Episode 80 - The Future Of Food pt 6 - Interview with a cricket farmer

This week I have an interview with Austin Miller of Craft Crickets. We discuss the many benefits of eating insects and some of the details of how one farms crickets.
Also, Asimov's 1953 vision of self-driving cars, and more news on Tabby's Star. 

Asimov's self-driving car short story 'Sally'
The latest news on Tabby's Star

Craft Crickets (craftcrickets.com)

Episode 77 - Essay on a Career in the Arts

This week I offer an essay on my music career, and how that fits (or doesn't) with modern society in America. I also ruminate on the place of arts in civilization and whether other careers will go as arts have gone.

Plus news in graphene spider webs, our interstellar visitor, and Voyager 1

Spider Webs with graphene and nanotubes

Interstaller Visitor

Voyager 1 fires it up

Career thoughts

My old blog post


Episode 73 - Interview with Astronaut Abby

This week I have a great chat with Abigail Harrison, aka Astronaut Abby. We talk about her ambitions for Mars, getting people excited about space, STEM, and the arts, and whether there will be cats on Mars. 

(Astronaut Abby/The Mars Generation)

Links to this weeks resources:

The Mars Generation

Astronaut Abby

Episode 72 - All News Show #6

This week we catch up on the news. Mars, self-driving cars, trains and tractors, new telescopes, medical imaging, shills, dolphin culture. 


News this week

Self Driving Cars
Self Driving Trains
Automated Farm
Who's the Real Shill?
Dopamine Receptor Imaging
Cetacean Culture
Exolife Telescope
Mars Law
Mars Meetings

Episode 71 - Interview With Mike Paul Hughes, Aerospace Engineer

This week features an interview with Aerospace Engineer Mike Paul Hughes. We chat about upcoming missions, speculate on life, and Mike reminds us why it's important to study history. 
Also, a bad case of bad science headlines. 

Behind the bad supervolcano headline
Mike Paul Hughes

Episode 69 - Interstellar Consultants

This week I have an interview with astrophysicist Steve Kilston of Interstellar Consultants. One of Steve's projects is a practical and well thought out 500 year plan for building a ship that could take us to another star system. This is not pie-in-the-sky stuff, this is grounded in practical knowledge.

Also, Australia gets its own space agency. 

Australian Space Agency

A plan for interstellar travel

Interstellar Consultants web page
(Interstellar Consultants)

Episode 60 - Making Contact

This week, further contemplation about life in the universe, and what would happen if we made contact. 
Also, synthetic food and NASA deep space station plans. 

Synthetic food
Deep space stations for NASA

Making Contact



Episode 59 - Are We Alone?

This week I ponder our place in the universe and wonder if there is other life out there somewhere. Part philosophical essay, part science exploration.
Also, words and their meanings matter. Inigo says so.

Are We Alone?


Some links for further details on the Drake Equation, Fermi Paradox, Great Filter, and other thoughts on life in the universe.


Episode 52 - Giant Space News Show

This week I catch up on a ton of space news. Jupiter images from Juno, 3d printing in space, plasma drive, dark matter, black holes, psyche, and more.

Also, I rant at the end of the show so you can skip it if you want.

Space News

(NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran)

Links to subjects from the show

Episode 46 - All News Show #2

This week, an all news show to catch up on some quick stories ahead of the March For Science.

Comfy robot suits, Elon Musk (again), Negative Mass, Exoplanets, Water worlds, Accretion Discs, (lions tigers and bears oh my)

(Watery planet concept art by David A. Aguilar)

Robot Suits

Elon Musk's new venture

Odd superfluid

New exoplanet

Water worlds

Accretion disc imaging

Pasted Graphic

Episode 42 - CRISPR and gene editing

This week we dive into the world of CRISPR-Cas9 and gene editing with a hopefully easy to understand overview of the basics. What is CRISPR, what can and might it do, what are the concerns and roadblocks.

Also, new nano metal techniques for improving hardness, and the Air Force X37 sets a record.

Nano Metal


Air Force X37

(Air Force)

CRISPR-Cas9 and Gene Editing


This is probably the best video for an understandable explanation of CRISPR


Episode 38 - The Future Of Food pt 3 - GMOs and Gene Editing

This week I talk about a controversial topic, genetically modified organisms and gene editing, and how these aspects of modern science can feed us far into the future. I will have links to the science on the show's web page, for my part I focus on the basics and the benefits of GMOs and gene editing for food production.

Also, metamaterial news, new planets, and the Hubble Constant

New strong and light metamaterial

The Hubble Constant

New Planets

(wild progenitors to some of our food)

Information about GMOs and Gene Editing:


Episode 34 - Themes for 2017 - Communication

This week I ramble about the need for level-headed communication for a functional society, and ponder why it's so hard to do, including science communication.
Also, lots of medical news from Earth and space about stem cells and genetics.
- Stephen R. Covey

Medical news of stem cell and genetic treatments

StemcellRicardo Carrasco III
(Ricardo Carrasco III)
Stem Cells for Paralasys
Leukemia treatment

NASA's Twin Study

(Robert Markowitz)
Some links about science and communication I referenced for the show

Some science news sources I think are the best at reporting and writing

Episode 32 - The NeoShield-2 Project

This week I talk to Albert Falke and Line Drube of the European Commission's NeoShield-2 project. We discuss the scope of the NeoShield project from technical challenges to the science of asteroids.



Episode 29 - Threats From Space pt 3 - Solar Flares and CMEs

This week we continue with threats to our planet from outer space, this time from our own home star. Solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and more.

Also, John Glenn, David Simons of project Manhigh, Magnets for bacteria, and new photos of Saturn.

John Glenn


Treating Sepsis with magnets

(Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology)

New Cassini Images

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections


Further information:

Episode 28 - Threats From Space pt 2 - Interventions for NEOs

In this episode we continue with near earth objects and discuss what we might actually be able to do about them.

Also, NASA's inflatable room on the ISS, and thoughts on suicide and civilization.

The story that brought about my opening ramble on suicide and civilization. Brandy Vela


NASA's BEAM module


Information for NEO avoidance.



Episode 27 - Threats From Space Pt 1 - Near Earth Objects

This week we cover the basics of Near Earth Objects, how we know about them, how often they might hit us, and the damage they can do.

Also, graphene bubbles and the EM Drive

Graphene Bubbles change color


The EM Drive (again)


Threats From Space - Near Earth Objects


Links for your informational needs

Episode 26 - Essay on the Universe No. 1

This week we contemplate the universe from quarks to galaxies and everything in between.

Also, better photosynthesis and maybe Pluto has a slushy ocean.

Better Photosynthesis

(University of Illinois)

Pluto might have an ocean


Essay on the Universe No. 1

The full text of the show is below. It's lightly edited so I make no guarantees that the spelling and grammar are all spot on, or that what's written is exactly what came out of my mouth.


If things that blow your mind also grab your attention and make your mind wander you might not want to drive or operate heavy machinery during this segment.

Quarks and electrons are the smallest known things. They may be made of things even smaller, like quantum strings, but we don’t know yet. Some experimental data shows Quarks to have, at the smallest, a radius of .43x10^-16 cm. That’s 2000 times smaller than a proton, which is 40 times smaller than the radius if a DNA double helix, which is itself a million times smaller than a grain of sand.

Within the human body there are about 37 trillion cells. Almost every one of those cells contains the DNA blueprint to make more humans. I am one of over 7 billion humans, and one of many billions of living things on the earth. All those living things exist on a tiny fraction of the surface of the earth, with has a diameter of over 12,000km, a surface area of over 500 million square km and a volume of 1.08x10^12 cubic km. The Earth is about 150 million km from the sun, one of 8 planets, many dwarf planets, and countless asteroids and comets. The sun’s diameter is 109 times that of earth, and 1.3 million Earths would fit inside the sun. Some of the largest stars we know of would extend out to the orbit of Jupiter, 778.5 million km from the sun. A star like that exploded to make all of us. The Oort cloud, a suspected collection of mostly comets, a loosely bound last stop from our own solar system, the very limits of our sun’s gravitational influence, is so far away it could take light from our sun 3 years to reach it. A light year is a measure of distance. One light year is 9.46 trillion km. Our Milky Way Galaxy is 100-180 ly across. There are between 100 and 400 billion stars in our galaxy. The Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy, a satellite galaxy to our milky way is 70,000 ly away. Our nearest large galaxy neighbor, Andromeda, is 2.5 million ly away, is about 220 ly across, and contains perhaps as many as 1 trillion stars.

