1 Episode results for "Dennis Malloy"
Anthology of Horror, Volume 1
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It's a science based stroll through the world of horror anthology television and cinema the twilight so the night gallery tales from the crypt treehouse of horror. So stake around bloodsuckers and find out which episodes they picked, and what sorts of scientific subjects were able to suck from the. Welcome to stuff to blow your mind from how stuff works. Hey, welcome to stuff till your mind. My name's Robert lamb, and I'm Joe McCormick. And as you can tell from our delightful intro there by couple of colleagues of ours. We'll just assume it was delightful. It was they sounded delighted delighted. Delighted they always even the most even in the most inopportune of times, it comes down to the things to lighten suppose. But but what they told. You is correct. We're gonna be talking about horror anthologies today. And then we're gonna we're gonna ring some science from their their desiccated. Corpses. That sounds like great fun to me. But Robert, so by horror anthology, you mean like TV shows where say, it's it's hor themed, and it's not the same characters every episode. We're right. We're not so much talking about like monster of the week episode on the episodes on the X files Buffy, right? And we're also not talking about the modern version of this see with American horror story where he sees. And it's a different story. No. We're talking about the likes of the twilight zone night gallery tales from the crypt the Simpsons treehouse of horror personal favorite of mine. Yeah. She's shows shows of this nature where each episode is a self contained story or sometimes a pair of stories or. A short story a sliver of a little extra on there. But their their self contained. They're essentially har- short har- fiction that has been translated generally for television. But then you, of course, you also see cinematic installments of these shows as well where you'll have a feature length film that consists of say three four maybe five different short horror segment. So yeah, maybe we can do maybe we can include movies like that in the future. I think we just did TV shows this time. Yeah. They're few few branch out into film a little bit. And of course, we'd be remiss we don't end up talking about any of these episodes, but black mirror. I think is one of the finer examples of horror times more Sifi, but really most of those episodes of pretty terrifying. I think you could make an argument dip lack mirror is a horror anthology television series. Now, Robert I'm a little at a disadvantage in this episode because you have seen far more of these types of shows than I have. I'm big on Simpson's treehouse of horror, but I've actually seen I've seen no tales from the dark side. I think no night gallery. I've actually not seen all that much twilight zone. If you have Soad's, you know, here and there and the only full tales from the crypt episode. I've actually seen that. I remember is deeply inappropriate one with Tim curry who is the most wonderful actor ever in all of acting history. But it's just too grotesque. Even talk about was we'll get into that description can go for just about every tales from the crypto. Yeah. Great actors, and sometimes great filmmakers, kind of a deplorable story. Yeah. If I've seen a lot of horror anthology TV shows, it's because I watched a lot of sci-fi channel and syndicated cable and the nineties, I guess, you could say it was my my teacher mother secret lover. To reference far. But yeah, I watched a gallery twilight zone outer limits. Both new and old. I think on the original scifi channel tales from the dark side in like syndication on Sunday afternoons, it always felt like a particularly unholy place for it to be well, you know, what I do expect to find. If we get into if I go back and start watching shows like this is I bet I will recognize things from when I was a kid, and we would go on a trip and like stay in a motel or something like that. And of course, they always had all the channels. We didn't get at home. So they had the scifi channel. And I just tuned into whatever and the hotel, and so occasionally, I'll see some crazy movie now and realize I saw piece of it as a child on vacation with my family and hotel. Well, I didn't have ready access to tales from the crypt. I would would happen is occasionally on HBO HBO's really one of the original original HBO programs. But to watch it since we were not HBO. Subscribers? I had to either hit it just main line at during HBO preview weekends or more often, watch them, half scrambled. 'cause I would be like dude be kind of like pizza colored scrambled of versions of or sometimes, you know, it would just become black and white. So there are some episodes of tales from the crypt. When I go back and watch them now that I'm like, oh, I had no idea for instance. I had no idea that was Tim curry playing female character. Because clearly the first time I watched it. It was too scrambled for me to tell. Well in that episode. That's kind of mercy. But wow, it's amazing. The things people would will put up with in the search for for a story that they're into, you know, like the idea I always think it's funny that, you know, people watch like theater bootleg videos, like somebody will record a movie with a camcorder inside a theater and people will watch that. Yeah. This kind of look terrible. But I don't I mean people you they're hungry for it. They want that movie. And I guess you were like that too watching through through all the static and weird color variations. Yeah. That was how you got to watch it. Yeah. So today's episode for longtime listeners to your mind. This is essentially the same concept is the three creepy pasta Assode z- that I did with Christian where we would pick creepy pasta stories and sort of squeeze the science out of them. And I have to say we squeezed all the science out of creepy pasta. I don't think there's there's much left. So this feels like the next logical place to start squeezing hollering Thala. Jeez. Well, I'd say let's get right into our first selection of the day. All right. My selection here for first one is a question of fear. And this is this is one of my favorite episodes of rod Serling night gallery his horror anthology series that ran from nineteen sixty nine through nineteen Seventy-three. And then, of course, just eternally on the scifi channel during the during the nineties is this a picture of Leslie Nielsen with an eye patch in a mustache. I'm looking. Yes. This episode starred Leslie Nielsen as Colonel Dennis Malloy. And it also starred actor Fritz Weaver as Dr Mazi Weaver is terrific. And this is well Nielsen is great in. This is the pre naked gun. Nielsen this serious actor Nielsen. Oh, he was that way for a long time. What movie did I just watch recently where he plays straight character? I can't remember right now. But of course, he was in forbidden planet. Oh, was he? Yeah. You don't remember? He's he was like the main. He was the commander astronaut in been planted. I mean, forbidden planet's great is not great for the astronaut characters who as usual or just like some stiff white dude's. Well, you could say that Leslie Nielsen was also one of those stiff wide do for sure. He's kind of put him in the same categories. Peter graves, you know. Enlight Peter graves and was later used to terrific affect in comedy as such as the airplane, movies and the naked gun movies in this. He's he's pretty great because he plays just a very very hard cold character plays. He's a fearless mercenary. That has just been multiple wars. And even after World War Two is over. He couldn't get enough. So just continually works as a mercenary, okay and Lee, Marvin type very much very much Lee, Marvin type character ear also reminds me a lot of the kind of character that say leave and cliff would have play. Oh, yeah. Okay. So in this episode it starts off with a gentlemen's club. And here is Colonel Malloy talking it up with the other gentleman there and one of the gentleman there, Dr Mazi played by Fritz Weaver starts talking about an an episode haunted house, I'm sort of an encounter with haunted house, where just terrifying for anyone to survive. And of course, the fearless Colonel here he starts talking about just how fearless is and how fear is a disease. He says, I'm careful, but I am incapable of fear. Okay. So this leads to a bet as compared tends to happen in stuffy gentlemen's clubs Mazi says. Says that he bets he cannot survive a one night in this haunted mansion without being scared to death and any puts ten thousand dollars on the line nineteen seventy one dollars. Yeah. Cash. And so, of course, are mercenaries up for it to prove how fearless is and to to get a nice payday. He says, of course, I'll do it. So in this one of the fabulous things about this episode is basically a two person show. It's just a just Weaver and the Olsen. So and you don't even see Weaver again, physically he only appears on a television set. So what happens is that Malloy Braves the ghost defects in the house, all these smoking Mira facts seem intended to scare him out of his payday. He definitely fires a few rounds and some obvious special effects in just the audiences clear that they're special effects, or it's obvious within the story that they're special effects a little of both especially to modern viewers. The effects aren't like our terrible. But anything they're lacking. I think actually enhances this aspect of the episode. So it's like supposed to be visible to Malloy that it's fake, right? Or certainly after he's through emptying his gun into Israel. I doubt with the problem. The way I do all my problems, I tempted to murder it. Right. And then I saw that it wasn't anything to be afraid of. So eventually, though, he settles into bed as a little coffee for some reason. And then he's says, all right? I'm just going to go to bed when I wake up going to be ten thousand dollars richer. Dreaming of mounting ghost heads on his wall. Right. But then second he settles in iron bars snap into place over him in a pendulum starts descending from the ceiling. And he still refuses to give into the fear like yells. All right Mazi. You can do this. You can kill me. But you're not gonna win because look at me still not afraid not afraid to die. And and so he ends up going to sleep. And when he wakes up he makes himself breakfast and Mazi. He communicates with him via a live. Tv transmission, any reveals the following first of all Malloy, apparently encountered Mazi a pianist father in Italy during the second World War where he tortured him for information pouring gasoline over his hands and setting them on fire. Oh, so as you're gonna magin Mazi four to Malloy and to break him, you burn my daddy's hands will get you for this. Right. Yeah. So now, we know it's a revenge piece. So Mazi reveals this point that he is a biochemist one of the greatest Biochemists in the field and his highly respected in the realm of biochemical warfare. And he says that he and his colleague recently discovered a way to convert a complex enzyme in the human body into that of an earthworm and by injecting this. He says, quote, the bones of the body disintegrate without affecting the nervous system or the vital organs until the victim is as near as can be an earthworm able to move on its belly. But without vertebrae unable to stand able to feed able to pass waste matter. But unable to use its arms and legs except to assist with a slithering motion in the manner of an earthworm I can't help. But notice the sounds like a better and more interest. Version of a movie, I don't like to talk about. Yes. I I have long thought about this. We've had a couple of movies that have come out of the past ten years in which a drain. Scientist wants to turn somebody into a creature of some sort generally lesser invertebrate. And and I find that all of those the concept is initially revolting appealing. But then you realize it's not really dealt with in any depth only rolled out to to revolt the audience, whereas in this episode, I feel like it is it is leveled in a very intelligent way. So to continue going Malloy of Michelin doubts. He's like your your full of it. But Mazi tells them, oh, why don't you look in the cellar and see what became of my