Episode 1 – Cars and the Apocalypse

And so it begins!

In this episode of Technically Speaking, we talk with Dr. Benjamin Tippet – host of the Titanium Physicist Podcast – about some very interesting cars, and how they’re hopefully helping us avoid the Apocalypse. But in case they can’t, we talk about that too.


First we talk about some student-built cars that are achieving some incredible fuel economy in Shell’s Eco Marathon. And by incredible, we’re talking OVER 3000 MILES PER GALLON! How is that possible? Why can’t my car get that kind of gas mileage? When are we going to see consumer-level improvements from this tech? You’ll have to listen to find out…

Next, we discuss the engineering challenges of building a self-driving car, Google-style! What is it about snow that drives Google’s car mad? What makes a human a better navigator in snow, but a worse driver? And just what the heck is “fuzzy logic?”

Finally, we get to THE BRAINSTORM™, and this challenge is specially crafted for Ben’s imagination. In this episode, we brainstorm our way around the End of the World, and ask these questions:

  1. How do you get food and water after the Apocalypse?
  2. How do you protect your friends and family once society has collapsed?
  3. How do you begin to rebuild?

In the end, we develop a fool-proof plan for surviving and thriving in the End of the World, and realize that Engineers will become a very valuable resource! (Along with this poster, made by friend of Brachiolope Media, Ryan North!)

Listen, let us know what you think, and email us some future Brainstorm ideas!

Music: “It’s the End of the World as We Know it” – R.E.M

Posted in Episodes
5 comments on “Episode 1 – Cars and the Apocalypse
  1. As a huge fan of all the podcasts in the Brachiolope Media Network I was thrilled that Jacob and Joe would be doing one on Engineering. (I share Joe’s interest in cars.) Having Ben on as a guest was a great idea as it tied all the shows together and it was fun having him be the one asking questions instead of having all the answers (and great metaphors). I look forward to downloading future podcasts and think you have a great format. Keep brainstorming and I’ll listening.

  2. Morris Keesan says:

    I would love to live in a quieter world, where cars don’t make noise, but before you cut the speaker wires on your electric car, please take some time to come up with an alternate engineering solution for the problem of a blind person stepping in front of your silent car.

    Also, either you live in a small town with a one-room library, or you haven’t been inside a public library in a while. My non-remarkable local library certainly has more non-fiction books than fiction, and probably has more books on practical homebuilding skills (woodworking, plumbing, home maintenance) than copies of Harry Potter.

    • Jacob Stump says:

      Totally agree with you Morris. Making a car quiet definitely becomes a safety concern, I think our main issue with it is that it doesn’t need to sound like an internal combustion engine. I hate to use the currently fashionable word “Skeumorphism,” but it seems that the “engine noise” being put into the electric cars is a similar concept. I’d prefer a noise more safety oriented (high pitch, varying volume and frequency) than a low pitch grumble.

      I also agree with you on the library issue. You’ve got to remember, Ben is from Canada… Maybe his libraries are different? Lol. My library has tons of practical books (as I mentioned in the Brainstorm), and I think they would be wildly useful in the apocalypse.

      Thanks for the feedback Morris!

  3. Marten says:

    Great show. I enjoyed it.

    On the apocalypse. Water was not the the second most important thing ! It was mead and wine. That way the water was clean :)

    I look forward to more shows and mead and wine for breakfast lunch and dinner when the robots attack.

  4. Veronica says:

    I think your discussion missed the intellectual resource potential of other nerds. Groups like the SCA may get made fun of for dressing funny & spending too much time at Ren Fairs but they actually learn how to weave & blacksmith. Post apocalypse would finally be a time for them ro shine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *