Episode 10- Panel from G-Fest: Giant Monster Comics

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(Art by Rory Smith)

In July 2014 I attended G-fest as a member of Artist Alley, talking giant monsters (and Kodoja, the giant monster comic I write and self-publish) with everyone.

In addition I hosted a panel during G-Fest on Giant Monster Comics. Participating in the panel were Chris Mowry, Matt Frank and Jeff Zornow – the creative team behind the “Godzilla: Rulers of Earth” comic published by IDW (buy it here: http://www.idwpublishing.com/product-category/godzilla/godzilla-godzilla-rulers-of-earth/)

This episode is the audio from that panel.  Hope you enjoy it!

You can listen to the episode here!

Episode 9 – Is More Kung Fu (and monster) action better?

**** NOTE: If you like Giant Monster comics, click on the link and get your copy of an original Giant Monster graphic novel!

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**** Kodoja Graphic Novel Kickstarter ****

Andy Camble (of the podcast Kaiju 101) and I had similar ideas on different genres of cinema: does more mean better? In my case, the ‘more’ was ‘more kung fu ass-kicking’ while in Andy’s it was ‘more giant monster time’.

Does more kung fu action hint at a better movie? We both had similar thoughts and decided to combine forces for this podcast.

Andy’s research: Watch every Godzilla film with a stopwatch and chart ‘Monster Screen Time’ as a percentage of overall screen time, then chart that compared to two other things: (1) the IMDB rating (to represent casual moviegoing public) and (2)ratings from a recent fan poll in G-Fan magazine, a publication dedicated to giant monster fandom (to represent die-hard Godzilla fans).

My research: use data from the book ‘The Ultimate guide to Martial Arts movie from the 1970s’ (Dr. Craig D. Reid) as the basis for ‘kung fu time’, in this book he details the kung fu percentage for almost 500 martial arts films (!!!!). I charted Kung Fu percentage against IMDB rating as well (but don’t think there’s any particularly reliable data to represent die-hards).

So what’s the verdict? Does more on-screen giant monster time hint at a better giant monster film?

First, you should listen to the episode here:

Then you can check out the charts below.

Here’s the chart for Kung Fu time.

N09 Kung Fu Time

Not pictured, the R-squared value (measured between 0 and 1, with 0 meaning no correlation and 1 meaning a VERY strong correlation) is 0.03. What does this chart combined with that information mean? Briefly, that there’s no correlation between Kung Fu action time in a film and how good the film is – one has nothing to do with the other.

Here’s the chart for Giant Monster Screen time:

N09 Giant Monster Time

In this case, the R-squared value is 0.08, so still there is very little correlation. However, the interesting thing is that there is a negative slope to the line; in other words as giant monster screen times goes up, the quality of the film DECREASES.  This holds true for both the casual fans (IMDB) and die-hard Godzilla fans (G-Fan).

 

 

Nerdometrics Episode 8 – Constructing the Monster

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You can listen to the podcast here —> http://nerdometrics.podomatic.com/entry/2014-05-14T21_36_06-07_00

I attended Kirk (Von) Hammett’s Fear Festevil in February, and since it was in the Bay Area I called up friend of Nerdometrics (and podcaster himself for Carry the One Radio) Sama Ahmed and we sat down for a bit to talk about… well, to be honest I didn’t really have a reason. So I thought about it a little and drafted up a few questions kicking around in my head so Sama and I could have a conversation with “a little more than zero” focus. The ensuing discussion, presented here, rolled around on a few topics, encompassing superheroes, giant monsters, the need for sleep, whales and of course hip hop.

Nerdometrics 08 pie chart

(Note: please do not nitpick Godzilla’s height.  I know this era Godzilla is 55 meters or so tall, which is ‘not quite’ 200 feet, I’m just rounding up).

Special thanks to Sama Ahmed! You can check out his excellent podcast here: http://www.carrytheoneradio.com/   And of course, you can listen to Nerdometrics Episode 5 on Pacific Rim neuroscience if you haven’t checked it out yet for more science-dropping, courtesy of Sama.

