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OtherIamA Podcasting Pioneer & NPR Host AMA!

Mar 31st 2017 by JesseThorn • 6 Questions • 82 Points

Hi IAmA, We are : /u/fortherefugees-Marc (Marc-André Séguin), /u/4therefugees-Michael (Michael Simkin) and /u/fortherefugees-admin (Our volunteer sysdamin who prefers to stay anonymous, but you can call me E.).

Marc Will be here from 1:30 to 2:30 EST

Michael & /u/fortherefugees-admin will be here from 1:30-3:30, but /u/fortherefugees-admin will attempt to deliver after, as well.

You can ask questions in English or French Vous pouvez poser vos questions en français aussi

Marc and Michael are immigration lawyers, /u/fortherefugees-admin is a Sysadmin/SRE

When Edward Snowden left the Mira Hotel in Hong Kong, his lawyer, Robbert Tibbo, kept him safe by hiding him with asylum seekers.

This came to light with the release of the Oliver Stone movie, 'Snowden'.

We're trying to help get these brave refugees to Canada. They also are forbidden from working in Hong Kong, and have had their funding cut by the Hong Kong government.

Our site is https://fortherefugees.com

Our donation page is https://fortherefugees.com/donate/

My Proof: Our site: https://fortherefugees.com/reddit-ama-verification/

We've Been tweeted about and have been on the news:

https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/844688378645938177

https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/839873102557294593

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2077404/hong-kong-asylum-seekers-who-sheltered-edward-snowden-filed

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edward-snowdon-family-shelter-hong-kong-canada-asylum-1.4018657

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-thursday-edition-1.3753202/snowden-escaped-arrest-with-help-from-a-canadian-and-refugees-in-hong-kong-1.3753207

Edit: formatting

Q:

Which airport is closest to the grand canyon?

A:

What is the most exciting thing going on with space exploration right now?

Either in recent months or planned in the near future.


Q:

which low-profile reps hold more power due to committee chair positions etc... than most people would think?

A:

Hello! I was wondering in modern TV shows and movies, what fallacies or innaccuracies do you see regarding both smithing and swordfighting/combat?

Thank you


Q:

Is it possible to produce a sound that's loud enough to kill a person?

A:

How do you recoup the money? Is it based off the student's income once they are employed? What happens if the student doesn't get a job, at least not immediately? How are you different from the For Profit schools that are getting shut down?


Q:

I remember in "Tie Fighter" some optional goals that helped develop some sort of "Sith special agent story" happening in game. Will we have this kind of stuff ? In a more general way, will there be briefing sessions separated from flight sessions ? Will there be some roleplaying elements (like interactive dialogs), and dramatic background with developed characters (I thought that people like Paladin, Maniac, Angel was what made the Wing Commander series really shine to me) ?

A:

Why do you believe that they would be tortured or killed in their home countries? Has the US been pressuring those countries to make these people disappear?


Q:

I think we think it's gonna be a Southwest flight to Phoenix, then a few hours in a rental car :).

A:

I think it's the multiple attempts of private enterprise to put their money were our dreams are. At that level, success is not as important as acting on the urge to explore. Lest we all ossify in the present. -NDTyson


Q:

I would say Kevin Brady (R-TX) in charge of all tax issues (Chairman, Ways and Means) and Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) in charge of spending (Chairman, Appropriations) and I'll add the Chairman of my committee, the Rules Committee, Pete Sessions (R-TX)

A:

Whoa, that's a big subject.

Let's start with swordfighting: it's mostly balls, with no respect to our current knowledge of medieval/renaissance martial arts at all. Hollywood and TV are terribly stagnant about swordfighting: while the portrayal of, say, gunfighting or unarmed combat has evolved MASSIVELY over the past 30 years, most sword choreographies employed in high budget productions are still the same collections of slow, cliched-to-death moves bereft of dynamic and grace as in the 80s. If I had to point the main fallacies history-wise? Cutting through plate armour, never using the point, using a sword in a parry-response manner rather than /Indes/.

As for the smithing? Well, it usually doesn't get a lot of screentime, but when it does, the art is often raped with scenes such as reforging broken blades and casting swords from molten iron. :)


Q:

The loudest pure tone of sound on earth is 194 decibels, that is a sound that has a pressure that oscillates from 0 to 2 atmospheres sinusoidally.

120 decibels is painfully loud

150 dB next to a jet engine

adding ten decibels increases sound intensity by a factor of 10, adding 10 multiplies by 10. So 150 dB is 1000 times more intense than 120 dB and 190 dB is 10,000 times more intense than 150 dB.

The loudest speaker on earth produces a tone at 154 dB in the Netherlands it's used to test spacecraft.

non-musical sound called a shock wave can be much more intense. A shock wav from a bomb blast or meteorite strike can produce a pressure wave which will blow out the alveoli in your lungs. And maybe the 190 dB sound wave would destroy alveoli as well. Any volunteers?

If you want the full Death Metal sound experience however go to Venus with its dense atmosphere, musical sound there can be 10,000 times more intense than music on Earth. Go ahead and turn it up to 11.

A:

Yes that's correct, it's 15% of income for just 3 years and only when making $50K or more. If they don't get a job immediately or if they lose their job within the three years and take some time to find that job they have up to 48 months of deferment. We're extremely different from the schools getting shut down (read more at https://www.fastcompany.com/3068505/innovation-agents/this-college-alternative-only-makes-money-if-you-make-a-salary or http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/21/start-up-partners-with-lyft-spotify-to-help-young-people-skip-college.html or https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/why-traditional-academic-welcomes-missionu), primarily in that they were shut down for taking lots of government money via student loans and then delivering poor quality education. We take no gov money or student loans at all, and our entire success is dependent on us helping students succeed and get great jobs.


Q:

We fully plan on creating secondary goals and splinter off side stories. In our stretch goals, we have the ability even to spin off single-player bonus missions, but that's pretty far away right now. As for cut-scene types of action, that's again something that requires more funding, it's not currently in the play, but we do plan on including at least one graphic novel and lots of fiction related the game as it goes forward through our website. Some players who do really well, might find themselves as part of those stories. Character development is trickier in a game like ours, but through our ancillary fiction, we hope to fully flesh out the fiction.

A:

You can read the stories of our clients here:

Ajith

Vanessa

Supun and Nadeeka

We've also had reports that the Sri Lankan CID has been searching for our clients (see: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-crime/article/2073439/hong-kong-asylum-seekers-who-sheltered-edward-snowden-fear)

Sri Lanka's Security forces have a very poor record on human rights


Q:

How scared are you that the McElroys will split off and form their own network? I know that they're intensely loyal to MaxFun, but do you know if this has been discussed at all?

A:

Dr. Tyson,

What advice would you share to an undergraduate of physics and mathematics who is very uncertain about a future career in science? Some nights feel defeating from the course work alone, but the thought of a future career based on my education can be overwhelmingly intimidating.

I have no intentions of giving up because I am certain of one thing: learning and applying science fills me with joy.

Thank you for your time and the hundreds of commuter hours I've filled with Star Talk

<3


Q:

In cannabis-legal states like yours, the industry has created many jobs. If legalization on the federal level occurs do you feel those small businesses will be forced out of the market by a small handful of large corporations?

A:

So once a sword is broken it is just scrap metal because it is too weak to reforge?


Q:

What is the strangest thing you found in your research?

A:

Here's a super-nerdy one: the world of Starfighter Inc (off of the Earth's surface in particular) is controlled by corporations. What do they use as currency, and what is it backed by? Is there a 'two tier' system, with day-to-day currency being fractured into regional utility and large transactions in some common intermediary (clearinghouse style)?

Fiat currency might not work to well for inter-corporation trading (being essentially Company Scrip). Backing by precious metals is less effective when heavy metal asteroid finds could 'crash the market' by eliminating rarity (why the "trillion dollar asteroid" headlines make little sense in practice). Backing based on useful commodities (e.g. purified water, useful buffer/propellant gasses, light metals) has volatility issues and transport issues, on top of all the normal issues of backing with commodities being very close to a barter economy. If hydrocarbons for plastics and composites are still valuable that might work as an interesting replacement for precious metals (you can either mine them on the Earth and truck them out of the gravity well, or synthesise them elsewhere at an energy expense) but still have the issue of them being a functional commodity rather than valuable in and of themselves.


Q:

Users, please be wary of proof. You are welcome to ask for more proof if you find it insufficient.

OP, if you need any help, please message the mods here.

Thank you!

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

A:

The McElroys are good friends and close colleagues, and we've helped them make a really good living from their work. They've always been very clear that they're in it for the long haul with Maximum Fun, and I'm grateful both for their partnership and their friendship.


Q:

I may be partly guilty for your scientific angst. Most of my public science persona involves conveying the joy of scientific discovery, and especially the joy of curiosity, from childhood through adulthood. What's commonly absent from my messaging is the steep investment of time and energy (physical and emotional) that becoming a scientist and actually doing science requires. In fact the struggle is what must be loved by aspiring scientists because being a practicing scientist requires this of you daily.

Not knowing the answer to a problem and struggling to find the answer is precisely what science is. It's neither more nor less than this. The fact that you are experiencing this very struggle is not a barrier to your progress it is the best evidence that you are on a path where you belong, if you love what you do.

Good luck. Sometimes you need that too.

-NDTyson

A:

dunno. Markets are markets. I'm sure there will be some big players and some small players. We have to make sure that any laws and regs are easy for small players to navigate. There are lots of small liquor stores but also some chains it will probably be like that.


Q:

In a nutshell, yes. To achieve the previous material consistency, you'd have to smelt the shards into raw steel again.

It's also possible to forge weld the shards, creating a pattern-welded "damascus" sort of blade, but it will never be as good as the original one.

A:

Perhaps the strangest one is that it seems impossible to die from insomnia. One high school kid named Randy Gardner tried to stay up in the 1964 to see what would happen for a school project. He didn’t sleep for 264 hours and though he hallucinated that he was a professional football player, mistook a street sign for a pedestrian and eventually lost muscle control.

But he was fine and recovered after a day of sleep. It seems that unless you’re put on some diabolical machine that forces you to stay awake (like a few unfortunate rats have been), you’re body will make you sleep. To date, no one has ever died from insomnia (although quite a few have died from the opposite, particularly when behind the wheel of car).


Q:

redmercuryvendor: That has been debated by the team, but there isn’t a set answer yet, due to many of the issues you’ve discussed. Between all the worlds of the solar system, few materials are all that rare, or could not potentially be mined extensively if a great enough demand existed. In the inner solar system, you can find fissionables and abundant metals; in the asteroid belt, you can find more abundant heavy metals; in the outer solar system, you have almost ubiquitous ices and hydrocarbons. Improved manufacturing technology only makes this more difficult because it allows creation of substances that could possibly be rare otherwise - in a world where bulk diamond is usable as a structural material (and current technology is only closing the gap between the industrial stones and the jewels), how useful would it be as a precious gem?

One of the main options our team most agrees with is using a form of digital currency, like bit-coin. That data can be beamed out facilitates use for an interplanetary economy, and though there is still lightspeed lag to deal with during distant transactions, it’s much easier than transporting the material between locations. Also, it probably comes as close as anything artificial gets to being limited by its design; this might actually pose a problem in a rapidly expanding economy (as the narrative suggests) when it must be divided into smaller and smaller units. This doesn’t mean it isn’t without major issues that have held us back from adopting it - for one, it’s still potentially hackable (if with enormous difficulty), and makes you dependent to some extent on whoever owns the network of servers keeping track of it. Granted, given that our story presumes corporations control everything, having stuff in the hands of one or two banks might not be undesirable.

A:

We will be happy to submit more proof if requested, just reply to my message here or hit me up via PM.

OP will deliver.


Q:

What ever happened to Chip Dipson and Dip Dobson?

A:

What's something you've learned recently that's really blown your mind?


Q:

Gotta quibble with your last sentence there. The repeal of alcohol prohibition set up a system wherein manufacturers could not also directly own retail outlets (more or less). In CO your alcohol sales laws are different than in my state, so I'm not exactly sure how it would shake out given a state by state basis, but the original question seems to imply producers too. Your reply mentions the existence of large and small retail outlets, but that is not really the question at hand.

