Blog » Archive for January 2012
According to the butterfly effect, if I wanted to stop myself from writing this blog all I would have to do is build a time machine, go back to 1997 when I was 14 years old and buy myself a Super Nintendo. That simple act would have triggered a series of events that would have changed the course of human history forever. Having that Super Nintendo would have given me something entertaining to do after school and would have stopped me from trying out for the school play. I would have never played the part of Ebeneezer Scrooge and gotten addicted to attention. And by not being an attention whore I would have never made a crowd of hundreds laugh at me during the Mr. Kearns pageant as I pretended to have muscles during the swimsuit contest. The comedy bug therefore would have never metabolized within my blood and I would have never stepped on stage at an open mic night. I therefore would have never met Tig, David, and Kyle…or even my wife, Carah, who I met at a comedy club! We would have never moved to the big city, into a one bedroom apartment next to two car dealerships that constantly blast their flood lights through our bedroom window all night. I would have never become an insomniac from those lights, and ultimately, I would have never had the time to kill while being up all hours of the night to write this blog. A blog which, in some butterfly-ish way, may lead to curing all diseases and end world hunger…and also all wars.
So, is time travel even possible? Yes, according to this picture on the left. Here we see a young R.L. Blastoff preparing to send his associate into the wobbly time vortex. According to a TV show I once watched, Stephan Hawking believes it may one day be possible to enlarge tiny sub atomic wormholes enough for a man to pass through. I guess what happened was, a guy did just that. He traveled back in time through a wormhole to the black and white TV era and tried to make a documentary about it, but nobody took him seriously because he forgot to bring along his wormhole enlarger! Rookie mistake.
In that same TV show, called Steven Hawking’s Universe, Hawking described another means of time travel we discussed on the podcast. The speed of light kind. Oh – by the way – in the TV show Steven Hawking replaces his robot voice with a classy British one. Perhaps he listened to our guest, Shane Mauss’s advice. The TV show did come out before we recorded the podcast which means he would need to time travel backwards to tell himself to use a classy British narrator instead of the American robot one which is also the voice of Professor Blastoff. This is not a conspiracy. They are both just old school like that. Now that I think of it, maybe he went back in time and stole the idea of time travel from our podcast. I am not mad if he did, I just want to know the truth.
Now, the theory of time traveling by going the speed of light would take a lot of energy to test on a human. But apparently, as Shane was alluding to on the podcast, at CERN they have been clocking fast traveling particles in that large tunnel thing of theirs. Apparently they have been able to tell that some particles that usually fall apart within a short amount of time can last longer when they are shooting through this super high speed tunnel. That’s pretty cool, but to get us to travel 99% of the speed of light, it wold take 6 years to accelerate to that speed without killing us. The other option would be to orbit a massive black hole and let the gravity bend time. Either way, all I know is I get sick at Disneyland on the tea cup ride, so I’m out.
One topic we didn’t get to dive into was how we use current technology to project future technology. For example, the Back To The Future movies of the 80’s had a lot more to go off of than H.G. Wells did in 1895. H.G. Wells probably never could have predicted the ability to use silicon chips to store data as ones and zeros, and yet he was able to help father the very genre that gave us Star Trek and Star Wars, which inspired amazing advancements in modern technology such as the automatic sliding door! This begs the question: do some men…or women have the ability to glance into future Consumer Electronic Shows? If not, where does their enlightenment come from?
Well, we’ll leave that for another podcast, but it is fun to think about what could come in the next 100 years. Maybe in the future we will have a fruit tree that produces every variety of fruit that ever grew on Earth. Who knows what could be coming down the pipe? That’s for the New Thoughter Kids to decide. Oh, and if any of you do end up inventing that super tree I want 10%.
Just to wet your appetite, here is a cut clip on cool future inventions including invisibility and shape shifting!
With the ability to be invisible and to shape shift I’m seeing a future filled with horrific mind altering games of peek-a-boo with add campaigns that include fire breathing clowns appearing out of nowhere with a classy British narrator who screams, “Peek-a-Boo, this game ain’t just for babies anymore!” or “Don’t just scare your friends, scar ’em!”
Well, my Super Nintendo has finally arrived, so I’ll catch y’all later.
Listen to episode #40 Time TravelComments Off on Professor Blastoff Afterthoughts: Time Travel
It’s almost February you guys! Don’t forget to pay your rent. And, landlords, remember to wait until after Friday (payday) to cash your tenant’s rent checks because they’re probably really nice people who HAVE the money but are sometimes bad about saving money but they’re good for it I swear. *Phew* ON WITH THE SHOW NEWS!
Do you guys have a “litmus test” TV show? A show that you bring up when meeting new people and if they don’t love it, you know the relationship isn’t going anywhere? Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! is often that show for me, so I’m THRILLED that Tim & Eric themselves are joining James Adomian as guests on Comedy Bang! Bang! this week!
