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Last sync:2023-01-10 01:00
Featuring Michael Aranda ( and Kemosabe the prehensile-tailed porcupine.

In this episode, Michael attempts to stump Hank and then they meet Kemo and Jessi from Animal Wonders.

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[Intro plays]

Hank Green(HG): Hello and welcome to the SciShow Talk Show. Today, I'm here with my special guest, Michael Aranda.

Michael Aranda(MA): I don't know which camera I'm waving at, so... hello

HG: That one. Today we're going to be talking about an interesting little bit of science peculiarity, and also, we are going to meet the coolest animal that has ever existed, ever.

MA: I'm ready.

HG: So the first segment that we're gonna do here at SciShow Talk Show is going to be a little thing that we like to call Stump Hank

[Stump Hank screen shows] 

HG: So Michael Aranda is going to attempt to stump me with a piece of science knowledge that he has that he doesn't think that I necessarily have.

MA: Okay, so when I was in junior high, I had this friend named Jay Chan, and--

HG: So is name was just "Jay-hyphen-Chan" [Jay-Chan]

MA: His last name was Chan. Jay was his first name--

HG: His first name start--

MA: ... Chan. We called him "Jay Chan, the Science Man," actually. So he was just really knowledgeable about a lot of things that were uncommon for seventh-graders to know.

HG: Oh, this was seventh grade?

MA: Yes, and so, we were all like, "Oh, he's really smart, especially with science, so he's Jay Chan, the Science Man"

HG: [laughs]

MA: Uh, anyways... He came in one day, and was like, "I know how we can communicate faster than the speed of light! If we build a really long pole between, say, the Earth and the Moon, and we move that pole in Morse code, then the person on the other end, on the Moon would be reading that Morse code--

HG: Getting the information.

MA: Getting the information faster than it would take us to move light between here and the Moon. I don't know how long it takes for that to happen, but-- That was his claim. My question for you, Hank Green, is: Would that work?

HG: Well, I can tell you that it's impractical.

[both laugh]

MA: It would cost a lot of money.

HG: That's a pretty serious pole. And also, it would be difficult, to, as the Earth rotated, and as the Moon rotated and revolved around us... It would be very difficult to keep the pole in any sort of useful orientation... But, I can't tell you whether or not that would work. My gut says it wouldn't, but I don't know why.

MA: It wouldn't work, and the reason is--

HG: So I got it right!

MA: You got it right... you got it right. 

HG: I got the 'yes' or 'no' right! [laughs]

MA: It wouldn't work, because anything that you do to one end of the pole would travel through the pole at the speed of sound of that material. Like, anything that we do to the air, here, moving it with voices-- with our vocal cords, is moving through the air--

HG: At the speed of-- at the speed of sound ... in air.

MA: Of air.

HG: Yeah.

MA: So, if our pole was made of steel, between here and the Moon... the speed of sound in steel is about 6,000m/s. So that's how fast--

HG: That's faster-- than through air...?

MA: Um, kind of like... Water has-- Sound can travel better through water than it can through air, because it's more solid.

HG: But it's-- So it could travel faster through steel, and that's why you can listen to the railroad tracks to hear if the train is coming before you can hear it in the air.

MA: Right. It would travel from one end of the pole to the other.

HG: So you're saying that, if I moved this desk--if I pushed the desk, that the speed at which that end moves--that end moves slightly after I push it?

MA: Yes. You're causing a reaction at the speed of sound of wood, through this wood.

HG: Whoa.

MA: Whoa.

HG: That... doesn't seem like truth. But it apparently is.

MA: I'm not a scientist, so maybe I'm making all of this up. [gives thumbs up]

HG: So now we are going to invite our friend, Jessi from Animal Wonders to join us; I'm gonna move over here, and she is going to show us the craziest thing ever.

[Special Guest screen shows] 

[porcupine vocalizes]

MA: Whoa, that's a--that's a big thing.

HG: Hi, it's nice to meet--Wow, you are covered in death. And here we are with Animal Wonders. This is a prehensile-tailed porcupine, named Kemo?

Jessi Castañeda(JC): Kemosabe; Kemo for short!

[porcupine continues vocalizing]

HG: Okay.

JC: Let's just listen to him!

MA: He's way bigger than I thought porcupines were.

JC: [laughs]

MA: And it's nose is really weird.

HG: Yeah, so why is its nose so weird?

JC: So, he is not like we would see in North America, he is not a North American porcupine, so he's going to have some different features. That nose... is used to smell! So you can see he's smelling around. [to porcupine] Would you like a banana, buddy?

