***** SPOILER ALERT *****
This podcast will be discussing plot points of comics and movies which may be considered spoilers. Consider yourselves warned.
In which, Andrew and Tracy discuss the finer points of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Gotham season premieres. Mostly we like them! Tracy criticizes the scope of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Andrew shoots her down. Are you #TeamTracy or #TeamAndrew? Let us know in the comments!
As a fairly prolific reader, I often get asked for recommendations from people looking to expand their reading list of doom. Over the summer and into the first few weeks of fall, I’ve been catching up on a lot of the books I’ve been meaning to read, and here is my list of the books you should add to your pile right away, as well as a couple that I would recommend avoiding. Continue reading
One of the most ingenious and useful inventions of ancient Rome was cement. In fact, the famous state formation theorist Paul Kennedy has said that concrete was the innovation that most completely accounts for the rise of a civilization unmatched until the 18th century (no state or empire reached the same level of GDP until the British industrialization and mercantile economy in the 1700’s). It was used for everything from aqueducts to the famous Coliseum. Two thousand years later, cement is still mankind’s favorite and most used construction material.
Now, a five year research project by a team from MIT and CNRS may have found a way to improve the formula. The amount of green-house gas emissions from concrete is alarming, especially given its popularity in construction all over the globe. Through a reduction in the calcium content, scientists have been able to lower emissions by up to 60% while simultaneously increasing the mechanical strength of the material and reducing the possibility of fracture, which would make it even more appealing to the oil industry especially.
Now if only we could figure out a way to make it last 2,000 years…
Having been a proponent of games and gaming for most of my life, I tend to focus on the more virtuous elements of the sport. Games have helped push processing technology forward via the popularity of video games on both consoles and PC. They have brought people together in comradery for years with simple rules and competition, à la billiards or poker. They have been used as teaching aids and regularly include cultural references which introduce players to myths and legends of various peoples and countries around the world. Some of the most popular subjects are the pantheons of Norse, Greek and Roman gods. Other favorites include Irish and Scottish folklore, mostly in the form of fairies or druids. Of course, Japanese history and martial arts often appear, represented by Samurai or Ninja. Games have a lot of potential redeeming value, provided that the player is mature enough to learn in addition to being entertained. However, it’s up to the player to be responsible, because gaming can be highly entertaining, highly educational, and highly addicting. Continue reading