Ask GR Anything: Silly questions edition

We dig into your most ridiculous questions, from Pokeball science to the paradox that is Solid Snake's somehow-stylish mullet

Ask GR Anything is a weekly Q%26A column that answers questions submitted by readers (as well as questions we're particularly curious about ourselves). Got a burning question about games or the industry? Ask us in the comments below and you may just get it answered!

The Cut

Solid Snake's unwavering stylishness is one of the great mysteries in the history of great mysteries. Reader OneTimeBuster brought this to our attention a couple of months ago, and we've been dying for the opportunity to dive in head-first. It just took a little while, because it's difficult to come up with excuses to talk about mullets that will make it past the GR editing desk, y'know?

He asked, "Why do mullets only look good in Metal Gear Solid games?" We appreciate OneTimeBuster's question, but we think it's flawed from the outset. Mullets have gotten a bum rap lately, as many people have horribly distorted the originally intended shape of this glorious ‘do.

Above: Go ahead, try to say you're not intimidated by this mane. We both know you'll be lying

This is not a haircut intended for the common plebeian. It's reserved for the gods among us. Some people, in their envious quest to impersonate the gods, have distorted the common perception of the mullet into an unstylish atrocity. However, there's nothing structurally wrong with it, and there's no reason why a glorious head of hair arranged into a mullet-shape can't be part of a balanced style.

We cannot and must not stereotype this cut based on the limited actions of a few cretins. Just because it somewhat resembles the general form of a mullet does not put it in the same class. David Beckham often rocks a mullet, and he's an international sex symbol. A.C. Slater wore one proudly, as did Andre Agassi in his shirtless, chesty prime. Not to mention John Stamos, and Patrick Swayze. MacGyver too. Norris. Bowie. McCartney. Check out the manes on some of those guys. They look like proud lions. It's pretty clear that a mullet is as glorious or disgusting as you make it.

The mullet doesn't make the man. The man (or woman) makes the mullet. And Solid Snake owns his mullet with a vengeance. As for how he manages to pull off a one-piece leotard over and over again... that's a much more difficult mystery to solve.


Above: What wonders lie beneath the surface of this incredibly powerful device?

Over the past three months of Ask GR Anything, it has become increasingly clear that if we didn't eventually address the growing curiosity over the science of Pokeballs, then we'd have a significant riot on our hands. So, out of concern for GR being razed to the ground, Future Publishing's board of directors beseeched Ask GR Anything to address the issue and put the curiosity to rest.

However, we regret to inform you that, despite an exhaustive search for more information, we still have no idea what technologies might be behind the Pokeball. Even Bulbapedia doesn't pretend to have any explanation for that wondrous device.

We thought about something like a mini-black hole, but that theory doesn't work. Black holes can mash anything down to the size of a pinhead, but getting it out again is practically impossible. Unless you've got a few million years to wait around for your Pokemon to be spat back out, particle by particle, in the form of Hawking Radiation.

Some definitions of the Pokeball insist that the creature is turned from matter into energy that can be stored in a Pokeball. Then it can be rematerialized once it's thrown onto the battlefield. This is a cute story, but it's more than a little absurd. Why? Well, because this is what happens when you convert objects into energy:

Above: One Poke-battle could very likely destroy the entire Earth

In a nuclear fission reaction, about .1 percent of the atom's energy is released. And just that small amount can destroy a city if you've got enough material (the first nukes had about 140 pounds of uranium). So changing a (let's say 30-pound) Pokemon into pure energy would produce as much kinetic energy as about 200 Hiroshima bombs. And that's only if it's a Pikachu. That number goes up substantially if we're talking about a fully grown, 900-pound Wailord. We're pretty sure our plastic Pokeball replicas couldn't survive that kind of a blow.

Unfortunately, after a lengthy investigation, we have concluded that Pokeballs are pure fantasy. We prefer to think of them (as one GR reader suggested) as mini-Doctor Who Tardises with lots of space held inside a tiny area. That way, you could just have a pet carrier inside the Pokeball and sidestep the messy nuclear reaction.

Thank you for reading this first installment of Ask GR Anything: Silly Questions Edition. We'll likely have cause to offload more ridiculous questions again in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for Part 2 some day. In the meantime, hit me with your most serious (or ridiculous, those are fun too) burning questions.

Submit your own questions in the comments (or Tweet them to @sciencegroen) and we may tackle them in a future Ask GR Anything.

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