Science... sort of (podcasts)
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 - Kelly and Ryan are joined by author Carl Zimmer to discuss his latest book: She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity

00:24:28 - In which Kelly and Ryan take a quick coffee break, even if Kelly goes decaf

00:28:17 - Part two of our chat with Carl. If you simply must have more then you should definitely just get the book. You can find more books on Carl's website and follow him on Twitter @carlzimmer.

00:49:46 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like inherited traits, you think you can predict them, but it can always go wrong. First up, Patron Stu P. (AKA Stoop) gets a BSso thesis with the title: Growing a funny bone: how babies cells modify a mother’s laugh. Thanks, Stu! We also must thank modernarts for their recent 5-star iTunes review pushing us back up the charts!

Bonus fact: the tongue-twister inspired by a paleontologist

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

Music for this week's show:
Sons & Daughters - The Decemberists
Cup of Coffee - Johnny Cash
My Father's Eyes - Eric Clapton

Direct download: 284_-_Pay_It_Forward.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:08pm EDT

00:00:00 - We're starting off this episode with a bit of news about the ongoing Kīlauea eruption in Hawaii. Abe explains the basics of what's happening and if you want updates you can read the USGS reports on the situation and follow their topical @USGSVolcanoes Twitter account. But for our actual first subject we're talking about hitting asteroids with HAMMERs because if they're coming for us, we better be ready. Joe tells us about the current state of our asteroid defense (HINT: not great) as well as some things we could do to beef up our meager defenses against an assured eventual threat.

00:26:19 - Nothing like existential terror to make on want a drink. Joe keeps it soft but bilingual with a Johnnie Ryan's Black Cherry Soda, and like most cherry sodas, he enjoys it. Abe blinds himself and finds out that he's enjoying a Stone Xocoveza, a hard one to guess even in the best of circumstances. And Ryan is having a Black Flag Mambo Sauce, which fortunately does not taste like actual mambo sauce because that would be weird.

00:33:56 - Predicting when volcanoes will go off is hard, we've covered that much before. But a new technique is aiming to make it just a little bit easier. Abe discusses the new idea, how it could help, and some of the continued hurdles that come up when trying to understand what's happening under our feet. 

00:58:17 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like asteroid impacts, you know they're coming and they may hurt. First up, Patreon supporter Rich B. has completed his coursework and written a thesis titled: Love taps: Using bulk impactors to induce hammer shock for mapping crustal magma pathways in active volcanic edifices. Thanks, Rich! Next, Frank has sent in a story about old beer. Ryan has an update, and he and Abe disagree about whether this is a beer worth sampling. Finally, Joe has a voicemail from Jonathan in Illinois about the future of internal combustion engines. Joe is a big supporter of electric, and suggests you find out how your own vehicle stacks up here: How Clean is Your Electric Vehicle? You can call in and give us your results at 312-PALEOPALS (312-725-2672).

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

Music of this week's show:
No Hammer To Hold - The Milk Carton Kids
Cherry Cola - Eagles of Death Metal 
Warning - Green Day

Direct download: 283_-_Definitely_Maybe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:16pm EDT

00:00:00 - We're doing another Anchor-themed clip show! Following up on episode 266, we have another round of short audio clips that Ryan created for the podcast startup Anchor under the banner of Organized Curiosity (explanation of the name here). Enjoy!

00:02:02 - Bio bios: Magnificent frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)
00:07:12 - News: Bobcats are back! (in New Hampshire)
00:09:56 - Bio bios: Stag beetle (Lucanus cervus)
00:13:51 - Better know a root: iso-
00:16:35 - News: Turkeys circling goes viral
00:19:13 - Bio bios: Common mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)
00:23:28 - Better know a root: gyno-
00:26:55 - News: New continent found in the Pacific
00:30:40 - Bio bios: African civet (Civettictis civetta)
00:35:07 - News: Head of EPA says CO2 doesn't affect climate
00:40:19 - Q&A: How to read a scientific paper? (Two-parter! No link because it's all me, BABY!)
00:49:07 - Pi Day! What is pi?
00:53:00 - Pi Day! The history of a number

00:56:41 - PaleoPOWs are sort of like the opposite of anchors; they lift you up. This week we're trying to climb our way back to a 5-star iTunes rating, so Ryan reads a few recent reviews that are helping us get there. Thanks to jeffluckclub, Nd power, Willcrimson, Kittie396, and Steven767 for taking a moment to help us out!

