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 seeing a twitter thread about a recent publication, Ryan invited Jesse Alston (@IntegratEcology) on the show to talk about that paper and his scientific journey. They met up in Laramie and started with the latter, which is this segment.

00:33:30 - A brief interlude wherein Ryan is joined by Joe to discuss beverages. Joe is having leftover apple juice, and Ryan is having a cocktail in a can that he gussied up with some fancy homemade ice.

00:42:05 - Since Ryan and Jesse were chatting at Coal Creek Tap in Laramie, they’re also having a drink. Ryan is having a Wyoming Toad Rye IPA, which prompts a discussion of a very rare montane amphibian. Jesse is having the Molly Blond Belgian Blonde, which seems to involve a dog. The rest of the segment is spent discussing Jesse et al.’s new paper which challenges some of the things we’ve talked about before regarding carnivore reintroduction and its knock-on effects. And be sure to check out Jesse’s podcast Field Surveys.

01:10:04 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like reintroducing a species, you never quite know if it’ll work out. After a quick reading of a twitter exchange with Kendal T., Joe reads an e-mail from Karl M. about the fraught topic of our increasing use of robots for war (Joe recommends the movie Good Kill for further exploration of the topic). We get to lighten things up a little with another e-mail from Zoe S. and also by granting a Patreon thesis to Patron Tom D. who has written a tome titled: Monitoring the sociological impacts of zombie reintroduction to the sustainability school walking routes for students of the New California Republic (NCR) via Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Thanks, Tom! If you need a good summer read, Ryan wrote a review of Underland for Science Magazine, which you can purchase via our Amazon Affiliate link.

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

Music credit: Lamb And Wolf - Poddington Bear

 

Direct download: 310_-_Ecosystem_Disservice.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:36pm EDT

00:00:00 - Ryan is joined by Utah State University journalism professor Matthew LaPlante (@mdlaplante), who teaches science graduate students how to communicate better all while doing #SciComm himself. They chat about Matthew's approach to helping scientists find the type of outreach that works best for them, amongst many other tangents.

00:23:53 - Impassioned conversation can lead to a powerful thirst, and this episode Ryan is staying hydrated with his trusty new water bottle. Get your own and show the dehydration haters who’s boss!

00:27:04 - The conversation continues. Matthew has a new book out, Superlative: The Biology of the Extremes, but instead he and Ryan mostly talk about his Utah Public Radio show UnDisciplined, which is also released as a podcast. Ryan was even on their April Science News Roundup which you can listen to now.

00:50:37 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like journalism; an important facet of society that we must protect. Ryan riding solo this episode so cranking through a few things like an e-mail from Julie S. harkening back to the long-forgotten episode 115 and a message from Bob M. about the more recent STEAM-focused episode 303. Worth noting that to celebrate the paperback edition of Soonish, The Weekly Weinersmith has returned with 10 new interviews for you to enjoy. Go check it out! And finally, a voicemail from Holly S. confirming that the voicemail line is indeed still active. Thanks for calling in, Holly!

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

Music credit: Comma - Blue Dot Sessions

Direct download: 309_-_AAAS_Part_II_Embrace_the_Undisciplined.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:30pm EDT

00:00:00 - Recorded live at the annual meeting of AAAS, Ryan is joined by Jason McDermott (@BioDataGanache) and Matteo Farinella (@matteofarinella), two comic creating scientists who ran a session titled: Scientists Who Draw Comics: The Double Life of Visual Science Communicators, which you know Ryan would be all about.

00:28:23 - Ryan’s wife Juliana joins him for a drink to break up the segments. They share an Astral Weeks by Right Proper Brewing in DC and its fine. For this episode, we also declare the drinks segment to be unofficially sponsored by James and his wonderful Isotope - The Comic Book Lounge.

