Science... sort of
Conversations about things that are science, things that are sort of science, and things that wish they were science. A member of the Brachiolope Media Network.
 

It's episode 250 and thus a fine time to return to form with Patrick, Charlie, and Ryan!

00:00:00 - Mars is dead, long live Mars! Mars used to have oceans, active volcanoes, maybe even tectonics. So what happened? The guys explore how it might have become a hunk of rock we keep having to rescue Matt Damon from. Also, there's a whole book series on how we might (fictionally) bring it back to life. 

0027:57 - However it got that way, Mars is now dry enough to leave one mighty parched. Let us quench. Patrick begins with a beer left behind in his fridge by Ryan, a Siamese Twin Ale from Uncommon Brewers located in the birthplace of the show, Santa Cruz, California. Charlie expertly extracts the hot bean juice from an exquisite Ganesha Espresso bean for 28 seconds at 201 degrees C at 9 bars of pressure. Ryan fires back with a Kerberos Tripel our of a double-walled growler, a three-headed beer for the three originals being back together.

00:34:50 - Is the Loch Ness Monster real? No. It's super not real. BUT, Google decided to play along and put some cameras in the loch. This somehow becomes a very deep conversation on the philosophy of science and the role technology plays in shaping our reality. Go figure.

00:59:34 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like unexpectedly deep conversations; most people skip them if able to. Ryan begins with a new recurring donation from Sonya P. Thanks, Sonya! Charlie fields an energetics question from Jacob M. about the stillsuits featured in the novel Dune. Patrick finished with a question from Graeme N. about the aquatic ape hypothesis of human evolution. Ryan and Patrick argue again because why agree on anything ever?

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

Music for this week's show:
Nothin' On You - B.o.B.
Straw Dog - Something Corporate
Get It Faster - Jimmy Eat World

 

Direct download: 250_-_Quarter_Quell.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:14pm PDT

00:00:00 - Do you eat food? If you do you probably appreciate the Maillard reaction even if you've never heard of it. We try to drop some science on your plate! Want even more food science? This book has you covered.

00:35:09 - Joe begins the drinking segment by tying things back to the Maillard reaction with a Lester's Fixins Bacon with Maple Syrup Soda, which sounds, and tastes, terrible. Chad and Ryan insist her finish it. Ryan has a Segua Red Ale, a Costa Rican microbrew based on a Costa Rican legend. Chad has a fruit smoothie because sometimes you just have to clear out the freezer.

00:45:05 - Archeologists have found many ancient subterranean cities. What happened to us all wanting to live underground together?  Joe explains some of the benefits and pratfalls of trying to make a go of putting a lot of people under the earth, including some more recent attempts. 

01:01:44 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like underground cities, they were sort of in vogue once upon a time. Joe begins by thanking Jeff M. for a donation. Thanks, Jeff! Ryan has an e-mail from Anne who wants to know if all her friends getting into the paleo-diet are onto something or not. Ryan, an actual paleontologist, is no great fan and lists some reasons why. For more info, check out this Scientific American article or go buy the book Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We LiveLast up, Chad has an article from Mike J. about another idea to get fuel from water, but this time with a twist. Chad and Ryan dive into the details, including trying to explain the entire ocean and how we're messing it up. Maybe a bit ambitious, but there you have it.

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

Music for this week's show:

Heart Cooks Brain - Modest Mouse
Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm
Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan

Direct download: 249_-_The_Maillard_Underground.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:20am PDT

00:00:00 - We are excited to announce the long awaited return of Jacob Stump! Jacob is back so we might as well start out with a poorly planned mission to Mars. Specifically, is Mars One a scam? If you believe one of their selected 'astronauts' then probably yes.

00:25:24 - Much like they're not actually going to Mars, Jacob spends some time telling us what he's not drinking before finally telling us that he's having some Spanish wine. Patrick is doubling down with another Get Elevated from Matty J. which prompts a discussion of handedness. Ryan advocates his left-handed lifestyle and recommends a book for those who want to learn more about his affliction. Ryan also is back to his beer roots enjoying a DirtWolf Double IPA from Victory Brewing. 

00:41:23 - Jupiter's wife Juno has come home in the form of a probe sent by NASA. Even President Obama was excited about it. Ryan gets excited just talking about Jupiter, but Patrick and Jacob have some pretty cool things about the probe and its science mission around our solar system's largest planet. 

