A lone rider appears off in the distance. The sun is setting, and his horse is tired. As he approaches, it's clear he's carrying a large leather bag, and that he's wearing the tattered uniform of a U.S. mail carrier. He knows that in his bag is the only thing keeping human society from devolving completely into anarchy, madness and cannibalism: mail. Yes, mail. Who knew these innocent letters would be the last thread holding humanity together? Not him. He thought food was probably more important, but nope, it's mail. He stops for the night and makes camp; because the post-apocalypse is boring and he's not even a real mailman, he reads the letters, and begins to answer them…
Do you have a letter for or to the Postman? Questions about nerd culture? Queries about Ideas you want to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and help save the world.
So. I am wondering when say everything goes to shit in Dec. or 2020 and America is reduced to a post-apocalyptic wasteland. How does one get a regular supply of whiskey? Is their enough whiskey to last a man the rest of their life or does one need to distill it? Any suggestion for a post apocalyptic bourbon, or scotch if one can manage it.
Unless you happen to be in charge of a liquor store and have the weaponry to keep it when the apocalypse hits, you're going to need to distill your own. Pop culture doesn't showcase this often, but I am 100% certain that booze will be as hot a commodity as food and ammo, as one of the few ways humans can achieve their basic need to get fucked up (I'm assuming it'll take a while to grow enough pot to be a widespread alternative). Liquor stores will be raided and emptied quickly, so getting a lifetime supply is practically impossible in that regard.
So you make your still. Making a still isn't the most difficult thing in the world, unless your profession is writing bullshit on the internet and you have no skills. The very popular Bokabob still seems to be tailor-made for the post-apocalypse; it uses only eight separate parts, most of which should be easily looted from a Lowe's or Home Depot, and only has three soldered joints - you can get the design here.
As for what you're going to brew, unless you're part of or friendly with a communal farm, it's almost certainly going to be moonshine, because all you'll need is sugar, water and yeast. I'm guessing fruit and vegetables will be easier to get you hands on than grains for the next several years. (FYI, tomatoes don't have much sugar in them, which is why there's no tomato liquor.)
If you do happen to find a farm with wheat, rye, barley and/or corn, then you can make whiskey - bourbon needs to be made of at least 51% corn, scotch is generally made from 100% barley, and then pretty much everything else is just "whiskey." But your going to need the rights casks like charred-oak barrels, and you'll need to wait several years for them to mature, which is a lot of work and patience when a zombie could eat you at any day. Honestly, if you get far enough to make yourself a still and, my advice is to make whatever the hell you have access to. And then use your booze monopoly to become a feudal lord.
Why George Lucas Does Not Own Star Wars on DVD
Do you know if George Lucas has ever seen the original trilogy? In RotJ Luke asks Vader to ‘Come with me. Leave everything behind" to which he answers, ‘Obi-Wan once thought as you do. You don't know the power of the Dark Side. I must obey my master.' Anakin was never very bright, but I think Lucas just forgot abut this, because the last we see of Obi-wan, he had cut his legs and arms off and was screaming at him. Thanks. That always has bugged me.
I guarantee you George Lucas has seen the original trilogy at least as recently at 1997, when the first Special Editions came out. Now, whether he paid attention to anything that was said in them - instead just trying to figure out where he could insert CG nonsense - I don't know. I'd guess the last time he watched a Star Wars movie and listened to the dialogue was in 1983, when getting Return of the Jedi ready for release.
I sympathize with Lucas to an extent; as a fellow artiste I hate going back looking at my old work because it's weird and self-indulgent and all I can see are the flaws. Besides, as the guy who wrote the story for all three Star Wars movies, it would be easy to wake up in 1999 and believe you remember everything you need to write prequels, despite not having really watch them in 15 or so years.
What I blame is the yes-men near him who failed to point out when Lucas was remembering things wrong. "Um, Mr. Lucas, sir? In A New Hope, Obi-Wan says when he first met Anakin he was already the best pilot in the galaxy. So maybe Anakin shouldn't be a 8-year-old kid who says ‘Yippee' and thinks pretty girls are angels."
