Posts Tagged ‘Brian Malow’

Godspeed, John Glenn: 50 Years of Americans in Orbit

On Feb­ru­ary 20, 1962, perched atop an Atlas rock­et, John Glenn was blast­ed into space at 17,500 miles per hour.  He splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean about five hours lat­er, hav­ing orbit­ed the Earth three times, the first Amer­i­can to do so.

Our most recent video for Time.com is a trib­ute to John Glenn, NASA, and 50 years of Amer­i­cans in orbit. I wrote it, Tara Fre­det­te was cam­era­man, and Jim Fields edit­ed.

God­speed, John Glenn…

Link:
http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,1461672138001_2107230,00.html 

My 25 Mundane Neutrino Explanations

Today I had the most fun I’ve ever had on Twit­ter, thanks to the OPERA exper­i­ment work­ing out of CERN, home of the Large Hadron Col­lid­er.

The blo­gos­phere is ablaze with news that they seem to have detect­ed neu­tri­nos trav­el­ing faster than light.  If true, it would be the biggest sci­ence news of the cen­tu­ry, over­turn­ing one of the most fun­da­men­tal con­cepts in physics.  There is obvi­ous­ly much skep­ti­cism amongst sci­en­tists.  For a typ­i­cal­ly insight­ful expla­na­tion, check out Bad Astronomer Phil Plait‘s post:  Faster-than-light trav­el dis­cov­ered? Slow down, folks

The Twit­ter fun began when a dis­cus­sion between two physicist/mathematician-types, Blake Stacey (@blakestacey) and S.C. Kavas­sal­is (@sc_k) led Blake to tweet:

@sc_k May­be we need to coun­ter­bal­ance the HEP blo­go­he­dron with a Twit­ter meme? e.g., #mun­daneneu­tri­no­ex­pla­na­tions

Then he spun out a few fun­ny exam­ples of more mun­dane expla­na­tions for the unusu­al neu­tri­no mea­sure­ment:

  • #CERN physi­cists did arith­metic on old Pen­tium com­put­ers
  • #CERN physi­cists let under­grads near the exper­i­ment
  • Cal­cu­la­tions done by vis­it­ing Amer­i­cans who still don’t get the met­ric sys­tem.

…  all with the #mun­daneneu­tri­no­ex­pla­na­tions hash­tag append­ed.

I think I was the first one to fol­low his lead with:

  • For­got to car­ry the one
  • Con­fused neu­tri­no with one sent lat­er
  • Study pub­lished by Wake­field et al

Then @drskyskull and @physicsdavid and oth­ers joined in (even asto­physi­cist Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Bad Astronomer) and, before you know it, the Twit­ter­verse was alive with fun­ny expla­na­tions, some of which may be as like­ly as super­lu­mi­nal neu­tri­nos.  I end­ed up spit­ting out about 25 of them, which I present here, as they were tweet­ed, in reverse chrono­log­i­cal order (so start from the bot­tom). Enjoy!

 

#mundaneneutrinoexplanations

 

My Love Affair with Space

On the eve of the final mis­sion of NASA’s – and the nation’s – 30-year-long space shut­tle pro­gram, I present to you a video love let­ter – my newest piece for Time Magazine’s web­site, where­in Tara and I jour­ney to Flori­da to wit­ness our first launch.  STS-133, in Feb­ru­ary, was the last mis­sion of space shut­tle Dis­cov­ery…

Click for big­ger ver­sion at Time.com

Link:
My Love Affair with Space on Time.com

Lunar Eclipse Defined by Wikipedia

In cel­e­bra­tion of today’s lunar eclipse, Google‘s logo fea­tures an ani­mat­ed moon.  When you click through, as usu­al, you get a page of relat­ed search results.

A lit­tle while ago, one of the top results includ­ed a sur­pris­ing def­i­n­i­tion of “lunar eclipse” from Wikipedia:

Accord­ing to Wikipedia:

Lunar eclipse: A lunar eclipse is when the moon turns black and explodes, releas­ing a poi­so­nous gas, killing all of human­i­ty.  Of course this can occur only when the Sun, …

The page had already been cor­rect­ed by the time I saw it.  But the false def­i­n­i­tion was appar­ent­ly cached and show­ing up in Google’s search results, until a lit­tle while ago.

I love Wikipedia. But it’s still fun­ny.

Check out the page devot­ed to Google Doo­dles.

Rooster T. Feathers in Sunnyvale

Sci­ence com­e­dy fans, unite!  For one evening in Sun­ny­vale, Cal­i­for­nia!

8pm, Wednes­day, May 11, 2011.  An evening of sci­ence com­e­dy at Roost­er T. Feath­ers Com­e­dy Club with sci­ence come­di­an Bri­an Mal­ow.

Infor­ma­tion and Reser­va­tions: 408-736-0921

Or BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE

***
Sci­ence Come­di­an Bri­an Mal­ow
presents
Ratio­nal Com­e­dy for an Irra­tional Plan­et
An evening of sci­ence humor

“It’s as much about expand­ing the mind as it is tick­ling the fun­ny bone.”
– The Wash­ing­ton Times

Get your geek on!  From the lighter side of heli­um to the dark­er side of the moon, join sci­ence come­di­an Bri­an Mal­ow on a rock­et ride through the humor­verse.  Bri­an will dis­pel myths & mis­con­cep­tions about sci­ence, explore the sci­ence in sci­ence fic­tion films, and exer­cise your brain as well as your fun­ny bone.

