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