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