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Zengineering: A Philosophy of Science, Technology, Art & Engineering

Zengineering: A Philosophy of Science, Technology, Art & Engineering

By Brian and Adam
Zengineering Podcast is for everyone who loves Science & Technology and also cares deeply about the beauty of Life's Big Questions. We (Adam & Brian) are obsessed with the spot where modern Science, Technology & Engineering meet Philosophy, Art & Spirituality. We have found this to be the place where the most interesting questions are both formulated and discussed. It's the place where mental models are born, and that's what we're really chasing. Are you?
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007 - On Search Engines

Zengineering: A Philosophy of Science, Technology, Art & Engineering

098 - On Open Source Collaboration
Howdy, Zengineers! Did you know everything you do all day runs on software? Yup. It’s true. Everything. Well … I mean, not EVERYTHING, but pretty much everything. Your car. Your electricity. Your phone. Your computer. Your TV. Even our dishwashers and blenders, doorbells and lights, all run on software. There’s no way around it. Software is powerful and enables the technologies we’ve all become accustomed to. But what’s so unique about it? Well, one of the primary drivers behind software’s viral spread is that once you digitize something, you can share it with everyone at almost no additional cost. The same cannot be said about the tires on my car, or the wood used to make my front door. Since sharing software is virtually free, free-software has come to rule the world. And, that’s Open Source. Software anyone can access, anyone can build upon, and anyone can get the benefit of… often, at no cost. The engineers and designers behind the software that runs the world realized decades ago that innovation is enabled when these software solutions are shared openly and freely. Business can grow faster. Money can be made more efficiently. Lives can be made better… all because we share with one another, and collaborate on the world’s big problems through Open Source Software. What a joy, you might say. So smart. So wonderful. I can’t believe it. Well … believe it. Your phone may have software on it that you paid for, but your phone simply would not work and, quite frankly, would not even exist, if it weren’t for people AND BUSINESSES freely sharing critical softwares systems with each other. This revolution is starting to come to other industries, as well, as the marginal cost of other technologies continues to be driven down. What an innovative and functional time to be alive. Who uses those words to express the thrill of life? Nerds, baby. Er… I mean, Zengineers!! We hope you enjoy this episode as much as you enjoy all the Open Source Software enabled technologies that you’re using right now. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Wikipedia: Open Source Software: Wired’s Guide to Open Source: Unix v. Linux:,family%20of%20derived%20operating%20systems Top 10 Open Source Hall of Famers:
September 10, 2020
097 - On Breaking up Big Tech & The Data Economy
Hi, Zengineers! I’m sure you’ve heard of Amazon, right? What about Facebook? Do you use it? Google? Apple? Ma Bell? Carnegie? Vanderbilt? Woot woot!! Ok… enough listing. What’s the topic, you ask? Yeah … we’re going for it, and taking on the roll of the United States Congress and breaking up the tech companies. Why, you might ask, are we doing this? Well, because we can, without any vote or any intervention … break up the tech companies with our words and ideas. Can you dig it? Yes, that’s correct. We’re just talking about it. We don’t actually have any power to do anything about this. We can and we do, however, share a great conversation around what’s happened in the past, what’s happening now, how it’s the same, how it’s different, and how things could be in the future. This is a fun one that touches on history, economics, politics, myriad philosophies, and definitely a lot of crazy future tech. Ultimately, we discover that what’s happening now is drastically different than what’s happened in the past because of the new ways technology is allowing information to be shared (which, surprise, has always been the problem, so it’s always something new). As always, we hope you enjoy this episode, and don’t forget that our government, its leaders, and at its core, your vote, help to determine a lot of what happens in the future. It’s a wild time with a lot of wild options at our finger tips. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Monopolies vs. Monopsonies:,demand%20for%20goods%20and%20services The Antitrust Laws: Elizabeth Warren on breaking up the tech companies: Breaking up the Bell System on Wikipedia:
July 29, 2020
096 - On Superheroes & Comic Books
Hey, Zengineers!! We’ve got one of those easy to do and easy to listen to nerd bomb episodes this week. SUPERHEROES!! Also comic books. Yay. What fun? Yes, we agree. Stoked, so let’s get after it. This one is all about why we care, and why we’re interested. We touch on the persistence of mythology throughout history, and how it’s morphed and evolved into modern mythologies. Part of the intrigue and power comes from the media through which comics are presented … a spectrum of words v. pictures. We wrestle with the guilt that is often associated with reading picture books, and address the true value of the graphic novel. As always, Adam takes us all the way back to cave paintings, which are the first graphic novels. See … it started here! We hit some of the history of comics, modern stories, movies, and media, and drive it all home with the notion of heroes inspiring all media and everything we do in life. What fun! We hope you enjoy this episode and are inspired to read some old stories, or go pick up some comics and explore them if they are new to you. Go ask for some adult graphic novels … but no, not like ADULT graphic novels, but … for adults. I mean, they make XXX graphic novels, too … which is interesting and for another episode. The point is … the medium is amazing and dynamic and we think you’ll love it if new, or continue to love it if you already do. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian
July 16, 2020
095 - On Wolfram's Theory of Everything
Hey, Zengineers!! This week we’re going deep into the void of the unknown, to unravel the deepest mysteries of our universe. How will we get there? What will we discover? No one knows, and that’s what’s so exciting about it. So, let’s get right to our conversation about A Grand Unified Theory of Physics. We’re always thinking about this a little bit. After all we’re recliner physicists, but this week we were inspired by a new release from Stephen Wolfram, that wild and wacky entrepreneur, engineer, inventor, philosopher, and all around crazy guy, behind well ... all kinds of weird and interesting shit. Yeah, scope him out and read his new article about his own unified theory of physics (see the show notes). This is a fun one to bounce around in, because if you’re loose with the topic, it can kind go anywhere. After all, it’s about what makes our universe our universe. We chase some of the physics, some of the philosophy, and lots of the fun as we spiral around the rules of all rules. We hope you enjoy this episode and all the amazing things you can read and watch and listen to online as you explore this topic more on your own. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Stephen Wolfram’s New Post on his own unified theory of physics: Wikipedia on the theory of everything: Wolfram Alpha, the science search engine:
June 09, 2020
094 - On Dice
Howdy, Zengineers!! Oh boy. We’ve got a real zinger for you this week. We’re discussing one of our favorite toys; one that’s been with us since antiquity; one that enables so many games; one that truly represents some of the best. We’re talking about die. Or, is it dice? Dies? Dices? You have very pretty colored dice? Let me get that eight sided die. Yeah! There we go. Dice aaaarre … simple and magical … bump bump … geometric and mathematical ... bump bump bop boop boop bop... can you feel the rhythm? Sorry … got lost in song…. Back on track. Dice are simple because, duh. Look at em. Or are they? Magical because they actually hold their historical roots in myth, legend, sprit, and religion. Geometric because their shapes are grounded in some of the fundamental aspects of our universe. Mathematical because they play a roll in the wonder of statistics, probability, and randomness. You can tell we love dice. Yeah. Love em. So much so, that Brian has a one foot D20 Plush Pillow (twenty sided die) on the chair in his office. In this episode, we chase down the history, we talk about the science, and we explore how dice truly represent the wonder of life and free will. This was a fun one, if for no other reason than, it takes us back to our childhood. We hope you enjoy the travels and we hope you have some fun dice games, or games that rely on them, to play at home. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes History of Dice: Digital Go Dice on Kickstarter: Dice Probability: High Variance Dice:
April 29, 2020
093 - with Dorna Moini - On Access to Justice
Hey there Zengineers, This week we've got Dorna Moini on the show. She's co-founder of Documate, a legal tech company that helps lawyers (and other businesses) automate document creation to make their ops more efficient and their services more accessible. But, in true Zengineering fashion, we don't spend to much time talking about that. Instead, we're talking about access to justice, what it means, and where technology lands in providing a solution. Give this episode a listen to learn about why courts are scary, why Civil Law & Order would be a pretty lame show, and about how you've only actually had "the right to an attorney" in the US since 1963. Enjoy! Cheers, Adam & Brian Links on links! -
April 09, 2020
092 - On Cognitive Bias
Heyo Zengineers, As you might be able to appreciate, things are a bit nuts out there (and over here) right now. So, we're gonna be shorter on our descriptions for a bit in favor of keeping the episodes coming. But, we know that's what you're here for anyway. So, probably all good, right?  This one is about Cognitive Bias. Which, like any good Zengineering topic, could be a whole podcast on its own. We run down what it is, what a "hot bias" vs. a "cold bias" is, where they come from and how they impact our ability to think clearly especially when we're fired up. We also run through a couple of specific ones.  Enjoy, and stay safe out there (by staying inside!) Here's some links if  you want to chase the rabbit-holes deeper!
