Hosted by Steve Kern and Ben Warner, this podcast offers content that examines science, technology and culture in our modern, 21st century world and the way they are changing our lives.
Pandemic Life One Year On
Although the coronavirus appeared in late 2019, the true global impact of the pandemic it unleashed did not hit until March 2020 where one by one, countries began to lock down in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. One year later, and with vaccines slowly starting to roll out, the world is still in a period of heightened alert and stasis, anxiously awaiting a time when freedom of movement and activity can be restored to safe levels. Steve and Ben examine the coronavirus pandemic situation one year later, and how all of our lives have changed as a result.
Coronavirus In The Lab Theory
Former US CDC Director, Robert Redfield, in an upcoming interview series for CNN, states his opinion that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan, countering the established narrative that the virus likely jumped from a bat, to an intermediary animal host, and then to humans. The World Health Organisation has labelled this theory as highly unlikely, but does Redfield have substantiated reasoning to back up his opinion on the origins of the virus? Steve and Ben examine Redfield’s claims, as well as look at Ben’s recent purchase of the Keychron K2 Version 2 mechanical keyboard, and a story about NASA ruling at an asteroid impact in this century.
The Snyder Cut
After years of campaigning, and significant further investment, filmmaker Zack Snyder has finally unveiled his highly anticipated and requested cut of Justice League, which is vastly different to the 2017 Joss Whedon version of the film. Providing a unique, high profile example of how the same script can result in two very different films from two very different directors, the Snyder Cut has met higher critical acclaim than the original and is uniquely suited to the world of streaming in terms of its justification for existing at all. Steve and Ben examine this unique Hollywood production and why this occurred. They also discuss Justin Long, from I’m A Mac fame, lending his acting services to Intel to promote Intel’s chips as a counter point to Apple’s M1 chip.
Are we living in a simulation? Many have postulated the theory that our world, and everything we can sense and know around us, is nothing more than an elaborate computer simulation, one that is so detailed and rich, that we are unable to determine that it is simulated. From popular movies to science communicators, simulation theory has pervaded in our culture for some time, but is it a convincing theory? Steve and Ben discuss simulation theory, those who have discussed it, and what their own opinions are on the idea that we are living in a computer-generated dream world.
Dr Seuss and Space X
Outrage culture was once again on fully display with the announcement by Dr Seuss Enterprises that it was pulling six Dr Seuss books from publication due to their racist and insensitive imagery that are no longer appropriate in today’s world, with people taking sides almost immediately to the extreme and blowing the decision out of all proportion. Steve and Ben discuss the reactions to the pulling of these books from publication, as well as Google’s decision to tweak Chromium to remove some features available to other browsers based on the open source platform, and the latest re-usable rocket test from Space X that successfully landed momentarily before exploding.
Semiconductor Chip Shortages
The coronavirus pandemic has had significant impacts on supply chains around the world, with particular concern currently focused on the production and supply of semiconductors, the chips that form the basis for the vast majority of electronics, computers and systems around the world. The supply chain disruption has forced governments and corporations who rely on them to re-think their strategies in relation to those supply chains and where they are set up with a focus on regional diversification, given they have been so reliant on specific sources up until this point. Steve and Ben discuss the issue of shortages of supply of semiconductor chips, and they also reflect on the lifting of the Facebook news ban in Australia and how the SciTech Culture Facebook page was also blocked when Facebook put the ban in place.