Episode 54 Soonish – Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve And/Or Ruin Everything

Zach and Kelly are BACK! Well, for now. Turns out we haven’t just been sitting by the beach instead of recording podcasts – we’ve been writing a book! That book is called Soonish – Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve And/Or Ruin Everything, and it’s coming out through Penguin Press in the US and Particular Books in the UK on October 17th. This episode gives you a flavor of what the book is about, and some insights into the harrowing tale of what we went through to write this book while working our “normal” jobs and raising 2 kids. You can preorder the book here. 

This episode is a preorder reward! As we sell more preorders we release additional rewards, including extra SMBC comics, signed bookplates, and Soonish bookmarks. Check out the reward page for more information. 

Bay Area Science Festival

Hey all!

We haven’t been updating lately due to my (Kelly) looming dissertation deadline, and Zach’s work wrapping up Augie and the Green Knight. We’ll get back to updates when we can, but we wanted to let you know that you can catch us at the Bay Area Science Festival in San Francisco from October 23rd – November 1, 2015. We’ll be recording a live Weekly Weinersmith show at the California Academy of Science, so there should be a new update sometime in early November.

Here are the events where you can find one or both of us:

Nerd Nite Block Party with Science…sort of


On Friday, October 24th Kelly will be recording a live podcast with Ryan Haupt and Ben Tippett of Science…sort of! In addition to being a geektastic good time, it will be the first time I’ve met Ben in person!  The event is being held at a motorcycle shop run by folks with PhDs in BioChemistry. It’s going to be epic, and it’s going to be free.

Join us at 630 PM at the Piston & Chain (1285 Folsom St at 9th St.)!



logoWKelly and Zach will be at the west coast’s Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (BAHFest). BAHFest is a “celebration of well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect evolutionary theory.” Six contestants compete for the best theory, and there will be a keynote address by Matt Inman (The Oatmeal). Judges for the show are Dr. Phil Plait (The Bad Astronomer)Dr. Elizabeth Iorns, and Dr. Andy Sih.

BAHFest West is at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco on October 25th. The show is selling out fast and only balcony seating remains!

Here is last year’s winning presentation:

Creatures of the Nightlife at California Academy of Sciences


The California Academy of Sciences opens its doors to adults only on Thursday nights for an event called NightLife. The October 30th NightLife is Halloween themed, and the Weinersmiths will be there to geek out and record an episode of the Weekly Weinersmith. Kelly will also be giving a short talk about parasites as part of a series of spooky science talks. See you there!


Episode 53: Melanie Martin on breastfeeding

This week we interview Melanie Martin, a PhD student at the University of California Santa Barbara, about her research on breastfeeding.


Kelly and Zach links

Kelly has been on two other podcasts recently:

Science…sort of: Episode 202 – Sausage-shaped but lumpy (with John Pohl, M.D.)

The Pseudoscientists – Parasites And Zombies: A Discussion With Kelly Weinersmith

Two weeks left to submit your bad ad hoc hypothesis for BAHFest

Augie and the Green Knight pre-orders

Interview links

World Breastfeeding Week

Mammals Suck…Milk!

Melanie’s guest post on Mammals Suck

Episode 52: Deep sea ecology with Dr. Andrew David Thaler

This week Zach and Kelly talk about deep sea ecology with Dr. Andrew David Thaler.


Zach and Kelly

BAHFest is coming up! Submit your proposals now.

Parasitic Manipulation of Host Phenotype, or How to Make a Zombie: Integrative and Comparative Biology Volume 54 (Issue 2): Special issue organized by Kelly and Dr. Zen Faulkes

Learn more about how the symposium on parasite manipulation came about

Episode 6: Zen, Zombies, and Ziplessness (Weekly Weinersmith episode with Zen)

Dr. Andrew David Thaler

Open ROV

Erika Bergman

Sedna Epic

Drown Your Town

Southern Fried Science

The Trouble with Teacup Pigs

Has the whale exploded yet?

Fleet (Andrew’s book)

Andrew’s Patreon Page

 Video of an exploding whale (not for the faint of heart, or the eaters of lunch):

Episode 51: Dr. Elizabeth Iorns on collaboration

We’re back! We’ve been super busy lately (moving across the country, having a baby, applying for jobs, finishing a dissertation, running a Kickstarter, etc), but we’re striving for more regular updates. While hitting a weekly goal is unlikely, we’re going to strive to update once or twice a month. Thanks for sticking with us!

This week we interview Dr. Elizabeth Iorns of Science Exchange about Science Exchange’s research on collaboration.



Here is Zach’s BAHFest keynote from last year, and the winning talk by Tomer Ullman.

Elizabeth Iorns interview

Science Exchange blog post: Is collaboration broken?

Previous Weekly Weinersmith episodes with Elizabeth:

Episode 16: Science Exchange and Dr. Elizabeth Iorns

Episode 40: The Reproducibility Initiative with Dr. Elizabeth Iorns

Psychology Reproducibility Project

Image originally posted on the Science Exchange Blog

Zombie ant crowdfunding project

Dr. Charissa de Bekker is running a crowdfunding campaign to continue her work on zombie ants. We recently interviewed Dr. David Hughes about zombie ants , so check that out if you want to learn more about this amazing host-parasite system.  Charissa recently published a super cool paper (open access!) identifying compounds secreted by the zombie-making fungus while infecting its ant host, and next she wants to identify the genes responsible for ant manipulation. Check it out!

Weekly Weinersmith on hiatus


As you have probably noticed, Weekly Weinersmith updates have been few and far between in the past few months. I really love doing this podcast, but this is the last year of my PhD and I have had to prioritize my dissertation experiments, manuscript writing, and applying for postdoc positions. I was hoping I would still have time to podcast, but my schedule simply isn’t allowing it. The experiment ends and all of my postdoc applications are due by early January, so our intention is to start back up again around that time.

Brachiolope podcast logo service markIn the meantime, you should be filling your ear holes with other Brachiolope Media Network podcasts! We recently picked up a fantastic podcast on astronomy called Astarium, which I highly suggest checking out. As usual, Science…sort of, Technically Speaking, and The Titanium Physicists are fantastic, and I’m sure will be more than able to fill the podcast-shaped hole (what shape is that?) in your heart until we return.

One last thing. The Brachiolope Media Network recently made our podcasts available through Podiversity. This is an android app that charges a low monthly subscription fee, and in return removes advertisements from the podcasts and provides a higher quality audio file. Best part for us is that your subscription fee goes to the people running the podcasts, so the Brachiolope Media Network can buy new microphones, pay our podcasting-related fees, etc. It’s a great way to support the shows.

Zach and I look forward to bringing your more nerdiness ASAP!

<3, Kelly

Kelly is a guest on Wild Ideas….the Podcast!

This week Zach is off to GaymerX and Kelly is furiously writing manuscripts. To hold you over until the next update, you should check out Kelly’s guest appearance on Wild Ideas…the Podcast! She talks about interactions between the host, parasites, and the microbiome. It’s a lot of fun!

You can also fill your podcast needs by checking out the other Brachiolope Media Network podcasts:

Science…sort of

The Titanium Physicists

Technically Speaking 

Episode 49: Dr. Joan Strassmann on Dictyostelium discoideum

This week Zach and I talk with Dr. Joan Strassman about Dictyostelium discoideum, a social amoeba.


Queller/Strassman Research Group

Dr. David Queller – Dr. Strassman’s collaborator

Sociobiology – Dr. Strassman’s blog on life as a scientist

Strassmann/Queller publications on Dictyostelium