00:33:26 - In the second half of Ryan’s conversation with Jason and Matteo they continue to talk about crafting comics centered around science. They’re both written about the topic before so you can read either or both pieces, Drawing Connections by Jason and Science Comics' Super Powers by Matteo. And if you want to support their work further, Jason does a webcomic called Red Pen/Black Pen and Matteo has been involved in a number of graphic novels you can buy via our affiliate link on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2VuiuJW 

00:52:58 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like comics; people think they outgrow them, but they’re wrong. We begin with Juli recommending a few comics like Wicked + Divine, Paper Girls, and some artsy European comics by Jean-Pierre Gibrat. Next, Ryan has an e-mail from former guest of the show Martín trying to reassure Ryan about getting trapped in a water bubble in space, as mentioned during a recent iFanboy appearance. And Ryan shows Juli some dinosaur and comic themed drawings sent in by Sheli H.

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

Music for this episode: Charcoal Lines - Blue Dot Sessions 

Direct download: 308_-_AAAS_Part_I_Draw_It_Out.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:25pm EDT

00:00:00 - This episode we’re thrilled to be joined by comedian Shane Mauss (@shanecomedy), currently touring his Stand Up Science show around the county and happy enough to sit down and chat with Ryan about it. In the first segment they talk about the way Shane thinks about comedy mathematically, growing up, and sloth poop because Ryan can’t help himself.

00:21:59 - Patrick and Charlie stop by to have a drink. Charlie is being refreshed by a Starbucks Refresher whereas Patrick is powering through some Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve in his quest to find a Scotch whisky he likes. Ryan tests out a Bittermilk No. 1 Handcrafted Cocktail Mixer which is… fine.

00:28:18 - In part two of our conversation with Shane we talk about what it’s like to do comedy about evolution in rural parts of the US and what scientists can learn from comedians about getting a message out to a sometimes hostile audience. You can hear the rest of their conversation on the “Sloths + Fossils” episode of Shane’s Here We Are podcast out now! Shane is touring with his comedy and has a new documentary out on streaming, Pyschonautics. Check it all out!

00:55:05 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like comedy; laughable. Ryan has an e-mail from Jon O. who appreciates the careful distinction between Creationists and other Christians. Patrick has an e-mail from a less irate Graeme N. about naked apes and potential shared beers. Charlie opines on molten salt reactors for Patron Matt R. who also doesn’t want a BSso thesis and since we can’t force a degree on someone that’ll just have to be that. Let us know if you’re ever read to submit and wrap up, Matt but for now: [file not found, degree requirements incomplete, BSso not awarded]. Charlie also wants folks to know that his department has a new degree if they’re thinking about going to school and not sure what to study. Ryan recently appeared on the UnDisciplined podcast for their April Science News Roundup and the Retro Movie Roundtable to discuss Disney’s live action early 90s The Three Musketeers. Plus he was featured in a AAAS piece about volunteering at his local high school. And to top it all off, Ryan and Abe are doing the first ever Patreon hangout this Sunday (May 5th) from 7—8PM EDT. If you’re a patron, we hope to see you there!

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

Music for this episode: Good Times - Poddington Bear

Direct download: 307_-_Laughing_all_the_way_to_the_lab.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:34am EDT

00:00:00 - Thanks to the wonders of isotopic geochemistry, scientists have a found a link between the genocide of the native peoples of the Americas and a carbon drawdown that temporarily cooled global temperatures (Open access paper here: Koch et al. 2019). Doesn’t seem like a great option for thwarting climate change, but good to know regardless.

00:21:45 - Ben wanted something interesting and managed to find Grace Brand Peanut Punch, which he loves. Patrick returns to his roots with a little Gentleman Jack, which gives Ryan a chance to expound on bourbon vs. TN whiskey. Yay. Ryan is also in need of some True Respite, which happens to be the name of the brewery that made the beer Alpin Haus, which he is enjoying.

00:30:08 - For decades there have been concerns about growing human populations, but a recent book, Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline, explores the idea that as the developing world continues to develop population growth might stall or even reverse. What happens if we actually run out of people? Many sci-fi scenarios and references are discussed.

00:50:52 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like population trends, they both require a minimum replacement rate to be stable. First, we have a BSso thesis to confer to Patron Bradley S. who has done the work and submitted: It’s the end of the world as we know, but do you feel fine? Meta-analysis of happiness indices regarding impending climate-mediated anti-Malthusian events. Thanks, Bradley! Next, Ben has an update from Drake H. on his (slightly erroneous) claims regarding coyote pack dynamics and the role of carnivore conservation and hunting. Last, Kyle W. wants to know what’s up with t-shirts and other merch? Listen in and find out!

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

P.S. We didn’t realize when we picked this theme that it was already the title of a book. If you’re interested in that you can get the book here: The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

Music for this episode: Sage the Hunter - Blue Dot Sessions

Direct download: 306_-_The_World_Without_Us.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:15pm EDT

00:00:00 - In our final AGU episode, Abe and Ryan host a roundtable discussion with some of the researchers who took the train from Scripps Oceanographic Institute (@scripps_ocean) in San Diego all the way to DC as part of their #trAinGU initiative that they've been doing for several years now. You may have gotten a glimpse of this chat if you follow us or Scripps on twitter. In no particular order we chatted with:  Wesley Neely (@SIOHydrogeodesy), Adrian Doran, Dara Goldberg (@dara_berg_), and Margaret Lindeman (@maaahge).

We begin with their science, each of there abstracts can be read here (they're in the same order as listed above):

00:37:40 - Joe enjoys another drink from his local poke place, this time a ume juice drink. Ryan and Abe are sharing a Partner Ship collaboration beer from Heavy Seas and Maine Brewing Co., who contribute a portion of the proceeds to the Clean Water Fund, and that seems like a no brainer as a good thing.

00:43:50- And then we talk about why taking the train to scientific meetings can send an important message about how we each manage our own personal carbon footprint as well as how much fun a multi-day train trip sounds. You can see tweets from past trips and follow along the next time they embark with the hashtag #trAinGU.

01:02:07 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like train journeys, they’re best when they stay on the rails. We begin with the immense pleasure of grating a BSSO, this time to Patron Leah A. The title of her thesis is: Testing the efficacy of supersonic nuclear-powered mag-lev trains as high-capacity rapid evacuation vectors during massive tectonic events: derailing the strike-slip damage of the San Andreas. Thanks, Leah! Next, Abe has an e-mail from IRL friend of the show Morgan Marshall, who has questions about a certain city-wide destruction movie starring Dwayne Johnson, which doesn’t narrow things down as much as one might think. And Joe reads an impromptu tweet about the show from artist Kat MacDonald (@macdokat) which just gives us all the warm and fuzzies. Finally, a brief reminder that the back catalog of Joe’s show Technically Speaking is still available on Soundcloud here.

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

Music credit: Take a Tiny Train - Blue Dot Sessions

Direct download: 305_-_AGU_Part_V_How_To_Train_Your_Science.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:02pm EDT

00:00:00 - Dr. Heather Ford (@hl_ford), who was featured alongside a certain Paleopal for National Fossil Day, meets up with Ryan at Atlas Brew Works with her pup Sammy to talk about her work as a paleocenagropher, which apparently involves shooting lasers at tiny fossils to take the ocean’s temperatures.

00:28:18 - Since they’re already at a brewery, why not have a drink? Heather has the Blood Orange Gose and Ryan is having the Coffee Common, both from Atlas Brew Works, obviously. And thanks to the folks at the brewery for letting us record there!

00:31:45 - Back in the studio for drinks round two! Charlie’s up first with some more Ito En unsweetened green tea to get that sweet sweet caffeinated buzz. Patrick is trying to confront past demons with some Bruichladdich Classic Laddie Scotch whisky. And Ryan mixes up an artichoke manhattan by adding in a little Cynar.

00:39:52 - In part two of our conversation with Heather, we chat about her work examining gender and racial equity in speaking opportunities at meetings such as AGU. Get a peak behind the scenes of how big meetings are organized, some thoughts on what allies can do to pull their weight more, and advice to young folks just getting started in their scientific careers.

01:11:09 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like the ocean, they say they have no memory. First up, longtime listener Edward A. has completed the requirements for a BSso in part with a thesis titled: Foremost ramifications: Sexual dimorphism in metabolic processing of ethanol versus caffeine in Scottish foraminifera. Thanks for supporting the show, Edward! Next up, Frank O. has done a deep dive into some old episodes of ours and has thoughts. This leads to a discussion of whether or not it’s worth debating science with deniers (related: Ryan’s episode for Skeptoid countering some common and less common creationist claims). We end with an e-mail from Aleesa S. who follows up on our publishing discussion in episode 295 with a thought about the publish-or-perish paradigm and the role scientific societies might play in the future of publishing.

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

Music credit:
Drop of Water In The Ocean - Broke For Free

Direct download: 304_-_AGU_Part_IV_To_see_an_Ocean_in_a_grain_of_a_foram.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:44pm EDT

00:00:00 - Jill Shipman and Brandon Gellis join us to talk about their AGU eLightning session titled Art and Science: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Data Exploration and Communication. We talk about this novel presentation format, one of the featured talks, and Jill’s collaboration to make music using infrasonic recordings from a volcano (which serves as the featured music for this episode!).

00:30:53 - One thing that can make folks more musical is a drink, so let’s have one! Kelly classes up the joint with a Cabernet Sauvignon from J. Lohr. Ryan, inspired by Backwards Distilling in Wyoming, attempts a Rum & Coke Old Fashioned with Mexican Coke syrup and Doctor Bird rum. It’s all a bit much. Joe doesn’t know the implications of his Faygo Rock & Rye, but Ryan has some ideas about rock candy whiskey and juggalos.

00:41:59 - We start the second segment chatting about Brandon’s work using drones with scientific sensors to make art, and about the deeper connections of what it means to be an artist that focuses on using the cutting edge of technology to push the boundaries of art. Find out more and Jill and Brandon’s projects are their websites, http://www.brandongellis.com/ and http://jillshipman.com/, respectively.

00:59:05 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like volcanoes; they occasionally decide to shake things up. We shake things up this episode by not doing our normal order of things. Kelly starts off with a kind comment from Patreon supporter J. Crichton, an individual with obvious great taste. Next, Joe has an email from Steve O. about how we would build a multi-generational starship to colonize new worlds. We get into it. If you’re interested in some good fiction on the topic, check out Seveneves and The Expanse series. And if you’re interested in how emerging technologies might make these sorts of trips possible, check out Kelly’s book Soonish, which comes out in paperback, wait for it, soon. Finally, we turn our attention to Patron Bradley S., who has earned a BSso with his thesis: All Aboard: Multi-generational transitions from mutualism to parasitism in a space-faring human meta-micro-biome: There and not back again. See ya when you get back, Brad, and thanks! Kelly is working hard on some upcoming BAHFest shows, so get your tickets soon, Joe is looking for volunteers for upcoming Baja SAE events, and Ryan has recently been on iFanboy, so check all that out while you wait for another episode from us!

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

Music for this episode:
Pele’s Fury - Trevor Adams

Direct download: 303_-_AGU_Part_III_Erupting_with_Creativity.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:27pm EDT

00:00:00 - In part two of our AGU shows we begin with dunes! Ryan chats with Tom Ashley (@ThomasCAshley) and Rob Mahon (@RobertCMahon) about their work looking at how dunes form and move in a variety of conditions on, and off, Earth! And students, Robert is looking for grad students, so check out his website if you’re interested. The topic reminds Charlie of this old book a guy wrote about dunes because he was bored at war.