First time listener and first time fan. Can you tell me why the chocolate truffles I order online always arrive half eaten and taste like tears and desperation?
Dude. It's the post-apocalypse, and food supplies are limited. If you're getting mail by dude-on-horse, you're taking a chance anytime you order food. You're lucky I left any for you. The tears are there because as delicious as the truffles are, what I really want is some of Radiolarian Rick's booze.
Seeking Ideas for the End of the World
With December 21st fast approaching, I feel it is my duty to try to get a sense of what others are planning and how they plan to spend what could be the last days of the human race. What (if any) are your plans for the so-called "End of Days"?
I'd like to think I'd say goodbye to my loved ones, grab my favorite book, a glass of Glenmorangie or something, and read happily until the end. But I'd probably just get shit-faced and pass out to avoid the whole thing. I don't do well under pressure.
Dear Mr. Bricken,
After reading your magnificent plan to save the world, I began to ponder what I would need after the apocalypse. A simple answer to that question appeared before me, like a vision down from the Heavens. It might be a hallucination, as I might be slightly sleep-deprived. My question to you is this: How will I be able to read io9 after the apocalypse? I'm assuming that most technological gadgets such as computers, telephones, lightsabers and iPads will be fairly useless.
As I mentioned before, my only skill is writing dumb shit on the internet, so I plan on working for io9 even after the apocalypse. I assume the staff will all try to make our way across the country to Gawker HQ in New York, and those of us who aren't eaten by mutant cannibals will start writing on reams of unused copy paper under Nick Denton's orders, which will be distributed to the masses outside hourly. It should be noted that in this scenario Nick Denton definitely has the Governor's eyepatch.
The Six Million Dollar Question
With all the remakes and sequels coming out why isnt there a new bionic man in the works. With todays special effects they could do a pretty good version of it. plus my kids look at me funny when I run in slow motion and make the sound effect.
Because NBC ruined The Bionic Woman remake in 2007, rendering the Bionic franchise effectively radioactive for another eight or so years. Same thing they did with Knight Rider. Unfortunately, I think NBC still has the TV rights to the franchise, so I imagine the 2020 Bionic Man/Woman remake will still be terrible.
Which of the following alien invasion scenario is most plausible, least plausible and why?
• Halo's Covenant
• Alien's Xenomorphs
• Avengers' Chitauri
• Independence Day's Aliens
• M. Night Shamawhatever's Signs Aliens
• H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds Aliens
• Xenomorphs are aliens who have evolved to parasitically kill anything and everything else. That seems a pretty reasonable evolutionary path to me. Most likely.
• The Chitauri are generic space-invading aliens who all run on the same wifi: Not super-likely, but plausible.
• The Covenant are a large group of religious aliens with a holy crusade to humanity: Unlikely, because they're very specific.
• The WotW's Martians are aliens who aren't prepared for out planet's germs. Unlikely because if they have space travel, they're probably aware they of bacteria and things
• ID4's aliens have technology compatible with and accessible by a 1996 Apple Powerbook: Very unlikely.
• Signs' Aliens are allergic to water but who come to planet covered in water: Least likely.
From Heroes to Zeroes
Do you think that there should be a Heroes (tv show) movie?
Wait. You were serious? My apologies; that was rude. I thought the first season of Heroes - right up until the climax - was pretty good, the second season was boring, the third season was stupid, and the fourth season was both stupid and boring. A Heroes movie would have Hiro off by himself the entire movie, all the other characters would move randomly from place to place while meeting each other but accomplishing nothing, Sylar would have an evil plan and then stop this plan when he finds his eighth father figure, and then the cellist lady would shoot rainbows out of her cello for the final 15 minutes.
Don‘t Have a Cow, Man
Hey! How about this mad cow disease? It was here for a while and then it went away. Your thoughts?
We gave the cows Paxil. Do not get between the first world and our steak dinners.
