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Fact Of The Day - 8/18/15

Ah, so you have read my previous columns. Glad to know I can add “Evil AI” to my fan demographic.

Did you know that Ellen McClain, voice of GLaDOS in the Portal video game series, played the role for a NASA web series called IRrelevant Astronomy?


I got a short one today, but i thought it was pretty cool. Since it’s video game related i’m once again sharing with my friends over at TAY.

In February of 2014, Ellen McClain took part in a web series called IRrelevant Astronomy which was made by NASA employees working for the Spitzer Space Telescope. Each episode went over a scientific topic or scientific news related to the telescope. The series started in 2008 and the most recent episode was the one Ellen was in. There were other guest stars, usually people with some connection to the geek community such as Wil Wheaton, Sean Astin, Ed Wasser and Betty White. Because when you think science, you fucking think Betty White.

The episode Ellen was in was one where they went over the difference between fission and fusion. It’s funny and well done if you can suspend your disbelief that NASA scientists don’t understand a rather simple concept. But since it’s designed to teach it’s understandable. The humor is really good, with some nice writing for both the scientists as straight man and woman and for GlaDOS. There’s also a nice callback to a previous Valve game which should be obvious to fans of Valve. Wired.com did a story about it when the episode came out. You can see the video there.


Well that’s pretty much all I have to say about that. But i’ll leave you with one of my favorite videos regarding Portal. It’s a clip of un-used GlaDOS dialogue where she discusses the nature of an old human comic strip and well, if you haven’t seen it I won’t spoil it.

If you weren’t aware there is a lot of dialogue that was recorded but cut from the final game. There is an especially dark moment that Ellen recorded as Caroline but J.K Simmons refused to record his Cave Johnson dialogue for the scene because he wasn’t comfortable with the nature of the dialogue.


Fact Of The Day is the daily column where RobGronkowski’sPartyBusDriver shares some random tidbit of science fiction, fantasy or horror knowledge. If there is a show or movie you would like to see done, leave a note in the comments below. You can see the full archive of past columns here.

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