You can listen to the podcast here —> http://nerdometrics.podomatic.com/entry/2014-05-14T21_36_06-07_00

Episode 7 – Of Solos and their Percentage in Metal

You can listen to the episode here!

Just as we did with the concept of ‘Epicity’ in Episode 1 of Nerdometrics, my cousin (and Heavy metal aficionado) Jon Palombi and I sat down this episode to arrive at the ‘soloin-est’ metal records of all time.

And much like with Epicity, the sheer volume of metal both Jon and I listened to throughout our lives allowed us to perform a lot of pre-selection here.  The goal was to get representative albums of groups known for their guitar virtuosity and chose the following:

Iron Maiden – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Slayer – Reign in Blood
Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – Marching Out
Helmet – Meantime
Megadeth – Rust in Peace
Metallica – Master of Puppets
Guns n Roses – Appetite for Destruction
Vinnie Vincent Invasion
Joe Satriani – Flying in a  Blue Dream
Steve Vai – Passion and Warfare

I like to think this is a good sample of what’s out there – although there are hundreds of other albums we could have chosen (other ‘Sunset Strip’ bands like Motley Crue or LA Guns instead of Guns n Roses, other thrash bands like Exodus, Overkill and Testament, other ‘guitar gods like Paul Gilbert who I refer to his as ‘Brad’ during the episode) these albums are pretty representative.  Plus, odds are every metal fan is familiar with these records, whether they loved them, listened to them or just ‘knew’ about them). I don’t think the results would vary that much if we substituted those lesser-known subgenre bands.

Now, an obvious note: even just looking at that list, you see some clear stratification there; Steve Vai and Joe Satriani make pure solo records that fit thematically more with jazz than metal (as pointed out by Jon in the audio).  So they’re going to be fighting it out in their own arena.  Omitting those from the list it sure sets up to be a two-horse race between Yngwie Malmsteen and Vinnie Vincent, well-know guitar noodlers. But questions still exist: how much more do they solo than everyone else? When you listen to a metal record that ‘feels right’ in terms of how much soloing there is, what percentage is that?  And are some preconceived notions about bands like Guns n Roses and Slayer true?

METHODOLOGY

I listened to all these songs with a stopwatch, noting length of the song and length of solos.  The percentages we used are for ‘guitar solo percentage for the entire album’, though there are some fun things we can do with the numbers on a song-by song basis (perhaps as an addendum to the episode).

THE FINDINGS

The results are below (pics of the numbers), so peruse them as you will!

You can listen to the episode here!

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And,

SPOILER ALERT FOR EPISODE CONTENTS -

here’s how the albums ended up.

N07 Solo Graphic

Jon and I discuss the majority of the findings on the podcast, so make sure to listen here!

I do want to mention a couple post-show notes – Guns n Roses charted high! I was surprised to see how high they ended up, considering I find ‘Appetite for Destruction’ somewhat tasteful in its soloing.  I’m intrigued enough to where I’d like to listen to a few more hair metal albums and see if generally those type of albums result in a higher percentage of solos on average than say thrash metal (my hunch is they would).

CORRECTIONS

1. Vinnie Vincent actually won!  It turns out my spreadsheet had an error at the time we recorded, and it turns out Jon and I’s desire to proclaim Vinnie Vincent was weel-founded and correct.

2. Oh, and as mentioned in the episode, ‘Master of Reality’ by Black Sabbath – a post-show addition to see how Tommy Iommi fared – ended up at 10.3 %. Only Helmet charts lower.

3. I wanted to address an omission many people might notice: DRAGONFORCE.  They were part of the initial design of the episode, but got cut in the early stages.  To quote Jon: “We made a conscious decision to leave them out, there wasn’t enough room for showboating.” Well, there is a little room here – I listened through the ‘Inhuman Rampage’ album and it registered at a whopping 32.4 % (barely shy of Yngwie Malmsteen). The only thing keeping it from being even higher? That keyboard/keytar solos don’t count, otherwise it would have gone even higher.

