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        • Answers to Questions Posed in RT Podcast #422

          45 minutes ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

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


          2013912-1490717786423-rtp422_-_THUMB.jpg


          What is the best cheese for grilled cheese?

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


          What is an English Breakfast?

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


          traditional_english_breakfast.jpg


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


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


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


          Does the "hair of the dog" method work?

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


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


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


          Why do people not smile in old pictures?

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


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


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


          Back to the answer!


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


          The-first-Kodak-camera-ca-005.jpg


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


          f0878f71819789155804b14d2acfd597.jpg


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


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


          How does vantablack work?

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


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


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


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


          What causes elephant musth?

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


          What are bath salts?

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


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


          Destin from Smarter Every Day and an oxygen mask?

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




          The Mount Everest body landmark is gone now?

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


          p034mssy.jpg


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


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


          p034s06h.jpg


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


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


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


          What is the deadliest mountain to climb?

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


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


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


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


          --


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

        • The New Things You Need to Buy

          4 days ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @charlesaustin


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


          Single-Use Disposable Bed

          qzI9GfY.jpg

          This woman is wasting her fucking time like an idiot.


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


          Single-Use Disposable Toilet

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


          The New Car

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


          PlayStation 2 Pre-Loaded with Paul Blart Mall Cop 2

          n4rOlWk.jpg

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


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


          VwZKxiO.jpg

          This yard is the ultimate status symbol.

        • Fan Art Friday #61: dangerst

          6 days ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

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


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



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


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


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

        • Answers to Questions Posed in RT Podcast #421

          1 week ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It's time for our regular segment in which @Gafgarian (AKA Jeremiah Palmer) provides answers to the burning questions left unanswered in each episode of the Rooster Teeth Podcast. Read on to get closure for She Wants the Tea – #421.


          2013912-1490375262122-rtp421_-_THUMB.jpg


          Would AirPods try to sync to any iPhone around them if they are already synced?

          Say what you want about Apple's pricey wireless headphones, but no one can deny that they are a slick piece of technology. With all of Apple's arguable missteps over the last few years with the iPhone 7 and the latest MacBook Pro, I think I am with Burnie in thinking that the AirPods are the best piece of tech to come out of Cupertino in quite a bit. One of the reasons their tech is so easily admired is because it is smart.


          One such bit of intelligence is that there is a maximum proximity to a device required to attempt pairing. This means that pairing the AirPods isn't just about Bluetooth range; it is also about being close enough to the device for pairing to actually make sense. Additionally, if a set of AirPods is already synced with an iPhone, the user must press and hold the pair button on their case to reinitiate the pairing sequence. However, pairing with an iPhone will also instantly pair them with any other iCloud-enabled device, such as your Apple Watch or Mac, without you having to do anything at all. From there, the handoff of the audio is as simple as changing the relevant output settings on the device to point to the AirPods.


          What is the monetary equivalent for 300k miles on American Airlines?

          Airlines, in general, tend to be very quiet on the monetary value of the miles and rewards programs. This is likely for legal reasons but also because the air of uncertainty means that consumers are more prone to arbitrarily assign a greater value than is likely accurate. In truth, American Airlines’ (and all airline mileage programs’) values are dependent on several factors that can change on a daily, or in some cases minute-by-minute, basis. These factors can include the current state of the air travel market, the expected passenger load for a particular flight or route, the origin and destination airports, and more. Since these mileage exchange rates are controlled by the airlines themselves, there is a bottom line cost that they are willing to allow for the exchange. With the exception of the rare fixed value points, which are points worth an established or predetermined dollar value, point values can accurately be described as being equal to exactly what you would be willing to pay for a ticket at the time of cashing them in. In other words, if you are looking for a specific route and intend to fly a specific class with your miles, then that will drastically affect the current value of your points. Your willingness to be more flexible with flight times, routes, and seat assignments naturally adds more value to your points because it allows you to, theoretically, gravitate toward a better use of them. A popular series of articles on this very subject gave birth to the below diagram, which I believe provides an accurate rendering of the valuation of mileage points at any point in time.


          redeeming-and-earning-combined-3.png


          Using this diagram as a guide, we can use Gus's 300K miles as a reference point for valuation and see if we can come to a rough idea of the how the valuation of these points is not just a simple division problem of ticket cost over miles traveled, but rather a possibly telling example of our own differences of opinion concerning value.


          As background, there are a few facts we need to establish as baselines. First, we are all now @gus. Restrain your sudden urge to drop everything and just head home and turn your phone off for the next few days. Secondly, we are going to assume that we are all just basic American Airlines rewards members. This tier awards 5 points per every dollar spent on tickets. This means that our 300K miles is equivalent to roughly $60,000 spent on air travel. In reality, point specials and a higher member status likely reduces this dollar amount somewhat, but in order to have a stable baseline, lets just say $60,000 is the initial "value" of our 300K points. Lastly, there is some variable that could be introduced around redeemable miles being accrued based on mileage flown versus purchased but, again, in the interest of creating a baseline valuation as well as the fact that as of 2016 American Airlines has modified their accrual program to be based fully off of the amount spent, we are going to ignore that as well.


