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May 27, 2024 23 mins

Once more, it's time for a weekly dose of Stuff to Blow Your Mind and Weirdhouse Cinema listener mail...

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Stuff to Blow Your Mind, a production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:10):
Hey, welcome to Stuff to Blow your Mind. Listener mail.

Speaker 3 (00:14):
My name is Robert Lamb and I am Joe McCormick.
And today is Monday, the day of each week that
we read back messages from the Stuff to Blow Your
Mind email address. If you have never gotten in touch before,
why not give it a try. You can email us
at contact at stuff to Blow your Mind dot com.
Any kind of message is fair game, but we especially

(00:35):
appreciate responses to recent episodes. If you have something interesting
you would like to add to a topic we've talked about,
but also if you have feedback you just want to
let us know you know where you listen from, what
you like about the show, anything like that, Send it
on in contact at stuff to Blow your Mind dot com.
Let's see, oh Rob, maybe to start off today? We

(00:58):
got several responses to I can tell you you threw
out a request there for listeners to get in touch
with their favorite Star Trek monsters, and listener Jeff did indeed,
do you want to do this one?

Speaker 2 (01:14):
Sure? Sure, Jeff says, Hi, guys, just a quick response
to requests for Star Trek creatures. There was a species
called something like the Medusins in the original series. The
gag was that they were not a non hostile race,
but humans couldn't look directly at them without going mad.
The ambassador they sent to deal with them was physically blind,
but wore a dress that was a web of censors

(01:36):
that allowed her to quote unquote look at them without
going nuts. I think maybe Spock somehow got a taste
of the space madness at some point. I don't remember
how much they got into the biology of the creatures. Otherwise,
hope there's enough meat on the bone there for an episode.

Speaker 3 (01:51):
Jeff ah Well, it, as is often the case with
creatures and situations from the original series, I feel like
this raises interesting philosophical questions, like about what it actually
means to look and what it means to see something,
because if I don't know, I was thinking about this,
if you've got like sensors that allow you to gain

(02:11):
all the same information you would get from looking at
something with eyes, and so you can know what it
looks like, yet that's still not the same as seeing.
That implies that like seeing is somehow different than just
having visual topographical information.

Speaker 2 (02:28):
Yeah, yeah, so the Meduicans. This is a great suggestion.
I ended up not covering the Meduicins in this first
and the first four Star Trek Monster Fact episodes that
I did, but I may come back and do another
batch of them in the future because there's plenty of
cool stuff the Meduicins are. Yeah, they're definitely one of
those classic track creatures, and for me, that kind of

(02:51):
makes them a little more exotic because I wasn't an
original Star Trek series viewer. I came in at Next Generation,
and they intentionally did not revisit a lot of those aliens,
like apparently I was reading Gene Roddenberry especially early on
in Next Generation, was like new aliens, new species, you know,
where we don't need the old ones, and you know,

(03:12):
they bent on some of that. But then there are
other creatures that just didn't really turn up in at
least a meaningful way in the Next Generation, and like
the Meducins were one of them. But I can say
that a Medusin character does pop up on the really
quite excellent recent animated series Star Trek Prodigy that I
watched with my family and everybody got a big kick

(03:33):
out off.

Speaker 3 (03:34):
Okay, well, I have no familiarity with this.

Speaker 2 (03:37):
Yeah, yeah, but it is an interesting concept of this
kind of like energy creature that can't be viewed because
to look upon them would you know, be to invite
madness and so forth.

Speaker 3 (03:47):
You know, this is commonly said about like the face
of the gorgon. You know, looking upon the gorgon turns
you to stone in Greek mythology. But I think there's
also a concept at least like in you know, like
in the Hebrew Bible, that not that that you would
necessarily be turned to stone, but that like you cannot
really look directly at God. Yeah, yeah, it's like dangerous

(04:08):
to do so. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (04:09):
And then, as we've discussed in past episodes of stuff
blow your mind, that can spill over into various beliefs
that we should not depict the divine and and so forth.
So there's a there are a lot of avenues one
can explore there.

Speaker 3 (04:25):
Okay, This next message is in response to our episodes
on Dust and it comes from Chris. Chris says, Hi, Robert, Joe,
and JJ, responding a few weeks later to your multi
part episode on Dust, and I wanted to bring up
a topic I do not believe was touched on explosive dust.

(04:48):
This is a topic I know about from my time
in the craft beer brewing industry. The history of explosive
grain dust goes back to the first recorded grain dust
explosion inter in Italy in seventeen eighty five, noted in
this article, and Chris attaches a link. Chris says brewery
milling rooms where the whole malted grains get milled to

(05:11):
the appropriate size prior to starting the brewing process, are
generally designed as almost quote blast rooms to decrease the
chances that if a grain dust explosion would happen, it
is contained appropriately. Unless I'm reading this wrong, I think
Chris means the opposite, to increase the chance of if
there is a grain dust it would be contained appropriately.

(05:34):
Chris goes on good care must be taken to clean
frequently to help decrease the chances of grain explosion. There
are many examples of fine particulate matter that can cause
these explosions, and the risk is not only in the
brewing industry, but anywhere fine dust can be created grain elevators,
feed mills, and grain processors, just to name a few.

(05:58):
And then Chris attaches a link to another article an
article from the Purdue University Engineering Department that looks like
about I think about the physics of dust explosions. Chris says,
thanks again for the great episodes and always appreciate your
deep dives into topics so seemingly mundane as dust that
then turn into a multi part series. Chris, Oh, thank you, Chris. Yeah,

(06:22):
I didn't bring it up in the series, but I
actually have read about dust explosions before. I wrote a
dust explosion in as a plot point to one of
the scripts that I wrote for the Thirteen Days of
Halloween series that our network produces. One of the scripts
I wrote involved a powdered milk explosion at a dairy factory.

(06:44):
It's the thing you wouldn't think could happen, but Cannon does.
All right.

Speaker 2 (06:49):
I have one quick, quick additional Star Trek message to read.
This one came to us from Jim, and Jim also
shared a few suggestions. Jim said, I'm loving the Star
Trek monster fact. I have two suggestions. One silicon based
life forms example the Horta, the crystalline entity from the

(07:11):
next generation. Two creatures that live their lives in the
vacuum of space examples the Crystalline Entity again, the Creature
that Comes to Earth, and the fourth Star Trek movie,
The Voyage Home, the Creatures from the TNG episodes The
Loss and Galaxies, Child ten Man from TNG. Thanks Jim.

Speaker 3 (07:28):
Now that's a list of references. I don't know a
lot of them, but I do remember the fourth Star
Trek movie.

Speaker 2 (07:33):
Yes, and I do remember the Horta, and in fact,
based on Jim's suggestion, I did the Horta for the
fourth monster fact in the Star Trek series, so that
one should be live. If anyone wants to.

Speaker 3 (07:44):
Go look that up.

Speaker 2 (07:45):
And if you would prefer to have those as an
omnibus episode where all four are combined together, well that's
going to come out in the next few weeks.

Speaker 3 (07:52):
Excellent. What's the short rundown on the Horta.

Speaker 2 (07:56):
The Horta is silicone based, it lives underground. It bores
tunnels with via acid. And I did watch this original
Star Trek episode as a kid. I do distinctly remember
it because it's ultimately I think one of the one
of like the best of the classic track. I see
it make a lot of those lists, you know, And
it's about this peaceful creature that you know, is very

(08:19):
different from us, that lives underground and is peaceful, it
doesn't really have anything to do with humans. But then
it starts running a foul of a federation mining colony.
There are some deaths, and ultimately it's one of these
episodes where Spock has to play a central role in
sort of helping us figure them out and helping them

(08:39):
understand us. So, you know, in the Grand Star Trek tradition,
it's a it's about understanding other civilizations, other peoples, or
in the sci fi context, other aliens, and what they
want and what they need. But then it also does
have some excellent kind of like space suspense space horror
elements to it as well, you know, some sort of

(09:00):
mysterious entity killing people with acid and tunnels underneath this
planet's surface.

Speaker 3 (09:06):
It looks like a big heap.

Speaker 2 (09:10):
Ah.

Speaker 3 (09:10):
Yeah, there's some good heaps in Star Trek. Wait, what's
the I know we've talked about this on the show before,
but then I forget what's it called. There's just like
a mud puddle that kills some characters early in the
next generation.

