Author Topic: Episode #741  (Read 1037 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #741
« on: September 21, 2019, 03:48:18 PM »
News Items: 42, Eradicating Polio, Reverse Aging, Red Mercury, Crystal Healing, Biggest Neutron StarWho's That NoisyScience or Fiction
Steven Novella
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Offline wallet55

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2019, 04:02:21 PM »
No non no! The best way to experience The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy is not the book, it is the original radio drama!
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2019, 04:40:18 PM »
No non no! The best way to experience The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy is not the book, it is the original radio drama!


But the books are still very good.  And the BBC television series is also very good.  And the cinema version was absolute rubbish.  So three out of four is also very good.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2019, 05:26:54 PM »
No non no! The best way to experience The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy is not the book, it is the original radio drama!

Wallet55 beat me to it: Douglas Adams first wrote the HGttG as a radio play which was on the BBC and is still available as a boxed set of CDs. The book is great and the sequels are good. But the original BBC radio version is the best.

Personally I thought the TV and movie versions were crap. But then the only half-way decent movie ever made from a good book was The Maltese Falcon. And even then the book is immensely better. You can make a good movie from scratch. You can make a good movie from a bad book if you basically throw out the book and just make a movie. But you can't make a good movie from a good book. As for TV, good TV shows are as rare as hens' teeth or honest politicians.

And the reason Adams chose 42 as the answer to life, the universe, and everything shouldn't be a secret at all. I know the reason and I'm going to tell you, though most of you probably already know it. He chose 42 as the answer to life, the universe, and everything, because 42 IS the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Sheesh! The rogues should have known this!

And I think it's cheap and tawdry to claim that distributed computing is "planetary computing" in this context. Seti at Home and Folding at Home and probably others have been using distributed computing for many years. It's a way for people to volunteer their computers for bigger projects. It's not "planetary computing."
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Offline swan

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2019, 07:36:56 PM »
That Stephen Fry... Man, he's so vain – even more than sweet Caroline! ;) I was never into the series yet I think Daniel's answer is best.

As the rogues were answering Science or Fiction I was getting concerned about the answer when starting to wonder...
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2019, 04:35:12 AM »
No non no! The best way to experience The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy is not the book, it is the original radio drama!

Wallet55 beat me to it: Douglas Adams first wrote the HGttG as a radio play which was on the BBC and is still available as a boxed set of CDs. The book is great and the sequels are good. But the original BBC radio version is the best.

Personally I thought the TV and movie versions were crap. But then the only half-way decent movie ever made from a good book was The Maltese Falcon. And even then the book is immensely better. You can make a good movie from scratch. You can make a good movie from a bad book if you basically throw out the book and just make a movie. But you can't make a good movie from a good book. As for TV, good TV shows are as rare as hens' teeth or honest politicians.

And the reason Adams chose 42 as the answer to life, the universe, and everything shouldn't be a secret at all. I know the reason and I'm going to tell you, though most of you probably already know it. He chose 42 as the answer to life, the universe, and everything, because 42 IS the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Sheesh! The rogues should have known this!

And I think it's cheap and tawdry to claim that distributed computing is "planetary computing" in this context. Seti at Home and Folding at Home and probably others have been using distributed computing for many years. It's a way for people to volunteer their computers for bigger projects. It's not "planetary computing."

Douglas Adam’s reason is that he thought ‘42’ is a very funny number.  As someone who has done far too many marathons, which are just slightly longer than 42 kilometres, I regard ‘42’ as being not funny at all.

The ultimate question for life, the universe and everything for turned out to be ‘what do you get if you multiply 9 by 6.  Someone noted that if you multiply 9 base 13 by 6 base 13 you get 42 base 13 (the equivalent of 54 base 10).  Douglas Adams noted that he had a peculiar sense of humor, but that he never joked in base 13.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2019, 08:11:46 AM »
No non no! The best way to experience The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy is not the book, it is the original radio drama!