          Now that we are all in agreement that an easy base valuation of our accrued miles is roughly $60,000, we can review the hypothetical cost of trips and base our mileage valuation off of our willingness to spend that kind of "equivalent" money. For example, let's assume a flight from Austin to LA would run you 50K miles or $500. Based on our previous calculation, your per-mile value should be around 20 cents per mile, but some quick math tells us that this trip from Austin to LA would reduce the value of those 50K miles to a mere penny. This is a 95% loss in valuation! Now let's take an international flight as an example. Let's say you, as Gus, need to waste some time "reviewing" the London venue for RTX. Let's assume that your flight from Austin to London can cost you $2,000 or 100K miles. The same quick math now tells us that this updated valuation is around 2 cents per mile. While significantly better than your trip to LA, it is still a far cry from the accrual valuation. While unsurprising, it is still crazy just how much of a loss we take on the redemption of the miles.


          With these two valuation examples we can move on to the point of all of these details to decide what our own valuations are. Ultimately, your valuation of these tickets may be very different from the real Cheese Master and it is completely dependent on whether you would take the trip if miles weren't in the picture. Essentially, if you are okay paying $2,000 for the trip from Austin to London, then you can confidently say that the value of your miles is roughly 2 cents per mile. On the other hand, if you are just as willing to take the $500 trip from Austin to LA, then your miles are actually worth only 1 cent. Personally, I know from planning a trip to RTX Austin that a flight from NYC to Austin will run me, on average, around $400. Given that it is a domestic flight, we can estimate a mileage valuation of slightly below a penny. Knowing what I know now, I would almost want to save my mileage for other uses like class upgrades, long international flights, or a bid to be the first to fly in a brand new plane.


          Since we all should have a good idea of the economics behind airline rewards programs, I'm interested to know which way you would go. Would you take them all because it is better than spending cold hard cash or are you a mile hoarder?


          Does Project Red actually contribute to AIDS research?

          It does. Per the licensing agreement, products and brands leveraging the Project Red brand are required to give up to 50% of their profits to Project Red. However, it should be pointed out that not only does the exact amount of contribution differ based on the brand and company contributing due to differences in license agreements, but that Project Red is not a non-profit organization. Instead, they are often pointed to as an example of ethical consumerism since they are claiming to combine humanitarian efforts with running a profitable business. Despite criticisms around this model, they claim to have raised $465 million and affected over 90 million people. Additional criticisms of the business have pointed to the fact that many of their largest brands tend to spend far more in advertising their "Red" products than those products actually generate for the Global Fund. Those critics are quick to point to the idea that had companies like Apple, Gap, or Nike just donated their advertising budget outright, the fund would be in a much better place.


          Does Susan G. Komen charity contribute at all?

          First, anyone who has an interest, or intention, in contributing to a charity, I recommend they spend some time on Charity Navigator. This site does a fantastic job of breaking down thousands of nonprofit organizations to essentially vet and rank them on various financial criteria. Using this site we can quickly see that the Susan G. Komen foundation does not actually look that bad at the moment. However, it is important to point out that this ranking is what the current state of the charitable foundation. The rumors surrounding the Komen foundation's possible corruption are actually a few years old and, while the organization has begun to finally drop some of the negative stigma around their name, it is obviously not completely behind them.


          The reason for this reputation stems largely from the organization's original founder, Nancy Goodman Brinker, who in 2012 announced that she would be stepping down as CEO, only to be kept in the position and suddenly claim a $684K annual salary. Additional controversy quickly followed as reports about ties to various pharmaceutical companies and government lobbyists further tainted the non-profit's image. As of 2015, Brinker had stepped down to a purely advisory and unpaid role, with the new CEO, Judith A. Salerno, claiming a much more modest $200K salary.


          What does "allow it" mean?

          There is some debate on this and it apparently depends on what part of London you happen to hail from, but, for the most part, this would be used as a synonym to "just leave it alone" or "don't worry about it."


          Slang from every state?

          There have actually been several articles written on this subject and, naturally, not all of them agree. However, this one from Slate is definitely one of the more comprehensive, and it also comes with a nifty infographic. While it may not always be considered "slang," it is probably the most relevant interpretation of the question asked on the podcast. For the record, Nebraska would be "runza" which is apparently a pastry of some sort? I've never heard of it.


          CREupIe.jpg


          Do you agree with the choice for your state's word?


          Where are horses from?

          Fossil evidence suggests that the ancestors of the modern horse evolved in North America and traveled to other parts of the world via land bridges which existed at the time. Despite this concentration, geological shifts and a changing planet actually killed all of the North and South American horses off near the end of the Pleistocene epoch. It would take roughly 14,000 years before horses would be once again seen on this continent when Columbus made landfall with horses on board.


          Interestingly, because of this narrow descendant line, every thoroughbred horse can be traced back to only three Arabian stallions that continued the line by mating with European mares.


          Where are cats from?

          Originally thought to have originated specifically in ancient Egypt because of the obvious affinity for the creatures, recent archaeological and DNA evidence has tracked all domesticated cats to the Felis silvestris, also known as the wildcat. This smaller species of feline has existed for millennia across much of the Near East. While it is difficult to lock down Egypt as the Near East territory which saw the final evolution of "Fluffy," it is certain that the wildcat's own domestication began around 7500 BCE in various parts of the fertile crescent as man began to rely more on farming, rather than hunting, as a source of food. The domestication of the wildcat was initially intended to control the rodent population in and around the fields and food stores of the farmers. However, the domesticated cat quickly became somewhat of a status symbol, i.e., if you had a cat, that meant you had grain to protect and therefore either had money to buy it or land to grow it, both of which meant you were definitely "well off." It was this status symbol, and their connection to the gods of that time, that led noble Egyptian households to mummify their feline friends.


