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.
 

00:00:00 - After a brief intro from Ryan and Abe, where explains his new job with the USGS (congrats!) we dive right into Ryan's yearly AGU catch-up with Miles Traer. The first section is mostly about food. You can find Ryan's mom's gumbo recipe here: seafood gumbo.

00:26:25 - Since they're recording in person, Ryan thought it'd be fun to exchange beers and Abe agreed. Abe gives Ryan a Hitachino Nest XH, and Ryan gives Abe a Free Will 5th of May. Juliana joins for a moment to give us her hot take on each.

00:33:39 - Ryan and Miles keep chatting, much as before, there's comic book movies, Star Wars, and probably something about the session they chaired at the meeting (i.e., the reason they were there in the first place). You can see Ryan's gator selfie on Instagram. You can read Ryan and Mile's session proposal here: Science and Sci-Fi: Using Real Science to Explore Fictional Worlds, you can read Mile's abstract for the session here: Stop saving the planet! Carbon accounting of superheroes and their impacts on climate change, and Ryan's here: InGen Inconsistencies: The “Dinosaurs” Of Jurassic Park May Not Be What The Corporation Claims. Doing the session was a lot of fun, and it was even written up in The Washington Post by Sarah Kaplan!

01:00:25 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like New Orleans, they're both big and easy. First up, we thank Zach B. for being a Patron and give him his thesis title. It takes a minute to figure out, but we now know his project is: Saved by the Salt: A Source Dependent Comparative Analysis of Nutrient Composition of Sodium Chloride (NaCl) Using Spectroscopic Satellite Image Data. Thanks, Zach! Next, Ryan celebrates our 501st iTunes review from Bettyk239. Thanks, Betty! Finally, Abe wants to encourage young Latino/a/x volcanologists to get some money from AGU to go a conference. If you know about a pool of money to help young scientists present their work, let us know so we can promote it! 

Cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on Patreon!

Shrimp & Gumbo - Dave Bartholomew
Salty Eyes - The Matches
New Orleans - Trampled by Turtles

Direct download: 277_-_AGU_2017_Part_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:59pm PST

00:00:00 - Here begins our coverage of the 2017 meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Ryan is joined by Matt Candeias, host of Brachiolope Media's In Defense of Plants podcast.

00:02:58 - First, Ryan chats with Susheel Adusumilli about his work looking at changes in Antarctic peninsular ice over the last 20+ years using satellite imagery data. Plus, tips on how best to set up your home wifi network to get the fastest speeds!

00:19:13 - Next up is Mike MacFerrin, who takes us to the other side of the ice ball so we can learn about what's happening in Greenland. Mike has some great stories to share regarding his work on the firn of Greenland's ice sheet, how the sheet is changing, what that means for communities their, and his journey from teacher to scientist (and what scientists can learn from teachers). Awesome chat with an awesome dude.

00:43:05 - Ice goes drinks so let's have some. Matt enjoys a gin and tonic. Ryan says something probably incorrect about India. Ryan pretends to be classy with some Root: 1 Sauvignon Blanc, because the label is pretty, which leads to a discussion on grafting about which Matt says something probably correct. The wine is being used for mushroom pasta, and they both get excited about fungus. 

00:51:20 - Rounding out part one is Sarah Arveson, who studies the core... of the earth! Ryan struggles to come to grips with how to use diamond anvils and lasers and high pressures all come together to understand how the earth works. She explains it better than we can type it. She also wrote and op-ed about the thankfully failed Republican tax bill that threatened to tax grad student tuition, which is a bad idea and we talk about why. She continues to serve her community via union organizing, which is impressive, bold, and empowering. Get to work helping your local area, people. What are you even waiting for? 

01:29:59 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like the earth's core, they're both dynamic, but we're not quite sure how. Patron David M. is here for his thesis, and we aim to provide it, however clunkily. David, your thesis is: Glacial melt effects on light element incorporation into the terroir of wine growing regions in southern South America. Thanks, David! Next, Matt tells us about the documentary he has on Kickstarter, Botany of the Cascades. Consider pitching in a few bucks to get yourself some sweet rewards. Finally, a voicemail from an unknown caller about whether or not Storm's powers have anything to do with airborne algae. Matt and Ryan argue their sides, listen in to see who emerges victorious. If you want to read more about the plausibility of mutant powers, check out Science of the X-Men and tell Ryan if it holds up.

Cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on Patreon!

Music for this week's show:
Ice Melts - Matt and Kim
The Seed (2.0) [feat. Cody Chestnutt] - The Roots
Parting of the Sensory - Modest Mouse

Direct download: 276_-_AGU_2017_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm PST

00:00:00 - Ryan is joined by Professors Christopher Jackson and Tom Narock. We begin by talking about their research. Chris uses seismic data to explore landform evolution over deep time. Tom is trying to use semantics and machine learning to help earth scientists wrangle all the data that's out there (or, if you're suspicious, he's securing his spot amongst the machines for when the robot uprising occurs).

00:28:56 - Drinks are a thing, and we have them. Chris enjoys a Camden Hells Lager from London, England if you can believe it. Tom has some triple hopped homebrew that we're still working on a name for. And Ryan enjoys a Creedence Pilsner because he needed something sessionable around for playing D&D.

00:37:40 - In part two of the discussion, Chris and Tom explain the new preprint server EarthArXiv they and others have been working on. We go over the basics of preprint servers, how they see the role of preprint servers in the publishing ecosystem (including an AGU preprint server of their own), and how simple it is to actually put your work on them. You can follow updates on their endeavor on Twitter @EarthArXiv as well as Chris (@seis_matters) and Tom (@tnarock) personally.

01:13:49 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like publishing, there's a long time between submission and publication. First up, a thesis for Patron James P., who, like Joe, is a bit of a 3D printer too. His thesis is: The Stability of Genius: Use of Machine Learning to Develop Algorithms for Controlling Tuned-Mass Dampers in Skyscrapers to Counteract Seismic Effects. Like, really smart ideas. Thanks, James! Ryan has a voicemail from Baylor, who seems like a right dude and wanted to just tell us he likes the show. 

Cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on Patreon!

Music for this week's show:
II. Earth: The Oldest Computer (The Last Night) [feat. Azealia Banks] - Childish Gambino
London Bridge - Ed Sheeran and Yelawolf
Give It Away - Andrew Bird

Direct download: 275_-_Publishing_Rocks.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:21am PST

00:00:00 - Now for part 2 of our coverage of GSA's annual meeting in Seattle, WA. First up, Ryan's conversation with Robin Trayler, who does stable isotope work on South American mammals (but not sloths, they're spoken for, thank you very much). He explains how stable isotopes from animals can teach us about past climate. You can read his abstract here: Ecology and Climate of the Early Miocene Santa Cruz Formation, Argentina

00:20:16 - Next up is the delightful Dr. Lindsey Yann, who is also working on stable isotopes in mammals, but she's looking at white-tailed deer from an archaeological site in Tennessee, so similar tools to answer different questions. Neat! Her abstract: Deer as Potential Climatic Recorders Through Time

00:39:11 - In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Ryan brought Patrick a beer, in this case, a pretty big one, the Megalodom from Ninkasi Brewing Company, named for a pretty epic (but definitely extinct) shark. A brief discussion of Ryan and Patrick's issues with taxonomy ensues.

00:52:38 - Finally, Ryan's field partner from undergrad, Harrison Gray, who is finishing up his doctorate in Geomorphology and does a great job of breaking down the methods he's developed for understanding the history of a rock and its role in the landscape. He also works for the USGS, though not for much longer, so we do speak a little about the politics of making it harder for government agencies to hire young scientists to serve the nation's interests. Strap in. His abstract: Testing Age Predictions Made with Portable OSL Measurements in Southern Nevada

01:13:32 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like spending time at a conference, you could bump into anyone! First up, we thank Ryan's parents, Bruce and Susan, for their support on Patreon. As part of the reward for their generosity, they get a thesis title:  A quilted layering for Chondrichthyan cartilaginous insertion of the patellar joint, a test case performed in New Mexico, USA. It may be nonsense, but it's yours with our sincerest thanks. Next up, a fossiliferous update from Emma G. about the discovery of two fighting fossils Ryan mentioned in a previous episode. Last up, Kirstin M. asks why we stopped doing Trailer Trash Talk, her favorite segment, so we explain why while also sneaking in a quick peek at the teaser for Smallfoot, to really hammer the point home.

Cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on Patreon!