March 25, 2020
091 - with Alexsandra Guerra of Nori - On The Stories of Climate Change
What’s the happs, Zengineers? We’re back with our old friends at Nori, this week talking to Alexsandra Guerra Co-Founder & Director of Corporate Development, and 30 Under 30 GreenBiz 2019 Award Winner. For those in the know, this continues our collection of the Nori founding team, as we’ve had both Christophe and Paul on as well (see their episodes in the show notes below). We didn’t want to just rehash Nori in this convo, but some updates are always nice. We talk to Alexsandara about her background and how she found herself building Nori, and then we embark on an adventure to discuss how we all think about and deal with climate change in our own lives with the goal of staying AWAY from the technical. If you listen often, you know this was a challenge for Adam and Brian, and, interestingly, for Alexsandra as well. What we all know is that climate change is a complex technical issue, but what we realized during this conversation is that we need to spend an equal amount of time (if not much more) thinking about and talking about how it manifests in our every day lives, through our thoughts, our worries, and our actions. We then need to tell more stories! Lucky for us all, Alexsandra is starting a podcast to do just this, and she promises to kick that off right here on Zengineering (BREAKING NEWS!!). We’re kinda kidding. She’s only thinking about it, but we support the move. Let her know that you do too, by reaching out! As always, we really enjoyed this convo and hope you do too. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Nori: Alexsandra on Linkedin: Nori’s Podcast (Alexsandra is a host): Big Magic (Book): Granular (Farm Management Software): Zengineering Episode 064 — with Christophe Jospe of Nori — On Climate Change — Part 4 — Reversing It: Zengineering Episode 075 — with Paul Gambill — On The True Cost of Carbon and Reversing Climate Change:
March 04, 2020
090 - On Apple and Encryption Backdoors
Hey Zengineers! We’re back with a quick one to hit a timely topic (again!) Encryption backdoors are back in the news, so were hitting it again. If you want to know what’s going on with the latest fight between Apple and the government, and all the grumbling the Attorney General and the President have been doing about encryption, we’ve got you covered. As always, there are some links to follow in the notes if you want to dig in any deeper. Thanks for listening! Adam & Brian Notes: Zengineering Episode 009 - Apple and San Bernardino - Apple and Pensacola - Social Key Recovery -
February 13, 2020
089 - with Mike Rosolio - On Video Game History
Howdy, Zengineers, This week we’ve got our most popular guest, back for another romp down memory lane. Yes, Mike Rosolio returns to discuss the history of Video Games with us. There are some secret reveals, but I can’t remember if they are so secret that they weren’t mentioned in the show. If they are, they’ll be cut. If they’re not, then you’ll hear them. What a cliffhanger? Is that the right phrase? I don’t think so. Anyway, this week we chase down some fun memories discussing our own experiences with video games over our lives. All three of us are part of an age group that really grew up with video games as they were emerging as a global force. When we were very young, they were still only for the most cutting edge tech nerds. Now, everyone gets to be addicted to them. Mike brings some real depth to this conversation as he’s not only the greatest player of video games we know, but he’s also a major history buff. We chase down some of the major developers and artists in the video game business world world, discuss Mario, Nintendo Power, weirdly over-sexualized characters from Soul Caliber, and the increasing and current moral complexities that modern games encounter. As always, it’s a great convo with Mike, and we hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed talking. We know we do... like listening to ourselves.  Ya know what I mean. Yeah. We do. Endless loop. Loop. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Nintendo Power: Ninja Gaiden Intro: Shigeru Miyamoto: Final Fantasy V1 Famous Opera Scene: Legend of Zelda, Breath of Wild: Play Tetris, free, online:
January 07, 2020
088 - On Government - Part 1 - An Operating System for the United States
Happy Holidays, Zengineers, Adam is our conductor this week, guiding the train down the historical tracks of political exploration. Did you know that Adam went to law school? Of course you did. It comes up all the time. Yes. We do too, but he takes all the jokes really well, considering, ahem ... that he’s a lawyer. Zing! When studying the law, Adam wrote his thesis on how the law mimics software and how software mimics the law. It’s an interesting, powerful, and relevant comparison to make. Through this episode we hope you’ll come to appreciate why attorneys, programmers, judges, engineers, accountants, and more, all produce things they call “Code.” Remember Hammurabi’s Code? That shit was harsh, but concepts of that early foundation still persist today. Never forget this. We discuss historically different types of government, how they have been evolutions of each other, and how constitutional government starts from these founding operating systems. This foundation formed over millennia by generations testing out new ideas and new structures, often through trial and error. This stuff is NOT perfect, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. That would be a disservice to our world. We hope you enjoy our ramblings and have found a new way to look at the governmental structure and evolution of our world. There will be more to come. Yes, that sentence does have a lot of different meanings. Yes, we meant to do that. No, we’re not sorry. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian PS. Say hi to your families for us!! Show Notes Living Constitution: Virginia Ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment: John Oliver, Equal Rights Amendment:
December 24, 2019
087 - with Sam Rad - On Blockchains, Supply Chains, and Paradigm Shifts
Our friends, the Zengineers, We are joined this week by anthropologist, technologist, speaker, and author, Samantha Radocchia, AKA, Sam Rad. Yeah, that's a great full name and great nickname. Way to be named, Sam!! We've been excited about this conversation for a while because, from the very beginning, we knew we were going to talk about a lot of our shared passions. Sam is not only the author of Bitcoin Pizza (how Adam and her started talking), but she also co-founded and operated a technology startup merging blockchain and manufacturing supply chain. What a rad combo! See what we did there? Of course you do. Our listeners are sharp as tacks. Needless to say we took a lot of fun turns exploring technology, manufacturing, blockchain, and even competitive skydiving, with Sam. What has she learned from all this experience? Well similar to some other sages we've spoken to, technology is wildly complex, its pace is changing the world in ways we must work hard to understand, and, if done right, we can form these technologies to make the world not only more successful, but just plain better for every one and every thing. We hope you enjoy Sam's joyful energy and wise insights as much as we did. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Sam on Linkedin: Sam's new book, "Bitcoin Pizza": Sam's Supply Chain Startup: Saving Time, Working Remotely: Dropzone Trailer (yes, it is an awesome movie about competetive skydiving featuring true classics like Wesley Snipes and Gary Busey: And ... one more for the history books, the Aspen Extreme Trailer: Fav Quote: "You know how you know a good expert? They try to tell you they aren’t an expert."
December 10, 2019
086 - with Peter Dering - On Peak Design, Kickstarter, and Living Carbon Neutral
Heyo, Zengineers! This week, we get to be fan boys of our guest. As you all know, Adam and I are life long photographers, so you can imagine our joy when Peter Dering of Peak Design agreed to join us for a few hours to share his experience designing and selling fantastic photography gear, and creating hugely successful Kickstarter campaigns. To our surprise, the connections went even deeper. Peter was happy to share his thoughts on building great products and a company culture that have a positive impact on customers, employees, and our planet. We talk about the inspiration to start Peak Design, how it happened, and early successful Kickstarter campaigns (of which Adam and Brian both participated with great gusto). From here we were surprised to spiral a bit off course from where we thought we were headed. In fact, we barely discussed photography. Instead we strayed into a common area of conversation recently on the cast, Climate Change, and what the hell to do about it. As the CEO of a company that makes physical products, an outdoor adventurer, and a generally well read and good dude, Peter understands the challenges facing the world around the release of carbon into our atmosphere. To do his part, he's started an initiative called Climate Neutral to encourage other businesses to reduce and eliminate their carbon footprint. Once again, we're big fans. We hope you enjoy this winding adventure through the mind and explorations of Peter Dering! Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Peter on Linkedin: Peak Design: Peak Design's latest succesful kickstarter campaign for the Travel Tripod: Peak Design's Mission (it's great): Peak Design's Sustainability Strategy (also great): Climate Neutral (Peter's Climate Innitiative): Mutual Benfit Corporation: Project Wren (carbon offsets):
September 24, 2019
085 - with Jeffery A. Martin - On Happiness, Fundamental Wellbeing, and Flow States
What’s up, Zengineers? We’ve got a real fun one this week. We’re joined by Dr. Jeffery Martin. He is a founder of the Transformative Technology space, serial entrepreneur and social scientist who researches personal transformation and the states of greatest human well-being. Jeffery spent the last 10 years conducting the largest international study on persistent non-symbolic experience (PNSE), which includes the types of consciousness commonly known as: enlightenment, nonduality, the peace that passeth understanding, unitive experience, and hundreds of others. More recently, he has used this research to make systems available to help people obtain profound psychological benefits in a rapid, secular, reliable, and safe way. Whoa … lots to dive into there that are a good fit for Zengineering. One could say, Jeffery studies Zengineering. What a fun guest. We talk with Jeffery a little about his background and how he got into this stuff. Would you be surprised to hear that money wasn’t bringing him happiness, so he started chasing what would? We discuss his books, organizations, research, his personal explorations, and what he’s uncovering about humanity and our pursuits of happiness, or contentedness, or good lives, or whatever it is you think you’re after. Let’s scientificize it and let’s try to compare our experiences. This was a great convo and Jeffery was a delight to chat with. We hope you enjoy this episode. Definitely check out the show notes to learn more. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes: Jeffery’s website: Jeffery on Linkedin: Jeffery on Twitter: Transformative Tech Academy: Jeffery’s latest book: Explorers Courses: VIDEOS of Jeffery: VIDEO: Reaching for Maslow’s Missing Level: The Further Reaches of TransTech? with Dr. Jefferey Martin - Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: The relationship between money and happiness: California Institute for Human Science: The default mode network: TPN vs. DMN - Neural Mechanisms and Mindfulness | Exploring The Business Brain: VIDEO: How we can use light to see deep inside our bodies and brains | Mary Lou Jepsen:
September 11, 2019
084 - On Stuff - Headphones
Hi, Zengineers! That's right! It's time to learn about stuff. You know, those everyday things that we all interact with but we don't always take time to think too much about. This week, that stuff, is headphones! These crazy things are everywhere these days (mostly because we all carry a portable music player at all times). Just 25 years ago, you were probably still a bit of an audiophile if you were rocking headphones on the reg. These days, you'd be the weirdo if you weren't. But what has enabled this rise in listening technology and how does it work? These are great questions we get into in this super fun episode with a little bit of pop, a little bit of tech, and a little bit of random walking down the path of exploration. Also, check out our episode, "On Digital Audio, Apple, and Headphone Jacks" to compliment this one: Cheers, Adam & Brian Our Headphones Bose QC35 IIs: Logitech gaming: Inexpensive bluetooth earbuds: Really inexpensive bluetooth earbuds: Brian's old headphones: Show Notes Loudspeakers: Headphone history: Another history of headphones: Getting a better headphone fit with Sugru: Juris Links From Intro:
