Podcast - This Is Only a Test

Episode 384 – Dark Rides – 1/26/17

Norm’s back from vacation and can’t stop talking about the technology of theme park rides. We also talk about the new Star Wars movie title, discuss how artificial intelligence could win at poker, and get angry in a Moment of Science. Plus, what’s the best desktop screensaver of all time?

Comments (38)

38 thoughts on “Episode 384 – Dark Rides – 1/26/17

  1. There is some politics chat during Moment of Science from 1:20:00-1:32:45 (not surprising this week). Heads up for those who want to steer clear.

  2. In my family, we often refer to that portion of Orlando/Florida as the “Disney-occupied territories” or the “Disney Occupation Zone”

  3. Rush Holt was my Representative here in Central NJ and I had his bumper sticker that said “My Congressman is a Rocket Scientist.” Someone I was excited to vote for.

  4. The main reason I stopped using screensavers years ago is not the fact that LCD screens are relatively burn-in resistant, but rather because I think it’s a waste to keep the display on when I’m not using it. I always set my computers to turn off output to the display after inactivity so it can go into standby mode, save electricity.

  5. It’s funny to hear how oculus users have to bend over backwards to get some semblance of room scale. The vive has supported room scale out of the box without overwhelming USB ports, but your consensus seems to be that oculus touch is a better experience. I also noticed oculus’ tracking limitations in your big screen show when your hands would just disappear if they left the view of the cameras.

    I’m writing this as a vive owner who feels like a Betamax owner arguing against VHS adopters. “It’s better technology”, I plead while I watch my choice (and hefty investment) fall out of favor.

  6. There is some politics chat during Moment of Science from 1:20:00-1:32:45 (not surprising this week). Heads up for those who want to steer clear.

    would be curious what do scientist think about the amateur efforts ( climatemirror.org ) to backup various .gov agencies climate data?

  7. The most dangerous move of the new administration thus far. Control the facts, keep everyone in the dark so that no opposition can arise to made up propaganda. Reminds me of Gleichschaltung in Nazi Germany – the system of totalitarian control and coordination over all aspects of society, “from the economy and trade associations to the media, culture and education” (wikipedia). East Germany similarly had a complete control system worked out for academics. Also the media is now treated as the opposition.

  8. Important effort to keep data available. But as most scientists depend on federal funding acquisition of new data maybe in peril.

  9. My favorite Screensaver has always been “Dazzle” a late 80’s shareware fractal Navaho blanket type affair .

    And, er, how do I get to the show notes? and the links you mention. I’m watching from the Tested website.

  10. I was wrong, ban on random people from muslim countries now trumps the gag stupidity. Many scientists are affected by this. Many Lives of good people destroyed. Hope the law suits will quickly correct this.

  11. I thought there was an interesting juxtaposition between cutting off government science information and the long-standing tradition of blocking the publication of science information in Elite journals

  12. you need to move the table away from the wall the zorg gun is rocking when kishore bumps the shelves. would be ashame to have any of those display items fall and break.

  13. favorite screensavers:

    A fake ‘yule log’ fireplace on a ti 99 4 a, hand typed in BASIC by copying the text from “Family and Home Office Computing” magazine.

    The one i wrote in Borland Turbo Pascal after figuring out how to access 256 color low res graphics mode from reading a giant purple MSDOS technical manual.

    this Really Slick Screensavers collection that Jeremy mentioned is amazing.. and it’s source code is open. Very cool

  14. I was wrong, ban on random people from muslim countries now trumps the gag stupidity. Many scientists are affected by this. Many Lives of good people destroyed. Hope the law suits will quickly correct this.

    Kal Penn started a fundraiser on Crowdrise to support IRC against this and people are donating using very funny fake names… they are at over ten thousand dollars in a few hours.

  15. My favorite Screensaver has always been “Dazzle” a late 80’s shareware fractal Navaho blanket type affair .

    And, er, how do I get to the show notes? and the links you mention. I’m watching from the Tested website.

    Yea, how do you get to the show notes ?

  16. As a resident of Central Florida, my friends and I vastly prefer the Universal parks to Disney. Not saying Disney isn’t dope af, but unless you have kiddos or aren’t local, Disney parks get real old real fast. Uni simply has better rides. But real talk, Space Mountain is still #1.

    Hands down the best screensaver I had was one that mimicked Atlantian/Ancient computer systems from Stargate. It made sounds and everything. Too cool.

