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      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

        • Fan Art Friday #65: Funhaus Bumper Video by Adipose_Von_Crompwell

          6 days ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!

          This week’s featured artist is Charles, AKA @Adipose_Von_Crompwell, for this Archer-inspired Funhaus opening credits video.  

          Charles, a resident of Dallas, created this video using After Effects and Photoshop after being inspired by the collected works of Chogyam Trungpa.


          Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

        • Inside Mario and Luigi’s Plumbers Union

          1 week ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @charlesaustin

          Before the 1980s, the conventional wisdom was that Italian plumbers were not good at shooting fireballs and hopping on turtles. But Mario and his lanky pal Luigi worked wonders to overturn these harmful stereotypes, bringing international exposure to their humble guild of Italian plumbers in the process. But what about the rest of Mario and Luigi’s pals in the Plumbers Union Local 130? Nintendo is finally going to add them to the Mario franchise, and it’s about time. Here is everything you need to know about Mario’s plumber pals.



          Salvatore is well known in Plumbers Local 130 for his jumping skills. All of the plumbers are very good at jumping, of course, but Salvatore is clearly the best, representing the Mushroom Kingdom at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. However, he is a pacifist. He has never once jumped on a Goomba or Koopa and he is not going to start now. This makes him incredibly frustrating as a playable character, but that’s your own fault if you choose him. You’d think he would be a very good character in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, but he refuses to appear in those games because he thinks they suck ass.



          This guy is the opposite of Waluigi. He did not appear in previous games because Nintendo thought he might be too popular. He is very well liked in Plumbers Local 130, and pretty much everywhere else in the world. While half of Waluigi’s Wikipedia page is dedicated to how much everybody hates him, Wawaluigi’s Wikipedia has a very long list of his charitable work and humanitarian projects. In 2013, Complex included him in a list of 10 video-game characters who definitely DO NOT look like sex offenders, unlike his friend Waluigi.

          The Godfather


          The Godfather took Mario and Luigi under his wing when they were just apprentice plumbers. Both young plumbers used to wear green, until The Godfather told Mario to wear red in order to increase his branding and marketing potential. The plan worked. Mario inked a million-dollar contract with Nintendo and brought his union international attention with his successful game franchise.

          Despite his eye for branding and singlehandedly making Mario into a star, he has not appeared in any previous Mario titles himself. This is because his union has fallen on hard times since the Mushroom Kingdom passed Right to Work legislation, and nearly all of his effort goes into fighting for his members. He is currently in talks with Nintendo about a Mario spinoff that deals with labor-law reform, but no firm plans have been finalized.



          What if Mario were a woman? Guess what, he would probably be a lot like Maria, who is absolutely not Mario. This is a different character. She actually only met Mario recently, through Plumbers Local 130. Although traditionally the plumbers union’s membership has been mostly male, Maria is making a name for herself as a hardworking, no-nonsense woman asserting herself in a man’s world. Mario and Luigi upended a lot of old stereotypes about Italian plumbers’ ability to shoot fireballs, but Maria still deals with a lot of gender discrimination. If she wanted an extra life back when she first started, she had to collect 117 coins for every 100 coins Mario collected. But Plumbers Local 130 has supported her fight for pay equity, and the United Nations now considers the Mushroom Kingdom one of the top nations in the world for gender equality.

        • Fan Art Friday #64: Funhaus Bumper Video by Adipose_Von_Crompwell

          1 week ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!

          This week’s featured artist is Charles, AKA @Adipose_Von_Crompwell, for this Funhaus promo video.  

          Charles, a resident of Dallas, created this video after being inspired by an old adult swim bumper he vaguely remembered. It took a few hours to make using After Effects, Photoshop, and Premiere.


          Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

        • Answers to Questions Posed in RT Podcast #423

          2 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It's time for our regular segment in which @Gafgarian (AKA Jeremiah Palmer) provides answers to the burning questions left unanswered in each episode of the Rooster Teeth Podcast. Read on to get closure for Once You Get the Boner – #423.


          What is the difference between the current Austin ride shares and Uber?

          Since Uber and Lyft closed up shop and left town (or were ran out, depending on who you ask) there have actually been quite a few alternatives to appear on the scene, some with more success than others. These include, Fasten, Fare, Wingz, GetMe, and InstaRyde, and the uniquely non-profit RideAustin. While Fasten and RideAustin are clearly the current "winners" of whatever strange race is happening here, from the reports I've read, it is difficult to pin down the exact reason why. Other than the fact that they were the fastest to fill the huge void left by the ridesharing giants the only real "edge" they seem to have is on the driver side regarding fees. Fasten's flat rate fee and RideAustin's no-fee seem to have been the winning business models from the perspective of our would-be chauffeurs. However, everything may not be roses, as the issues experienced during SXSW proved that these young upstarts trying to make a name in the world dominated by Uber and Lyft, couldn't quite hack it.

          Despite the temporary success of Fasten or RideAustin, the potential 150,000+ client surge during SXSW crippled the networks of them all causing quite the social media flare up during one of the most tech heavy annual conferences in the country. RideAustin, alone, reported numbers nearly three times their normal rider load with one driver claiming to have made $5,200 in fares over the course of two weeks. In addition, because of their unique Round-Up model of charity support, they also contributed $27,000 to various charities over the two week spread.

          With regards to the question, there really isn't a difference. Nothing stops Uber or Lyft from coming back to Austin other than their own stubbornness. These ridesharing companies are complying fully with the Austin regulation which mandated fingerprinted drivers and, shocker, so are their drivers! Perhaps even more frustrating for the would-be passengers living in Austin is the fact that only six months after Uber through a temper tantrum and stomped out of town, they signed an agreement with the city of Houston to comply with the city's newly passed ordinance requiring driver fingerprinting. Though, admittedly, no one is holding a Super Bowl in Austin any time soon so there may have been a bit more financial motivation involved in that decision. Since Uber's abrupt departure, there has been no shortage of petitions, articles, blogs, social media tirades, and any other form of contact possible in order to attempt to encourage Uber to just suck it up and require fingerprints, however, a recently passed Texas bill may invalidate everything the residents of Austin and their fledgling rideshare apps have accomplished.