August 21, 2019
083 - with Greg Kieser - On AI Superintelligence
What's happening, Zengineers? This week we're joined by Author, Technologist, Entrepreneur and Angel Investor, Greg Kieser. He shared his most recent book, "Dear Machine, A Letter to a Super Aware/Intelligent Machine (SAIM)" with us a few months ago, and then was kind enough to hop on an episode with us to talk about it. Greg's background in technology businesses has exposed him to what a lot of modern technology workers are sensing, but Greg has taken the time to put pen to paper (stylus to screen?), and share these thoughts with the world. As we discuss in this episode, a lot of things around the world (almost everything) is changing at unprecedented paces, and it seems as thought this accelerated rate of change is going to continue with no end in sight. What is really going to happen as computers begin to have a sentient understanding of the world? Where will these technologies take us? Where will we end up? Will it even be "us" anymore? Greg's book is a comprehensive exploration of what's going on with and how to think about Artificial Intelligence, and with computational technology as a whole. It was a great read and made for a wonderful conversation that we hope you enjoy as well. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Greg's latest book: Greg's Think Tank and Angel Investment Group: Greg on Twitter: Greg on Linkedin: Interplanetary Fest: John Henry Holland: Tierra Computer Simulation: Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom: Fecal Transplants, yup, those kinda fecals: The Singularity:
July 30, 2019
082 - On Curating A Media Diet
Heyo, Zengineers! Podcasts are all the rage these days. "What a hip new form of media," they say. "Adam and Brian are so cool for hosting their own podcast." It's true. We're super cool. That's cuz media drives culture. It always has. This week we're diving into a discussion around media and how to manage a healthy relationship with it in the modern world. For instance, you probably shouldn't only listen to Zengineering Podcast, even though we know you really want to. In this episode we chase the evolution of media and how it's lead to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and all the other apps we use daily. We talk more about social media than makes Brian comfortable and more than he thinks it deserves to be discussed, but there's a reason. It's the most prolific form of media we've created yet as a species. Stories circle the globe in a matter of minutes. It was just a few hundred years ago that most people never left their home town. Crazy. We made that up, but maybe it's true. There we go, making media confusing. We talk a bit about media's transition based on our data consumption, and also based on rapidly evolving device technology and constantly refreshing UIs. Then we confront the rise of the algorithms, and the new complexities the world is coming to terms with. How should we think about incoming ideas in the modern age. How much skepticism is healthy and how much emotion should our media induce? Is mindfulness really as important a concept as some suggest? Who knows? We sure don't, but we're happy to talk at you about it anyway. Is that ok? We think so. We also hope you enjoy the conversation. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Links Limbic System: Reddit: "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discus people." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
July 18, 2019
081 - with Bethany Simpson - On VR, Egypt, and the Future of Education
Hi, Zengineers! We're heading back in time this week to explore the wondrous and captivating world of ancient Egypt. "Wow, that's terrific," I bet you're saying to yourself. So many people have been consumed by a fascination into the fantasy and reality of Egypt at some point in their lives. I know we've been obsessed many times. This week we're joined by an expert on the subject, Bethany Simpson, a real live Archaeologist and Egyptologist. "Holy moly," you're probably thinking now. "That's incredible. Everything I know about Egypt I learned from Stargate." Well, Bethany is here to set the record straight. Stargates are real ... wait, what? No, they are not? Ok, well, MAYBE they are, but we actually didn't get to them, so we'll have to re-examine that in a later episode. In this episode we discuss a fantastic journey that Bethany led Adam and Brian on through a virtual recreation of Nefertari's tomb the way it looked the day she was buried in it. We discuss this amazing experience, Bethany's lifelong pursuit of uncovering the magic of ancient Egypt and the future of technology in both archaeology and education. It's a great conversation and we're so luck to have met Bethany in VR and in, like, slightly less VR, over the internet and video chat to make this episode happen. We hope you enjoy the conversation. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Bethany’s suggested translation of the book of the dead: Nefertari: Nefertari's Tomb Experience in Virtual Reality: High Fidelity :: Remembering D-Day: Explore a Virtual WWII Era Hangar with a Battlefield Expert: Bethany's Egypt travel tips: fly into Cairo … use Uber to get good taxi prices … largest city in Africa … def hit Luxor and Karnac temple … safe but not comfy … take a nile cruise … do it with a tour, but make sure you get time to wander … no raw salads … don’t compliment actual items, make it about the person, otherwise they will try to give you the item… learn 1-10 in Arabic and prices will drop dramatically … scarf and sleeves to wrists are important for women when visiting temples … no skimpy clothes for anyone
July 02, 2019
080 - On a Life of Video Games
Zengineers!! What's the happs? Let's have a fun chat this week, we said. Something we both love, that reminds us of being young, and that we could talk about in depth and at length. Well, we came up with video games. In fact, we were so excited by the topic that we're going to turn it into a series. This week, as we often do, is the first in the series where we get our feet wet just musing on the world of video games and our experience with them. We've both played a lot as kids on both consoles and computers. Clearly that experience influenced us in our educations and professions. Video games are such a beautiful amalgamation of modern technology, science, engineering, and art. Over the years they have expanded from the simplest of early experiences only had by the deepest of nerds to games that the majority of the world have enjoyed in shared online experiences; such beauty in something that under the hood is so very complex. What a great topic to series (a verb?) on Zengineering. In future episodes we will be bringing guests to talk about the history, the hardware, the software, and the rapidly evolving view of video games in society. We hope you enjoy this first conversation. Don't miss these other great series in a similar vein: Virtual Reality: Artificial Inteliigence: Dungeons & Dragons: Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes How many installs of office exist in the world: Brian's favorite 8-bit-covers playlist on Spotify: Famous cheat codes over the years: The Myth Of Prometheus – The Thief Of Fire:
June 18, 2019
077 - with Tim Foad - On Economics, Technology, and Productivity
What's up, Zengineers? Welcome back to the laboratory. This week we're discussing economics with a real live economics professor. Wow! Tim Foad is a good friend, the Chair of the Department of Economics at San Diego State University, and a great guy to shoot the shit with. Tim told us that people aren't always excited to talk to economists. We can't possibly understand why, because we're stoked, and so glad that Tim could join us. This conversation started from a question Brian had about how wealth is created in the world. You know, not just money like Dollars and Yen, but on the books value of goods, commodities, assets ... bigger too ... we're talking GDP and other academic words, phrases, and acronyms that may seem simple, but are all a bit confusing when you starting asking real questions about them. Wealth is a weird concept, but it's an important one when you're going to discuss ... well, just about anything ... but especially how businesses, governments, and technology play into policy around the world. Many of you will recognize that wealth, and the accumulation of it, is not a zero sum game. This is tricky, and confusing, and hard to talk about, but Tim helped make sense of it. We can't promise we stayed on topic the whole time, but Tim helped us place economics into our mental models of the world, and helped us answer some of our puzzling questions. We hope you enjoy the convo. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Tim's Favorite Economist: Predictably Irrational: Diminishing marginal utility of income and wealth: Mechanical Turkers may have out-predicted the most popular crime-predicting algorithm: Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions: Development Economics: Natural Monopoly:
June 18, 2019
079 - with Patrick Mellor - On Earth’s History of Climate Change
Hey there, Zengineers? We hope you're down for a wild ride this week. Our guest is Patrick Mellor: biological scientist, philosopher, geological climatologist (we may have invented this title), researcher, journalist and poet. Needless to say, we had a blast chatting with him. This conversation feels like it lasted for days with all the ground we covered, but we had to cut it down to just the best nuggets. We discuss Earth before life, the wild changes the planet has endured, and how the planet has evolved over time because of life. The impact has been profound, and continues to be today as humanity faces one of its greatest challenges with anthropogenic climate change. Patrick brings a perspective to our study of Earth and its climate that's truly hard to come by. We share a concern for the current situation, but Patrick also shares a perspective of true beauty with us, and one that has stuck with us since the episode. Life on Earth has caused mass extinctions before, but NEVER before has that life been so aware of what is going on and so able to affect positive change. We're in this together, and Patrick's positivity shines through in this episode. We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we enjoyed having it. Special shout out this week to our longtime listener, Dean for introducing us to Patrick and allowing this episode to come together. Thanks for supporting the show, Dean! Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Patrick's New Book: Ancient Upheavals Show How To Geoengineer A Stable Climate (by Patrick): Flood Basalt Eruptions: Panspermia (a theory of how life spread in the unverse): The Younger Dryas: Testing Iron Fertilization of the Oceans: Hydroelectric Power on the Mediteranean: The deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea: Refilling The Mediterranean Sea: Yellowstone's Supervolcano: Permian-Triassic Exstinction Event:
May 22, 2019
078 - On Surviving In The Woods
What's up, Zengineers? We're back in the party pad! Hooray. This week we're getting grungy, or is it crunchy, or maybe grundly? I don't know. Whatever you call it, we're talking about surviving in the great outdoors. You know, AKA, hiking, camping and general adventuring. Adam and Brian are both self proclaimed outdoorsmen, having spent much of their childhood wandering around outside with varying levels of guidance and supervision. They've definitely both pushed the limits ... well, like ... built forts, blown things up, started fires by hand, and gotten badges and stuff ... let's just say they both feel comfy in a tent, and can use a map and compass. That's a good start. This episode is a bit of an exploration of why we adventure, why camping is a thing and not just life, and how adventure can be good for us. We talk about fun things to do outside, fun places we've been recently, and some of the many pitfalls of wandering around in nature when most of your life is spent in the confines of a suburban home where bears are definitely not commonly found. This is a jolly old convo about having fun in nature. It's definitely not a guide on how to survive or how to get started camping or even just hiking. Nope. We're not those kind of story tellers. The general internet is better for that. So, sit back, relax, and put on your Earth day cap while we take you through the green forests of the northeast, the blistering deserts of the southeast, and the delightfully cooling waters that tie life and the entire world together. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian
April 27, 2019
076 - On Dragon Capsules, Space Trash, and VR Experiences