          Michael chugging BBQ sauce?

          Watch it here.


          Hamburger roulette video?

          Watch it here.


          Can you breathe in your dishwasher and would it work as a shower?

          We know from previous answer posts that a dishwasher’s water temperature is typically somewhere around 120 degrees or, on the “sanitize” setting, as high as 150 degrees. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), prolonged exposure of 120-degree water and less than five minutes under 140-degree water will lead to third-degree burns. Additionally, anyone who has ever taken a vacation and forgotten to run the load of dirty dishes will tell you that while dishwashers may not be 100% airtight, they do tend to have a pretty strong seal. However, assuming that you were able to ensure that enough breathable oxygen were available, as well as a way to vent your exhaled carbon dioxide, you could limit the water to a reasonable 105-degrees, and you managed to remove all of the racks and shelving without damaging the water sprayers, then… sure.


          Since this is the internet and it is filled with people of… questionable... intelligence who are typically motivated by alcohol, here is a DIY video.


          Note: In honor of Philly D guest starring on MDB, “Don’t Be Stupid, Stupid!” Do not try this at home.


          Are you allowed to send photos of the inside of cargo space on airlines as ground crew?

          This is largely left up to the discretion of the airlines, as the FAA is more concerned with pictures taken inside the actual terminals. However, most of the airlines I was able to review have a consistent "no photos of employee-only areas." This would include the inside of a plane's cargo area, in and around the plane, as well as any behind the scenes employee lounges.


          American luchador Mexican wrestler posing as Trump supporter?

          American luchador Sam Adonis has spent the last several months carrying a Trump-adorned American Flag to the ring for his Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling matches. When Reuters interviewed him, he made it clear that while he is not a direct Trump supporter, he does enjoy the fact that, for the moment at least, Trump's controversial presidency IS putting a bit more money in the young luchador's pocket.


          fDTod1x.jpg

        • Fan Art Friday #60: RT Logo by gem_scheltema

          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 Georgia Martin, AKA @gem_scheltema, for this Rooster Teeth logo made out of Double Gold RT Box… boxes.  


          2028650-1491745595544-RT_Logo_made_from_


          Georgia lives in the eastern Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia, and enjoys reviewing Double Gold RT Boxes each month. To create this piece, she calculated the size she wanted the logo to be, then created a template on regular paper. Next, she took several RT Boxes and figured out where she wanted parts of them to reside on the logo, then cut the pieces out of the boxes and joined them together. The end result is almost 80 cm (about 31 inches) wide and just over 50 cm (about 20 inches) tall. When all was said and done, this project took roughly 18 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!

        • Outsiders #1: Sleep Paralysis

          2 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @charlesaustin


          Outsiders is a series that explores uncommon conditions, unseen subcultures, and unusual interests.

          0V0XWYj.jpg


          When Burnie Burns was about 10 years old, he awoke in the night, paralyzed and haunted by the feeling that some shadowy figure was watching him from outside his peripheral vision. This weird sensation has stuck with him throughout his life, happening once or twice a year. But maybe the weirdest thing about it is that it’s not weird at all.


          Burnie’s condition is known as sleep paralysis. It’s thought to affect 6–8% of people on a recurring basis, and as many as 60% of people will experience it at one point in their lives. In the simplest terms, it’s a result of waking up while your body is still in a REM sleep cycle. When you’re sleeping, this paralysis stops you from kicking and thrashing during dreams; when you wake up in this state, the fact that you can’t move or speak often leads to panic and terror. Despite the alarming sensations, though, sleep paralysis is really no stranger than sleepwalking and is likely as old as sleep itself.


          S3ifD4Z.jpg


          Descriptions of the condition exist across cultures and centuries. The painting above, Henry Fuseli’s The Nightmare, is widely interpreted to be a depiction of sleep paralysis hallucinations. This painting dates to 1781. A few decades earlier, in 1755, the famous lexicographer Samuel Johnson published his Dictionary of the English Language, which included the first-ever definition of the word “nightmare.” In this original coinage, the word didn’t describe a bad dream as we think of it today, but a malevolent spirit. A “mare” or “mara,” as Johnson defined it, was a spirit that, in mythology, “was related to torment or suffocate sleepers. ... A morbid oppression in the night resembling the pressure of weight upon the breast.” In a linguistic sense, sleep paralysis is the original nightmare.


          So English speakers have recognized the condition since at least the 1700s, if only through the lens of folklore and descriptions of odd experiences. The story is similar across the world, and countless cultures each have their own folkloric culprits. In Europe, some people experience sleep paralysis as a female horse pinning them down. The Mesopotamian Incubus and Succubus pin their subjects down and, sometimes, have sex with them. Likewise the Apuku in Surinam. The Japanese have the kanashibari, the Ethiopians the zar, the Italians the pandafeche, and the Inuit the sensation of aqtuqsinniq.


          But just because so many cultures have ways of describing the same phenomenon doesn’t mean they all view it the same way. There’s research to show that cultural ideas about sleep paralysis can shape how people report their experiences of it. In Egypt, where the condition is viewed with dread, half of subjects in a study reported a fear of death from sleep paralysis. In Denmark, where the condition is viewed with less unease, the number was only 17%. But what’s even more interesting is that Egyptians reported having episodes three times as frequently. Culture, then, may even shape our how often we experience episodes, or at least what we determine to be one.