          As if hearing the admonished cries of thousands of stranded SXSW visitors, the Texas legislature had already queued up three proposals that would inevitably tackle Uber's presence in Austin. Due to the regulations imposed by Austin, Galveston, Corpus Christi, and a dozen or so other Texas cities, including Houston, though Uber has relented there, all three proposals address undue "burdensome regulations imposed" by local municipalities on ride sharing businesses. Representatives of both Lyft and Uber criticized the scattered and varied regulations, pointing out that their differences have caused largely unnecessary overhead with little return. One spokesperson for Lyft, April Mims, stating, "Some of these cities are within 30 miles of each other and no two policies are the same," she said. "This regulatory structure is not sustainable and is contrary to Lyft's mission to build an effective network across Texas."

          Of the three, only one remains and, as of last week, has passed the Texas House and is now in the hands of the Senate. The bill would require ride-hailing companies to have a permit from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation as well as pay an annual fee. Additionally, the companies would have to perform criminal background checks on drivers annually, however, it would NOT require drivers to be fingerprinted, which means that it would effectively negate the Austin regulations. Proponents of the bill have pointed out that 41 other states already have very similar legislation on the books and Texas would be failing in its ongoing support of community and small business should it not pass. Given that it passed with a two-thirds majority in the house, most feel that its success in the house is a bit of an inevitability.

          State Farm Elvis?

          Is the Snapchat image lower quality than a normal picture?

          It actually is! According to various sources across the web, including Snapchat, their method for capturing images is a bit different than most other applications such as Instagram or Facebook. Applications will typically use the video recording functionality of the device in order to show you the real-time image preview. Most other applications will then immediately switch to the camera mode to take the intended photo. Snapchat however will, instead, capture a frame of video. Since mobile phone video is typically less than have the megapixel resolution of the actual still image camera, this leads to grainier images with poorer lighting.

          Additionally, as a cloud hosted social network, their storage costs would be dramatically affected by the resolution of their stored images. So, in addition to a lower quality image being snapped, they also further compress the images for storage reasons leading to even more data loss and inevitably worse image quality.

          Mixed reports over the last year, leading up to their IPO, have discussed upgrading the photo quality of Snapchat however update changelogs haven't reflected these actual changes and it is likely that, for funding reasons, the rollout was delayed until after going public in order to dedicate more financial resources to their hosting and storage environments. @Barbara should be glad she isn't running an Android as Snap Inc's IPO roadshow docs revealed evidence that the photo and overall app quality on Android is "significantly diminished" from the iOS version.

          Is there official confirmation of shorter Game of Thrones seasons?

          Unfortunately yes...kind of... Shortly after the season 6 finale, show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said, in an interview with Deadline, "...From pretty close to the beginning, we talked about doing this in 70-75 hours, and that's what we'll end up with. Call it 73 for now." Given that 60 have already passed, it is likely that we will see an even split of the final 13, or so, between the two final seasons. To further support the rumor, Jack Bender, the man who directed much of season 6, let it slip a few months later that season 7 would be capped at 7 episodes. Various hints in interviews with Benioff and Weiss have alluded to the same count however, if we are being technical, there has been no "official" confirmation of the shortened seasons.

          When did the Podcast time change to 5PM?

          The first live episode to air at 5PM was #413 and can be viewed here. Or live every Monday at 5PM CST, if you get that FIRST account. :P

          What is it called when you remember the face of everyone you've seen AND What is the condition called where you can't remember names?

          Given how tightly coupled these two points are, it was just easier to combine the discussion. Deal with it...

          First, the "condition where you can't remember names" is essentially called humanity. We are hardwired to recognize and remember faces, which is the reason why the image below is often anthropomorphized despite its inorganic origin and also the reason why a whole subreddit, and multiple sites, are dedicated to identifying faces in building facades and electrical outlets. While some are obviously better at this than others, we are all wired to recognize visual stimuli over arbitrary and, essentially, meaningless words. According to E. Clea Warburton, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Bristol. “Our brain has got more cortex devoted to processing visual information compared to that from our other senses. We are programmed to be encoding and retrieving visual information much more so than auditory information.”


          Anthropologists are quick to attribute this subconscious focus on visual stimuli to our evolution from a non-verbal species variant of primate. Their explanation focusing on the fact that, millions of years ago, it is reasonable to conclude, based on observations of current primates, that our vocalization of recognition were largely grunts and pointing with our brain evolving to focus more on facial features than any type of auditory relation. To Warburton's point, those who suffer from a condition known as prosopagnosia, or face blindness, typically attribute their condition's cause to severe trauma to a specifically large part of the brain known as the fusiform face area. Although it should be noted that a recent National Institute of Health study found that an estimated 2.5% of the population are born with prosopagnosia at some level of severity. To further complicate things, researchers believe that the parts of the brain that control facial recognition and name retrieval are in two completely different parts of the brain, leading to a frequent disconnect in information. This is one of the reasons why attending an event with nametags will typically lead to better name recall. Since the memory of the name's appearance is now stored in the same place as the facial features of that person, the recall between name in face is intimately interwoven.

          During a 2009 Harvard study on prosopagnosia, researchers were contacted by four people who claimed to have this "super-recognition" ability. Intrigued, the researchers created a series of tests to to measure the accuracy and ability of those who made the claim. One of those studies was giving the participants a series of images of celebrities at a much younger age and the participants were able to identify the vast majority of them despite claiming to never have seen images of those celebrities, at that age, previously. A control group of 25 "normal" people were also tested and performed at a much lower level. Further tests involved adding visual noise or cloaking certain parts of the faces, of which, in both cases, the "super-recognizers" far surpassed the control group. The graph below shows their test results with the black diamonds representing the test subjects.


