Ashley Hamer's Posts

Mad Art Cast: Staying Creative

Mad Art Cast: Staying Creative

A new podcast is up! This week’s episode is a continuation of the fascinating discussion about creativity we shared on last week’s episode. We have an update on the pronunciation of Pluto’s moon Charon. Never fear, it still sounds like the female antagonist in a 1980s teen movie. A shares some fantastic life lessons and advice from author Anne Lamott: “Almost everything wil... »

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes

This is a joint post by Skepchick writer Julia Burke and Mad Art Lab contributor Ashley Hamer. When Anne Sauer alerted us to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal by Lettie Teague asking whether music can influence the actual taste of wine, the prospect of enjoying our two favorite things (Ashley’s a musician; Julia is a wine geek) was enough incentive to check it out. What is the relationsh... »

Italy is Sending an Espresso Machine to the ISS

Italy is Sending an Espresso Machine to the ISS

This afternoon, SpaceX is launching its Dragon V2 spacecraft to deliver 4,300 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station. Among the scientific experiments and testing tools is one very large, very odd item: an Italian espresso maker, adorably dubbed “ISSpresso.” It might seem odd to send something so purely for pleasure — nobody is planning to do experiments on the eff... »

Lab Track: Rocketman by Iron Horse

Lab Track: Rocketman by Iron Horse

In general, I tend to shy away from old classics as Lab Tracks in favor of new science-themed songs that few people know about, just because I like introducing people to new songs and artists. It’s not to say old classics aren’t just as worthy of having their own feature; it’s just that we all probably know about them already, so why go over them again? That’s why this part... »

What A Saxophone Looks Like: A Lesson for Stock Photographers

What A Saxophone Looks Like: A Lesson for Stock Photographers

Earlier this week, the Texas Classroom Teachers Association posted an image that was supposed to spread the word about Music in Our Schools Month and celebrate all the benefits a high-quality music education has to offer. Unfortunately, whoever was responsible for the image did not get a high-quality music education. For those of you unfamiliar with the intricacies of the saxophone: it requires a ... »

Lab Track: Electric Love

Lab Track: Electric Love

We here at the Lab are kind of obsessed with Bob’s Burgers. Amy has dressed as Louise for CONvergence before, and there have been more than a few rumblings of doing a full group cosplay someday. Today’s track comes straight from an episode of the show’s third season, entitled Topsy. Faced with her teacher’s refusal to accept last year’s volcano project in this year... »

American Girl Magazines from the Swingin’ Sixties

American Girl Magazines from the Swingin’ Sixties

My sister and I flew home to California this past weekend for my grandmother’s memorial service. My family organized the whole thing, and one thing I’ve learned from the experience is that to do a memorial properly, you need tons of photos of your loved one: there are obituaries and slideshows and photo boards and funeral decor, all of which require them. The day we flew in, the family... »

This is Your Voice on Hormones

This is Your Voice on Hormones

I recently got the privilege to see Laura Jane Grace perform live. Grace is the founder, guitarist, and lead singer of the band Against Me! who made headlines for being the one of the most high-profile musicians to come out as transgender. She was actually a last-minute addition to the show I came to see, and as a result had no backup band — it was just her, a couple of acoustic guitars, and... »

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