00:37:44 - All this talk of particle hops gives one a powerful thirst. Patrick returns to an old favorite to see if he still like it and it’s Port! It’s sweet, but which definition of that word you use is up to you. Charlie is in his office so pops the tab on a Tangerine La Croix. Fancy. Ryan keeps it cryptic with a Skrrt! Skrrt! from Braven Brewing Company and their potentially Brachiolope inspired logo.

00:45:46 - Next up, Mike O’Connor tells us about his work poking holes in the ground in the Arctic Circle and what that might mean for future carbon emissions. Plus, Mike spent some time on the policy side of science and tells us about his experience working with lawmakers and how scientists can be better lobbyists for our cause.

01:16:13 -PaleoPOWs are a lot like congress; constantly needing to be reminded what to do. Brachiolope artist and patron supporter Sonya A. has earned herself a thesis. After some deliberation, we land on: The aeolian effects of sandy and tundra environments on the sexual dimorphism of the nares of Brachiolope podcastensis: Implications for sexual selection and mating vocalization across climatic extremes. Our first thesis featuring a Brachiolope, congrats, Sonya! Next up, Charlie reads an e-mail from Tom S. letting us know an important fact about Blade Runner, which leads to a brief discussion of the original and sequel films. Finally, Chen R. L. wants Ryan to finally learn Git and/or GitHub, and provides a video with some instructions. Nice try, Chen.

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

Music for this episode:

Direct download: 302_-_AGU_Part_II_Dune_or_dune_not_there_is_no_dry_ice.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:14pm EDT

00:00:00 - Photographer, filmmaker, and lapsed geomorphologist James Balog (@james_balog) joins Ryan and Abe to talk about his new film The Human Element, which screened at AGU and is available to stream now! After quizzing him about his Masters’ research, we spend some time learning about the inspiration for his new film and the challenges that come with trying to tell the stories of real people affected by climate change.

00:39:54 - A spicy, salty, bubbly, beverage would incorporate all four elements, but would you drink it? Joe goes the sour route with a Choya Yuzu place, to make up for Ben recent lack of Asian beverages. Thanks for stepping up, Joe. Ryan and Abe are sharing a crowler of Creek Life (Denali) from Attaboy Beer picked up during a recent PA/MD adventure.

00:47:25 - Because Ryan is bad at saying no to things, he wound up running a podcasting workshop at AGU with Abe and Jackson Watkins (@ProbablyJackson) of the Humanizing Science podcast. Ryan chatted with Jackson briefly prior to the workshop at the meeting, then he and Abe talk a bit about the aftermath of teaching scientists to podcast.

01:04:20 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like humans, messy but loveable. First up, Joe asks us to come up with a thesis for former freeloading but now Patron Tommy M. Based on a supposed love of plants, Tommy’s thesis is: Freeloading in the plant word: Anthropogenic carbon surplus pushes vegetation to the extremes… are we heading from Anthropocene to a new Plantacene? Thanks for supporting the show, Tommy! Abe is up next with an e-mail about Czech pronunciation (as developed by Jan Hus) from our old friend Robert Š. Did we get it right? Who knows! (Robert, that’s who.) Finally, Ryan gets corrected by Will S. regarding stream law! That’s right, you now know your legal rights regarding naturally-occurring rivulets of water. Enjoy!

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

Music for this episode:

Direct download: 301_-_AGU_Part_I_The_Fifth_Element.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:10pm EDT

00:00:00 - To celebrate our 300th episode and make up for skipping Thanksgiving this year we’re doing an all feedback segment! Patrick starts off with an e-mail from Stephen H. who has spotted a potential relative of the Brachiolope (see below) and wants our take on its potential evolutionary pathway. Ryan comes next with an e-mail from Prof. Ken C. trying to help settle a long-standing debate about the appropriate prefix for supervillains versus superheroes. Charlie follows up on the pigeonhole debate with many facts from potential etymologist Ascii Aardvark, even if Charlie can’t remember why said facts are relevant. And finally, Abe prefers Icelandic to Spanish when it comes to describing the ice features found on Europa as reported by Emma G. Thanks, everyone!

