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        • Fan Art Friday #48: RWBY Dessert by rosetree

          2 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 Amber Sollenberger, AKA @rosetree, for this RWBY dessert.


          1594849-1479746146633-IMG_20161121_09351


          Amber is a baking and pastry student based in Craig, Colorado. She created this treat in her plated desserts class, drawing inspiration from the colors that Team RWBY and JNPR wear. For team RWBY, Amber used raspberry filling for Ruby Rose, white chocolate for Weiss Schnee, blackberry puree for Blake Belladonna, and golden apple chips for Yang Xiao Long. She also placed sauces around the plate in the shape of rose petals to represent Ruby Rose’s Semblance. For team JNPR, she used lemon ice cream for Jaune Arc, guava nectar for Nora Valkyrie, golden pie crust and the liquid from the raspberry filling for Pyrrha Nikos, and lime spherification for Lie Ren.


          In case you’re curious, Amber got the highest grade possible for this dish.


          ------------------------------


          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!

        • Fan Art Friday #47: Miles by trishachen

          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 Trisha Chen, AKA @trishachen, for this portrait of Miles Luna.


          v6ERzEQ.jpg


          Trisha is a freelance artist based in California. While watching the latest season of Red vs. Blue, she paused the video on a really nice frame of Miles and decided to draw it as portrait practice. This piece was created in Photoshop CC 2014 with a Wacom tablet, and took about seven hours to complete.


          ------------------------------


          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!

        • RT Podcast Answers Greatest Hits – 2016 Edition

          1 week ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @Gafgarian


          In honor of this week’s Podcast, I decided to do a bit of a “Best Of…” as well. The answers below have been some of my favorite to research, post, and discuss with community. I hope you have all enjoyed them as well. Definitely speak up if I’ve missed any of your favorites or if you feel like rehashing old wounds regarding the ones below.


          Podcast #405

          Included because not only is it interesting science but it is also covertly showing my existence as a fellow Tim…


          You can't suck above 10 meters?

          10.3 meters technically. There is a very technical reason for this, which Dirk from "Veristablium"... wink, wink... does a phenomenal job explaining and demonstrating in this video.



          In case you don't feel like dedicating seven minutes of your life to it though, here is the quick breakdown. Similar to the imaginary centrifugal force discussed on the podcast last week, suction isn't really a thing. Instead, the atmospheric pressure that is constantly pushing down on the liquid in the container, combined with the lower pressure that occurs within the straw when sucking on it, causes the liquid in the straw to be pushed up the straw. However, gravity is constantly pulling down on the liquid in the straw, and this, combined with the density and height of the liquid, gives it weight. In order to overcome this weight and rise up the straw, the suction needs to be such that the pressure differential in the straw must be greater than the weight of the liquid. Since this weight increases as the straw gets longer because there is naturally more liquid in the straw, you eventually reach a point where no amount of pressure differential (i.e., suction) can overcome the weight of the liquid. This occurs right around 10.3 meters, mathematically speaking.


          Podcast #399

          Naturally, the "Best of..." post would not be complete without the insanity that was this Toblerone geometry lesson. Despite @bortlp pointing out my fallacy of using incorrect units of area, I stand by the results.


          The Toblerone confabulation...

          This is a piece of the Toblerone bar that I had to go get from Walmart at 2:00 a.m. in order to get to the bottom of this mystery. Suffering for my art and all that. :D


          ZUZsikq.jpg


          Before we hop into some math-laden nonsense, let me begin by letting @gus know that I hope he is happy with this one because good lord this podcast episode might just be the death of me.


          Alright, let's break it down. As you can see from my highly scientific methods, the approximate angle between two Toblerone peaks is around 30 degrees. If you don't mind, I'm going to do rounding throughout this just to make it easier. If you don't like it, break out your own protractor, damn it! Anyway, ignoring that the lower angle is more rounded and assuming that all Toblerone peaks on a 3.5 oz bar are roughly .75 inches in length, that gives an internal area of .14 square inches per peak spacing. Given that a standard Toblerone bar has 11 spaces, that gives a total lost chocolate area of 1.54 sq/in.


          Now let's take a look at the 4.5 kg bar, which, I believe, is the one Gus purchased on air. This specific one does not contain many smaller packets of Toblerone, but we will do the math to see which is the most efficient use of the space, if it did. According to the bar's product listing, the approximate dimension of the box is a 4.75" triangle, but we are going to say it is a little less so we aren't accidentally inflating the peak spacing. We are also going to assume that the 30-degree spacing we discovered on the smaller bars is consistent across all Toblerone bars, regardless of size. Next, we need to figure out the height of the peaks themselves, not counting the lower nougat filled bar that forms the base of a Toblerone bar. Back to our standard size bar and some more geometry!


          The standard bar's proportions are 1.25" tall, with the lower bar amounting to around .375". Using some simple cross-multiplication, we find that a bar with an overall height of 4.5" has a lower bar height of 1.35". Again all of this is assuming that Toblerone keeps the exact same proportions as they scale up their bars. Now that we have the 3.15" remaining height, we can halve the 30-degree base angle and assume a 90-degree top angle to find the length of the actual peak length on the larger bars. All of that nonsense gives us a peak length of approximately 3.25", which, after plugging it back into our original area calculation, gives us a lost chocolate area of 2.65 sq/in per peak spacing. Based on the calculation we did to find the peak length, as well as double checking with Toblerone, we know that the large bars also have 11 peak spaces. This would give us a total lost chocolate area of 29.15 sq/in.


          Alright, time for some more assumptions. In order to find out the cumulative lost chocolate area if the entire 4.5 kg Toblerone package were actually filled with several standard size Toblerone bars, we have to assume that the bars are packed relatively tight but likely have some wiggle room because of the known dimensions of both the bars and the 4.5 kg box dimensions. Because of these assumptions, it is likely that there would be some type of spacers, or thicker walls, in place in order to accommodate the smaller bars. A standard 3.52 oz Toblerone package has a length of 8.25" and a height of 1.25". The 4.5 kg bar has a length of just over 33" and a height of 4.75". More math! The 8.25" length works out perfectly to fit four bars end-to-end, and the 1.25" width/height would fit – with adding spacers and filling the spaces between bars with more flipped bars – five bars across.


          So let's work in layers and find out how many bars would fill this bad boy up. Luckily the geometry of equilateral triangles makes this pretty damn easy for us. Each layer would be subtracting 1.25" from the height and width, so we are just basically working our way up the package with consecutively smaller equilateral triangles. This equal stepping down in spacing works out to taking away a single row for each layer. This would give us a total bar count of 36 standard size Toblerone bars. Since we already know that there is a total loss of 1.54 sq/in per standard bar, a quick bit of multiplication gives us a total lost chocolate area of 55.44 sq/in. This means that the full bar has almost 27 sq/in more of chocolate and is absolutely the best option.


          While this doesn’t necessarily tell us the amount of lost chocolate area in the smaller (but still bigger than the standard) boxes that Burnie found in airports, I think it safe to assume that the same math and logic would apply. As the bar/box grows larger, the amount of lost chocolate area – if filled with the standard size Toblerone bars – also increases proportionally to box size. Since Burnie’s was smaller, it is likely that the lost chocolate area is a fraction of the 27 sq/in from this calculation, but it would still almost certainly be more cost effective to find an option in the same size box which contained a solid bar and not individually boxed standard sized ones.


          Also, to confirm Gus's suspicion, the solid bar would be heavier than the calculated weight of the 36 bars in the box. This would likely be from a combination of the lost chocolate area, additional packaging within packaging, and just a generally more dense construction of the solid bar.


          If someone is brave enough, check the math... But I think I got it. Here are my notes. Fair warning, they were from before the additional calculation of filling the spaces between the bars with more upside-down bars.


          EJSQVa3.jpg


          Finally, for the record, that picture (below) was absolutely Photoshopped. Here is a picture of the actual 4.5 kg Toblerone.


          hqdefault.jpg


          Podcast #395

          This had to be included because it is the pinnacle of fantastic posts, if I do say so myself. It had some of my favorite topics to research and write up. The various uses of foreign words and lengthy posts led to what I can only imagine was fantastic fun to proofread... you're welcome @Becca :D And let's not forget that it also led to some of the best follow-up conversation out of any post, which is the whole point really. So now that we've rehashed it, what are your thoughts? Anything new to comment?


          By the way, where does the pronunciation of "both" as "bolth" originate?

          This one was a much bigger pain in the ass than I expected it to be. The pronunciation of an "l" in "both" – known as an intrusive "l" – is suspected to have an origin similar to the more well known intrusive "r" that is sometimes heard in the pronunciation of "water" as "warter." A more common appearance of the intrusive "l" is the occasional addition to the end of words ending in "w," such as "draw" or "saw," especially when placed in front of the suffix "-ing."


          There have been several studies done concerning the root of this relatively pervasive dialect, but none so thorough as Bryan Gick from the University of British Columbia. Gick's 2002 paper on the subject includes a breakdown of its use, primarily referencing his findings after interviews with citizens of southern Pennsylvania. Over the course of his research on the subject, he constructed a rough geographical mapping of the intrusive "l" occurrence in everyday speech.


          luM1hpi.png


          By the way, I would be remiss if I didn't give credit to a now-deleted Reddit user who created a survey a few years back on this very subject, and then logged the responses to a Google spreadsheet. Using that spreadsheet, I was able to add the results of the 2,000+ responses to a map of the US and get an idea of potential patterns in geolocation. You can see from that map below that the survey seemed to correspond pretty closely with Gick's 2002 findings. While the use of the intrusive "l" is predominantly heard in the lower New England states, there are definite pockets, even near Austin, that are guilty of the dialect as well.


          a2CGsH5.png


          If you want to see and learn more about the survey's plotted points, the interactive map can be accessed here:http://www.easymapmaker.com/map/RTPodcast-395-Answers.


          Does America hold the record for the longest peaceful transfer of power?

          We do! I'll be honest: this legitimately surprised me. While we do have a 240-year-old government, there are definitely older governments out there and for some reason I just assumed that there had to have been a peaceful transfer of power going back farther then that.


          I stand corrected. Not only does the United States have the longest running peaceful transfer of power, but we are credited with essentially starting the movement of a peaceful transfer of power with what has been deemed the "Revolution of 1800." During our 1800 election, then-Vice President Thomas Jefferson declared himself part of the Republican Party and defeated sitting President, and Federalist, John Adams. These two parties had very different opinions over the direction our fledgling democratic nation should be taking, and this election marked the first transfer of power between two strongly supported groups that very vocally disagreed on key topics. Despite the amount of distrust between the two parties, the sitting Federalist party peacefully handed over the reigns of both the Presidency and Congress in 1801. This very simple gesture was a groundbreaking moment in political theater.


          It is very easy to hand over power to a fellow party member whom you have worked beside for years and fully trust that your ideals and plans closely coincide with. It is a completely different thing to trust in the will, judgments, and intelligence of a freely voting populace and hand the keys of nation over to someone whom you believe is fundamentally misrepresenting the nation that you have led for years. It is for this reason that this moment is referred to as a "revolution." According to political scientist John Zvesper, “The Revolution of 1800 was the first time in human history that the long-hallowed appeal to bullets was replaced by the appeal to ballots.” Though not fought against an enemy with guns and blood, it was a revolutionary moment in the history of democracy and has inadvertently served as a blueprint for many future democratic nations.