Song for this week's show:
XXV - Broke For Free

Direct download: 282_-_Anchors_Away_Part_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:11pm EDT

00:00:00 - Abe, Joe, and Ryan are joined by volcanologist Jess Phoenix, who is stepping away from science to run for Congress in California's 25th district. In our first segment, we talk about how she got started in science with a strong outreach focus to help prepare the next generation of field scientists in her community with her organization Blueprint Earth.

00:28:42 - We take a break from trying to help to have a beverage. Abe tells the tale of Shackleton's failed Antarctic expedition that eventually led to some recovered Scotch whisky that has been recreated at a more affordable price point, which he enjoys with a little ice (probably not Antarctic ice though). You can read about the expedition in the graphic novel Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey. Joe struggles his way through some wax to open his Indian Wells Brewing Co. Death Valley Black Cherry Soda, which he says is really good. Ryan makes a Drunk Uncle cocktail with some common (read: uncommon) ingredients using the same Scotch that Abe has. It's almost like they planned it!

00:40:16 - In part two of our chat with Jess, we talk about her decision to transition into the political realm and how she feels her scientific worldview shapes her position on various policies. Plus what lessons scientists can learn from Jess' experiences out on the campaign trail. If you want to learn more or are interested in donating or volunteering to her campaign, you can do so at her website, and follow along on Twitter and Facebook.* 

01:04:56 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like campaign promises, we hope you believe them but understand if you don't. First up, we have a BSso to grant to patron Morgan Marshall, who writes in to tell us how excited he was to hear about research happening in his own backyard on a recent episode. His thesis title is: The effect of free coffee of observations of Fata Morgana within Fata Morgana in the Desolation Wilderness, CA. Thanks, M^2! Next up, Abe has an e-mail from Les I. in Canada who comes up with a Brachiolope Brew Pack. Help us out, home-brewers! Finally, Joe has a 5-star iTunes review from BoilerUp75 which is great even if the title throws a bit of a curveball. 

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

Music for this week's show:
Blueprint for a Slow Machine - 65daysofstatic
I Will Go Sailing No More - Randy Newman
Run Run Run - Phoenix

*But of course we have to point out that none of us live in her district so we can't vote for her nor should our interview be considered an explicit endorsement of her campaign. You know the drill.

Direct download: 281_-_Poli_Sci..._sort_of.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:51pm EDT

00:00:00 - Ben and Ryan are joined by Ben's actual friend Miya Warrington. Miya studies the behavioral ecology of animal communication, which we spend the first segment discussing the generalities of the research and why this type of research is important. You can learn more about her research at her website or by checking out the comic Jorge Chan did about her work in Ph.D. Comics

00:44:24 - Talking about talking is thirsty work, so Ben and Ryan enjoy a drink. Ben has a Thai basil soda from Portland that doesn't sound all that great, but Ryan really enjoys his Two Claw Rye IPA which, of course, leads to a discussion about crabbing. 

00:59:27 - For the second part of our chat with Miya, we discuss her recently published paper about how noisy equipment in the grasslands of Canada changes how birds are able to talk to each other, and what conservation implications this might have for the future. Important stuff! You can follow along with Miya on Twitter @miya_warrington

01:15:19 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like diesel-powered oil pumps, they don't inherently seem to make sense. First up is a thesis for Patreon supporter Alex K., which Ben absolutely nails on the first try with Descalate the alarms: A silencing method for counter-measuring early rising chirpers. Great job, Ben and congrats Alex on your BSso degree! Next, Ben and Ryan discuss an e-mail from Harper with a link to an article about a guy trying to predict the origin of life using entropy, which is a fun thing for a physicist and a paleontologist to discuss.

