Exposing PseudoAstronomy

May 31, 2014

Announcing Vodcast 1 and Podcast 111: The Cydonia Region of Mars

Anomalies do
Abound, but, are they really
That rare, unus’al?

Welp, this is it! My first new attempt to create a video that I’m reasonably proud of and shows things the way I’d like them to be shown. On YouTube: You can click this link. Or, there’s a link to the 720p version here. And, of course, the link to the shownotes for the podcast version.

The differences are: On YouTube, you can view up to 1080p (“Hi-Def”), while the version released to the podcast feed is 720p, fewer pixels. The podcast (audio, episode 111) itself is an audio extension of the movie, explaining some of the math (or “maths” for peeps “across the pond”) in more detail and discussing one or two deleted scenes — additional bits that weren’t central to the story so didn’t make it into the final cut of the movie.

As I say at the end, I really do want feedback on this. If negative, then make it constructive. If you’re a fan of Richard Hoagland’s work, and you disagree with the movie, then let me know WHY, not just that you disagree because I’m wrong. That gets us no where and is useless.

And, if you like the movie, then make sure to share it around. Delusions of grandeur don’t manifest on their own, gosh darnit!



  1. LOVE IT.


    Comment by Derek Eunson — May 31, 2014 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

    • Thanks, you two.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — May 31, 2014 @ 8:50 pm | Reply

  2. Excellent. Hoagland, Turun and Bara should be chained to seats in front of a monitor and forced to watch it six times.

    Comment by Expat — May 31, 2014 @ 1:20 pm | Reply

    • I think it should be a 24 hour marathon πŸ™‚

      Comment by vincent — May 31, 2014 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

    • Not quite sure what that would accomplish, other than some name-calling by the last in your list.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — May 31, 2014 @ 8:50 pm | Reply

  3. I’ve linked the podcast episode notes to Wikipedia. Looking forward to watching and listening to the episode(s).

    Comment by Graham — May 31, 2014 @ 7:12 pm | Reply

    • Thanks!

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — May 31, 2014 @ 8:49 pm | Reply

      • I’ve done the same for the video, for some reason both Hoaglands and Phil Plaits pages on the ‘face’ while linked have been made invisible to readers (Hope it does not happen to your material.). Watched the video, it was very good and quite interesting. For some reason I kept thinking of the BBC TV version of ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’, specifically the scenes where they were depicting Guide entries. Keep up the good work!

        Comment by Graham — June 1, 2014 @ 4:38 am

  4. Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Really great job Stuart. Please do more. I’m sure that it must have been a lot of work, but it’s appreciated.

    Comment by Gary Shavit — May 31, 2014 @ 10:51 pm | Reply

    • Thanks, Gary. And yes, a lot of work. I haven’t tallied the hours recently, but I think they’re around 130.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — June 1, 2014 @ 6:59 am | Reply

  5. Excellent, Stuart. The video display makes the message much easier to grasp for a layman like me. (I can’t imagine following this presentation by audio alone.) Although the video took a bit longer to load, the wait was well worth the extra time as my audio has been stopping numerous times in the podcasts forcing me to start over and then skip to the previous stopping point. (That’s obviously my problem, not yours.)

    Comment by JayB — June 1, 2014 @ 3:42 am | Reply

    • Thanks, Jay. I was a little worried about the file size turning people off, which is one reason why I also uploaded to YouTube so people could watch it at various resolutions and sizes.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — June 1, 2014 @ 7:00 am | Reply

  6. That was tremendous Stuart, well done, a great first ‘vodcast’! It was well presented, nice and logical, really good graphics and animations – looking forward to the next one. It’s clear how much work you’ve put into it. I presume you must have some tools to help perform this kind of feature analysis? Although this absolutely destroys Hoagland’s claims I suspect he will simply ignore it – scientific methodology and facts are bad for his business.

    Comment by Chris — June 1, 2014 @ 7:11 am | Reply

    • Thank you. I have 3D animation software I used along with Final Cut to put everything together.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — June 1, 2014 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

      • Regarding tools I meant in terms of the hundreds of geometric variations analysed? Do you plug a shape into something, define the variables and set it running?

        Comment by Chris — June 1, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

      • Ah. It’s a code I wrote. I had a model perfect pentagon, added random numbers to each vertex. Then I used geometry (since I had the {x,y} positions of every point) to calculate all the angles. Then all the ratios and all the trig. Then I looped through those values and compared them with the “special numbers” and had a counter that counted how many matched to whatever precision I had set.

        I coded that in normal analysis software I use and then learned one of the coding languages in the 3D animation software and ported the code there, calling on the shapes to adjust based on the results of that code, each time.

        Comment by Stuart Robbins — June 1, 2014 @ 6:18 pm

  7. Stuart,

    I re-listened to the podcast and noticed that you stated that Hoagland et al might not have had access to computers. As someone who grew up in the 80’s I can say that Hoagland might have had access to a handheld or desktop calculator, though given the maths errors you picked up probably not.

    For examples of desktop calculators see:


    For HP Handelds see:


    For TI Handelds see:


    Comment by Graham — June 12, 2014 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

  8. Doesn’t give up, does he?

    Comment by Chris — July 11, 2014 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  9. I finally managed to get onto my podcast backlog and watch the movie. Despite it being very mathy πŸ˜‰ I enjoyed it. Now I know you said not to complain… I’m not. I’m more of a visual person so having the graphics helped my understand a lot, especially given I struggled through the #111 podcast. I thought the explanations in both were very good and I was highly impressed with the graphics and animations. You seriously do way too much work on this πŸ˜‰ I don’t know how you find the time. More videos please!

    Comment by Flip — February 10, 2015 @ 5:28 am | Reply

    • Thanks!

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — February 10, 2015 @ 6:41 am | Reply

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