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Monday, February 27, 2006


Snacks 27 -- Jerry Wilmink!

Helloooo, ya'll! S4theB! number 27, our first show in the second half of a year's worth of podcasts. Wow. Who woulda thunk it. Get set again for a rich mix of ambient noise. Last week's great chat with Dr. Charles Brau led me to schedule this Snacks! interview at the same location--though I think we'll go for the earlier timeslot if we do another one there: This one's got a lot of ambience! Bear with it, though, because my subject has a commensurate amount of great information to share! Think busy coffee shop, imagine you're out in the world with us, grab a cup of joe, pull up a chair and listen up here! I met with Jerry Wilmink, doctoral student in BME ("Biomedical Engineering") at Vanderbilt University , at Fido (Fido again!? Yep. It's relatively quiet, they serve great caffeinated beverage and a killer scrambled eggs on a bagel, and it's close to campus) for a chat about his work with the CSO in the GK12 program, as well as about his research into laser cell damage (can you say "weapons defense?") and we had a marvelous talk. Jerry, BTW ("By The Way," of course), was a presenter at the Adventure Science Center CSO presentation on BME that was the topic of S4theB! episode 22--check that out if you haven't yet heard it. Music today is from the Podsafe Music Network and is only part of a fun electronic tune--called "Jungle Tip Toe"--by songcrafter Larry Seyer ("...rhymes with 'Fire' and sounds like 'Sire'"), a "9 time Grammy-award-winning producer, engineer, and musician" who utilizes PMN to promote his thriving production work out of his studio in Texas. Ah, the Internet...Ah, music! Enjoy!!! And if you do enjoy, please copy the URL for this page and email it to a friend or colleague. The more the merrier!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Snacks 26 -- Dr. Charles Brau!

This past Monday morning, I met with Dr. Charles Brau, Professor of Physics at Vanderbilt University's Physics and Astronomy Department at the wonderful Fido's in Nashville's Hillsboro Village, just off campus, to chat about a bunch of things. Dr. Brau, co-inventor of the "eximer laser," was honored with the FEL (Free Electron Laser) Award in 1996. Along with teaching his classes at Vanderbilt and conducting ongoing research to push the limits of physical science, he regularly hosts Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach IVC interactions with K12 students worldwide (visit this link to see upcoming offerings, then just for fun use the simple drop-down menu to refilter the page by viewing "past conferences"--wow, the CSO has done some great work over the past several years!). For these interactions, Dr. B. often dons a frizzy white wig in the guise of Dr. Albert Einstein to get his points across, always thoroughly engaging his virtual audience. Questions and answers from a couple of those fun sessions were the topic of S4theB! episode 6, so check that out, too! Listen up here!!! I asked Dr. B. what style of music he likes to listen to, and since he responded that he enjoys classical music most of all, our music today--again from the Podsafe Music Network--is Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, mvt. 3 by Joseph Haydn, performed by Mario Ajero Enjoy! And for more information about the cozy, hospitable, fabulous Fido, see their website! When in Nashville, "think globally, drink locally!!!"

Monday, February 13, 2006


Snacks 25 -- Dr. Glenn McCombs and the Heart!

Happy Valentine's week ya'll. As I mention in S4theB!25, I don't much subscribe to Valentine's Day as a holiday. I'm sure if I had stock in Hallmark I might feel differently, but it just seems there's too much else in the world more important than finding a commercial means to express one's love to those one loves. I'm also a teacher, you know, of young children, and I must confess that my opinion is informed by years of watching students get hopped up on sugar and trade paper artifacts that beyond a question of a doubt lay around for a few weeks before getting thrown in a wastebasket destined for landfill. Why can't the image used as the universal symbol for a heart be more realistic (clipart from Ooooooh, I don't rant often, do I? Alrighty then, to the meat of the matter: the Heart!!! Dr. Glenn McCombs, one of my many bosses-- and a cherished colleague--delivers several interactive videoconferences (IVCs) at the Center for Science Outreach, and this week we get to sit in on the tail end of one of them as he answers some very perceptive questions by middle schoolers who have partaken of Dr. McM's description of how the heart works. I am struck by the conversational tone of the exchange: Here's an educator who not only knows his subject(s) but also knows his students and their schema for understanding. Hear what I mean by downloading the show here! Visit the videoconferencing pages at the CSO website to peruse the offerings and see if one fits the needs of your science curriculum or those of your own children (it's perfectly okay for you to suggest CSO resources to your own kids' science teachers, ya know!). Music for today's podcast courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, a song called "Uptempo 14" from an artist named "Gary," an electronica wizard out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sheesh, I would like to be hanging out with him down there instead of chillin' my toes here in Nashville today (37 degrees with a dusting of snow on the ground!).

Monday, February 06, 2006


Snacks 24 -- Bob O'Dell and Arnie Heiser!

Episode 24 of S4theB! finds me gleefully digging through our audio archives of interactive videoconferences from the long-running VIADyer program. Hear Q and A sessions from two of these stellar sessions, featuring VU astronomers Bob O'Dell and Arnie Heiser! It's true, ya'll: The kids are engaged and learning takes place each and every time a dedicated scientist, one concerned with the future of our world at the hands of its citizens-to-be, holds a conversation with a classroom full of kids. The kids can be Middle Schoolers in New Jersey, High Schoolers in Texas, or elementary school kids in rural Tennessee. As long as they gather together to spend a half-hour or so with a brilliant research scientist, learning will transpire and good questions will be asked and answered. Even when the questions might not seem so "good," a seasoned educator/scientist can turn a question asked for the sake of asking a question into a teachable moment from which everyone gains. Listen up here. Bob O'dell was leader of the team that initially designed and set the course for the Hubble Space Telescope project. And Arnie Heiser, Professor Emeritus (that means retired--though great men never really retire, don'tcha know) is a leader in the field of the birth of stars and their life cycles. Both men regularly donate their time to interact with students in K12 via "VIADyer," (Virtual Interactions with Astronomers at Dyer Observatory). The videoconferences themselves really must be seen to be appreciated. Any school anywhere in the world with a dedicated videoconference unit and an IP or ISDN connection may participate in the programs offered by the Center for Science Outreach by visiting our signup webpage and following the directions to schedule a free program. More information on Interactive Videoconferencing may be found at the CSO site's link pages. Music for today's podcasts provided by the Podsafe Music Network and an amazingly talented 15 year-old Dutch guitarist named Rory. Thanks, Rory, and keep 'em Rockin' in Rodderdam! Cheerio!

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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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