Episode 145 – The One Where We Find Out We’re Full Of Stars – Standard

In This Week’s Show, episode 245, it’s Steve, Shea and I because Jenn went Bang, Zoom, right to the moon!

Episode 145 – The One Where We Find Out We’re Full Of Stars – Standard

In This Week’s Show, episode 245, it’s Steve, Shea and I because Jenn went Bang, Zoom, right to the moon!

Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Mars (Patrons will get that), Roman God of War,  hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying his patience!

Shea’s Life Lesson

I’m worried that people are forgetting what prime day is really about, and who died to make it possible. So let’s have a moment of silence for the great Optimus.

Jenn’s Actual Lesson

It wasn’t intense enough for Jenn in Laramie so she went camping to be “in tents.”

But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!

This Week’s Beer

Fire Ant Funeral | Texas Ale Project Dallas, TX

  • BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/37947/149299/
  • BA Rating: 3.69/5
  • Style: American Amber / Red Ale
  • ABV: 6%
  • Aaron: 6
  • Shea: 6
  • Steve: 6
  • This Week’s Show

Round Table Discussion

New patron The Custodial Humanist.
I love the name, but I have a question? Is it custodial as in providing protection or as in incarceration?

Awesomely funny show.

Waiting 4 Wrath is why I am seen laughing hysterically while driving home on Fridays to reach that all important post work beer. If you don’t listen to this podcast you are a poopy head.

5 Stars, Colin from Canada

Many thanks to our favorite farmer for the fab photo of the red heifers because of course there are red heifers.

This Week’s Stories

Did we or didn’t we?

As I hope our esteemed listeners are fully aware, Saturday July 20 is the 50th anniversary of the first human invaders to another celestial body (that we’re aware of, Stargate-type possibilities notwithstanding). As you probably also know; I’m the oldest one on this podcast and I was but 7 months old at the time, so I don’t remember it, though my mother tells me I was crawling around the room at 3:17 pm when they were watching it on TV. It had launched a few days earlier on July 16, traversed approximately 240,000 miles of fucking nothing, and landed safely on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent approximately 21.5 hours on the surface, of which about 2.5 hours was outside of the lunar module “Eagle” and walking around doing stuff. They then, along with command pilot Michael Collins made the trip back home and landed in the middle of nowhere south pacific ocean about halfway between Hawaii and the Marshall Islands.

It only took me a couple of minutes to recount the very basics of the event, but it represented the culmination of nearly 10 years of intensive engineering work and training by over 420,000 people working for the US government and over 20,000 companies, spending billions of dollars and millions of man-hours to answer President Kennedy’s May 1961 call to congress of, “…landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” And at Rice University in September 1962 the famous words,

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” It must have been an amazing time to have a president who could form a coherent thought and sentence.

President Kennedy, Rice University in September 1962

This is very simply the stuff of legend. But it isn’t legend, it’s history. It’s our history. No matter what we may think of that time in our past, the Cold War, the Vietnam conflict, the fight for equality for all races and creeds; we should take a moment and recognize that it was a singular time of history when humans did what many, many didn’t think was possible. I was completely enthralled by everything about this when I was a kid and not yet the jaded old fuck I’ve become. I remember when I was 10 years old, watching the 10th anniversary events on television (on a 14” black and white set with rabbit-ear antenna) and being amazed by the wonder of it all. I was a geeky guy even then, and I couldn’t get enough of it. Just a few years later, I got myself up at an ungodly hour to watch the first space shuttle launch and that feeling was there again. In fact, I watched the first several shuttle launches with the same awe as the first. I didn’t have a lot of friends since we moved every summer of my childhood, but I had this and I couldn’t get enough.

Well, now I’m old and we’ve had people in space for various reasons for years and most of the inspiration from it has faded from the public’s perception. We’ve gone so far now that there is amazingly a non-zero proportion of the world’s population who don’t believe it even happened at all. This is astounding to me. Then again, we have a stupidly large contingent of idiots who are actively trying to keep people from getting inoculations against common disease and believe that plain water contains the essence of healing. We live in a world of fucking idiocy, where the dumbest among us believe that their uneducated, ill-informed, bigoted, ideas are worthy of a loud speaker and an audience. Hell, I’m here ranting into a microphone to you. Apparently, I’m no better? I don’t think that’s the case.