What's up, Zengineers? Welcome back to the laboratory. It's just us this week (no guests), so we've taken the liberty of chasing a bunch of random topics as a throwback to our early episodes. We started the convo with the intention of sharing a super fun experience we recently shared together in Virtual Reality. We took a tour of the ancient Egyptian tomb of Nefertari as it looked the day she was laid to rest. The tour was guided by a professor of Egyptian Archaeology and was one of the most interesting VR experiences either of us have had to date. The sidetrack topic on this episode turned out to be the privatization of the space industry. The exciting news that SpaceX successfully docked its crew capsule to the international space station for the first time, sets the stage for the first private transportation of US Astronauts in the history of humankind. What an an exciting time. Enjoy the excitement of JFK's announcement of the original Space Race to the Moon: Hope you enjoy the convo. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes VR Cameras on the Space Station: Windows running apps natively in VR: Millions attend the same concert in VR: Microsoft HoloLens 2 Release Video: The amazing physics of VR: A new T-Rex experience at the American Museum of Natural History: A hilariously old website sharing JFK's original space race announcement: JFK's Moonshot Announcement on YouTube:
March 30, 2019
075 - with Paul Gambill of Nori - On The True Cost of Carbon and Reversing Climate Change
Howdy, Zengineers! We're back at it trying to help understand Climate Change with our buddies at Nori ( This week we're joined by CEO, Paul Gambill to hear an update on what's happening at Nori and wheree they are headed. There's a lot of technology driving Nori. Not only are they a software company building on top of a blockchain backbone, but they also have to worry about the organic-to-digital translation of real world measurements of carbon in physical materials like the atmosphere and soil into bits of computer data. In this episode we dive into where Nori is headed from a technological perspective. We discuss how Nori is currently working with farmers to build out economic incentive backed by real data to encourage carbon capture and help make farming generally healthier and more sustainable. It's a lot to digest, but it's all delicious. See what we did there? Hilarious! Hope you enjoy the convo. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Nori FAQ: Nori Carbon Removal Newsroom (new podcast briefs from Nori on climate and carbon capture) An interview on Nori's Podcast with Astrobiologist David Grinspoon: More about ol' David! - Earth In Human Hands (a great read): BBC's Power of the Planet (geological history and perspective on our planet... kinda like Planet Earth but actually about the planet, and not the living creatures): Climeworks, a leading Carbon Capture Company: One of the technological integrations Nori is using to measure and understand climate data:
March 15, 2019
074 - with Jen Harris - On Identity
Howdy, Zengineers! This week we're joined by writer and philosopher Jennifer Harris. She's a staple in the San Diego fundraising community, owns and operates JH Collective ( - a professional fundraising organization), and used to lead an amazing creative writing group with Brian, years ago. Our conversation is one of falling in and out of love with what you do professionally and who you become throughout the cycles. It's a personal journey trying to understand the psychology of the modern worker and the journey through ever changing careers. In it we attempt to uncover why we connect with the things we choose to do, and how do these connections guide us in developing our self image and our internal monologues. It's a fascinating journey, and we're glad you're here to join us. Hope you enjoy the convo. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Jennifer Harris Collective: The Vitruvian Man: Seth Godin: Recode/Decode with Kara Swisher: On Being Podcast:
February 22, 2019
073 - On Working Remotely
Howdy, Zengineers! Today we're discussing remote work. Like ... not working at a regular office, and not working in the same room, or even same building as your coworkers. There's a lot of variation here and a lot of conversation around this topic these days, especially in the digital technology sector where both Adam & Brian currently work. Brian started his career at a Fortune 100 company as an engineer working at a manufacturing facility that employed hundreds of people. Adam started a production company and worked in an office with his team on a giant production lot in LA. Both, pretty normal. From there, things got weird. Over the years, our working environments have changed a lot, but one thing's been consistent. Our desks have not been in normal places, and work has often involved a lot of remote contact with coworkers, and definitely lots of working from home. You know, stereotypical tech startup stuff. Houses with friends, lots of video-chatting, and working all hours of the day and night. In this episode, we muse on the benefits and the challenges of working in alternate realities. There's a lot to discuss and it's an important conversation as the nature of so many peoples' work is changing so quickly with the adoption of computer based desk jobs. What does the future hold, and what changes will we see over time? Who knows? This is not your dad's day-job anymore, and things are only getting weirder with time. We hope you enjoy the convo. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian
February 08, 2019
072 - with Colin Murphy - On Universal Basic Income
Howdy, Zengineers! Today we're discussing Universal Basic Income (UBI) in The United States. What is it? How does it work? What's good? What's bad? Who cares and who does it affect? Our guest, Colin Murphy is an old friend and an outspoken supporter of both UBI and political representatives who are forcing this conversation back into the public debate. UBI has been around in many forms for a long time. Some call it socialism. Some say that's absurd. It actually exists in some places around the world already, including the United States. It's a crazy topic that invokes a lot of questions, a lot of debate, and a lot of emotion. A conversation about UBI forces an examination of the entire structure of one's government and underlying economic systems. And, it's a complicated subject that potentially affects wealth, work, and daily life for everyone. UBI is a topic that's particularly popular in some circles these days because of the current global political landscape, a continued growth in wealth gaps around the world, and a global consciousness that simultaneously is becoming more divisive but also more inclusive. It's easy to get overly excited about UBI or to dismiss it as ridiculous. Honestly, both reactions are pretty appropriate, but the conversation may be more relevant today than at any time in history, especially with the ridiculous pace of technological advancement. We hope you enjoy the convo. Support the show: Visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes The Left Thinks a 'Green New Deal' Could Save Earth and Destroy the GOP (Vice): Send money to the extreme poor: Bullshit Jobs (a book, by David Graeber): Basic Attention Token (monetize your attention): Brave Browser (a private webroser that integrates with BAT): Universal Basic Income as the Social Vaccine of the 21st Century (Medium):
January 22, 2019
071 - On The Complexities and Beauty of The Scientific Method
Howdy, Zengineers! It's time. What time you might ask? Time to talk about the Scientific Method. Yeah. That method! The scientific one. Yikes! This conversations has been a long time coming and we're so happy to finally be talking about it. The core here is establishing a clear understanding of deductive versus inductive reasoning. We cannot, according to the philosophy of science, deductively prove things in our universe. We can only deductively DISPROVE them. As Albert Einstein famously said (or said something along these lines) "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right, yet a single experiment can prove me wrong." Over time experimenting against inductively based reason creates solid foundational knowledge that we expect to consistently describe the behavior of the world around us. If ever an inductive conclusion is deductively proven wrong, then we must adjust that theory and all branching knowledge. This is the scientific method and what makes this incredible technological and philosophical innovation so damn powerful. Dig it? You should, and you will. This episode is kind of part of a series. They don't really require that you listen in any particular order, but you may want to check these out too: Episode 044 — On Experts, Algorithms, and Scientific Thinking: Episode 046 — On Experiments, and their Limits in Meat Space: Episode 048 - On STEAM Education & The Importance of Curiosity: We hope you enjoy the convo. Support the show: and visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes What is science and why is it so special? (Towards Data Science): What exactly is the scientific method and why do so many people get it wrong?:
January 08, 2019
070 - with Dave McCarty - On Engineering Buildings and Exploring Fantastic Caves
Howdy, Zengineers! This week, we're joined by our good buddy, Dave McCarty, a professional structural engineer and an amateur climber and spelunker. Yes, that's the correct word for one that adventures in caves. Together we explore the life of a licensed engineer, and how that impacts Dave's professional and personal activities. We discuss building codes, engineering accidents, and how being an engineer factors into hobbies. Finally we conclude with one of Brian's favorite stories to retell and embelish, Dave's adventure to the bottom of Ellison's Cave, the deepest, unobstructed underground pit in the continental United States. We hope you enjoy the convo. Support the show: and visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian Show Notes Ellison's Cave (wikipedia): What is the PE Exam: How to use climbing ascenders (YouTube): How to choose climbing rope:
December 11, 2018
069 - On The Solar System - Part 3 - Asteroids, Giants -- and Pluto
Heyo, Zengineers! This week we're wrapping up an epic three part ride through our solar system. In part one we talked about our solar system as a whole, the earth, the moon, and the sun: In part two we descended upon the rocky planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars): In this third and final piece, we find our way through the asteroid belt, past Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus before exploring the final reaches of our solar system with everyone's favorite dwarf planet, Pluto and its tens or maybe thousands of friends spiraling around in the icy darkness at the edges of our home space. We hope you enjoy the convo. Support the show: and visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian --- Show Notes Gas Giants (wikipedia): -- Ice Giants (Wikipedia): -- Dwarf Planets (Wikipedia): -- The Solar System (surprise ... Wikipedia): -- Gravitationally Round Objects in our Solar System (Wikipedia): -- Live Voyager Mission Status: -- Why is Pluto no longer a planet?:
November 27, 2018
068 - with Nat Wyeth - On Fundraising and The Practice of Giving
Howdy, Zengineers! This week we're chatting with Nat Wyeth, professional fundraiser, old friend, and all around good guy. We talk about his experience working with small, medium, and large donors over the last decade of fundraising for some exceptional non-profit organizations. Nat shares interesting insights into how the world of fundraising works, how it affects organizations at large, and how you can get involved, making smart decisions with your own gifts. We hope you enjoy the convo. Support the show: and visit our website for more episodes: Cheers, Adam & Brian --- Show Notes Seed Foundation (where Nat works now): National Cathedral in Washington DC (where Nat used to work): Research Non-Profits Before Donating: Tips For Personal Giving: - make a continuing monthly donation so organizations can plan and budget based on consistent cashflow - alternatively, donate at end the of the organizations fiscal year - give to organizations that you have a personal connection with and that you care deeply about (don't overthink your gifts as a small donor) - make a personal connection with a staff member to maximize the humanity of what you're doing
November 13, 2018
067 - with Scott MacMullan - On That Peninsula Life and Running for Office in Annapolis MD
Hey there Zengineers! This week we’re chatting with Scott MacMullan. He’s host of The Annapolis Podcast, a lawyer, and recently ran for local office. We chat about the process of running for office, why Scott ran, and talk about a bunch of the unique challenges facing Annapolis as a waterfront town in a race against climate change. Enjoy! Reach us at for the show notes as always!