          Our experience of sleep paralysis, then, doesn’t just tell us about how our bodies and brains work. The way we interpret it says something about ourselves. The loss of control, the hallucinations, this is the vivid stuff of culture. There aren’t many paintings inspired by sleep apnea. A herniated disc doesn’t tell us much about who we are. But there’s something more revealing about sleep paralysis.


          What do the experiences of Burnie and other Rooster Teeth staffers say about them? Honestly, mostly that they’re self-aware about the condition and they’ve read up on the literature. Lindsay Jones told me:


          “Researching sleep paralysis really helped me understand my experiences and the experiences of others. It's fascinating that the human brain is capable of conjuring these images and sensations with such strength that they feel real. Even more fascinating is the fact that these experiences are almost identical and span across different cultures and generations.”


          Luis Medina had a similar take. “When I was a kid, I used to think of it as a visit from the ‘Shadow Man,’ a tall figure with a wide-brimmed black hat who would visit me every few years and incapacitate me. It was only in college that I realized this was a shared phenomenon and that other people had even used the same name for this illusionary being.”


          Essentially, these days, neurobiological explanations steer us away from folkloric explanations and toward a shared understanding of the condition. It’s more, “I’m not alone, because other people experience this,” and less, “I’m not alone, because there is literally an Incubus crouched on my body trying to have sex with me.”


          Still, being aware of the condition doesn’t necessarily strip away the terror of it. Lindsay said, “My paralysis includes feeling like you're slowly suffocating. So, every time I experience it, I genuinely fear for my life,” and compared the condition to “[feeling] like you're trapped in a malfunctioning body.”


          Becca’s security-camera footage captured her screams from a sleep-paralysis episode (it gets good around :40).


          Becca Frasier backed up Lindsay’s assertion that it makes you feel like the end is near. She described one particularly bad episode: “I had to lie in my bed, physically paralyzed and frozen in fear, while this mental monster writhed around on top of me. I genuinely thought I was going to die. Finally, I broke through and started screaming.”


          Luis said, “Besides the physical experience of feeling awake in a sleeping body, there's the feeling of dread and anxiousness that comes from being vulnerable. I think the mind gives form to that feeling in order to justify it.”


          There is something paradoxical about an experience that makes you feel terrified and alone, and yet at the same time teaches you that you’re not alone, that you’re experiencing something that’s been consistent throughout human history. (And fun fact: it’s likely that animals experience it too).


          Speaking of not being alone, it was a theme among the Rooster Teeth staff that having loved ones around lessens the terror of an attack. Becca experienced her worst episode while her husband was out of town, adding, “I'm sure the fact that I was alone made me even more vulnerable.”


          As for Burnie, he told me, “I have found the only thing that can break it is when someone touches me. So, I guess I need to continue sleeping with people on a regular basis.”


          Convenient.

        • Answers to Questions Posed in RT Podcast #420

          2 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It's time for our regular segment in which @Gafgarian (AKA Jeremiah Palmer) provides answers to the burning questions left unanswered in each episode of the Rooster Teeth Podcast. Read on to get closure for Girls Don’t… Have… Wet… Dreams – #420.


          2013912-1490111105092-rtp420_-_THUMB.jpg


          Is Australia upside down?

          Yep. As in, "I am right side up, Australia is directly beneath me (on the other side of the planet of course), therefore, they are upside down... in relation to me of course." It is that last bit which frustrates the "Flat-Earthers" of the world. But this question isn't about the idiocy of a Flat-Earth theory, it is about antipodes and their relation to you. An antipode is the "direct opposite of something else." In this case, your antipode is the point directly opposite you on the Earth. Here is a handy website that lets you find the antipode for any point on the globe. Let's take Austin, TX as an example.


          G0TVgEb.jpg


          The site tells us that the antipode of Austin is actually pretty much right in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This means that if @burnie sent a friend (or @bgibbles) to that exact GPS coordinate to float in the ocean for a bit, Blaine would be floating directly "beneath" Burnie, relative to his position in Austin. By comparison, if @Gavino were to be hanging out in the UK during this time, both Burnie and Blaine would be perpendicular, or "lying on their sides," relative to him. Roughly, the UK isn't an exact 90-degree perpendicular to Austin and the Indian Ocean, but hopefully you get the point.


          If you are still having issues, think about three ants standing on a basketball. Two are sitting at the line intersections along the ball's "equator," directly opposite each other. These two ants are antipodes and are Burnie and Blaine. To Gavin, sitting on top of the ball at its "North Pole," so to speak, both Burnie and Blaine are hanging out on the ball sideways while Gavin is "right side up." Now imagine you are Burnie the ant, Blaine is directly beneath you, upside-down, and Gavin is the sideways one. Blaine the Ant has nearly the same observation but with Burnie as the "gravity-defying-one."


          Perhaps the easiest way to recognize this very real observation, while simultaneously adding to the necessary complexity of the Flat-Earther's flat Earth explanation, is that antipodes that are different north/south hemispheres, which most would be, will also see a "reversed" image of the moon. This concept may be a bit more difficult to comprehend without a graphic, so I've found, and added, on below. Honestly, for some reason, this never even occurred to me but it makes total sense. Since your concept of "right-side-up" is completely relative to you, your concept of what the moon's appearance would also be relative to your vantage point.