01:18:14 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like wives, they deserve love and respect. Patrick begins with his favorite: a new recurring donation from Scott P. High fives to Scott! Ryan goes next and proceeds to put his foot firmly in his mouth talking about Creationism vs evolution thanks to this story from NPR submitted by listener Chris N. Thanks a lot, Chris. Fortunately, Patrick and Jacob are here to smooth things over. Phew. Jacob finishes things off with new 5-star iTunes review from dearknurl. Always appreciated.

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

Music for this week's show:

Trouble Weighs A Ton - Dan Auerbach

Holiday In Spain - Counting Crows

Juno - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (written specifically for this NASA mission, so that's cool)

Direct download: 248_-_Trouble_and_Strife.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:22pm PDT

If you're interested in helping the people of West Virginia recover from some pretty horrific recent flooding, you can check out the list of options compiled by The Huffington Post

00:00:00 - Patrick and Ryan are joined by Daphne Pringle, who's a post-doctoral fellow at the Hunstman Cancer Institute of the University of Utah. She's sick of us getting epigenetics wrong like we did in episode 241, so she's here to sort us out. She uses mice to study oncogenes and tumors and cancer and all that. It's pretty far outside of our typical biology talk, so segment one is just trying to explain the basics. Here's some background reading: Raf/MEK/ERK, mouse models, and BRAF targeting

00:35:53 - Alcohol is a carcinogen probably. Oh well. Daphne represents Utah with her Uinta Detour Double IPA. Patrick was sent some cans of Elevated IPA by listener Matty J. Thanks! And Ryan classes up the joint with an Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon. 

00:43:21 - Now that we have totally covered the basics of Daphne's research, let's talk about her recent publication in PLOS ONE. Will Daphne and her team cure cancer? Only if they can get through the FDA's 15 year approval process! Also, if you wanted to see a Tazzy Devil joey in a pouch, here you go

01:16:43 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like the FDA approval process; only the strong survive. First up, a new recurring donation from Mark H. Thanks, Mark! Next, Peter C. has a question about population genetics that we're hoping Daphne can help us answer. It involves space travel and maybe racism? Patrick presents a Facebook post from Brennen M. who wants us to know about his favorite book about food science called Modernist Cuisine. Finally, Ryan presents the winners of the iTunes review contest calculated using random.org! The runners up: Kendh and Patrick in Des Moines. And our grand prize goes to Molec-bio! Thanks to everyone who participated. Be sure to follow Daphne on Twitter (@drpringleetal) to follow along as she saves us all. 

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

Music used in this week's show:

Morning New Disease - Jets to Brazil
The West Virginia Hills - Moastsville String Ticklers
Waiting - Green Day

Direct download: 247_-_The_Best_Laid_Plans.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:41am PDT

This was our first time recording since the tragic Pulse shooting in Orlando. We encourage our US listeners to share their thoughts with their elected representatives. You can find yours and their contact info here.

00:00:00 - We begin this week by talking about some literal bridge building. Because of things like physics and geology, engineers have to rethink how we build roads around bridges. Joe assumes Ryan and Abe know about soil science. He's wrong. But some researchers at the University of Texas, Arlington, have developed special giant foam blocks to help solve the bridge settling dilemma. All rivers in this segment referred to as Kwai for clarity. 

00:21:45 - Drinks, like bridges, get you where you're going. Abe pops the top off a Hop Savant from Crooked Stave. Ryan, thinking back on his afternoon at Corvus Coffee Roasters with Abe, has a Cold Brew IPA from Rogue. Joe B. bucks tradition with a Best Damn Cherry Cola, which while it may not sound like it, is actually an alcoholic beverage. It's not his first time having booze on the show, but it is rare. This leads to a discussion of choosing one's science specialty. 

00:29:31 - UPDATES. How often do you actually see follow-up reporting in science journalism? For us, it's rarely. To put our money where our mouth is here is some that. First, Abe is excited to announce that the newly discovered elements first discussed in episode 234 now have names! Next, that weird animal we talked about in episode 229 has finally found a place on the family tree of life (open access paper here), welcome to club Siphonophorae, buddy.

