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By Ezra M
a queer, brown MidWesterner and a rotating cast of co-host friends ponder life aka
we all started in STEM adjacent career paths, got radicalized, and now we're all over north america being cute
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Tea-ism, New Tunes Goofin', and A book that will chill you to your bones


Columbus' legacy of urban racism aka what redlining did to our black neighbors
Columbus Ohio is all too typical of the physical imprint of racism on urban spaces. Redlining, urban highways, white flite, prohibitive zoning... All of these things and more have manifested in the economic and racial segregation that plagues Columbus. This episode shares some insight on Columbus' "urban problems" and offers several resources for planners and non-planners alike to learn more and do better. Discussed in this episode: Strong Women Strong Places, Tamika Butler, Dr. Destiny Thomas, The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, Columbus Ohio Redlining Maps,Kirwan Institute Study on Infant Mortality,  500 Cities Health Data for Columbus, University of Toronto Study, Communication So White Reading List
April 30, 2022
Tea-ism, New Tunes Goofin', and A book that will chill you to your bones
It's the end of August, the uniquely American Labor Day is almost upon us and we are sleepy. Moss procured an excellent bit of tea history and shares wisdom from the OGs. Ezra's got some music reccs featuring a nifty tool that Anchor gave us. Also recommended in this episode, 'The Power' by Naomi Alderman. The Book of Tea by Kakuso Okakura REI AMI Hobo Johnson & the Lovemakers
October 05, 2021
'Educated' Plant Parents aka Moss n' Ezra did their homework
We set ourselves up for success with homework last episode,,, which Moss actually did while Ezra pulled two books off the shelf fifteen minutes before recording. The Moss Mixtape begins to take shape with Janelle Monae and Moses Sumney as standout artists. Ezra highlights two non-binary educators/creators/leaders that share accessible content to educate on a variety of topics. Moss comes in with plant knowledge and at least one science fact and Ezra supplements with a poem and resources for the foraging-curious among us.  STEMS AND LEAVES 2021 Discussed in this episode: Nature's Garden: Edible Wild Plants by S. Thayer , Early grrrl by Marge Piercy , Janelle Monáe , Moses Sumney , Christine and the Queens , Black Forager (Alexis Nikole) 
August 17, 2021
The Hero Dies at The End aka Book Recc ‘The Song of Achilles’
It’s spoiler warnings on a several thousand year old myth, so there’s that. Lila is back on the mic as a cohost and we gush about Madeline Miller’s finest work ‘The Song of Achilles’. It touched both our hearts and we highly recommend this beautifully written, visceral retelling of one of myth and legend’s most tragic lovers. Ezra has lots of feelings and Lila has some erudite observations to share.
August 06, 2021
2020 February | Appalachian Planning with Jason Pyles
Planning in Appalachia, convincing a community that you’re not taking  their jobs, and the future of autonomous vehicles in rural places. My  guest this week, Jason Pyles, and I discuss all this in more in one of  my favorite interviews yet. As a kick off to our discussions centered  around Geography and Geographic Information Science, I turn to Jason for  his expertise. Jason works for the Buckeye Hills Regional Council as  one of two GIS professionals supporting the agency’s work. His position  is unique in that he is sort of a one-man-GIS-show and does all the  work entailed in GIS from top to bottom. He shared some great insights  into what it means to serve his regional community through his role in  technology.
