Extra Credits: Funding XCOM (Part 1)

This week, we entertain ourselves by pondering the question: "Should we fund a real-life XCOM?"

Show Notes:

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Recent Comments:

  • Do you think that its plausible that intelligent life could develop and advance to the point of space travel, especially interstellar space travel without having access to fission-able materials and/or having discovered fission?

    It seems unlikely to me as the methods I've heard for creating an energy rich fuel source seem to require knowledge of atoms and their components. Seems to me that they would certainly know about fission. And it seems unlikely to me that a planet would have enough variety of elements for the complex molecules needed to create life while somehow not having any access to fissionable materials.

    But I don't know and I'd like to hear a more educated opinion.


    This is something that's hard to call given that we as a society haven't actually developed any solid forms of space travel. The space travel we have accomplished has, to my knowledge, used chemical fuels, which can be developed and used effectively without knowledge of nuclear fission.
    So as to having access to fissionable materials? There are definitely scenarios where that wouldn't be required.

  • KingDragonlord, just for sake of precision, I was jumping a gun a bit when I said nothing bellow iron. There are a few elements there that are heavy enough to require just "a bit" of extra energy. So you can hit them with a neutron that's going just fast enough not to blast them apart, yet transfer enough energy in for the nucleus to become unstable. We are still talking about a neutron traveling very near the speed of light, requiring an accelerator, and impacts being just on the threshold of "shattering" the nucleus.

    That said, these are absolutely useless for nuclear energy. For nuclear energy you generally need fissile nuclei, and these are all going to be much heavier than iron.

    Interstellar travel will require nuclear energy at least. There is absolutely no way around that. But fission isn't a necessary step. If civilization happens to develop on the world without heavy elements, they would still have to eventually discover fusion. After all, their star is powered by a fusion reaction.

    Radioactive elements, however, did give us a huge leg up in terms of understanding nuclear physics. It's how we first found out that atoms have nuclei, realized that these are made up of parts, and where we got our first fast-moving particles for experiments, before we knew that we need to build particle accelerators. I don't know how much of a setback it would be to not have these things.

  • :mrgreen: I know that this comment isn't...really realated at all to the subject, but unfortunately, I had no other way to contact you. If there was another way that I was unaware of, I'm deeply sorry.

    All I want to know is what program you use (if any, although I'm sure there is one) to create the animations in your videos. I am very interested in your style, and someday hope to be an animator myself. Just a quick few words to let me know would be great, thanks so much you guys. Love your work!

  • RetroPenguin, I'm not sure this is the best place to ask about this, as I'm not sure a lot of people will see it. Consider making a topic about it.

    I know somebody asked them this very question in one of the live Q&A sessions. I do not remember what the answer was. Maybe somebody does remember.

    Or if you want to spend a bit of your time going through them, the archive is available here. It was one of the more recent ones, so I'd start with the most recent and go backwards.

  • XCOM... I've only heard about it through this review on Zero Punctuation:

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/ ... my-Unknown

    And Jim Sterling mentioning it here on an episode of the Jimquisition:

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/ ... asta-Sauce

    Other than that, I'm not sure what this is about...

    Oh awesome! I love how Scott Dewitt depicts himself as missing a tooth... Sorry if he's actually missing or chipped a tooth, I think it just looks cute here.

    You know, it's funny, when people talk about aliens and contact with aliens, it's usually met with... I don't know, weird reactions. Like it's impossible for some to believe that sort of thing. Why? I WANT to believe that there's intelligent life out there. I mean, it's a huge universe, huger than any of us can possible scope or begin to imagine. What would it be like to be the only lifeforms capable of doing what we do in the ENTIRE universe? Pretty dull, and kind of strange, since... well, why only us? Still, maybe there are intelligent lifeforms out there that have the same technology as us and just can't contact us... So many theories and questions...

    Talking about space and life in the galaxy is fun!

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