Episode 500: The Path of Totality

This episode contains: All three of your co-hosts are back to prove that 500 is just another number. We recorded on Rex Manning Day (you know, from Empire Records) and we missed First Contact Day (you know, from First Contact). Nobody remembers the Genetics Wars (you know, from nothing at all), or was it the Eugenics Wars? But you know what it really was today? It’s the Great American Eclipse! “I actually live in the path of totality” – Devon, and like several thousand more people. What kind of bedlam and absolute riot would there be at a ren faire during an eclipse? Shouts of “BURN THE WITCH” and whatever. Ben didn’t record last time because he had date night in the middle of Spring Break. Date night did NOT include seeing Dune, but did have terrible service, cold tacos, rain, and allergy medicine. Steven traveled to DisneyLand again (does he, like, live there now?) and there’s been some major updates to the tech in the queues for rides. Even with the new games you can play on your phone while waiting for the rides, the Peter Pan queue is just too skinny (it was made for people in the 1950s, and I guess we didn’t have an overweight problem in the US back then). Steven’s ready for war to never change, cause this upcoming week is the new Fallout TV show. You lucky dogs, reading this in the future… you’ve probably watched it all, haven’t you?


Death comes for us all and other light musings: What happens in the brain during the process of death? A woman named Patient One who suffered cardiac arrest became the subject of a study by neurologist Jimo Borjigin. When Patient One’s brain activity was monitored after being taken off life support, unexpected electrical activity was still detected. Devon goes through the historical context on scientific interest in near-death experiences (NDEs) and consciousness after clinical death. More recent technological advances have allowed many more people to be resuscitated after cardiac arrest, providing new opportunities to study what happens in the brain during the dying process. Science may be on the verge of new discoveries about death, consciousness, and the relationship between the mind and brain.


This odd mindset shift regarding death could cure procrastination forever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC4jcrB4RHc


What does an eclipse sound like? Once upon a time, there was light in my life / But now there’s only love in the dark. (Ben sings it!) An app called Eclipse Soundscapes was developed to help blind and visually impaired people experience solar eclipses. It provides audio descriptions of the eclipse’s progress matched to the user’s location, and also includes recorded sounds of animals reacting to the dimming light as if night has come, and a “rumble map” feature allowing users to feel the eclipse’s stages through vibrations on their smartphone screen. The app aims to make the experience of the eclipse more accessible through multiple senses.





Science fiction: Netflix’s Three Body Problem has dropped, and it’s so Game of Thrones in the best way. Ben presents Star Trek episodes 909 and 910. That’s right, Disco is back, baby! And it’s a wild Indiana Jones adventure this season, with strong ties back to a Next Generation episode that really should have been revisited a long time ago. Even though Devon and Steven poo-pooed Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire last week, Ben saw it, and he LIKED IT. Kinda weird Ben wasn’t excited about Ghostbusters: Afterlife before Steven gave his review of it all those years ago, and this time the tables have flipped. Kumail Nanjiani steals the show in the new Ghostbusters, but have you seen him in The Big Sick? Devon recommends. How do you like the new Science Faction website? It’s actually legible! https://sciencefactionpodcast.com/

Next week our book club will cover Just Out of Jupiter’s Reach (The Far Reaches collection) by Nnedi Okorafor. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0C4QR4SX7