The Rostrum: Meet the Nuclear Reactor Supervisor


Conversation with Ryan Schow, a Utah native, and Nuclear Reactor Supervisor at the U, provides an insider’s look at what makes the U a global leader in nuclear safety culture. We also talk about the origins of his nuclear journey, and amazing student opportunities in nuclear science that are being noticed by the world’s nuclear energy community.

  • “My kids call me Homer.”

    “My kids call me Homer,” said Schow jokingly.

  • Ryan Schow, teaches

    Ryan Schow, Ph.D. Student, Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Reactor Supervisor

  • Nuclear Reactor Teaches U

    Nuclear Reactor teaches U

  • A “critical Reactor” is…an even operating state.

    A reactor is in a critical state when it neither gains or loses neutrons.

  • Ryan Schow Nuclear Reactor Supervisor

    Ryan Schow: Ph.D. student, fundraiser, technician, father of six, teacher, and volunteer

  • Ryan Schow in the Reactor Room

    Nuclear reactor rods each cost about $200,000, Schow explains

  • Reactor Supervisor teaches the future culture of nuclear energy

Geek Wish-List: Anime MC Redo

Hey guys, it’s Lee Neuschwander, and I hope most of you have seen the new Star Wars movie by now. However, if you are one of the brave few who have not seen the movie yet, we wish you the best of luck in continuing your fight against the ocean of spoilers; keep calm and may the Force be with you.

Last time I said I’d be talking about new Anime story ideas I would like to see in the next season of releases. Now, I really like Anime, so I could easily talk to you guys for four plus pages. For the sake of the Blog, I’ll keep it to the usual length. Sigh.

There is some really good Anime this season, but one that really struck me as being above the rest include Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, One Punch Man, and my personal favorite, Overlord. Each of these shows has main characters that break the standard for the Anime MC role. All in a good way.

Before we get into what’s on my Wish-List, I’ll explain why these shows are on my good side.

Iron-Blooded Orphans holds a special place in my heart as the Gundam series that brought back the cold-blooded, Mikazuki Augus, Anime’s main character who pilots the Gundam frame “Barbatos”. In the very first episode, we learn Mikazuki is an emotionless killer who will do whatever is asked of him from secondary character, Orga Itsuka.

Some might say having an emotionless MC is a bad thing, however, when it comes to the Gundam, an emotionless MC is a necessity to be considered good by the fan base. Iron-Blooded Orphans delivers exceptionally well on this, and gives us an MC that breaks away from the traditional Anime hero-mold in the most badass way.

Arguably, One Punch Man is the most popular Anime from the newest season of releases. For good reason. Anime is based off the concept that the MC is so ridiculously over-powered that no one can stand against him. Usually, we see how MC develops something that has become known as an ‘MC plot armor’ where no matter what happens, you know the MC will make it out alive.

As a result, those shows become somewhat stale because you know the hero makes it out alright. One Punch Man makes invulnerability the center-point by pushing far past the reasonable limit as to be ridiculous on purpose. It ends up working as a comedy element, which makes it even more entertaining in the process.

Finally, there’s Overlord, my personal favorite from the new batch. The main character is similarly overpowered, but with a twist. A twist that makes the main character, Lord Ains, not the good guy. Instead, you might say, the MC is the ‘villain’. In Overlord, Lord Ains is the overpowered evil overlord of the story and goes about reaching his goals by any means, peaceful or violently dark. I absolutely love this change in MC perspective because we get to see an Anime without a stereotypical hero who gets stronger facing off against villains. A villain already as strong as possible, broken in gamer terms who goes about doing what he wants to do instead of according to a preordained plot.  This show does a great job exploring a new angle of storytelling, but I would like to go a step further.

OK, here we are, finally at the Wish-List part. Now, having shown you guys the elements of these shows that relate to main characters and plot development, I want to talk about what I would like to see using some of these elements. Some ideas I would love to see implemented in Anime are stories told from the main antagonist’s perspective where the MC is actually the primary danger.

