Tag Archives | science

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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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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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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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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Award Season

Hi Paleoposse… It’s podcast award season again.  Here at Science… sort of we always view these things a little ambiguously. We, as a group of podcasters, don’t have too much ambition as far as winning a category goes. But, we get a significant amount of new website traffic (and presumably new listeners) from the little bit of buzz these awards generate.  So if you have a few minutes and want to help out the show, go visit the podcast awards and nominate us (voting comes later).  This year Stitcher has decided to get into the game, we don’t quite know what to expect from them, but again, being nominated certainly can’t hurt (and we aren’t as highly ranked on stitcher as we’d like to be). So go nominate us for a Stitcher award too if you are feeling generous.

Thanks for your support!

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How exactly does the world’s largest emerald form?

I stumbled across this video about the world’s largest emerald being sold. Sure it’s being sold by Canadians, but that’s not the important part, the important part is just how a 57,500-carat gem could form in the first place.

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Ben’s Math Education Response in Terms of Carts & Horses *AWESOME REMIX*

Another in our series of Ben’s ramblings Patented Wisdom BOLTS that didn’t make it to air! This week Chad asked us about our thoughts on math education, and Ben had things to say. We were running long I Didn’t want the reader’s ears to explode with wisdom so I didn’t read it, but I’ve posted Chad’s question here followed by Ben’s response. It’s interesting stuff from the newly minted PhD and teacher  the prophet of thunder, so hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did. And make sure you listen to the full episode from this Ep 110 – Back to School!

-Ryan (with edits by Ben)

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Are Your Ear-Holes Ready For The Weekly Weinersmith?

For those of you with you head in the sand, you may not have heard but Kelly and Zach have officially begun their podcast The Weekly Weinersmith, a proud member of the Brachiolope Media Network!

This officially marks the start of our grand experiment in putting together a network of quality science content in a way that is ideally approachable and enjoyable to both laymen and scientist alike. No big deal, right? Well the Weinersmiths certainly make it sound easy! Hopefully this post comes as old news, but if not, get thee to iTunes or your preferred podcast aggregator for some Weinery goodness.

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Comic ‘The Big Lie’ Delivers Just That

When I first heard there was a comic coming out about the “truth” behind the World Trade Center attacks on September 11th, 2001, I was upset. I thought How could Image Comics publish such nonsense? Such disinformation? But the more I thought about it the more I was reminded that my philosophy on such matters is that free speech means people can espouse nonsense, and the answer to that shouldn’t be censorship, but more speech. So I decided to read the book, give it a fair shake, and see where we wound up.

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