For the last Lighting Round video of the year, I tackle topics that I missed earlier this year like eye color, fusion stuff, and an 80-year old shipwreck that could wipe out a city.


Hey everyone, we’re kinda settling in here at AWJHQ, which is a phrase I’ve never uttered before and being it’s the end of the year, I dug through the Lightning Round questions that have been submitted and found some of the questions I never quite got to, so I’m going to tackle them here today. Enjoy.Hey everyone, we’re kinda settling in here at AWJHQ, which is a phrase I’ve never uttered before and being it’s the end of the year, I dug through the Lightning Round questions that have been submitted and found some of the questions I never quite got to, so I’m going to tackle them here today. Enjoy.

Thales of Miletus – November – Patreon

Your Ikea bookshelf behind you has many objects. And we imagine there’s a story that goes along with each.  Pick any one of the questions below:

Actually they all kinda have the same story. These were a way for me to honor long-term Patreon supporters. These are the superanswerphiles. I kinda stopped adding people because it was getting too crowded. Good problem to have but I had to stop doing that. But this whole background may change soon. Might be changing up the set in the next year
1. How many destinations have you visited from your Atlas Obscura? What was the most memorable?

2. Does your Tron Identity Disc light up and where did you get it? It does. I probably bought it off Amazon, because I’m lazy.

3. We see you have a Tardis. Who’s your favorite Dr. Who? and why? Again, the Tardis was to reflect someone else’s interest. I was into Doctor Who for a while, it had already been rebooted for a while and I went back and started from 2005 when Christopher Eccleston took over.  I followed it until Peter Capaldi became the Doctor and then I just kinda lost interest. Not because of Peter Capaldi, I just kinda moved on. But in the limited time that I did follow, I liked David Tennant the most. That’s not a unique take or anything. And did I see that he’s coming back? What’s that about?

4. Is that a Professor Proton action figure? Who’a Professor Proton? 5. Where’d you get your Mjölnir? Amazon!

Oh, someone thinks they’re the best. Psht.

Thomas F Boulden – Patreon – November

What is the percentage of people working in the visual media who have blue eyes compared to the general population? I suspect it’s much larger.

…Why? I can only assume that you’re suggesting people with blue eyes might see better, and that’s why they go into visual media? Because as someone with blue eyes, I can assure you that’s not true. It got me curious so I looked around and everything I saw said that eye color doesn’t really affect the quality of eyesight.  I saw that darker pigments that absorb more light might reduce night glare but a lighter eye color might have more sensitivity at night.

So yeah, I don’t think eye color would have anything to do with it… Now if you want to talk about the ethnicities associated with different eye colors and the socioeconomic conditions that would cause one group or the other to be drawn to or have opportunities in visual media, that’s a whole different conversation.

Brian Beswick – Discord – November

Science Mom and Dad are heading towards a divorce, who do you want to live with? And your crazy Uncle Science is also an option.

Brian likes to make me read things. Ugh.
About Pantheon+ largest dataset of its kind, featuring over 1500 Supernova Type 1A explosions Given that the supernovae blaze with nearly uniform intrinsic brightnesses, scientists can use the explosions’ apparent brightness, which diminishes with distance, along with redshift measurements as markers of time and space. The discovery that the universe’s expansion is accelerating was in 1998 using the same technique.

This has been expanded on ever since and Pantheon+ is the largest collection ever. Taking the data as a whole, the new analysis holds that 66.2 percent of the universe manifests as dark energy, with the remaining 33.8 percent being a combination of dark matter and matter. Pantheon+ and SH0ES together find a Hubble constant of 73.4 kilometers per second per megaparsec with only 1.3% uncertainty. Stated another way, for every megaparsec, or 3.26 million light years, the analysis estimates that in the nearby universe, space itself is expanding at more than 160,000 miles per hour. However, measurements of the cosmic microwave background, when combined with the current Standard Model of Cosmology, consistently peg the Hubble constant at a rate that is significantly less. This discrepancy has been termed the Hubble tension. In fact, the tension has now passed the important 5-sigma threshold (about one-in-a-million odds of arising due to random chance), so there’s definitely something weird going on here. The paper talks about an inflection point where the force of gravity, especially from Dark Matter, controlled and constrained the universe, flipped over to Dark Energy taking over and pushing everything apart. They’re now working to understand why that happened.

Talks about how some astronomers think that cosmic inflation might not have been a thing Cosmic inflation is really what we think of when we talk about the big bang While most people see Planck images of the CMB and see proof of the big bang, they see potentially the opposite. They propose a similar Cosmic Graviton Background image would show the opposite because the force of gravity was formed in the first instant of the big bang This technology doesn’t exist, it’s a theoretical argument. Still haven’t proven gravitons exist.

From earlier in the year:

Robin – October – Patreon (I am just “Robin”). The SS Richard Montgomery (the Doomsday shipwreck at the mouth of the Thames) is, according to a number of experts, a precarious situation,  whereas the UK government is downplaying the risk. If the government  is wrong, YIKES?  And isn’t it an attractive opportunity for terrorists?  

