Science Comedy & Regular Comedy

Storytelling is a thing that I do, and here’s a video of a recent gig. The story I tell is not scientific––OR IS IT…?

It is also my pleasure to introduce Regret Labs, a Science/Comedy podcast to which my fellow comedians Levi Weinhagen and Aric McKeown invited me because they needed a little more science for their not-so-much-science.

This is the kind of podcast where people talk over each other sometimes. Into it? Not into it? Drop a comment on the site to let us know.

Episode #8 (#2.5 with Maggie):  Guest Scientist Dr. Michelle LaRue on Science Communication and Penguin Stank

I am the SciComm from Your Video

One more dispatch from my adventures with Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre & their Interrobang Festival of Questions. Click the below links for some primo procrastination-aiding video content!

A discussion of ocean vs. space travel & the public’s expectations of science*, among molecular biologist/science communicator Upulie Divisekera, sci-fi author & BoingBoing editor Cory Doctorow, & some “comedy science” lady (me)

use mars interrobang

And What Future Do We Want and Deserve? With radical chef Adam Liaw, futurist Kristin Alford, author/editor Cory Doctorow, & that “comedy science” lady again, moderated by Wheeler Centre Director Michael Williams

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*Stay tuned for the above-referenced COMPETITIVE Q&A, plus my speech on what science & art tell us about the importance of words vs. actions.

 

 


Dolphin Brains, Greener Pastures, & David Bowie Chemistry

The latest:

  • Gosh but you people really love hearing about dolphins and dolphin brains. Thanks to you humans and your weird obsession, I’ve gotten to speak all over town (here, here, and here) about dolphins, dolphin brains, and humans’ weird obsession with dolphins and dolphin brains. Next stop: MPR’s “A Beautiful World”. Subject: Consciousness. You see where this is going.
  • New posts on chemistry, David Bowie, and the science of hands in my Science+Art column for the Walker Art Center’s MNartist’s blog. Because, you know, it is a beautiful world.
tupac dolphin

Science+Art: Dolphin+Tupac


Three Great Things Happened

1. Mediander with me

Over two years ago, I was sworn to secrecy as I started writing for a crazysexycool new website, the likes of which the world had never seen.

This month, it finally launched, and the world got to fall in love with…

MEDIANDER DOT COM (com, com, com…)

I’ve linked you to the place where most of my “Culture Maps” live––nine and counting. What makes Mediander different is that the research connects disparate topics:  Charlie Chaplin to The Atomic Cafe to books by dictators, Nabokov to synesthesia and lepidopterology, and much! Much! More!

Got off to a good start when researchers at the International Space Station liked my map on the Space Race:

ISS tweet

2. That Smithsonian magazine

A childhood dream came true this month when I had an article published in Smithsonian. The piece allowed me to explore science+art at its best, in the form of Guillermo Bert’s 2D-coded traditional indigenous tapestries––one of the coolest artistic concepts I’ve seen in a long time.

Read it here! 

3. WRITE FIGHT

The night before my birthday, I sat down at an old, malfunctioning Olivetti typewriter, on the train tracks.

write fight! typewriters alone

The purpose? To battle it out in Revolver magazine‘s WRITE FIGHT, a single-elimination showdown with some of my favorite writers in town. It was both humbling and harrowing.

write fight over shoulder

Competitors got the first line of the story, ten minutes to think for the first two rounds, no time to think for the last round, AND there were insane, orchestrated distractions at every turn. First round, I wrote as audience members came up and whispered suggestions in my ear. Second round, I had to put the typewriter on the lap of a stranger, who smack-talked me all the while.

write fight round 2 whole shebang

Third round, at the center of a dancing mob, I wrote the story behind what improvisors would call the cruelest possible set-up:

“Even as it happened, I realized this was the most hilarious death ever.”

write fight final round

See what happened in the last three paragraphs of this article! [Spoiler alert, I won.] It was one of the most difficult feats of art I’ve ever undertaken, and my comrades in arms are my heroes more than ever. The… End…?


A Bunch of Stuff I Neglected to Mention…

It’s been awhile. Here’s a the haps:


“Our Battle is More Full of Names Than Yours”

Somehow, I ended up in a situation where I am to compete for the title

         ULTIMATE MASTER OF WORDS

against some of the greatest writers and thinkers and talkers in town.

Well.

As a poet once said:  I intend to something something or die trying.

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Storycraft with Kevin Kling, April 25th

Several months ago, I was invited to be part of a three-part workshop with Kevin Kling, alongside about two dozen on the Twin Cities’ most talented writers, performers, comedians, and all-around storytellers. This Wednesday, April 25th, we shall showcase the fruits of our collective labor, presenting a night of storytelling at Minnesota Public Radio’s UBS Forum. Join us. You won’t believe your ears. (But you should.)

Storycraft with Kevin KlingImage

April 25th, 2012, 7-9 PM

$15, and discounted to $12 for MPR Members

Featuring:

  • Allegra Duncan Lingo
  • Amy Salloway
  • Annie Baxter
  • Barbara Wiener
  • Courtney Maclean
  • Dylan Fresco
  • Gary Dop
  • Joseph Scrimshaw
  • Loren Niemi
  • Patrick Dewane
  • and Kevin Kling