Don’t you wish you could time travel to Tuesday to get your weekly Professor Blastoff fix? Well, I can’t really help you there, but maybe once you hear this episode about the very topic you’ll be prepared for next week!
Have you guys watched Trespass yet? Paul, June, and Jason did and they made Rachael Harris join them. It is this week’s selection for How Did This Get Made? so hop to it!
Do you guys follow Megan Amram on Twitter? If not, you’ve made a mistake. I’ll forgive you if you tune in to Totally Laime this week where she is yukking it up.Comments Off on Weeksidoodle: January 30
Where do thoughts come from? My mind is a meadow where thoughts cultivate and grow, but the guy harvesting my thoughts seems to have a problem with letting them ripen. What I’m often left with is bushels of green blatherings. I do the best with what I am given, though. If that means I have to let the thoughts ripen in my frontal lobe a while before releasing them into the speech center of my brain, so be it. This is why I enjoy writing. I have plenty of time to look over my thoughts as they lie in front of me. I get to reflect on them a moment and then decide if they are worthy of representing my current condition. I also like having a record of my thoughts, to see how things have changed. My earliest writings display a desperate and unquenchable thirst for video games and chocolate.
A lot has changed since then. Video games have exploded into 3D and chocolate has joined forces with pretzels to form a new type of M&M, thanks to the New Thotter department at M&M Mars. Keep up the good work kids!
One early record I have from my childhood is the time my 5th grade teacher told us he could force us to think about an elephant. He then said, “Try not to think of an elephant for one minute.” Everyone failed but me. I succeeded because during that minute I screamed in my head, “Hamburgers are good! Hamburgers are good!” over and over again. I knew I had a one track mind, and as long as I stayed fixated on my favorite, non chocolaty, food I would be home free. Well, the teacher didn’t even believe I did it and that made me feel like a Jedi. Then I went home and realized how sad it was that I could only think about one thing at a time. This is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because if I want to forget about something all I gotta do is play video games. It’s a curse because I can’t think about video games and chocolate at the same time. I can change my focus real fast so I can think about both in the same second, but for some reason I can’t conjure up two mind’s eyes to think about chocolate and video games simultaneously. Even when I eat chocolate while playing a game, once I start thinking about how good the candy bar is I find my thoughts have drifted from the game. This is why I like roll playing games. They require hours of mindless level-upping. This allows me to continue playing video games using only my subconscious while freeing up my conscious thoughts for more important things like lectures on linear algebra.
But I don’t want one subconscious and one conscious mind, I want to have two conscious mind’s eyes. If there is someone out there who has two simultaneously active mind’s eyes, I would love to pick their brain. The only way I can imagine this functioning is similar to a multi-core computer processor. You would still have limits. For example, if you had two trains of thought going on at once, and one of them requested you to go cash a check while the other one requested you to go work out, one task would have to give. So naturally one would need two bodies to go with the two trains of thought, but would any one really want to be in control of two bodies? I could go to more than one class at a time, get an education twice as fast. I could use one to chase after athletic ambitions, and allow the other to binge on all the delicacies the world has to offer.
The only down side might be coming up with enough tasks to keep yourself occupied and not getting twice as bored or twice as hurt. If you double your pleasure your just as likely to double your pain. Taking this a step further, imagine having a global consciousness with one mind controlling all the bodies of the Earth. With he entire planet and all its resources at your whim, what would you do with it? Obviously I would turn the planet into a galactic yo-yo, but then I would get pretty lonely and bored after realizing there was nobody there to be impressed by all the work that went into making a giant yo-yo Earth. Who would tell me how stupid I was for making the Earth spin so fast that it ejected most of my drones off it’s surface? I think we need to have other people to learn from, to teach and to throw ideas off of. In conclusion, there is a lot more to think about with respect to expanding out our consciousness. With technology advancing far into the future will we build such an entity? Are there pan dimensional hyper intelligent beings like this out there now, and more importantly do they still like chocolate and video games?
Listen to episode #39 Free for All: NTKComments Off on Professor Blastoff Afterthoughts: NTK
Hey friends! How is everyone! I am busy. WE are busy. Earwolf is busy. Check out some of what we’re busy doing.
There are three lovely ladies joining us this week on Comedy Bang! Bang!: Tig Notaro, master of foley, and Ronna & Beverly. I think you’ll be hearing more of Ronna and Bev here on Earwolf! More to come on that…
Professor Blastoff is a lot like that Ted Nugent song, “IT’S A FREE FOR ALL!” Don’t worry though, there won’t be any Ted Nugent.
How Did This Get Made?! is a minisode this week. What do you think the movie will be? Oh my gosh you’re so wrong!