To explain further, imagine watching a battle take place where the hero is fighting against the monster or enemy, and then after the fight ends, instead of breaking back to the character development of the hero’s party, we get to see a similar dynamic from the main villain. So far, the only show I’ve seen where we get a look into the social circle of the bad guys was with Akame Ga Kill. In that show, they showed the side of the good guys with Night Raid, but they also showed relationships within the enemy ranks amid the Jaegers.

My second concept is a show were the MC is the main threat. Now, this doesn’t mean the MC is the villain necessarily, but the MC is the biggest danger the protagonists will face. To clarify, let’s say the story takes place like usual, and the MC is pushed to the point of defeat. Then the MC’s hidden powers awaken allowing him to easily defeat the enemy.

The twist is, their power isn’t controllable, and the MC then kills members of his/her own team. I feel this would be a great way to throw a new angle into the camaraderie we usually see between MC’s and their supporting characters. How would you feel if the hero you believed would save your world from the enemy starts killing the very people they swore to protect? Along similar lines would be one of the supporting characters, perhaps the love interest, knows s/he has the power to defeat the enemy, but knows they can’t control it and then, s/he manipulates the MC into using that power to complete their own agenda.

An example might be if Nyu from Elfen Lied was the MC instead of Kouta, being torn between allowing Lucy to save people, or not. Another could be, if Yuno from Future Diary could turn off her killer tendencies when helping Yuki. The resulting conflict would be a great source of complex character development I think Anime could use more of.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I could go on and on with such ideas. Any one of them is a wish-list in itself. In saying that, I’ll end it here. If you want me to talk more about Anime-related stuff, please feel free to comment. Next week, I feel like talking about games I’d like to see get more activity in the competitive world of E-sports.

The Rostrum: Breath for New Standard in TB Detection

Dhiman Bhattacharrya, Ph.D. Metallurgical Engineering student, devout painter, and Cricketer

“TB breathalyzer” Answers Global Healthcare Concern |

Tuberculosis is a deadly pulmonary disease that affects millions in Africa and southeastern Asia who don’t have access to point-of-care TB detection. U Ph.D. student, metallurgical engineer, Cricketer, and devout painter, Dhiman Bhattacharyya explains the research and potential impact of his new “TB breathalyzer,” a sensor platform which may soon provide an immediate, point-of-care solution to a global TB concern.

Titanium Oxide Nanotubes (TiO2) used to detect TB biomarkers in breath

Sensor Setup

Dhiman’s Sensor Diagram Sensor Setup

NANOSYNTH Materials & Sensors is the related company, working with Dhiman to bring this new technology to market.

The Geekwave Episode 16: All I Want For Christmas Are Movie Trailers


This episode was actually recorded before Star Wars came out, so it’s completely spoiler-free. We also limit the amount of Star Wars we actually talk about, since we’re sure many of you are a bit overwhelmed. For now you should just go see the movie and enjoy it. And rest assured, Solar and Lee have already seen it by now and enjoyed it immensely. We’ll have more commentary on it after Christmas.

What this episode does have is a ton of movie talk. Trailers for Star Trek: Beyond and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them dropped this week. Also, we got our first look at the new Ghostbusters cast and Logan talks about The Hateful 8.

Also in this episode: Joseph Gorden-Leavitt, the new Kojima Productions, and impressions of the new game Squad.

Have a Merry Christmas and any other holiday you’re enjoying, and we’ll be back on New Years Day.

Games that Don’t Require an Outlet

There are a variety of ways to enjoy time family and friends during the holidays. But my personal favorite is to play some game. This time, I’m talking about games that don’t require an outlet. That’s right, folks, I am talking about good old-fashioned card and boardgames.

This may not be the most family-friendly game, but it does provide lots of laughs. It has nice strategy, and just the right amount of backstabbing. It’s Killer Bunnies.

