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June 24, 2024 19 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 (00:13):
Hey, welcome to Stuff to Blow your Mind. Listener mail.
My name is Robert Lamb.

Speaker 3 (00:17):
And I am Joe McCormick. And it's Monday, the day
of each week that we read back messages from the
Stuff to Blow Your Mind email address. If you are
a listener of the show and you have never gotten
in touch before, why not give it a shot. You
can email us at contact at stuff to Blow your
Mind dot com. We accept whatever kind of messages you

(00:37):
want to send, but we especially like feedback to recent
episodes and if you've got something interesting to add related
to a topic we've talked about. Let's see, Rob, do
you want to kick things off today with this message? Oh,
the message from Paul that mentions your Monster Fact on
the Horta.

Speaker 2 (00:56):
Ah yeah, yeah, it's nice to hear here from another
trucky on this topic, Paul says, regarding the Monster Fact
episode about the star Trek Horta. In several non Cannon novels,
there are Hortas mentioned. In one of them. There's a

(01:16):
Horta ensign on the Enterprise and he's in the geology department.
He analyzes samples by tasting them. I thought this was
both hilarious and brilliant.

Speaker 3 (01:26):
Now, is that a joke related to the horta's biology.

Speaker 2 (01:29):
Yes, because the horta is not a carbon based life form.
It's memory serves as like a silicon based life form.

Speaker 3 (01:38):
Oh okay, so it kind of interfaces better with the
rocky substances. Yeah. Though, it's funny because this connects to
something that we covered last year in our Ignobels episode.
One of the Ignobel prizes from twenty twenty three was
awarded to an essay by a geologist named Jan I

(02:01):
believe his name was Jan Zawashevich. I'm sorry if I'm
getting that wrong, but it was a geologist who wrote
an article about geologists in the real world licking rocks
for information and various people eating rocks for one reason
or another, and among other topics. This essay got into
the history of this eighteenth century Italian geologist named Giovanni Arduino.

(02:26):
This was the man who loved rocks, who tasted the strata.
You might remember rob that he had all these like
tasting notes on different types of soil and fossils and stuff.
And he said that burned fossil mud rock tasted bitter
and urinous, like urine, So delicious, awesome.

Speaker 2 (02:45):
Well see. Paul continues here and says, also, I have
a suggestion for the main series. One of the worst
plagues of humankind the earworm. No, I don't mean the
worm that crawls into people's ears and star trek to
the wrath of Khan, although that might be preferred. I
mean getting music stuck in your head. I'm extremely susceptible
to earworms, and unfortunately people know it and take great

(03:07):
pleasure inflicting them on me. Admittedly, it doesn't take much effort.
Just a brief SoundBite, mention, or even a vague reference
can set me off. To quote Robert from a previous episode,
because as everybody knows, Spider Man does whatever a spider can,
ah or odd or oh you.

Speaker 3 (03:25):
Know, I think that should be read as like ough, oh.

Speaker 2 (03:29):
All right, there we go. Anyway, I think this would
be a fascinating topic. Keep up the good and mostly
non agonizing work. Paul from New Hampshire.

Speaker 3 (03:36):
Have we not done something on earworms before? It seems
like something maybe we covered years and years ago.

Speaker 2 (03:44):
I know I've done something with earworms you know, it's
way back in the catalog. I don't remember if who
it was with, and I know at one point I
was in recent years, I was looking into it for
another project and I was really taken by the germ
name for them or worm, but I don't think that
ever came to fruition. So, yeah, this might be a

(04:05):
topic worth analyzing, you know, it's something or reanalyzing. There
may be some new research on it, and it's something
everybody can relate to. I think on some level or another.

Speaker 3 (04:15):
Anything that was long enough ago that we don't remember
whether we did it or not, I think is fair
game to do again.

Speaker 2 (04:21):
Yeah. Absolutely, Yeah, and yeah I get earwormed all the time,
sometimes not even directly, just like something that makes me
think of an infectious tune will cause that tune to
get stuck in my head, and then I have to
either listen to the song in its natural form as
a way of exercising the earworm, or I have to

(04:43):
find something else to just get stuck in there in
its place. All right.