          Additionally, the closer you live to the Tropics of Capricorn or Cancer, the more you and your compatriots also living in those areas would agree on the appearance of the moon. This is because these points match the axis tilt of the Earth and essentially cause your position on Earth, relative to the moon's orbit, to be relatively parallel.


          As for the age-old question of "Why don't Australians just fall off if they are upside down?" I would reply, “Why aren't you falling off? You aren't on ‘top’ of the world right now. How can ships sail through the Panama Canal without listing terribly to one side? Why hasn't the ocean's water in the southern hemisphere fallen from the Earth and floated into space yet?”


          I think the idea that this question is for some reason only ever applied to humans in the southern hemisphere is testament to the arrogance of humanity. Let's forget about the MILLIONS of other things that would be affected if gravity just didn't apply below the equator. The point is, they, and everything else "down" there, stays put because the gravity affecting it is from our planet, and while it may seem to constantly pull you "down," this is only relative to you. To the Australian, gravity is actually pulling you "up." Right? LOL.


          moon_orientation.jpg


          Perhaps the most mind-boggling observation, for me, that came from researching this is the realization that as you travel south from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere, the orientation of the phases of the moon have to change as well. Since the moon itself appears “upside-down” relative to my current position, a person standing on the equator would, naturally, have to see the mid-point observations. This causes the moon’s phases to appear perpendicular to the horizon.  Additionally, best I can tell, while the moon phase names have been transferred to the southern hemisphere, they are reversed, appearing right-to-left. Literally blown away by all of this. Am I alone in this?


          Moon-observer.jpg


          How long can a human body hang upside down before you die?

          There doesn't actually seem to be a consensus for this one. There are a few reasons for this, not the least of which is a general lack of data since there have not been a large amount of deaths, proportionally speaking, caused by hanging upside down, also known as inverse suspension. While the adverse affects on your health are many and include the potential for brain aneurysms, hemorrhaging, and other lovely maladies related to your brain and it essentially "popping" in some way due to the increased blood pressure, most deaths from inverse suspension are usually caused by asphyxiation.


          Doctors believe that the pull of gravity on your internal organs actually ends up compressing your diaphragm over time, making it extremely difficult to breathe. This lower amount of oxygen intake, combined with a poorer blood circulation due to the many systems that are typically aided by gravity to move your blood and its oxygen loaded cells through your body, lead to asphyxiation and death. Another notable cause of death, though with a much more random victim count, is heart failure. Because the circulatory system is now fighting against gravity, the heart is forced to pump harder and faster in order to keep the blood flowing to the extremities. This can quickly lead to undue stress on the organ, causing it to give out. This is especially true in the case of older people or those who already suffer from some form of cardiac stress.


          Regarding the answer specifically, most recorded cases of death put the time at somewhere between 15 and 30 hours, depending on various factors including your age, physical shape, exact position of suspension, height, weight, gender, previous medical conditions, and many more.


          Gavin's shooting star meme?



          As a bonus, the creator, Jordan Bailey, recently released one for Burnie as well. It leverages a quality fail which the entire RT community has come to appreciate by now.




          Is "digitigrade" a real thing?

          It totally is and now we all owe Jessica for teaching us a new word. However, it is important to note that the actual definition of digitigrade refers to the way in which the animal walks, or their locomotion, and not necessarily their leg shape. That said, all digitigrade animals do have the turned-backward "knee." It is much more likely, though, that Jessica was referring to digitigrade posture. This is essentially the same thing and, depending on what your source is, you'd likely see many of the same details; however, the inclusion of the word “posture” typically has a connotation that attaches it to the stance of the animal and somewhat distances its definition from their form of locomotion. For example, the use of digitigrade posture will sometimes be seen among Furries or cosplaying since they obviously can't change their locomotion, but they can make their posture and general look have the appearance of digitigrade locomotion.


          Digitigrade locomotion is called as such because of the focus of the digits during movement. In other words, digitigrade animals will walk on their toes. This movement and posture allows for elevated visibility as well as longer strides, aiding in maneuverability and speed. Humans, by comparison, are plantigrade, or heel-to-toe walkers. This form of locomotion aids us in endurance and balance, but we sacrifice a bit of speed. The third option of unguligrades refers to hoof walkers and are essentially tip-toeing constantly. This gives them a definitive spring in their step, which makes sense given that nearly all unguligrades are prey, rather than predator, and need to be able leap away quickly. However they sacrifice balance for this swiftness. Scientifically speaking, it is all a bit of give and take, with each animal's evolved locomotion form supporting their continued survival in some way.


          What is the biggest single feather?

          The biggest single feather in history was a tail feather from a rare, purposely bred, ornamental chicken breed that was on display during a bird show in Japan in 1972. The bird's tail feather measured 34.75 feet long. However, the longest naturally occurring wild bird feather comes from the tail feathers of the Crested Argus Pheasant, which can reach lengths of nearly 6 feet.


          What is Pétanque?

          Pétanque is a French bowling game that is played by rolling metal balls, or “boules,” toward a smaller wooden ball, or “jack.” Points are awarded to those closest to the jack at the end of the round. This is extremely similar to the English game of Bowls as well as the Italian game of Bocce. All three of which can trace their origination to a very similar game played during the later days of the Roman Empire. There are slight variances between the three, and each have their own respective "fanboy" following who are quick to argue the virtues of their preferred version over the other two, despite the gameplay being nearly identical.


