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 time for the annual Thanksgiving Science... sort of special! Each year the Paleopals pick an extra-long PaleoPOW and cover it in a little more detail than usual. Just like the pilgrims did.

00:00:00 - Charlie starts things off with an e-mail from Michal about our dismissal of Evolutionary Psychology. Maybe the PaleoPOWsevolved to think that it's just not up to snuff?

00:24:56 - Ben has a question from Liz about anti-gravity. He answers it with his usual aplomb, while artfully plugging his own new podcast: The Titanium Physicists!

00:34:09 - Since it wouldn't sound very good for the Paleopals to eat on air, they settle for some drinks instead. Ryandouble-fists cider post a Thanksgiving-meal pregame. Ben drinks water like a fish. Charlie goes on rant about the realities of tryptophan and post-holiday meal torpor. Patrick is having a very old (possibly fishy) pale ale. And Charlie jumps the holiday gun with some eggnog.

00:43:32 - Trailer Trash Talk follows it's Thanksgiving tradition by reviewing a weird fantasy movie. This year we're going with Snow White and the Huntsman. Will be it be the fairest film of them all? Probably not. And where the heck are thedwarves?

00:56:57 - Patrick has some hairy snail mail from Micah admonishing our dismissal of creationism. Rather than rant and rave, the guys try to legitimately address Micah's point. See? It's possible for disagreements to be civil!

01:15:27 -And finally Ryan has a voicemail from Caroline about the difference between regular and anti-bacterial soap. Ryan actually did some research for this one so hopefully his answer sounds good.

Thanks for listening, this week more so than usual! Check out our blog for our other annual tradition: Winter Solstice Gift Guides! Available at soon.

Music for this week's show:

Change Your Mind - The All-American Rejects

Defying Gravity - Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked

We Should Be Sleeping - Eddie Money

Heigh-Ho - The Seven Dwarves

Charlie Darwin - The Low Anthem

Direct download: Ep_114_Science..._sort_of_Giving_Thanks_II_The_Thankening.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:49pm EDT

00:00:00 - Jai Ranganthan joins Paleopals Charlie, Jacob, and Ryan to update everyone on the #SciFund Challenge. First and foremost, congrats to our own Kelly Weinersmith on being the very first project to get fully funded! Yay! But the Paleopals go one further and actually highlight a few projects that caught their eye.

Jacob was intrigued by the dolphin with the backwards fin, mostly because he lives near a beach and this was the closest to an engineer project he could find.

Charlie really liked the idea of domesticating bacteria to create petroleum products and other goodies suit our needs. If yeast can make beer, why can't bacteria make oil?

Ryan wants to use social networks and cell phones to help children in Tanzania get the vaccinations they need. It's ambitious, it's complicated, and it just might be crazy enough to work!

And finally, we have to give a shout out to the project that wants to investigate methods for artificially aging red wine. A very Science... sort of, kind of project.

After a bit of discussion the Paleopals decide on donating to a particular project LIVE ON AIR! We won't spoil the results, be we will provide a poll on the website for you to vote for your favorite. And be sure to head over to RocketHub to donate to a project your own self!

00:34:34 - Charlie tries his best to introduce the drinks segment. Jacob offends us all with his Smirinoff Ice (Raspberry and Lime flavor). Charlie's curiosity overrides the date leading him to try Sierra Nevada's holiday IPA. And Ryan needs an extra kick so he has a Hitachino Espresso Stout.

00:38:42 - Trailer Trash Talk is out to solve a mystery. Namely, the mystery of whether or not the movie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows will be any good. And their only clue is the trailer.

00:48:01 - Mind Myths abound in our culture and the BBC has posted a few of their favorites ripe for debunking. The Paleopals break down the myths and discuss just why these ideas about our brains have been so pervasive.

01:05:34 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like #SciFund projects. You never know if it's going to work until the last minute. Jacob congratulates TheFrenzyofTongs on finishing a 5k. Even better that he did so while listening to the show and posted about it our Facebook wall

Thanks for listening! Not that you don't have enough links already, but we don't a have a blog at


Music for this week's show:

Challengers - The New Pornographers

Iced Lightning - RJD2

Watching the Detectives - Elvis Costello

Where is my mind? - Pixies

Direct download: Ep_113_Science..._sort_of_-_Mo_Money_Mo_Science.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:15pm EDT

Brian Switek is fast becoming the arbiter of the special edition. This time Ryan and Brian sit down in person at the Paris Casino in Las Vegas to opine on the goings on of the 71st Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. They discuss some of the cool talks and posters they saw, the benefits of socializing science, and even the very reasons meetings like this exist. Enjoy!

And as always, be sure to follow Brian on Twitter (@Laelaps), subscribe to his blog, and buy his book, Written in Stone!

00:00:00 - The Paleopals are joined by Massimo Pigliucci, of Rationally Speaking, to talk about philosophy, science, and philosophy of science. This here is the bulk of the episode, so enjoy as Dr. Pigliucci waxes poetic about the deep inner workings of the scientific system we all hold so dear.

01:06:07 - After we say goodbye to Massimo (and his glass of chianti), we say hello to our own Birra Artiganale, peppermint tea, and Abita, respectively.

01:09:55 - It's time to get inspired and literate with this week's trailer, the German (i.e. not funny) film Young Goethe in Love.

01:19:25 - Ryan starts with a mole rat from James C. (available for viewing on the Art... sort of page!), Kelly has an e-mail about philosophy of science (how appropriate!) from David H., and Charlie follows up on the difference between his voice and Patrick's(with a startling revelation!)


Thanks for listening. Our blog may not be as rational as our guest's, but we do try:


Music for this week's show provided by:

Thinking Loudly - El Ten Eleven

Demons - Guster

Young, Dumb, and In Love - Mat Kearney

Direct download: Ep_112_Science..._sort_of_-_Philosophy..._sort_of.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:55pm EDT

00:00:00 - Ben begins the show this week talking about Jacob. Eventually Ryan and Patrick force him into talking about the agreed up topic: The 100 Year Starship symposium which took place recently in Orlando, FL. Which happens to be near Jacob. Big ideas about how to get off this tiny planet abound, and the Paleopals break down a few but encourage you to read up on the details yourself!

00:26:11 - What the Paleopals lack in rocketry they more than make for in 'jet fuel', if you know what I mean. Patrick celebrates with a Jubelale, Ben has a whole island of new juice opportunities, and Ryan pans a Las Vegas 2-for-1 bruised dry gin martini.

00:31:51 - Trailer Trash Talk this week feels better than ever as the guys break down the newest in the long-lived Greek war-epic genre: Immortals.

00:41:23 - New research suggests that saurpods (the dinos with the big long necks) may have migrated. Patrick and Ryan discuss isotopic particulars while Ben pesters about dinosaurian generalities.

00:59:43 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like Sauropods. At one point hard to miss, but now increasingly rare. Ben has an iTunes review from Ed Lolington. Ryan thanks Brian Switek for mentioning us at the SVP science communication meeting (more from Brian in a future show). And Patrick has both e-mail and loot from Elizabeth S. Thanks, Elizabeth!


Thanks for listening! Ben remixed his post from last week, and Juliana has another great exhibit write-up, both of which are available at!


Music this week provided by:

Ship of Fools - The Doors

Rock Island Line - Johnny Cash

Battleflag - Lo Fidelity Allstars

Movin' Right Along - Alkaline Trio

Direct download: Ep_111_Science..._sort_of_-_Land_of_the_Lost_in_Space.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:47pm EDT

00:00:00 - Jorge Cham, of PhD Comics, joins the Paleopals to discuss his comic, his time in academia, and the path he took to transition to full time artist.

00:27:27 - Scholastic achievement makes people thirsty. Thus the Paleopals imbibe. Patrick pulls out a rye beer he'd been saving. Ryan thinks his Sour Apple Saison is thematic. Kelly eschews alcohol for Italian sodas and rockets. While Charlie is back on the IPA wagon with Widmer Falconer.

00:33:48 - In a first for Trailer Trash Talk, we cover a film not just with our guest, but by our guest. Jorge Cham sticks around to talk about his new indie movie based on his very own comics: The PhD Movie. Potentially screening at a university near YOU!

00:52:22 - We 'end' the show with an extended PaleoPOW featuring questions regarding school from the Paleoposse! Kelly reads an e-mail Catherine asking how we each entered our respective fields. Ryan talks for too long. No one is surprised. Chad read an article in the NY Times about how we teach math in the US and wants to know what the Paleopals think. Ben's answer is available on the blog. And finally, Steve wants to know if the Paleopals are worried about over-specialization in science.

Thanks for listening, our blog has content which you can get at!

Music for this week's show:

Lessons Learned - Matt & Kim

The Season - Matt Costa

Dropping Out of School - Brad Sucks

Direct download: Ep_110_Science..._sort_of_-_Back_To_School.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:20pm EDT