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 - The show starts this week with a hardy helping of pterosaur ptime when the Paleopals sit down to discuss past errors with David Hone and Ross Eglin. Be sure to scope out all the other projects they're involved in at: pterosaur.netArchosaur Musings and Ask A Biologist.

00:37:29 – In which potent potables are consumed.


00:42:50 – It's a trip down found footage lane when the Paleopals set their sights skyward with a mission for fear in the new trailer for Apollo 18.

00:59:46 – Ben Goldacre, author of the book Bad Science, had some things to say on hissecondary blog about the idea that science journalists should have science degrees. The Paleopals discuss with a bit of added insight from friend of the show Marissa!


01:14:28 – PaleoPOWs are like trivia, plural and interesting. This week Patrick delights that he has some actual snail mail, Charlie laments the state of our iTunes rating while praising Laura W. for saying something nice and Ryan has a rocking e-mail from Cori L.



Thanks for listening, if you need even more of the Paleopals in your life head over to the Paleocave Blog!



Music from this week's show:

Wrong Thing Right Then – Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Do Wrong Right – The Devil Makes Three

Moons and Horror Shoes – The Zutons

Hard to Explain – The Strokes

Direct download: Ep_79_Science..._sort_of_-_To_Err_Is_Human.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:28am EDT

00:00:00 – Ben takes a moment to ask the Paleoposse to consider helping the people of Japan recover from recent catastrophe. If you'd like to donate we've provided some links:


00:00:40 - Ben also tells us the scientific cautionary tale of LIGO, which has something to do with lasers and gravity waves. Straight out of sci-fi and into a mysterious envelope that holds the key to potential publication!


00:19:01 – What are we drinking? Charlie has trouble with a top. Ben has a brew from south of the border and south of the ground (i.e. made from a root). Ryan supports the Japanese brewery Kiuchi, which even though hit hard by the tsunami has stopped brewing but started bottling water for people displaced from their homes.


00:27:44 – Trailer Trash Talk is a 15-year-old boy's fever dream as the Paleopals discuss Zak Snyder's latest offering: Sucker Punch!


00:39:31 – Economics and alcohol combine in the world of bubbles and brewing. A team hired by Diageo (owners of Guinness) find that it's not the scratches in the glass but the particles in the potion that give you the froth you crave.


00:53:36 – PaleoPOWs are a lot like the Irish. Hard to understand and easily burned. The Paleopals start with their favorite kind of feedback: a donation from Wayne B. in Brooklyn. Thanks, Wayne! Next up is a voicemail from Mike (also from Brooklyn) asking ben for some follow up on zombies based on Episode 66, but only after lavishing praise on Ryan for his Marvel Science of Iron Man articles of last year. Finally, Ryan reads an e-mail from Seth about how we are literally saving his life and lungs as he braves LA traffic. You're welcome!



Need more life saving tips? Try our blog at

Also don't forget to check out Ryan's debut on the iFanboy Pick of the Week podcast which came out this very Sunday. Enjoy!


Music from this week's show:

Direct download: Ep_78_Science..._sort_of_-_Fake_Stout.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:36pm EDT

00:00:00 – Ryan is riding shotgun with Justin Wood from New Orleans, Louisiana this week but Patrick and Charlie are in their usual places and are more than ready to talk about the dangers of biology research, mainly in the form of violent opposition to experimentation.


00:20:29 – What are we drinking? Charlie has gone coconuts while Patrick returns to a seasonal favorite. Justin and Ryan enjoy a charitable pilsner from Abita which is trying to help fisherman recover from the BP oil spill. You can learn more or help too by clicking here.


00:24:28 – Trailer Trash Talk this week is dedicated to justice, awkwardness and increasing Kevin Bacon's degree-ed-ness as the Paleopals break down Super.


00:34:10 – Pterosaurs had wings, but since skin doesn't usually preserve in the fossil record we don't know what those wings looked like.  A new paper breaks down the options and the Paleopals break that down further still. Here's a diagram from the paper that might aid in your understanding.


00:39:09 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like Mardis Gras, they're fun but hard to remember. Sam A. wants to know about mirror molecules, hopefully he didn't want quantum. Deep S. from Brazil has an Alaskan explanation. And finally Dana (sp?) wonders why no one cares about the elephant ethics of impregnation with mammoths. Patrick wants to know why nobody is trying to clone mastodons.


