Have you ever just hung out with your friends, talking about whether warp drive was really possible and the Starship Enterprise could actually travel faster than light? Or got into a debate about would actually happen to a living thing if you tried to teleport it from one place to another using a transporter beam like on Star Trek. That’s what this episode of StarTalk Radio is like. Only, in this case, your friends are astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson, Baba Booey and The Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait. There was a casual, friendly, almost intimate feeling to the conversation, as if we were really in the room with them, as Neil puts it, “just riffing on gadgets.”
For the first half of Part 2 of our show from SDCC, Gadget Gary (Baba Booey of the Howard Stern Show), Neil and Phil talk about the gadgets in Star Trek and Star Wars: transporter beams, droids, speeders and light sabers. And they also talk about technology we should already have, such as why we don’t have the transportation we’ve all been waiting for: smart vehicles on a computer controlled traffic grid that can reduce the time it takes to get home from work, and suborbital transport that can take us from NY to Tokyo in 45 minutes.
Baba Booey takes off about half way through the episode – it is, after all, San Diego Comic-Con, and there are places to go and people to see. But when he does, Neil and Phil move on to one of Phil’s favorite topics: the science behind the Death Star from Star Wars, and what it would actually take to create a weapon that could blow up a planet.
Next on the agenda: the gadgets of Doctor Who. Phil is a real Doctor Who fan, so he and Neil get into the specifics of Sonic Screwdrivers, psychic paper and The TARDIS. After a conversation that you know Chris Hardwick wishes he’d been around for, the pair end up assessing some of the technology in the James Bond movies and whether you could actually have a cloaking device for a car or deflect a speeding bullet with a magnet.
When the show was over, I was really disappointed that we couldn’t just keep hanging out talking. This was one of those times when I wished the show was a couple of hours longer.
So if you’re not doing anything this Sunday night at 7:00pm ET, why not come on over to our website or iTunes and hang out with Neil and Phil and Gary. Bring your own chips.
That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!