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Bigfoot, Mothman and More: Cryptids in History and Today

For Halloween and the podcast’s first anniversary I dedicate this special episode to cryptids! Bigfoot, Mothman, Wendigos and Loch Ness Monsters. Where do these stories come from? How can cryptozoologists prove they are real? Using research from folklore researchers, historians and animal researchers, I take a closer look into the world of hidden animals. Research from this episode: Going to the Source: Volume 1 to 1877 by Victoria Bissell Brown and Timothy J. Shannon Cryptozoology in...


Data Science and Predicting Crime

Science fiction and reality blurs when it comes to data science and crime. This episode I discuss predictive policing using examples from Minority Report, Person of Interest and Psycho-Pass to shed light on what actual data analytics programs are in place today. Research from Michelle Chan Chinese Startup Makes Facial Recognition Glasses for Police Augmented reality glasses for police in China Andrew Ferguson Policing Predictive Policing Christina Larson Who needs democracy when you have...


Atlantis and Ocean Exploration

What can we learn from early science fiction about the ocean? What technology was inspired from this ocean speculation? This episode I want to take you on a journey through centuries of science fiction about the ocean. A journey, you may say 20,000 leagues under the sea, from mythic sunken cities like Atlantis to real companies mining resources from the seabed. Research from this episode came from Mark Adams' Meet Me in Atlantis, World Ocean Radio.org, Robert Ballard’s ‘Why We Must Explore...


Cretaceous and Jurassic: Dinosaurs

The Jurassic Park franchise has renewed interest in dinosaurs and speculation about bringing them back to life. But speculative and scifi authors have fantasized about present day humans surviving prehistoric animals since the 1800s. I debunk myths about dinosaurs, talk about current research in paleontology and dinosaur behavior! This episode was brought to you by Audible. Download your free audiobook on me by going to audibletrial.com/factandscifi Help the show grow by leaving a review...


Space Colonization Part II: Space Stations

This episode I dive deep into space. I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris (2002) for the first time! I specifically talk about the different kind of space stations, how we might live in space, and how well 2001: A Space Odyssey predicted current technology. I used research from WIRED, Popular Mechanics, Astronaut.com, and NASA itself to explain what space stations might look like in the future. Ringworlds, cylinders, spheres, oh my! Fluidscape by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a...


Space Colonization Part I

This episode I break down colonizing another planet or moon. Will we find an exoplanet that can support life? What kind of challenges await Mars and Moon colonies? From figuring out how to breathe to growing food, colonizing space will be the most difficult thing humans may have to do. I use examples from Star Wars, The Martian, and more. Stay tuned for Part II when I discuss generation ships and space stations. Research from NASA.gov, Science of Star Wars, and MIT Download my current read...


Across the Stars: Space Travel

This episode I invite my friend Paul to help me tackle the gigantic topic of traveling across space. Using examples from Interstellar, Stargate, Star Wars and more, we talk about how it works, how it may work in the future, and the interesting theoretical concepts that science fiction uses today to make interstellar travel possible and to tell the best stories. Research from this episode includes: The Science of Interstellar by Kip Thorne Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo...


Planets and Space with Harriet Brettle

This week I have planetary scientist Harriet Brettle on the show. We talk about those beautiful pictures of Jupiter, how Harriet got her start in a STEM field, what she thinks about Elon Musk and, of course, science fiction! Follow Harriet on Twitter @harriet_brettle Follow the pod on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @factandscifi Support the podcast by telling a friend, submitting a review on Apple Podcasts, or download a free audiobook or two at...


Are We Alone? Finding Extraterrestrial Life

This episode I discuss extraterrestrial life: how will we find them? What will they look like? What will we say to them? I discuss technology from NASA, spectroscopy, the study of insects, the messages we've sent so far, and a certain video released from the Pentagon. The truth is out there. Research from today's episode: NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Gizmodo's scientist roundtable What Will Aliens Look Like? New York Times Glowing Auras and 'Black Money' David Siegel Bernstein's...


Interview with Altered Carbon's Marlene Forte

Over the weekend at ClexaCon, I got to talk to Marlene Forte. You may know her as Alazne in Altered Carbon, Celia in Fear the Walking Dead, or Graciela in The Runaways. We talk about her science fiction roles, what it's like to be Latina in Hollywood, and how women should get together to create their own stories. This episode was brought to you by Audible.com, download your free audiobook today at audibletrial.com/factandscifi (may I suggest Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan?) Follow the...


