Posts Tagged ‘science comedy’

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

 

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! 

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!

Punch Line Comedy Club, SF

Wednes­day, Feb­ru­ary 9, 2011.  An evening of sci­ence com­edy at the Punch Line Com­edy Club, San Fran­cisco, with sci­ence come­dian Brian Malow and spe­cial guest per­former Ngaio Bealum.

Tick­ets are $15 if you call the club:  415-397-PLSF  (415-397-7573)
For an addi­tional $5 ser­vice fee, you can buy tick­ets online

***
Sci­ence Come­dian Brian Malow
presents
Spon­ta­neous Emis­sions
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.  Also, appear­ing:  spe­cial guest come­dian Ngaio Bealum.

For all audi­ences!

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

—————————————————-

$15
8pm, Wednes­day, Feb­ru­ary 9, 2011

Punch Line Com­edy Club
444 Bat­tery Street (between Wash­ing­ton and Clay)
San Fran­cisco, CA 94111
415-397-PLSF

Tick­ets are $15 if you call the club:  415-397-PLSF  (415-397-7573)
For an addi­tional $5 ser­vice fee, you can buy tick­ets online

—————————————————-

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 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

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

Georgetown University – Free Show

Fri­day, Octo­ber 22, 2010. As part of the inau­gural USA Sci­ence & Engi­neer­ing Fes­ti­val, I will be per­form­ing 8pm, Fri­day night, Octo­ber 22, 2010, at George­town Uni­ver­sity – and it’s free and open to the pub­lic (that’s YOU!).

For details:
Ratio­nal Com­edy for an Irra­tional Planet – An Evening of Sci­ence Humor

My friend Norm Gold­blatt, the Phunny Physi­cist, will also appear. 

USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo Saturday

As part of the inau­gural USA Sci­ence & Engi­neer­ing Fes­ti­val, I will be per­form­ing mul­ti­ple shows.

At the huge week­end Expo – which is free and open to the pub­lic (that’s YOU!) – I will be doing 20-minute sets:

Sat­ur­day, Octo­ber 23, 2010, 2:30pm – on the Wil­son Plaza stage

Sun­day, Octo­ber 24, 2010, 3:30pm – on the National Mall stage

And check out my full-length show on Fri­day night at George­town Uni­ver­sity – also free. 

USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo Sunday

As part of the inau­gural USA Sci­ence & Engi­neer­ing Fes­ti­val, I will be per­form­ing mul­ti­ple shows.

At the huge week­end Expo – which is free and open to the pub­lic (that’s YOU!) – I will be doing 20-minute sets:

Sat­ur­day, Octo­ber 23, 2010, 2:30pm – on the Wil­son Plaza stage

Sun­day, Octo­ber 24, 2010, 3:30pm – on the National Mall stage

And check out my full-length show on Fri­day night at George­town Uni­ver­sity – also free. 

Wonderfest

Sun­day, Novem­ber 7, 2010. Once again I am thrilled to be per­form­ing at Won­der­fest – the Bay Area’s long-running fes­ti­val of sci­ence.  This is their 12th annual event – and my third time par­tic­i­pat­ing.

As always, it’s a 2-day event – Sat­ur­day on the Stan­ford cam­pus and Sun­day on the Berke­ley cam­pus.

I am only attend­ing Sun­day, Novem­ber 7, at UC Berkeley’s Stan­ley Hall.  I will per­form and then mod­er­ate a dia­logue:

3pm:  Sci­ence Laughs with Sci­ence Come­dian Brian Malow

4pm:  Mod­er­a­tor for  “Do We Under­stand the Struc­ture of the Uni­verse?” – a dia­logue between Lloyd Knox, a physics pro­fes­sor from UC Davis, and Chung-Pei Ma, an astron­omy prof from Berke­ley

And, in between my two slots, you can enjoy a live pod­cast of “This Week in Sci­ence” with my friends Dr.Kiki and Justin! 

Science Comedy at the Purple Onion, San Francisco

8pm, Thurs­day, Sept. 23, 2010

An evening of sci­ence com­edy – and a cou­ple guests on the show.  Get tick­ets here!

San Francisco’s Pur­ple Onion, in North Beach, is an awe­some venue with a lot of his­tory.

Tick­ets:  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/129964
140 Colum­bus Avenue
San Fran­cisco, CA 94133
(415) 956-1653