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Every now and then you come across something that is so warped and confusing that your brain explodes, cucumbers eject from every orifice and you find yourself standing in a pile of your own filth naked, with only an umbrella and a long stick of taffy! You then have to rebuild your consciousness from the ground up which takes all day and leaves you with a sense of self loathing that is hard to shake. Today was one of those days when I found this:-

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080923104410.htm

Welcome to brainfuckery. In the words of George Hrab’s Prof. Damian Handzy,

That’s totally fucked up

Welcome to the world of tomorrow! Blogs are old news, the age of the podcast has begun and in honor of the dawning of this new age I thought I would do a skeptical podcast run down of the casts that I currently (or have in the past) listen too!

Geologic Podcast
http://www.geologicpodcast.com/

Do you want to laugh? Well, if you do, then listen to George Hrab on his podcast. The show consists of sketches, his mother rapping, religious morons and many of his absolutely side splitting characters (all played by him). He even has cameos by famous pod caster Soccer Girl! (A podcast I have not yet listened to by the way.) I am not kidding when I say Mr Hrab is funny, all I can say is go check it out for yourself and then send me (or George, preferably me) money for finding it for you. It is recommended that you listen to episode 31.1 if you want to catch up and get in on the “in” jokes.

Skeptics Guide to the Universe
http://www.theskepticsguide.org/

No self respecting skeptic skips this weekly podcast. Hosted by Steven Novella, an academic neurologist and full time skeptic, and the skeptical rogues, Robert Novella, Jay Novella, Rebecca Watson (the Skepchick) and Evan Bernstein. The SGU is a must listen for any skeptic, or non-skeptic for that mater, in their weekly rounds of the podcast scene. In the show they discuss current topics in the news and skeptical community as well as devastating break downs of pseudo-science and woo. Their regular interviews are truly entertaining. The Amazing Guru of skepticism James Randi also has a regular section called Randi Speaks where he attacks certain issues head on. If you love knowledge, and who doesn’t, tune into the SGU and join its already huge (35,000 last time I heard?) listener base!

Skepticality
http://www.skepticality.com/index.php

Again, a must listen for any self respecting skeptic. Join Derek and Swoopy as they delve into a specific issue each week. Generally their show consists of an interview with a prominent personality in skepticism or science but their older shows were more like SGU in structure. My favourite recent episode was the No Intelligence Allowed! interview with Professor Richard Dawkins and Dr. Michael Shermer about the new ID movie Expelled.

Are we alone? – SETI Podcast
http://radio.seti.org/

Are we alone? Who knows! But damn it’s fun to speculate. That’s what the SETI podcast is all about… well, not really, they explore deep into different scientific issues as well as the astrobiology topics it is based on. Each podcast focus’ on one or two topics and consists of interviews and fantastic banter between the two hosts. Seth Shostak is the senior astronomer at the SETI institute.

Scientific American
http://www.sciam.com/podcast/

This is a podcast that I don’t listen to regularly, but when I do listen I enjoy it thoroughly. The podcasts are usually fairly short and consist of mainly scientific topics (duh). My recent favourite episode was their interview with Mark Mathis who they proceeded to basically rip apart. It was hilarious to listen to him back peddle when met with a difficult question.

Cj’s Skeptical World
http://tcradiolive.com/cjskeptical.php

Unfortunately CJ’s no longer makes his podcast, but what he has made so far are highly entertaining. Listen to CJ as he spews mind bending rants about Woo and science in the American and world media. He even gives this blog a fleeting mention.

I hope this quick run down has helped you to decide on what you want to listen to. With each packet of knowledge I receive I come closer to world domination, please help me in that goal by commenting and posting your favourite Podcasts.

Imagine standing on the summit of a mountain 12 kilometres high. From this point you can see the vast red landscape of dust and rock beneath you. High speed winds beat against the metal armor of your transport and every gap is rapidly filled with fine flecks of dust. If you were to step outside of your warm vehicle you would surely be frozen solid in a matter of seconds, and if not, you would probably suffocate. You are on top of Arsia Mons.

As you look out below you, 12 kilometres down you can see tornadoes ripping across the surface of the planet, each is 8 kilometres high and about as wide as 5 football fields and at the base of each is a brilliant blue light. You can clearly see the potency of the electricity crackling beneath the tornadoes and you are glad that you are safe up on your mountain. You watch as these dust devils skim across the surface of the red earth whipping rocks high into the air.

You look away from the weaving dance of the dust devils towards the north. There is a huge canyon 6 kilometres deep there and from this vantage point you can clearly see the immense scale. Far in the distance beyond the canyon you can see fluffy white clouds above the polar cap of the planet and you wonder what could be over there.

This is Mars.

Recently I have been thinking a lot about this place. It truly is exciting that one day we could be there walking on the Martian surface, perhaps discovering life or ancient life long gone. What’s even more exciting is that this could all be happening within my life time, in the next 40 years or so we may have the first missions to Mars. Not to mention our return to the moon.

I was wondering, if asked, would you go to Mars? I know I certainly would. Even if there were no chance of coming back. I’m not trying to sound emo here but let me rationalize it for you. In my thinking, what could be more exciting, interesting and life fulfilling than going to another planet let alone the moon! Nothing you see there will be the same as Earth, everything will be new and beautiful. I cannot think of anything on Earth that would give the same feeling.

So, if a scientist came to you in 40 years and asked you to go to Mars, Would you?

Skelliot.