November 25, 2009

Steven Pinker on

So, I just saw an interesting interview on It's a recent one where Steven Pinker is being interviewed by science journalist, Robert Wright.

It's a longer interview (about an hour long), but it covers various milestones throughout his career. Of course, with it being Pinker, much of the conversation revolved around the human capacity for language. There's an interesting segment where he discusses his disagreements with the linguist, Noam Chomsky. And then there's some discussion of evolutionary psychology, the logic of science and our perception of reality, and even a little bit of quantum mechanics (well, not a serious discussion of quantum theory, but it's used as an example of how reality is really counterintuitive). The interview ends with a discussion of the new project he's working on. It's a book on violence, and how violence is actually decreasing world-wide, despite our intuitions. He's been working on this book for a while it seems. You may even remember a post of mine covering this topic from over two years ago!

Well, anyways, I'm posting the interview below, check it out:

November 24, 2009

Gladwell on Colbert . . .

Malcolm Gladwell was recently on the ColbertReport, discussing his new book: What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures. It is a book of essays that he wrote for the New Yorker. He's one of my favorite writers, so I'll definitely have to pick up the new book sometime.

The interview is pretty good, though it seems that perhaps Gladwell was a little nervous (he seemed a little tripped up when Colbert asked if he was a Christian). But I think Colbert took it easy on him. Check out the video below:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Malcolm Gladwell
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating

Symphony of Science

Wow! Have you heard of the Symphony of Science?

This might be old news to some of you, but it's new to me (I found out through pharyngula, of course).

The Symphony of Science is a musical project "designed
to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form." The project is the brainchild of electronic musician, John Boswell. He takes audio/video samples from various lectures and/or educational programs and mixes them against his original compositions. His songs feature clips from Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Richard Feynman, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, and even Bill Nye the Science Guy. One track, "A Glorious Dawn," was recently released on vinyl through Third Man Records (indie record label founded by Jack White of the White Stripes) for the 75th anniversary of Carl Sagan's birth. This is actually my favorite track, and am posting the video below (all videos, lyrics, and mp3 downloads can be found at the home site . . . check it out!):

November 18, 2009

Free Copy of The Origin . . . . from Ray Comfort?

So, for those of you not "in the know," Ray Comfort (yes, the creationist with the banana routine) has printed 100,000 copies of his own edition of The Origin of Species, with a "special" introduction of course. Well, today Comfort and his followers gave out their propaganda at various universities and colleges across the country. And guess what? Yep. I got my own copy too!

Yep, there were people passing them out today at the University of Kentucky. One of my grad school buddies was able to secure a copy for me, haha (Thanks Dave!). The "special" introduction is hilarious!

Oh, by the by, if they came to your campus today, and you received a copy, then send a picture to The Primate Diaries. According to Pharyngula, Eric Michael Johnson (blogger at The Primate Diaries) is putting together a collage "of smirking evilutionists with Comfort's folly."