Speaker 3 (04:49):
This next message comes from Nathan. It is about cicadas,
but also sort of has a weird house cinema connection.
Nathan says, Glad Tidings. A few months ago, another listener
pitched the film Pumpkinhead for Weird House Cinema. That one's
directed by the special effects wizard Stan Winston. Yeah, Nathan says,

(05:13):
the connection is flimsy, but it could make for a
tie in with the Cicada series. Their distinctive screech is
used to great menacing effect whenever the titular creature appears, Nathan. So, Nathan,
I had no idea. I've seen this movie before. We've
talked about it a bit on the show, though we
never covered it on a full episode. But I had

(05:34):
no idea, And you're exactly right. I looked this up.
I looked up the scene where like the witch is
first creating the demon, and you know, it's rising up
to its full stature. And sure enough, once once we
see we actually don't see the full creature yet, we
see like its shadow, you know, rising up on the
wall as it assumes its adult form. And right when

(05:56):
that happens, you hear this this whirr come in and
it is the same on of cicadas out there rattling
their timbles in a chorus.

Speaker 2 (06:05):
Yeah, I don't know if I've ever actually watched this
film in full. It's one of those that I think
would they would perhaps err on something like Joe bob Riggs,
you know, on TNT back in the day, and I
would catch parts of it and I was always intrigued.
So I also watched this clip that was sent and yeah,
you can hear the cicadas buzzn't as old. Pumpkinhead comes

(06:26):
to life.

Speaker 3 (06:27):
As a horror movie. There's some good things about it,
some not so good things about it. It's not a
rollicking good time. It's kind of a downer of a
horror movie. Like it's kind of sad and it's like
a it's like a tragic revenge story. But it does
have some really great special effects.

Speaker 2 (06:43):
And it has Dick Warlock in it, so it's got
that going for it. Yeah. All right, well, thanks for
writing in about that. We always love some good monster
tie ins to our topics. All right, This next one
comes to us from Jeff and this Jeff's warning or
did you label this fear Joe?

Speaker 3 (07:02):
No, I just threw it in warning that this does
describe some real life diving related kindegory injuries.

Speaker 2 (07:08):
All Right, we'll strap in. Jeffs says greeting science humans.
After hearing about Joe's ill advised googling of human parrotfish victims,
I was reminded of something I heard on a scuba
dive boat. The dive master was explaining the life of
the reef below and told a story about a guy

(07:29):
harassing a large porcupine fish sometimes called a pufferfish, but
the kind with spikes like bloat from finding nemo. If
a porcupine fish is cornered, it will pretty quickly resort
to its famous inflation behavior, which is impressive to see
in real life. The story went that this guy found
a roughly basketball sized porcupine fish, grabbed it and started

(07:49):
spinning it on its longitudinal axis, like spinning a basketball
before taking a free throw, laughing as it inflated. Surely
hard for me to picture this side of like a
Looney Tints cartoon. But anyway, how do you.

Speaker 3 (08:04):
Know somebody's laughing if they're underwater.

Speaker 2 (08:07):
I guess there are more bubbles the bubbles have laughed
in them. Anyway, as he was spinning it around, he
managed to accidentally stick his finger in the poor fish's mouth,
and he did what you'd expect to do and bit
the tip of his finger off above the bone. While
it severed the tip of the finger, it didn't cut
through the glove, so he didn't lose the chunk. The
story continued that he later tried to participate in the

(08:28):
second dive of the day by simply replacing the tip
on the end of his finger and tightening his glove
to hold it in place. He didn't make it more
than a few seconds in the water before the pain
got to him and he retreated to the boat. The
second part of this story is probably apocryphal, or at
least exaggerated, and frankly, I'm not sure if any of
the story is true. Okay, so anyway, he continues. Cautionary

(08:51):
tales of rambo divers, inconsiderate jerks who harassed wildlife, damaged
the environment, and endanger other divers with reckless behavior were
a popular method of training new divers and how to
not make a nuisance of themselves. Whether or not the
story is true, I must say it was a successful
lesson in that I have remembered it ever since hearing
the tail long ago. Okay, Well, there you go. I

(09:13):
think that also helps ground it, because I have to say,
I know I'm a snorkeler as opposed to a scuba diver.
But in snorkeling you often are around scuba divers, and
I've personally never met any scuba divers that seemed like
like jerks like this. They, you know, the ones I've
met have all been very considerate of the environments that
they're venturing into.