Okay, I knew nothing about this story and it has officially blown my mind. Maybe people in the UK are well familiar with this but holy hell man.
Okay, so the SS Richard Montgomery was a Liberty Ship built by the US in World War II. Liberty ships were these quickly constructed cargo ships that ran supplies to troops and battle areas.
Anyway, in August of 1944, this ship was loaded up with cargo and sent over to the UK where it was going to join a convoy to Cherbourg France, where the Allies had just established control after D-Day.

And once it got there, right at the mouth of the Thames near the town of Sheerness, it got accidentally steered into a shallow area and it ran aground on a sandbank. And uh… It’s still there.
The ship kinda just broke and couldn’t be repaired so it stayed there. The only problem is that cargo I was talking about? Included over 6,000 tons of munitions.
Those have never been removed.

Apparently they tried to unload the cargo for about a month but the ship started cracking apart, literally splitting in half and became unstable, so it wasn’t safe to go down there anymore.
So they decided to just deal with it later. Later has still not happened yet.
It has had an exclusion zone around the wreck since 1973 when the Protection of Wrecks Act was passed. (Wrexx-n-Effect joke)
That might have been because a BBC News report in 1970 estimated that if the wreck were to explode,  “it would throw a 300 metre (1,000 feet)-wide column of water and debris nearly 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) into the air and generate a wave 5 metres (16 feet) high. Almost every window in Sheerness (population circa 20,000) would be broken and buildings would be damaged by the blast.”

Estimations have come down a little since then but still it would be bad. According to an article from New Scientist, it has the potential to be one of the largest non-nuclear manmade explosions ever – made even worse by the fact that there’s a liquified natural gas terminal nearby.
And there have been plans made to build a few airports in the area and they’re being stalled because obviously right next to a ticking time bomb is not a great location.

Again, according to New Scientist:In 1999, the UK government asked consultants to carry out a risk assessment. The consultants said the wreck would start to collapse in 10 to 20 years and the explosion of one bomb could start a chain reaction. Doing nothing was no longer an option, they said. In 2001, senior officials met to discuss this report and agreed the time for procrastination was over. That was 21 years ago.

So yeah the worry is that this thing has continued to deteriorate and if it something were to shift or collapse, all it has to do is set off one unstable bomb and the whole thing goes up.
For this reason they trimmed the masts that have been sticking out of the water this whole time to reduce the weight on top in hopes of preventing a collapse.
By the way there was a similar scenario that happened in July 1967, they were trying to dismantle a Polish ship called the Kielce that had sunk in the English Channel in 1946, and wound up setting off its explosives.
It exploded with a force equal to a magnitude 4.5 earthquake, and it was a lot further from land, sunk a lot deeper, and only had a fraction the explosives that the Richard Montgomery does.
So yeah… I don’t know how they’re gonna fix that but I’m not going down there.

Brian Beswick – Discord – September

Is NASA going to able to launch the SLS or is this going to end up as the billion dollar blunder that ends the organization?

I’m gonna bet that they launch it. (smirk) Whether it ends the organization I guess we’ll see. But I doubt it.

Mark Hoffman – March – Patreon

The ITER project seems to be making decent strides, yet how plausible can incorporating nuclear fusion be, given the complex infrastructure of energy distribution even in developed nations?

I’m not an expert in this but I don’t know what would be different between a fusion plant going online or any other electricity generation going online…
I feel like when it comes to fusion there are a lot bigger problems to solve than that. Even ITER won’t be generating energy if I’m not mistaken, it’s still a test plant. Correct me if I’m wrong though.

Mark Hoffman – March – Patreon

Also, aren’t magnets fun?!?


Thomas Lovse – March – Patreon

Can you talk about feudalism and the feudal system?

Can we talk about how we’re kinda headed back into a feudal system of sorts?

John Regel – March – Discord

Skippy or JIF, crunchy or smooth?

Are we talking about peanut butter or a graphics interchange format that’s pronounced GIF?

Joe Scott’s Beautiful Hairline – Feb – Discord

Will you make anymore history topic videos in the future?

Of course! I love history topics. Lots of Forgotten Atrocities on the way too.
So hey, that concludes the Lightning Round videos for 2022. And with the exception of one video next week, that kinda brings this whole year to a close.
I wanna say thanks to all the Patreons who submitted questions for lightning round videos, any Patreons or members in general who have supported this channel, and any of you who have stuck around and watched me try to make sense of things this year.

But as the great philosopher Smash Mouth once said, “The years start coming and they don’t stop coming.” So I’m gonna keep this train going in 2023. I’ll probably change some things up, try some new stuff – I may have to take it easy for a couple of months in the spring to implement some of these changes but I think it’ll be worth it.

But ultimately I just want to say from the bottom of my heart how much I appreciate you guys for making it possible for me to do this. I am just so grateful and so lucky.
So if you celebrate it, have a wonderful Christmas, if you celebrate something else, I wish you all the joy in that as well. And if you celebrate knowledge, well you might like today’s sponsor, Brilliant.

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