colleague and says he was a large, man. But now he's reduced to something like a slug in indeed earlier in the episode when when Leslie Nielsen character is looking around the mansion one of the things he encounters is this unexplained trail of. Slime through the seller. And there's this it's it's it's legitimately creepy moment. And certainly seems a little different from the the ghost affects that are thrown at him. So then he tells Malloy Mazi tells me that transformation is going to take time. But that he's going to go down and medical history. And there's no stopping it. He said you can after you leave here, you can tell the police you can go to a specialist, but first of all the specialist probably won't believe you, even if they do they're not going to be able to help you because this cannot be reversed. Wait. So at this point he's done something to Malloy to the he's like injected him or some. That's what he claims. Yes, calls his bluff. But but he's already beginning to given the fear Mazi tells him, look, you should just wanted to check your inside forearm. I believe it is defining injection point. We drugged your coffee, and I snuck in and injected you sleep. And if you still don't believe me, then go into the cellar, go into the cellar and see what my colleague became. And at this point he's like really working Malloy up and begins to move towards the seller. And he sees the trail of slime this time working through the hallways and descending into the cellar. And then he turns around, and he tells Mazi that he's still demise. And there's no way MAs. He's gonna win that had that that he Molloy's going to win. And then he shoots himself with his own gun. And at this point Mazi admits he says actually I win because there's nothing in the cellar. That's pretty good. Yeah. I mean, this is my retelling of it. So certainly the episode itself is a finer version of the tale than my synopsis here. I love the it's a common thing apparently in horror to just talk to people through TV's thinking about the Saul movies, there is segment in Creepshow where somebody talks to somebody threw a TV. Yes, I believe it is actually Leslie Nielsen I think so and the that where Ted Danson. And I can't remember the other actors name where they're buried up to their necks in the surf in the sand. Yeah. Leslie Nielsen's like wa I'll talk to you through a TV. Yeah. That's that's a nice connection between this episode and Creepshow a horrid algae film, which incidentally, enough Fritz Weaver is also in really in the crate segment plays the professor that works with how Holbrook's character, and he's fabulous in that as well. Like, he's he really should go down as more of a horror anthology legend. Well, I got to see this episode. This is pretty creepy. Just hearing you describe it. Yeah. In Crete me out. Then it still creeps me out. Now, even though there's no actual transformation. It's described. So well, it's set up. So well, you don't even care like it. It doesn't deflate the horror of it. When when you have this final twist at the end, but this particularly this concept of transformation into an earthworm. I feel like there is a lot of dread here. And in. I'd like to discuss a little bit. Why we feel that sense of dread? When we imagine being turned into. What is a centrally a noble organism the earth were? No, I can think of quite a few culturally common body transformation or deterioration phobias people have phobias about loss of teeth. That's common. When people have nightmares about losing their teeth. There's like the penis retraction phobia and people have genital deterioration fears, but I've never heard of bone disappearance. Phobia before that's a new one. It's a great one though. There's actually an episode of the Ray Bradbury theater from the eighties which has a similar plot line in which I believe Eugene Levy plays an individual who goes to Dr for some sort of skeletal issue. And he removes his skeleton reduces him to a like Judas, essentially, an invertebrate. Oh, so he liked becomes a human jellyfish. Yeah. Basically, so perhaps it's not explored enough to the bone removal or. Cinta Gration sub-genre body horror. Robert is soom you're going to tell me something about the science of earthworms, right? Yeah. This gave me a good excuse to look into the science of earthworms, and I have to apologize to earthworms and humans who've been transformed into them because we could do a whole episode just on the importance of earthworms and the Aleutian of earthworms. That's probably true of any of the subjects. We discuss in this episode. We could probably expand them into a whole Assode of their own. Yeah. If if I was a little more grown up about it. And and didn't want to use these things as an excuse to talk about night gallery. The. Yeah. The we're talking about analysts here from the analytic filing, which includes all the segmented worms such as earthworms leeches and a whole host of polychaete marine worms such as the bristle worm, which I recently got to see vacation Costa Rica? Oh, yeah. Tide pools. Yeah. What do they look like are? They briefly they are briskly. And if you touch them, especially the five year old touches them, they will they will sting, you know. But the child was fine as a friend of my son's, okay? Yeah. He was fine. He got that. But he did get to have a very up close and personal experience with with the bristle worm. So the this particular filing contains more than nine thousand species and six thousand species of earthworm, they live everywhere except and Artika, and there are even bioluminescence earthworm. Oh, I don't think I knew that. I found a couple of great sources on them in particular. Dr Frank Anderson in Dr Samuel, James, the they did a a blog post at biomedical central titled the evolution of earthworms. So earthworms are fabulous. They're their ecosystem engineers working draining air aiding the soil feel like nowadays. Most people realize that hey, you've got worms living in your garden. Earthworms? They're they're doing the Lord's work. That's. Good. What did we not always realize that worms were good for the soil? Well, it seems like we didn't. I mean, you can look back to the the writings of Aristotle who referred to them as the intestines of the earth. Which is in many ways true seems like a good thing. Right. Don't want to not have intestines. Right. But but apparently before Charles Darwin came along with his interest in earthworms. There was this idea at least in the western world at least in in Europe and Britain, specifically that earthworms were kind of passed in your guard that they weren't really doing anything get them out of there, by the way, Dr Anderson and James one of the things they discuss in their their article is that roughly one third of the earthworm species in North America were introduced from Europe or Asia in somewhere introduced into northern forests which had been free of earthworms since the end of the last ice age roughly eleven thousand years ago. Oh, wow. I've never thought about that the way. Like, the soil fauna has to recover after areas have been covered by glaciers. I guess. Yeah. I believe we've touched on this in the past on the show. Maybe it was a very old episode about the idea of earthworms being brought in by by colonial forces from the from the old world into the new world. Anyway, but earthworms there are a lot of them out there, the largest is the giant African earthworm. It's typically typically reaches fifty four inches or one point thirty six meters in length, but it's record linked is twenty two feet or six point seven meters. What? Yeah. Now, even this species before anyone pictures like a full Leslie Nielsen transformed earthworm. This species was still the giant here was still less than an inch diameter. Some nothing could scare man to death in a seller. That makes me wonder what are the upper limits of like how how filament like an organism can be like at some point. You would think that the strains of moving something that long in that thin would wanna rip it apart or something? I guess it's you see them remaining so thin. You don't see them reaching sand worm grab Lloyd size. Oh, yeah. So Anderson and James they believed that the ancestor of all living earthworms probably lived over two hundred nine million years ago, making earthworms about as old as mammals and dinosaurs, they base this estimate on DNA sequencing as well as the fossil record, which they said, you know, alternately doesn't tell us a lot regarding earthworms, but it does give us Leach cocoon fossils from the late triassic two hundred one million years ago. So which presents a a minimum age for leeches earthworms, but the idea of human becoming an earthworm the loss of vertebrate status. I think it terrifies us because it also it reduces to the activities mentioned by Dr Mazi right moving eating producing waste, and these are all things we do. Naturally, but but we tend to focus on all the other aspects of human existence. I mean, sometimes to the point where we want to reject our inner worm you'd say, I think generally bones are pretty important to our lives. Yeah. Yeah. I she one hundred percent with that we need our bones. But but but also just the idea that the worm doesn't do anything else. I mean does a lot and again, but to sort of the the human perspective right digging around in garden and not knowing what the earth worms are doing. All it seems to do is just food goes in one. In poop comes out the other crawls around it is like just the stripped everything more interesting away from the certainly the human experience in the mammalian experiences. Well, well, yeah. I mean, a common feature of body horror. You know, long before we had David Kronenbourg, we had older strains of body horror, the kind of horror that space not say in a monster chasing you but in the transformation of yourself into something you don't like recognize. I mean, the most common version of that is say reduction to what people would consider a lower strata of animal existence. You know being made into a beast. East that's less than human ho. Yeah. I mean, I can't help think of course of Kafka's the minimum offices. Yeah. Though, of course, that beast like he was turned into I think the term directly translate in translates into something like vermin, but it's often interpreted as like a, you know, a cockroach or something like that. But yeah, he the the weird thing there is he retains all of his mental faculties he has full since he's just had his body transformed. I absolutely love this. That is I think that is the only horror story that I've actually read in a foreign language. I read it in German class. Really? Yeah. Yeah. What was it like in German? It was it was a cool experience since forgotten any smidge of German that was it was that reading that store in German was the absolute peak of Maya, my my, my German, language reading ability. Well, it sounds like a good peak decline before committing to the valley forever. So I mention Charles Darwin earlier, Charles Darwin, of course. The famous naturalist who gave us the theory of natural selection. He was quite interested in earthworms. And in fact, they were the subject of his last book eighteen eighty ones the formation of vegetable mould through the action of worms, and despite this amazing dry subject matter, perhaps it was still the most successful book published during his lifetime. Really? And and the yeah. And according to Anderson and James, it was pretty key in changing western views on earth worms. They were. No longer soil pests people realize they had importance and tying in with our directly with their night gallery episode. It's its success inspired in eighteen eighty two punch, which was publication punch magazine. I guess you would call it. They had a cartoon that depicted worms evolving into monkeys monkeys evolving into men in kind of spiral around a cartoon version of Charles. Darwin. Well, I feel like I should know the answer to this question. But I honestly don't are is a worm like organism at some point believed to be part of our follow genetic history, or is or have worms always been separate from whatever became vertebrates and eventually became us. Well, there they've been a lot of studies over the years looking at nematodes in particular like if you just do some searches