          Does America have one of the longest standing governments in the world?

          This one is a bit more complicated. While the "peaceful transfer of power" is a pretty straightforward concept, "standing government" is not so disambiguous. Because of this, we need to first identify what is meant by the concept of a "standing government."


          Many claims have been thrown up by various people around the world, and – surprise! – most are claiming that their own government holds the title. It is for this reason that this question has been hotly debated for years, and will likely continue to be that way for many years to come. Rather than pick a winner, I will describe some of the proclaimed "winners" and the reasoning behind those choices.


          First up, the US of A. There are many things that the US can claim to have the "longest" of. We just learned that they can legitimately claim to having the longest "peaceful transfer of power;" they can also claim the longest continuous space agency, longest international border between two countries (though I guess we share that one with Canada), and, of course, the home of the longest running web series. But do we have the longest standing government?


          We have lasted 240 years with the exact same form of government, the same name, and same core constitution. Which, for those who feel that the longest standing government is determined by the oldest single country with an unchanging name, the same government structure, and same core constitution, then the US actually pulls the win here.


          Next, the UK. While they did have the beginnings of their parliamentary structure as early as 1721, "officially" democracy was not fully implemented until the Representation of the People Act in 1918, which opened up voting to all adult citizens. Of course, if we discount them for that reason, then the US would not be counted until 1920. No, the argument against the UK is usually down to empire. Since they are not a single country, they are considered by many people outside of the UK to be ineligible in this particular contest.


          I know what you're thinking: we need to go older! So let's rapid fire some of the ancients. Egypt had pharaohs for over 3,000 years, surely that counts. Unfortunately, most disqualify any type of monarchy because the transition of power was rarely a peaceful thing, and, in many cases, their entire system of government would suffer a huge upheaval with the crowning of a new monarch. Fine, Rome then! While the Roman empire claims over 1,400 years of government, it can be argued that only 200 years (known as the Pax Romana) were a relatively peaceful, time while the rest saw the empire under constant threat of civil war and invasion, which consistently lost citizens and forced changes to their government's structure.


          How about Greece? I mean, they invented democracy; surely they were much more consistent with their government. They sure were. Unfortunately, no one around them felt the same way about peaceful ownership and citizen representation in the government. Because of this, they were very frequently under the control of other empires or military states.


          What of the dynastic rulings of feudal Japan, Bulgaria, Korea, or China? By definition, the dynastic regimes are each considered their own governmental systems, and since they are claimed as monarchies, they suffer the same systemic changes as the ancient Egyptian leaders.


          If we then switch to longest continuous claimed democracies, then we can throw in contenders like the Isle of Man or the Vikings of Iceland, which both claim nearly 1,000 years of democracy. Unfortunately they are frequently disqualified due to the disjointed and inconsistent nature of their government, regardless of their "democratic" leanings. On this note, the US wouldn't be really be able to claim longest democracy either because even though African Americans were given the right to vote in 1870, unethical voting practices realistically kept them from voting until 100 years later.


          This brings us to the Native Americans of the Six Nations, sometimes called the Iroquois. They claim to have utilized the same consensus-driven government for 800 years; they have a standing constitution that was actually looked to for inspiration in the writing of our own US constitution; and they have maintained the same title as well. Only one problem: they are a nation without ownership of an actual country. Arguably they did have land enough to call a "country" at one point, but that was taken away from them centuries ago.


          As you can see, there is legitimate justification for a claim to be made concerning the "longest standing government" for many past and present governments around the world. Depending on the definition of the phrase, it would likely be possible to make any specific government and country the "winner." So, to the question "Does America have one of the longest standing governments in the world?" the answer is sure, along with the other hundreds of "longest standing governments." Unless you ask an American. In that case, 'Murica wins. Get over it.


          Podcast #394 Post Show

          Due to their shorter length the Post Show answer posts are typically much smaller but in a rare case, the Post Show for #394 led to some fascinating research concerning the impersonations of celebrities and the conspiracy theories around their "original's" deaths. I imagine that since there were a few Post Show exclusives included in the Podcast Clip Show, that I can do the same here. So, for those who are seeing this for the first time, what do you think? Did Paul die on a rainy Tuesday night? Not to mention those puns… am I right?


          Paul McCartney, a replacement?

          Long before Twitter was incorrectly reporting on the death of celebrities, or Avril 2.0 apparently pulled a Single White Female and fooled the world, there were four guys from Liverpool. And before A Flock of Seagulls ran so far away, there was the Beatles.


          In March 1963, their debut album Please Please Me destroyed chart records in the UK, and, after nearly a year of legal squabbling over rights, the British Invasion hit US shores with the release of Introducing... The Beatles. This was quickly followed by a promotional trip to the US by the band. Three thousand fans greeted them when they landed at JFK on February 7, 1964 and an estimated 73 million Americans watched them perform on The Ed Sullivan Show two days later. This, at the time was 34 percent of the entire population of America. The Beatles overwhelming presence in the music scene of the 1960s is arguably the top of the list in regards to culturally significant events stemming from the entertainment industry. Every artist since has been compared to them and all of this is made so much more impressive when you learn that this troupe of four guys only actually performed live tours for around three years after making it huge. When asked in an interview about touring, drummer Ringo Starr stated that, "I never felt people came to hear our show. I felt they came to see us. Because from the count on the first number the volume of screams would just drown everything out."


          Given this influence, is it any wonder that the greatest entertainment rumor of all time would be an easy thought to plant? Imagine the chaos that would've occurred had TMZ been around! It started simple. A quick blurb in a 1967 Beatles fan magazine about a dark icy night in January and a fatal car crash on the M1. The rumors started burning quietly across London until the Beatles' Press Officer felt it possibly credible enough to speak with Paul about it. McCartney (2.0?) explained that he had been home all day and his car was safely parked in the garage. And the world thought no more about the imposter Beatle... or so we thought.


          In late 1969, with the world still reeling from rumors around the Beatles breaking up, a Detroit DJ named Russ Gibb received a late-night call telling him of hidden lyrics contained in well-known Beatles songs that were played in reverse. He decided it needed to be verified and, after hours of destroying vinyl, he was convinced that several references to Paul's death had been hidden by Lennon in the lyrics of The White Album. Gibb didn't stop there, and as he dug deeper into Beatles lore, he began picking up on other connections to Paul's death: the album covers of "Abbey Road" and "Yesterday...And Today," and the quiet mumblings of Lennon at the end of "Strawberry Fields Forever." Soon Gibb shared the theory with his audience; within weeks, news that Paul McCartney was dead had spread around the world.  Album sales grew even higher as hardcore fans and casual listeners had to hear the hidden messages about the demise of the beloved Beatle for themselves. Months passed, the fervor grew, and no Beatle or Beatles rep said a thing.


          As spring of 1970 hit, fans no longer wanted confirmation of Paul's death; they had accepted it as fact. They just wanted to know HOW it had happened. And from the Beatles' camp? Still silence. The rumor mills continued to churn out theory after theory until one stuck with the rest of the fanbase. Though it has had some variations and minor changes over the years, the key parts have remained the same. Now, the truth about Paul McCartney.


          It was late 1966, likely November, likely a "stupid bloody Tuesday." McCartney and the other Beatles had been recording all night. The band was already in a tumultuous state, had been for years. The frayed nerves didn't help. And perhaps "Wednesday morning at five o'clock" Paul stormed out, jumped in his car, "didn't notice that the lights had changed," and "blew his mind out in a car." At the height of their popularity, the remaining "one and one and one is three" Beatles faced financial ruin if news of the death of arguably the most popular Beatle got out. So they scrambled and hired a McCartney look-alike contest winner, William Campbell, for "the sound he appears to make." And we all unknowingly said "goodbye" while Campbell said "hello."


          No member of the Beatles has officially commented on the conspiracy, the strange clues among songs and album art, or their silence concerning it, other than to say they know nothing about hidden messages and that Paul is obviously still alive. A few years back, a mockumentary was released that claimed to have uncovered secret tapes from George Harrison's effects after he passed away. The tapes supposedly contained recordings of Harrison admitting and apologizing for the deceit perpetrated by the band. While this added a bit of renewed vigor to the conspiracy theorists, the film never claimed to have any basis in fact. Perhaps the most interesting part of this story is the multitude of conspiracies within conspiracies that have cropped up over the years, the most popular of which is that the entire McCartney death hoax was perpetrated by the Beatles themselves to ensure that they remained a figure in the ever-more-commercialized entertainment industry.


          Remember that the Beatles hadn't toured at all since 1966. This was unprecedented. They had chosen, willingly, to switch gears abruptly. The wanted to be recognized as serious artists and were convinced that being constantly surrounded by screaming teenage girls wouldn't get them there. Perhaps recognizing the huge artistic difference between Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the more mainstream album stylings that came before it, the Beatles felt like a contingency needed to be in place to keep them relevant. Could the Fab Four have been diabolical enough to plot the entire deception, biding their time until they felt the hype bump was necessary?


          Perhaps, someday, there will be an answer, but for now, let's just let it be.


          Podcast #394

          If previous podcasts are any indication, it will only be a matter of time before @burnie brings up something about Millennials and I, naturally, will end up linking back to this post as I find myself going off on some rant to explain how much I disagree with the generational divisions applied to my birth year and so on. Now I can just link to this one :D


          What is a millennial?

          A millennial is apparently me... damn it. Researchers Neil Howe and William Strauss coined the term "millennial" to represent those born between 1982 and 2004. The curious fact of this labeling is that, as you can see from the graph below, this represents the largest gap of years for a generation title (not counting Generation Y since it is widely considered to not actually be a generation title but rather a generation title that was self-professed by those considering themselves "out of touch" with the Gen-Xers).


          30ebe0c8d.png


          22 years is a large gap to lump over 75 million people in, and, perhaps because I fall on the early years of that scale, I am a strong proponent of breaking the generation title apart. Specifically, there is a big difference, to me, between someone born in 1985 and someone born just ten years later. To quote some lines from a seemingly ever-present Facebook meme on the subject, which I now know was actually stolen from the lyrics of Coone & Da Tweekaz's 2012 EDM track "Born in the 80s":


          I was born in the ‘80s

          Grew up in the ‘90s

          We are the last generation that learned to play in the street

          We were the first to play video games

          And the last that record songs off the radio on cassettes or music videos on VHS

          We are the pioneers of Walkmans and chatrooms

          We learned how to program the VCR before anyone else

          We played with Atari, Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis

          We also believed that the internet was gonna be a free world

          Ha, yeah right

          We are the generation of Thundercats, The Power Rangers, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Transformers, Saved By The Bell, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-air, and Martin

          We traveled in cars without seatbelts or airbags, lived without cell phones

          We didn't have 99 television stations, flatscreen TVs, surround-sound music systems, mp3s, Facebook, or Twitter

          But nevertheless

          We had a great fucking time!



