Episode 60 – Jake eats a hag fish!

Dear Nostril Fetishists,

The tide has turned and it’s a new day. A new day filled with new hope for a new baby boy, to be born in a stable, in a town somewhere near modern day Pakistan. That man’s name is Jake Farr-Wharton and he just ate a hag-fish. Seriously gross.

Nonetheless, the 60th episode of the ImaginaryFriendsShow.com Podcast is mother-flipping ALIVE!

This episode Gregg and Jake talk about a million different things, we introduce Guru Habungadung, welcome back Psychic Bob, Gregg plugs his instagram, and also, Jake sounds obscenely sexy with a cold.

Watch here:

Download MP3 here.

Subscribe to the mother-flipping show via iTunes (we’re on all major podcasting aggregators) here.

Peace, love and Think Ink.

Jake.

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.

“LIFE FOUND ON MARS!”

3.85 billion years ago, the last of the waves upon waves of asteroids that fell within our gravitational well, collided with our planet. This “Late Heavy Bombardment,” as it’s called, heated the surface of our planet, boiling its oceans. This volatile early Earth, as one can imagine, was not particularly conducive to life, in any form.

Nonetheless, it has long been hypothesised that life emerged soon after the bombardment, as the earth cooled. The problem that existed in validating this hypothesis, however, lies with the recycling of the earth’s crust, which is theoretically where any fossils documenting this timeline would be.

A new discovery in the Pilbara Western Australia, however, has found fossil evidence for the earliest forms of bacterial life yet (i.e. the predecessor to bacteria)!

Western Australia has been of particular interest to palaeontologists for some time now, because its unique geology has preserved possibly the oldest and earliest forms of life, stromatolies. Stromatolies are structures that are formed in shallow water through the trapping, binding, and cementing sedimentary grains using biofilms and microorganisms. The metabolism of these colonies of bacteria are almost singlehandedly responsible for kick-starting our oxygen rich atmosphere.

According to Sunday’s issue of Nature Geoscience, the fossils, found in black sandstone at the Strelley Pool Formation in Western Australia, appear to have biological origins. These 5-80 micrometer structures showed evidence of cell walls and spherical, rod, and ellipsoid shapes, are so uniformly structured, that they imply life was already flourishing 3.4 billion years ago.

The sandstone was found on a beach around the Strelley Pool area that began to appear above the ocean’s surface 3.4 billion years ago. The Earth’s newly congealed moon was significantly closer than today, which produced enormous tides, which would have likely led to repetitious submersion and subsequent exposure that would have killed and fossilised this predecessor to bacteria.

The implications of these findings originating from the early earth, give further credence to the existence of microbial life elsewhere in the solar system, and, certainly throughout the universe. As such, and in order to keep with the tradition of sensationalist headlines, it was necessary to ubiquitously sensationalise with the headline, “Life Found on Mars!”

References:

Microfossils of sulphur-metabolizing cells in 3.4-billion-year-old rocks of Western Australia, David Wacey, Matt R. Kilburn, Martin Saunders, John Cliff & Martin D. Brasier, Nature: Geology, 2011.

Subscribe to the mother-flipping show via iTunes (we’re on all major podcasting aggregators) here.

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.

Episode 59 – Australia’s greatest treasure… and terror!


Dear Frozen Chicken Embryos,

Episode 59 of the ImaginaryFriendsShow.com Podcast is mother-flipping alive!

This episode, Gregg and I chat about anthropomorphising, the evolution of the Homo species and several other questions from listeners. Pete and I also chat about the stupidity of Aussies and our terrible propensity to mix science with science-fiction. Enjoy.

Listen here:

Download mp3 here.

Subscribe to the mother-flipping show via iTunes (we’re on all major podcasting aggregators) here.

Peace, love and Think Ink.

Jake.

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.

Episode 58 – I can’t believe it’s not partially hydrogenated monounsaturated derivative of butter!

Dear Polyunsaturated Monochromatic Underpants Gnomes,

The 58th episode of the ImaginaryFriendsShow.com podcast is live.

Apologies for the long episode… but it’s awesome! This week, we talk parasites, leaches and scat. We also go into nukes for Christ, rioters, interracial couples are unnatural, Russian ‘Atlantis’ and confirm that Bert and Ernie are gay. Enjoy.

Listen here:

Download the mp3 here.

Subscribe to the mother-flipping show via iTunes (we’re on all major podcasting aggregators) here.

Peace, love and Think Ink.

Jake.

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.

Footsteps in Our Evolutionary Past

Have you ever taken a walk on a beach, down by the waves, where the rising tide rushes up to wash away any evidence of you ever having been there?

You were, of course, there nonetheless, however your impression was simply not left in a medium conducive to preserving your footprint for seldom more than a few scant minutes. What can your footprints tell you about you, though?

Funnily enough, there is actually a great deal of information contained within your footprints, though perhaps not if they only last a few seconds. You can, for example, tell a person’s stride length, their gait, approximate weight, whether they walk with a limp or some form of impediment from the depth and any drag created by the print. The imprint of the foot its self can tell a lot about the positioning of the bones of your feet, which will allow those who view it to distinguish your print from that of a bear, dog or gorilla (not that many gorillas live on beaches).

Put simply, if you put your foot in the sand, an anthropologist could describe you with some amount of accuracy.

3.5 million years ago, two hominins in Laetoli in Tanzania walked side-by-side across a bed of ash from a nearby erupting volcano. Soon after their stroll, rain immortalised their footprints by mixing with the ash to form a type of concrete. These footprints, left by some anonymous ancestor of humanity, are strikingly similar, if not indistinguishable, from that of you or I.

While no fossilised remains were found at the site, the footprints were found in the same strata (Argon/Argon isotope dating used) as a well known australopithecine from relatively nearby, Australopithecus afarensis. The footprints are yours. They show bipedalism equal to yours, there is advanced hominin looking big toe mark (i.e. not a thumb like gorilla/ape big toe) and moreover, there were flecks of a pink nail polish on the smaller footprints, suggesting that our ancestors were subject to the same vanity affecting modern human females. Yes, that last part was a joke.

Who were these people?

The smaller footprints were either made by a child or a female of the species which exhibited some form of sexual dimorphism (significant difference in body weight and morphology between the sexes). The gait suggested placement of the hips and leg bones much yours, a theory which has been reinforced by the fossilised remains of Lucy and other hominin skeletons found in the area.

Was this a father and his child? Was it a male and his mate?

Australopithecus afarensis had a cranial capacity of around 410cc (humans average 1400cc), so while it would be naïve to suggest that these two australopithecines – these two potential progenitors of humanity – were walking across the African savannah hand in hand into the sunset, it sure is evocative.

Feder, K. L., 2010. The Past in Perspective. 5th ed. USA: Oxford University Press.

Scientific American. 1996. Mary Leakey: Unearthing History. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mary-leakey-unearthing-hi&page=3. [Accessed 12 August 11].

Scientific American. 1998. Preserving the Laetoli Footprints. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.sciamdigital.com/index.cfm?fa=Products.ViewIssuePreview&ISSUEID_CHAR=8DB2FB44-6B4B-47AF-B46B-791A911764D&ARTICLEID_CHAR=6EC88BD9-D7E5-4048-AB6D-D5AFCCA929F. [Accessed 12 August 11].

The Smithsonian Institution. 2009. Laetoli Footprint Trails. [ONLINE] Available at: http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/behavior/laetoli-footprint-trails. [Accessed 12 August 11].

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.

Think Inc – and SUPER-MEGA-TREMENDOUSLY-COGENT PRIZE EPISODE

Dear Sentient Conglomeration of Congealed Atoms,

It’s super-mega-huge-bonus-PRIZE SHOW TIME!!!

In this bonus episode, we’re joined by Sean, James and Desh, the masterminds (and indeed they are masterful minds) behind the upcoming Think Inc. conference (http:\\www.thinkinc.org.au) in Melbourne on the 18th of September. YOU CAN WIN TICKETS!! Send your answer to the following question to, ImaginaryFriendsShow@gmail.com:

“In the next 10 years, what does the world need to do in order to survive and flourish?”

Listen to the show here:

Download the MP3 here.

Subscribe to the mother-flipping show via iTunes (we’re on all major podcasting aggregators) here.

Peace, love and Think Ink.

Jake.

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.

Episode 57 – And boom goes the dynamite!

Dear Double Rainbows,

Taurus: This week you tell your boss that you’ll give 110%… you really are a shitty accountant!

Leo: Venison is not only a more intense flavour than beef, it has the added advantage of making kids cry when you tell them they’re eating bambi…

This week we talk Swedish atom splitters, no Burkas in Italy, longevity amongst the Jewish, world wide economic melt down perpetrated by the GOP and Tea Party, the WTC Cross and Jake’s hairy legs.

Listen here:

Download mp3 here.

Masticate in public, everybody’s doing it!

Jake.

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.

Bonus High Court NSCP and Census Interviews

Dear BFFS,

In this bonus episode, we catch up with Ron Williams, the Queensland father taking on the National School Chaplaincy Program at the High Court of Australia http://www.highcourtchallenge.com/. We also chat with Jason Ball of the Atheist Foundation of Australia on the “Mark No Religion on the Census” campaign http://www.censusnoreligion.org/.

Listen here (wait to load):

Download MP3 here.

Masticate in public, everybody’s doing it!

Jake.

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.

Episode 56 – I’d like to double your entendre!


Dear Moody Teenagers,

Look, I’m busy, ok! This week we chat with Tyler Vela, Christian Apologist… FOR A REALLY LONG TIME!! We also talk archaeopteryx with Pete Darwin. Peace, love and everything in between.

Listen here:

Download here.

Masticate in public,

Jake Farr-Wharton.

Jake is the author of ‘Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims’, the book which takes the specific claims that the most prominent Christian Leaders make and directly refutes them using the latest research and evidence, reason, logic, and a dash of snarky humour. Get it here for your sexy kindleOr if you prefer the authenticity of a book (and are too cheap for a kindle) get the hardcopy here.