It may be a while until I have time to prepare an episode or record next. I’ll be traveling for work, I have new additions for a new edition due, vacation plans, etc. I’d like to do a Flash focused episode or Suicide Squad spotlight. Maybe. The courts get busy before people start disappearing on their Summer breaks, so my attention is a bit split. There’s a ton of stuff to enjoy from the Ultimate Edition trailer, Rebirth, to Suicide Squad spots and merchandise, to Rick Famuyiwa filmography, etc. so you’re spoiled for choice!
Please support the DC TV Podcasts: Spinal Cort Research Fundraiser, this Saturday, June 11th.This is a great cause and a fun podcast event!
Here’s some RRSSS:
- Why I Broke Up With The Little Mermaid | Jesse Eisenberg
- Little Mermaid: Cry with the Saints | Myths & Legends Podcast
- Silicon Valley people need thicker skin | Nick Denton, Gawker | Recode
- Existentialism – Philosophy #16 | CrashCourse
- Artificial Intelligence | Elon Musk | Recode
- We are already cyborgs | Elon Musk | Recode
- Is life a video game? | Elon Musk | Recode
- Collisions: Crash Course Physics #10 | CrashCourse
- What Are You? | Kurzgesagt
- Returning Home From Life In Space | Great Big Story
- Event Horizon: How Space Changes Your Perspective On Life | Great Big Story
- Who Governs Space? | Completely Optional Knowledge
- The Astronaut Who Got Sued By NASA | Motherboard
- This is What Outer Space Does to Your Body | Great Big Story
- Deciphering the Secrets of Codex Seraphinianus | Great Big Story
- How the Voynich Manuscript Works | Stuff You Should Know
- BvS Word Frequency Analysis of Proper Nouns (Theatrical Subtitles)
- How Much everyone Working On a $200 Million Movie Earns | Vanity Fair
- King Tut’s dagger was ‘made from a meteorite’ | CNN
- Raw Craft with Anthony Bourdain – Episode Four: Bob Kramer | Raw Craft
- A Sword Fit For Kings: Forging Real Life Valyrian Steel | Great Big Story
- Ulfberht swords | Wikipedia
- Damascus steel | Wikipedia
- NOVA Secrets of the Viking Sword | PBS
- Solution to the Grandfather Paradox | MinutePhysics
- 3 Surprising Creativity Tests feat. Vsauce! | BrainCraft
- How does laser cooling work? | Physics Girl
- Is energy always conserved? | Physics Girl
- 6 Algorithms That Can Improve Your Life | Note to Self
- Professor Povey’s Perplexing Problems | Thomas Povey
- How Does CatDog Poop? (Because Science w/ Kyle Hill) | Nerdist
- How Superheroes Phase Through Walls Is All Wrong! | Nerdist
- Is Quantum Tunneling Faster than Light? | Space Time
- What’s the Value of a Life? | BrainCraft
- The Buried Bodies Case | Radiolab
- The Dark Souls of Idea Channel Episodes | PBS Idea Channel
- Superman vs Muhammad Ali | Denny O’Neil & Neal Adams
- Meet The Artist ’15: Rick Famuyiwa | Sundance Film Festival
Why I Broke Up With The Little Mermaid | Jesse Eisenberg
This is a 4-minute skit performed by Jesse Eisenberg (and his sister Hallie). Written for the New Yorker. It humorously injects modern reality into the Disney rendering, while still less dark than the original telling. I love that this kind of funny askew view of life is in the actor bringing Lex Luthor to life.
I thought about Lex when reviewing some clips from Code Conference yesterday. Two things jumped out: First, was Nick Denton of Gawker skewering Silicon Valley’s thin skin. Irrespective of whether you agree with him or his position, at a minimum, it presents the kind of tension between some tech billionaires and some of the press. You could maybe see Lex and the press at odds along these kinds of battlelines.
Existentialism – Philosophy #16 | CrashCourse
(a concise summary of existentialism to assist in understanding an existential crisis)
Second, I was struck by the amount of existential crises Elon Musk was confronted with from artificial intelligence, cybernetics, and simulation… and how seriously and sincerely he takes them. In the clips:
- On AI, Musk suggests malevolence is a likely outcome if not actively anticipated against;
- On Cyborgs, I love the line where he says technology has made us individually more powerful than the President was 20 years ago (in terms of gathering answers or getting a message out); and
- On Simulation, he uses the exponential accuracy of gaming to suggest it’s more likely than not that we’re in a simulation which is one way to resolve the Fermi Paradox.