My first encounter with HHGtgG was the radio dramas. We listened to them as a family on Saturday mornings on CBC radio. I still haven a t-shirt from that time. :) I read all the books, the radio scripts, enjoyed the TV show and the movies, and at least one version of audiobooks.
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Offline MikeHz

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2019, 01:50:16 PM »
I have a sister-in-law who bought into the New Age bullshit decades ago, including all the woo regarding magic crystals. She had money and bought many thousands of dollars’ worth of crystals. It cost her a marriage, and ultimately her life. She contracted cancer, a treatable form, but chose instead to rely on the crystals to heal herself. Never even went to a doctor. My wife, an RN, advised her to go to a doctor, or at least a New Age doctor, and ended up attending to her at the end.

Belief in crystal power is far from harmless.
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2019, 05:10:55 PM »
No non no! The best way to experience The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy is not the book, it is the original radio drama!

My first encounter with HHGtgG was the radio dramas. We listened to them as a family on Saturday mornings on CBC radio. I still haven a t-shirt from that time. :) I read all the books, the radio scripts, enjoyed the TV show and the movies, and at least one version of audiobooks.

My first encounter with ‘the Hitchhikers’ was the television series, which I love(d).  I regard the books as the definitive version, since they’re the sole work of Douglas Adams (albeit with some unknown input from his editor).  I’ve just bought the radio series of the first book, which largely seems to follow the book, with some minor differences.

I absolutely hated the cinema version.  Zaphod Beebelbrox’s two heads was a disaster, and removed the funny joke from the television series when Ford Prefect commented that he wished he had Zaphod’s two heads because then he’d be able to have endless entertainment banging them together.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2019, 07:08:00 PM »
... I’ve just bought the radio series of the first book, which largely seems to follow the book, with some minor differences....

To be precise, it was the book that largely followed the radio series. Adams wrote the radio series before he wrote the book.

On New Age folly, my sister gets regular acupuncture treatments for her dog. She insists that his arthritis is much better after the treatments. She also gets acupuncture for herself, and insists that they are effective for whatever happens to be wrong with her at the time.
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2019, 07:26:35 PM »
... I’ve just bought the radio series of the first book, which largely seems to follow the book, with some minor differences....

To be precise, it was the book that largely followed the radio series. Adams wrote the radio series before he wrote the book.

On New Age folly, my sister gets regular acupuncture treatments for her dog. She insists that his arthritis is much better after the treatments. She also gets acupuncture for herself, and insists that they are effective for whatever happens to be wrong with her at the time.

OK, the book largely follows the radio series.  I still regard the books to be the definitive versions, since they’re Douglas Adams’ final version, in the same way that a composer’s final version of a symphony is (usually) the definitive version.  As an example Sibelius’ symphony 5 in the 1917 version is much better than the 1915 version, which rarely gets performed (and rightly so).  This years Prom series at the Albert Hall attempted a performance of it, which was unlistenable (largely because it was broken up by fragments of folk music which allegedly inspired Sibelius).
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Offline gebobs

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2019, 10:04:39 AM »
Bob noted in SOF that dragonflies are "maneuver like a mother with those four wings". AFAIK, all winged insects have two pair of wings.

Offline seamas

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2019, 01:01:58 PM »
Bob noted in SOF that dragonflies are "maneuver like a mother with those four wings". AFAIK, all winged insects have two pair of wings.

Yeah, I think if he were to have mentioned them being able to beat the hind wings completely out of phase with the fore wings he'd be more accurate. Not sure how many insects can do that.
Are they more maneuverable than a wasp or other flying insects? I don't really know--they seem like they are. As a kid i thought they looked like helicopters.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2019, 03:48:23 PM »
Bob noted in SOF that dragonflies are "maneuver like a mother with those four wings". AFAIK, all winged insects have two pair of wings.

I don't think that's true. I'm ready to be corrected, but I thought that the double-wings configuration was limited to certain types. These flies, for example, seem to have just a single pair of wings each.
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Offline Alex Simmons

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Re: Episode #741
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2019, 04:23:17 PM »
But then the only half-way decent movie ever made from a good book was The Maltese Falcon. And even then the book is immensely better. You can make a good movie from scratch. You can make a good movie from a bad book if you basically throw out the book and just make a movie. But you can't make a good movie from a good book.

Given the subjectivity involved and the tendency of various selection biases to apply (e.g. Berkson paradox), I'm not so sure this sweeping generalisation holds true.

Let me look something up on it...


Here we go, Hannah Fry on Numberphile, she even mentions HHHGttG early on:



 

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