Archive for March, 2011

Wherein Science Comedian Interviews Science Writer Carl Zimmer

I am guest host­ing Dr. Kiki’s Sci­ence Hour today while Dr. Kiki is on mater­ni­ty leave.  My guest this week is sci­ence writer Carl Zim­mer, whom I met at the ScienceOnline2011 con­fer­ence in Jan­u­ary.  Hm.  In fact, that’s where I met last week’s guest, Greg Gbur, as well.  Good thing I went to that.

Carl is an amaz­ing writer.  I’m cur­rent­ly read­ing his book Micro­cosm: E. coli and the New Sci­ence of Life.  It’s about life and evo­lu­tion, as seen through the lens of the most well-researched microor­gan­ism.

His lat­est book is Plan­et of Virus­es which will be out in hard­cov­er from Uni­ver­si­ty of Chicago Press on May 1.

Carl also has a book about sci­ence tat­toos com­ing out lat­er this year.  Here is a recent post about Sci­ence Ink: Tat­toos of the Sci­ence Obsessed.

His grow­ing col­lec­tion of sci­ence tat­toos resides at his Sci­ence Tat­too Empo­ri­um.

Vis­it his blog The Loom on Dis­cov­er Magazine’s web­site.

He’s also writ­ten on evo­lu­tion (Evo­lu­tion: Tri­umph of an Idea and the text­book The Tan­gled Bank: An Intro­duc­tion to Evo­lu­tion).  And I just received the brand new edi­tion of his ten-year-old book about par­a­sites:  Par­a­site Rex.

I also have his first book (which he says is his favorite):  At the Water’s Edge: Fish with Fin­gers, Whales with Legs, and How Life Came Ashore but Then Went Back to Sea

Here is a recent (Sept. 2010) arti­cle on con­scious­ness at the NYTimes.com.

A list of great sci­ence books for high school stu­dents.

Carl’s Slate arti­cle about the con­tro­ver­sy sur­round­ing the NASA study of arsenic-based life – “This Paper Should Not Have Been Pub­lished”

Fol­low me and Carl on Twit­ter:  @sciencecomedian and @carlzimmer.

My “Virus Walks Into A Bar” series of jokes on YouTube.

Dr. Richard Lenski’s Exper­i­men­tal Evo­lu­tion Lab at Michi­gan State Uni­ver­si­ty has an evo­lu­tion odome­ter on the front page, track­ing how many gen­er­a­tions of E.coli the lab has bred – over 50,000 gen­er­a­tions, so far!

Oh – and lis­ten for me on NPR’s Sci­ence Fri­day tomor­row.  The show streams live (and airs on your local pub­lic radio sta­tion, too, prob­a­bly) from 11am-1pm Pacific/2-4pm East­ern.  Lis­ten here.

Guest hosting Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour with Greg Gbur

For the next few weeks I will be guest host of Dr. Kiki’s Sci­ence Hour on Leo Laporte’s TWiT net­work. Dr. Kiki is out on mater­ni­ty leave, hav­ing just given birth to a beau­ti­ful baby boy 20 days ago! Pre­vi­ous guest hosts have includ­ed Phil Plait, David Har­ris, and Jeri Ellsworth.

The show streams live every Thurs­day on TWiT at 4pm Pacific/7pm East­ern. For oth­er time zones, do the math! You can also watch or down­load it lat­er.

For first-time vis­i­tors: in addi­tion to my science-flavored stand up com­e­dy, I also make sci­ence videos for Time Magazine’s web­site. That link will send you to my vids on Time.com, or you can click the VIDEO tab above and see them on this site. Quite a vari­ety of top­ics in sci­ence and sci­ence fic­tion. I am also a con­trib­u­tor to Neil de Grasse Tyson‘s radio show StarTalk Radio.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter: @sciencecomedian
Sub­scribe to my YouTube videos: youtube.com/sciencecomedian

“Let There Be Light!” – my first show will be about light and weird sci­ence facts. My guest is Greg Gbur, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of Physics and Opti­cal Sci­ence at the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na at Char­lot­te, spe­cial­iz­ing in research on the­o­ret­i­cal clas­si­cal optics. Since August of 2007 he has blogged as “Dr. SkySkull” at Skulls in the Stars, where he cov­ers optics, the his­to­ry of physics, his­tor­i­cal weird fic­tion, and the inter­con­nec­tion of the­se sub­jects. Greg also co-founded the his­to­ry of sci­ence blog car­ni­val The Giant’s Shoul­ders. He has over 60 peer-reviewed pub­li­ca­tions and is the author of the upcom­ing text­book, “Math­e­mat­i­cal Meth­ods for Opti­cal Physics and Engi­neer­ing”.

– Fol­low Greg on Twit­ter: @drskyskull
– Skulls in the Stars blog
– Go direct­ly to the Weird Sci­ence Facts cat­e­go­ry on Greg’s blog
– Greg’s recent invis­i­bil­i­ty arti­cle on Sci­en­tific Amer­i­can
– Read his very in-depth post The Saga of the Sci­en­tific Swindler! (1884-1891)

When the show is avail­able, I will post the video here and per­haps some addi­tion­al notes and links. Please fol­low me on Twit­ter, sub­scribe to my YouTube chan­nel, and get on my Email list.

Next week my guest will be sci­ence writer extra­or­di­naire Carl Zim­mer!

Thanks for stop­ping by! 

Philip K. Dick at the Movies

My newest video for Time.com is about Philip K. Dick and all the movie adap­ta­tions of his books and sto­ries, the lat­est of which is The Adjust­ment Bureau, based on the sto­ry “Adjust­ment Team” writ­ten in 1953.  It’s fas­ci­nat­ing that Dick’s 50-year-old sto­ries are just now being brought to the big screen – and still seem mod­ern.  Tes­ta­ment to the strange­ness of his brain.

I do mis­tak­en­ly say that Blade Run­ner is one of ten PKD “books” that have been adapt­ed, when I meant to say, “sto­ries.”  Only a few nov­els have, so far, pro­vid­ed source mate­ri­al for films – Do Androids Dream of Elec­tric Sheep?, A Scan­ner Dark­ly, Con­fes­sions of a Crap ArtistRadio Free Albe­muth.  Most of the movies are based on short sto­ries (which do appear in books).

I pro­duced, wrote and edit­ed the video along with pro­duc­er Craig Duff, who shot and pro­vid­ed addi­tion­al edit­ing:

Link:
The Movies, Philip K. Dick and You