clappamungus: (Douse)
Today I did something I said I would never do - I signed up to last.fm.

Why? Well, I was bored. Honestly, I was at work and as it's the start of the year, there is absolutely no content coming in off newswires, so by midday I was almost ready to flash the office to break up the monotony. For everyone's sake, I signed up to this blasted site instead.

More online presence. If I were a paranoid man, I could get worried that I'll end up on some list somewhere. You know, where they know all my habits - the music I listen to, my political affiliations, which way I dress...

But seriously, I have Faecesbook, this LJ, a rather defunct MySpace, a beer blog on Tumblr of all things, a science podcast and now a freaking last.fm. For someone who's trying to get off social media, I appear to be doing a piss-poor job.

Oh well. I'll take the bastards down with me...
clappamungus: (Hug?)
For some reason that godforsaken social media site of doom won't let me post this video, so I've fallen back on good ol' reliable LJ.

Anyway, as proof that I don't just listen to metal, here's the video of an old Melbourne band who are missed greatly. They put on a pretty good show.

They were always much more than your average plug-in-n'-play-n'-hope-for-the-best Melbourne indie act. This was one of their more straightforward rockers but they did some really interesting stuff with weird timings and unconventional song structures without being unnecessarily proggish. And the singer, Sianna Lee, had one hell of a set of pipes.

Speaking of Faecesbook, those of you on mine might have seen my beer n' vinyl photo project. It's being discontinued there as I'm really starting to get the shits with FB, and it'll be resurrected here, on a new tumblr site (beerswax.tumblr.com). Yes, I realise using tumblr as a replacement for Faecesbook is akin to cutting my testicles off to spite my future spawn, but I was convinced by someone who knows better that it's one of the easier blogging sites to use.

Oh, and no, this is not the blog I've set up to use as a writing aid, even though there;s a long rambly entry on it! That one's still....a work in progress. And by by "work in progress" I mean "sweet bugger all".
clappamungus: (Lab Rats)
This week's SoT was cut short by a technical difficulty - Lucas' connection cut out momentarily and that stopped the ercording. We did not notice and kept talking...which sucks. Pen lost her entire segment on volcanos and mass extinctions, but the links to the stories are below.

DOWNLOAD HERE

Our guest was Belinda Nicholson, Twatterer [>;)], blogger and astrophysicist, who is also involved in the Young Asutralian Skeptics podcast. Ed talked to her about her scholarship at the Gemini Observatory in Chile. From there:

*The US government might kill off th James Webb telescope project due to, well, the US economy imploding like a neutron star;
*Hybridisation between two distinct species of mouse confers resistance to Warfarin;
*Changes in a receptor sub-unit changes the nature of the running muscles in mice;
*There's stuff in tea that is not - gasp - tea!;
(...and here's where we lose transmission....)
*Did dinosaurs die because of toxic greenhouse gases?;
...as well as other creatures.


************
clappamungus: (Lab Rats)
This was a fairly monstrous episode (in a good way) - several people, competing voices (not necessarily opinions!), and plenty of ground covered. Download here.

Lucas was on board again, as was Dr Krystal Evans (yes, I just linked you to a Twatter. I feel dirty), who is a researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute working on a live malaria vaccine, a panelist on radio station RRR's science program Einstein a Go Go (which, as Ed points out, is a terrible name...) and was a strong presence in the program that we referred to in an earlier episode, Discoveries Need Dollars. She's the kind of scientist I would have liked to be - dedicated to the point of wanting to actively engage, erudite and with a passion for science that will hold her in good stead for any shit that's thrown in any career scientist's path. The sort of stuff that I couldn't get over as a scientist. I realised, listening to her, that I'm way out of the loop, and a big part of me is very sad about that.

Anyway, enough rumination. Topics:

Search engines changing the way memory works;
Forests as carbon sinks, and why planting trees won't necessarily work as the only means of offsetting emissions;
- Conversely, cities as carbon sinks;
Ethnic disparities in Genome Wide Association Studies;
The other side of GM - Round Up Ready turf grass and the potential for selection of resistant weeds;
More on Greenpeace's act of GM vandalism;
The genomes of the potato and coral sequenced.

***
clappamungus: (Lab Rats)
Ed just keeps getting better at choosing the right title for these things....

This week, we had a fourth member - Lucas Randall, a critical thinker, blogger and skeptic (not a climate change skeptic moron - but rather these guys). He was a pleasure to have on the show as he's extremely switched on, knows his stuff and has a natural curiosity that's infectious.

His blog is Codenix (I can't bring myself to link to his Twatter...)

Anyway, our episode 4 is here. This one was a monster - almost an hour.

Topics covered:

* A galaxy 3 billion light years away is home to the biggest blast seen in the universe due to a supermassive black hole eating a star....how fucking awesome is that??
* An observation about weight and dementia
* On our way to growing a full eye in the lab
* Using magnets to improve rehabilitation for patients with brain degenerative diseases and conditions
* Viriophages, or ....sigh... "cannibal" viruses in Antarctica
* Pimping Discoveries Need Dollars
* The first known instance of an insect-borne disease being transmitted sexually

And Jezebel decided to bark at the end... idiot dog...
clappamungus: (Lab Rats)
Our science podcast continues! We have a few followers on Faecesbook and Twatter, and we've received very positive responses.

This week's podcast: download here. Again, around 40 minutes, and unfortunately there's an annoying crackle that Ed couldn't get rid of.... I was also very tired (whacked in fact) so I don't actually talk much, and when I do I don't seem to make much sense, and I made a couple of mistakes. Oh well...Penny and Ed did a great job!

Topics covered:

Spatial sorting and cane toads - breaking the rules of evolution?
Using cortisol to assist in phobia therapy
Yuri's Night pimped once again
Pics of Mercury! (see last week's podcast)
Drilling down to the Earth's mantle
Microbial fossils....probably aren't fossils
Girls fear the HPV/cervical cancer vaccine, and a rant against the anti-vaccine lobby

Stay tuned for next week! We were planning for it to be a bit shorter, but that didn't eventuate...

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