Music for this week's show:
Change Of Season - Hall and Oates
Oh Dear - Matt Costa
Dead Sea - The Lumineers
Lost In The Light - Bahamas

Direct download: 274_-_GSA_2017_Part_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:49pm PST

00:00:00 - Ryan and Charlie quickly introduce the premise of the episode: interviews Ryan did at the GSA annual meeting in Seattle, WA. The first interview is with Ph.D. candidate Khai Button about his work examining beaks in dinosaurs and birds (which are also dinosaurs), as well outreach work he does 3D scanning fossils with high school students. You can read about Khai's fieldwork at Expedition Live! and follow his outreach project on Twitter @fossilphiles

00:31:57 - Drinks normally go one way, this time they go another way; embrace the difference. Ryan and Charlie are both drinking Americanos, which is espresso and hot water made to simulate a normal cup of coffee. Ryan, new to this, has many questions for Charlie, which he answers with gusto. Here's some Abe-approved coffee, a Charlie-approved espresso machine, and a thing that'll boil water real good

00:45:32 - Next up, Ryan chats to Allison Jones about Jurassic petrofabrics in California with Dr. Kurt Burmeister’s research group at the University of the Pacific. It sounds complicated, but as Allison explains they're really just out in the mountains tracing rocks onto plastic sheets and then doing science to them. You can follow Allison on Twitter @allison_jones1.

01:02:30 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like in-person interviews, they're better with friends. Doing things in sort of reverse order, we begin with Charlie reading an e-mail from Kris H. wondering about claims made by various shades of climate change skeptics and/or deniers. There's a lot to be said, but the take-home message is that all of Kris' links are pointing towards cranks of various stripes, so we won't link them again here. You can read more about the claims these folks are making and how to counteract them here: Skeptical Science Climate Myths, and check out the book The Two-Mile Time Machine if you want to learn more about how we actually take some of the measurement to build our climate models as discussed by Ryan and Charlie. Ending things on a happier note, we thank Patron Billy Nitro by conferring upon him a thesis title. Tying into the show's themes we present: Unraveling the Pop Culture Fabric: Tools to Convince the Public that Dinosaurs had Feathers and Beaks with Applications Towards Climate Skepticism Outreach. Thanks, Billy!

Cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on Patreon!

Music from this week's show:
Birds - M83
Grindstone - Jackie Greene
Black Rock - O.A.R.

Direct download: 273_-_GSA_2017_Part_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:47pm PST

00:00:00 - Ben and Ryan are joined by Matt Candeias from the In Defense Of Plants podcast, the newest member of the Brachiolope Media Network! With introductions out of the way, we get hyped to hear Ben tell us about a neutron star collision, known as a kilonova, detected by LIGO

00:31:12 - Drinks also contain neutrons, which collide with the neutrons in our mouths. Matt begins with some Oktoberfest style homebrew from a buddy of his. Ben is very excited by a flan-flavored drink from Japan. Good for Ben. Ryan has a sour barrel-aged cider called Hawk Knob, named after the highest point in WV.

00:39:31 - Now for some bad news, a new study has shown that pikas, a cute lagomorph related to bunnies, are locally extinct around Lake Tahoe, which probably spells doom for the rest of the species. We explain why and just generally lament the state of things. 

00:58:34 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like local extinctions, part of you wishes they'd just get it over with. First, we power through Ben's connectivity issues to get Patron Richard H. a thesis title as thanks for supporting the show. His title is Neutron Star Collisions Increase Gold, Ultimately Decrease Pikas (Ochotona princeps): The Sad Story Of Alpine Pikas In A Warming Climate: The Thesis. Thanks, Richard! Next up, Matt has an e-mail from Xander O. about how small changes, like 1 degree of temperature, can have really big effects around the globe. Ryan ends things with a voicemail from Josh from VA, who has kind words for us all, so that's nice. Don't forget to check out the other shows in the network, The Titanium Physicists and In Defense Of Plants, and you can check out Ryan talking about five minutes of John Carpenter's The Thing beginning with minute 41 on The Thing Minute.

Cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on Patreon!

Music for this week's show:
Collide - Corey Smith
Waiting for October - Polaris
Pokémon Theme Song - The Original Gameboy Game

Recorded using Zencastr. Use promo code SCIENCE for 20% your order.