I'd urge you to look into the trend of consolidation in beer distributors over the last 10 years and how the craft beer movement has played out in your state and others. There are a lot of lessons to be gleaned about how the end of cannabis prohibition might play out.

I think OP's question isn't about where retail jobs might land (of course there will be all sorts of business sizes to fit local markets) but more about how wealthy interests (like Big Tobacco, AB Inbev, etc) might be able to swoop into a fledgling industry and quickly squash the independent producers that made this market possible in the first place. I don't think it takes an economist to understand that, in terms of creating quality jobs, it is more beneficial to have a lot of small-medium sized "players" than a few well oiled corporate entities that leverage their existing infrastructure and lobbying power to achieve market hegemony.

A:

But muh Anduril


Q:

What about Fatal familial insomnia?

According to Wikipedia, "(FFI) is an extremely rare autosomal dominant inherited prion disease of the brain. It is almost always caused by a mutation to the protein PrPC, but can also develop spontaneously in patients with a non-inherited mutation variant called sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI). FFI has no known cure and involves progressively worsening insomnia, which leads to hallucinations, delirium, confusional states like that of dementia, and eventually, death. The average survival time for patients diagnosed with FFI after the onset of symptoms is 18 months."

Am I missing something? This disease appears to cause death due to insomnia.

A:

Are you the Willie Wonka of Star Wars gaming?


Q:

Hello. Just wondering- what work do you do outside of bringing the refugees to Canada?

A:

Murdered.

Everyone, it seems, has enemies.


Q:

Lately I've had about one such incident per week. Although my target is one per day. I recently learned from some dynamicist colleagues that the striking visibility of Saturn's ring system is not eternal, coming and going with the dynamical forces of all that orbits the planet. Which means if I were around back when the Dinosaurs roamed and showed them Saturn through a telescope, it might have been an uninteresting sight. Very sad. -NDTyson

A:

yes what I mean is that it will play out at the state level and states will have different laws. Some will prohibit vertical integration (grower and dispensary) others might require it. Some won't give more than a certain number of permits to a particular company. in some states like PA the state actually runs the alcohol stores (weird but true). So the interaction of markets and local regs will determine the outcome but I think it's likely a few larger players will emerge.


Q:

I know. :( But hey, the Elves of Rivendell knew magic. Maybe they fixed it right?

A:

That's a good question, and we looked it up in our research. From what we found it's not quite clear that it's the lack of sleep that kills you, but may be the brain damage that the prion disease causes and the insomnia is a symptom.


Q:

I was a temporary Wonka when I was commissioned to write a novella of each of the first two Star Wars games and continued those fictions in the strategy guides. I invented the characters Keyan Farlander and Maarek Stele. I guess that's the extent of my wonkishness with Stat Wars though. :0

A:

I'm a Systems Engineer/SRE/DevOps/Security guy (I wear many hats). I work remotely for a Y Combinator startup. I'd say which one, but we are a small org, so I'd be immediately identified. Management here is pretty sympathetic to this cause, and has been more than generous in letting me spend some time helping.

Marc and Michael are lawyers


Q:

What hints can you drop about the MFCE lineup?

A:

Hi Neil! Just wanted to know your thoughts on SpaceX's Falcon 9 relaunch and landing, and what do you think it means for the future of space travel? also, would you ever consider to join a one way trip to Mars?


Q:

Agree Agree Agree. Wow, you've made my day!

This is the first interaction I've had with a congressional representative that wasn't a pre-filled letter. So cool.

BTW I have family in your district and I guarantee they probably voted for you. :)

  • Shout out to the pedantic police I triggered with my "guarantee probably" wordplay! Hey guys! In Language, you can subvert the expected context of your wording for comedic effect! Hey! Wowzers!
A:

Which is more realistic swordfighting: Errol flynn style, conan style, or Kurosawa's samurai style?


Q:

What would happen to your body if you were tied to a weight and sent to the bottom of the Mariana trench?

A:

"Come with me and we'll see a world of true imagination..."


Q:

For the Refugees was created to help the families of asylum-seekers in Hong Kong who sheltered Snowden. We do not have plans to bring Snowden to Canada. At the time that the families sheltered Snowden, he was lawfully in Hong Kong. There is no reason to think the U.S. would retaliate against them.

A:

Subject to change, but current scheduled folks include Cristela Alonzo, Hasan Minahj, Can I Pet Your Dog, Josh Gondelman, Janine Brito, Greatest Generation, Dan Deacon, Everything's Coming Up Podcast, John Roderick, Martin Perna, Elna Baker, Dan Kennedy... and there's more to come.


Q:

I really like Earth. So any space trip I take, I'm double checking that there's sufficient funds for me to return. Also, I'm not taking that trip until Elon Musk send his Mother and brings her back alive. Then I'm good for it.

Any demonstration of rocket reusability is a good thing. When we fly on a Boeing 747 across great distances, we don't throw it away and roll out a new one. Reusability is arguably the most fundamental feature of affordable expensive things. -NDTyson

A:

say hi to them for me!


Q:

I'd say Kurosawa out of the three. At least it portrays the speed and dynamic of a sword cut reasonably well. :)

A:

So, if you sank to the bottom of the Mariana trench you would drown before you reached a crushing depth. If you’re interested in a more interesting demise, you should swim out of James Cameron’s submersible at the bottom. Fortunately you're mostly water, and water is incompressible. So you would retain your basic human shape. The air pockets inside you, namely in your nasal cavity, throat and chest, would be a problem. Those would collapse inward, which would fatal.

Because you wouldn’t have any air, you wouldn’t float to the surface and you would likely stay at the bottom to be consumed by the Bone-eating snot flower, which usually eats whale bones but would probably make an exception in this case.


Q:

You have no idea what my imagination already sees.

A:

You can read the stories of our clients here:

Ajith

Vanessa

Supun and Nadeeka

We've also had reports that the Sri Lankan CID has been searching for our clients (see: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-crime/article/2073439/hong-kong-asylum-seekers-who-sheltered-edward-snowden-fear)

Sri Lanka's Security forces have a very poor record on human rights

*Edit: Whoops, I replied to the wrong question. Please disregard, my bad. (It was meant for another question from /u/Andy_Schlafly, will post this there.)


Q:

That's fantastic! How about West (where I'm going!!!)?

A:

What should we expect in the next few years from astrophysics?


Q:

Dog payment satisfactory. Mob has quieted. You may proceed to the next quest.

A:

Slaanesh and I aren't on good terms.


Q:

This is so cool! I've always wondered about the jumping in the elevator thing. If that doesn't help, is there anything you CAN do to help save yourself in a falling elevator?

A:

Hi ! I really enjoyed the differences between mission briefings and what really happened in flight, and the hard decisions to make. Will we have something like this in StarFighter Inc. ? Will there be something like mission plan maps updates happening in flight, like some sort of emergency change of plan (I'd really love to see something like this) ?


Q:

There are many ways people can help!

1- Call Minister Ahmed Hussen’s office (1-613-995-0777) as well as your local MP to voice your concern for these families, to express that you feel our Minister must act quickly to save their lives, and ask people in your community to do the same!

2- Share our website on facebook, twitter and everywhere in your community: www.fortherefugees.com

3- Volunteer/Donate for the families. Every bit of help will be much appreciated. And remember that all the funds go directly to the benefit of the families. Since this is a pro bono case, we do not take any of the funds for legal fees or expenses.

Visit our website! www.fortherefugees.com

A:

Hodgman, Dan Deacon, Tavi Gevinson, Reductress, Lady to Lady, Talk Show the Game Show with Guy Branum, and more.

Tickets for both are on sale now at MaxFunCon.com! They're all-inclusive!


Q:

I'd love me some answers to what Dark Matter is, or Dark energy. I'd also like to know if there is or was ever life on Mars. These are realistically answerable questions in the next couple of decades.

In the immediate several years to come, there's an emerging cottage industry among planet hunters in which we can make measurements of the atmospheric chemistry of exoplanets. These amounts to a search for "bio-markers" such as Oxygen (O2), methane (CH4), and other signs of unstable molecule that could be made by a sustained biosystem on the planet surface. So watch for headlines there in the coming years. -NDTyson

A:

yeah it took me a while to transfer from my phone to computer because nothing is ever as easy as it's supposed to be


Q:

"Indes" is the secret concept of striking simultaneously with the opponent rather than waiting for him to finish his attack. :)

A:

Laying flat on your back is the best way to spread out the G forces evenly through your body. If you're standing up, your organs may keep falling even though your body has stopped.

You should also hope that your elevator fits snugly in its shaft, so the pillow of air below the car slows the fall and the broken elevator cable below can provide some cushioning. Crossing your fingers is also a good idea.


Q:

Hi Gehroll. Yes, there will be mission briefings in the form of the contracts you sign as a mercenary. These will give you the basic mission parameters and the amount the mission pays. There may be changes in the mission primary or secondary missions during the battle. You'll be in communication through your DSS, which is your support system during flight. Currently, your after-mission summary will basically consist of how much money (credits) you gained and possible charges for repairs. And we want the hangar experience between missions to be very immersive and dynamic.

A:
  1. Call Minister Ahmed Hussen’s office (1-613-995-0777))

  2. We can use non monetary help (everything from front end dev work, to compute credits, to social media presence)

  3. Donations are also, of course, helpful.


Q:

Will supporters ever be able to see the breakdown percentage of supporters/ estimated total listeners? Or is that proprietary info?

I love the network, btw. I listen to 14 Max Fun shows and its well worth the $20/month I upgraded to this year. I just hope newer / less well known favorites like ONRAC, Beef & Dairy and We Got This don't get edged out because I also enjoy the McElroy suite of podcasts...

A:

Life as we know it on earth is cell bases, DNA, and so on. If we did find alien life, are we sure we would recognize it? What if alien life is similar to iron, but our tests couldn't even detect some other unearthly element that makes it living. I guess my question is, since earth life is so unique and specific to us, how do weexpect to recognize "life" so unique and specific to another world? Could we have seen life on a planet millions of light years away, but not realized it because the details of photography are limited?


Q:

What breed is she? Also please boop her snoot for us

A:

What is your stand on the whole ,,hand-and-a-half sword'', sometimes called bastard sword in fantasy books and rpg games? Do you think that it is the right name to call a longsword? Have you ever made such weapon, and how would you wield it?


Q:

Isn't there already a case where a person had his head in a particle accelerator and it got turned on?

IIRC, you could see the particle path through his brain in the scans. Let me see if I can find it.

Edit: Yeah here it is. Also here.

A:

Hi Rusel! Excited to hear more about Starfighter Inc. How exactly will you be telling the story to the player in an open world combat game? Will it be linear or will it play out different for each player? Cutscenes? Or lots of terminal reading??


Q:

Want to bring a Norwegian over? Hehe after i had to move from Canada back to Norway after my visa expired nothing has really felt the same(Also got my best friends and girlfriend over there). Don't get me wrong, Norway is beautiful and nothing to complain about. But it feels like it is not the place for me if that makes any sense. Regardless of that, from what i can see you guys are doing great work. And i highly respect what you guys do.

Is there any immigration lawyer i could contact by the way?

A:

That's proprietary, and there isn't really a good reason to share it, honestly.


Q:

Excellent question. We think life is alive and a slap of iron is not because, among a few other reasons, we have metabolism. We consume energy in the service of our existence. If we find any other entity that does this too, it would make a good candidate for life. Consider also that you reference and "unearthly" element. That is not likely at all because the periodic table of elements is full. There's no room for any other elements to be discovered in the natural universe. And using spectroscopy, we confirm that these very same elements are found in stars across the universe itself. Not only that, the four most common chemically active ingredients in the universe (H, He, O, C, N) are the SAME four most abundant ingredients in life on Earth. So our bias in searching for "life as we know it" is not entirely close-minded. -NDTyson

A:

she's a terrier mix, almost 8 years old, adopted her as a puppy


Q:

As the name suggests, I'd have to mutilate my hand to properly wield it... so I'm waiting until I'm ready to ascend as the ultimate hand-and-a-half swordmaster.

A:

Yes! Good find. Whether you would die or not would depend on the power of the particle accelerator and how much radiation it was carrying. Bugorski's accelerator was 100 less times as powerful than the LHC, and it was also only a single pulse, while the LHC is a machine gun.

