translation

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

Akira red motorcycle on white background

Akira: mind bullets, evolution, and odd horsepower calculations w/ Jolene Creighton

Featuring guest co-host
Jolene Creighton headshot
Jolene Creighton, the science queen

Akira

Hey this movie was really important! Time and place. Budgets. Omg so pretty.

Subtitles

Subtitling adult anime for the west. Translation vs localization. Different industries and approaches to localization. Software localization in comparison to film localization. Fansubs online before the likes of Crunchyroll.

Motorcycles

Horsepower! Sweet motorcycles. High-speed motorcycle attacks. Turning people into “mushwater.”

Funiculars

giant slidey freight elevators. Also mountainside trams. Related words:

  • Funicular is Latin for cord
  • Funiculus is Latin for umbilical cord
  • Umbilicus is Latin for navel

Waterways

Underwater or otherwise. Rivers vs sewers. The Tokyo sewer and transport overhaul preceding the 1964 Olympics. The inefficiency of poop-sucking truck fleets. Traveling in sewers and dysentery avoidance.

Psi powers

Creepy, wrinkly children. Psi floaty chairs, the escalator of chairs! When operational, their ares a floaty chair. When they fail, they are… a comfortable chair.

Mind bullets

Obvious thing to do: government research into mind-bullets. Surprising thing: when it works. Even more surprising: when it works so well it blows up Tokyo and starts World War III.

The future of humanity

Evolutionary milestones. Latent abilities. Guided evolution. Atavism.

Laser guns

Laser rifles! Conventions against blinding weapons. Tricking the enemy into rout with elaborate eyepatches. Recognizing the obvious advantages of space lasers. Space-based light concentrators. The difficulties of penetrating atmosphere with space-based lasers. Space lasers for space junk cleanup (Kurtzgesagt).

Blobby guy

Overloading on mind bullets and turning into a big blobby guy before going all mini-singularity. Crushing your girlfriend in your fleshy bits.

Links

AKIRA: How To Animate Light by Nerdwriter1: YouTube
Decipher SciFi animated scifi posters: Twitter
Jolene Creighton: Website | Twitter | Future of Life