Archive for December 2019

In this episode, we dive into The Expanse season 4 and its many layers. As humans travel farther than ever before, to a new world - new evolutionary opportunities arise. And pitfalls. Rutger and Gil break down the evolutionary opportunities and pitfalls that await organisms that move to new habitats. In our own world, new environments sometimes open up either because they suddenly appear - like volcanic islands rising up from the ocean floor - or because key innovations in the evolution of a lineage make the environment accessible. For example, when a lineage evolves the ability to fly and the skies open up. In The Expanse, a whole universe of different planets has suddenly opened up. What might that mean for humans if they radiate outward into this vast space? And what about the organisms they might bring along? What do bats have to do with it? And jellyfish in the Mediterranean?

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Jesus Christ in Movies

To mark Christmas, we look at movies depicting the life and times of perhaps the most controversial rabbi of the Second Temple period: Jesus of Nazareth. We rewatch the Life of Brian and are reminded of Empire and of the brutality with which the Romans imposed their will homogenously across enormous swathes of land, ironically setting up the environment in which the ideology of the guy they executed could spread. We then go over the odious Passion of the Christ, which features prosthetic noses and blood curses, and wrap it up with the interesting but slow-moving Last Temptation of Christ. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and everything else!

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The Expanse season 4 has been out on Amazon Prime since December 13, and it is the best season of this scifi story, rife with historical elements, such as Mars collapsing after reaching a truce with Earth in the same vein that the USSR collapsed after the end of the cold war, the expansion out to the American west or Age of exploration elements, all the way to compelling scientific questions such as new biomes and the sounds guns make in space. Rutger joins Gil to celebrate this season, its writing, acting, production value and pace, and complain a bit about the final two episodes.

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The UK elections will be held on Thursday, December 12, and the results will impact not only the British people but Europeans at large - for decades to come. Will unelected incumbent conservative Boris Johnson win an outright majority? What will that mean? Will opposition leader and beleaguered head of Labor Jeremy Corbyn shock the world by tiptoeing around Brexit and focusing on social programs? Will the smaller parties make a splash? Gil Kidron hosts patron John Ellis, a Welshman with a B.A in Politics, to break it all down.

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The Expanse is a political story about a society set 200 years in the future, led by humans who are making the same sort of calculations leaders today make - weighing options, trying to figure out what other people will do in all kinds of situations. Rutger joins Gil to talk about game theory, the thinking behind it and its applications in all walks of life, including when dealing with a trans-planetary conflict with several factions, and the sub-factions within them. The conflict between, Earth, Mars and the Belt is shaped by the decisions, assumptions and misjudgments of its leaders, and exploring game theory through this Amazon Prime show is a great way to learn more about The expanse and game theory.

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After long years of on-and-off investigations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted for corruption charges - including bribery. His upcoming trial changes the political situation in Israel after 10 years of solid reign for King Bibi, which increasingly now seem like they will soon be in the past. Therapist Noga Ariel Galor is joining Gil Kidron on the podcast to break down Bibi's deteriorating mental state and how it endangers the fabric of a society that is very diverse to begin with.

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