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Animal Mimicry in Nature and Carpenter's The Thing

In this episode I'm sharing types of animal mimicry. From owl butterflies to cuckoo birds, to the "thing" from space. I discuss defensive mimicry, aggressive mimicry and even mimicry humans have contributed to. It turns out there's no greater inspiration for horror than the natural world. Research from this episode is from my ol' pal Wikipedia and C. Blut, J. Wilibrandt, D. Fels, E.I. Girgel & K. Linau's 'The 'sparkle' in fake eyes - the protective effect of mimic eyespots in lepidoptera'...


Super Suits, Mechsuits, and Iron Man

We are obsessed with super suits. It is the peak of imagined technology. It’s like we have recognized the limits of the human body - and we have decided that all we need to become super strong, fast and flying is robotics. From Iron Man, RoboCop to the Gundam franchise, they are known as mechsuits, exosuits, and mobile suits. I wanted to know what exactly these suits do, how can we break them down into different parts of technology. What real world tech is out there that would be familar to...


The Flu in Stephen King's The Stand

There have been several pandemics in human history and few are as misunderstood as the flu. In Stephen King's The Stand, a flu epidemic wipes out most of the human population. How is it different from the actual flu? What are some misconceptions about the flu? How can you protect yourself? This episode goes into those questions and more. This episode was brought to you by Audible which as over 80,000 audiobooks for download. Download a free audiobook today with my special trial link...


Science of Superheroes: Planet Comicon Live

This special live episode was recorded March 30 in Kansas City MO. I did a round-up of the science of superheroes and superpowers, including Captain Marvel, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and Ant-Man. I discuss photon blasts, radiation, growing big and super-shrinking. Then I talked about the outliers: real life people with interesting abilities. Check out the transcript on the blog factandsciencefiction.com and share the episode with a nerd you know! Twitter:...


Going for Orbit with Kerbal Space Program

I play a video game! Join me as I launch a rocket to space, complete an orbit path, and return back to the planet on Kerbal Space Program. Kerbal Space Program is a popular physics simulator that teaches players science and engineering. It's for people who love space and taking notes! FactandScienceFiction.comFacebookTwitterInstagram This episode was brought to you by Audible. Download a free audiobook today with a trial subscription at https://audibletrial.com/factandscifi Check out...


Interview with Author David Siegel Bernstein

David Bernstein's Blockbuster Science has been a life-saver for my research for the podcast and I was so happy he agreed to be on the show! We talk about how he got the idea for the book, his favorite topics in science (hint: space!), and his job as a forensic data scientist! Follow David on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Support the podcast on Patreon.com/FactandSciFi or get in touch on the Blog!


Climate Change and Eco Sci Fi

Climate change is an environmental phenomena that has huge implications for life on Earth in the next few decades. I researched climate change adaptation: what we're going to do when the worst effects of climate change happen. I saw a lot of similarities between what is really happening and a sub genre of science fiction called Eco Sci Fi including work from Jeff VanderMeer, Lesley Nneka Arima and Kim Stanley Robinson. Research includes Interviews from America Adapts: The Climate Change...


Time Travel in Fiction... and Reality?

I am back from my hiatus to talk about time travel! Time travel as a theme has been BIG in stories since before the written word. I talk about legends, popular science fiction movies and TV, and then break down what Albert Einstein allowed for in his relativity theories. Buckle up! This episode included research from Time Travel: A History by James Gleick *I may have called him David in the episode and I am so sorry. Download this audiobook today or another of your choosing by clicking here...


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 the...


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...