for. Human genetics and worms. You'll find these these articles, and I was tempted to go into those deeper here and then realize that's really deserving of all episode, but. But either way I mean, whether or not some type of worm a direct ancestor, obviously, we share common incest. So the question is how much do we have in common? Well, I was looking at a paper that goes into this bit titled earthworm genomes genes and proteins the rediscovery of Darwin's worms. And this was by Strouss in bomb Andrei, Kylie, and Morgan is published in two thousand nine and in the proceedings of the Royal Society. So I'd like to read just a section where they they referenced Darwin here in in particularly the referencing that illustration I talked about with the worms transforming into monkeys quote. The illustration is a humorous construct, but an examination of the earthworm structure and function reveals cells and tissues and cell types with vertebrate counterparts earthworms are Seila mate. Protons possessing an anatomically and functionally differentiated alimentary canal. With brush bordered absorb give epithelial a closed blood circulation with hemoglobin infre- suspension, an organized nervous system with Sofala ganglia and Niro secretary activities a multifunctional tissue for which carbohydrate, metabolism and storage properties are reminiscent of mammalian hep to sites a series of paired two bills in each segment with renal urine forming functions and a systemic immune system, comprising Leukocyte like cells. So I realize there's a lot of those very technical information that I had to stumble through. But you know, what it's basically getting down to is that yes, we're very different from earthworms. I'm not saying that earthworms that humans are basically the same thing. But when you start looking at genetics and just sort of life itself, we're not that different. Yeah. No. They've got a lot of similar anatomical counterparts. Yeah. Some of the same. Stuff you'd see in mammals. And in a way, you can see them as a reduced version of what we right, in fact, when you look at our jeans one thing, the authors pointed out here is that earthworm share something like two hundred and twenty genes of their of their been catalogued at eight thousand one hundred twenty nine gene objects with humans, and that's more than with fruit flies, sixty eight genes or nematode worms forty-nine jeans, despite the importance of fruit fly and nematode genes in human research. There's a whole lot of vertebrate Kamala Giese in there. They wrote in summary that more earthworm genes are conserved between earthworms, and humans provides anecdotal support of the original punch cartoon strap line, quote man is but a war, that's wonderful. And I like how they have fundamentally conclusively proved that you can inject somebody with an enzyme and turn them into earth. No, no. That's still pure science fiction. But, but I think maybe doesn't lean into the idea that it is science fiction, not just pure sorcery. Like there there is a connection there are there is a a worm e slimy trail descending through the haunted house of human evolution. If we dare follow it. Well, I have greatly enjoyed following the slimy trail, Robert, yeah, I think part of the fun of going after these sort of picking an episode of from an anthropology series. And then just seeing what kind of you can squeeze out of it. On that note. Let's take a quick break. When we come back. I believe you have selection for us. They Robert it has been so long since I shaved my face. I don't remember what shaving is like, but you're looking very smooth today. So maybe you can tell me the story of shaving. Oh shavings. Great provided. You have the right razor to do it with. And I've had some bad experiences in the past where I've either of having to pick up a really cheap razor bite at a gas station or something uncle rusty's discount razors. Not a good deal or I've let myself run out of razors. Gotta replace that blade. I gotta replace that blade. And then I go to shave and look for the new plate and realize that I've let myself run completely out. And then it's a choice between do I go to this interview. Or or what have you with either Hobo SCRUFF or do I go with a bleeding face? It's a tough choice. Nobody should have to make far better to simply subscribe and have Gillette razor blades, come to your door. Because that's my brand. I use the Gillette mach three. Oh. And now you can get Gillette quality blades at the best. Value inconvenience with Gillette on demand with Gillette on demand. You get blades delivered directly to your door. Subscribe to Gillette on demand today and get five dollars off your first order with special offer stuff. Fifty that's stuff five zero at checkout. Enjoy free shipping and every fourth order free with subscription. Visit let online at Gillette on demand dot com and use stuff fifty that stuff. Five zero for fifty percent off your first order. All right. We're back. Okay. Robert treehouse of horror. Do you have a favorite treehouse of horror of all time? Oh, well, I have a definitely have a favorite episode. Yes. That I watched last night because it has some of the best segments has it has the shinning. Oh, yeah. Which I referenced how ready in the episode also has nightmare cafeteria the one where the, you know, all the teachers and the the lunchroom returning to cannibalism and eating the children. But it also has has one more really stellar segment. Yes. And this is of course, the Simpsons treehouse of horror segment time and punishment. One of the great Simpson's dream of horror shorts of all time. Maybe maybe the best one ever. So we'll give you the quick rundown. Homer Simpson breaks the toaster by getting his hand jammed in it twice. The best gags ever on the show. It's still makes me laugh every time. The second time he gets his hand jammed in there. I think leases like Tajik still in there. And he's. There's just so much fabulous screaming and sprawling about anyway. So toasters broken the s to do some repairs. So in doing so Homer accidentally turns the toaster into a time machine that takes them back to the Cretaceous period and upon arriving. He recalls the advice his father gave him on his wedding night. Which is if you ever happened to travel back into the past don't change anything because the ripple effects through time could be disastrous. Unfortunately, of course, Homer ends up killing bugs, and you know, generally messing stuff up in the past. And so home comes back to the present the first time to find kind of nineteen Eighty-four scenario where Ned Flanders rules the earth kind of nineteen eighty Diddley for if you will. And it's just too good. So eventually Homer he he goes back through time again to try to fix things. And every he changes something in the past the future changes in horrible ways. Finally in the end, he settles for a present in which things are basically normal. But everybody has forked lizard tongues. These good enough. No. And of course, this seems to be based on Ray Bradbury's short story a sound of thunder which was originally published in Collier's magazine in nineteen fifty two. And by the way, Robert I think I'm to understand you have not seen the two thousand five movie version of a sound of thunder. With Ben Kingsley in that, dude. With an attitude from saving private Ryan. No, I haven't you sent me a trailer for it. And somehow I totally missed this movie every even existed, it has some of the most deliciously awful CGI monsters of all time. It's you know, that kind of early two thousand CGI that the time people just thought was amazing. And now you can't look at it without laughing. Yeah. It's it's it's a shame. You know, it's not like some of the stop motion animation. You find older some older films like this puppets puppets like this. Maybe maybe our taste will change. Maybe we'll look back on them in ten years. And we'll. Them right now. It's very difficult. Well, I mean, I do love them. But not for the reason they were expecting of them. It's hilarious like reading movie reviews from the late nineties and early two thousands where critics will say like, well, this movie wasn't very good. But at least it has dazzling special effects. Some people were just they're out of their minds in the late nineties and early two thousand for these CGI movies that look so bad. You cannot keep your eyes focused on them. You have to look away. I remember seeing the Spahn movie came out and thinking about that had some pretty cool again action it. Yeah. And suddenly like glanced back. Glad glad granted. I didn't watch it in full watched a few scenes on YouTube, and I was just really astounded at how bad the CGI was. I it's it's amazing. But anyway, this movie it it takes the story at one point. There's this monster this kind of like a baboon velociraptor hybrid. It's just amazing. But anyway, so what what is the plot of sound? Thunder Ray Bradbury's original story. Well, it involves hunters traveling back through time to go on safari through time and Killa terrain the source wrecks, and so this time travel safari in the story is believed to be safe because scouts have gone ahead and selected an animal that was about to die. Anyway. So killing it shouldn't change too much about the past. But then in the story one one of these safari guys, I think this rich guy pay into go on this trip. He sort of goes off script, he falls off this levitating path that they've constructed any changes too much about the past especially in the end by discovering that he crushed a butterfly under his boot. And so then when they return to the future. Everything's weird English words are spelled different and fascist politician has come to power. It's a fabulous story. I should also point out that I think it's the third season of the Ray Bradbury theater had an ad of this that I think was actually scripted by rape bradberry. I remember as being pretty good. Yeah. So. Do not feel like you only have that that awful CGI film to fall back on. But, but isn't it interesting that probably more people have been exposed to this concept through the Simpsons then through the Ray Bradbury theater or certainly the writings of Ray Bradbury. Oh, that's how it often is. I mean, lots of classic scifi stories ended up as Simpsons episodes. And that's what people primarily know them from just like more people of roughly our generation the tail of the monkey's paw as the twisted claw episode of our Euphrates the dark. Oh, yeah. I mean, it makes sense whereas sensually talking about folktales, and and and these things evolve these things change with the teller, historically. And so it makes sense that they should change with the teller even today. Yeah. But so this is sort of a timeless story in a way because it's illustrating concept that if you've ever really thought about time travel, and what it would mean if time travel into the past could exist. If you think about it hard enough, you're likely to stumble across some version of what's come to be known in in chaos theory in meteorology in mathematics says the butterfly effect. Now, they're plenty of popular misconceptions about the butterfly effect. You heard about it in Jurassic Park and stuff. One of the common misconceptions is that the term actually comes from Ray Bradbury's story sound of thunder. Because what we find out at the end that this guy stepped on a butterfly, and he sees it on his boot and realize Ono that caused these cascading effects through time and changed everything. This is not the case. The term does not come from that story in reality. Credit can be given to the MIT meteorologist Edward Norton Laurenz who was discussing the accuracy of weather prediction models and Lauren's found while working on meteorological computer programs that extremely tiny changes in initial inputs would lead to huge differences in predicted. Whether pat. Turn's over time such unavoidable errors in our inputs will probably always make whether fundamentally unpredictable beyond a certain distance into the future, and you actually know this from your own experience. Right. You look at today's weather forecast. It's probably pretty accurate. Tomorrow's is probably pretty accurate. You try to go seven days into the future. It's it's kind of a crap shoot. Then in predicting say whether a month into