FINAL NOTES ON THE EPISODE: The portion of this episode with Jon was recorded immediately after Episode 1 (the most epic metal song ever), I recorded both during a visit to Philadelphia in June 2013.   I mention that because there are a fair amount of references to the “Epicity” episode since it was fresh in our minds, so if you haven’t listened to that you may want to check that out prior to this one.  Also, when we recorded I wasn’t able to complete my research for the episode and had not listened to Meantime (but it came in as I thought), Appetite for Destruction (which scored higher than I thought) and the rest of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (which ended up jumping a few spots in the rankings based on the second half of the album). So keep that in mind when you listen!

Oh, and don’t forget to click these links below for some videos!

‘I’ll See the Light Tonight’ by Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force

‘Boys are Gonna Rock’ (I don’t want to spoil it, but things start to get awesome at the 3:55 mark) by Vinnie Vincent Invasion

Episode 6 – Giant Monsters All-Out Attack! (Panel Discussion)

 

On November 3, I hosted a panel at the Comic and Pop Culture show ‘Comikaze’ here in LA – we were thrilled to see a lot of people come out for the panel where we discussed giant monsters for almost an hour! I was joined by the following panelists:

- Chris Mowry (writer, Godzilla: Rulers of Earth)
– Frank Woodward (director, Men in Suits)
– Steve Ryfle (Godzilla author, Bringing Godzilla Down to Size, Godzilla DVD commentary)

You can listen to the episode here.

What passes as this episode is mainly the raw audio from that panel, recorded into my portable recorder. There are some limitations with the audio, but you can hear everything said.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the panel with us! As for everyone else, thanks for listening and hopefully we’ll catch you in person next time.

(Pictured L-R: Chris Mowry, Keith Foster, Frank Woodward, Steve Ryfle)

Episode 5 – Man/Machine Interfaces and Pacific Rim (with ‘Carry the One’)

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How close are we to controlling large pieces of machinery with our brains and bodies? Is the neuroscience in Pacific Rim far-fetched, or within the realm of plausibility? What’s being controlled this way, and who’s doing it?

You can listen to the podcast here.

More importantly, how close are we to me getting in a Jaeger and beating the living crap out of some Kaiju that just came out of the breach?

For this podcast (and the answers, more or less, to these questions) we reached out to our friends at Carry the One Radio – mainly the show’s Founder and lead interviewer Sama Ahmed – to talk about the Neuroscience Behind Pacific Rim.

We discussed Man/Machine Interfaces, how they relate to Pacific Rim, and where were are today with this technology. Sama – himself a very knowledgeable person on the subject – brought in a Subject Matter Expert (Joey) to talk things out.

This episode is a co-podcast with Carry the one, hope you enjoy it!

You can find more out about Carry the one here:

http://www.carrytheoneradio.com/about

Art Credit: Rory Smith (http://www.recsfx.blogspot.com/)

Star Wars: A conversation with Sean from Centives on building the Death Star

For Episode 4 of Nerdometrics I talked with Sean from Centives – who did some great research on building the Death Star over at his blog Centives.

You can listen to Nerdometrics Episode 4 here!

As for the Centives research, You can click this text or use this link:

http://www.centives.net/S/2012/how-much-would-it-cost-to-build-the-death-star/

Since this episode was originally planned to be part of Episode 2 (Godzilla rebuilding), I start things off with a conversation I had with Kyle Yount of the Kaijucast about the Centives research.  At the end of our conversation I mention (of course mockingly) that “you can talk about these lead times with your fancy-pants research but the Death Star got built in 60 years and that’s the way it is”, but of course that isn’t the way it is. After reading the Centives piece it becomes quite obvious that a timeline in the hundreds of thousands of years is much closer to how things would really happen.

Sean was cool enough to grant some time for us to discuss his research, and we had a great time doing so.  We even took some shots at ways to “fix” the issues around cost and lead time – but every attempt at a solution or explanation generated even more questions (sure, you could tap a couple thousand planets worth of steel to address lead time concerns, but then… how do you get all this steel to one place?  What sort of receiving dock system do you have?)  We even riffed on how things might go if the Earth built a Death Star of its own.