Episode 13: Ringworld, Sci-Fi Stack Exchange, Assigned Reading, Would You Rather?, Unchained Melodies, and I, Robot.

This week Dave and Steel are joined once again by their friend Spencer to discuss lots and lots of very nerdy things. The episode begins with a discussion of Larry Niven’s Ringworld, and just goes downhill from there, descending into an exploration of arcane Star Wars and Star Trek trivia (anti-Wookie prejudice, the battle at Wolf 359, and Han Solo’s murderous encounter with Greedo). The trio also give each other some reading assignments, play a few rounds of an old “Would You Rather?” game Steel designed in college, share music from Phox, King Creosote, Torres, Blur, Blue Sky Black Death, and Vajra, and Dave drops some ominous wisdom from I, Robot Isaac Asimov’s classic collection of short stories.



Ringworld is a series of 5 books written by Larry Niven between 1970 and 2002, with four prequels, cowritten with Edward Lerner and published between 2007 and 2010. Read more about the Ringworld at its wiki.

Sci-Fi Stack Exchange

Question #1: About Chewbacca (from Star Wars 4-6)

Question #2: About the Battle of Wolf 359 (from Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Question #3: About Greedo and Han Solo (from Star Wars 4)

Assigned Reading

Dave assigned Dan Simmons’ sci-fi classicHyperion to Steel.

Steel assigned Sabine Heinlein’s nonfiction Among Murderers: Life After Prison to Dave.

Dave and Steel assigned Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 to Spencer.

Would You Rather?

Way back when Steel was a freshman in college he wrote out a big, strange “Would You Rather?” quiz and administered it to dozens of friends. It’s now been revised slightly and turned into a 50 question Qualtrics survey, which you can take here.

Unchained Melodies

Phox — 1936

King Creosote — My Favourite Girl

Torres — Strange Hellos

Blur — Lonesome Street

Blue Sky Black Death — Threats (Instrumental)

Vajra — Earthscape 2039

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage comes from “The Evitable Conflict,” a short-story in science-fiction pioneer Isaac Asimov’s collection I, Robot.

Episode 12: Furious 7, Sports!, Small Talk: The Sport, Unchained Melodies, and The Goalkeeper

This week Dave and Steel are joined by their old friend Spencer. The whole episode is sports themed, so brace yourself for some incredible wingspan and raw athleticism. They discuss Spencer and Dave’s impressions of the latest Fast & Furious film, the NBA sneaker landscape circa 1993, their favorite basketball video games, best basketball haircuts, the most prolific reproducers in NBA history, and their favorite sports friendships and rivalries. They also have a special sports-themed segment of Unchained Melodies, featuring songs by Belle and Sebastian, Public Enemy, Simon and Garfunkel, Skee-Lo, Camper Van Beethoven, and The Duckworth Lewis Method, and close the episode with some poetic reflections on the ignominy of the goalkeeper from the great, and recently deceased, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano.



NBA Shoes

The spreadsheet made by 11 year old Steel to document what kind of sneakers NBA players wore in 1993, according to their basketball cards.

A list of sneaker brands currently worn by NBA players, from Hoopshype.

Thinking about buying a pair of Ewings? Check out their latest models.

Favorite Basketball Video Games

Dr. J vs. Larry Bird


NBA Live 1995

Favorite NBA Hair Cuts

Complex Sports has produced several really outstanding lists of NBA things, including the 50 ugliest haircuts of all time.

Best NBA Names

SB Nation’s Dan Grunfield has written an excellent personal exploration of some of the NBA’s most outstanding names.

Most Prolific NBA Fathers

Complex has a list of athletes with the most children by the most women. Some famous NBA names there.

OTC Sports Friendships

You can learn more about Dave’s beloved Core Four, but more reasonable people wouldn’t recommend it.

OTC Sports Rivalries

The Price of Gold, the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan’s rivalry, is well worth checking out.

