Episode 6: The Gentleman Physicist.

Welcome to Episode 6.

Jon is a physicist and YouTube vlogger whose videos focus on making the weird, wonderful and often counter-intuitive aspects of physics and how it applies to the world we live in more accessible and fun.

News:
First potentially habitable Earth-sized planet confirmed by Gemini: and Keck observatories.

Nonsense:
Why Physicists Are In A Film Promoting An Earth-Centered Universe.

The Solar System videos mentioned:
Painted Stone: Asteroids in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Worlds: The Kepler Planet Candidates

Follow Jon’s work.
Jon’s Channel
Jon’s WordPress
Jon’s Facebook

Find more episodes at the Science of Sarcasm Website.

You can follow and engage with the show on Facebook, Twitter,YouTube, Tumblr and Google+.

You can also support the show by becoming a Patron or making a donation.

​Feedback is always welcome and helps us create the kind of show that you want to hear.

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube or RSS.

Music used:
In a Heartbeat, Cut and RunShiny TechVirtutes Instrumenti, Electrodoodle.
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 5: Myles Power & GMOs

Welcome to Episode 5. myles

Myles is a scientist and YouTube vlogger whose videos focus on having fun with science as well as debunking popular myths and conspiracy theories. Now that he has finally fended off a band of litigious HIV conspiracy theorists and gotten a decent internet connection he came on the show to discuss why GMOs aren’t evil, why Prometheus sucked and how no-one ever gets DNA right on screen.

News:
Bacterial reporters that get the scoop

Nonsense:

FDA considers approval of genetically modified babies
​GMOs could cause ‘irreversible termination of life’ on Earth

The ridiculous and unethical anti-GMO papers we discussed:
The Séralini Affair
Australian pig feed study

​Follow Myles and his work:
Myles’ Channel
Myles’ Facebook Page
His Podcast with James Gurney

You can follow and engage with the show onFacebook, Twitter,YouTube, Tumblr and Google+.

You can also support the show by becoming a Patron or making a donation.

​Feedback is always welcome and helps us create the kind of show that you want to hear.

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube or RSS.

Music used:
In a Heartbeat, Cut and RunShiny TechVirtutes Instrumenti, Electrodoodle.
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Irish Education-Part 1: Where your choice is Catholic, Catholic or Catholic.

So, 2014 will be the year when my daughter first climbs the steps onto the school-bus. If she’s anything like her father this process will involve extricating her from beneath the kitchen table, sprinting down the driveway with child and backpack across my shoulder before half shoving, half tossing her through the bus’ doors and yelling, “DRIVE!” Now every parent goes through the same universal worries that come around when we first unleash our spawn send our little angels off for the first time. Will she like her teacher? Will she like the other kids? Will she get picked on? Will she deal with the bully ‘properly’, as opposed to using the foot-stamp, elbow-to-head maneuver Daddy showed her when Mommy wasn’t looking? There are just so many things to put a parent on edge. Here in Ireland, there is an additional consideration for those of us who have decided not to marinate our future adults in religiosity during their formative years.

Religion is everywhere throughout the Irish education system.  Our National Schools, which children usually attend from ages 4 to 12, are predominantly run by religious denominations.  The Irish government pays the salaries of all the teachers, but the ownership and upkeep of schools are the remit of their patrons. Currently the Catholic Church is patron to 92% of all such schools. An additional 4% is owned by other denominations and religions, while the remaining 4 percent is secular/non-denominational.  The odds of finding a school that will not insist on teaching your child the religious doctrines of the patron church are pretty much zero for people living outside of large urban areas. Also, schools are allowed to actively discriminate what child they will accept based on religion.

In our case, once we took things such as bus routes, after-school care and distance from home into account, we were left with two options. A Catholic school, or a really, REALLY Catholic school. The latter’s website was replete with invocations, gospel references and reassurances that a child sent there would be no more than two steps from beatification by the time they went to high-school. The second was a little more laid back, more of a “Yeah, Jesus is cool, now look at our sports program!” However, the fact remained that should the school find enough children of nominally catholic parents then my child would be out of luck. I say nominally catholic parents because it is an unavoidable fact that many do not actually practice the religion on anything like a regular basis. Many have also chosen, as many advised I should have chosen, to baptise their children regardless as it would increase their chances of getting into decent schools later.

