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alien idea: a podcast

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conversations with creative minds.

conversations with creative minds.
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conversations with creative minds.






Episode 21: A Virus Machine

Adam Catching is a second-year Biophysics student at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Adam received his B.S. in Physics from Chico State in 2016 and during the year between undergraduate and graduate school, he was a laboratory technician in the lab of Rob Phillips at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) where he learned the biology side of biophysics. Adam recently joined the lab of Raul Andino at UCSF where he works on the quantitative aspects of viruses such...


Episode 20: Whateverglades

Whateverglades is a rock-n-roll band from Oakland, CA. Their musical genre is self-described as “Estuary Pop” with “heavenly harmonies and twangy tones”. Clay and band members (Tony, David, JD, Lou Lou, Tina, and George) discuss how they formed, playing shows, their upcoming tour in Japan, and many other things related to playing music. *Exclusive unreleased track is at the end of the podcast!* Website: Bandcamp:


Episode 19: Emotions & Stigma

Shane Colombo is from Riverside, CA and received a B.A. in psychology from SF State in May 2016. Shane spent 2 years at Columbia University (New York) in a post-bacc, pre-doctoral program called the Bridge to PhD program in the Natural Sciences. His primary research project utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the relationship between internalized stigma, verbal memory, and emotion recognition in patients at clinical-high risk for psychosis. This fall, Shane will...


Episode 18: Music In The Winter

Katy Larkin is a cello player and founding member of the bands Black Water Railroad Company (Seward, AK), and La Libertà (Point Reyes, CA). Katy talks about her creative process, her love of Alaska, performing in Black Water Railroad Company, the frustrations that can come with learning something new, the formation of La Libertà, and shares their interesting recording experience. Katy is currently working on the production team for an upcoming Netflix movie filming in Oakland, CA. Check out...


Episode 17: MK part II

Maham Khan joins the podcast again! Maham and Clay discuss several things such as: Israel and Palestine, Gun reform, immigration, Trump’s trade war, the viral Giraffe picture, and many other things. Articles for your reference: Israel/Palestine: Giraffe: Tariffs :...


Episode 16: Faster, Higher, Stronger

Hamza Fasih is a fitness company founder from Toronto, Ontario. As a fitness professional and educator, he became frustrated with the shortcomings of the fitness industry when it came to putting clients first. From this frustration he created AltiusFit: a fitness education company focused on putting long term client benefit above all else. Hamza and Clay talk about how he started AltiusFit, fitness education, and being an entrepreneur. For more information checkout: AltiusFit website:...


Episode 15: Speak Your Truth

Eric Fethe joins the podcast again! Eric graduated from SF State in Spring 2018 with an MA in Psychology in the Industrial/Organizational concentration. Eric shares how he has been achieving his D.U.M.B. goal of reading more poetry, and Clay and Eric banter about several topics including (but not limited to): Poetry Nap, Melania Trump's jacket, Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, social and political sensitivities, and super hero movies. Recorded on Thursday, June 21st. Topics referenced in the...


Episode 14: Persuasion & Politics

Omar Romero is a recent graduate from SF State and holds an MA in Communication Studies. Omar discusses his passion for politics, his interest in conservative media outlets, and how technology could potentially shape our political systems. Omar and jackson clay also discuss the current 2018 California gubernatorial race, forming political opinions, and other topics. These articles are referenced near the end of the episode: 1....


Episode 13: Coleman Spruce

Brent Meador a.k.a Coleman Spruce is a singer, songwriter, and all around musician based in Austin, TX. Brent and jackson clay talk about several things, share old times, and ensue in much laughter. *UPDATE 7/13/2018* Check out Howard Hupp's new music video Tha Girlz 2 Bizzy on YouTube: Check out Brent Meador/Coleman Spruce on: YouTube: SoundCloud:


Episode 12: Suspicious Delicious

Jon McKnight and jackson clay met in 2001 during their senior year of high school. With a few other friends they formed a band called Suspicious Delicious for a high school talent show. After high school, they continued to play shows in Ft. Worth and Dallas (DFW) through 2001-2002. Clay left the band, but Jon continued playing shows around the DFW area. Eventually he formed a band called Young and Brave. Jon and Clay reminisce about the fun times they had playing music, discuss bands they...