          A theory slowly began to form and a new test using a computer to generate a percentage variance in a random person's appearances was used to show that the ability to retain and recognize faces has probably less to do with an amazing memory and more to do with an ability to subtly identify differences between people. This is the reason why those who seem to have this ability can frequently identify people based on much younger pictures of them as well. The test consisted of the subjects being given an image similar to the one below and then were asked to sort the bottom row by how closely each lower image resembled the control image in the top row. In some cases the lower images have a severe difference of over 80% modified featured however, the image with the highest similarity only has a change of 12%. As an additional study, the test is then repeated with the images upside down. Interestingly, while the results show that the "super-recognizers" excelled in ordering the faces when right-side-up, when inverted, they showed no sign of superior recognition. The researchers used this evidence to further suggest that their abilities would be more accurately tied to categorization of facial features rather than any sort of memory.

          While this particular study only tested the abilities of a few "super-recognizers" many more super-heroesque-difference-spotters are estimated to live amongst us. Some, including one of the people interviewed during the above study, claims that she "[does] have to pretend that I don’t remember...because it seems like I stalk them, or that they mean more to me than they do when I recall that we saw each other once..." Others have been tapped by law enforcement to stare at grainy closed-circuit recordings and mugshots in order to identify potential suspects and still others calmly go about their lives believing that everyone is just that damn amazing.

          Now it's your turn! What is the "correct" order? Or, if you have some extra time, you can participate in this online study to see your rank. Score above a 10 and you may have a future in staring at CCTB screens for law enforcement! Just let me know how you did before you run off to apply. Also, @Barbara must take this and put her recognition to the test >_>


          Now onto them names...

          It is likely that Gus was thinking about the prosopagnosia with regards to the "condition" where you cannot recall names. However, it is important to note that this has nothing to do with the person's name and everything to do with just not remembering that you've seen a person before, regardless of their name. While some are better at remembering names, I was unable to find a reference to a specific condition that ONLY involves the inability to remember names. There are various conditions which cause people to be generally forgetful or, as popularized in Memento, the inability to create new memories, but these are not directly tied to only names. It isn't uncommon for someone who has suffered a stroke to suddenly have issues recalling specific words for objects or people however, as I stated previously, this is not exclusively tied to names. Perhaps the closest to this condition would be what is known as Nominal Aphasia. This diagnosis, also, has been closely tied to some sort of short-term amnesia which tends to center around name recall specifically. However, its relation to amnesia means that names are not exclusively lost though they are a frequent victim.

          One researcher has reported that his studies have led him to conclude that the reason names are the "first to go" with amnesia sufferers or even some cases of Alzheimer's is because the an incorrect memory is essentially "blocking" both the creation and retrieval of the correct connection. In other words, the connection and memory of a person's actual name and face are in there somewhere however they seem to be easily replaced by a false memory which imposes itself on the subconscious leading to an incorrect identification of a person. Additionally, since names are some of the most frequently used descriptive nouns in our vocabulary but are also largely arbitrary, their relevance to a person relies exclusively on the memory of that person. This makes the neural pathways between recognition and recall "thinner" allowing for an easier disruption in data. I'm sure we all have experienced this at some point in our lives when we infrequently speak with someone and accidentally refer to them or, when speaking about them, as the incorrect name. Research has also suggested that this confusion and subsequent reinforcement of the correct name is our brain's way of teaching ourselves and building the proper connections between the various storage centers in our mind.

          That said, if you find yourself struggling to make the connections, there are some recommended tips that may prove helpful. These include coming up with a standardized mnemonic device for frequently confused, or forgotten, names or taking the time to spell out the name in your head, similar to a spelling bee answer, bookending the name on both sides of the spelling. The video below runs through a few of the most popular methods for overcoming your humanity... Good luck!

          Which airplane has a lower level that is all bathrooms?

          The Lufthansa Airlines A340-600 has the bathrooms on the lower level. Here is a video with a brief walkthrough so you can experience it without having to book a ticket from America to Germany.

          Are there rules against the Mile High Club?

          As, it seems, with every answer, it just isn't that black and white. According to there is only one airline which has a specific rule against copulation at altitude. Singapore Air banned getting busy shortly after unveiling their double decker Airbus A380 complete with super-luxurious in-flight suites, available for a reasonable $10K upcharge. However, this isn't to say that you have the freedom to turn your nearest airplane lavatory into your personal porta-potty-sized sex dungeon. 

          While most airlines do not specifically have a rule against sharing the bathroom, or a blanket, local laws governing public sex, indecent exposure, or even interferences with a flight crew (which could net you 20 years in prison) are all applicable, depending on the situation and the... enthusiasm... involved. Interestingly, there seem to be far more rules about what constitutes the Mile High Club than laws against it.

          Rules about Mile High Club and does it require an orgasm?

          Again, according the, which seems to be the authority on this, there are several rules involved in assuring your admittance into the Mile High Club, the most important being that you must be on flight that is at least a mile high. Regarding the required "O", is suspiciously silent. However the rest of the internet is quick to opine and the consensus seems to be that any insertion is enough to qualify but pulling off the climax earns the gold star. And, for a bit of encouragement, it is widely thought that the slight hypoxia that us sea-level dwellers experience from the 7,000 foot pressurization of an airplane cabin is reportedly creates quite the exponential effect to your standard orgasm. Of course this leads to the audience participation question...

          Have you and was it better than on land?

          Rick and Morty alternative timelines episode?

          How many of the original Aladdin cast went on to do the cartoon?

          From the original Aladdin cast there were four voice actors that went onto the cartoon. 

          Along with Gilbert Gottfried's return as Iago there was: Scott Weinger, who voiced Aladdin but was also Steve from Full House as well as in the reboot. Linda Larkin, who has essentially been Jasmine all of her life, including voicing Jasmine in every sequel and, what I can only imagine, is every official appearance of Jasmine anywhere. This includes, late-90s math games for your PC, Disney park announcements, and both Kingdom Hearts games. Scott, for his part, voiced Aladdin in the Kingdom Hearts series as well. Frank Welker, is quite the voice acting vet and a voice you know well for one role or another, not the least of which was the screeching of Abu. In addition to playing the wily monkey sidekick, he also voice Rajah the tiger and the Cave of Wonders. Welker started his career in 1969 voicing Fred Jones in Scooby-Doo. He went on to voice Wonder Dog, Droopy, Brain, Doctor Claw, Ray and Slimer from Ghostbusters, the Beagle Boys, Nibbler, several Smurfs, Megatron (as well as several other Transformers across the animated series and the films), the martians in Mars Attacks, the Ancient One for StarCraft II, and Xzar for Baldur's Gate. Just to name a few. 