Gender and Sexuality: Live at ClexaCon

This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at ClexaCon, the largest multifandom convention for LGBTQ women and allies. My guest host Michelle and I discuss the importance of women and LGBTQ representation in media; I break down an academic paper about the effects of media representation in the TV show The Fosters on queer and straight youth, and media theories that may explain it all! Then we top it off with an audience Q&A and tangents about Carmilla and The 100. Follow the...


Bonus Episode: Interview with NASA Engineer Holly Griffith

Holly Griffith is a sci-fi geek and engineer who worked in mission control for space shuttle missions and the International Space Station. She talks about the real hard work and challenges of getting astronauts into space. We then discuss the importance of Princess Leia, the realism in The Martian, women in STEM, and more. This episode was brought to you by Audible. Get your free audiobook today (may I suggest The Martian by Andy Weir or Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer) here. Follow the...


Military Science Fiction and The Cold War

This episode I discuss military science fiction as subgenre of sci-fi and how it may have influenced the discourse around the military from the Cold War to today. I talk about Cold War themes in Starship Troopers and Ender's Game, and discuss the Citizens Advisory Council, a group of science fiction authors who undermined the U.S.'s policy of mutually assured destruction. This episode was brought to you by Audible, with over 180,000 audiobooks and you can try two with a free monthly trial....


Bonus Episode: Philip K. Dick 2049

For a special bonus episode, I discuss the themes of Philip K. Dick and how they were inspired by his real life. I use examples from adaptations I've watched recently, including Blade Runner 2049, Total Recall, and Amazon's new series Electric Dreams. Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Source. Theme music: Malmo Sunrise by the 126ers. Follow the pod on Twitter and Instagram. Check out the transcript for this episode.


Health and Medicine in Science Fiction

This week Jes, registered nurse and pre-med student, returns to discuss how healthcare stacks up to the speculation of science fiction. We talk about prosthetic limbs, mobile diagnostic tools, organ transplants, and diseases using examples from Star Trek, The Last of Us, Handmaid's Tale and more. Theme music: Malmo Sunrise by the 126ers End music: Sunburned Salvation by the 129ers Follow the pod on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @factandscifi and check out more content at...


Virtual Reality and Dreams

This episode I discuss what virtual reality really is, what it's not, how VR may fool humans, and which science fiction encapsulates it best. I use examples from Jaron Lanier's book 'Dawn of New Everything', The Matrix, Black Mirror's San Junipero and more! Music by The 126ers and The 129ersFollow the pod @factandscifi on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and check out new content on factandscifi.blogspot.com


What is Artificial Intelligence?

This episode I discuss the history, theory, and philosophy behind artificial intelligence. How does our human consciousness differ? And what artificial intelligence looks like in science fiction, such as The Matrix, Person of Interest, Westworld, and more.Research from 'Blockbuster Science' by David Siegel Bernstein and 'Love + Sex with Robots' by David LevyTheme music by The 126ers, additional music by The 129ers. I didn't mean to do that.Audio clips from 'Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy'...


Gender and Sexuality in Science Fiction

This week I discuss the representation and assumptions of gender in science fiction and the real world with special guest, sci-fi nerd and girlfriend of the pod, Jes! We discuss gender in pulp scifi and representation of women and LGBT in sci-fi TV today, including the Bury Your Gays trope and more.Research from 'Decoding Gender in Science Fiction' by Brian Attebery, GLAAD.org and Autostraddle.com. Theme music by The 126ersFollow the pod on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @factandscifi,...


Corporations and The Endless Frontier

This episode I talk about the balance between public funded research and private funded research. In reality, private industry has to step up a lot when public funding diminishes. But sci-fi tells us that science is soon twisted by corporate greed. I talk about alternative energy, genetic engineering tech, the Terminator franchise, SyFy show The Expanse, and more!Rate and review wherever you get your podcasts, check out the transcript and links at factandscifi.blogspot.com and follow on...


Bonus Episode: Interview with Scientist Laura Richmond

The pod's first bonus episode is an interview with Laura Richmond, a PhD candidate and host of 'Superhero Science' in Glasgow, Scotland. We talk more about epigenetics, the importance of science education, and what we can learn about superheroes from nature. Follow Laura @slayb0b on Twitter and find Superhero Science at https://www.facebook.com/SuperheroScienceAoA/Theme music: Malmo Sunrise by The 126ersCheck out the links and content from the pod at factandscifi.blogspot.com, rate and...