15: Wunderfrau

Wonder Woman is a significant milestone for superhero movies: a DC movie that all three of us were interested in talking about.

You can pre-order Wonder Woman on iTunes or Amazon. (haha. Amazon.)

Sponsor:

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Visit audibletrial.com/betterworlds to choose one free audiobook out of an available fifteen thousand dozen. If you need a recommendation, check out Sabriel or Ancillary Justice.

Pre-Show / Followup

Main Topic: Wonder Woman (24:40)

Post-Show (1:48:27)

  • Superhero movies as not-a-genre.
  • Female-led superhero movies.

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14: Video Games for Days

E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is like Christmas for the world of video games. That is, if Christmas was a time for watching videos about presents that you might get someday, possibly months or years into the future. And if you like to spend Christmas talking about your hopes and fears for what those presents will be like, complaining that other people might get better gifts, and considering how prior years’ presents have fallen short.

Pre-show / Follow up

  • Monument Valley 2
  • Spheres vs. Cubes vs. Pyramids AKA Borg, Death Star, Ra. Send us your hand signal suggestions.
  • Imperial Radch followup
    • Correct order: Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, Ancillary Mercy
    • Pronunciation of ancillary (US vs. UK)
    • Why Cortana is an ancilla, but the Radch uses ancillaries.
    • Fun Finland Fact: Santa Claus is a goat.

Main Topic: E3

  • What is E3?
    • Why did Bungie have their own event shortly before E3?
  • BioWare’s new open world shooter
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Xbonx (AKA the Xbox One X AKA Xbox High Sierra)
  • Xbonx back compatibility with original Xbox
  • Nintendo
    • Two Metroid games
    • New Mario game
    • DLC for Zelda
    • Core Pokemon game on Nintendo Switch
    • Buying tips for the Switch
  • Bethesda: No Skyrim sequel or Spacerim announcement.
  • Console exclusivity gripes
  • New Spider-Man game
  • Shared superhero identities

Post-show

  • The glory of our first sponsor read
  • The horror of our first skit
  • More audiobook suggestions than you can shake a paper book at
  • The wisdom of bullseyeing womp rats

Sponsor:

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Visit audibletrial.com/betterworlds to choose one free audiobook out of an available fifteen thousand dozen.

Where to find Better Worlds online:

Visit our website: betterworlds.net

Follow us on Twitter: @betterworldsnet

Talk with us on Slack by emailing us and asking for an invitation.

Subscribe: iTunes | RSS

Some links contain affiliate codes that will provide a small kickback to the show if you make a purchase. Thanks for listening, and thanks for your support.

13: Time Enough at Last

It isn’t fair. Books, books, everywhere, and all of them to read.

Drowning in choices? We toss you a life preserver of sorts—our own recent reads.

Followup

  • Star Trek Discovery
  • Wonder Woman (No spoilers.)
  • Fun Finland Facts
  • Fun Finlandia Facts

Main Topic: Books / Summer Reading

There will not be any spoilers.

xkcd 109

Holy moly, Second Life is still online.

The Guild

Where to find Better Worlds online:

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12: MMORPGFPSP(odcast)

We have slain gods and plagues. Now it’s time for some patrolling and light banter.

Bungie has started making announcements about the sequel to Destiny (coming out September 8), so we decided it was time for a retrospective on the game that birthed a podcast.

Pre-show (00:00)

Follow-up (01:56)

Main Topic: Destiny (26:57)

DestinyLFG.net – Our preferred site for finding fireteams.

Destiny Item Manager – Tool for managing loadouts & inventory.

Still Flyin’ – Our Destiny clan. (Come play with us on Xbox One).

Post show (1:53:25)

Thoughts on purchasing Destiny 2.

Where to find Better Worlds online:

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Some links contain affiliate codes that will provide a small kickback to the show if you make a purchase. Thanks for listening, and thanks for your support.

11: A Desire for More Heptapods

Hannah & the Heptapods are getting the band back together to revisit their 2016 smash hit, Arrival. Journey with us to mysterious Montana as we ask what makes great science fiction, what does it mean to choose something better than fear, and how many words can Dustin coin in one episode?

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you can listen up to the spoiler warning at the 57-minute mark. (We want to tell you why you should see Arrival.)

