Dr. John Hawks is a Distinguished Achievement Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, associate chair, and undergraduate advisor. He earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1999. His interests include Biological anthropology, Paleoanthropology, and Anthropological genomics.
John took us through the evolution of humans from a cultural and genetic viewpoint, starting about 3 milion years ago. In recent years there’s been an explosion in the fossil history of our ancestors that has greatly improved our understanding of Homo Sapiens. We spent some time covering the newest thinking about Neanderthals, including how Homo Sapiens interacted with them starting 100,000 years ago in Europe — and the mysterious disappearance of the Neanderthals. John provides fascinating details of our human evolution. Don’t miss this one!
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John on Charlotte's New Podcast - Media+ Interview
30:07John moves to the guest chair for a change and sits down with Charlotte Henry on her podcast Media+, where they discuss new shows on TV+.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr. Jessica Hebert
32:38Dr. Jessica Hebert is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University. She earned a Ph.D. in Biology from Portland State in 2018. When not sciencing, Dr. Hebert is an international, award-winning public science communicator and an Science Communication Fellow at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Jessica got turned onto science watching Star Trek: Voyager with her father — along with reading the works of scifi author Robert Heinlein. While she pondered becoming a physician, she quickly realized her passion is biomedical research. We chatted about her Ph.D. work on the human placenta, and it was fascinating. She also shared some important details of preeclampsia. Jessica does science communication at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and is a member of the folk band, The PDX Broadsides. This is a wide-ranging, energetic, exciting interview.
TMO Contributor Kelly Guimont (#14)
38:44Kelly Guimont is a long-time podcaster, Contributor for The Mac Observer, the host of the Mac Observer’s Daily Observations podcast, and a tech support guru. In her 14th appearance, Kelly and I chat about our favorite streaming TV shows and movies of late. As is our custom, we alternate. I open with a very positive review of the 2020 series The Right Stuff (Disney+). Kelly was up next with Penny Dreadful (Showtime). John then raves about the movie and then series Mystery Road. (Amazon). Kelly chimes in next with extreme praise for The Mandalorian S2/E1 (Disney+) and, later, an update on Lovecraft Country (HBO Max). John delves into the fabulous The Hundred-Foot Journey (Amazon) and scifi/romance Tuck Everlasting (Disney+). And there’s more! Join us as we explore together what’s great about these shows.
Former Apple Software Engineer David Shayer
37:32David Shayer worked as an Apple software engineer for 18 years. He worked on the Apple Watch, iPod, and Radar, Apple’s bug tracking system, among other projects. He was an independent Mac software developer for a decade, and clients included Apple, Microsoft, Symantec and the U.S. Navy. David told about how he learned to program, some of which was on an Apple II and some on a Mac in the 1980s. He went on to tell me about how he was hired by Apple. Twice. The second time he worked on the iPod file system and database. In the process he learned how Apple products are designed, and that included some great stories about Steve Jobs, his design sense, and the iPod team’s interaction with Jobs. There were other fascinating Steve Jobs stories. We finished with his revealing article about how Apple OS software development works.
Archaeologist and Author Dr. Rebecca Wragg Sykes
37:36Dr. Rebecca Wragg Sykes is an archaeologist, writer and creative professional. She earned her Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Sheffield (UK) in 2010. She is the author of the just published book Kindred which is about Neanderthal life, love, death and art. Dr. Sykes attributes her interest in Archaeology to “mucking around in the dirt in the backyard” as a child. But also her parents took her to historic sites on holidays. Then she started devouring books about the ancient Egyptians. By and by, she became keenly interested in the reality of life in the past. Rebecca humorously explained how “Archaeology is like Anthropology but for dead people.” In segment two, we explored her new book about the Neanderthals, and it was mesmerizing. For example, new findings have proven that there was interbreeding with Homo sapiens. There is much more in this delightful show.
Paleoanthropologist Dr. John Hawks
35:02Dr. John Hawks is a Distinguished Achievement Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, associate chair, and undergraduate advisor. He earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1999. His interests include Biological anthropology, Paleoanthropology, and Anthropological genomics. John took us through the evolution of humans from a cultural and genetic viewpoint, starting about 3 milion years ago. In recent years there’s been an explosion in the fossil history of our ancestors that has greatly improved our understanding of Homo Sapiens. We spent some time covering the newest thinking about Neanderthals, including how Homo Sapiens interacted with them starting 100,000 years ago in Europe — and the mysterious disappearance of the Neanderthals. John provides fascinating details of our human evolution. Don’t miss this one!
Astronomy Professor Dr. Mario Juric
37:27Dr. Mario Juric is professor of astronomy at the Department of Astronomy of the University of Washington. He holds a Ph.D. in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University. His research is at the intersection of astrophysics and computer science and engineering: developing systems and algorithms for use with large data sets to answer questions about the Universe. We chatted about how Mario was inspired to become an astronomer, and one notable name came up: James T. Kirk. That’s all it took. Oh, and also Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Most of the show, however, centered around two things: mapping our Milky Way galaxy and and his work on the Vera C. Rubin Observatory project, previously the LSST. Starting in 2021, this telescope will capture panoramic images of the entire visible sky twice each week for 10 years, building up our deepest, widest, image of the universe. The result: hundreds of petabytes of imaging data for close to 40 billion objects. One mission: planetary defense!
Best Selling Science Writer Steve Silberman
30:51Steve Silberman is an award-winning science writer, award-winning book author, public speaker, TED talk speaker, sometime record album producer, and a life-long Mac user. His writing on science, culture, and literature has been collected in a number of major anthologies including The Best American Science Writing of the Year and The Best Business Stories of the Year. Early in his life, Steve fell in love with science fiction, especially the works of Ray Bradbury. Later, he studied under poet Allen Ginsberg and learned about both effective research and the power of language. We chatted about his early writing at Wired and The Well, and that led him to discover the deeper story of autism. The result was a major, influential article at Wired, then his important, award-winning book NeuroTribes .
Astrogator and CEO Mike Loucks
39:20Mike Loucks is the CEO of Space Exploration Engineering (SEE), which he co-founded in 1995. He received a BA in Physics/Astronomy from Whitman College, WA in 1985 and an MS in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado in 1991. He co-founded SEE corp. in 1995 after working as an operations and trajectory planning expert for Orbital Sciences Corporation. The NASA Apollo missions and science fiction by Robert Heinlein got Mike interested and space and astronomy. Early on, he pondered becoming an astronomer but later decided that aerospace engineering was his true passion. We chatted about the founding of SEE and his work there. Mike then told me about the kinds of computer and software tools he uses for orbital and celestial mechanics and the role Macs have played in his life. Mike finished with some great advice for students who want to pursue a career in aerospace engineering.
The Mac Observer Co-founder Dave Hamilton
37:37Dave Hamilton is the co-founder of The Mac Observer, publisher, and co-host of the legendary Mac Geek Gab (MGG) podcast, having done over 800 shows with our John Braun. He’s an Apple—and router—guru. Dave and I opened the show with an extensive discussion of Apple succession planning. Who would replace CEO Tim Cook on an emergency basis? Who might succeed him when he retires? Who on the executive team is qualified? In segment II, Dave explained Wi-Fi 6 and its presence (and lack thereof) on various Apple products. That got us into new routers that support Wi-Fi 6. Finally, we looked at the ever-changing UI of Apple OSes, discoverability of features and the continuing need to remain practiced with each OS. As with his MGG, Dave is both informative and entertaining.