I’m a skeptic of stupid and not a believer of pseudo-science like so many who bandy the term skeptic about like they understand what it really means. I believe in science, research, and desire to better understand our world through learning. Skepticism is not simply saying “I don’t believe that” because it doesn’t feel right, or because it is against the teaching of your ancient superstitions, it is obtaining knowledge via systematic doubt and continual testing. What these idiots are actually participating in is called denialism, or as the wiki page says, “a person’s choice to deny reality as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth. It is an essentially irrational action that withholds the validation of a historical experience or event, when a person refuses to accept an empirically verifiable reality.”

We should be better than that. As a people, as a society, and as functioning members of the fauna of planet earth we need to continue to look to what we don’t know with wonder. We need to look to those who do know more about our world than we, and be humble, and be glad that they are endeavoring to expanding human knowledge beyond what our bronze age ancestors believed. It’s only been 50 years and there is so much more to learn.

Now with my little rant done, let’s spend a few minutes on some of the arguments made by people who don’t believe 12 humans walked on the moon.

Have you heard that the moon landing was filmed on a soundstage?

  • The Saturn V rocket did indeed launch from Kennedy, but rather than going to the moon, it just orbited the earth for eight days then splashed down.
  • Stanley Kubrick spent his time faking the whole moon part of the mission using the same type of movie trickery he had recently used for 2001 A Space Oddyssey.
  • Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott dropped hammer and feather which landed at same time
    no parallax, no change of background’s positions or sizes show that it couldn’t have been on stage
  • A 2002 mockumentary called “Dark Side of the Moon” makes fun of conspiracy theories regarding the moon landing but is taken at face value by many dum dums
  • 2015 movie Moonwalkers is about the CIA hiring Stanley Kubrick to fake the moonwalk

Space is too damn dangerous? Environmental issues

  • Humans can not survive because of the high radiation from the Van Allen radiation belt.
    A zone of energetic charged particles, most of which originate from the solar wind, that are captured by and held around a planet by that planet’s magnetic field. two belts, 400-36K miles.
  • Easily traversed within an hour and a half with no radiation issues. Astronauts got about the same dose of radiation for the whole trip as a nuclear energy worker gets in a year
    we couldn’t have photos of the trip due to radiation fogging the film.
  • Film kept in metal containers so damn hot on the moon that it would have melted the film in the camera
  • No atmosphere to hold the heat to the moon’s surface.
  • Flag fluttered even though there would be no wind on the moon it didn’t flutter, it settled while being moved into position and in a vacuum it took longer to settle than it would have in a windless atmosphere
  • The footprints couldn’t be so perfectly preserved moon dust is jagged, since it’s not weathered, so it holds its shape better that dust on earth

Picking apart the photos

  • So damn hot on the moon that it would have melted the film in the camera
    no atmosphere to hold the heat to the moon’s surface
  • Flag fluttered even though there would be no wind on the moon it didn’t flutter, it settled while being moved into position and in a vacuum it took longer to settle than it would have in a windless atmosphere
  • The footprints couldn’t be so perfectly preserved moon dust is jagged, since it’s not weathered, so it holds its shape better that dust on earth
  • The photo quality is too good the Apollo astronauts used 70mm Hasselblad 500 EL cameras with Carl Zeiss optics. Of fucking course they were good. They weren’t taking photos of their kids at the damn beach
  • The crosshairs are in the wrong place or appear behind the subjects
  • Camera fitted with clear glass plate with crosshairs on it. Impossible for photos to not have the crosshairs effect only appears in copied or scanned versions of the photos, not on the originals high brightness/contrasty areas wash out parts of the crosshairs which are only .1mm thick.
  • Originals cropped , rotated, and/or ‘shopped
  • No stars of space appear in the photos. No fucking duh. It was day on the moon and that huge spotlight called the sun was blasting everything with tons of light. Do you see stars out at noon?
  • Camera settings black out backgrounds in order to properly expose bright foreground objects. Again. Duh.
  • There are hot spots in some of the photos that looks like a big spotlight was used
  • Lots and lots of reflected light in photos from pits on the moon’s surface, light reflecting off spacesuit, etc
  • Don’t forget image manipulation. The original photos are much flatter than some of the more popular images we’re familiar with.

