Episode 243 – Science Carols

Ho ho ho... now I have some Holmium00:00:00 – This episode Ben and Ryan chat with Cosmologist Sean Carroll about his new book, The Big Picture. Presented here is the first part of our conversation about a number of topics presented in the book.

00:40:58 – Drinks are like the universe in that they exist. Sean enjoys a gin martini or a Gibson depending on his mood. Sometimes he adds both garnishes and we’re just not sure about anything anymore. Ben has some guanabana nectar. Ryan explains what that fruit looks like. And Ryan rounds things out with a Celestial Garden from DC Brau.

00:49:51 – The second half of our interview we continue talking about the book, particularly the contributions of Ibn Sina and Rev. Bayes to momentum and probability, respectively. You can keep up with Dr. Carroll on his website or by following him on Twitter.

01:17:32 – PaleoPOWs are a lot like cosmology; they can take some time to wrap your head around. Ryan begins by thanking Jennifer G. (?) for setting up a new recurring donation. Thanks, Jennifer! Ben has a question from Kenneth B. about which would win: the sun, or a water balloon the size of the sun. Ben, of course, has an answer.

 

Thanks for listening and be sure to check out the Brachiolope Media Network for more great science podcasts!

 

Music for this week’s show:

Princes of the Universe – Queen

Onions – The Mountain Goats

Time Won’t Let Me Go (Sun Version) – The Bravery

 

Image Credit: Neurons Not Included

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Episode 242 – The Little Slothologist That Could

Pygmy_Three_Toed_Sloth_brendan_wenzel-1024x102400:00:00 – Few quick announcements in lieu of a PaleoPOW for this episode. First, thanks to Robert M. (not the guest) and John P. for repeating their generous donations to the show. Also, there are still a few hours left to donate to Ryan’s crowdfunding campaign: experiment.com/sloths. Lastly, we’re running an iTunes review contest. Leave a new review between now and the Summer Solstice and be entered in a drawing for some sweet prizes!

00:01:01 – Ryan heads to Ohio to sit down for a chat with Doc Sloth aka Robert McAfee. When he was on the show before, the talk was of carnivorous sloths and the Ice Age movies, but this time, we’re talking about his actual research and the first to be discussed is his work trying to suss out the taxonomy of the diverse fossil ground sloths.

00:26:51 – One way to slow down to sloth speeds is a depressant, in this case: beer! Ryan begins with an Amarillo Brillo, purchased solely for the fact that the label contains a cousin to the sloths: an armadillo. Robert heads south to Cincinnati for some Rhinegeist Brewery’s Hustle, which prompts a discussion of just how much Prohibition screwed up American brewing. Those jerks.

0035:15 – For the second aspect of Robert’s research, we discuss some functional morphology, i.e. how do we know what ground sloths were capable of just by looking at their bones? Robert explains. Be sure to check out slothsearch.com for more sloth research and follow @docsloth on Twitter for continued updates!

Tangents:

Thanks for listening and be sure to check out the Brachiolope Media Network for more great science podcasts!

 

Music for this week’s show:

Slow Brains – Honeyhoney

The Hustle – Van McCoy

 

Image credit: Brendan Wenzel

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Episode 241 – Botanivores

Unless the plant has thorns, then it can defend itself.00:00:00 – (Beginning with a brief plug from Joe seeking volunteers for a cool STEM even in the LA area, check it out here.) But today’s actual first topic is part one of our interview with Matt Candeias, Ph.D. student as well as author and host of the In Defense of Plants blog and podcast (which you can support on Patreon). We talk about his research into rare versus common grassland species, and what made him want to get into science outreach, particularly as a promoter of plants. In our typical rambling style, we also touch on a number of other topics, including how computers used to be rooms full of women.

00:52:06 – You may need to compute some things if you want to make your own booze, but it doesn’t take much math to enjoy the final product. Patrick is again disappointed to learn that Ryan has also tried the beer he’s having this week, the Faceplant IPA from Lost Rhino Brewing Company, whom we’ve interviewed before. Matt keeps it local with the Paw Paw Tripel from Scratch Brewing Company. And Ryan quizzes our guest to see if he can figure out that he’s drinking a dry martini made with The Botanist gin.

01:05:51 – And since we know you love it when we talk about booze, we keep the drink chat going with the handy reference manual The Drunken Botanist. Ryan solicits Matt and Patrick’s favorite booze-producing plants which leads to a discussion of the C3, C4, and CAM photosynthetic pathways. Somehow we made it about science, yay!

