Weekend Science Video Goodness: New Year For the Science Rap Academy

Tom McFadden has debuted the first video of this year’s Science Rap Academy.  Seventh and eighth grade students at the Nueva School prepare a music video based on a science concept, usually reworking a rap or hip-hop song.  The first video focuses on colony collapse disorder, and is called “Please Don’t Kill My Hive

The next video will be available on Monday.

Also coming on Monday is the premiere of the television version of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk program.  He has been making the publicity tour, appearing on The Nightly Show to talk conspiracy theories and on the latest edition of Science Goes to the Movies.  Tyson discusses how scientists are represented in some films, and the episode covers the movies Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Lazarus Effect, and Them!

Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of April 13

Several programs are in repeats this week.  Of the repeats, I must point you to Wednesday’s edition of The Talk.  Besides Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory, Chi-Lan Lieu, the show’s technology reporter, made a visit.  The Tonight Show’s technology reporter, Joshua Topolsky, was on recently, and you can catch a repeat of that visit on Friday night.

New material is nearly absent of science and technology guests, so much so that I’ll at least mention that an animal expert is appearing on at least two programs this week.  However, Tuesday night you can see Pauley Perrette, who plays a forensic scientist on NCIS, when she visits with Kelly and Michael on their morning program.

On to the stuff I missed live.  In a rare double appearance in these posts, Jimmy Fallon recently taped a message for astronaut Scott Kelley during a commercial break of The Tonight Show.  It fits Fallon’s usual gee-whiz approach to technology and most topics.

@Midnight had a couple of science-themed segments last week.  One involved an unfortunate typographical error in coverage of the Large Hadron Collider, and the other concerned goldfish taking over a pond.

Keep strong, readers.  Next week brings the television premiere of StarTalk on The National Geographic Channel.

Science Movie/Video Corner

This weekend marked the limited U.S. release of Ex Machina, one of many robotic-themed movies released this year.  The movie likely hasn’t reached your city, unless you are outside of the U.S., where the film has been more widely distributed.

The second episode of Science at the Movies is now available.  The theme is pattern recognition, and the films covered are The Imitation Game and Into the Woods.  Clearly you should not watch this program to get information on the latest releases.

In other video news, Tom McFadden may be about to open our minds with a new YouTube show.

Here you can see him take a Science Times (New York Times science section) newspaper article and rap it for you.  He’s promised to do this every week.

Are You Not Entertained?

Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of April 6

Basketball and golf have pushed The Late Show into repeats this week.  But that means, if you wait up even later tonight (Monday), you can see kid scientists on with David Letterman.  This was originally aired in February, but given Letterman’s pending departure in May, it’s likely the last time you’ll get to see him showcase young scientists.

It’s a thin week for guests.  Perhaps The Nightly Show will come through with at least one segment on a science or technology issue.  Otherwise, we’re limited to hearing from Chi-Lan Lieu, the technology reporter from The Talk, on Wednesday afternoon, and Oscar Isaac with Seth Meyers on Wednesday night.  Isaac is one of the stars of Ex Machina, which premieres in selected U.S. theaters on Friday.

In other late night news:

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson’s television edition of StarTalk will premiere in two weeks on The National Geographic Channel.
  • Tonight is also the first new edition of The Daily Show since Trevor Noah was announced as its new host.  I have to believe it will get some mention, and subsequent appearances by Noah on the show before he becomes host might hint at how he will tackle science and technology topics.
  • Going Deep with David Rees was picked up for a second season by The Esquire Network.  The first season, which aired on The National Geographic Channel, will be rebroadcast on Esquire.

Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of March 30

When the Comedy Central programs go on hiatus, often some big news event happening during that time where you want to hear what Jon, or Stephen (or now Larry) would have to say about it.

This time The Daily Show is the source of that story.  As is likely widely known by now, Jon Stewart will be succeeded by the newest Daily Show correspondent, Trevor Noah.  While new to the program, and still unfamiliar to most Americans, Noah is well known in his native South Africa, and has toured extensively around the world.  While it’s too early to know how many of the current program staff will remain (long-time correspondents Jason Jones and Samantha Bee have announced their departures, and Aasif Mandvi is on leave while pursuing other projects), the selection of Noah suggests to me that there will be a more international flavor to The Daily Show than there has been to date.  Mandvi will be on with David Letterman on Thursday, so we might hear a little bit about the switch then.  (As I mentioned above, The Daily Show and its fellow programs are off this week.)