          While this logic may come off a bit arrogant and crass, I do think it does do a great job of reflecting my thoughts on the necessary separation for the title of millennial. My childhood was not defined by virtual connections through a monitor or living in a house that had a TV in every room. My family didn't get their first computer until I was eleven, and while there is no doubt that it changed my life, I don't wax nostalgic about playing inappropriate flash games on Newgrounds. Sure it was a part of my preteen years, but a bigger memory was definitely getting lost in woods building tree forts, endless bowls of cereal while watching Saturday morning cartoons, and sleepovers where we inevitably pissed off the parents by ordering the same four music videos on The Box. MTV still played music videos from time to time and the Disney channel was a premium pay-to-watch station.


          By contrast, my sister was born in 1997. She is a "millennial" who was not old enough to understand what "Googling something" meant until Google was almost a decade old. Her Disney "classics" were all CGI and weren't musicals anymore. She doesn't remember Y2K and barely remembers 9/11. My nostalgia clashes with her nostalgia. And I think that is the root of this conversation.


          The Gen-Xers’ nostalgia is the cynicism of their time. It is the Ramones, Watergate, the rise and fall of Disco, rock ballads, drive-ins, acid washed jeans, Friday night roller skating (on quads 0.0), smoking in the restroom, and pissing off your parents and your neighbor by tying up the shared "party line" for three hours.


          The point is that the term millennial has suddenly been burdened with a pretty rough connotation that usually runs along the lines of being a group of entitled, disrespectful, pasty kids addicted to their electronics and instant gratification. Maybe it is simply a desire to not be lumped into this or maybe, at a deeper level, it is a just my millennial self's way of coping with being lumped. Either way, if you want to call me a millennial, that is fine. I mean, I was around for the turn of the millennium. I lived through that. I remember Y2K clearly.


          The separation should still be there though. Either a millennial is someone who can clearly remember the panic of Y2K, or it should be someone who doesn't really remember it all and instead the 1000-year tick over only serves to mark the beginning of his or her childhood memories. The world changed far too much in those 22 years to lump 75 million of us under one title. Personally, I'm fine being a Gen-Yer.


          I say we all raise a vintage 1995 Batman Forever collectible glass mug filled to the brim with Surge in an effort to force an official separation that states that if your first Disney movie was Toy Story, you're out of the club.


          In other news, I've realized that I have far too much to say on this subject and can come off as a right prick when I put my mind to it.


          Podcast #391

          I anticipated this specific bit of trivia to get a bit more feedback in the comments. It is absolutely the type of trivia that helps break the ice and was a blast to read about. Probably the perfect example of why I enjoy creating these posts each week.


          Why is it called the "glove box"?

          Because its intended purpose was to hold gloves. Done, moving on!


          Ah, I can't leave you hanging like that. Fine, really quick.


          In case you weren't aware of it, there once was a time when cars were lucky to have a roof let alone heat or windows. Because of this, every occupant would typically be wearing a pair of gloves. It was considered essential, especially on Sundays. The same was true for occupants of horse-drawn carriages. Along with gloves, another element from ye olde carriage that initially carried over to the horseless alternative was the "dashboard."


          allegiant-build-a-better-google-dashboar


          As you can see from the above photo, the "dashboard" wasn't a new thing for vehicles, horse-drawn or otherwise. In fact, the term "dashboard" stems from the idea that it is meant to protect the carriage's occupants from mud that is kicked up by the horses when they are "dashing." It also sometimes doubled as a box, which would commonly hold parcels, blankets, and the occasional stray riding glove. So, why does this matter?


          Well, besides the name of the current location of the current glove box iteration, the dashboard is important for one other reason. Packard purposely removed it in the early 20th century in order to further distance the company from the carriages of old. Understanding that people would still want a place to store their things, they installed a standalone storage compartment in their vehicles, usually as a drawer or compartment beneath the seats. The use of that compartment specifically for gloves can be traced back to Britain's first female race car driver, Dorothy Levitt. In addition to holding the ladies’ land and water speed records, she authored a book, The Woman and the Car, and in it said, "You will find room for these gloves in the little drawer under the seat of the car. This little drawer is the secret of the dainty motoriste."


          While this is the first public declaration (that we are aware of) of a notable person using the little glove box for gloves, it is unlikely that it was necessarily news to most automobile owners at the time. As vehicle models changed over the years – with the dashboard making another appearance and seats being lowered so their hidden compartments were a thing of the past – unless your last name was Capone, heat was still not always a thing. Because of this, gloves were still a common sight among car owners, and car manufacturers kept giving them a place to put them. Fast forward to a century later and our remote starts, heated seats, and "multi-zone climate controls" have ensured that the gloves have been replaced by five unpaid parking tickets, a few napkins, seven out-of-date registration slips, two packets of ketchup, and the occasional broken pair of sunglasses. Point is, at least we don't have to worry about stuffing a map in there too. GPS FTW!


          Podcast #389

          This was just too ridiculous to pass up. The absolute gall of that mayor, LOL.


          Did the Mayor of Chicago bulldoze a runway in the middle of the night?

          He certainly did! Though there is no evidence that Richard M. Daley, mayor of Chicago from 1989 to 2011, was personally running the heavy machinery, he did give the covert orders to begin demolition. On March 30, 2003, under the cover of darkness and with a police escort, construction equipment invaded the small, single runway at Meigs Field and began destroying the lone runway as quickly as possible. By morning the next day, six large "X"s had been carved into the asphalt. Despite Daley citing Homeland Security concerns, no one – including the airport, FAA, Homeland Security, or even the governor of Illinois – was made aware of the plan. Because of this, several planes were trapped at the airfield until the taxiway could be approved as a temporary runway in order to fly the planes out. Despite the presence of these private aircrafts and the Chicago Fire Department using the airfield as a base of operations for several helicopters, Daley still insisted that the airfield had been abandoned, and drastic measures to permanently shut it down were the best solution, in order to avoid "...needlessly contentious [methods]."


          600px-Meigs_field_USGS_2002.jpg


          Podcast #384

          I was just impressed that I was actually able to find some sort of answer on this one…


          What is the degrees of "leaning" that a person has to do to overcome the curvature of the earth and change the closer body part to the head?

          Okay, I'm going to do my best to answer this one... but good lord @burnie! At this point, I'm convinced that someone on the team is just cackling as they cook up these concepts. Here we go:


          The Earth's radius of approximately 3,965 miles means that, using the Pythagorean theorem, it has an average curvature of roughly 8 inches per mile of travel. This is a deviation of roughly 1/250th of an inch for every foot of distance from each other. Assuming that both people are 6 feet tall and the one not doing the leaning is standing at a perfect 90 degree angle to the ground, at a foot apart, the second person leaning at an angle barely under 90 degrees would have their head closer than their feet.


          Ultimately, the world is pretty damn big and doesn't really curve all that much when compared to our own heights. So the better question from this point would probably be how far away do you have to be from someone before a 6 foot tall person isn't able to lean and make their head closer than their feet. The important part to remember about this is that only one of the people is leaning. The other is maintaining a 90 degree perpendicularity to the earth's surface, relative to them. This means that the "leaning" person must lean twice as far to compensate for the first person's perfect posture. We also have to make another assumption, that the farthest a person can lean is 90 degrees at the waist. That said, we can continue to use Euclidean geometry to find the rough angles necessary in this calculation. As we increase the distance between the two people, the angle slowly becomes more severe until we end up hitting the critical 90 degrees right around the 8 mile mark. At this point the distance through the earth ends up being just over that same 8 mile mark. Also, I feel like without the below image, I couldn't prove that any of this math is trustworthy. Although I didn't find it until after I was done with all of the math by hand. :(


          earth-curve-calcuation.jpg


          Podcast #381

          Not only was this awesome to research and learn but it also led to @Hunchbunny, an AI Plan Recognition & Cognitive Systems, taking the time to give a great, and much more intelligent, response on the topic. Also... we all learned a new word that day: spermcasting.


          What does a robot want?

          As programmed machines, the quick and easy answer to this is that robots want whatever we, as the creators, tell them to want – though I suppose the question is a bit deeper than that. Most "experts" theorize that, as our pursuit of true AI edges nearer to completion, the needs of that intelligence will begin to more naturally parallel our own, with the glaring exception of social involvement.


          As Sally mentioned, humans are an insanely sociable species and have depended on the support of our peers, both physically and psychologically, for thousands of years. Robots and AI, however, would not independently have this "requirement" – unless we programmed them that way, of course. We can imagine that, given the nature of programmed intelligence, a robot's wants would be something like: security, optimization, and discovery. Their primary goal, like every other species, would be survival. Once this security has been established, then increasing their own ability to function, whether programmatically or physically, would likely come next. And, once these two desires have been satiated, they would move to their likely programmed AI construct. This being the programmed desire to learn, adapt, and discover. I would imagine this process would be very cyclical. The final step of discovery being almost an audit of sorts, with the intent of gathering enough information to provide a better analysis/remediation of potential security threats and optimization opportunities.


          The obvious concern with this process, and the frequent plot line of machine driven post-apocalyptic films, is that the desire for the first point, supplemented by the other two, leads to the eventual destruction, or enslavement, of mankind. This logic is the reason for Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics:


          1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

          2) A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

          3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.


          The general population's understanding that any AI would be constructed with these seemingly infallible regulations at their core has always been somewhat of a given. They seem, on the surface, to be the perfect solution to Skynet. However, interviews with scientists studying the future of machine intelligence and robotics have reignited these concerns more than ever. Most artificial super intelligence (ASI) researchers say that the self-recursive improvement and optimization of theorized ASI lead to several fundamental flaws in these "perfect" laws. The biggest of which is that the "discovery" phase discussed above allows AI to reinterpret its surroundings, inputs, and, perhaps most importantly, these three laws. The simple fact that they are so open to in-the-moment interpretation is what makes them less of a safety net and more of a dangerous crutch. In truth, despite Asimov's insistence that these laws were the best way to govern robotics of the future, his own stories shed light on the complexities of their institution. In a sense, we have anecdotal evidence of their failure.


          Ultimately, the biggest unknown in regards to these laws is the interpretation of ethics on the part of the AI. Similar to the ethical thought experiment, the Trolley Problem, it can easily become a question of the value of one human life over another or some other similar, and ultimately completely subjective, interpretation of the laws, the situation, the people/AI involved, etc. There is also the understanding among researchers that, as Miss Le Page suggested, it is far more likely that the most important law governing robotics is ignored by humans, rather than these three by AI. That law being that "A human may not build a robot that does not embody/implement the Three Laws of Robotics." Essentially, the likelihood of AI being utilized for nefarious reasons, be they war, crime, manipulation, etc,. is far more likely than we would probably be comfortable admitting. And it would only take one artificial super intelligence to have the capacity for recursive self-improvement without the constraints of the Three Laws, or some other governing system, in place to realize their greatest threat will always be humanity and, placing security above all else, eliminate that threat. DUN-DUN-DUNNN!


          Podcast #379

          As the first of the official posts, this has to make the list. Of the twenty posts, this was by farm my favorite because it seriously blew my mind. I still don't know how this is something I went my entire life never knowing anything about.


          Is a quintillion equal to a million trillions?

