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Verge ESP: Mars Needs Musk

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Plus dogs, X-Men, and other charming mutants

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Nothing ever happens on Mars — except a direct democracy, if noted billionaire Elon Musk has any say in it! This week we go deep (and in Liz's case, flex our philosophy degrees) in response to Musk's ... bold ... Mars-related and non-Mars-related proclamations at this week's Code conference. Is a 2024 mission to the red planet even remotely in the realm of possibility? Are we living inside a simulation? If we were living inside a simulation, would it even matter? We're annoyed, but also grateful for the food for thought, you absurdly rich man.

We also chat about X-Men Apocalypse, a more or less universally disliked movie whose reception may have to do with changing attitudes around sci-fi. The X-Men have always relied more on science as a plot legitimizer than their other superpowered brethren, but are audiences too smart now to buy that a guy can shoots lasers out of his eyes because of a genetic mutation? Or maybe Bryan Singer just doesn't have any new ideas? And why do all these movies have eighty million people in them?

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Subscribe to Verge ESP on iTunes, listen on SoundCloud, or subscribe on RSS. And be sure to let us know what you think of the show on Twitter — @mslopatto and @emilyyoshida.