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Science link fest for the week of the 27th

Hello Paleoposse! This week I bring you Egyptians and iron meteorites, Neil deGrasse Tyson as the Carl Sagan of our generation and a mild rant about poor quality science reporting. I’m off to enjoy my 30th birthday. Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Solid science:

  • Here’s a story that’s near and dear to my heart: the first use of iron in Egyptian history came from a meteorite. I really love this article as it’s the perfect combination of science and history and it’s written (mostly) free of jargon. And it’s free through Meteoritics and Planetary Science
  • Continuing with the news on space stuff, this article from Scientific American talks about Comet ISON and how studying it can yield clues about the formation of our solar system.
  • One of my favorite geologists, and personal friend, Dana Hunter, has a great story about the glacier-sculpted geology of Discovery Park in Seattle. She focuses mostly on the South Bluff, which is this thick with layers of mud and sand that record the formation of the Sound. And there’s a picture of the back of my head from my last trip when she gave a tour of the area.

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Your science links for the week of July 19th

Howdy paleoposse! Here are this weeks sciency links for your weekend reading pleasure.  This weeks links cover gold producing neutron stars, the boredom of travelling to Mars, some words of inspiration from Richard Feynman, and Comic-Con 2013.

Things that are science:


Science link goodness for the week of July 12th

Hello paleoposse! This week I bring you some of my favorite science articles from around the internet. In keeping with the podcast theme, I’ve divided it up into things that are science, things that are sort of science, and things that wish they were science. This week we cover everything from chondrules to volcanoes to the science of the Flash and even a crazy preacher.

Things that are science…

  • One of the more enduring controversies in meteoritics is how the rounded silicate inclusions in chondrites, chondrules, were produced. Some have argued that they condensed from the early solar nebula, while others contend that they originated from the guts of the earliest exploded planetesimals. The latter explanation is gaining momentum.
  • Slate has an excellent article on why testicles are kept in such a vulnerable position on most mammals.
  • National Geographic brings us some gorgeous photos of the Mexican volcano, Popocatepetl.
  • This article from BBC News looks at the science of pessimism and how one can become an optimist. Take some of it with a grain of salt, but still a fun read.
  • Astronomers are working to figure out the origin of radio bursts that occur nearly every second every day. Some proposed ideas are evaporating black holes (my personal favorite) or black holes devouring neutron stars.
  • Forget the Six Million Dollar Man. Bring on the new super food, the five million dollar broccoli! 

Things that are sort of science…

And things that wish they were science…

  • In keeping with the “things that wish they were science” theme, io9 has a post about a preacher that’s convinced the new Star Trek movie will lead humans to really love their animals.

A few of my favorite moments from LPSC 2013

(Note: this was initially posted on my other blog at Glacial Till, but there were some good bits of information that I wanted to share with the Paleoposse.)

Last week I attended my first science conference: The Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, TX. If you followed me on Twitter, then (for better or for worse) you also knew that I was one of about 40 people microblogging the conference. There was a lot of great science to cover and it was fun trying to distill that information into 140 character limit. I got to present a poster on the shock dike that I’ve been working on for over a year now and I received good feedback on the research. I also met a lot of great people, some of whom will be potential collaborators in research and outreach projects.

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Of Meteorites and Men

What I lack in looks in make up for in sarcasm. And yes, I do wear bowties frequently.

Yes, I do wear bowties frequently.

Hello Paleoposse! My name is Ryan Brown and I’m one of the newest victims bloggers here at the Paleocave. I made an appearance on Episode 134 where I talked a bit about meteorites and the asteroid mining company, Planetary Resources. I blog over at Glacial Till where, confusingly enough, I do not actually talk about glaciers. Most of my blogging centers around meteorites, planetary science, and some geology. I have no plans on abandoning my own blog, so keep your eyes open for cross-posts between the two sites.

A little about myself: I’m an undergrad in my senior year at Portland State University where I’m majoring in Earth Science with a minor in Space and Planetary Science. While keeping up with my normal classes, I can also be found doing independent research at the Cascadia Meteorite Lab on campus. I’ve been there since I was a freshman learning about the wild world of meteorites and it’s finally culminating in two co-authored papers (one that’s in peer review and the other being written) and a rather unhealthy addiction to space rocks and caffeine. And somewhere in all that, I’ve managed to squeeze in time to lead the skeptic group on campus.

So, why meteorites? What makes this relatively niche science so fascinating? In short, meteorites are the left over building blocks of the solar system. They are to meteoriticists (a person that studies meteorites) what fossils are to paleontologists. They allow us to understand how planets formed and evolved out of the great chemical cloud that swirled around the young protosun 4.5 billion years ago.

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