  17. I was wrong, ban on random people from muslim countries now trumps the gag stupidity. Many scientists are affected by this. Many Lives of good people destroyed. Hope the law suits will quickly correct this.

    Kal Penn started a fundraiser on Crowdrise to support IRC against this and people are donating using very funny fake names… they are at over ten thousand dollars in a few hours.

    ok in less than one day, the are up to $120,000 to the IRC (thats International Rescue Commitee… the committee founded by Albert Einstein to help refugees after his experience fleeing from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. . where Special and General Relativity were both denigrated as ‘jewish science’ by the party in power

  18. Ey! My wife and I went on a “minimoon” four years ago just after our wedding! A long weekend, while we saved up for a safari later. I’m sure others have done it, I don’t think you’re the first..

  19. I know I’m late to post, but my schedule has been hectic of late.

    First, I do want to sincerely commend y’all on handling the political discussion very well. At a time when it seems like everyone is ranting and raving, hearing calm, collected discussion of something you disagree with and think is bad for science and for the country was a relief. Seriously. Kudos to you, Kishore, for the restraint you showed.

    Second, let me say that I am not anti-science (why would I be here otherwise), and while I’m skeptical of some of the proposed solutions I believe in the scientific consensus on climate change.

    That being said, I would like to post just a couple of thoughts that are from a different perspective. I’m not trying to argue – just provide outside input that might bear considering.

    The first thing to consider is that science is not without sin in this case. If you do a quick web search on EPA and corruption or fraud, you get plenty of different stories from different sources. EPA head honchos committing fraud, shady deals made with corporations like Monsanto, contradictory regulations or serious blunders/oversight . . . etc. I’m not blaming scientists for any of this, but the problem is when you have a federal government run organization (ANY federal government run organization, there have been huge fraud cases in the Navy recently, the crazy GAO conferences, the Secret Service shenanigans in foreign lands…etc.) you get fraud and corruption. Also, another science sin, especially with climate change, has been a tendency to make alarmist type predictions that are overly specific. It’s one thing to propose a scenario and discuss the hypothetical effects, but it’s another thing to give specific dates and timeframes. How many years in a row have climatologists warned that this will be the worst hurricane season in history, but how many years has it been incredibly mild? How many of the doomsday predictions from Al Gore’s movie have not come true? I understand that these things do not disprove climate change or the data behind it, but such a bad track record really (REALLY) hurts credibility in the eyes of the general public.

    Another science sin, and one that makes many of the average folks agree with the ban on awarding grants until further review, is the money spent on seemingly pointless studies. We’ve all seen stories about scientists who prove a dog faces North when he defecates, or an $865k study to film mountain lions running on treadmills . . .etc. There has been a considerable amount of pork in the science grants handed out, pork by which the academic world has benefitted at the cost of taxpayers. I’m not saying there are not very legitimate and very important studies that are funded by the government, but it’s impossible to deny that there aren’t also some very stupid and pointless studies mixed in that bag as well.

    Finally, the biggest problem in my eyes is that science has politicized itself. Scientists have, for various reasons, given in to the temptation to hitch their car to a political party. I understand that some Republican climate change deniers likely played into this situation, but scientists took the bait. And science is the worse off for it. Polls show as little as 6% of scientists being Republicans. Personally, I’d rather see 100% of them identify as independent, but that’s just me.

    The problem with this is that now Republicans (both the political kind and the regular joe kind) see scientists as party hacks. Not only does it immediately hurt credibility when it comes to making a case to 50% of the population, but it JUSTIFIES treatment as if scientific groups were just any other old political organization. What the current administration is doing is EXACTLY what you would expect a political figure to do to political opponents. While I agree that science SHOULD be non-biased and impartial, scientists on Twitter, on liberal blogs, answering polls, in papers, and in getting liberal Democrat politicians and celebrities to shill for them have painted the picture that science is a Democrat thing.

    I think, in my humble opinion, that the absolute worst possible thing for scientists to do at this juncture is to start running for office. You’re doubling-down on a really bad plan. First, it puts science in the same political category as tax policies, foreign policies, trade treaties, immigration issues, gun rights, education funding, welfare policies . . . etc. First, what kind of sado-masachist scientists would WANT to get involved in that? But second, do you really want to put science in that same bin? Do you want voters to go, “Yeah, that scientist guy is pretty great, but I can’t vote for him because he’s against the 2nd amendment.”? Science, as a political platform, is a bad, bad, bad idea.