The beam paralyzed one side of Anatoli Bugorki's face. As a result now many years later one side of his face is smooth and unwrinkled while the other side has aged by decades. So maybe old accelerators could be used instead of botox for beauty treatments.

But since Bugorski nearly died from radiation poisoning, we think a hit from the LHC would be lethal.


Q:

Lollsmalls: I answered some of your question in the previous reply. As for the story being linear, my goal, and this also will depend on stretch goals at this time, is to have several simultaneous areas of conflict at once. These areas of conflict would involve different organizations fighting over different issues. So it will be a multi-threaded narrative, and sometimes the different threats might converge. I think of this as I would if I were writing a novel or series for TV. But not in episodes. It is a 24/7/365 game, and stories will evolve at different rates. Given our gameplay format, we aren't going to have exploration or an open world setting. At its core, this is a combat game, and as a mercenary, your first concern is survival, followed by credits earned, which in turn allow you to purchase new ships, upgrade existing ones, and many more options for how to use your credits. As for terminal reading, there will be some, but some of it is optional and for added entertainment value and further immersion in the storylines and events in the game. The primary reason to read the terminal will be to seek out good contracts for your next battle.

A:

Thanks for your comments and question.

I'll preface this with IANAL, but I can speak to my personal experiences.

I've gone through the process to obtain a study permit, then a work permit, then a PR. Assuming you have needed skills and a clean criminal background, it's mostly a bureaucratic hassle if you are from a first world country (like Norway). You also have to do an English or French test to get your PR. I didn't use a lawyer.

The new express entry system for PR is, imho, pretty great. I was for example eligible for PR under the CEC and FSW classes, and with one application I was considered for both, and ended up coming in under the FSW class.

It's much, much better than the paper forms you used to have to fill out, imho.

They've also been modifying the criteria to make it more accommodating/reasonable, I see.

If you want to move to Quebec, the process is different, so I can't comment on that because I don't know. (I don't speak french at all, so Quebec was never an option I considered)

Overall, I'd say you don't necessarily need a lawyer, but if you still want one after my response, I can link to Marc's firm (or, you know, you can google his name from the bio, and add 'immigration lawyer' ;) ), assuming the mods approve of that.


Q:

Are boxing gloves required to punch a blimp?

(Love everything you do, esp. Hodgman)

A:

Do you think we will ever make contact with complex organisms within the next 50yrs?

thanks for making my day. http://i.imgur.com/oypPqKi.jpg


Q:

I'm recently returned to CO (grew up here) from Oregon; I'm super happy to have someone like you representing us. What can I do to help?

A:

Is Klingon batleth actually an effective, usable weapon?


Q:

If i were floating near a nuetron star say within 1 mile, how spectacular would my death be?

A:

How do you plan to allow the players personal experience to affect the narrative when dealing with a online multiplayer game?


Q:

No, but maybe so if you punch a dirigible and catch a rib.

A:

No. I think they (we) might all be too far away from one another in space and possibly time. By complex, I'm presuming you mean life other than single-celled organisms. Life with legs, arms, thoughts, etc. It's all about our capacity to travel interstellar distances. And that's surely not happening in the next 50 years. Not the rate things are going today. -NDTyson


Q:

welcome back to CO! Say hi if you see me around. our state is going well, not that we don't have our challenges but it's a great time to be in CO!

A:

Any hard, sharp object is.

It it good at killing a person? Sure. Is it optimal? No.


Q:

A neutron star has a couple of times the mass of the sun compressed into a sphere the size of a city.

You'll probably be killed by the radiation produced as matter falls into the neutron star on the way in, and certainly at a close distance of 1 mile. But let's assume the neutron star is unnaturally quiet. You'll be in free fall. and as usual it's not the fall that kills you. However in this case that might not be true, gravity is stronger at close distances and weaker further away. This means if your head is pointed toward the neutron star it will be tugged toward the star much more strongly than your feet and this tidal force will rip you apart. Check out Larry Niven's short story "Neutron Star" for details.

There is another way to die however, some neutron stars are a hundred billion times stronger magnets than the strongest magnets on earth. At those levels of magnetism your atoms are distorted into thin cigars and all the bonds between atoms that make up the molecules in your body are broken so you become a plasma shaped human cloud that is tidally stretched and pulled into the star where you impact the surface and generate lethal gamma radiation.

A:

MrGraddo: The whole concept of narrative in a multiplayer game like SFI is one that we've approached in a variety of ways. First, of course, is the fact that for some major events the outcome of the story is determined by which side in the conflict wins (in a statistical sense over many battles). But there's a lot more. First, we have a very rich world in the background of the game, full of corporations, anti-corporate organizations, criminals, fanatics, and shadowing figures with influence in high places. It's a rich story evolving on its own, and it evolves through the game and through the players' actions. But it also has the ability to engage players directly through loyalties to one side or another, or becoming part of larger campaigns. The idea for the narrative is that it will evolve, that it will become more and more clear over time, and that it will contain many surprises. So there's a story, and as a mercenary you are not one of the movers and shakers, but you are someone with the autonomy to choose your sides and to become engaged and identifies with the emotions of winning and losing on top of the obvious perks of loot, reputation, and the ability to upgrade your ships, weapons, and systems. Reputation also functions as a way to gain extra perks from organizations that you fight for, so there is added incentive to choose a side, although you might like one side better than another for personal reasons. Like some of them are a-holes.


Q:

First, thanks for doing what you do and doing it so well. MaxFun inspired me and my brother to start zag and our own podcast, which has really improved both of our lives and our relationship as brothers. Your core tenet of kind humor is something we both really admire and try to emulate ourselves. You guys are well worth my $10/mo; I hope I can afford to upgrade next year!

My questions are:

  1. How can our fledgling podcast get beyond its dozen-or-so weekly listeners in our circle of friends and actually reach a wider audience?

  2. What got you involved in the medium in the first place?

  3. Have you ever been arrested/committed a crime? I promise I'm not a cop so I won't tell.

4. fuck marry kill neil young neil diamond neil armstrong?

A:

How do you feel about the new NASA bill/budget?


Q:

Can I just say I decided to try "Sort by controversial" and I'm very impressed you're taking the mean spirited questions?

Sorry, I can't vote for you as I live in NC, but I would if I could

A:

What modifications would make this fantasy weapon more capable? It is portrayed quite elegantly in Star-Trek.


Q:

So, what's happens if I jump through the hole in the earth?

A:

The Ultima: The Avatar Adventures was an incredible novelization / playthrough, and still stands as one of the best game guide ever. It made me and my brother completely invested in the story, and looked forward to having our own adventures in Britannia. It was a great crafted story!

Is there any plans to do more of that type of guide / walkthrough? Any more plans to work with Caroline?


Q:
  1. You have to connect with people elsewhere, and give them a reason to listen. Network, do stuff out in the real world, be newsworthy, connect with online interest or social groups, or pay for marketing.
  2. I honestly was doing my college radio show (after college) and heard about it. I thougth if I could get a hundred people to listen it'd be worth the extra effort. No, ten years later, a hundred people listen! I've met my goal!
  3. There was a warrant for my arrest in San Francisco for years, unbeknownst to me. Basically I had a youth Fast Pass for the bus, and I turned 18 during the month I had it. Cop checked it, asked for my ID, gave me a ticket, told me the first time would be a warning. Apparently he meant if I contested it - but I just ignored it and it turned into a warrant. I found out like five years later when I got pulled over for a broken tail light. Luckily I didn't get arrested, but I had to go in to City Hall and pay a giant fine ($600?) and get it cleared up.
A:

Wolf in sheep's clothes. My read of the (entire) plan is to remove Earth monitoring from NASA's mission statement. leaving NASA to think only about the rest of the Universe and not Earth as a part of that same universe. Unless this task is picked up by some other agency, the disconnect will be disastrous to our understanding of our own planet, preventing us from knowing and predicting our own impact on our own environment. My sense is that the next generation (30 and younger) does not think this way. They just don't happen to be old enough to be head of agency, corporations, or government yet. So I look forward to when they are all in charge. Especially anyone born since 1995 -- the year we discovered our first exoplanet. For that reason, I dub that demographic "Generation Exoplanet". -NDTyson


Q:

oh, I try to respond to them all, especially constituents, part of my job!

A:

Well, the construction isn't that practical - in general, you want your weapon to have as much reach as you can operate well. I can imagine a bat'leth being quite deadly in very tight quarters, however. Not as deadly as a historical weapon, but still very much usable.


Q:

Jumping into a hole in the earth is a classic physics homework problem. The answer is that it takes 45 minutes to get to the other side.

However that simple answer misses most of the fun.

From a point in north america the surface of the earth is moving to the east at a few hundred miles per hour. The center of the earth is not. So if you fall into an evacuated hole you have to slow down by 800 miles per hour by rubbing along the wall. Not good! To get around this problem dig the hole from pole to pole.

The next problem is that it gets hot as you go down, the center of the earth is hotter than the surface of the sun, so you'd cook. You are going to need a refrigerated impossibly well insulated suit.

And indeed you'll need to remove the air in the tube. The pressure and density of the air starts out doubling every 15,000 feet of depth (3 miles) so after 10 doublings at 15,000 feet and 30 miles the air is as dense as water and you sink no further.

A:

Avaclon: I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed The Avatar Adventures. It was really a fun project, and Caroline was truly a hoot. She credits me with helping her launch her writing career since, and she's doing lots of new things. We haven't had any projects to work on together since then.

As for guides and walkthroughs, I'm not sure that we will need that for SFI, but if we do, I'll be the one to do it. But for fiction, I plan on writing a lot of background fiction that follows our ongoing story. I'm pretty prolific and a fast writer, so I think I can keep up with our storyline as the game progresses, and I also have Zach and possibly David Wessman who could offer some fiction, too. It's going to be fun and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as you enjoyed the Ultima book.


Q:

Hey Jesse! I love the network and am an enthusiastic donator. My question is, how are podcasts chosen to be on the network? Is it purely a matter of taste or is there a listener requirement or something? Do the other hosts have input on who gets admitted? Also after this drive what will be the total amount of monthly donators?

A:

What is the one question you wish we had the answer?


Q:

JARED!! So happy to have you as my representative. I know you support the concept of single payer nationally, will you join the current bill as a cosponsor?

Keep up the good work!

I also can't wait to see you in April once the house is in recess!

Second question: in your opinion why is the democratic leadership (and Democratic party as a whole) so unpopular?

Third: do you still play LoL?

A:

What limitations might it have which a normal sword does not? What limitations does a sword have which might not be present in a batleth?


Q:

Wouldn't you stop in the middle because of gravity or am I thinking about this wrong?

A:

I'm trying to break into game development by designing my own games in Unity, but writing comes extremely easy to me. I'd love to write for video games, I just don't really know where to start; video game writing seems to be the one area where there are no college courses or youtube tutorial series to latch onto.

Any advice for an aspiring games writer?


Q:

Some shows we develop and produce at MaxFun.

For shows that are added to the network from outside, we have a sort of system. Travis McElroy, Christian Duenas and Lindsay Pavlas are our first line of defense, they listen to pitches as they come in. If they like them, our senior producer Laura Swisher listens to them, and if she likes them, I listen and decide, in consultation with them.

It's based on a variety of factors - if a show already has an audience, that's good evidence that it's working, but that's hardly the only determinant. We're really looking for shows that have our "vibe," smart, funny, not too cynical. And that we think our listeners, and listeners generally, will like. And we try to give extra consideration to shows pitched by people other than straight white dudes, because straight white dudes are like 85% of our pitches.

A:

I have a cop-out answer to that one. My favorite question to think about is the one we do not yet know to ask because it's very existence awaits our next discovery -- placing us on a new cosmic vista, requiring ideas and inquiry today undreamt of. -NDTyson


Q:

hope to see you soon! Our tactic is rather than bring forward our plans for health care, we want to first defend what we have. It is under immediate fire. There is no chance with the current Congress to move towards Medicare for All.

When I look at the Democratic Party being so unpopular, you have to also consider that the Republican party is just as unpopular. I think people (particularly younger people) just strongly dislike parties in part because they are seen as top-down power structures. So it's not so much the Democratic Party as parties in general.

I love LoL but haven't played in a few months!

A:

Well, a batleth, wielded as intended, has an abysmal reach. The design isn't optimized towards thrusting, either.

