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Classic Chords #4 – The Caged Chord

Composer John Cage (1912-1992) is perhaps most famous not for the music he wrote but the silence. In the piece known as “Four minutes, thirty-three seconds”, 4’33”, which is ostensibly in three movements Cage instructed musicians, with any instrument or any combination of instruments and presumably voice to not play their instrument(s) for the during […]

Classic Chords #3 – The Hendrix Chord

There’s one chord every wannabe rock guitar hero has to figure out at some point…we all listen to Jimi Hendrix, we all marvel at what he’s doing with that Strat, whether plucking it with his teeth or setting it on fire. But, what is it he’s doing exactly to get that E-major power chord that […]

Classic Chords #1 – The Hemispheres Chord

One thing I noticed as teen teaching myself to pick out the wondrous chords played by Rush’s Alex Lifeson by ear was that he used a lot of chords where the top two strings, the B and the E string were left ring while a moveable chord shape, often a B major shape or more commonly […]

montereybayaquarium: Sea Palm Culture: In the Weeds Our Kelp...

montereybayaquarium: Sea Palm Culture: In the Weeds Our Kelp Forest exhibit is a visitor favorite. It’s gorgeous, and in 1984 it was the first living kelp forest grown outside the wild. Today it’s home to a forest of giant kelp and bull...Show More Summary

Ep. 407: Galactic Cannibalism

Remember when we told you that the Universe is a big place, and anything that can go wrong, inevitably does? Today we talk about what happens when galaxies come together. This is particularly pertinent because our Milky Way will collide with Andromeda in the future!

Ep. 406: Stellar Cannibalism

Most of the time stars hang around for billions of years. But the Universe is a big place, and anything that can go wrong, inevitably does. Today we talk about what happens when these stars come together. The outcome is violent, and fortunately for you, also interesting.

A bit of ancient music

This was making the rounds a while ago but I didn’t get to it: “Hurrian Hymn No. 6” is considered the world’s earliest melody, but the oldest musical composition to have survived in its entirety is a first century A.D. Greek tune known as the “Seikilos Epitaph.” The song was found engraved on an ancient marble [...]

Ep. 405: Method Not Found

Last week we talked about knowledge, what we do and don’t know. This week we talk about questions which are impossible to ask, where the answers don’t actually exist.

Ep. 404: The Difference Between: Can’t Know, Don’t Know, and Just Awaiting Better Tech

There the things we know, the things we don’t know, and the things we can’t know. How do we know which one is when when we’re deciding to fund research and direct our scientific inquiry.

Ep. 403: Funding Big Science: from Alma to LIGO to TMT

How much of a challenge is it to get funding for large projects like LIGO? Fraser and Pamela discuss the difficult issues finding “Big Money.”

Reading the Collections, Week 49: Light Box

In anticipation of the StAnza Festival taking place in early March, I decided to read some poetry for this week’s post – Light Box  – a collaboration between Professor Robert Crawford, Norman McBeath and the scientists […]

Ep. 402: Gravity Eyes: See The Invisible With The Force

What kinds of things can we see using gravity, that we may not otherwise be able to see? Pamela will fill us in on the Great Attractor, etc!

Ep. 401: Future Predictions

What do Pamela and Fraser think will happen or be discovered in 2016? What would they like to see in the near future?

What is making me happy today – Afropop Podast

Someone recently introduced me to the Afropop podcast. It is one of those things that, as a sampler (some might even say lover) of music from Africa and music of the African diaspora, I wonder how I just got to know about. The first one I listened to is a deep dive into the African… Read More »

Ep. 400: The State of the Universe

It’s time for us to go back and catch up with all of the projects, news stories, weird star systems, and other topics that need updating!

"It eats salty": middle voice on "Top Chef"

On a recent episode of Bravo's competitive cooking show "Top Chef" ("Spines and Vines," 12/10/15), the contestants had to make a dish with uni (sea urchin) and pair it with a wine. One contestant, Angelina Bastidas, received the following less-than-glowing appraisal of her dish from the show's host, Padma Lakshmi, and guest judge Dana Cowin, […]

On the Radio Yet Again, on Nightlife

4 months agoAcademics / Astronomy : Astroblog

Last night (Wednesday 27 January), I was on ABC Nightlife talking with Rod Quinn about the safety of plastics and bisphenol A in the light of the latest Australian Total Diet Study.For those of you who missed my radio performance last...Show More Summary

Ep. 399: Women in Science

Science is typically a male dominated profession, mostly dudes, not a lot of ladies. From researchers to professors, to law makers, woman have a tough time gaining traction in such a heavily gendered field. Today we’re going to talkShow More Summary

The Finn-donesian of "The Force Awakens"

For my language column in the Wall Street Journal this week, I describe how some alien-speak in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" ended up being created a young Finnish YouTube sensation, tailor-made for Indonesian actors. We could call it "Finn-donesian," though the character Finn doesn't actually speak it. Rather, the dialogue was designed for the […]

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