Speaker 3 (09:33):
But I can easily picture the rambo divers in my head.
I having no experience in this world, I just know
the kind of person Jeff is talking about.

Speaker 2 (09:42):
All right, Jeff continues, The focus of the glove makes
me think that the moral of the story might have
been that unless you're diving a shipwreck or similar environment,
you really don't need gloves to dive, because you shouldn't
be touching anything anyway. Feeling with that your hands are
protected can make a person do things they wouldn't otherwise try,
perhaps grabbing an angry, spiky inflatable balloon. Rambo divers were

(10:04):
easy to recognize as the guys wearing the largest, most
aggressive looking dive knives available, when really all you need
is something small and convenient in case you have to
disentangle yourself or some wildlife from fishing line or discarded
nets at any rate. I am pleased that I have
managed to remain incurious enough to not embark on Joe's
Google image search journey, although I did get some perverse

(10:27):
enjoyment from the story. In the same way I enjoy
hearing you guys discuss Cory movies I would never watch myself.
Thanks for continuing to keep our imaginations engaged.

Speaker 3 (10:35):
Jeff, Thank you, Jeff.

Speaker 2 (10:37):
And you know, I'll also add I haven't researched this.
I haven't done like an episode of or done any
show research on pufferfish. But it's my understanding, through just
chatting with folks on you know, snorkeling trips and so forth,
that you also shouldn't mess with them because it's like
not supposedly not like a pleasant experience for them, or

(11:00):
you know, it's not some it's not a trick they
need to be able to do all the time, or
it can necessarily do that many times in their life.

Speaker 3 (11:07):
Oh, you mean the inflation when they when they puff up. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (11:10):
Yeah, So there are numerous reasons not to provoke fish
in the wild or mess with them at all, but yeah,
this is perhaps one of the.

Speaker 3 (11:28):
All right, this next message comes from Gerald Gerald says, Hi,
Robert and Joe, greetings from Adelaide, Australia. Knowing your love
for all things Crab, I immediately thought of you when I
saw today's cartoon on my desk calendar. You may have
seen it before, but I figure you can never have
too much Gary Larson in your life, so I'm sharing

(11:48):
it with you. So this is a Far Side calendar
panel and it's a it's the The bottom text is
Boxer Nightmares and it shows a man asleep in a
bit sort of punching about fitfully in his sleep. He's
sleep fighting, and we see a thought bubble in which
he imagines that he is in between rounds in a

(12:10):
boxing match with a crab, and he's telling his trainer
I'm trying, I'm trying, but he keeps moving sideways on me.
So Gary Larson did love this wildlife related jokes. I
don't know if I know of any other cartoon that's
as focused on details of zoology as The Far Side.

Speaker 2 (12:29):
Yeah. Yeah, and remember in dinosaurs as well, and we
have the I think the what is the unofficial name
for a Stegosaurus's tail spikes? Based on a Gary Larson
Fhagamizer Bagamizer. Yeah, and despite what he showed, it was
for narrative effect that he showed cavemen and dinosaurs living
at the same time. He did not actually think that

(12:50):
was a reality. Yeah, there's actually at least one organism
named after Gary Larson. You know, there's a there's a
particular species of laus that's found only on owls, and
it was named after Gary Larson. It's like Striga phyllis
Gary Larceny, I believe. Yeah, it was first described in

(13:14):
nineteen ninety.

Speaker 3 (13:16):
Beautiful perfect that it's a little parasite. All right, Gerald continues,
I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank you
for all the work you put into your show every week.
You never failed to find fascinating topics to cover, and
your humor and open mindedness make every episode a genuine
pleasure to listen to. Cheers Gerald. Oh, well, thank you.
That's so kind of you to say, Gerald, thank you

(13:37):
for listening and thanks for writing in. All right, do
we want to wrap this up with a message about
weird house cinema?

