The Cosmic Shed
Machinehood - S.B. Divya

Machinehood - S.B. Divya

March 6, 2021

S.B. Divya is a Hugo nominated science fiction author, an A.I. engineer and an editor of Escapepod. She joins Andrew for this episode of The Cosmic Shed.

There's a photo of Andrew and Divya here on the website.

Machinehood builds upon S.B. Divya's love of science fiction and experience and knowledge of Artificial Intelligence from her extensive experience as an engineer in the field.

There's a picture of Machinehood on the website here.

Download and listen to S.B.Divya on The Cosmic Shed.

show notes

Machinehood is from Saga Press
The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast

The Midnight Sky

The Midnight Sky

February 9, 2021

George Clooney's The Midnight Sky, currently showing on Netflix, comes to The Cosmic Shed podcast.

We're joined by legendary production designer Jim Bissell to discuss his work on The Midnight Sky. You might know his work from E.T. 

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Jim Bissell, Production Designer of The Midnight Sky and our Steve

Our Steve got a teensy bit excited about the engineering in the film and we've indulged him big time in this episode. Happily, he's the kind of guy you want to indulge and he's come up with something rather special.

Not only does he bring you an interview with Jim Bissell, who designed the space craft (the Aether) in The Midnight Sky, but he got in touch with Professor Ben Hicks of the Design and Manufacturing Futures Lab at the University of Bristol.

Steve and Prof Ben hatch a plan to work out the engineering of the Aether if it were a real life space craft...Stay tuned for those diagrams coming soon.


The Aether - could it really work?

Meanwhile, in "the shed" opinions are mixed but all found something to love in The Midnight Sky.

Download and listen now.

show notes
The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast

Astronaut Abby

Astronaut Abby

January 15, 2021

Abigail Harrison is also known as Astronaut Abby. Since the age of 13,  her eyes have firmly set on the red planet. Abby is an aspiring astronaut who dreams of becoming the first astronaut to set foot on Mars and the co-founder of the international non-profit organization The Mars Generation

Abby joins Andrew for this episode of The Cosmic Shed podcast.
Abby Harrison is aiming to be the first person to set foot on Mars

Dream Big! How to Reach for Your Stars is Abby's first book and it "provides helpful advice and practical tips to help readers on the path toward finding, reaching for, and achieving their goals."


Abby's book is out this month.

It turns out Abby is a bit of a science fiction fan too. Obviously, Andrew and Abby chatted about that and we find out which book and film she'll be taking with her when she sets off for Mars.

Download and listen now.

show notes
The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian

December 30, 2020

This is the episode. Disney have announced 10 new films and series in the Star Wars Universe. The Mandalorian Season 2 has just finished. The Arecibo Observatory just collapsed. We're in.

If you could see images, you'd see Fennec Shand here
"Your name will be legendary" Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand

Andrew, Ti and Steve settle in to talk all things Mandalorian and Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute joins us to talk about the latest in the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence and the collapse of the Arecibo.

Sorry you can't see this picture of Baby Yoda.
Baby Yoda stole our hearts. Mando stole our Friday nights. 

Fair warning, this is a spoiler laden episode so make sure you watch all of the first two seasons of the Mandalorian first. Once you have done that, settle in for our last episode of 2020.

The Arecibo collapse - more or less heartbreaking than the ISS destruction in Gravity?
The Arecibo (as featured in Contact) has collapsed

You have two choices. You can download and listen at home or your can can download and listen outside. We can bring in 2021 warm or we can bring it in cold. It's up to you.

We have spoken.

show notes

Seth Shostak has written a lovely tribute to Arecibo
The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast
Our episode featuring Joonas Suatamo (Chewbacca) is here 
Our episode with Warwick Davis is here
Our episode on the Physics of Star Wars is here
Our previous episode featuring Cavan Scott (Star Wars author) is here 
Our episode on some rather interesting Star Wars research is here 

My Octopus Teacher - Pippa Ehrlich Interview

My Octopus Teacher - Pippa Ehrlich Interview

November 28, 2020

Andrew is joined by Pippa Ehrlich, Director/Producer of the wonderful documentary My Octopus Teacher now streaming on Netflix for this special episode of The Cosmic Shed.

It's been stealing hearts and winning awards across the world, including winning The Golden Panda at Wildscreen Festival which leads us to be able to type the following, deeply wonderful sentence:

My Octopus Teacher won the Golden Panda.