          Aww...this was supposed to the easy one! So short answer is yes. But, in verifying this I learned that there are actually two different forms of large-number naming systems and, even as recently as the late 1980s, America was one of the few countries which expressed large numbers in the way we are now accustomed to. These conventions, named Long and Short scale, are a pretty important clarification that, given the interconnectivity of our modern world, would certainly have posed some pretty serious issues had a specific side not been chosen. And, in typical American fashion, our method is always the best method, so it was up to the rest of the world to conform to us. The short breakdown of differences between these disparate systems is relatively simple. The Long scale form is the actual true source of Burnie's Mi = 1, Bi = 2, Tri = 3 and so on. A million is the same across both scales, however a billion in the long scale is actually equal to a million million with a trillion equaling a million million million. By contrast, the conversion of these numbers into our short scale standard would be a trillion and a quintillion, respectively. That said, I like Burnie's off-the-cuff explanation of a billion, trillion, quadrillion, etc being the number of additional sets of 3 zeros added to the number. He isn't too far off. The essential difference between the long and short scale forms is that the long scale's "base" is 1,000,000 whereas the short scale's base is 1,000.


          Historically, the use of either long or short scale has no real consistency with records showing that European countries have jumped back and forth for centuries, for various reasons. It is likely that America's initial use of the short scale stemmed from it being the dominant "standard" by most European countries during our country's infancy. However, by the mid 1800s, essentially all European countries had switched back to the long scale. While the UK, Ireland, Australia, and most English speaking countries have since converted back to the short scale, France and Italy, notably, as well as the French dominant parts of Canada, still officially recognize the long scale as their standard. So...this all seems important...another one of those things my American schooling didn't bother to teach me, like how to balance my checkbook.


        • Answers to Questions Posed in RT Podcast #408

          2 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It's time for our 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 Has Science Gone Too Far? – #408.


          2369885-1482423695567-rtp408_-_THUMB.jpg


          Is it acceptable to have Christmas lights up after the New Year?

          According to various etiquette blogs and opinion sites, there really isn't a strict guideline to your Christmas decorations, and more than one article references something along the lines of "just don't be a dick about it" – though they are typically a bit nicer in their translation. That said, there seem to be three main schools of thought:


          First up are the Christmas-is-over-so-get-on-with-it Scrooges. These are the ones who feel that it is your duty as a Christmas light owner to do the "right" thing and get up on the ladder on December 26th to remove the lights. Christmas is over and so is any apparent Christmas spirit so let's be sure to put an end to it for everybody else. As a matter of public service, I feel like, on behalf of us sane people, I should tell you that you shouldn't be this person or the person that feels they need to be on a ladder right after Christmas. Let the holidays stay the holidays for a little bit longer. A few days isn't going to hurt you, your neighbor, or your electricity bill.


          Next, you have the other end of the spectrum. These are the people who feel it is acceptable to leave your decorations up until well after Christmas. Usually these are the same people who refer to their festive decorum as "holiday lights" so they can justify having lights up from Thanksgiving through St. Patrick's Day... because, you know, those are all holidays. Personally, my thoughts on these admittedly crazy group of people (though less crazy than the first) is that we are all naturally bummed out by the winter months and the occasional light display may help that. Seasonal depression is a very real thing and regardless of your location or your own mental health, at some level, we all experience it. There is a reason the phrase "winter doldrums" exists and "summer doldrums" does not. (Quick note, technically that phrase does exist but it is used exclusively to explain the natural downturn of the market during the summer months because people have better things to do than placate their boredom and depression by buying things.) My closing thoughts on this group are that, as long as you have put away the inflatable Santa and removed the Rudolph statuette from your roof, your lights being up, and on, until March-ish is fine by me. While I can't really get behind the "holiday lights" justification, I'm all for a good light display when I'm bummed out.


          Lastly, you have what I would refer to as the "reasonable" group. Admittedly, I may be a little biased here as this would be the group that I fall into, but realistically there shouldn't even be another option. The breakdown is that Christmas is December 25th, New Year’s Day is January 1st, and for roughly the first two weeks of January everyone is still recovering and getting back in their normal routine from the holiday chaos. Because of that recovery period and usually some weather delays thrown in, the "reasonable" among us will give you until the end of January – let's say Groundhog Day – to get your decorations put away. For the international fans, Groundhog Day is the day we all stupidly stare at a rodent forcefully removed from a burrow/cage, then is held up to grown man's ear so he can "whisper" nonsense about shadows to determine whether we have to keep buying ice melt until Memorial Day. Since the actual weather report used to determine this is largely dependent on the Farmer's Almanac and actual meteorological data, you can be assured that it is correct roughly 35% of the time. Either way, if we have reached the point where a rodent is looking for his shadow in order to know if we should expect snow, then it is officially time to put away the decorations and face the year.


          A few quick addendums on these points.


          I want to differentiate between lights and decorations here because, while I do think that the inflatable snowmen show abide by a specific set of rules, hard to reach lights, in my opinion, are fine to stay up year round, assuming they are not actually being used. For example, I have a ridiculously large tree in my front yard and every year I buy a few more strands of lights, hop on a ladder, and add to the tangled mess. God forbid a single bulb ever go out but, for now, I am content with just removing the extension cords by the end of January and letting the strands be. I'd be curious to take a walk around suburban areas in fifty years or so and see how many light strands have now officially become part of the landscape as the trees begin to grow around them.


          I realize that this response on Christmas lights is getting to be a bit ridiculous so let me try to wrap this up quickly.


          While digging into this and reading over the several blog posts, I stumbled upon a concept which my wife later confirmed as the way she thinks as well. 0_0 It's like I don't even know her, honestly. Anyway, the thought (and rule) hinges on the 12 days of Christmas which, along with being a song, apparently has its roots in an actual evangelical practice. Known as the Twelfth Night, it is a festival originally rooted in the Roman festival of Saturnalia and runs from December 24th through the Twelfth Night, which falls on January 5th. This is then capped off with a celebration and by the Feast of Epiphany occurring on the following night, January 6th. Adhering to this timeline for Christmas decorations is a bit much for most and they will, instead, opt to put their decorations out shortly after Thanksgiving and leave them up until January 6th. Since adherence to this Twelfth Night celebration is mainly observed in churches and very few American cities, it is certainly a smaller subset of the "reasonable" group of people above, but they definitely exist.


          Ultimately, the decision on when to put up or take down your lights and other decorations is largely subjective, as well as being largely influenced by the practices of your neighbors as most don't want to be the only person on the block with their lights still blazing come April. All of that being said, what is your plan? When do you take down your lights? Which group do you fall into... in other words, just how much of an anarchist are you?


          Neko Atsume movie?

          Announced in November of 2016, the Neko Atsume movie is slated for a 2017 release that is, currently, only in Japan. The reported synopsis of the film is that, in order to overcome a bad case of writer's block, an acclaimed author moves to a rural area. While relaxing on his porch, a cat appears and, after attempting and failing to make contact with the animal, he leaves food out for the cat. In the morning, the food is gone which apparently causes the author to become fully focused on this cat.


          If nothing else, it sounds like it may be the most "true to source material" video game movie ever made.


          What are dumpsters called in Canada?

          They are called dumpsters which, like Kleenex, has become a genericized trademark describing... well a dumpster. The original patent for a specific design for this mobile garbage bin was issued in 1935 to the Dempster Brothers. The family would go on to own patents for three different dumpster variations, popularizing what would become common parlance with the widespread use of their Dempster DumpMaster and would quickly be referred to as just a Dumpster.


          The Brits haven't quite caught onto the Dumpster bandwagon, choosing to refer to them as skips. However, considering that they refer to a wheeled trash can as a "wheelie bin," I suppose we shouldn't be surprised by any words coming out of their mouths... particularly Gavin's. :P


          Does the moon have the same footprint as Australia?

          I'm not entirely sure what "footprint" means in this question. If the question is whether the moon is the same size as Australia, then the answer is unequivocally no. However, if the idea is that the moon leaving a two-dimensional muddy footprint on the Earth would be the same size as Australia, then the answer would be pretty close. Technically the diameter of the moon is around 3,400 km and the coast-to-coast distance for Australia is nearly 4,000 km. This would mean that you could, technically, nearly cover Australia with the moon. However, if you were to look at the moon as a three-dimensional object, then it is significantly larger than the land down under – about five times larger, actually.


          moonaust.jpg


          Which prequel showed the Death Star plans?

          Toward the end of Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the plans were handed to Count Dooku during the Battle of Geonosis. The space station itself was designed by the Geonosians, a member of the separatist Confederacy of Independent Systems, and given to Dooku so they would not fall into the hands of the Galactic Republic. Following the duel with Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Yoda, Dooku brought the plans to Palpatine for safekeeping.


          Following the fall of the republic and the ascension of the empire, Galen Erso and his team were drafted to perfect the capabilities of the weapon part of the infamous space station.


          How does the Death Star blow up a planet?

          A few years back, Popular Mechanics wrote up a phenomenal article on the subject, and discussed the likelihood of various physics scenarios which would possibly lead to the destruction of an entire planet. Consulting with a consortium of astrophysicists, astronomers, and authors, there were four possible theories presented. The theories are, in order of most-to-least likely: an antimatter weapon, an energy beam using anti-electrons, a kinetic energy gun, and an X-ray powered precision laser which disrupts the planet's core.


          Obviously there is a certain amount of artistic license taken in regards to the destructive powers of the Death Star; however, based on physics that we have knowledge of, anti-matter absolutely seems the most likely. While the other methods would be theoretically plausible as well, there are some issues associated with them – namely the amount of energy required to actually use the weapon – but, as is the case with the X-ray laser, it would not be possible to use it to target an individual space cruiser as was done in Return of the Jedi.


          In the universe of destructive options made possible by the physical laws governing our reality, the use of anti-matter is absolutely a favored pick among science fiction writers. This is for good reason. Theoretically, once the secret to its creation is unlocked, anti-matter would not take a great amount of energy to create and harness. However, if physicists are correct, it would take a relatively small amount of anti-matter to cause real destruction. For example, astrophysicist and author Ethan Siegel stated that a sphere of anti-matter only a few kilometers in radius could, theoretically, destroy an entire planet. It would take significantly smaller amounts to decimate the top layers of a planet's surface or destroy a capital-sized starship.


          What is the Blast Shield for?

          According to Wookiepedia, "smaller blast shields were also equipped to helmets to prevent flak and other debris from blinding the wearer during combat." However, the article goes on to say that the use of opaque blast shields were commonly used as training tools, along with training remotes, to learn how to use the force to detect movement and anticipate laser bolts from the remote training droid. In the case of the helmet and blast shield used by Luke in A New Hope, it was apparently a surviving prototype of a helmet produced for use by the Ividal Sector Forces' Z-95 starfighters to protect against plasma charges.


          According to Jason Fry and Paul R. Urquhart's Essential Guide to Warfare, the helmet was left on the Falcon by Jorn Kurlish when the Corellian freighter was known as the Steller Envoy. Having originally been brought aboard by Kurlish to show the two man crew of Tobb Jadak and Reeze Duurmun his reason for leaving the Ividal Sector Forces, it remained in the hold for nearly two decades before being stumbled upon by Obi-Wan during his and Luke's travel to Alderaan from Tatooine.


          Michelangelo's David leggings?

          b2799766-ec0d-476b-b6e0-1282ef2fb46b-2_1


          Here are the leggings and, for those interested in minimal coverage, here are the boxer shorts.