          For you voice-acting/nostalgic enthusiasts, I present you with 11 minutes of Frank Welker's finest:

          Which show has had the most nudity?

          Before Westworld, the winner was Showtime's Shameless followed closely by Game of Thrones, according to Mr. Skin. However, given the amount of naked sitting on a chair which occurs in HBO's Sci-fi/Western, it was quick to take top honors. In addition, a SAG representative, reportedly, made frequent visits to the set in order to ensure that any genital-to-genital touching was "tasteworthy and appropriate."

        • Fan Art Friday #63: Church by Occuli

          2 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!

          This week’s featured artist is Brianna, AKA @Occuli, for this line drawing of Church from Red vs. Blue.  


          Brianna is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Vancouver, BC. She created this piece at the end of Red vs. Blue Season 12 because Church holds a special place in her heart.


          Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

        • Outsiders #2: Alien Abductions

          3 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @charlesaustin

          Outsiders is a series that explores uncommon conditions, unseen subcultures, and unusual interests. See past columns here or follow Charles on Twitter.


          Our own F-35s made with nanocomposites and other crazy technology sure make the aliens’ clunky metal spaceship look like a heap of shitty crap.

          If I describe a human-like creature, maybe gray or green, with a large, oblong head and big eyes, you can probably place it as an alien before you finish reading this sentence. It’s hard to say exactly where this modern mythological creature comes from, even if we’re all familiar. It may have been shaped by sci-fi movies or even by medical ultrasound technology (as I’ll get to in a minute), but suffice to say that it exists as a meme in the culture, not owned by anybody and yet familiar to all.

          The alien is a distinct creation of the 20th Century, and the alien abduction story speaks to the culture and technology of an era that spans from the early days of Buck Rogers comic strips to later shows like The X-Files. But unlike the cultural fads for the supernatural that have come since—vampire tales of adolescent love like Twilight, near-future post-apocalyptic zombie thrillers like The Walking Dead—the alien phenomenon, to some people, is not at all supernatural. Plenty of people believe they have encountered aliens firsthand.

          If you want to know just how many people claim witness to alien encounters, you might want to take a poll. That’s exactly what the Roper Organization did in the 1990s. This group, owned by hotel-and-aerospace mogul and UFO believer Robert T. Bigelow, “sought for the first time to quantify alien abduction in America,” according to Vanity Fair. Respondents were given a list of symptoms and asked how many they had ever experienced. About two percent of the poll’s respondents had experienced at least four of them, leading pollsters to determine that two percent of Americans—as many as 3.7 million people—may have experienced alien abduction.

          Here’s the list of symptoms: “Waking up paralyzed with the sense of a strange presence or person in the room, missing time, feeling a sensation of flying, seeing balls of light in the room, and finding puzzling scars.”

          With the exception of the puzzling scars, every one of these could be experienced during sleep paralysis. And in fact, this is exactly what many researchers believe explains a great deal of alien-abduction stories. The Atlantic cites Goldsmith’s University psychologist Christopher French as a proponent of this theory, and papers by other academics explore how people “rely on personally plausible cultural narratives to interpret these otherwise baffling sleep paralysis episodes.”

          It’s not hard to see exactly when and how aliens became a plausible culprit to blame for our inexplicable experiences. Invaders from Mars debuted in 1953. At the same time, science was pushing our imagination toward the stars. The Soviet Union landed the first man-made object on the moon in 1959. The first widely publicized tale of an alien abduction, that of Betty and Barney Hill, allegedly took place in 1961 and was widely publicized in 1965.

          Even the sounds and music we associate with aliens are deeply rooted in the mid-20th Century. No instrument or sound is more strongly linked with aliens than the theremin. And the ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument, lends Olivier Messiaen’s 1940s orchestral piece Turangalîla-Symphonie a sound that at times feels like outer space.

          The sci-fi feel of this symphony’s ondes Martenot (audible around the :30 mark) makes it clear why the creators of Futurama named one of the show’s main characters after it.

          Much like sleep paralysis, the way people describe alien abductions varies by country and culture. In the United States, we have the familiar prodding, probing intruders. In Brazil, they have reports of “space surgeons” linked to the country’s spiritist beliefs. Elsewhere in South America, stories may incorporate monsters and other creatures.

          One more link between sleep paralysis and alien abduction: many abduction stories have a sexual element, which may be explained by sleep paralysis in the same ways that the old myths of the Succubus and Incubus can. But rather than blaming strange sensations on a sex demon, these abduction narratives feature a more plausible 20th Century angle, in the form of alien medical probes used to collect data on human sexuality.

          The introduction of medical ultrasound technology might provide the basis for this imagery. Ultrasounds were pioneered in the 1950s and commercialized in 1963 with the introduction of the first handheld ultrasound wand, a device that looks strikingly similar to those described in many abduction stories, including Betty and Barney Hill’s famous account.

          A simple Google search for “ultrasound alien” will dig up plenty of entertaining threads with titles like “My baby looks like an alien!” and recommended searches like “why does my baby look like an alien?” On one hand, ultrasounds simply showed us what babies look like in utero, and their oblong heads and big eyes may be just as plausible an origin story for the popular image of the big-headed alien as Invaders from Mars. On the other hand, the technology is innately sexual, the way the wand images the body, and in some cases is inserted into it. In this sense, the story of the alien probe is less supernatural than the story of the Succubus. It’s grounded in a real tool.


          These guys want to examine your sex organs.

          And while I’ve focused on sleep paralysis as one possible explanation for the sensations of an abduction here, there are many others, including repression of childhood trauma, and epileptic or narcoleptic episodes (these, too, could explain the commonly reported sensation of “missing time” during an alleged abduction).

          But are any of these factors truly capable of explaining the alien-abduction phenomenon? Probably not. It’s hard to say. Just like the popular idea of the alien itself, the abduction story seems to be influenced by so many different cultural threads that no one explanation is adequate on its own.

