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That Which is Known
3 minutes | Sep 1, 2015
TWIK033: The Western Genre
Howdy, pardners. Today we're talking about the Western genre of literature, its origins, its rise, and its fall. Link:The Western Writers of AmericaThe Collected Leatherstocking Tales (affiliate link)Stanford's collection of Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls
4 minutes | Aug 25, 2015
TWIK032: Silver Age of Artificial Intelligence
After the dark age of the 1970s, advances in Artificial Intelligence came fast and furious during the 1980s. Links3 part tutorial on Expert System development Creative Computing article on Japan's Fifth Generation Computer project, August 1984CycorpDeep Blue vs Gary Kasparov
6 minutes | Aug 18, 2015
TWIK031: Dark Age of Artificial Intelligence
After the progress and enthusiasm of the 1950s and 60s, the 70s were a trying time for the young field of Artificial Intelligence. In this episode we talk about academia's falling confidence in AI, dwindling funding, and the practical and philosophical complications researchers were facing. Links: Simple Harmonic Motion is available as a short story through Amazon, or a free audio drama mp3 download from Burning Brigid Media, if you sign up for their mailing list.Online Guide to Prolog programming
4 minutes | Aug 11, 2015
TWIK030: Golden Age of Artificial Intelligence
4 minutes | Aug 4, 2015
TWIK029: Zuni Religion
Wait a second, wasn't the last episode on the Zuni religion? Not exactly. Last time we were talking about the Zuni belief system. This time we're talking about how those beliefs are practiced, and the form Zuni spirituality takes in a practical sense. It might seem like a pedantic distinction, but it's a very important one. The gap between belief and practice (doxy and praxy) can tell you a lot about a culture. For the Zuni, that gap is razor-thin. They are a people who practice what they preach. Iron Horses Can't Be Broken I researched the Zuni and their culture for the steampunk western novel Iron Horses Can't Be Broken, the sixth in the Galvanic Century series. The titular character, Iron Horse, one of the book's protagonists, comes from the Zuni Pueblo, and his spirituality informs every fact of his daily life. Iron Horses will be released in September both as a novel and adapted into an 11-part serial audio drama through the upcoming Synesthesia Theatre podcast.
4 minutes | Jul 28, 2015
TWIK028: Zuni Mythology
In a past episode, we talked about Zuni culture. This week we examine the religious beliefs and mythology of this Southwest Native American people. Cosmology Chart Direction Color Predator Game Animal Bird Tree North Yellow Mountain Lion Mule Deer Oriole Pine West Blue Bear Mountain Sheep Bluejay Douglas Fir East White Wolf Whitetail Deer Magpie Cottonwood South Red Badger Antelope Parrot Aspen Zenith All Eagle Jackrabbit Purple Martin Nadir Black Mole Cottontail Rabbit Swallow Next time we'll be talking about the various forms the Zuni religion takes in their day to day life.
4 minutes | Jul 21, 2015
TWIK027: History of Burlesque
You want burlesque? Here's some Burlesque: Links A history of musical burlesqueBurlesque: A Living History - ebook (affiliate link)
5 minutes | Jul 14, 2015
TWIK026: The Zuni
The Zuni are a Native American peoples local to the southwestern United States. They have a unique isolate language, and cultural touchstones that go back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. You can find the episode covering their spiritual beliefs here. Books on the ZuniThe Zuni by Ruth R BunzelTrue Books American Indians: The Zuni by Kevin Cunningham and Peter BenoitMy Adventures in Zuni by Frank Cushing. This is a primary source, written by an anthropologist in the 1920s. Frank Cushing was, by all accounts, an amazing guy. I don't go over it in the Episode, but he was not only accepted into the Zuni tribe, but Mr. Cushing helped protect the Zuni from economic exploitation, making powerful enemies along the way. Here's a short video about him. More zuni links Zuni-English DictionaryZuni Chronological Timeline Context I've been researching the Zuni people for my next steampunk novel, Iron Horses Can't Be Broken. It's still being revised, but I'm running a kickstarter to fund its cover art. If you're not interested in pre-ordering a copy through the Kickstarter, you can instead wait for a notification of its release in the next few months by signing up for my mailing list.