Direct download: 272_-_The_End_Of_Small_Things.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:37pm PST

00:00:00 - Kelly and Ryan are joined by Abby Howard (@AbbyHoward) to talk about her new graphic novel Dinosaur Empire! Journey through the Mesozoic Era, the first in her Earth Before Us series of all ages paleontology focused books. We chat with her about how she got her start drawing comics, especially those of a dinosaurian variety.

00:27:05 - We normally don't record in the morning, but when we do, you can expect a very different drinks segment. This is one of those times. Abby is kicking back some water because it's important to stay hydrated. Kelly is having a decaf skim milk latte because it's also important to stay caffeinated, but not too caffeinated. Ryan, advocating for the exact opposite lesson, is having homemade cold brew concentrate straight from the jar. Tastes slightly better than rubbing it right in your eyes. 

00:31:36 - Next, we keep chatting with Abby about what she learned about dinosaurs in making her book, and what she learned through the process of trying to teach others about dinos. It's all just sharing and learning in this segment, good vibes. You can find more of Abby's work at her website, Junior Scientist Power Hour, and support her in creating comics on Patreon

01:01:23 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like all-ages books, they're good for all ages. Ryan begins with a thesis title for Jacob W. (as a reward to supporting us on Patreon). Suspecting that Jacob might be related to a certain cinematic assassin, we grant him the title: Did Velociraptor hunt Protoceratops for money? A theory of dinosaurian currency in the late Cretaceous. Kelly winds things up with a somewhat somber and heartfelt e-mail from Leigh, about the state of the world and turning towards science for comfort. Thanks for the kind words. Also, Kelly's book, Soonish, is out now if you want to feel hopeful(ish) about the future.

You can now find some of our episodes on Youtube, if that's a thing that works for you.

If you're looking for ways to help those recovering from the various recent hurricanes, consider donating to the Houston Food Bank and/or the World Central Kitchen.

Music:
Picture Book - The Kinks
Caffeinated Consciousness - TV On The Radio
Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime - Beck

Direct download: 271_-_Mesozoic_Meanderings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:07pm PST

00:00:00 - This episode Ryan is joined by returning guest Daphne Pringle and first-time guest Dr. Jen Gallagher, a listener who wrote in to let us know about some of the positive changes that have happened at WVU's Department of Biology. We spend the first segment talking about Jen's research using yeast and genomics to study drug and pesticide resistance. One of her students has a paper coming out in PLoS One soon, so stay tuned!

00:25:08 - While we wait for the new paper to drop, why not enjoy a drink? Jen keeps it local with a Halleck Pale Ale from Chestnut Brew Works, a brewery that eventually hopes to make a beer with all West Virginian ingredients. Daphne keeps things Old Fashioned, literally, using the Yippee Ki-Yay blend from High West Distillery. Ryan rounds things out with Revival Sorghum Whiskey from Charleston (South Carolina), mostly so he can finish off the bottle and play a nice song in the transition to the next segment...

00:33:38 - Since Jen first wrote in to tell us about teaching biology at WVU, we spend the second segment talking about teaching. We discuss how her courses are structured to maximize student engagement (and engagement with Wikipedia) by focusing on sometimes horrifying genetic diseases as a teaching tool. We also discuss her efforts to engage the people of WV in her citizen science initiative "I Ask Why", which helps the community better understand the microbes living all around them. For updates, you can follow Jen on twitter @yeastychic.

01:13:54 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like yeast, you can find them anywhere and they're hard to kill. Ryan starts off with a big THANK YOU to Patron Erich E. This means Erich gets a thesis, and his is: Teaching Outcomes of Yeast-inebriated Individuals Upon Exposure To -omics Data. Daphne wants to keep talking about evolution, so her contribution today is an old Facebook message from Andy S., who works construction but wants to talk about dinosaurs. Specifically, why weren't there any quadrupedal carnivorous dinosaurs? Discussion ensues, including some talk about a paper from earlier this year that has shaken the dinosaur family tree at its base. Be sure to follow Daphne on Twitter (@drpingleetal), and if you need more podcasts to listen, why not hear Ryan talk about his journey to becoming a paleontologist on HumaNature Episode 23 - Between a Rock and a Holy Place.

Cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on Patreon!

Music for this week's show:
Rise To Me - The Decemberists
It Ain't Me - Kygo & Selena Gomez
Understanding - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Direct download: 270_-_Montani_Semper_Docere.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:14am PST

00:00:00 - A team at CalTech has figured out a new way to increase the rate that the ocean might be able to suck down carbon from our atmosphere. The overall plan is still missing a few steps, but it's an exciting step forward in how might get ourselves out of this climate mess.

