Episode 494: It’s Crisis Time

This episode contains: Steven and Ben host this all new leap year episode. Ben thinks about how his life would be if he had kids at an earlier age. Steven has also been going through a midlife crisis, which has caused him to start journaling. Steven wants to stop wasting his life on his phone using focus mode. “How I Setup My iPhone — So It Doesn’t Ruin My Life…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrQHz-1UJ3g&ab_channel=TimKoa Ben reminds us at the phone should be the tool, not you. Ben is having an Obsidian Obsession. Steven recommends Pacific Drive, which has big Half Life 2 vibes. https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/1458140/ We also talk about the live action Avatar on Netflix. Listener Hank points out that the HeLa Cells were in Emergency Skin were a reference to an historical wrong done to Henrietta Lacks. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02494-z Thanks Hanks! And thanks Henrietta Lacks!


It’s True, All Of It: Scientists scanning the seafloor discover a long-lost Stone Age ‘megastructure’. In the fall of 2021, a marine geologist and students mapped the shape of the seafloor at high resolution and found something interesting. Not quite 70 feet below the surface, they stumbled upon a stone wall more than half a mile long that dated back to the Stone Age — one of the oldest such megastructures on the planet. In research published in PNAS, Geersen and his colleagues say this piece of ancient hunting architecture may have been used to corral and hunt reindeer, adding a level of sophistication to the prehistoric hunter-gatherers who lived 10,000 to 11,000 years ago.



This One’s For Devon: Deliverance Forevermore!: Power Metal: is it really about dragons? Some years ago, Matt Daniels wrote a great article on who has the largest vocabulary in hip-hop, comparing Shakespeare to famous hip-hop artists. What about Power Metal? People know metal or heavy metal but not necessarily power metal. Power metal has speed (remember that last song on Guitar Hero), clean vocals (you can understand the words, looking at you grind metal) and lyrics about dragons. Is it really only about dragons? Running Wild (2949 unique words) has the biggest vocabulary, followed by Helloween (2641) and Elvenking (2505). Bands from Spain, Germany and Finland have an average of more than 1600 words vocabulary; in comparison native countries like UK, US and Scotland have an average of 925, 1383 and 1501 words respectively. The most metal words are deliverance, defender, honour, forevermore, realm and the least are shit, baby, fuck, girl, verse. The most negative song is Condemned To Hell by Gamma Ray and the most positive There’s Something In The Skies by Dark Moor.



Book Club:  We read the short story by Andy Weir: Randomize.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49661162-randomize As you likely already know, Andy Wier is the author of The Marian and Project Hail Mary. This is a SPOILER filled discussion. The story concerns quantum computing, random number generation and gambling. The story presents the craziness of quantum computing to the lay person using a casino as the backdrop. But was the story racist?

The next short story is Slow Time Between the Stars by John Scalzi.