251 - Mezcales y Moas

00:00:00 - Mezcal is a magical and misunderstood spirit. Abe, Jacob, and Ryan spend some time breaking down just what the spirit is, from the myths about worms to the economies of towns trying to use craft distillates to escape the horrors of the drug trade. It's complicated. What's a bit simpler, somehow, are the fluid dynamics at play in determining proof, known as the pearls of mezcal. A team has presented their findings on the phenomenon, and we try to explain the science at play. 00:31:58 - Abe, unsurprisingly, is enjoying an agave-based spirit, but in the form of an elixir that seems new yet familiar at the same time. Jacob is up next and braces for mockery with a beer he already had in episode 101. Abe and Ryan had no intentions for teasing, but when it's invited it's hard to resist. Ryan goes full hipster with a Multinational Horn-Dog Black Saison that he makes Abe describe because Abe made it in the first place. Delicious!  00:44:17 - Moa were giant terrifying monster-birds from New Zealand. And they're extinct. Did they die because of climate or because of humans? A recent study suggests the latter. The team used genetics, which seems straightforward enough, but leads to a discussion about the potential problems with blaming native peoples for local extinctions. The boys seems to conclude that humans are just humans, no judgement needed beyond universal human foibles.  01:05:52 - PaleoPOWs are a lot like moas, oversized and prone to destruction. Ryan begins with an overdue thanks to recurring donor Jeff E. Thanks, Jeff! Next up, Jacob has an e-mail from Matt M. pruporting to explaing the phrase "going commando" as referenced in our recent interview with Mary Roach. It's a fun explanation, but is it a "just-so story"? Trying to work backwards, it seems kilts may be to blame as the original source of eschewing underwear. This leads to pontifications on the nature of meta-skepticism, literally debunking the debunkers. Abe wraps things up with a question from Tyler V. about the possibility of a Spanish-language science podcast. Seeing as there are more native Spanish speakers than native English speakers, seems like a no-brainer, but not something we can quite pull off at this point, though we have talked internally about it. Music for this week's show:
Another Pearl - Badly Drawn Boy
Home - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
The Bird That You Can't See - Apples in Stereo

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