7 minutes | Jul 7, 2015
TWIK025: Audio Drama
Who knows what stories lurk in the hearts of men? Your auditory cortex knows! For listenersAudio-Drama dot comThe Audio Drama DirectoryWe're AliveThe TruthIt's About TimeWelcome to Night Vale For Creators Audio Drama Production PodcastThe Radio Drama Handbook (Affiliate Link)How to Create Audio Drama (Affiliate Link) Blatant self-promotion Synesthesia TheatreSimple Harmonic Motion
6 minutes | Jun 30, 2015
TWIK024: Tabletop Role-Playing Games
A five minute overview of why people hang around in dank basements rolling dice and pretending to be elfs and space marines. Other than, you know, gambling. Some RPG SystemsDungeons and Dragons - granddaddy of them allAffiliate purchase linkFeng ShuiAffiliate purchase linkUnknown ArmiesAffiliate purchase linkFate Affiliate purchase linkMonster of the WeekAffiliate purchase link Other Links Last Minute GM - my rpg theory blogFantasy Grounds virtual tabletop softwareDesigners and Dragons - books covering the history of the RPG industry
8 minutes | Jun 23, 2015
TWIK023: Interactive Fiction
Interactive Fiction is a fancy way of saying "text adventure games." General Links: Play several classic adventure games right in your web browser hereThe Interactive Fiction Wiki The Interactive Fiction Database where you can find games of all sorts The Interactive Fiction Community ForumPlanet IF Popular Interactive Fiction Interpreters Inform 7TadsTwineInklewriterChoice Of Games Competitions The annual Interactive Fiction Competition (IfComp) The Spring ThingIntroComp
10 minutes | Jun 16, 2015
Today's topic was suggested in a reader mail from Bianca. If there's anything you'd like to hear me blather on about, use the contact form to let me know! This episode is all about what I research and how I do it. Here's the text of that Heinlein quote from Of Worlds Beyond: No established fact shall be violated, and, furthermore, when the story requires that a theory contrary to present accepted theory be used, the new theory should be rendered reasonably plausible and it must include and explain established facts as satisfactorily as the one the author saw fit to junk. It may be far-fetched, it may seem fantastic, but it must not be at variance with observed facts, i.e. if you are going to assume the human race descended from Martians, then you've got to explain our apparent close relationship to terrestrial anthropoid apes as well. Groovy, huh? Here's a link to the Pinterest where I store visual references for upcoming books, and here's a link to my Patreon. Two subreddits: /r/AskScience/r/AskHistory
8 minutes | Jun 9, 2015
TWIK021: Victorian Theatre
During the Victorian and early Edwardian age, theatre in Europe and the United States was in a time of transition and change. Learn about the state of performance arts in this episode. Period Playwrites: George Bernard ShawOscar WildeW.S. GilbertArthur Sullivan
5 minutes | Jun 2, 2015
TWIK020: Resurrection Men
"Resurrection Man" is a fancy Victorian word for grave robbers. They filled a vital role in the advancement of medical science, bypassing laws that limited the availability of cadavers to 10% of demand just as the Enlightenment was getting into scientific gear. Maybe that's why the crown largely ignored the practice. Find out more in this episode. Also: Resurrectionist-related period broadsidesMurder act of 1752Anatomy Act of 1832Burke and HareYoung FrankensteinHerbert West - ReanimatorThe Case of Charles Dexter WardBartleby and James
6 minutes | May 26, 2015
TWIK019: Ancient Automatons
Today we'll be talking about ancient automatons: robots sent from the past to impress us. We open with a bit of fan mail asking me how I choose the topic for these episodes. The simple answer: Whatever floats my boat. These are the inventors and the machines we're covering today: unnamed daoist artificer, 3rd century BCE Life sized automaton for King Mu Archytas of Tarentum, 420 BCE Wooden steam-propelled bird Hero of Alexander, 1st century CE Pneumatica and Automata Steam Engine Windwheel organ holy water vending machine mechanical play automated cart wine-pouring statues Al-Jazari, 1206 CE Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices Hydropowered peacocks Waitress robots automatic fountain with soap and towels Robot band Leonardo Da Vinci Mechanical knight Researched For: I was researching the history of automata for my first book, Bartleby and James. Read it. It's free.
7 minutes | May 19, 2015
TWIK018: Andrew M. Crusoe on Chintamani Stones
Another guest post this week, by author Andrew M. Crusoe. Andrew brings us a fascinating artifact from the body of Buddhist and Hindu traditions, the sacred Chintamani Stones. Links: The Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (use username ‘guest’) “Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophecy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia” by Andrei Znamenski“Lost Horizon” by James Hilton Andrew’s Mythic Sci-Fi novels which feature Chintamani: “The Island on the Edge of Forever”“The Truth Beyond the Sky” This episode is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license.
7 minutes | May 12, 2015
TWIK017: Solar Sails
Continuing our series on means of space propulsion, I present to you solar sails.Planetary Foundation to test LightSail-1More info on LightSail-1NanoSail-DSolarsails.infoMichael Coorlim's mailing listThat Which is Known's Patreon
6 minutes | May 5, 2015
TWIK016: Will Weisser on Parallel Universes
Today we're treated to a guest episode by author Will Weisser. Is the multiverse science or science fiction? Will explains several different scientific theories on why parallel universes might be real, based specifically on the work of cosmologist Max Tegmark, and goes into depth as he has time for on the background and implications of each. Links: Our Mathematical UniverseMany-Worlds Interpretation Will's YA portal fiction novel, Reintegrators. A big thanks goes out to Will for his entertaining and enlightening episode. Check out his book!
6 minutes | Apr 28, 2015
TWIK015: Project Orion
Project Orion was a project to develop a nuclear pulse drive. What's a nuclear pulse drive? It's an attempt to power space flight with explosions. Nuclear explosions.Freeman DysonGeneral AtomicsGeorge Dyson (son of Freeman)'s TED talk about Project OrionProject DaedalusProject Longshot at Wikisource
4 minutes | Apr 21, 2015
TWIK014: Health Hazards of Microgravity
We're not well adapted to microgravity. Space Adaptation Syndrome Symptoms: Nausea Vomiting Vertigo Headaches Lethargy Malaise Other Symptoms: Loss of muscle mass Spaceflight Osteopenia Increased blood calcium levels Kidney stones Calcification of soft tissue Fluid redistribution cold-like symptoms Decrease in blood plasma levels Heart atrophy Crushing of the optic nerve If you want to listen to Simple Harmonic Motion when it's released, sign up for the Burning Brigid Media mailing list.
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