Killer Bunnies in all its glory. Presented by

This game isn’t for bunny lovers. It is, however, definitely for anyone with an addiction to carrots, and itt’s a great experience amongst friends. There’s lots of content, and several expansions can be purchased. Once everyone learns the rules, the most important aspect becomes how you interact with other players. Blackmailing, betrayal, alliances, pure evil and more, will be encountered as you quest for the magic carrot.

That cousin you always thought was so innocent will turn out to be a genius at empathy, and an evil mastermind. Or you end up with an urge  to nuke someone, because after all, why not? There are also plenty of pop culture references in this bundle of fun that are great for snowy nights!

MontyPython 1 (

We play the Killer Rabbit from Monty Python, and The Holy Grail always comes up. MontyPython 1 (

Be warned, this game carries over into everyday life. Friendships can be carved like turkey; people may cry over more than spilled milk, and you may find coal in your stocking!

The next game is great for anyone who wants a change from combat, to empire-building and trade. It has become a classic in my family. At face value, it may not seem the most competitive, but when things get rolling, it’s one heck of a ride. I am talking about the widely beloved, Settlers of Catan.

The new 5th edition available on

This one goes down in history, as one of my favorites. I have played almost all the expansions. I re-wrote the rules to be used simultaneously in a game that lasted days. The strategic depth and replay values are endless. Your bartering and empire-building skills will improve. Will you build the longest road, or bring spices to harbor?

It is complicated, and takes time to master, but I have yet to regret playing the game. Besides, if I ever decide to settle in a foreign land, I will have already built an empire a few dozen times.

Do you like lying? Then Coup, is the game for you.

Here, there is more than meets the eye. Image from

Coup is about bluffing and lying your way to victory. A substantial part involves calling other people’s bluffs. It is the ultimate in backstabbing and trickery. The games are brief, but intensely action-packed. It is extremely simple, strategies are endless, and it can be played a thousand different times. It’s addictive. You’ll end up playing another thousand times to satisfy your craving.

The name explains the game. You have to be the last person alive out of court. The Coup is the ultimate move resulting in your opponent’s immediate death, and there are many in-betweens. In fact, the only certain thing is, the next coup means someone dies.

Are you feeling lucky? Do you want to make a drastic, simulated impact on the world? Do you want to lead a horde of bear-riding cavemen across Australia? Then, without further ado, I recommend Risk Legacy.

Classic Risk, has always played a special part in my life. Risk Legacy does the same, but adds lots of new features. This game is for people who want to risk ruling the entire world. It is the game that always changes. Rules, armies, abilities, victory conditions,  all change after and during the game. It’s one heck of a Battle Royal strategy-game!

Epic box art, courtesy of

It is a true Battle Royal. This nice picture is from

You shape your own planet and get to decide how things are. Will you build a bunker in North Africa for the tactical advantage, or construct a city from which to start your next game? What you do in the past can come back to haunt you, or offer the opportunity to win. For this very reason, I recommend playing with a similar group of people. Impact carries over, and offers each unique abilities. It’s no fun when a new player gets one victory point, and the veteran gets 6 missiles. This is the game for that little dictator in your family.

Last, but not definitely not least, is a game of sexual puns. It is built on the most over-used bit from Americas Funniest Home Videos, and makes second-graders roll on the ground laughing. It’s Nuts.

He is so cute, yet so dangerous. Nutty photo, courtesy of

This is the Deez Nuts card. From

If you’ve every wanted to slap someone’s nuts, or grabs’ someone’s nuts, or if you’ve ever wanted to be a squirrel, this game is for you. You play the role of squirrel, trying to obtain as many nuts as possible. Unfortunately, other people want your nuts, too. You must smack, grab and defend your way to nutty victory. You’ll hear lots of second-grade humor and sexual jokes along the way. Perfect for a good laugh. Warning, don’t play with grandma. Go nuts!