An actual sword would be way more dangerous in every way, being a lot faster, reaching farther, and allowing for easy maneuvering.


Q:

If you ignore air resistance (say you vacuumed sealed the tube) you would pass the middle of earth falling at 18,000 mph. Then your inertia would carry you to the other side, sort of like a swing at a playground.

A:

Clockw0rk: I can't say there's any easy way to break into writing for video games, but the truth is, if you're a good writer already and you know games well, you don't need a college course, you need to start writing about games or writing your own games. You can certainly apply to be writer for game companies. Do some searches. Companies like BioWare often hire new writers, but their writing test is tough. Writers are not the most respected members of the game development community, and often people think anyone can write so why pay someone? You have to prove to them that you will make their game better through your writing ability. You can also start writing reviews and other material about games in a blog of your own, perhaps also showing your personal thoughts about narrative in games and how it could be better than it is. Basically, there's no single path, but many possibilities, which is true for any aspiring writer.


Q:

[deleted]

A:

What was the defining moment in your life where you thought "I did it?"


Q:

Follow ups!

I take that as a no to join as a co-sponsor? :( I feel that line of first defending Obamacare (which is fantastic, but flawed!) comes from the leadership as it's a line commonly hit by all congressional Ds. Why not take the lead on this? 81% of Dems support it, 58% of public do. So what if it can't be passed; this is what the people support and in my eyes can help to repair the Party image and give the grassroots energy (a win! which are few and far between, especially to those of us on the left of the party) to truly resist trump.

Regarding unpopular parties, do you believe that the image that neither party truly represents the people plays into that unpopularity? Senator Sanders was able to speak to the individual and that is why his campaign flourished. He stood for all of us, not corporations/big money interests. How can we combat the popularity issue in your eyes (ie, ensure Dems turn out)?

Also a new question: do you consider yourself progressive? Liberal? Is there a difference to you?

A:

I tend to agree with this analysis, except for one thing - when I've thought about practical use of the Bat'leth, I think of it more as a quarterstaff. Obviously, that's not really how it was portrayed on the show, but by releasing one hand and snapping the weapon out with the other (assume incredibly strong klingon wrists), I think the reach problem is solved. With this technique, I think it becomes extremely dangerous - it has the staff's distance flexibility with the cutting damage of the blade.

(10+ years of kenjutsu here)


Q:

Is it possible to propel your self with farts in space, practically. Or would the force produced be better compared to ion accelerators.?

A:

I have a very, very simple question, to which I'd like you to answer as honestly as possible.

Why do you like your job?


Q:

Most famous? Hmm. I've interviewed a fair number of movie stars, so probably one of them. Eva Mendes, maybe? Or maybe Phil Collins? Benedict Cumberbatch? I honestly don't usually think about people in terms of most famous. I know that seems like a pretentious dick thing to say but it's the actual truth :). I'm sure I'm forgetting someone.

A:

I try to best every previous defining moment with a new one. In that way you don't live in the past, you live for the future. -NDTyson


Q:

1) Well there are a lot of issues we want to lead on. Yes healthcare is one. How about immigration reform? how about a carbon tax or cap and trade? I can think of so many things. The danger isn't so much in this one bill as in if we focus on all these things that we can't pass with the current Congress we are taking our eye off the ball in stopping the bad stuff.

2) yeah I think that Senator Sanders has a lot of personal popularity but that doesn't make the Democrats any more popular. Same with Republicans. There are many people who love Trump but dislike the Republicans. I think people see them as top-down and run by elites and not responsive to the people. I think we can combat the lack of popularity by showing people the HUGE difference. Like all the horrible stuff Republicans are passing daily. Democrats wouldn't do that. We can certainly talk about our ideas for the Country too and how they differ.

I don't know what I call myself, obviously others call me all sorts of things (including 4 letter words). Liberal to be is an older-sounding term and it also has another meaning in "classic liberal" than today's liberal. Progressive also has one meaning from the early 20th century and a related, but also different, meaning now. I love progress and moving forward and am very future oriented so I guess I would pick progressive over liberal.

A:

You can either snap for reach or prevail in the bind, not both at the same time. And an experienced opponent will go for a bind usually. :(


Q:

This is tremendously difficult to compare. The ion propulsion is a continuous force while the fart is an impulse. So we can easily use conservation of momentum to get the fart answer it is not easily comparable to the much less mass but much higher velocity continuous impulse change from the ion engine.

According to Wikipedia article titled “flatulence”, the average fart is 100ml with a mass of 0.02 grams, with an ejection velocity estimated at 3 meters per second. Rounding off this gives the gas a momentum of 10-4 Kg m/second. An 80 Kg person will recoil with equal and opposite momentum, giving them a speed of 10-6 meters/second (or two millionths of a mile per hour).

A:

"As honestly as possible." That kind of makes me laugh. I can't imagine why I would not he honest in answering that question. So...

I love being both a writer and a game designer primarily because it is a license to be curious. It is permission to keep learning and being interested in just about everything. Two of the people I learned from, both directly and indirectly, were Will Wright and Sid Meier. They were to people of boundless curiosity, especially Will. As a writer, I was mentored by Theodore Sturgeon, whose motto was "Ask the next question." For me, this is the main reason I love what I do. I have written fiction, history, and earth science. For David Perry on Game Design, a book for which I was the principal researcher and writer, I looked into a staggering number of subjects as part of the development of this 1000 page tome.

The other reason I love what I do is that, despite the uncertainty of the next paycheck, I am not beholden to anyone else. I make my own time and schedule, and I pick my projects. I also have the time to practice and teach tai chi and travel without having to ask permission. It's not always easy, and this kind of freedom can come with a cost. Without self-discipline it's easy to fail. But because I love the work I do, I never really get tired of it or want to sit around doing nothing. I get up and figure out every day what to work on. And still have time for other activities.


Q:

If you had, say, 3 summer suits, what would they be? I love your menswear blog and personal style!

A:

Hi Dr Tyson, huge fan. I know its a big question, but how do you go on knowing how small we are in this universe? The thought of my insignificance in the grand scheme of things tends to depress me as much as the vastness of the universe interests me. Thanks for your time!


Q:

Thanks for taking my questions!

A:

How many people have asked you to make buster swords?


Q:

I'm not sure if I'm more curious about the cool ray guns on your back shelf or the painted fingernails.

Anyway -- is it possible to successfully commit suicide the cool way?

A:

When it comes to story telling in games who is the best of the best in your opinion?


Q:

Three summer suits? Uhm... probably gray and navy tropical wool, like a Frescoe or something, and then one linen. I actually have a brown linen suit that I wear a ton, since I live in LA and a suit is usually a lot, but linen really takes it down a peg.

A:

Why should knowing we are indeed small in time, space, and size have anything to do with insignificance. Bacteria surely don't feel that way and they are billions of times smaller than us, yet they do most of our digesting. Ant's surely don't feel that way yet they likely represent nearly 20% of Earth's biomass. Why not instead think of how awesome it is that our 3lbs Human brain matter actually figured all this out. Why not look up to the clear night sky, and reflect on the fact that we don't simply live in this universe, but the universe lives within us -- through the atoms and molecules of our bodies, forged in the hearts of stars that long-ago gave their lives to the galaxy ... and to us. This is, of course, one aspect of the cosmic perspective that perhaps I and my astrophysics colleagues take for granted, but cannot be told often enough. -NDTyson


Q:

see you in a week or two!

A:

Like 10, but they always get scared off by the price estimate. :(


Q:

As of now, the ray gun only works as a blunt force instrument. But we're working on that.

A:

bamboooozer: I haven't played every game ever made, and the answer to that question depends on how you define story telling. Off the top of my head... There are games that are very narrative driven, and BioWare is one of the best. Telltale Games is also quite interesting, although I haven't played their most recent games. But then I look at a game like the original NES version of Legend of Zelda. Simple story. But the game play was superb and told it's own story. One of my favorite games of all time because of the tight design that let you use the same map twice, and have a whole new experience. What are some of your favorites?


Q:

Will the Grand Canyon show be open to others besides the 5 lucky winners? I've been looking for a reason to go for awhile now.

A:

What's your favorite book?


Q:

Sounds like you're one of the few super achievers out there. My question is, what drives you?

A:

Is thst because of the material cost of a buster sword, the effort it'd take to forge such a thing, or because it's just completely unfeasible and you're just teasing them.


Q:

Ok, my friend did an experiment in a class of hers where she put a sheet of paper on a scale and took its weight, then crumpled it into a tight ball and took its weight again. It read more the second time. I said that when it was flat it must have been similar to when you filled a balloon with air and it would feel lighter than the deflated balloon because it was displacing air, and she was adamantly convinced that somehow crumpling the paper increased its mass and weight somehow (her words).

What would be the exact explanation so I can finally put this argument to bed?

Edit: Fucking hell, y'all care more about this than I do

A:

Hi Rusel What is your opinion the best storyline when it comes to blockbuster games (2010-)?


Q:

If it isn't open to others, it will be because you can't really put on a public show in a National Park, not because we chose to close it off. That said: we're going to look into it and give it the old college try. Honestly we thought of this whole thing like six days ago, so we're scrambling to make it a reality now.

A:

As a middle-school kid: "One Two Three Infinity", by George Gamow and "Mathematics and the Imagination" by Edward Kasner and James Newman. On the fiction side, nothing compares for me to "Gulliver's Travels", by Jonathan Swift. Not the Lilliput story that we all know, but the rest of Gulliver's voyages. That's where most of the deep social commentary is embedded. In later life, I can't get enough of Issac Newton. "Principia", in particular. The most influential book ever on what we call modern civilization. It established the fact that the Universe is knowable and that mathematics is the language it uses to communicate with us. -NDTyson


Q:

My Chauffeur! (just kidding I don't have one I drive myself)

A:

There's simply a lot of material and work involved. Especially if it's meant to be wieldable by an unaugmented human. :)


Q:

To really get to the answer of this interesting observation I would request a dozen or so repeats of the experiment to get an estimate of the measurement errors plus the data sheet for the scale giving the error in the display of the answer.

I predict though that the two papers, crumpled and flat will have the same weight, unless the flat paper is drooping off the scale and brushing against the table.

A:

I can't answer that question adequately because I've not been keeping up with all the games out there. It would be unfair of me to just point out ones that I have played. I've been so busy with this game and working on two other books that took a lot of time, High Score Expanded and an upcoming book based on Microsoft for which I interviewed 89 people. I just didn't have time to devote to a lot of the games that have come out. But I will say that I really enjoyed the Mass Effect series. I made time for those. And I've played a few action RPGs, like Path of Exile, Pillars of Eternity, and Grim Dawn, but not for the stories. Just because that kind of game is relaxing and not all that challenging when I'm in the middle of other big projects.


Q:

JESSE. I got my dream EG Dovers in Dark Oak a little while back and they HURT my feet too much to wear.

Have you had menswear grails in the past that have disappointed once you've got your hands on them?

A:

Hello Neil,

I work at a Christian school. One of my co workers (the science teacher) was banned from showing cosmos. The administrators who banned it (due to a parent complaint actually) refuse to watch it to judge for themselves.

What would you say to them to convince them to change their minds or reconsider?


Q:

Mr. Polis, as a citizen from CO, I would like thank you for taking the time to speak with your constituents as opposed to a certain senator from CO.

What type of support for cannabis regulation to you see from your fellow members of Congress? Do you see this act gaining any major support from specific legislators that people wouldn't expect?

A:

So how much would a replica as close to the original size, but still wieldable by a person cost?


Q:

Ok, so I need to buy a really sensitive scale, and possibly a vacuum chamber. Got it

A:

does storytelling matter if you cant understand what they are saying? (Im playing Dragon Quest X online currently).


Q:

Oh man, that stinks! I hope you at least tried stretching them or equivalent.

I definitely have that problem with shoes. I have very narrow heels, so nothing fits me right. All my non-padded-sneaker shoes have insoles. It's a nightmare.

I've also had many problems with buying Japanese stuff that ends up being too small, even in XL. (I'm 6'3", 210, so a pretty big dude, though I generally wear an L in US brands.)

A:

In the USA, education is entirely local -- a surprise to most of the developed world. So a Christian school, or even a public school, could if they wanted to teach anything at all. It's just a matter of voting influence on a school board. If they fear the contents of Cosmos, they simply fear what science tells them about the natural world.