Musk is an interesting study in an extreme blend of pragmatism, optimism, and cynicism which can apply to Lex in some ways.
Collisions: Crash Course Physics #10 | CrashCourse
Whenever there’s something scientific to explain, I try to see if someone said it better before I stumble my way through it. Often, I’ll be amazed that something directly on point comes out days or even hours before I record (or as I’m editing). Sadly, this video came a few days too late. If you still need a refresher on momentum and impulse, let Dr. Shini Somara explain!
What Are You? | Kurzgesagt
We’ve done a ton of these Ship of Theseus videos by now, always raising Cyborg, the Positronic / Bicentennial Man, Clark’s humanity, etc. Skipping the philosophy this time and just piggybacking on the idea of cellular replacement with the videos from SciShow and BrainStuff addressing the 7-year replacement story.
I brought this up ages ago to address the nature of the Kryptonian Codex being bonded to Kal-El’s blood cells. I mentioned at the time that if his blood cells didn’t die they didn’t operate as blood cells (for reasons similar to the lack of an anus on some creatures). BvS gives us some new data, but sometimes you’ve got to let go.
Like the way we have to pretend radiation is magic. I sometimes wonder how many misunderstand radiation on account of Superman. Apologetics aren’t always meant as actual answers but instead avenues to other understandings… take Flash’s phasing:
How Superheroes Phase Through Walls Is All Wrong! | Nerdist
Last episode, I threw some shade at Flash’s explanation for phasing in the 60s as dated, but even the update isn’t much more than technobabble. Kyle points out the problems with a possible “solution” which doesn’t scale as easily as he like. Nonetheless there’s value in curiosity (that’s another show). Incidentally, he credits Kakalios as a precursor to this explanation, but Flash was proposed as a quantum-being even earlier in Stop Motion.
Returning Home From Life In Space | Great Big Story
A short series of videos (also: Event Horizon: How Space Changes Your Perspective On Life and This is What Outer Space Does to Your Body) about the impact of seeing Earth from space on an astronaut. This account is particularly romantic and inline with the kind of impact it might have on Clark or insight it might give him, where he crosses international borders to help because he can’t see those borders from space. There are less romantic accounts (The Astronaut Who Got Sued By NASA), of course, but I like to think that space has a largely positive impact on him.
Utterly random but I also like to think his self-effacing reluctance to seize power may bear some similarity to George Washington’s character.
Deciphering the Secrets of Codex Seraphinianus | Great Big Story
This is such a crazy exercise in world-building and artistic expression, likely inspired in-part by the Voynich Manuscript. I’m a little more fascinated by the Voynich Manuscript (HowStuffWorks Podcast) due to its age and continued mystery. Regardless, it shows the creative drive to create worlds. Imagine if you have a big budget film to use as your canvas! I’m so excited for our upcoming DC films and happy for the directors who get to build out into Themyscira, Atlantis, Apokolips, the Speed Force, and beyond!
BvS Word Frequency Analysis of Proper Nouns (Theatrical Subtitles)
If I had more time to do this more meticulously I would, but I don’t so I just threw the first available set of subtitles at a word frequency counter and noted the following observations:
- Instances of:
- Bruce + Wayne + Batman = 58
- Clark + Kent + Superman = 58
- Lex + Luthor + LexCorp = 40
- Lois + Lane = 17
- “Superman” (29) is said almost ten times more than “Batman” (3) and second only to the proper noun “Wayne” (34)
- “God” (22) to “Man” (21)
- Gotham (17), Alfred (13), Bat (14)
- Martha (16)
- Metropolis (13), Kryptonian (10), Kryptonite (3), Perry (4)
It’ll be interesting to see how these shift with the Ultimate Edition.
How Much everyone Working On a $200 Million Movie Earns | Vanity Fair
Insight into the rough division of funds for a film.
King Tut’s dagger was ‘made from a meteorite’ | CNN
The last episode dealt a lot with materials and their suitability for weaponry. Even access to a material did not mean the ability to immediately synthesize it. It’s one of the reasons that blades made of meteor metal have been romanticized for ages (I didn’t delve into Kryptonite history, so no comment a comparatively terrestrial origin versus being a meteor), even when material is almost essentially entirely understood.