00:41:54 - Drinks are better with friends, and thankfully we have some. Patrick keeps it popular with a gin and tonic, hailing back to the early days of the show without even realizing it, made using Explorer’s Gin and Fever Tree tonic. Lime type remains unspecified. Charlie has Ito En Oi Ocha green tea from Japan to help him keep his wits about him. Ryan reflects that with a Mirror Mirror that’s been aging since before the show began, no joke. And Abe relies on some Rocket Science to get him through to the next segment.

00:50:05 - Abe surprises the others with a round of SCIENCE… IN… JEOPARDY!! Patrick, Charlie, and Ryan face off against each other in a game designed for 5th graders (play along here). Who will prevail? You’ll have to listen to find out…

01:33:02 - No need for a traditional PaleoPOW segment this week since we covered it at the beginning of the show, instead Ryan has a quick conversation with Tim Dobbs, audio engineer and host of Encyclopedia Brunch, about his history with the show and various other nonsense, as well as asking the others what the show means to them and ending everything with a melodious (or cacophonous) “sort of” chorus submitted by y’all.

Thanks to everyone who sent in their “sort ofs” for the chorus, you helped make a milestone extra special!

Music for this episode:
Cold Forgiver - Ha Ha Tonka
Trick Mirror - The Mountain Goats
I Lost On Jeopardy - Weird Al Yankovic

Direct download: 300_-_This..._is..._SCIENCE.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:48pm EDT

00:00:00 - This episode we’re joined by Sarah McAnulty (@SarahMackAttack), a Ph.D. candidate studying the immune system of the bobtail squid, which is delightfully cute and glows in the dark to avoid detection. You can see some of her research in action in this video: Bobtails + Bacteria = BFF. Finally, according to Sarah and Alton Brown, EAT ALL THE SQUIDS THAT YOU CAN, THE OCEAN DEPENDS ON IT.

00:24:15 - Squids live in the drink and Abe stops by for one. He’s enjoying, as best he can, a Native Species from Blue Mountain Brewery. Ryan thinks the call is coming from inside the house with his Inside Job IPA from Henhouse Brewing, which is mercifully west coast in styling.

00:29:20 - We’re back with Sarah chatting about her ongoing outreach effort, Skype a Scientist, which works to connect researchers with classrooms and other venues that want to have a conversation with a real live scientist. Ryan is a participant and a big fan. If you or someone you know could be a participant on either side of the equation, consider signing up! You can also support the project on Patreon.

00:53:23 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like squids, or are they? First up, Tyler D. is deserving of a Patreon thesis, and based on some assumptions of his location and interests, he gets: Potential pharmacological effects of Cephalopod spaghettification in the preparation of Cincinnati-style chili: do oodles of noodles decrease oodles of squids in the world’s oceans? Thanks, Tyler! Next, Gary K. went to GSA 2018 and sent us some notes, which prompts a brief discussion of conference attendance strategies.

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

Music for this episode:

Direct download: 299_-_Phone_a_Friend.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:11am EDT

00:00:00 - A quick intro to let everyone know that this episode features an interview with former guest of the show (episode 97) Dr. Nick Pyenson recorded live at Room 11 in D.C. Thanks for Room 11 for having us!

00:01:49 - Nick Pyenson joins us to talk about his new book Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures with illustrations by Alex Boersma. A free-wheeling discussion ensues over a couple of burnt sugar old-fashioned cocktails. We talk a lot about whales and their portrayal in the book, but also mention some other things to check out which you can find here:

You can follow Nick and his future adventures online via Twitter (@PyensonLab) and Instagram (@pyensonlab)

01:12:59 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like new year celebrations, noisy but with a sense of finality. This week we thank Ian C. for his time as a recurring donor to the show. Thanks, Ian! Here’s to another year of science with all you lovely people.

More cool rewards await you if you decide to support us on our Patreon!

Music for this episode:

Direct download: 298_-_The_Whale_Identity.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:14pm EDT