the future is almost useless. And this is because even though we have very good weather prediction models at this point their accuracy, just deteriorates over time because of the amplification of tiny initial differences that you can't ever totally eliminate. So, you know, you you make a tiny tiny, you know, many many decimal places behind the zero change to some initial input in weather prediction model, and then you run that run that alongside something with the original. Input and one day into the future. They'll be pretty similar but five days into the future. They will be dramatically different. So whatever you've got slightly wrong today, however, tiny that air is will mean, you just can't predict the future in a month and illustrate this concept of Lauren's use the image of a bird. I think a seagull or a butterfly flapping its wings leading to changes in the weather that would create a tornado that you wouldn't have had otherwise. Now, one thing I also wanna make clear is that this is talking about the predicted movements of specific weather patterns and events, right? When they're trying to say where rain will be at a certain time, and how the front the, you know, the air fronts will move and everything we can on the other hand makes them solid predictions about whether just based on climate and statistics, for example, you can predicted as much more likely to be raining in Seattle tomorrow than it is to be raining in death valley tomorrow, and you are likely to be correct based on. In those predictions made on on the basis of knowledge about climate and statistics, but still if you're trying to predict for in the future with specific movements of weather patterns. You're you're gonna have a really hard time doing it another misconception about the butterfly effect. I think a lot of times people interpreted exactly the wrong way. It's like the opposite of what it means. They think that it means you can identify small changes that lead to big affects in complex systems. This is the opposite of the point about the butterfly effect. The butterfly effect is specifically about the lack of deterministic predictability in complex systems with Cincinnati to initial conditions. The technical term for this would be deterministic non linear systems, non linear systems are systems where the outputs or not directly proportional to the inputs. You know, you can slightly vary. An input and big changes in the difference of the output. So the point is not that you can see tornado and actually trace it back to. Butterfly flapping its wings, rather the point is that whether systems emerged from complex interactions over time with extreme sensitivity to initial conditions. Meaning that if you move far enough back in time, you could not have predicted that a tornado would emerge. It's not about predicting the future of a complex system based on tiny initial changes. It's about how complex systems are more and more unpredictable. The farther into the future, you try to predict this, of course, is one of the fundamental concepts of chaos theory. And maybe maybe we should come back into vote. A full episode to this one day with special guest, and Malcolm, yes, I've never really thought to look critically whether the way, Ian, Malcolm tries to apply chaos theory in Jurassic Park is a legitimate application of that theory. May maybe the maybe it is. I don't know that would would actually be fun a breakdown of the original drastic park film. And it would give us more opportunity to rail against what drastic park, especially the recent films are doing understanding of dinosaurs. I'm reading to kids now. Who's favourite? Dinosaurs are fictional dinosaurs. From this most recent movie, I feel like it's a shame real. Dinosaurs. Are good enough come on? It's like everybody. They're like, oh, it's this blue Lahser after something. I don't know. I haven't seen it yet. Maybe it's wonderful. I suppose I should just be pleased that they're interested in dinosaurs. At all, but they're just so many wonderful actual species, and our our current scientific understanding of them. I feel like should be reflected to some extent in our fiction. Totally. So it's pretty widely accepted that something like the butterfly effect applies to whether I think there are actually are some dissent and say, no, it's just, you know, problems with their models or something. But the question is would it apply to the biological history of earth would stepping on fish seventy million years ago change the presence ubstantially? And how would it change the present? Unfortunately, this is not a question that I think has a firm scientific answer. I think this is just something p we don't know what the answer to this question is one thing. I think. Inc. Though. I could be wrong is I think stories like this often get the scale of the changes wrong. Like, it's interesting these stories tend to assume kind of nonsensical aesthetic changes around the margins of reality. But we're the broad strokes are the same. You know example, would be Ned Flanders still exists the Simpsons still exist there apparently the same people. Netflix. Anders is still the Simpson. Simpson's next door neighbor. But is also the dictator of earth, you know, and I know that's a parody. I'm not trying to like rag on the Simpsons for that. But it's a it's a good parody. Because it highlights the kind of absurdity that you see in stories like this like in sound of thunder, the idea that you'd still basically have the same people existing in the same like candidates running for offer its office, but a different one of the candidates one. Yeah. And the back of the Simpsons like why would everything be the same except for the tongue? Right. So I could. Be wrong. But I would tend to say just intuitively in based on, you know, using the weather analogy that butterfly effect type changes from deep into the past would result in let's say larger amplitude changes tens of millions of years down the road, bigger, bigger amplitude changes than which candidate wins election would people even exist if they did with the same individual, people, even exist. I don't know seems kinda doubtful. There's that great scene in that where Homer sits on a creature emerging from the water. Yes. Which I love that. Because I feel like he kind of calls back to. Paleo art in our science textbooks. And we were told about the pollution of life. And you see this picture of some sort of creature waddling out of the water talking about like life coming from the sea, and then becoming terrestrial, but it it can kind of accidents put this idea in your mind that there was one fish. Just like this is the one. And if you sat on it, it would change everything. Yeah. That that kind of misconception like one fish got brave. Yes. And it climbed out of the water. And if it hadn't done that there never would have been any kind of like water to land willing vertebrate transition. Yeah. I mean, maybe that's part of American exceptionalism. Kind of you know, accidentally drained into our science that fish really had was a free thinker really changed everything. It's the great man theory of history. Exactly. And of course, we got no time for that. But, hey, this story also deals with the practical effects of time travel something that unfortunately, again is in in the speculative realm. But at least we can offer some informed criticism. Even if we can't have like, you know, a proven scientific theory about time travel. So one of the things we often point out on the show is that, of course, time travel into the future is easy. In fact, you're doing it right now in more ways than in more than one more than one way more than one more ways than one. Anyway, you are traveling into the future, of course, at a rate of one second per second. But beyond that, you are in fact time traveling into the future in the way that many stories imagine. Meaning you're going into the future faster than other things are because of time dilation effects, you're closer to the center of gravity of earth. So you are actually going into the future faster than objects farther away. From the center of gravity of earth that are moving at the same velocity. As you also because you're moving faster that's dilating time in a way speeding up your travel into the future. If you get into spaceship and travel, even even faster than you, will you even more greatly speed up your relative travel into the future. You will get old slower than things that are not traveling with you in that fast moving spaceship. So. Yeah. Time travel into the future is totally real proven feature relativity, and is just it's actually almost kind of easy on the other hand, we often talk about how time travel into the past is perhaps impossible, and if not impossible, at least very very hard the ways in which it has done. I was I was reading a post about this on Sean Carroll's blog, the physicist, Sean Carroll, Caltech physicist, he writes, a lot of great, you know, popular science writing these days, and he's got a great blog one of his post from two thousand nine it's called rules for time travelers where he just says, okay? If we were to try to make scientifically accurate time travel movies. What would happen in them? He argues that traveling into the past is difficult. It might not be impossible. If you can do it. It would be based on what's you know, basically like bridges through space time known as close time like curves. And if it is possible to travel into the past one of the things about this is that it is not possible to change the past. So you might be able to travel back in time. But you couldn't create a paradox by say going back and killing your grandfather, whatever so that you never existed. In fact, anything you went back into the past. And did you would find was in fact, already part of the past in the future that you came from? That's the paradox of the whole situation. Right. I mean in that the that makes it kind of weird because that seems to sort of create a paradox as well, like it's the closed time loop like you see in the original Terminator movie, there's a boy who exist. Or a person who exist only because somebody from the future was sent back in time by him to become his father. So like how how did that closed loop get initiated so anyway, backward? Time travel's still generally, smells, rotten to me. But but Carol saying if it's possible if it's possible at all, you can't change the past you, you know, whatever's done is done that just is the past even if you can go back also another point he makes is that you can't travel back in time to before the time machine was invented he says, you know, maybe you can travel back to a point. You know, you've got a time machine later, and you can travel back to win the time machine was made, but you can't travel back to the middle ages or something like that because you paradoxes again, which takes the fun out of our time travel fiction. But it also would explain why we haven't been visited by time travellers. Oh, yeah. I mean, that's always a great question. Now, you might be thinking. Okay. But wait about wait a minute. What? About like four king branches of time. You know, can't you four cough into different branches of time. You know, even Sean Carroll. He he adheres to the many worlds theory of quantum mechanics. Right. So he thinks that the universe is constantly branching off into different realities based on the the wave function of quantum mechanical objects and events, but but even if you accept that. There's no reason to think that traveling back into time would somehow give you access to different quantum realities that just seems like, you know, you're here you're here. This is the one you have access to interact with other quantum realities by definition, you can't interact with them. That's what makes them different realities. So, unfortunately, I don't think you, you know, if you don't like the your lot in life today, and you want to change things. I don't think you can do it by going back and stomping on a fish or even a butterfly. Still great episode treehouse of are also good, and I do recommend that Ray Bradbury theater episode is well, I believe you can find the full thing on one of video streaming sites. If you love bad movies. I also recommend the two thousand five it's it's one for the ages. Are I