Tonight (Monday) you can see Oscar Isaac on The Tonight Show.  He plays a key role in Ex Machina, one of the many robot movies that have come out recently.  The film is released on April 10 in the U.S.  As for the rest of the week, it’s a bust.

A week into the new Late Late Show, it’s hard to suss out a trend in terms of how the show might address science and technology topics.  It’s even too early to know if James Corden will have on authors and scientists like Craig Ferguson did.  It is worth noting that Corden may be airing only four nights a week.  This is consistent with Jimmy Kimmel’s program and Last Call with Carson Daly.  Corden’s timeslot competitor, Seth Meyers, occasionally airs a repeat on Fridays, but not always.

Now that The Nightly Show is two months in, I’m comfortable in saying that the show is addressing science and technology topics.  As the show continues to find its groove, this may well increase.  Host Larry Wilmore considers himself a nerd, and to me that is a green light for more appearances in these posts.

In this week’s collection of segments I didn’t catch in advance, we have something from The Daily Show.  On the March 25th program, Jon covered consequences of climate change in Florida and California.

If you still need some science and technology content, check your local PBS station.  The cancer documentary The Emperor of All Maladies premiers tonight and runs through Wednesday.

Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of March 23

Tonight marks the beginning of James Corden’s tenure as host of The Late Late Show.  Both he and David Letterman have just three shows this week, due to the college basketball tournament, so you may have additional opportunities to catch one of Corden’s first few programs.  Corden will appear on Conan Thursday, should you need a new dose after his first three shows.  I will monitor the show for science and technology content, but I’d be amazed if Corden matches his predecessor Craig Ferguson in terms of guests and monologues on the subject(s).

There is a repeat worth mentioning.  Senator Ted Cruz appeared recently on Late Night with Seth Meyers, and made some claims about climate change.  That program will re-air on Friday night.

In the new material this week, The Daily Show is the place to watch.  Tuesday night Jon Ronson stops by to discuss his latest book.  So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed concerns public shaming, and part of the rise in this activity has been technologically based.  Part of Ronson’s motivation for writing involves his interactions with people impersonating him online.  Former orca trainer John Hargrove, who was part of the documentary Blackfish, visits the show on Thursday.

On Friday, Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory (where he plays a scientist) visits The Talk.  He’ll be promoting his new animated film, and The Talk‘s technology reporter, Chi-Lan Lieu, will be on as well.  (Earlier today/Monday on The Talk was Emily Deschanel, who plays a forensic scientist on Bones.)

Rap Guide To Medicine Premieres This Friday

If you’re going to the inaugural meeting of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, you might be able to see the premiere of Baba Brinkman’s latest Rap Guide.  He will perform The Rap Guide To Medicine on Friday night (you can also catch him performing a conference preview rap-up on Thursday.  This marks the first time the full album will be performed.  According to Brinkman, this album was written and recorded over the last six weeks, and features his frequent collaborator Mr. Simmonds.

If you like, you can obtain a digital copy of the album through Brinkman’s Bandcamp site.  He’s asking you to pay your own price for this album, which was commissioned (and peer-reviewed) by Randy Nesse.  Additional support comes from The Perlstein Lab (which helped Brinkman put together the trailer for “Gene’s Eye View”), the International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, and the Society for Applied Microbiology (which helped Brinkman put together a video for “So Infectious”).

There are 8 tracks, covering disease, aging, infections, parasites and how our bodies may not have caught up to the consequences of modern living – all through an evolutionary perspective.  As usual, Brinkman references his sources on the album’s website, and the material has been vetted by Nesse, a physician and evolutionary biologist at Arizona State who has co-written two books on evolutionary medicine with George C. Williams, a key figure in mid-20th century evolutionary theory.

Besides, I think you’ll be in for a great listen.