One of the fun examples of that elusive, still somewhat secret process is the story of the Ulfberht swords, a special series of blades with legendary properties for their time.
A Sword Fit For Kings: Forging Real Life Valyrian Steel | Great Big Story
This is a short video on the swords, but NOVA did a more exhaustive look in “Secrets of the Viking Sword” back in 2012.
Another similar story is the experimental archeology into recovering the techniques for creating Damascus steel. How much more would a mystery material like Kryptonite perhaps confound those who would want to wield it?
It also touches on how Wonder Woman’s sword is ahead of its time. As a longtime Highlander fan, I had to reconcile certain characters predating their preferred weaponry. I think it’s the art book which mentions Snyder pushed for a more modern design of Wonder Woman’s sword than what would ordinarily be available at the time. Yet with the Ulfberht, Damascus, and legends like Masamune or Muramasa… there’s some wiggle room for weaponry futurists who saw fit to design something beyond their era. Maybe.
Even though I didn’t do the science of materials justice, I’m incredibly fascinated by it. I don’t think I’m alone. There’s a rise of blacksmith and bladesmith media on YouTube and original cable content. I’ll save the science of swords and cutting for an episode when we talk about Wonder Woman slicing off Doomsday’s arm (accounting for the arm is another episode idea… all the artifacts still left behind).
The recent Ultimate Edition trailer features a shot of the spearhead in the out-of-focus foreground right after it was forged. As I remarked, there was little reference material out there for the spear, yet Cosplay Chris did a great job reproducing a miniature one from memory for his Jakks Pacific Armored Batman custom-collectable makeover.
Solution to the Grandfather Paradox | MinutePhysics
An illustration how some of alleged paradoxes aren’t so much intractable but barriers in our way of thinking about things.
If you exercise your creativity and keep an open mind, you can find these kinds of lateral solutions or intuit explanations which would otherwise violate your preconceptions or expectations. I love these two examples by the PBS channel, Physics Girl, How does laser cooling work? (before you raise laser cooling as a possible avenue for Superman’s freezing breath to work, note that it requires lasers striking from all directions, not just one direction like it would with Superman… that doesn’t mean Bose-Einstein Condensates aren’t fascinating!) and Is energy always conserved? (Answer: No, click to find out when it isn’t.)
Multidisciplinary analysis can bring tools and answers from one field to another. Applying Computer Science algorithms can assist in your everyday life. Applying the law of triviality (an efficiency observation) can guiltlessly get you to drop intractable arguments about the Oxford Comma, pronunciation of GIF, and almost every comic book controversy. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to have my research assistants bring me anything interesting we can apply in law to a new edition of the book!
What’s the Value of a Life? | BrainCraft
A better understanding of what goes into the consideration of moral and ethical dilemmas. Further, it cites research into the cognitive dissonance we feel about facing them and even the resentment we feel towards people who make these hard decisions (The Buried Bodies Case | Radiolab). This addresses the discomfort some have with the in-story dilemmas and choices in the films even if they can be rationalized. At the same time, it shows this kind of decision-making is vital.
The Dark Souls of Idea Channel Episodes | PBS Idea Channel
Quote: “Batman v. Superman is the Dark Souls of movies. . . . These things may be challenging polarizing and alienating, but no less rewarding. And just as an aside, I think that Batman vs Superman was one of the more interesting movies to come out this year… even if it was- technically speaking- bad.”
Hah, well I’ll take “rewarding” and “interesting” at least!
Superman vs Muhammad Ali – Neal Adams at SDCC ’12 | HeroComplex
As a boxing fan, I have multiple copies and editions of this as among my most treasured comics. The Deluxe Hardcover edition is affordable and well worth it. I don’t just adore for the sincerity of Man of Steel, I love all eras of Superman! Even though this story preceded the Modern Era and contained a completely off-the-wall story, the reality of the celebrity renderings may have been one of the first things to make me want to see Superman in this world. Ali was not always adored. He shocked the world and the world came around. Rest in peace.
Meet The Artist ’15: Rick Famuyiwa | Sundance Film Festival
There’s something perhaps amusingly prescient about Rick’s story at the beginning of this video and Barry Allen’s security camera cameo in Batman v. Superman.