Stephen Hawking Has Died

Stephen Hawking (NASA)Stephen Hawking, visionary physicist, cosmologist, and inspiration to generations of people the world over, has died at age 76. Hawking developed dozens of theories regarding the cosmos, notably incorporating general relativity and quantum mechanics to understand the development of black holes and dark matter. He sought to explain how our universe was born, how it continues to expand, and what came before it. Most notably, he sought to bring that knowledge forward to everyone, even people with little or no background in physical science. Continue reading

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Teslas in Space! — Podcast S2E2

In this episode of the podcast we talk about the [really cool] launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy, what makes it such a remarkable event, and why there is some controversy behind it. We also chat about the newest Star Wars toys previewed at New York Toy Fair and what they might tell us about the Han Solo standalone film. Enjoy!

If you haven’t yet, please go to iTunes or the Apple Podcasts app, subscribe, and leave us a review! That’ll help us get up in the rankings and get more people listening to the show.

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The Last Jedi Spoilercast — Podcast S2E1

[WARNING: SPOILERS] We’re back. We’re kicking off Season 2 of the Science [and/or] Fiction podcast with a long-overdue discussion of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. We talk in spoilery detail about our favorite and least favorite parts of the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise. If we haven’t said it enough already, this episode will contain plenty of spoilers for the film, so if you haven’t seen it yet we would recommend watching it first. Continue reading

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Science Nobel Prizes 2017

nobel prizeOctober is a little like Christmas for scientists. Each year, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards three Nobel Prizes in physical sciences (medicine or physiology, physics, and chemistry), as well as prizes for peace, literature, and economics. These prizes are intended to recognize significant contributions to their respective fields, and are the highest honors a scientist can aspire to receive for their work. Continue reading

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Episode 10: The Despecialized Edition

It’s new podcast day! We’ve finally made it to Episode 10. In this episode we thank our first Patreon supporter (thanks Tony!) and follow up on a couple of things. First was the bittersweet end of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, which we covered on our twitter page. Second, we talked about our experience with the recent solar eclipse and our plans for 2024’s solar eclipse.

For topics this week, we talk about a process being developed by French researchers to use microbes and light to turn fatty acids into long-chain hydrocarbons that could replace traditionally-produced fossil fuels. And finally, we talk about a ruling from a US appellate court that selling or streaming altered version of copyrighted films (particularly Return of the Jedi sans Leia’s bikini) constitutes infringement, which could affect fan edits like the Despecialized EditionContinue reading

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Episode 9: It All Comes Full Circle

Hello friends! We’re back after missing an episode (sorry about that!) with Episode 9. In this episode we talk to you about how you can help us make the Science [and/or] Fiction podcast by becoming our sponsor on Patreon. Get more info about that here: patreon.com/sciandorfi

We also take some time to do a little retrospective of our past episodes: our favorite moments and what we’ve learned from experience and listener feedback along the way. And finally, we bring it all back to where it first began in Episode 1: Cassini. We give you a surprisingly-emotional look at the upcoming final days of NASA’s groundbreaking mission to Saturn. Enjoy!
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Episode 7: On Pseudoscience

It’s a new episode of the podcast and there’s a lot to cover! In Episode 7, we follow up on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and more importantly how we plan to cover it all while keeping ourselves sequestered from potential spoilers. We also take a look at a study from FSU that shows Portal 2 might be a lot better than Lumosity at improving your cognition.

And then as the title suggests, we jump headfirst into two big piles of pseudoscience. First is a ‘study’ by a very interest-conflicted group that says that there might be a little bit of phthalates in your Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese (Kraft Dinner, Canadians). And finally, we take an extended look at Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle and ‘health’ website Goop, breaking down exactly how using alternative healthcare like Goop can be significantly detrimental to your actual health. Continue reading

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Best Of: Video Game Expansion Packs

Listen to Episode 6: Expansion Pack Here!

Episode 6 is out, and in addition to a couple of other topics, we discussed a few of our favorite video game expansion packs. In the days before DLC became the norm, expansion packs added new storylines, mechanics, and hours upon hours of new gameplay.

Lucas and I decided it would be fun to give our favorite expansions the discussion they deserve. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start. We might even revisit this topic and add a few audience suggestions to the list. Continue reading

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Episode 6: Expansion Pack

Episode 6 is here! It’s definitely one less than 7 and one more than 5. In this episode we  follow up on news from Star Trek: Discovery that Jonathan Frakes (TNG’s Commander Riker and director of Star Trek: First Contact) will be directing at least one episode of the newest Star Trek series. We also discuss a satellite in geostationary orbit that appears to have been damaged and may even be falling out of orbit.

And last but not least, we talk about a few of our favorite video game expansion packs. Before DLC became the norm, standalone expansion packs gave us hours of new content for games we loved. We thought it was finally time to given them the discussion they deserve. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Episode 5: Water Bottles and Bridge Crews

We’re back with another Sci [and/or] Fi. In Episode 5, we’re talking about ancient Californian plastic water bottles, and not the kind archaeologists will be digging up in the ruins of ancient Burbank 2000 years in the future. These bottles were made from reeds and bitumen by the Chumash people thousands of years ago. Researchers are curious if these bottles might have contributed to the short life spans and declining health of the Chumash, and we take a look at what they’ve found.

We also talk about the news from the set of Star Trek Discovery. The show’s creators say they’re breaking from Gene Roddenberry’s rule that main characters don’t have interpersonal conflicts. Will this affect the universe’s egalitarian optimism? We have no idea, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to talk about it! Enjoy! Continue reading

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