Speaker 2 (09:21):
I remember that one. I don't remember what it's called
off the top of my head, but I distinctly remember
that one with like the shuttlecraft landing set, and they
had some sort of like a you know, pit underneath
this black boily or maybe it was like Hershey's chocolate
syrup stuff and it would just like swallow people down.
I remember being impressed by that.

Speaker 3 (09:40):
All right, let's see, should we do some messages in
response to our series on artifacts made out of meteorite iron? Yeah? Okay,
which I'm gonna take this one from Chuck. Chuck says
Dear Rob, Joe and JJ. Hello, I hope you're all
doing well. I'm writing in response to your recent series

(10:02):
on meteoric metal and alien iron. The topic made me
think of the Murchison meteorite. I hope I'm saying right.
That's m U rchi Son Murchison meteorite. Here's the gist.
If you are unaware, this meteorite hit near Murchison, Victoria
in Australia on September twenty eighth, nineteen sixty nine. It

(10:24):
happened in the morning and was observed by witnesses, breaking
apart in the atmosphere and causing a minor trimmer when
the debris hit over two hundred and twenty pounds or
one hundred kilograms of the meteorite was collected, with the
largest pieces being over fifteen pounds or seven kilograms. It
has since become one of the most studied meteorites that

(10:44):
has ever hit the Earth. Okay, so what is so
amazing about this meteorite is that, according to scientists, most
of the meteorite grains are old, like before the Earth
and Sun were formed old. Here is some text from
an EarthSky dot com article discussing it. Quote, so, just
how old are these grains? Some of them turned out

(11:06):
to be the oldest found so far, and the oldest
known material on Earth, older than Earth itself. Most of
the grains are four point six to four point nine
billion years old, while some are as much as five
point five billion years old or more. Earth itself is
four point five billion years old and the Sun is

(11:26):
four point six billion years old. So these grains date
from back before the formation of our solar system. And
then Chuck provides a link to that source here, and
that's an EarthSky dot org article. Chuck's email goes on.
Other sources say that a small part of the media
rite may be seven billion years old. Truly alien iron

(11:47):
from the heavens. Of course, the Murchison meteorite was much
too late in human history to be made into exotic artifacts,
or simply too well observed, studied and collected in museums
and labs for the uber rich to do so since
nineteen sixty nine. But it made me think that surely,
somewhere and sometime in our past, someone may have had

(12:08):
an item made from something that well pre dates everything
else on earth, a gift from the gods. And here
I am trying to keep it simple and just add
an alien iron vorpal sword into my daughter's D and
D campaign. Thanks to you guys. Lastly, having written before
and being at the risk of repeating myself, thank you

(12:29):
for all the tremendous, thought provoking and sometimes hilarious information.
The combination of variety, depth and dry what you provide
is a rarity among podcasts. I salute you both. Thank
you so much. Chuck Oh and also Chuck says that
apparently one flaw remaining on our show is that we
have not done a weird house on Big Trouble in
Little China yet, and that would clinch it for him.

(12:51):
He says, sincerely, with much gratitude, Chuck.

Speaker 2 (12:54):
Oh, well, well, first of all, you know, thanks for
the great message, and I do love the idea of
an alien iron vorpal sword in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
But Big Trouble, Little China, that's It's definitely one that
is on our radar. I've really enjoyed this film so
many times over the years. I think it was ahead

(13:16):
of its time in many respects. Has such a great cast,
so many memorable moments. Certainly a cult film, and it
is kind of weird that we have yet to actually
watch a John Carpenter directed film on weird house cinema.

Speaker 3 (13:33):
Almost feels two on the nose. Wun't that be possible?

Speaker 2 (13:37):
I don't know. I mean, it would be a lot
of fun to talk about it.

Speaker 3 (13:39):
It might.

Speaker 2 (13:39):
It might be one where we just go on and on,
but yeah, but it would be a good one. I
actually almost picked Dark Star for next week, but it
was one of two backups for what I think we're
going to be talking about. Oh okay, but I mean,
we we've got to We've got to do a proper
John Carpenter film at some point.

Speaker 3 (13:58):
We will, we will.

Speaker 2 (13:59):
We did have three, which he did not direct and
uh yeah, I think I think that's it so far.
That's the only like, that's the strongest John Garpenter connection
to a film we've we've looked at.