00:48:04 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like updates in that sometimes they really are just updates. Joe starts off complaining about vocal plosives with a new recurring donation from Pedro P. in Chile. Muchas gracias, Pedro! Ryan has an e-mail from frequent correspondent Tyler V., who corrects him about what Einstein won his Nobel prize for in episode 196. Abe finishes things up with an iTunes review, the final review from the Summer Solstice iTunes Review Challenge written by Cynthia. You can also go check out an interview with Joe on the Baja SAE Shop Talk podcast

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

Music for this week's show:

Bridge Over Troubled Waters - Simon & Garfunkel
Campfire Kansas - The Get Up Kids
The Power of Love - Huey Lewis and the News

Direct download: 246_-_Bridging_the_Gap.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:20am PDT

This week is all about Game of Thrones and/or A Song of Ice and Fire featuring returning guest to the show Miles Traer! If you're not caught up on both the show and the books, consider this your all-purpose SPOILER WARNING.

00:00:00 - First up: time travel. How does time travel in a fantasy story work? Apparently, there are three options, and we mainly stick to one, but it's not without its paradoxes. Check out this nifty drawing from Ben for a diagram of just what we think happened in the already infamous Hodor episode.

00:37:53 - They drink a lot in Westeros, so to keep it authentic, we follow suit. Ben begins with a double shot of weird Sangaria brand soft drinks: carrot and traditional. Miles follows up with a 'Westerosi'-style cocktail, the Sazerac; even if he and Ryan disagree about the proportions. Ryan does what his wife does, and has a Three Philosophers from Brewery Ommegang. It makes sense in context.

00:44:15 - There's a lot more science to be done in Westeros than just time travel. Fortunately, Matt Shipman organized a blog carnival, featuring science posts from some of our favorite former guests such as Brian Switek, Jacquelyn Gill, and David Hone. If you want more info on the solar neighborhood of the planet and how that affects climate, check out this paper from the ArXiv. And finally a geology post from Miles Traer, which he tells us a bit about, but you'll need to read the whole thing for the details. 

01:08:38 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like open-ended epic fantasy series; they're both often long overdue. We being with Ben announcing a new recurring donation from Peter C. Thanks, Peter! Next up, Tyler V. wants to know, based on our previous hesitation to call the Anthropocene a thing, how future paleontologists might respond to the discovery of mass human graves as a feature of the debated epoch. That's pretty dark, Tyler, but we sort of have an answer, and it reminds Ryan in particular of a certain dinosaur site called Ghost Ranch. Ryan has an anniversary message from Cyn, who found the show thanks to Ben, because Ben is great. Finally, be sure to also check out Miles' excellent podcast Generation Anthropocene.

 

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

 

Music for this week's show:

Game of Throne theme on the Seaboard RISE - ROLI

Theme from Game of Thrones - New Orleans Swamp Donkeys

Game of Thrones Theme (Western Cover) - Benedikt Mendzigal

Direct download: 245_-_Science..._Hodor.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:28pm PDT

00:00:00 - This week Ryan is joined by his wife, Juliana Olsson, so they can talk with returning guest and author Mary Roach! We do drinks in the preamble so for all you completists out there: Juli had a Three Philosophers and Ryan had a Birthday Suit. Mary, given her druthers, likes a dry gin martini. But the actual point of our conversation is to talk about her new book is Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War and that's what we talk about (mostly). She's on tour promoting the book right now, so go see her if you can and tell her you heard about the tour from us!

00:52:34 - PaloePOWs are a lot like books; they contain a lot of words. Ryan begins with a donation from Liam B., a Canadian donating with US money. How thoughtful! Thanks, Liam. Next up, Todd B. wanted us to watch a video about naked mole rats, the official animal of the podcast. They're pretty cute in an ugly sort of way, and the science being done is pretty cool too. Finally, Ryan reminds y'all that we're running an iTunes review contest. Write a review for us on iTunes between now and the Summer Solstice and be entered in a drawing to win prizes! We've gotten some good ones so far, and feature one from treaest.

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

Music for this week's show:

A Soldiering Life - The Decemberists

Direct download: 244_-_A_Grunt27s_Life.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:19pm PDT

00:00:00 - 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

Direct download: Ep_243_-_Science..._sort_of_-_Science_Carols.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:09pm PDT

Ep 242: Science... sort of - The Little Slothologist That Could

00:00:00 - 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

Direct download: Ep_242-_Science..._sort_of_-_The_Little_Slothologist_That_Could.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:46pm PDT

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

Direct download: Ep_241-_Science..._sort_of_-_Botanivores.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:14am PDT