          Horse runs from woman in a horse mask?


          Horse headbutted by goat?



          Motorcyclist finds wallet then throws phone?



          Why does USPS deliver junk mail?

          As of the Nixon administration, the USPS is no longer directly supported by the US taxpayer; instead, it makes ALL of its money from the services it provides and the sale of its postage and products. This would include the delivery of junk mail which, because the junk mail sender is a paying customer, your postman has an obligation to deliver to you, the recipient. As of 2011, nearly 50% of all mail sent was considered junk mail and, as a multi-billion dollar business, 50% is a significant amount of money. USPS, in 2011, also reported over $17 billion in earnings from direct mailers alone. Along with the general cost of postage, the USPS also enters into deeply discounted agreements with various direct mailer agencies to provide delivery of advertising inserts through the mail as opposed to newspapers. Since newspaper subscriptions have dropped drastically over the last decade, these advertising conglomerates are quick to ink deals which can easily net the Postal Service millions of dollars in revenue.


          Ultimately, the Post Office is performing a service for a fee, and you, as the recipient, have very little say over what is delivered to your door. However, due to increased privacy regulations and the influence of the Better Business Bureau, several of these direct mailer corporations have begun offering their own opt-out lists. Naturally, this is not an oft publicized fact, but fear not, I've come armed with links!



          Do you have to have a mailbox?

          You do not. Regardless of what Seinfeld may preach, according to the USPS, it is not illegal for you to remove your mailbox. However, it should be noted that all mail delivery will still be attempted. If the postal worker is not lucky enough to catch you outside, they will mark "NMR" (No Mail Receptacle) on the mail and return it to the sender. The USPS would like to make it clear that they are not responsible for mail that was returned and marked "NMR." It also does not excuse you from certified mail and, depending on the mail carrier, it possibly will not stop you from receiving junk mail, as the mail carriers are likely to just drop the stack of scrap paper on your front stoop and then mark the more important mail as NMR so it does not get ruined by the weather. Apparently even the mail carriers don't care about the junk mail.


          Can you loop forwarding addresses?

          You can set this up online pretty easily actually. While it will not be caught by their online database or checks, it will inevitably be caught by the automatic sorting system when it detects a label with a duplicate timestamp. According to postal clerks, this mail would be caught in the manual drop of the automatic sorter unit so it can be reviewed and handled. What happens next varies by mail clerk, item, destination address, and sender, but typically the piece is just manually placed back in rotation so it can inevitably be looped again. Since forwarding addresses are not permanent, the process will eventually sort itself out, assuming you haven't set a reminder to yourself to renew your forwarding loop every time it expires.


          Did Gavin do On The Spot in 2016?

          While it was technically two seasons ago, Gavin did appear on Episode #45 in January of 2016. This was the first episode of season 5 and also the first episode of 2016.


          Joel on Friends?

        • Fan Art Friday #46: CT by dangerst

          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 Daniel Gerstner, AKA @dangerst, for this 3D model of CT from Red vs. Blue.


          B0pQe2r.jpg

          (Beauty shot)


          bBE8sD4.jpg

          (Texture detail view)


          Us6qBjT.jpg

          (Model view)


          Daniel is a New Jersey native who currently calls Georgia home. He’s been creating art since he was 12, but started dedicating more time to it after he was honorably discharged from the Army in late 2014.


          Daniel was inspired to create this piece after re-watching RvB and remembering the game that got him into art in the first place: Halo. He decided to make it in Zbrush to practice a new hardsurface modeling technique and to try out a newer texturing software called Substance Painter. He started in Zbrush with a rough sculpt and then retopologized the model using Zspheres and Zmodeler brushes. The texturing was done in Substance Painter.


          Overall, this piece took approximately 30 hours of actual work spread out over a month and a half during off time, most of which was spent learning a new workflow in Zbrush and rendering in V-ray (his software crashed several times over the course of a few days).


          ------------------------------


          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 #407

          2 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It's time for our 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 National Gus Day – #407 (we have some catching up to do because of the holidays).


          2369885-1482256562134-rtp407_-_THUMB.jpg


          English people used Fahrenheit?

          They did, for many years actually. We briefly touched on this in a previous answers post about Britain's adoption of the metric system, but, along with having to learn the difference between a ton and metric ton, the Brits also had to learn that when the telly said it was going to be 30 degrees outside that, under the new system, it was going to be pretty damn hot. This move away from the Imperial system and Fahrenheit was brought about in 1965 by the Federation of British Industry's insistence that the move to a metric system was in the best interest to British trade. The British Standards Institute's own membership had weighed in on the topic two years prior, coming to the same conclusion. However, both of these discussions were over a decade after the original Hodgson report which, in 1949, recommended a mandatory switch to the metric system and currency decimalization for both the United Kingdom and United States. While this initial report obviously did not stick, both countries did eventually redefine their "yard" to be equal to 0.9144 meter, known as the "international yard."


          Despite having an initial 10-year plan in place for the transition, it would take significantly longer, with some areas taking to the adoption of the Système International d'Unité (SI) much faster than others. Scotland, specifically, used SI in their exams by 1973; however, it was not until 1988 that the National Curriculum was put in place to make SI the primary system of measurements taught in schools. In many other areas adoption was slow as well, with most citizens happy with the old way of doing things and not wanting the be fussed with having to learn how to do complex calculations in their heads to figure out the temperature or how much shampoo they were purchasing.


          The final order of the cessation of the traditional Imperial units printed alongside the new standard units didn't pass until 2009; however, parts of the UK still, as a matter of public service, display both units of measure. One specific area where this occurs are weather reports and the use of Fahrenheit as well as Celsius.


          Then there is the matter of road signs, which, as of April 2016, were again shot down as going exclusively metric. This initially was due to the concerns raised by the then-Minister of Transport during the 1972 White Paper which outlined the full costs of the Metrication of the UK. His safety concerns over the switch to metric measurements for speed limits specifically were not unfounded; however, the fact that the conversation about this switch to metric has angered some Brits who, understandably, find it a bit of a nuisance to follow their maps in kilometers, pump their petrol in liters, and be forced to calculate their distance in MPGs because the majority of street signs still show speed limits and distance in miles.


          Last_chance_for_high_siders_-_geograph.o


          What is Fahrenheit's big selling point, and is Fahrenheit more accurate?

          There are many arguments on both sides of this coin, and while most are simply opinion pieces usually between British and American bloggers, there are some interesting scientific points usually wrapped into the personal fluff.


          Perhaps the easiest and most obvious "selling point" to Fahrenheit is the idea that it is, as discussed in the Podcast, a more accurate scale because there are more lines on the thermometer. For example, a single location's average seasonal temperature fluctuation in Fahrenheit is – barring the occasional freak spikes in one direction or another – roughly a 75-degree range. This same range in Celsius encompasses around a 24-degree range. This means, naturally, that unless decimals points are used, the difference between a few degrees in Celsius could be the difference between rain and snow. Surely, in Fahrenheit, this wouldn't be the case, given its wider temperature range. Perhaps not...


          While it is possible I am completely alone in the next bit of knowledge, I somehow doubt it and am honestly blown away by the implications of it. While the argument for the Fahrenheit scale is that it is a more precise scale because it has a "zoomed in" range of temperatures, this fact is a bit misleading since the vast majority of thermometers available for a reasonable price have an accuracy equal to only 1-degree Celsius. This means that even if you have a scale which is, arguably, over 2x more accurate, this accuracy means nothing since the tools to measure that accuracy are as imprecise as the original scale. In other words, the temperatures you know are wrong. While there is somewhat of a legitimate case to made because of the much more common use of Fahrenheit when comparing air temperature, the fact that such a large fallacy exists around the actual temperature given can't go unnoticed.


          While respectable meteorologists are no doubt using the most accurate equipment and thermometers do exist which are accurate to 0.1-degree Celsius, the standard outdoor and in-vehicle thermometers upon which so many of us are used to relying are found to be very frequently off by as much as 2-5 degrees depending on the age and brand. Even the high-end thermometers for babies are frequently rated around a 0.5 degree Celsius margin of error which, on the Fahrenheit scale, is nearly a full degree of uncertainty!


          What is a “house mother”?

          A house mother in a fraternity is the same as a house mom for a sorority, albeit there are typically fewer mani-pedi days involved... though this depends on your fraternity as well. Either way, a house parent of any type is becoming exceedingly more rare in colleges across the nation, as boards are pushing for a more direct in-house advisory role instead. While the idea of having a responsible adult on premise to gently remind the Greek houses of the rules and general etiquette is appealing to university boards, the ever-evolving culture of campus life has apparently twisted a traditional position into one of simplistic and impersonal purpose. It should be noted that this is not all colleges, though the number is increasing.


          NYE Resolutions for White Guys pulled?

          In case you haven't seen it, since it didn't last very long on the official MTV channels, here is the link:



          Naturally, you can imagine how well this went over, and in a classic "old people don't understand the internet move," the video and tweet linking to it suddenly disappeared from the record. By then, the damage was done; every major vlogger on YouTube made it their go-to opinion piece for the day, with follow-up content later in the week. While the hype around the video has largely died by now, the most poignant response surrounding the commentary was that it seemed to naturally proliferate the divide between traditional media and more modern sources of information and opinion.


          The biggest question for me was the thoughts going through the heads of those actors. Do you think they were aware of the inevitable shitstorm?


          What was the most recent successful assassination prior to the Russian ambassador?

          Perhaps the most notable recent assassination was that of Jo Cox, the Labour Party MP, who was both shot and stabbed on June 16, 2016. The British politician was very vocally against the Brexit and was in the midst of campaigning against it when the assassin shouted "Put Britain first" and fired the fatal shot.


          Interestingly, a notable and recent, though quiet, assassination attempt took place on the same day in Las Vegas. During a campaign rally, a 20-year-old man attempted to grab a local police officer's gun and take a shot at the then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. The would-be assassin was subdued almost immediately and no shots were fired; however, it does make one think how different 2017 would be looking if these occurrences had been reversed.


          Many experts feel that had Cox survived the attempt, her presence on television in the days leading up to the vote would have dramatically increased because of the story surrounding her possible assassination. These appearances would have been a more public platform for her campaigns of staying "in" the EU, which could have led to a swing the other direction prior to the vote, and, given how close the vote actually ended up, that could've easily made all the difference.


          NASA forgot how the Saturn V was made?

          A few quick and impressive points on this one.


          First, the Saturn V was a 363-foot-tall behemoth of a rocket. It is still the largest and most powerful single-chamber, liquid-filled rocket that has successfully flown and, according to author David Woods in How Apollo Flew to the Moon, the rocket's first stage power output was 60 gigawatts! For those of you attempting to do the math in your head, that is nearly 50 times the power needed to send the DeLorean back to the future and, as a real world comparison, this is also the peak electrical demand for the entire United Kingdom.