Speaker 3 (14:10):
Now, wait a minute, didn't we just do John Carpenter
star Man Last Friday? Oh No, that was a different one.

Speaker 2 (14:16):
Yeah, different star different star Man. This one is also
in response to our Iron Meteorite episodes. This one comes
to us from Hugh. You, says Robert, JO and JJ.
Greetings to you all. The episodes on meteoric metal have

(14:38):
been really interesting and I've learned a lot. The importance
the Inuit people place on tools that are made from
a special material and yet are in daily use really
resonates with me. I'm an artist and metal worker, and
in our community, old tools are highly prized. Old cast
iron machine tools, hammers, tongs, vices, and especially anvils are
sought out and lovingly restored with the full intension of

(15:00):
using them. The thought of the lives those tools have
lived before they come into our custody becomes significant and
helps us to feel that we are part of a
continue The objects created with these tools and the crafts
people who have used them in the past imbue them
with a sort of magic, a kind of magic that
we hope to add with our own work. Great topic

(15:21):
as always.

Speaker 3 (15:21):
H oh wow that I found that strangely heartwarming.

Speaker 2 (15:26):
Yeah, that's a great, great perspective. Yeah, because I mean
I have certain tools that I use in my miniature
painting hobby, and some of those are older and go
back to my dad, and so I have, you know,
nostalgia for them in that respect. But I like this
description because this, like this kind of takes it a
step further, and it goes beyond like mere attachment to

(15:47):
a specific individual, but also to like a lineage of
crafts people, some you know, some you don't know.

Speaker 3 (15:54):
I like that. Yeah, all right, let's do at least
one weird house cinema message. This comes from Steph. Steph says, Hi, guys, first,
thank you for reviewing. Howse? You have to say it
that way? Howse, I'd recently finished all the show era

(16:17):
Godzilla movies and was a bit adrift wondering what else
to watch. House fit the bill very nicely, what a ride.
I was delighted at how weird, funny and imaginative it was.
I wonder if you maybe got the sense like I
did in the watermelon eating scene that maybe Antie or
Blanche that's the lady who lives in the house and

(16:38):
the cat, the white cat, that maybe Anti or Blanche
was using magic to hide what they were really snacking on.
So this is the scene where I remember Fantasy has
gone out to the well to find Mac, and Mac
was supposed to be getting a watermelon that was chilling
down in the well. Max snow where to be found.
Fantasy pulls up the watermelon, but the water is not

(17:00):
a watermelon. It's Max Head. And then max Head flies
and then bites Fantasy and then vomits blood and then
goes back down in the well, and then everybody comes
and pulls it up looking for the head. But it's
just a watermelon. Now, So this is Steph's theory about
what's going on in that scene while they're eating the watermelon.
It's maybe something else. So Steph says, when Anti opens

(17:22):
her mouth shows Fantasy the eyeball inside her mouth and
it appears to dart around. I took it to mean
that it was meant to be max eyeball, because they
were in fact eating max Head, which had been cloaked
by magic to appear as though it were the watermelon.

Speaker 2 (17:41):
This is a solid theory.

Speaker 3 (17:42):
This is just cannon to me. Now, I'm fully convinced, Steph.
Steph says, not sure if that's what Obayashi was implying,
but that interpretation adds another layer of horror to that scene.
Another small but very funny part I noticed was when
Melody was playing the piano, the camera swings around to
show her face and in the background you can see

(18:04):
the skeleton dancing along. This is like the skeleton that
was in the house. And I think they explained it like, oh, yes,
grandfather was a doctor, so there are skeletons in the house.

Speaker 2 (18:14):
Yeah, and it does occasionally dance, but often in ways
where it's not clear that anyone notices, and if they
do notice that it's a big deal. But of course
things get increasingly haunted as the movie progresses, So who knows,
Maybe it's like it's small potatoes at that point.

