time travel

Using time travel to solve problems despite the consequences. Time travel anachronism stories. Bad time-travel sales pitches. The Mooreeffoc Effect. Would you go to the future? Only going forward because medicine in the past is always so bad. Time travel vaccinations.

Whales

The possibility of cetacean “language.” “Save the whales” in the 80s. Whale oil being supplanted by kerosene as industrial fuel. Stinky whale candles. The Napoleonic origins of margarine and the economics of fuel and margarine. Industrialized whaling. “Factory ships.” Realizing we are running out of whales. Continued industrial whaling, namely by Japan and some of the Nordic countries.

Links

A bunch of Wikipedia articles: Whaling | Whale Oil | Margarine
Moby Dick by Herman Melville: iTunes | Amazon

Avengers Endgame character collage backdrop

Avengers Endgame: Appreciating the enormity of the MCU

A review

Spoiler alert: we liked this movie

Phase 1

Appreciating the establishment of the characters of Iron Man and Captain America. That grenade scene. Joss Whedon writing and directing teams of characters learning to work together. Realizing the first movie in the MCU came out in 2008. Realizing just how long ago 2008 was.

Phase 2

James Gunn appreciation (ps Super was really really good!). Guardians introducing a new level of comedy into the MCU.

Phase 3

Guardians dad feels. Our favorite MCU movies. Appreciating Spiderverse even though it doesn’t count.

Money and The Mouse

The huge money-making power of this franchise. A review of budgets and revenue in the MCU. Feeling conflicted about enjoying these otherwise-impossible projects while Disney slowly buys up the entirety of western media.

Time travel quantum gobbledlygook

Time travel. Single-timeline time travel vs branching-timelines. The classic scientific “Loki-Hypercube paradox.” Timeline diagram for Avengers: Endgame. Avoiding the Novikov self-consistency principle for paradox avoidance. The “Deutsch proposition.” Robbing Peter in one timeline to pay Paul in another. Playing the time travel genie to wish for more wishes.

Characters

Character growth. Going over Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, etc. Observing how these characters have grown over time.

Links

MCU on Decipher SciFi: Guardians 1 | Guardians 2 | Avengers Infinity War
Avengers: Endgame timeline diagram: imgur
Marvel movie budgets and box office revenue: Reddit
“The Limitations of the Marvel Cinematic Universe” by Patrick Willems: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Back to the Future Part II movie backdrop

Back to the Future Part II: time travel options, retro futurism, and hip thrust combat w/ Daniel Barker

Likenesses

The legal precedent set by Crispin Glover’s lawsuit against the production; folks are more careful these days as a result. “Grandma Tarkin.”

"Grandma Tarkin" Star Wars satire speech-to-text meme

Rick & Morty

Rick & Morty’s original short lampooning Doc & Marty.

The future

The fun, friendly future where the alleyways are safer than the streets. Worrying about your future children and feeling disgusted by your teenage self. Pelvic thrusting fight technique.

Daniel James Barker with embarrassing scene kid hair

DJB back in the embarrassing teenage days

Time travel technique

Buying The almanac. Varieties of time travel: mutable, immutable, and branching. The way BTTF mixes these options at its leisure. The butterfly effect. Coping with the scale of possibilities. Strategic infanticide and Godwin’s Law.

Spacetime travel

Taking into account frames of reference. Appearing suddenly in near-vacuum if you don’t properly calibrate your time machine to also account for space travel. The importance of accurate time measurement e.g. Doctor Who The Movie. Destroying “the universe” but only the local area as causality here could not affect far away galaxies due to expansion. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Rational Optimism

Dan’s message welcoming Marty McFly to the future. Recognizing the overarching improvements in the wellbeing of humanity in the face of the negative newscycle.

Future things!

Bricking your self-lacing shoes. Keeping your shoes from joining a botnet. Self-smoking shirts. The periodic nature of futurism where “the future” always looks basically like now but with neato accessories. Hoverboard hoaxes and disappointments.

Links

Uncertainty Principle the Podcast: Soundcloud | The “Marty” Episode
VFXcool: Back to the Future Trilogy by Captain Disillusion: Part 1 | Part 2

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.

Superman The Movie Backdrop

Superman (1978) : Episode 144

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Superman (1978)

What: Superman!
Directed by: Richard Donner
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman

Recommended and Related Media

(more…)

Avengers Infinity War backdrop

Avengers Infinity War : Episode 142

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Avengers Infinity War

What: Thanos goes glove-shopping
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo

Recommended and Related Media

(more…)

Timecop backdrop

Timecop : Episode 135

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Timecop

What: Jean Claude kicks faces.
Directed by: Peter Hyams
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, Ron Silver

Recommended and Related Media

(more…)

The Time Machine backdrop

The Time Machine (feat Joe Ruppel) : Episode 107

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

The Time Machine [1895, 1960, 2002]

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 PhotoJoe Ruppel, history nerd and our co-bff

Recommended and Related Media

(more…)