There are perhaps 500 billion galaxies in the known universe. Each of them containing billions to trillions of stars. The more we look, the more we find planets around other suns. There may be billions, hundreds of billions of planets in each galaxy. The visible universe is estimated to be 93 billion light years in diameter. Even if life is rare, with such large number there could be thousands, tens of thousands of planets in each galaxy with life. And if there is life, there is a chance for intelligence. If there is intelligence there is a chance for curiosity and exploration. If there is curiosity there is a chance for understanding. 500 billion galaxies, even with one intelligent species in each is a lot of life looking out on the universe trying to make sense of it all. Somewhere in the Andromeda Galaxy right now Grubniya Plogrubenhut is recording her Lkritcast about the latest in Planet Wibnik’s technology for her listeners. But that’s not all. It’s actually possible that there are an infinite number of universes, an endless list of possibilities made manifest, where everything that could happen does. In some universe somewhere, I am president of the United States. In another, I died when I was 4 years old.

And yet, all of that, all of those billions and trillions, from tiny quarks to massive galaxies and everything in between account for only 4% of the stuff we can see in the universe. 96% of the universe is stuff we can’t see, can’t interact with. Dark Energy and Dark Matter are hypothesized explanations for observations made about the universe that don’t match up with what the math tells us. The way gravity works, the speed of stars orbiting their galactic centers and the speed at which the universe is expanding are examples of observations that didn’t work out with the math we had when we thought what we could see was all there is. For the math to work out, 96% of the universe is stuff we can’t yet detect, let alone understand. Maybe these hypotheses will be proved wrong, since these gravity problems were first observed in the 1960s by Vera Rubin, we haven’t figured out a way to test this. A newer hypothesis suggests that we don’t have gravity quite right, that it’s an emergent phenomenon, not a fundamental force, and a new theory of gravity dispels the need for dark matter. That’s a topic for another day, but either way, there is very very little stuff out there in all that vastness. Matter isn’t really solid, molecules are mostly empty space held together by the strong nuclear force and electromagnetism, and the universe is mostly stuff we can’t see. All those atoms, all those cells, all those people and planets and stars by the billions and trillions, a whole lot of something made of nothing, floating thought a lot more nothing.

But wait, there’s more. It is possible that all of this is a computer simulation. It’s a suggestion that cropped up again a few months ago but originates, I think, in 2003. Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrum made the argument that perhaps a very advanced civilization could run simulations of their ancestors with enormous computing power. As silly as it sounds, it can’t be dismissed out of hand, although it lies is a question realm of something that may be impossible to test. Like knowing if there are other universes from within the only one we know, how can we find out if we are a program from within the program? There are actually ways in which observations we make might provide evidence (primarily in “program shortcuts” that clearly violate our understanding of physics). Frankly this crazy idea is more testable than string theory right now. Ultimately, it doesn’t change the fact that the world is what it is and we should continue living our lives.

One universe of many, only universe, computer program. One of many sentient life forms, or solitary stowaways on the only lifeboat in all the universes, we owe it to ourselves and all future generations to be better, learn, explore, survive, thrive, and share with all. You, and I, and all of us, are here, now, only for a short time, and we’ve evolved the curiosity to wonder, the intellect to understand, the will to find significance in our own insignificance, and the heart to love our lives, our planet, and our fellow travelers in the universe.
Some links



Episode 19 - The All News Show

This week there was so much cool news I had to do an all news show. Elon Musk's plan to go to Mars, Kepler and Rosetta, potential medical breakthroughs, and a movie shot by and starring drones.

Also, your kid might see the 22nd century. Think about that!

BBC - it's a great time to be alive


SpaceX and Mars

Reaction to the plan

Solar Roof

New approach to viruses

Destroying bacteria

Drone movie - In The Robot Skies

Rosetta Mission at an end

Kepler on a roll