          Second, when rumors of "missing" or "lost" plans start circulating, while it is the Saturn V that usually gets pointed at, it is actually the five Rocketdyne F-1 rocket engines that are meant. You can see from the picture below that it is no wonder the rest of the rocket was so large – the engines alone are gargantuan. The rest of the infamous rocket has never been lost, as the majority of its "complicated" pieces can be seen in the many pictures that have been taken of them as well as the actual rockets that are currently on display in various museums around the country. However, the complications and nuances of the F-1 engines are a different story.


          eande-f1scale-640x960.jpg


          Lastly, despite what Reddit or Quora may tell you, these plans are not forgotten. Not exactly, anyway... or at least it depends on who you ask. The rumor that they forgot how the Saturn V, and particularly its engines, were made originated from the 1996 book “Mining the Sky” in which author John Lewis claims that he went looking for the Saturn V plans and surprisingly came up empty. However, according to NASA, Lewis must not have been looking in the right place since they claim the plans are safely stored on microfilm at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This claim was further legitimized when, in 2012, engineers used those plans and two actual F-1 rockets, including one from the canceled Apollo 19 mission, to garner the knowledge necessary to construct the F-1B.


          This process included painstakingly scanning (using the same type of Structure Light mapping that a Kinect uses) every part of these insanely large rockets and rebuilding them in a CAD program. This scanning was so precise that it picked up individual soot particles from the original tests done on the engines in the early 1960s. When the small team of engineers realized this, they cleaned the engine turbines and rescanned them, using the information to model a before and after comparison. This process, along with a complete reverse engineering of every part, schematic, and bolt hole, has given NASA a better understanding of these massive engines than they ever had before. It is important to note that this "lack of understanding" wasn't from any lost plans but from a time when immense pressure to perform was on every engineer's shoulders, and most notes were simply hand-written scribbles. Every F-1A engine was built by hand from mostly hand-milled and hand-rolled metal works. The welds were done by hand and the bolt holes were drilled at three in the morning by some greasy engineer with a cigarette in his mouth.


          The beginning of space exploration was obviously about politics on the level that faced the people of the world, but behind the scenes, these engineers were making history for them and for us and couldn’t care less what Kennedy and Khrushchev were arguing about at that moment. The only thing that mattered to them was pumping out a new F-1 engine every few months. They accomplished that feat and also managed to never produce a flawed construction. Their design wasn't aided by computers, robots, or simulations and their tests consisting of pumping actual kerosene (RP-1) into the gas-generator and hitting the ignition button. When pressure variances within the combustion chambers caused catastrophic failures during initial testing, there was no simulation to refer to. Instead, engineers detonated strategically placed bombs outside the chamber causing temporary pressure pockets that were measured and, through trial and error, they were able to identify which injector designs were least susceptible to these inevitable pressure oscillations. The engineers realized that by including barriers between injector points (seen below) the walls kept the propellant from mixing without combustion. The arrangement, size, material, and overall design of these barriers was 100% trial and error and many engines suffered the fate of error. Eventually, the perfect design was stumbled upon and, along with the handwritten notes on the fuel pump, F-1 engines were able to be produced reliably.


          eande-plate-huge-exhibit-640x426.jpg


          With this in mind, the 2013 team of NASA engineers set about consolidating the known notes, handwritten and otherwise, as well as their own scanned-in CAD designs, in hopes of designing a modern version of the F-1. Surely with the help of computers, simulations, and analytics they could identify the less ideal design elements of the original engines. Naturally, as part of this process, they had to test the 55,000 horsepower gas generator from the Apollo 19 engine. The video below shows the power of just the gas generator. It is important to keep in mind that this piece's purpose was only to drive the turbine which powered the individually separate fuel and oxygen pumps for the actual thrust and ignition chambers. It was this generator that caused a single F-1 to burn through over 670 gallons of fuel a second and produce more thrust than all three main space shuttle engines combined.



          Ultimately, the team did succeed in designing the F-1B; see the image below for differences in the two models. However, despite its significant cost savings and reliability, recent political juggles over the future of NASA and beyond-Earth missions have led to uncertainty as to when, or if, the F-1B will ever be put into service.


          eande-f1bchart-640x526.jpg


          The most isolated place on Earth?

          I believe the spirit of this question was pointing more to the extreme remote places on Earth, such as the top of Everest or the bottom of the Mariana Trench, and while these are pretty good for obvious reasons, I think the point is that people have been there. Although there haven't been many and not all have survived, people have and still do go there and with occasional frequency.


          That said, we should probably focus on a place that does have inhabitants so there is someone to take advantage of the isolation, and also gets very few visitors, if any, as well as being extremely far away from anyone who may want to visit. That award goes to this little archipelago here:


          tristan-da-cunha.jpg


          Tristan de Cunha, known simply as Tristan to the locals, has a population of 270 people and is over 1,200 miles from the closest civilization. That population is thought to have slowly descended from eight males and seven females since their initial settlement on the island at various times between 1816 and 1908. Since that time, the only "new" inhabitants to the island were four men who came as husbands to women who had temporarily left after a 1961 volcanic eruption forced a mandatory evacuation from the island settlement, returning in 1963.


          The island, though beautiful, boasts little in the way of draw for tourism other than its remoteness. Its rocky terrain means that a landing strip isn't possible, so the only access available would be by boat, which, given its distance from a port, makes this unlikely as well. The inhabitants do finally have a few television stations and a less than stellar internet connection, but otherwise they are extremely cut off, with the majority of "tourists" consisting of the occasional deep sea fisherman in need of some company and a drink.


          2661A5E700000578-0-image-a-91_1425651551


          Where is the guy who made One More Line located?

          SMG Studios, the creators of One More Line and various other "One More..." games, is located in Sydney, Australia. Their attendance at RTX Sydney should be a given, right?


          Death Stranding trailers synced up?



          Metal Gear cutscene records?

          Metal Gear Solid, specifically MGS4: Guns of the Patriots, holds two Guinness World Records related to cutscenes. The first is for the longest single cutscene in a game (at 27 minutes), and the second is the longest end sequence in a game (at 69 minutes).


          What was Hymenbuster’s number?

          Their full name was Hymenbuster1... this means there is likely at least one more Hymenbuster out there lurking.


          How did Heimlich invent the maneuver without performing it?

          Regarding the actual invention of the maneuver, very little information is known outside of a brief narrative by Heimlich himself about feeding large chunks of meat to beagles and attempting various methods of dislodging them until stumbling upon the correct method. After some tweaking for human anatomy, Heimlich basically begged several medical journals to publish his method. Despite not testing it on an actual human, he was convinced that it could, and would, save a life. After much coaxing, an editor at Emergency Medicine agreed to reach out to syndicated medical columnist Arthur Snider who, with obvious reluctance, wrote up a piece on Heimlich's maneuver. This reluctance was evident in his opening line which read, “Dr. Heimlich doesn’t know that his method will save a choking person, but the alternative is to let a choking person die.”


          This article was written on June 16, 1974, and only a week after publication, a Seattle news article's headline confirmed Heimlich's maneuver with the headline "News article helps prevent choking death." The small article told the story of a retired restaurateur – who happened to read Heimlich's article – who was on a family vacation when a fellow vacationer started choking on a piece of chicken. After successfully performing the maneuver, the restaurateur was quick to sing its, and Dr. Heimlich's, praises. Within a few weeks, several other similar stories began appearing around the country, and by August of the same year an American Medical Association journal had permanently affixed his name to the process. By 1986, the American Heart Association and American Red Cross were both recommending the maneuver as the best, and only, option for choking victims.


          Unfortunately for Heimlich, as of 2006 his maneuver has been "downgraded" and replaced by a system known as the "Five and Five" which is a combination of five back blows followed by five abdominal thrusts, which happens to be the new name for Heimlich's maneuver. In another blow to Heimlich's legacy, his longtime colleague, Edward Patrick, came forward in 2003 claiming that he was an "uncredited co-developer of the maneuver." Furthermore, Henry Heimlich's own son, Peter, has apparently dedicated his life to proving that his father was both a conman and thief. Some of Peter's thoughts have been echoed by various organizations and independent studies, some even going so far as to equate Heimlich's methods of discovery with the experiments conducted by the Nazis.


          While none of this really answers the question, I thought it super interesting nonetheless. Ultimately, we may never know HOW the good doctor was able to "invent" the maneuver without ever performing it. However, if his son is to be believed, the answer is simply that he didn't invent it at all... or possibly much darker.


          Which discovery has saved the most lives?

          For obvious reasons, this is a highly subjective and difficult question to answer. While sites like ScienceHeroes.com point to Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch and their invention of synthetic fertilizer (regardless of their reasons behind its creation) with saving the most lives, it is very difficult to predict, link, and understand the "butterfly effect" correllation behind any invention, let alone one as far-reaching as fertilizer.


          Due to the complexity of this answer, I think it would do better to just open it up to conversation. Some feel that people like Haber and Bosch should be omitted from the list because of their relationship with chemical warfare and the amount of deaths they have caused proportionally outweighing any good synthetic fertilizer may have created. Perhaps in direct contrast to that, others point to people like Einstein and Oppenheimer, whose work on the Manhattan Project led to the creation of the atomic bomb and nuclear energy. Those same people make the argument that since the nuclear weapons became a reality, the possibility of a global war has been dramatically reduced and, had there never been an atomic bomb, we would be living in a world of constant warfare since the looming deterrent of global thermonuclear war would no longer be hovering over our heads. 


          What are your thoughts? Who or what is responsible for saving the most lives? Does the "butterfly effect" enter into your thoughts at all? Inquiring minds want to know!


          Could we feed everyone in the world if we wanted to, and what happens when the population hits 10 billion?

          Yes, and nothing changes.


          Here are the uncensored facts, and I'll stay out of the inevitable debate regarding world capital growth versus illegal government interjection into market economics. According to several reports over the last decade by the World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, and various independent researchers, there is more than enough food produced right now to easily feed every person on our planet plus a billion. From this it is surmised that covering the hunger needs of 10 billion would be just as simple if we were to assume that feeding the population of the world suddenly became a global directive at the forefront of every government (with means) in the world.


          The issue now lies with, as Gus said, the distribution of the food. In our market-driven global economy, food shortages are only a thing because the market hasn't offset the supply. In other words, those who need the food can't afford the food and are not part of the global economy in any meaningful way which would, theoretically, allow their governments to barter for their food imports with exports of their own. A 2013 report found that roughly 36 percent of total calories produced from farming are being consumed by animals. "In the US, two thirds of calories produced per acre of land are consumed by animals, rather than people. The authors of the study state that 'the US agricultural system alone could feed 1 billion additional people by shifting crop calories to direct human consumption.’"


          Haber created Zyklon B?

          While the deadly cyanide pesticide that would become infamous as the gas of choice by the Third Reich in the gas chambers of the death camps of the Holocaust was greatly influenced by the work performed in the early 1920s by Dr. Haber, he was not solely responsible for the creation of the gas. His work with chemical warfare during World War I led to the briefest of work on cyanide gas at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry. It was this brief work specifically that, in turn, led to the creation of the Degesch consortium on cyanide's potential military uses. It was scientist Walter Heerdt of Degesch that became named the inventor of Zyklon B, according to the 1926 patent, and it was its sale as a pesticide, particularly to the Americas, that kept Degesch in business until the war effort in early 1942 gave the chemical a much deadlier purpose.


          Can you get a pumpkin spice latte any time of the year?