Hope you enjoyed this list of games with no outlet for the holidays. Take a risk this holiday, and protect your presents, like you protect your nuts.


-Ollie, Master of Stealth and Assassination (Stages a coup and takes over the world!)

Darth Talon (WIP) By Aphrodite,

Geek Wish-List: STAR WARS Hopes & Dreams


Hey, this is Lee Neuschwander, with this week’s “last hope” for all things Geek. Better late than never. It’s only 3 days until the new Star Wars movie hits theaters, and I know, all of you are as excited as I am. I’m here to talk about things I really want to see in the highly anticipated, The Force Awakens. First, I’ll talk about more realistic things I want to see, and then, we’ll head into the Wish-List.

Two of the biggest characters in the extended Star Wars universe have always been Han and Leia’s kids, Jacen and Jaina. I’d like to see a glimpse of the heroes from the extended universe that embody the Star Wars franchise. At the very least, I want Disney to reference these characters instead of completely writing them out of the Star Wars universe.


Solo Twins, Jaina and Jacen (

My other hope is to see more legitimate lightsaber fights. Looking at the trailers for the past few months gives me the notion, that Finn’s lack of training and skills won’t provide satisfying force combat. Now, I know the Force in this universe is more legend than anything else, but I still hope Finn doesn’t splash around, like a magikarp when he faces off against Kylo Ren.

Finn from

Finn (

The other two things I expect to see in the new movie are tons of droid shenanigans, and Stormtroopers who can’t hit shit. These are two things I’m confident won’t be left out of the movie. I want to make a point here, by saying a certain baseline must be met for a film to be a good Star Wars movie.

Two of the most important parts are, insanely inaccurate storm troopers and droid banter.

Now, the cannon stuff is out of the way, I’ll jump into the good stuff. In the past few years, I’ve really gotten into Star Wars lore. I’ve found that characters like Darth Talon and Boba Fett receive much more love from the Star Wars fans than other characters in the franchise. For example, just check out the staggering amount of Boba Fett and Darth Talon Cosplay.

darth talon by dleoblack

Darth Talon (dleoblack on

I would love to see Darth Talon referenced somewhere in the next 3 movies. I don’t really care which movie it is, so long as I get to see Darth Talon on the big screen one of these days. For those of you who don’t know, Darth Talon is a Star Wars Legacy character. More specifically, Talon was one of The Hands who worked for Darth Krayt. She is depicted as a red Twi’lek with Sith tattoos given to her by Krayt.

Darth Talon also kidnapped, and then trained Cade Skywalker in the Dark Side of the Force before leaving the Sith. My point is, although Darth Talon doesn’t enter the story until 137 ABY, I would really like to see respect given to the extended universe, which is all but suspended in the new movies.

Well, I know this week’s rant was shorter than the last one, but with the new movie coming out on Friday, the Geekwave hype as been non-stop, 24-7. I hope you all have tickets ready, and will be joining us for the first viewings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Seriously guys, I’m head to toe psyched right now.

Next week, I’m ‘gonna talk about show ideas I think are worth making. For starters, maybe an anime anti-hero will MC…

REVIEW: In The Shade by Aspen Grove

What do you get when you cross Pink FloydGodspeed You! Black Emperor, and Salt Lake City? A fantastic local band called Aspen Grove! Aspen Grove, the band formally known as Archeopteryx makes some dang good music! This album is full of soothing vocals, bad ass instrumentals and radical chord progressions. Only three songs long this album has a soul behind it and you can here the passion in every bar.  It’s not every day that I get blown away by local bands but this one has something special. Even though at times the band has a tendency to vamp for a little to long it moves at a quick enough pace to keep me from having to strain my ears to enjoy it.  Most measures build on the last and it climax’s and melodic restitution’s kept me on the edge of my seat. Very good local album 9/10!

Listen to there album or download it here!