The Practical Joker & The Albatross: Episode 96

We got ourselves another double bill! YEEEE HA!

Special thanks to Chad Fifer for our theme tune and to Greig Johnson for his vocal stylings!

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8 thoughts on “The Practical Joker & The Albatross: Episode 96”

  1. No, a balloon won’t burst in space. Not necessarily, anyway. You can inflate it with any arbitrary amount of pressure, and there’s no functional difference between a balloon in space inflated to 1/10 atmosphere and a balloon on Earth inflated to 1.1 atmospheres. In fact, last year NASA tested an inflatable compartment on the ISS!

  2. As far as the Albatross goes, isolating and injecting antibodies is a somewhat common procedure for post-exposure protection against diseases such as measles that are too dangerous to risk even with medical support. Blood is drawn from someone who has previously been infected and the antibodies are extracted and injected to provide temporary suppression until the victim’s immune system catches up.

  3. Here’s something adults may not pick up from the series today. Vocabulary words. I was ten in 1974 and every episode had me looking up new words.
    Ambergris, widdershins, jihad, and albatross, are just some I clearly remember hearing for the first time in this cartoon. Perhaps Chris can remember S.A.T. Vocab lists and Scholastic Reading Labs from his childhood. The writers must have had some kind of worksheet with words to work into scripts. They didn’t dumb it down in that department.

  4. Regarding Spock’s half Human/Vulcan biology.
    He is most likely what is referred to as a genetic dual zygote chimera. He is a pair of fraternal twins that have absorbed each other in utero.

    This is a genuine phenomenon, with a number of well documented human examples. All women are a special type called a mosaic chimera. Half of Rachel’s cells have her Father’s X chromosome, the other her Mother’s. Calico cats are another example.

    A google image search for mosaic chimera is fascinating.

    ..End of boring trivia..

    1. I have no idea how to edit a post when I find an error…
      The sentence should have read…

      “… have her Father’s X chromosome dominant, the other…”

      Of course female humans have two X chromosomes in all her cells. Only one X is needed, so the other is switched off.

      If there is a geneticist at the local university, you can brighten her day a million fold by asking about chimerism.

      And, yes, chimerism between different species is a real thing. The immune system either puts all the genotypes on the “white list” or the organism self terminates. Current research has a goal of producing compatible animal blood donors to suppliment the human supply in the event of disasters.

      …turns out, it wasn’t quite the end of boring trivia…

    2. An episode arc of Enterprise had a Vulcan-Human child created by genetic engineering, as Chris speculated on the pod.

      They clearly meant the episode to nod in Spock’s direction, and I think it makes a ton of sense. It’d be like a couple in today’s world wanting a biological child and using options like IVF, just another possibility to consider when ‘natural’ options don’t work out.

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