FYI: Galileo (a devout Christian) famously once said: "The Bible tells you how to go to heaven, not how the heaven's go.

So even he saw the line in the sand between the two. But this is 21st century America. And what matters here are the consequences of not teaching science to school children. Innovations in science and technology are the engines of tomorrow health, wealth, and security. So any school district that eschews the discoveries of science has disenfranchised itself from the future of civilization. They can still reap the benefits of it, but they will be paying to obtain (or gain access to) the discoveries of others, and no emergent industries will move their HQ there, if scientifically literate employees are nowhere to be found.

-NDTyson


Q:

There is much more support when a representatives home state has moved forward with legalization. It's a theoretical issue if it's not happening at home. Now so many states have moved forward we have a lot more allies on both sides of the aisle.

A:

I'd price it at around 2200 USD


Q:

Yes a good vacuum chamber would get rid of all buoyancy effects. Measurements are never easy!

A:

I guess it depends on how much the storytelling depends on dialogue and how well you can interpret the events based on actions. I've played Japanese games without understanding a word, but I still get the gist of the story, if not the details. Probably that is because the stories usually tended to be pretty simplistic to begin with. So it matters in that the events are stories. The quests are stories. The winning and losing is part of the ongoing story.


Q:

Since I asked about your beard compared to Graham Clark's beard, I suppose I should also ask something about Jordan Morris and Dave Shumka... um...

Whose pet is cuter, Jordan's cat Bug or Dave's dog Grampa? Keep in mind that Grampa had an eye removed recently, though I'm not sure if that would make him more or less cute.

A:

You've said a black hole is the most interesting way to die in space. What is the second most interesting?


Q:

Since the rule about broadband privacy protection was rolled back as part of Congressional Review and that supposedly means the same rule can't be passed again, what does the future of internet privacy as it relates to the votes that cleared this week look like? Could Congress, or the future FCC, pass similar rules/legislation that provide the same protections that were reversed? Or can the current Congress/FCC pass rules/legislation that can at least restrict what ISPs can do with the data?

A:

That's about around what I'd expect. It's a lot of metal and it can't be easy to work with something that large. How would you go about making it? Would the blade be all one piece or would you have to combine several?


Q:

What's your favorite way(s) to die, whether it appears in the book or not? Which was the most difficult or complicated scenario to research?

A:

Have you any thoughts about real-time cutscenes vs pre-rendered cutscenes in games? What do you prefer?

BR Bero4


Q:

Grampa, but I'm a dogman.

A:

Hmm. Maybe a closeup view of a Supernova explosion. One of the greatest events in the universe. Happens maybe only once per century per galaxy. It would look beautiful up close, right up until until the energy intensity vaporized you. -NDTyson


Q:

Congress could certainly pass a law that resembled the rule- but keep in mind this is the same Congress composed of people who overturned the rule so not likely. But yes, if members of Congress change their minds or a future election gives us a more privacy-minded Congress we can make broadband privacy the law of the land

A:

If it was meant to be wieldable, I'd make the blade out of several angled plates rather than a single piece of steel. :)


Q:

Adventure/fatal tourism would be a fantastic way to go. Death by visiting the dinosaur era would be particularly interesting, but also likely lethal. Your best bet would be to live in the trees. Most of the particularly nasty predators in the dinosaur era were focused on the ground, although Pteradactyls show up around 100 million years ago, and those would be a problem.

Mars would also be a fantastic place to visit, but alas you would only have around 15 seconds to enjoy it before the lack of oxygen caused you to pass out. (And you couldn’t hold your breath, because the lack of pressure would squeeze all the air in your lungs out of you.)

A:

I prefer Real-time if you're going to use cutscenes. The less you take the player out of the game world, the better. The less you interrupt the player's agency in the game, the better. But judicial use of cutscenes can also be good for information and entertainment value and character development.


Q:

Yes please to both!

A:

Will we find live outside Earth within 100 years from now?


Q:

a future election gives us a more privacy-minded Congress

That's my hope. I'm about to turn 30 and have only voted in 3 (4?) federal elections and have never really actively looked into my candidates. I've simply voted Republican up until November when I voted for Johnson and a couple of other libertarian candidates on the ballot.

I recently discovered the New Democrat Caucus and it seems to be much more aligned with where I find myself politically these days. It's so frustrating to me that privacy, of all things, is such a partisan issue.

A:

I see. I don't mean to keep pestering you, but how much would the sword weigh if it was an exact replica not meant to be wielded and how much if it was?


Q:

How close are we to intersteller travel?

A:

What part of game design do you specialize in? And how would one get themselves into the field of game design?


Q:

We'll, Ira's pretty fully employed at the moment.

A:

Can't answer that, but I can give another kind of response -- I think in the next century we will know for sure whether there is or was ever life in the solar system -- especially on all the fun spot that keeps us wondering from afar -- Mars, Europa, Titan, Enceladus. -NDTyson


Q:

yeah both parties are very large coalitions, and privacy is one of those issues that has some very good Ds and some very good Rs working together, so it's important to dig deeper than party.

Libertarians are really good (better than Ds and Rs) on the government side of privacy (preventing gov from having your private info) but not as good at protecting against privacy from big corporations. Theoretically, the market should take care of privacy but the problem is that in something like broadband most consumers don't really have a choice.

A:

I estimate a wieldable replica at 5kg with good optimization. A forged, full one? Eh, 30 kg easily.


Q:

I think that as soon as the USA goes metric we'll have interstellar travel.

A:

I would say that I have been a game designer in two main areas. One is in conceptual, high-concept design work. Writing detailed game design documents, either original or as a contract for someone else. I've also been a design consultant at times for companies like Maxis, Oddworld, Sega, David Perry, and Acclaim. As a consultant I might be doing game design, but often I'm doing analysis and suggestions for when there are issues that haven't been resolved or also to some degree in planning stages.

Getting into the game design field is not all that easy, and the best advice I can offer is to learn to make your own games using whatever tools you can manage. If you aren't technical but have a concept you really want to create, find people with the technical and/or art skills to help you make at least a working prototype or vertical slice (which is a segment of completed game that demonstrates the game play and style of the game fully enough so that someone seeing it would understand what the game is about and how it will look, feel, and play). You can also try to get a job in a Q&A department of a game company, which can be a stepping stone toward design and you learn a lot. There are some more obscure ways to get him, such as being a popular moderator on MMOs where the devs get to know you, but that's not easy to do and no guarantee that you'll be taken seriously as a designer. You can also go to school for game design. These days there are lots of good schools, and graduates from these schools will be looked at more seriously than a guy off the street.

I got into game design because I started playing video games in 1967 and played them consistently from Pong onward. I was a writer early on and got to know a lot of people in the industry over the years. Times were different then. When I left Prima Publishing, where I was creative director for the strategy guide division (and writing strat guides was also a way I learned a lot about game design and got to talk to lots of devs), I started doing independent design work with mixed results. I'm not known best as a designer in the industry - more a writer - but I have been a lead designer on my own projects and have been paid as a designer and consultant over the years.


Q:

Out of the entire network, what show or topic do you feel is missing?

A:

Hello, have you ever seen Rick and Morty? If so, what do you think of it?


Q:

What will it take to get congress to leave the internet alone?

A:

Is that possible to make that sword as a pipe shaped like a sword?


Q:

Other than a magnetar, are there any sources of magnetism that will kill you directly (ie: not by accelerating some external object)?

A:

How did you begin writing for games?


Q:

I'd love to have some great sports shows - Tights & Fights is our first foray into that world. I don't love the sports podcasts out there now. I'd love to do more scripted comedy in various forms, but that's quite expensive. International Waters is our first effort in that department. We're currently working on movie and book shows, and are looking towards music shows, as well, on the culture side.

A:

Embarrassed that I've never seen Rick and Morty. But I'm generally a fan of smart animation. And now that you've called me out, I'll put it on my list. -NDTyson


Q:

new congress?

A:

Sure. With proper geometry, it can be made hollow and still be highly durable.


Q:

There are no magnetic sources on Earth that will directly kill you (yet). We have yet to create a magnet that strong. However, scientists have created magnets a few tesla strong that can float frogs, because the water in a frog (and you) is diamagnetic. And if they could make that magnet big enough, it would float you as well. Youtube has a cool video of floating frogs here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlJsVqc0ywM

Futurama has a cool episode where a human visits a robot world and the robots discover they cannot kill the human with any level of magnetism, they do however discover that penetrating the human with a sharp stick will stop it.

A:

I began around 1981. I had been playing video games all through the '70s (my first one was Spacewar! at Stanford University in 1967). I had wanted an Apple II for quite some time, and the IBM PC was new as well. I got my Apple II and devoured every game I could get my hands on. I started working with the first PC clone company, Leading Edge. I first sold their computers, then I became a software analyst for them. For a year and a half they paid me to do comparative research on various types of business software. Along the way, I bought a book called, if I remember correctly, "The Book of IBM Software" or something. They also had one for the Apple II. The "book" was a series of software reviews, and at the end of the book they had a phone number for people interested in writing for them. I called them and they said that the way it worked is you called them and they would tell you what the had that needed a review. If you wanted to do it, they sent it to you and that was your payment. At the time it never occurred to me that I could get paid to write about software and get free products, so I said yes. The first product I was given was a funeral director's package written in dBase. I had a ball writing a review of that one, and after that I wrote about 50 reviews over the next year... until my wife came in and showed me a newspaper article that said you could get paid for what I was doing. I contacted magazines that did reviews and pretty soon I was busy writing for a lot of magazines, but not all of it was games at first. I wrote for PC Week and Byte Magazine, for instance, but also for A+. I wrote about two reviews for A+ every month for $100 a pop. Anyway, that's how I got started. I kept at it and by 1989 I was able to transition into writing exclusively in the game field. In 1990 I became senior editor of PC Games and a contributing editor for GamePro. That same year I started Prima Publishing's strategy guide division, which I led as creative director for six years. I was the seventh employee of the company. By the time I left, there were 150 people, all working on the division I had started for them.


Q:

Is Maximum Fun getting any closer to a sports podcast (other than Tights and Fights)? I would love a sports panel show in the Pop Rocket tradition.

A:

Neil, you're a great mind who helps reach out and bring many people new curiosity for science & I applaud you for that.

I am not as intellectually inclined as I wish I was but I feel confident as a good orator and communicator having worked sales jobs.

I don't believe I have the capabilities to go into a STEM degree so what do you think young people in my generation who cannot go into STEM should strive for?

also how'd you like the movie "Life"?


Q:

Hi Jared,

I am a constituent of yours and I just wanted to thank you so very much for signing the bipartisan letter to the DEA urging them to halt their scheduling of kratom. I emailed and called your office and I definitely felt that my voice was being heard and represented. As someone who has used kratom for over a decade, I really, from the bottom of my heart thank you for protecting my rights and freedom. This plant is enormously beneficial to me and many thousands, if not millions of Americans. I appreciate that you are looking out for people like me and the rest of our community.

Had you heard about kratom before the DEA completely overstepped their authority and brought it into public discourse?

A:

Can anyone with the passion and time and money learn how to forge blades? How long does it take? Do you really need a mentor (it seems like you might since it's such an art form)?

Also, have you thought of competing on Forged in Fire?


Q:

What made you decide to name the book And Then You're Dead, and not how to go out like a badass. But, in all seriousness, what would you say your favorite thing to research for this book was?

A:

It's not in active development, though I did get a sports pitch I really like. With sports, you need a particular mix of expertise and being entertaining that's tough to find sometimes. Everyone thinks they know about sports but sports talk guys literally watch sports all day, every day. Definitely still something we're interested in, though.


Q:

What matters in society is not how many STEM professionals are running around. What a boring world that would be if we were all scientists and engineers. The world needs poets and artists and actors and comedian, and politicians, and even lawyers. What i see is that if you like STEM, but for whatever reason will not become a STEM professional, you can still gain basic levels of science literacy in your life, and blend that awareness into your work. This is already happening in the Arts. There's no end of art installations, sitcoms, dramas, screenplays, first-run movies, that have been inspired by science. Including The Martian, which helped turn the word "Science" into a verb, and Avatar, the highest grossing film of all time. So if your will not become a scientist yourself, then do not hesitate to allow science to serve as the artist's muse. Next in line -- scientifically literate politicians. -NDTyson

A:

It really came to my attention then. I had read maybe an article about it and vaguely heard about it before, but then I had to spring into action when they surprised us and I'm so glad it worked (for now)


Q:

Never thought about competing on Forged in Fire. I prefer to work at my own pace. :)

As for learning - OF COURSE. In fact, it's a simple thing compared to what we learn at universities nowadays. It's no rocket science. All you need is some tools, the will to learn and a tiny bit of crafting talent. The knowledge is freely available on the Web.