Speaker 2 (13:43):
Yeah, yeah, this one comes to us from Taylor. This
is in response to our episode on Black Lizard, which
starred Akihiro Miwa, and I believe in that we talked
a little bit about how this actor went on to
do various other things in luting a lot of voiceover work,
voiceover work in a couple of Miyazaki films, but then

(14:05):
also this Pokemon movie about Arcius, and we didn't know
a lot about it. Well, luckily we have listeners to
write in and tell us more. Taylor says, in my
self appointed role as stuff to blow your mind's Pokemon correspondent,

(14:27):
I have to provide some additional context on Akihiro MIA's
voice role as the Pokemon Arcius. Arcius is not only
the title character of a Pokemon movie, but the creator
deity of the Pokemon world, and it is a deeply
strange god. In its first video game appearance in two
thousand and nine, encountering the deity triggered a surreal montage

(14:49):
of real world photographs, completely out of keeping with the
franchise's cherry cartoon style. The montage displayed image displayed images
of astral bodies, nature, and natural disasters, intercut with industrial
textures and city skylines. As the montage progresses, an arcane
sigil slowly writes itself over the procession of images until

(15:11):
Arcus appears in its center. The progress of the photos
and a relentless synthetic track suggests that this deity presides
over cycles of human progress and destruction with ambivalence. It
was a very weird and heady media experience for what
is mostly a children's franchise about adventures with cute monsters.

Speaker 3 (15:30):
Yeah, this doesn't sound like what I thought Pokemon was.

Speaker 2 (15:33):
I mean Pokemon, I've I haven't seen anything quite like this,
but I've seen some weird episodes of Pokemon over the
past several years here, but anyway, Taylor continues. The Pokemon
universe is said to have begun when Arcus hatched from
an egg and berthed or created three cosmic dragons embodying space, time,
and antimatter, putting Arcius on par with creator gods like

(15:55):
Autumn and Fanas. Encounters with Arcus throughout the video game
French emphasize its danger and unknowable motives. Aki hero Miua
is fantastic in all of his performances, and I had
to contextualize the weight of casting him as this particularly
strange and artistically transgressive Pokemon. As always, thank you for

(16:17):
doing what you do. The curious wonder with which you
explore your topics is infectious and appreciated. Cheers Taylor. PS.
I've included a link to the Arsius video if you'd
like to check out the weirdness I've described, and they
add that it all begins at about what about a
minute and twenty seconds into the video. I pulled it up,
and indeed it is. It is bizarre.

Speaker 3 (16:37):
It is so weird. So this isn't a game I
never played, but it does have a very Pokemon for
game Boy style in art style, but it's in color.
I don't know what system.

Speaker 2 (16:47):
Yeah, I didn't know. This is not a switch. This
is some pre switch system.

Speaker 3 (16:51):
I don't know what this is for. But it looks
like a Nintendo game. It's like a top down a
top down you know, Pokemon or Zelda style ination, and
it's it looks very cute until the Arsiest Thing starts
and then, like Taylor says, what you get is this
montage of things that are not rendered in the art

(17:12):
style of the game, but they're like photos that are
digitized into the pixelated into the pixel space. So it
looks nothing like the the art style that you were seeing. Before.
It's like when it's like in the that Treehouse of Horror,
when like Homer Simpson is suddenly pulled out into the
real world and you're seeing live action.

Speaker 2 (17:33):
Yeah, yeah, something like that. It also reminds me maybe
a little bit in its trippiness, of something Solid Bass
would do in one of his in his his work,
you know, especially in his Aunt movie Phase four. But yeah,
this is this is impressive. I had no idea that
this went down in a Pokemon video game. But of

(17:53):
course it's not too terribly surprising because I mean, just
through my son's interest in Pokemon, I have learned that,
like you know, you have all these different Pokemon and
some of them, many of them are based on mythological creatures,
folkloric creatures, dinosaurs, you name it. So when you cast
a net like that, you're going to bring in ideas

(18:14):
inevitably associated with those beings. So you're going to end
up populating the waters of the franchise with with some
of this energy.

Speaker 3 (18:22):
I guess all right, does that do it for today?

Speaker 2 (18:27):
I think so? Yeah. Yeah, thanks for writing in about
the Pokemon, Thanks for writing in everyone else about all
the other topics, and we have more listener mail that
we didn't get to in this episode. We'll be back
next week with more listener mail, so we'll catch up.
Keep it coming. In the meantime, write in about past episodes,
even the long past episodes, right in about current episodes,

(18:49):
potential future episodes. It's all fair game.

Speaker 3 (18:52):
Huge things 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 Stuffdblow your Mind
dot com.

Speaker 1 (19:13):
Stuff to Blow Your Mind is production of iHeartRadio. For
more podcasts from my heart Radio, visit the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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