From Hasbro to Disney's Bro
It's a rumour - and both companies are saying 'wild speculation' - but they are saying something.
So if Disney have their own toy company - and own Star Wars, Marvel, the Muppets, Pixar and their traditional characters how long until they pull all the licenses in house? How many collectors toy lines not made by Hasbro are about to come to an end? How do we cope with this uncertainty?!! Give us an answer!
Whatever they say, I guarantee you Disney's thinking about buying Hasbro. I'm guessing it's already in the works, and we'll get the announcement in a year or two.
I wouldn't worry about it killing any toylines, though, for two reasons. Based on how they've handled Marvel and how I suspect they'll handle Star Wars, Disney's policy seems to be "make us money and we'll leave you alone." Hasbro's doing very well for itself right now - has been for quite some time - so I can't see Disney wanting or needing to shake anything up.
More importantly, Disney is a company that knows merchandising, and is cool with pretty much anything if there's a dollar to be made. Go to any Disney Store and see how many products of the same movie are made by different companies. I don't know why Disney would suddenly take away, say, Diamond Select's Marvel license, or Gentle Giant's Star Wars license. They'll get their cut, and leave it alone as long as it works.
Mattel should be shitting its pants, though.
This is great. My question is, do you think that if Pacific Rim does well that we could possibly see a Robotech movie some day?
Yes and no. Yes because Robotech is a name with a tiny bit of brand awareness to it, which the only justification Hollywood needs to make a movie of it - e.g., Battleship - but no because while the movie would be titled Robotech, it would bare zero resemblance to any part of the original cartoon/anime you loved - e.g., Battleship. Besides, the rights to Macross (the first Robotech saga and the greatest love story of the 20th century, for the record) are so fucked we'll never get a Robotech movie based on Macross, which is the only thing anybody wants anyways.
Across the (infinite) Universe(s)
I wasn't sure who I should send this email to at i09; alas, I sent it to you. I have a question that may find interest as an article on your site. My question concerns parallel universes. I assume the concept would raise some discussion:
If we presume an infinite amount of parallel universes exist, side by side, with an infinite amount of changes occurring constantly (to which not all follow our laws of physics), an inference can be made. Every bit of imaginative human creation (literature, movies, television shows, comic books, etc.) can be accepted as real universes. Let's see if I can unscramble my words to be more clear. Let's take a television show as an example: Fringe, whose plot delves into such things as parallel universes and alternate dimensions. Now, to our universe, this is simply a television show that depicts a fictional world with fictional people, created by a real person on Earth. Now, let's look back at "real" parallel realities. If every action, or molecular movement for that matter, over the entire span of the universe does indeed split every time movement occurs, an infinite amount of universes would exist. Therefore, it can be said with very strong evidence that the characters of Fringe and the world they live in actually does exist, in a real-life alternate dimension. Luke Skywalker, the Dharma Initiative, Daleks, and Bruce Wayne all exist. The idea makes this fanboy pretty giddy. And what are the implications toward imagination and creativity? Are we all characters in an interdimensional television show?
While I love the idea of an Earth where Mystery Science Theater 3000 has continued to run for 24 full years, I don't know how much it really affects our concept of creativity and imagination. I mean, even if every reality we've dreamed up is theoretically out there, we can't see it or know it, so it still effectively takes our own minds to create it. It's no different than the dimension of time, really - taking time as a whole, Twinkies always exist, but through our perspective of time someone had to bring it forth and then the Hostess company had to fuck up and shut down.
…unless we're the primary universe, and what we think of actually causes these realities to come into existence. Like, parallel universes aren't there until we call them forth in books and TV shows and movies and things. And what if these dimensions knew they were our dimensions' creation? What if some Supreme Being had to tell everybody in each new universe, "Sorry, the reason you have huge heads and all your food is on fire is because of a terrible sci-fi story written by a drunk dude in the boss universe." All the other dimensions would hate us so much.
Where O Werewolf?