Arrival, the movie: iTunes | Amazon | Amazon Digital

Arrival, the score: iTunes | Amazon

Stories of Your Life and Others (featuring the original short story): Amazon (paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | iBooks

Pre-Show

Destiny: assorted jests and complaints (00:00)

How FTL travel works in Star Trek (8:20)

Followup (11:04)

  • Captain’s hammer (11:57)
  • Our notes from FCBD (19:32)
  • A surprisingly tense digression on Pokémon (25:50)

Fun Finland Followup (30:56)

FCBD at libraries (35:57)

Wrong word round-up (36:30)

  • “Incontrovertible”
  • “Pocket universe”

The Dark Tower (38:15)

  • Trailer
  • What to read to get ready for the movie

Main Topic: Arrival

Non-spoiler discussion (44:41)

How Peanuts made Trevor watch Citizen Kane:

Spoiler City (57:00)

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (1:09:23)

The New Yorker: Has a remote Amazonian tribe upended our understanding of language? (1:12:21)

“Committed to an existence in which only observable experience is real, the Pirahã do not think, or speak, in abstractions…”

Bootstrap paradox (1:22:42)

Reconcilable Differences episode with Arrival discussion beginning at 1:13:13. (That’s the time stamp for their episode; not this one.) (1:32:21) ⬅️ That one is our time stamp.

A few words on the original short story, Story of Your Life (1:46:38)

Song Exploder episode about Heptapod B from the Arrival score (2:03:00)

Aftershow (2:06:34)

In which Matthew thinks we can hear him.

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10: Firsts and Lasts

The first teaser trailers are out for Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and by Odin’s beard, they shall be discussed. We also cover a host of other topics including coffee math, ancient math, movie math, starfighter/airplane age math, and Force-alignment math.

Pre-show

Bill Nye’s new show (03:28)

Global warming, alternative medicine, joke delivery, panspermia, and “God of the gaps” thinking.

Spinosaurus has fans. (13:48)

Fun Finland Followup (14:24)

(Yes, the audio cuts out briefly at 15:01. This is a courtesy to those with iPhones who don’t want Siri chiming in on their podcast listening.)

The show’s publishing schedule. (19:02)

Roman numerals, Muslim contributions to the world of science, and the upcoming solar eclipse. (19:31)

Main Topic (29:16)

SPOILERS for past Marvel and Star Wars movies beyond this point.

Thor: Ragnarok teaser trailer (30:10)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi teaser trailer (58:13)

Someone’s crispy mask (1:15:59)

Vader’s crispy mask
Vader’s crispy mask
Kylo Ren gazing lovingly at Vader’s crispy mask
Kylo Ren gazing lovingly at Vader’s crispy mask

Wrap-up with discussion of both teasers (1:41:36)

Where to find Better Worlds online:

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Some links contain affiliate codes that will provide a small kickback to the show if you make a purchase. Thanks for listening, and thanks for your support.

9: Free Comic Book Day

Every spring, birds begin to sing of Free Comic Book Day, and flowers bloom in anticipation of the wonders in store. Here’s our guide to this year’s event.

Pre-show

Sisu

Tabletop Day (April 29, 2017)

Main topic (11:15)

Free Comic Book Day

First Saturday of May (May 6, 2017)

This year’s catalog of free comics.

Our picks:

Ideas for comics to buy:

Where to find Better Worlds online:

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Some links contain affiliate codes that will provide a small kickback to the show if you make a purchase. Thanks for listening, and thanks for your support.

8: The Ghost of Ratings Future

In the next step towards the Singularity, Netflix is growing thumbs. Meanwhile, the humans can’t agree on what stars mean, and some of them really don’t like Rotten Tomatoes.

Stick around for our most educational aftershow yet, brought to you by Dustin and Matthew’s strange new fixation on Finland.

Pre-show

00:00 – Finland?

Opening (00:56)

01:24 – French press questions, Aeropress answers, and cultural differences in brewed drinks.

15:04 – Dinosaur Escape, a cooperative board game for kids. A little bit like Pandemic

17:54 – The next emoji update will finally add dinosaurs. These first dinosaurs will be a sauropod and a T-Rex.

