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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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 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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Episode 2: Gravitational Lensing, Mammalian Defection, and Video Games

Episode 2: Gravitational Lensing, Mammalian Defecation, and Are Video Games Art?

In Episode 2, we’re talking about two topics at the opposite ends of the spectrum of science: light from a supernova being bent around a galaxy by it’s gravity, and very serious research out of Georgia Tech about the implications of duration, consistency, and length of defecation in mammals.

And finally, we discuss diametrically-opposite comments from two science-fiction authors whose novels have become video games: Dmitry Glukhovsky (Metro series) and Andrezej Sapkowski (Witcher series). Do games enhance the literary integrity of the novels they’re based on? Can video games tell a compelling narrative? In a broader sense, are video games really art? Continue reading

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Episode 1: Cassini, Science Marches, and The Last Jedi

Here it is! It’s Episode 1 of the Science [and/or] Fiction podcast, a podcast from Lucas Moore (a scientist) and Taylor Sloan (not a scientist) about science, fiction, and everything between. Continue reading

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