00:20:45 - Drinks are another way we've figured out how to infuse carbon dioxide into liquid, but we let it out again once we drink it. Whoops. Charlie really enjoys his Bodhizafa IPA from Georgetown Brewing, which of course prompts a discussion of the themes of the 1991 classic film Point Break. Joe references another film franchise with his Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer, but we'll let you put the pieces together yourself. And Ryan wraps it all up with a La Cumbre Elevation IPA sent to him by Matty J.

00:31:45 - Because we're all happy to launch stuff into orbit but no one wants to bring it back down ever, space junk is becoming a big problem (which you can see for yourself here). A joint research team at JPL and Stanford have looked towards the ultra-sticky feet of the gecko as a potential solution, but do the boys agree that this is the best solution? The answer may surprise you...

00:55:01 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like space junk, there's a lot of them and the problem is only getting worse. Joe complains about getting the best kind of feedback, a new Patreon subscriber from longtime supporter Andrew H. Thanks, Andrew! As part of his rewards, he gets a thesis title, and his is: Particulate Elimination Procedure in Trans-Orbital Space (PEPTO) as a function of decreasing carbonic acid degradation of calcitic systems in the surface ocean. Next up, Ryan reads a 5-star iTunes review that comes in hot with some criticism. Hopefully, we can all come together again over the greatness of orangutans. And Charlie has a question about a bet we made on various energy technologies back in the halcyon days of episode 88. Charlie has an update: we all lost. But Charlie is also looking for new grad students, so if you're interested in energy work, check out the Western Washington University Institute for Energy Studies website and get in touch. Ryan was interviewed about his journey from Creationist to Scientist on the Human Nature podcast, so check that out if that sounds interesting to you. 

Cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on Patreon!

Music for this week's show:
Bound - Matt Costa
Meet The Bodhisattva - Mark Isham
Beautiful Mess - Miranda Cosgrove
Neo Zen - Ketsa

Recorded using Zencastr. For 20% off your first year of Zencastr, use coupon code SCIENCE.

Direct download: 269_-_Tragedy_of_the_Commons.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:02am PST

00:00:00 - Studying volcanoes is hard because they're really hot and acidic and just generally sort of deadly to we frail humans. But what about robots? OK, also sort of deadly to robots, but a team is still using an autonomous boat to map out a volcanic lake in Costa Rica, and that's pretty neat. To see Abe's diagram of how volcanic arcs form, click here.

00:31: 35 - Volcanic lakes can bubble up carbon dioxide, as can carbonated beverages. Joe goes first with a Death Valley cola since volcanoes are also hot and deadly? Ryan risks injury and sickness by drinking some homemade fermented pineapple drink known as tepache. Click here to watch a video on how to make it yourself. You'll need some jars, lids, and stones too. Abe surprises Ryan with some Mezcal Matra in his continuing quest to try every type of distilled agave beverage that Mexico has to offer. Smooth and smokey.

00:50:52 - And now, an update on our show's mascot, the always weird but always interesting naked mole rat! A new study has shown that naked mole rats don't mind if you take away their oxygen. That's usually a deal breaker for most animals, but naked mole rats just switch to metabolizing fructose like a plant. When will the weirdness end? Probably never.

01:11:14 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like volcanos, they can go off without warning and you could end up in an Italian prison. Ryan goes first to thank Tom S. from the peak of good living for his recurring donation through Paypal. Thanks, Tom! Joe's up next with a thesis title for Patron Gretchen L. It takes some doing, but the boys figured it out: Implementation of Autonomous Subterranean Vehicles for Sonar Mapping of Naked Mole Rat (Heterocephalus glaber) Colonies in the Volcanic Soils of Ol Doinyo Lengai. Finally, Abe is excited about a new 5-star iTunes review from RachaelRidiculous, which is always a treat. To hear Ryan try to be serious, you can listen to his audio essay from the Out There podcast, The Reluctant Outdoorsman.

Cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on Patreon!

Music for this week's show:
Steamboat - The Weeks
Death Valley Queen - Flogging Molly
Every Breath You Take - The Police

Direct download: 268_-_Mole_Caliente.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:31pm PST