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

Music for this week's show:
Bird Problems - Limbeck
Crabbuckit - K-OS
Bird On The Wire - Leonard Cohen

Direct download: 280_-_Chatting_with_Chirpers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:35pm EDT

00:00:00 - Patrick and Ryan are joined by Justin "The Yeti" Yeakel who has a new paper in Nature Communications about a model he and his co-authors have developed about starvation and body size in mammals, turns out, bigger is generally better. The interview was conducted during Justin's commute, so the connection comes and goes, but it's always good to catch up with one of the originals. You can follow Justin on Twitter (@jdyeakel) and check out his lab's website here. And if you want to read more about big ideas in ecology, check out James Brown's seminal book Macroecology.

00:44:56 - Saying goodbye to Justin is so upsetting we need a drink. But first, Justin (safely off the road) sends us a quick audio update with a drink of his own, the Go West! IPA from Anchor Brewing Company. Next up, Patrick runs with the big dogs and enjoys a 9% collaboration Brown IPA from Heavy Seas and Stone, but Ryan one-ups him per usual with a 10% Higher Ground from Franklin's. You can't win, Patrick, he has the high ground.

00:52:12 - For our second segment, Ryan chats with Dr. Eloise Marais from the University of Birmingham about her idea to use the GPS in a smartphone to dynamically track a person's exposure to air pollution. The first attempt had some interesting hiccups but shows promise. You can read the abstract from her AGU talk here, and check out Eloise's lab website here.

01:25:22 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like air pollution; you can't avoid it no matter how far you run. First up, we are thrilled to have Jeff C. on board as a patron, and he lets us know a little about his story with geology, including some unfortunate discrimination. Sorry to hear about that, but glad you found a better place still in STEM. Jeff also get's a thesis, which in this case is: Hothouse techniques to develop ideal allometric size-constrained pollution resistant Coffea arabica beans: Hothouses for cold beans. Thanks again, Jeff! Next, Cliff E. wanted us to know about the Mammal March Madness based on an NPR article he read, spearheaded by Prof. Katie Hinde and an all-around swell idea! Patrick's geochemistry students are getting ready to produce some podcasts, you can listen to the last class' episodes on Soundcloud here. And Ryan is giving a talk at the Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers in Roanoke, VA as part of the Science Museum of Western Virginia's STEM Tavern series on April 11th, so come on by if you're in the area!

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

Music for this week's show:
One Call Away - Charlie Puth
Higher - Creed
No Particular Place To Go - Chuck Berry

Direct download: 279_-_On_the_Move_for_Science.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:42pm EDT

00:00:00 - This episode Ryan is joined by four (4!) guests to talk about their paper published in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics about whether or not humans are to blame for the extinction of Caribbean mammals. What did they discover? You can read a summary of the work written by co-author Alexis Mychajliw here and then listen to find out even more!

00:31:08 - Island life goes better with a drink. Doing the show all these years means there are occasionally bottles with a very small amount of left in them being "saved for the show." This week, Ryan downs the final two ounces out of a batch 1 bottle of Barrell Bourbon, a very good overproof whiskey, if you like that sort of thing. 

00:33:12 - Part two of Ryan's chat covers how a multi-first author collaboration even works, as well as what we can expect to see from their team next. We also discuss the recent hurricanes in the region, and what that means for both the people and for the science. You can help out by donating to Puerto Rican scientists and contributing to crowd-sourced projects to better understand hurricanes like this one. Follow along with each of the interviewees using these handy links!

Aleix Mychajliw: Website and Twitter
Siobáhn Cooke: Website and Twitter
Liliana M. Dávalos: Lab website and Facebook
Nate Upham: Website and Twitter

01:05:18 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like localized extinctions: entirely avoidable but sometimes inevitable. This week we're keeping it short with a simple thanks to Lisa K. for her recurring donation. Thanks, Lisa! No thesis this week since Ryan is solo, but if you want your own thesis title, head on over to Patreon and sign up for the Avogadro's Army level or higher.

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

Music for this week's show:
Main Title from "LOST" - Michael Giacchino
Buttons - The Weeks
Barrel of a Gun - Guster
Change the World (Lost Ones) - Anberlin

Direct download: 278_-_LOST.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

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: 4:59pm EDT

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: 2:21pm EDT

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: 12:49am EDT