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Pippa Ehrlich is Director/Producer of My Octopus Teacher

Pippa tells Andrew just what goes into making such a stunning film in a wide ranging conversation including diving in the kelp forests and making a film for Netflix.

Pippa Ahrlich and Andrew Glester for The Cosmic Shed
Pippa and Andrew in conversation.

Put on your warmest wetsuit and dive in. Alternatively, wear whatever you like and download the latest episode of The Cosmic Shed podcast.

show notes

Pippa is also part of the Sea Change Project. Find out about their wonderful work here.
The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast

Kellie Gerardi

Kellie Gerardi

November 21, 2020

Kellie Gerardi joins Andrew to talk about life in the Space Age and her work in the commercial space industry. Kellie is something of a social media star with over 200,000 followers on Instagram and TikTok and has set her sights firmly on reaching Space for herself.

Her new book, "Not Necessarily Rocket Science - A Beginners Guide to Life in the Space Age" is out on November 24th 2020

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Kellie and Andrew talk about life in the Space Age and Kellie's new book

Kellie researches bioastronautics and has flown on the Vomit Comet (a plane which enables passengers to experience weightlessness) on a number of occasions as part of her research.

Kellie Gerardi and Andrew talking for The Cosmic Shed podcast
Kellie Gerardi and Andrew talking for The Cosmic Shed podcast

This being The Cosmic Shed, the conversation turns to Science Fiction and we learn of Kellie's links to a galaxy far, far away.

Download, sit back and listen to this episode of The Cosmic Shed with Kellie Gerardi.

show notes

The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast
You can buy Kellie's excellent book here
You can buy Kellie's merchandise here

Proxima

Proxima

September 23, 2020

Next up on The Cosmic Shed, we explore Alice Winocour's fascinating new film, Proxima starring Eva Green and we hear from Alice Winocour herself.

Eva Green's character is surrounded by men

Andrew, Ti, Tushna and Achintya gather in the virtual shed, wishing they were next to each other and not separated by a lockdown and virus. All rather fitting for the film which you'll know if you've seen it and you should.

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Achintya, Andrew, Ti and Tushna discuss Proxima

Strap in, escape under a fence or blast off into space. Do what you need to do but make sure you download this first.

show notes
You can read Andrew's review of Proxima in Physics World
The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast
Very special thanks to Achtintya Rao for editing this episode.

James Cameron’s Avatar

James Cameron’s Avatar

August 31, 2020

In this long in development episode, we look back at the ground-breaking, record-breaking and undeniably beautiful Avatar.


We see you, Cosmic Shed listeners.

Andrew, Ti and Steve are joined by the hosts of the For What it's Earth podcast Emma Brisdion and Lloyd Hopkins to discuss the science and storytelling of Avatar.

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Steve, Andrew, Ti, Emma and Lloyd

You'll also hear from Christopher Conselice whose research revealed the likely number of alien civilisations out there. Christopher  is an American astrophysicist who is currently a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Manchester.


The floating mountain of the Valley of Mo'ara is an inspiration for Avatar's Pandora.

Settle in under your favourite tree and listen to this brand new episode of the Cosmic Shed podcast. Oh and you might as well watch Avatar again too. It's been too long.

show notes

The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast
Very special thanks to Achtintya Rao for his help in editing this episode.
Steve and Lloyd mention this

Sasha Sagan interview

Sasha Sagan interview

June 7, 2020

For Small Creatures Such As We is a wonderful book by Sasha Sagan. The title of the book comes from Contact, the science fiction novel written by her father Carl Sagan and her mother, Ann Druyan. Sasha's love for them, and vice versa shines throughout the book and she joins Andrew to discuss her life and work so far.

How can we find meaning in a secular world? Are traditions and rituals still relevant today? Just what made Andrew and Sasha laugh so much?

Find out in this episode of The Cosmic Shed podcast.

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Sasha Sagan and our Andrew

For Small Creatures Such as We is part memoir, part guidebook, and part social history and sees Sasha exploring the world around us, searching for...and finding...meaning, romance and humour in the rituals and everyday that punctuate our lives. 

Sasha is an author and television producer and joins us for this special episode of The Cosmic Shed.

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Carl Sagan's Contact is dedicated to Sasha. Have we?