Where’s all of the original data? Coverup?

  • The data was saved such that the video and telemetry was recorded together on Apollo 11 rather than separately on the subsequent missions
  • Apollo 11 used a slow scan TV camera (only recorded 10 frames a second) so the original footage had to be converted to be shown on normal televisions. converted copies kept, the clearer original tapes were lost.
  • Most of the original Apollo 11 tapes sent to US National Archives in 1970, but returned to Goddard Space Flight Center by 1984 and apparently accidentally erased and reused (45 tapes, 15 from each of three tracking stations)
  • Much of the data from later missions is still intact
  • Where are the blueprints of the original landing module
  • Grumman simply lost them. Shit happens and people are fallible
  • Now we could easily spend another half hour going over tons of the actual evidence that we’ve been to the moon, but it seems to me that trying to convince those who are willfully and obnoxiously trying to avoid truth is a fool’s errand anyway and you fine listeners are not among them.

Patrons Are From Pluto

Mars, what is it good for?
Absolutely nothing. Yeah, I’ll say it again…

In keeping with today’s space-based bullshit theme I present to you, a handful of insane person stories about the red planet that, apparently, far too few people know anything about.

You could say it’s the … red headed step child of the solar system! Ha. ha. Take that.

First up. Mars is home to the solar system’s largest mountain, Olympus Mons. Although, I feel like that’s a bold claim given how little know about the surface topography of some of the larger gas giants. But whatever.

Fun fact. Olympus Mons is actually a volcano measuring 22km tall, or two Everests, and has a base roughly the size and shape of France.

Located in Mars’s wester hemisphere just off the northwestern edge of the Tharsis bulge, Mons is the last factual thing we’ll be talking about.

Unburdened by truthiness, let’s move on to measuring Mars itself. Mars is the size of one Earth Moon.

Mars is the same size as the Moon.

Mars Spectacular, 2003

This “hoax” (because it’s really just a stupid mistake) appeared in August of 2003 when, earnestly trying to entice readers toward scientific curiosity, the email “Mars Spectacular” said that at 75x “Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.” Unfortunately, most people are illiterate and glossed over the “et 75-time magnification” bit and to this day insist they’re the same size and NASA is lying to you for the grays who hold dominion there.

There’s a face on Mars

And it watches you jerk-off.

One of those times Nasa wasn’t a cover for trans-dimensional, mono-atomic gold devouring, lizard overlords is that time in 1971 when Viking 1 sent proof of Martian life in the form of a readily identifiable face. Thanks to visionaries likes of entirely untrained, not-astronomer Richard Hoagland, myths, theories, and worshippers of “the Face on Mars” persists to this day.

1971 Face on Mars

Because people are credulous animals and it’s easier to accept a Martian rock-faced deity than explain Pareidolia NASA and the European Space Agency spent a fucking ton of time and money looking at the area.

Images from 1998 NASA Mars Global Surveyor took significantly more detailed images of the face proving it to be a shadowy mountain and themselves fifty liars in the pockets of Big Mono-atomic Gold.

1998 Mars Global Surveyor Image


Because I’m smart.

Since finding Yeti’s on Earth clearly isn’t that hard and the History channel doesn’t even pretend anymore I’ve decided to pitch “Extraterrestrial Cryptid Hunters” for this the 2020 fall lineup. Thanks to the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit’s 2007 picture of a Martian BigFoot we know there be monsters in the Martian desert.

2007 Spirit pic of a lady

The circled, fossilized-turd-esque remains of the girl from The Rung can clearly be seen doing the Thriller dance all zombie style. Unfortunately, for people who know how to use Spirit’s measurement tools the thrill is fleeting as the woman is easily confirmed to a wisp of dust mere meters from the camera…

I mean, I say “fleeting” but it was actually millions of dollars, thousands of man hours, and a nearly incomprehensible level of technical prowess involved in rechecking it.