For all audi­ences!

Music is not just for musi­cians. Art is not just for artists. And sci­ence is not just for sci­en­tists.

—————————————————-

$12
8pm, Wednes­day, May 11, 2011

Roost­er T. Feath­ers Com­e­dy Club
157 W. El Camino Real
Sun­ny­vale, CA 94087
408-736-0921

—————————————————-

Bri­an Mal­ow is Earth’s Pre­mier Sci­ence Come­di­an (avail­able for off-world appear­ances if trans­porta­tion is pro­vid­ed). Based in San Fran­cis­co, Bri­an has appeared on “The Late Late Show with Craig Fer­gu­son,” and per­formed for NASA, JPL, NIST, OSA, ACS, and oth­er acronyms. He also makes sci­ence videos for Time Magazine’s web­site, and is a con­trib­u­tor to Neil de Grasse Tyson’s radio show.  Bri­an has been fea­tured in the Wash­ing­ton Post, New York Times, San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle, and San Jose Mer­cury News.

For more info, check out www.sciencecomedian.com and  www.youtube.com/sciencecomedian and www.twitter.com/sciencecomedian

April Fool’s Tribute to Thomas Edison

Last year, for April 1st, I was asked to make a guest post to a GE blog called Edison’s Desk.  So I made this April Fool’s Trib­ute to Thomas Edis­on.  I had a lot of fun with the links – try ’em all!

I must real­ly be an April Fool because this is a big day for me.  I’ll be on NPR’s Sci­ence Fri­day with Ira Fla­tow – to talk about sci­ence and com­e­dy with my friends Tim Lee and Norm Gold­blatt.  The show streams live from 11am to 1pm Pacific/2-4pm East­ern, in addi­tion to air­ing on your local pub­lic radio sta­tion.  Lis­ten to it here.

Then lat­er tonight I’m emcee­ing a great STEM edu­ca­tion event (STEM = Sci­ence Tech­nol­o­gy Engi­neer­ing Math­e­mat­ics) in the plan­e­tar­i­um at the Cal­i­for­nia Acad­e­my of Sci­ences.  It’s called STEM­Po­sium and it’s an evening to hon­or some fan­tas­tic edu­ca­tion inno­va­tors.  This event will be live streamed from their web­site at 7:30pm Paci­fic. Check it out! 

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.

Robots Attack! My new Singularity video on Time.com

I have a new video up on Time.com about the Sin­gu­lar­i­ty.  If you don’t know what it is…  find out here.  I wrote it.  Craig Duff shot and pro­duced it.  Jim Fields edit­ed.

The video com­ple­ments Lev Grossman’s new Time Mag­a­zine fea­ture sto­ry on Ray Kurzweil.

Link:
When Robots Attack! Should We Fear a Sin­gu­lar­i­ty?

Upcoming San Francisco Shows

Sci­ence Come­di­an Street Team: Acti­vate!  Please for­ward via email, Twit­ter, Face­book, MySpace, telegraph, sem­a­phore, smoke sig­nals, and telepa­thy.

I have two(2) big San Fran­cis­co shows com­ing up – plus, a bonus appear­ance at Ignite SF.  One show is this week, part of SF Sketch­fest – the oth­ers are just around the cor­ner:  Feb­ru­ary 8 and 9.  Details and links… to more details and links:

This Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 26, see two one-man shows for the price of one.  At the Eureka The­atre, come­di­an and car­toon­ist Michael Capoz­zo­la will present his food-themed mul­ti­me­dia show “Regur­gi­tat­ed,” and I’ll be doing my lat­est sci­ence com­e­dy: “Spon­ta­neous Emis­sions.”  Join­ing us will be the amaz­ing Mike Mee­han for a spe­cial cameo.

Wednes­day, Feb­ru­ary 9, join me at the San Fran­cis­co Punch Line Com­e­dy Club for an evening of sci­ence humor – again, “Spon­ta­neous Emis­sions.”  My good friend Ngaio Bealum will join me as a guest per­former.  Call the club and make reser­va­tions in advance!  This show will sell out.

And for some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent…  the 2nd Annu­al Glob­al Ignite Week is com­ing.  I’ll be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the San Fran­cis­co event at Pub­lic Works on Tues­day, Feb­ru­ary 8.  Ignite is an evening of 5-minute talks with 20 slides each, that auto-advance every 15 sec­onds.  Pre­sen­ta­tions are by artists, tech­nol­o­gists, and oth­er thinkers – designed to be of inter­est to geeks.  16 speak­ers!  A huge vari­ety of top­ics.  My pre­sen­ta­tion will be called “How Wine Saved the World.”  True sto­ry.  Be there!

And, seri­ous­ly – even if you’re not in the SF Bay Area, please for­ward this link to some­one who is!  Thanks!

Science Online 2011

Jan. 13-16, 2011 – ScienceOnline2011, Research Tri­an­gle Park, NC

I’m thrilled to be attend­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in ScienceOnline2011 – the fifth annu­al con­fer­ence on sci­ence and the web in Research Tri­an­gle Park, North Car­oli­na.  My first time!  I’ll be lead­ing a ses­sion with Joan­ne Man­aster on com­mu­ni­cat­ing sci­ence with humor, and I’ll be speaking/performing at the Sat­ur­day night ban­quet.  I’m look­ing for­ward to recon­nect­ing with some friends and mak­ing some new ones.

#scio11