In fact, to make a sword, you don't even have to actually forge a blade - you can make it by grinding and its quality will be AT LEAST as good as that of a forged one!

A:

Well, for one we didn’t think of as cool as name as ‘How to go out like a badass’. Bummer for us. The original name was “Gruesome”, but then we were told gruesome was too, ummm, gruesome for a lot of people. So we went with the much more cheery ‘and then you’re dead’. Although it is a bit of a spoiler to the end of many of these.

The favorite thing to research? Perhaps digging the hole to china. Actually getting the details on how long it would take to fall to the other side (longer than an airplane, depending on your connections and ignoring some of the other gruesome side effects).


Q:

Congratulations on the 20K+ new and upgrading members. How many members continue from the previous year without upgrading?

A:

Who are your favorite philosophers? Do you think philosophy is still relevant today?


Q:

Hey Mr. Polis,

Have you ever seen this video of you singing about our lovely state? I absolutely love it.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MTohDQl1kJY

Thanks, Jesse

A:

What is the most modern sword type out there (in terms of materials and smithing technique)?


Q:

What's your favorite kind of ice cream?

A:

I honestly haven't looked at the breakdown between new and upgrading donors, but it's north of 10K.


Q:

Francis Bacon is up there. I recently came across a book of his that was filled with accounts of experiments he conducted, which may have informed his important philosophical conclusions about the value of experiment in finding scientific truths. This was around the same time as Galileo, who arrived at the same conclusions. Of course back then, "Natural Philosophy" was practically synonymous with what today we call Physics.

In the 20th centruy, when the atom revealed itself to our experiments, and the expanding universe entered our largest telescopes, it made philosophizing about the natural world harder than before, where now, what's true no longer issues forth from our senses.

Experiments matter. And if you do experiments, we generally call you a scientist and not a philosopher.

Plenty of philosophy frontiers abound, including Moral & Ethical Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Religious Philosophy. And there are still-emergent fields that could benefit from some smart ideas about where they should look next, especially in studies of consciousness, neuroscience, and ecology. -NDTyson

A:

yes it's a really catchy tune! Love it! I showed it to Rep. Flemming and I'm not sure he knew what he was looking at


Q:

Huh. That's an easy question, actually. My Chromium-Molybdenum new generation XVa-s. :)

http://store.audentia.eu/product/xva-sword-path/

A:

Ice cream made with liquid nitrogen!

edit: I feel a word of warning is necessary here, however: If you are dealing with liquid nitrogen, don't fall into the tank. Nitrogen freezes the water in your cells into crystals that pierce your cell membranes, resulting in the cells leaking to death when you thaw. (This is the problem with cryogenically freezing your head after you die, in hopes of revival. No one knows how to warm you back up without the ice forming those crystals and stabbing your cells to death).


Q:

Aren't there some donors who just continue at their contribution level from the previous year?

A:

Greetings Neil,

I have looked up to you aside many others as you've stood as a figure of change and education in my life and the lives on in countless others. So here's my question.

Are you skeptical about the advances in high-pressure physics with the discovery of metallic hydrogen ?

With that being said do you think metallic hydrogen will replace liquid oxygen in our ambitious plan to reach Mars by 2030 ?

A pleasure for your time,

Thanks Anthony.


Q:

Mr Polis,

I love Boulder County and prize the shared values we have here. But... we live in Longmont which means instead of having a cool high-tech progressive Representative, our family is stuck in The District That Time Forgot. I need some Real Talk here: Is there any chance at all of either the district swinging moderate anytime soon or Longmont moving to the 2nd District after the next census?

Don't get me wrong, I'll all about fighting the good fight, but I'm old enough now to know when to pick my battles.

Thanks, and nice job on the bill today!

A:

are there any interesting swords made with ceramics or carbon fiber?


Q:

If I had a sphere large enough to fit a person (size isn't relevant) and the entire inside was a mirror, what would happen if I shined a light for a second. Would the light bouncy around infinitely or would it only be present while the light was on?

A:

I mean at least 10K in addition to the 20K+ who've started or increased donations.


Q:

Metallic hydrogen is not a new idea or concept. It's actually why on the Period Table of Elements Hydrogen typically appears on both the left and right side -- with metals (on the left) and with gases (on the right). In any case, whenever we enter the domain of new element behavior or new molecular properties, it's just a matter of time before new and cool applications follow. So I have no crystal ball, other than to say that in the hands of clever engineers and artists, cool things come from cool scientific discoveries. -NDTyson

A:

haha, well you can consider me your honorary rep. There will be a new census in 2020 and redistricting, so you never know! Because CO has increased in population we will add a seat and therefore all districts will shrink. Even though the 2nd District will shrink, who knows maybe it will include all of Boulder County?

In any event, your district did have a wonderful Democratic Rep Betsy Markey for one term, 2008-2010 so it IS possible in the right year!


Q:

Not that I heard of. But metallic glass/amorphous steel sound incredibly interesting as a potential swordmaking material.

A:

Paul D: Alas no mirror is perfect, some light energy is always absorbed on each bounce. So when you turned off your light source, the emitted light would bounce around getting exponentially dimmer.


Q:

Does that mean that the podcasts are uploaded without the midroll/endroll ads for other shows etc, and then those are added in later?

A:

Is science the arbiter of reality? If so what are some of the problems/limits of adopting that epistemology exclusively?


Q:

Mr. Polis, thanks for your service! I was sad to move out of your district, but am happily supporting Rep. Degette as my new Rep.

Hot-potato question re Rep. Devin Nunes. Do his actions with the Intelligence Committee potentially rise to the level of being exposed to investigation by the Ethics Committee for conflict of interest?

If you can't answer that... Behind the scenes, do most fellow committee members (Schiff & Nunes) have the type of rapport that allows them to, behind closed doors, say "dude, WTF?"

Thanks, and keep up the wonderful work on our behalf!

A:

are there any techniques you borrow from people who make cutlery?


Q:

Do you enjoy pickles?

A:

Yes. Only Greatest Gen is doing this right now.


Q:

Science is the most effective thing Humans have ever invented to decode what is real and what is not in the world and the universe. If anybody every comes up with something more effective then we'll be all up in it. The limits, as I see it, are the occasional blind spots that result from looking for something we hope or expect to find, rather than for the unexpected. For this reason, in my field, when we deploy brand new telescopes we try to reserve time for them to enter a kind of serendipity mode, where it looks for anything, rather than what we seek. Big science is also driven by money made available by governments. So when conducted properly, it doesn't affect what is true but what kinds of discoveries of made -- possibly in the service of the state rather than in the service of the individual curiosity of the scientists themselves. -NDTyson

A:

On your second question, I think that most of the members are more friendly and informal with one another behind the scenes. If I had a problem with the Chair of my committee I would definitely approach them informally and see what's up.


Q:

The methods of grinding the blade into shape are similiar. :)

A:

Cody likes dill, Paul likes only the comic strip.

If you really enjoy pickles, you can eat four one liter jars of pickles before your stomach bursts along the lesser curvature.


Q:

What has been your favorite catch phase from jjgo?

A:

Hello Dr. Tyson!

I think I have an idea of what your answer might be, but I'll ask anyway. What are your thoughts and predictions on President Trump's executive orders regarding energy and the environment?

...and as always...

WHEN IS THE NEW SEASON OF COSMOS COMING???


Q:

Hi, big fan of marijuana legalization (not just for the fun aspect) but I am a big believer that hemp and marijuana is an untapped industry and will create tens of thousands of jobs as well as cripple cartels, allowing us to decrease some expenses in the DEA and other departments. How have other reps in congress reacted to the jobs and savings arguments and aspects of legalization of marijuana? To me, it seems between tax revenue and jobs, we'd be stupid to continue to deprive the market and personal freedoms associated with legalization.

A:

Can I run away and become your apprentice?


Q:

Is there something that is surprisingly not guaranteed death ?

A:

I forget them all. I mean, Full Chort was and is a great one. So fucking dumb.


Q:

Trying to get the Band back together on the Cosmos thing. Nothing green-lit yet. But we are all hopeful Lots of pistons need to align. Thanks for that interest.

As for Trump's Executive Orders, sixty million people voted for him. And he won US counties by a landslide. So if he did not do what he promised them (or what we all expected of him) then he would not be serving his electorate. Now, if he passes Executive Orders or if Congress enacts legislation that will disrupt the long-term stability of the country and of the planet, then the problem is not Trump, but your (our) fellow citizens who do not fully understand this problem and need to become informed (as is true for any voter) so that when we elect leaders, there is some correspondence between objective reality and governance. -NDTyson

A:

we've already created tens of thousands of jobs in Colorado! Growers, dispensaries, products, but it's also pumped money into alternative newspapers (ads) and real estate (leases). It's been good for our economy.


Q:

If you're asking for permission you're doing it wrong. :D

A:

Paul D: In our "What would happen if you lost your head" chapter we meet two people, one was missing 95% of his brain and still had an IQ of 126, and another,Phineas Gage, survived having a one inch diameter 3 foot long steel rod pass through his head from bottom to top.


Q:

If you're into classic soul I highly recommend Leon Bridges. Real throwback sound. Coming Home is a really good album.

A:

On the set of Zoolander 2, did you get the opportunity to smoke with Willie Nelson?


Q:

Thanks for being my rep Mr. Polis. What are your plans to fight President Trump's recent executive order on climate change and the EPA?

A:

What is it like studying the blade while I am partying?


Q:

I've heard him and he's very good, I'm honestly not super-into retro stuff. There's some neo-soul I really love, but the whole dress up in a Temptations suit and pretend to be Sam Cooke thing is not my jam.

A:

yes, i did have a cameo in Zoolander 2. But Ben Stiller made me do it. Especially the end scene, rendering my face as the last thing you see in the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu0rFVwX2Ok

But no, we were all (the cameo celebs) choreographed to come on and off set in pre-set timeslots. There was not a single room where we all hung out, waiting to be called. I did overlap with Billy Zane and we've become fast friends.

So my answer to your question is no, I did not get high with Willie Nelson on the set of Zoolander 2. -NDTyson


Q:

Doing everything I can... Today introduced CLIMATE Act along with several colleagues to prevent these new executive orders from being implemented. Of course it's more an effort to use our soapbox because obviously he wouldn't sign these bills even if they somehow passed. There might be some opportunities in tax reform too. The real battle will be to defend funding for EPA and renewable research, and then work hard to elect a Congress that cares more about the environment and climate issues.

A:

While you were mastering the blockchain, I was having premarital sex


Q:

Definitely understand that; Anderson .Paak or Hiatus Kaiyote might be more your style then if you're down for some neo-soul. Thanks for taking my question!

A:

Do you think advancements like those being made at space-X will have meaningful impacts on our goals to go to Mars within the next decade or two?


Q:

Thanks for being accessible. Can you ask your colleague Cory Gardner to do the same?

I support your "Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act!" How can we solve the concern of driving under the influence of marijuana? Alcohol intoxication can be determined by BAC. Current law tests of the presence of marijuana in the system using tests that only confirm the presence of marijuana in the bloodstream. Science says that it may be detected in your blood up to 30 days after consuming marijuana. It is unlikely that anyone is under the influence 30 days after the fact. What science can be used to determine intoxication? Follow up: How can we get more research going in Colorado on how to better determine marijuana intoxication?

A:

There seems to be a real shortage of smiths who look at late-historical swords, e.g. French small swords and other 17th century (and later) weapons. Have you done any work in that area?


Q:

I haven't heard Hiatus Kaiyote, but really enjoyed Paak's records. Gotta get Matt Martian's album, Syd and Matt are my peoples.