October 23, 2018
066 - On Stuff - Bikes
Hey Zengineers! This week we continue our series “On Stuff” with an episode about bicycles. We break down all the elements that make the bicycles work: speed, torque, gear ratios, wheel size and more. We also talk balance and explain why we love bikes more than cars! As always, show notes and links:
October 09, 2018
065 - On Stuff - Corrugated Cardboard
Howdy Zengineers! Welcome to our new series, “On Stuff.” This week’s inspiration came from driving through a neighborhood and seeing the same thing on almost every porch…cardboard boxes. We take you through the history of paper, going all the way back to papyrus, and how that led to the invention of single-sheet cardboard, finally to corrugated cardboard, and making cool stuff out of it. As always, check out for links anything cool we mentioned in the episode. Keep exploring! Adam & Brian
September 25, 2018
064 - with Christophe Jospe of Nori - On Climate Change - Part 4 - Reversing It
Howdy Zengineers, We're joined this week by fellow tech entrepreneur and climate change advocate, Christophe Jospe from Nori - What's Nori you might ask? Well, sometimes it's edible seaweed that comes in handy flat packs for snacking, but in this case, it's a Blockchain company working to reverse climate change through innovative means of measurement, verification, and tracking. Christophe is also a host on Nori's podcast called "Reversing Climate Change," which is one of Brian's favorite podcasts - Check out even more show notes at Want to invest in Nori? It's open to the public here:
September 11, 2018
063 - On Learning Guitar and Pretending to Be a Rock Star
What's the low down, Zengineers? We've got a music-eee episode for you this week, which is great, because everyone loves music. Right? Yeah, we thought so. Na Na Naaa Naaa Naaaaaaaa What we're specifically talking about is learning to play musical instruments. The desire, the drive, the practice, the challenge, the perspective and everything else that comes along with it. Adam and Brian are both hobby musicians with years of experience kinda sorta playing lots of different stuff ... mostly alone in their rooms, occasionally with friends, and every so often out in public with strangers around. Whoa ... I got nervous just writing that. There's a lot involved in learning to play a musical instrument and it's not just the instrument. Music itself is a science that can take lifetime to truly understand. Your goal can be quick and dirty to play pop songs along with friends or it can be a lifelong pursuit to play for the world and create your own musical magic. However
August 21, 2018
062 - On Terminators and Terminating Things
Heyo, Fellow Zegineers!! I'll be boch!! I mean ... we'll be back ... er, we're back!! Yeah, there we go. We're back with another fun filled ride through canyon of curiosity, the laboratory of lucidity, the couch of confusion? Wait, that last one's not very good. Let me try again. We're BACK this week with an episode on one of our favorite sci fi characters, The Terminator (we love you Arnold)!! Yay. We've talked a lot about terminators in previous episodes, but always as an aside or a reference. We're a little obsessed. Brian even has recurring dreams about terminators. It's good and bad. We discuss it. This week's convo dives deep into the history of the terminator on screen, the science fiction lore that we all love, and the modern tech that might make them possible. Or, are they here already? Nobody knows. Or do they. Yeah, we're feeling weird today. Stick with us. James Cameron's absurdly successful career was rocket propelled by the first Terminator
July 24, 2018
061 - On Drones - Part 2 - The Complexity of Not Bumping Into Things
What's up, Zengineers? Drones! Get it? Awkward... Anyway, This is our second episode in a multi part series on Drones. In this one, we get technical into how things work inside these crazy machines. Mostly we're talking quadcopters, but many similar technologies are in the military aircraft of nation states and even your pocket, too (inside your phone). We get into the form, fit, and function the major componets of RC Flight Control Systems like magenetometers for measuring direction within the Earth's magnetosphere, altimeters that calculate height above the earth using barametric pressure from the atmosphere, and acceleromters that mesure the force of gravity through via variable electrical currents through material deformation (allowing orientation in 3d space). GPS finally ties everything together to allow autonomous AIs to move freely around our planet, know exactly where they are in all three dimensions of physical space, while simultaneously knowing what
June 26, 2018
060 - with Gustaf Alstromer of Y Combinator - On Climate Change - Part 3 - Carbon Capture
Hey there Zengineers!!   Thanks for coming back for another great convo. This week, our guest is Y Combinator (YC -
June 12, 2018
059 - On Drones - Part 1 - Quadcopters and NASA Warp Drives
Well, hellow there, fellow Zengineers! This week is our first in a series on Drones!! Yeah, those unbelievable fantasy vehicles that are everywhere now. Some are taking pictures, some are dropping bombs, some are taking pictures and dropping bombs ... but most are just buzzing around and scaring the hell out of grandma. This episode is all about where drones came from and why they are here now? Mostly we're talking about the kinda drones we're all allowed to have ourselves ... Quadcopters. These are nifty little creatures that seem somewhat organic as they buzz around the skies and even our homes. Quadcopters are basically ubiquitous today, even though they were just magical internet memes sweeping the planet a few years ago. In this conversation, we touch a little on the history of radio controlled (RC) vehicles and the development of the tech that got us to now. We dive into the mechaincs of flight and how planes differ from helicopters, t
May 29, 2018
058 - on Climate Change - Part 2 - Carbon, Cooking, and Chemistry
Hey Zengineers! This is our second episode in a series on Climate Change. No one knows how many episodes this series may ultimately contain, but probably a lot! We've got loads to share, and we've got some killer guests coming up. We also find this topic important, timely, all encompassing, and endlessly interesting. Lots of what we talk about regularly is affected by and affects Climate Change. Wow! So much fun to be had, and so much important information to share! In this episode, we get into a little of the nitty gritty science. What is happening chemically that is causing global climate change, global warming, droughts, floods, super storms, wildfires, pollution, extinctions and more? How are all these things possibly even connected? We've all heard about the Carbon Cycle of life and that there's too much CO2 in our atmosphere, but what does that mean? What is it doing, and how's it doing it? Also, wtf is Carbon and why is it so important?
May 15, 2018
057 with Kelly Gardner - On Storytelling and Everyday Inspiration
What's happenin' Zengineers? Our guest this week is Kelly Gardner, a filmmaker, teacher, community leader, and friend. He has a great radio voice and does an awful lot of speaking for a living, so get ready for some serious ear candy, and a deep dive into the philosophy of story telling through the ages. This episode is a delightful conversation informed by the mind of a professional storyteller. We kick off with Adam and Kelly reminiscing about film school and dabble a little into the evolution of film and camera technology, a series of monumental global shifts that have put the professional tools of storytelling into the hands and pockets of everyone on Earth. We discuss stories all around us, how we capture those stories, how we tell those stories, and how we use those stories to inspire the world. Modern media moves so quickly, however, that the "hows" and "whys" are constantly morphing, forcing a change in our relationship with it as well. We close with som
May 01, 2018
Storj Storage and Solar Powered Mining Rigs w-Netwise Data CTO and Mechanical Engineer T Brian Jones
Hello Zengineers! (And SideChainers who backtracked to the pre-release episode!) Surprise! And welcome to our first Zengineering Media spinoff podcast, The SideChain. It’s a Zengineering podcast, but all about blockchain tech, cryptocurrencies, and all that fun stuff. As an intro this is the only time we’ll run one of these in the Zengineering feed. If you want to subscribe you can search for The Sidechain it in whatever podcast app you prefer, or start here: This week we’ve got a quick intro for the Zengineering listeners with our guest, T. Brian Jones. He’s co-host of Zengineering Podcast, a mechanical engineer, a software engineer, and the CTO of Netwise Data. We get into a conversation about a decentralized cloud storage project called Storj -- check it out at
April 18, 2018
056 - with Mike Rosolio - On Privacy, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica
Sup, Zengineers?   We had this one in the pipeline, and it sure is relevant, so you're getting it early, and out of order. Enjoy!  
April 11, 2018
055 - On Climate Change - Part 1 - What the Fuck is It
Heyo Zengineers!! Here we are again, at the precipice of adventure and intrigue. This week, we're kicking off a series of episodes on Climate Change and all that comes along with it. And, when we say ALL, we truly mean it. We're gonna give you a lot of different angles over the coming months so that we can all really appreciate what's going on, what already happened, what's NOT going on, what didn't happen, and what might or might not be going on in the future. These are complicated questions, and to even begin a conversation about Climate Change we really do have to answer the big question, WTF is it? You probably have your own images that pop to mind ... storms, trash, smoke stacks, recycling, clouds of noxious gasses, overpopulation, traffic, farms, deforestation, failing reefs, etc. etc. etc... but what is REALLY affecting our climate? How do know what to focus on and what matters, right now? Well a clear definitio
April 03, 2018
054 - with Jen Friel - On Blogs, Bartering, and Footslaves
Hey Zengineers, Welcome back for a whirlwind of a conversation with Jen Friel, an entrepreneur, social media pioneer, and someone with a life so fantastic, it's being made into a TV Show!  
March 20, 2018
053 - On AOL Instant Messenger - May it Rest in Peace
Hello Zengineer Friends!! This week we're diving into text based digital communication!! Hooray. Yeah, we're excited too. What's that you ask? Texting? Yeah, kinda. Tweets? Yup, sorta. Email? Of course... We've been inspired by the deprecation of one of the earliest forms of mass digital communication, AOL Instant Messanger (AIM). Yup, that one with the yellow running man icon. We both used it extensively as kids and into college, but whatever happened to it? Well, it was totally dicontinued just a little while ago, despite having previously enabled hundreds of millions of people to communicate every day. In this episode, we dive into a little bit of the tech, a little bit of the nostalgia, and whole lot of the thrill of communicating with others. We trace the history of text based messages like AIM all the way into the weird world of today where you can send an "instant" digital communication to a space station in orbit, and get a response
March 06, 2018
052 - with Jonathan Sampson, on Brave, Basic Attention Token and Browser Security
What's up Zengineers!!?? It's that time again? What time you may ask? Time to get jiggy inside a high tech rabbit hole. Our guest this week is Jonathan Sampson, programmer, world traveller, technologist, and Head of Developer Relations at Brave Browser ( A new revolution of web based technology is upon us, and Jonathan is here to help us make sense of it, and discuss how the team behind Brave Browser is leading the way. Brave is a new web browser (like Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safaris, or Mozilla Firefox) ... The difference is, this browser is aiming to totally alter the internet landscape. Through security by design, privacy as a business model, and tight integrations with blockchain and crypto-currencies, Brave browser is working to re-imagine the internet in its original incantation. This new creation rides the incredible tidal wave of internet that we all know and love, but also, at times, fear and loathe.