The rest of the week will just have to be a surprise!Comments Off on Weeksidoodle: January 23
According to televisual personality and Highlander Dick Clark, it is a new year. It is a time for “new years resolutions” in which people make a goal they have no intention of actually meeting because otherwise they wouldn’t have waiting to an arbitrary point to start. However, I am ready to join their masses. My resolution is this: I am going to become such a shameless self-promoter that people will begin to cringe when they hear my name. Although, that may already be true. But only because I have the same name as the guy who wrote three of the Fast and The Furious movies. I’m just going to use this as a forum for pitching show ideas until somebody buys it and I kiss them on the mouth in appreciation.
Here it goes: the easiest way to come up with a new TV show is to “borrow” an existing idea. We are all aware of the hit juggernaut that was the show Cavemen. As we all know, it is a show about modern Cavemen living in the modern world. Here’s my show: Ancient Mayans living in the year 2012. What makes this interesting is that the year 2012 is the end of their calendar, and thus is perceived by some people (like John Cusack) to mean that’s when the world is going to end. So, in a way, this idea still ties into the future.
However, in this world, the ancient Mayans won’t quite be as modern as their Cavemen counterparts. Like Cavemen, there will be three main characters: the kind of bland main character, the dumb one and the one that is Nick Kroll. They do believe the world is going to end after 2012, which is where much of the comedy will come from. It will sort of have a Y2K feel, only instead of about forty percent of people acting ridiculous, only like 10 percent of the people will be acting ridiculous. Still, we will be laughing with them, not at them. Surely, this is a logical and valid distinction worth mentioning. They will be the only Mayans around, and they just sort of have misadventures in the modern world. It will be just like when the Flintstones met the Jetsons.
The characters won’t perform human sacrifices, but they will play ancient Mayan flutes. Was it Mayans who played the game where people tried to hit a ball through a hoop with their hips? Let’s say yes, and let’s say they play it. Okay? Also, they wear fancy head dresses because, I mean, they have to look Mayan, right? They’ll work, they’ll learn, they’ll laugh, they’ll love. Just like us! It will be great.
Of course, the first season has to end with New Year’s Eve. If the show only gets one season – although how could an idea this brilliant not make it a decade – the show will need to cover the one thing everybody knows about the Mayans, which is the world ending in 2012. In the finale, and spoiler alert here I guess, they are preparing for the world to end as the ball drops and then…it doesn’t. The world goes on. Then, things get really somber and serious. Their lives are totally torn apart. They don’t know what to do with themselves. Their entire belief system proved faulty. Sure, this means they still get to live…but do they really want to? And maybe one of them kills themselves. During sweeps week.
So, there it is. Mayans in all its pitched glory. It looks airtight from here. Now, I know some of you may be saying that the Mayan calendar ends December 21, not December 31. Also, they don’t really think the world will end in 2012. They just think it is the end of a cycle of life. We’ll just slap a little “Based on Some Facts” disclaimer on the credits and call it a day. It’s hard enough to get people to watch shows about “those people,” so if suddenly we are teaching them actual Mayan culture, it will just confuse and irritate them, our beloved viewing audience. Plus, it’s not like there are any Mayans around to complain about it – again this is “Based on Some Facts.”
The clichéd ball is in your court, TV People. Don’t let this clear instant classic slip through your fingers. The world is clamoring for the Mayan version of Cavemen. Will you answer the call? At least before ending this cycle of life.
Comments Off on The End of The World Show
When I was younger I used to cry every time I lost my Grumpy Bear care bear. I was helpless without him. To this day, he is the only one who truly gets me. He and I see eye to eye when it comes to man’s inhumanity to man. He helped me survive my darkest days. Kindergarten was when it really hit hard, life’s first playground. It was there I learned there was no such thing as a free sack lunch, and girls only like you until your big wheel breaks down in the rain gutter. Grumpy B always cheered me up though, and I owe him my life.
As I grew up I became more and more curious about what made the Care Bears care so much. I did a little research and this is what I found, the anatomy of a Care Bear. I soon realized what had been making Grumpy B so grumpy…he had an incomplete digestive tract!
Luckily I was able to outgrow my grumpiness. I look at life a little more positively now. I’ve learned to think outside myself. For example, I often think about how others must feel really good when they do nice things for me. That is why I never let a day go by without asking someone to do things for me that I could easily do myself. It makes me feel good knowing that they will be rewarded for doing so either by God, Karma, or getting it paid forward. But a true altruist doesn’t do good things with the expectation of any return. That is where the argument turns to defining expectation. We never do anything without thinking of the result of our actions. And even doing some nice because it makes you feel good can be seen as expected. That is why Care Bares are true Altruists, they sacrifice themselves completely to the kids who drool on them for comfort. They can’t expect anything in return because they have no brain…except for the one in the pic.
