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Each week, scienceman Alex Duckles, author of the Naturalish blog on Medium, is joined by his trusty producer and expert non-scienceman Ben Schultz to explore the amazing (and sometimes terrifying) real science hidden within myths, fantasy, and science fiction from the past and present. It's all Naturalish! --

Each week, scienceman Alex Duckles, author of the Naturalish blog on Medium, is joined by his trusty producer and expert non-scienceman Ben Schultz to explore the amazing (and sometimes terrifying) real science hidden within myths, fantasy, and science fiction from the past and present. It's all Naturalish! --
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Each week, scienceman Alex Duckles, author of the Naturalish blog on Medium, is joined by his trusty producer and expert non-scienceman Ben Schultz to explore the amazing (and sometimes terrifying) real science hidden within myths, fantasy, and science fiction from the past and present. It's all Naturalish! --






Scary Tasty Fun Mummies

This week Alex and Ben dive into the spooky (or maybe not so spooky) world of the mummies. Today they are frightful cursed monsters, but were they always? As a special treat for this special episode our hosts are even recording from the same location! Science in the News covers ethically dubious genetically modified babies and Bill Nye's view on Mars colonization.


Sandworms of the Dune-iverse

Frank Herbert did his homework before writing his classic science fiction novel, Dune. So in order to cover the biology of all-important giant sandworms of Arrakis at the center of the series, Alex and Ben must deliver a giant episode taking cues from the Dune Encyclopedia along the way. And right in time for Thanksgiving too! So while you're chowing down take a chomp of your favorite podcast for all things science-ishy. Science in the News covers the connection between climate change, the...


Rat King: A Tangled Tale

It's ALIVE! Or is it? Actually, how could such an abomination even survive? The frightful rattenkonig sits in that murky ground between fact and fiction; territory that is perfect for Naturalish! Alex and Ben not only discuss rat king biology, but the psychology of why such a grotesque idea stuck around over centuries. Science in the News covers flu-killing llama serum, a special muscle making a big difference in a tiny bird, and a new way to measure the Earth's mass using neutrinos. Big...


Gremlins: The Real Christmas Creep

Boo! Merry Spookmas! It's Naturalish Nights! Deck the halls with webs of cob. Good spookings to you and you kin. That's right! We are in the thick of that age-old festive season and to celebrate Alex and Ben are taking a look at Gizmo, Spike, and the rest of the mogwai from the terrifying Christmas classic Gremlins. How exactly do their famous three rules function biologically? How could they have evolved? And why can't you feed 'em after midnight? From domestication to extraterrestrial...


Undead Awareness: Fight for the Cure

Undead, Z's, ghouls, ZOMBIES! Call them what you will, the living dead are coming for you and the only way to defend yourself is with science! That's why Alex and Ben wade into the spooky world of undead anatomy this week. Our mission: to discover the most effective way to kill one of these mindless abominations by looking to some real world examples of parasitic zombification. Science in the News covers an anti-robot safe word, a nightmarish raccoon epidemic, and zombie stars. It's all...


Naturalish Solves the Scare Crisis

All these monsters employed by Monsters Inc. are scaring kids for their scare energy, but no one is stopping to ask: WHY?! That is, until a certain scienceman-producer duo came along to ask the tough questions like 'where or when are these monsters?' and 'what is scare energy actually?' and 'what's really behind the scare crisis?' and 'how does all this fit into the Grand Unified Pixar Theory?' The answers are certain to shock, awe, and potentially educate this week on Naturalish! Check out...


Genesis: Divine, Chemical, or Alien

Many think they know how life can to be, but the truth is one does for certain. A perfect topic for the very first Naturalish: Nights! Scienceman Alex Duckles and producer Ben Schultz explore popular philosophical, religious, and scientific theories throughout the ages - with special attention paid to those that are out of this world... We're talking panspermia, folks! And it's an idea more ancient -and plausible- than you might think. Science in the News covers the waking of Opportunity on...


Monstrous Growing Pains

Have you ever dreamed of being big? But like skyscaper big, though. You could climb a building, go on a rampage, or skateboard with a train! Sounds pretty nice- except you forgot to ask about the unintended side effects, buddy. Sorry. This week on Naturalish, scienceman Alex Duckles leads producer Ben Schultz through the science of gigantic movie monsters, specifically the perils of magnifying creatures (or oneself) to create a colossal terror (or gentle giant). For one, there's more urine...


We Speak for the Monster Trees

How monstrous are monster trees really? Naturalish returns to the realm of cryptozoology this week as Alex and Ben take trip back in time to examine the mythemes of moving and/or talking trees that populate the forests of human imagination in order to decide once and for all if trees are good or evil! Additionally, Science in the News raises some concerning questions regarding healthy drinking habits, elephant zombie genes, and climate change's effect on wood density. Big Naturalish shout...


