Monthly Archives: October 2013

Episode 007: Goldenose

Topics discussed: Chlorophyll, hemoglobin, and refried beans; warp drives and (at)tractor beams; comet tails and solar sails; dueling fails and moose in ales; historical pets; kissing cousins; kissing parrots; radioactive brains; red-hot nickel balls and red-hot giraffe love. Also, check us out now on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and GeoCities! (OK, maybe not GeoCities.)

How to get us in your heads: Subscribe on iTunes; see the About page for a link to the RSS feed; stream/download this episode directly from this link; check us on YouTube (only a few episodes are there now, but more are coming); follow us on Twitter; or throw a sheep at us on Facebook (the kids still do that, right?).

And if you enjoy our show, please remember to rate/review/share/etc.! You can also send us money (PayPal link at right) or buy some of the stuff below that is linked to our Amazon affiliate account — but if you don’t want to do any of that, ratings and reviews are freeeeee and help the show too!


A child’s drawn interpretation of our episode title:
– (FYI, taken from this page: )

Social media links once again!
– we are @sshapho on Twitter:
– here is our YouTube channel:
– and our Facebook page:
Solar powered salamander:
– evolution of chloroplasts (and mitochondria) — looks like we were basically on the right track:
– Top Secret (kids’ science fiction book): (paperback)
– The Secret Life of Dilly McBean: (paperback)
– Top Secret! (Val Kilmer spoof movie): (DVD), (Amazon instant video)
– – double feature DVD with Airplane!:
– – Weird Al concurs that Top Secret! is awesome:
– FYI, chlorophyll and hemoglobin are very similar molecules, but have more differences than just Fe vs Mg at the center:
– – some discussion on Snopes:
– – and on the Straight Dope:
– – comparison of molecular structures:
– one of the commercials that the “Jim never has a second cup of coffee” joke in Airplane! was based on:
– movies may actually be getting longer by decade:
– – although it’s tricky to select the films to base this on, as this article points out:
– – another discussion, though probably a poor sampling method:
– – another discussion (on a forum) of these issues:
– a bit more about patch clamping, for the curious:
Tractor beam story:
– actual scientific publication in Nature Photonics:
– Tractor beams in fiction and reality:
– “tractor” etymology:
– optical tweezers:
– a little bit of comet tail history:
– – awesome Kepler quote about space ships:
NASA warp drive:
Size of a neuron cell body:
– (MJ was really thinking of the diameter of a neuron axon, typically about 1 micron:
All about Tycho Brahe:
– ambiguity of the word “namesake”:
– the moose is indeed called the Eurasian elk in Europe (first sentence of Wikipedia article):
– yet another reference to MJ’s favorite book, The God Particle (link to Kindle edition on Amazon; looks like the print version is not readily available):
Teddy bear origin story:
Historical pets:
Sadly, there has been enough thought about mating humans and chimps that it has a Wikipedia article:
– more on this:
– and a discussion also made it to the NY Times:
This is the study MJ was thinking of about couples looking alike (it’s not quite that, but same idea):
– essentially, people prefer pictures of their mates’ faces that are partially morphed with their own:
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC):
– and sexual selection:
– a discussion of assortative mating (mating between organisms with similar phenotypes):
– outbreeding depression (negative consequences of excessive genetic dissimilarity in mating):
– – (although it seems the consensus is that inbreeding consequences are generally still worse, of course)
– – a more technical discussion:
– – Maeby / Les Cousins Dangereux:
– – the T-shirt study is referenced here:
Sex differences in olfaction (link to academic article abstract):
The infantile amnesia news article:
– adult neurogenesis in hippocampus:
– – discussion with regard to depression:
– – a recent demonstration using Carbon-14:
– – – (actual scientific article for that study:
– – – n.b., couldn’t actually find any demonstrations using Strontium-90 as MJ suggested; it is a big part of fallout but mostly ends up in bones:
– a human hippocampus (“seahorse”) next to an actual seahorse:
White-fronted parrot mating:
– and giraffes:
What we thought was a hummingbird tongue (warning: terrifying-looking):
– although some sources suggest we’re wrong and this is actually the tongue of a hummingbird hawkmoth:
– – Reddit link for the above:
– the good news is the image also led us to this great Tumblr (warning: NSFW language):
– – in addition to being funny, the above Tumblr link includes some discussion of the hummingbird metabolism (educational!)
– all about torpor (try to stay awake):
The YouTube channel for the Red-Hot Nickel Ball guy:
– RHNB in Elmer’s glue:
– in Jello (the one with the cool sound):
Jelly, jam, preserves, marmalade, etc:
– more discussion:’s-the-difference-between-jelly-jam-marmalade-preserves-and-fruit-spread
– and yet more:
– British vs American gravy:
Naming hybrid animals:
– minor erratum, MJ used the word “chimera” off-the-cuff but that actually has a different, specific meaning in biology:


Episode 007 show notes placeholder

Hey friends — Episode 7 is all ready to go and will appear in your iTunes and other feeds in the morning (Monday, October 7). Show notes will be done relatively soon after the episode goes live — should be posted within 24 hours. So if you’ve listened and come here for links, please check back soon!

(When we add the Episode 7 show notes, we’ll also update the Episode 6 ones… there are a few things to add/correct in there as well, for posterity.)