Moving on, our guest, Alexander Platt, spoke on to the topic of carers and barers, which I’m convinced is where the Care Bears got their names as well as a built in mission statement. Obviously the world would be better off if we were surrounded by more toys with stomach tattoos that were intrinsically motivated and infinitely equipped to care about your day, but we’re not. We humans have to step up and take care of the needy. We are all paying it forward really. We have all been needy at one point or another in our lives. Particularly at the start of it. No one just hops out the womb, claps their hands, and say, “OK , I’m here. What can I do to help?” Our days as carers are “kicked down the road” so to speak… I really hope that is an appropriate use of the term. I looked up a how to video on playing Kick the Can just to be sure.
Okay that wasn’t even a can. That was a bucket. But I guess kick the bucket was already taken. Pretty sure I understand the concept. We have to pay it forward by jumping over the can before the person who is “it” kicks it further down the road? I’m glad I found that video. For more on the topic of carers and barers check out Richard Dawkins’ book The Selfish Gene. If you want more information on Care Bears, then grow up.
Listen to episode #38 AltruismComments Off on Professor Blastoff Afterthoughts: Altruism
Hey friends. Those Golden Globes, am I right? Some people won some things and some people didn’t and that one show…okay, so I didn’t watch the Golden Globes. I was too busy PREPARING FOR A WEEK OF PODCAST DOMINATION! Join me!
Comedy Bang! Bang! this week features an old friend and a new friend: First timer Nick Offerman and everyone’s favorite pig, I mean actor, Paul Giamatti. I think you’ll respond a little something like this:
You’re welcome in advance, because this week’s Professor Blastoff is all about altruism.
Of course we’re revisiting Crank on How Did This Get Made?! Of course! Not only because it’s one of the best crazy movies ever, but Brian Taylor (the co-writer and director) is joining us this time around!
Speaking of Matt Besser, he’s back with yet another improv4humans! This week features Andy Daly, Horatio Sanz and Joe Wengert. You guys have all seen Inside the Master Class, right? If you love Besser and improv, you sort of have to watch it. Seriously. I’m about to make your day:
Curtis Gwinn has delighted us on How Did This Get Made? and improv4humans. Prepare to be ultra delighted by him this week as he takes a step into the Totally Laime household for an hour of delightfulness.Comments Off on Weeksidoodle: January 16, 2012
One evening, as a child, I failed to finish the food on my dinner plate so my parents took away my brand new Nintendo 64 and said, “waste not, want not.” After asking them, “What the Christmas Story expletive does that mean?” I bravely declared a hunger strike and demanded they return my gaming console. The strike lasted about a minute as my mother quickly uncovered my birthday cake and hovered it over the trash. “Please no, for the love of Pete!” I cried. “You wouldn’t throw away a perfectly good birthday cake would you?” Without skipping a beat, my mother’s face turned to ice and she tilted her hand ever so slightly as she said, “Make a wish!” The candles blew out from the wind of the fall. My hunger strike ended with my head in the garbage can. The silver lining…I didn’t have to share my cake with anyone that year. My wish came true.
What I learned that day applies now more than ever. As the world comes to an end at the end of this year it is important we try and use up every last energy and food resource we have. That’s clearly the correct interpretation of waste not want not!
Just like they did on Easter Island. That island was immortalized by the many magnificent stone heads they left us. They must have known the island was facing imminent doom so they quickly ate up all the food and enjoyed themselves for the last little bit f time they had. As we discussed with Steven Yates, we have a lot of oil left so why don’t we use it for something cool? If we really concentrate I believe we could pool our last resources in 2012 and leave a truly spectacular mark that would let every future spaceship traveler who flies through our solar system know this island earth had people with massive heads. I’m thinking big…moon head big! It’s already got a rough outline, probably done by ancient Martians, so all we would need to do is go up there with some really big guns and finish the job!
Now moving on, we were going to talk about global warming during this episode but we solved it with Kyles invention of solar panels on the water…which I was wrong to say wouldn’t work. If you google water solar panels you will see them. They look like a school of giant squids lost their contact lenses. Do squids have schools? Well if they do that would be nuts! The other thing that is nuts is that I watched this half hour lecture by Al Gore about global warming without falling asleep, which is our cut clip of the week.
I think he has a lot of good points here, unfortunately all I see when I look at him is my mother, dangling that chocolate cake over the trash in front of me. But unlike my non-fabricated childhood story, maybe in this case a world wide carbon fuel hunger strike is just what we need in order to cool off our mother. That’s a rather large transition, one that will cause years of growing pains, I’m sure. The cool part is seeing all the developing technology along the way, like hydrogen fueled cars! I am an optimist. I believe we can have our cake and eat it too, we just need to respect mother or she’ll overheat and scorch us all to bits, like the candles on my cake. Make a wish!
listen to episode #37 SustainabilityComments Off on Professor Blastoff Afterthoughts: Sustainability