          That being said, a responsible level of skepticism should keep us from accepting abduction stories at face value, something that Carl Sagan explores in his book The Demon-Haunted World. Proof of intelligent alien life—especially aliens visiting Earth—would have huge repercussions for our understanding of the universe, and it’s safe to say that the anecdotal evidence found in abduction stories doesn’t even come close to reaching any kind of adequate scientific threshold.

          Rather, the human mind behaves as it always has. Surely there are real psychological phenomena underpinning alien-abduction experiences (which is to say, most experiencers are probably not flat-out lying), but there’s no reason to believe that intelligent aliens have actually abducted them. These stories seem consistent with past eras’ stories of witchcraft, faeries, or demons; they’re replaced here with spacecraft and aliens, a shift that reflects the way our culture has changed and how the borders of the unknown have moved. Most people no longer believe in faeries living in the woods outside their village, but the real possibility that intelligent alien life could visit Earth is what lends so much staying power to the story.

          So why do so many people from so many places report these inexplicable phenomena across the centuries? Even if we accept sleep paralysis as a partial explanation, memory repression as another, narcolepsy as another, and so on, it’s still hard to fully understand why we so frequently report overlapping paranormal experiences. In the end, the consistent variable across all these stories, of course, is not the aliens or the Succubus or the demons. The mystery is not them but us.

        • Fan Art Friday #62: Pipe Cleaner Grimm by Rhy7hmicW4rrior

          3 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!

          This week’s featured artist is Isaiah, AKA @Rhy7hmicW4rrior, for this pipe cleaner Grimm.  



          Oh, and happy belated birthday, Isaiah!


          Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

        • Answers to Questions Posed in RT Podcast #422

          3 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It's time for our regular segment in which @Gafgarian (AKA Jeremiah Palmer) provides answers to the burning questions left unanswered in each episode of the Rooster Teeth Podcast. Read on to get closure for Burnie’s Sunset Party Hangover – #422.


          What is the best cheese for grilled cheese?

          There is some debate on this since, as you can imagine, it is a pretty subjective decision. However, from a purely chemical level, there are some clear winners. Generally speaking, cheeses with a higher pH level make for a more consistent grilled cheese experience. This doesn't mean that that they will necessarily taste better, as taste involves several other variables including the type of bread, additional seasoning, and cook time. From the perspective of the chemistry, the "sweet" pH spot is between 5.3 - 5.5. Due to the way cheese is made, a higher pH level exists in milder cheeses. This means that, chemically speaking, the best cheeses are gouda, gruyére, manchego, and, of course, american. The last option can claim a pH level of 5.8, or higher, depending on the what type of emulsifier is used to bond the cheeses together. Typically this some type of sodium, in which case american cheese tends to produce the preferred gooey consistency of a perfect grilled cheese. All of this said, there are some self-proclaimed "grilled cheese connoisseurs" who swear by the extra sharp cheeses, choosing to embrace the clumpy, uneven melting for the unique flavor. What about you? Classy or classic?

          What is an English Breakfast?

          The traditional English Breakfast, also known as a "Fry-Up", will typically consist of back bacon, eggs, British sausage, baked beans, fried tomato, fried mushroom, black pudding, and fried and toasted bread. These ingredients are up for debate depending on which part of Great Britain you happen to be dining in but are, in most cases, the general consensus of the base ingredients of a Fry-Up. Notable variations on the English Breakfast also exist in other parts of the United Kingdom, with the Irish Breakfast swapping black pudding for white pudding and usually containing soda bread and potato cakes. Similarly, Scottish Breakfast puts more of an emphasis on the presence of black pudding and usually adds a bit of haggis as well. However, a truly traditional English Breakfast would likely look like the image below. Notice the inclusion of bone marrow, an oversized pork chop, and homemade pork rinds.


          You may look at this and wonder who would possibly eat that much food and you would not be wrong. The history of the English Breakfast tells us that it wasn't really intended to be completely eaten, despite it being quite a claim of honor among some would be connoisseurs these days. The English Breakfast can trace its origins to 13th century England when the gentry, convinced that the traditional Anglo-Saxon culture was disappearing as immigrants began "invading" the households of the traditional British nobleman. In an effort to preserve the distinguished country lifestyle of high society, the gentry created a spectacle of breakfast time. Lavish feasts were held frequently in which neighbors, friends, and relatives were encouraged to attend. During these feasts, the gentry served a large variety of different meats, and other locally sourced food, as way to provide further proof of their opulence. Prior to these feasts, breakfast was just another meal, it was the gentry's focus on turning the morning meal into an experience that established the meal as a sign of wealth and made clear its importance in British society.

          However, it was the Victorian age and the households of wealthy merchants and self-professed royal lineages that ultimately birthed the English Breakfast as we know it now. Like the gentry before them, the upper echelon of Victorian British society leveraged the English Breakfast as a way to demonstrate their wealth and social influence. Shortly after assimilating the English Breakfast tradition, Victorian nobility standardized the ingredients, cooking processes, as well as the pomp and circumstance around the meal. Once standardized, the meal became more easily replicable by the working class and within a hundred years or so the tradition and, in particular, the meal, had become a staple offering in pubs, bed and breakfasts, and on family tables.

          Being that there is a fair share of the RT Community hailing from this part of world, I'm definitely interested in hearing about the difference among the plating and which one of you eat a "real" English Breakfast...

          Does the "hair of the dog" method work?

          Technically, no. That isn't nearly as surprising as finding out that the popular phrase used to describe the act of drinking away your problems gained by attempting to drink away your problems in the first place can be traced back to a 500-year old poem. In it, poet John Heywood, pleads, "I pray thee let me and my fellow have a hair of the dog that bit us last night — and bitten were we both to the brain alright." Despite Heywood's insistence that all it would take to sober him, and his friend, up is a bit more of the sauce, as well as Gus and Burnie's insistence of the same, there is no scientific evidence to support this centuries old myth.