          I for one prefer Bocce, so you can take your Pétanque circles and shove them! :P


          Kegeln is German for Skittles?

          Certainly is! Kegeln, or Kegel, is a nine-pin bowling game that is played in parts of Australia. It is closely related to American 10-pin bowling or the British game of Skittles, which began as an ancient lawn game and has since evolved into a sport with many variations, including a very close relation to the game of Bowls discussed above.


          Is Girl Talk a scientist?

          Girl Talk, also known as Gregg Michael Gillis, was studying biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University with a focus on tissue engineering prior to quitting school – bio-engineering – in mid-2007 to pursue his musical career full time. His albums have won numerous awards, a fact which is made more impressive by the idea that all of the music are mashups of somebody else's work.


          Either way, I find it particularly useful for concentrating on work as the perfect blend of recognizable, but not distracting, background noise. Love it.


          Why are headbutts an issue in the UK?

          The British Board of Film Classification, or BBFC, is far less forgiving when it comes to violence than our own MPAA. While their practices have lightened somewhat in recent years, opting to go the route of bumping up a film's rating as opposed to demanding a scene cut, most production studios still choose to perform the cut anyway in order to preserve the lower rating. There are some parallels to the MPAA's decisions regarding ratings and why they have been applied, particularly involving gore and/or nudity; however, it seems that headbutts are one action which has not been taken so lightly.


          This is because, in the mid-1990s, the BBFC determined that while other actions, like chasing down a rogue Russian working for a traitorous MI6 agent with a tank, can be brushed off with a higher film rating, easily reproducible actions, like a simple headbutt, are wholly unacceptable. Headbutts have not been the only actions that have warranted complete censorship. The internal ruling determined that ANY dangerous action that can easily be imitated by viewers should be censored. This include neck-breaking, curb stomps, ear-claps, and visual/verbal references to suicide. This last point is typically very case-by-case since occasionally a movie comes along that uses suicide as a main plot point. Rarely does this happen with headbutts, though Van Damme is working again, so you never know.


          No shortage of films have gotten the BBFC treatment. Notable films to have suffered this censorship include Kill Bill, Spiderman 2, Shrek 2, and even Mulan, because apparently Disney is more hardcore than the Brits.


          How much does data weigh?

          There was a time when this number fluctuated quite a bit more and with actual disk drives, but this number can still have some variance depending on the quality of the drive. This is because a hard disk's density is measured by the amount of bits of data it can store in a square inch, known as “areal density.” As technology has become more efficient, this number has predictably increased, which naturally makes the actual "weight" of the data lower. However, this method of figuring out the weight is a bit misleading since it is actually the weight of potential data. In truth, with this method, there does not need to be any data on the disk drive at all in order to get to the correct answer. This means that all of the math associated with areal density, for the purposes of this conversation, is not important. For the record, the potential weight of data for modern disk drives is around .5 micrograms, depending on the drive's specs.


          Moving on.


          In order to get to the bottom of this question, we need to know what "data" actually is. Without getting overly technical, I think we are all aware that data is stored in binary, or a sequence of true/false logic gates, that when aggregated give us a translatable data stream. Modern storage solutions like solid-state drives (SSD) store data using a "floating electron gate." What this means is that an electron floats along this toggle, providing either a charged (0), or not-charged (1) state, and therefore providing a storage medium and solution for larger data sets. What this means, for the purposes of our discussion, is that every bit of data is essentially equal to the weight of its electrons.


          This number is determined by various factors, but rough estimates have placed the count as high as 100K in a single bit. A single electron's weight is roughly 9.10938215 × 10−31 kg. Even with these high numbers, a single bit would weigh approximately 400 femtograms, or 0.0000000000004 grams. Obviously this number is infinitesimal when attempting to measure small amounts of data; however, based on these calculations and additional VERY rough estimates, the amount of data stored across the entire internet is probably something like 200 grams. This would be just shy of half a pound and only slightly more than an iPhone.


          How much sushi would give you mercury poisoning?

          This is difficult to say. While it is absolutely true that high and frequent consumption of fish can lead you to become as "mad as a hatter," there are far too many variables involved to attempt an accurate estimate of what would be "too much." What I can tell you is that bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, swordfish, and king mackerel naturally contain some of the highest levels of mercury in the animal kingdom and these numbers can be exponentially higher depending on where the fish are sourced and the potential pollutants there. A 2015 study by the FDA claimed that a daily diet of sushi absolutely does put one at risk of developing mercury poisoning, and if you begin to experience symptoms such as drastic mood swings, paranoia, nervousness, insomnia, headaches, muscle spasms, etc. you should contact your doctor immediately.


          Are wet dreams more "liquidy"?

          They can be. There have actually been very few studies done on the details of nocturnal emissions during the act, for obvious reasons. The difficulty surrounding collecting a viable specimen makes studying the consistency of the ejaculate difficult. However, just based on what we know of the bulbourethral (or Cowper's) and prostate glands, the answer is confidently a "sometimes."


          The Cowper's glands are responsible for roughly 5% of the seminal fluid's makeup. This secretion is a clear, watery liquid that is used for lubrication and cleansing of the urethra. This fluid is sometimes known by the moniker “precum,” or “pre-ejaculate.” Conversely, the prostate gland creates the majority of an ejaculation's volume. It is this milky-white fluid which is typically associated with a male orgasm, and it is this very obvious difference between these two fluids which can occasionally lead to wet dreams being more "liquid" than an... intended emission.