[porcupine vocalizes]

JC: [animal-like voice] "Yes, yes I would."

MA: It's got little... human.. hands.

JC: Yeah! [laughs]

HG: And it also seems to be talking as if it is a baby!

JC: [laughs]

MA: Do they talk like that in the wild?

JC: They wouldn't be as vocal, it'd be kind of dangerous to call out, "Hey, here I am!" He's doing this--this is his way of communicating with us, saying "Hey, I'm a little grouchy."

HG: But also, this banana is delicious.

JC: Exactly! Both of 'em at the same time.

[all laugh]

HG: [to porcupine] Wow, you a person! You a person covered in spines. Look at your--little opposable thumbs.

JC: He has no thumbs!

HG: No, he has an opposable... pad.

JC: He has like a little pad right there, yup. So he's going to have hands... like this, go like this. [gestures] And those claws are going to help him eat. And if you can see how he's standing. I don't know if you can catch that, but it's kind of like a penguin. Instead of facing forward, like this; they turn like this, so... He lives up in a tree, so that's going to be really helpful; he's just going to clamp right onto that tree like that instead of having to turn his feet and do it, so it's just kind of built-in--the most comfortable way to be, and you can see, he also is missing that--He has that little nubbin on his back feet, as well.

If you take a look at his tail; that's why he's called a "prehensile-tailed porcupine," because that tail can actually grab onto branches, and he can actually hang completely by that tail if he would like.

[to porcupine] Would you like another banana--

[porcupine jumps back] Oh, I know, I know! That was fast.

HG: What a ... little dance!

MA: [imitates porcupine dance]

HG: I just want to say that, if a spaceship landed, and this thing came off and started talking to me, like... completely intelligently, I would buy that it was an intelligent form of life. More intelligent, probably, than humans.

JC: [laughs] Alright, I'll trust you on that one!

HG: I just--It totally looks, to me--I have not ever seen anything like that, and I am surprised that it is native to Earth.

JC: He is pretty neat, isn't he?

[all laugh]

MA: So what happens if one of those spines gets in my body?

JC: Um, well, if it was your body, it'd be fine, because you have opposable thumbs, and you can pull it out. Now, if you're, say, a jagua--or, a leopard, that would be pretty hard, or, sorry, a jaguar--a jaguar would be down in South America, where he's from, that would be pretty hard, especially if it's on your face.

If you try to take a bite or even smell him, and he got you with a quill, you're going to have a quill, maybe in your cheek. You don't have opposable thumbs; you can't get it out. It's going to go down deeper and deeper every single day. It's gonna be barbed at the very tip of it; it's going to look like a Christmas tree, and so it can go in, but it can't come out. So it can be dangerous!

HG: I've been porcupine quilled before.

[porcupine vocalizes louder]

MA: Whoa.

JC: [to porcupine] I know, buddy. I know.

MA: We're cool; we're cool.

JC: [laughs]

HG: I love his dance, where he's like "Get away!!"

JC: Yes, that's exactly what he's saying!! "I am big, and scary! Get away!"

HG: The noise... is really exceptional.

JC: It is. It is.

HG: He's been doing it; We've been shooting for a while, and he's been over there in the corner, just making that noise.

JC: He does talk! He does talk quite a bit. And that is--He would make that noise; any prehensile-tailed porcupine would be capable of making that noise. Kemosabe's an individual, so he's just--This is him!

[porcupine vocalizes]

MA: [imitates porcupine] Eeh!

[porcupine continues vocalizing]

MA: [imitates porcupine] Eeee!

HG: Ooh! Don't... try and talk to the porcupine, Michael.

JC: [unintelligible] porcupine talk!

[JC reaches over table]

[porcupine vocalizes loudly]

JC: I know!

[all laugh]

JC: No? Okay, no to grapes. Alright!

HG: No, bananas, woman! Bananas!

[all laugh]

HG: Don't you know this by now?

JC: [to porcupine] Do you want to go back, buddy?

HG: Yeah, let's go back. Kemosabe, it has been a pleasure to meet you. Do you want to go--Yeah. "I wanna get back in there." Oh, that's better!

[porcupine crawls into carrier]

HG: [imitates porcupine] Eeh! Eeeeh!

MA: Whew!

HG: Well, that was wonderful!

JC: Thank you!

HG: ... and astounding.

JC: [laughs]

HG: Thank you so much for coming in and sharing with us.

JC: Thank you for having us! This is a lot of fun!

HG: Yeah. [laughs]

MA: Goodnight, everybody!

[Outro plays.]