Episode 11: Hella Relevant

Britney Stewart and Jasmine Flores join the podcast and get topical on having a good doctor, astrology, Kanye West, Bill Cosby, Black Panther (the movie), public restrooms, and other things.


Episode 10: Podcast Reflections

Jackson and Trina hang out and discuss how the podcast has been going thus far and plans for future episodes. They also engage in general banter.


Episode 9: Russian American

Marina Tolotchko holds an MA in International Relations from SF State. She graduated in the Spring semester of 2017. As a Russian and American citizen, Marina takes us on a deep dive into Russia’s history of civilization, political systems, and ideology. She also illustrates how this translates to today’s Russian perspective and why international relations and sociological theories are crucial to understanding Russia’s ideology and values compared to that of the of the West.


Episode 8: Unqualified Advice

Cynthia Miranda graduated from SF State in 2015. She holds a Master’s degree in Education: Equity and Social Justice. For the last three years, she has been working for the Judicial Council of California in San Francisco. Cynthia talks about how this job relates to her degree, how she found this employment, and what she does as a Public Affairs Analyst. In addition, Cynthia discusses her favorite podcasts, why she doesn’t like horror movies, where she grew up, and a few other things. For...


Episode 7: After Death

Cameron Vale is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the State of Indiana. He works for Rozelle-Johnson Funeral Service in Anderson, IN. He has been a licensed funeral director for 6 years, but has been involved with funeral services at Rozelle-Johnson for 11 years. Cameron discusses how he became interested in funeral services as a career and is open about being an atheist in his professional and personal life, and how he is a minority as a non-believer in his profession. Jackson and...


Episode 6: Horses and Rock Music

Matthew Troy is a professional thoroughbred horse owner and trainer. His horses are raced at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley, CA. Before this career, he played rock music professionally for 20 years. He was a singer, songwriter, and guitar player in the band Track Star. He also founded the band Calling All Monsters. Matthew discusses the business and politics of training horses, as well as his daily routine. In addition, he shares some experiences about being in a touring rock band. Jackson...


Episode 5: CEDAW

Sejla Avdic is an SF State graduate from the Master’s program in International Relations. She is currently active with the United Nations Midpeninsula Chapter (Palo Alto) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Sejla discusses how she became involved with this movement, what CEDAW represents as a global convention, and why it is important on a local level. On April 2nd, 2018 at 6pm (PDT) there is a tentative date set for the Palo Alto CEDAW...


Episode 4: Preserving Humanity

Brenda Mejia is an SF State student pursuing an MA in Museum Studies. Brenda discusses how this discipline became important to her personally and culturally, as well as her interest in Aztec, pre-Columbian, and modern Latino art. She is an intern for the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and also worked with the outreach coordinator at the de Young for the Teotihuacan exhibit. In addition she explains the importance of museums and the role they play in telling cultural stories to provide...


Episode 3: International Relations

Maham Khan is an undergraduate student in the International Relations program at SF State and will be earning her Bachelor's degree at the end of the Spring 2018 semester. She will be pursuing her Master’s degree in this field in the Fall of this year. Maham is currently an intern at the Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) and in 2015 interned at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C. Jackson and Maham discuss her experiences in her internships, the Muslim faith,...


Episode 2: Video Games

Ethan Solak discusses his career in and shares stories from the video gaming industry, reflecting on over 5 years at Visceral Games leading up through its closure, as well as current work at Outpost Games. He began doing Quality Assurance on Dead Space 3, and has since worked as Camera Designer and Senior Video Editor. Check out Outpost Games at: