Posts Tagged ‘Science comedian’

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.

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$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

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!

SF Sketchfest

8pm, Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 26th, 2011 – Eureka The­atre, San Fran­cis­co

Sketch­fest is an amaz­ing annu­al event – actu­al­ly three weeks of events – each Jan­u­ary in San Fran­cis­co.  This year’s per­form­ers include…

Dan Aykroyd, Can­dice Bergen, James L. Brooks, David Byrne, Neil Patrick Har­ris, Gar­ry Shan­dling, Eugene Mir­man, Nerdist Chris Hard­wick, Kev­in Pol­lak, Greg Proops, Riff­Trax, Will Durst, Bob Goldth­wait, Bren­don Small, The Sound of Young Amer­i­ca, Paul F. Tomp­kins, Marc Maron, Todd Bar­ry, Bob Odenkirk, Maria Bam­ford, Greg Behrendt, Doug Ben­son, Moby, Jim­my Par­do, and many many more.

Oh yeah:  I’m per­form­ing along with come­di­an and car­toon­ist Michael Capoz­zo­la on Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 26th, 8pm at the Eureka The­ater. Come enjoy an evening fea­tur­ing two comedic per­for­mances! Mike will be doing his food-themed show and I’ll be doing my thing…

Bri­an Mal­ow – Spon­ta­neous Emis­sions
and
Michael Capoz­zo­la – Regur­gi­tat­ed

8pm, Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 26th, 2011
Eureka The­atre
215 Jack­son Street
San Fran­cis­co, CA 94111
$15

Tick­ets are avail­able here

You can also choose the option to buy a pass for all Sketch­fest events being held at the Eureka The­atre on this page

Synthetic Biology Conference

Feb. 3-4, 2011 – Syn­thet­ic Biol­o­gy con­fer­ence held at Google’s Wash­ing­ton, D.C. offices

I am par­tic­i­pat­ing in a syn­thet­ic biol­o­gy con­fer­ence called “Here Be Drag­ons: Gov­ern­ing a Tech­no­log­i­cal­ly Uncer­tain Future.” 

Stel­lar cast of speak­ers from sci­ence AND sci­ence fic­tion:  Drew Endy, Andrew Hes­sel, George Church, Robert J. Sawyer, Neal Stephen­son, Bruce Ster­ling, Robert Wright, and many more!

Part of the Future Tense series, the event is co-sponsored by Slate mag­a­zine, Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty, and the New Amer­i­ca Foun­da­tion, and will explore gov­er­nance issues sur­round­ing new, rapidly-developing fields of sci­ence.

How do we pro­ceed when we have no maps for the­se unex­plored ter­ri­to­ries?

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Thurs­day, Feb­ru­ary 3, 2011 – 8:30am – Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 4, 2011 – 1:30pm

Google, DC
1101 New York Avenue, N.W.
Wash­ing­ton, DC 20005 

Bad Science in Star Wars

FORA.tv has a short video of me per­form­ing at the recent Won­der­fest sci­ence fes­ti­val in Berke­ley.  I’m talk­ing about bad sci­ence in sci­ence fic­tion movies, and the exam­ple in the clip is a clas­sic moment from Star Wars…

Link to video on YouTube

Link to video on FORA.tv