well, let's move on to another one showy. All right. So Joe you flown with me before? Yes, you probably have observed that I'm kind of a slightly nervous flyer. I I like to try to be a comb reassuring presence. Yeah. Try not to raise my voice around you getting onto the airplane. Yeah. And I I have to say, I I don't have any where near the difficulty that I know some people struggle with when it comes to flying. But yeah, I found myself grow more anxious when it comes to flights in recent years, and I've I've been able to successfully manage this to to certain degree with a little zanex a little Steve Roach, ambient electronic music, maybe. A little biosphere. And that seems to do the do the job. It makes me more pleasant flyer. It makes me more pleasant to be around when I'm flying. But so given this reality I couldn't help. But discuss the classic twilight zone episode from October of nineteen sixty three nightmare at twenty thousand feet based. I should point out on the Richard Matheson short story alone by night. Isn't it? Great. How many of these shorts? Come from great short stories by scifi riders. Yeah. I mean, we're going to get to some that are based on terrible stories. That's true. But yeah. So far we've been talking about some big names here. Richard matheson. What is was a legend this episode, of course is famous because it also starred with Shatner, so just a quick acting. Oh, yeah. He's he's pretty good at this. And he was a least a couple of twilight zones, maybe more. I remember there being at least another one he was in. Yeah. What was he he was in one that had like a was it a jukebox sonnet, napkin, napkin dispenser? Yeah. Why why jukebox like spit out fortunes or something to that effect? Yeah. It's like a fortune cookie napkin dispenser blanket on the details is not nearly as famous as episode. So in this one William Shatner plays a nervous flyer who witnesses a creature on the wing of the plane during flight, and he has in the episode. He has he's just bouncing back from nervous breakdown aboard flight. So everyone's doubting him. When he starts reporting seeing a creature on the wing of the plane, this what is essentially a grim l'an though. It's kind of a yeti. Suit. It's like a combination of yeti sued, and it also kind of looks like that dog down the hall and the scene in the shining. Yeah, it's not a great monster suit. But the episode is so solid it somehow works, and it gets it makes sense. It would be furry of it's at such a height. You know, it's cold up there. I should point out. I said as grim Lynn. Well, it's a pre mug y grim on a pre gremlins and gremlins to gremlin. Not the Joe Dante kind right? Yeah. This is essentially the folkloric creature that messes with technology and idea that spread especially during World War Two. So if something went wrong with your airplane engine, you'd say they're gremlins in there. Right. So in this episode the crew attempts to sedate him. I think even give them a pill shattner, not the gremlin, right, right? Nobody sees the gremlin. They're just like here. Take this pill crazy person, by the way. Good luck. Trying to get a any kind of sedatives out of. Out of there. The crew of your flight semi fly. That's the policy. You can't ask for them. You have to say you see monsters get them. Yeah. So he's raving about the creature and finally the plane lands. He's rolled away in a straitjacket. But as he's rolled away. He sees the claw marks on the outside of the plane. The proof on the engine that the monster was tearing apart the plane. He was right all along. He's not the insane person. In fact, he is the only sane person. Of course this. This this episode was also recreated in the nineteen eighty three film twilight zone, the movie which Don lift Gow played the lead played the nervous flyer, and he's absolutely wonderful in that and owned, by the way, George Miller of Mad Max that that segment in the film, the gremlin in the in the movie version. Yeah, there's a movie version groom on a lot more frightening. And then also there's a treehouse of horror did this as well. Do it with the school bus, right? Tear at five and a half. Feet. Yeah. It's it's pretty wonderful as well. And does a great job of delivering exactly the same story, essentially except with something outside of the school bus. Yeah. Then when they put Bart in the ambulance at the end it follows him under the ambulance. Yes. Yes. That's a nice twist like they added sometimes the treehouse of Harz like they add a little extra element to the existing story, and it really works. So the science of this. Well, we could probably have a really rich discussion about flying executives in general. We've touched on it before in our escape. Pod episode. We trust ourselves over to the machine and the people companies and regulations that ensure everything's working. There's a loss of agency and flying and I feel like it's just your constantly reminded or reminding yourself about the potential undesirable possibilities. I mean, it's standing atop a mountain when you look out, and you see the height that you have achieved not through any. Skill of your own, but just through the the technology and people's rounding. It's like being deposited on the top of mount. Yes. A little bit less empowering. Yeah. Airplanes are sort of great to look at when you're thinking about fear because they combined so many different kinds of phobia triggers for people. Of course, there's just fear of heights and stuff, you know, looking at the window and looking down that that can upset people. There is fear of an accident of the plane crashing. But there's also just a fear that as always been more salient for me whenever I've had airplane fears, mainly what it is is what do you call it sort of type of variety of claustrophobia. I guess we're not being able to leave a place when you want to, you know, the idea that like okay for so many hours. I'm stuck here. And I could not get off if I wanted to. Yeah. The most I can do is go through a lot of rigmarole to walk down the hallway and use a very difficult. Bathroom in potentially have to wait in line. Yeah. I guess that's the type of fear. There's also just like, I know airplanes are particular type of Gora phobia trigger for some people where you know, like the fear of losing control or having a panic attack or something like that in a public place, and that it self triggering Zaid. Yes. And then on top of that you got the traveling Zaidi's leading into it. Right. Because Neville, you had to get to that airport had to get through security here at eighty and maybe customs of you're on the other line like, they're all these other stresses added on top of it. It makes for a very stressful day of travel, really admit experience. There would be a lot of problem solved. If airports would actually just play music for airports CNN. Yeah. Channel news on the TV instead of instead of Iino. I don't get it. Play me. Something calming just like Enos music and just scenes the scenes from legend of unicorns drinking water. That's all I need. No goblins. So I guess the thing about is is the idea that this is a nightmare at twenty thousand feet what what is the twenty thousand feet about right to put this in perspective. The top of Mount Everest is twenty nine thousand twenty eight feet above sea level. But that's also quite a bit below the Karman line at three hundred thirty thousand feet, which is generally considered the rough boundary between the atmosphere and space and I say rough because it's not like the atmosphere just stops. There's more of a tapering off. Now for modern flyers such as ourselves, we're generally working with cruising altitude and cruising altitude. You know? That's that's when you achieved the, you know, the altitude you're going to have for the main portion of your flight, you're not ascending or descending. You're just a achieving an optimal altitude optimal speed etcetera. But it's generally going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty three thousand feet to forty two thousand feet though. According to the USA today article, what is the outset of a plane in flight the upper limit is generally domain of private jets that because that's going to be more about. Yeah. We want to get where we're going, you know, prices and much of an option but with commercial flights. Everything's kind of karaoke careful algorithm. Like, how can we do this in the most cost effective way possible in the safest way possible? But for the rest of us yet we're going to be somewhere closer to thirty three thousand foot altitude. It's going to be this sweet spot where the air is thin enough to reduce drag. But they're still enough. Oxygen for the engines. Plus, it allows them to fly over most weather, which is located further down in the troposphere. So we're talking about minimal turbulence which is exactly how I like to consume the word turbulence. Now, I would guess it normal cruising altitude because cabins have to be pressurized. Like, you couldn't just like breathe the air at that height. Right. Yeah. Since we're flying above ten thousand feet airliners or pressurized hints those little dropdown mass for oxygen in the event of cabin depressurization. Now, of course, the twilight zone episode the original one takes place in the early nineteen sixties so made me think what sort of altitudes were we talking about here. Well, I was reading a longing for the golden age of air travel. Be careful what you wish for by history. Professor Janet that aren't on the conversation, and she points out some key factors in flying during this time period. And as the title implies why you'd be better far better off flying. Now as opposed to that golden age, no matter how cool it looks on you know, stuff like madmen. Yeah. But can you smoke a pipe on a plane today? Well, yeah. These are the things people getting a static about I guess if they're smokers. So she pointed. To the introduction of jets in nineteen fifty eight. The transatlantic commercial flight might last something like fifteen hours, and they had a maximum cruising altitude aptitude of ten to twelve thousand feet, meaning that they couldn't fly over bad weather. So you thought modern delays were bad. No way. Basically, like, if the weather was bad, you just you too bad to fly through it. Then it wasn't going to happen. The then you had the propeller-driven Boeing strata cruiser come along, for example that could seat fifty first class passengers or eighty one coach passengers and it could cruise at thirty two thousand feet above most of the weather, but during its heyday only fifty six we're active in the entire world. So that's the other thing we have to realize now, it's like the commercial flight world is just so much vaster than it was in in breaches times later, we got the DC six and the DC seven both press repressurize planes, but they had to fly. Lower outta toots. Guess what we're talking twenty thousand feet. So that's where we come back around to to the to the twilight zone episode here for the for these flights turbulence was common. The engines were difficult to maintain in this resulted in frequent delays. So this just matches up perfectly with his original idea of the the twilight zone concern about the you know, what the engines are doing engine malfunctions turbulence all happening at around twenty thousand feet. I must notice in nightmare twenty thousand feet that the windows on the airplane. Look very large compared to the windows on a plane today. I didn't I didn't look into this as much I wonder if that's just so you can see the monster through or. An actual fuselage. Yeah. I didn't research that particular aspect of it. So Bednarik also make some other important notes about safety of the time. Because ultimately, this is a film about airline safety fear of of bad things happening during a flight, she points out in the nineteen fifties and the nineteen sixties US airlines experience at least a half dozen crashes per year. Most leading to the fatalities of everyone on board compare that to twenty seventeen the safest year on record and commercial air history zero accidental deaths in commercial passenger jets, and that's with many more flights from. Yeah. Tremendously more. Flights Dutch aviation consulting firm to seventy estimated that the fatal accident rate. For large commercial