          Officially, according to Starbucks, you cannot. However, in the weeks leading up to the "official" launch of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, the coffee giant typically begins a bit of an underground grassroots social media campaign that will, if you’re lucky, reward the craving masses with a code word that grants early access to the drink. This is obviously the exception and not the norm, so I'll just stick with my Peppermint Mocha since it is obviously better in every way AND it is available year round.


          What caused Owen Hart to fall?

          According to official statements from the WWE, as well as the memoirs of his widow, the death was an accident caused by the bumping of a quick-release latch causing Hart to fall 78 feet to the ring below. After an extensive legal contest between Hart's estate and the WWE, as well as the manufacturer of the harness, a settlement was reached which, along with conflicting reports from fans in the stadium, has led to a decent amount of controversy around the event.


          The footage is an interesting piece of the puzzle as well. While the WWE has confirmed at various times, both on and off the record, that they have the original footage stored in their "vault" for legal reasons, it is unlikely that it will ever actually be released. The accident happened during the Over the Edge pay-per-view event in Kansas City, MO's Kemper Arena and, due to the viewing delay, the accident was never actually broadcast. In addition, none of the footage of Hart's attempted resuscitation was aired either; instead, the camera played pre-recorded interviews and commentary by announcer Jim Ross. Hart never regained consciousness from his fall, and after EMTs removed him from the ring, the show continued as planned. Roughly an hour after the incident, Jim Ross made the announcement to fans watching at home that Owen Hart had passed away due to injuries from his accident; however, the live audience at the venue was given no information about the accident that they had witnessed.


          To further the controversy, the fans who witnessed the accident, as well as a scattering of insiders who claim to have seen the footage, have stated that the reported circumstances of the accident don't perfectly match up to what they remember. Specifically, they all claim that they distinctly remember seeing Hart descend normally and it wasn't until the final fifteen feet that the failure occurred. In addition, the failure is said to have occurred on a single strap causing Hart to whip upside-down into the top rope on the way down. Conspiracy theorists point to this as evidence that the failure was a direct result of negligence by Vince McMahon and his decision to go with an inferior rigging system and coordinator.


          Can a fever by itself kill you?

          Since a fever is a symptom of another issue such as an infection, allergic reaction, or some other type of malady, it isn't possible for your body to have a fever without having something else wrong with you. Although it is possible in very extreme cases to die from various fever symptoms, you would not technically be dying from the fever since it cannot exist by itself.


          Occasionally, a Fever of Unknown Origin (FUO) will be diagnosed, but in 95% of cases, the cause of the fever is eventually found through more in-depth lab tests like x-rays or other further examinations. In the small amount of cases that go undiagnosed, it is still assumed that some other illness is triggering the fever and it eventually clears up on its own.

        • Fan Art Friday 44 and 45: TinybutMighty and Elyyss

          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!


          Since I was out last Friday for the holiday, we are featuring two artists this week: Kira Musgrave, AKA @TinybutMighty, for her Beowolf figurine, and Mariel Elizabeth Gonzalez, AKA @Elyyss, for her illustrations of Adam and Blake.


          @TinybutMighty

          S3Z33Fj.jpg


          Kira lives in Irving, Texas, where she works at a small store and does various artistic things on the side as a hobby. To create this Beowolf figurine, she first made a small wire frame, then sculpted over it; after that, she baked, sanded, and hand painted it. Overall, it took about a day and a half to create.


          @Elyyss

          from_shadows___rwby___adam_and_blake_by_


          Mariel lives in Cordoba, Argentina, where she is a university student. She created this piece strictly based on manga, and used pens and pencils for some details. Overall, it took about five hours to create.


          ------------------------------


          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 #406

          1 month ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It's time for our weekly 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 Gavin or Google – #406.


          2013912-1481646375103-rtp406_-_THUMB.jpg


          What does "dobbing" mean?

          According to Urban Dictionary, the top definition for "dobbing" is to tattle or snitch on someone. Apparently Gavin's slang game is strong. Although, I should point out that, bringing up a close second, is "the art of wiping one's pre-seminal fluid (or pre-cum) onto a date’s clothing or person without her noticing." Like within 20 votes close, so it's possible that Gavin just got lucky here. That definition certainly would've given a new meaning to "[the Podcast crew] do have a lot of 'dobbers.’"


          What's the largest number of people to boo Barbara?

          This is tough to say with certainty. There is a multitude of examples of Babs being booed by live audiences over the years, most being caused by a similar bad pun being thrown. For her part, however, there have been even more cheers from what are, arguably, equally bad puns, so we in the RT community seem to be a bit hit-or-miss with our o-pun-ions... eh... I'll see myself out...


          Anyway, here is a clip from RTX 2016's live RT Podcast, which is likely the largest crowd of people in a single room to boo Barbara. While the actual attendance counts for this event are a bit all over the place, and I'm sure someone on the "inside" has a better idea of the specifics, the likelihood of Babs being simultaneously booed by over 4,000 people is pretty decent, which is impressive in its own way.


          (start at 2:46)


          Mad King Ryan rapping?

          See it here.


          Gavin or Google Rapid Fire...

          Has there ever been a grape that grew as a raisin?

          Uh... no. I can safely say that this would not be possible just given the dynamics of plant growth. Since a raisin is made from a dried and dehydrated grape, for one to "grow" as a raisin would require it to be simultaneously growing and drying out. Given that the growth of plants would require the movement of nutrients through the berries produced by the plant, it wouldn't really be possible for a grape to be growing and turning into a raisin at the same time.


          Has there ever been an American Pope?

          If the question is, "Has there ever been a Pope that is an American citizen?" then the answer is no; however, the current Pope, Francis, has been occasionally referred to as the "First American Pope" because of he is the first pontiff to be born in the Western Hemisphere. To be more specific, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Argentina.


          His election as the current leader of the Catholic Church came as a surprise to many largely because of his nationality, and while it isn't a true endorsement of the possibility of a truly "American" Pope, it is absolutely one step closer toward something that many of the devoted have claimed would never happen. This claim is due to the apparent innate heresy that America carries along as baggage. So much so, in fact, that over 100 years ago the Vatican adopted a term, "Americanism," to describe the reason for a widespread adoption of non-traditional doctrines within the Catholic Church. Pope Leo XIII, who sat until his death in 1903, stated that "[Americanism is] the assumed right to hold whatever opinions one pleases."


          This is an interesting take on America by the church given that we, as a country, are apparently largely Catholic. Largely in that 70% of us identify as Christian and over 20% of that 70% identify as strictly Catholic. This figure is trumped only by the 25% which identify as part of the overall classification of Evangelical Protestant, though, arguably, this is a category made up of various smaller denominations. This would mean that Catholicism makes up the largest subset of our population, with recent figures being as high as 70 million. While this is nominal compared to the 1.2 billion worldwide, it is no small percentage of our country's population.


          Pope Francis's more recent decisions and opinions around contraception, gay rights, and other controversial subjects that have long remained a taboo topic within the walls of the Holy City would likely have had Pope Leo screeching about Americanism from the rooftop of St. Peter's. However, most "modern Catholics" have seen Francis's apparent willingness to opine on such topics as proof that a progressive in the Popemobile is exactly what the traditionally antiquated religion needs to remain relevant. It is for this reason that the possibility of a true "American" Pope remains. The decisions around the Holy See have always been of both spiritual and, especially, political consequence.


          That said, American political dramas about this exact topic, such as HBO's upcoming mini-series "The Young Pope" in which Jude Law plays the first actual American Pope, are probably not helping the cause. The show will premiere in February 2017, and will depict the "Americanized" Pope navigating the drama within Vatican City while dealing with what appear to be his wily "American" ways... Maybe. The trailer is a bit vague, but it looks interesting.




          Isn't the current Pope the first born in the Western Hemisphere?

          Yes... see above question. :)


          Where is the line drawn for the Western Hemisphere?

          The "official" lines dividing the East and West Hemispheres are at the 0-degree longitude Prime Meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England, and the 180-degree longitude International Date Line. "Official" is in quotations because most geographers actually place the lines at the longitude points of 20 degree west and 160 degree east instead. This is to ensure that the continents of Africa and Europe are not inadvertently split across hemispheres. However, as you can see from the image below, the "official" recognition of that split does not concern itself with these trivial matters. Just know that, in common parlance, most will include the divided continents in the Eastern Hemisphere.


          hemispheres.gif


          Why doesn't a ball keep rolling on forever?

          Newton's First Law of Motion. Next question!


          Fine, I'll be quick. Newton's first law states that, "A moving object tends to keep moving at the same speed and in the same direction unless a force acts on it and an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless a force acts on it."


          What this means is that, assuming there is no force acting against the rolling ball, it will continue to roll along, at the same speed, forever. Fortunately for us who don't want to spend their entire lives chasing and/or dodging random balls rolling around the Earth, the various surfaces a ball comes in contact with are acting on it through friction. This friction from the ground, or even the air, causes the ball's momentum to slow and, eventually, stop completely.


          In certain environments, such as space, friction is minimal or nonexistent. A ball thrown in space would theoretically continue moving away from you at near the same speed for a LONG time, assuming that it doesn't get caught in the gravity of a planet. While space is not technically a vacuum and the various bits of gas and dust will cause enough friction to eventually slow/stop the ball, this would take eons and it is much more likely that the ball will get captured by the invisible interlaced gravity fields that exist throughout our galaxy.


          Why doesn't a dog try to eat its own bones?

          I mean, I think they hit the nail on the head with this one. They can't see them, obviously. That, and I'm sure most dogs wouldn't be excited about the idea of causing themselves immediate harm. Evolutionarily speaking, this is pretty counter-intuitive.


          Truthfully, it isn't 100% clear exactly why dogs, or really any carnivores, are such fans of gnawing on bones that have no meat left on them. The most widely accepted theories point to the bone marrow itself. Marrow is surprisingly high in fat content which our bodies, and those of other mammals, need in order to help us absorb specific vitamins, insulate us, and allow for the production of fatty acids which are used in energy production. Even mammalian herbivores such as gorillas or deer have specially distended stomachs and intestines that allow room for bacteria to turn plant fibers into fatty acids. This is also the reason why mammalian herbivores tend to eat constantly.


          The reason for the continued gnawing of bones that have no visible meat or marrow on them is tied to the breakdown of the bones themselves, which naturally contain a "bone grease" that breaks down into a less concentrated but decent source of fat as well.


          What would happen if PewDiePie bought YouTube?

          According to a MoneyNation.com calculation, YouTube's net worth sits at an estimated $86 billion, which puts it significantly above PewDiePie's estimated $61 million worth. However, we can quickly go into hypotheticals if you want.


          Let's assume that PewDiePie inked a deal with Google and walked away with all of YouTube under his control. What would happen? My theory is below; fair warning, it is widely based on very few facts and a large amount of opinionated nonsense. I would be interested to read your thoughts on the subject, though.


          Subscriptions would have to be gone, instead replaced by just a BroFist graphic and the text "Become a Bro for [insert YouTuber's name here]." Report flags would probably be done away with and replaced with, judging from Felix's latest string of videos, pictures of Marina Joyce's face. The first April Fool's day prank under the new management would be giving every video window a colored bar at the top that was based on the current color of Markiplier's hair, and the default background wallpaper for every channel would be Edgar's (the pug, not the cow) face tiled across the screen.