February 20, 2018
051 - On The Solar System - Part 2 - Rovers and Rocky Planets
We're adventuring off planet this week, Zengineers! We hope you brought your oxygen tanks and sunshades. This is part two of our series on planets that started a few months ago when we talked all about our home planet, Earth, what we know about it in the context of it being a planet and how our on-planet exploration has informed and inspired our exploration off planet! (Check out Part One here: This week we're going into space, but not straying too far. Our exploration starts with a definition of our planetary home, the solar system. What is it, where'd it come from, and how far does really go? From there we dive right into the center to talk about the mother of all the planets, the Sun. Our adventure continues outward as we travel into the
February 06, 2018
050 - On Listener-fed Rabbit Holes
Heyo, Zengineers! This is our 50th Episode!! We are so thrilled to still be on this wild ride, and so honored that you are all riding along with us. Thank you each for every bit of feedback, support, and funding through Patreon, as well as every minute spent listening. Zengineering Podcast is the longest running and most successful creative project we have ever done together, and it's been unquestionably life changing for us both. In honor of all our listeners, we decided to include as many as we could in this fiftieth episode. Over the past few months we've been getting dozens of questions, comments, jokes, and generally heartfelt replies to our request for your input into Zengineering. In this extra long episode, we reply to as many as we can. We spent an entire weekend recording this one, so here it goes: An amazing intro from our lifelong friend, Mike (also our most popular guest). Adam (from the
January 16, 2018
049 - with Peet Guercio - On Rap Battles, Aaron Sorkin, and Problematic Art
Heyo fellow Zengineers!! This episode's got our friend, comedian, rap battle enthusiast, and occasional hype man, Peet Guercio as guest. "Did you say rap battles?" Yes. Yes we did. Rap Battles!! Surprised? Not us. We don't just talk about computers, bitcoin, and the bathroom. Come on!! First we'll intro you to the wild world of the Rap Battle. You may be picturing the early days of hip hop or 8 mile, and to that I would say that you are on the right track. (Scope some great videos in the show notes of this week's episode.) Peet helps us chase down what Rap Battles are, where they came from, and why he digs participating and watching them so much. Rap Battles are not only insanely impressive to watch, they also happen to be a great starting point for a convo on the broader context of art and expression, standup comedy, safe spaces, the tightrope of intent versus context, and the importance of free speech. We'll leave you with some of Peet’s favorite "bars" and th
December 19, 2017
048 - On STEAM Education and the Importance of Curiosity
What's happening, Zengineers? This week, we're chasing our previous episodes on experts and experiments, by talking about STEAM Education!! Have you heard of it? Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Philosophy... It's quite the popular acronym recently. You may even recognize some of it from our own Podcast title. Yes, we're big fans of those five things, and we think you might be too!! If you're not, then we hope that at least you can enjoy some of our enthusiasm for the subjects in this week's episode. We start by introducing an amazing class Adam and Brian were lucky enough to have together as kids, called Math-Science. It's there we both agree we were first exposed to a hybrid class of creative discovery of Science and Math. We introduce STEM and STEAM, and then we dig in on the teaching of history. Why do we teach it and what surprising impacts does it have on our Scientific / Technological schooling? Do we have to tell certain stories on purpose just to counte
December 05, 2017
047 - with Pat Connelly - On Health, Happiness, and The Rock
What's up Zengineers?! Our guest this week is a health and fitness fanatic, long time friend, and CEO of Corevity, "A health community for millennials." He's here to dive into the confusing world of optimizing our health and wellbeing. Health and wellness is one of the hottest topics for millennials. We've grown up in a world where the headlines about our health are a little different every day. We are inundated with nutrition information, fitness routines, mindful living techniques, meditation in the form of sitting, standing, swimming, running, and everything else. What are we to do, who are we to trust, and how are we to afford the time and money needed to be the best us? Pat's lifetime pursuit of health and happiness has taken him onto NCAA lacrosse fields, out on double-overhead waves of the Pacific Ocean, and now into the politics and governance of the healthcare industry as he uses his company, Corevity (, to help people achieve wellbeing wit
November 21, 2017
046 - On Experiments, and their Limits in Meat Space
What's up Zengineers? This episode continues our marathon of depth, diving into the pool of modern human understanding on our way to episode 50!! How do we define an experiment and who is really running them? Here's a hint. It's all of us, but we might not think of it that way. At least not in day to day life. Why not? Well we think things should probably be reframed so more of us do, and we'll tell you why. Surprised? Probably not. This episode starts off talking about the colloquial idea of “experimenting with an activity” like, trying out surfing, versus the idea of “running an experiment" ... the more traditional scientific peer reviewed kinda stuff. From here we uncover the depth of what it means to really experiment. You'll enjoy a bit of a semantic dance as we spiral through one of Brian's more complex experiments (or series of tests) done during his industrial automation and mechanical engineering days. Then we change rhythm and pull
November 07, 2017
045 - with Laura Goldfarb - On PR, Pop Music, and Power To The People
Hey Zengineers! This week we’ve got another special guest: Laura Goldfarb. Laura’s an award winning music publicist, writer, entrepreneur, radio host, music journalist, songwriter, social media marketer, artist manager, booking agent, tour manager, nomad, and once, an impromptu human mic stand. As the “Big Kahuna” at Red Boot PR, she’s spent years handling public relations for a family of badass indie music artists. More recently she’s taken up the mantle of Community Manager for artist MILCK, whose song “Quiet” became the unofficial anthem of the 2017 Women’s March... we get into all that and more on this week’s ’cast! Adam and Laura have worked together here and there over the years, and share similar philosophies regarding transparency and authenticity in digital marketing... so of course he roped her in for an episode. But Laura flipped the script, and came with a bit of a bone to pick after listening to Episode 38, the one about BS pop music. We pick that conversation up
October 24, 2017
044 - On Experts, Algorithms, and Scientific Thinking
Heyo Zengineers. Welcome back for a ride through the thick cloud of confusion around the modern accessibility of trustworthy information. In this episode we tackle this difficult question by analyzing what an expert really is. Does the word expert create specific imagery in your mind? Do you picture a parent, sibling, or friend? How about a teacher, professor, or professional confidant? Maybe you picture a coach, actor, or president! Whatever you picture when you hear the word “expert,” know that you’re probably thinking about something different than the person down the hall. This is a complex and subtle discussion and everyone will have their own opinions, perceptions, and world views. Expertise is something we all chase throughout our lives, and it’s something we value tremendously in other human beings, but ... what really is it? How do you obtain expertise? Who should you trust and why? What are the implications of applying this label to other humans? This
October 10, 2017
043 - With Allen and Jesse From FitBod - On Fitness and Technology
Heyo, Zengineers ... Welcome back for an exciting ride through the technological fitness wonderland with Allen & Jesse, the founders of FitBod. What is FitBod, you might ask? Great question! It’s our favorite strength training app for iOS ... One that finally does so many things Adam’s been trying to find in workout software for years. FitBod leverages machine learning to customize workouts for you based on your own activity, your own body, and data from millions of workouts tracked thus far in the FitBod system. We took Adam’s decades of experience as a competitive swimmer and former NCAA athlete and Brian’s professional status as activity master extraordinaire and gave FitBod a full afternoon together at the gym. It was a great experience, and the follow-on conversation with the FitBod founders was just as good. In this episode, we meet Allen and Jesse, and talk a bit about how they ended up working together, their backgrounds, and how they’re focusing all of that on
September 26, 2017
042 - On Optimization, Staying Stoked, And Our New Website
You may already be aware if you’re a Zengineering powerfan, but for everyone else, we’re excited to announce the launch of a brand new website at As Zengineering has become an increasingly more important part of both our lives, we’ve realized that we want to make more content available, with more control over how it looks, where it goes, and how we interact with all of you. Check out new the site to scope brand new episode art, all the show notes we’ve always promised (at least on the newer episodes), articles and stories we’ve been writing, and, of course, all our new and old episodes. This episode contains a bit of reminiscing on the technology that’s been part of Zengineering Podcast, and all the physical, mental and digital tricks we’ve come up with keep the show going. We share our stoke test, our production workflow, and the fact that, as artists, we’re pretty uncomfortable a lot of the time trying to promote our own creations. We dive into all
September 12, 2017
Shorty 004 - Give Us Your Rants
In appreciation of everyone who supports us and listens to the show, we want to feature YOU on Zengineering Podcast's 50th Episode, scheduled for release in the first week of 2018. SHARE YOUR VOICE WITH US! 1) Pull out your smartphone (plug in those earbuds if you have 'em) 2) Open an audio recorder app (Voice Memos on IOS) 3) Send your message to 4) Send as many messages as you want WHAT SHOULD I SAY? Tell us what you love about Zengineering. Tell us what irks you, what excites you, or what confuses you. Ask us something personal and embarrassing or ask us something technical and nerdy. Tell Adam how you love the sound of his silky smooth radio voice on your morning commute, or tell Brian that he's a pretty good podcast host, but should still consider playing basketball. We will be featuring and responding to some of our favorite clips from you on Episode 50. Be funny, be nerdy, or be kind ... b
September 09, 2017
041 - with Leah Culver of Breaker - On The Potential of Podcasts
Today we’re joined by Leah Culver, entrepreneur, avid podcast listener, and CTO of Breaker (the app we both use to listen to podcasts). Leah has joined us to discuss her business, the tech behind podcasting, and the state of the medium. Podcasts are a strange phenomenon. They’ve existed and have been quietly growing in the creative underbelly of the internet for decades, but only recently have they become mainstream thanks to astronomical successes like, Serial. On the surface, podcasts are just radio shows, and radio shows have been around 100 years. So, what’s really made them vogue? Smart phones, easy and inexpensive recording technology, the ability to share anything with the world from your home? Or, is a deeper fundamental shift happening regarding individuals’ willingness to share and society’s desire to consume? Leah dives in deeply with us in this episode. We discuss the proliferation of podcasts as a digital medium. We touch on the underlying technologies and
August 29, 2017
040 - On Star Wars vs Star Trek - May the Prime Directive Be With You
Welcome back, Zengineers. We’re finally doing it. Yes! Wait, what are we talking about? Star Wars versus Star Trek! YAY!!! Do you think the Millennium Falcon is the greatest ship of all time? Do you think Captain Kirk is the ultimate hero? Are photon torpedoes better than blaster cannons? Ahhhh ... so many things to discuss. Well ... we picked just a few in this first of likely MANY episodes discussing Star Wars and Star Trek, two of our favorite fictional universes. We tried to stay away from arguing about merit, and instead just wanted to talk about how Star Wars and Star Trek compare to each other, what we love about each, and fun ways to apply lessons from these worlds into our real world. Real world... ha! We start off with some broad discussion about the universes and how they’re different from a genre standpoint. We quickly recognize that one is not “better” than the other, but that they just happen to slot into different places in fiction and in our lives. Star Wars i
August 15, 2017
039 - with Lin Qiu - On Startups Part 1 - What’s My Motivation
This week our guest is Lin Qiu, Senior Software Engineering at Upside Travel! Lin's an old friend and a co-conspirator on a number of projects with Adam and Brian… and a couple of whole companies with Adam. Our plan in pre-production convos was to talk about our experience with those various projects, but wow did we barely make it through the first step. This episode turned into a weighty meditation on what motivated each of us to start our own companies: whether it was right out of the gate, or after working in a “real” job for a while. We explore the driving philosophies of modern work versus the startup world, taking a look at notions of freedom, creativity, art, and youth. We talk about our evolving notions of what it means to be successful, and how the emergence of digital tools has maybe pushed the world closer to being a place where the “working world" values a broad skillset over rabid specialization…maybe? If we figured out one things for sure it’s that we’ll
August 01, 2017
038 - With Scott Bauer - On Your Secret Love Affair With Pop Music
Howdy Zengineers! Today we're talking about Music with industry expert, Scott Bauer. Not just any music, either. We're talking specifically about Pop Music. Cringe! What's that you're feeling right now? Are you upset that we're giving Katy Perry an entire episode? Are you embarrassed about your guilty pleasures playlist? Maybe you're stoked because pop music fires you up! Well, however you feel, you should know that you're not alone, and that's why we've brought our good friend Scott in to help. Music has inspired our species since the beginning of recorded history. Every culture has had it, and most every person has had a love affair with it. In today's world, music is the "beneficiary" of digitization and globalization. As a result, music is absolutely everywhere all of the time. This has had some interesting affects on the tunage you hear in everyday life. Why is it that one person can listen to the same song twenty five times in a row, and still dance, while another person immed
July 12, 2017
037 - On Artificial Intelligence - Part 3 - A Philosophy Of Terminators
Welcome home, Zengineers! This is the final episode in our three part series on Artificial Intelligence. This is the deep dive into the big questions. Will computers be smarter than us some day? What the heck does that mean anyway? Are terminators already coming for us through time and space? Who knows? The emergence of Artificial Intelligence forces humanity to face so many of life’s big questions in practical ways that have only been the job of philosophers and ministers in the past. What are good and evil? How do you program morals into a machine? Will we need to? Will the machines care? This episode is one of our favorites and this series is a fascinating exploration into the depths of the human mind and our wildest technological advancements. In part one we chased what intelligence is and recapped the history of AI. In part two we ran through the current state of Artificial Intelligence and where it is in the world.