          As the exact causes of nocturnal emissions are still somewhat of a mystery, with no shortage of random theories on the subject, it is difficult to say with any certainty what would cause the higher volume of Cowper's-gland-produced seminal fluid when asleep. This is further compounded by the fact that there is little consistency between the experiences of each man, and, in truth, very little in regards to the experiences of one man from one night to the next.


          Do girls have wet dreams?

          Er.. Yes-ish. If you are going into this question expecting me to tell you that there is documented evidence of a woman squirting during a dream-inspired orgasm, then I can say that, depending on what kind of crises you are willing to allow Google to believe you are going through, you may at least find anecdotal evidence of this. However, I should point out that not only can I not verify this story, I can't even verify that the one telling it is a female. Based on legitimate scientific studies in this area, of which there are even fewer than those regarding a male's nighttime experiences, the consensus is that women do in fact experience wet dreams in the sense that they have an increase in vaginal lubrication that may, or may not, culminate in an orgasm. There is a bit of a divide among the relevant community regarding the necessity of orgasm to constitute a "wet dream" and, since the majority lean toward this requirement, it leads to opinionated discussion about the frequency, or reality, of a female's wet dream. This is because very few women have reported having an orgasm while dreaming; typically, as was mentioned on the podcast, they are awoken prior to the climax and any orgasm from that point cannot be considered as part of a "dream state."


          Google Maps solar panel tool?

          Here it is. Pretty neat little application. Not the most economical option for me personally, and not just because I rent. What about you?


        • Fan Art Friday #59: Slow Mo Guys Poster by AeroJett

          3 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

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


          This week’s featured artist is Jett Furr, AKA @AeroJett, for this Slow Mo Guys poster.


          tumblr_omolwxeddP1rw5qzyo1_1280.png


          Jett lives in North Carolina, where he works at a fitness center and freelances as a graphic designer and artist on the side. Drawing inspiration from the 25 Airbag Rainbow Explosion video, he made Gavin and Dan’s silhouettes in Illustrator, then painted them, the background, and the Slow Mo Guys logo in Sketchbook Pro.


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


          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!

        • Martha Stewart Gaming: How to Make a Steam Account

          3 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @charlesaustin


          syJ7obS.png


          Hello, I am long-time Rooster Teeth fan and frequent Poppycock contributor Martha Stewart. You probably know me from the TV show Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, which stars Snoop Dogg, a middle-aged celeb even your mom can love, and me, a convicted felon.


          But I do a lot more than cash checks for hanging out with famous rappers. Your parents probably know me from my magazine Martha Stewart Living, where I teach readers how to host a holiday dinner party and other shit like that. But today I would like to announce Martha Stewart Gaming. My new lifestyle magazine will teach gamers exactly how to game, with neat tips on everything from choosing the right scented candle for your gaming experience to using fresh, seasonal ingredients to cook every recipe in Stardew Valley.


          Get a preview of Martha Stewart Gaming with this handy guide to making your very own Steam account.


          Week 1

          • Go to your neighborhood boutique stationery store and buy a custom monogram-print notepad, four fountain pens (one black, one red, and two for backup!), and a 100-count box of envelopes.

          • Go to the post office and purchase a book of Forever stamps.

          • Using your custom monogrammed stationery, write up a list of all your friends.

          • Now write up a list of all of your enemies. Use a red fountain pen, or blood drawn from your index finger.

          • Set aside all of your materials in the top drawer of your IKEA high-gloss white BESTÅ BURS drawer unit.


          Week 2

          • Navigate your web browser to the Steam website.

          • Locate the “Install Steam” button in the top right corner. You’ll want to come back to this half a month from now when it’s time to make your account. Close the browser.

          • Go to your local furniture resale shop and find the nicest antique dining table they have. You will need this for your gaming rig.

          • On your way to the store, hand out scented candles to every stranger you meet. Perhaps they will want to be friends with you on Steam, on the glorious day when you make your account.

          • Find these items for your gaming rig as well: one (1) Razer DeathAdder Chroma USB infrared mouse; one (1) Razer RZ03-01701700-R3U1 BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth USB wired keyboard; one (1) handcrafted open-cutwork linen tablecloth imported from Italy; one (1) festive seasonal centerpiece with candles and fresh seasonal produce.

          • Fill a glass decanter with your favorite bottle of French Merlot. Place it on the table and do not drink it. Assemble your gaming rig in a low-traffic area of your home.

          • Make sure your keyboard works by clicking every key, in this order: ` 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 - = q w e r t y u i o p [ ] \ a s d f g h j k l ; ‘ z x c v b n m , . / Please also click the other keys that I can’t get to appear here.


          NDAVl3G.jpg

          By the end of Week 2, your gaming rig should look like this, but with a computer.


          Week 3

          • Every morning you wake up this week, visualize gaming with your friends. This will motivate you to follow through with your goals.

          • Retrieve your lists of friends and enemies from Week 1. Using your custom monogrammed stationery, write and mail a letter of intent to every one of your friends and enemies.

          • To your friends, tell them that you would like to request their consent to game with them in two weeks’ time. You will soon be making a Steam account.

          • To your enemies, let them know that you shall crush them in CS: GO without any mercy, and they may consider this their formal warning. Their next warning will be a no-scope headshot.