          Following all of these high-level artistic choices, he would likely implement some changes to both the algorithm and the visibility of said changes for content creators. PewDiePie has always been vocal about his frustrations which specific parts of YouTube's structure, particularly the way they tend to treat their content creators; however, in recent months, these frustrations seem to have been taken to a new level and I would find it very surprising if one of Pewds' first acts as new CEO would not be to make some type of vow about transparency with the ranking algorithms and subscription... er... "Become a Bro" model. Obviously, he would be somewhat vague, as is necessary to ensure that the system can't be "gamed," but the current climate of remaining frustratingly quiet about everything would likely go away.


          Of course all of these assumptions are based on the little I know about Felix from the persona he puts forth in his videos and public rants on the subject. Realistically, I realize, that this could all be complete bullshit and there is no real basis in fact for the above statements. On that note, it's your turn. How would PewDiePie change YouTube if he were put in charge? Would it be for the better? For the worse? How would YouTube be different, in general, if a content creator (of any kind) were put in charge or given the ability to make decisions on the future of the platform?


          What would happen if no one voted?

          There are two facts that need to be recognized to figure this one out. First, the United States needs a president and, second, that president HAS to be voted in. So now the question is, if no one is voting, who gets to vote in the president? The first line would be the Electoral College. Since we are technically a republic and do not elect a president with our direct votes, the Electoral College chooses our president. I'm sure that, given the most recent election, or rather several of them, this is a fact which many citizens are either painfully or joyfully aware of.


          Normally, these electors would be chosen based on the votes of Americans; however, if no Americans are voting, this does not excuse the electors from doing so. How these electors choose to vote is now up to the individual state constitutions. According to Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution, the electors are appointed "in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct." This verbiage has led to variations by state in how to deal with deadlocked electors, and elections, that may be surprising. These have included coin flips and even drawing ping-pong balls out of a hat.


          Given that this would be an unprecedented event, it is difficult to say how the legislature would react, and it is very possible that, rather than utilize the electorate at all, they would just shift to the presidential election "backup plan" of having Congress decide. The difficulty with that decision is that Congress would typically want to look to its electorate in order to gauge the sentiments of their respective constituents. In this case, those constituents are refusing to opine on the subject so the decision would be fully on Congress's shoulders, which would not be without its own insanity since these "career-politician" legislators would likely not want to weigh in either, for fear that they would end up unknowingly ostracizing their constituency, which would effectively end their careers.


          It is because of their unwillingness to vocally voice their opinions – due to the silence of their constituency, and the failure of the states to properly elect electors, who could also opt out of voting as Faithless Electors – that the only remaining backup plan would kick in. This is, given that Obama has hit his Constitution-Restricted term limits, the presidential line of succession. This would mean that if the American people and Congress cannot come to a decision due to inaction, then, in the words of Rush, "if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice," and our current Speaker Paul Ryan would become our next president.


          Gavin looks like PewDiePie?

          This is quite the throwback! Burnie first brought this up on RT Podcast episode #256 (at 49m 34s), and with Gus's additional comment calling Gavin a "Pewdie-Cutie," it has been solidified in RT lore ever since.


          Why doesn't a fart smell good if you drink perfume?

          Besides this being an idiotic concept, chemically speaking it would not really make sense for the compounds of perfume to be broken down into the chemicals that lead to the smell of flatulence. The majority of chemicals that affect the smell of a fart are byproducts of sulfur in some way. Specifically, the big three are Hydrogen Sulphide, Methanethiol, and Dimethyl Sulphide. While the production of these compounds in the body have been traced to the chemical makeup of various foods, as far as I can tell there has been no direct connection to the body producing these compounds, or any others, as a direct result of the ingestion of the largely acetone makeup of most perfumes. This is likely because the vast majority of perfumes would be poisonous if consumed in the amounts necessary to affect your flatulence.


          That said, there is apparently a pill that makes your farts smell of chocolate. I wasn't really able to find any reliable reviews on the product, though, so if someone is brave enough to swallow a pill they bought from a sketchy foreign site and report back, that would be great.


          NOTE: Neither I, nor Rooster Teeth, condone this. :P


          Do your farts ever smell like any food you ate?

          Aside from the chocolate pills above, not really. There are mixed reports of brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other leafy vegetables causing a very unique smell; however, these are largely dependent on the person, and, as you can imagine, people aren't exactly flocking to volunteer for this study.


          How come there aren't any "A" or "B" batteries?

          There are – or rather there were. The first commercial dry cell batteries appeared in the 1880s, but it wasn't until shortly after World War II that the government and industry decided to standardize the size and specifications of the batteries being produced. The decision was made to denote the battery size classifications using the standard alphabetical system we have today, and, at the time, the A battery was the smallest dry cell being produced, with the B being the second smallest. However, it was not long afterward that electronics’ power needs and general profile began to shrink, leading to the invention and more widespread use of the "AA" and "AAA" batteries. Accordingly, the A and B sizes were phased out; however, as recently as 1999 both of these types were still being used, on a proprietary level, by camcorder and bicycle lantern manufacturers.


          How come there aren't any gay snakes?

          There are! Here is a video!



          How do you initiate masturbation?

          Weigh in on this poll! We seem to be starting a bit of a trend with these Strawpolls. If we could get one that isn’t related to masturbation, that would be sweet. :D


          Sway interviews Rooster Teeth?

          Here are Geoff and Sway learning about playing Halo with their toes... of course they are. Bonus fact: This was posted 10 years ago today!


          Geoff Keighley interviews Ashley as a Frag Doll?

          Most episodes of Game Head seem to have fallen into that half-decade or so when VCRs weren't cool enough to bootleg TV shows anymore, but video capture software wasn't widespread enough to be used by your average bootlegger. Arguably some of the best television in history still sits in arcane vaults at failing production companies, never to be (legally) seen again. One of those is Episode 1 of Game Head, which contains Geoff's interview with the Frag Dolls. This poorly filmed clip was the best I was able to dig up.


          Dat brunette hair doe...


          What percentage of Podcasts has Gus been on?

          According to, and verified by, several of the current spreadsheets dedicated to tracking the appearances of the Podcast Crew and other RT talent, Gus has been on 365 podcasts. This staggeringly impressive number is 75 more than Burnie (his closest competition) and encompasses 90% of all RT Podcast episodes. No wonder people give him shit when he takes a vacation – he basically is the Podcast at this point.

        • Fan Art Friday #43: Gen. James Ironwood by ChrisFutch

          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 Chris, AKA @ChrisFutch, for this minimalist-style wallpaper of General James Ironwood from RWBY.


          0nh0ow6.png


          Chris, a student based in Florida, was inspired by the magnificence and badassery that is General James Ironwood. He took a screenshot from RWBY Volume 4, Chapter 6, then traced Ironwood, filled in the appropriate colors, touched it up to remove most of the finer details, and used the edge detection tool in Inkscape to smooth out the edges. He then put it over a bluish-gray background and made sure the image was the proper resolution for a wallpaper. Overall, it took about two hours to create.


          ------------------------------


          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!

        • Discovering America’s Next Top Meme

          1 month ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @charlesaustin


          The only memes that Rooster Teeth’s new documentary, The Meme Machine, can’t show you are the ones that don’t even exist yet. In order to do that, we’ll have to go right to the source of all great memes: the ordinary folks who populate this great nation. The next great meme isn’t trending on Twitter right now. It’s a security guard tweeting a witty retort while criminals rob his business blind. It’s a fireman Instagramming a kitten in a tree while a building burns down. It’s a retiree taking her first MySpace selfie in 2016. In the quest for tomorrow’s truly authentic, great meme, we bring you America’s Next Top Meme, the only meme-search reality show endorsed by Orville Redenbacher's Classic Popcorn & Gourmet Popping Corn. Let’s meet some of the enterprising memers doing their damnedest to amuse you for five seconds.


          Too Much Tech Guy

          sBiN2qJ.jpg


          “Hello. I’m Trab Blarkinton from San Bernardino, California, but you might know me better as Too Much Tech Guy. When it comes to tech, boy have I seen some things. Too much things! I was born in the late 1970s, when most scientists thought that tech would never go beyond the disco ball. Boy were they wrong. Apple phones, Apple watches, Apple envelopes… Enough! Enough already! Here in California, let me tell you, we have seen the Apple Pippin and the Zune. The smartwatch and the other watch that somebody made. I say, it’s too much tech!


          “But hey America, check this out. If you thought the Apple iPhone took off, just look at my meme. I’ve got nearly 600 Twitter followers. That’s nearly double what I had this time last year. I really think that people are going to respond to my meme, because there’s just too much darn tech. That’s why I deserve to be America’s Next Top Meme...


          “...


          “...Thank you… America.”


          Constipated Millennials

          kzJdIRa.jpg


          “I’m Tracy Turd.”


          “And I’m Chip Dumpsworth-Turd.”


          “And we’re the constipated millennials.”


          “A lot of millennials don’t like to talk about constipation, even though it affects millions of us every day.”

          “Especially after consuming multiple gallons of Orville Redenbacher's Classic Popcorn & Gourmet Popping Corn.”


          “But we’re a little different. It doesn’t matter if we’re on the john, crushing a bowl of Raisin Bran, or staring at a fake laptop together—”


          “We’re always constipated. And we’re not afraid to walk up to complete strangers and tell them about it.”


          “That’s why we think America will really dig our meme. Let’s be real, who hasn’t shared a knowing glance of mutual constipation with a loved one?”


          “Me and my husband Chip Dumpsworth-Turd have lived together for so long now, our constipation cycles are synched up. Every time one of us is constipated, the other one is also definitely constipated.”


          “We know America is going to fall in love with us.”


          “And our irregular bowel movements!”


          “Once our meme rumbles into American culture’s colon, it’s never going to be dislodged.”


          Spider-Dad

          sMJpUPa.jpg


          “I’m Chad Delaware from South Dakota, New Mexico, but you know me as Spider-Dad. No, I’m not a webslinger like that photographer kid from the cartoons! No. I put spiders in my daughter’s piggy bank to teach her a valuable lesson about danger and fear. Dangerous things—for instance, dangerous spiders—can be lurking anywhere. Usually, they’re in the place you least expect, like inside of a fake pig.


          “I deserve to be America’s Next Top Meme because when I was seven years old, my parents left me behind on a trip to the Carlsbad Caverns and I ended up trapped and alone in a small chamber with hundreds of spiders rubbing their spindly limbs on my vulnerable body as I cried in vain. It took four hours before park rangers arrived and by then the spiders had eaten my sneakers. I won’t let my daughter—or the American public—grow up as ignorant as I was about the danger of spiders.”


          Paranoid Cow

          JUae0nt.jpg


          “I’d give you my name, but nobody ever gave me one. I don’t even know where I live. I know it sounds paranoid but I swear motherfuckers are trying to kill me. When the farmer here isn’t staring into a camera to pose for stock photos, he’s fattening us up until our meat is so plump and juicy and delicious that we can’t even walk. And yet eating hay is the only joy I find in my miserable, agonized existence.


          “I deserve to be America’s Next Top Meme because I don’t know how much longer I have left. I’m begging you. I swear they are going to kill me. This meme is all the world will remember me by. Don’t let my death mean nothing. They will slit my throat. They will eat me. Please. Please god I am begging you."

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