passenger flights is point zero six per million flights or one fatal accident for every sixteen million flights. I would suggest that calculation. It appears gremlins are either extinct or endangered. Yeah. That would seem to be the case. Like, this is store that speaks more to an earlier age of of commercial air travel. Despite the fact that every time I fly legitimately every time. I fly I look out the window, and I see the wing I think of this twilight zone. Yeah. Yeah. Not that I like freak out about the possibility of an actual gremlin, but still I can't help. But think think about it? It's just always been there, but I'd like to turn to the biological element of nightmare twenty thousand feet. Okay. What sort of organism can actually become a factor at that altitude? Well, I mean, I know there there are bacteria that living clouds are there are there large animals that fly up that high? That's a great question because we're talking about some extreme heights here. Right. And again, you know, we require pressurized cabins and or masks to to survive up there. Everything has to be temperature the temperature to be carefully maintained but evolution delivers certain bird species to these lofty heights as well. And yes, some of them can pose grave danger to flights. These are of course, refer to his bird strikes, which which are when they occur can be pretty pretty terrible. I read that most bird strikes are encountered it below ten thousand feet. I've also read that most directionally current below three thousand feet. Okay. So I think that should give you an idea like most of the birds are operating at at lower altitudes when you fly above the weather. You're probably flying above the Birt's. So as with most things in air traveled, the majority of the dangers are going to be closer to take off and landing non at cruising altitude. Right. And and again, they can be pretty dangerous especially in the event of a double bird strike. We're both. Engines or hit a by the bird's still major accidents are few, but we have to consider some of the birds that do get up to some crazy height. So I just want to run through a few of them here before we get to the the king of altitude there are migrating white storks which can reach sixteen thousand feet or forty eight hundred meters they're migrating bar tailed godwit s- that can that can actually reach twenty thousand feet or six thousand meters. Wow. There's the bar headed goose which can get up to twenty nine thousand feet or eight thousand eight hundred meters and these guys fly over the tallest mountain ranges on earth. Why do they go up so high Dino well with the the earlier species we're talking about like this ends up being a part of their migration? But the king of all this the king of altitude is definitely Rupel's vulture also known as a Rupel's Griffin. Whoa. We're talking a maximum out outta toot of eleven thousand three hundred. Meters or thirty seven thousand one hundred feet. So these are these are voters. They're extremely keen of I, you know, they're they have evolved to fly above it all and and taking everything beneath, but they can get up to just crazy outta toots just unchallenged in their ability to do. So now, fortunately, they're found only in the south region of central Africa. This is a belt stretching across the continent. Just below the Sahara. Oh, yeah. But indeed a bird strike entailing Rupel's vulture actually occurred over the Ivory Coast at an altitude of thirty seven thousand one hundred feet or eleven thousand three hundred meters on November twenty ninth nineteen Seventy-three. According to serious Volterra hits two aircraft over the world two thousand report by the international bird strike committee outside temperatures were frigid. There was almost no oxygen. And yet here comes this this vulture and it hits the plane. So that I think is one of the you know, these are. One of the few examples of organisms that are actually going to be going about their normal business, like large organisms organisms large of to pose a potential in slim threat to commercial flights, by the way. Also ran across a story from twenty ten in which a rubles vulture escaped from bird show in north lecture. Scotland in her name was Gandalf and an after she escaped airports in the area were put on notice. And there was no evidence that she was ever recovered or anything. Fly you fools. But but it's it was like kind of an alarming story because it's like, oh this bird is escape. And it could there's a very slim chance it could pose a danger to commercial flights in the area. But we should remind you that even with the Rupel's vulture flying around somewhere out there flying generally pretty safe these days. Yeah. It's far safer than driving. When you break down the statistics again commercial flights not. Not necessarily getting in the airplane that your dentist buddy owns right? We're talking about commercial flights again 2017 safest year on record. You really don't have to worry about gremlins on the wing of the plane only about the Langa leaders. Speaking of late nineties CGI, right? Yes. For real, man. That's a good one. I love that short story. That was that was definitely a Stephen King wellness. It was more of an Avella. But it it definitely harkened back to some of those twilight zone type scenarios. I've never read the story. But I remember seeing that on TV's sometime around back when it came out and oh, man. Yeah. That was one where maybe even maybe even the critics of the time we're not wowed by the CGI. Yeah. They were sensually like the critters crates from the critters movies. There were just these big CGI mouths like eating the sky. It's a shame. Because the original story is a lot of fun. I do recommend it. I mean, don't read it on a plane for God's. They do read it when you're on the ground. Okay. We need to take a quick break. But we will be right back with more horror anthology science. This episode is brought to you by stamps dot com. I'm one of those outgoing people who knows all of my neighborhood postal workers every like going to the post office. But sometimes my life is insane. And that is simply not always practical, thankfully these days. 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Enter history class, there's no space. Just the two words together. All right. We're back. So what do you have worse? Joe? Well, you just did a twilight zone episode. I feel like I gotta do twilight zone episode. They had there so many thoughtful episodes of the twilight zone, perhaps because you know, it wasn't just pure har-. It also had a lot of science fiction in it and just weird fiction in general. So here is a scifi horror episode of the twilight zone, this is one of the classics. You probably I bet the majority of you out there listening already know the story here. But for those of you who don't I've gotta tell it. It is to serve man. This is one that was written. By rod Serling based on a story by writer named Damon Knight. It was originally aired on March second nineteen sixty two. And it's just got a twist to put him night Shymal onto shame. It is the best. So here's rod sterling teaser for the episode. Respectfully submitted for your perusal, a candidate height a little over nine feet, wait in the neighborhood of three hundred and fifty pounds, origin unknown motive. Cbs there in the hangs the tail for just a moment. We're going to ask you to shake hands figuratively with Christopher Columbus from another galaxy and another time this is the twilight zone who will that's already terrifying possibility here. So it's got a guy named Lloyd Bockner in it as a Canadian actor as this government cryptographer who who is tasked with decoding and alien book. So actually, I should say I show up there called the candidates played by Richard Kiel who ended up playing Kyle or keel. Do you know how you pronounce it? I was Keough, but it could be drastically wrong. He's the guy who played jaws JAMES BOND movies IGA as well. He was he guy. Yeah. And so he plays all of these aliens. They all look the same and Richard Kiel in in like, some weird head makeup shows up on earth, and he speaks to the United Nations telepathically, and he's like, hey, we're here. Help you. We're gonna solve world hunger. We're going to make we're going to make war disappear. We're gonna solve all your problems and make life on earth. Great don't you want that don't you want this free new energy source that you can you know, power a whole country for a few dollars a day? Don't you want? All this great stuff and people are they're hesitant at first. But they're like, well, okay. And so jaws brings a book with them that Japan has like a title in these alien glyphosate on the cover. He's like reading things from this book as he's promising stuff to humanity. And they get a cop the humans grab a copy of the book, and they bring it to this government cryptographer, and they're like, can you decode this tell us what it means? And so he he works on it. He's got a colleague named Patty who works on it, it proves too difficult to code except that Patty decode the title and figures up the title is to serve man. Well, that sounds no wonderful and really works out. Well for us, exactly. So. The can't decode the rest of the book, but to serve men and that sort of puts people at ease. They're like, okay. Well, the book there is about how to serve humankind. That sounds like a good thing. So people start getting on spaceships to go with jaws to his home planet where they will be given. I think one point they're talking about how they've even got baseball on the candidates planet to go to basically, it's like a forever vacation where everything's just gonna be awesome. So the people are getting on the spaceships to go there. And then the big twist that comes at the end is right as the main guys about to get on the spaceship to go to the candidates planet, and and live out his days at the baseball resort or whatever. Patty comes yelling at him. Don't get on the ship. It's a cookbook. It's so good to serve man dinner. The sentence a period, this is well to a limited extent, right? How to serve mill house for dinner. Oh, I vaguely I don't remember win that which when I don't I can't remember which episode. It was okay. But they definitely touched on it at one point. Now, I don't wanna be too literal about interpreting the science of the story because if you really wanted to be picky, you could point out million. Really funny details in like there's one point where to try to make sure that the aliens intentions are actually good. They hook jaws up to a to a polygraph. Like, they give 'em a human polygraph to deceive. He's lying about wanting to help them. Another thing. This funny is they bring in this cryptographer to code this alien book. But to decode it to what like cryptography usually consists of trying to decode in coded messages to unknown language, where you're like, you know, where it will code out to some kind of script that you already understand. How would you decode alien language when you have nothing to start with? Yeah. And I like the idea that they could figure out nothing from the inside like, no content, but just the title. It's great. But anyway, okay. The main thing I wanted to talk about ignoring all that other stuff is the idea of aliens invading in order to eat us, or perhaps more realistically in other option just to eat earth life in general, maybe not focused on us. But just here to eat things. Okay. So not just to say harvest, the resources of our planet, and or to do something to our star which we've discussed, but you're talking about like just just just tell. Tear into the biomass of earth. It's a very common theme Saifi horror and at a glance it sort of makes sense because you think about like, okay. So what do human invaders do when they invade a country? We'll a lot of times what they'll do is they'll just like rage your village and take all your food won't food. They need all your steal all your grain and stuff, and then they'll move on or they'll land an island, and if there's a particular flightless bird, or or some sort of a turtle or tortoise that is notoriously unable to defend itself, and and perhaps even trusting to a fault of humans. They might just eat them all or every time they come back harvest as many as they can and need them