July 04, 2017
036 - On Virtual Reality - Part 2 - A Dungeon of Whiteboards
Howdy, Zengineers. Welcome to our second episode on Virtual Reality. We start this episode by examining the five traditional senses (evolutionary technologies?) that our bodies have in the “Real World.” From there its a wild ride through perception and experience as we dive into the digital technologies behind modern VR that attempt to convince your mind that VR is not V at all! Our recent experiences with the HTC Vive have left us absolutely floored by the near fully immersive Virtual Reality space of today. This episode gets pretty deep by the end, swimming into the ether that surrounds whatever time and space actually are. Damn. VR is spicy. It captures many of the central themes of Zengineering Podcast. Enjoy it! BTW, this is a followup to Episode 34: On Virtual Reality (our first impressions with modern VR).
June 20, 2017
035 - On File Sharing, Distributed Technologies, And The Birth Of Bitcoin
Hey Zengineers! Let me ask you a strange question. How would you feel if you knew that all your hard earned money was just going to be converted into a digital bit stream and saved on some centralized databases maintained by a handful of global businesses? Does this sound like a scary idea? Well, it’s already what’s happening when you deposit your money with any modern bank in the world. The gold standard no longer exists. Physical paper still has value, but exists only ephemerally during small transactions, and if the system makes a mistake, it’s not easy for the individual to do much about it. If this sounds dystopian to you, imagine something even weirder. How about we make every financial transaction public. What if we then distributed all that information to millions of personal computers all around the world? How about we do away entirely with the idea of a centralized authority? This roughly describes BitCoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and other Cryptocurrencies. This week we d
June 06, 2017
034 - On Virtual Reality - Part 1 - A Weekend with an HTC Vive
In this episode, we discuss “alternate” realities, aka virtual realities. To do so, I travelled to Los Angeles to visit Adam (this is Brian, btw). Why you may ask would I slug my 215 pound, 6 foot 8 inch body all the way there? Well, I needed to be physically in Adam’s living room so that my mind could enter into the virtual reality of an HTC Vive VR system that Adam has recently setup. It was mind blowing. The current generation of Virtual Reality Technology is “The jetpack we’ve been promised.” It’s flying cars. It’s travel to other planets. It’s fully immersive collaborative working environments. It is truly the Matrix. On Saturday night, May 21st, 2017, I caught a bullet out of the air with my bare hands, and I’ll never forget it. Because of a lifetime of VR technologies proving mostly comical, and rarely functional, I did not expect to even be particularly entertained by this system. But, after a weekend of exploring Virtual Reality of the early 21st century I can say with utmo
May 23, 2017
Shorty 003 - On Writing Honestly
Hey it's a shorty! This week we've got a quick convo on podcasting versus writing, how each is used to convey info, and where it's easier to be dishonest. Dig it! Share it! Let us know what you think. Enjoy!
May 17, 2017
033 - With Alan Gilbert - On Procedurally Generated Content
Alan’s back, to help us bring you Procedurally Generated Content. What the hell is that? Well it might be our every day reality, but we’ll start simple where you may or may not be aware of it ... games! We’ll do a little on roleplaying like D&D, and then dive into video games like Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto. Then it gets weird ... small talk, genetic algorithms, music, DNA, jet engine design, and more. Nope, we didn’t leave out zombies, the Library of Babylon, or a deeper philosophical conversation on what genetic algorithms mean for the intrinsic nature of good and evil. Wow ... this went all over the place. We hope you enjoy!!
May 09, 2017
Shorty 002 - On Stuff Made in China
It's a shorty! Just a little something something to get you through the week. This one's about some of the problems and complications inherent in the idea that we're going to "bring manufacturing back" to the United States. Of course we can't talk about this stuff without a little Elon Musk and asteroid mining in there. Enjoy!
May 02, 2017
032 - On Bill Nye, Activism, And The Depths Of Science
The March for Science happened this last weekend all over the world. Did you know about it? We almost didn't. How awkward. Did we attend? Nope. Why not? Urrrrr ... Ummm ... well, let's talk about it. In this episode we take a shallow dive into some of the most fundamental aspects of our Podcast. What is the March for Science? What impact is it attempting to produce? Will it be successful? How do Bill Nye and other science communicators (like us) play into that mission? WHAT IS THE FREAKIN' MISSION? We're not sure. Give a listen and help us figure it out. We know this stuff is important, but we certainly don't have the final answers!!
April 26, 2017
Shorty 001 - On Monkey Sex
Hey Zengineers! We're taking this week to introduce a new format you'll be seeing/hearing on our feed more often. The SHORTY! We'll explain in the episode. This one's about all different kinds of sex. Yep, there are many. Enjoy this one. And keep exploring!
April 18, 2017
031 - On Planets - Why We Explore And What We Know
We've wanted to up our stoke recently, so after a lot of consideration, we decided to launch a three part series on PLANETS. We love em. We love em a lot!! Heck, we better, cuz we live on one!! In this first part of our series on planets, we talk about what we know, how we know it, why we care so much, the history of our motivation to explore, and what we know about Earth. We bump into a lot of interesting crossover between astronomy, the scientific method, and the history of humanity's scientific exploration. Expect to get a little choked up in this episode. Our history is amazing, our exploration is inspiring, and "the void" is physically, intellectually, and spiritually challenging. In parts II and III we'll venture off-world into our solar system, and eventually out into the cosmos.
April 04, 2017
030.5 - On Logical Fallacies - With Mike Rosolio
Hey! It's a bonus 'cast! When we had Mike Rosolio on last week we failed to make it out of the intro for the episode we planned before time ran out. After that we ran through some actual logical trick plays you'll see everywhere once you know how they work (logical fallacies.)It didn't quite fit after the killer convo you heard last week. So, if you dug episode 30, and you want to listen to us get more technical, this one's for you. Enjoy, and let us know if you like it.
March 28, 2017
030 - On How to Argue Good - with Mike Rosolio
We missed the Rhetorical Theory and Semantics class in school, but our guest this week got his degree in it! What's that mean? He's really good at arguing, and persuading, and finding holes in your BS!! In this episode, the three of us set out to introduce logical fallacies, but ended up lost in a discussion about just, well ... how to have a reasonable discussion. Why is it that so many conversations these days end in a fight? What's up the state of discourse in modern society? We talk about logical structures, wander through some examples in the news, and then zoom out to talk about strategies for engaging in conversations that aren't just a waste of everyone's time. Think about your most recent conversation with that crazy relative, give this episode a listen, and then try that conversation again. See how it goes!
March 21, 2017
029 - On Artificial Intelligence - Part 2 -  What is Modern AI?
We're back, with our second conversation on Artificial Intelligence. Last time we mostly talked about the past, while we tried to dissect what AI actually is. We mused on older technologies we dubbed Artificial Memory, like books, calculators, and hard drives. In this episode we discuss how video games (during humanity's never-ending quest to recreate reality) got us to the computational capacity for natural language processing, machine learning, and neural networks. Where is this technology now, and where are they in your life? Do you like that the machines are starting to make decisions for you? Do you even know they are there? This is the second of at least three episodes in our quest to figure out the five Ws of AI. Enjoy!
March 07, 2017
028 - On Crossfit and Being Fit Enough - With Ryan Zaffino
Hey everybody! We’re back with more Zengineering goodness. This week we’ve got guest Ryan Zaffino hanging out. He’s a Crossfit coach, personal trainer, and studying to be a physical therapist. Crossfit has come up before but this week we’re diving in on what it really is and Ryan’s talking fitness, health, happiness and how he works mindfulness into types of training that you might not think of that way. Enjoy! As always, let us know what you think on the socials, or
February 22, 2017
027 - On Artificial Intelligence - Part 1 - A History of Artificial Memory
Howdy, Zengineers! A lot of season one danced around the topic of Artificial Intelligence, so we decided it was time to dive in for realz. This is part one of a three part series on Artificial Intelligence. What the hell is it? Where'd it come from? How does it play in our lives right now? Where are we headed? It's a crazy time and there's a lot to be aware of. We're really excited for this one. Enjoy, and, as always, hit us up with your thoughts and ideas!
February 07, 2017
026 - On Corrections with Alan Gilbert - Quantum Computing, Gold Dollars, and Solipsism
Hello Zengineers! We're back with our second guest episode of Season 2. Have you ever been listening and thought, "These guys are really really good looking, but what they just said is total BS!" Well, our good friend Alan Gilbert has come on to help us kick off a new Error Correction Program here at Zengineering Podcast. We revisit quantum computing, historical number systems, and even touch on the Sacajawea One Dollar Coin ... what? Hope you enjoy, and have a great week!