Unchained Melodies

Belle & Sebastian — Piazza, New York Catcher

Public Enemy — He Got Game

Simon and Garfunkel — The Boxer

Skee-Lo — I Wish

Camper Van Beethoven — Take the Skinheads Bowling

The Duckworth Lewis Method — Nudging and Nurdling

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage came from the recently deceased Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano‘s classic Soccer in Sun and Shadow.

Episode 11: Aliens, OTC Hall of Fame, Lost the Plot: John Wick, Unchained Melodies, Book Wisdom

This week Dave and Steel discuss Dave’s new haircut, four types of aliens, induct the newest member of the OTC Hall of Fame, play Lost the Plot with the film John Wick, share some great music from Andrew Bird, Mississippi John Hurt, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Cat Power, and Roger Miller, and drop some heavy theology from the Book of Genesis.



Dave referenced a couple of books in this segment that are worth checking out. The first is Vernor Vinge’s Fire Upon the Deep, which featured the alien race of dogs which share a common mind. The second is Larry Niven’s Ringworld, which was the source of the Puppeteers, a strange race of highly intelligent beings. Niven has written a larger Ringworld series, which Dave highly recommends.

OTC Hall of Fame

Steel inducted Miami lawyer and immigration reform advocate Nora Sandigo, who was recently featured in this outstanding Washington Post article by Eli Saslow. Sandigo has become the legal guardian for more than 800 children whose parents have been deported for illegal immigration over the past 6 years.

Lost the Plot: John Wick

The very violent trailer for the cinematic release of John Wick

Unchained Melodies

Andrew Bird — Three White Horses

Mississippi John Hurt — Here Am I, Oh Lord Send Me

Here Am I, Oh Lord, Send Me by Mississippi John Hurt on Grooveshark

Alvin Youngblood Hart — Here Am I, Oh Lord Send Me

Here Am I, Oh Lord, Send Me by Alvin Youngblood Hart on Grooveshark

Cat Power — Colors and the Kids

Roger Miller — Oo-De-Lally

Song – OO-De-Lally (Roger Miller) by Robin Hood [Soundtrack] on Grooveshark

Roger Miller — Whistle Stop

Whistle Stop by Roger Miller on Grooveshark

Roger Miller — Dang Me

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage was The Akedah (The Binding [of Isaac]), taken from Genesis 22:1-12.

Episode 10: Baby Birthday Parties, To The Limits, Ask OTC, Small Talk, Diesel: Running on Gas, Unchained Melodies, and Montaigne's Essays

This week Dave and Steel discuss some pro tips for successful birthday parties for infants and toddlers, talk about some incredible feats of human achievement (including Yeti sightings and some of the longest walks ever recorded), introduce you to the paranormal educational opportunities available at Arthur Findlay College, discuss Turning Point and Radio Diaries, answer great listener questions about vanity plates and rectal tubes, share some great music from Martha Wainwright, The New Christy Minstrels, Bahamas, and The National, and drop some humility from Michel de Montaigne.


To The Limits

SÅ‚awomir Rawicz’s book is called The Long Walk. The book was the ‘inspiration’ for a 2010 film called The Way Back with Colin Farrell and Ed Harris.

Here’s Elizabeth Weil’s NYT magazine article about the Swiss adventurer Sarah Marquis. Ms. Marquis maintains a website where you can hear interviews, find her TED talks, and see several videos of her exploits.

Small Talk

WSJ article programabout Arthur Findlay College, a Spiritualist-run school for psychics and mediums. The college also has its own website.

Dave highly recommends BYUTV’s programTurning Point.

Steel recommends Joe Richman’s podcast Radio Diaries, especially their recent episode about songwriter Rose Marie McCoy.

Unchained Melodies

Martha Wainwright — Everything Wrong

The New Christy Minstrels — El Camino Real

Bahamas — Lost in the Light

The National — So Far Around the Bend

So Far Around the Bend by The National on Grooveshark

Book Wisdom

Today’s passage was “To the Reader,” the brief preface to Michel de Montaigne’s classic Essays. Steel recommends the Donald Frame translation. You can also listen to the essays, as they’ve been recorded by LibriVox volunteers.