on the ship or just kill them and not eat them. Humans. Did the did that too? Yeah. Yeah. That's a little maybe we don't want to think about that comparison. But okay. So would they want to eat us or eat our food? I came across an interesting opin. Nyon about this. This was in a chapter from a book called aliens, the world's leading scientists on the search for extraterrestrial life published in twenty seventeen by Picador in this book was edited by the Iraqi, British physicist, Jim Khalili, and there's a chapter in this book that was written by the British Astro biologist Lewis Dardanelle where he's talking about what would aliens actually want with earth. Why would they be interested in coming here? And he's making the case that a lot of the stuff that people usually imagine 'Lions would want to come here for doesn't make any sense that they want water or they won't roll minerals or something like that. He women that's one two with all those things he points out. How you know? That's either in that's not actually a concern for anything. They would want or they could get this more abundantly. Elsewhere. And so here start Neal's case about whether aliens would wanna eat us. So the cells in our bodies are made of. Large collections of specific organic molecules. You've got proteins which are chains of amino acids. You've got the nucleic acids like DNA Aurigny, which are chains of basis and sugars, and then of course, you've got the best part the membranes and the phospholipids and so in order to keep our bodies alive and working properly we need to have steady incoming streams of those molecular building blocks, so we eat other life forms like plants and animals in order to get them. You can't survive of you sleep just by like eating sand or tree bark or salt in ammonia you need to get specific organic molecules, like sugars amino acids, and fatty acids in order to survive. It's also true that your digestive system is specifically volved to break down certain kinds of stuff like earth plant matter and earth animal flesh. And it is it has specially tailored in Zaire's for breaking down those molecules likely to be found in the stuff. Your ancestors were eating. Ng? It's also worth reminding we eat a lot of creatures and plant life on this planet. It's easy to forget that there's a whole lot of stuff. We cannot eat a lot of lot of species that are just not on the mini for us most of the mass of planet earth. You can't eat that. Yeah. There's a lot of stuff you just can't get nutrition from even if it contains raw atoms that you might want. You know that would be useful. Your body doesn't have a way to break them down. Properly. Doesn't have the right chemical enzymes and stuff to separate out the parts that you would need or put together the parts that you would need your digestive system is shaped by what was available to the creatures that you evolved from now. Fortunately, most other lifeforms on earth have these useful molecules in some nutritionally available way of other animals on earth or nourishing to us because we came from a common ancestor, and we share common biochemistry so in order to get nutrition. From eating us and the alien would need to share biochemistry and in order to do that. We would either need to share a common ancestor, and unless they're coming from somewhere else within our solar system, which seems unlikely at this point it's not likely we would share a common ancestor or we need to have the same biochemistry by coincidence. So what are the odds of sharing biochemistry by coincidence hill writes, well, that's possible for all we know perhaps our DNA based life is the only way you can make self reproducing life forms out of the chemistry. Available in the universe. Dark nail points out that quote, a whole variety of amino acids sugars and fatty molecules are actually found in certain meteorites having been produced by Astro chemistry in outer space. And so maybe extraterrestrial life would be based on the same basic building blocks as us. So the point there is that we haven't found life beyond earth. But we found a l-. A lot of the chemical building blocks of life beyond earth. And maybe our way is a common way or even the only way for the universe to put in motion and create the possibility of intelligent life. But then Dr knell points out of big complication, quote, simple organic molecules, like amino acids and sugars can exist in two different forms Meerer images of each other in the same way, your two hands or similar shapes. But can't be placed exactly on top of the other. These two versions are known as an anti Amores. And it turns out that all life on earth uses only left handed amino acids and right handed sugars, whereas non living chemistry produces even mixtures of both kinds. So yeah. Picture that what he's saying about holding your hands on top of each other. They're the same shape, but you can't put one on top of the other. You have to invert one of them in order for them to match up and. With three dimensional things that means that they're not chemically the same. Actually, you can't use one for the other and incients this this handedness of sugars and amino acids is known as Khairallah the the fact that all life on earth uses only left handed amino acids and right handed sugars that's known as homo Khairallah. The and it's a fascinating mystery to people who studied the chemistry of life. Why why not the other way around or why not both both corral are and presumably always have been available out there in the universe? So why did life on earth end up using only these kinds why only left handed amino acids and only right handed sugars, in fact, Darnell points out that Cairo society is a good way to know that traces of life. We find say on Mars are actually authentic. So imagine you've got a Rover on Mars, and it picks up amino acids somewhere on the surface of Mars, and they employed the opposite biochemical orientations. So you've got right handed amino acids, then we can know that they were genuinely alien and not simply contamination from earth life that we took along with us on the Rover by accident. And so dark nail writes quote. So here's a fascinating thought alien invaders could be based on exactly the same organic molecules amino acids sugars cetera, but they still wouldn't gain any nutrition from eating us as the origins of life on their own planet settled on the opposite in Antea. Moore's we'd be mirror images of each other on a molecular level, and of course, if this applied to us, meaning we couldn't be nutritious to them. It would also apply to our food sources it would apply to all life on earth. So they'd be like oh that earth. I can't handle any of in fact, it might even be toxic to them as looking at a paper from twenty fourteen in Pilo S one by Zhang and sun about how how bacteria are able to sort of breakdown. Right handed amino acids, and one of the things that they talk about is how right handed amino acids are toxic for life on earth. And it's actually important the back bacteria, do some breaking down of these right handed amino acids or else they would accumulate to toxic levels in the environments on the there has to be some hard scifi that explores this possibility what the Dalians come here to eat us. But then we poison them. Well, I mean just the idea that their reflections on a molecular level and therefore incompatible with us our food. Yeah. I like that idea that like they could they could in theory. Even look exactly like us. They could have bodies that are very they were just talks to each other contact and sharing organic molecules from each other would be poisonous like if it was the movie alien nation in and you had to have left handed food, restaurants and right handed food. You know, it was you know, there's certainly discrimination there. But also the fact that the each species can only eat a certain type of matter in organic matter yet will I mean, but the thing there is that if you soom their ecosystem is their planet is also from a single combination sister. Maybe it'd be that all of their planet uses the opposite Khairallah the of us meaning that it's not just like we need different food, but every bit of life in their whole world would be toxic to us all the life in our world would be toxic to them. So like in order to interact we almost need to like, you know, be be sort of sealed off in a way. Oh, well, see that's a wonderful Sifi concept there. So anyway, I thought that was an interesting possibility even if they wanted to serve man, the dinner might not go so well, I like that we were taking some of the the anxiety out of our twilight zone episodes afraid of creatures on the wing and the plane don't have to be as afraid of alien of. Civilizations coming to our planet cook and eat as well. I mean, the the downside of that thing about the incompatibility of different biochemistry as that you could have aliens that meant well, and that didn't want to eat us, but just wanted to make contact and actually be helpful wanted to serve man in the original naive since of the understanding, but just brought with them a bunch of molecules that are deadly to us man, which brings us kind of back to the Christopher Columbus sighted, doesn't it? Well, I wouldn't say that Christopher Columbus. -ment? Well, I know that's not what you were saying to. No. But just the idea that on a logical level ends up bringing death and also a cultural level as well. Yes. Like that even if Columbus had actually meant, well, yeah, he he wouldn't have been able to help bringing death along with him. All right. I feel like we're going pretty long here. But I think we have time for just one more story. Okay. And this one comes to us from tales from the crypt. It aired in the fifth seed. Season episode five this October nineteen Ninety-three I love how most of these episodes actually, aired during October someone and it was titled people who live in brass hearses. All right. So this this isn't a light because this is one of four at the SOS directed by Russell McKay. The visionary director who gave us Highlander one Highlander one and Highlander to all time under to really, yes. And most of the great music videos of the nineteen eighties. Total eclipse of the heart that was him boys. That was him. How do you say his name McKay? He it's it's I believe it's k-. It's immu L K H Y. I'm never been able to pronounce the. Yeah. But yeah, the visionary behind Highlander various other films. And I do mean that authentically. There is a visual style to his work. There's an intensity that you just you know, when you see a thing that I think I rediscovered this year upon going back to the first Highlander movie, and your insistence is that actually the first Highlander movie is almost as bad as. The second one. It's pretty bonkers. Yeah. But we'll say that for for an upcoming episode. Oh, yeah. We still got science Highlander to coming out. Yes. Before the year is up that episode will finally come to fruition. We're not joking. Yes. It's real. So this episode of tales from the crypt. It's like a lot of episodes is the wealth of just wonderful acting talent spectacular gore effects. Notable director into script that. Well depends on how you look at it. Right. I mean, it's easy to take these scripts out of context and dream about what a stronger rewrite could have done for it. But on the other hand, the material's the material and the whole premise of the show is these are retold classic horror comic shorts from the the, you know, the goals in age of horror comics, and they tend to throw some sort of a heel character through the ringer, the murderous or supernatural circumstances taking place. Yeah. It's generally there's some kind of nasty, dude. And he gets his. Up through some kind of supernatural karma. Yeah. Nasty meets nasty. And then there's a joke about it on a new hunts. It's these horror stories essentially for for for for kids, and but with completely inappropriate content. Yeah. It was the all of these stories are so inappropriate. You go even going back now. And watching these these episodes like some of them are just like so cringe-worthy, and I'm not sure that it's a fly. It's like it's kind of what you get. It's that stales from the crypt. It's it's gross. It's inappropriate. And yet there's something wonderful about it. So this particular