Speaker 3 (18:32):
Yeah. So anyway, Steph says, Yeah, So the camera pans around,
you see Melody's face and then behind her the skeleton
is dancing, and Steph says, in the sound effects you
can hear an almost Scooby Doo like quote. Skeleton bones
rattling sound effect that is rattling in time to the
piano music. Such a subtle but hilarious cartoony detail. It

(18:55):
made me laugh out loud. Agree. Agree. Steph goes on
second and in the last Listener mail, someone wrote in
about taking a date to Highlander two and also about Tron.
About Tron, in the same email, Steph says it warmed
my heart because my dad, who has been gone for
seven years now, loved both of those movies. He would

(19:18):
play the game Tron at our local arcade, the Pirates Den.
And because I was young and had watched Tron with
my dad many times, I assumed there were really little
guys in there that he was manipulating. Because of his
affinity for movies like Highlander two and others of the sort.
As a kid, I assumed that he had terrible taste
in movies. Now, as an adult who enjoys watching a

(19:40):
good bad movie, I realized he wasn't bad at picking
out good movies. He was good at picking out bad movies.
Thanks for all you do. I enjoy your shows immensely
and always look forward to your deep dives on things,
no matter the subject. Cheers Steph Oh well, thank you,
Steph that this is a wonderful message. And yeah, I
love hearing about these these memories of your dad.

Speaker 2 (20:03):
Yeah, yeah, I mean one of the great things about
bad movies, weird movies, Hey, good movies, great movies, however
you want to rank them. I mean, you know that
they're ones that mean a lot to you personally, but
then we get to share them with other people, and
and and that that.

Speaker 3 (20:15):
Makes it even more magical. Co sign on that.

Speaker 2 (20:18):
Yeah, all right, one more weird house cinema. This one
comes to us from Tauntry. Tauntrey, says Robin jeff I
humbly suggest the fine post apocalyptic nineteen eighty eight western
romp Cherry two thousand for weird House. It stars Melanie
Griffith and Tim Tim Thomerson. Of course, from the the

(20:43):
what is It Now?

Speaker 3 (20:44):
Can't he was in several things. He was in the
Metal Storm, the what's the Deconstruction of Jared sin or what?

Speaker 2 (20:50):
Yeah, what's the Big One? What's the the series? Transis Death? Yeah,
he's Jack Death.

Speaker 3 (20:55):
I'm your husband Jack Death.

Speaker 2 (20:57):
Yeah, he's also doll Man. A legend living legend includes
the Laurence Fishburn sighting has many suspiciously strong elements of
Blade Runner twenty twenty four and was shot in amazing
locations all over Nevada. It's also incredibly bonkers and feels
like a movie written specifically for the locations and is
about a man searching for his lost robot girlfriend. The

(21:20):
art direction is pure fur stroking madness. I found it
on too be as always loved the podcast Cheers Don't.

Speaker 3 (21:26):
Try, Thank you Tantri. I'm gonna have to watch this
one at some point. It's been on my radar for
years and I've never gotten to it.

Speaker 2 (21:33):
I haven't seen it in several years at this point,
but I remember it being a lot of fun. It
does have a great cast, because let's see, who else
do you have in there? Oh, Brian James is in there.
That's a direct Blade Runner reference right there. And Robert
Zadar has a small part in it as well.

Speaker 3 (21:54):
So perfect. You know.

Speaker 2 (21:56):
It's got a lot of strong B movie energy going
on in it. And yeah, yeah, it's on the list.
It's on the list of potential films to cover.

Speaker 3 (22:06):
How Can You Go Wrong? Melanie Griffith, Jack Death, Maniac
Cop and Nevada. That's just like unbeatable.

Speaker 2 (22:14):
Harry Carey Junior is in it.

Speaker 3 (22:15):
You know. Okay, does that do it for today?

Speaker 2 (22:18):
I think that'll do it. We'll go ahead and call
it here, but keep the listener mails rolling in. We
will continue to read them here on Listener Mail, which
airs Mondays. And the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast
feed core episodes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Wednesday's a
short form episode and sometimes a collection of those short
form episodes in and omnibus, and then on Fridays we

(22:38):
set aside most serious concerns. You just talk about a
weird film on Weird House Cinema.

Speaker 3 (22:42):
Huge thanks as always to our excellent audio producer JJ Posway.
If you would like to get in touch with us
with feedback on this episode or any other, to suggest
a topic for the future, or just to say hello,
you can email us at contact at stuff to Blow
your Mind dot com.

Speaker 1 (23:04):
Stuffed Blow Your Mind is production of iHeartRadio. For more
podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or
wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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