          Chemically speaking, the reason for your hangover is all about the water, or lack there of, in your body. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it causes the body to lose more water through increased urination. In alcohol's case this is because it inhibits the production of a pituitary antidiuretic hormone that helps the body to reabsorb water. The symptoms of a hangover are the direct result of the amount of water loss during alcohol consumption. In addition to limiting the production of the antidiuretic hormone, alcohol also leads to a more stressed metabolic system as your liver works overtime in an effort to filter toxins from your bloodstream. This means that the best cure for your hangover is not reaching for that unfinished beer but rather a bottle of water.

          While various studies have shown an increase in cognitive awareness and motor skills after diving back into the bottle the next morning, those same studies cannot conclusively say that these minor increases in functionality are a direct result of the drink but rather a convincing distraction from the symptoms. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that darker alcohols, such as whiskey's, higher concentration of methanol can contribute more to a hangover symptoms and the consumption of more ethanol rich alcohol can delay the metabolism of methanol, thus delaying the occurrence of a hangover. Once a person's blood alcohol level begins to drop, hangover symptoms are not far behind. Any additional alcohol consumption is only delaying the inevitable. Ultimately, there is no magic cure for a hangover. Even water will only help to minimize the symptoms brought on by dehydration. The effects of alcohol consumption will ultimately last until the liver has successfully detoxified your system. An average liver can manage this at about one drink per hour, though this can vary slightly. That said, there seems to be no better placebo then one laced with alcohol.

          Why do people not smile in old pictures?

          This has been a surprisingly tough question to answer for historians, however, recent studies into the beginning of the consumer camera market has brought about a bit of a shift in opinion. Originally thought to fixations on appearance, specifically around oral hygiene as well as "having little to smile about" the tight-lipped persona of industrial revolution-era Americans has been a pretty common sight among history textbooks for years. The recent shift has led to a pivotal question that has, effectively, changed everything. The question went from "why do people not smile in old pictures" to the more relevant, "why do people smile in pictures now?"

          It was the realization that it isn't some innate human reaction to smile anytime a camera is shoved in our face that led researchers to begin paying attention to exactly when this shift in expected facial expressions really began. By reviewing thousands of high school yearbooks from across the country, and spanning the 95 years from 1905 to 2000, researchers were able to track the gradual shift from the tight lipped formality of pictures to the expected "cheese" induced smiles of today.

          Though, on a slightly related side note, in my research for this, I also learned that it apparently makes for a much more natural smile if you use words ending in an "uh" sound rather than words with "ee." Apparently, the use of the long "e" sound in pictures was handy when cameras had lengthy autofocus timings or required a whole ritual take place around manually focusing. Since modern cameras are essentially instantaneous in their focusing abilities, the drawn out "e" sound ends up producing a smile which is easier identified as "fake." So, the next time your grandma tells you to "say cheese," you should say "vagina" instead and see what kinds of random mid-shocked expressions are captured on your family's faces. It serves two purposes!

          Back to the answer!

          These researchers were able to identify and essentially plot the slight increase in curved lips over time until, by the late 1930s, the toothy grin began making its first appearance in the photos. The researchers then went back to look at the use of cameras during those decades or rather, the availability of them. This led them to a particular shift, by Kodak, in the marketing of cameras. Before Kodak, cameras were unwieldy, expensive, monstrosities that required hours of your day to set up, use, and then manually develop each large printed negative. In 1888, George Eastman changed the game with the Kodak #1. For $25, which is roughly equivalent to a little over $600 now, you could own a magic box which, along with capturing your soul, was also able to remove the requirement of your own dark room or a special set of skills. By 1900, the Brownie camera was sold for a scant $1, roughly $25 now, and, though marketed to children, its reasonable price made widespread amateur photography a very real pastime.


          No longer were there long dreary lines ending in obviously staged family photos that captured the historical moment of the family but left out any of the vitality of family life. The spontaneity of taking a picture at any time was sweeping the nation and, unsurprisingly, that meant that capturing the life of a given moment was a much regular occurrence. This began changing the way people wanted to be seen in pictures. The dreary formality of decades past began to be replaced by the candidly captured moments of people enjoying life and people realized that it was much more enjoyable to share pictures of captured moments than it was to show a staged historic memory of "what we looked like in 1862." Kodak, captured this momentum and shifted their advertising to feature smiling moments. The image below shows the difference in advertisement over only a nine year period, from 1912 (left) to 1921 (right).


          You may have picked up on another, more obvious, pioneering moment for advertising in these two photos. That being that Kodak was one of the first to advertise directly to women regarding a product that had been largely thought to be a "man's responsibility." Ultimately, with focusing on depicting consumer happiness and putting a woman behind the camera, instead of in front, their unique marketing strategy changed, not only the way we take pictures, but the entire advertising industry.

          And you thought this was just going to be about a few miserable looking people...

          How does vantablack work?

          According to Surrey NanoSystems, the company which invented vantablack, the material is "...a functionalized ‘forest’ of millions upon millions of incredibly small tubes made of carbon, or carbon nanotubes. Each nanotube in the vantablack forest has a diameter of around 20 nanometres (that’s about 3,500 times smaller than the diameter of the average human hair)... A surface area of 1 cm2 would contain around 1,000 million nanotubes."

          It works by capturing light between these microscopic tubes. Again, per Surrey's website, light is "rapidly absorbed" as it bounces between the tubes and is unable to escape due to the length of tubes. The example provided is, "...visualise walking through a forest in which the trees are around 3 km tall instead of the usual 10 to 20 metres. It’s easy to imagine just how little light, if any, would reach you."

          Additionally, vantablack is officially considered the World's Darkest Man-made Substance. According the National Physical Laboratory, the material reflects only 0.036% of light. This makes it ideal for coating highly sensitive cameras and sensors however, its virality has led to several other industries reaching out to Surrey. These include luxury watchmakers, artists, and even car manufacturers. However, Surrey NanoSystems spokesperson, Steve Northam, says that applying the material to a car's body would be a mistake as the physics of the material rely on a verticality to function properly. In other words, despite feeling smooth to the touch, you are effectively crushing down the microscopic nanotube towers which allow the material to capture light the way it does. This makes for an extremely fragile surface and, while they have invented a spray application which provides slightly less absorption in favor of greater resiliency, even that isn't ready to weather the elements.