19:17 – Matthew’s spoiler-free initial reaction to Mass Effect Andromeda.

Trevor’s alternate soundtrack for Mass Effect (especially the galaxy map): the ambient instrumental Ghosts I-IV by Nine Inch Nails.

Main topic (28:44)

28:55 – Netflix is ditching five-star ratings in favor of a thumbs-up

34:59 – TED Radio Hour on choices, decisions, and spaghetti sauce.

1:01:46 – Pain scales

1:12:41 – Rotten Tomatoes / review aggregators

Aftershow (1:38:46)

1:38:58 – Stephen King has revealed the poster for the upcoming movie adaptation of The Dark Tower

1:39:40 – Finland 🇫🇮

Where to find Better Worlds online:

Visit our website: betterworlds.net

Follow us on Twitter: @betterworldsnet

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Some links contain affiliate codes that will provide a small kickback to the show if you make a purchase. Thanks for listening, and thanks for your support.

7: Superhero Showdown, Part 2

A champion is crowned.

Tournament bracket on Google Sheets (spoiler free; only shows Round 1 results and Round 2 matchups)

Follow up

Ungeniused #14: The Philadelphia Experiment

A 10-minute podcast primer on the event in question. Includes several relevant links for further reading. Here’s the Wikipedia link, as well. Other seminal conspiracy theory-related events mentioned in passing are the Roswell incident, the Montauk Project, and MKUltra (the one that Trevor blanked on).

Favorite X-Files episodes

Dustin: The Unnatural (Season 6, Episode 19). Available on Hulu (episode link), iTunes (season link), Amazon (season link), and Netflix (series link).

Trevor: Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster (Season 10, Episode 13). Only seems to be on Amazon at the moment (season link).

Main topic

Battle 9
Kitty Pryde vs. Captain America (Steve Rogers)

Battle 10
Batman vs. Scarlet Witch

Battle 11
Squirrel Girl vs. Nightcrawler

Battle 12
Iron Man (Victor Von Doom) vs. Martian Manhunter

The final three battles are not listed here to avoid spoilers.

ALL THE SPOILERS: Full tournament bracket with all results (Google Sheets)

Special Announcement: Join us on Slack

Better Worlds is now on Slack at betterworlds.slack.com. The only way to sign up is to shoot us an email at feedback@betterworlds.net asking for an invitation. After that you can talk with us all day without ever having to send an email. We know you don’t like sending emails.

Where to find Better Worlds online:

Visit our website: betterworlds.net

Follow us on Twitter: @betterworldsnet

Talk with us on Slack by emailing us and asking for an invitation.

Subscribe: iTunes | RSS

Some links contain affiliate codes that will provide a small kickback to the show if you make a purchase. Thanks for listening, and thanks for your support.

6: Superhero Showdown, Part 1

As the saying goes: “If you love something, send it into gladiatorial combat.” In Better Worlds’ first superhero tournament (our first anything tournament, for that matter), we have ten Marvel and six DC heroes facing off for the biggest birthday blast this side of Tunguska.

Sixteen heroes enter, only one… will… Belay that. This discussion got a little more heated than we expected, so this is going to be a two-parter. Fill out your bracket and follow along.

Tournament bracket on Google Sheets (spoiler free; no results shown)

Follow up

Main topic (20:18)

Battle 1 (36:04)
Kitty Pryde vs. Wonder Woman

Battle 2 (45:17)
Flash (Barry Allen) vs. Captain America (Steve Rogers)

Battle 3 (1:07:38)
Batman vs. Green Arrow

Battle 4 (1:14:18)
Black Panther vs. Scarlet Witch

Battle 5 (1:23:18)
Falcon vs. Squirrel Girl

Battle 6 (1:35:37)
Nightcrawler vs. Spider-Man

Battle 7 (1:43:38)
Thor Odinson vs. Iron Man (Victor Von Doom)

Battle 8 (1:56:22)
Martian Manhunter vs. The Atom

Wrap up (2:04:35)

Aftershow (2:07:25)

Where to find Better Worlds online:

Visit our website: betterworlds.net

Follow us on Twitter: @betterworldsnet

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Some links contain affiliate codes that will provide a small kickback to the show if you make a purchase. Thanks for listening, and thanks for your support.