Who Squatches The Squatchers?

You probably don't believe in Bigfoot, but if you do, you probably have difficulty proving the existence of the noble Sasquatch to so-called scientists! Ever wonder why? Whatever you believe, scienceman Alex Duckles and his trusty producer Ben Schultz will confirm your beliefs as they discuss the strange realm of cryptozoology, a world once inhabited by such creepy cryptids as mythical gorillas, giraffe dragons, and grizzly-polar bear hybrid! Additionally, Alex's Brain Bubble is burst by...


Chimeras: Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy

Legends of Greek mythology and... real? Not real? Chimera lore runs deep: monsters with head of lions, wing of eagle, and tail of snakes. In truth, though, there's nothing impossible about the idea of a chimera — Ben and Alex get to the truth behind these abominations on a journey through history, language, psychology, and all the science in between. Also, IN THE NEWS we tackle brunch, bellinis, and BEES! Join Naturalish every week for your one-stop-shop in all things science. Maybe...


Pokemon Evolution: The Terrible Truth!

Life on Mars?! Talking animals?! Well... maybe, but that's all before Alex and Ben delve into the disturbing biological implications of Pokemon evolution. Where do these "pocket monsters" come from, and why do they "evolve" as they do? Can we even call what they do evolution? We also explore Alex's inability to recognize criticism and Thing We Like. It's all Naturalish! -- -- Special thanks to The Pokemon Company, Game Freak, Wizards of the Coast, Nintendo, the...


The Importance of Being Flubber

Alex is perturbed by the Disney film Flubber's cavalier attitude toward its title character's sentience. This week on Naturalish, Alex and Ben get to the bottom of what the eponymous green goo is neurologically and physically capable, as well as the significance of Robin Williams's robotic assistant Weebo's artificial intelligence. Why must all of this cinematic masterpiece's characters be focused on the potential financial ramifications of Flubber and not the intrinsic implications of its...


Unlocking Dino DNA!

Though Jurassic Park is well-equipped to educate the masses about genetics and dinosaurs, it is less so to prevent the masses from becoming dino-chow. This week, with the help of Mr. DNA, Alex and Ben unlock the dino DNA trapped within the amber of Steven Spielberg's Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park. We also discover why Alex lies and we profess to like such things as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (including Infinity War) and Star Wars movies (including Solo)! Science in the News takes a...


Westworld's Mechanical Horse of Freedom

Alex is quite concerned about a missing mechanical horse in Westworld! In order to calm his nerves, he guides Ben through the symbolism of mechanical horses and the history of biomimicry attempts at Equus caballus. This week, Science in the News covers birds causing gravitational waves, free diving with larger spleens, and getting smarter via hand strength. Alex & Ben also talk about all the great science fiction and fantasy they are consuming right now. It's all...


Secrets of the Hundred Acre Wood

This week Alex and Ben tackle a divisive topic in the main segment: he's a tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff and a willy silly nilly old bear and his name is Winnie the Pooh! But what if that fluff were instead muscle, sinew, blood, and bone? How would this 'the Pooh' fair then? Do bears really eat that much honey? Should they?! How does Winnie's life compare to that of his more wild brethren? But before jumping down the Pooh hole - Have you thought of a giraffe today? - in science...


Let's Fact Check the Lion King!

You may THINK you know The Lion King...and you almost certainly do, which is why we feel like the science deserves an ounce of scrutiny. Do lions really have uncles? Could Simba have actually survived by eating bugs? And coolest off all: Where is Pride Rock?! This podcast has all the answers, PLUS your weekly updates on cool science news. We discovered a new human organ, a new tool for combating mosquitoes, and new discoveries about dark matter. All cool, all science, all Naturalish.


You're a Homo Sapien, Harry

Harry Potter. Star Wars. Game of Thrones... What do these top media franchises all have in common? Well, it might be humans. This week on Naturalish, Alex and Ben test out theories of whether the characters from our favorite fantasy and sci-fi stories are, in fact, Homo sapien. Even in the most far-off and fantastical worlds, has our species made its mark? Also this week, newsworthy stories about bathwater, asteroids, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. As the saying goes, "No news is good...


Love in the Arthurverse

Welcome to Naturalish the Podcast! A new series about absurdist science inspired by fiction, fantasy, media, and overall non-science things. On this episode, let's get intimate with the biology of the Marc Brown's ARTHUR universe: Can love exist in an anthropomorphizesd animal culture? We'll soon find out! We also recap the latest science IN THE NEWS; from penguin colonies to Amelia Earhart's remains, this 'cast has it all, folks. Look no further for your go-to science debrief, week by...