          • Navigate your web browser to the Steam website. Yes. Soon enough it will be time. But for now, close your web browser.


          Week 4

          • Navigate your web browser to the Steam website. Click “Install Steam” and then “Install Steam Now.” It begins.

          • Make phone calls to your dry cleaner, your gardener, your mailman, your chauffeur, your maid, your dog walker, your nanny, and your Wall Street pals you do insider trading with. Let them know that you are about to install Steam and they are welcome to game with you at any time.

          • On the Steam website, click login, even though you do not have an account.

          • Then click “Join Steam.”

          • Then enter all of the shit that it asks for and click “Create My Account.”

          • Note: When it says “Create My Account,” it means “Create Your Account,” as in you, not as in me, Martha Stewart.

          • Your account should have a clever name that lets people know that you are funnier and smarter but also nerdier than them. For instance my account name is Mothra Stewart.

          • Now that you have a Steam account, you may return to your porn tabs. Do not actually play a game on Steam until every single one of your friends and enemies has responded to the letters you sent. It’s only polite.

        • Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Persona Before You Play Persona 5

          4 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @cbreault


          3qNNKeE.jpg


          The acclaimed Japanese RPG series Persona is returning on April 4, which means it’s high time to dive back into a world of high school drama, high school monster breeding, and high school murder. But are you truly prepared? If you haven’t looked at a calendar recently, you might not have noticed that nearly nine years have passed since Persona 4 came out. Summers have come and gone. Your friends have grown old and died. Your once beautiful body has withered and twisted like a rotting branch. You’ve forgotten everything you once knew about playing Persona.  


          Not to worry! If you read our refresher on the core concepts of the Persona series, you’ll hit Persona 5’s Shujin High ready to max out your Confidants and crush the Fusion charts on Day 1.


          Personas

          A Persona—short for Personal Pokémon—is a mythology-themed pocket monster that the player finds in dungeons and then levels up and cross-breeds into more powerful forms. Unlike Pokémon, which are stupid cartoons for kids, Personas are mature monsters with big dicks, boobs, and vaginas drawn all over them. That link isn’t safe for work—and neither is Persona, pal.


          Romance

          While other RPGs let you woo characters by complimenting them repeatedly or giving them copper ore 30 times, the Persona games take a more realistic approach, basing relationships on a shared interest in collectible cards. In modern Persona games, you should always take care to equip a Persona with a tarot that matches your companion’s tarot before speaking to them. (If you’re not familiar with tarot, they’re a deck of cards that medieval courtesans made to represent the things that were most likely to kill them, such as The Magician or The Chariot.)


          Dialogue Choices

          We’re all familiar with the dramatic dialogue options of other RPGs, such as Mass Effect’s famous Paragon/Renegade choices and Dragon Age’s Rich Dad/Poor Dad system. Persona doesn’t have any kind of cool dialogue gimmick, so it’s best to play the game without talking to anyone.


          Japanese Hip-hop

          When Biggie said “you never thought that hip-hop would take it this far,” this is exactly what he was talking about: Japanese MC Lotus Juice rapping stuff like “Carrying AK-47, 24/7 / But you've gotta live it persecuted by heaven” over remixed JRPG battle music while high schoolers fight a giant stripper with no face.


          Silent Protagonists

          The protagonist of every Persona game is silent, which means he’s the only teenager who doesn’t have the voice of a 30- to 55-year-old actor trying to get excited about meat bowls.


          Self-actualization

          At its heart, the Persona series is about learning to accept who you really are. And just as Dale Carnegie’s self-help books recommend, this process begins with the decision to kill all your old friends, blow your brains out with a magic gun, or rip your own face off to reveal a monster. Most of the plot of Persona 4 is just your classmates trying to murder you while justifying their existences with a protracted version of an “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best” tweet. It’s all part of what makes Persona 4 one of the greatest, and truest, RPGs ever made.


          Mara

          376.jpg


          Mara is a divine penis who lives life in the fast lane.


          Japanese High School

          Every Persona game is set within a Japanese high school, which can be quite a culture shock for some players. In Japan, students between the ages of 15 and 18 spend weekdays in a large building where they listen to lectures and take regular written examinations, unlike in America, where we spend those years at home being tutored by our libertarian parents about seasteading and vaper’s rights.


          Japanese History

          Persona’s teachers often quiz you about old Japanese authors and Sengoku period generals in your classes, and giving the right answer can boost your Knowledge stat like nobody’s business. Unfortunately, for regular Joes and Janes from Truck Country, USA, these questions can be real stumpers.


          But there’s good news: using the Internet, you can “cheat” your way to being the smartest freshman at Shujin High. Just log on to amazon.com and place an order for both volumes of Sources of Japanese Tradition, Keene’s Seeds in the Heart, and Takekoshi’s The Economic Aspects of the History of the Civilization of Japan. After a few weeks of tough yet rewarding study, you’ll be ready for an epic gaming experience.


          Chaos Emeralds

          In their rush to fuse the most powerful Personas and bed every woman they meet, many gamers forget to collect all seven Chaos Emeralds. If you don’t find them all before November, you’ll get the Bad Ending, in which your character watches helplessly as Dr. Robotnik forces Big the Cat to drink hemlock. Keep your eyes peeled for bonus stages, and you’ll be sure to foil Robotnik’s schemes!

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