          No worries though! These current limitations haven't stopped Surrey from imagining the future of the product and, while exclusive "creative arts" usage rights current belong to sculptor Anish Kapoor, you can request a sample using this form. The only catch is you need to be from a museum, school, or legit organization. Oh! And it costs £300 for a 2" square wrapped in plastic.

          What causes elephant musth?

          Gavin is right in that we aren't 100% sure why elephant's experience a musth period. However, the running theory is that it is to prevent inbreeding. Essentially, the pack mentality of the elephant combined with a proportionally smaller herd when compared to other pack animals, like wolves or lions, and a longer lifespan than most smaller mammals, means that the probability of having a single dominant bull elephant for several years is high. It seems, to avoid the possibility of this dominant male "hoarding" the females, nature has made it so during a roughly one month period of time, after the age of 15, a bull elephant experiences an intense surge of testosterone once a year. During this period the older females, and "non-musthing" elephants, will corale the musthing bull towards females in heat.

          What are bath salts?

          Bath salts is actually a name attributed to several different types of man-made designer drugs. Because of this discrepancy they can be various shades of white or brown and can be a fine powder or in large crystalline rock form. Their name, and only relation to the epsom bath salts most think about when hearing it, is due to the fact that their small crystal form bears a striking resemblance to the harmless epsom powder and is easily disguised as such.

          Given their variety, it is difficult to say with any certainty what is actually contained in a baggie of bath salts at any given point in time however, in most cases, it is some synthetic derivative of cathinone, which is a naturally occurring chemical similar to ephedrine. This substance is commonly found in Khat, an East African flowering shrub which, when chewed, as it has been for thousands of years, gives one a sense of euphoria. It is this variety of ingredients that has led to the illicit drug's unpredictable interactions with the brain.

          Destin from Smarter Every Day and an oxygen mask?

          The stats on "Useful Consciousness" times are crazy...

          The Mount Everest body landmark is gone now?

          28-year old Tsewang Paljor became one of the most well known climbers to fall victim to the dangers of the great mountain because of his boots.


          Since his tragic death on May 10-11 1996, Paljor's presence on the mountain has served as a glaring and ominous testament to both the dangers of mother nature and the stubbornness of man. Exact details surrounding his death are mixed, at best, including a good deal of finger pointing toward a Japanese climbing team that came under fire for not assisting Paljor and his two companions who had also succumbed to the mountain on that day. That day, to clarify, is one which, even those with casual interest in the happenings of the world's highest point, will likely be familiar with. The day was immortalized in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air as well as Hollywood's recent big-budget Everest film. Eight climbers would perish during the overnight blizzard on May 10th and the growing commercialization of Everest would immediately be brought into question because of their deaths. Unlike the other climbers, however, Paljor's position with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and his presence on the mountain was not a commercial endeavor. Rather it was an attempt to summit one of the most dangerous peaks in the world to represent India on the small, but growing, list of mountaineers who have conquered the mountain. While his name does indeed appear on that list, though not without its own controversy, it also, unfortunately, appears on the smaller, but also growing, list of mountaineers that have fallen victim to the dangers of the climb.

          "Green Boots," as he would be known for nearly two decades by climbers also eager to put their name on the first list, while hoping to avoid the second, lay under an outcropping of rock somewhat guarded from the elements. Presumably, this is where he ended up seeking shelter on that terrible night in 1996, unaware that it would become his final resting place. Because of the guarded nature of this outcropping, now referred to as "Green Boots' Cave," many climbers in the last 20 years have spent time huddled beside the Paljor's fallen body before continuing in their pursuit of making it onto, at least one, of the lists. In addition to Green, enough colored parkas had fallen along the same ridge to coin part of the north face, just above Green Boots' Cave, to warrant the name of "Rainbow Ridge." The graph below shows the altitude of Poljor's fall when compared to other deaths on the great mountain. The cluster of fallen hikers just above Paljor are those that have created the multi-colored path of Rainbow Ridge.


          Over time the fate of Green Boots, not Tsewang Paljor, has become infamous with would-be hikers of the mountain. His family, unhappy with thought of his memory being reduced to the color of his boots, have attempted to raise the money necessary to in some way remove his body. This is no easy task. There is a reason why the fallen names on the second list largely remain on the mountain. Not only is the effort of removing them significantly more dangerous than summiting the peak of the unforgiving mountain but, in the words of one hiker, "...after a season the bodies are part of the mountain and no one wants to take part in moving them." Some may interpret this as being a philosophical description of the ideals surround committing oneself fully to what they love and the idea that a fallen mountaineer's wish would be to be left on the mountain which finally claimed them. However, the truth of the statement is much more morbid. The temperature variances causing freezing and thawing cycles lead to the bodies literally becoming attached to the mountain. This makes moving them an unpleasing experience, to say the least. That said, attempts to remove, or cover, the fallen, in order to avoid the potentiality of their corpses becoming impromptu macabre trail markers or monuments, have picked up over the last few years.

          One of these to be claimed by the mountain, and one of the first to be subsequently removed, fell in the very same cave as Green Boots. David Sharp, was a renowned British mountaineer who, in 2006, made it onto the second list after being found in the cave huddled alongside Green Boots. Sharp's body was removed from sight, presumably given to one of the many mountain crevasse, at the behest of his parents who, also presumably, paid a premium for its removal. While in recent years the desire to clean up the mountain has led to suspected covert clean up crews dispatched by the Chinese government, their state department has remained mum on the subject. Perhaps the most glaring reason to suspect this action occurred when climber Noel Hanna made the summit climb in May 2014 and was astonished to find that Green Boots was gone. Initially thought to be a random occurrence due to rough weather, this thought was quickly abandoned when Hanna continued his trek and discovered that nearly all of Rainbow Ridge had been cleared. Of the 10 previously visible bodies, only two remained. While there had been some time, due to the climbing off-season, between when the bodies were confirmed to be there and Hanna's climb, it is unreasonable to think that all of these bodies, including Green Boots inside his protected outcropping, had managed to be taken by the mountain via natural means.

