PODCAST: Ep. 9; Just Shut Up

On this week’s podcast, we have atomic science, singing mice, and Dr. Vernon Mendle stops in to talk with us about new weight loss techniques. Mendle is most notable for being the creator of the “Stenographer Workout”, the popular series of workout videos for burning calories via high-speed typing.

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Special thanks to Dan Stewart, featured in this episode.

New, High-Tech Credit Cards

Credit cards have been around for a while now; the technology in them has changed, but not drastically. That is, until now. Credit cards always pretty much did one thing; charge purchases. Now, however, they are multitasking tools, with a brand new technology inside: Automatic Cancellation.

The cards memorize the genetic code of a person, and if someone handles the card who doesn’t have a matching code, the card will cancel. In a review of the card, writer Mike Compson said this:

“The card is actually really cool, although it has a flaw; if you’ve recently been holding hands, the card can shut down, due to its detection of foreign genetic material.”

Other things that can cause shut down errors include being placed next to dirty dollar bills, and being put in a wallet (where it will detect the cow DNA from the leather). So, this technology may not be used for a while now.

Other competing technologies include GPS cancellation, which cancels the card if it is ever more than 10 feet from it’s primary user. Compson said:

“This works really well, although some people don’t want to sleep with their credit card. I always have, so it’s fine by me!”

The New Sun

As you surely know, our sun is about to die; in fact, there isn’t very much time left at all. Our sun is projected to implode, one week from Thursday. While this was initially concerning, several years ago, scientists started working on a solution to this projected problem, and have finally gotten it figured out, so no worries are in order.

On the same Thursday that the sun is going to vanish, the United Nations Space Coalition plans to roll in a “synthetic sun”. Dr. Thomas Unger came in to talk to us on this subject:

“We used to worry about the end of the world, but we eventually found a solution; we made a brand new sun. We basically used scotch tape to put together some nuclear elements, and orange juice. Works like a charm!”

Astronauts piloting the world’s largest spacecraft will be towing the new sun into place next week. While it’s great that all of our lives will be saved, this victory is not without sacrifice: According to Unger:

“Unfortunately, the new sunlight isn’t very natural looking, and we’ll have to live the rest of our lives under what appears to be very unflattering flourescent lighting.”

Fire Moths

It’s amazing how some species on this planet can endure extreme environments. For instance, there are forests of spikes in Asia, where the spikes are tipped with poison, so that any animal who touches these steel-like protrusions would die from the poisoning. How could any animal survive there? Well, the Knight Monkey does, by using a veritable suit of steel armor.

Similarly, there is the mysterious “Fire Moth”. These moths have such a tolerance for heat, that they often live near volcanoes. These extreme temperatures would be fatal to most species, but these moths feast off of the volcanic ash.

Moths, in general, are attracted to light. So, this adaptation is very useful; if an ordinary moth tried to fly into a fire, he would die. These “Fire Moths” often fly through fires, and because they look very much like ordinary moths, they use this skill sadistically, guiding other moths to their deaths.

Now, Fire Moths have moved into North America, as an invasive species, and can often be found in households. They hover around clothes dryers, the heat that they generally enjoy, and sometimes, live inside of them. Living inside of dryers, they eat clothing items as they are placed in the machine; this is the leading theory for the Disappearing Sock phenomenon.

Myth Monday: Cerberus

Cerberus is a strong image, connected to Greek mythology. An interesting premise; a three-headed dog, giant in stature. Obviously, this is ridiculous, but, where does it come from? The concept of a three-headed dog can’t just come from nowhere.

Dogs are a very intelligent species, relatively; they have some interestingly human-like traits. Some of these weirdly human behaviors factor into the creation of the Cerberus, one especially; cheerleading.

That’s right. Dogs are the only species, other than humans, to perform gymnastic stunts for entertainment and pleasure. In addition, canines are huge fans of sports; they just don’t like human sports, so they don’t watch with people.

To aid in the excitement of dog sports, especially for BiscuitBall, dogs invented cheerleading, including the stunts involved. Later, this concept was borrowed by human beings. This led to dogs creating human dog pyramids- three headed pyramids were the absolute minimum.

Although for many years, humans didn’t know about dog sports, one Greek man stumbled into a very early practice for a dog college cheerleading team, and saw a glimpse of three stacked dogs. Cerberus has been legend ever since.

As for the fire breathing, dogs used to breathe fire- in the past 2500 years, they’ve been bred out of it. Deaths by canine flames have gone down 100% ever since.

History Sunday: Automatic Eyeball Washer

Strange as it may seem, there was a time when households everywhere didn’t have the humble Automatic Eyeball Washer. Stranger still, that time wasn’t even very long ago; the Automatic Eyeball Washer that most of us use daily (and the rest of us, at least twice a day) was only invented back in 1946, by William Connor. It’s hard to imagine a life without fresh, clean eyeballs every day, but that was the reality; after all, no one had time to hand-wash their eyes in the morning. It took forever!

Scott Connor was 11 when his father invented the Conno-Vision Eyewash System. He remembers what his life was like before the creation of this great invention:

“It was fortune that brought my father to invent this type of thing; Dad was completely blind, so the prototypes wouldn’t harm his vision. Actually, that’s only half true; he was born with working eyes, and lost sight in one of them through a freak high-fiving accident. Then his other eye went blind from… one of the early prototypes. But, it ended up working out for him, and allowing him to invent the eye-washer.”

Scott Connor says that his father insisted on hand-washed eyes daily, resulting in lateness to school nearly every day, after the 2-hour procedure of hand-washing. After the invention, he was finally able to arrive at school on time, as the automatic washer only took 30 minutes. Now, through almost 70 years of innovation, this too seems like an extravagant amount of time; as we all know, modern eye washers only take a quick 20 minutes, allowing us to maintain extremely clean eyes.

Vampire Lemur Extinction (coming to a theater near you)

There is a huge, diverse selection of animals that live on our planet; almost every day, we discover new ones. Today, however, scientists have sad news; one of these species has gone extinct.

The Vampire Lemur, found exclusively in Guam, was a very interesting species; it was the only species of lemur to live outside of Madagascar, and was also the only blood-drinking lemur species. Unfortunately, the rare species is no more. Biologist Dr. Henry Flagellum was a specialist in this species, and had a few comments for us:

“The Vampire Lemur is unique. I mean that to the most specific degree; there was only one known ever, and I observed its habits. I feel a little lost now that the entire species is gone.”

Flagellum was later asked if he’d ever heard the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” He said he had, but we were talking about lemurs, not eggs.

Some scientists are less upset by the news, namely the ones who studied this lemur’s prey. One scientist, who requested to remain anonymous, was less than upset:

“I saw the pictures. I’m pretty sure it was a regular lemur that wanted to drink blood. Frankly, that’s really creepy and I’m glad the so-called “species” is extinct.”

The funeral service for the last Vampire Lemur will be held this Friday. Donations are allowed, but donations of blood are discouraged.