Download to your favourite podcast app or simply press play on this page. 

Black Lives Matter

This podcast was recorded before the Black Lives Matter protests began and we, The Cosmic Shed, wish to add our voices and support to the protests.

There are so many wonderful podcasts on the topic, so many books, so many films. But our request to you, dear listeners, is that you don't let that be the sum total. Add your voice through whatever means you have. Donate if you can. Speak out if you can.

We can't put it better than Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham in Star Trek).

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Sonequa Martin-Green is @therealsonequa on Instagram.

Black Lives Matter

show notes

The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast
Very special thanks to Will Mountford of the Eureka Nerd podcast for editing this episode.
If you are interested in helping yourself to be anti-racist, there's another great list of things you can do here.

Assassin 33AD

Assassin 33AD

May 27, 2020

Assassin 33 AD is a Christian Science Fiction film in which a group of Muslim Extremist Terrorists go back in time to stop the Resurrection of Jesus (as reported in The Bible) from happening. We tracked down the writer/director Jim Carroll and talked to him about just why he made it.


Assassin 33AD - it's got Time Travel in it.

A Time Travel film about religion. The Cosmic Shed couldn't really avoid it so we invited Jordan Collver, former Creationist, to join us once again as we delve into the storytelling and science behind this...errm...compelling film.

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Ti, Andrew, Steve, Jordan and Tushna discuss Assassin 33AD

A lot of fun. Thanks Jim.

show notes

Jordan first joined us to discuss the Spectrum between Science and Religion
Jordan's comic is free to read here
The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast

Nicole Stott - Artist, Astronaut.

Nicole Stott - Artist, Astronaut.

May 22, 2020

Join NASA Astronaut and Artist Nicole Stott for this episode of The Cosmic Shed.

The first person to paint a watercolour in Space. The last person to return to Earth from the International Space Station in the Space Shuttle and now, the most recent guest on The Cosmic Shed podcast - it's been quite a life for Nicole Stott so far.

Nicole chats to Andrew for this very special episode of the Cosmic Shed as America prepares to launch people to the ISS once more. Nicole talks with Andrew about her Space missions, her art and what we can all learn from Astronauts as we find ourselves in this unprecedented lockdown. 

Download, listen and be inspired.


Nicole Stott on her Spacewalk outside the International Space Station

Nicole Stott was launched to the International Space Station with the crew of STS-128, participating in the a spacewalk that lasted over 6 hours. When Nicole returned on STS-129, she became the last Expedition crew-member to return to Earth via the space shuttle. Nicole completed her second spaceflight on STS-133.

One for the quiz buffs - STS stands for Space Transportation System or The Shuttle as it's more commonly known.


Nicole Stott painted the first watercolour in Space

Nicole served as a Flight Engineer on ISS Expedition 20 and Expedition 21 and was a Mission Specialist on STS-128 and STS-133

Nicole is also part of the wonderful Space For Art Foundation who put together large-scale community art projects to inspire and unite children in hospitals, refugee centers, and schools around the world. They have a new project called BEYOND which we'd recommend anyone who knows any children or is a child to get involved in. Go here to see how.

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Nicole Stott talking to our Andrew

You can see Nicole's Artwork here and, if you are really clever, you'll notice that you can actually email to ask about how you might go about actually owning some...

The Cosmic Shed. Science Fact, Science Fiction and Everything in between.

show notes
Nicole Stott is also a founding director Space for Art
The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast
Very special thanks to Will Mountford of the Eureka Nerd podcast for editing this episode.

The Wandering Earth

The Wandering Earth

May 14, 2020

On something of a locked down Planet Earth, we turn our attention to the massive science fiction hit film The Wandering Earth.

Set in the far future, The Wandering Earth follows a group of astronauts and rescue workers guiding the Earth away from an expanding Sun, while attempting to prevent a collision with Jupiter. The film was theatrically released in China on 5 February 2019 (Chinese New Year's Day), by China Film Group Corporation, followed by North America and Australia on 8 February 2019.

The film has  grossed $700 million worldwide. It is China's third highest-grossing film of all time and the third highest-grossing non-English film to date. Now it's the subject of an episode of The Cosmic Shed podcast.


The original poster for the Chinese Theatrical Release.

The film is loosely based on the 2000 novella of the same name by multi-award-winning author Liu Cixin, he of the Three-Body Problem. It stars Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie, Ng Man-tat, Zhao Jinmai, Wu Jing and Qu Jingjing. 