A:

I'm simultaneously one of Space-X's biggest critics and supporters. I've said many time and many places, e.g. http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/buy/books/space-chronicles that projects that are hugely expensive and dangerous, with uncertain returns on investments make poor activities of profit-driven companies. Governments do these things first, allowing private enterprise to learn what to do and what not to do, then come next with a plan that involves us all. So my read of history is that private companies will not be the first to send humans to Mars unless government actually pays for it. -NDTyson


Q:

there are actually some good testing technologies, but nothing is perfect!

An article about my efforts in this area: http://www.westword.com/news/lucid-act-update-details-about-federal-stoned-driving-bill-proposal-6767074

A:

I've made several rapiers under one of my masters, but haven't delved into the subject at my own workshop yet. I know how to make a complex hilt from a single piece of steel, however! :)


Q:

Have you tried out the new MLB 17 game with Ken Griffey Jr.'s grotesquely swollen jaw?

A:

What are some personal or career goals you haven't yet achieved?


Q:

Can you be my rep too? I'm stuck with Chris Collins. It doesn't seem fair.

A:

I'll bite. How do you make a complex hilt from a single piece of steel?


Q:

No, but my producer Kevin just got The Show and says he's killing it AA right now in first-person career mode.

A:

To foster an entire generation of scientists as educators so that I can fade away and not even be noticed for having done so. That's would represent a stunning future of science literacy in the land. That's a career goal in the sense that then I can return to the lab and publish research papers again. That's my possibly delusional career goal at this time in my life. -NDTyson


Q:

well I don't think that upstate NY will be added to my district anytime soon, but hey you never know! btw my mom is from Peekskill

A:

With operations such as drawing out and forge welding. It's a lot of work, but it's possible. Hell, people already did it 300 years ago.


Q:

Do you ever worry another podcast would get the coveted Speaking into Microphones sponsorship?

A:

Do you know you're the champion of r/iamverysmart ?


Q:

What is your opinion on the electoral college?

A:

Swords?


Q:

Sponsorship? That ruins the joke! It's PRODUCED by Speaking Into Microphones.

That said, the joke is a lot less effective now that I have actual producers working on the show.

A:

Nope. Learn something every day. -NDTyson


Q:

We should abolish it and directly elect our President

A:

Swords!

(Enchantment!)


Q:

Any plans for getting a new movie podcast added to the lineup since Wham Bam Pow is no more?

I miss having a movie show that has a more diverse point of view than that of a few straight white dudes.

A:

I used to really dislike him. Thought he was smug and obnoxious. Then I listened to him on Joe Rogan's podcast several weeks ago. He's actually cool. Listen to the man actually have a conversation and not judge him by factoid tweets and other similar snippets. I got you, /u/neiltyson. You're a bit misunderstood. Just trying to educate. Respect.

Edit: Added 6:55 EST, he replies to a comment where someone asks about him being an asshole.


Q:

Can we use the weed money to give our awesome state single-payer healthcare? I don't want to be uninsured anymore :/

A:

Magic is impressive, but now Minsc leads! Swords for everyone!


Q:

We're working on it right now! Support Pop Rocket and we'll know it works :).

A:

I don't mind being misunderstood. It simply raises my educational bar. Educators who are persistently misunderstood should not call themselves educators. -NDTyson


Q:

it's not enough $$$$

It is helping build and repair some schools though!

A:

Go for the eyes, Boo!


Q:

Do you like sandwiches, if so, what's your favorite type of sandwich?

A:

Hi, i've been watching you for a long time on YouTube.. also i'm a visitor on a few of your streams. And yes, i am Polish but let's keep it English. So, i've got a question; It's quite interesting and rare to meet a person online who've been raised in a hamlet. So, can you tell me a little bit more about that? What kind of lifestyle did you have, in the terms of arising technology.. and also, gaming. Yes! I remember you mentioned gaming, when did you start? And, what do you think of the game Gothic if you played it? Cheers!


Q:

don't love sandwiches, hold the bread. Or just bread and no sandwich also good.

A:

I was raised by farmers, so as a child I worked the fields, milked the cows, pastured the horses... I spent most of my free time wandering the woods.

Around 1999 I got a PC from my uncle. It was a Celeron 366 and it allowed me to experience games such as Sacrifice, Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, Gothic.

It was about 2002 when I first encountered THE INTERNET at a public library a few villages over. It blew my mind. :)


Q:

What do you think should be done to stop gerrymandering? Also what are the pros and cons of term limits for Congress?

A:

Hi, How can I start swordsmithing? Can you recomend some books? (Polish language would be preferable)


Q:

someone mentioned this earlier, a ballot initiative like California passed would take districting out of the hands of politicians and give it to a non-partisan commission, I think it would pass in most places it was put on the ballot.

Term limits, pros are you get new blood in and have more opportunities for people to use their real world skills and knowledge cons are that it makes lobbyists more powerful as they become the institutional memory and you also lose historical knowledge

A:

I don't know of anyone who learned to make swords from a book. :( Sadly, most of those available in Poland were written in the 80s and are terribly outdated, filled with inaccurate knowledge and long-debunked myths.

I think learning from YouTube videos is entirely possible nowadays, if you're determined enough.


Q:

I don't live in Boulder anymore so you were never actually my rep, but you're still one of my favorite! I've got a couple of quick questions. Thanks for doing this AMA!

  1. There's been a lot of talk recently (especially on the left) about the best way to contact our representatives. The idea that "oh actually they don't read emails, you have to call to have your voice count" is the basis for projects like https://www.callsforchange.com/ and https://5calls.org/. I figure it differs between reps, but is there a best or worst way to make our voice heard?
  2. With Republicans controlling both the legislative and executive branches (and having a lot of sway on the judicial with the current and any possible future vacancies), what does that say about the system of checks and balances we rely on? With a congressional majority in both houses, it seems like they can pass any legislation they want without democrats having a formal say. Is that the case, and if so, what do we do before 2018?
  3. Do you still play League of Legends at all? I remember first hearing about you through that subreddit years ago.

Again, thanks so much for your time. Take care!

A:

So can you recomend some channels instead? ;)


Q:
  1. I think calls and letters from constituents are both great. Petitions don't do much. Same when I hear from people in other states.

  2. We still have the judiciary! Also keep in mind that both parties are broad tents to we (Democrats) weren't able to pass everything we wanted when we were in the majority (no immigration reform or carbon emission reduction) and the Republicans so far can't even seem to repeal Obamacare which they have said they wanted to do for years.

A:

Man at Arms is very entertaining... and VERY educational actually. The guys know what they're doing. :)

There's also an excellent armormaker on YouTube, Eric Dube.


Q:

Not a real political question, but I sat right above the Dems dugout at the congressional baseball game last year and we were screaming for you the whole night. How do you sign up for that? Is there like a sign up sheet passed around the House floor or something?

A:

Thank you, subbed. Btw you're making great job on yt. I'm waiting for more of your videos.


Q:

last year I didn't hit as well as usual (neither did our whole team, d*mn knuckleballs)...

We have begun baseball practice already and hope you can make it again this year. We practice most weekday mornings 7 am.

We recruit one another to play, no list to sign you just show up.

A:

Thank you! I've got some cool things coming, stay tuned! :)


Q:

How nervous were you on your first day?

A:

If there are no good recent books, sounds like you just found yourself a money making opportunity


Q:

more excited than nervous!

A:

Haha, that's not a bad idea actually.


Q:

Hi Jared! CSU alum here who always appreciated you stopping by.

In these uncertain times, we all need to take comfort in our fermented beverages. So how's the kombucha bill you introduced doing?

A:

Wouldn't you say this leaves the field wide open for someone like you?


Q:

we are trying to get clarity for kombucha, the FDA at times has threatened to regulate it like alcoholic beverages (which would make it much harder to buy and put many small companies out of business)! We have good bipartisan support and I think we can get our "fix" into the appropriate bill. There's a similar law already on the books regarding apple cider. It turns out that if you leave cider out it also ferments (duh) so they have a special exemption. I actually had to talk to a fermentation professor at CSU to explain all this to me to help craft the bill!

A:

Oh, the stuntsman lobby is very insular. It's nigh impossible for an outsider to enter the Hollywood/high budget TV stunts environment. The producers mostly rely on outdated, tragically inept teams when it comes to stage fighting.


Q:

Hi, Mrs Polis. Hope your evening is going well. Some questions:

  • would the decriminalization under your bill mean marijuana sellers could now deposit their cash in FDIC banks?

  • similarly, would the rule preventing "drug dealers" from deducting operating expenses (e.g. rent, utilities, advertising, salaries, overhead, etc.) on their taxes be circumvented?

  • if you had to entertain royalty by making sandwiches and hosting lunch, describe the sandwich you would make and the luncheon you would put on.

A:

The 40k feder you did was absolutely stunning. If you could design a feder or longsword based on any other Sci fi/fantasy/pop culture theme which would you chose?


Q:

also I'm Mr, not Mrs. but I'm flattered that my drag is so convincing.

A:

The Lord of the Rings! The art in the movies is quite stunning. Also, the assassin symbol of Assassin's Creed would be pretty awesome on a federschwert. :)


Q:

Sorry! Typo on my phone.

A:

I agree the art of the lord of the rings is amazing. Id be a liar if i said they werent half the reason i have a sworder (sword boner, im trying to get it to catch on).

However, what if you had to choose a theme not generally associated with swords/high fantasy?


Q:

and i thought it was my high heels...

A:

Dune. Definitely.


Q:

How often to you speak with our Senators? Weekly? Never? Only Bennet?

A:

What are your favorite youtube channels?

Also, you should definitely do a 'Draw my life' video!


Q:

I spoke to Gardner last week, I'd say I speak to him about once/month.

Bennet sometimes I will speak with several times a week and other times it could go a month or more not seeing him or talking to him.

So on average Bennet once/week and Gardner once/month

A:

I watch Angel Vivaldi a lot, such a brilliant guitar player.

From the big ones: Man at Arms. Vsauce. Videogamedunkey. The smaller ones? Metatron! :)


Q:

What's the tone of those interactions? Is it generally focused on getting particular things done for CO, or are there ever broader policy discussions at play?

A:

I want to become a blacksmith.

What is the best way to start?


Q:

I wouldn't hesitate to call either one if there is a Senate vote coming up I think they should pay attention to, or a bill that I want to do with them. I would say our discussions are 75% Colorado issues and 25% general issues. I called Gardner last week on an education issue for instance.

A:

Well, actually... watching YouTube videos is a very good way to start. You will soon notice the basic tools that you need: an anvil, a forge, a hammer, a grinder. Experiment with those, keep learning from YouTube... and eventually you will get the hang of it.


Q:

Representative Polis, I've been a fan of yours since you were on one of the late night shows a few years ago (the Daily Show maybe). Do you have plans to go on again? You are very well spoken.

A:

So im off to a decent start than. Good to know. Ive been slowly gathering supplies. The major one im not sure what to do about is the forge itself. Do you have a suggestion?


Q:

nothing planned right now but it would be fun to do again!

A:

You can purchase a propane forge quite cheaply at... eh, what was their name? Devil Forge. They sell their stuff through eBay.

If that's too steep, consider making a coal-powered "drum brake forge". I heard it can be done for ~50 USD or so. :)


Q:

Oh hey I live in fort Collins! Thanks for representing us! I've voted for you a number of times, just never expected you to pop up on my Reddit feed!

Anyway, how long per year do you spend fundraising?

A:

What would you say of the sword choreography in the movie equallibrium? I love the movie and find the right scenes intriguing and different.


Q:

Foco!Foco!Foco!Foco!Foco!Foco!Foco!Foco!

I think 4-6 hours/week fundraising is average for me

A:

Love it. It was considered a Matrix rip-off back in the day, but the gun-fu choreographies were entirely different. Very original, very dynamic.


Q:

Hello Jared,

Good work and thanks for being active and willing to face adversity. What has been your biggest frustration, mistake, and what keeps you positive?

A:

When you were young did you have sword fights with other boys?


Q:

well I think so many of us thought Trump couldn't win, but then he did :( I did go to PA to campaign for Hillary but I guess I could have done even more if I knew where it was headed.

I stay positive because I believe in this country and I know that things will swing back at some point to rationality.

A:

No. But I remember I wanted to. :D


Q:

Hi Mr Polis,

If your law were to hit the floor today, I believe it would be a very close vote. Most of your colleagues have made their position clear and would be very predictable. Who are the people on the fence we should be paying attention to?

