Archive | Ryan’s Ramblings

He rambles… like JUSTICE!

Your 2014 Winter Solstice Gift Guide!

Celebrating our few available hours of daylight

The days are short, the nights are long, the only solace we can take from the coming cold and darkness is to give each other gifts. If you’re a nerd like us maybe you want those gifts to have a science bent? Well we are here to help you out with that with our annual gift guide for the geek in your life! Each of the Paleopals (in alphabetical order) has contributed something to this list to make your holiday shopping season as easy as can be, so let’s dive right in!

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Science… sort of DC Meetup 2014!

Science_Club_logoWe’ve noticed through the magic of download statistics that we have a nice cluster of listeners in the DC metro area. With Patrick always nearby and Ryan in town for a bit, we figured a meet up would be fun. So on Thursday, January 9th, starting around 7:30pm EST we’ll be convening at the Science Club bar to  hang out, meet some new people, and share some drinks. We hope that you’ll join us if you can.

More details about the event can be found on our Eventbrite page here: Science… sort of DC Meetup 2014

For those who RSVP on the Evenbrite page, your first drink of the evening is on us. See y’all soon!

 

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Winter Solstice Survival Guide 2013

The most wonderful time of the year, obviously.

The most wonderful time of the year, obviously.

’tis the season to consume! But for this part of the year, as the Winter Solstice approaches, we consume not for ourselves, but for others, and that’s generally a good thing. Each year we here at Science… sort of like to put together a list of suggestions for the science-inclined in your life. Whether you’re looking to give the gift of science, or fleshing out your own list to send to your regionally-appropriate gift giving elf-spirit, this list should have you covered.

We begin with Patrick, who really went above and beyond with contribution, earning him well-deserved top billing.

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BEER REVIEW: End of the World Midnight Wheat

I promised in Episode 166 that I’d review this beer with a bit more detail than my usual quick spiel on the show, so allow me to present:

midnight_wheatEnd of the World Midnight Wheat! An ale brewed with “midnight wheat, chocolate malt, chili and spice” from Shock Top (aka Anheuser-Busch)

First and foremost a special thanks to James K. for providing the bottle for this review!

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REVIEW: Answers for Aristotle by Massimo Pigliucci

A4A_coverMy grandpa was no philosopher (in fact, he was an engineer, which might be considered the exact opposite) but he used to say, “There’s always room for improvement.” Upon reflection, this may have been relevant to engineering, but I remember him saying this when I asked him why he gave our pizza a 4 out of 5 when I thought it was a fine pie. This sentiment has stuck with me, and it influences a lot about how I comport my own affairs. In my life, I too strive to constantly be improving, and have often struggled with being content while simultaneously wanting better. Now either this is a common philosophical problem for a human to have or Massimo Pigliucci is a mind-reader, but either way his new book seems written just to help people with this sort of problem out.

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Winter Solstice Gift Guide 2012!

309657_10100638960929038_296217771_nIt’s that time of the year, where the days are about as short as they’ll get (in the Northern Hemisphere) and thus we give gifts to those we care about to make them feel a little less along out in the cold darkness. First, I’d like to remind you that clicking the Amazon banner on this very page takes you to Amazon to buy whatever you desire and a bit of that comes back to us. Also, all of the links in this post that point to Amazon are customized for us, so you can click those and go straight to the product while still helping us out. Thanks!

But as for the content of this post, I’ve asked the Paleopals to contribute their ideas for things you could get the geek in your life for this solstice season. Here are the results. Enjoy!

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Update on the Intermittency of New Episodes

Hey Paleoposse,

You’ve probably noticed that this summer our release schedule has been sporadic. I want to apologize for that, I hate not getting shows out regularly and on time, and I think at this point you all deserve an explanation, however brief.

1) I’m moving right now, and I have been crazy busy leading up to this move, so finding time to sit and edit just hasn’t been possible.

2) As the show has progressed, I’ve started to take editing more and more seriously. I decided a while ago that I cared more about putting out a quality show when it was ready than a crappy show just to get something out on time. Ideally I could get the show ready on time every week, but given a choice I favor the former option over the latter. That means that editing is a slow process. I’m pretty quick all things considered, but I still have to listen to about 2 hours of audio every week, stopping and starting every time I want to tweak something, to get a show out.

3) That being said, we’ve still been recording every week. The lack of shows is entirely due to my lack of having time to edit. Once I arrive at my new place and get my computer up and running I’m going to set aside an entire day just to get caught up. You’ll get something like 3 shows all at once and it’s going to be awesome.

4) We have a TON of great stuff lined up over the next few weeks and months. You guys don’t even know (because some of it is secret) but I promise you that we are working hard to continue upping our game in providing what we hope is some of the most entertaining and informative science podcasts available (I’m including our sister shows as well).

So thanks for bearing with me while I pack boxes late into the night and try to finish up everything that comes along with a big move. The constant support and feedback from you all literally keep me going. Thanks and see you on the other side.

xoxoxo,
-Ryan

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Science Apps for the Classroom

Time for another post in my series of “Long-overdue responses to questions that were worth blogging about.” It’s a mouthful to be sure, but it comes up more often than you might think. Today’s question comes from Allison.

Hello!

I’m a student teacher right now in a ninth grade earth science class and I’d love to find more ways to involve technology in the classroom. Do you have any suggestions for iphone or ipod apps to use in a classroom at the middle school or high school level? (I’m focusing on Earth Science but all science apps are welcome).

Thanks,

Allison

Great question, Allison! Let’s dive right in by exploring my own phone. Here’s a screenshot of my “Science” apps folder on my iPhone. I have a 4S, but these should all work on any iPhone or iPod with a camera, compass, and GPS.  They’re not organized in any particular order, so I’ll just go through them from top left to bottom right.

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REVIEW: Space Chronicles

Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

Written by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

$26.95 / Hardcover / 384 pages

Published by W. W. Norton & Company

If I had to use one word to describe Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (other than the obvious “brilliant” synonyms) I’d say he’s passionate. His desire to help the public appreciate science crosses media barriers with a verve and energy unmatched by many modern agenda promoters. Space Chronicles reads like an attempt to distill and bottle some of that passion, and the ensuing cocktail is an invigorating delight sure to infuse the reader with the spirit of Dr. Tyson himself.

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