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Episode 9 — Dimensions

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You are either listening to Professor Blastoff, or entering a new dimension. We're not sure which one it is. We are also unsure if it is the forth dimension, fifth dimension, or one of hundreds of multiverses you are entering. And we cannot guarantee that in this dimension your junk will retain the same size and shape that it does in the third dimension. Or if dementia is somehow related to the concept of dimensions. But that which we do know will be given to you in easy, memorable riddle form. So listen ahead, and don't be afraid to look up once in a while.

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David "the Devil's Advocate" Huntsberger... almost every episode so far has started with David explaining a prevalent and widely accepted scientific theory and following it up with... "but IS that true?"

Don't you think dementia is just old people mastering inter-dimensional travel?
Deja Vu means we're all clairvoyant...
Crop circles are real, aliens carved mountains in Australia (or somewhere!)

I love it though... every show needs some kook with half baked ideas, haha!

Also side note... David said in one ep that he trained his Iris to see better and get better depth perception, only to doubt the existence of depth at all on this episode!

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I almost pissed my pants from laughing so hard during the slo-mo section....I have rewound and replayed that section about 50 times already!

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Damn it. I came all the way here looking for the picture of the leather shoe and nothin'. Bull shit.

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"every show needs some kook with half baked ideas, haha!"

this one has three, but doesn't seem to suffer for it.

+1 for the slo-mo bit. i was listening at work, literally snorting and gagging and pretending to be choking in an effort to suppress laughter - because it would be easier for people to think i'm choking to death than to explain that i'm laughing at a dinosaur experiencing relativistic time dilation.

watched the promo video, kyle and david are all wrong. they should be switched - kyle's personality and voice should be in david's body, and vice versa. see what you can do about that...

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Ow, my head. I wanted to see some diagrams of the whole space-warp model and I couldn't stop thinking of Fifth Dimension songs-"One Less Bell To Answer", "Up Up and Away", etc. Thanks guys. That Kyle's a rhymin' fool. And I don't know why, but that Goobers commercial kicks my parenting instincts into overdrive with heart-rending urgency. I don't have any kids, but I really want baby Tig to have her Goobers.
Jamey

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I want to hear more about Goobers and was wondering if I could have some...

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I think Slo guy from the fifth dimension could be a new character for Kyle! He would make for an awesome special guest for next weeks episode.

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As a physicist, this episode frustrated the hell out of me (although it was very funny). My frustration came from the confusion of a separate universe (or reality) with a dimension and the mention that time isn't necessarily a separate dimension. A dimension of a space is the minimum number of coordinates needed to define a point within it. At non-relativistic speeds, we experience 3 dimensions (x,y,z). If one object in the space is moving relative to another we define the location of one in a frame (x,y,z) and the other as (x',y',z') and we can do a linear transformation between the two (Galilean transformation). Einstein showed that both frames also move through time differently and this difference becomes more prominent at high speeds (which is why we do perceive time as a separate dimension at the speeds at which we move). We have to define the position of the frames in four dimensions as (x,y,z,t) and (x',y',z',t').
Unfortunately Einstein did not win the Nobel Prize for this as it was not able to be verified with 1905 technology. It has been confirmed since the 1940's, but the example I give my students is the 1971 test where atomic clocks were put on jets traveling in away from each other around the world. When they met the differences in the clocks were what one would expect from Einstein's theory. This is the easiest experimental proof to explain assuming that one does not know about the Doppler effect or muons.
The discussion of the multiverse comes from interpretations of quantum mechanics. The most commonly held interpretation is the Copenhagen interpretation. The many worlds interpretation (or Everett interpretation) is another, but not a widely followed interpretation. I'll use the Schrodinger's cat scenario to explain the difference.
A cat is in a box and whether it lives or dies depends on some random event (a particle ejected from a radioactive source has to hit a target). In the Copenhagen interpretation until you open the box (ie perform the experiment) the cat exists in a superposition of the alive and dead state. Once the box is opened, the cat falls into one state. The Everett interpretation states that both the alive and dead states continue to exist once the box is opened and are branched off into two different realities with a dead cat observer in one and an alive observer in the other.
Okay, I'll take off my physics professor hat and put back on my Earwolf media podcast listener one. Even though it is summer break, I couldn't resist.

PS Kyle's "riddles" are classic. Thank god for the "30 seconds back" button on my iphone.

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Another great episode. I love the show!

Whenever David says "I like to believe ..." the craziest theory anyone could ever come up with is about to be said.

It would be great if there was a dimension where Professor Blastoff was hosted by Craig, Good One Robot, Goobers baby, and David with a cowboy hat on.

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Another splendid under the hatch cast! Whatever happened to Carl (i just take the beatin's) from the first episode? I have listened that a million times, comedic gold. I guess Carl ran off when Kyle learned how to say words.

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i had to pull the car over on the way home yesterday during kyle's explanations of how he "remembers" dimensions. tears streaming down my stupid face from laughing so hard. "the dimensions this thou thart are thee"

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God damn it, for some reason I am compulsed to listen to the slo guy portion at least 5 times a day. It freaking cracks me up every time I hear it...."Heeeeerreeeee Commmmeeeessss mmmmyyyyyyy sssshoooooeeee..............oeeerrrrffffffffffffffff"

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Nobody confuses an issue like David Huntsberger. This episode's example: thinking that "dimension" and "dementia" share the same word roots, which leads to another patented You Can't Seriously Believe That theory that tries to link them together. David, if you'd just written down and looked at those two words side by side -- or, I dunno, "researched" them on Professor Blastoff's go-to reference work, Wikipedia -- you may have been able to come up with some other equally ludicrous theory that didn't stem solely from your misunderstanding of language.

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Holy God Damn.

I love the podcast, and I always find it interesting, but the impromptu poems....damn. Those poems were on par with some of the funniest things I've heard on earwolf podcasts. I love the incident as a representation of the whimsical precision that moves through the serious precision of science.

Some other commenters -gonna hate- on the podcast because the discussion of these concepts doesn't come from the scientists themselves. I have to admit that I have had the same impulse from time to time, and had the desire to yell at my Zune screen "But you've got it all wrong! It's so simple!" But I resist, and for one simple reason. We typically understand knowledge in terms of mastery, and that physicists and mathematicians and psychologists are the masters of information. But outside of laboratories and universities, the public is confused by these ideas because of the way that the inside languages are constructed. A great example is when someone said that they didn't buy that time was a fourth dimension because it's not spatial, or that understanding "infinite possibility" as a dimension is incomprehensible. To their credit, the hosts of the podcast try to bring these jargonistic realms back to a more grounded linguistic arrangement and call out the points where the language is unmanageable. So while there are many intellectuals who claim to have knowledge of the fields on this podcast (many of whom have commented and will comment in these very forums), few have the gall to make fun of their own discursive construction, which is why it is enjoyable, and to some extent necessary, to have podcasts like this one.

All right, rant over. But goddamn what a great episode! Well done all, and the goobers bit lingers with possibility. I have faith now, and I will try to hold to my own advice.

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Hey, man I enjoyed this. I posted it on my blog and fb page

 

fuckyeahprofessorblastoff.tumblr.com

 

Nice job.

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