Similarly, if the vote were to happen tomorrow, any guess as to the approximate yea's, nay's, and toss-ups? I'm sure you're tracking positions on this.

A:

I see a cool sword on the shelf of some antique store. How can I make sure it's not going to snap in half when Hank comes at me?


Q:

It's really close. The last time we brought up our similar amendment we lost by 10 votes. Now there are new members and I think more of them support getting the federal government out of it than the retired ones.

I think the new reps in particular who haven't voted on it yet are great ones to reach out to the outcome will be in their hands.

A:

It's actually not that easy without taking apart the hilt. Many shitty replicas look exactly like decent replicas.

One of the ways is to grab the sword just under the crosspiece with one hand and hit it on the pommel with the other. Full time blades will vibrate along the whole length, while false tang/rat tailed ones won't have that kind of nice harmonic. :)


Q:

Hello Senator!

CO resident here. I want to ask you your position/thoughts on off-grid living. I know that some people who live on their own land prefer to take their own responsibility when it comes to shelter and energy.

In many places, there are ordinances governing what can and cannot be done in this regard. In other places (like much of the San Luis Valley), there are fewer restrictions and usually just a permit required to live in a "non permanent" residence. I read a story recently that echoed concerns from citizens who were denied permits and essentially evected from their own land.

I believe the trend of living off-grid, in tiny home, earthships, etc. is growing exponentially. With this growth, there is at some point going to be a request from these people that their lifestyles are legitimate and should be permitted fully (at least outside of urban areas)

So, what do you think of this, and where do you see room for improvement or protection for this demographic?

A:

Hey! I have always been curious about the choice of using curved blades vs a straight blade. In my mind, in a combat situation I would not want a curved blade as it seems like it would get stuck. Also, full disclosure I like Game of Thrones and am thinking of the Dothraki sword, but have been to a lot of museums and seen many curved blades.

Any insight on straight vs curved?


Q:

I think it's an interesting and responsible lifestyle, but it's also not for everyone. I don't know if it is a scaleable part of significantly reducing our carbon emissions. That being said I would support policies that make it easier for people to live off the grid if they want.

A:

Curved blades are actually better at slicing cuts and don't get stuck as easily as 'chopping' straight blades. But there are downsides: smaller reach-to-weight ratio and single-edged... ness.


Q:

Now that Trump has announced he wants to get rid of net neutrality, what should we do to stop that? How will we be able to build momentum for another large protest like in 2014?

A:

I get that for like a scimitar or a ghurka type blade, but what about the really curved ones?


Q:

I think the best effort would be to win an election for another pro net neutrality President and a pro net neutrality Congress.

There are legislative efforts to create some compromise laws around net neutrality but we have to be very careful about those.

I think as long as providers know that net neutrality could be around the corner, they will be discouraged from implementing complex tiering and pricing systems because of the uncertainty around them.

A:

Ehh, not very practical in my opinion. I'm still not sure why the Egyptians invented the khopesh instead of using straight blades. :)


Q:

waves from Denver Keep up the good work! Two questions:

(1) How do you think this developing Trump/Russia scandal is going to play out? (Do you think President Trump will last a full term?)

(2) What is the best way we Coloradans can resist and combat the Trump regime?

Thank you.

A:

I always wondered if it was for hooking and pulling shields down in a tight formation, a bit like axes and various polearms could. Does that sound plausible to you?


Q:

1) I have no idea if Trump will last, it depends on what he actually did. There is a lot of smoke, we don't know if the Russian connection goes all the way to him or just a suspiciously high number of people around him. I do think that we will get to the bottom of it and if he committed an impeachable act he will be held accountable, but it could take time

2) all the calls and letters to reps have been helpful, peaceful marches too, but most importantly volunteer for good candidates and VOTE in 2018! If Democrats take the House back it's a different ball game entirely

A:

That sounds like a possibility, yes!


Q:

Thank you Congressman for both doing this AMA and introducing the bill. As someone who is stuck with Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), I am pleased to see that some of my fellow countrymen get to be represented by someone who isn't a hack. My questions are as follows:

  1. What role does the pharmaceutical industry play in lobbying against legalization? In Arizona, the makers of Fentanyl donated to the opposition campaign in the state's legalization referendum that was on the ballot last November. My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that they were in the process of developing a synthetic form of THC that they wished to sell. Legalized marijuana would hurt their bottom line. Such an example is rather narrow, so I'm wondering if pharma, as a whole, tends to oppose legalization. How much?

  2. What are your views on decriminalization of other drugs? When should a drug be criminalized and when should it not be? Should all drug offenders receive treatment as opposed to jail time? If so, what about cost considerations? If not, to what extent should the penal system seek to provide treatment.

Thanks again!

A:

I saw your latest video and your mention of attempting to legitimize the Witcher fighting style was of great interest to me. Based on the small sequences you've shown in that video, the style seemed highly reminiscent of Meyer. What would you say are the differences between the Witcher style you are developing and the Meyer longsword discipline that are of note?


Q:
  1. I think that pharma has bigger fish to fry and generally has NOT been very engaged (with a few exceptions) in opposing legalization. that's just my observations.

2) Marijuana is a clear cut case. For highly addictive narcotics like heroin, I do think that there are times that the criminal justice system needs to be involved, but abuse is first and foremost a health issue (physical through addiction, and also mental health).

A:

Well, Meyer certainly loved his wide, beautiful strikes. But he also advised agression, true to Liechtenauer's legacy - while the Witcher style, as portrayed in the games, suggests a highly defensive art, where you set up traps for your opponent to fall into rather than engage him with a direct attack. :)


Q:

Hey, how did you first get into fencing ? As a matter of fact, I would like to do so but can't find any HEMA instructor nearby, do you know how to find one ?

A:

I found my first fencing master from a recommendation - a friend of mine trained with him and invited me. :)

It's much easier nowadays - just jump on Facebook and ask on groups such as the HEMA Alliance or HEMA International. :)


Q:

Alan!!

Long time fan, it's awesome to see you here on reddit! I just wanted to let you know, that almost a year ago, I saw you on YouTube for the first time while looking for cool Witcher videos. It was thanks to you that I learned that HEMA was a thing, and because of how much I enjoyed your videos, my girlfriend signed me up for Longsword lessons as a birthday gift. I've now been studying longsword for about 8 months, and it's been amazing to get me in shape (I've lost 40lbs!), and I actually just competed in my first Saber tournament as well! Thank you so much for putting your content out there, and being the inspiration to start this life-changing hobby.

My question to you would be, if you could go back and give some advice to yourself when you started your first year of learning how to fight, or to anyone else new to the hobby, what would you tell them?

A:

That's a heart-warming tale! You've done great, my friend! And I'm proud as hell that I actually helped someone find their way into the art. :)

As for the question: "Trust in the thrust. Don't parry low blows, strike over them from above." That would be my advice... to my past self.


Q:

A man with an eye patch once told me that swords are not for decoration. What's your stance on that?

A:

They will fucking cut you open


Q:

You ever seen r/mallninjashit?

A:

Sure. :D


Q:

How did you motivate yourself, at 15, to just move away and start doing what you did? Was anxiety a big issue and if so what did you do to alleviate it?

A:

It was a matter of necessity, I think. I could no longer bear to live in a small society. I wanted the world. My parents disagreed, so I had to make the escape. Sure I was afraid, but at the same time I firmly believed I could survive and thrive on my own.


Q:

Where did you go? How were you not homeless?

A:

I was lucky enough to get a bed at a dorm. I had it planned while I was running away. :)


Q:

Have you spoken with your parents since?

A:

Actually, yes. I talk with my mother over the phone from time to time. But not too much.


Q:

So, how do you feel about threaded pommels?

Do you think "End Him Rightly" is a viable technique in sword combat?

A:

I wouldn't rely on it, but I can see it working sometimes in a duelling situation.


Q:

Other than making money, and fulfilling the dreams of fantasy enthusiasts what value do you see in swordsmanship in todays world? While I understand that waving a big blade around may be intimidating it seems rather impractical as you are unlikely to ever encounter another person with which you will need to do combat with outside of some hobbyist association. Further, as a self defense weapon it seems rather useless as a long blade in tight quarters is more a hindrance than a benefit. To say nothing of the old "sword to a gunfight" premise......

A:

I see it as a martial art: something that is worth preserving and practicing, but isn't directly useful in the modern world. I also see it as a unique sport with merits greater than all others: fencing trains the body and the mind (it's like chess with turns lasting tenths of a second). But beyond that...? I wouldn't recommend a sword as a self-defense weapon (even though it's far from useless in tight quarters), nor would I go to war wielding one.

In fact, I don't think it needs an external justification. It's a brilliant sport with a connection to our history.


Q:

As someone with an interest in smithing and with a decent stock of free raw material, how could I possibly go about trying to figure out what kind/grade of steel it is? Or does it matter, if I'm going to try heat treating or tempering it? I kind of figured I'd just make a forge out of a 30 gallon grease drum and start seeing what I could make and learn from there, but I'd really like to know what kind of steel I have laying around and what it'd be best suited for.

A:

If you want to make a high quality blade, it's absolutely crucial to determine the type of steel. What are the origins of your free raw material?

You can spark-test the steel to check the carbon content (more carbon=more sparks), but it isn't always telling - there are excellent kinds of blade steels that contain very low amounts of carbon (~0.3%).


Q:

The pieces are from large shipping crates (not sea containers, they bolt together and get covered with something for shipping) for large CNC machinery, and they're either from Japan if they're Mori Seiki machinery or Germany if they're DMG machinery.

There are some pieces that are just about the perfect size for grinding and heat treating to make some easy machetes. I experimented with a piece, one of those purely 'back-of-the-envelope' type deals, where I got it to red-hot in my wood stove and quenched it. Both before and after I whacked it against another piece of steel to see how much it would deform, and there was definitely a difference after heat treating, but I don't have the best idea of what I'm doing. If I remember correctly from grinding a piece a while back it was pretty sparky, and they're getting fairly rusty from having sat outside.

Thanks for the response!

A:

If there's a hardening effect after such a low temp quench, it definitely has a decent carbon content. Are you planning any further experiments? :)


Q:

Do you regret running away from home? Can you tell us about some of your experiences?

A:

No regrets at all. Experiences? Well, it was hard at first, being in a new place with no one to turn to. But I managed to secure a cheap bed at a dorm and found a job as a blacksmith's helper. I made friends quickly. I applied to a high school.

It would never be possible without the craft: smithing is what kept me fed and clothed back then.


Q:

Hello there. This is fellow YouTube sword guy Will Keith, channel BBillyK. Just wanted to say thank you personally for all your videos that have helped me in the past.

Also, what do you think is the absolute best portrayal of sword combat in a video game so far? Have you tried Mordhau yet?

A:

Haven't tried Mordhau! But I really liked sword combat in Devil May Cry, does that count? :)

As for realistic portrayals... I'm looking forward to Kingdom Come: Deliverance.


Q:

How did you leave? By horse??

A:

On foot actually. Caught a bus on the way.


Q:

While you studied the blade, what were others doing?

A:

Mostly complained about girls not being interested in them.


Q:

Hi there! I'm not really a smooth, but I like to cast metal jewelry as a hobby (or at least I'm a beginner in it).

I've always wondered what the difference is between casting and forging something was. Is it really just as simple as forging it is stronger?

Also, do you have any advise for casting jewelry? I've been attempting investment casting with plaster molds, but no luck so far.

A:

Oh, forging is much different: it is capable of creating shapes that are hard to achieve with casting... et vice versa. Also, in swordmaking casting a blade isn't really an option.

As for casting advice? Well, investment casting is how they did it in the past, mostly. But if I had to cast anything nowadays I'd use modern molds and a spinning casting machine. :)


Q:

Have you ever made famous movie sword replicas. Or more importantly, have you ever made Drizzt's scimitars?

A:

Oh, I even sketched the designs for Drizzt's scimitars but haven't had the time to work on them yet.

As for movie replicas? No, but I make Ciri's swords from The Witcher 3. :)


Q:

How did you learn English? Your writing sounds totally native, and your speech is easy to understand and relaxing. It really made me enjoy and learn from your "Basics" videos. Speaking of which, do you plan on expanding on those?

A:

I read books in english. :)

"The Basics"? Well, I was just thinking about developing that series!