Posts Tagged: ‘Best of 2012’

As you leave 2012 in the dust, join Julie and I as we take one last look in the rear-view mirror at some of the truly mind blowing science that went down in the past year. Plus here are a few of the videos we told you about…

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As you’ll remember from the film “From Beyond” (watch it on Hulu here), Dr. Edward Pretorius pioneered use of the Resonator, a device that expands human perceptions of reality via wave manipulation of the pineal gland.

As the photo illustrates, things didn’t work out all that well. Pretorius lost his corporal form and crossed over into an alternate dimension of amorphous hedonism. Mistakes were made. Brains were eaten. Things got a bit sticky.

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Christmas is magic.

Christmas is transformative.

And since we’re dropping two episodes on the psychedelics, science and shamanism the week of Dec. 25, I keep wondering if everyone’s favorite holiday curmudgeon didn’t smoke DMT on that fateful Christmas Eve.

Because what happens in “A Christmas Carol?”

Why, a self-centered old miser barricades himself in an empty house and experiences a ghostly visitation from a dead friend. Next, three outlandish spirit entities arrive and take him on a mind-rending journey through time and space.

At the end of that journey, Scrooge re-engages the world with a profoundly increased sense of openness — which brings us to DMT.

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If you’re throwing a Halloween shindig this year, you know the anguish that comes with putting together a spectacular playlist. Is “Monster Mash” too lame? Is “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” kosher with my converging friend groups? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

And of course all those decisions lead to decision fatigue. Think too long and hard over playlists and pizza topping early in the day and you’ll be hard pressed to make a call on the big stuff later on. Julie and I did a podcast episode on the topic and there’s a great New York Times article on the topic.

Save yourself some mental anguish and leave the Halloween tunes to a professional DJ.

Now let’ get funky.

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SomaFM has you hook-up for space music. First launched in February 2000, this San Francisco-based Internet radio station continues to deliver commercial-free, listener-supported content that you just can’t find anywhere else. They currently deliver 22 channels of music to more than 5.8 million listeners around the world through their website and thoroughly awesome mobile app. You’ve also probably seen some of the cool SomaFM swag that listeners purchase to help support the station.I’ve praised SomaFM in past Space Music posts, but I figured it was high time I chatted with its General Manager, Program Director and Founder Rusty Hodge. Let’s see what he has to share with us…

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I probably listened to “The Hearts of Space” for the first time back in the early 90s during a family beach vacation. I was surfing the local radio stations late one night and suddenly found myself listening to music unlike anything I’d heard before.

A couple of decades later, my musical tastes have caught up with that first taste of ethereal electronic goodness — and Hearts of Space is still going strong. I figured a Space Music post about HOS was long overdue, so I reached out to Stephen Hill for a brief interview.

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In the Stuff to Blow Your Mind episode “The Horror,” I chat a little bit about the horror movies at the local video store — movies I never got to rent as a child, but movies with garish VHS covers capable of traumatizing and inspiring young minds like mine. Let’s look at some.

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If you’re a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan, your fondest memories probably revolve around classic film riffs and the show’s surprisingly believable cast of humans, robots, apes, aliens and mole people.

Yet MST3K was also a very musical show, full of comical songs and endless jokes at the expense of cheesy film scores. And since all of this took place aboard an orbital space station, I thought a chat with MST3K creator and Cinematic Titanic rifer Joel Hodgson was in order.

Joel was kind enough to take a break from crafting riffs on “The Doll Squad” (set to debut live, July 5 in Ann Arbor, MI) and wrapping up Riff Camp 2012 to chat with me on such diverse topic as the maker culture of Gizmonic Institute and the power of “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

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Julie and I recently recorded ten episodes of “Stuff to Blow Your Kid’s Mind” and I figured, hey, wouldn’t it be cool to have all the videos embedded in a single post? Think of it as a super-sized club sandwich, only instead of meat, cheese and veggies, this baby’s packing layer upon layer of delicious science. We kick off each episode with a simple science experiment and from there we take you on a mind-blowing journey through time and space.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed making them!

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I don’t have to convince you that Centaurs are amazing. They stroll boldly through thousands of years worth of art, canter through our literary classics and their Photoshopped bodies continue to scandalize the Web. They are of course human/equine hybrids, but what of their biology? Having attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville some years ago, I’ve seen “The Centaur Excavations at Volos” countless times. That specimen provides insight into the creature’s skeletal system, but what about all the rest?

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