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Andrew, Ti, Tushna and Steve gather in the virtual shed to discuss it and wonder just how plausible is taking the planet on a one way trip to Alpha Centauri, using Jupiter to get us there?

show notes

The Wandering Earth is on Netflix
The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast
Very special thanks to Will Mountford of the Eureka Nerd podcast for editing this episode.

May the 4th be with Dr Rebecca Harrison

May the 4th be with Dr Rebecca Harrison

May 3, 2020

Dr Rebecca Harrison is the author of the BFI's forthcoming book to mark the 40th anniversary of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, out in October 2020. Her project Decoding Star Wars explores the use of code, such as software and algorithms, to produce and distribute the Star Wars franchise. She is a Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow and a film critic for places such as Screen Queens and Sight and Sound.


Dr Rebecca Harrison's book on The Empire Strikes Back is out in October 2020.

Rebecca is the founder of the Glasgow Feminist Arts Festival, which launched in November 2018 at the Centre for Contemporary Arts. The biannual festival provides a platform for women (including non-binary people and trans women) to share film, performance (theatre, dance and spoken word poetry), music, and other visual arts in the city. 

This is the tweet by Rebecca which caught our attention:

Download this episode of The Cosmic Shed to your favourite podcast app and listen now to find out where The Rise of Skywalker comes in this list. The answer might just surprise you...

show notes

You can read Dr Rebecca Harrison's review of Rise of Skywalker here
Our episode featuring Joonas Suatamo (Chewbacca) is here 
Our episode on the Physics of Star Wars is here
Our episode featuring Cavan Scott (Star Wars author) is here 
C3PO is played (in this episode of the podcast) by Alfie Wearn
Our episode on some rather interesting Star Wars research is here

In other words, you might as well subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast.

The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network

The Neverending Story

The Neverending Story

April 16, 2020

Riding our luck dragon all the way, we bring you a brand new episode of The Cosmic Shed from deep in the Coronavirus Lockdown. It's The Neverending Story.


The Luck Dragon will take you almost all the way through your expedition

We're joined by Professor Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, Director of the 60 million dollar Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope which is operated by a consortium of 21 institutions spanning 6 countries and involving 270 individual researchers...which is nice but also exceedingly relevant as Melanie and her team have just discovered the biggest explosion in space since the Big Bang. The radio data which the scientists have been studying changes the way we think about Supermassive Black Holes.


The massive burst occured in the vicinity of the Ophicius Cluster

Andrew manages to spend most of the podcast pretending that this is the reason why he decided to do an episode of The Cosmic Shed on The Neverending Story. After all, Black Holes are pretty much as close to The Nothing as Nature gets...but later on in the episode we discover what might just have been his true reasoning...


Engywook would approve. We move in Scientific Circles.

In "the shed" are Andrew, Maddy, Steve, Ti and Tushna and Ben even drops in for a poem. It's been too long.

Download to your favourite podcast delivery system and listen in now...

show notes

See if you can pick out all the cameos in the Ivory Tower here
The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast

 

Amy Bean - Moonwalker’s Daughter.

Amy Bean - Moonwalker’s Daughter.

March 30, 2020

We're delighted to welcome Amy Bean, daughter of Apollo 12 Astronaut Alan Bean to The Cosmic Shed for this special episode. 

When Alan Bean walked on the surface of the Moon, his daughter looked on from planet Earth.

What was that like for a young girl growing up in the Houston at the height of the Space Race? What was Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the Moon like as a dad? How does it feel when your dad's rocket is hit by lightning just after take off? All this and much more in this episode of The Cosmic Shed podcast.

Amy Bean and her Dad Alan Bean, 4th Man to walk on the Moon
Amy Bean with her Moonwalking Dad Alan Bean. Photo credit: Amy Bean.

Alan Bean was the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 12 and the fourth man to walk on the moon. He was the commander of Skylab 3, spending 59 days in orbit around the Earth and became an artist. Listen to his daughter share her story and the story of her father, the first artist to set foot on another world. 


Alan Bean - The First Artist in Space.

Show notes

Alan Bean's Art website is here
The Cosmic Shed is part of the Stimulus Network
You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed podcast
Amy Bean was talking to Andrew Glester.

Play this podcast on Podbean App