Tony the Tiger asks:

You like old stuff, right? What are your thoughts on fossil pokemon?

In general archaeologists take pains to point out that we do not study fossils (it’s a surprisingly common mistake).  Not all “old stuff” is similarly old (unless you listen to certain ill-advised religious sects); I deal in the hundreds/thousands of years range, not millions/tens of millions.  Fossils are about as much my professional area of expertise as the moons of Jupiter are an airline pilot’s.

…as it happens, though, I am independently a layman dinosaur nerd with a basic knowledge of evolutionary biology, and I was a sufficiently weird kid that, when I started school, I wanted to be not a fireman or an astronaut but a palaeontologist.  So LET’S TALK FOSSILS.

Continue reading “Tony the Tiger asks:”

Anonymous asks:

You’re a chemist, right? Mind watching a Youtube video called ‘EVERY Steel Type Pokemon EXPLAINED!’ by Lockstin&Gnoggin and tell us what you think? I watched that video and immediately thought it might be something you’d be interested in! 🙂

This is the video we’re talking about

Okay, so, saying that I’m a chemist would be a slight exaggeration; I mean, I have an undergrad degree in chemistry but it is not my professional field.  But whatever.

There’s a few, like, miscellaneous mistakes/head-desk moments scattered through the video, like saying that basalt is a metal (it f#%&ing isn’t) or that hydroxyapatite is “a form of calcium” (in much the same way that pineapples are “a form of carbon”).  Also Gnoggin says EVERY Steel-type Pokémon but I’m pretty sure he missed Bronzong for some reason?  He mentioned it in a list at least once, but I don’t think he ever actually discussed it individually like all the others.  I’m nitpicking though; most of the specific things he says are basically fine. Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”

Anonymous asks:

I’ve always wondered about the peculiarities of Techno Blast; one, why did Team Plasma use CASSETTES, of all formats, to work with it? Two, how exactly does one use a cassette to change a laser’s properties? Three, how the heck do you give a laser the properties of water of all things?

Well, (2) is probably the easiest part of this question – the cassettes record predefined settings for Genesect’s laser cannon that change various properties of the beam (frequency, amplitude, etc).  Those settings could be changed manually, but doing so without knowing exactly what you’re doing would be extremely dangerous.  To (1), if you want an in-universe answer, it could be that Team Plasma has kinda retro aesthetic sensibilities (they dress as knights, they have a king and a castle, and just look at Ghetsis), and heck, maybe something to do with the length of the development time on the Genesect project.  The out-of-universe answer… well, believe it or not, cassettes tapes aren’t obsolete in Japan.  Despite having access to plenty of much newer technology, people still use them for recording dictations and notes in office settings, and you can still buy recent albums on cassettes in music stores.  It probably doesn’t seem incongruous at all to the hometown audience.  (3)… oh, I don’t bloody know; magic.  The laser delivers a concussive force like that of a breaking wave.  It resonates with water molecules in the air in such a way that it draws them into a pulsing beam.  I need someone to write better technobabble for me…

Genesect

Okay, guys, today we’re looking at the last Pokémon that has yet to be officially revealed by Nintendo: a killing machine of unfathomable power, created from the genetic material of an ancient Pokémon by an evil mastermind in order to create the most powerful of all-

…oh, they wouldn’t dare.

…I can’t believe this; they did it.  They actually did it.  They actually recycled Mewtwo’s backstory!  The fiends!

e2c8f-genesectOkay, sure, there are differences.  Genesect was the brainchild of Team Plasma (and presumably of their de facto leader, Ghetsis), the villains of Black and White, who enhanced the deadly prehistoric insect with metal armour and a devastating portable photon cannon, while Mewtwo, who was commissioned by Team Rocket’s shadowy master Giovanni, gained his incredible psychic abilities courtesy of a truly frightening amount of gene splicing (although, in the TV show, Giovanni does also equip him with a suit of armour designed to focus and augment his powers).  Also, it seems pretty clear that Genesect was always a vicious hunter even before Team Plasma got to it, whereas Mewtwo’s predecessor, Mew, is one of the most peaceful and carefree Pokémon you’ll ever find.  As I alluded earlier, though, the similarities are striking, to say the least.  The Genesect project was actually shut down, since Team Plasma’s spiritual leader, N, held a very different attitude towards Pokémon to Giovanni’s; specifically, N believes that Pokémon are perfect beings, and came to the conclusion that the technological enhancements made to Genesect by his scientists were a corruption of its natural purity.  The lab where Genesect was developed was not abandoned, though; a couple of scientists continued to haunt the place and eventually brought their creation to a state resembling completion.  Continue reading “Genesect”