    I also think Marching is a bad idea. First, average folks are quickly approaching Protest Fatigue. Do scientists really want to march so soon after Madonna dropped F-bombs and talked about blowing up the White House? Is that really the kind of thing non-biased science wants to be associated with? Also, for the 50% of folks who did vote for Trump, it’s definitely taking on the appearance of “sore losers.” The average joe is going to say, “fine – scientists are upset that the administration wants to make sure they’re not spending money on seeing how many times a dog licks his hind parts in an hour? let them go give their paper to China or Russia and see how much academic freedom they’re gonna get.”

    Sorry I went on so long, but if it were me, I’d strongly recommend that the scientific community steer clear of knee jerk reactions right now. I think there is MUCH more ground to be gained by being partially cooperative and much more open. Admit there is pork in the system, and commit to working with the administration to clean it out. Admit there has been confusion about communication channels, and work with the administration to establish a good, more efficient communication plan. Offer to host public debates on vaccines, on climate change, on whatever, and invite all the top-level skeptics you can find. Better to argue in the open with the facts and the data and discredit opponents than name call, moralize, or rant and rave (and that absolutely can be done – I’ve seen it happen with regard to vaccines – after laying out all the facts in the bogus study on autism I convinced someone to completely reconsider their position).

    Honestly, long term, science should really start looking at what options there are for funding outside of the Federal Government. How many American billionaires have money to burn? Would a Gates/Musk/Bezos/Zuckerberg foundation be willing to take on specific studies or projects? Maybe with supplement funding from Kickstarter or GoFundMe? I’m just trying to think outside of the box, but if we delayed the race to Mars by a few years, what new projects could that money go towards? Science might have to narrow down in scope, and some riskier studies might still struggle to get funded, but so long as scientists stay tied to the hip of the Federal Government there are no other options and no guarantees that the rules won’t change with the rising of the next political tide. Maybe its time to start seriously considering other baskets for some of the eggs?

    That’s just my two cents. I offer it only as a possible outside perspective to provide some counter-balance. My best to the Podcasters, and I hope Kishore gets over his cold soon.

  20. A little late to the party, but I had an official MST3K: The Movie screen saver. Don’t remember where I got it. It also played an audio file that I remember by heart. Had Tom Servo saying “Gutten Tag. Cigarretten?” for some reason

  21. Yes!! I had the custom Torgo Screen Saver. He would shuffle around with his oversized thighs, and then every few minutes a random sound bite from “Manos: The Hands of Fate” would play! I hadn’t thought about that in years!

  22. Thank you for contributing to the march for science and informing me about it! I will definitely be attending the march in DC and may not have known about it had I not listened to the podcast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Elegoo Mars 3 4K Resin Printer Review!

Making

Elegoo Mars 3 4K Resin Printer Review!

This week in 3D printing, we review the Elegoo Mars 3, a $30…

A Tour of Grant Imahara’s Shop

Show And Tell

A Tour of Grant Imahara’s Shop

Friend and colleague Fon Davis gives Adam Savage a tour of G…

Adam’s One Day Builds: Hasbro Mandalorian Helmet Repaint!

One Day Builds

Adam’s One Day Builds: Hasbro Mandalorian Helmet R…

Adam shows you how to take Hasbro's The Black Series Mandalo…

Adam’s Favorite Tools: Heat Gun and Iron!

Making

Adam’s Favorite Tools: Heat Gun and Iron!

Inspired by one of his favorite YouTube channels (Ted Woodfo…

Conserving the X-Wing at Smithsonian

Culture

Conserving the X-Wing at Smithsonian

How do you restore and conserve an artifact like the X-Wing,…

The Mystery of This Original Rocketeer Stunt Pack

Show And Tell

The Mystery of This Original Rocketeer Stunt Pack

Adam visits Prop Store to take a look at an original stunt p…

Portable Fog Machines for Propmaking and Photography!

Show And Tell

Portable Fog Machines for Propmaking and Photograp…

Want to add fog or fake smoke to your projects? We round up …

Adam Savage Tours Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s Farmhouse Set!

Culture

Adam Savage Tours Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s Farmho…

While on location of the Ghostbusters: Afterlife set, Adam S…

Adam Savage: How I Wear My Face Mask

Show And Tell

Adam Savage: How I Wear My Face Mask

With masks being part of our lives for the foreseeable futur…

Why There’s an X-Wing in the Smithsonian

Culture

Why There’s an X-Wing in the Smithsonian

While in DC in August, Adam stopped by one of his FAVORITE p…