Life on Mars is just buried…

Under Mars’s thick, dusty, exterior clearly lies a thriving society of Green Martians, Einherjar, and of course, hot, hot three-boobed ladies. As proof we have that other time NASA wasn’t playing to the whims of Satanic Luciferian overlords and was for-real totally trustworthy, 2012. Curiosity returned data from a Martian sample analysis that was, according to a quote from John Grotzinger aired on NPR “destined for the history books.”

Once decrypted this message could only mean that Curiosity had found organic life and therefore baby Jesus wasn’t real ya’ll. The news was… viral.

Ever the show to put a smile on baby Jesus’s face, it should be clarified that Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument found simple chlorinated organics – or chemicals containing carbon and at least one chlorine atom. Which is mundane, possibly from Earth, and not at all what gets you likes. So best to focus on the single word “Organics” and sell t-shirts.

The 2012 Rat of Mars

Since when is importing invasive species to deal with spiders new, eh Australia?

Just like Cap Canaveral, Mars is crawling with damned, dirty, rats. Curiosity, never-ending source of hope and inspiration for dull-witted conspiracy theorists that it is, has again pulled back the view of interstellar lies to give us… a dead prairie dog.

The 2012 Rat of Mars

Thanks to notable non-scientist knower of true things Scott Waring of UFO Sightings Daily, we know it’s a Martian rat “[noting] its lighter-color, upper and lower eyelids, its nose and cheek areas, its ear, its front leg and stomach.” All things no rock has.

Fortunately, we know the truth. That is clearly Martious Cynomoys gennisonoi – we Wyomingites know our prairie dogs and that one was clearly stolen by illegal aliens. Krolotean kleptus to be specific. Those green bastards are basically synonymous with theft…

For their part NASA vehemently stands by their cover story of “it’s a rock” because, as Waring elucidates, “the squirrel would be expected to die eventually and that would get PETA to fight against them in a court of law.” A battle NASA deeply fears given PETAs solid two point advantage in the blood-soaked and Scientifically-immutable underworld of Trial by Scrabble. Where only the strongest Academic acronyms dare publish… or PERISH!(6 to 4 btw)

Next Week’s Beer

Highwayman – Roadhouse Brewing Co

  • BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/30261/397884/
  • BA Rating: 4.47/5
  • Style: Crushable Pilsner
  • ABV: 4%

Faith In Humanity Restored

Today’s faith is more of a faith remembered. Thanks to Jordan Dafnis of WHNT19 for a look back at NASAs impact on the Civil Rights Movement.

When NASA moved to Huntsville, Alabama in the early 1960s it was against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. Sit-ins were commonplace as African Americans fought for desegregation in the city. When Edna Dailey was 15 abuses at sit ins were a daily occurrence but once NASA began its push to bring businesses into the area “All of a sudden it was just ok, we can go into all of these places now,” says Dailey.

“The economic foundation of Huntsville became the aerospace industry and they understood that the only thing that could threaten that would be a problem in terms of race relations,” said Brian Odom, a NASA historian.

Thanks to NASAs push Huntsville was well ahead of the curve, desegregating public accommodation in 1962, a year before the rest of the state. Sonny Morea, an Apollo Project veteran, says “It became a very progressive city, as opposed to being a typical city of the South at the time.”

Of course life was still a challenge for non-whites in the area, Dailey recalls her sister being arrested often, “my sister got put in jail like three times a day.”

Likewise, the backwards ass narrative of the place was confusing for some imports. When they first arrived Sonny had to explain the use of white vs. coloured drinking fountains when she would use the nearest, often “coloured” fountain “I said ‘No, no you can’t drink there.’ Try explaining that to a child.”

Now, 50 years later, we can look back at the contributions of the rocket engineers who moved to Huntsville, intentional or otherwise. “Basically, I feel like Huntsville is a good place to be, I wouldn’t live anywhere else,” said Dailey.

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