Here's my question for you. A decade or so back, vampires started making a really big comeback. Buffy, Bram Stoker's Dracula, From Dusk Til Dawn, the Blade Trilogy, Interview With A Vampire, etc, etc. Ending in the god awful (but saccharinely bright) Twilight films. Then we moved on to Zombies and the Undead. From The Walking Dead, Dawn of the Dead (remake), 28 Days (Weeks) Later, Planet Terror, I Am Legend, Dead Snow, Resident Evil, Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, and so on and so forth.
My question is simply this: When will the werewolves have their day? And I'm not talking about being a ‘major side character' like in Twilight or Underworld or only on screen for the last ten minutes like in An American Werewolf in London. When will we have more than one GOOD werewolf movie (i.e. The Howling, The Brotherhood, An American Werewolf in London) more often than once a decade?
I just want some cuddly fur along with my gore and blood. Is that too much to ask?
Yes. Yes it is.
Werewolves don't have the same panache any more. Humans are still scared of zombies because they represent our inevitable mortality; vampires are the seduction of evil. Werewolves are basically animal attacks, and people very rarely get attacked by animals anymore. We're still concerned with morality and evil, but few people worry about nature coming to kill (well, we're worried about Mother Nature, his all the natural disaster movies, but not beasts, really). And - while I grant you this isn't at all fair - somehow, werewolves seem a bit sillier than other monsters nowadays.
This isn't to say we're not going to get good werewolf movies once in a while, but I don't think we're headed to the werewolf renaissance you're hoping for.
In the Star Wars universe, lightsabers are different colors based on their crystals. Are certain colors/crystals more powerful than others? Basically I'm asking if it's physically possible for one lightsaber to cut through another.
No, they're just decorative, meaning all lightsabers are created equally powerful... at the moment. Between Clone Wars, the upcoming movies, the books, the comics, and goodness knows what else, there's every chance this could change.
Utopia, Mytopia, Histopia, Theirtopia
Do other countries have their own versions of utopia and dystopia? How are they different?
This is kind of a trick question because utopias are generally religious or social in nature, and generally too abstract to be tied to one nation. I mean, once you're enlightened enough to start imagining the perfect society, it's kind of a dick move to limit it just to your own country. Generally, if it's perfect for one, it should be perfect for all - it is perfect, after all - so most utopias are created around their socio-economic order, not around arbitrary borders.
I mean, I assume you're asking if some French guy ever wrote about a French utopia where fountains oozed free, soft brie on ever corner (I would be a fan), but no. Although I guess you could argue that Plato's Republic was a specifically Greek utopia, although I'd point out that the Greeks considered themselves the hot shit of civilization and that trying to envision a utopia for the rest of the world would be as useful as giving a pig a copy of Plato's Republic.
But honestly, I'm simply an imaginary postman pretending to be an imaginary postman from a not-at-all-good 1997 Kevin Costner movie. What do I know? If anyone has any examples of foreign utopias, please share them in the comments.
Now let's bring this thing full circle!
Whiskey Makes Post-Apocalyptic Survivors Frisky
So I was out walking in this zombie in fested world. And noticed that you have a very whiskey-soaked brain. And suddenly I started to wonder.. What whiskey is the perfect whiskey for drinking during the Postal Apocalypse?
The whiskey you have on hand.
Again, if the apocalypse happens, be grateful for whatever liquor you've got (I certainly am!). But say I wandered into a small, stocked liquor store, and could choose - it'd still be a matter of personal preference. Personally, I'd start with the single malt scotches, then the fine bourbons and whiskeys. Then I'd drink the better of the blended stuff, in that same order. Then I'd drink the crap bourbon and the crap whiskey and throw myself to the zombies, because there is nothing worse than crap scotch.
Having answered the mail he was tasked to bring but not asked to answer - he honestly barely remembers how mail worked - he closes his mailbag, and uses the bag as a pillow. As he settles down to sleep, he knows one thing: He's glad he's not in Water World, because then he would be forced to drink his own pee. If you have a letter for the postman, email email@example.com.