          Ultimately, there is no shortage of mystery surrounding the circumstances that led to Paljor's death or his eventual disappearance. While we will likely never know what happened on the mountaintop in 1996, Green Boots was not the first or last to fall victim to the treacherous slopes. Of the 4,000+ names on the first list, over 280 are on the second and, given the continued commercialization and virality of the climb, most experienced climbers feel that it is only a matter of time before the latter number may begin to grow faster than the first.

          What is the deadliest mountain to climb?

          In order to provide some clarity, as well as narrow the list a bit, we need to distinguish between the various mountains and how to define them in a "deadliest" list. One distinguishing characteristic is their elevation. There are fourteen peaks above 8,000 meters which is where the typical cut off for these lists ends up being, even if they aren't explicitly saying so. This is because there are so many smaller peaks which may have higher death counts simply because they are smaller.

          For example, one of the peaks with highest death count in general is in the Mont Blanc Massif. This is the same mountain range which Burnie and Ashley were on top of during their Amazing Race leg in Les Grands Montets and Chamonix. The very same which Burnie, if you ask him, nearly made it onto the second list for. This range has the highest peak in all of Europe at 15,782 feet and has claimed an estimated 8,000 lives.

          Of those that tower above the 8,000 meter limit, however, the honor of the most dangerous in the "Dead Zone" goes to Annapurna 1. The tallest mountain of the 55 kilometer long Annapurna Massif, it was also the very first 8k meter peak to be summited. Despite this honor, it has a 34% death ratio which is over thirty times that of Everest when counting against successful summits. As of March 2012, Annapurna 1 has only been successfully summited 191 times and has added over 60 deaths to its second list. The point is, it is a deadly, unforgiving S.O.B. which far eclipses Everest in danger and, among its peers, Everest is actually pretty tame.

          Most would rank Everest around the eighth or ninth when comparing the amount of safe ascents with the unfortunate deaths. And nearly all of the successful climbers will attribute their successful climb and/or safety to the sherpas who helped them along the way. Largely considered the quiet heroes of the Himalayas, sherpas are often given the credit, though perhaps not the money, as the reason why Everest isn't much higher on the list. Climbers who have made it to Everest's first list multiple times will still accredit their sherpa guide to their safety with the frequently heard statement of, "you listen to your sherpa and the mountain or you die," accompanying their "advice" for newbie climbers.


          On a related note, in my internet travels to find resources for the above two questions, I stumbled across probably one of the most impressive infographics I've seen in a long time. Though it did little to help answer anything specific, it is too good to just bury in my aggregate source lists on my profile.

        • The New Things You Need to Buy

          1 month ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @charlesaustin

          You like to work hard, play hard, and then work even harder. You’re a doer with stick-to-it-iveness. You watch a commercial about a big truck going in mud and you say, “Yeah. I do that.” That’s why you need consumer products that are are as reliable, smart, funny, unique, and wonderful as you are. This is a roundup of all the new things. You must buy them.

          Single-Use Disposable Bed


          This woman is wasting her fucking time like an idiot.

          Tired of making your bed every morning? You’re just going to get back in and fuck up the sheets again. Stop living like a damn barbarian and start living like a Civilized Person. The only way to do that is to start buying single-use disposable beds. These beds come pre-made with disposable silk sheets, two disposable goose-down pillows, and a disposable mattress and frame. All you need to do is enjoy a good night’s sleep then throw the whole thing in the trash in the morning. This gives you Peace of Mind™, especially when you order your disposable beds in 100-count bulk packages for months of convenient, easy sleeping.

          Single-Use Disposable Toilet

          Your poop is shit, so why would you want a toilet that’s also shit? Get a good toilet instead. Get this toilet. In fact, this toilet is the only way to get Peace of Mind™. That’s because you throw the whole thing away after one flush. You work too hard to worry about having a disgusting toilet in your bathroom that a bunch of people you know all put their butts on. It’s much safer, easier, and more sanitary to just start using disposable toilets. Buy a 100-pack, store them in the basement with your disposable beds, and just TRY to tell us your life isn’t better now. This new luxurious lifestyle is the only way to live. There can be no going back.

          The New Car

          This is the one you heard about in that fucking commercial. It’s here. Do you wanna drive? Step right up. This car comes with all of the fixings for just $25,000, but a few features do not come standard. You might want to get the steering wheel upgrade, which adds a steering wheel to the car for an extra $5,000. But if you want to drive, you’ll also need a key to start the car. That’s an added $3,000. Do you like to go fast? Well then you’ll need to add a gas pedal for $4,000. The only thing that comes standard is a sun roof, but that’s because there’s no roof at all, unless you want to add that too.

          PlayStation 2 Pre-Loaded with Paul Blart Mall Cop 2


          This PS2 cannot play any of these classic titles. It cannot play The Incredibles, and it cannot play Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, even though these are two of the most beloved video games of all time.

          Remember PlayStation 2? It’s back. But this time it comes preloaded with the cinema film Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Here’s the thing though. After you watch the film, the PlayStation 2 stops working. It is an expensive rock. And at $600 a pop, this is one hell of a luxurious rock. All of your neighbors will be jealous of your wealth and prestige when they see you creating a zen garden full of discarded PS2s, or throwing countless PS2s into your garbage can, which is already full of beds and toilets, the way it was always intended to be.


          This yard is the ultimate status symbol.

        • Fan Art Friday #61: dangerst

          1 month ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!

          This week’s featured artist is Daniel Gerstner, AKA @dangerst, for this CG video featuring a C.T. from Red vs. Blue.  

          Daniel is an artist and student based in Georgia (according to him, “somewhere near the devil in that song”). He wanted to see Red vs. Blue in a realistic light, so he decided to make that happen. To create this piece, Daniel modeled it in Zbrush, textured it in Substance painter, rendered it in V-ray, and made a blood sacrifice to keep his PC running. It took 60+ hours between render time (re-rendering, saving, having a tantrum, pleading for a merciful god, and finally finishing it).


          Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

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