November 21, 2016
EP. 153 — Dispelling Every Space Myth You Learned In 7th Grade Science
Believe it or not, Matthew McConaughey’s thesis (from behind a bookshelf inside a black hole) that love is the most powerful force in the universe isn’t the most scientifically accurate thing Hollywood has offered us lately. It should come as no surprise that movies take a lot of liberties with astrophysics and what is possible or impossible in the realm of outer space. Like, sending up a crew of men less qualified than Donald Trump (too soon?) to blow up an asteroid? That’s probably not in NASA’s Plans A through “we ran out of letters” of how to stop a meteor on a collision course with Earth.
Even in more fantastical movies like the Star Wars or Star Trek films, you just get very inadequate image in your head of how space works. Take asteroid belts, for example. It’s a belt! Made of asteroids! Asteroids as far as the eye can see! You can’t safely pilot your ship through them because there are just so many damn asteroids! I’ve had it with these motherf**king asteroids on this motherf**king belt!
We’re sorry to say that’s now how the asteroid belt works at all. The average distance between bodies in the asteroid belt is 600,000 miles, which is more than double the distance between the Earth and the Moon. So traveling through the asteroid belt is less dodging asteroids like Han Solo and more, “we passed through the asteroid belt?” To dispel some more myths about how space works, Jack O’Brien and Alex Schmidt are joined by Dr. Farah Alibay, a real life scientist at JPL who gets to play with styrofoam models of planets all day and is currently working on a mission that’s trying to scoop a 2o-ton boulder off an asteroid, which is as cool as it sounds.
Farah Alibay Bio : https://goo.gl/iM4NI7
Podcast: How NASA Was Born Out of Magic Loving, Orgy Having Nerds : https://goo.gl/sbSjcR
Video: To Scale – The Solar System : https://goo.gl/yxUggj
GIF: Jupiter’s Surface in Motion : https://goo.gl/BEUaJz
Video: Pigeons in Space : https://goo.gl/H3Anrr
Video: Spiders in Space : https://goo.gl/VrQQkJ
Video: Russian Meteor Reaction : https://goo.gl/R6WKTA
Image Gallery: Cupola Module on the ISS : https://goo.gl/IJUO5U
Article: The Drake Equation : https://goo.gl/rYZVzF
Article: Myths Everyone Believes About Space (Thanks To Movies) : https://goo.gl/H0WiLF
Article: Things About Space You’re Picturing Almost Exactly Wrong : https://goo.gl/qDDpgn
Article: Reasons Space Travel Will Always Suck : https://goo.gl/VfNZ
Article: Reasons Life in Space Sucks (That Sci-Fi Doesn’t Show You) : https://goo.gl/jNuONd
Article: The Most Mind-Blowing Things Ever Discovered in Space : https://goo.gl/XztW9
Article: Real Planets Way Weirder Than Anything in Science Fiction : https://goo.gl/Rb6Yy6
Article: Mind-Blowing Things Found in Our Own Solar System : https://goo.gl/Azquk
This episode is brought to you by Squarespace and MVMT Watches.
January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
January 19, 2020
How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!
January 12, 2020
Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.