Music for this week's show:

Bullet with Butterfly Wings - Smashing Pumpkins

Coconut Skins - Damien Rice

Holding Out for a Hero - Bonnie Tyler

I’ll Fly Away - Gillian Welch

Direct download: Ep_77_Science..._sort_of_-_Terrorism_and_Pterosaurs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:08pm EDT

00:00:00 – Fungus and ants have a complex relationship, sometimes the ants are farming the fungus, other times the fungi are infecting the ants in the brain and reprogramming their behavior for their own nefarious needs. Tit for tat, right? The Paleopals bring on Kelly Weinersmith to talk cordyceps and other parasitic "pests" in our great weird world.


00:30:43 – After the horrors of infestation we all could use a good drink. Jacob tries to impress, Patrick has a present from the wife and Ryan talks about his own infected beer much to Patrick's envy.


00:38:39 - You know things are bad when LA is your only hope, but that's the situation in this week's Trailer Trash Talk where the guys are chatting Battle: Los Angeles

  • For those who are curious Brian Dunning did an episode of Skeptoid about the Battle of Los Angeles which is well worth your time once you're done with all the back episodes of Science... sort of.
  • Ryan, on the other hand, compares this movie to some comic he read called Irredeemable, where the Superman-esque character decides to take us out, and we all lose.


00:53:47 – The guys think because they're scientists they can figure out how a movie will do at the box office, their HSX league seems to show that not to be the case. However, there are a group of people who claim they can do just that given only scripts. Skepticism abounds.


01:18:53 – PaleoPOWs are a lot like the weather; hard to predict in advance. Jacob reads an iTunes review from Dr. RickLoftus (maybe one word?) which seems to be a prescription for enjoyment. Patrick brings us a missive from Guy D. who has created some really cool broken art of a Brachiolope vs. a Ninja on his Facebook page, if you want to see it you can try being friends with The Guy but there's always the Brachiolope Gallery or on his website Inside the Atheist Studio. Thanks, Guy! And finally Ryan reads a poem from Chris which you can either listen to or read yourself on the Paleocave blog!  


Music for this week's show:

Direct download: Ep_76_Science..._sort_of_-_Alien_Ant_Farm.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:49pm EDT

00:00:00 – According to a new article in The Economist, people used to think alchemy was awesome. Than chymists came along and acted all high and mighty with their beakers and their goggles! But were the alchemists really so wrong? A parable about the progress of science. (Just don't start think there's anything to homeopathy, ok? Literally sugar pills and water, people.)


00:19:32 – What are we drinking? Well even though it's the morning the Paleopals are packing heat (it's not really morning, we all have real jobs, y'know?). Patrick warms up with a pint of the black stuff. Charlie says some words in French. And Ryan reaches into the Dank Tank.


00:24:09 – Trailer Trash Talk this week deals with human enhancement, mental misinterpretations and wondering if anyone can ever achieve the level of functioning of Bradley Cooper all by discussing the trailer for Limitless


00:38:36 – In this week's installment of "Science Story-time" Patrick tells the tale of the evolvingpine cone in it's quest to hurt the throats of hungry hungry dinosaurs. This naturally leads to a discussion of other ecological ghosts in which Ryan promotes coprophagia and Charlie goes BANANAS!  Speaking of which, Charlie made some errors in his banana talk and sent in this correction:


I totally confused my words last night. The 'better' banana that is no longer mass produced due to blight is the Gros Michel not the Baba Ganoush. Baba Ganoush is eggplant hummus. WTF was I thinking. The Gros Michel's nicknames were Big Mike or Big Papa and Baba is kinda like baby talk for banana. But damn. Sorry for sounding stupid.



00:51:16 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like raindrops; they're shaped differently than most people think. Patrick tells us about the generosity of Wendy M. from Colorado, who chose to donate to the show! No joke, her contribution is literally keeping the lights on for this tiny podcast. We adore our donors. Charlie fields a voicemail from Tom in North Carolina (apparently it's the peak of good living?) about detected others places for good living using the peaks and troughs of stellar output. And lastly, Ryan reads an e-mail from Betsy about being annoyed at the media for shoddy science.


Thanks for listening! Check out the blog for more: Paleocave Blog. And make sure you don't buy the Sketpoid book. Can't stress that enough.


Ryan also did podcast with Jon & Shawn from the Nerd List (debating Spider-Man vs. Batman) and a Special Edition iFanboy show about the new DC animated feature All Star Superman. Enjoy!



Music in this week's show:

Gold To Me – Ben Harper

Push it to the Limit (Scarface) – Paul Engemann

Poison Tree – The Devil Makes Thre


Direct download: Ep_75_Science..._sort_of_-_Better_living_through_Chemistry.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:53am EDT