01:29:33 – PaleoPOWs are a lot like plants, they both grow like weeds when left unattended. Patrick begins with a new recurring donation from Lisa K., who also donated to Ryan’s current crowdfunding campaign to support his Ph.D. research. Thanks for both Lisa! Ryan is excited to present a new 5-star iTunes review from ViTuanPeterPhan, and it spurs a contest to drive our ratings up to 500! Write a review between now and the summer solstice (June 20th) and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a free t-shirt!

 

Thanks for listening and be sure to check out the Brachiolope Media Network for more great science podcasts!

 

Music for this week’s show:

Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree – Tony Orlando and Dawn

Drunken Lullabies – Flogging Molly

Keep Off The Grass – Todd Snider

 

Image Credit: In Defense of Plants

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Episode 240 – Moon Rocks Don’t Glow

I mean, your Roomba would be better if it glowed in the dark, right?00:00:00 – Kelly is back and she’s got an update on some scientists that seem to have found a way to stem the spread of the chytrid fungus affecting all those poor froggies. Hope on the horizon? Maybe, but it’ll be a hard technique to apply large scale. We also spend some time talking about a Civil War story involving glowing wounds the help soldiers survive. A science fair project may have found the answer, but Ryan still thinks a body farm experiment needs to be done.

00:28:10 – A stiff drink used to be the only painkiller you might get. Kelly’s drink isn’t stiff but it still provokes a strong reaction: water kefir. After painstakingly explaining what is and how she made it, Abe and Ryan have nothing good to say. Abe tries to salvage the conversation with some Romantic Chemistry, but alas it falls a bit short. Ryan tries to avoid Kelly’s wrath when talking about the Pinchgut Hollow Buckwheat Moonshine his Dad gave him.

00:40:50 – Did you know China has a rover on the moon? Turns out China has a rover on the moon. And it did some science! Researchers have announced that they’ve found a new type of lunar basalt. Sounds straightforward enough but Abe explains the complexities.

01:01:58 – PaleoPOWs are a lot like Chinese lunar rovers; most Americans don’t even know they exist. Kelly has an e-mail from former guest of the show Zeka Kuspa, who wants to know if the now extinct Condor louse makes her list of eradicated parasites. Abe reads an e-mail from Steven who’s asking for some help tracking down a particular SoCal beer. We don’t have a specific answer, but it sounds like he just needs to keep trying Imperial Pilsners. Ryan rounds out the show with a new recurring donation from Leong all the way in Taiwan. Thanks, Leong! Ryan, of course, plugs his ongoing crowdfunding campaign, go watch the video and consider donating here!

 

Thanks for listening and be sure to check out the Brachiolope Media Network for more great science podcasts!

 

Music for this week’s show:

Glowworm – Apples in Stereo

Moonshine – Lit

The Rover – Led Zeppelin

 

Image credit: DailyTech modified by Ryan

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Episode 239 – Echinodermathon

It's cheering... for science.00:00:00 – Bev and Abe are back from Antarctica and are back on the show! Ryan had to give a guest lecture on echinoderms, which happens to be a thing Bev knows a lot about. So our first segment is dedicated to getting Abe up to speed on these weird marine animals.

00:40:05 – Talking about sea creatures gives one a powerful thirst. This episode we sate our thirst in three ways. Bev opts for a Squishy apple and cherry cider, Abe keeps it nautical with a Dorado DIPA, and Ryan can’t wait to enjoy a Pliny the Elder Abe gave him.

00:47:28 – Now that we all know what echinoderms about we can talk about Bev’s actual research! For her Masters, she wanted to figure out how brittle stars were (or weren’t) being preserved in the fossil record. She tells us just how she got it done, and you can read the paper she published about her work too! (Lots of cool figures in that paper, be sure to check them out!)

01:13:54 – PaleoPOWs are a lot like echinoderms, only occasionally edible. Ryan begins by plugging his crowdfunding effort to do some sloth research. Next up, Abe has an e-mail from Rebecca abut a nephew who wants to be a volcanologist. He suggests junior ranger programs at National Parks, geology summer camps, and some cool resources over at kids.gov. Beverly has an e-mail form Bennet T. in response to our time zone and metric talk from episode 226. She gives us her take and explains how things like this work in Antarctica. Ryan wraps things up with a new recurring donation from Denise N. Thanks, Denise!

 

Thanks for listening and be sure to check out the Brachiolope Media Network for more great science podcasts!

 

Music of this week’s show:

Anthropology rap – Community

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep – The Temptations

Eldorado 1997 – Manu Chao

Dissolve – Jonathan Coulton

 

Image credit: Beverly Walker

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