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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Episode 4: How Strong is Wonder Woman?

We’re bringing you a little bit shorter episode this week, mainly because we recorded it after midnight in Indiana and Taylor had to work the next day. For Episode 4, we dove a little bit deeper into just one topic this week: Wonder Woman. Lucas talked about his experience seeing the movie and how good it was in comparison to the rest of the DC cinematic universe.

We also talked about how films like Wonder Woman and Star Wars The Force Awakens have created what we hope will be a growing trend of strong leading women for all of us—and girls especially—to look up to. And finally we discuss the fascinating physics of just how strong Wonder Woman would have to be to stop bullets with her gauntlets of submission. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Meet Your Hosts: Lucas Moore

Hello There!

I’m Lucas Moore, co-host of the Science [and/or] Fiction podcast. I’m originally from the Midwest, but I’m currently a graduate student in Davis, California. When not in the lab, I tinker with computers, hang out with my wife Erika, play board games, and try to keep my research group’s website up and running.

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