episode definitely brings it with the cast because this one started Bill Paxton and Brad door, if that's of course, Bill Paxton for aliens, the Terminator, right? And and Brad Dorothy played Wormtongue in the Lord of the rings movie is the voice of Chuckie, then so many fabulous films over the years flew over the cuckoo's nest. Yeah. That was a another one of his big accomplishments. He was also in what wise blood. I think. Oh, yeah. He was in excess three. Yes. Yeah. He's a fabulous character. Actor so already have wonderful talent to work with here. They play brothers billion Virgil. Billy is a mean-spirited slime bag fresh out of prison performance by Paxton, the reminds me a lot of his vampire character in near dark. You know, just just a bad person and his brother is essentially Linney from Steinbeck's of mice and men. So they have that kind of relationship Billy talks Virgil into an ice cream factory highs, which goes all wrong, they're gonna steal bunch of ice cream. There's still some money from a safe, but they end up just murdering some people instead. Okay. And as a fallback plan, they go after the ice cream truck driver who originally turned Billy in for stealing from the company a man by the name of Mr. bird, and Mr. bird is played by veteran character. Actor Michael earner? Oh, the producer from Barton Fink. Yeah. He was nominated for an actor for that role. He's tremendous. And he's he's great in this to like, everybody's great in this. But here's the twist. Here's the grew tests. Tales trip twist, Mr. Berg turns out to be two men conjoined twins in the episodes. Grizzly payoff is that while the brothers succeed in killing one of the twins. They shoot him. He shot in the head with a shotgun. When he emerges through a beaded curtain. It turns out the the other one lives and he gets his vengeance. The final shot of the episode after he's killed the brothers shows the surviving Mr. bird twin sitting in his ice cream truck making his rounds with his decaying twin hunched over in the back seat. Well, and this is I didn't even touch on some of the truly bizarre elements of this episode, for instance, Billy Bill taxes character, totally does not need to have a butter. Eating addiction. Blender. He's like eating sticks of butter throughout the whole film for no reason with no pay off. Like he already had a pretty good. You know, trope character here. Bill Bill Paxton is playing a slime ball. It's wonderful. He was born for this role and Heathrow in the butter for some reason. Well, there's also a part where Virgil reading comic book, and it is predator vs. Jesse james? Which doesn't I have no problem with I love it. But it's just such a random element to throw in the original Cowboys versus aliens. It really was. Yeah. I would love to see it. Give me a Jesse James versus predator. So the science question here, though, of course, is could this happen? If one conjoined twin were to die with the other won't be able to live on in this grotesque grotesque manner. Okay. So to begin with I do have to point out again tales from the crypt is pretty far from any sort of fair or reasonable portrayal of conjoined twins or just humanity in general this show and the comics based on they tended to have a real freak show vibe concerning any sort of deform ation birth defect mutilation, or even just something as routine is identical twins. You know, everything was played for weird. Everything's played for grotesque in the stereotypes are pretty broad and grotesque to right. So you don't go to tales from the crypt to think about how to model thinking. About a medical condition. No, not at all. And yet that's kind of what we're doing in the segments. Here we go. So scientifically conjoined twins are Manos Agotic twins who were joined at some region of their bodies and the details. Depend on exactly where the conjunction is situated. So the exact cause of conjoined twins and fully understood. But major theory here is that the fertilized egg is going to split into a Manos Agotic set of twins. But it doesn't fully separate. And they remain connected. So the bird twins here are represented as Terada cadidate him conjoined twins. These are lower body conjunctions and more specifically they are pie go pages twins. Meaning they're back to back joined at the rump. So this accounts for roughly nineteen percent of also read seventeen percent of conjoined twins. But don't let that number that still means that they're extremely rare occurrences. These. Visuals. They commonly share the gluteal region terminal spine and lower gastrointestinal, urological and reproductive tracts. So surgical separation of conjoined twins in general, it ranges from simple to near impossible, depending on the conjunction in many cases. It's a highly risky surgery with potentially fatal outcomes for both patients. However successful separations of go pay is conjoined twins have occurred. And with various cases, presented in medical literature and cases of separation do tend to be presented in medical literature. Like, these these are generally, you know, the more certainly in the more complicated. Separations are exactly the kind of thing you're gonna find written up in a journal write. But a separation is not what we see. In this episode of tales from the crypt one twin is killed via shotgun blast to the head. And the other continues to live dragging around while he kills off the two brothers and then continues ice cream round. Could this happen? Oh, broadly, speaking. Yeah. And I don't think that should come to anybody surprise given that again, this is tales from the crypt. Dr Eric's crotch, a pediatric surgeon at the university of Maryland hospital for children, he actually covered the matter in the Esquire article how to separate conjoined twin on his deathbed. He was interviewed. Interview segment was used in that article did not write it. But he pointed out that once one twins heart stops, beating the blood stops pumping in the vessels dilate, then the living twin was initially bleed into the dead twin and this will happen quickly. The physical connection between the two large enough. But with smaller cases will be an infection in a matter of hours, in these cases, it's technically possible that surgical separate separation could save the living twin, but he didn't think it had ever been attempted again, in many cases separation might not even be possible. Under ideal conditions much less like an emergency. Intervention scenario. So while we may be able to accept the idea that the surviving bird, twin murders brother's killers the idea that he goes on to drive the ice cream truck around seems a bit of a stretch. Now, Robert see attached a panel from a comic. So this one was based on I guess something that was told in the comics before it was on the show. Yes. This was definitely based on a comic, this comics manage to come up with some really gross stuff. The the became only grocer when it was translated to HBO. Yeah. The comics were big about like just the visuals this real horror and the show did a great job of of portraying that. Yeah. This this panel that I found from it which which is easy to find. If you just Google search for for the title of this episode, which was also the title of the comics people who live in brass hearses, just see the the ice cream truck driver, climbing out of the back of the truck, and he just has this rotting corpse attached to the back of him with flies. Buzzing around it. It's it's horrifying grotesque insensitive. Everything you would expect from tales from the crypt rubber in your reading about the actual like the surgeries involved here and stuff. Do you get the sense that the Medical Sciences making a lot of progress in in how to help conjoined twins, especially in cases, where they do need to be separated. Yeah. I mean, it seems to be the case. But at the same time, it's like so many of these cases, they are there different. If one has its own individual challenges, rare. It's rare, and you know, when it when it does pop up. They're also going to be a lot of arguments potentially about is. This thing to do is is is this is the the morally correct medical intervention if there is such a risk to both patients because there are some heartbreaking accounts in the literature where an attempt is made to separate two conjoined twins. And they simply both died. They neither one to actually survives the surgery. Right. Well, I mean, I guess I was specifically thinking of. Cases, where it is medically necessary in order to save them or or create better health outcomes to separate them. I mean, I don't think we should just assume that all conjoined twins naturally. Wanna be separated? Yeah. They basically it comes down to just the complexity of the of the connection like if if the connection is his smaller and more simple. And then it can actually be pretty safe procedure as I understand it. But then there just other cases where it is going to be kind of like, the the Mount Everest of surgical intervention, and yet sometimes depending on the situation, it it may be something that has to be done Z. And another thing that I think might deserve a deeper look sometime in the future. Oh, yeah. Absolutely. We've only just we've only we've barely brushed the surface of twins and certainly conjoined twins. And obviously, there's a lot of lot of fascinating information out there about you know. The live that led by actual conjoined twins and not the, you know, the cartoonish examples that we see in like tail the crypt which says, sadly, it tends to be this is the kind of thing that tends to be once I introduction to conjoined twins in the same way that unless you have identical twins in your classroom growing up in. If you're not encountering him in your life. Your first example who two identical twins likely going to be some sort of weird harsh. Oh example when you're five and you wash dead ringers, well hope not, but certainly watch the Simpsons ride the treehouse of horror where evil towards twin was separated from him and his living in the attic. I wonder I mean is the belief in evil twins actually fairly common thing? Or does everybody understand this not real? I hope everyone understands that. I mean, I have friends with twins. And I've talked to them a little bit about just you know, to the point where they just want to avoid any like creepy twin content. I don't don't blame them. But I basically think comes down more to the to us on twinned individuals where we see this. We see two identical individuals, and we think of all the potential self exploration. Like what if I were to people? What would that mean? Right. What if one represented my best qualities and one my my, you know, my my my my darker qualities. And of course, meanwhile, these twins are two separate people are just trying to live their lives, and we're staring at them trying to gaze down our naval or write a grotesque car story. Yeah. The looker the the person who looks at another is the real monster. You know, because they always wanna make monsters out of people who are just people. Yeah. All right. So there you have it anthology of horror volume one because if everyone like this, maybe we'll do it again next year. Maybe this'll be our new Halloween thing in if it is what would you like us to cover guess, this means before then I'm gonna have to go back. Watch some some horror anthology series. I I am under exposed this point. I had a hard enough time picking just the ones to did today though. I guess I'd never run out of treehouse of horror episodes to pick create yet. She house tends to be a nice overview of great anthropology works in places other times, of course, their parenting facially link films. I think twilight zone and outer limits black mirror. These are great places to look to tales from the crypt little bit harder. I ran into a lot of dead ends and bad puns before. I I decided to to to talk about this one. It is a forest of dead ends and bad puns as I'm understand. All right. Well, hey, everybody out there. You have a year to catch up on Orenthal James as well and to suggest app Assode from those anthology like us to consider covering in the future. In the meantime, checkout stuff to blow your mind dot com. That is our mother ship. That's we'll find all the episodes. 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