Big Picture Science – Caught in a Traps

by Gary Niederhoff on May 29, 2016

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Big Picture Science – Caught in a Traps

“Locked and loaded” is how one scientist recently described the San Andreas fault. Find out when this famous west-coast rift might cause “the big one;” also, the state of early earthquake warning systems.

Plus, another sign of our planet’s unceasing turmoil: volcanos! Could the eruption that produced the Deccan Traps, and not a rock from space, have been the nail in the coffin for the dinosaurs? One seismologist shares new evidence about some suspicious timing.

And, the man who was the first to take the temperature of lava, established the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, and essentially pioneered the field of volcanology a century ago is nearly lost to history. A scientist rescues fellow volcanologist Thomas Jagger from obscurity.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Tom Jordan / San Andreas Fault
Part 2: Mark Richards / Deccan Traps
Part 3: Birth of Volcanology

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Busting Myths with Adam Savage

Can an opera singer’s voice really shatter glass? Can you give your car a rocket-assisted boost and survive the test drive? How do you protect yourself from a shark attack? Those are among the many intriguing questions and urban legends tested by the MythBusters team in front of the camera.

Now that the series has ended after a 16 year run, co-host Adam Savage tells us how it all began, how he and Jamie Hyneman walked the line between science and entertainment, and why he considers himself a scientist but not a “skeptic.”

Also, he reveals the location of the episode, “Duct Tape Island.”

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Anatomy of Mythbusters
Part 2: Behind the Scenes of Mythbusters
Part 3: The Science and Skepticsm of Mythbusters

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Big Picture Science – Science Fiction

May 16, 2016

Big Picture Science – Science Fiction No one knows what the future will bring, but science fiction authors are willing to take a stab at imagining it. We take our own stab at imagining them imagining it. Find out why the genre of science fiction is more than a trippy ride through a bizarre, hi-tech […]

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Big Picture Science – Shocking Ideas

May 9, 2016

Big Picture Science – Shocking Ideas Electricity is so 19th century. Most of the uses for it were established by the 1920s. So there’s nothing innovative left to do, right? That’s not the opinion of the Nobel committee that awarded its 2014 physics prize to scientists who invented the blue LED. Find out why this […]

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Big Picture Science – Living Computers

May 2, 2016

Big Picture Science – Living Computers It’s the most dramatic technical development of recent times: Teams of people working for decades to produce a slow-motion revolution we call computing. As these devices become increasingly powerful, we recall that a pioneer from the nineteenth century – Ada Lovelace, a mathematician and Lord Byron’s daughter – said […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Your Inner Lab Coat

April 25, 2016

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Your Inner Lab Coat Sherlock Holmes doesn’t have a science degree, yet he thinks rationally – like a scientist. You can too! Learn the secrets of being irritatingly logical from the most famous sleuth on Baker Street. Plus, discover why animal trackers 100,000 years ago may have been the […]

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Big Picture Science – Moving Right Along

April 18, 2016

Big Picture Science – Moving Right Alongclick to listen! You think your life is fast-paced, but have you ever seen a bacterium swim across your countertop? You’d be surprised how fast they can move. Find out why modeling the swirl of hurricanes takes a roomful of mathematicians and supercomputers, and how galaxies can move away […]

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Big Picture Science – Surfeit of the Vitalest

April 11, 2016

Big Picture Science – Surfeit of the Vitalest In the century and a half since Charles Darwin wrote his seminal On the Origin of the Species, our understanding of evolution has changed quite a bit. For one, we have not only identified the inheritance molecule DNA, but have determined its sequence in many animals and […]

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Big Picture Science – Tale of the Distribution

April 4, 2016

Big Picture Science – Tale of the Distributionclick to listen! We all have at least some musical talent. But very few of us can play the piano like Vladimir Horowitz. His talent was rarefied, and at the tail end of the bell curve of musical ability – that tiny sliver of the distribution where you […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: How Low Can You Go

March 28, 2016

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: How Low Can You Goclick to listen! Baby, it’s cold outside… but you still might want to be there. Some people claim that chilly temperatures are good for your health, and proponents of cryotherapy suggest you have a blast – of sub-zero air – to stave off wrinkles and […]

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