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Wednesday, March 28, 2007



Hey, all, As of this posting, S4theB! shownotes will appear at a new URL. The Powers-that-be at Vanderbilt have decided it's time to host shownotes at the University server. Cool! You ready? Here it is: Currently, shows 51 onward are noted there, and it's possible that all the content will be moved over soon. Until then, keep this blogger site bookmarked for notes to older shows! Cheers, Scott

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Snacks 54 -- Pat Levitt!

Episode 54 of S4theB! features a fascinating chat with Dr. Pat Levitt (photo courtesy of, Director of the Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. Dr. Levitt is also a member of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute Neuroscience Council and is extraordinarily active in a plethora of professional organizations, including the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, and the National Advisory Mental Health Council for the National Institute of Mental Health. He is the author of over 170 scientific papers and serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals that include Biological Psychiatry, Cerebral Cortex, and Neuron.
Pat Levitt, as you can see, is a very busy guy.
That's why I was so pleased to be able to meet with him in his offices on the 4th floor of the John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. My portable recorder was sadly out of juice so I rigged up my laptop with a headset mic (the explanation for my own comments during the interview sounding like I'm speaking with a tin bucket over my head :), but I have to say the 30 or so minutes we chatted were among the most enjoyable and enlightening I've spent in these nearly two years of interviewing some of the most interesting people in science.
Enough chatchat: Download S4theB! Episode 54 here or click the Podcast Pickle player at the top of the page to hear it right in your browser.
This episode's music hearkens back to the Podsafe Music Network for its listening-on-the-theme-of-the-brain content. 3 Feet Up's "Teflon Brain" and audio project The Fabrications' "Brain Cells" color up the show, and there's even a TechTipTidbit for you! I lead out by fudging a little with BRAIN BUCKIT's (well, there's "brain" in the band's name!) bluesy "Rocket Science." All in all, I think it's a a satisfying Snacks! and I hope you'll agree!
Dr Pat Levitt's Vanderbilt University Medical Center page
The Vanderbilt Brain Institute -- a great site for learning about the human brain! Spoon-fed Snacks! -- Click here for Google results search returns for "Pat Levitt environment genetics blog"

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Snacks 53--AIDS Outreach at Vanderbilt

Hey,ya'll, This S4theB! is dedicated to the determined group of Graduate Students known as Vanderbilt AIDS Outreach, or "AIDSO." Led by the capable Brenna Simons, these students work to help make Middle School and High School students aware of the dangers of AIDS and of their options in situations where contracting the disease might be a consequence of their actions. I talked with Brenna at the Panera Bread Company and it was crowded inside so we parked ourselves at a little wrought-iron table and chatted away over green tea (Brenna) and coffee (me--their espresso maker was out of order :( ). Jenna's group is putting the finishing touches on a 30 minute video highlighting the personal experiences of folks infected with HIV and others affected by relationships with AIDS sufferers. Once it's ready it'll be available online both here and at the AIDSO website. This group is doing some amazing work, as you'll hear amidst the traffic sounds and occasional "order is ready" announcements. Think of S4theB! 53 as a soundseeing tour of sorts!!! In the show, we talk briefly about the interactive videoconferencing programs that AIDSO is planning via the CSO VSIVC program. Those dates are 04/16/07 1:00 pm and 04/23/07 1:00 pm. Teachers, if you want to sign up visit the CSO website and do so!!! Music for this show is from, and features the fantastic fretwork of acoustic guitarist Jeff Wahl. Nice listening, and if you like what you hear you'll love the rest of his album, available for purchase at the Magnatune website. You'll also get an informative TechTipTidbit this show, all about how to erase your harddrive, courtesy of Dr. T. at via's computer tips, used with permissions. About to recycle or donate or sell a computer? Better listen up to this one!!! Download S4theB!53 right here or click the Podcast Pickle Player at the top of the blog for (near) instant listening! Cheers, all

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Monday, January 29, 2007


Snacks 52 -- The CSO Website!

Hey, ya'll, I've been soooooooo busy, setting up the Spring 2007 Vanderbilt Virtual Scientist in the Classroom interactive videoconferencing programming (still under construction!), teaching my li'l folks at USN, and moving my family into a new home. So I'm a bit late but hoping that with Snacks4theBrain! episode 52 we can get back on the bi-weekly schedule. In this episode it's all moi, all Scott, all about the CSO website!
Our guy Jeff Hazelton has been completely revamping our website and this little audio tour is something you might think about following along with your computer mouse as we explore the site. While completely perverting the podcasting concept of "soundseeing," I think you might agree it functions as such, even if the place you're going is virtual instead of, for example, out on the English countryside...
As far as the music goes, it's all mandolin! Two great tunes by blues giant Johnny Nicholas, live cuts from the Podsafe Music Network at and a third just me and my mando. I can't measure up to the Nicholas, but I do have fun with it and I hope you will too. We hear Johnny's "Mandolin Boogie" and his "Mandolin Moan," two cuts from his "Thrill on the Hill" CD, available at, the same site I host my "Songs for Alaska" CD. You can't get my song, "Emma and Miranda are in China," anywhere but here...yet! It's part of a compilation of guitar and mandolin instrumentals I hope to release by the end of the year on CDBaby, a record called "Still Waiting." Watch for that!
Download S4theB! 52 here, or click the Podcast Pickle player at the top of the page for quick and easy playing rightcheer in your browser! Cheerio, and look for an veryyyyyyy interesting interview in the next show!!!!!!!!!!!!
Links: RIP Research Internship Program podcast Joe Lopez BEST Camp interview

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Snacks 51 -- Steve Spangler!

Hello, ya'll, from snowy Denver, Colorado. I flew up here from springy-weather Nashville expressly to participate in the Great Blizzard of '06. Well, not really, I flew up here to be with family for the holidays; but that certainly has been one of the highlights. There's a great slideshow of the blizzard's effects upon the airport at Denver 9News's website. FINALLY! My brother-in-law, Jim Leonard, and I drove out south to Steve Spangler Science on Federal Highway at Englewood and met the man himself. He greeted us at the door while I was on the cell phone to my wife, who was frantically talking with American Airlines about getting our tomorrow flight rebooked. We got past that and moved on in. What followed was perhaps one the most engaging hours of my podcasting life! Download S4theB! episode number 51 (or listen in the Podcast Pickle player at the top of the page) to hear just how amazingly passionate this man is about sharing the magic of science with teachers and with students. And visit YouTube to watch a 4 minute video from the visit! Don't know what this one will do, but the video posted in episode 49 has to date garnered over 40,000 views over the Internet. Sheeeeeesh! Links: Steve Spangler Science National Hands-on Science Institute Steve's 9News video archive Be Amazing Toys Music: Bill deRome from the Podsafe Music Network No Kiss for New Years from the Podsafe Music Network Barbara Leoni from This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog

Monday, December 18, 2006


Snacks 50 -- Christmas Show!

Hey, ya'll. In Denver now and looking forward to putting together S4theB! 51 here. Meanwhile, I'm posting a show that is all music. Holiday music. Christmas music, to be exact. Some of it's my own and some is from my old trusty standby, the Podsafe Music Network at David Spencer's work is at Here're the songs and the artist info, in order of appearance: Joy-Kinda Holiday-ish--Charlie Crowe Moose Nuggets for Christmas--Scott Merrick, from Scott Merrick's Songs for Alaska Featuring the Last Frontier Band Jingle Bells--Natalie Brown The Little Drummer Boy--David Spencer with Scott Cash The Elf Who's King of Country--Scott Merrick If Every Day Were Christmas--Podsafe for Peace Download the show here or check out the Podcast Pickle link at the top of the page!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Snacks 50! Half a Century!

Hey, ya'll, I'll be working on S4theB! 50 this week, but here I go again, promising you last show something I'm not gonna deliver, at least not yet--the interview with Steve Spangler at The really GOOD news, though, is that I'll bring you that next time. I was chatting with him over the telephone Friday, and we were about to set a phone call interview time when I had to sucker-slap myself: I'm going to be in Denver with my family over Winter Break! (slap!) I could meet him at his offices, which he referred to as a 'toy factory' (heheheee) and do a better-sounding interview with him, buy him some coffee, and maybe even tour the factory! Wheeeezers! I'm thinking video, especially since the brief video in S4theB! episode 49's blognotes garnered over 30,000 (yep, all those zeros belong!) views in just over a week. Let's see if we can beat that! Meanwhile, and whilst you're awaiting S4theB! 50, read the op-ed article by my friend, colleague, and boss Dr. Virginia Shepherd, wrote in this past Thursday's Nashville Tennessean. It's about a new call for institutions of higher education to belly up to the bar and begin to do something to help out ailing public school systems. For more news about the CSO's fine work, see the CSO News page at the website. Hey, there's an article featuring an interview with me there!

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Episode Guide:

1 Joe Lopez interview
2 S4theB! Introduction
3 Keystone PSA Announcement
4 Kathy Schrock interview
5 Todd Lamitina IVC
6 Charles Brau IVC
7 Ginny Shepherd interview
8 Jeannie Tuschl interview
9 Keystone Conference
10 Scott Merrick on IVC K12
11 Vicki Metzgar interview
12 Jerry Wilmink IVC
13 Louise Rollins-Smith interview
14 Louise Rollins-Smith interview 2
15 Keystone Conference
16 Keivan Stassun interview
17 William Schaffner interview
18 Science Songs
19 Geek Gift List
20 Rocky Alvey interview
21 Bill Snyder interview
22 Biomedical Engineering Forum
23 Rick Chappell IVC
24 Bob O'Dell and Arnie Heiser IVC
25 Glenn McCombs IVC
26 Charles Brau interview
27 Jerry Wilmink interview
28 Educational Podcasting
29 Ginny Shepherd "Out of the Lunchbox" talk
30 Vickie Hannig and Melinda Cohen interview
31 David Warlick interview
32 Highlights from past shows
33 Randy Reiserer interview
34 Arnie Heiser interview
35 Overview of CSO
36 Overview of CSO 2
37 Glenn McCombs interview
38 Albert Reynolds interview
39 David Salisbury
40 NECC 2006 Highlights
41 Ian Jukes interview
42 GAS Camp (Girls and Science Camp)
43 Stephen Camarata interview
44 Jeff Ray interview
45 Kyle Butler interview
46 RIP (Research Internship Program)
47 Ig Nobel Awards
48 Dyer Star Chamber
49 Steve Spangler Science

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