I chose not to, for several reasons. Firstly, it is dishonest. I am not a Catholic and I am not going to pretend otherwise to try and elbow my way to the front of the queue. Secondly, it is insulting. While I believe that many of the Catholic church’s teachings fly in the face of demonstrable fact, I am not going to insult the people who take these matters on faith by paying lip service to them. Being open about my disagreement is far more respectful to the believers, if not the beliefs. Thirdly, I don’t want to be part of the problem. The people who are currently playing the part of the good Catholic in order to garner some social traction bolster the numbers of the Catholic church and make it seem more influential than it actually is. This gives the church more leverage than it deserves when it lobbies the government on behalf of people who, truth be told, don’t actually agree with their position.

I will be keeping a very close eye on my daughter’s curriculum when she starts school in September and am considering getting a drop on the Religious Education component by crafting my own comparative religion course. Basically this would involve selecting PG versions of stories from various religious myths (Christian, Hebrew, Greek, etc.) to include during reading time. I intend on presenting them with no more emphasis than the stories she currently enjoys such as Brave and The Gruffalo. I would really appreciate any suggestions you might have, specifically for folk-tales or religious myths outside the usual Judeo-Christian sphere.

Episode 4: Myles Power Vs Censorship (and GMOs)

Welcome to Episode 4. myles


Myles is a scientist and YouTube vlogger whose videos focus on having fun with science and debunking popular myths and conspiracy theories. I had hoped to have him on to discuss the science behind and public opinion of genetically modified organisms but unfortunately the gods of the internet were against us. Between moving home, spotty internet access, mutant monkeys and a series of spurious copyright claims which threatened his channel there was simply no opportunity to record a full episode.

Instead, Myles took time to record a message for you all, answering your questions and telling us about the failed attempts of HIV denialists to have his series debunking their crockumentary, House of Numbers, removed from YouTube. This series has now been restored to YouTube and I recommend you take the time to go to his channel and enjoy what the people behind House of Numbers tried, and failed, to make disappear.

​Follow Myles and his work:
Myles’ Channel
Myles’ Facebook Page
His Podcast with James Gurney

You can follow and engage with the show on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Google+.

​Feedback is always welcome and helps us create the kind of show that you want to hear.

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube or RSS.

Music used:

In a Heartbeat“, “Cut and Run“.

All music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 3: Sally Le Page on the Science of the Sexes and Sexism in Science.

Welcome to Episode 3. sally link_000000

Sally is a PhD student in Oxford studying evolution and mate selection. On the show we discussed the scientific study of the sexes and the unfortunate sexism and biases which can occur in the scientific community.

News and Nonsense Stories:
​Sexism In Science? UK Study Finds Women Scientists Get Fewer Grants, Less Funding Than Male Counterparts
Sex and the brain: The trouble with “hard-wiring”

DN Lee’s response to Ofek’s slur.
Study shows gender bias in science is real. Here’s why it matters.

HPV Vaccine Less Likely To Help Black Women Because Clinical Trials Were Mostly White

Stay up-to-date with Sally and her work.
​Sally’s Channel.
Sally’s Website.
Shed Science on Facebook.

Female pioneers in STEM.
Aprille Ericsson was the first female (and the first African-American female) to receive a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.
Ada Lovelace, was an English mathematician and computer programmer.
Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958)[1] was a British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer.
Irène Joliot-Curie with her husband, Joliot-Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry.
Marie Sklodowska-Curie (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist.
​Chien-Shiung Wu (May 31, 1912 – February 16, 1997) was a Chinese American physicist with expertise in the techniques of experimental physics and radioactivity.
Barbara McClintock (June 16, 1902 – September 2, 1992), was an American scientist and one of the world’s most distinguished cytogeneticists.
Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American physician and NASA astronaut.
Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral.
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) – First professional woman astronomer in US.

You can follow and engage with the show on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + and Tumblr.
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube or RSS.

Feedback is always welcome and helps us create the kind of show that you want to hear.

Music used:

In a Heartbeat“, “Cut and Run“, “Scheming Weasel (faster version)“, “Itty Bitty 8-bit“.

All music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

EPISODE 2: JAMES VS. ZOMBIES

Welcome to Episode 2. james thumb_000000

James is a PhD student studying evolution and virulence. On the show we discussed zombie pathogens (both fictional and actual), whether or not zombies can twerk and the reason cats can’t be trusted.

News and Nonsense Stories:
Zombie virus research could make vaccines last longer, be more available, save billions of dollars.
Missouri State May Ban Nerf Guns After 911 Call, Lockdown Over Zombie Shootout Game.

​Follow James and his work:
James’ Channel
History of Infection Series
His Podcast with Myles Power

You can follow and engage with the show on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Google+.

​Feedback is always welcome and helps us create the kind of show that you want to hear.

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube or RSS.

Music used:

In a Heartbeat“, “Cut and Run“, “Scheming Weasel (faster version)“.

All music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/