January 24, 2017
025 - On Podcasts, with Borson And D-Abel
Welcome to 2017! In celebration of a New Year, we're hosting two of our good friends that are launching their New Podcast (I Don't Know Shit, with Borson & DAbel). We've wanted to discuss the merits of doing a podcast for a while, and in this cast we cover a little bit of how and a little bit of why. Borson & DAbel's energy has really inspired us, so if you've ever dreamt about launching your own cast, then this episode will definitely get you off the couch and into your own studio. Rock & Roll, Hoochie Koo!
January 10, 2017
024 - On Holiday Safety, Costco Carts, and Trump Snow Globes
Happy Holidays! This week we're giving out some holiday safety tips to keep the family from experience too many Chevy Chase Christmas-Vacation moments! We're talking about where holiday flavors come from, mischievous cart thieves at CostCo (maybe elves that got fired last year), and how to prevent lighting your dried out pine tree on fire and burning your house down by over energizing too many strands of artificial holiday merriment. Dig it! Share it! Let us know what you think!
December 27, 2016
023 - On Fake News, Political Discourse, And Media Literacy
Hey Zengineers! Episode 22 was our Season One finale so we took some time off to invite new listeners (welcome!) and to clean up our digital landing pads so we can communicate with all of you more easily. We’re definitely not taking it easy on this episode, though. This week we’re talking about fake news, how to understand the media landscape, and how we might be able to make political conversations more than just a frustrating and seemingly useless shouting match. This is our first cast since the US Presidential Election and we simply could not stay on topic with any other discussion. Let us know how you feel, especially if you are still impassioned by the current US or global political landscape.
December 13, 2016
022 - On Patreon, The Value Of Time, and Redistribution Of Wealth
Holy cow! 22 Episodes. That’s a whole season! This week Adam and Brian are talking about plans for season 2, our big move to Patreon, microtransactions, and of course, all kinds of things you might find down the crowdfunding rabbit hole. Tune in! And stick around if you want to know why it turns out that the only real currency is time.
November 08, 2016
021 - On Mutant Mosquitoes and Internet of Things Cyberattacks
Hey there Zengineers! Did you notice the podcast wasn’t streaming for a bit last week? Worried about catching Malaria or Zika? Then this one’s for you. This week Adam and Brian are talking about the big Internet of Things DDoS attack that took down a chunk of the internet last week, and the Debug Project breeding mutant mosquitoes to combat diseases like malaria. Check it out! Questions? Concerns? get us at, or @zengineeringpod on the socials.
October 26, 2016
020 - On Millennials Watching Stuff, The EpiPencil, And The Napster Of Everything
Is the pharmaceutical industry headed for a Napster moment, is every industry? Adam & Brian are back, and they’re working through this one. First they're talking about how it’s not Millennial’s fault they couldn’t watch the Olympics, and how that actually has a lot to do with Epi Pencil “hack" video that was going around a couple weeks ago. Drugs are just chemical compounds, so what happens when the formula is out there, and people have the means of production in their garage?
October 12, 2016
019 - On Uncomfortable Silence, and Star Wars Simulation Theory
What’s up Zengineers!? It’s been crazy over here, but we owe you an episode, so Brian is Skyping in from the road. Sorry if it sounds a bit wonky. Anyway, this week we’re talking about using canned responses to avoid uncomfortable silences, why the Star Wars API proves we’re living in a simulation, and we reveal how many (or few) Star Wars characters we can think of off the top of our heads. Enjoy!
September 27, 2016
018 - On Digital Audio, Apple, and Headphone Jacks
What’s up Zengineers!? We’re flexing our new production workflow this week, and giving you an episode we recorded just this morning. Because it’s been in the news and we’ve wanted to talk about it anyway, we’re talking digital audio and why it’s so important to humans. From sound wave coming out of your mouth, to sound wave going into your ears we’re talking about what’s happening to the data, where quality is lost, and what this all means in the context of Apple deciding that the headphone jack’s time is up.
September 13, 2016
017 - On Uncomfortable Topics, Profanity, and Sexy Han Solo
Damn Daniel! Back at with a podcast! (That’s probably dead by now, huh?) Well, Adam & Brian are back with a doozy. This week we’re talking about things that are uncomfortable to talk about…as a topic. Why are we doing this? Why is it important to talk about things that we don’t really want to talk about? You know, things like profanity, sexy Han Solo, and of course, poop. Enjoy! Got an idea? Get us on the socials @zengineeringpod or
September 06, 2016
016 - On Stuff They Shouldn't Teach Kids Anymore
Woah! Took another little break, sorry, it’s summer, but we’re back and talkin’ education in the age of Google. Do not fear … it’s mostly light hearted … this is not a deep dive into the politics of education (although we might approach the cliff a few times). We hit it all: statistics, media literacy, history, philosophy, Khan Academy, partial credit, science eating its own tail, and the value of answering a question with a question… Teaching all subjects at once seems crazy. We need to stagger topics in ways that make more sense as we grow and experience the world. History, for instance, is wildly valuable, fantastically interesting, and incredibly important, but 12 year olds simply don’t have the life experience to care or understand (for the most part). An examination of the What we teach, When we teach it, and Why it’s taught are hugely important right now. Tough to have that conversation and make those changes, however, in a very-much standardized global e
August 23, 2016
015 - On Water (w/ Ian Prichard)
Hey Zengineers! Ever wonder what it really takes to keep water coming out of your tap and filling up your toilet? Let’s be real, what you’re really worried about is The Joker poisoning Gotham’s water supply. This week we’re chatting with Ian Prichard, and he’s got the answers. Ian’s a writer, a runner, and for the last few years has worked in the “water business.” We get into what it takes to keep the water flowing, how bad the California drought really is, how that’s even measured, what you can do, and seriously… if The Joker could actually poison a whole city. Enjoy! Got an idea? Get us on the socials @zengineeringpod or
July 12, 2016
014 - Hitlist: On Facebook Affection & Babies, Cycles, & Self Control
Hey Zengineers! We’re back after a little break with more hitlist goodness. This week we’re talking Facebook displays of affection, babies with their own Facebook page, the value of things that go in cycles, and the quantifiability of self control. Enjoy! Got an idea? Get us on the socials or
June 21, 2016
013 - On Fitness Chores, Practice, And "The Zone"
Hey Zengineers! So, this was a tricky one, but this week we're talking about how to keep fitness from feeling like a chore. We get into the body, the idea of what it means to practice at something, and the value of finding and enjoying "the zone." Dig it!
May 24, 2016
012 - Hitlist: On Interweb Outrage, “Smart" Light Bulbs, and Backup Cameras on The Bridge
This week your hosts are outraged about outrage on the interwebs, talking the importance of controlling the light around you, and realizing the Enterprise D had a epic backup camera. Come, purify yourself in the waters of lake Minnetonka.
May 10, 2016
011 - Hitlist: On Wikipedia, Stale Earth Problems, and Genetic Code
Zengineering is back with another "hitlist" episode: some nice bite-size nuggets to get you thinkin'. This week we're talking Wikipedia, Kardashev scales, GMOs, DNA manipulation, why we shouldn't let scary things stop us from doing science, and, of course, Star Trek TNG.
April 26, 2016
010 - On Sports, Fandom, Socialism, and The Fear of Losing (w/ Mike Rosolio)
This week Adam & Brian have special guest Mike Rosolio on the podcast. Mike's a screenwriter, but who cares about that, he's here to try to explain why people care so damn much about their sports teams.
April 12, 2016
009 - On Hacking, Cryptography, and The FBI vs. Apple
Well, good timing. This week Brian & Adam are talking about hacking, encryption, cryptography, and cyber-security. Stick around for everything you need to know to understand the FBI vs. Apple case, and everywhere it intersects with history and the world.
March 29, 2016
008 - Hitlist: On Poo Particles, AlphaGo, and Photo Filter Sizing
This week we've got another "hitlist" episode for you! Brian & Adam are talking smartphones in the bathroom, AI's beating humans at go, and the photo format we need in the age of filters. Enjoy! Got questions!? Get us at
March 16, 2016
007 - On Search Engines
Zengineers! Adam & Brian are back with some deep dive, single topic goodness. This episode all about search engines. Of course that breaking down the thing they're searching: the web, and the stuff they're returning: information. Enjoy!
March 01, 2016
006 - Hitlist: On Unlimited Paid Vacation, Big Telescopes, and Surfing the Universe
Howdy Zengineers! Adam and Brian are back with their first hitlist only episode. They're talking about the merits of unlimited paid vacation, the new telescope due to replace Hubble, and going for a ride on a gravitational wave. Enjoy! Got questions!? Get us at
February 16, 2016
005 - On Dungeons & Dragons, Fantasy Sports, and Lego Math
Hello fellow Zengineers! This week Adam and Brian are talking about how Dungeons & Dragons and Fantasy Sports are pretty much the same game. Dig it. Deal with it. This is the 6th recording, disguised as the 5th episode (because of a recording glitch.) So yeah, don’t mind all that Episode 6 talk, this is number 5! Enjoy.
January 26, 2016
004 - On Engines, Motors, and Electric Cars
Should you buy an electric car? Maybe. This week Adam and Brian are digging in on the difference between normal cars, electric cars, and what all of this means for the planet. Also: The Library of Words, The Noun Project, and the importance of proving if Adam's an asshole.
January 10, 2016
003 - On Velcro, Dexterity, and Quantum Computing
This week Adam and Brian get into computers, how they work, where they're going (quantum computing) and what it means for the world. Also: our love of velcro, and the dexterity required to tie your shoes. Enjoy!
December 27, 2015
002 - On Nerd Kids, Skateboard Tricks, And Digital Cameras
We're back! Ever wonder what a megapixel really is? We've got you covered. This week we're talking digital cameras. How they work, what's happening inside, why everyone cares so much about pictures, and where to start if you want to take better pictures yourself. Also: modern nerd kids, and skateboard tricks with stupid names. Enjoy!
December 13, 2015
001 - On Legos, Marbles, and The Origin Of All Matter
Here we go. Training wheels are off, but we might still be a bit wobbly. In this one we're talking about where all the stuff comes from. Literally, all of it.
November 29, 2015