August 02, 2021
2019 July | Interview w/ Shauna
[From the archive] Another interview out of DC this week, my guest Shauna has worked as  a  freelance programmer for 9 years. She left neuroscience after a long   reckoning with the uncertainty. Shauna found herself challenged by a  big  question: How do we quantify and understand the vast potential of  human  behavior with hard tools? Maybe we can’t. Or at least not in the  ways  we want to. Shauna and I discuss these interesting ideas from  her  work and how she’s grown professionally. We also touch on the   significance of queer identities in these spaces and handling mental   health. I was curious to know how she keeps herself accountable and   practices self-care in a sometimes isolating work space. Shauna tells me   all her great tips and tricks as she continues her journey of growth   and learning. Discussed this episode: PyLadies  Minority Postdoc Galaxy Rise Consulting Shauna on LinkedIn
August 02, 2021
2019 August | Interview w/ Sujata Emani
[From the archive] In this episode,  Sujata Emani  and I spend a good amount of time discussing women of massive  determination and how we work everyday to emulate their example. Sujata  also shares some insight into her identity as a caregiver for her  grandmother; an identity that was chosen for her and certainly changed  the trajectory of her life in her mid-twenties. Discussed in this episode: Beltway Science Podcast American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Department of Energy National Labs Research Article: Designing the Danceable City
August 02, 2021
2019 June | Interview with Dr Woodburn McNair
[From the archive] This episode features Dr Amber Woodburn McNair of the Ohio State University. She serves as an assistant professor in the Knowlton School as well as the Center for Aviation Studies (both within OSU's College of Engineering. We sat down to discuss Dr Woodburn's research and experiences in academia and how her identity and presentation as a woman has affected her journey. She also shared some wonderful advice about navigating the murky waters that await after graduation and the importance of keeping the hustle strong.
August 02, 2021
A Lichen I Like aka Meet Moss
Meet Moss, one of the hosts. A nature-loving cat parent with an affinity for tea and anime, Moss is one of my fave people. This episode contains (1) introductions (2) tea recommendations (3) indoor garden ideas (4) book recommendation (5) poetry recitation and a bit of other banter. | See more of STEMS and LEAVES at
July 31, 2021
Wild City Food aka A brief history of urban foraging
This episode we discuss the practice of urban foraging. That act of  harvesting wild grown food is a practice as old as humanity. From  society’s earliest days, we have depended on the fruits, nuts, berries,  and herbs we’ve found along the way to secure our food supply. Although,  a recent surge in popularity of foraging in cities and a lasting legacy  of racist and classist laws often prevent some groups from foraging in  public spaces. This episode unpacks why and how we forage and recommends  some interesting research papers that discuss an ideal future of  foraging laws. Sources: Falling Fruit . org Food Law Gone Wild by Baylen Linnekin
July 24, 2021
Danceable Cities aka Research on urban dance phenomena in China
This episode we chat about dance as a consideration in urban design.  In China, millions of residents participate in urban dance as a way to  enhance their health and foster social connection. These groups practice  in parks and ‘waste spaces’ around cities, accompanied often by live  music. However, this practice has run into some resistance from the  central and city governments. Complaints of too much noise have forced  cities to ban these dancing retirees to parking lots and bridge  underpasses. But the dancers persist, sometimes as an act of resistance.  We unpack all that an more this episode of STEMS and Leaves. Links: Designing the Danceable City: How Residents in Beijing Cultivate Health and Community Ties Through Urban Dance’   by Caroline Chen
July 24, 2021
Book Recc: Trauma Stewardship aka How to Heal
In this episode, I wanted to share a great book by Laura VanDernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk, ‘Trauma Stewardship: A guide to caring for self while caring for others’. The founders of the Trauma Stewardship Institute walk the reader through identifying trauma responses and offer helpful,  introspective prompts to get you thinking about the work you do and how  it affects you throughout the process. For folks involved in trauma  work or just people that want to bolster their emotional resilience,  this is a great read that I cannot recommend highly enough! Other mentions in this episode: Thrivance Group, Back to School chat with Michelle Storms Thanks to: Donnie ‘Rosy’ Ross for theme ‘Feeling Fool’ Aaron Thomas Art for our album cover
July 24, 2021
Wrap 2020 with Lila aka I forgot that happened last year
What's there to say? It was a year and we share, to the best of our memory's ability, to recall important events globally and locally that were personally impactful. Couldn't bring all this baggage into 2021 with us. Also fair warning, Asher and I recorded nearly 2 hours of audio and I was able to trim it down to a tight 40… Unfortunately, that means you won't get to hear us ponder luxury fruits, cat hygiene, or bean varieties.
July 24, 2021